One Sunday morning (March 9) I decided to go spend a couple of hours railfanning here in Winnipeg. Nothing was going on and it was a reasonably nice day to get out of the house after a long winter. I did a little tour of the Symington yard area and saw a few trains - nothing special - then went around the Perimeter Highway toward home. As I crossed the CP Emerson subdivision, I saw a headlight to the north, indicating a southbound train.
I hear these trains from my house, but it's rare that I actually photograph one. Sadly I live too far away to see tracks from my front steps! I had to photograph this one. I headed south on St. Anne's Road and then cut back to the tracks on Prairie Grove Road. There's a crossing there, but I figured I had time to get on the other side of the Floodway to shoot the train with the the bridge. I kept going on Prairie Grove to highway 75, then a quick jaunt south got me to winding Hallama Drive, on the south side of the Floodway.
The problem with Hallama Drive is that there is nowhere to park when there is lots of snow on the ground. I pulled over as much as I could, put the 4-way flashers on, and nobody came along... except the train.
As it pulled out of the trees and into view, I was amazed to see a CP SD40-2 leading two CSX engines.
It made a fine sight crossing the desolate snow-covered landscape.
They were not going very fast, so I took quite a few photos. I thought I might be able to get ahead of them relatively quickly, so I headed south down highway 75. The CP track diverges fairly sharply from 75 right away, so I wasn't hopeful for a quick catch, but I figured I could go all the way to Niverville if necessary.
I don't know the area but I decided to try cutting back in fairly quickly. I drove toward what I thought was the track direction, and I came to a crossing and found the train stopped there. It turns out they were going to enter the 8,327 foot siding in Grande Pointe. But first, a little shovel and broom work was required to get the switch to move. Both crew members were on the ground digging away. They yelled to me to pick up a shovel and help! Fortunately they were joking...
I took the opportunity to photograph CP 6029, CSX 442 and CSX 861.
Once they were done clearing the switch, they lined it for the siding and slowly crawled forward. I took a few snaps and then took video from the crossing.
I hope they had a good trip!
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