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Nothing runs like a Deere. Yet, some days, nothing runs on time.... CN took over operations of the Guelph Sub from GEXR a few months prior to this shot being taken, and over the first few months 431 would be delayed leaving MacMillan on multiple occasions, pushing operations into the favorable daylight hours. 
On this day, I was moving out of my house in Guelph. After a late start to my day, few other contributing members (big thanks goes out to them!) of this site informed me they were chasing a daylight 431 which was on the Halton sub, west bound and down. Quickly deeming I was too "tired" to chase, I opted for the "sit and wait" strategy. After hearing the train was clear of Georgetown (about 40-60 minutes from Guelph by rail) I drove to Alma Street, Timmies in hand, set up here and waited amongst the birds, bushes and dog walkers. I remember having to wait longer then I thought, which was annoying since I was not prepared for the bitterly cold wind that was unusual (and frankly unwelcome) for later April. After seeing it was one big GE with 50-60 cars, if memory serves, made sense the assault on the Acton hill would've been a bit slower then normal. With new updates from the aforementioned buddies giving chase, I knew the train was close. 
What happened next was probably one of the more humorous displays of railfanning I've witnessed to date. I could see/hear the crossing get activated on Edinburg Street (background of the shot above). And just as the nose of the ex-ATSF GE came into view, two railfans ran into view from out of nowhere, just in time to get their shots. After clearing the crossing, they disappeared back to the chase vehicle. Then as 431 approached Alma Street (in the foreground), two different railfans come into view just in time for a shot, as evident by the railfan in action on the right side of my shot above! After couple of quick waves to them, laughing the entire time at the train paparazzi that had just taken over midtown Guelph, I fired off the shot above just in time for a fortunate mid-strength sucker hole. 
This humorous story aside, the reason this shot recently came to mind for me is, after passing Alma Street, I discovered that this angle is no longer possible. Metrolinx has put up a slew of fences in Guelph recently including along the well known Kent Street. I'm happy to see that a few other Guelph railfans have used this angle, including Jacob Patterson with the same train under GEXR as well as Steve Host  reflecting on this location as well.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Mark MacCauley all rights reserved.



Caption: Nothing runs like a Deere. Yet, some days, nothing runs on time.... CN took over operations of the Guelph Sub from GEXR a few months prior to this shot being taken, and over the first few months 431 would be delayed leaving MacMillan on multiple occasions, pushing operations into the favorable daylight hours.

On this day, I was moving out of my house in Guelph. After a late start to my day, few other contributing members (big thanks goes out to them!) of this site informed me they were chasing a daylight 431 which was on the Halton sub, west bound and down. Quickly deeming I was too "tired" to chase, I opted for the "sit and wait" strategy. After hearing the train was clear of Georgetown (about 40-60 minutes from Guelph by rail) I drove to Alma Street, Timmies in hand, set up here and waited amongst the birds, bushes and dog walkers. I remember having to wait longer then I thought, which was annoying since I was not prepared for the bitterly cold wind that was unusual (and frankly unwelcome) for later April. After seeing it was one big GE with 50-60 cars, if memory serves, made sense the assault on the Acton hill would've been a bit slower then normal. With new updates from the aforementioned buddies giving chase, I knew the train was close.

What happened next was probably one of the more humorous displays of railfanning I've witnessed to date. I could see/hear the crossing get activated on Edinburg Street (background of the shot above). And just as the nose of the ex-ATSF GE came into view, two railfans ran into view from out of nowhere, just in time to get their shots. After clearing the crossing, they disappeared back to the chase vehicle. Then as 431 approached Alma Street (in the foreground), two different railfans come into view just in time for a shot, as evident by the railfan in action on the right side of my shot above! After couple of quick waves to them, laughing the entire time at the train paparazzi that had just taken over midtown Guelph, I fired off the shot above just in time for a fortunate mid-strength sucker hole.

This humorous story aside, the reason this shot recently came to mind for me is, after passing Alma Street, I discovered that this angle is no longer possible. Metrolinx has put up a slew of fences in Guelph recently including along the well known Kent Street. I'm happy to see that a few other Guelph railfans have used this angle, including Jacob Patterson with the same train under GEXR as well as Steve Host reflecting on this location as well.

Photographer:
Mark MacCauley [104] (more) (contact)
Date: 04/28/2019 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN 2163 (search)
Train Symbol: CN 431 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Approaching Hanlon (CN Guelph Jct.) (search)
City/Town: Guelph (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=40079
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Photo ID: 38875

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

Full size | Suncalc
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10 Comments
  1. Hahaha. Me and sucker holes don’t mix well…I never have enough luck for them. I prefer full sun :)

  2. Thanks for the comments Gents! (and the corrected date Kevin!)

    To further Steve’s comment, @Brad, sucker hole is a hole in the clouds allowing for sunshine for a brief moment in what’s normally an otherwise cloudy day. Something every railfan wishes for on bad weather days haha.

  3. I was here for this – so was Jason Bartlett (at right at crossing) but I had already left. When I took my shot the sun was JUST coming out and the train had passed my frame – but I saw Mark on the hill and knew he’d get sun. The sun came out for about 10 seconds basically, a sucker hole.

    I got a small sucker hole on Kent St.

  4. 1 unit vs 4 on the GEXR. What is the reference to ‘sucker hole’? Very nice and funny story! Paparazzi. ha.

  5. Nice shot Mark !

  6. Also, this should have been taken on April 27. I shot it in Kitchener :)

  7. Very nice! I spy someone else :)

  8. Thanks Jason! You can see the dim edge of the sucker hole beside the second car of the train. Talk about cutting it close.

    Haha, thanks James! You got that right I love these things, we’ve shot them enough in Niagara lol.

  9. Nice catch Mark – I know you’re partial to those ex-ATSFs!

  10. Nice timing with the sucker hole Mark. I remember this day. The wind was very bad like you say and by the time the train had arrived in Kitchener it was mostly cloudy as well.

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