As we approached the CN Sprague subdivision south of Symington yard, I saw a long string of autoracks. I investigated and found three SD40-2s and a slug with a long string of cars ready to shove up the hump (consist).
I was thinking of driving up Plessis past the yard, but as I crossed the track by Tinker Town, I glanced south down the line and saw a very distant headlight. Train!
I turned right and headed down highway #1 toward Lorette siding. It became obvious that the train was in the siding at Lorette so I pulled up and parked on Station Road (here) at the north end of the siding.
The train was CN 3036 with four business cars on the head end! A lucky find. They were just crawling up to the end of the siding when I arrived.
I stepped out in the brisk (-27C) weather and walked along to photograph each car. The lead car was CN 1710, FRASER SPIRIT. 1710 is a power car, and I could hear the generator running, especially since Tier 4 ET44AC locomotive CN 3036 was so quiet.
|CN 1710, FRASER SPIRIT|
|IC 800413, GREAT LAKES|
|Closeup of GREAT LAKES' observation platform|
The third passenger car was a dome, IC 800723 / CN 99 AMERICAN SPIRIT.
|IC 800723 / CN 99, AMERICAN SPIRIT|
The fourth and final passenger car was IC 800653, SANDFORD FLEMING.
|IC 800653, SANDFORD FLEMING|
That would be a fun place to be, too!
Anyway, the train sat there in the siding, obviously waiting for a meet. I stood outside taking photos and waiting. I was well-dressed for the -27C / -17F weather:
- Snow boots
- Three layers on my torso - T-shirt, hoodie, parka
- Toque with hoodie hood on
- My Freehand gloves with winter mittens on top
Every now and then, I walked over to the crossing to check the signal facing north. After 25 minutes, it was green over red and I saw a headlight in the distance. The meet was on!
My camera was getting a little sluggish in the cold and the battery light was blinking. I had a spare in my pants pocket but I decided to stick with the battery and trust that it would last long enough for the meet.
Here's CN 2842 approaching the crossing. That's my car to the left.
|CN 2842 at a crossing|
I boosted the exposure quite a bit as the sun was very close to the horizon by this point (4:39 PM).
Here's the meet.
|CN 3036 meets CN 2842 at Lorette|
The crew were on the ground for the inspection.
|Inspecting the passing train|
The eastbound train had CN 2871 as the DPU, near the rear of the train.
|CN 2871 at Lorette|
Once the train passed, the crew got back on 3036 and they were on their way. In the cold, 3036 was smoking like a steam engine as they accelerated away. It turned out that the train did have a DPU, shiny CN 3005.
|CN 3005 at Lorette, Manitoba|
Before getting in the car, I made sure to protect my camera gear from condensation due to the change in temperature. You do not want condensation in your lens - think fungus. I had left my camera bag on the trunk to get it down to the outside temperature. Once I was done shooting, I put the camera in the cold bag and zipped it closed before putting the bag in the car. At home, I brought the bag inside and left it alone for a few hours until it came up to room temperature. It's good to remember to take the card out before putting the camera in the bag!