I saw a fair number of trains on Thursday, January 17... seven, I think.
It started in the morning when I was driving to work. A local CN train was working the cement plant off route 90, in what is known as Fort Whyte. Remanufactured GP9 CN 7254 and slug CN 200 were paired up and working via remote control. I ended up standing on a snowbank to shoot over the fence for this shot.
Note how the sun was just barely high enough to light them up!
EDIT: I was wondering what the "T" on the side of CN 7254 was for. Gord Hilderman of cnrphotos.com kindly told me that "The T stands for Trimmer locomotive, shims are placed between the top of the trucks and the bolster so the pilots and fuel tank don't hit and get caught up in the group retarders at the hump." He went on to point out that there can be an "H" instead like CN 7211 (photo, blog post). Thanks, Gord!
At noon, I went out to try to catch the Canadian. Since it doesn't run on Saturdays during the winter any more, Monday or Thursday are the only days to catch VIA 1. I went down to St. James Junction to wait for them. Soon enough a headlight showed to the east, but it was CN 101, not VIA, coming at me. I stood on another handy mound of snow to shoot CN 2257 leading the train.
That was the sole engine on the head end, and there was no more power until CN 8963 brought up the rear.
Right after that, a CP local came rolling north on the La Riviere subdivision. The light is always wrong for a northbound here, but I did the best I could.
It didn't seem like VIA was coming, so I headed out, but not before catching a glimpse of the CEMR train heading to Carman Junction. It had CEMR 4001 leading and CEMR 5396 trailing.
On my way home from work, I caught a glimpse of a CP local heading south on the La Riviere subdivision at route 90. It had CP 1590 and CP 8205 leading some tank cars for the gas facility near the Perimeter. A few minutes later, I spied CN 2549 East rolling along the Rivers subdivision, so I picked a spot to stop and I snapped this photo.
It had a lot of potash cars on the head end, but the rear was mixed freight. The second engine was CN 2106 and the third was BCOL 4644.
I heard that VIA 1 was coming... very exciting! I headed down to Carman Junction to wait for it. In the past few days a CN maintenance gang has been replacing rail on the south track around miles 8-10 and they were just heading to the stub track just west of the Perimeter Highway. It was interesting to hear the hotbox go off over and over. "CN detector. Rivers sub. South track. No alarms. Speed. 8 miles per hour. Temperature. Minus 19 Celsius."
Soon enough the Canadian's headlights were visible in the distance. They approached, and in a flash they were past on the north track and heading out of town.
It's getting down to the winter consist!
I didn't hear why it was delayed, but I suppose it was held up in Ontario due to the blockades that were held on Wednesday.