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Having seen better days, decrepit CP "shorty" van (caboose) 437111 sits between freight cars in the yard at Nelson BC, living out its final days in service sporting broken and missing windows, damaged roof and tongue-and-groove wooden siding, and held together with bands of steel strapping wrapped around the entire length of the carbody.

From what I've been able to glean about this unique specimen, it was one of two steel underframe vans originally built in the 1930's as 34'10" long cars that CP cut down to 24'10" in 1944 for use on the Rossland Sub, in order to maximize the number of cars handled through one of the switchbacks along the line. The Rossland Sub was home of the Cominco smelter in Trail BC, located at the top of the steep 4.1% grade known as Warfield Hill. In the steam era, CP briefly employed a trio of Lima Shays to conquer the grades on the line in the early 1900's. In the early 70's, CP's last three Train Masters held down the assignment until they were moved to work the hump at Alyth Yard, their final job before retirement.

One account mentions when the Rossland Sub was cut back, the two shorty vans were used elsewhere - notably Nelson Yard for backup moves from Kootenay Forest Products at the east end of town. Apparently 437111 may have been involved in an incident with a yard engine at some point, and operated for a time in the sorry state shown here (apparently the banding was added sometime between August and October 1974) until being retired and scrapped.

Sister shorty car 437110 was in better condition and fared a bit better: it was eventually given the "plywood treatment", and made its way out east to serve in Montreal transfer service into the 1980's. Apparently efforts were made to save it when it was retired and sent from St. Luc to Weston for disposal, but things didn't pan out in the end for the ol '7110.

Two other known CP shorties were 435000 and 437134, but not much information can be found about them or their intended use.

Duplicate slide, photographer unknown (possibly Stan Styles), Dan Dell'Unto collection slide with some editing/cleanup.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Unknown, Dan Dell'Unto coll. all rights reserved.



Caption: Having seen better days, decrepit CP "shorty" van (caboose) 437111 sits between freight cars in the yard at Nelson BC, living out its final days in service sporting broken and missing windows, damaged roof and tongue-and-groove wooden siding, and held together with bands of steel strapping wrapped around the entire length of the carbody.

From what I've been able to glean about this unique specimen, it was one of two steel underframe vans originally built in the 1930's as 34'10" long cars that CP cut down to 24'10" in 1944 for use on the Rossland Sub, in order to maximize the number of cars handled through one of the switchbacks along the line. The Rossland Sub was home of the Cominco smelter in Trail BC, located at the top of the steep 4.1% grade known as Warfield Hill. In the steam era, CP briefly employed a trio of Lima Shays to conquer the grades on the line in the early 1900's. In the early 70's, CP's last three Train Masters held down the assignment until they were moved to work the hump at Alyth Yard, their final job before retirement.

One account mentions when the Rossland Sub was cut back, the two shorty vans were used elsewhere - notably Nelson Yard for backup moves from Kootenay Forest Products at the east end of town. Apparently 437111 may have been involved in an incident with a yard engine at some point, and operated for a time in the sorry state shown here (apparently the banding was added sometime between August and October 1974, photos suggest it was still around in September 1975) until being retired and scrapped. As a rider car for backup moves, the interior amenities may not have mattered as much as having an end platform to ride on for the crew.

Sister shorty car 437110 was in better condition and fared a bit better: it was eventually given the "plywood treatment", and made its way out east to serve in Montreal transfer service into the 1980's. Apparently efforts were made to save it when it was retired and sent from St. Luc to Weston for disposal, but things didn't pan out in the end for the ol '7110.

Two other known CP shorties were 435000 and 437134, but not much information can be found about them or their intended use.

Duplicate slide, photographer unknown (possibly Stan Styles), Dan Dell'Unto collection slide with some editing/cleanup.

Photographer:
Unknown, Dan Dell'Unto coll. [515] (more) (contact)
Date: October 1974 (search)
Railway: Canadian Pacific (search)
Reporting Marks: CP 437111 (search)
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: CP Nelson Yard (search)
City/Town: Nelson (search)
Province: British Columbia (search)
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Photo ID: 35451

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

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3 Comments
  1. Wow very neat.

  2. Hmmm, not sure Arnold. I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy, but still haven’t got around to it yet (too busy sorting through slides!).

  3. Anything about them in Manny Jacob’s new book on CP Cabooses? I’ve not seen it yet.

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