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Canadian Railroads > I Drove 1000 km For This?

Date: 11/30/22 14:13
I Drove 1000 km For This?
Author: cn6218

My usual fall rail fanning trip to New England didn't happen this year (and didn't happen for the previous two years because the border wasn't open), so as a consolation prize I decided to try and go after the CP Holiday Train later in the Fall.  The Holiday Train would be in Maine on November 23rd (should be an upcoming post about that on the Eastern Board), and then in the Eastern Townships of Quebec on the 24th.  For various reasons I had to be back in Halifax on the 24th, so plans changed again, with the hope that we could at least catch the deadhead move from Montreal to Jackman, ME on the 22nd.  A friend and I traveled from Fredericton (the "Capital City of New Brunswick" my friend informed the CBSA agent in Quebec when she asked, "Where is Fredericton?") across Maine to Lac Megantic on Monday, and then struck out early on Tuesday morning hoping to intercept train 120 or the Holiday train.

The rails at all the crossings had a dusting of snow on them, so we were pretty sure nothing had gone east yet, and we were almost at Lennoxville before we settled down at a crossing and proceeded to wait for an eastbound train.  Eventually we heard something get a clearance on the radio, although it was in French, and about all I understood was that the number ninety-nine was involved.  About 20 minutes after 10 we started hearing an SBU on the radio and then normally aspirated GM engines before the Lac Megantic local (F22, I think) came into view, working hard up the grade near Ascot.

It doesn't get much uglier than two long hood forward GP38-2s, so in the hopes that the Holiday train was somewhere behind them, we only chased to Johnville for one more shot.  At least the snow was clean.

Eventually we figured out that they would be meeting 121 somewhere, likely Gould.  With no other information in hand, in seemed like a good idea to set up for the impending westbound, and about 3 hours later, we caught 121 at Cookshire.  At least the leader was pretty clean for an AC4400CW, and the BNSF unit was a bonus, but I could do without the wire shadows on the nose of 8607.


Date: 12/01/22 18:25
Re: I Drove 1000 km For This?
Author: JGFuller

GP38s pointed in either direction are endangered species today. You were lucky!

Date: 12/02/22 07:04
Re: I Drove 1000 km For This?
Author: toledopatch

I had never before noticed a vertically aligned headlight on the long hood of a CP GP38-2.

Date: 12/02/22 11:05
Re: I Drove 1000 km For This?
Author: cn6218

toledopatch Wrote:
> I had never before noticed a vertically aligned
> headlight on the long hood of a CP GP38-2.

Those are the Canadian (GMD-built) ones.  I think EMD went to the horizontal headlights with the GP35, but GMD stuck with the vertical ones until 1988 (?).  Many of the diesels intended for mainline freight duty (SD50F, SD60F, probably others) only had a single lamp on the rear end, further confusing things.


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