Engine No. 3691 is seen standing on the shop track
at Lambton Yard, Toronto on April 5, 1947. First of the N2b "Consolidation"
2-8-0's, it was built by MLW in October 1912 and rebuilt in March
1926 after sustaining wreck damage. No. 3691 saw much service in the
Toronto area until about 1950 when it was transferred to the Western
Lines, converted into an oil burner and assigned mostly to Calgary
and Edmonton. Among its duties was way freight service in the summer
of 1956 on the Leduc Subdivision of the Edmonton Division. Assigned
to Calgary yard service during 1957 and 1958, by the spring of the
following year No. 3691 was out of service at Edmonton and scrapped
at Ogden Shops in June 1960.
While a fireman, I had No. 3691 for one trip about the time the above photo was taken, when we were called for an assist to Bolton on Train No. 955 which ran out of Parkdale Yard around 7:00 p.m. On this particular trip the engineer was Percy M. Adarns who was an author in his own right. He had written a couple of short stories for Railroad Magazine and later wrote a book entitled "Life On the Head End", published in New York. Backing out of Lambton to Parkdale, we coupled on to Train No. 955's road engine, one of the early 2300 series 4-6-2's. After receiving the No. 2 brake test, the engines blasted out of Parkdale hell bent for Bolton where No. 3691 would be cut off. Thundering up to the West Toronto diamond, Percy yelled to me to get set to pick up orders from the tower operator. I had made only a few trips and had never picked up orders before as the head end brakeman generally did this but he was riding the road engine on this occasion. With a sinking feeling and hoping that I would connect with the order hoop, I hung far out of the right doorway and in the dim light could see the operator with his hoop held high. As we roared by him, I felt a slight tug on my arm and "Praise the Lord", we had the hoop, quite professional I mused. Percy woke me from my reverie, telling me to throw the hoop back quickly as the operator wouldn't like walking to Bolton for it!
After assisting Train No. 955, we returned light to Toronto with orders to proceed downtown to assist the first section of Train No. 22 to Leaside. At Union Station we backed onto the mighty 3100, It was a short trip of only five miles but we had the glory of being on the head end of the night passenger to Montreal. Swinging the scoop as we pounded up the Don Valley, occasionally I looked back at the behemoth breathing down our back, its headlight out but with two green marker lights looking like baleful eyes fixed upon us, and its stack blasting into the night, telling the good people of Leaside that No. 22 was going through. Before we knew it, we were at Leaside station uncoupling No. 3691, and No. 3100 went on its majestic way. Newton Rossiter
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