The two McConnell grain elevators are two of the few buildings remaining in the ghost town of McConnell, Manitoba.
McConnell was on the CN Rapid City subdivision. This line was abandoned in 1978 and the last train passed through McConnell on December 16, 1978 with GMD1 CN 1027 as the lead locomotive.
These elevators are former Manitoba Pool grain elevators. There is an “A” and “B” elevator.
Pool “A” Elevator
The “A” elevator was built on or before 1928 and served the community for fifty years until it was closed on December 1, 1978.
This elevator was renovated in 1968 at a cost of $45,000. The elevator received a new driveway and office, and the elevator received a 40-ton platform scale and a high capacity grain cleaner.
This elevator appears to be in fair condition.
Pool “B” Elevator
The Manitoba Pool “B” grain elevator in McConnell appears to be in rough shape. The elevator no longer has a driveway and portions of the machinery appear to be exposed to the elements. The elevator is in a farmer’s pasture now.
It’s possible that the “B” elevator is a former Bawlf elevator.
The first two grain elevators in McConnell were privately built and sold to elevator companies. The first was built by J.H. McConnell and sold to the Canadian Elevator Company. The second was built by A.E. Arnold and sold to the Bawlf Company.
The Carberry grain elevator is a grain-handling facility operated by ADM, formerly known as Archers Daniel Midland. This facility consists of two large bins, elevating machinery, and a large loading/unloading building. It has a capacity of 15,000 tonnes of grain.
The Beulah grain elevator is a former Manitoba Pool grain elevator, built in 1922 and operated by the Pool until the mid 1970s when the CN Rapid City rail subdivision was abandoned.
This elevator was owned by a local farmer’s cooperative but it does not appear to have been used in the past few years.
The first official train on the Canadian Northern line from Hallboro to Beulah was on July 1, 1911. Beulah received passenger service by a mixed train until 1959, when the coach attached to the wayfeight was discontinued. From that time Beulah received rail service once a week.
The Birtle grain elevator is a former Manitoba Pool elevator and annex, now privately owned. This facility is located on the CP Bredenbury subdivision and has rail service. The elevator and annex have a capacity of 3,140 tonnes of grain.
There are two Binscarth grain elevators, one owned by Viterra and one owned by Paterson. There is also a grain handling facility, Marquette Grain, which is not in an elevator.
There was a Manitoba Pool grain elevator in Binscarth (capacity 2,460 tonnes) until about 1999, and a UGG grain elevator as well.
Viterra Grain Elevator
The Viterra grain elevator is located at the end of a rail spur north of Binscarth. This is the remnant of the CP Russell subdivision.
The elevator is a steel elevator with attached bins, with a total capacity of 8,500 tonnes.
Paterson Grain Elevator
The Paterson grain elevator in Binscarth is on the CP Bredenbury subdivision. It has a capacity of 21,060 tonnes of grain. This large inland terminal was completed around 1995 and rendered obsolete the Paterson elevators in Inglis.
There is a small grain handling facility on the CP main line, Marquette Grain, which apparently loads producer cars.
The Russell grain elevator is a former Manitoba Pool elevator located on the Trans-Canada trail. This elevator has a capacity of 4,760 tonnes and is owned by Fairfield Land and Cattle.
Other grain elevators in Russell were:
Northern, built 1902-1904 period; served by CP
Imperial, built 1902-1904 period; served by CP; burned
Farmers, built 1902, 40,000 bushels capacity; purchased by UGG in 1917; served by CP
UGG, built 1965; served by CP
Lake of the Woods; served by CP
Western Canada Flour Mills Company, built 1908; purchased by Manitoba Pool in 1953 and had annex added; served by CN
Railways in Russell
At one time, the town of Russell was served by both CN and CP.
The CP Russell subdivision ran from Binscarth to Inglis, with Russell being roughly in the middle of the subdivision and crossing over the CN line.
The CN Rossburn subdivision ended very close to the grain elevator, where it joined with the CN Tonkin subdivision. Russell was a CN division point and had a station, roundhouse (destroyed by fire in 1928) and a water tank.