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

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