We Have An Excuse

Christmas is fast approaching and people will be visiting their families and enjoying this festive time. We forget so many are alone at this time and will wonder why they are not part of those festivities. charlie

This time of the year people get down and withdrawn but it is only natural as we have had about 10 days of depressing cloudy winter weather. Looking at the next 10 days they are not much better with only a few flashes of Sun to tease us.

I find the best way to get through these days is to keep busy by doing what you like to do. I am lucky as I have my model trains, photography and even learning new skills on the computer. They keep me busy but I still go out and chase some trains or just go for a coffee. I don’t feel left out as I have friends who have invited me over if I want to go and have had many wonderful Christmas and many good memories to keep me in a positive mood.


If you are feeling down, drop me an email at railpast@railpast.com and maybe we can cheer each other up.

I wish everyone and all my family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful Happy New Year 2018 .


Chasing trains not only requires timing and lots of luck but huge reserves of patience as trains run on their own schedule. Mine was put to the test on Wednesday as I bundled up and headed out to one of my favorite spots around 7:30 am as I wanted to catch VIA 70 as it arrived in Woodstock Ontario at 8:10.

Cleaned off the car of snow , loaded the camera equipment and was off as camera settings whirled around in my head. The Sun is lazy these days and does not show up until around 8:00 am if at all.  Climbed up on the small hill just before the station and waited. The arrival time came and went and still no train but figured with the snow would be a little late. I should have checked the computer to see if it was on time but it usually is so did not. More waiting and I heard a train horn but no train in sight so jumped into action then realized it was VIA 71 that arrives at 8:30 heading west. I could not see the station from where I was but knew what train it was.freezing man

Time to drag out the cell phone to check and was at least encouraged as it showed arrival at 8:43 so it was late but at least was still coming. The temp was around 15F but I was dressed properly and no wind so continued to wait. The new time passed and nothing but figured a CN freight would be through soon so paced around and waited some more. The scanner screeched to life and let me know CN 397 was in the area and would be here soon. Checked the phone and the new VIA time is 10:01. CN 397 blew through and still no VIA 70. More waiting and time to check the phone again. What! New time is now 11:15 and I have been standing on this hill for about 3 hours. clockMore stomping of feet, some dance steps and singing and decided to go check the display at the station. As I drove up to the station there was a bus there and the screen shows the train was cancelled and people were being “bustituted” as the train was cancleed due to mechanical issues. Guess they forgot to plug it in.

Only train I caught was the CN freight after over 3 hours. I know it sounds silly but at least I was outside enjoying the weather and watching people go about their days. Beats sitting inside doing nothing. Did catch VIA 72 at 11:30 which was on time.  🙂

Only nine more sleeps till Santa arrives. Still figuring out what he will bring me this year.


Today there is no doubt winter has arrived with about 2  inches ( 5cm) of snow overnight and another 4 inches (10cm) expected tonight. Looks like another cold with temps around 10F and windy day but if you dress right it can be fun. Here we see VIA 70 blowing through Beachville Ontario this morning..

VIA 70 VIA 910 Beachville Ontario Dec 12 2017.JPG

Lucky for me the small station in Ingersoll is there and spent the morning in it shooting through the window as winds were sure blowing the snow around not to forget about the snowstorm the trains bring with them. I caught a number of CN and VIa trains and have uploaded the video which is below.

My left knee is still aching and seems to come and go hurting a lot at times and making me winch with each step and then just throbbing at others.  Tylenol helps but hope it goes away and is nothing serious. It is not in the joint but just on the side hear the front. Putting the heating pad on it seems to help a bit so will keep doing that.

Be careful out there as this is the time falls can be serious, just ask he as I am a bit of an expert on them. 🙂 Keep warm and get out and enjoy the winter.

We Knew It Was Coming

I guess Winter has arrived and looks like the next few days we will get a good dose of reality as snow and cold temperatures move it. We should not complain as it is almost the middle of December and the positive side is we only have 4 1/2 months left.

The good side of winter is I don’t have to listen to some person who never grew up revving his loud motorcycle as he goes by my apt every 10 minutes. Also the pair across the street who are both partially deaf who sit out half the night and babble like a couple of magpies.

Did get a chance to get the first winter shots of the year with more chance in the coming days. Here we see CN 385 blasting though Ingersoll yesterday.

