Monday, 8 March 2021

GMD Recollections - Shiny and New, But Will They Last 50 Years?

KCS SD60 locomotives 754 and 754 are sitting at CN London East on April 18, 1991.  The tracks in the foreground are part of the double tracked Dundas Subdivision mainline.  Somewhat behind the units is the  Guelph (previously Thorndale) Subdivision.  To the east (right) this subdivision passed the GMD plant, then continued through Stratford and Kitchener on its way to Toronto.  Slightly to the west this subdivision terminated at London Junction where it intersected with the Dundas Sub.

By Peter Mumby.

GMD products of April 1991, SD60 locomotives KCS 754 and 755 were on delivery at CN London East the day these photographs were exposed.  They had a bright future ahead of them, but how extensive could KCS management expect this future to be?

In one of the pictures the new locomotives are framed by CN GP9 number 4385.  Built as CN 4133, this was a GMD product of 1957.  When CN initiated its program to remanufacture a group of GP9s, it decided to re-use the 4100 number series, and this unit became the 4385.  A year after this photo was taken, 4385 itself was rebuilt to GP9u standards, becoming class GS-418c number 7072.  At this stage the engine was 35 years of age, and it continued in service another 15 years until it was retired in 2007.  Over its 50 year life span, the 4133/4385/7072 had transitioned from main line freighter to branch line power to yard locomotive.  Probably these new SD60s weren't destined for this type of longevity.

CN 4385 frames this view of the new KCS units.  The previously-mentioned Guelph Subdivision lay just beyond the CN box car visible in this photo.

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