Sunday, June 29, 2008

CN 405 at Penobsquis

Matt aka saintjohnrailfan posted a really nice video of CN 405 at Penobsquis, dropping off potash cars, and then rolling through Petitcodiac.

Kevin Gaudet shot it at Petitcodiac too.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

NB Southern Cab Ride

Dave Dineen, saintjohnrailfan and Kevin Gaudet were fortunate to get a cab ride in an NB Southern engine before the June 19 westbound went out. They both posted their videos, so here they are. First Dave's:

Matt aka Saintjohnrailfan posted a video of the westbound leaving in the dark.

Finally, Kevin's (as links).
first, second, train leaving Saint John.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

UPM Facility to be Sold?

The Miramichi Leader is reporting that a Fredericton-based company, Arcadia EcoEnergies, is proposing to use the defunct UPM-Kymmene mill in Miramichi to produce biodiesel and Jet-B fuel. They would use biomass like woodchips in a reactor to produce the fuel. If it is successful, this would mean a great deal of traffic for NBEC. Keep an eye on it! Link to article

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

1835 on the CFC

NBEC 1835 went to the Chemin de fer de Charlevoix in Quebec early this month. Here's photographic proof in this (somewhat odd) railfanning video.

Here it was in Bathurst in July 2006.
NBEC 1835 in Bathurst

VIA Crossing the Miramichi

Here's my video of VIA 15 crossing the Miramichi River from Monday. VIA 6400 leads the train and Prince Albert Park brings up the rear.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Two Oceans, One Day

I had a quick trip up north today. I saw CFMG 6902 at rest in Miramichi with a bunch of 86' boxcars around the yard.

VIA 14

I heard VIA 614 was late, so I elected to wait a few minutes outside Bathurst for it to leave. I was rewarded by this sight of the Telus unit, even with its peeling paint.
VIA 6429 "Telus" leading VIA 14 out of Bathurst, New Brunswick
ASSINIBOINE PARK was on the tail end of the train, with a Renaissance consist.

"Assiniboine Park" on the tail end of the VIA Rail "Ocean"

Here's the video!

Ore Train

Later, I arrived in Bathurst just as the NBEC ore train returned from Belledune. NBEC 1819 and 1851 powered a short train.
NBEC 1819 in Bathurst, New Brunswick

VIA 15

I beat it to Miramichi to catch VIA 15. Fortunately they were late, so I had time to go to the river bridge to get this shot. Railpictures liked it - my first accepted photo of 2008.

Prince Albert Park was on the tail end of this Ocean.

Here's the video for VIA 6400!

PS - Sadly, VIA 6400 lasted less than two years after this photo was taken. It derailed in Quebec in February 2010 and was written off.

See Also

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Kevin and CN 405

Kevin Gaudet passed along some photos of CN 405 (and an NB Southern local) in Saint John from June 19 and 20. Here are a few of my favourites.

By Kevin Gaudet
Unusual to see a GP38 in Saint John

By Kevin Gaudet
CN 405's power near Courtenay Bay

By Kevin Gaudet
The NB Southern local running light to Island Yard

By Kevin Gaudet
A nicely composed shot... maybe in Rothesay?

Kevin has a number of new videos on YouTube. Since he has disabled embedding, I'm not putting them here but you can follow this link to see all his videos.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

IRSI 6202 at CN Safety Day

CN held its annual Safety Day this past Saturday, June 14. The IRSI-refurbished VIA RDC, 6202, was out for rides. Matt aka downeastrailfan was there and took some great video.

A nice runby.

Another runby with Shrek in the front vestibule.

Here it is arriving and disembarking passengers.

6202 tows CN GEVO 2305 into the yard at the end of the day.

Nice videos, Matt!


CFMG 6907 in Campbellton
Rumours have been swirling around the railfan world about CN purchasing the New Brunswick East Coast Railway (NBEC). I haven't commented on it here because I try not to pass rumours along... too much. :) Things are quite a bit more clear now. Here's the story as I understand it.

