By 1972 when we came to Atlantic Canada there were no passenger trains on PEI. A train ferry carried freight cars and when necessary locomotives from the mainland at Cape Tormentine to Borden and it usually operated at night. The map from the back of CN Employees’ Operating Time Table 27 taking effect at 0101 Sunday, April 29th, 1973 shows the five subdivisions (S/D) that made up the railway on the island.
The trackage on PEI was lightweight and only RSC-13s which had six wheeled trucks (later RS-18Ms which had received these trucks) and GE 90 tonners were permitted. The Murray Harbour subdivision had a weak bridge and only the GE 70 tonners were permitted on this branch.
Most freight was either agricultural supplies and machinery inbound and agricultural products mainly potatoes and some other vegetables outbound. A large number of reefers were used for this service, many leased from Merchants Dispatch Limited (MDL), often carrying the names of US railroads such as Illinois Central.
The last train with locomotives 1750 & 1786 left the island aboard the M.V. John Hamilton Gray on 28 December 1989. One locomotive, 1762, was preserved at Charlottetown and then moved to the station at Kensington.
GE 70 tonners
Thirty five of these 1000 horsepower, six axle locomotives were built between 1955 and 1957 by Montreal Locomotive Works for use on CN branch lines with light weight track. All were retired by 1976.
As the RSC-13s and RSC-24s were scrapped their trucks were put under RS-18s of the 3843 – 3893 group. All had transverse fuel tanks and so there was space for the longer trucks. At the same time the horsepower was reduced electrically to 1400 from 1800.