|GO 726 waits for a replacement CP crew at the east end of Quebec St. Yard in London, Ontario on June 04, 1988.
Thursday 20 September 2018
Throwback Thursday - Weekend Warriors
By Peter Mumby.
Over the last couple of T.T. posts a mini-theme seems to have been developing - sort of a "Go Transit Equipment in Unusual Locales" type of scenario. Today's offering features GO 726 at the head of an eastbound CP freight at London's Quebec Street Yard on Saturday June 04/88. So, what was that all about?
Throughout the diesel era CP has often leased off-line locomotives to alleviate temporary shortages of motive power. In the 1970s units were acquired from railroads such as BAR or B&M, while in the 1980s we often encountered equipment of the "rent-a-wreck" variety from various leasing companies. Beginning around 1984, CP began renting GO locomotives for use over the weekend, as the vast majority of GO trains were Monday-Friday operations at that time. A set of three such units would make a Toronto-Windsor round trip on Saturday, then repeat the process on Sunday. Periodically, CP locomotives would appear in the mix, but it was most gratifying to catch the GO power in pure sets. This, then, explains why a set of GO units would be awaiting a re-crew in London. Chances are, they were at the head end of train #904, which was on its way to Montreal, then down into New England. One of my favourite trains of that era, it normally featured a lot of the 50' boxcars from BAR, B&M, LVRC, and others that I enjoyed photographing.
The second train in the photo, Extra Soo 6620 East, illustrates another common feature on CP Trains of the late 1980s. Beginning around mid-1985, three unit sets of Soo SD40-2 locomotives started appearing. Very quickly, this power became intermixed with CP, and later MILW, locomotives, adding greatly to the colour of that era.