• Lines with obscure passenger services

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

David Benton wrote:http://www.steane.com/egtre/rotw/rotw.htm
Thanks, Interesting Link!

Here's a couple of additions for Canada. Though the trains are not in service on these two stretches of track, a railfan (and I have) might be able to talk a crew member into taking him along for the ride but probably harder to do in Halifax now that the Loop track is located within a gated, secure area within the port.

HALIFAX has a stub end passenger station. When VIA Train #14 the eastbound OCEAN has unloaded passengers and baggage it is immediately backed out of the station about 1 mile then heads through a “Loop” track at the HalTerm Container Terminal. After emerging from amongst the container, ships and gantry cranes, the Ocean backs into the passenger station now positioned correctly to depart for Montreal the next afternoon. Takes about a half hour to turn the train.

If you are just following the train by car, the whole operation is quite visible from public areas. The overhead bridge on South Park Street and the parking lot next to the container terminal at Point Pleasant Park.

If HalTerm is unable to accommodate VIA, the Ocean has occasionally backed all the way out to Windsor Jct (15 miles) where a Wye track is available.

GASPE also has a stub end passenger station. When VIA Train #16 the eastbound CHALEUR has unloaded passengers, it's backed out about a mile to a Wye track at Gaspe Harbour. Here it backs through the wye to a spur line that leads out to the wharf, pulls forward through the west chord then backs into the station properly positioned to return to Montreal later the same afternoon. It takes about 20 minutes to turn the train.

You can also drive out to the Wharf Spur to watch but take some ear plugs! The curve on the wye is very tight with lots of squeal from the wheel flanges!

  by David Benton
Thanks for that .
i think however that passengers need to be aboard to qaulify , but as you say it would be great to get a ride over moves such as these .

  by Scoring Guy
This is probably way off topic, but the forum headline triggered this bit of history to pop into my otherwise empty head:
From 1905 to 1933, there operated a RR out of La Crosse, Wisconsin, known as the La Crosse & Southeastern (it was actually funded at the time by the Cargil shipping company). It went south, from La Crosse, to Stoddard and then east through Chaseburg and Coon Valley, and T'd into the Milwaukee Road line (from Sparta to Viroqua) at Westby.
Although primarily put in place to haul agricultural products from the farmlands to the Port in La Crosse, it also offered passenger service, usually in the form of a "mixed train".
However in the latter stages of the lines existance, they put into service an RDC/motorcar kind of service, which was actually a 1920's era, over the road, bus, that was converted to run on rails, - complete with a cow catcher. Locally this contraption was given the nickname, the "Toonerville Trolley" after the cartoon strip which ran in the newspapers in the first part of the 20th Century.
After the L&S disolved in 1933, the track from La Crosse to Chaseburg was abondoned while the rest was bought by the Milwaukee Road. The Milwaukee Road continued to provide mixed train service, out of Sparta, to Viroqua and Chaseburg, until 1952, when that was curtailed. All of this track, on the "Y" shaped line south from Sparta, was abondoned in the early 1970's. And now you know the rest of the story,

  by vector_one75
1. Victor Harbour Tramway, Victor Harbour, South Australia, Australia. Regular schedule over a bridge to an offshore island, plus a short land stretch on the island. Possibly the only remaining "in-service" horse car line in operation anywhere in the world/

2. Busselton Jetty Train Service, Busseloton, Western Australia. Approximately 1 km long jetty at whose end id an underwater observatory. Currently suspended operation pending repairs to the deterioration of the jetty.

3. Don't know if it still operates, out in Canada, east of Winnepeg, there is (was?) a railway known as the "Greater Winnepeg Water District Railway which operates (ed?) a "mixed" (passengers and freight) train eastward from Winnepeg whose much of the freight is (was?) to cart out garbage / rubbish from Winnepeg out to excavated pits from the soil needed at the time to build a water supply aqueduct to supply water to the city. One can say that one can ride the "Garbage Train"! I cannot verify the truth of this history or operation, but I am lead to believe by others that this is (was?) so.

4. Again, I am not sure if this was fact, but in the last years of Rick Island operation, a short coach train connecting off the mainline nce operated with a round-ended observatiojn car tailing one coch. The observation carhad been mofified to remove the passengerseating and that external side baggage doors had been installed on the car. In effect a luxury "tail-end" (as opposed to "head-end") baggage car!

Vytautas B. Radzivanas
Perth, Weswtern Australia

  by Gilbert B Norman
I must wonder to what extent the service on the Isle of Wight which is located off Southampton UK can be considered obscure.

Must say I was astounded to learn that passenger rail service, using hand me down London Underground cars was operated on an island.

As I recall from a 1986 journey (as a freeman), the service was rather frequent.

Of course Isle of Wight is not that much of a tourist stop; this is where Her Majesty gives her 'bad boy' subjects time to reflect upon their transgressions. Escape would appear to be like unto that from Alcatraz. The body of water between the Isle and Great Britain, The Solent, is fraught with every hazard to navigation known to man.