Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Search terms

Just for fun, here are the search terms people used for the search box on my site since January 1 2007:
  • video train
  • sleeping & dining car on cnr trains
  • terra nova -cn containers sizes
  • terra nova sea containers sizes
  • video
  • google video
  • quebec central railway
  • john culligan run new brunswick
  • halifax railways
  • fredericton
  • extra gang railway stories
  • station de chemin de fer
  • canadian pacific railway
  • NB southern
  • cfmg
  • sleeping & dining car on cnr
  • vidéo train
  • cn containers sizes
  • terra nova containers sizes
  • metromover
  • fire fighting tender picture
  • cnrailwayvideos
  • quebec railways
  • image steam engine #29

Most seem pretty self-explanatory. Someone was definitely doing some research on Terra Transport containers!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

NBSR 2610

A good friend nabbed these shots of the new NBSR 2610 in front of the Dever Road shops. I understand this unit was set to go out on the westbound to Maine tonight.

New NBSR units in Saint John

As I said, I tried to see the new NB Southern units in Saint John on Sunday but I was unsuccessful. Bob Boudreau was quicker than I and caught them outside the Island Yard shops:

Thanks for the photos, Bob!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Today in Saint John

My boys and I went to Saint John today to see if we could see the new NB Southern units. As it happens, they had already been put inside the shops at Island Yard by the time I got there at 11:50. I even went up Crown Street to get this shot to make sure they weren't hiding somewhere.

CN 5505 and 5617 were at rest by the shop, and old friend GP9 7010 was idling there too. It had probably just shoved the units into the shop.

I headed over to the NBSR Dever Road yard to make sure the new units weren't there. They weren't, but CN GP9 7079 was shunting the east end of the yard while SW1200 units NBSR 3702 and 3703 idled by the shops.

On my way by Island Yard again, I saw CN 7010 was shunting.

We went for lunch, and when we returned we heard CN 305 preparing to go. They got permission from the yardmaster to depart at 14:00, so we went to Rothesay to wait for them. On the way, I saw a few windsurfers out on the ice.

Much to my surprise, I heard the NB Southern switch at Westfield Beach speak up at 14:10 to say the switch was in the normal position. There is normally no eastbound on Sunday so I couldn't figure out what train called the switch. More later.

I wasn't sure where to set up so I wasn't shooting into the sun. I decided to set up to use the station as a backdrop. It worked out OK, I think.

I got a wave from the conductor on the way by. Nice to see you guys back to work.

CN 305 had 56 cars, mostly tanks and some boxcars. They had two gondolas in the middle and six single-stack well cars on the end when they passed at 14:35.

On our way out, we noted two yellow and two green GP38s at the NB Southern shops, proving there had indeed been an eastbound this afternoon. NBSR 3702 and 3703 were shunting happily away.

I missed what I came for, but it was OK nevertheless.

New NBSR units in Quebec

Ron Pelletier got this photo of CN 308 bringing the two "new" NB Southern units through St. Charles, Quebec on February 23. Thanks Ron for the photo!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

NBSR new units and other stuff

Train watcher Dwayne Porter spotted CN 308 at Deersdale, NB last night around 11 PM. It had 3 CN engines (5630 leading) with the two "new" NBSR units right behind them, and an export unit on a flatcar a few cars behind that.

I was down in Saint John last night for the Barenaked Ladies concert (awesome) and saw no sign of CN 305 nor 306. That's not unexpected. I did see CN 7000 and NBSR 3701 beside the Island Yard shops.

It was reported that CN 306 arrived in Saint John this morning at 08:20 - no word on whether the CIC units were on it.

Friday, February 23, 2007

New NB Southern units getting closer...

