Saturday, December 31, 2005

Trackside Log for Saturday, December 31, 2005

It's the last day of 2005 and I'll be visiting friends for new year's eve. I was heading out to Binbrook when I heard the detector at mile 18 of the CN Grimsby subdivision. Train 421 was on the way so I dropped by Merritton.

  • 1111 Merritton - CN 421 east - CN 5736-CN 5713

I swung past CP's Welland yard to see if anything was there.

  • 1148 Welland - CP job 1 - CP 3096-CP 3032
They were switching the yard. I continued on to Binbrook.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Trackside Log for Friday, December 30, 2005

Here we go again on another exciting trip to Toronto. What wonders await?

  • 0709 arr/0714 dep St. Catharines - Via 90 west - VIA 909
  • 0732 arr/0733 dep Grimsby - Via 90 west - VIA 909
  • 0803 arr/0806 dep Aldershot - Via 90 east - VIA 909
  • 0818 arr/0820 dep Oakville - Via 90 east - VIA 909
  • 0824 Oakville - CN switcher - CN 4117
  • 0847 arr Toronto - Via 90 east - VIA 909

Once again it was off to work braving the incessant mob of Toronto commuters.

Oh, joy! I get to go home now. We boarded slightly late this evening.

  • 1758 dep Toronto - Via 95 west - VIA 902
  • 1818 arr/1822 dep Oakville - Via 95 west - VIA 902
  • 1833 arr/1837 dep Aldershot - Via 95 west - VIA 902
  • 1908 arr/1909 dep Grimsby - Via 95 east - VIA 902
  • 1925 arr/1932 dep St. Catharines - Via 95 east - VIA 902

...and once again we made it back. It was time for food.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Trackside Log for Thursday, December 29, 2005

Here we go again to Toronto for work. While waiting for my train I heard the detector at mile 27 of the Stamford subdivision report dragging equipment at axle 139.

  • 0706 arr/0713 dep St. Catharines - Via 90 west - VIA 918
  • 0729 arr/0731 dep Grimsby - Via 90 west - VIA 918
  • 0755 Hamilton - SOR power - RLK 4200-RLK 1359 and RLK 1756 (shop)
  • 0800 Aldershot - CN switcher - CN 4130-CN 7001
  • 0801 arr/0806 dep Aldershot - Via 90 east - VIA 918
  • 0818 arr/0819 dep Oakville - Via 90 east - VIA 918
  • 0845 arr Toronto - Via 90 east - VIA 918

...and off to work I went.

The ride home tonight was powered by 909 and the first coach was a Budd. Hey! We had an on-time departure!

  • 1745 dep Toronto - Via 95 west - VIA 909
  • 1808 arr/1811 dep Oakville - Via 95 west - VIA 909
  • 1823 arr/1826 dep Aldershot - Via 95 west - VIA 909
  • 1857 arr/1858 dep Grimsby - Via 95 east - VIA 909
  • 1916 arr/1921 dep St. Catharines - Via 95 east - VIA 909

Hey, I'm home reasonably on time.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Trackside Log for Sunday, December 25, 2005

I wasn't expecting much of anything on Christmas day, but I was on my way to Binbrook to visit my family for Christmas and stopped by Merritton first to see Via 97.
  • 1008 Merritton - Via 97 east - AMTK 712

Then I continued on to the family Christmas gathering.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Trackside Log for Saturday, December 24, 2005

It was the day before Christmas and all over the rails only a few trains were stirring, train 421 was one. It arrived at Merritton the same time I did. The second engine was an Ontario Northland and I didn't have time to get a good photograph.

  • 0931 Merritton - CN 421 east - CN 5371-ONT 2105
To get a decent photograph I drove up to Highway 20 in Niagara Falls.
  • 1013 Niagara Falls - CN 421 east - CN 5371-ONT 2105

Via train 97 was due in town soon so I made my way over to the station to see it.

  • 1031 Niagara Falls - Via 97 east - AMTK 714
  • 1044 Niagara Falls - Via 92 west - VIA 918 (parked)

After photographing the two passenger trains I headed back to Merritton.

  • 1230 Merritton - CN 154 east - CN 2443

I heard Canadian Pacific train 256 get a clearance from Kinnear to Welland so I made my way to Wainfleet to see it.

