Friday, August 29, 2008

August 18 at Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan

On August 18 my youngest son and I left Regina, Saskatchewan and went west to Belle Plaine, almost midway between Regina and Moose Jaw. There is a spur at Belle Plaine to Kaolin, the potash mine. I had always been interested in Belle Plaine due to this spur and the little yard there.

Kaolin Mine
The Kaolin mine. It is hard to get a sense of scale. The piles on the right are about five times higher than a locomotive.

Train Yard at Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan
The yard at Belle Plaine, looking west.

My son and I spent a little time outdoors in the sweltering heat before we retreated to the car. After a while, I heard the RTC and a conductor talking about a meet at Belle Plaine. Yay! At 14:19, CP 5914 West rolled into the siding to wait for two eastbounds.

Canadian Tire containers at Belle Plaine

I drove up to the head end for the meet, and took another shot of the consist. Note the MOW vehicle on a flatcar two cars behind the engines.

The consist was CP 5914, CP 6039, CP 5959, and CEFX 1044.

The first eastbound train (container train 106) blasted through at 15:06, with CP 8555 leading and CP 8507 pushing hard on the rear. I hopped in the car and headed east to Pense, hoping to catch the train in a shot with the grain elevator. Alas, I was a bit too late to make that so I settled for a few distance shots at 15:17.
CP 8507 entering Pense
I was trying to be artistic here.

Train across the Prairies
One of the great things about the Prairies is that you can see the whole train, even if it's a hundred cars long.

The second eastbound, hot on the heels of the first at 15:22, was led by CP 9548 and CP 5928. I set up with the sun at my back and composed the shot with the grain elevator, thinking this would make a great picture. I'd say it didn't.
CP 9548 and 5928 at Pense, Saskatchewan
In retrospect I should have been on the "lead" side of the elevator, so the elevator's shadow didn't fall on the engines. Live and learn. I believe the train was CP 212, and it had 5 platforms and 13 cars.

I drove around the elevator to take a few shots from the other side. Looking up the track, I saw a freight leaving a siding after 9548 went by! A bonus train... CP 6007 East at 15:31. The power was CP 6007, CP 3103, CP 1611, and CP 8505.
CP 6022 East at Pense Saskatchewan

No comments: