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OPPOSITE: Three — count ‘em three — Alco endcab switchers cross one of the two long, high trestles that span Otter Creek in Tillson- burg. The other trestle is on the Trillium. OP- POSITE BELOW: A former CP GP-9 and an RS-23 power the Guelph Junction railway turn job across the wooden pile trestle south of York Road in Guelph. Unlike the St. Thomas turn this time the geep was a disappointment. LEFT: The Trillium Railway’s RS-18 is east- bound through Courtland to a customer at the end of line at Delhi. The former CN Cayuga sub is no longer a speedway.

and got a nice shot. They started their work at the north industrial track switch when the Goderich & Exeter showed up, and the Guelph Junction boys held in the clear for a moment while the other train passed. Then it was into the feed mill on the south industrial track for an hour or so of switching Next up was an- other consignee, Sanimax Marketing on the north industrial track and then it was through the center of town to the lower yard en route to service more cus- tomers at the south end of town. While they worked that customer, we went out to Arkell and waited at a nice spot. And waited. And waited. Finally we set a cutoff time of 1815, so we would still have a chance to see the evening westbound VIA train in the Woodstock area. At 1805, we got the shot just minutes ahead of departure time. The evening VIA once again failed to have one of the desired units. And then we got a call that set us to thinking all evening. We knew that the Trillium would be running their entire length the next day, but the phone call informed us that the Guelph Junction operation would have an RS-18/RS-23 combo tomorrow! What a difficult deci- sion we now faced. . . We headed to dinner, and completed

the time honored ritual of selecting the “shot of the day,” and adjourned to the motel for deliberations.

DAY 7: Friday, August 26 Well the verdict came in. It was to be

the Trillium. So we got up at 0630 again, and drove to Tillsonburg after the mandatory Tim Horton’s stop. Our minds were a bit on home today too, as word grew about the projected Sunday afternoon arrival of Hurricane Irene. We talked it over, and decided that we would bolt for home at 0530 Saturday. This was a few hours ahead of our

planned departure, but not very many. It would allow us to get home to batten down any last minute hatches. When we arrived the crew was going

to work, and we confirmed with them that they would be operating to St. Thomas, and then back through Till- sonburg to Delhi and finally back to Tillsonburg. We had sun and it is a bit of a struggle with the light when you have a westbound at 0900. Nonethe- less, we managed several good ones, re- peating most of those from Wednes- day’s chase, but adding a few new ones like a shot at Yarmouth Centre, as we stood upon the old Canada Southern right of way. We followed him into St. Thomas,

then awaited his return. He made a fast turn and we got him a number of times. At Corinth we sped ahead, and walked into the east end of the large trestle over Otter Creek. The crew dropped the Tillsonburg

cars while we forged ahead to scout the line between Tillsonburg and the end of track at Delhi. We found a nice spot in the center of Courtland, and awaited the train. The boys were on a mission, and our wait was relatively short. Next we found a spot west of Delhi, basically a standard “wedgie.” These weren’t as easy as you might think. The right of way was lined with waist-high golden rod on both the OSR and the Trillium. We followed to the end of track where the lone customer, a fertilizer plant, was located. Here, they crew spotted two cars, and then was going to run back to Tillsonburg light. Sigh . . . Fi- nally engine running forward into the light, but with no cars trailing. Faced with a light engine move, we immediately changed gears and headed for the CP main line in the Woodstock area. We had two or three locations that we had shot during the week, but perhaps a bit less than perfectly, so

with bright sun we decided to give them one more crack. We nailed three of them within an hour! The train gods were indeed smiling. For our last hur- rah we went to the VIA station at In- gersoll for one final chance at the Coors unit. The CN cooperated and put a freight or two by us in the golden light at 1900 approached. Then a few mo- ments before sundown, the last VIA came; it was a beautiful shot, but the trip remained “dry.” No beer units were seen on this trip. So it was off to the restaurant and

motel, where we packed up all but the necessities so that the 0530 departure would be a painless as possible.

DAY 8: Saturday, August 27 We did in fact get away at 0520, and

I planned a fast trip. It was, at least un- til we got to customs where, as on our Canada-bound leg, we waited nearly 40 minutes to get through. The fast pace resumed, and we arrived in Bingham- ton at about 1110. We quickly separat- ed our gear, and headed to our homes, both with thoughts of the impending hurricane. However, Steve’s trip was much faster and uneventful than mine. As I zoomed through the I-81/Route 17 interchange in Binghamton I felt like I hit “something.” A few miles down the road, I pulled into a gas station and the left rear tire was nearly flat. I put air in, but I could hear it blowing out at the same time. No way I am making the 317 miles that separated me from home on the “doughnut,” so once again being a AAA Plus member paid off. They towed me to a tire store, and the tire folks had me in and out in less than half an hour. Four hours and 20 min- utes later I was home, ahead of the storm. I put those four hours to better use than worrying about the storm and flat tires though; I started scheming next year’s Canadian adventure!


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