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!

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Hi, Dave,
Your blog about the McAdam train run reminded me of the days, long before you were born, when my girlfriends and I would gather in McAdam to see the train arrive and then drive to Vanceboro, Maine, to greet it there. Even then, we knew we needed to get a life ...