Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Canadian Railway Observations

William H. Baird is moving his "Canadian Railway Observations" newsletter from email to his new web site, called, guess... Canadian Railway Observations. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad

I had a brief visit to the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad in Unity, Maine this past Sunday, August 26. I wasn't able to see anything moving, but I walked around the grounds and had a good chat with one of the volunteers there.

The station above has a ticket office to the left, and a little museum in the rest of the building. The volunteer told me that the items in the museum are on loan. It's a work in progress.

The steam engine is out of service, so they are using a 70-ton diesel to pull the train. Here's the steam engine by the turntable.

There are more photos in my tourist railroad photo gallery.

There is a great article on the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad here that goes into the BML's history in great detail.

VIA Rail YouTube videos

Finally, videos of VIA in the Maritime region.

clam502 posted a video of VIA 15 arriving at Campbellton.

This one by P-Y shows VIA 15 near Trois-Pistoles in Quebec at night... you can see VIA 6400's number boards very clearly.

CFMG Videos

I'm just about caught up in my YouTube watching... this time I'm featuring a few videos featuring the CFMG in Quebec.

First, a nice video from P-Y of CFMG 402 at Trois-Pistoles, Quebec on August 11 with 3 SD40s and 117 cars.

He was lucky enough to catch the two ex-Maine Eastern units on CFMG in two locations on August 16, Bic and Rimouski. The units were going to the Tshiuetin Railway (Sept-Îles).

Here's Patrick Sirois' video of CFMG 402 at Ile-Verte siding, Mont-Joli sub.

Some of Gary's recent videos

Here's a few videos from Gary of McAdam.

This is NB Southern 2318 East. I see there were several doublestack container flats on the tail end.

This is inside the cab of NBSR 9801, going down the first bit of the St. Stephen sub in McAdam.

NBSR 2318 and 2317 going by the McAdam station.

Monday, August 27, 2007

CN 305 today

Kevin G caught CN 305 today and put a few videos on YouTube.

Here's CN 305's power (2681 and 2639) running over to Courtenay Bay to get empty potash cars, and returning with them.

Finally, here it is near Sussex.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Union Pacific videos from California

I've put videos of the two Union Pacific freight trains I saw in California on YouTube.

Here's the small one, UP 361 at Castroville:

The other train had 26 beat-up freight cars with UP 5342, 5355 and 5447.

Those were both from my last day of California railfanning.

I see someone else shot a UP freight in Castroville, though at a level crossing:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

NBSR 2319 in yellow

MEC252 (Travis Bragg) has posted a couple of videos of NBSR 2319 switching Hermon, Maine when it was lent to the MM&A during the spring of 2005.

Grab Bag

A CN export train (number 436) is on its way through New Brunswick soon. It left Joffre at 07:30 and should be in Edmundston by about 13:30, then Moncton around 19:30-20:00. All times approximate, of course!Train of thirteen export units by Brockville at 18:20.

The consist was CN 5251 with DRS units 66421 to 66427 as well as SNTF units 060DS01, 060DR09, and 060DR13-16 with a few spacer flat cars.

A "5 pack" of containers derailed at the Port of Saint John Monday and tore up some track. The track remained blocked Tuesday night, with three NB Southern locomotives trapped behind the damage. CN sent a rare train 594 down the Sussex sub Sunday morning, I'm told to get some late containers including the blocked ones. It had CN 9574 with 20 container cars and 14 tank cars.

FREDfm reports that a train hit a truck "just outside Bathurst" yesterday (Tuesday). Fortunately, the 51-year-old driver had minor injuries. "RCMP say the man failed to look both ways when he attempted to cross the tracks".

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Steve and Dave's Excellent Gaspe Adventure (part 4)

This is the final of four postings about my Gaspe trip on Saturday, August 11 2007 with David Morris to take photos and video of VIA's Chaleur train. (part 1, part 2, part 3)

We decided to go to Perce station to see the Chaleur come in at 15:46.

There were quite a few people waiting to get on.

Next we caught him going under the road at 15:56.

There is a trestle at the west end of Grande Riviere. We went there and got him slowly coming across at 16:17.

Next it was "back to the beach" to get this view from the road.

This time we decided to go into Chandler to shoot him coming into the station. Again, a big crowd waiting at the station at 16:36.

While waiting, I shot a few pictures of the Abitibi-Price locomotive and freight cars at the closed plant.

The freight cars in the foreground have no reporting marks. I understand the mill has (rusty) track down to the wharf, so I guess these were used in captive service.

After that, we went back to my favourite spot at Port Daniel and I shot the train coming the other way at 17:36. At this point it was only 9 minutes late, not bad!

Here he is coming into New Carlisle, right on time at 18:15.

