Sunday, March 30, 2008

NB Southern From Above

YouTuber Joe shot the NBSR transfer freight from an interesting angle. This video shows two GP38s taking containers and general freight to the Reversing Falls bridge on its way to Dever Road. The shot is from an embankment just off Douglas Avenue. You can see the switch to Ocean Steel in the shot.

Friday, March 28, 2008

NBSR to the Rescue

I'm told NB Southern is lending 3 engines to the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MM&A) to help them in Northern Maine. Friday night's westbound is said to have 6 engines and be 9000' long. This must be an NB Southern record, as that is well over 100 cars!

The last time I can recall NBSR loaning units to the MM&A was in the spring of 2005 when NBSR 2319 was loaned. I posted two of Travis Bragg's videos a while ago. Here's one of them.

Keep in mind NBSR recently loaned their Jordan spreader to the MM&A too.

CN Movie Marathon

Matt the Saint John railfan posted three videos of CN 405. The first shows the train returning from Courtenay Bay with the potash empties.

The second is just outside Saint John.

The third video is at a crossing in Hampton as the train rolls through at speed. Very nice!

Thanks for posting those!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Canadian Government Railways waybill

I recently won a Canadian Government Railways (CGR) waybill from December 18, 1926. The waybill is for a snowplow to be transported from Stanley to Doaktown.

I love stuff like this!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chasing The NB Southern Pipe Train

My wife was working Monday afternoon, so I figured since it was such a beautiful day, I should pack all the kids in the van and go see some trains. I was getting withdrawal again.

A quick phone call and I found that the eastbound was going to be a pipe train. Bonus!

I decided to go to the Fredericton Junction area and wait for it there. After a bit of driving around, I went to mile 52 where route 645 from Harvey turns back into a paved road. After some waiting, Dave Dineen arrived, having seen my post about the pipe train. He said he had heard some chatter on the scanner so the train was en route. After some chatting and waiting, I made another call and found that the train was having some trouble, with one unit down. Apparently it was 45 minutes late coming into McAdam.

At 15:05, we saw headlights in the distance and set up to take some shots. I had the video camera on the tripod and took stills with my Canon S3. Dave took shots on his own S3 and I hope to see how he did with his stills. The train featured NBSR 2318, 2317, 2610 and 2612 with 7 doublestacks and 1 single stack, followed by 1 open boxcar , 47 loaded flatcars of pipe, and a trailing open boxcar.
NBSR Pipe Train Rooth

I stayed to tape the whole train, then we hit the road to Fredericton Junction. We caught up to it but it beat us to the next road crossing. My son Nick shot this through the windshield.

Once the tail end cleared, we continued on and caught up with it again on the long straightaway in Tracy. Nick shot this video (using the Canon S3) through the window as we overtook the train.

I elected to continue through Fredericton Junction and shoot it on the overpass just east of the river bridge. It rolled through at 15:25 and gave me a little toot as it passed.

We easily got to Blissville ahead of it, and found Dave pulled over at the same spot I was going to. Nick and I jumped out, and I shot video while he shot stills. This still was Nick's:

After that, the kids were getting restless and I had to get back to Fredericton to pick my wife up, so we turned and headed back. What a great day for chasing trains!

Export Units Arrived in Moncton

The export units on CN 306 arrived in Moncton at 20:00 Monday, with CN 4708 and 2663 for power. Thanks to Phil in Moncton for the report.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Another Pipe Train Coming

Another pipe train just left Mattawamkeag at 11:00 AM, so it should be in McAdam by 13:00 and Saint John around 15:30ish.

News on Export Train

Ron Pelletier reported that the export units on CN 306 left Joffre, Quebec at 19:43 Sunday night. That would have put them into Edmundston around 04:00 this morning, and therefore they should be pulling into Moncton right about now. Ron said the power was CN 5741, 2456, and 2663.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Export Train Update

I'm told that as of late Saturday night, the CN 306 with the export units was still in Joffre, waiting for a new crew and a new locomotive.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

CN trains by Joel

Jammin' Joel has been hard at work taping trains!

Here's a local in Saint John on March 1 with NBSR 3701 and leased CN 7010 going by the Staples just outside Island Yard.

Later the same day, he shot CN 405 going through Rothesay on its way to Moncton.

On March 7, he caught two CN trains at Enfield (a little north of the airport) in Nova Scotia. First, CN 120 with CN 2618, CN 5708, and CN 6018.

Next, CN 407 going through Enfield on its way to Moncton with CN 5677 and CN 2627.

Great job, Joel!

Friday, March 21, 2008

CP 252 Plowing Snow

A very neat video of CP train 252 hitting the snowdrifts at Odelltown near the Quebec-US border.

