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The world of trains according to David Graham

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2006

| January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December |

06.01.06.shtml

January 6th, 2006

Happy new year to all! I ended 2005 by shooting London Pickup, and, unintentionally, started 2006 by shooting none other than London Pickup on the first nice day of the year. I heard some traffic going by on the Galt and Jay reported 9116 was the last unit on 424. We shot London pickup, CP #424 with the SD90, CP #153, CP #525 ham turn, and London pickup going the other way for good measure.

07.01.06.shtml

January 7th, 2006

Laura and I drove down to St. Catherines to meet up with Brian and explore the CSX and NS mains South/West of Buffalo. We caught 23 trains of various descriptions and went home happy as clams with 511 pictures and 21 videos.

08.01.06.shtml

January 8th, 2006

We went to the yard at Alma street to shot GEXR #431 coming back from Mac yard for the sake of it. We also found three tracks full of grain cars there, which is unusual.

12.01.06.shtml

January 12th, 2006

I shot GEXR #432 at Jones Baseline outside Guelph on highway 7 to the East, then OSR at PDI, and then went to the Junction to see what was brewing there.

13.01.06.shtml

January 13th, 2006

This Friday the 13th saw an unpatched SP unit on CN #148. We went to catch that and also caught CN #398, #392, #435, #422, CP #525 and #424 with 8 units. My camera decided the battery was dead as CN #435 approached, though it wasn't interesting power anyway.

14.01.06.shtml

January 14th, 2005

Laura and I got up at some ungodly hour to head to Paris for what promised to be a BNSF-filled day on the Dundas sub. We got to Paris and found the South Service Track plugged up making shooting there impossible, so we spent the day at Brantford station instead. There we caught CN #392, #587, #399, VIA #70, NS #327, #328, VIA #71, CN #278, CN #271, CN #331, CN #148, CN #385, VIA #72, CN #330, VIA #73, and CN #394, which we chased to Hamilton West as it had a BNSF GP30 leading, and then shot CP #424 at Killean on the way home. CN #399 had CN 8018 leading, which I believe is the first time a CN SD70M-2 has led on the Dundas sub, and most of the rest of the trains today were well worth the trip.

15.01.06.shtml

January 15th, 2006

Steve called, suggesting we go to Goderich to see GEXR #581 working around the salt mine. We headed up to Stratford, and found them getting ready to leave. They called themselves GEXR #431 for some reason, but no matter. We chased it as far as Seaforth before it got too dark to continue. Chasing on the GEXR Goderich sub is relatively easy as the train only goes between 5 and 15 miles per hour for the most part.

16.01.06.shtml

January 16th, 2006

I hadn't flown in a month with the weather and my travels, and needing to keep my skills up, Laura and I went to Agincourt yard with my instructor for an evening scenic flight. Laura and I shared the SLR and Rob and I shared the controls. Laura also took some shots on the older point and shoot Powershot S70. The photos at the end (numbers 5832-5858) are out of sequence, taken on the old camera by Laura.

21.01.06.shtml

January 21st, 2006

We heard CN 8014 leading GEXR #432 approaching Kitchener and were... rather surprised. The alarm was sounded and every railfan in the area descended on the Guelph sub to shoot it. After, we got word of CP 8745 leading 7 units on CP #424 and booted it down to the Galt sub to catch that. Not bad for a day that I wasn't railfanning...

22.01.06.shtml

January 22nd, 2006

I wanted to see CN's new GEVOs, numbered in the 2200 series and likely to be forever lost to our various coasts for DPU service. We spent the day at Hamilton West catching 3 BNSF leaders and a CP GEVO leading a CEFX SD90/43MAC on the way home, but never did catch the CN GEVO we knew was supposed to come at some point. At one point during the morning, it had been so long since we had heard or seen any trains that we decided it was time to move West to Paris. As soon as we were committed to highway 403, 394 with its BNSF leader showed up on the scanner and we had to go all the way up to the top of the hill, turn around, and come back down, only managing to catch it at Burlington West.

30.01.06.shtml

January 30th, 2006

We went to the railway museum in downtown Nairobi to see what was there. Among other things was a motorised bicycle on railway wheels, a set of 4-8-2+2-8-4 steam locos and a variety of other interesting equipment. We then checked out the adjacent yard from a busy pedestrian overpass and saw 2 yard switchers working too far away to shoot.

