Sunday, December 11, 2016

An Unplanned Chase

A foggy and overcast November 21st began with a plan to drop the girlfriend off at work in Spruce Grove, and then head back into Edmonton to shoot around the city. Having said goodbye and started back east, I took the 16A.

The 16A Passes over the CN Edson Sub just out side of Spruce Grove and here I saw a a headlight coming west. So, I quickly pulled off at the next crossing to get a shot. As the gates came down, I brought the camera up to shoot a side on shot. The train rushed by, and I saw IC 1001 leading CN 2574.

As the train continued to roll by me, I stopped for a second to make sure that the shots had turned out ok. Of course I had forgotten the focus was set to manual from a previous day! Not wanting to miss out on a decent picture, the chase was on!

Failed attempt at shooting IC 1001
Hopping back on the 16A westbound, I heard the train get a clearance through a foreman's limits in Spruce Grove. This clearance also told me that the train number was CN 301.

I made sure to get far enough ahead to be able to set up, and decided to pull into a road that dead-ends at the tracks between Carvel, and Duffield to shoot some pictures, and video (watch the video here).

As the train approached, I did some practice shots to make sure things were focused. They came closer, and closer, and.... oh crap my camera won't shoot now! A quick off and back on, and it was too late. They were by me.

Too late!
Once again determined not to be denied, I jumped in the car and headed west. This time I got to the trestle over the Trans Canada west of Gainford and set up for a shot of an eastbound train 102, which would be meeting 301, and 199 at Gainford.

After 102 had passed, I went to the next crossing to the west to get 301. Before long, I heard 301 give 102 the old "looking good on both sides" and call a clear signal at Gainford. Meaning they were once again coming west.

Soon enough they were within sight again, and I snapped some pictures without any problems this time.

Finally, I had what I wanted.

As the tail-end passed, I was back in the car heading east to shoot 199 beside the stopped 102.

I like the low down angle in this one.

After that I decided to head into Wabamun to try a few different angles there as well, but they didn't turn out how I had hoped and I decided that was the end of the day for me trackside.


  1. definitely foggy and overcast - I like the mood! Great shots after some dedication to overcome camera issues. :)

    1. Thank you very much, Steve. It was worth taking the time to chase the train, despite the unfortunate camera issues.