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Moosonee trains

Waiting for the train to leave, 2008 June 27

Moosonee is the northern terminus of the Ontario Northland railway (fomerly Temiskaming and Northern Ontario) which begins at North Bay, Ontario. The railway is owned by the Government of the Province of Ontario and operated by the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. Until June 2007 the ONR ran a year round (three days per week) mixed train (Little Bear) which carried both freight and passengers plus the summer time Polar Bear excursion train (six days per week) between Moosonee and Cochrane.

On March 23, 2007, the Ontario Government announced that mixed train operation would be replaced by a freight only train twice a week (419/621)and passenger service (421/622) five times a week in each direction, increasing to six times a week during the summer. The new service began in June 2007. There is no longer be a separate excursion train in the summer. The new train (Polar Bear/Little Bear sometimes called the Super Bear because of the amount of switching it involves) includes chain cars (flatcars) for light vehicles, baggage and express cars, a couple of box cars for larger items such as boxcars as well as passenger cars. Additional passenger cars, including domes, are added in the summer. The separate freight trains has carried double stacked containers, fuel tankers and variety of other cargo. Because it is a "pure" freight train it is not subject to the same length restrictions as the Little Bear was. Some of the freight brought up to Moosonee is transferred to trucks on the winter road, aircraft and barges for shipment further north to Fort Albany, Kashechewan, Attawapiskat and the Victor Diamond Mine west of Attawapiskat.

In Moosonee the tracks run past the station out to the airport and also along the river (beside Revillon Road North) for bringing freight to the barges.

Additional photos (often in higher resolution and with detailed captions) of trains in Moosonee may be found at http://paullantz.com, http://www.pbase.com/paullantz/trains and http://www.pbase.com/paullantz/switching .

Boxcar 2808 Locomotives 2010 Dec14

GO Transit 2423 comes to Moosonee for testing 2011 Dec 7th

Polar Bear Express arriving 2010 Dec 3 Locomotives 2010 Dec 3 Express platform by night 2010 December 14th


Polar Bear Express in Cochrane 2010 April 5th


Northlander arriving in Cochrane 2010 April 4th

Polar Bear April 5th

Northlander in Cochrane on a foggy morning 2010 April 5th

Station Inn Station
Cochrane Museum Train

Polar Bear Express in Moosonee 2010 April 1st

Polar Bear Express in Moosonee 2010 April 1st

Vehicles on Polar Bear Express 2010 March 19th
GP38-2's near Store Creek bridge in Moosonee Polar Bear Express coaches 2010 March 19th Moosonee sunset GP40-2 2201
Freight train
operates twice
a week between
Cochrane and

2010 Jan 15

GP40-2 2200 handling freight near barge docks
and crossing Airport Road 2009 November 10th
in Moosonee.
Moosonee Station 2009 November 5th
New siding for station, new shed beside station
Crossing the Wabi Scale cars Northlander in Englehart Locos at Englehart Cochrane Station Interior
Exterior renovations at Moosonee station

2009 September 10th

Moosonee Station

2009 September 7th

Polar Bear Express


  Polar Bear Express
arriving in Cochrane
2009 August 23rd
Northlander arrives in
2009 August 23rd
Polar Bear Express
2009 May 29th
Freight train arriving
2009 May 29th
Canadian Pacific
Track Inspection
in Moosonee
2009 May 28th


Cable train Englehart

Northlander in Cochrane

Provisions April 10/09

To Cochrane April 9/09


Polar Bear Express
2009 March 11th
Freight 2009 Feb 6th

Tripleheaded Polar Bear Express 2009 January 9th:  three GP39-2's 1806, 1801 and 1805


Moose River work camp

Englehart yard

Freight 419 just arrived in Moosonee to left of departing passenger 622

Train 622 departing Moosonee

Northlander arriving in
Cochrane at night
Train 622 waits as 419
arrives in Moosonee
Train 419

Most of train 421 being spotted in Cochrane


Englehart yard from the north

Leaving Englehart

Vehicle traffic

Temiskaming and
Northern Ontario 1912
June 30 timetable.

The Temiskaming and
Northern Ontario Railway
was the predecessor of
the Ontario Northland.
Tuesdays and Fridays,
freight train 419 brings
the freight that used to
come on the Little Bear
mixed train.
2008 January 31

Train stayed overnight
previous night.

2008 January 30


2007 December 27

Waiting for evening departure of train 622 as freight service 1801 waits to left

Christmas in July 2007




First new train





Last mixed train
December 24-27, 2006
ONR in Cochrane and Englehart


Northlander departs


Englehart Station

Northlander arrival

Freight 214


Efficient crew change

Northlander departs

Northlander crosses
Englehart River


No baggage car on

ONR six axle units

Cochrane Station

Northlander waits to
depart from Cochrane

Northlander arrives in

Platform activity in

Switching in Cochrane
December 19, 2006
View from end of platform

Fueling auxiliary power

Farewell at station
November 18, 2006
Freight section

Rear end of passenger
section in station

Containers ready to go
up north
Little Bear Mixed
November 13, 2006
Oct 9,

Longer consist for
Thanksgiving Northlander

Street side of station

Platform view of

Looking to platform

Waiting room

Little Bear at Cochrane

Moose at Moose River

Looking forward

Waiting at mileage 174

Break at Moose River

Baggage at Cochrane

Northlander at Cochrane

Special train for Boreal Conference 2006
North American
Railcar Operators
Association visit
September 1, 2006

