Alberta Phoenix Pipe and Tube

In the last posting I talked about the cast-iron soil pipe plant located north of Ogden Shops, here I’ve attached a picture of a pipe plant located south of Ogden Shops. When I first came to Ogden. It was called The Big Inch pipe plant, and sat idle for a lack of business; I think the largest pipe they made was around 12 inch. The long steel roof building you see on the left was the entire plant. Its name was changed to Alberta, Phoenix, Pipe and Tube and in 1968. The steel roof building on the right was added, along with equipment to do sub arc welding with this equipment in the mill could now manufacture 36-inch pipe. Wright’s sent me to this jobsite in the winter, and it was a great place to work being all enclosed from the elements outside, and being only a short walk from where I lived. There was lots of work, running airlines for the carriages that would move the rolled pipe to the welding machines that were located on the north end of this new structure. There is a washroom for the employees that was built inside this large structure, and I remember running copper pipe to a hot water heater that was located on the roof of the structure. On the left-hand side of this aerial view you can see some houses in Ogden, and in between the houses and the plant is the CPR’s mainline to Medicine Hat. This picture was taken in the 1980s, when the plant was bought out by Prudential Pipe & Steel so all you can see in the yard to the left and to the right of the plant is small diameter pipe and steel that they now manufacture. To the north of this picture out of view is a rendering plant that used really stink in the summer when I worked at Ogden Shops, and there was a liquid air plant that manufactured nitrogen, oxygen, helium, and other rare gases. The only other business located in the huge acreage behind Ogden Shops was a Riding Academy.

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July
08
Posted on 08-07-2008
Filed Under (Calgary 1960s) by Broken Rail

Featherstone's Store

When I left the CPR, I had to move from where I had room and board. I moved into an apartment and boarded with a woman and her three children. The place was pretty oLd and was in the back of the building on the left-hand side shown in the picture. Featherstone’s General store was on the coroner, and Ogden’s first post office was located in the middle building. The building we lived in was originally a movie theater from what I have read. The photo was from the book “The Ogden Whistle” a History of the districts of Ogden, Lynnwood, and Millican Estates. Cable’s General store was located across the street on the right-hand side of the picture, and had already been torn down when this picture was taken in 1976. I lived here during the winter of 1967 and 1968, and boy was it cold sleeping in the back bedroom, which was poorly insulated, and in the mornings there would be frost on the walls. In the spring I moved a block north of here to a house owned by Wes and Mary Davis, who own the riding Academy located behind the Ogden shops. It was a good place for room and board, and I stayed with them for a year and a half. I remember in the winter of 1968-1969, I was home during the day and Mary was notified that their horses had escaped and were running around in the Ogden Shops property. So off we went down into the Ogden Shops yard to round up these horses, it was a very cold day, and the snow was quite deep. We eventually got all the horses back into their acreage. And were happy to take a rest, one of the Ogden Shops employees invited us into his little greenhouse over by the No.2. Coach shop. He had the kettle on, and made us a nice pot of tea.

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Talking about soil pipe, there is a plant in Calgary that manufactures it. It was called Anthes Imperial pipe plant, and was located north of the Ogden Shops yard. Its name now is Canron. In this picture, you can see on the left side supports for the crane they have there. The CPR has a spur that runs up between the crane supports, and gondolas full of scrap cast iron were spotted there. The crane has a magnet that would pick up the scrap iron and stockpile it till needed. The scrap iron was then fed into a furnace and melted; it would then be poured into molds for cast-iron soil pipe and fittings. At the time I started at the Ogden Shops. They were paying $5 an hour to work here good money but dirty work, and it was a dead end job with no future.

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July
06

Rigid Cast-Iron Soil Pipe Cutter

The first job I worked on for A.R. Wright Plumbing and Heating was a two-story 16 suite apartment building that was to be built at 19th St and 35 Ave. SW. The location was an empty lot, and we had to rough in the cast iron soil pipe for the toilets and sink drains. It was really cold that November and the ground was so frozen that we had difficulty digging trenches for the soil pipe, so we brought in a jackhammer to break up the frozen earth. We followed the guidelines from the blueprints provided us by Wright’s mechanical draftsman, and laid out and measured the 4 inch hubed cast-iron soil pipe for each of the eight apartment suites on the ground floor. The cast-iron soil pipe came in eight foot lengths, and to cut it into smaller lengths we had a special tool called a soil pipe cutter made by Rigid Tools, who supplies many of the tools used in plumbing, pipefitting, and gas fitting trades. The soil pipe cutter had a 3-foot handle and a chain with circular cutting wheels, it was looped around the soil pipe and pulled tight, then the chain end was fastened to the handle by two pins then engaged in a slot in the handle. By pumping the handle, up-and-down the chain would tighten and the cutting wheels would dig into the surface of the soil pipe until enough pressure was exerted to cause the soil pipe to break off evenly where the cutting wheels scored the pipe. There was a main trunk line running down the middle where the apartments hallway would be to the outside, where it tied in to the city’s sewer main. There was eight inlets four on each side of the main trunk that went in to the individual suites, at the end of these branches would be elbows and Y fittings to service the toilets and sink drains from the bathroom and kitchen. There would be cast-iron elbows that were joined together to form a 90° turn upwards for the toilet, and another one that ran up to the second floor, and to the roof for the purpose of venting the system. To fasten two lengths of soil pipe together the 4 inch end of the pipe or elbow was pushed into the base of the hub, then oakum a fibrous material made of hemp was packed in all-around the hub with a yarning iron, a tool that looks like a spatula with an offset handle that could pack the oakum tightly into the hub with the help of a ball pein hammer. Enough oakum was packed in the joint till there was about one half an inch room left at the top of the hub. We used a propane fueled stove to melt lead in a cast-iron pail, the lead came in 25 pound ingots that were poured in four 5 pound circular portions that were joined together, and a 5 pound oval handle to carry the lead with. With a hammer and a cold chisel the 5-pound pieces were cut into segments that were placed in the cast-iron melting pot to melt. A cast-iron ladle was then used to pour the molten lead into the hub of the joints to make them rigid. Horizontal joints were easy to pour, but any joint vertical or at an angle required a running rope to do the job. A running rope was a length of rope made with asbestos above 20 inches long with a metal cap on each end to keep it from fraying, it also had a spring-loaded clamp on a short length of chain attached to one end of the rope. The rope was wrapped around the top of the hub, and the two ends were clamped together, this left a small triangular shaped opening to pour the molten lead into. The rope was taken off and then the joint was caulked with two special irons for this purpose, the inside caulking was like at an offset chisel with a curved blunt end that was pushed against the soil pipe on the inside of the joint, and a hammer was used to pack the lead down into the joint, another caulking iron in the outside one was used to caulk the joint at the inside of the hub. The lead did not seal the joint; it was the oakum that expanded when it was a contract with water from the sewage.

We spent a good three weeks finishing the ground-floor rough in of the plumbing. It had to be inspected by the City of Calgary’s plumbing inspector, and approved before they could pour the concrete floor over it. The plumbing inspector lived in the Altadore district is name was Harry Ager; I had worked with his brother Vic Ager, who was the senior tinsmith at Ogden shops. Harry was a very conscientious inspector, and nothing got by him, he took a look at the plumbing rough in we had finished and laughed, he said it would all have to be redone, because there were no backwater valves. A backwater valve prevents flooding of the apartments on the ground floor if the city sewer backs up, and there was a good chance of this happening as 35th Ave was a low point in the geography of the district. If you think yarning, pouring and caulking oakum and lead soil pipe joints is a lot of work, try disassembling one. To do this you have a small narrow chisel you use to pick the lead out of the joint. This was an expensive mistake made by the mechanical draftsman at Wright’s and delayed the job at least two weeks.

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July
06

During the layoff I was hanging around with a friend Keith Graham who was a pipefitter apprentice at the CPR with two years in, he wanted to get an apprenticeship the outside. we went to inquire at some plumbing shops the first one we visited was A.R. Wright Plumbing and Heating an old established Calgary firm. I sat out in the front office while Keith went into Mr. Art Wright’s office for his interview he came out pleased with the results they going to give him one year for his two years at the CPR. Mr. Wringht saw me sitting there and asked Keith if I was looking for a job. He said if I wanted a job I was hired so this is how I started my career as a plumber gasfitter pipefitter apprentice.

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l

Here is a photo of the Ogden Hotel it was originally owned and operated by the Calgary Breweries Ltd. until after World War II when it was made into a convalescent hospital for the veterans returning from World War I as you can see in the picture there are patients and nurses standing in front of the building. When it wasn’t required as a hospital anymore the Calgary Breweries Ltd. took it over again until the 1930s when it was sold to the Alberta Government and made into a Single Men’s Hostel which It remained untill 1969 when a new Hostel was built in downtown Calgary. The building then ended up in private hands and was renamed Alyth Lodge and became a rooming house.

In the spring of 1966, I developed some health problems with rheumatoid arthritis; I ended up in the Calgary General Hospital for about three months. I was away from work for about five months total, and was covered by benefits from the Sun Life Insurance let the CPR provided us with as part of our collective agreement between the railway and the Sheet-Metal Workers International Association. The first few months I worked at Ogden I lived at home and road the Calgary Transit System buses to work, to do this. I had to get up at 06:00 in the morning have breakfast that my mother prepared, and walk three blocks to the bus stop on 33rd Ave. SW to catch the South Calgary bus Route 7 downtown to 1st St SW in front of the Hudson Bay Store and cross the street to catch the Ogden bus Route 24 that took me to the front gates of the Ogden shops. I learned from one of my coworkers Gary, who lived in Altadore of a carpool he rode in. Eric, who was a foreman on the Rip track, drove the car; he drove a 1959 Chevy and charged three of us a dollar a week to pay for gas. I’d tell you, this guy was really cheap, he had clear plastic seat covers to protect the upholstery, and in the cold winter weather you just about froze your butt off sitting on the seats, as he never turned the heater on. He would turn the heater on, only enough to defrost the windshield, he had some kind of perverted idea that if you used your heater the battery would wear out sooner.

I finally had enough of carpooling, and I moved to Ogden, a friend of mine John Blackstock who was a machinist apprentice lived at home in Lynnwood, and his mother and father Stanley, who worked as a machinist helper on the scrap dock, had room for a boarder. This was great way only lived about eight blocks from the shops so I could walk there in the morning in about 15 minutes. I never was a morning person, and remember going to work and being about a block away from the shop gates when the 08:00 whistle blew, also at this time the CPR’s Dominion would arrive from the East. The Dominion was the CPR’s second transcontinental train, it looked pretty sharp in it’s CPR livery of the units in their color scheme of gravy, yellow, and Tuscan red, followed by the baggage car, day coaches, dining car, and sleepers all finished in Tuscan red. Unfortunately like me, this trains days were numbered.

When I started working at Ogden Shops in 1965. I was paid $1.35 an hour, Journeyman made $2.70 an hour. Tradesmen working in construction were making about $5.00 an hour. A case of beer was $2.75; cigarettes were $.36 for a package of 20, and $.45 for a package of 25. You could throw one dollar in your gas tank and drive around all night. My first car was a 1947 Dodge four-door sedan, complete with suicide doors, when it wore out. I bought a 1955 Chevrolet, two-door sedan.

I had two years service in when it happened in November 1967, business was slow them on the CPR and this resulted in a reduction in staff. I had my two years, and I figured I would be safe from the layoffs, but I was wrong. It looked like our griever would have to work midnights in the hook shop, so he arranged it for me to get laid-off so he could stay on day shift in the locomotive shop. So in November of 1967 I left the service of the CPR due to a reduction in staff. The layoff looked like it would last for about three months and hopefully I would return then, but fate had other ideas for my future.

