Saturday, October 22, 2016

CN 406, Times Two

After missing CN 406 (see previous post "Saint John Railway Scenes") I tried again on the next two days with some success!

These days CN 406 leaves Moncton in the early afternoon, arriving in Saint John late in the afternoon. They usually have a quick turnaround, dropping their cars and picking up the cars to go back to Moncton and onward. Since NB Southern does all the local switching in Saint John (except for the potash terminal), they don't have much to do and can get out of town quickly.

CN 406, The First

On October 12th I spotted CN 406 pulling out of the yard at about 5:40 PM. I raced down Rothesay Avenue (which parallels the CN line) and decided to get it at a little private crossing I shot at years ago (Gerry Drive, here)

I popped my 70-200mm lens on my camera and started shooting.
CN 5653 at Coldbrook, leaving Saint John
I stepped across the tracks to try the other angle. Keep in mind they were half a kilometre away and not moving quickly.
CN 5653 leaving Saint John
I hopped in my car and hit the road. I wasn't sure where I could catch them, so I fell back onto my own knowledge and headed for Hampton.

I like Hampton because it's not far from the highway, and it has a nice station there. I photographed it back in September 2011 after chasing CN 406 in the area.

I walked around a bit, looking for any angle that might feature a bit of fall foliage and yet have some light. With an eastbound freight at sunset, you don't have many options.

The fall foliage was really nice, though.

Eventually I decided to shoot at the main crossing in town, to grab a "coming" shot by the station and then get the lead locomotive just past the crossing with fall foliage behind it.

As the train approached, one car stopped at the crossing as the lights started... then darted across as the gates started to come down.


Way to go, GWD-361.

ANYway, here's the "coming" shot with CN 5653 passing the station. I was shooting with a low shutter speed (1/40s) because of the low light at 6:30 PM.
CN 5653 passing the Hampton train station
Unfortunately, I messed up the "going away" shot. Nothing's in focus.
CN 5653 blurring through Hampton
It was a short train and I shot the tail end too. This turned out better.
Tail end of CN 406 in Hampton
So that was CN 406.

As I returned to Saint John, the coming sunset was pretty special, so I searched for a spot to try to capture it. I ended up just upriver of the Reversing Falls bridge to capture this scene.
Sunset near Reversing Falls, Saint John

CN 406, The Second

In the afternoon of the 13th I learned that CN 406 left Moncton around 1 PM and was expected in Saint John around my quitting time. I left work and headed up Rothesay Avenue, wondering if I was too late. I decided to go to the Lafarge concrete plant just beside the highway (here) and hope I wasn't too late.

I had just arrived when I heard the horn of the approaching train. My camera was in the trunk and I didn't have time to get it out, so I jumped out of the car and snapped a few photos with my iPhone as the train passed.
CN 2326 approaching Saint John, NB
It had the same consist as the previous day (2326 - 8000 - 5653), but 2326 was leading because they were coming to Saint John this time.

After the (longish) train passed, I headed back into Saint John. To my surprise, I saw that 406 had stopped for a few minutes and then got started again. Maybe they had to throw a switch? I'm not sure why they stopped.

Regardless, this allowed me to get ahead of them and I took a video of the train as it entered the yard. Be warned, it's long, as the train was long and slow.

I was surprised that someone gave my video a "thumbs down". Who does that? :)

Every post needs a kitten
I didn't have time to stick around to see it leave, as I headed up to Oromocto to visit my mother. She had a kitten!

So that was CN 406, twice.

In my last post of this trip, I related how I took some time between flights to railfan the Dorval train station in Montreal on the way home. READ ON!

Until then...


DaveM said...

Hi Steve,

Your "CN 2326 approaching Saint John, NB" photo looks very good.


Canadian Train Geek said...

Hi Dave, thanks, appreciate it! :)