Recent Foreign Power

KCS 4805 in the CP yard in Winnipeg
Kansas City Southern 4805 in the CP yard in Winnipeg

I have a massive backlog of photos and video to process. It’s embarrassing, really. I had more than a thousand images and videos, dating back to mid March, waiting to be renamed, keyworded and filed away on my file server.

I try to be very organized with my photos so I can find photos later… so it takes a bit of time to get them into their final “resting place”. Given that I have been working a lot, yet still taking more photos, the backlog has grown to an unsustainable size.

Fortunately, I have found some time in the past week or so to tackle that backlog, and I’m proud to say I’m down to a little over 400 photos and videos in the queue.

PROGRESS.

Norfolk Southern 7251 on the tail of an oil train
Norfolk Southern 7251 on the tail of an oil train

Anyway, as part of that backlog reduction, I found some “foreign power” that I wanted to share with you. Foreign power is usually defined as locomotives not operating on their owner’s railway… so CN running on CP tracks or vice versa, or any American railroad’s locomotives running on Canadian tracks.

Foreign power generally excites railfans like me, because it’s something rare and different. We like that.

Trinity Rail Express 120 in the CP Winnipeg yard
Burnt Trinity Rail Express 120 in the CP Winnipeg yard

The burnt Trinity Rail Express locomotive above is a good example. This unit was involved in a grade crossing accident with an asphalt truck in mid November 2018. Fortunately noone was seriously injured. The unit was being shipped to Cadrail in Quebec – apparently not on the most efficient route – and spent a day or two in Winnipeg. I had to find the right angle to photograph it as CP had thoughtfully parked two autoracks on a track parallel to this one.

UP 8139 leading a potash train on the CP Shuswap subdivision, near Chase, BC
UP 8139 leading a potash train on the CP Shuswap subdivision, near Chase, BC

Observers of Canadian railways will know that it’s far easier to see foreign power on CP than it is on CN. The Canadian Pacific Railway has a long tradition of power shortages and renting locomotives, dating from maybe the 1970s through today. The UP in particular is often seen on CP trains, leading or trailing.

A pair of gritty Union Pacific locomotives at Geddis in British Columbia
A pair of gritty Union Pacific locomotives at Geddis in British Columbia

I’ll close out with one recent lease unit on CN, which might be considered a “foreign” locomotive even though it is owned by a leasing company instead of a railway. CN has returned most of its leased units now, so the days of seeing leased ex CSX, ex UP or ex BNSF locomotives in regular service on CN are almost gone. I was glad to catch this warbonnet when I did.

Ex Santa Fe Warbonnet PRLX 211 on CN, June 21, 2019
Ex Santa Fe Warbonnet PRLX 211 on CN, June 21, 2019

Thanks for reading!

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4 thoughts on “Recent Foreign Power”

  1. I have my files stored away in a folder tree, of year, month and day (For example, “2019/07/04/DSCN0514.JPG”), which I’ve done retroactive to 2013, though I’m not all done yet. Sometimes the day folder will given some extra text, if I catch the GWWD, an Arborg Sub local, a Loram, D&H, or something else special.

    • Hi Taylor, thanks for commenting. Everyone has their own system and if it works for them, great!

      I organize by railway, then by number series if necessary. For example, I have a CN folder, with subfolders 0-999, 1000-1999, 2000-2999, etc. underneath. CEMR has its own folder but doesn’t have subfolders. Then I have a General Railroad folder with locations having their own subfolders.

      Whatever works!

  2. Hi Steve! I always think of you and your blog now whenever I see trains. Saw something interesting on the way into Calgary the other day, only a few cars but 2 were passenger and everything was yellow coloured. Looked neat but could not investigate further. Also recently visited the Central Alberta Railway museum and caught the train from their station and circled around the property on it. Cool.

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