Monday, December 20, 2010

A couple more videos..

Here's a couple more videos I've made recently..
The first video is a NBSR work train leaving Saint John with 2 loads of rock and 2 loads of ballast for the McAdam Sub.
The second is a westbound chase between Saint John and Welsford. The train led by 2610 had 4 engines and 58 cars.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Finally a good NBSR chase..

Yesterday I wanted to catch something train related. My friend Matt was in Moncton shooting trains so jealousy got the best of me.
I went to Carle Ave first just to see what I might hear about an eastbound. Usually there is one on Saturday. As I was waiting, a crew came out to the west end of the Dever Rd Yard. They were using the main line radio frequency which is rare in the yard. I knew something was up. After about 5-10 minutes the crew hooked onto some cars and began to speak with a carman. They spoke about the EOT device and began a brake test. That could only mean one thing. A westbound!
There sure was. 9801 & 2612 were the power for this train. They were hauling a short 19 car train consisting of 9 gypsum cars and 10 ballast cars.
My chase began just outside the yard limits in SJ. From there I never caught up with the train until we were in Grand Bay. So I headed to Westfield Beach to grab a quick shot.
Next I went to Welsford. I wanted to get a shot at Rte 101 to show some of the work being done there, plus get a reading from the hot box detector.
From there I grabbed a quick road side shot in Clarendon and then headed for Blissville. The shot in Blissville is a nice one with two crossings in the shot. First time I've ever shot a westbound there.
Then I made my way to Vespra. I knew there would be a nice shot with the curve. But I also wanted to get a going away shot cause this is where I ended my chase.
Here's the finished product.. What a great chase!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Two more new videos..

Over the past weekend I had a couple chances to catch some trains.
My first was an NBSR eastbound chase on Saturday that went all wrong. I heard on my radio that the eastbound was due in by 4pm. So close to 3 I left Saint John bound for Welsford to start a chase back to SJ. Shortly after arriving at Welsford I heard the RTC get called and the dispatcher took a time for the eastbound out of McAdam. So the train was later than expected. So rather make the drive back to the city without seeing anything, I kept heading towards Fredericton Junction.
I made it to Vespra which is just west of Tracy by rail. When I first arrived I just parked the car and got out to look for a shot. Not 5 minutes of being there I heard the hotbox detector go off that is west of Vespra. So I took a quick shot and then started the chase. Well let me tell ya the new rail has made a difference in the speed on this line. I'm sure there is pretty much no slow orders between Vespra and Saint John. At some points I paced with the train at 40mph. So getting ahead of this train for shots was fun on slightly snowy roads.
My other hit against this chase was the time of day. It was pretty much dark at my first shot so the rest were in complete dark. There are lots of locations to catch a train along this line but I've never tried this in the dark. Finding locations was not easy! So I made due with some places I knew might not be too bad and went with them. Here's the video
Next train is CN 406 from Sunday. I took the family for a drive to Sussex with hopes of catching 406 up there and then chase it down to SJ. As we just got some lunch in Sussex I heard the train call for McCullys. So I picked a spot I like just leaving Sussex for a quick first shot. Then I headed off down the road to the east side of Hampton where I met up with Matt (Saintjohnrailfan). We set up our shots and after a short wait westbound 406 rolled through with SD70M-2 #8010 on the head end. Here's the finished product.

Friday, November 26, 2010

New vids in 1080 HD

Here are my first videos with the new Sony Handycam. First is a small chase of CN 406 from McCully to Torryburn.

Second is a NBSR westbound that left Saint John on Nov 22nd with 2612 in the lead. Unfortunately this is one of those night shots that don't always turn out so good.

Sony HD Camcorder

So with the recent exchange of my Canon SX30 I decided to try a camcorder. So I chose a Sony Handycam CX110. It shoots in 1080 HD. I haven't used it a whole lot yet but there definitely is no lense flare problem with this camera.

Well time for some updates....

Well Since my last post some things have changed. After purchasing the new Canon camera I quickly found something I didn't like about it. When I was shooting video of trains with the camera zoomed I would get some really bad lense flares from the headlights of the engines.
Like in this video..
Here are some others I shot with the Canon SX30

So after trying to figure out how to fix the flares with filters etc, I decided to take the SX30 back. The camera took some really great photos but I did purchase camera for the capability of recording video too. So I chose to purchase a camcorder instead..

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A new toy..

Santa came to me early this year! I just purchased a new camera. The Canon SX30IS. This is the latest model out in the series of cameras like my old one, the SX3IS. With this upgrade I'm jumping from 6 to 14 mega pixels and I'll now be shooting video in 720p HD. I can't wait to catch some trains!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Got chips?

