03:28 - Departure
Next to 373 on the second inbound/outbound track a pair of CP GP-9s are on the head of 403 waiting for its crew to complete its inspection before its 03:45 departure.
Easing through Merrit East The crew begins to apply the power as they approach the yard limit.
03:36 - Emerson Junction
A short distance from Merrit East 373 is forced to wait on the north main for CN bridge traffic to clear onto the south.
Emerson Junction is at the base of a long single track climb to the highest point on the railway at Nelson's Heights. It is very common to find a train waiting patiently at Emerson Junction for another train to clear.
03:56 - South Gap
Near the half way point in the long climb towards Nelson's Heights is the South Gap station. A typical country station, south gap is kept busy by mine workers from the South Gap mine #2 coming and going on the morning and evening commuter run as well as the many workers from the surrounding rural comunities commuting into Merrit.
The station is quiet as the morning commuter run #10 is not due for some time. 373's crew often repeats an old tired running joke about the nine to five commuters still asleap.
04:32 - Nelson's Heights
After the long climb to Nelson's Heights the crew prepares to switch the local industries. A small plastics molding plant has opened up recently and has very quickly become a busy customer for the Fenwick Central. A busy team track and carbonated beaverage bottling company also keep the crew busy at Nelson's Heights.
Shortly after arrival 403 finaly catches and passes 373 in Nelson's Heights. The CP GP-9s rumble by straining against the grade that finally crests at the east end of Nelson's Heights.
05:38 - Ridgeville
After completing the day's work in Nelson's Heights 373 makes the short trip over to Ridgeville. The cars picked up from Nelson's Heights are left on the service track at Ridgeville to be picked up on the return trip.
This gives the crew some extra working space in the short Jamestown sidings. Since the practice was instituted the railway accounting office have also been pleased by the small fuel savings found by not draging the cars all the way down to Jamestown and back again.
Crossing the oldest bridge on the main line, 373 begins the final leg of the trip to Jamestown. Surpassed in age only by the tressle on the South Gap mine branch, this bridge would have been replaced sooner but the truck has taken alot of business from the railways and passenger revenues have been hurt by travelers taking to thier cars. The cooling demand for rail traffic has forced the railways to reduce spending.
06:11 - Jamestown
Finally arriving in Jamestown, 373 eases into the siding at the west end of Jamestown. Originally single track, the bridge was replaced with a double track bridge in the early 50s. Increasing train lengths and traffic in the 40s made it impossible to pass two trains in the too short Jamestown siding.
Jamestown is a bustling community that grew up around the railway. Where there was once only a team track, Railway Express office and lumber company has expanded to include a fuel oil / gasoline distributor, cardboard company and a large National Grocers facility.
As the town grew the road was forced to cross the tracks at several places and when the local arrives it can often tie up morning traffic for some time.
The train is broken at the grade crossing to allow traffic to cross but the road is still blocked by 373 as it switches National Grocers.
After switching National Grocers, 373 turns it's attention to Robins Fuels (the local fuel oil / gasoline distributor). In the upper right corner the morning commuter #10 makes its stop at the station, on its way to Merrit, as most people finally begin their day.
The Railway Express Agency (REA) warehouse is still a busy customer after years of service, but trucks are making an ever increasing impact on the REA's business.
The white building with the black roof on the left side of the picture houses the local railway club.
Once again morning traffic is snarled as 373 spots some cars for Hillside Lumber & Building Supply.
08:12 - Jamestown
Having completed all its work in Jamestown 373 backs onto the caboose and prepares to depart westbound back to Ridgeville.
08:34 - Ridgeville
Once again, back in Ridgeville 373 picks up the cars previously left in the service track before continuing on back to Nelson's Heights and Merrit.
The Ridgeville service track must be freed up again by 373 so it is available when 346 arrives to switch the south side of Ridgeville.
08:45 - Nelson's Heights (west)
09:28 - Emerson Junction
Storming out of the porthole at Emerson Junction 373 heads for the north main at the bottom of the long grade. Waiting on the south main an eastbound through freight waits for its turn to grind up the grade eastbound.
09:36 - Merrit Yard
Finally at the end if the shift 373 arrives in Merrit yard. GP-7 #430 and #423 will be moved back into the engine facilities inspected, refueled, and sanded to make the trip again tomorrow. The cars will be classified by the yard crew immediately to clear them from the inbound / outbound track.
In the background passenger train #5 is seen at the station during its layover. It will depart again eastbound in the afternoon.
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