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Old Time Trains

Canadian National Railways

Demonstrator diesels

Unlike steam locomotives diesels were often provided to railways on demonstration to show off their abilities. This practice continued into recent years often with units painted (and numbered) in the scheme of the road they were demonstrating on.

MLW-GE 9077 9078 demonstrators. Too big for the table at Turcot.
Built 12/1949 by Alco in Schenectady they were the last PA1 models.
Demonstrated 2-5,1950 in passenger service. Sold 6/1950 MKT 153A, 153C

MLW-GE 9077 9078 PA1 demonstrator units on CNR 2-5,1950. Last PA1's built Alco 75971, 75972 12/1949.
CNR East Yard shop track Winnipeg. April 1950 George Harris

General Motors Aerotrain, a lightweight streamlined passenger train. An ill-conceived design based upon automotive styling and technology featuring GM highway bus bodies riding on 2-axle air suspension system. Two trainsets of one 1200 HP 12-567C (underpowered) diesel and ten 40-seat coaches with a pair weighing just half that of traditional lightweight coaches capable of handling the same number of passengers. Unfortunately, the hoped for smooth ride was anything but. The two sets demonstrated in 1956-57 on four major US roads for over half a million miles but found no buyer. Finally, sold to the Rock Island for Chicago commuter service! Retired at ten years old. Saint-Hilaire, Quebec 1956.


I believe this color photo is at the older long-gone Stellarton, Nova Scotia station. Car on the rear may be the Sunnybrae jitney.The MAK arrived in Saint John, NB off a boat from Cuba on April 23, 1956. George Parks, working Truro roundhouse at the time, says it arrived at Truro on June 1, 1956. He says it worked on trains 33 and 37 between Stellarton and Oxford Jct. from August 15 to August 31, 1956, and also other nearby branches. It also worked on CPR in Quebec
and Ontario but I'm not sure if this was before or after CN as I have seen conflicting data on this. Caption: Wendell Lemon

MaK 800D diesel hydraulic demonstrator unit. Built by Maschinenbau Kiel of Germany.
Unit had a 800 HP (750 hp for traction) 4-stroke MaK-MA-301A engine with a Voith Hydraulic transmission.
36 feet long with four spoked wheels of 49 1/2" diameter.

It also demonstrated on CPR but no order developed and it was returned to Germany.

MLW demonstrator RSD-17 3899 somewhere in Quebec sometime in winter! It demo'd on CNR between 12/19/1957 and 3/24/1958. Demo as 7007 on CPR 5/24/1957 to 12/02/1957 and as Pacific Great Eastern 624 4/01/1958 to 10/05/1958.
Sold to CPR 9/14/1959 numbered 8921. MLW 81603 5/24/1957 Larry Russell



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