This carknocker is inspecting a journal box packing to ensure there is sufficient oil in the box to lubricate the journal bearing. Modern trucks use sealed roller bearings that don't require such maintenance.
 Internal link   OK the PK - What's That All About?

 Image Car Inspector's are affectionately known as carknockers because at one time they used to tap on a car's wheels with a ball peen hammer. The resulting sound would indicate a defect in the steel. Among the most visible members of a railway's mechanical services team car inspectors are stationed at yards across Canada. They perform a critical safety role.

They are part of a system of check, and double check. Every time a train arrives or departs a yard, a carknocker checks each car of that train. They work like a relay team, passing the inspected trains from yard to yard and checking each time to make sure no defects have occurred while the cars have been moving over the road or while they've been processed within the yard.

The first order of business is a safety ritual known as "line, lock, and display".

Before performing any work the track switch behind the train to be inspected must be lined in order to divert other equipment away from it. The switch is locked to assure that. A blue flag by day, or blue light by night, are displayed to warn other employees work is in progress and the car or cars being inspected are not to be moved or coupled to. Only then is it safe to complete such tasks as, say, installing an SBU (Sense and Braking Unit), inspecting the cars, or performing a brake test.

The SBU, an end-of-train device with a flashing red light, will transmit to the crew in a locomotive's cab the air brake line pressure at the tail-end, and also the train's forward or reverse motion. In case of an emergency brake application, the SBU will also instantaneously "dump" the air from the tail-end at the same time that it's being exhausted by the locomotive, making for safer and faster applications of the brakes throughout the train's length.

Once a train has been assembled on the departure track an SBU is attached to the coupler on the last car then connected to the train's air brake line. After isolating the last car's air brake system from the rest of the train the engineer is free to do an emergency brake test. Once it has been confirmed the brakes have been fully applied the carknocker must then walk the length of the train scanning for:

  • Un-released hand brakes;
  • Sticking or loose brake shoes;
  • Damaged couplers, air hoses, and brake gear;
  • Excessive wear on the flanges and treads of the wheels;
  • Bent or broken safety appliances, such as ladders and grab irons;
  • Loose or missing strapping and other load blocking devices;
  • Shifted loads and;
  • Anything else that could in any way cause damage to the equipment, the track, wayside signals, structures, or injure employees and the public.

As the train heads onto the mainline the departure track is cleared once the carknocker's blue flag is retrieved.

A blue flag attached to the track indicates
equipment past that point must not be moved.

In addition to all this work there are programmed maintenance inspections of cars in the shops, scanning by hot box and dragging equipment detectors located at frequent intervals along the mainline, inspections of trains that crews give each other's trains as they pass out on the line, and, of course, the carknockers watch everything as trains depart or enter the yard.

If everything passes inspection the engineer or conductor of the train will be given an "OK the PK" over the radio and the train may proceed. (PK is a very old abbreviation for Pins and Knuckles, as in link and Pin couplers, and Knuckle couplers.) OK the PK, now you know.

"Check, and double check" - Purloined and modified from a CPR employee news article.

 Internal link   Privacy Statement

 Photo We don't care who you are, where you are, or what you do. Is that enough privacy for you?

The Guy Fawkes mask is a stylized depiction of Guy Fawkes, the best-known member of the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up the English House of Lords in London in 1605. The use of a mask on an effigy has long roots as part of Guy Fawkes Night celebrations. A stylized portrayal of a face with an over-sized smile and red cheeks, a wide moustache upturned at both ends, and a thin vertical pointed beard, designed by illustrator David Lloyd, came to represent broader protest after it was used as a major plot element in "V for Vendetta", published in 1982, and its 2006 film adaptation. After appearing in Internet forums, the mask became a well-known symbol for the online hacktivist group Anonymous, used in Project Chanology, the Occupy movement, other anti-government and anti-establishment protests around the world.

 Internal link   Terms of Use

Each time you use this web site you acknowledge and agree to be bound by the terms of this web site. OKthePK, the Canadian Pacific Railway Set-off Siding, and their service or content providers, do not accept any liability for your use of the web site. You use it at your own risk. The web site is provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis, without any representation, warranties, or conditions of any kind. While every attempt is made to publish accurate data this web site is not responsible for any errors or omissions in its content.

 Internal link   Fair Use

In the United States of America


"Fair Use" is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holder. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work.

