Saturday, January 27, 2018

CN acquires ex-CP units in Ontario Hydro contract

CN took over a CP contract to haul coal from Bienfait, SK to Thunder Bay, ON for Ontario Hydro. Along with the contract came CP SD40-2's that CN renumbered into the high 5300-series. The units and 110 bathtub gondola went to CN in the contract in May 1996. CN-style cab numbers were applied, and some had a small wet-noodle logo on the cabside. CN 5389 was the fourth unit on CN No 361, stopped at Belleville, ON on April 26, 1998 (top photo); 12 years earlier it was CP 5780 (below). CP 5780 led 5917-6020-6013 and 109 bathtub gondolas across the diamonds at West Tower in Portage la Prairie on June 5, 1986:
Originally, sixteen Ontario Hydro-owned SD40-2's were operated by CP: 5779-5789 and 5860-5864. CP bought five of the units in April, 1986: 5787-5789 and 5863-5864. The remaining eleven were renumbered to CN 5388-5398, and operated widely on CN's system, including Southern Ontario. All were retired by CN in mid-2000 then eventually reacquired by CP (*below) in late-2000 except CN 5391:
  • CP 5779 to CN 5388*
  • CP 5780 to CN 5389*
  • CP 5781 to CN 5390*
  • CP 5782 to CN 5391 retired by CN in 2001
  • CP 5783 to CN 5392*
  • CP 5785 to CN 5393*
  • CP 5861 to CN 5394*
  • CP 5862 to CN 5395*
  • CP 5784 to CN 5396*
  • CP 5786 to CN 5397*
  • CP 5860 to CN 5398*
CN 5388 appears to be leading, but is actually trailing CN 5311, the leading unit on eastbound No 366 at Belleville. Note the nose stripes and CN logo still visible. The two units are completing a setout at the east end of Belleville yard on October 2, 1999:
Blog partner Steve Boyko kindly shared this photo of CP 5396 at the Central Manitoba Railway shops before its rebuilding to become one of their own units. Looking a little rough:

Running extra...

If you're anywhere west of Winnipeg, be sure to attend the British Columbia Railway Modellers Meet! Registration is now open for the event which is taking place May 4, 5 and 6. Some great clinics await - Marc Simpson on CN F's, Al Lill on Modelling CN Vancouver Island and blog partner Bernard Kempinski on Ps 107:23 Down to the Sea in Ships, er, Trains!

Graphics guru and Portage modeller Randy O'Brien shared this archival photo of the construction of the Skyline Bridge in Portage la Prairie. Portage Pool C, which burned after 1976 is visible in the middle of the photo:
Randy also encapsulated my 'career' in an all-inclusive graphic. My four books on VIA Rail, three layouts and the neatest detail - my Dad's pencil correcting the title of my spring 2018 two-volume book project from Trains and Grains to Trains Ingrained! So true! Plus my favourite Argyle vest! Thanks, Randy.

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