Sunday, April 04, 2010

Road Trip

I was on vacation Thursday (April 1) to look after the kids. Of course my thoughts turned to railfanning, and we were on the road by 11:15 to go shoot the Canadian. I wanted to go to Elie to shoot it by the elevator on the west side. We headed down Wilkes Avenue and then onto highway 1, seeing no trains in the meantime. We arrived at Elie and set up to wait for the Canadian. I broke out sandwiches and we had a little picnic while we waited.

Just after 12:30, I heard VIA 1 calling the signals at east Elie. I got ready and soon enough they rolled on by. This is exactly the shot I wanted.
VIA Canadian at Elie Manitoba
The video, not so great. It started OK but the camera had focus problems and I caught the tripod's arm with my camera's strap and yanked it to the right. Sigh.

I decided that we should proceed on to Portage la Prairie and see if we could catch the Canadian on the west side. They beat us to Portage, but I heard them call a "clear to stop" signal meaning they were stopping, so that was good for me. As we went around to the west side, I saw a CP local heading west with a single unit pushing, five Simplot boxcars, six covered hoppers, and a rider caboose on the head end. No time for photos.

As we reached the west side of Portage, I saw an eastbound CN freight (CN 312) coming into town. 312 had two units on the head end. This is why the Canadian had to stop, since the Rivers sub is single track west of Portage. We set up in a field near the mall and waited for the Canadian.

The Canadian rolled by at about 13:25. Here's the whole train, again.
VIA Canadian in Portage la Prairie

After that excitement, we drove around a bit in downtown Portage until CN 199 showed up. I decided to shoot it from the CN station. It had a very interesting consist.
CN 2525 and Dash-8 units in Portage la Prairie, MB
It had Dash-9 CN 2525 followed by four Dash-8 units... BC Rail 4610, CN 2434, CN 2416, and CN 2429. Nice to see so many Draper Taper units!

We headed home after that. Somewhere along the way I saw a westbound CN freight and shot it from a long distance away. If I had to guess, I would say it had CN 8849 and CN 2649 for power but that is just a guess. The lead unit was definitely an SD70M-2, though.

It was a good outing!

EDIT: Scott Duffus shot the two lead units of CN 199 on Sunday in Prince Rupert.


Eric said...

Hi Steve,

In the shot of the Canadian west of Portage, the former Campbell Soup plant and water tower is visible in the background. Any idea what is going on with that plant, and if it still has rail service. 6569 and later, GM switchers like 6708 used to run from CP's Portage yard twice a day to service the plant with insulated boxcars, reefers, even 86-foot CN hicube boxcars and van 437000 tagging along.

Canadian Train Geek said...

To be honest, Eric, I don't know if the former soup plant is active or if it still gets rail service. I'll have to check that out the next time I'm there.

I know the industrial park beside the CP yard gets service, including McCain's with tank cars of oil in, and refrigerator cars out.