SHORTLINES & REGIONALS
Great Western Railway:
On its return from the weekly run between Assiniboia and Shaunavon GWRS B40-8W 563 blew a turbocharger on March 22nd rendering it out of service until parts arrive and are installed. This leaves GWRS with B40-8W 575, M420W 2001 and 2004 as their active road power. Ken McCutcheon snapped GWRS 563 last year, with 575 heading south to Rockglen on the Fife Lake Sub at Mile 8.
On February 4th Cal Murray snapped former BNSF B40-8W's 563 and 575 are seen parked at Assiniboia Saskatchewan on Great Western Railway property with the GWRS M420W 2001 in the middle of the consist that would later head to Shaunovon, Sk.
Prairie Mines and Royalty Limited:
PRMX 6973 finally arrived back home on Prairie Mines and Royalty on March 26th. It had departed Coronach back on June 15th, 2011.
PRML took delivery of the PRMX 6973 March 26th, dispatching single leased unit JLCX 5643 to pull the dead and drained unit from the interchange to their shops. Progress Rail in Tacoma overhauled and upgraded the unit and 6973 is now classed as an SD32ECO. Ken caught PRMX 6973 and JLCX 5643 heading down the GWR/PMRL interchange at Coronach.to the PRML mainline.
Great Sandhills Railway:
Dakota Missouri Valley and Western (DMVW) GP35R 6315, 6327 and 6354 (all ex- SP. One of these, 6354 had been upgraded at Pointe St-Charles Shop in Montreal in 1980), and have been purchased by GSR for use at three grain terminals, two (6327 and 6354) on line in Saskatchewan on the GSR, and one (6315) to be leased to the Transmark Ltd grain terminal and a windmill assembly plant near Lethbridge, AB. On April 14th, the trio still lettered DMVW, were in Flaxton, ND on the CP.
JLCX SW1500 953, which had been leased to WATCO in Bienfait, SK, suffered a failure when the unit froze up in March and will be replaced with JLCX GP35 547. JLCX GP35 547 was previously Museum of Transportation (St. Louis, MO), (ex-N&W 2918, ex-WAB 3547, nee-WAB 547). This GP35 had been leased by JLCX to the Ashtabula Carson & Jefferson (ACJR) in Ohio. Departing CN-MacMillan Yard on April 8th and Mark Perry snapped JLCX GP35 547 at the Symington Diesel Shop April 10th Leased CN GMD1u 1401 adequately handled the switching duties at WATCO, while the GP35 was in transit to Bienfait, SK. In mid-April, Ken McCutcheon snapped CN GMD1, 1401 switching the CN Frac Sand Transload facility in Bienfait, SK. However, on April 22nd, CN 1401 was still there, and JLCX 547 arrived at Bienfait, SK and then for some odd reason, was returned to Symington, then was quickly returned to Bienfait, SK. At press time we learned JLCX SW1500 953 will be going to Farmersville, ND on the Northern Plains Railroad for repairs.
Cal Murray caught L500 is on the Lampman Sub with CN 4767 - 4761 (the usual assigned GP38-2W’s on this branch) and JLCX GP35 547 in tow, departing from Bienfait, SK, after arriving in error.
Weyburn Inland Terminal ILSX SW7 908, is the very handsome switcher working the huge WIT grain Facility in Weyburn, SK. (Ken McCutcheon)
A very hard shot to get, unless you work for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan’s Rocanville Mine, or are a contractor of this mine. This mine has two elusive mine switchers. Cal Murray shot PCS EMD switcher PCS SW8 #31500 at Rocanville, SK in April. Five days a week six months out of the year these old units switch potash cars around the yard for interchange with CN and CP. This unit is ex-Andrew Merillees 31500, Conrail/Penn Central/NYC 8606, nee-NYC 9606.
