Tuesday, July 26, 2005

More on the NBSR 2318 Chase

It turns out I stopped for video 10 times while chasing NBSR 2318 West on July 23.

(11:03) The first stop was at South Bay. The video is a bit dark, alas:

Next stop was a quick one at a private crossing. This was a nice angle and I could get the train from quite a distance:

(11:15) The third stop was the overhead shot just south/east of Grand Bay where the Westfield Road crosses the tracks. I had some problems with the auto-exposure on the video camera as the bright white cars fooled the camera and the background kept going bright/dark/bright/dark.

The fourth stop was a quick one just north of Grand Bay:

By now the crew was getting used to me and I got a wave from the brakeman:

(11:27) The fifth shot was the overhead shot at Westfield Beach. It's a nice location.

(11:52) Shot 6 was north of Welsford near Clarendon. HLCX 3669 was smoking all the way by now.

(12:13) Shot 7 was at Hoyt by the hotbox detector:

(12:42) Number 8 was between Fredericton Junction and Tracy. Here I stopped to shoot the whole train because I thought I was doing my last shot.

(12:49) Of course, I got greedy and chased it a few km more. Shot 9 was at the first highway crossing after Tracy:

(12:55) The final shot was at mile 52.0, splitting the signals:

Ten video clips and five photos. Not too shabby!

Burtts Corner Station

Lauren and I went for a trip to Burtts Corner outside Fredericton to see the old Canadian Pacific station. I hadn't been out there in many years so I thought it would be nice to see it, and take a bike ride up the old line.

As you can see, it's a two-story structure. It looks like the top floor is occupied by the Keswick River Society and the bottom floor is unused. There is a building behind it that appears to be used as a farmer's market on Saturdays.

There are a few rails still in the ground, from a siding. They extend across the road to where the switch would have been.

Biking on the trail was fun, and beautiful. It's very pretty there, with a lot of green vegetation, river views, and flowers. It's too bad there's a few ATV and motorcycle drivers clearly disregarding the signs forbidding them from using the trail.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

NBSR 2318 West

I headed down to Saint John today with my daughter to do some railfanning and go to the beach. As it happened, we never quite made it to Saint John.

Around Welsford I heard some chattering on the scanner on the NB Southern RTC channel 161.475. It sounded like a brakeman and an engineer talking while shunting. I decided to take the Grand Bay route and then the South Bay route to go right up to the yard. Just as I was approaching the yard, I noticed the crossing lights on Gault Road light up. As I did a U-turn I heard the scanner crackle with the engineer of NBSR 2318 West telling the RTC he was on the move.

We beat it back up the Westfield Road and got the train on video in several places. I got caught behind a few slow cars so I missed a couple of opportunities, but I did grab this still as well (11:15):

The consist was 2318, HLCX 3669 and NBSR 9801. The train was mixed cargo with a number of TOFC in the middle and three COFC on the end.

Soon afterward I heard the engineer call the RTC and tell him that he was having trouble with the third unit, 9801. They went back and forth a bit and by Westfield Beach 9801 was just idling.

I videoed him just before Grand Bay at the overpass, then again at Westfield Beach's overpass, and got this still shortly after that (11:40):

I went to the west end of the Welsford siding and, after the three trespassing ATVs beat it, got this blurry shot (11:47):

They passed the hotbox detector at mile 24.4 with no problems, and 208 axles. I got a long-distance shot near Clarendon (11:50):

I tried to get him at Wirral but he beat me there. After that, I taped him at Hoyt Station Road. I got a bit behind there, having to do some daughter things, so I tried to catch up without much hope. Imagine my surprise when I saw him slowing down midway between Hoyt and Fredericton Junction!

It turns out that he tripped the hotbox detector at Hoyt (mile 39.2). One of the NOKL flatcars with the trailers on it tripped it, so they stopped and cut its brakes out. I didn't hear this on the scanner because I was out of the vehicle when the hotbox did its broadcast. They also told the RTC they cut out one of the traction motors on 3669 because it kept tripping its ground relays.

With good fortune in hand, I shot them at the Fredericton Junction bridge (12:41):

and taped them at Tracy (12:47) and twice more on highway 645 toward Cork. I only went a few km down the road because we had to go get some lunch. I left off the chase and headed home.

What a great day!

See video stills from the chase

Thursday, July 21, 2005

CN in Saint John

I saw CN 2605, CN 2520, and a 5xxx unit at rest at 09:20 in the ex-CN Island Yard.

