Sunday, January 14, 2024

Not quite a wonderland, but...

I left it until the final day of Christmas vacation to get out there and do a little railfanning in Ottawa. It was a very quiet couple of weeks with my kids at home, which is exactly what I needed after a hectic couple of months leading up to Christmas. But I was feeling the itch and I figured I might as well get a few shots of the new Via Rail Siemens equipment while there was actually snow on the ground. I would not call it a winter wonderland, but it was something a little different. It was a dry couple of weeks through Christmas, so the sight of falling snow was a welcome sight, even if it was a bit chilly for photography, at least by recent standards.

True to my desire to get a variety of different photographs, I started by taking a shot at the signals just east of the Fallowfield crossing, the left of which was showing straight green over red. The signals to the right govern the movement of trains on the Fallowfield passing siding, when it is used. They are almost always showing red over red.

I then moved to the end of the east parking lot of the station, to get an unobstructed view of the train approaching from the east, as the lot was full and the views from the west lot did not look promising. My daughter came out to see "the new Vias" as she calls them. She has taken to doodling the Via and CN logos at home, which is a hopeful sign. I'm not sure I made a railfan of her, but I have managed to get her interested in hockey, so maybe trains aren't a huge stretch. 

The approaching Siemens consist was headed up by the control cab car in the lead and the locomotive at the rear. A blog reader said these trains don't have much of a horn. Since Via trains usually use a horn as they approach the Woodroffe Avenue crossing before the station, I was curious to hear what they sounded like, but I didn't hear any horn from this train, which was Via Train 43.

Let's get the obligatory 3/4 wedge shot in there. As much as I am trying to get different shots these days, I still have to take some of these more straightforward shots, as the new Siemens units really do demand it. That's car 2303 in the lead.

I like to get shots of trains loading on the platform, since it is a different image. I try to position myself far enough away from the crowds, to avoid taking photos of anyone that would allow them to be recognized. I like this shot, since I made sure to frame the Via logo on the locomotive in the upper right corner. 

Next, I tried to get a shot of locomotive 2204 at the end of the platform. It was a little trickier than I thought it would be since the Siemens trains are a fair bit more lengthy on the platform than the more usual consists with P42s/F40s and a mix of 4-6 cars in tow. Even with the double-enders that Via has been using in recent years, this train was sitting much closer to the eastern edge of the platform. I had to angle myself carefully to stay on the edge of the platform and get a shot safely.

Before leaving, I went to the west parking lot to get some more shots of the train making its way west toward the Fallowfield crossing. Luckily, the western lot was mostly empty near the end so I was able to get a shot of the train leaving, but the light standards at the edge of the lot didn't help with the image. Those shots didn't work out, so I focused on framing the train against the signals near Fallowfield Road. I like this shot best, as it captured the snow against 2204.

All in all, it was a fun, quick trip to the station and my daughter thought the new train was pretty slick. She is looking forward to our family's first train trip to Toronto in June, when we will take our daughters to their first Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre. I was glad in a way that we received some unexpected snow (this as before the massive 20-25 cm snowfall we saw on Jan 22-23) and well into Sunday, as it allowed me to get some winter railway shots. It's just not as fun when the winter shots have no snow on the ground. A good first effort for 2024.


Kevin from Windsor said...

Awesome photos as usual! I especially like the last one, with the green signal in the foreground and the locomotive with the red markers illuminated in the background. I'm surprised the locomotive didn't sound its horn on approaching Woodroffe, given the bus/train accident history in the area. Level crossing exemptions in Canada are rare, as they should be. ..... I rode the Brightline version of this equipment in March 2022, round trip from Fort Lauderdale to Miami Central and back. It's top shelf. Hopefully it will be used to form at least one of your trains in June. ..... PS: Were you able to find the name of the street across from the industrial siding where your relatives lived in Windsor? I'm ready to tell you what's there today if you have the name.

Eric said...

S'no wonder your wonderland shots worked well, Michael! That is a big crowd getting on/off in the Economy section. I can't notice any difference between the Venture airhorns and those of VIA's 6400's. The Ventures ARE the future and we will one day be mourning the departure of the 40+ year-old LRC cars, but for the time being, I'm enjoying the novelty of the Venture sets as you are. History in the making?

Thanks for sharing,

Eric said...

Michael, I just noticed that The Beachburg Sub logo. Has that been on the header long or have I been inexplicably inattentive?

Also, I like that unusual header photo that you took in northern New York!


Michael said...

Thanks for the comments, gents. Kevin, the question of where exactly my aunt and uncle lived in Windsor that was across from an industrial spur remains a mystery. I can picture it in my mind, but the information resides with my aunt. The problem is, I never see her!

Eric -- The logo is indeed new. I updated it a bit. I switched to a logo from the script I once used, because it gives me more options to post header photos without the image being obscured by the blog title. The shot from Northern New York intrigues me. I look in one of those old boxcars and it's almost as if the boxcar is carrying the crumpled up old Delorian from Back to the Future.