2007/02/22 20:03 Clarke, ON (train unknown, probably 308)
2007/02/23 02:50 Couteau, PQ (train M30831-22)
2007/02/23 07:10 St. Leonard, PQ (train 308)
2007/02/23 09:18 Joffre, PQ (train 308)

It's conceivable if they keep moving like this that they will be in New Brunswick this afternoon and in Moncton this evening/night.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New NB Southern units stalled in Toronto

Friendly railfan Brendan Frisina tells me that the "new" NB Southern units are now being held in Toronto: "Load Hold Toronto Macmil Yard, ON on 21 Feb 23:00 ET". No more ETA to Saint John - wah!

At least NBSR 9802 is back on the road after a head change. 2319 had a similar problem, explaining the smoke I saw in McAdam last Saturday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

New NB Southern units haven't moved

As of 07:08 Eastern time this morning (February 20) they were still in Toronto. They are now showing an ETA of February 23 (Friday). The CN strike is probably the cause of the delay.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

NB Southern in McAdam today

I went to McAdam today with my two youngest kids to see the eastbound NB Southern freight. I had heard it would be in around 15:00 so I arranged to be there at 14:30. As I arrived, my cell phone rang and my contact told me that they might be up to two hours late. Great.

We went to the Family Restaurant in McAdam and had some ice cream and shared a coffee with a good friend. After that, I decided to head down to the border to see if I could catch the freight just after it crossed the border.

As I approached the border, I heard someone talking very clearly on the scanner, which told me the freight was close by. I decided to try to get him at the Highway 630 crossing. As I pulled up to the crossing, the lights were already flashing, so it was a quick grab shot into the sun.

The train was NBSR 9801, 2319, 2317, and 2318 with 21 cars.

I beat it back toward McAdam, taping him once from the side of the road, and I still got to the station ahead of him. Another shot into the sun as he arrived at 16:03.

They dropped the first four cars in the yard, then did a little dance with the MM&A boxcars at the pulp transload track. The four units ended up pushing two empty MM&A boxcars up to the transload boxcar before returning to their train. There was no pickup in McAdam, nor in Mattawamkeag for that matter.

My man Gary Lee kept a close eye on the switching.

One of the yellow units was smoking quite a bit.

I grabbed one more shot of them just before I (and they) left McAdam at 16:30.

We then drove to Harvey, easily beating them there while respecting the speed limit. I'm sure I spent 10 minutes there setting up the tripod and waiting for them to show up. They rolled through at 17:07 in the long, long shadows.

Not a bad day... too bad they were so late. The sun was too low to get really good pictures at the angles presented to me.

New NB Southern units in Canada

CIC 110 and 112 are now in Canada!
CIC 110    Load Arrived Toronto Macmil Yard, ON on 16 Feb 04:24 ET    M35061 15
CIC 112 Load Arrived Toronto Macmil Yard, ON on 16 Feb 04:24 ET M35061 15

They're now showing an ETA of February 20 in Saint John.

Saint John area, 2007/02/16

NB Southern tracks were well plowed Friday morning - the plow or spreader must have been busy yesterday.

NBSR 3703 was on the radio in the morning morning reporting a problem loading up. They were shunting the east end of Dever Road yard.

Over on the CN side, CN 7000 and NBSR 3701 were MU'ed together elephant-style by the Island Yard shop while CN 7010 was shunting the

Not a great shot, but what can you do?

There was no sign of CN 306's power anywhere. The strike is really throwing the schedule off.

A maintainer asked the yard planner if any trains were going in or out of the city for the next few hours, because he wanted to scrape some crossings. The planner said nothing for at least the next 3-4 hours. That was 9:30 AM. I saw nothing at lunch and even at 15:30, there was no sign of 306.

At NB Southern's Dever Road yard, NBSR 3702 and 3703 were working the east end of the yard while a plow came in for more fuel. At the west end, CN 7079, a definite stranger to these parts, was shunting boxcars.

On my way back, I stopped in Welsford for a few minutes in the vain hope the eastbound train would come through. I noticed that the plow had only done part of the siding, up to the derail. I guess that's to provide a spot for the train to set off a bad order car if necessary.

