Friday, July 22, 2011

A Short Branchline Chase

On Wednesday (July 20) I headed to work extra early to get a good start on the day. I also wanted to have a few minutes to railfan on the way to work. It was warm and very humid when I got into my car and headed out. I turned on the air conditioning to try to get rid of the mugginess.

As I approached the crossing of the CP La Riviere subdivision over the Perimeter Highway (map) I saw a southbound CP train just about to enter the crossing. Quickly I decided to chase it. I headed down route 330 a short distance and hopped out of my car to take a shot.

Suddenly the lens fogged over.

A little physics at work... cold lens meets warm, humid air - instant condensation! I frantically wiped the lens on my shirt and took shots. Wipe, focus, shoot. Wipe, focus, shoot. Fortunately the train was moving quite slowly.
CP 9104 leaving Winnipeg

The train had SD90 CP 9104 leading and fellow SD90 CP 9132 trailing. Big power for a small branch line!

After taking some shots, and waving to the crew, I headed south on route 330 to the next crossing. The same routine of wiping, focusing and shooting took place.
CP 9104 between Winnipeg and La Salle

I squeezed one more sequence in before they were approaching La Salle.
CP 9104 near La Salle, MB
In this shot you can see a crew member looking out of CP 9132. I don't know if this train normally operates with a 3 man crew, or if the guy was dead-heading on the train.

I probably could have squeezed one more location in before La Salle but I wanted to ensure I got the elevator shot, so I carried on and set up south of the elevator for the big finish.

CP 9104's lights came into view at the end of the straight section. As they slowly approached 1st Avenue, a few cars crossed in front of them. This truck was the last vehicle to cross... and cut it a little too close, in my opinion.
CP 9104 and truck

Anyway, here's the money shot.
CP 9104 and grain elevator in La Salle, Manitoba
Yes, they had the nose door open the whole trip. By this time the lens had warmed up so there was no need to wipe condensation off. Whew!

I relocated just north of the elevator to take this shot. I punched up the saturation in the picture to make the Saskatchewan grain car pop.
Saskatchewan grain car in La Salle Manitoba

It was fun to do an actual chase again... even if it was only 9 km!

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