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Switching Action in Twin Elm

2nd April 2017

(This is primarily a picture post documenting my recent catch)

While driving down Hunt Club to pick up some groceries, I was going over VIA Smiths Falls Sub, and as usual I took a look down the tracks to see if anything was there.  I saw some white lights far off to the east, that didn’t look to be in a familiar pattern.  I pulled off and ducked into a office park to catch a view of it as it travelled by. This train wasn’t a VIA but was in fact the elusive CN 589 on the Smiths Falls Sub.  Needless to say, once I got a glimpse of it, the chase was on.

It stopped at Fallowfield station for about 5 minutes (for no reason I could figure out other than giving me enough time to catch up to it).  As usual, I stood on the South side of Woodroofe and photographed it as it went across.  I choose this location because it had the sun at my back (to light up the subject).

The train had two engines and no cars.  Based on that, I suspected that it would head out to Twin Elm rather than Kott (since it usually takes cars out to Kott when it picks cars up).

Sure enough, it was at Twin Elm sitting on the mainline waiting on the switch.  589 pulled in, and picked up three cars. I tried many angles, but always ended up with a fence in the frame.

Once the train had the cars, it headed back east over the Jock River (at Kott lumber) on its way to the Walkey Yard.

It has been 16 months since I’ve seen 589 on the Smiths Falls Sub and 14 months since I’ve seen it on the Renfrew Sub (with the exception of one time at lunch caught it at March road recently).  Although, it has not been for a lack of trying.  I’ve probably went out looking for it once month on either Wednesdays or Thursdays, but was skunked each time.  I really wish I knew the schedule for it.

Running Extra

This time of year, what a difference a day makes.  I took a shot the day before at the exact same location, but it was covered in snow.


  • Steve Boyko
    Posted at 10:11 pm 2017-04-02
    Steve Boyko
    Reply Author

    Congratulations on your catch! I don’t mind the fences in the photos… the leading lines in the third one are great. But that bridge shot! Fantastic!

    • Anonymous
      Posted at 9:41 pm 2017-04-03
      Reply Author

      Hi Steve,

      Yes you are definitely correct that fences can make some good leading lines, but many times I feel they just add clutter. Typically I’ll try to crop them out if possible (leaving the image ratio reasonable), but most times I just have to keep’em there.


  • _Don
    Posted at 9:17 am 2017-04-03
    Reply Author

    Nice catch. My house is just across the street from that line near Jockvale Road. I heard it coming back. Of course, I know the VIA schedule well from my location, and the sound of a train was in between the scheduled times. Sure enough, I looked out my bedroom window to see the two CN locomotives pass by with the covered hoppers. It’s so rare to see two locomotives!

    • Anonymous
      Posted at 9:44 pm 2017-04-03
      Reply Author

      Hi Don,

      Sounds like you’ve got a front row seat!

      You are correct that it is typically only a single engine. Most times I’ve seen 589 out, it has been with a single engine.

      BTW, have you seen much MoW equipment go down that section of track?