Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Colours, Eventually

I was determined to get some photos of trains with fall colours in them. My plan was to go out Thanksgiving Monday to St. Stephen and shoot the NB Southern South Job there and on the way back to McAdam. Given its slow speed, there are plenty of opportunities for photos in picturesque locations, as I saw in May 2007.

My youngest son and I set out at just after 9 AM. I knew the train would leave McAdam around 8 AM so I figured I might catch it just before St. Stephen. Well, just after Harvey my little guy got quite car-sick and that was the end of the chase. We headed straight home for cleanup and I was a bit bummed out.

He recovered quickly enough, though, so after lunch I figured we could get the eastbound NBSR freight instead. We went to Rooth (just west of Tracy) and set up at the private crossing just west of milepost 52. We drew letters in the dirt road and waited for the train to show up.

At 15:35 the scanner chirped with the sound of the EOT (End-of-Train) device. Within 30 seconds I heard the nearby crossing bell ringing, and soon NBSR 2319 East came around the corner. It had 2319 and 2317 leading a short train of empty gypsum cars, a single covered hopper, and three autoracks.
NBSR 2319 at Rooth
As you can see, the light was not great. The sun played peek-a-boo all through the chase.

I gave chase. He beat me to the next crossing and then I outran him out of Tracy. I was well ahead by the time he reached the Fredericton Junction mile board, so I grabbed a few quick shots there at 15:48.
NBSR 2319 at Tracy
I wanted to get the shot across the field at Blissville to get as much foliage as I could. I pulled into the Baptist church parking lot, and as I was pulling the tripod out of the trunk, I heard the highway crossing bell ring. I set up just in time to catch him going past at 15:59.
NBSR 2319 and 2317 passing Blissville, NB

Here's the video.

For my next shot, I went to the long shot at Clarendon. It is starting to get very overgrown along the highway and the shot is going away. Maybe a chainsaw next time... The train was there at 16:19.
NB Southern Railway at Clarendon
The farmer in the foreground kept on working the field, oblivious to the train.

I took the long shot at Welsford Lake at 16:23. This was a very nice location.

NB Southern Freight Train at Welsford Lake
As I pulled through the west crossing at Welsford, the lights came on. I parked at the fueling depot by the east crossing and shot them coming through at 16:29.
NB Southern 2319 rounding the bend in Welsford
That was a great afternoon chase, but it was time to go. Thanks to my son for being so patient!

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