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Train time in Chambord © 2016 BILL LINLEY

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posted by Bill Linley alias Bill Linley on Friday 22nd of May 2020 09:40:44 PM

Tuesday, April 29, 1969, saw my friend Ken McCutcheon and I on hand to see CN Train 70 from Montreal arrive at 5.30 a.m. in Chambord, Quebec. At the time, business was brisk on the daily service, and CN offered a range of accommodations on the train from coach seats to a drawing-room. I did not record the consist of Train 70 as it departed at 5.50 for the last 51.3 miles of its 317.8-mile, 13-hour trip to Chicoutimi, but the trailing car was Manitou. Departing CN FP9 6539 led an F9B with four baggage cars, two coaches, a buffet lounge and sleeping car 1700, WINDIGO. In 1954, Pullman Standard built 4 section, 4 roomette, 1 compartment, 5 double bedroom lightweight sleeper for the Florida East Coast. Originally named SCOTT M. LOFTIN for a U.S. Senator (D) and FEC trustee from Florida, it became the NASSAU for the FEC, who sold it to CN in January 1967. VIA acquired the car in March 1978 and retired it forty-eight months later. Herron Rail Services in Tampa, Florida, bought it in January 1983. The previous morning we had seen its similar configured running-mate MANITOU, formerly FEC's JAMAICA. For many years the pair ran on the NORTHLAND from Toronto to Kapuskasing. The FP9 operates today as Ontario Southland 1400. After serving CN since June 1958 (serial #A1399), it ran as VIA 6539 from April 1978 through February 1984. VIA had CN rebuilt it with a 16 cylinder 645C GM prime mover, and it returned as 6303. With no steam generator, VIA assigned it to Winnipeg for use on trains to Churchill. It was sold to RailAmerica, going to the Mackenzie Northern in Alberta as Railink 1400 in 1998 and then to the Goderich and Exeter in Ontario in September 2003. It went to Ontario Southland in August 2012. Connecting Train 183 for the three hour and fifteen-minute run to Dolbeau, 57.4 miles away on the far side of Lac St. Jean, included a steam generator unit, two baggage cars, a coach and through sleeping car WAINWRIGHT. The car built by Canadian Car & Foundry in the fall of 1923 was a heavyweight 12 section, 1 drawing-room car. CN installed ice air conditioning with a roof-mounted duct in 1939 and rebuilt the car as an 8-1-2 in February 1949 by replacing 4 sections with 2 compartments. It became CN work car 54959 in January 1980, and CN scrapped it in December 1992. At 6.05 a.m., Train 183 would also pull east from the Chambord station but then take traverse the west leg of the wye and exit the tail track heading straight for Dolbeau on the Roberval sub. A pair of MLW RS-18s, 3736 and 3684, powered the departing train. 3736 (MLW 1958, 82499) ran the 29.5 miles to St. Felicien, where the crew set it off for local service and continued with the 3684 alone. CN retired 3736 on Thursday, December 8, 1988. CN sold it for scrap to Sidbec Feruni in March 1991; it vanished in their steel mill in Contrecoeur, Quebec. January 1958-built MLW (#82226) 3684 went to Exporail in St-Constant, Quebec, in 1993 as an operating example of the 352 RS-18s. It well represents MLW's all-time most successful diesel model.

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