1978 was my fifth year back with the CPR, and I started the new year working the night car retarder operator position, my career was still quite interesting, our General Yard Master Harold McAfee was pleased with my progress working as a car retarder operator, and approached me and asked me if I would be interested in the opportunity to train as a yard master working relief assignments at the General Yard Office, and the Industrial Yard Office, I thought it would be a new challenge and agreed to do it. The pay rates were a lot higher than the car retarder operator’s position, so I started training sitting in on my days off with a regular assigned yard master’s at Alyth and the IYO.

I trained first with Nick Farion on the afternoon shift 14:30 to 22:30, he had a desk on the fifth floor of the General Yard Office, where the Train Yard Coordinator was located, Nick was the West End yardmaster and looked after the afternoon assignment, that included 15:45 Tramp, 16:00 Stock, and the, 17:00 A Tramp, he would make out the switch lists for the different assignments and take them down to the main floor lunchroom where the yard crews booked in, most of the work on the West end involved switching on and off cabooses for trains arriving, and trains being built for departure, the caboose track was located west of the GYO and had three tracks Y-4,5, and 6. They would also do a lot of switching at the piggyback tracks where trailers from incoming trains had to be switched out and spotted, and loaded piggyback trailers had to be gathered up and taken to the East end of the yard, and placed in tracks designated by the Pulldown Supervisor. There was some container traffic at this time that would have to be spotted for unloading. Other duties were taking bad order cars that needed repairs off of outgoing trains. The 16:00 Stock engine at one time worked there shift mostly in the stockyards located off of the South mainline where there was the Burns Packing Plant, and Canadian Packers, livestock would come in on special CPR railway boxcars in the 272000, and 278000 series, by the 1970s, most cattle were being delivered by truckers with special tractor-trailers to accommodate livestock. The Stock job did have to go out XL Beef’s processing plant at J-50 on the Manchester lead to bring in refrigerated meat to put onto the head end of Train No. 952 that at one time carried lots of stock to Montréal. Nick had a radio on his desk so we could communicate with all his yard crews to update them if there were any changes in their lists, and any extra moves that came up, he gave me some good advice like physically checking the tracks on the West end of the yard before coming on duty so you would have an idea how much room there was left in the tracks so you knew where you had space to put cars.

I next trained with Don Ferguson the night yardmaster at the Industrial Yard Office, Don was a burly man, and at one time was a wrestler. There were four assignments that worked night shift the 23:00 North Industrial, the 23:30 South Industrial, the 23:45 Tramp, and the 23:59 Industrial, there was a clerk to help the yardmaster with the switch lists for the customers in the industrial areas. The 23:00 North Industrial would start their assignment by switching out there caboose near the shop track, then would crossover from the F yard on the south side to the I yard lead on the north side, they would kick there caboose up the lead and get their cars out of tracks G-1 and G-3. With their dozen or so cars marshaled, and brake test done, they would then the operator at 12 Street tower and ask for a line up straight north and they would proceed around the north wye and go to the Mayland Industrial lead and shove their movement up the hill with the caboose leading, through the tunnel on Deerfoot Trail and line the switch point derail, a safety feature that would derail any cars that got loose on these 2% grades, they would shove up to M-29 where there were two spurs inside the Johnson Terminals warehouse, and a single lead outside the gates, they would shove their caboose up the straight lead after removing the derail, and open the gates to access Johnson Terminals gates, the two spurs inside the gates would hold 12 cars each. They were numbered M-10A closest to the building, and M-10B next to M-10A. The customer could load or unload cars from both tracks so it was important that they were placed on spot accurately. There was a road crossing on 19 street N.E. that was a busy thoroughfare so the switching crew would place burning red fusee’s into the wooden beam that held the crossbucks of the railway crossing sign, they would burn for 10 minutes and would be replaced as needed, I remember there was a pile of ashes that formed a cone a foot high. All the loads and empties coming out of Johnson’s Terminal would be placed on top of the caboose on the lead outside the gates of the terminal.

The next job that went to work was the 23:30 South Industrial assignment. They would switch out there caboose, and when the 23:00 North Industrial assignment had left, they would crossover to the East end of I-yard and kick their caboose up the lead. They would then go into track I-1 and get out the cars they needed for J-lead, they usually had anywhere from 9 to 12 cars. They would then couple in the air, and do a brake test, when completed, they would call the operator at 12th Street E. and ask for a line up down to 12th Street E. When they received a signal they would crossover at 8th Street down P-1 and go past 12 Street E. and call for a line up straight south down the Manchester lead with the caboose leading the movement. They would proceed southward crossing 42nd Avenue S.E. and kick their caboose down the J lead and line some refrigerator cars towards the McDonald’s Consolidated refrigerated warehouse for the 09:00 South Industrial to spot up in the morning. They would then switch out warehouses at J-40 and J-41, and take their meal break in the caboose.

The next assignment to go to work was the 23:45 B Tramp, it worked without a caboose as its territory was on B-lead, it started west of 4th Street S.W. off of Depot 4, cars for B-lead were placed in F-7, there was also a flat car with a garbage dumpster on top of it, it was usually on the west end of the track with the B-lead cars on the east end, F-8 was full of empty boxcars that had been unloaded, here they were upgraded by the carman that did car repairs in track F-9. They worked a day shift and would roll the garbage flat car down the track and fill it with all the garbage that they took out of the upgrade cars, these cars would be released and could be used for loading again. The assignment would come off the shop track light engine, and call the operator at 12th Street E. to line them from the east end of F-yard to the west end of F-7 when the crew received a signal they would run out onto the Elbow River Bridge the operator at 12th Street would give them a signal westward up the eastbound main up into the passenger depot where they would receive a signal to go eastward onto the lead that ran into F-4 to F-9, they would go into F-7 and couple onto the garbage car and the rest of the cars on the east and pull them out They would ask the operator at 12th Street to give them a switching signal out of the west end, 12th Street could setup is panel to allow a westward signal out of F-yard every time the locomotive was East of the westbound signal. They would pull the track out onto the lead, and switched the cars they needed in towards F-5. When finished switching, they would put the remaining cars back and spot the garbage car on the west end.

