So, my wife finally left me. Don't worry, it was only for a couple of days. Camping with family. So, I camped trackside in my Hyundai. I had a 43-train weekend, June 12-14! It was a win-win. Friday night, I headed to Kingston's VIA station.Conditions were dark and rainy. Oh well, in under five hours, there were 15 trains. (VIA Ren-painted LRC cars are denoted "33xxRen" throughout):
1644 EB No 44 6433-3467Ren-3344Ren-3345Ren-3357
1850 KFC break!
1723 WB No 55 6453-3451Ren-33xx-33xx
1745 EB No 66 6406-3475Ren-3309-3316-3328Ren-3342
1807 EB No 46 6414-3471Ren-3371-3308-3365-3320Ren
1823 WB No 67 902-4005-4113-4117-4122 (top photo)
1850 EB No 646? non-stop 6415-34xx-33xx-3314Ren-33xx (below)
1915 WB No 647 918-3453Ren-3347Ren-3310Ren-3325
1936 WB No 69 904-3472Ren-3300Ren-3301Ren-3356-3351 (second photo below)
1937 EB No 68 non-stop 64xx-four LRC cars
1855 EB CN No 306 2906-DPU 2875
2035 EB No 650 900-4000-4118-4105-4116
2040 WB No 59 913-three LRC cars
2047 EB No 668 6443-3468Ren-3331Ren-3330Ren-3318 (third photo below)
2100 EB CN No 148 2846-2812
2121 EB No 648 6427-3456Ren-3326Ren-3348Ren-3334
VIA No 69 with some trackside viper's bugloss in flower:
The next morning, June 13, I was up before the sun to get in position at Cobourg's VIA station. My railfanning efforts here have so far been limited to what passed by on CP while our train was stopped at the VIA station. I knew I could do better. Arriving around 0515 after a coffee and Harry Connick Jr-fuelled drive west from Kingston, (Afterthought...this would have been excellent driving music - Doin' It Right by the Powder Blues Band. Or, Thirsty Ears. Applicable lyric: By age 15 I was up and gone/I had nothing but my guitar and some blue jeans on/ or in my case: By 4:15 I was up and gone/I had nothing but my Timmy's and the scanner on/) Though the brush is growing, CP's Belleville Sub is just visible, running parallel to that retro-updated factory at left. CN's Kingston Sub runs parallel to the VIA platform. My railfan vehicle reposes, visible in many of these Cobourg photos.
Though defeated by the good citizens of Brockville, VIA's up-and-over accessible monstrosity has been visited upon Cobourg, Belleville and Oshawa. Functional and accessible, of course, but it seems a team of Sherpas might be necessary if the elevators aren't working. The sun rises, and I catch it just peeking around the monster as some distant mist also rises. Cobourg has a nice small-town feel to it, though it seems the GTA just might encroach on it. The commuter business from Cobourg into Toronto is very healthy aboard Monday-Friday VIA No 651, and the parking lot has been enlarged accordingly. Pretty good sightlines for visiting railfans!
CN No 368 was the first, passing just as I entered the VIA parking lot. Power was 2682-2332 at 0528. At 0630, after a brief lull, CN No 517 which originates in Belleville, taking local cars to Toronto, whipped through with 30 cars at 58 mph. I see Millhaven and Kingston Invista cars, with Belleville OMG cars bring up the tail-end:
The first CP of the day was CP No 112 or 118, mostly intermodal behind 8516-9618. I moved to the south side of the CP at the automatically-protected George Street station crossing for this photo:
Cobourg is also bike-friendly. From here, cyclists can head into town via nearby George Street, which also serves the station parking lot, far left (below). A covered shelter and tree-lined path to 'the monster' complement the original brick station.
At 0755, J-train VIA No 50/60 entered the station: 913-3455Ren-3366-3327Ren-6453-3451Ren-3343-3359.
Ten minutes later, VIA No 655 approached from the east on the south track, crossing the Division Street underpass leading to the station. I often wonder if VIA crews actually care about what those weird, plethoric alpha-numeric platform signs mean? No 655 overnighted at Kingston: 900-4000-4118-4105-4116.
Eighteen minutes later, it was CN No 376 2587-5555 with 119 cars, about to change tracks ahead, only going 29 mph. Four nickels!
Notice the railfan vehicle, perhaps secretly personified, wishing it could also go for a ride on CN? CP's Belleville Sub enters a straightaway at right, just beyond the George Street crossing. Legacy Vintage Building Materials operates the former CP freight house. Though tempting to visit, the thought of hearing CP toasters roaring by on the far side of the wall was too much to bear.
Last train of nine before I headed into town. My son took pity on me, inviting me to a nice steak supper so I wouldn't starve. Stopping by the downtown Cobourg LCBO, I could see the farmer's market and yard sales were in full swing. Nice waterfront, too! Here is VIA No 641 at 0955 - 6427-3456Ren-3326Ren-3348Ren-3334. In Part 2, I move on to some more pre-scouted locations.
A few bonus photos from Cobourg: