|Prairie Dog - this way!|
The Prairie Dog CentralMichael and I left Diamond and headed north on the Perimeter Highway to see the Prairie Dog Central's steam train depart. They have numerous excursions from their station and each trip has a theme. You can always see what's coming up by going to https://tickets.pdcrailway.com/ and they even indicate whether it will be steam or diesel pulling the train.
This time it was a steam train, good old #3 ready to haul the ancient coaches to Grosse Isle and back. They had a long train this trip, with the normal four coaches 104-107, combine 103, the caboose, and even bunk car #110 behind the locomotive for some reason.
|The Prairie Dog Central steam train|
While we were waiting for the train to leave, we photographed some of the other equipment in the yard.
VLSX 5232The PDC acquired ex CN SD40 #5232 from the Central Manitoba Railway in the spring of 2015. At that time it was in a faded CN "sergeant stripe" scheme. It was repainted this summer into a classy black and white scheme and this was the first time I had seen it in its new.. "colours" isn't the right word... in its new paint scheme.
|VLSX 5232 in Winnipeg|
I immediately thought it looked like the New Brunswick East Coast SD40 locomotives' scheme. Here's a comparison:
|Comparing PRS 5232 to CFMG 6907|
For comparison, here's CCGX 5232 in July 2014.
|CCGX 5232 in Winnipeg|
Anyway, tangent over - for now.
|ex Virginia Central #1238|
|ex Virginia Central #1246, power car and ex BNSF 1685|
You can see the freshly painted "genset car" #111 and ex BNSF 1685 in the row as well.
PDC's main diesel, #4138, was sitting out at the other end of the shops.
|The high hood GP9s... ex BNSF 1685 and PDC 4138|
The crew did some final oiling of the locomotive before the trip to Grosse Isle.
|Oiling the locomotive|
|The Prairie Dog Central at the Inkster Junction station|
Smoking It UpThey made some serious smoke before getting under way!
|Smokin' it up|
|Smo-o-o-ke on the prairie / a fire in the boiler|
A Short Chase
We chased the train from the Inkster Junction station to the Perimeter Highway. That's a short chase - 4.5 km (2.8 miles) - but there's a dirt road paralleling the track and the train doesn't go very fast, so we were able to stop three times to shoot the train. I elected to shoot video.
Here's the train leaving the station. Lots of wind noise. :(
Round 2 - no crossing = no whistle here:
Round 3 - I elected to shoot this at the Lilyfield spur. The track in front is the track CN uses to service the nearby Paterson grain elevator.
Round 3.5 :) - we saw it was approaching the highway crossing and Michael wanted to catch it crossing there, so I stopped the car at the bend near the crossing and Michael jumped out to get the shot. I stayed by the car and photographed him photographing the train!
|Michael at left capturing the ancient train with the modern crossing|
|Bye for now!|
Up NextI'll wrap up this three-part series with a few CN trains at Diamond, along with VIA Rail's flagship Canadian, finally... with a little bonus action at the CN Symington hump yard.
Back to part 1