Friday 21 July 2017

Rapido Excursion: The Railfan Component

Our first train of the day was this eastbound CN freight, shot under the eaves of the former Ingersoll station.  Lead unit is ES44AC 2886, with ET44AC 3055 trailing.  All images included in this post were made on June 26, 2017.
by Peter Mumby 
with photos by George and Peter

In a post of June 30/17 I outlined our trip to take in the second annual Rapido Trains dealer open house.  Mention was made of how the morning was devoted to railfan photography, although few of these images were actually included with the story.  The purpose of this current post is to rectify that photo shortage.

When we left George's house, we headed for the junction in Ingersoll between Ontario Southland's St Thomas sub and the Port Burwell spur which comes north from Tillsonburg and Salford.  On my previous visit I had encountered the St Thomas road switcher working the yard shortly after 09:00.  It had been ordered at Salford for 08:30, so we were hoping for a repeat of this situation.  However, upon our arrival, the small yard was empty - we were to learn later that the St Thomas job had reverted to a noon hour departure from Salford.

Option B was to head to the Ingersoll VIA station on the CN Dundas Subdivision.  We decided we could watch for CN freights while we listened for the OSR power to come rolling through south Ingersoll.  This time our strategy worked out; we caught an eastbound CN freight and still were able to return to the junction to meet the OSR power arriving from Salford.  The stars of today's show would be FP9Au 1400 (ex-VIA 6303/CN 6539) and GP9u 1620 (ex-CP 1620/8659).  According to the crew, the power would run light to the Cami plant, then the train would head straight to the CP Woodstock yard.

The OSR power has just come off the diverging route and is now heading west the short distance to the wye near the Cami auto plant.

The units are basking in the morning sunlight as they wait on the east leg of the wye.
At the Cami plant, the two units waited for a short time on the east leg of the wye while the pair of SW1200RS "pups" working the Cami yard put the finishing touches on today's train.  The crew detrained at the level crossing, giving us a chance to get updated on OSR goings-on.  We decided to try to catch the train at a few locations between Ingersoll and Woodstock, so we moved on to our first location, the station name board at the east edge of Ingersoll.  With minutes to spare, we made it to the overpass at Beachville, then it was on to Woodstock.  OSR crosses the double track CN Dundas sub on a diamond at Carew, and this became our next photo location.

We followed the train up to the Woodstock CP yard, but the light was fairly axial at this location.  Our next stop was to be in the Guelph Junction/Campbellville area, but no train movements were in evidence during our visit.  Our last railfan stop of the day was at Chris Hadfield Park in Milton, where we wished to photograph the former CN Milton station.  Then we were off to Markham to visit Rapido Trains and take in the day's second major component.

A number of scenic overviews of the St Thomas subdivision are available between Ingersoll and Woodstock.

We arrived in Beachville just in time to grab this shot west of the main intersection.

CN Carew is a great spot to watch (and listen to) the train as it arrives in Woodstock.
Chris Hadfield Park in Milton is a quiet oasis at the western edge of the GTA, and home to the former CN station.

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