Monday, July 30, 2007

Dynamic brakes

Charles H asked me if the dynamic brakes on 2610 and 2612 are operational. I found out they are present but disabled. They came that way from the Crandic.

9801, 9802 and 9803 have dynamic brakes* but they are not used. 2317, 2318 and 2319 do not have dynamic brakes.

* one of the three is missing the grid on one side.

CN Derailment Cleared

Apparently it was cleared at around 20:00-21:00 Eastern time.

Ron Pelletier reports that CN 120 was called for 16:10, 148 for 16:30 and 308 for 17:25. There should be quite a parade into Edmundston tonight, and on the Napadogan sub tomorrow.

CN Derailment

There has been a derailment on CN's Pelletier Subdivision. As a result of this derailment, CN trains that normally travel between the Maritimes and Montreal and points west are not able to pass.

From Ron Pelletier: "The derailment occured near Riviere Bleu around 16:00 [Sunday] near Route 289 and a Camping site (Domaine Drapeau). Some 25 cars are off the track and apparently damage to a building(camp) and a few automobiles, no injuries."

Some trains have begun detouring on NBEC/CFMG's rails (the former Intercolonial route). CN 308 (Toronto-Dartmouth freight) left Joffre, Quebec at 05:00 local time and will be detouring. UPDATED - no detours planned at this time.

Two trains are stopped in Moncton, as reported by Wendell Lemon at 10:30 this morning. One train has CN 5515, BCOL 762, CN 2632. The other is led by CN 5689. There is more power in the yard. They are likely CN 121, 149 and 305.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

NB Southern Eastbound Today

It looked like a nice day for railfanning, so I packed the three kids in the van and headed for McAdam. I heard the eastbound was arriving at about 14:00, and when I crossed town limits at 14:10 I heard chatter on the scanner. NBSR 2319 East was in town and doing a little shunting. They had 2612 and 2317 as well.

They had already dropped their 4 cars, and were in the midst of picking up NBSR 2318. Once they got that, they picked up 13? empty gypsum cars before backing onto the 10 boxcars they brought from Maine. This short train left McAdam at 14:35. I shot them at the highway crossing with my Canon still camera, through the bug-encrusted windshield. Not my best video.

We beat it to Harvey Lake to get them there. There was a large family at the picnic table out on the spit, and I'm sure they gave me a few odd looks as I rushed out there with kids and camera equipment. They confirmed that no train had been by yet. Whew. I set up the tripod and within a few minutes NBSR 2319 East rolled by. I shot stills blind while panning the video camera. I needed to do some serious horizon levelling!

Notice I clipped the photos from RailPictures' (rejected) list.

I also got to meet a friend I've corresponded with for quite some time but never met before. Good to see you!

Friday, July 27, 2007

More YouTube goodness

I'm beginning to think I should have a separate blog just to highlight the many great YouTube videos from other people! What do you think?

New YouTuber uploader duneadam has a short clip of NBSR 9801, 9802 and 9803 at the Irving Pulp Mill at Reversing Falls on the same day I was in Saint John.

Here's JamminJoel with a video of CN 7079 and 7010 pushing a local train up the east Saint John line to Irving Paper / the refinery and so forth.

Another local, this time with green NBSR 2612 and yellow NBSR 2317 taking a train from Island Yard over to Dever Road on April 28, 2007 at about 15:30.

One more from JamminJoel, this one at Nauwigewauk, NB, also from April 28. Where the heck is Nauwigewauk??? Near Hampton, I see. Follow the link before here for a Google Map view of where the video appears to have been shot.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A very late trip report

Since it was such a nice day Sunday (July 22), I decided to take my two youngest kids down to Saint John to see some trains and do a few other things.

We rolled into Saint John around 12:45 and went by the Dever Road yard first. The CP inspection train was down in front of the shops, as were four GP38s.

Over to Island Yard, we found CN 7010 doing some shunting. I discovered CN 305's power bringing the empty potash cars back from the Courtenay Bay terminal at 13:15, and watched CN 5660, 5550 and 5527 pull the empties down beside Rothesay Avenue, then push them back into the yard.

