Saturday, 28 April 2012

PEI Railway Stations - York

I did a little more reading in Allan Graham's book and found that the former PEIR station in York was a "keeper's" station, much like Fredricton.  The station was expanded in 1902 by M.F. Schurman with an addition to the freight shed. For those interested, Schurman's was an Island owner chain of hardware stores and lumber yards.  Kent (part of the Irving "empire") bought them out in the early 2000's.  They once had businesses along the tracks in many places.  Their former Charlottetown store on Longworth Avenue butted up against the tracks, as did their store in Kensington.  There are probably other's I'm missing by it seems as if this wasn't by coincidence as they probably once shipped or received goods by rail.

I was completely expecting to see a run down building but its in very good shape.  I'm also amazed at how I never noticed the station from the York Road before.  I've driven past it dozens of times before and it's no more than a hundred feet from the road.

Here's a direct quote from Graham's book, as I can't explain it more perfectly than this:
"The station at York is a very plain building with a wide overhand trackside.  It was unique in that it contained living quarters for a caretaker and his family.  Besides the ample freight shed at one end and the waiting room at the other, there were in the middle, two bedrooms and a large living room where the ticket office was located.  A lean-to kitchen was built on the back and the long attic could be used for sleeping quarters.  Supplied to the caretaker were coal, brooms and soap.  The York station was moved back from the tracks in 1964 and used to store hay."

It looks as it is still used for storage.  Something I found neat is the names etched into the wood siding near the baggage door.  Some of the dates were quite old.

Looking towards the York Road from where the station once stood.

Friday, 27 April 2012

PEI Railway Stations - Royalty Junction and Fredricton

After a tip off from Chris at Prince Street, I decided to go see two old pre CN stations along Route 2.  The only stations I had ever seen before were Borden, Kensington and Charlottetown but I can not add Fredricton and Royalty Junction to the list.

The Royalty Junction station was moved to Greenvale, PEI, presumably after CN left in 1989.  Royalty Junction itself is located between Route 2 and the Brackley Point Road, near Winsloe.  When driving through Greenvale on the north side of the highway there is a driveway with many birdhouses at the end of it.  I talked to the old man who lives there and he sells them.  It turns out that he moved the station there but it is no longer on his land and belongs to the neighbors.  It's only 25 feet from the highway but almost impossible to see through the trees.  For its age and lack of maintence it seems to be in good shape.

According to Allan Graham's book "A Photo History of the Prince Edward Island Railway" Royalty Junction station was built as a way or crossing station around 1874.  Unlike the other crossing stations it was built at the end of the wye, which was made up of a line south to Charlottetown, west to Summerside and east to Souris.  This meant trains passed on either side of the building, which resulted in the odd roof.  An additional level was added by the man who moved the station to Greenvale.

The Fredricton station is one of those buildings that looks like it won't survive the coming winter.    It is located in Fredricton, PEI on the Fredricton Station Road which is on the south side of Route 2.  As Chris said before, it really does look like they simply moved it back from the tracks and left it there.  Whoever owns it has been using it as storage, but half the  roof is completely gone.  In the below photo I am standing on the old railroad line.

Again, Allan Graham's book lists it as a keeper's station which had a waiting room and a large freight room, which is clearly the case.

The floor seemed solid in the waiting room but I wouldn't go into the freight room as it seemed to be quite soft so I took a picture from the doorway.  The building looks a lot worse off on the inside than the outside.

Next week on my way home from work I'm going to try and find the York station, which was owned by the Schurman Building Supplies family before the Irving's bought them out.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Fishing Season is Here

I know...this isn't about trains..again.  I've been busy with final exams (two down three to go) so I haven't even looked my layout for over three weeks.  As soon as I'm done my second year of my undergrad though, it'll be full steam ahead on the trains (no pun intended).

