The last steam engine to run on the CASO

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The last steam engine to run on the CASO
Posted by Miningman on Friday, September 21, 2018 9:22 PM

Just back from a week of conducting our Geophysics Field School and see the PRR, Turbines, Streamliners, and Duplex Drive steam is still going strong. Good to see, it's something that was lost to us and all shrouded in a cloud that vanished as quickly as it came taking the future of steam along with it that was so exciting. 

Here we have what is definitely the last steam engine to operate on CASO rails in Waterford, Ontario. All these rails are now gone gone gone and ain't never coming back. Ex CPR 1057, 4-6-0. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, September 22, 2018 1:10 AM

Welcome back, Miningman. The 4th car is a dining car isn't it? People probably can see its chimney from distance.Smile

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, September 22, 2018 6:36 AM

Looks like a baggage-coach combine - probably fitted with a stove or Baker heater to allow it to be used on branchlines behind the caboose.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 22, 2018 10:17 AM

rcdrye is correct, baggage combine. It is very similar to the one used on the Port Burwell branch which ran until 1960 with the coal stove and oil lamps inside! There is a picture of it, or similiar, in service on the line in David P Morgan's Canadian Steam! book. 

Here are some scenes in the same location back in the day when the New York Central was an economic powerhouse and gave excellent service.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 22, 2018 10:30 AM

  ....and then bit by bit it's all gone...

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Saturday, September 22, 2018 10:40 AM

...and another great railway has joined the ranks of becoming a Fallen Flag.  A pity too.  How much of the right-of-way remains and is there any CASO track still in service at all today?

A before and after photo study belongs in an upcoming issue of Classic Trains!

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, September 24, 2018 11:31 AM

Trinity River-- It's all gone. The tunnel at Detroit of course was the real prize and still remains. At the other end the Niagara River Bridge in the Falls still stands but is a rusting relic connected to nothing. There are constant musings of tearing it down. It is barricaded at each end with a welded on huge steel plate and barrier in the middle and barbed wire along the sides. All the mainline trackage, the 4 branches are all gone.

The last revenue train was Windsor- Fargo, May 17,2011

The last remaining piece of mainline trackage was removed starting Nov.15,2012. 

Tight squeeze! GP7 378 is southbound and about to go under the abandoned CASO mainline. 
Note the tell-tale to warn brakemen of low clearance. March 14, 2012 Tim Ball

 One Industrial siding remains as original CASO trackage.

Kissner Milling
Ice melting products 

Former CASO connecting track between Tillsonburg yard and former CN CASO Sub. 

22 Clarke Street East 

This facility ended rail traffic from Saskatchewan following acquisition by 
Kissner Group of a salt mine under Detroit with salt being trucked from there.
October 12, 2015

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Posted by cx500 on Monday, September 24, 2018 5:38 PM

Is not the trackage between Welland and Fort Erie, still used by CP, former CASO? The TH&B ended at Welland.  At Welland the CASO had two routes available.  One went northeast to Niagara Falls and crossed on their own bridge below the Falls, double track all the way.  That is now abandoned.  The second route was directly east to Fort Erie, and then onto the single track CN bridge to cross the Niagara River. 

There used to be an amazing amount of trackage in the Welland Canal/Niagara Falls area as a result of various independent railways in the 19th century.  Lots of industry to support its continuation well into the 20th century.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, September 24, 2018 7:59 PM

cx500-- You may be correct. There was a lot of parallel trackage from many railroads, as Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment restricted the land mass and Southern Ontario pinches ever more narrowly to Fort Erie-Buffalo. I'll have to do some forensic digging into this.

Here is a link to a CASO map, clearly showing the two lines that cx500 talks about, one to Niagara Falls and one to Fort Erie-Buffalo.

http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/images/map-caso.pdf

 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, September 24, 2018 10:16 PM

The Welland and Niagara areas were indeed a maze of tracks.  Today they are a maze of abandoned grades, some readily visible as trails, others harder to spot.

Numerous lines were relocated as a result of the Welland Canal bypass project in the 1970s.  One historical association made a map showing all the new and abandoned lines, using Google Maps.  It is freely available online, but I can't find it right now.

The CASO/TH&B crossed the old canal in downtown Welland on a double track Baltimore Truss swing bridge, which Trillium still uses (along with a bit of ex-NSC&T trackage) to access a local industry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMMH3KySCmI

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, September 27, 2018 9:31 PM

This just got put up the other day, the TH&B-CASO connection, in southwest Welland:

http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=34910

The photographer would have been standing beside the NSC&T diamond (if it still existed then) when he took that shot.  The swing bridge is not far behind him.

All this disappeared when the canal was relocated, with both the CASO and CN's Cayuga Subdivision being relocated into the triple track Townline Tunnel, along with a highway.  The deep cutting exposed some sulphurous rock, and even today it stinks driving through there.

Today the area in that photo is a combination of forest and swamp.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, September 27, 2018 9:36 PM

Thanks Dude. It is just staggering to think what has been lost in the entire area. 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, September 27, 2018 9:54 PM

Finally found that map!

There are a couple minor mistakes, but for the most part it is accurate:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1Ie3ZNSolNfVLqQb4Bb80QBh-XH4&ie=UTF&msa=0&err=1&ll=43.04476671739333%2C-79.21192613288162&z=12

The canal bypass project was a huge undertaking, what with all the rail and road relocations.  But it was worth it, and Welland no longer gets cut in half for 30 minutes while a ship goes by.  

Mariners used to hate the Welland area, with its narrow, blind curve (visibility obscured by buildings downtown) and numerous bridges.  The CASO's swing bridge was the worst, with each side being just wide enough for a full-size Laker.  Even today numerous dents and scrapes on the piers and pilings remain, a testament to the difficulty of lining up that approach.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Saturday, September 29, 2018 6:59 AM

I posted this question elsewhere but it demands to be asked here as well: How many freight customers remained on CASO during the last years of operation?

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