Show me an example Saintjohnrailfan's Ultimate Adventures: January 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009


I don't take too many pictures. However, I've created a Picasa album for you to check out my shots. I'm not an expert photographer, so some of the pictures aren't really the best, but oh well.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nice & Shiny SD70M-2

To my surprise on Monday, one of the engines on CN 405's consist was a shiny new SD70M-2, "8867". Today, after venturing in to Saint John, I noticed that 8867 would be the lead loco on today's 405 run.

Here it is passing by the Rothesay train station. It's nice to see and hear some different stuff on this run. Hope they keep it on for a little while longer.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rail-Videos debate

I think I sparked some sort of debate over at

I uploaded a video over there that I haven't put on Youtube yet. I'm not really sure if I will or not. It ended up being the second most viewed video last week, even though it was only there for half the week. It's already gotten close to 1800 views in less than 7 days.

All the logic there seems somewhat sound, but I'm still sticking with my view.

Saturday In Hampton

On Saturday, I decided that I wanted to catch 405 going by Hampton, NB. After hearing their clearance, I putted around the house for about 15 or 20 minutes, then ventured out for gas, then out to Hampton. I knew that based on past experiences, it's close to an hour before the train goes through. Sure enough, after arrival, I waited approximately 20 minutes before the train came around the corner.

Two things I noticed. First off, 405 had 5 units on the train, as the last unit 7060, is a local engine which works in Saint John. Upon further investigation, it's most likely the engine had to go up to Montreal for servicing. The second thing was that 405 had tripped the hotbox detector. After the reading, you can somewhat see the train begin to slow down.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Poll & Links

I've added a new poll to the blog, as well as some of my favorite links. Just to make it feel more interactive.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CN 406

I woke up yesterday morning to find out that a late CN 406 was idling just short of mile 78 on the Sussex sub. I decided to venture out to get a shot of it.

Not quite sure why they were stopped, my best guess is that the crew ran out of hours, so they parked the train. After a job interview in town, I drove back out to discover they were still there. At around noon, the crew came back to the location via taxi, and at around 12:30pm, they continued on the remaining 5 miles to Saint John.

It's been awhile since I've caught a 406, so it was a nice change.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Great White North

On Saturday, my girlfriend had to go to Fredericton for a few hours, so I decided to go with her, drop her off, and head up to McGivney. -25C weather isn't going to hold me back! When I arrived, this is what I saw:

Just for the record, the train wasn't moving in this photo. From what I could make out of the talk on the Scanner, the BC Rail unit stopped working, and the train didn't have enough power to haul the entire train. The 305 crew had to cut 40 cars off the train and leave it in the McGivney siding. The story is explained in the video:

Once 305 left, that was pretty much it for the time being. Of course, ala traingeek, I shot a hi-rail truck with Tim at the wheel.

I was informed that 120 would be along shortly, as it was only 45 minutes west of McGinvey. However, my time ran out, so I most likely missed it by about 10 or 15 minutes. A pretty good day though.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Mini Chase

On Wednesday, I ventured in to Saint John for a job interview in the morning. On the way back through, I decided to stop in at Island Yard, and discovered that the 405 consist today will have 4 engines, CN/IC 2723, 5647, 4721, and one that I couldn't see, because it was behind some tanker cars. I discovered that it was 5709. My plan was to try to catch it on video somewhere, since 4 units on this run is rare.

I ventured home for the day, did some things around the house, and waited for the clearance call on the scanner. At around 4:10pm, just as I opened the door to go outside, I heard what I thought was a train horn. About 30 seconds later, the rumbling started, and the ground felt like it was shaking. Then, through the trees, I could see it going WAY in the distance. I guess I can see the train from around 2km through the trees from my deck. Of course, this only works in the winter time.

So, my plan to hear the clearance, then just catch them out in Rothesay was pretty much wasted. I had to rush and grab my camera and headed out somewhere. Of course, with it being 4:15pm, all the "coming home from work" traffic made it extremely difficult. My plan was to catch it in Hampton, NB, but at the last second, changed course and ventured out to Bloomfield Station Road. I guess luck was on my side, as I arrived about 10 minutes before the train did. All this considering he was ahead of me a short time earlier.

Here's the end result of the chase, CN 405 passing through Bloomfield Station Road, with 154 cars, including 43 potash cars for McCully's in Sussex, NB.

