I had a quick trip up north yesterday, my first in a long time. I was very fortunate this trip and my timing was good.
I left Fredericton later than I had hoped, so I figured I would have no chance of seeing VIA 14, the Ocean, in Miramichi. As I passed the VIA station after 11 AM, I was surprised to see a lot of cars there. I stopped and asked the agent, and he said the Ocean was due in a few minutes. I went down the line a bit and they rolled past at 11:27 under an overcast sky, with 6449 and 6416 pulling a Renaissance set.
There was no talk of the southbound mainline freight on the scanner around Bathurst, so I continued on. As I approached Belledune, I heard some local switching chatter so I looked for them at Chaleur Lumber. Sure enough, there were CFMG 6910 and 6909 pulling out of the spur.
They coupled on to the rest of the train, then spent some time trying to contact the RTC. They finally got through and went on their way at 13:21. They had those two old warhorses wide open when they went past.
I saw two CN SD40s switching a train in Belledune but I was too far away to get any numbers.
Later, I managed to find the northbound CN mainline freight at Beresford at 17:00 with 6909 leading this time. I would guess from the time spread that they did not go to Miramichi.
I understand this may have been the last run of the last NBEC / CFMG SD40s on the line. I'm glad I was fortunate enough to see them.
I'll post about the rest of my sightings later.