TRANSCRIPTIONS BY BRUCE CHAPMAN AND COLIN CHURCHER
OF ARTICLES
BY AUSTIN CROSS IN THE OTTAWA CITIZEN




Just Rusting Away, November 10th, 1959

  There are 2 pix at the top of the page; first one is CN 5583, next one a switcher, can’t make out the 3rd one; pic below it has 5559 and 3 more behind it.
 
Second title says ‘Benched Steam Engines Squat Silently On Siding’.
 
    ‘Six dead dinosaurs are rusting away silently on the Canadian National tracks at the roundhouse off Hurdman’s Road.  They are a mixed group of passenger, freight and yard switching engines.  The total ages would aggregate almost 300 years with individual engines being from 40 to over 50 years old.
     ‘Locomotive foreman Frank G Walton describes them as being “under Tallow”, and most of them could be put back in service under an estimated 24 hours.
     ‘The history of these old locomotives in pretty much the history of railroading in the 20th century in Canada.
     ‘Yet, these steel saurians had their glimpses of grandeur as recently as two years ago.  Study the line and you will find, second from the south end, is CNR 5559.  Though it was built by the long defunct Grand Trunk railway as far back as 1910, this high-wheeling, high-stepper was hustling the first section of the Super Continental down to Montreal only two years back.  That was when the diesel-driver Super was dragging its tail, back somewhere beyond Brent.
     ‘Whenever Ray MacDougall, the the big shot in the CNR hereabouts before retirement, thought that the Super was going to be too late, he would order a “first Number 2”.
    ‘Thus you would have a steam-driven first section of the Super, made up right here at Ottawa.
     ‘‘”That 5559”, said Foreman Walton. with love in his eyes and a break in his voice, “would take the Super down to Montreal in two hours flat”.
     ‘While photographer Doug Gall looked on in non-comprehendingly, Rail Fan Cross lent the foreman a kerchief to mop up a shy tear.
     ‘In some sentimental vein, the foreman would also use 5562 or 5583, for the elegant Super.
     ‘These 5500’s go back to the ancient 200 class of the Grand Trunk, now remembered perhaps only by such rail fans at Canon John Smith, rector of Our Lady of Fatima Church.
       ‘Also in the string of six is 5251, with a proper door in her cab.  This writer identified her as an old Canadian Government Railway type.  Sure enough, she turned out to be old CGR 479.
     ‘Less sentimental is a railway buff inclined to be over yard switcher 8360, which was built for the Canadian National in 1929.  To an engine fan, this was just yesterday.
     ‘But a reverend bow for 2609, now 52 years of age, and “outshopped” in 1907.  When the Grand Trunk first brought this big one into Ottawa about 1913, she looked to be the biggest thing on wheels.
     ‘Engine 2609 ran latterly  on freight but, after a half century, she has to go.
     ‘Now the whole six are “under tallow”.  Some day soon, the engines will roll as part of their own slow-motion cortege, at an absurd 25 miles and hour, to Montreal and the graveyard.
     ‘Only hoping, Locomotive Foreman Walton is secretly scheming to keep the 5559 in standby shape out at the rickety roundhouse.  Maybe, some day, No. 2 will be late, the Super will not be so “super” that day, and out will come the 72-inch drivers of this lean locomotive greyhound, rushing the first section of the Super to Montreal at a mile a minute all the way – and on time.


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Updated 12 May 2019