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Old Time Trains


Ontario Southland

Power and Numbering

1249 fresh out of the shop in its new paint job.

1245 in new paint scheme with 1210 backing into CAMI plant. Walter Pfefferle

OS 102 ex ETR 102 nee ACR 172 GMD A2019 8/1963 Last GP9 built.
Latest addition, long stored indoors by ETR and in need of some repairs.

Good news is this unit finally went in the shop to checkout its prime mover. It was found to be in good condition
and put back in storage knowing its diesel could be used to replace any other RS-23's engine on the roster.
It sits on roller bearing trucks which had been shipped by OSR to Kap for changeout to move south.

6508 Acq. 8/2012 (nee CN 6508) Fresh out of the shop for its photograph in new paint scheme.
Finest paint job yet by Bob Merriam
FP9u GMD A638 11/1954 Salford August 25, 2015

Engineer's view 6508. Woodstock September 21, 2014



Looking pretty rough but 6508 operated on OSR in old CNR retro paint scheme while its dependability was established.
5/03/2013 Salford


6508 has a long history including two failed tourist train operations, one in Quebec
(TTSL Les Trains Touristque du Saint-Laurent) and one in Ontario, (WSJR Waterloo - St.Jacobs).

The train set and a second A unit 6520 served on both tourist trains and most is now in Squamish, BC
at WCRA's West Coast Railway Heritage Park.

Proposed paint scheme (without lettering on the side.) digital alteration.


GP9u 1620 acq. 2/2015 ex CP 1620 nee 8659 GMD A1115 5/1957
Note the electronic bell above numberboards.
Fresh out of the shop in new paint scheme. Salford June 2, 2015 Walter Pfefferle

182 acq. 11/2004 (ex 1801 nee 8764) RS-18 MLW 82258 4/1958

This unit was at the shop to have a new electrical control system installed by ZTR
replacing mechanical contactors that would make it equivalent to a "dash 3" unit!

Side-by-side view of 378 and 383 showing difference in paint scheme on nose and rear of units.
Note: Compare photo below. Salford June 29/2015

SOO 383 and 378 not long before being sold to OSR to switch Petro Canada.
Saint Paul, Minnesota. 3/11/1998

SOO 378 Stevens Point, WI 3/17/1969

SOO 383 switching in Bensenville Yard, Chicago. 7/03/1993

OSRX 506:2nd (ex Tembec 106) RS-23 looking pretty rough. Salford shop 7/07/2014

8235 acq. 12/2010 on shop track at Guelph Junction 9/12/2013 GMD A1474 3/1958

1245_1249 sitting together on the shop track at Salford. June 21, 2013 Tim Ball

1249 minimal repaint 5/03/2013 Salford

1244 one of four SW1200RS units just acquired (8-10/2012) from CPR. GMD A1897 7/1960
These remanufactured units are all restricted to 35 mph due to removal of transition for yard service.
Weston 11/1982 ex 8151 Salford 10/21/2012 Walter Pfefferle

Two views of cab interior of sister engine 1245. Salford 10/21/2012 Walter Pfefferle

Units are all equipped with QEG 1000 electronic governor.


CFS 641 (always a parts unit) and CFS 646 both dead are finally enroute to CFS. Ingersoll 12/04/2020

Note: 644 and 647 previously shipped 6/2020 to CFS.

641_646_644_647 arrived DIT (Dead-In-Transit) at Woodstock in 2003.
These were the last MLW units on BC Rail. All except 641 were put into service by OSR.
Currently (2019) 644 and 647 are in regular operation on GJR.

OSRX 644 Salford April 6/2006

Shuttlewagon moves 646 at Salford shop. 9/27/2012 Walter Pfefferle

501 on shop track. Salford 9/11/2013

507 (moved as OSRX 506) ex SFP&P 109:2nd. nee Sydney & Louisburg 201
RS-23 MLW 83290 8/1960 Dead storage Mount Elgin 5/03/2013

OSR 51 shown here at St.Thomas with its new paint job honouring the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway.
It was the TH&B's first diesel, an NW2 model built December 18,1947 by EMD in the USA prior to
GMD locomotive production in London. Gregory Steele

OSR 183 (ex INCO 208-3 NEW). This late model RS-18 was built with a low nose. Gregory Steele

Interesting, is a term that can certainly be applied to OSR's power. Many different models of mostly MLW Alco design are represented on the roster. Units were acquired from many sources including CP Rail which was finally retiring its entire MLW fleet. Former Pacific Great Eastern 1000 HP yard switchers and CPR 1000 HP road switchers are popular with OSR for their fuel economy having only a six cylinder engine. Historical significance can be attributed to many of the units including two of only three PGE/BCR S-13's. Two of only three INCO RS-18's. Last two SOO Line GP7's, still high-nose. First TH&B diesel, a 1000HP NW2, 51, it was upgraded by TH&B in May 1976 with M.U. and 645 components and re-rated to 1200HP. It is geared for only 55 mph, like all TH&B yard and freight units, instead of the normal 65 mph.

