Ops Session: CePR Switching

A few hours after CN dropped three cars off at the interchange, the Central Prairie Railway fired up their ex CP C424 locomotive to retrieve the cars and do some switching.

Old reliable 4242 was chugging away outside the engine house.

Model train locomotive
Ready to roll

The crew boarded the locomotive and, after performing a few checks and getting their paperwork in order, they rolled through the yard to the interchange track shared with CN.

Time to pull

The first order of business was to pull the cars out of the interchange track into the CePR yard, then sort them.

The crew pulled into the siding track. The locomotive was on the wrong end of the consist, so they ran 4242 around on the main line.

Soon 4242 was ready to push. Since the “reefer” (refrigerated boxcar) was on the tail end, it was a no-brainer to shove that into the McCain facility first before dealing with the two grain cars.

McCain has a two track facility just outside the CePR yard, on the outskirts of town. One track receives tank cars with vegetable oil for the fryers, and the other track receives refrigerated boxcars. The boxcars are loaded with frozen goodies to be shipped around the continent.

Spotting the MTY

NIRX 232001,lettered for CN, was an empty refrigerated boxcar. The CePR crew spotted it, set the handbrake, then returned to the yard to spot the two grain cars at the UGG elevator.

They had to lift the two loaded grain cars already at the UGG grain elevator, so they left the empty grain cars on and “reached” into the elevator track to get the loaded cars.

One of the loaded cars was a CNWX car and the other was CPWX 605666. This complicated things a bit, since the CNWX cars are managed by CN and usually stay on CN lines, while the CPWX cars are managed by CP. Both car series are owned by the federal government, but the feds don’t maintain them.

The yellow CNWX car was placed on the passing track, while the CPWX car was placed on storage track 1 with the other CP-bound traffic.

The CePR crew then spotted the two empty Saskatchewan SKNX grain cars at the UGG elevator.

The last bit of business was to put the cars destined for CN in the interchange track. There were only two cars this time – the loaded CNWX grain car pulled from UGG, and an empty log car, CN 615357.

The CePR crew came for the CN car to pull it out, add it to the CNWX grain car, and push them both into the CN interchange track.

They pushed the two CN-bound cars into the interchange track and secured them, then headed back to the engine house for lunch.

Time for a well-deserved break.

Thanks for reading!