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 08, 2012

Iroquois Lock Experience

Lela and I took a trip down to Morrisburg as I was giving a backdrop painting clinic for the Seaway Model Railroad Club. Before the meeting we travelled west to Iroquois and on the way down we saw a ship heading for the lock. So we went down to the Saint Lawrence Seaway lock parking area and watched the ship approach and go through. It was great.

The first picture shows the ship in the channel heading west approaching the east end of Iroquois Lock.

CSL Tadoussac's keel was laid June 25, 1968.  A traditional styled self-unloading bulk carrier, she was built as hull # 192 by Collingwood Shipyards division, Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd., Collingwood, ON and launched May 29, 1969 for Canada Steamship Lines Inc., Montreal, PQ. The Tadoussac was the last Canada Steamship Lines vessel built with the forward pilothouse and the first to be built with stern mounted self-unloading gear.

The holds had the cubic capacity to carry 28,800 net tons  of coal. She could unload at a rate of 5,413 tons of iron ore or 3,937 tons of coal per hour.

Overall Dimensions 
Length 730' 00"
Beam 77' 11"
Depth 42' 00"
Capacity (mid-summer) 30,051 tons
at a draft of 28' 03"
Power (diesel) 9,600 b.h.p.

The Tadoussac found herself in an unusual twist of fate on November 10, 1990. On the evening of the fifteenth anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the Tadoussac lost power in a major storm on Lake Superior above Whitefish Bay: the general area of the Fitzgerald wreck.

The CSL Tadoussac is named in honor of the oldest settlement in Canada; Tadoussac, Quebec. Located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River about 100 miles north east of Quebec City.  The "CSL" prefix is the vessel's owner Canada Steamship Lines Inc.

This was a great day as the draw bridge went up and the gates opened.  The ship's captain was a very good ship handler as he brought her into the lock.  Did not scrape the sides at all.

A closeup of the bridge as the ship passed by.

Heading toward the west end of the lock the ship's bow is heading into open water on the Saint Lawrence.

The stern is just clearing the lock and the power is being put on as you can see the prop churn the water.

Now well underway the ship is approaching Cardinal.  She looks like she is travelling empty at about 10 knots.

I know this is not a railway theme.  But it was part of my every day is train day experience.  After a nice dinner we joined the Seaway Model Railroad club fora clinic with lots of backdrop painting fun.


Blogger Eric said...

Chris, of all the ships in all the locks, you had to walk up to that one....

My favourite ship...ever. The Mighty CSL Tadoussac, or as I refer to her, the Great Grey Lady. No longer grey, which surprised me.

I used to follow her on the Vessel Passage page of

Her usual run was cement clinker from Picton Essroc to Essexville, MI, in ballast to Duluth, iron ore to Hamilton, then back to Picton, with the occasional run down the St Lawrence. Note her enlarged hull to enable her to haul more cargo.

Thanks for posting these excellent photos.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Chris Lyon said...

Glad you liked the ship Eric. I think I could really enjoy shipfanning. Being an ex Navy man.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I've done some at Wolfe Island/Cape Vincent and Blockhouse Park in Brockville, plus the Welland Canal.

One thing about's really a sloooow process, and unlike trains, it's hard to miss one go by!

4:19 PM  

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