Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Post and Last Canadian for 2009

VIA's Canadian
I went out to do my railfan duty today and record the last Canadian (through Winnipeg) for 2009. I went west down Wilkes Avenue and stopped at a convenient crossing to wait. It was -22 Celsius (or -32 with wind chill) so I decided to set up the tripod and then get back in the car to wait.

TIP: don't leave your tripod in the trunk in this weather. The fluid head on the tripod was practically frozen and it took a lot of effort to move it into the right position!

The Canadian came along about 10 minutes late.

The train had engines 6442, 6407; baggage 8609; coaches 8118, 8119; Skyline 8512; diner Fairholme; sleepers Fraser Manor, Bliss Manor, Cameron Manor, Chateau Lemoyne; then Tremblant Park.

On my way back to Kenaston I saw another westbound train in the distance. I couldn't decide where to park, and in the end I had to shoot against the sun. CN 5620 and 5613 led a train that was all tank cars.

That's it for this year. Thank you for reading, and I hope you come back for more train news, photos and video in 2010 and beyond. My family wishes you the best in the years to come.

PS - my son Jamie wants to say hi. ;)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

CN 1774

CN 3875 was an RS-18 built in 1960 by the Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW). CN classified it as class MR-18g.

I don't have a photo of CN 3875 but it was on a couple of train orders. It was on two detoured CN freights through Mattawamkeag, Maine (CPR line). The first recording I have was on May 1, 1973 with a westbound extra - CN 3875, CN 3843, CN 3687. Those engines returned at 23:05 on May 4, 1973 with CN 3875 leading and 3687 and 3843 trailing.

CN 3875 was rebuilt in 1975 in the RS-18 to RSC-14 conversion by replacing the B-B trucks with A1A trucks* and reducing the horsepower from 1800 to 1400. It was renumbered to CN 1774 and became part of class MR-14c. Here it is shortly after the rebuild in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia on May 31, 1976 (photo by Walter Matuch. Walter is the owner of Ready Made Trains).
CN 1774 in Dartmouth, 1976/05/31 by Walter Matuch

Sometime between 1976 and 1984, CN 1774 was repainted and received the CN sergeant stripes. This slide by Glenn Courtney was shot in Halifax on October 13, 1984. Note sister CN 1782 behind her.
CN 1774 in Halifax, 1984/10/13 by Glenn Courtney

CN 1774 was retired before 1996 and presumably scrapped.

* B-B trucks are four wheel trucks, all powered. A1A trucks are six wheel trucks with the middle pair of wheels unpowered. The idea was to spread the weight of the locomotive over more wheels to allow them to operate on lighter branchline tracks.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Quickie

I was on my way to the Assiniboine Park Zoo on Sunday (Dec 27) when I saw a westbound freight on Wilkes Avenue. I pulled through the crossing, then walked back to take a quick video of the head end. CN 8851 was the lead engine on a midsized intermodal train. CN 8006 was the engine on the tail.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hudson Bay in the Snow

VIA 6438 and the Hudson Bay
On Tuesday, Dec 22, I shot the Hudson Bay as it left Winnipeg for the northern reaches of Manitoba. VIA 6438 and 6440 led a five car train.
VIA Hudson Bay

Shortly after that, CN 111 rolled by with a long container train. CN 8006 and 8855 were the motive power. I like those SD70M-2s - they have a very brutish look to them.
CN 8006

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, for those who celebrate it. My wife gave me a digital picture frame, so I will have some photos of my family and trains to watch. :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Why, Hello There!

One of the great things about running a web site and blog like this is the contacts that come out of the blue.

Sometimes people write, looking for some historical information. I try to answer the question, or ask those who know. For example, back in February 2008 I received a phone call asking what rail line ran through a particular property in Ontario. I didn't know but I found someone who did. More often, people are looking for historical information on New Brunswick railways and I am happy to help.

Yesterday, I was contacted for permission to use a few of my photos for an internal Norfolk Southern web site. I was glad to give permission, and thankful that this person asked. There's another project in the works that is using a few of my VIA Rail photos that hopefully will come to fruition soon.

Occasionally I get a genealogical question, along the lines of "my great-grandfather worked for the railway in 1900. Where would he have worked?" Those are hard to answer but occasionally I can help, given enough information.

Sometimes I receive a message just thanking me for my web site. Those are the best. :)

Anyway, the point of all of this is to say, hi! Drop me a line! Thanks for reading! (

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


RDC units at IRSI in Moncton
IRSI in Moncton, spring 2009

Industrial Rail Services Inc. (IRSI) in Moncton, NB has had a fleet of ex-VIA RDC units for quite some time, hoping to refurbish them and sell them to passenger railways. They refurbished one, 6202, to a very high standard and it has been leased to VIA on occasion. It looks like their wait is over, for six RDCs at least. This article talks about a deal to rebuild six RDCs, as well as IRSI's contracts to refurbish 98 LRC cars and 21 Renaissance cars.

IRSI is doing the body and electrical work. The LRC passenger car trucks, RDC trucks and transmission rebuilds are contracted elsewhere.

IRSI has been doing work for VIA for some time, mostly on Renaissance cars. They also do locomotive work, such as the Arcelor Mittal SW1500s they have been rebuilding.

This article talks about the possibility of using RDCs between London and Sarnia, Ontario.

Thanks to Tom Box and Wendell Lemon for the information.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Recent Videos

Here are some videos I took recently.

First, CN 2541 West from Thursday December 17. This was a long intermodal train with CN 2541, sergeant stripe CN 2401 and shiny CN 2291.

The second video is also from December 17. CN 2306 and CN 8846 pulled a train that was mostly empty centerbeam flat cars, with some pipe loads on the head end and a few tank cars here and there.

The third video shows the distributed power (DPU) train from Friday December 18. CN 8865 was on the head end, and CN 8862 was pushing on the rear.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday's Canadian

Another quickie... today's Canadian at noon in Winnipeg.
VIA 6421 and the Canadian in Winnipeg
The Canadian was right on time on a beautiful, sunny day. I see VIA has added a few cars for the Christmas rush.

8409 Fairholme
8327 Fraser Manor
8308 Bliss Manor
8314 Cameron Manor
8309 Brant Manor
8215 Chateau Lemoyne
8715 Tremblant Park

VIA Tremblant Park

VIA Responds to Chaleur Protest

Cyberpresse article

VIA Rail responded to the recent Chaleur protest at Barachois, Quebec. VIA Rail said the dining car was withdrawn due to lack of use. I should mention that the diner is back for the holidays, but it will likely be removed again in the new year.

VIA said the Chaleur name was withdrawn because it was not recognized out of the area. They say calling it the "Montreal-Gaspé train" clearly identifies where the train is going to.

The protestors said they would like to see the train frequency go from 3/week to daily. That would require another trainset, and it would be 6/week since the Ocean doesn't run 7 days a week.

The article also provided some ridership figures: 2007: 24,000. 2008: 29,500. 2009 to date: 27,000.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chaleur Protest

On December 14, protestors blocked the railway track at Barachois, Quebec and delayed VIA 16, the Chaleur. They were protesting several things: the removal of the on-board cook, VIA's refusal to add extra cars for the holidays, and the removal of the Chaleur name from the train. They put tables and chairs on the track, then had lunch. The track was blocked from 11:40 to 13:15.

Canoe article, Le Soleil article.

The protest was organized by Rural Dignity of Canada, a grassroots organization that fights for smaller communities' rights. The federal MP, provincial MNA, and the mayors of Gaspé and Percé were present, as well as the Roman Catholic Bishop of Gaspé and the Anglican Bishop of Quebec City.

Thanks to Tom Box for most of the information.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Train Travel Article

There's a great article on the Wall Street Journal web site entitled "Riding The Rails", by Daniel Machalaba, about short train trips for beginning rail riders. It's a good article, but I really mention it because in the accompanying slideshow, two of my Ocean photos were used. The first shows the westbound Ocean in Campbellton (above) and the second is another westbound leaving Bathurst (below). I encourage you to give the article a read!