I heard a train crew on my radio this evening say that Irving is building some sort of an off-loading facility for wood chips. I'm guessing it would be near the Pulp & Paper Mill at the falls. Has anyone else heard about this? I'll look into it some more and post anything I hear.

Well another video to add to that month...

This weekend has been a wet one in Saint John. I'm guessing it has caused some changes in schedules for trains. Late Saturday afternoon I got a heads up about a westbound train leaving early Sunday morning from SJ for McAdam. This is quite rare as normally there is no train on Sunday. But hey I'll take it. So I arrived at Carle Ave at 6:30am just to make sure I wouldn't miss it. And I sure didn't...
I never heard any crew talking till 7:30 which was great cause Matt (Saintjohnrailfan) was on his way intown to see it too. Engines 2319 & 9801 came to the west end of the Dever Rd Yard to turn on the wye before coupling up. After they did and got their brake test complete, we headed for the Acamac Backland Rd. At about 8:45am they rolled through with 49 cars.
Next we headed to Staples to catch the container transfer. We weren't there very long when we heard the crew say they were at the Bunsmaster switch and wanted to hook on to the containers. So we hit the road again to go get a location for a shot. We went to Bentley Crossing. This is a new street of townhouses that over look the Mill Street grade and the harbour. The view was awesome and the units worked hard climbing the hill with 43 cars. But the two units, 3702 & 9803 couldn't handle the weight and stalled on the hill. This was great cause it was raining and we wanted to get a new shot. So we went to the Bentley St. crossing to catch it again. As we waited for a helper crew to catch up to the transfer, I noticed I lost the shot of the transfer climbing the hill. My camera has been randomly shutting off and it decided to do it while I was recording the climb causing me to loose it. Shortly after the transfer rolls through the crossing with CN 7060 pushing from the rear.
Now we were gonna call it a day cause we were wet from the rain. I heard another train getting ready to leave SJ. It was a work train led by 9802. I caught them at the Acamac Backland Rd too.
I've put all the vids into one so it's a little bit over 10 minutes. Enjoy!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

One month, 10 vids..

Well its' been a month since my last post on here.. I know I'm slack! Anyhoo.. I have put 10 new videos on YouTube since my last post. And there is just to much to says for all of them, so I'll just show you the vids.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A weekend of Foaming..

 I've had some decent luck while out watching trains this long weekend. On Saturday I went to Carle Ave to see what was up in the Dever Rd Yard. I wasn't there very long when I heard someone dial the NBSR mainline channel. I couldn't hear the train speak, but it was a work train getting a clearance to come to Saint John from around mile 41.0 of the McAdam Sub. So I hit the highway for Welsford. I arrived in plenty of time so I went to the Rte 101 crossing close to the hotbox detector to wait.
I decided I was gonna do a chase of the work train. Usually the work train is just some ballast cars and a caboose, so I wanted to make sure I got more than one quick shot. So I set up my tripod on the passenger side of my car for some through the window chasing. I don't do this type of thing very often so it's fun when I do.
At approx 1:45pm the train rolled into Welsford. 9803 leading CN caboose 75624, 10 ballast cars and a log car. After they rolled through I mounted my camera on the tripod and set out. I didn't really expect to see them cross Highway 7 but I lucked out and they were going slow so I managed to catch them crossing the highway as I approached the activated crossing lights. After that I went to Westfield. This is where the line runs close to the track. I began my chase at the Britain Rd. I basically just pressed record and drove. I would check the flip out screen on my camera to make sure the shots were ok, but my driving was most important. I didn't want to get in anyone's way so I made sure I pulled off the road when any traffic was around. I followed them down into Grand Bay with my last shot being of them approaching a crossing on a nice curve.
This is where I made my U turn.. As I was recording the chase through Westfield the RTC was dialed again. This time it wasn't the work train. It was the regular eastbound looking to get clearance to proceed to Saint John. So that meant another eastbound! Back to Welsford I went. This time I started from the Gov't garage located next to the crossing. After another short wait I heard the hotbox detector go off and then along came the train. It was three units. 2319,9801,2612 and they were hauling 57 cars. So I set up the camera again for another chase. I followed the train through basically the same area as the work train. Only this time I chose a shot closer to Saint John for a final shot. Here's the final product.

