Sunday, October 16, 2016

Saint John Railway Scenes

NB Southern #911
I was in Saint John, New Brunswick last week for work. I didn't have any specific plans for seeing trains, as I wasn't sure how long I would be working each day. As it happened, things went pretty smoothly so I did see some trains.

My plane landed in YSJ (Saint John airport) pretty much on time at 17:35, and fetching the rental car and luggage was quick. One big bonus of small airports is doing the renting in sight of the only baggage carousel!

I decided I would head straight to the former train station in Rothesay to photograph it with the fall colours. I had a hope in the back of my head that I could catch CN 406 passing by (to reproduce this), but I wasn't counting on it.

As I approached Station Road by the Rothesay station, I saw the last couple of tank cars on CN 406 roll by on their way to Moncton. Missed it by that much. You can't catch 'em all.

There was no point in pursuing them. It would have taken a lot of time to get back to the highway and the light was failing.
Fall colours and the Rothesay train station
At least I got the shot I wanted.

I headed into Saint John. As I drove along Rothesay Avenue, I spotted a set of locomotive headlights on the track leading to Courtenay Bay / Irving Oil / Irving Paper. I headed up and found GMTX 2226 working the crude oil terminal at Courtenay Bay. The sunset light was pretty sweet.
GMTX 2226 at sunset
I thought about staying to watch them switch, but I decided against it and continued on along past Island Yard. I was going to head to the NBSR Dever Road yard and see what was going on there before turning in for the night.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this excursion train at Harbour Station!
NBSR 9801 and an excursion train at Harbour Station, Saint John
I believe they had taken some people from a visiting cruise ship out for a spin. I saw a large cruise ship leaving Saint John that night.

In the photo above, you can see the crewman walking back to the cab. I must have looked pretty comical running back and forth as I wasn't sure which direction they were going. As it happened, they headed toward the Dever Road yard / NB Southern yard.

The train had NBSR 9801 with the three ex VIA Rail coaches (5448, 5471 and 5537) along with their "new" #508 and the Metis. NBSR 2317 was on the other end.
NBSR 508 and the Metis
The light was pretty low so I was shooting with a 1/20s shutter speed, meaning the blur was inevitable.

They took off and I gave chase. I decided I would try to catch them crossing the Reversing Falls bridge. I got to the Falls well before them, so I parked and ran up the hill to get a broad view of the bridge.

This was at 7:15 PM so the sun was already down below the horizon. Tricky light!
NBSR crossing the Reversing Falls bridge
I decided to stick to my original plan and headed to the Dever Road yard. I didn't think I would beat them there, and I was right. They were rolling under the Green Head Road overpass when I arrived.

I did managed to catch them passing the night switcher, NBSR 911. I like how this turned out.
NBSR 911 and the excursion train, by night
That was it for me for the night.

In part 2 I shared my catch of CN 406, twice.

Until then, you might wish to read about my visit to New Brunswick in 2011..


DaveM said...

After not catching the CN that day, you had a good save by getting the excursion train.

BTW: The bridge picture looks quite nice, but I'm assuming you had to do quite a bit of post processing to get the light on it out?


Canadian Train Geek said...

Hi DaveM, yes, the excursion train was a nice consolation prize.

I did a LOT of post processing on the bridge photo... starting with +2.6 stops of exposure.

Unknown said...

I love the photography in this post! The silhouette shots in the yard are awesome, so is the sunset shot near Courtenay Bay. I'm looking forward to reading Part 2!

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Jack! I had to get a little creative with some of the shots as the light wasn't strong. I find my photography is better when I don't do the easy, well-lit 3/4 wedgie roster shots. There's a message in there somewhere...

Bill said...

Great shot at Dever Road; one of your best! Bill

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thank you so much, Bill!

BWBandy said...

Great photos. This train hobby of yours seems to be serious.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael said...

Great shot at the end. It's amazing what you can catch with so little light. The whole New Brunswick series of posts is amazingly diverse. Thanks for sharing all this.