Lyon Valley Northern

This site is designed to promote the hobby of ferroequinology. It also provides an opportunity to show the development of the "Lyon Valley Northern": an HO railroad featuring CN and BNSF action in the West. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments at

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Sunday, May 28, 2006

A week of trains trains trains

Nothing like a little railfan trip on the May 24th long weekend. Visitng Dad, I had a chance on Sunday Morning to take a short trip just west of Toronto. It was a bad day for stills so I went to my archive to show you the action.

Picture was taken at GUELPH JUNCTION

Take the Guelph Line exit from the 401 south to Campbellville. Turn west onto Campbellville Road. Turn north onto Guelph Junction Road (station road), which is the second road after you cross the tracks.

Guelph Junction is at mile 39 of the Canadian Pacific Galt Subdivision, just west of Campbellville. This is CP's mainline track between Toronto and Detroit, and is quite busy. Also, the Hamilton Subdivision connects here for a few trains headed to and from Buffalo. The best time to catch trains is from about 4:00 P.M. until dusk. Be advised that in the summer, this area can be quite hot and muggy. There is no shade, and that's a downer -- on the other hand, since summer is right short here, the wide open, sunny environs are welcomed much of the year. Sit in your car and soak up some heat between trains.

Next I went to the HALTON HILLS AREA

Take Highway 25 (now regional road 25) north of the 401. Turn east (right) onto 10 Sideroad. Then turn north (left) at 3rd Line (just before the crossing). Mile 30 is about 1/3 mile on the right. This train was heading up grade to Toronto from Burlington.

Relatively high traffic here, and you are able to shoot slightly down at the locomotives. You can shoot here all day, with only a short half hour or so around 2:00 P.M. with bad light. The only drawback here is that people like to use the area as a dump. However the railfans have done a great job cleaning the area and cutting the brush back for photo ops. It was unfortunate that it was a cold and wet day.

On the next Friday I went to Michel Boucher's D&H in Aylmer Quebec. The Friday Night boys had great fun operating his layout. Here are some additional videos taken. There are some on Mike Hamer' blog as well.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ken King Visits The Capital

A Trainman from the west arrived in a Cowboy hat and jeans. A CN Railway engineer from my old operating group...The Freds....named after that famous end of train device. Ken and I visited five layouts in one day.

Here you can see Bill Scobie's SN3 Colorado narrow guage dream. An incredible attention to detail as his steamers get ready for the morning run.

Here you can see Ken, Camera in Hand, getting ready for the train to enter the station. Like a true foamer he is down at eye level taking in the details of this fine station scene.

This next photo sees Ken taking in the sights at Michel Boucher's D&H. Ken learned a thing or two about operations, the fast clock and scheduling trains on an incredibly well organized concept and detailed layout.

Ken and I had a great lunch after visiting Bill and Michel at the new Mexicali Roses in Aylmer Quebec. Crossed the River visited the downtown sights, followed the Canal out to Tom Hood's Canadian Northern in HO.

Many of you know Tom for his great contribution to the Hobby as one of the co owners of CDS Letters. Anyone who ever had to use dry transfers to get that prototype they wanted has him to thank.

Wow. What an impressive sight to see this great steam railway. Tom's stories about the Hobby business over the last 40 years was very interesting. Ken had a great time and we had a good chat.

We next went back to my house where Ken took his hand at switching out the port and starboard coal mine on the Lyon Valley Northern. After supper we went to Mike Hamer's. Mike was on the step...guitar in hand playing tunes to welcome us aboard. Mike and Ken really hit it off as he learned of how Mike got started in the Hobby, visiting the Boston and Main and finally sitting at the old round table watching a video and chatting about hidden surround staging and the possibilities for Ken's new layout.

Thanks everyone for this great day. Ken was extatic as it was the beginning of a great holiday in Ontario. The next day, he and his wife Gail were boarding the VIA for a trip to Chatham Ontario. Have a super time Ken... it was a blast.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Foamer in Manitoba

I had a great opportunity to take a business trip to Shilo Monitoba. This resulted in a great opportunity to Railfan From Winnipeg to Brandon. The CN and CP Mainline follows Highway 1 the Trans Canada with the CN on the south side and CP on the North. This changes in Portage LaPrairie where they run within a few hundred yards of each other. At the west end of town they cross over at the only CN/CP double diamond in Canda and continue west. As I left Portage I passed a seed plant located at CN Bloom.

What a Surprise. One of those new CN locomotives consisted with an SD40-2. They had taken a cut of hoppers off their train leaving the balance to block the main and were taking them to the unloader. Just look how wonkey that track is.

I hopped into my car and continued west. And at the next block there was another eastbound waiting for the train ahead to finish its switching. So when she started to role the engine started to let go some smoke which made for a great photo op.

Good to see those Dash 8s still hard at work.

I arrived in Shilo and after a bad weather day I headed out to Douglas right after work. And within 15 minutes I caught this West bound Intermodal as the sun was setting.

On Thursday, I finished early and started off to Brandon. This is a picture of the CP yard taken from the Bridge located at the east end of town. You can see to your right an Intermodal heading west with two other trains waiting their turn in the passing siding. Proof that the intermodal traffic has priority here. I like this picture because for the modeler it shows the main, passing tracks, arrival departure, classification and storage tracks. The switchers were parked. I guess they were done for that shift.

I continued west and had a great evening of continuous traffic.

The Town or small group of homes located next to an elevator hosted a junction where the track left the main and went south was called "Kemnay".

This is the zone for seeing big CP power where the AC4400s abound.

If you did not keep close watch you might miss an opportunity to catch a good photo of the next train. I tried to read a book but darn I just kept getting interrupted.

You can even get fooled if you don't watch the signals. This grain hauler entered the junction from the south and caught me by surprise. The lighting was such as she went from north to east bound I caught the whole array of signals. Green over red and off she went.

On Friday I left Shilo early and started back to Winnipeg. I saw several trains heading west but the pictures were into the sun. When I got to Portage the action was hot. Several west bounds so again no pictures into the sun. I went to the east end of town and noticed this unusual work train. A big highrailer hauling flats with ties precariously loaded I must add. On the tail end MOW equipment to lift the ties and place them beside the track.

This last shot show the power end. Notice the driver slumped in his seat. He must be getting some zizz time before his call.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Halton Hills Railfan A great weekend


Just in time to see a local headed by GP9s taking a string of tank cars to Kingston. The tracks were still blocked toward Bellville because of native land claim issues. So on to Toronto I went.
I decided to go visit my Dad in Toronto. I left Ottawa and travelled south to Smith Falls. I spoke with the CP engineers at the station and they indicated to me there was not going to be much traffic this morning except a VIA. I decided to catch a few shots and then I went further south to Joyceville MP 163.34 on the CN Kingston Sub.The next day I went out early in the morning but kept getting skunked just missing CP traffic in Streetsville. Oh well I did visit Credit Valley Hobbies and picked up some Genesis Gunderson Box Cars. On Sunday I went to my old hunting grounds in Halton Hills. Between MP 25 and 30. It was great. I caught so many trains that morning. Met some fellow ferroequinologists and had a great day. Coming home on Monday I was pleased to hear the CN line had reopened and I caught this eastbound mixed freight heading east