Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CEMR on the Prairie

I was off last Thursday (Jan 14), so my youngest son and I went out to see some trains in the late morning. My intention was to shoot the Canadian then proceed north to CP to see what was up.

We went up the Perimeter on the west side of Winnipeg. I heard CEMR 4000 (as CN train 525) report to the RTC that it was off the main line, meaning that it was on the Carman subdivision. Good to know!

We west on Wilkes Avenue to a spot near Diamond. I didn't want to stay out of the car, due to the cold, so I set up the video camera and parked facing east. I jumped out of the car every now and then to see if I could hear the train. It turned out that I didn't hear it, so I was a little later getting to the video camera than I would have liked. Still, I think it turned out OK.

There were two Chateau sleepers deadheading ahead of the baggage car and behind 6441 and 6425.
VIA Canadian
I took this going-away shot and then headed back to see what CEMR was doing.
VIA's Canadian

I found CEMR 4000 and 4002 switching at Oak Bluff at 12:39.
CEMR 4000 and 4002, Oak Bluff, Manitoba
It looked like they would be there for a while, so we went to have lunch. When we returned, CEMR was still switching, so we went north back to Wilkes Avenue. I could see an eastbound CN train across the prairie at Diamond so we hustled to catch it. It turned out to be CN 2648 and 5722 leading a paper products / autorack train.

After the train passed, we went back south to Oak Bluff and found the CEMR train had just left. We gave chase down highway 3 toward Carman. I had never been in this area before, so I didn't have any idea where the good shots were. However, on the prairies, every shot is pretty good. After about 15 minutes, I was far enough ahead so I picked a spot to leave the highway and went down a rural road to near the tracks. I set up the tripod and we waited for the train to come. Soon enough, CEMR 4000 came into view across the prairie.
CEMR 4000 north of Sanford MB
This telephoto shot shows how the prairie is not exactly flat around Winnipeg, just rolling.

As I panned the video camera, I noticed a grain elevator just south of us. Darn it! That would have been a better backdrop. Next time...

We chased it down to Sanford, and then gave up the chase since I had other business to attend to. I'm glad I had this little sojourn down the Carman sub, and I look forward to more railfanning in the area.

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