Saturday, September 12, 2009

NBSR Westbound Sept 11

It had been along time since I saw a westbound leave the city.. So I had to tape it.. even in the dark. When I arrived at Carle Ave the crew was doing some final shunts before they hooked on to their train. After about 45 minutes they had the brake test done and were receiving their clearance. That's when I left for the Acamac Backland Rd.
I decided on black and white just to try and help with the dark. Got set up and my car headlights on and waited. The GP38s sounded great working hard to get the train up to speed as they approached the crossing. Then at 9:07pm  2318, slug 008 and 9801 rolled through with 46 cars.
Also watch for the rule breaker in the video...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

An odd NBSR passenger excursion..

On September 2nd I took the family to meet Matt and catch CN 406. We caught the train at Tennis Court Rd.
On the way home I was passing Harbour Station when I noticed a green caboose backing toward the old VIA station. It was the NBSR with an odd consist for a passenger excursion. It consisted of 2318 and slug 008, one coach and the newly painted caboose. So I had to investigate. I got to talk with the crew. It was just a short jont from the station to the Dever Rd Yard. NBSR had some business men from India intown and the NBSR was showing off their facilities.
The crew was really nice. I met an engineer that I've heard on the scanner many times. He invited us up into the cab of 2318. This was a first for my wife Christina and son Joey. We got some pics of Joey in the seats. Christina got to honk the horn. And I got some railroad gossip.
After we thanked them for the tour I took some exterior shots. My first pics of the slug and a shot of the caboose. The consist looked real nice all painted, even if the slug looked out of place.
I shot the train from the park where Centracare used to be. It was a nice sunny day so the light was perfect. I walked down closer to the road to eliminate trees from the shot.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So much new I don't know where to start...

As you can tell I haven't been exactly prompt on updating this blog.. Having a 1 and 1/2 year old can have it's toll on train chasing. I have been getting out on occasion with fellow railfan Matt (Saintjohnrailfan) and on my own. We've done a few trips to Moncton and McGivney. We even ventured up to Grand Falls to check out the Salmon River Trestle. That was one of my railfan highlights of this year so far. We plan to go there again soon.
On New Brunswick Day, NBSR ran a train from Harvey to McAdam and return. I took my family with me for this day. The train was sporting a freshly painted 2318, 2317 and newly painted passenger cars. Also they had two private cars on loan from Pan Am Railway on the rear of the train for dignitaries. I took some photos in Harvey but the train was on the railroad crossing so it was hard to get any great shots. I drove to the next crossing for a video shot. That's where I met Danny McCracken, a fellow RailsNB'r.
I wasn't sure how the shot was gonna turn out. Just as the train was approaching the crossing 3 deer stepped onto the tracks in front of the train. And I was rolling. But luckily they made it off before anything happened. I then headed for McAdam. What a sight when we arrived there.. A detour around the town. When we got close to the station we realized why. There had to be a couple thousand people at the festivities the town was having. It was nice to see so many people enjoying the day. A brakeman for NBSR that I happen to know was working the passenger train. So we got a nice tour of the redone cars. It's nice to sit in them in air conditioned comfort. After the tour he told me about a couple trips the train was going to make west from the station. So of course I was out taping in a couple locations.
Now for the return trip of the train to Harvey. I decided I would try a shot near the lake. I drove down the road past the ball field near the station in Harvey. Where I parked on the side of the road, you could see a path that took you right to the lake side. So I set up my tripod and waited. Finally the train came around the curve into Harvey. What a great place for a shot. You can even hear the water in the video. Once the train arrived and everyone disembarked, 2317 and the Pan Am cars were removed from the train and headed back to McAdam. 2318 and the NBSR passenger cars made the trip to Saint John. I chased that as I made my way home too.. It was a great day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Great week for holidays!!

I started holidays this week and boy am I glad by this weather. I have been driving a run at work that leaves me little time for train chasing. So this week I had to make sure I got to see something on the rails. Yesterday we had probably the biggest storm we have had this winter. Dumping about 37cm on Saint John. After I finished shovelling I was sitting at the computer with the scanner on. I heard lots of chatter as the NBSR were trying to clean their yard. After about a half hour of listening I heard someone on the mainline channel mention "The "SPU" is on the train". The SPU is also known as an End Of Train device. That meant something was going on the mainline. But what I wasn't sure. I couldn't see them run a freight train up to McAdam in that storm. So to Carle Ave I went.. Thankfully there wasn't much traffic around. The streets were a mess to say the least.. On my way there I heard the spreader get mentioned. All I could think was "sweet".. lol It had been a year since I seen the spreader at work. I was definitely catching this one. At about 1:25pm units 9803 & 9802 were reversing towards the wye with jordan spreader #402896. It took just over 30 minutes for the crew to get the consist turned on the wye and left Saint John at 2pm. My first thoughts on chasing in weather like this is where can I go that I won't get stuck.. As I headed up through Acamac the Backland Rd had not been plowed so that was a no no. When I got to Ketepec Rd there was enough room to park in front of the mail boxes to catch the train coming around the curve. Well this is where I made a mistake. I thought I hit the record button but I guess I didn't.. lol So no shot there. Now back to chasing.. I then hit some traffic in Morna Heights. This set me back. I decided to get well ahead of it in Grand Bay. The crew had to make a stop at a crossing by Starkey's to let a crew member on to cut out a traction motor on 9802. The ground relay bells were going off.

I set up at the far end of Inglewood Dr. Finally I hit the button right and got my first shot. They were slowing down for crossings so getting ahead was no problem. I beat the train to Westfield Beach so I went to the overpass.

This is a great place to get close to the train but not get covered in snow. It made for a nice shot but with limited room I shot it hand held. When I got back in the car I had my tripod set up on the passenger seat to try a chase sequence. Just as I headed out I had an NBSR employee ask me if they could get my pictures emailed to them. I mentioned I was shooting video and I told who to look up on YouTube and I was off. Now the snow banks didn't help the shots at times but it turned out pretty decent for a first try with my Impala. I've shot like this in my Cavalier that I had but I was chasing an eastbound train... The tripod didn't seem to move to much as I drove. This is where the flip out screen on my camera comes in handy!! I would just peek over to see if the train was in the shot and I would adjust my driving, or the camera. I then headed for Welsford. I stopped at the Rte 7 crossing to see it cross there.

I think it was a decent choice for my next shot. I kept going as long as I could drive easily. I then did a wide shot of the second crossing in Welsford.

I was looking for some different angles to make this year snow plow video abit different from last years. After the train rolled through I decided I wanted to get a nice photo of the train so I went to Clarendon. I picked a spot where the tracks can bee seen from the road. But the snow was falling quite good and obscured the shot. So that's when I called it quits and headed for home. When i jumped back in my car at Clarendon I looked at the clock and it was 3:30pm. It took the train an hour and a half to get that far! Enjoy the video!!

Here's the link: