April 6, 1929 Railway Age Vol. 83 No. 26

Canadian National builds modern terminal facilities

New enginehouse, repair shops and coach yard at Toronto, Ont., embody interesting details

At the left—Looking over the stores building, the machine shop and the enginehouse at the new terminal. At the right—View of the 23-track coach yard from one of the floodlight towers.

Recent years, and more particularly the last two or three, have witnessed many important improvements in railway facilities at Toronto, Ont. The more important of these include the new $6,000,000 union station, built by the Toronto Terminals Railway and described in the Dec. 24, 1927, issue of the Railway Age; track elevation and street grade crossing elimination along the entire waterfront of the city by both the Canadian National and the Canadian Pacific; the construction of a new engine terminal and car repair facilities by the Canadian National; and the construction of similar facilities, proposed by the Canadian Pacific.

The new engine terminal and car department facilities of the Canadian National, which are the subject of this article, and also the Canadian Pacific's new facilities, were made necessary for two principal reasons; (1), the outgrowth of old facilities, and (2), track elevation, which involves the raising of the main tracks of both roads about 20 ft. directly opposite the new station, and to a slightly less extent for a distance of about 20 miles east of the station. West of the station the new grade of the elevated tracks runs out at a distance of about one mile.

The Canadian National selected a site for its terminal on filled-in land about 3,000 ft. directly west of the station, where there was comparatively light grading, with relatively easy grades in reaching the main line tracks. . The new terminal lies immediately south of the west end of the elevated main line tracks, between these tracks and two other elevated tracks which swing around the south side of the terminal site. These latter tracks were constructed recently as through freight mains in order to eliminate the movement of through freight trains through the terminal facilities.

Thus, the Canadian National terminal, located between the passenger station mains and the through freight mains, occupies an unobstructed area approximately 3,000 ft. long by 800 ft. wide at its widest point. The only street crossing the terminal is the overhead crossing of Spadina avenue, at about the center of the area. The bridge forming this crossing is a through girder structure about 800 ft. in length, resting on concrete piers, and since it was designed and built with the engine terminal in mind. it offers practically no obstruction to the terminal operation.

Engine and car facilities are new throughout

In general, the new engine and car facilities of the Canadian National at Toronto may be said to be among the most modern and complete of their kind in the Dominion. The principal new engine facilities consist of a 36-stall brick and frame enginehouse, a 160-ft. by 80-ft. fireproof machine shop, and a 600-ton reinforced concrete coaling station with sanding facilities, in addition to ash handling and water service facilities, and locomotive washing platforms. The principal car department facilities consist of a 300-car capacity coach yard, separate passenger and freight car repair yards and repair shops, a joint passenger and freight car wheel shop, a commissary and car department supply building, and a storage and mill building. In addition to these facilities, the new layout includes a two-story brick and reinforced concrete storehouse building, a two-story brick bunk house, a small ice house and a six-car garage. Practically all of these facilities are connected by concrete trucking driveways.

Map of the new car and locomotive facilities

In the general arrangement of the terminal, which lies in an easterly-westerly direction, the engine facilities are located toward the east end, or east of the Spadina Avenue bridge, while the car department facilities, including the coach yard, lie west of the bridge. The important exception to this general arrangement is that the coach repair unit of the passenger car facilities is located in the east half of the area, south of the engine terminal, this being done because of the larger space available in this territory.

Owing to the location of the terminal between elevated tracks on each side, all of the main leads to the terminal extend from the west end where advantage is taken of the lesser elevation of the raised main tracks. The main leads to the enginehouse are five in number, two inbound and three outbound, all of which are served by the coaling station and the ash handling plant. Three other leads also serve the house and have short connections with the eastbound main tracks through a special turnaround track, which loops around the back or east end of the enginehouse from one side of the terminal to the other. This special track makes it possible to turn entire passenger trains before entering or after leaving the coach yard.

Enginehouse has modern equipment

The enginehouse, which is the most important unit at the terminal, is designed to handle an average of 100 locomotives daily and as many as 130 during the seasons of peak traffic. It is a 36-stall structure with brick exterior walls and a concrete foundation, supported on concrete piles. The use of concrete piles for supporting the enginehouse and other large structures was particularly effective at the new terminal since ledge rock lies from about 20 to 24 ft. below the level of the engine tracks, while the lake level is about 10 ft. above the rock. The interior framing of the house is of mill construction, and the roof is of the central monitor type, covered with tar and gravel roofing. The floor of the house throughout is of concrete, six inches thick, consisting of a four-inch base course of 1-3-5 concrete, and a two-inch wearing course of 1-2-3 concrete. The sash throughout are of wood and extend around the entire outer circle of the house, as well as around both faces of the roof monitor. The ventilating sash in both the outer ring wall and the monitor are of the center-hung type. The doors of the house are of a new design with a structural steel frame, the outside members of which are small four-inch I-beams with welded joints. This four-inch thickness provides for double sheathing with air space between, and at the same time is sufficiently stiff to resist warping. The doors are relatively light and the hinges are provided with adjustable pins, which assures proper swinging. In addition to the house as laid out, provision is made for adding nine additional stalls when conditions require.

Of the 36 stalls in the house at present, eight are 130 ft. long and the remainder are 110 ft. long. The longest stalls are grouped together to form a shop section at one end of the house, and within this section, two of the tracks are equipped with driver drop pit, two with an engine truck wheel drop pit, and two with a tender wheel drop pit. All of these pits are equipped with electropneumatic hoisting jacks. The other two stalls in this section, as well as all of the other house tracks, are equipped with the usual type of inspection pits. These latter pits are of concrete construction with a heavy plank jacking floor on each side. They are 86 ft. 9 in. long and vary In depth from 3 ft. at the inner end, to 2 ft. 6 in. at the outer end. The pits in the longer stalls have a length of 96 ft. 9 in. All of the pits are drained by collecting wells at the inner ends, joined together by a 12-in. drain. According to the usual practice of the road, window openings, with wooden wainscoting below, are located in the outer ring wall of the house, directly opposite the end of each stall. These openings are the same size as the entrance doors, so that an engine overrunning a pit can pass through the outer wall without serious damage.

In order to facilitate the removal of engine springs, 10 of the pit tracks are equipped with Cardwell spring sections. These consist of manganese castings from which an insert may be taken from the top of the rail. permitting engine wheels to be dropped sufficiently to allow the removal of the engine springs. The inserts are about 3 ft. long, and are installed in the tracks to suit various types of engines and wheel spacings.

Service piping throughout the house consists of washout, blowdown and refilling lines carried overhead with drops extending between each stall. All of the lines in this system are of leadized pipe to afford protection against the action of acid-bearing gases. In addition, each stall is served by compressed air drops for the operation of power tools, and by electric circuit plugs for power and extension cord lighting. Welding plugs are also provided at intervals throughout the house for convenience in welding operations. As already intimated, the house is served by a boiler washing system, this consisting principally of two large tanks into which blowdown water from the boilers is purified and made suitable in a reheated condition for refilling purposes.

Special induced draft smoke exhaust system

One of the features of the enginehouse is the modern heating and ventilating system installed. Heating is by the indirect system, and the steam supply is secured from the city water works pumping plant located immediately east of the terminal. The steam is received at a small brick and concrete fan house, integral with the outer ring wall of the enginehouse, near the center, and passes through heating coils located in front of two large blower fans. These fans, which are at the floor level, force clean fresh air through the coils and the heated air passes through two large underground concrete ducts which connect with a duct of similar construction, extending around the entire inner ring of the house. From this latter duct, a lateral sub-surface duct extends along each side of each pit, each lateral having three outlets into the pits. An exhaust fan at a high level in the fan room assists in securing the proper circulation of air throughout the house.

Interior of the enginehouse, showing type of construction

In the place of ordinary smoke jacks for carrying off the smoke and gases of locomotives. the house is equipped with a special induced draft smoke exhaust system. In this system each stall is equipped with a vertical cylindrical jack which has a fairly air-tight connection with the stack of an engine, and which has an outlet at the top into a Transite-lined, frame exhaust duct, about 4 ft. by 5½ ft., which extends around the full length of the house. This duct connects with an outlet to the fan house, where, on the second floor, exhaust fans force the gases up a 165-ft. radial brick chimney, with a 70-ft. inside diameter.

The coach shop and the 10-ton crane which serves the wheel drop pits

The jacks themselves, which have damper control, are of special construction and made of aluminum to reduce their weight and to enable them to resist corrosion due to engine gases. By means of a single universal joint at the top of each jack, just below the collecting duct, the jack adjusts itself to any position of a locomotive within a range of five feet. A tight connection between the jack and locomotive stacks is obtained without a movable joint by means of a spherical bowl.

The vertical motion required in the jack to apply and remove it from a locomotive and to adapt it to the varying heights of stacks, is obtained by a telescoping joint between an upper and lower section in the jack. The operation of this joint is effected by means of two supporting ropes which carry counterweights to reduce the manual effort required. The equal movement of these ropes moves the jack up and down, while the unequal movement of them swings the jack backward or forward to adjust it to the position of the locomotive.