Things went wrong here. They had "bad water" in Gaspe so they weren't able to top up the water tanks in the passenger cars, so they had to do it here. This took quite a long time, and they didn't leave until 18:42.

By the time they got to New Richmond at 19:35 (27 minutes late) the light was starting to get iffy.

They were through Cascapedia at 20:00 in poor light.

We gave up the chase soon after that and crossed into New Brunswick at Pointe-de-la-Croix. VIA 15 had come and gone, so we went back to our cottage for the night. As it happens, we heard CFMG 403 coming in and I did tape it at 23:00 with my van's high-beams providing a little light. CFMG 6907, NBEC 6900 and CFMG 6910 brought 115 cars in.

So ended our trip up the Gaspe peninsula. I can't even count how many locations we took photos of the Chaleur - it is truly the best route ever to take photos of a passenger train.

Next time - our Sunday on CN's Napadogan Subdivision.

See also - our 2009 Chaleur chase!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Last? freight from New Minas to Hantsport

David Othen put a video of what might be the last freight train from New Minas, NS to Hantsport, NS from this past Friday, August 17. The video shows the CEMR 4014 and its three car train passing the Wolfville train station.

New wallboard spur in Saint John

I had the opportunity Friday to take some photos of the new wallboard spur from a different vantage point. This spur is going into the former Saint John Drydock facility.

This shows the end of the spur, going into the building:

They will have a little siding there, perhaps for running around the train?

It looks like there will be two covered tracks for loading:

This shows the other end, where they will connect up to the existing Irving Paper spur. They were pouring concrete in the morning.

I took a few more photos, so if you'd like to see others or see these in a larger size, email me at or comment here.

Saint John on Friday

Another departure from the Gaspe posts... I was in Saint John on Friday and saw a few trains.

At 09:45 NBSR 2317 and 2610 were rolling along past Harbour Station to the west end of Island Yard. They stopped there, I guess to wait for clearance to enter. The light was nice that time in the morning.

In Island Yard, CN 2582 and 5550 were at rest, and GP9 CN 7010 was shunting.

Later, CN 305 was getting ready to head out at 13:30. Here's the tail end.

Over at Dever Road, NBSR 3703 was working her heart out pushing cars around at the west end.

I made a quick call to McAdam and discovered that the eastbound had left McAdam around noon, so it would be in Saint John soon. I hit the road, and just after the golf course in Westfield I heard a FRED chirp on the scanner. I pulled over and waited for the train to clear Westfield Beach. I shot him there, then backtracked to my favourite curve entering Grand Bay and got him at 14:15.

He had NBSR 9802, 2612 and 2318 with 34 cars (14 empty gypsum cars and about 12 wood chip cars).

After all that excitement, I was ready to head on. However, I noticed some activity at the ferry crossing by Westfield Beach. There was an NBSR pickup there working on the signals and a few people pointing at rails at the crossing. Just past that, an NBSR crane was getting ready to roll at Westfield Beach with some rails.

He got on the rails and headed toward Saint John.

That was enough for one day!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Steve and Dave's Excellent Gaspe Adventure (part 3)

Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 4.

First off, while reviewing the video I see I misssed five locations we shot at before Port Daniel. At 05:40 I taped the train from the side of the road. It was a nice shot as the sun glinted off each car as it rounded a curve. I shot it again at 06:08 from the side of the road, and 06:17 across a field. After New Richmond I taped it coming out of an underpass at 07:54 and shortly afterward on a trestle at 07:59. There are many photo opportunities on the Gaspe line.

In part 2 I left off outside Chandler at 10:56. The next shot was a long detour to Barrachois and a lovely shot from up a hill. David found a spot in someone's backyard at the crest of a hill overlooking the line and the ocean. We saw her and asked permission to use her backyard. She said, "OK, but first answer me this - why do you keep taking the same pictures from the same place?" David looked to me, and I said, "don't ask me, this is my first time here!" Good question, though.

I just shot video at this location, but you can see the view from here:

Here's the train coming across the causeway at 11:37. The train looks tiny but keep in mind how many kilometers I am away from the train!

For the next shot we went down the highway to Douglastown. There is a nice beach there, a great location for photos. You can shoot the train around a long curve as it approaches the bridges, then a going-away shot afterward. This is the last shot before Gaspe. Here's David ready for action at 12:12.

Again, I shot mostly video here but I did get a shot at 12:21 as the train approached the bridges and another as it was passing over the bridges.

When we arrived in Gaspe, he was already at the station, since he had a much shorter distance to travel than we did. We drove around to the wye to shoot him turning the train. I saw the Noranda / Falconbridge / whatever facility that used to operate. The train backed from the station to the wye and backed down the non-main-line leg at 12:58.

After lunch at Adam's, we took a few shots of him at the station...

