Saturday, September 10, 2016

Happy 50th Anniversary CPR SD40s

CP Rail 5500 arrives in Revelstoke.

Fifty years ago, in July, 1966, Canadian Pacific Railway took possession of its first 32 SD40s (5500-5531).

That first order was followed by a second order of 33 units. (5532-5564)

5500 in maroon & grey.

Today those units are probably all retired, sold or scrapped. But one remains—the class engine, 5500, at the Revelstoke, B.C. Railway Museum.

As the Museum notes on its website, the SD40 was significant in that it was the harbinger of the kind of power that would carry the CPR into the latter part of the previous century.

In Action Red

For a long time, the SD40 and the SD40-2 was the mainstay of the CPR (later CP Rail) locomotive fleet (from the 1960s to 1990s).

The units were found across the country, but were especially useful in the mountains—which is why 5500 has found a home at Revelstoke. It arrived in 2011.

The plan is for the Museum to return the unit to its original maroon and grey livery with script lettering.

Since the CP Rail M & M Sub. is set in the early 1990s, there are a lot of SD40 variants on the roster in various liveries: Multimark, no Multimark, Twin Flags and other schemes.

Being delivered to Revelstoke. Doug MacKenzie photo.

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