Elevators of the Letellier Sub, 2021 Edition

I hadn’t been down the CN Letellier subdivision (Winnipeg-Emerson) in quite some time, so I decided to do something about that. I set out on March 20 down highway 75 from Winnipeg toward Emerson and the US border. As I drove down, I was hoping to see a CN train along the way.

While you read this, you may want the 2014 edition of this post in a separate tab. A lot has changed.

Ste Adolphe

The G3 grain elevator at Glenlea outside St. Adolphe, MB.
The G3 grain elevator at Glenlea outside St. Adolphe, MB.

The first grain elevator south of Winnipeg on highway 75 is the G3 elevator at Glenlea, near Ste. Adolphe, MB. This elevator didn’t exist in 2014. The Canadian Wheat Board started construction in 2015, and during the elevator’s construction the CWB morphed into G3, so that’s the sign that’s on the elevator now.

G3 has their own locomotive, an SD40 of some variety, which usually lives on the far side of the loop track from the elevator.

I thought about flying my drone, but it was far too windy for a drone that day. I could certainly launch it, but it might not be able to come back!

Ste. Agathe

Viterra grain elevator at Ste Agathe, MB
Viterra grain elevator at Ste Agathe, MB

The big concrete elevator at Ste Agathe wasn’t here in 2014 either. Viterra built this in 2016, replacing a large wooden structure that was demolished in 2010.

Viterra has a locomotive here but it has its own “garage” and is very rarely seen. I’ve never seen it myself.

One new thing I noted was the installation of signals on the CN main line. The Letellier subdivision is “dark”, meaning that it is unsignaled, and train movements are coordinated by radio through a dispatcher.

Signals at Ste Agathe
Signals at Ste Agathe

The photo above shows the signals just south of the loop track. They are turned away from the track so they aren’t in service. The building on the left edge of the photo is the Viterra locomotive’s “garage”.

Here’s another photo…

More signals at Ste Agathe
More signals at Ste Agathe

The above photo is facing north. The signal tower is right where the loop track diverges from the main line. At far left in the distance is another signal, maybe an approach signal. You can see the Glenlea elevator on the horizon just to the right of the signal tower.

I believe these signals were installed in September of 2020 (or earlier), based on a post by William Brillinger. I have no idea why they aren’t in service. I believe the intention is to show the position of the switches for the loop track. Maybe the loop track switches will be remote-controlled by the rail traffic controller (RTC) so trains can go right into the loop without stopping for the conductor to throw the switch by hand.

Morris

Cargill grain elevator and locomotive in Morris, MB
Cargill grain elevator and locomotive in Morris, MB

A lot has changed in the Morris grain elevator scene since 2014. The wooden Paterson grain elevator was torn down. Cargill’s elevator was expanded and they demolished an old wooden elevator during the expansion. The old CN Miami subdivision track was extended somewhat to accommodate more cars when switching the Cargill elevator.

Here’s a new rail map of Morris, with the old Paterson elevator deleted.

Railway map of Morris, MB

Here’s the Paterson grain elevator.

Paterson grain elevator in Morris, MB
Paterson grain elevator in Morris, MB

There are new signals on the CN line here too. The signal below is just north of Morris and must be some kind of approach signal.

CN signal at mile 36.45
CN signal at mile 36.45

The sign says “CN SIGNAL 365 SUB: LETELLIER MP 036.45.”

Note the track in the background above. That’s the CP La Riviere subdivision. Both CN and CP parallel each other through Morris, much like they do through Portage la Prairie and through Gladstone.

I believe these signals are protecting the switches for the wye track leading to the “Miami sub” aka the Cargill elevator.

There are no passing sidings of any significant length on the Letellier subdivision, so if trains need to meet somewhere between Emerson and Winnipeg, one of them has to duck into a grain elevator loop track or onto the remnant of the Miami subdivision. I’ve witnessed a few of these meets.

CN signal in Morris - view facing north.
CN signal in Morris – view facing north.

CP has had signals in Morris for many years. These protect the diamond where the east-west CN Miami subdivision crosses the north-south CP La Riviere subdivision.

CP signal in Morris, MB - view facing north
CP signal in Morris, MB – view facing north

On to the next town…

St. Jean Baptiste

Grain elevator in St. Jean Baptiste
Grain elevator in St. Jean Baptiste

The grain elevator in St. Jean Baptiste looks the same as the last time I was through there (July 2020).

Not much else to say here!

Letellier

Red River South grain elevator outside Letellier, MB
Red River South grain elevator outside Letellier, MB

There is a large Paterson grain elevator called “Red River South” just north of the town of Letellier.

Just south of Letellier is a new customer for CN, Mid Canada Transload Services. This facility was completed in 2020 and offers transload and storage services between truck and rail. It has two miles of track and an elevation / storage facility. When I drove past, there were several South Dakota Soybean Processors rail cars on site.

Mid Canada Transload
Mid Canada Transload

That’s all the grain elevators on the Letellier subdivision.

Feel free to view the 2014 version here!

Just One More Thing

Here’s a quick shoutout to several train-related blogs that I read. Maybe you’ll like them too – or you already read them!

Tell me some I’m missing!

4 thoughts on “Elevators of the Letellier Sub, 2021 Edition”

  1. Hi Steve, Mark has a picture of the unit at Ste. Agatha, MB. Just I case you would like to incorporate with your information. Nice work my the way.

    Reply
  2. These definitely are not our grandfather’s Oldsmobile, er, elevators, Steve! Major industry! Thanks for sharing the elevators on this line. Those SDSP covered hoppers sound interesting.

    Thanks also for the link shout-out to some of my awesome blog partners!

    Eric

    Reply

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