April 15th is better known on Prince Edward Island however, as opening day of the trout season.  I went out with my trout gear hoping to track down some spring brook trout. I had come and gone in four hours and this was the result:

A 13-14 pound spring salmon (kelt)  on a 9ft 5wgt rod from the Morell River.   [for those of you who don't fish, try towing a car with a motorcycle].  Usually one would use at least am 8wgt when catching these.

After two jumps and 200 feet up the river later, a few other boys helped me land it.   After a few kicks, the fish was ready to go, a quick and clean revival.

I promise to get back on track (again, no pun intended) next week with some railroading posts.

Blogs I Follow: Part 1

I stumbled across this gem the month Chris started it and I've been following it ever since.  "Prince Street Terminal" is a blog ran by a fellow Islander.  Chris is an N scaler.  Topics on his blog range from commuter railroads like GO Transit to railroading on PEI.

Although I've never met Chris in person, his work speaks for itself.  Whereas I scratchbuild diesels, his forte is buildings, just check out some of his Prince Edward Island Railway stations he's done in N scale.  He'll even drive across the island, taking measurements of these unique stations.  Many are in a dilapidated state and won't be around much longer.  Take a minute and check out his blog:

Friday, 6 April 2012

SFG - Gaspe Railway Society Videos

Living on PEI, I don't get a chance to see trains very often.  On my Youtube channel, tjmfishing, I have quite a few VIA videos and even some freight action I took this summer past before they closed the line.

The line is closed due to safety issues with several bridges, but they hope to reopen it as soon as possible.  I won't go into detail because Steve has a several great posts about it:

Here's a video from better times.  It's the first, and hopefully not the last time that I've filmed a freight train in action on the Gaspe.

After meeting the crew at the former Nouvelle West station, we followed them to the log mill in Nouvelle, a short hop away.  We watched them switch cars for over an hour, and after they had lunch they left for Matapedia. Here they are still on the sawmill's property:

I suggest skipping to 1:30 for this one.  They are crossing a sidestreet near Escuminac which was once a section of the highway:

Just an aside, SFG rosters three ex NBEC, nee CP, RS-18u's, 1819, 1849 and 1856.  They were built in 1958 as RS-18's and rebuilt by CP at the Angus Shops in Monreal in the late 80's.  This involved chopping the high hood, rebuilding the prime mover and some other minor changes.  When CN sold its lines between Moncton and Campbellton, and Matapedia and Gaspe in 1998, the New Brunswick East Coast Railway bought these engines from CP.  CN bought back everything they sold but the Gaspe lines and reabsorbed the NBEC, retiring most of their ex CP RS-18u's, C424's and ex CN SD40's.

Not Exactly about Railroading...but I needed Something to Post

Besides my interest in railroading, I am an avid fly fisherman and fly tyer.  I spend most of the summer (5+ days a week) on the river and work on my scale models after the season closed in October, until mid March fairly religiously.  After Reading Week or "spring break" in March, the "bug" usually gets me.  The "bug" is what a friend of mine calls that time of year where the weather starts to warm up and we like to start tying flies and going out and walking along the river looking for fish again.

For those interested, the wild trout and salmon stock on PEI have been in decline for the last while and it's been a few years now since I've seen salmon sitting in the pools in any numbers.  Today however, I was driving over an old wood bridge that happens to be a favorite fishing location for many.  I got out and to see what the water was doing and to my surprise there were at least 15 black salmon (the ones that I could count) sitting under the road bridge waiting to go out to sea.  I couldn't believe it, and when I walked upstream and downstream from the bridge, I found 5 more!

Salmon run in the mid summer or October to spawn.  Most of the salmon run here is in the fall.  The fish that come up then actually hang around for a while, spawn and stay up in the rivers all winter, not eating.  Come the spring they are really thin and have lost several pounds.  They turn a black colour hence the term "black salmon."  Everyone of those fish would have spawned last fall.

Seeing this today was quite a surprise today and hopefully not an isolated incident.