Thursday, May 3, 2018

Spring has arrived!

With Spring finally here in the Edmonton area, I've felt a little more motivated to start writing again. And what better to write about than a day trackside enjoying the weather.

It's May 3, 2018 and I'm up at the crack of dawn to shoot some trains, beginning in Spruce Grove where CN 2314 comes rolling through. The sunrise provided a nice backdrop for this shot.

CN 2314 under a rising sun. Spruce Grove, Alberta

After 2314 had passed, I  journeyed west to have a look at the double track work CN is doing between Spruce Grove and Carvel. There were workers at every crossing I stopped at, and I didn't want to get in the way so there are no pictures.

I can say that even just the tree clearing that has been done has opened up a number of new angles that were not available previously.

After checking on the work, I moved back eastward again to Spruce Grove. As I arrived, I heard CN 772 receive clearance through the double track work zone. Before long, CN 8827 was rolling onto the south track heading for Edmonton.

CN 8827 leads train 772 east through Spruce Grove, Alberta

CN 772 is an empty sand train that runs from the Grande Prairie, Alberta area to Wisconsin. This train had some freight tacked on the head-end as can be seen above.

Empty sand cars eastbound through Spruce Grove, Alberta

That was the first of three eastbound trains through Spruce Grove. The second would be mixed freight train 416 with CN 8952, and 2017 providing the power.

I attempted a shot across a field, but I'm not sure how much I like it.

CN 416 rolls eastbound along a field near Spruce Grove, Alberta

The third train, which was gaining ground on 416 quickly, was VIA 2 a.k.a. the Canadian. VIA 2 hit the mile 23 hotbox detector at 65 miles per hour, and then the mile 15 detector at 69! They were looking to make up time as they were already running 3 hours late.

A late VIA 2 speeds east through Spruce Grove, Alberta

I had to run home quickly to drive the Fiancee to work. When I got back out trackside, CN 419 was preparing to head north on the Westlock Subdivision. 419 runs Edmonton to Mclennan, Alberta by way of the Westlock and Slave Lake Subs.

For 419 I elected to find a new location that I hadn't seen anyone else shoot at. It required a bit of wandering through a field and the woods, but I found the location. And it paid off.

CN 419 crosses a wooden trestle north of Saint Albert, Alberta
Not bad! I'll be back.

419 would be meeting 590 at Morinville, and I had just enough time to get back to the car and head about a mile north to shoot 590 crossing highway 37.

CN 590 crosses highway 37 heading south to Edmonton

That was the end of my day, but hopefully it is the start of a good summer. This may also be the inspiration I need to start writing again.


  1. Great photography, David! That trestle shot is killer but I liked the cattail photo too. Very creative.

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