Oil Electric and gas-mechanical cars.
All photographs Jim Parker Collection unless otherwise credited.
Like many railways the CNR sought to reduce operating costs for its lesser passenger trains especially those on branchlines. Late in 1923 a CNR official visited William Beardmore and Company in Glasgow, Scotland where airship motors were being tested and it was agreed they could be adapted for railway use.
Beginning in 1925 CNR took delivery of a number of self-propelled diesel-electric cars assembled by their Pointe St. Charles Shops in Montreal using these Beardmore diesels (4 cylinder, 185 hp), Ottawa Car Manufacturing Co. bodies, National Steel Car trucks and Westinghouse Electric traction motors. The first car delivered in August 1925 was 15819 a 60 foot double-ended car that began service on September 21st. between Hamilton-Guelph-Galt-Brantford. The first articulated car was 15817 which began operation September 18th. Montreal-Hawkesbury-Ottawa. A month later it was replaced by 15818 and reassigned to Guelph-Southhampton service.
The next car 15820 was destined for Western Canada and beginning November 1st it made a record breaking run 2,937 miles to Vancouver. Following this epic run it ran back to Edmonton where it took up service on trains 77 and 78 between Edmonton and Vermillion covering 129.8 miles Daily Except Sunday. Five more similar cars were delivered in 1927 following which five bigger cars (15826-30) 73 feet long double-ended with 6 cyl. 300 hp Beardmore diesel engines were also built in 1927. There were now 30 self-propelled cars of various sorts and in the year they operated nearly 2 million miles!
Read more: Early diesels
CNoR 500 Re# 15800 Article 1912
Loading Royal Mail. Note trainman waiting to load express also on baggage cart.
15700 ex M-1 see below. June 1930
Bud Laws Collection
15702 (ex Toronto Suburban Ry. 24) Preston Car 1914
15750 trails un-numbered unlettered unit used on employee
Kamloops October 17, 1940 Unknown credit.
15767 RPO coach (22 seats) trailer ex CV 151:1st. Brill
15801 (ex 100) 55 foot 30 ton battery car Brill/Battery
Storage Car Co. 5/1921
Note: Displaying signals (green flags) indicating following section which is confirmed by lack of markers.
15804 Brill model 55 seats 40 Built October 1929.
15810 Brill 4-cyl. gas-mechanical model 55 built by Ottawa
Car 1925 15 tons 43 feet 38 passengers.
15812 Ledoux-Jennings gas-mechanical 6-cyl. Reo 20 passengers 10 tons. June 1922
15816 Built National Steel Car 11/1923 Sterling 6 cyl.
gas engine. 54 feet long, 32 seats. Toronto 6/10/1936.
Note: This car was ordered by Grand Trunk but was
taken over by CNR prior to delivery.
15817 articulated train. Canadian National 23653
Front door open to show diesel engine. Canadian National 23645
Canadian National 23647
15817 with a coach.
15820 two views 23605 above and 23604 below
15823 Ottawa Car-Beardmore 4-cyl. 185 hp April 1926. Sold November 1949 PGE 107
15824 with 15708 below
15708 rebuilt 7/1926 as tower car, rebuilt 8/1946 as trailer. .
15826 diagram shows small passenger compartment seating 27.
15830 Beardmore/CC&F 1929
Motor Train 603 has arrived in Midland at the end of its
run from Lindsay in a light snowfall. Passengers have detrained and new
ones entrained for the return trip while express is handled by the contractor
A.C.Mc.Nabb Phone 136 Midland.
15832 is a 74 foot CC&F combination car with a 27' 3" baggage compartment and a 22' 8" 37 seat passenger compartment. Built in 7/1930 and equipped with a Westinghouse 6 cyl. 350 hp diesel and two Westinghouse 215 hp traction motors. Also, Peter Smith hot water heater. Holding 275 gallons of fuel. Weight 70 tons.
Note: Diagram of 18526 (above) also applies to 15832.
Note: Following its retirement 15832 was converted in 1960 for work service as Auxiliary Cable Car 60026 (unpowered) as were others.
15767 is a 51 foot 29 ton combine with RPO mail section and 22 seat passenger compartment. Built by Brill 22411 1926 as CVR 151 all-baggage lightweight trailer. Converted 1941 by CNR. Preserved at Exporail.
NOTE: Last runs of 603 and 604 were on Saturday October 25, 1958 with Pacific 5292, mail & express 7732 and coaches 5170 and 5196. 15832 had been transferred to relieve D-1 on the Hamilton-Georgetown-Allandale-Meaford run.
15836 handling express at Sarnia. 5/08/1956 Digital restoration Walter Pfefferle
15837 Pointe St.Charles 7/03/1954 John Dziobko
15842 provided a typical daily except Sunday branch service
81 miles between Stratford and Sarnia.
D-1 Motor Train
D-1 with C-1 and C-2 with Hamilton-Meaford train. Tottenham
September 20, 1958
This rebuilt streamlined motor car was a prototype for
updating self-propelled motor cars to present a modern look.
D-1 running Extra this is likely a display train. Brockville December 1951
This streamlined front put a modernized look to the train
set complete with unique numbers.
D-1 rebuilt PSC October 1951 (ex 15834) as powered baggage car with two trailer cars. Caterpillar D-397 12 cyl.diesel.
C-1 (ex 15742) combination RPO coach trailer seating 14 passengers.
C-1 RPO door. Note letter slot for public to post mail.
C-2 (ex 15739) trailer coach seating 52 passengers including 8 in smoker section
CV 146 combine 60' seating 59 and trailer. Brill 1926
Jerry LaBoda Collection
Grand Trunk Western
GTW 15805 EMC August 1925 R/B July 1941 Caterpillar diesel.
CN 15950 Evans Auto-railer baggage car. Oshawa 7/15/1937
Note: Three 25 seat passenger units 15951-15953 were built
in 1937 by Evans Products Corp. Detroit.
15951 and 15952 repainted Canadian National Transportation
Ltd. in 1941.
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