11.02.06.shtml

February 11th, 2006

After a week long safari in the Kenyan outback which cost the life of my video-capable PowerShot S70, Laura and I flew back to Nairobi from the Maasai Mara and then headed off to Naivasha to find a monthly steam excursion train run by the museum in Nairobi. We stopped at the museum to ask if the train was on schedule and if there was anything else happening. Sure enough, the staff there confirmed the train had left on time at 7 in the morning and that there was a freight train on its heels. We caught both, as well as one of the hundreds of huge dust devils that show up every day in the Rift Valley, and the semaphore control shed at Naivasha station.

12.02.06.shtml

February 12th, 2006

On the return from 2 weeks in Kenya for my brother's wedding, we had a 10-hour layover in London, England so we went into London's Paddington station to see what we could see. It was a stereotypical dark and stormy day in London but we nevertheless saw 3 class 66s, a CWR train, and some interesting looking freight equipment as well as a lot of passenger trains before returning to London-Heathrow airport.

13.02.06.shtml

February 13th, 2006

Mission accomplished! With the help of CPs #424 and #243 with CP 8714 on point, Laura and I managed to railfan on 3 continents within 3 days.

25.02.06.shtml

February 25th, 2006

After a two-week long train hiatus we finally went out on a bad day but caught several interesting trains, starting with CN #396 parked at Paris Junction. CN #271 had a CSX C44-9W on it but was obstructed perfectly by CN #382.

26.02.06.shtml

February 26th, 2006

Steve called a little before sunrise suggesting we go after some trains. This sounded like a good idea and it proved to be a very fruitful morning, netting us NS #328, Amtrak #97, CN #421, VIA #70 with 6424/Budweiser, CN #399, #396 with GCFX/WC-BNSF-BNSF-CN, CP #167, CN #392, VIA #73, and CN #394 with BNSF-CN-CN-FURX. No videos today, though.

28.02.06.shtml

February 28th, 2006

Mike called to say CN #393 had an NS leader with UP and NS units following, through Brampton at about 12:30. Westbound foreign leaders are fairly rare on the CN through here though eastbounds have BNSF leaders just about every day so this qualified as, well, HOT. I headed down to Paris Junction at 14:30 where I expected the train to arrive at 14:35 based on passed experience and got there just after a train had passed. An hour later with no sign of westbounds I was convinced I had missed it, but there it was at 15:55! Sure was pretty, shame the sun didn't come out to see it.

02.03.06.shtml

March 2nd, 2006

CN #392 had a CN SD40-2Ws, a CN SD40-2, and a CP SD40-2 and there wasn't any way I was going to miss that. I got to mile 30 a few seconds ahead of it and loosed off a few shots.

03.03.06.shtml

March 3rd, 2006

We ran down to Galt station to catch CP #138 and #147 and then heard 42 axles with a hotbox at mile 42.6 Galt sub with no clearance. Putting two and two together quickly we found a Loram grinder hard at work. Shot the heck out of it!

04.03.06.shtml

March 4th, 2006

CP #243 was reported to have 2 white SOO SD60s, and as I hadn't seen any for a while I gave it a go. We also caught #424 and #159 within a few minutes on either side of #243.

09.03.06.shtml

March 9th, 2006

A second CP #138 left London and it was suspected it might have an interesting engine on it. Did it ever!

11.03.06.shtml

March 11th, 2006

We went to Paris for the day and saw as many other railfans as trains. In 9 hours at the tracks only 2 trains had only CN power out of around 16, though 5 were passenger trains, giving us a pretty eclectic mix of foreign power.

12.03.06.shtml

March 12th, 2006

I heard CP 8748 approaching Orr's Lake and figuring I had an easy shot at another GEVO for the roster I went for it, beating it by a couple of minutes to Wellington road 35. Behind it were SOO units 6004 and 6061.

16.03.06.shtml

March 16th, 2006

Jay called about CN #390 with two dimensional loads. We went down to Hamilton West for it and CN #393, shooting CP #424 on the way there, #525 on the way back, and GEXR #431 later in the evening back in Guelph.

17.03.06.shtml

March 17th, 2006

We got in the car to go find a friend at the tracks in Guelph and immediately heard a westbound clearance on the Galt sub. We got to a crossing in Puslinch just on time to set up for and wait for CP #243 with CEFX 1053 leading, followed by an SD40-2, a couple of tank cars, and B23-7 TCB 202. We got moving quickly and shot it again a few miles west, before going back to Guelph and watching GEXR #432 pass by Via station.

18.03.06.shtml

March 18th, 2006

We headed down to Paris for the day to see what was in store. The tracks weren't exactly busy, but the trains that did come through on CN had plenty to offer. We shot CP #147 at Ayr on the way with a GEVO and 45 autoracks, then saw CN #410, NS #327, CN #394, VIA #72 and #73, VIA #148 with 7 units, #399, #271 and #393 together, #385, VIA #76, and CN #330.

