GMDD - Built SW1200RS Vignettes:

(By Peter Cox)

The SW1200RS was a very successful “Road Switcher” model for the GMDD London plant with Canadian National Railways and rival Canadian Pacific Railway placing large orders, and Canadian Forest Products purchasing the model as well. Built for road service in Canada, this model was derived from the SW1200 Yard Switcher, but had 65 mph motor gearing, and multiple-unit capability for main line use.  This road-engine featured a newly designed four-wheel “Flexicoil” truck, and large and very stylish enclosures for headlights, classification lights, and lighted number boards.  Some switcher features remained - no electric alternator, mechanically-driven traction motor blowers and cooling fan, also hoodtop-mounted radiators with front-of-unit shuttered air inlet. While they were primarily intended for road service, over time, most of them became yard engines - their road duties taken over by larger GP9’s  which were generally older, but  rebuilt into GP9RM’s and GP9u’s. Today,  road switcher jobs are more commonly assigned the more powerful GP38-2 model.      

The attached pictures attempt to capture them in their original built-for role. The CFP units are still doing that role, although their highest speeds never ever came close to 65 mph. On May 19th, 1958, Canadian Forest Products (CFP) SW1200RS 301 takes a well deserved rest at Woss Camp in British Columbia. 


The Canadian Forest Products SW1200RS units have dynamic braking plus trays on the truck frames to provide handy access for spare parts.  We wonder if the db fan was driven by an alternator  or had a belt-drive device.  One thing for sure - you certainly know when you are getting near one - that eerie scream, bouncing off the heavily treed sides of a river canyon will only be heard in the northern part of Vancouver Island...

Re the CFP unit and the application of DB. That fan is run off power generated by the TM’s when in DB. The DB grids taking the brunt of the load, and the fan just tapping off the grids at the appropriate spot to deliver enough power to spin the fan at an appropriate speed in the full range of DB. It’s all just a matter of adding the appropriate switch gear and excitation controls in the electrical cabinet. (Not a simple mod though). (Andy Cassidy with thanks)


With a mixed consist on September 16th, 1964, CP SW1200RS 8100 and sibling are preparing to depart Winnipeg, MB destined for a secondary route to the south.  These units had the light enclosures only on the leading end. The trailing end had the type of headlight/number lights fixture usually applied to yard engines.  Also, the exhaust stacks appear to be higher than those applied to similar CN units.  Earlier this year, CP retired and sold their last operating survivors of this series, following over a half century of reliable service.   

A trio of CN SW1200RS’s move a local freight on a typical prairie secondary mainline trackage at Yorkton, SK on August 8th 1957.  The lead unit (CN 1347)  has the as-built frame-mounted horizontal handrails while the two trailers were built earlier, with hood-mounted handholds - a legacy from their yard service ancestry.

Eric Aucoin photographed CN SW1200RS 1363 at Taschereau Yard in Montreal April 23rd, 2007.

Foreign Built EMD SD70Ace

These were the first two locomotives manufactured in Brazil by EMD SD70ACe model. Note that on your plate contained as-manufactured in August 2011 and was corrected to August 2012.



In Brazil March 2nd, 2013, Eldorado (Railroad) SD70ACe 9564 rolls past Ferrovia Centro Atlantica (FCA) General Electric C36-7 4701 The General Electric-built 3600hp diesel  is  ex-NREX C30-7 5161  nee-ATSF C30-7 8118,  and operates on 1600mm Gauge track.


National Railway Equipment

Watch this former Canadian-built CN GP9RM get stripped, gutted, and cut apart at the National Railway Equipment Shop, for remanufacturing into a brand new NRE genset for Gulf Coast Rail Service.

CADRAIL / RB Recycling


CAD Railway Services (Lachine, QC) are continuing their contract to overhaul 26 SOO SD60’s and four SD60M’s to Tier 0+ compliance, equip them with AESS (Locomotive Automatic Engine Start/Stop) to conserve fuel, and repaint and renumber to CP 6200-series. The entire rebuilt SD60 fleet will receive (PTC) Positive Train Control modifications at the CP St-Luc Diesel Shop.


