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© Jim Sandilands, 2017

 Email: jimsand 2009 at gmail dot com


CPR 2816 in Montreal

In the late spring of 2004 Canadian Pacific ran a Vancouver to Montreal excursion for GW Travel. It was billed as the Great Trans-Canadian Odyssey. GW Travel specializes in hi-end rail excursions and this venture was no exception. It used Canadian Pacific's preserved 4-6-4 steam locomotive Empress and CP's Royal Canadian Pacific equipment.

The excursion was one-way and the train spent some time in Montreal. Much of the time was consumed by scheduled inspections and maintenance at St. Luc yard, but some local excursions were run before heading back west on June 11, 2004 via Toronto and the United States.

Photos by Jim Sandilands unless otherwise credited.

Click on a photo to view an enlarged image.

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Montreal West - Arrival

On the left Canadian Pacific 2816 is shown on its arrival on May 29, 2004. It is about to cross Westminster Avenue and enter Montreal West station. The locomotive is no stranger to the area having worked its last days in regular service on Montreal commuter trains running through Montreal West.

The 2816 was built by Montreal Locomotive Works in December 1930 as class H1b. It was sold to the Steamtown Foundation in 1964. CPR reacquired the engine in 1998. It was rebuilt by BC Rail at North Vancouver between 1999 and 2001. Its tender is not original and is from H1c 2822. The auxiliary tender in the above photo is from Delaware & Hudson 4-6-6-4 1517 which was retired in October 1952. This auxiliary tender bears the number 35508.

The photo on the right shows the tail-end car for the excursion, Mount Stephen, with a special "drumhead" bearing the insignia of the CPR and G. W Travel. This car was constructed in December 1926 at Angus shops. It and sister car Strathcona were for use by the board of directors. The Mount Stephen served as the executive day car. It had no sleeping accommodation save for a sleeping compartment off the kitchen for use by the steward. Sleeping accommodation was provided by executive night car Strathcona which had 5 suites with bathtubs. Strathcona is now at the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel at Cranbrook, B.C.

Montreal West - Day 2

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On 2816's second day in Montreal it backed down to Lucien-L'Allier station from St. Luc yard where it had spent the night. The first three photos show the backup up move on the North Junction lead at Montreal West and the fourth (bottom right) shows 2816 running its first mini-excursion of the day. Four excursions were run out to Montreal West at 07:30, 09:00, 10:30 and 12:00. These excursions were scheduled to go only as far as Montreal West but the trip the writer was on made it all the way out past Wentworth to the highway 13 overpass in Lachine. Note the Canadian Pacific police car to the left in the fourth photo. In addition there was an afternoon trip to Ste-Therese  All proceeds from these trips were handed over to the Club des petits dejeuners du Quebec.

Lucien-L'Allier Station - Day 2

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The train is shown above taking a break between excursions at Lucien-L'Allier station. The photo on the right is of coach 102 Ernest "Smokey" Smith, VC. It is named in honour of Ernest Alvia  Smith, VC, CM, OBC, CD who was the oldest living Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Mr. Smith, a World War 2 and Korea veteran, has since passed away.

The coach was built for Canadian National in 1954 by Canadian Car & Foundry as number 5618. In 1978 it passed on to VIA. British Columbia Railway bought the car in 1994 and renumbered it 156180 with the name Dragon. Canadian Pacific acquired it in 2002 as number 102 Laurentian before giving the car its present identity in November 2003.

North Junction - Day 2

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The final excursion on May 29 was a late afternoon move to Ste-Therese which departed Lucien-L'Allier at 15:30. It is shown in the above three photos at North Junction in Montreal West. It is passing under the Westminster Avenue overpass.

The first car in the bottom left photo is club car 101 Dominion. It was built for Canadian National in 1954 by Canadian Car & Foundry as number 5594. VIA sold the car to the British Columbia Railway were it was 155940 Seton. CP acquired the car in 2002.

Bringing up the rear in the bottom right photo is business car 70 Assiniboine which was built at  CP's Angus Shops in December 1929. The car ahead of the Assiniboine is an 800 series coach borrowed from the Agence métropolitaine de transport. It is a former Canadian Pacific Montreal commuter coach and was pulled by 2816 in commuter service. AMT loaned three 800-series cars for these excursions.


Lucien-L'Allier - Excursion to Exporail

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On June 10, 2004  2816 worked an excursion to Exporail in Delson/St. Constant. It's shown above awaiting departure. (Collection Michael Leduc, T. Too photo.)

Montreal West - Excursion to Exporail

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The Exporail excursion train is shown above crossing Westminster Avenue in Montreal West.

The middle right photo shows car 96. At first glance it looks like a former through-baggage car that began life as a silk car in the 1920s. It is is actually a power car that began life as a Canadian National steam generator numbered 15442. Canadian Car & Foundry turned out the car in 1956. CP acquired the car in 2000 from VIA and did some plastic surgery.

Ernest "Smokey" Smith, VC is shown in the bottom left photo and Assiniboine brings up the rear in the bottom right photo.

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