My First Military Unit

A hot tip led to my first photograph of a Canadian Pacific “military” locomotive!

Local photographer Jack Hykaway alerted a few of us that CP 7022 was in the Canadian Pacific yard in Winnipeg, along with a few other SD70ACU locomotives. I convinced my wife that it was a good evening for a drive, so we headed out after supper to the downtown area.

I did a quick check of the east end of the yard, finding only CP 8877 quietly idling by itself. It looked lost.

CP 8877 in the Winnipeg yard
CP 8877 in the Winnipeg yard

Driving west along Logan, I made my way to the McPhillips Athletic Grounds, which are built over a water reservoir. I parked my van on Bawlf Street, where my wise wife stayed in the air conditioning, while I walked up the hill and across the field to see the Weston shops area. A lot of railfans come to this area as you have a pretty clear view of the locomotives parked by the shops, as long as CP doesn’t put a train in the way.

Luck was with me as there were no trains around for the moment.

Locomotives at Rest

I noted a lot of parked blue CEFX AC4400CW leaser locomotives. I’ve heard that most if not all of them are off lease from CP now. This is unusual as they have been leased by CP for a long time. I can remember seeing them on CP trains in 2005.

Parked CEFX leaser locomotives
Parked CEFX leaser locomotives

Over on the west side of the shop, I spotted an SD40-2 still sporting a multimark (CP 6054), along with a CEFX leaser (CEFX 1056) and CP 8642 with a very faded “dual flags” decal.

A motley crew
A motley crew

There were several GE AC4400CW locomotives on display with burn marks on the side, fulfilling the “toaster” nickname given to them by railfans. Even one of the rebuilt AC4400CWM locomotives got a little “toasty”.

CP 8005 in Winnipeg
CP 8005 in Winnipeg

Units on the Move

There were two separate locomotives on the move in the yard. The first one I saw was CP 4524 coming my way from the main yard. You can see them below with the Arlington Street bridge in the background.

CP 4524 and the Arlington Street bridge
CP 4524 and the Arlington Street bridge

I also heard a train horn. Looking around, I could see some containers moving in the distance. CP has an intermodal yard at the north edge of the yard, and CP 4599 was pulling some loaded container cars out of that area.

CP 4599 pulling some container cars
CP 4599 pulling some container cars

While I was positioning myself to take the photo above, I spotted the military unit I was looking for, CP 7022.

The Navy Unit

CP 7022 buried in the Winnipeg yard
CP 7022 buried in the Winnipeg yard

CP 7022 is decorated in gray with black trim and red fuel and air tanks, which CP says is “the colour pattern of modern Canadian and American warships.” I think it looks pretty sharp, even from a distance like this.

CP 7022 was with fellow SD70ACU locomotives CP 7046, 7008 and 7003. I’m told they are temporarily stored during this economic downturn caused by the coronavirus.

Also, what’s up with this “track to nowhere”? It still has a switch stand, but the track leads to… nothing.

Track to nowhere
Track to nowhere

I was able to take photos for a few minutes before CP 4524 rolled into the field of view.

CP 4524 On The Move

CP 4524 and the SD70ACUs
CP 4524 and the SD70ACUs

CP 4524 came rolling past with four covered coil steel cars in tow. I decided that I had enough photos, so I walked back across the field to our van and rejoined my wife. As I put my seat belt on, I saw CP 4524 rolling past on the La Riviere subdivision.

Time to chase!

I drove down Weston Street to Notre Dame Avenue, parking on the street near the railway crossing in time to catch them as they approached the busy street crossing.

Short Train
Short Train

Given what they were towing, I guess they were on the way to Russel Metals!

I’ll leave you with this photo – stay well, Canada.

Stay well, Canada
Stay well, Canada

Just One More Thing

I’m currently reading “How To Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. The book is part autobiography, part call to action. I’m not far into it yet but I’m finding it fascinating, a bit disturbing, and very educational.

So far the author’s main point is that there’s no such thing as “not racist”. Either you’re racist or you’re antiracist. Being passive and not speaking up against racism is racist in itself. This resonates with me.

Like many white people, I’ve sat uncomfortably and said nothing while someone, a friend or family member, has spouted off some racist trope or epithet. Sometimes I’ve spoken up but too often I’ve said nothing. This has to stop.

6 thoughts on “My First Military Unit”

  1. Good on you Steve ‘- not only great pix of the yard but good comments on racism – I agree!
    I have only been in a place with that many engines etc once – the CP hump yards north east of TO and that was years and years ago. I depend on posts like yours for my rail “fix”! Thanks.
    Jim

    Reply
    • Hey Jim, thanks for your comments and support.

      The railways don’t like to let assets sit – a full yard isn’t making money!

      Reply
  2. Nice catch on the Navy unit. I think from the photos at least, that they did good jobs on the different patterns. I’m old fashioned and think of navy ships as well.. Grey.

    The track to nowhere is kind of interesting to. maybe it was cheaper to leave switch there than remove it and have a sharp curve to the left?

    Reply
    • Hi Gene, I look forward to seeing more of the units. From photos, they look pretty sharp and I think it was a nice gesture from CP.

      I’ve seen a few of these “leftover” switches but normally the switch stand is removed and the points are spiked. It’s strange that the stand is still there, like the switch is sometimes used?

      Reply
  3. Would you ever consider doing a map of good legal locations to railman CN and CP around Winnipeg and maybe environs?

    Reply
    • Hi Richard, that’s an interesting idea! I think that kind of map is a little subjective – not about legality but about what a good location is – but I could do my own version of that!

      Reply

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