Saturday, April 20, 2019
Kicking up the snow as the local Section inspects the consist while they're "in the hole", southbound 422 Northlander roars through Val Gagne, Ontario located at Mile 76 of Ontario Northland's Ramore Subdivision November 18, 2011.
A shot from January 2005 where I catch a side view of 421 Little Bear lead unit GP38-2 1800 clearing out drifting snow accumulated during a blizzard at mile 3 of the Island Falls Subdivision.
Thundering past Kapuskasing Subdivision's Mile 82, southbound 516 with GP40-2's 2201 and 2202 providing the muscle, makes it's way to Kapuskasing from Hearst to meet up with 313 from Cochrane June 26, 2011.
It's August 2003 as I meet up with the power for a Monday morning 421 being lined up by Trainman Phil to pick up the mix of 45 foot trailers on piggyback cars and private vehicles tied down on "chain" cars both of which are loaded at Cochrane Yard's ramp located on the former CN side.
It's January 26, 2004 and the morning's GP38-2 & FP7au Little Bear power await her crew as a snow fighter works the Shops. Yup, that's ice fog. That morning's temperature was a chilly -40 Celsius....BRRR!!!
Watch for "The Top 100 Photos of All Time Part Four" coming soon!
Friday, April 19, 2019
The cars are absolutely spacious, maintaining that quality design of the 650 series coaches, but with newly implemented elements that will accommodate anyone with mobility issues.
On the top left is one of the features of the car which is a wheelchair lock down with a permanent table.
On the middle left is the newly designed accessible washroom with a ton of space and a power assisted door. The photo doesn't do this washroom justice because it is huge! On the other end of the coach is the regular, smaller washroom.
As you can see on the bottom left, the safety features and emergency exits are similar to all other 650 series coaches and are supplied in seat pockets at every seat. These same guides are also posted on the walls at each end of the car.
Today, both the 660 and the 661 are busily working the 421-622 Polar Bear Express with one of these cars always included in the consist.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Photo Number 94: Repeating History
Memories of days of old were relived on this particular Little Bear trip March 2002 as 2000 series FP7au's were run 'back to back' much like they did when they were the 1500 series FP7a. The Bear is seen here exchanging waves between a Car Man and the Head End Crew as it rolls into Cochrane.
Photo Number 93: Say Cheese!
The southbound Polar Bear Express rolls out from the bushes, comes to a halt, and poses for us on The Moose River Crossing at Mile 142.5 of the Island Falls Subdivision during a torrential downpour June 2002.
Photo Number 92: Go Bear Go!
A shot from August 16th 2005 as we capture the northbound 423 Polar Bear Express racing past mile 5 of the Island Falls Subdivision.
Photo Number 91: Say Hello to Choo Choo!
A fun photoshoot for Ontario Northland from way back in June 2003 featuring Polar Bear Express mascot "Choo Choo"
Photo Number 90: Hello Down There
Here's a photo snapped from one of Cochrane Yard's gigantic snow banks February 2002. This time featuring GP9 1605 and today's Yard Crew as they run around the recently arrived Little Bear's freight traffic in order to await inspections of the cars and spot 622's freight consist.
Stay tuned for the Top 100 Part Three! Coming Soon!
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Steve sadly passed away on December 26th, 2018 in North Bay.
A Graveside Gathering will be held on May 7th, 2019 at 11:30 am at the Terrace Lawn Cemetery on the corner of O'Brien and Airport Road in North Bay. It's very easy to find. Simply turn off Highway 11 at Airport Road, drive to the first traffic light, turn right on O'Brien and you will see the Cemetery right away on your left.
To quote one of Steve's very good friends Val Croswell, " The railroad fraternity was very important to Steve's parents as they were deeply involved in the organization of the NMRA and attended many conventions in the US and Canada. They even hosted one in North Bay. Steve's friends were also in the "Train World" with model railroaders chasing trains for photos and video in order to enjoy and preserve that industry."
Everyone is welcome to join us in North Bay at the Terrace Lawn Cemetery as we honor our good friend Stephen Thompson.
See You There,
Monday, April 8, 2019
Sunday, April 7, 2019
|Here we see the 2 story Stores area at Cochrane Shops|
On April 6, 2019 I was able to check out Cochrane Shops' new Stores addition which was built over the late summer and early fall of 2018.
To sum it all up in one word, this new addition to the Shops is "spacious". Space is of course an absolute necessity when it comes to storing parts and supplies for a busy place like Cochrane Shops and this new 2 story addition utilizes that space perfectly.
One feature that I found interesting about this new addition to the Shops is that instead of
installing a lift in order to move parts and supplies to the second level, a forklift is used to not only to unload pallets of parts and supplies from the many shipping companies that deliver here, but also lifts heavier bulk items to the second level. If you look at the photo on the top left, you'll see the in-house forklift and the gates that are built in to the second level handrails for loading and unloading from the forklift.
