Canadian Pacific, like most railways, has its own business train that it uses for corporate and public relations purposes. It charters this train as the Royal Canadian Pacific – although I think that’s on hold for now – and it has been used for public events such as the Canada 150 tour. This week, however, the train was used by CP’s president and CEO, Keith Creel, as he and company officials visited facilities in Winnipeg and the USA.
The train left Calgary, Alberta on Sunday morning and rolled east toward Winnipeg, arriving in our fair city just before sunrise on Monday. I imagine they had priority over most if not all freight trains on the way. If only VIA Rail had that kind of priority over CN…
The train was parked in CP’s yard all day Monday, not easily accessible for photos, so I didn’t make any effort to go see it.
Word was that it was heading south on CP’s Emerson subdivision first thing Tuesday morning, heading to the US border and into Minnesota. Several of us decided to catch it at the steel bridge over the Floodway just south of the city.
Jim Burnside elected to catch it in St. Boniface, and posted this video. Sweet light!
Jim and others let us know that it was on its way. There were about half a dozen of us waiting for the train, so we chatted from a social distance and checked and rechecked our cameras.
Eventually someone spotted headlights, and it was game time.
I launched my drone and sent it toward the bridge, turned the video camera on, and got ready for the shots.
The train rolled across the bridge as many shutters clicked.
I was panning with the drone as the train went by. Those maroon and gold F units looked great in the morning light.
You might be wondering why it they were arranged in an A-A-B sequence. Normally one would see the cabless “B” unit between the two “A” units.
I believe CP 1900 has been equipped for head-end power (HEP) to provide electricity for the rest of the train, so it has to be next to the passenger cars. The odd thing is that the next car, CP 95, is a generator car that would perform the same function. Curious.
The second last car, SELKIRK, was a relatively new acquisition for Canadian Pacific. This ex Southern Pacific full length dome car entered CPR service in June 2019. Apparently president and CEO Keith Creel wanted a dome in the consist, so ex SP 3605 was acquired from the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. It was basically a shell at that time and has been completely rebuilt.
Observation car SANDFORD FLEMING was on the tail end, and several people were in the car. One of them tooted the tail end horn a few times to salute the motley group of railfans. I’m not going to post any photos of the people in the car (ethics and all that).
Students of Canadian railway history will recognize the name. Sir Sandford Fleming was a giant in early Canadian railways, being the chief engineer of the Intercolonial Railway, and the first chief engineer of the original Canadian Pacific Railway. Many also know that he invented time zones (more here).
Here’s a view of the area from my drone as the train rolls south in the distance.
For those keeping track at home, this was the full train’s consist:
- CP 1401
- CP 4107
- CP 1900
- CP 95
- N R CRUMP
- ROYAL WENTWORTH
- CP 74 MOUNT STEPHEN
- CP 70 ASSINIBOINE
- SAM STEELE
- CP 3605 SELKIRK
- SANDFORD FLEMING
Here’s my video of the train – from the air and from the ground.
Just One More Thing
Here are a few more videos and posts featuring the CP business train.