East Scarborough Chase

I went out on March 10th with the intent to find something, but no actual game plan in mind.  I considered going up to Church Street, to finally catch that elusive train at that spot.  I changed my mind though, when I heard that a CN freight would be coming up the York sub, westbound.  I headed for Plug Hat Road, but found the train passing under the bridge as I drove over.  I went in pursuit, but established fairly quickly that it was too far ahead of me to catch it properly.  However, while driving west along Steeles Avenue and tracking that CN freight I spotted something unusual as I approached Ninth Line: a north-south moving freight.  The only track that runs that angle in the area is the rarely used Havelock subdivision.  Awesome!  My guess was confirmed when I approached Staines Road and a slow moving freight was crossing Steeles.  Time for a chase! 

Here’s where it all began.  The green is my car, the red is the Havelock sub.

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I went down Staines in hopes of cutting it off somewhere to the south.  Unfortunately, Staines curves to the east before there are any cross streets that connect it back to the west.  Consulting the map on my phone, the closest connector was Seasons Drive.  I took a right and followed it along until it intersected with Oasis Blvd, which turned into McNicoll Ave. 

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I got to the level crossing in time to catch the very end of the consist.  As you can see, I’m a ways back from it.

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Once the train cleared, I tried to get ahead of it again.  I continued on McNicoll until Tapscott, then made a left and headed south. 

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Again, I was behind it, but I was making up ground.  I got a few more shots of the consist this time.

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When it cleared, my next choice was clear: I had to intercept it at the entrance to the Agincourt yard.  I went south on Tapscott, west on Finch and then south on Markham and into a small plaza that looked directly at the tracks of the Havelock sub.

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I drove right to the back and, at the risk of getting yelled at by some business owners, I jumped out of my car in time to grab the locomotives as they eased into the yard.  The consist was led by GP38-2 3038 and 3066, with GP9 8238 sandwiched in between.

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Based on some photos from railpictures.net, this consist has been serving the Havelock sub for a few weeks now.  I got back in my car as a guy came out of one of the stores to casually throw something away while giving me the stink eye.  I drove to the other side of the lot, parked, then walked up to Finch and up the bridge overlooking the yard.  A few highlights – a switcher/GP9 pair in the yard.  There were a few sprinkled about.

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Another couple of pairs, along with the dead line.  You can vaguely see a SOO painted engine at the very right end.

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And that was that.  I found a short cut when I was walking back to my car, which saved me a good five minutes.  I won’t share it here, as I don’t want to encourage any potential trespassing (even though it was not through CP land).  It was nice to get engaged in a chase and I’m glad I finally got to see some actual trains on the Havelock sub; I never thought I would!  Now, one of my next projects has to be staking out a spot and catching one from a much more picturesque view point.

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5 Responses to East Scarborough Chase

  1. William Self says:

    Ah, who doesn’t love a good chase?! Nice use of Google Maps! I’ve often found myself referring to Google Maps to get a better idea of what some of the locations you are visiting are like and where they specifically are. Now you’ve done the work for me – cheers!

  2. Pingback: A Quick One–Plug Hat Again, Naturally | The Walker Express

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