Friday, August 26, 2011

Then and Now: Bayview Junction 1981-2011

Retired RTC Tim Ball (TJB) travelled to Bayview Junction near Hamilton, Ontario in July and was kind enough to share some of his photos. In this post, Tim's photos are the NOW shots, with my photos taken in June 1981 being the THEN shots. A busy junction of CN's Dundas and Oakville Subdivisions, Bayview also sees GO and VIA movements, and has also seen CP and NS trains. We both started out our days at Bayview shortly after 0600, and later in the day I moved to the railfan 'triangle' which was still accessible at that time. Major differences between the Then and Now photos are the closing of the railfan 'triangle' within the wye, and the 2006 realignment: realigning of the tracks to Hamilton, removal of a crossover, and the lining of the former Oakville Sub north track directly into the Dundas Sub north track, permitting 40 mph movements. Most of the following photos are taken from the Royal Botanical Gardens footbridge.

Top two photos: Eastbound CN freights. Notice the new third track at this location. THEN: CN 9601-9572-9437 heading for Toronto with a sizeable reefer block on the head end. NOW: CN train 907, the management training train of empties led by 2438. After arriving in Hamilton, then reversing down the 'cowpath' to the Dundas Sub, it's now returning to MacMillan Yard.

Above two photos: Eastbound VIA trains. THEN: Scruffy leased CN 4017 accelerates its four cars from London eastbound around 0800. NOW: Ren 6444 and a seven-car VIA train 70. These stainless steel cars weren't even on VIA's roster in 1981.

Westbound VIA trains (above) THEN: Tempo 3152 around 0810 westbound with four VIA-painted Tempo cars. NOW: VIA train 71 behind 903. Tim notes 903's nose-job, resulting from a collision with a dumptruck near Belleville. Back in 1981, the LRC cars were just making their debut.

Westbound CN freights (below) THEN: 2032-2022-9617 lead an overpowered 15-car TOFC consist into Hamilton. The units were wyed later in the day around Bayview Junction and returned to Hamilton yard. NOW: 5528 leads CN train 393 as it heads for the Dundas Sub.

Eastbound GO Transit trains, showing the enduring and unique Bombardier bilevel cars in their familiar green & white scheme. THEN: GO APCU 902 leads eight bilevel cars into Toronto, with 706 and 709 on the tail end. NOW: GO 633 pulls GO train 494. How many generations of GO units have passed through Bayview in the intervening 30 years? Well, 500-series GP40TC, GP40-2W, and F59PH, 700-series GP40-2W and GP40M-2, and now 600-series MP40PH-3C have all worn variations of the GO paint scheme still in use today.

Westbound Amtrak trains. THEN: Amtrak engine 344 hauls Amfleet. Blue 'Harvdogmobile' visible in background shows just how close to the action visiting railfans could park. Passing crews would throw their outdated paperwork from the cab to see the railfans pounce on it. NOW: Amtrak Genesis P42DC 6 pulls New York City-bound Amtrak train 97, still Amfleet.

Westbound freights, below the Plains Road overpass. THEN: CP 4728-4511 and acid tank cars. One of the unpredictable elements of Bayview was CP's utilization of their trackage rights over CN's Oakville Sub between Toronto and Hamilton. NOW: CN train 421 with 2555-2xxx-2562-4700 passes under the bridge.

Westbound GO trains, both will Valley Inn Road visible in the background. THEN: GO engine 515 trails cab car 103 and 8 single-level cars of weary commuters back to Hamilton at 1900. NOW: GO engine 611 and more than a dozen bilevels on GO train 496.

It's easy to see that while traffic volumes have stayed high, photographic technology has advanced significantly. Tim's tele brings the trains to you, while my trusty Kodak Hawkeye required a "Wait for it" attitude until the train got closer. Regardless, Tim was gracious enough to allow me to use his recent photos, and I hope they've given you an idea of how trackage and trains may change, but the thrill of railfanning at a great location never does.

Running Extra...In Kingston and Sudbury test markets, Tim Horton's is changing the sizing of their hot beverage cups. Alert the news media! Same overpowering coffee! Same high prices! McDonald's pressure tactics and superior value have clearly sent Tim's management into a tizzy. Somewhere, Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar and maybe even Grimace are smiling.

For Trackside Treasure's easy guide to drive-thru etiquette at Tim Horton's, McDonald's or your local favourite, check this post.

Sadly, two accomplished Kingston-area railfans have recently left us. Colin Murray, operator of a Canadian-themed layout featured in Canadian Railway Modeller, and Tim Reid, accomplished photographer and rail traveller. I was able to meet both gentlemen during a visit to Colin's layout a year ago.


Adam Walker said...

Love these shots! A great contrast from then and now. I have the Athearn HO model of the GO APCU too. Its a shame they never saw service as full on FP7s.


Zartok-35 said...

Interesting stuff. The passenger coaches are vistually the same as they used to be! Pouncing on documents sounds like it might be fun.

Eric said...

Adam, GO certainly put a bold new face on the classic F-unit nose, although their newest MP40's have their own sleek look about them.

Elijah, yes, some things change, and some things don't. Do you think the LRC and Amfleet cars might still be around in my Then and Now 1981-2021 post?

Thanks for your comments,

Bryan said...

Good post. I always love stopping by Bayview when I get the chance. What strikes me most is not how the physical location has changed, but the operations. TOFC into Hamilton yard, CP running on the Oakville sub, Tempo cars, head-end blocks of reefers, ...

Eric said...

You're so right, Bryan. It'll take at least two posts to include all my 1981 Bayview photos, plus all the power consists, but it'll be rich in variety and I just gotta do it.

The big draw during our visit was CP and Amtrak, plus GO, as we were used to only CN and VIA at Kingston.

Thanks for your comments,

Anonymous said...

Great post Eric. I always enjoy reading your blog but this was great. The Tempo RS18 is a classic favourite of mine and then your shots of the GO F40 and APCU - I'd really like to see more of them.

Great stuff. Keep up the great work.

Eric said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Chris. I'll try to post some more GO for you, and yes, those Tempo units and cars were certainly unique.

Imagine the 'stars in the eyes' of a couple of railfans who were barely old enough to drive visiting this railfan mecca and seeing such a plethora of amazing trains!


Drew Makepeace said...

So the triangle is now unaccessible? If so, what a shame. It sure was neat how we could just drive there and park (although in hindsight, the cars detract somewhat from the train photes) Is it possible to still walk in on foot?

Eric said...

That's my understanding, Drew. CN concerned about those darn railfans. Most photos I see posted are from the railfan bridge in the botanical gardens. Not sure about foot traffic into the triangle - perhaps overgrown?

Plus, the trackage has been realigned in recent years.