At the CN Symington Diesel Shop June 17th, Mark A. Perry was able to catch JLCX SW1500 #953, with what appears to be some kind of “watchman heater” equipment sitting on the running board.  Earlier this year JLCX 953 was put in service to load and unload cars of pipe and Frac sand used in oil well drilling industry in Bienfait, SK when the APU failed and froze the unit up.  This switcher is destined to the NPR shop in Fordville, North Dakota for evaluation and has been temporarily replaced with JLCX GP35 547.

Last year, the Prairie Dog Central was donated Manitoba Hydro GE 35 ton #864, (B/N 36402). The last number it wore on MB Hydro was 864 when she was in service at Pointe du Bois, MB.  Prior to that it was numbered 97C1 and was used at the Thermal Generating Plant at East Selkirk MB. Photos were taken in Winnipeg on June 24th, 2012 by Mark A. Perry.

There have been some delays on the development of the Long Creek Railroad (LCRI), and the grand opening is now put back until after harvest season. This line is the ex-CP Broham Subdivision and heads west from Estevan, SK for 40 miles.  They do not need any power and the line has been used only to store cars.  No grain has been shipped in 20 years.   (Mark Zulkoskey)

Eric Gagnon has just published his research about Manitoba's leased grain cars in 1980.



ONR GP38-2 1809 proudly displays its "NOT for Sale" signs as it dodges scattered thunderstorms heading for Toronto on a typical June day in Muskoka, ON

Judy Shaw took this Ontario Northland Railway calendar quality photo of train 698 led by ONR GP38-2 1809 in the new image paint crossing over Bracebridge Falls, ON May 31st.

Jay Butler snapped ETR 107 before getting her new engine installed at the Lambton Diesel Services Shop in Sarnia, ON.  Completed, she was returned to Windsor on CN 439 June 6th.

On June 5th GEXR SD40M-2 2652 (An ex-UP SD45) was at the diesel shop in Goderich, ON along with FEC SD40-2 709. Bruce Douglas snapped GEXR 2652 at Goderich the following day, and he shot former SP GEXR SD40T-2 9392 at Stratford ON May 14th.

Barry Byington snapped her on the UP in Houston TX, back on March 1st, 2009.

In late May, (RailLink) RLK GP9-4 4003 was transferred from the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia (CBNS) to the Southern Ontario Railway (SOR).  Back on September 5th, 2008 at Havre Boucher, NS, , Geoff Doane snapped RLK GP9-4 4003 as the power on CBNS Train 701 seen coupled on and beginning starting to haul train 306 to Port Hawkesbury, NS. The dogs breakfast consist includes RLK GP9-4 4003, GEXR GP40u 4022, HLCX SD40-2 7172, and LLPX GP15-1 1504.  

Cando Contracting GP9 1000 is seen making deliveries to Bombardier in Millhaven, ON March 18th. (OBRY/TTC Article submitted by Eric Gagnon)


Ontario Northland has a pretty much scrapped steam locomotive #219 for sale in the "Surplus Assets" section of The unit was originally a Temiskaming & Northern Ontario loco, but was sold to Normetal in Quebec many years ago. Ontario Northland eventually purchased it back in the 70's hoping to have it rebuilt as an operational excursion engine. After a review by boiler specialists, it was decided that the project would be scrapped. 219 eventually wound up being used as a track bumper for over 30 years. The blue crap all over it was sealant applied because of leaking asbestos. Mike Robin snapped a photo of the worn out unit April 21, 2012.


Acelor-Mittal owned Quebec Cartier Mining (QCM) is acquiring five SD9043MAC’s from CEFX.  The leased locomotives are to be numbered QCM 401-405 and are currently at Cadrail in Lachine, QC being prepared.  The locomotives will be numbered QCM 401-405 and are currently at Cadrail in Lachine, QC being prepared. The five QCM units will be delivered by CN and Vermont Railway System to the Port of Norwood, NY for movement to Sept Iles, QC.   Ross Harrison snapped CEFX 114 while on lease to CP in Winnipeg in August 2007.


