|The low winter sun illuminates CP C424 #4238 as it is about to pass the depot at Galt with an extra westbound in February 1972. Chuck Begg photo, author's collection.|
Today’s Throwback Thursday takes us back to the Winter of 1972. We’re at Galt, ON, standing in front of the CP depot that still bears the name of its’ Scottish novelist namesake (John Galt). A year later, the civic merger of Galt, Preston, and Hespeler would result in the city of Cambridge, where the modern counterpart photo was taken (even though I’m standing essentially where photographer Chuck Begg did 42 years earlier, I’m in another city!).
In this view, we see a CP westbound extra lead by three MLW C424’s, with the lead unit #4238 still in it’s as-delivered classic Tuscan and grey paint scheme. The unit is seven years old, built in 1965, and would survive another three years before being repainted to CP’s attractive Action Red paint scheme in early 1975. The engine would serve its original owner for 33 years until a sale in 1998 to New Brunswick East Coast Railway took the unit to the Maritimes. As Alco/MLW technology faded from the shortline scene, the unit was sold for parts to sister railroad Ottawa Central before being scrapped in March 2004.
Not only are the Burlington Route boxcar and the head-end stock cars long gone, but the scene itself has changed substantially as well. Absent in Chuck’s photo is the #8 highway/Dundas St. bridge constructed over the Galt yard and Galt Sub mainline. Auto traffic now dominates activity in the yard with a Toyota manufacturing plant located on the old Grand River Railway line a few miles north of the yard (the line merges into the yard near the Burlington boxcar on the other side of Samuelson street).
Though the scene has changed, Galt is still a busy place with several through freights and a daily local passing through on the main line. A pair of locals based at Wolverton yard east of Woodstock also call on the yard, heading up the old GRR line (CP Waterloo spur) to serve the Toyota plant. Additionally, the station and freight shed still stand, so it’s still possible to relive the scene in Chuck’s photo – too bad the MLW’s are gone though!
‘Til next time,