This reminds me of when I worked on the railroad at Albert Canyon, B.C. in the late 70’s. One winter there was a derailment of about 8 grain cars near a switch and tons of grain spilled. In the spring grass started growing and the area began to smell bad. This seems like such a nice little organized pile compared to that, like a deposit of some kind, dropped off as a reminder of the railroad’s glory days, when people looked at the tracks and tried to imagine how the grain came from thousands of miles away.

6 responses to “Grain

  1. In the Rockies (esp. Banff and Yoho parks), special vacuum railcars suck up piles of grain like this in an effort to keep wildlife off the tracks. I wasn’t aware that the piles were so neat and tidy though, perhaps it comes out when they’re coupling/decoupling cars in the shunting yard.

  2. Interesting about the vacuum cars. Large animals can potentially derail a train, and it s very expensive in the mountain country to get the main line back up or have it down for any length of time.l It does make you wonder if small impacts cause a bit of grain to drip out and if, for some reason, they are actually designed that way, but that would mean potentially losing a lot of grain on the whole. That is a backtrack at Turcot, so chances are very good that the cars were dropped off there then picked up as a unit some time later, happens often.

  3. The track bed looks to be in fairly good shape, but the rails are rusty. I suspect that there is not very much traffic along this line. Growing up in Montreal West, I recall the tracks were always shiny from use. When there was a strike, and for a while the trains stopped, we could see how quickly they’d begin to rust.

  4. It’s interesting to note how little use we make of trains in this vast country of ours. My early memories of rides the rails with my grandpa, who was a CNR engineer are dear to me. I can hear the sound of wheels on rails even today.

  5. My brother and I used to walk into the Great Northern tunnel at Scenic, Washington and were always surprised at all the mice and rats that lived in the tunnel. I believe it was because of the grain that fell out of gondolas full of grain from eastern Washington that was heading for the seaport of Seattle. This was around 1958. They have probably tightened up the leakage by now. 🙂

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