The Fellowbrook Subdivision was started by the Ontario Northland Railway in 2002 to accommodate some small industries in this area that were using roads to transport material, which was becoming costly to these businesses. Small towns along this line were seeking a mode of transportation, as some spots were not accessible by road, so a rail line was built from South Porcupine where the ONR line ended.
An agreement with the ONR and CN was made to haul directional traffic on each other’s line at the time.
Since this new line was installed, the ONR was not limited as to what power could travel on this line compared to some other subdivisions. There is a passenger station at Northwark to provide people with passenger service to and from South Porcupine and North Cove. There use to be two points originally to access the east side of the ONR line-but because of the directional running agreement with CN and ONR it was decided that this line would no longer be needed, and was pulled up with the ties left in place and the switches pulled for direct travel. This is accompanied by another setup that was added – a double crossover in the event of derailment trains still could be kept running.
A year later the power sharing agreement ended with CN/ONR as CN use to haul cars up to South Porcupine for the ONR and take its own cars out. With the CN/ONR Transfer at Lancashire, it was then decided that the ONR would bring CN’s cars down to the transfer and bring the cars needed back on the ONR line.
After a while of the ONR running & building the Fellowbrook Subdivision, the ONR had lost the ability to maintain and service the line due to cost and travel distance, and lack of capacity needed on the line. It was decided at that point to sell the Fellowbrook. B&B Railways put in a bid as did CN. It was decided that B&B Railways, would better serve the area because of location and existing agreements with the ONR with business served on this line. At this point B&B took over service of the Fellowbrook and the maintenance of the track. Along with this, B&B approached CN to obtain running rights over the Suez Subdivision to gain better access to and from Northwark. The only condition set out was that B&B had to maintain the former CN/ONR interchange at Lancashire and to take cars back to the ONR as far as the new ONR Interchange with B&B.
B&B Railway provided new agreements with the towns & business serviced by the Fellowbrook Sub. that passenger and freight would be maintained and Freight would be improved in some areas. B&B would do track maintenance with their crews and trucks.
There is regular freight that travels daily (Mon-Fri) on this line picking up and dropping cars off for the lumberyard along this line and the other business that have come to rely on this line to ship their products. The train also takes cars down to the yard at North Cove and return back to South Porcupine.
B&B Railways created a new passenger train which was required after taking over the line. With that in mind, it was deemed fitting that, RDC Budd cars would be used on this line from South Porcupine to North Cove. The passenger service would run every day-except Sunday’s.
The company in 2007 took its logo and made a slight change to it replacing “&” to a maple leaf-it is still know as B&B Railways.
In May of 2010, B&B Railways undertook a feasibility study to try and change the way the line ran, and how to distribute supplies. They looked at breaking down the line into three subdivisions. The Old ONR line would be better served by us, if we can maximize our resources and equipment. It was determined, that the break down would be:
Fellowbrook Subdivision – South Porcupine to Venta
McWhirter Subdivision – Venta to Lancashire
Waterloo Subdivision – Lancashire to North Cove
Because of the increase of traffic and loads, B&B Railways, built a new spur heading to Field. This new spur was made possible by two companies that wanted rail. They got together, put up half the funds and approached B&B Railways. The Heartland Spur was created and now serves Hammond Refinery Company, and Custom Concrete.