Gene’s Junction

This page was created for those who are interested in watching and photographing trains (rail fanning). It’s a hobby enjoyed by thousands of people around the world. Unfortunately, it’s also a hobby that sometimes stirs up controversy. Remember the railroad Right of Way is private property, any time is train time and stay off the tracks.

There are a few rail fanning hot spots in Eastern Ontario. The CPR’s main line from Toronto to Montreal runs through Eastern Ontario.  A VIA line runs from Montreal to Toronto via Ottawa with several trains originating in Ottawa. The CN mainline from Toronto to Montreal also runs through Eastern Ontario. It also carries VIA traffic. A branch line from Ottawa to Arnprior still operates, once a week.

for 2022

Local Rail Photos

Year 2022.

Smiths Falls, June 24, 2022

Today I’m in Smiths Falls to visit the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario and to pay my membership dues. A great place to spend the day. Here are a few shots:

A view trackside of the station and some rolling stock.

The view inside the refurbished dining car.

Engine 6591, still running.

A refurbished CN caboose.

After my visit I decided to head over to the railyard to do some railfanning. A cloudy day with a slight mist. A Saskatchewan grain car caught my eye first.

Two way freight engines were idling in the yard.

I noticed the signals changed announcing the arrival of a Via train from Ottawa. 

About an hour later the Via train from Toronto passed through.

Havelock May 15, 2022

Returning home from Lindsay, Ontario from a family get together, we decided to stop in Havelock to have brunch at the Station Restaurant and see if anything was happening in the rail yard. It was late Sunday morning so it was pretty quiet.

On the back track some hoppers were getting loaded by a hopper truck.

Year 2021.

Havelock July 12, 2021

Sometimes, when we head off to Toronto, we take highway 7 and stop in at Havelock and have lunch at the Station Restaurant, which used to be CP’s Havelock station. This part of the old Havelock subdivision is still active. If you are lucky you may see a train. This particular day we were lucky and we watched a train enter the yard. We watched from  the restaurant’s patio.Here’s a few shots:

Smiths Falls

October 21st, 2021

Maybe the last visit this year to Smiths Falls. Today I’m joined by a railroad buddy from Scarborough.  It was a cold, fall day with a harsh wind.

The yard is very quiet but we are guaranteed at least two Via trains. It looks like the way freight with engine CP2228 is getting ready for the Glen Tay turn. 

There’s a few auto racks set off on the east end of the yard.

A piece of MOW equipment.

The via trains arrive:

First the train from Toronto:

Then the train from Ottawa:

The way freight starts some switching in the yard.

One last look down the tracks and we’re off to Perth for a late lunch.

June 24th, 2021

June 24th and I’m back in the Smiths Falls rail yard. Always great to be back at MF. Beautiful weather.


No trains in the yard but some autoracks have been parked on track two.


And a CWR rail train is parked in front of the station a few tracks over.


I decide to kill some time waiting for a train to arrive. Near the station, there is an odd looking ramp. It’s the remains of the loading ramp that was was used to load flat cars for CP’s piggy back service. Three tracks serviced this loading platform.

smiths-falls-piggy-back-ramps-loading dock-medium

smiths-falls-piggy-back-ramps-loading dock-3-medium

Finally the sound of a horn. The first train to arrive is the way freight, train F55, with a load of tank cars from the Omya plant just west of Perth.



Just a few minutes later, the Via train 53 to Toronto via Brockville enters the yard. Lots of passengers on the train today.


After a long wait, the Via train 42 from Toronto heading for Ottawa arrives.


and heads onto track two. Again, lots of passengers.


It’s been another long wait for a train. Finally east bound freight, train 142, enters the yard. Worth the wait. The lead engine is a new SD70 locomotive, CP7044.


It stops for a crew change and then its off to Montreal.




Train 142 has a DPU or remote on the tail end, CP 8123.


Time to head home.

January 8th

January 8th, I was off to Smiths Falls to do my first ever winter rail fanning and the first rail fanning for 2021. A few interesting cars as I look through the rail yard. Didn’t see the yard engines.

Some MOW equipment.

A lumber car.

The usual TTX box cars for a local truck company, Willis Transfer.

The excitement for today was a defective track on the turn to Brockville. Two Via trains, 52 and 53, had to pass first before the rail crew could start to work.

Clear signal. Via train 52 is close.

Train 52 from TO.

Then train 53 from Ottawa.

Train 53 leaves, lead engine 917 , rear engine 6415.

Time to get to work.

New rail is hoisted into place ….

… work continues while train 142 passes through.

Next local train F55 enters the yard returning from Glen Tay, the Omya plant.

It stops in the yard across from the station.

One last look facing east before I head out.

Year 2020.

Finally got to Smiths Falls to do some rail fanning this summer.

These photos were taken August 6th, 2020 between 11:45 AM and 3:00 PM.

There were a few interesting cars in the rail yard.

The tracks looking east. The track that veers to the right is Via’s Brockville Subdivision.

Via passenger train 53 enters the yard on its way to Brockville.

Train 118, an Intermodal, Automotive & Manifest train, destination Montreal …

… stops for a crew change.

The next train is a passenger train, Via 52, lead engine 920, from Toronto.

Train 142, an Intermodal and Manifest train arrives from Shilling, Illinois. It will stop further down the yard, pick up and drop off some cars, then it’s on its way to Montreal.

Yard engine CP2304 picks up a white van, and seven covered hoppers ….

and heads east down the main line.

