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VIP (Vidal Street Industrial Park) Rail Inc. is a relatively unknown but very successful short-line railway located in Sarnia Ontario. Here we see EMD SW1200 #1511 heading back to the yard after doubling two cuts of tank cars. VIP focuses mainly on rail car storage and transloading as well as servicing a few industries such as CABOT Canada. VIP also interchanges with CN and CSX operating on the CN Farm Track Spur.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Hunter Holmes all rights reserved.



Caption: VIP (Vidal Street Industrial Park) Rail Inc. is a relatively unknown but very successful short-line railway located in Sarnia Ontario. Here we see EMD SW1200 #1511 heading back to the yard after doubling two cuts of tank cars. VIP focuses mainly on rail car storage and transloading as well as servicing a few industries such as CABOT Canada. VIP also interchanges with CN and CSX operating on the CN Farm Track Spur.

Photographer:
Hunter Holmes [108] (more) (contact)
Date: 11/29/2014 (search)
Railway: Industrial (search)
Reporting Marks: VIP 1511 (search)
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: CN Farm Track Spur (search)
City/Town: Sarnia (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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Photo ID: 16049

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

Full size | Suncalc
Note: Read why maps changed. Suncalc.net for reference only.


4 Comments
  1. I saw these guys working this past weekend, with VIPX 1007 for power. Kind of neat. Hope to see them again next trip down at Christmas.

  2. Interesting – thanks Hunter. Does VIP switch imperial’s facility (HA11-14) just north of the VIP compound? I’ve seen VIP down there about 5 years ago (With the former Dow 1007 on July 28 2009, on July 29 2009 they were using VIPX 1511) but never seen them switch a customer (not even Cabot). I don’t think CN would let CargoFlo (HA01) be switched by VIP. I think VIP’s intention is to expand into switching contracts.. not sure how that’s going though.

    The last time the north interchange was used was in late 2012 during the Idle No More protests. Since the St. Clair River spur was blocked, CSX would run into “E” yard from mile 71.4 Sarnia sub (begin CN track) and drop cars off in the yard along Front St. IOX or Extra IOX jobs lifted that traffic as I was informed.

    It’s otherwise unused. CSX lower yard (just around the corner of the interchange location) is used for Entrpoex plastic pellet storage/unloading including the main track – so those cars would have to be moved from the main before anything could go north to the i/c.

    Sarnia’s a great city and lots of neat stuff – enjoy your time there Hunter. You’ll probably see me around Christmas, maybe sooner :)

  3. Hey Stephen, when we drop cars at VIP it is a mix of CN and CSX traffic, usually when I’m on the IOX job we will come pull a cut of cars from VIP, bring it back to the C-Yard and split it into two cuts, one for CN and one for CSX. The Plank road Job then takes the cut for CSX down to A-yard where the CSX will pick it up in the afternoon. You’re right there is no direct rail connection between VIP and CSX but they do a great deal of business with CSX.

    There is still a connection between CSX and CN right in Imperial Oil right inside the gate when you’re heading into “The Wax”, it is direct to the Point Edward spur and it appears to be fairly unused although the switch is still maintained and the road bed is kept up fairly nicely. Personally I’ve never switched anything over to CSX at this location though.

    Most of VIP’s business is local car storage though. The majority are loads or emptied for CABOT and the refineries waiting to be delivered/spotted.

  4. Hunter, the farm track does not connect to CSX proper – there is no bona-fide interchange between the two. Any CSX interchange on the farm track would be interswitching but via CN Haulage agreements (to Toledo or Buffalo) via CN’s Sarnia yard. CSX won’t touch the traffic until it gets to Buffalo or Toledo, unless it’s destined a few miles away to one of CSX’s customers located on the Sarnia sub.

    However, about 40 years ago, there was a spur that crossed Vidal to the farm track (by the old Royal Polymer gate) and seemed to form a connection between CSX and CN… but I believe it was likely used by Imperial only. The CSX/CN interchanges were/are (Still noted in track diagrams) located at a) South of Vidal – at connection of CSX to CN St. Clair spur b) By Terra (long out of use as an interchange though) and c) the north interchange (Connection to the Point Edward spur by Imperial’s north side). The north i/c was recently used for some re-routes during MOW or First Nations protests that blocked the line but is otherwise unused.

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