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Little puffer belly down by the station early in the morning at Kamloops.


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2816, two coaches, and car 96 pull into the old CNR station at Kamloops.


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Ex-CNR 2141 places baggage car with model railroad displays next to station.


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CN 2644 on display at Kamloops ex-CNR station.


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CPR AC4400CW also on display in front of station with food service tent offering replenishment.


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Double-header departs the station. Notice the yellow flags. Someone please explain?


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Double-header eases into the curve approaching the South Thompson bridge.


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Rocky Mountain Rail Tours observation brings up the rear.


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Racing from their cover gunsmoke is visible from the leading bandit's six-shooter.


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Keep them hands up engineer.


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All this for just 6 bucks and a bottle of liver pills?


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2816 passing east switch Walhachin.


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Milepost 82 in the Thompson River Canyon.


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2816 emits light smoke pulling through Gladwin.


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Passing beneath CN's Cisco bridge. Her speed caught me unprepared with the camera shutter.


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One of the Yale tunnels at milepost 26 of the Cascade Subdivision.


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2816 Westbound

 Hudson 2816 the Empress This is becoming routine... almost. For the second year in a row Canadian Pacific Railway Hudson steam locomotive 2816, the Empress, has returned to Vancouver for annual maintenance, this year at BC Rail's deserted steam shop in North Vancouver. The railfan chase was on once more. This story covers 2816's part in Kamloops Railway Days and her trip from Kamloops through the Thompson and Fraser Canyons.
2816's Consist
  • CP 2816 "Empress" ( locomotive and tender )
  • CP 35508 canteen car ( auxiliary tender ex-D&H 1517)
  • CP 29114 Passenger train service boxcar
  • CP 96 ( Simulated Silk car )
  • CP Coach
  • CP Coach
  • CP "Lacombe" ( Business car )

What's Different This Time

The trip this fall commenced as usual in Calgary with 2816 pulling her train to Revelstoke. Here the railway offered rides to the public aboard the train for the leg of the trip between Revelstoke and Kamloops. Two coaches provided 120 seats at a cost of $250 plus GST and PST per person for this leg only, one way.
2816 arrived in Kamloops in time for Kamloops Railway Days on Saturday, 27 Sep 2003. Last minute changes before the trip included her participation in "Fire on the Mountain", a benefit concert to provide relief funds to help rebuild BC communities after this summer's devastating forest fires.
In conjunction with this event the Kamloops Heritage Railway Society arranged a double-header between 2816 and their ex-CNR steam locomotive 2141.
Following this, 2816 departed at 10:00 hours Sunday, 28 Sep 2003 for Coquitlam Yard in Vancouver. Once again the public were offered seats for this leg at $250 one way.
Saturday - Kamloops Railway Days

