CN GRIMSBY SUBDIVISION

TRACKSIDE GUIDE & PHOTOS

EX-NW RUNNING RIGHTS | EX-NS RUNNING RIGHTS | VIA & AMTRAK RUNNING RIGHTS
SOUTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY (SOR): BETWEEN HAMILTON AND MILLEN | TR RUNNING RIGHTS: MILE 9 TO 14

Present timetable listing for this line:

CN ~ GRIMSBY SUBDIVISION
DECEMBER 1, 2007 - PRESENT

MILE
Bridge
(Jct. with CSX Niagara Branch)
0.0
Niagara Falls0.6
Main Track Begins/Ends2.3
Clifton
(Jct. with CN Stamford Subdivision)
2.6
2.8
Seaway8.1
Jct with TR Thorold Spur9.45
Glenridge9.9
Jordan16.6
Nelles Road26.8
Millen35.3
Hamilton
(Jct. with CN Oakville Subdivision)
43.7

Traffic movement on this line:

     Rule 105 Territory - Not to exceed 15 mph between Bridge and Mile 2.3.
     CTC Territory - Signaled movement between mile 2.3 and Mile 43.7.


Points of interest along this line:

     Mile 0.0 (Bridge): Whirlpool Bridge, Niagara Falls : This is the border of Canada and the U.S. Only two passenger trains pass across this bridge. They are Amtrak's 97 and 98 also known as the Maple Leaf and 63 and 64 when in the U.S.

     Mile 0.6 (Niagara Falls) : Bridge Street, Niagara Falls : At mile 0.6, you will see the VIA Rail passenger station located near the bottom of Bridge Street in Niagara Falls, ON. There are some great opportunities to grab a slow moving eastbound passenger train coming around the bend just west of the station.

Mile 1.3 (Niagara Falls Yard) : Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls : This is where CN's Niagara Falls yard is located. Not much happens here these days except the odd local freight train. The yard is mostly empty these days, as the majority of the cars go to Port Robinson and Fort Erie.

     Mile 2.6 & 2.8 (Clifton): Church's Lane, Niagara Falls : The wye to and from the CN Stamford Subdivision is here. You can get some nice pictures right in the middle of the wye on Stanley Avenue. All local switchers eastbound and returning from the CN Stamford Subdivision almost always head around the east leg of the wye. All of the main line freight trains take the west leg of the wye. During the evening, after the evening VIA train reaches Niagara Falls, the unloaded passenger train uses the wye to turn the train around for the westbound departure the next day.

     Mile 8.1 (Seaway): Welland Canal, St. Catharines : At mile 8.1, this is the bridge over the present Welland Canal.

Mile 9.6 (Merritton) : Merritt Street, St. Catharines : This is the location of the old CN Merritton station, which burned down the night of October 21, 1994. This is where you can catch Trillium's St. Catharines Job cross over the CN Grimsby Subdivision to service industries on the Lakeshore and Grantham Spurs.

     Mile 11.8 (St. Catharines) : Great Western Street, St. Catharines : This is where the St. Catharines VIA station is located. To get here, take St. Paul Street West over Twelve Mile Creek. Turn right on Great Western, just before the green bridge.

     Mile 17.5 (Jordan) : Martha Street, Jordan : This used to be where CN Jordan was located. It is now located a few roads east of Jordan Road, where the eastern end of the single track between Grimsby and St. Catharines. There is a cool bridge spanning Jordan Harbour. You might want to check it out.

     Mile 23.3 (Beamsville) : Ontario Street, Beamsville : There used to be an MOW building along the east side at the crossing, but in 2001 it was removed. I believe there is a signal here for eastbound trains.

     Mile 26.8 (Nelles Road) : Nelles Road, Grimsby : This is now the western end of the single track portion of the CN Grimsby Subdivision.

     Mile 27.4 (Grimsby) : Ontario Street, Grimsby : At Grimsby, there is a former rebuilt station and a small shelter building beside the tracks used by VIA Rail.

     Mile 32.1 (Winona) : Regional Road 50, Winona : Winona is just a name along the tracks.

     Mile 35.3 (Millen) : At Millen, there are a set of crossover tracks.

     Mile 43.7 (Hamilton) : This is the west end of the CN Grimsby Subdivision where trains either enter or leave the CN Oakville Subdivision.


