Sunday, 20 January 2019

At Kingston's Outer Station, April 1985

My brother David published this post on his blog, Rolly Martin Country, which shows a transfer-van mishap on a stub-end track at the Outer Station in April, 1985. You'll also see a train of boarding cars there (above), and a view of the Elliott Avenue crossing, looking toward the station.

Interesting fact in one of the tables included in the post: the difference in altitude between the Hanley Spur switch and the downtown (Inner) station was 24 feet! I believe much of this difference was encountered soon after the Spur left the CN Kingston Sub, as the line ventured towards the Inner Harbour, where it was a few feet above the level of the Great Cataraqui River thence Lake Ontario.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Modelling the Imperial Oil Warehouse

Having modelled the CN Outer Station which is the 'right-bookend' structure as one enters my HO scale Hanley Spur layout, I turned my attention to the 'left-bookend'. The limestone Imperial Oil Warehouse is right beside the lightswitch as one enters the layout room - very visible! I would need one or two spurs - one for tank car deliveries of bulk oil, the other for boxcar deliveries. The bulk tanks were on a rise above the North Street location, so it was time for some lumber-and-papier-mache landforms.
Newspaper applied The 'gravy' was a bit thick.
Lumber screwed down (above) and papier-mache added, all subject to change once I placed the mockup structure. Scaling-out the warehouse at 90x66 feet, it was time to produce a cardboard mockup, using post-it notes for approximate window/door locations:
Test-fitting two sides of the mockup in place. Note the cardstock 3-D tank structural backdrop at the right end of the paper oil tank backdrop:
 Printing off three sheets of my limestone paper, described in the earlier Outer Station post:
In a stroke of blind, dumb, modelling luck, the measurements for each long side of the warehouse were exactly the same as a bisected sheet of Evergreen styrene! Then it was time to glue on the limestone paper, windows and doors (darkened as found in an original Caldbeck-Cosgrove catalogue), sills, arches and prepare door openings and potential platform and stair locations.
 Endless limestone!
I measured the windows out based on the photos at hand. I 'keystoned' some more of the limestone pattern above each window, then grey paper windowsills below. I plan to keep at least one door open to add modelling interest. I'll produce the doors, then scotchtape them inside if needed!
What to use for a roof? This piece of foam-core was previously used as an oil tank enclosure. It measured out just right and I had to add two corners. I liked the edge effect, as the wooden eaves eventually rotted away on the prototype. And it has a spray-texture paint finish on top. Hard to judge the actual prototype roof material from photos. I liked the thickness and the overhang of this piece, so on it went, with a cutout made for the chimney.
On the layout. A small outbuilding on the south side, as well as an upper-level loading dock to be added. Exact siting to be determined:
After test-fitting the mostly-complete warehouse, I realized that the topography I'd built to support the bulk tanks should be level and enlarged. So, some lumber scraps and some re-applied papier mache ensued, bringing the scenery right up the the rear wall of the warehouse. The bulk tanks are made from cardstock, rolled to approximate the tank curvature based on the space I had, with taped cardstock tops:
The topography has been painted and a couple of pill-bottle Esso tanks added. I also did some scenicking, including the tank car unloading stand. It required a track bumper since it abuts the warehouse, with room for only one tank car, it is a tight fit!
The outbuilding is on. Gotta make some topography to reach that upper-level platform though:
There's lots of room for boxcars to be spotted in front. We'll just have most of the oil delivered by lake tanker! It was a fun project, and cheap - just the cost of styrene, about 8 bucks, and printer ink for the paper windows, stone, and doors!

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Imperial Oil Warehouse

This limestone warehouse at 9 North  Street began operation as the Queen City Oil Co. in 1898. The warehouse is currently being rebuilt by Doornekamp Construction. Links:
  • A city report on the warehouses is here
  • An earlier 2013 city report here.
  • Originally recognized as a historic place in 1987
  • An excellent historical report by the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour is here. Excellent excerpts that provide an interesting historical context for the location, design and operation of this warehouse:
The Canadian Oil Co., better known under the trade name “White Rose”, was formed at Petrolia in 1860. The company was the world’s first integrated oil producer, involved in the production, refining and marketing of petroleum products.The availability of kerosene (paraffin) by rail led to the founding of the Queen City Oil Co. Ltd. in Toronto (the “Queen City”) in 1882 by brothers Samuel and Elias Rogers. Queen City Oil was mainly a wholesaler of kerosene in barrels and tins. The kerosene arrived in rail tank cars at regional warehouses across southern Ontario from refineries in Toronto and Sarnia. It was unloaded at a warehouse’s railway siding and transferred into iron tanks then transferred to barrels and tins in the warehouse. The barrels were sold to retailers that sold it in smaller amounts to homeowners.

