Chasing trains not only requires timing and lots of luck but huge reserves of patience as trains run on their own schedule. Mine was put to the test on Wednesday as I bundled up and headed out to one of my favorite spots around 7:30 am as I wanted to catch VIA 70 as it arrived in Woodstock Ontario at 8:10.
Cleaned off the car of snow , loaded the camera equipment and was off as camera settings whirled around in my head. The Sun is lazy these days and does not show up until around 8:00 am if at all. Climbed up on the small hill just before the station and waited. The arrival time came and went and still no train but figured with the snow would be a little late. I should have checked the computer to see if it was on time but it usually is so did not. More waiting and I heard a train horn but no train in sight so jumped into action then realized it was VIA 71 that arrives at 8:30 heading west. I could not see the station from where I was but knew what train it was.
Time to drag out the cell phone to check and was at least encouraged as it showed arrival at 8:43 so it was late but at least was still coming. The temp was around 15F but I was dressed properly and no wind so continued to wait. The new time passed and nothing but figured a CN freight would be through soon so paced around and waited some more. The scanner screeched to life and let me know CN 397 was in the area and would be here soon. Checked the phone and the new VIA time is 10:01. CN 397 blew through and still no VIA 70. More waiting and time to check the phone again. What! New time is now 11:15 and I have been standing on this hill for about 3 hours. More stomping of feet, some dance steps and singing and decided to go check the display at the station. As I drove up to the station there was a bus there and the screen shows the train was cancelled and people were being “bustituted” as the train was cancleed due to mechanical issues. Guess they forgot to plug it in.
Only train I caught was the CN freight after over 3 hours. I know it sounds silly but at least I was outside enjoying the weather and watching people go about their days. Beats sitting inside doing nothing. Did catch VIA 72 at 11:30 which was on time. 🙂
Only nine more sleeps till Santa arrives. Still figuring out what he will bring me this year.