Catching the Morning Trains

The day after “thinking different” on Boxing Day 2020, I went out again on December 27th for more railfanning. It turned out to be a busy morning on the rails.

First I headed to the CP just west of Winnipeg, and caught this approaching eastbound freight train around sunrise.

Autoracks in the morning light
Autoracks in the morning light

I really liked the look of the rising sun on the side of those autoracks.

The tail end of this train had an empty rail train tacked on.

CP 420101 - part of the rail train
CP 420101 – part of the rail train

Here’s the video.

I drove west along the CP main line, hoping for another train, but sadly that was it.

After I passed Marquette, I headed south to the Trans-Canada Highway at Elie. After checking the CN main line there for traffic – none – I stopped at Tim’s for a muffin then headed to the Elie grain elevator to wait for trains. Fortunately CN sent me an eastbound train within 15 minutes.

CN 3199 East at East Elie

Note the green light on the leftmost signal (south track, facing east).

The train had a mid-train locomotive, CN 2949, behind a few flatcars carrying wheels.

CN 2949
CN 2949

As the train continued rolling east, I saw a headlight to the east – a westbound train on the south track.

The tail end of the eastbound train passed me, and it met the head end of the westbound train by the grain elevator.

Meeting CN 2635 West
Meeting CN 2635 West

I had my drone in the air and my video camera on a tripod. Here’s the video.

Meeting at Elie

Once everyone finished rolling past, I packed up and headed back north to Marquette. I was still hoping for more CP action as I drove east toward Winnipeg.

My dedication was rewarded near Rosser as I spotted a headlight in the distance. A westbound intermodal train was just leaving the Winnipeg area, so I set up to catch it at the west end of the Makwa siding, by the Viterra grain elevator.

CP 9705 heading west out of Makwa
CP 9705 heading west out of Makwa

I really like how that shot turned out. It’s a great location, with the signals and the grain elevator in the background. This was my favourite photo of the morning.

Here’s the video for that train. My cameras were getting quite a workout.

Heading out of Winnipeg

That was the end of CP for the morning.

Blowing snow and containers
Blowing snow and containers

On my way home, I crossed over the CN main line and spotted an eastbound oil train. I drove east ahead of it, and pulled off at Carman Junction to try a shot of the train around the curve there.

Rounding the bend
Rounding the bend

That shot didn’t work out. I think I’d have to be standing on the Central Manitoba Railway track in the foreground to get an unobstructed photo, and I’m not doing that.

I took the shot below with my phone as the train continued past.

Passing the signals at Carman Junction
Passing the signals at Carman Junction

As the oil train continued east, an intermodal train came rolling along on the south track… another phone shot.

After those trains passed, I continued on home. It was a very “productive” morning.

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