I had the good fortune of seeing one of the Central Manitoba Railway’s GMD1 locomotives for the first time.
Cando Contracting acquired three GMD1 locomotives from CN – CN 1401, 1434 and 1435. Two of those locomotives were rebuilt and are now in service, and CN 1434 has been used for parts.
CN 1916 was built in the 1958-1959 era and was equipped with a steam generator for passenger service. It was remanufactured in the spring of 1989 and was renumbered to CN 1401.
She was acquired by Cando Rail Services in October 2018. The locomotive went into their shop on Day Street in Winnipeg in late 2018 and emerged as CCGX 1009. She made her first revenue trip on the CEMR on January 2, 2019, up to Imperial Oil on the Pine Falls subdivision.
CN 1011 was built in the 1958-1960 time range with A1A-A1A trucks for light branch line service. It was rebuilt in 1988 and became CN 1605, and was renumbered to CN 1435 in the 1998-2000 time period.
CCGX 1010 was repainted in Cando colours and made her first appearance in the new livery in mid August 2019.
I was driving along Wilkes Avenue in Winnipeg, parallel to the CN Rivers subdivision, following a westbound container train. As I approached Carman Junction, where the CEMR Carman subdivision joins the CN track, I saw headlights in the distance on the south track. I guessed that it was the CEMR train coming onto CN to exercise their running rights, and I was right.
I pulled off the road to photograph the train with my phone, and I was surprised to see a GMD1 in the consist.
The lead locomotive was an old friend, ex CN GP9 CEMR 4000, still in the “old” CEMR colour scheme. Most of Cando’s locomotives wear the new Cando scheme with the red and white “swoosh”, seen on the other two locomotives.
The second unit was recent acquisition CCGX 4206, a GP38-2.
For me the GMD1 was the star of the show. I took several photographs of CCGX 1010 as it passed me.
The train was not going very fast, so I got back into my car and chased them east a bit so I could record a video of the train passing.
That was exciting! I hope to see the other GMD1 at some point. I have to make a point of visiting the Pine Falls subdivision.