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Canadian Railroads > Whatever happened to "MOQ'?


Date: 12/07/08 23:49
Whatever happened to "MOQ'?
Author: eminence_grise

"MOQ", short for "Maritimes-Ontario-Quebec" was a strange road-railer which operated briefly over the CN around Montreal in 1993 and 1994.

It consisted of a cab which resembled an LRC cab, a "power cube", and a highway trailer with road-railer style trucks.

It had a very short career on the CN main line from Montreal to Toronto, and then was sent to Quebec City to haul woodchips from Donnacona to St.Felicien.

From there, it vanished into history. Does anyone know how long it operated in northern Quebec, and what was its final fate?.





Date: 12/08/08 20:19
Re: Whatever happened to "MOQ'?
Author: NH2006

Wow, I never ever heard about this, very weird and cool!



Date: 12/08/08 20:34
Re: Whatever happened to "MOQ'?
Author: newtonville150

eminence_grise Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> From there, it vanished into history. Does anyone
> know how long it operated in northern Quebec, and
> what was its final fate?.

I have pictures of it on the Kingston sub, where it
was known by the name "Ecorail". It was usually a
nocturnal operation but it wasn't exactly the most
reliable piece of equipment. It too often ended up being
rescued by more conventional power, which afforded the
opportunity for daytime shots.

I also have some pictures of the equipment at Drummondville,
which was home base. I'll scan a few and add them to
this thread.

For a while after it's demise it was replaced by a
roadrailer train, but that too passed.

...John Reay, Marmora, ON



Date: 12/08/08 21:29
Re: Whatever happened to "MOQ'?
Author: newtonville150

Not the most detailed or high quality image. As you can see the ECO 8003 has died and is being rescued by a GP-9m. This shot (used with permission) shows CN train 283 about to pass under Newtonville Road on the CN Kingston sub. Note two power "cubes". These were supposed to be distributed power, but the system never worked very well. I only saw them actually dispersed throughout the train on a couple of occasions. The highest number of trailers I ever saw was around 20.

...John Reay, Marmora, ON




Date: 12/08/08 21:49
Re: Whatever happened to "MOQ'?
Author: NH2006

newtonville150 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Not the most detailed or high quality image.

Ah, still quite good, thanks!



Date: 12/09/08 06:58
Re: Whatever happened to "MOQ'?
Author: newtonville150

As promised, here are some more pictures of this unique concept.

1-3. General views of the ECO8004 and power "cubes"


I believe that Bourret Transport, a Drummondville based trucking company had a stake in this operation. Many of the trailers wore Bourret logos but carried ECOZ reporting marks.

...John Reay, Marmora, ON








Date: 12/09/08 06:59
Re: Whatever happened to "MOQ'?
Author: newtonville150

4. Some Ecorail trucks. These seem to have traction motors if I'm not mistaken.

Photos courtesy Jim Mumford.





Date: 12/09/08 12:12
Re: Whatever happened to "MOQ'?
Author: newtonville150

Did some research on MOQ/Ecorail and according to my (French language) sources
the technology was initially introduced between Saint-Félicien and Donnacona, between March and August 1994, for transport of 12,000 tons shavings. I seem to remember that before CN's involvement there was political pressure to allow MOQ to operate independently with trackage rights over CN. CN got involved to prevent that from happening.

Apparently the distributed power/control cab system was developed by a truck driver and the trains were known as "convoys". I remember that the Toronto-Montreal service initiated the practice of the eastbound and westbound crews swapping trains wherever they met, even if that meant running through the home terminal.

Subsequently in August 1995, CN changed the name of its subsidiary company MOQ Rail Inc. to Ecorail Inc. and started service in the Drummondville-Toronto corridor. They hoped to reach profitability by 1996. The service did not have the hoped for success, “handicapped” by technology used. Subsequently CN switched to Roadrailer technology, using Mark V trailers. This service also was shortlived.

I don't think the Ecorail equipment ever resurfaced on the Saint-Félicien and Donnacona route. It was probably scrapped.

...John Reay, Marmora, ON



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