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I was in the London area all weekend for a wedding Saturday night, and planned to get some railfanning done in the area on Saturday and Sunday. My plan for Saturday was to head down to Chatham for 514, but found out on Friday night that they could not get a crew for it so had to change my plans. This is now the third time this summer I have hoped to chase a 514 on Saturday but was unable to - it would appear that this train is getting a little less predictable. I changed my plans and went out in London first thing in the morning, seeing a couple of CP and CN trains early on, before getting bored of the mainline (which is often the case for me) and heading up to Stratford to try and find GEXR which had now become my Plan B. I got there around 0830, but they had already departed, so I followed the Goderich Sub westward and came across them around 0900 just west of Mitchell. I followed them westward to Clinton where they turned south onto the Exeter Sub and headed for Hensall. They had 15 potash loads in tow for the entirety of their journey (did no work on the westward journey on the Goderich), and set those off in Hensall at the elevator facilities on the north side of King Street. They then proceeded to Thompsons on the south side of King Street and lifted three hoppers for the return trip. All in all, they made relatively good time to Hensall, and it was 1130 but the time they had tied onto the three hoppers at Thompsons. Having already shot the southbound trip at every level crossing on the slow going Exeter Sub, I called it a day at that point and headed back to London to get ready for the wedding.
Copyright Notice: This image ©James Knott all rights reserved.



Caption: I was in the London area all weekend for a wedding Saturday night, and planned to get some railfanning done in the area on Saturday and Sunday. My plan for Saturday was to head down to Chatham for 514, but found out on Friday night that they could not get a crew for it so had to change my plans. This is now the third time this summer I have hoped to chase a 514 on Saturday but was unable to - it would appear that this train is getting a little less predictable.

I changed my plans and went out in London first thing in the morning, seeing a couple of CP and CN trains early on, before getting bored of the mainline (which is often the case for me) and heading up to Stratford to try and find GEXR which had now become my Plan B. I got there around 0830, but they had already departed, so I followed the Goderich Sub westward and came across them around 0900 just west of Mitchell. I followed them westward to Clinton where they turned south onto the Exeter Sub and headed for Hensall. They had 15 potash loads in tow for the entirety of their journey (did no work on the westward journey on the Goderich), and set those off in Hensall at the elevator facilities on the north side of King Street. They then proceeded to Thompsons on the south side of King Street and lifted three hoppers for the return trip. All in all, they made relatively good time to Hensall, and it was 1130 but the time they had tied onto the three hoppers at Thompsons. Having already shot the southbound trip at every level crossing on the slow going Exeter Sub, I called it a day at that point and headed back to London to get ready for the wedding.

Photographer:
James Knott [237] (more) (contact)
Date: 08/17/2019 (search)
Railway: Goderich-Exeter (search)
Reporting Marks: RLHH 2117 (search)
Train Symbol: 581 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Exeter Sub (search)
City/Town: Hensall (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=38605
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9 Comments
  1. I am from the area, this is a long train, however it is not the longest ive seen in recent years. There was a day in August 2018 when a train ran all the way to Hensall with 34 cars in tow

  2. @Brad – I wouldn’t know enough to comment. My earlier response was speculative enough as it is.

    @Jason – Thanks. That’s my understanding to re ops on the Exeter.

  3. Not enough workers on the call board? A friend of mine who works for CP was literally Pulling the sheets up laying to bed in the middle of Winter when his Dad, an Engineer for CP who got him the job, knocked on the Door..”Pat! they need you at Lambton!”.

  4. Nice scene Jamie. When we went through Hensall a few weeks ago, there were about 7-8 cars spotted around the elevators. I’ve been told that Wednesday’s and Saturday’s are currently the regular “branch” days for GEXR.

  5. @Arnold – Trust me, I hear ya. I am never a happy camper at any wedding haha.

    @Brad – Not sure. But it’s not the first time it’s happened this summer for 514, and I saw it happen in Port Rob last month for a 562 as well. Summer makes things more challenging I’d imagine, and each of these instances was on a weekend, which I imagine compounds the challenge. Trains like 514 and 562 are probably the ones that are the first to go when crews are short.

  6. Why couldn’t they get a crew together? Same wedding party from the night before? ;) Love the GEXR/SOR shots James. Keep them coming.

  7. I was going to make the same comment but Mr. Host beat me to it. The last time I saw this move it was 2 units and one lone car as well.
    Nice pic!!! Pity a wedding cut short a great day of railfanning. :o )

  8. Yes was certainly a lot larger than the lone boxcar I watched them drag through the snow down to Exeter back in January in what was likely the slowest chase I’ve ever done haha. I was wondering if this would be considered a big train for that line, but without really knowing too much about it and this being only my second time shooting a train there I was hesitant to say as much in the caption.

    Good for them indeed. :) It’s a neat line and one I’d like to continue to visit when the opportunity presents itself, so it’s certainly nice to see the traffic.

  9. That’s the biggest train I’ve seen on the branch, ever. Good for them!

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