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Old Time Trains

Canadian Pacific Railway

Fairbanks-Morse H24-66 2400 HP 75 mph Train Master

The Train Master was a diesel locomotive ahead of its time when it came along in 1955. At 2400 horsepower with tractive effort of 97,000 lbs. and a weight of 389,000 (195 tons) spread out over six axles it was a big locomotive. The H16-44 1600 hp 4 axle road switcher was 130 tons and 65,000 t.e. The problem was finding a place to utilize it properly. It wasn't easy. Trains were still of the steam era length therefore passing tracks weren't long enough for trains of more than one Train Master. Maintenance facilities were another problem on Eastern Lines and thus all CLC power was concentrated in a new shop in Nelson, BC where the mountain grades prevailed. There was limited use of Train Masters elsewhere for a few years.

The first two units in Canada were built in June 1955 as demonstrators by Fairbanks-Morse in Beloit, Wisconsin.
One was CNR 3000, the other was CPR 8900. Canadian National did not repeat their order nor did any other railway in Canada buy Train Masters except the CPR.

Powered by the unique design opposed-piston diesel in which each cylinder liner had two pistons moving in opposition to each other. It also had two crankshafts. This design provided maintenance problems compared to normal type of cylinders since changing out cylinder liners required that the upper crankshaft be removed which requiring greater overhead clearance inside the shop. It was very popular in marine applications especially US Navy submarines. It was found to be less durable in railway applications where the demand of running at varied speeds differed from the constant speed in ships. Eventually Fairbanks-Morse exited the railway locomotive building business.

All CLC road switchers including the Train Masters had GE electrical equipment rather than Westinghouse as used in the A & B units which was a good thing since Westinghouse discontinued making railway electrical equipment.

All Train Masters were equippd with dynamic braking. 8900 was equipped with a OK-4740 steam generator as it was intended for passenger service on The Atlantic Limited although it was not assigned since calculations determined one unit was not sufficient to power the train and two units would be over-powered.. 8900-8904 were equipped with two OK-4625 s.g.'s which required a unique modification to the short hood making it full width behind the cab. Following removal of the steam generators the short hood was modified to normal width allowing an exterior walkway and door.

DRS-24a 8900 brand new posing for its official photograph in Kingston. FM 24L861 - CLC 2900 7/1955
Note the slight difference in paint scheme compared to 8901 and later photo of 8900 below.
Number panel has square corners. Grey does not extend across cab windows.
Tuscan across top of hood does not extend to cover two vents at far right.

Appears to be same time and location as first official photo. Long hood forward

DRS-24b 8901 with steam generator popping off! CLC 2928 8/1956

8901 rear short hood. Combination pilot. Door in center. Note lack of any windows!


8900 in original paint scheme and changed (3/18/1960) to short hood forward. FM-CLC 24L861-2900 7/1955
One unit order followed by 20 more built by CLC. Lawrence Stuckey/Bruce Chapman Collection.

8901 off a transfer from St. Luc Yard. Hochelaga, QC August 23, 1968

8902 switching in Vancouver. August 23, 1962 Walter E. Frost/City of Vancouver Archives

Does not look like 8903 will clear that water spout on the unusual double spout water tank no longer
needed for steam locomotives. 8127 and 8669 sit nearby. Lethbridge. Robert Baker.

Unique consist of one of the largest (a 2400 HP Train Master) and one of the smallest (a 1000 HP "Rocket") road units!
Ron Visockis

8904 long hood forward and full width short hood. Drake Street, Vancouver October 12, 1956.
Walter E. Frost/City of Vancouver Archives

Two views of 8904 trailing hump leader 8635. Alyth Yard July 31, 1974 Keith Hansen


One of the last three (8900 8904 8905) of 21 Canadian Locomotive Company Fairbanks-Morse H24-66 2400 hp 75 mph Train Master units in use, already retired 6/1976. (Rest assured the CPR got the last mile out of these units, first at Alyth yard and then St.Luc; most had been retired in 1968.) #2922 6/1956 Note: Traction motors from eight Train Masters were traded-in for use on new MLW units C-630 4500-4507. 8905 has been preserved and is now displayed at Exporail. Ron Visockis

DRS-24c 8905 CLC 2922 6/1956 Set aside for preservation. St.Luc 4/8/1977
G.H.Landau/Joseph Testagrose Collection.

8911 clean, fresh paint, still in old colours with block lettering but short hood forward. Winnipeg July 1, 1961

Extra 8913 DRS-24d CLC 2934 9/1956 Vancouver October 1, 1963 Walter E. Frost/City of Vancouver Archives
Check out that auto. What is it? Contact us if you know.

Visitor Ken Cutmore identifies it as a NSU Prinz, a 2 cylinder German car.

8914 Hochelaga Transfer power. St.Luc coal chutes March 16, 1968 CLC 2935 9/1956




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