19.03.06.shtml

March 19th, 2006

CP #243 had another GEVO leading, so I went down to the Galt sub to shoot it in the fresh, if light, snow.

22.03.06.shtml

March 22nd, 2006

Brand new BNSF SD70ACe number 9371 led GEXR #432 to Toronto and back. Steve sounded the alarm. Thanks Steve! This happened again on the 23rd, and I got much better photos...

23.03.06.shtml

March 23rd, 2006

Brand new BNSF SD70ACe number 9370 led GEXR #432 to Toronto, giving us our second straight day of testing. Perhaps it'll keep up?

25.03.06.shtml

March 25th, 2006

NS #328 was reported to have a TFM unit so naturally we went to see it. Caught it, #327 with an NS horsehead/operation lifesaver GP59, CN #396 with 4 BNSF units in different schemes, and a couple of other trains. CP #424 passed later with 2 GEVOs, a SOO SD40-2, and a CEFX AC4400CW.

26.03.06.shtml

March 26th, 2006

Rob warned me that 338 had 3 new CN GEVOs on it, probably the last three of this order. Trouble is, I was still asleep. When I got up, I got the message and, hoping I wasn't too late, went to Georgetown, where I saw 5 CN-powered freight trains in two hours but clearly had long missed the GEVOs, leaving CN as the only class one from which I have not seen a GEVO.

29.03.06.shtml

March 29th, 2006

We shot GEXR #431 at Guelph station by chance.

30.03.06.shtml

March 30th, 2006

I heard CN #394 with a BNSF SD40-2 at Hamilton West and decided I should give it a go, making it to Georgetown well ahead of it. We caught #394, #148, #145, #398, GEXR #431, CN #411, and then beat GEXR #431 to a crossing half way between Rockwood and Acton as it went up Acton grade kind of slowly.

01.04.06.shtml

April 1st, 2006

No jokes here for this April fools day. CP ran a couple of coal trains down the Hamilton sub during the week, which is exceedingly unusual. CP #889 returned today, CP 9773 and a long string of empty black coal hoppers, so we went after it in spite of the dark, gloomy weather.

02.04.06.shtml

April 2nd, 2006

Steve picked us up and we went off to shoot OSR working Guelph on a nice Sunday afternoon. They went South and we gave chase. As we got to Guelph Junction, Shane called about a CN GEVO on CN #435. Naturally we couldn't pass that up! I now have BNSF, UP, CSX, NS, CP, and finally CN GEVOs!

08.04.06.shtml

April 8th, 2006

We went down to Paris for the day. It was relatively quiet, with long lulls and little interesting power. On the way home, we caught CP #243 at Ayr and after dinner I caught VIA #87 with 6411 leading in Guelph.

09.04.06.shtml

April 9th, 2006

We went out around 11 to see what trains we could find. In 5 hours we caught 6, shooting 4 of them. CN #393 and #435 were first up at mile 30, CP #246 and #167 came next at Guelph Junction, then CP #722 snuck by us and on our way home we watched GEXR #431 go by in the distance.

12.04.06.shtml

April 12th, 2006

An extra train was heard coming to Guelph and I went to investigate in spite of the rain. GEXR 3856 showed up with 9 ballast cars and met VIA #85 in Guelph. I shot it at Guelph station and Jones Baseline, getting #85 at Cityview Drive on the way there. No videos, I didn't particularly want to risk 2 cameras in the rain.

14.04.06.shtml

April 14th, 2006

We went down to the Galt sub to shoot CP #243, then headed over to the Junction for #425 and #162 on the Hamilton sub. The sun came out just as #162 arrived, backlighting the train.

15.04.06.shtml

April 15th, 2006

We went down to Copetown to start the day and ended up moving around over the next 11 hours or so, catching 15 trains. Not bad for a holiday weekend!

16.04.06.shtml

April 16th, 2006

I heard CN #411 with a BNSF leader leaving Mac yard and went off to mile 30 for it, catching CN #332 and #411 there, and CP #242 and #243 on the way home at the Junction.

17.04.06.shtml

April 17th, 2006

I shot VIA #87 at Watson road on the way back from errands.

20.04.06.shtml

April 20th, 2006

I beat GEXR #432 to the Via station by a few seconds. The train had a 12-axle 4-truck transformer load from ABB. In the evening, Laura and I caught CN #390 with that most elusive target - MMA 1.

22.04.06.shtml

April 22nd, 2006

For Door's Open Guelph, the GHRA put its caboose on display. Naturally I had to shoot VIA #85 and GEXR #432 passing!

