Canadian National Northerns 4-8-4

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Canadian National Northerns 4-8-4
Posted by SPer on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 2:19 PM

CNR 4-8-4s are the most famous locomotives of all time. The system had a total of 160 4-8-4s built between 1927 and 1944. They are so large and heavy that CNR had to keep them only in Ontario,Quebec and Nova Scotia. and never systemwide locomotives. Six of them are still with us today

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Posted by Ulrich on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 2:33 PM

And a beautiful locomotive she was.. there's one, number 6167,  on display  here in Guelph.   

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 6:52 AM

SPer

CNR 4-8-4s are the most famous locomotives of all time. The system had a total of 160 4-8-4s built between 1927 and 1944.

 
I would argue in favor of NYC Hudsons, all 250 of them, or CP Royal Hudsons (CP 2816 is NOT a Royal Hudson).
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by selector on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 9:05 AM

SPer

CNR 4-8-4s are the most famous locomotives of all time. ...

 

Que?

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Posted by SPer on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 11:46 AM

While the CNR Northerns were used only in Ontario and Quebec because of their size and weight that restricted there,what steam locomotives did CNR used on their Western lines from Winnipeg to Vancouver

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Posted by Ulrich on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 12:36 PM

I wasn't aware that the Northerns were restricted to Eastern Canada. But CN also rostered a wide variety of other locomotives, most notably Mikados and Pacifics. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 1:53 PM

CN's 4-8-4's were relatively light because the engineering standards of CN's various predecessors required it.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by selector on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 3:11 PM

SPer

While the CNR Northerns were used only in Ontario and Quebec because of their size and weight that restricted there...

What source are you looking at?  I don't believe their size and weight had anything to do with where they did the most of their running.  My guess would be that it had more to do with their capabilities where the need was greatest, and that would be where the tonnage and speed demanded their use.  

Do you really believe the CN Ry switched to lighter rails at the Manitoba border?

SPer

...what steam locomotives did CNR used on their Western lines from Winnipeg to Vancouver

 

They used 2-8-0's, 2-8-2's, 4-6-2's, 4-8-2's, and 2-10-2's. They probably ran some 4-8-4's when it seemed right to do, but if a Mountain class could do it, why run a 4-8-4?.

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Posted by nhrand on Saturday, May 26, 2018 11:02 AM

I was skeptical abut the CN 4-8-4s not being used in the west so I went to CANADIAN NATIONAL STEAM POWER by Clegg and Corley which has system power assignments for a few years.   Sure enough, in 1943 none of the 4-8-4s were assigned to the Western Region.  The number of each type assigned to the Western Region follow (the last number is the total on the CN roster):

2-8-0  300 of 543;  4-6-0  97 of 239;  2-8-2  93 of 466;  0-6-0  89 of 282

4-6-2  79 of 294;  2-10-2   45 of 93;  4-8-2  24 of 63;  0-8-0  24 of 152

2-6-0   8 of 60

The number of 2-8-0s assigned to the Western Region may be surprising but much of the region was prairie and branches, not mountain grades'

The CN 4-8-4s would probably not win a railfan popularity poll but they were among my favorites.  I saw and photographed them when I was a teen during a family vacation to Montreal and Quebec in the mid-1950s and liked them enough to return to ride the September 3 and 4, 1960  trips behind U-2-c 6153 which ran to mark the official last use of CN steam in regular service.  On May 28, 1968 I rode behind preserved U-2-g 6218 over the Central Vermont, a CN subsidiary.  The trip was New London, CT to Brattleboro, VT which, during the steam era, was restricted to 2-8-0s; the use of a 4-8-4 on the Southern Division suggests the type was relatively easy on track and bridges.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, May 26, 2018 12:18 PM

selector
They probably ran some 4-8-4's when it seemed right to do, but if a Mountain class could do it, why run a 4-8-4?.

I think there is more to this story, but it deserves comment from people with distinctive competence in Canadian design history.

Most of the vast number of U-class 4-8-4s represent an early stage of 4-8-4 'evolution', which although a very good one for the late '20s was not really comparable to developments in the late '30s and '40s -- compare the evolution of the rather larger C&NW H engines, which were rebuilt not once but twice to great advantage.  Note that details such as the banjo frame and outside-bearing lead truck were not found in the last examples, and that 12" piston valves were retained right to the end.

Meanwhile, the 'Bullet-nosed Betty' U1f class of 1944 had the improvements from 1928 on, 14" valves in particular, and while a new and fully upgraded class of 4-8-4 (perhaps comparable to an early Niagara) could certainly have been built, or older engines upgraded as the ATSF 3751 class were, I think the Mountains did the job required while retaining greater route availability in the West.

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Posted by BigJim on Sunday, May 27, 2018 7:08 AM

SPer
CNR 4-8-4s are the most famous locomotives of all time.


I would venture a guess that it isn't even in the top ten!
However, since it is a legend in your own mind, I'm not going to even try and argue the point.

