Sunday, 9 October 2016

Boston and Maine Units on the Windsor-Montreal Corridor

In this view, BM 1270 is working the freight house in Woodstock, Ontario.  Check out those CP Express trucks in the background! Bill Shaw photo, August, 1966.
Boston and Maine Units on the Windsor-Montreal Corridor
Observations by Peter Mumby,
with Photos from the Gord Taylor Collection

George's White River Division layout is set in a time (the 1950s) and a place (south/central New England) where Canadian Pacific and Boston and Maine shared trackage, trains, locomotives, crews, and operations in general.  If we jump ahead a few years (roughly 1966-1974) we can again find CP and B&M power intermingling, this time on the CP mainline through Southern Ontario, Canada.  This was no shared operation, however;  CP was experiencing motive power shortages, and was leasing locomotives from a variety of sources.  First generation ALCo/MLW road units were being retired, and new orders from MLW and GMD were not arriving quickly enough to cover all assignments.  Simultaneously, BM was experiencing a downturn in carloads, so economics dictated that surplus power be put to work wherever a dollar could be earned.

The attached group of photos from the Gord Taylor collection provides a representative sample of the B&M locomotives that held down CP yard or road assignments during the period in question.  For additional research, your homework assignment is to look up the article "Minuteman Power in Canada" by Bruce P. Curry in the B&M Bulletin, Volume XVIII, No. 4.

In this photo, XBM 4266 west, accompanied by CP 8150/4047, is approaching MP 180.26 of the Galt Subdivision.  This level crossing is now referred to as Creamery Road, and is located on the southern edge of the London International Airport.  Don McQueen photo, July 08, 1970.
B&M 1515 is resting between assignments on one of the shop tracks at CP's Quebec Street Yard in London, Ontario.  May, 1972.

F7A 4266 in the previous photo is probably the most exotic unit in this small collection, largely because it survived to eventually become part of the Conway Scenic Railway roster.  BM 1517 illustrated here shares the economy blue dip paint scheme with the 4266; it put in an appearance at Windsor, Ontario in April, 1971.

BM 1565 shows off its faded maroon paint at Montreal, May 19, 1974.  Michael McIlwain photo.

B&M 1569 is positioned on the Quebec St shop track in London on May 18, 1974.


  1. George,concerning those B&M RS3 photos that ran in Canada...I've been in contact with Lee English of Bowser Trains and have sent him information regarding the B&M RS3's that ran in Canada on lease, hoping to get him to run some of the road numbers that ran there. He is planning on doing the phase 3 version. He also asked me if any of the CV and GT modelers or photographers have any photos or information regarding the Phase 3 CV and GT RS's that ran in New England. I also referred him to Division Point Brass for information. You must be reading my modeling mind...first it was Swanton Grain Mill, now it's the RS3's and just saw your post on the Osgood Bradley Building, I'm in the process of building a few BCW Osgood Bradley coaches. JOHN

  2. Hi John: Glad my posts are helpful or at least entertaining...there is more to come...George