Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unique Locomotives on the CP Rail Manitoba & Minnesota Subdivision

Modelling the mid-1990s gives me a chance to model a varied assortment of power on the CP Rail Manitoba & Minnesota Subdivision. This includes three unique units of U.S. ancestry that found their way to CP Rail.

First up is SD40-2 5417, (ex-KCS 672) which was acquired by the railway in 1992. To make it, I followed the example of the prototype. I bought a KCS unit (Athearn blue box), and proceeded to remove the KCS lettering and numbers.

I then masked the area below the cab windows and gave it a patch of primer, after which I added the numbers. CP Rail lettering was also applied to the body. Photos of the prototype can be found at

Next up is SD40-2 5422 (ex-MP 3164, ex-UP 4164). Once again, I followed the prototype by purchasing an Union Pacific unit (once again, an Athearn blue box).

I removed the Union Pacific lettering and numbers and replaced it with CP Rail lettering and numbers. Photos of the prototype can be found at

Finally, we have SD40-2 5480. This unit was built as Southern 3249 in 1975, then became NS 3249, then GATX 3249 before being sold to CP Rail in 1992. In this case, I didn't do any of the work on this unit.

I bought it from friend Marty Weeks, who added the high nose to the unit; it was painted and decaled by another model railroad friend, David Enns. Prototype photos can be found at

I'm nothing special when it comes to modelling. But having these three units on the roster adds a bit of variety to the layout, and often prompts visitors to ask whether there really was a prototype. Plus, they were fun to make.

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