I had a busy day of railfanning today with my daughter.
I decided to head down to Saint John. We arrived near Island Yard around 12:45 and the power for 305 was nowhere in sight. I heard them on the scanner talking about brake pressure so I figured I had some time. We went to the Tim Horton's at the end of the yard at Coldbrook and had some delicious chili. Just as we were finishing, I heard the thrum-thrum of engines approaching and saw a couple of big CN engines stopping beside Tim's. One of the crew came in for their snack so I took a photo and hit the road.
We went down to the intersection of Rothesay Avenue and McAllister Drive and waited for 305 there. They came by a few minutes later at 13:30 and I got them on video and took a few snaps.
I'm not pleased with the quality of the video.
305's consist was CN 2666 and 5696 with 101 cars (46 potash cars, 9 single-stack well cars, 24 boxcars, 20 tank cars, 2 covered hoppers).
I decided to get an "on the road" video of 305. I've never chased 305 before so I wasn't sure where the best spot was. I ended up going to Hampton and leaving the highway there. I drove around for a few minutes trying to find a good spot, and settled on a bridge at mile 64.4 just north of Hampton. The light wasn't great but I figured I had better get SOME kind of shot or I would have driven 25 km for nothing.
I heard the train blowing for crossings more than 5 minutes before it actually showed up at 14:12.
I just cut the nose off in this shot. Drat.
While returning to the highway to go back to Saint John, I stopped to take some photos of the station in Hampton. It's a tourist bureau now and it appears to be in great shape.
I didn't realize there was any kind of switch in Hampton. It turns out there's a lead there, switch LE56 (see the Sussex sub in CN Car Control Manual October 1983). It doesn't appear to go anywhere but it was a surprise to see it.
We returned to Saint John, had a quick look at the (almost empty) NB Southern yard and saw little but HLCX 3669 and NBSR 3701 there in different parts of the yard. There were a lot of yellow Sunbury trailers on flatcars.
We took the slow road up through Grand Bay and Westfield in the hopes of seeing the eastbound from Maine. I had pretty much given up when I was approaching Welsford and heard the hotbox on the radio: "Detector McAdam Subdivision. Two naught naught axles. No alarms." Initially I thought I was hearing the Hoyt detector, since it didn't announce its mileage (or I didn't hear it), so I crossed the tracks and then saw the headlights coming. I was trapped on the wrong side of the tracks and had to wait for the train to clear. This was 16:24.
It was NBSR 2317, 2318 and 9803 leading 47 cars (4 centerbeam flats, 26 boxcars, 12 tank cars, 1 single-stack well, and 4 auto racks).
I got them on the S-curve just off the highway at 16:32. The lighting wasn't great all the way along, as the sun was getting very low.
Then Westfield Beach at 16:38. Church was just getting out so there was a lot of traffic.
I managed to get ahead of them in downtown Grand Bay and shot my last segment by the caboose at 16:48.
With that, it was time to go home.