A GWWD Fan Trip

The Greater Winnipeg Water District is a unique railway that has been serving the city of Winnipeg for many years. It was built to provide service along the aqueduct that brings fresh water from Shoal Lake to Winnipeg.

The GWWD used to provide passenger service along the route using either passenger cars or Brill self-propelled passenger vehicles.

I purchased these two slides off eBay. They depict a train consisting of GWWD 103, coach 353 and caboose 363 on August 7, 1983.

GWWD 103

Locomotive GWWD 103 is painted in the attractive yellow and black GWWD colours. This 44 tonne locomotive was built by GE in May 1947 as CN 7751. This locomotive had the distinction of being the first diesel-electric locomotive to operate on Prince Edward Island. It left Charlottetown, PEI on June 5, 1947 on its first test run.

You can read more about this locomotive and its partner in my book Diesels on Prince Edward Island.

This locomotive was sold in February 1966 to the GWWD and became #103, raising their fleet of 44 tonners to 4 units. 103 went to the Port Stanley Terminal Railroad and operates there today as L3 “Winnie”.

GWWD 353

Coach 353 was built for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1936 as #2104.

I don’t know what happened to this passenger car.

Today the GWWD has a baggage car 2001 and a coach 2000. I don’t think either has turned a wheel in over a decade.

GWWD 363

Caboose GWWD 363 was an ex CP wooden caboose. I don’t have my own photo of that but I did capture 361 and 362 when I visited Winnipeg in August 2002.

GWWD caboose 361, August 2002
GWWD caboose 361, August 2002

Today the GWWD has one caboose, GWWD 1360, an ex CN “Pointe Ste Charles” caboose. It was CN 79519.

The Fan Trip

Fred Shannon posted some photos in RailsMBSK of an NMRA fan trip from July 22 of the same year. That trip had the same locomotive and coach but didn’t have a caboose.

The NMRA (National Model Railroader’s Association) held their National Convention in Winnipeg in 1983. This was the 48th annual National convention, known as Railway Jamboree ’83. Friday the 22nd was the start of the public train show so a GWWD fan trip was clearly part of the convention!

I have to assume this trip in August was another fan trip. A close look at the people standing around the caboose on the lead photo shows a few “foamers” with their vests festooned with patches from various events.

It must have been a fun trip!

Slide Scanning

Scanning slides is a bit of a pain. They have to be put into a slide holder before scanning, and not every scanner has a slide holder. I’m fortunate that I stole borrowed a scanner from my father-in-law with a slide holder built into the lid. It doesn’t take too long to put a pair of slides in the holder for scanning.

The key is to scan at a very high resolution. Because slides are so small, scanning at 300 dots per inch (dpi) yields a very small image. A standard slide is 2″ square, so at 300 dpi, that’s only 600 pixels wide! I typically scan at 3200 dpi to get enough detail in the image.

Unfortunately when you scan a slide at high resolution, every tiny imperfection and hair on the slide gets magnified. You really need to have very clean slides or else you are doing a lot of work afterward to clean the image up.

There are slide scanner apps you can get for your phone. I tried one, SlideBox.

You use your phone to “scan” the slide by positioning the slide against a bright light, like a computer screen. I tried it with the lead slide and managed to capture the image below.

The app cautions you not to put the slide too close to the light source. The below is what happens when you do that.

The quality is “okay” but it is not as good as an actual scanner. I think it would be fine to digitize family photos and the like but you can see a dot pattern in the image, probably from the computer screen. It might be better against a pure white light.

Something to think about. I’ll stick with the scanner.

Just One More Thing

Some more GWWD links:

5 thoughts on “A GWWD Fan Trip”

  1. The one year I didn’t make it to Manitoba! But my Dad did and he and my uncle attended the convention.

    Re: CP 2104. As Brian Schuff suggested in Fred’s FB post, the car went to Cranbrook. Then, in 1989 it appears the car went to High River, AB. Haven’t checked my CTSG but there may be additional information there?


    That convention and anything that happened in MB that summer was certainly notable!

    Hope this helps,

    • Hi Eric, according to the CTG – which isn’t always right – the car went to High River AB first and then to Cranbrook. My 2018 Trackside Guide says that it is still at Cranbrook as part of the “Chinook” display. Maybe I saw it? I’ll have to check my photos.

  2. Yes CPR 2104 sat behind the existing “Whistle Stop Diner” (a renovated dining car) in High River, AB and was relocated to BC in the mid-1990s.

Comments are closed.