Thursday, January 26, 2017

First Day Trackside in 2017

First of all, happy new year to all of the readers here. Hope everyone had a great 2016, and here is to an amazing 2017

January 7 brought my first day trackside in 2017, and it didn't disappoint.

The day started as may others do for me, by dropping of the girlfriend at work in Spruce Grove. Today was a 9-5 shift for her, providing lots of time for me to be out. So, I decided to head west towards Wildwood, and explore a few locations I had spotted on Google Earth. 

The first stop was the Lobstick s-curve which is just east of Wildwood. I liked the look of this spot because the road crosses right in the middle of the s-curve, providing a curve shot in either direction.

The Lobstick S-Curve Crossing

Shortly after arriving here, I heard over the scanner that an eastbound would be coming soon. I quickly set up on the north side of the crossing, and before long CN 304 came speeding by.

Not a bad shot at all!

The opposite direction provided a nice going away angle as well.

304 would be meeting 105 at Evansburg, so I decided to relocate quickly into Wildwood itself.

Before long 105 came rolling into Wildwood with 2930 leading the way. The below shot would have turned out better had it been properly focused, but you can't win 'em all!

After 105, I knew there would be a bit of a break between trains, as they would likely have to do a meet at Leaman.

Taking this into consideration, I moved west and found another curve to shoot at Granada. This crossing is a few miles west of Wildwood.

Before long, I heard a horn in the distance, and CN 302 came around the corner with 2902 leading 2874. 

After 302 rolled by, it was time to start heading east again.

As I did so, I heard 302 meeting 119 at Evansburg. Knowing 119 wouldn't be long, I decided to try a shot of them with Chip Lake in the background.

Not bad, but would be better for an eastbound in the summer. I'll take it though.

It was a bit of a break between trains, as 111 was out there somewhere with engine troubles. I returned to the Lobstick location to wait.

About 30-40 minutes later 111 finally showed up with 2679 leading the long stacker.

Another nice curve shot for the day.

After 111 had passed, I received word from a friend that 843 would be coming shortly with 5412 leading the way. So I decided to stick around for them.

I waited, and waited.... finally a horn in the distance! But... from the wrong direction.

Turned out that 111 had a meet with 310 at Leaman. I quickly adjusted for a different angle, producing the below shot.

2100 leading! Nice!

They would be meeting 843 at Evansburg, so again I waited.

Finally 843 began blowing for the crossing east of me, and before long they were right there with a nice surprise trailing unit.

Definitely worth the wait.

After that I decided to head for home, but in doing so got ahead of 310 again. "Might as well shot them again" I said to myself.

I got to the Gainford and set up by the trestle, producing this shot.

You'll notice the burnt side of IC 2704 in this shot.

The final shot of the day came at Carvel as 310 once again rolled by.

As it began to get darker, that was it. Time to pick up Lauren from work.

Hope you enjoyed the journey. More to come this year.


  1. Nice set of shots! I like how you had an idea of what kind of shot you wanted (curves) and set out to get them. Much better than just going to the nearest track and taking what you get.

    1. Usually I try to have some sort of plan, but in the railway world those plans don't always go the way you want.

      Thanks as always, Steve.

  2. Hey David, that is a nice day for trains. Do you ever railfan with others along the lines around Edmonton?

    1. Yes, I go out with a few people every now and then.