Part Two of our final session is finally on the blog.
The session was a standard gauge experience.
That's my D&H GP38-2 backing some cars onto its train.
Then pulling forward again to run around the train to gain access to some cars from the far end of the consist. Looks like Fred's tractor is about to run me over!
Some beautiful diesels were in evidence on this day. Thanks, Garry, for bringing this one out!
We catch up with Chris and Lela in Craig Leigh. They are bringing 312 into Douglas Yard under the guidance of Brian, the Craig Leigh yardmaster.
Brian already has their final train of the day ready for them.
Chris and Lela depart Craig Leigh cab forward aboard Train 319.
Mr. Scobie...what'cha up to?
Oh yes, dispatching the line!
Henk oversees the big yard at Nelson.
With Mark across the way from him.
And George beside him.
Garry and Moe have Train 304 down in Peter's Pond.
They have run around their train.
And are about to combine the two ends of the consist.
Pushing on the tail end.
Through the crossing.
The good-looking crew.
Up in Firgrove, Doug trails beside our train, 328.
Downgrade at "The Ledges."
A handsome consist to boot.
We arrive Bell near the interchange where we meet Neil and Lawrence from the RP&M.
They are working the interchange tracks.
My nicely weathered CN RS-3.
Doug snaps a shot of me.
Then he tells me he'd better take another one and get "me whole head!"
We take Track Two, essentially the track known as Stuart Yard.
We run around our train to work Brunt's.
Then it's "back to the front" so to speak.
In the distance, we spot Pat with the ore train in Ironwood.
We've held the main at Watkins but are now granted permission to head into Peter's Pond.
We pass the pickup trucks.
Through "The Corners."
Among the needle-like straw.
Where we will shortly meet Train 304.
Aha! That's better. 328 and 304, together in Peter's Pond.
A drone shot of the two trains.
Leaving Doug and me in "The Pond."
Seanna and Steve must hold at Mercer Siding to the east while they wait for us to finish up our work.
Doug maps out our moves up in Cedar Rock.
Looks like we have a setout at one of the trailing industries.
We share the "aisle" with Lela and Chris.
Who are occupied working in Spruce.
In the meantime, Garry and Moe had met Steve and Seanna at Mercer.
As they awaited clearance into Nelson Yard.
Garry and Moe may wait for a while.
The yard is busy.
Pat relaxes while George works the west end of the yard.
While up in Bell we find another RP&M train.
It's Steve and Mark.
They are drilling the interchange tracks.
With engineer Mark at the throttle.
Ah...the glory of the sun!
As the clouds clear for the sun, perhaps Nelson Yard will clear for Train 304.
Steve's Train 313 is finally cleared into Peter's Pond while 304 continues to hold at Mercer.
313 meets 328.
With 313 safely in on the station track, 328 departs for Glenn Hammond via Mercer Siding.
Steve and Seanna up in Cedar Rock.
Discussing and determining their moves.
Like a good couple should!
328 finds daylight at the pedestrian crossing.
They come upon 304, still waiting for clearance into Nelson Yard.
Two CN brethren locomotives.
328 passes 304.
They've been granted their green.
To proceed through the shared trackage.
At the junction of the two railroads.
They approach their terminating point at Glenn Hammond.
Where Lawrence and Neil are spotted.
As they work their RP&M train.
With 319 terminating in the Glenn as well, it would appear that most trains are completing their runs at about the same time.
Spoke too soon. Henk uncouples Garry's locomotive from his consist of his arriving train, 304. He and Moe will head out of the yard shortly aboard Train 314.
While up in Bell, the RP&M crew must turn its locomotive.
And ready itself...
...for its run back to the big yard.
A lovely sight Steve's ONR locomotive makes.
Steve and Mark arrive Rat Portage.
Along the main line.
They run around their train.
Cars spotted at Hamer's industry.
The locomotive will have some yard work to conduct down in "Rat."
314's locomotive will be guided onto its' consist and head out on its' final run of the day.
Garry and Moe with 314 in Spruce.
Love the loco Garry!
Moe checks on the train's progress...
...while Garry checks on Moe.
Steve and Seanna have almost completed their work in Cedar Rock.
Then they are westbound up to Bell.
As they run through Watkins.
While Neil and Lawrence return from their RP&M run.
Their RP&M train gains clearance through the junction.
On the common tracks.
Then into Nelson Yard.
The transfer caboose tells us we are approaching the end of the session...and of the season. In fact, this was the final RP&M train of the season.
But Mark has other intentions.
Ruby has some friends to pull.
A nice looking passenger consist.
Mark gets her steamed up.
Looks beautiful Mark.
Alas, he must hold in Firgrove.
As Seanna and Steve ascend the grade.
With the final official run of the season.
Train 313 approaches Firgrove.
Where the two crews wave to each other.
Indeed, the new meets the old.
Paul lines up the route for the terminating train.
With the last IPP&W run of the season complete, Mark has a blank canvas for Ruby!
Descending the grade.
Rounding the bend into Bell.
Station stop at Bell.
Through Watkins Siding.
And Peter's Pond.
Traversing the junction.
Stepping out onto the trestle.
Up to Mount St. Helens.
Upgrade to Craig Leigh.
Our last luncheon of the season.
Lawrence looks out over the empty landscape.
Reminds me of Farley Mowat's "Into the Barrens."
With a great crew.
Near the pond.
Around the table.
Smiles all around.
Time to head out.
It remains a glorious season.
Love the colours.
Fred waves good-bye to another successful season of train operations on the Ironwood, Peter's Pond and Western and Rat Portage and Mattawa.
On behalf of the entire crew, thanks Fred! We'll see everyone next year!
Mike Hamer, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada