Thursday 13 April 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Final GP9

Ontario Southland Railway 102 was basking in the afternoon sun at Salford, Ontario on April 01, 2017.  Photo by Dan Murrell.
Commentary by Peter Mumby, with Photo by Dan Murrell

My friend Dan forwarded this photo to me a few days ago.  To look at it, you might see nothing special, but it actually is a fairly significant locomotive. Ontario Southland 102, previously Essex Terminal 102, was originally assembled as Algoma Central 172 at the General Motors Diesel Division plant in London, Ontario.  Essex Terminal Railway acquired the unit 4/11/86, but its delivery date from GMD had been 8/1963, making it the last GP9 constructed.  To put this date into perspective, the final CN GP9 was delivered in 1959; CP's last such unit came in 1958.  Contemporaries of ACR 172 included the CP GP30s, also graduates of the class of 1963, meaning that the last first generation units were completed in the same year as the first second generation locomotives.  Maybe when the railfans at Ontario Southland get around to painting the 102, they can be prevailed upon to add some special markings denoting its historical significance.


  1. Got me looking online about these GP9s. Seems to be that there might be 2 "last" GP9s, perhaps because they were both completed and delivered in August 1963?

    MEC #450, purchased from Algoma Central in 1981, is referred to as the last GP9 in various places online. It was AC #171 apparently. So you would think 172 might be the real last GP9 because it has the higher number? Not really sure. Also not sure if the former MEC #450/AC #171 is still around anywhere.

    Not that it really matters, just interesting afternoon Google diversions. Either way, I agree, a historic loco!

    1. Hi Mike:
      Good to hear from you will run your notes by Peter and see what he thinks...he is very knowledgeable with our local units, if not our local GM historian and friend Don McQueen is the man with the facts...George

  2. Love learning the history of units like that and how London played a part in the production of so many locomotives. Nice to see it close to its birth place.