Thursday, 1 November 2018

Throwback Thursday - "A Sweep is as Lucky as Lucky Can Be."

By Peter Mumby.

Between 1956 and 1960, CN acquired 192 model SW1200RS units from General Motors Diesel.  By the mid 1980s plans were afoot to rebuild some of these little engines to make them better suited to current needs and conditions.  Eighteen units, numbered 7300-7317, were rebuilt in 1987.  Power remained at 1200 hp, and external appearance was little altered.  Designated SW1200RM, CN classed them as GS-412a.  However, the focus of this post is the smaller group of rebuilds, also designated SW1200RM, that were produced with a 1350 hp rating.  Rebuilding occurred in 1985 and 1987.  Numbered 7100-7107, these engines incorporated a number of GP9 components, most obviously the long hood.  The cab end was left in its SW configuration, while the long hood was straight GEEP in appearance, leading railfans to dub them SWEEPS.  The two examples illustrated in this post, 7100 and 7106, were originally CN 1241 and 1257, respectively.  By the early 1990s, rebuilt GP9s in the 7000 and 7200 series were providing higher horsepower yard switcher options, so there were no further additions to this small group of SW1200RS rebuilds.

Looking west off the same Highbury Avenue overpass, we can check out the "Geep" end of CN 7106 as it switches the top end of the London yard on May 22/94.  This unit was one of six members of class GS-412b.  This locomotive had been rebuilt in the Pointe St-Charles shops in 1987, while the 7100 had been produced in 1985.

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