Most trips to Moncton include a trip over to visit the Franklin Spur to see what is happening at the Co-op or down at Holcim. My trips to Beaverbrook are such regular ones that visiting this place is like seeing an old friend. For all the times I visited, I could never seem to catch a train there. This time I really lucked out.
Clearly this is the new CF7 that Terra Transport bought as an experiment in evaluating their own GMDD rebuild series. That 1502 shoved the new engine into place up by the Co-op. I thought I heard the plan was to rent it out to Holcim to move cement hoppers around. Basically TT will start dropping hoppers on the siding and Holcim will move them, hoping the CF7 gives them a better experience than the Trackmobile they currently use. They brought 56 over from Gordon Yard, still shut down from its trip from Florida. Time to fire it up again.
Holcim boss JF Boudreault wandered over in the truck – sure it’s just a block but that rain isn’t going to wait until we’re ready and by now Clarence has got the new machine warmed up. There’s really nothing left to do but move the reverser into place and grab a notch or two on the throttle. Running up and down from Holcim is always a battle. You’d never know it because Moncton is flat right? Nope. Right after Beaverbrook the spur doesn’t just drop but it’s curved too. Once the train’s moving we’re all just along for the ride. Better brakes and a little more push is what 56 should give us. Michel is on the footboard. Such a great friend. They’ll sort the train up here before heading down the spur. “Little bit back and forth. You got time.” he jokes.
TT’s local crew drops our inbound cement up on Beaverbrook. It usually fills the siding. That grade down to the plant is steep and there’s not enough room to shunt at the plant so, if we are unloading more than one type of cement we’ll sort those cars up on Beaverbrook before heading down the hill. Our engine is stored in the plant, behind the silos, and we can fuel it there when we’re doing the trucks. We usually take the empties up the hill and borrow the Co-op siding to swap one string for the other. Then back down the hill. If we sorted the inbound correctly the first car to unload is on the front of our train usually. The rest of the story writes itself…
I love how this came together. James and I were talking about the CF7 project he was working on. “I love how well composed the Modelu figures are. They look like they’re really interacting and handing things off…” as James notes in his copy of this blog post. The combination of those beautiful Modelu figures and the photos James had composed just felt so right, so realistic, so exactly like how I’d picture this scene would be in real life. My reply (which formed the first paragraph in this post) was a spontaneous attempt to find the right words. In this case, the “right words” were an attempt to employ ones as detailed and realistic in their prose as the models are; if our goal is to create miniature scenes so realistic they are as good as the things they represent it felt right to employ realistic, full scale, language to react and relate to it. That if the models are good enough to make us feel like we’re there why leave so we can tell others how good it feels?
Categories: hilton & mears duo