Export Locos Coming Through

A train of locomotives destined for export from Halifax is passing through New Brunswick. It was last sighted by Ron Pelletier in Joffre, Quebec at 0830 Eastern this morning with CN 6018 leading a flatcar, 10 locomotives, and another flatcar. "There were some blue GBRf, some green Freightliners and white Euro Cargo Rail".

A history of the train so far:
0125 Taschereau (Montreal)
0638 Lemieux siding, Drummondville sub
0830 Arrived Joffre yard

I believe it should be in Edmundston by 1600-1700 and Moncton around midnight, and Halifax Saturday morning after sunrise. Hopefully we will see some good shots from Halifax!

Oddly enough the train is numbered CN 306, normally reserved for an eastbound freight train. The usual CN train number for export locomotives is 436.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Article on Sackville Station

There's a nice article on the Sackville railway station in the Sackville Tribune Post.

Here's a photo of the station just after Christmas, 1978, by Art Clowes. Notice the freight shed behind the station.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Photos of NB Southern Spreader in Maine

I mentioned on Saturday that NB Southern's Jordan spreader was in Maine to help the MM&A clear some snow. Michael Peverett picked up on that and took some photos of the spreader in a few parts of Maine, and was gracious enough to send me photos and allow me to use them here.

Here it is Saturday (March 15) clearing the yard in Brownville Junction with 5016 and 5017.

Brownville Junction, Maine on 3/15/08 with MMA 5016 and 5017.

On Sunday Michael chased it from Millinocket up to Houlton.

Island Falls, Maine on 3/16/08 with MMA 5016.

Ludlow, Maine on 3/16/08 with MMA 100 and 2004. This is on the Houlton Branch.

Thanks for sharing, Mike!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NB Southern Locals in Saint John

Matt aka saintjohnrailfan saw two NBSR local trains in Saint John, within 5 minutes of each other on March 17.

First, a leased CN GP9 bringing a train into Island Yard.

Then, a leased CN GP9 and NBSR 3701 bringing a train out of Island Yard toward Irving Paper. No idea if it was the same GP9. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

INR Research

Chris M has been doing some good research on the former International Railway line from Campbellton to In one of his latest posts, he posted some maps of Campbellton with great detail on the railway lines. Keep up the good work, Chris!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

CP in the Spiral Tunnels

I uploaded a video of a CP freight going down through the famed spiral tunnels in British Columbia in August 2002. I believe this is the Lower Spiral Tunnel...

Here's another shot from the same spot, by kingcab318.

And another by Terry Rowsell showing a freight going up the grade.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

NB Southern Spreader in Maine

NB Southern Railway has lent their Jordan spreader to the MM&A railway in Maine to help with snow removal. It was in the Brownville Junction yard on Saturday and will be headed north on Sunday. Thanks to Shaun McGinnis for the update.

Photo by Bob Boudreau

Friday, March 14, 2008

VIA Detour Update

The extra-long VIA 15 (combined Ocean and Chaleur) left Halifax on time and proceeded to Moncton, where it was split. The Ocean section (with 6400 and 6403 and Renaissance cars) detoured on the CN Napadogan subdivision again. The Chaleur section (with 6401 and Budd cars, with passengers) went up the normal VIA route on the NBEC, where it will deadhead to Gaspe in preparation for a revenue run back to Matapedia where it will join Saturday's non-detoured VIA 15.

Jim Babcock reports the 5 derailed cars are back on the rails and are at Routhierville, Quebec. They will be moved to ERS in Campbellton to get their wheels changed. He reports that 3300 feet of track had to be repaired.

Wendell Lemon reported that today's VIA 14, headed by 6437 and 6424, detoured on CN and arrived in Moncton at noon. VIA 14 and 15 met at Oxford Junction.

It looks like VIA 14 will probably detour on Saturday but that will be the last detour.

VIA 6407 (Chaleur) near Douglastown
The Chaleur near Douglastown, Quebec

VIA Detours Update

VIA 14 detoured on the Napadogan subdivision again this morning. It was expected into Moncton about 11 AM. No doubt VIA 15 will be detouring too.

Thursday's VIA 14 arrived in Halifax at about 18:10, almost 2 hours late.

David Othen said he heard about 1 kilometer of track was torn up, and may need up to 72 hours to fix. Apparently the five stainless steel cars derailed upright and are in good shape. No doubt they will need inspection and probably have their wheels replaced.

I wish I could go take some photos of VIA on the Napadogan but I am recovering from some minor surgery... no railfanning for the next few days!

Here's a photo from the July 2005 VIA detour. David Morris and I shot this on July 10 in McGivney.
VIA 15 in McGivney

VIA Detouring

Due to the derailment of the last 5 cars of VIA 15 a little west of Matapedia, VIA 14 and 15 detoured over CN on Thursday. I don't know if VIA will detour again on Friday.

The combined Ocean-Chaleur train had to go to Moncton on the Napadogan subdivision. Wendell Lemon reported that VIA 14 left Moncton at 13:45 with VIA 6400, 6403 and 6401. The train had 5 Budd cars (the Chaleur) and 13 Renaissance cars (the Ocean).

