Sunday, October 28, 2007

NB Southern Railway - CN Transfer Oct 28

Today I thought I would try something new. I like searching for new shots to make photographing a little less repetitive. For today's video I though I would try the rock cut and curve just east of the Reversing Falls Bridge. I have shot from that location before from the opposite side and with a eastbound train. I think the rock face makes a nice background. At 11:45am the 4 locos GP38s #2610&2319, GP9 #3701 and SW9 #3702 roll past the former VIA Station on the way to the Island Yard.
The bottom photo shows the locos approaching their cut of cars from the CN train #406 that had arrived about a half hour earlier from Moncton. The NBSR crew had to make a shunt to remove two packs of container cars from the train. The transfer had 33 cars. In the video titling I made a mistake and put 32 cars.. oops! In was almost an hour before the train made the climb to Reversing Falls. The crew was having problems with GP38 #2610. They had alarms going off so they cut the engine out and only used the remaining 3 loco's power.
At 12:50pm 2610 leads the train around the curve and across Douglas Avenue. I think it turned out to be a good location.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

NB Southern Railway - Passenger Excursion

Being off on Thursdays can have some advantages. I was sitting at home when I heard some chatter on NBSRs main line channel. There was track crew working around mile 16 and whoever was speaking was on his was out towards the work crew. The thing I didn't notice was that it was a passenger excursion calling the crew. A short time later the Dever Rd yard planner spoke on the scanner and mentioned there was "blue" going by his window. There was an excusion train yesterday so I was pretty certain another was going out today. I set out to find the train! I finally caught up with the Welsford bound train, led by GP38 2610, at Nerepis. So I kept driving to catch the trains arrival at Welsford.
I set up just west of the Rte 7 crossing for my first shot. The train rolled by at 11:12am. I then set up a different angle to catch the run around of the locomotive. Once that was done I moved to the Dept Of Transportation garage driveway, just east of Rt 7.

At 11:45 they left Welsford bound for Saint John. My next two locations were Nerepis and Westfield, both have nice S curves.
They make for some nice shots. The train was traveling at a reduced speed so I could keep a good pace in front of it.

At 12:14pm the train rolled through Grand Bay. When I left this location I decided I would get one more along the Westfield Rd in Morna and then a shot in Saint John. At 12:24 they rolled through a sharp curve in Morna. I couldn't decide where to shoot in Saint John. I had abit of time as they slowly went through the Dever Rd Yard. So I checked out by the Reversing Falls bridge and then I changed my mind and went close to Harbour Station, which is their final destination. I picked a spot along Harbour Passage which is located just west of Harbour Station beside the rail line. At 1pm the passenger train rolls past Harbour Passage.

This was my final shot and I headed home. Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

NB Southern Railway - CN Transfer Oct 7/07

On most Sundays NBSR usually hauls a container transfer from the Island Yard to the Port of Saint John on the west side of the city. I was at home when I heard the horn on the CN caboose #79624. This meant NBSR was backing down into the Port of SJ. I watched from my house as they backed a small container train down. After they were done and came back out from the container port, I heard the Yard master call on the scanner saying the Saint John bound CN train #406 arrived with more containers for the Port. That meant there would be two transfers today. I packed up the car and headed out to see what I could find. When I left my house I drove through Simms Corner to see the CN caboose sitting behind Moosehead Breweries. I proceeded to the entrance of the Island Yard. I couldn't see any containers. So I left and went down Rothesay Ave. Once I got to the east end of the Island Yard I then noticed that CN #406 had arrived into Saint John. They were waiting for yard crews to make room for the long train. I went to Station St. to sit and wait. When I had arrived at the old VIA station 3 NBSR units were waiting to enter the Island Yard. NBSR 9801, 3701, 2610 were the units. Once the CN units pulled the #406 through the Island Yard they dropped the train so NBSR could grab the 36 container cars from the head of the train. At this point I went to get ready for taping. I chose the site of the old hospital Centracare. It has a commanding view of the Reversing Falls plus a good view of the bridge. It was really windy at this location. The wind was coming directly down the river. At 11:05am the train crossed the bridge. I then proceeded to Sea Street on the west side for my next shot. This street is located at the west end of the the old Bay Shore Yard. From here I could get a good shot of the train backing down the grade before the yard. At 11:24am the train now with CN caboose #79624 in the lead crossed Sea Street. Another good chase!

To see the video click this link:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

NB Southern Railway Eastbound Oct 3/07

On Wednesday Oct 3rd I had the day off from work so I decided to head for McAdam. As I was getting close to McAdam on Rte 630 I turned my scanner on to hear a call being made to the RTC. It came through quite scratchy so I couldn't hear what was being said. I hightailed it the rest of the way just so I could make sure if it was the eastbound or not. When I arrived at the station at approx 1:20pm there was no train in sight so I headed toward the main road crossing east of the station. That's when I noticed a flat car rolling by some trees. It was attached to a small crane that was doing some maintenance in the yard. So I turned around and went up by the station to sit and wait. I had noticed the rails were rusty by the station so I knew the train hadn't been there. It was approximately 20 mins when I noticed a few NBSR employees come down to the station from the bunk house. That's the sign of a train arrival. I set up on the main road side of the station to catch the train coming in. This is the side they use to break the train to add or remove cars from the train. They removed some boxcars and added some empty gypsum cars. I waited for the call to the RTC for clearance then I headed out of McAdam. I had never seen the Rte 635 crossing in Prince William before so I decided to leave so I could make sure I made it to there before the train. I wasn't there 3 mins and I heard it coming down the long straight stretch. At approximately 2:40pm the train rolled through. Then it was off to Harvey. I wanted to beat the train there so I could get a good start going through the dirt road through Rooth. I made it to Harvey in good time. There was a signal maintainer working at the crossing in Harvey but no train. I thought I was having some good luck. Until I got about 2km away from the start of the dirt road. There is a hot box detector at the start of the dirt road. It came on the scanner saying they had no alarms. Meaning the whole train had rolled by and they had a good start through Rooth. I never slacked off going through the dirt road. I have to say it was the fastest I've ever gone through there but I wasn't letting the train get away from me. Finally by the time I reached the grade crossing at the east end of the dirt road I had caught up with the tail end of the train. I managed to get ahead of the train at Tracy but I wanted to tape the train coming into Fredericton Junction for a change. Plus it gave my wife Christina a break from sitting in the car. At approximately 3:25pm the train rolled through. I tried to beat the train to the Blissville Crossing on Rte 101 but I got stuck behind two school buses. I passed one and got between them. The one in front of me stopped for the Rte 101 crossing and just as they did the crossing lights came on. No chance for taping there. So I decided my next spot would be at Rte 7 crossing in Welsford. I like this spot because if I shoot from the driveway of the goverment garage I can get going on Rte 7 towards Grandbay without getting caught in the traffic held up by the train. At approx 4:05pm the train rolled through. As I got closer to Saint John I could see the fog coming farther inland. I didn't really want to shoot any foggy shots so I made Westfield Beach my last shot. A nice overhead shot was what I had in mind. I took it from the bridge on Rte 102 that goes over the rail line. At approx 4:20pm the train rolled by. That was my last shot for the day. The train consisted of NBSR GP38s - 9802,2612,2317,2318 and had 59 cars. I made a 7 min video of the chase that I also posted on YouTube. It took about 5hours to do the chase in total but it was worth it in my eyes. Another great chase!