Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Trackside Log for Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Well, the remains of hurricane Katrina were pushing into Ontario today. It was very cloudy but I still followed the CN Stamford subdivision home. There were no signals up at Netherby Road so I headed north through Port Robinson where I heard an eastbound get a clearance from a foreman. A yellow signal was lit at the west end of the yard and I could see the headlights down the track.
  • 1650 Port Robinson - CN 567 east - CN 4121

After 567 I headed along the canal toward St. Catharines when I heard Trillium 110 get permission from the CN NI dispatcher to enter the north track of the Grimsby subdivision. Trillium 110 was heading back south from St. Catharines so I headed to Thorold to photograph it climbing the Niagara Escarpment adjacent to the Welland Canal. Before they showed up I photographed the Wagenborg ship Virginiaborg as it exited lock 7 headed downbound.

  • 1724 Thorold - Trillium southbound - TR 110

If you look in the background of the photo you can see the Virginiaborg in lock 6 east. I figured that to be the end of today's fun so I headed home.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Trackside Log for Sunday, August 28, 2005

This morning I headed to Copetown on the CN Dundas subdivision. When I checked the signals at Inksetter Road upon arrival it appeared that an eastbound was imminent so I went to the elevator in town. Sure enough train 148 east set of the detector at mile 15 not long after.
  • 0950 Copetown - CN 148 east - CN 5708-WC 6926-CN 5744

Some of that power looked familiar since the second and third units were the power for the previous Saturday's train 435. Shortly after 148 had passed I could hear diesel rumblings again. I didn't feel like roaming too far so I decided to spend the day at Copetown.

  • 1005 Copetown - CN 392 east - CN 2660-CN 5727
  • 1051 Copetown - CN 385 west - CN 5778-CN 5639-BNSF 8210
  • 1156 Copetown - CN 2nd 394 east - CN 5271-BNSF 7905-BNSF 7141-CN 5765-CN 5385-CN 2682
  • 1205 Copetown - CN 330 east - CN 5406-CN 5551
  • 1208 Copetown - CN 331 west - CN 5603-CN 5615
  • 1252 Copetown - Via 72 east - VIA 910
  • 1256 Copetown - Via 73 west - VIA 6424 (Spiderman 2)/VIA 906
  • 1432 Copetown - CN 393 west - CN 2690-CN 5508

I decided to head home via Hamilton and stopped by Hamilton yard to see RaiLink. While there Via train 92 west arived.

  • 1515 Hamilton yard - RLK 4205, SOR 1752 and SOR 1285
  • 1521 Hamilton yard - Via 92 west - VIA 6410

I heard CN 435 working Aldershot and headed to Plains Road for it.

  • 1600 Plains Rd., Burlington - CN 435 west - CN 5248-CN 5503

While waiting for 435 a group of guys from Cleveland, Ohio arrived on the Wolfe Island Bridge. After a chat I decided I was done for the day and headed home.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Trackside Log for Saturday, August 27, 2005

The first thing I wanted to do today was photograph the "Maple Leaf" at St. Catharines station so I headed there for 1000.
  • 1003 St. Catharines - Via 97 east - AMTK 101

Apparently I had just missed NS 328 east but heard that it was meeting CN trains 422, 338 and 332 at Port Robinson. I decided to head to the Hamilton area for them and whatever else would show up there. Shortly after arrival CN train 392 east appeared.

  • 1105 Aldershot - CN 392 east - CN 2419-CN 5699

Just after 392 passed by I heard a CP train call out Waterdown on the CP Hamilton subdivision so I headed over to Hamilton West to photograph it.

  • 1139 Hamilton West - CP 230 south - CP 6024-CP 6020-CP 9022

Since I knew three trains were coming from the CN Grimsby subdivision I wanted to move to a location where I could see them. Back to Aldershot I went.

  • 1154 Aldershot - CN 390 east - CN 5327-CN 5543
  • 1158 Aldershot - CN 148 east - CN 2561-CN 5638-CN 2534
  • 1244 Aldershot - CN 435 west - CN 2692-CN 5689-CN 4114

Train 435 was dropping quite a few cars at Aldershot yard as well as the GP9.