On Sunday I got together with my friend Matt to catch some trains. We managed to catch two. First being a NBSR transfer climbing the Mill Street Grade. And the second being CN 406 rolling through Rothesay.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

CN's Napadogan Sub Action on Sept 26th

On Sept 26th, Saintjohnrailfan and myself decided to take a trip to McGivney to catch some action. It has been a long time since I ventured up that way so I was looking forward to it.
We arrived at 4:30am to see a green over red signal facing east so we knew 121 must be on it's way. After close to an hour of waiting, we saw the bright headlights of 121 coming in the distance. It looked like the sun was rising on the horizon as we looked towards Moncton. So we set up our shots and sat ready. I used my usual spot next to the crew shack. I love this spot for two reasons. First.. The dusk to dawn light on the building helps light up the shot. And two.. The rush you get from the train rolling by so close and at that speed!
At approx 5:30am 121 rockets through McGivney.
After 121 finished we tried to figure out if a 474 was due through. Matt had a heads up about one coming from Edmundston to Moncton but the signals all shown red. So we pretty much figured we missed it.
So we headed towards Chipman. We had some time to kill before 305 would roll through so we explored around checking out different locations for shots. We ended up at the Bronson Settlement Rd. There is a hot box detector there and a nice straight stretch. After about an hour wait 305 rolled though with an SD70M-2 leading and one as a DPU.
We only caught 2 out of 3 trains but it's better than nothing. Definitely not a wasted day!

Just for fun I recorded 121 rolling by with my cell phone. The quality isnt that great, but it shows more of what I see as I record a train next to the crew shack at McGivney.
Also here are Matt's videos of that day.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

An odd Saturday....

This morning I decided to take the family for a drive with no peticular destination in mind. But I ended up following the McAdam Sub from Saint John all the way to McAdam. Along the way I just barely heard something mentioned about someone being 2 hours away from McAdam. So I figured it would be the eastbound. I thought a nice chase would be a great way to spend the afternoon. So we waited around the border crossing just west of McAdam. As we were there I caught a conversation about a "work" train coming into McAdam from the McAdam Sub and that they would be about a half hour. So we went to town to get some lunch. As we waited for our order the "work" train arrived into town. So I went to the station to catch it coming in... This is where it gets weird.
As the train came into view at the station, it had quite a long string of cars on. It actually turned out to be a westbound. Usually Saturday is an eastbound day for the NBSR. So my intent was to catch this train crossing the bridge at the border. But as I waited in the park next to the bridge some kids came along and parked right in my shot of the bridge. So I just decided to catch them at the Rte 630 crossing just afew miles east of the border crossing. 2612,9801,9802 rolled through with 43 cars.
And so as I was editing this video I thought I would look this area up on a Timetable that Steve Boyko has on his website from 1994. This line is called the Mattawamkeag Subdivision. Something I did not know.. Ya learn something new everyday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I never would have thought...

Back when I started posting videos on YouTube I figured I would do alright for views with my videos. But my first snow plow video I ever made took right off! It has been online for two years and it has now over 600,000 views and over 200 comments. I never ever thought it would do so well. The video I am speaking about is a plow extra that NBSR ran back on Jan 2nd of 2008.
The NBSR are getting to be famous!! lol

Another container transfer..

Back on August 22nd, I managed to catch another container transfer climbing the grade. Saintjohnrailfan was along for the catch. NBSR has recently cut some brush along the tracks there so we set up just up hill from the crossing. The units were 2612,9801,9802 and they hauled 34 cars.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mill Street Grade

Well this past Sunday I was out looking for some trains to catch and the NBSR westside crew, with 2319,9802,9801, were just arriving at the Island Yard to grab the containers. So I decided I would film this. I decided to go to the Mill Street grade to catch them working hard on the hill. I chose an elevated spot. Now as the NBSR westside crew were making their way to the hill they mentioned that 9802 was low on water and that they would only work the engine on the hill. But they also had an Island Yrd crew on stand by just incase they stalled. Now the funny part! As I was finishing my shot of the transfer climbing the hill I could hear another engine running. I turned to my right and sure enough the Island Yrd crew that was on stand by followed the transfer up the hill and into my shot with CN GP9 4141. It was an interesting catch!
For my next shot I headed to the westside. As I came into Simms Corner you could see CN caboose 75624 waiting to be added to the tail end of the containers to make a reverse movement to the Port of SJ. So I went to the crossing at Sand Cove Road and within afew minutes the train came along.

Enjoy the video!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Matt & Dave's Northern NB Adventure

On Wednesday July 7th I tagged along, with my fellow railfan Matt, on a trip up north to the Grand Falls - Edmundston area to catch some CN action. We spent about 12 hours in the area in the heat!! With the humidex at 40c, I'm sure we sweat off some pounds as we waited for trains.. lol. 
Our first train of the day was 121. We chose the Violette Station Rd in New Denmark. There is a set of signals there at the west end of the Ennishore siding. Now for this trip I borrowed a camera from Matt to try some picture in picture videos. So my idea was set up one camera with a wide shot and use the other for different angles and close ups. Great idea in theory.. lol. I set up my wide shot for 121 on a small hill that is close to the crossing at the Violette Station Rd. You can actually see my camera set up in Matt's video of the train. And I stayed with my close up camera close to the crossing. Well we weren't quite sure where the train was when it came around the corner, so I had to do some running to get cameras rolling. Here's my video I put together from the two cameras.