Today (the 23rd) Lauren and I are going railfanning. Hopefully we'll get a better look at 305's power today.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Quick Northern Railfanning

I went to Bathurst yesterday and did a little railfanning-on-the-run.

The east-facing signals at McGivney were green-over-red at 0615, indicating something coming from Moncton. I assume it was train 305 (Saint John-Toronto) but I didn't stay to find out.

At Miramichi NBEC 6901 (future power for train 402 to Moncton) was snoozing in the yard, but the normal yard power was not present. There were seven empty NB Southern (!) log racks at the team track. Perhaps the wood that would normally go to UPM-Kymmene is being shipped out?

I noticed the normal yard power was parked at Ultramar, but I didn't read the numbers.

On my way back I noticed the Smurfit-Stone switcher under the highway 11 bridge at 1400, so I took the exit and went to see it. Alas, they had parked it very well and pictures were pretty much impossible. I went to the NBEC yard in Bathurst and saw NBEC 1814 shunting a bunch of empties:

Back in Miramichi at 1500, train #402 from Campbellton had apparently arrived with the SD40/C424/C424/SD40 combination, and the yard power was present too.

It was red-over-red at McGivney and I headed for home.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Saint John Train Watching

Today (July 13) was a good day for train watching in Saint John.

On the way down, I saw NB Southern's Trakrane #151014 and flatcar 301502 unloading bundles of new ties at Westfield Beach at 08:25. I guess the CP inspection train has given them a lot of work!

At 08:55 I saw NBSR 3702 delivering 4 boxcars to the loading docks near Harbour Station.

At 09:05 CN 7015 and NBSR 3701 were shunting cars. I haven't seen CN 7015 in Saint John since November 2003. Perhaps it is replacing CN 7000 for a while?

CN 2605, 2520 and 5746 were the power from 306 from last night.

At 12:00 I caught the previous three engines, with 5746 leading, pulling a long string of potash empties from Courtenay Bay to the yard. They went all the way down to just before the Coldbrook sign at the end of the yard, then started pushing them back in the yard.

On my way out, I noticed CN 7060 working the Island Yard, and CN 305 was gone. NBSR 3702 was still at the loading docks. I guess they probably park it there during the day while the Reversing Falls bridge construction continues.

At 14:35 CN 7010 pulled four covered hopper cars east out of the NBSR yard. There were two green GP38s in the yard as well as a red CN caboose. Anyone know the number?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

VIA 15 at McGivney

On Sunday July 10, David Morris and I went up to McGivney to catch the #15 Ocean. It's detouring via the Napadogan subdivision because of a derailment on the NBEC/CFMG in Trois-Pistoles. We figured it would arrive any time after 19:00.

At 18:55 I was surprised to see a hirail pickup truck approaching from the west. It was followed by two tampers, 656-29 and 621-00. The two tampers were stowed in the storage siding as we watched.

I spoke with the foreman, explaining why we were there and asking when he thought the Ocean would be by. He called the RTC and the RTC said he expected #15 to be at Bantalor in 5 minutes (this was 19:05).

The bugs had a feast while we waited...

The Ocean shot past at 19:30 with 6416 leading a Renaissance consist with (I think) Evangeline Park on the tail end. One of the two engines was smoking quite a bit! I got some video and a few snaps.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Quebec Vacation

We took a family vacation to Quebec, and I managed to see a few trains during that time. Not nearly enough, of course!

On the way to Quebec City I saw zip for trains, alas. While in Quebec, we stayed at a motel across the street from the Chemin de fer de Charlevoix's line. Again, no trains at all. The line appears to be in use but I never saw nor heard a train.

I did see a few trains crossing the St. Lawrence River while I was at the zoo, and I saw a neat little industrial switcher down at the port. Too bad I could only see it from the highway - photography is not great at 100 kph.

While in Montreal my son and I went to Delson to see the Canadian Railway Museum, which was well worth the trip. On the way, I got a little lost and ended up next to the Quebec-Gatineau Railway's line, which happened to have a train going by. It had four engines but I couldn't get into a good shooting position in time. I saw QGRY 3102 (GP40), a mystery engine, an ex-UP engine numbered 2002, then QGRY 2501 (GP35). It was quite a long general merchandise train.

As you can see, not great pictures at all. I'll post some Delson pictures another time.

On our way back, I saw a green-over-red indicating a train was coming toward us, so when I saw the headlights just south of Levis I pulled over and took a few grab shots:

We stopped at the Salmon River Viaduct, but I'll post that later too.


This is my blog for train sightings, and general musings about railways and related subjects.