Warning! This is a long post. Tons of photos and videos to follow. You’ve been warned.
This is something I’ve wanted to do since before I was into photography. I’ve always had a fascination with trains. Combining trains and photography seemed like a no-brainer. I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to put the two together. Up in Peterborough, there is only one rail line from Canadian Pacific and the amount of traffic is very infrequent – maybe 1 or 2 trains a day.
Last week I made some plans to head down to a spot that is well known for train-spotting, (or railfanning), between Newcastle and Port Hope, Ontario. This area features the Canadian National Railway Grand Trunk line between Toronto and Montreal – one of the busiest in the country. Also, 50 feet to the north of these tracks is the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks. The area has several crossings, both level crossings and small wooden bridges with great curves and backdrops (as shown in the first two photos below).
Since this was my first time trying this, I really didn’t know what to expect in terms of train frequency. I had read somewhere online that it was roughly 3 to 4 trains per hour. Soon as we got there, the trains just started flying by and we saw 4 within the first half hour. After the first 5 trains, there was close to an hour without one. This gave us a chance to walk around a bit and shoot other railway stuff in the area, such as the signals and maintenance equipment.
We moved to another area down the road which had a level crossing and were rewarded with two trains passing each other. I had a video camera set up and the rush of air from the second train actually knocked it over – check out the final video at the bottom to see that! In total we saw 8 trains in about 2.5 hours, before having to head home around 11:00am.
This is something I’ll definitely be doing again.