At 07:20 hours on a cool clear Saturday morning 2816 was steaming quietly on the yard tracks north of CPR's Kamloops station. Her auxiliary tender, boxcar, and business car Lacombe were temporarily stored just beneath the pedestrian walkway west of the station. 2816, two coaches, and with car 96 on the end backed to position on the main track in front of Canadian National's old station arriving there at 07:50. CPR AC4400CW number 9767 followed shortly after.
Information garnered from the running trades indicated the Kamloops Heritage Railway Society hoped to run 3 double-headers. The first departure was scheduled for 10:30 northbound along the normal KHR route between Kamloops station and Canadian National's wye across the river.
Before the double-header could proceed some yard work had to be performed by 2141. About 08:00 a KHR baggage car was moved from the KHR portion of the yard and coupled behind AC4400 9767. This baggage car contained model railroad displays. Following that CN 2644 brought over a Rocky Mountaineer locomotive, coach, and observation car from yards in North Kamloops.
Further switching by 2141 put more cars in place with 2141's usual trainset on the east end of the station main track in position to receive passengers. The Rocky Mountaineer observation car on the end. Are you confused? I was. How was this mess going to turn into a double-header?
At this point the station main track held the following equipment from west to east:
  • 2816
  • her 2 coaches
  • her car 96
  • CP 9767
  • KHR baggage car with model railroad
  • RMR diesel
  • RMR coach
  • CN diesel 2644
  • 2141
  • 2 KHR open riding cars
  • KHR coach (ex-CNR coach)
  • RMR Observation car
At 09:50 hours 2816 uncoupled from her cars and moved forward past the switch then backed onto the run-around track. Forty minutes later 2141 and her consist of 2 riding cars, coach, and RMR observation backed eastward down the main track to clear the run-around track switch. She then moved west coupling behind 2816 at 10:40 for the run across the river. At 10:47 the double-header departed.
The double-header returned to the station around 11:20 where 2141 and consist were uncoupled to continue east to KHR's end of track. At 11:25 gunsmoke erupted. When 2141 stopped to reverse towards the station platform Bill Miner and his gang of bandits held up the train. Hiding in the trees trackside they raced around the front of 2141 shooting their pistols and rifles in the air to the amusement of the passengers who were about to be robbed. Threatened with a weapon 2141's engineer came down from the cab to hold their horses while the robbers boarded the open riding cars and moved through the passengers. The leader of the gang, Bill Miner, portrayed by Larry Foss, related the tale of Bill Miner and the bottle of little liver pills over the train's public address system. Meanwhile I caught the engineer petting the outlaw's horse. He told me he had been robbed so often that he and the outlaw's horse were great friends.
Once Bill and his band departed in a fury back towards the old wild-west town, 2141 resumed its trip to the station platform, the passengers now lighter for it all.
As stated earlier, KHR had hoped for at least two more double-headers but that was not to be. CPR's commitment to the "Fire on the Mountain" concert required 2816 to be in position behind the stage by noon. This precluded any more double-headers. The concert stage was located beside the curved track leading to the Thompson River bridge behind the city's sports arena. Since this was 2141's regular route, 2816, coaches, and car 96 spent the day moving between this position behind the stage and the station yard to permit 2141 to run by.
Artists in the concert included; Matthew Good, Chantal Kreviazuk, Tracey Brown, Natalie MacMaster, Prairie Oyster, Patricia Conroy, the Moffats, Michelle Wright, the MacGregors, and Adam Gregory.
Sunday - Kamloops to Coquitlam

2816 and consist departed Kamloops at 10:00 to appear at Walhachin (pronounced wal-a-sheen), milepost 32.1 at 11:15 hours. 2816 dropped off an employee at the eastern signal who would then board the eastbound 2816 met at the west end of Walhachin's 9,460 foot long passing track.
The run westward was accomplished totally on CPR trackage avoiding CN's shared track in the canyons. This caused 2816 to run against the normal flow of eastbound trains with, at one point near North Bend, 5 eastbounds waiting to get by.
Several meets occurred and at 13:25 hours 2816 was by milepost 82 near the detector along the Thompson River. While most railfans were driving their cars responsibly one railfan was spotted driving far too aggressively. He later paid a price when the R.C.M.P. caught him in a speed trap. At 13:45 hours 2816 had reached Gladwin, milepost 90.1, which was eliminated as a station name in February of this year. By 14:25 the train passed beneath CN's well-known Cisco bridge. Photographer Lance Camp had set up his two camera tripods beside me just prior to 2816's approach. His presence caused me to "pooch" my shot. (This is my story so I'm sticking to that excuse Lance.) The photo is included here despite its obvious flaw so I'm not accepting criticism on this one.
Famine and fatigue having set in, the time of 2816's arrival in North Bend went un-noted. While waiting for numerous eastbounds to go by she took water there. It was a disappointment to discover the railway diner was closed therefore no meal service was available. This necessitated a trip back across the river into Boston Bar for growlies.
The final photo in this story was taken at Nicolas Morant's location in Yale by the two Yale tunnels at 17:00 hours. The Fraser Canyon makes a turn to run east-west at this location making favourable light conditions at this time of day. In the final photo 2816 emerges from the easternmost tunnel at milepost 26.0 where the concrete retaining wall supports the Trans-Canada Highway above and left. The Fraser River is out of sight immediately to the right.
Worried about catching the last ferry home to Vancouver Island I left CPR's route at Haig, crossing the river into Hope. I noticed a crowd of railfans had assembled beneath the overpass so 2816 would be fully escorted the rest of the way into Coquitlam. The sun was low and warm with many more lighting opportunities left to them that day.
Associated Links

Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian National
Kamloops Heritage Railway Society
Bill Miner

© 2005 William C. Slim       http://www.okthepk.ca