OSR uses a three digit numbering system that is horsepower based. Exceptions include NW2 ex TH&B 51 which retains it original number for historical reasons. SW9 52 (ex C&O 5242) a Canadian unit, fits nicely after 51 being a later model GM yard switcher. It was acquired primarily for its trucks which were to go under 51. Unfortunately, during a dead movement it suffered wheel skids and has remained unserviceable.

In 1994 all four of Greater Winnipeg Water District Railway's retired GE 44-tonners were acquired. 103 became PSTR L3 "Winnie" , 102 was kept for parts and later given to PSTR, while 100 and 101 were leased out and retained their numbers and paint. 100 and 101 were sold off in 1997.

In 1996 a number of MLW units were acquired as others rid themselves of these make of units. Vancouver Wharves retired the last two of their MLW/ALCO units along with a large supply of parts, so large in fact a 50 foot box car (BCOL 40625) was bought to ship them in! One unit was number 827, an S-13 (spec. DL-411) 1000HP yard switcher formerly BC Rail 502, originally 1002. Its number was restored to 502. The other unit was VW 29, an S-6 900HP yard switcher, formerly Southern Pacific 1240, originally 1073. It became 500, fitting nicely ahead of the higher horsepower units. Note: DL-411 spec. equipped with 731 traction motors.

Also acquired in 1996 from GWWD was their 501 another S-13 yard unit, formerly BC Rail 501, originally 1001. There were only three of these units on BC Rail and now two of them were re-united! It stayed as 501.

In 1997 CP Rail was retiring low horsepower units of its MLW fleet and OSR acquired three RS-23 ( DL-411a) 1000HP road switchers, first 8029 and 8044, then 8021. Originally known as Branch Line Units (BLU's), these units with their small 6 cylinder engine are well-liked by OSR for their fuel economy. They were re-numbered 503, 504 and 505, fitting in nicely after the S-13's. Note: DL-811a spec. have model 752 traction motors, same as RS-18's etc.

Also, in 1996 INCO in Thompson, Manitoba was selling its low mileage RS-18's. These are late model units, specification DL-718B, and built with low nose. They were in fact the last order of RS-18's built by MLW in 1968 long after the Century line had been introduced. In fact, with similar features they could be considered as C-418 units, at least un-officially. Numbered 208-3 and 208-4 (INCO retained 208-2; 208-1 was a rare GMD G8) they were numbered by OSR 183 and 184, thus being a horsepower series while retaining earlier identity -3 and -4. A slot was kept for the other INCO unit 208-2 to become 182.

In 1998 as CP Rail retired the last of their MLW fleet, OSR acquired two of the last 1800HP RS-18's to have been rebuilt (1989) and upgraded, including chop nose; 1860 and 1861 (ex 8769 and 8777 built 1958). They were re-numberd 180 and 181, retaining a link to their CP number (which was horsepower based) yet fitting in nicely.

In 1999 the last two GP7's (EMD 1951-52) on CP-owned SOO Line in the USA were retired. These museum pieces retained their high noses, original equipment and brakes. 1500HP SOO 378 is being re-numbered 150 in keeping with the horsepower and three digit numbering system. 383 (undergoing lengthy repairs in Tillsonburg) is to be re-numbered 151. These were both acquired for use at Clarkson, a heavy switching operation especially the long steep upgrade run from the plant gate to the CN yard.
378 and 383 retained their historic numbers in a change of policy.

Early in 2002 a 1750 HP GP9 was acquired from Znidar Brothers, parent of Plusar, Inc. which had been the switching contractor at CPR's Vaughan Intermodal Facility. Parsec Canada (the Triple Crown contractor) replaced Plusar. This unit had spent many years in the coal mines of Kentucky* (and showed it!), having come from Chesapeake & Ohio, 6193 built by EMD in 1958. It is now 175, a horsepower (1750) related number.
* New Ridge Mining 59, Kimper, KY, ex Ridgeway Coal, also in Kimper.

Later in 2002 another RS-23 was acquired from a small contractor in Alberta, Canadian Railserv. Originally CP 8013 this was the first of only six special lightweight RS-23 (DL-811) 1000HP "BLU's" built in 1959 by MLW. Rated at 33,000 contineous tractive effort at 9 mph compared to 42,000 at 7 mph for other RS-23's; 60 mph instead of 75 mph and weighing 90 tons compared to 117 tons. Traction motors are model 731, same as yard units, compared to larger 752 on road units. It is now OSR 506.

So, there is "method to the madness!

Power Update: January 2003 CP 1116 a cab control car was acquired for parts (minus trucks). It had been converted in 1995 from RS-18 1802 which had been remanufactured from RS-18 8746.

