The Railroad Cycle in Ontario

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The Railroad Cycle in Ontario
Posted by Miningman on Friday, September 28, 2018 10:36 PM
A really fascinating read. Abandonments listed starting page 118. Unfortunately it only goes to 1990 but 'lines in danger of abandonment' are shown on a seperate map and it is very accurate.
The author did a heck of a lot of research and work. 



 https://archive.org/details/railwaylifecycle00bloo/page/n4

 
 
 
 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 29, 2018 1:09 AM

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 29, 2018 1:15 AM

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 29, 2018 2:11 AM

The Canada Southern Railway:

One can see from the above graph that the Depression really played havoc with the CASO. The war years bring incredible traffic levels, every year a new record, in both freight and passenger starting in 1939. Canada was at war with Nazi Germany, a full 2 years before the USA declared war. It is this time period between Sept. 1939 and Dec 1941 that has me wondering. The New York Central is going full bore gangbusters and I assume also the Wabash and Pere Marquette across Southern Ontario between Windsor/Detroit and Fort Erie/Buffalo. Border restrictions must have been exceptionally tight and bridges and stations en route must be guarded. I wish there was some writing, some accounts and research on this very strange and perhaps sometimes awkward time period. 

The other very noticeable item is that while traffic starts to go down as the war ends it does remain very high still post war and starts to level off at a fairly high plateau around '48-'49. This I believe was a signal of hope for the CASO as it seems that traffic in both passenger and freight will revert to 1920's levels and all will be well. 

This is a short lived situation for passenger and although freight traffic  'levels off' at a nice high rate until ~1955, probably due to the Korean War and post WW2 consumerism, and it appears to be quite sustainable, both passenger and freight fall off catastrophically after that. By the time Sputnik is bleeping it's signal to the world the CASO is in survival and deferred maintenance mode. 

Interesting also to us conspiracy or skeptically minded types is the very obvious and very pronounced end of the brief plateau of hope post war coinciding exactly with the demise of legions of J3's and Mohawks and Mikes. As dead lines swelled and the guillotine got busy in 52-53-54 so did the fortunes of the railroad, seems almost to the hour!  The saviour of the day, the all mighty Diesel, instead appears to have heralded the end and certainly did not postpone it but accelerated it.  With the coal smoke, the whistle, the roundhouse and the water tower gone so went the glory and romance but without a doubt the whole dang railroad. GM laughing, got 'em comin' and goin'. Alco chasing its tail.

Raises an eyebrow for sure. To quote Havelock Ellis " Civilization is a thin crust on a volcano". Puts a Geology spin on it for me. 

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Saturday, September 29, 2018 6:55 AM

How many freight customers remained on CASO during the last years of operation?

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, September 29, 2018 3:37 PM

You know, if a railroad was in trouble dieselizing certainly wasn't going to save it, there's a lot of "Fallen Flags", too many to mention, that went diesel and died anyway.

But you're right in a way Miningman, it's hard not to equate public apathy as far as railroads are concerned as beginning with the diesel era and the end of the "Big Show" of steam.  One rail writer of the time, I don't remember who, said that when diesels had taken over completely railroading was going to be as interesting as a conveyor belt.

We can see it now, by the way.  Look at Jim Wrinn's last blog about Nickle Plate 765.  Look at the photos.  How many people would come trackside if that train was pulled by a diesel? 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, September 29, 2018 6:06 PM

Firelock76

We can see it now, by the way.  Look at Jim Wrinn's last blog about Nickle Plate 765.  Look at the photos.  How many people would come trackside if that train was pulled by a diesel? 

Maybe 1/5 or even less, Diesel have many supporter too, but I wouldn't become a railfan if steam locomotive never existed! 
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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, September 29, 2018 6:11 PM

How many of these line abandonments were caused by other lines having CTC installed, allowing them to carry much more traffice than before.  Also, I'm not sure of the procedure, but how much did Customs delay trains moving across southwestern Ontario?  I'm thinking that once CTC was installed on the Waterlevel Route, the delays across Ontario only made sense for traffic destined for southern Michigan.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 29, 2018 6:29 PM

Freight was vouched for by a broker, who also paid all duties and tariffs and then billed the consignee so there were few delays... most of the time....of course any government depending on the mood of the day, or some hot tip or suspicions could hold anything they want at the border until they were satisfied. This still goes on today, more so since 911.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, September 29, 2018 7:10 PM

Jones1945
 
Firelock76

We can see it now, by the way.  Look at Jim Wrinn's last blog about Nickle Plate 765.  Look at the photos.  How many people would come trackside if that train was pulled by a diesel? 

 

Maybe 1/5 or even less, Diesel have many supporter too, but I wouldn't become a railfan if steam locomotive never existed! 
 

