Thursday, September 25, 2014

Random Ramblings - The Acadian

The Acadian; McAdam, New Brunswick; July 2002
In July 2002 I went to the Maritime provinces of Canada, along with my brother Bruce, to photograph the three VIA Rail Canada streamliners running at the time. We spent one day chasing the Chaleur onto the Gaspe peninsula, two days chasing the Ocean to Halifax and one day chasing the Bras D'Or onto Cape Breton to Sydney. The Chaleur is currently suspended (I guess it's running with buses due to bad track), the Ocean no longer has its streamlined equipment and the Bras D'Or is long gone. It proved to be a worthwhile trip given all the change that has come to the Maritimes.

On our way home from Cape Breton, we were traveling west on a day that a short-lived luxury cruise train was heading the same direction. The Acadian made a once-a-week round trip from St. John, New Brunswick, to Montreal, Quebec, with an overnight stop at Greenville, Maine. Powering the train were three former Amtrak F40PH locomotives, two of which were used at a time. We set up in St. John at the Reversing Falls bridge, shot the train there, then headed west, shooting the train once again at Fredericton Junction. From there we bee-lined to the one shot we really wanted to get -- passing the magnificent former Canadian Pacific station at McAdam, New Brunswick, just east of the U.S. border.

When we got there, the shot was looking like it wouldn't be quite like we had planned. The tracks were lined for a train to travel on the north side of the station, and the building would cover most of the train. Weeds were in abundance as well. For some reason we couldn't see down the tracks far at all -- the train was going to just pop out from behind the station with little warning. And to complicate matters, the sun started playing peek-a-boo with the clouds.

We waited and as our estimated train time approached we heard a rumble. Unfortunately, a cloud parked itself between us and the sun. Oh, well... The rumble got louder, we aimed our cameras -- and a freight for New Brunswick Southern (which operates freight service on the tracks) popped out from behind the station. Hmmm... The train pulled ahead then tied down west of us, which was a very good thing -- it would force the Acadian to take the much better track on the south side of the station.

In due time, the Acadian appeared and this time the sun was out! The resulting photo can be seen at the top of this post. Once into Maine, the train would no longer be chaseable, so we let it go here and returned to the U.S. at a leisurely pace.

The Acadian had begun service in June 2002, so it had been running only about a month when we photographed it. It stopped running in June 2003, just  few days after its one-year anniversary. It proved to be a fitting coda to a trip to shoot the vanishing streamliners of the Maritimes.

1 comment:

YourLandForSaleSuperStore said...

Nice shot! I went through McAdam on the eastbound Atlantic before they took it off. Wish it was a daylight train though!

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