Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Eve Action

I hope the holiday season has brought you joy. I had a bit of joy on Christmas Eve when I went out railfanning!

I bundled the kids in the car and headed to Diamond to try to catch the VIA Rail Canadian as it left. I was a bit late leaving home but I hoped that VIA 1 was also a bit late.

On my way around the Perimeter I spotted a CEMR train at Oak Bluff, with the locomotives on the east end, ready to go back into Winnipeg. I decided that I had a few minutes before they would start rolling so I carried on to Wilkes Avenue and headed east to try to cut off VIA 1 if it was coming.

Well, VIA wasn't there, but I did see a CN westbound train, led by CN 2853.
CN 2853 in Winnipeg

I went west out to Diamond to see if I could see any eastbound trains. No more CN trains were visible but I saw a CP train waiting to go north on the Glenboro subdivision. This was a solid grain train led by CP 2305, CP 3100, and multimarked CP 5765.
CP 2305 and company on the Glenboro
In this photo they are just beginning to pull as they got their light to cross.

Weary CP 5765 was the only six-axle power on the train.
CP 5765 pulling
I decided to try to get the train crossing the Assiniboine River. In order to do that, I had to beat them to the crossing by driving along Harris Road / highway 334, a gravel road.

Fortunately Harris Road was mostly clear so I was able to sustain 70-80 kph (speed limit: 90) and get to highway 241 ahead of them.

I crossed the river and parked on the wide shoulder just north of the road bridge, then sprinted across the road and back to the road bridge to capture them crossing the nearby train bridge. Did I say "bridge" enough in that sentence?

I got to the bridge a few seconds before the lead locomotive started to cross. Just enough!
CP crossing the Assiniboine River
I've always wanted to get a train there. Cross that off the list!

After capturing that, I returned to Diamond at a more leisurely pace. Within a few minutes, I spotted a headlight to the east that looked VIA-ish. It was indeed a 40-minutes-late VIA 1, with 6426 and 6453 leading the way.
The VIA Rail Canadian in the snow
Prestige-class car "Prince Albert Park" brought up the rear.
Prince Albert Park
I was glad that I didn't miss the Canadian after all.

After it passed, we carried on to Carman Junction to see if CEMR had passed through already. I spotted it approaching the junction and took a few shots. I was surprised to see that they had five locomotives... surely some kind of record for CEMR. Normally you see two or maybe three. I don't expect all five were running.

They pulled up to the derail and stopped.
CEMR at Carman Junction
Fan favourite SD40-2 CEMR 5396 was leading, followed by new-to-me CCGX 5201, SD40-2 CCGX 5311, and two long-time CEMR GP9s CEMR 4002 and CEMR 4000. CCGX 5201 is a rare SD38AC (ex DMIR).

The conductor came out to remove the derail and then got back into the cab. They sat there for a while, clearly waiting for permission to enter the Rivers subdivision.

I spotted a headlight to the east, which turned out to be CN 8917 heading westward.
CN 8917 throwing up snow
I waited another 20 minutes but CEMR wasn't moving and there was no more CN traffic visible, so we headed home.

It was a great 1.5 hours of railfanning. I managed to capture CN, CP, VIA and CEMR. A nice early Christmas present. :)

PS - Railpictures even liked my VIA 1 and CN 8917 shots. :)


Unknown said...

Just so you know, CCGX 5201 is an SD38AC to be exact.

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Taylor! I'll update the post.