CN in Whitecourt, Alberta 2020

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Mcleod

Member
Hello, everyone!
Here, I will be posting a number of my own photographs, that show the engines, rolling stock, structures, and activities involved in the workings of CN rail in the small town of Whitecourt, Alberta. The town has a number of very active industries that involves CN rail transportation extensively. These include pulp-n-paper, sawmills, MDF plant, and oil and gas operations; there is no passenger service in this area.

Firstly, I must let you know, that I have little knowledge of real trains. My interest in railways only began in December, 2019, when I purchased the G-kids a train set for Christmas. Soon after that, I began walking the local tracks and taking photos. I was always a modeler of something-or-other, and moved from airplanes to trains after I bought that Bachmann set.
Anyway, that's it in a nutshell.

So, here are some photos. The first one, is the only photo that I will ever post that is not mine. I don't know who the author is. It shows the CN 3rd class depot in Whitecourt, said to be 1965. To me, a depot suggests that there was once passenger service in Whitecourt. Fact is, I have not found any old-timers that remember the depot even being here.
TrainStation Whitecourt1965.jpg


Now my own CN stuff, starting with a pair of ES44AC's pulling a train of freight cars into town, February, 2020:
CN 2862 (1).jpg

CN 2862 (2).jpg

CN 2987 (1).jpg

CN 2987 (2).jpg

That's all for now. If it makes a stir, I'll keep adding more consistently to the thread.

I hope you enjoy the photos. Everyone have a great day!
Guy
 

Mcleod

Member
Thankyou for the comments, fellas.

This pair of photos were taken during a walk on February 13, 2020. The building behind the GE C40-8 locomotive is the local Home Hardware store.
The loco had just pulled up, and was idling there with the engineer gone for coffee...
C40-8(1).jpg

C40-8(2).jpg

Behind the C40-8, is an SD70-M2 that I wanted to get a photo of. I couldn't get the shot, as I was asked to leave by a nasty rail worker who threatened to call police. Guess he thought I had a spray paint can, instead of a camera.

Next, we have a GE ES44AC; photo taken February 28, 2020. The engine is just sitting there quietly idling, waiting for some action:
GE ES44AC(1).jpg

GE ES44AC(2).jpg


I don't want you to get tired of red n black, so tomorrow I'll throw in some yellow.
Have a great day!
Guy
 

Mcleod

Member
I'm sure most folks who have an interest in the railways are familiar with the Herzog Corporation. Myself, I'm new to railways, and only learned a little about Herzog over the last few months. As it happens, they have had equipment working in the Whitecourt district for most of the winter, and are still in the area here in the spring.
They seem to be involved with rail-tie replacement on the mainline between Whitecourt and Blueridge.
I have taken some photos of the Herzog equipment as they sit idle in the small Whitecourt yard, mostly taken in February, 2020.

Now, I know these are photos of MoW equipment, and there is a sub-forum for that purpose. However, my intent with this thread is to develop a central depository of CN photos in the Whitecourt area, including those that show equipment contracted to CN.

A de-railer placed on the mainline going west to Fox Creek; a safety feature for the workers:
HerzogMoW_Feb2020.jpg

The multi-purpose machines and equipment:
HerzogMoW_Feb2020 (1).jpg

HerzogMoW_Feb2020 (2).jpg

HerzogMoW_Feb2020 (4).jpg

HerzogMoW_Feb2020 (3).jpg

Until tomorrow, have a wonderful day!
Guy
 

Mcleod

Member
It was another cold, overcast day on March 4th when I took these photos of a pair of old SD40-2W locomotives. Both of these units were quietly idling with no one around. I assumed they were left idling due to the temperature being well below zero and the engineer not wanting a hard start-up.
I saw these 40ish year old units sitting there from the mall parking lot across the street, and immediately strolled over to photograph them with the Canon Sure-Shot I always carry in my pocket. The older EMD and Alco diesels are my favorite era locomotives.
Whitecourt quite often has SD-40's sitting in the yard. I'm too inexperienced to know for sure, but, I believe they use them for switching cars for our local big industry. There is a fairly large yard just outside of town to the west. I mean to walk out there one warm day in the spring to photograph all that is there in the yard.

Here are the SD40-2W's. A zebra and an NA paint blotch:
5343-5321.jpg

5321-2.jpg

5321-1.jpg

5321-3.jpg

5343-1.jpg

5343-2.jpg

5343-3.jpg

Have a great day everyone!
Guy
 

Mcleod

Member
I photographed this ES44AC engine on the tail end of an 8km train spotting walk down the hill from my home to the McLeod River rail bridge. With an abundance of inexperience in my new found trains hobby, I did not know this engine was only four months old. So I let my exhaustion win the day, and only took a few quick photographs of the locomotive.
After I got home and looked up the engine on the CN roster, I was sad that I didn't stay there longer, and take a mountain of digital photos of this brand new engine. I won't let that error in judgement happen twice, even if I am exhausted. Now all I have is a couple of crappy photos of a new engine that has long since left town.
CN3903_ES44AC_02-28-2020 (6).jpg

CN3903_ES44AC_02-28-2020 (5).JPG

I discovered through the CN roster, that this ES44AC was built in the GE plant in Ft Worth, Texas, in the fall of 2019. The photos were taken as the engine sat on the Y turn-around west of downtown, February 04, 2020.
 

