Saturday, February 23, 2008

NBSR 9802 East

I finally got to chase a train!! With my two weeks holidays almost over I was determined to get out for a chase. My first intentions were to go to McAdam but as time got on in the morning I wasn't ready to go in time to get there. So I just waited abit and left for Vespra. This is usually where I begin my chases. But today I decided to go through the dirt road through to Rooth and wait at the other end by the hot box detector. I really had no idea when the train would be leaving McAdam so I figured I had abit of a wait. Not 10 mins after getting parked, the scanner started dialing the RTC. I couldn't hear the eastbound train talking but the RTC in Saint John came through loud and clear. There is a radio tower for the railroad near the hot box detector. The RTC repeated that the train had left McAdam. I only had about a half hour wait from the time the call was made to Saint John to when the train reached Rooth. Then I was off! I started to take photos but I wasn't happy with the light being on the opposite side of the train so I switched to video. The train consisted of GP38s #9802,2317,2610,2318,2612 and 44 cars. Quite abit of power for such a small train. But engineer Gary Graham wasn't pushing it hard to get home to Saint John. For my first shot I decided on a bridge at mile 55. The road was at a lower grade than the tracks. Second location I decided along a straight stretch in Tracy. I tried to make it into Fredericton Jct to catch it crossing the bridge east of the station but traffic held me up and I didn't make it. So on to Blissville. I wanted to see the train kick snow on the straight stretch approaching Rte 101. I then left for Welsford. I got there with some time to spare. I looked over some of my video I recorded and got ready for my next shot. I sat up from the Rte 101 crossing in Welsford. I waited for the hot box detector to go off and the lights to come on. I drove up to the lights to be the first car. Then it was off for Westfield. While I waiting in Welsford I was thinking about how I could record chasing the train along through Westfield where the tracks are close to the road. I was by myself and no one to help. So I thought about standing my tripod up in the front seat on the passenger side. I kept the legs short and raised the plate where the camera attaches. I angled the camera to the left side and turned the screen on my Canon S3 towards myself so I could see what I was recording. And believe it or not it worked. I'm sure Image Stabilization helped out too. So I recorded about 8 mins of driving along side the eastbound. I kept my window open to get the sounds of the train. I'm really impressed with how it turned out. And I got to safely drive along with the train. Then I wanted to get my last shot of the whole train. I decided on the Acamac Backland Road in Saint John. And that ended my chase for the day. As I made my way home a new pipe train was on the main line in the Dever Rd Yard to be unloaded. I'm guessing it came in yesterday, but I could be wrong. Enjoy the video!

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