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"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" a misquote attributed to Mark Twain seem appropriate in the case of the Cayuga Subdivision. We were all aghast at OSR abandoning the Cayuga spur and most called it the Last train - surely if OSR can't make a go of it, no one can.
Well, like Lazarus who was raised from the dead, the Cayuga Subdivision lives on as seen in this picture, and the last train was quickly proved wrong. GIO Rail led by Gerry Gionet has returned the line to service, while they began operating two days a week and in some cases three, they've currently settled on a 'once a week, when cars arrive' schedule as traffic remains quite light. This was the only move this week with only two revenue cars inbound for Future Transfer in Tillsonburg. Compare the above shot to my photo of Trillium's St. Thomas and Eastern in the exact same spot 9.5 years ago. I would do this shot under OSR, Twice. GIO Rail purchased Trillium in 2018 and basically, this is essentially the return of Trillium under new management and of course with a new name and branding in this the new GIO paint scheme.

For those who keep track, things on the Cayuga are basically the same. Their current customers are Future Transfer, Townsend Lumber, and IGPC Ethanol in Aylmer. The Fertilizer place in Courtland is now gone and removed. Townsend was good for about a car or two a month, IGPC about the same (despite all their track which came as a kit when the plant was built, they used very little rail service). Future Transfer is a transload and a lot of their traffic which the Trillium Railway's St. Thomas and Eastern had also ran is actually for Safety Kleen a used oil refinery in Breslau Ontario. When the STER closed much of their business moved to Guelph (PDI Liquids) but it would seem they have moved some of it back.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Stephen C. Host all rights reserved.



Caption: "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" a misquote attributed to Mark Twain seem appropriate in the case of the Cayuga Subdivision. After Trillium's STER gave up on the line in December 2013, OSR slowly took over. We were all aghast at OSR abandoning the Cayuga spur and most called it the Last train - surely if OSR can't make a go of it, no one can.

Well, like Lazarus who was raised from the dead, the Cayuga Subdivision lives on as seen in this picture, and the last train was quickly proved wrong. GIO Rail led by Gerry Gionet has returned the line to service, while they began operating two days a week and in some cases three, they've currently settled on a 'once a week, when cars arrive' schedule as traffic remains quite light. This was the only move this week with only two revenue cars inbound for Future Transfer in Tillsonburg. Compare the above shot to my photo of Trillium's St. Thomas and Eastern in the exact same spot 9.5 years ago. I would do this shot under OSR, Twice. GIO Rail purchased Trillium in 2018 and basically, this is essentially the return of Trillium under new management and of course with a new name and branding in this the new GIO paint scheme.

For those who keep track, things on the Cayuga are basically the same. Their current customers are Future Transfer in Tillsonburg , Townsend Lumber, in Norfolk County a mile east of Tillsoburg, and IGPC Ethanol in Aylmer. The Fertilizer place in Courtland is now gone and removed so by all accounts that one won't return as it was. Townsend was good for about a car or two a month, IGPC about the same (despite all their track which came as a kit when the plant was built, they used very little rail service). Future Transfer is a transload and a lot of their traffic which the Trillium Railway's St. Thomas and Eastern had also ran is actually for Safety Kleen a used oil refinery in Breslau Ontario. When the STER closed much of their business moved to Guelph (PDI Liquids) but it would seem they have moved some of it back. Future Transfer transloads for other companies too, including Adient Seating (was OSR) and has locations on both the CN (GIO) and CP (OSR) sides of town. A story that continues to develop..

Photographer:
Stephen C. Host [1350] (more) (contact)
Date: 7/7/2022 (search)
Railway: GIO Rail (search)
Reporting Marks: LDSX 1597 (search)
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: Aylmer, CNR Cayuga Spur (search)
City/Town: Aylmer (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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Photo ID: 47961

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

Full size | Suncalc
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8 Comments
  1. One glaring difference between STER, OSR and current operations is so far,no storage cars online.

  2. I have a soft spot for this underdog of a branchline. Thanks for posting this Steve.

  3. More to come :)

  4. What is the track speed for this line?

  5. This track is all rule 105 territory, 15 MPH.

  6. About that…….. Rule 105 doesn’t mean 15 MPH – some railways (CPR for example) will explicitly restrict rule 105 to 15 MPH

    However, not all railways have this rule. They can go faster.

    The Cayuga spur between Aylmer and Tillsonburg is arrow straight, welded rail in parts, and has only a few crossings and they can absolutely go faster.. of course they have to slow for crossings.. but there are long stretches of nothing that can allow going much beyond 15 MPH – and they do.

    https://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/recommandations-recommendations/rail/1995/rec-r9502.html

    “Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR) Rule 105 governs train speed as a function of range of vision and stopping capability. To be in compliance with CROR Rule 105, crew members must assess the changing variables upon which range of vision and stopping capability depend. “

  7. From the latest update of CROR –> https://tc.canada.ca/en/rail-transportation/rules/2022-2023/canadian-rail-operating-rules/switches

    105. Operation on Non-Main Track
    Special instructions will indicate when this rule is not applicable on a specific track.

    Unless otherwise provided by signal indication, a movement using non-main track must operate at REDUCED speed and be prepared to stop short of the end of track or the red signal prescribed by Rule 41.

    (a) In CTC , movements may only enter a siding by signal indication or with permission from the RTC .

    (b) Unless otherwise provided by signal indication or special instructions, movements operating on non-main tracks must not exceed fifteen (15) MPH .

    (c) In addition to moving at REDUCED speed, a movement using a non-signalled siding or using other non-main tracks so designated in special instructions, must operate at a speed that will allow it to stop within one-half the range of vision of a track unit.

    and from the CN Great Lakes Region Time Table dated 1996, 2 years prior to CN leaving operations up to Trillium initially. Will have to dig up a later time table but I don’t think much will have changed.

    Rule 105 Special Instruction (1) Applicable

    SPEEDS
    Mile MPH
    81.0 to 95.0 – 15
    83.1 Bridge – 10
    94.6 Bridge – 10
    95.0 to 108.0 – 20
    104.8 Bridge – 20
    108.0 to 119.0 – 20
    113.0 Bridge – 20

    Sure it maybe arrow straight and welded rail in sections, along with being safety tied almost 10 years ago before the whole lease saga, but rules are rules and I’m sure Transport Canada isn’t that flexible.

  8. Guess it depends on the special instructions. We don’t have a copy of GIO’s instructionx so we won’t know the speeds allowed, they along with osr did exceed 15 mph based on anecdotal evidence.

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