25.04.06.shtml

April 25th, 2006

I went into Toronto for three days on Via #86/#87 for a conference. On the second day a dark storm lifted allowing shots through the darkened windows of the LRC coaches, and I shot one GO train under the John Street bridge in the Union Station Rail Corridor.

26.04.06.shtml

April 26th, 2006

On the third and final day of the conference I tried to shoot GMD1 CN 1431 on CN #542 at HalWest, where it had been on Monday when I was not ready for it. It was a bit further than I hoped but I managed one telephoto shot through the window of VIA #86's LRC coach I was sitting in. I also shot a few GO trains and found myself riding behind VIA 916 for the trip home. VIA 916 had been the only Via P42dc that I had not shot in daylight, so I got ahead of it after getting off in Guelph and shot it crossing Alma.

29.04.06.shtml

April 29th, 2006

We went to Sudbury to explore. We caught everything. (Warning: over 600 thumbnails!)

30.04.06.shtml

April 30th, 2006

We went to North Bay to see what we could find there and caught CN #450 passing ONR North Bay station, the passenger trains, 697 and 698, and then headed South, catching #698 at Washago along with CN #301 and #300, followed by CP #105 at Alliston.

07.05.06.shtml

May 7th, 2006

We stopped at Coteau Jct. for a few hours of shooting with a Discovery Channel crew for the show "What's That About", finally catching the OCRR.

13.05.06.shtml

May 13th, 2006

We got out for CN #435 with ONT 2102 leading, catching CN #393 and #396 at mile 30 followed by CN #435, #392, GEXR #432, and CN #148 at Georgetown.

14.05.06.shtml

May 14th, 2006

We went down to Paris for the NS trains, but found it blocked with equipment and moved to Brantford, where we caught 8 trains in about three hours before coming home to get other stuff done.

15.05.06.shtml

May 15th, 2006

I shot CN #114 with a BCOL SD40-2 trailing on the York sub from the approach to Buttonville, and got GEXR #431 from final at Guelph.

19.05.06.shtml

May 19th, 2006

CN #394 was reported to have a DMIR unit in the lashup. I got to mile 30 just on time for CN #392 with a BNSF GEVO leading followed 15 minutes later by CN #394 with its DMIR unit. I then proceeded to Guelph Junction to see if I could catch CP #424, which arrived only moments after I did.

20.05.06.shtml

May 20th, 2006

I wasn't planning to railfan today, so I only spent 10 hours trackside... today's haul: Via #70, CN #390 (with CEFX-CSX for power), and NS #327 (2 BNSF executive units) at Copetown, NS #327 again and CN #148 at Ingersoll, CP #159, CP #424, CP London Pickup, and CN #399 at London, and CN #393, CN #422, CN #398 (with a TTX caboose!), CN #421, CN #396, CN #435, and CN #275 at mile 30.

27.05.06.shtml

May 27th, 2006

We went to Kitchener to see GEXR #432 at the station there, a place I hadn't been in a while. We caught VIA #85, GEXR #433's power parked, saw GEXR #580 head North on the Elmira spur, and #432, then went to mile 30 for CN #392 with two NS units, Guelph Junction for two GEVO leaders and back to Guelph for VIA #681, the once-a-year Stratford Extra.

28.05.06.shtml

May 28th, 2006

Clear skies, but visibility about 3 miles due to smog. Ugh. We caught CN #394 at Hamilton West after hearing it at Ingersoll. BNSF-BNSF-IC for power.

29.05.06.shtml

May 29th, 2006

I took my first foray into the railroad jungle of the Niagara region on a hunt for Trillium. In hours of searching I caught an S-13 and two cars precisely once, missing them on their street running and never finding the other job in spite of hearing it in Port Colbourne.

04.06.06.shtml

June 4th, 2006

Returning from visiting family, we stopped to see what was in the yard at Ste-Thérèse, checked out Dorion and caught an AMT commuter train with the new Bombardier bi-levels, went on to Coteau where we found CN #326 with a CN-rental-CN-CSX-CN-CSX lashup, caught CP #239 meeting CP #138 at Belleville, stayed at Cobourg for dinner and a few trains, and caught CP #152 at Newtonville in failing light after just missing the expressway with 2 GP40s! Total: 14 trains shot, a couple more seen, and a few leapfrogged. Not bad for a quick drive home.

09.06.06.shtml

June 9th, 2006

Galt yard got a beaver-painted GP38, so I went down to shoot it and CP #424 lifting CP 3097.