  • 1244 Aldershot - Via 73 west - VIA 906
  • 1309 Aldershot - Via 72 east - VIA 903
  • 1323 Aldershot - CN 435 west - CN 2692-CN 5689
  • 1331 Aldershot - CN 332 east - CN 5634
  • 1344 Aldershot - CN 393 west - CN 5436-CN 5270

I was getting tired of the miserable weather and boring trains so I decided to head home. I passed by the ex-Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo's Aberdeen yard first to have a look at the only interesting train of the day, CP train 230 whose power parks there for the subsequent return to Sudbury as train 231 north.

  • 1404 Aberdeen yard, Hamilton - CP 230 south - CP 9022-CP 6020-CP 6024

CP 9022 is one of only two SD40-2F's in the "dual flag" scheme, 9000 being the other.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Trackside Log for Friday, August 26, 2005

It was nice and sunny after work so to the tracks I went. I swung by CP's Welland yard where only CP 3032 was parked by the office. I assumed it would head out as job 3 and headed over to the CN Stamford subdivision to see if anything would show up. After a short wait train 531 east announced its departure from Port Robinson so I headed to Netherby Road (again) to photograph it. 
  • 1621 Netherby Rd., Welland - CN 531 east - CN 9540

I roamed around the Stamford subdivision when I heard CP job 3 hit the detector at mile 18 of the Hamilton subdivision and subsequently called up the CN NI dispatcher to ask permission to head over to southern yard. Since I'd photographed job 3 two days prior I passed on it. After waiting around for a couple hours with no trains I gave up and headed home. That's pretty typical for an evening on the Stamford subdivision.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Trackside Log for Wednesday, August 24, 2005

For a break today I decided to head over to CP's Welland yard to see if anything was hanging around there. As luck would have it train 256 was parked by the yard office.
  • 1443 Welland yard - CP 256 south - CP 9632-CP 9537

That was pretty good for a twenty minute break. After work I headed back trackside again. CP job 3 was working Welland yard but nothing else was going on so I headed over to the CN Stamford subdivision. On my way over I heard CN train 531 east leaving Port Robinson. Amazingly I arrived at the Netherby Road crossing moments before 531. I hopped out and photographed it.

  • 1658 Netherby Rd., Welland - CN 531 east - GCFX 6072

With nothing better to do that evening I decided to stay and see if anything else would show up. I was pretty sure CP job 3 was going to head to CN's southern yard, so I should at least see it. Sure enough it appeared before long. I photographed it on the CN Stamford subdivision where it dropped 40 cars in CN's Southern yard.

  • 1804 Miller Rd., Yager - CP job 3 west - CP 3096-CP 3032
  • 1819 Ridge Rd., Welland - CP job 3 west - CP 3096-CP 3032

After dropping the 40 cars job 3 headed back to the CP Hamilton subdivision as light power.

  • 1830 Netherby Rd., Welland - CP job 3 east - CP 3032-CP 3096

It looked like that was going to be it so I headed home.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Trackside Log for Tuesday, August 23, 2005

As I left work I heard CP train 419 north get a clearance through a track occupancy permit (TOP) between mile 24 and mile 28 of the Hamilton subdivision. I figured he was still in Welland yard so I went over to Boyle to photograph it. After a short wait 419 appeared. The detector reported 530 axles which is pretty big for the Hamilton subdivision.
  • 1720 Boyle - CP 419 north - CP 5647-CP 6016-CP 5579-CP 5640-CP 5717

On my way back to Welland I heard that 419 was going to drop 5640 and 5717 for train 425's power.

Passing through Welland I heard CP job 3 working in the yard. I was heading over to CN to see what was up when I heard job 3 calling out crossings which meant it was operating in reverse. Job 3 was headed for the Stevensville spur again!

  • 1817 Schihl Rd., Netherby - CP job 3 east - CP 3032
  • 1824 House Rd., Stevensville - CP job 3 east - CP 3032

While waiting for job 3 to finish switching I saw CP train 257 west pass by on the CN Stamford subdivision from my rear view mirror. Power was CP 8573. The two tracks are about a quarter mile apart in Stevensville. I was going to head over to the Stamford subdivision but I didn't make it in time so all I could do was watch.

