Sunday, May 22, 2016

Finishing the Job: Part 2 - CP's Turn

This is part 2 of a series photographing grain elevators in Manitoba. (Back to the start / ahead to part 3, part 4, part 5)


After I finished photographing the grain elevators of the former CN Rossburn subdivision, I carried on to Binscarth, mile 76.6 on the CP Bredenbury subdivision.

The town of Binscarth was the junction of the Bredenbury and CP Russell subdivisions. There is still a remnant of the Russell subdivision, a wye and a few miles of track. This was (maybe is still?) known as the Agricore spur and leads to this Viterra grain elevator north of town.
Viterra grain elevator, Binscarth
This elevator was an Agricore elevator, built to replace the Manitoba Pool elevator that was in town.

Mile 1.05, Agricore spur, Binscarth
There were several maintenance-of-way (MOW) cars on the wye.
Gons on the wye
There is a much larger grain elevator southeast of town, the Paterson inland terminal.
Paterson inland terminal, Binscarth, MB
This baby can hold 21,600 tonnes of grain. There were quite a few grain cars nearby, including this interesting Union Equity car, reporting mark GROX 60652.
I grok the GROX
There is one more grain handling facility in Binscarth, Marquette grain.

There were also quite a few maintenance of way vehicles on side tracks in and around Binscarth. I guess track work is being done on the Bredenbury!

Read more on Binscarth's grain elevators.

That was fun, but there were many more elevators to see. On to another spot on the Bredenbury subdivision...


Marooned car in Solsgirth
The town of Solsgirth looks like a classic Prairie ghost town. It has all the elements: decaying grain elevator, abandoned houses, empty churches, no school... but there is still a bit of a pulse left to this town.

For one thing, Canada Post still delivers here (postal code: R0J 2B0). Another thing: it still has active railway tracks - mile 51.2 on the CP Bredenbury.

When I visited, there was a string of empty flatcars in the siding. They are obviously to carry the maintenance vehicles I saw in Binscarth, based on the rails mounted on the flatcars and the ramps seen at the end of the train.
Flatcars in Solsgirth
The grain elevator is an ex Cargill elevator, the former Manitoba Pool "A" elevator. I don't think it is being used any more but I could be wrong.
You misspelled "GRILL"
There are a few of this "modern" style of Manitoba Pool grain elevators around. Niverville comes to mind right away. The rectangular style with the machinery perched on top may have been modern and efficient, but to my eye it is not attractive at all.

You may have noticed the marooned hopper (SOO 125084) in the first photograph of Solsgirth that I posted. This hopper is up on blocks, for reasons unknown, and its trucks are nowhere to be found. I have no idea what if anything it is being used for.
SOO marooooooned
More on Solsgirth and its history.

Solsgirth is only 15 miles away from where I was last on the Bredenbury sub, at Shoal Lake.

After photographing the two churches in Solsgirth (more later), I moved on to Birtle, mile 59.2.


A busy little elevator
The Birtle grain elevator was a little hard to find! The town of Birtle is located in a valley formed by the Birdtail River. I followed highway 83 into town, expecting to find the elevator in the midst of town like most prairie towns. However, the elevator (and rail line) is not located there, but is north of the town above the valley. After a few minutes I found the elevator, at mile 59.2. There are a few CP maintenance-of-way buildings there.

CP MOW buildings at Birtle
The elevator is obviously in use.

In downtown Birtle I saw this little elevator in front of the Hewson's store, a nice callback to the Angusville grain elevator.

That was Birtle. Now I left the CP Bredenbury and went on to abandoned rail lines, at Beulah. Ahead to part 3!


DaveM said...

Great pic of the Birtle elevator!


Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Dave!

Anonymous said...

On the way back to Brandon yesterday, I went down the Yellowhead Highway til Newdale. They were sure working on the track from Binscarth to Newdale and likely further east along the whole sub. I saw atleast 12 spots where they had atleast 6 people at any given spot.

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks for the update, Anon - it's good to know that CP is investing in that line.