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On November 4, 1998 my Dad and I stood on the station platform during a late fall afternoon and watched as CN 432 rolled into Kitchener from London with a consist typical of the time period. It included; GP40-2L(W)’s 9454, 9590 and GP9RM’s 4115 and 7020. We knew that in a couple of short weeks the CN trains on the line would become a part of history, as the Guelph Subdivision would be taken-over by the Goderich-Exeter Railway (GEXR) which was expanding and handling all the freight traffic on the line and the related spurs. This transition was just one part of an almost shortline revolution across Ontario as several shortlines would commence operations on lines sold or leased from CN and CP during the late 90’s. However, that was then. Now in 2018, just as CN took back the Hagersville Subdivision from the Southern Ontario Railway in September, CN is on the verge of regaining control of the Guelph Subdivision from GEXR on November 16. 
GEXR had originally begun leasing the Guelph Subdivision from CN for 20 years being operated under RailTex at the time. With the lease coming to an end and CN and current owners G&W not coming to an agreement to purchase or further extend the lease, CN had announced to the effected customers earlier in the year that they would be returning as the operators. GEXR will still operate the Goderich Subdivision between Stratford and Goderich as well as the Exeter Subdivision from Clinton to Exeter. Reportedly, GEXR will retain only QGRY GP38-2 2008, GEXR GP38-3 2073 and RLHH GP38-2 2117 for use on their scaled down operations. 
As for new CN train assignments, as of November 7, the following has been confirmed by CN sources as the operating plan, which is still subject to last minute changes and adjustments. 
CN A431, will be scheduled 7 days per week, Kitchener Turn, ordered 21:00 out of Mac Yard.
All assigned jobs will have the “L” designation and are as follows:
CN L540 (formerly 580), ordered 0:700 from Kitchener, 7 days per week- To service Guelph with Acton scheduled on Tuesday/Thursday- To service Kitchener and the Huron Park Spur-Including the interchange with CP at Kitchener 
CN L568 (formerly 516) ordered 09:30 from Kitchener, Monday-Friday, Stratford or St. Mary’s Turn operating St. Marys/Kelly’s/Thorndale-Tuesday/Thursday and Stratford other days
CN L566 (formerly 584) ordered 21:00 from Kitchener, Monday-Friday to service Waterloo Spur and Elmira
CN L542 (formerly 582) ordered 07:30 from Guelph, Monday-Friday to service Guelph/Fergus Spur/Cambridge
During September, CN began constructing a new operations centre in the Kitchener yard, which will be where the crews are based. As of early November the new building was seemingly complete having been assembled with modular sections and was 3600 square feet in length complete with newly constructed wooden ramps. It is situated near the old wye in the yard and according to sources; CN will base the power for the local assignments by this new building. CN will now interchange traffic with GEXR at Stratford as previously done 20 years ago with GEXR motive power still laying over in Stratford yard between assignments as CN will still retain ownership of the yard. The transition from GEXR to CN will no doubt be well documented so please stay tuned as all the latest sightings will be photographed as two decades later CN makes their return to the Guelph Subdivision.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Carl Noe (Collection of Jason Noe) all rights reserved.



Caption: On November 4, 1998 my Dad and I stood on the station platform during a late fall afternoon and watched as CN 432 rolled into Kitchener from London with a consist typical of the time period. It included; GP40-2L(W)’s 9454, 9590 and GP9RM’s 4115 and 7020. We knew that in a couple of short weeks the CN trains on the line would become a part of history, as the Guelph Subdivision would be taken-over by the Goderich-Exeter Railway (GEXR) which was expanding and handling all the freight traffic on the line and the related spurs. This transition was just one part of an almost shortline revolution across Ontario as several shortlines would commence operations on lines sold or leased from CN and CP during the late 90’s. However, that was then. Now in 2018, just as CN took back the Hagersville Subdivision from the Southern Ontario Railway in September, CN is on the verge of regaining control of the Guelph Subdivision from GEXR on November 16.

GEXR had originally begun leasing the Guelph Subdivision from CN for 20 years being operated under RailTex at the time. With the lease coming to an end and CN and current owners G&W not coming to an agreement to purchase or further extend the lease, CN had announced to the effected customers earlier in the year that they would be returning as the operators. GEXR will still operate the Goderich Subdivision between Stratford and Goderich as well as the Exeter Subdivision from Clinton to Exeter.

