A mysterious movement of....

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by doctorwayne, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    a CNR locomotive on the Grand River & Northern Lake Erie (Erie Northshore) sub of the Grand Valley. Following is a series of photos of CNR 4-6-0 #1533, shot by different photographers, as it moves a short freight east out of Lowbanks, Ont. While the CNR often runs on the Grand Valley proper, this train is about as far away as it could be from the GVC/CNR interchange at Mt. Forest, Ont., and it remains a mystery why. Obviously, the occasion was unusual enough to warrant several photographers recording its progress, although no pictures have yet surfaced of the loco and caboose being reversed at South Cayuga, as would have been necessary for the final leg of the journey north to Mt. Forest.

    The first shot appears to be taken from the roof of the carshop at Lowbanks, although the camera must have been on a 20' high tripod activated by a very long cable release.

    This view is at the level crossing near the eastern outskirts of Lowbanks. The shed in the left foreground is part of the complex around the water tank just west of the Maitland River bridge

    The camera jockey who took this shot must have been in a boat in the middle of the Maitland River, although the water levels appear to be exceptionally low for the season. The Lowbanks water tank is visible to the right. Since no pictures have been found showing the loco taking water here, the move may have originated even farther west in Port Maitland, the next water available.

    Another view of the mystery train on the Maitland River bridge.

    Leaving the river behind

    This scene was captured from the bridge over Chippawa Creek. Although not evident judging from the clear stack, the train is working uphill and must have been moving at the speed limit, as the photographer reported being forced to take refuge on one of the fire barrel platforms while the train passed. By the way, he did notify the Ontario Hydro-Electric Commission of the leaning utility pole, which was promptly repaired.

    If more pictures of this move come to light, I'll add them here.

    And now, this just in....

    The photographer here took advantage of unusually low water levels, widespread in the area, to capture this view of the train crossing Chippawa Creek.

    An intrepid reporter/photographer for the Elfrida Farmer's Weekly managed to capture the excitement as our train rolled into town.

    More action in Elfrida as our special passes Erie Northshore Extra 727, with GVC 2-8-0 #27 on the point. The eastbound 1533 is superior by direction.

    Traffic on Elfrida's main drag is starting to back up, first for the westbound 727, then for our eastbound.

    Adding to the traffic woes, 1533 is obliged to stop for a drink at the Elfrida tank. The rulebook requires all eastbounds to take water due to the severe grade through the tunnel just ahead. Normal practice is for the crew to cut off from the train just before the level crossing so as to avoid traffic tie-ups, but no such niceties are offered this day.

    After a quick trip through the tunnel and across the Speed River bridge, uphill all the way, our special enters Grand Valley trackage at South Cayuga.

    In an area obviously starved for news, word of this train has travelled well ahead of its arrival, and a photographer is on hand to record the obligatory shuffling of the van to the opposite end of the train. This move is necessary, as the train, when it entered the GVC, a north/south railroad, became a southbound. However, its ultimate destination is the CNR interchange at Mount Forest, well north of here. After she's reassembled her train, the 1533 will make the short jaunt to the wye at Dunnville, turn, then rejoin her train for the trip north.

    Here's the 1533 backing into the Dunnville wye at Airline Junction. Although no longer a true junction since the late '20s, when a severe storm washed several miles of Erie Northshore track into the lake, the name is retained to distinguish the line here from the new mainline on the grade separation seen in the background.

    Making at least the posted speed of 15 mph, the 1533 storms from under the bridge, her crew anxious to head north.

    Just past the switch onto the "new" main, the loco stops, then much to the cameraman's surprise, reverses south onto the highline. Swivelling his gaze around, he scans the track and notices a lone car at the station platform. It's unmistakeably the GVC's only business car "Rockhaven". He grabs this shot as the loco backs to her new charge.

    One more quick photo as the train accelerates out of town, then our photographer heads for the station for what he hopes will be a "scoop".

    By the time our train returns to South Cayuga, the newshounds have gone home to dinner. A lone railfan, waiting here for the "Bee", (the gas/electric featured in the "I've got gas... " post in Scratchin' and Bashin'), his train back to his hometown of Lowbanks, caught this shot of Rockhaven safely tucked in behind the CNR van as the train heads north.

    This last shot was taken by the operator at the Cayuga Junction tower as the train left town.

    No more pictures exist of this mysterious move, the terrain north of the tower being a barren plaster wasteland. Indeed, at the top of the long grade, the track ends abruptly, well short of Mount Forest, awaiting completion of the second level of the layout.
    Our reporter at the Dunnville station learned that the train had originated at the behest of the Federal government for an unstated purpose and had travelled on the TH&B to Port Maitland with several cars for the carfloat there. A CNR official, unnamed, had "commandeered" the train, by telegraph, from Dunnville. Rather than have it return to CNR trackage via TH&B, he ordered the remainder of the train to pick him up in Dunnville, then return to the CNR at Mount Forest, via GVC. Grand Valley officials, eager to show proper corporate courtesy to a fellow executive, expedited the movement of his train, and quickly made business car Rockhaven available, lest the poor chap end up riding in the van. The official line is that the exec was in Dunnville on "railroad business", although the fact that the foregoing photographs were, for years, suppressed by railroad brass, was enough to set tongues awaggin' in the valley. Rumour has it that it was less like "railroad business" and more like "monkey business", although the attractive young woman who made the trip with the old geezer claimed to be his private secretary. She's not been seen since.

  2. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    Sweet woork!
    Great storyline, too.
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    These are among the best pics I've seen here. Really nice work, both in the modeling and in the picture taking aspect.:thumb::thumb:
  4. zedob

    zedob Member

    Excuse me while I drool. What a pretty layout. So complete in so many aspects.

    The road at the grade crossing in the second pic has to be one of the best looking modeled road(street) that I have ever seen. something about the color and staining.

    If you were to do alittle photo shop editing in the obvious backdrop area and add a little water under that bridge it would almost be impossible to tell that it was a model. Those trees in the BG are beautiful and the hazy light blue of the backdrop makes that scene so convincing. Actually, it works on all of the shots.

    Is the track in the last photo super elevated or is it the camera? That looks great. Crop the top edge on that pic and save it.

    As mentioned in one of your other threads, the pics are taken from realistic angles that makes a definite impression of reality.
  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Very nice! I recognized several kits there, and appreciated the effort to make them look right for the location. Nice trees! :thumb:
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Once again, my thanks to everyone for the compliments. Although I hope to continue posting photos, I have only a limited number of locations where enough things are finished to a point that it looks sufficiently complete to be interesting. I do hope that if you become bored with this, that you'll let me know. I certainly don't want to wear out my welcome, especially after such a nice initial response.
    Now to reply to a few questions and comments. First, the road at the grade crossing happened by chance. The surface is drywall joint compound, easy to work, but pretty soft. I had stained it with a very thin wash of Polly Scale paint, but while doing some scenery work nearby, had put some tools down on it and had gouged the surface. After a little patch-up, I used a slightly darker wash to colour the repair. Some time later, I inadvertently set a cold beverage down on the road surface; don't know why, since the plywood riverbed, my usual catch-all, is only a foot away. Anyway, another repair, another touch-up. At least I'm faster on the road repair than the Regional government is around here.
    The plywood riverbed: From where this train supposedly started, in the town just before the first picture, there are three areas that will soon be flooded. The viewer on this section of the layout is supposed to be looking south, towards Lake Erie, which is supposed to be between the modelled scene and the backdrop. The first area (I think that it's visible to the left in one of my pictures of Gern Industries in a reply to the post "another Walthers kit") is supposed to represent an inlet of the lake: we'll see. The second area is under the bridge over the Maitland River, as seen in the third photo. The view here is looking at the point where the river empties into the lake. The layout here is only about 35" above the floor, but at tracklevel, I think this scene should work okay. The bridge itself is over 4' long and is intended to be a good place to photograph trains: again, we'll see. The third water scene will be below the Chippawa Creek bridge on which the photographer was trapped. This is another fairly low bridge over a creek that flows from a waterfall, concealed from the viewer at track level, around a bend and straight out to the viewer. I had a picture of the train on this bridge, but it was very blurry. I've re-shot it, but it's not yet been put on CD. The main reason for the delay in installing water is the need to finish the dry land scenes abutting the waterways. The first site requires an adjustment to a building, the second needs a fence and some ground cover and the Chippawa Creek area is done except for a nearby field.
    I agree that a little work with Photoshop would be helpful, although I think I'm close to my limit just figuring out how to take and post the pictures, never mind improving them. Also, no Photoshop, except on my daughter's computer, and I don't want to interrupt her in her job search.
    The curves are superelevated: after the risers were fastened perpendicular to the underside of the roadbed, I fastened the last riser before the curve perpendicular to the benchwork, then successive ones around the curve at a suitable angle,starting in the middle and working back to each end of the curve. Not much science involved here,the angle of the middle riser was jockeyed around 'til it looked good, then the rest were fastened to the benchwork wherever they happened to be. I did goof on the doubletrack curves on the approaches either side of the big station in Dunnville, though. That's the big stone structure in the background of the photos of the coal dealership in another post. I built both tracks on the same sub-roadbed and superelevated the pair together, whereas they should have each been on their own roadbed and superelevated separately. Oh, well.
    I know what you mean about kits being recognizable. Even though almost every kit structure is modified from its original design, some are hard to disguise, especially if the original version is pretty suitable for what's required.
    That Rico station in the first shot sorta pokes you in the eye, even though it's been modified and flipped to a mirror image of the original. Same with the Walthers coaling tower, even though I've added a sandhouse and a lot of extra Tichy ironwork. The Walthers shed to the left in the same photo is a stand-in: I'm building a lumber yard here from more parts of various kits with a little scrachbuilt thrown in for variety. And the trains and vehicles are all hobby standards, of course.
    I've also taken more pictures of the mystery train and will post them as soon as they're put on the CD. I gotta get a full-time assistant, although if I didn't blather on so much, I'd probably get more done.