10.06.06.shtml

June 10th, 2006

We went after and just missed an NS-NS powered CN #392 at Georgetown and then went after a late NS #328 at Hamilton West.

14.06.06.shtml

June 14th, 2006

We went to the wood bridge just east of the Junction for CP #424 and CP #141, then to mile 30 for CN #275 and #149. We ran out of time waiting and did not see #149.

17.06.06.shtml

June 17th, 2006

We went to Killean for CP #198, Guelph Junction for #141 and #243, and then home for the overheated 33-degree afternoon. We went back in the evening for CP #241 with 4 SOO units.

20.06.06.shtml

June 20th, 2006

Steve and I headed down to Galt to see what we could see on the second longest day of the year. Typical for CP, though, most of the traffic waited until after dark to run. We saw CP #424, #243, London pickup, Galt yard job, #137, an eastbound, and #127.

23.06.06.shtml

June 23rd, 2006

We went to mile 30 for CN #392 and found a bit of a mess on the Halton. CN #147 reported a tie on fire at Speyside. CN #435 stopped to put it out. CN #382 pulled into the hole at Mansewood for #147. CN #147's lone engine died. CN #392's crew ran out of time at Aldershot and a new crew came on and lifted a unit set off by Via after #70 died yesterday at Brantford. CN #382's crew filed a rest message. CN #435 pulled up to mile 30 to wait for CN #382 to donate a unit to CN #147 without blocking crossings at Speyside. CN #275 pulled up to Georgetown to wait for the mess to be cleared. CN #382 and CN #435 took a rule 567 so #382 could enter #435's block and give #147 its trailing unit, which was an IC and not qualified to lead in Canada. CN #382 took so many rule 564, 566, and 567 authorities, the conductor's pen ran out of ink and he warned the RTC that he would need to start using French forms soon. CN #147 left with CN #382's trailing unit trailing with its dead leader acting as a cab car. CN #435 finally passed us, followed by CN #382, #275, #383, and #392. CN #275 and #383 both reported the tie fire at Speyside. All this because WC 6903 was out of water.

24.06.06.shtml

June 24th, 2006

I took Kevin, Steve, Brian, and Laura down to the US for Kevin and Steve's first taste of American railfanning. We worked our way along the coast of Lake Erie all the way to North East, Pennsylvania, stopping at Angola, Dunkirk, and Westfield. Our total haul for the day was around 38 trains, including several that we saw without shooting as we travelled. BNSF's lone "vomit bonnet" led NS #310 through Angola, among other interesting catches.

30.06.06.shtml

June 30th, 2006

As a result of severe flooding in New York, Pennsylvania, and parts of New England, many detour trains are running on the CN and CP in Canada. We caught CSX #Q380 at the Galt bridge in strong storm lighting.

01.07.06.shtml

July 1st, 2006

With a busy day I only made it out for GEXR #432 at the station.

04.07.06.shtml

July 4th, 2006

With detours going every which way since Friday, my car decided that it preferred to spend the weekend in the shop. Just my luck, both my scanners were stolen out of my locked car some time over the weekend, complete with the antenna and power cable. It really shakes my faith in humanity. Steve came and got me in the evening, and we went to get a detour train CN #F329 at Aldershot, then got an unknown, but probably detour train heading down the Hamilton sub at Guelph Junction.

23.07.06.shtml

July 23rd, 2006

Following most of a week at Ottawa Linux Symposium, my parents came up to Ottawa and took us on an HCW steam excursion for my birthday.

04.08.06.shtml

August 4th, 2006

Having still not replaced my stolen scanners, I went downtown to see a rail grinder parked in Guelph. To the best of my knowledge no rail grinder has ever been to Guelph before, but LMIX RG309 has been parked in Guelph for three days, apparently coming out at night to grind.

12.08.06.shtml

August 12th, 2006

We attended a friend's wedding in Burlington and escaped to the tracks briefly between the wedding and the reception, catching CN #394 with BNSF 134 leading before heading back. It reminded me how much I do enjoy railfanning in spite of my scanner setback. Finding properly priced good scanners around here is proving to be quite tricky (I bought my previous ones in the US).

13.08.06.shtml

August 13th, 2006

We picked up Kevin and went to a railfan-heavy Paris Junction for the day, catching 16 trains. Night train CN #395 with a new crew was first up with three BNSF units, followed by VIA #70, CN #399, VIA #671, CN #398, VIA #72, CN #390, #331, VIA #73, CN #148, #385, #392, #330, #393, VIA #76, and CN #435.

26.08.06.shtml

August 26th, 2006

We went to Radio World and picked up a new scanner and antenna, stopping at mile 30 on the way home to try it out. We spent most of our time trying to figure out how to decode the unclear instruction manual for the non-intuitive ICOM scanner, only getting it tuned to a frequency after the second of two trains (392 and 435) had passed. It took until evening to figure out how to actually make it scan.

27.08.06.shtml

August 27th, 2006

The day after two days of rain is generally known as Monday. This weekend has proven to be fairly poor for weather, but we nevertheless took out our new ICOM IC-R20 scanner and Larsen 5/8s wave antenna out to mile 30 to give it a real world test, having finally figured out how to program and use it. We just missed CN #394 with BNSF-only power, catching CN #338, #148, and #393.

01.09.06.shtml

September 1st, 2006

We headed for Brattleboro to spend a week with Laura's family, stopping at Bayview to see the latest work on the way out, where we caught CN #398 and VIA #73.

02.09.06.shtml

September 2nd, 2006

I heard a train in Brattleboro and went down to the tracks to see what was up. I found NECR #611 working the yard. The crew mentionned to eachother that they'd need to switch the wye and this was all the encouragement I needed to stay, eventually getting the train entering the unhealthy looking Brattleboro wye, resulting in me being a shade late getting back for lunch, and a bit of a comical conversation by the crew about what, exactly, the caption for my video of the event should be.

03.09.06.shtml

September 3rd, 2006

An EOT device was blaring on the scanner all day in spite of Labour Day. Eventually I went down to the yard to see what was there. NECR #611, three units light power, was parked and remained so for around a day and a half (from the night of the 2nd to the morning of the 4th).

05.09.06.shtml

September 5th, 2006

We headed up to NMH for a little while, and watched NECR #611 switch along the causeway for a few minutes in Brattleboro on our way home.

06.09.06.shtml

September 6th, 2006

NECR #611 showed up with a great set of engines - ex-Conrail-ex-CN-ex-BN-NECR - and so we watched them switch for a few minutes, also getting the Vermonter no its way through. In the evening, I finally heard GRS WJED on the scanner, and we went down to the station to shoot it in somewhat dark lighting conditions.

07.09.06.shtml

September 7th, 2006

We made a field trip to Westfield, Massachusetts to see the Pioneer Valley Railroad and their funky CF7 units, catching a Guilford train at Hatfield on our way to Deerfield yard and seeing the Vermonter at Northfield on our way home.

08.09.06.shtml

September 8th, 2006

Seeking a few parting shots of NECR before we took off in the evening, I headed down to the causeway to watch NECR #611 work, where I was greeted with comments about the return of "that Canadian", so: hi Mr. Conductor!

09.09.06.shtml

September 9th, 2006

On our way out of Vermont, the muffler on the car decided it wanted to go straight home. We ended up stopping in the small town of Sidney, New York for a night in a hotel and emergency repairs to the car, which were amazingly completed by 9:15am at a local shop called B&M for less than we'd have paid at home. After leaving, we heard a train on the D&H tracks and pulled off the interstate to shoot NS #168 with 2 NS SD70M-2s for power, then headed up to Binghamton to see what we could find there, and then on to Scranton for Steamtown, which occupied us until a thunderstorm came in. We rushed back to New York, caught a great D&H lashup in Binghamton, and headed for Rochester for the night, catching a few trains of interest along the way.

10.09.06.shtml

September 10th, 2006

On the last leg of our extended trip home, we stopped at Buffalo's Depew train station for around 5 hours to see what we could find, catching 16 trains: CSXT Q114, Q117, Q632, Q115, NS #310, CSXT Q112, Q109, Q386, Q396, AMTK #64 (VIA #97), Q2??, Q140, Q364, Q268, AMTK #288, and AMTK #63 (VIA #98).

16.09.06.shtml

September 16th, 2006

We went down to mile 30 for CN #394 with KCS-TFM for only power, catching CN #385 and #421 within minutes following #394.

17.09.06.shtml

September 17th, 2006

Steve picked me up and we went down to Hamilton West for a few hours, catching CN #385, NS #328, CN #331, #390, CN #392, VIA #73, CN #148, VIA #72, CN #394, and CP Barnes Turn.

24.09.06.shtml

September 24th, 2006

In a day of foreign power heaven, we only got out in the evening for CP #159 and #424, the latter sporting 7 engines, in the rain.

27.09.06.shtml

September 27th, 2006

I stopped to shoot GEXR #580 at CN Guelph Junction while running errands.

07.10.06.shtml

October 7th, 2006

We headed down to Bayview for the day where we found more than a dozen other railfans. We caught VIA #70, CN #385, #338, #422, CP #255, CN #392, VIA #73, CN #148, VIA #72, CN #435, #393, and CP #224, the CP steel train, which is not a normal user of the Oakville sub.

