Cold Weather Storage, Testing and Photography: CLRVs to Jetliners

If you scroll back a few items on the CANAV Books blog, you can see our coverage from last summer of CLRV streetcars ready for disposal at the Toronto Transit Commission’s Russell yard (“Connaught Barns”) on Queen Street East in Toronto. That was a really enjoyable session, but it was a steamy day. Here’s a winter take on the same subject + a few winter scenes featuring Toronto’s new Bombardier cars on the 501 line during the same winter blow . You can also look back to our March 5, 2011 item about photographing airplanes in winter — it’s all great fun, right! (You can enlarge any photo by clicking on it.)

The snow was cutting sharply across Russell yard mid-afternoon on January 18, 2020. CLRV 4155 had been loaded earlier, so is ready for transportation to the scrap yard. Looks like 4043 and 4085 beyond. Then, a different angle that includes one of those heavy big main trucks from a CLRV.

Since there was such a good winter blow in Toronto on January 18, it seemed like a good idea to get out for some true winter photography, so I rode a Flexity car westward over to Russell, where I spent an hour slogging around in the wind and snowdrifts at both the Queen St. and Eastern Ave. sides of the yard. Here are a few of the photos taken with my trusty little Lumix pocket camera.

A wider view looking southwest across the yard. I didn’t make a count, but there were about 15 cars present.

Car 4024 was the only CLRV in motion at Russell this afternoon.

Views from the Eastern Ave. (south) side of the yard showing cars 4193 and 4053 nearest. Then, 4179 away up the line on this blustery day.

Next, I rode along to Spadina and Queen. It was a real urban transit mess, but somehow things kept rolling. I was amazed at the crowds out there — most of the Flexity cars were packed. Eventually, I was happy to get inside at the old Horseshoe Tavern to have a beer with some aviation buddies. I’m sure they figured I must be going around the bend. After all, what sense does it make to be out in a blizzard taking photos of streetcars!

While waiting at Queen and Greenwood for a car to continue my outing, I snapped TTC bus 8963 on its way back north to the TTC Line 2 Greenwood subway station. Then a hefty plow came by clearing this stretch of Queen.

A Flexity makes a stop on Queen west of McCaul. Regardless of the storm, people were out in their masses.

Car 4446 westbound on Queen approaches Spadina. Then, the general scene there looking east towards Soho St.

More snow removal action. Plows head north on Spadina towards Queen.

Car 4564 ready to pull out from Spadina going west on Queen. Amazingly, the system seemed to function reasonable well in this fair little Toronto blizzard. Cheers … Larry


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