I picked Tom up at 07:15 and we headed toward Symington. There was not much going on at the northwest end of the yard so we headed toward the hump at the southeast end. One line of cars was being pushed over the hump. This is looking south toward Navin and the end of the yard.
Note the piece of track that isn't connected to anything any more... interesting how there used to be a switch here.
Looking north toward the hump, we see CN 7500 and company on the north track, resting, while a crewman cuts the cars as they crest the hump. Tom and I watched them hump autoracks and tank cars for a bit.
Lots of things going on here. I'm told the autoracks are annoying to hump because of the long drawbars going crooked during the shove, making it impossible to pull the pin to uncouple them.
We noticed a rail train in the yard, led by CN 5429. The loco had its headlight on, leading us to believe they would be leaving soon. Sure enough they started rolling and passed under us on the way out of the yard area.
A little lens flare there...
They rolled past the hump yard units (15-year anniversary CN 7505 and CN 7511, plus slugs) and stopped.
It turned out that there was a train coming off the CN Sprague subdivision that they had to wait for.
CN 2872 and 2811 pulled by with a mixed merchandise train. I keep wanting to call them "mixed trains" but I'm avoiding that, because traditionally a mixed train was a freight train with one or more passenger cars tacked on the end.
We relocated to Navin to wait for the "rail train". After a while, 5429's ditch lights came on and the train started rolling. A CN pickup rolled up and a young fellow got out to do the roll-by inspection. They were smoking pretty well by the time they reached us.
Here's Tom's video at the same location.
We decided to give chase. The Trans-Canada parallels the CN Sprague subdivision for a while so it was easy to get ahead of the train.
Here they are between the Lorette siding and the east-facing approach signal for the siding (visible at the right of the frame).
The rest of the train was grain cars, I believe.
Yes, yes it does!
We decided to shoot it passing the Dufresne grain elevator, a favourite location of mine on the Sprague. However as we approached Dufresne, we saw construction markers and there appeared to be no way to go in the town! Probably I missed the one turnoff but everything seemed blocked off. I wonder how the local people get in or out?
So that was out.
The track diverges from the Trans-Canada after Dufresne, so it was now or never. I knew there was an overpass at Sainte Anne so we made a beeline for that. I parked on the far side and we walked back to get the overhead view. Fortunately there was a walkway so it was relatively safe to stand there.
I think this was my favourite location. I'd been to Sainte Anne once, just to scout it out, but I'd never railfanned there before. I might have to do that again!
RailPictures liked that photo!
|Not many chances for overhead shots around here!|
This was accepted to RailPictures, too. :)
Here's Tom's video from right beside me.
Thanks for the company, Tom!