Canadian Pacific revealed five refurbished locomotives on November 11, 2019, painted in military inspired colours to honour the women and men of the Canadian and American armed forces. As I mentioned in my recent Cross Air Force off the List post, I’d seen four of those five locomotives. Now it’s five out of five.
I’d heard that CP 7020, the “temperate regions” / “NATO Green” locomotive, was leading train CP 298. This train comes into Winnipeg via the CP Carberry subdivision, then heads south on the Emerson subdivision to the US border and on into Minnesota.
I set my alarm for 6 AM on Saturday evening (Nov 28) and went to bed.
Before the Dawn
As is typical for these early morning starts, I woke up before my alarm. After a quick shower and breakfast, I was on the road in the dark, heading north to the CP main line.
I got there by 6:30 or so and spent more than an hour watching empty track and watching the surroundings slowly, slowly brighten. I was by the signals at mile 8.1 so I could get an early indication of an approaching train.
I was glad that train 298 wasn’t coming too early. I had visions of having to photograph it in the dark.
Eventually the east-facing signals lit up, and far to the east I saw headlights. Train time!
Chasing CP 411
Eventually train CP 411 came rolling past, with CP 8016 leading the charge. I wrote about that train already (in a somewhat less conventional way) so I won’t repeat myself here.
The important thing for this story is that they met CP 298 at Marquette.
I had assumed* that CP 411 would come to a stop in Marquette itself, short of the highway crossing, and that CP 298 would roll past them. Based on that assumption, I drove into the town and parked by where the Marquette grain elevator used to be, wanting to be at the head end of 411. Since they were in the siding, they would block CP 298 from my view during the meet.
Imagine my surprise when CP 411 kept rolling past. Oh oh!
I ran over to the highway to get some view of the meet, resulting in the photo above.
* everyone’s dad can tell you what happens when you ass-u-me
After I photographed that, I quickly ran back to my car to start the chase eastward. I was worried that I would be chasing the tail of CP 298 all the way to Winnipeg.
Fortunately, they weren’t going super fast so I was able to get ahead of them outside Marquette and I nabbed the first real shot near the east end of the Marquette siding.
I like how you can still see the tail end of 411 in the photo.
I took a few photographs as the train passed by me, then threw my gear in the car and raced eastward.
I could see that I would be able to get ahead of them again. I decided that I wanted to get as far ahead of them as I could to give myself time to set up for video and maybe get my drone in the air.
I rolled through Meadows, slowing down to the mandatory 70 km/hr, then it was back up to 100 km/hr for a few kilometres until I reached the east end of the Meadows siding. I drove down the gravel road leading to the crossing, parked, and started unloading.
There was lots of time, so I got the drone in the air, the video camera on the tripod, and my camera at the ready. There were a few snowflakes coming down but I felt confident it was OK to fly the drone.
I put the drone in a position to record the train with the signals bracketing the train and a snow fence in the background. Drones give you a lot more flexibility with composition!
I decided to process both of these photos as black and white because the scene was fairly monochromatic anyway. CP 7020 is quite dark and in the overcast conditions I was facing, it didn’t have a lot of colour.
As the train passed, I took a side shot of 7020 and did my best to emphasize the colour when I processed it. I think it would look quite nice on a sunny day.
I recorded the train and got the “going away” shot of the tail end DPU (CP 8793, not nearly as interesting as 7020) with the drone.
By the time the train finished passing, the few flakes of snow had developed into a real flurry of flakes. I quickly landed the drone and put it away to protect the electric motors from the snow.
I headed through Rosser and toward Winnipeg with the thought of maybe photographing it in the CP yard.
I was surprised to catch up to the head end of the train before the road diverged from the track. I had time to pull off and take a few pan shots through the car window.
When I passed the Viterra grain elevator, I noted a pickup truck on the side of the road. It seemed like a railfan, and sure enough they headed off as soon as the train passed. I followed the truck to the railway crossing by CP Woodman (near the airport) and caught this view of CP 7020 going through the crossing with the intrepid railfan nearby.
We chatted for a bit, then I headed toward the yard. I never saw CP 7020 in the yard itself, but after some driving around I did catch a glimpse of it stopped in a very non-photogenic location.
I couldn’t see any way to photograph it without doing some serious trespassing, so I resolved to be satisfied with what I had.
There was a train shunting on the east end of the yard, so I captured a view of it here.
The tall building is known as the J.R. Watkins building and was built in 1914 as their Winnipeg location. The J.R. Watkins company still exists and sells health and beauty products, but it hasn’t used this building for a while. The building is still in use for commercial storage and there is talk of an artists cooperative using at least part of it.
Just One More Thing
I finished reading If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. This is a story about a teenaged girl, Amanda, who used to be Andrew.
(if you buy something using my Amazon link, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you)
It’s a “young adult” novel and it’s a quick read. I probably read it for 3 hours over the course of two evenings.
I think this is a good “intro” book to read if you’re curious about the struggles that transgender people go through. The author freely admits that the character had a fairly “easy” time of her transition, compared to many trans people who have a much harder time being transgender.
Anyway, I liked the book.