Sunday, March 19, 2017

Plumbing on the Roof!

Canadian National Railways 4299, Prince Rupert Engine Service Area, May 30, 1959. Less than three months old, still has that heady smell of  DuPont Imron and stickers on the tire tread!

I was lucky to catch the GP-9L on her inaugural trip to Prince Rupert. Lack of ditch lights indicate this is the trailing unit on tonight's Time Freight.


As I was lining up my shot, I noticed a pipe on the roof of the machine room, running the length of the unit. I hadn’t paid much attention before this, and failed to notice a lot of the Geeps I had pictures of had that feature. (Gimme a break. I was only 15 years old!)

I now know that pipe is an air line, running from the Denver-Gardner air compressor located in the bow, to the brake system air tanks, located aft inside the short hood! You can see the pipe as well in the "Rare Bird" post on the CNR 4200.

Furthermore, other roads, to provide room for long-range fuel tanks, have repeated this concept.

But what makes this strange is the fact these GP-9L’s were fitted with small 1,000-gallon (Imperial) gallon fuel tanks. As you can see, there is plenty of room under the deck for air tanks.


There is also erroneous information on the 'net that in 1961, the CNR began mounting bells above the dual sealed beam luminary. This is May, 1959. And that's a bell!.

So now I am curious to learn if model railroaders are on to this, and have incorporated this plumbing feature on a model? Let me know in the comments below!

Railroad Stuff: Canadian National Railways 4299, built by General Motors Division, London Ontario, as a 1,750hp, GP-9L, March 1959, serial number A1656. Retired May 14, 1986.

Rebuilt and sold to Société de transport de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal (STCUM,) March 1990 as GP-9u numbered STCUM 1312. In January 1996, commuter train operations transferred to Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) retaining number 1312.