The MLW S-12

Passenger train on a wooden trestle

In 1958 CN placed an order for 11 diesel-electric switchers, 1000 horsepower with Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW). At the time, MLW’s 1000 HP offering was the S-12, superseding the S-7. The S-12 had the same 539 “prime mover” diesel engine under the hood, but with a new car body. CN 8235 to 8245 were delivered, … Read more

Dual Service

Many railway customers only have one connection to “the outside world”. This is called a “captive shipper” and it basically means the customer has to deal with one particular railway to ship via rail, like it or not. Obviously the shipper would prefer to have options, and in some cases they have connections to more than one railway.

Book Lessons Learned

Proof copy of "Dances and Daydreams" book

Back in late 2018, I published my first print book, “Passing a Half Century“. This told the story of my railfanning trip through Alberta and British Columbia to celebrate my 50th birthday (in 2017). I published it in electronic form and also in paperback form. I learned some lessons from my first print book, and … Read more

Still a Railfan

Faded rail car with GT in large letters

I’m still a railfan. I’ve had my doubts. From not feeling like going out to see trains, to withdrawing from the online communities and in-person gatherings, I hadn’t felt like a “real” railfan. I haven’t felt the need to be trackside very often. And yet. On an errand for my wife, I still drove out … Read more

Three and Out

Crewman giving the peace sign from a moving locomotive

In mid March, I felt the urge to do a little railfanning before getting some groceries. After a bit of searching, I found an eastbound train on the Sprague subdivision.

Six Miles

I often struggle with a title for “railfan” posts like this. What new clever title can you place on a “I saw these trains” type of post?

MV John Hamilton Gray

The John Hamilton Gray was launched in May 1965 in Sorel, Quebec and delivered to CN in October 1968. She was built to haul rail cars, road vehicles and passengers and usually ran across the Northumberland Strait between Cape Tormentine, NB and Borden, PEI.