In closing I must add this incident that happened just before the layoff:
In early fall 1967 I came to work Friday morning with a bit of a hangover from drinking some cheap wine the night before, celebrating payday as most of us young apprentices used to do. My mate at the time was journeyman tinsmith Les Jeffries, we worked together at the bench until 9 AM when he said why don’t you go sleep it off for a while and come back at lunchtime, which I thought was not too bad an idea. I was walking around the shop when I run into two friends of mine that were labourers, Johnny Green, and Stephen Chalmers, they were being laid off that day and were not too enthusiastic about doing their job of sweeping up around the locomotive shop, so they readily agreed to accompany me for some rest. We wandered outside of the southwest corner of the locomotive shop, and went over towards the south end of the stores department, where there was a string of empty box cars south of the loading platform. We found a nice clean boxcar and found some clean cardboard, and rags for bedding, and soon drifted off to sleep. At 12 noon the steam whistle from the powerhouse blew announcing that it was lunch time. We headed back towards the locomotive shop going by the machinists washroom on the southwest corner of the building, a window opens up and my friend machinist apprentice Jimmy Hartwick called us over, and said to us where the hell it you guys been, the supervisors of been looking all over for you. With this prior warning we proceeded down along the outside of the locomotive shop towards the middle of the building, where there was a pair of double open doors that lead into the electrical shop, I looked into the doors in the darkness of the shop I could see six of our suited supervisors looking out from the smoky gloom towards us, there was Assistant Works Manager Tony Kruk, Locomotive Shop Foreman Jimmy Sumner, Electric Shop Foreman Ed Carey, Machine Shop Foreman Chuck Ogilvy, Diesel Shop Foreman Frank Olejas, and the Labour Foreman. They spotted us at the same time and the chase was on, it was right out of the Keystone cops, us young fleet of foot workers, and the portly supervisors dressed in their best suits, ties, and hats on the chase. They were no match for us and we soon outran them. I ran like hell around the east end of the locomotive shop, and into the boilermaker’s washroom on the north side, I proceeded to wash up for lunch, and went back to the tin shop to have some. We had 30 minutes for lunch, and in the middle of our lunch break I went over to the tuck shop, a caged enclosure that was opened during lunch hour where you could buy cigarettes, chocolate bars, chips, and soft drinks from a labourer, he also ran another one near the front gate that was opened in the morning providing the same services. I got in line and who was in front of me none other than Jimmy Sumner the Locomotive Shop Foreman, Jimmy always wore dark suits, and a fedora, he was slim with a pencil thin mustache, and chain-smoked cigarettes from a black cigarette holder. When he was in front of the line buying some cigarettes, Max the labourer asked him about the commotion that morning, he said that they had caught the two labourers and fired them on the spot, and it was only a matter of time before they found the third one, and looking back right at me he said I know exactly what he looks like so it shouldn’t take too long. My friends didn’t care as they were being laid off that day, and had other job prospects lined up, it just gave them Friday afternoon off. The third man was never found!

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June
15
Posted on 15-06-2008
Filed Under (Calgary 1960s, CPR, Many Jobs and Trades) by Broken Rail

I learned many skills the two years I worked at Ogden shops.  I became quite proficient in soldering sheet-metal and stainless steel with an iron, brazing, and welding with an Oxyacetylene torch.  I was able to draft patterns for elbows, square to rounds, and other shapes.  I could fabricate the above plus many other items that were requested such as toolboxes, stainless steel tea mugs, and battery charger boxes.  The toolboxes would be requested from the Stores Department, they might request 12 in their order, so when I was cutting the metal for these, it was easy to add 4 more for people who requested one for home.  I would cut out all the sheets of metal required, and use a scriber to lay out where the bends and notches were required.  The bends were made with a sheet-metal brake, and seeming machine, the notches were made with tin snips. The toolbox would consist of the bottom portion with two ends, and the lid with a handle and hasp and staple for security.  The body was laid out with locks on each end, and they end pieces were bent to fit in to the locks, and were then soldered in place.  The lid was then assembled, 2 slots were made in the middle of the top surface, these were for tabs of metal that were soldered in place on the inside of the lid, and were used for part of the handle assembly.  The handle itself was made from 1/4″ iron rod about 10 inches long, and a 5 inch piece of copper tubing with a 1/4″ inside diameter to slide over the iron rod, which was then bent up at right angles at the edge of the centered copper tubing.  Another right angle bend was made at about 21/2 inches, down from the first bend.  This would leave a 1/2″ length of rod to fit in the sheet-metal tabs that were formed around it and soldered to the inside of the lid.  The edges were finished my bending over a quarter inch seam, or by hammering over a half-inch seam around an iron wire, or welding rod, which worked good for this purpose.  The hinges were made of scraps of sheet-metal folded over and riveted to the back of the toolbox.  For the padlock scrap piece of band iron 3/4″ wide and about 1/8 of an inch thick was cut 2 inches long, and a 1/4″ hole was drilled in the center on one end and the other end wasn’t evident to the front of the toolbox, and a slot was cut in the lid so the bar could go through, and the padlock could be placed through the quarter inch hole.  This extracurricular work was called “Government Jobs” this terminology properly went back to the days of World War II when the locomotive shop was converted into a munitions plant for the British Ordnance; antiaircraft guns were manufactured here during the war.  I remember a lot of the lathes and shaping machines in the machine shop had brass plaques saying Property of the British Admiralty. The battery charger boxes were part of a joint effort between the tin shop, electrical shop, and the paint shop. The electricians would get transformers from old passenger coaches that were being scrapped, they would rebuild and rewind the armatures on these transformers making them so they could charge 6 and 12 volt automobile batteries, my job was to make cases from light gauge satin coat sheet metal, the same material used to make the toolboxes, the dimensions were about 10 inches long 5 inches wide and 7 inches high, 3 inch holes were cut in the ends and a piece of brass screening was soldered to the inside wall, holes were drilled for the power switch, 6 or 12 volt switch, a power indicator lamp, and for the power cord, the lid was fastened down the sheet metal screws, the boxes were then sent to the paint shop for painting, and then to the electrical shop for fitting in the electronics. The dimensions were small enough that they could be taken home inside of a lunchbox.

Some of the other store orders I worked on was making metal tags out of 26 gauge black iron stove pipe sheet metal that came in 2 foot square’s, I would cut them into 2 inch wide strips, then cut the strips into pieces 1 3/8 inch long, these were then marked in the top center with a punch, then drilled out with a 1/8 inch drill bit on the drill press, with a sheet-metal scriber I would mark the bottom corner at a 45° angle and cut a half-inch of the metal, I then took the pieces to the folding machine in
and folded over the bottom and two sides, a cardboard card could be inserted, and the tag could be hung on a nail, I made about 800 of these, not knowing what they were to be used for until eight years later.

I made many accessories for the control stands of locomotives; one of them was a piece of 12 gauge
black iron 5 inches long by 1 5/16 inches wide, two holes were drilled and countersunk on each end, and a standard stationery clip was tack welded to one end. These were fastened to the locomotive engineers control stand, and were used to hold train orders.

Another project I was given was for the new General Motors SD-40 locomotives that the CPR was starting to buy they were numbered CP 5500 and up, on the control panel for the locomotive engineer they were many switches, one of them was a circuit breaker for dynamic brake that would trip from the voltage overload, the problem was that the circuit breaker switch was in a vulnerable position on the control panel and could be easily tripped inadvertently by the engineer, so they came up with an idea of making a cover for the circuit breaker that would shield it, and yet still be accessible by placing your finger underneath, we experimented and came up with an idea that I put into production they were made of 18 gauge black iron sheet-metal in the dimensions were 2 1/4 inches long 3/4 of an inch wide, and the height of the curved profile was 7/8 of an inch. To fabricate them strips of black iron were cut 2 1/4 quarter inches wide, and the strips were then cut into squares, additional strips were cut 7/8 of an inch wide by 1 inch, a flat pattern made out of lighter gauge sheet metal was cut out with tin snips and placed on top of the 2 1/4 squares of black iron and traced out with a scriber these were then taken to the Beverly Shear a bench mounted metal cutter with a long handle for leverage, and Blade’s about 4 inches long, they were used to cut out the curves for the side profiles, holes were drilled to mount the cover onto the control stand, and the center was cut out to allow the circuit breaker switch to stick through.  this was done by drilling a small in the four corners, and placing the blank on a large 3 ton steel table we had in the middle of our shop for fabricating, (it was very old, and had lots of scars from being used for punching out round circles and other types of work), I would use a cold chisel to cut out the rectangler opening, the rough edges would be finished on a vice using a file. The final job was to take the 7/8 x 1″ strip of black iron and curve it in our rollers, then it was welded on both sites using a small oxyacetylene torch, and welding rod

Illustrations 1.) Four photos of the toolbox that I made for myself, front view showing handle, band iron with 1/4 inch hole drilled for padlock. End view showing seams around the lid, and wire hinge on the back, also rivets used to support tool tray. Bottom view showing unpainted satin coat sheet metal that the toolbox was made from. Interior view of toolbox showing metal tabs soldered to the lid to hold the handle, supports for tool tray that was lost many years ago, originally the toolbox was painted black, but it got a little scuffed up so I had the paint shop redo it in gray. 2.) A photo of the tags showing front and back. 3.) A photo of the train order clip showing front and back. 4.) Four photos of dynamic brake circuit breaker cover, first one shows us site profile, you can see the 1 inch curved piece that was welded on, bottom view showing slot cut out for breaker switch, and holes drilled to fasten cover to control stand, top end view of cover with half hole drilled in to cover to accommodate a screwdriver for fastening to the control stand, bottom end view with large opening so a finger could be inserted to reset the breaker switch,. 5.) A photo showing the circuit breaker cover on a locomotive engineers control stand.

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June
15
Posted on 15-06-2008
Filed Under (Calgary 1960s, CPR, Many Jobs and Trades) by Broken Rail

Picture of Scrap Dock and Stores Department

The Scrap Dock has an area of 4400 square feet. The Stores Department and Administrative Offices is a building is 262 feet by 60 feet for an area 30,240 square feet. The Scrap Dock was located in between the Locomotive Shop, and the Stores Department and there is a track that runs along the platform of the Stores dock, and there is another dock and track on the Westside of the Stores building. There is more trackage that runs between the locomotive shop, and the scrap dock crane, this takes you to the foundry, and two other plants located outside of the shops acreage. I remember working during summer shutdown, the month of July, in 1967. There was only a skeleton shift, and most of the employees were on holidays. This one particular day in July I will never forget. The CPR had purchased a number of Hydraulic Switchers in the early 1960s these locomotives had their cab in the middle, a diesel engine and transmission on each end. They were lightweight locomotives that the CPR hoped to use on some of their light branch lines, they were not too successful as they were not able to pull many loads, and they were constantly breaking down especially with two transmissions. A lot of them were sold off to lumber yards and other small plants. Ogden shops had one No.13 if my memory serves me right. Anyways on one day, the Assistant Works Manager Tony Kruk decided to play locomotive engineer and was running old No.13 from the Car Shops down to the Foundry. He was going a fair clip of about 30 mph when he was approaching the locomotive shop he did not notice that the track switch was lined for Pit One and not for the clear track that ran between the scrap dock crane and the locomotive shop. The results were disastrous, and there was a locomotive sitting outside of pit one and he ran into it with such force that it knocked the locomotive through the doors of pit one and in to another locomotive that was sitting inside. Fortunately, with summer shutdown and there was nobody working around this area sown there are no injuries that were reported.