Mark Perry has always been a fan of industrial units and steel mills. and got a little taste of both on a visit to Gerdau-Ameristeel in Selkirk, MB. He snapped SW-900 70208, (with full 567 sound effects) spotting and pulling battered captive service gondolas filled with scrap for the never ending appetite of the rolling mill. The unit is belt pack equipped yet the roof top cab remote control lights are so dirty, they are barely visible in the daylight. The old CP 6719 has seen a lot of hard hours since Mark rode around in it with CP engineer Skippy Smith in Portage la Prairie in the late-1980’s.
The Stewart Southern Railway has new business with oil traffic coming from Stoughton, SK. Cal Murray caught SSR B23-7 1009 and 1010 leaving the oil loading facility with 25 tank cars bound for the CP interchange. Cal’s photo was taken at Stoughton on the SSR Tyvan Subdivision on April 13th.
Former M&ET GE 70-Tonners working at Aylesbury Saskatchewan on Last Mountain Railway producer facility on October 16th, 2011.
Taken by Mark David Zulkoskey on April 11th this stored CTRW GP30 (painted HBRY / Central Kansas Railway) has been out at the mill in Prince Albert, SK for the last two years, the sidelined OMLX GP9E 3372 for a little less. With the mill set to open next fall, Carlton Trail Railway has begun to remove worn track, but a walking inspection shows just how bad the line is. The land is very sandy and sections of rail are completely overrun with sand and much of the ballast has worn away or consists of huge rocks. Almost every tie is rotten or badly split and sections of the rail actually hovers over the ties. The mill is set to begin burning scraps from the Meadow Lake mill (formally served by CTRW) this spring and selling the power back to Sask Power, employing 45. Twenty years ago this mill was served by two railways and saw two trains each every day. RS23s and GMD1s frequented the mill for switching and returning the loaded cars back to their respective yards.
Warren Calloway snapped Southern Railway of British Columbia (SRY) Sw900 903, SD38AC 381, caboose A-2, and other motive power at New Westminster, BC in September 1993.
At Huntsville, ON March 26th, Wayne D. Shaw photographed the “Northlander” passing Mile 144 on the CN Newmarket Sub. Train 698 is led by GP38-2 1809 sporting the latest ONR livery.
While it is still possible, Wayne shot the “Northlander” again on April 2nd, seen leaning into the curve at the former whistle stop and siding at Utterson, ON. Train 698 is once more led by GP38-2 1809.
A school bus waits at the Old Muskoka Road crossing in Allensville, ON for the passage of #698, whose arrival fortuitously coincides with the sun deciding to peek though a hole in the clouds offering Wayne this perfect photo opportunity.
On April 5th at Georgetown, ON, Conor Megaffin caught GSCX SD40-2 7362, GSCX 7369, and GEXR SD45T-2 9392 leading GEXR #431 . This marked the first time Tunnel Motor GEXR 9392 (ex-CEFX 9392, exx- SP 9392; nee-SSW 9392) has been assigned to the GEXR 432/431 run. Out of service for over one year due to wiring problems, she was repaired at the Goderich Shop, and prepared for service. Sporting freshly painted numbers and GEXR logo on the cab SD45T-2 9392 led #430 to CN Mac Yard with 7362 and 7369 trailing. This locomotive will replace the FEC SD40-2 709 (a regular on GEXR 432/431) which will soon return south to sister shortline, the Florida East Coast Railroad.
Don McQueen snapped ETR SW1500 107 in transit April 4th at CN Highbury, in London, ON. ETR 107 was later transferred to Sarnia's Lambton Diesel Services for engine repairs.
ARCELOR-MITTAL has ordered five SD70ACe’s which will be numbered 50 to 54 for service on Quebec Cartier Mining. These will be their first new EMD’s.
ARCELOR-MITTAL has purchased ex-CN Superintendant’s car 61200 which had been sold to an individual in the USA. It is moving by rail to Matane, QC, and by ship to Baie Comeau, QC for delivery to Quebec Cartier Mining.
(Derek Henderson snapped CN 61200 when still in service on CN)
The latest coach acquired by Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc. (TSH) moved March 31st on the UP at Madison, IL waybilled to CN-Markham Yard. During transit, the car was placed at the tail end under MRLX 7611, routed on CN from Chicago to Toronto Mac Yard, then to Charny, QC, arriving at Joffre, QC April 8th. Loaded onto the ferry at Matane, it will travel down the St-Lawrence River to Sept Iles, QC. TSH is a 137-mile shortline that provides passenger and freight service between Western Labrador and the QNS&L in Schefferville, QC.
