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.