March 2003 BCR 641, 644, 646 and 647 MLW M420 were purchased from BC Rail. These were the last MLW-powered units on BCR and at 2000 HP are the most powerful diesels on OSR. Two of these units have been returned to service. These units were acquired for anticipated new GJR traffic that has yet to materialize.

August 2004 Former CP 1801 RS-18 was acquired from Andrew Merrilees (D). It had been QGRY 1801 in between being CPR 1801 and OSR 182. Originally, it was CP 8764. It operated for a short time before being returned to Montreal to a contract shop for big repair work beyond OSR's capacity to perform including new wheel sets and truck overhaul. It is now being repainted in OSR's Salford shop as of September 2005.

October 2006 378 is still at Lambton Diesel in Sarnia where it just blew the Main Generator while undergoing repair! Besides a bad order Heat Exchanger it was to get a BOA from ZTR. (Note: 383 has the BOA system.) 644 is still at NRE-Alco in Capreol getting all new wheels and other work. It has been held up by the need for all new Timken roller bearings to replace some defective SKF which are obsolete. 503 remains out of service un-serviceable due to b/o MG. TH&B 51 has new roller bearing wheel sets installed by OSR and is expected to return to service on the Tillsonburg line before much longer. Looking forward to seeing that!

Power Assignments October 2006

Clarkson: 383, 646.

Guelph Junction: 180, 181, 182, 504, 505, 506, 647. 175 (out of service unserviceable).

Salford: 183, 501, 502. TH&B 51 (out of service unserviceable.)

Tillsonburg: 500 ok. 52, 184, 503 (b.o. M.G.), 641 (all out of service unserviceable.)


Power Assignments (November 2005)

Clarkson: 383, 505. 175 and 378 both out of service unserviceable.

Guelph Jct. 180, 181, 506, 646, 647. 1116 parts.

Salford: 183, 500, 504. 182 being repainted, 501 u/r, 502 stored. 503 ossus b/o MG.

Tillsonburg: 641 stored unserviceable, 644 stored, TH&B 51 stored unserviceable.

St.Thomas: 52 stored unserviceble.

Power Assignments (September 2005)

Clarkson: 175 (ex C&O 6193), 378 (ex SOO 378), 383 (ex SOO 383)

Guelph Jct. 180 (ex CP 1860), 181 (ex CP 1861), 505 (ex CP 8021), 506 (ex CP 8013),
.................. 646 (ex BCR 646), 647 (ex BCR 647). 1116 parts.

Salford: 503 (ex CP 8029) under repair, bad order main generator. 182 (ex CP 1801) repaint.
............. 183 (ex INCO 208-3) 184 (ex INCO 208-4) 504 (ex CP 8044).

Tillsonburg: 500 (ex SP 1240) out of service. 501 and 502 (ex BCR 1001, 1002) serviceable.
641 (ex BCR 641) unserviceable, 644 (ex BCR 644) stored OK. 51 (ex TH&B 51) stored unserviceable.

St.Thomas: 52 (ex C&O 5242) stored unserviceble.

Power Assignments (Dec.2002)

Clarkson: 150 (ex SOO 378) and 175 (ex C&O 6193).

Guelph Jct. : 180 (ex-CP 1860), 181, (ex-CP 1861), 503 (ex-CP 8029), 504 (ex-CP 8044),
..................... 505 (ex-CP 8021), 506 .(ex-CP 8013).

Tillsonburg: 183 (ex-INCO 208-3), 500 (ex-SP 1240).

Note: All other units (184, 383, 501, 502) are at Tillsonburg either serviceable or under repair, except for 51 stored serviceable and 52 unserviceable, which are at St.Thomas.

A Look at OSR Locomotives in an Earlier Life.

TH&B 51 working industrial area near the waterfront in Hamilton. June 17, 1987 Doug Kroll

CPR units

1860 (180) nee 8769

1861 (181) nee 8777

1801 (182) nee 8764

1116 1802 8746

8029 (503)

8044 (504)

8021 (505)

8013 (506)

Other former owners

CRLX 8013 ex CP 8013 at TransAlta power plant Wabamun, AB July 26, 2000 Fred Clark

GWWD 103 on Fall 1975 railfan trip.
Dennis Letourneau

SP 1255 identical to
1240 now OSR 500 VancouverWharves 29

BCR 1002 (RE# 502) switching in N.Vancouver 10/83 BCOL 1001

INCO 208-3 208-4 Thompson, Manitoba.
OSR 183 184

SOO 378
near St.Paul, MN 1/98
Michelle M. Thayer

SOO 383
Dubuque, IA
Michelle M. Thayer

C&O 5242 GMD built for Canadian service.

C&O 6193
Chessie Photo Archives


646 at Squamish, BC 7/23/1998


On to: Ontario Southland Rolling Stock




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