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


Friday, June 29, 2012

Gone Golfing

Took the day off of trains to play golf at Hawksbury Ontario.  Had to take a picture of the 16th.  On in three and three putted.

The stimp was 9.5 and every shot had the grand banana break.  Still got some pars and broke 100.  This is a great course to play and I recommend it as one fine golfing experience.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Smiths Falls at 16:00

After spending a day painting backdrops at Jeff's, I went on over to the Smith's Falls yard to see if I could catch some action before the ops session at Tommy's.  I was lucky as all was quiet on my arrival.  Plenty of time to get the camera out and turn on the scanner.
Then I heard a horn from the east and around the bend came a stack train with SD40-2's in the lead.  It stopped at the CTC posts and then the yard switcher appeared pushing into the ladder.
 The trainman was riding the gondola as the GP38 rumbled by at yard spead.
 Then looking to the west there was the westbound local sitting in the yard throat and then a VIA came onto the station track from Ottawa.
 It stopped at the platform which was an indicator that there was a VIA train that would be entering from the south and passing on track two.  It was nice to catch the VIA with the two CP 's in the background. 
 Then as predicted, the Brockville train arrived and it was nice to get this cover shot as she entered the CTC while the SD40-2's sat on the main.  A three way meet.
 Here the VIA with the classic corregated steel coaches movied across the switches into the second station track.
 As it thundered by, I swung around to capture the meet in front of the station.
 Now I have four trains in the photo.
 Then the southbound VIA headed out for Brockville and then onto Toronto.  The trainman gave me a big wave as she passed by.
 Swinging around it was nice to capture the meet between the VIA and freight before she turned south.
 Another potential cover.
 I spoke with a supervisor and he indicated that there had been an accident in Belleville and that traffic had stopped on the CP main.
 So being the last chance to photo I took a few more shots of the SD40-2s.  Since they would not be moving they left them there so that later VIA's could get by without blocking the main.
 The sky began to darken as clouds moved in from the east.
 Well it is off to dinner and then to Tommy's for an evening of HO Scale operations.
 Click on the images to make them larger

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Garden Railway in Orleans

Lela and I had a visit to Barry's garden railway in Orleans Ontario.  The layout is a dog bone design with 10 Town/siding locations and one major yard.  The layout operates clockwise and can accommodate 5 trains operating from a train order switch list.  All the sidings are trailing.  Today we had 3 trains on the go.  One operated by Bob, the second by Lela and I and the third by Barry.

 Here is Barry at Shaanenville.  Most of the towns are named for family members.
 Barry combines his garden with natural foliage and some artificial features to produce a very nice green effect.  Bonnie is the gardener and Barry has done a great job in acquiring trackage rights through the property.
 Barry's train is passing by Trista West on the main.
 He is heading for Fountainview for his first switching job.
 Although the days run was based on narrow gauge. I only have my CP S3 Alco so that was a run what ya brung.
 We were lucky as the forecast was for storms, but, no rain just intermittent sunshine.
 In the far corner there is a nice little hand made tunnel.  My caboose had seen better days as it was left to close to the fireplace at Christmas time and even though it is a wood side prototype, the sides had a melt down. 
 Here are Bob and Barry in Trista Yard.  Although Bob looks deep in the plants he is on a small path that allows him access for uncoupling.
 On the fence side of the main, Barry can be seen switching out a gondola into Cora's Junction Siding.  Bob's locomotive is at the yard throat in Trista.
 Bob is marshaling his cars while Barry reconnects onto his train.
 Barry's steamer  is moving toward Trista while I am along the fence with my S3 heading for Shaanenville.
 Arriving at Shaanenville.
 I like Barry's artificial blue spruce conifers.  They never have to be trimmed and look really nice in the town setting.
Looking across from Fountainview, the large Cherry Tree dominates the mainline at Cherryhill Siding, providing a great deal of maintenance when the cherries fall from the tree.
 Lela is at the little bridge that Bonnie built so she could get into the back corner to garden and provide a pathway for Barry to follow his train into the corner turnouts.
 This is an interesting part of the railroad as there is a turnout at Cora's Junction next to the fence so that you can shortcut over a bridging route and back to Cherryhill siding.  Very convenient if folks are working in Trista Yard.
 Here Lela is checking her switch list at Fountainview to make sure the Dole Boxcar is the one we want.
 We are setting it out on the main and putting the other rolling stock back into the siding.
 Here is Lela at Spruce.
 Mt Kamaron Siding
 Bob's train stops at Trista West and is about to back into Shaanenville to do some lifts and drop offs..
 Lela and I are waiting on the main at the station.
 Shots of the two trains together.
 Lots of switching and kibitzing at this location
 Are we done yet
 later Barry arrives to do some more work at Shaanenville.
Remember the Cora Junction bridging track.  Here the foliage is impressive and Bob's locomotive is seen emerging from this sea of greenery.

