Friday, March 24, 2017

VIA's Canada 150 Wrap Visits Winnipeg

Canada 150

This year is Canada's 150th birthday, thanks to the British North America Act passed on July 1, 1867 (fun fact: there were more Acts after that, mostly revisions to add more provinces and territories). VIA Rail is wrapping some of its locomotives and cars to commemorate the occasion. Some don't like the wraps, but they're different and we railfans like unusual things.

A few VIA locomotives have already been wrapped, but they are P42 locomotives that don't leave the Ontario-Quebec corridor, so nobody outside those two provinces will see them. VIA wrapped the first F40PH-2 locomotive, VIA 6454, and sent it on the Ocean to the Maritime Provinces.

A few railfans tipped us westerners off that VIA 6454 was going west on the Canadian.


Acting on that hot tip, I set out early Thursday morning to try to catch VIA 1 coming into Winnipeg with the first "CANADA 150" wrapped locomotive, VIA 6454, leading. I got up at the crack of 5:45. A quick check of VIA's web site showed the train was an hour late, so I hit the road after a quick shower and breakfast toward Dugald and points beyond.

No green signals were seen as I rolled through Dugald. I liked how this signal looked so I stopped to take a photo.

I parked at one rural crossing just east of town. After fiddling with my phone for a bit, I decided the angles weren't great so I relocated. MISTAKE.

As I came up to the tracks a few miles east, I saw headlights bearing down on me.

Quickly I slapped my tripod down, mounted my trusty old Canon S3, aimed it vaguely toward the tracks, and turned the video recording on.

I fumbled with my DSLR as the train rolled by, totally missing focus and not getting a single frame of the train.

I said a few choice words - caught on video but later cropped out - and threw everything in the car and set off in hot pursuit.

I know it's not level - I was lucky to have it pointed at the train at all!

Sadly I was unable to catch VIA 1 and I gave up the chase.


As noon approached, I resolved to do a better job documenting the event. I headed to Carman Junction, where CEMR's tracks diverge from the CN Rivers sub. There's a nice little bend there where you can shoot straight east.

Going Once..

After a short wait, I saw headlights in the distance and got excited, but it turned out to be CN 8011 leading a 2+1+1 container train west.
In the weeds - CN 8011 in Winnipeg
That was OK, but not the Canadian!

I was messaging with Jack Hykaway, who told me that VIA 1 was stopped at Subway. A message that the Canadian got a yellow signal was a welcome sign!

Going Twice..

Headlights in the distance again! Turn on the video camera, raise the "big gun" lens, and... containers. Another CN intermodal. Hello CN 8864... must be SD70M-2 day.

This train crossed over from the north to the south track in the distance, then rolled past me with a healthy dose of Canadian Tire containers.
Red red red - like a Taylor Swift song
Again, nice, but not the Canadian.

My old Canon S3 was doing video duty on the tripod.
The Camera Eye

Hot on the heels of 8864's train was another headlight... FINALLY VIA!


The silver nose of VIA 6454 was a welcome sight after the squat red noses of the SD70M-2s. My plan was to shoot them head on with my DSLR, then drop that and shoot each car with my iPhone while my video camera rolled on. Too ambitious? We'll see!

Here it comes!!
I clicked and clicked as 6454 approached, scaring a bunch of birds as it rounded the bend on the north track.
As 6454 filled my lens, I dropped the DSLR - believing utterly in my camera strap - and banged away with the iPhone to document the consist. A quick swivel to capture Kootenay Park trailing the train and then VIA was gone.
Not bad for a phone shot!
I threw everything in the car and took off in pursuit mode, hoping that they would get a stop signal due to the two intermodals they were following, but that wasn't to be. I roared past Mark Perry and his trusty red truck, trying to catch up to VIA as she was catching up to the second intermodal train. I realized quickly that I wasn't going to catch up on the unpaved road, but VIA was passing CN as they both raced west.

I gave up the chase and turned around to go chat with Mark for a few minutes before heading home, SD cards full and a big grin on my face.

