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Churchill in January, a New Definition for Cold

Phil Mason

The 509 miles journey from Winnipeg to Churchill involved two nights and a day of travel in January 1976. Train 93 got into Churchill at 0900 and headed south at 1900 as 92. Our train also served Thompson both ways. The whole journey from Portage la Prairie to Churchill was in a blizzard, so I didn't detrain anywhere. It was nice travelling in a sleeper. I don't remember what the dining arrangement was, probably a cafe-lounge. Also ready to leave after our train tied down for the day was the Churchill-Waboden mixed train.

I braved the blizzard at Churchill to photograph a flanger and some ancient outfit cars in the yard. I then wandered down to the port, where a pair of NHB Plymouth locomotives were gradually being buried in snow. Churchill had a little nest of Manitoba Hydro mobile power units, built by GMD and in factory paint, happily roaring away at throttle 8 (EMD 567 prime movers).

9150 with the Winnipeg train at servicing facility. Waboden Mixed on next track in Churchill.

9150 with train at servicing facility in Churchill.

View of both trains from the other end at the station. Looks like the passenger train pulled up after passengers got off and the trainman forgot the stepbox! An ancient combine is all the passenger accommodation on the mixed train.

56385 ancient wooden flanger.

Can't imagine it being warm inside these ancient wooden cars left in the wide open. That fuel drum couldn't hold enough oil.

Manitoba Hydro power plant made up of these GMD built 1000 KW mobile units that apparently never moved!

National Harbours Board Churchill JLB-2 Plymouths 1 & 2 (3488, 3489 6/1930) sitting out the long winter not even protected inside a building. Built new for Department of Railways and Canals (later, NHB, then, Ports Canada, now OmniTRAX's Hudson Bay Port) these dinky engines had just been re-engined in 1975 with Ford engines.
They are still in existance in 2012!

Our southbound train made the short westbound diversion to Thompson MB, a mining community.


A Brief History of the Hudson Bay Railway


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