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, May 27, 2018 8:19 AM

It is probably worth looking at the locoomtives CN used on the 1939 Royal Tour train. CP decorated one Royal Hudson and it appears to have hauled the Royal Train all the way from Quebec City to Vancouver, presumably being serviced when the distinguished passengers were making their public appearances. Two other Hudsons were available in case of failure.

On the other hand used at least three locomotives,. It seems that 6047, a U-1e worked the train from Vancouver at least into Manitoba, probably to Winnipeg. U-1b 6028 worked the train into Toronto, possibly from Winnipeg.

I assume that U-4a 6400 worked the train from Toronto to Windsor. and probably eslewhere east of Toronto.

The fact that 6028 and 6047 are almost forgotten, and 6400 is preserved at least partly because of its Royal Train duties, although it probably worked the train for less distance than 6047.

But my point is, given the cost and complication of the modifications for Royal Train service, CN would not have converted the Mountains if track conditions would have allowed 6400 to run coast to coast as 2850 did for CP.

Peter 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:43 PM

nnrand:  Possibly I was one of the car-host volunteers on the New London - Brattleboro and return steam trip.  Did the train actually originate in New Haven, taken to New London by a New Haven FL-9?   Were the coaches Grand Trunk or Grand Trunk Western?  Was it organized by the Branford Trolley Museum (Branford Electric Railrway Association, with the museum called Shore Linee Trolleyl Museum)?

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Posted by nhrand on Monday, May 28, 2018 4:04 PM

Dave,

The May 29, 1966 trip behind CN 4-8-4 6218 from New London, CT to Brattleboro, VT, was 52 years ago tomorrrow and I can't remember much about it.  Fortunately I saved the trip announcement and on-board information pack as well as my Kodachrome slides.  The trip was sponsored by Branford Electric Railway Association but it is possible you remember the near duplicate trip that group ran with 6218 on April 16, 1967 and maybe there was another that I don't recall.  The announcement of the 1966 trip said, "A special RDC connection for passengers from New Haven and west will be run on Sunday morning leaving New Haven 8:08 A.M.....round trip must be purchased in advance.  Return on train 199."  It was a long trip since it was scheduled to leave New London at 9:45 A.M. and return at 10:55 P.M.  The suggested connections with trains from New York meant leaving NYC before 6 A.M. and not returning until 3 A.M.  My wife and I lived in NYC at the time but were visiting in Providence so our hours were a bit better since we could drive.

      The trip announcement said Canadian National passenger equipment would be used and my photos indicate that was so.  I counted twelve cars in one of my photos.  There were two baggage cars with open, slatted doors; one at the head end for recordings and a second at mid-train for photographers and those who wanted to buy a snack -- there was no dining car but there was a 2 1/2 hour stop in Brattleboro for restaurant goers.  Three run-by photo stops were included.

     This trip was a treat for me since I had taken similar steam trips in 1954, 1955 and 1956 with 2-8-0s 464, 467, and 472 and mourned the end of steam on the Central Vermont in 1957.  CN 6218 was the largest steam locomotive to run on the Southern Division  -- in the steam era freight was moved by 2-8-0, frequently double-headed.    

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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, May 28, 2018 10:54 PM

Interesting link on the Royal Train Of 1939.

http://www.themetrains.com/royal-train-roster.htm

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 6:55 AM

I recall that I was on that trip also.  I did not use the connection from New Haven but came down from Boston on the first Boston - NY train in the morning, which is why I did not remember the RDC connection for that trip.

And I was a car attendent, opening doors and traps and closing them at the photo-stops and signalling to the next attendent forward.

I did not take any pictures myself on that trip, being asked to concentrate on the job and to look out for safety and camera-politeness at the photo-stops.

I think Grand Trunk or Grand Trunk Western passenger equipment was used the following year, but I may be mistaken on that.  I do remember that the subsequent trip did have the passenger equipment start in New Haven, pulled by an FL9 to New London.

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 12:14 AM

Thank You.

 

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Posted by M636C on Monday, June 04, 2018 8:08 PM

kgbw49

Interesting link on the Royal Train Of 1939.

http://www.themetrains.com/royal-train-roster.htm

 

While that site is an excellent resource, there are still gaps regarding which locomotive hauled the train on the CN on certain sections. I'm sure 6028 must have hauled the eastbound into Toronto, and exactly where 6400 was used isn't clear.

The diagrams of the train itself are great, particularly the "head end power" generator using steam from the locomotive (via the steam heating connection). Even in May and June in Canada, steam heating would still be needed.

Peter

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Posted by GARTH STEVENSON on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 7:48 AM

Actually CN had 170 of these locomotives. If you include the Grand Trunk Western they had more than 200. And the 4-8-4s  also ran through New Brunswick on the way between Montreal and Halifax. One of my earliest memories is of travelling from Montreal to Bathurst N.B. and back with my parents behind 4-8-4s. Fortunately, many of these have been preserved since they were very popular with the Canadian public. Preserved examples can be seen in Ottawa, Toronto, Guelph, and Fort Erie, as well as at the Exporail museum near Montreal. 

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