Thursday 5 November 2020

Throwback Thursday - The Golden Rodent

CP 8246 was taking the day off on December 25, 1998.  It was resting on the service track at Quebec Street Yard in London, Ontario.

By Peter Mumby.

The first encounter I recall with a CP unit painted in the candy apple red and having the gold beaver and shield on the long hood occurred on May 23, 1998.  SD40-2 number 5698 had been freshly repainted and was displaying the new logo to best advantage.  Later in the year delivery of the 9100-series SD90MACs commenced, and they arrived in this scheme.  AC4400CW diesels delivered from GE in 2003 and 2004 as 9700s and 9800s were also decorated with the beaver shield.  At that point the gold logo seemed to fall out of favour.  ES44AC deliveries from 2005 through 2012 still featured the block "Canadian Pacific" on the locomotive's flank, but the beaver shield was omitted.  Lately, however, the "golden rodent" seems to have made a comeback, as the red SD70ACU units in the 7000 series are once again displaying the beaver and shield.  This second generation shield seems to feature slightly different colouration.  It uses a fairly uniform shade of gold, whereas the earlier one displayed some copper-coloured elements.

One of my favourite variations on this scheme is the one illustrated in today's photo with a small size shield appearing on the cab side.  This was applied to a number of the smaller four axle units in the 1500, 1600, and 8200 number series.  I was able to find 14 examples in my photo collection, so I don't believe this variant was particularly widespread.  Three of the units I found, namely 1507, 1569, and 1588, also featured the earlier RCMP Musical Ride emblem along with the beaver.  It was interesting to note that, by the time I photographed the 8246 again in 2008, the beaver shield had been removed from the cab side.