Next, they would couple onto their cars in F-5 and asked the operator at 12th Street tower for a line up into B-alley. Downtown Calgary at one time had been the warehouse district for the city, between 8th Street E., and 24th Street W., there were dozens of warehouses and railway spurs that ran up behind 10th and 11th Avenues, off of Depot 1 was A-alley that the Robin Hood Flour Mills that faced 9th Avenue and straddled 4th Street W. with the mill on the west side, and the elevators on the east side further west near 14th Street W. was the Eaton’s warehouse. The customers on B-alley were a Pilkington Glass spur at B-4, the Albertan Newspaper plant at B-8 and Howell Forwarders at B-14 east of 14th W. on the west side was Consolidated Concrete’s plant at B-15, and further west under the Crowchild Trail overpass was a BAPCo paint spur. The usual procedure would be to switch out Pilkington Glass Co., who would get special flat cars with “A” frame bulkheads that ran the length of the car, and supported wooden crates of plate glass on each side. Then there was the Albertan, they would get cars of newsprint, and as it was Calgary’s morning paper, one of the crew members would go into the plant and get a dozen free newspapers. Then B-14 the biggest customer would get half a dozen boxcars. At times, the assignment would have to go down BZ and BY leads that were accessible off of the 14th Street W. underpass. They ran eastward and serviced the Canadian Natural Gas yard, and A.B. Cushing Mills, a lumber factory. These customers were always serviced on the night shift, as during the day, people would park their automobiles there. With the customers all switched out, and the empties gathered, the next move would be to make a running switch of the empties to get them on the other side of the locomotive, otherwise a crew member would have to ride on the point all the way down to the IYO. I will give a little explanation about the numbering system for track switches in industrial territories, and the mainline, in this case all the even-numbered spurs ran eastward, and the odd numbers ran westward. A running switch would be done at B-14, all the empties would be checked for handbrakes and air brakes to make sure the cars would roll. The next move would be the engine would push the string of cars eastward, with a crew member on the footboard of the locomotive handy to the operating lever on the locomotive that would be used to uncouple the empty cars. Another crew member would be stationed at the B-15 switch that accessed the Consolidated Concrete spur where there was lots of room on the east end. The locomotive engineer would open up the throttle and reached a fairly high-speed as it was uphill towards B-15, approaching the B-15 switch the locomotive engineer would give a little slack to the cars that were all stretched out by using his locomotive independent brake. The crew member on the running board would uncouple the cars and give a nod of his head to the locomotive engineer who would then open up his throttle wide, to get away from the free rolling cars. The other crew member would have him lined into B-15, when he was in the clear the he would line the switch normal and the cars would roll down the straight lead, where they would come to a stop as the lead was in a dish so they would not run away too far. They would then couple onto the empties and the crew would then pull them down B- lead, and call 12th Street Tower for a line up from B- alley to the east end of F-yard lead. From the bridge a crew member would wait for a signal and the other crew member would line the lead switches for F-3 or F-2 where the preference would be built. An explanation of the preference tracks, during the course of a week many cars that were empty and unloaded from all the industrial territories would be gathered together in the designated preference tracks, and when full an afternoon shift yard assignment would gather the tracks together twice a week and take them down to Alyth for humping on a busy week, there could be up to 100 cars, when they handled that many cars they would double over F-3 to F-2, and another yard assignment would double over F-5 from the west end of F-yard. Any hot loaded cars from B-14 would be set over to the Ex-lead so they would be handy to take down to Alyth right away.

With the cars all put away the 23:45 B Tramp would go to the yardmen’s lunchroom, and would have a nice long break for lunch. They gave the yardmaster and his clerk a newspaper, while eating lunch, there was usually a card game named smear, or hearts. The last move for the assignment was to go down to the Alyth Diesel Shops, stopping by 12th Street tower to give the operator a newspaper. At the diesel shops, they would pick up the RDC (Rail Diesel Car) or Dayliner for the morning North passenger train. It would run 195 miles north to the south side of Edmonton, Alberta the provincial capital. It would be on a west track of the diesel shops, and the crew would runaround it, getting on the east end, and call 12th Street E., tower for a line up from the fast track to the east end of Depot 3, they would shove the Dayliner into Depot 3, put on the air brakes, and apply the handbrake, and head for the shop track and home.

The last assignment at the IYO was the 23:59 Industrial, its purpose was to bring up transfers to Alyth, and take down any hot cars from Ex lead. The transfers from Alyth would be located in C-48 the last track on the east side of the classification yard, to access the cars, the crew would have to radio the Train Yard Coordinator for permission to enter the track. As cars were being humped into these live tracks, he would check his list to make sure there were no city cars on the hill for C-48; the TYC would place a plug into his computer control console on his desk, so no cars could go into C-48. With permission from the TYC the helper would line the crossover from N-1 into the class yard, and couple up all the cars in the track, and pull westward lining back the crossovers. Sometimes there would be more cars in N-2 or N-3 to double to in this case the helper would couple on and walk to the east end to take off the handbrakes, in cold and inclement weather, he would walk back to the locomotive, if it was nice he would ride on top of one of the boxcars. The yard foreman would then call the operator at 12th Street for a line up from little N-yard to the east end of F-yard or I-yard that the IYO yardmaster had designated. If it was F-yard. they would use F-5 that was used for transfers, and if I-yard they would run down the G-yard lead the helper would secure the transfer with handbrakes the foreman would uncouple a locomotive and ask 12th Street for a line up out of the west end of F-yard or I-yard to the east end, the crew would have a coffee break. The yardmaster from the window in his office would check all the car numbers as the transfer yarded, this was marked down, and if there were any doubts about the cars destination he could phone the billbox at the General Yard Office, the billbox was actually a yard clerk whose job was to look after all the way bills for all the cars in Alyth’s yards. The yardmaster would have prepared a list of where the transfer cars had to go. If the crew had yarded on G-yard lead they would look at their list, and switch out all the cars that were for tracks I-1-4, and any for G-yard, any cars for F-yard were left on the lead, they would then called 12th Street tower for a line up from the east end of I-yard to the east end of F-yard, when they received a signal they would crossover onto the Elbow River Bridge and when they got a signal would back into F-yard, and switch out the cars to their designated tracks. They would then take a lunch break, and do other switching around the IYO; there was another fast-forward freight company that was located on Ex lead that they would look after, and the Canadian Pacific Express company.

The CPR knew how to save money, at the IYO they had a Masonite board about 3’ x 2’ and it was painted white with black lines that represented all the tracks in the industrial yard. It was covered with a sheet of Mylar, and the CPR had large soft lead pencils that we would use to mark all the car numbers in the individual tracks. As the car moved in and out of the yard the pencil markings could be easily erased,

Another chore the IYO yardmaster had to do was a Recapitulation of the yard assignments on his shift, this was more fiction than fact, it would show the time the assignment left the shop track, and time spent switching in the yard. There were always delays when trains to and from the west departed and arrived. The Hump assignments also caused delays as they crossed 8th Street East and pull westward towards the depots. Times were also shown for when the crew returned, with their time off duty marked.

I also sat in with the day yard master at the IY0, Al (Curley) Stewart; day shift was much busier with its seven assignments.

I finished my student training, and it wasn’t long before I was called out I worked the afternoon yardmaster assignment from 14:30 to 22:30 on January 7, 1978 at the GYO, and the day yardmaster assignment from 6:30 to 14:30 on January 9, 1978 at the IYO. Soon after I was assigned to a relief yardmaster’s job. It had Monday and Tuesday off and worked the 22:30 W. end yardmaster at Alyth on Wednesday and Thursday, and then on Friday, it worked the 22:30 yardmaster assignment at the IYO, with eight hours off. I would then work the 14:30 shift at the IYO on Saturday and Sunday.

