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Sunday, December 02, 2012

CP's Holiday Train

For the past 14 years, Canadian Pacific has sent specially-decorated trains across its Canadian and American networks to kick off the festive season.  Although it is called the "Holiday Train," it is clearly a Christmas train, complete with Santa and a tree on the locomotive roof.  Along with connecting the railway to the communities it passes through, the Holiday Train also hosts musical guests at the various stops along the way and collects donations for local food banks.  To date, the initiative has raised $6.4 million and 2.6 million lbs. of food, all while providing free entertainment along the way.

I have seen the train on several occasions, its visit often accompanied by very bad weather.  This year was no different, its stop in Bowmanville coincided with the first actual snow of the year, all two millimetres of it.  However, it was the biting wind and intermittent ice pellets that made this year's weather memorable.  Despite the weather, I was able to capture some interesting photos of this year's CP Canadian Holiday Train.

The business car at the end of the Holiday Train

The train arrived a little late at the Scugog Street crossing in downtown Bowmanville.  It struck me that the crowd of spectators this year was thinner than normal, and many people left as soon as they had seen the train arrive, not bothering to stay for the show.  The weather certainly did not help.

The Holiday Train crosses Highway 2 on its way to Oshawa

Rather than listen to the show, which honestly didn't sound all that musically enjoyable, I wandered around trying different angles before setting up to photograph the train departing for the next stop in Oshawa.  The same locomotive is used on the Holiday Train each year, with CP 9815 assigned to the Canadian train.  I saw 9815 in the St-Luc Diesel Shop during my visit last October.

This was also the first time that I had my Canon SLR to shoot the train and it performed admirably.  The top ISO of 1600 was certainly helpful, although higher would have been nice too!

The Holiday Train is now making its way across Northern Ontario on its way to the Pacific Ocean.  For a schedule, visit CP's website.

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