|CN 557417 shows off a slightly faded version of its Expo 86 paint scheme on March 11, 1993. It is situated at the team track in downtown London, Ontario. Judging from the missing side ladder, it is good that the RIP track is located nearby.|
Thursday, 3 May 2018
Throwback Thursday - Remembering Expo 86
The theme of the 1986 World's Fair in Vancouver, British Columbia was "Man in Motion." As such, both of Canada's transcontinental railways decided it would be in their best interest to lend the festivities a little promotional push. CP decorated six SD40-2 units in an attractive scheme featuring the standard action red body with a diagonal white panel replacing the multimark. Expo 86 lettering and symbols appeared on this panel. Units thus decorated included 5610, 5614, 5647, 5698, 5748, and 5775. No lottery at work here - these just happened to be the units that were in for overhaul at the time.
CN decorated a single SD40-2, number 5334, as part of its promotional package. No change to the cab, but the long hood was painted white from the walkway to the grills. Superimposed on this panel were a series of coloured diagonal bars following the same general geometry as the original black and grey stripes. A rather garish combination of yellow, green, blue, and magenta was chosen, with the Expo lettering on the white portion at the end of the long hood.
Much more visually successful, at least to my mind, were the two groups of international service fifty foot boxcars that CN chose to decorate. These were National Steel Car products, with single door cars coming from the 417xxx series, and combination door cars from the 557xxx series. The cars were painted black with a horizontal white band. On this band in the central area of the car appeared a series of four diagonal stripes tastefully finished in related colours. The white section at the left end held the data, while the Expo lettering appeared at the right end. Pictures from my print collection include CN 417093 with stripes in shades of green and 417225 in shades of orange, as well as the 557417 which appears in this post. This car's bands originally were in a series of progressively darker blues, but by the time of this photo (March 11/93) most of the lighter hues had faded to grey.
The car's data panel includes the line " CN 3.84," which presumably is the repaint date. Most of my photos were taken in the early 1990s, although my final shot of 417225 was dated July 11, 2000. I suspect most of the others had been returned to boxcar red long before this.