Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Postscript: CN and VIA's Winnipeg to Churchill Trains

Looking for more Churchill train photos, I found several of Thompson to Winnipeg Train No 90, at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Here's one from 1978:

CN 6501 has three cars in tow as it stops in Portage la Prairie on August 16.

Checking VIA schedules of the time shows why I snapped lots of No. 90 photos. It departed Thompson on the afternoon of the previous day, and was due into Winnipeg Union Station around 1100. So it was a prime target each day for an easy morning sun shot. The times of Churchill trains Nos. 92 and 93, with their more interesting consists, were a bit more difficult, with 92 OS'ing around 0530, and No 93 around 1900. I'm guessing CN and VIA used passenger power on the shorter Nos 90/91 because there was not as much head-end traffic to lug around, and start and stop at each station along the line. Often, the same 6500's shown here would appear on the Super Continental out of Winnipeg within the next day or two.

On a cloudy morning on August 22, 1979, No 90 pulls into Portage behind F7Au 9151 - CN 15484 - 9637 - 5545 - 5619:

On June 16, 1980, it's VIA - 6501 - 15489 - 9672 - 5623 - 5625:

The operator is hooping up orders on a rainy June 20, 1980. The consist today is 6506 - 15489 - 9634 - 5545 - 5619:

Two days before the next shot, No. 90's consist was 6511 - CN 15453 - CN 9640 - and VIA 5545 - 5625 - 9669. The welders are out in the grass at West Tower, as the sun glints off 6506's nose on Aug. 28,1981. Consist was 6506 - 15492 - 9660 - 5623 - 5619:

Here's a shot of No 93, which we paced westward into Portage on the Trans-Canada in May, 1984. Although there's no head-end traffic, there is an E-series sleeper on the tail-end. 6302 - 6303 - SGU - 9663 - 3244 - 5618 - 762 - Enterprise:

Here's a couple of Final F-Foto Freebies to Finally Finish, showingthe 9100's in freight service. On August 23, 1979, 9150 - 9154 have just pulled up across from Portage station on the yard lead:

In 1984, 9153 - 9150 - 79827 prepare to head west out of Portage on a caboose hop:

Running Extra...
The CP Holiday trains are crossing the U.S. and Canada. A co-worker was lucky enough to see one Holiday train on the Tunkhannock Viaduct in Nicholson, Pennsylvania. While not able to see it up-close, it would be an awesome sight. Remember the reason that CP has raised $3.56 million dollars for since the trains began - collecting food and donations for those least able to feed their families. Having seen the train at Belleville two years ago, it lights up the night and the spirits of those who see its colourful passage, with a cause worthy of our support.

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