2023/01/29 – Junction Railway

Good morning from Guelph Junction. Today I’ll be following CN’s Guelph North Spur from the main east-west mainline to near the top of the city, and then Guelph Junction Railway’s Goderich Subdivision down towards the southeast city limits. Let’s go.

The North Spur has two wye points at the mainline, and then a yard just west of Edinburgh Road. Active switching operations are happening today. From this yard, the North Spur heads…north. It certainly makes for a mess of level crossings and traffic lights.

The spur does an S-bend, coming back across Edinburgh before paralleling it on the west side. It’s easy to miss, but there used to be another rail spur at London Road, taking you northeast towards the Goderich Subdivision. It’s now a rail trail.

The North Spur continues until some point near Speedvale, where it transitions from CN into Guelph Junction Railway’s jurisdiction. This also marks where there’s two connections to GJR’s two spurs going west into the City’s NW Industrial District.

The North Spur continues to the city limits, where it meets GJR’s Goderich Subdivision. I’m not going to make my way up there today. Instead I’ll meet the Goderich Sub at its Woodlawn Road crossing and follow it south through downtown.

The Goderich Sub cuts through the Woodlawn Cemetery, which makes for a nice view. It’s also worth noting this forms part of the Guelph to Goderich Trail. Once again, I’m accidentally railfanning.

Across Woolwich Street, and down along the Downtown Trail. They managed to shoehorn a 3-metre trail beside the tracks, and it doubles as a link to the Speed River Trail. Connections to local streets are a big plus.

We meet the other end of the Spurline Trail, as well as one of the final industrial customers along this stretch of the line. The tracks get tucked up inbehind single family homes here, before flanking some missing middle.

Past a couple apartment buildings and along the east side of downtown. Under the snow, this stretch features a cobblestone pattern. Couple that with the river, historical landmarks and good lighting + seating, and you get one of the best rail trails in Ontario.

Someone told me yesterday that five people have died trying to cross this rail bridge across the Speed River, just past the mainline underpass. That explains the oversized signs. The Goderich Sub continues to the east, through the Two Rivers neighbourhood.

The tracks start bending south as they cross Highway 7. There’s a couple more industrial customers here. Gotta detour down to the Eramosa River to pick back up with the tracks again.

A lovely trail atop the local shale outcrop takes you to the trestle over the Eramosa River. You then come down parallel with the tracks, as the outcrop rises to the west.

One of the prettiest outcrops I’ve ever seen. An unexpected culvert. Then the tracks come to Stone Road before heading out of the city. That’s it for today’s walk.

Date: January 29, 2023
Length: 16.4 km
Type: Railway / Freeway

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