Saturday, April 21, 2018

CP's Carberry Subdivision west of Portage

CP's mainline between Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie was featured in this previous post. Now, go west young man! Manitoba Pool Elevators (MPE) Burnside grain elevator was one of the last wooden grain elevators built, opening on July 24, 1984. Surprisingly, its lifespan was a short 25 years. Located eight miles west of Portage la Prairie on CP's Carberry Subdivision, near the Trans-Canada Highway, this shipping point was intended to replace Portage's 'A' elevator which was lost to fire in 1982. I was able to visit the elevator twice - once in 1984 during construction and again in 1986 with agent Fern Legault. Eastbound at Burnside on June 5, 1986 at 1042 is a CP intermodal freight with 5989-5924-5407:
At 80 feet high, the double-composite design comprised 47 bins with a 5,680 tonne, 308,000-bushel  capacity. The acccess road featured a former CP tank car body in use as a culvert! I was shocked to see a photo of this 25 year-old, still-useful elevator being demolished in this 2009 photo, kindly shared by Dwayne Chapman.
MacGregor at Mi 78 also had an MPE presence. MacGregor was named after Doctor MacGregor of Glasgow, Scotland. A 1963 view of CP's station and water tower from the Dave Shaw collection:
During a May, 1984 visit to MacGregor, I photographed the CPR wooden water tower, the Elephant fertilizers elevator as well as the Manitoba Pool elevator:
A variety of CP boxcars spotted for loading (above) and a better-lit view of the trackside MPE fertilizer shed (below):
 The Esso fuel dealership was in the shadow of Manitoba Pool:
Austin was at Mi 85. It was named after the aide-de-camp of the Marquis of Lorne. Manitoba Pool elevator, May 1994. (L.C. Gagnon photo):
Sidney was at Mi 95; the Cargill elevator seen here during an evening visit in 1984:
Sidney trackside view with a tank hopper spotted at left, and at right, the CP portable station:
Thanks to Matt Tolton who noted that Sidney's elevator was demolished in 1999. The Carberry Sub, shown in red, runs across the middle of this map:
In June, 1984 this large Pioneer plant in Brandon hosted CNWX aluminum and yellow covered hoppers:
 Brandon B Manitoba Pool Elevators:
 Newly-built Manitoba Pool Elevators Brandon A visible from the Trans-Canada Highway:
I digress - west of Brandon at Mi 47 of CP's Broadview Sub, Virden's unique stone station, taken from the tail-end of VIA No 2 in 1982:
Photos taken by my Dad during a trip westward on CP in the steam era. Carberry United Grain Growers elevator and passing freight, in September, 1950 (L.C. Gagnon photo)
Sidney Pool No. 200 in September, 1950 with a more substantial CP station (L.C. Gagnon photo):
The timing of this post is not completely surprising. Walling in wheaty nostalgia, I've just saved over 270 grain elevator photos to a memory stick that's going to my graphic designer tomorrow. Having just received a draft (draft cover, below) of Volume 1 - TRAINS of my Trains and Grains project, it's great to have Volume 2 - GRAINS ready to receive the same fine treatment!

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Kingston Transit continues to pour new buses onto its express routes. The fourth and newest express route debuts May 7 - Route 801/802 Montreal Street. Here's Nova-built KT 1826 in service this morning on Kingston Express Route 702:
Thanks to Canadian Railway Modeller magazine for this just-published review of my fourth book on VIA, Trackside with VIA - Research and Recollections:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Lantic Sugar in Mimico

A stroll around Mimico in April  2017 combined two favourite subjects - VIA Rail and spot 'n' spur freight activity. An earlier post featured CGMX/LATX covered hoppers as seen on CN's Kingston Sub, carrying sugar from the Lantic Sugar facility in Montreal East to the blending facility in Mimico, located at 230 New Toronto Road.
I managed a well-lit photo of the unloading tracks, even though no LATX covered hoppers were visible. These newer WFRX (Wells Fargo Rail Corporation) cars are slowly replacing the LATX cars. A view of the Lantic logo:
Check out this model railroady trackwork with Lantic's spur (left to right in photo) crossing Mimico wye tracks, complete with stop signs leading to Lantic, taken from the Islington Avenue overpass:
Also from the Islington overpass, the unloading shed at Lantic, with two LATX cars now visible!
Just around the corner, several LATX cars were being held off-spot. There is space on this track for about eight cars. Notice the unique Salco hatch covers and plastic lining, which flap fancily while heading along the Kingston Sub!
Ground view of the other end of the string of LATX covered hoppers taken from Eighth Street. Notice wheel stops on track, and GO locomotive at VIA's nearby Toronto Maintenance Centre:
A closeup view of the Salco covers and walkways atop the LATX cars:
Here's a video capture from Rapido Trains' video of their RDC-1 RPDX 6133 stretching its legs near the TMC. It's February 2018, and the Lantic operation is visible in the background including their parked orange Trackmobile:
Satellite view shows the Lantic spurs, the diamond with the wye, stored LATX cylindrical covered hoppers and Trackmobile driveway!
Just last month, here's LATX 7010 westbound for Toronto on March 17, 2018. In the company of former NAHX 455xxx-series, now LATX cylindricals, plus WFRX's like 849636! (Heck, even today CN No 376 had several cylindricals and two WFRX's. Those LATX's are getting tons of graffiti now.)

