Now, I'm not going to pretend like all the shots below are the definitive shots of this train out there, but they are the best I have to offer so far. The first shot is looking south to a point where the east-west rail alignment on Beachburg turns north so the line can cross under Highway 417, or the Queensway as it is known locally.
I was perched at the level crossing where the line meets the Trans-Canada Trail. Below you see a long shot of the train making the turn.
Here's a closer shot. You can see the engineer and the conductor looking out as 9418 trundles toward Arnprior long hood forward. Lots of spring foliage encroaching on the ballast in this spot. This part of the subdivision crosses through the Greenbelt.
I'm sure the crew was wondering, 'A railfan? Man, must be that blogger.' I'm sure they can count the rail fans in Ottawa on one hand.
Here's where things get interesting. As the train approached the crossing, I noticed something on the side of 9418. Can you make it out in this shot?
How about now?
Okay, here it is. This is a CN North America-painted geep! As I mentioned in an earlier post, these are not all that common, although a few readers told me they are still more plentiful than I thought. Still, it's the first time I've seen one in Ottawa in my time watching trains. The livery looks to be in pretty decent shape.
I wanted to capture some interesting shots of the train heading under the Queensway. This vantage point allowed me to capture a few decent going away shots as the train rounded the curve. Beyond the highway lies the Corkstown Road level crossing followed by a short stretch of track before Beachburg gives way to the Renfrew Spur at Nepean Junction. This spot, where the spur and Beachburg separate, is a junction mainly in name only now. Most of Beachburg beyond Nepean has been removed, although I suspect the CWR train may return at some point this summer to gather up what's left of the subdivision that's still in place through northern Kanata and beyond.
Here's another shot with a little more tank car showing.
After the train passed me by, I crossed the track and took a shot from the other side of the crossing. The cloud cover really helped me with the shadows. You can just make out a few cars rushing by on the Queensway above the train.
So, those are the highlights of my meet with this train recently. I would love to catch it again, but I have to find a Wednesday morning or afternoon when I have the time to wait for it. While I was waiting, a few women walking along the trail asked if I was waiting for a train. I guess rail fans are a rare sight. While I was waiting, I did try to capture a few shots of a goldfinch that was hanging around, but he was not co-operative.
It was a lot of fun to catch the train here. I would recommend this spot to anyone interested in shooting the Arnprior Local from a safe place. As you can see from the top image, the vantage points are great and the long straightaway before the crossing gives you lots of time to prepare your shot. I was briefly considering naming this crossing as an Ottawa hot spot but since the frequency of trains is two per week, I thought better of it.