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I offer this photo of now abandoned railroading, picture yourself standing on the platform at Chatham Depot as D725 arrives from Sarnia with 82 cars at 1301.
It was old school railroading on the CSX Sarnia division, the place was a time capsule where not much had changed and daily activities often went unrecorded, but we heard rumours of change coming - I was the type of fan to go to a spot and watch trains pass, not much for chasing, but this changed everything - armed with a single camera and my 50mm lens I documented this action a few times before it all fell silent, with a place to stay in Sarnia it was easy for me. It was a long and slow chase for 70 miles at an average 15 miles per hour (Train on duty 0600, departing around 0700, Arr Chatham 1300) but the friendliness of the crews, easy invites into the air conditioned station at Chatham and soaking up the atmosphere little changed since the 70's was worth it. It's all gone now, mostly.
Here's some audio I recorded, including radio chatter and CSX's only Canadian RTC dispatcher out of Wallaceburg from the same day as this photo:

 Clearance to CN 434 on CSX Sarnia Subdivision 

OCS clearance from a month earlier
Chatham's last CSX Train was in February 2006 and it fell to CN. The Wallaceburg RTC office closed in October 2013 when the line changed to rule 105 after the last train to Wallaceburg. Chatham's trying to sell the rail line now for scrap and still holds onto it after all this time.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Stephen C. Host all rights reserved.



Caption: I offer this photo of now abandoned railroading, picture yourself standing on the platform at Chatham Depot as D725 arrives from Sarnia with 82 cars at 1301.

It was old school railroading on the CSX Sarnia division, the place was a time capsule where not much had changed and daily activities often went unrecorded, but we heard rumours of change coming - I was the type of fan to go to a spot and watch trains pass, not much for chasing, but this changed everything - armed with a single camera and my 50mm lens I documented this action a few times before it all fell silent, with a place to stay in Sarnia it was easy for me. It was a long and slow chase for 70 miles at an average 15 miles per hour (Train on duty 0600, departing around 0700, Arr Chatham 1300) but the friendliness of the crews, easy invites into the air conditioned station at Chatham and soaking up the atmosphere little changed since the 70's was worth it. It's all gone now, mostly.

Here's some audio I recorded, including radio chatter and CSX's only Canadian RTC dispatcher out of Wallaceburg from the same day as this photo: Clearance to CN 434 on CSX Sarnia Subdivision
OCS clearance from a month earlier

Chatham's last CSX Train was in February 2006 and it fell to CN. The Wallaceburg RTC office closed in October 2013 when the line changed to rule 105 after the last train to Wallaceburg. Chatham's trying to sell the rail line now for scrap and still holds onto it after all this time.

P.S: Why Depot? This is what they called it - Sarnia crews used the American term "depot" to refer to their stations and still do today.

Photographer:
Stephen C. Host [956] (more) (contact)
Date: 08/25/2005 (search)
Railway: CSX Transportation (search)
Reporting Marks: CP 6059, CP 9019, CSXT 2613, CSXT 2690 (search)
Train Symbol: D725-25 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Chatham (search)
City/Town: Chatham (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=38535
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Photo ID: 37342

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8 Comments
  1. Todd thanks. It was one of my first that I knew would change. Bruce Mercer did also push me a bit too so i’m glad for that too. Much more to come, I have another 20 or so good shots from these trips! I can’t overwhelm the site though.

    However, the unfortunate reality is the line is quite long with little on-line business. It is of no interest to operate without a subsidy. I do agree it COULD be better with some new business wins but.. in this climate the shortline is doomed to even begin.

    The only way it could turn around (and quickly) is Provincial and Federal dollars for maintenance of municipally owned railway lines – these programs are being done in other parts of the world (PA, NY, Quebec) and it allows municipalities to keep shortlines in service and competitive with other jurisdictions for industrial access. Without it these shortlines will dissapear as will the competitiveness of the province as we have less and less rail serviced land. The business will go to PA/NY or QC instead in some cases who show a long term commitment to keeping rail.

    Ontario wants none of it. I hope we can change this.

  2. You’ve truly captured something special Steve….as have other contributors over time before things went ‘south’. Great photo :)

  3. Sadly, like the line, trains and station, I missed an opportunity of catching trains before the CN and consequently the Municipality owned what I would call today the ‘property’. I do have photos of ust the old depot from 2003..but due to winters light my photos are somewhat backlit. Sad to see it in it’s current state, as I now live in Chatham. I do believe that if a short line (like the OSR) purchased it, it could be profitable once again. Then again, that’s a dream for a fairy tale far…far…away!

  4. Very nice Steve
    So glad I got one train passing that station before it was removed.

  5. This info came from CPRdieselroster.com. Your second photo showing it from the other side matches well with the photo on CP roster. It looks like all they did was clear the windows and put her back out to work. With no CP stencilled on the nose (a leftover from being a B unit?).

  6. Really – that’s news to me (B-unit). They seemed to assign junk to 524/525 (CP Rougemere to Chatham turn – which CSX picked up and ran to Sarnia Northbound and Southbound as D725)

    Every once in a while you’d see a SOO SD60 or (gasp) a AC4400 but it was by far the exception..

    Here is a pic of the same train I posted in Port Lambton:

    http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=27320

  7. Cool, I see the 6059 spent 5 to 6 years as a blanked B-unit, which ended before 2000. Was restored for crews and finally retired in 2009.
    Thanks for the caption and photo Steve.

  8. Note: Used a Laptop from 1999 to record all this sitting on the passenger seat of my trusty ’99 Toyota Tercel. Captured some background noise as you can imagine from the microphone input hence why you hear horns, driving, and some other interference from electronic devices (my Blackberry). :)

    Also station at left was razed in 2006.

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