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Local Access. Hamilton can be a confusing place to railfan. If not in the yard at Stuart Street, the multiple jobs can be hard to find among the hundreds of industries. This makes me very thankful that the Hamilton city planners considered this, deciding to put an arrow indicating where the 1600 "Parkdale-Strathearne local" would show up. I parked my car where the arrow pointed and wasn't even 5 minutes later a train showed up. Good value for my tax dollars here... CN 1437 and 7046 back there 40+ car train under Nicola Tesla Blvd down towards Stratherne yard. I've heard crews reference this as the Firestone Spur which I'd love to get some background on if anyone has any. American Iron and Metal makes up the majority of the traffic for Stratherne, and dominates rail buisness in this area of the north end. The 1600 job can often bring more the 20 cars for AIM in a single trip, sometimes on all 5 days of the week. AIM itself can have 90 on property, which includes Strathearne yard which AIM has access too. Although the steel production in Hamilton is not what it used to be, places like AIM show how Hamiltons "Steeltown" nickname is still very applicable.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Mark MacCauley all rights reserved.



Caption: Local Access. Hamilton can be a confusing place to railfan. If not in the yard at Stuart Street, the multiple jobs can be hard to find among the hundreds of industries. This makes me very thankful that the Hamilton city planners considered this, deciding to put an arrow indicating where the 1600 "Parkdale-Strathearne local" would show up. I parked my car where the arrow pointed and wasn't even 5 minutes later a train showed up. Good value for my tax dollars here...

CN 1437 and 7046 back there 40+ car train under Nicola Tesla Blvd down towards Stratherne yard. I've heard crews reference this as the Firestone Spur which I'd love to get some background on if anyone has any. American Iron and Metal makes up the majority of the traffic for Stratherne, and dominates rail buisness in this area of the north end. The 1600 job can often bring more the 20 cars for AIM in a single trip, sometimes on all 5 days of the week. AIM itself can have 90 on property, which includes Strathearne yard which AIM has access too. Although the steel production in Hamilton is not what it used to be, places like AIM show how Hamiltons "Steeltown" nickname is still very applicable.

Photographer:
Mark MacCauley [104] (more) (contact)
Date: 09/23/2019 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN 1437 (search)
Train Symbol: 1600 job (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Firestone Spur (search)
City/Town: Hamilton (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=39029
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Photo ID: 37835

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

Full size | Suncalc
Note: Read why maps changed. Suncalc.net for reference only.


9 Comments
  1. Stephen you should see the maps From the mid 80’s. fascinating to se what was!

  2. Ah, I always wondered the origins of CVO but never thought to ask. Chalk me up as one who’s never heard of Canadian Vegetable Oil either. :)

    Their conversations with car control certainly have been entertaining at times.

  3. LOL. I hear the crews talking to car control all the time. It’s amusing, because Car Control is referring to documents that date to 1997 or earlier..

  4. Stephen, you are correct about names sticking. AJ 20 SOR referred to as CVO lead, however Canadian Vegtable Oil ceased to exist in the last 80’s I believe.

    The new CN crew cal it Hamilton Harbour Commision lead since most of them have never herd of CVO

  5. Mark it’s all in the written documentation and layout of the area. This would be down in car control diagrams going pretty far back so the names stick. The Firestone spur is “AG” zone (Hamilton has AA (main yard), AB (Cargo Flo), AJ (West end N&NW), AH (middle, Dofasco area), AF (Parkdale/Dofasco Central Shipping – east end N&NW), AE (Parkdale yard), AG (Far East but better described as North East)

    Ultimately when the Hamilton Radial and Electric Railway was abandoned (1929) the Hamilton Street Railway (per article) operated former HRER track from Irondale to the Firestone area for a Firestone passenger shuttle and carload freight until 1942 , after which the ‘steam plant spur’ was leased to CN and TH&B for joint operation and continues to be operated in this manner today. Once they got the lease, they re-aligned the line and I suspect where your photo shows is part of that re-alignment in 1942 with a new approach to the Steam railways (TH&B/CN).

    Source/Article here – written in 1950 by Andrew Merrilees: https://tinyurl.com/y5yzfsnb

    The HRER ran along Burlington St and followed the N&NW fairly closely at the east end – but it came up from downtown Hamilton along Birch Ave and you can see remnants under the grassy side of the road at the N&NW and CP underpasses.. with electric insulators still in place for the catenary.

    The long walking/bike trail in Burlington that cuts across the entire city is also former HRER right of way.

    I digress..

  6. I forgot to mention in my caption, for those not familiar with Hamilton’s industrial sector, this shot (http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=38988) by James Knott of the same job a few days prior. The caption has further info on some of the industries in around Strathearne Yard.

  7. Thanks gents, I appreciate the info, I love hearing crews use concurrent references to the past. I’m a bit surprised though, I didn’t think that the Firestone plant was located that close to where the spur begins, considering that spur goes now far beyond where the old Firestone plant was to access Parkland Fuels and all the industries in the Strathearne and Eastport areas haha.

  8. Mark, jknott86 is correct. Where the city’s recycling plant and organics (now closed I believe) facility are used to be a Firstone tire plant. Closed in the late 80′s. Directly beside that down Hobson Rd is where the Stelco No. 2 Rod Mill used to be located. My how it has changed in 15 yrs…

  9. I believe Firestone had a facility where the City’s waste facility is (east of NSC).

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