Last Friday

A day away in Moncton, last Friday, offered a few chances to spend some time trackside and I thought I’d share photos from the day. So, without further ado, and in no real order, here’s what I saw.


It was cold and overcast. Naturally, great conditions to photograph VIA Rail in. This is the evening train from Halifax to Montreal, arriving in Moncton, on time, around 4:20. We arrived just in time. Snow banks bordered the fence line behind the former Highland Square mall and I climbed to the top to get this photo. Not pictured here is any photographic evidence covering my amazing barrel-roll fall and slide combination as I got back down again. And they say us nerds are neither coordinated nor athletic!

Despite my gymnastics I did get ’round to the opposite end of the station to photograph things there. I’ve always thought it was neat how VIA uses small yard tractors to tow baggage wagons around and in fine local tradition, the three F40’s leading our train are being refueled trackside by a local fuel dealer – fresh from the truck, eh?!

Moncton’s Gordon Yard was reasonably full. A string of corn syrup tank cars were being warmed and unloaded at CN’s Transflo transload terminal and there were container flat cars seemingly everywhere. At the opposite end the local crew were breaking up a cut of cars and in amongst them some sharp covered hoppers. In the late 90’s I built almost three dozen HO scale models of these cylindrical covered hoppers from Intermountain kits. It feels like a very long time since I’ve seen one in the Canada red and black colours so it was neat to see this one in the cut. Also, a rather neat Grand Trunk hopper.


Of course, I wouldn’t be able to visit Moncton and feel like any time trackside was even worth bothering with, without a visit to reconnect with the industries along Beaverbrook and Barker Streets.

No cars at the Co-op mill. Irving Propane had both unloading spots filled and three more cars placed on their spur. On to the Holcim cement transload facility at the end of Barker Street. Despite being quite a humble property, it is usually packed with cars spread across their two sidings. Pictured above is this weathered hopper modified for, I guess, storage of cement that can’t be held in silos and not quite needed in a truck.


A quick pan back toward their facility for another grab shot of the facility from the end of track.

Car-by-car I thought I’d photograph those staged streetside. I love these little cement hoppers and there was an interesting mix of car types and conditions.

A photo of the opposite side of the Holcim facility and the cut of cars stored on the unloading track. They use a Trackmobile to move cars around their property but I’ve never seen it. (Though my friend Ed shares my fascination with these subjects and has been able to see most times he visits. Lucky guy!)


I didn’t take this photo thinking it would be handy to bookend a blog post and didn’t intentionally save it for last but it’s kind of cute that it worked out that way anyway. This sign guards the crossing into the Holcim property at the opposite end. I like the Stop sign taped to the old crossing post. The homemade Railway Crossing sign is pretty neat too.

Categories: How I think

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2 replies

  1. The blue and green VIA passenger cars look like the ones that were built for european ‘NightStar’ services through the channel tunnel to France. I didn’t think VIA would sti be using them!

    • They are indeed those cars – or at least built from those shells for use by VIA. So far, I’ve not had a chance to ride in them though they look fairly comfortable – from the outside.


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