In Canada

The Canadian concept of "Fair use" is known as "fair dealing" and is similar to that in the UK and Australia. The fair dealing clauses (10) of the Canadian Copyright Act allow users to engage in certain activities relating to research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review, or news reporting. With respect to criticism, review, and news reporting, the user must mention the source of the material, along with the name of the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster for the dealing to be fair.

Prior to 2011, fair dealing in Canada was not definitely found to contain exceptions for parody (unlike fair use in the United States), but the Copyright Act has since been amended to include parody and satire (along with educational use) under its fair dealing provisions.

In considering fair dealing the Supreme Court of Canada makes the following general observation:

It is important to clarify some general considerations about exceptions to copyright infringement. Procedurally, a defendant is required to prove that his or her dealing with a work has been fair, however, the fair dealing exception is perhaps more properly understood as an integral part of the Copyright Act than simply a defence. Any act falling within the fair dealing exception will not be an infringement of copyright. The fair dealing exception, like other exceptions in the Copyright Act, is a user's right. In order to maintain the proper balance between the rights of a copyright owner and users' interests, it must not be interpreted restrictively. Furthermore, by taking "a liberal approach to the enumerated purposes of the dealing", the Court has made fair dealing more flexible, reducing the gap between this provision and United States fair use.

One Supreme Court criteria regards the purpose of the Dealing. Is it for research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting (or additionally since 2011, education, parody, or satire)? It expresses that "these allowable purposes should not be given a restrictive interpretation or this could result in the undue restriction of users' rights."

On 2 Jun 2010, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act. A summary of the changes proposed by this bill in terms of fair dealing notes that C-32 "expands the scope of the fair dealing exception at section 29 of the Act to include new purposes:  education, parody, or satire". The stated aims of the revised bill were also to "permit businesses, educators, and libraries to make greater use of copyright material in digital form". Bill C-32 had not passed by the time the minority Conservative government faced a vote of no-confidence and subsequently fell on 25 Mar 2011.

On 29 Sep 2011, the bill was re-introduced to the Forty-first Parliament as Bill C-11. With the backing of a majority Conservative government, this version of the Copyright Modernization Act has passed into law. Simply put, the fair dealing amendment in Section 29 of Bill C-11 expands the first criteria for evaluating fair dealing, the Purpose of the Dealing, to include education, and parody, or satire.

 Internal link   Copyright

OKthePK is a non-profit, non-commercial, hobby web site designed to inform and educate rail fans. OKthePK uses photographs selected from the internet for inclusion in news articles where appropriate. In most cases, determining who, where, or how to contact a photographer is just not possible. OKthePK will identify the photographer whenever possible in the caption line beneath each photo.

If you believe that content located on OKthePK infringes your copyright, please immediately notify OKthePK by eMail with the subject line containing the words "Infringement Notification". Following that initial eMail you will be required to provide the information described below in writing.

You may be held liable if you make material misrepresentations in an Infringement Notification. Thus, if you are not sure content located on OKthePK infringes your copyright, you should first contact an attorney.

All Infringement Notifications must include the following:

  • The physical signature of the copyright owner or the person authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf;
  • Identification of the copyright claimed to have been infringed;
  • A description of the nature and location on the OKthePK web site of the content that you claim to infringe your copyright in sufficient detail to permit OKthePK to find and positively identify that content;
  • Your full name, address, telephone number, and email address;
  • A statement by you, that you believe in good faith, that the use of the content that you claim infringes your copyright is not authorized by the copyright owner, or such owner's agent, and, under penalty of perjury, that all of the information contained in your Infringement Notification is accurate, and that you are either the copyright owner, or a person authorized to act on their behalf.

The initial notification should be sent to the following eMail address:   Image

 Internal link   Photograph Policy

A large number of photos used on this web site do not identify the photographer. This is not because of a reluctance to do so, but is solely because the photo file has not been attributed to the photographer. There are several ways to attach a photographer's name to a photo. The simplest method would be to use the date taken and photographer's name as part of the computer file name. e.g. cpr29engine25jan2016johnDoe.jpg

Another method is to add a caption line below the image such as this example:


(Some photographer's add their name and date on top of an image but this is not professional practice.)

A third option is to use PhotoShop software. This program provides the ability to attach categorized data to a photographic file such as the date, photographer's name, title, description, key words, camera settings, etc.

