Great Western Railway (Saskatchewan)

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For other articles of the same name, see Great Western Railway (disambiguation).
Great Western Railway
Reporting mark GWRS
Locale southwestern Saskatchewan
Dates of operation 1999–
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Shaunavon, Saskatchewan

The Great Western Railway (reporting mark GWRS) is a Canadian short line railway company operating on former Canadian Pacific Railway trackage in southwest Saskatchewan.[1] GWR is the operating company whereas Westcan Rail Saskatchewan Ltd. is the owner of the track and structures. WRS was owned by WestCan Rail of Abbotsford, British Columbia, a railway contracting and maintenance company.

In 2004 the railway was purchased by local investors from the area of Saskatchewan it serves. It is now locally owned and operated. Great Western Railway continues to serve many producer loading sites along their entire railnetwork, but also provide railcar storage for Class I railways and railcare companies.

The Great Western Railway line network consists of 471 km, when combined with the Fife Lake Railway (97 km) and Red Coat Road and Rail (114 km) the resulting network is 682 km.[2]

A trio of GWRS M420s idling outside of the Shaunavon shops.
Great Western Railway (Saskatchewan)
Great Western Railway
Red Coat Road and Rail
Fife Lake Railway
CPR trackage
others

former line to Weyburn
Pangman
Ogema
Glasnevin
Horizon
Viceroy
Verwood
Readlyn
Willows
Poplar River Power Station
Poplar River Coal Mine
Coronach
Fife Lake
Constance
Rockglen
Southern Rails Cooperative
Colony subdivision
Lisieux
Scout Lake
Assiniboia
former Wood Mountain Sub
Limerick
Melaval
LaFleche
Woodrow
Meyronne
Glenbain
Esme
Vanguard
Pambrun
Neville
Blumenhof
Kincaid
Hazenmore
Aneroid
Ponteix
Cadillac
Admiral
former line to Val Marie
Bracken
Instow
Shaunavon
Climax
Frontier
Dollard
Eastend
Claydon
Robsart
Consul
Notukeu Jct
former line to Stirling, AB

Engine Roster[edit]

Great Western Railway had humble beginnings hauling hopper cars of grain for small producer loading sites, but as Great Western Railway gradually gained trackage rights over Red Coat Road & Rail and Fife Lake Railway, the railway required more motive power to provide sufficient customer service for their new customers. Up until 2011, Great Western Railway utilized an all MLW M420 roster; however with the increased maintenance cost of operating Montreal Locomotive Works locomotives, Great Western Railway decided to purchase their first General Electric units. In March 2011 it was announced Great Western Railway would receive two former Burlington Northern Santa Fe GE B40-8Ws for the original Great Western route.[3] The shorter branch lines that are owned by Red Coat Road & Rail and Fife Lake Railway will continue to utilize three M420s, while GWRS will sell off two of their MLW locomotives.

Unit Model Built Acquired Retired Status Image
563 B40-8W [4] N/A 2011 N/A Active Ex-BNSF. B40-8WMooseJaw386.JPG
575 B40-8W [5] N/A 2011 N/A Active
2000 M420 1973 2000 [6] N/A Active Day 3 234.JPG
2001 M420 1973 2001 [7] N/A Active Day 3 335.JPG
2002 M420R 1974 2002 [8] N/A Repairs, not operational Final day Day 4 020.JPG
2003 M420 1977 2008 [9][10] N/A Active Ex-Canadian National.
2004 M420 1976 2008 [11]

[12]

N/A Not in Service - Water leaking issues. Ex-Canadian National.
4062 B23-7 1979 2013 N/A Active
4064 B23-7 1979 2013 N/A Active

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY". Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan University of Regina. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  2. ^ Saskatchewan Railway Network 2010
  3. ^ "Canadian Railway Observations March 2011". 
  4. ^ "Canadian Railway Observations March 2011". 
  5. ^ "Canadian Railway Observations March 2011". 
  6. ^ Canadian Trackside Guide 2011, GWRS roster. 
  7. ^ Canadian Trackside Guide 2011, GWRS roster. 
  8. ^ Canadian Trackside Guide 2011, GWRS roster. 
  9. ^ Canadian Trackside Guide 2011, GWRS roster. 
  10. ^ "Great Western Railway Official Website". Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  11. ^ "Great Western Railway Official Website". Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  12. ^ Canadian Trackside Guide 2011, GWRS roster. 

External links[edit]