My next plan is to try to get a long distance shot of the train through the trees. Should be interesting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Matt & Dave's Excellent Moncton Adventure

Well, Dave (nbsrfan) and myself ventured up to Moncton on Saturday morning to see what we could see by the way of trains. We had decided to head up and be there for about 4:45am, so that we could see CN 121 depart Moncton. When we arrived to the yard, all that was there was a shunt crew working away, as well as 3 engines sitting near the shops, which would be used later on 305.

After sitting around for a few hours, we ventured in to Moncton to head to Tim Hortons. We figured that we wouldn't miss a great deal, since it was still relatively early in the morning. Again, we ventured back to the yard. At around 7:30am, we met up with Luc Doiron. We chatted for a few. He made a quick call and informed us that as of 8:30am, a VERY late CN 120 was just making it's way through Chipman, NB, and should arrive in about an hour. Dave and I decided to venture over to Berry Mills for the shot. Unlike the other videos that I've shot there, we decided it was best to move to the other side of the tracks, so the sun wouldn't get in the shot. After driving around for a little bit, we set up shop, and at around 9:30am, CN 120 rolled through.

CN 120 stopped because 305 was on the main track into the yard getting their train ready. 120 sat for about an hour. Once 305 was ready, it came onto the mainline, the backed up, so that CN 120 could get into the yard. Finally, about 15 minutes after 120 departed, CN 305 came through.

After CN 305 went on it's way, Dave and I headed back in to Gort to see if there was any other action there. We caught CN 120 unhooking it's cars as well as one of their engines, 5647, which is currently being used on the Moncton/Saint John (405/406) run.

We heard VIA 14 get clearance from Pacific Junction to the Moncton station. We decided to make the trip out to Sackville, NB. It was only about a 20 minute drive from Moncton, but it was worth the trip out. Our plan was to catch VIA 14, CN 407 and 120 out here. We initially were expecting VIA to come through first, then 407. However, once we arrived in Sackville, we discovered the Amherst facing signal was showing green over red, indicating that 407 would actually be along first. We set up at the crossing at the Sackville VIA station. About 20 minutes later, CN 407 made it's way through.

VIA 14 was sitting at the siding in Evans, which is located just up the line towards Moncton. The scanner picked up VIA 14 leaving the siding, and calling signals all the way to Sackville. We decided to pick the very last crossing, and caught VIA 14 making it's way through. It ran right through the station, as it did not have any passengers to drop off or pick up.

We were told that CN 120 departed, but there was no indication of it what so ever on the scanner. Later on, we discovered that 120 most likely pulled into the siding at Painsec Junction to let CN 407 go by. About an hour after VIA went by, CN 120 came barreling through. We decided to head to the middle of the three crossings in the area, as it had a nice curve before the crossing. CN 120 rolled through with 1 less engine, and only half the cars it came into Moncton with.

After this last train came by, we ventured back into Moncton to return to Gort yard. We sat for about an hour. There was very little going on, other than yard crew shunting cars around and preparing for trains 406 and 408 in the evening. Apparently, CN 308 arrived at around 5pm, but it would have been difficult to get a good shot of it on the bridge, so we decided not to, and ventured back to Saint John, taking the old road, which follows the Sussex Sub to Petitcodiac.

Our scanners picked up CN 405 at McCully's, which is located in Penobsquis, just outside of Sussex. They were there to drop off their cut of potash cars from Saint John. We arrived there just in time to see 405's engines in the siding dropping the cars. About 20 minutes after we arrived, CN 405 continued on it's way to Moncton with it's remaining 100 cars.

Once they departed, so did we. That was it for the day. After a disappointing start to the day (missing 121), we managed to turn thing around. Overall, definately worth the trip. It's worth doing again, soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Disappointment in McGivney

On Monday, Myself and Dave(nbsrfan) ventured up to McGivney for a few hours to see what we could see. We arrived at about 6:00am to find the signals were red over red. We assumed that CN 121 hadn't been through yet. We waited until about 8:30am, where one of the maintenance crew informed us that 121 was just getting in to Edmundston. This would have put it through our location at about 4 or 4:30am. Bummer.

At this time, we were also informed that CN 305 departed Moncton. We decided to wait it out. About 2 hours later, at 10:30am, CN 305 passed through with a rather short train, only 61 cars. CN 5740 & 2702 powered the load.

Afterwards, we went back to Saint John. After dropping Dave off, I decided to venture out near Rothesay, as I figured CN 405 had not departed Saint John. After a little wait, CN 405 makes it's way near the old Rothesay Train station with 2723 & 2620 for power.

Based on my expectations, it was a disappointing day. However, I guess I should be thankful that Dave and myself had caught something.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

Hope everybody had a safe and happy New Year. Here's a video that I shot on Jan 2, of CN 405:

More to come.