Valley Line south of Woodstock, NB

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Valley Line south of Woodstock, NB

Postby trainsinmaine » Thu May 24, 2007 11:09 am

While we're on the subject of things re CP, CN and Upper Saint John: I was in Woodstock a few weeks ago and drove south of town on the old highway to try to trace where the CN's Valley Line toward Mactaquac. About three miles south of Woodstock, the ROW can be seen up on a hill, elevated well above the highway on a long and high fill. At one point along in there I saw a fully-intact (and sizeable) underpass. I couldn't find an access road to it, however. Does anyone know what it crosses?

South of the intersection with the Trans-Canada, and all the way to the dam, the roadbed is very difficult to trace. I could find only bits and snatches of it. I gather most of it is now under water(?).
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Postby graftonterminalrr » Mon May 28, 2007 10:18 pm

Atta boy. You have now entered my personal stomping grounds. I walked every inch of that particular track and I have fond memories of tromping around the track and bridge there growing up.

There really ain't much info on the subject but here's what I know...

1967. Mactaquac dam opens and floods much of the lower land near the river. Island Park in Woodstock is submerged as Mactaquac's headpond reaches to the present-day Grafton bridge.

CN's Centreville Sub is largely submerged as well. CP, having the higher line, grants trackage rights from South Devon (Fredericton North) to Valley, 3 or 4 miles south of Woodstock.

Valley was previously the site of a simple railroad overpass of sorts which carried the CN over CP's trackage. With the previous CN trackage now unusable and torn up, Valley now became the point where CN resumed its own trackage, and an interchange point for freight cars bound for the CP and beyond.

Here's how it worked. At the Woodstock Indian Reservation (today's Woodstock First Nation) the tracks were near parallel with approximately 400 feet between tracks. 1.5 miles from the bridge, the CN started an ascending grade while the CP remained "flat." CN cut it's old trackage off at this point. Trains entering Valley on the CP would stop before the bridge past a set of switches. They would then reverse on the interchange track until completely on CN trackage and continue on their way across the bridge through the Industrial Park where the CN station was located (this is now Phillips Street as it utilises the old rail bed). CN trackage consisted of a small yard, several industrial spurs then to a warehouse and Karnes Bakery before running along the Meduxnekeag River and under the highway overpasses (one of which has recently been replaced).

CP trackage continued to the Woodstock station on Lower Main, across the mouth of the Meduxnekeag in downtown Woodstock, across the bridge near Grafton and continue through Pembroke to Hartland.

Signaling in both cases was non existant and operation was done by timetable/train order.

I have not been able to find photos of CN operations in Woodstock post-1970 and CP operation photos are hard to find as well.
Last edited by graftonterminalrr on Mon May 28, 2007 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"What was it the engines said?
Pilots touching, head to head,
half a world behind each back?
'They should have made this double track'"
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Postby graftonterminalrr » Mon May 28, 2007 10:23 pm

This picture may help. It's from CN's October 1983 Car Control manual.

Spins Designation Usable Footage
NN02 Valley - Storage & Runaround 1000
NN03 Valley - Tail Track 400
NN07 Woodstock - Mason & Risch Ltd. 1050
NN11 Woodstock - Siding 995
NN12TT Woodstock - Public 790
NN13TT Woodstock - Public 400
NN15TT Woodstock - Public & Ramp 630
NN16 Woodstock - Irving Oil 190
NN18 Woodstock - Atlantic Wholesalers 220
NN20 Woodstock - Karnes Bakery 200
NN25TT Bellville - Public 300
NN28 Lindsay - Siding 1525
NN29 Lindsay - Public 500
NN35TT Avondale Road - Public 500

Image

This site was a gold mine.

http://www.theboykos.com/raildocs/cn/ca ... 0a/#Page79
"What was it the engines said?
Pilots touching, head to head,
half a world behind each back?
'They should have made this double track'"
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Postby Highball » Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:35 pm

:-) CN had transferred running its Woodstock / Centerville trains, over CP's Gibson Sub, by late 1965, the year that construction of the Mactaquac Dam , began in earnest.

South of Woodstock, beginning several hundred feet below Valley, track to Fredericton was lifted in 1966.

I recall several springs in the late 50's, whereby, CN had to run over the Gibson Sub for a time, when ice jams in the area below the present Mactaquac Dam, known as the McKINLEY FLATS, the site of a salmon rearing station today, would create flooding of the tracks. Actually, the portion of the road leading to the hatchery, is built upon the old railbed.

