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: