I never regret getting up early to take photos. Whether I’m on vacation or at home, getting those early photos is worth losing a bit of sleep. I’m a big fan of sunrise photography.
We were in Europe recently on a family trip – that’s a post or two in the future – and we returned to Canada on July 24. It was a long day of travel, after two weeks “across the pond”.
Not surprisingly, I woke up really early on July 25 -at 3:11 AM. That would have been 10:11 AM in Paris, so I guess it was “sleeping in”. Anyway, I awoke and knew that I was up for the duration.
After messing around on my computer for a bit, processing the thousands of photos I took in Europe, I thought to check VIA Rail’s web site to see if there were any trains around. Lo and behold, the eastbound Canadian, VIA 2, was still in Winnipeg at 5 AM.
VIA is scheduled to depart Winnipeg just before midnight, at 23:30, so it was several hours late. It occurred to me that I could zip up to the Dugald area and catch it heading into the sunrise. That seemed like a good use of my early morning…
I hit the road, going around the Perimeter Highway to the Dugald Road / Highway 15. I pulled off and checked the web site again and VIA was just starting to move. Great!
I pulled off onto Pineridge Road to the small unsignaled crossing there to wait for VIA.
However, CN had other plans…
CN Goes First
As I crossed the tracks, I saw headlights far to the east. CN was running a freight through before VIA could have the Redditt subdivision, I guess!
I got my drone in the air and waited for the train to come along. It turned out to have old warrior SD75I CN 5775 leading, and CN 218x trailing. I never caught that unit’s number.
Here’s the video, with a little royalty-free music added from www.bensound.com.
That was a nice bonus.
After the train passed, I brought the drone back “home” to save its battery for VIA’s arrival. Here’s the train receding to the west; I’m standing on Pineridge road on the right.
I checked VIA’s site and the train was sitting short of Transcona Yard, several kilometres to the west of me. They certainly had to wait for the westbound freight I saw to clear off the single track main line before they could come.
Almost 20 minutes after the freight left, VIA came along…
The Eastbound Canadian
For VIA, I had a ground video camera running, my drone in the air taking video, and I shot off a few stills one-handed. There’s definitely a risk in trying to do too much… but it worked out this time.
The image above is a frame from the video below.
After VIA passed by, I gave chase for a few minutes to ensure they weren’t stopping in Dugald or Anola. They rolled through both at high speed, so there was no sense in pursuing any farther. I turned around and headed home, satisfied.