Wednesday, May 05, 2010

CN 1700

I was driving south on the Perimeter last night, after a Prairie Dog Central meeting, and I saw an eastbound train on the CN mainline as I approached Wilkes Avenue. I saw that it had four engines on it, two conventional CN engines followed by a blue ex-BC Rail engine. The fourth engine, though, was something unusual, in an orange-brown livery. Time to chase!

I took the exit and headed east on Wilkes Avenue. Before too long, I was ahead of the train and I could stop to grab a quick video in the rain and approaching darkness.

The mystery engine is CN 1700, a GE B39-8E that BC Rail acquired in 2000. It has special orange-brown livery for use on the Whistler Northwind, a service that ended in 2002 after only two years of operation.

CN 1700 still wears the same colours, albeit somewhat faded, and it has the Whistler Northwind logo on the side.

The following is a very nice video by boots176 of the same unit, back in 2002 when it was still pulling the Whistler Northwind.


BC Mary said...

Thanks for your generous contributions of train lore for those of us who lack your expertise in recognizing and chasing after special trains.

Somehow it hurts a bit, each time someone says that certain trains shouldn't be kept in operations that don't make profits (or enough profits).

When everything is reduced to making profit, we lose some wonderful, creative options and, in my view, BC Rail is a prime example of that. Even though BCRail did bring in revenues over and above its operating expenses ... and really, would Bill Gates (a 30% owner of CN shares) be buying into a company which took on money-losers?

Well, the BC Rail story isn't over yet ... the jury has been selected and the BCRail trial a.k.a. HMTQ vs. Basi, Virk, Basi gets rolling om VC Supreme Court (Vancouver) on May 17, 2010.

Read more here:

BC Mary said...
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