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Old Time Trains


Canadian Pacific Railway

Leased diesels

Early years (1964+)


UP 1624 Alco FA1 leads eastbound freight at Streetsville. One of 15 (7 A and 8 B) units leased in 1963 from UP to handle unprecedented export grain traffic to Russia. Still equipped with manual transition these units were rated at 10% tonnage reduction and operated only in solid UP consists. These diesels were pulled out of the scrap line at Cheyenne, Wyoming.
They kept steam dead on the CPR. The 1956 green and white Meteor belonged to second hours (afternoon shift) operator Bill Miller. February 4, 1964 William E. Miller/William D. Miller Collection.

There were about 60 steam locomotives (many with low/nil mileage) held for emergency and it had been considered to return many to service on the Algoma Division where steam facilities had been retained. This would have resulted in three pools of motive power (one of steam and diesel on either side) which would have affected utilization. The decision went against steam when these UP units built in 1947 stored for scrapping became available. Thus began a long history of leased diesels from many sources and in varying condition which led to the expression "Rent-a-Wreck".

SOO 2224-A and a B unit seen here at Guelph Jct. February 14, 1964. Bill Thomson









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