Friday, October 30, 2009

Transport: A Real Freight Move

The Toronto Railway Heritage Centre's Canadian Locomotive Works/Whitcomb diesel #1 moved a canning machine bound for Steam Whistle Brewing past Canadian National steam locomotive #6213 on 30-October-2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The full-size railroad tracks at the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre were conceived as museum tracks in Roundhouse Park. During the construction phase of the park, they have seen frequent use as the centre's collection has been moved around to keep out of the way of work in the roundhouse stalls and out in the park itself. That doesn't mean, however, that they cannot be used for freight moves, and the first such move in the history of the park occurred this morning.

Steam Whistle Brewing, the occupant of stalls one to fourteen of the John Street Roundhouse, purchased a new canning machine, and the dimensions of part of the machine did not allow it to come in through the main loading dock. The doors facing the turntable pit, however, did open wide enough to allow the machine to enter by that route. However, heavy road equipment cannot use the patio in front of those doors--the only way in was using the railroad track from the turntable.

The canning machine for Steam Whistle Brewing rode the turntable at the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre with locomotive #1 on 30-October-2009

Thus, a Toronto Railway Heritage Centre crew prepared the turntable and its 1950-era, 50-ton diesel switch engine at dawn this morning. Soon, custom-made rail car frames for the move were delivered to the site and placed on track #33 in Roundhouse Park. A forklift moved the canning machine onto the rail cars, and then they were coupled up to the locomotive. Uneventfully, they were pulled onto the turntable and the turntable spun around to push the load to the brewery at stall #8.

The canning machine disappeared inside stall #8 of the John Street Roundhouse in Toronto, Ontario, soon to be installed at Steam Whistle Brewing on 30-October-2009

The final leg of the journey did not go as smoothly. The custom rail car was not designed for the historic, imperfect realities of the Heritage Centre trackage, and did not handle the small elevation change leaving the turntable. It had to be jacked up and then pulled into the building using a forklift inside. Still, the move was completed and the canning machine's installation was underway by mid-morning. The Toronto Railway Heritage Centre's first freight move was complete.

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