Posted on 30-09-2012
Filed Under (Calgary 1970s, CPR) by Broken Rail

Starting back at Alyth after being gone for a year and a half made quite a difference from when I worked the spare board in 1973, I now had enough seniority to hold a job in my own right, I went to the Calling Bureau at Alyth, to pick a job and I went on a day vacancy the first shift I worked back in Alyth yard was the 07:00 “A” Tramp with the CPR 8113 the Yardforman was Harold “dingdong” Bell on May 5, 1975 on May 7, 1975 I got bumped after one day and was up to pick a job, I decided to set my goals a little lower and go on a job that I could hold for a while, but the Calling Bureau made up my mind for me.

I was advised by the Calling Bureau that I had been placed as the yardman (helper) on the No. 6 Relief assignment. Along with the regular 60 yard assignments at Alyth that covered the day, afternoon, and night jobs, there were 13 of these relief assignments that covered the other 60 regular assignments, some of these jobs covered straight days, afternoons, or nights, some worked a mixture of different shifts some working days, and afternoons, and some worked all three different shifts. This job had Tuesday, Wednesday off and worked the following afternoon shift jobs on their days of rest Thursdays, and Fridays the, 17:00 “A” Tramp out of Alyth shops, Saturdays the, 15:30 Industrial out of the Industrial Yard Office, and Sundays, Mondays the, 15:00 Pulldown at the Pulldown Tower.

The, 17:00 “A”Tramp was an assignment that started late in the afternoon compared to other shifts that started at 14:30 its duties involved mainly switching out intermodal piggyback trailers from the ramps and spotting empties there, we also looked after intermodal container traffic that was spotted in LA1 a track that ran long the south side of the North mainline, although container traffic was minimal at this time compared to the piggybacks, and we also spotted automobile carriers into two designated ramps, that were adjacent to the piggyback tracks, these were for offloading the bi and tri level cars that were loaded with automobiles, trucks, and vans for the local car dealerships. All of these tracks were located west of the Alyth Diesel Shops, there was a track that ran alongside the shops that was called the Fast Track, next to that was N-14 that ran from the Bull switch out the west end of N-yard to the east end of the yard, there was also a crossover to the Fast Track to facilitate running around piggybacks to spot them. West of the Bull switch was N-yard running lead that ran adjacent to the hump leads up to 8th Street SE, and there was also the Wye switch that ran to the North mainline, Cushing lead, and brewery lead, Most of this traffic was flat switched, but there were occasions where piggybacks carrying government mail had to be switched so they would be first out on the ramp to be unloaded by the tractor-trailer, occasionally cars would be pointed in the wrong direction, so they would have to be turned on the North wye located by the Calgary brewery this evolved usually coupling on the west end of the car and with permission from 12th Street Tower pull it around the east leg of the North wye using signal indication and pull the car past the crossover, wait for a signal and shove the car westward on the North mainline up to the 11th Street traffic underpass where 12th Street tower would cross us over, and give us an eastward signal down N-yard running lead back towards N-14 and the ramps. The trailer would be turned, but I locomotive would now be facing the wrong direction which we would rectify later by going back up N-yard running lead around the North wye on the Cushing lead where we would spot our engine, East of the 9th Ave.S.E. roadway underpass, and walk down the LA-10 lead that serviced a Western Grocers warehouse and down to the old Royalite spur where there was a 24 hour truck stop coffee shop, called Edna’s who made the best flapper pie in the city, this is where we had our coffee breaks . There was a lot of traffic in this area with units leaving the diesel shops to go to their outgoing trains, and trains arriving and departing N-yard from the North and the West so one always had to be wary of all the movement taking place. The loaded piggybacks had to be switched out for their destinations and taken to the East End of the yard and put it on outgoing trains, or tracks designated by the Pulldown supervisor. We also switched out bad orders on trains from the west end of the yard, sometimes gathering up incoming cabooses to take for servicing, and placing serviced cabooses on to outgoing trains, and any other tramp work assigned from the west end yardmaster.