Supplementing this smoke exhaust system, roof ventilators are provided above each house track, alternately at the front and rear of the roof monitor. Also, centerhung ventilating sash extend continuously around each face of the monitor, which are opened and closed manually from overhead platforms adjacent to both faces of the monitor and continuous around the house. An additional overhead platform near the outer face of the monitor gives access to all of the overhead service piping, and also to the smoke exhaust duct.

Artificial lighting of the house is accomplished principally by floodlights with 200 or 300 watt lamps, two such lights being mounted overhead on each ring wall directly in line with the working space between each pair of stalls. Thus, opposing lights from opposite ends brightly illuminate all of the working space in the house, with little evidence of shadows. Each floodlight is controlled separately by a switch located on the wall directly beneath it. This method of lighting is supplemented by the usual type of overhead reflector lights at critical points in the house, and also by the provision of post and wall plugs for extension lights.

Special equipment and facilities at the house, other than that already mentioned, consist of an eight-ton mono-rail crane serving the locomotive driver drop pits and extending into the machine shop, power grinders for each section of the house, and drinking fountains at convenient intervals. Locker and toilet facilities for the enginehouse employees are afforded in a separate room at one end of the fan house. Another auxiliary to the house is an arch brick and castings stores annex, joined to the rear; of the house near the center. This annex, which is of the same type of construction as the house proper, is about 65 ft. long by 30 ft. wide. The house is served by a l00-ft. twin-span turntable, electrically operated by two 30-hp. motors.

The 600-ton coaling station serves four tracks

The machine shop at the new terminal is a steel frame, brick wall structure with a concrete foundation, supported on concrete piles. This unit, which is one story high, is 160 ft. long by 80 ft. wide, and is laid out parallel with the enginehouse lead tracks and joined at one end to the longer section of the enginehouse. The only obstructions within the machine shop are two longitudinal rows of steel columns, spaced 40 ft. center to center, which support the roof trusses. The roof of the shop, which is of the high-low type, is of laminated board construction, covered with tar and gravel roofing. The floor of the shop consists of a 6-in. concrete base with a 10-in. asphalt mastic wearing surface.

One of the noticeable features about the shop is the adequate daylighting provided, large areas of wood sash having been arranged in both sides of the building proper and in both sides of the monitor-like roof. In both the sidewalls and the roof, sections of center-hung sash have been provided to assist in ventilation, particularly during the summer months. The main ventilating system in the shop is combined with the heating system and consists of three unit heaters of the blower type, mounted overhead and. directing their flow of air on an inclined plane toward the floor. In the summer, when steam to the heater coils is shut off, the units can be used alone for a forced ventilation system. Supplementing these methods of keeping a fresh air supply in the shop, eight ventilators are located in the roof.

The shop is thoroughly equipped with modern tools and machinery for conducting all classes of engine running repairs. All of this equipment is operated by electric motors, either direct-connected or belt driven through shafting. Hoisting equipment within the shop consists of an eight-ton traveling crane supported on an overhead mono-rail, and a storage battery electric floor crane of 3,000 lb. capacity.

In addition to the shop tools and equipment, the shop building also houses the air compressors employed at the terminal, and the pumps and tanks of the boiler washing system employed in the enginehouse. Provision is also made in the shop for adequate toilet, wash and locker room facilities.

Storehouse adjoins machine shop

The storehouse, which is another of the more important buildings at the terminal, adjoins the machine shop on the end opposite the enginehouse. This unit is a brick and reinforced concrete structure, about 174 ft. long by 80 ft. wide, having two stories and a basement. All of the floors in the building are of reinforced concrete flat slab construction, resting on concrete columns, the first floor being 90 in. thick and the second floor 70 in. thick. The roof of the building is of the flat type, with a monitor extending over the storeroom end, and, like the floors, is of flat slab construction. The south side of the building throughout its length is provided with a l0-ft. concrete platform, with ramps at each end, and facing on a storehouse track.

In general, the main floor of the building is occupied by a large storeroom, a small stores department office, an engineman's equipment room, and two lavatories and wash rooms. The second floor, which is joined to the first floor and the basement by two stairways, a two-ton elevator and a hand-operated dumbwaiter, is divided into a large store room, a general store department office, an engine crew book-in office, a locomotive foreman's private office, a locomotive department general office, and a large lunch room. The locomotive foreman's office is so situated that he can see the enginehouse leads from his outside windows, and through a special window in the shop wall, he has a view over the entire machine shop. This affords an unusually good opportunity for intensive supervision. All of the bins and shelving within the storehouse are of steel, neatly arranged, and are well lighted by both daylight and artificial light.

