I'm writing this from Bathurst, NB tonight and boy, is it cold! I shouldn't complain too much, as the prairie provinces seem to be having a far colder winter this year, but -12 (or -20 with wind chill) is cool enough.
I passed through Miramichi at about 09:40 this morning. I was surprised to see that half of the NBEC yard is not plowed... I guess it shows how little local business there is now. NBEC 6905 was idling away in the yard but there were no RS18s to be found. Tim Dryden has seen SD40s on the Loggieville Sub so perhaps the RS18s are rare in Miramichi now.
I passed Bathurst and there was no talking at all on the scanner. I was beginning to wonder where NBEC 402 was, when I heard it near Belledune. I went to the west end of the Belledune siding, and there was NBEC 6904, CFMG 6903, and NBEC 1821 rolling light out of the Chaleur Lumber spur. They coupled up to the four lumber loads and pushed them back onto the rest of the train. They must have just put some empties in when I arrived. Train 402 left Belledune at 11:15 with 42 cars. (4 lumber loads, 6 boxcars, 3 empty log cars, 5 woodchip cars, 3 CN covered gondolas, 1 tank car, 3 86' boxcars, and the 17-car Ultramar ram).
When I came to Bathurst after supper, I found the ore train NBEC 586 at the VIA station. RS18s 1813 and 1868 were idling at the head of a short train. Plow 616-20 was just finishing plowing part of the Bathurst yard. NBEC 586 left at 16:37 with 13 cars (8 NBEC ore cars, 3 CN covered gondolas, and 2 AOK covered hoppers). Probably the same CN gondolas that came in on 402! No photos, as it was dark.
For my final trick, I went to the Bathurst station to see VIA 15 arrive. As I watched the light approach from the distance, I realized the tape in my camera had less than one minute of tape left. I quickly but calmly swapped a new tape (#24) for the old one and put the camera back on the tripod in time for the train to arrive at 20:04 with 6415 and 6418 leading 11 Renaissance cars. They headed out within 8 minutes.
After whining about not having seen any trains for exactly one month, it feels good to be back. :)