Wednesday, June 13, 2018

CNR 1981 Kingston: M-630 Locomotives

During hot summer days in the 1980s, Alco Century Series 6-axle units were a favourite locomotive to spot and photograph. With some of the smoking external 'personality' of steam locomotives, they were particularly interesting to watch as they lifted heavy trains.

Diagrams come from this January 1970 operating manual ...
which made many trips along the north shore of Lake Superior with Rolly Martin.

Before the widespread provision, and company mandated use of dynamic brakes on Canadian railways, train air brakes were generally used for train control when descending grades and/or preparing to clear in sidings. Above, brake smoke blends with summer haze as an eastbound approaches the Kingston VIA station in 1981.

A time-honoured practice was to put freights into sidings for peak periods of VIA traffic. Before the 1986 Commission of Inquiry, Hinton Train Collision this was done through CTC signalling with very little 'sharing' from the Belleville-based dispatcher on the master plan evolving at his desk.

The tailend crew would advise the engineer when they were in the clear.

Above, Alco-MLW thoroughbred power supplements the summer heat at the east end of Kingston's Queens track 4.

Italics denote archaic railway terms.

Getting underway, the trailing unit - an M-636 - is putting on a show.

An earlier effort to look at M-636 power can be seen here:

CNR 2300s in June 1982 at Kingston

The evening summer sun in 1981 does a nice job of lighting elements of the brake system on the loaded boxcar above.
Probably no railroader mourned the extinction of roof-mounted hand brakes and 'plain' bearings.