Operations on this line:

     The CN Grimsby Subdivision is the busiest line in the Niagara Region, besides the CN Stamford Subdivision. It is 43.7 miles in length, running between the end of the CN Oakville Subdivision in Hamilton to the U.S. side of border in Niagara Falls, NY.
     Several trains daily, run daily in both directions, with meets along the way at times, due to the removal of the south track between St. Catharines and Grimsby.
     Both passenger and freight trains traverse the CN Grimsby Subdivision. Passenger trains operate in the early morning and evening in addition to Amtrak 97 around noon and VIA trains in the late morning and mid afternoon on the weekends.
     Freight traffic only go as far as CN Niagara Falls yard on the CN Grimsby Subdivision, as U.S. bound traffic takes the CN Stamford Subdivision at mile 2.6. Freight trains do not cross the border at Niagara Falls but the odd one over the years has such as a special run or there is a derailment on the CN Stamford Subdivision. Only the Amtrak 97 and 98 use the Niagara Falls bridge these days.
     Once in awhile, you will see the local Niagara Falls yard job pull up to about mile 0.7 on the CN Grimsby Subdivision, because he is switching the east end of Niagara Falls yard. You can watch this switching from the Victoria Avenue overpass. I'm not too sure what is done these days at CN Niagara Falls yard since CN Fort Erie yard has come alive with action.
     The CN Grimsby Subdivision, like others, is another of the oldest in the area, built by the Great Western in 1853. I don't know if it was then a double track line when it was built.
The CN Grimsby Subdivision connects to the CN Stamford Subdivision at mile 2.6 and 2.8 of the CN Grimsby Subdivision in Niagara Falls. There is a wye at this location but the west leg didn't exist prior to the 1970's. Freight trains take the west leg of the wye to and from the CN Stamford Subdivision from or to Black Rock on the U.S. side of the border, crossing the Niagara River at Fort Erie.
     The wye is also used to turn the daily evening VIA train that does not cross the border at Niagara Falls.
     Trillium also operates on the CN Grimsby Subdivision to cross the double track from the TR Thorold Spur to the former NS&T St. Catharines trackage.
     When Trillium needs to head south out of Merritton and south on the TR Thorold Spur, they have to cross the double track Grimsby Subdivision by getting permission to enter onto the north track of the CN Grimsby Subdivision from Merritton. They head west down the north track of the CN Grimsby Subdivision and pass the signal at CN Glenridge (mile 10), then crossing over to the south track and heads back east to CN Merritton on the south track.
     At CN Merritton on the south track there is a switch to the TR Thorold Spur, where they clear CTC territory onto Rule 105 and up the TR Thorold Spur and back to Welland changing over to the TR Canal Spur at Thorold.
     During late 2000 and early 2001, the CN Grimsby Subdivision was single tracked removing the south track between mile 16, just west of St. Catharines and Nelles Road at Grimsby resulting in a single track portion of about 10 miles. The photos on this page show a mixed bag of photos of the CN Grimsby Subdivision prior and after the south track's removal between St. Catharines and Grimsby.
     Most of the activity on the CN Grimsby Subdivision is during the morning, but once noon comes the traffic is very random until dinner, when the two passenger trains plus the odd freight will move through Niagara.
     On December 30, 2006, NS 328 headed for Buffalo, NY. for the last time with two light units. Since late 1995 or early 1996, NS ran the CN Grimsby Subdivision, operating NS 328 and 328. The contract with NS to service the Ford plant in Talbotville ended, after about 107 or so years of Wabash, N & W and NS activity in the St. Thomas area. NS has now almost ceased to exist in Canada, except for NS 369, which still interchanges with CN at Fort Erie on the CN Stamford Subdivision.
     I have neglected to mention any of the industries on the CN Grimsby Subdivision. There is Stark Lumber just west of the St. Catharines VIA station a new roads over off of the south track. There are a few up around Millen and Stoney Creek, but I am not familiar with the industries along the line west of St .Catharines.
     I was informed that on September 20, 2009, CN removed the switch to Stark Lumber on the west end of St. Catharines.
     During the winter of 2011 into 2012, CN tore out their Niagara Falls yard by Victoria Avenue.
     In late April 2013, I found out that the crossover at about mile 2.75 was removed and changed to a standard switch, cutting off traffic headed betond that place on the old EB main.


Pictorial view of this line:

603 photos in gallery

Select a mileage to display
| 0 - 3 | 3 - 6 | 6 - 9 | 9 - 12 | 12 - 15 | 15 - 18 | 18 - 21 | 21 - 24 | 24 - 27 | 27 - 30 | 30 - 33 | 33 - 36 | 36 - 39 | 39 - 42 | 42 - 44 |


Mile 0.00
Looking East
(1998)

Mile 0.00
Looking West
(1998)

Mile 0.00
Looking West
(2003)

Mile 0.15
Looking North
(2003)

Mile 0.15
Looking West
(2000)

Mile 0.44
Looking East
(2007)

Mile 0.44
Looking East
(2007)

Mile 0.44
Looking East
(2009)

Mile 0.44
Looking East
(2010)

Mile 0.44
Looking East
(2014)

Mile 0.44
Looking South
(2014)

