This is the last leg of the marathon train chase David Morris and I took on the weekend of May 29-31 2009. As I mentioned in my previous post, our plan was to shoot VIA 14 in Campbellton, then proceed to Edmundston and railfan CN for the afternoon. We headed down the former International Railway route - the route is still quite visible.
We had a call at 06:46 with a lineup for the day, very much appreciated. This was the lineup around 6 AM:
CN 120 - past Edmundston going east
CN 121 - IC 2707 / 2225 / 8838 / 2549 depart Moncton 0215, arrive Edmundston 0950
CN 308 - IC 2717 / IC 1020 / BCR 4652 / BCR 4608 / CN 5648 arrive Edmundston 1215 Eastern
CN 305 - 5739 / 5800 / 5528 / 2558 / 2462 depart Moncton 0715, arrive Edmundston 1645
CN 120 - @ Brighton ON 2015 previous day
The consist for CN 308 was very intriguing, although there was no guarantee which unit would lead.
Based on the lineup, we decided our best bet was to proceed to St. Leonard and see if CN 121 was imminent. We went to the border crossing and looked at the lights - all red - then asked the Canadian border guard if a train had recently passed. "No, definitely not in the last two hours," was the response.
We decided to go see the former INR Junction and look at the sight angles there. We arrived at 09:20. I thought they were good, so we parked there and waited. I set up my tripod on one of the legs of the wye leading to the Irving lumber mill so I could keep the sun behind me. The old INR Junction was a diamond crossing but it is now a wye off the main line to the mill, and a switch off the siding to the interchange with the MM&A across the border. There were about 10 cars in the interchange tracks.
After walking around and taking photos, I glanced west and saw headlights! WEST? I quickly stepped over to the siding side of the tracks and watched as CN local train 578 rushed past on the main line, with two CN GP38s running light. Shortly thereafter, the eastward facing light went green. I think they must have tucked themselves into the siding at the east end.
Shortly after 10:00 I heard some conversation on the scanner, and at 10:11 CN 121 blasted through with the expected units, IC 2707 / CN 2225 / CN 8838 / CN 2549 leading a very long train of containers.
After it went by, we gave chase. We stopped in Edmundston to fuel up and visit Tim Hortons, figuring it would spend some time in the yard. Once we got to the yard, we saw it was rolling again on its way west!
We gave chase, heading into more new territory for me, the Pelletier Subdivision.