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Mainline action between Port Credit and Clarkson

February 27, 2023

At mile 15.0 on the Oakville Subdivision in the mid-1950s, the cottage community of Lorne Park nestles between Port Credit to the east and Clarkson to the west. It’s an ideal place to watch mainline action in the post-Second World War years; only the four CNR commuter trains and express trains 77 and 83 stop here. Everything else storms through at track speed (80 m.p.h. passenger and 60 m.p.h. freight).

Here is a visual aid for you of the relevant portion of this Steam Through Port Credit territory; a topographic map (with Lorne Park near the centre):

Also, a portion of a CNR property plan (not shown on the property plan is a crossing watchman’s shanty in the southwest quadrant of the road crossing):

We’ll now venture out to Lorne Park now in the idyllic month of August 1955, under bright skies amid the late summer foliage. Should Steam Through Port Credit be a "go", we'll spend a lot of time at Lorne Park witnessing mainline action. Thanks to Doug Wilson for assistance with a couple of these images.

In this view by my late friend Newt Rossiter, our familiar CNR Northern 6400 is working train 101, the westbound local mail and express train for Niagara Falls, west of the crossing on August, 20, 1955:

Newt catches CNR Northern 6257 working a Sarnia–Mimico eastbound freight extra on the same day, approaching the Lorne Park crossing:

Fred Sankoff frames Pacifics 5595 and 5078 doubleheading a CNR company coal drag eastbound from Sarnia just over a week later, on August 28, 1955.

The railway has just discovered it was hasty in stripping away coal stockpiles the previous winter. Traffic is becoming heavy and General Motors Diesel Division will be on strike in a month, halting deliveries. The CNR is now moving in excess of 80 cars of coal per day from the United States to points between Sarnia on the west and Moncton on the east:

Now east of the crossing on August 28, 1955, we see a pair of CPR diesels, FA-2 number 4042 and FB-1 number 4418, heading a westbound freight out of Lambton yard. The block signal (that's for you, Jeff Smith!) is 0.4 miles east of Lorne Park station:

Near that same block signal, but heading east, is Mikado 3503 on a freight extra. This is a Mimico engine at the time, logging 3,106 miles this month:

New readers aboard

Thank you to all for spreading the word about the pre-publication offer for Steam Through Port Credit. We’re seeing a lot of new readers place orders, and also orders coming in from readers of days gone by. Much appreciated (and please keep it up!).

Our state of play

Below is the situation as to pre-orders for Steam Through Port Credit as I compose this broadcast. If you’re a fence-sitter, I can assure you (from watching patterns) that with every new order placed, the more inclined other readers are to take the plunge. Let’s keep the momentum up!

If Steam Through Port Credit is a “go”, can I still pre-order a copy after the deadline?

The online special price will expire with the deadline, after which it goes up by 15-20%. Of course, if we don’t meet our target by the deadline, no further orders will be taken.

But suppose you’re close, or within striking distance, at the deadline?

We’ll cross that bridge (over the Credit River!) when we get to it.

By the way, I love the track maps!

Yes, they are a staple of my books. And Steam Through Port Credit is the one opportunity to see track maps of the Oakville Subdivision in its entirety during the late steam era—from Bathurst Street in Toronto, Mimico yard, through all the lakeshore towns and villages, to Burlington, Aldershot, Bayview and Hamilton Junction.

This posting is part of the background for the Steam Through Port Credit hardcover (click on the book title to go to its separate page, where you may order a copy).

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