Monday, December 05, 2011

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

CP 9815 in Winnipeg
Finally I was able to see a Holiday Train!

Canadian Pacific Railway is again running a Holiday Train across Canada (and another across the USA) to raise funds and food for local food banks. I have been away for work the past two years and did not see it pass through Winnipeg. Fortunately this year I was home and could get out to see it.

The train was scheduled to arrive at Molson Street a little east of the CP yard at 9 PM. I drove up there and saw that the train was waiting a bit east of that at 8:45. I took a few photos and then struggled in vain to find a parking spot. It was crowded! I ended up parking a few streets away and hoofing it with my camera bag and tripod.
CPR Holiday Train in Winnipeg

The train has some performers on board who do a little show at each stop. I was on the other side of the train, taking photos of each car, so I didn't actually see the performance... but they sounded good!

The CPR Police were out in full force and the Winnipeg Railway Museum had volunteers on hand to help with crowd control. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and nobody was doing anything stupid like climbing on the train or crossing between cars.

I took some photos of CP 9815 on the head end before proceeding down the train.
CP 9815 and the Holiday Train

For most of my shots I used a 10 second exposure to bring out as much light as I could. I set a 2 second self-timer so I could press the shutter release and then let the camera settle before taking the shot. It seemed to work well.

The weather cooperated... no snow and not too cold. I was all bundled up and nothing but my finger tips was cold.
CPR Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train in Winnipeg

Did you know they have a stage on CP 42901 that folds up and down?
Stage car for the CPR Holiday Train
Sorry for the grainy photo - this one was hand-held.

They started loading the performers and stage back up around 9:40 PM and were on their way before 10 PM. I believe they laid over in Winnipeg over night and headed out in the early afternoon for a mid afternoon stop in Portage la Prairie. It was snowing so I decided not to chase them out there.

If you get a chance to see the train, do so! It's very impressive. Here's the Canadian schedule and the American schedule.

Please consider donating food, money or time at your local food bank.  Here's a list of Canadian food banks. In Winnipeg you can donate to Winnipeg Harvest.

I'll leave you with the VAN HORNE and the tail end of the Holiday Train. Highball!
The Canadian Pacific Railway VAN HORNE car on the Holiday Train

1 comment:

Tim said...

I've been meaning to head up to Scranton, PA one of these years to see the US Holiday Train, but I keep forgetting and when I do remember, it's already been through there as I believe it's pretty much the first stop of the tour. Gotta get on the ball for next year and hopefully can make it!