"The Empress": First Run, approaching Canmore, AB, September 23, 2001.
...steaming past Morley on it's way to Cochrane AB, then on to Calgary .
A fully restored, "gleam machine".
PHOTO Credit: Canadian Pacific Railway NEWS.
From Trains.com, August 20, 2001.
Canadian Pacific 4-6-4 Hudson No. 2816 performed well during test runs last week in BC, and will be ready to roll to Calgary next month to kick off its role as the railway's steam ambassador. "It went just swimmingly. There's fine tuning to do, of course, but everything went just perfectly," said Jonathan Hanna, CPR's corporate historian. "We got her up to 50 mph, and it looks like we'll be on schedule for bringing her back to Calgary." The locomotive pulled GP38 No. 3007, a riding platform, eight covered hoppers, and another caboose during test runs on August 16, 17, and 18 between Pitt Meadows and Mission, BC. The locomotive made one 50-mile round-trip the first day, then a pair of round-trips the following days, Hanna said. Since the 800-ton consist didn't tax the locomotive, the 3007's dynamic brakes were applied at times to create extra drag. "We tricked the locomotive into thinking it had about 1600 tons of freight on the flat," Hanna said. It handled the extra "tonnage" with aplomb.
The crews at BC Rail's steam shop in North Vancouver, where the locomotive was re-assembled after a three-year overhaul, will install jacketing and details such as number boards, plus finish painting the 2816, before the inaugural run to Calgary.
The tentative plan for the trip is to depart Vancouver September 19, overnight in North Bend, Kamloops, Revelstoke, BC, and Lake Louise, AB, en route to a September 23 arrival in Calgary. The arrival is timed to coincide with the shareholder meeting that week that will determine the fate of Canadian Pacific Ltd.'s plans to spin off its subsidiaries, including the railway.
by Jim Crowley, correspondant
CALGARY - I am writing this with the satisfaction that CPR's magnificent Hudson-type steam locomotive CP 2816 is nearly ready to roll out of the shop in fully-restored operating splendor. It's now been three years since Al Broadfoot and I met with Leslie Pidcock and Mike Kieran to discuss the possibility of CPR again taking possession of "a piece of its heritage," as Leslie put it.
Arguably, the restoration of the 2816 is the most thorough rebuild undertaken on a steam locomotive in North America since the end of their era, in the mid-1960s. When this grand lady rolls out later this year, it will be in the same mechanical condition as it was when it was born on the erecting floor of the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1930. In fact, probably better condition, given today's improved metallurgy.
In 1998, Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA, a publicly-funded tourist operation, was mandated to divest itself of foreign locomotives acquired over the years 2816 among them. Our job began with CPR's decision to repatriate this magnificent artifact and restore it to its former glory.
The watchwords of the restoration program were safety and reliability. To do that, the engine was torn down to the frame and painstakingly rebuilt from the ground up, in much the same manner as it was built some 71 years ago. The key rested with the unsung and mostly forgotten workers at CPR headquarters in Windsor Station more than 70 years ago.
The CPR last operated steam power in 1960. Although a few steam locomotives remained on the roster until late 1966, there is no record of any repair work or revenue operations after 1960. In the wholesale slaughter of these fire-breathing monsters, most railways disposed of their records, engineering drawings and materials specifications as quickly as they eliminated the beasts themselves.
Thirty-six thousand CPR steam locomotive drawings, covering virtually every class of steam locomotive the railway ever operated, were turned over to the Canada Science and Technology Museum (formerly known as the National Museum of Science of Technology) for preservation.
Restoration work is often extremely challenging as records disappear over time. But within the museum's collection, there were more than 800 drawings of CPR class Hlb class locomotives, of which 2816 is the only survivor. Everything from the boiler right down to details of the whistle was available for consultation. With the museum's blessing, a complete set of drawings was transferred to CD ROM and placed at the disposal of the 2816 restoration team.
Every nut, bolt and rivet is hand-drawn to scale, accurately identified as
to location, size and material specification. It's hard to imagine how many
hundreds of hours it took to produce this "artwork" without the benefit of computers.
There are exactly 888 staybolts in the firebox crown sheet of 2816 and there
is a drawing that shows each and every one, painstakingly and exactly located.
Every bolt lined up.
Every bolt lined up.
