CN in Whitecourt, Alberta 2020

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Mcleod

Member
Is that a pile of new spikes beside 2155? it seems like a lot of valuable metal to leave lying in the open.
Yes, Bill, those are brand new spikes. The MoW boys are fixing to change out old rail ties this year, and have laid out piles of the required materials in preparation:
CN RailWork (1).jpg

CN RailWork (2).jpg

I'm hoping that I can secure photos of the work being performed when they start the job. It's just a matter of timing; I believe they can do the work very quickly.
 

Mcleod

Member
May 11, 2020
Today, I took some time to walk into the Whitecourt CN yard for a few photos while I was downtown picking up lumber.
CN 5326 and CN 5386 were back in town and once again parked on the usual short siding. The following photographs are very similar to others posted on the previous page, but, these were taken today. The previous set were taken on April 20, 2020. You might notice that the large pile of new rail spikes is getting used up by the MoW workers who are in the area at this time.

Today, I will focus on CN 5386; an SD40-2:
CN5386_SD40-2W(1) 05-11-2020.jpg

CN5386_SD40-2W(2) 05-11-2020.jpg

CN5386_SD40-2W(3) 05-11-2020.jpg

CN5386_SD40-2W(5) 05-11-2020.jpg

CN5386_SD40-2W(4) 05-11-2020.jpg

Tomorrow, I will focus on CN 5326. I hope you enjoy my photos of our local CN goings-on.
Thanks.
Guy
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
I'm glad the CN did away with those broad diagonal white stripes on the sides of the units. I never did like that scheme. I imagine finding one these days is pretty rare.
 

Mcleod

Member
I'm glad the CN did away with those broad diagonal white stripes on the sides of the units. I never did like that scheme. I imagine finding one these days is pretty rare.
Bill, an earlier zebra striped locomotive will periodically make it's way into the town yard, as this March 4th, 2020 photograph proves. Frankly, I prefer the zebra stripes over the later NA map-blotch scheme. Each to his own, though. Both of these engines are SD40-2W's:
Zebra_NA Blotch.jpg


I promised that I would submit photos of the second engine that was in town yesterday.
These photos are not all that good, or exciting. I'm glad I was able to get them for the record, though. These older engines won't be around for ever.

May 11, 2020; CN 5326 - an EMD SD40-2W.
CN5326_SD40-2W 05-11-2020(1).jpg

CN5326_SD40-2W 05-11-2020(2).jpg

CN5326_SD40-2W 05-11-2020(3).jpg

CN5326_SD40-2W 05-11-2020(4).jpg
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Frankly, I prefer the zebra stripes over the later NA map-blotch scheme.
I like the map-blotch scheme without the map-blotch. Whenever I see the "map", I think the paint has peeled or someone has spray painted graffiti on the side.

Thanks for the photos. I especially enjoy the ones of models unique to Canada, such as the EMD SD40-2W. You are right about getting photos of these older units while you can. Guess how I learned that lesson. 😭
 
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Sirfoldalot

New Member
Going to join in with this ... I just realized today that the "map" is just that? 😱
I have been thinking, like Bill, that someone spilled something, or a fire had occurred.

That's horrible looking! Who came up with that? I digress back to the early jet age of the passenger a/c when the airlines had beautifully designed paint -- then they started going to the huge single letter design -a big W for Western, or just the word Eastern; I could go on, but you get the gist?

Thanks for clearing that up for me - still looks terrible!
 

Mcleod

Member
Going to join in with this ... I just realized today that the "map" is just that? 😱
I have been thinking, like Bill, that someone spilled something, or a fire had occurred.

That's horrible looking! Who came up with that? I digress back to the early jet age of the passenger a/c when the airlines had beautifully designed paint -- then they started going to the huge single letter design -a big W for Western, or just the word Eastern; I could go on, but you get the gist?

Thanks for clearing that up for me - still looks terrible!
Thanks for joining in, Sherrel.
You are right, the CN North America map scheme was absolutely horrible; it looks like paint peeling from any angle. As far as I can find out, the scheme was applied 1992-1995, so it didn't last long.
It does mean, though, that any CN locomotives still carrying that scheme have not been in the paint shop for the past 25yrs. So, I would say a very high grade of paint was used, as this pair of engines still look quite good. That crappy NA map is definitely not paint peeling.

CN 5386 is an EMD SD40-2 that was built in 1973, so it is a 47 year old locomotive. It's original paint scheme was the zebra stripe scheme used in the 1970's and 1980's.
Here is another photo of the locomotive pair, taken at a slightly different angle than the previous pic. I was standing on the deck of a tank car for this higher angle photo:
92-95 scheme.jpg

Bye the way, that is a pulp-mill industry in the background, served by these engines.

edit: My mistake; that is the same photo. Oh well!
 

