Thursday, April 17, 2014

Grain Elevators of the Letellier Subdivision

I am embarking on a project to photograph as many Manitoba grain elevators as I can this year. So far I have photographed a bit less than 40 elevators but there are a bit over 100 that I have not seen yet. I've created a page / map to track them and I'll be updating that as I go.

As part of that I went out on Sunday, February 23 to photograph the grain elevators on CN's Letellier subdivision. You might recall that this sub runs from Winnipeg (Portage Junction) south to Emerson on the Canada-USA border. CN interchanges with BNSF just across the border at Noyes, Minnesota.

There are 6 elevators remaining on the Letellier subdivision:
  • Morris: Cargill (old and new) and Paterson (old and new)
  • St. Jean Baptiste: Private
  • Letellier: Pioneer
The line parallels highway 75, more or less, so it's easy to access. I set off with the kids in the morning and drove down to Morris. There are four elevators in Morris, two for Cargill and two for Paterson. I photographed the older Paterson elevator first.
Paterson grain elevator in Morris Manitoba

To be totally accurate, I had photographed that elevator a week prior when we went down to North Dakota. At that time I did a quick dash in to capture it and then kept on heading south.
Paterson grain elevator in Morris Manitoba

The new Paterson elevator is at the south end of Morris, and is much, much larger.
new Paterson grain elevator in Morris Manitoba

New Paterson grain elevator in Morris Manitoba

The new Paterson elevator is interesting in that it is served by both CN and CP. I'll show the interesting trackwork in Morris shortly.

The other elevator company in Morris is Cargill. Their old and new elevators are adjacent to each other.
Cargill grain elevators in Morris Manitoba

Cargill recently announced that they are going to expand this facility, from 10,000 tonnes of storage and 54 rail car spots to 30,000 tonnes and 100 spots. Exciting news for Morris!

Now, I promised I would talk about the track layout in Morris. Here is a map I drew to show how the track connects.

CN=black, CP=red. I hope this shows how both CN and CP can serve both Paterson and Cargill. Note that the CN Miami subdivision is just a stub and extends just far enough so CN can use it to shunt Cargill.

One interesting thing I saw on the CN Miami subdivision is an honest-to-god semaphore.

This might be the only "operational" semaphore in Manitoba.

The next elevator is the one in St. Jean Baptiste.
St. Jean Baptiste Grain Elevator

St. Jean Baptiste Grain Elevator

St. Jean Baptiste has a lovely, large church.

The final elevator on the CN Letellier subdivision is the Pioneer high-throughput elevator labeled "Red River South". It is located just north of the town of Letellier, which had a Pool elevator until its destruction in November 2006.
Red River South grain elevator near Letellier

Red River South grain elevator near Letellier

So ends our tour... I hope you enjoyed it, and expect to see a lot more grain elevators here this summer.


Unknown said...

Not sure if you have photographed the old elevator at Sanford Manitoba, along the CEMR rail line? It's in a bad state of repair, with a huge hole in the east side wall. This winter they were emptying some grain out of there. Town rumours are that it is to be torn down in the very near future. Get some pics soon.
Sanford , Manitoba

Canadian Train Geek said...

Hi Glen, I have photographed Sanford but not in a couple of years. I'll have to get out there this weekend and capture it once more. Thanks for the tip!

Unknown said...

I'll keep my "ear to the wall", so to speak. If I hear of a specific time frame for demolition, I will give you some heads up, in the event you want to capture some live demo occurring.

GP9Rm4108 said...

Steve, for your elevators, you missed St. Agathe!!!

Also that semaphore on the Miami Spur means absolutely nothing to us train crews. It serves no purpose at all.

GP9Rm4108 said...



Canadian Train Geek said...

There's a grain elevator in that complex? I've looked at it (from the highway) but never saw anything that looked like an elevator. I'll have to see if I can drive a bit closer (without trespassing, of course).

GP9Rm4108 said...

I suppose it's not an elevator per se but it's still a facility. Most of their product is oil but they do take in dry product. That dry product has to be stored somewhere!

I have never seen it up close, just from the tracks.

GP9Rm4108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Nice post including trackage map, Steve. While many of us have a sentimental spot for the wooden elevators, these new behemoths are starting to grow on me.

One can also see how the elevator companies prefer them for their productivity and the railways for their large car spots.

Good luck on your trek!

Canadian Train Geek said...

GP9Rm4108, good to know, I assumed it was ignored. There's a semaphore on the CP La Riviere just north of town too.

Eric, those concrete elevators are neat in an admiration-of-efficiency way.

Unknown said...

To see the semaphore in street view, type in either of these in google maps, then go to street view: