Monday, July 30, 2012

Ontar-eye-O, Part 2

In my previous post I mentioned I went to southern Ontario. I wanted to shoot one of the Corridor trains "en route", so I went to VIA Rail's web site and looked up the Toronto-Windsor train schedules.

I wanted to catch a train between Windsor and Chatham, and these were the trains operating in the late afternoon/early evening:
  • Train 73: Chatham 15:36, Windsor 16:26
  • Train 78: Windsor 17:45, Chatham 18:30
  • Train 79: Chatham 22:19, Windsor 23:10
After looking on Google Maps and doing a little math, I figured I could catch train 78 in Belle River at 18:05 or so. I set out and drove north across the peninsula. Let me tell you, the roads are made for east-west travel and not for north-south travel! I approached Belle River at about 17:55 and came across train tracks. I stopped and had a look for a bit before I realized they were the CP tracks, and not the VIA tracks! I got back into my car and drove up to the centre of Belle River, only to see VIA 78 flash by in the distance, right on time. :(

I poked around a bit in Belle River and took some photos of the bridge at mile 90.2. You can see that it is a three-span bridge.
Belle River bridge

Clearly this used to be a two-track bridge at one point. The bridge on the left is a pedestrian bridge, wisely put there to keep people from walking on the train bridge.
Belle River bridge

I drove back out of Belle River, only to see a CP autorack train receding in the distance. 0 for 2!

I went back to Essex to take some shots of the station and grain elevator, and also to have supper. Just before I reached Essex, I crossed the old CN CASO subdivision. The Caso (Canada Southern) was built back in 1872-1873 and is one of the oldest lines in Southern Ontario. I don't know the full history but at times it was owned by the New York Central, Conrail, and then jointly by CN and CP. You can see from the photos below that CN ceased operation in the spring of 2011 and it has grown over fast.
CN Caso subdivision

Give it a few years and you won't be able to see the rails at all.
CN Caso subdivision

Moving on to Essex, here is the (presumably defunct) grain elevator in the centre of town. The train station is directly opposite it.
Grain elevator in Essex Ontario

Here's the marvelous train station in Essex, in daylight this time.
Train station in Essex Ontario

A view from the other side of the tracks.
Train station in Essex Ontario

I have a couple more posts from southern Ontario, one featuring the little station in Leamington and the one VIA train I actually saw, and another featuring the old train station and steam engine in Windsor.

Thanks for reading. Read on!


Navi said...

Next time you'll have to add Comber to your itinerary. Their nice old station is still standing & there's a bit of track:,-82.5514175,3a,37y,131.24h,93.03t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sYre_tsk9excWUN-ne5lpYQ!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Navi! That station looks very similar to the one in Leamington. I'll have to check it out in August when I'm in the area.