Thursday, November 01, 2012

Railfanning the Brooks Sub, Again

After photographing the Carseland local train, Jeff Keddy and I continued along the CP Brooks subdivision outside Calgary. We drove past Gleichen and stumbled across this grain elevator just southeast of the town.
Paterson grain elevator in Gleichen Alberta

This is the Paterson Long Plain elevator. It is shiny new, having opened on June 28 2012. It has a storage capacity of over 42,000 mt and includes a 130 car loop track, so unit trains can be loaded without breaking them into pieces. It's so new that if you look at the area in Google Maps, it is just a field.

After burying myself up to the knees in snow to get that shot, I made my way back to the car and we went back to the Trans-Canada Highway to continue east. After about five minutes we saw a westbound general freight train. We decided to turn around and chase it into Calgary. It became apparent that we could easily get back to the grain elevator before the train, so we took highway 901 and set up near the crossing to get the train. Jeff was going to get the shot around the bend, and I had three photo opportunities: the "coming" shot at the crossing, a side shot with the grain elevator just ahead of the train, and a "going away" shot.

I managed to screw that up quite nicely.

Here's the coming shot, out of focus.
CP 9767 crossing highway 901 near Gleichen

The side shot was a total disaster, way out of focus and I was too late and the train obstructed the elevator.

At least the going away shot was OK.
CP 9740 near the Paterson elevator in Gleichen

We hit the road and went around Gleichen on highway 901, arriving at the next crossing well ahead of the train. We set up and soon enough CP 9767 came rolling along.
CP 9767 near Gleichen, Alberta
I was pleased with that one.

I tried to shoot it with the signal, and it turned out OK, I think.
CP 9767 crossing highway 901 again

We carried on toward Calgary. I figured we could easily get to the overpass at Indus and get an overhead shot of the train. We parked off the overpass. As we walked up the overpass, there were headlights visible coming from Calgary. We hurried up to the top of the overpass in time to catch CP 9517 leading a container train.
CP 9517 near Indus, Alberta

They must have met at Dalemead. After a while, CP 9767 rolled into view with the Calgary East grain elevator in the background.
CP 9767 near Indus, Alberta

We went into Calgary to see what was up with the CN and CP yards after that.

P.S. The last time I saw CP 9767, it was a mid-train engine on a potash train near Banff. Times change!

P.P.S. I put "again" in the title because I used Railfanning the Brooks Subdivision already for a blog post in June 2010.

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