This is Part 2 of 3 of my chase of 2816 from Lethbridge to Calgary. If you wish to follow my adventure along in Google Earth to see my stops and travels, here is the part 2 kmz file for download.
October 09, 2008
Shortly after the crew had finished with their maintenance in Champion at around 11:48, 2816 started chugging steam and was on her way once again headed for Calgary. So of course I couldn’t resist the urge to get back in my car and happily continue the chase.
About 8 km out of Champion, I saw a few people standing on top of a hill on the East side of the tracks. I figured this would be a good spot to get a higher vantage point but not so high as to be on it’s way to being an overhead shot. I was able to catch a few shots of Cedar Rapids after they went by. I also wanted to know if it was worth coming back to this spot for possible future railfanning trips.
When I got back on the highway, I saw the dark smoke and figured she must have had a speed restriction going through Kirkcaldy, which gave time to catch up quickly. I snapped some shots of 2816 will I was driving down Highway 23. I wasn’t actually looking through the camera. I leaned it on my arm and aim blindly then snapped a few consecutive shots. Some turned out not too bad, but a few are not so great. Some were of only half the train one way or the other as I would aim to far ahead or to far back.
Not long after having passed Kirkcaldy she was starting to speed up again. I then stopped on the side of the highway where the tracks were coming back to parallel the highway and caught a couple shots. She went by at about 12:09. This was just before arriving in Vulcan.
I quickly jumped back in my car and booted it to Vulcan snapping a few more free aimed shots from the car. These would be the last ones until I would arrive in Blackie as I didn’t make into position in time at Vulcan. So I turned my car around, got back on Highway 23 and headed for Blackie.
I could barely see 2816 going cross country when I was on Highway 23 which turns east about 18 kilometers north of Vulcan. If you continue north it turns into Highway 24. I arrived in Blackie about 10 minutes before 2816 did and was greeted by a freight train waiting on the west side of the crossing for 2816 to arrive and take a siding in the yard at Blackie. The power was CP 9570, 9700 and 5946, two AC4400CW and a SD40-2.
Once 2816 arrived at 13:02, they started on their way through and 2816 soon followed.
Only one more stop before heading for Calgary and that was the steel truss bridge in Okotoks.
A I was leaving Blackie another railfan, by the name of George, asked if he could follow me into Okotoks as he wanted to photograph 2816 crossing the bridge as well. I had met him back in Champion, and at one of my stops along Highway 23 before Kirkcaldy. We also bumped into each other in Vulcan. He was a very nice guy and works for a Historic State Park as a Railroad Restoration Worker for Railtown 1897 in Jamestown, California. I’ll have go there someday.
We arrived in Okotoks about 15 to 20 minutes before 2816 did. I had never walked to the bridge before so we parked our vehicles in a car wash parking lot on the corner of North Railway Street and 370 Ave. We walked along the tracks for 5 minutes and were there. I took my shot from near the north end of the bridge and he went on the sand spit in the Sheep River. I think that I should have gone with him as I probably would have had a better shot. I’ll have to remember that next time when they supposedly take her back out in 2010, but I will blog about this another time. After they went by I ran up the bank to catch a rear view of Cedar Rapids.
As we were leaving town, I noticed from between the buildings that they had stopped in town along Daggatt Street. I stopped for a quick snap, George continued on, and then I headed to Calgary.
This is the end of part 2. I hope you are enjoying the adventure so far. I will be pretty busy next weekend, but I will do my best to have the conclusion of this adventure posted.
Goggle Earth kmz file.