Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Vestibule View of Saskatchewan and Alberta, 1986 - Part 2

In Part 1, we went west from Piapot, SK to Bassano, AB. As our westward trip aboard VIA No 1 continues in May 1986, we're meeting an eastbound freight, displaying green signals with CP 5831-5731. We entered a siding west of Bassano at 1515. Both trains kept moving, and we reached the west switch as the freight had already cleared it with van CP 434626. Ten minutes later we met our eastbound counterpart, VIA No 2 with Eng 6304, two B-units and about 12 cars at speed:
Cluny, AB was named for a trading post owner in 1884. It is located at Mi 117.2  CP Brooks Sub:
 Check out those Service cars and the attendant gandy dancer vehicles parked nearby.
Gleichen has a train-order board and I was in contact with CP operator Tony Bonogofsky a year earlier. Tony kindly mailed me some train orders - watch for an upcoming post. Gleichen is named for a baron and CPR stockholder. Give us money and we'll name a town after you!
The rain was stopped and I was happy to be back in the vestibule. At 1545, Gleichen got the full Kodak treatment:

Approaching Carseland, there is still snow visible in ditches after a recent late spring snowstorm. This is where I dropped my lenscap down onto the right-of-way. Oh well, no sense pulling the air from the vestibule, I ended up purchasing a two-pack in Calgary!
Carseland, Mi 144.6:

Dalemead, Mi 152.5

Indus, with cars in the elevator track, Mi 158.5, is named for the river in India.
This photo left unlevelled, just to get third elevator in the frame:
Continue the vestibular vacation here as we enter Calgary!

Interestingly, in my Trains & Grains books, I did not include Alberta grain elevators. Watch for an upcoming post of CN's Wainwright Subdivision, including elevators on the northern CN route from the same year.

Running extra...

VIA has slowed down its sending of stainless steel cars down CN's Kingston Sub after Part 1 was published. Stay tuned, Budd! There will be more. But first, we're diverting to Alberta. Why? Because cold weather forced me in off the patio and it was time to heft the scanner up to the soft chairs to do some long-delayed scanning of some long-languishing prolific photo-prints.
This is not normally a political space. But it is a space to share optimism and to celebrate justice flowing like a river and righteousness as a mighty stream! Can't sit on my hands at this crossroads of history.
Blogger's new interface? I jumped before I was pushed. So far I haven't hit too many of the wrong buttons (hey, where did my draft post on the folly of using X2F couplers go to?) and perhaps it hints at the longevity of this social media platform. Blogger says it optimizes blogging on smartphones. What about on dumblaptops though - my preferred cyberspace Claymore, my nunchuk of nostalgia, my flyswatter of fotos.


Robert Archer said...

Good Ride! Lots to see here. The tradition of "Give Us Money" is alive and well. Mississauga Trillium Hospital ( and this ties into your Fast Food topic) has the Harland Sanders Childrens ( I want to say "wing" but that is too close to a pun) Family Care Centre.
I liked all the grain elevators.
Good Ride - again.

Eric said...

Thanks, Robert! Glad you enjoyed the ride!

If I worked in that hospital, I'd definitely call it The Chicken Wing.


Jason Sailer said...

Love the grain elevators Eric!

Eric said...

Glad to hear it, Jason. Stay tuned for more.

Brian said...

A nice follow up to Part 1, Eric. These pictures also show that the AWP was keeping up with the maintenance. In contrast, UGG Cluny looks like it is about ready for some new paint.

The near end of the elevator siding at Carseland appears to have had some recent work. The new ballast that begins at about the edge of the elevator property is a sharp contrast to the rest of the siding. Perhaps it is just routine track maintenance and repair, but when taken together with the fencing that is alongside the track, it would be interesting to know what is just off the right edge of the frame.

It is interesting how elevator ownership changed hands over time. The weathering of the paint on Federal’s Dalemead elevator reveals that it was an Alberta Pacific elevator at one time. In Saskatchewan, many Federal elevators were acquired by the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. Perhaps another grain company subsequently acquired the elevator at Dalemead from Federal.

I will be keeping an eye out for the Wainwright post.

Eric said...

Keen-eyed observations, Brian! Glad you enjoyed the post. In the mid- to late-80's, it appears that elevator companies were beginning to realize that three- and four-car spots were not cost-effective anymore. The trend would at least be to two-car spots where adjoining elevators limited siding car spot capacity.

Needless to say, I'm glad I did some documenting at this pivotal point in the western Canadian grain transportation scene!

Wainwright Sub is coming along nicely. It turns out that I have two years' worth that overlap only minimally!

Thanks for your comment,

Steve Boyko said...

LOVE those grain elevators, Eric!

However, it's a little sad to see what was there. There's no elevators at Indus, and there isn't much left at Dalemead.

Eric said...

I couldn't bear to look, but I assumed that there would be a dearth of surviving elevators at most of these shipping points.

It's not often that an elevator-spotting trip could be combined with a train-riding trip but this was VIA on CP with the AWP and UGG in the 80's and it was AOK!

Thanks for your comment, Steve.

Tyler said...

Fantastic pictures! Thank you for continuing to share a window to the past!
Alberta Pacific Grain Company was merged into Federal Grain in 1967 (after Federal merged with Searle in 1966). In 1972, Federal Grain was split between the three provincial wheat pools.

Eric said...

I like that phrase, Tyler: a window to the past. Top half of a Dutch door definitely qualifies as a window.

I do have books and diagrams of the development of the Pools and other grain-handling companies and that would make a dandy post with examples!

Thanks for your comment,