It turns out that the eastbound didn't leave McAdam until 17:30 anyway.

Today (Saturday) I'm going to McAdam to see the eastbound. More photos later!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

New NB Southern units moving right along!

Last reported position: Battle Creek, Michigan on train 438 on Valentine's Day at 02:11 AM. They were still reported there at noon.

Here's a map showing their progress to date (courtesy of Google Maps). The yellow pushpins show reported sightings.

They should cross the border at Sarnia, Ontario then proceed to Toronto. From there they will possibly go on CN 308 to Moncton, and then CN 306 to Saint John.

New NB Southern units in Illinois

CIC #110, arrived in Hawthorn, Illinois on CN, February 12th at 8:28PM local time. No ETA or ETI.
CIC #112, Departed Hawthorn, Illinois on CN, February 13th at 1:55PM local time. No ETA or ETI.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New NB Southern units on the move

Iowa railfan Kurt Michelson reported that the two "new" NB Southern units were ready to go on CN on February 10.

"Two ex-Cedar Rapids & Iowa City GP35-sumthings are in the CN Cedar Rapids yard this morning 02/10. Likely to head north to Manchester for destinations currently unknown at some point today"

Fellow Iowa railfan Bruce Tiemann deduced they should have been in Chicago by Sunday night.

Hopefully some CN watchers can trace those units from there. They may be traceable under CIC 110 and 112, or NBSR 110/112, or NBSR 2710 and 2712.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Diversification In Action

Heritage Elevator is located at IRSI in Moncton. The company was mentioned in a recent CBC-NB report called "Small elevators could revive heritage buildings"

Heritage Elevator's contact page has the same address as IRSI, 299 Hump
Yard Road, and their home page lists them as a subsidiary of IRSI.

That's diversification!

CN number boards

I picked up my locomotive number boards from Ron Leblanc yesterday. Here they are:

1763 - RSC-14 rebuilt from CN 3861
3665 - RS-18
6765 - FPA-4, preserved at the Canadian Railway Museum

I plan on mounting at least 3665's number board in some kind of light box so I can backlight it, like a real locomotive.

Here's how to get your own locomotive number boards.

A late CN 120

Due to the conductor's strike on CN, things seem to be running a bit late. My family and I were in Moncton yesterday (Sunday), and I was hoping to catch VIA 14 before it got to the station. Alas, it was on time and I only saw the tail end of the Ocean as it passed Moncton's West End. I heard that CN 120 would be following it out of the station, so I got a few shots of it waiting at the West End signals at 11:50. Normally CN 120 would be in Halifax before sunrise so things were definitely running late.

120 had SD75 5630 on the head and Dash-8 2451 running elephant-style behind it. They had 56 or 65 cars, all loads.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Guest photos

Paul Campbell from the UK was kind enough to send along a trip report from 2006 as well as some photos. Much appreciated!

"On the morning of 12th August 2006 having travelled over night from Montréal “The Chaleur/Ocean” arrived at Matapédia. Here the train was separated in to its component parts, “The Ocean” staying at the station while “The Chaleur” ran a short distance up the line, before reversing back in on the other track. Once the locomotives were re-connecting “The Ocean” hauled by #6410 and #6420 pulled out of Matapédia leaving “The Chaleur” headed by #6424 standing in the station.

Viewed from the bullet lounge of “Assiniboine Park” #6424 leaves Matapédia to continue its journey to Gaspé. Looking across the valley as we continued on towards Halifax “The Chaleur” could be seen between the trees drifting off in to the distance.

While “The Ocean” stopped at Campbellton station a freight train consisting of box cars passed by hauled by NBEC #6901, CFMG #6909, SFEX #4202, SFEX #4203 and NBEC #1851."

Thank you, Paul!

If anyone else would like to "guest blog" please let me know via a comment, or an email to