Saturday, September 19, 2020

Two Days at Portage, 1978

Let's turn back the clock 42 years to two days in August in Portage la Prairie, MB presenting that providential place's panoply of plethoric train movements: August 17, and 18, 1978. I photographed most of them, realizing that quality of image and quantity of remaining film were two issues I was facing! I'd arrived courtesty of VIA's Super Continental, after reaching Toronto by Turbo. CN 9434-9592 with  88 cars and caboose 79649 were the first train on the first day, westbound (above). 

Of course all the trains I observed and photographed during all my visits West are available in this easy-to-hold format! Trains are shown with time of photo, direction, power, remarks and caboose.

1105 E CN 4126-4211 and caboose 79676 on CN First No 808 from Dauphin, according to the friendly operator, with Manitoba Pool Portage 'B' grain elevator in the background:
1113 E CP 5729-4237-4438 and van 434546. The head-end trainman is out on the 'front porch' to pick up train orders:
Clean CP 434546 in front of the speeder sheds:
1153 E CN 4206-4124 and caboose 79287, running as Second No 808:
1154 Meeting westbound CN 9153-4302-4224 lumber empties 79731
After lunch: 1350 W 6515-6607-6502 No 3 with 17 cars arriving on time from Winnipeg:
1415 W CP 5518-5528-4739 speedy intermodal, trailed by 434423:
1432 E CP 8694-8702-5758 manifest with 434386. Geepalicious!
1446 W CN 5089-9543 manifest 79504. In background CP 6569 is switching grain cars.
1518 E CN 9596-9632-79315 (no photo) 
1527 W CP 5683-8803 and 434067(end cupola). Slowly starting an occupied boarding car train:
22-man sleepers CP 411728-411726:
1617 W CN 9488-9420-9454 79716 (no photo - stopped to switch in the CN yard)
1636 E CN 1070-1076-1071 79684 on a grain train. My aunt and uncle have come to pick me up, in their blue Datson, at suppertime after enjoying all these freights on what remained an overcast day.
Closeup of CN 1076 - I'd only 'discovered' these Western engines two years earlier on our way West, staying overnight in Thunder Bay. They were indeed a curiosity to this Easterner!
Evening: westbound freight setting out cars CN 9488-9420-9454:
August 18, 1978. The next morning, at 1046 westbound CN 4245-4315-4317, working the yard and the CP interchange:
Flexicoil trucks under Geeps, such as the ones CN 4245 rode on, were new for me, too.
A couple of trains in the intervening time before lunch: 
1112 E CN 1051-1027 79787 (no photo)
1130 E CN 9425-9402-9405 intermodal 79372:
1134 E CP 5762-5533 manifest 434036(end cupola) passing 6569 at the station:

Click right here to view two more days of Portage railfanning, just two days later!

Running extra...

My Uncle Wilf, with whom I stayed while railfanning at Portage recently sent along this nice photo of himself taken by his brother, at the memorial bench to my aunt at the Crescent Lake in Portage. And that's Adam the Cat! Good memories!
Driving through Big Sky Country after visiting Ontario, my brother-in-law Lorne and his wife Chris shared these photos of trackside treasure:
Harvest time! (above) Transport loading at trackless grain elevator (below):
Mobil Grain twin-SD's:


JasonPaulSailer said...

Great memories trackside!

Eric said...

Glad to have them preserved as photo prints and now online for others to enjoy, Jason.

Thanks for your comment,

Canadian Train Geek said...

Those were some shiny boxcars just before noon!

Eric said...

I'm guessing they were on one of their first trips fresh from outshopping, Steve. When lumber could still travel in a 40-foot boxcar.

Thanks for your comment,

Brian said...

These are interesting pictures, Eric. They show a time of transition. CN is well on its way in moving from using the mostly black, ‘noodle’ paint scheme to the stripe paint scheme. CP is still operating their MLW locomotives on mainline freights in the west. In a few years CP’s MLWs would be concentrated in the east and it would be a rare event to see one operating in the west -- aside from various yard locomotives, which were plentiful until they weren’t. On both railways, GP9s are mainline power, but newer, more powerful locomotives are in the process of displacing them.

I like the picture of the Deere combines working ‘in formation’.

Eric said...

Indeed, Brian...that could be a whole new post. The Harvest - combining new and old photos (pun intended there). There was indeed a better chance of seeing the older power, and more of it, on each train. There were stripes on both roads, sides on CN and noses on CP. Many interesting trains to keep this young railfan busy!

Thanks for your comment,

Anonymous said...

Steve noted shiny boxcars. I noted NO graffiti on the boxcars, covered hoppers nor structures. Oh, we long for the days of respect.

Eric said...

Very true, Jim. I'll have to produce a post, complete with rolling stock photos, charts and graphs showing the rise of graffiti/tags by decade. There is no putting the rattle-can genie back in the bottle now!

Thanks for your comment,

Zartok-35 said...

You can probably tell if Intermodal trains are headed to Montreal or Toronto by their 9400 and 9500 respective GP40-2L consists! Looks like a great time trackside, makes me want to listen to some Trooper and Prism.

Eric said...

That's an interesting point, Elijah! They were certainly a welcome addition - to see a brace of them powering high-priority freight here on the Kingston Sub, replacing polyglot consists of GP9's, C-424's and GP-40's, for instance.

Don't forget the Bay City Rollers and Neil Sedaka on your playlist!

Thanks for your comment,