Monday, August 25, 2008

Moncton this past weekend

This past weekend I was in Moncton on a three day furlough just to relax and enjoy the finer things in life. Well I couldn't resist it, I just had too! Jess and I went to the Gort yard and tried to catch a few trains however if I had known before hand there isn't much shunting in that yard I would have went else where. The only shunting I seen there was a truck hauling containers around and getting them ready to be loaded onto a flat car for I'll assume either the 120 or 121.

HOWEVER....All was not lost! At around 1330 VIA 614 arrived around the bend, and I got a couple of shots and a great video. Not too bad. Afterwards we went to the station and I got a few shots of the lead unit there. The lead of 614 was 6426 I didn't catch the second unit's number.

I posted on the Yahoo groups asking a question when will the CN trains go screaming through Moncton, I got a few times (Thanks Matt!) and well I wasn't so lucky interms of videos and pictures. The pictures well it was too dark for my camera and the videos well....I waited fro CN 405(?) the signals at the west end of the station in Moncton was red over red, however after about ten minutes of waiting the signals changed to yellow over red than moments later to yellow over yellow. So I waited and in no time at all a freight came rumbling through. However I was looking in the wrong direction for the train. It came from the east I was looking in the west. By the time I got out of the car (I was in the car because the Moncton Airforce was attacking me. Mosquitos.) and got my camera out and ready the lead had already gone by but I did manage to press the record button (Or so I thought) and filmed what was going by on the distant track. After the train went by I looked over at the signals which had changed back to red over red and stopped recording. When I went to check my video and look a the quality of the video I seen it was still recording.....I had either didn't press the button hard enough or I was never recording at all till I had thought I had stopped the recording and actually started recording. Which is the latter. I didn't record the train at all! I was not impressed!

I figured the freight that had gone by was the 405(?) So we had gone back to the hotel and began to unwind from a long day. Our hotel room was on the side faceing the VIA station (We were staying at the Crowne Plaza) I heard the familier bell of a loco outside the window, I looked out and there went the 405(?) screaming past Moncton station. I wasn't too impressed again.

Other than that, that's been my weekend as far as trains go, so keep chaseing those trains and have fun!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Looking back now...

A few years ago I was looking around on line and I had found an article about a derailment on the Nipisiquit sub outside of Bathurst. I don't really remember much about the article except the driver got out without a scratch. On Friday I receved a reply to a comment I had left on another video on Youtube and in the related videos window there was a video with audio trascripts of the derailment that I had read about a few years earlyer.

I had read the unoffical transcripts and listened the whole twenty minute radio conversation between the CN dispatcher in Moncton and the crew member onboard the runaway train. After reading the transcripts I had this sudden feeling of sympathy for the crew, I never before realised how close railroad workers can be in terms of a brotherhood, I don't know why I never thought of it that way but I guess I just never really thought of it till I heard that conversation. This is the link to the audio file, you must have Real Audio to listen to it, and it is recomended to download the file to listen to it. I didn't download it but it worked just fine for me.
And here's the link for the transcripts.
And lastly here's the link to download the audio file.

It's actually a little chilling to hear the conversation, to hear the fear in the engineer's voice is really chilling. But it gave me a whole new respect for train crews who are faced with difficult decisions daily and faced with danger everyday while working in the field they love. The incident took place on March 9th 1987 I was only seven years old then come to think of it! Thankfully the engineer made it out of the crash alive with not even a scratch! On the site it says the events took place on March 9th 1997 however CN was long gone by then and obviously a typo, however it was 1987 and not 1997.

Near the begening of the conversation once the dispatcher is aware of the situation his first priority is to check the location of VIA 14 which after a minute or two was past the Wye and out of danger. You can almost feel the tension in the whole twenty minutes.
On saturday night I went to chase the Ocean 615 from Dalhousie Jct to Campbellton, and I was at the Jct for no less than ten minutes when I heard the detector sounding off, and I was at my spot in seconds to get ready for the Ocean. Strangely the Ocean didn't annouce they were at Dalhousie Jct. I shot two different videos, one at the Jct and the other at McClouds. The McClouds video is a lot better in terms of light, I think I'll post both videos anyhow but the latter is my choice. That's it for me for trains this past week/end have fun and keep chaseing those trains.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Been a little quiet....

Lately I haven't been out mostly due to the weather, it's really been pretty crappy lately as for the weather. I just don't have the motivation to chase any trains lately. However I still have pictures I haven't shared yet from the CN detour a week and a half ago. So here are some of them.
Here I am filming 121 going past Dalhousie Jct.

CN 121 arriving in Campbellton. There's a sight I haven't seen since my childhood! A CN train arriving in the Campbellton yard.

Again 121 approching the crossing at Dalhousie Jct.

121 in McClouds.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Chaleur washout

Wow! The weather is crazy eh? I guess Mother Nature is back on the crack pipe! Anyhow the Cascapedia sub is closed now at M.P. 40(?) there was a washout and VIA 616 had to back up all the way to Matapedia and wait for the Ocean to pass by which was later again! The Ocean left Campbellton around 1130ish and about an hour later the Chaleur had backed it's way into Campbellton. So now that's CN and NBEC on the Cascapedia sub that are washed out. Well I couldn't get a good clear shot of the Chaleur coming into Campbellton from my deck so no picture of that this time. Would have been a neat shot though.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


According to CN's "State of the Railway" site CN trains will be detoured on local short lines between Moncton NB and Joffery Que. Here is the link to the site.