View of the commissary building just before completion

The basement of the building is used primarily for the storage of the heavier classes of material and supplies, but also houses a number of oil storage tanks which supply pumps located on the first floor. The main oil supply at the terminal is, however, stored in a 5,000 gal. steel tank directly south of the storehouse. The entire building is heated by direct steam from the city water works plant, by means of radiators along the walls.

The coaling plant at the terminal is a 600-ton reinforced concrete structure, consisting of six separate 100-ton cylindrical bins placed in two groups of three each, back to back. The plant is located about 700 ft. west of the enginehouse and spans three of the house lead tracks, delivering coal however, to all four of the enginehouse leads at that point.

Coal, sand and ash handling facilities

In the operation of the plant, coal is delivered over a coal track on the north side of the plant, to a steel track hopper, from which it passes over an apron to a boot at the foot of a hoisting tower. From the boot the coal is elevated to the top of the plant by a chain bucket conveyor which consists of 124 buckets of 70-lb. capacity each. From the top of the hoisting shaft, the coal is carried over the bins through a concrete and brick head house, and is discharged into the desired bins by means of trips. Operation of the plant is by electricity, all of the hoisting equipment being housed in the head house over the bins. The hoisting capacity of the coaling station is approximately 70 tons per hour, and the actual coal demand at the station is about 500 tons daily.

The sanding facilities in connection with the station include a concrete ground storage wet sand house where drying is effected by a Grand Trunk sand dryer, and two dry sand bins located at the top of the coaling station, one of l00-tons capacity, and the other of 50-tons capacity. Elevation of the dry sand is by air at about 90 lb. pressure, and delivery to locomotives is entirely by gravity. The sand drying capacity of the facilities is between 10 and 15 tons per day.

The ash handling facilities are located about midway between the enginehouse and the coaling station, and consist of a single installation continuous under the five principal house leads. Briefly, the ash handling plant consists of a concrete pit extending at right angles under the tracks, with cast iron receiving hoppers covered by gratings, directly under each track. For collecting and conveying the cinders from the hoppers, a continuous chain link conveyor with carrying pans linked together at about one-foot centers, operates through the pit, carrying the cinders up an incline of about 45 deg. to a head house at the north end of the installation, and dumping them directly into cars on a special cinder car track. The carrying pans of the conveyor are of heavy cast iron construction so as to resist the wear and corrosive effect of the acids in the cinder quenching water, and each individual unit of the conveyor is carried on small wheels which run on a track of light-section rail, in the bottom of the pit. Cinders are quenched by sprinkling with a hose and by the wash water flowing from the ash pans, openings in the carrying pans permitting the water to drain from the cinders before they are dumped into cars. The operation of the conveyor is by electricity, the motor, gears, and other operating equipment being housed in the head house over the cinder car track. Water at the terminal is supplied by means of three standpipes, which serve six tracks, including the five enginehouse leads. These standpipes are supplied with water from a 150,000-gal. storage tank located nearby. The water used in this connection is generally pumped to the tank from Toronto bay, by the railway pumping plant, but, in emergency it .can be supplied from the city water system.

The freight car repair building

Constructing the Spadina avenue subway for the through freight tracks south of the terminal

In laying out the passenger car and freight car repair facilities at the terminal, the former were located immediately southwest of the enginehouse, and the latter several hundred feet away at a point along the south side of the terminal near the west end.

The passenger car repair facilities consist essentially of a passenger car repair shop and a wheel shop with a suitable arrangement of tracks served by a 10-ton overhead traveling crane. The repair shop is a steel frame, brick structure, 202 ft. long by 46 ft. wide, with a concrete floor, wood sash, and a board roof, covered with tar and gravel roofing. The shop is served by two longitudinal tracks, one of which is equipped with a wheel drop pit, the out also serving two additional tracks outside of the shop.

The wheel shop, while located with the 'passenger car facilities, is used for :repairing both passenger and freight car wheels. This building is 133 ft. long by 62 ft. wide, and is of the same type of construction as the passenger car shop. Two tracks, stubbed at each end serve this building, and are used solely for the handling and storage of wheels. The equipment within the shop is sufficient to make all classes of wheel repairs. The overhead traveling crane serving the shop has a capacity of 10-tons, and extends across the front end of the building and over to the side of the coach repair shop, serving the wheel storage tracks and the wheel drop pit.

