Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Matapedia Flooding

Kevin Babcock took a few photos last week showing the ice jam at the mouth of the Restigouche River at Matapedia. The Chaleur had to be cancelled, and passengers were transferred to busses.
Ice Jam on the Restigouche River.

NBEC took the unusual step of weighting the rail bridge with loaded ore cars. Students of New Brunswick railway history might remember what happened when CP did the same thing in 1987. There was a flood and CP put loaded fertilizer cars on the Perth Andover bridge that was washed away, and the fertilizer ended up in the river.
Ice Jam on the Restigouche River.
Fortunately this bridge survived and everything is open again up there. Best of luck to everyone in the Saint John river area.

EDIT: Changed date from 1976 to 1987. The 1976 date was the year the Woodstock bridge was carried away.

Water, Water Everywhere

Ron Pelletier is reporting that CN 121 is trapped in Edmundston because of a landslide west of Edmundston, presumably due to the flooding. Could there be a CN detour over the NBEC?

CBC reports that some 20 Edmundston families have been evacuated so far. My heart goes out to those who have to leave their homes. I've had water in my basement a few times, but not to the extent that many in the province are enduring.

You can access the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization's River Watch site. They are forecasting the Saint John river will reach 8.6m above sea level in Fredericton tomorrow and Friday, which is just shy of the 1973 flood, the highest on record. Total inflows at Mactaquac right now are at 289,000 cubic feet/s and rising, forecast to hit 389,000 Thursday.

There are a number of flooded roads around the province, too. Drive safely!

This photo shows Morell Field in Fredericton on April 25, 2007. A lot less of that field is visible today.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CP in Chaplin

In August 2002 I went to Chaplin, Saskatchewan to visit my wife's relatives. Chaplin is a tiny community west of Moose Jaw (which is west of Regina), on the Canadian Pacific main line. There is a former grain elevator there, as well as an above-ground mine that does get a little rail traffic. Chaplin has a siding and I saw some meets there.

Incidentally, Chaplin used to be a division point in the steam days. There is a little depot there for the MOW crews but little else to indicate its former importance. Moose Jaw has a major CP presence, much more than Regina does.

This video shows eastbound CP 8578 and 9611 blasting through Chaplin just before 7 PM on August 18.

NB Southern Westbounds

Dave Dineen has been catching a few NB Southern Railway westbound freights these days, now that the days are growing longer. Here's April 25's westbound with NBSR 2612 leading.

This is NBSR 2318 West last night, April 28.

For comparison, here's a video I took of a westbound NB Southern freight on July 23, 2005.

Monday, April 28, 2008

YouTube High Quality Setting

I wrote recently that YouTube now has a link to "watch high quality" videos. I did a little research and I found that by default YouTube decides whether to serve low-quality or high-quality videos based on what it thinks your connection speed is.

You can override this setting by going to the My Account section and clicking on the Video Playback Quality link near the bottom right. You have three options:
  1. Choose my video quality based on connection speed
  2. Never play high-quality video
  3. Always play high-quality video, if available


Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Gary Videos

Gary Lee has a couple of videos up featuring NBSR in McAdam.

I believe this one has the eastbound arriving at McAdam, with NBSR 9801, 2317 and 2612 on the head end.

This one shows the eastbound train leaving McAdam with NBSR 2610 added to the head end.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Saint John Area Trains Yesterday

Matt the Saint John railfan and Dave Dineen were both out taping yesterday in the Saint John area.

Matt posted a really nice video of CN 405 in Rothesay and at Bloomfield Station road. The power was CN 2598 and 5706.

On the original video page there is a link to "watch in high quality". I think this is pretty new, unless I never noticed it before. It does make a difference!

Dave chased the NB Southern eastbound, starting at Welsford. The train had three engines (9801, 2317, and 2612) and 54 cars.

Dave described the chase in his blog. Apparently the last seven cars of the train derailed in the yard in Saint John.

Monday, April 21, 2008

New NBEC Video

Here's a video I took back on September 20, 2002 of NBEC 1840 and MLW C424 4230 pulling a short train from the port in Miramichi across Pleasant Street toward the yard. You can't see this scene any more, since 4230 went to the West Chester Railroad in January 2005.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

VIA and NBEC in Bathurst Today

NBECMich aka Michel Boudreau, took some video in Bathurst today. First, VIA 14 leaving Bathurst with VIA 6407 leading a Renaissance train.

After VIA 14 left, NBEC 597 took a short train out of the yard, heading for the Nepisiguit Subdivision. NBEC 1868 and 1821 provided the power.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Finished Gyproc at Irving Wallboard Plant

On Thursday, Ron Grant snapped a couple of photos of loaded centerbeam flats at Irving's wallboard plant in Saint John. He said they were gone later that day. Thanks, Ron!
Flat cars at Irving Wallboard

Flat cars at Irving Wallboard

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

VIA Video

Here's the video I took of VIA 14 at Marsh Junction, Moncton this past Saturday.

