Feb. 19 1982
Free Press Files
At noon on Wednesday, a spanking new 108 unit coal train branched of CP Rail’s haulage line and pulled up under the spanking new Crow’s Nest Resources loading facility.
Neither the unit train, nor the load-out would ever be the same.
It was an historic, and also thoughtful moment as the train inched its way along the long siding. The Procor-leased coal cars were shining new, with the CNR’s (Not Canadian National Railways) crest painted in green against a black background, and the inside of the 100-ton capacity cas were ad white and clean as a surgical theatre.
That, you can be assured of, didn’t last long.
From the control room beside the load-out sprout, operators pushed buttons, which had never been pushed in earnest before, watched dials and “things” on a video machine and tried to keep their curious fellow workers away from the windows and back from the electronic gadgets.
Shortly after 1 p.m. the middle of the train robot cars, passed under the spout at a speed slower than the Dead March in Saul and the lead engine of the long train inched its way across the access road to the load-out, forcing those inside the “corral” to take the old road, long used by sportsmen to reach such spots as Cigarette Flats up Line Creek.
“Everything is going good,” said one of the load out operators. “It’s working like a charm.”
The thermal coal being loaded was destined for the Ssangyong Corporation in South Korea, which is the parent company to one of the world’s largest cement manufacturers.
But before heading down to tidewater at Roberts Bank to begin its long trans-Pacific voyage, certain ceremonial observances had to be handled with all the decorum a coal train could put to such an occasion as a “first”
For more great stories that ran in The Free Press in the past 115 years http://issuu.com/thefreepress/docs/115_the_free_press/1