Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Boundary Trail Railway Starts Up

There are CBC Global & Mail articles about the startup of the Boundary Trail Railway startup. The BTR will operate 35 kilometres of rail between Manitou and Morden in Manitoba. This is a portion of the (former) CP La Riviere subdivision. The province announced in May that they were giving a forgivable loan of $615,000 to the BTR to help purchase the line from CP. They also received one million dollars from the Federal government earlier this month. It looks like RailWest Management Ltd. was involved in preparing the business case for the BTR.

"It has contracted with Central Canadian Railway to provide car hauler, maintenance services, links with major railroads on traffic and delivery issues, snow clearing and basic administrative services." They will interchange with CP at Morden.

Videos - CP

Here's a quickie video of CP 9513 leaving Swift Current, SK.

And my personal favourite, two CP ballast trains near Morse, SK. One backs in a siding while another pulls out... blogged about here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Video - CN on Nepisiguit Subdivision

David Chiasson posted a great video of CN power running the ore train on the Nepisiguit Subdivision. CN 5342 and 5251 provided the power. Well worth watching!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

GMD1 Videos

As I mentioned before, I saw GMD1 CN 1412 on June 11 in Regina. Here are two videos of that little engine. First, 1412 pulls a pipe train past me on its way to the yard. My youngest son provided commentary.

Next, 1412 runs light through the yard after depositing its train. Note the former Railnet units behind the GMD1.

Love those GMD1s.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Winnipeg to Regina Trains

On June 25, we drove back from Winnipeg to Regina. On the way, we saw a few trains (mostly CP) and I managed to record two of them.

Broadview, Saskatchewan is a division point and you can often see a train there. This time I saw CP 3100 and 3034 resting there. Unfortunately they were not in a photogenic spot.

Later, I saw an eastbound freight just east of Grenfell, Saskatchewan. It appeared to be accelerating from a stop. I pulled over to a rural crossing and set up my video camera, only then noticing that it had been left ON. The battery light was blinking but I turned it on anyway and then started shooting stills. The battery died about halfway through the train, which is good enough, I guess. You can just see the Grenfell elevator in the distance behind the train in the photo.
CP 8771 near Grenfell Saskatchewan

As we passed Grenfell, I saw a westbound freight off in the distance. Clearly there had been a meet. We carried on and soon came to Sintaluta, SK (love that name) where another eastbound freight waited in the siding. I stopped to take a few stills before heading on. I was pleased to see the second unit was CP 6078, an SD40-2 converted to a "B" unit with blanked-out windows.
CP 5790 near Sintaluta Saskatchewan

CP 6078 near Sintaluta Saskatchewan
I understand the B units were created by CP because they were dedicated to Locotrol (remote control) service and would never lead.

CP TEC Train

Apparently the CP track evaluation train rolled into Saint John without any railfans noticing. It was spotted Friday night at the NB Southern shops with CP 8205, a modified hi-cube box car, and two coaches. Those are likely the same cars that visited in 2007 and 2008.

I doubt I can spare any time to chase it. Hopefully someone will grab a few pictures when it goes by!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Return to Portage, Part 2

(continued from part 1)

Once the westbound CP train left, I refueled at Esso and Tim's and headed downtown. On my way there, I heard CN 114 calling the station boards as it approached town. I shot CN 8857 and BCR 3903 near the route 240 overpass at 07:30.

After that, a few CN section men got permission to do some work on switches near the CN-CP diamond. That ruled out any CN action for a while. I wandered around a bit before hearing CP 748 call in. I decided to shoot them near the route 240 overpass. It turned out that the power was Olympic CP 8865 on the head end of an intermodal train, with CP 9833 pushing on the end.

I went down to East Tower for the next shot. CN 115 blew through at 09:00 with three units, CN 2262, 2596 and 5563 providing the power.

I heard a track foreman ask the RTC for track time. The RTC said that CN 314 was switching Bloom (just west of Portage), so I decided to go there. I saw CN 5685 and 5783 doing a bit of switching, with the rest of their long train on the main line. They put everything back together around 09:35 and headed out. I decided to shoot them coming out of Portage, so I went to the gas station just east of Portage and waited. They rolled by at 10:10, and I tried for a little artistry here.
CN across the Prairie

I took one more conventional shot and headed back to Winnipeg. Not a bad morning at all!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Return to Portage, Part 1

Amidst all the house hunting I have been doing here in Winnipeg, I decided I needed wanted to do some railfanning. So I arose yesterday (Tuesday) at the early hour of 04:50 to head to Portage la Prairie. The sun was already up, so it was time to see some trains!