What fascinated all of us who worked on 2816 was the incredible accuracy of these drawings. When we went to fit the new crown sheet in the firebox, every one of the 888 stay bolts lined up. When we took the boiler off the frame, removed the original smoke box and built a new one, all 42 feet of it went back together within 1/32 of an inch - an acceptable tolerance, even by space-age standards.
We appreciated CPR's foresight in preserving the engineering data. And, no doubt, those railway oldtimers would be happy to see it once again put to good use.
Today, much is made of quality control and quality assurance. While they may not have been buzz words in the CPR engineering and mechanical offices of 1930, those processes were surely in place in a manner few could ever appreciate - unless, of course, you were part of the 2816 rebuild program.
Undeniably, we owe a debt of gratitude to the many draftsmen who laboured with pen and ink to provide what one professional engineer described to us as "absolutely the finest engineering rawings ever produced during the steam era."
Referring to the near-mythological appeal of the steam locomotive, the late
Norris R. "Buck" Crump, the CPR president who championed the cause of diesel
power, once said: "For those who kept the beasts running, there was no glamor."
That certainly had to be true for the draftsmen at CPR, but for those of us
who have been lucky enough to work on this restoration project, and for all
of you who will get to see 2816 steam back into our modern world - well, you
be the judge.
From Trains.com, July 11, 2001.
If all goes according to plan, Canadian Pacific H1b-Class 4-6-4 No. 2816 will turn a wheel under its own power for the first time in 41 years when it makes test runs the week of August 6.
The rebuilding of the Hudson at BC Rail's steam shop in North Vancouver is nearing completion, with superheater work and other minor tweaks remaining, says Jonathan Hanna, CP's corporate historian. The test runs may be made with or without boiler jacketing, depending on whether the locomotive has received the required inspections to comply with standards set by the Railway Association of Canada and the Federal Railroad Administration, he said.
The 2816 is slated to stretch its legs between CP's intermodal terminal at Pitt Meadows, B.C., and Mission, B.C., a roughly 25-mile run, operating during a window in between the morning and evening commuter operations on the line. CP is requesting that interested observers keep their distance from the tracks so that the tests are not delayed.
Assuming the locomotive performs well during the trial runs, the 2816 will power a five-day, four-night trip from Vancouver to CP's headquarters city of Calgary beginning September 19, Hanna said.
The locomotive's arrival on September 23, and subsequent display, would be keyed to the shareholder meeting that week that will determine the fate of Canadian Pacific Ltd.'s plans to spin off its subsidiaries, including the railway.
'It will be an opportunity to showcase the old and the new,' Hanna says.
The schedule and consist of the Calgary trip remain tentative. Under current plans, the train would overnight in North Bend, Kamloops, and Revelstoke, B.C., and Lake Louise, Alberta.
CP hopes to field a Tuscan-red train that will include the 2816 and tender, the auxiliary tender (the tender from a former Delaware & Hudson Challenger), a power car, CP display cars 80 and 81, two or three coaches, and business car Assiniboia, an open-platform car built at CP's Angus Shops in 1929.
CP will use the 2816 as a steam ambassador in the railway's community outreach program, and it potentially will be under steam 180 days a year. The 2816's overhaul for use in a steam program is the pet project of CP President and CEO Robert Ritchie, who is a student of the railway's rich history.
The 2816, which rolled out of the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1930 and earned its keep at CP until 1960, has undergone an extensive rebuilding that involved converting the locomotive to burn oil. Like many steam locomotive overhauls over the years, the 2816 project proved more extensive and expensive than predicted, once the locomotive was disassembled. It was originally scheduled to debut last September.
The locomotive is the only surviving member of the Hudson H1b class, and the only remaining example of CP's 51 non-streamlined passenger and fast freight 4-6-4s. It entered passenger service on the prairie, hustling trains between Winnipeg and Calgary, and Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.
The 2816's final assignment was in Montreal-Rigaud commuter service, where
it ran off the last of its 2,046,000 miles and whistled through Ritchie's hometown
of Hudson, Quebec. It was sold to the Steamtown Foundation in 1963, then located
in Bellows Falls, Vt., and repatriated in September 1998 from the Steamtown
National Historic Site collection in Scranton, Pa.
