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CP GP9 8635 and H24-66 "Train Master" 8905 work Alyth Yard in Calgary AB with a cut of cars. An unusual pairing, but quite regular: there were three GP-TM sets assigned to work the Alyth Yard hump in the mid-70's until the final three big TM's were retired. How this all came about was an interesting story:

The biggest of the big at the time when it hit the market was the Fairbanks Morse H24-66  "Trainmaster". Powered by a 12-cylinder 24-piston opposed-piston 38D8 1/8 engine making 2400 horsepower. CP purchased one unit as a test from FM-CLC (8900) in 1955, followed by 20 more units (8901-8920) built under license by the Canadian Locomotive Company in Kingston ON in 1956. Early on they were run between Calgary and Revelstoke, with a few being based out of Toronto and Montreal in transfer service for a while. Over time larger, more powerful and more reliable power came onto the scene, and due to reliability problems CP's MEchanical Department decided to begin retiring all their Train Masters in 1966. Eight units were scrapped (with traction motors going to MLW for use in new C630M's 4500-4507), and six were sold to a Marine supply outfit in the US for salvaging of their opposed-piston engines (popular in marine use) and other components. The few remaining units were gradually wittled down to a few remaining in Calgary and Montreal transfer service (retired and scrapped early 70's), and 8900, 8904 and 8905 which found themselves assigned to heavy transfer work around the Cominco smelter in Trail BC in the early 70's. From there, they migrated to hump service in Calgary in mid-1973 (after the Eastern Region made it absolutely clear they *did not want them*, having retired the last ones that remained in Montreal transfer service). Maybe CP couldn't afford to retire the last three just yet, what with the upswing in traffic and having to lease all sorts of foreign power like hoards of ex-QNSL Geeps from Precision National and old B&O F-units.

Meanwhile, in 1970-1971 three GMD GP9 units (8633, 8634 and 8635) were given low short hoods by Ogden Shops as a test for better visibility, intended for use on the Alyth hump and yard assignments. Contrary to popular belief, they were not repainted in three separate schemes (action red, script, and block lettering respectively) - thrifty CP just did the mods, repainted that front area, and left each in the paint it came into the shop with. Dynamic brakes were removed, and each was done with modern GM-style numberboards and windows and a new "pointed" short hoods (all likely fabricated in-house by CP shop forces). The old hoods were actually removed and kept by CP as spares (there's a photo of 8633's short hood in action red stripes sitting on a flatcar at Alyth in 1972). Further GP9's got short hoods as they were rebuilt after wrecks or incidents, and it was incorporated into the rebuilt program for all remaining GP7, GP9 and RS18 units in 1980 (by then the existing short hoods were "chop-nosed" or cut down shorter, rather than having new hoods fabricated).

Initially the newly minted yard Geep trio ran on the hump with spare SW1200RS units in GP9-SW-SW pairings (the SW's were becoming too small for some of the heavier trains and larger cars being run), but then the aforementioned three remaining Train Masters from Trail made their way into hump service, where they were paired in three GP-TM sets until the order came down to park the TM's in late 1975 (they were poorly maintained by then, and one of the complaints was exhaust fumes were getting sucked into the yard office buildings). The order came down to retire the three for good in mid-1976. 8900 & 8904 were scrapped, but 8905 was retained by CP for preservation purposes. and currently resides at Exporail/CRM in Delson QC as the last Train Master in existence. GP-F7B-GP pairings at Alyth hump then became the norm, usually using older GP7 and GP9 units downgraded to yard service and old F7B's running out their final years before retirement.

Photographer unknown, slide from the Dan Dell'Unto coll.
Copyright Notice: This image ©unknown, Dan Dell'Unto collection all rights reserved.



Caption: CP GP9 8635 and H24-66 "Train Master" 8905 work Alyth Yard in Calgary AB with a cut of cars. An unusual pairing, but quite regular: there were three GP-TM sets assigned to work the Alyth Yard hump in the mid-70's until the final three big TM's were retired. How this all came about was an interesting story:

The biggest of the big at the time when it hit the market was the Fairbanks Morse H24-66 "Trainmaster". Powered by a 12-cylinder 24-piston opposed-piston 38D8 1/8 engine making 2400 horsepower. CP purchased one unit as a test from FM-CLC (8900) in 1955, followed by 20 more units (8901-8920) built under license by the Canadian Locomotive Company in Kingston ON in 1956. Early on they were run between Calgary and Revelstoke, with a few being based out of Toronto and Montreal in transfer service for a while. Over time larger, more powerful and more reliable power came onto the scene, and due to reliability problems CP's Mechanical Department decided to begin retiring all their Train Masters in 1966. Eight units were scrapped (with traction motors going to MLW for use in new C630M's 4500-4507), and six were sold to a Marine supply outfit in the US for salvaging of their opposed-piston engines (popular in marine use) and other components. The few remaining units were gradually wittled down to a few remaining in Calgary and Montreal transfer service (retired and scrapped early 70's), and 8900, 8904 and 8905 which found themselves assigned to heavy transfer work around the Cominco smelter in Trail BC in the early 70's. From there, they migrated to hump service in Calgary in mid-1973 (after the Eastern Region made it absolutely clear they *did not want them*, having retired the last ones that remained in Montreal transfer service). Maybe CP couldn't afford to retire the last three just yet, what with the upswing in traffic and having to lease all sorts of foreign power like hoards of ex-QNSL Geeps from Precision National and old B&O F-units.

Meanwhile, in 1970-1971 three GMD GP9 units (8633, 8634 and 8635) were given low short hoods by Ogden Shops as a test for better visibility, intended for use on the Alyth hump and yard assignments. Contrary to popular belief, they were not repainted in three separate schemes (action red, script, and block lettering respectively) - thrifty CP just did the mods, repainted that front area, and left each in the paint it came into the shop with. Dynamic brakes were removed, and each was done with modern GM-style numberboards and windows and a new "pointed" short hoods (all likely fabricated in-house by CP shop forces). The old hoods were actually removed and kept by CP as spares (there's a photo of 8633's short hood in action red stripes sitting on a flatcar at Alyth in 1972). Further GP9's got short hoods as they were rebuilt after wrecks or incidents, and it was incorporated into the rebuilt program for all remaining GP7, GP9 and RS18 units in 1980 (by then the existing short hoods were "chop-nosed" or cut down shorter, rather than having new hoods fabricated).

Initially the newly minted yard Geep trio ran on the hump with spare SW1200RS units in GP9-SW-SW pairings (the SW's were becoming too small for some of the heavier trains and larger cars being run), but then the aforementioned three remaining Train Masters from Trail made their way into hump service, where they were paired in three GP-TM sets until the order came down to park the TM's in late 1975 (they were poorly maintained by then, and one of the complaints was exhaust fumes were getting sucked into the yard office buildings). The order came down to retire the three for good in mid-1976. 8900 & 8904 were scrapped, but 8905 was retained by CP for preservation purposes and currently resides at Exporail/CRM in Delson QC as the last Train Master in existence. GP-F7B-GP pairings at Alyth hump then became the norm, usually using older GP7 and GP9 units downgraded to yard service and old F7B's running out their final years before retirement.

Photographer unknown, slide from the Dan Dell'Unto coll.

Photographer:
unknown, Dan Dell'Unto collection [390] (more) (contact)
Date: circa March 1975 (search)
Railway: Canadian Pacific (search)
Reporting Marks: CP 8635, 8905 (search)
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: CP Alyth Yard (search)
City/Town: Calgary (search)
Province: Alberta (search)
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