The Chemin de Fer du Quebec (CFQ) / Quebec Railway Corporation (QRC) is the owner of the NBEC, as well as CFMG, OCRR, CFC, and the SCR. According to Wikipedia, the CFQ is owned by Groupe Jean Fournier Incorporated and a group of private investors. I am sure of the last part but I don't know who that Groupe is.

Several (or most) of the owners of the CFQ were interested in selling their stake in the railway. Two parties became involved, one of them CN and one of them a private investor. CN and CFQ had quite a long discussion and it seemed certain that CN would purchase most of the CFQ lines. The rumours were so strong that I heard a VIA conductor talking about it with an NBEC crew on the radio as they went by Belledune!

About a week ago, CN backed out and the deal is off. No word on the other investor yet.

I don't blame the investors for wanting to get out. Several of the QRC lines have fallen on hard times and there may be worse news to come. I never understood why CN was interested in the QRC lines, except maybe to keep them from being acquired by other railways. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few months.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Canadian Pacific RS23 Photos

A fellow named Joe sent me a photo his mother took in Saint John in late February or early march 1994. I think it is very interesting.

I reduced the size somewhat to fit on the screen.

The top units are (L-R) 8041, 8023, and I think 8027. The bottom units are (L-R) 8045 and 8046?.

Note the C.A.R. label on 8023, the only unit to wear the label as far as I know. Also notice the CP multimark on two of the units.

I think both photos were taken at Bayshore or the Port of Saint John, based on the shoreline in the background.

Nice to see these units from the past. Many of the RS23s were scrapped by the Windsor & Hantsport last year.

Do Not Use GoFTP

There is a fast FTP client out there called GoFTP. It looks great and works well, but DO NOT USE GoFTP. The free version embeds links in your files. This borders on malware. For example, it stuck this link at the bottom of many of my web site's files:

"Further info on new and further information on brunswick"

That link pointed to

GoFTP secretly stuck these links in my files without asking. GoFTP sucks. Do not use GoFTP! I'm back to using FireFTP in Firefox to maintain my web site.

Thanks for indulging my rant... back to trains in a minute. :)

Saint Stephen Job

Gary Lee posted a nice video of yesterday's "South Job" leaving McAdam to go to Saint Stephen. The train features NBSR 2319 leading 3 boxcars, one covered hopper, one tank car, 8 loaded log cars, and caboose 434919.

He also posted a video of NBSR's Trakrane from the same day, complete with the inevitable McAdam ATV going by. I swear there are more ATVs than people in that town.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

McAdam Tour Next Sunday

From the Daily Gleaner's Community Calendar, for Saturday June 21:

"The York-Sunbury Historical Society will be having a guided tour of the McAdam Railway Station. The cost is $10 for tour and lunch. Participants should plan to leave at 10 a.m. to reach McAdam at 11 a.m. Members and guests who plan to attend, contact the York-Sunbury Museum at 455-6041 or e-mail with a contact number; particpants are asked to say if they can offer a ride or would like a ride to McAdam. For further information, contact Ruth Murgatroyd at 455-6041."
McAdam Railway Station

Friday, June 13, 2008

Two New Videos

I posted two new videos from May 26. The first shows NBEC 402 pulling out of Belledune, after it had switched Chaleur Lumber. NBEC 6900 and CFMG 6906 smoke it up as they pull a long train toward the camera.

The second, from earlier in the day, shows VIA 14 approaching Miramichi. 6431 and 6421 lead a Renaissance train.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fredericton Area Train Videos

I heard there were a couple of Fredericton-area train videos on YouTube. Here they are!

This one was a military train near Fredericton. According to the video comments, it was near Stanley. The power was a pair of M420s, one of which was 3521.

The second video shows a coal train, reportedly the last one in Fredericton, with 3553 as the power. There are about a dozen CBNS hoppers. You can hear the old rails creak as the engine rolls over them.

Very nice!