In late June, Quebec-Gatineau (QGRY) had the first two of four units enroute via CN. They are model GP39C-2 nos. 2301 and 2302.  The two other numbers yet to come are unknown. Originally CSX GP40’s  The former Virginia Railway Express  RP39-2C locomotives now have the HEP removed have been rebuilt from commuter service to general freight, hence the smaller 1700 gal fuel tank and SD40T-2 style rear steps and are now called model GP39C-2.  CRO reader Richard Marchi’s friend, a CN  Conductor out of Sarnia snapped these June 25th, while traveling to

Darren Doss was first to catch freshly painted Quebec-Gatineau (QGRY) SD40-3 3334 at Fulton, KY, June 7th.  QGRY 3334 is ex-GCFX/WC 6057, nee-CN SD40 5193.

Francois Jolin snapped Quebec - Gatineau train 601 a windmill unit train led by locomotives QGRY  3014,  2005 and 3011, idles at Trois-Rivières Quebec before departure for CP St Luc Yard in Montreal on June 9th, 2012. CP will then forward the train to Plattsburgh, NY where the sections will be trucked to destination.

At Wabush, Labrador on May 16th, Marc Primeau photographed Wabush Mines RS-18 903 on a M-O-W track sandwiched between a Jordan spreader and a ballast hopper.

The 5th Tshiuetin Ry. coach (TSH1005) to arrive on the property is Ex- Budd Heritage series AMTK 7611, nee PRR 1591.  It will be named “Ashuanipi”, which means “Meeting place at the river”.

Michel Daoust snapped Tshiuetin Railway TSH GP38-2W’s 701 and 702 (ex-CN GP40-2W’s) at the shop in Schefferville, QC, on June 19th. NOTE:  Tshiuetin replaced the 3000hp engines with GP38 2000hp engines after they purchased these ex-CN GP40-2W’s from HELM in 2005. Therefore, as only the engines were changed, these former CN GP40-2W’s, have become GP38-2W’s. TSH owns two of them and two ex-AMTK F40PHR’s 265 and 293 now TSH 600-601.

Michel photographed  TSH 701 inside the Schefferville Diesel Shop at their Delta Wheel Hog Lathe with Christian Porter, one of his shop mechanics truing the R#3 wheel. The other shot shows the pit track in their 150 x 50 Shop in Schefferville, QC.




In June, the Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway started shipping crude oil to New Brunswick.  

At Brookport QC, Montreal Maine & Atlantic crude oil train 606-801 has CP locomotives 5904, 5991 and MM&A  8525,  3000,  5018 departing Farnham, QC destined for Saint John, NB.  on June 24, 2012.

A look at the relative size of the train and bridge aptly demonstrates the size of CN's massive 1912 Little Salmon River Viaduct in New Denmark, NB.  Just north of Provincial Route 108, and just a few kilometers east of Grand Falls, trains cross literally from ridgetop to ridgetop on this impressive piece of engineering.  This is westbound CN train 403 on 17 June 2012.  Despite its proximity to the Trans Canada Highway, reduced train frequency in recent years makes it difficult to consistently catch trains on the viaduct.  However, at present, this train is fairly reliably found on the trestle between 1200 and 1300 hours daily.  Once it reaches Edmunston, NB, approximately 45 minutes later, its eastbound counterpart takes over the single track and can often be found on the trestle in later afternoon.  Be aware that, although trains creep across the trestle, train speeds in the St. John Valley are high, and chasing along Provincial Route 144 is problematic and unwise, i.e., several small towns with reduced speed limits make this "catch and release" territory for rail photos.  It is possible to go west on the parallel (and 110 kph) Trans Canada from Grand Falls and safely and legally get ahead of 403 before it reaches Edmundston, but the railway is not easily accessible in the city itself, except for broadside shots.  However, west of Edmunston, Provincial Route 120 follows the railway closely to the Quebec border.