Trains online, August 29, 2000
Trains Online reports that the restoration of CPR's steam locomotive No. 2816 is taking longer than expected and will not debut until sometime in spring 2001. Like many steam locomotive overhauls, the 2816 project proved more extensive and expensive than predicted once the locomotive was disassembled. CPR historian Jonathan Hanna noted that the locomotive needed more involved work than was anticipated on its boiler and running gear. Nonetheless, the locomotive "will be as good as new, and in some cases, better than new," when finished, Hanna says.
Despite the delay, CPR's plans for the locomotive to serve as an ambassador for the railway remain unchanged. The 2816 will serve as an integral part of the railway's community outreach program, and will appear at charitable and community events, help tell how CPR's transcontinental route tied Canada together, and will be used to educate children about the dangers of playing near tracks. It also may pull some high-end excursions using the railway's "Royal Canadian Pacific" luxury passenger equipment. "This project is not about restoring a museum piece, it is about educating people in North America about the CPR today and what rail is doing to build a better future for all of us," said railway president and ceo Rob Ritchie in April.
Locomotive has been repatriated and is being restored by the CPR.
PHOTO Credit:Gord Hall
Borrowed from Greg Chadwick's Unofficial Homepage of the Royal Hudsons.
Bill Stephens, Trains online, April 20, 2000
Canadian Pacific Railway has taken the wraps off its fledgling steam program with its April 19 announcement that H1B-class 4-6-4 No. 2816, nearing the completion of its million-dollar restoration, will serve as an ambassador for the railway.
The handsome Hudson will make appearances at events across CPR territory, as well as pull some of the railway's "Royal Canadian Pacific" luxury passenger tours out of Calgary, Alberta, CP's headquarters city. CPR had been mum about its specific plans for the locomotive, which was repatriated in September 1998 from the collection of the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pa.
The 2816, built in 1930 by Montreal Locomotive Works, will be formally unveiled in Calgary in September. It will then barnstorm the CP system, visiting some communities in September and October. A schedule is still being put together.
"This project is not about restoring a museum piece, it is about educating people in North America about the CPR today and what rail is doing to build a better future for all of us," said Robert Ritchie, CPR's president and chief executive officer.
The 2816 will be an integral part of CPR's community outreach program. It will appear at charitable events and will be used to tell children about the dangers of playing near tracks.
"We have reached back to an era when steam locomotives were living, breathing machines with individual personalities," said Ritchie, sounding like a man with a firm grasp of the enduring appeal of steam. "They were the stuff of legends, captured forever in music and books."
Thanks in part to CPR's $1 million investment in the 2816, another generation will understand the allure of main line steam locomotives. BC Rail shop forces are finishing two years of restoration work on the 2816 at the railway's North Vancouver, British Columbia, steam shop.
The 2816 is the only surviving member of the Hudson H1B class, and the only remaining example of CPR's 51 non-streamlined passenger and fast freight locomotives built at the onset of the Great Depression. After rolling out of Montreal Locomotive Works in December 1930, 2816's 75-inch-diameter driving wheels hustled passenger trains across the prairies between Winnipeg and Calgary and Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.
After the 4-6-4 was bumped from that service in 1937 by semi-streamlined Hudsons, it ran out of Toronto on the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, with occasional jaunts into northern Ontario. Sometime in the late 1950s, it emerged from the shops with the tender from one of its Royal Hudson cousins, the 2822.
The 2816's final assignment was in Montreal-Rigaud commuter service, where it ran off the last of its 2,046,000 miles. Its last revenue run occurred on May 24, 1960; it was sold to the Steamtown Foundation in 1963.
The restoration of the 2816 continues CP's recent trend of embracing its heritage. After being known as CP Rail for decades, the company in 1996 began using its original name, Canadian Pacific Railway. A year later, CPR introduced an updated version of its beaver-and-shield logo, which first appeared in 1886 but which hadn't been used since 1968. And in 1998, it acquired a trio of former VIA Rail Canada F units from the Nebraska short line Nebkota for use on its Royal Canadian Pacific vintage luxury trains, which will debut in June.
The steam ambassador program adds the missing ingredient to CPR's drive to bring its history alive. Clearly, CPR realizes that steam locomotives are much more than the sum of their parts and can attract attention like nothing else on the railway. The 2816 will do just that when its whistle shrieks during its September ceremony in Calgary.