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As a crown corporation Canadian National enjoyed a lifelong, radically distinct funding formula. While this was not perhaps the best deployment of tax payer dollars, CN’s Research and Development group did contribute significantly to railway equipment development over the years. Noteworthy examples include traction control and the well known ‘Crew Comfort Cab’, still the state of the art today. One of the less successful concepts was the, so called, ‘Draper Taper’ full width locomotive car body.
In the early 1980’s Canadian National’s R&D division collaborated with Bombardier (BBD), formerly Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW), on a project to improve locomotive operational efficiency by reintroducing the full width/cowl car body. The added space was employed to warm and dry cooling air such that associated moisture that potentially could damage internal components was removed. The full width roof geometry also provided for built-in snow shields; formerly accessories mounted directly behind the cab. Fitted with access doors, routine maintenance was entirely feasible. Seeking to hold on to a slice of the NA locomotive market, BBD spent much development effort on their newly launched line of ‘High Reliability’ series of locomotives which included the cowl bodied six axle 3,200 HP HR-616 (CN 2100 -2119). Unfortunately, the new ‘HR’ series locomotives proved to be as maintenance intensive as their predecessors and shortly after the privatization of CN in 1996 all would be dispatched from the railway. While both GMD and GE would develop their own version of the ‘Draper Taper’ the overall concept was relatively short lived; 1982 – 1994. Only CN, BC Rail, Canadian Pacific and Quebec North Shore & Labrador would partake of the idea. In the end, ‘off the shelf’, standard model locomotives would prevail. A very thorough background on the HR’s can be found in the fabulous Glenn Courtney/Ken Goslett/Kevin Holland chronicle ‘CNR Diesel Locomotives’ – Volume 2. HR-616 No. 2106 leads an eclectic gaggle of motive power down bound through Bayview Junction including a 2000 series C-630M, GP40-2L (W) No. 9464, GP9 No. 4506 and F7Au No. 9165. Of the units listed, only the elderly (built by GMD 11/1956) GP9 remains; reincarnated as GP9RM No. 7081. Note the lack of ditch lights on No. 2106. CN No. 2106 was constructed by BBD in early 1982. No. 2106 was among the longer serving HR-616’s and would depart the roster as part of a sale of several sister units to National Railway Equipment (NRE). A number of the HR-616’s would linger in storage for years at the NRE facility in Silvis, IL.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Norm Conway photo Stuart Streit col all rights reserved.



Caption: As a crown corporation Canadian National enjoyed a lifelong, radically distinct funding formula. While this was not perhaps the best deployment of tax payer dollars, CN’s Research and Development group did contribute significantly to railway equipment development over the years. Noteworthy examples include traction control and the well known ‘Crew Comfort Cab’, still the state of the art today. One of the less successful concepts was the, so called, ‘Draper Taper’ full width locomotive car body. In the early 1980’s Canadian National’s R&D division collaborated with Bombardier (BBD), formerly Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW), on a project to improve locomotive operational efficiency by reintroducing the full width/cowl car body. The added space was employed to warm and dry cooling air such that associated moisture that potentially could damage internal components was removed. The full width roof geometry also provided for built-in snow shields; formerly accessories mounted directly behind the cab. Fitted with access doors, routine maintenance was entirely feasible. Seeking to hold on to a slice of the NA locomotive market, BBD spent much development effort on their newly launched line of ‘High Reliability’ series of locomotives which included the cowl bodied six axle 3,200 HP HR-616 (CN 2100 -2119). Unfortunately, the new ‘HR’ series locomotives proved to be as maintenance intensive as their predecessors and shortly after the privatization of CN in 1996 all would be dispatched from the railway. While both GMD and GE would develop their own version of the ‘Draper Taper’ the overall concept was relatively short lived; 1982 – 1994. Only CN, BC Rail, Canadian Pacific and Quebec North Shore & Labrador would partake of the idea. In the end, ‘off the shelf’, standard model locomotives would prevail. A very thorough background on the HR’s can be found in the fabulous Glenn Courtney/Ken Goslett/Kevin Holland chronicle ‘CNR Diesel Locomotives’ – Volume 2. HR-616 No. 2106 leads an eclectic gaggle of motive power down bound through Bayview Junction including a 2000 series C-630M, GP40-2L (W) No. 9464, GP9 No. 4506 and F7Au No. 9165. Of the units listed, only the elderly (built by GMD 11/1956) GP9 remains; reincarnated as GP9RM No. 7081. Note the lack of ditch lights on No. 2106. CN No. 2106 was constructed by BBD in early 1982. No. 2106 was among the longer serving HR-616’s and would depart the roster as part of a sale of several sister units to National Railway Equipment (NRE). A number of the HR-616’s would linger in storage for years at the NRE facility in Silvis, IL.

Photographer:
Norm Conway photo Stuart Streit col [30] (more) (contact)
Date: 08/00/1986 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN (search)
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: Dundas (search)
City/Town: Burlington (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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One Comment
  1. And another thing of the past, Ye Olde Phone Box, on the extreme left.:o)

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