Thursday, August 12, 2010

Morant's Curve

Morant's Curve
We were recently on vacation in Banff, Alberta. This has to be one of the most beautiful spots on Earth. There are so many lovely scenes that it is impossible to describe... it must be experienced.

Anyway, there is a famous spot near Lake Louise called Morant's Curve. The Canadian Pacific Railway had a staff photographer, Nicholas Morant, who took many photos of CP in the middle of the 20th century. One location he is well known for is this spot, and many CPR promotional materials feature his photos from this location. It is especially good for eastbound trains in the morning, because of an S-curve, the Bow River, and the mountains in the background. Westbound shots are good too but not quite as spectacular. Morant's Curve is at mile 113 on the CP Laggan subdivision.

On August 7 I drove up to Morant's Curve to try to catch a train. After shooting an eastbound in the dark I arrived at "sunup" around 6:30 AM only to find it fogged in. I set up the Canon S3 on my tripod as a video camera, turned up the scanner, opened my Trackside Guide, and waited.

After close to an hour, I heard a rumbling... from the east. A westbound freight led by CP 9646 and CP 8638 passed the hotbox at mile 111 and rolled through the fog.
CP 9646 at Morant's Curve
They rolled past me and headed through the S curve and on to Lake Louise and beyond.
CP 9646 at Morant's Curve

That was exciting... but what about some sun and an eastbound? Was that too much to ask?

Just before 8 AM I heard the hotbox... meaning another westbound. It turned out to be CP 8872 West.
CP 8872 at Morant's Curve
CP 8872 used to be painted with the 2010 Olympic logo, but not any more!

This train had a DPU on the end of the train, so I could pretend it was an eastbound for a moment!
CP 8875 at Morant's Curve
I ran out of time to stay there, so I headed back to Banff. I didn't get my sun shot but it was great to be at such a historic spot.

Next up, photographing the Rocky Mountaineer!

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