CN yard in rainy London, Ontario


Welcome to my new blog, featuring Planes, Trains, and anything cool and photographical! I have lots of good stuff (I hope!) to organize and post so stay tuned!

A drizzly day in Sept of 2014 found me shooting at the CN London Yard.

When I arrived, yard switchers #4774 (GP38-2W) and #4131 (GP9RM) were pulling out a cut of cars and then flat switching them into different yard tracks.


TILX #55341 and #55238 roll slowly into place. Trinity hoppers are probably my all-time favorite freight car type! I love the wet sheen and reflections on these two. They must have been fairly newly built to be so relatively clean.



PROX #43102 rolls by carrying Ethyl Alcohol and gives me a good look and the grime and rust pattern created by wheel-spray I presume? Something to remember for modelling tank cars 😉 White or light-colored tank cars seem more interesting in that they don’t look so ominous AND show off dirt and scuffs and texture so much better.




The engineer picks up his co-worker and heads off to their next assignment. You can see the last cars switched at the left side of the frame. I love seeing different shaped cars hooked up together because it really changes the dynamics of all the weight and momentum we imagine as we watch trains move around!



Parked at the end of the day…or was it lunch-time? Such a sorry looking little spur to sit in but it’s a great look at some grimy veteran ballast and the ever-present weeds!

London Yard is located in east-central London, Ontario. Photographic access is really good behind the Dollarama as you can walk on the flat ground (staying off the RR property of course), you can climb up the bridge embankment for some great vertical shots, or hike all the way up to the bridge (Highbury Avenue) to be directly above the mainline. The western end at Egerton Street is not bad either depending what’s there, but you have to plan carefully and be safe while crossing the grade. Drizzle or fog or snow really enhance this small yard. The backgrounds are pretty good also, with some kind of plant past the east end. The eastern elevated shooting positions eliminate a lot of the backgrounds, naturally. You also get mainline freights coming through all day, including some with BNSF power. The crews don’t seem to be bothered much when I show up but definitely notice me. I try for a friendly wave if I can. I’ve also met one of the local CN Police Constables and he was pretty cool. He said they had been having problems with coyotes in the yard from all the grain and food product spills and thus scaring the workers! All in all a great location to photograph as long as we stay off the property and maintain good relations!