  • 1329 Wainfleet - CP 256 south - CP 9777-CP 9593-CP 8752-CP 8755

I followed 256 over to Welland yard where it set out the two ES44AC's. The two AC4400's proceeded to Buffalo as light power. I then finished off my Christmas shopping (one gift), bought a few groceries, and returned home.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Trackside Log for Friday, December 23, 2005

Well I headed back to Toronto on the Via again today. Train 90 was held up by the Welland Canal for a few minutes.

  • 0712 arr/0720 dep St. Catharines - Via 90 west - VIA 920
  • 0738 arr/0739 dep Grimsby - Via 90 west - VIA 920
  • 0801 Hamilton - CN 421 east - CN C44-9W-CN SD75I
  • 0805 Hamilton - SOR power - RLK 1200

The TP&W GP20 has been removed. I was pretty sure I heard a CN train lifting it a few days ago.

  • 0810 arr/0816 dep Aldershot - Via 90 east - VIA 920
  • 0828 arr/0829 dep Oakville - Via 90 east - VIA 920
  • 0834 Clarkson - OSR switcher - OSRX 383-OSRX 646
  • 0853 arr Toronto - Via 90 east - VIA 920

After arriving in Toronto I made my way underground to work.

After spending the day working in downtown Toronto I headed over to Union Station to catch train 95 home… I would have to wait a while, it was nearly an hour late departing.

  • 1836 dep Toronto - Via 95 west - VIA 918
  • 1856 arr/1859 dep Oakville - Via 95 west - VIA 918
  • 1910 arr/1914 dep Aldershot - Via 95 west - VIA 918
  • 1945 arr/1948 dep Grimsby - Via 95 east - VIA 918
  • 2004 arr/2017 dep St. Catharines - Via 95 east - VIA 918
Well it was another day and another late train 95. I made it home though. Woo hoo!!! I must say though, a large number of people got off the train in St. Catharines. It must be Christmas or something.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Trackside Log for Thursday, December 22, 2005

This morning I was off to work in Toronto and taking Via to get there. There were plenty of passengers for today's train. Many of them were Brock students going home for Christmas. While getting my ticket NS 327 went by.

  • 0650 St. Catharines - NS 327 west - NS 7527 (primer)-NS xxxx

It was impossible to read the unit numbers while in line, but I found out what they were later on.

  • 0708 arr/0715 dep St. Catharines - Via 90 west - VIA 6405

While on the train prior to departure an eastbound freight flew by. I have no idea what it was.

  • 0732 arr/0733 dep Grimsby - Via 90 west - VIA 6405

Passing though Hamilton I noticed two RaiLink engines parked behind the shops and nothing in front.

  • 0757 Hamilton - SOR power - RLK 1752-RLK 1285

We caught up to NS train 327 in Hamilton. Again I couldn't read the numbers.

  • 0758 Hamilton Junction - NS 327 west - NS 7527 (primer)-NS xxxx
  • 0803 arr/0808 dep Aldershot - Via 90 east - VIA 6405

Power parked in Aldershot was CN 4102 and another GP9 that was behind some cars.

  • 0812 Burlington - GO westbound - GOT 554

Considering the volume of GO trains, I'll omit them. Suffice it to say I saw several.

  • 0819 dep Oakville - Via 71 west - VIA 903
  • 0819 arr/0821 dep Oakville - Via 90 east - VIA 6405
  • 0823 Oakville yard - CN yard job - CN 7054
  • 0845 arr Toronto - Via 90 east - VIA 6405

Once I arrived at Union Station, 11 minutes late, I headed to the work location, but I'll be back on train 95.

Well, I made it back onto the train. It was quite late. Scheduled departure was 1745. Train 95 uses equipment from a Montreal inbound.

  • 1826 dep Toronto - Via 95 west - VIA 920
  • 1850 arr/1852 dep Oakville - Via 95 west - VIA 920
  • 1911 arr/1915 dep Aldershot - Via 95 west - VIA 920
  • 1946 arr/1948 dep Grimsby - Via 95 east - VIA 920
  • 2004 arr/2011 dep St. Catharines - Via 95 east - VIA 920

I finally got to St. Catharines!

I realize most people aren't terribly interested in this much detail, but it gives me something to do while I'm on the train. Who knows, maybe this will be noteworthy in 20 years.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Trackside Log for Wednesday, December 21, 2005

This was the last weekday morning I'd have trackside for a while since my contract in Toronto was to start the next day after much aggravation. The weather was cloudy and dim but I went to Merritton anyway.

  • 0823 Merritton - CN 421 east - CN 2694-CN 5764

...and then it began to snow.

  • 0924 Merritton - CN 331 west - CN 5718-CN 2570

...with really large flakes.

