Will it ever be spring?

imgp1658.JPGLast year at this time things were much drier and a little warmer. This year it’s a different story. Pine Orchard for example is as mentioned …… “a mudbowl” and the north wind howls through there too. Even though it’s cold, the sun heats up the mud but the wind makes for cold spectating. I guess this is the in between season. Trying to see something without getting muddy while having good sight lines is a challenge. This season we look forward to finding new places to watch and video. We tried a few CP crossings in the fall last year but not much success. Sparrow Lake was great. Easy access and a safe place to park the car. Hopefully we can go there again next year. CN and CP cross somewhere near Mactier so with any luck we can get up there too. This between season stuff makes it seem like a long time before we can sit somewhere and enjoy the whole experience. On top of that our main computer is in the shop for repairs. That means no Microsoft Train Simulator for a while. Bummer.

See ya

Posted in Bradford GO Line | 2 Comments

Pine Orchard Is A Mudbowl

Pin Orchard MeetAs spring approaches, the snow melts and our car becomes a mud-mobile. My dad hates that part. For instance this past weekend Pine Orchard was a mud bowl and my dad did not want to drive into the access road where we usually go to watch. Where there was once nothing but plowed frozen snow was now muddy and ugly looking. So on Saturday night we decided to hangout at a crossing in Aurora where the detector is located (mile 32) between Woodbine and Warden south of Aurora. No mud there however we were completely shut out. Listening to the scanner we heard about problems with a meet in Pefferlaw with 107 and 306. We left to go home at 10:30 and there was nothing happening. The Leafs lost as well. Not a good night. Sunday was a different story. We decided to check out the Pine Orchard siding late in the afternoon. I had hockey at 6:00 so it made sense to check things out at Pine Orchard first then go to hockey from there. To make a long story short, what we missed on Saturday night was made up for on Sunday afternoon. Even though it was still a mud-bowl, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to see “a meet” so in we went (the car is so dirty now). “In the hole” was 451 and coming down the main track at very slow speed was 112. Listening to the scanner we could hear that 451 was worried that he was not completely in the siding. We saw that he was well inside and thus ok for 112 to squeeze by. 112’s conductor had to get off the train and set the switch by hand to continue on south. The picture here shows the conductor getting off the train. As 112 continued on his way, 451 started on his way north. Everybody leaving at the same time. Was fun to watch. There was still more to come. 105 then showed up on the main track and had to wait for 112 to come down from Pefferlaw for the siding here at Pine Orchard. By now it was 5:30 and we had to get to the rink so bummer that we couldn’t see the actual meet take place but maybe next time. The picture here is of the conductor getting off of 112 heading off to set the switch so he can carry on south.

See ya

Posted in Pine Orchard on The Bala Sub | 3 Comments

Go Train Troubles

New Go LocosThe people who follow our web site may or may not know that I (Benny’s dad) do some of the writing and editing of what goes into this site. Although Benny and I have been somewhat lax in putting content here on a regular basis, we do enjoy your comments. It would make sense then that the more we post here, the greater the number of comments we will receive. I however, would like to comment about the people complaining about Go Transit.

In my humble opinion (being a dedicated rail fan along with Benny), the people complaining about poor Go Transit service are greatly misinformed about what they perceive to be poor service. If they were to take the time to educate themselves about the rail industry as a whole, they might better understand the nature of moving passenger trains along freight based rail lines.

The rail industry is a huge part of Canada’s (and the States) economic infrastructure. Without the support of this vital industry, the overall economy would grind to a halt. Just think about the divesity of product that moves across North America. From toy soldiers and iPods to compact cars and suv’s. From wheat and lumber to sugar, coffee & tea. It all moves by rail. Even the trucking industry is dependant on the rail system.

Go Transit has to compete for track time with the scheduling of freight traffic. CN and CP own the tracks (more or less). If something goes wrong with a freighter, you can be sure that Go Transit will be affected (and or Via for that matter), especially on the main east/west routes. The Newmarket Subdivision from Vaughan to Barrie is 99% Go traffic and subsequently is always on time. (Consider moving to Newmarket).

The point to be made here is that Go Tranist is a great deal. No wear and tear on your now more-expensive-than-ever car. The oil companies will suck your wallet dry while you sit in slow traffic with your blood pressure rising. Want to get to work on time or earler even? Go to bed earlier. Get up earlier. Take an earlier train. Even if your early train is late, you’ll still be at work early! Have that second cup of coffee while you read the Globe or Star at your desk before the boss gets there. Maybe even take an earlier train home!

Commuter Rail Service continues to expand around the GTA. We need it more than ever. (Be nice to have a rail link to Pearson Airport). Go Transit is getting it’s fair share of track time while competing for it at the same time. The new locos are now more fuel efficient providing greater capacity to haul more people on each trip. New trains are being added all the time. Barrie just opened up after being shut down for 16 years! It’s a sign of the times people.

