I made a spreadsheet to plan my trip (of course! who wouldn't?) and here it is.
You can see I intended to take the Trans-Canada west, then north to Justice, then visit Mentmore, then revisit a few elevators on my way out. I had a dwell time of 30 minutes at Oberon because I wanted to revisit that fantastic elevator in detail, and I planned on 30 minutes at Harte to hopefully catch a train passing the elevator on the CN Rivers subdivision.
I woke up bright and early around 03:15 and hit the road a few minutes early. After passing Portage la Prairie, I noticed I was well ahead of schedule so I made a quick decision to add two more elevators to my list. There is a new Viterra elevator just north of Brandon on the Rivers subdivision, as well as the old Manitoba Pool grain elevator at Forrest. I had thought about including them in the list before but I didn't think I had enough time.
After a quick stop at the highway Esso for fuel and the local Scottish restaurant for drive-through breakfast, I headed north on highway 10. I came across the old Pool elevator in Forrest quite easily.
|Forrest with a new top!?|
|Drive Through Service|
|Service at.. a profit|
|Been searching for justice? Here it is!|
|Your classic prairie elevator|
|Thanks for the photobomb, birds!|
|Ancient grain warehouse|
|Jayson Brothers Limited, Mentmore|
|Grain Elevator Selfie FTW!|
|Needs a little work|
|Bye for now|
There was no rail action imminent but I did see a crop-duster working nearby, so I went over and photographed it for a while.
|How low can you go?|
The plane is an Air Tractor AT-402B, a plane custom made for spraying. It is part of the fleet operated by Ken Kane Aerial Spray Ltd. out of Minnedosa, Manitoba.
|Air Tractor AT-402B|
|That's the shot I wanted|
That overpass sure rumbled when those containers rolled by underneath. It was almost scary how close they were!
Interesting stuff in the gondolas...
|How would you like your scrap steel?|
|Taking the siding|
When processing these photos, I was surprised to see that the conductor was photographing me!
|Say cheese, foamer!|
|Sergeant stripes forever|
The reason for taking the siding became apparent when CN 106 called the approach to Harte.
I set up to record the meet. CN 106 rumbled past with CN 8948 as the sole power on the head end, and CN 8944 as DPU in the middle of the train.
|Pleased to meet you|
CN 403 was rolling before 106 was past, anticipating a quick alignment of the switch so they could leave, and they got it and were on their way at 10:12. So was I, as my schedule said it was time to leave!
I passed Oberon again and took highway 5 south to the Trans-Canada, then headed east toward Winnipeg. As I passed MacGregor I saw two consecutive CN westbound trains. In both cases I pulled over to the shoulder and photographed them from the highway, as I didn't have time to do any more than that.
- CN 2120, CN 2619, CN 2125
- CN 5620, CN 2011
|From a distance...|
Passing Bloom, I noticed that poor CN 114 was stopped there. Clearly they didn't get too far after Harte before having to stop for westbound traffic.
Between Bloom and Portage I saw another train, with CN 8934 and CN 2528.
|Love that zig zag!|
I went around Portage and kept going. I saw I was making good time so I cut north to the Rivers subdivision just before Headingley, so I could drive alongside the CN tracks between mile 20 and mile 11 and hopefully catch just one more train. I met Brian Schuff at Diamond and we saw a CN train carry on westward with
|Just a few more trains and I'll be right home to you|
Not bad for a (long) morning's work... 3 new grain elevators and 7 CN trains.
PS if you're interested in purchasing any of my prints, my best photos are available on pixels.com. If there's one you want that's not there, contact me and we can work it out.