  • 1859 Stevensville Rd., Stevensville - CP job 3 west - CP 3032
  • 1910 Schihl Rd., Netherby - CP job 3 west - CP 3032

Then I figured I'd head to the Welland canal tunnel for job 3. For a long time I've been trying to catch a photo of a train coming out from under the canal while a ship passes over it. This was the closest I've ever come to date. I missed by about five minutes. DOH!!!

  • 1927 Townline Tunnel, Welland - CP job 3 west - CP 3032

That was fun but it was getting late so I headed home.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Trackside Log for Saturday, August 20, 2005

Saturday I was to meet Marcus in the Hamilton/Burlington area. Unfortunately I got a bit of a late start. At any rate, I heard on the scanner that CN train 399 was still working at Aldershot when I left St. Catharines. I didn't expect it to still be there when I arrived, but there it was when I passed by on the 403. I headed over to the Plains Road overpass and waited. First up however was CN train 271.
  • 1004 Bayview Junction - CN 271 west - CN 2421-CN 5457
  • 1017 Bayview Junction - CN 399 west - CN 2601-IC 6067-GTW 5950-WC 7527

I phoned Marcus to see where he was and met him at Bayview Junction where we saw Via train 93 west headed toward Niagara Falls with the funky wine tasting car.

  • 1037 Bayview Junction - Via 93 west - VIA 6408

Shortly after 93 CN train 421 west headed through Bayview Junction for Port Robinson. Just after Bayview Junction train 421 becomes an eastbound as it rounds Hamilton harbour.

  • 1052 Bayview Junction - CN 421 west - CN 5411-GTW 5925-CN 4711

Before 421 left for Port Robinson it had work to do in Hamilton yard where CN train 422 west was already working. When 422 reaches Bayview Junction it will become an eastbound.

The next train in the parade was CN train 394 east which we also caught at Bayview Junction.

  • 1102 Bayview Junction - CN 394 east - CN 5546-IC 6032

Marcus and I headed over to Aldershot where we waited for train 422.

  • 1124 Aldershot - CN 422 east - CN 5718-CN 5386

We noticed two LPG cars parked on the north track at the west end of Aldershot yard and that the angle of one car was odd. Also present was a mobile crane and quite a few men. Apparently this is why train 399 was so late. From what I could tell the drawbar on one car broke while 399 was pushing backward. This drove the first car into the car behind it lightly damaging both but also rendering them imovable.

The next train in the parade was CN train 385 west which had finished working Aldershot yard and headed past the two disabled cars.

  • 1148 Aldershot - CN 385 west - CN 2585-CN 2647

Train 385 was closely followed by CN train 550 west which was to head to Bayview Junction on the south track, cross over to the north and then head back to the disabled cars.

  • 1203 Aldershot - CN 550 west - CN 7032-CN 4135

Marcus and I broke for lunch and headed back to see what was up at Aldershot. Train 550 had coupled the two disabled cars and was proceeding to shove them back toward Aldershot yard at about two miles per hour. Upon close inspection I noticed that the west car was resting on the draft gear of the east car and not on its own truck. That was quite precarious looking.

Train 550 now east was taking a long time to get back to Aldershot and stopped several times to let other trains pass.
  • 1304 Aldershot - CN 332 east - CN 5792
  • 1311 Aldershot - CN 435 west - CN 5744-WC 5926
  • 1331 Aldershot - CN 154 west - CN 5788

Finally after 30 minutes train 550 east crept its way to Lemonville Road at Aldershot. It stopped here where the mobile crane was waiting. This was to be the rerailing site. I took a few photos of the fiasco.

  • 1337 Aldershot - CN 550 east - CN 4135-CN 7032

While CN was messing around with the two LPG cars train 393 west departed Aldershot yard.

  • 1350 Aldershot - CN 393 west - CN 5274-IC 6005-WC 6925

As I hear it 393 derailed near London later that day.

At this point I'd had enough fun and decided to head out to visit friends and family. All in all a pretty good morning with twelve trains in about four hours.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Trackside Log for Thursday, August 18, 2005

Today after work the weather was nice and sunny so I headed to the tracks. I usually head over to the Netherby Road crossing of the CN Stamford subdivision first since there are signals on both sides. Well, I didn't need the signals to tell me there was a train coming. There was an eastbound right there. I hopped out and shot CN 5639 east. That was convenient.

