I started heading out to the yard on some random Saturday mornings in hopes that I would be able to catch the service on the Prescott...
On a Monday off, I headed over to see if I could catch some QGRY operations. At 10:15 on Monday, it departed Thurso (where it is parked over night) and headed west. The chase was on. It travels at around 50km/h or so, which is slow enough that you can get ahead of it (since the road that runs parallel is 90km/h), but fast enough that you can’t catch it at every level crossing like 589 heading out to Arnprior.
Passing by small farm west of Thurso. . . . 🚂 #QGRY2006 / 🛤 QGRY Lachute Sub / 📆2017-07-03 #trains_worldwide #pocket_rail #train_nerds #daily_crossing #locos_of_america #trb_express #railways_of_canada #railfanning #canadiantrains #canadianrailway #trainsofcanada #railwaysofcanada #RailwayPhotography #trains_worldwide #QGRY
The first location I chose to take a picture (see above) turned out very well. The sun was in the perfect location, shadows were minimal on the engine (some touchup was required on the engine though), and a decent background with the house and barn. Next time I take a shot from this location, I need to remember to get lower so that I don’t end up with as many trees above the cars (which results in a distraction in the image).
The next stop was at the old station, which has seen better days. This shot was a bit more challenging due to the harsh shadows on the building and the bright sky. I decided to meter closer to the sky than the building since I was afraid of blowouts in the sky. Thankfully the RAW image from the camera and LightRoom were able to save some of the image. I’m wondering if LightRoom has improved it shadow algorithm since I feel that it is easier to save images these days than it used to. Incase you’re wondering why I didn’t put the train in this shot, it was because I was worried that the train would run through the station and I wouldn’t have time to catch it on the bridge.
Finally was able to get the train crossing over this bridge. Would have preferred if the train was heading east so I could have had the cars in the shot, but given how many times I've not been able to catch it (with it heading up to Buckingham instead or just switching short of the bridge), but I'll definitely take it going west. 🙂 . . . 🚂 #QGRY2006 / 🛤 QGRY Lachute Sub / 📆2017-07-03 #trains_worldwide #pocket_rail #train_nerds #daily_crossing #locos_of_america #trb_express #railways_of_canada #railfanning #canadiantrains #canadianrailway #trainsofcanada #railwaysofcanada #RailwayPhotography #trains_worldwide #QGRY
When I saw the light approaching in the distance, it was time to leave the station and make my way to the bridge. Waiting on this bridge is a bit of a pastime for me. Numerous times I have waited on this bridge hoping to catch a crossing, but have been skunked when it turns to the north to Buckingham or stops in the yard for shunting. After about 30 minutes, it finally did cross and I was able to get the shot.
I’ve included a less modified shot to help explain why the Instgram image looks the way it does:
I was expecting that the chase would end here as the train would go and service the industry just south of the bridge, but strangely it continued west past it. I then followed it to Usine in downtown Gatineau where it put on a good show moving cars in and out of the factory. The lay of the land there was perfect for taking shots with a small hill that allowed you to shot over the fence.
With the last bit of time I had, I waited to see if I could catch it one last time before heading home. My new’ish camera is a full frame (fx) camera, which has meant that I don’t have the range of lenses that I once did on my crop sensor (dx). A couple of weeks ago I said to a friend that I haven’t missed my 11-16mm dx lens at all. But when trying to get this image, it would have been perfect. Instead at 28mm I wasn’t able to get the full bridge in focus, which makes the image look sloppy (especially on the bottom right).
That is where it had to end. I would have loved to continue to follow it back to Masson-Angers and catch it crossing the bridge in the east direction, but time just wasn’t on my side so I had to call it a day.