Canadian Pacific: Diesel Leasing

(Part 2 - 1966 to 1970)

Canadian Pacific remained heavily vested in its locomotive leasing strategy throughout the 1966-1970 period. The large number of Union Pacific FA1/FB1s that had been employed previously (1964/64) were returned. In contrast, the highly reliable Bessemer & Lake Erie F-unit based-lease fleet remained until the close of the 1960s; B&LE's orange & black locomotives held down many assignments between Toronto, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba, and a few made it all the way to Calgary.

The closing of the Great Lakes shipping season during the winter months had traditionally buoyed the number of leased locomotives running on the CPR; it was an important factor over- looked in last month's Part 1 discussion. When the lakes froze, upper Great Lakes region railroads, namely Duluth Missabe & Iron Range (DM&IR), Lake Superior & Ishpeming (LS&I), SOO Line, and even the Great Northern (occasionally) would lease locomotives to railroads that could capitalize on extra motive power, such as the CPR.

Beyond just B&LE, CPR augmented its lease population during other months of the year by entering into agreements with several railroads and/or equipment leasing companies:

  • Bangor & Aroostook - GP7s and GP9s
  • Boston & Maine - RS3s, S3s, S4s, GP9s, And F7A/Bs
  • Chicago Great Western - F7As & F7Bs
  • Delaware & Hudson - S2s & S4s
  • Illinois Central - C636s
  • International Nickel (INCO) - a RS18
  • Lake Superior & Ishpeming - RS11s & a RS3
  • Pittsburgh & Lake Erie - U28Bs
  • Precision Engineering / Precision National - RS27s

Additionally, CPR took advantage of opportunities to host demonstrators from major builders (Alco and EMD) anxious to showcase their new locomotive product lines. Ironically, General Electric, which was destined to be North America's largest locomotive manufacturer, was not inclined to promote their U30/33/36 line in Canada.

CPR's 1971-1974 leasing tendencies will be further explored next month.

Photo Gallery

Alco Products loaned CPR two new Union Pacific C630s for a period of 30 days during May and June 1966. This May 21 photo depicts the UP #2903 coupled to CPR dynamometer car #62 at the Cote St. Luc engine house. (Doug Hately photo / Bruce Chapman collection)

The two Alco loaners tested between Montreal and Windsor and in the Rocky Mountains. The performance of the six-axle locos netted the builder a 37-unit order from CPR and 44-unit order from CNR. (Doug Hately photo on May 21st / Bruce Chapman collection)

Bangor & Aroostook locomotives were regulars on the Canadian Pacific from the mid-1960's to the early 1970s; CPR was notoriously power short and leased just about anything that would haul freight. BAR GP7 #72 rides the turntable at Cote St. Luc in 1969. (Ian Stronach photo)

Unfortunately, there is very little information known about this photo other than the location which is someplace in Alberta near the community of Ogden. The BAR / B&LE image nonetheless helps illustrate just how power short CPR was at times. (Photographer unknown)

CP train #893 with a Bessemer & Lake Erie F7A in the lead passes Summit in southern Vermont during a late summer day in 1966 (Don Haskell photo)

Bessemer & Lake Erie F7A #717A just in from St.Luc with CP Train #85 stands idle at Ottawa West yard, Ontario on 24 May 1966. (Bruce Chapman photo)

Canadian Pacific shop personnel were "Alco-savvy." Thus, when leased units bearing a Schenectady builder plate appeared, they were capable of wrestling the crankiest of 244 engines and control systems. B&M RS3 #1536 is depicted here at Smith Falls, Ontario on 7 July 1967. (Bruce Chapman photo)

A large share of the second-hand lease units assigned to the CPR in the 1960/70s had been built at the Alco assembly halls in New York, perhaps as much as two for every one EMD. Boston & Maine was one of the few leasing partners to provide both Alco and EMD power. such as B&M GP9 #1562 at Smith Falls, Ontario on date?? (Doug Hately photo / Bruce Chapman collection)

A large number of Boston & Maine first generation locomotives were leased to the CPR during the latter part of the 1960s. B&M F7A #4266 and RS3 #1512 were two such units as seen here on a Hamilton Extra in 1970. (JB Ross photo / Bruce Mercer collection)

While most of Canadian Pacific's lease needs were oriented towards road power, they were short-handed from time-to-time for yard units. On those occasions the Delaware & Hudson, along with B&M, would provide power. D&H #3023 worked Cote St. Luc Yard on 1 May 1966. (Jim Sandilands photo)

Chicago Great Western F7A #150 in the company of CPR RS3 #8449 draw a box-car grain train eastward through Bowmanville enroute to a final destination in Toronto, Ontario. (Doug Hately photo)

A cold winter's evening provided an excellent opportunity to capture Chicago Great Western F7A #156 at the Smith Falls (Ontario) engine terminal under dramatic lighting. (Bill Linley photo)

EMD's SD40X Demonstrator corps totaled nine units; two of them (#434C and 434D) visited Canada in February and March 1966 to showcase the builder's new 645 V16-engine. Their first stop was CPR's Agincourt Yard for an inspection and re-numbering into Canadian Pacific's traditional demonstrator 7000 series number scheme. EMD #434C became #7001(2nd) and 434D carried #7000(2nd). (Bruce Chapman photo / Bill Sanderson collection)

The new SD40 model was truly a landmark locomotive; nearly 1000 SD40s, SD40-2s and variations were built by the General Motors Diesel Division plant in London, Ontario. The two-unit demonstrator team spent 25 days on the CPR before shifting to the Canadian National for an additional 25 days. On 8 February 1966, the EMD duo were caught leading a general manifest towards Smith Falls, Ontario. (Bill Linley photo)

