December 2011




The two former (HudBay Minerals Inc.) Hudson Bay Mining  & Smelter (HBM&S) GE 45 toners 100 and 101, were sold to RAIL TRUST of  Atlanta,  GA, and trucked out of Flin Flon, MB November 16th.  The smelter at Flin Flon is shut down for good and there is no need for these two units that were employed on slag dumping trains, they replaced 250V electrics

Matthew Hicks caught the elusive Exshaw - LaFarge cement plant (LAFX) GP10 #1749 at Exshaw, Alberta May4th, 2009.


Glen Brosinsky clicked LaFarge cement plant LAFX #1749 still hard at work at the plant in the second week of November 2011.


Southern Prairie Railway had their kick off event November 4th, 2011. They will be operating a new tourist railway in the community of Ogema, Saskatchewan. Southern Prairie 44 toner, number 15, exited the shop all done up in its new paint scheme, where Ken McCutchean photographed the GE.  Along with the refurbished coach "Mt Holly" they were scheduled to make their repositioning trip eastward 44 miles to Horizon.  Ogema is where SPR will base their operations from.  This is the first tourist railway in Saskatchewan.

November 3rd Ken McCutcheon caught a Great Western Railway (GWR)  southbound heading south to Coronach and east of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan.  

Three Hudson Bay Railway units, HLCX 3815-3841 and HBR 2506 were sitting dead at CN’s Symington diesel shop in Winnipeg, MB in November, and are to move south for Omni-Trax in Colorado


Ontario Southland Railway ran a business special between Tillsonburg and Woodstock Ontario on October 15th/ The purpose of the trip was to showcase the upgrades to the line and point out the advantages of using rail to the local politicians that should be promoted to potential businesses. It was well received and will potentially lead to new industry locating in the area.

Video the picture below to see a video of the event.


Wayne D. Shaw clicked arguably the best looking Ontario Northland Locomotive, ONR GP38-2 1805 leading 698 at Huntsville, Ontario on November 4th.

Wayne also caught the “Northlander” with ONRAIL liveried GP38-2 1802 rolling along the shores of Lake Vernon at Mile 144 of the CN Newmarket Sub (Huntsville, ON) November 4th.


This is "pan photography 101" … check our Wayne’s terrific “Pan” of ONR 1809 taken November 21st.  With a single chevron and “Northland" on the long hood, this newly painted unit is blasting over the CN Newmarket Sub enroute to Cochrane, ON.

Calling it an 'evolution' of the over 20 year old "Santa Claus Express", Ontario Northland announced in November the introduction of the new "ONR Holiday Train".  Gone is the annual train ride that local children along the majority of ONR trackage (except the Island Falls Subdivision) used to get in order to pick up Santa at a designated pick up point, replaced by having the children wait at designated points (again, except the Island Falls Subdivision) as a Christmas light decorated freight train rolls up with Santa Claus on board. Santa will then get off the train to visit children with the decorated train fully lit and Christmas music being piped in.  Yes, this does bare an uncanny resemblance to Canadian Pacific's Holiday Train, however, as stated in the official ONR release, the ONR

Holiday Train will be completely freight tonnage.  Scheduled stops will be 1 hour in length and Ontario Northland is once again teaming up with Community Groups for necessary coordinating of each stop,

The schedule for the inaugural run of the "ONR Holiday Train" is as follows...

North Bay, December 7, 2011

Temagami, December 8, 2011

New Liskeard, December 8, 2011

Englehart, December 9, 2011

Kirkland Lake, December 9, 2011

Rouyn-Noranda, December 11, 2011

Matheson, December 12, 2011

Iroquois Falls, December 12, 2011

Cochrane, December 13, 2011

Hearst, December 14, 2011

Kapuskasing,, December 15, 2011


Here's a few photos of ONR's classic Santa Claus Express...

The long day continues for our Volunteer Running Crew of December 3rd, 2005's Santa Claus Express schedule. The Crew have just completed Timmins' Santa Claus Express and are seen here crossing the bridge at Monteith enroute to Matheson for their scheduled 12 pm "Ho Ho".

