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Canadian Railroads > A Farce in Three Acts - Act 2, CP's Tech Train at Blackfalds

Date: 09/12/20 22:11
A Farce in Three Acts - Act 2, CP's Tech Train at Blackfalds
Author: feclark

After a pretty satisfying chase of the wayfreight to Prentiss, ended at 0937, we hustled back to Blackfalds to see what CP would run with two trains out of the way. Act 2, 4 photos. Crickets. Eventually we caught the conversation between the RTC and the Tech Train, headed our way SB. We had set up at the grade crossing with Range Road 273, MP 10.5 on the Leduc Sub. It developed that a foreman had the track around Labuma, and they could only bring the track evaluation train up to mile 10, just past us. What we didn't know was exactly where if was going to stop.
1. Fortunately, the southbound movement crawled past us, pulling up at the signal at MP 10.4. The consist was GP20C-ECO 2227, tool car 424994, accommodation car 65, and track evaluation car 64, and the time was 1110, 1 1/2 hours after our last train.
2. In case it's new to you, here's a view of the track evaluation car, with an affirmation that CP is "committed". To something. Anyway, Precision Scheduled Railroading was about to take a hit. The crew was in conversation with the RTC, who told them the track block was held by the foreman until 1400. The Tech Train told the RTC their hours were up at 1600. Well, you should be okay, you'll have the track at 1400. The crew's cynical response? "Well, we know how that goes." How prescient; by the end of this, the crew would wish someone was committed.
3. We took advantage of the imposed lull to drive in to Red Deer, to see what was up. It appeared they were replacing south siding switch Labuma, ballast cars and trucks and all sorts of track maintenance equipment. Okay, drive back to Blackfalds, because the crew had tried to sweet-talk the RTC into bringing them closer to the work. If I hadn't told you the story, I could present this as a neat shot of the Tech Train across the field, but this is a still life. We hung around, because there was a potential shot at a bridge nearby, and then there was an 8569 (or similar number) that was going to go north once the Tech Train was cleared. Okay, this should be worth hanging around.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/20 09:46 by feclark.

Date: 09/12/20 22:21
Re: A Farce in Three Acts - Act 2, PSR at Blackfalds
Author: feclark

4. We ate our lunches, and listened. Around 1310, the RTC talked to the foreman, who assured the RTC the track should be available at 1400, as predicted. Then at 1350, "... derailed a ballast hopper." Oh. That's not good. We felt like pulling out at that point, but then there was the northbound to come, as well. However, in the back and forth between that train and the RTC, it developed this was a special light move, single unit, headed north to Edmonton, where it would swap off with a unit on #201 at Gainer (Edmonton), for that train to come south. This meant that once the Tech Train came, we could look forward to a single locomotive pulling past us, then wait hours for the SB to eventually appear. In addition, we found out the 2268 had returned to Lacombe, and given what was unfolding, tied up on the siding; the RTC arranged transportation for the crew. We were on the point of driving away, to head over to CN's Camrose Sub, when we had to hustle back to the grade crossing of Range Road 272B at MP 9.25, in range of the bridge over the Red Deer River. At long last, the foreman having cleared, the SB Tech Train came through at 1449, 3 hours and 39 minutes after it appeared. The light would have been gorgeous three hours ealier; just sayin'. We kicked ourselves for not cutting and running after it first showed up. Act 2, the real farce in the show, was complete. I hope to get Act 3 posted tomorrow.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/20 10:22 by feclark.

Date: 09/13/20 14:00
Re: A Farce in Three Acts - Act 2, PSR at Blackfalds
Author: refarkas

That track evaluation train really looks interesting. Great catch.

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