  • 1012 Merritton - Via 97 east - AMTK 713

But it calmed down a bit after 97.

  • 1033 Merritton - CN 422 west - CN 2671-CN 2447
  • 1035 Merritton - NS 328 east - NS 8723-NS 6675

The NI dispatcher informed a foreman that train 567 would be switching Stark lumber in St. Catharines. I'd never seen a local here before so that was something new for me.

  • 1104 Merritton - CN 567 west - CN 4122-CN 4118
Alright. I couldn't take it any more. The weather was getting worse so I packed it in and went home.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Trackside Log for Monday, December 19, 2005

It was a nice morning so I headed trackside before going to the Pen Centre to take care of my Christmas shopping. Since the mall is close to Merritton I stopped there.

  • 0949 Merritton - CN 422 west - CN 5346-CN 2505
  • 0958 Merritton - CN 331 west - CN 5698-CN 5623
  • 1009 Merritton - Via 97 east - AMTK 168-AMTK 702
  • 1021 Merritton - CN 430 west - CN 5687-CN 5365

OK. I made a change in plans. CP train 248 south was out of Hamilton with a new ES44AC. I headed over to Boyle to see it.

  • 1120 Boyle - CP 248 south - CP 8725-CP 9520-CP 9657

I then drove to Brookfield to see it again.

  • 1219 Brookfield - CP 248 south - CP 8725-CP 9520-CP 9657
  • 1322 Brookfield - CP job 1 south - CP 3032

With that it was time to get some Christmas shopping done. To the mall!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Trackside Log for Saturday, December 17, 2005

I wasn't really motivated to go out in the morning so I stayed at home and worked on the new web site. However, around noon I thought I might like to see Via 92. I don't photograph it very often.

  • 1429 Merritton - Via 92 west - VIA 919
I noticed that the building on the corner by the Merritt Street bridge, opposite the church, had been demolished. I now have clear view of the church aside from the tree.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Trackside Log for Thursday, December 15, 2005

It was threatening to snow today but I wanted to see the new ES40DC's on Norfolk Southern train 328. On my way to Merritton I heard it pass the detector at mile 18.

  • 0922 Merritton - NS 328 east - NS 7516-NS 7517
  • 0937 Merritton - CN 331 west - CN 2580-CN 5665
  • 1011 Merritton - Via 97 east - AMTK 702

The weather wasn't the most apealing so I called it a day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Trackside Log for Wednesday, December 14, 2005

On my way over to Merritton this morning the NI dispatcher mentioned that they were having problems with bridge six. Six trains were queued waiting to pass. Apparently it would be a busy morning.

  • 0856 Merritton - Via 90 west - VIA 913
  • 0859 Merritton - CN 332 west - CN 2565
  • 0903 Merritton - CN 331 west - CN 5457-CN 5701
  • 0910 Merritton - NS 327 west - NS 7517-NS 7516
  • 0916 Merritton - CN 422 west - CN 5334-CN 2665

Hokey smokes!!! Five trains in twenty minutes. I've never done that in Niagara before. I originally had a ticket for Via train 90. I would have been two hours late had I not rescheduled. Oh, and the new Norfolk Southern ES40DC's were a nice touch. Now there were still three eastbounds to come.

  • 1009 Merritton - CN 421 east - CN 2504-CN 5456-CN 4118
  • 1020 Merritton - Via 97 east - AMTK 701
  • 1111 Merritton - NS 328 east - NS 8811-NS 8600

All the interesting trains were through and I was getting hungry so I went back home. It was a good morning though!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Trackside Log for Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It was supposed to be a sunny day but when I looked outside it was snowing. I figured it was off Lake Ontario so I drove to Brookfield (away from the lake). This turned out to be a good idea; it was nice and sunny there. I just had to wait for something to show up.

  • 1119 Brookfield - NS 328 east - NS 9274-NS 9372

I heard on the scanner that Canadian Pacific train 419 was parked in Welland yard and 256 was waiting for job 1 to get out of the way. I swung by the yard to see 419.

  • 1200 Welland - CP 419 north - CP 8509-CP 8654-CP 5749

Train 256 was nearly ready to leave so I drove out ahead of it for photographs.

  • 1231 Brookfield - CP 256 south - CP 9514-CP 8636

I then headed to Fort Erie to see if Norfolk Southern 369 was around. I got there just as CP 256 was pulling through.

  • 1300 Fort Erie - CP 256 east - CP 9514-CP 8636
  • 1307 Fort Erie - NS 369 lift - NS 6159

Norfolk Southern train 369's lift for the day included the SD40-2.

