Friday, March 28, 2008

Moncton trip

My trip to Moncton was great, VIA still knows how to treat customers well, on the return trip I had decided to have my supper in the dining car. Shortly after we left Moncton station we stopped on a siding to let a passing freight go by, it was a shunter coming from the Gordon yard. I have a short one minute video of that freight going by, I tried to get artistic by getting the wheels however that didn't work out too well as you may notice. I have another short video from the dome car but nothing special about that video, however in Bathurst I got a great shot of the side of the car, I got off the train for a few moments and I seen a perfect photo op and took a great shot of the stainless steel siding of the budd car where the lights were reflecting off of it just right as you'll see below. Other than those two videos and one picture I didn't take any other pictures as I mentioned in an earlyer post I was in Moncton for other reasons, I wish I had the oppurtunity to do a bit of rail fanning however I wasn't there for that reason.

The 15 was on time, though I wasn't; Moncton traffic is crazy! If I was ten more minutes late I would have had to come home on Thursday however my Aunts New York City style of driving saved the day. So that was it for me as far as trains go for this week. I hope everyone had a better week with trains go also one quick note if you haven't already checked it out Steve Boyko has some pretty neat videos on Youtube and on his site of his chase with the NBSR pipe train. Great videos Steve!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I had to make a few changes to my comment settings, so if for some reason you don't see your comment email me with your comment or question. Otherwise I had to make a few changes because lately I've been getting spam and it's annoying thing to check my comments and to find it's nothing but worthless trash. So I do apologise to those who wish to leave legitimate comments and find it hard to leave one now.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

New videos on Youtube

I have two new videos on Youtube. I took my Daughter on the train this morning which was three hours late, the Ocean 14 has been late a lot since Christmas due to the winter weather. The Ocean deaprted Campbellton at about 1115 and we arrived at our destination at Charlo fourty minutes later.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Late VIA 14 the Ocean

I heard Ocean 14 on the scanner at 0850 calling RTC informing them they were one mile from Campbellton. So I took out my camera and went on my deck and took these pictures. It's a newly painted Locomotive (I don't know the number) and the CBC locomotive. The consist is the BUDD (Stainless Steel) train.

Another late VIA 14

This morning I was going to take my youngest Daughter on the train it would be her first train ride, I was pretty excited about it, I think I was more than her hahaha. However the weather did not permit such an occation from ariseing. The 14 will be late AGAIN this morning it will be arriving in Campbellton @0800. So rather this morning I'll be taking her tomorrow morning also the roads are a little on the rough side. Well for those of you wondering I had an interview on Wedsenday well it went really good I think I'm in the course. I applyed for a traning course that's about eight weeks in length as an Environmental Monitor. For those of you who don't know what that is well I didn't know what it was till about two weeks ago when I signed up for the course. Basically I would be monitoring human activity on the environment and taking down data and writting a lot of reports. I should know next week if I'm in the course or not, I have no worries about it I'm pretty sure I got in.

For those of you who know, I work at the mill in Atholville and well that job isn't all that great yes it pays well and it's an ok job but I want something better I want something to work with not work for. By taking this course I'll be able to advance to a better job and on to a career, and by the fall I do intend on returning to UNB to finish up my Political Science degree.

I'll be heading to Moncton on Monday there has been a death in the family so I won't be going for pleasure or doing any railfanning. So that's been about it for me this week.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Possible abandonment

I was researching the former Laurenient line (Excuse the spelling) in Quebec and I came across something that caught my attention right away. It appears that since the Gaspe Pannusula is expreiencing a huge fall out in the forestry sector with the closures of several saw mills and pulp and paper mills on the Gaspe CFMG is in the process of abandoning the line from New Carlisle to Chandler. That would be on the Cascapedia sub. If that were to happen than that would seriously screw up the Chaleur meaning it would no longer have the line to continue to Gaspe, that for some reason bothers me, this whole region from New Brunswicks North Shore to the Gaspe coast is in some serious trouble since our chief export is forestry and that sector doesn't look like it'll recover at any time in the near future. Here is the link and the few lines I seen on this topic.

