Thursday, July 20, 2023

The ghost that haunts me (Part II)

In the first part of this post, I shared a few photos of CN's Arnprior Turn crossing the Merivale Road flyover as it returned to Walkley Yard recently. I was extremely lucky to capture this shot, as it is a rare opportunity to capture something different in and around Ottawa. I recently dubbed this year the Year of Different, as it seemed to fit with my goal to capture some different railway images for the blog. Truthfully, it was done out of necessity as well, since the overwhelming majority of my images this year have been of Via Raul corridor trains. There are only so many images you can capture of F40s and P42s and four LRC or HEP cars. Sure, it was cool capturing some rarer Via rolling stock during the tail end of the buffer car period, but that has come and gone, leaving me with fewer options for railway images to capture.

So, as I mentioned in the first part of this post, I caught images of 589 crossing over Merivale Road, while traffic was stopped. When it began moving, I knew I might have a chance to catch 589 crossing over Prince of Wales Drive, since its speed is severely restricted on the last remnants of the Beachburg Sub. I decided to give it a try, as I had time to spare before my daughters' dance class on Colonnade Road.

Colonnade parallels the Beachburg Sub for a short stretch in what was once known as Nepean, just north of Hunt Club Road. There was a parking lot to pull into, which allowed me to get a clear vantage point of the old stonework flyover that takes mainly Via Rail corridor trains over busy Prince of Wales Drive. The one issue I encountered was I barely had enough time to set up, which meant I couldn't run fast enough to get a spot beyond the wires. In weeks past, I have caught images of Via Rail's westbound Train 59 on this bridge a few times, which I will be sharing later.

This time, it was 589 I was desperately trying to catch.

I was really happy with this shot, given that it was rushed. I would have liked to have been beyond the hydro poles, but this was the closest I could get as my timing was extremely rushed. I like that I captured two old GP38-2s with the sergeant stripes. The old stonework flyover is a nice feature as well, as it goes well with the old geeps. The only giveaway that this image isn't from the 90s or 80s is the parade of newer cars on Prince of Wales.

Here's a shot of the caprolactum empties it is bringing back to Walkley after unloading at Nylene Canada earlier that day. This meet fulfilled my Year of Different objectives well, as I was able to capture an image of a freight train in two new spots and each shot was taken from a vantage point that was not a 3/4 or wedge shot. The evening light was just about perfect, as the clouds in the sky reduced any potential shadows that would have required a fair bit of touch-ups afterward. 

One final shot of the last three tank cars before I headed back to take my daughters to dance class. If you look carefully, you can just make out the cab of the geep to the extreme left of the image. All in all, it was a lucky meet and a wise decision on my part to bring along my camera after initially toying with the idea of not bringing it along.

My daughter's dance classes have resumed after a short summer break, which means I am back in this area on Wednesday evenings, which allows me to hope that I might catch up with the Ghost once more over the summer months. Last week, we were too late to catch it, but I did capture a shot of Via's Train 59 heading under the Hunt Club Road overpass. I saw a few interesting things while in the area, which I will share in an upcoming post.


Kevin from Windsor said...

Interesting that the overpass on Merivale is poured concrete while the one on Prince of Wales is stonework. Was Merivale rebuilt, or just a newer overpass?

Michael said...

Well, at the very least, they seem to be of different vintages. There are a number of bridges on this line similar to the Merivale flyover, all of which were of the early 1970s vintage. In my neighbourhood, the bridges over the roads are from this time. The Prince of Wales Bridge is similar to a bridge over Carling Avenue in Kanata, which once took the old Northern Transcontinental line north to the Ottawa River and up toward Algonquin Park. It's my guess that the Prince of Wales flyover was built earlier and it might reflect the geography of the area, since Prince of Wales is next to the Rideau River. So, there is that bridge over the river to begin with, not far from this image. CN must have built this flyover around the same time as the river bridge, given you would want your trackage to remain level on either side of a watercourse. Just my guess, without doing any research on it.

Michael said...

To give you an idea of the infrastructure on the Beachburg Sub in Nepean, the Merivale flyover was built in 1971 while the Woodroffe flyover was built in 1978. I venture to guess the Prince of Wales flyover made of stone was likely built much earlier, but I could be wrong. The design of that bridge does not include any cornerstone with a year, like the more modern structures over Merivale and Woodroffe.