NB Southern Passenger Excursion Videos

Mine, this time! These were from my May 24 trip.

First, an overhead shot south of Grand Bay as the first train of May 24 rolls back toward Saint John.

I was onboard the second one, and we were headed out to the yard lead at the west end of NBSR's Dever Road yard to meet the eastbound freight.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jumpy Video

Here's a very jumpy video of a CFMG train in Quebec. Too much caffeine! :)

I see there was an MLW unit in third position but I can't see whether it was an RS18 or a C424.

NB Southern Railway Mainline Freights

A few videos of NBSR mainline freight trains were posted to YouTube recently.

Gary Lee has a video of NBSR 9801 East leaving McAdam, with 2318 and 2612 pulling a collection of empty gypsum cars, tank cars, boxcars and empty centerbeam flatcars, and a single NBSR ballast hopper on the end.

Jammin' Joel shot a different NBSR 9801 East in Grand Bay, with 51 cars. It had much the same cars as the last video, except for no ballast car and a bunch of autoracks. The power was 9801, 2318, 2612, 2319, and 2317.

Now that the days are almost at their longest, the westbound NBSR freight can be shot. Dave Dineen shot one at Acamac on June 2 with NBSR 9801, 2318, 2612 and 53 cars. This one had quite a few more tank cars, and since it was a westbound, the gypsum cars and centerbeam flats were loaded. I like the FRED flashing on the rear at the end of the video.

Monday, June 09, 2008

NBEC 4214

NBEC 4214 has been on the Ottawa Central Railway (OCR), and is coming home to New Brunswick. She was spotted on OCR train 440 on June 6. I understand an RS18 from NBEC will be going to OCR on a permanent basis, probably NBEC 1851.
NBEC 1851

NB Southern Passenger Excursion

NB Southern Excursion at McAdam. Photo by Peter Gough
Photo by Peter Gough

Danny McCracken reports that McAdam will hold their annual "Railway Days Celebrations" on June 30 and July 1. NB Southern Railway will have its usual passenger excursion from McAdam to Harvey and back, on June 30.

Tickets go on sale June 23 at the McAdam Village office on a first come, first serve basis at noon (12:00). The cost is $20 for adults or $10 for children under age 12.

2007 Excursion
2006 Excursion

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Some of you may know that I collect railway paperwork, including timetables and train orders. I recently became aware of, run by the redoubtable Ken Secrest. I've purchased a number of train orders from him on eBay and he has been excellent in every transaction. So, if you are looking for train orders, he has listed a number of them on his web site. Check them out!

EDIT: Gary Scott tells me the operator was Donnie Hillman. Ray Furlong was another operator at South Devon.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Transloading in Rogersville

This article in L'Acadie Nouvelle caught my eye. If I understand the text of the article correctly (it's in French) the town of Rogersville is studying the potential for a facility in town to transload between trucks and trains. It's an interesting idea. It could provide a boost to the NBEC.
VIA War Brides Train At Rogersville

CN 405 Everywhere

Matt (saintjohnrailfan) posted several videos of CN 405.

Here's CN 405 on May 31 with CN 2692, 2696 and BC Rail 756 in Rothesay.

I like this shot of the same train near Hampton. The track runs along the highway and you get a nice side shot.

Here's 405 on June 4 near Courtenay Bay in Saint John and by the E&NA station in Rothesay with 2502, 6135 and 2650 for power. In the Rothesay segment you can see two blocks of gypsum cars on the train - one to Belledune (from Irving Wallboard) and one to Nova Scotia (from McAdam).

Here's a late CN 405 on June 5 coming back light from Courtenay Bay.

The same 405 on June 5 at Tennis Court Road in Rothesay.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bayshore Yard From Spaaace

I was looking at Saint John using Google Maps, and I went to Sea Street by the former CP Bayshore Yard. It's amazing how well the yard shows up in the satellite photo. You can clearly see where the old roundhouse stood and where the tracks are/were.

