Thursday 14 October 2021

Throwback Thursday - Set Out at Hyde Park

CN 2119 has been set out on the Hyde Park siding and is facing the morning sun in June of 1986.

By Peter Mumby.
Three prominent rail features were in evidence at the station name sign "Hyde Park," located in the west end of London, Ontario.  A junction switch off the north track of the Strathroy Subdivision led to the Exeter Subdivision.  After this subdivision was truncated, the remaining trackage was referred to as the Hyde Park Spur.  Adjacent to this junction switch was a turnout which led into the crossover which connected the two mains.  A short siding off the south track stood opposite the junction switch.  As originally constructed, this siding ran behind the Hyde Park station which stood in this place into the 1960s.  The locomotive visible in today's photo was standing on this siding.

During its final years, this siding was used for a variety of purposes, albeit infrequently.  If a short westbound out of London yard had cars for the Hyde Park spur, the siding could be used as a run around track to allow the locomotives to shove the train through both the crossover and the junction switch.  Periodically the siding was used to store company service equipment which was required for nearby projects.  I also remember seeing eastbound through freights set off small cuts of cars which were destined for London.  They would later be retrieved by the next eastbound train which was scheduled to enter London yard.

CN 2119 was standing near the east end of the Hyde Park siding in June of 1986.  Built by Bombardier, 2119 was the last of  the 20-unit group of model HR-616 assembled in 1982.  These locomotives have the distinction of being the first locomotives built with the full-width cowl body incorporating the CN "Draper Taper."  In addition, number 2119 was the first CN unit built with a desk-type control stand.  The "HR" in the model designation stood for "High Reliability," although this proved to be something of a misnomer, and the locomotives had relatively short service lives.

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