The consists

First CN Train
  • CN 8011
  • CN 2609
  • CN 8829 (DPU in middle)
  • CN 8947 (DPU on rear)

Second CN Train
  • CN 8864
  • CN 5761

  • VIA 6454
  • VIA 6428
  • VIA 8604
  • VIA 8123
  • VIA 8500
  • VIA 8332 Laird Manor
  • VIA 8330 Hunter Manor
  • VIA 8314 Cameron Manor
  • VIA 8401 Acadian
  • VIA 8311 Burton Manor
  • VIA 8227 Chateau Varennes
  • VIA 8708 Kootenay Park

Lessons Learned

  • Pick your spot and STAY THERE
  • You can't get every shot - I don't have any side shots of 6454 yet
  • Take a second opportunity if you can

Monday, March 06, 2017

Meet Me At Midnight

CN 2002 in Ste. Agathe, Manitoba

The Plan

I heard there was an early Sunday morning BNSF detour train (CN F306) running on the Letellier subdivision. Since Sunday morning is my fun day, and I'm not afraid to shoot at night, I went out around 11 PM, with my ever-tolerant wife shaking her head at my insanity.

My understanding was that CN 533 was meeting 532 in Morris, and then 533 would meet 306 at Ste. Agathe. Friend and RailsMBSK member Mark Perry was at the controls of 533.

The players:
  • CN 532 - Daily Winnipeg to Emerson local train, bringing cars to BNSF
  • CN 533 - Daily Emerson to Winnipeg local train, bringing cars from BNSF
  • CN 306 - BNSF detour train returning east to the US via Emerson

CN 533

When I left, I wasn't sure if the detour train had left Winnipeg yet, so I drove down to Morris, hoping to catch the 532/533 meet. You may recall that I saw the 306/533 meet in Morris recently.

I was a bit late as I saw CN 533 pulling out of Morris as I approached. I ignored it and went into Morris to try to grab CN 532 before it left, but it was already gone.

Returning to highway 75 I chased 533 north, passing it and setting up at the same rural crossing I shot at the last time I was photographing detours. I didn't take any video here, just my Canon T1i on a tripod... 2.5 seconds at f/8.0, ISO 100. This was just after midnight.
Ghostly CN 2002
Right after the locomotives passed, I took the camera off the tripod, tossed it in my AmazonBasics backpack, tossed the tripod in the back seat, and took off for Ste. Agathe.

As it turns out, I didn't need to rush. They were crawling up toward the switch well after I got there. I set up to take a few photos, intending to photograph the engines as they paused for the conductor to throw the switch to the loop track. Here they are coming to a stop.
Coming to a stop
I tried a few photos - I thought they were good - but it turns out I didn't have the focus. Check out this long exposure (25s) of the conductor walking back to the train after throwing the ground throw switch. Totally not in focus!
Focus? We don't need no stinkin' focus!
Obviously, I didn't use the "live view" trick I wrote about earlier. Oops.

The track at the Viterra grain elevator in Ste. Agathe is arranged like this, as far as I can see.
CN 533 was coming from the bottom of the diagram (south) and went around the loop counter-clockwise. They stopped short of the north switch to wait for the arrival of 306.

There's a road called "Mission Road" that parallels the track at this location. I parked off to the side and walked up to the head end of the train. The two tracks that join the CN line to the loop track are crossed by Mission Road and are signaled with lights - surprisingly!

I took a few photos of 533 sitting there with the pride of the fleet, ex UP Dash-8s CN 2002 and CN 2036. The best of the photos leads this post.

Finally, 306

At 01:47 AM, 306 rolled on by with BNSF 7490 and 7209 leading a long brown string of freight cars. I shot video here on my Canon S3 but it was really bad. Here's  a long exposure of 306 passing by (10 seconds, f/8.0, 17mm, ISO 100).

The rest of the train was mostly brown BNSF hoppers with the occasional leased car mixed in. I popped off a flash on some long exposure shots to see what it looked like.

