Friday, August 20, 2010

Surprise At Lake Louise

After the excitement of shooting at Morant's Curve and photographing the Rocky Mountaineer, you would think I was satisfied, right? No way! A good railfan is never satisfied!

On August 9 we traveled to the Lake Louise area to visit Moraine Lake. We had just about reached the Lake Louise exit when I heard an end-of-train squawk on the scanner. This meant there was a train in the area! Since we had just driven up the 1A, I figured there were no trains east of us. We drove the short distance to Morant's Curve and I promised my wife we would wait up to 10 minutes for the train, then leave.

Well, no train came, so we headed back to Lake Louise. I dropped her and the kids off at the shops there and headed back to the Curve to wait for a train. I had 40 minutes so I was hoping something would come along.

There were a few other people hanging around, so I talked with them while keeping an ear to the scanner. One fellow was from Germany, on assignment as a photographer in the area and hoping for a train at Morant's Curve. As we were talking, I heard the hotbox at mile 111 come alive. Since Morant's Curve is at mile 113, a westbound train was imminent!
CP 8714 at Morant's Curve, Alberta
CP 8714 and 9813 pulled an intermodal train through the Curve.

The engineer gave the crowd of photographers a toot as he went by.

That was very exciting and I was pleased that my trip was not in vain. I heard another train was coming from the east but my time was up, so I advised the other photographers and left, hoping to get a chance to shoot it at the Lake Louise station.

I found my wife and kids at the shops and my wife grudgingly agreed that I could go shoot the train at the station in Lake Louise. As I drove down Sentinel Road, I saw a sight that made me forget all about the imminent freight.
CP 4107 at Lake Louise, Alberta
The Royal Canadian Pacific was parked on the stub siding at Lake Louise! Who needs a boring old freight when the pride of the CP fleet can be photographed?

You may remember I saw the Royal Canadian Pacific in Calgary in June, albeit fleetingly. This time I had a few minutes to take shots of CP 4106 and 4107 from various angles. Mindful of my wife and kids in the van, I went as quickly as I could.
CP 4107 in Lake Louise
Isn't it pretty? Four minutes later, I was done and driving back to the main road. As it happened, the westbound freight rolled through right beside me. I stopped, shot it while sitting in the van, and carried on. It was kind of an anticlimax after viewing those beautiful old engines.
CP 9808 in Lake Louise
The freight had CP 9808, CP 9607, CEFX 1026 and CP 9506, all on the head end. Oddly enough, I saw CP 9808 on the same day I saw the Royal Canadian Pacific in Calgary. Quite a coincidence.

We drove up to Moraine Lake and took a little walk around. It is a long trip but well worth it. I think Lake Louise has the best overall scene but the colour of the water at Moraine Lake is simply unbelievable. Oh, and unbelievably cold on the ankles.
Me in Moraine Lake
Another great day in the Rockies. I miss them already.

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