Saturday, September 15, 2007

NB Southern and CP 4563

Despite the warnings of rainy weather, I decided to head to McAdam to see 4563. How often does an MLW visit the southern lines? With my two youngest kids in the van, we set off. My game plan was to meet the eastbound excursion train at Prince William Station, get a few quick shots of the runaround at Harvey, then get the westbound at Harvey Lake before proceeding to McAdam.

We arrived at Prince William Station at 10:00. I fully expected to see the excursion train by 10:20, but that time came and went without any train. It was a bit of a challenge to entertain two kids by the side of a track, but we found some anthills and flowers and did some jumping to pass the time. Finally I had to break the snacks out.

Around 10:50 I heard some rumbling in the distance, and at 10:56 we saw a distant headlight. Prince William Station is a very long piece of straight track, and it wasn't until 10:59 that the train passed us. It had NBSR 2610 and 2317 pulling the three passenger cars (5537, 5448 and 5471, all ex-VIA, ex-CN) and caboose NBSR 422990.

We packed up and went to Harvey. The two engines uncoupled and ran down the main line out of sight, then came back up the siding.

They were ready to roll by 11:37.

We left and went to Harvey Lake. As I was walking toward the point with a tripod in one hand and my toddler in the other, I heard the rumble of the engines. Darn it! I gently set my loads down and brought my camera out to take this one picture.

I'm glad it turned out OK.

We arrived at McAdam and saw quite a few cars parked by the McAdam station. The CP 29 model was parked in front of the station and NB Southern had parked a number of their MOW machines by the shop building. CP 4563 was still in the main yard, so I drove down there with my sleeping kids. I took a few shots and ended up in the cab talking with the gentleman who came down from the Canadian Railway Museum to look after the engine. Quite a nice fellow.

The excursion train arrived at McAdam at 12:25 and unloaded. I talked with a few people I knew (hi Art, Wendell, Danny, Gary) and met a few people I had only known online or by reputation (hi Mike, Ron).

I took the kids for lunch at the Family Restaurant, and when we returned for a quick look, 4563 had been moved over beside the station.
CP 4563 by the McAdam, NB train station
The excursion train was turned on the wye, and at 14:16 they left McAdam. The conductor on the tail end, Gary, told me they had 175 passengers for the Harvey trip.

At 14:20 the NBSR eastbound freight arrived at McAdam, with NBSR 2318, 2612 and 9802. I'm not sure, but I don't believe they made any setoffs or pickups.

Here's a shot of CP 29 by the station. The gentleman in the photo is the fellow from Delson.

We went and had some ice cream, and when we were done, the eastbound freight was ready to go. They had pulled up to near the highway crossing and were waiting to find out where the passenger train was before they could leave. They pulled out at 15:00 with 9 boxcars, 9 autoracks, 3 tank cars, 5 loaded wood chip cars, and 3 empty NBSR log cars (29 cars).

They made good time to Harvey, and passed through there at 15:34.

We headed home at the end of a long but good day. Kudos to NB Southern for being such a good host railway, and to the McAdam crew for hosting the event at their beautiful station.


Anonymous said...

Hey Steve, it was quite a day Saturday. Actually the eastbound did set off in McAdam, about 15 cars. The 4563 was sitting on the switch on the south side of the station so they couldn't back the setoffs up into the hill yard. Therefore they pulled the train out over the mainline crossing, cut off the setoffs and pushed them back into the mainyard. Then they went back on the remainder of the train. That's why they were waiting where they were instead of by the station. They were afraid to put the 4563 completely on the old track on the south side of the station in case the weight split the tracks. First time they have set off in the main yard in a long time! Jody

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Jody. I knew they couldn't set off in the west yard due to 4563 but I didn't realize they had put them in the main yard.

One of the gentlemen from Delson had mentioned the fear of spreading the rails due to the weight of 4563. Too bad - it would have been nice to see it moving around more.

Truth be told, I would have loved to see it head up the excursion train!