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CP 851, 11,000 feet of coal empties from Thunder Bay to Sparwood, is pictured here heading past the old Paterson grain elevator and into the hole at Mortlach where it would have to wait for three eastbounds and one westbound to pass before proceeding onward. They blocked the 'main street' heading north-south in Town and the conductor waited at the crossing in case a car showed up, at which point they'd have to break the train. Once the four other trains cleared, he had to walk the thousands of feet back up to the head end so they could continue heading west. The DM&E hopper at right presumably got nailed by the detector and was set off there. There was a lone coal hopper sitting in the area too.
Copyright Notice: This image ©James Knott all rights reserved.



Caption: CP 851, 11,000 feet of coal empties from Thunder Bay to Sparwood, is pictured here heading past the old Paterson grain elevator and into the hole at Mortlach where it would have to wait for three eastbounds and one westbound to pass before proceeding onward. They blocked the 'main street' heading north-south in Town and the conductor waited at the crossing in case a car showed up, at which point they'd have to break the train. Once the four other trains cleared, he had to walk the thousands of feet back up to the head end so they could continue heading west.

The DM&E hopper at right presumably got nailed by the detector and was set off there. There was a lone coal hopper sitting in the area too.

Photographer:
James Knott [210] (more) (contact)
Date: 08/24/2019 (search)
Railway: Canadian Pacific (search)
Reporting Marks: CP 8709 (search)
Train Symbol: 851 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Swift Current Sub (search)
City/Town: Mortlach (search)
Province: Saskatchewan (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=38885
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7 Comments
  1. Complete side bar from this conversation, but I’m gathering via a Facebook group for SK grain elevators that this elevator is no more.

  2. No, I didn’t bother unfortunately. I shot this train in three locations but all of the vantages are similar to this. Wish I’d paid more attention to that now of course. I can make out something like “RF 720 Door 4″ when I zoom in on the originals. I got the train ID straight from the conductor here in Mortlach, and then I looked it up in the trackside guide and didn’t think about it again as the explanation I got in there seemed plausible to me at the time. The things I am 100% sure on are Train ID (851), train length (in excess of 11,000 feet), direction (westbound of course), and the fact they were empties.

  3. Hi Jamie. Did you happen to catch any car numbers from the consist? From this angle they do appear to look more like ballast hoppers rather than coal cars. Gates would be the tell tale. BTW, great photo!

  4. The two trailing SD’s add to the scene as well. Nice shot James.

  5. The more I think about it though, the more I am starting to question things. Hopefully someone can confirm!

  6. I am not expert in rolling stock, but they certainly were covered in the black dust of coal. I am entirely confident the train was 851, which according to trackside guide is coal empties returning from Thunder Bay to Sparwood, and running as needed. Presumably these were emptied at Thunder Bay Terminals ltd., and thinking back I’d seen cars like this at TBTL on CP last summer when I was there. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can weigh in on the type of cars.

  7. James, what type of cars were these in coal service. They look more like empty ballast cars returning to the big pit south of Cranbrook, B.C.

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