Thursday, 1 October 2015

Throwback Thursday - CPR Crossing Tower London, Ont.

This view of the crossing tower at the CP Waterloo St. level crossing in London, Ontario was captured in August of 1975.  There are a lot of details for the potential modeller to peruse, from the crossing bell on the side of the tower to the oil tank at its base.  The picture was taken looking in a south-easterly direction.  The track in the foreground is the Galt Subdivision mainline.  This subdivision ends at mile post 114.6, less than a city block to the west where the Windsor Subdivision begins in front of the Richmond St. station.  The site of the earlier Quebec St. station is further to the east, at mp 113.1.  The diverging track in the photo heads to the small yard which was on the south side of the CP freight house, just to the east of the station.  The site of this yard is today referred to as Station Park, a hotel and office complex.
Do you remember when you first got into railfan photography?
Photo and observations by Peter Mumby

Was if that day back in 1962 when my Dad took me down to the CN station in Port Hope?  We watched as excursion locomotive 6167 pulled up to the Smith St. level crossing east of the station.  Several years earlier I had received a Kodak Brownie camera for my eighth birthday ( the first camera in my family) and it was put to use that day.  It used 120 film and I shot either black and white or those flimsy over-sized transparencies that none of you probably remember anyways.  By 1962 my Dad owned a camera as well, shooting 35 mm slides with Ferraniacolor film ( doubtless, this wasn't the brand that put Kodak out of business!). Still, I can't really think of this as being my initiation into railfan photography since I didn't have another railroad subject in my viewfinder for another dozen years or so.

My first two school years on the job as a teacherwere spent in Brampton ( the fall of 1973 until the spring of 1975).  It is at this time when a friend showed up with several cartons of HO scale equipment and I developed an interest in painting and lettering rail cars.  I took a few photos to improve the authenticity of these efforts, but since most of these concerned boxcar doors or data panels, I don't really consider these to be my first railfan photos, either.

I first made London my permanent home when I moved there shortly before the start of the 1975/76 school year.  Since this photo of the CP crossing shanty at Waterloo St. is dated August 1975, it fits right into this time frame.  It probably wasn't my first actual railfan photo, but it must come very close.  I wonder how many prints, slides, and digital images of railroad subjects I have made since then?

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