Thursday, 21 February 2013

101 tankers

Without aid of a scanner, railfanning becomes part luck and part experience.  Over time you get some idea of when certain trains tend to pass and plan accordingly but most of the time it's just winging it and depending on lady luck.

After a few trips to the Summerhill pedestrian bridge crossing CP's North Toronto Subdivision I figured out that a mixed westbound consist, likely originating from the Markham yards, passes under the bridge at about 11:25 on Sunday mornings.  It means a crossing of the high trestle bridges in the Don Valley a few minutes earlier.

An outing two weeks ago had bad timing as I was late making my way through the snow into the valley and caught only the last car and EOT device disappearing over the bridge.  After hanging around a bit I headed up the valley walls only to hear another westbound unit crossing the trestle bridge.  Out of position to vid I got back in time to see a lengthy crude consist which I had not seen while hanging out in Summerhill.

Last Sunday, February 17, with sunny skies and fresh fluffy white stuff down it was back to the trestle bridge and try for the mixed consist.  Sticky snow on ice is pretty good to run on but light cold snow over ice is tough slippery going.  I got to the bridge just a shade to late to catch the power units on a surprise eastbound mixed slowly crossing on the north track.  Within a couple of minutes, with the e/b in motion, a trio of engines appeared westbound on the south track in bright sun and towing two boxcars and 404 axles worth of crude tankers.  Likely headed stateside (train CP 605 perhaps?) with two CP SDs and a DME SD sandwiched between.

This is shortened to save bandwidth but it's 3 locos, 2 boxes and 101 crude tankers. The lead is SD60 CP 6245 followed by SD40-3 DME 6068 and SD40-2 CP 5941.

Edit: It was train 609 as caught in this vid by SD402F:

Monday, 11 February 2013

VIA Canadian doesn't quite fit - Google maps

Check this out, it's a location link in Google maps.  Zoom a notch and pan after you open it.,-79.380346&spn=0.002935,0.004823&t=h&z=17

This is Union Station in Toronto.  The train that juts out the east and west ends of the platform appears to be the VIA Canadian, the giveaway being the observation dome on the tapered end car on the east (right) side.  A pair of engines, the first car and part of the second car protrude the west side while the trailing 3 cars and part of the 4th protrude the east side.  Obviously too long for the platform, I guess to board and de-board, either shunt the cars to position in stages or everyone passes through to the platform adjacent cars.

I'd never noticed it before in the maps.  Neat.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Snowy morning at Danforth GO station

Having been sidelined with a cold for the last while, rail vids had to take a back seat.  Oh, I've done plenty of running.  I just can't be standing around in the cold waiting for something to show up.  The closest I've gotten is a couple of visits to the pedestrian bridge over the CP tracks at Summerhill to see if I could get a lucky strike.  The one time I was there and had a chance, I managed to double pump the rec button on the Sony and came up blank as a beauty of a mixed CP consist trundled by.

So with this biggest storm of the last 4 1/2 years upon us, I thought a quick jaunt over the Main Avenue timed for a couple of scheduled passes would be in order and chance to get some footage in nasty conditions.  It's not far away, less than 15 minutes.  I had my trail shoes outfitted with hex screws for traction and my full winter wear on.  Camera in a carry bag, in a plastic bag and all wrapped up nice and tight.

Made it with a minute to spare as the eastbound VIA tandem of 52 and 50 headed for Montreal/Ottawa came peeking through the blizzard like conditions at speed.  6442 was in lead for Montreal bound #52 up front but the unit leading #50 in tow lacked number lighting and I didn't catch what was on the side as it passed.

An Oshawa bound GO train would be next.  It would normally arrive just before the VIA but I'm guessing was a bit late on it's Union Station arrival and took a few more minutes to reach Main Ave.  In the meantime I taped a TTC streetcar climbing the hill on Main on it's way to the station.  No slipping here, the tracks were clear from plenty of traffic.  I think the vehicles with tires fared a bit worse in the city today.  This is tacked onto the end of the clip.  After that, the GO unit finally arrived.  Autofocus took a bit to kick in with the snow flying about, and again I couldn't catch the lead unit number in the poor lighting.

Sunshine promised for tomorrow.  Down into the valley for me, camera in hand, and see what I can come up with.