Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Two Trains Over Two Subdivisions (Guest Post)

This is a guest post by photographer Ken McCutcheon. He participated in my 10 Questions series a while ago. Recently he shared a pair of emails and I asked permission to share them with you as a guest post.

Last week on Thursday and Friday [June 16-17]  the Great Western Railway ran a couple of interesting trains.

Colour Me Green

GWRS 2000 and 2001 prepare to leave Shaunavon, SK. Ken McCutcheon photo.
The yard is full of stored empty tank cars.
Thursday's movement from Shaunavon, Saskatchewan to Assiniboia, SK featured MLW M420's 2000 and 2001.

I had made a comment on Facebook regarding this train. Next thing I know, Trevor Sokolan was on his way down from Edmonton to photographically record
the event.

There was really nothing out of the ordinary with this operation other than: GWR have the M420's for sale. There were two operating Alcos this day. How much longer will they be in service?

So there was an urgency to have one more experience with the M420's.
Approaching Admiral, SK - Ken McCutcheon photo
After driving through a monsoon enroute from Assiniboia to Shaunavon early Thursday morning, I hooked up with Trevor, chatted and waited for the "chase" to begin.

During this time a minivan with Ontario plates rolled up with a couple more railfans. Ted and Robin from Cobourg, Ontario just happened to be in southern Saskatchewan and on the GWR this day. I'd say they were blessed.

At 1015 Thursday June 16th the chase was on.
Approaching Pontiex, SK. Ken McCutcheon photo.
Trevor Sokolan shared a photo of the units switching the Admiral elevator here.


Colour Me Orange

Leaving Rockglen, SK. Ken McCutcheon photo.
On day two, GWR ran a potash car storage train down the Fife Lake Sub to Coronach. (The Fife Lake subdivision is used mainly now for storage of railway equipment)

Under a clear dome the two B40-8's 563 and 575 (handled 67 empty potash cars going into storage. Once again the four photographers had a great day of chasing.

Approaching Lisieux. Ken McCutcheon photo.
Trevor Sokolan shared a photo near Bexkill, SK.

For me the chase was bittersweet.

I found out the following Monday that the locomotive engineer for both these trips, Doug Knuff, had pulled the pin.......retiring from the GWR.

Doug was a gentleman and a blessing.  He was always friendly, with a wave from the cab; he shared whatever information I requested; and he will be sorely missed.

All the best, Doug, in your retirement and THANK YOU for the memories. Be blessed and enjoy your free time away from the railway.

Ken McCutcheon

Approaching Scout Lake. Ken McCutcheon photo.
Thanks for the post, Ken!

Here's a photo of Ken enjoying the GWR's Alcos in July 2015, by Trevor Sokolan.
Even the Locals Get in on the Action!

Further reading:

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