"Matapedia & Gulf Railway Rivière du Loup (interchange with CN) to Tide Head, New Brunswick (meets New Brunswick East Coast Railway), with branches from Mont Joli to Matane (ferry to Baie Comeau) and from Matapedia via New Carlisle to Chandler (meets Gaspé Railway). In 2007, Matapedia & Gulf announced that it will begin abandonment proceedings for the section between New Carlisle and Chandler. Under Canadian law, it will be several years before the abandonment can be completed but, if it takes place, it will leave the Gaspé Railway isolated from the remainder of the Canadian network"


If you haven't already read the comments to this post, Steve Boyko had commented the section of track from New Carlisle to Chandler Quebec on the Cascapedia Sub was bought and funding came from the Governments of Quebec and Canada. This move had saved the line from an iminate doom. Again I am looking towards the future for the economy of the North Shore and the Gaspe coast with hopes of a brighter future. Here is the link to the site Steve had posted in his comment.
In it you'll read the whole deal and the positive outlook it has for the Gaspese.

CN Makeing a return?

In the past few weeks all has been quiet in regards to the CN take over of NBEC and CFMG however in the past few months there has been a lot of talk about CN buying back the Mont Joli and Newcastle subs and a few other subs as well. My biggest question is Why? Why does CN want all the lines in NB and Quebec that it sold back in 1994-96? Persoanlly I have mixed feeling about them coming back to the North Shore. All the scuttlebutt I've been hearing isn't good of course but I'd like to focus on the positive aspect of CN returning. On the lighterside they could very well bring with them more jobs to the already dead or dieing North Shore for example. Part of the rumor is they (CN) wants to abandon it's Napadogan sub for the Newcastle sub because the bridges are smaller and less costly to maintain. That would mean CN would be bringing more freight through here from Halifax more container traffic and speaking of which Belledune is looking at opening up a container facility so there is more jobs as well and more rail traffic.

More rail traffic would mean more jobs, you'll need people to shunt freight around and put more trains together and you'll need more people to maintain the rails etc etc. More rail traffic also means less clutter on our highways from trucks and better maintained highway infrastructure as well. (Per se) the provincial governement would "want" to put more money into it's railway infrastructure as well and who knows what could happen from there on, I am looking to the future with high hopes as far as a CN take over goes, I know not everything about it will be all peaches and cream however who knows eh? I think with the majority of it all I think it'll be a positive thing for the North Shore economy. I'll add more to this at a later date.

(The above picture was taken by Phil Ross and used with permission from Phil Ross. The picture is of CN 8826 in Dorchester NB as CN freight 120. Thanks Phil!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

CFMG 403

Looking out my back door this morning I noticed a very late CFMG 403 leaving the Campbellton yard. I'd have to say it was around 1130, usually the 403 leaves Campbellton around 0000hrs and I have to say for small camera my digital can really zoom in quite a distance. I can see work and most of Campbellton from my back yard. As you can see these pictures look far away, I'd say about four maybe five Km's away. Not too bad shots if I'd say so my self. So this afternoon I have a job interview hope all goes well at the interview, I haven't had one of those in a long time, anyhow wish me luck and I'll let you all know later how it went. One more thing, the date is wrong on the pictures. I quickly set the date on my camera without thinking about the date, you see everytime I take my batteries out to charge them the date resets.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I need your help!

These two pictures are of a structure near where I work, what exactly is it? I don't know I'm hoping someone out there could tell me. It sits just off the AV Cell properity a little ways off the road to the mill. I at first thought it was coal chute but it doesn't look like one. It sits near the tracks so I'm guessing it's railroad related. Send me your thoughts.

Jim Babcock had informed me this structure is actually owned by AV Cell and it was once a valve house for the water pipe line that ran from Tide Head to the mill in Atholville. The pipe then was made of wood and ran above ground whereas today it's metal and runs underground however the mill still get's it's fresh water from Tide Head where they have a pump house at Christopher Brook.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Could this be the end?

Yesterday I had learned the company that owns the Pioneer chemical plant in Dalhousie NB has decided to close it's doors and lay off over 50 people. It's not as though Dalhousie has suffered enough from the closure of the Abitibi Bowater paper mill. With the closure of this plant the Dalhousie Spur may be looking at it's final days.

