Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Chaleur Chase, Part Three - Wye Not?

(part 1, part 2)

When we last left the Chaleur, it was arriving at New Carlisle, at 12:16.

New Carlisle is a major center on the railway. It is the division point between the Cascapedia Subdivision (to Matapedia) and the Chandler Subdivision (to Gaspe). As such, it features a largish yard, a wye, and even a little engine house.

Since the Chaleur was so late (over 3 hours), the plan was to bus the passengers from here up the road all the way to Gaspe, then bus the westbound passengers back to New Carlisle. In the meantime, the Chaleur would be turned on the wye to be ready to head west at its scheduled time of 18:13. There was plenty of time to turn it.
The Chaleur and bus at New Carlisle, Quebec

At New Carlisle, the crew that brought the train from Matapedia books off for rest. Another crew takes over for the trip to Gaspe and back. On this day, they had a very short day, as all they had to do was turn the train and they would be done.

After watering the train, they set to work. The wye can only hold two engines and three cars, so they had to turn the train in two parts. Here is the sequence:

1. Pull entire train forward to just short of the east wye switch.
2. Pull three cars through the switch.

3. Push three cars to the tail of the wye.

4. Pull three cars down the other leg through the west wye switch.
5. Push three cars onto main line.
6. Return light engine through both legs of the wye to east wye switch.

7. Couple onto two remaining cars, and push to the tail of the wye.

8. Pull two cars down the other leg and leave them on the leg.

9. Run light engine through the west wye switch, couple on to first three cars.

10. Bring three cars through west wye switch, back onto wye leg and couple onto other cars.

11. Pull entire train through west wye switch.
12. Push entire train on main line up to station.

Quite an operation. Most of these shots were taken by David Morris. I took video of most of the operation, but I will save that for the upcoming Chaleur DVD.

We decided that the westbound Chaleur was probably going to be late, and given the poor weather there was no point in chasing it. We had a late lunch at the local restaurant, then headed back toward New Brunswick. On the way we shot ex-NBEC 1819 at Nouvelle, a topic for another post.

Next... the Napadogan subdivision!

EDIT: Danny pointed out I had my east and west confused. Glad he was reading carefully!

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