So fine, I just can't get away
Now I'm snowblind, snowblind, snowblind
- Styx (video)
I felt a little snowblind yesterday when I was out railfanning. Tom Sajnovic was in town and we decided to go railfanning on Sunday, which happened to be Valentine's Day.
After getting the OK from my wife to spend the morning chasing trains, I picked Tom up at 8 AM and we headed over to the CP yards to start the morning.
|The usual suspects|
We decided to head west to Portage la Prairie and try to catch some action there. I was a bit apprehensive of the weather - relatively mild but with lots of blowing snow - but I decided to give it a try.
We headed out toward Rosser with the intention of following CP to Marquette then continuing on to Portage. Very quickly we spotted a CP freight heading east into Makwa, just west of the Perimeter Highway. We pulled over and got the shot. CP 9717 was the sole engine on the head end.
|Mid train by Tom Sajnovic|
With that train in the bag, I decided not to continue along the CP as the highway was drifting pretty badly. We turned around and headed back to the Perimeter Highway to head to Headingley and the Trans-Canada Highway. After stopping at a gas station to get more batteries for Tom, we headed west.
The highway itself was OK, with some drifting snow in the passing lane but in general it was clear. The visibility was pretty bad and I don't think we reached the speed limit at all en route to Portage. We kept an eye toward the CN line to our left but we couldn't see it most of the time, so if trains were passing, we didn't see them. The weather cleared up a bit as we approached Portage.
We arrived in Portage la Prairie and headed to the area between the CN and CP tracks, just east of the stations and the Tupper Street overpass. Shortly thereafter, a CN eastbound rolled into view, with CN 2571 and CN 2008.
The train had a few of these blue NOKL Dynastack cars on them, a car I haven't seen before. The blue really stands out.
After that train passed, Tom needed to go to Shoppers Drug Mart to pick something up, so we headed over and parked in front of the store. As we were getting out of the car, Tom heard a horn... so we hopped back in and drove over the Tupper St. overpass, spotting an eastbound CN train to the west, and went to the VIA station to capture CN 5477 East.
Here's Tom capturing 5477.
|Tom getting the shot|
|CN 5477 East, by Tom Sajnovic|
Poor tired CN 5513 was the trailing unit on the train. I was surprised to find out this was the first time I'd photographed 5513. I thought I'd probably grabbed all of the extant SD60Fs but I guess not!
|Worn CN 5513|
Back in the car... back to the tracks, for the third CN eastbound train in a row, CN 8935 East with a blue IC unit trailing.
|IC 2459 in Portage la Prairie|
|Distributed Braking Container CNSU0007|
After that train passed, we headed back to Shoppers for the third time and parked. This time someone was blowing snow off the sidewalks with a leaf blower, so there was no way we were going to hear any train horns! Tom bought what he needed, and as we drove back to the tracks we saw a fourth CN eastbound train rolling by. I didn't know it was parade day on CN!
After the containers finished rolling by, we went over the Tupper Street overpass and noted a green signal on CP indicating a CP eastbound was coming. We parked by the Canadian Pacific Railway Heritage Park and Interpretive Centre aka the old CP station.
Tom elected to stay on the station side of the tracks and I went over to the other side to capture the station in the shot. Here's Tom's view:
|Tom's view of CP 8931|
|CP 8931 passes the former CP station in Portage la Prairie|
I elected to come in along Wilkes and we spotted CN 8935 East again with the IC unit trailing. I overtook it before Shaftesbury and we bailed out to capture the other side of the train. I'm quite happy with this photo, showing IC 2459 with a little bit of CN red.
|IC 2459 with a CN air conditioner|
More "railfanning with Tom":