Here are a few “oddball” locomotives that have visited the
One Great City Heart of the Continent, aka Winnipeg. Most of these are what we railfans call these “foreign power”, meaning locomotives that belong to railway X but running on railway Y’s rails.
February 21, 2021
I was all over the map this day. First I was along the CN Rivers subdivision, capturing this train by the golf dome on Wilkes Avenue.
Next, I was out on the Sprague subdivision. I captured a meet at the Lorette siding, featuring an eastbound stack train rolling past on the main. That was interesting enough, but it was the locomotives on the westbound train in the siding that were really interesting to me.
Once I photographed the eastbound train, I went back toward Winnipeg and found the westbound train already on the move. I got ahead of them before the city and recorded them rolling past.
The lead locomotive was nothing special, “yet another GE”, but the following locomotives were all interesting to me. First were a pair of CN SD40-2 locomotives featuring “CN North America” logos, one standard cab and one wide cab.
The final two locomotives were the real prize – a pair of Bessemer & Lake Erie locomotives, BLE 903 and 909.
These bad boys are ex Southern Pacific “tunnel motor” SD40T-3 locomotives. A “tunnel motor” is a locomotive with the air intakes close to the frame so they suck in cleaner air in tunnels. According to this page, they were originally SD45T-2 locomotives and rebuilt to SD40T-3 specifications.
I really like that black and orange scheme – very bold.
Since CN acquired the Bessemer & Lake Erie in 2004 when it purchased Great Lakes Transportation, which also included the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway (DMIR). Apparently the BLE units were maintained by a shop in the US that CN recently closed, so these units will be coming to Transcona in Winnipeg for maintenance. That’s good for the local railfans!
March 7, 2021
I was railfanning along the CP Carberry subdivision around sunrise on March 7. There was a CP train working the Paterson grain elevator in northwest Winnipeg, so I waited around until it finished its work there and continued westward.
I recorded it near Rosser, Manitoba bathed in hazy side light.
After they passed my position, I gave chase. I didn’t have much hope of catching them again before Marquette, but as we passed Meadows and got closer to Marquette, I saw the signals facing CP 9709 West weren’t green.
It turned out that they had a meet at Marquette. 9709 W didn’t stop but they did slow for the meet, enabling me to get close enough to the meet to jump out and record it with my phone. The crew of the east-facing train were on the ground for the rollby inspection.
Note the locomotives on the other train!
After the meet, I took a few quick shots of the eastbound train before moving east. The train looked great in that early morning light.
I chose to wait at the east end of the Meadows siding for the train. I had my drone in the air to record the scene and the video camera on the tripod.
The lead unit was CP 8045, followed by BNSF 5122 and a trio of Norfolk Southern locomotives, 7227, 7218 and 7226.
BNSF 5122 is a GE Dash-9, and in looking this up I found that I saw that unit in Fargo, North Dakota back in June 2013. Huh!
NS 7216, 7218 and 7227 are three of six SD80MAC locomotives acquired by CP from Norfolk Southern (according to this page). An SD80MAC isn’t a lot different from an SD90MAC, as far as I can see from Wikipedia, so this units will be used as parts sources for the SD70ACu rebuilds that Progress Rail is doing for CP.
June 12, 2021
I photographed these six ex Union Pacific locomotives (UP 3644, 3685, 3729, 3553, 3767, and 3759) at CP’s Weston shops in Winnipeg on June 12th. I understand they have been here for a while, but I hadn’t been in the area for some time so this was the first time I saw them.
I believe these are all SD9043MAC locomotives. This is the same locomotive model that CP sent to Progress Rail for rebuilding into SD70ACu locomotives, so I assume these six will become more AC70u units.
In the above photo, you can see CP 6054 and UP 3660’s numbers peeking out between 3685 and 3644. There are a lot of stored units around Weston these days.
Here are a few other posts I’ve made about “foreign power”: