Friday, July 15, 2011

Then and Now: Portage la Prairie 1980-2010 Part 2

For this second post on Then and Now: Portage, Winnipeg's Paul Sincerny has graciously supplied the Now photos, and I've found Then photos taken on various railfanning trips to Portage, taken from approximately the same location.

Then: A CP freight waits at the signal east of West Tower's diamonds as a westbound 2-unit CN freight of empty lumber cars passes the CN to CP connecting track for VIA trains in 1986.

Now: SD70M-2 8889 leads CN double-stack train 101 on Hallowe'en 2010.
More of Paul's fine photography can be found on Trackside Treasure flip-fun: click on each Then and Now photo, opening each in a new tab, then toggle between them. Views from the Skyview bridge, with grain elevators and associated trackage still in place, later gone.
Then: 9535-9452 eastbound on August 24, 1978 with air dump cars behind the power (above). CPWX grain cars at Portage Pool 'A' and CP Service cars beyond.

Now: From the same location, another eastbound on May 15, 2011 as CN train 302 passes some new ties trackside, behind engine 8812. Track work is also in progress on the CP line in background, and in an interesting nod to the past, CP is still using 40-foot boxcars as Service cars.

CN served two of Portage's former grain elevators, as well as other grain elevators east of Portage on the Rivers Sub. Just east of CN's station, at the Third St NW crossing,

Then: 9569-9575-9612-9502 haul piggyback at 50 mph past the station at 1154 June 17, 1980...

Now: CN ES44DC 2224 leads three other units on train 314 on June 14, 2009.

CP westbounds, taken from the north side of CP's trackage which becomes the Minnedosa Sub and Carberry Sub just west of this location.

Then: CP 8626-8806 with 31 ballast cars for the Minnedosa Sub, beside 6053-5809-3017 with mixed freight on a rainy afternoon in June, 1984.

Now: CP 9653 accelerates with two other units on an intermodal train on Canada Day 2010. CN's station is visible in the background. Paul's photo is taken slightly east of mine.

CP Eastbounds cross CN's Gladstone and Rivers Subs at West Tower

Then: 2 SD's approach the diamond with an eastbound on CP's Carberry Sub in 1981.

Now: Former CP Holiday Train unit 9824 brings CP train 112 across the diamonds at West Tower on October 9, 2010.

VIA Rail still serves Portage. The rolling stock has changed...somewhat.

Then: With ditch-lights rigged, 6507-6603 bring VIA train 2 into Portage in June, 1984 with a mix of ex-CN blue & yellow cars and stainless steel ex-CP cars.

Now: In September 2010, VIA train 2 is led by 6418. The blue & yellow cars are gone, but the former CP Canadian cars labour on, and are on their second refurbishing since my photo was taken.

Running extra...
Even though this post is titled 1980-2010, it actually covers 1978-2010. Close enough. I'm considering a second volume from Trackside Treasure Publications, featuring photography and train information from Portage la Prairie. This would be handy for any modellers interested in replicating the rail mecca that is P la P.

Summertime reading: back copies of Railroad Model Craftsman and Model Railroader. While a trip down memory lane shows how far model railroad products have come, it is also frustrating to see all the foobies, fakes and fallacies that were perpetuated based on the products that were available. Sounds like a future blog post, eh?
Summertime viewing: CBS's reality show Big Brother is back for another 'season'. Other sluggish, mindless entertainment on these clammy summer evenings includes Rookie Blue and Combat Hospital. Another season of American Pickers on the History Channel can't be far off.

The Bay is featuring Amelia Earhart luggage at 50-70% off. Amelia Earhart luggage? Seriously? Your luggage gets lost, and stays lost.


Canadian Train Geek said...

Very nice, Eric! Thanks for featuring Paul's photography. I am envious of his skill.

I especially like the glint shot of VIA at the bottom.

Eric said...

Thanks Steve. I'm glad I was able to feature Paul's photos as well as yours in these two posts featuring Portage Then & Now. It's a great way to be able to feature some super photography and to 'visit' places I haven't been in a while.

I'm now working on another post on a famous Ontario hot-spot.


Zartok-35 said...

I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing hellcats hauling lumber empties and trailers!
The same timeless quality is hardly apparent in the CP 'snake-eye' AC44s of today.
Of course, this was a wonderful post. Feel free to show us more 1978 pictures and lumber trains if you want to.

Unknown said...

Funny comments on the luggage...I hope anyone who buys it has better luck than she. Haha!

Eric said...

Thanks Elijah and Powmill for your comments.

I will post more 1978 photos, Elijah. They are not the best quality, but I was happy to have a new camera:

Powmill, I couldn't believe the luggage...the tag also listed the Amelia Earhart website run by her family to basically cash in on her memory.


Tyler said...

Some great then and now shots at Portage! I have some early 90s material that I could contribute to any book efforts that cover the decade of transition from the scaling back of VIA service and gradual loss of grain elevators through the introduction of new motive power.

Eric said...

Sorry for the delay getting back to you, Tyler. Vacation!

Yes, I'd like to feature your photos. Please email me at mile179kingstonATyahooDOTca.


Adam Walker said...

Time goes by, but you'll always know VIA from those yellow nosed engines. I'll miss seeing them when they're all rebuilt to the Renaissance colours.


Eric said...

You're right, Adam. On a round-trip from Kingston to Toronto yesterday, 6406 and 6410 did the honours and both were Ren-schemed. To use an overused phrase, "Get your photos now". I just can't understand why the highly-visible yellow went to the rocks-and-trees-of-Canada stealth green - much lower visibility on the head-end.

Watch for more VIA posts, including the Canadian at Portage in 1984 (all yellow noses) and thanks for your comment,

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