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


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Grey Cup Train Tour Helps CFL Mark 100 Anniversary Of Cup In 2012

Last Saturday, Lela and I visited this museum on wheels at the Ottawa Train Station.  VIA, TELUS, Rona, Canada Post and the CF put together this wonderful train to promote the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup.
 The Locomotive Art Work was really well done with digital photographs applied to the F40PH.

 The first car was promoting the history of the game with lots of artifacts, posters, footballs and gear.
 The outside of the car had the new postage stamps being released on the CFL Grey Cup games.  This mud bowl was one of my favourites.
 Outside you could get close up to the cup.  Was it ever polished.  You could see yourself in it.
 This shot back toward the locomotive really shows off the artwork.
 The second car displayed some of the individual trophies.  All kinds of outdoor displays made it impossible to get good pictures of the car itself.
 There were three displays like this one of Grey Cup rings
 The third car was set up like a locker room with gear nicely displayed.
 Here is Anthony Calvillo's equipment.
 And of course it would not be football without cheerleaders.
 Here I am in the classic double blue.
Nice also to see the other trains making ready for passengers bound for Montreal.  If you get a chance to visit this train it is really worth it.  I had a great time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Algoma and Rideau Railway

Last week, Michel, Lela and I visited Eric Halpin's late 50s early 60s HO Scale Model Railway.  Based on a John Armstrong track plan, Eric has created a fantastic layout with Canadian flavour.  He made a large addition to represent the industrial areas of Thunder Bay.  You can ride the Algoma Central Leaf Peeper train up into the Agawa Canyon and switch out a large number of industries in town or along the countryside right of way.  

The first video has us running trains throughout the layout.  I was very impressed with the quality of the track work and how smoothly his trains ran.
Michel interviewed Eric about his operating plan and also he provides a nice addition to create some interesting problems that are found in the prototype.  Thanks very much for the visit.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Smiths Falls: Later at the old CP station

We no sooner got to the old Smiths Falls Station, we were taken back by the fact that the yard was full of rolling stock and to the east there was a tank train sitting on the arrival departure track.  Then on the north main a container train pulled up with 125 cars.
A great photo location to capture the curved yard before the Y is from the old abandoned loading ramp on the south west corner of the Y.
This pair of AC4400's showed off the two paint schemes and the second unit advertised the RCMP anniversary.
The units showed lots of weathering indicating the lack of attention to washing.
After passing the station the train stopped in front of the CP office for a crew change.
Meanwhile the local road switcher was building a westbound that would depart later in the day.  You can see that the conductor has a trainee in tow.  (Green vest)
Yellow over green the train starts to move forward through the notches as it heads west to Toronto
No sooner had this train departed a new westbound followed with 53 autoracks.  It stopped short of the CTC indicating that the a VIA was probably approaching the junction from the south on its way to Ottawa.
Michel and I moved to the south end of the Y in time to capture the VIA heading through the town crossing at Smith`s Falls.
This is looking north and you can see the autorack train waiting for the VIA to enter the CP main pass by the old station cross over and continued north to the new station and on to Ottawa.
 A good size train,  with really nice ex CP coaches.  As soon as the train cleared the station the Autorack went into town, changed crews and departed westward.
No sooner than the autorack departure happened we looked east again to see this Tank train with CP SD40-2 leading two SD40s acquired from their purchase of US trackage and or railroads from Minnesota through the Dakotas to Crawford Nebraska.  I believe the purchase was to gain CP access to the Wyoming Coal Fields.

The Iowa and Chicago Eastern (City of Wells) looked in much better condition than the CP unit.
The Dakota Minnesota and Eastern (City of Belle Fourche) was the last in the string.  The hopper is a safety requirement to separate the tank cars from the locomotives.
 The tank train was waiting for this south bound VIA from Ottawa.  It will head to Brockville, join the CN mainline and head west to Toronto.  The newly upgraded F40PH is on the lead with the latest VIA green colour scheme.
 The tank train then pulled into the station allowing a good close examination of the units.  Notice anything unusual.....
Since Hunter has joined CP there are lots of changes.  All the trackside buildings are being repainted Brown.  The trees and weeds are being cut along the tracks (improves railfanning) and people and brooms are being replaced by heaters for melting snow in the switches.
It was a great day in Smiths Falls.  And that unusual item.  Look at the number boards on the old CP SD40-2.....

Michel and I visit Smiths Falls

Michel and I visited the new station at Smiths Falls this Thursday.  Although the station is little more than a shelter and platform we were quite taken by this VIA consist in the west track.  It was parked, motors running with no engineers.  Hmmm.  Maybe someone knows what the scoop is on this unusual sight.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

FNGers at Dave Primeau's CP Layout

Dave Primeau's HO scale layout depicts the CPR's Lyndonville Subdivision and the B&M Connecticut River, a line running from Newport, Vermont to White River Junction, Vermont. The Maine Central,St. J&LC and Central Vermont railroads all make appearances at the various junctions along the line.
The FNGers operate this layout in two tricks.  The railroad is late 50s era with spectacular fall scenery and scratch build kitbashed structures.  The first video of this exciting railroad, enjoy the journey.