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Rolling into the BC town of Williams Lake, I was rather surprised to see these two engines in the yard. I guess because they must be stationed mainly in the west, I was not aware of their existence. According to the Trackside Guide there are 6 of these; GP38-2 models acquired when CN took over the Wisconsin Central in 2001. Series 2001 to 2006. Of course not to be confused with the CN Dash-8s in the 2000 series.  The GPs are sublettered "WC", but still; it threw me off for a bit. I would have thought these would be renumbered.....  Did manage to catch 2003 as well; that one still in Wisconsin Central paint. CN 2002 and 2006 basking in the sunshine.....I hoped for a freight to come into town with a 2006 leading of course, but incredibly remote chance of that.!!
Copyright Notice: This image ©A.W.Mooney all rights reserved.



Caption: Rolling into the BC town of Williams Lake, I was rather surprised to see these two engines in the yard. I guess because they must be stationed mainly in the west, I was not aware of their existence. According to the Trackside Guide there are 6 of these; GP38-2 models acquired when CN took over the Wisconsin Central in 2001. Series 2001 to 2006. Of course not to be confused with the CN Dash-8s in the 2000 series. The GPs are sublettered "WC", but still; it threw me off for a bit. I would have thought these would be renumbered..... Did manage to catch 2003 as well; that one still in Wisconsin Central paint. CN 2002 and 2006 basking in the sunshine.....I hoped for a freight to come into town with a 2006 leading of course, but incredibly remote chance of that.!!

Photographer:
A.W.Mooney [1865] (more) (contact)
Date: 09/19/2021 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN (WC) 2006 (search)
Train Symbol: yard power (search)
Subdivision/SNS: CN Prince George Sub. (search)
City/Town: Williams Lake (search)
Province: British Columbia (search)
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Photo ID: 45881

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

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12 Comments
  1. They even have dynamic brakes, how un-CN for a GP style unit. The 2003 is going to look good in the WC paint. :-)

  2. They seem to like the ex-WC units on that line. I have a photo of three of them taken McBride, B.C., several years ago still in the WC paint scheme. If I ever figure out my d_mn scanner, I’ll send it in.

  3. It’s nice to see part of the station name sign peeking out between the units, a handy location key.

  4. They are Ex-Algoma Central units !

  5. Sharp eye, Ken! I had lined this one up for that reason. ID. !!

  6. Now what if I told you that 2002 has been in this paint scheme for 10+ years, and 2006 a similar length of time!

  7. Guess I will say I am shocked, Matt. Really.

  8. The WC GP40-2s are assigned to this territory because they are the only units CN has that meet all the requirements for switcher power in this area: four axles, dynamic braking, and turbocharged engines (CN doesn’t like to use blower EMDs in road service in western Canada due to the perceived hazard of spark emissions).

    BC Rail had used a variety of four axle MLWs and GEs on these jobs over the years, but CN got rid of all these units after the takeover. The Exeter switcher then got a GP40-2L without dynamic braking, this choice of power greatly contributed to a runaway on the Kelly Lake Hill that killed two employees and severely injured a third.

    http://tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/rail/2006/r06v0136/r06v0136.html

  9. Thank you so much for this. The report, rather long, also fascinating. So switchers with DB could have prevented the Kelly Lake Hill tragedy. I’m puzzled as to why CN didn’t look into this at the beginning.

  10. The BC Rail takeover happened at the height of the Hunter Harrison era at CN. Suffice it to say that safety was not high on management’s list of priorities, and ‘run trains first and ask questions later’ was the mindset.

    Just over a year later that same attitude caused another derailment at the former BC Rail yard in Prince George. The “area superintendent” mentioned in this report was Jamie Boychuk, who was promoted at least twice within CN after this incident before ultimately being fired for embezzlement a few years ago. But he wasn’t out of work for long, Hunter hired him at CSX and he is currently an executive VP over there.

    http://www.bst-tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/rail/2007/r07v0213/r07v0213.html

    https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/about-us/company-overview/csx-leadership/jamie-boychuk-biography/

  11. I’m sorry, SD70Dude, but I am having a lot of trouble here. A careless area mgr whose position at CN was to “ensure safety” is now involved with “safety” at CSX??? That is like having a drunk in charge of the highway speed trap.
    Everywhere I look, when something goes wrong, it is either a breach of safety; shortcuts; poor training OR the “old Boys Club” protecting their irresponsible buddies. Worse than how our government operates.
    These reports, MUCH appreciated I must say, give me a taste of bile. My stomach must be gurgling……………
    Whether at CN or CN, when the sheeeeit hits the fan; the higher ups scramble to cover each others rear ends. Some teamwork.

  12. I might add, I was NEVER impressed with EHH.
    And that horrible runaway on CP over by the Spiral Tunnels is emitting the foul stench of a potential coverup as well. Three lads died.

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