Saturday, April 21, 2012

CP's Carberry Subdivision east of Portage

CP's Carberry Subdivision between east of Portage la Prairie was a double-tracked line, funnelling the northerly Minnedosa Sub and the southerly Carberry Sub from Brandon into Winnipeg.  Today, only portions of the east end of the subdivision are double-tracked: from Tucker to 6 miles east of High Bluff, and Makwa at Mileage 11 into Winnipeg.  In 1984, I drove along the subdivision to photograph the online grain elevators. Several established grain shipping points were located on this portion of the Carberry Sub, starting with Portage la Prairie's Manitoba Pool and United Grain Growers elevators, then east to High Bluff, Poplar Point, Marquette, Meadows and Bergen (red line, centre of map):

Meadows at Mileage 22 was the site of an N.M. Paterson & Sons elevator.  The 100,000-bushel metal-clad annex was built in 1979, adding to the volume of the main wooden elevator that was built in 1948.  During my visit, a few cars were being loaded, including cylindrical hoppers from the federal and Saskatchewan governments.
A single CP grain boxcar, unusual in that it was lettered for CP's International of Maine Division, was kicked by after the agent noticed there was nothing to nail the grain doors to:
Today, Meadows' elevator is losing its metal covering, as shown in Steve Boyko's recent photos.  July 2017 update: Meadows elevator was demolished on July 18, 2017. The CP main line has also been reduced to single track.  During my visit, the elevator was open for business, fronted by double track, and a small station (top photo).
Marquette at Mi 29 also has a Paterson elevator still standing.  When I photographed the elevator, it was one of approximately 15 buildings in Marquette. Mark Perry documented the beginning of the demolition of the Marquette elevator in September 2013.
Both the Meadows and Marquette elevators have been recently photographed using some unusual effects.  The east end of the elevator property included a fertilizer distribution set-up.
Poplar Point at Mi 40 was also the site of a Manitoba Pool Elevators and annex, still in use until at least 1990.
No cars were spotted at Poplar Point, and a drizzle was starting to soak me as I drove around the elevator to photograph it from various angles.  CP had a white ATCO-type building trackside and a more traditional station just down the track.  Over the years, the annex had settled relative to the elevator:

High Bluff's MPE elevator at Mi 49 closed on July 31, 1986 just after MPE opened its new Tucker elevator, a scant four miles to the west.  High Bluff used to boast four grain elevators, with the remaining elevator built in 1934 by the Reliance Grain Co.  It had a long, low annex added in 1940 to hold the wartime harvest, and was purchased by MPE in 1947.
A view that is today called panoramic, but in the eighties was called 'Scotch-taped-together' shows four cars spotted at the elevator.
Tucker's continuous-pour, high-throughput concrete elevator was being built in 1985, then opened in 1986.  At this stage, the pour was complete and the machinery to go atop the elevator was being assembled on the ground below.
I built a model of the elevator, complete with the rooftop piping and extended drive shed. The article appeared in the August-September 1995 issue of Canadian Railway Modeller magazine. Bergen's elevator lasted until Thanksgiving 1987.  Afterwards, MPE built another concrete elevator at Rosser.  

Not having seen these elevators switched, I'm left to wonder what assignment out of Winnipeg did the honours.  I don't imagine it was a road freight, although these did stop in Portage during my visits there to swap blocks.  And I doubt Portage-based S-3 6569 ventured out of the yard that far.  I'm thinking a couple of Geeps, perhaps nocturnally, maybe even continuing on west of Portage on the Carberry Sub.  This territory will also be featured in an upcoming post.

Running extra...

Recently, I announced that my second book on VIA Rail is in the works, with a few copies of the first still available.  I'm having as much fun working on this book as I did the first.  Although it will be a companion volume, I decided against using the title Trackside with VIA - Cross-Canada Companion, since that sounds like a guide for foreign tourists.  Though the book will be all-encompassing, I also discarded the title Trackside with VIA - Viapalooza.  

I notice vehicle licence plates at stoplights.   As Ontario's four-letter, three-number plates advance through the letter B, I thought, wouldn't it be cool to buy new plates for my Chevy Cavalier when BNML 002 is reached?  Nearly impossible to predict when and where, and I couldn't see myself driving to Timmins to buy the plates if they were distributed there.  Gave up on the idea.  Imagine my surprise when BNPL 002 drove up beside me on Bath Road the other day. So close and yet so far.

Lots o' links!  This link-rich post contains about ten links to other posts or sites.  Until Blogger drives users to their soon-to-be-released format, there's no comprehensive list of posts in my sidebar, and this is one way for readers to encounter other pre-existing posts in an Easter-egg or "Aha!" fashion.  It's like going word to word in the dictionary, discovering other words as you go.  That reminds me - what's another word for thesaurus?


Zartok-35 said...

Modeling a 1980s CP grain train should be easy; half Saskatchewan cars, half mid-1970s Wheatboard cars!
That extra-long annex is pretty neat.

Eric said...

Well that's certainly one way to model such a train, Elijah. I've seen some images of the brown/yellow CPWX cars when new, operating in solid trains to Vancouver through the mountains. A real unit train.

The annex is certainly of a different design. Now, if I'd just seen a train passing by it at the time...

Thanks for your comments,

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks for this post, Eric, it is great to see how things used to be around here. For example, I saw the map and thought, "Bergen? Where was THAT?" Great work as usual.

Eric said...

Hi Steve,

Good to hear from you, and thanks.

That map and its locations are circa 1984, so it is quite 'retro', as is my post.


Tyler said...

Great post! Looks like that jointed rail at Meadows is about to be replaced with CWR.

Bergen was at MP 7.5, or about 1.8 miles west of Woodman where the CN Oak Point Subdivision crossed the Carberry Subdivsion and the CP Glenboro Subdivision branched off. I believe the elevator was on the south side of the mainline where PTH 221 Rosser Road swings away from the tracks and then intersects Inkster. The road continues across the tracks to the intersection of Inkster and Sturgeon Road. The Federal elevator opened in 1965 and then became a MPE in 1972. As Eric mentioned, it closed in 1987.

Bergen is more famous for the "Bergen Cut-Off" bridge over the Red River that is permanently swung open and the portion of the CP mainline embankment that runs through the Kildonan Park Golf Course, complete with one hole that goes over/under an old grade separation.

Eric said...

Thanks for your comments, Tyler, as well as the excellent additional information.

Interestingly, I discovered that the Google maps view of the Bergen area shows a two-unit CP westbound covered hopper train passing through.

I certainly enjoyed exploring the east end of the Carberry Sub, as much as I did my independence with my aunt and uncle's car to do so. Watch for the west end post coming soon.


xxx said...

This was excellent, any chance I can get higher resolution copies of the Poplar Point Elevator, I grew up there and do not have any pictures of it,