What is it with CP Rail’s Red Barns?
Why does a
locomotive, of which only 25 were produced, hold such an attraction for so
Is it because of how they look? Personally, I think
they look handsome and powerful, if a little boxy.
Is it because of the fact so few were made? They are
the only cowl units on CP Rail, while CN built many of them.
Is it the nickname? I can’t find out who
came up with it or when, but I assume it has something to do with the fact they
were red and looked like barns.
Or is it because, until now, it was impossible to
get an RTR Red Barn in plastic?
They were produced in brass (expensive!) and as
resin kits (not always easy to work with). Rarity equals desirability for many
things, so maybe that's the reason.
Whatever the reason, lots of people seem to like the unique units. When I posted about Bowser planning to make a Red Barn in HO scale, there were over 1,400 views.
As for the Red Barns themselves, there are
technically known as GMD SD40-2Fs. CP Rail was the only railroad to order and buy them.
9000 to 9024, they were delivered in 1988 and 1989, and spent the first parts of their careers in
western Canada hauling unit coal trains from the interior of B.C. to the Robert’s Bank coal port.
were bumped aside for that service by the new AC4400CW units in 1995, and then could be found
across the CP Rail system.
Unlike other CP Rail units, the Red Barns never received the
Multimark (or Pacman) scheme.
Two units, 9000 and 9022, were painted in the
dual flags scheme. The rest just have "CP Rail" emblazoned on the
According to information found on the Web, units
9000, 9002, 9005, 9010, 9016, 9018, 9019, 9022 and 9024 have been retired and sent
to Progress Rail to be rebuilt as SD30C-ECO units.
Apparently, only three units are still active.
The M & M Sub. has a Red Barn, an old Associated
Model Makers (AMM) resin kit that looks OK, but not great.
Whoever made mine (I bought it used) did
a good job. It runs on a modified Athearn Blue Box SD40-2 chassis.
When the new Bowser Red Barns come out, it won't last long!