Photograph CPR hydraulic switcher Number 17

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June
14
Posted on 14-06-2008
Filed Under (Calgary 1960s, CPR, Many Jobs and Trades) by Broken Rail

I’ve posted a photograph taken at the Load Test this was a stub track located between the North side of the Locomotive Shop and the Foundry. When locomotives were rebuilt at Ogden they had to go through extensive testing before they were released back to active service. In a complete overhaul, the locomotive diesel engine would be completely overhauled and rebuilt, on the electrical side. The main generator and traction motors on each axle received the same restoration. The locomotive was started up and brought out to the Load Test and tested under simulated load conditions, by the machinists and electricians. The 7070 was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1948, and in this photograph taken in 1961 is in its Canadian Pacific block lettering and Tuscan red, gray, and yellow paint scheme. The locomotive Model number was DS4-4-1000, which classed it as a Diesel Switcher 4 Wheels on one truck and 4 Wheels on the other truck, and rated at 1000 Hp. I have seen a photograph of her in active service at Port Coquitlam, British Columbia in May 1975 painted in the CP Rail color scheme. In the picture the 7070 has all hatch doors open and the Machinist Duane on the front end would be checking for any leaks from the diesel engine block. The engine would be run through all eight-throttle positions for hour after hour. I remember going out there one day on an engine being tested that did not have all the sheet metal reinstalled in the locomotive cab, we finished our work and left in short order. I sure wouldn’t want to work out there hour after hour with throttle in the eighth notch position.

I remember that they also did a road test, my best friend, Jimmy was a machinist apprentice and I went for a ride with him on a B unit one day. We traveled down to the north end of shops compound and out onto the yard lead that ran besides the shops. Jimmy had a flagging kit and stayed on the ground to protect this movement with a red flag, track torpedoes, and red fusees if necessary. B units have no operating cab, but they do have operating controls and the operator, usually a machinist foreman could look out the circular porthole window on the side of the locomotive. With the track clear ahead for three quarters of a mile the foreman could open up a throttle and see how locomotive performed going forward and backwards. This was a dangerous practice as there was quite a curve in the track and a yard movement, or a train coming in from the east could show up at any time. When the locomotive had passed all its tests it would be released to the shops at Alyth, and the switch crew from the yard would take the locomotive along with any other rolling stock lead had been released.

The switch crew started their daily duties inside the Ogden Shops there was a yardmaster who worked there and gave them their daily list of the duties they had to do. The crew consisted of a locomotive engineer, yard foreman, and helper. The duties were fairly light so the job went quite high on the seniority list. There was also a lucrative sideline they were engaged in, there was a working man’s bar called the Shamrock Hotel in East Calgary and a bookie worked out of there. The working men at the shops like to gamble on the horse races, so there was different places around the facility, where a boilermaker, machinist, electrician, or carman working a job in a stationary location would collect money for the bets. While one of the crew on the ground would do the work required with the locomotive engineer, the other crew member would go around and collect all the money for the bets and would go to the Shamrock early in the afternoon to see the bookie and place all the bets. This had been going on for many years on tell the city police busted the bookie and the game was over.

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In this photograph on the left side we can see the steel framework of the No.1 Car Shop with some service cars in the foreground, they were probably being used for offices and lunchrooms for the workers. This is where I would have went to serve part of my apprenticeship, they repaired cabooses and built service cars which involved a lot of sheet-metal work. In the middle we can see the fence on the eastern side of the property. And on the right side we can see the south end of the Planning Mill. The track, where the service cars are standing later became the Rip Track, Rip stands for “Repair in place” and was used for light repairs that could be done outside the Car Shop. The Farm is tracks in the yard north of the Car Shop; they were used for cutting up obsolete rolling stock, destined for the scrap yard. You can see this in the photograph of cars being cut up with a torch that I have posted above. I also posted a picture of a Royal Hudson heading for the scrap line.
The Farm photo by Walter Kot
Royal Hudson, 2864

Photos of farm and Royal Hudson, 2864 by Walter Kot

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