Thursday, 5 April 2018

Throwback Thursday: The End of an Era

NS 327 is southbound on CN's Talbot Subdivision at Pond Mills Road in London on Dec. 30, 2006.
By Peter Mumby.

December 30, 2006 was the final day of operation for Norfolk Southern freights 327 and 328.  These trains operated via CN trackage rights between Fort Erie and Talbotville, Ontario.  They carried auto parts destined for the St. Thomas Ford plant.  NS was giving up the contract to CN, effective January 01, 2007.  CN would continue serving the plant for a couple more years until Ford shut down the entire operation.

Although there had been changes in routing over the years, the CN/NS trackage rights agreement had been of long standing, dating back to the late 1800s when the original deal was struck between predecessors Wabash and Grand Trunk.  On the final day of employment for several of Norfolk Southern's Canadian employees, 327 arrived at CN Southwold yard at Talbotville behind NS 9554 and PRR 8373.  The power then returned to the St. Thomas yard where the three-man crew booked off and were replaced by the men who would operate 328 (light engines) back to Ft. Erie/Buffalo.  Family and friends (along with a photographer from the St. Thomas newspaper) were present at the yard to mark the auspicious occasion.  With the cessation of these through NS freights, the Talbot Subdivision was downgraded to the Talbot Spur, and the CN St. Thomas yard became a much quieter place.

The outgoing crew on the final version of NS 328 is smiling for the camera belonging to the St. Thomas newspaper - big news that day for the town that bills itself as Canada's Railway City.

NS 328 waits on the east leg of the wye for incoming CN 584 to clear the Talbot Subdivision mainline.  NS 9554 north will then head to London where it will turn east on the Dundas Subdivision.  Onlookers stand on the Barwick St overpass to give a parting wave.

1 comment:

  1. That last photo of NS waiting for CN to clear is a powerful metaphor for the end of NS in Ontario.