Friday, October 23, 2015

Oil-Electric Turns Eight!

I was discussing my Blog with a friend, who noted this is apparently the eighth year of Oil-Electric's publication. She asked if I was going to "blow my own horn" about the milestone.

Cringe! Blowing one's own horn is considered, especially in this day and age - "Trumpish!"

On the other hand, pointing out the eighth year of Oil-Electric is really about a birthday celebration, yes?

And what better way to deliver the birthday cake than by Schnabel Car!

Canadian National Railways (CNR) 5000, a Pacific-type 4-6-2, is featured on this occasion, because she represents the end of steam operations on the Western Region, British Columbia District.

We had only been living in Prince Rupert for about eight months, when I learned from my newly forged contacts in the Yard Office and Engine Shop, that her main rods had been removed over the past few days, tacked to her running boards.  She was to leave in the evening as part of the consist of Time Freight 922, to be eventually stored at Jasper, B.C., awaiting the inevitable cutters torch.

Bear in mind; I was only 14 years old, and had been "railroading" for about eight months.

It occurred whilst writing this article, the shot I got of 50-hundred off loading in Kitimat, B.C., on April 25, 1958, is perhaps the last operating shot of this locomotive. CNR 5000 was often assigned to Fourth Class 892, a mixed passenger/freight milk run between Terrace, B.C., and Kitimat.

While the route was completed to the new aluminum smelter in Kitimat, the 38 mile division serviced several logging camps and lumber mills. A sign posted in the station prohibited the wearing of "caulked logging boots" in passenger cars.

I was naively beholding the end of steam in Canada.  50-hundred's older sister, CNR 5149 left Prince Rupert in June, 1958, with east bound passenger train 195, she passed a pair of General Motors Division (GMD) SW1200RS', pulling west bound passenger train 196, at Lake Kathlyn on the Bulkley Subdivision.

There is no photographic record of that momentous milestone; I heard her whistle off as I sat in a dental chair chilling a broken tooth!

CNR 5000, Whyte Class 4-6-2, Road Class: J-1-a
Number in Class: 4 (5000-5003)
Builder: Montreal Locomotive Works
Built: (as Canadian Northern 700) 1913
Boiler Number: 52255
Retired: May, 1958
Scrapped: November, 1958
Cylinder: 23"x28"
Driver: 69"
Boiler Pressure: 190 psi
Tractive Effort: 34,670 lbs

[Ed Note] In April 1960, CNR 6043 made the last scheduled run of a steam locomotive on Canadian National on train 76 between The Pas and Winnipeg.

4 Comments - Click here: said...

Congrats on 8 years! Thank you for hours and hours of research, fact finding and meticulous details aptly verified. Taking us places we never heard of and primitive working conditions such as shipbreaking. Memorable trips with the Foss crews and wonderful trips through the Panama Canal- I can only imagine how much hard work goes into this blog and it is greatly appreciated!

Robert in Port Townsend said...

Thank you for your kind comments. said...

Thank you Robert for all the work involved in giving we east coast folk some real news about what is going on both in the great Pacific Northwest and the world! Just keeping up with the life and perils of "Bertha" would be enough. Wishing you another great eight.

Robert in Port Townsend said...

Thank you for your continued support! The research I've put into the more than 700 articles posted herein have given me the equivalence of a BA in Stuff!

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