In Service:


CP SD60M 6262 (ex-SOO 6062) was released April 29th, 2013

CP SD60 6239 (ex-SOO 6039) was released on April 29th, 2013

CP SD60M 6259 (ex-SOO 6059) was released in April 2013

CP SD60M 6258 (ex-SOO 6058) was released in April 2013

CP SD60 6231 (ex-SOO 6031) released January 20th, 2013

CP SD60 6249 (ex-SOO 6049) released December 21st , 2012

CP SD60 6238 (ex-SO 6038) released on December 4th, 2012

CP SD60 6256 (ex-SOO 6056) released November 29, 2012

CP SD60 6246 (ex-SOO 6046) released November 20th, 2012

CP SD60 6230 (ex-SOO 6030) released November 1st, 2012

CP SD60 6236 (ex-SOO 6036) released October 26th, 2012

CP SD60 6221 (ex-SOO 6021) released October 6th, 2012.

CP SD60 6223 (ex-SOO 6023) released September 20th, 2012

CP SD60 6257 (ex-SOO 6057) released August 31st. 2012

CP SD60 6234 (ex-SOO 6034) released August 15th, 2012

CP SD60 6252 (ex-SOO 6052) released July 25th, 2012

CP SD60 6255 (ex-SOO 6055) released June 21st, 2012

CP SD60 6229 (ex-SOO 6029) released June 5th, 2012

CP SD60 6243 (ex-SOO 6043) released April 20th 2012

CP SD60 6254 (ex-SOO 6054) released March 29th 2012

CP SD60 6245 (ex-SOO 6045) released March 6th 2012

CP SD60 6242 (ex-SOO 6042) released March 1st 2012

CP SD60M 6260 (ex-SOO 6060) released January 13th 2012

CP SD60 6228 (ex-SOO 6028) released December 16th 2011

CP SD60 6225 (ex-SOO 6025) released December 1st 2011

CP SD60 6241 (ex-SOO 6041) released November 2011

CP SD60 6240 (ex-SOO 6040) released October 2011

CP SD60 6250 (ex-SOO 6050) released October 2011


At Cadrail:


SOO SD60 6047 arrived in Montreal January 17th

SOO SD60 6048 arrived in Montreal January 17th

SOO SD60 6022 arrived in Montreal April 26th


Richard Marchi bagged CP 6239 fresh from CAD at St-Luc Diesel shop on April 21st, and CP SD60M 6262 on April 28th outside CAD Shop.



On April 15th CP SD60M 6259 was seen at St-Luc Yard after release from CAD.



Locomotives noted at CADRAIL in April:     

CP SD60M 6259 and 6258 (both released in April)

CP SD60 6242 (for warranty repairs, now back in service)

SOO SD60 6039, 6047, 6048 and SOO SD60M 6062 (for overhaul)

CP  GP38-2 3027  (for CAD overhaul and repaint, the only one so far)   

CP 9725 AC4400CW (for repairs)

CP 9750 AC4400CW (for repairs)

CP 9751 AC4400CW (for repairs)

CP 9772 (AC4400CW (for repairs)

CP GP9u 8219 (TUUS at St-Luc in 2012, she has been released from CAD.   

CITX SD40-2 3071, 3082, 3101, 3172 and one other CITX blue SD40-2.

CITX SD9043MAC 136 (Parked outside CAD facility on April 21st)  

CITX SD9043MAC 105 repainted in blue scheme with CIT Logo, was the last of these to wear the older “CEFX” maroon and grey livery, departing CAD in April and was seen in St-Luc Yard April 14th.  Three blue SD9043MAC siblings CITX 118, 119, and 133 all departed CAD in March, and were transferred to CN Taschereau Yard.    

CEFX AC4400CW 1037 and 1029 for repairs and possible repaint.  

RBRX F59PH 18554 18537, and 18538 stored outside for several months, became parts sources and were scrapped.


The following CP AC4400CW’s are earmarked for CAD, and will arrive as space to do the work becomes available:   CP 9554, 9556, 9558, 9649 , 9560, 9521, 9523, 9803, 8639, 9725,  9750, 9810, 8520, 9517, 9524, 9825, 9831, 8624,  9735,  9822,  9622, and  9527.   Two of these, CP 9725 and 9750 had arrived at the CAD facility in March along with leased CEFX AC4400CW 1037 and 1029,


VIA sleeper 8328 “Grant Manor” is at CAD for repairs. It incurred sideswipe damage from CN SD70M-2 8904 at the VIA station in Jasper, Alberta back on July 6th, 2010.

