Thunder Bay 2015 Part 3: Brill Busses and Logging Machinery

After battling a seasonal cold for the past couple weeks, I’m finally feeling up to posting another update on my trip to Thunder Bay, this time finishing off our day of tours.

We left the Thunder Bay Generating Station making our way across town to the city bus terminal where we met our next tour guide, Charlie Brown. Heh, no, not the Charles Schultz creation! It was here we saw a couple of historic electric Brill Trolley Buses from the 1950s. They are currently being restored and will be open to the public someday for tours. Rumor has it there was an episode from season three of the X-Files featuring a Brill bus. Something about Mulder being chased through a bunch of busses by a monster or alien. I may remember the episode.

Our final tour of the day was at Hood Equipment Canada, a forestry, construction and mining equipment specialist. We were invited into the back shop where a number of projects were underway. Taking center stage (and half the shop space) was a custom built stroke delimber. This massive piece of machinery sports a boom that can extend out 60 feet. The attachment on the end grabs a felled tree and removes limbs, cutting the tree into logs of a specified length. This particular machine came into the shop as a base Caterpillar on tracks with no attachments. The owner requested a stroke delimber be added and the shop workers delivered. Designed and built from scratch, it was an impressive piece of technology for sure.

After touring the shop we went out to the yard where a number of other pieces of machinery were sitting. Among them was a feller-buncher undergoing routing maintenance. The workers took a moment to fire it up and show off its maneuverability and power. Watch the cutting blade: it is large, probably 5 feet in diameter or more. When the operator starts it up, watch the grass flatten from the flow of air it creates. Too bad there weren’t any trees around!

In spite of the light rain, we enjoyed our day. I can’t wait to see what is lined up for us next year!