Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Louis Riel Day

I chose to celebrate Manitoba's unique Holiday, Louis Riel Day (Feb 15), by railfanning. Come to think of it, I would choose to celebrate almost every holiday that way if I could. But anyway...

The kids and I went up to Wilkes Avenue to see if we could shoot the Canadian. On the way, we passed over CN 523 at Pembina. 523 had a single unit and was heading south at about 11:45.

We exited the Perimeter Highway and I went to my favourite spot at La Fleche Road, to find fellow railfans Jeff and Doug there. After socializing with them for a bit, we decided to head west to Diamond to get some wide-open prairie shots. The three of us parked our cars alongside the road and waited.

Soon enough, we heard CN 312 approaching from the west. It threw up a good cloud of snow as it approached at 12:30.
CN 2527 and train 312
As it drew closer, we realized that this train had a very interesting consist. CN 2527 was the leader, but former Illinois Central 1010 was the second unit and former Wisconsin Central 2006 was the third! This was the first time I had seen a WC unit.
WC 2006, IC 1010, and CN 2527
Here's the video. The engineer gave us one long blast on the horn.

We settled down to wait for the Canadian, but the next westbound was another freight, CN 115. This was a long one - 156 cars, just over 10,000 feet and just over 10,000 tons. The power on this one was more conventional - CN 8857, CN 5611 and CN 2684.

Three toots from the engineer!

It was almost anticlimactic to see the Canadian after that! A very conventional VIA 1 showed up at 13:10 with Spiderman VIA 6401 on the point.

Two toots from that engineer.

That was enough for my kids, so we headed off to a late lunch. Nice of all three engineers to give us a toot!

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