08.10.06.shtml

October 8th, 2006

We headed down to Bayview for part of the day, catching VIA #70, CN #385, and CN #148 there, CN #385 again at Paris, CN #390 at Paris and again back at Bayview, my first bi-directional chase. #385 had a BNSF GEVO trailing, #148 had CN 2237 leading, and #390 had WC 6497 leading, an exceedingly rare catch. Later on, I heard a westbound on the Galt, and, hoping for some fall colours shots finally, failed miserably and shot 2 GEs on an intermodal at Galt station. We then heard a northbound get a clearance on the Hamilton sub, catching it on the bridge at Carlisle after sunset, and beat it back up to Campbellville.

14.10.06.shtml

October 14th, 2006

CN #394 had BN green whiteface SD60 class unit BNSF 9200 on the lead, which I didn't particularly want to pass up.

28.10.06.shtml

October 28th, 2006

Steve picked me up and we took off after an NS 328 described as 4 engines, 60-70 cars. After more than an hour longer than it would normally take to arrive from Ingersoll, we watched it go by on the far side of the wye from Bayview and chased it into Hamilton, barely catching it. Steve counted 91 cars.

03.11.06.shtml

November 3rd, 2006

I took Laura to the airport for a dawn flight and stopped for 3 hours and 10 trains at Guelph Junction on the way home: 4 GO, and CPs #158, #147, #257, #256, #524, and #142. Laura took the video camera on her trip.

05.11.06.shtml

November 5th, 2006

On Saturday I missed CITX 142 on #398, and it escaped Sunday early morning on CN #395. Not intending to miss anything else, I went down to mile 30 for CN #276 with BNSF-CEFX (ex-SOO SD60) power and CN #148 with WC 3000 middle unit. With nothing else in the area, I went over to Paris where I caught CN #393 with another WC, CN #330 and #331, CN #390 with a war bonnet, Via #76, CN #435 with a CSX unit, and finally, in last light, CN #434 with DMIR 406.

18.11.06.shtml

November 18th, 2006

We went to Guelph station for GEXR #432, then down to Guelph Junction for CP #255, missing it, but catching CPs #424 and #198 in short order.

22.11.06.shtml

November 22nd, 2006

QNSL AC4400CWs were sighted on CN #422. This I couldn't pass up.

23.11.06.shtml

November 23rd, 2006

The Royal Canadian Pacific, CPR's business train, came to the Galt sub. In spite of nearly blinding fog, an army of railfans went to Guelph Junction for it. My whole day can be summarised as: Guelph Junction: CP #142, RCP, Milton/Trafalgar Road: RCP, CP #243, Scotch Block/mp30: CN #385, #148, #394, #271, Guelph Junction, Moffat, Corwhin, Arkell: OSR northbound chase, Guelph: OSR/GEXR #432, Cambridge/Galt: CP #159, #741, #141, with CP London Pickup working in the background, and CP #257, one unit light power, hiding just out of sight. Not a bad day!

24.11.06.shtml

November 24th, 2006

I picked up Chris at 08:10 and we headed for Bayview... we were quickly distracted by a northbound clearance on the Hamilton sub for CP #255, 8809 North, which we got at Guelph Junction with CP #159 passing behind it. Then we went to Bayview, where we caught a backhoe doing comical manouevers, CN #392, #421, VIA #73 with 6414, the Lotto Quebec engine, CN #271 with a UP trailing, VIA #72, CN #385, grabbed lunch, migrated to Paris and caught CN #385 again. CN #330 came next with CN 8004 on point, followed shortly by CN #331 and CN #398. CN #332 pulled up to the crossing for a crew change, VIA #76 passed, and CN #390 with a real WC leader pulled up to the signals at Paris Junction to wait for CN #435 and VIA #75. We caught London Pickup at Ayr on the way home. Not a bad day, all told!

09.12.06.shtml

December 9th, 2006

With credible rumours of NS 327 and 328 being discontinued at the end of the year circulating, I chased NS #328 from Paris, where I arrived at the same time as it did, to Grimsby via Copetown before catching CP #127 and #159 at Guelph Junction and heading home.

15.12.06.shtml

December 15th, 2006

CN #422 had 5 Venezuelan SD70ACes on delivery and CN #394-14 had a KCS SD70ACe on point. Both well worth getting. Trains for the day were VIA #85, CN #271, #422, #148, #394-13, #393, GEXR #432, and #394-14.

