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Canadian Railroads > Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB


Date: 06/23/22 14:27
Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB
Author: feclark

When I moved to Edmonton in the Fall of 1991, I didn't have time to explore for shooting. In the spring of 1992, I had time to go out on the Edson Sub, west of town, and it was unfamiliar to me. So I did what I always did, check the topo maps to see what looked good. Yikes, straight as a string, E-W, for miles. But one feature popped out at me - Mink Lake, just west of the town of Carvel. The tracks curved around the north shore of the lake, so it might generate a variety of useful sun angles through the day. My first trip was May 27, 1992, and I returned there often over the years. My second trip was a few weeks later, with TJ who would become my western train shooting partner.
I hadn't been out to shoot since October 2021, so we inaugurated the season with a return trip to Carvel on June 2, not exactly the 30th anniversary, but close enough. We had a marvelous sun-soaked day, high of 23 degrees, and 14 trains (15 photos to post) in 12 hours. The catch was, from the time of arrival at 0710, there was nothing moving. Track work between Wabamun and Gainford drew our interest, but we realized that it would be awkward to shoot. Chatter indicated that there were a couple of WB out of Walker, to meet an EB coming up to foreman's limits, so we booted back to Carvel just in time, as it turned out.
1. The 3-hour silence was broken by CN 3929 and 3942, ex-CREX, in charge of the 456 axles of stack train #105 at 1023. Speed was 43 mph, just west of the signals at 33.9.
2. Only 15 minutes later, oil train #767 split the same signals with 105 cars behind 5740 and 2693. This SW bend in the tracks provides something approaching flank light in the mid- to late-morning.
3. Next up was the EB whose communication with the foremen had alerted us to the imminent WB trains. This view across the field catches the train before it reaches the signals; once again a former CREX unit, 3927, with second unit 3853, and DPU 3239. This is train #112 at 1059, with 510 axles doing 27 mph when it passed through the detector at MP 35.4, but barely crawling by this point. It came to a full stop, which baffled us because there is no longer an east switch Carvel for the end of double track. The train resumed and the DPU cleared at 1127. A mysterious delay to us, with no indication on the scanner as to what the issue was.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/22 16:26 by feclark.








Date: 06/23/22 14:34
Re: Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB
Author: feclark

4. The morning parade continued with the next WB, #119 at 1136. By this point the sun was swinging around onto one facet of the nose. GMs 8918 and 8845 were leading 532 axles at 36 mph, temperature a lovely 20 degrees. We were still lucky as to the leading power not being the latest generation of GEs in CN paint.
5. The rolling pipeline came through next, oil empties #744 at 1239, behind 3177 and a DPU (next photo). The pace was good, 46 mph, and the train long, 165 cars (including buffers).
6. Normally I'd pass on the DPU, but it was 8102, one of the quartet of former demos.








Date: 06/23/22 14:46
Re: Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB
Author: feclark

7. Potash entered the mix at 1253, in the form of #759 behind 3222 and 3055, and assisted by DPU 3114. We never caught the detector's readout, but chatter said this train was 9,060' long. Our clearest sense of things was that we had a gap to work with, so we decided to change locations, still in the Carvel area.
8. I was shown this location by John Rushton at the end of a long day back in 2019, before the pandemic. The double-tracking had cut into these deep hills, and it looked like a good afternoon location. This is immediately east of Range Road 21, with the grade crossing box marked as MP 31.11. This was identified as train #889, WB grain behind 3045, and for sure the cut ahead of DPU 3033 was grain. After that was a mixed bag, with auto racks on the tail, for a total of 588 axles (144 cars depending on the number of articulated auto racks). It was crawling as it passed us, but the detector suggested it was moving at 40 mph by the time the train cleared it. We were somewhat skeptical.
9. Next in view was stack train #196, behind 3054 at 1433. The signals indicated we had another WB coming, and we crossed fingers that this slow moving stack train (it had come through the detector at 53 mph!) wouldn't stab us. It didn't.
 








Date: 06/23/22 14:54
Re: Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB
Author: feclark

10. With due consideration, #117 let #196 clear before it pulled past at 1441 behind 2285 and 2600, with 420 axles of stack train. I didn't record the speed at the detector, because it clearly had nothing to do with the speed here.
11. The sun angle was getting pretty sketchy as the afternoon wore on, and at 1621 we got buzzed by EB work train #901, 15 BCOL brown ballast hoppers behind 2291. The speed at the detector was over 50 mph; they were in a hurry to get home. It was long day, to not even completely empty this short ballast train. We were mosquito-free thanks to a fleet of dragonflies working off the bluff; you can see one in the air above the second-last car.
12. Our last train at this location was WB #309 at 1636; the sun was getting too nosy for our tastes. GM power 8863 and 5616 led 16 grain cars and 99 SULX gondolas.








Date: 06/23/22 15:09
Re: Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB
Author: feclark

13. We relocated back west of Carvel, accessing the tracks at Range Road 24, and in this case just west of signal 34.6. We knew this was coming, from clearances issued for MP 52-50, roughly, but it was slow. There used to be better locations a bit east of here, north side of the tracks, for late afternoon EB, but those are treed in now. Former CREX unit, now CN 3925, led the lengthy consist of #416, assisted by DPU 3038 at 1737. The 182 cars, dominated by tanks, covered hoppers, and lumber, passed doing 30 mph.
14. This gets to the tricky part of the day. The light is outstanding, but you want to make it somewhere for supper at a reasonable time. We had indications that #119 was on its way, so we held out at Range Road 24. An hour later, at 1834, 3237 and 3255 pulled 11,862' of stack train, 536 axles, doing 35 mph in 23 degree late afternoon heat. Well, that was that, so we packed up and got on Highway 770 to return to the Yellowhead.
15. Not so fast; as we overpassed the tracks at Carvel, we saw headlights coming from the east. TJ threw out the anchor and we got turned in to the town of Carvel. There's a pathway through the trees to trackside, and we managed to beat an 800-series (never caught it on the scanner) train to the location. Leader 3908 and DPU 3161 bracketed a cut of grain cars, then mixed freight followed, at 1854.
There are many nice ways to spend a sunny summer's day, but I don't know of many that would beat this. Thanks for looking. In case you had been wondering, he's not dead, he's just restin'. That was a long time between shoots. Then I got nailed by a bad cold and burst eardrum within a few days of the shoot. Well, this stuff isn't time-sensitive material.
Fred
 








Date: 06/24/22 10:55
Re: Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB
Author: 206GrandePrairie

Superb, Great shots, Whenever I'm up Edmonton way I love to get out on the Edson sub and shoot around Lake Wabamun and west.
Topo maps very helpful and worth the effort to scout locations.



Date: 06/24/22 16:25
Re: Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB
Author: feclark

206GrandePrairie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Superb, Great shots, Whenever I'm up Edmonton way
> I love to get out on the Edson sub and shoot
> around Lake Wabamun and west.
> Topo maps very helpful and worth the effort to
> scout locations.

I have explored the area west of Wabamun more often in the last 3-4 years, and there are many good spots. However, the construction of double-track means there are some areas where you'd now be in the thick of the activity, which I always try to avoid. I hate being under surveillance. So there will be changes and disruptions for a while, still.
Fred



Date: 06/24/22 18:21
Re: Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB
Author: NiagaraMike

Nice series Fred!



Date: 06/24/22 18:21
Re: Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB
Author: NiagaraMike

Nice series thanks Fred!



Date: 06/26/22 16:36
Re: Thirtieth Anniversary Shoot at Carvel, AB
Author: ns1000

Nice shots!!



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