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Canadian Railroads > Pace Yard Switcher

Date: 07/10/24 04:40
Pace Yard Switcher
Author: cn6218

The switcher power assignments in Halifax seem to have settled down to a routine, at least for a while.  The Ocean Terminals jobs, 521 and 517, get a pair of big 6-axles to handle the long transfers between there and Pace (former Rockingham) Yard, while Pace gets a pair of GP38-2s (spartan cab or W), which can also do the switching at Bedford Quarry which is restricted to 4-axle units.  For years the morning job in Rockingham was train 507, but since that number was given to the Dartmouth-to-Moncton train, it has become 522, with the afternoon job just known as "fourteen hundred", for the time the crew starts their shift. Most of the time they don't need to deal with the RTC, so the lack of a proper number isn't a problem.  If they do need an OCS clearance, the RTC gives them some sort of dummy number..

On April 15, 2024 GP38-2Ws 4789 and 4767 were working the "1400" job, while a Transfennica container ship was leaving the port in the background.  Rumour has it, that when Robert Pace was chairman of the CN Board, his morning commute took him past Rockingham, and if he saw a diesel with faded paint like these, he would be on the phone to somebody at CN to replace them with sharper looking units.  Now that he has retired, the yard has been re-named after him, but we don't get the good looking paint jobs any longer.  It's hard to say for sure, but there is no evidence of the number being changed (from 5500-series) on these two, so I would guess they have been re-painted at least once since 1988.  Both have been on the roster for over 50 years.


Date: 07/10/24 14:55
Re: Pace Yard Switcher
Author: 3rdswitch

Very nice shot. I will be cruising from New York to Halifax in SEPT. Will I be passing under that bridge in the distance?

Date: 07/10/24 17:56
Re: Pace Yard Switcher
Author: cn6218

3rdswitch Wrote:
> Very nice shot. I will be cruising from New York
> to Halifax in SEPT. Will I be passing under that
> bridge in the distance?
> JB

No, cruise ships dock at Piers 20, 21 and 22 for the most part, and those are outside both bridges.  I wouldn't be surprised if some of those ships won't even fit under them.  The air draft is roughly 45 metres, depending on the tide.

The former Halterm, now PSA, container pier is also outside both bridges, so that's where the really big ships go.  The two bridges are known locally as the "new" and "old" bridges.  The Angus L. MacDonald Bridge was built in 1953, and the A. Murray MacKay in 1970.  The photo below was taken near the shortest day of the year, when sunrise lines up with the mouth of the harbour and both bridges.  I was near the Millview interlocking when I took it.


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