Edmundston Blog: 10 May 2018 (part 2)

Edmundston Blog: 10 May 2018 – part 2


In early 2018 all our plans for Edmundston were turned upside down. We learned that Cando, which operated the rail line in Orangeville, was leaving. This put the Credit Valley Explorer tourist line in jeopardy and also could have resulted in our sleeper being marooned in Orangeville with no means of leaving except by flatbed – and that move would cost as much as all of our expenses into Edmundston to date.

We immediately contacted VIA Rail Canada, who are graciously storing our RDC #6133 for us. VIA is very supportive of our efforts to preserve old VIA trains and without hesitation they agreed that we could move Edmundston to their property. Chris Fox inspected the car and pointed out all of the things that needed to be done before it could move. There were three major things that needed to be done.

Firstly, the diaphragm had been broken en route to Canada and never properly repaired. Chris wouldn’t sign off on it until he fixed it. This required jacking the diaphragm and then reconnecting the springs. It took a day, and it was -25, but Chris managed to pull it off.

You can see the jack between the diaphragm and the next car,
Darren Wakeford’s Pointe St-Charles van.

New spring is installed and all is well. This spring was given to us by Exporail in 2016.
We think it comes from a CP Lightweight coach.

Next the floor had to be closed in. There cannot be any holes in the floor of a car when it is on the road. We had removed the floor so that the new cross members and the retention tank could be welded in. But the job was stopped mid-way because the welder did not know how to properly block the insulation from the heat and it started to smoulder. And we paid him in cash! Chris took one look at it and said, “You should have called me. I could weld that.”

Chris installed a temporary steel floor under the bathroom end.

What a difference a bit of new floor can make! Though it’s only temporary.

The final major job that needed to be done was the brakes. Edmundston had a complete brake job done in July 2015, so someone less experienced than Chris might have just said “OK – the brakes are good.” But Chris was not satisfied. He performed a full brake test and found some leaks. To fix them, he needed to replace the service portion of the Westinghouse D22 brake system. Thankfully we had access to a newly-certified valve.

Newly-certified service portion of the D22 control valve.

Chris borrowed Single Car Test equipment from a friend of his in the industry and he was able to approve Edmundston for transport.

Jason ordered new AEI tags for the car and they were duly installed.

Chris did a few small things just to make Edmundston safer. For instance, the trap door latches were never put back on the car after it was painted. Chris installed some hardware to keep the trap doors up and ensure they didn’t fall on an unsuspecting brakeman.

Shiny new trap door latches.

Chris signed off on Edmundston and approved it for moving. We thought it would be a few weeks before it moved to Streetsville, but suddenly it showed up in Streetsville with no advance warning. Coupled to it were the other three passenger cars that were in Orangeville. We were very concerned because Edmundston had been vandalized in Streetsville once before.

Edmundston in Streetsville yard.

With zero notice, Dan, Josh and Jason jumped in Jason’s car and drove to Streetsville. We emptied the thousands of dollars of tools and hardware into Jason’s car. We did not want to risk our stuff getting stolen. Last time Edmundston was in Streetsville, vandals not only tagged the outside of the car but they got inside and tagged inside. And these vandals are railfans – they frequent railfan forums and find out where rare stuff is being stored. We think they should be hung over the edge of the Bloor Street Viaduct from their ankles for a couple of days until they promise never to do something so inconsiderate and foolish again.

Working with Canadian Pacific, we had Edmundston moved within days. First it went to Lambton yard, where it was unfortunately tagged again.

Edmundston – along with the other three cars – is in CP’s Lambton Yard.

Their mothers must be so proud of them!

The car was tagged in two places on the right side. This was the worse of the two. Do these imbeciles really think they are improving the world by spray painting other people’s property. It’s not art. It’s like a dog pee-ing in the grass to mark its territory. And that’s all these jerks are – dogs. Except most dogs would be insulted by the comparison.

CP then moved Edmundston to Obico Yard, where it was picked up by GO Transit along with its own cars delivered from Bombardier in Thunder Bay.

Jesse Murphy flags the crossing as Edmundston slowly makes its way to the Oakville Sub.

Edmundston is backed through Mimico Station into VIA’s Toronto Maintenance Centre.

Now Edmundston is safely parked at TMC. The VIA crews have been excited to see this piece of history that hasn’t passed through TMC in over 20 years! Many have offered to help us out during their days off, and that’s really appreciated.

Edmundston safely parked between LRC 6917 and an RDC.

Now that we had come through the frenzy of activity to save our sleeper from being marooned in Orangeville, Jason, Dan and Chris took the opportunity to go through the car and take stock of what has been done to date and what still needs to be done. This was a very emotional day for Jason, and he was supported by Chris and Dan – two reliable and outstanding people. You can watch the video of that visit here:

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