CHALK IT UP!
PGE 806 refer covered in chalk marks, in Vancouver June 30,1944. The Sirman Collection
"Oh well, chalk it up to experience!" used to be an old expression
of polite comment when something went contrary to someone's expectations.
Long ago, children would chalk up their school work on small slates in
school. Teachers would chalk up lessons on school blackboards (later,
green ones), and coloured chalk came along to amuse and decorate
with. Children wrote "love" messages on walls and sidewalks, along with
other not-so-nice words that no longer shock people the way they once
How could chalk marks work in wet weather since chalk quickly washes
off? During inclement weather, or the expectation of rain, the "marker
up" would use rain marks. That is he would write in places where the chalk
was less likely to get washed off. On box cars it was underneath the door
track. On other cars it would be on the truck frame or some other protected
place. In the case of the Board of Transport Commissioners inspector he
used a yellow crayon that would not wash off, to indicate cars shopped
for Federal defects.
Might anyone know how cars were marked at other yards on any railway?
CHALK MARKS USED AT LAMBTON AND PARKDALE
LAMBTON YARD MARKS
London, Windsor, Detroit etc.
89 (Moonlite/Fraxa P/U)
89 Brampton (etc.)
|Orangeville, Owen Sound, Elora, Teeswater and
Name of place short of Orangeville
|69 Midhust (etc.)
69 Parry Sound (etc)
81 NB (Romford set-off)
|Name of place short of MacTier
Name of place short of Sudbury
Sudbury and beyond
North Bay and beyond
Sault Ste. Marie etc.
North West traffic
Port McNicoll etc.
OLD MAIN LINE (EAST)
|90 (Way Freight ex Havelock)||Peterboro, Bobcaygeon, Lindsay, Havelock,
Nephton, Tweed etc.
|P/U (Trenton Pick Up)
902 SF (Smiths Falls set-off)
904 (mostly meat ex Canada Packers)
NPT (B&M traffic etc.)
|Agincourt to Trenton
Smiths Falls to Ottawa
Newport, Wells River etc.
East beyond Montreal
OTHER (See also General Marks with story)
|HAM (Starlight or Kinnear)
VEG (vegetables etc.)
|Hamilton, Welland, Buffalo etc.
Parkdale yard local cars (not train cars)
(train cars = cars for outbound symbol trains)
All fresh produce (usually for the OFT)
PARKDALE YARD MARKS
oo new oo
HL (high level)
AB or A Bay (name of industry often added,
e.g. AB Texaco etc.)
GTR (Grand Trunk Ry.)
OFT (maybe plus track number)
910 ("MaeWest") mostly shed cars
955 (North rush traffic)
955 NB (Romford set-off)
965 (North West rush traffic)
Ft.W or Dryden (965 shorts)
|Cherry Street Shed, etc.
Interchange to CNR Cherry St. (local cars only)
New Toronto, Swansea, Mimico
Interchange to CNR at Bathurst St. Yard.
All fresh produce cars
Ontario Food Terminal
Montreal and beyond
Sudbury, Chapleau, White River.
Sault Ste. Marie
Winipeg to Vancouver
Fort William or Dryden only