On March 29th New Brunswick Southern Railway (NBSR) received two more HELM SD40-2’s: HLCX 6315 and HLCX 8144 built as CP 5522 and BN 8144, The pair departed Metro East Industries, in East St. Louis. IL a week earlier where Chris Gertz caught them in transit eastbound led by CN SD70M-2 8911 in Paris, ON March 26th. These latest HELM units (6315 and 8144) were spartan inside the cab with no electronics other than a speedometer, and bilingual labels in English and Spanish. They have now been equipped with radios, TIBS etc. by NBSR and can now lead trains on NBSR.
The New Brunswick Southern Railway is also going to lease GMTX SW1500’s 203 and 204, ex-Alaska Railway (ARR) 1551 and 1552, nee-Lake Erie, Franklin, and Clarion (LEFC) 25 and 26. They are currently at Progress Rail in Tacoma, WA, and will likely move to Vancouver via BNSF, and then transferred to CN. As well, NBSR will be leasing three GMTX GP38M-2’s numbered GMTX 2639, 2644, and 2666 and and possibly two more. When on the property, they will have 28 units either owned or leased!
On April 9th New Brunswick Southern Railway’s Brownville Jct., ME -- St. John, NB train had one of the new lease units to arrive in the consist: HLCX SD40-2 8144 (ex-BN 8144) is seen trailing behind NBSR GP38-2 2318, and Pan Am GP40-2LW 504 (ex-CN). Over the last month or so, New Brunswick Southern and the Eastern Maine Railway have been changing from an almost all GP38-2 road power operation, to various combinations of GP40's and SD40-2's. Business and traffic has increased on NBSR and EMR over the last month, On April 9th a cut of Norfolk Southern wood chip hoppers was turned over to NBS/EMR in today's Mattawamkeag pickup -- apparently destined for work on the new Maine Northern. New Brunswick Southern /Eastern Maine Railway freights are now operating 6-7 days a week, up from 5 days a week until recently, and this is despite Montreal, Maine & Atlantic's Montreal - Brownville Junction job only operating three days a week each way. Therefore the bump in NBSR traffic has coming off Pan Am from Waterville and Maine Northern at Brownville Jct, new crude oil shipments coming from Saskatchewan to Saint John’s Irving refinery, and very little from the MM&A. (Paul Donovan and Steve Boyko).
The sleepy town of Mattawamkeag, ME is getting to be the place to be for railfans these days as NBS transitions from a roster of primarily GP38-2's to bigger power. Driving south on U.S. Route 2 on April 9th Paul Donovan caught Pan Am Railway’s Waterville - Mattawamkeag train rolling North at Winn, Maine (4 miles south of Mattawamkeag), with the last remaining ex-CN GP40-2LW still in early-Pan Am paint. Also along was LLPX/SLR GP40 3004 which is leased to SLR for sublease to NBSR, and in poor external condition. Lead high-hood Guilford (Pan Am) GP40 380 was operating with Pan Am GP40 381 exclusively on NBSR/EMR, but its appearance on the Waterville - Mattawamkeag - job may signal the start of more run-through power. Given the poor state of the economy in both Maine and New Brunswick, all this new activity is refreshing.
Cliff Holder noted Herzog work train 906 passing near the VIA station in Truro, NS on April 19th, with a load of new ties destined south for replacement on the CN Bedford and Springhill Subs. The train consists of HZGX 176 a restructured body on a GP38 frame and prime mover, six tie cars and cab control car HZGX 1760 on the rear. The crane runs along the top of the cars on an electrified rail and gets its power from an on board generator (which sits on the first car behind the loco). The crane has an electric motor which in turns drives an hydraulic pump for operating the boom etc., Cliff shot the train on April 16th at CN Truro Yard, with HZGX 176 and work train 906.
© CRO May 2012