Monday, July 17, 2006

Northern New Brunswick railfanning

Today I went to Bathurst for the first time in a long time, and of course I saw a few trains on the way. I had my Fuji 3.2 megapixel digital camera with me, and I was looking forward to taking just stills.

It was foggy near McGivney and I couldn't see anything at all as I passed.

I noticed quite a few cars at the UPM-Kymmene plant in Miramichi. The outside yard was pretty full and there were quite a few inside the fence too. This is the first time I've seen it since NBEC took over the plant switching so no doubt they are doing things a little differently.

VIA 14 was reported 32 minutes late leaving Bathurst. I went to Beaver Brook and saw them go through at 10:15 with VIA 6415 and 6420 leading the Renaissance train with Evangeline Park at the rear.

I drove back to the yard and beat them there with 30 seconds to spare, even with the driver going 40 km/h in front of me. They had a quick station stop and headed out. NBEC 1854 and 1816 were shunting around at the other end of the yard, and CFMG 6907 was resting with NBEC 1819. I noted that the two dead C-424s, 4219 and 4243, were still in the yard (I saw them March 29).

As I approached Bathurst I heard NBEC 1818 West get permission to occupy main track between mileages 106.6 and 108. That's the section of track between Nepisiguit Junction and the Bathurst yard limits. They must have been coming off the Nepisiguit Subdivision.

I heard NBEC train 587 talking as I approached Belledune near noon, and as I was parking I saw NBEC 1867 and another red RS18 running light out of the plant. There was talk on the scanner about a couple of cars left in the siding off the main line, so I thought they were getting those.

When I left Belledune at 16:30, I heard train 587 again! It turns out they were working the Irvco siding off the main line, picking up those leftover cars. They rolled by at 16:35 with 1835 leading 1867 and 4 gondolas, 2 boxcars, 1 tank car, an airslide hopper, and a string of about 17 NBEC ore cars.

I almost like the going-away shot better!

I raced to the highway and easily beat them to Beresford through intermittent rain. I had some indecision about whether to shoot straight down the track or off a bit to the "sun" side. As you can see I decided an offset shot was better. They rolled past at 16:58.

The train was parked on the siding in front of the VIA station in Bathurst when I arrived at 17:10. Shortly thereafter they started doing some switching. Gotta love that Alco smoke!!

I watched them until about 17:35 when I spoke with the engineer. He said the next crew would be taking the train to Brunswick Mines around 18:00 to 18:30 and train 403 would be arriving around the same time. I figured I had time to grab a quick supper, so I stopped at Subway on my way out to Nepisiguit Junction to catch 403. As I passed over the tracks at the Junction I saw boxcars rolling by underneath. DRAT!

I turned around and beat it down to Riverside Drive. I managed to get ahead of them without breaking speed limits and shot them at the golf course at Squire Green Drive at 18:00. They were 6903, 4214, 4210 and 6902 with about 54 cars.

When I saw the IC boxcar I thought of Roman Litarchuk. :)

NBEC 403 led by CFMG 6903 parked on the main line, and NBEC 586 led by NBEC 1835 was on the passing track.

Much more about NBEC 586 (train to Brunswick Mines) later... this is enough for one blog post!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the northern NB pics always make me homesick. sorta.

Dave P.