The 15:30 Industrial worked under the IYO yardmaster, and we usually did transfer work bringing up transfers from the Classification yard, and little “N” yard to the IYO flat switching them out and putting them away to their designated tracks in the Industrial yard, on occasions we were listed to go out to the industrial areas in the Calgary terminal to switch customers spurs this could be on the North around the Calgary brewery, and flour mills, Meridian industrial park, or out the North mainline. Sometimes we would go South to the Manchester industrial park, or down on the Government lead off of the mainline P-1 at Alyth to service industries located there, including Alberta Distillers, IKO an asphalt shingle plant that had a spur for unloading hopper cars of different types of sand they used in making shingles. And the Canadian Government Grain Elevators that loaded and offloaded boxcars and hoppers of grain. Other areas we looked after were “A” and “B” alleys west of the Calgary depot accessed from 4th Street SW. This was Calgary’s original warehouse district, there was not much left on “A” alley after they tore down the Robin Hood Flour Mills around 1969, but there are still was an Eaton’s department store warehouse located north of Bow Trail where the Greyhound terminal stands today.”B” alley still had many warehouses including a spur for The Albertan a Calgary newspaper that was located at 8th Street and 10th Avenue SW, where the Mountain Equipment Coop is now located, there was a fast forwarding freight warehouse at 14th Street SW called Howell’s at B-14 that received many boxcars of freight, B-15 West of 14th Street service Consolidated Concrete’s plant, and underneath, Crowchild Trail there was spurs that serviced a drywall warehouse, and a BAPCo paint warehouse. There was another fast-forward warehouse located on Ex lead (The Exhibition lead used to run down to the Calgary Stampede grounds.) This was located across from the IYO there was also “E” lead that ran to the Canadian Pacific Express Co.’s warehouses were many boxcars were spotted for loading onto trucks,

The 15:00 Pulldown assignment, worked the East End of the classification yard, doing much same tying up 3 to 4 tracks in the classification yard working as the long fieldman we would tie on today track like C-15 and stretch it out I would start walking westward making couplings, and checking my list to see we had the proper cars, if I’m extra one showed up I would contact the Pulldown supervisor and ask for instructions, sometimes he’d say the car was okay to go, or if it was a mis-route he would give us an alternative to set it off to, when all the cars were together the engine follower would uncouple the engine and go to the next track C-24 I would cut across on the west end and walk the track eastward, while the engine follower would work westward making couplings until we met, he would return to the engine and go over to the next track C-33 and we would do the same when all the tracks were coupled together we would ask the Pulldown supervisor for a route to use to take the tracks over to let’s say P-6 on this example, he would instruct us to line ourselves for the Old Ogden lead in this instance which the engine follower would do, I would them couple C-33 to C-24, pull out and couple to C-15, then pull out onto the Bonnybrook bridge, and stop the movement, in the meantime the engine follower, and yard Foreman would have lined us up for P-6, which was a straight track that you could see all the way to the west end all the tracks in P,V, and N yards were equipped with shove lights on the east left-hand side of the track facing eastward, they were like a dwarf interlocking signal light but were equipped with a clear white light they were connected to a track circuit on the west end of their respective tracks and if the track on the west end was unoccupied they would be illuminated, when cars were shoved into an empty track the long fieldman would stay by the light and watch it, the yard Foreman and engine follower would jump onto the cars about 12 and 6 car lengths from the locomotives, as they went by, and would start securing the train with handbrakes, when the west end of the movement of cars contacted the rails about eight car lengths from the west end of the track the track circuit would be activated in the shove light will go out, you would then tell the engineer to stop the movement, he would then pull eastward until the light came back on he would then stop. In situations where they were cars already in the track, up toward the west end, I would have to ride the point and make a coupling. While the shove lights were helpful in the straight tracks in P and V yard, they were very important in N yard where there was curvature, and you had better make sure you were watching the right shove light, one incident happened when the long fieldman was watching the wrong light in N yard and the movement came out onto the west end of N yard lead, fortunately there were no opposing movements, and the operator at 12th Street tower noticed it, and got a hold of the Pulldown supervisor and the movement was stopped. With our list another train was made up and ready for departure, we would have a coffee break, do another list and a lunch break and do one more list before going home. There were three assignments on each shift staggered on afternoons the first job, started at 14:30, then 15:00, and finally 16:00.