You know, I'm reminded of something Andy Muller of the Reading and Northern said back in the '90s...

"When I run an excursion train with a diesel, even a vintage diesel, nobody notices.  But when I run one with a steam engine I stop traffic for miles around!"

Back then Andy was running excursions with Pacific 425 and Reading T-1 4-8-4 2102.  425's back in action, and 2102 is returning when the restoration's done!

425's a stunner, check this out and go full-screen if you can

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x_OPQeFrxM

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, September 29, 2018 10:46 PM

Firelock76

You know, I'm reminded of something Andy Muller of the Reading and Northern said back in the '90s...

"When I run an excursion train with a diesel, even a vintage diesel, nobody notices.  But when I run one with a steam engine I stop traffic for miles around!"

 
Yea, It is a global phenomenon that general public love Steam locomotive more, even they are not railfan. SP conducted a survey after dieselization of their Daylight trains, passenger at that time, which was 50 years ago, also preferred steam locomotive to Diesel. But I cannot deny that there are railfan who love both of them. Nice video by the way.
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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 30, 2018 12:06 AM

Very nice video Firelock. Watched it twice, putting myself along the Niagara Escarpment sometime in the mid 50's. That's the way it was and it was great ( did not have that open air car of course).

Here is a sample consist of the NYC CASO passenger train #40 Detroit/Windsor to Fort Erie/Buffalo on Aug. 25, 1944. 

The very day Paris is liberated. Fierce fighting in France, Allies advancing, Eastern Front collapsing, Pacific War island hopping and Naval Air battles. World in total War.

 

EQUIPMENT / DETAILS

 

241 PASSENGERS - CREW: C. ROBERTS

 

NYC 5369 - HUDSON

 

DL&W 2028 - BAGGAGE EXPRESS

 

NYC 4864 - HEAVYWEIGHT RPO

 

NYC 8656 - HEAVYWEIGHT BAGGAGE

 

NYC 8420 - HEAVYWEIGHT BAGGAGE

 

NYC 284 - HEAVYWEIGHT COMBINE

 

NYC 2459 - HEAVYWEIGHT COACH

 

NYC 2230 - HEAVYWEIGHT COACH

 

NYC 2630 - LIGHTWEIGHT COACH

 

PULLMAN IMPERIAL CHARIOT - 4069E 4 DOUBLE BEDROOMS 4 COMPARTMENTS 2 DRAWING ROOMS

 

PULLMAN GARDEN VALLEY - 4036 8 SECTION 5 DOUBLE BEDROOMS

 

PULLMAN SUN-DAWN - 3975B1 2 COMPARTMENTS 1 DRAWING ROOM LOUNGE BUFFET OBSERVATION

 

PULLMAN NEW CASTLE - 3958 14 SECTIONS

 

PULLMAN VILLA ROSA - 3411A 10 SECTION 3 DOUBLE BEDROOMS

 

NYC 2221 - HEAVYWEIGHT COACH

 

NYC 571 - HEAVYWEIGHT DINING CAR

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 30, 2018 1:40 AM

June 13, 1947

 Train: US President Truman Special - 12 Cars En-route to Buffalo

B&O 1401 Combined bagg.& pass.

Pullman Lake Gardner 10Sec.1Dr.2Cpt. HW Sleeper

Pullman Glen Eyre 6Cpt.3Dr. HW Sleeper

Pullman Sun-Gold 2Cpt.1Dr.LngB.SunRm. HW Sleeper

Pullman Glen Cliff 6Cpt.3Dr. HW Sleeper

CPR Avonwick Diner

Pullman Rittenhouse Square 6Cpt.3Dr. HW Sleeper

Pullman Brahms 6Cpt.3Dr. HW Sleeper

CPR Wentworth Official Private car

CN 104 Official Private car

Pullman Waterview 8Cpt.Lng. HW Sleeper

President's Car (No Name)

I don't think this train had any trouble at Customs. 

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, September 30, 2018 11:14 AM

I thought everyone would enjoy that Reading and Northern video, it was a fast fourteen minutes, wasn't it?  Just a little imagination and it wasn't 2017, it was 1937 all over again.

Pennsylvania seems to be a happening place as far as steam railroading is concerned.  It's got a pretty vibrant model railroading culture going on as well.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 30, 2018 2:33 PM
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, October 01, 2018 10:16 AM

Jones1945
Maybe 1/5 or even less, Diesel have many supporter too, but I wouldn't become a railfan if steam locomotive never existed! 

 
The only steam locomotives I ever saw in daily service were NKP Berkshires, everything else was diesel or electric.  I was about five years old at the time and the only thing about the Berks was that they were different.  Everything else, from South Shore's steeple cabs to Erie and Wabash F's, was equally fascinating.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

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