Exporail Montréal
The Canadian Railway Museum
11th August 2011
© copyright photographs by Colin Duff

CPR 2850 Montreal Loco Works 4-6-4 Royal Hudson

Canadian Pacific Railway 2850, a Royal Hudson 4-6-4 built by Montréal Locomotive Works in 1938, is a headline item. This locomotive was selected to haul the train conveying King George Vlth and Queen Mary between Québec City and Vancouver during their tour of Canada in 1939. Having performed flawlessly the King bestowed the title "Royal" on the whole class.

In fact this class of locomotive was hugely successful, being designed to haul the heavyweight passenger cars that emerged after the Great War. Such was the success that Canadian Pacific stuck with Hudson designs for passenger traffic rather than migrate to the larger 4-8-4 Northern designs that the Canadian National Railway did.

2850 was withdrawn from service in 1959 and is now a "National Historic Site". I make no apologies for including this as I think it is a hugely attractive locomotive.

CPR Budd RDC1 9069 Talking of passenger traffic, after World War 2 every railway around the world suffering from competition from expanding automobile ownership had to find ways to maintain services in a cost effective way. Canadian Pacific 9096 is a Budd RDC1 diesel railcar. There are five types of Budd RDC, the RDC1 being the all passenger accommodation version. The RDC5 (or 9) is a similar version without control cabs. The other RDC types had smaller passenger saloons but with baggage, or baggage plus railway post office, accommodation.
CPR School Car 51

Although locomotives tend to dominate railway museums, anyone who knows me well knows that coaches and multiple units are my railway passion. I was therefore intrigued by any passenger car on display.

Canadian Pacific car 51 was built as first class car 442 in 1898 but in 1928 was converted into a school car. School cars were used to provide education to children in remote communities. They were hauled by regular trains and left in a siding for eight to ten days, during which time education was provided for children of all ages. The car was then moved on to another location, completing a circuit in four to six weeks. The teacher (and family) lived on board all year.

interior of CPR 3618 mail express car

This is the interior of Canadian Pacific 3618, a mail express car built in 1940. One part of the car is used for storage, the other part, seen here, for sorting. Railway Post Offices were withdrawn from railways in Canada in 1971.

CPR track inspection car M235 from a Buick Century I could not resist this! Canadian Pacific M235 is a track inspection car based on a 1939 Buick Century and converted in 1947 by the McLaughlin Car Company in Oshawa Ontario. This car originally belonged to the brother of the CPR's President, who also happened to be the Chief Medical Officer for the CPR. When he was finished with the car - well it was 7 years old by then - he donated it to his company. The car's original road chassis was replaced by a custom railway chassis, which includes a turntable. The vehicle is capable of 70 mph (115kph) but it is restricted to 50mph (80kph). Canada went metric in the 1970s, so it was Imperial measurements when this track inspection car was introduced..... unsurprisingly we noticed that Canadians of our own age were comfortable with and prone still to use Imperial units!
Grand Trunk 713 2-6-0 Grand Trunk Railway 713 is a 4-6-0 Mogul type of 1900. The headquarters of the GTR were in London (England, not Ontario) and its name can still be seen on the building opposite Canada House, just off Trafalgar Square. Its shareholders were predominantly British and it is their resistance to their railway being nationalised that ultimately led to the remains of the railway being taken over by the then nationalised Canadian National Railway (to cut a long grievous story short).

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