I'm starting to get the feeling that I'm taking on a few too many projects, however I'm ok with that. Currently I still have those locomotives for a man in England to finish. After waiting all summer, I finally got the steps that were backordered and both the SD40-2W and the SD40U are nearing completion. As for myself, I still have a small fleet of RS-18's that I would like to build and currently have two on the go as well as an SD40 and a SD40-2W for myself. I also have three Kaslo kits, an M420W, an HR-412 and a GP9RM. The GP9 might be a little out of my era but they look so cool. Also recently acquired was a Kato F40PH, earmarked to become a VIA unit prior to the rebuilds. I'm thinking 6424, as I've seen that one so much. I always wanted to do one, and now Kaslo has come out with a metal etch kit with all the fine details. The Kaslo kits and F40 however will have to wait for a while, the price was right at the time sort of thing.
I haven't put much time into the layout lately as I've been scratchbuilding and fishing lately, so hopefully that will change. One thing I have been doing is researching the Gaspe line, as I want to model it at some point. Currently, the future of the line is, in my opinion, still very much up in the air. The Chaleur is running as far as New Carlisle and I believe it will be a year this November since it has traveled to Gaspe. In my research I have found some neat things I never knew existed, such as a feed mill in Caplan and both a Fina (later Petro Canada) and a Texco oil storage facilities right in New Carlisle. One major help was the New Carlisle stationmaster, who allowed me to look through a dozen or so photoalbums of hers dating back to 1986. She even agreed to scan and email me copies of any photo that interested me. Below is one of them...
I actually made three trips up this summer, with my grandfather's fall being the reason. The only good thing to come out of this was that I had the chance to travel right around the coast for the first time, from New Carlisle to Gaspe, from there right around the tip through Forillon National Park to Ste Anne des Monts, down the Cascapedia River Valley and back to New Carlisle, all in all a 14 hour trip. Since the rail line runs parallel to most of the road, I was also able to photograph most of the bridges along the way.
Three M420W's and two plows weight in the siding at Gaspe for the Chaleur in 1995.
The only down side of it all was that my grandfather, the main source of my knowledge of the line, passed away this summer, following complications from a bad fall at the age of 90. Here he is departing Campbellton, NB, abord RS-18 3624 which would lead train 594, his last.
He never liked to talk about his work very much, he was a funny guy that way. He never liked his job from what I could tell. He blamed the dynamic brake handle for causing a bad cord in his hand and his bad hearing on the whistles, even though I'm told his mother was also deaf. The only thing he did like were the steam engines, he said missed working on those. I guess its like dad always said, "The Merchant Navy was a service and the railroad was just a job." He never spoke much of the Merchant Navy much either, other than the ship he was assigned to, the SS Ganondoc. This clip, which my cousin discovered this past spring, is the most I have ever heard him speak of the war.
It looks like we will be travelling to the big city of Toronto for Christmas this year so I hope to have a chance to do some railfanning, as well as visit the train store once again, as three years is a long time.