Detective Work

I love doing “railway detective work”. People will ask me what route an ancestor may have taken when they came to Canada, so I dig into my timetable collection and investigate. Sometimes I will acquire a photograph and try to figure out where it was taken.

I bought this photograph of three CN MLW RSC-14 locomotives, because I like that type of locomotive. There are only two left in Canada, one on display in Kensington PEI and the other is mostly operational at the New Brunswick Railway Museum.

The only writing on the back of the print is a handwritten “ROCKINGHAM”.

That’s very likely Rockingham Yard in Halifax, definitely a location where you would have seen these locomotives when they were running.

However, I saw that open autorack behind the locomotives on the far left of the photograph, and wondered… was this actually taken in the Dartmouth yard? Autorack cars go to the Autoport near Eastern Passage to pick up cars offloaded from ships.

I did some Google Street View work, trying to find that little piece of skyline that was visible in the photo.

Eventually I found it… and yes, this is Rockingham Yard – here.

It was likely taken from the CN employee parking lot. Many railfans have photographed from here, including me.

This video of mine from September 2017 shows the same buildings in the background, just above the nose of the locomotive. You can see the three smokestacks of the Tufts Cove power station above the tank cars, and the A. Murray MacKay bridge is also visible there. Anyone who has lived in the Halifax area would recognize that.

And what is that building? As far as I can tell it’s just a big apartment building.

This detective work was a nice distraction on a quiet Sunday morning… when one of our cats (Millie) wasn’t sitting on my neck.