Working at the GYO on Wednesdays and Thursdays was all right, I had 3 yard assignments to list. There was a 23:00 B Tramp, that would do some switching in the yard, then went over to the Gulf Oil Refinery, where they spent the rest of their shift looking after that customer. There was also a 23:30 yard, and a 23:59 Government assignment. These two assignments looked after switching hotshot trains when they arrived, they also looked after cabooses gathering up all the incoming ones and take them to the Caboose Tracks in Y-5, 6, and 7. These tracks were protected by blue flags that were clamped to the rail, and had a blue light by night; this was to warn yard crews not to couple on to these tracks. As the Carmen were working them. One of the crew members would have to walk down and get the Carmen to take down the blue flag, so they could switch the incoming cabooses, they were usually listed with serviced cabooses that were ready to go on to outgoing trains on the west end of the yard. The yard crews also looked after switching out cars that were bad ordered by the Carmen. I would have a hot sheet on my desk with priority moves to be done. I was also working underneath the authority of the Deputy General Yardmaster whose office was on the fourth floor of the GYO. One was Gary Hebert, who came to Alyth after a career supervising supermarkets in Lethbridge, Alberta; he was really ambitious and tried to talk me into going out into the yard and spying on crews to see if they were working efficiently. I told him I would have no part of doing that, as I was working under the UTU yardmaster’s collective agreement, and nothing in the agreement would allow me to do this. Most of the time I had Mel Leinweber who rose up from the ranks of the CPR clerks. Mel was short and wore glasses; his hair was red, but balding on the top, so the crews gave him the nickname “Kojak” from the TV series starring Telly Savalas. I liked working with Mel he easy to get along with, the one thing that I didn’t like was that I would write up lists for my crews, and would have to show them to Mel, before I took them down to the yardmen’s lunchroom. Mel would peruse the lists, and right away would start making changes; sometimes he would rip them up and make his own lists. So this made me more or less a glorified messenger boy.

I liked working at the Industrial Yard Office, for my other three shifts, Friday nights, and the two afternoon shifts on Saturday and Sunday. The best thing was that I had no supervision and was able to make my own decisions on the work to be done. Friday night was pretty straight forward I would list the 23:00 North Industrial assignment. They would come off the shop track switch out their caboose, and crossover from F-yard to I-yard and switch out the cars they needed for Johnston Terminals from G-1 and G-3. Once they had their cars together, and a brake test done, they were on their way to the Meridian Park lead to service Johnston Terminals at M-10A and M-10B. The other job that worked Friday was the 23:59 IYO that brought up transfers from Alyth, and switched them out, and then did other switching around the IYO such as looking after the fast forwarder’s on EX lead. Their last move would be to go to Alyth Diesel Shops and pick up the RDC (Dayliner) for the morning North Passenger Train to Edmonton, they would spot it in the East end of Depot 3 and head to the shop track. I would be relieved by the day yardmaster and would go home for a short sleep.

On Saturday afternoons at the IYO, I would relieve the day yardmaster, there was the 14:30 coach engine that I would list, they did some small switching chores around the IYO, and spend the rest of their shift looking after any switching moves to be done on the eastbound passenger train The Canadian No. 2, this would involve bringing up fresh passenger units from the Alyth diesel shops, and take units from the incoming train down to the Alyth diesel shops for servicing. They would also do any coach switching that needed to be done. In the summer months, there would be two extra passenger coaches that would be added on at Calgary for the westbound Canadian No.1, and would be taken off the eastbound Canadian No. 2. These would be taken down to 12th Street East and turned around on the wye and placed into the East stub track overnight, and would be ready to be placed on the westbound Canadian No. 1 the next day.

There was one other assignment, the 15:00 IYO Tramp, they would do transfer work, or go out into the industrial territories to finish off any work left by the regular assignments that serviced those areas. The 14:30 coach engine would turn in once The Canadian No. 1 was ready to go eastbound. If the train was running on schedule they would usually be done around 20:30. Once the other assignment had finished their work, and had headed for the shop track, I was finished for the night. There was no assignments that worked Saturday night shifts, so there was no yardmaster, I would lock up the building and go home usually after only six hours on duty, which was a bit of a break after the shortchange from midnights to afternoons that I had the night before. Sunday was pretty well the same with the exception that I would have to be around until I was relieved by the night yardmaster at 22:30.

As I had Monday and Tuesday off, sometimes I would be called in to work overtime on the day shift yardmaster assignment at the IYO. The regular assigned yardmaster was Harry Huish. Harry started with the CPR after he returned from Europe where he served in World War II. He started in February 1 1946, and worked his way up from Crew Caller and Yardmaster in 1954, was General Yardmaster for a while. I knew he was quite active in the Millican Ogden Community Club as I had lived in the district since 1965. He got involved with civic politics being elected Ward Alderman for the district from 1975 to 1980. The Calgary City Council would meet on Mondays. Harry was quite a horseman in his own right, and his nickname around the yard was “Harry the Horse” he was tall and slim, with black hair combed back, and a Boston Blackie mustache, he was part of a group of horsemen called “Steele’s Scouts” they wore leather buckskin clothes, and fired old western revolvers and rifles, and would reinact the horsemanship and shooting skills of the original Steele’s Scouts who along with the North West Mounted Police helped keep law and order in southern British Columbia and Alberta before it was a province in the 1800s.

The day shift at the IYO was a very busy assignment, there were seven jobs to list starting with the 6:30 Industrial, starting first, it would use the locomotive first out on the east end of the shop track, and they would switch out their caboose and crossover to the east end of I-yard, where they would kick their caboose up the lead. They would then ask the operator at 12th Street E. for a lineup to the west end of I-4 and switch out the cars they needed from their lists. With their cars tied on to the caboose, they would wait for the carman couple up the air hoses, cut in the air, and give the cars a brake test. The carman would check the air pressure on the gauge in the caboose, and when it had reached 75 pounds per square inch, he would signal the locomotive engineer Frank Radics to set up the brakes, the Frank would move the automatic brake handle and would reduce the air pressure to 55 pounds per square inch. The carman would then walk alongside from the caboose the locomotive and check each car to see that the piston from the brake cylinder had come out from 9 to 12 inches, and that the brake shoes were in contact with the cars wheels. He would then tap on the side of the locomotive with a 2 foot 3/4 inch steel bar to get the Franks, attention, and tell him to release the air brakes. The carman would then walk back towards the caboose and visually inspect that all the brake cylinders had retracted and the brakes had released. The carman would tell the crew that the brake test was completed. When they were ready to go the yard foremen Bob Armstrong, and his helper Joe McKee would jump onto their caboose, and call the operator at 12th Street E. for a lineup to “H-lead that started on the west leg of the south wye, where they would switch out some of the industries located there, including a Texaco oil warehouse, Westco a steel products manufacturer, and CC Snowden an oil, lubricants, and paint manufacturer, with their chores done, they would go over to the Shamrock Grill for a coffee break.

