Monday, December 07, 2015

CP and CN for the Holidays

Both CN and CP ran special trains for the holiday season in Winnipeg in the past few days. CP ran its Holiday Train again (for the 17th season) and it was in Winnipeg on Friday December 4th. CN ran its employee special train over three days, beginning on the 4th - so on Friday we had both railways running Christmas holiday trains. I only saw the CP Holiday Train but other railfans saw the CN trains.
The CP Holiday Train in Meadows, MB by Jack Hykaway

The 2015 CP Holiday Train

It was a mild but windy night on Friday night, and I was out early to catch the train coming to its parking spot by Panet Road. I decided to shoot it just east of the highway 59 overpass. I parked close to the scheduled stopping point and walked to the overpass. I looked around a bit and decided to go up on the "shoulder" of the overpass to get a bit of height.

I set up my tripod and started fussing with my camera to lock in the focus in the dark. As I was doing that, my tripod blew over!

I guess it was good that I didn't have my camera on it yet.

I lowered the tripod and kept my leg against it to stabilize it. I was using my 50mm f/1.8 lens because it's the most light sensitive lens I have. I put the lens in manual focus - since it's a prime lens you can't zoom anyway - and the camera in manual mode.

Soon the train came into view and rolled on past my lens.
The 2015 CP Holiday Train

Once it passed, I walked back to the main scene. There was quite a large crowd and the performers sounded great. I dropped off my donations to Winnipeg Harvest (a great organization my family and I support) and took some photos.

Here I was using my tripod like a "selfie stick", holding it up over the crowd after setting off the 2 second timer and hoping for the best.

The performers were Devin Cuddy and Kelly Prescott.

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

There were quite a few people up at the head end, and as usual it was difficult to get a clear shot. The CP Police and other CP personnel were very much in evidence, keeping people from standing between the rails and unfortunately also standing in the shots. I didn't fret too much about it this year.
CP 2323 and the Holiday Train in Winnipeg

Jack Hykaway caught it both before and after Winnipeg - in Whitemouth as it rolled on by, and by the Meadows grain elevator Saturday as it headed toward Portage la Prairie. Check out Jack's YouTube videos!

So that was CP. The consist (courtesy of Jesse McLaughlin) was:
  1. CP 2323 (GP20C-ECO)
  2. CP Box Car 220305 Lettering Light Car (Canadian)
  3. CP Box Car 220009 Lettering Light Car (Pacific)
  4. CP Box Car 220592 Lettering Light Car (Holiday)
  5. CP Box Car 220219 Lettering Light Car (Train)
  6. CP Box Car 220127 Decoration Light Design Car
  7. CP Box Car 220300 Decoration Light Design Car
  8. CP Converted Box Car (Generator) 220458 Decoration Light Design Car
  9. CP Box Car 220508 Decoration Light Design Car
  10. CP Stage Car 42901 
  11. Dominion (ex-CN/VIA Coach)
  12. Banffshire (Stateroom)
  13. Killarney (Dining / Observation)
  14. Van Horne (Lounge / Observation)

The CN Christmas Train

The CN Christmas train ran from Symington Yard to Waverley Street and back, twice a night at 5 and 7 PM. I didn't get out to see it but Taylor Woolston did, and took some great video of the train at several locations.

CN wins on the power department with E9A CN 103 accompanying CN 5755 and the four VIA coaches (8139, 8144, 8118 and 8116 I'm told). It also had a caboose, Operation Lifesaver CN 77014.

The CN train was only for employees. I understand the CN train is only going to a few locations - Saskatoon and Edmonton, maybe? It is also raising money for charity. Last year it was for the Christmas Cheer Board, an organization my family supports.

Did you get a chance to see the CP or CN holiday trains?

Extra: Check out this super cool drone video of the US Holiday Train.

Further reading:


Unknown said...

Nice blog post! Thanks for posting my video! :)

Unknown said...

Oh, and there were Four Coaches. I believe the numbers were 8139, 8144, 8118, and 8116, not sure what order.

Unknown said...

Great post, Steve!

I'm already looking forward to shooting next year's Holiday Trains. Both of the trains were spectacular to see, especially in the dark!

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks for the correction on the # of coaches, Taylor! And you're welcome :)

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Jack! I do like to see these special trains. I'm thinking of new spots to shoot the Holiday Train at... maybe I'll get out to Portage next year for a daylight shot.