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Paterson-George collection

Train No. 35, the Montreal to Toronto local passenger is seen near Kaladar with engine No. 1231 on December 8, 1952.

No. 1231 was assigned to Trains Nos. 35 and 36 from the time it was built by MLW in 1946 until the advent of the diesels. The last engine in the G5b class, it was notable because it was the second locomotive in Canada with an all welded boiler, the first being its companion No. 1216 assigned to the Western Lines. The boilers for both locomotives were built by the American Locomotive Company of Schenectady, New York. Alco had pioneered construction of welded boilers since 1937 and had a large indirect heating, stress relieving furnace necessary for this process. The entire boiler was placed within the furnace and the temperature raised 100 degrees per hour until the maximum of 1175 degrees Fahrenheit was reached. This was held for 2 1/2 hours, then cooled at 100 degrees per hour. After this treatment, the staybolts, tubes, flues, etc. were applied.

No. 1231 arrived at Toronto on Train No. 35 around 7:30 p.m. but was generally left for the night shift's attention. The locomotive performed well as far as the welded boiler was concerned but we did have other troubles with it. It was assigned to Glen Yard, Montreal where the boiler staff had their own ideas on the installation of the brick arch. They preferred a closed arch which rested up against the tube sheet whereas John Street installed open arches on all 1200's. With the open arch, small spacer bricks were fitted on the arch tubes between the arch and tube sheet creating a space of about 6 inches which allowed slag and cinders to drop to the grates, thus keeping the tubes clear. The closed arch allowed the build up of slag so that after a few trips the tubes were blocked and slag covered, causing poor steaming. There were many occasions when No. 1231 was booked as not steaming, so we had to knock out the arch, blow the tubes and then install a new open arch. Two nights later it would return once again sporting a closed arch. Thus went the battle! I believe the intention of the Glen boilermen was to reduce the cold air intake on the tube sheet which might cause distortion of the tube ends and then leaks would develop. However it seemed that we never had much of that trouble with the G5's at John Street.

No. 1231 was always a Quebec District engine and when bumped from the Montreal to Toronto run, was assigned to the Laurentian Division on passenger out of Montreal on the Lachute and Ste. Agathe subdivisions. In 1957 the locomotive was on the Montreal to Vaudreuil commuters and early the following year was on wayfreight service from Ottawa West to Maniwaki, although it was tied up serviceable at Smiths Falls from May to November. In December No. 1231 was in freight service between Smiths Falls and Chalk River, until tied up serviceable at Smiths Falls on July 24,1959. Stored at St. Luc, Montreal near the end of that year, it was scrapped at Angus on March 6,1961.

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