  • 1703 Netherby Rd., Welland - CN eastbound (531?) - CN 5639

At this point I could hear CP job 3 working out at Brookfield so I headed over to see what they were up to. I turned onto Brookfield Road and looked east down the CP Stevensville spur expecting to see what I always see, nothing. Wrong! Job 3 was headed east on the spur. In the three years I've been in the Niagara area I've never been able to catch a train on the Stevensville spur. So I chased down to the Schihl Road crossing for the first shot. CP 3096 was pushing four boxcars and a caboose toward Stevensville.

  • 1715 Schihl Rd., Netherby - CP job 3 east - CP 3096

The Stevensville spur is the ex-Conrail/Penn Central/New York Central/Michigan Central main line to Buffalo. CP is currently only using the track from Brookfield to Stevensville and only about twice a month. The track between Stevensville and Fort Erie is out of service. Consequently the line is quite overgrown and difficult to find photo locations. I next photographed job 3 in Stevensville at the Stevensville Road level crossing.

  • 1730 Stevensville Rd., Stevensville - CP job 3 east - CP 3096

Job 3 switched the ACG Canada plant for a while before heading back to Brookfield. In the meantime I headed back to see what other locations I might like to photograph. I decided to photograph job 3 at the western end of the spur at Brookfield Road. One of the NYC's old wooden sheds is still at the crossing so I used it as a prop. On the westbound return trip job 3 consisted of just CP 3096 and the caboose.

  • 1805 Brookfield Rd., Brookfield - CP job 3 west - CP 3096
Job 3 then headed back to Welland yard and my chase was done. It was starting to cloud up so I called it a day. All in all everything worked out very well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Trackside Log for Wednesday, August 17, 2005

After work today I decided to head trackside. First stop was CP's Welland yard. Nothing was going on there but CP 3096 was parked in the yard. The CN NI dispatcher was talking to train 531 east who was getting ready to leave Port Robinson but the two units hadn't been FRA inspected for the US. Upon inspection by the crew CN 6012 was found to have a large quantity of oil on one of its trucks so the plan was to cut it off and head to Buffalo with only CN 5424.

CN 5424 was facing west so the crew ran it around the wye at Allanburg, lifted their train and headed east. During this time train 332 west was pulling through Fort Erie and would meet 531 at Robbins. At the same time train 330 east was pulling into Port Robinson but parking there for a recrew. 

  • 1715 Netherby Rd., Welland - CN 531 east - CN 5424
  • 1740 Netherby Rd., Welland - CN 332 west - CN 5744

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Trackside Log for Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Well, there isn't a whole lot to report today. The CP TEC train with 8218 was out on the Hamilton subdivision today. Unfortunately I was at work all day and didn't get a chance to see it. By the time I got out of work a storm was brewing and it was too dark and wet to bother looking very hard for it.

I did however visit CP's Welland yard where CP 9500 was putting a northbound train together of empty autoracks. I took a few photos of it on the CaSo track and then made a very cursory search for the TEC train. I didn't find it but I suspect it was in Niagara Falls on the Montrose subdivision. Oh well, it was raining pretty good so I went home. Another day…

Monday, August 08, 2005

Trackside Log for Monday, August 8, 2005

Today I was on my way home from work which takes me past the old Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto yard at Yale Crescent. At first I was surprised to see two boxcars and the Trillium Railway's ex-CP caboose parked in the yard. Farther along I saw why, TR 110 was beside Berryman Avenue with two tank cars. One of them was derailed. It appeared that while trying to deliver the car to Kemira at the end of the spur they derailed the lead car (the train was pushing the cars).

Stupid me didn't have my cameras so I rushed home to get them and came right back. Eventually they got the car rerailed and cut it off. I assume the plan is to fix the track and the deliver the car later. I figured this would be a great opportunity to photograph Trillium on this piece of track. To this point I'd never had the fortune of actually finding them working St. Catharines. So I first photographed them at the intersection of Yale Crescent and Berryman Avenue which is where the derailment occurred.

They had to lift the two boxcars and caboose left in the yard and so while they did that I moved to photograph them just south of the yard between Eastchester Avenue and Queenston Street.

