Ian Wilson's blog

Welcome to the blog of Ian Wilson, author of the award-winning books on 1950s Canadian steam railway operations.

CPR Chipman shop track #2

July 06, 2021

Monday, August 3, 1959

There she sits on shop track number two outside the Canadian Pacific engine shed at Chipman, New Brunswick.

Number 144 is an American Type, of the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement, originally built in 1886 as engine 351 at the CPR’s Delorimier Shops. To prolong her operating life, she faces major repairs in November of this year—which will certainly not come to pass. Whiffs of diesel hydraulic exhaust are beginning to permeate conversation around Chipman and Norton, endpoints of the 44.6-mile refuge for the last operating examples of 4-4-0s on a North American Class 1 railway.

We’re travelling with Herb Harwood once again, and viewing the wonders of dying Canadian Pacific steam operations through the lens of his Baby Speed Graphic. Accompanying Herb (and furnishing his car for the trek) is Bill Wagner, who is documenting the scenes on colour 35mm slide film.

Coaled and ready to head this afternoon’s train 560 to Norton, locomotive 144 stands in front of N2 Consolidation 3750. Resident power for the Minto mine switcher, the larger engine will remain idle today. It’s a provincial holiday—New Brunswick Day—and the mines are closed. That’s all the more reason to stay in the Chipman area until tomorrow.

Now we’ll venture outside of town on the Minto Subdivision mainline to catch inbound train 559.

[So reads page 12 of the manuscript of Speed Graphics and Steam 1959! Engine 136 is heading in to Chipman with train 559 from Norton, so I’m off with Herb Harwood to intercept her...]

Read More:

Back to the Blog