  7. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Wayne, really exceptional scenes , Thanks for sharing.:)
    Ive really got to wonder though about how long that crew was benched after pulling into his final stop missing an entire passenger Coach or Combine (couldnt tell which).
    Do you suppose the railfans riding in there hijacked that car and are even now doing a photo shoot on some obscure siding ?? :D
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Very nice! :thumb: :thumb:

    This is publication-quality work - have you had anything in any of the magazines?

  9. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

    Hi Wayne,
    very nice scenes and wunderfull pictures !!!
    I hope to see more of this exellent done modelling job.
  10. oleirish

    oleirish Member

    Outstanding work!!But where did you get those cars???I need so many for my layout and can't find all of what I need? any thing from 1957 back to model "T"'s.If the rest of your work is at this standred I think Model Railroad or Railroad Modeler Woukd like those pictures and the story.
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Oops! Wow, Tileguy, when I saw your comment, I wondered what the heck you were talking about. Then I went back and looked at the pictures again. Seems like the first two photos are of the correct locomotive with another train. So much for continuity! This makes this move even more "mysterious". I checked through my stash of pictures and found a couple other shots of what are probably the passenger cars on the first version of the train, but the photo work must've been interrupted and never properly finished. Other than the two shots that you noticed, there doesn't seem to be a picture clearly showing this loco with the passenger cars. I'll just have to beg everyone's indulgence on this one. When I shot the rest of the pictures yesterday, I had to refer back to the view of the train coming around the curve just to try and find out what cars to use to reassemble the train: guess I should have gone even farther back.
    Again, thanks to everyone for the kind remarks. Andrew, I had an article in Model Railroader's Paint Shop back in February of 1980, on painting TH&B geeps. I've done some new pictures of them and will post them eventually. I've submitted other stuff to RMC, one on doing an NW-2, which was rejected because it was, surprise!, too wordy. Also sent them one on building the doodlebug featured in the "I've got gas..." post on The Gauge. I think that one was lost forever, as the material would have been down in that area when 9/11 occurred, and I never heard from them, even though I sent all the obligatory stuff for the return of my slides, etc.
    As for the vehicles, in the first shot (with the passenger cars), the tan sedan is from Sylvan, the Model A and the trucks are by Jordan. The green sedan at the level crossing in the last picture is another from Sylvan, with the Essex on the other side another Jordan. I do wish decent vehicles were a little cheaper: they can really set the period of a scene, but they are really just scenery.

