Thursday, 7 June 2018

Throwback Thursday- When the Empress Came to Town

CP 8921 is prepared to lead 4209 and friends eastward on the Galt Subdivision at London, Ontario on April 04, 1992.
By Peter Mumby.
CP 8921, the sole member of class DRS-24e, was a 2400 horsepower RSD-17 constructed by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1957.  It went out on the road as a demonstrator, with appearances as CP 7007, CN 3899, and PGE 624.  It finally found a permanent home on CP in 1959.  At this time it was the practice of CP to number units according to horsepower and number of axels, without regard to manufacturer.  Accordingly, it was numbered 8921 right after the members of classes DRS-24a through DRS-24c, 8900-8920, which were CLC/FM H-24-66  Trainmasters.  No further RSD-17 units were ordered or built, so it was sometimes difficult to find a role for the 8921 among the large number of units on CP's diesel electric roster.

Much of the unit's life was devoted to transfer work in the large metropolitan areas of Montreal and Toronto.  During its lengthy stint working out of Toronto's Agincourt Yard, she was dubbed by railfans as the "Empress of Agincourt."  Working mainline trains was not a regular gig, so it was unusual for me to catch her twice in London Ontario on the Galt Subdivision in April of 1992.

The RSD-17 was originally built with a high short hood.  CP shop forces converted this to a low nose in 1988.  After retirement the locomotive was presented to the Elgin County Railroad Museum in January of 1997, so St Thomas is your destination of choice if you wish to inspect this unique piece of Canadian railway history.

CP 8921 east, now on the move, is about to duck under the Highbury Avenue overpass.  Just ahead lies the diamond with the CN Thorndale Subdivision.
On April 14, 1992 CP 8921 west is ready to depart for Windsor.  Trailing unit 3245 is interesting in its own right.  The SD40-2 is part of the 3244-3254 group of ex-NS/SOU locomotives which had been leased from GATX in 1991.  CP's deal to purchase these units became effective on the very day this photo was made.  This high hood SD would gain a coat of candy apple red paint and the new number 5483 in 1993.

No comments:

Post a Comment