Saturday, December 21, 2013

Today'sTrain of Thought- Joyeux Noël, December 21st, 2013

Today's Train of Thought takes us north of the border to one of the Genesee & Wyoming's first Canadian ventures- more than 280 miles of disconnected former Canadian Pacific trackage through Central Quebec. By 1997, the Canadian Pacific had moved its headquarters from Montreal to Calgary and began divesting themselves of most of their trackage east of Montreal. The majority of the former CP lines between Montreal and Nova Scotia went to shortlines and regionals such as the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, Quebec Central, Windsor and Hantsport or New Brunswick Southern.

North of the St Lawrence River, the former CP line between Laval and Quebec City (via Trois-Rivières) was purchased by the Genesee and Wyoming along with another disconnected stretch former CP lines between the Ottawa area and the northern Montreal suburb of Saint Jerome. Traffic on the QGRY includes lumber and forestry products, auto parts, propane and chemicals and power is typically painted in the orange and black colors of the GWR family. Initially power for the line was a motley assortment of hand-me-down MLW C424s from Canadian Pacific, former CN wide-cab GP40-2LWs, burly orange and black SD45s from other Genesee & Wyoming lines and SW1500 switchers.

Here, contributor Ken Goslett caught rebuilt QGRY GP39-2 #2302 charging westbound with a local frieght through a snowy Lachute, Quebec around sunset in January 2013. The freight is destined for a suburb of Ottawa on the Quebec side of the river. Interestingly, the #2302 is a fairly new arrival to the QGRY- it started out life as a GP40 for the Chesapeake & Ohio before being rebuilt in 1992 after it was sold the new Virginia Rail Express commuter agency based out of Washington DC and northern Virginia. By late 2012, it had rejoined a couple of other VRE GP39-2us and was sold to the QGRY.

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