Saturday, September 13, 2014

An Afternoon with Quebec Gatineau Railway 2009, and 2302.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 I had a day off from work and decided to adventure to the other side of the Ottawa River to get some action shots of the Quebec Gatineau Railway.

Originally, I was planning on catching the road trains which run between Gatineau, and Ste-Thérèse, Quebec. These trains go by the ID of STGA, and GAST, and sometimes they meet at Thurso where they exchange trains. However, I had made a mistake. These trains do not run on Thursday, but on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday instead. After I had realized this, I did a bit of digging on my phone and found that on Tuesday and Thursday, the local switcher into Gatineau had been running as of late. This made me happy because it meant that I could get a shot of a train along the new STO "Rapibus" corridor.

The Rapibus is Gatineau's version of Ottawa's transit way. In order to construct much of this new bus-way, QGRY trackage was torn-up and relayed to the south of the Rapibus. In fact, according to their website, STO now owns two sections of track between the Prince of Wales Bridge and Montée Paiement, and between Montée Paiement and Lorrain.

Below is a map of the Rapibus route. At its west end, you can see a light grey line that crosses the Ottawa River. This is the Prince of Wales Bridge. Many hope that in the future the bridge will be used for an LRT link between Ottawa, and Gatineau. As of right now, it sees no rail traffic.

A map of the Rapibus route. Source.
Now, back to the trains.

We begin just outside of Thurso where QGRY services a pulp mill owned by Fortress Paper Ltd. The pulp mill can be seen in the background of the below picture. At 15:48, QGRY 2009, and 2302 begin their journey west for Gatineau, leaving with just one boxcar.

QGRY 2009 is an ex Conrail EMD GP38, while 2302, from the little bit of information I found is a GP39-2, ex VRE V08.

Going away shot of 2009, and 2302 at Thurso, Quebec.

After they had passed, I hopped in the car and drove the 10 or so minute drive to Masson-Angers to wait for them to arrive.

Masson-Angers hosts an old railway station, which has seen better days:

The station was built in 1877 by the Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway Company (QMO&O), and as you can tell is no longer used. On the left in the distance is the western leg of the Buckingham Spur Wye. The spur runs northward to, you guessed it, Buckingham where QGRY services a few industries.

After a short wait, 2009 and 2302 arrive and pickup five boxcars to go along the current one for Gatineau.

QGRY 2009, and 2302 make a pickup at Masson-Angers, Quebec.
Before they departed, I left to scout out a spot along the Rapibus corridor to get a few shots. I figured the best spot would be Rue Gouin as this is where they would reverse into the former Bowater plant, now Resolute Forest Products. This location is also where the former Gatineau offices, and yard were located. See the "Yard Limits" sign on the right side the picture below, as well as the rapidbus on the left.

Before long, the train approached, and I snapped a few pictures, this one being my personal favorite:

As they paused to reverse into Resolute, I snapped a picture of 2009 beside the Rapibus station Gouin.

The hope after this was that they would come back out quickly, but unfortunately, they did not, and that spelled the end of my day.

I've provided the below map to show the area covered today. Hope you enjoyed reading. More posts to come!