Little Bear baggage


Last Polar Bear of 2006

Double stacked containers on Little Bear mixed

Last Polar Bear Express of 2006 heads south

Three axle truck on old baggage car now used as museum

Polar Bear beside rear of special train

Second unit in special for National Cree Gathering

1805 and 1603 lead Mixed Train into Moosonee

Mixed train seen from rear

Watching switching

Along the river

Work equipment at
Moosonee yard

Off to work

Butler Creek bridge

Track evaluation vehicle

On Store Creek bridge

Sperry Rail Services 815

Polar Bear Express
departs Moosonee

GP38-2 1801 heads up
Polar Bear Express

Canoe car

Track equipment

2006 July 7

Polar Bear Express
on second track
for arrival of Little Bear
mixed train


2006 July 5

Bears like plants


Cochrane Station

Polar Bear Express

2202 switching
    Store Creek Rail Bridge in Moosonee
Store Creek rail bridge
  looking along tracks to old Moosonee water tower at sunset
  Gravel cars derailed on airport spur 2006 June 8
Apr 22

Meeting the train 2006 March 20th

Mixed train arrives

Waiting for train

Actually arrived at 7:45

Freight platform

Snowmobile car

1804 at Moosonee Stn.

DeBeers Moosonee Yard where supplies are offloaded for travel north

A couple of larger shots
(1600 pixels) for the
benefit of modellers

Mixed train arrival 2005 December 14

Tracks heading south

Playing around museum

Unloading baggage

View from wye towards
station showing north
end of new siding,
September 22, 2005

Trailers, prefabs and containers for diamond mine
arriving in Moosonee 2005 December 2005

Train bridge

Tracks south of Store

Wye from Southwest

Tracks into Moosonee

Work area near station

Moosonee station

Moosonee station from

New siding (on right),
view south towards

New siding (on left), view
north towards airport.

Polar Bear Express 2005 August 6

Polar Bear Express 2005 August 5

Railroad display

Inside museum car

Lead engine
August 3rd

Northlander leaves for

GP38-2 waits to lead
Northlander south

Passengers watch Polar
Bear Express
First excursion train of 2005
June 24th

Sidings along the Moose River

Just one trailer this morning

Auxiliary power unit 203
just before dawn

Early morning yard

Starting switching

Pulling away from ramp


Track to airport

Trailers on flatcars

Remnants of former siding

Contrast paint schemes

Mixed train

Yard at sunrise

Mixed train about 1982

GP40-2 2200 crosses Bay Rd

Crossing Store Creek bridge

Hunters loading

1800 crossing Bay Road

View from the south end
of the winter road

Trailers stacked three high

Switching in Moosonee

Making up mixed train at Moosonee
for more pictures click here

Trucks departing south
as winter road season ends.

Coming off the wye

Vehicles at train station

End of track bumper

Turnout to wye
Snowmobile car at front of
passenger section of mixed
Passengers wait by end of
mixed train. The freight section,
seen at right, will be pulled
forward and added at the front
of the passenger section.
End of freight section.

This is not a great railfan photo. It shows two Ontario Northland engines switching along the Moose River. In the left part of the picture is part of a "tractor train" that is used on the winter road going north from Moosonee. Tractor trains have been the means by which large quantities of goods have been transported on temporary winter roads. The trains include various units for accommodation, merchandise as well as fuel tanks, all on skis and pulled by tractors or bulldozers. In recent years the quality of the winter roads has increased to the point where tractor trailers, pickup trucks and even cars can sometimes use them. Tank cars along Ferguson Road North. Moosonee is a transshipment point for many commodities including fuels.
Switching oil tanks Transport waiting for train GP38-2 1800 Butler Creek bridge
Polar Bear Express excursion train at Moosonee July 10, 2004 (large file).
In 2004 the railway purchased equipment from BC Rail including the full length
dome car Stardust and the diner Indigo. They were used on the Polar Bear Express
excursion train starting in July. As pictured below, on a typical day the train was led
by GP-38-2's 1809 and 1804 across the Store Creek bridge to the Moosonee rail
station. The new BC Rail cars were near the rear of the train. After arrival the
engines move to the opposite end of the train for the return journey. The train
includes a former B unit (engine without a control cab) that is used now as to
generate electricity for the passenger cars.


All that is left of siding to fuel depot at former base.
canoe car
farewell to excursion train as it heads north
southbound regular mixed meets excursion Aug 21 2003
Moose River bridge Aug 25 2003
Regular train Aug 21 2003
Excursion and regular train July 4 2003
Switching along Ferguson Road North
Switching onto Revillon Road North
Regular train parked Sept 10 2003
Power unit, ex B unit
Switching along the Moose River Sept 10 2003
Santa Train November 29, 1998
Tank cars alongside Ferguson Road North Apr 16 2004
Track heads towards former base and airport April 23 2004
Towards Revillon Road North offloading.
Towards Revillon Rd N offloading showing Ferguson Rd and Revillon Rd sidings.
Moosonee station from north.
Moosonee station from south
South from Store Creek rail bridge
Moosonee station from south
Atim Road bridge from rail bridge over Store Creek
Special train for Attawapiskat evacuation May 21 2004
Attawapiskat Evacuation train
Attawapiskat Evacuation train
Due to flooding, Attawapiskat residents flown to Moosonee by Canadian Forces and on to Timmins by rail.
GP 38-2 1801 running along Ferguson Rd N