November
11

After another short night in bed we were up at 06:00 on Wednesday, Harold cooked us breakfast, and it was back down to the McNeill spur to give the plant another switch, pulling the loads, and spotting the empties. With this work done it this time to assemble our train for a trip to Leader, to run to Leader we once again referred to our Burstall Subdivision Footnotes that states “Engine arriving Burstall on No. 71 must retain all train orders and may assume schedule of No. 73 of the following day and leave Burstall without the clearance”. At Burstall there is an elevator track with the capacity of 2886 feet, we’re not concerned with any work there, as this is looked after by the grain train that runs through the night to service the elevators at all the small communities along the subdivision. We do have a siding that holds 2038 feet that works out to about 40 50 foot cars; we store our extra empty potash hoppers, along with the 10 loads that we brought over last night. We take five loads of potash and attach them to our caboose and shove down past the wye switch at McNeill and go to the Plant to start assembling all the loads of propane and butane we have switched out since Monday, it totals up to 80 cars, 78 loads, and a couple of bad order empties that have to go to Calgary for repairs. With the 85 cars assembled we pull up to Burstall and lift the remaining 5 loads of potash from the siding on the head end. This is a marshalling precaution, as the CS 44 rulebook says, loaded cars of LPG must not be handled in a train within five cars of the locomotive consist, or a occupied caboose. We complete our brake test, and train inspection and take a coffee break before departing for Leader. Our train with 80 LPG tank cars that are 65 feet long and 10 50 foot hoppers of potash is 5700 feet in length. In the meantime the grain train or a crew from the Maple Creek freight pool would be called out of Swift Current for a Leader turn Wednesday morning, and would run under the schedule of forth class No. 75 Westward. They would bring us a trainload of much-needed LPG empties, and other potash hoppers for Ingebright Lake; they would take our train of loaded LPG, and potash back to Swift Current. We would arrive at Leader before the turn would show up, and working in yard limits we would have time to put our train away into the two siding tracks in the yard there they held 3000, and 2600 feet and would hold most of our train, any that didn’t fit we would put towards the elevator track on the East end. We would turn our power leaving the caboose on the North leg of the Wye and have our lunch while we waited for the turn from Swift Current to arrive. When No. 75 arrived at Leader we would get them to stop short of the South leg of the Wye cut streets off their power and run westward up the main, I would line South Wye and bring our power ahead and couple onto No. 75′s train, and cut in the air, when we had sufficient air on the tail end the crew would let us know and we would pull the train southward on Burstall Subdivision, as we got the tail end closer to the South Wye switch, the tail end crew on the Leader turn would cut off their own caboose on the fly, and our tail end crew would tell us when to stop and we would couple up to our caboose, do a Number 2 brake test (seeing that the air brakes on the caboose apply and release okay, and we proceed back to burst all using our train orders and assuming the schedule of No. 70 with new train orders we had received from the operator at Leader. With us out of their way the Leader turn would take their caboose and tie it on to West end of the No. 1 siding, they would then run their power down to the East end and double over from the elevator track to the No. 2 siding, and double to the rest of their train, do their brake test, get their orders and precede back to Swift Current running as an Extra East.

We arrived back at Burstall about 17:00 we spent about an hour switching out our train setting out the empty potash hoppers into the siding, and getting the LPG cars lined up for the next spot at McNeill, we had our supper break, then went down to give McNeill another full spot of empties and tied up for the evening around 22:00. 16 hours on duty another long day.

Some photos, one showing a loaded Canpotex potash hopper these are like the ones we spotted at the Ingebright Lake spur south of Fox Valley, the others show some LPG tank cars for loading butane and propane, the one view shows a LPG spotted at a small loading spur.
Loaded potash hopper
LPG tank car
LPG tank cars being loaded

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