Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Visit to CN's Symington Yard

As noted before on this blog, Winnipeg is a great railway town. Both of Canada’s transcontinental railways travel through the city—at one point, just a few hundred yards from each other as they cross the Red River.

Both railways have major yards in Winnipeg. The CPR yard is located downtown, where it has been since the 1880s, and is once again the subject of debate in the media about whether it should be moved. The CN Symington yard is located outside the city.

Symington yard receives trains from Rivers Sub to the west, Reddit Sub to the east, and the Sprague Sub to the southeast (towards the U.S.). Built in 1962, it replaced three other yards in the city, including the East Yards, now the location of a popular tourist destination called The Forks.

Although Symington, like most yards, is off limits to railfans, it is quite easy to see from public roads. A bridge crosses over the Sprague Sub and the yard’s southern leads, providing great views of the hump’s action—as seen in the photos on this page, taken earlier this summer when I visited the yard.

For more about Symington yard, check out Trackside Treasure Symington Yard Part 1 and Part 2.


  1. Hi John,

    Thanks for the update on Symington, including the newer and older units, plus the links to the Symington posts on my blog.

    Rest assured I have a couple more posts about Winnipeg and area that are almost ready to be posted. Most of my recent spare time has instead been spent on my second VIA book, a large part of which is now at the printer.

    Interesting M-O-W train with that blue tank car in your last photo - looks like a tie pickup train.

    Thanks for sharing,

  2. I was just at Symington this morning looking for the CN passenger train! It was there on the north side of the yard, but not in a very photogenic place.

    I think you have the Sprague and Redditt sub mixed up. The Redditt heads due east and the Sprague goes southeast and dips through the USA.

  3. Indeed, Steve, I did mix them up. Change now made! Thanks.