We then left well ahead of the train so we could get back to Douglastown. This time we decided to set up on a hill overlooking the beach. Here's David relaxing in the lawn chairs as we waited for the train to amble by.

It did come by at 14:45 and again I took mostly video. A good telephoto lens is beneficial!

I took a few photos of the Barachois station before going back up the hill to the lady's house for the return shot.

In my next post, you'll see the train at Perce station, the Abitibi-Price switcher at Chandler, and much more. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

But enough about me...

I thought you might like a break from the Gaspe posts. I noticed Dave Dineen posted some new videos featuring NB Southern.

Here's a night video of the westbound NBSR freight (NBSR 2317, 2612, and 2318) at mile 6.4 on August 13:

Here's the same power one day later at the same location with a little more light.

Finally, the odd couple of 2610 and 3703 do some shunting in Saint John at the west end of the Dever Road yard.

Success on RailPictures!

I'm not sure why I think this is newsworthy, but I have two more photos on

Both were in my last blog post. This was the approach to the Port Daniel bridge:

And this was the train on the Port Daniel bridge:

I'm up to 23 pictures... 2 more to become a "real" photographer. ;)

Persistence pays off sometimes. I made 3 submissions of the bridge shot - one was rejected with "horizon unlevel", so I over-corrected the other way to get another "horizon unlevel" rejection. A few people in the forums suggested I try a shot where the power was emerging from the bridge, and I did that with a truly level shot and it was accepted. I guess that's my recommendation - keep trying. Of course, some shots just aren't going to be accepted no matter how much you fiddle with them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Steve and Dave's Excellent Gaspe Adventure (part 2)

Part 1, Part 3 and Part 4.

Right off I should mention that this series took place on Saturday, August 11, just to alleviate any confusion.

Back onto route 132. The next location was New Richmond. In the few minutes we had before he arrived at 07:36, I noted a snowplow and a few other MOW pieces parked behind the neat little station. The Chaleur stopped at the station here for a few minutes before heading on.

We shot him as he approached a highway overpass at 07:51 near Caplan (nice location).

The next major stop was New Carlisle, which has a full yard, although much of it is under weeds. There is even a one-stall engine house. I took a few shots of CFMG 001, a bright red snowplow. The train was there by 08:30.

For me, the highlight of the trip was Port Daniel. The station is not easily photographed, but there is a bridge just north/east of the station that is very photogenic. I set up down by the boats in the harbour and shot him rounding the corner onto the bridge. The light was great and the scenery was awesome. I loved that spot. He was at the station by 09:15 and did a double stop before crossing the bridge at 09:24.

We went to the other side of the Port Daniel tunnel and I shot him crossing a trestle at 09:46, while David shot him going under the highway. The light was a little TOO bright on the stainless steel cars.

The next location was outside Chandler, at a lookout at 10:07. I shot him from one side and David took the other. I think David got the better side here.

Another great location was a beach where the track runs right alongside the beach, with its red cliffs. I just took video there, around 10:40. We next took a going away shot at 10:56.

Next... a view of the Perce rocks and the beach at Douglastown before he arrived at Gaspe. Part 3.

Steve and Dave's Excellent Gaspe Adventure (part 1)

David woke up at 05:00 Atlantic and called VIA to see if the Chaleur and/or Ocean were on time. The Chaleur was on time but the Ocean was almost 2 hours late. If they were both on or nearly on time, we would have shot them both at Matapedia, but as it was we could not afford to wait for the Ocean.

After a quick stop at Tim's to load up for the long chase, we headed to Matapedia in the dim light. The Chaleur arrived shortly after we did at 04:59 Eastern (all times from in Quebec will be in local time), so we shot it on the bridge approaching the station. You can see that the light was kind of sketchy.

We took a number of shots at the station and across the river from the New Brunswick side. A few of the station shots worked out but the ones from New Brunswick didn't work for me.

We set up on the bridge at the end of Highway 11 and he rolled under at 05:36. The light was BEAUTIFUL as he accelerated away from us to start his long journey up the Peninsula. The warm sunrise glinted off the sides of the stainless steel cars... just lovely. Here's a shot of him approaching the bridge but I just shot video with the nice sun... stay tuned.

The next catch was a highway crossing at 06:01.

We shot it at the side of the road at 06:15 but the light wasn't that great there.

There was a cliffside shot we bungled. David couldn't find the location on the top of the cliff where he shot from, so I had to content myself with taping the train through a rock cut. David did find his spot but too late for me to relocate.

We left route 132 and zipped up route 299 to Cascapedia to get him crossing the two bridges there at 07:20. We took a few quick going-away shots, then drove to the crossing and shot him again as he slowly crossed the bridges. I think they turned out very well.

Next... New Richmond and beyond.