Sunday, February 12, 2017

Winter in Belleville, February 2017

A mid-winter trip to the Belleville area today was action-packed. Upon arrival along Airport Parkway, CN 2229 was spooling up to drag a long No 368 east of the yard, after crew change.
Alas, 'twas not to be. Alert incoming crew members noticed a dragging chain on empty ingot car HPJX 52369. Driving to the problem car in the crew cab, this short delay allowed your humble blogger to take another crack at photographing the train. Those are two former Sultran sulfur bathtub gons third and fourth back (above). Watch for a postscript post that will highlight some of the interesting rolling stock on this day's trains. C40-8W 2190, formerly ATSF then BNSF 855 was the mid-train unit:
Setting up to catch VIA No 61 south of the Moira River bridge, at 1002 it was VIA 906 leading four largely un-Renaissanced cars, but wait...
Watch the video here. Trailing the LRC cars was VIA's first (and perhaps only) non-LRC car wrapped for CANADA 150 - our sesquicentennial - it's ex-BC Rail VIA 1750 lounge car Glenfraser!
CN train X372 crept around the curve west of the bridge at 1015. Zooming in to see just what the heck was leading the train, there were shades of CP Rail candy-striped 5800-series SD40-2's!
But nooooo, it was the CN Heritage Tour train. BCOL 4611 led IC 1024 and two warhorses - CN 4730 and 4726. Watch the video here.
Creeping in at 10 mph, the trainmaster lined 372 into yard track BY12. They would recrew before setting out 37 of their 85 cars into yard track BY18. The two trailing Geeps would be set out into power track BY56 near the yard office. Sorry to be so repetitive, but watch the video here. CN 4774 was tied onto some roofing granule cars deep in the yard. Spot the passenger pigeon-discouraging VIAowl!
While this was going on, I relocated to the east end of the yard where VIA No 52/62 dusted through:
VIA 6442 led five LRC cars, then 6453 led four LRC cars in J-train format at 1103. These are video captures from this video:
Intermodal train 186 was approaching, from Winnipeg and maybe Prince Rupert farther west, heading for Montreal. I took full advantage of my camera's 30X zoom to see what the power was:
The meet with 186's power 5768-2926 and 305's power 8815-8837-2323 took place at 1150 and of course, you can watch the video here.
At the same time this was happening, 372 was back together - HCRY boxcars visible between the two trains' power (above) - and getting out of town behind them while 186 and 305 stopped at the east and west ends of the yard, respectively, to change crews.
Two VIA trains scooped 305 while it was waiting at the VIA station. The first one was No 643 at 1155, but the second took awhile longer, as the outgoing crew had to wait until VIA No 63 made it west from Napanee at 1223. The outgoing and incoming crews (the latter waiting to do a pull-by inspection) exchanged some of the seven words you can't say on television before climbing into warm cabs to wait out the delay.
 Here's 6445 leading No 643:
 and stopping:
VIA No 40 with 6420 was a non-stop at 1220. And what would this photo be without my suggestion that you watch the video here.

Running extra...

McCarthy era - well, a new one is at hand. The era of Melissa McCarthy spicing up Sean Spicer as White House press secretary on Saturday Night Live. Last night's unpreditable motorized dangerous podium took the zaniness to a new level!
Conspiracies and suspicion. Is VIA painting all P42's and one F40? Perhaps an F-unit coming out of retirement? Who knows? Bad existing paint jobs seem to be the main target of the CANADA 150 city name scheme. Can it be long before glue-grey roller-painted 3368 gets the station name treatment?
The VIAcariously cynical side of me wonders if there will be a VIA CANADA 150 Car-of-Shame with a wrap of historic cities no longer served by passenger trains: Calgary-Saint John-Regina-Thunder Bay?


phoenix'ed said...

You can probably add Victoria, Nanaimo and Courtenay to that list. Train free since 2011! #ProbablyNeverComingBack #IWillEatARailroadSpike

Eric said...

And likely to stay that way, as potential passengers get used to not taking the train. Like the spike hashtag, phonenix'ed!
Thanks for your comment,