Friday, December 18, 2009

DPU Friday

I did a quick trip to the CN mainline next to Wilkes Avenue at noon today, just in the off chance a train was coming. Sure enough, I saw headlights down by CN Waverley. Within a couple of minutes, a fast intermodal blew by.

CN 8865 was the sole unit on the head end. To me, this meant there had to be a DPU unit stuck somewhere in the train. I watched the containers roll by, but no unit, no unit... there's the end of the train... aha! Sister SD70M-2 CN 8862 was pushing on the rear.

CN normally puts the DPU unit(s) somewhere in the train, not at the rear, so this was new to me. CP often has a pusher on the end of its intermodal trains.

Right after they went by at 12:06, I saw BNSF 2001 pushing its train to Fort Rouge, and then a CP southbound freight rolled over the diamond at St. James Junction. Noon is a busy time around here.

Fredericton Station Update

Work on the Fredericton train station is progressing well. The work is being done by the Urban Farmer. Their intent is to preserve as much of the original station as possible during the construction.

The front canopy has been removed.

The distinctive red cross is preserved, thankfully. This used to be on the front of the canopy.

In fact, a lot of the roof has been removed.

There is an article in the Daily Gleaner about the refurbishment. Also, Charles Leblanc has pictures.

EDIT: I forgot to credit Fredericton Friends of the Railway president, and good friend, Tim Scammell for the photos. Mea culpa.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Whither the Canadian?

I went out at noon today to shoot the westbound Canadian. It was a beautiful sunny day in Winnipeg, with a temperature of -8 Celsius. Very nice for December.

I saw two westbound CN freights while waiting for the Canadian. I set up on the stub of Wilkes Avenue west of Kenaston, just for someplace different to shoot. The first train rolled by at 12:09 with CN 2541, 2401 and shiny 2291 pulling a long intermodal train.
CN 2541 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

The second train (at 12:26) was headed up by CN 2306 and 8846, with a number of pipe loads on the head end, and a lot of empty centerbeam flats and a few tank cars trailing.
CN 2306 in Winnipeg Manitoba

Right after that freight passed, I heard CP going north across the diamond at St. James Junction. I couldn't hang around any longer, so I don't know when and if the Canadian rolled through.

EDIT: Apparently the Canadian was 10 hours late leaving Toronto, so that was why it was late coming to Winnipeg. It was due into Winnipeg at 13:40, 5 hours 40 minutes late, so they made up some time along the way. I'm glad I didn't wait around for it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Not A Train-Hopper, Just An Idiot

There was a story early this week about a fellow in Wetaskiwin (near Edmonton, Alberta) who caught a ride on a freight train last Friday morning. He was drunk and had intended to only ride a few blocks and then get off, but the train sped up and he couldn't get off safely. He called the police with his cellphone and eventually CN and CP both stopped southbound trains in different towns for the police to search. He was tracked by the sound of the train horn through his cellphone. He ended up travelling 100 km from Wetaskiwin. He was treated for hypothermia, and has been charged by Canadian Pacific Railway for trespassing.

I didn't intend to comment on this, not wanting to encourage this kind of activity, but now there's another story about this. Some guy named Shawn Kazda talked to the CBC about the hobby of "train hopping", aka the modern hobo. Mr. Kazda said that the fellow was obviously not a train hopper, because a real train hopper would do the research and know where the train was going before climbing on. The article says "Kazda said he knows the rail companies are keeping an eye on him. But he doesn't intend to stop."

One of the CBC commenters on the latter story said it best. "Near-frozen man 'not a train-hopper'. Right, he's not, he's an idiot."

Maybe I'm being too strong here, but I think you would have to be an idiot to consider using a freight train for transit. Never mind that December in Canada is pretty darn cold, it is extremely risky and highly illegal behaviour and I wouldn't consider it for a moment. I also think Mr. Kazda is a fool for talking about it with the media. But that's just my opinion.

