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Canadian Railroads > A Little Road Trip

Date: 01/13/23 07:10
A Little Road Trip
Author: cn6218

January 11 dawned cold and clear in Halifax, a perfect day for winter rail fanning, in my opinion.  Z120 had been arriving around noon lately,so my plan was to try and shoot them in Truro or the Folly Lake area a couple hours before that.

But the first train that presented itself was 511, the empty gypsum train, cancelling their Dartmouth Sub clearance at Windsor Jct., just as I was getting on the road.  They were a bit ahead of me, but I was pretty sure I could get to mile 29 in Enfield before they did, and that was the first shot of the day, at 08:46.

Then it was back to the highway, heading north towards Truro.  About 5 miles before Truro, I heard some garbled radio transmissions, and then an SBU, quite clearly.  Looking over to my right, there was Z120, heading for Halifax at about 50 mph.  Trying to pursue them would just be a waste of gas, so I continued on to Truro, where I could hear 515, the local, doing a brake test and getting a tack warrant to enter the main line.  Their plan was to go to Alton, run around the train, and then switch Brookfield.  While there was no snow in Halifax, there were a few centimetres of fresh stuff on the ground and clinging to the trees farther north, so I found a spot at Hyde (mile 61, Bedford Sub) and waited.

The wait turned out to be longer than I expected.  515's crew didn't mention it to the RTC, but they had a customer to switch on the main line before they went to Alton.  At east the light was getting better while I waited, and at 11:02 Dash-9 2637 appeared over the crest of the hill with 5 cars, and going fast enough to create a snowstorm behind them.

515 was in a bit of a hurry because L507 had already left Windsor Jct. and was headed for Truro by now.  I decided 515 would not be very photogenic with a long hood forward GE coming straight out of the sun, so I continued on to Truro, hoping to see the CBNS arrive.  Apparently the CBNS was running that day (they are only 4 or 5 days a week into Truro), but not before L507 got there, just after noon.  507 was mostly autoracks with a few junk cars on the tail end.  There were a couple of these articulated autoracks in the train, NOKL 798357 and 798367.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/23 07:29 by cn6218.

Date: 01/13/23 07:28
Re: A Little Road Trip
Author: cn6218

The usual routine in Truro is to back 507 into an empty track, and then the power picks up the CBNS cars and puts them on the front, Then they do a brake test and leave town.  If there is a carman available to assist with the brake test, things can go pretty quickly.  I was pleased to see that the train had a pair of GMDs for power, 8803 and 5798, and sent a message to John Reay that it might be worth while going out this day.

What I wasn't counting on was that a signal crew had been working recently between Belmont (mile 6, Springhill Sub) and Folly Lake (mile 25), and today they were cutting over to the new signals.  This meant that trains needed a rule 564 from the RTC to pass the dark signals, but could only proceed at restricted speed.  Almost 20 miles of 15 mph was going to add about an hour to their transit time.  Fortunately, the sun held out, and I was able to shoot several more locations than I could have otherwise.  In addition to the trestle shot I posted the other day, I also got them at Londonderry and at a previously hidden high fill just before Londonderry, at 14:01.  Hurricane Fiona a couple months ago knocked down many trees in this area, some of which opened up this view.  The track curves around to the background of this picture as it climbs Folly Mt., and the fill is visible from up there, but I had never seen this view before.

My original plan had been to shoot 507 at Springhill Jct., and then double back to Oxford Jct. for the passenger train.  But with everything losing an hour, I stayed at Oxford for the freight (not shown) at 15:02, and then doubled back to Folly Lake for the Ocean.  Fortunately it's very easy to find out where VIA is with the Transitdocs ap on my phone, and I had about a 10 minute wait before they appeared, crossing a small cove of the lake as the lengthening shadows crept towards the track at 15:47.

The signal project was brought about by Hurricane Fiona.  I talked with a maintainer at Londonderry briefly, and he said they still didn't have utility power at some locations and were running on generators.  The searchlights at both ends of Folly Lake have been replaced with LED lights, and it appears that Londonderry is gone as a control point.  Some of the intermediates are gone as well.  I don't know what they did at Belmont yet, but will have a look in the next few weeks.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/23 18:01 by cn6218.

Date: 01/13/23 08:15
Re: A Little Road Trip
Author: newtonville150

Very nice, as usual.
I've got to get further afield this year. That's my new year's resolution.
Folly Lake, Minas Trestle, Nappan, Sackville, Evans and Dorchester are on my bucket list.


Date: 01/13/23 09:00
Re: A Little Road Trip
Author: refarkas

Super scenes!

Date: 01/13/23 14:20
Re: A Little Road Trip
Author: ns1000

Nice pics!!

Date: 01/13/23 15:13
Re: A Little Road Trip
Author: feclark

The second photo, of 2637, is spectacular! It's simple as a composition, maybe, but it just hits you! Well done. I also love the broadside on the fill.

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