Saturday, August 29, 2015

Along the Stewart Southern, Part 1

The Stewart Southern believes in lots of signs!
The Stewart Southern Railway is one of the many shortline railways in Saskatchewan. I mentioned their start back in 2010. We were in Saskatchewan at the beginning of August to visit family and friends and I negotiated some time to see the Stewart Southern.

I went out early on August 2 to head down Highway 33 toward Stoughton.

The Stewart Southern acquired a portion of the CP Tyvan subdivision, at one time the longest stretch of straight track in the world. They interchange with CP in Regina and their track basically parallels highway 33 all the way to Stoughton.

It was a beautiful morning... at least at the start.


My first stop was in Richardson at 7 AM to see the Legumex Walker facility there.
Legumex Walker, Richardson, SK

There were no cars there but the May 2015 Street View shows grain cars, so I have to assume it is still a rail customer.


Next up on the line was the grain elevator at Kronau. This is a former Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (SWP) elevator. It has no annex but has a couple of large bins for extra storage.
Kronau grain elevator

There were a few cars spotted at the siding.

Note the 1867-1967 Centennial logo on the elevator. There are only a few remaining with the logo. I saw it on one of the two Sintaluta elevators.
Canadian 1967 Centennial log on Kronau grain elevator


Next is a siding and stub track at Lajord. There was a string of oil tankers there, complete with buffer cars on one end.
Oil train in Lajord SK

Note there are a couple of tracks there.

There was a beautiful large Pioneer grain elevator in Lajord. Back in 1964 Lajord had three elevators: the Pioneer, a National Grain Company elevator, and the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool grain elevator.

After leaving Lajord, I ran into some serious morning fog. Visibility grew quite short and I had to slow down below highway speed on several occasions as I couldn't see far enough ahead.


The grain elevator at Sedley was barely visible in the fog.
Sedley grain elevator in the fog

Disappointing... but not the first disappointment.


Francis, SK was also socked in.
Francis grain elevator


It was clearing a bit at Osage but it still wasn't great.
Osage grain elevator

I finally broke out of the fog south of Osage, and by the time I arrived at Fillmore, it was blue skies and sunshine. I wasn't too concerned as I knew I would be heading back on highway 33 and would have another chance at the fogbound grain elevators.


There are two grain facilities at Fillmore, an ex Saskatchewan Wheat Pool grain elevator operated by the SooLine Marketing Group, and a more modern facility operated by Fill-More Seeds Inc. "Pride of the Prairies".

There was another elevator between these two facilities but apparently it came down. I think it was a United Grain Growers (UGG) elevator.

Rider Pride is everywhere in Saskatchewan.
The SWP logo is somewhat visible on the non track side of the elevator above the word "FILLMORE". Note the bright yellow fire engine!
Fillmore SK grain elevator and fire engine
I understand at one point the Stewart Southern parked a few locomotives here but none were in evidence.
Fillmore, SK grain elevators
More on Fillmore grain elevators


The town of Creelman, SK has two grain elevators joined by a common annex. The larger one appears to be a former SWP elevator but the smaller one is an ex Lake of the Woods Milling Company elevator!
Creelman Lake of the Woods grain elevator

They make quite a handsome pair.
Creelman grain elevators
Next up was Stoughton, the end of the line for the Stewart Southern. I'll tackle that in the next post, but here's a teaser...
Stewart Southern 2237 near Stoughton, SK
Read part 2

Further reading:


Unknown said...

Very nice Steve. I just love how I can live vicariously thru your blog posts. Not as good as being there, but a close second best.
Never heard of the Stewart Southern Railway. Guess I better come out from under my rock. lol..
Thanks for posting these.


Canadian Train Geek said...

I'm glad to help you railfan vicariously through my posts, Glen! There are so many shortlines in SK that it's hard to keep track of all of them.

Eric said...

This is shaping up to be a super series, Steve. Having travelled there back in 1985, and having now idea how a shortline and oil would transform the area, I'll have to scan my photos. In the meantime, it's amazing to see your photos of the elevators remaining and the potential that can be wrung from a line formerly operated by Class 1.


Canadian Train Geek said...

I'd love to see your photos from 1985, Eric!

I'm very happy to see so many elevators remaining, and apparently still in rail operation too.

David said...

Nice work, Steve. Your post covers more ground than mine did (Thanks for linking to mine).

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, David! Glad to link to your post to show a different point of view.

Chris BIGDoer Doering said...

Nice job. I've seen a single Centennial marked grain elevator, in Hodgeson.

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Chris! Someday I'll get on to documenting Saskatchewan grain elevators... I still have to get the last couple of dozen Manitoba ones!