Wednesday, September 21, 2016

40 Mile Rail Starts Up

The new 40 Mile Rail locomotive, JLCX 4004
Congratulations to new Alberta shortline railway 40 Mile Rail on receiving their locomotive and 20 grain cars on Wednesday!

About 40 Mile Rail

Forty Mile Rail (FMR) label on crossing post.
Near Wrentham, AB - Jason Sailer photo
I wrote about 40 Mile Rail in my description of the grain elevators of the CP Stirling subdivision back in April. Back then 40 Mile was planning for a June 1 startup.

That slipped, obviously.

Forty Mile Rail was originally called Red Coat Rail and was discussed by local farmers, including Paul Laqua, about a decade ago.

The last train ran on the CP Stirling subdivision sometime in 2002. CP used Brandt rail trucks for a period after that but it appears that nothing has run on the line since perhaps 2006.

There was some work being done on the line in early to mid September. Between 50 and 60 crossings were fixed up and a transfer track was built near the Pioneer grain elevator for CP and 40 Mile to interchange cars.

The Locomotive

Bright blue JLCX 4004 has been leased by 40 Mile to work their line. This locomotive is a GP9 originally built as Southern Pacific 3877. It was acquired by RaiLink as RLK 4004 and worked on the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway in Nova Scotia. It was leased to the nearby Windsor and Hantsport Railway for a period of time.

The loco became JLCX 4004 sometime in 2013. It looks like it spent the last few years in Montreal. The J&L Consulting Facebook page shows it being prepared for service in July 2016.

JLCX 4004 was on the move in September and went via CP through Sudbury, Ontario through Winnipeg. It arrived in Moose Jaw, SK on September 17 and was photographed by Ken McCutcheon there.
JLCX 4004 in Moose Jaw, SK - photo by Ken McCutcheon

It continued on to Swift Current on the 19th then arrived in Lethbridge, AB early on the 20th. Jason Paul Sailer shot it there from the highway.
JLCX 4004 in Kidd outside Lethbridge - photo by Jason Paul Sailer


Early on the 21st, a CP "toaster" locomotive took it and the 20 hopper cars to Stirling, AB, then and crawled along the Stirling subdivision to the new interchange track, where the CP unit cut off and left.

Frontier Signworks shared this Facebook live video of the arrival of 4004 in Foremost, AB around 7:30 PM. The locomotive and the grain cars are pulling past the Buffalo elevator in the town.

Dalton Photography shared a large collection of photos taken of 4004's arrival in Foremost.

The Future

Hopefully this new shortline, only Alberta's second (after the Battle River Railway), has a bright future ahead of it. The Foremost elevator has a new employee and will be loading pulse crops for rail loading.

I'm assuming the railway acquired their own cars to help with car availability, so they aren't kept waiting for CP to supply cars from their pool.

I'm looking forward to photos of the train on the line and maybe I'll get some photos myself the next time I am in the Lethbridge area!


See also


Jason Sailer said...

Thanks for the use of my photos Steve!

Despite the long wait for this short line, it seems that things are finally working out. Can't wait to photograph it in action!

Widenogginbloggin said...

I'm glad I found your blog. I live in Stirling, and have been looking forward to seeing the rail line get up and running. I found a picture of the GP9 on the internet when it was still in Southern Pacific colors, as number 3877.

I can't seem to post it here, but it is a great picture.


Jason Broadhead

Steve Boyko said...

Hi Jason / Widenogginbloggin, thanks for your comment. I think a lot of people have been hoping for trains to return to Stirling! You can post the URL in a comment or email it to me at and I can put it in the post.