Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Happy 20th Birthday, NB Southern Railway!

NBSR in Harvey, NB 2009/02/21
The New Brunswick Southern Railway ran its first train on January 6, 1995... 20 years ago yesterday. The NBSR took over from the Canadian Pacific Railway, which left the Maritimes* on December 31, 1994.

The Canadian American Railroad Company took over the former CP track between Sherbrooke, Quebec and Brownville Junction, Maine. NBSR partner Eastern Maine Railroad Company took over the section between Brownville Junction and the US-Canada border.

When the NBSR first started, they leased CP power to operate their trains until they could acquire their own locomotives. In fact two of those locomotives (1813, 1866) ended up back in New Brunswick on the New Brunswick East Coast Railway.
NBEC 1866 in Miramichi, 2007/01/30

I believe NBSR's first purchased power was the pair of high hood GP9s NBSR 3700 and 3701, followed by a series of chopped-nose ex Southern Pacific GP9s later in 1995.
NBSR 3700 in Saint John, 2003/09/15
I first saw an NBSR train on July 18, 2000 when NBSR 3744 and NBSR 3787 were bringing some containers to CN's Island Yard.
NBSR 3787 in McAdam, 2000/11/12
I've had many happy chases of NB Southern trains.

Since those early days, NB Southern has accomplished a lot:

  • Took over almost all local switching in Saint John in 2002
  • Ran Trailer-On-Flatcar trains for several years
  • Took over operations in northern Maine after MMA

At the 20 year mark the railway is doing very well and I wish them all the best in the future.
NBSR 2318 in McAdam, 2008/07/19

* well, except for a tiny bit of track in northwest New Brunswick near Grand Falls.

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