We stopped in Thunder Bay for the first night of our return trip from Toronto. We decided to break the almost 2,500 km trip up into 3 days for the return trip, with Sault Ste Marie as the first stop and TBay as the second. (see Variety Pack in Sault Ste Marie)
My wife and I decided to treat ourselves to supper at the Keg restaurant in TBay. There was a long wait for a table, so we gave my cell number to them and headed out to do a bit of railfanning. Well, I was doing some railfanning and my wife was in the passenger seat…
I headed down to Lake Superior to see the grain terminals there. You can see a few of my Thunder Bay grain elevator photos over on Grain Elevators of Canada.
While we were driving away from the elevators, I spotted some CN locomotives doing some switching nearby. I drove over to the Central Avenue overpass and photographed the trio, which included blue CN 2038.
I quickly discovered the real prize, a trio of oddball locomotives actively switching.
Where else can you find a DM&IR locomotive, an EJ&E locomotive and a CN “North America” locomotive working together?
Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range locomotive 403 is an SD40-3, rebuilt from a Southern Pacific SD45T-2 “tunnel motor”. Locomotives like this have their air intakes low with the theory that the smokier, lower quality air is at the tops of tunnels so they want to suck in air from as low in the tunnel as possible. Normally air intakes are high on the hood to avoid sucking in dust and such.
The middle unit was Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway 672, an SD38-2 originally built as Bessemer & Lake Erie BLE 876. This bright orange locomotive really stands out.
The “lead” locomotive was relatively pedestrian by comparison. CN 5381 is an SD40-2 originally built for the Missouri Pacific. It does wear the short-lived “CN North America” livery, so that makes it a bit rare.
Here’s a short video I took of the three units from Fort William Road.
We headed back to the Keg and soon we were in. Stellar company and a delicious steak made it a great experience.
Just One More Thing
You might be interested in a few more posts from this “marathon” trip – we did pass Marathon, Ontario, after all:
2 thoughts on “Quite a Combination”
Nice shots as always! Confused about your itinerary… Traveling back to Winnipeg from Toronto, wouldn’t Sault Ste. Marie be the first stop?
Yes, apparently my knowledge of the geography of northern Ontario is lacking! I’ll fix it.
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