Thursday 19 March 2020

Throwback Thursday - The Other White River

On September 11, 2002, Via 6205 is about to lead train 186 east out of White River towards Sudbury.
By Peter Mumby.
To date, the year 2020 has not been kind to Via Rail Canada.  First came the rail blockades by pipeline protestors which resulted in the cancellation of scores of scheduled trains.  Now the global pandemic has severely impacted public transportation, resulting in a 50% reduction in trains in the busy Quebec City to Windsor corridor.  Unaffected, however, are the regional services in northern Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba.  These involve routes through sparsely populated areas where few alternatives to rail transportation exist.  The equipment in today's photograph operates on CP's Cartier, Nemegos, and White River Subdivisions as Via trains 185 and 186 between Sudbury and White River, Ontario.

Via 6205 was assembled by Canadian Car and Foundry in May of 1958 as CN D205.  This RDC-2 later became CN 6205 before being passed on to Via.  At the time of this photo its maintenance was being handled by NRE in Capreol. 

The photo was taken on September 11, 2002, shortly before train 186 was scheduled to depart for Sudbury at 09:30.  A group of fishermen have already loaded their cases of beer and other provisions in the baggage section.  A canoe and several replacement windows to be delivered to a remote camp had been slid into place a half hour earlier.  If people were bound for Franz, Woman River, or Biscotasing, this train was the only way to get there.  Station stops in this remote area north of Lake Superior often were made at the end of a pathway leading into the bush.  If meets with transcontinental CP freights were made in a timely fashion, the Budd cars should arrive in Sudbury at 19:00.

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