Friday, January 8, 2016

A Look Back at the Year of 2015

2015 certainly brought an adventure, and a lots of learning experiences. Let's take a look back at some of the highlights of the year:

January 6:
I started the year still in Eastern Ontario railfanning the CP Winchester, and CN Kingston Subs. Below is my first video of the year in the form of CP 8944 heading east over Kemptville Creek, near station name Bedell.

The same day, I ventured down to the Kingston Sub to get my first CN action of the year, and wasn't disappointed.

VIA 62, and CN 532 pass by me within a minute of each other just east of Brockville. 62 was travelling much quicker than 532, with made "The Tortoise & The Hare" a suiting name.

January 16:
This day brought the opportunity to shoot a train that I had been aiming to get for quite some time. CN 327 is a mixed freight that originates in Montreal, Quebec and terminates in Syracuse, NY. Often times this train sports CSX power, and today I was able to catch some.

January 20:
4 days after catching CN 327, I had the opportunity to catch a Ferromex unit operating in Canada on CP train 143 out of Montreal. I knew that the train had departed Montreal just prior to myself leaving Orleans. Little did I know that I would show up just 5 minutes after they had past through Finch, Ontario. When I realized what had happened, I chased them down. An hour and a half later I was finally ahead of them, and managed to get the shot below. This is the first and only shot I have of a Ferromex unit thus far.

February 28 - March 3:
Near the beginning of February, I learned that my girlfriend and I would be moving to Weyburn, SK. This would be our first big adventure of the year, and I did a few blog posts dedicated to the move which took place on the noted dates above:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

March 7:
Having finally settled down a bit in Weyburn, I ventured out to catch my first train on the Prairies. I quickly learned "holy cow that wind is cold" when shooting CP 8776 south. Of interest to me in this catch was CP 6615 sandwiched between 8776, and 8846.

March 15:
The first trip of the year to Regina yielded my first catch of the Stewart Southern Railway(SSR) near Richardson. Later in the year, the SSR would be the focus of my first episode of "Shortline Profile", which you can read about here.

March 23:
While this may not be a big deal to everyone, March 23 marked my first catch of a Loram Rail Grinder in action.

Seeing this thing in action was pretty cool, and I am glad that I got the opportunity to shoot it.

May 3:
On this day, I published the first instalment of "Abandoned Rails" to the blog. The original focused on CN's abandoned Turtleford Sub, and the second which was published later in the year on CP's Kisbey Sub.

May 8:
May 8th was the day of a journey to Lloydminster by myself. I took thee opportunity to do some railfanning along the way, and did a post about the day, here. Highlights were a CP ballast train, Last Mountain Railway power at Alyesbury, and perfect timing for a meet on CN.

May 17:
The 17th brought me home for the funeral of my Grandfather(Papa). This definitely was not a planned trip home, but another lesson learned in "don't take things to granted."

While sitting in my grandparent backyard, I took advantage of nice quiet morning to shoot CN 120, and 407 rolling through Belmont. There is something about the hills, and the quiet being broken in below shot of 407 that I love. The same can be said about this shot of 120 moments earlier.

May 25:
After the very quick trip home to NS, I had about a day between getting back to Saskatchewan, and heading to California for my Cousin's wedding. On May 25, I got lucky and caught Amtrak 144 heading south passed Kirby Park, CA.

July 1:
On July 1st, I found myself driving a friend home to Lloydminster. Along the way we came across a detoured CN intermodal on the Prairie North Line. The detour was set up due to work blockages on the mainline to the south.

You may also notice in this video that it is quite smoky. This was due to the wildfires burning to the north.

September 16:
This day marked the first release of my Google Earth railway maps. I began by releasing the CP network, and then later the CN network.

In the next few weeks I should be releasing the GWI Canadian Division, as well as a few other railways, so look for those in the coming weeks.

September 20:
On the 20th of September I caught a train near Wilcox, SK on the CP Weyburn Sub. This train, if you were to look at it, you would think was somewhere in the states because of the power it sported. UP 5535 and KCS 4831. You might think "why is this important?" Well it is important to me because catching that KCS unit meant that I had now captured all of the Class I railways on camera.

Have a watch of the video below, and read about where I caught each of the other class I railways here

The rest of the year was relatively quiet for myself, aside from acquiring my Dad's old Canon Rebel which I hope to get a lot of use out of in the next year to come.

Happy New Year to everyone!