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Canadian Railroads > Railfanning tips needed: North of Lake Superior

Date: 03/07/23 12:30
Railfanning tips needed: North of Lake Superior
Author: march_hare

Looks like I will be making a leisurely field trip across Ontario in June, giving me the opportunity to poke around the CP mainline along the shore of Lake Superior. I've done the basic route a couple times in the past (a couple decades past), but have never devoted much effort in shooting the CP. 

This time around, I will have a couple days to explore, complete with a 4WD pickup, camping gear, and nobody to bug me about making more westward progress. 

Can anybody offer some tips on good shooting locations, accessible by vehicle or with a short additional hike?  I seem to remember seeing on a map a provincial campground along the lake, pretty close to the CP main. Now I can't find it. Does such a place actually exist, or is my memory faulty?

And lastly, what kind of train count should I anticipate along the line these days?

Thanks for any input. 

Date: 03/07/23 15:01
Re: Railfanning tips needed: North of Lake Superior
Author: viatrainrider

Suggest Neys Provincial Park.  Right on Lake Superior.  And to the right (west) of the park the CP main is very visible.  Trains come around a corner from the west then slowly go downgrade to a bridge crossing a river - forget the name.  The reverse is true for westbounds.

So one morning I was cooking the bacon outside the RV.  Here came an eastbound.  I ran to the beach to view.  Next thing I knew I turned around and my bacon was burned going up in smoke!!

Large campground.  Try to get a lake site right near the beach for best train viewing.  If so, you can view trains right from your campsite.  And if you hurry, you can get shots of trains on the bridge.

Wish the CP business train had come along but no such luck!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/23 15:06 by viatrainrider.

Date: 03/08/23 09:40
Re: Railfanning tips needed: North of Lake Superior
Author: TCnR

There is a series of photos on Railpictures dot net that include the area, perhaps a little closer to Nipigon but the same general idea. It appears to be an interesting area for CP running along the shoreline with rock outcrop backgrounds. That area may be in the Nicholas Morant book as well, I'd have to check on that. Anyways there is some info around, enough that I've been trying to work a trip in as well.

+ here's an example that I had a bookmark for, looks like Heron Bay, maybe not Nipigon:


Use that link and then click 'more' at the location of 'Neys'.
Good call on Neys.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/23 09:47 by TCnR.

Date: 03/08/23 16:22
Re: Railfanning tips needed: North of Lake Superior
Author: mcfflyer

Hey Gardiner!

Back in the late 1980s, I took my old RV up to the north shore of Lake Superior and we ended up camping at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park that is about and hour west of Neys on the other side of Schreiber and Terrace Bay.  At the time, I believe that Schreiber was a division point.  Rainbow Falls was a great park, and the CPR ran across the edge of it, but maybe a half mile away from the campground, too far away to catch a train passing, especially being in a motorhome.  Good luck on your trip!

Lee Hower - Sacramento

Date: 03/08/23 22:14
Re: Railfanning tips needed: North of Lake Superior
Author: gobbl3gook

A couple ideas -- 

If you have an iPhone or iPad, get the PocketEarth app.  It uses OpenStreetMap data.  You can download the entire province of Ontario, and then have access to the maps when you are offline.  Download contours, too.  
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=15/48.8370/-87.4347 -- this, saved to your phone.  

You can search for "nearby...  lodging ... campsites" and provincial campgrounds will pop up.  As well as other places users have listed as being suitable for camping.  It is also good at showing which roads may be private, not open to the public.  

For planning your trip, you can access Canadian topo maps here 

Or, a synthesized topo map from OpenStreetMap here... 

And if you want the big picture on where the rail lines go, use openrailwaymap.  

Here are all five maps for Neys Provincial Park

BTW, I've never looked at the CP line along Lake Superior on a map before.  It sure is crooked! 

And CN to the north had a crooked line west from Toronto, and a straight line from Halifax/Montreal.  And it abandoned the straight one... 

Looking forward to a report, 

Ted in OR

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/23 22:21 by gobbl3gook.

Date: 03/09/23 11:27
Re: Railfanning tips needed: North of Lake Superior
Author: wyeth

I too am curious of the train count along there; my extremely un-educated guess was two intermodal trains in each direction, and one manifest each direction???

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