Coming back to "near present" for a minute, this is what I saw on Thursday. I went out at noon to shoot the Canadian under bright sunny skies. I started at St. James Junction but I moved over to the pumping station (?) by Kenaston Boulevard to get a more wide open view of the Canadian. St. James Junction is great but it has a lot of wires and poles around that detract from the shot.
In due time I saw the headlights of the Canadian in the east as they passed through Portage Junction on the north track.. and to the west I saw headlights of a freight train... on the south track. I was quite concerned that the freight train would get to me first and block my view of the VIA Rail train. As the two trains approached it was clear that the freight would get to me first. Sigh.
CN 2330 was leading train 116.
Nice wave from the bearded engineer! As the train passed, it slowed down more and more. I was watching between containers for the Canadian to pass by on the north track... but it never did.
CN 8921 was the sole DPU engine on the train.
Eventually CN 116 came to a dead stop. After a few minutes of waiting, 116 started up again and continued east. I think there was a foreman's permit that had to be terminated. Finally, 116 was clear and in the distance I saw that VIA 1 had stopped short of St. James Junction.
As I watched, they crossed over from the north to the south track and slowly rolled past me. After a nice wave from the second engineer, VIA 6404 rolled past on the point of 22 cars.
There was a deadhead baggage car on the train right behind the second engine. Lots of people were waving as they rolled past. Appropriately, Assiniboine Park was the trailing car, given that the real Assiniboine Park is only a few kilometres from where I took the photo.
Saying a silent prayer to the RTC gods (hi Janice) for not skunking me, I started to head out, only to find a CP local heading north on the La Riviere sub. A quick stop yielded this shot of the short train.
Not a bad lunch time!