I believe the last time VIA detoured on the Napadogan sub was July 2006, but I could be wrong.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I stumbled across this little video someone took of the restaurant aboard one of the Bristol railway cars. The restaurant is called Fresh Fine Dining and is a high-end restaurant with a fine menu. The videographer is a bit of a giggler but it is neat to see the inside of the car.

The restaurant is located in the first of three cars. I last visited this site back in August 2007.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another Kick in the Teeth for Dalhousie

Olin announced today that they will be closing their Dalhousie, NB plant. They acquired the plant in August 2007 when they purchased Pioneer.

They will "close its Dalhousie, New Brunswick, Canada chlorine, caustic soda, and sodium hypochlorite operations by early June and its sodium chlorate operations in August. A caustic soda storage and distribution terminal will begin operating in June at the facility."

Just what Dalhousie needs, another closure, another 50 jobs lost on top of the 330 lost when Abitibi-Bowater closed up in January.

I don't know if the distribution terminal will get any rail business, but this may spell the end of the Dalhousie branch of the NBEC. This might become a thing of the past:

Other coverage: CBC,

NBEC 1857 shunts the yard outside the paper mill in Dalhousie, 1999/05/03 - one of my very first railfan photos.

Snow Removal on NBEC

Michel aka NBECMich has a pair of very nice videos of snow clearing in the Bathurst yard on March 3. It includes train 597 moving cars around the yard as a wheeled snowblower gets the snow out.

Part 2, with a cameo by NBEC ore train 587 with NBEC 1821 as lead power.

CN 405 by Saintjohnrailfan

Matt aka saintjohnrailfan posted a few videos of CN 405.

Here's CN 405 at Bloomfield Station Road near Hampton on its way to Moncton, with 2 units on March 11.

Also at the same location on March 6, CN 405...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Photos from Kevin's Saint John Adventures

Here's the best of the photos that Kevin sent me.

NBSR local rounding the corner near the former shipyard.

CN 7010 as part of the local

CN 5676 leading CN 405 as it gets potash empties at the Courtenay Bay terminal.

The next day it was CN 8847's turn to do the same.

I liked this shot of 8847 going by Staples just before Island Yard.

Finally, CN 405 blasting through Hampton on its way to Moncton.

Thanks, Kevin!

Kevin and Saint John

Kevin posted a number of videos to YouTube. Since he has disabled embedding, I will present links to what I consider to be the best ones.

One day, he chased CN 405 (CN 8847 and 2548 with 116 cars, including 40 potash cars).
Rolling through the Island Yard
Through Hampton
CN 405 near Sussex

He also followed the NB Southern local around Saint John.
NBSR 3701 and CN 7010 in East Saint John - nice little pacing shot in the middle.
NBSR 3701 and CN 7010 crossing Thorne Rothesay Avenue

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ottawa Central 1815

I'm quite a bit late in posting this, but OCR 1815 was through the Maritimes a while ago. It spent some time in Sydney, Nova Scotia at the SCR shops, having arrived there back on January 25. 1815 left Sydney on February 21 behind RailLink GP9 4004 (report by Mike Whitty). It was spotted in Truro by Andrew Blackburn in the evening of February 23, and left Moncton on February 25 on CN 123 (thanks to Phil Ross).

There's a nice roster shot of OCR 1815 on

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Canon S3 IS Woes

As I hinted back in January, my Canon S3 IS digital camera died. The last photo I took was on January 19.

My camera suffered the infamous E18 error, aka "Lens Failure". It's well-known enough to have its own web site. :)

On many digital cameras, including mine, the lens extends out of the body when it is turned on. On the S3 the lens normally leaps out within a second of turning the camera on. The problem started around Christmas when it hesitated for several seconds before extending the lens. It got progressively worse until January 19, when it refused to come out at all. The camera would grumble away and then make a beep-beep noise, with the message "Lens failure, please restart" appearing on the LCD screen.

I tried replacing the batteries with fully-charged ones - no go. I looked at the E18 Repair Instructions but I wasn't willing to abuse the camera. Finally I called Canon's 1-800-OK-CANON line and talked to a live person. They advised me to send it in, so I did. It's out of warranty, alas.

I sent it via Xpresspost on February 11 and it was received at the Canon depot in Quebec on February 13. I called on the 18th and they said they had looked at it and would charge a flat fee of $149.00 plus tax and shipping. I agreed, and they had it back in my hands a week later.

I would hesitate to buy another Canon, given the number of these E18 messages that seem to plague people. Anyone out there have a similar problem?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

No Train Show For Me

I didn't make it to the train show on Saturday. Between the iffy weather and my bad back I wasn't up to travelling. Hopefully I'll get to Riverview in April? for the annual show there.