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Canadian Railroads > A Farce in Three Acts - Act 1, CP Lacombe to Prentiss


Date: 09/12/20 19:40
A Farce in Three Acts - Act 1, CP Lacombe to Prentiss
Author: feclark

Thursday September 10, I went with a couple of buddies toward Red Deer, to shoot on CP's Leduc Sub, and perhaps a branchline turn out of Red Deer if we got lucky. I call this a farce in three acts, because it was as bizarre a day of railfanning as I can remember, with a photographic output that was very satisfying, in spite of all that happened. Hence the farce, with three acts that represent the bursts of useful activity. Act 1 takes 9 photos to tell the story. We made the Leduc Sub at Leduc by about 0720, and followed the 2A southbound without a trace of a train. As we neared Lacombe, we heard the RTC confirming CP 2268 was clear of the south siding switch Lacombe. We figured we might be in trouble, in that this would likely be a turn out of Red Deer heading out the Brechter Sub to switch the Dow plant at Prentiss. We weren't at Lacombe yet, but when we got to the intersection with Highway 12 (E-W), a quartet of GP20C-ECOs was pulling a cut of cars across Highway 12, onto the Brechter Sub. Fortunately they cleared, we got the turn arrow, and got onto the sunlit side of the train. We though we might be on the chase immediately, but the cut stopped moving, and pushed back south.
1. At 0846, the move came past our location on the edge of a gas station parking lot; 2268, 2275, 2236, and 2221 were shoving a cut of grain hoppers, plus gondolas loaded with fresh ties (from the Koppers/ex-Tolko plant at Ashcroft? the blue DME cars looked familiar), onto a back track.
2. We weren't sure what was up, until they started splitting the power, another cut of cars remaining on the siding. What they had done is brought a combined set of wayfreights up from Red Deer, with 2236 and 2221, plus these cars, bookended by the pair of units, plus their consist, that was going to head out the Brechter Sub. It seemed an odd thing to do, but subsequent events (a mess in Red Deer at Labuma) suggested this might have been a way to get two trains though a foreman's limits with one set of orders. The 2236 eventually got clearance to south siding switch Wetaskiwin, I think it was, but we were long gone.
3. Our departure was in pursuit of 2268 and its train, headed out of Lacombe onto the Brechter Sub at 0858, with 6 covered hoppers and 1 tank car. The 2236/2221 pairing was set for its departure, whenever. Train in hand? Let the chase begin.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/20 09:45 by feclark.








Date: 09/12/20 19:51
Re: A Farce in Three Acts - Act 1, Lacombe to Prentiss
Author: feclark

4. The Brechter Sub heads more or less east, but has an excursion NE which we were able to reach before the slow-moving freight got there. This is at the crossing with Range Road 263, north of Highway 12, at 0905, 2268 leading 2275.
5. We ran into a problem, because we weren't sure this move was headed to Dow's plant at Prentiss, or if it would be continuing east on the Lacombe Sub. The junction, June, is in the boonies, so we had no way of seeing. We left a nice location near the former Viterra, now Richardson terminal just south of Highway 12, in time to see the train glide by. Oops. So we carried on down Range Road 261 to this point, where the Brechter Sub is about to take a turn east, from its north-south orientation. This long shot across the field is with the lens set at 66 mm, time 0916.
6. Having made the turn east, the train is about to cross the range road, lens set at 56 mm. Many cross-country chases involve following the N-S and E-W grid of range and township roads, while the tracks cut cross-country. In this setting, the Brechter Sub is set also up on a grid, with a number of right-angle turns. So you keep working south, then catch a township road east, then track south again, and so on.








Date: 09/12/20 20:02
Re: A Farce in Three Acts - Act 1, Lacombe to Prentiss
Author: feclark

7. Having reached Township Road 402, we headed east, beyond Range Road 260, to the crossing of the Brechter Sub. In due course, at 0922, our quarry arrived; lens set at 56 mm.
8. We wrong-footed ourselves, reacting too slowly to the appearance of Range Road 255. We carried on to Range Road 254, went south, doubled back along Township Road 400, and felt sick as we saw the photo opportunity we had missed by less than a minute. I guess another trip and chase is in order. South along Range Road 255, we soon caught and passed the ambling freight, and took this photo at 0932.
9. Carrying on to the south, the end of the chase occurred where the Brechter Sub executes a turn to the west, where it will eventually square the loop and enter the plant from the south. So this is the farewell shot, at 0937. We then returned along Township Road 400, which got us back to Highway 2A and our run south to Blackfalds for Act 2. For sure, Act 1 was a success, six locations in full sunlight, but with a couple of missed opportunities from our seat-of-the-pants chase. We had no idea what was to follow. Later tonight I'll try to post Act 2. Thanks for following; there will be an intermission.
Fred
 








Date: 09/14/20 16:30
Re: A Farce in Three Acts - Act 1, Lacombe to Prentiss
Author: ns1000

Nice pics!!



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