On August 1, I visited the site of the CN derailment from two days previous. I knew the line was open, having been reopened approximately 24 hours after the derailment.
Crews were working to process the remaining rail cars. I’m not sure if the plan is to scrap them on site or take them away. They are being neatly lined up by the heavy equipment. From my drone I counted 14 cars on site.
On my way to the site, I had noted an eastbound train leaving Winnipeg, so I knew it would be along shortly. I launched my drone as soon as I arrived at the spot I chose, which turned to be a mistake.
The train was approaching slowly – no doubt due to a slow order over the repaired track – so my drone hung there in the air for several minutes. I was anxiously watching the battery level, knowing I had to recall it a little early because it would have a headwind to return to me. Fortunately, the train arrived before I had to bring the drone back.
I hit the video record button on my drone controller and panned the train with the drone. I paused to take a few photos with my camera as the head end passed the scene.
I returned to the drone controls, realizing to my horror that I wasn’t recording anything at all!
The drone has two recording modes, video and photo. If it’s in photo mode, pressing the video button once switches it to video mode but doesn’t start recording. You’d think I would know this by now…
I quickly took a few stills with the drone and then told it to come “home” to me, since it was starting to get low on battery and there was no point in lingering without video.
I packed up and headed east to go around the scene to see the other side. I ended up at Lorette siding and recorded a meet between CN 2676 East and a westbound intermodal led by CN 2296 and GECX 2037. The friendly engineer from CN 2676 below is giving the train the rollby inspection.
CN 2676 got underway right afterward.
After it passed, I drove to the Trans Canada Highway and headed back toward Winnipeg to see the derailment scene from the east side. I noted that there were some maintenance-of-way vehicles in the back track at Lorette, and it looked like someone was about to throw the manual switch to let them out.
Just slightly railway west, there were no gawkers other than me on the shoulder this time.
One lane of the eastbound Trans Canada Highway was still closed. I’m a little surprised that it has remained closed, but I guess CN needs the room for their equipment.
I liked this big “pile o’ wheels”.
The bottoms of these rail cars look just like my model trains – except with more detail! Even Rapido would be jealous of this underbody detail.