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Canadian Railroads > A Sunny Saturday in Nova Scotia

Date: 01/08/17 17:10
A Sunny Saturday in Nova Scotia
Author: cn6218

This winter hasn't been all that great for photography yet, or at least not on the days I didn't have to work.  I did get most of a day in yesterday though, before we had a blizzard last night.  The day started off quite well, with the promise of not one, but two 120s expected into Halifax sometime during the day.  I was out early enough (before sunrise) to hear 407 get their clearance for the Dartmouth Sub, and get a report of 120's location, Dorchester, NB.  That was enough time to get to Folly Lake for the first shot of them, and I even was able to include 407 on the way.  They're shown in the first image near Stewiacke.  The two trailing units had spent the previous week working the gypsum train and would be going to Moncton for their weekly service, as well as helping with any overflow tonnage that had accumulated during the week.

​I did make it to Folly Lake ahead of 120, but the second image here is the train at East Mines Sta., about 10 miles farther east.  We had a lot of rain over the holidays, so this normally snowy area only had a slight dusting from the night before, and the blueberry fields are quite visible in the background.

​The CN mainline takes quite a large loop through downtown Truro, with slow speeds due to the short crossing circuits, so I was able to get ahead to Brookfield, about 6 miles down the Bedford Sub, for one last sequence before I let 120 go.  This train had 3 units up front and only 262 axles (so said the detector).  According to KG, part of the train was delayed by a derailment in Toronto, and this part was able to get out of Montreal by 11:00 Friday.  I was surprised to see see quite a few Tropical containers on the train.  These are quite common on the Saint John train (406), but not in Halifax.


Date: 01/08/17 17:21
Re: A Sunny Saturday in Nova Scotia
Author: kgmontreal

Neat stuff.  The blueberry fields look more like cranberry bogs.  Very cool.


Date: 01/08/17 17:22
Re: A Sunny Saturday in Nova Scotia
Author: cn6218

As 120 was passing me at Brookfield, 407 which had been picking up CBNS and Truro traffic in the yard there, was ready to depart.  With clearer skies to the north, I headed that way too, figuring I would intercept the train at Springhill Jct.  Even with all that power and a bit of a head start, I was able to get their ahead of them quite handily for some pictures and video from the new bridge at the junction.  The next and final stop was the Tantramar Marsh, just west of the town of Amherst.  The part of 407 that is visible is just the Truro pickup, and is mostly loaded paper boxcars and other wood products from Port Hawkesbury.  There was even one centrebeam car loaded with wallboard from Cabot Gypsum.  With no active gypsum mines in Cape Breton, I'm not sure where they are getting the raw material now.  I don't think it comes up from the big Milford mine.  And although I'm not a fan of graffiti on railcars, this one certainly caught my eye.  Apparently some people just have too much time on their hands.

​The video is a compilation of 120 at Folly Lake and 407 at Springhill Jct.

​After Amherst I headed for home.  The second 120 was quite late, arriving in Halifax well after dark.  I heard they had to wait over an hour at Alton (50 miles west of Halifax) to meet 121 last night.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/17 19:06 by cn6218.

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Date: 01/09/17 15:51
Re: A Sunny Saturday in Nova Scotia
Author: andrewcastle

Good pictures as usual Geoff.

Apparently the Port of Saint John lost the Tropical contract to Halifax, the change over date was about week ago so the Tropical containers continue down to Halifax on 120 now instead of getting switched out at Moncton and going to Saint John on 406.

Also Cabot Gypsum does indeed get their rock from Milford, they have a couple tractor trailers hauling it out. I was reading recently they would like to get their rock out of Little Narrows or one of the other pits closer to their wallboard plant but so far no luck.

Andrew C

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