Friday, February 24, 2006

Green switcher day

I went down to Saint John on the 23rd and had a bit of luck.

As I crossed the Harbour Bridge I noticed a string of container cars near Harbour Station. I took the next exit, and found twenty-some flats, most loaded, with no engine in sight.

I figured something must be coming along to get them soon, so I backtracked to near Reversing Falls. Just as I saw the Reversing Falls bridge, I heard some chatter on the scanner. The NBSR yard planner was telling someone to line the west end switch for the "Tropical boys" to come through.

Since many of the containers were Tropical containers, I figured they were on their way to get the cars. I heard a train horn, so I beat it back to the Bentley Street crossing (Google Maps) to wait.
Switchers at Mill Street
In about six minutes or so, three NB Southern engines came along - SW1200 3703 and 3702 bracketing GP9 3701. They trundled past the Mill Street sign and went down to couple up to the platforms.

Getting ready to take the hill
At 09:43 they started the pull up the hill to the Dever Road yard. I guess they must have had some trouble pulling them up the hill, as they slowed to a slow walking pace. I didn't stick around to see them get all the way up. I wonder if the morning transfer freight had to double the hill, and that's why the containers were left there. There were 23 platforms.
NB Southern high hood GP9
At noon I saw CN 7010 shunting the Island Yard, with CN 5746 and 5707 sitting idle in the yard.

At 16:30 it looked like another refinery local was being put together or taken apart. CN 7015 and 7000 together with NBSR 79635 were shunting tank cars in Island Yard. CN 5746 and 5707 were still sitting around in the yard.

On my way out of Saint John, I heard NBSR 2319 call the RTC and ask where the eastbound freight was. The RTC said it left McAdam at 16:35. If I had another 45 minutes or so I might have caught it at Welsford but time was not on my side, so I didn't see it at all.

Petitbone MOW equipment NBSR 151014 was sitting at Westfield Beach, off the rails, when I went by.

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