  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Wayne: I can't show this to my father; he gew up on the shores of Chippawa Creek and he's very sensitive to the spelling. Probably hire an English teacher to hit you with a spelling book.
    (At least you didn't say the W*****d River!)
  13. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Well as to spelling , in the States we have a Chippewa Falls and we had Chippewa Indians etc. Maybe we just didnt know any better, as Americans weve butchered the English language for so long its become second nature . ;)

    Doc, your right, the mystery gets even more mysterious.
    Perhaps some scale Model RR club now has an oldtimer for a clubhouse just over the hill there :D
  14. galt904

    galt904 Member

    That's some beautiful work, doctorwayne. Will you ever have an open house? :)
  15. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    Great looking layout and shots! I truly enjoy seeing models from the rail fan perspective.
  16. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Well, it looks like the house of cards continues to fall apart. First, bogus photos, now spelling errors. And to think that I too lived on the banks of Chippawa Creek, many years ago, in Caistorville, Ont. It was literally right across the road: although I remembered the name, I always thought the spelling was with an "e"; we also knew it as the W*****d River, although spelled like that, it's very difficult to pronounce. I'll edit my post and hope that I can talk my brother into redoing the lineside signs on his computer.
    As far as the mystery goes, the thot plickens. I've actually shot a continuation of the story and now I'm waiting to have it put on CD so that I can post it. I'll also reshoot the first two views with the right train and substitute them in place of the two "wrong" ones. The reason for using that title in the first place was twofold: first, I'd already posted previous pictures of the area shown at the beginning, so I thought it would be an easy way to "explain" the presence of a CNR locomotive. Second, I've noticed that a catchy title seems to garner more response, as witnessed by the views of "I've got gas..." as compared to "At the head end of some more...", both posted at the same time. I think it's called playing to the audience.
    As for an open house, the short answer is "No". The long version goes something like this: last year I went, for the first time, on a layout tour sponsored by a nearby club. I saw lots of railroading, big and small, some just starting out, some very professional, and the complete spectrum of talent. I enjoyed EVERY one of them. About a week later, I was in my own layout room, just sorta lookin' things over, and I thought, "with a bit of work, I could make at least a couple of areas presentable before next year, I wonder.....". I asked a close friend if he'd be willing to help manage the crowds, answer questions, etc., and he readily agreed. Just one more obstacle, since the rest of the house, which is "hers", was required for access. That was the end of the plan. However, I do have a plan "B", and it's this: if someone wanted to drop by, by pre-arrangement of course, it could happen. A couple of caveats: no big crowds, no more than 2 or 3 at a time, although I can't imagine even that many wanting to see this. I've already shown the best of it, the rest is either not finished or not started. The other restriction is not on Sundays. Other than that, I'm usually here, night or day, trying to get more areas finished.
    The mention of seeing things from a railfan perspective brings up an interesting point. My good friend cn nutbar was over here one evening; we were running some trains, but also, maybe even moreso, just shootin' the breeze. He commented that almost anywhere the train was would make a good picture. I realized then that I had probably subconsiously designed it to be railfanned, perhaps even more than it should have been, to the detriment of real operation. And he was overly kind in his assessment of the photo possibilities: there are some areas that should never be photographed, worse things than the wrong train on the right engine, even.
    And one final word of warning: (well actually more than "one"), I talk even more in person than I do when I'm doin' the two-fingered boogie on the keyboard.

  17. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Wayne: I think even Lines of Country spells it with an e. or maybe a W. I'll ask my father for the story he was told about how Chippawa got its name.
  18. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Hi again, everybody. Just a note to bump this up, since I've posted several new pictures to finish the tale. I also want to apologize for 1: not being able to remove the incorrect pictures from the original post, even though I've replaced them with more correct photos. 2: posting one new picture twice, I can't remove it. 3: ending up with one of the incorrect original pictures at the end - don't know how I moved it, but I was trying to delete it.
    I hope you all enjoy the rest of the story. It's almost 5:00am, so I'll quit for now.
  19. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Since all of your pics are linked, you should be able to remove or change those links by clicking on that post's "edit" button and editing your posts. If you are still having trouble, PM me and let me see what I can do for you.

    BTW, I can't see anything wrong with anything you've posted here, all of them are great shots, impressive to say the least.:thumb::thumb:
  20. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    Wayne, I don't get to this forum on a regular basis but after seeing your work it will be my first stop now. Great scenery, great photos, great storylines. I look forward to more, they are all an inspiration for me to kick my own scenery attempts into high gear. Thanks for the opportunity to see your work.

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