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Canadian Railroads > Monochrome Monday - Tight Times at Clover Bar

Date: 10/05/20 15:46
Monochrome Monday - Tight Times at Clover Bar
Author: feclark

On Friday September 25, a couple of friends and I were on the Wainwright Sub (see last Wednesday for the post). Cloud came in around the middle of the afternoon, and we turned our attention to a change of venue. From the RTC's chatter, we knew there was a 108 due out of Edmonton, and also a 316 to follow as soon as 108 cleared. She (the RTC; don't know who she is, but she really communicates with crews, and you can learn a lot about what's happening) read out a string of 5 meets that 108 would manage on the way to Wainwright, but with the cloud, plus earlier sunsets these days, we decided to work back into town, nervous the whole time we'd miss 108. Successive locations just didn't sing, from the crossing with Highway 630 west of Lindbrook, to Uncas, to Range Road 224 (way too scary a road bridge, with too much traffic and no place to go, unlike Geoff's Maritime overpass), to Range Road 225 (treed and turned to garbage), so finally to Clover Bar Road on the east side of the yard. We barely made it as 108 made its pull, and I had switched to monochrome mode by then.
1. Q108 didn't look like it at the head end; there was a long cut of mixed freight behind 2262 and 2533, pulling at 1730. The part that had us worried was that 316 was also in motion on the south track/siding, and we were worried we'd lose the front end of it. So here's the tail of 108 and the head end of 316.
2. Under cover of the consist of 108, a Barrel Taxi van came up on the south side, let off a crew, and did a 3-point turn to head south again on Clover Bar Road. Crew inside, and 108 sufficiently along the Wainwright, the signals permitted 316 to begin its eastward trek, at 1747, behind 3027 and 3090. The RTC was not very encouraging, telling the crew she'd move it as far east as she could before their hours expired, Wainwright unlikely to be reached.
3. A fortuitous placement of a short cut of gons allowed for this different view showing the siding's set of signals as well.

Date: 10/06/20 17:53
Re: Monochrome Monday - Tight Times at Clover Bar
Author: cn6218

Fred, I'm trying to relate to this location on Google Maps/Earth.  Is Clover Bar Rd. the same as Range Road 231?

If so it looks like maybe you were right at the crossing for these shots.  I can see milepost 256, which means the end of the siding is Bremner.  The TSG calls it double track between Bremner and Bretville Jct., perhaps explaining why there is a tall signal at the end of the siding rather than just a dwarf.  Does it have 3 aspects, allowing a medium or limited speed onto the single track, or just slow?  And the other signal we can see has only two aspects, yet the lower one appears to be able to indicate more than just red, implying that there is a slow speed route associated with the main line.  However, I don't see anything that would correspond to that on Google Earth.

My last visit to Edmonton was in 2008, and I didn't get that far east, only to Bretville Jct.  Is the crossing with CP accessible?  Any interesting action there?


Date: 10/06/20 22:52
Re: Monochrome Monday - Tight Times at Clover Bar
Author: feclark

Geoff, you've caught me out on a few things which I never updated in my mind. First, the simple thing is that indeed Range Road 231 is what it is north of the Yellowhead, which this grade crossing is, and it's Clover Bar Road south of the Yellowhead. My sloppiness there. I can't even remember exactly when the last time was I was up at this location, but it was K64, and several years before the end of that. So this was new to me. I have been remiss in not reading my TSG lately, thinking I knew the Wainwright, but the Bremner thing now makes sense to me. When I was fairly new to Edmonton, a buddy took me out to Bremner, which was a siding whose east switch was west of Range Road 225 (single track trestle over that), and whose west switch I never saw, but it had to be east of the single track overpass of the Yellowhead Highway. I can verify from slides that was intact into 1995. By April 2003, the rails were gone but the ties still in place for the siding, which was on the north side of the main. By July 2004, those ties were pulled and in piles, since removed.
Move ahead to the last couple of years, and in that vicinity, I heard crews calling Bremner again, which surprised me. I thought it was gone. So it looks as though they made double track from Bretville Junction through Clover Bar yard and right out just across Range Road 231. Then it has to end; Yellowhead overpass. On Google satellite view, you can make out the ballast for the south track ending just past 231, and you can also see the ROW ballast for the old Bremner, just west of Range Road 225. So now I understand how Bremner was reconstituted. I was also misled by EB trains at Bretville calling something to stop Clover Bar, take siding. So I assumed the whole length was Clover Bar. Oops.
One of my companions on this day has a son who used to work with CN signals department, and apparently the crossing with CP is armed with cameras and such, definitely no trespassing, so I've never had a shot of it. A distant look with TJ once showed it to be an awkward location regardless.
As for the signals, this is where I hooped myself by shooting monochrome. One of the signals controlling the siding was flashing, and my memory says it was solid red upper light, flashing yellow lower light. I'm hopeless at remembering the names of the various signal aspects, but in the TSG that looks like it would be a Diverging to Stop (can't see if it's got the DV plate on the mast, and I can't remember), and that would make sense because it was heading out on the tail of #108. But wouldn't that mean it would be the middle lens that would be flashing yellow, but it's clearly the lower lens that is lit. Anyway, sorry I can't be more informative. I hope this clears some of your questions, and maybe someone more on the ball can help out with the gaps or errors.

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