Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's Not All About You

CCGX 5232 (CEMR) in Winnipeg

I had an interesting encounter in the afternoon of October 6. You may recall that at noon time I saw a pile o' trains. On my way home I spotted the Central Manitoba Railway (CEMR) train waiting to cross the Perimeter Highway at Oak Bluff.

When they are headed to their Carman subdivision, they take the CN Rivers subdivision to Carman Junction. The conductor dismounts and manually lines the switch for the Carman sub and the train rolls through and doesn't stop. The conductor then lines the switch back for the main line and gets a taxi to take him/her to the head end of the train, which by then will be waiting at the location shown in the above photo.

Anyway, to take the shot above, I pulled onto the shoulder and took a few shots. I noticed that they were starting to move, so I hopped back in my car and pulled ahead until I was a few car lengths on the other side of the crossing, on the shoulder again. I hopped out again and took the shot below, just as the lights came on.

CCGX 5232 (CEMR) in Winnipeg

At that same moment, a white panel van screeched to a halt at the crossing, then pulled over right behind my car and almost on my toes. The driver angrily beckoned me over to his passenger side window. Curious, I went over. This is essentially how the conversation went:

Driver: What are you doing?
Me: Taking pictures of trains.
Driver: Were you taking a picture of me?
Me: No... I was taking a picture of the train.
Driver: Well, the lights came on and I had to come to a stop and I didn't see any train. Did you do that?
Me: ... um... no...
Driver: Did you take a picture of me?
Me: No, you can look at my camera if you want, there are no pictures of you. I was taking photos of that train.
Driver: What train?
Me: (pointing over his left shoulder) That one.
Driver: Oh. I didn't see it. You're sure you didn't take any pictures of me?
Me: I guarantee it.

Then off he drove.

Part of me wishes I had more time to talk with him. I really just wanted him to leave so I could continue shooting the train. If I had more time, I would have pointed out that I could take photos of him if I wanted to and there was nothing he could do or say about it... but I just wanted the van out of the way.

I missed a few opportunities but fortunately the train was going slowly, so I could get this one of them crossing the highway.

CCGX 5232 (CEMR) in Winnipeg

Nice friendly wave from the conductor, which is more than I can say I got from the van's driver. Sheesh.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Some people have no sense of ha ha..to be sure.
Fortunately things worked out for you in this potential time bomb. It could have tuned real ugly, real fast for you, and then we'ed all be reading about your vicious assault in the local paper...and scratch our heads and wonder how all that came about.
Clearly this guy was a moron from another planet. Asking you if you made the train crossing lights come on ??? This is exactly the kind of person that needs an attitude adjustment. Too bad biker Bob and biker Billy weren't sitting in the back seat of your car, they could have made some other lights come on for this goof.
You mention you got out of your car and went over to talk to this guy. I know hindsight is always 20/20...but probably not the best move to make. Stay in your car, let him come to you. Once you leave the safety of your car, you are highly vulnerable.
Be careful, stay safe out there.

Canadian Train Geek said...

That's true, Winnipeg is the murder capital of Canada. (we're #1! we're #1!)

I was already out of my car when he drove up. I was on the opposite side of his vehicle from him and he didn't seem threatening, just angry.

Thanks for your concern. :)

Blair Ivey said...

Drug dealer, witness protection, on the lam? The mind boggles. I have on occasion been questioned by law enforcement when taking photos (always courteous), but never an individual. I sort of wish you had taken a picture, at least of the van, but I understand why you wouldn't. The driver's eyes were probably glued to the rearview.

One Man Committee said...

Never mind the hundreds of CCTV cameras taking your picture in every building you walk into every single day, from Tim Hortons to your workplace. Clearly it's the guy taking pictures at a railway crossing that you have to be worried about.

I think a lot of people have watched too many spy movies...