Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CP Ballast Train on the Minnedosa Sub, September 1985

CP 5923 is applying sand, with white extra flags flapping, as it attempts to lift its heavy ballast train across the Eighth Street crossing and out of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, at 0930 September 18, 1985. 5923 and 5742 are on the north lead, next to CP's two mainlines and the elevator lead:
Tank car UTLX 312 is carrying fuel, likely for Jordan spreader CP 402892:
Van 434526 is at the tail-end of the 45-car ballast train as it passes CP Rail 382177, Canadian Pacific script and CPWX "Coke can" covered hoppers being loaded at the United Grain Growers elevator. The tail-end trainman is already on the rear steps of the van:
After dropping down to the ballast in the shadow of the elevator, the trainman lines the mainline switch and runs like h&%$ to get back on the van. The train was not slowing down as it started to curve westward then northward.
As the train accelerates its Branch Line Rehabilitation program hoppers across the already-harvested wheat fields, it produces an interesting visual pattern:

Late the next day, a rainy afternoon, a westbound freight behind 5852-8657 pulled into the yard and added 5923 and 5742 to their power consist before continuing westward.
Running extra...
Tracklaying is complete for now on my Vancouver Wharves layout. "Coke-can" grain cars as mentioned above don't fit into my mid-70's era. Banished to storage. Taking their place are CPR 40-foot boxcars, and some idler flats for the Vancouver Island car ferry operation.
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This will be one layout without the cliche' pier/fish reefer/tugboat scene. Also, no non-terminating highway overpasses. I always wonder where the cars would drop off, if they were actually driving on such overpasses, often featured in model magazine articles as scene dividers.
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Ricky Gervais did a ho-hum job hosting the Golden Globes. The only beer-swilling awards show host I've ever seen. At least Penelope Cruz and Kate Winslet were there to save the evening.

4 comments:

Zartok-35 said...

Another fine series of photos, Mr. Gagnon! That train looks pretty nice curving around it's own caboose, and heading off into the counrty. You really get a feel for how tall the Angus cabooses were!

Eric said...

Thanks for your kind words, Elijah. Some of my favourite photos I took in Portage, taken in the first minutes of the first morning of trainwatching after arriving on VIA. I'm expecting my HO-scale Angus van to arrive at the end of Feb. Planning some caboose-related posts in future too. Eric

Zartok-35 said...

I look forward to those!

Tyler said...

Another great group of pictures from Portage! I like how the ribs on the ballast cars turn the CP Rail graphics into an "8-bit" pattern.