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Book update! TRAINS being graphically designed. GRAINS being captioned. Worked my way through 1986 (hello Saskatoon C - below!) and soon it will be 1985 and I'll be....wallowing in nostalgia even more. Even with all the wallowing, the spring 2018 publication date is still intact! And thanks to the at-least ten people who are expressing interest in this exciting and unique project!
And now for a verdant Vermont moment. I'm doing some prototype research on the dollar-barn for my HO scale Green Mountain Lines. Years ago, barns in Vermont (below) were used for messy things like cows, hay bales, and manure. Now, a Google search reveals that nearly every barn is used for shabby chic, denim apparel, exposed lightbulbs and weddings! Well, marriage can be messy, too.
This week's April meeting of the Associated Railroaders of Kingston included a member-update section during which attendees brought a few photos on a memory stick. The Green Mountain Lines brought their update and for a few minutes it was all green and 1970's. Also - Michael, Bob, Greg, Len, Fred and Paul brought their neat photos and videos. And Denny's brought the slams!

Friday, April 6, 2018

VIA Rail's 40 YEARS Wraps

An evening at Kingston station on March 28, 2018 gave me a chance to document some of the colourful changes taking place in VIA's rolling stock fleet. We're VIA...it's our anniversary! Well, frankly, any year from 1976 onwards could be viewed as anniversariable! So let's pick 1978-2018 since 1967-2017 was used for CANADA 150. But as with last year's colourful wrap program, this one is getting VIAphiles trackside again! 
One-of-a-kind Business Class car VIA 3476 was on No 44. Since the CANADA 150 logo has been removed, the earlier plated car number now shows above the applied number (above). Quick and dirty, said someone! Who knows what VIA will do with the 'leaves' still adorning both ends of the car, though:
Can't get enough of CANADA 150? Well, here's a last, long, lingering look at VIA 6416 on No 68:
The Future is on Board (we don't need no stinkin' capital letters!). VIA 3355 on No 55 -wearing its green cigar band with multicoloured lettering, no lower blue nor green stripe, and the large yellow VIA lettering with 40 Years/Ans logo:
Let the conspiracy theories start about whether there is equal French and English lettering. I ran across tracks to find the city station names on the CANADA 150 cars, but I'll leave this one to someone else. L'avenir est a bord. VIA 3366 on No 46:



I was fortunate to catch both models of VIA power wearing the VIA40 wraps. VIA No 920 on No 46:
Clean and colourful:
 VIA No 3343 on No 46:
Banners with English/French in logo red and white
Notice how the unilingual Years or Ans is part of the tiny logo:
No tripod but a lean against a lightpost will do: VIA 6454 on No 54 at 2004:
VIA 6454 also made it onto the local news. A carload of criminals from Ajax took a detour from Highway 401 onto Lennox & Addington County Road 7 thence east on CN's Kingston Sub at Mi 190! Two hundred yards later, they realized their plight and their auto was autolyzed by VIA No 64. VIA 6454 was heading west and was flagged over the crossing:
Here are the VIA40 first sightings so far: 

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First look at Trains and Grains. Bryan, my graphic designer sent the first 27 pages this week, for a layout check. Over 500 photos taken in the Portage la Prairie, MB area 'back in the day'. So Volume 1 - TRAINS is in Bryan's hands. Volume 2 - GRAINS is still in mine and I'm editing and captioning over 250 grain elevator photos. What a trip!
Got rail? Colin Churcher just posted a fascinating post on CP's welded rail plant in Smiths Falls, Ontario.