Monday, March 12, 2018

Last Run.

Prince Rupert, March 30, 1959. 
With the massive Ocean Dock in the background, Engineer Pete Briggs ties up CNR 4205 in for the last time.

At more than 1,000 feet long, the Ocean Dock was the tie-up for the ABC Comet and her rail barge ABC 24 and served as "passenger terminals" for the Grand Trunk, Canadian Pacific,  

and Union Steamship company.  It's where we "landed" when we moved from Seattle in 1957 on the Queen of the North, nee Princess Norah.

Originally constructed in 1925, the 1,600 x 800 foot facility became the corner stone for the US Army as part of the Seattle Sub-Port of Embarkation at the beginning of WWII.

The structure caught fire in June, 1972, and despite the best efforts by the Prince Rupert and Port Edward Fire Departments, along with the Plant Fire Brigade from the pulp mill at Port Edward, tug Comet, and other vessels, the fire advanced foot-by-foot, scumming to inaccessible old timber caked with creosote, slowly but surely transforming into a distant memory.

Having just disconnected from Extra West 922, flying white flags and displaying white classification lamps, Mr. Briggs brings to a close 37 years of service to the Canadian National Railways.

A tribute to a man who survived the transition from the heady smell of wet steam to the wondrous elicitor of diesel oil. Transiting from boiler pressure of PSI, to the enigma of amps per hour. 

On this day, Mr. Briggs was inducted into the Halls of the Gods of the High Iron, whose lives were ruled by a Code of Operating Rules, a Time Table, a set of Train Orders, and a Regulated Pocket Watch.


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