Sunday, February 6, 2011

100,000th Visitor - CNR 9140 Face Transplant

Just after 2pm local time Friday, as I was dealing with a dead battery in my motor vehicle, we passed a milestone of significant importance. We hosted the 100,000th visitor. My monitoring service indicates the visitor was from Stockholm, Sweden.

We certainly appreciate all our visitors who find us through Google, referrals from other web sites, and recommendations from other readers.

I've threatened to throw in the towel several times; researching and writing each story is both time consuming and at times, frustrating. And I am supposed to be retired!

Thank you for your support!

CNR 9140 Prince Rupert, Skeena Subdivision, July, 1959. Power pack for the evening time freight idles in anticipation of a late evening run up the Skeena River. It's almost 800 miles from here to the connector at Red Pass Junction with the Canadian National Railway main line. A vast, sparsely populated wilderness.

I was 15 years old when I captured the face of 9140. One of 2,366 "A's," from this angle, the beautiful symmetry of the "bulldog" face, as it became known to rail fans, is clearly defined by the CNR pin striping. And she's only five years old!

Remember this face.

Railroaders out here on the Western Extension were pretty much on their own, with only the Employee Timetable, regulated pocket watch, a set of Train Orders, and the words of the dispatcher to keep law an order. There was a saying back in those days; "If the Dispatcher didn't know where you are, neither did God!"

There were no radios in this era. Just a list of track-side phone boxes in the Employee Timetable. And they were few and far between. If the train broke down or derailed or tripped over a rock slide, the Rule Book kicked in, sending the head end and rear end brakemen hoofing it down the tracks with a couple of track torpedoes and a fist full of fusees.

CNR 9140 is the trailing unit of this evening's consist. Easy to tell which end of a power pack you were looking at. This end has no ditch lights. Ditch lights were "invented" in this country in 1956 as near as I can figure.

I felt a pang of excitement watching units move out to make up with their train. I always felt that "anticipation" of travel, and wished I could be on board! Even around the tugs my Dad worked on, "Sailing Day" had that same air of expectancy!

Railroad Stuff: Canadian National Railway 9140, 1,500 hp F7, built by General Motors Diesel in London Ontario, December 1952. Serial number: A-406. Rebuilt to 9162, March 1973. Wrecked in May 1983 on Kitimat Subdivision, with cab going to rebuilt VIA 6516.

And additional information from CN Lines Special Interest Group; CN 6516:

  • FP9A, class GPA-17c, built January 1957
  • retired from CN roster and transferred to VIA 31 March 1978
  • involved in level crossing accident shortly after transfer to VIA; repaired using portions of nose from F7A 9162; returned to service; photos (Photo) (Photo) before and during repair. Photos by Richard Longpré.
  • last run-rebuilt FP9A used by VIA as part of an A-B set when it lead train 1 January 1990, an extra from Gaspe to Montreal (Photo.) Photographs shot by Richard Longpré.
  • sold by VIA 8 March 1995 to Locomotive Fifteen Corporation, North Conway NH for use on the Conway Scenic Railroad, as captured in September, 2007.
Cab of CNR 9140 still going strong, how many years later!

2 Comments - Click here:

Eric said...

Robert, congratulations on 100,000!

CN 6516 was one of the first units painted in VIA colours. Note the early slanted yellow nose. Later used to capture sound effects for Rapido Trains HO-scale F-unit currently in production.


Kaley said...

I like that post showing the Prince Rupert engine shed (?) in the background. Every time in go to that city, I take a drive down to the railyards to see what has changed. As of November of 2010, that engine shed is still there, but boarded up. Is it ever used anymore? Are there any plans to do anything with it?

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