On May 24, I did a lot of driving around Winnipeg, looking for trains…
I started off on the east side of Winnipeg. I headed up to the CP main line – nothing happening – then back south to the CN main line – still nothing – then back toward the city.
In Transcona there was a CN train sitting on the main line. CN often does crew changes and/or refueling stops here for through trains that aren’t going into Symington Yard.
Nothing was moving here either, so I decided to take a drive down the CEMR Carman subdivision. I wanted to pop my drone up in La Salle to take a few photos of the grain elevator there. Rumour had it that it was going to be demolished so I didn’t have many opportunities left to photograph it.
I drove around Winnipeg on the Perimeter Highway and took highway 330 down to La Salle. I passed over its namesake river and saw a beautiful, still scene. I parked nearby and came back to capture the scene. It was so peaceful.
That would be a lovely shot if a train was going over it… except that the bridge has no walkway on the side closest to the train bridge, and cars are zipping by at 50+ km/hr. It’s not safe to linger there.
La Salle itself was pretty quiet, as I expected on a Sunday morning at 8 AM. I put the drone up and took a few photos. I didn’t fly my drone around to get different angles as I won’t fly it over places where people potentially are.
Once I finished that, I packed everything up and headed west to Sanford over the gravel road, route 247. Sanford no longer has a grain elevator so it holds little interest for me any more.
Back in 2010, I wrote a post called Elevators of the Carman Subdivision. You can refer to that if you like. Back then Sanford and Sperling still had elevators.
I took highway 3 south to Brunkild.
There’s one grain elevator in Brunkild, an ex Manitoba Pool elevator owned by Besco Grain.
Just south / west of the town was a Central Manitoba Railway train, parked.
I guess they finished up their work on Saturday there.
Here’s another look at the grain elevator in Brunkild.
There was a lot of standing water around, from the snow melt. It made for some decent reflections!
I flew my drone just outside of town to get some photos of the CEMR train. It was a little windy but it was nice and sunny.
After that, I drove a few kilometres further to the Mollard grain elevator. This Richardson Pioneer concrete elevator is a major customer for CEMR and was recently expanded to hold more cars. The drone photo below shows that they can have a lot of rail cars on site.
I am honestly a little surprised that they don’t have their own locomotive. They have a car puller and maybe a trackmobile.
It was time for breakfast, so I drove to the edge of Carman to get a breakfast sandwich at Syl’s – home of “great burgers and thick shakes”. I don’t know about those, but the sandwich was good! Be sure to stop by if you’re in the area.
I retraced my route, stopping at this giant warehouse just outside Carman. I believe this is owned by Yara, the Norwegian chemical company. It’s a rail customer as well.
As I retraced my route, I stopped at Homewood, which has its own grain elevator. This one is looking a bit rough these days and I believe it was for sale at one point. The listing is still online but I’m not sure if it’s current.
I flew my drone very briefly by the elevator. There’s an aerodrome listed at Homewood, so before the drone rules changes, I couldn’t have flown there. As it happened, as I was flying my drone, someone drove past me to the hangar near the elevator. I put my drone away, and only a few minutes later their airplane was rolling down the grass air strip by the railway siding with its stored tank cars.
I kept driving toward Winnipeg, and as I passed through Brunkild again, I saw a CEMR pickup truck by the train and people on the ground. A new crew had arrived to take the train into Winnipeg.
That’s for another post.
Just One More Thing
I just finished reading The Dark Forest, book two of the Three-Body Problem trilogy by Chinese science fiction author Cixin Liu. Great book!
Often the first book in a series is the best, but I think you could make a case that this book was at least as good as The Three-Body Problem. It’s a great mix of hard science, mystery, relationships and also some really poetic writing. I’m really liking the different viewpoint that Cixin Liu brings to a traditionally Western European / North American genre. The idea of the Wallfacers is genius; I can’t think of any other SF story that has such a concept.
I’m looking forward to reading Death’s End. Will the third book be as good as the first two???
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