First Trains of a New Decade

Happy new year! And happy new decade*!

I was taking my daughter to her work this morning, and as I have been doing over this holiday season, I did a bit of railfanning after I dropped her off. This resulted in the first trains of 2020 for me.

A quick drive west along the CN Rivers subdivision yielded nothing, so I headed north on the Perimeter Highway to the CP Carberry subdivision. I am still looking for those shiny new SD70ACu rebuilds in either maroon or military colours.

Train One

I quickly spotted a locomotive and grain cars on the spur from the CP main line to the Paterson grain elevator in the northwest corner of Winnipeg.

A train and a grain elevator - perfect
A train and a grain elevator – perfect

A train and a grain elevator is a perfect way to start the year, in my opinion!

There were about 15-16 cars on the spur. I’m not sure what it was doing there – pulling or spotting the cars – and the presence of that refrigerator car by the locomotive made me think that maybe this is the Portage la Prairie switcher locomotive. I’ve seen it heading to Portage once and I also saw it on the Glenboro subdivision. These little SD-20 ECO units are workhorses.

Anyway, there was nothing else going on with CP, so I headed toward home. As I crossed over the CN Rivers sub, I saw headlights to the west, so I pulled off to grab a shot of the eastbound container train.

Train Two

CN 3158 leading the charge
CN 3158 leading the charge

The engineer in CN 3158 gave me a little toot as they went by – thanks! – and I watched a seemingly endless stream of containers roll by before the tail end locomotive, CN 2865, came into view.

Embrace the power lines - not literally
Embrace the power lines – not literally

I decided to leave those power lines in, and even the light pole sprouting from the top of the locomotive. Why not? It’s a new decade.

Satisfied with that, I continued on toward home.

I didn’t expect to see any more train action, but I do cross two more subdivisions on my way home – the CP La Riviere branch line and the CN Letellier subdivision down to the US.

Looking north on the La Riviere, I saw headlights and what looked like a grain train, seemingly heading south toward Morris or beyond. I exited the highway and set up to record the grain train… which never came.

I returned to the highway and grabbed a long distance shot with my telephoto lens.

Train Three

From a distance
From a distance

Looking closely at the photo, I see two CP GP38s with what look like cement cars, not grain cars. They were probably working the Inland Cement factory, or maybe had just finished that and were coming here to work the gas plant. Regardless, this was the closest I was going to see them, so you take what you can get.

* you can be pedantic about whether decades start on the zero or one, and for sure my friends and family could tell you that I am often pedantic. However, this xkcd comic establishes firmly that decades start at zero. Q.E.D.

Just One More Thing

I read 28 books in 2019, which is maybe a record for me. It’s nowhere near my wife’s total – she’s a voracious reader – but I have been making an effort to read more books. You can view my Goodreads profile to see what I’ve been reading.

The last book I read in 2019 was The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi. It’s a science fiction novel, second in a series, and it was a pretty good read. The first quarter of the book annoyed me a bit, as Scalzi has a bit of a tendency to be “cute” and wink at the reader a bit, plus he seemed to be trying to cram as many “f-bombs” in the prose as possible.

Fortunately, the story took over and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book. If you like “The Expanse” by James S.A. Corey, you’ll like this. I’m giving it 4/5 stars. Buy it on Amazon. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)

3 thoughts on “First Trains of a New Decade”

  1. I always like to catch a train with the locomotive ” long hood forward” – around my area you don’t see that very often.
    Happy New Year to you and family; new subscriber 2019 & enjoying your blog.

    Reply
  2. Humans get confused about numbering because we don’t like to count nothing. It’s 0 to 9, not 1 to 10. Here’s to not having to set up to shoot the 0th train, and Happy New Year (if you follow the corresponding calendars)!

    Reply

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