What a great day for Bob, Lela and I.  Barry and Bonnie were great hosts providing us with snacks and beer along with an incredible three hours of train operations.  Nothing like having an outdoor model railroad and having the chance to spend some time with friends.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

They Said CP was Quiet ...Ha

13 June 2012 13:30

After Lela and I had gone over to the OVGRS to paint the fence, we travelled to Merrickville to visit Jeff's layout.  A few of the HOTRAK /OVAR gang were there working on the layout and I had a chance to visit for the first time.  I had mentioned to the boys that Lela and were thinking of heading to Smiths Falls to do some railfanning.  They kind of gave us that knowing stare and indicating that nothing much is happening since the strike.  Well not to be discouraged we went off to see what we could see.

 When we arrived at the yard there were a pair of GP 38s idling away and there was nothing moving.  Hmmm ...patience... it is just like fishing.  We sat on the bench at the old CP station and waited.

 Then from the east, coming from Montreal there was a very interesting way freight..
 A pair of SD40-2s on the lead and then back a few cars there were GP 9s.  Very strange consist.
The train stopped just before the End of CTC sign.
A chance to move in closer and catch the crew in the cab. 
 Then from the south came the sound of VIA blowing at the crossing.  I set up to catch the North bound VIA from Brockville to Ottawa cutting onto CP trackage.
 The train passed through the crossovers and went by in perfect sunlight.
 The VIA then continued and headed off to the new station north west of town.
 Once clear, the CP freight was given clearance to the the crew change point.
 As it passed by I took this shot of the GP 9 and noticed that the air hose was bypassing the unit, indicating that it was probably not operational and would be needed to maintain air pressure throughout the train.
 No sooner than it had stopped, there was a horn from the North and a south bound VIA approached.
 Here she is running by the mixed freight.
 I love these going away shots.  The low green indicates that the train will be leaving CP trackage for Brockville, heading south down the same track the other VIA had used.
 I then walked west to see what this train would be up to.
 A new crew had got on board and this trainman shows he is ready for action, Timmy's and all.
 An overview as I continued to walk west.
 The action started as the units throttled up.
 Looking down the train I noticed that they had uncoupled two cars behind the last GP-9.
 They travelled passed the crossover and into the west yard lead.  Here they are backing into the yard.
 Some side on shots of the geeps.

 They picked up a string of 6 cars from the yard tracks and are heading back to the main.
 Now they are backing down the main to reconnect with the train.
 I had a chance to walk back in time to watch the trainman connect the air hose.  Then they left town.
 Right behind them, a second train from Montreal was slowly moving forward on the tail of the first.  This intermodal had 74 cars all single stacked and 36 were empties.
 Here she is at end of CTC rolling slowly toward the crew change point.
 I turned and looked and could not believe it.  Four crews and a one railfan completely decked out in CP garb.
 The train had no sooner changed crew, when another train arrived on the station track.  More SD40-2s. I felt like I was in the 80's.
 Nice of him to stop where he did and kept the cab in the sun.
 I fiddled this shot and photo shopped out the wind sock.
 These guys had the priority over the freight and were first to leave.  There was lots of enthusiasm.
Artsy side on shot of the units at crew change.  Buddy has his paperwork.

 Now that was cool.  This is the foliage suppressant train.  They have the tank cars and sprayer in tow followed by a couple of old 50 ft box cars.
 Here is the equipment as it rolled by leaving town.
 Meanwhile another GP 38 came out from the yard tracks.  This guy was going to get a bunch of ballast cars, some slurry tank cars and hoppers and head west and then north.  The beaver scheme:)
 3/4 angle of the unit backing onto the train. which is behind the black tank car.
 The container train waited as yet another southbound VIA went by the station and onto Brockville.
 Finally the container train left town and I wondered up to the east end to watch this pair of GP38s going to latch onto their eastbound local.
 As this was happening another VIA came up from Brockville and I was able to catch her going over a street crossing right in town.
 The train goes through a nice little S bend here.
 The newly upgraded F40PH looks great going through the crossing.
 This particular train had four of those nice Rapido cars in tow.
 There was a meet and yet another VIA southbound came by
 This had the Renaissance cars.
 A very nice 7 car consist.
 Now would you believe it.  While all this VIA stuff was happening a CP Eastbound freight was sitting on the main.  Lots of Smoke from these AC4400s as she had to start the train to move into Smiths Falls for a crew change.
 Approaching the platform one of the crewman sits at the typical picnic table.  Every layout should have some.
 The boys greet each other, I cannot believe how dirty this unit is.  The white CP lettering is black.
 Now this would be a job for those modellers that like heavy weathering.

A final shot as the CP freight heads for Montreal.  The high green.

It was approaching seven so we were starting to get hungry.  We started home for Orleans and on the way we decided to stop in Carlsbad Corners for some BBQ burgers and beer.  While in the restaurant, we saw three more VIA trains, two heading to Montreal and one for Ottawa.  Doing all the gazintas we managed to see fourteen trains that afternoon and early evening.  Quiet, I don't think so.  Hope you enjoyed this day of railfanning with us.