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Canadian Railroads > MLW Monday - Homecoming Edition

Date: 03/29/21 06:12
MLW Monday - Homecoming Edition
Author: cn6218

A Trains Magazine article 20 or more years ago observed that the largest concentration of Alcos in the US seemed to be in New York State, where they were built until the late '60s.  Perhaps the same can be said for MLWs in Quebec, with half a dozen surviving on the Chemin de Fer de Gaspasie, and now a growing collection on the Sartigan, which operates some former Quebec Central trackage south of Charny.

I had received some information that they would be running last Monday, and was lucky enough to get some very fine spring weather to "chase" the train.  They started the day in Scott, which seems to be the end of operable track, and is the location of their small shop.  I didn't follow the northbound trip, but was there when the train, led by former BC Rail M-420W 644 (now renumbered 2044) crossed Rue Pierre-Beaumont on the way into Joffre Yard.  A little more than an hour later, they were ready to go south, with 2044 still leading, RS-18u 1828 behind and about 14 loaded cars.  In the first image they are climbing a rather steep grade away from the yard and heading south.

Along with the covered hoppers of grain, they had a load of lumber and two gondolas of steel.  The gons were dropped somewhere, possibly Breakeyville, before they spotted some grain loads at Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon about an hour later.  

There is another big feed mill and a wye at Scott Jct., where the rest of the hoppers were left.  This mill also has its own RS-18 for switching, although the gate was closed and I couldn't get close enough for a picture.  In the process of switching there, the crew ran the RS-18u and M-240W around the wye, so the 2044 was pointing north again.  In the second image, they are heading back on the main line towards the feed mill, the south leg of the wye is behind them.

There was more power at the shop a mile farther south at Scott.  RS-23 8033, which I last saw in Saint John, NB as CP 8033 was there, and coupled to 2047, another ex-BC Rail M-420W (647), which was having some work done to it under the long hood.  8033 worked for a number of industries in Miramichi , NB before coming back to Quebec.  A little bit farther south were two more BC Rail M-420Ws on the out of service track, apparently used as parts sources.  The M-420Ws previously were owned by Ontario Southland, but with the loss of the contract to operate the Guelph Junction Rwy. they became surplus and were sold to the Sartigan last year.

When the 1828 and 2044 returned to Scott a crew was busy in the yard, unloading structural steel from NS gons, and the loaded centrebeam of lumber was added to another one already there, so it appears that the shortline has a reasonably diverse traffic base for the time being.  Although they only had 14 cars out of Joffre last Monday, I'm told there have been some very large trains that required three of their own units and a pusher from CN to get up the hill and out of the yard.



Date: 03/29/21 08:11
Re: MLW Monday - Homecoming Edition
Author: FiveChime

Great posting!  Those old BC Rail units have served well.

Regards, Jim Evans

Date: 03/29/21 13:44
Re: MLW Monday - Homecoming Edition
Author: feclark

Nice series and selection. An RS-23 with a short stack (I remember your CAR shots). The renumbering of the M-420(W) into 2000-series makes sense (along with the RS-18u) as a horsepower-based system. But then the 8033 should be the 1033. Oh, well.

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