On Friday, July 2, 1999 I witnessed my one-and-only, right-in-front-of-my-own-eyes, derailment-in-progress. While at Business Depot, I could hear an eastbound freight. It was Toronto-Senneterre, QC CN No 366 at 1605. I missed the engines, but drove behind the big-box stores and watched what I thought was the end of the train go by, right at Mi 178 Kingston Sub. Then, a rapid deceleration, made me realize 366 was going into emergency due to a break-apart! I could see a few cars, the tail-end of the train after the break-apart, also coming to a stop. Oddly, there was a huge grey dust cloud rising from the cars, with audible heavy digging sounds on the ballast.
Friday, May 20, 2022
Friday, May 13, 2022
Departing Schreiber on September 1, we passed Birchville school being moved (above - though I'm not sure whether this was August 30 or Sept. 1) and caught an eastbound CP freight at White River at 0830: 5704-4726-4730 with van 434508.
Dave is on the platform (above) during the crew change. We reached Sudbury at 1700. We checked out the nickel mine attraction, riding a miniature train around the George VI Big Nickel. A nearby photo-friendly ex-CN caboose and ex-CP service car 411520 had been hauled to the rocky site.After a long day's drive, David is transcribing data from the cassette tape recorder, at the motel in the evening:
I also photographed the CP wooden water tower during a stop in Spanish:
WESTERN TRIP 1979 – NOTES
August 20 - Thunder Bay to Winnipeg
-CN 1907-1911, 1378, 1916, 1900, 1912, caboose 79236.
-CP 7051-7083, 6567, 7049, 8476, 7082, 6606, 8775, 6595, 6581, 6563, 7048, 8762, 5016, 5024, 5709, 4037, 4221, 4703, 5725, 4061, 4736-5500-4511-4563, 5792-5535, 5008; CP vans 434451, 434444, 434356 and plow 400795.
August 30 - Winnipeg to Schreiber
-CP 6555, 8128, 8817; end-cupola van 434416 and end-cupola vans 437041, 437310, 437147.
September 1 - Sudbury
-CP 6549, 8168, 8159, 8125, 8104
Speaking of rare events, I tuned in to Rapido Trains Inc.'s most recent live session on May 12. I didn't find it very entertaining, and only selected questions were answered. One Rapido employee repeatedly asked "Who's running this Live, anyway?", and the best way for a Rapido employee to be mentioned was not to be present! My main interest was in their new Canadian prototype piggyback trailers (26-footer or 45-footer $39 ea.) and their Chevy Caprice ($29 ea.) Heaven help you if your layout has a trailer lot or parking lot to fill! But they are beautiful models.
Friday, May 6, 2022
Thursday, April 28, 2022
On August 18, we drove all day reaching Cochrane, ON at 1700. Dave had decided to drive the more northerly of the two northern Ontario routes. He was a driver who didn’t dawdle. At North Bay, we cased the Ontario Northland Railway (ONR) yards and shop. Temiskaming & Northern Ontario 2-8-2 503 was preserved and fenced in North Bay City Park (above). Kitty-corner to the park was ONR’s expansive shops complex. GP38-2 1803, SD40-2’s 1732-1736, and Northlander power unit 1982 were visible (below). We also found ONR’s former Wabash/Norfolk & Western business car Onakawana/400 (top photo). Also at North Bay: CN 9553-9449-5579 and 1387.
At the Cochrane station, ONR RS-10 1400 was switching, and 1730-1802-1521 were powering a freight.
Also at Cochrane’s station were VIA 6787-6778-9644 in CN colours-Manitou-5492 in CN colours-5569-4884-ONR 812. Normetal-lettered 4-6-0 219 was at the shop, with its cab windows boarded up. ONR National Steel Car coaches 805-806 in green paint, and white/yellow/two-tone blue 801 were nearby, as were ONR cabooses 95 and 96. CN-painted VIA 6518 was with baggage car 9641 and coach 5193 at the station.
August 19 found us leaving Cochrane at 0545, keeping a sharp eye out for moose on the highway. We kept track of times mileages and speeds using a cassette tape recorder, with occasional comedy improv bits thrown in. At Kapuskasing’s VIA/ONR station, former fantrip star CNR 4-6-2 5107 was preserved. On the other side of the station was the Spruce Falls Power & Paper plant. A small Jordan spreader, orange boxcar 321 and transformer-laden depressed-centre flatcar were part of their captive rolling stock fleet visible beyond the CN yard. Their switcher slumbered in the shop:
At Hearst, we found an Algoma Central Railway passenger train at the ACR station at 0815, led by GP-9’s 100-164. Content to wait for the train to pass us by so I could record the consist, imagine our surprise as it inexorably backed away from us, ever so slowly. Beyond steam-generator car 74 were ex-troop sleeper baggage-express cars 203-205. The identity of the baggage car and three coaches will forever remain a mystery. It was a not-so-great moment in Canadian railfanning!
We made it to our next stopover at Schreiber around 1500. CP 4508-5905 were in the yard (below), as were 4711, 5799, 5023 and switcher 7090. CP 8709 had a Speno rail-grinding train in the yard, and vans 437147 end-cupola, 434580 and Jordan spreader 402890 were there, too.