16.12.06.shtml

December 16th, 2006

Steve took us down to Hamilton for NS #328 and whatever else we could find. We got to the Grimsby sub at around 08:15, in line with when NS #328 would arrive from his 07:15 sighting at Ingersoll, but CN NI dispatcher had other ideas and #328 was stabbed for the Amtrak, VIA #97. With 45 minutes to kill we went over to Kinnear yard and caught CP #135 parked and CP #254 coming in with three new GEVOs as only power before returning to shoot #97 and #328. After that we returned to Kinnear and shot #725 also with a new GEVO meeting CP #254 in quite poor lighting, caught Rail Link working at Hamilton harbour, and watched CN #148 go by from Ham West before going home, as Steve was out of time. CN #385 had a CN leader with KCS 4019 and a WC, and CN #435 had two CN GEVOs and CN 398000, one of two custom built articulated covered hoppers, but we were not able to get either, though we did manage to get a relatively bland GEXR #432 in Guelph.

17.12.06.shtml

December 17th, 2006

We got up well before dawn to arrive at Paris on time for the two endangered NS trains in spite of poor weather. NS #328 showed up with two cars exactly at sunrise, followed by VIA #70, #71, CN #391 with interesting power, CN #148, and NS #327 with a conrail-painted leader. We headed up to Ayr and caught CP #159 followed shortly by CP #257, a single unit light power, before heading to Breslau for VIA #85 and GEXR #432... which chose this day to not run.

20.12.06.shtml

December 20th, 2006

VIA #85 was well over an hour late resulting in a Guelph meet with GEXR #432. They met just out of sight at mile 49.

21.12.06.shtml

December 21st, 2006

With NS #327/#328 in their dying days, I went down to Ingersoll for a late #327. In the afternoon I shot CP London Pickup and #424 at 51.90 Galt sub. Lousy lighting in all cases.

23.12.06.shtml

December 23rd, 2006

We went to the Halton sub hoping for CN #278. We caught CN #271 at Silver Junction in Georgetown, CN #278 at Brampton GO station, then, with nothing else in the area, wandered up to Vaughan Intermodal Terminal to see what was happening there. CP #103 showed up shortly after we did with 5 AC4400CWs and 6 autoracks to pick up its intermodal cars, a yard job was working, and CP #104 took off with two SD90/43MACs light power. We returned home via Streetsville, where we just missed a CP eastbound, then headed to mile 30 where we caught CN #393 and #422, the latter being the only CN train of the day lacking foreign power.

26.12.06.shtml

December 26th, 2006

I heard a CN #351 with a D6R at Paris Junction. It sounded like he was going east, in spite of the westbound number, so once I figured that out for sure I headed down to Mansewood and chased it up toward Georgetown. It had one engine, a handful of cylindrical hoppers serving as dimensional spacers, and a weird cylindrical thingy in white plastic coverings.

28.12.06.shtml

December 28th, 2006

D&H 7303 led on CP Galt sub on the 27th, but we were on our way south at the time and could do nothing about it. We spent the 28th in Altoona picking up NS trains, catching 17 Conrail-painted units including one SD80MAC among many trains, stopping to see Horseshoe Curve, Cresson, and surrounding sites... More to come!

29.12.06.shtml

December 29th, 2006

We took off from Altoona northward searching for shortlines, stopping to check the NS/Nittany and Bald Eagle interchange at Tyrone and their base at Lock Haven, shot the RDCs at Bellefonte, and returned to the other side of Altoona to hunt for the Everett at Hollidaysburg, following their tracks until we found them switching at Roaring Spring before heading to Gallitzin for one coming out of the tunnel and wrapping up the day at Cresson and Lilly.

30.12.06.shtml

December 30th, 2006

We headed for Horseshoe Curve to start the day catching two there, moved to Cresson for the Amtrak and a few trains, and migrated toward South Fork in hopes of finding the SD80MACs. We didn't immediately, but did meet an SD80 nut named Dan who we chased while he chased a coal train the short hop up to Summerville, and then headed up to Creslo Station to shoot coal train C90 coming from the mines -- with 5 SD80MACs for power (3 at the head end, 2 pushing). After spending an unholy amount of time chasing and watching the SD80s, we returned to Altoona to see the museum, which closed the week before for the season, and then spent some time exploring the area around the museum and Amtrak station.

31.12.06.shtml

December 31st, 2006

With 2006's dying hours at hand, we returned home from Altoona stopping to see what we could find on the way, culminating in a stop just outside of CSX's southernmost Buffalo yard at Lake Avenue, where a CSX security officer gave us a CSX 2007 calendar and wished us a happy new year. Happy new year indeed!

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