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Unit Tank Train on the Humberstone....  Well, sorta but not really haha. The Humberstone spur is a six mile stretch of track extending from CN Yagar down to the Vale plant in Port Colburne. This little unsuspecting spur packs quite a punch with the 6-axel power handling all the movements for some time now. This neat operation was first brought to light with James Knotts capture of a big CREX lessor about to head back to Yagar after serving Vale. Even before this you had cool stuff like CP switching Vale as captured by Michael Klauck . 

After spending a day in Niagara seeing what was going on, we watched 562 leave Port Robbinson with two chlorine cars on the tail end. After dropping everything but those two cars in Southern Yard, the crew called up the RTC for a “clearance to pass stop at Yagar”, the smoking gun for a Humberstone run. In this shot, CN 2200 and 8001 rolls around what used to be the west leg of the Yagar wye, onto the original Cayuga sub (Air Line) right of way, as I believe. On this particular day, 562 with 8000+ horsepower up front and about 263 tonnes on the drawbar has this one well in hand unless I missed a 20% ruling grade somewhere on the Humberstone.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Mark MacCauley all rights reserved.



Caption: Unit Tank Train on the Humberstone.... Well, sorta but not really haha. The Humberstone spur is a six mile stretch of track extending from CN Yagar down to the Vale plant in Port Colburne. This little unsuspecting spur packs quite a punch with the 6-axel power handling all the movements for some time now. This neat operation was first brought to light with James Knotts capture of a big CREX lessor about to head back to Yagar after serving Vale. Even before this you had cool stuff like CP switching Vale as captured by Michael Klauck .

After spending a day in Niagara seeing what was going on, we watched 562 leave Port Robbinson with two chlorine cars on the tail end. After dropping everything but those two cars in Southern Yard, the crew called up the RTC for a “clearance to pass stop at Yagar”, the smoking gun for a Humberstone run. In this shot, CN 2200 and 8001 rolls around what used to be the west leg of the Yagar wye, onto the original Cayuga sub (Air Line) right of way, as I believe. On this particular day, 562 with 8000+ horsepower up front and about 263 tonnes on the drawbar has this one well in hand unless I missed a 20% ruling grade somewhere on the Humberstone.

Photographer:
Mark MacCauley [104] (more) (contact)
Date: 02/21/2020 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN 2200 (search)
Train Symbol: 562 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: CN Yagar (search)
City/Town: Port Colburne (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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Photo ID: 39554

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

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13 Comments
  1. Good looking photo Mark. I like it when the lead loco has a first in the series number.

  2. Hi Mark, the CTC was part of the Welland Canal – City of Welland Bypass, it was all laid out in the late 60′s, and by 1973 the ships bypassed the center of Welland which forever changed the Welland Railway landscape. At that time Port Colborne still had a Blast Furnace, Cement Plant, and INCO had ~2500 employees, so there was a lot of freight including a lot of Coal being moved. BRUCE MERCER captured it best with the TH&B heading for the Humberstone Sub in this classic 1973 shot..so there likely was justification for CTC when it was laid out, but by the 1980′s it was very overkill http://www.railpictures.ca/upload/looking-for-all-the-world-like-a-p-r-pose-the-original-london-product-has-a-good-jag-of-lasalle-coke-as-the-port-colborne-local-exits-the-east-end-of-the-then-new-welland-tunnel-algoma-steels-c

  3. No worries Michael, I love seeing your shots of the area as well! Surprised to learn it was double tracked for a bit, and CTC. Hardly seems necessary as I always assumed the Humberstone, even in its heyday, was at its best just a connecting line for locals to use! Seems ironic now that its only served by mainline power.

  4. Great short Mark, and I am humbled that you mentioned me in your write up… the former Y at Yager allowed the Connecting Sub to link up with the Stamford for movements that led eventually back through the Welland Canal Tunnel… TH&B was the main user for the Connecting Sub. The Humberstone was Double Track from 2nd Concession to 3rd Concession, and all CTC with the first light just south of Main Street in town..Crazy Power on those moves today

  5. I am with Daniel on this one – I don’t think you will ever find me up there for shots! That said, I am happy you did because the view is quite nice. :)

  6. Thanks for the kind words fellas! Arnold, I was going to ask, if you have any shots of the wye here, I’d love to see them! I’ll bet it was a much more interesting place previously.

    Thanks Daniel! It looks worse then it is, I kinda hung out on the fill the road is on (out of site of the motorists) and hopped up on the bridge last second. If it wasn’t for that tree in the bottom right, wouldn’t have to go up on the bridge at all.

  7. I know! :-D

  8. Its downhill, Jakob.

  9. Such an underpowered train. I can’t believe it made it to Port Colborne.

  10. Mark, you’re a brave man walking up that bridge. A great photo angle is present from both sides of the bridge, but I’d fear for my life trying!

    The majority of horn debris filters out there are blue, though they’re not surprisingly covered in soot. Debris filters are kind of pointless however unless bells are facing towards the exhaust stack. Those filters would be much better suited on that M-2 trailing. Even then, the horns on the M-2′s have held up well against Tier 2 emissions diesel exhaust. If any locomotives need horn debris filters, it’s the SD75I’s. The exhaust on them often descends good horns to wild turkey calling status within a few years.

  11. Great shot! More blue horn covers? ngineered4u?

  12. Delightful shot. And a rare catch.

  13. Awesome shot, Mark. Not enough stars for me for this one.

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