Monday, May 07, 2007

A Tight Fit (part 2)

This post continues the description of my chase leisurely observation of the NB Southern dimensional test train on Sunday May 6 (see part 1 to start).

They stopped several times before or in rock cuts to ensure the load would clear. I understand the tanks are 19 feet high and 21 feet wide, so they do take up a lot of space.

12:37. This was a typical sight - the train slowly creeping forward while the crew checks clearances on the inside of curves. They definitely knocked a few branches off!

12:39. The train paused here for a minute and I had a quick conversation with the engineer.
Me: This must be the slowest train you've ever had.
Engineer: Yeah, good thing I'm paid by the hour!
(Bob Boudreau is visible to the far left)

NBSR 2319 Special Move
12:44. I shot this from the side of the road to illustrate the spacecraft-like shape of these tanks.

NBSR 2319 Special Move
12:55. Trying for a little more of an artistic shot here... I don't think I really succeeded. :)

NBSR 2319 Special Move
12:56. I thought this was a nice shot of 2319's shiny new paint.

NBSR 2319 Special Move
13:15. Finally the train reached the Grand Bay overpass. There was a lot of concern about the overhead clearance for this bridge. From our perspective just off Station Road, it looked pretty tight!

NBSR 2319 Special Move
13:17. Will it fit???

At this point my daughter announced she needed to use the washroom. I bundled the kids into the van and headed to Tim Hortons for a quick visit, then returned to the scene. There were quite a few people watching the train at this point, mostly local residents.

13:35. IT FITS!

After they got one tank through, it was all over. We headed out and I assume the train returned to Saint John before the evening westbound went out.

I understand the "real" move to Harvey will take place within a week or so, no doubt with all seven tanks on the same train. Given that it took them more than 75 minutes to go 10 miles, it will be a long long trip for the train crew.

I was highly amused by the number of people who did double-takes at the train, or better yet stopped and asked what we were looking at. I generally don't get that when I'm railfanning. :)

I'm glad I "chased" this train - it's a really unusual sight around here. I'd like to close by commenting on the professionalism of the NB Southern crew. They took this job very seriously, as they always do.

For more stories, see also:


Anonymous said...

Nice shots, fascinating chase. that certainly looks like a tight fit under the bridge - an inch or less!

Dave P.

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thank you very much. It was quite a treat to see that train.