It's Silicium Quebec, a silicon producer, having operated under different names in the plant's 40-year history, such as Becancour Silicon. With its annual production of 45,000 to 50,000 tonnes of metallic silicon, Silicium Québec has 175 employees. Half of Bécancour's production goes to the United States. Half is used in the aluminum sector, while 35% of the silicon produced is used by the chemical industry. Solar energy production uses the rest, or 15%, an area that is experiencing double-digit growth..Located near the port of Becancour, the facility is 100 miles northeast of Montreal on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. It's served by CN, located at Mi. 23.5 of the 25 mile-long Becancour Subdivision that leaves the CN Drummondville Sub at Aston Junction.
The facility had a large materials yard. There appears to be a car-dumping spot beside the materials yard then room for maybe 10 cars at the end of their spur. No cars were on the spur the day the satellite flew over, unfortunately. CN's designation for this track is G120 - Becancour Silicon. The plant seems to be served by three (plus one?) spurs, adjacent to an industry support yard. Two spurs go to covered hopper indoor-loading locations, and the the tail-end one is for our cars of interest.
- Jan 29/17 CSXT 811992, 836410 + others
- Feb 19/17 CSXT ? on 368
- Apr 22/17 CSXT 835989 on 377
- Jun 5/17: three CSXT on 377
- Sep 17/17: 837051, 836031 + 10 more on 373
- May 4/18: 835349, 837407, 836991, 835516, 835942 on 377
- Apr 12/19:810310, 835994 + 2 more on 373
- Nov 2/19: 836050, 835683 + 2 more on 373
- Jun 16/20: 837509, 835432, 835956 + 10 more on 368
Our local branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library has a never-ending book sale. Not having visited since the start of the pandemic(!) I noticed that prices for used books are no longer marked - they're by donation only. A month ago, while there with my good wife who was picking up some reserved Amish romance (who knew?) I wandered over and found a couple of books on Canadian railway subjects. A library volunteer indicated that someone had dropped off 'this many' [carton load] train books and that they would be put out over the next little while.
Several return trips netted several more Amish romances but no new railway books. I settled for a quick one-day read about the ill-fated Newfoundland Regiment attack on Beaumont Hamel: No Man's Land by Kevin Major. Just when I'd given up hope (on train books, not on the romantic ardour of the Amish which seemed to fill several bookshelves) I encountered another, very helpful volunteer. Upon mentioning the train books, she quickly disappeared, assuring me she'd be back in three minutes. And she was, with a cart and a stack of railway 'books by the pound'. Wow! Mostly a "Got 'im, got 'im", but there were a couple of "Need 'ims" namely The Railroaders by Stuart Leuthner, and the apocryphal Train Wrecks by Robert C. Reed. The former is an interesting compendium of first-person remembrances, the latter is more destructive and grisly. Plus, my wife and the volunteer got to talk about rhubarb and recipes during today's visit! It was...A Tale of Two...Volunteers!