  • 1335 Fort Erie - CN 154 east - CN 2565
  • 1339 Fort Erie - NS 369 west - NS 9876-UP 3557-NS 8698

Since I was clouded out for 369 I went to Duff to look for the sun.

  • 1402 Duff - NS 369 east - NS 9876-UP 3557-NS 8698

It worked. I found some sun. There wasn't any word of anything else on the way, so I headed back home.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Trackside Log for Monday, December 12, 2005

Today I was between contracts so before spending the day on education I headed to the tracks. Norfolk Southern train 328 was running early today with light power.

  • 0844 Merritton - NS 328 east - NS 9262-GMTX 2613

The GMTX locomotive is ex-CSXT 1957:2; ex-CR 7689; nee PC 7689. It was unusual so I decided to catch 328 again on film. I drove to Port Robinson where it met CN train 331.

  • 0925 Port Robinson - NS 328 east NS 9262-GMTX 2613
  • 0930 Port Robinson - CN 331 west - CN 5457-CN 5701

After that excitement I headed back to Merritton to catch Via train 97.

  • 1006 Merritton - Via 97 east - AMTK 701
  • 1013 Merritton - CN 331 west - CN 5457-CN 5701
  • 1017 Merritton - Trillium Railway southbound - TR 108

Trillium had two empty Coalveyor cars, NSHR 2036 and 2047, that they traded for two more Coalveyor cars, NSHR 2069 and 2023, loaded with scrap steel. TR 108 then crossed over to the south side of the Canadian National Grimsby subdivision to head back to Welland.

  • 1109 Merritton - Trillium Railway southbound - TR 108
  • 1136 Merritton - CN 338 east - CN 5671-CN 5562

It was almost noon so I went back home to work.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Trackside Log for Sunday, December 11, 2005

It was a snowy morning but I wanted to head out and see what was cooking in Merritton anyway. I figured to use the time to relax. I arrived at about 0900 and heard that four trains would all arrive at Merritton around 1000. I was caught by surprise when the first train I saw was Trillium Railway. They don't normally run on weekends. Today they had a caboose and a boxcar. I figured the boxcar was for Interlake Paper in Thorold which would mean that Trillium would be running the Thorold Spur.

  • 0957 Merritton - Trillium Railway northbound - TR 108

Trillium headed into the stub track in Merritton and waited for four trains before they would be allowed to cross over the Grimsby subdivision.

  • 1005 Merritton - Via 97 east - AMTK 702
  • 1009 Merritton - CN 422 west - CN 5428-CN 2583
  • 1014 Merritton - NS 328 east - NS 9847-CRIX 5952
  • 1035 Merritton - CN 331 west - CN 5637-GTW 5947

Finally it was Trillium's turn. To cross the Grimsby subdivision they first enter the south track over beside Walnut Street and proceed west to the crossovers by the old Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto bridge over the Grimsby subdivision. They then travel east on the north track to the yard lead also beside Walnut Street and proceed on their own track once again. I photographed them just after crossing over to the north track.

  • 1052 Merritton - Trillium Railway northbound - TR 108

After switching ends with the engine, Trillium headed north and entered what is now called the Townline Spur, part of the old Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto track. I photographed them as the travelled the bridge over the Grimsby subdivision where they had been previously.

  • 1145 Merritton - Trillium Railway switcher - TR 108

As I predicted Trillium was headed to Interlake Paper with a boxcar. I headed up to Townline Road East where the track runs down the middle of the street and photographed them again.

  • 1200 Townline Road East, Thorold - Trillium Railway switcher - TR 108

After switching the paper plant they headed back toward Merritton. I photographed them again on the street running portion.

  • 1235 Townline Road East at Welland Street North, Thorold - Trillium Railway switcher - TR 108

Not much else was going on and I'd had enough fun with the Trillium guys, so I ran a couple of errands and got some lunch. I headed back to the Grimsby subdivision to eat it and found one more train.

  • 1353 Merritton - CN 330 east - CN 5701-CN 5457

It had been a pretty good morning but I'd had about enough so I headed home.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Trackside Log for Sunday, December 4, 2005

It snowed overnight in St. Catharines and there was a nice layer over everything. I went out hoping it also snowed in Hamilton for the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train. To start the day I went to meet the "Maple Leaf" in Merritton.

  • 1011 Merritton - Via 97 east - AMTK 716

I began my trek to the Hamilton area where Canadian Pacific train 167 was just arriving.

