Saturday, April 30, 2011

Trackside Log for Saturday, April 30, 2011

Today was predicted to be very nice: sunny and warm. After the wind storm of Thursday I could use some relaxation so Missy and I got the camera and Obsession by Jonathan Kellerman and headed out for the day. I decided that the Canadian National's Dundas Subdivision would be my target for the day. I started off in Copetown where I encounterred train 393 emerging from the sunshine.

  • 0811 Copetown - CN 393 west - CN 5777-IC 1019

The shadows were parallel to the rails in Copetown so I drove to Power Line Road in Lynden for a better angle. I arrived at Lynden in tandem with train 393.

  • 0820 Lynden - CN 393 west - CN 5777-IC 1019

Once I arrived at Power Line Road I waited for the two morning VIA trains. It didn't take long at all.

  • 0839 Lynden - VIA 671 west - VIA 6454
  • 0847 Lynden - VIA 70 east - VIA 6425

Then it got quiet. It was another hour and a half before train 148 appeared.

  • 1016 Lynden - CN 148 east - CN 5742-CN 2641

Then it got extremely quiet. After nearly two hours of nothing I drove to Brantford for a change of scenery and some lunch which was eaten at the VIA station while waiting for train 72.

  • 1220 Brantford - VIA 72 east - VIA 915

After 72 passed by I decided to head to the former station site in Paris for train 73. While en route I heard train 588 alert the dispatcher they were ready to return to Brantford from Paris Junction. I met up with them at Power Line Road between Paris and Brantford.

  • 1248 west of Brantford - CN 588 east - CN 7039

Just as I was approaching the station site in Paris train 73 set off the detector at mile 27. With little time to spare I managed to photograph it.

  • 1301 Paris - VIA 73 west - VIA 6401

I passed by the signals at Market Street to see they were all red. I continued west until Princeton where Missy and I got out an relaxed on the grass behind the post office. Nothing moved on the Canadian National's Dundas Subdivision. So far today I managed mostly to read my book and not much else.

With nothing on the horizon and word of a couple trains on the Canadian Pacific's Galt Subdivision I made the short drive north to Gobles Road just west of Drumbo and waited there. Upon arrival I noticed the signal east of the road was lit although this turned out to be a false occupancy. Before long a signal maintainer obtained a track permit to check it out. Not long after he drove by in the hi-rail an eastbound ethanol train was allowed through.

  • 1602 Gobles - CP 626 east - CP 5970-DME 6364-DME 6092-CITX 3055

Next the signal maintainer repaired the issue and the westbound that had been waiting in the siding in Wolverton was able to pass as well.

  • 1641 Gobles - CP 441 west - CP 5925-CP 5988

In an effort to improve the angle of the sun I drove to Woodstock where the Galt Subdivision runs north to south. I waited there for a while but all I managed to do was narrowly miss the London Pickup. After a while I heard a Canadian National eastbound and decided to call it quits.

I began my journey homeward on Highway 403 and encountered train 330 perched atop the bridge over the highway. I exited into Brantford and went to Hardy to see it. Just as I walked up to the tracks VIA train 675 blew through with an F40PH-2 decorated with Coors Light decals.

  • 1858 Hardy - VIA 675 west - VIA 6408

Then it was 330's turn.

  • 1900 Hardy - CN 330 east - CN 2556-5738

Train 330 met a westbound between Lynden and Massey's but by this point I didn't really care. I just drove for home. The most productive part of the day was being able to read through three quarters of my book. Next time I'll either just stay home or head to New York.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trackside Log for Sunday, April 24, 2011

Missy and I were relaxing at home today before the drive back to Binbrook for my nephew's first birthday. I had the scanner on again which was quiet until the early afternoon when train 246 announced their presence in Vinemount. It was overcast but not terribly dark so I took Missy to River Road to see it.

  • 1412 Fenwick - CP 246 south - CP 9640-CP 8543

While we were out I also went for a walk with Missy before returning home.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Trackside Log for Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today was my family's Easter supper gathering in Binbrook. The original forecast was for rain but the skies cleared up at about noon. I took the opportunity to take my camera and tripod to E&O Crossing and Wabash Crossing at Attercliffe Station en route to Binbrook. The goal was to photograph what remains of both junctions in 360° to assemble large panoramic photographs.

The first, Wabash Crossing, is the former diamond between the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo's Dunnville Subdivision and the Wabash and Canadian National's Cayuga Subdivision. Only the Dunnville Subdivision remains here and is now used by Canadian Pacific to access Port Maitland.

  • 1458 Attercliffe Station - Wabash Crossing

The second, E&O Crossing, is the former diamond between the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo's Dunnville Subdivision and the Michigan Central's Canada Division Main Line. No tracks remain at this location.

  • 1509 Attercliffe Station - E&O Crossing

Bruce Mercer photographed E&O tower here years earlier when everything was intact.

