On Dec. 23, I was on my way into Sarnia when I saw this intermodal train (above) making its way east. The first thing worth mentioning is this area's resemblance to the prairies. Sarnia and Lambton County is an area of fertile farm land, which is as flat as the prairies, albeit with more trees. The ice storm that blasted Toronto on the 23rd brought rain to the Sarnia area, which produced the above shot of this train making its way next to a fallow corn field, dotted with snow.
By way of contrast, this shot below is Mandaumin in the summer months, with the corn stalks at their peak.
As I drove down the road, I pulled over a few times to take a few shots of CN 5451 (SD60) and Illinois Central 1038 (SD70) hustling with a full train bound for London. You can make out the barns on the other side of the main line. I was really pleased with this shot and the one at the top of this post, since the terrain allowed me to get full shots of the train.
I was even luckier as the train made its way to the crossing (shot below). The sun managed to peak through the clouds to provide the perfect lighting for the train as it passed the railway's Mandaumin sign. You can see a small piece of the farmer's co-op to the right. I was pleased with the lighting and the clouds, which all contributed to some of the best rail photos I have taken. I have a few more from this meet that I will share later.
Almost as if on cue, the sun began to retreat behind the clouds as the end of the train came into view. I snapped a few shots of the end of the train through my car's open window before making my way into Sarnia where I spent an enjoyable morning getting some great shots at the end of the CSX Sarnia Subdivision, on the Point Edward spur and around Sarnia Yard.
Happy New Year to all my fellow train fans. Hope you enjoyed our first stop in 2014.