Thursday, May 6, 2010

CN Buys UP

Once in a great while, CN buys second-hand locomotives coming off lease from another Class 1. In this case Union Pacific-twice. Sixteen years apart. CN is currently taking delivery of 35 ex-UP exx-C&NW C41-8's which are to be numbered in the CN 2100-series. In 1994, CN bought 24 ex-UP exx-MP SD40-2's which were upgraded and renumbered into the 5300-series. Formerly numbered 4090-4104, 4106-4114, the units were hastily repatched with a first digit '6' to avoid CN's 4100-series GP9RM's. 6109 was at Belleville on March 16/95 (above). 6098 was near the roundhouse in Belleville on May 7/94 along with 4120, 3536, 9561, 2320 and 5311. Check out that classic CN scheme clerestory-roof OCS baggage car:

Look UP...look way UP. The units' first stop was at GTW's Battle Creek shops where cab appliances were removed. In late April the units began moving towards AMF's Pointe St Charles facility. Class GF-30v 5364-5377 received Positive Traction Control, and 5378-5381 received PTC plus dynamic brakes. Class GF-30w 5382-5387 had Woodward CLC Microprocessors and dynamic brakes installed. Until modified, the now-CN units operated in freight service, trail-only. On May 7/94, 6109 trails 9613-2038 arriving at Belleville on a westbound:
Surprisingly, 2038 continued west beyond Winnipeg, which was generally unusual for MLW's. Seemingly lost, the Century passed through Edmonton on May 12, eventually reaching Vancouver before returning east.
UP hill and down dale. On June 11, an eastbound's head-end with 9659-6104 is starting uphill at Mi 184 Kingston Sub, with the tail-end passing through Benjamin's Cut.
Ahoy Uncle Pete! Rideau Canal lockmaster waves to a westbound passing over the Rideau Canal Waterway at Kingston Mills Locks on July 8/94. 9555-6090-9526 are hauling 50 cars. The ex-UP units received the CN North America paint scheme which had been introduced in mid-1992. Other trains spotted with ex-UP SD's:

May 11/94 WB: 5315-6112.
May 29/94 WB: 9421-6112.
April 13/95 : 9449-6096-LMS 717.
June 2/95 EB: 2117-6103.
UP where we belong. March 16/95 finds 9516-6109 hauling some empty centre-beam bulkheads into Belleville station for a crew change while passengers await their VIA trains. A quick CN wet-noodle logo adorned the nose of each unit and the large Union Pacific red lettering on the long hood was covered by yellow paint.
AMF was working on other SD's for CN at the same time, outshopping SD40u's 6000-6028. These flat-faced units received new cab front walls with improved soundproofing and door/window seals. SD40u's also wore the CN North America scheme. 6002-5039 ease up to another westbound freight with 3540-2327 awaiting crew change at Belleville station on June 4/94:
CN's previous 2100-series were Draper Taper HR616's 2100-2119. Unique full-width hood units with a notch to promote visibility from the rear cab windows. Also in 1994, 6005-2119 look like Pennsy Baldwin Centipedes with all those spare wheels, as they soak up the late-day September sun at Belleville:
Class unit 2100 with one of many EMD lease units CN needed to power its trains, in this case ex-Conrail GP-38 EMDX 775. CP was also leasing large fleets of locomotives at this time. The pair are arriving Belleville yard from the east on March 16/95:
The units entered AMF's facility in random UP order in groups of two or three, and emerged in (mostly but not respectively) CN numerical order. Some were retired as early as 2007.
5364(6095), 5365(6100) Sept/94.
5366(6107), 5378(6114) Oct/94.
5367(6108), 5368(6091), 5369(6098), 5370(6092) Nov/94.
5379(6098), 5380(6099), 5381(6102) Dec/94.
5377(6112) April/95.
5382(6104), 5383(6093), 5384(6110), 5386(6113) May/95.
5374(6101) Aug/95.
5372(6094) Sept/95.
5387(6090) Oct/95.
5373(6106) Nov/95
5371(6103), 5376(6109), 5375(6096)Dec/95.

Way UP north in the land of ice and snow, re-born and ready to run. 5379-LMS 734-LMS 722 are westbound with intermodal traffic at Queens East, February 12/95:
DFW to YYZ. In this Jim Spears photo, taken April 30, one of CN's newest purchases from UP, 2113 (hey, let's spray-paint the unit number on the side of the cab!) is on its way north at Fort Worth, Texas. Black paint is the colour of choice to obliterate the Union Pacific this time; these units are causing a stir of expectation north of the border. CN buys UP redux.


Zartok-35 said...

An excellent post! I miss the old 'fast forties'. I aniticipate the purchase of the C41s, though! They should be pretty neat.

Eric said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Elijah. As David P Morgan once referred to the Dash-2's, they look like a kid with a new pair of too-big sneakers. I wonder if the new UP units will work system-wide or just the US?