Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fall Colours

I was in the Miramichi area Tuesday and I saw a few trains on the way. I wanted to photograph VIA 14 with some fall colours. That ruled the station out, as there are few trees in the area and I've taken photos there a zillion times. I decided to head to the west end of the bridge at Derby Junction off route 108.

There is a little dirt road from route 108 that leads right to the bridge. I drove carefully down that and parked, then set my tripod up. I heard VIA 14 blow its horn as it arrived at the station, and a while after that I heard a horn blowing again. That seemed odd to me because there are no public crossings that I know of between the station and where I was. Anyway, VIA 6431 led the train around the corner to the bridge at 10:25.
VIA 6431 in fall colours
To say I am pleased with this shot is an understatement! In fact my nemesis Railpictures even liked it in a vertical crop.

I had packed up my tripod and was walking to the car when I glanced at the bridge and saw a train coming the other way! It turned out that NBEC 578, the day shunter, was returning from the Loggieville Subdivision with NBEC 1818 leading the 17-car Ultramar tank train. That was the source of the horn blowing I couldn't identify.

They pulled onto the bridge, threw the switch back to the mainline, then the engineer backed up to pick the conductor up. They then rolled across the bridge and past me at 10:35. Of course, they were horribly backlit.

Later, I passed by the NBEC yard on my way home. I saw train 402 from Campbellton at 14:50. It looked like it had just arrived and it was on the passing track with the power in front of the crew shack. The power was 6902, 6900, 6910, 3000 and 1816 but I'm not sure which of the SD40s was leading. 402 had 2 boxcars and about 7 hoppers on the head end with the 17-car Ultramar tank train on the tail end.

They did a very complicated little dance with the SD40s that I caught on videotape, but I'm not sure what they were doing. 6900 ended up going long hood forward to the wye to turn, followed by 3000/6902/6910 afterward. I couldn't stick around to see the results, alas.

I'm glad I caught VIA in the colours. I like that shot and that location a lot.

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