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Field Report: CRHA Niagara’s “Longest Day” Event

The Niagara Division of the Canadian Railway Historical Association has a tradition of an all day event on the Friday nearest to the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year.   Our conviction is that this is the best train spotting day of the year as we have the most hours of daylight to devote to the cause. 

The event happened this year on Friday, June 21st, 2014. It began at the famed Bayview Junction railfanning site in Hamilton at daybreak. Specifically, several dozen of us assembled on the pedestrian bridge over the mainline tracks at the entrance to Laking Gardens, a part of the Royal Botanical Gardens system in Hamilton, Ontario. Camp stoves were set up and generous helping of eggs, bacon and buns fed the assembled group as we waited for and photographed the trains as they rushed past. Apparently, we demolished 10 lbs of bacon, 6 dozen eggs and about 4 dozen buns in roughly a hour. 

We then moved on about 9:00 a.m. another spot we call Hamilton West and then to Copetown’s Inksetter Road Bridge where more fans joined us.

Hunger consumed us by noon so we ate a delicious lunch, as usual, at the St Georges Arms in St. Georges, Ontario where many great stories were shared.

After lunch, we visited the Ontario Heritage Steam Museum in Puslinch, Ontario just north of Hamilton where dozens of massive steam fired tractors are preserved, many in operating condition.  Wayne Fischer, the museum owner, gave us a ride behind on these massive engines as well as a tour of the museum.

Click here to watch a brief 2 minute video inside the museum.

Click here to for a great set of pictures of many of the museum artefacts with accompanying descriptions.

Mainline action was slow after that. The group closed the afternoon session by patronizing another favourite haunt, the Camp Thirty One restaurant in Paris, Ontario. The day ended with some great train spotting opportunities at a busy location called Paris Junction.

Posting and pictures by Russ Milland

Click on each image for a closer look!

Breakfast on the Bridge
GO Train at Bayview Junction
CN Diesels at work

Lunch at the St. George's Arms
Steam Tractor in Action
Steam Yacht

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