Mcleod

Member
I worked the summers of 1968-71 in a pulp & paper mill in Lewiston, ID. Very interesting rail traffic but man, what odors. :eek:
BILL -- I remember a pulp/paper mill near some relatives place in Louisiana - You could smell it 20 miles away!
It is true, the older pulp-n-paper mills stink up the neighborhood. Hinton, AB, has one dating from the 1950's that smells like no tomorrow.
We have two here, a glossy paper and a pulp mill. Both are newer technology, and leave hardly no smell at all. They do spit out a-lot of steam, that can cloud us over in the winter. Other than that, they are hardly noticed.
 

Mcleod

Member
Today, I found out why CN 5386 has an off color cabin door and different number boards side to side:
Damaged CN5386.jpg


This engine was involved in a rail accident in August, 1999. Apparently, a defective unsecured railcar ladder dangling on a train passing by on the adjacent track, side-swiped CN 5386. The collision damaged her door, a pair of windows, and the number board. Those damaged items were subsequently replaced during repairs.
I hope the engineer was able to get his boots cleaned out after that ladder hit his engine.

I also found out that this engine began life as Union Pacific 4113. It was purchased by CN in 1994.
This info comes via the CNR SIG.
 

Mcleod

Member
May 20, 2020
A quartet of ES44DC's parked on a short spur in the Whitecourt yard.
This particular spur is too close to the south fence to allow photographs from the sunny side. The shade creating building on the other side of the fence is Home Hardware. Even though I managed a number of photos, locomotive pics are not happy taken from the north side of an engine. As such, I only show a few here.
ES44DC_05-20-2020 (1).jpg

ES44DC_05-20-2020 (2).jpg

ES44DC_05-20-2020 (3).jpg
 

Mcleod

Member
Any idea why that many engines were parked on the spur?
Bill, I don't know why 4 engines were there yesterday. Perhaps an over-night stay in our nice CN bunkhouse has something to do with it.
I went downtown on this very rainy day, and noticed that CN 2271 & 2234 have departed. CN 2272 & 2244 have not moved.
There is a much larger yard just west of town, populated with all types of different rolling stock. I suspect the two missing engines have headed out that way, and then perhaps on toward either Fox Creek or Edson.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Are you able to venture out of town and photograph the mainline? I located Whitecourt on the Alberta provincial map in my AAA Atlas. I would love to see scenic photos taken from a distance of a train winding its way through open prairie with possibly the mountains in the distance.
 

Mcleod

Member
Are you able to venture out of town and photograph the mainline? I located Whitecourt on the Alberta provincial map in my AAA Atlas. I would love to see scenic photos taken from a distance of a train winding its way through open prairie with possibly the mountains in the distance.
Since I've recently taken an interest in trains and in photographing them, I do hope to get out there soon.
Whitecourt is sitting right on an ecological border, with agricultural land to the east and boreal forest to the west. I believe the CN tracks running through here are known as the Sangudo Sub, beginning outside of Edmonton and heading NW through Whitecourt and onto Fox Creek, Alberta.

Time doesn't allow it immediately, but, I do want to train spot in some places. Like the very long Rochfort Bridge wooden trestle east of here.This photo is by an unknown photographer, and not my own. The bridge crosses highway 43 on the left and the Paddle River on the right.
Rochfort Bridge.jpg

I believe there is a spot where the entire trestle can be photographed. The above photo just shows about half of it. Nice to have a freight come over it though.
Then there are spots to the west through the boreal forest, like the Athabasca River crossing.

One nice thing about Whitecourt is that we don't get any of those boring, long double stack container feights. We get boxcar, flatcar, and open hopper freights, and of course the tankers.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Whitecourt is sitting right on an ecological border, with agricultural land to the east and boreal forest to the west........
..... One nice thing about Whitecourt is that we don't get any of those boring, long double stack container feights. We get boxcar, flatcar, and open hopper freights, and of course the tankers.
Wow! Sounds like a formula for very interesting and varied photography in terms of both scenery and trains. Good luck pursuing your newly discovered facet of this hobby.

Except for coal trains and oil tankers, I too prefer the "old school" freights that you describe. The ones here have an interesting variety of cars and motive power. Most are locals and transfer freights between various yards in the region and use older motive power.

Some are mainline freights that originate in Canada. They have the latest motive motive power with a large number of CP and CN cars in the consists as well as bulk head flats carrying lumber wrapped in plastic bearing logos of Canadian forest product companies.
 




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