I heard someone on the NBSR channel tell 305 they were "in the clear", so I went looking for an NB Southern train but didn't find one. I stopped at the Dever Road yard to take some photos from the overpass, then headed back. I heard 305 getting a highball from the carman just before 14:00, and I assumed they already had a clearance from the RTC and were heading to Moncton. I beat it down highway 1, intending to get them somewhere just outside Saint John. Then I heard "famous CN 305" call the RTC to get their clearance, so I knew they must have pulled up to Coldbrook for a Tim's stop. I set up almost at the end of Rothesay Avenue to wait.

CN 305 rolled by at 14:07 with 5660, 5550 and 5527 pulling a 94-car train (44 potash, 7 boxcars, 24 tanks, 2 boxcars, 6 tanks, 8 empty CN woodchip cars, 3 boxcars). My toddler son gave them a rollby inspection but my daughter was distracted by a bee. Nice friendly wave from the conductor!

After that, we did a few family things before getting ready to leave Saint John. At 15:30 we noted CN 7000 and 7060 pulling a longish local into Island Yard from the refinery/Irving Paper area with 14 tanks and 13 boxcars. By this time 7010 was idle by the shops

At 15:50 NBSR 9803, 9802 and 9801 were together, shunting the west end of the Dever Road yard. The road power was still at the shops, so we decided to head back to Fredericton.

Not a bad day at all.

Dave Dineen shot 9803,2,1 on the same day crossing the Reversing Falls Bridge. Here's his video.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

CP TEC train videos

Dan Dineen has a nice video of the train turning on the wye in Saint John.

Gary Lee has a few of the CP train in McAdam.

Here it is backing up onto the start of the St. Stephen subdivision.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Some photos of the CP TEC train from today

Brian Barchard caught a photo of today's westbound train at mile 70 (Prince William) at 12:06.

Dave Dineen chased the train and has several shots in his Flickr album. I like this one by Fredericton Junction the best.

Thanks, guys!

CP TEC train past Tracy

Peter Gough reports the CP track evaluation train just passed Tracy at 11:30. That should put it into McAdam around 12:30-12:40.

CP TEC train at Westfield Beach

The train is now approaching Westfield Beach (mile 14) at 10:35. Report courtesy Peter Gough.

CP Track Evaluation Train Leaving Saint John

09:45: I just got word from Peter Gough that the CP train is at Harbour Station in Saint John and should be departing shortly for McAdam. That will put it in McAdam by noon at the latest. It will then go down the St. Stephen sub after the crew change.

Monday, July 23, 2007

CP TEC train update

One source says it should be in McAdam between 10 and 11 AM, then off to St. Stephen on the south line.

CP Track Evaluation Train Tuesday

The latest word I have is that the train will start work at 8 AM but will work in Saint John first. I assume they will go to mile 0.0 by Harbour Station and work west from there. I have no idea if they will do the port spur or not. I believe they will then proceed to McAdam but keep in mind that they have to avoid the eastbound freight.

Given last year's TEC train I would GUESS they would be on the mainline by noon and into McAdam by 2 PM.

Hopefully I will have updates for you tomorrow. I will not be chasing this train but if I get any updated information I will post it here.

Another shot of the CP TEC train from Friday

Brian Barchard nabbed a shot of the train at mile 66 near Harvey.

Thanks, Brian!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

CP train still in Saint John

As you can see, the CP train was in front of the NB Southern shops at their Dever Road yard in Saint John.

NBSR 2318, 2319, 2612 and another unit are beside them.

To the left you can see the passenger excursion train, and behind that the corpse of NBSR 3700.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

YouTube CFMG videos

Here are three videos from new YouTuber pyg2001.

First, a nice one of CFMG 402 in Trois-Pistoles on January 27. It's dark but I like the sunrise in the background.

Next, a Loram railgrinder on the CFMG from January 21. It wasn't grinding at the time, alas, but still a nice video. I like the sound of the tail-end horn in the first clip - kind of like an elephant fart.