At this point things got very interesting. I was hoping but wasn't convinced that they'd head up to Thorold on the Townline Spur but figured the more likely thing to do was head back across the CN Grimsby subdivision and back to Welland. Oh ho! They took the track to Thorold. This was my lucky day! I've been trying for years to catch Trillium on the Townline Spur. First I headed over to the old factory alongside the NStC&T track at the corner of Glendale Avenue and Merritt Street in Merritton.

After that though I headed to my primary goal, the street running portion along Townline Road East in Thorold. Trillium runs down the centre of Townline Road East for two blocks.

Then I snapped some more photographs as they delivered their two loaded boxcars and lifted four empty boxcars at the Interlake Paper plant at Merritt Street and Townline Road East. I was however really kicking myself for not bringing my video camera along. Oh well.

After switching the paper plant I expected them to head back down to Merritton but apparently the derailment did in the crew. They tied up the train on the track beside Front Street North and that was that.

So, no more photos for me. I shouldn't complain though. I think I blew away about 25 frames or so at them. That's one more item on my railfan list of things to do that I've checked off. This was a good day.

Brian Switzer 09/08/2005 18:33:54

Just an update, but I went by the spur where Trillium derailed the tank car. The derailment was at an old level crossing which has been removed and the track repaired. The car has been delivered.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Trackside Log for Sunday, August 7, 2005

It was another beautiful day although it promised to be fairly hot. I decided to head to the CN Dundas subdivision in the Paris area today. Since I was out fairly early and I hadn't photographed many eastbounds at Blenheim Rd. (Eatonia) before I headed there. I heard from the DI dispatcher that CN 392 was on its way so I knew I'd at least catch it.
  • 0920 Eatonia - CN 392 east - CN 5707-CN 2404-NS 9843-CN 5745

Shortly thereafter I heard CP 9720 west get a clearance from Coakley siding on the Galt subdivision to begin/end CTC sign Nissouri with an item four to meet CP 242 east. At the same time I heard CN trains 399 and 271 coming on the Dundas subdivision. The plan was to try to get 399, 271 and 242. CP 9720 was already lost. CN 399 met 392 in Paris so I figured I could catch 399 and 271 before I needed to bolt to the Galt subdivision for 242. I got lucky, it worked.

  • 0937 Eatonia - CN 399 west - CN 5795-CN 2644-IC 6071
  • 0949 Eatonia - CN 271 west - CN 5275-GCFX 6065
  • 1011 Wolverton - CP 242 east - CP 9706

A foreman was putting a track block on the Galt subdivision in Galt for three hours after 242 went by so there was no point hanging around CP. Back to the Dundas subdivision I went. Since Princeton is really nice I went there. Just as I was pulling into town the detector at mile 40 went off. It turned out to be 434 east. I got to the tracks just in time to see it blast through. I didn't note the engine numbers but the second unit was an SD50F. No great loss.

I picked up refreshments at the local variety store and waited. After a while of a very quiet scanner the crossing gates in town activated followed very closely by the detector at mile 40. Something was here and I didn't have much time to get my camera. Behold train 148 east.
  • 1125 Princeton - CN 148 east - CN 5650-CN 2641-CN 5740

CN is pretty slow today. I heard 435 working Brantford so I know it's coming but first was Via 72.

  • 1238 Princeton - Via 72 east - VIA 915

The detector at mile 40 south track went off again with a speed of 20 mph. That would be foreman Crosby doing a track inspection. It now sounded like things would pick up. The RTC wanted foreman Crosby to clear the track for some action. First up was an eastbound.

  • 1306 Princeton - CN 434 east - CN 2403-CN 2591-CN 4707

CN 434 was taking the north service track at Paris Jct. for two westbounds.

  • 1330 Princeton - CN 435 west - CN 2639-CN 5363-CN 5517-CN 4102
  • 1335 Princeton - Via 73 west - VIA 6408/VIA 6401 (both in Spiderman 2 decals)
  • 1345 Princeton - CN 385 west - CN 2645-CN 5289-CN 5249-IORY 4070

The IORY was a brand new ex-SP tunnel motor that I didn't get a good photo of because I only had one frame left on my film. DOH!!! Luckily the battery on my DV camera survived long enough to get the train. Train 331 was right behind 385 but was boring and I didn't photograph it. Now the chase was on. I heard the DI dispatcher tell 385 that it would be recrewed at Gore Rd. in London. So to the 401 I head to catch 385 again in London.