After coffee they would check with the operator at 12th Street East, if there were any trains arriving or leaving Alyth on the McLeod subdivision. Northbound, there was a daily fourth class train No. 75 due out of Turner Mile 5 at 10:10, and Southbound there two daily fourth class trains No. 992 due out of 12 Street East at 7:00, and No. 74 due out of 12 St. East at 8:00, the crew had received a train order with their switch lists, saying that No. 75 was annulled between Lethbridge and 12 Street East, on that day. They operator at 12 Street East, told them that No. 992, had departed Alyth at 8:00, and that No. 74 had not been ordered yet, and that he would let them know when they were ready to depart. The crew proceeded southward servicing the city of Calgary’s Manchester yard, they would get anything from concrete sewer pipes, to electric transformers, further southward was a chemical company that would get tank cars of chemicals that they made pesticides from, then there was the Admiral appliance warehouse, just south of 58th Avenue, next was Irving Wire Products on Glenmore trail, they had a cast-iron foundry, and made many other iron wire products, and receive gondolas full of coiled iron wire. Further south was a spur that ran northeast of the mainline, and crossed Fairmount Drive where there was a team track where shippers could load and unload boxcars of materials; there are also was a spur into LeGrand Oilwell supplies. Clear of the mainline the crew stopped for lunch, as the operator at 12 Street East that No. 74 was ready to depart Alyth. After lunch, the crew show down further South to Turner siding where there was a lumber yard to service, and Wilkinson’s Steel warehouse.

The next assignment I listed was the 07:00 Industrial (Coach Engine) it did small chores around the IYO usually switching the CPR Express warehouse on E lead, and the fast forwarding warehouse on EX4, the rest of the day would be involved with switching No. 2 The Canadian CPR’s passenger train it was due into Calgary from the West at 13:15. Freshly fueled and serviced locomotives were brought up to the Calgary Depot, along with the afternoon RDC (Rail Diesel Car) for the North passenger train to Edmonton. In the summer there would be two coaches added on to the westbound Canadian, these would be taken off the eastbound counterpart by the afternoon Coach Engine assignment, turned around the wye and stored in the East stub track for the next day’s westbound passenger train. With the passenger train switched, there was nothing to do but wait until the train had departed at 13:50 the scheduled departure time, and the Coach Engine would go to the shop track and turn in for the day.

There were two assignments that both started at 07:30 one was the 07:30 N. Industrial that serviced all the warehouses in the Mayland Industrial Park above M-29, this involved the Firestone Tire plant, Swift’s Feeds mill, Crown Zellerbach lumber yard, Co-Op Grocery warehouse, a team track where shippers could load and unload their products, a Alberta Breweries Agents, a Hudson’s Bay warehouse, and a Simpsons Sears warehouse.

The other assignment was the 07:30 South Industrial, they serviced JA, JB, JC, and JD leads located South of 42nd Avenue on the Manchester lead.

Then there were another two assignments that started at 09:00 they were the 09:00 Government, they would get their lists and switched out some empties they needed from F-1, and proceed down P-1 where they would spend their day servicing all the mills and elevators, this was a three-man assignment, that used hand signals, no radios, they did not use a caboose, they would drop their empties down the mainline, and the Pulldown would shove up a track from the Classification yard with other cars they needed for their customers, they would switch the Pillsbury Canada flour mill at Q-9, the grain unloading track Q-9a, the export flour, loading track Q-9b, the domestic flour, loading track and Q-9c the feed grains, loading track. Next was the Canada Malting Limited plant at Q-4, Q-4a, Q-4 New, and Q-4a New, here were loaded and unloaded cars of barley from Opera cars, and one track where they loaded boxcars with bagged malted barley. Other customers down the Government Lead were the Alberta Distillers Limited at QA-5, they would get tank cars that were loaded with pure alcohol, these would be shipped out to destinations around North America, when they came back empty the crews would put a 5 gallon plastic pail underneath the bottom valve of the tank car and open it up letting it sit a couple of hours, and they would usually get 2 to 3 gallons of pure alcohol that had adhered to the walls of the tank cars, it was a pretty good deal for the crew members, until somebody got wise and the cars were sealed, after unloading and could not be tampered with. Another customer just before the Government Elevators was IKO Industries, and asphalt shingle plant who would get covered hoppers filled with different colors of sand that they use for their roofing shingles, and that the end of the Government Lead were the Government Elevators, an inland grain terminal that the federal government built in the early 1900s, there was one in Lethbridge, and Edmonton, and another in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. A lot of times the 09:00 Government concentrated their day looking after Pillsbury, and Canada malting were they would take their lunch break in the employees lunchroom, leaving the work down the Government Lead for the afternoon shift. When they had finished servicing the mills they would have a anywhere from 30 to 40 cars of loads, they would call the TYC for a track in P-yard or V-yard to put the cars into, the yard foremen would cut across to the designated track and start lining up, the engine follower would ride high on the ladder or roof of the car next to the engine, and the long field man would ride the point of the cars relaying hand signals, with the switches lined by the foreman, it was just a matter of riding the cars into the track and coupling on the cars in the track. With this done, the crew would call the Operator at 12 Street E, for a line up into the east end of F yard and into the shop track.

The 09:00 South would get their caboose and yet the operator at 12th Street E to cross them over to the east end of I-yard where they would kick the caboose of the lead, and go into the east end I-1 and dig out the cars they needed, with their cars put together, and a brake test completed, they would call the operator at 12th Street E for a line up out of the east end of I-yard down to 12th Street E, and out to the Manchester lead their first test, where would be Davidson Enman, a lumber yard at J-36 they would shove across to 42nd Avenue SE, where they would service the McDonald’s Consolidated frozen food warehouse at J-38 with cars from their drag, and the ones set over the previous night by the 23:30 South Industrial assignment, the this done, they would shove down over Blackfoot Trail SE and serviced a team track at J-60 were Navajo Scrap Metals would load gondolas from their scrap yard that was close by, there was also an Eaton’s warehouse at J-72, and another warehouse at J-73.

The last job to be listed at the IYO was the 10:00 East Calgary or (Brewery job.) As it serviced, the old Calgary Malting and Brewery Co. that had been in business there since 1893, the job would start off to shop track and switch out the cars they needed from F-1 and proceed around the north leg of the North wye where they serviced the industries located here, which included:
LA-1 Container Storage for empty container flat cars.
LA-2 Container unloading, ships containers loaded on flat cars were relatively new to the railways, yard assignments from Alyth looked after this work.
LA-4a Bird Construction lumber and construction materials
LA-6 Standard Brands, they made many food products, Fleishman’s yeast
LA-6a Bonar and Bemis, a manufacturer of jute bags for flour mills and other industries
LA-6b No.2 Gold Medal Feeds cattle feeds, No.1 Later Chemicals, became Tiger Chemicals manufacturer of industrial chemicals.
LA-8 and LA-8a Standard Brands got tank cars of liquid molasses.
LA-9 Royalite Oil Co. warehouse for oil and grease products.
LA-10 Western Grocers a wholesale grocery warehouse.
LA-16 Hector’s Steel received flat cars and gondolas of steel beams, and sheets of steel
LA-18 Simpson Sears received boxcars of electrical appliances, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers.
L-6 Mueller Metals manufacturers of steel products received covered gondolas of coiled steel.
L-9, L-11, Maple Leaf Mills feed plant L-13, L-15 Maple Leaf Mills flour mill
L-16, L-18 Calgary Malting and Brewery Co received covered hoppers of malt for making beer
L-20, L-20a Calgary Malting and Brewery Co loaded boxcars with beer
L-41 Shell Pipe yard that received gondolas of pipeline pipe.
This assignment also looked after the low “M’s in the Mayland Industrial Park these included:
M-01 The Calgary Herald received boxcars of newsprint
M-02 Inmont received tank cars of printing ink for the printing industry in Calgary.
M-05 Northern Electric Co. received flat cars with spools of electrical wire.
M-09, Woodward’s furniture warehouse received cars of appliances and furniture.
M-09a. Bridge Brand Produce Co. received refrigerator cars of perishable vegetables
M-20 Plastic Industries received covered hoppers of plastic beads for manufacturing plastic products.
M-26, Alberta Liquor Control Board warehouse for hard liquor.
M-29 Nabob Foods Co. received cars of food products

By the time the 10:00 East Calgary job left the yard, it was time for a little lunch break as the morning I had gone quite quickly. The telephone was always ringing and half the calls were for Harry, for city hall business. The next thing I knew, it was 11:55 and the 06:30 Tramp had returned from the South mainline and kicked their caboose into the caboose track, and place their empties in the preference track F-3, and put their engine on the shop track and called it a day.

