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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Power On 406 On Saturday

I was in Moncton for a portion of the day on Saturday. After getting a few shots in the area, I decided to follow 406 west from Moncton down to Saint John, as a brand new SD70M-2, CN 8941 would be leading the train, along with 3 other units.

I had informed Dave D about the train. He drove up to Sussex from Saint John, and I drove down from Moncton, and we waited for the train. At around 16:30AST, CN 406 westbound came through with 4 units, and 143 cars. This was one of the longest 406's that I've seen in over 2 years. Ever since it was decided to run a seperate potash train, the trains have been relatively smaller.

They were going so slow due to the fact that the second unit (4708) had run out of fuel, and they needed all the units running, due to the fact that they were over 10,000 tons on this train. They met a fuel truck at the next crossing a few miles up. Due to the complications, they couldn't fuel the unit, and a short time later, they continued on towards Saint John with only 3 units working.

A little over an hour later, at 17:55AST, CN 406 heads west through Hampton, NB, going a tad faster than they were in the first shot.

After that, the trip went downhill. I don't have all the facts, but from what I understood, the train could not make the big hill up into Quispamsis/Rothesay, mile 71-75. The reason why they needed that unit fueled up was to meet their HP/Ton ratio, and to get that train up that hill without quitting. They ended up having to break the train in to two pieces, and bring each piece separately in to Saint John. After the first trip, the crew had to book rest, and a new crew took over and finished the trip.

It was definitely a long day for the crew.


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