Derailed Potash Cars in Saint John

Two potash cars derailed off the wye in east Saint John last week. I am told it was in the newspaper. Bob Boudreau took some photos of the hoppers yesterday and posted them on the web. link

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Moncton on Saturday

I took all my kids to the Moncton Model Train and Car Show this past Saturday, April 12. We headed up the Trans-Canada Highway in the rain and arrived in Moncton at about 11:20. I wanted to shoot VIA 14, so we had about 25 minutes to kill. I drove down Delong Drive and saw that CN 4775 and 4721 were shunting the far end of the yard, while shiny clean CN 2283 and 2281 were idling near the container cars. I would guess the latter two had just brought a container train in.

On my way out, I saw a freight had pulled out of the yard and was waiting in the siding for VIA 14 to pass. It had 2 units but I couldn't get the unit numbers from where I was. Since I had my kids with me, I didn't want to stand on the overpass. I grabbed one quick shot from the overpass.

We went to Marsh Junction to wait for the Ocean there. It didn't take long for the crossing bells to start ringing.

I raced to the tripod, started the video camera, and started shooting stills as the Ocean tilted through the curve.

You can see it was raining a fair bit. VIA 6431 and 6436 were leading 11 Renaissance cars. After that, we went to the show. You can see pictures here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Export Train Photos

Phil Ross posted two great photos of the latest export train through Dorchester and Sackville on

This photo at Dorchester is just stunning.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Saint John Railfan

Here are a few videos from saintjohnrailfan.

This one shows NBSR 3701 and a CN GP9 returning light to Island Yard.

Next, two CN units bringing empty potash cars to Island Yard.

Finally, CN 405 blasting through Rothesay.

Good show!

New Units For CB&CNS

The Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway has four "new" SD40-2 engines, HLCX 7172, 7232, 7689 and 8151. The first three are dark blue and the last one is BN green and black.

April 7 - Arrived at Gordon Yard in Moncton (Wendell Lemon)
April 10 - Left on CN 308 in the evening (Phil Ross)
April 11 - Arrived in Stellarton on train 306 (Charles Jeffrey)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Another Export Train

Someone spotted a set of export locomotives moving east through Oshawa, Ontario on Monday: "Just got a glymps of an eastbound CN at Oshawa with 8 new units under tarpaulins with CMDX 1000 through 1007 written on the outside of the tarps"

At 18:40 they were seen passing Napanee, Ontario on CN 308.

These are EMD SD70ACe locomotives headed to the Australian ore company BHP Billiton Iron Ore Pty. They were purchased from a BNSF order.

They pulled out of Joffre Tuesday morning at 09:00 with a 10,000 foot train, according to Ron Pelletier. I assume they are in Halifax by now!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Photos by Kevin Gaudet

Kevin sent me a few photos from his railfanning in the Saint John area at the end of March. Here are a few of the best.

CN 7038 and NBSR 3701 heading toward Island Yard from the east side.

CN 5765 leads CN 405 (or is it 406?) CN 406 near Harbour Station in Saint John.

And the best for last...

At the head of CN 405, CN 5665 rockets past Kevin.

That last one is Railpictures-worthy, I would say.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Atlantic Region Railway Conference

CFMG 6902 in Miramichi, New Brunswick
I was browsing the web a while ago and stumbled across the submissions for the 2007 Atlantic Region Railway Conference. There were submissions from Transport Canada, CN, NBEC, CB&CNS, QNS&L, the Transportation Development Center, and QRC.

The QRC (Quebec Railway Corporation) submission was most interesting to me. There is a very interesting pie graph breaking down what goods are transported on QRC on slide 6. As QRC watchers know, much of their traffic is resource goods like wood products, ore, and so forth and the graph really shows that.

If you'd like to view the presentations, I suggest going to the web site soon to download them before they are replaced with 2008 presentations.

The 2008 conference is going to be held in Moncton at the Ramada by Crystal Palace, on May 28 and 29.

Friday, April 04, 2008

VIA Videos by Kevin

Here's a few links to VIA videos by Kevin Gaudet. All were made on March 30 featuring VIA 15 with 6400 and 6436 and a Renaissance consist.

Arriving at Sackville
Blowing through Memramcook
Leaving Moncton, at what used to be called West End, it looks like.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

August 21, 2002

Way back in 2002 I spent some time with my wife's family in Winnipeg. On August 21 I went to the downtown CP yard with my son Nick and my father-in-law, and did a little railfanning. Here are a few videos from that visit. Please pardon my son's yakking. :)

CN Test Train in the Area

CN is running a test train through our area to check track geometry. It was spotted leaving Joffre, QC Tuesday morning by the vigilant Ron Pelletier with CN 5417 leading two blue cars, 15007 and 15008. Steve O'Brien saw it in Grand Falls, NB doing a meet with a westbound freight. Finally Phil Ross shot it near Moncton Tuesday evening.
CN test train near Moncton. Photo by Phil Ross
Photo by Phil Ross, from

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

CP Train Video

I posted a little video I took way back in 2002 when I was a new videographer. We were on our way from Regina to Winnipeg when we overtook a CP train. We got ahead of it and I stopped at a farm crossing to tape it zooming by. Notice how I was standing on the shadow side of the train... newbie mistake.