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Making its maiden trip west, CN M-420(W) 2501, leads train 201 into the yard at Capreol, Ontario on June 3 1973.
Copyright Notice: This image ©First954 all rights reserved.

Caption: Making its maiden trip west, CN M-420(W) 2501, leads train 201 into the yard at Capreol, Ontario on June 3 1973.

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Date: 06/03/1973 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN 2501 (search)
Train Symbol: 201 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Capreol (search)
City/Town: Capreol (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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Photo ID: 40338

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

Full size | Suncalc
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  1. Those MLW’s were apparently the first Canadian cab units?
    Hard to believe they were sent westward as most MLW/Alcos stayed in Ontario and Eastern Canada.

  2. I think GM beat MLW by about two months, March vs May 1973. MLW units regularly went as far west as Winnipeg with some even venturing farther west.

  3. Not sure about that. I have heard the opposite. I actually have the CN builders schematics of all units up to the SD60F’s I just have to see where I put them. Not a big deal. I did some looking around and could not find the actual date of construction. Anyone out there happen to know?

  4. Just checked another reference . GP38-2 4700-4732 nee 5500-5532 were constructed 11/72-1/73

  5. Apparently CN M420 2501 was accepted by CN first (in May 1973), a few weeks(?) before 5560. Not sure what the 2500-series build dates are, but the CTG lists 5560 as built March 1973 (a single safety cab unit at the end of a CN 5500-series standard-cab GP38-2 order), so maybe GMD kept it around London for refinements longer.

    I guess it’s a matter of semantics: the GMD unit may have been built first, but the MLW unit entered service first.

  6. Thank you all very much for the comments. MLW did deliver the first “safety cab” unit to CN and that was in May 1973. The GM unit 5560 was held back from delivery with the other GP38-2s 5500-5559 that were delivered between 11/72 and 3/73. Extra 2200 South shows the 5560 delivered in June 1973. My photo dated June 24 1973 of 5560 shows no road grime at all which helps to confirm a June delivery. It is interesting that these first GP38-2s are classed GR-20b rather than a sub class of a. GTW GP38ACs 5800-5811 were delivered in 1971 and were classed GR-20a. 5561 and up are class GR-20c.

  7. Thx MrDan. I think I remember a Trains magazine from the early 70′s showing new locomotives and I am pretty sure it said that the M420 was the first delivered Canadian cab.

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