The lighting in this new addition is very bright which is also a huge plus in regards to employee safety.
As responsibilities increase at Cochrane Shops, it's encouraging to see Ontario Northland take the initiative and build a fully functional and spacious Stores to not only house what is needed in order for the Shops to function today, but to ensure that there's ample space for any other responsibilities the Shops could be tackling in the future.
Great job all!
Saturday, April 6, 2019
|APCU's 220 and 221 perched on 2 track at Cochrane Shops|
I was given the opportunity to view some of the changes that the Diesel Shops have made over the last few months which included the new Stores expansion which is now in full swing after being built in the summer of 2018 (We'll take a look at that on another post).
After snapping some exterior shots of the 220 and 221 under the bright lights of the Diesel Shop, I climbed the Conductor-side ladder, said a friendly "Hello in there", and was immediately greeted by 3 American fellas hard at work with work lights, testers, and tools tackling different jobs that were required for them to perform on 221.
Once I climbed into 220 I saw a very spacious cab which F40PH's were very widely appreciated for during their peak years in the 80's and 90's. I took a few photos then proceeded to the generator section of the unit. Once there, I noticed a ton of room on each side of the diesel generators which I know will definitely be a hit with the shops workers that will have to service these things. I snapped a relatively dark photo that, if you look carefully, will see the entrance door from the rear pilot just to show you how roomy this section actually is.
To sum up, I really can't wait to hear these units fire up for the first time and I would like to Thank everyone working the Saturday day shift at Cochrane Shops for allowing me the opportunity to spend a little time around these APCU's.
If you would like more information on NRE, visit their website at https://www.nre.com/.
Friday, April 5, 2019
Photo Number 100: Hello Sunshine!
Photo Number 99: The Mighty Moose!
The Moose River bridge at Mile 142.5, Ontario Northland's longest span as seen from the cab of GP38-2 1806 pulling June 28, 2001's northbound Polar Bear Express. Truly a breathtaking sight. It's not the highest bridge I've ever seen, but as I mentioned, this thing's long. The fact that the train slows to a snail's pace while crossing gives everyone aboard an opportunity to check out the spectacular view.
Photo Number 98: The Journey Marches On.
The southbound Northlander (422) rolls in to Englehart, Ontario on the Ramore Subdivision on a sunny morning in May 2002 lead by FP7au 2000. Englehart is the changing point for the Head End Crew and the Train number changes from 422 to 222 for the remainder of the trip to North Bay, Ontario where CN Crews will take over the operation of the Northlander to Toronto.
Photo Number 97: The Last Few Miles to Home.
It's a sunny and warm Thursday afternoon in July 2002 as we meet up with FP7AU 2001 and GP38-2 1804 leading southbound 622 (The Little Bear) at Mile 4.5 of the Island Falls Subdivision roaring by at full speed for the last few miles of the journey to Cochrane.
Photo Number 96: A Friendly Wave From Moose River.
Terry, one of Moose River's residents we met during our first expedition to Mile 142 gives a wave to the arriving southbound Little Bear June 2002. If you look carefully you'll see FP7au 2002's Engineman Gary waving back.
Photo Number 95: Full Speed at Mile Five.
Here's a photo snapped along the Island Falls Subdivision at Mile 5 July 2002 as the Polar Bear Express journeys north 186 miles to Moosonee on the James bay coast with back to back FP7au's doing the honors.
Stay Tuned for Part Two of The Top 100 Photos of All Time Coming Soon!
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Rather than maintain the same old "snoozefest" photo gallery filled to the brim with images that over time and updated technology just started looking smaller and grainier, I took a big deal of time, thought it through from start to finish, and decided that perhaps it was not only an opportunity to get rid of some of the crappier photos that were part of the original www.onrgallery.com, but to actually display what I felt as my best photos ever taken of the Ontario Northland all wrapped up in a nice, easy to navigate package.
Why the change? Well, in a nutshell, life got in the way. With my professional duties, some recent health concerns, and some other projects in the works for both myself and the ONRH&TS, I thought it would lessen my workload AND provide an easier navigating experience for those who choose to visit this website. Also, with this lovely blog software and hosting, I can refocus my energies on just keeping regular visitors informed of what I get to see along the mighty rails of the Ontario Northland without having to use a variety of obsolete website building software in order to create something that will be able to be viewed and enjoyed from any particular forum that you , as the reader, choose to use from a wall-sized big screen to the smallest cell phone. Anybody, anywhere can read about my life in general along the Ontario Northland without having to deal with a relatively simplistically designed website which would basically display oddly on certain forums. And of course, as technology has changed over the last 20 years, some of the photos that were part of onrgallery.com just began to look absolutely crappy. Those days are over.
I truly hope you enjoy the new changes, and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to touch base in the comment section below.
Thank you to everyone who has supported onrgallery.com over the last 20 years. I hope that this new format will allow you to be right there with me as I capture images of Ontario Northland's Rail Division.