Thursday 3 March 2022

Throwback Thursday - Switching at Badger

CN (Terra Transport) NF 210 locomotive number 937 is doing some switching at Badger, Newfoundland on August 14, 1988.  The container flats and passenger equipment of mixed train 203 are visible in the background.

By Peter Mumby.

The Via System Timetable effective November 29, 1987 lists train number 203 as operating daily except Thursday between Bishops Falls and Corner Brook, Newfoundland.  There are a number of things unusual about this listing.  First of all, 203 was a CN train, not a Via train.  Since it operated in Newfoundland, it ran on 42-inch gauge tracks. As well, it was a mixed train, and this is probably the reason why no arrival times are listed for intermediate stations, all of which are listed as flag stops.

On August 14, 1988, number 203 departed Bishops Falls on the advertised at 11:00.  Behind locomotive 937 were two coaches, a baggage car, and van CN 6055.  Its first stop was at Grand Falls/Windsor where a group of passengers and two container flats were picked up.  Moving on, the crew took advantage of a passing siding at Badger to re-marshall the train with the van in the proper position.  West of Badger, stations included Millertown Junction, Gaff Topsail, Kitty's Brook, Howley, and Deer Lake.  The train, however, could be flagged down at any point, and several stops were made to pick up people from cabins which could only be accessed by rail.  Word was out that the rail line was scheduled for abandonment at the end of September, so folks were clearing out their cabins.  The baggage car was soon filled with beds, mattresses, and other pieces of furniture.  This consumed a lot of time, and, for this reason, arrival time at Corner Brook was somewhat later than the scheduled 16:00.  Passengers like myself, who were just out for a last chance to ride the Newfoundland Railway, could catch return train 204 which left Corner Brook at 20:30 with an arrival time at Bishops Falls of 01:20 the next day.

CN 937 was one of 38 model NF 210 locomotives built by General Motors Diesel between 1956 and 1960.  It was painted in CN colours, but wore the logo of Terra Transport, the name applied to CN's Newfoundland Transportation Division subsidiary between 1979 and 1988.  Although the railway's last passenger run took place on September 29, 1988, some of these locomotives operated salvage trains up to the summer of 1990.  21 of the NF 210 units were exported to Chile, Nicaragua, and Nigeria.  937, however, wasn't included in this group and was cut up for scrap.


No comments:

Post a Comment