Thursday, April 30, 2009

Last VIA Stainless For The Winter

This one really was the last one for this spring, despite my previous post on the matter. David Morris chased it from Oxford Junction to Miramichi on Wednesday April 29. Here are a few of his photos.

First, Oxford Junction. Note the track curving off to the left, the former wye.

Next, Amherst.

And finally Miramichi, with failing light.

The consist was engines 6435 and 6440, baggage car 8621, coaches 8109 and 8140, Skyline 8503, diner LOUISE, and Chateau cars IBERVILLE, CADILLAC, LASALLE, and DOLLARD.

Calais Branch

As I mentioned yesterday, the Springfield Terminal Railway (aka Pan Am) will be leaving the Calais Branch on Friday. There is a nice article in the Bangor Daily News about this. They have some good quotes from engineer Doug McLellan and conductor Terry Diadone.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Springfield Terminal Leaving

MEC 320 in McAdam, November 25, 2006.

I understand that Springfield Terminal (owned by Pan Am Railways) will be pulling their equipment out of the Domtar mill in Woodland, Maine on Friday. They have an engine, a few cars and an old snowplough that will be leaving. The NB Southern "south job" will pick them up at Milltown Junction and bring them back to McAdam for shipment back to the U.S.

Too bad the forecast calls for rain on Friday!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Three GO Transit Videos

I was in Toronto for a quick day trip today. I had some time after my meeting and before my flight, so I ended up at Port Credit, Ontario to see a few GO Transit trains.

First, a westbound arriving and departing.

Next, an eastbound arriving, engine forward.

Finally, a westbound arriving, cab forward.

Friday, April 24, 2009

NB Potash Operations

Matt aka saintjohnrailfan posted some photos of the dormant Denison Subdivision recently. The Denison Subdivision runs 11.7 miles from mile 57.2 of the Sussex Subdivision to the former Clover Hill mine.

Wendell Lemon very kindly gave permission to me to post an article he wrote about New Brunswick potash operations back in 2006. Read Wendell's take on potash in New Brunswick.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dead In Tow

This is a great video by David Graham in Ontario - two CN units with a block of eight "dead in tow" passenger locomotives, followed by freight. Be patient - the train shows up at the 2 minute mark, but there is some good engine noise, horn and scanner traffic before then.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

NB Southern Eastbound Saturday (part 2)

Continued from part 1...

For my next shot, I decided to go to Wirral. I had never shot a train there, so why not? They rolled through at 14:43. I took a few long-distance shots before they rolled past the siding.

I passed the boys at Clarendon and then threaded my way through an accident scene, before arriving at Welsford Lake. What a nice location! The train came through at 14:58.

The train beat me to the western crossing at Welsford, and then we got stuck behind it at the highway crossing. So, my next shot was my favourite S-curve on the beginning of the Riverside Road.

I took a grab shot at the side of the road next.

At Westfield Beach, I parked at the post office boxes and sprinted to the overpass to get this shot at 15:22.

At 15:29, the boys and I took the Grand Bay curve shot.

The kids were getting restless, so I promised them one more shot before we packed it in. I decided on the overpass shot near the Co-Op.

That was the end of a great chase.

NB Southern Eastbound Saturday (part 1)

It was such a beautiful day that I had to go see some trains. My two youngest kids and I went to chase the NB Southern. I heard the freight was arriving in McAdam around noon, so I figured 2 PM in Tracy would be safe. I arrived there shortly before two, then headed west to Vespra to wait at the beginning of the dirt road.

There were two gentlemen already there, Mike and Peter? Peverett from Maine. We talked for a few minutes before the train showed up at 13:56. NBSR 2317 and 9802 provided the power for the 28 cars in the consist.

I shot them again at the next crossing of highway 645.

I easily beat the train to Tracy, and shot them once more at the side of the road. You can see the two Peveretts on the bridge.

The next shot, I decided, would be at Fredericton Junction by the station. I set up midway between the station and the caboose and got them there at 14:14.

I was a little behind them once they passed, so I elected to get the cross-the-field shot at Blissville by the cemetery. First, the traditional shot:

Then something a little more artistic:

Part 2 coming up later today...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


It looks like we've passed the worst of it, thankfully. The New Brunswick government's River Watch web site is forecasting stable or decreased flows all along the Saint John river. This year was not nearly as bad as 2008.

Chris M is reporting that the mighty Restigouche River is going down. As I mentioned, CN put a ballast train on the bridge at Matapedia at the beginning of April, and stationed a locomotive (CN 9592) there to shunt the cars out of the way of passing trains.

Monday, April 13, 2009

CN Test Car Update

An update to my report on Wednesday. CN 1501 has been busy in the Maritimes. It arrived in Campbellton late Wednesday night, did the Newcastle subdivision Thursday (Rogersville 12:20) and arrived in Moncton around 14:15 Thursday afternoon. It was spotted in Moncton Friday night as well.

On Friday it traveled to Dartmouth, arriving at the yard at 19:15 after doing the entire Dartmouth subdivision all the way to Autoport. On Saturday the 11th it left Dartmouth after 9 AM and traveled to Halifax, testing all sidings. It was spotted in Amherst around 5 PM on its way to Moncton.

This Monday morning it was on its way to Chipman around 10:30, going all the way to Edmundston. It should be there by now, I would think.

I had called it CN 15016 but the last digit has been covered on all of the number boards, and the painted number is 1501. Apparently it has been renumbered as an engine rather than work equipment. On the radio the crew is calling it CN 1501.

NBEC 4235

Ken Goslett sent along several great photos of NBEC 4235 dead in tow on CN 309 passing through Montreal Sunday morning. CN 2562 and IC 2461 provided the power.

"EFT" is written on the fuel tank. I assume that means "Empty Fuel Tank".

Great shots, Ken! Thanks for passing them along.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

CN Ballast Train

Michel Boudreau saw a special ballast train headed by CN GP9 4115 today near Bathurst. I saw 4115 yesterday in Moncton but I didn't post it because I couldn't read the complete number. Here is Michel's video.

The Exodus Continues

NBEC 1868 on the Nepisiguit Subdivision, September 13, 2007.

Nicolas Kiss reports that CFMG 6910, NBEC 4235 and NBEC 1868 all left Campbellton this morning on CN 562. The first two are bound for the CN/IC shops in Woodcrest, Illinois and RS-18 1868 was purchased by the Chemin de fer de Charlevoix near Quebec City.

All the former NBEC/CFMG SD40s have now left. I don't think there are any C424s left other than the well-stripped hulks in Miramichi. There might be one or two RS-18s still around...

Moncton on Saturday

I went to Moncton on Saturday to visit the Moncton Model Railroad Show. On my way there, I stopped by Gordon Yard around 11 AM. It was pretty quiet, but I saw a few GP38s in the yard... namely CN 4732, 4706, 4725, 4762 and 4724.

The show was great. I was glad to talk with a bunch of old friends. Hi Wendell, Bill, Art, Steve, Mike, Ed, Allan, Sharon, Gary, Luc...

After the show, I dropped back in around 2 PM and not much had changed. 4732 and 4706 were doing some shunting in front of IRSI's RDC line.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Moncton Railroad Show

Don't forget the Moncton Railroad Show tomorrow, April 11 in Riverview, New Brunswick. Directions and times are on the web site.

I plan on arriving around 11 or so. I hope to see you there!

Photos from 2008

Strange VIA Yesterday

There was a problem with VIA 14 and they had to leave most of the Renaissance cars in Charny, Quebec. VIA 6449 took the 9 cars back to Montreal early yesterday. VIA 14 proceeded with the Chaleur consist and 4 Renaissance cars. It went through Tide Head (just on the NB side of the border) at 15:30 Thursday, and left Bathurst at 18:35. Michel Boudreau caught it there with VIA 6416 and 6412 leading.

Doug Lawrence saw them leave Halifax today at 12:49 with the following consist. One has to assume these are the same cars that were on VIA 14 yesterday.
Engines 6416, 6412
Baggage 8618
Coach 8124
Skyline 8507
Chateau Brûlé, Roberval, Latour
Baggage 7011
Coaches 7228, 7230, 7231
Service car 7309

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

CN Test Car

CN recently retrofitted an RDC (Rail Diesel Car) as a track inspection car. It can do inspections at up to 60 mph and detect cracks in rail joint bars as small as 1 mm. It is CN 15016 (RailPictures photo by Michael Quagliano).

Wendell Lemon reported it is visiting the Maritimes as train 482. It should be on the Newcastle (ex-NBEC) subdivision today and Thursday.

EDIT: The RDC arrived in Campbellton at 8 PM Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Flood Protection

It has been reported that a work extra was dispatched last night from Campbellton with ballast-laden cars for the railway bridge at Matapedia. This was done last year as well, but a lot later in the month of April.

A locomotive will be in place at Matapedia to move the cars off and on the bridge to allow other trains to pass.

NBEC 4214 In Illinois

Here's a shot of ex-NBEC 4214 (and ex-OCRR 1846) in storage at East Hazel Crest, Illinois. Photo by Steven McKay. Browse through his collection for photos of NBEC 1866, OCRR 1838, NBEC 6901, and NBEC 1818, as well as other CN, BC Rail, and other units.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Two More Gone

NBEC 1857 in Miramichi, February 9, 2005.

I guess Saturday was the last revenue run for CFMG 6909. It and NBEC 1857 left Campbellton this afternoon on their way to CN's shops in Woodcrest, Illinois.

CFMG 6910 is the last ex-QRC SD40 left in New Brunswick. I'm sure it will be gone in a day or two as well.

CFMG 6907 Video

CFMG 6907 was the third unit on train 584 in Eastern Ontario Thursday night.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

More NBEC Power Updates

CN 5288 leads CN 564 at Bathurst on April 4, 2008. Photo by Michel Boudreau.