  • 1201 Bayview Junction - CP 167 east - CP 8565-CP 9532-CP 9003-CP 5943
  • 1256 Copetown - Via 73 west - VIA 918/VIA 6402
  • 1259 Copetown - CN 330 east - CN 5507-CN 5695
  • 1311 Copetown - Via 72 east - VIA 910
  • 1320 Copetown - CN 331 west - CN 2538-CN 2636

At this point I headed to Binbrook to visit with my friends, Pam, Andy and Sean. Andy and Sean would be joining me to see the Holiday Train. We headed out to Kinnear Yard where luck was on my side. There was a nice layer of snow to make pretty photos with a more seasonal mood. The train was due for 2000 but was about 30 minutes late. It backed from Aberdeen to the yard on the mainline down to the south siding switch and then came back on the siding. This maneuver took a bit of time. Once I figured out where they were parking it, I took a bunch of photos.

  • 2100 Hamilton - CP northbound Holiday Train - CP 9714

The Holiday Train raises food for the local food banks in the towns it visists. It was a bit chilly out (-2ÂșC) but not too bad. Once the photos were over and I deposited my food donation, Andy, Sean and I headed home.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Trackside Log for Saturday, December 3, 2005

It was a nice clear morning when I headed to the tracks. To start the day I grabbed my book of crossword puzzles and headed to the Canadian National Grimsby subdivision in Merritton.

  • 0850 Merritton - CN 331 west - CN 5695-CN 5507
  • 0906 Merritton - CN 339 east - CN 5610-WC 6908
  • 0915 Merritton - CN 422 west - CN 2634-CN 2513

The NI dispatcher alerted a foreman that Via train 97 was 36 minutes late out of Toronto. Norfolk Southern train 328 was right behind it.

  • 1047 Merritton - Via 97 east - AMTK 705
  • 1101 Merritton - NS 328 east - UP 5144-UP 4192

I then decided to make my way to Fort Erie where both Norfolk Southern train 369 and Canadian National train 339 were working.

  • 1151 Duff - NS 369 west - NS 6636-NS 9644
  • 1200 Fort Erie - CN 339 east - CN 5610-WC 6908

I had heard Canadian Pacific train 256 earlier while I was in Merritton but assumed that it was already across the border by the time I arrived at Fort Erie. Apparently the NI dispatcher put 256 behind 339. While 339 was leaving Canada I heard 256 call the signal at Duff.

  • 1214 Fort Erie - CP 256 east - CP 8705-CP 5584

Norfolk Southern train 369 lifted a tarped EMD unit in the yard and dragged it out to lift their train. The engine under the tarp is a BHP Iron SD70ACe destined for Australia.

  • 1227 Fort Erie - NS 369 east - NS 6636-NS 9644-EMDX 1001
  • 1233 Fort Erie - NS 328 east - UP 5144-UP 4192

Not much else was pending which is typical of CN in Niagara. Everything pretty much happens in the morning. CN train 421 was nearby while I was passing through Niagara Falls driving back to St. Catharines but didn't bother to stop. Trains 154 and 330 would be along in another couple hours so I just went straight home.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Trackside Log for Thursday, December 1, 2005

I woke up early this morning, not by choice, so I headed to Merritton to see what was happening before work. Just before I arrived I heard the detector at mile 18 of the Grimsby subdivision. Unfortunately it turned out to be a westbound that I missed. On the bright side 331 was at mile four.

  • 0747 Merritton - CN 331 west - CN 5694-CN 2579

Train 421 was coming but would take too long to get to Merritton. I heard from the Canadian Pacific Hamilton subdivision dispatcher that 419 would be leaving Welland at approximately 0900 so I headed that way.

  • 0910 Fenwick - CP 419 north - CP 6607-CP 5421-CP 5652-CP 5591

It was nice seeing a consist of four SD40-2's. I like that about the Hamilton subdivision. Even more interesting is that all four engines are in dual flag paint. Train 419 would be meeting 256 with CP 6016 leading at Smithville. For me, however, it was time for work.

Later in the afternoon I took a quick break and headed out. I'd just gotten the truck started when somebody triggered the detector at mile 27 of the Stamford subdivision. If it was an eastbound, I could photograph it. Luck was on my side; it was train 154.

  • 1506 Cooks Mills - CN 154 east - CN 2544

That was quick and easy. The train had a long string of empty intermodal cars with a fairly sizable cut of racks behind. With that it was time to head back to work.