Late on a windy mid-January afternoon, leased IC C636s #1105, 1101 and 1100 lead CP Train #904 off the single track at Guelph Junction. The Alco-built C636s made numerous trips between Montreal and points west while on lease. (Bruce Mercer photo)

A pair of the big six-axle Alcos were photographed while they stood outside the engine-house at Smith Falls, Ontario on 19 February 1970. CP had leased all six IC C636s for a 90-day period starting in late December 1969. (Bruce Chapman photo)

Supposedly, Illinois Central was not enamored with their C636s and was happy to lease the big six-footed Alcos to CPR. This 24 March 1970 scene shows IC #1100 and an old Alco war horse with a Hamilton Extra at Aberdeen Yard. (JB Ross photo / Bruce Mercer collection)

The IC 1100s were problem-prone and spent considerable time at the maintenance shops. However, the bright-orange and white Alcos were a sight to behold when on the road as this 2 March 1970 photo at Lobo Siding west of London can attest.(James A. Brown photo / Bruce Chapman collection)

It is early April and the Upper Great Lakes are just starting to release their icy grip -- shipping season will soon get underway. As for LS&I RS3 #1606, the four-axle lease unit will be headed for home rails within the week. Meanwhile, the two-story Ottawa yard office keeps a watchful eye as the RS3 shuffles a cut of cars. (Bill Linley photo)

LS&I's two RSD12s (#1803 & 1804) have found a 'new" home while working on the CPR in eastern Canada. Locomotive crews react positively to how quickly the 1800-hp units load, the extra pulling capability generated by an 200 additional horsepower, and the sure-footed traction that the six-motors provide. (Doug Hately photo / Bill Linley collection)

Two of the most unusual locomotives to appear in the CPR stable of leased power were a pair of RS27s provided by Precision Engineering (PECo). The 2400-hp Alco-built road-switchers arrived during the third quarter of 1970 and stayed a lot longer than most people expected. This March 1971 shot shows PECo #900 at the Toronto engine terminal. (Doug Hately photo / R. Craig collection)

It is fair say that the RS27s were not what might be called "owner friendly." Built in 1963 for the Chicago & North Western, the turbo-charged Alcos had had three different owners in the short span of seven years. PECo #901 shown here along with sister #900 were sold in 1972 to the new and larger Precision National. (James A. Brown photo / Bruce Chapman

EMD SD40X Demonstrators #434C and 434D spent a total of 50 days touring / testing on Canadian rails during February and March 1966. After spending 25 days on CPR, the EMDs went to work on neighboring Canadian National. This scene shows the SD40X flares in Toronto, Ontario in the company of a CN dynamometer car. (Peter Cox photo / Mark Perry collection)

Click the one of the following links if you are interested in viewing other parts of the Canadian Pacific Leasing Profile:

  • Part 1 - 1963 to 1965
  • Part 3 - 1971 to 1974 (ready December 2021)
  • Part 4 - 1975 and Beyond (ready January 2022)
Why not also check out the Diesel Demonstrators

Bruce Chapman, Doug Hately, Bill Linley and Bruce Mercer provided photos and data that contributed to the development of the above profile and the roster compilation which follows).

  • 719A (June-December 1970)
  • 712B (June-December 1970)

  • Roster of Lease / Loan Locomotives

    Data Sources: Bruce Mercer and Bruce Chapman

    James A. Brown photo

    Lessor Model Road Number (and Time Frame of Lease)
    Alco C630 UP 2903 & 2904 (Early Summer 1966)
    C636 #636-3 (February 1970)
    Bangor & Aroostook GP9
    • 72, 73, 74 & 78 (February 1966)
    Bessemer & Lake Erie F7A
    • 713A, 714A, 716A, 718A & 719A (January & February 1966)
    • 716A, 718A & 719A (January, February 1966)
    • 716A, 717A & 718A (October 1967)
    • 712A 716A 717A 718A 719A 721A (January-February 1969)
    • 713B & 718B (January & February 1966)
    • 712B, 716B & 717B (January, February & October 1966)
    • 713B and 718B (October 1967)
    • 714B, 716B, 717B, 719B, 722B & 725B
    Boston & Maine RS3
    • 1511, 1535, 1536 & 1540 (January, February & October 1966)
    • 1508 1512 1517 1518 (December 1969 to February 1970)
    • 1508, 1512, 1515-1519 & 1536 (June-December 1970)
    GP9 1559, 1561, 1574, 1575, 1576 & 1577 (January 1966)
    F7A & F7B 4266A 4266B (December 1969 to June 1970)
    S3 1178, 1179 & 1181 (October 1966)
    S4 1263, 1268 & 1270
    Chicago Great Western F3A/F7A
    • 105A, 110C, 115A, 115C, 116C, 150 & 156 (January to June 1966)
    • 101D, 103B, 109B, 112D & 114B (February 1966)
    Delaware & Hudson S3 3015, 3023 & 3026 (October 1966)
    S4 3035, 3042, 3045 & 3047 (October)
    General Motos/ Electro-Motive Division SD40X 434D/CP 7000 & 434C/CP 7001 (were on CP 25 days only, in Feb/66; then to CN for approx 25 days late Feb/ thru March/66)
    Illinois Central C636 1101-1105 (February 1970 & June to December 1970)
    INCO - International Nickel RS18 4 (February 1969)
    Lake Superior & Ishpeming RS2 & RS3 1503 & 1606 (January to April 1966)
    RSD12 1803 & 1804, (January to March 1966)
    Precision Engineering / Precision National RS27 900 & 901, (October 1970 to June 1971)
    Additions and corrections to this data table are solicited and appreciated.

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