Finally, a shot of a long CN 305 passing the Trois-Pistoles station in the night of May 12, 2007 during the short detour. Unfortunately it was quite dark.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Armed with the knowledge that the CP track evaluation train was coming, I decided to head to Fredericton Junction right after supper to try to catch it before it got too dark. My two youngest kids and I hit the road at 17:50 and raced to the Junction. As we went by Tracy, the scanner lit up with a conversation between the RTC and NBSR 2319 East, the freight train, at 18:24. The gist of what they said was:
- NBSR 2319 East was between mile 36 (Hoyt) and 24 (Welsford).
- The CP train was still in McAdam, being refueled.

Knowing that, I knew I had lots of time before the CP TEC train showed up. We parked by the Fredericton Junction station and I let the kids run around for a while, before loading them back in the van to go up the line toward Cork. Since it had just rained, I figured the dirt road was not worth traveling on, so we parked in sight of the crossing at the end of pavement at mile 52.48. I put a DVD on and broke out the snacks.

At 19:34 the scanner chirped an EOT signal ("train nearby!!") so I jumped out of the van and ran toward the crossing. The lights came on and I saw headlights in the distance. I taped them there then set off in hot pursuit. I passed a sluggish pickup truck and got to the crossing at mile 49 about 30 seconds before the train got there at 19:40. Then it was off to Tracy.

The train was CP GP9 8218, tool car (boxcar) CP 424994, accommodation car CP 65 and track evaluation car CP 64. The last two cars were stainless steel cars.

The crossing lights were on at Tracy as I approached, and unfortunately I got behind a very slow pickup. I watched in despair as it started pulling away from us, but fortunately the other lane was clear when we got to the 80 km/h zone and I pulled over the dotted line to make my escape. I got to "downtown" Fredericton Junction in good time, parked near the caboose and walked across the tracks to get a shot of the train with the CP caboose in the background at 19:48.

Given the failing light and the kids needing to get to bed at a reasonable hour, I gave up the chase there and headed home.

Hopefully someone can get some still shots of the train in Saint John before its return next week. If I hear when it is coming back, you'll be the first to know.

More TEC train posts

FLASH: CP Track Evaluation Train Imminent

I just got word that the CP track evaluation (TEC) train is en route to New Brunswick. It should be in McAdam within 2 hours (say around 5-5:30 PM) and carry on to Saint John to lay over for the weekend. They will work the track on the way back next week... probably up to McAdam then down the St. Stephen sub like last year.

The eastbound freight is due into McAdam around 16:30 today, so the TEC train will run after the freight.

How to Film From Too Close to the Tracks

This is TOO CLOSE. Take some steps back. Your camera has a zoom lens - use it for your own safety.

Read the comments on the video:

  • "Grâce à des imbéciles comme toi, les VRAIS amateurs de train se font détester par les équipes de trains!" (Thanks to imbeciles like you, TRUE train amateurs are hated by train crews!)

  • "Tu n'es qu'un imbecile pour filmer les trains de si pres et en plus la qualite est degeux!" (You are an imbecile to film the trains so close and the quality is poor!)

  • "Should film the trains right at the corner. Can stand farther back for a better view"

Stay safe!

New potash mine for N.B.

Potash Corp. unveils new New Brunswick mine

CBC reports that the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. plans to build a new mine near its existing Sussex operation to be operational by 2011.

More traffic for CN!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Petition to Save the Fredericton Railway Station

Many of you know the sad state of the former Canadian Pacific Railway station in Fredericton. Heritage Canada listed it amongst the 10 most endangered heritage buildings in Canada. Web site InFredericton describes it as the dilapidated remains of a once vibrant building. This unique structure deserves to be preserved.

The Fredericton Friends of the Railway have been trying to get it refurbished, but they have run into a number of roadblocks. Now, Tim Scammel has produced an online petition as a call to action for the three levels of government to get involved and save this valuable property before it is gone forever. Witness the recent destruction of the Kentville roundhouse, which was the last roundhouse in Nova Scotia. Get on board!

Sign the petition

NB Southern transfer train video

Dave Dineen has posted a video of NBSR 9803 and 2318 taking a short transfer train from Island Yard to the Dever Road yard on YouTube.

The video features two segments, one at the mouth of Island Yard and one at Mill Street.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New YouTube blogger

New YouTuber JamminJoel has put a few videos up.

This one from January 13 2007 shows the NB Southern eastbound train at the highway 630 crossing, just on the New Brunswick side of the Maine border. NBSR 9802, yellow 2317, green 2319 and 9801 supplied the power for a decent-sized train.

The train continued on with NBSR 2318 added. Joel shot it at Harvey Station by the highway crossing.

He also has a few CB&CNS videos up... check them all out. Here's one from November 3, 2006.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New/old videos on YouTube

In my continuing quest to put all my train videos on YouTube, I put another six CN videos online. Here are a few.

CN 148 near Milford on October 26, 2002. David Othen and I were just wrapping up a great railfanning morning. This train had two CN blue test cars right behind the engines.

CN 149 at McGivney on February 19, 2004. This was the same day a big winter storm hit Nova Scotia, but not New Brunswick.

CN 701 at Windsor Junction, NS on April 22, 2004. Bill Linley and I had just seen 120 come through the Junction, then 701 left.

CN 148 arriving at Halifax, NS in 2004.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Trains on the 5th of July

Kevin G chased VIA 14 and 15 on a rainy July 5. Here are a few of his videos, from YouTube.

VIA 14 (with 6428 and 6403) at Shediac Road:

Then VIA 14 again at Sackville:

And finally VIA 14 leaving Amherst:

VIA 15 (with 6427 and 6405) at Sackville Amherst:

Here it is at Gort (passing Gordon Yard in Moncton).

EDIT: I put Sackville instead of Amherst for the fourth video - thanks for the correction!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Saint John Wallboard Spur Photos

Ask and ye shall receive! Ron Grant sent me a handful of photos of the new wallboard spur under construction in Saint John, at the site of the old drydock.

It looks like the switch is just off Bayside Drive. I hope to get down to Saint John sometime to have a look for myself!

Photo of MM&A units in Moncton

Phil Ross kindly gave me permission to post his photo of the two MM&A units (8569 and 8578) in Gordon Yard in Moncton this evening. Thanks, Phil!

MM&A in New Brunswick

Two MM&A units, 8569 and 8578, came into Saint John this morning at 2 AM. I'm told there is a major derailment in Maine and the units are going the long way around to get back to home territory. They were taken to Island Yard today and went to Moncton on CN 305 - Wendell Lemon reported them in Moncton at 5 PM tonight.

Here's a photo of 8569 by Rod Bushway, from RailPictures.

Kentville roundhouse being demolished

The roundhouse is coming down today as I write this. RIP DAR.


Friday, July 06, 2007

New Siding in Saint John

There is a new siding being built in Saint John to serve the new Irving Wallboard plant on Bayside Drive (at the former shipbuilding site). It is an extension of the current Irving Paper spur behind the NB Power Courtenay Bay plant across Bayside Drive to a new covered warehouse on the former shipbuilding site. This will be serviced by NB Southern, of course.

Hopefully someone will have pictures soon! :)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Various Sightings

First off, happy Canada Day! Or as old farts like me say, Dominion Day.

Danny McCracken called yesterday and left a message that the NB Southern excursion train would be leaving Saint John today (Canada Day) at 7 AM to proceed to McAdam for the 11 AM excursion run to Harvey.

He also mentioned that the eastbound train departed McAdam at 15:10 with NBSR 9801, 9802, 2612 and 2318. Thanks, Danny!

I would have liked to chase the excursion train on its way to McAdam this morning, but I had to take my mom to Moncton to fly out at 06:15. When I left the airport at 05:30 I flipped on the scanner and I heard someone talking French to the Napadogan RTC. My French is not great but I heard them reading the number of loads and empties so I figured it was a departing westbound. At that time of the morning it had to be CN 305.

I decided to go to Berry Mills and see if I could get them before they went by. I parked there and waited, and soon I heard them call the Lutes station sign, then at 05:58 I saw them on the long straightaway. Soon CN 2574, 5313 and 2589 went by with a whopping 123 cars. No DPU, by the way.

I knew it was going to be a blur shot when my camera wanted to do a shutter speed of 1/60 second at ISO 200. Just not enough light...

After that, I went to Gordon Yard to see what was happening... zilch. These were the units in the yard: CN 6007, CN 4729, CN 4727, CN 4012, CN 4719.

Have fun today!