Remembering CP 1530

Canadian Pacific Railway used to have a fleet of EMD GP7 and GP9 road switcher locomotives. These engines were built in the 1950s and operated all over CP’s system for many years. Despite being remanufactured, they reached the end of their useful life and most were scrapped. Some provided parts for today’s GP20C-ECO locomotives.

Andy Cassidy sends out a fair number of emails featuring railfans from all over the world, as well as Andy’s own photos. See below for how to subscribe. He recently sent out a few photos of GP9 CP 1530 shortly before it was scrapped. It inspired me to dig out my own photos of CP 1530. I’ll share them along with a few of Andy’s.

CP 8485 was built by GMD in 1954 as a GP9. It was rebuilt by CP in 1981 and had the short hood “chopped” and was renumbered to CP 1530.

My first sighting of CP 1530 was on October 7, 2009.

CP 1530 in Winnipeg
CP 1530 in Winnipeg

CP 1530 and 1550 were switching the auto yard in St. Boniface in Winnipeg.

The next time I saw 1530 was almost three weeks later. 1530 was paired with CP 1532 this time, but was almost in the same location. The photo is the lead photo of this post.

I spotted CP 1530 in the following spring – April 20, 2010 to be precise – paired with the same CP 1532, along the very same section of track, the CP Emerson subdivision. Here they were in the small yard by Central Grain and near the GWWD yard.

CP 1530 and 1532 in St. Boniface
CP 1530 and 1532 in St. Boniface

On September 24, 2011 the locomotive was connected to the mother-daughter pair of CP 3027 and CP 1127 by the Weston shops.

CP 1530 with 3027 and 1127 in Winnipeg
CP 1530 with 3027 and 1127 in Winnipeg

Later that fall, I spotted 1530 working one last time, paired up with CP 8205 and working the yard in Winnipeg, with the Arlington Street bridge in the background. This was October 16, 2011. Note the big black streak down the side of 1530.

CP 1530 and 8205 in Winnipeg
CP 1530 and 8205 in Winnipeg

Sadly, CP 1530 was apparently retired soon after that. On May 5, 2012 I found it in the dead lines in Winnipeg, surrounded by CP’s parked SD90MAC locomotives.

CP 1530 with parked SD90MAC locomotives in Winnipeg
CP 1530 with parked SD90MAC locomotives in Winnipeg

That was the last time I saw CP 1530. It was listed as “stored unserviceable” in the May 2012 Branchline magazine.

Andy photographed CP 1530 in the Coquitlam diesel shop in the greater Vancouver area on September 29, 2012. It still had the big black streak on the side.

CP 1530 at the Coquitlam Diesel Shop. Photo by Andy Cassidy.
CP 1530 at the Coquitlam Diesel Shop. Photo by Andy Cassidy.

CP 1530’s fate was sealed. It was destined for ABC Metals in Surrey/Langley to be turned into razor blades or something similar.

Andy pointed out something on the rear of CP 1530 that I never noticed.

CP 1530 in Coquitlam Diesel Shops - photo by Andy Cassidy
CP 1530 in Coquitlam Diesel Shops – photo by Andy Cassidy

See the black box above the number board?

I see in my photos that it was there on CP 1530 in September 2011.

Lat-Lon LMU on CP 1530
Lat-Lon LMU on CP 1530

That’s a Lat-Lon Locomotive Monitoring Unit, the RailRider (TM) LMU. This little box tracks the location of the locomotive using GPS and has sensors to record engine temperatures, RPMs, locomotive speeds, and so forth. Most importantly, it has a G force sensor to send alarms if heavy impacts are detected. Big Brother is watching you switch cars!

So that was CP 1530. It’s a good reminder to photograph everything, even the most common locomotives, because someday they won’t be around any more. CP no longer has any GP7 or GP9 locomotives, and the day will come soon when CN won’t have any either. Photograph them!

Just One More Thing

As I said, Andy Cassidy has a great mailing list where he shares his own photos as well as those from other railfans around the globe. To subscribe, drop him an email and ask to be put on the list.

Thanks for reading, and thanks, Andy, for allowing your photos to be used!

4 thoughts on “Remembering CP 1530”

  1. I enjoyed reading this story of 1530 and considering my relationship with CN’s remaining fleet. I’ve always liked GP7/9’s and can’t explain it (don’t need to understand it). Adding to that fascination the way they’ve witnessed (survived?) so many changes in Canadian railroading more than, perhaps, any other locomotive type.

    Chris

    Reply
    • You do like those GP9s, Chris, and good for you! I liked them when they were in Saint John – almost as much as the SWEEPs.

      Reply
  2. A nice set of pictures and an interesting story to go along with them Steve. Even though I only saw the last few GP9s running out their final miles before getting ‘the chop’, I always thought that they were interesting locomotives, even after CP rebuilt them. The GP9 struck me as simple and rugged, nothing flashy, just a get the job done kind of locomotive. Perhaps that explains the appeal.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Brian! I never saw an “unchopped” GP9 until NB Southern acquired a pair of them. It was interesting to see high hood units in action.

      I agree, the GP9s seem like no nonsense type locomotives, workhorses.

      Reply

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