Reportedly, GEXR will retain only QGRY GP38-2 2008, GEXR GP38-3 2073 and RLHH GP38-2 2117 for use on their scaled down operations. As for new CN train assignments, as of November 7, the following has been confirmed by CN sources as the operating plan, which is still subject to last minute changes and adjustments.

CN A431, will be scheduled 7 days per week, Kitchener Turn, ordered 21:00 out of Mac Yard.

All assigned jobs will have the “L” designation and are as follows:
CN L540 (formerly 580), ordered 0700 from Kitchener, 7 days per week- To service Guelph with Acton scheduled on Tuesday/Thursday- To service Kitchener and the Huron Park Spur-Including the interchange with CP at Kitchener
CN L568 (formerly 516) ordered 09:30 from Kitchener, Monday-Friday, Stratford or St. Mary’s Turn operating St. Marys/Kelly’s/Thorndale-Tuesday/Thursday and Stratford other days
CN L566 (formerly 584) ordered 21:00 from Kitchener, Monday-Friday to service Waterloo Spur and Elmira
CN L542 (formerly 582) ordered 07:30 from Guelph, Monday-Friday to service Guelph/Fergus Spur/Cambridge.

During September, CN began constructing a new operations centre in the Kitchener yard, which will be where the crews are based. As of early November the new building was seemingly complete having been assembled with modular sections and was 3600 square feet in length complete with newly constructed wooden ramps. It is situated near the old wye in the yard and according to sources; CN will base the power for the local assignments by this new building. CN will now interchange traffic with GEXR at Stratford as previously done 20 years ago with GEXR motive power still laying over in Stratford yard between assignments as CN will still retain ownership of the yard. The transition from GEXR to CN will no doubt be well documented so please stay tuned as all the latest sightings will be photographed as two decades later CN makes their return to the Guelph Subdivision.

Photographer:
Carl Noe (Collection of Jason Noe) [165] (more) (contact)
Date: 11/04/1998 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN (search)
Train Symbol: 432 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Guelph Subdivision (search)
City/Town: KITCHENER (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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7 Comments
  1. In October, GEXR had sent LLPX GP38-2 2236 to be repainted at an outside facility. According to reports, the unit will eventually emerge at GEXR 2123 and be returned once other upgrades are completed as well.

  2. Nice roster list Jay although you might have forgotten LLPX 2236. I wonder where she’ll go after November 16th? I was told all GEXR units that they don’t plan to keep for 581 will likely join other G&W short lines in the states so I wonder if she’ll rejoin her twin 2210 in SC?
    I sure miss seeing those two together.

  3. @Railfan99 Graydon.. I wish the traffic was restored/rerouted along here in my hood along the Oakville sub in Clarkson. Now owned by Metrolinx. CN locals operate at night as documented up here.
    But as the song says ‘Thats Just The Way It Is’. ;) Lets catch one of the last GEXR runs to Mac before the 16th.

  4. Thanks Jason again! :) Nice roster list. cheers.

  5. Thanks for the comment Graydon. It appears that now A431 will turn at Kitchener and head east to Toronto and not go through to Stratford. Train L568 will handle the traffic between Kitchener and Stratford and interchange with GEXR at Stratford.

    Brad please see below on GEXR roster:

    Here is what I have for GEXR lettered units. Someone can please correct me if I’m wrong on something.

    GEXR GP38-3 2073
    GEXR GP39-2u 2303
    GEXR GP40-2L(W) 3030
    GEXR SD45T-2 3054
    GEXR SD40-2 3393- Stored OOS At Goderich
    GEXR SD40-2 3394

    Lettered for other railways:

    SLR RM-1 806- Stored OOS At Stratford
    QGRY GP38-2 2008
    RLHH GP38-2 2117
    SLR GP40-3 3806
    RLHH SD40-2 3403
    RLK GP40 4095

  6. How many G&W units were lettered for GEXR? And are any being moved to other lines?

  7. Wow Jay thank you so much for sharing the info with us!! Even though sadly I wasn’t able to see all the GEXR action I wish I had, I’m glad that 581 will remain for the foreseeable future! Great picture too, who knew how valuable this could be in two decades time as CN gets ready to take back operations here?
    With A431 though, your saying that it’ll be the other way around now where they run west to Kitchener and Stratford before refuting to Mac Yard in the early morning hours? That’s interesting, wonder if CN will stick with the gp40s or move up to the big heavy power such as the es44s, sd75Is etc? I guess we’ll know in a weeks time!

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