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Weekend Warriors. Driving around the north end of Guelph, I wanted to try and catch the CN in town, as they have been pretty consistently coming to Guelph the last few weekends. On route, I start hearing scanner chatter, a positive sign, but I can never actually understand what they're saying on the radio unless I have my brother to translate the muffled conversations. Drive around for 15 minutes, no sign of CN. Then I hear "clear back towards the Hanlon, 647". Huh.... No wonder I couldn't find them. That led me to do a drive-by of Imperial rd where I thought they'd be, switching PDI at the west end of the South Spur. Hit the South Spur grade crossing: nothing. Bemused, annoyed and discouraged thought I'd cut my losses and call it a day. Continuing onto Woodlawn Rd to expedite the ending of my pointless outing I pass the North Spur when holy crap there they are. I had thought that the North spur was essentially "off limits" to OSR, as I know most of the industries (MBI, Sanimax and Gerdau) are served by CN, never occurred to me they'd be up there. I did notice that the crossing I was standing at had a "Guelph Junction Railway" sticker on it, which leads me to believe the North and South spurs aren't segregated by railway like I thought. And here, they appear to be handling storage cars parked at the end of the line, which could be for one of the industries on the South Spur (not the pole cars though, those are spotted along Edinburgh Road along the CN). This was also the first time I've known OSR to come up to Guelph on a weekend, which I assume happens on rare occasions. I don't think CN ever did make it to Guelph, but who cares, really when you have this. Any info or comments about CN/OSR spiting the spurs and how all that works or about OSR doing weekend runs North are welcome and encouraged.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Mark MacCauley all rights reserved.



Caption: Weekend Warriors. Driving around the north end of Guelph, I wanted to try and catch the CN in town, as they have been pretty consistently coming to Guelph the last few weekends. On route, I start hearing scanner chatter, a positive sign, but I can never actually understand what they're saying on the radio unless I have my brother to translate the muffled conversations. Drive around for 15 minutes, no sign of CN. Then I hear "clear back towards the Hanlon, 647". Huh.... No wonder I couldn't find them. That led me to do a drive-by of Imperial rd where I thought they'd be, switching PDI at the west end of the South Spur. Hit the South Spur grade crossing: nothing. Bemused, annoyed and discouraged thought I'd cut my losses and call it a day. Continuing onto Woodlawn Rd to expedite the ending of my pointless outing I pass the North Spur when holy crap there they are. I had thought that the North spur was essentially "off limits" to OSR, as I know most of the industries (MBI, Sanimax and Gerdau) are served by CN, never occurred to me they'd be up there. I did notice that the crossing I was standing at had a "Guelph Junction Railway" sticker on it, which leads me to believe the North and South spurs aren't segregated by railway like I thought. And here, they appear to be handling storage cars parked at the end of the line, which could be for one of the industries on the South Spur (not the pole cars though, those are spotted along Edinburgh Road along the CN). This was also the first time I've known OSR to come up to Guelph on a weekend, which I assume happens on rare occasions. I don't think CN ever did make it to Guelph, but who cares, really when you have this. Any info or comments about CN/OSR spiting the spurs and how all that works or about OSR doing weekend runs North are welcome and encouraged.

Photographer:
Mark MacCauley [104] (more) (contact)
Date: 03/02/2019 (search)
Railway: Ontario Southland (search)
Reporting Marks: OSR 647 (search)
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: North Spur (search)
City/Town: Guelph (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=36351
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Photo ID: 35159

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

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3 Comments
  1. Holy headlight/ditchlight Batman! Love the brass bell!

  2. Mark, it takes a few years to figure out what they say on the radio but you’ll get it eventually :)

    I can help with the GJR – The GJR built these two spurs and the agreement dates to 1955 when the first was constructed. It gives GJR and CN joint rights and access to customers on the spurs, the rights are also irrevocable and CN (or operator, ie: GEXR) is on the hook for half the cost of maintenance.

    The customer sidings are also interesting – GJR often works out an agreement with customers and will pay for and install the siding, in return, the customer guarantees certain traffic levels and GJR retains ownership of track and materials and exclusive switching of customer. It becomes a partnership and the idea is to accelerate use of rail.

    But as a common carrier a Customer can pay for and install their own sidings – Sanimax was one of those, and they have joint rights to CN or CP (Via OSR) as a result. MBI (RockTenn) would be the same.

    The poles in this photo are CP cars for Guelph Utility Pole as this is actually the OSR team track for Guelph. PDI uses the same to unload pellets. CN’s team track is Edinburgh rd as you noted.

    There have been CP cars for RockTenn (MBI) and Gerdau in the recent past but they are infrequent.

    Sanimax (Former – they are gone) is not using rail service at present, owner has agreed to lease track to GJR for car storage and why it has cars today.

    Cars for AOC/PDI Massey from CN are interchanged to OSR and OSR switches them in IMHO. All other customers are direct dual served, it just depends on if cars come from CN or CP.

  3. I was in town and heard them switching, I too was looking for CN. 540 went down the Huron Park spur and 568 took off tk Stratford, I wanted to get a few shots of these guys but my main focus was to follow 568 to points West.

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