CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Steaming out of the past comes CPR Empress. The resurrected CPR Empress locomotive 2816 re-entered active service in 2001 as a roving ambassador for Canadian Pacific Railway. The CPR Empress is now a significant component of the company's Community Connect program. CPR's 2816 is a class H1b Hudson-type locomotive built by Montreal Locomotive Works in December 1930. CPR Empress is now the only surviving H1b Hudson and is one of only a handful of preserved and operating CPR steam locomotives in North America.Steam locomotives undergoing heavy repairs in the locomotive erecting shop
Named after the Hudson River, the Canadian Pacific Hudson-type locomotives were first built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1929. They came with larger fire boxes than earlier locomotives and produced more steam at higher pressure than their predecessors. The 2816 worked with the top passenger trains of the 1930s between Winnipeg and Calgary. It was built as a high-powered, fast passenger locomotive. According to CPR steam table calculations, the 2816 was good for 4,700 horsepower at 55 miles per hour. The 2816 regularly operated at speeds in excess of 70 miles an hour. Today about 75 miles an hour is as fast as anything will go for CPR. The 2816 is from a group of Hudsons (2800 to 2819) that came into service in 1929 and 1930. It is the only survivor of the original 20.
Initially the locomotive ran westward out of Winnipeg to Calgary and eastward to Fort William, Ontario (now part of Thunder Bay). Locomotive 2816 then moved into service on the Windsor-to-Quebec City corridor. Its last assignment was at the front of a Montreal-Rigaud commuter trains, making its final revenue run on May 26, 1960. By the time the 2816 was retired, the locomotive traveled over 3.36 million kilometers or just over 2 million miles. CPR sold the 2816 to F. Nelson Blount and the Steamtown USA organization. For 35 years the locomotive sat idle - first in Bellows Falls, VT and later Scranton, PA - before being transferred back to the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1998.
After a complete top to bottom three-year rebuild, 2816 is restored to its 1950s appearance and to the original specifications with external details from the 1930/40s. During this process the steam locomotive was converted to burn oil instead of coal, making it cleaner and easier to operate.
Officially named the CPR Empress, 2816 serves as a roving ambassador for the Company and its charity partners.
Information Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Railway website (www.cpr.ca)
For more information on CPR's Heritage and that of the History of the 2816, Please visit the CPR Heritage site www.cprheritage.com/mainline/empdisplay.htm
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