When I was out railfanning yesterday, I saw a westbound freight on the CN Rivers subdivision that made me turn around and chase it. That train was the CEMR freight, heading to the CEMR Carman subdivision! I had not seen a CEMR train on the move before, so this was a must-see.
I drove along Wilkes Avenue and slowly overtook the train, which was doing a respectable speed on the south track of the CN main line. I came to Carman Junction, where CEMR's Carman subdivision begins, and set up there to wait for the train. They stopped, and the conductor lined the manual switch for the CEMR track at 13:17.
Here's the video of their crossing. Note the pickup screeching to a halt at 20 seconds into the video. I had a bit of debate with myself on whether to set up on this side of their track or on the sun side. The light would have been better on the sun side, but there would very likely have been cars in the shot. On this side, you get the "coming" shot of the train leaving the CN line but you get shadows. Sometimes there is no perfect spot to shoot from.
The train stopped once they were clear of Wilkes Avenue. I spoke to the conductor for a minute - a very nice fellow. I was so wrapped up in my conversation that I didn't notice the CN eastbound freight until it was right beside me - CN 8810 was leading and that's all I noticed!
I decided to head down to a private crossing on Community Row off Wilkes. I followed a truck down the (rough) road to the crossing. After we crossed, he waved me on but of course I stopped to see the train. It turns out he was another railfan. We had a good chat while we waited for the train. The CEMR freight pulled forward to bring the conductor ahead, then backed up to pick him up. I've seen this maneuver a number of times out east on the NBEC. Once that was done, they continued on their way.
I don't think the speed limit is very high on the Carman subdivision. This is typical of prairie branch lines!
I had to get the typical wedgie shot at 13:42 as they went through the crossing.
You can see the second unit here, ANY 5232. ANY is the reporting mark for Athabasca Northern Railway, formerly owned by Cando Contracting Ltd., the owners of the CEMR. The ANY was sold back to CN in late 2007.
I would have liked to chase the train further down the Carman subdivision, but I had some family commitments I had to get to. I was glad to have the opportunity to shoot the CEMR, and I hope to do so again soon.