Friday, May 25, 2018

CPR 1950 Field to Golden


LC Gagnon's September 1950 trip continues west from Field. At the end of the post are the Special Instructions for the Absolute Permissive Block signals you'll see along the way. Included with the actual employee timetable showing the scheduled trains, are the subdivision-specific instructions used during this last decade of steam in Canada.

... It seems that whenever the rulebook got out of date due to the progressive march of railway technology ... employee timetables across the land became inflated with pages of Special Instructions and many of these would eventually find their way into the rulebook. 

... There were also numerous other booklets of general operating instructions and other specialized rules which employees were wise to carry in their travelling libraries - depending on their running trades job. 

A passenger conductor in 1954 had to know how to handle: Item 74 Returning Banana Messengers.

In 1958, engineers and conductors needed to be conversant with six pages of: 
Instructions in the Event of Death On Board Trains or Injuries and Death as the Result of Accidents Involving Trains.



Leaving Field, the majesty of Mount Stephen stands out beyond the wires and the Kicking Horse River.



As often happens on a nice summer day, humidity in the air causes distant features to become ghostly.
Most of us flatlanders only see this effect on the daytime moon, so a spectral Mount Stephen would seem particularly striking.



Permissive signals with their pointed semaphore ends.
The special instructions for these signals appear at the end of this post.



Number 7 continues along the valley of the Kicking Horse River.
Our maximum speed, Field to Golden, is 35 MPH.



A meet with another passenger train.
Glacier-fresh water from the eastbound's tenders is simmering over heavy-oil fires.



This is indeed mile 31.6 at Cloister.
The eastbound absolute semaphore (square end, 'A') is probably rising - as we have just cleared the block.
This is not Centralized Traffic Control, and if dispatchers had control over the home signals, etc,
the intricate timetable grid at the end of this post would not have been necessary.

This westbound train has just passed an upper (main track) and a lower (diverging route) staggered set of signals
(maybe a light above and a dwarf arm below?) ...
whose silver backs you can see to the left of the bridge.

An eastbound leaving the siding would be governed by that left-side mid-mast dwarf semaphore arm.

Also notice the telltale near the tunnel mouth.



My father believed this was Train Number 4.
As his notes mentioned, at the beginning of this series ...
photofinishing in the 1950s provided separated, un-numbered negatives.
This made his efforts to arrange these prints 'in negative order' difficult.

Above, I think you can see a meeting of The Men of Gravitas Club.
Their leader is probably he with his foot on the chain.

The flagman gives his mandated 'all is well' safety acknowledgement below the right marker.




Departing Golden, British Columbia,
junction with the Lake Windermere Sub.

Feel free to speculate
if that is really an engine crew walking on the platform,
and on what their next official duty may be.

*  *  *

Below are the promised timetable pages.



Thursday, May 17, 2018

CPR 1950 Banff to Field



My father's third railway vacation, made with the assistance of his Company pass, took him to the west coast. 
At the end of the last instalment (links below) he had reached Banff on Train Number 7.




LC Gagnon surveys the Bow River Valley from a 'hayrack' open observation car.


CPR 7910, Vancouver, July 1952; Stan Styles. Collection of LC Gagnon.
The CPR had 16 open observation cars in this class and they could not be interchanged with US railroads.
Most of the passenger trains listed below had them in their consists during peak tourist season.


The Laggan Subdivision employee timetable includes the time of this trip.


A meet with an eastbound freight.


Working up the Bow Valley toward the Continental Divide.


Castle Mountain (1858-1946)
Mount Eisenhower (1946-1979)
Castle Mountain (1979 to date)


The bus is likely meeting the train from Chateau Lake Louise.


Looking from the 'right' side of the train at Lake Louise.


Looking across Lake Wapta.
Today the Trans-Canada Highway follows the general route of that distant road.


The valley of the Kicking Horse River near Field.


The lower Spiral Tunnel is to the right.


Entering the lower Spiral Tunnel.


Meeting an eastbound which is perhaps 'displaying signals' (the flag at the right).


The terminal at Field.
Successive generations of structures and buildings for steam locomotive support can be seen.


Previous segments of this trip:

CPR 1950 Kenora to Broadview

CPR 1950 Prairies to Banff


The first section of the Technology Index ...
Looks at Field Hill operating rules, brake technology (including 'water brakes') and the CPR Mallets.

CPR, The Big Hill (Kicking Horse Grade) c1885 to c1909