ACR Action Photos


Here are photos of various ACR trains and scenes that I have taken starting in August of 1964 when I made my first visit to the ACR.

Would you like prints of most any of these slides? Go to Desert-Rails.com for details!

New Photos are shown in cells with a pale yellow background.

The first time I saw the ACR was in August of 1964 - even though I was only 15 at the time, I still was able to get some decent photos of the railway. Here I am riding the vestibule on the trailing car. Near Mekatina August 1964.
This is the Hi-Rail car following No. 1 at Mile 93 in August of 1964.
Not too far from Frater...note how clean everything is. August 1964.
Next year I am back up there riding the Canyon tour - it is a dull cloudy day in September of 1965.
Even as a teenager I just could not stay away from the ACR....and here I am once again wasting Kodachrome II on the ACR in August of 1966.
Near Mile 92 - August 1966.
Near Wabos - August 1966.
The weather had cleared nicely by the time we were almost back to the Sault. Taken just south of Goulais - August 1966.
August of 1970 I am once again riding the tour train...it was becoming more popular by now and the train length had increased greatly.
By 1970 the Agawa Canyon Tour was becoming very well known and the passenger count went way up. Here you can see a couple of the 'new' ex-Canadian Pacific coaches behind 2 of the 'Jesse James' cars as the train snakes through the bush country north of the Soo. August 1970.
By the time I took this photo I was living in the Soo working as a 'management trainee' for the local K-Mart store (really more like a slave droid). This is likely No. 9 heading north from the Soo on a cold February 6, 1972 afternoon.
No. 9 is slowing to take the siding at Wabos - February 13, 1972.
No. 12 at Searchmont - February 13, 1972.
Northland - February 13, 1972.
Here is No. 2 high-balling up the hill southbound out of Searchmont towards Northland on a cold winter day of March 4, 1972.
This photo was made on Fuji film of some sort which had badly faded, and the software did a great job recovering the image! Sault Ste Marie March 26, 1972. Needless to say, I was always glad that I used Kodachrome for the vast majority of my photos.
No. 1 crossing Bellevue Trestle April 25, 1972.
I did spend a fair amount of time that summer chasing ACR trains up and down the Searchmont Highway....here No. 2 is arriving at Searchmont, Ontario May 3, 1972.
No. 2 just north of the Soo - August 2, 1972.
Here is Train No. 2 at Goulais on Aug. 30, 1972. This is the cover photo on Dale Wilson's book "The Algoma Central Railway Story".
Passenger Extra North at about Mile 5 north of the Soo September 17, 1972.
The fall colours are bright as the Psgr Extra North nears Northland on Sept. 17, 1972.
First No. 9 (note the green flags) at the Wabos road crossing - January 26, 1973.
I am riding the train to Hearst and here we are taking the siding (into the hole!) for No. 2, who holds the main by timetable rules and rights. Tabor July 31, 1973.
The Conductor has just called out "All on the Main!" as the van rattles across Conmee Avenue and onto the main line as the train is headed northbound out of Sault Ste Marie. The GP9 is making more smoke than the GP7's....April 24, 1974.
A Canadian National track geometry car and train Sault Ste Marie May 1, 1974.
Passenger Extra South at Goulais, Ontario July 10, 1974. These were "Canyon Turns" - i.e., a passenger extra operated from Sault Ste Marie to Canyon and return to the Soo. It was in the early '70's that the Canyon Tour Train really started to gain popularity, and there were times when the regular passenger trains (1 & 2) just could not handle any more cars safely, one issue in particular were the old baggage cars on the head end - they were getting old and tired (like me!) and there were concerns about drawbar and center sill strength. Recall that No. 1 and 2 also made all sorts of stops at just about any milepost along the line, and starting and stopping such a long train was becoming a real pain! This lead to the creation of Trains No. 3 & 4, a summer season only 7 day a week "Canyon Turn" a couple of years later. Click here and here for a copy of one of the train orders necessary to run this train, copied and made complete by yours truly at 341 am just a few days before this photo was taken.. :) .
Train No. 2 has just crossed the Bellevue Trestle headed south towards the Soo on July 13, 1974.
I am riding No. 9 to Mekatina and here at Searchmont Station operator Bill Fedorchuk has the orders ready. November 29, 1974.
Late in July of 1975 I spent some days off hanging out with my buddy Gary Montgomery while he was working as the swing (relief) operator at Mekatina Station. Here he is ready to hoop the orders to No. 2 at Mekatina July 28, 1975.
It was a was a beautiful summer evening as Gary was hooping up No. 9's headend his orders...July 28, 1975.
Bud Davis grabs the orders from Operator Gary Montgomery at Mekatina....July 28, 1975. I'm not sure what the CNR van was doing on the ACR...testing before ordering 6 of them?? After No. 9 was gone, we fired up the BBQ and enjoyed some great cheeseburgers (Cheeseburgers in Paradise...!) and, of course, some black flies.
Next afternoon I 'borrowed' ACR brakeman Delmar Bailey's rowboat and got this photo of No. 2 at South Mekatina on a pleasant July 29, 1975 summer day from the middle of the lake -
No. 2 pauses at Mekatina on a crisp clear October 1, 1975.
No. 4 has just seen a green (clear) train order board at Searchmont and is widening out the throttle for the climb to Northland. September 18, 1976.
