Saturday, September 29, 2012

Trackside Log for Saturday, September 29, 2012

This morning I was to meet up with Marcus in the Hamilton area. I decided to catch the "Maple Leaf" along the way. I had originally intended to photograph it in Jordan Station but wasn't paying attention and headed the wrong way. New plan: Grimsby.

  • 0937 Grimsby - VIA 97 east - AMTK 21

Whilst driving along the Queen Elizabeth Way toward Hamilton I heard the Canadian National dispatcher mention a train would soon be working in Aldershot Yard and another in Hamilton Yard. I guessed these to be trains 422 and 331 respectively. I believed I could get to Aldershot ahead of train 422. I did easily but just missed train 148. As I waited I now heard the dispatcher talking to a train 570 in Hamilton Yard that would be ahead of my awaited train. I wasn't sure what to expect from 570 and it was a pleasant surprise when it rolled down the track with HEPX 200, a 20-axle Schnabel car.

  • 1040 Aldershot - CN 570 east - CN 4777
  • 1048 Aldershot - CN 422 east - CN 2183-CN 2248-CN 2243

After the GE parade of train 422 passed by I met up with Marcus and his son Brandon at the Royal Botanical Gardens. We chatted with a few other folks on the bridge there before train 331 began to pull out of Hamilton Yard. We pooled into Marcus' car and drove to Copetown for a look.

  • 1202 Copetown - CN 331 west - CN 2242-CN 2426

With noon upon us we drove to Brantford for Brandon's lunchtime establishment of choice, McDonalds, after which we made our way to the VIA station in town. We arrived just as train 73 pulled into the station with the "Mother Parkers" private car in tow.

  • 1331 Brantford - VIA 73 west - VIA 6404
  • 1335 Brantford - covered hopper - DME 316874
  • 1411 Brantford - tank training car - CN 911
  • 1414 Brantford - CN power - CN 4116

Since nothing was happening on Canadian National we decided that it was rather boring. We turned back east toward Hamilton and decided to run by the local yards to see what might be interesting. First was the former Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Aberdeen Yard. Here we discovered the TEC train that I photographed a day earlier.

  • 1547 Hamilton - CP TEC train - CP 7310

Next, Marcus wanted to photograph the GO trains parked in front of the former Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo station (now GO station).

  • 1604 Hamilton - parked GO train - GOT 612

We were headed over to the Southern Ontario Railway's yard when I heard horns blowing when we were crossing the industrial tracks near Dofasco. After a short search we discovered Southern Ontario Railway heading into National Steel Car to lift some new potash covered hoppers.

  • 1640 Hamilton - SOR local - NECR 3840

Whilst photographing the GP38-2 I also decided to take a few photographs of the Hamilton-built Paling Industries transporters that Dofasco (now Arcelor-Mittal) uses to transport heavy loads around their facility.

  • 1648 Hamilton - heavy transporter - Dofasco Paling 035

Also parked nearby was a brand new well car for export. The Arabic lettering gave it away.

  • 1651 Hamilton - new NSC well car - DBLSTK 8642

One of my favourite buildings in Hamilton, from an architectural point of view, is National Steel Car's gate building on Kenilworth Avenue. It's an excellent example of Art Moderne design. It gives the appearance of being under renovation, but it's looked this way for at least two years. Hopefully it receives the attention it deserves sometime soon.

  • 1655 Hamilton - National Steel Car gate building

Our last stop of the day, now that the clouds were rolling in and it was getting both dark and late, was the Southern Ontario Railway's yard. We had a quick look at the motive power parked in front of the shops.

  • 1711 Hamilton - SOR power - RPMX 9431 & RLK 4003

Now it was time to head back home. We went back to the Royal Botanical Gardens in time to see Canadian National train 331 head into Hamilton Yard in the distance. We'd had a good day and the weather was better than forecast. Not bad.


  1. Looks like a GREAT day of railfanning!

    1. Yeah, it turned out far better than I'd expected. Usually it's the same old stuff.

  2. Brian, you and Marcus and his son did quite well for the entire day.
    On the EXIF for the Copetown photograph, the time appears as in the 16:00
    range (4:00 pm) however the time noted at the top of the EXIF list is certainly not
    anywhere near the 16:00 time.

    See you've upgraded your digital gear, nice.

    1. All my gear is set to GMT. Since I photograph in multiple time zones it makes more sense for me to do it this way. I also don't need to adjust for daylight savings either.

      But I have no idea where that first Date datum came from. The "Date Time Original" entry is the correct GMT time for the photograph.