The time is 3:05 pm on May 4, 1961. GRR 230 takes a rest in front of the Preston shops after returning from Kitchener-Waterloo following a day of switching there.
One of only two class 'S' electric freight motors built by Baldwin-Westinghouse, serial 61456 was constructed in August 1930 for the Salt Lake & Utah Railroad as #106. It was acquired by the CPEL in July 1946 when the SL&U ceased operations. Equipped with four 200 h.p. motors, it entered service on the GRR as #230 finished in light green paint with gold lettering and yellow handrails. The underside of the locomotive, including the frame and the trucks, were painted black, as was the roof. Before long, it was repainted in the traditional CPR tuscan red with yellow lettering, sporting black and yellow checkerboards between the end railings. Later on the checkerboards were replaced by the black and yellow stripes seen here.
When electric operations ended on the GRR/LE&N, all electric freight motors were held pending resale. GRR 230 was sold to the Cornwall Street Railway in November 1962 were it became #17. Today this locomotive is on display in the City of Cornwall, ON, in front of the Cornwall Transit bus garage at 863 Second Avenue West.
An interesting little story in which motor 230 is the hero. Canadian Pacific SW8 #6706 was assigned to the CP Electric Lines in July 1961 for crew training with the impending end of electric operations. With a train of approx. 640 tons, 6706 made three tries to haul it up a 1.2 mile 2.5% grade behind the Preston Shops. After backing down a third time, electric motor 230, rated for 535 tons on this grade, replaced 6706. Within 10 minutes after leaving Preston, 230 and train, grinding slowly, reached the crest of the hill. The old girl might have been 31 years old but she beat the pants off the new kid in town.
The other B-W class 'S' electric freight motor, serial 62072 built in June 1937, was Niagara Junction Railway 9, the final B-W interurban freight locomotive to be built. Retired in 1974, NJ 9 was rebuilt and converted for third rail operation by General Electric at Erie, PA. It was then sold to the Port Authority Transit Corp. of Camden, NJ.
A more detailed history of this locomotive appears in the February 2006 issue of Bytown Railway Society's monthly publication, 'Branchline', pages 20 to 22.