Thursday, 12 April 2018

Throwback Thursday: "These Are a Few of My Favourite Things...."

This is the way the TH&B Chatham St service area appeared on Aug. 25, 1984.  Much of what we would find appealing in this photo later disappeared as the railway was absorbed into CP Rail in 1987.
By Peter Mumby

Back in the mid 1980s, railfanning in the London area meant a pretty steady diet of CN and CP equipment.  GMD provided some variety, but this era predates such local favourites as Goderich Exeter, Ontario Southland, and St Thomas and Eastern.  Thus, a trip to the Hamilton area could be counted upon to serve up a few views of the more "exotic" TH&B.  A poster sized print of the image accompanying this post hangs on the wall of my train room, so you can see that it is one of my personal favourite shots.  It was exposed on August 25, 1984 next to the Chatham St roundhouse near Aberdeen yard in Hamilton.  Located behind and to the left of the photographer, the roundhouse and turntable were still in use at this time.  The concrete steam era structure in the background was still serving up locomotive sand, and fuel fillers are just visible to the left of this tower. 

The stars of the show are TH&B switchers 51 (NW2, EMD, 1947) and 57 (SW7, GMD, 1950).  Although very little of what appears in this photograph survives today, it is ironic that the 51, the railway's oldest diesel, is still in existence.  It became Ontario Southland's first piece of motive power and now resides at Salford shops (see the Nov 12, 2016 post, TH&B Historical Society Fall Meet). 

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