I liked working afternoons for a change, never being much of a morning person, it gave one a chance to sleep in the morning, have your afternoon to yourself and as we were usually finished an hour or two early, depending on how much work there was to do you were always home at a decent time in the evening. The Yard Foreman was Colin Gilbert, who had hired on in 1970 and had just got his promotion to Yard Foreman the other Yardman Mike Showers junior to me on the seniority list, so I worked the long fieldmen’s position, and Mike was the engine follower, we were a fairly young crew that all got along good which made it a good job to work. On June 20 Colin got bumped by a senior Yard Foreman named Art Faulks he was older than us, and we can see from the start that he was like an accident waiting to happen, really careless and it made the job stressful to work, Mike and I after a week of working with him decided to bail off the job at the first opportunity. It was in July when many vacancies came open as it was prime time for the senior men to take their holidays. I jumped on the straight day job the 09:00 Tramp at Alyth with Saturdays and Sundays off, the Foreman was John Marchinko (nicknamed Marcy). It worked around the yard in the morning, and in the afternoon we went over and switched the Gulf Oil Refinery in Inglewood, that was accessed by going out on to the CNR Grand Trunk industrial lead going through the interchange alongside the Pulldown Tower we would be listed tank cars to take over from the class yard, to their two loading racks, there was also a South storage spur outside their property were other cars were stored waiting disposition so we would go over with our cars from the class yard, and switch out any cars we needed from the storage spur, and get them in line for spotting at the racks, with our spot all set up, we would go in to the refinery and pull the racks and switch out any cars that need to be respoted, we would then cut in the respots in their proper position with the other cars we had brought in, place every car on spot, and take all the traffic out of the plant back to the yard at Alyth and put it away in the track designated by the yardmaster, and head for the shop track at the General Yard Office. At times a train of bulk crude oil would come in from the Bassano subdivision at Princess, these would be taken over 20 at a time for unloading there. The Gulf Oil Refinery was located in the east end of the Inglewood district at the end of 9th Avenue Southeast and the Bow River ran alongside it and the yard at Alyth, ironically the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary was also located there, I remember there was a large oil filled ditch outside of the refinery gates, with some wires and colored flags attached to keep the birds out of it, how successful this was is anyone’s guess, you also have to be very careful where you walked when spotting the racks at the refinery is there were many pools of crude oil on the ground. Also at this location was a Domtar (Dominion Tar & Chemical Co.) Plant that manufactured gypsum into drywall sheets, they were located East of the refinery between the GTP Industrial Lead, and the Alyth yard at the East end of the shop track where the yard assignment started, and could be serviced by both railways, not used much anymore as most of their product was trucked out it was usually clear, I remember there was a night assignment that used to go over there and finish their shift switching the refinery, then going home, the crew were pretty cagey and one evening sensed that something was up, the yard master wanted to give them another list of work to do and had sent it to the pulldown supervisor where he would catch them coming out on the CNR interchange tracks, but the crew outfoxed them by going to the shop track through the Domtar spur through the cover of night.

I got bumped and went on a few other dayshift vacancies working the 06:30 Tramp at the IYO with yard Foreman Bob Armstrong, this assignment worked straight South servicing spurs, along the south mainline, these were all H-lead industries including warehouses along the west leg of the south wye, the Western Gypsum plant south of the Shamrock Hotel, Smith Manufacturing, The City of Calgary, Davidson Enman lumber yard, a chemical plant that received tank cars for making pesticides, Irving Wire Products off of Glenmore Trail, a lead that ran up across Fairmont Drive that service La Grande oil wells supplies, and a team track with platform for customers to unload boxcars of freight, and machinery.