As I rounded the Perimeter Highway, I heard CN 312 call in to find out where they were bringing the train. The signal was strong on the scanner so I knew they were nearby. I exited the Perimeter at Wilkes Avenue and parked just west of the highway. CN 312 was just approaching Winnipeg at 05:42 on the north track, with CN 2511 and 5630 pulling 81 cars, half of which were autoracks.
CN 2511 in Winnipeg Manitoba
You probably can't see it in the small version, but there is a green signal light on the east-facing signal.

My GPS told me to continue west on Wilkes Avenue, so I did. As I travelled along, I thought I heard a train behind me blowing for crossings, and I pulled up to a private crossing and looked east toward Winnipeg. Headlights! I quickly set up and shot a westbound freight at 05:55 with CN 2603 and 5732.
CN 2603 at Winnipeg
You see the problem of shooting westbounds so early in the morning!

I chased it along the Trans-Canada Highway out toward Portage. I tried a few out-the-window shots as I slowly overtook it at 100 km/h, and they turned out OK. I saw an elevator in the distance at Oakville, MB and I resolved to shoot it there. I love grain elevators and I love trains, so I must love the combination, right?
CN 2603 at Oakville Manitoba
At 06:35 the light was still not good.

As I stood admiring the train, I looked west and saw... more headlights! Quickly I turned and shot an eastbound tank train with CN 5683 and 2572 and 101? tank cars. I didn't get any stills of that, as I was too busy setting up the video camera.

As I approached Portage, I heard a westbound CP freight talking on the scanner. The westbound CN freight just barely beat me to Portage, so I decided to go around to the west side and shoot the CP freight. I went to the Can-Oat Road and waited by the elevator there for the freight. My friend CN 2603 West shot past at 07:02, and shortly afterward at 07:10 CP 8638, CP 9567 and CEFX 1046 pulled a train past the Can-Oat elevator.
CP 8638 at the Can-Oat facility in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

Three trains down, four more to come!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Ex-Pullman car LYNNEWOOD in Amqui Quebec
While in Amqui, Quebec last month, David Morris and I photographed the Pullman car near the station. It is a very nice-looking car. My post about Amqui prompted Bob Liming to do some more research, and he found that it has been purchased by the town of Amqui and is being restored as a tourist attraction.

The car was built by Pullman in 1917 as car 4714, the "Joseph Early Widener Lynnewood". Joseph E. Widener was an American art collector and philanthropist, who raised his family at Lynnewood Hall in Pennsylvania.

The car was purchased by the Chesapeake & Ohio at some point. In 1952 it was bought by the Quebec North Shore & Labrador Railway, and then by "Gaspe Rail" in 2002.

There are a few interior photos here, as well as a post by the Mayor here.

Currently it is sitting on a piece of rail next to the station.
Lynnewood Pullman car in Amqui

Monday, June 22, 2009

CP Ballast Trains

I was out west of Regina earlier this month, and I saw a pair of CP ballast trains just west of Morse, SK. One train backed into a siding, and the other pulled up to the end of the siding.

The train backing in had a spreader (CP 402999) just behind the power (CP 3033 leading and CP 6041 trailing, both with Pacman logos). There was a caboose and another spreader on a siding.

The train pulling out had CP 5960 and red barn CP 9005 for power.

CP 5960 and CP 9005 near Morse, Saskatchewan

Here's a closeup of grubby CP 5960.

Dirty CP 5960 near Morse, Saskatchewan
Trailing CP 5960 was one of the rare "red barns", CP 9005.
CP "red barn" SD40-2F, CP 9005
CP had 25 "red barns" built for them in 1988. The red barns were SD40-2F units, standard SD40-2 interior with a Draper taper type cowl. They were the last SD40-2 units built by GM.

Here's the video of the two trains:

I taped both trains, then kept heading east. I saw a stack train parked in Ernfold and a few more trains before hitting Regina again.

See also:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

NB Southern Excursions on New Brunswick Day

Danny McCracken reports that NB Southern will be hosting train rides from McAdam on Monday August 3, the New Brunswick Day holiday. It's a little different this time.

