Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Today we look at the page for the Carmi Subdivision from the April, 1950 Timetable (No. 95).  It is identical to that of our target date of September, 1949 (No. 94) but much more legible.  For many years, Timetables were issued every six months in April and September usually with only minor changes but sometimes major schedule revisions.  Here is the full page of the Carmi Subdivision:

For modelers, prototype Timetables can supply a good deal of information in deciding what to model and how to plan for operations.  Of course there is a broad range of ideas as to how true to life a modeler wants to pattern his/her models and layout: from the generic to the specific to the fanciful.  I can only talk from my own perspective which is that of an historical modeler who, besides the big picture, likes to get most of the details right.  But, I am willing to bend a little on the timeline and other points of accuracy.  For example; the Romeo snowsheds were removed in 1945 or so, but with access to drawings, field work and historical photos, I decided to build one of them for my layout as a testimony to the skills of engineers and carpenters of one hundred years ago.  They are also very cool models.  But in the main, my layout is fairly accurate with regard to individual models, specific scenes, track-work, and to operations for September of 1949.
On the other hand, a recent layout tour in Model Railroader magazine featured the "Kettle Valley Railroad" and I must confess, that I gave the article only cursory attention as it was a very loose interpretation of the prototype.  There was some good model-building evident but this layout is a long way from my personal aspirations as a modeler.  Not complaining really: just contrasting styles.
Turning to the top of the Carmi page pictured below, we see the directions specified and their superiority/inferiority.  In the middle column are the first four stations along the line starting with Midway at Mile .0.  (Midway was treated in detail in two earlier posts.)  Explanations of the columns and headings follow with our annotations in red:

Reading down the "STATIONS" column then looking two columns to the left , we see that Kettle Valley is located at Mileage 8.9 measured from the centreline of the Midway depot to a designated spot at or near the station shelter.  The next station is Rock Creek which we treated in detail in an earlier post. This station Shelter building is 11.7 miles along the track from the Midway depot.  The number "2.8" above "ROCK CREEK" and below "KETTLE VALLEY" is the distance in miles between the two.  Similarly, the distance from Rock Creek to the next place along the line, "ZAMORA", is 7.3 miles bringing the total miles from Midway to Zamora to an even 19.0 miles.  These details help the Dispatcher and Crews in planning their moves and timings for meets.  It should be remembered that when a train was underway, there was only a slim chance of contacting the crew until the next open Train Order station.  These offices are designated in the column immediately to the right of the stations, where we see that (of these four stations) only Midway is able to handle "Telegraph and Telephone Calls".  Their call sign is "M I".  This call sign was used by Dispatchers as shorthand for the station on their Trainsheets and in the earlier days of the Telegraph, to call up the local Operator on the Telegraph Key.  Even in later days, there were occasions when telephone communication failed so that Dispatchers would resort to use of the Key.
In the next column is listed the car capacity of the siding, as another aid to crews and dispatchers in planning meets and passes.  In the case of Rock Creek, a cut of 36 cars could fit in the siding.  I have not determined if there is room beyond that for the caboose and locomotive(s).
On the left is a column which informs us that an Operator is on duty, either "D" for daytime or "N" for night-time or "DN" for both.  Then comes the aforementioned "Miles from Midway".  The next column to the left contains the times for Passenger train No. 11. the Kootenay Express.  It is due out of Midway at ten to seven in the evening (18.50).  Note that it is a First Class train and there are four other trains to the left which are designated as Fourth Class: Nos. 71, 73, 75, and 77.  All these Westbound trains hold odd numbers.  Eastbound trains are even numbers;  Hence the phrase: "Even-East".  This is the general convention for Canadian Pacific (and Canadian National) in BC.  All trains on this schedule are "Daily".  In other cases trains can be for example: Mon/Wed/Fri.
On the far right, there are no scheduled trains - just blank columns.  This indicates that all freight trains are run as extras.  The only scheduled Eastbound train is No. 12, called the Kettle Valley Express.  In this column, are the scheduled times for the train at each station listed.  This train cannot pass the station before the times listed even after arriving early.  For example, the markers on the tail end coach cannot pass the shelter at Rock Creek before 9.40 (a m).  In illustration of this, here we see No. 12's markers passing the station at Coquihalla with the Operator waving to the train crew after his "PK".  He will soon enter his shack to call the Dispatcher with the "O S" on No. 12 which is running 6 hours late; a fortunate happenstance that allows us to take this shot in the early morning light.

Back to the Carmi Sub; No. 12 is due at Midway at 10.05.  This is an arrival time as Midway is a terminal.  Again, the train can arrive before that time but not a good idea to be too early considering that other trains would be clearing for the train's scheduled time.  It also may result in a question from the Dispatcher as to the Engineman's haste over the line bearing in mind the speed restrictions which are outlined at the bottom of the Timetable page.  Unlikely to be crucial in the case of Beaverdell to Midway but certainly for a Westbound train on the long descent from McCullough to Penticton, the reported times might attract a little more attention as the "Special Instructions" contain many specific restrictions on speeds.

There is much more to say, so this commentary will be continued next week...

Coquihalla Man

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