When I got to Airport Rd. in London 385 was just coming into town. I headed to the Gore Rd. crossing and photographed it parked there waiting for a recrew. That was easy.

  • 1455 London - CN 385 west - CN 2645-CN 5289-CN 5249-IORY 4070

Since I drove all the way to London I checked out the CN and CP yards. There wasn't much of interest so I decided to head for St. Thomas and see what NS 327 had run with. On my way out of town I heard 385 had its new crew and was again under way.

In St. Thomas I found the NS power parked by the CN building on the Paynes subdivision where it always is.

  • 1608 St. Thomas - NS 327 - NS 9809-NS 9337

Well I'd about had it for the day and decided to head back home. I took Highway 3 and stopped to photograph the St. Thomas and Eastern's HR-412 in Tillsonburg.

  • 1650 Tillsonburg - STER power - STER 3582

On the way back home I passed through Jarvis, Hagersville and Troy and checked out the abandoned right-of-way of the CN Cayuga subdivision, Michigan Central/New York Central/Penn Central/Conrail Canada Division, and the CN Dunnville subdivision respectively. It's always sad driving through that area. Nowhere is it more depressing though than in Canfield Junction where all three of those now abandoned lines converge. I chose to bypass the junction that day.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Trackside Log for Saturday, August 6, 2005

It was a really nice day, sunny and not too hot so I ventured out to trackside. I first wanted to catch Via 97 and headed to the Taylor Rd. overpass east of St. Catharines on the CN Grimsby subdivision.

  • 1015 St. Catharines - Via 97 east - AMTK 171

I didn't feel like staying in Niagara so I headed for the Hamilton area. While on the QEW I heard CN 422 west talking to the dispatcher about working both Hamilton and Aldershot yards. I dropped by Hamilton yard where it was about to begin its work. The consist was interesting but the lighting was terrible so I opted to wait for it to head east on the opposite side of Lake Ontario at Aldershot. While waiting for 422 west at Aldershot 154 east arrived with a lift there.

  • 1210 Aldershot - CN 154 west - CN 2531
  • 1230 Aldershot - CN 422 east - CN 2452-GCFX 6065-CN 4129-CN 2597

Via 73 had to wait for 422 to cross over from the south track to the north before proceding out of Aldershot station.

  • 1235 Aldershot - Via 73 west - VIA 6401 (Spiderman 2)

CN 422 was also lifting another GP9, CN 4018 as I recall, but I didn't feel the need to head over to Aldershot East for that.

The construction at Aldershot on the Oakville subdivision third track is well under way. The two new bridges at Aldershot West are about complete. The north bridge will accomodate the yard lead extension while the south bridge will carry the new third track. The embankments have been cleared away and the track bed should soon be underway by the looks of things.

I didn't feel like staying at Aldershot so I headed up to the Dundas subdivision at Copetown for the remainder of my day. After picking up refreshments I headed to the old feed mill and waited. It wasn't long before I heard 393 working Aldershot. Now I just had to wait for it to show up. Before 393 arrived the detector at mile 15 went of and 434 appeared.

  • 1415 Copetown - CN 434 east - CN 5639-CN 5756-CN 247-CN 7245
  • 1501 Copetown - CN 393 west - CN 5622-CN 2687

After these two trains I called it a day and went to visit with friends.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Trackside Log for Monday, August 1, 2005

  • Guelph Junction, Ontario - Ontario Southland equipment - CP 1116
  • Georgetown, Ontario - CN 422 east - CN 5336-CN 5297
  • Georgetown, Ontario - GEXR 432 east - RLK 2210-CN 9540-GEXR 4046
  • Georgetown, Ontario - VIA 85 west - VIA 6419
  • Georgetown, Ontario - CN eastbound - CN 2566-CN ????-CN ????-CN 5602-UP 5143-UP 3890-BNSF 7131
  • Georgetown, Ontario - CN 547 west - CN 7079-CN 4117