Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Into the Mountains.. Briefly

CP passing Kamloops Lake

After a Tranquille afternoon and a Rocky Mountaineer evening, I decided to head west after work on Monday. After a discussion on the BC Railfans Facebook group, I had settled on Ashcroft as a destination. It has both CN and CP together in the Fraser River valley.

I headed west on the Trans-Canada Highway. It was still hot in the late afternoon - about 28C - and I had the AC on full in my little Nissan Versa Note rental. I passed the lookout at Tobiano, and as I descended toward Savona I noted a CP container train below me, also headed west. I grabbed the photo above.

As Savona came into view, I saw a nice curve that would be great for the head end of the train. I jumped out of the car as the train came around the curve.

It would have been better if I had time to get a little closer, but I'm happy with the result. CP 9362 was leading.

I tried to get the train on the other side of Savona, but I didn't know the area and missed the fact that the track crossed under the TCH to head down the Fraser valley. I ended up at the Steelhead Provincial Park, wondering where the rails were.

However, I did spot this.

The Canadian Trackside Guide says the near car was a crane idler car (originally Canadian Northern colonist car 7222 built in 1920) and the caboose was Pointe-St Charles CN 79440. There is a reversed "Gift Shop" sign on the idler car indicating this used to be a business. The prominent NO TRESPASSING sign deterred me from investigating further.

Savona is also where the CN and CP lines come together to go into the Fraser River valley.

I kept going on the TCH for a few kilometres but it became very apparent that the little Versa was not suited for the mountains. It was not possible to maintain 100 km/hr going up the steep grades, and given the hot temperature I was concerned about overheating the car. I turned around and headed back to Kamloops.

After supper, I headed back downtown to catch this day's iteration of the Rocky Mountaineer. This Rocky was coming from the west so it would be coming over the South Thompson River bridge to the station. I resolved to try to photograph it end-on as it crossed the river. A pair of helpful gentlemen on horses (shout-out to the Kamloops Mounted Patrol) suggested I stand on the steps of the Interior Savings Centre to get the right angle. They were right!

Here's the shot I was looking for.

I would have liked more light on the nose, but you take what you can get!

This angle was pretty good too:

You can see the NREX unit in second position.

Here are the two Kamloops Mounted Patrol gentlemen on their way to greet the passengers. I think it's great they do this. It must add to the experience.

There are lots of little touches around the area.

I decided to try a little HDR photo of RMRX 8014 under the Red Bridge.

I processed this with the new HDR functionality of Lightroom 6 (reason 6 why you need Lightroom?). I think it turned out OK. I like the glint from the rails. I'd like to see more detail in the shadows and there's a couple of glitches, but it's not bad for a first try.

It was clear they were going to be there for a while, so I moseyed over to the pedestrian bridge over the CP main line and photographed CP 3074 sitting there with the local caboose collection.

CP has a building on the south side of the tracks for their crews. I noticed this rack set up to hold the FRED/EOT devices. Pretty nice!

I decided to get the Rocky Mountaineer crossing the South Thompson River again, but from a different angle. Kamloops has a great park by the river and there is a walkway that juts out into the river a bit. From there I waited for the train to roll across the bridge... backwards, this time.

That was fun! I went back to the CP line to get a ground level photo of CP 3074 over the fence.

Thanks for reading!

In my next post, I'll write about another day of Rocky Mountaineer photos and return to Tranquille for more CN action. Read on!


Jason Sailer said...

Great photos Steve! Looks like a great place to visit!

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Jason! Kamloops is a great place to railfan... I'm still learning more!