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Steam era action at Bathurst Street: Canadian National 0-8-0 8421 switches a heavyweight business car around the Spadina Coachyard (off to the right) at Bathurst Street bridge. New GMD SW1200RS and ALCO/MLW S-series diesel switchers work the freight-only Bathurst Street yards to the left. The CN Spadina Roundhouses' coaling tower is visible to the upper right, where dozens of steam and diesel power were maintained for service out of downtown Toronto. Also of note is the relatively new looking brick yard tower (identical ones were at Mimico and Don Yard, all demolished today). The Toronto skyline 50+ years ago looks much different than it does today, with the tallest building being the Canadian Commerce Bank Building (which was also the tallest building in the British Commonwealth). It held this distinction from 1931 to 1962, and was 69 feet taller than the Canadian Pacific's Royal York Hotel, also visible here above the yard tower.  CNR (or GTW) 8421 shown here was one of six P5j 0-8-0 switch engines built by Brooks, purchased from original owner Buffalo Creek Railroad in 1947 and assigned Grand Trunk 8400-series numbers. "GTW" 8421 (however it's shown here sporting CN lettering on the tender's wafer logo) is former BCK 27, and operated in GTW/CN service with its former owner's number and lettering after purchase until becoming 8421. Most photos show these steamers around downtown Toronto, switching the freight and passenger yards in the area. All were retired by the end of the steam era in Canada, and scrapped.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Bill Thomson all rights reserved.



Caption: Steam era action at Bathurst Street: Canadian National 0-8-0 8421 switches a heavyweight business car around the Spadina Coachyard (off to the right) at Bathurst Street bridge. New GMD SW1200RS and ALCO/MLW S-series diesel switchers work the freight-only Bathurst Street yards to the left. The CN Spadina Roundhouses' coaling tower is visible to the upper right, where dozens of steam and diesel power were maintained for service out of downtown Toronto. Also of note is the relatively new looking brick yard tower (identical ones were at Mimico and Don Yard, all demolished today). The Toronto skyline 50+ years ago looks much different than it does today, with the tallest building being the Canadian Commerce Bank Building (which was also the tallest building in the British Commonwealth). It held this distinction from 1931 to 1962, and was 69 feet taller than the Canadian Pacific's Royal York Hotel, also visible here above the yard tower.

CNR (or GTW) 8421 shown here was one of six P5j 0-8-0 switch engines built by Brooks, purchased from original owner Buffalo Creek Railroad in 1947 and assigned Grand Trunk 8400-series numbers. "GTW" 8421 (however it's shown here sporting CN lettering on the tender's wafer logo) is former BCK 27, and operated in GTW/CN service with its former owner's number and lettering after purchase until becoming 8421. Most photos show these steamers around downtown Toronto, switching the freight and passenger yards in the area. All were retired by the end of the steam era in Canada, and scrapped.

Photographer:
Bill Thomson [386] (more) (contact)
Date: 00/00/1958 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN 8421 (search)
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: Bathurst Street - Toronto Terminals Railway (search)
City/Town: Toronto (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=15641
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Photo ID: 14616

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2 Comments
  1. A real nice oldie! Cool to see what Bathurst Street looked like 60 years ago before condos, GO trains, and all the downtown office towers.

  2. I like this picture very much as I remember several of the sights shown. The tall brick tower for one, the boxcars near Front Street even the hulking mass of the Royal York Hotel. When this picture was taken my Dad worked every second Saturday morning at his office on Richmond Street and would bring me with him. We often went over the Bathurst Street Bridge and drove slowly so we could see the rail activity below. I was 8 years old at this time. Thanks for taking and posting this picture.

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