Engineer David Celleti is giving a friendly wave as No. 10's extra heads south at Frater Station on a warm fall afternoon. September 28, 1976.
The fall colors are near their peak on this sunny October 3, 1976 at Searchmont.
No. 2 makes a station stop at Mekatina on a crisp fall day of October 18, 1976.
It is a cold day in Hawk Junction as the branch train awaits switching to make up No. 10. January 19, 1977.
Train No. 4 at Frater - July 10, 1977.
It is a pleasant summer afternoon at Frater on July 10, 1977 as No. 2 pauses for a moment.
No. 12's extra is nearing the top of Frater hill on October 23, 1977.
The 184 has been recently washed and the low fall sun lights it up quite nicely. October 23, 1977.
It is a cold gloomy day at Frater on January 25, 1978 as No. 9 passes by.
This is Victoria Day weekend of 1978 (May 19) and there are a lot of passengers waiting for No. 1 with all sorts of stuff for their summer camps.
The ONR's "Northlander" train shown here at Steelton October 22, 1978. It derailed near Achigan while headed north towards Hearst and was returned to the Sault.
Operator Mark Mazzenello has just hooped the orders to a southbound freight at Frater .. June 10, 1979. Dig the cool bell bottom threads man... ;).
Train No. 9's headend brakeman Dave Sneddon has his arm extended just right to catch the orders from operator Mark Mazzenello at Frater .. June 10, 1979.
A gorgeous Dominion Day of 1979 - near Trout Lake - and yes, I was shooting from the last car in the train.
No. 4 at Frater Station July 24, 1979. This was the only time I got all 5 of the re-built 100 series GP7's on one train.
By this time it was not too common to see 5 GP7's on a freight train - Sault Ste Marie February 27, 1981.
A few weeks later at the same spot as above (the so-called "Secret Curve") I got this 'hospital' train bringing in remains from a wreck at Canyon. April 1, 1981.
More scrap for the steel plant! April 1, 1981.
I'm surprised that the 2nd car is actually able to run on its own wheels.....April 1, 1981.
Brand new GP38-2's are just arriving at Steelton on Train No. 12 May 6, 1981.
Every summer the ACR would put on a Company Picnic event at Canyon with special employee only trains run from Steelton and Hawk Jct. All employees donated their time to help make this event a success. Steelton July 12, 1981.
Great Storm Light here at Searchmont on September 19, 1981 as Train No. 4 passes by.
Southbound work train crosses Bellevue Trestle. April 29, 1982.
Tail end of above train. April 29, 1982.
No. 2 at Mile 17.5 crossing on the Searchmont Highway. May 24, 1982.
Here are both passenger trains (No. 4 and a Passenger Extra South) stopped at Frater account a passenger on No. 4 had a heart attack at Canyon and they were flying a helicopter into Frater for him. September 21, 1982.
It had been snowing hard north of Frater, but here the grass is still green! No. 2 at Frater on November 13, 1982.
Extra South high-balls past Frater Station on a cold windy and snowy day - I took this photo through the kitchen door window! March 1, 1983.
No. 5 heads north out of Franz as the tail end brakeman gets ready to grab the orders on a pleasant August 26, 1983.
Train No. 4 (Agawa Tour) is passing the old section house at Achigan on October 1, 1983.
Del Bailey is catching the orders from Operator Gary Montgomery at Hawk Jct. on June 28, 1988.
It was a treat to see and hear 3 GP7's struggling upgrade northbound out of Hawk Jct...a rather rare scene in 1994! Hawk Junction June 16, 1994. added 3-31-2009
And even better was a van on the tail end....again not a common sight in 1994. Hawk Junction June 16, 1994. added 3-31-2009
Steelton Roundhouse at night - June 20, 1994. Shot with a 24mm wide angle lens. added 3-31-2009
Train No. 3 is at the Searchmont Highway road crossing at the north switch Goulais siding. September 22, 1994. added 3-31-2009
Backed off on the zoom lens from the scene above.....added 3-31-2009
No. 4 along the Searchmont Highway south of Northland. September 22, 1994. added 3-31-2009
No. 4 near Northland on the Searchmont Highway. September 23, 1994. added 3-31-2009
No. 4 at the Old Goulais Road crossing (Island Lake) September 23, 1994.
acr10.jpg (163621 bytes) Southbound No. 4 crossing Bellevue trestle north of Sault Ste Marie. Taken July 22, 1983.
acr8.jpg (207868 bytes) Another view of No. 4, this time at Lower Island Lake. Taken Aug. 15, 1983.
acr7.jpg (165953 bytes) The way freight was made to be hauled by 2 GP7's back to back. Hawk Jct. June 23, 1989.
acr11.jpg (140707 bytes) This is No. 2 crossing Bellevue trestle on July 23, 1983.
acr12.jpg (117882 bytes) The southbound Agawa Canyon Tour is passing the Achigan section house Oct. 1, 1983.
acr3.jpg (144177 bytes) On June 29, 1989 Train No. 10 has just passed the south mile board Hawk Jct. headed to the Soo.
acr4.jpg (202335 bytes) The Agawa Canyon Tour on the trestle at Mile 92 (Montreal River Falls) on July 2, 1989.
acr6.jpg (145310 bytes) Another southbound freight just leaving Hawk Jct. on June 29, 1989.
acr9.jpg (164288 bytes) Train No. 10's extra is just north of Odena, ON in August of 1981.
170psgr.jpg (145743 bytes) Train No. 4 is arriving at Steelton yard Aug. 16, 1979, The 170 is fresh from CNR rebuild.
101psgr.jpg (136188 bytes) No. 4 is headed south past Frater station on Aug. 28, 1979 as the engineer retrieves the orders.
190_2.jpg (100451 bytes) No. 4 just south of Frater Station on Sept. 24, 1994. The train order signal has been removed.
Here is Operator Gary Montgomery hooping train orders to a northbound extra at Frater. Taken in 1978. Tri-Ex film at about 3 am!

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This Web Page and all photos on it copyright 1964-2009 by Ted Ellis. All rights reserved.