I was bumped again and went on a vacancy on the 09:00 Government with yard Foreman Gordon Engen, helper Cecil Head, and locomotive engineer Barney Martin this assignment started at the IYO, where we received our lists for the days switching, we then would come off shop track and go into track F-1 and switch out usually about a dozen cleaned empty boxcars for loading flour, and malt, we would then call 12th Street tower and get a signal down P-1 the mainline, we would proceed down there pass 12th Street E. tower go underneath the Alyth Blackfoot Trail overpass to the Government lead, here we would make her running switch and drop the empty boxcars down the mainline, after lining the engine towards the Government lead, taking of the derails before we made this move, I might add here that this job with two helpers used hand signals, were all the other industrial jobs were equipped with portable radios. After finishing this we would then spot our locomotive beside the wash rack, that at one time had been used for steam cleaning stock cars, and refrigerator cars for the Burns and Canada packing plants that were located off of the east leg of the South wye.when I hired on in 1973 it was used for storing old yard cabooses waiting disposition for scrapping, or selling to the public, what I worked the bleeder assignment they were a good place to take refuge from the rain, or chill of winter, it was now used for storage. We then cut across to the Alyth shopping center to the Rodeo coffee shop, ran by a Chinaman a real character who was called “Rodeo Danny” we with than have our coffee break and discuss our plan of attack for switching out the Canada Malting Plant, and the Pillsbury Canada Limited flour mill, where I had worked between 1968 and 1973, I knew all of my crewmembers from one the used to come and switch the flour mill. After coffee we would go down to the Government lead, and tie on to our empty boxcars, by then the Pulldown would have shoved up a string of cars from the classification yard that were for our customers, this would include hopper cars for the Canada malting plant, empty tank cars for loading alcohol at the Alberta Distillers Ltd. that was located further down the government lead, and hopper cars loaded with sand for the IKO asphalt shingle plant, and cars of wheat for the Canadian Government Elevators that was located at the end of the government lead, and the reason the job was called the 09:00 Government. We would switch out all the cars, placing cars for in the Government Elevators on the east end, with the IKO hoppers next, and the tank car for the distilleries on top of that these we would leave further down the government lead, we would then leave our cars for the malting plant on the lead, and shove our empties and any other cars for the customers on the east end of P-1

All the switch numbers on the government lead were numbered in “Q’s” along the east end of P-1 was a storage track called Q-8 it had switches on both ends with derails, and was used to store surplus grain hoppers, pressure unloading bulk flour hoppers and boxcars for the Pillsbury flour mill, West of the Q-8 about 15 cars was the lead switch that went into the flour mill, at this location was the station name board for Alyth yard, this was an electric lock switch, the same as the one on the government lead, there were also speaker intercoms we called “squawk boxes”, they stood on the metal pole and had a speaker on each end with a pushbutton, by pushing the button you could get in touch with the operator at 12th Street Tower, this was a necessity on this job as No.1 The Canadian was due by 12th Street E. at 13:19 it’s eastbound counterpart No.2 was due by 12th Street E. at 15:14 so it was necessary to clear the mainline at these two locations if the Passenger trains were due, by having contact with 12 Street Tower he could always update the crew after train was running late that day and we could continue doing our switching. Just inside this lead switch was a spur for a lumberyard that got the occasional flatcar of lumber, there was also a spur for Indalex an aluminum extrusion company, they did not get any cars that I can remember, further down the lead was Q-9 that led into a track were there was a metal shed were boxcars and hoppers loaded with grain were unloaded for the elevator at the West End of the flour mill, this track would hold about 30 loads, adjacent to this track was Q-9a a metal covered loading dock on the backside of the flour mill, this is where they loaded export flour into boxcars, and on the east end they would occasionally load one of the pressure unloading bulk flour hoppers, Gordon would go into the shipping office and talk to Peter Luft, my old boss when I worked at Pillsbury and get the daily switch list for this would tell us how many empties they required for loading on the export dock, and what cars needed to be re-spotted, we would then pull Q-9a after the loaders had taken out there chutes, we would pull out to the mainline, and couple on to the empties, which we with them kick in towards Q-9a the helper Cecil would ride them in and stop them with a handbrake, just east of the mill, we would then switch out the response and set the loads out to the mainline, we would then couple on and go back towards the loading dock were Cecil would make a coupling onto the other empties and we would respot the partial load of export flour at the chute where the loaders wanted it usually on the west end of the loading dock, we with them go over to the front of the mill where we would switch out Q-9b the loading dock at the front of the mill, here they loaded boxcars of domestic flour, along with feed cars, adjacent to it was Q-9c that was used mostly for bulk loading boxcars of feed bran and shorts, here once again we had to make sure that all the dock plates, and loading pipes were disconnected before we can pull the tracks for switching. With this work done we would go back onto the mainline and pull our loads up towards the Canada Malting Plant were we would stop for lunch, usually sitting in the lunchroom at the malting plant, that had lunch benches, a pop cooler, and washroom facilities.

