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.