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Caption: D725 is travelling southbound along John Park Line near Wallaceburg with 90 or so cars, the track followed this road for a few KM and made for easy chasing. It was stupid easy between here and Dresden, about the same as Chatham to Blenheim :) Good news is the track is still in place, and being sold to a numbered company as I type this - with a small chance for a Resurrection. Bad news - no trains since 2013.

I'm still amazed at the progress and change in this hobby. The number of people out these days is great, an order of magnitude more people than there was in the mid 2000's. Here's my example to compare: Back in Summer 2005 the rumours were rife that the end was coming to the CSX in Sarnia yet there were so few photographers out for this. I had coaxed some friends (Brian Switzer, David Graham, Laura New, and Chris Vanderheide) to come shoot D725 on Saturday July 16 as I had chased on Friday July 15th both ways. Travelling in a convoy we had a blast chasing and the friendly CSX crews made it even better. It was fun and worth getting off our TODO list. Compare to the number of people that are going to Chatham these days for the Blenheim run - the comparisons are unquestionable - you have a half dozen people shooting Blenheim every Saturday these days but when I shot this run I was most often the only photographer - and I shot it a dozen times including the second last run - even on that run (a Saturday) I was the only one out. I do recall one run where I met David Patch (from Toledo), and the Windsor gang (Geoff Elliot, etc). If this happened today, you'd have photo lines of a dozen people.
Blenheim today is at best once a week (more like every two weeks) but in 2005 D725 (mon-sat) and D724 (t-th) ran through here in daylight - that 8 trains a week! Starting in February 2006 they were down to just the Tuesday/Thursday Sarnia-Dresden turn (D724 - two per week) until 2013 when it all stopped - and I recall a number of young chasers getting it before it dissapeared like Myles Roach. and others.
Today, because of the Internet, everyone is falling over each other to replicate what others have done, or get it done before it's gone because news spreads fast - and this is adding to the crowds - yet a short time ago it was just not the same. I'm pleased to see the growth in the hobby - everyone welcome! Get your shots while you still can. And if in the rare chance this is resurrected, you know where I'll be on opening day.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Stephen C. Host all rights reserved.



Caption: Caption: D725 is travelling southbound along John Park Line near Wallaceburg with 90 or so cars, the track followed this road for a few KM and made for easy chasing. It was stupid easy between here and Dresden, about the same as Chatham to Blenheim :) Good news is the track is still in place, and being sold to a numbered company as I type this - with a small chance for a Resurrection. Bad news - no trains since 2013.

I'm still amazed at the progress and change in this hobby. The number of people out these days is great, an order of magnitude more people than there was in the mid 2000's. Here's my example to compare: Back in Summer 2005 the rumours were rife that the end was coming to the CSX in Sarnia yet there were so few photographers out for this. I had coaxed some friends (Brian Switzer, David Graham, Laura New, and Chris Vanderheide) to come shoot D725 on Saturday July 16 as I had chased on Friday July 15th both ways. Travelling in a convoy we had a blast chasing and the friendly CSX crews made it even better. It was fun and worth getting off our TODO list. Compare to the number of people that are going to Chatham these days for the Blenheim run - the comparisons are unquestionable - you have a half dozen people shooting Blenheim every Saturday these days but when I shot this run I was most often the only photographer (or with the crew I took with me, and we found no one else) - and I shot it a dozen times including the second last run - even on that run (a Saturday) I was the only one out. I do recall one run where I met David Patch (from Toledo), and the Windsor gang (Geoff Elliot, etc). If this happened today, you'd have photo lines of a dozen people.

Blenheim today is at best once a week (more like every two weeks) but in 2005 D725 (mon to sat) and D724 (tu,th) ran through here in daylight - that 8 trains a week! Starting in February 2006 they were down to just the Tuesday/Thursday Sarnia-Dresden turn (D724 - two per week) until 2013 when it all stopped - and I recall a number of young chasers getting it before it dissapeared like Myles Roach. and others.

Today, because of the Internet, everyone is falling over each other to replicate what others have done, or get it done before it's gone because news spreads fast - and this is adding to the crowds - yet a short time ago it was just not the same. I'm pleased to see the growth in the hobby - everyone welcome! Get your shots while you still can. And if in the rare chance this is resurrected, you know where I'll be on opening day.

Photographer:
Stephen C. Host [1053] (more) (contact)
Date: 7/16/2005 (search)
Railway: CSX Transportation (search)
Reporting Marks: CP 5647, CP 6064 (search)
Train Symbol: CSX D724-16 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Wallaceburg (search)
City/Town: Wallaceburg (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=40542
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Photo ID: 39337

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

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10 Comments
  1. I should mention the last run to wallaceburg was 5 photographers and an equal or greater number of employees to see the last train off from the rtc office. It was a little surreal. Three dispatchers and a few other maintainers were there to wave goodbye.

  2. Awesome Myles. You covered it well into 2013. The last run to Wallacburg was well documented – 6 of us I think? That was a long ass drive for a short chase for me.

    I drove thru town for first time since then month ago… sad but it’s all still in place.. will wait and see what comes next. Deal should close sometime this yr

  3. There were quite a few people who did end up catching D724 in it’s final days, thanks to the internet no doubt. I used to just call the station in Sarnia and ask if a local was running or not. All crew and personnel were quite friendly back then and had no problem telling me stories of the past or where any trains were at.

    You really gotta wonder what the future of this line is and how this numbered company plans to use it.

  4. Hahaha and that’s allright! Do what you enjoy. I was just lucky to be visiting Sarnia all the time so I did it often.. it was quite the hike for train that departed around 0730. (but one could easily catch up to it) So I often made the decision to take a day off work and go on a Thursday night..

    can’t do that anymore with my kids..

  5. I counted this morning: I have been there 10 times for 514 since May 2018 and saw no other chase parties any of the 10 times. So to answer your question Jason, probably none? :)

    Haha, I definitely put myself in the category of action on the line. Put anything on it, I don’t care.

  6. Back in 2005 myself and others from Kitchener went down to shoot the dying days of the Sarnia Subdivision on several separate trips. We didn’t see anybody either and that was over the course of weekdays and weekends as well. We even did get CN on the Blenheim Spur back in 2006 as well not long after the changeover. Again, saw nobody. I think possibly one reason why the Blenheim runs appeal is that they occur on the weekend and at a set time. But, like how many people would make the same trip if it were a couple GMTX’s…probably only select few that are more interested in capturing action on the actual line vs the motive power.

  7. Who knows – I’m just curious why a company would spend $6 million on the line and keep it a secret (for now).

    Also James, where were all the photographers when two GMD1′s were in Hamilton? There was certainly more than usual… but… and the same in Kitchener or Guelph when they were here for months.. all four of them too..

    There’s a ‘meet too’ effect happening in Chatham for the Blenheim GMD1′s – i’m certain of it :) Just watch – it’s not over yet.

  8. What would be the ‘draw’ in reopening this line with a short line provider Stephen? Btw, i’ll be out there soon, camera in hand.

  9. I agree. People are still fascinated by the Sarnia spur though. It is a sub and still quite busy in the north end :) Who knows how long it’ll last in it’s current state. Same for Blenheim, I can’t see ADM and Thomson’s being happy with service every two weeks.

  10. It’s only temporary. Once the GMD-1s are gone, so too will be the crowds. Every time I have gone for 514 out of Chatham, which is many times, I have been the only one out for it (and in a couple of instances along with someone who came down there with me that day).

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