Contrast that with this aerial photo of Bayshore yard from 1981, courtesy of Bob Boudreau. You can see that most of the roundhouse was gone by then but a few stalls remained... with no tracks leading to them.

I took a number of photos of Bayshore a few years ago. This is a roundhouse stall as it is now.

Dave Dineen has a video of a container freight backing across Sea Street with a lovely CN caboose horn blowing. It's about 2:20 into this video:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

RDCs On VIA 14

I happened to catch VIA 14 at Beresford yesterday (June 3). While standing on the overpass over the tracks, I heard them call mile 121 on the scanner, and moments later I saw the headlight in the distance. I held my weeny Fuji Finepix A210 camera and waited for the train to go by the Beresford sign.

The lead unit was 6426. Right about then I noticed the stainless car(s) at the end of the train. At first I thought it was a Park car but when I saw the roofline, I knew they were RDCs. I ran across the road and shot a couple of going-away pictures.

The two were VIA 6202 (ex-IRSI demo car 6202), and Farmrail 6130. They were on the tail end of VIA 15 on May 21.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Containers To Dalhousie?

Since the closure of the Olin chemical plant is beginning now, the Dalhousie rail spur has no business. I understand the last NBEC train 591 (Dalhousie local) will be running very soon, if it hasn't already. If nothing else is found, the rail line will likely be closed and eventually lifted, after 124 years of service from June 30, 1884.
First Intercolonial train to Dalhousie, 1884

In Wednesday's Tribune, there was an interesting proposal to put a container terminal in Dalhousie.

Interesting, but fruitless. Given the proposed container terminals in Canso and Sydney, rumours of one for Belledune, and Halifax operating at only part capacity, there is absolutely no need for any more container terminals in the Maritimes. Also, I'm told Dalhousie's port is too shallow compared to these other alternatives. It's a shame, but another industry will have to be found to regain the jobs in Dalhousie.
NBEC 1813 and 1857 in Dalhousie, 2003/10/06


Here are a few photos of Vanceboro from my little excursion there yesterday.
NB Southern at Vanceboro Maine
My first impression of Vanceboro was "small". It has the main line and two other tracks there, and that's it. In the above photograph you can see all the trackage, together with a storage shed and truck trailer to the right.

Vanceboro Maine
There is a little office building at Vanceboro. Shortly before the westbound NB Southern freight arrived, a woman drove up to the building and went in. I assume she was getting the customs papers ready for the train. When the train stopped, the conductor got the papers from her.

Vanceboro Maine
The big surprise at Vanceboro was this little "museum" from the Vanceboro Historical Society. I encourage you to go look at their web site, as there are a few photos of the railroad showing that it was a happening place in its time.

Peering in the windows of the building, I saw a rack of tourist paperwork and the rest appears to be under refurbishment.

There are some good photos in the excellent Canadian Pacific To The East by Omer Lavallee. There was a two-story wooden station in Vanceboro, built in 1906 and dismantled around 1960. The baggage room was retained and served as the station until it burned around 1990.

There is a George Melvin photo of Vanceboro from 1972 in the book, showing CP train 42 (soon to be the Atlantic) showing a turntable and some track behind the station. It appears the current office shack is on or near the site of the former station. Another photo in the book shows a four-stall roundhouse in Vanceboro. I should have looked for the foundation but I didn't think of it.

The chart on page 212 of Canadian Pacific To The East shows quite a substantial yard in 1926, featuring scales, freight and coal sheds, a station, an engine house, a 54,380 gallon water tank, and a U.S. Customs building.

The Maine Central railroad used to have a switcher in Vanceboro, but I don't know when that was ended. Perhaps it stopped when the Mattawamkeag-Vanceboro line was purchased from the Maine Central by Canadian Pacific in December 1974.

Of course, Vanceboro is most famous in railway circles for the failed World War I sabotage attempt on the bridge over the St. Croix river. German Oberleutenant Werner Horn was sent to destroy the bridge, but botched the job and only caused minor damage that was repaired within a few days.

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