These photos were taken August 26th, 2020 between 12:15 PM and 2:00 PM. Nothing much exciting today. I missed a heritage unit earlier in the week, CP 7011.

CP office in Smiths Falls. Crews change here.

The rolling stock in the rail yard changes from week to week. A few tracks over but behind the Railbox cars, there was an old, yellow van with the CP Multimark and some MofW equipment.

This old gondola was in the yard along with some tank cars.

Via passenger train 52, lead engine 904, arrives from Toronto on its way to Ottawa.

Also arriving, late, is Via passenger train 53. Train 52 waits for it to clear the track before proceeding.

Via passenger train 53 heads south to Brockville. The end unit on train 52 is 911, the end unit on train 53 is 916.

A freight, train 142, arrives next.

Train 142, a manifest train with lead engine 8808.

Train 142 heads east.

With no more trains reported arriving until after supper, I head home. On the way home I spot a freight car on a siding in front of the Via station on highway 29.

Looking south towards Smiths Falls. In the distance is CP’s Belleville sub.

The Via Station in Smiths Falls

These photos were taken November 10th, 2020 between 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM.

Who would have thought I’d been in Smiths Falls on November 10th doing some rail fanning. But that’s what happened. I got there a bit late to see Via train 52. However,  it looked as though there was at train in the yard already. It turned out to be a long line of cars were set off by a previous train. Reason unknown.

Here are closeups of some of the cars.

A Canadian Pacific box car

A Ferromex car rack.

A liquified petroleum tank car with an interesting inscription.

A blue-box car

I noticed the signal lights on the Brockville sub showed a clear signal, Via train 53 was on the way.

Via train 53.

Via train 53 with engine 6401.

Freight train 142 enters the yard on its way to Montreal.

Lead engine CP 8814.

DPU 9728.

Today, train 142 was dropping off some empty Omya tank cars. I head east down to White’s crossing to watch the switching.

The Omya tank cars are dropped off. The way freight will take them to the Omya facility.

Train 142 heads off to Montreal.

From previous  years [2019-2014]

Via train heading to Ottawa gets the green light.

Tie gang on the first track, Via on the second track and a way freight in the yard.

Interesting graffiti.


Ottawa bound Via train meets east bound freight train.


Intermodal pulls into Smith Falls.


Something you don’t see every day, a van.

A Jordan Spreader/ditcher, model 4.150


A Via passenger train with its Canada 150 colour scheme.

West bound freight waiting for the light.

Local freight locomotives – GP20C-ECO.

East bound oil train enters the yard.

Intermodal train arrives, tie gang on the left.

Freight train with lead engine CP9622 and a Via  passenger train with engine 903 arrive in yard.

CP 2266, lead engine, with 8866 (ES44AC).

A Via passenger train, coming from Ottawa with engine 911, enters the yard.

Hi-rail and CP2285 have a chat.

A couple of Potash Corp potash cars.

Yard engines get the green light to enter the Brockville sub.

Via train, engine 919, CP2266 meet.

Via passenger train heads to Brockville.

The big curve, the track on the far right is Via’s Brockville Sub.

Two yard engines, CP2266, CP2285.

Yard engine CP3024.

Yard engines CP2205 and CP2282.

Yard engines on the wye.

Hi-rail truck passes through the yard heading west.

Omya tank car.

MOW crane.

East bound manifest freight train, lead engine CP8152, sporting a new paint job, enters the yard.

Tie only gondola.

An old box car far side of the yard.

Sersa gondala

Motorized switch.

The old CPR station, now home to the Station Theatre.

Winchester/Mountain, Ontario


Auto rack from Montreal – Winchester.

Mountain Ontario, Clark Rd. crossing, looking east, 2018

Mountain Ontario, Clark Rd. crossing, 2018

The following pictures were taken in September 2020.  The double track is being removed. The CWR has been lifted, the ties and tie plates are left.

Clark Rd. crossing, looking west.

Hi-rail heading east.



Intermodal train with two AC4400 locomotives crossing the bridge at Merrickville. The train had a DPU engine in the middle.

Local freight from Smiths Falls, engine 2304.

CP Heritage Train – Canada 150

Not just a whistle, not just a train –

Ottawa Railway Station.

An F-unit diesel locomotive CP 1401 (1958) leads the train, the second locomotive is also an  F-unit , CP 4107, the third locomotive, a B-series,  CP1900 and last but not least another F-unit diesel locomotive, CP 4106.

New meets old.

One of the F- Series locomotives.

Other Photos


Rare catch – old port of Montreal


Old port of Montreal.

CP Holiday Train


The holiday train pulls into Smith Falls.



Use of my photos or the narrative in a responsible manner is granted. Just give me credit for the work please. I retain all rights to publish. Gene Kirkham.


6 Responses to Gene’s Junction

  1. chris says:

    do u have a train info for CP At Smiths Falls

  2. john curry says:

    hey, thanks very much! i’ve shot piles of stuff at Smiths Falls, mainly from ’95 to early 2ooos, including those experimental Iron Highway power slugs that looked like blue monkey bars for robots, &’ve been thinking of an outing there to shoot the Brockville run. glad to know at least that’s still going (i assume the Omya deliveries to Glen Tay are, too). shot lots of the Smiths-Ottawa run, too, before putting in the 416 scragged it. sad that we have next to no trains in Ottawa anymore.

    • The deliveries to Omya still happen, the train number is F55 for the Omya turn. F52 for the DeBeaujeu turn. I’ve never been to Smiths Falls to a winter shoot. Maybe this winter.

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