Monday, August 14, 2017

Canadian Pacific's Canada 150 Train

On Saturday, August 12 a flurry of interest and activity preceded the eastward passage of CP's Canada 150 train. From Calgary to Toronto via intermediate stops in Van City, The Queen City, The Gateway to the West, The Lakehead, The Hammer and latterly Hogtown, this 17-car varnish version was topic of much online chatter. Knowing that Friday was Toronto and Sunday was Montreal, wouldn't it be neat to see this special commemmorative train pass through our area? Thanks to several timely emails and Facebook posts, my wife and I ventured west and then north to the tiny burgh of Roblin (the CP Belleville Sub passes just south of the Roblin road sign!) Eschewing a stop at the Napanee Giant Tiger to snag some savings (return trip) or any snacks (also return trip, thank you Ronald!) we got into position early.
Nearby was a random ETU sending out squawks. So there would be little warning. Stationed aside Lennox & Addington Road 41 (formerly Highway 41) we watched a steady stream of camping trailers, Sea-Doos, redneck pickups and double-takers pass by. An approach-lit signal to the east beckoned. Then, there it was. The unmistakable rumble chant of a train to the west. Into position! I with my Nikon video and my wife with the iPad hitting the photo button as many times as she could, we bring you Canada 150 Roblin-style! We have documented this thing completely. You can tell my wife's photo due to the Canada T-shirt-wearing dude. Mine are video captures that each show several cars in the consist. You can also watch my full video here.
What the F, you might say? Well, CP 1401-4107-1900-4106 led, all formerly CN then VIA units. CP 4106-4107 were ex-Ohio Central, while 1401-1900 were acquired via the nebulous Nebkota in 1998, then fully overhauled by NRE. That's all I will say for lineage. The CP Royal Canadian Pacific consist has been covered extensively online already in Canadian Rail, completely by Cor Van Steenis, or check your BRS Canadian Trackside Guide for more information. While I've seen a hundred well-lit nose-on photos of this train trundling across the country, being a rolling stock guy, I felt the need to have each and every car snapped and presented for posterity, and for your viewing pleasure. Captions are presented between pairs of photos of each car:
Baggage car 95

Mount Royal



Covered in Canadians' wishes for Canada's 150th, 102 is a 'post-it note' car!
OK, officially they're not post-its, they're 'pixels'!
CP 42901 performance car, the drawbridge-like stage of which hosted Dean Brody, Dallas Arcand and Kelly Prescott.

Major Rogers

Royal Wentworth - greeting a CP crew member or trainmaster.

Craigellachie - diner

Mount Stephen


N R Crump


Van Horne


CP2, one of two cars acquired from CN...

..the other being Sandford Fleming
Heading east at a leisurely 40 mph, bearing the mundane train symbol CP 40-B. Blah!
Crew change in Smiths Falls - David McCormack shared this photo on Facebook of an F-P42 meeting. Enthusiasts gathered there, and later in Montreal where CP 1900 was removed for shop work at St Luc or farther west. Interestingly the train hit a tree, delaying it for 35 minutes on CP's Winchester Subdivision to the east. The train is to layover back at Smiths Falls yard between Montreal and Ottawa shows. I predict a crawling constabulary cornucopia of CP Police! 
The nice thing about Roblin was that there was absolutely no hoopla - just a pastoral passing of a once-in-a-lifetime train. Well, if you don't count the westward movement in a few days!!

Running extra...

This post popped up in the midst of the Trackside Treasure ninth anniversary celebration. It truly is a celebration upon a celebration here on this blog! Much is happening. Trips to Belleville:
 The people on the bus.....get bigger and bigger. Scary!
I didn't mind this Railbox at all. Likely in ingot service with several brothers on CN train No 369. (above) There was also time for a VIA No 52 onboard delivery of Trackside with VIA - Research & Recollections to faithful Trackside Treasure reader and contributor Mark Fidelak, also making a cross-Canada trek though on different rails than the Canada 150 train!


Unknown said...

It is good to know that CP thinks Canada ends at Quebec.....which is ironic when you think about it.....since this country was found in PEI. Those of us in Atlantic Canada never saw the train other than in pictures so to me and many others it is not a "Canada 150 Train"; but instead a "3/4 Canada 150 Train. :(

Anyways...that is my rant.

Looking forward to buying your new book Eric :)

Truro, NS

Eric said...

All good points, Jamie. This is a drawback to the modern-day, truncated CP. I still remember when Fred Green was put in charge of the then-CAR and I thought - this is the beginning of the end!

I don't know how you guys do it with the same number of trains all day as I can see on CN's Kingston Sub in one hour. An embarrassment of riches here!

It's still a great country, no matter what.

Research & Recollections should be on the shelf at Maritime Hobbies in Halifax. If not, you can pick up a copy from me - just email. I have mastered e-transfer as well!

Thanks very much for your comment,

Michael said...

That was my plan as well. Catch the train in a quiet spot, but I ended up in London instead for a family function. I was disappointed to miss the 150 train, but I consoled myself with shooting endless freight trains through London. I recognize a number of these cars from the CP Holiday Train. What a great looking train!

Eric said...

Your comment reminds me of the saying 'Life is what happens when we make plans!"

CP sent out a good-looking, varnishy train! The larger lettering made the car names much easier to read!

Of course we're hoping to see the London freights!