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While we all enjoy the equipment end of railroading, images like A. Mooney's  recent one of the female conductor "making the joint" highlights the human side, the side of railroading that is continually vanishing.  On that note, one of the most highly respected and well remembered locomotive engineers on the CP side around Toronto, passed away on Jan 27 at the age of 88. Mac Allen, the son of a CP coal dock worker in Britt ON made a career running trains.  He was one of very few left who had run revenue steam. He was well known for his pride in himself, the CPR and his locomotives.  His cabs, both steam and diesel were always made spotless and left that way for the next crew. He trained and mentored so many of today's CP hoggers working out of Toronto and is always remembered by them in the highest regards.  This image shows him in his element.  Running On Time with an F unit, in a spotless cab, dressed like a locomotive engineer on CP's Flagship train. Well done Mac Allen and Clear signals all the way !!
Copyright Notice: This image ©Steve Bradley all rights reserved.



Caption: While we all enjoy the equipment end of railroading, images like A. Mooney's recent one of the female conductor "making the joint" highlights the human side, the side of railroading that is continually vanishing. On that note, one of the most highly respected and well remembered locomotive engineers on the CP side around Toronto, passed away on Jan 27 at the age of 88. Mac Allen, the son of a CP coal dock worker in Britt ON made a career running trains. He was one of very few left who had run revenue steam. He was well known for his pride in himself, the CPR and his locomotives. His cabs, both steam and diesel were always made spotless and left that way for the next crew. He trained and mentored so many of today's CP hoggers working out of Toronto and is always remembered by them in the highest regards. This image shows him in his element. Running On Time with an F unit, in a spotless cab, dressed like a locomotive engineer on CP's Flagship train. Well done Mac Allen and Clear signals all the way !!

Photographer:
Steve Bradley [63] (more) (contact)
Date: 10/21/1978 (search)
Railway: Canadian Pacific (search)
Reporting Marks: CP 4068 (search)
Train Symbol: 002 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Mactier Sub (search)
City/Town: Midhurst (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=40260
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Photo ID: 39055

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6 Comments
  1. What a beautiful image and tribute Steve. Well done.

  2. Thank you Steve for your wonderful tribute to Mac Allen and sharing this great photo of Mac showing him as you say , “in his element “. A true gentleman, so well respected by his fellow employees, and “a good runner”.
    You will be greatly missed. John Freyseng

  3. Oh my. Thanks Ray I just pulled my Toronto Star and there it is. From the notice if I may:

    Retired on March 30 1994 after 47 years of service. (Wow)

    The notice also states in lieu of flowers donations to the Mactier Railroad Heritage Society or South Simcoe Railway Foundation or charity of choice.

    Class act. RIP Mac.

  4. Today’s Toronto Star p. B10 started with his Notice, a lengthy tribute. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

    A gentleman in every sense of the word. I never railroaded with a finer man. R.I.P.

  5. Mac Allen!!! He must have been a wonderful gentleman, alright. Pride is becoming a forgotten symbol in the working world.
    Noting the flimsies on the clipboard. :o )Endless paper.
    The ‘good old days’ were not so difficult when one had pride.
    I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Allen, or many like him, but I have to also add..R.I.P.

  6. Thanks for posting this great photo and tribute, Steve. I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting Mac through you in the later part of the 70’s. If I could use one word to describe him it would be “Gentleman”. He was very soft spoken. That said, the fact that he served as Union President of BLE Division 295 for ten years demonstrates his commitment to serve others along with his ability to earn respect from both sides of the table. His gentle humor, warm smile, respectful nature and clear thinking was truly endearing.

    I grew up with the mainline of the CPR running literally against my back fence. There were many occasions when I’d hear a gentle double toot on the horns as he passed by. I always appreciated him saying hello.

    I remember Steve, Mac and I driving to Mac’s cottage in Parry Sound. We were heading to chase some train as I recall. Mac had the largest Oldsmobile I’d ever seen – it was about three football lengths long and was light blue with an unusual manual transmission. Mac always had great pride in his machinery and this car was no exception – it was pristine. I remember being shocked when he tossed me the keys. I was a newly licensed driver and truthfully I was a bit intimidated (but I was yearning to get behind the wheel of this brute)! If Mac was terrified he certainly didn’t display it!

    I was surprised by how easy the transmission shifted. When I was up to highway speed Mac looked over and gently said, “I like how you lifted the train out of the station so smoothly”. For a young guy void of a father figure his words of encouragement meant a lot and have stayed with me for over 40 years.

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Allen. You were a class act and are missed already.

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