April
27
Posted on 27-04-2012
Filed Under (Alberta 1970s, CPR) by Broken Rail

Medicine Hat, Alberta April 15th, 1974
FJ Dickinson Calgary
Car Control Alyth
Conductor Handling Zone Three Wayfreight Ex Alyth Date
Leave Alyth With All Traffic to Go Spot the Shorthauls as Directed by CSC Alyth
Including the Bulldozer for Wimborne

Make Sure This Cars on Spot at Shepard
1CP 249813B 3522 Shepard 7450 9513 #TAIWOOPRLLBR #0411
6CP 249813 Make Sure This Cars on Spot Just West of A03

Lift The Following Cars at Shepard

1CP 360710H 8025 Beiseker 7525 7325 #DIVENGI BALAST
1CP 360785H 8025 Beiseker 7525 7325 #DIVENGI BALAST
6CP 360785, 360710 To Be Unloaded Mileage 30.9 Langdon Sub.
1CP 110986B 0522 Sharples 7519 5002 #ALBWEPOPPRDRS
6CP 110986 Spot at AWP A 01
1CP 301864F 5228 Drumhell 7511 8580N #DrumhelCOLBR
2CGTX 12330T 27 WIMBORNE 7540 4035C #MOBILOILETY
2UTLX 60744T 27 WIMBORNE 7540 6070Z #MOBILOILETY
2CGTX 13248T 27 WIMBORNE 7540 4035C #MOBILOILETY
2CGTX 13245T 27 WIMBORNE 7540 4035C #MOBILOILETY
2CGTX 13235T 27 WIMBORNE 7540 4035C #MOBILOILETY
2UP      17157H 27 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY
2UP     16824H 26 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY
2UP     16054H 26 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY
2UP     17594 H 26 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY
2UP     18160 H 26 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY
2UP     16878 H 26 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY
2UP     18803 H 26 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY
2UP     18016 H 26 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY
2 UP    18893 H 27 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY
2 UP    18564 H 27 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY
2 UP    17326 H 27 WIMBORNE 7540 9088S #MOBILOILETY

Here is our work assignment list from FJ Dickinson, Chief Dispatcher, and CPR Car Control Alyth on Monday April 15, 1974, it has all the usual instructions, and one interesting note about making sure we do not leave Alyth without the bulldozer for Wimborne, what that was all about I didn’t know, but would find out soon enough. There was a note about a car to spot at Shepard:

1CP 249813B 3522 Shepard 7450 9513 #TAIWOOPRLLBR #0411
The computer language shows us that 1CP 249813B is a load, if it was an empty 2 would proceed CP then we have the car number and the B which stands for boxcar 3522 is a consignment number to Shepard whose station number is 7450, the 9513 is the station where the car was shipped from probably in British Columbia and is consigned to #TAIWOOPRLBR#0411 which is abbreviated Tai Wood Preservers Lumber a plant that processed Cedar lumber, and shingles.
6CP 249813 Make Sure This Cars on Spot Just West of A03
This Line is called a 6 card and has additional information about the car, in this case instructions on where the car is to be spotted A03 is In Alberta Wheat Pool elevator on the West End of the backtrack at Shepard so the car would be placed just to the west of the elevator.
1CP 360710H 8025 Beiseker 7525 7325 #DIVENGI BALAST
1CP 360785H 8025 Beiseker 7525 7325 #DIVENGI BALAST
6CP 360785, 360710 To Be Unloaded Mileage 30.9 Langdon Sub.
Next we have two loads to lift for Beiseker the H shows us that it is a hopper car consigned to the #DIVENGI BALAST the stands for the Divisional Engineer Ballast, and the 6 card indicates that the two loads of ballast are to be unloaded at mileage 30.9 of the Langdon Subdivision that is located 1/2 mile south of Beiseker
1CP 110986B 0522 Sharples 7519 5002 #ALBWEPOPPRDRS
6CP 110986 Spot at AWP A 01
There was one loaded CPR boxcar consigned to Sharples the consignee #ALBWEPOPPRDRS which stands for Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Doors, the CPR provided all the elevator companies with boxcars of lumber, and cardboard steel band reinforced sheeting to cooper the doorways of boxcars so they could be loaded with grain. The 6 card says that the car is to be placed on spot at AWP (Alberta Wheat Pool Elevator) A 01
The remainder of our lift at Shepard was for 1 flatcar of lumber for Drumheller, 5 empty tank cars for sulfur loading loading at Wimborne, and 11 empty Union Pacific hoppers for bulk sulfur loading at Wimborne, those empty hoppers brought back memories, Alberta with its vast petrochemical industry ships lots of bulk sulfur by rail through British Columbia to the Western seaports around Vancouver, British Columbia has stringent shipping regulations were all sulfur must be prilled a process that granulates it into a pelletized, or crumbled form that cuts down on the amount of dust you end up with when sulfur is just crushed and shipped that way. There was a substantial stockpile of bulk sulfur at the Wimborne plant, and to cut down on expenses a proposal was drafted to ship bulk sulfur from Wimborne down through southern Alberta to the US border in Union Pacific hopper cars, they were then routed through the United States to Portland and this would circumvent the rules BC had about prilling bulk sulfur. So that spring they started the program as a test project with an order for about three train loads, to see the feasibility of the operation. I remember handling some of this traffic on the wayfreight, and riding back in the caboose was not a very desirable place to be, lots of sulfur dust blew off the tops of these open top hoppers, and are old caboose was very drafty the sulfur dust would get in through the window frames, and door jams, everything smelled like sulfur, and when riding in the cupola I had to wear goggles otherwise the dust would get in your eyes and burn like sulfuric acid, the track itself that spring was in very poor condition, and running this heavy traffic didn’t help, there were other freight crews bringing up train loads of empty hoppers, but the weight one loaded caused a couple of derailments, with the company not wanting to commit any money into maintaining the track, as you can see we had 2 carloads of ballast to fill in some bad spots South of Beiseker, which was kind of the Band-Aid approach that didn’t amount to much. After running about two trains the program was quietly terminated, and we went back to just handling tank carloads of liquid sulfur from the plant.

Finally at the end of the day I found out what the bulldozer was for, evidently over the weekend the plant loaders had ran some loaded cars down from the tank loading spur using the handbrakes to control their speed, evidently it didn’t work too good as they smashed two or three loads into some stationary ones, that resulted in a derailment with one tank flipped over on its side loaded with 100 tons of liquid sulfur, the solution to the problem was quite simple they unloaded the bulldozer from the flatcar up at the plant, and used it to dig a big ditch in the ground alongside the derailed car, open up the valves and let the 100 tons of liquid sulfur flow into the ditch, re-rail the car, and cover-up the ditch with dirt, a variation of the old shoot, shovel, and shut up theory.

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