I bundled the kids in the car and headed to Diamond to try to catch the VIA Rail Canadian as it left. I was a bit late leaving home but I hoped that VIA 1 was also a bit late.
On my way around the Perimeter I spotted a CEMR train at Oak Bluff, with the locomotives on the east end, ready to go back into Winnipeg. I decided that I had a few minutes before they would start rolling so I carried on to Wilkes Avenue and headed east to try to cut off VIA 1 if it was coming.
Well, VIA wasn't there, but I did see a CN westbound train, led by CN 2853.
|CN 2853 in Winnipeg|
I went west out to Diamond to see if I could see any eastbound trains. No more CN trains were visible but I saw a CP train waiting to go north on the Glenboro subdivision. This was a solid grain train led by CP 2305, CP 3100, and multimarked CP 5765.
|CP 2305 and company on the Glenboro|
Weary CP 5765 was the only six-axle power on the train.
|CP 5765 pulling|
Fortunately Harris Road was mostly clear so I was able to sustain 70-80 kph (speed limit: 90) and get to highway 241 ahead of them.
I crossed the river and parked on the wide shoulder just north of the road bridge, then sprinted across the road and back to the road bridge to capture them crossing the nearby train bridge. Did I say "bridge" enough in that sentence?
I got to the bridge a few seconds before the lead locomotive started to cross. Just enough!
|CP crossing the Assiniboine River|
After capturing that, I returned to Diamond at a more leisurely pace. Within a few minutes, I spotted a headlight to the east that looked VIA-ish. It was indeed a 40-minutes-late VIA 1, with 6426 and 6453 leading the way.
|The VIA Rail Canadian in the snow|
|Prince Albert Park|
After it passed, we carried on to Carman Junction to see if CEMR had passed through already. I spotted it approaching the junction and took a few shots. I was surprised to see that they had five locomotives... surely some kind of record for CEMR. Normally you see two or maybe three. I don't expect all five were running.
They pulled up to the derail and stopped.
|CEMR at Carman Junction|
The conductor came out to remove the derail and then got back into the cab. They sat there for a while, clearly waiting for permission to enter the Rivers subdivision.
I spotted a headlight to the east, which turned out to be CN 8917 heading westward.
|CN 8917 throwing up snow|
It was a great 1.5 hours of railfanning. I managed to capture CN, CP, VIA and CEMR. A nice early Christmas present. :)
PS - Railpictures even liked my VIA 1 and CN 8917 shots. :)