Thursday, 10 May 2018

Throwback Thursday - Remembering CN 238

In this circa-1986 photo, GTW 6410 East is speeding the traffic of CN's Laser Train past the CN/VIA building in downtown London, Ontario.  At the split second when this exposure was made, the power had just entered the Dundas Subdivision, while the piggyback traffic was still strung out along the Strathroy Subdivision.  Renumbered from 410, the lead unit still looks good in its original coat of Detroit Toledo and Ironton orange paint.
By Peter Mumby

During the mid-1980s, one of the hottest trains on CN's Strathroy and Dundas Subdivisions in our area of Southwestern Ontario was #238 and its westbound counterpart.  Typical power for this operation was a trio of GTW (ex-DTI) GP40-2 units.  These locomotives became a part of the CN family with the absorption of the DT&I by the GTW IN 1984.  In the photo of GTW 6410 east included with this post, the three units have all received their GTW numbers (by using the simple addition of 6000 to the earlier DTI number), but the leader still wears its original orange paint.  Also still present is the distinctive DTI nose bell.  These three diesels were all 1972 products of EMD.

Trailing the power was the piggyback traffic of CN's Chicago-Toronto Laser Train.  Since this route involved the use of CN's original 1889-91 Sarnia-Port Huron tunnel with its limited clearances, trailer traffic was accommodated by a series of well cars designed specifically for this service.  Once the new (1993-94) tunnel was opened, normal piggyback cars could be used on this route (along with auto racks and double stacks).

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