Next to show up were the two 07:30 assignments from the North and South. They would do the same thing placing their empties in the preference track F-3, and would turn in. The 09:00 Government would turn in to the shop track light engine, as they had put all their cars away at Alyth.

By 14:30 I was relieved by the afternoon yard master and he would look after the 09:00 South Industrial, and the 10:00 East Calgary.

In early spring on Friday March 31, 1978 a special train arrived at Calgary it was the BC Discovery Train. The train was traveling across the country to promote tourism in British Columbia, and was headed by CPR steam power, after an absence of over 22 years, as a yardmaster, I had the opportunity to be on the platform to record the arrival of the train, and I had a copy of the train consist it read as follows:

1.) CPR’s Royal Hudson 2860 on the point
2.) Katra water tender, 12,000 gallons #2860B
3.) CGTX 14087 (heated oil and pump).
4.) GM diesel “B” unit 1600 H.P. (CP Rail)
5.) GM diesel “B” unit 1600 H.P. (CP Rail)
6.) Box baggage car Nanaimo River
7.) Crew Sleeper Pend Oreille River
8.) Baggage powered car Prince George
9.) Museum Coach Nootea Sound
10.) Museum Coach Skeena River
11.) Museum Coach Kootenay River
12.) Museum Coach Cowichan River
13.) Victorian Lunch Coach “Discovery”
14.) Club Car “Resolution”
15.) Staff Diner “Endeavor”
16.) Staff Car “Shannon Falls”
17.) Sleeper (Sleeps 18) “Adventure”
18.) Business Car “Captain James Cook”

Arrival Time 16:30
Departure Time, 17:30

Rick W Moskwa Relief Stationmaster

Here is a little background on the CPR 2860 Royal Hudson that brought the BC Discovery Train to Calgary. Hudson steam locomotives were first used by the New York Central Railroad for their high-speed passenger trains, especially the 20th Century Limited and were named after the Hudson River that the railroad ran along. Their wheel arrangements were 4-6-4; a four wheeled pilot truck that supported the cylinders, followed by six driving wheels, and a four wheeled trailing truck that supported the weight of the large fireboxes. NYC owned 265 Hudson’s built by the American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, and 10 built by the Lima Locomotive Works. They were built in three groups the J-1 between 1927 and 1931. The J-2 between 1928 1931. And finally the J-3 from 1937 to 1938. In the 1950s, when NYC converted to diesel locomotives, all of their Hudson steam locomotives were cut up for scrap.

The Canadian Pacific Railway had 65 Hudson steam locomotives in their fleet. The first series built numbered 2800 to 2819 were the H1a and H1b classes built in 1929 and 1930 they were non-streamlined. The semi-streamlined 2820 to 2839 were classed H1c, 2840 to 2859 classes H1d and 2860 to 2864 class H1e. In 1998 the CPR repatriated 2818 from Steamtown in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and moved it to Vancouver, BC spending over $2 million to restore it. At the present time CP 2816 and CP 2860 Royal Hudson are the only operating Hudson steam locomotives in North America. They were ideal for runs along the flat prairies for their high-speed passenger trains. In May 1939. King George VI his wife Queen Elizabeth and their two daughters Princess Elizabeth, and Princess Margaret came to Canada for an official visit to the country. It was the first time a Reigning Monarch had visited the country. The Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railways share the honors of pulling the royal train across the country. The CPR chose to use a semi-streamlined Hudson built in 1938, the CP 2850 was specially painted in silver and royal blue. The steam locomotive ran 3224 miles across Canada with 25 crew changes without any engine failure. The King who was a bit of a train buff road in the cab whenever possible, and he was very impressed with the steam locomotive. After the tour, the King gave the CPR permission to use the term “Royal Hudson” on their semi-streamlined Hudson’s numbered 2820-2859 and 2860-2864. The steam locomotives were allowed to display Royal Crowns on there, running boards.

When the Reigning Monarch King George VI visited Canada in 1939, the president of Seagram’s Samuel Bronfman introduced Crown Royal whiskey as a tribute to the royal visit. The product introduced in 1939 and comes in a special bottle with a crown cap, and comes in a purple felt like bag. This whiskey was only sold in Canada, as kids growing up the bags were highly coveted and used as marble bags.

When May came I was back working full-time on holiday vacancies for the other four retarder operators, this worked out about 22 weeks, being the junior man my holidays started first. On May 15, 1978, I was working the 23:45 Bleeder assignment as my regular job. I had Wednesday and Thursday off and I had worked the night retarder operator position on Friday May 19th. On the completion of my shift Saturday morning I phoned the calling barrel and told them to put my regular position as the 23:45 bleeder up as a vacancy, as I was starting my annual vacation on Monday, May 22nd. I got home and just got to sleep when the telephone rang. It was the General Yard Master Harold McAfee, he proceeded to ream me out for putting up my regular assignment as a vacancy, and that I was using sharp practice to claim my annual vacation and car retarder operators rates, I hung up the phone on him.

After returning from my vacation I started working the holiday vacancies as a Car Retarder Operator. One thing I wanted to explain was the Classification Codes used at Alyth’s Class Yard, they ran from the 100s up to the 400s.

Here are the Codes and Areas used in the 100s group:

102 No. 2 Switcher: sulfur and LPG tanks for the Copithorne spur and Cochrane traffic gondolas for reloading railway ties.
105 West Short Hauls: traffic destined for the Laggan Subdivision, Keith yard, Larson pit, Banff, Castle Mountain, and Lake Louise
110 Exshaw: empty cement hoppers, hopper loads of iron filings, for the Lafarge cement plant, and empty limestone hoppers for Steele Brothers.
115 Field: first divisional point west of Calgary local traffic for Field yard OCS (On Company Service) roadmaster’s materials, and storage cars.
120 Revelstoke: the second divisional point west of Calgary OCS roadmaster’s materials, and diesel shops, and traffic for local customers.
125 Okanagan: traffic destined for the Kootenay Central subdivisions that ran south of Golden, British Columbia.
130 Kamloops: the third divisional point west of Calgary local traffic destined for Kamloops.
140 Mission: local traffic for customers in Mission district.
150 Coquitlam: loaded traffic designated for storage in Coquitlam’s yard
152 Vancouver Wharf Wheat: export loaded cars of wheat, barley, oats, and rapeseed (canola)
153 Vancouver Covered Hoppers: other export commodities such as, lime, cement, and fertilizers.
155 Vancouver Potash: covered hoppers loaded with potash from Saskatchewan for export.
160 New Westminster: local traffic destined for local customers in New Westminster
175 Vancouver: local traffic destined for customers in Vancouver area
176 Vancouver Trailers: piggyback trailers on flat cars destined for Vancouver’s local customers.
180 Coquitlam Empties: empty boxcars, hoppers, gondolas, and lumber loading cars for storage in Coquitlam’s yard until needed.