Michel Boudreau noted CN 564 left Bathurst today around 5 PM, with CN 5288 and CFMG 6910 and 4 cars of lumber from Chaleur Lumber in Belledune. No sign of CFMG 6909.

In other news, NBEC 1851 left the area Thursday morning on CN 562 for Woodcrest, Illinois. The next RS18 to leave should be 1857.

NBEC 1851 leaving Bathurst, May 5, 2008

CFMG 6909 and 6910 Again

Those two old warhorses are still running... Michel Boudreau shot them leaving Bathurst Friday afternoon. Very nice video. There was a string of empty container flats on the end of CN 564. I saw the same flats coming into Miramichi on Thursday. They must be going for storage somewhere... unless the long-rumoured "containers into Belledune" is coming true!

Michel was in Bathurst shooting at the same time I was, on Thursday. Here are two shots of the SD40s. Here's CFMG 6910 at the east end of the yard.

Then CFMG 6909 leading on the return trip. They are waiting for CN 567 (ore train) to clear the track.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Thursday, Continued

After my luck at finding CFMG 6909 and 6910, I still had a few trains to see on Thursday.

In Bathurst, CN 5260 and 5251 were at the head of a longish ore train in front of the VIA station at 17:20. I didn't stick around to see them leave.

I went to Miramichi with the intention of seeing VIA 15 before heading home. They are due in Miramichi at 18:53. I thought of going to the south end of one of the bridges to reprise this shot, but the access road was full of snow. I decided to shoot them on the bridge by the former UPM facility.

To my surprise, I heard chatter on the scanner between a CN freight and the VIA train. It turns out that the CN Moncton-Miramichi freight (CN 569) was running ahead of the Ocean. The RTC was giving VIA short sections of track to occupy, to keep them moving but not run into the back of CN 569.

To make a long story short, CN Work 5343 crossed the bridge at 19:03 with 5241 trailing.

They had an interesting train behind them. There were a lot of gondolas, empty gypsum cars, and a long string of empty container platforms. 49 cars in total.

Hot on the heels of CN 569 came VIA 15 at 19:12 with 6434 and 6440 leading another Renaissance train.

I elected to shoot stills because I was standing on the highway bridge, and the noise and vibration from passing cars and trucks would have ruined the video. The lighting was great there, as you can see.

That was enough for me, and I headed home, satisfied.

The Last of the SD40s

I had a quick trip up north yesterday, my first in a long time. I was very fortunate this trip and my timing was good.

I left Fredericton later than I had hoped, so I figured I would have no chance of seeing VIA 14, the Ocean, in Miramichi. As I passed the VIA station after 11 AM, I was surprised to see a lot of cars there. I stopped and asked the agent, and he said the Ocean was due in a few minutes. I went down the line a bit and they rolled past at 11:27 under an overcast sky, with 6449 and 6416 pulling a Renaissance set.

There was no talk of the southbound mainline freight on the scanner around Bathurst, so I continued on. As I approached Belledune, I heard some local switching chatter so I looked for them at Chaleur Lumber. Sure enough, there were CFMG 6910 and 6909 pulling out of the spur.

They coupled on to the rest of the train, then spent some time trying to contact the RTC. They finally got through and went on their way at 13:21. They had those two old warhorses wide open when they went past.

I saw two CN SD40s switching a train in Belledune but I was too far away to get any numbers.

Later, I managed to find the northbound CN mainline freight at Beresford at 17:00 with 6909 leading this time. I would guess from the time spread that they did not go to Miramichi.

I understand this may have been the last run of the last NBEC / CFMG SD40s on the line. I'm glad I was fortunate enough to see them.

I'll post about the rest of my sightings later.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bathurst Videos

Michel Boudreau posted some videos of the same trains I saw today... first! So I will post his first.

Here is CN 567 (ore train) coming into Bathurst with CN SD40-2W 5260 and 5251.

Here is CN 565 (ex 403) going north from Bathurst, with doomed CFMG 6909 and 6910 for power. Be patient... the train does eventually leave.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Quite a Derailment

A Great Western Railway snowplow and engine derailed while plowing the Assiniboia subdivision in Saskatchewan. The plow ended up pointing almost 180 degrees from the original direction, and both the engine and the plow are leaning quite heavily. The photos (courtesy Ken McCutcheon) are quite good.

CFMG 6907 Gone

CFMG 6907 in Miramichi, 2007/09/04
CFMG 6907 in Miramichi, September 4, 2007

I'm told that CFMG 6907 is in Walkley Yard in Ottawa having her fluids rained. Walkley Yard is the former Ottawa Central Railway (OCR) yard, now owned by CN.

That leaves CFMG 6909 and CFMG 6910 as the only two non-CN SD40s left on the former Quebec Railway Corporation system. Expect them to be gone very soon, together with the few MLW units still present.