Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thunder Bay and Sudbury, Ontario September-October 1985

I departed Regina on September 29, 1985 on VIA No 2 heading east, and arrived in Thunder Bay for a stop-over. There was a derailment of 35 cars of a CP freight west of Thunder Bay, so the following day's No 2 passengers were bussed to Thunder Bay, and VIA No 1's consist was turned to head east October 1 as No 2. We boarded about 2200 hours once the bussed passengers arrived, but earlier in the day, the consist was parked at the CP station: 6312 - 6618 - 6787 - 9656 - 100 - 3207 - 503 - 5716 - Thompson Manor - Christie Manor - Burton Manor - Emerald - Englee - Evelyn - Tweedsmuir Park.

Yes, that third unit is an MLW. They did occasionally operate west of Toronto. Switching the grain terminals were CP 8122, 1694, 1212, 1573, and 8110.

Upon arrival in Sudbury the next morning, I had time to walk over to CP Rail's shop. There I found an interesting collection of motive power, cars for repair and snow removal equipment.
Front and rear views of single-track plow 401005:

Double-track plow 400823 was coupled to two wood-chip service boxcars, with 31550 closest and three ore cars, including 376217 in the Canadian Pacific script scheme. Plows 401018 and 400777 were lettered CP Rail and spreader 402851 was also present.

Power on hand included switchers 7099, 6595 and 6588, plus 7090, 6594, Centuries 4704 and 4709, and C-424's 4214 and 4218, coupled to Conrail lease unit 7765. CP Rail was leasing 25 Conrail units and some Chessie System units in late 1985. The 6500's were being retired, so it's likely that some of these old switchers were very close to the end of their careers.


Canadian Train Geek said...

Nice report! Good to read about 4214, I've seen it in action on the New Brunswick East Coast Railway several times.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve, good to hear that 4214 still soldiers on. Old MLW's never die...except for CN's anyway.