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Having grown up in Norfolk County, it always bothered me that I didn't have a shot of a train on home soil. Even in the way of memories of trains in Norfolk, I have very few: I remember a CN wayfreight going through town on the Cayuga Sub in Simcoe as a kid, I remember hearing them blowing for a crossing in Nixon once when we were visiting family friends (and me being sad that I was missing a train), I remember seeing lights way in the distance on the CASO once when passing over top on highway 24 (I was always sure to quickly look both ways as we passed over) in what was likely during the era when CSX was running trains from Detroit to Buffalo, and I remember seeing the St. Thomas and Eastern coming through town a number of times when I spent a couple summers working in Delhi. But unfortunately, I did not have a shot  to capture any of these memories. 

All that changed today when I caught OSR in Courtland. It was a mostly overcast day, however the clouds were kind enough to part ever so slightly for a brief moment to shine some light on the train for a couple of shots as they lifted a few empties and dropped a couple of loads. Interestingly, there is a new owner of the facility in Courtland and rail service seems to have picked up. For now, they are slowly working their way through 40 carloads being shuttled back and forth from the interchange in St. Thomas and further to London. I would be guessing if I said this carries long-term promise, but one can always hope.
Copyright Notice: This image ©James Knott all rights reserved.



Caption: Having grown up in Norfolk County, it always bothered me that I didn't have a shot of a train on home soil. Even in the way of memories of trains in Norfolk, I have very few: I remember a CN wayfreight going through town on the Cayuga Sub in Simcoe as a kid, I remember hearing them blowing for a crossing in Nixon once when we were visiting family friends (and me being sad that I was missing a train), I remember seeing lights way in the distance on the CASO once when passing over top on highway 24 (I was always sure to quickly look both ways as we passed over) in what was likely during the era when CSX was running trains from Detroit to Buffalo, and I remember seeing the St. Thomas and Eastern coming through town a number of times when I spent a couple summers working in Delhi. But unfortunately, I did not have a shot to capture any of these memories. All that changed today when I caught OSR in Courtland. It was a mostly overcast day, however the clouds were kind enough to part ever so slightly for a brief moment to shine some light on the train for a couple of shots as they lifted a few empties and dropped a couple of loads. Interestingly, there is a new owner of the facility in Courtland and rail service seems to have picked up. For now, they are slowly working their way through 40 carloads being shuttled back and forth from the interchange in St. Thomas and further to London. I would be guessing if I said this carries long-term promise, but one can always hope.

Photographer:
James Knott [155] (more) (contact)
Date: 01/10/2019 (search)
Railway: Ontario Southland (search)
Reporting Marks: OSR 1210 (search)
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: Cayuga Spur (search)
City/Town: Courtland (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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11 Comments
  1. Very nice James. I caught OSR running with these two units and the two OSR F units on one train back in November on a dark, cloudy day.

  2. @Keith, I quite liked how they were both nose forward here in Courtland for this shot to be honest, so I am in favour of them staying like they are. :) Not too sure about the bakery, didn’t even think to look over there when we were in town. I was a little preoccupied I suppose!

    @Bruce, yeah I am guessing things are a little worse for wear there. That’s something I don’t know all that much about but yes looking at the picture I can definitely see that sag you mentioned. They did have tanks stored east of Courtland right on the Cayuga for some time, but those appear to be gone now. Yesterday they lifted tanks out of storage on the siding near Bayham Drive (behind Siemens) in Tillsonburg and then more near the ethanol plant in Aylmer. Lifted 15 tanks in total out of storage on their way back to St. Thomas. Train was 21 cars long heading west out of Aylmer (15 stored tanks, 1 loaded tank lifted from the ethanol plant on the way to Courtland, 2 empty tanks lifted from future on the way the Courtland, and 3 empty hoppers from Courtland).

  3. Thanks James.
    Looks like they could use some ties/ ballast, judging by the sag under the lead axle.
    Correct if I’m wrong but weren’t there stored tanks west of the village 3 months ago ?

  4. Fabulous! Classic shortline action. Thinking OSR show run the SW1200RS’s back to back. Do you know if someone bought the Courtland Bakery. I believe it was for sale the last time I was there.

  5. @Jakob, great to hear such a similar experience with the CASO. I’d have loved to see trains flying by tobacco fields in Norfolk at track speed. What a shot that would’ve made.

    @Jason, thank you! By the time I got into shooting the runs to Courtland seemed like they had tapered off quite a bit (or were pretty much non-existent for a while) so it is great to see the uptick in traffic for now. There are some questions as to what’s next after they’re through these 40 cars, but time will tell. It certainly is a time consuming and onerous operation in getting there. Salford-Ingersoll-St. Thomas-Courtland and back. They did make stops in both Aylmer and Tillsonburg on the way there (serving customers in each town) and the way back (lifting tanks out of storage in each town).

  6. Nice caption and photo James. Glad you were able to finally get it.

  7. You mentioned quickly looking both ways when crossing over the CASO – I used to do the same thing. For me, this was usually on Haldimand regional 56/32 (I thought the whole thing was 56 but Google is showing me 32 south of Hwy 3). The Cayuga sub is/was immediately parallel there, and the crossing had wigwags.

    I remember seeing distant lights fairly frequently. Only once did my parents oblige and stop and wait for the train – it was dark, so I mostly just remember lights and rumbling, but I did get to learn how the wigwags worked. Like you I now assume this was CSX.

  8. Ran on Friday last week and went Monday this week as well

  9. Good. I’m told it’s every Thursday.

  10. Well I took from what you said that for something like this I need to make my own luck, so I did just that. Got the word they were going there a couple days ago and took today off with some lieu time and the rest is history. All came together quite quickly. I’m pretty pleased I finally made it happen. :)

  11. That didn’t take you long James. :)

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