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Canadian Railroads > No More Double Track


Date: 10/15/21 14:54
No More Double Track
Author: cn6218

Around the year 2000 CN decided that double track with ABS signals should be eliminated in favour of single track CTC.  The two lengthy sections of double track ABS in Nova Scotia, 10 miles or so around Truro, and the 16 miles from Windsor Jct. to the Halifax VIA station were on the hit list (double track around Moncton was also removed around this time).  Fortunately, I have a few pictures documenting the two tracks in both locations.

On May 5, 2001, CN train 137 was climbing up the hill from Truro in Onslow, on the old north track.  In Truro trains generally observed right hand running when they entered the double track at Belmont (west) or Hyde (east).  The Truro local would have used the south track to access the fertilizer  plant at the switch seen beside the two Dash-9s.

Double track in Halifax started at mile 15.6 of the Bedford Sub, but unlike Truro, most freights took the north track (in both directions), while the passenger trains stayed on the south track which carried all the way to Halifax Ocean Terminals as the main line.  On April 21, 2001, GE Dash 8-40CM 2412 was leading train 136 past Rocky Lake on the north track near mile 14.  The north track was designated as a main line in 2001 as far as mile 7, where it became the Halifax Transfer Track.  Today this track is the sole main line, although it moves over to the alignment of the former south track near mile 13.

On December 12, 2009 the Ocean speeds up the remaining track towards the siding of Belmont.  The switch to the fertilizer plant has been moved over to the north track, and almost all traces of the old south track, except for a pile of old ties, are gone at this point.

GTD








Date: 10/15/21 16:11
Re: No More Double Track
Author: perklocal

Great narrative and photos !  That tele shot of the Ocean is intense with the snow packed pilot and exhaust heat bloom !  I nominate this one for IOTD.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/21 16:12 by perklocal.



Date: 10/16/21 05:15
Re: No More Double Track
Author: ghCBNS

perklocal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great narrative and photos !  That tele shot of
> the Ocean is intense with the snow packed pilot
> and exhaust heat bloom !  I nominate this one for
> IOTD.

Yes...a great shot and note: only a Skyline Dome in the consist. No Park Car.

Back then the Park Car was only running in the Summer and Fall when Sleeper Touring Class was offered.



Date: 10/16/21 07:21
Re: No More Double Track
Author: cn6218

ghCBNS Wrote:

> Back then the Park Car was only running in the
> Summer and Fall when Sleeper Touring Class was
> offered.

But the Park car did come back for the Holiday season a week later.  Here is VIA 614 ('extra" Ocean) at the same location, but taken from the next crossing towards Truro, just after sunset on December 28, 2009.  I posted the going away shot about a year ago: Waiting for the Ocean in Truro, NS (trainorders.com)  Revelstoke Park was carrying the markers that day.




Date: 10/16/21 16:46
Re: No More Double Track
Author: King_Coal

Nice photos, sad note.

I believe I read this area was CTC-ed for WWII traffic. It went away, the most if not all the grain. If I read your posts correctly its down to about one combination merchandise-auto-intermodal freight per day. I suppose we should be glad the remaining track looks to be in good shape.



Date: 10/16/21 17:51
Re: No More Double Track
Author: feclark

I'm a big fan of the first shot; there are no distractions, just lovely details and elements that set the scene, The heat haze wrinking the background horizon is just perfect.
Fred



Date: 10/17/21 11:21
Re: No More Double Track
Author: cn6218

King_Coal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice photos, sad note.
>
> I believe I read this area was CTC-ed for WWII
> traffic.

You are correct that the CTC was installed during WW II.  CN considered double-tracking all the way from Moncton to Halifax (there were already two separate lines west of there to Quebec City/Charny), but went with CTC instead.  At the time it was the largest installation of CTC in North America, at roughly 200 miles  (Pacific Jct. to Windsor Jct.).  However the section around Truro (and double track east of Windsor Jct.) remained as ABS with directional running.  Current traffic  is one large intermodal train and a merchandise train each way, each day, with the once a week Ocean passenger train.  Then there are the unit gypsum trains and some locals.  At current levels it probably could be dispatched manually, but would likely be a full time job for the RTC.  As it is, the RTC does all the CTC and all the remaining OCS in the Maritmes by himself.

There are sporadic extra intermodal trains, and there is always a rumour floating around that CN will add an extra regular train at some point.  And they haven't been deferring maintenance.  Signal upgrades are going on right now at Kinsac (mile 20, Bedford Sub) to replace the searchlights with LED signals, and allow crews to drop cars there are rejoin their train without having to copy a track warrant from the RTC.

GTD



Date: 10/17/21 13:33
Re: No More Double Track
Author: ghCBNS

Here's an article on the CTC installation back in the '40s'

Back then there were 8 passenger and 50+ freights per day.....compared to what is handled today!!

https://www.jonroma.net/media/signaling/railway-signaling/1944/CTC%20On%20185%20Miles%20on%20Canadian%20National.pdf



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