Now after train rolled through we headed up to Edmundston. We wanted to catch 121 again after it leaves Edmundston. We went to a crossing we like in Saint Hiliaire, NB. We've shot here afew times before but it's a spot we enjoy. There is a signal and a hot box detector close to the crossing. I again used two cameras for different shots but this time I set up the cameras a little closer to each other. Here's the video..

Now onto 308. We heard that 308 would be meeting 305 at Saint Leonard so we headed for the siding. We walked in from the small crossing at CNR Rd. We setup near a spur track that goes to a mill. 308 took the siding and 305 stayed on the main but did not have green signal to proceed past the west siding switch. So they both came to a stop side by side. This wasn't making for very interesting video so we booted it for the car. We decided to catch 308 farther down the line because it was the second train of the day to have a DPU. I combined all my videos of the meet and the roll by of 308..

After that we called it a day with a three hour drive home. I think it went well for using two cameras. You can see a quality difference between the two cameras but I don't mind. It was my first try and there is always some tweaking to the videos that can be done to fix that but it can wait for my next try..

Saturday, June 19, 2010

NBSR 9801 Repainted

I thought I'd pass along a link to a photo... I never heard anything about 9801 getting painted but here it is all done..

2 More NBSR Vids..

Now for some more NBSR sightings.. On June 17th I caught the daily eastbound coming into town. 2317 was in the lead of the 69 car train. My first shot is in Grand Bay at mile 12.15 and then I caught it crossing the Acamac Backland Rd. The slow orders associated with the track work have been keeping the trains at a snails pace.. Here's the video.

Now today I managed to get off work 3 hours early so I was heading out to see some trains in the nice weather. Well there were two passenger excursions on the McAdam Sub today. I caught the second trip and chased it to Welsford. 2319 was the unit on todays train and it was running long hood forward. I caught the small train in a couple of spots such as leaving SJ in South Bay, Grand Bay, Westfield Beach, and then in Welsford. Pardon the commentary from my son Joey in some of the clips.. lol

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some Changes..

You may notice some changes to my blog in the next little while. I'm looking at changing the template to it and I am still finding one I really like. The one main reason for the change was I didn't like how narrow the posts were on my blog before. Plus a little change never hurts..

Some CN Action..

Back on June 13th I went with Saintjohnrailfan on a little CN adventure. We thought we would try going to Chipman for a change. But when we arrived in Chipman we had little time to prepare. Luckily Matt heard a signal called on the scanner so we could turn around and get to a spot up the line. We caught 120 heading to Moncton. Once the train rolled through we headed for Moncton. Once there we saw 305 at Berry Mills. 2 locals were caught at the Delong Dr overpass in Moncton. And then we chased 406 westbound to Saint John. It was a pretty good day!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ooo a westbound...

Just by luck I happened upon this westbound. I heard them call their clearance to enter the mainline not 30 seconds after I turned my radio on. Luckily I was close enough that I could get up the line abit. I shot at Ketepec Rd again. I like shooting at the spot I did. It's a nice view of the curve plus you are elevated to get a different perspective than just down beside it... 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Some more videos....

Here are some recent videos I have shot. I've had some good luck with NBSR lately. Hopefully it keeps up... Enjoy!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Finally an Eastbound..

It's been awhile since I've caught an NBSR eastbound. On may 29th I was out checking the Dever Rd Yard out when I heard the RTC mention to a shunt crew that the eastbound was due into Saint John at 5:30pm. It was 3pm at the time so I was off... I tried to make it to Fredericton Junction but as I reached the straight stretch in Blissville the train was already occupying the crossing. So after a U turn I went back to Welsford. I began my video by shooting at Rte 7. I also caught the train at two curves in Grand Bay-Westfield. I beat the train into the Ketepec Rd for my last shot but I got texting when I parked the car. Big Mistake!! The lights came on sooner than I expected and I was still in my car.. So I made it a little farther down the road and set up a "through the window" shot in the car to at least catch the full train. Also if you notice in the video a haze in the shot.. that was a nice finger print on the lense that I didn't notice.. lol. Anyhoo enjoy the vid!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More NBSR Track Gang Shots

I have been taking some random drives up to Grand Bay to see how the rail gang has been making out. I try not to get to close to the crew as I don't want to bother any of them. The first shot I have to share is of the ferry crossing. This shot was taken on the 20th of May. On this day the crew laid track west of the crossing towards Westfield Beach.
All was quiet at Westfield Beach on Victoria Day! There was a small work train out spreading out tie plates etc on the line east of WB. But the main gang was on a day off so I grabbed the chance to get a nice shot of the equipment in the siding. Also note the 115lb rail mainline running through the shot.

CN 406 Twice in May

Here's a vid I made of two 406s in May. First train in the video is from the 19th with engines 5749,5722 hauling 41 cars through Tennis Crt Rd in Rothesay. The second train is shot from Park Dr on the 24th with engines 2651,5689 hauling 76 cars.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Now for some NBSR news...

Back on March 13th I managed to catch an eastbound NBSR train coming to Saint John. The power was 2319, slug 008, 2318. I caught it at Hwy 7 Welsford and then the Britain Rd in Westfield, then gave it abit of a chase. The train had to stop to wait for the track crew to finish some work and clear the line so I gave up and headed home. Here's that video..

On May 6th I ventured out with my son Joe to see some NBSR action. But this time I thought I would head to Grand Bay to see the "Project 286" track gang working. NBSR has been working hard at replacing the 100lb rail of the McAdam Sub with 115lb rail. Of course they have been replacing ties along the way too. The crew has been replacing the easier parts first, working between crossings. The photo of rail above shows one spot where the rail jumps sizes. When I got to Westfield Beach the crew was just around the overpass. this made for some great shots of the crew working. Here are some of those shots...

Engineer in training...

On May 5th I ventured out to Rothesay with Saintjohnrailfan to catch a special 406 westbound coming into Saint John. It had a trainee, that most railfans in NB all know, named Luc at the controls. He gave us a good show with lots of horn action as he passed the old Rothesay station and past us at Tennis Court Rd. 2510 was the leading unit on the 79 car train.

Abit of CN...

Back on April 4th I ventured back up north with Saintjohnrailfan to get some more Napadogan Sub action. We caught 3 different trains while were up there. We caught 121 crossing the Salmon River Trestle and then booted it for Edmundston to catch it again. We filmed it entering the Edmundston Yard and then on the other side of town on the Pelletier Sub. Here's the video of 121 crossing the trestle. We tried a different angle in the early morning. 

We also caught 305 passing the old Grand Falls station. This shot was kinda spoiled because the train was going slow but at least we saw it..

Our last train of the day was 308. We caught it just west of Grand Falls. Watch for the cranky dog in the video that could've got hurt.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Welcome to 2010!! I hope everyone who reads my blog had a good year. My year was abit slow when it came to railfanning. Hopefully that will change this year! This year I started doing MSTS videos with some help from my friend Matt. This has helped with the train withdrawl..  I was lucky enough to catch the first NBSR westbound out of Saint John since Christmas Day and it had abit of a sad story. Apparently 2317 threw a rod or two. NBSR was sending it to Quebec to be repaired. On Dec 28th the westbound out of Saint John had in tow 2317 along with it's train. Here's my video of that train. I caught it at the Acamac Backland Rd.

The photo at the start of this blog is the returning eastbound on Dec 29th. The train was stopped outside the Dever Rd Yard for two hours while they waited for a rail to be replaced on the long lead entering the yard. The shot is just west of the Gault Rd. Engineman Gary Graham passses some time by removing snow from the front walkways of 2318.
Like I said earlier I have made some MSTS vids for something different to do on down time that I'm not watching the real thing. I have posted 5 vids on YouTube that I have made. Here are a couple of the vids I've done so far:

Now I want to show you my new railfanning toy.. Every railfan has a bad day by missing the perfect shot or missing a train completely. Even with a scanner it can be tricky to really know where a train is.. Or at least I've had afew misses.. Anywho.. I recently spoiled myself with a two-way radio for my car. It's programmed with all North American railway frequencies in it. I've only had it in my car for about a week and I have to say I'm impressed! I've been able to hear trains about 20 miles away. It's nice to be right in the frequency with them so it comes in nice and clear. Also a nice feature this radio has is a scanning feature. You can program about 19 frequencies to scan and set up priorities. This way you never miss the good stuff.. RTC, etc. The Dec 28th westbound video of mine featured audio from the radio. Now this radio has the capability to talk to trains.. but I have no intention of ever speaking a word on it. Just wouldn't be the right thing to do in my mind! But nevertheless I still think it was worth buying. It's gonna make train chasing a whole lot easier.