Tuesday, June 3, 2008

4th of July, Part 6. Canadian National Railways

Canadian National Railways 4201, Vancouver BC, July 3, 1961. Same locomotive, different looks. My train chasing buddy El Purington and I, have ventured up to Vancouver BC over the Fourth of July Weekend in 1961.

Fourth of July Part 1
Fourth of July Part 2
Fourth of July Part 3
Fourth of July Part 4
Fourth of July Part 5

Vancouver was a cornucopia of sights and sounds, with the Pacific Great Eastern, Canadian Pacific, Canadian National, Great Northern, and a handful of terminal switching outfits like Pacific Coast Terminals.

Low and behold, we find 4201 chanting with 4212. I’ve seen both of these engines before, when we lived in Prince Rupert from 1957 through 1959.

Now fast forward to Christmas 1962, when my Mom, Sister and I decided to drive from Seattle to Prince Rupert to spend Christmas with my Dad. More than 1,000 miles, and hazardous driving conditions – but that's another story another time.

By now, the Canadian National Railways has retired the Maple Leaf icon, and reinvented it’s self as a global entity, renaming itself as Canadian National, complete with the “bent paper clip” logo.

I found CN 4497 awaiting assignment beside the Prince Rupert Engine facility, newly painted in the new CN scheme featuring the “bent paperclip.” The “new” 4497 is the former 4201. Which was renumbered from her original number of 4497. Is this a create work situation?

I noticed that when these engines were repainted or re-numbered, by looking at the cab at just the right angle, you could clearly make out the painted over number.

CN 4497, built by GMD, London Ontario, as a GP-9, 1,750 horsepower, November 1956, road class GR-17g. Re-numbered 4201 in 1957. Branch line Flexicoil trucks were switched out for Bloomberg’s in 1962, and returned to road number 4497. Rebuilt as road class GY-00f, slug number 243 in 1990.

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