The freight car repair facilities at the terminal consist principally of a car repair building, a storage and mill building, and an 11-track car repair yard with buggy or dolly tracks between alternate repair tracks. The car repair building is a one-story brick and concrete structure, 200 ft. by 40 ft., with a concrete floor and a built-up asphalt and asbestos-covered .timber roof. This unit, which is located adjacent to the stub end of the repair yard, is divided into separate sections, providing space for a foreman's office, a blacksmith's shop, an air brake shop, painter's, pipe fitter's, and tinsmith's shops, and also for a lunch room and toilet facilities.

The storage and mill building is a frame structure 200 ft. long by 40 ft. wide, divided into three principal sections; a lumber mill, which is equipped with appropriate machinery; a timber storage section; and a section used for the storage of oil and freight car repair parts. To the west of this building provision has been made for the storage of freight car wheels.

Platforms and service lines in coach yard

One of the most complete and modern units of the facilities at the terminal is the large coach yard and the well planned and laid out car department and commissary building provided. The coach yard, which lies in a general easterly and westerly direction in Ěthe west half of the terminal, consists of 23 tracks, stubbed at the east end and with outlets over several leads at the west end. Within this yard, which has a capacity for 256 coaches, the tracks are spaced alternately on 16-ft. and 20-ft. track centers, the smaller track centers accommodating 5-ft. platforms and the wider centers, 10-ft. platforms. All of these platforms are of concrete construction, which greatly facilitates the work in the yard, and materially improves its appearance.

All of the service lines in the yard are located along the sides of the wide platforms, these consisting of water lines, car charging lines and Pintsch gas lines. Water hydrants and car charging standards in these lines are located about 150 ft. apart, and Pintsch gas valves are located at intervals of about 90 ft. Electric power lines also serve the platforms, with outlets at intervals for plugging in such equipment as vacuum cleaners. These are located in a pipe trench near one edge of the wider platforms, the trench being covered by sectional steel cover plates. Washing of the coaches is done at any point in the yard, and it was to make this possible that the narrower platforms were provided. These platforms also serve for transporting batteries to and from cars.

The most important auxiliary to the coach yard is the car department and commissary building, which is located about 30 ft. beyond the stub end of the yard and at right angles to the yard tracks, the space between being occupied by a concrete driveway. This building, which has two stories, is a brick and concrete structure about 386 ft. long by 50 ft. wide. The roof of the building is of frame construction with a built-up asbestos roof covering, the window sash are of wood, and the floors throughout are of concrete with the exception of that in a section set aside for a battery room, which consists of wood blocks on a concrete base.

In the division of space in the building, the commissary department occupies 241 ft. at the south end, and the car repair department the remaining 145 ft. at the north end. The completeness of the arrangement of the building is evidenced by the number and character of the facilities which it provides. In the commissary department section, the first floor is divided into two main sections by a fire wall, one' of these having nine rooms of various sizes for Pullman supplies, clean and soiled linen, and for uniform pressing and repairing, while the other section is occupied mainly by a large storeroom, surrounded on three sides by smaller compartments. These compartments include offices for an agent and his staff, inspectors, a storekeeper, and a public vesibule, in addition to separate rooms for the handling of fresh meats, fish, butter and cheese, and fruit and vegetables. Space is also provided near the latter rooms for a complete refrigeration outfit. Half of the second floor of the commissary department section is used solely for equipment stores, while the other half is divided into two lounging rooms, 16 bedrooms, two lavatories and space for the storage of new linen.

The first floor of the car repair department section houses a battery room, an electric shop, a switchboard and generator room, a petty stores room, and individual shops for pipe fitters, carpenters and painters. The second floor is laid out principally for a large general office, a car foreman's office, a large lunch room seating 138, with kitchen, locker room, and lavatories.

In spite of the fact that practically all of the buildings and other structures at the terminal are of fireproof construction, the entire terminal area is served by water mains with hydrants at important points. The terminal is also served with both storm and sanitary sewers.

To facilitate operation within the terminal at night, a system of floodlights has been installed. This system includes five steel towers, 120 ft. in height, located at strategic points, and equipped with from four to seven floodlights. These lights have reflectors varying in diameter from 14 to 23 in., and lamps which vary from 780 to 1,000 watts capacity. All of the lights at each tower are controlled by a switch at the base of the tower.

All of the work on the Canadian National's new terminal at Toronto was planned and carried out under the general supervision of C. B. Brown, chief engineer of operation. The actual work was done under the direct supervision of S. B. Wass, terminal engineer, to whom we are indebted for many of the details included in this article. Mr. Wass was represented on the ground by H. L. Currie, resident engineer. The general contractors for the engine terminal facilities were Anglin-Norcross, Ltd., and for the car department facillties, the Atlas Construction Company.

Ref: Toronto