Re: boxcars can be lined up on two tracks

Richard McQuade

I spent 2 summers in the big CPR freight sheds in Lambton Yard in Toronto. The bridge plates were used on a lot of the cars. The shed was long and cars were always beside each other on adjacent tracks because some destinations like Montreal Pool and Montreal Eaton's would load 2 or more cars with the outside car loaded first then the inside car because there was a lot of freight going there every day without exception. I seem to recall that they were at the west end of the shed where the switch lead was because it made more sense to have them at that end then to have them buried up against the track bumpers at the far (east) end of the freight shed. There were two shifts - "graveyard" (1130pm-8am) and day shift (8am-4:30pm). All cars had to be closed at the end of the day shift so that they could be shunted between 4:30-11:30pm. Some cars wouldn't be fully loaded but had to have bulkheads nailed inside to keep the load from shifting while the yard crew banged them around. If a car was loaded it was sealed at the end of the shift but semi-loaded cars just had their doors closed and latched. On a model railroad a large freight shed could keep a crew busy for a whole shift because loaded cars needed to be switched out and replaced with empty cars and  semi-loaded cars had to be moved then brought back to their proper loading docks. That meant that not all cars on the inside track (closest to the shed) would be dragged out and sent away but that some would be and replaced with empties and some wouldn't be. Inbound freight to Toronto went to the King St. freight shed downtown. After those cars were unloaded and yarded they were sent up to us to be loaded. We didn't unload boxcars at Lambton, only loaded them from trucks that brought the freight to the shed.

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