This first shot was taken shortly after the new year. Ottawa had just emerged from one of the freakishly warm Christmas seasons in recent memory, so the site of snow was a welcome site for me. I made sure to find some time to take shots at the end of Cedarview Road in Barrhaven to get some winter shots of this passing westbound Via Rail corridor train. Later on in the year, I took a shot from the same point of view and was surprised with how different the view was. For example, there are a number of homes behind that train that are obscured by the snow flying in the train's wake.
Later on in January, I began to experiment with shooting around Twin Elm, a rural hamlet that is crossed by the Smiths Falls Subdivision. I found myself at the Twin Elm Road crossing a few times with my baby daughter, since I was on parental leave and these rides in the car would calm her down when she refused to nap in the afternoon (ahh, the memories).
This was my favourite image from these meets with Via Rail corridor trains. This shot was taken of an eastbound corridor train right around sunset. The sky really made this shot work, even though the light was less than ideal. It did take a fair bit of editing to get this shot to look like this.
My efforts in catching up with the Arnpior Local (The Arnprior Turn) on the Beachburg Subdivision were largely fruitless, although I did catch the train one time on the way back from an appointment. I caught this tiny consist on a snowy March morning at Northside Road in Bells Corners. I almost missed the train, so I had to fire off some blind shots as I drove along Northside and focused on the road. This was my favourite shot from that meet.
On the March Break, my family spent a few days in Toronto as a little vacation. We stayed in a condo near GO Transit's North Bathurst Yard. From our 37th floor perch, I captured countless images of commuter trains, Via J-Trains, and the Union Pearson Express. I took a few trips trackside and caught this shot of the UP Express. I think this shot really captures the essence of downtown Toronto. You can see the Bathurst Street bridge, a pedestrian bridge to Front Street, numerous trackside signals, a gantry, condo buildings and a whole lot more.
Those days in Toronto were filled with all sorts of opportunities. I decided to make the most of the time there and get shots of GO Trains from a variety of vantage points. Here is a shot of an eastbound consist with a Metrolinx painted car first in tow. You can just see the North Bathurst Yard to the right of the shot with a few trains waiting for rush hour.
As I mentioned, being on the 37th floor next to the tracks offered some unique opportunities to get shots that I wouldn't otherwise ever be able to get. Here we see two eastbound Via Rail consists heading to Union Station, one led by an F40 and another led by a P42. Note the contrasting paint schemes.
In the midst of all the family fun, I was able to get a few minutes at Roundhouse Park, right across from the Rogers Centre. I was able to capture a few cool images, like this olive green clad Canadian National geep.
In April, I was visiting a friend in Richmond when a late season snowfall dusted the area. I was surprised when I approached the Ottawa Street crossing to see this maintenance of way consist on the spur. I later learned it was used by Via Rail for a number of their area track improvement projects over the course of the summer. If you look closely, you can just make out the snow falling over the swamp next to the tracks.
In June and July, I began to experiment with the area of the Smiths Falls Sub which crosses beneath Highway 416. This shot below is probably my favourite because it also captures a storm headed north toward the city.
Here's another shot from the same shoot with a little more of the train crossing beneath the highway.
In Part II, there were a number of shots I managed to get outside of Ottawa and a few other surprises.