I think with better timing I could have had several logos show up side by side. I only had one flash at the time and it took a few seconds to recharge before I could fire it again. I was just holding it in my hand and manually firing it at full power.

Once the train passed, I headed south on highway 75 to the same crossing that I had photographed CN 533 at earlier. I put the Canon T1i on a tripod, and after carefully focusing, I put it in video mode. Flashing red battery symbol! Ack!

I grabbed my spare battery from the backpack in my car and swapped batteries. Fortunately I had lots of time.

Here's the video:

Lighting provided by my car's high beams, of course.

I gave up the chase after that and headed home. When I got home, I started the video uploading to YouTube and went to bed.

I think there are a few more BNSF detours yet to go through Winnipeg. I probably won't be shooting any more at night - work and all that, you know - but who knows, maybe I'll catch another one during the day.

Further Reading and Watching

Thursday, March 02, 2017

VIA's "Canada 150" Wrap Sucks!

VIA's "Canada 150" wrap SUCKS.. or so many railfans say.

What do you think?

The Scheme

Up close and personal

Our great country is turning 150 years young this year. The federal government has many plans for celebrating this birthday and one of those is for VIA Rail to decorate many of its locomotives and passenger cars. So far several P42 locomotives have been wrapped and one F40PH-2 (VIA 6454), as well as some LRC passenger cars.
Jasper, Brantford, Halifax Quebec City

The wraps feature a giant yellow VIA on the head end with "CANADA 150" on a red rectangle, and four city names on the rear - with different cities on each side.

The passenger cars have a similar wrap.

Note that some cities are duplicated across units or cars.

Here's VIA 3351 wrapped, featuring "Halifax", "Stratford", "White River" and "Montreal".
Halifax, Stratford, White River, Montreal

There are some subtle differences between cars, beyond the names on the sides. Some early cars and locomotives had white numbers but apparently they are now using black numbers, which stand out better. Also later locomotive pilots and underframes seem to be being painted black instead of silver.

VIA 6454 at Berry Mills, New Brunswick - photo by Matt Landry
The F40PH-2 wrap looks good on the side but I'm surprised that the nose is plain silver with no adornment other than a small "VIA" and Canadian flag. Maybe future F40 wraps will be a little different.

Here's a video showing VIA 6454 near Moncton.

Eric Gagnon has been keeping track on his blog. I don't want to try to duplicate his efforts. I want to go meta and comment on the commentary swirling around the railfan forums.

How Do You Feel?

I'd say that the majority of railfans either dislike it or really, really HATE it.

VIA 916-76  020417

The Haters

A few people question the actual design:
Where are the Canadian flags or the Union Jack, as we are celebrating Canada's 150 years?
The scheme design would appeal to me a lot more if instead of that *CANADA 150* banner down the flank it simply had the 1867-2017 maple leaf symbol in its place.
Some people really, really, really don't like it.
it would insult a circus if I suggested that it looks like a circus train. Mickey Mouse would have been kicked out of Disney Land if he ever designed such a crappy paint job.....or "Wrap-job". Via Rail I thought was trying to be a "Class Act", but this wrap job is plain and simple "GARBAGE"
Tell us how you really feel! ;)

The Likers

Some people do like it.
Personally, I think it does exactly what VIA wanted it to do. It's bright, bold, and indisputably eye-catching.
Some are picking the lesser of two evils:
Good job by VIA wrapping the LRC cars. The more they cover the ugly teal green the better!
Nice to see something other than the Ren scheme!


Some railfans have taken to calling the scheme the "silver banana"... which I guess is better than the railfan nickname for the Loto Quebec unit VIA 6414.

I think Eric Gagnon is trying to champion "Roll Up The Wrap To Win" combining the wrap with Tim Hortons' famous contest. Good luck with that.
You win! Or do you?

My Comments

I'm very surprised by the hate being levied against VIA Rail and this wrap.

