British Columbia Rail 632, North Vancouver BC, August 14, 1992. My late wife and I have journeyed north from our home in Vancouver Washington on a dream trip in British Columbia. First stop, Vancouver BC, to visit my “home town” – North Vancouver, taking in the magnificent sites including the Stanley Park Zoo (shuttered the following year) Grouse Mountain at sunset, and, of course, the stripped down Pacific Great Eastern, now known as British Columbia Rail.
I said “Dream Trip” – you bet! We motored up the Sunshine Coast, hiking more than a mile into Skookumchuck Narrows, to see it at maximum flood (up to 18 mph!), exploring Powell River taking one of the last mill tours before it was shuttered, and then over to Vancouver Island, where we joined the Uchuck III for a fantastic overnight trip to Kyuquot, on the remote West Coast of Vancouver Island.
This unit was one of nine originally built for the Lehigh & Hudson River Railroad. When L&HR ceased operations in March of 1976, British Columbia Rail purchased L&HR 25 and 26. The remainder were absorbed into another ugly merger known as Conrail.
Sadly, Patti is gone and BC Rail, which I knew and appreciated as the Pacific Great Eastern is also gone.
Railroad Stuff: BC Rail 632. One of nine Century 420’s sold to Lehigh & Hudson River Railroad. Number 26 built by ALCo as a 2,000 hp C-420, January 1966, sn 3431-04. Sold to BC Rail and re-numbered 632 in July 1972. Retired in 2002 and sold to Iowa Northwestern. According to this document, this railroad is out of business and final disposition is unknown. Located three of her sisters, painted in the imaginative Conrail colors (very top and bottom of page.)
BC Rail S-409. Originally built as Pacific Great Eastern 565 by Montreal Locomotive Works, June 1951, as an RS-3, 1,600hp, serial number 76108. Became BC Rail in 1972. Re-built as a “slug” in 1987. Here she is as I first saw her on a damn cold day in November 1959 setting out a cut from Pacific Great Eastern northbound #24 at Williams Lake, Lillooet Subdivision Mile Post 156.3.