PS: you can read about Mr. Kazda here, here (talking to the media again), here, and his Facebook profile here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday's Canadian

On a bitterly cold day, VIA's Canadian rolled out of Winnipeg about 10 minutes late.
VIA 6434 leaves Winnipeg
The consist was 6434, 6404, 8616, 8107, 8506, Alexandra, Abbot Manor, Sherwood Manor, Dawson Manor, Chateau Iberville, Waterton Park.
VIA Canadian in Winnipeg
It was -21C, or -30C with the wind chill. Brrrrrr!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spy Hill Derailment

CN's train #114 derailed near Spy Hill, Saskatchewan at about 07:00 on December 5. The train had a number of propane cars and cars carrying plastic pellets. One or more of the propane cars caught fire and burned for several days. They have since built temporary track around the derailment and are routing trains through there as of December 10. However, some mainline trains continue to use the north line to clear the backlog.

Spy Hill is on the CN mainline, the Rivers subdivision.

After the derailment, CN detoured quite a few trains over CN's "Prairie North Line", meaning the Gladstone, Togo, Margo, Warman, and Yorkton Subdivisions.

VIA's Canadian was turned at Winnipeg and at Edmonton. Passengers were bussed or flown between these two points. The Canadian resumed its normal route on December 10.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Phoenix Videos

Sorry I haven't been posting much. I'm in Phoenix, Arizona again and I'm busy with other things. In the meantime, here are a few Phoenix-related train videos I found on YouTube.

First, a fast BNSF Z-train en route to Phoenix. It is really quiet until just before it passes the videographer.

Next, a very nice pacing shot of BNSF 6930 as it rolls through Phoenix. Great horn sounds!

Finally, a high overhead shot of a pair of light rail vehicles rolling through Phoenix. This was shot on January 2, 2009 - note the lack of snow and the palm trees! I guess this is why so many Western Canadians visit Phoenix in the winter. ;)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

NBSR 3703

NBSR 3703 is now in Woodland, Maine working the reactivated Domtar mill. I believe it arrived there on November 30. 3703 lay dormant in Saint John for two and a half years before being reactivated. It received a lot of work to its cab and had a complete paint job.

Gary Lee saw it in McAdam in transit and sent me a few photos. Thanks, Gary!
NBSR 3703 in McAdam, by Gary Lee

NBSR 3703 in McAdam, by Gary Lee

NBSR 3703 in McAdam, by Gary Lee

David Morris saw it at Harbour Station in Saint John on November 5 and took a few shots. Thanks to David for passing them along.
NBSR 3703 in Saint John, by David Morris
The consist was 3703, 3702, 9801.
NBSR 9801 and friends in Saint John, by David Morris

Friday, December 04, 2009

Another SOO 4203 Update

SVGX 8625 (ex SOO 4203) and CP 8131 in Winnipeg, Manitoba
I mentioned back in early October that SOO 4203 was saved from the scrapper, to be renumbered to SVGX 8625 and sold to the Savage Rail Services Group. Well, it was renumbered but it is still in Winnipeg, two months later.

Note the painted-over 4203.

A few weeks after I talked about 4203's new life, I saw SW1200RS CP 8131 in CN's Symington Yard in Winnipeg. In late October it was moved over to Chevrier Boulevard and coupled up to SVGX 8625.

Since then, they have been moved a few times along the former Manitoba Sugar spur but they are still there today. I wonder why they haven't been shipped out?

On a related note, I found a few photos of the same units I was watching the scrappers dismantle all summer, here.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

CN Strike Over?

Apparently the strike is over, according to the Teamsters Rail site.

Stop and Go

I went up to Wilkes Avenue Tuesday (Dec 1) at noon to catch the Hudson Bay. I realized after I arrived that the schedule was changing effective that day; I wasn't sure if the Hudson Bay was even departing on Tuesday through the winter.

I took position just east of Kenaston. Soon I saw a freight approaching on the south track from the west. It turned out to be a long intermodal train led by CN 2262 and 2296.
CN 2262 in Winnipeg
They rolled past, with a toot of the horn and a friendly wave from the (management) engineer, then came to a stop with the head end by the golf dome. Huh? Why did they stop? They had a green signal, so no reason to stop at all...

