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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Matt & Dave's Northern Adventure - Part 2

Well, once 121 passed, we knew that we had some time on our hands. We drove around the area and checked out some of the railway items in the area. We took a few more shots of the Salmon River Trestle.

We decided to head back west through Grand Falls, and head over to St Leonard, NB. We took highway 144, which follows the TCH. After passing through St Leonard, we came up to a set of tracks. All of the sudden, on our right, a train was coming out of the woods. It was the MMA train picking up cars from the sawmill in the area.

We took a side road, CNR road, I think it was called, which lead us down to the mainline tracks, where a siding was located. We were able to catch the train switching tracks, then enter back onto their own track to take them back across the border into the United States.

This was definately a nice surprise, as we weren't really expecting to see anything else, other than CN on our adventure today.

We went back to the Ennishore siding for a little bit to check out the track. We decided that we would walk the siding to help kill some time. On our way back to the car, we heard on the scanner that 305 was in Plaster Rock, and 308 was going to take the siding in St Leonard until 305 passed. We knew that we wanted a shot on the trestle, and we knew we had about 30 minutes to get there.

We went over to the Salmon River Trestle with plenty of time to spare. We set up shot, and waited. About 20 minutes after we arrived, we heard 305 call the signal before the bridge, and at around 1:05pm, CN 305 began it's trek across the bridge.

Now, we had to come up with a plan for CN 308.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Matt & Dave's Northern Adventure - Part 1

Well, on Monday, July 20, myself and Dave (nbsrfan) decided to make a trip up to Grand Falls for the day to do some railfanning. We left Saint John at around 4am, and arrived in Grand Falls by 7. After a 20 minute refuelling at McDonalds, we hit the road again and ventured towards the Salmon River Trestle.

We decided to venture towards the Foley Brook Trestle first, then venture back towards Grand Falls.

(Here's a picture of the Foley Brook trestle, facing southeast.)

Just as we were arriving at the crossing, we could see CN 121's intermodal cars heading through...Drats! CN 121, most times, shouldn't be up in this area until at least was shocking to find it up here 2 hours early. But nontheless, we had to decide on a plan, which was to drive back towards Grand Falls to try to catch it. The train gods were on our side. Due to the fact that the train had to slow down to cross the Salmon River Trestle, we were able to beat it to the Violette Station road crossing, with 5 minutes to spare. The crossing is also where the west end of the Ennishore siding is located.

At around 7:50am, CN 121 crept through with a nice new 8872 at the head end, followed by 3 more units and 150 cars. Once the tail end was off the bridge, they began to pick up speed.

You could hear the engines pounding and the horn blowing for the next 20 minutes as they made their way west towards Edmunston. A good way to start the day. Took us by suprise, but still a nice way. It was 8am, and the day was just beginning.

Part 2 later.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Early Morning In Chipman

On Wednesday, I decided to make a trip up to Chipman early in the morning to see if I could catch any trains. I drove by Chipman, and arrived in Hardwood Ridge around 4:45am. I noticed a green over red signal, which meant that CN 121 was due to arrive shortly. At around 5am, CN 121 came barreling through with 2560 as it's leader hauling 174 cars.

I waited around there for another 45 minutes. After a quick trip into Minto to Tim Hortons, I decided that the best plan would be to head in to Moncton, as it was only about an hour away and it would probably be another 4 hours before a train passed through. I arrived in Moncton at around 7am. I saw 305's and 406's power sitting at the shops. Once 305 came on duty and hooked on to their train, I ventured over to Berry Mills. Nothing was being said on the scanner, which was kind of weird. My scanner was acting up for some it couldn't even pick up the hotbox detector at Odlum (about 1.5 miles away). Fortunately, I could hear the engines rumbling undearneath the highway, so I knew it was coming. At around 8:45am, CN 305 came by with IC 2720 leading and a whopping 163 cars in tow.

My next, and final plan, was to chase CN 406 back to Saint John. At around 10am, it departed Gordon Yard. I first caught it at Scott Road, located west of Salisbury, NB. CN 2232 was the leader, hauling a small 39 cars.

I didn't do too much video'ing of the train, I snapped a few photos of it instead (which are still on my camera). I decided for the final shot that I would catch it going over the Hammonds River Bridge, located outside Hampton, New Brunswick.

Not a bad trip, and I was even home by lunch time!