Friday, 24 April 2015

Scenes of CN's Rivers Sub as seen from Train 1

All scenes were recorded on April 13, 2015
The Fort Garry Hotel (building with the green pointed roof) as seen from outside the front entrance of Winnipeg's Union Station. Winnipeg is not a city that one could easily fall in love with or want to call home, however, the Fort Garry Hotel is an amazing place to stay and visit. Their food offerings are delicious and their hotel services are impeccable; second to none! First time visit and I was impressed.

Inside Winnipeg's Union Station; an attractive but large empty building that caters to a total of ten passenger trains a week during the peak travel season.

Waiting attendant for cars 122 and 123. Passenger count was light and all were boarded and settled into their accommodations except for one or two who momentarily stepped back off the train to record a few more images prior to departure.

Departing 25 minutes late from the Winnipeg station Train 1 has just crossed the Assiniboine River near its confluence with the Red River. No signs of flooding this spring.

Few passengers are upstairs in the train's rear glass attic. For some inexplicable reason people have this imbedded impression that there is nothing to be seen from the train while crossing the Canadian Prairies. Wrong! And yes we did see a herd of real live buffalo about an hour or so out of Winnipeg.

A new balloon track under construction to serve a new grain loading facility. The large loop (balloon) will easily accommodate an entire train to permit continuous loading without the need to separate and rehandle the grain cars.

Miles of straight track easily lends itself to Train 1 rolling along at the 80 mph track speed over many of the 280 miles between Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Melville, Saskatchewan. The busy single-track route necessitates occasional slowing and/or stopping to meet opposing trains thus reducing the average speed to barely 42 mph.

Below: CTC signalling working exactly as it should.

The top signal aspect changed from green to red when front of the train passed.
Clear signal

Seconds later at 80 mph Train 1 passes the eastbound intermodal train in the siding and safely out of the way.

Two sidings later and Train 1 quickly overtaking a waiting westbound intermodal train. That unmanned but working CN locomotive placed in the middle of the freight train is a working example of what the railways call "Distributed Power." Distributed power reduces draft gear forces and at the same time provides the tractive effort and faster braking applications required for the safe and efficient operating of longer trains.

The grain elevator at Harte, Manitoba, is the tallest structure for miles around. Train 1 is busy speeding past a general merchandise train sitting in the siding. Note that long cut of tank cars; oil most likely.

Now clear of the west end of the siding, a farewell look back at the waiting freight train and a final glimpse of the grain elevator. Just like that Bette Midler song, "From a Distance"

The prairies are not all flat and all bare. Train 1 leans into the second in a set of reverse curves near CN Ingelow.

West of Miniota, Manitoba, the CN route again encounters the meandering Assiniboine River and for the next 30 miles hugs the eastern/northern side of the Qu'appelle Valley into Saskatchewan.

Highways are not the only roads affected by spring thaw. Slow-ordered by a stretch of rough track, Train 1 crawls over abnormal heaves and sinks which give the train a wavy appearance.

St. Lazare, Manitoba, is the confluence of the Assiniboine and Qu'appelle Rivers. Train 1 is crossing the Assiniboine River with Saskatchewan visible about two miles ahead.

Yoho Park on the rear displays the markers (red lights) of Train 1. Melville, Saskatchewan is a head-end crew change point, the longer stop allows for a few minutes to step off the train and capture a few images.

On the station platform at Melville, Saskatchewan, and outside our home for the next two days.

Refurbished, rebuilt, and anything but worn out, these Budd built stainless steel passenger cars are 60-61 years old. On April 24, 1955, the new equipment was officially placed into service with the inaugural Montreal-Toronto & Vancouver departures of Canadian Pacific Railway's new train, "The Canadian"

West of Melville, Saskatchewan, is CN's Watrous Sub and somewhere along these next 247 miles the end of the day shall end here. In spite of what others may say, restful sleep does come easily.

The Oddblock Station Agent

1 comment:

  1. That grain elevator under construction is the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) elevator at Bloom. Great series of photos!