Sunday 10 March 2019

CN at Rymal Pt. 10: Motive Power Part 5.

Employing the inauguration of passenger service date of 1873 and the lifting of rails date of 1993 as book ends, Rymal would be witness to some one hundred and twenty years of motive power evolution. Steam locomotive wise, the technology would progress from diminutive so called ‘American’ 4-4-0’s to CNR’s preeminent ‘Northern’ 4-8-4’s. Late in steam, the everyday freight or mixed became famous for ‘Moguls’ and ‘Ten Wheelers’. To climb out of the lower city, when warranted by tonnage, the light weight Moguls were either doubled up (sometimes tripled!) or aided by ‘Mikados’. While the former H&NW line may not have been home to 4-8-4’s for the workaday traffic, superstar excursion performer Northerns 6167 & 6218 each plied the line in the 1960’s.
As previously mentioned, my attention (i.e. take photos) to the line began in the mid 1970’s. Motive power at the time was exclusively the smallish, gnarly appearing SW1200RS. Wooden cabooses were still the order of the day. The interest and experience would consume almost a decade and a half. GP9RM 4107 pictured below would be the last unit I would capture on film (why did I shoot B&W for so long???!!!). Nevertheless, I’m more than grateful to have had the opportunity to capture as much Rymal activity as I did over the years.
Above: CN GP9RM No. 4107 was constructed by GMD London in September of 1957 as GP9 No. 4123. Remanufactured by PSC in 1984, remarkably the veteran unit is still in service at age sixty-two! With no turning facility at Rymal the freshly rejuvenated unit will venture south back to home base long hood forward. Guessing that the crew has left the unit idling to go and have dinner on this pleasant appearing evening of July 27th 1989.
CN GP9 No. 4569 coming and going. Unfortunately, I did not take the time to date some of my earlier material. However, there are some time frame clues. The car in the background is a 1980 Plymouth Horizon TC3, my first set of wheels. Need for my own form of transportation was generated by my entering Engineering at McMaster University in the fall of 1979. Judging by the remnants of snow, the season would appear to be late spring, most probably in 1980. The relatively short consist is shown sprinting across Nebo Road, about to cross Twenty Side Road. Today the right of way has been transformed into the ‘Chippewa Rail Trail’ that will eventually connect Hamilton with Caledonia. Note the well-maintained track structure, permitting No. 4569 enough speed to generate conspicuous exhaust blow back/dissipation. Constructed by GMD 11/1957, No. 4569 would be transformed in 1990 by PSC into slug No. 245 and is still listed on the active roster. The HANNON SCHOOL structures shown in the background still exists as IBEW offices.

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