Friday, August 29, 2014

A Weekend Trip to Sault Ste. Marie

On the weekend of August 22, myself and a few friends made a trip to Sault Ste. Marie (the Soo), Ontario for a wedding. I had the chance to go out a few mornings, as well as one evening. Of course though, I was sick so that limited what I was capable of doing.

Saturday was the first morning out around town, and it wasn't long before I found something interesting to look at. Below we have a shot of CN 2170, Algoma Central (AC) 10105, and AC 9609 sitting on the north end of the CN yard.

The Algoma Central Railway is now owned by Canadian National. Prior to this, the railway operated from the Soo to Hearst, Ontario before being purchased by Wisconsin Central, and then CN. Algoma Central lives on through passenger service still operated by CN on the entire route (pictures of the old equipment still being used below). There is also the famed Agawa Canyon Tour which operates throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

After taking the above picture, I saw that the northbound passenger train (which goes by CN 631) preparing to leave. So, I decided to head north and get a shot of the train at a crossing near mile 10. As the train passes with CN 4135 leading, I got a wave from a crew member.

That was all for the day as I really was not feeling well.

The next morning, it was back out to catch the canyon train. I arrived at the main yard just as the consist was leaving to head to the loading area downtown. Downtown is where these first shots were taken of the leader CN 105 in the Agawa Canyon paint scheme.

After snapping a few pics, it was time to scout out a spot for video. I decided on a crossing near Lower Island Lake. About 15 minutes later, I began to hear the deep rumble and horn of CN 105 pulling uphill. Sure enough, a few minutes later the Canyon Train rounds the curve in the distance.

And before I knew it, they were passing me.

CN 7080 brought up the rear to lead the trip back later in the day.

It was then time to head back into town and scout out the Huron Central Railway's yard. I arrived on scene to see no units in the yard. Here's the view from the east end near the offices.

Sure enough though, patience paid off and Quebec Gatineau 2500 came around the bend to act as the yard switcher. Boy was she smoking!

I waited around for a bit, but was getting hungry. So I headed to grab some lunch. When I returned, I found that QGRY 2500 had been switched out for the road power! Huron Central 802, 3802, and 3010 pushed one flat car westward towards the CN interchange yard.

Huron Central 802 in its current state is a RM-1 road slug. Previously 802 was a GP38.

That was all I had time for for the morning. I did however manage to get back out later that evening in hopes of catching the CN freight come in from the States, but I got there a little too late. Seen below is CN 8869 yarding its train.

That was all I was expecting to see, but then realized that the southbound passenger train, CN 632, was due in. And within 10 minutes, CN 4135 lead the train back into the passenger drop off area.

This time, I got a few close up shots of the old Algoma Central cars still in use.

Below, AC 78 provides electrical Head End Power (HEP) to the passenger cars. Originally, AC 78 was Denver & Rio Grande Western PB-1 unit number 600B before later becoming 6002. In 1965, 6002 was converted into a steam generator car, and eventually converted again in 1987 to provide HEP. In 2007 the car was purchased to operate on its current routing between Sault Ste. Marie, and Hearst.

Algoma Central 78

AC 311 provided the baggage services on the train. 311 is formerly CN 71303, ex-VIA 9628, ex-CN 9628, originally CN 9247.

AC 311

And that spelled the end of the trains for my trip. I hope to be back sometime when I'm not sick, and have more time.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Starting Something New

After a short stint on Tumblr last year, I decided it was time to start somewhere new. Since the majority of the things I do online these days involve Google, Blogger was a natural choice.

For those of you who don't know me, let me tell you a bit about myself. My name is David Gray. Born and raised in Westville, Nova Scotia a small town just outside New Glasgow. After completing my Bachelor of Information Systems degree in 2014 at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS I moved to Orleans, Ontario which is a suburb of Ottawa. Currently 23 years old, I did not start railfanning until I was 21 when I chased down my first train on the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway (CBNS).

My goal is to use this blog to regularly update on my adventures, as well as post about the happenings in the railway world.

I hope that you will come along with me as I explore new areas of Canada, and the World!

Left: CN 8938 leads BNSF 5729 past mile 79 on the Kingston Subdivision. August 8, 2014.