An unmarked van drove up on the north side. I think they were doing a crew change out here on the main line to avoid any strikers that might be present nearer to the CN yard.

I relocated to the CN-CP diamond at St. James Junction to catch them starting up again. I barely got there in time before the train rumbled by. I really like the sound in this video.

After they passed, I went back to my Kenaston location. I saw another eastbound freight on the south track, following the previous intermodal. It had a red signal, due to the intermodal occupying the block in front of them, so it was approaching quite slowly. At the same time, I saw the Hudson Bay coming west on the north track. Which one would get to me first? I was hoping it would be the Hudson Bay, or else I would be blocked like this time.

Fortunately the CN freight stopped (to be met by a vehicle), and so the Hudson Bay came first.
VIA 6458 and the Hudson Bay, Winnipeg
The video was terrible so I didn't post it. Here VIA is passing the CN freight.
VIA and CN meet, Winnipeg
Right after that, CN moved up and passed me. The power was CN 2305, 5607, 2615, and ex-BC Rail 4654.

As you may recall, the CN engineers are on strike. I had been wondering why I kept seeing CN trains stopped over Kenaston Boulevard here in Winnipeg. Now I think I know why.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dog Day Afternoon

I was driving up the Perimeter late Monday morning (Nov 30) when I spied the regular CEMR freight just off the CN Rivers subdivision. I pulled off the highway up a rural road and parked. I shot them approaching the Perimeter.
Central Manitoba Railway (CEMR) freight train
The train had CCGX 4010 (GP9) and ANY 5232 (SD40) with about 20 cars.

They stopped just short of the crossing I had passed through. A taxi arrived, bearing the conductor. He had stayed behind to reline the switch on the CN Rivers south track. This appears to be typical practice for CEMR.

I walked a bit closer to get a better shot when they started moving again. Suddenly I was accosted by two barking dogs running from the nearby house.

I stood my ground, sensing from their wagging tails and the tone of their barks that they were not hostile. They came up to me, sniffing and wagging tails, and one of them kept jumping up on me to get me to pet him. They were certainly friendly dogs!

After a few minutes of affectionate mauling, and incidentally waiting for the train, I decided to pack up. I walked back to my car, accompanied by the larger of the two dogs, and put my stuff in the trunk. After a final pat on the dog's head, I drove up to the crossing and took another shot of CCGX 4010.
CCGX 4010, Winnipeg

I went across the crossing, took one more shot, then the train started moving. Too bad I was on the wrong side of the sun! Here's the video I took:

I waited around a bit too long, as I saw the westbound Canadian roll by as I approached Wilkes Avenue. I believe it had the Operation Lifesaver unit leading and the Telus unit trailing. That would have made a nice picture. Oh well. :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

CP 1831

Following on to my post about CP 8800, Brian Barchard supplied a shot of CP 1831 (the rebuilt CP 8800) leading a freight past the Beaverbrook Rink in Fredericton, NB in the morning of May 23, 1987.
CP 1831 in Fredericton, by Brian Barchard
The train is coming off the "main" line from Fredericton Junction and going on to the line that crossed the train bridge to Devon. To the right is the track to the York Street station. This location was known as Una Junction.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

CN Detours

CN is running some trains over the former NBEC / CFMG properties, rather than the normal Edmundston-Moncton (NTR) route. They are doing this because the engineers are not on strike on the northern route, since they are in a different union that is not on strike.

As of 5 PM Atlantic on Sunday, this appears to be what was happening in the Maritimes:

CN 308 (very long) in Campbellton, departing 21:00 or 22:00
CN 121 departed Campbellton 16:00
CN 305 arriving in Campbellton in the evening
CN 120 used the NTR route this morning
CN 308 (another one) should be next eastbound through Campbellton
CN 408 arrived Dartmouth just after noon
CN 407 departing Dartmouth for Moncton 16:50

The challenge with using the northern (ICR) route is that speeds are slower and there are no long passing sidings. Meets between long freights have to take place in yards. On the plus side (for CN) they use actual engineers rather than CN managers to drive the trains.