  • E&O tower

These photographs were each created by stitching together 31 individual photographs. They are slightly more than 360° in scope.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trackside Log for Friday, April 22, 2011

Today was Good Friday and Missy and I started it by taking a drive to see if we could photograph Canadian National train 421. First we passed by Canadian Pacific's Welland Yard to see if there was any activity. Lo and behold a northbound had just arrived.

  • 1003 Welland - CP 255 north - CP 6016-CITX 3095-CITX 3170

After a few photographs we headed for the Canadian National Stamford Subdivision. I always cruise by Netherby diamond to check out the signals. When we drove over the Netherby Road crossing everything was red in both directions. However, at the same moment I heard train 421 switching in Port Robinson Yard. Our timing was good so I drove to House Road in Stevensville and waited.

  • 1059 Stevensville - CN 421 east - CN 8927-CN 2627

Since I'd found my prey and that's what amounts to traffic in Niagara these days Missy and I returned home. I left the scanner on for the day but there was no activity on the Canadian Pacific Hamilton Subdivision until the afternoon when train 246 called out the Smithville mile board. It was getting cloudier but I took Missy to Sumbler Road for a photograph anyway.

  • 1608 Fenwick - CP 246 south - CP 9768-CITX 2796-SOO 6057

That evening I decided it would be a nice change to drive Missy to Attercliffe Station and take her for a walk over the abandoned portion of the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Dunnville Subdivision to what remains of E&O Junction. Then we followed the abandoned Canada Southern right of way back out. The foundation of E&O tower is still there but not much else. It was a nice walk nonetheless.

That night I still had the scanner on and heard Canadian Pacific empty ethanol train 627 obtain a clearance from Brookfield to Kinnear. When it approached town I wandered outside to take a look although it was quite truly dark.

  • 2305 Fenwick - CP 627 north - CP 8756-CEFX 1030

As the train rattled through the Church Street crossing it began to rain so I returned home.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trackside Log for Saturday, April 16, 2011

I awoke to a rainy, miserable spring day this morning. As I was collecting myself for the day an empty ethanol train slid through town. The rain was significant enough that I merely watched it roll through town.

  • 0828 Fenwick - CP 627 north - CP 9640

Chalk that up as the most boring ethanol train I've seen on the Canadian Pacific Hamilton Subdivision to date. Just as he cleared town he gave a track release to train 255. By the time the second train was approaching town the rain had subsided enough that I decided to take Missy out to see it.

  • 0859 Fenwick - CP 255 north - CP 8642-CP 8823-SOO 6045

With nothing else to see Missy and I returned home to spend the miserable day inside.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Trackside Log for Friday, April 15, 2011

It was a bright sunny morning although it was cool and quite windy. However, since the cold and the wind don't affect photography I toted my camera along to work today. I made the slight detour past the Southern Ontario Railway yard in Garnet to see if train 596 was parked there.

  • 0920 Garnet - SOR 596 south - RLK 4057-RLK 4095-NECR 3840

After work it was still nice and bright outside but the clouds were starting to move in. We were in for some rain for the weekend. Ugh! But it wasn't here yet so I took another detour on my way back home. I headed down to Nanticoke to see if I could locate the Southern Ontario Railway again. As luck would have it they were switching the south end of the yard at the Esso refinery.

  • 1612 Nanticoke - SOR switcher - NECR 3840-RLK 4095-RLK 4057

Just moments after I finished photographing the train the crew closed the gate into Esso and ran back to the north end of the yard. Nice timing. With nothing else for me to photograph I drove home for the weekend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Trackside Log for Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Once again it was a rather nice, bright morning so I took my camera along and passed by the Southern Ontario Railway's yard in Garnet before work. As usual train 596 was parked at the south end of the yard.

  • 0920 Garnet - SOR 596 south - NECR 3840-RLK 4095-RLK 4057

After my appointment that afternoon in downtown Hamilton I had a little extra time. I drove past Canadian National's Aldershot Yard to see if there was any activity. I arrived just in time to witness train 551 heading west to run around their train.

  • 1530 Aldershot - CN 551 west - CN 7081-CN 1444

After a few minutes it returned eastward to lift their train.

  • 1537 Aldershot - CN 551 west (reversing) - CN 7081-CN 1444

Just after I'd photographed train 551 I heard the Canadian Pacific Hamilton Subdivision dispatcher talking to train 246. It was meeting train 255 at Kinnear after which it would be heading south. Since I was headed the same direction I chose to meet it for a photograph in Grassie.

  • 1641 Grassie - CP 246 south - CP 8739-CP 9673

The train handily beat me to Fenwick. However, I was easily able to out pace it (legally) from there to the Welland River thanks to the 25 mile per hour speed restriction. I was able to watch the train cross the bridge there.

