Short Stories

Most of my railfan posts tend to be long stories of what I saw when I was out railfanning. Sometimes, though, I just see a train while we’re out doing something else. I thought I’d share a few of those here… call them “short stories” instead of novels or novellas.

A Real Branch Line Train

CP 3106 leading on the Glenboro subdivision
CP 3106 leading on the Glenboro subdivision

My wife has been into doing puzzles for several months now. We started out buying them new, but quickly she learned that there is a very robust used market for puzzles on Kijiji. We’ve purchased numerous used puzzles and that takes us all over Winnipeg and area.

My youngest son and I were out buying some puzzles from a gentleman when I heard a train horn, close by. This gentleman lives in the Lakewood area of Winnipeg, which is west of the airport and near the CP Glenboro subdivision.

I completed our transaction quickly and stepped outside to see a grain train slowly crawling west. My son and I got in the car and I gave chase… which wasn’t hard, given the speed of the train.

I caught up with the head end along Saskatchewan Avenue and took some photos and video of the train. It was led by CP 3106 and 2313 and featured a colourful consist of grain cars, heading to one of the large elevators on the Glenboro.

Grain train on the Glenboro subdivision
Grain train on the Glenboro subdivision

Here’s the video I took, with my iPhone:

CP 3106 on the Glenboro subdivision

Waiting in Fort Rouge

I was out and about in Winnipeg on June 15 when I noticed a stopped train in Fort Rouge. CN has a yard here, mostly for interchange with BNSF Manitoba and also for temporary storage and staging of trains. VIA Rail’s maintenance depot is here as well.

CN 5735 East was clearly waiting for a light to proceed. I wormed my way into some back streets to find them in a spot where I could take a few photos from the street without trespassing.

CN 5735
CN 5735

Note the extra thick numbers under the conductor’s window – not sure why that is – and also note the loaded rail train in the distance.

The second unit was a BC Rail unit…

BCOL 4651
BCOL 4651

It’s nice to see a BC Rail unit now and then. I like the red-white-blue colours better, but I’ll take the solid blue ones. Variety is good, right?

Spray It, Don’t Say It

Spray plane and canola
Spray plane and canola

I was out railfanning west of Winnipeg, near Elie, when I came across this spray plane doing some passes. I’m always impressed by the piloting. It takes a lot of skill to do these passes so accurately and so low to the ground, with tight turns at each end to minimize the number of passes. I could watch them for a long time.

It was very smokey that day, due to some forest fires in northern Manitoba, I think. I remember I could smell the wood smoke.

A BNSF Visitor

CP 8874 and BNSF 4210 in Winnipeg
CP 8874 and BNSF 4210 in Winnipeg

I spotted this oil train waiting to head east out of CP’s yard in downtown Winnipeg on June 23. Note the conductor and trainee on the point of the train as it rolled through the yard. The light was nice. I took this with my iPhone – use the camera you have with you!

Don’t Let Life Pass You By

Meet between CN 3107 and CN 2232 at Waverley
Meet between CN 3107 and CN 2332 at Waverley

It was a rainy day on June 29 when I came across a stopped train at Waverley on the CN Rivers subdivision. As I parked to take a photo, I noted a westbound train coming in the distance. CN 2332 was rolling past with a big ol’ container train while CN 3107 was the unlucky one to have to wait its turn.

A few minutes later, I swung by the BNSF Manitoba yard to see what was up there… not much, except for this empty BNSF rail train parked in the yard.

BNSF rail train in Winnipeg
BNSF rail train in Winnipeg

Just One More Thing

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2 thoughts on “Short Stories”

  1. Hi Steve. I’ve read in Canadian Railway Observations that for some reason, the CN Woodcrest shop in Homewood, IL, USA puts extra thick road numbers on the locomotives whenever they repaint them. It’s almost as though the shop does not have the same stencil set as the other CN shops. I hope this is of use. Cheers,


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