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R

CN Cudworth sub

  • Romet
At one time the Cudworth sub provided a direct link between Watrous and Prince Albert, both regional CN terminals. That all changed in 1984 when, as part of the Prairie Branchline Rehabilitation program, the Prince Albert to St. Louis part was abandoned, although the bridge @ St. Louis is still used for auto traffic. In 1996 Colonsay-Totzke portion was ripped up, dividing the line in two. CN wanted to abandon the northern half (Totzke-St. Louis) as well, however local municipalities leased it for 20 years, ensuring service from CN using their crews and equipment. Its a typical paper shortline, called Wheatland Railway.

Youre looking at the southern end of the Cudworth sub, now simply Norco spur, to the Mosaic potash mine you can see in the background. At some point CN lost the contract to CP (Colonsay is right on CPs Sutherland sub, part of the Winnipeg-Edmonton PNL), hence it is now being used to store potash hoppers. I counted 769 in the summer of 2008, 747 the previous year. Cuts ranged from 12 to 68 to avoid blocking field access grids (I cant call them roads). Interestingly the cars are picked from both ends, at least 100 changed from the CN mainline side @ Young. CP picks them @ Colonsay for the PSC Patience Lake mine @ Chaviot, as CN has the contract but no rail access (cars are interchanged @ Saskatoon).

Not sure what else I can say Always amazes non-railfans to see miles of hoppers rusting away out in the open fields. As you can see more than half of the cars are wearing CN purple CN started applying this paint in late 2004, hence these cars have only been stored for a couple years.
It's surpirsing to us Railfans too, Roman. I'm not used to seeing so many of thoes things out of motion! I'm sure CN could find room on the 313/314 circut for thoes now a day.
 
Nice shot. Looks neat to see the big line of uniform cars. This is a lot like the Turin Spur out of Lethbridge as it's also used for storage. A Lethbridge engineer (now retired) told me that (probably back in the 80s) after he had gathered all of the stored cars there his train was 15000 feet long.

How long is the line?
 
R
Thanks guys!

The Norco spur is 10.6 miles long. All the room available is used up, starting from the wye with the Watrous sub @ Young to the Mosaic property @ mine. This reminds me of a funny story. A couple months back the Globe & Mail ran a special story on the booming Saskatchewan economy in the business section. The front page photo featured a stereotypical Prarie shot with the elevator and hoppers. Couple things wrong with it though...
a) It's a ghostown
b) Elevator is derelict
c) Hoppers cars are the same as in this photo, potash cars being stored.

In other words a sad sad sight, not a symbol of the booming economy. I doubt anyone picked up the irony though, you really have to know the Praries to get it.

15000ft train? Doesn't surprise me. CN set a records this year for the longest train originating in Saskatoon, CN 864 grain empties to Humboldt 240 cars/14,600 feet with a Dash 9-44CW/SD75I combo up front.
 
Haha, looks like Prince Albert to Birch Hills, CTRW did the same thing with tank cars, very interesting to see.
 
R
Yep, all the old elevator sidings on the Warman sub are just plugged with either stored tanker or 388 series CN hoppers. Wonder why CTRW decided to pull up the Birch Hills spur though?
 
I don't believe its pulled. City of pa has been in talks with them about it for years, but last winter I went out to Fenton and the line is still there. I know the old line to ST. Louis which was just a spur to the elevator south of town has been gone for some time. Now the spur just goes to 6th ave and then ends where the crossing would be.
 

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