Three Canadians

We return to Port Henry, NY in tonights photo, within sight of the west shoreline of Lake Champlain, to check out the view from my favorite perch atop the cab of ex-CP RS-18 1800 as Three Canadians come past the station with 931s freight. It is unusual to say the least, to see three C40-8Ms together running elephant style at night! Each with a different paint scheme! In tonights instance, two painted for CN and one for BCRail, now a part of CN. The leader 2444 and the BC Rail engine had led 930 south earlier in the week and we were keeping an eye out for their return on 931, THEN we learned of the third cowl unit added to the consist. We don’t see this kind of a lash up all that often on CP’s D&H. The 930/931 trains are actually carrying CN/NS freight operated over CP’s D&H Montreal – Binghamton under a haulage agreement involving the three railroads. At times these trains bring the sight of CN locomotives operating over CP track.
Arriving at the station here around 5 p.m., in the belief that you cannot be too early for these guys, it was nearly three and a half hours later before 931 came past me! I think you will agree the wait was worth it. The trees behind the engines are nearly at peak color. This is about as good as its gets for this angle, while several maples behind my location atop the RS-18 are blazing with bright colors! Areas along the lake such as this enjoy delayed fall colors due to the lakes ecosystem which keeps temps warmer into the fall. The car scanner had picked up North End Dispatcher Gordy Smith in a conversation with 931’s crew, which was good news, then the scanner picked up 931 passing the Fort Ti detector, and I knew I had my chance coming up! Keeping in mind the north wind blowing steadily, which might prevent me from hearing my normal warning signals of the approach of a northbound, I was watching the time since 931 had passed the detector, walking around the area when suddenly my intuition told me to climb up atop the cab and take a test shot!
I obey, having learned the hard way in the past that when my intuition says to do something, I should just go ahead and do it. So up to my favorite perch atop the RS-18s cab I climb, to the already set up tripod with 5D mounted on it ready to shoot. I listen for a moment, and do not hear anything except for the wind. I fire off a test shot and 931s engineer starts blowing for the crossing below the station, less than an quarter of a mile away! Oh my gawd! I had no idea they were this close! Less than thirty seconds later headlights appear coming round the curve extending below the station, I fire off the lighting to alert the crew, and CN 2444 leads two sister C40-8Ms past the station and up to my mark where the lighting reflects the moment back to the camera sensor!  Success! If I had not listened to my intuition............. I would have been scrambling. The Three Canadians look good from this height/angle, and running elephant style certainly helps! I erased three flash units on the station platform in photoshop. Shot on October 18, 2014 at 20:25, special thanks to Gordy Smith for his help! Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.
All The Best In 2014;
Gary Knapp

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