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GMTX 2248 leads 514 off the Chatham Sub and onto the Sarnia Spur as they head towards Blenheim with nine hoppers for ADM and one for Thompsons. I've been trying to catch 514 again for a number of months now but its schedule has become quite erratic - they still run weekly, but the day they run is becoming far less regular. It used to always be Saturdays and Saturdays only, but there have been a lot of Mondays recently (even seeming to be majority Mondays), even Sunday as well, and there was even a night run last month. And needless to say, it's a long drive for a hope and a prayer. In the background, you can see the signals that protected the diamond of the Chatham Sub and Sarnia Spur, which has since been removed. The old signals for the CASO diamond further south remain in place as well. A hat tip and sincere thank you to all of the helpful people out there who assist me in my endless pursuit of 514.
Copyright Notice: This image ©James Knott all rights reserved.



Caption: GMTX 2248 leads 514 off the Chatham Sub and onto the Sarnia Spur as they head towards Blenheim with nine hoppers for ADM and one for Thompsons. I've been trying to catch 514 again for a number of months now but its schedule has become quite erratic - they still run weekly, but the day they run is becoming far less regular. It used to always be Saturdays and Saturdays only, but there have been a lot of Mondays recently (even seeming to be majority Mondays), even Sunday as well, and there was even a night run last month. And needless to say, it's a long drive for a hope and a prayer.

In the background, you can see the signals that protected the diamond of the Chatham Sub and Sarnia Spur, which has since been removed. The old signals for the CASO diamond further south remain in place as well.

A hat tip and sincere thank you to all of the helpful people out there who assist me in my endless pursuit of 514.

Photographer:
James Knott [515] (more) (contact)
Date: 10/12/2019 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: GMTX 2248 (search)
Train Symbol: 514 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Sarnia Spur (search)
City/Town: Chatham (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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Photo ID: 37948

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17 Comments
  1. Very nice, even though the picture could do with less blue.

  2. Thanks Craig, and yeah trust me, I don’t think anyone would rather that be CN power more than me haha.

    I should have noted in the caption that the head end potash traffic visible in this shot was dropped in the old C&O yard on the south side of this crossing before they proceeded to Blenheim. They lifted them on the return trip from Blenheim and took them to Agris in Thamesville.

  3. Very nice James. Good to see Blenheim is still being serviced with rumours of its demise. Personally I like the ‘Blueberries’ that some are calling them (I call them the Bluebirds) for variety. At least they aren’t CN GEVO’s. ;)

  4. Great shot!!

    Created some great entertainment on Facebook too!! ????????????

  5. Haha oh Facebook ;) . So does CN go to the CP interchange still for cars or is that all done?

  6. Everything 514 handles is dropped by 439, usually Friday overnight.

  7. IIRC they were going to the CP in the beginning utilizing the track north of the Chatham sub, passed the old CSX station site.. curious when that ended.

  8. I’m not sure to be honest. Hopefully someone can fill the timeline in. Presumably any traffic for 514 (via 439) or T29 that needs to be interchanged could just be done in London.

  9. I love the effort you guys put into this, but I can’t help but wonder why we had so few people doing THIS 15 years ago, I had to work hard to convince others to go for it:

    Drive to Sarnia, stay overnight, arrive Sarnia depot 0600 – chase D725 south from Sarnia to Chatham, photograph D724 power set off in Chatham, spend an hour or two in the Chatham station gabbing with the clerical staff, shoot whatever CP’s go by, possibly shoot Northbound D725 if crew arrives on time, possible CN 435 in Chatham or on CASO early afternoon, wait for D724 to be ordered in the afternoon and arrive by Truck in Chatham, chase D724 to Blenheim back to Sarnia.. covering 70 miles of track in both directions (over 100 miles in total) – the train wouldn’t arrive in Sarnia until after dark though so you never got to go a full two directions.

    Now you’d have a dozen people chasing all of that and back then it was just me… unless I dragged one or two others with me.. once I saw Geoff Elliott and his Windsor gang at Chatham..

    I’m lucky to have known how good I had it back then to get out there a half dozen times, but it really puts it into perspective how this hobby has grown in 15 yrs too.

  10. As I look at Google Satellite in Chatham. On that particualar day.. there’s not one car in CN’s Yard. Scroll up and there’s cars in CP’s and engines working the yard. Interesting to see that CP seems more active in the area… surprised they don’t work Blenheim. Just a thought.

  11. 439 drops 514′s power and traffic (typically on Friday night) and 438 lifts it all once it’s done (as early as Saturday). So things don’t stick around the CN “yard” all too often typically. That said there are times when 514 doesn’t take all the traffic on a given day, or times when 439 drops things on another day – but these are true exceptions to the norm.

  12. Also no CP power/locals are based out of Chatham anymore. T29 serves area customers but is London-based. I don’t think all that much (if anything) happens in the CP yard anymore, but I could be wrong.

  13. Brad, CN purchased the line to Blenheim so why would CP do the work? Not theirs to do.

  14. CN still interchanges the Chatham, Thamesville, Blenheim cars with CP in London. CP T29 brings them from London to the elevators in Glencoe, Thamesville and Kent Bridge either on their Wednesday or Sunday runs.

    Great shot Jamie.

  15. @stephen I thought a lot of the traffic was being diverted to Ayr at the Thompson facility there.. but right it is CN owned. My bad. And I know that there was talk that CN’s operation was to cease..apparently not. Good news! But it seems like an operation CN wouldn’t be interested in ie Burford spur and others.

  16. Brad, FS partners has a facility at Ayr not Thompsons. See this map, as traffic at Blenheim would be routed to the next nearest elevator

    https://www.google.com/maps/search/thompsons+limited/@43.0622783,-81.5397672,9z/data=!3m1!4b1

    Problem is Blenheim is a very large facility, dare I say their largest.

  17. I believe the rumour was it was going to be diverted to Kent Bridge when there was talk CN was done with the Sarnia Spur.

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