After lunch we would start switching the malt, they had to loading tracks at the back of their elevators, and plant they were numbered Q-4 Old on the west end alongside the mainline, and Q-4 New on the east end of the plant, adjacent to the elevators and building were Q-4a Old, and Q-4a New the reason for the Old and the New was that the plant had done a lot of expansion in the early 1970s, adding to the size of the operation all of new construction took place east of the older infrastructure were the newer track was extended. Well switching the Pillsbury mill was fairly straightforward, and the track along the loading docks was straight, Canada Malting’s loading spurs were a labyrinth with lots of twists and turns, and restricted clearances, it was fairly complicated to switch out and set up for re-spotting and you always had to be in position to relay signals between the engineer and the helpers in the field, while most of their product was bulk, they did load some boxcars with bagged malt. After all the switching had been done it was usually time to call it a day, we left the other work on the government lead for one of the afternoon jobs, Gordon would call the Train Yard Coordinator and tell him how many loads, we had for him, and ask for a track to put them into, we would then pull up our drag past 12 Street Tower and get him line up into the West End of Alyth yard, the long fieldman would cut across and start lining us up for the designated track, Gordon would ride high on top of the boxcar on the point and relay signals to me standing on the ground untill the engine got close to me, I would then climb high on a ladder on the car next to the engine where I could really signals from garden on the point when all lined and Gordon would trade places with Cecil who would ride the cars into the track to make a coupling, or if it was a clear track would ride it into the end of the track and secure it with handbrakes, he would then make it back to the locomotive, and we would call 12 Street Tower for a line-up back into the east end of F-yard and head for the shop track.

Thinking back, I remember the tank cars of pure alcohol that were shipped from the Alberta Distillers Ltd., switch crews being the resourceful type of people that they are where I was looking for the opportunity for a freebie, and many customers and shippers looked after the crews, in different ways, some of the grocery warehouses would make sure the crews received a shopping bag full of vegetables every week just insurance for good service, I remember one lumberyard that got a few extra moves re-spotting lumbar cars, the Forman was rewarded over the years with enough lumbar to build himself a garage, anyways these tank cars that carried thousands of gallons of this pure alcohol would come back empty, and would sit on the government lead sometimes for a few days before they were needed to be spotted at the distillery for loading, so the crews got an idea of getting a empty 5 gallon plastic pail and putting it underneath the bottom valve of the tank car, and opening it, letting the residual alcohol that and clung to the walls of the tanker after it was unloaded, drip into the pail, they would leave it there for the day and at the end of the shift would have themselves anywhere from 3 to 4 gallons of pure grain alcohol that they would distribute between themselves, this went on for many years until the distillery clued in, and had the cars sealed after loading and unloading so the jig was up, but many are free glass was passed around and shared while the party lasted.