The 200s groups:

202 Acme: empty grain hoppers and boxcars for loading on the Acme Subdivision.
203 Wimborne empty sulfur tank cars for the Meers spur Shell Oil plant.
204 Princess: empty oil tank cars destined for loading Gulf Oil’s crude oil on the Bassano Subdivision.
205 Zone 2 Assignment: traffic destined for the local industries at Brooks, Alberta, steel for the tubing plant, refrigerated cars for loading vegetables, fertilizers cars for the local agent, stock cars for loading at Bowslope Ltd. Also alfalfa cube loading hoppers for Tilly on the Brooks subdivision.
210 Bassano/Suffield: local traffic for Bassano and Suffield also cars for the Bassano and Suffield subdivisions.
220 Medicine Hat: traffic designated for unloading at Medicine Hat, also empties for loading ethanol at the Cousins fertilizer plants, and cars for Redcliff’s Dominion Glass Plant and other local industries.
225 Swift Current: grain, potash, and LPG empties for loading on the Empress, and Burstall subdivisions including the Grant, McNeil and Ingabright Lake spurs.
230 Portal No. 2 “PC”: Traffic destined for the CPR’s wholly-owned subsidiary the Soo (Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie) Railroad
235 Portal No. 1 “PM”: Traffic destined for the CPR’s wholly-owned subsidiary the, Soo (Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Sault Ste. Marie) Railroad across the northern states of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, which would include Milwaukee and Chicago.
240 Prairie Region: traffic designated for the CPR’s Prairie Region which would include, Saskatchewan and parts of Manitoba.
245.Thunder Bay Grain and Weston: loads of east grain destined for shipping from Fort William on Lake Superior through the Great Lakes to European markets. Weston traffic would be for the repair shops at Winnipeg, Manitoba.
250 Winnipeg: traffic destined for the Winnipeg area.
251 Winnipeg Trailers: loaded piggyback trailers on flat cars.
275, Toronto: Toronto local traffic, and communities in the area.
276, Toronto Trailers: loaded piggyback trailers on flat cars for the Toronto area.
280, Montréal local traffic for Montréal and surrounding communities.
281, Montréal Trailers: Loaded piggyback trailers on flat cars

The 300s groups:

302 No. 1 Switcher: empty LPG and sulfur cars for the plants that the No. 1 Switcher on the Red Deer Subdivision between Bedington and Crossfield.
305 North/South Short Haul: traffic for spotting at industries between Calgary and Red Deer on the Red Deer Subdivision.
310 Cremona: traffic for the Cremona Subdivision east of Crossfield, Alberta
315 Red Deer: traffic destined for the Red Deer yard, and its local customers.
325 Wetaskiwan: traffic destined for the Wetaskiwan subdivision.
350 Edmonton: traffic destined for the yard at Edmonton, and its local customers.
360 Edmonton NAR & CNR: traffic destined for the jointly owned (CPR & CNR) Northern Alberta Railways and the Canadian National Railways.

The 300s groups:

402 Special SSH: traffic for the South Short Hauls.
403 MacLeod Short Hauls: traffic for the MacLeod Subdivision between DeWinton and Fort Macleod, Alberta
404. Aldersyde Short Hauls: traffic for the Aldersyde subdivision between Aldersyde and Lethbridge.
404 Lomand: traffic for the Lomand subdivision east of Eltham on the Aldersyde subdivision.
415 Lethbridge Proper: traffic for Lethbridge city
420 Lethbridge Area: traffic for industries in the Lethbridge area
425 Coutts: traffic for interchange with the Burlington Northern at the Alberta Montana border.
452 Pectin Drywood: traffic for the Pectin spur for sulfur loading, and Drywood on the Crowsnest subdivision.
460 Kingsgate: traffic for interchange with the Burlington Northern at the British Columbia, Idaho border.
470 East Kootenay: traffic for the East Kootenay’s
475 West Kootenay: traffic for the West Kootenay’s

The 500s were used for Calgary customers and were coded with an initial then the number as follows:

B-500: traffic for B, BY, BZ alleys in the downtown Calgary industrial zone.
CN-540: traffic for the Canadian National Railways interchange north of the Pulldown Tower at Alyth
CO-550: traffic for the IYO that would go to the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co. fertilizer plant in southeast Calgary.
E- 550: traffic for E lead’s Canadian Pacific Express terminal and EX lead a fast forwarder at the IYO.
G-550: traffic for G-lead stub tracks, for storage of cars being held in bond.
GO-512: loaded and empty tank cars for the Gulf Oil Refinery in Inglewood.
H-550: traffic for the H lead’s customers along the South mainline in yard limits.
HO-500: Hold Track for traffic of unknown destination.
IT-509: loaded and empty tank cars for the Imperial Oil Terminal.
IO-510: traffic for Imperial Oil.
IX-511: Imperial drag “Special”
J-550: traffic for the IYO for Manchester leads J, Ja, Jb, Jc, and Jd.
L-550: traffic for the IYO for L lead customers on the Brewery, Cushing leads and the North mainline in yard limits.
M-550: traffic for the IYO for Meridian lead customers in Northeast Calgary
OG-530: cars destined for repairs at the CPR’s Ogden Shops.
Q-554: Q lead mills Pillsbury Canada, Government Elevators, Alberta Distillers, and IKO Industries.
QA-555: QA , Canada Malting Limited
RX-530: Bad Order Empties for the One Spot Car Repair Shop.
599: Hold cars for heavy repairs.
CA-571: Canadian Automobile Carriers unloading ramp at Alyth
RA-570: Piggyback ramps for loading and unloading at Alyth
ME-569: Melchins Automobile Compound access from Mile 170.9 Brooks Subdivision.
S-572: FYO Industrial S yard lead north of Alyth Diesel Shops.
SY-550: Stockyards, Burns Packing Plant, Canada Packers, and X Beef J-50
T-532: Ogden area industrial leads, Bell Poll,
TA-532: TA, TB, and TC industrial leads along irrigation ditch down to Prudential Steel South of Glenmore Trail.
U-520: Canadian Industries Limited explosives plant and Western Cooperative Fertilizers plant.
WR-507: Wash rack located west of the Government lead, used steam from the powerhouse at Alyth to wash out refrigerated stock cars originally, now used as storage track for surplus wooden cabooses.
XC-503: Empty coal loading boxcars for the Atlas Mine at East Coulee.
XG-502: Empty grain loading boxcars still in use in the 1970s until they were replaced with Government of Canada, and the Western provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba covered hoppers.
XW-501: Empty high class (cube) boxcars.
XR-505: Empty Reefer cars (refrigerated cars.)
XV-508: Empty, Vancouver cars.
NG-360: Empty NAR (Northern Alberta Railways.) Cars.

