Friday, 7 September 2007

All Aboard!

I was biking in the right place at the right time yesterday to catch unusual activity at the train station. It’s normally quiet all day as the only trains running are morning and evening GO commuter trains.

York Durham Heritage Railway had brought this veteran engine, DL 4068, from their yard in Uxbridge, Ontario, just a few miles up the line from Stouffville.
DL 4068 is an Alco RS-3 dating from the 1950s.

She (are trains female?? like ships?) had been stored in YDHR’s yard and was being picked up by CN to be delivered to Delaware and Lackawanna main yards at Batavia, NY for restoration. She will be restored to the original Delaware & Hudson black and yellow scheme, with D-L lettering. She was originally Lamoille Valley Railroad 7801.

CN 4114 arrived as scheduled to collect the engine.

Uncoupling from YDHR's engine.

She's finally coupled up to CN, and will soon be on her way to Toronto, and then on to Batavia for a bit of much needed TLC.

There's another pic of 4068 here in her original Delaware and Hudson colours.
And another one here.

On her way, down the line towards Toronto.
Somehow, I always feel a tinge of sadness at the sight of the back end of a train disappearing down the track.

YDHR engine 3612 on her way back to Uxbridge after a morning of hard work.
3612 is an RS-ll built by Alco (American Locomotive Company) in 1956.
The YDHR is run completely by enthusiastic volunteers, most of them are former railway employees.
I suppose once a railwayman, always a railwayman!


  1. You know, I was even wondering if trains were in use at all in Canada, even for public transportation. I guess only the big cities use them for commuting, or then take the train across Canada ($$$$$$!!!)

    Is this vintage train going to be restorated for use, or just as show object?

  2. CS: what you read in my post is all I know. I'm hoping to find out a bit more about this engine, and where it will end up.
    And, yes, there are lots of trains going all over the place in Canada, not just commuter trains. I went from Toronto to Ottawa by train a few years ago. But it's not cheap!

  3. Good write-up mum.

  4. Beautiful. My autistic grandson knows all trains by heart and the kind of engine, how many of this, and how many of that. He also know railroad signs and it never fails to amaze me at the amount of knowledge he has. He is now 8 and just began school in the third grade. A smart kid who loves trains.

    I grew up with an old steam engine going past my house every morning and coming back every evening. I watched that carry all the freight for the war, and for the farmers. If it wasn't grain it was machinery.

    My mom yelled at me to come outside quick. I must have been four or five and she pointed out the same train was pulling a few passenger cars past. It was all decorated with flags. Ladies in gowns with umbrellas and gentlemen in three piece suits, smoking cigars and wearing top hats. What a celebration they must have had. It was the last passenger train on that line.

    That steam engine then gave way to diesel and I never liked them much after that. They used something about the size of a switch engine when they switched to diesel.

    You have some nice photos and I never ever saw a white locomotive until I saw the one being restored in its original colors.

    Thanks for the invite.

    My Birds Blog

  5. Trains are so neat. wonderful photos

  6. Fascinating post. As a kid, we traveled by train to Florida and bsck probably 4 or 5 years in a row...Plus many many other traind--the LIRR as a comuter, etc. But the trip that was probanly the most memorable was going from NY to Chicago and then changing trains and going from Chicago to Reno, for my mothers divorce...the summer of 1945....Trains were fun back then.

  7. What a wonderful post! I enjoyed your photos and commentary. Thank you! I love trains and, like you, I can't help feeling a bit sad when I see a train depart. Dunno why!

    (Yes, I think trains are girls, like all other machines. :)

    Have a nice weekend!

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice coment.
    I'm loving it here at the Rook's Nest, and I'm looking forward to catching up on all your previous posts.
    Your train pix are great. My Mom and I traveled often by train in the 40s. To this day, the sound of a train whistle always makes me long to hop aboard.

  9. Won't it be wonderful to see her all decked out in her new paint? We will see her, won't we?

  10. I have enjoyed very much this post. Thank you for taking the time to go in the detale you did.

  11. You managed to make the train sound almost human!!! :)

  12. What a humongous machine!!

    To respond to your comment about the fire escape, I agree with you. I can imagine the "adventure" of trying to navigate down that narrow stairwell.

  13. una excelente coleccion...


  14. thank you for the train station tour! nice shots!

  15. Wow! Big boys toys.

    I would hate to see the big wind up key!

    Hope you are well!!


  16. Cool train shots, I used to lived near the train yards in Hillyard Washington, which is basically part of Spokane now, but in the early 1900's was one of only two places in the USA where they built the heavy steam locomotives. Thank you for visiting my blog. LC and Ranger.

  17. How neat that you were about to capture the moment. I think trains are probably "shes" like boats and cars usually are.
    She'll be a beauty when she gets all spiffed up!!

  18. Great pix...I live just far enough away from the RR trax to not be annoyed by the trains, but close enough for the sound to be somehow comforting. When I was a kid, I lived across the road from the trax and would sit for hours waiting for a train so I could wave at the engineer.

  19. Great series on the train restoration. Great pictures too.

  20. great pictures - this makes me understand the attraction of wanting to be a train driver!

  21. Proper trains! I miss watching the long trains snake their way across the prairies with the caboose at the end. Why oh why aren't there any more caboose? They should come back!

  22. I enjoyed your piece on the Lamoille Valley 7801(formally D&H locomotive) RS 3 leaving for New York. I grew up near the LVRC and remember well when they aquired the four (7801-4) Alco rs 3s from the D&H in 1978. Thil locomotive was very badly damaged in an accident in 1979. The railroad rebuilt it. 7802 was totaled in a grade crossing accident in the early 80's. 7803 and 4 were sold to the West Jersey Railroad.
    The locomotive that brought the RS 3 down to the yard, the Alco RS11 3614 is also a former LVRC locomotive. They purchased this when they purchased the RS 3. The Lamoille Valley purchased this locomotive from the Central Vermont along with two other RS 11s in the early 1990's. The other two were scrapped.
    There was a 5th RS 3 the railroad bought to replace the totaled 7802. This one stayed on until the end of the railroad. The traction motors and batteries in 7801 were taken from the 7805 when 7801 was sold. 7805 was in the engine house in Morrisville, Vermont when the railroad was abandoned. The salvage company cut the locomotive up for scrap in the engine house.
    I think the locomotive should be painted in the yellow and green scheme of the LVRC, but anyway...
    Thank you very much for posting these pictures.

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