Bombardier - Canada

Bombardier has launched its rail prototype technology test centre –a   proving ground where the firm has hired 197 employees since January 2013.  The centre is distinct from Bombardier Transportation’s adjacent R&D centre in St-Bruno, but will be the real-world test ground for products developed by the rail group’s engineers. The province of Quebec has contributed $1.77 million as well.  The centre will be devoted to “technology demonstrations,” the middle part of a technology for which Canada’s aerospace sector is asking aid from governments. Bombardier Transportation spokesperson Marc Laforge said the centre, announced in June 2011, will “validate concepts” and “concretize” the technology devised by the 800 engineers and other head office employees in St-Bruno.

Bombardier is the world’s largest trainmaker. Despite its head office in Berlin to service Europe, the world’s largest rail market, all engineering worldwide is done in St-Bruno. Laforge said despite the 200 new jobs, “it doesn’t mean the centre will employ 200 people who  may come and go according to the needs of contracts.”

Alstom SA


In April,  French power equipment and train manufacturer Alstom SA said it finalized a EUR400 million contract to provide 34 light trains and 30-year maintenance for the first line of the Ottawa urban railroad in Canada.  Alstom will provide the trains to the Rideau Transit Group consortium, which comprises ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., SNC-Lavalin (SNC.T) and Ellisdon and other companies. The whole project is worth more than EUR1.5 billion.  The new Citadis Spirit train that Alstom is launching in the North American market will have many features that accommodate Ottawa’s particular needs. Designed in a high capacity version, it will be able to operate in extreme winter conditions. It will also benefit from a top speed of 65 mph, reducing travel time between suburban areas and the City Center.

CLN Industries - Charny, QC

CLN INDUSTRIES continues to refurbish the interiors of the two VIA “Park” cars  and four “Chateau” sleepers .  The Budd-built stainless steel cars are:  VIA  8206 (Chateau Denonville), 8213 (Chateau Lauzon) and 8709 (Laurentide Park). VIA 8207 (Chateau Dollard), 8226, (Chateau Salaberry), and 8708 (Kootenay Park).  CLN and Services Ferroviaires Julien have been contracted to complete the interior refurbishment, but the all the car exterior work will be done at another repair shop.

Diesel Electric Services (DESX) Sudbury, Ontario

Units stored on DESX property include:  (DESX) SD40-2W 5308, 5310, 5311, 5312, 5313, and SD40-2 5391.

NRE/Alco Locomotive Shop Sudbury, Ontario


CN  8866 arrived at the facility in March and James Lalande snapped her with the external electrical panel open for her repairs.  Reports suggest the Roberval - Saguenay GP38-3 (RS #62) is still at the shop incomplete. Motive power stored at the shop in December included ex-CP SD40-2 NREX 5771 (purchased from CP in 2006) and eleven stored NREX units; (NREX) GP9 208, RS3 307, GMD1m 1141, 1149, GP9 1602, 1684, GMD1 1911, SD40-2 5567, 5619, 5620, 5644, and 5771.




Lambton Diesel Services (LDSX) - Sarnia, Ontario


LDSX SW1200RS 1359 was renumbered Cando Contracting (CCGX) 1006, and  moved in April from Lambton Diesel Services in Windsor,  to London over CN, and then continued over  CP to Terrace Bay Pulp and Paper company in Terrace Bay, ON where it is now leased.    


Former Central Vermont Sw1200 1511 which worked for the Kodak Eastman Company plant for many years, was refurbished, repainted and has been sold to VIP (Vidal Street Industrial Park) of Sarnia to become their very first unit VIPX 1511.    


Almost one year ago Lambton Diesel Services (LDSX) purchased CN SW1200RS 1375, IC SW14 1501, and SW1200RSu 7316 from CN’s Auction Sale and  former GMDD/Caterpillar Shop Switcher EMDX  SW1001 #1.


©CRO May 2013