Father’s Day – Part One

I needed to run a few errands on Father’s Day, picking up gifts for my brother-in-law as well as his father.  A dinner was planned by my parents, at their home, with all the in-laws and the kids.  But that was a few hours away and, as I am wont to do on a Sunday afternoon, I grabbed the camera and the scanner and off I went.  I went to Durham Radio the day before and picked up a magnetic mount for an antenna for the roof of the car.  I will say right now: most of the shots that follow are as a result of the better reception I got from using the roof mounted antenna.

I heard quite a bit of chatter as I was driving around, the main story being that an engine had stalled near Liverpool on the York sub and they were having trouble getting it going.  As such, CN RTC had to keep the trains behind it slowed or stopped to avoid an accident.  Hearing an opportunity to maybe catch the stalled engine in a nice spot, I took off towards Pickering.  I was late to see the stopped engine; the “diesel doctor” got it back up and running, according to the engineers.  However, I went into the parking lot of the Pickering GO station and figured I’d catch some of the westbound traffic that had been caught in the backlog.

First up, two SD70M-2’s, CN 8802 and 8804 came by pulling some mixed freight.




Far from home, this dark green BC Rail boxcar was a highlight of the consist.


I returned to my car and sat for about ten minutes, until I heard the approach of a westbound VIA led by 900, a P42.  I didn’t have enough time to get into a better position, so I shot it a few steps from the car door.



As I had heard earlier, there was more to come, so I got back into position by the fence and waited.  A little after 2pm, a westbound GO went through on the GO Subdivision.  It was pushed by MP40 601.



Seconds later, a westbound CN freight passed through, led by SD70M-2: 8857.





Yet another SD70M-2, 8853, provided power in the center of the train.  That’s 4 on the afternoon to this point.



A couple of Sterling cranes were on board.


While these went by, I heard CN RTC talking to an eastbound freight, telling them to hold as these westbound freights went northwest on the York Subdivision.  Intrigued, I decided to walk up the hill to Liverpool Road and stand on the bridge for a while.  The view from this point is pretty nice.


In order, from the left, the tracks are as follows:

  • Kingston Sub, South Track
  • Kingston Sub, North Track
  • York Sub
  • To the extreme right is the GO sub, south and north tracks.

As per this crusty old sign, this area is called Bayly on the GO Sub.  For Kingston and York subs, this same area is Liverpool.


In the wide shot, there’s a crew working on the Kingston sub north track.  The foreman called in to CN RTC to notify that they would be doing some surfacing in a very small stretch of this track.  They called in earlier, but were denied due to the traffic expected to come through.  I watched them work for a while and I talked, briefly, to one of them as they walked back to their truck.  It’s hard to converse with someone when they’re forty feet below you.  After they left, I returned to my car and sat for a while.  I knew the eastbound freight would be coming and, from experience, I knew they radioed in when they passed Beare and Beare East, so I’d have a bit of warning.  I set myself up by the fence once again and waited.  An eastbound GO passed, led by MP40 654.


In an interesting turn, the westbound GO, which I had seen before but didn’t get a good shot of, was being pushed by MP40 635 and one of GO’s rebuilt F59PHs: 562.  I love seeing these old workhorses back in the field, so I tried to pick up a few good angles on it.



The paint job makes them easy spot from a distance, with the white stripe angling up to the roof on the F59PHs, while the MP40s have the stripe narrowing to the nose.  I turned and walked back to the car, only to hear the rumble of engines once again.  I looked back towards the track and, sure enough, the eastbound freight had finally come through.  I grabbed as much of the engines as I could.  It was led by a pair of ES44DCs, 2288 and 2313.



As they went by, I checked the time and realized I had to get moving on actually doing the errands I set out to do before the Father’s Day activities that evening.  I got in my car and took off, expecting to be finished shooting.  But that wasn’t the end of my work for the day…

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14 Responses to Father’s Day – Part One

  1. Eric Gagnon says:

    Part 1: Nice post, Adam. Besides the cranes, looks like a couple more dimensional loads behind the locomotives. Those BC Rail boxcars seem to be everywhere now, in service across the CN system. WC boxcars also used for paper loading in Quebec and east.

    Interesting to think the F59 is an old workhorse, I remember the GO F40PH’s and F-units during visits to Toronto.

    Anyway, a nice assortment of trains in this post, thanks for sharing.

  2. Steve Boyko says:

    Great shots, Adam! I remember being excited to see the BC Rail boxcars in New Brunswick after CN’s acquisition of BC Rail.

    I’d love to have a roof mounted antenna but it’s illegal in Manitoba to equip your vehicle with a scanner.

  3. Adam Walker says:

    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    Eric: The BC Rail car stood out fairly dramatically to the red/brown CN box cars that made up a good quantity of the consist. With the consolidation of railways, I guess you can see cars from all over North America attached to a CN or CP train. As for the F59s, they were the main engines that I recall from growing up here in the GTA; I’m sure I rode on trains pulled by F40s or the F-Units, but I don’t remember them.

    Steve: Glad the laws are a little less stringent in Ontario! I’ve had the mount on and off the car, depending on when and where I’m driving and if my intent is to try and catch some trains. I haven’t run afoul of the law yet, but I don’t imagine the cops care that much about the tiny antenna I have up there.


  4. Pingback: A Quick One – Liverpool | The Walker Express

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