Railfans love something different, whether it is an Illinois Central unit still in "death star" black, or VIA's Glenfraser car vs. a normal VIA LRC car, so why wouldn't you like to see some cars and locomotives in a different scheme? Most people liked it when VIA wrapped the F40s with the Telus or CBC wraps, for example, although nobody liked "the Turd" / Loto Quebec.
I always liked the Operation Lifesaver unit
I think people don't like it because they feel VIA could have done it better.

To that I say, be thankful that VIA did anything at all. VIA Rail has a very hit or miss record of commemorating Canadian milestones. They did commemorate Canada's veterans with the Veteran's Train and Canada's war brides the next year, but those were local initiatives. VIA completely ignored the 100th anniversary of the Ocean. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe VIA doesn't have a good history of remembering history.
Double Spiderman 2! Is that Spiderman 4?
I would also say to some railfans - who do you think you are? VIA isn't going to check with every railfan to see if they approve any upcoming wraps or plans. I've noticed that some railfans seem to think that VIA, or CN, or CP, need to check with them before repainting anything. What the heck?

We're people who sit trackside and photograph trains. We have no influence, nor should we. We're lucky that we live in countries where we A) can photograph trains without being harassed or arrested, and B) have the time and money to be able to enjoy our hobby. Sheesh.

If railfans had designed it, "VIA" would be in CP script, the car would be half maroon and half blue and yellow, with the British Union Jack superimposed over the Canadian flag, and every train would tow a replica of the Turbo. I'd try to Photoshop that hot mess together, but I can't bring myself to do it.

As my mother-in-law says, "it is what it is" so enjoy it or hate it while it's around. At least it's not the Turd.
At least it's not this

Leave a comment - how do you feel about it?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Hashtag Heaven

#trainbridgeweek on Instagram
As you may know, I'm pretty active on Instagram (@stevetraingeek) and I post a photo every morning. A few months ago, I decided to post to a theme every week. I add a hashtag to each photo and invite others to participate. A fair number of other Instagrammers have been joining in and it's great to see their contribution to the themes!

Here are the themes I've posted so far:
and this week, #trainstationweek (34 posts so far).

It's been really fun doing this. A lot of people have commented that they like the idea, as they can look through their archives for photos they can post that match the theme. Sometimes people are a little... loose... in how they interpret the theme, but I find it brings out some really strong photos.

For people on my mailing list, you've been seeing these photos in my weekly Sunday email.

I'm going to keep doing this until I've had enough. I'm sure I'll run out of ideas eventually but so far I haven't. Any suggestions? :)

Feel free to follow me on Instagram and comment with your Instagram handle so I can follow you!

See Also

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

BNSF Detours, Day and Night

BNSF is detouring trains through Canada on CP and CN due to an avalanche in the US - in Marias Pass, I believe. Many great photos have been shared on Facebook (RailsAB, RailsMBSK) and elsewhere, and I'm glad it is being well covered. Here's my small contribution to the documentation of this interesting event.

The First F306

CN and BNSF, together again
I heard that the first of the eastbound BNSF detours over CN was coming to Winnipeg on Friday, so I ventured out to try to catch it coming into the city. I thought I'd head up to the CN Rivers sub then head west until mile 20 (where the road diverges from the track) or until I saw it.

I saw a headlight from the west immediately, which turned out to be CN 8919 leading an intermodal train. One quick "3/4 wedgie" then off to find BNSF.
CN 8919 passing the former site of the Manitoba Pool grain elevator, mile 10.6
It was not long before I spotted another train coming from the west. I had a feeling it was the BNSF detour train, and the long string of brown I saw behind it confirmed it. CN F306 approaching the famous Diamond west of Winnipeg.

I hopped onto a snowbank to capture the train with CN 2841, BNSF 6127 and BNSF 6138 leading a long brown snake of BNSF grain hoppers.
BNSF 6127 approaching Winnipeg
CN put their own locomotive on the head end of all of the detour trains, due to union requirements (microwaves!) CP is doing the same on their railway.

