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Canadian Railroads > Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashcroft


Date: 01/12/19 10:37
Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashcroft
Author: feclark

Back on December 26 I posted up the first part of the day, east side of Black Canyon, at https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?15,4696389. This is the balance of the day, in 12 photos. Last post, we'd pulled out of the east side, as a CP WB grain train was working its way toward Black Canyon at 1225.
1. It never fails; with the time it took to work our way back into Ashcroft, then out the west side onto the highway, then in on the appropriate ranch (contact made and permission obtained in advance of our trip) to the vantage point, CN Q116 had made its way across the trestle and through the tunnel, and was past us, snaking its way toward Ashcroft at 1256. At least you can tie this photo to the last one of the earlier post, and start to work out the arrangement of the area if you're unfamiliar with it. Power was a pair of 2400s, likely 2402 and 2413, shot on Q143 the previous day headed to Vancouver), a CITX SD60 [?], and some random GE; temperature was up to 27 degrees, 508 total axles, 28 mph; lens set at 120 mm.
2. Next in view was CP #895,WB coal, at 1316 behind 8745 plus one on the head-end, a DPU, and DPU pusher. Lens is set at 90 mm.
3. With the lens pulled back to 20 mm, you get a real appreciation for the arrangement here; CP passes through a tunnel just before the east switch at Black Canyon, on the east side of the Thompson River. CN passes through a tunnel, then immediately across a trestle from west to east side of the river, headed for the siding at Basque, where CN and CP connect. You can see in this shot that the clouds had started building in and it was getting dodgy. We got very lucky to shoot five trains not stabbed completely by cloud - note the shadow on the east side of the tunnel.








Date: 01/12/19 10:44
Re: Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashc
Author: feclark

4. The back-and-forth continued, with CN's Q108 arriving at 1348 behind 2820 and 2916. I can't remember why this detail surfaced in the radio chatter, but this train was 12,065' long, 544 axles, and doing 31 mph in 29 degree air. Getting very hot, and the wind howling as it does at this vantage point. I love the sage and the big spit (one of two) constructed to protect the outside of the meander on the Thompson River.
5. The going-away shot was irresistible, due to the bright blue containers, and of course, the landscape. Image rotation to follow.
6. CP was next at 1411 with a stack train behind 8897, 2 in-train DPU, and a DPU pusher, about to dive into its tunnel; you'll see how much rock has been lost to erosion around the tunnel entrance.








Date: 01/12/19 10:53
Re: Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashc
Author: feclark

7. This was our last train in the sun; Q119 at 1422. Rats. At least we got one CN WB coming off the trestle, behind 5751 rather than a GE. There were several empty platforms/wells, only 226 total axles, speed 33 mph, and temperature up to 33 degrees. Geez, it was hot, but that was about it for the Canyon this day, just 1.5 hours in sunlight on the west side; quite disappointing after the way the day had started. Par for this trip.
8. Having no better place to be, we hung in at this location until #416 arrived behind 2186 and 5706 at 1547, a mixed bag with lots of grain and potash. I liked the sage on the near side, and you get some sense of how precarious this location is, especially with the next shot.
9. Why are we here? The light is gone, the wind is whipping us silly, but it's still a great place to watch trains. Nevertheless, that was enough for us; my buddy's tripod with video cam blew forward, face-down, even though he had it weighted down with a loaded back pack.
 








Date: 01/12/19 11:03
Re: Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashc
Author: feclark

10. Back in Ashcroft, as happened so many times on this trip, when we got to this location, a CP coal train's headlights would greet us in the distance, and we set up with the van on the left. This is the best one I got on this trip; EB at 1634, behind 8909, 8503, and DPU 9374 in charge of the empties. The trailer on the left is parked outside the building used for transloading copper from the Highland Valley mine; the business has shifted over to CN.
11. Another common occurrence, a meet at the grade crossing. Not the greatest photographically, but always fun to stand trackside and feel the ground shake. This is stack train #199, behind 8756 and 9617, plus DPU 9646, at 1638.
12. Another grey day, shortened by cloud and discouragement, ended photographically east of Ashcroft, where we have driven onto a patch of ground between CP and CN. This is WB potash at 1822, behind 8884 and 8623, with DPU pusher 8540. The axle count is 698, so we have 170 cars, temperature still 29 degrees in spite of the total cloud cover. If you know this area at all, you'll be struck by how green it is (I almost said "lush", which it is for this area, but feared the scorn of Vancouver Islanders); there'd been an unusual amount of rain, and things had responded. The day's total was 20 trains photographed, and another 3 seen, and once more, the crappy weather had lopped what would normally be a couple more hours of shooting off the day. At least we were eating supper at more regular hours. Thanks for hanging in.
Fred



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/19 23:09 by feclark.








Date: 01/12/19 11:28
Re: Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashc
Author: TCnR

It would be interesting to know how deep the water is under the bridge. That's one heck of a location.



Date: 01/12/19 16:29
Re: Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashc
Author: eminence_grise

I note at the deepest part of the canyon, between the bridge on one railway and a tunnel on the other there is what appears to be trestlework or perhaps even a truss bridge not on the alignment of either railway.

I recall older pictures of the CPR in the Black Canyon just after the 1900's, with a grade change taking place through the canyon, one of many upgrades to the original 1885 line built by Andrew Onderdonk (of Central Pacific fame). I recall the original CP line involved trestlework at this location.

Also, the Canadian Northern experienced all sorts of construction problems along the Thompson, including a collapsing tunnel east of Ashcroft which delayed completion while a new grade was constructed. 



Date: 01/12/19 22:55
Re: Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashc
Author: feclark

eminence_grise Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I note at the deepest part of the canyon, between
> the bridge on one railway and a tunnel on the
> other there is what appears to be trestlework or
> perhaps even a truss bridge not on the alignment
> of either railway.
>
> I recall older pictures of the CPR in the Black
> Canyon just after the 1900's, with a grade change
> taking place through the canyon, one of many
> upgrades to the original 1885 line built by Andrew
> Onderdonk (of Central Pacific fame). I recall the
> original CP line involved trestlework at this
> location.
>
> Also, the Canadian Northern experienced all sorts
> of construction problems along the Thompson,
> including a collapsing tunnel east of Ashcroft
> which delayed completion while a new grade was
> constructed. 

Thanks for this note; that little fragment of trestle work was fascinating, but of course, we couldn't get a view of it to see how it related to the other end of the tunnel. I suppose when the cloud came in we could have hiked around the rim to have a look; there would have been no sun angles to worry about, and we could have gotten some new shots. Gotta get back here some year, but it's going to be a while before we invest that much driving into a weather crap-shoot.
Fred



Date: 01/13/19 21:42
Re: Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashc
Author: tomstp

Do you have any idea how deep the river is there?  Just curious.



Date: 01/14/19 08:47
Re: Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashc
Author: feclark

tomstp Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Do you have any idea how deep the river is there?
>  Just curious.

Sorry, no idea. When we were on the spit in an earlier year, we did not throw any boulders off to try to gauge it.
Fred



Date: 01/17/19 12:28
Re: Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 Part 2 Black Canyon West Side and Ashc
Author: ns1000

Thanks for the pics...



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