January 4-10, 1998 Ice Storm

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January 4-10, 1998 Ice Storm

Postby NH2060 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:00 am

How badly were rail operations in Ontario and Quebec affected by the storm? Not much information seems to be out there (though there is a photo of passengers walking from a VIA Rail train towards the Dorval station in this article: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-new ... -disasters)
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Re: January 4-10, 1998 Ice Storm

Postby NS VIA FAN » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:34 am

Today’s (Thursday) westbound departure from Halifax is the last of the extra ‘Budd’ Oceans. That weather bomb moving up the US east coast will change over to rain when it reaches Nova Scotia but the Ocean will still encounter blizzard conditions as it makes its way through New Brunswick then into Quebec’s Matapedia Valley and along the St. Lawrence tonight.
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Re: January 4-10, 1998 Ice Storm

Postby chriskay » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:45 pm

NH2060 wrote:How badly were rail operations in Ontario and Quebec affected by the storm? Not much information seems to be out there (though there is a photo of passengers walking from a VIA Rail train towards the Dorval station in this article: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-new ... -disasters)

I remember taking VIA from Montreal to Ottawa a few days after the storm and during the height of disruption. I was living in Montreal but had no power for several days and the military was coming door-to-door getting people to leave their homes, so I decided to escape to stay with family in Ottawa.

IIRC the line between Coteau and Ottawa was severely affected with branches down across the track as well as the signal system being heavily damaged. I may not be remembering this correctly, but I believe the crew had to manually get down to clear some switches and signals. What was typically a 2 hour trip was much longer because of it.

I wish I'd journaled this, but alas I was a young student!
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Re: January 4-10, 1998 Ice Storm

Postby marquisofmississauga » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:48 pm

The line between Toronto and Montreal was closed for about four days. We had a friend travelling from London to Belleville when the storm hit. Normally that was a through Windsor-Toronto-Montreal train (with two separate numbers) but it was held in Toronto because the line was open only as far as Kingston. VIA did not operate on the Toronto-Kingston portion. Our stranded friend stayed with us for two nights and on the third day he took a bus to Belleville because it was unknown when VIA service would be restored.

I recall hearing that a CN locomotive was derailed and taken down a street to provide emergency power near Montreal. Here is some conversation about this amusing incident:

http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/194245.aspx
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