Wednesday 20 February 2019

CN Stuart Street Locomotive Shop - Motive Power Variety

In the 1960’s, with its convenient location (positioned more or less centrally among the cities of London/Niagara Falls and the metropolis of Toronto), the Stuart Street facility was always home to a diverse bastion of diesel locomotives. Numerous switchers, of course, to serve the yard and vast water front industrial base, road switchers to serve the branchline south to Lake Erie, as well as passenger units deployed on the Oakville subdivision Lake Shore commuter trains. Recall that this was, for the most part, pre MacMillan Yard/diesel shop and pre GO Transit. Drop pits in the shop building facilitated government mandated ninety-two day inspections and protection (spare) units or units in need of minor repairs could easily be accommodate within the sizeable amount of real-estate. As previously mentioned, the infrastructure would evolve and diminish in importance over time. Eventually, all of the locomotive maintaining functions would be transferred to other locations and the infrastructure razed.

A sunny morning in August of 1966 finds the backyard of the Stuart Street diesel shop crowded with a marvelous gathering of GMD/MLW built motive power. Left to right; SW1200RS 1229, FP9 6513 + sister FP unit, SW1200RS 1315 and S4 8167, among other unidentified brethren. Nos. 1229 and 8167 are in their as delivered schemes while 1315 and 6513 sport the famous 1961 modernization dress. Aside from the MLW interloper this image could very well serve as an advertisement for General Motors with the Morency Orange panel truck prominently featured in the foreground! Today we could photo shop out the S4!

A scene that would cause an MLW Salesman to smile from ear to ear! Not a competitive intruder in sight! Present that day; RS-18’s No. 3114 (blt 10/59), Nos. 3126/3129 (blt 12/59), and S-3 No. 8468 (blt 1953). Retirements from the RS-18 build group (3100 – 3129) would commence in 1982 and by 1975 all of the S-3’s would be gone.
Changing of the guard! A pleasant Halloween day finds a transitional assortment of all GMD power on property. Left to right; GP40-2L(W) 9436, GP9 4524 and GP9RM 4116/unidentified GP40-2L(W). No. 9436 (blt 6/74) would be cast off in 2000 becoming TPW 4053, No. 4524 (blt 12/56) would be transformed by PSC (1991) into GP9RM 7028 and is still active, while No. 4116 was constructed as GP9 4131 (blt 10/57) having been remanufactured by PSC in 1984 and is also still active. Note that in the intervening years that the black horizontal fuel storage tank has been replaced by a trio of silver vertical tanks.