Monday, April 11, 2011
Number One With A Bullet
I was determined to do my railfan duty and shoot the unique Coors Light Silver Bullet Express as it passed through Winnipeg as part of the Canadian. I woke up early and headed up to Transcona to shoot VIA 1 as it came into Winnipeg. It is scheduled to arrive by 8 AM but the nice fellow at 1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888-842-7245) told me it was running 30 minutes late. I went to Dugald and shot the grain elevator as the sun rose. Very pretty. Another call to VIA confirmed the train was going to be an hour late. I couldn't wait around due to prior commitments, so I reluctantly left without seeing it.
I was able to go downtown soon afterward, and arrived at 08:55 to see the Canadian backing in to the station. VIA 6445 and 6408 were third and fourth units on the Canadian and they looked great in the bright sunshine.
Note that the two units are not decorated the same.
There were two railfans there. They told me they had chased the train from Toronto! I went up the tower in the Forks to try to get an overhead shot but the outside balcony was closed. I took some shots through the glass but there are a lot of reflections visible. I headed out and resolved to catch VIA 1 at noon when they headed west.
I set up just east of Kenaston / route 90 to wait. CN 314 came first, rolling by on the north track, with CN 5679 and old friend CN 5746.
I saw the headlights of VIA 1 on the north track way down the track. As CN 314 passed Waverley they crossed over to the south track. This forced VIA 1 to wait until the freight was clear. Soon enough the Canadian rolled through St. James Junction and past my lenses.
The head end had VIA 6435, refurbished VIA 6410, and the two Coors Light engines 6445 and 6408.
Here's the two Coors Light engines.
The passenger cars on the head end were all for the Coors Light Silver Bullet Express and will be cut out of the Canadian in Edmonton. I didn't notice any external differences except that every other car had a Coors Light logo.
I was glad to see VIA 1721, one of the three ex-BC Rail "Panorama" cars. Now I've seen two of the three (I've seen 1722 twice). Sorry for the blurriness.
Four engines and 23 cars rolled quickly by and were gone (full consist). Job complete!
PS - Could there be a better title for this post? :)