Mile 0.50
Looking Northeast
(2014)

Mile 0.50
Looking East
(1997)

Mile 0.50
Looking East
(2014)

Mile 0.50
Looking West
(1997)

Mile 0.50
Looking West
(2014)

Mile 0.55
Looking East
(1998)

Mile 0.60
Looking East
(2006)

Mile 0.60
Looking East
(2008)

Mile 0.60
Looking West
(1998)

Mile 0.60
Looking West
(2006)

Mile 0.60
Looking West
(2008)

Mile 0.62
Looking West
(2006)

Mile 0.62
Looking West
(2006)

Mile 0.62
Looking West
(2009)

Mile 0.80
Looking East
(2002)

Mile 0.80
Looking West
(2002)

Mile 0.85
Looking West
(2008)

Mile 0.90
Looking North
(1998)

Mile 1.15
Looking North
(2006)

Mile 1.15
Looking North
(2006)

Mile 1.15
Looking North
(2006)

Mile 1.15
Looking North
(2012)

Mile 1.15
Looking South
(1997)

Mile 1.15
Looking South
(1999)

Mile 1.15
Looking South
(2006)

Mile 1.15
Looking South
(2006)

Mile 1.15
Looking South
(2012)

Mile 1.15
Looking South
(2012)

Mile 1.20
Looking North
(2005)

Mile 1.20
Looking North
(2005)

Mile 2.10
Looking Northwest
(1997)

Mile 2.10
Looking Northwest
(1997)

Mile 2.10
Looking Southeast
(2009)

Mile 2.30
Looking Northwest
(2013)

Mile 2.30
Looking East
(2013)

Mile 2.30
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.30
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.40
Looking Southeast
(2004)

Mile 2.40
Looking Southeast
(2012)

Mile 2.40
Looking Southeast
(2014)

Mile 2.40
Looking Southeast
(2014)

Mile 2.62
Looking Northwest
(2002)

Mile 2.62
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(2002)

Mile 2.62
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(2004)

Mile 2.62
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(2005)

Mile 2.62
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(2005)

Mile 2.62
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(2006)

Mile 2.62
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(2013)

Mile 2.62
Looking Northwest
(2013)

Mile 2.62
Looking Northwest
(2014)

Mile 2.62
Looking Northwest
(2014)

Mile 2.62
Looking Southeast
(2005)

Mile 2.62
Looking Southeast
(2012)

Mile 2.62
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.62
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.62
Looking Southeast
(2014)

Mile 2.62
Looking Southeast
(2014)

Mile 2.62
Looking Southeast
(2014)

Mile 2.62
Looking West
(2003)

Mile 2.64
Looking Northwest
(2014)

Mile 2.64
Looking Northeast
(2014)

Mile 2.64
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.65
Looking Southeast
(2006)

Mile 2.65
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.70
Looking Northwest
(2013)

Mile 2.70
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.80
Looking Northwest
(2013)

Mile 2.80
Looking Northwest
(2013)

Mile 2.80
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.80
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.80
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.80
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.80
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.84
Looking Northwest
(1997)

Mile 2.84
Looking Northwest
(2003)

Mile 2.84
Looking Northwest
(2013)

Mile 2.84
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(2013)

Mile 2.84
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(1997)

Mile 2.84
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(2003)

Mile 2.84
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(2004)

Mile 2.84
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(2013)

Mile 2.84
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(2013)

Mile 2.84
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(2013)

Mile 2.84
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(2013)

Mile 2.84
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.84
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Mile 2.84
Looking South
(2013)

Mile 2.84
Looking West
(2013)

Mile 2.90
Looking Southeast
(2013)

Select a mileage to display
| 0 - 3 | 3 - 6 | 6 - 9 | 9 - 12 | 12 - 15 | 15 - 18 | 18 - 21 | 21 - 24 | 24 - 27 | 27 - 30 | 30 - 33 | 33 - 36 | 36 - 39 | 39 - 42 | 42 - 44 |


     Abandoned Rail Tunnel....

     The following table consists of photos of the former train tunnel used at the turn of the Century.
     It's location is under the GM service road off of Glendale Avenue in St. Catharines on the east side of the present Welland Canal.
     To check out this tunnel, follow Glendale Avenue over the lift bridge on the Welland Canal. Take the first road on the north side of the road. It will head back west and then south under Glendale Avenue.
     Next follow this line till you come to the yellow gate at the entrance to the GM plant. Park your vehicle here.
     Walk under the CN Grimsby Subdivision and keep walking on the road (the road is blocked off to vehicles) until you come to a guard rail on the right side of the road. Look over the edge and you will see a path down a hill through the trees.
     Follow the path down the hill. This is the west entrance.
     The east exit is hard to get to, so walk on through. It is wet on the east end.
     Please note that the wooden log floor you see plus the ceiling brace in the photos was put in several years ago to stop the tunnel from collapsing and flooding the area.
     Watching a show on TV Cogeco in May 2013, I learned that this tunnel was known as the Blue Ghost Tunnel. It was built in the 1870's and was abandonded around the beginning of WWI.
     Several people were killed around the Blue Ghost Tunnel. I don't know if they were employees or just regulars. They claim that there were ghosts in this tunnel.
     The length of this tunnel is 650 feet.
     I was informed that the west hole of the tunnel has since been plugged up to keep people out of the tunnel (didn't work, but it certainly doesn't look like a train tunnel anymore).
     Photos by Jeff Godin.

6 photos in gallery


Looking East

Looking East

Looking West

Looking East

Looking West

Looking West
(2015)


     This photo is of the old line down the track from the tunnel where Homer Road used to go over top of the former trackage.

1 photos in gallery


     These photos are of the old trackage within the GM plant along mile 8.1 of the CN Grimsby Subdivision.

4 photos in gallery


Looking North
(1998)

Looking East
(1998)

Looking East
(1998)

Looking West
(1998)


     This photo is of CN Merritton station which was unfortunately set ablaze on October 21, 1994. Photo taken the following morning.

1 photos in gallery


Looking Southwest
(1994)


     These photos are of Upper Merritton yard, on the CN Grimsby Subdivision.

7 photos in gallery


Looking West
(1997)

Looking East
(1997)

Looking West
(2003)

Looking East
(2003)

Looking West
(2003)

Looking East
(2003)

Looking East
(2013)


     These photos are of the Merritton yard, on the CN Grimsby Subdivision.

28 photos in gallery


Looking East
(2005)

Looking East
(2013)

Looking Southwest
(2003)

Looking Southeast
(1997)

Looking East
(1997)

Looking West
(2003)

Looking East
(2003)

Looking West
(2003)

Looking East
(2003)

Looking West
(2003)

Looking Northwest
(2010)

Looking Northwest
(2011)

Looking Northwest
(2013)

Looking Northwest
(2013)

Looking Northwest
(2015)

Looking Northeast
(2015)

Looking East
(2013)

Looking East
(2013)

Looking East
(2013)

Looking Southeast
(2013)

Looking Southeast
(2013)

Looking West
(2013)

Looking East
(2003)

Looking West
(2009)

Looking East
(2009)

Looking West
(2009)

Looking East
(2009)

Looking West
(1997)


     These photos are of Niagara Falls yard on the CN Grimsby Subdivision.

19 photos in gallery


Looking North
(2005)

Looking Northeast

Looking West
(2012)

Looking West
(2012)

Looking West
(2012)

Looking North
(2006)

Looking North
(2012)

Looking North
(2012)

Looking South
(2012)

Looking South
(2012)

Looking North
(2006)

Looking North
(2012)

Looking North
(2012)

Looking South
(2012)

Looking South
(2006)

Looking North
(2012)

Looking North
(2012)

Looking South
(1999)

Looking Southeast
(1997)


     These photos are of the track that leads out of Niagara Falls yard on the CN Grimsby Subdivision, south under Victoria Avenue.

2 photos in gallery


Looking Southeast
(1998)

Looking Southeast
(2003)


     These photos are of the 'screaming tunnel' on the CN Grimsby Subdivision, just west of the QEW.

2 photos in gallery


Looking North

Looking South


     These photos are of the plant lead across Glendale Avenue on the CN Grimsby Subdivision.
     This used to be trackage from the old bridge over the Grimsby Subdivision that connected in with the Thorold Subdivision, just west of the Welland Canal. Please see the Thorold Subdivision page at the bottom with the bush and bridge remnants.

     All of the photos, except the last one are of the old line that led to the old bridge over the Grimsby Subdivision. The last photo is of the scrap metal plant off of this line. You can see the switch that leads into this plant.

8 photos in gallery


Looking West
(2010)

Looking East
(2010)

Looking East
(2010)

Looking Southwest
(2013)

Looking Southeast
(2013)

Looking Southeast
(2013)

Looking Southwest
(2013)

Looking West
(2013)


     These photos are of the plant lead along the CN Grimsby Subdivision, from Niagara Falls yard. This lead lead into a plant along the CN Grimsby Subdivision at Stanley Avenue, next to mile 2.83.

12 photos in gallery


Mile 2.65
Looking Southeast
(2006)

Looking Northwest
(2012)

Looking Northwest
(2012)

Looking Southeast
(2012)

Looking Southeast
(2012)

Looking Southeast
(2005)

Looking Southeast
(2012)

Looking Southeast
(1997)

Looking Northwest
(1997)

Looking Northwest
(2012)

Looking Northwest
(2012)

Looking Northwest
(2013)