BNSF 6138 approaching Winnipeg

I sped ahead of it and captured it again at Carman Junction as it passed a signal worker doing some servicing.
CN 2841 leading two BNSF engines through Carman Junction
The train stopped at Waverley, and that's where I met up with Jack, Mark and Christopher who were doing their own chasing.
The detour train at Waverley Street
I wasn't able to stay to chase it down to Emerson, but Jack and Mark did a fantastic job documenting that so I wouldn't have had anything more to contribute anyway!

The CN engine was taken off and a new crew took it down to Emerson. Jack took some great video of the train en route to Emerson.

The Second F306

I heard that the second CN F306 was arriving in Winnipeg late Friday night, and heading south on the Letellier sub early Saturday morning. I headed out around 11 PM to Waverley and I saw a train there but I wasn't convinced that it was the BNSF detour.

I drove around a bit in the Parker area hoping to find a shot but I'm not really familiar with the area, several roads are closed at the moment, and there are many water-filled potholes that really alarmed me. I decided to head south out of the city, and I was concerned that I had already missed the train and it was heading south ahead of me.

I drove all the way to Morris (about 70 km), finding nothing there. I knew that CN 533 was coming up from Emerson and would have to meet up with 306, probably in Morris. I went down to Saint Jean Baptiste and found nothing there either, except for 7 or 8 grain hoppers at the ex Manitoba Pool grain elevator and a few curious deer.

I drove back up past Morris to Ste. Agathe where I picked up the BNSF detour train heading south. I found a crossing right next to the highway and shot (and videoed) BNSF 4782 and BNSF 4390 leading 115 cars. I used my car's high beam lights to provide a bit of illumination.

After the train passed, I packed everything back in my Civic and continued on to Morris. I decided to catch them passing the older Paterson grain elevator in Morris. Camera back on the tripod... a little night focusing and I was ready to go.

I quite like how this turned out.
Star light, star bright, first train I see tonight
(camera settings: 20 second exposure, f/8, ISO 200, 17mm focal length)

They passed by me stopped just short of the north leg of the wye.

One of the crew threw the switch and the train rolled onto the wye to pull onto the former CN Miami subdivision to clear the main for CN 533.

I went up to 5th Street to record them coming up the Miami spur. They stopped short of the diamond with the CP La Riviere subdivision, and another crew member got off to do whatever magic was required to get the light to cross the diamond. He then took the derail off and hopped back on the train as it rolled west on the Miami "sub".

I took a few stills but they did not work out very well. There's a bit of video at the end of this post.

I went back to the main line and found the third crew member lining the switch back to the main. I asked him when CN 533 would be coming through, and he said they were just south of Morris.

It was not long before CN 533 came through with CN 2142 and 2003 leading a long train.
Streaky lights of CN 533
I popped off a few photos here and there, and I liked this one of the train sliding through the crossing the best. (30s, f/8, ISO 400)
Red train at night, railfan's delight
Once CN 533 passed, I hit the road for home, since it was 2:35 AM! I went straight home and went straight to bed. Image processing could wait!

Here's my compilation video.

See Also

Friday, February 17, 2017

That's My Fun Day

Head on into Sunday morning
I wish it was Sunday
That's my fun day
My I don't have to run day
- Manic Monday, Bangles

You may have noticed that I sometimes go out railfanning on Sunday mornings. Sunday is indeed my "I don't have to run day" as the Bangles so aptly sang. Saturday morning is usually spent at my son's curling rink and weekend afternoons are family time. Sunday mornings... often they are my time.

This past Sunday (February 12th) was one of those fun days. I woke up at a reasonable hour, had breakfast, then hit the road. I had a notion to visit the CN Rivers subdivision for a bit, then head up to the CP Carberry sub and hopefully catch a train there.