Here's a photo captured December 3rd as the 2005 Santa Claus Express makes it's triumphant return to the Timmins area. The trainload of kids and their Volunteer Running Crew of Jeff, Rick, Brad, and Tyler cross the Frederickhouse River Bridge at Mile 96 of the Ramore Subdivision enroute to Porquis to pick up Santa and the Mrs.

Welcome to Matheson on the Ramore Subdivision as December 3rd's Santa Claus Express is spotted on the platform for boarding. The Volunteer Crew of Jeff, Rick, Tyler, and Brad have a little time on their hands before their noon departure as the crowds slowly begin to arrive at Matheson Station. On this particular edition of the "Ho Ho", the train will be picking up Santa at Ramore (Mile 55).

The CEFX 2000-series GP20D’s originally leased to the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway (CBNS), have been transferred to the Southern Ontario Railway (SOR) in Hamilton. CBNS's largest shipper, a paper mill that accounted for 40% of their traffic, closed resulting in many of their employees being laid off, assignments cancelled, and much of their loco fleet has been stored.

In November Rail America sold 40 of their locomotives to an American locomotive rebuild and leasing firm. RLK 1755 - 1757 - 1808 and 5005 were included in this lot. They are currently having their fluids drained. The firm who purchased them will be making an evaluation of each unit to determine if it will be remanufactured, stripped or scrapped.  James Gardiner’s photo from October 18th, 2008, shows RLK 1808 switching the yard in Hamilton

Walter Pfefferle took this shot November 17th of some of the power that may be going south sitting in Hamilton Ontario.

One unit that will not be going is CEFX 2015 seen here switching in the yard in Hamilton on November 17th.

Rolling along the 300km link of the Trans Canada Highway between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, Chris Wilson photographed this 61 car freight train heads towards Sault Ste. Marie led by slug HCRY 802 and the leased DESX SD40-2W in the consist. With quite a bit of steel, pulp wood, and kraft pulp being shipped along the highway (look at the condition) the HCR still plays a key roll with the regions economy moving goods for three large area industries.


Railink Vignette

Bob Heathorn clicked Ottawa Valley Railink GP9 4204 at Smiths Falls, ON, April 4th 1997.




Quebec-Gatineau SD40-3 update:


-Now working in Schefferville, QC.

WC 6900 to WLRS 6900 to QGRY 3325

WC 6905 to WLRS 6905 to QGRY 3326

WC 6906 to WLRS 6906 to QGRY 3327


GCFX 6057 to QGRY 6057 left Schefferville Dead and  Drained on Nov 14th and arrived at Pointe Noire on the 29th, awaiting the ferry.  GCFX 6057 is going for overhaul in the USA.


-Now working between Quebec City and Montreal, QC.

WC 6904 to QGRY 6904

WC 6908 to QGRY 6908

WC 6913 to QGRY 6913

WC 6920 to QGRY 6920


The Wellboro & Corning Railroad purchased four ex-QNS&L SD40-2CLC locomotives in October 2010.  Robert smith clicked WCOR 309, WCOR 301, WCOR 302, and WCOR 307 are seen on CN near Welland in transit to Wellsboro & Corning last year.

CEFX SD9043MACs 118 and 133to Becancour QC in late October.

We could not confirm destination but these are likely for the Cartier or the Arnaud Railway. Motive-power will be needed as the New Millenium Mine project starts up over the next few months.  Eight CEFX GP20D units were leased and arrived earlier this year, and were assigned switching duties on the Arnaud Railway.  


On November 8th, Kevin Burkholder visited NECR Italy Yard in St-Albans. VT and clicked the remnants of the NECR GP38 3853 that has been sold to BRO-TEX INTERNATIONAL METALS, LLC. for scrapping. Rail America is undertaking a major scrapping of locomotives that are either not serviceable or would cost more to restore than they are worth for their scrap value. The other photo shows the long hood of NECR GP38 3853 attached onto LLPX GP38-2 2221, which had been wrecked while serving on the Ottawa Valley Rail Link in Canada. The mismatched LLPX 2221 is seen outside the NECR Roundhouse in St. Albans.




© CRO December 2011