In the mid-1890's, cities in Ontario had two common ways of trying to minimize the risk of a fire spreading from one building to another. An Oil Limit restricted the amount of specified flammable liquids that could be in any premises within the limit. A Fire Limit, on the other hand, required buildings in the specified area to be built of fireproof materials such as brick, concrete, stone or metal-covered wood construction. Any premises within the Oil Limit was prohibited from having more than five barrels of kerosene on the premises at any time. The 1883 Fire Limit, within which all buildings had to be built of fireproof materials, was not a problem for the oil companies. The Fire Limit then was a line 30.5 m (100’) south of and parallel to Cataraqui St. from the Great Cataraqui River extended west to Montreal St. When Imperial Oil came to Kingston about 1892, they built their kerosene sheds outside the Oil Limit without protest.

Queen City Oil wanted a rail siding and a building large enough to handle kerosene brought in bulk by rail car. The company also wanted convenient access to a wharf or jetty where they could receive and ship product by water. The company tried to get permission to build a stone or brick warehouse on the Grand Trunk Railway spur line as close as possible to navigable water. The specific location they wanted was Lot 40 with frontage on Rideau St. and North St. It was within the Oil Limit. Like Imperial Oil before them, Queen City Oil’s planned location was north of the Fire Limit so the “fire proof” building they wanted was not legally required. But the contents of the building would be contrary to the Oil Limit and that was what they wanted changed. A public meeting, the largest ever held in Kingston City Hall to that point, was held on the evening of Saturday 14 November 1896. The new Oil Limit changes kept the previous west and south boundaries but with two exemptions. The first exempted a triangle of land beginning at the junction of Cataraqui St. and the railway allowances, extending 30.5 m (100’) along both the railway allowances to the south and along Cataraqui St. to the east. There was a pre-existing oil storage building within this triangle. The second exemption was critical for Queen City Oil. This exemption was bounded by a line drawn south from Cataraqui St. to North St., running parallel with and 76.2 m (250’) east of Rideau St. and then west along the centre of North St. Lands west and north of this line were placed outside the Oil Limit,

The new two-storey warehouse built in 1897-1898 was limestone, 30 m (99’) long x 18 m (59’) wide, with a “fireproof” roof. A small one-storey extension of the building and a very prominent chimney occupied the south end of the structure. Kerosene was pumped out of tank cars (Queen City Oil owned at least six of them and could lease others) and piped into two iron tanks that were located at the north end of the warehouse. Barrelling was done inside the warehouse. Local deliveries to retailers were made at first by horse-drawn wagons and later by motor trucks. The warehouse had a Grand Trunk Railway siding on its east side, where it received petroleum products. It also had an entrance on the west side of the upper level that gave it the street address – 9 North St. It does not appear that there was a proper roadway through the rail yards near the lower level, nor evidence of an external staircase or ramp to connect the levels.

The warehouse was of diminished importance after the Great War. By then petroleum products were increasingly distributed in bulk, rather than in barrels or tins. By 1924, the “Imperial Oil Ltd. Queen City Division” had six oil tanks above the embankment. Two of the tanks were very large. Later, Imperial Oil tankers used a terminal at the entrance to Anglin Bay to discharge their bulk cargo to the tanks behind the warehouse. The pipes and bollards for the terminal are still there. The heating oil and gasoline the tankers brought moved by pipe to eight large tanks on the embankment above the warehouse.
 Other oil companies had terminals and/or warehouses in the area. Rosen Fuels, British American Oil (in what we now call the Bailey Broom Factory) and Canadian Oil (“White Rose”) were all in the area by 1924.

Except for the Bajus Brewery (1835 with various additions until 1861), the Davis Dry Dock (original 1889 and with subsequent reconstructions) and the Woolen Mill (1882 with additions in 1887 and 1890); the Queen City Oil warehouse is the last remaining pre-1900 industrial building left on the west bank of the Great Cataraqui River.

Excerpts above from: https://friendsofinnerharbour.com/9-north-street/ ,written by David Duerkop.

Work was proceeding when we walked the Urban K&P Trail in August, 2018:
Google Earth photos from the report (top) and (below):

Designed by noted Kingston architect William Newlands in 1897, it was mainly used to store kerosene unloaded from boxcars. A large tank farm was located uphill. A 1947 view:
Two spurs served the warehouse with an trackside platform/ramp and nearby unloading equipment for tank cars in the final years of the Hanley Spur.  Note tank  car at extreme right of 1962 view (above). During a 2014 visit:
Apparently the chimney fell down during 2018. A 1983 newspaper article on the dismantling of the tanks that had not been used since 1976:

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Missing 'Mystery' Industries

I'm constantly trying to complete the list of Hanley Spur industries. Some are missing mysteries. Well, they're mysteries to me. And I love a good mystery! From a 1951 aerial photo, I've placed boxes around four of them, three of which have cars spotted.

