Trains.com

Railfanning CPR and CN

5898 views
8 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    April 2007
  • From: Ontario
  • 737 posts
Railfanning CPR and CN
Posted by da_kraut on Sunday, July 11, 2010 7:05 PM

 Hello,

not sure if this is the place to post this item, but wanted to let everybody know of this great place.  It is south of Parry Sound Ontario on the CN's Bala sub at milepost 142.1.  To the CN crews it is known as Reynaulds.  

What you have there is a location easily accessible by car in the heart of central Ontario's cottage country.  The CPR and CN main lines from Toronto to the western provinces meet and cross.  This makes for excellent train watching because of the volume of the traffic.  To give you an idea I saw 10 freights in about 10 hours.  Everything from mixed freight, mow, and a lot of container trafic.  The locomotives ranged from sd40-2 ,the CP "red barns" , ac4400, es44ac's, sd9043 from CPR to sd70m-2, sd75, es44dc, to the c44-9w from CN. 

To get there drive up the 400 highway out of Toronto until about 15 km south of Parry Sound when you will come up to exit 217 which is for "Oastler Park Dr".  Follow this road until you see a sign for a road by the name of "James Bay Jct North" which is to the west.  Follow this road, after about 1 km you will see the tracks, after about another km you will see on the west side of the road a little parking area with a concrete block retaining wall and a silver lineside building.  You found the location.

If you have GPS just punch in W79.99058 and N45.31806.  If you go there, have fun.

Frank

PS: Lots of good fishing and scenery in the area too.

"If you need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm."

  • Member since
    October 2006
  • From: Allentown, PA
  • 9,810 posts
Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Monday, July 12, 2010 8:58 AM

Dohhh ! !  [a la Homer Simpson]  Why didn't I think of that ?  Makes perfectly good sense that there would be such places east of the Rockies - but I never thought to look for one closer to home.  Thanks for posting it. Bow  I don't recall ever seeing it mentioned in any of the railfan publications, over the last 40 years or so.  Got any photos ?

Technically, it looks to me - from only 'on-line' resources, Google Maps, ACME Mapper 2.0 and the like - that the CP and CN don't actually cross here, either 'at-grade' or with a bridge - but instead are closely parallel to each other for a couple of hundred yards.  Perhaps there are some cross-over or interchange tracks - the aerial photos and maps are too vague on such details to say for sure.  But no matter - the essential point is that the traffic from both lines is close at hand to the fan.  Actually, it appears that there is at least one more such correlation a little to the southeast. 

It is wonderfully pretty country.  This location is about halfway from Toronto to the Algoma Central Railway's Tour Trains at Sault Ste. Marie, and so would make a good stopping point.  It also seems to be well-supplied with provisions and businesses for the summer lake vacation trade, for which the area is justifiably well-known.  Thanks again for mentioning it.

- Paul North. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
  • Member since
    October 2006
  • From: Allentown, PA
  • 9,810 posts
Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Monday, July 12, 2010 10:36 AM

Is this the place, as shown in the linked photos ?  The captions refer to it as "CN Boyne/ CP Reynolds" or vice-versa - the "CP" is apparently for "Canadian Pacific", not "Control Point" as in the US.  (I did not find anything for "Reynaulds".)  Note the cross-over in the 2nd and 4th ones - 318162 and 278136:

  http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=311769 

  http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=318162  

  http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=318161 

  http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=278136  

Note that the caption under this photo -   http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=294143  - which is of the high bridge further north in Parry Sound itself - says:

"Remarks: A nothbound CN frieght train with an entire consist of HERZOG hoppers crosses the huge CPR trestle bridge [ . . . ]  This is the CPR line but CNR and CPR run their northbound trains on this line and all southbounds use the CNR line a little to the east."

Other captions that I looked at in this area also refer to "directional running", and that CN Boyne/ CP Reynolds may be the southern limits of the "DRZ" = "Directinal Running Zone" in this regionThat may explain the confusion about whether the CN and CP lines actually cross here.  It would be interesting to know both of /the other limit(s) of this section of "directional running" - there would likely be a lot of activity at that/ those location(s) as well. 

- Paul North.  

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
  • Member since
    August 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,298 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Monday, July 12, 2010 10:50 AM

Paul_D_North_Jr
the "CP" is apparently for "Canadian Pacific", not "Control Point" as in the US

 

I am forever having to pull up short when reading articles in TRAINS magazine when that CP comes up. There was a situation in a recent issue where both usages came up in about a four page stretch. It is annoying but I have to get over it.

I am sure this DRZ is listed in the DR zones listed in the TRAINS article a few months or a year back. Both ends should be listed.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere"  CP Rail Public Timetable

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • 118 posts
Posted by g&gfan on Monday, July 12, 2010 5:36 PM

Yes, this the south end of the directional running section. North/west bound trains of both CN and CP and VIA (our passenger rail system) travel on Canadian Pacific's Mactier sub  and the south/east bound trains use CN's Bala sub. From this point north to near Sudbury, ON is directional running. There are crossovers at both ends of the directional running territory. 

  • Member since
    April 2007
  • From: Ontario
  • 737 posts
Posted by da_kraut on Monday, July 12, 2010 8:21 PM

 Hello everybody,

You are welcome Paul, you are correct, it is very pretty country where these two main lines meet along with lots of accommodations and activities in the area.  As for the pictures that you found on Railpictures.net, that is the exact location as to where I was at.   It is interesting to note that the turn outs are controlled from Calgary Alberta. 

G&Gfan, you are correct, that is where the directional traffic starts, from that point to Sudbury.  

Thank you for taking the time read and to respond to my post.

Frank

"If you need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm."

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Portage la Prairie, MB, Canada
  • 5 posts
Posted by rjtul on Monday, July 12, 2010 9:19 PM

Another great place to see CN and CP mainlines crossing, is Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. This is the only place in Western Canada where they have a mainline diamond. All trains must go through Portage, and the main lines run parallel to each other all through the city. We have about 45 to 50 trains a day, making this a great spot for railfans.

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Nanaimo BC Canada
  • 4,108 posts
Posted by nanaimo73 on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 1:35 AM

rjtul

Another great place to see CN and CP mainlines crossing, is Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. This is the only place in Western Canada where they have a mainline diamond. All trains must go through Portage, and the main lines run parallel to each other all through the city. We have about 45 to 50 trains a day, making this a great spot for railfans.

When I lived in Winnipeg during the late 1980s, I made a few trips out to Portage. Back then CP stationed a SW900 near the depot (6719?). There was an overpass just to the west of the two stations which created a nice shady place to park on hot afternoons.

Dale
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Portage la Prairie, MB, Canada
  • 5 posts
Posted by rjtul on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 8:03 AM

Yes. From under the overpass on Pacific Avenue, CN is only a few feet to the south, and CP passes a few feet to the north.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy