Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another NB Southern Excursion Train Chase

I decided to take the kids to go see the afternoon NB Southern excursion train on Saturday. I had hoped that they would meet the eastbound freight at Welsford, but a quick call told me that they left Brownville Junction at around 11 AM and would not be meeting the passenger train. Too bad.

The train was scheduled to leave at 2 PM, and I was well past Grand Bay on the South Bay Road by then. At 14:15 I decided to set up at mile 6 to wait for them, figuring they should be along any time. After about 10 minutes, Dave Dineen came along and we waited together. I heard on the scanner that they were passing NBSR 3703 in the yard at about 14:25 so it was obvious they were late. They showed up at 14:39.

We chased them from there, but we were stuck behind a very slow yellow car and did not catch up to them for quite a while. They passed under us at the overpass by the Co-Op in Grand Bay, and we finally started (slowly) catching up to them through Grand Bay. Another slow vehicle kept us from getting ahead of them until we had left Grand Bay. I chose to get them at Westfield Beach, at 14:57.

Right after they passed the siding, they slowed right down. It became clear that there was a slow order between mile 14 (Westfield Beach) and mile 17. Too bad for the passengers, good for us! I think it was a 10 MPH slow order so it was no problem at all to keep leapfrogging the train.

Here they are at 15:03 just past the Westfield Beach overpass.

And again at 15:08 at Sagwa?

A little farther down the line at 15:12. Notice the railfan on the side of the road filming the train. I didn't recognize this person.

I always wanted to shoot a train on the bridge at mile 17. This was my chance!

They opened it right up after that and I barely beat them to the LaFarge road crossing. I slapped the tripod up, turned the camera on, and just managed to catch this at 15:19.

I taped them at the highway 7 crossing at 15:23, then went to the west end of the siding to see 9803 run around the train. They had to stop to line the switches, go through derails, etc. so it is a bit time-consuming to do the runaround.

They went back across highway 7 at 15:50. Here they are at 16:04.

I shot them at 16:06, taped them at 16:08 and shot them again at 16:10. Thank you, slow order!

For my final shot, I decided to try shooting them at Westfield Beach from across the Nerepis River. I crossed the river beside the old CN line and set up at the little trail shack on the other side. They showed up at 16:20. The shot was a little hazy and they were behind the MOW equipment in the siding, but hey, it was worth a try.

After all that excitement, I thought I might have a chance to get the eastbound freight too. We proceeded up the back way through Wirral, Hoyt and so forth. As I approached the lumber yard outside Fredericton Junction, I saw boxcars going the other way at 17:00. I turned around but they got to the highway crossing before I did. I caught up to them by the Hoyt Station Road and I decided to try to get them at Enniskillen.

That was a bad choice, as it took too long to get down to the tracks from the highway. I should have kept on to Wirral - it's closer to the road. As it happened, I saw the crossing lights on as I approached the crossing and NBSR 9802 East burst through as I was slowing to stop. The train had NBSR 9802, 2319, 2318 and 9801 leading a 57-car consist:
2 MEC hoppers
13 extra-height boxcars
4 MEC hoppers
6 extra-height boxcars
2 cryo boxcars
5 extra-height boxcars
2 cryo boxcars
1 long boxcar
3 extra-height boxcars
2 cryo boxcars
1 extra-height boxcar
2 DTTX container flats (one single, one doublestack)
3 autoracks
1 empty centerbeam flat
10 woodchip cars (BAR, NBSR, MMA)

244 axles, according to the Hoyt hotbox detector.

We gave up after that, and headed for home through Fredericton Junction.

Other excursion train posts:

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