09:00 Depart Harvey
10:00 Arrive McAdam
15:00 Depart McAdam
16:00 Arrive Harvey

Tickets are $20.00 each way. They will go on sale on June 24 at 10 AM at the McAdam station, first come first serve. There will be 210 seats available.

"There will be a community BBQ at the Park in front of the station along with a Static Display by Veterans Affairs-Canada on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of D-Day in the station dining room, and music in the big tent with a special tribute
to Don Messer and his music. The Premier, Lt. Governor and others will be present for NB Birthday Cake cutting at 11:00."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

GE B Units On The Prairies

I had the distinct surprise of seeing GE B23-7 units in Regina last week. On June 11 I pursued CN 1412 to the CN yard in Regina. Once I crested the berm at the south end of the yard, I saw these two units.
Savage Alberta Railway 1009 1010 in Regina

The Savage Alberta Railway was a shortline created in June 1999 as Alberta RailNet, owned by North American RailNet. In 2005, CANAC purchased the railway, and on December 1 2006 CN bought it back.

I don't think I've ever seen a GE B unit before. It was a nice surprise to see two of them.

More mundanely, CN GP9 7261 was also there behind them. 7261 is a "mother" to "calf" or "slug" units. Note the extra hardware above the pilot to control "calf" units.
CN 7261 in Regina

CP Units Being Scrapped

En route to looking at houses on Wednesday, I noticed a line of CP engines near Waverley in Winnipeg. It seemed strange to me to see them there, and when I looked closer I could see that one was in the process of being scrapped. I went back later that day and took a few photos to try to identify the units.

CP 5666 had its hood off, obviously in the process of being scrapped. The other units were: 5707, 5392, 5712, ????, 1584, 1537, 1613, 1506, 1593?, 1524.

On Friday 5666 and 5707 both had their engines removed. Basically all that was left was the cab, a center pillar, and the back end.

EDIT: "13 units sold by CP to Rail & Motor International and moved to an industrial spur at Universal Reload for parts salvage and scrapping. Units as follows: CP 1506, 1524, 1537, 1584, 1586, 1613, 1693, 5392, 5419, 5640, 5666, 5707 and 5712. CP 5419 and 5640 have already been scrapped; stripped to cab and frame are 5666 and 5707."

Friday, June 19, 2009

More RS18s To The Scrapper

NBEC 1854 and 1867 in Miramichi, November 7 2006

Ken Lanovich reports on the LocoNotes group that "New Brunswick East Coast RY RS18u`s, 1816, 1834, 1840, and 1854 have been delivered to JABCO scrap yard in Chicago Heights, IL."


Thursday, June 18, 2009

NB Southern Slug Ready

I just received word that the ex-CN "slug" is ready for testing at NB Southern's Dever Road shops. They are called "mother-daughter" units. The mother unit is 2318 and the ex-CN unit is numbered 008. They should be tested in the yard on the weekend, and once the bugs are worked out, they will be tried on the mainline with a test train next week.

The slug has been around for a while. I saw it back in May 2008.

Those GMD1s

I have a soft spot for the GMD1 engine. Something about those little engines just makes me smile. Every time I am in Regina, I try to get to the CN yard to catch a glimpse of one of them.

On June 11 I had a little free time, so my youngest son and I went out looking for some trains. We found a CP mainline freight and I shot that, then we stumbled across CN 1412 with a pipe train. We stopped and watched it pull a boxcar from an industry.

Then it was on its way to the yard with a long train of pipes.

They dropped the train in the yard, then parked the engine near the shop.

The odd thing was, later on that week, I happened to meet up with one of the founders of Torch River Rail, a new shortline that runs between Nipawin and Choiceland in northish Saskatchewan. They have a GMD1, ex-CN 1432, that they use to take their loads to CP in Nipawin. He is very enthusiastic about their railroad and its prospects. It was a definite pleasure to talk with him.

The GMD1 lives on!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


As some of you already know, I will be moving to Winnipeg in mid July. I am currently in Winnipeg and I am looking for a house. Anyone know of a good house near a train track? ;)

I intend to keep blogging away here, and look forward to a lot more CN and CP action!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CN Test Train

The CN TEST train has been roaming around the Maritimes in the past few days. It has CN 6000 for power with two TEST cars behind it.

