Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Nepisiguit Subdivision Railfanning

I'm dying to write about the extra-special train 402 I saw today, but I promised to write about train 586. A promise is a promise.

As I previously wrote, I chased train 587 (Bathurst-Belledune turn) from Belledune to Bathurst, where it magically became train 586 (Belledune-Mines turn) through the wonder of railroading.

At about 18:15 I dashed down to my favourite spot on Little River Road where the bridge goes over the tracks, figuring 586 would be along shortly. I waited.. and waited. I heard 403 doing all kinds of switching but nothing from 586.

I finally saw 586's headlights at 19:10 but then THEY started doing some switching. I believe 403 was headed to Campbellton by this time. David Chiasson arrived (we met back in September 2005) and informed me that I was way too early. I got that! ;) I guess it's typical that 586 goes to Nepisiguit Junction around 19:30, just before VIA 15 comes through.

I heard 586 do its brake test at 19:25 and get its TOP (what's that stand for, anyway?) at 19:30. Soon afterward they started rolling, and they passed underneath us at 19:42.

Love that Alco smoke!

David turned into a tour guide and led me on a merry chase up the Nepisiguit Subdivision. I had never railfanned that portion of NBEC so I was quite happy to be led by someone who knew where to go.

We stopped at mile 1.17, the first crossing on the subdivision. While we waited for the train, some jackass stopped at the lights, looked at the train, then squealed his tires and took off as the train thundered closer. I only wish I had the license plate number.

Anyway, here's the train. I imagine the engineer was laughing at me standing waist-deep in long wet grass. Anything to get a picture!

Our next spot was near Sewell Street at about mile 3.5. I really like this location as the train is raised a little from the rest of the landscape.

The next shot was the next highway crossing at mile 3.89, aka "Blue Mountain". There's a racetrack, Blue Mountain Speedway, just beyond this crossing. I bet you can see the train well from the stands.

I like the urgency in this shot, especially with the motion blur on 1867.

Our final location was at about 4.5 as the train pounded up the hill at ever-increasing speed. David told me they were difficult to catch after this so we made this the final one. One more shot of Alco smoke.

We went our separate ways after this, and shortly thereafter the skies opened up and dumped a lake on Bathurst. I'm glad the rain held off until the railfanning was done!

Thanks for showing me around, David! You can see David's photos on railpictures.net.

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