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Canadian Railroads > MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2


Date: 06/10/19 10:06
MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: cn6218

If the SFG local was the warmup act, the westbound windmill blade train on May 31st was the main event.  SFG seems to have taken over the former VIA station in New Richmond as their headquarters, after using a somewhat dillapidated CN building in the earlier years.  New Richmond is also the eastern end of operable track, although work is progressing on making it passable for heavy cars all the way to Port-Daniel, where the cement plant is loacted.

After what seemed like a long period of inactivity, and crew fnally climbed on board, released the brakes, and the train started to move forward almost silently (except for an annoying squeak) at about 16:30.  Another employee flagged traffic, so they didn't even blow for the crossing, which is just out of frame to the left in the video.

The river crossing at St-Jules-de-Cascapédia is the bottleneck in the present system.  Two ancient steel deck truss bridges with wood pile approaches span the Cascapédia River, and although they can handle the windmill blade trains (at 5 mph), fully loaded cement hoppers are prohibited.  Before the highway bridges on the left were built some time in the 1990s, the road traffic used a single lane on the bottom deck of the truss spans, the second of which, 1819 is just about to cross.  In the second image, even with the power safely on the west side, the train will keep crawling until the roughly mile long train has finished crossing the river.  Land has already been cleared on the far side of the railway for the new bridge(s), but there are no signs of construction yet.

GTD



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Date: 06/10/19 10:29
Re: MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: cn6218

Although cement is transloded at New Richmond, the cement hoppers can't be filled to capacity (these all seem to be leased 286K cars), so they are topped off (and I suspect some are filled completely) at a new facility just east of Nouvelle.  There were quite a few cars in the process of being loaded there, and a Trackmobile to shuffle them around.  The windmill blade train rolled past at 18:23 without stopping.

A few miles farther west the 3 RS-18-3bs and train are crossing the Nouvelle River, just before the big lumber mill at Nouvelle-Ouest.

The final shot of the day was at Oak Bay, one of the few level crossings on Rt. 132, about 19:10 EDT.  From here until Matapédia, the track was in the shadow of the hills, with very limited photo opportunities.  At daybreak the next morning (we were following the Ocean back to Halifax) the train was still sitting on the SFG main line at Matapédia, so it doesn't appear that CN was in a big hurry to pick it up.

GTD








Date: 06/10/19 13:17
Re: MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: robj

Thanks for updates, I was there in Feb 01?, Have ot look, one of the last runs for the copper at Gaspe.  Crews were very friendly but wondered if line could survive, glad to  see they are doing well.  The NBEC was MLW then too, surprised they have stayed with them.

Bob Jordan



Date: 06/10/19 13:44
Re: MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: refarkas

Excellent photos and coverage.
Thanks for sharing these.
Bob



Date: 06/10/19 13:48
Re: MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: TCnR

Great chase, interesting details about the bridge and the traffic.

Any photos of the bridge, I'm curious what the bridge looks like, seems like it would be an older design and perhaps very unique. Or maybe in such bad shape we shouldn't publish it?
t4p.



Date: 06/10/19 17:33
Re: MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: cn6218

TCnR Wrote:
>
> Any photos of the bridge, I'm curious what the
> bridge looks like, seems like it would be an older
> design and perhaps very unique. Or maybe in such
> bad shape we shouldn't publish it?
> t4p.

Well, it's not unique, because there are two identical spans.  I'll leave it others to determine how unusual it is.  This line was constructed about 100 years ago, and I suspect most of the bridges are original.  Many are steel, although there are a few all wood structures too.

This photo is of the eastern crossing, although the western span appears to be the same.  The road surface was at the bottom of the bowed vertical members.  I've seen pictures of vehicles exiting the bridge in 1989, and I think the ramps to the existing structure were made of wood then.  The road surface (also probably wood) is now gone, but a walkway has been added to facilitate workers moving back and forth for the new bridge construction.  There was/is a similar bridge crossing the Connecticut River at Wells River, VT., with rails on top and road below, although I don't remember the bowed members seen here.

GTD




Date: 06/10/19 19:43
Re: MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: gaspeamtrak

Just wondering if they are going to fix if my memory serves me correctly there is a "big "wooden trestle as you leave Perce heading to Gaspe and there is another one just before "Douglastown" heading to Gaspe.
Possibly the "Sandybeach" steel bridge may need rebuilding...
Have heard any rumours???



Date: 06/11/19 10:15
Re: MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: cn6218

The only substantial wooden trestle that I can think of is one just east of Caplan.  There are a few short/low ones over roads or streams, but most of the bridges on the line are steel.  Much of the problems with those bridges are the footings eroding where there is wave action from the ocean.  The big trestle east of Percé station is steel, as is the curved one in the woods (visible from the road, about a mile away) near Douglastown.

Here is l'Amiral crossing the Caplan trestle.

GTD



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/19 14:26 by cn6218.




Date: 06/11/19 14:49
Re: MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: feclark

Marvelous series, Geoff! I especially like the composition of your last photo of the blade train, with the crossing gates and lights and such. Wonderful!
Fred



Date: 06/11/19 15:17
Re: MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: TCnR

Great documentation, interesting bridge for many reasons.
t4p.



Date: 06/12/19 04:40
Re: MLWs Still Working in 2019 - Pt. 2
Author: ns1000

Very nice..!!



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