  • 1713 Welland River - CP 246 south - CP 8739-CP 9673

After the locomotive consist had crossed the bridge I drove home to greet Missy.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Trackside Log for Saturday, April 9, 2011

Today I was meeting up with Marcus to head across the border to see what might be happening on CSX and Norfolk Southern west of Buffalo, New York. But first Missy and I went for our morning walk. Just as we were crossing Foss Road on our way back home train 254 arrived in town. As we were walking up my driveway the train stopped so I got my camera and proceeded to Chantler Road for a photograph.

  • 0718 Fenwick - CP 254 south - CP 5919-CITX 3170-CP 8244-CP 6069

What do you know? CP 8244 was on its way back to the Delaware & Hudson. Not long after we got back home Marcus arrived and we started our drive. After an effortless border crossing we drove directly to Dunkirk, New York where we discovered some yard power parked on the bridge over Main Street.

  • 1008 Dunkirk, NY - CSX Y124 power - CSXT 1545-CSXT 2506

Our primary destination for the day was Westfield, New York, so after finding nothing else to photograph in Dunkirk we drove to the small railfan park there. The park is situated between the CSX and Norfolk Southern tracks and is rather convenient. Then we waited. After an hour the first train finally arrived.

  • 1131 Westfield, NY - CSX K698 east - CSXT 7568-CSXT 8619
  • 1140 Westfield, NY - CSX Q114 east - CSXT 5213-CSXT 7782-CSXT 7816-CSXT 223
  • 1155 Westfield, NY - NS 14M east - NS 9511-UP 9324

The Union Pacific C40-8 was one of a group leased to Norfolk Southern. A decal reading "NS Lease" was affixed to the cab. After the Norfolk Southern train passed it was time for another lull.

  • 1309 Westfield, NY - CSX Q160 east - CSXT 7683-CSXT 8742
  • 1320 Westfield, NY - CSX L115 west - CSXT 5487-CSXT 436-CSXT 7854
  • 1340 Westfield, NY - NS 22K east - NS 9377-NS 9946-NS 7671
  • 1343 Westfield, NY - CSX Q281 west - CSXT 7718-CSXT 8161
  • 1403 Westfield, NY - NS 287 west - HLCX 5975-NS 8400

After the Helm led westbound on Norfolk Southern we determined that it was time for lunch. We headed into town to pick up some food but discovered another CSX westbound en route.

  • 1416 Westfield, NY - CSX Q117 west - CSXT 5206-CSXT 5446-CSXT 564

After lunch we decided a change of scenery was warranted. We started heading farther west whilst keeping an eye on the tracks. Just west of Westfield we discovered an eastbound at Rogerville Road and a westbound soon after.

  • 1502 Westfield, NY - CSX Q264 east - CSXT 4727-CSXT 840
  • 1509 Westfield, NY - CSX Q109 west - CSXT 910-CSXT 739-CSXT 7898

As we drove along Route 20 we noticed a Norfolk Southern ballast train parked in Ripley siding. We stopped for a few photographs of it and the CSX freight that arrived while we were there.

  • 1519 Ripley, NY - NS ballast train - NS 5178
  • 1530 Ripley, NY - CSX K645 west - CSXT 5201-CSXT 9024

Eventually we found ourselves at Bort Road in North East, Pennsylvania waiting for another Norfolk Southern eastbound. We intentionally drove into the cloudy weather to enable a better photograph of this eastbound.

  • 1619 North East, PA - NS 206 east - NS 2575-NS 6782
  • 1648 North East, PA - CSX Q378 east - CSXT 4576-CSXT 5460

After waiting half an hour for a CSX train we decided to return east and hunt for clear skies again. When we arrived back at Westfield, New York the skies were partially cleared and we discovered a pair of CSX trains.

  • 1718 Westfield, NY - CSX Q351 west - CSXT 4523-CSXT 4768
  • 1720 Westfield, NY - CSX Q122 east - CSXT 5225-CSXT 4733-CSXT 7638

We continued on after the pair of CSX trains until we heard another train on the scanner. We stopped at the CSX tracks in Sheridan but apparently had just missed it. Naturally, while there a Norfolk Southern train also cruised through town so we missed two. Oh well. The day was waning so we pushed on toward home. As we drove through Silvercreek, New York we could see a parked CSX rail train above the Central Avenue overpass. We stopped for a couple photographs and also encountered a westbound Norfolk Southern coal train.

  • 1828 Silvercreek, NY - CSX W019 rail train - CSXT 2330-CSXT 6412
  • 1833 Silvercreek, NY - NS westbound coal - NS 9927-NS 9332-NS 9376

We stopped off at Blasdell, New York on the way home but nothing showed up. So we called it a day and drove back toward the border.

So the tally for the day was CSX 15 and Norfolk Southern 6. I broke two records that day. The first was for the most Norfolk Southern trains I've ever seen on the former Nickel Plate. The second albeit dubious record was for the fewest CSX trains I've ever seen on the former New York Central.