Worked a week on the 15:00 Industrial with Colin Gilbert, then in August I went on the 07:30 Ogden assignment with Yard Foreman Andy Golia for a week, this assignment started him off of the shop track at Alyth, we would receive our lists at the GYO, and would switch out the cars we needed from the class yard. Then we would go out the New Ogden lead behind the Pulldown tower, and follow it around behind the back of the Ogden shops complex, and go up a lead that crossed the CPR irrigation ditch and come out at Barlow Trail SE where the CNR Sarcee was located on the east side. We would then follow down a lead that ran parallel to the CPR irrigation ditch all the way across Glenmore Trail SE to the Prudential Steel Co. plant, we serviced many warehouses, and industries that were located along the stretch of track, including the Inland Cement Co. plant, Loves Feed mill, Associated Grocers, and many other lumber yards, plastics plants, and freight warehouses. I then worked with him on the No. 7 Relief assignment that worked the 06:30 Pulldown on Thursday and Friday, the 09:00 Government on Saturday, and the 07:00 “A” Tramp on Sunday and Monday. The 06:30 Pulldown was the first assignment on day shift, and was good as we had first pick of the locomotives for the three assignments, the 08:00 Pulldown had to take what was left for power a lot of times there would be tWo jeeps (CPR road switcher units) that had very poor visibility for the locomotive engineer working in this very busy, and congested, part of the yard While working this assignment on Friday, August 29, 1975 we had a yard collision while spotting cars in the one spot car repair shop. While working the 06:30 Pulldown assignment, due to a radio failure I had to make out a statement for this and received 10 demerits which I have added to the and of this narrative. Working the 09:00 Government assignment on Saturday was usually a very easy day, when it would more or less just clean up some of the switching chores that were left over from the previous week, we would usually confine ourselves working the Government lead, without having to do anything at Pillsbury, Canada’s mill, or the Canada Malting Co. plant. So we would sometimes do a switch at Alberta Distillers Ltd, or give the IKO Industries shingle plant a switch of their hopper cars of sand. We would then go down to the Canadian Government Elevators and give them a switch, usually setting empty unloaded grain box cars over, and re-spotting loads in front of the unloading doors of the elevator, you had to be careful here and in the air when handling loads of grain, as the grade towards the elevator door was quite steep, and there were many occasions where cars that got away on crews and ended up going through the corrugated steel doors of the elevator. They also loaded grain here and you had to have a good locomotive to pull loads out of the complex, otherwise you ended up doubling over and taking the cars out in cuts. With the work done we would usually take our lunch break in the elevator employees lunch room, play some cards, and heading back to the shop track at the IYO at 13:00, which gave us most of the afternoon of, and not returning to work until 07:00 on Sunday morning to work the “A” Tramp assignment, that did the usual west end of the yard work, switching piggybacks, cabooses, pulling repaired cars out of the west end of the one spot car repair shop, and setting off bad orders from trains.

On September 4, I was placed back onto the spare board I worked for shifts, and on September 8 I was placed on the Emergency Board, this is where you went when you couldn’t hold the spare board, and would only be called if the spare board was exhausted after a week I went on my annual vacation until the end of September, during this time I was unemployed I went back to Pillsbury and worked in the warehouse, as they were always short of men, and that came in handy when things got slow on the railway, on October 10 I was placed back onto the spare board things are pretty slow as I didn’t get out until October 17, I worked the spare board until December 19 when I was placed on the 22:30 Pulldown with Yard Foreman Bill Armstrong where I remained through the new year.

Appendix: Statement taken by Gen. Yard Master pertaining to yard collision August 29, 1979.