Saturday June 13: Arrived at Gordon Yard in Moncton at 16:30 with 30-35 cars in tow behind it.

Sunday June 14: By Sussex subdivison milepost 5.5 at 09:20 heading toward Saint John.

Monday June 15: It made a quick visit to Halifax. It rolled through Rockingham Yard around 16:55, proceeded to the Halifax Ocean Terminal (HOT) and turned on the container pier loop track, then returned to Rockingham by 18:00 and tested to Millview. They backed into the yard, waited for VIA 14 to arrive, then headed out. They were through Windsor Junction at 18:30 heading west to Moncton.

Thanks to everyone on the AtlanticRails list for the great sightings.

Monday, June 15, 2009

CN 8705

CN 8705 and caboose in Halifax
Another eBay image for your viewing pleasure. This shows CN 8705 and caboose in the Ocean Terminals area of Halifax, near the passenger station. The slide was taken in September 1987.

CN 8705 was originally built in 1959 by the Montreal Locomotive Works as CN 8609. It was rebuilt in 1978, and became CN 101 for two years before reverting to 8609 in 1980. It was again rebuilt in 1984 and became CN 8705. It was finally retired in 1997 and was transferred to CN's then subsidiary CANAC. It was leased out to a few places and is currently leased to Agrium near Kapuskasing, Ontario. Thanks again to the CNcyclopedia for the details.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

CN 6765 Again

CN 6765 near Dorval Quebec
Here's another eBay slide, this time showing CN 6765 leading a short passenger train near Dorval, Quebec on February 21, 1974. She had about 2 1/2 years to go before being repainted in CN-VIA blue and yellow.

I bought this slide because I have one of her number boards. 6765 is currently resident at the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson, Quebec. I wrote about her before.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gaspe Trip Summary

Chaleur at New Carlisle
The weekend of May 29-31, 2009 was an action-packed railfan expedition for David Morris and I. We chased VIA 15 on Friday, then chased the Chaleur on Saturday, and finally railfanned the Napadogan subdivision and the Pelletier subdivision on Sunday.

I logged 1606 km in the car, from Fredericton, NB through Campbellton to Amqui, QC, back to Matapedia and up the Gaspe to New Carlisle, QC, back through Campbellton and down to St. Leonard, NB then back into Quebec to Riviere-Blue, QC, then back through Edmundston and home to Fredericton. We burned 104l of gas and drank innumerable caffeinated beverages in our mad chases.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend. The main focus was to shoot the Chaleur one more time, but I think my best pictures and video came from chasing the combined Ocean-Chaleur in Quebec, and CN 121 and 308 on Sunday. The weather was a bit of a downer for the Chaleur chase but I don't mind.

I'll remember this trip for a long, long time. I hope you have enjoyed hearing about it. Thanks for reading.
Amqui Station

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Pelletier Subdivision, Part 2

Continuing from the last post, we were at Riviere-Blue in Quebec awaiting the arrival of CN 308. We were not disappointed, as she rolled through at 12:25 Eastern with IC 2717, dirty black IC 1020, blue BCR 4652, CN 5648, and red-white-and-blue BCR 4608 leading a long long train.

After a dozen or so freight cars went by, we jumped in the car and beat it out of town. Alas, they got past CN 121 at Tarte and to the highway crossing before us. It was close but of course safety comes first so I stopped at the crossing, got out and gave them the railfan rollby inspection. Once the long train passed, we pursued and this time I got to the highway crossing well ahead of them at Long Lake. We elected to jump out just out of town to get this shot across the lake.

Once again in pursuit, we crossed the border ahead of them and got one side-of-the-road shot just short of Lac Baker. We then hurried ahead to Lac Baker to get the church shot. I was literally slapping the tripod up and turning the video camera on as the train rolled into view at 14:05 Atlantic... it was a close thing.
IC 2717 on train CN 308 at Lac Baker NB

This time I shot the whole train, since time was running short and I didn't intend to pursue any more.

As it happens, they beat us to the next highway crossing and then we passed them as we entered Edmundston on our way home.

The Pelletier Subdivision, Part 1

Continuation of Napadogan Subdivision post. On May 31, David Morris and I passed Edmundston into Pelletier subdivision territory in hot pursuit of CN 121.

