freight

The result

As mentioned in the previous post (yes, its been a while to follow up), I was waiting on some trains in Brockville.

While waiting, railfans who knew more than me, probably because they had scanners, showed up to wait on the trains. Yay! I was going to see *something*.

The first train rolled by, heading towards Montreal. I thought I would be all artsy, and try capturing the old luggage trolley in the shot. Kind of a old/new thing.

New power, old ways.

Not bad, I guess. I would have liked a few more locomotives in the lead. I figured that was it and relaxed to watch the train go by. Then the DPU (Distributed Power Unit) came along, and I quickly snapped it. The DPU is a way to help in moving the train to put less strain on the couplers and better apply the air needed for breaking, especially in winter. Its all remote controlled.

With that train gone, the wait was on again. There was a VIA train from Montreal scheduled but it was about 30 minutes behind schedule. I was told there would be a couple of freight trains in the morning, so I kept waiting. The VIA site was giving updates. I figured I’d waited this long, what’s a bit more. Then hope appeared on the horizon, as the signal changed.

A railfan’s ray of hope – a green light.

It eventually showed up, and being on the platform, I had a great view.

VIA trains now have locomotives at both ends. Saves time on turning the train. With it stopped, the end unit was in full view. As it departed, I got the end locomotive; an older but classic VIA locomotive.

End of train. Note the red placard in the coupler.

As it left, it was getting close to 12:30 and I figured maybe it was time to head home. I looked out over the signals, and sure enough, a green showed. Maybe one more. Soon after, the railfans came back (they had left after the last freight), so I knew something would show. Shortly after it did.

Again, only one locomotive in the lead. There was a DPU, but I elected not to shoot it.

After that, the railfans left and I figured it was time to head back to Ottawa.

Given the general lack of any interesting trains in my area, the three I did see were a nice change. Search through this blog and you will see a number of shots of the typical freight one can expect.

And railfanning is a bit like fishing. You go out to see what you can catch. Some days are better than others, but its the thrill of the waiting that is half the fun.

Train Double Play

Train watching in Ottawa is, to be kind, limited. This city is definitely not blue collar or industrial in any way. As such, there is very little in the way of rail traffic other than passenger trains. For the railfan, it is a wasteland. Basically, the only freight is local 589 that services a couple of industries, and this is on a weekly basis. Oh, and not on a particular schedule, so to see something is pure luck.

So double-bonus for me! My new job has a view to the railway up to Almonte. The once-a-week delivery to the Nylon plant up there. The window behind my cubicle looks that way, and if I’m at my desk, I hear the horn of the train approaching the level crossing. If I see/hear it, I know six hours later (at the end of the work day) it returns, and I can potentially catch it.

Such was last week. I heard the horn, and looked to see two locomotives pulling five tank cars up the line. I looked at the time, and knew when they would be coming back. The time is random, but the day is not, so I had my X-Pro1 with me to hopefully catch the return. Luckily, I did.

I knew where I wanted to be, so I hung out there a bit early to make sure I’d catch it. When it did come, I got some shots. When I came home and looked, I saw that in my excitement to see the train (remember, nothing much happens here) some shots were not very crisp. The one below looked better with a black and white treatment.

XP014642

The other shot, though not much better, worked in colour.

XP014643

As a bonus, this Sunday while I was sweeping up the walkway, I heard a train coming. I’m just across the street from the tracks served mostly by Via Rail. The train sounded different and when I looked, it was the local delivering lumber to the nearby lumber yard. I immediately grabbed my camera and made for the tracks. There is a bike/walk path along the tracks on either side. It was a quick job, and I caught it on its return to Walkley yard.
XT015334

XT015335What the photos don’t show is motion.  The locomotive is pushing the box car. As I saw it coming down the tracks, I could see the flashing red light of the End of Train device coming towards me.

I’ll leave out the train-geek reasons for this. But suffice to say, for a very barren train location of Ottawa, I had a pretty good week.