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Old Time Trains

W.H.N.Rossiter collection

Getting underway with 45 cars, engine No. 2409 is seen heading east out of Lambton Yard with First 902, the hot Windsor to Wells River, Vermont, manifest freight on April 17, 1945. No. 2409 has just left Lambton yard where the east and north trains were made up. The dividing line between the top and bottom yards, or Lambton Yard and West Toronto Yard, was the Runnymede Road hump, just a little west of the floodlight tower behind No. 2409. To the right of the train, Lambton roundhouse can be seen in all its smoky glory.

No. 2409 became an engine of some notoriety after running away on its own on the night of November 8,1948. Spotted under the coal chute at Lambton after a run from Trenton, the brake was set, the locomotive was on centre and the throttle closed and locked. Around 11:00 p.m. the locomotive mysteriously took off, heading west out of the yard and was able to thread its way through several switches before thundering out onto the main line with no running lights. Having gained considerable speed, as it raced into the curve leading to the Number highlevel bridge, the engine derailed and turned over, sliding on its left side for over 50 feet, tying up the main line to Windsor. At the scene next morning, the throttle was observed to be wide open! According to newspaper reports at the time, it was said that a leaky throttle was responsible but to most observers it looked as if someone had deliberately sent No. 2409 on its merry way. Luckily this incident took place shortly after No. 19, the Canadian, had passed the yards about 10:20 p.m. on its way to Detroit.

At the time of this event, No. 2409 had a rather strange appearance. Unlike all other engines of its class which had the headlight sunk into the smokebox door, No. 2409 was sporting the standard style bracket and headlight mounted on the outside. The reason is unknown but I would assume that temporary repairs had been made at some outside point after the engine had suffered damage in a previous mishap. After the Lambton affair, it went to the back shops for repair and emerged in the normal style as seen above.

A class G3g 4-6-2 Pacific built by CLC in 1942, No. 2409 was assigned to Toronto and London in both freight and passenger service during the late 1940's and into the 1950's. On January 2,1957, assisted by No. 1221, No. 2409 hauled No. 21, the Chicago Express, from Toronto to London on what was to be the final use of steam on that train, three years after it was dieselized. The engine's last assignment was in freight service out of London on the Windsor Subdivision in the spring of 1959. Eventually sent to Angus, it was scrapped there in 1964.

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