Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Something old, something new, something borrowed and all that

It's been a hectic week for me, as my family travelled to Southwestern Ontario for a quick trip to see family and attend a few family functions over the Mother's Day weekend. I made sure to try and fit some trains into the weekend. I got mixed results, but I thought I'd share a few shots from the weekend as well as a few other recent items of interest.

So, here's the new. Via P42 906 brings a Toronto-bound corridor consist into Fallowfield Station a few days before our trip.

The train was a mixed lot, with a refurbed Business Class car, this Canada 150 coach and two older painted coaches. This is probably the first time in a while that I've actively sought out Via Rail trains with any regularity. It's a great time to live near a Via Rail station.

Okay, something old. I managed to find the remnants of the CN Petrolia Spur, which is still slightly visible near the intersection of LaSalle Line and Tank Street, right on the edge of Petrolia. I recently read a local book, The Petrolia Spur, by local author Tom Walter.

The book details the fascinating history of the railway line, stretching back to its earliest days when it was financed by the town's business interests when the Great Western Railway didn't think it was worthwhile to build a rail line to the oil fields. In a few years, the line paid for itself.

Amazingly, the spur remained in place until 1997, even though it was rarely used in its later years. The last CN train delivered some pipe before the railway pulled up the track shortly afterward. Trying to find the remnants of the line in the town is tough but the right-of-way is more visible from LaSalle.

Here's the old railway line in the evening. I really wanted to explore, but I was a little scared of the mosquitoes in the shade!

Petrolia is a town very proud of its history. This mural was recently added to the back of the old train station (now library). This is one of the pictures that is in the Petrolia Spur book. Those looking to buy this book need to go to Petrolia and speak to Tom. I sourced my copy through my Dad, who lives there.

Read about Petrolia's historic train station here or the old Canada Southern Railway branch, which also served the town.

Okay, something borrowed. Ottawa train watcher, Keith B. kindly shared this shot of a CN freight crossing Ramsayville Road. Keith has encouraged me to check out the rail action in the east end of the city, which I intend to do this summer. Note the two locomotive lash-up. That's something you don't see west of Walkley Yard.

Keith has an interesting collection of rail images at Ottawa & Area Railways on Pinterest, which is worth checking out, if you are on Pinterest.

Okay, one last image, which was from a meet I had with a westbound freight train in Wyoming. I will save that for another post.

I really like how the heat lines worked in this shot. All in all, it's been an interest week.


Steve Boyko said...

Nice catch of the wraps!

I like that heat blur... wonder what train it was? :)

Michael said...

Stay tuned!

Brandon H said...

Hi Michael,

Out of curiosity, how well versed are you in abandoned rail lines, in and around the Ottawa region? I'm conducting some research in partnership with a non-profit based in the area, and we are interested in the habitat surrounding these old lines. If you know about the old abandoned lines, or know where I can get information regarding them I'd love to hear back.

Michael said...

Brandon - I would strongly suggest you start with the Bytown Railway Society or local rail historians, either Ray Farand or Colin Churcher. I know a fair bit about rails in the west end and a fair bit about old rails in the core/Hull, but these gentlemen are the experts. Email me at hammond.michael77 AT gmail dot com and I will try and get you connected.

Craig said...

Brandon, what specific areas "in and around the Ottawa region" are of interest to you?

I'll second Michael's recommendation of Colin Churcher; his web page contains an absolute wealth of information.

Eric said...

Thanks for this updating post, Michael. Nice to see those CANADA 150's. As of tonight, it would appear the wrap program is complete…..900 903 904 905 906 907 908 909 910 911 912 913 914 916 918 919 920……3316 3329 3338 3343 3350 3351 3352 3353 3355 3356 3357 3359 3360 3361 3364 3365 3366……6402 6416 6436 6437 6454…1750…3476

Michael said...

Thanks for the info, Eric. Now, I need to cross a bunch of these off my list! Sounds like a fun challenge.