The first profile will be that of the Stewart Southern Railway (SSR) which operates 132 km over the former Canadian Pacific Tyvan Subdivision.
|GMTX 2219, and 2222 head south into Stoughton, May 2, 2015|
Built in 1904, the Tyvan Sub was at one point the longest stretch of straight railway track in the world. It is now second only to a stretch of track in Australia
Prior to the purchase (not sure if this has changed since), the last major upgrade to the subdivision was in the 1980's when the line had 100 pound rail installed. Today it is still jointed track from start to finish. And as you can tell in the below video, leads to some rocky trains.
|MOW equipment working on the SSR in May 2015|
Originally, the main commodity to be shipped on the Stewart Southern was grain, with potential for other customers to come on-line in the future. That didn't take long, as the oil sector growth in Stoughton, and surrounding areas grew quickly in the years following start-up.
In 2012, the Stoughton Oil Trans-loading facility opened, and began shipping by rail via the Stewart Southern. The oil is loaded into rail cars in Stoughton, shipped north-west to Regina, interchanged to CP, and then onto the final destination from there. I've heard that CP runs some of this oil east over the top of the Great Lakes on trains 550 (formerly 608), and returns them on 551 (formerly 609).
|SSR power sits idle at the Stoughton Oil trans-loading facility.|
SSR is also home to some older power. SSR 1010, 4255, and 1009. These three units are old GE B23-7s. One of which still sports a Santa Fe paint scheme. Below they are seen sitting on the wye at Stoughton, which is the location of the former junction between Canadian Pacific's Tyvan, and the Kisbey Subs.
I have yet to see these units in action. Not sure if they do see any any more.
In May I did a quick trip from Stoughton to Francis on the SSR, snapping a few pictures of the elevators along the way.
|Cars parked in Creelman. A cloud decided to pop up as I pulled in here for a shot.|
|Fillmore Seeds Inc. at Fillmore, SK|
|Another shot at Fillmore.|
|And finally the elevator at Francis|
At just about every crossing, Stewart Southern likes to remind drivers that any time is train time,
Before our parting remarks, an interesting read from Pipeline News Suggested that perhaps Stoughton could one day be connected to Northgate, SK where Ceres Global Ag. is in the process of building a large trans-load facility for both grain products, and oil. The site is also connected directly to the BNSF for easy access to the U.S. The main reason the question is asked is because Ceres holds a 25 percent stake in the Stewart Southern. I may have misread the article, but they seem to think that the old right of way runs directly from Northgate to Stoughton, but there is a gap of about 21 miles between the former Kisby Sub trackage south of Stoughton, and the former Northgate Spur at Lampman. I have shown this in the picture below. You can read the story here.
That's it for the Stewart Southern Railway for now, but expect to see more on them in the future, as they are only a 30 minute drive from Weyburn.
The Western Producer