Benny & I live in Newmarket, Ontario. We watched with great interest as Go Transit rebuilt the Barrie line from Bradford to Barrie. For railfans like us, it was fascinating to watch and listen to the whole process. We enjoyed the inaugural run one horribly snowy day in December. The train was packed with people. Everything was on time even in a blinding snow storm. Go Transit plain and simply….works.

You can always take the car to work and then nine times out of ten watch your Go Train go by while you sit in your thirsty car! Stop complaining. Enjoy the savings and don’t worry. It will improve.


Posted in Family Stuff | 5 Comments

Veggie Train Time Again

Sorry we have not been around in a while. We have been busy with other things like school, hockey and walking my old lab Bumper. Anyway, it’s winter time and Ontario is running short on fruits and vegetables so CN 545 should be coming a couple times a week to drop off the reefers in Bradford. I have not heard the train in quite some time now but thats because I’m always in bed when it comes. Anyhow, thats about it for now so stick around, there’s more to come.

Posted in Bradford GO Line | 1 Comment

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Nostalgia At The New Bradford Go Station

An old Bradford Station signIf you look carefully at the picture (click on it to see it full size) to the left, you will see an older Bradford Station sign from CN days gone by. Originally called Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Union Railroad, it opened for travel all the way from Toronto on June 13, 1853. The Aurora Station had just opened on January 7, 1853. Look closer and you will see to distance mileage on either side of the word “Bradford”. Toronto 42 miles and North Bay 186 miles. Then see the Bradford GO sign on the light pole. Talk about the old and the new! Not sure when North Bay opened up but it must have been a while after Bradford. I think it’s great that they kept the old sign

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Comments anyone?

Bradford Go StationChasing trains, taking pictures and shooting videos is lots of fun. Telling stories of things that happen by chance makes it even more fun. If you like our stories and enjoy seeing our pics and videos, please let us know. If you like something or don’t like something about our site please comment. The little comment button is there at the end of each story and all you have to do is click the button. There is also a forum that we have opened for anyone who wishes to discuss anything that interests you. You will see the forum link on the right side of the page and down a bit.

We would love to hear from you! Please comment!

Posted in Bradford GO Line | 3 Comments

The Cops showed up at Pine Orchard

We have been to Pine Orchard many, many times since we first started going there in the spring and only one time was anyone else ever there. We decided to go there Sunday around noon and set up camp in our usual spot. We had been sitting for about 45 minutes when a York region cop car pulled in and very slowly came towards us. I was very nervous and thought we were going to be in big trouble. He pulled up right beside us on my dad’s side of the car.

It was all good and he was great. He was an Englishman and thought what we were doing was a lot like fishing…sit and wait for things to happen. He talked about trains in London and how there are so many more trains in all directions there all the time every day. He was just making sure that we were “good guys” and weren’t doing anything we shouldn’t or taking something that didn’t belong to us. Other than that, he was nice to us, wished us a fun time and off he went.

We thanked him for checking up on things.

Posted in Pine Orchard on The Bala Sub, Recent weekend events | Leave a comment

CN 302 and “Take my picture!”

take my pictureSince there wasn’t any hockey for me this weekend we decided to head down to the Doncaster diamond in Thornhill. There is usually lots of action there as there are trains coming and going in all directions so we are never shut out when we go there. One of the benefits of going there is the great reception we get on the scanner since we are that much closer to the MacMillan yard. We weren’t disappointed, although we had to wait a little while for things to get rolling. 302 came thundering down the Bala Sub heading toward the Mac yard and I got the whole thing on tape.The funniest thing that happened was CN 368 heading east to the Kingston Sub from the Mac yard and was yapping away to the dispatcher at which time he saw us there with scanner and camera in hand. All of a sudden on the scanner we heard “Take my picture!” My dad and I looked at each other in amazement and started laughing. I think my dad got his pic but it’s on a film camera. The film is in for developing so stay tuned to see those pics!! The loco engineer was waving crazy at us out of his cab window laughing all over the place. It was so much fun!

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November Darkness

What a wild machineThese are the dark days after we go back to standard time and before the big snows come. Sitting at sidings in muddy areas is not such a fun thing for my dad but he does it anyway. He is very fussy about his car. Lots of rain lately makes for dirty, muddy back roads and sidings. I suppose things will get better once everything freezes.

Since there is no hockey this next weekend for me, I hope we can go somewhere where there is lots of action to get some great shots and videos. Might check out the Bradford Barrie Go Line or head off to the Doncaster diamond. Probably best to go early since it gets dark so early now.

Keep checking cause we should have new stuff on the weekend!

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