Tuesday Train #308

CN Train 434 is seen here on May 2, 2022 approaching the Brantford Station platform. It is slowing to a stop. While Tuesday Train Pictures are often just the train, this afternoon, I got a treat. When 434 pulled up, they came to a stop right in front of me, and I got to watch the conductor climb down, and do the work of railroading. Setting brakes, uncoupling a cut of cars, picking up a new cut prepared by the local crew, and rebuilding their train. Railroading, is of course, an activity undertaken by people, and it is not easy work, it remains hard, physical work, and watching a railroader at work reminded me of that, and the care they took with every action and step while working shows they also remember that its dangerous work. All my shots and videos were taken from the safety of the platform, behind the yellow line, where railfans belong, on the safe side of the tracks.

The Work of Railroading. Climbing down, counting cars, setting hand brakes, closing air valves, riding (safely to set switches, and couple cars), and calling the distance on the reversing move, then reconnecting the air to the whole train.

I am, unapologetically a nerd. I was so excited when I realized that not only was the train stopping in front of me, I was going to get to watch them work. This was at the end of a 4.5 day long weekend from after work on Thursday to Monday where I went out and chased trains across the province. What was already a great mental break ended with a real high getting to see this in action. The last shot below is 434 at Bayview Junction approaching Aldershot yard and more work in the dark, it looked hard in the fading daylight in Brantford, doing this in the dark, that much harder. Much respect to the workers who keep the railways going.

Tuesday Train #307

I was out for five straight days last weekend railfanning and chasing trains, so if course, i have lots of fresh photo i haven’t had time to process and get ready to post! At least I’ve been out a lot recently, so here is a shot of an ex-CitiRail Leasing locomotive No 3953 now owned by CN leading train Q105 westbound at Beare as it passes beneath the Canadian Pacific Railway in the northeast corner of the City of Toronto.

Tuesday Train #306

A brand new Track Evaluation Train at the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Toronto (Agincourt) Yard on April 18th. The three cars behind the locomotive are an accommodations car (CP94), the generator car (CP93), and the Track Evaluation Car (CP92) (TEC) which gives the train its name, the TEC Train. The third car has a big rear window for observing the track, and all kinds of laser measurement and evaluation equipment. The goal, is to find track problems before they become problems so crews can be sent out to fix them. The constant laser measuring of the railway performed by these trains means there are reference points in time to compare the track, looking for shifts that might signal a problem brewing.

Tuesday Train #305

CP Train 113 crossing the Cherrywood Viaduct…with a CN unit in 2nd position. It even had a second CN unit as the mid-train DPU (Distributed Power Unit) as seen below. Freshly taken yesterday on Easter Monday when I had the day off work. Checking out new to me (here) and some rarely visited by me locations in the east end of the GTA.

Upgrading my Radio for out chasing trains

I have been getting out a lot in the past year railfanning, more than in the past, and I am finally getting better at monitoring Railway Radio Operations when I am out. In doing so, I have heard some great conversations between crews and dispatch, and some weird moments when things go wrong. I’ve been looking for a bit for a digital recorder. I finally settled on a kind of mid-range one, not the cheapest, and not one of the fancier ones. I chose a Sony PX370 mono recorder. Its small and will easily fit into my camera bag for travelling with me.

My new Sony PC-370 Digital Audio Recorder for recording radio, and a Bluetooth dongle for transmitting to a speaker while I am out.

Once it arrived, I started to play around with it, I decided that I want to be able to listen through a speaker still when I was out and about, I don’t like wearing headphones when I am out taking pictures. To achieve this, I bought a small Bluetooth transmitter that plugs into the 3.5mm audio jack, and I can then connect it to one of my bluetooth speakers. So far so good, I can now listen and record. What I needed was a way to easily carry everything around. To do that, I decided to apply my 3D modelling skills, and make what amounts to a backpack for my radio, mounted into the screw holes for the belt clip to carry the recorder on the back of the radio. I got that print today, and once all the support material was cleared away, the recorder slid in, and after some adjusting of fit on the screws, the carrier was screwed in, and the radio attached. It looks like I am all set now to get out on Easter Monday and chase some trains.

A 3D printed backpack for the Sony Digital Audio Recorder I have bought, mounted to the belt clip mount on my Uniden Bearcat BC125AT

I haven’t recorded much yet, and I don’t think I will regularly be posting audio, but a clip from last week to let you hear the recording quality at least is attached of CPR Dispatch talking to a train on the North Toronto Subdivision heading for the Mactier Subdivision and points west is attached below.

Some chatter on the Canadian Pacific Railway North Toronto/Mactier Subdivision frequency on April 10, 2022 when I was playing with my new recorder.