On July 12, 2008 I flew the Cat's Eye 1 at Crysler, ON (45º13'N, 75º9'W) (Google Maps) (Google Earth). Crysler had a station on the New York and Ottawa Railway (NYO), which ran from Ottawa to Cornwall, where it crossed the St. Lawrence River and hooked up with a number of American rail lines.
I refer to as the NYO, but in fact it had many names over the years, the most recent being the Ottawa Division of the New York Central. (At Embrun, for instance, there's a New York Central Avenue named after the line.) It was abandoned in 1957.
At Crysler the NYO crossed the South Nation River just west of town. The bridge is long gone, but both the north and south abutments are easily visible from the ground. The right-of-way (ROW) crossed Charles St. immediately to the north of the north bridge abutment, and it is clearly visible from Charles St.
I thought I'd start with an aerial photo to show the area around the former bridge.
Fig 1. - ROW, abutments and building (3072x2304 1.8MB)
The photo in Figure 1 shows the relationship among the various features I will be describing below. The bridge abutments are shown at bottom. We are looking roughly northeast, so the south abutment is at the lower-right and the north abutment roughly bottom-centre. Charles St. runs diagonally at the left. The long building at the top-left is a combination hardware/liquor/beer store. A mural is painted on the Charles St. side of the building (just visible in this photo), depicting (with some artistic licence) the railway scene, and a short description of the line. You can also see a path running along the abandoned ROW on the other side of Charles St.
Figures 2 through 6 are some ground photos showing these features in more detail.
Fig. 2 - North abutment, photo from Charles St.
Fig 3 - South abutment, photo taken standing on north abutment
Fig 4 - North abutment, photo taken from field on south side of river
Fig 5 - Mural on building on Charles St. (2816x2212 791KB)
At the side of the mural is a capsule history (clearly somewhat out of date).
Fig. 6 - Capsule history
The ROW crosses the South Nation River somewhat to the west of downtown Crysler. Figure 7 looks east toward downtown. The ROW runs along the bottom of the photo.
Fig 7 - Crysler Downtown (3072x2304 1.7M)
Somewhat south of the bridge location, the ROW crosses Station Street. It would not be too much of a stretch to assume that the station was located there, although I do not profess to know its exact location at the present time. Further research is indicated.
Fig 8 - Overview of ROW and Station St. (3072x2304 1.6M)
Figure 8 shows the ROW running across the middle of the photo and Station Street at the top-right. My car is parked along Station St. just east of the ROW at the middle-right of the photo.
Fig 9 - Station Grounds (3072x2304 1.9M)
Figure 8 is a more detailed look at the probable station grounds. Just above the centre of this photo you'll notice a possible foundation. Could this have been the station? Figures 9 through 11 are ground shots of the possible concrete foundation sticking just above the gravel.
Fig 10 - North Foundation
Fig 11 - South Foundation
This was my first real attempt to document an abandoned rail line from the air. While I can't honestly say I learned anything about the line that I didn't already know, I certainly get a much better perspective on the layout of the features than a casual ground inspection. It was certainly an easy target for a first try, as there was a big open field to fly from, and the day was just about perfect. The Cat's Eye 1 and camera performed flawlessly. In the near future, I hope to bring her out to a number of other sites for similar documentation of the abandoned rail lines in the area.