Tuesday, July 7, 2015

43-Train Weekend, Part 2

In Part 1 of this bountiful weekend, I was leaving Cobourg station, having observed 24 of the 43 total trains I'd see and photograph. Heading east out of Cobourg on Highway 2, I soon reached the Pentecostal Road turnoff. I followed the signs religiously. Both CN's Kingston Sub and CP's Belleville Sub (north-to-south, respectively) are protected by automatic warning devices here. Heading west to a straightaway, back under Highway 2 and thence Cobourg, CN No 107 is westbound at 1020 with 2664-2190 (above). VIA also heads westbound at 1045 on the straightaway, behind 6421 with four cars, probably No 61. Going like stink:
Pentecostal Road is the site of a trailer park, with good views trackside in both directions. CP has a siding and back-track here. Travelling by satellite would have been faster, but Hyundai got me there. Satellite view for your orientation:
The second CP train of the day for me. CP No 142 with 9780-9631 at 1100, with a few auto racks, boxcars and covered hoppers, then intermodal:
While the eastbound CP was still passing, VIA J-train No 62/52 with 904-5 LRC cars-64xx -6 HEP2 cars zipped by:
Highballing east to Brighton on the 401, I found the town crossings too busy with road traffic, so decided to head farther east to Lawson Settlement Road. This road actually crosses the CN and CP mainlines twice, at its west and east ends. Infrequent road traffic to nearby farms and good sightlines east make it a good spot. Difficult sight lines to the west on CN are due to telegraph poles and signal installations. A long, zoomworthy straightaway to the east with ample foliage more than makes up for the westbound view. 
VIA No 643, with 6439 and four LRC cars, was westbound at 1215 (above and below). Considering this train was operating at high speed, my little Nikon did a good job of stopping it in its tracks, at least photographically.
Three minutes later, 6429 led a four-LRC car No 40 east. Following was CN intermodal train No 149 at 1259. New 2812-2846 double-team double-stacks:
The CP Belleville Sub is visible at right (below). VIA No 64 was eastbound at 1317: 905-8623-3477Ren-4101-4102-8112-4121-8104. Note the use of two ex-CP Canadian Budd cars and an LRC Business Class car, a common occurrence. It passed the Mi 237 detector on the north track doing 87 mph!
Great moment in railfanning: NEVER dismiss an ETU squawk when you hear one. I returned to the east end of Lawson Settlement Road, just after leaving to head to Trenton. I was not disappointed to find my third CP, and the first westbound. CP 655 led by CP 8883, toting empty auto racks and tank cars.
A VIA train zipped by, obscured, while CP's train was passing.
The tank cars, many bearing the Renewable Products Marketing Group logo, were placarded UN 1987 ethanol. Examples were NATX 302352, TILX 197272 and SHPX 208082.
Another satellite view showing stops on my route back towards home:
Not-so-great moment in railfanning: I disregarded an ETU squawk, figuring it was the CP train. Just after reaching the Highway 2 overpass, bringing the highway south of the mainlines, I encountered a CN westbound just as I was crossing the tracks. Not wishing to stop while still cursing my thoughtlessness, I snapped a quick photo from atop the overpass. Westbound at 1400 with CN 2835-5425-8861:
At Morningstar Road, Mi 234.8 of the Kingston Sub, site of many intergenerational yet still-unblogged railfan trips, CN sent westbound No 305 with 2685-5736 at 1518:
Bob Gibson of Oshawa, kindly emailed to say he grew up just down the road, and has memories of riding his bike to watch MLWs and Turbos here and waving at the orchard owner, Mr Alyea on his tractor. Bob also rode his bike around the quarry pit, which is the reason that this now-quiet gravel road has such amazing automatic crossing protection. Bob corroborated what we were told, that the dumptrucks operating from the quarry were numerous enough that there was danger of a collision. He also remembers DomTar (a by-product of the nearby Trenton Domtar plant) being spread on the road to reduce dust, making it gooey in warm weather but almost like pavement.
Mid-train DPU 8014 followed all those tank cars, and preceded 60 auto racks on the tail-end.
Three more VIA trains followed:
1550 WB No 65 919-3466Ren-3313-33xx-3329-3350
1558 WB No 47 6406-5 LRC cars
1600 EB No 44 914-3460Ren-33xx-3339Ren-3306Ren-33x2Ren

The orchards to the north are no longer in production. VIA No 65 passes by on the north track:
The next day, Sunday, I drove past CN No 369 led by 2825 while heading to the station at 1250. No 369 was meeting an eastbound with 2310-2418, with DPU 2203. It was time to see bring this 43-train weekend to a successful though overcast close.
Fellow railfans and modellers Roy Whitman and Ron Barrett were also there. We observed three VIA trains:
1415 EB No 64 916-8618-3461Ren-4007-4115-8107-4120-8127 (above)
1433 WB No 65 6405-4LRC cars-3332Ren
1502 WB No 47 902-4005-4122-4117-4111-4109
VIA Budd coach 8127 - I can almost feel myself stretching out my legs on those comfortable leg-rest seats (above) and here is No 47 arriving at the east end of the platform:
No 65's leader, VIA 6405 caps off this 43-train weekend. It was time to go home, put my back-seat drive-thru diet-blowing detritus into the recycling bins, vacuum the carpet, and make it look like I'd been doing something, before my wife returned from Algonquin Park. What a weekend! Funny, she never even asked what I'd done all weekend. She knew!

Running extra...

Ever dreamed of controlling HO-scale trains from your smartphone? Yes, before too long it will be reality. Then I can skip DCC entirely and go right from DC to smartphone. It will give me a reason to buy a...smartphone. Here's a great article on the evolution of DC, DCC and Bluetooth control.

VIA with 5 Business Class cars! Big business board meeting? Deadhead move? Regardless, thanks to a heads-up from Dave in Salem, I was able to catch this krazy konsist kruising through Kingston. Precision, pinpoint railfanning, my friends.


Chris BIGDoer Doering said...

VIA Rail: I've heard of these trains in legend (signed: an Albertan).

Eric said...

Yes, Chris. The Viasaurs prowl deepest, darkest Ontario and Quebec, home to large numbers of humans with abundant other means of transportation. Meanwhile, out on the lone Prairie, inhabitants only dream of seeing one of these elusive Viasaurus Centralcanadensis. Once found all across Canada in the VIA timetable, their feeding grounds are at the bottom of the map, while cancelled and cut-back trains arc out in all directions, memories only of communities served and transportation provided for the masses. I continue to preserve the Viasaurs' peregrinations.

Steve Boyko said...

You might be crazier than I am, Eric, and that's saying something! Great photos and great narration to go with them.

Eric said...

Right on, Steve. As Billy Joel put it "You may be right, I may be crazy!" I find that one of these binge-trainwatches gets it out of my system. For awhile. OK, for a couple of weeks!

Thanks for your comment,