Monday, April 27, 2009

First Class 196 - UpDated

Canadian National Railways 1271 + 1279 +Steam Generator, Mile 119 Skeena Subdivison, Prince Rupert, August 1959. We are just moments away from the departure of First Class 196, heading for Red Pass Junction, connection to the CNR’ s main east-west line.

During salmon or halibut season, it was not uncommon for several reefer express cars to be connected up front, speeding fresh frozen fillets to the rest of the world.

As I think back upon these events, I paid little, if any attention to anything aft of the locomotives. This is one of only two or three shots I took that included the Steam Generator Car. I am paying the price now, for the lack of photographs and builders information, despite spending time on board watching the boilers being serviced and fired without blinking an eye.

From what I have been able to determine, Canadian Car & Foundry made a handful of these units. Others were manufactured by Canadian Pacific. The distinguishing CC&F feature is the square windows, as opposed to round portholes.
Thanks to one of our readers, Bill, a.k.a. The Old Fart, we are able to supply considerable more information on the CNR Steam Generator cars. Click on "Comments" at the end of this article for complete builders information. Thanks, Bill!

There was usually a standby or spare car available at Prince Rupert, especially during “slide season” when the Coast Range mountains took aim at the main line snaking its way up the Skeena River. There was never a question of if there was going to be a slide, just a matter of when it would occur.

The tool of choice for dragging equipment back onto the last good piece of track was the Lidgerwood, which required a source of steam.

The use of SW1200RS road units was short lived. Crews complained about the rough ride on it’s 20 foot wheelbase. Indeed, whenever I rode in the second cab, I was startled to see the violent action at all of 40 miles an hour!

2 Comments - Click here:

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

Hi Robert

The CNR had Steam Generators numbered from 15400 to 15494.

There were three batches built by Canadian Car & Foundry in 1958 (15400 to 15448), GM Diesel in 1959 (15450 to 15479) and National Steel Car in 1960 (15480 to 15494).

The cars had 2 Steam Generating Units, with a combined output of 6,000 pounds of steam per hour. The cars were 41' 10" over the strikers.

CN also had 2 narrow guage Steam Generator Units built in 1956 (CCF built the shell and CN took care of the Interior Workings )numbered 15500 to 15501, which were converted to Standard Guage in 1980.

I got the information from my copy of the book, "Canadian National Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment" Volumn 1 by John Riddell - Published by Morning Sun Books Inc.

Whilst I was surfing the Internet for something on the CNR's Steam Geneartor Units, until I remembered I had this book, I came across a website you will definently want to look at.

Later my friend

Eric said...

Hi Robert and O.F., "Rolly Martin Country" is my brother's website, and it is full of interesting Canadian material. He started it to record his experiences north of Superior, but it has expanded well beyond that. Rapido Trains will be releasing their steam gennies this fall. Great post,

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