I was working the afternoon shift as the Retarder Operator on Wednesday, June 28, it was a hot summer day, and the General Yard Office where it was located caused a unique operating problem. Alyth’s General Yard Office was geographically located north to south, and the east wall of the building, with its many windows would get a lot of heat from the afternoon sun, the computer room on the third floor of the building, in spite of air-conditioning would heat up and could not handle all the functions of the day-to-day operations. To alleviate this problem, we would operate the hump on hard manual, as opposed to automatic operation where the computer lined all the track switches and controlled the speeds of cars running into the class yard tracks. In hard manual it was the Retarder Operator’s job to manually line the routes, and control the speeds of the cars entering the bowl by controlling the group retarders with a feature called “dial a speed”. On this afternoon we had a 100 car train to start out with, the Train Yard Coordinator was Johnny Donald he had sent me the hump list through the teletype, I laid it out on my clipboard and used a rumor to mark each cut of cars, while normal humping in automatic was done in single car cuts, in manual we would do multi car cuts to simplify the operation. With my list marked I would let the TYC I was ready, and would call the hump foreman and tell him to start humping, things went quite smoothly, and we soon had the train put away, I radioed the TYC and said we were finished, and that I had got them all into their correct tracks, he replied yes, but unfortunately they did not all stay there. He told me that a cut of cars that went into C-31, had had contacted a sectionmen’s water car shoving it into the track next to it C-32 where the 09:00 Gulf oil assignment were switching out their cars for the refinery and one had rolled over on its side. I picked up my binoculars and looked at the site of the collision, I had a sick feeling in my stomach, there were city fire trucks on hand, and news travels fast around the yard, one of the helpers in the hump shack was talking about the sideswipe and telling how gasoline was pouring all over the yard, this was of course exaggerated as I found out later. Looking at my list to my horror I realized I let a cut of 12 potash cars go thinking that they were the empties and I used the dial a speed that is calibrated between 1 and 10 mph, letting them go at 5 miles an hour to make sure they rolled into the track okay, I should have used 3 mph as they were loads of potash. So I knew I was in trouble and would have to make out a statement over the incident.

It was not long after I received a letter from the GYM Harold McAfee using stationary from a school kid’s scribbler:

June 29, 1978

Mr. L Buchan:

Please arrange to be in my office for 10:00 Friday, June 30 for statements concerning unauthorized leave of absence.

Submitting a claim not entitled to.

Sideswipe east end of Alyth Classification Yard June 28, 1978.

You should have your Local Representative with you. Bring Mr. K Smith and Ivan Demers, if you so desire.

HE McAfee
General Yardmaster.

I phoned Ken Smith and asked him to represent me for the statements, Harold McAfee really held a grudge, not forgetting that I had hung up the phone on him when I started my annual vacation in May, this was what the unauthorized leave of absence, and submitting a claim not entitled to was about. We discussed this first and I got a stern lecture from the GYM, and that matter was settled.

We then started the statement over the sideswipe on the east end of the Alyth Classification Yard. It read as follows:


STATEMENT OF: (NAME) Larry Buchan (OCCUPATION) Retarder Operator.

IN CONNECTION WITH. Sideswipe at the east end of C-31 and C-32 Alyth classification yard on June 28, 1978

AT: Alyth yard DATE: June 30, 1978




ANSWER: Yes K. Smith

PARTICULARS: State your service record. I entered the service of Canadian Pacific Railway June 18, 1973 as a yardman. I was promoted to yard foreman June 18, 1976 and to really retarder operator October 13, 1976. I am presently working as a retarder operator. I have written my “A” examination papers and I am familiar with the company’s rules. On June 28, 1978 you were working the 16:00 retarder operator position. At approximately 17:50 a side collision occurred at the east end of C-31 & C- 32 in the Alyth classification yard. CP 415089 empty water car and UP 13280 were pushed out the east end of C-31 by a cut of 12 cars of phosphate rock in C-31 into the side of UTLX 73254, a car load of fuel oil for Blairmore and CGTX 29307 car load of gasoline for Lethbridge, which were standing stationary in C-32 foul of C-31 causing CGTX 29307 and CP 415089 to be turned over on their sides, causing extensive damage to both cars, plus extensive damage to UP 13280 and UTLX 73254.
Please explain why these cars were allowed to leave the group retarder at such a speed as to cause the two cars standing stationary in C-31 to be shoved out through the inert retarders into the side of cars standing stationary toward C-32, and foul of C-31.
Answer: The computer was down, and we were operating in the manual mode. I instructed the foreman to shove the 12 cars towards the master retarder, stopped and got the pin and released them. I set the dial a speed at between 4-5 miles per hour and the cars rolled down into C-31. They did not seem to be moving too fast.
Question: Were you aware that these cars were extra heavy cars weighing approximately 130 tons per car, totaling approximately 1600 tons.
Answer: Yes
Question: When you are working in a manual mode, you can still operate the group retarders in dial a speed is this correct?
Answer: Yes
Question: Are you aware that the system is designed to handle single car cuts.
Answer: Yes
Question: Are you aware that if more than single car cuts are released off the hump that the system can use only average weights.
Answer: Yes
Question: Would you agree that average weights given to the system would not actuate the system the same control as actual weights?
Answer: I do.
Question: You have stated that you had the dial a speed set at 4-5 mph for the 12 car cut, what speed did you have the system set for the previous single car cut into C-31?
Answer: 5 mph.
Question: Would you agree that a cut of 1600 tons would create more and take more retardation to control the 130 tons.
Answer: Yes
Question: Then why would you have the dial a speed set for the same control for both actions.
Answer: I had the control set at 4-5 mph and was also working the retarders on extra heavy.
Question: Would you agree that have the cars been cut off in single car cuts as per my instructions and the dial a speed set in the group retarders for 4-5 miles per hour that this accident could have been avoided.
Answer: Yes.
Question: Are you fully aware of the seriousness of the accident and the potential danger or disaster that could have happened?
Answer: Yes, I am, and I have been quite concerned about it ever since.
Question: what can be expected of you in the future to prevent a similar accident?
Answer: You have my assurance that I will follow instructions and make sure that we hump only single car cuts when humping heavy equipment.


1.) West End Yardmaster’s view taken by me in January 1978 of Alyth yard, to the left you can see one of our yard assignments tied on to cabooses in the caboose tracks switching them out. The hump is busy sending cars over the hill in the center of the photo, and the tunnel and tunnel leads are visible, to the right you can see N-yard, and the old yard office that was now the radio shop. In the distance are the Alyth diesel shops.

2.) Photo by Locomotive Engineer Walter Kot taken in the 1960s, on the left-hand side you can see Burns Packing Plant and some CPR stock cars spotted for unloading.

3.) Another photo by Walter showing the loading and unloading docks at the Calgary Stockyards, on the right-hand corner you can see the handrails of the diesel locomotive, Walter must have taken this picture from his bay window, in the distance you can see one of the yardmen beside the third car, there is another one in the distance, who will be making the cut between the cars so they can pull out and switch out the cars that are listed.

