Sunday, July 16, 2017

Railfanning and the Carman Fair

Rio Grande - really?
On Saturday July 15th our family traveled to Carman, Manitoba for the Carman County Fair. It was a lovely - if warm - day and we like going to these country fairs so the kids can ride on the midway rides without too much of a crowd.

The CEMR Carman Sub

We drove down on highway 3, paralleling the Central Manitoba Railway (CEMR) Carman subdivision for most of the trip. I noted cars at the Sanford grain elevator and some tank cars and a few ex Illinois Central ballast cars parked in Brunkild. At the Pioneer grain elevator outside Brunkild, there were some maintenance machines and an ex Amtrak ballast hopper working on the elevator tracks.

Carrying on down highway 3, the Sperling grain elevator was still gone (sigh) although there were tank cars stored in the village. The Homewood grain elevator is alive and well and the Carman warehouse had a lot of grain cars at it.

Stored potash cars and the fair
As we drove into Carman, I noted many potash cars stored in the town as well as a short CEMR train with two locomotives on it. I resolved to come back to that when we left.

The Fair

The fair was great - the kids had fun and my wife and I found the temperature and crowds quite tolerable. We ate supper there and the food prices were quite reasonable.

I saw one place advertising a schnitzel sandwich so I had to have that. It was greasy but tasty!

As you can see from the lead photo in this post, I couldn't help railfanning the toy train.

After we visited the petting zoo - very popular with the kids - we had ice cream and then hit the road. I decided to head back through Elm Creek / highway 2 to cover a different route.

CCGX 5202

On our way out, I stopped to photograph the CEMR train. It was not positioned for photography so I had to shoot a bit against the sun. Here's a photo I processed with HDR to get as much detail as I could.
CCGX 5202 and CEMR 5396 in Carman
The far locomotive is CEMR 5396, an ex CP SD40-2 that I have photographed many times. The near one, though, is new to me.

CCGX 5202 is an SD38AC originally built in 1971 for the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad as BLE 865. It was acquired by the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railroad as DMIR 200 in early 1993 and retired in April 2008. It bounced around a couple of small companies and Cando Contracting acquired it in August 2015 (more info).

This loco has been painted in Cando's sharp "swoosh" scheme and looks quite nice. Note the "SD38AC" designation, the plaque "Rebuilt with pride by CEMR Winnipeg", and the Buzz Lightyear sticker.

That was nice to see. Hopefully I'll see it in better light soon.


On the way up highway 13 to Elm Creek, I stopped briefly to photograph the two lovely grain elevators in Barnsley. They looked very nice in the setting sun's light.
Barnsley Grain Elevators

Elm Creek Switching

As we approached Elm Creek, I could see the highway was blocked in the distance.. by grain cars! It turned out that the CPR was in town. I drove through town and found the head end at the wye.

Two of the new ECO units
The train had two of the rebuilt "ECO" units on it, CP 2238 and 2325. Again the sun was in the "wrong" spot so I did the best I could. I saw the conductor walking back to the locomotives, so I drove over the nearby crossing to avoid being trapped on the "wrong" side of the train.

The light was better on the other side..
CP in Elm Creek, Manitoba
If you squint you can see the Cargill unit about 2/3 of the way across the photo, near their grain elevator.

They started pulling, so I grabbed a photo I had been planning for a long time... the train by the giant fire hydrant.
CP 2238 and the giant fire hydrant in Elm Creek, MB
That hydrant is apparently the second largest in the world.

Homeward Bound

We headed home without waiting for the train, as it was getting late and I didn't want to push my luck with my family. We passed the lovely elevator in Culross - no cars - then Fannystelle - no cars - then Starbuck - cars - then back onto the Trans-Canada Highway and home.

This was essentially our route:

See Also


Jeff said...

This brings me back lots of memories back in Swan River when I was kid. When the Northwest Roundup was in full tilt, the valley had lots of railway activity before CN ripped up the Erwood sub and the Cowan sub.

Cornergas said...

All those branch lines used to have lots of activities....around Neepawa was a tremendous amount of switching and small trains going in all directions..I worked there in 1959 and only the station/museum remain..the rails are all gone...sad..same goes for many other branch lines out of Dauphin, Belmont etc...

Steve Boyko said...

Hi Jeff, it was pretty quiet when I was in Swan River in the summer of 2015. I guess it's even quieter with the Cargill elevators gone. I wish I could have been there when all the lines were still there!

Steve Boyko said...

Hi Cornergas, I'm going to have to visit the station/museum soon! Looking at the old timetables, I can see a lot of lines converged at or went through Neepawa.

Jenn said...

Nice photos Steve! Glad you got the giant fire hydrant shot.
Aren't small town fairs nice? I grew up in Calgary, going to the Stampede and it was always crowded. Since moving and experiencing the small town's great!!