The biggest colprit in this closure is of course NB Power with their extreemly high power rate for all three area's business, residential and industry. Earlyer this week Irving had "threatend" the province that they would move their St John business's to Quebec where the power rates are much lower and more cost effective. Now I'm not big Irving fan but if they were to leave the province that's it folks....This province is done for. As for the New Brunswick North Shore....Well it's only a matter of time before all major business's are gone and the last stake will be driven into the heart of this part of the province.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

NBEC News and other random info.

NBEC 402 is leaving Campbellton now at 0937 and going only to Bathurst. Will turn around there and become 403. Sorry I haven't been posting much, I've been stricken with the mother of all colds and haven't had the energy to really do anything. Today I'm feeling slightly better but if I could maybe get a full nights sleep I'd be a lot better. It the time shift that really screws me up, I am now waking up at 0500 and that's too early for me, I was sure when I was discharged from the Army I wouldn't have to wake up at that hour again but I guess that's not the case now.

I was out and about this morning when I was up at around 0500 looking for some fun and interesting videos and I came across this one here. This is a gentlemen who has his gear together, he came here to Canada to buy him self a speeder (Where I'm not sure) and bought him self an air horn like the ones on the real loco's and set out on an abandoned line in New Hampshire to test out his new horn. It's a beauty and the video is really good.

I've been in contact with the video owner and he has informed me his speeder was brought to New Hampshire by CP back in the 90's. He purchessed it from CP a few years ago and he also informed me speeders go anywhere from $1,500 - $2,800 US. They are awesome machines and I hope to get my hands on one someday. Thanks for the info Ian.

And here is the first video I watched.

The next one I wanted to show is a really good one and you'll have to turn the speakers up to really appreciate the sound. But the video owner had disabled embbeding so here's the link to the video.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A very late Ocean 14

The Ocean 14 pulled into Campbellton station yesterday around 1730, it was held up at Charny station due to the snow storm that had pounded Eastern and Atlantic Canada. From a few people I spoke too, they said they were treated very well by VIA staff, and for many they were given a one way free ticket back to Halifax.

Dixie Lee in Campbellton had to fill over a hundred and fifty orders that were for passengers onboard the train.

I was going to get the 14 arriving into Campbellton however I was in a bit of time crunch so I couldn't stay long. By the time I had left the station the 14 hadn't arrived.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Montreal Railfan trip

As I mentioned in my last post, I'll be heading to Montreal in April with a group to tour the C.A.D. factory and other railfan activities for that weekend. Two nights ago I had called VIA Rail to make my reservations for that trip because rooms in the sleeper cars were starting to get scarce. To my dismay the gentleman I spoke too could not get me a double bedroom on the return trip however he was going to give me two private rooms for the same price as a double. The return trip would be on the stainless steel BUDD trains. However it was only after I had made my reservations through the VIA web site did I learn I was supposed to contact Ron Jackson and make my reservations with him instead. So I also learned that he had reserved several rooms for the group heading to Montreal. I explained to him that I would like to have a dbl room since I won't be travaling alone. Reserving my ticket has been more of a hassle than I had anticipated not that I'm angery about it of any degree however I (like anyone else) wanted this to be hassle free.

However after speaking with Ron I've come to understand the train to and from Montreal will be a packed one. I'm over all pretty excited about this trip though still six weeks away I'm as hyped up about it as though it is tomorrow. So I hope this issue with the dbl bed room is settled by Friday when I go to pick up my tickets. Well other than that small issue all is well, I haven't been able to do much railfanning in the past couple of weeks, however this weekend I do plan on catching a train or two. I'll hopefully will have one on by monday.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

VIA Rail Railfanning trip to Montreal

Since I read Steve Boyko's blog about the Rail fan trip to Montreal in April I've been pretty excited about it. Last night I contacted Andrew Reid the co-cooridinator of this trip and confirmed with him I'll be attending this year's trip. Surpriseingly it was very inexspensive and since I have friends in Montreal I won't have to spend any $$$ on a hotel, I just need to confirm things with them and I'm all set the only thing I'd have to spend on is of course food. We'll be visiting the Canadian Allied Diesel facility where they are rebuilding the F 40's for VIA Rail. We'll also be going to a few other places related to railroading I suggested we goto the former CP Rail Angus Shops but I don't think that'll be in the trip. I'd like to go still though I feel it would enhance the trip a lot. Though I'm sure there are a few concerns that need to be addressed such as where to go and privacy things of that nature since most of the former shops are now privately owned or torn down.