Friday, January 06, 2012

Avoiding the Skunk

I wanted to shoot the VIA Rail Canadian on Thursday, January 5. I decided to shoot it at Portage Junction to get a more-or-less head-on shot. I drove up there and parked in the loop at the end of Angus Street, then walked over to the new Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor. I heard locomotives and saw CN 404 roll by with CN 5677 and CN 2139 for power.

The unfortunate thing was there was a container train parked on the south track, blocking the shot. This meant that I would not be able to shoot the Canadian unless the container train moved.

I waited for a few minutes, and I heard some discussion between the RTC and the crew of CN 101 (the container train). It was decided that 101 would follow VIA 1, so they were going to stay. I decided to try for Waverley Street instead. As I was leaving, the Fort Garry switcher rolled up to Portage Junction to wait their turn to get out. It had slug CN 264 leading GP9 CN 7243. I understand the Fort Garry switcher had a 70xx series GP9 with a GMD1 earlier in the week!

I drove to the parking lot behind the Winnipeg Humane Society by the off-leash dog park. I jogged down the road to the tracks and arrived there maybe 30 seconds before the Canadian. The unfortunate part about it was that I couldn't shoot the whole train without getting too close to the tracks, so I had to satisfy myself with a shot like this.
VIA 6456 in Winnipeg

After the Canadian passed, I walked back to my car and drove over to Waverley Street to get CN 101.Unfortunately a CN foreman was parked where I normally set up on the south side of the tracks, so I set my tripod up on the north side of the tracks instead. CN 101 rolled into view, I started recording, and... something blocked my shot.

The BNSF switcher rolled across my shot! I know one of the guys who works at BNSF and that was him shouting, "Hello Steve, happy new year!" as the caboose rolled by. At least I was able to get a video of BNSF 2968, by accident!

CN 101 had CN 2312 leading, with CN 8934 part way through the train and CN 8909 on the rear. CN 199 was working in Fort Rouge, but I didn't have time to wait for it.

After I posted this video on YouTube, user wheels069 commented that he shot the same train later on in Alberta!

Everyone sing, "It's a small world after all!"

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