Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Noonish on the Sprague

On June 17, I had to get out of the house for a while, so I took my laptop and drove to the south end of Symington and parked there while I did some work. Of course I brought my camera and scanner, so I was able to keep tabs on CN's activities on the Sprague subdivision.

"15 year" CN 7258 and slug CN 268 were on the hump.

CN 7258 in Winnipeg

It was odd to see just the GP9 and slug there, rather than the usual matched set of two GP38s and two slugs. There was a humpyard set elsewhere in the yard with another "15 year" engine on it but I didn't catch the number. It was pushing a train onto the hump with these MOW cars loaded with track components.

Switch on a train

I parked at Navin at the former crossing and waited. The crossing was blocked while CN did their track extension in the area, and it looks like the crossing will be permanently closed. The nearby crossing at Tinkertown is not far away.

Soon enough CN 198 came rolling by with CN 8812 leading and CN 2668 trailing. This was a solid container train.

CN 198 with CN 8812

Things were quiet on the Sprague for a while. I heard that work train CN 909 was up at Transcona with an SD40-2. It was destined for the Sprague to drop cars off at a few places, but it didn't come by while I was trackside.

About an hour after CN 198 came through, I heard CN 346 was getting ready to head out. There was a CN MOW crew down at Tinkertown ready to give them a rollby inspection. I drove down just south of the Floodway to shoot 346 on the bridge. I parked and tried walking closer to the bridge for a better shot, only to get my feet wet in a bog. Sandals are not proper hiking footwear! I stood with wet feet and took this shot of CN 8870 leading the train over the bridge.

CN 8870 on train 346

Everything in the foreground is marshy... I'll have to try to get a closer shot in drier times.

The other two engines were CN 8817 and "old-timer" CN 2424. Note the white-painted "2424" above the cab windows.

CN 2424 in Winnipeg

CN 346 had three empty container flats on the front, but was mostly tank cars with the occasional hopper or boxcar, with a solid string of autoracks on the tail end.

I headed home to wash my feet and chisel the clay off my sandals!

PS - I was looking at the photo of CN 7258 and noticed the lawn chair and park bench up on the hump for the first time.

Lawn chair

I don't know if they are new or not, but I guess they are there for the remote control operators to rest their weary bones while sending train cars over the hump. I haven't watched the hump operation closely enough to see if there are two operators, but I assume one of them operates the train while the other uncouples the cars as they come over the hump.

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