Mcleod

Member
These photos of SD40's were taken in the small Whitecourt yard on April 20, 2020.
CN 5326 is listed on the CN roster as an SD40-2w, with CN 5386 listed as an SD40-2. I've always thought the 'w' signified 'wide body', but, I could be wrong about that.

The following photo showing both engines is presently my favorite photo of all CN equipment pics I have taken so far. I like how the engines are sitting on the spur turnout curve. When I took the photo, I was standing on top of the rail-spike pile, trying to get some height.
It appears there has been some work done on the cab of this engine; apparent by the odd number boards and the differences in cab sides.
CN 5326_CN 5386 04-20-2020.jpg


SD40-2w, CN 5326
CN 5326_04-20-2020.jpg


SD40-2, CN 5386.
CN 5386_04-20-2020.jpg

Have a great day.
Guy
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Delayed welcome aboard from south of the border. Thanks for the photos. It is great to see someone reviving the Canada section. It will be nice to have a member north of the border who may be able to answer questions about Canadian diesels we may see in the US.

My background: I have lived in Edmonds, WA since 1991 and have been watching and photographing trains passing through town for many years. Many of my photos taken over the years can be seen in my Mile Post 18 thread in the Western US section. We see CN and CP units pass through Edmonds (Mile Posts 17 and 18) on the former Great Northern Scenic Sub mainline to and from Seattle, which is located south (timetable west) of Edmonds.

Looking north (timetable east) from Edmonds, the Bellingham Sub splits off at Everett. Its main line crosses the border at Blaine/Whiterock and winds up in Vancouver. There is branch that splits off at Sedro-Woolley and interchanges on former Northern Pacific trackage with a Canadian road (former BC Hydro, I'm not sure of the current name) at Sumas/Huntingdon. I believe Bellingham Sub trackage is timetable north, helpful info if you are tracking trains via a scanner.

Question for you: I once saw a full wide-bodied CN unit with the famous "Draper Taper" pass through Edmonds on a freight. The photo may still be buried in my MP 18 thread. Are Draper Taper units still in use?
 
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Mcleod

Member
Question for you: I once saw a full wide-bodied CN unit with the famous "Draper Taper" pass through Edmonds on a freight. The photo may still be buried in my MP 18 thread. Are Draper Taper units still in use?
Hello, Bill.
First of all, I must make it clear that I am a new-born in the train spotting industry, and have very little experience with trains. Admittedly, I did not know what Draper Taper was. So I looked it up on rrpicturearchives.net, which I am a member of. I also quickly scanned over a couple of CN general information sites. Now I know what it is, thanks to you leading the way.
As far as I can find out, The Draper Taper body design locomotives are retired from CN. It may be that some were sold to BCOL, who are still using Draper Taper C40-8m's today. I should think that BCOL does travel down your way to Washington state.

Since I'm here, I may as well throw in another photograph of CN Whitecourt, 2020.
You can see almost all of the CN yard in Whitecourt, on the following photo. It shows the mainline going west, that a Whitecourt transit bus is crossing down the tracks; and beyond the bus you can make out the rail bridge crossing the McLeod River. The three turnout spurs can be seen also, with water transport on the left; then flat cars for MoW work; then CN SD40's parked on the right. To the right of that maintenance truck and out of frame, is the CN bunkhouse.
Whitecourt Yard.jpg

And that's the CN Whitecourt yard. Not much infrastructure and not much rail traffic. I like it, though, because they don't bother me when I walk the tracks and take photos.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
As far as I can find out, The Draper Taper body design locomotives are retired from CN. It may be that some were sold to BCOL, who are still using Draper Taper C40-8m's today. I should think that BCOL does travel down your way to Washington state.
Thanks for the quick reply. Now that you mention it, it may very well may have been a BCOL unit. It is hard to recall from my ever aging memory since the BCOL units have been repainted to CN. :mad: 😭

Plus I am too lazy to search through my old photos. ;)
 
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Mcleod

Member
This morning, I needed to pick up some lumber at the local hardware, so I took advantage of the trip to do some train spotting. The Whitecourt CN yard is very easy to just stroll into from any of the nearby parking lots. All hail the small town advantage!
Once again, I discovered a couple of idling locomotives resting on a spur. So I did what any sane person would do, and snapped a few photos:

CN 2155 (C40-8W) leading with CN 5756 (SD751) trailing.

GE C40-8W
C40-8W_05-05-2020(1).jpg

C40-8W_05-05-2020(3).jpg

C40-8W_05-05-2020(2).jpg


EMD SD751
SD751_05-05-2020(1).jpg

SD751_05-05-2020(2).jpg

All it takes is a couple of locomotives to make a work day great!
 




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