Track 1 - Manic Monday

First catch was an early train on the Rivers, a westbound heading out of the early morning sun. Not the best light, but you do what you can. I parked near Carman Junction and got the photos above and below at that location. The train was led by CN 5708 (SD75I) and CN 2153 (C40-8W) and featured a lot of autoracks.

CN 5708 rounding the bend at Carman Junction
I hopped in my car and headed west to try to catch them around Diamond. It was not hard to get ahead of them, as the road conditions were good. I shot them splitting the west-facing signals.

CN 5708 splitting the signals at Diamond
I didn't chase them any further. I wasn't really sure whether I should head up north to CP yet.

I had a feeling there was going to be an eastbound freight coming along. I'm not sure why I felt that way.

Track 2 - In A Different Light

I went westward a bit along the CN Rivers sub, and at the route 424 crossing I saw a headlight to the west. I looked around a bit for a suitable location and found a snow ridge to stand on to get a bit of elevation.

As the train hurtled closer I saw that it was a potash train, led by another SD75I, CN 5672, and a Dash-9, CN 2536. They were really moving!

CN 5672 and a lot of potash cars in the snow
Fortunately a westbound train in the morning put the train in a different light than the earlier eastbound.

Those PotashCorp hoppers kicked up a lot of snow.

Mmmm, potash
I decided to give chase and maybe get ahead of them for another shot. Since they were an eastbound, the light would be a lot better.

Track 3 - Walking Down Your Street

As I pursued them, it became clear that there was going to be a meet, as the headlights of another westbound were visible in the distance. I had one thing on my mind - to catch the westbound train quickly, then resume the chase.

Dash-9 (C44-9W) CN 2644 was leading the third SD75I of the day, CN 5716, and a solid grain train.
A different light - side light, in fact
The lighting wasn't great and the location wasn't so good either, but hey, I took a few quick shots and I was back on the chase again...

Track 4 - Walk Like An Egyptian

(man, I loved that song)

I passed Diamond, finally catching up to the end of the potash train. As I slowly gained on the train, car by car, I saw another westbound train rolling by on the south track - a container train. I made a quick decision and gave up on the potash train.

A quick U-turn brought me back toward Diamond to get the container train. No cops - maybe they were hanging out at the donut shop. I pulled over down the road and ran out to grab CN 2968 (ES44AC) at the head end of what I assume was Q101, a hot intermodal train.
CN 2968 leading a container train outside Winnipeg
The train rolled along pretty swiftly, and after a few minutes the mid-train DPU came into view, an ET44AC, CN 3069.

CN 3069 mid-train outside Winnipeg
It was turning into quite a nice morning!

Remember these chairs? Still here, apparently.
Another ES44AC was on the tail end, CN 2961. This one was pretty snow covered, which made me wonder if maybe this was the leader on an eastbound train earlier, and was now heading back west.

Ummm, you have a little something on your face.

After that, I figured if I was going to go see CP, I'd better get on with it.

Track 5 - Standing in the Hallway

I headed up the Perimeter Highway to the CP Carberry sub. There were two CP trains there, passing each other on the two tracks!

I was amazed, because it's good luck to see even one CP train these days. One was heading east into Winnipeg and one was heading west. I had no chance of getting the eastbound before it reached the yard, so I went west, young man.

It took a while to catch up to it, as you have to slow to 50 km/hr through Rosser and the road isn't parallel to the track all the way along. I got ahead of it before Meadows and elected to shoot it with the elevator. Here's the "coming" shot as they approached the Paterson grain elevator, which was off to the left of the photo.

CP 9371 West through Meadows, Manitoba
Since it was morning and the sun was in the east, I couldn't shoot a conventional "passing the elevator" photo without some severe backlighting. I decided to try this shot instead. I'm fairly happy with it.

CP 9371 and the Meadows elevator
Note the birds deserting the elevator as CP 9371 and CP 8702 rumbled by.

I moved around a bit to try different angles as the seemingly endless container train rolled by. I shot the DPU locomotive, CP 8828, from more of the sun side.