VIA is running on time in the Maritimes at present.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

CP 8800

CP 8800 in Fredericton, 1981/08/29

Today's slide is a well-lit shot of MLW RS-18 CP 8800 in Fredericton, New Brunswick on August 29, 1981.

CP 8800 was built in July 1958 as the last number in the MLW RS-18 series for CP. As part of CP's RS18 rebuild program in the 1980s, it was rebuilt in 1985 and became CP 1831. Apparently something happened to it in the mid 1990s, as it was shown stored unserviceable in the 1997 Trackside Guide and it was retired on March 20, 1997 and scrapped.

There's a nice photo of CP 1831 on Railpictures, leading a train through Quebec in 1993.

CN Strike is On

The CBC is reporting that the CN Engineer's strike is underway. I assume trains are being run by management personnel. Keep in mind the conductors are not on strike. Also, the former NBEC / CFMG / etc. properties are not on strike as they belong to a different union.

Let's hope the strike is settled quickly.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ready For This?

CP in Portage la Prairie, December 27 2007
CP 9700 in Portage la Prairie, MB, December 27 2007

Snow is forecast for Tuesday. And so it begins.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Three Railways Out Of Four

Here are videos of three of the four railways I saw on Tuesday.

First, the Hudson Bay.

Next, the CN local with slug 266 leading.

Finally, CP 1128 and 3028 going north on the La Riviere subdivision.

CN Engineers' Strike?

CN 5519 at Deersdale, NB
CN 5519 leads train 308 at Deersdale, NB, August 3, 2007

The CBC is reporting that CN's 1700 engineers may go on strike as early as ths coming Saturday. They have not had a contract in a year and apparently are nowhere close to coming to an agreement. Hopefully the issues can be resolved in the next few days and the strike can be avoided.

EDIT: This article mentions a meeting with federal mediators to be held on Friday. Also, this article talks about up to 140 Winnipeg engineers "bracing" for the strike.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Four Railways, Fifteen Minutes

I went up to Wilkes at noon today to see the Hudson Bay. I decided to shoot from next to the Kenaston overpass. While waiting for VIA to roll along, I noted a CN local switching the former intermodal yard on the west side of Kenaston. They were pulling about a dozen cars out of there onto the south track.

Soon enough the Hudson Bay came into view and rolled along in the lovely sunlight at 12:15.
VIA 6458 and the Hudson Bay

The train had two engines (6458 and 6456), baggage 8600, coaches 8110 and 8120, diner York and sleeper Chateau Levis.

Here's the Hudson Bay passing the CN local, which was running slug forward.
VIA Hudson Bay and CN slug

The CN local rolled by right after that, with slug 266 leading and mother 7269 trailing at 12:17. Note the crewman on the slug. The mother-calf units are equipped for remote operation.
CN slug 266 in Winnipeg

During this maneuver, I had been hearing horns from the south, meaning CP was on the La Riviere subdivision. I drove down Wilkes to the CP crossing and there was CP 1128 coming north to cross the diamond at 12:24.
CP 1128
As you can see, the problem with shooting CP here is that you are shooting toward the sun. CP 3028 was trailing with 48 freight cars.

Finally, BNSF decided it was time to head over to Fort Rouge, so I shot BNSF 2001 from a distance at 12:30 before leaving the area.
BNSF 2001, Winnipeg

Four railways in 15 minutes. This is why Winnipeg, and especially the St. James Junction area, is a great railway hotspot.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Typical Monday

I ventured out at noon to shoot the Canadian today. It was making good time. I shot it at Waverley Street from a distance. I wasn't expecting it for another couple of minutes!
VIA Canadian in Winnipeg
The consist was 6408, 6419, 8605, 8137, 8516, Palliser, Chateau Marquette, Monck Manor, Blair Manor, Mackenzie Manor, Prince Albert Park

About 10 minutes after VIA 1 passed, BNSF 2001 rolled out of Fort Rouge with their transfer train and headed back to their yard off Taylor Street with about 25 cars, mostly ADM tank cars.
BNSF 2001, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Randy Marseles Steam Photos

"Brian" has put a bunch of Randy Marseles steam engine photos up on the web, specifically Canadian Pacific steam engines in Ontario. Check them out if you're into steam!