CN 385 CN 2243 CN 5752 CN 212 Ingersoll Ont Dec 10 2017

Now if my knees would start co-operating I could really enjoy it. The pain seems to come and go with really nothing I do aggravating it. One minute I can hardly walk, next one no pain at all. It seems there is too much fluid in the knee and air bubbles form in it and if they move to the wrong places they get crushed and that is what cause the pain. I hope it just goes away and is not a sigh of arthritis or other long-lasting problem. Ah the joys of getting old. Actually can’t think of too many right now.


I look on the positive side and it could be a lot worse so will just grin and bear it.

Time for me to limp outside and enjoy this wonderful winter day.

Have a great one.



Only Hurts When I Move

Those of us who own cars wonder every day if this is the day it will not start, make a noise we have not hurt or just plain will not run properly and it will cost us money.

Our body is no different as we get older and each day I can get out of bed by myself, go to the bathroom by myself and everything seems to be working I am very grateful, anything after that is a bonus.

Well a couple of days ago my knees were aching so bad had to get up and take a couple Tylenol to get back to sleep. I was not concerned as damp weather plays hell with old joints and bones and make then feel like somebody replaced the cartilage with sandpaper.

Monday I got up and could hardly walk as the pain in the inside of both knees mad me wince with every step. paininkneeeMore Tylenol and the pain eased a bit but it has now been happening for about  3 or 4 days. What do do? Of course head to the Internet and some self diagnose of the problem.

I found this ” Pain from pes anserine bursitis is located on the inside of the knee, just below the joint. Bursitis usually develops as the result of overuse or constant friction and stress on the bursa. Pes anserine bursitis is common in athletes, particularly runners.

Oh well now I understand  but wait my body is that of a fine tuned athlete  but running is a no no after defying gravity last year while doing it. Looks like rest and quit doing what caused it is the cure but no idea what caused it. Guess I will grin and bear and and stock up on Tylenol.

Headed to Brantford yesterday to catch Southern Ontario Railway cruising down Clarence Street. Not many place there is “street running” if only for 100 feet or so. One guy almost crashed in to the train and just about ran over a pedestrian, what a moron. Weather people got it right this time and clouds did not move in till around 1 PM. Winds were about 40 mph which made it feels like -15F but I dressed warm and no problems. Day worked out great with some good photos and video.

Southern Ontario Railway RLHH 2111 RLHH 2081 Clarence Street Brantford Ont Dec 6 2017

Here is the video:  

Hope you enjoy it.

Have a super day.

Did Not Hurt Too Much

I had to take the HHR in for some work and always get nervous as to how much it will cost as no more of “it was just a little bolt loose ” repairs. Most garages are about $80 an hour so even minor repairs can get expensive.  I have been taking my vehicle it to CTC in Woodstock for about 20 years and always had great service and no surprises as they always provide a quote on major repairs in and a lot of cases come in below.  2009 HHRJoe and Dan really seem to care and I am confident they only do what is necessary and stand behind their work. I was figuring on about $400 and even with an oil change got out of there for less than $200. 🙂  Had the bushings on both stabilizer arms replaced and some minor front end work. No noise and feels like a new car. Thanks Guys

Tomorrow might take another trip to Brantford to see if I can catch Southern Ontario Railway rolling down Clarence Street. Weather shows sun and clouds but clear till around 2 PM so will see what happens and if they show up this time.


Not sure how long the line will be in service so have to get photos and video while it is. If they are not running stops along the way and at Paris might supply some action.

Have a good day and enjoy as the ugly stuff is coming. 🙂

Stick My Finger Out.

You would think with all the technology at their fingertips the weather people could at least get the next day correct. Forecast was for a sunny Saturday but when I woke up and had planned to head trackside I was greeted by dull and overcast skies that two hours  later are still the same.


I guess I will go back to the “stick my finger out the door” to see what today feels like.

At least today the HERO Gold Tournament is on with Tiger Woods back playing after almost a year off. He looked good and was leading a number of times and ended round 2 just 3 shots back.  He sure adds excitement to golf as you always know he is capable of an amazing shot. He even makes pars exciting. He looks great and if his back continues to improve many more great shots can be coming.Tiger Woods

I know he has had problems in the past but being thrown into the limelight like he was and having millions thrown at him it could have happened to anyone. He has paid dearly for his mistakes and I watch because of his golf magic. While in the Bahama’s he is staying on his private yacht so life is pretty good. I hope he does well and we can see more great golf from him.

I was always a duffer and am amazed at what he and the others can do on the course. Coverage starts at 12:30.

Have a great day.