Canadian National

Daily Post: Canadian National at Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Southbound CN Stacks work the old Soo Line, November 8, 2013.

Canadian National

CN’s Q11651-04 at Waukesha at 10:50 am on November 8, 2013. I exposed this photo using my Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens. To gain a bit of elevation, I stood on Chris Guss’s Toyota 4Runner that is specially equipped with a roof rack for photography.

Between July 1994 and October 1996, I lived within walking distance of the former Soo Line station at Waukesha, Wisconsin.

At that time the railroad was owned and operated by Ed Burkhardt’s Wisconsin Central Limited (a 1980s regional carved from the old Soo Line after Soo Line merged with the largely parallel Milwaukee Road)

I’ve long since moved to new horizons and in the meantime, the ever-expanding Canadian National empire assimilated the WCL. The line through Waukesha that had once been part of the Canadian Pacific family is now a CN route.

Today’s CN has a very different operating style than that of WCL in mid-1990s.

Where WCL ran a tightly scheduled railroad with frequent but relatively short freights connecting Shops Yard at North Fond du Lac with various Chicago-land terminals, CN leans toward enormous rolling land-barges, many of which now take an Elgin, Joliet & Eastern routing around Chicago to reach the former Illinois Central or other connections.

Like the WCL, EJ&E and IC are now part of the CN empire.

On November 8, 2013, Chris Guss, Pat Yough and I photographed CN’s southward intermodal train symbol Q11651-04 led by SD70M-2 8800 passing the old Waukesha Soo Line station. At the back of the train was a modern General Electric working as a ‘distributed power unit’ (a radio-controlled remote locomotive controlled from the head-end).

This is a big change from the pairs of SD45 leading strings of 50 foot box cars or Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range ore jennies that I regularly saw in the 1990s. And, by the way, DM&IR is also another of CN’s railroads.

Vertical view at Waukesha.
Vertical view at Waukesha. CN rolls right along and passes through the town much faster than WC did in the mid-1990s.
CN’s Q11651-04 at Waukesha at 10:50 am on November 8, 2013. I exposed this photo using my Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens. To gain a bit of elevation, I stood on Chris Guss’s Toyota Front Runner that is specially equipped with a roof rack for photography.
The DPU at the back of Q11651-04 crosses East Broadway in Waukesha. Chris Guss is in position on the roof of his Toyota. Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens

For a glimpse to how things looked in the 1990s.

take a look at yesterday’s post: Wisconsin Central, Byron, Wisconsin, 1994.

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