CN

Hip shots

As I usually preface, Ottawa is far from a hotbed of railroad activity, and when the chance comes to see a train, I go for it.

With the local line near my house, I can hear the local freight run up to make a delivery, knowing it will be back in about 20 minutes. This gives me enough time to find a location to watch it return.

Nearly all the time, it is the same consist of cars, only the actual number potentially varying. I don’t usually take a camera because, well, its always the same. This particular time, I decided to take one. Just because. I chose the Fuji X-100T and it accompanying telephoto extension.

The place I like to see the train gives a good view of it coming and going. For the best shots, I should bring the X-T1 or X-Pro2 so I can affix a telephoto lens for best angles. But time is of the essence to get in position (yes I could actually plan this a bit better too).

So when I’m in the spot, a chain-link fence limits my shooting. I set the exposure as best I can and then reach over the fence and shoot continually to hopefully get something decent. I ended up with this as the best one:

Still not as crisp as it could be; good enough for Instagram. Notice the fence in the bottom right corner. This is cropped in to remove as much of the fence as possible.

And, some shots just are not usable. Like this one, that better focused on the fence rather than the train:

Given that the consist was nothing special, and it was more of an exercise in just using the camera and seeing the train, not a big deal.

Not every shot is a keeper.

The chase

A couple weeks ago we were going to Montreal to see a football game. I took the day off while my other half went to work for the morning. As I was at the house I heard the local train came through after dropping off lumber at the nearby distributors. It was pushing back an empty flatcar and some tankers. That meant that it was going up the line to Arnprior to switch the tankers.

I had plenty of time before we were going to leave, so I jumped in the car and went to a spot to catch it coming. It always seems to take longer to get somewhere when time is of the essence.

I got to my spot and waited. I was wondering if the train had already passed, but looking at the rails, some debris was on it. The train would have crushed that out, so it certainly hadn’t come yet.

While waiting I set up my exposure and took some random shots.

It took more time than expected, but the train came around the corner….

And as it came by I got the shot I was looking for. This train is pretty standard, as I have posted before. So its about getting a unique angle.

After it passed I ran to the car and caught it at another location to watch it go by again. I didn’t take a photo, I just wanted to watch it for a change.

On the hill

A Christmas tradition of sorts is going to visit family in my home town of Dundas, Ontario a week or so before Christmas. This is a way to visit, do the Christmas thing and avoid the typical bad weather (or try to) that hits around the end of December.

If I can, I like to find time to go up the “hill” to where the main line of the CN Dundas sub runs. When I was younger, on Saturdays I would ride my bike up to this location to watch trains in the morning, returning around noon. There used to be a station there, which by then was a whistle stop, but it has a washroom (if one could call it that) and a place to hide out from the weather if needed. That station is long gone, burned down by vandals in the mid 90s.

Access to the area is now by foot only. A bit of a walk, but no big deal. The line up to Copetown is uphill, so the trains are struggling to make the grade, and you can hear them coming. There is also signal lights to help know if there is something coming. On the opposite direction, you can see the headlights long before the train passes.

So I went up. I stayed for about an hour, and nothing came, even though there was a green light. Still, I wandered and took a few photos with my X-Pro1.

The escarpment is a popular area to hike to, with a great vantage point from up there.