Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Northern NB Trains

I had a little trip to Dalhousie on Tuesday the 9th and managed to catch a few trains en route.

When I passed by the UPM-Kymmene plant at 09:45, switcher 711 was shoving a cut of boxcars into the plant. One would almost think it was a steam engine by the huge plume of white smoke it was emitting. I'm no mechanic but it seemed highly unusual. There were six boxcars in the outside yard.

The string of NB Southern log racks I saw on July 15 doesn't seem to have moved.

VIA 14 arrived at Miramichi at 10:06 with 6416 and 6432 leading 18 Renaissance cars and Evangeline Park. They departed at 10:14. Listening to the scanner, they had a slow order at mile 48 (near Rogersville) and were cleared only to mile 33 (near Harcourt).

When I passed by Bathurst at 11:10, I heard 402 working in the yard over the scanner.

I left Dalhousie around 17:45, after verifying that the Dalhousie local was not around. I heard a squawk on the NBEC channel so I went up highway 134. There are some really nice places for train photography along the stretch between Dalhousie and Belledune.

At mile 138.26 the track crosses the highway in Jacquet River, and the crossing lights were flashing. I quickly determined that there was no train around, so I called the NBEC emergency number and informed the RTC that the lights were stuck on. He thanked me and issued a notice to train 403 over the radio. Then he asked 403 for a position check and they were at mile 134 - almost on top of me!

I beat it back to the bridge over Jacquet River and waited for 403. They came at 18:32 with 6906?, a C424 and another SD40 leading about 88 cars. I shot video from the highway, and it turned out OK if a little wobbly. I think it would be a great spot for still photos. There's an ancient iron bridge over the tracks just north of the river that is a great place for getting an overhead shot.

In Miramichi, 1816 and 1819 were shut down on the "main" at the Ultramar facility with a string of boxcars behind them.

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