He also has a bunch of Randy's photos of other roads' steam at the main site.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A CN Meet

On Tuesday I went up to Wilkes Avenue to see if I could catch the Hudson Bay. I was a little late, and VIA was not, so I missed it. However, I did see a CN freight slowly approaching from the east. Apparently there was a signal problem just east of St. James Junction, and the train was required to proceed at cautionary speed. CN 5705 and old warhorse CN 2418 eventually rolled by with a long stack train.

I'm not sure why I call CN 2418 an old warhorse. It was built in 1990, for Pete's sake.

After about half of the train was past, I noticed headlights to the west. CN 198 was approaching on the south track with another stack train. Train 198 is a hotshot train from Prince Rupert, BC. CN 5748 and CN 2580 were the power. You can see it banging over the CN-CP diamond.

The head end of 198 passed the last container in the westbound freight just west of the diamond. If only 198 had been 15 seconds earlier... oh well.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CEMR You Later

I had some errands to run on Monday (Nov 16) in Winnipeg, so I arranged things to be able to see the Canadian leave. It's getting a little sad now that the once-proud summer Canadian, usually 20+ cars in length, has been reduced to a train shorter than the Ocean.

Anyway, I went to shoot it on Wilkes Avenue. I saw the tail end of the CEMR freight leaving CN's Rivers subdivision and heading south on the CEMR Carman subdivision. I decided to wait for the Canadian and hopefully I would see CEMR before I had to go. The Canadian was a bit late.

The consist: 6440, 6425,8604, 8116, 8509, Frontenac, Chateau Iberville, Bliss Manor, Laird Manor, Hearne Manor, Banff Park.

A quick drive south on the Perimeter found ANY 5232 and CEMR 4000 just about to cross the highway to switch the industries at Oak Bluff. I didn't get to the crossing before the lights came on, so I had to shoot them from the non-sun side. Never race a train!

I went on my way after that and did my errands. On my way back to the office, I looked and saw that the CEMR freight had just finished its switching and was continuing south on the Carman subdivision. I went a couple of minutes out of my way to shoot them across a field. True Prairie branchline railroading!

Off they went, and so did I.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Union Pacific Videos

Here are the videos from last week's visit (part 1, part 2) to the Union Pacific in Maricopa, Arizona.

First, UP 8045 West... a general merchandise train.

UP 7380 West followed it.

Next, a UP stack train overtaking a ballast train.

Finally, another UP stack train.

I shot the ballast train too, but it was against the sun so it's not so great.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NB Southern Units at Hudson Bay Railway

NBSR 3744, 3788, test unit 2001
NBSR 3744 and 3788 with test unit 2001 in Saint John">

Geoff Sockett alerted me that there are still a few ex-NB Southern GP9s kicking around. The Hudson Bay Railway bought a few when they were retired by NBSR. Ex-NBSR 3764, 3787 and 3788 are dead and being used for parts. Surprisingly, ex-NBSR 3757 is alive and pulling, painted in Omnitrax colours. This is a photo of OSSX 3757.

NB Southern had eight ex-Southern Pacific GP9 units: 3735, 3744, 3757, 3760, 3764, 3787, 3788, and 3795. All of them were disposed of in 2001.

Earlier this fall I posted about NBSR 3735 being scrapped in 2003.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

BNSF in Phoenix 2009/11/11

BNSF in Phoenix Arizona
I saw these units shortly after noon in the BNSF Mobest yard in Phoenix, Arizona. In the photo: BNSF 7397, BNSF 2945, BNSF 2958, BNSF 2853, and BNSF 2836.

Also in the yard: BNSF 4541, BNSF 656 (ex Santa Fe), and BNSF 7419.