I was in Brockville earlier in January, with time on my hands. Of course, I beetled trackside! At the Park Street crossing, just east of the William Street overpass and VIA station, No 149 was approaching (above) westbound at 1000 behind 5558-5697. I had just missed VIA No 52. Pulling into the VIA station parking lot, the lighting was not in my favour. Long, blue shadows fell towards me, and any photography would have been blindingly bad. This was my opportunity to head up to the William Street overpass. CN No 106 was approaching, roadswitcher No 532 was eager to do some work on the main, and there had to be more VIA trains out there, so up I went!
Being up on an overpass not only gives a unique viewpoint, it also reduces the chances of getting 'skunked' when there is a lot of activity. The same was true of my railfanning at Portage la Prairie, MB where more than one railway and several tracks were involved. Before any trains came through, looking west I was able to check out a nice string of CN boxcars, awaiting spotting at the CN metals distribution warehouse across from the station: CNA 415393, CN 412249, BCOL 100375, CN 415267, CN 414650, CN 415268, CNA 413088, and CN 411231 had been on-spot since Monday. Carrying metal products from Arvida, QC (thanks, Chris!), all but these two would soon be spotted on one of two tracks inside the warehouse:
Unintelligible graffiti and a surviving large CN logo (above). Brockville railfanning did not bores (sic) me, (below):
Foreman James Reader was hi-railing west just before No 106 blew through at 1105 with 2410 leading and 2540 (I think) trailing. Compare a similar view west in the VIA/CN era. CP's loop line and freight house, plus the pocket track used by VIA are of course now gone. Watch for an upcoming post. In the meantime, open up the link and toggle back and forth to melt away the years.
Looking east, with CP's Brockville Sub branching off to the left with two interchange tracks, Geeps 7083-4139 spotted all but last two boxcars indoors, before skedaddling east to switch industries at Mi 118 and Mi 114 Kingston Sub. Toggle time - compare a similar view east in the CN/VIA era. Howard Travel's bus garage still promotes Canadian Airlines' 1987 logo.
But first, an amply-powered No 369 arrives to make a setout of more metals traffic at the west end of yard, north side: 5740-2514-5641-2442 wearing the North America scheme-5613 at 1130.
CN's 618xxx-series ingot flat car fleet has been supplanted recently by lease HPJX short-bulkhead flat cars. The sun was a-glintin' of the metal's metallic finish aboard HPJX 52222:
I don't know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but you can count how many metal signs could be bolted to one post, under the overpass. I was, however, 'walking on water' as the two inch-thick crust of ice from December's ice storm had not melted. CP's line to Smiths Falls branches off through the interlocking at left, with CN's Kingston Sub double-track mainline heading east to Montreal at right. The right-hand signal mast controls movements into the third (station) track at Brockville.
Another trip to Brockville last September netted VIA 6459 eastbound, having been renumbered from its original number 6403. It seemed only fitting that the crisp Canadian tenner tender that I received in change at Timmy's would feature the same locomotive. F is for freezing, F is for frothy coffee, F is for fake F40 numbering!
VIA No 64 (901-8621-4009-4118-4102-4101-4112) made its station stop, then crossed over to the north track to head east to Montreal. The sun was still at a difficult angle, but I still managed to finagle an Adam Walkeresque Kingston Sub mileage marker into the frame. The signals look yellow but they are actually red.
Here's a view of the station from the west end, looking north-east that I took during a trip to Brockville last summer. VIA No 42 914-3 LRC cars was eastbound at 1510, not stopping in Brockville.
Mark Perry's 365 Project has gone to the 'test pattern' now that 2013 is but a memory. I had asked Mark if he would consider making it a two-year, 730 Project. No, he replied that he'd leave it to someone else. In its place, another cool blog partner has joined Trackside Treasure's sidebar - Oddblock Station Agent's Extra Train Stuff, Etc. Check out his profile to connect to his other neat blogs.
I linked to Andrew's Berwick Railfan site in my recent Central Vermont white box cars post. He has an excellent collection of photos from Pennsylvania, home of the BFF plant in which the unique cars were built. Feeling stressed-out? Try his colouring pages...hey, why should kids have all the fun?
Train Reaction (oh, like chain reaction, I get it now) was featured on the news tonight. Not into the bar scene, these musicians drop into the next New Rocket to do some guitar-strummin', djembe-drummin' and crowd participation to engender TTC commuter community. And if they don't feel the vibe on one train, they hop off and hop on another two minutes later. Seems like fare play to me.