Caption: Catching westbound freights sunlit on CN in Niagara is a very difficult task, as it is rare the opportunity is ever presented. If there is a train to do it though, it is normally 232, which runs very occasionally. Upon waiting for Via 98/Amtrak 63 "Maple Leaf," my friend's radio indicated a train was going over the Mile 27 detector on the Stamford Sub while the Amtrak approached. A signal indication at Glenridge and further radio chatter showed there was indeed a westbound freight coming.
About 15 minutes after the Amtrak was CN 232 with CN 2541 and 2135. The throw off here was all the autoracks were loaded, which is something I have not noticed on previous 232's I've seen. Under 50 autoracks were in tow however, which is quite normal for this train. I'm not sure of the story behind 2541's conductor side numberboard, but the saying here goes, "it doesn't matter if it's duct tape, fixed is fixed."
The presence of westbound evening freights on the Grimsby Sub has been a consistently rare thing since the 2008 recession effectively reduced the number of trains in half. At the time, 331 and 338 were occasionally later than normal and would appear in the evening, and 332 was often an evening freight. 232 is practically 332's replacement, but barely runs in comparison to 332 during the pre-recession days. Nonetheless, it was quite the treat to get a decently sunlit shot of a westbound for once on the Grimsby Sub. If my memory is correct, this would be the first time I was able to get a photo of such a thing, despite having seen it probably a dozen times before after the recession came about. Previous opportunities like the washout at Jordan in 2014 never came to fruition, as 331 and 422 never appeared until night fall. This time was entirely by chance, since my main purpose of coming here was for the Amtrak believe it or not. CN had recently trimmed up the ROW here so I had to take advantage of it, and luckily the right day was chosen. Considering I would've just gone home after the Amtrak without my friend's scanner around, I think it's time to finally invest in replacing my broken scanner.