CP 8828 passing the Meadows grain elevator
I tromped through the snow to get the last shot of the tail end of the train passing the elevator. Good thing I had my winter boots on!
Container train and grain elevator
I see that CP is carrying Canadian Tire containers again. For a while they were on CN... maybe they are on both now. Anyone know?

So that was fun, but it was time to start heading home.

Track 6 - Return Post

I passed through Rosser again - 50 km/hr grumble grumble - and as I approached the Viterra elevator by the Perimeter Highway, I saw headlights on the rails. Another train!

The funny thing was that the headlights were high on the hood, not in the nose like Canadian locomotives have. At first I thought it was an American locomotive like a Norfolk Southern engine, but it turned out to be CP 2304 running long hood forward.

CP 2304, running long hood forward
CP 2304 is a GP20C-ECO locomotive, one of the rebuilt Geeps featuring a standard cab and an 8 cylinder 710 prime mover. I'm not sure why it was running long hood forward; I'm sure the crew wasn't big fans of the reduced visibility.

I'm quite sure this locomotive and train were headed to Portage la Prairie. The train had the following cars:
  • CRYX 5362, 5349, 5359, 5353, 5590, 4037, 4033, 5374 - Cryo-Trans refrigerated cars, likely for McCain Foods in Portage;
  • TGRX 854834 (lettered for Richardson) and GACX 10003 (lettered for GATX) - for the Richardson plant on the west side of Portage;
  • TILX 793096 (Trinity Industries Leading) - refrigerated car for Simplot just west of Portage; and
  • CRYX 5381, CRYX 5377, CRYX 5364, and CRYX 5296 - probably also for McCain

CRYX 5296 and other refrigerated cars
Often there is a CP locomotive stationed in Portage la Prairie, but I understand that recently the crew either takes the locomotive from Winnipeg to Portage or taxis from Winnipeg to Portage.

I didn't chase the train, but instead headed south. I had some time left so I thought I'd touch base with a few grain elevators and maybe get lucky and catch one more train.

Track 7 - If She Knew What She Wants

There was nothing moving on the CN Rivers sub, nor the CEMR Carman sub, so I headed down the CP La Riviere sub toward La Salle and Domain.
The La Salle grain elevator
The La Salle grain elevator looked much the same as the last time I saw it. The elevator has a bit of a lean toward the track, but it's had that for several years at least. Hopefully it doesn't get worse.

I went to the south end to shoot and a few snowmobilers were zooming by, so I caught one of them in the photo.
Snowmobiling in La Salle, Manitoba
I'd say this looks like fun, but I haven't been on a snowmobile since I was a child. My dad was involved in two snowmobile incidents and let's just say that they didn't exactly endear me to snowmobiles.

1. While we were living in the Soviet Union, we were staying at a dacha [cottage] outside Moscow for a few days. My dad borrowed or rented a snowmobile, which happened to have a broken windshield so it had a jagged edge on it. While driving it, he managed to get into an accident and cut his chin on the windshield, requiring stitches... without anesthetic, of course, because this was the Soviet Union.
2. Back in Canada - either before or after our trip to the USSR, I'm not sure - we were visiting my mom's parents at their farm outside Fredericton. My dad had a snowmobile and I was on the back, and we headed out to run over the farm land. My grandparents had a few hundred acres so there was plenty of room to ski or snowmobile. I did a lot of cross-country skiing there.

Anyway, at one point I fell off the back and my dad didn't notice for a while, so I was left alone in the "wilderness" for a while until my dad noticed and came back for me. I wasn't interested in snowmobiling after that.

Track 8 - Let It Go

After La Salle, it's a short drive over to Domain to see the ex Manitoba Pool grain elevator there.
I love these Prairie town signs
I'm pretty sure the elevator is privately owned now. I've seen single grain cars spotted at the elevator so it is still in use.
The Domain, Manitoba grain elevator

That was the end of my "fun day" morning. I hope you liked it, and I'll leave you with a question:

What is your favourite Bangles song?

Leave a comment and tell me why!