Thursday, May 5, 2016

Change on the Smiths Falls Sub

I thought I'd pass along a few observations from my recent travels along the Smiths Falls Subdivision.

I was in Barrhaven the other day when I decided to venture down Greenbank Road to see how the new railway bridge is progressing. This shot below was taken a few weeks ago. There still seems to be a lot of work to be done. You can see from the shot below how Greenbank has been diverted to a temporary crossing (right) while works proceeds to complete a road underpass.

Here's another look, below. For those who have visited this blog before, you know that Barrhaven residents have pushed for a number of measures to lessen the burden of living next to a busy Via Rail subdivision. Trains were recently ordered to refrain from using their horn in certain areas of Barrhaven. I would not be surprised if another bridge like this is installed in the coming years, likely along Woodroffe Avenue or Fallowfield Road. This bridge makes sense since it's a safer option for everyone involved. I still maintain, though, that Ottawa residents have largely forgotten about how to live next to a railway. I digress.

On April 8, I was visiting a friend in Richmond when I saw this sight near the Ottawa Street crossing. This collection of maintenance of way equipment was parked on a stub-end siding. The consist included an open top hopper, SETX 1002.

Here's a closer look at the hopper, which has appeared a few times around Walkley Yard as well as a few other points in Eastern Ontario. It seems this has been used a number of times for maintenance consists.

One final shot from the Ottawa Street crossing. Sadly, no Via corridor trains were forthcoming, judging by the signals.

I asked around the Eastern Ontario Rails Facebook group to see if anyone knew what the MoW consist was for, but no one had an idea. It occurred to me the other day that maybe work was soon to begin to align the track over the bridge on the new Greenbank Road railway bridge. I have not been back to that area since I took the top two shots, so I can't say for sure what that little work train was doing in Richmond. But I'm glad I caught it. It was just cold enough to snow, which actually made the shots much more interesting. You can really notice the snow in the final shot.

I heard some interesting news about the Beachburg Subdivision the other day, which I will share in a future post.


AJ said...

I am glad you posted about this today. I was meeting my lawyer this morning during my lunch break and on the way back I decided to take the Queensway to get off at Holly Acres. On the Kanata hill, to my surprise I passed a CN transport truck with a low boy and the exact same yellow MoW equipment on it (The railroad Tamper specifically). Happened at approx. 12:35 and I wasn't able to get a picture unfortunately. I can say that it was headed east.

Michael said...

Good catch, AJ. I guess I will have to keep my eyes peeled for work along the tracks. I've noticed those bundles of new rail ties are still sitting trackside. Hopefully, we can catch some MoW trains in the near future.

jud hoek said...

Sorry for the intrusion. I was wondering about railway groups in ottawa. I'm trying to hook up my son. He's a 28-year-old with mild autism and absolutely lives for his trips to local crossings to film and photo via trains. Again, sorry for the breach of ettiquette.
-jud hoek

Michael said...

Hi Jud -- welcome! I encourage anyone who comes by to comment or ask questions. You are asking a tough question. I don't think there are any groups like that in Ottawa, simply because we our rail infrastructure is so small and so much of it is hidden. I would make a few suggestions for your son. The first would be to contact the Bytown Rail Society. If anyone would know, they would. The second suggestion I would have would be to look at the Via Rail schedule at the main train station. I know that, each morning, there are times when corridor trains are either coming or going in close succession. I know there is a time in the morning where there are three trains coming or going (one arriving from Montreal, one leaving for Toronto, one arriving from Toronto, if memory serves. I would also ask anyone else from Ottawa to feel free to leave suggestions for Jud and his son.