CN does not at this time have a set date for the line to be reopened, some suggest two days.
Tonight I caught CN 121 arriving in Dalhousie Jct and arriving in Campbellton. Justin Babcock was at the Jct with me to take a few pictures. Roughly an hour later CN 305 had arrived. It appeared both 121 and 305 were too long for the Campbellton yard and had to push their way onto the Mont Jolie sub to make it all the way into the yard. I know 121 was about 9,000ft long so yeh I'm pretty sure that streched the limit for the Campbellton yard. The picture above is CN 121 going through McClouds this evening 03 Aug 08.
I'll post my videos tomorrow sometime as it is now 0255hrs and I'm pretty tired. Have fun and keep chasing those trains!

CN Detour!

Michel Boudreau reports on NBrails and Atlantic rails groups there has been a washout on the Pelletier sub and Justin Babcock has confirmed CN will be detouring on the Newcastle Sub! CN 121 had left Mirmachi at or around 1600hrs and is expected in Campbellton between 1900 - 2000hrs. I'm pretty pumped up about this, I can't wait to catch some CN action! If I understood the email properly CN 305 had left Pacific Jct at the same time and is expected in Campbellton between 2100hrs and 2200hrs. That's if I understood him properly. GET YOUR CAMERA'S READY!!!! Have fun and keep chaseing those trains!

Some good reading!

Yesterday I was searching the net for what ever I wasn't looking for anything in particular when I came across this site that I thought was really interesting.

This site has all the VIA locomotives from 1986 and on wards with lots of details and lots of great info on any particular locomotive you'd like to know about. Of course I looked up 6400 and well turns out my loco was built in 1986, and was the first VIA locomotive to have done any kind of advertiseing for VIA Rail. 6400 was formerly the "Pepsi train" that was durring the summer of 1990. From 1990 to 2007 it was the the standered Yellow and grey. Than in 2005 to 2006 she was rebuilt at CAD and given a unique overhaul. She is a one of a kind locomotive in VIA's fleet of F40PH-2's. 6400 is the only locomotive that is a class all on her own, she is the GPA 30 d. The only one of her kind, while the others are GPA 30 A,B and C.

I've read somewheres that 6400 is no longer a FP40H because of it's own class or something of the sort. Either way she's a beauity and that's that. I have an "almost" obsession with this particular locomotive I don't quite understand why though.

The picture above is by Marc Chouinard, he kindly gave me permission to use his photograph as the header of this entry. Thank You Marc! His site and his blog I presume is titled "My little Paradise" I highly suggest those of you who are interested in where VIA's locomotives have been and their current status to check it out. It's a very interesting site. I got to learn a bit more about "my" 6400 and VIA's other F40PH's.
Here is a direct link to where one can view the status of each unit.
Enjoy and well I hope this rain will FINALLY stop so that I may go out there and chase some trains soon! That's about it for me and trains this time around have fun and keep chaseing those trains!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Rain rain rain everywhere!

"I'm railfanning in the rain, Oh I'm railfanning in the rain!" YEh how corny of an opening is that eh? Well if anything it's the truth. Last night I went to chase the 615 in the rain it wasn't all that great I did get a somewhat "decent" video but for some reason or another I said out loud to my self, "Is that my 6400?" I reffering to the loco but it wasn't 6400 it was 6421 with the spiderman loco. I am debateing on weather to post it or not because well I don't like noise other than that of the train in my videos and my talking to my self isn't something I want posted. I chased it to Campbellton and in Campbellton got it arriving at the station which is a better picture than the one I filmed at McClouds. Better light and less of my talking. But just a little background here why I reffer to the 6400 as "My 6400" is because back in April when I was in Montreal for the railfan trip to CAD I sat in the drivers seat of this particular loco and well lived out a childhood dream among the other locomotives that were there at the time. So for no real particular reason I just call it "My 6400" Anyhow I did try to make an attempt at catching the 617 at Cross Point station however I guess there was no 617 lastnight. The police had even decided to stop by and see if everything was ok. Trying to explain to them that I was a "railroad photographer" wasn't easy considering they had big smiles on their faces and enjoyed a good laugh at my exspense. But oh well, they were kind enough to pull over on their return from where they were going in the first place to see if the train had gone by yet and to inform them when it did. Well I was tempted to call them anyhow once I got home and notify them the train had gone by just to get a good laugh at their exspense but naaaa the Listuguj Police Department is way too "busy" to be bothered with my hyjnics you know with the catching of underage drinkers and pulling over anyone with a New Brunswick license plate. That's a tough job! hahahaha!

So back to things that matter to me! On Thursday evening we were on our way to Dalhousie for fuel when suddenly my scanner picked up 403, "Dalhousie Jct one mile" Well that was my cue to get to the crossing which was "only" about 300 meters down the road. But we made it on time to get out of the car and hit record. I caught CFMG 403 crossing Blair Malcom Road at Dalhousie Jct. Wasn't a long train at all only a few loaded cars.

Well that was about it for me as for trains this week. Have fun and keep chaseing those trains!