When there is no identifying name or date readily available for a photo then it will be assumed the photographer wishes to remain anonymous and labeled "Date unknown Anonymous Photographer" or "Date unknown Photographer unknown".

 Internal link   Web Site Technical Information

OKthePK pages were specifically designed for Microsoft Internet Explorer version 11.20.10586.0 running on the Windows 10 operating system. They will display properly at 1920 x 1080 pixels or a minimum resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Other browsers, operating systems, or resolutions may be problematical. If you have a problem please contact me at the eMail address shown above.

Any pages containing Flash presentations require the Adobe Flash plug-in. Adobe .pdf files are rarely used on this site due to their slow downloading time and large bandwidth requirements. You will be warned should there be a link to a .pdf file.

OKthePK HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) pages conform to W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) HTML 5 and each page is validated to confirm that. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS3) have been employed on all pages.

These web site pages contain internal and external links to web sites located on the Internet. Occasionally the external links may not function (link rot) as page servers go offline either temporarily, or permanently, or the author may just remove the page, or web site, from the Internet. All links are checked for functionality once a week.

 Internal link   Web Site History

This web site first began publishing railway stories and articles to the World Wide Web way back in April of 1995. It was then known as the Canadian Pacific Victoria Division.

That initial web site evolved into the Cordova Bay Station web site which went online for the first time in August of 2000.

A unique story appeared on Cordova Bay Station each month for eleven years with only one exception. Over time the name was shortened to Cordova Station and a new physical location was built but the content remained pretty much the same until a conceptual change occurred with the birth of the Canadian Pacific Railway Set-off Siding web site.

The Canadian Pacific Railway Set-off Siding is a subset of Cordova Station containing only CPR material gathered or created during assembly and publication of Cordova Station.

In late June 2010 Cordova Station had become so popular that readers accessing the web site exceeded the bandwidth permitted by my internet hosting company. This resulted in a payment request from the host that would double the hosting fee. Since the two web sites did not generate any income to offset their operation an increase in expenses was not acceptable.

The solution to continued operation resulted in the creation of a new web site named "OKthePK" at a hosting company providing unlimited bandwidth and storage for a reasonable fee.

OKthePK is updated 7 days a week with any Canadian Pacific Railway news or articles being archived on the Canadian Pacific Railway Set-off Siding web site as was done in the past with Cordova Station.

OKthePK Mobile Canadian Railway News for smartphones commenced publishing on 12 Mar 2011 along with a re-design of the web site. On 4 Feb 2013 Canadian railway news for smartphones was discontinued but re-commenced on 27 Oct 2013 utilizing CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

Offering 7 days per week service leads to a constant demand for railway news, information, and photographs. If you believe you have newsworthy or exceptional Canadian photos please send them along for inclusion with a news story or for the "Photo of the Week Award".

 Internal link   Web Site Revisions

Today the web site continues to evolve in an attempt to improve and keep readers interested. For the latest changes to OKthePK see the Revisions page.

 Internal link   Kudos
  1. "Imagine my surprise when I opened my blog stats today and that found a higher than normal number of readers had viewed my blog since yesterday. Let it be known that it wasn't the quality of my recent posts (non-existent for the most part) that explained this anomaly. A quick look into traffic sources showed that today, one source was the cause of over half the reads. I thought, "Gee, I am not that interesting that someone would read 55 of my posts. Or am I?... Na-aa! Not likely." It had to be something else. Thanks to Google, I typed in the URL and was directed to a very cool site indeed. It has plenty to look at (great photography) and plenty to read (articles of all sorts, not too long). It is international in flavour and Canadian in every way. The Canadian Railway News: www.okthepk.ca. If you enjoy the news of railways in Canada and around the world, why not take a side step from this blog over to their web site. You won't be disappointed." - Christine Powless - True Tales from a CPR Section House.
  2. "If you haven't done so already, you might want to add OKthePK to your bookmarks and regularly visit it. It's a web site that chronicles the goings-on of railway matters in Canada, including Canadian companies like Bombardier. I find their railway news to be interesting and informative and it helps me keep on top of what's going on in the industry" - Railway Bob.

  3. "You have an EXCELLENT web site to obtain current up to date and archival news material on rail transportation, rail museums etc. in Canada, the United States, also overseas." - Thomas Ronayne.
 Internal link   Contact Data

William C. Slim - alias the carknocker - "I love the smell of creosote in the morning".

The web site's Carknocker may be reached via eMail at:   Image