Saturday, March 11, 2006

NB Southern's multicolour dream train

My daughter and I went to McAdam to see what we could see. We arrived at just before 11:00 to find NBSR 9801 on the engine track in the yard with a couple of covered hoppers coupled to it.

An NB Southern engineer appeared and started it up. He told me the eastbound from Maine would arrive in about half an hour. He was right.

By 11:25 the eastbound had arrived, with 2319, 2318 and 9802 in the lead. They cut off the power and one boxcar, and pushed that and caboose 434919 back to the yard. They didn't pick up any cars from McAdam. They then did a little dance with 9801 to put it third in the consist - the final order was 2319/2318/9801/9802.

I apologize for the quality of the rest of these photos - they're snaps from the videos.

At 11:50 the train left with 31 cars (8 boxcars, 1 empty centerbeam flat, 2 cryo boxcars, 3 86' boxcars, and 17 tank cars). This shot was from just before the highway crossing leaving McAdam.

I set up at Harvey Lake to try to get them across the water. I'd never tried that before, and I think it was a good location but my video camera had some trouble with focus. Oh well - next time. They came through at 12:23.

We then beat it to Cork to try to catch the train there. I didn't quite get there in time, as I heard the hotbox detector on the scanner about a minute before I got to Cork. I saw the tail end of the train off in the distance as I started onto the dirt portion of highway 645. It was in adequate shape but I wasn't able to pace the train. By the time I reached the other end the train was long gone. I managed to catch up with the tail end between Tracy and Fredericton Junction and I drew abreast of the engines as they entered town limits.

I had heard the engineer talking to someone on the radio about a balky engine (one of the 980x engines) and he said he would try something "after they cleared the Junction". I set up to video them after they crossed the bridge out of the Junction, and waited.. and waited. I figured they would only be a minute, and after five minutes I knew something was up. I drove back to the station, just to see them slowly pulling out. I shot them going across the bridge at 13:11:

And again at the lumber place outside the Junction at 13:17:

I heard them go through the Hoyt hotbox detector at 13:22, and I decided to get the far-away shot at Clarendon. I got there about six or seven minutes before they arrived at 13:44:

I decided to get the across-the-lake shot outside Welsford. I jumped out and crossed the street, and a dog came sniffing around. Since he didn't bite me or jump on me immediately, I ignored him and got the shot at 13:49.

The dog was quite friendly, actually.

With that, my daughter and I had an awful lunch at Georgette's in Welsford, and headed home. It was a great chase.

EDIT: Added video.

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