For some time I pondered which of my collectibles would be showcased. Long-time readers know I dropped out of "active" train chasing when the Great Merger began to homogenize trackside viewing. I settled on a photo never posted on Oil-Electric.
I have a hand full of Kodak 130 negatives I must have received in trade as a young man, from a train photographer lost to history. Kodak Safety Film 130 was introduced in 1916 and discontinued in August 1961.
This format - 7 cm x 11.5 cm - yields a stunning photo - assuming the exposure was correct!
Canadian National Railways (CNR) 1631 was 1 of 10 Fairbanks-Morse (FM) H12-44 locomotives built at FM's Canadian subsidiary, Canadian Locomotive Company (CLC), in Kingston Ontario.
Reading FM's Model Number
• H = hood unit• 12 = 1200 horsepower
• 44 = B-B wheel arrangement
FM's CLC built CNR road numbers 1630-1639 in 1955-1956. Notably, Canadian Pacific Railway did not purchase this model. FM produced 336 H12-44's. The first unit was out shopped in 1950; the last in 1961.
The carbody of the H12-44 is yet another example of famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy's creativity. His hand is on a number of memorable locomotives including renowned GG1 electrics and Fairbanks-Morse "Consolidation" Lines (C-Liners).
In September 1952 the Raymond Loewy design elements were removed as a cost-saving measure:
• Slanted-nose styling discontinued
• Roof visor eliminated.
• And in 1953, fairing over the battery box was removed and louvers added to reduce the possibility of battery explosions. (Note louvers on battery box of CN 1631)
No H12-44 were erected in 1959 or 1960. When production resumed, the carbody had been shortened by three feet and outfitted with a deeper side skirt. The one and only unit was delivered to Chihuahua-Pacific (a.k.a. El Chepe - the Copper Canyon Route,) in 1961.
• No locomotives were built by F-M in 1962.
• The last 8 locomotives built by F-M were H-16-44's delivered in 1963.
Today, Fairbanks-Morse remains a thriving engine manufacture in Wisconsin. Be sure to click on "Watch the O-P in Action."
This video of an H12-44 has a few good moments when you can hear the "drumming" sound emitted by the opposed piston design. (As compared to the GM-EMD "chant" or the "asthmatic" sounds of the Alco.)
I worked on a summer permit aboard a tug - M/V Martin - owned and operated by Alaska Freight Lines out of Seattle Washington. It was between my freshman and sophomore years at Washington State University.
Those machines carboned up quickly. After a 12 day run to Anchorage, we would remove the cylinder port holes, and use a punch bar and compressed air to clear the exhaust ports of carbon deposits.
Whilst making toast this morning, I realized I own a piece of Raymond Loewy! My Sunbeam Toaster, Model T-9, was designed by Raymond Loewy to commemorate the 1939 Chicago World's Fair.
How many toasters given as Christmas presents this year will still be working 70+ years from now?
See Also: Reader Service Request Part II