STATEMENT OF: Larry Buchan – Yardman
IN CONNECTION WITH: Failing to stop movement of cars in X-03, in the one spot repair before contacting cars in X-03, which resulted in three cars moving westward inside the doors of the one spot contacting cars inside the building.
TAKEN BY: H.E. McAfee TITLE: G.Y.M. AT: Alyth yard.
PARTICULARS: I entered the service of the Canadian Pacific Railway June 18th, 1973 as a yardman and I am presently working in this position. I have written my “B” examination papers and I am familiar with the Company’s rules: CS-44, UCOR, and the code of safety rules and safe practices. I have worked several assignments in and around Calgary and I am familiar with the physical characteristics of the terminal.
On August 29, 1975 I was working my regular assignment The 06:30 Pulldown No.7 Relief assignment. We were assigned units 8101 8411 headed east Engineman R. (Ron) Cheknita, no fireman. My Foreman was Andy Golia and the other helper was Dewynter. We started work in the usual manner and worked without incident until approximately 09:30. We were instructed to spot bad order cars out of Victor-12 into the one spot. We had a hold of 24 cars west of our units and shoved up to the electric lock at the east end switch at the entrance to the one spot tracks. I walked ahead of the movement in lined the route for X-03 my foreman gave a ten car command by radio to the Engineman to move westward ten car lengths. I then positioned myself on the point end of the movement and when we had traveled approximately five car lengths. I gave a five car command then a four car and a three. When we were to car lengths away from coupling on to the three cars standing stationary outside the one spot repair I gave a command to stop because of movement was not slowing down. I received no response to my command so I called to foreman Golia to stop the movement. He instructed Engineman Cheknita to stop, which he did just as our cut of cars contacted the three stationary cars. The three cars moved westward contacting the cars inside the building moving them westward one car length. No damage was done and no one was injured.
QUESTION: Where were you and your crew position?
ANSWER: I was on the point of the movement, my foreman was near the east end of X-03 on the fireman’s side side of the track and Dewynter was near the east end of our of cars.
QUESTION: When you gave the commands of 5,4,3 cars to go. Did you get a reply from your engineman?
QUESTION: Does your engineman always reply or acknowledge command of distance to go?
QUESTION: What action did you take to bring the movement to a safe stop?
ANSWER: When I received no reply from the three attempts to stop the movement by radio I detrained, and attempted to stop the movement by hand signal.
QUESTION: When you received no reply to your five cars to go command. Why did you not call to your yard foreman to stop the movement?
ANSWER: I did try to contact my Yard Foreman, A Golia, but I did not receive any response from him.
QUESTION: Are you conversant with Section 3 Item 6.3 of the CS-44 pertaining to radio communication?
QUESTION: Do you agree that when you received no response from your engineman when you gave the five car to go command that this should have been knowledge that you had lost radio contact?
QUESTION: Do you agree that had action been taken at this time to stop the movement by calling to your foreman to stop the movement that this accident could have been avoided?
QUESTION: What can be expected of you in the future to present a similar occurrence?
ANSWER: You have my assurance that I will abide by the Section 3. Items 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 of the CS-44 and if the same thing happens. I will take immediate action to stop the movement when I get no reply to my last command by radio.

SIGNED: my signature

List of Illustrations:

1 . I took these photos from the Blackfoot Trail overpass at Alyth yard, in April 1975, this shot looks looks westward, to the left you can see the hump pulling a train westward up the hump lead, the next tracks to the right are N-12, N-13, and N-14 that is always left clear for traffic, and locomotives moving from the west end to the east end of the yard, alongside the lead locomotive of the hump is the bull switch, that divides N-yard with N-13,-14 to the right, and N-12-N-8 and W-1,2,3 to the left, west of the bull switch is the Wye switch that goes north to the right, and straight west on N-yard running lead on the left. The tracks and switches in the foreground on the right-hand side of the picture are the piggyback ramps numbered R-1 to R-9, there are also two tracks for unloading automobiles, that you can see stored in the lot between N-14 and R-1. The large industrial plant in the background is the Burns Parking Plant.

2. This view looks eastward toward the west end of the Alyth Diesel Shops to the left you can see a dayliner on the lead coming out of the other part of the shop located behind the powerhouse, beside the powerhouse are tank cars, these are coupled up to steam to liquefy the contents for local customers such as Standard Brands that receives shipments of molasses. The diesel locomotives, west of the shop are outgoing power on Pits 3,2,1, they have been serviced and are waiting for crews to take them to their trains, alongside the building is a string of locomotives on the fast-track, besides. It is N-14, and the tank cars and boxcars are in N-13. When power comes off shop track the brakeman will back up the movement westwards towards the piggyback ramps underneath the overpass where I took this picture from, from there it will crossover to N-14 and work its way to the east end of the yard, for westbound trains they will pull out and crossover to N-14 and ask the operator at 12th Street E., tower for a routing to their train. He will then line them up for either N-yard or run them up N-running lead and cross them over to either P-yard or V-yard.

3. This view looks westward towards the Burns Packing Plant, 12 Street tower is just visible to the west, the pens from the Calgary Stockyards are on the left side, and next to it is P-1 the mainline, and P-2 a train of auto carriers with trucks that has just arrived, a steel caboose is visible in P-3

4 . This view shows a box train heading north out of N-12 with a train load of empty grain boxcars to be spotted at elevator tracks along the north mainline between Balzac and Red Deer. In the foreground to the right of the roadway are tracks N-10 and N-11, to the left of the roadway is hump lead 2 &1 then P-yard were a southbound train is heading out.

