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


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Brown Bag Day and Smith Falls Railfanning

On arrival to the Smith Falls CP station, there was a westbound container hot shot parked on the north main. She was waiting for a series of eastbounds from Toronto.

Here was the first arrival on the south main. A mixed freight heading right into the storm. As you can see from the first to second picture that the temperature had dropped just below zero and the flakes appeared. Lots better than freezing rain.

Stopped at the yard office, this is a major crew change point between Toronto and Montreal. The engineer has just emerged from the cab. I bet he is happy his shift is over as the weather continues to deteriorate.

The new crew steps aboard. The engineer climbs up on the nose to free the wiper blades as they are caked with ice and snow.

After their departure, we were surprised by another eastbound container train. Headed up with a CEFX leased AC4400, It crossed over from the south main to the yard tracks. The crew changed in the yard and it continued east to Montreal.

Then right after an eastbound container train entered the arrival departure passing siding and ran through without stopping. They must have changed the crews west of town as it may have been waiting in the hole for the previous train to crossover. I thought maybe they were using all these tracks in order to keep the snow off. Sure would help prevent a lot of removal later.

It was alomost time for the north and southbound VIA trains to meet at Smith Falls. Always an interesting event it was especially so today as a string of SD40-2s showed up from the east. They were holding until the passinger traffic had gone by.

Here is a closeup you can see the crossover trackage just in front of the power.

The first to arrive was the southbound from Ottawa to Brockville. It connects to the CN main there and heads west to Toronto. She stopped on the south main to wait for the northbound.

Here is the northbound VIA crossing over the south main onto the north main then onto CN trackage west of the station an on to Ottawa.

Now with the Northbound clear, the southbound heads toward the right hand turnout onto CN trackage and head for Brockville.

The snow continued to fall (approx 10cm). A trackman showed up and took his broom and cleared all the switches. Still lots of manual work required on days like today.

After the snow clearing the SD40-2s pulled forward on the south main and stopped in front of the station near the yard office. Lucky to see that the second unit: a Red Barn, was so close at hand. The sights, sounds and smells of these locomotives were great.

My good buddy Ron Newby is seen here taking pictures of these beasts. It was sure hard to keep the snow off the lenses. But we managed.

Here is a crewman leaving the train. There was a good possibility that the power was to be used for a container train that was sitting in one of the yard tracks.

With them parked it gave us a great deal of time to move around and shoot this power which was the main-stay of the Canadian Pacific from the 70s on.

Here is a shot of Ron posing with these great locomotives.. It's train, the signals, station and yard office, all in the scene.

Well I walked up to the other end to get a shot of the trailing unit. What a great opportunity.

We sure would have liked to stay longer as the scanner indicated there was lots more to come. However, the light was failing and there was a long slow drive home in the snow. But all in all, there is no better way to spend three hours than on the CP in Smith Falls Ontario in the dead of winter.
P.S. the 20% off brown bag sale at Larkspur Lines Hobby Shop was great as well. It's like ol' home week as the after Christmas shoppers jump at the opportunity to get much need MR supplies.


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