We decided we would get it at Lac Baker, NB since there was a lovely church that could be used as a background for the train. We arrived and parked at the Caisse Populaire, then I headed across the road to scout out locations. I thought I was a lot farther ahead of him than I was... because I could hear them blowing for a nearby crossing! I didn't have time to set up the video camera, so I just shot stills at 11:36.
IC 2707 leading CN 121 through Lac Baker

CN 121 through Lac Baker
A great combination of light and location... in my humble opinion.

David and I knew, from the lineup we had earlier that day, that 121 would have to meet CN 308 somewhere nearby. As it happened, we got another phone call at noon stating that CN 121 was stopping at Tarte to meet CN 308 there. Now, if you look at your Pelletier Subdivision timetable, you will see that Tarte is at mile 44.0 and we were around mile 20. In fact, Tarte is the only siding greater than 7500 feet on the subdivision, so if two long trains have to meet, that is the place.

Given that we knew CN 308 would be a while, we elected to pull up stakes and head west into Quebec to at least look at Tarte to see if a photo could be taken there. We did that, and decided that there was no good shot there without a great deal of hiking. We continued on to Riviere-Blue and set up there by the old station to await 308's arrival.

Read on!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CN 4483

CN 4483 at Gloucester, NB
I bought this slide off eBay a while ago, and wanted to share it with you. This shows extra 4483 West at Gloucester, NB just south of Nepisiguit Junction outside Bathurst. You can tell it is an extra train by the white flags on the lead unit. However, the slide says it was train #393.

CN 4483 was a GP9, built as CN 2012 in 1955 and quickly renumbered to 4483 in 1956. It was rebuilt in 1984 and became CN 4036, which is its current number. (thanks to the CN Lines CNcylopedia)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Napadogan Subdivision, May 31

This is the last leg of the marathon train chase David Morris and I took on the weekend of May 29-31 2009. As I mentioned in my previous post, our plan was to shoot VIA 14 in Campbellton, then proceed to Edmundston and railfan CN for the afternoon. We headed down the former International Railway route - the route is still quite visible.

We had a call at 06:46 with a lineup for the day, very much appreciated. This was the lineup around 6 AM:
CN 120 - past Edmundston going east
CN 121 - IC 2707 / 2225 / 8838 / 2549 depart Moncton 0215, arrive Edmundston 0950
CN 308 - IC 2717 / IC 1020 / BCR 4652 / BCR 4608 / CN 5648 arrive Edmundston 1215 Eastern
CN 305 - 5739 / 5800 / 5528 / 2558 / 2462 depart Moncton 0715, arrive Edmundston 1645
CN 120 - @ Brighton ON 2015 previous day

The consist for CN 308 was very intriguing, although there was no guarantee which unit would lead.

Based on the lineup, we decided our best bet was to proceed to St. Leonard and see if CN 121 was imminent. We went to the border crossing and looked at the lights - all red - then asked the Canadian border guard if a train had recently passed. "No, definitely not in the last two hours," was the response.

We decided to go see the former INR Junction and look at the sight angles there. We arrived at 09:20. I thought they were good, so we parked there and waited. I set up my tripod on one of the legs of the wye leading to the Irving lumber mill so I could keep the sun behind me. The old INR Junction was a diamond crossing but it is now a wye off the main line to the mill, and a switch off the siding to the interchange with the MM&A across the border. There were about 10 cars in the interchange tracks.

After walking around and taking photos, I glanced west and saw headlights! WEST? I quickly stepped over to the siding side of the tracks and watched as CN local train 578 rushed past on the main line, with two CN GP38s running light. Shortly thereafter, the eastward facing light went green. I think they must have tucked themselves into the siding at the east end.

Shortly after 10:00 I heard some conversation on the scanner, and at 10:11 CN 121 blasted through with the expected units, IC 2707 / CN 2225 / CN 8838 / CN 2549 leading a very long train of containers.
IC 2707 in St. Leonard, NB

After it went by, we gave chase. We stopped in Edmundston to fuel up and visit Tim Hortons, figuring it would spend some time in the yard. Once we got to the yard, we saw it was rolling again on its way west!

We gave chase, heading into more new territory for me, the Pelletier Subdivision.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

NBEC Update

Jeremy MacPherson relayed the news that ex-NBEC 6905 (SD40) "has been sold to the Dakota Missouri Valley & Western and should be shipped from Woodcrest soon. This is the same line that recently purchased some of the retired SD50F units from CN."

Good news... better that than the scrapper. Speaking of the scrapper... NBEC 1855 has been scrapped.

Monday, June 08, 2009

VIA in Campbellton

On Saturday May 30, after the abbreviated Chaleur chase (part 1, part 2, part 3) we returned to Campbellton. In the evening, a fierce rainstorm swept through just before VIA 15 arrived. We headed out to see the Ocean at the station, with lightning flashing in the distant east sky. I put my Canon on the tripod and tried some night shots in the rain just after 9 PM. It was hard to get a shot without a raindrop on the lens!
VIA 15 "Ocean" in Campbellton, NB
They were being refuelled by an Irving tank truck. The Irving guy was kind enough to kill the headlights on his truck while we were taking the shots.

The consist was VIA 6412, 6421, 7011, 7228, 7230, 7227, 7309, 7400, 7313, 7508, 7522, 7521, 7525, 7503.

Our plan for Sunday (May 31) was to shoot VIA 14, then head down to Edmundston and shoot a couple of CN freights before heading home on the Trans-Canada Highway. We were by the pulp mill in Atholville bright and early at 06:38... 25 minutes before the train was due to arrive. We waited around, watching the sun duck behind clouds now and then, and hoping it would be out when the Ocean finally arrived.

At 07:10 we heard it blowing for a nearby crossing and got ready for the shot. It rolled by in brilliant sunlight a few minutes later.

The consist was the same as Friday night's VIA 15: VIA 6415, 6414, 7003, 7223, 7217, 7315, 7401, 7314, 7500, 7520, 7507, 7502, 7513, 7524.

Once it passed, we hit the road for Edmundston to see our CN freights... and for me, some more new territory.


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!

Friday, June 05, 2009


By Thursday afternoon (June 4), NBEC 1809 and 1830 have been scrapped at Campbellton with 1855 in the process of being scrapped. Plow NBEC 55420, flanger 56201 and spreader 50955 are next.

I saw them on May 30 in a line railway east of the shops. Click on the photo for a larger view.

NBEC 1809, 1855, 1830 at Campbellton waiting for the scrapper

You can see that all the parts have been stripped. Number boards, classification lights, bells, even handbrake wheels were all removed. Even some of the headlights were gone.

Also, I understand that NBEC 1814, 1816, 1834, 1840, and 1854 have all been sold for scrap.

Goodbye, Alcos.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A New Life For CN 7059

An old friend, CN GP9RM 7059, has found a new home on the other side of Canada. The Sandhouse reports that VIRX 7059, owned by Vancouver Island Rail Tours Ltd., arrived on the Island on April 6 2009. It had spent a year and a half at the Southern Railway of British Columbia's Trapp Shops in New Westminster, B.C. The intent is for VIRX 7059 to provide backup power for the Southern Railway of Vancouver Island, and in the future it could power excursion trains on the island.

I first saw CN 7059 in Saint John on December 15, 2000 doing some shunting. I saw it again four times in December 2001, twice in January 2002, and for the last time on February 7, 2002. It was one of the usual three GP9s that stay in Saint John. See sightings.

If you don't subscribe to the Sandhouse, you really should. It is published by the Pacific Coast Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association and is a very high quality publication. If you have any interest in British Columbia rail history, past and present, you need to read this.

I found CN 7059 on YouTube leading a freight train. Skip ahead to 5:20 in the video to see it.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Chaleur Chase, Part 2

This is part 2 of Saturday's chase of VIA's Chaleur

At the end of part 1 the train had arrived at Carleton.

We were caught in some construction after that, and couldn't make it to Grand Cascapedia for the shot there. Note to construction workers - those stop signs on a stick are there for you to use. Don't just leave it to us to decide when it is safe for us to go!

Our next shot turned out to be the station at New Richmond. We didn't hang around, as we wanted to get to the next shot.

Both of the next two locations are near Caplan. The Chaleur scared the local bird populace in this shot.

There was a lot of fog, as you can see.

Our next shot in the fog was at mile 82. David Morris calls this "Fred's Bridge" after the late Fred Angus. Fred was a noted railfan, author, editor, and rail history supporter. Fred's favourite number was 82, and he really liked this bridge for that reason. On my last trip I shot the other side of the bridge, so I decided to get on the sea side this time.

The train reached New Carlisle, its terminus for this trip. I'll talk about that in the third and final part of the Chaleur chase.