Thursday, September 22, 2016

North to Muskoka, September 2016

In early September, we journeyed north to meet with my wife's cousin whom she had never met, but had 'found' through ancestryDOTca. While heading north on Durham Road 12 at Brechin East, I glimpsed what appeared to be a standing cut of autoracks just to the west. Then, at the next crossing, we found VIA No 2 stopped, with headlight and ditchlights extinguished! The long train was hours behind schedule due to the freight (immediately ahead with the autoracks) being in emergency.
Their loss was my gain. Fellow railfans wait trackside for hours and days at a time waiting for the Canadian, and here it was sitting right in front of me! If I was on Facebook right now, I would be looking for the 'Feeling Blessed' icon right now!
After our get-together and leisurely meal at the harbourfront Gravenhurst Boston Pizza, the next day took me trackside to beautiful downtown Torrance, ON. Located on CN's Bala Sub, I found a quiet spot just north of Highway 169. Looking south: 
Torrance is the site of a wayside detector:
An airhorn announced a southbound at noon. Was it CN or CP, since CP was just west at Bala...nope, this was a southbound intermodal behind CN 2871-2949, likely CN No 104:
These are video captures, passing the detector and backtrack:
Feeling reflective (is that another Facebook icon, perchance?) I captured the train in one of the Muskoka region's many bodies of water:
Disappearing toward the Big Smoke, about to discharge its cargoes to a waiting host of dollar stores:
After a lunch break with the cousins, I returned to Torrance to find this brushcutter had returned to the backtrack after a morning of weed-whacking.
In the afternoon there were CP airhorns in Bala, but only a lone northbound at 1420 behind CN 2888:
A mix of paper boxcars, covered hoppers, a few auto racks and empty oil tank cars on the tailend:
TRGX 854559 trails a couple of patched BAEX boxcars. Remember that grain magnate Richardson began his empire in Kingston, and the adjacent Queen's University building to our hospital wing is still named Richardson Laboratories 
All I found in Bala was a pair of CP track machines:
And a lone ballast hopper:
We toured the Port Carling-Bracebridge area on a rainy Thursday, stopping by Gravenhurst station on CN's Newmarket Spur. Reports from fellow VIAphile and travellin' man Matt Soknacki indicated that CN Nos 450/451 were still nocturnal, so I thought chances of spotting one of them here were 'Slim to Nil'. (And Slim just left town).
But upon completion of a visit to the beery Sawdust City brewery, my wife craftily pointed out the siren song of a first-generation Geep. Could we make it to the tracks in time? Throw in the beer, throw 'er in gear and put the coal to 'er! Yes we can!
Especially when it's running at 5 mph and it's Canada's shortest train! CN 4132 running light back to its base in Huntsville from an industry in Longford Mills. December 2016 update - Stepan in Longford Mills will be closing.
Into the Woods in a couple more video captures.
With that it was a Friday return to Kingston. Watch for an upcoming post on a gravy-laden Gravenhurst famous fast food flashback to 1979!

Running extra...

Meanwhile, my friend Reg Aitken aka The Explorer was exploring the area of Townline Road east of Napanee, returning from the Picton Train Show. While there he photographed CN No 149 charging west:
This location looks familiar. Future blogger with now-vintage crossbucks, 1976. D J Gagnon photo: 
 Westbound CN No 518 among the bullrushes:
 and an eastbound baggage car-toting VIA train at speed. Thanks for sharing these, Reg!
Graphics guru Randy O'Brien shared this cool graphic. It's based on a photo of the Plasticville Factory I picked up at the Picton show. World's Largest coupler since eharmony:


Steve Boyko said...

Great photos, Eric and Reg! It's not often you see the Canadian standing still.. nice catch!

Remember when those GP9s were common and you wondered why you bothered shooting them? Now they are becoming rare and interesting. Everything new is old again.

Eric said...

It was a surprise, Steve!

Thank goodness this is the Year of Photographing the Blisteringly Geeps. I guess every year should be that Year! Long live the Geep!

Thanks for your comment,