Bringing our CPR #7020 switcher to life!
Our CPR #7020 is a "war engine", acquired to meet the crushing demands of the World War II effort. In the late 1930's, diesel-electrics started to supplant steam locomotives in the switching function, primarily in urban areas. Steam switchers required two-person crews (an engineer and a fireman), had low availability (spending eight hours or more per day in servicing), and produced noxious, billowing clouds of coal or oil smoke unpopular with city dwellers. Even though diesel-electric switchers drew on the same limited sources of supplies used to construct tanks and warships, their overwhelming efficiency at a time of intense need led rationing authorities in Canada and the United States to permit their continued construction.
CPR 7020 was assigned to Toronto from its delivery to CPR’s Parkdale Yard in October of 1944. THis year will mark its 70th birthday. It thus forms an integral part of the story of dieselization, of Canadian railways at war, and of Toronto's railway story. The locomotive was donated by CP to the City of Toronto in 1986 for a museum on this spot.
For more information on this series of locomotives, click here.
Recently, Chris Fox, a Bombardier expert on diesel engines, has been working hard with our volunteer team who have been focussed on bringing our LRC locomotive to life. More recently, Chris became available to also help us with bringing CPR #7020’s diesel engine back to life. Assisted by Michael Guy, Chris has been working on freeing up and removing components of the engine to inspect and, if necessary rebuild them. After a lot of hard work, we are now confident that we can bring the engine back to life, hopefully by the fall. Once that is accomplished, we will further address the cosmetic restoration of the exterior as well.
The above photo of this engine dates back to its delivery in October of 1944. Below we show some images of the “inside” of the diesel engine compartment of #7020 as they worked on it.
Posting by Russ Milland; Photos below by Michael Guy
Click on each image for a closer look!