Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vestibule View of Saskatchewan, 1986

Aboard VIA No 1 in May 1986, streaking across the Saskatchewan prairie on CP's Indian Head Sub, the sun pops over the horizon around Wolseley. To adequately model these scenes, you'd need one heck of a layout room. Nevertheless, Wolseley's Co-Op Garage is an interesting structure (above). The main street of sleepy Sintaluta runs right up to the CP main:
An Indian word meaning "tail of the red fox", Sintaluta sports a hotel across from a former bank. A broken-up Avro Anson twin-engine trainer trackside is a reminder of Saskatchewan's wartime role in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan:
At Indian Head, we met an eastbound freight behind 5413 (ex-QNS&L 217). Indian Head's Co-Op distributes fuel and includes a lumber yard. Overcast is crossing the sky and showers will persist into Calgary.
At the west end of Indian Head's extensive elevator row, the Parrish & Heimbecker elevator blocks the morning sun momentarily:
A sweeping curve built around sloughs gives a distant view of Webb at Mi 20 Maple Creek Sub. Two Pioneer and three Sask Pool elevators give advance notice of the town's location as we approach:
The sectionmen's speeder is in the siding at Carmichael at Mi 43. We are likely getting a roll-by inspection on our way west:
Named for a former CP civil engineer, Carmichael hosts a 2,440-tonne capacity Sask Pool elevator. The elevator and annex mark the siding on the lone prairie, as our mostly Budd consist hustles along:

A curve at a farm crossing between Carmichael and Tompkins shows our the first part of our consist of 13 ex-CP stainless and ex-CN blue & yellow cars behind 6513-6628. The dry ranch country and Saskatchewan-Alberta border are ahead.
Tompkins, named for a CPR contractor, is at Mi 49. Two Sask Pool and two Pioneer elevators populated the elevator track. Two tie gons are in one end of the elevator track, one ALPX and one CPWX covered hopper are at the Sask Pool elevator, with one car at the Pioneer elevator.
The rain would get heavier and drive me out of the vestibule. After drying off, it was time to head up to the much drier dome in the Park car from Maple Creek, Saskatchewan to Crowfoot, Alberta. Another stint in the vestibule then followed, from Crowfoot through Medicine Hat, Gleichen and into Calgary.
Unfortunately, this is now a rare-mileage route. VIA later switched the Canadian to the more northerly CN line through Saskatoon and Edmonton.

Running Extra...

Efficient trip to Toronto for a conference Saturday aboard VIA No 655 westbound and J-train 668/648 eastbound. Two DPU trains on CN, lots of tie work along CP's Belleville Sub and two CP freights alongside. There's no way to take photos from an open LRC coach vestibule.

CEBX 800, the world's largest Schnabel car, is in Oakville to take on a oversize load for Kansas City. Previously used for Co-op upgrader moves to Saskatchewan, Tom Daspit has a nice series of photos of the car on his CEBX 800 page.

McDonald's is advertising their new Shrek menu: McFlurry is "Mint Ogre-load". Just what one wants to be thinking about sitting down to dessert. Shrek- green food. It's like Wendy's advertising a "fingertip in the chili" menu. Glad there's a no-tipping policy in effect.

3 comments:

Zartok-35 said...

"Oger-load" sounds like a pretty awful dairy beverage!

Nice pictures! It may not be the most remarkable country around, but it's still a nice place to see trains sometimes. I've had good times in Tompkins and Maple Creek.

Train Geek said...

Sintaluta... I just like the name. It rolls right off the tongue. Much like Moosemin.

I should be passing by Sintaluta this week. Maybe I'll see a train there. :)

Eric said...

Hi Elijah and Steve, thanks for your comments. That part of Saskatchewan has interesting placenames, some with a lot of NWMP history too. How about Walsh, Wapella and Red Jacket? Sintaluta on Google Streetview looks remarkably similar today. Unfortunately, not as many elevators to see.
Eric