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Canadian Railroads > 120 in the Cut

Date: 10/17/21 11:04
120 in the Cut
Author: cn6218

CN train Z120 (Toronto, ON to Halifax, NS) officially terminates in Rockingham Yard, roughly mile 6 of the Bedford Sub.  But in order to yard this 2+ mile long train, the head end has to pull quite a distance past mile 6.  The crew can do this one of two ways, either take the Deepwater Spur towards the Intermodal Terminal at mile 5, and block some busy crossings, or head towards downtown and re-enter the main line, but that requires an OCS clearance.  On October 10, they chose the second option, and got a work clearance from Fairview Jct. to mile 3 of the Bedford Sub.

In the first image here, the power has passed mile 7 on the transfer track, but there is still more than a mile of train hanging out on the main line at Millview (mile 8).

In the second, the train is proceeding east through the cut, and has just re-entered the main line at the mile 4.3 switch, formerly Southwestern Jct., the connection to the Chester Sub (now abandoned).  The red target is not a mistake, the main line actually takes a jog here to the left, but the only train that regularly uses this switch in the normal position is the Ocean.  Permission to leave the switch reversed, and a caution that it may already be reversed, is a standard part of every OCS clearance on this stretch of track.

When the RTC gave 120 its clearance this day he also added an informal note that there was some "police activity" near mile 4.5.  With no level crossings anywhere near, I took this to mean "trespassers in the area", and sure enough, once the train had started to back into the yard, some pedestrians and their shopping carts appeared on both sides of the track, and then in front of the train.  I didn't see any police, so perhaps the CN constabulary had given up by this point and gone off to ticket other miscreants.


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