A visit to the CP Winnipeg yard one evening yielded another “blue barn” sighting. I had heard that a Central Maine & Quebec locomotive had arrived in Winnipeg but I understood it wasn’t very visible. I decided it was worth a trip to the yard.
At the east end, a generic GE locomotive was sitting at the end of a grain train. It wasn’t in an easy spot to park so I didn’t bother shooting it. I might regret that someday. It goes against my “shoot everything” mentality.
I did photograph an ex Saskatchewan Wheat POOL car!
Slightly further east, an SD40-2 was idling away with a couple of ballast cars attached. It’s funny how I get excited seeing an SD40-2 when 20-30 years ago, they were on pretty much every train. They were what GE “toasters” are today. Maybe I should have photographed that generic GE…
As I was photographing that SD40-2, I heard a train arriving from the east. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see it until I got back to my car and relocated. By then the head end was past. I caught a glimpse of a shiny red locomotive, which I assume was one of the CP 7000 series SD70ACu locomotives.
I relocated to McPhillips Drive in the hope of seeing the head end of that train. It never showed, but I did photograph CP 4599 in nice light as it paused between switching moves.
The crew was around but clearly didn’t want to be photographed, so I’m not showing them here.
I relocated to the McPhillips Athletic Field, where I could see the locomotives parked by the Weston shops. There was the usual collection of broken units and parked CEFX leasers.
Walking around, I spied CMQ 9023 over against the shops, fairly well hidden and in between CP 8034 and CP 8948.
Even without the container train rolling by in the foreground, there wasn’t really a better shot. “Foreground clutter” is a good way to describe this… but a cluttered photo is better than no photo!
That was it for my photography that evening, as the mosquitoes were fierce and my wife was waiting in the van.
I spotted it again in Moose Jaw, SK in September 2012.
The final time I saw it was in Brandon, Manitoba in February 2015 – looking rather grubby.
Just One More Thing
I’m currently reading Nicholas Morant’s Canadian Pacific by John F. Garden. Pretty much anyone who follows the Canadian railway scene is aware of Morant’s work and the curve near Lake Louise, AB named after him.
This book goes into his techniques, his motivations and his work at another level than most people see. Nicholas Morant was CP’s “special photographer”, a unique position created just for him and not filled after his retirement.
Morant didn’t just photograph trains. He photographed all aspects of CP’s empire, which “spanned the world” and included the railway, ships, aircraft, hotels, and much more. He was meticulous and persistent in getting exactly the shot he wanted, and roamed the country photographing everything that he thought would be useful for CP.
I’m still reading this book, but already I can recommend it for any Canadian railfan, or really any railfan interested in the craft behind railway photography. It’s long out of print but you can find used copies on Amazon or elsewhere. I’m borrowing this from the Winnipeg library.
As always, my Amazon links are affiliate links, meaning that I get a small commission if you buy something using my link, at no additional cost to you.