This is the third post in an occasional series that explores the stories behind standalone photos that would otherwise end up in the land of the misfit photographs. You can read the first in this series here, and the second in the series here.
Everything about this shot speaks of a time when railways were an altogether different animal. I took this photograph June 21, 2014 when I came up empty trying to capture CN's Sunday morning local on the Smiths Falls Subdivision. This car was spotted at the SynAgri feed mill in the rural four corners called Twin Elm.
The mill is located at the end of a dead-end road. It's typical of the trackside industries that are still common trackside, although many seem to be fading away. The building was not built for anything other to perform a function. The sun-bleached plywood annex behind this covered hopper speaks to the building's utility.
The hopper itself also speaks to another time. The car still bears its Soo Line logo and its markings, although the car is in danger of losing what's left of its identity thanks to taggers. In a way, this shot could have been taken twenty or even thirty years ago and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, but for the graffiti.
The Twin Elm area is a small speck on the map, with an old school house, a paving company and a few farm houses. You can find this hamlet while travelling Old Richmond Road on the way to Richmond. You can see from the map below where the photo was taken.
CN still serves this mill, although I have yet to see CN 589 service this mill in the times I have caught CN 589. But on a sunny summer day, it's a good spot to snap a shot of something that is quickly fading from the railway landscape.