Friday, September 6, 2013

Isthmus of Chignecto

Freight Train At Sunset
Fort Lawrence, NS

This is another of my favourite local photography spots - at Fort Lawrence, NS. You'll find the spot by looking for the road which forms the western edge of the wind turbine field at Exit #1 to Amherst NS. There's a small single lane bridge that goes over the rail-road - it's an ideal place to stand for photographing a train when it's coming through, and there's a bit of a thrill when you get hit with the strong pulse of the Diesels just as they go under the bridge. It doesn't take much to thrill me, I know!

This location sees a lot of rail traffic. It is actually at the narrowest point between Chignecto Bay and the Northumberland Strait, and also exactly where Nova Scotia meets New Brunswick. The freight traffic rolls in both directions between the port of Halifax and the rest of Canada, I would guess. The trains are long - I've seen as many as four locomotives; this particular one only had two, and most of the cars appeared to be livestock carriers, and it was East-bound, toward Halifax. There were a lot of cars, but not an extreme heavy weight. 

To give you a context of this location, here's a much less exciting shot of the train, after it had gone under the bridge, passing by the wind turbines, and the outskirts of Amherst Exit #1:

Train and Turbines

Here's a little Black and White study of the bridge:

Rail-road Overpass, Fort Lawrence, NS

Here are the livestock cars just about to enter the underpass:

At Speed

This is a high moment, as the loco's were about to pass right under me:

About to Feel the Power!

This whole area, known from grade-school Geography as the "Isthmus of Chignecto" is vastly interesting as subject matter, because it represents the best combination of the old ways in our modern world - where big freight trains pass alongside ancient open-wire telegraph lines, into a nice little town that isn't growing or changing very fast, but yet has one of the most visible wind turbine fields you'll see anywhere. It's also an incredibly flat - almost prairie like landscape, with large bodies of water very nearby on either side.

As with most any location, the most dramatic shots happen at "the golden hour" - I think I was a bit later with some of these - making them a bit closer to being night shots. For all you Camera Club members nearby, this might be a place you'd want to check out.

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