Here's a quick look back on 2008's Maritime rail events from my perspective.
New Brunswick East Coast Railway
I think the big news has to be CN's purchase of the Quebec Railway Corporation (QRC), first rumoured in June and then finalized at the beginning of November. A short line is disappearing and I expect we will see significant changes in 2009.
CN detoured over the QRC territories at the beginning of May, due to the significant flooding we experienced all over the province. I managed to see three trains (CN 122, CN 121, and CN 308)
CN ran a number of special trains in 2008, including some GM export locomotives (usually train 436) and TEST track inspection trains.
New Brunswick Southern Railway
NB Southern did not make many changes this year. They ran a number of pipe trains to support the pipeline being built from the new LNG (liquified natural gas) terminal in Saint John. I saw one pipe train. NBSR gained a new customer with the Irving wallboard plant on Bayside Drive. They also received a slug but it is not ready for service yet.
NBSR suffered a washout in September in Grand Bay, which closed their line for a day.
VIA Rail had several detours during 2008, mostly due to derailments on NBEC or CFMG. There was a significant derailment in September that forced a lengthy detour of the Ocean over CN. I was able to catch it on September 14.
Personally I became a lot more involved in the Fredericton train station, becoming the president of the Fredericton Friends of the Station advocacy group.
I was pleased that my photo of CP 4563 in McAdam was in both Branchline and Canadian Rail magazines.
I did my first railfanning in Maine, albeit just in Vanceboro.
I rode the NB Southern excursion train in May.
As far as trips go, my farthest was to Amsterdam. I was in the Prairies in August and did some great railfanning. I was also in Albany, New York briefly.
Most of all, thanks for reading, and let's hope there is lots of news for 2009!