Recently, I was able to shift my work hours around on a Wednesday, which allowed me to try and catch the ever elusive Arnprior local, CN 589. The Arnprior Turn, as many in the city call it, makes a weekly run of caprolactam out to Nylene Canada in Arnprior. The train departs Walkley Yard in the morning, waits for clearance from dispatch in Montreal to cross the Walkley Diamond and the Capital Railway Ellwood Subdivision in between O-Train trips. It then proceeds west toward Arnprior on the Beachburg Subdivision before proceeding on the Renfrew Spur past the old Nepean Junction.
In recent months, local rail watchers have said that 589 passes through Kanata at March Road around 9:30 a.m. A few told me they caught it at this time recently, so I figured I would set up at my favourite spot, the Trans-Canada Trail crossing near Corkstown Road. At around 9:30, I saw GP9 4139 rounding the corner from Bells Corners.
The sightlines along this stretch of Beachburg are better in the spring, since the trackside brush has yet to bloom. I took a few long shots of the train as it made its way to my spot.
As the train neared what CN calls the Cyclepath crossing, I backed up on the trail to reduce the wedge factor. It's very easy to get a bunch of wedge shots at this crossing, so I made a mental note to plan a wider shot so I backed up before the train even came into view.
I took a few shots of the train emerging from behind this brush, since I wanted to try and catch the train's reflection in the trackside ditches. Anyone who lives in this area knows we have been getting record rainfall over the last month. That makes for some photo opportunities trackside, since most of the tracks in the city are surrounded by water right now. Call it a glass-half-full take on a dreary stretch of weather.
This was my favourite shot. The old GP9, the scruffy trackside brush, a few hints of green and nary a shadow to contend with. For a train enthusiast in Ottawa, it doesn't get much better than this.
One final going away shot as 589 proceeds beneath the Queensway, or the 417. The tank cars were pretty standard GATX standard issue black, although the lead car appeared to be blue. I checked the number, UTLX 220919 and found that it belongs to the T096 class, which typically consist of white tanks with a centre black band. Some call it a saddle style tank car. It would make sense since this train often uses those types of saddle tank cars.
Anyway, that was my meet with 589. I am compiling a post of some of my favourite shots of this train, which still seems to be the favourite among local railfans. I can only imagine people from outside Ottawa rolling their eyes. Imagine looking forward to a single weekly train that usually consists of three to five cars.
That's the life of a railfan in Ottawa.