On several occasions in 1981 / 1982, I saw how CN trains accessed thier own rails ( Centerville Sub ) at Valley, from CP's Shogomoc Sub. There was a connecting track, at grade, between the two lines. CN trains would then back toward its Woodstock yard over their own rails ( and over and above the CP line it had earlier passed, via a bridge ), for a distance of 1.9 miles.

Once in the yard, the van would be dropped and positioned for the trip north to Centerviile, about 25 miles. Switching was done for several industries....... Karnes Bakery........ a food wholesaler......an oil storage depot, being the prime customers. CP interchange was done at CP's yard in downtown Woodstock, as CN passed through that yard on it's journey to / from Fredericton.

The last CN train to Woodstock was March 26th, 1987......Extra 1765 North with no cars......van only. 1765 South had three cars.......two empty flour hoppers from Karnes Bakery and a covered hopper. CN service to Woodstock was effectively ended on April 01st, 1987, with the destruction of the east span of CP's bridge at Upper Woodstock, from ice during the spring freshet.
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Postby graftonterminalrr » Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:27 am

I suppose it would be trite to ask, but you don't happen to have any pictures of rail operations around the area from 1970 onward, would you?

I have always been a train geek but it wasn't until the rails were gone that I took a closer, in-depth look at how the rails came to be there. I didn't know until a few years ago that Woodstock was the home of the NBR for instance.
"What was it the engines said?
Pilots touching, head to head,
half a world behind each back?
'They should have made this double track'"
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 8:22 am
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Valley Line south of Woodstock, NB

Postby trainsinmaine » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:46 pm

I thought it might be interesting to revisit this thread after several years, given that I have a question.

Last year I traveled down as much as I could of the old highway on the west side of the river from Woodstock to Fredericton. Much of my reason for doing so was to try to find remnants of the old Valley Line. That turned out to be a daunting task. It's easy to locate just south of Woodstock --- indeed, some of the telegraph poles are still standing --- but once I started weaving on and off the new Trans Canada Highway, it turned out to be rather difficult. I did find one or two short segments. Can anyone who is familiar with the area tell me where to look? Just what percentage (roughly speaking) of the old line is now under water?
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Re: Valley Line south of Woodstock, NB

Postby Highball » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:09 pm

trainsinmaine wrote:I thought it might be interesting to revisit this thread after several years, given that I have a question.




Last year I traveled down as much as I could of the old highway on the west side of the river from Woodstock to Fredericton. Much of my reason for doing so was to try to find remnants of the old Valley Line. That turned out to be a daunting task. It's easy to locate just south of Woodstock --- indeed, some of the telegraph poles are still standing --- but once I started weaving on and off the new Trans Canada Highway, it turned out to be rather difficult. I did find one or two short segments. Can anyone who is familiar with the area tell me where to look? Just what percentage (roughly speaking) of the old line is now under water?


On Google Maps, I started tracing the very visible former CNR right-of-way from Lower Woodstock ( at Valley, which was the Junction with C.P.R's Shogomoc Subdivision ) to a point between the new 4 lane Trans Canada and the former 2 lane T.C.H., now known as Route Highway # 165., in the Dugan Road area.

Following Route 165 to where the Maliseet Hiking Trail juts off to the West, the R.O.W. comes into view at an angle from the upper left. There was a crossing here over the highway, which was then identified as Highway # 2. Continuing south to where the lower end of the Fort Meductic road meets Highway 165 again, there appears to be a gravel pit toward the Mactaquac Headpond side. The r.o.w. is visible between the Headpond and Highway 165, to a point just above the village of Meductic ( where the world famous Sabian drum cymbals are made ) and where the r.o.w. would presently be under water.

Following an area south along the old Highway # 2, I can notice the r.o.w. along the Headpond, then disappearing. At a location known as Ritchie, the rail line swung inland away from the river valley and crossed the Shogomoc River, at the location of the present day T.C.H. bridges. The abutments of the railroad bridge had been very visible from the highway, however the highway twinning project that took place about 6 years ago, may have removed such......it appears the newer bridge span to complete the highway project here, is located exactly upon where the old abutments were. Also, at this location, if one faces North from the Highway Westbound lanes, the rail line jutted off to the right and presently it appears from the Google maps, a logging road is located on the former r.o.w.

To reach the town of Nackawic from the T.C.H., one crosses the Hackshaw Road Bridge, over the Mactaquac Headpond. Near the west side shore of the bridge the abutments to the rail bridge that crossed the Pokiok River are visible. The rail line crossed over a point where the Pokiok Falls were located, Falls which were destroyed as such, with the flooding of the Headpond. From this area to the Mactaquac Dam, the r.o.w. is under water.

I mentioned in my earlier post on this thread, that part of the roadway into the Mactaquac Fish Hatchery is built upon the former r.o.w. also. Heading south toward the city of Fredericton from the Mactaquac Dam, once reaching the Silverwood area, a walking / hiking / bike trail extends upon the r.o.w. right into the city.

Finally, I would say about 30-40 % of the former C.N.R. Valley line between Fredericton and Woodstock is presently under water.
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Re: Valley Line south of Woodstock, NB

Postby Highball » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:14 pm

I've edited my previous message of October 29th 2012, with additional information, to include links to Google Maps showing various locations mentioned in the post.


Highball wrote:
trainsinmaine wrote:I thought it might be interesting to revisit this thread after several years, given that I have a question.


Last year I traveled down as much as I could of the old highway on the west side of the river from Woodstock to Fredericton. Much of my reason for doing so was to try to find remnants of the old Valley Line. That turned out to be a daunting task. It's easy to locate just south of Woodstock --- indeed, some of the telegraph poles are still standing --- but once I started weaving on and off the new Trans Canada Highway, it turned out to be rather difficult. I did find one or two short segments. Can anyone who is familiar with the area tell me where to look? Just what percentage (roughly speaking) of the old line is now under water?


On Google Maps, I started tracing the very visible former CNR right-of-way from Lower Woodstock ( at Valley, which was the Junction with C.P.R's Shogomoc Subdivision )..... http://goo.gl/maps/E0I5m .......to a point between the new 4 lane Trans Canada and the former 2 lane T.C.H., now known as Route Highway # 165., in the Dugan Road area.

Following Route 165 to where the Maliseet Hiking Trail juts off to the West, the R.O.W. comes into view at an angle from the upper left...... http://goo.gl/maps/VW6oQ ..... There was a crossing here over the highway, which was then identified as Highway # 2. Continuing south to where the lower end of the Fort Meductic road meets Highway 165 again, there appears to be a gravel pit toward the Mactaquac Headpond side. The R.O.W. is visible between the Headpond and Highway 165, to a point just above the village of Meductic ( where the world famous Sabian drum cymbals are made ) and where the R.O.W. would presently be under water.

Following an area south along the old Highway # 2, I can notice the R.O.W. along the Headpond, then disappearing. At a location known as Ritchie, the rail line swung inland away from the river valley and crossed the Shogomoc River, at the location of the present day T.C.H. bridges..... http://goo.gl/maps/Mn7w5 ......The abutments of the railroad bridge had been very visible from the highway, however the highway twinning project that took place about 5 years ago, may have removed such......it appears the newer bridge span to complete the highway twinning project here, is located exactly upon where the old abutments were. Also, at this location, if one faces North from the Highway Westbound lanes, the rail line jutted off to the right and presently it appears from the Google maps, a logging road is located on the former R.O.W.

To reach the town of Nackawic from the T.C.H., one crosses the Hackshaw Road Bridge, over the Mactaquac Headpond. Near the west side shore of the bridge the abutments to the rail bridge that crossed the Pokiok River are visible. The rail line crossed over a point where the Pokiok Falls were located, Falls which were destroyed as such, with the flooding of the Headpond. From this area to the Mactaquac Dam, the R.O.W. is under water.

I mentioned in my earlier post on this thread, that part of the roadway ( running parallel to the river ) into the Mactaquac Fish Hatchery is built upon the former R.O.W. .... http://goo.gl/maps/qTM8O. This area was known as the McKinley Flats and prior to the Mactaquac Dam, a vehicle river ferry was located here. Also prior to the dam, ice from spring freshets would often jam up upon the flats, creating flooding of the railway tracks, in which case CN would detour trains over CP's Gibson Sub.( Woodstock - Fredericton ), which was located further north of CN's Valley line.

Heading south toward the city of Fredericton from the Mactaquac Dam, once reaching the Silverwood area...... http://goo.gl/maps/Hss9e ....a walking / hiking / bike trail, known presently as The Valley Trail, extends upon the R.O.W. right into the city. The one area that the trail diverges somewhat from the orginal R.O.W., is at the area of a seasonal trailer / camping ground site, as the trail skirts toward the river shoreline for a short distance.

Finally, I would say about 30-40 % of the former C.N.R. Valley line between Fredericton and Woodstock is presently under water.
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