The use of unit trains to move western Canada crude oil to the Irving-owned refinery at St. John, NB has caused a stir.  It was front page news in the Bangor (Maine) Daily News recently, as the newspaper reacted to a Pan Am Railways accident on the Bucksport branch that dumped several cars of clay slurry used in paper manufacturing into the Penobscot River below Bangor.  The connection between the Pan Am accident and the movement of crude oil unit trains over EMRY/NBSR was tenuous until the first crude oil train was diverted through the U.S. due to the CP strike.  It moved east on a BNSF-CSX-Pan Am routing to Mattawamkeag and then was handed over to EMRY, rather than moving over the intended CP-MM&A-EMRY-NBS route.  100 cars of crude, broken into two trains at Waterville, traveled over Pan Am's poorly-maintained 10 mph track to Mattawamkeag before being handed off to EMRY/NBSR.  What critics didn't note was that propane tank cars, whose contents have a flashpoint well below that of crude oil, rock and roll across Pan Am all the time.  Eastern Maine Railway/New Brunswick Southern track is in excellent shape, and presents a stark contrast with that of Pan Am at Mattawamkeag Yard, where the two lines run parallel for a short distance.  The two crude oil trains ran through Maine and into New Brunswick without incident.  An Eastern Maine Railway employee actually followed right on the heels of both trains in a hi-rail pickup, in a throwback to the days when every train had a caboose.  Many railways run trucks in advance of a train looking for rockslides or washouts, but following one a few car lengths back from the hind end is a new wrinkle. 

Also in the news here in the east is the movement rapidly gathering steam to build a private toll highway from the Canadian border near Calais, Maine across the middle of the state Coburn Gore, on the Quebec border.  Lewiston, Maine-based (and politically well-connected) construction firm Cianbro, Inc. is proposing to build the private highway with a 2,000-foot wide right-of- way (as opposed to a normal four-lane right of way of several hundred feet) to contain potentially not only the highway but electric lines and a petroleum products pipeline.  The current route for most Canadian trucks from the Maritimes to the rest of Canada is via the Trans Canada Highway, which swings north up and around Maine and adds hundreds of kilometers to the journey.  There are currently no reasonable east-west highways across northern Maine -- most truck traffic is north-south.  Construction of this highway could therefore shorten the route for Canadian truckers dramatically -- causing a potentially massive impact on traffic on both MM&A and EMRY/NBSR and CN's Montreal-Halifax line around the top of Maine. Cianbro chairman Peter Vigue has embarked on a whirlwind tour of various U.S. and Canadian venues on the route of the proposed highway.  He has been warmly received at town meetings in the Maritimes, ironically supported in public by firms such as J.D. Irving, owner of EMRY/NBSR, but has received a much colder reception in central Maine -- to the point that he now travels within Maine with bodyguards, according to the Bangor Daily News.  At issue in Maine is the possible use of the "right of eminent domain" to allow the seizure by the state of private property on the proposed route of the highway for resale to Cianbro. 

The ex-UP GP38-3's have returned to the mainline. Paul Donovan found one sandwiched in between two SD40-2's idling at Mattawamkeag June 15th.  HLCX 8144 and HLCX (NBSR) 6200.   

During the CP strike, Montreal, Maine and Atlantic shut down most operations east of St. Jean, Quebec to Brownville Junction, Maine.  CP declined to allow MM&A to operate over several miles of their line to reach an alternate interchange with CN.  This effectively shut off the connection at Brownville Junction between MM&A and J.D. Irving-owned Eastern Maine Railway/New Brunswick Southern.  Therefore, most Eastern Maine Railway/New Brunswick Southern power sets turned at Mattawamkeag, Maine, the connection with Pan Am Railway's Waterville-Mattawamkeag line, and the source of most EMRY/NBS business.  Two short sidings for maintenance of way equipment still exist just east of the Penobscot River Bridge at Mattawamkeag, and one was used for layover New Brunswick Southern power.   

NBS slug (ex-CN) 008 is operating on the mainline again, as well.  It disappeared completely several months ago when the tide of six-axle leaser units swept in.

On June 17th, Matt Landry caught NBSR SW1200  3703 leading a cut of empty crude oil cars and containers from CN's Island Yard in East Saint John to NBSR's Dever Yard in West Saint John, NB.



CN westbound 403 approaches the Edmunston, NB yard and a fresh crew.  This shot by Paul Donovan is from Provincial route 120 just east of the city centre.  This is one of the only non-broadside places to photograph CN trains through Edmunston, as the track lies along the river and the only overhead shot besides this is from  the international bridge to the U.S. (August 1st 2010).


CN Joffre, PQ -- Moncton, NB eastbound freight prepares to cross Provincial Route 108 east of New Denmark, NB, led by SD70M-2 8879.  October 2nd, 2010.

© CRO July 2012