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It's pouring rain in Thompson, MB on this dreary August day but, with a photo op calling I stepped off my sleeper VIA 8229 Chateau Viger on the tail end of VIA #692 (Churchill to Winnipeg), to snap VIA #693 (Winnipeg to Churchill) headed up by VIA 6443 which had backed up the Thompson Sub. just minutes ahead of us. The two passenger trains sat about one car length apart, with VIA #692 in front of the station building.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Paul O'Shell all rights reserved.



Caption: It's pouring rain in Thompson, MB on this dreary August day but, with a photo op calling I stepped off my sleeper VIA 8229 Chateau Viger on the tail end of VIA #692 (Churchill to Winnipeg), to snap VIA #693 (Winnipeg to Churchill) headed up by VIA 6443 which had backed up the Thompson Sub. just minutes ahead of us. The two passenger trains sat about one car length apart, with VIA #692 in front of the station building.

Photographer:
Paul O'Shell [230] (more) (contact)
Date: 08/05/2022 (search)
Railway: VIA Rail (search)
Reporting Marks: VIA 6443 (search)
Train Symbol: VIA 692, VIA 693 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Thompson/Thompson Sub. Mile 30.5 (search)
City/Town: Thompson (search)
Province: Manitoba (search)
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Photo ID: 49125

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

Full size | Suncalc
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7 Comments
  1. Very nice picture Paul, thanks for braving the rain – always wondered how and where 692 & 693 met. Question, do these take turn using the Thompson station platform to entrain/detrain passengers ? Is this an engine crew change point for both trains ? Am guessing today there would be an empty “buffer” Chateau sleeper or Park car on the end of both of these trains. Thanks for posting , John

  2. Good morning John, and thanks for the comment. Yes, VIA 692 & 693 took turns at the platform at Thompson. On the way up to Churchill, the two VIA passenger trains met at The Pas, MB. Thompson is a headend crew change point. I believe the crew change points from Winnipeg to Churchill (and return) are;

    For VIA enginemen:

    Winnipeg to Dauphin MB
    Dauphin to Canora SK
    Canora to The Pas MB
    The Pas to Thompson MB

    For HBR enginemen:

    Thompson to Gillam MB
    Gillam to Churchill MB

    Yes, in today’s VIA world, there would be an empty ‘buffer’ car tacked on behind the last occupied car on 692 & 693.

  3. I may be incorrect on the VIA engineman crew change from The Pas to Thompson. Would welcome corrected information.

  4. Well, I was completely wrong in my guess of crew change information for VIA 692/693.

    From a friend and SME (Subject Matter Expert), I have confirmed the following;

    VIA crews handle VIA 692/693 from Winnipeg to Churchill & return.

    Canora, SK crews handle the work on 693 between Winnipeg and The Pas with a crew change in Canora, Sk.
    Once in The Pas, MB there is another crew change where The Pas crews run between The Pas, MB and Thompson, MB.
    Thompson crews take over in Thompson, MB and run to Gillam, MB.
    Gillam crews then take over and run from Gillam, MB to Churchill, MB.
    Once in Churchill the engine crew then gets their rest and return to Gillam, MB on 692 and the crew changes happen the same in reverse.
    The Pas crews will Deadhead from The Pas to Thompson the day of and return back to The Pas on 692.
    Canora Crews will also deadhead up to The Pas the day of and return to Canora on 692.
    There they will trade off with another Canora crew who will take the train to Winnipeg where they will layover and take 693 North again.

  5. Great capture Paul! Thanks to you I am really looking forward to this run one of these days!

  6. It was certainly one of my more enjoyable trips of recent times. So much so that I plan to do it again in March next year during the peak of winter so I can experience the extremes of that season. The train trip, scenery, and overall feel of the trip will be quite different from my early August experience. Glad I have motivated you to experience the Winnipeg/Churchill train trip experience. ????

  7. Paul, I had originally planned to do the Hudson Bay as part on my 1988 VIA cross country tour which included the Canadian, Super Continental, Atlantic and the Ocean plus an LRC and some RDC’s but ran out of time! (you can see some of those shots in my profile) I also missed the Skeena for the same reason but am going to catch that one too! – Ken

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