5. This is a good view of hump leads 2 &1 with a crossover from hump lead 2 to hump 1 in the foreground. The caboose of the southbound is to the right on P-yard running lead and will soon be going by 12th Street E. tower on its way out of town towards Lethbridge, Alberta. To the right of that are the automobile carriers in P-2. The tracks P-2 and P-3 are the longest tracks in Alyth yard, the remainder of the P-yard tracks starting at P-4 to P-11 are all east of the Alyth overpass.

6. This view looks eastward from Alyth overpass visible departing P-4 is the train heading southward that the caboose was seen in the last photo to the right side is a train in P-3, and the Canada Malting Co. plant besides it. To the left you can see the remainder of P-yard tracks, and the start of V-yard. To the left of the roadway in the center are the hump leads 1 & 2 with the hump shoving back off of hump lead 2 towards me hump and control tower in the center of the picture, to the left of the hump leads are the three W-yard tracks W-1,2, and 3.

7. Here is a good view showing our box train heading out of P-4 and more of the auto carriers in P-2. It also shows P-1 the mainline, and Q-1 the wash rack with storage cars at one time it was filled with old yard cabooses waiting disposition when I started back in 1973. Just East of it is the Government lead that runs along the elevators at the Canada Malting Co. plant, and about 60 cars eastward is the lead that goes to Pillsbury Canada Ltd. the flour mill I used to work for.

8. This is a good aerial view showing the westbound passenger train No.1 The Canadian heading for the depot in downtown Calgary, besides it is Q-8 a storage track, to the left side of the Pillsbury, Canada Ltd. elevator silos are Q-9 the grain unloading track for the mill, and Q-9a the export flour loading track that runs along the loading dock at the back of the middle, visible on the right-hand side are Q-9b and Q-9c the front flour and feed dock, and auxiliary feed loading track.

9. This is a front view of Pillsbury, Canada Ltd. that I took in 1974, you can see smokestack for the powerhouse, a metal shed over the front of the building for loading trucks, and boxcars for loading feed on Q-9c, and flour on Q-9b

9a. This photo taken in 1947 shows in the Renown Flour Mills and the front loading dock on Q-9b, before Q-9c was added. The Pillsbury Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota bought the mill in 1954.

9b. Another aerial view of Renown Flour Mills showing Q-9b in the front of the mill, and Q-9a the export flour loading track behind the elevator silos, and the metal shed covering Q-9 were all the grain for the elevators were unloaded.

10. A picture of a CPR “squawk box” as they were called with the two bullhorn loudspeakers on each and, and the bulge on the middle of the pipe mast were a pushbutton could be pulled to contact the operator at 12th Street E. tower to find out the status of the passenger trains in order to make sure the mainline was cleared before they were due.

11. Canadian Pacific Railway Form 104, from August 29, 1975, giving me 10 demerits for improper radiocommunication a violation of the Rulebook CS44 resulting in a collision with stationary rolling stock at the one spot car repair shop at Alyth.

12. The Canadian Government built four inland grade elevators in the early 20th century, there were four.One was located in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan built in 1912, one in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan built the same year, one in Calgary built in 1914, and one in Lethbridge, Alberta built in 1930. The Calgary “inland terminal” elevators was one of the largest structures in the city, they were sold by the Canadian Government and became Alberta Terminal Elevators in the 1980s, and finally bought by Cargill Grain Co., they found them two old and obsolete to be of any use so the elevator silos were demolished in September 2011, and on October 16, 2011 explosives were used to level the main structure of the building. I took this black-and-white picture in the spring of 1976 looking south you can see a string of unloaded grain boxcars sitting on the one track, and the unloading doors to the left side of the main elevator building, with the 56 grain silos to the right.

13. This view looks northward towards the elevators, you can see the three doors for running the cars for unloading, and loading, and the runoff track in the foreground.


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