Wednesday, July 1, 2020

I'm back, sort of...

Thank you to everyone for your kind words from my last post, which explained why I was stepping away from this blog, mostly due to the hectic nature of my life.

Life has eased a bit, with the summer now here and the school year mercifully over. I am still having a hard time figuring out how to maintain a blog about railways in Ottawa when there is so little to see, especially from my vantage point in the city's west end. I do have some vague plans to do some real honest-to-goodness railfanning in Bedell or Smiths Falls at some point, but those are not terribly firm right now.

That said, Canada Day seemed like a good time to head out somewhere and try and find a train. More than anything, I was looking for some quiet time, since  my house has become a bit too cozy of late, with all of us here all the time. I love my family and I know they at least seem to tolerate me, but too much of a good thing, right?

So, I headed out to one of my favourite spots, Twin Elm, to catch a westbound Via Train 53. There wasn't a lot to choose from on Canada Day. Even thought it fell on a Wednesday this year, CN 589 to Nylene Canada was not operating. That pretty much left me with Via or nothing.

So, I vowed to get something more in the way of landscape art than railway photo, since I have far too many clinical shots of Via corridor trains. So, here's the first shot as Via 53 raced across the Cambrian Road crossing.

As you can see, the train was being led by a Love The Way wrapped P42. I tell ya, I will shed no tears when these dogs are replaced. Ugly.

I tried to ensure I got at least one shot of the train next to the red farm structures for a little bit of variety. I'll share the rest of the shots in a later post.

As for rail news in Ottawa, I noticed an inordinate number of comments about the Arnprior Turn and I have received a few emails from readers who have caught it of late. Thanks to everyone for keeping me in mind. So, in case anyone is wondering, yes, CN still makes its weekly run out to Nylene Canada in Arnprior. Mostly, they operate on Wednesdays, although some have told me the train is making its way west a little later in the morning than many are used to seeing (10-10:30 a.m.).

And, yes, for those outside the city, the O-Train Confederation Line is still a complete disaster. On top of the numerous failures this past winter, the trains were running at reduced capacity recently because it was too hot. It makes us wonder if these awful trains run well in any conditions.

The president of the Rideau Transit Group, the company that built and maintains the line, recently resigned and was replaced. I think people in the city would care more if they honestly believed the move would result in better service. Meanwhile, the city is still withholding payment to RTG due to its continuing failure deliver on its promises. And, as many in the city know, the second phase of construction on the Confederation Line is well underway in many different places.

We can only hope the issues get figured out before the line is extended to Orleans and Moodie.

It's good to be back. No promises, but I'll see what I can do.


Eric said...

He's b-a-a-a-a-c-k. For now.

Thanks for sharing this update, Michael!

Happy Canada Day!

DaveM said...

Heading to Bedell would be a good idea as there is a decent amount of history there, but not as many trains as there used to be. Right now they are doing a bunch of work, so they have to call out to get verbal clearance when passing through, so it gives you a bit of a heads up on traffic through there.

If you were able to do it on the day that F52 is heading down the South Prescott Spur, that would be an added bonus since that section of track is quite nice.


Michael said...

Thanks for the heads up Dave. Time is always my enemy, with so much happening at home! I am trying to find some time to go.

Thanks for the comments, Eric. More pastoral pics next week (that pun was just for you Eric!).

Eric said...

When it comes to pastoral puns, Michael, you are outstanding. In your field.

Seriously though, I came across an interesting news clipping from the not-too-distant past which I'll be sharing soon!


Canadian Train Geek said...

Welcome back! :)

I feel your pain. When I was in Fredericton NB it was a good 45m drive to see CN, 30m to see NB Southern, and 2 hours to see VIA. It was hard to find something to blog about!

Anonymous said...

It would be pretty good idea to investigate and document some spurs in the area like the Vankleek and L'Orignal spurs. It would also be cool to see CN's side of Walkley at present time. As CN leaves Ottawa, these will all be abandoned, so it would be a good idea to document them before there is nothing left.

Michael said...

Thanks Steve and everyone else for commenting. I am trying to keep things open-ended at this point. I'll share what I have when I find it. I am noodling around with a few issue-based posts as well. We'll see where it goes!