4.) A photo of the Industrial Yard Office in the foreground is the eastbound main line, and the westbound mainline with the bottom crossover power switch, and the power switch into I-yard controlled by the operator at 12th Street E., interlocking tower. The yardmaster’s desk was situated beside the window closest to the tracks where he had a clear view to the east, and there was a window behind that he could watch movements coming into and exiting the yard. The window towards the front of the building was the Deputy General Yardmaster’s office, the lead running along the yard office has four track switches for I-1, I-2, I-3, and I-4, the lead goes past into the G yard stub tracks. You can also see the yellow fence that has plug-ins for the yard foreman, yardmen, and locomotive engineers that worked the assignments starting here, out of sight behind the yard office is a CPR sectionmen’s shack that was used by the locomotive engineers for their lunch and locker room.

5.) Here is a photo taken by Locomotive Engineer Walter Kot of Donn Parker, a yard foreman who is hamming it up for the picture, in the background you can see the sectionmen’s shanty west of the IYO.

6.) A photo of “B” alley on the left, “A” alley on the right, and a freight train arriving at Sunalta from the West on the eastbound main track.

7.) A photo of Harry Huish working as a yardmaster at the Ogden shops in the 1960s.

8.) Another photo of Harry dressed in buckskin’s shooting his revolver, and re-enacting the Steele’s Scouts with his comrades that was close to his heart. The Steele’s Scouts help the Northwest Mounted Police keep law and order in what was to become the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta in 1800s

9.) CPR RDC (Rail Diesel Car.) 9023 at Alyth diesel shops, after being serviced and turned.

10.) CPR Alyth yard, showing wash rack in the foreground and Canada Malting Limited’s plant, the Government lead ran down to the other industries, and the Canadian Government Elevators in between the wash rack and the front of the Canada Malting elevators.

11.) Photo taken from Calgary’s CPR depot tracks, looking westward, I am standing between Depot 1 and Depot 2, the other two tracks to the left are Depot 3, and Depot 4, the newly constructed buildings on the left and right will be part of the Gulf Canada Square, the building on the left will be the parking garage accessible from 10th Avenue, and the main building on the right that will face 9th Avenue.

12.) British Columbia’s Discovery Train arrives from the west powered by CPR’s Royal Hudson steam locomotive 2860, and two CP Rail diesel “B” units that were used as boosters to climb the Rogers and Kickinghorse passes in the Rocky Mountains.

13.). Another view of Royal Hudson 2860, with two tenders for water and fuel oil, followed by a tank car with more bunker crude oil for fuel, and the two CP rail diesel “B” booster units, on the right-hand side of the picture is Calgary’s Post Office building.

14.) Side view of Royal Hudson 2860, going past the CPR’s Palliser Hotel

15.) British Columbia Discovery Train going underneath the Palliser Square parking structure.

16.) British Columbia Discovery Train business car Captain James Cook stopped beside the Palliser Hotel, two CPR carmen are walking up to inspect the tail end of the 18 car train.

17.) CPR carmen inspecting business car Captain James Cook

18.) View of Palliser Square parking structure, that I helped construct when I worked for Trotter & Morton 10 years ago in 1968, visible is the BC Discovery Train in Depot 1, Depot 2 unoccupied, Depot 3 with business cars and spare coaches, and Depot 4 to the right.

19.) Photo taken underneath the Palliser Square parking structure showing Sleeper coach “Adventure” and Staff car “Shannon Falls”

20.) Another view underneath the Palliser Square parking structure looking eastward, showing Staff Diner Endeavor”, Club Car “Resolution”, Victorian Lunch Coach “Discovery”

21.) Photo of power on head end, showing crew sleeper “Pend Oreille Lake”, Box baggage car “Nanaimo River”, GM diesel “B” unit 1600 H.P. CP Rail, GM diesel “B” unit 1600 H.P. CP Rail, CGTX 14087 (Heated bunker crude oil and pump), Katra auxiliary water tender 12,000 gallons capacity #2860B, and CPR’s Royal Hudson 2860.

22.) View of front CPR 2860 with British Columbia’s crest above headlight, and British Columbia, Canada above pilot, spare coach, and CPR Rules Car No. 49, stored in East Stub track on the right-hand side of photo.

23.) The other side of the head end with the East Stub track visible.

24.) Side view of the CPR Royal Hudson 2860 with lots of spectators.

25.). Another view of shop staff on top of tender filling it with water, it also has the British Columbia crest on the side.

26.) View of Royal Hudson Crown, builder’s plate, and semi-streamlined front end of steam locomotive.

27.) A close-up of the Royal Hudson Crown and builder’s plate inscribed “Montréal Locomotive Works Serial No. 169292, H1e Class, June 1940.

28.) A member of the engine crew observes the mechanical staff try to get the bunker C oil flowing from the tank car into the locomotive, they were not having much luck, every time they turned on the pump the hose connection would burst, leaving a thick pool with the consistency of molasses in January between the tank car and auxiliary water tender.

29.) I took this pre-departure photo from the walkway on the Palliser Square parking structure.

30.) From 10th Avenue Southeast I got a shot of the BC Discovery train departing Calgary on its trip to Eastern Canada to promote BC tourism with its museum cars.

31.) Car Retarder Operators control panel showing dial a speed feature on Group 4 that controls cars entering Tracks C-25 to C-32.

32.) Letter to me from GYM Harold McAfee June 28, 1978

33.) Discipline assessed on July 12, 1978 15 demerit marks, it takes 60 demerits to be dismissed from the service of the CPR.

Alyth yard from control tower, 1978Alyth yard from control tower winter 1978Alyth yard and Burns Packing PlantCPR's stockyardsCPR's Industrial Yard OfficeLocomotive Engineers shack at IYOCPR's A alley, and B alleyHarry Huish yardmaster Ogden 1960sHarry and Steeles Scouts 1995CPR RDC at Alyth diesel shopsCPR wash rack & Canada Malting Ltd.CPR depot and Gulf Canada SquareCPR 2860 arrives with, BC Discovery TrainCPR 2860. At Calgary's post officeCP 2860 and Palliser HotelDiscovery Train going into depot 1BC business, Capt. James CookCPR Carmen servicing business carDiscovery Train and Palliser Square parking structureDiscovery Train looking West from Depotdiscovery train in depot oneDiscovery Train in depot one2860 stopped at water stand2860. Front view2860. From Fireman's sideCPR 2860. Servicing2860. Filling tendersCPR 2860. Streamlining2860. Royal Crown, builders plate2860. Auxiliary oil tankDiscovery train from Palliser SquareCPR 2860. Leaves Calgary
Group retarder's and dial a speed
CPR letter. June 28, 1978
CPR brownies July 12, 1978

(1) Comment   


Chris BIGDoer Doering on 14 October, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

Nice to see this new post Larry. I recall in the 1970s exploring that warehouse industrial line you spoke of that ran through the back alleys west of downtown and south of the mainline. Lots of stuff there were a kid could get into trouble. Many of those old buildings have been “yuppified”, but some still have their boxcar loading docks in place.

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