|The decrepit train station in Piney, Manitoba|
ConvincingLast weekend I proposed a road trip - to Piney, Manitoba, to see the old train station. This sad old station has been abandoned for a long time. I wanted to see it before it completely collapsed.
My family was... less than enthused. I promised them a late lunch / early supper at the Trail's End Tavern in Woodridge, Manitoba on the way back, and since they had no better idea, off we went!
The JourneyWe drove down the Trans-Canada to Ste. Anne, then took highway 12 through Steinbach and into the wilds. It's very remote through there with long stretches of absolutely nothing but trees. I was glad we had left Winnipeg with almost a full tank of gas.
After an hour and a half, we arrived in Piney. It's not a ghost town but it's not far from it.
The StationThe train station was easy to find. It's on the former right-of-way of the CN Ridgeville subdivision, on the only side street in Piney. It's a pretty lonely street.
|Side street in Piney, Manitoba|
It was a warm day so it was nice to walk around and photograph the station from various angles. I was using a monopod to capture three images for making HDR photos. I wanted to shoot HDR because the sky was fairly bright and I felt I wouldn't be able to capture enough detail without recording multiple frames.
Here's the back of the station, photographed from the former right-of-way, which is now just a trail.
|Back of the Piney train station|
I looked in a couple of windows and it appears the station was last used to store appliances.
|Stoves in the old train station|
|Another stove in the train station|
One more view of the Piney train station, and then we'll move on to the nearby CN section house and a few other buildings in the town.
|Lonely old train station|
|Piney train station, 1979, photo by A.L. Szalanski - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Piney_CN_station_1979.jpg|
The Section HouseThe former section house is just down the road. It's in worse shape than the station - believe it or not - with a partially collapsed roof.
|CN sectionman's house in Piney, Manitoba|
|Another view of the sectionman's house in Piney, MB|
Here's a link to a Flickr photo from 1979.
Other Piney BuildingsI saw three other interesting buildings in Piney and photographed two of them. First was the old Piney municipal office building.
|Piney municipal office building|
Clearly this building isn't in use any more but its roof appears to be in decent shape.
The second building I photographed was the Thompson garage, located right in the middle of town and very prominently located.
|Thompson's Garage in Piney, Manitoba|
Rail AbandonmentA mixed freight/passenger train was in the 1950/04/30 CN employee timetable. Train #207 would leave South Junction (junction with the CN Sprague subdivision) Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 08:15, passing through Piney at 08:50 before arriving at Emerson Junction (junction with the CN Letellier subdivision) at 12:10 PM. The corresponding eastbound train, #208, would leave Emerson Junction at 10:50 AM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and pass through Piney at 15:40 before arriving at South Junction at 16:30. Clearly it wasn't a fast transit, taking 4 hours westward and 5.5 hours eastward to travel the 72.7 miles between the two junctions.
The mixed train was gone from the timetables by 1967 but I expect it was cancelled much earlier than that.
Sometime between the 1970/04/26 and the 1973/04/29 timetable, the subdivision was basically abandoned. The April 29, 1973 employee timetable states no movement could take place east of Ridgeville except with the superintendent's authorization. The portion between Emerson Junction and Ridgeville was kept open to service the two grain elevators in Ridgeville.
I believe the subdivision was officially abandoned in 1977. The portion from Emerson Junction to Ridgeville was kept as the Emerson Extension. Today only about a mile of that still exists, and it was used for switching purposes in Emerson but it hasn't been used for a few years.
Moving OnAs I mentioned above, my family was getting antsy so it was time to leave Piney. A bathroom was required, and none were available in Piney... nor had we seen any since we left Steinbach. I felt it was best to continue on to Sprague, where I was certain there would be facilities.
So, back to highway 12 we went, and continued... to some Sprague division railfanning through South Junction, Woodridge, Giroux and Lorette!