Monday, January 19, 2015

VIA's Canadian at Portage, 1981

After publishing a post on the Super Continental at Portage la Prairie in 1981, it only seemed right to give equal coverage to the Canadian. After all, the two trains followed each other into and out of of Winnipeg close together, permitting exchanging of cars and passengers between both trains. VIA No 1 departed Montreal, 1,409 miles east a day and a half earlier, arriving Winnipeg at 0920 for a four hour, ten minute service stop. This included swapping of some sleepers and other cars between the Super Continental and the Canadian, the latter departing Winnipeg daily at 1330. On August 24, 1981 No 1  (above) arrives Portage at 1453, scheduled to depart at 1457 with 6550-1961-CP 8514-605-Riviere Rouge-123-121-3213-507-5740-5708-Aylmer Manor-Amherst Manor-Alexandra-Elliston-Ernestown-Eastport-Prince Albert Park. I'd arrived ensconced aboard Ernestown on the Super, and this locally-named E-series sleeper has now been transferred to the Canadian during the Winnipeg servicing stop. 
The same day, No 2 arrives in time for the 1640 scheduled station stop, with a neat locomotive consist (above and below) 1418-CP 8580-1898-9658-Margaree River-126-101-3208-514-5718-5744-Hunter Manor-Thompson Manor-Emerald-Wolfe Manor-Chateau Lauzon-Edmonton-Edson-Riding Mountain Park. The mighty Canadian was held at the Shepp CP-CN connecting track for a lowly grain pickup behind CN 1353-1354. No 2 has put Vancouver 1,474 miles behind her, scheduled to arrive Winnipeg at 1800, then departing two and a half hours later. Notice - 1418 was the only VIA cab unit to receive blue paint high on the carbody, and one of VIA's two E-8's is nosed up to the baggage car. The specially-constructed connecting track, built to transfer the Canadian from CP rails west of Portage to CN's Rivers Sub for the run into Winnipeg still has new-looking ballast:
Aug 26 No 1 at 1450: 1413-CP 8577-CP 8522-617-Petitcodiac River-127-100-3218-517-5704-5734-Sherwood Manor-Abbott Manor-Emerald-Edwardsville-Eureka-Entwistle-Waterton Park. Shortly after departing the station, this day's varnish was held at West Tower for a 136-car eastbound train led by CP 6018-5928 which passed at 1457, then a 132-car eastbound led by CP 5918-4712 at 1515! VIA 1413 made its last run in February 1983 still in CP Rail action red.
Aug 26 No 2 at 1637 below: 6566-1965-6550-602-Innes-109-113-3212-512-5711-5705-Butler Manor-Brock Manor-Kent-Craig Manor-Erwood-Elgin-Elderbank-Sibley Park. Many, but by no means all, of the cars in this consist will be heading east again on No 2 when I board the train in Calgary on September 4.
The late afternoon sun favoured this angle, looking east away from the station:
Aug 27 No 1 at 1453: 1418-CP 8580-1898-6553-9664-Riviere au Renard-116-103-3212-501-5722-104-Hearne Manor-Franklin Manor-Kent-Craig Manor-Elmsdale-Exeter-Elrose-Revelstoke Park as the daily BC lumber train lumbers eastward. A seldom-seen sweet view of 1418's unique blue paint lines:
Aug 28 No 1 at 1452: 1402-CP 8579-6653-608-Nashwaak River-117-124-3211-509-5709-5736-Dawson Manor-Draper Manor-Wascana-Elizabeth-Egerton-Essex-Evangeline Park. VIA 6653 was rebuilt by CN in three months prior; one of three F9B's rebuilt by CN, in this case formerly CP 1964. Nashwaak River is one of several River-series cars I saw on the Canadian providing crew accommodations, instead of the more usual I-series crew car on the Super:
On the evening of September 3, 1981 I boarded No 2 in Calgary for Toronto, arriving Winnipeg on September 4 (below) with 1407-CP 8516-1898-604-Innes-109-113-3218-512-5711-5746-Butler Manor-Osler Manor-Emerald-Wolfe Manor-Erwood-Elgin-Elderbank-Strathcona Park. These photos remind me that my all-time favourite Trackside Treasure post features the Canadian at Portage in 1984!
This was the third time I'd seen 1898 on this trip, most recently still together with 1418 in Calgary, though they've now been separated, with 1898 basking in the humid, evening haze against Winnipeg's skyline (below). VIA 1898 kept busy, making more than seven appearances in Winnipeg in October 1981, and a final trip on No 1 on November 11. With the impending cancellation of the Super Continental, the ex-CP equipment was removed from the Canadian, replaced with ex-CN locomotives: the first No 2 east from Winnipeg on November 17 was led by 6501-6602-6603.

Running extra...

This week I surfed into some photos of Seth Neumann's layout. I'm not sure which I like more...the giant NUMMI auto parts plant or the adjacent bulk transfer facility:


Canadian Train Geek said...

I always love your Portage posts!

Very cool layout photos.. I like both facilities.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to Chesterton, IN fro your last post. Have watched on and off - seen NS (owner) as well as a couple of CN run throughs, CP & BNSF. Also nice to see mixed freights as opposed to intermodels. Looks good even when dark.

Zartok-35 said...

This post couldn't have come at a better time; I've just acquired an HO Scale RS-10! As dedicated as I am to the Super Continental, The Canadian was its running mate, and the through sleeper operations between both trains are entirely too fascinating not to model as well! I have your collection of books to thank for making me interested in all this.

Eric said...

Steve, it's been too long since a Trackside Treasure post on Portage was published! It was time.

A., every 10 minutes at Chesterton. I've seen one NS heritage unit, CN, BNSF, UP and an industrial or lease switcher.

Elijah, watch for an upcoming post on the Winnipeg shuffle. Glad to feed your interest with my humble experiences trackside!

Thanks to all for your comments!

Anonymous said...

Got to love Chesterton from my past post. Could model almost anything. This morning got a BNSF run through - 2 units on the front and a DPU on the rear, a 5 unit with 2 NS leading and 2 CP along with a CP leased unit and a NS/CSX combined. Home from work and a CP leading 2 NS units. Amazed at the TOFC traffic - didn't think that existed anymore - mind you I am not on the east-west Ont. corridor and am the TO to the west N-S (not to be seen for sometime). Did catch 1 Amtrak passenger on the weekend. Bonus for you with the NS Heritage unit. What a great way to pass some time between things to do around the house. Watch passing trains and not leave the couch/desk.

Eric said...

And airhorns!

GP9Rm4108 said...

You guys haven't hit the right times yet if you haven't caught the lull times. There are many times a day where you'll go nearly an hour without a train.

Eric said...

Hope our luck will hold out then, Chris. Lull = nap time.

Michael said...

The older I get, the more I love the old CP action red scheme. Interesting addition of the all blue Via unit. I had no idea the railway experimented with that scheme. Thanks for sharing this. Fascinating!

Eric said...

Thanks, Michael. It was fun for me to relive these days spent trackside in Portage. More to come.

Check out John Longhurst's blog in my sidebar to see the CP multimark used differently in HO scale.