Friday, July 8, 2011

Lots of things new...

Well the first two, HLCX 911 & 906, of four units being leased by NBSR arrived into Saint John yesterday on CN train 406. My good friend, Matt "saintjohnrailfan" Landry, managed to catch 406 as it approached Saint John with the two ex-UP locos. So to make up for missing the units arrival into town because of work, I headed out to grab some pictures this morning. The shots I did get aren't that great as there is always something getting in the shot. I shot my pictures of HLCX 911 from the Staples and Brett's parking lots. 906 was blocked for getting any good shots.
Here is a link to Matt's video of 406 with the units in tow

Now back in November I mentioned I heard a NBSR crew member mention a new wood chip unloader going to be built. I've recently noticed that they do have it done. It's located behind Moosehead Breweries just west of the truck dumper for Irving Pulp & Paper. It's an excavator like machine on top of an archway that the railcars can go through underneath it. The unloader digs the chips out of the cars and puts them into a green hopper which funnels the chips onto a conveyor belt that puts the chips with the other big pile coming from the trucks being unloaded. I grabbed a few shots as I was heading to Carle Ave today and a couple days ago. Here are a few of the shots.

Now I've been trying to railfan as much as possible. I've been doing pretty good for videos. But it's been so long since I posted about any I've got a backlog. I'll just point out a few of my most recent videos on YouTube.

First is a video of our motorcar group giving rides in McAdam on Canada Day

Second is a NBSR westbound leaving Saint John with 2610 pretending to be an ALCO

And third is CN train 439 with Herzog Ballast train crossing Reversing Falls Bridge

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another try..

Back on Feb 19th I headed out with the family for a nice drive to catch the NBSR eastbound of that day. My original intent was to just go to the hot box detector at Cork (MP59.4) and wait for it there. My radio picks up quite a distance now with a higher gain antenna on it. But as I sat all was quiet on the main line channel. I tried to get a heads up on the train too but with no luck I decided to head for McAdam seeing how I was this close. We made it into McAdam by about 3pm. I made a quick drive around just to see if I could see anything and all was quiet. So we decided to get some lunch/supper at Klinkers Lounge on the main road through McAdam. They have good food by the way. I sat in the van with my radio on as we waited for our food. At about 3:15pm I heard the RTC in Maine call the eastbound asking where they were. The train responded that they were about 15 miles from Vanceboro, ME. I thought at the time it would work out perfect. Boy was I wrong.
The eastbound finally arrived into McAdam at 3:55pm. But they had some switching to do and this is where I started to loose my daylight. It took the two crews, (the crew from Maine and the new crew heading to SJ) almost an hour to do the shunting they had to do. The train finally left for Saint John at 5pm. So we headed out of town for the chase. I wasn't quite sure where I should catch this train as I headed towards Harvey. I like shooting in Harvey but the train makes real good time between there and Cork where the dirt road starts. It can be hard to keep ahead of a train in this area.The road wasn't in to bad of shape but I didn't want to push my van through it any harder than I had to. So I just kept going till I got to the eastern end of the dirt road at Vespra. I set up my shot on the side of the road and with a short wait the eastbound rolled through. I shot the whole train there because I pretty much figured that would be my only shot I would get. And as you can see from the screen shot above it was getting pretty dark by this time, which was about 5:50pm. Good thing I did! Catching up with this train after it rolled by was an interesting time. It was snowing a little bit and I was far behind. I didn't beat the train to the next crossing east of Vespra close to Tracy so we had to wait for it to pass again. I almost beat it to the crossing at Blissville on Rte 101, but the crossing lights came on. I was gonna be the first vehicle waiting for the train to pass so I grabbed my camera and did a hand held shot through the windshield. I only used it in my video because I thought it looked kind of sharp with the headlights causing a silhouette of the train going by. Definitely not a great shot but I didn't want to go home empty handed for the amount of driving I did.
The eastbound train was one of the longer ones I've seen on the NBSR lately. It had engines 2317, 2319, slug 008, and 2318 for power and had 81 cars in tow. Here's the video I made from my chase..

Here is also my most recent CN video of train 406 from March 12th.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nice start to my vacation.. A trip to Enniskillen.

On Saturday morning I met up with Matt at Staples on Rothesay Ave to try and catch the CN potash train. Well there apparently wasn't one.. We sat and chatted for a few hours. During this time there was alot of activity on the NBSR mainline channel. When I got in the van at around 6:15am I heard a mainline crew parking their engines after parking their train. Shortly after there was more talk from the mechanics servicing the engines. They spoke with the yard planner about the lash up of units. Which happened to be 2319,2317,2318,slug 008,2610. That sounded like a mainline train to me. And sure enough there was. So after Matt and I parted ways, I booted it for the west side. The train made their call for a clearance before I got to Carle Ave but there was a yard crew stalling the departure of the train.
The yard crew was moving quite slow when I first got there. They were backing into the yard from way down the long lead track exiting the yard. They had between 35-40 loaded woodchip cars from a train that arrived in the early morning.
So once the yard crew were out of the way, the westbound had the clear to leave. I chose the Acamac Backland Rd as my first shot. I just sat in the car and filmed hand held. Then on for the chase. Slow traffic kept me behind. I finally got ahead of the train by Westfield Beach. So I decided to head for Welsford. I went to the Rte 101 crossing only to find no real place to park. There is a small dirt road that you can pull into next to the tracks normally. But with the snow we've had there was no way to get my van in there. It wasn't plowed. So I made off for Enniskillen.
The crossing at Enniskillen is not an easy shot to get when you are chasing a train. The road you go down off Rte 101 to get to it is quite far off the main road. It eats time if you are not very far ahead of the train. But I was for this one. So I ventured down the road.
The snow by that time was falling quite heavily. I set up my tripod just on the side of the quiet road. At about 10:30am, 2319 leads the westbound past the late Floyd Kelly's semaphore signal and through Enniskillen.
Here's the finished video of the two shot chase.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Some new vids..

Back on Jan 15th I had a heads up from Matt that SD70M-2 8941 was leading CN train 406. Which also happened to have 3 other engines on as the train had 143 cars. We chased the train between McCully and Hampton on the Sussex Sub. Here's my video of that train.
Then on Jan 16th I spent sometime at Carle Ave with my trusty scanner. I went just thinking there may be a westbound leaving. Shortly after supper I found out there definitely was going to be a train. Two trains to be exact. But the crew of the first train was doing some shunting in the yard before they went west. This took alot of time. Also I could heard a crew working on all the units that were going west that night. So I was in for a good wait!!
By 9:20pm the first train left SJ. It was a work train with a few cars added to it. It was led by 2610 and had a rare sight on the end. NBSR caboose 422990. It's a short video and I also used my old Canon camera because it seems to handle the dark shots like these better than my new Sony.
Unfortunately I didn't catch the second train. The cold was getting to me after sitting for so long. But the caboose made up for not catching the second train.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2318 is on her way home!

On January 16th, Frank Jolin caught this great photo of MMA train #2 with 2318 in the consist of engines. The photo was taken in Eastman, Quebec. I'm sure it won't be too much longer getting into Saint John. I can't wait to see her working with Slug 008 again!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A new year, videos, and blog

Well this is my first post of 2011!
I've been slack with updates as I've been busy working on a few new things. First here are three videos I have made. 

Second, I've been putting together a blog for our local motorcar group. The start of 2011 we have changed the name of the group from the New Brunswick Recreational Rail Riders to C.A.R.C.O.A.  It stands for Canadian Atlantic Rail Car Operators Association. There isn't too much on it yet but it's a good start. Click on the logo below to check it out.