diesel locomotives did almost all of
of the branchline and way
freight work in
Atlantic Canada. By 1998 all these locomotives and most of the
branchlines had gone. This web page shows some of these locomotives.
about 2000, mainline freight trains have
stopped to pick
up freight cars where necessary but most freight is brought in
containers by road to either Halifax or Moncton where it is loaded on
to flat cars.
Yard locomotives are situated in Halifax,
Dartmouth, Truro, Moncton & Edmundston and they will service
local areas when needed. The Saint John yards and area are serviced by
New Brunswick Southern. More information can be seen on the webpage on
Canada's "workhorses" were the RS-10s (built 1954-6) &
the much more numerous and longer lived RS-18s (built between 1956
& 1960 by MLW). Here we see CP RS-10s 8599 at the Bayshore
in Saint John
on 9 October 1977. All CN RS-10s were retired by 1970 but the last
unit survived on CP until 1984.
operated with short hood forward and here we see the rear of RS-10 8570
on the same day and at the same location but in the "pacman" livery.
Note absence of hood-mounted bell on both RS-10 units.
we see the front (note bell) of CP RS-18 8763 at Fredericton on 18
August 1985. Many of these units were later rebuilt and chop nosed.
& 1818 (formerly 8759 & 8735) haul
Ashley Drew Northern boxcars destined for Calais ME through Upper
Milltown NB en route from McAdam to St.Stephen where they were shunted
onto the international bridge for collection by the paper mill's
comparison we see the rear (no bell) of Canadian National RS-18 3684
switching Ocean Terminals in Halifax on 8 August 1990 when it was 32
Two RS-18s (3675 & 3663) and an
are at the head of a freight to PEI approaching Sackville NB at 10:30
am on 24 February 1974. Most of the cars are empty potato reefers and
1730 is returning to the island after attention at the Moncton shops.
Canadian National RS-18 3624 switches container flats (COFCs) at Ocean
Terminals in April 1973. Note the bell on the front of the long hood of
the RS-18 indicating that this is the front of the CN unit (in contrast
to CP units). Also note the roof details - radiator fan, turbocharger
exhaust and raised central cover which housed the dynamic brake (not on
all units) triple horn and
radio antenna. Also in the picture is an S-12, an outside frame boxcar,
several wooden cabooses and the grain terminals with the flour mill.
RS-18, 3834, is fitted
with a winterisation hatch that keeps snow out of the exhaust fan and
allows some of the warm air to be recirculated. Several RS-18 had these
hatches applied. This unit was also fitted with dynamic brakes housed
in the short hood (in contrast to 3624) as shown
by the numerous grills on the left-hand side of the short hood. It is
seen at Rockingham yards in March 1986.
The CN branch lines with lighter track were
serviced in northern New
Brunswick & Prince Edward Island by six axle RSC-13s and in
Scotia with RSC-24s. Above we see CN RSC-13 1703 with a local
freight leaving Chatham, New Brunswick (now part of Miramachi) on 3
September 1974. The last of
these locomotives was retired in 1976.
Here we see one of
only four RSC-24s ever built - all for CN. 1803 is
outside the Bridgewater NS shed in July 1973.
The RSC-13s & RSC-24s were replaced by RS-18s
which had received the six wheel A-1-A trucks from the retired RSC-13
& RSC-24 units. These locomotives are often called RS-18Ms or
RSC-14s since they were de-rated to 1400hp from 1800hp.
1754 is shunting potato boxcars at Summerside PEI on 9 June
is now displayed at the New
Brunswick Railway Museum
and 1762 has been put on display at Kensington, PEI.
later, RSC-14 1750 is in Dartmouth on 28 April 1995, shortly
before its retirement. Note the dynamic brake grilles on the short
hood. The last units
survived on CN until 1997 and two were sold to Acinox in Cuba.
initially assisted on mainline freights and operated in multiple on
many branchlines. Here M-420W 2565 and RS-18 3702 are
preparing to leave Gordon yards, Moncton on 14 June 1982.
National's M-420Ws were built between 1973 & 1976. Here we see
2570 - one of the last batch to be built - at Fairview, Halifax, Nova
Scotia in July 1982.
1981 MLW had stopped producing M-420s and had introduced an improved
version called the HR-412. The units looked very similar to the M-420Ws
but on the rear of the long hood the radiators were larger and more
like those on an RS-18.
we see HR-412 2582 at Fairview on 17 September 1984. Compare this photo
with that of 2570. Only 10 of this
model were ever built - all for Canadian National. They were retired by
1998 but some were sold to shortlines.
As the RS-18s were
retired or rebuilt, M-420s and HR-412s, appeared as
road switchers (for which the driver's side window was extended
outwards and the fuel capacity was reduced to lighten the locomotive -
they were renumbered from the 2500 series to the 3500 series by
changing the 2 to a 3). 3539 with its extended side window is at
Fairview roundhouse - note turntable on left - at 12:30 pm on 10 April
Six years later the
changes to 2555 are clearly visible at Truro NS on
16 October 1993. The filler around the window is a different shade of
orange as is the paint underneath the 3. Note also that the twin
headlight fixture has been changed but not repainted and that this unit
has had ditch light added.