Mystery 1 - CN crossing Barrack Street north of Ontario, boxcar spotted:

Mystery 2 - CP/shared track south of Ontario Street, east of Princess, very short spur not visible. The coal dock across the tracks had a conveyor on rails that could move parallel along the length of the building to drop coal into the slant-roofed structure.

Mystery 3 - CP south of Ontario Street, east of Brock, boxcar spotted:

Mystery 4 - CP gantry across from City Hall could serve any kind of open car. A PFE ice reefer on the next track north:
This was a very interesting photo that contained a lot of those mystery industries. I'll add more if another such photo surfaces!

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Modelling Sowards Coal Trestle

Working my along Kingston's waterfront on my HO scale Hanley Spur layout, I've reached the Sowards coal trestle near Place d'Armes. How to model something you can't see, and that exists in very few photos I've come across so far?  Well, the natural tendency is to check other such installations. Note: the following pictures are NOT from Kingston....

A chief concern was the length and gradient of the trestle. With two photos in At the Bend in the Road one showing the track-entry end of the coal trestle shed and another showing the inclined track near Fort Frontenac and Ontario Street, it's hard to know if the trestle was level or not.

In February 1945, CP was granted permission to construct a 230-foot unloading trestle. Locomotives were not to be operated over the trestle or beyond the entrance to the coal shed. I wondered if a car's handbrake would be enough to hold the car on an incline, or was some other measure (?chain) used to hold a hopper car in place for unloading. From 1947 fire insurance map:
This inclined trestle on the Tweetsie in North Carolina appears to be similarly inclined:
Gravity was the watchword when unloading coal. Many sites simply employed a one- or two-stage conveyor with no trestle, like this one in Denville, NJ:
I have the trestle from the Walthers O.L. King Coal (creatively-named) yard which is level. I'm using it, with a three-foot piece of Flextrack supported by Tyco trestle bents which I'm planning to model as concrete, not timbers, like the prototype. It's safer for me to spot cars on the level than to try to secure them on an incline. And I'll have to use idler or reacher cars to keep the locomotive safely out of the structure as in the prototype. Watch for model photos as the project moves toward completion. I'm stoked!
In the top photo, I think I can see the Sowards trestle shed (yellow arrows in colour closeup superimposed over black & white view). Though I'm not sure if the track is level or inclined, the roof is flat or peaked, or even how the coal was handled below, I'm going with what I've got until other prototype photos or information are available. One more view, from the Best Map Ever:
For the main shed structure, I'm reusing a structure I've used twice before! On my Winnipeg layout, it was part of a plastics plant; on my Vancouver layout it was part of a terminal grain elevator; and on my Vermont layout, it was the unloading shed for the Ide feed mill:
Though the shed has metal-pattern styrene applied to it, I'm going to transform it into 'wood' and keep the peaked shingled roof. The ends need to have a tad more clearance, and the whole structure will need to be raised several scale feet off the ground for clearance. I've added styrene to cover in the wood of my Tyco trestle bents, painting the whole bent concrete-colour.
To make the unloading trestle complete, I placed it on a base of cardboard. I bought some dollar-store sofr modelling clay, forming it into sloped piles on the cardboard, molding them around the trestle legs. Painting the piles with water-based craft paint (also dollar store) I dropped black-coloured craft sand (yep, dollar store - another year of revenue-neutral modelling) on the piles and let the sand dry into the paint. Now, to make the accompanying ship-delivered coal piles all around!

Monday, 31 December 2018

Outer Station hosts the LRC demo train

When VIA launched its Light Rapid Comfortable (LRC) train in August 1981, a demonstrator set made the rounds of Corridor cities. On August 12-13, the set visited Kingston's Outer Station. While up to this point I was more interested in the train itself, in looking at these pictures again, I'm drawn to the context. My Dad hikes over for a head-end view (top photo). Check out the OCS boxcar parked at the piggyback ramp, with power pole and Montreal Street houses, beyond. All of which I plan to model. Here's a general view of the now-quiet station and yard area (below):

Structures for my Hanley Spur layout

As I complete structures for my HO scale Hanley Spur home layout, I'll post images here.

So far, I have the Grand Trunk/CN Outer Station:

Millard & Lumb, at Wellington Street at Place d'Armes:


 Anglin's coal, oil and lumber business at Bay & Wellington Streets and around Kingston:
The limestone Imperial Oil warehouse at North Street: