A Quick One – Kelino Street, 2013

I dug up a session I had at Kelino Street in August 2013.  In this one, I saw a meet of CN freights, followed by an eastbound VIA. 

A westbound freight, led by CN 8844 and CN 2280 meets an eastbound intermodal led by CN 8891.

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In an interesting coincidence, the tails also part at the same spot – likely due to the proximity of this spot to Pickering Junction and the start of the York Sub.

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Shortly after this, VIA 919 passed heading eastbound out of Toronto Union Station.

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A Quick One – Kellino Street Meet

I was out and about with my daughter on March 29th and I decided to stop by Kellino Street for some potential train watching.  The spot there is good because there’s some ground off the side of the road where she can muck around and be safe from any passing cars, not there are a lot of them on this stretch of road.  We hung out for a few minutes when I heard on the scanner that something was approaching Liverpool.  Given the timing, it would seem like it was heading east, but I couldn’t be sure.  A few minutes later, they were clear to slow at Pickering Junction.  Sure enough, given that we were just east of there, something came rumbling along at a relatively slow pace.  Led by CN 8944 and IC 1025, this was a pretty large freight heading eastbound.

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In the midst of this, not one but two GO trains passed in behind.  I tried to find one that showed the other trains – you can sort of see the Metrolinx repainted 607 through the wall of freight cars.

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There was also some DPU action in the form of CN 8819.

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With this, we went on our way!

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A Quick One – Father’s Day

To celebrate Father’s Day with my own father, we went out for lunch and saw Star Trek Into Darkness.  Before this, I went to the Hopkins Street bridge in Whitby, given that it’s across the highway from the movie theatre and the restaurant.

As per my usual, here’s the eastbound view from where I was.

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And the westbound.  The pile of dirt to the right is the future home of the GO eastern maintenance facility. 

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First up, our friend GO 627 coming eastbound for the last station stop on the Lakeshore East line at Oshawa.

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Shortly after, I heard that a westbound VIA would be stopping at Oshawa.  I had a bit of time, so I waited for it to come by.  Here’s the approach to the bridge.

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And the parting shot as it accelerated to 90 MPH through the detector just to the east.  The signals are at South Blair Street, where I shot here and here.

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I’m hoping to get here another couple of times before they close the road and tear down the bridge as part of the maintenance facility bridge.  It’s a pretty cool spot and a lot of neat photos have been taken here, like this one and this one.

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Capreol!

We spent the Thanksgiving weekend with my parents, my sister and her family, as well as her in-laws up in scenic Sudbury.  Having now driven there and back, I can say that VIA needs to seriously consider adjusting the timing of The Canadian to not having it stop east and westbound in Sudbury at 4am.  Come on, VIA.

Anyway, I really wanted to check out some of the train action around Sudbury because of the CP and CN subdivisions that run through and around it, as well as its proximity to the end of the Bala subdivision at Capreol.  Having gotten a chance to head up there on Thanksgiving Sunday, I took my daughter and went up the highway. 

There were several long sections of track that run beside the highway and, sure enough, I saw something heading south.  Hey look, a train!  A southbound intermodal led by SD75I, CN 5770.

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ES44DC CN 2290…

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and SD40-2, CN 5368.

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We rolled into Capreol and found a small town with a big train yard.  I looped around the main street and parked at the rail museum when it looked like there was no parking at the VIA station, which wasn’t very much of anything at all.  At the museum, they had it setup with some Halloween decorations.  On the scanner, I heard a work train (598) in the yard talking to the YQ and moving some cars around.  It was led by some of the “new” SD60s, CN 5418…

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and CN 5467.

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We walked down to the level crossing in the middle of town and waited for a minute.  Sure enough, yet another train was there. 

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They were executing a crew change, as a van drove by a few minutes later with the logo of a transport company on the side, advertising crew logistics (or something like that).  As per the norm, I shot the shed and the crossbuck. 

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Funny to think that 264 track miles south is the siding at Oriole and my old Northlander watching haunt.

Anyway, my brother in law and my niece joined us after a spell and we walked around for a while.  There was some more action, including another huge intermodal train – I swear that these trains are 1.5 or 2 times the size of what I see on the Kingston and York subs in Ajax, Pickering and Scarborough.

Here’s two shots of CN 8927

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And finally, the money – this may be one of the best photos I’ve ever taken:

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To close: I want to thank my friend Eric Gagnon for reaching out to me today.  He inspired me to get this post done, which I had been waffling on doing, and get myself out there again.  I haven’t had as much time to do this of late because of work and other things but when I was trackside, watching these great machines do their work, it brought such a calm to me; it was something I hadn’t felt in a while.

It’s good to be back.

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Level Crossings I’ve Known… – Mile 95.20, Newmarket Spur

In a previous post, I mentioned going up Rama Road to Longford Mills.  When going further north along Rama Road, I encountered the Newmarket Spur again and decided to stop and take a couple of quick shots of the relevant angles that I like to capture.

To the south…

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To the north…

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The crossbuck with mileage marker.  Note that it appears to be a reprinted label – was this segment re-numbered in some way in the past?

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And the signal shed, with the signage indicating that it is N of Longford.  I wonder if that was always there or if it was added after the sub was cut in half.

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A Quick One – Longford Mills

My wife and I went up the Casino Rama to see Chicago (the band).  The following morning, we went up Rama Road to visit Longford Mills, the southern end of the northern section of the Newmarket subdivision, also known as the Newmarket spur.  This is where 595 out of Huntsville comes at least once a week to pick up and drop off tanker cars.

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This is at 93.76 of the Newmarket spur.  Here’s the view to the south.  In previous times, this would have seen the Canadian, as well as the Northlander coming through.

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And to the north.  My dirty car is off to the left.

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A CN box sits off the siding.  Note the precariously balanced can of spray paint.  Not sure how that’s staying in place so well.

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We continued north to Washago, but nothing came through during our time there, so we got onto Highway 11 south and headed home.  It was a great concert and a nice jaunt through some railroading country!

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A Quick One – Back On The Horse

Hey gang.

I once read somewhere that you aren’t supposed to mention a gap between posts on a blog, that it draws attention to the fact that you haven’t posted.  As if someone couldn’t compare the dates of the posts and see that its been a while since the last one went up.

Anyway, here’s something I did today to tide everyone over while I go back into the photos I’ve taken over the past few months and create coherent narratives around them.

I was driving around today, running some errands with my daughter and decided to turn on the scanner.  I heard nothing for a while, then something interesting: train 369, led by CN 2317. was going to stop at Oshawa to pick up a unit (CN 7046) to take to Mac yard.  Intrigued, we drove around the Whitby/Oshawa area, near Wentworth Yard where the units live that serve the local industries in Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering and east Scarborough.

Its hard to find a different spot around there and will become harder to shoot that area once the new GO maintenance facility is completed, so South Blair Street it was again!  I waited, impatiently, for them to come.  I had to walk up and down the road between where I parked and the crossing with my daughter on my shoulders as she was rather fussy.  They had some trouble hooking it into place behind the lead engine, which caused a delay in them getting moving.  Finally, I saw them come around the corner from the east and got back to my car and ready to shoot.

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And the money, both units in plain sight.

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You can see the air hose running down the side of the engine; this was the problem they had getting going.  I guess sometimes you just have to get things done!  Here’s a closer look.

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The CN GP9 fleet continues to do its grunt work, serving those local industries that still use rail.  In this case, this unit would also be working the GM yard in Oshawa, so not only small businesses.  The train also featured some heavy DPU in the form of CN 8821.

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It was a beautiful day to shoot and a beautiful day to start posting again!

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Year Two In Review

A bit delayed, but yes, The Walker Express has been live for two years!  Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane, shall we?

In January, I shot the late 6444 at Liverpool.

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And one of the last un-rebuilt VIA engines at Oriole.

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I travelled to New York via Amtrak, catching a number of interesting sights along the way.

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In New York, we took in the High Line…

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And on the way home, saw things in a different light.

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I celebrated 100 posts with a new place to shoot…

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And caught a slow-moving tiger by the tail on the Havelock sub

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I shot a special train (regardless of what those on CanPassRail might say).

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And I said good bye to a friend.

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I could go on and on, about the train shows, the Quick Ones, the Level Crossings.  I’m so glad to have been able to share these experiences with all those who read and enjoy my adventures with trains.  I was blessed this year with the birth of my daughter Audrey and felt the loss of my grandmother, the last of my grandparents to pass away.  It’s been a ride this year, certainly more varied and unexpected than my first.  I’m very much looking forward to the future, to all the experiences I hope to have myself and those I hope to share with my daughter.  Thanks for reading!

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A Quick One – Cloud F—-d

I was out and about on November 24th and stopped by the Pickering GO station to try and catch a westbound VIA which had left Oshawa about ten minutes before.  When I arrived the sky was very pleasant, looking like this:

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But the clouds thought they’d fool around with me, passing in front of the sun as the train approached, resulting in some much darker than expected shots.  You can see the sliver of sun behind the last car, obscured by the completed but incomplete pedestrian bridge.

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This was train 55 from Montreal, with VIA 6414 leading 4 LRC cars.  Here are two shots, seconds apart, but I liked them both too much to not have both of them up.

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Catching 6414 in action continues my streak of non-repeating lead units, dating back a number of posts and many months.  One day this will end, but I’m going to ride it for as long as I can.

(thanks to Wayne Shaw for the inspiration for the title of this post)

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Level Crossings I’ve Known… – Mile 177.49, CP Belleville Sub

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After going to the Whitby Model Train show, I went down Hopkins Street to the level crossing at the old Ralston Purina factory.  I’ve crossed this more times than I can count, back to when I was a very young kid driving around with my parents.  This crossing is at the marker board for Whitby on the CP Belleville sub.  The board is just west of the crossing.

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Obeying the sign, all shots are taken from the street with a zoom lens – I don’t (usually) trespass.  Anyway, there is a siding from just west of here to just east of Brock Street.  My wife told me there were some old maroon CP cars on this siding, right on the bridge at Brock Street on the Thursday.  They were unfortunately gone by the time I got out to Whitby on Saturday the 17th.  Here’s the view to the east, towards the spur to the GM plant. 

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There was a fair amount of traffic as I stood shooting, so I stopped and got back in the car.  Another level crossing successfully catalogued!

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