Friday, August 25, 2023

CP's Tyvan Subdivision, 1985


During my grain elevator expedition of four nearly-parallel CN and CP subdivisions that began in Regina on Saturday, September 28, 1985 and extended east along CN's Glenavon Sub, my next stops were to the west along CP's Tyvan Subdivision before heading to CN's Lewvan Subdivision. Running between Regina and Stoughton, SK the 88-mile CP Tyvan Subdivision was still in operation during my visit, though zero cars were spotted at any of the elevators at Francis, Tyvan, Osage or Fillmore. The weather was cold, leaden overcast with light snow in the morning then drizzly.
Here's a map showing my two day expedition, as I planned it, in red arrows. Beginning at Regina, I overnighted in Weyburn and returnied to Regina on Sunday (below). All towns on the Tyvan Sub were sited 7-8 miles apart. I just accelerated my posh Fifth Avenue rental car for a few miles, then slid into the next town, found their elevator row and snapped photos of the track-side and road-side. Sometimes out through the power window rather than getting gummed up in the muddy dirt roads.
Francis was located at Mi 47.4 Tyvan Sub (below and top photo):

Tyvan, SK at Mi 39.8.

Osage at Mi 31.3 - today, only the Sask Pool elevator still stands.

Osage's tiny commercial district included wooden structures like this aged hardware store and current Canada Post outlet. Note the gravity-fed gas pump and the telephone booth:
Thirty-eight years later, the Canada Post building still stands, but don't try to mail anything there! Population listed as 20 (Google maps image - above).
Fillmore at Mi 22.9 had an colourful collection of tin signs on the rear of the Sask Pool elevator's fertilizer shed (above).

Fillmore was also the subject of a Tripix postcard by Henry Kalen Ltd. of Winnipeg featuring an R. Taylor photograph of an earlier 1970's Sask Pool wooden elevator brown scheme and one additional Federal elevator, both taken from almost identical vantage points. Today, only the foreground elevator is still standing.
I can look back quite fondly at these greasy grain elevator images. They bring with them memories of being much younger and independent - just getting my first job out of community college with money in my pocket. Exploring a part of Canada that I would not see again for well over 30 years. And even then, with many, many fewer elevators still standing.

Running extra...

CN Executive Train Lite - CN 3309-Fraser Spirit-American Spirit-Sandford Fleming deadheaded on the tail-end of CN No 148 from Chicago to Toronto on August 19. After being briefly set out in the Brampton Intermodal Terminal, they were attached to another tail-end, that of CN No 120 OS Kingston 0500 August 20. The short train will be running from Moncton to Halifax in the coming days. Thanks to Jesse McLaughlin for sharing his photo of the 148 movement (above). The June 'Zero is Possible' train was fancier. On August 23, the three-car train led by CN 3309 was eastbound for Halifax through Drummondville, QC then Joffre on August 24.

Heritage Minutes - on August 23, GTW Heritage unit 8952 was behind CN 8954  on CN No 372. While visiting my mother-in-law, the bright-blue throwback hove into view from five storeys up (below). On August 21, WC Heritage unit 3069 led potash unit train CN No 730 with tail-end DPU Military tribute unit CN 3015. Somewhere, a hostler is reading this and smiling.
I'm not even going to talk about the mug-shot seen around the world, first released last night. I'll just call it a...thug-shot...and leave it at that. History will decide.


JasonPaulSailer said...

Oh wow, that is what that building was in Osage! I stopped there in the fall of 2018 and took some photos near it. I wondered what it was used for!

Some great grain elevator shots!

Eric said...

So much distracting destructive demolition! Oh well, glad I could answer a question for you. I hope you weren't there on as bitter a day as my visit was. Oh well, that rental Fifth Avenue had all the bells and whistles, and I made use of the heater!

Thanks for your comment, Jason.

Brian said...

Another good set of pictures, Eric.

The section gang is keeping the ballast clean and in good profile at Tyvan.

It would be interesting to know more about the elevator at Fillmore that is in the postcard but is gone by the time that you got there. If it was in service in the late '70s, I would have thought that it would still be there in 1985.

Eric said...

Hi Brian,

Agreed about the condition of the line. It was still an important line and I did manage to see an occasional train on it. Regarding Fillmore, with a potential of 12 years between views, taking into account the beginning of branch line and elevator system rationalization, I believe the consolidation of smaller points had already begun. Frankly, I try to stay out of elevator history because I don't have that many good sources and I find it all very depressing that they're not all still standing. That would have taken a miracle, I know.

Thanks for your comment,

Brian said...

I agree, Eric. Demolition was the most probable fate for that elevator at Fillmore.

I just got to thinking that a wood crib elevator with some amount of remaining service life could have still been seen as a usable asset at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s. That made me wonder if maybe it got moved for use as an annex, or something similar, at another location.

I do vaguely remember seeing a couple of elevators in Saskatchewan that were moved for use at another location in the early part of the '80s.

Eric said...

Hi Brian,

Yes, that would include moving the elevator to another nearby shipping point as part of consolidation, or being sold to a nearby farmer for private storage, potentially. If feasible, that is.


Anonymous said...

please know that i ran the pool elevator in Fillmore from 1981 until 2001. Theold elevators were demolished but the big poolelevator still stand.

Eric said...

Great to hear from you, Al. I bet you could tell some stories of your work there. It was neat to visit Fillmore during my brief time south from Regina! Glad I made the trip.

Thanks for your comment,