Little puffer belly down by the station early in the morning
2816, two coaches, and car 96 pull into the old CNR station
Ex-CNR 2141 places baggage car with model railroad displays
next to station.
CN 2644 on display at Kamloops ex-CNR station.
CPR AC4400CW also on display in front of station with food
service tent offering replenishment.
Double-header departs the station. Notice the
yellow flags. Someone please explain?
Double-header eases into the curve approaching
the South Thompson bridge.
Rocky Mountain Rail Tours observation brings up the
Racing from their cover gunsmoke is visible from the leading
Keep them hands up engineer.
All this for just 6 bucks and a bottle of liver
2816 passing east switch Walhachin.
Milepost 82 in the Thompson River Canyon.
2816 emits light smoke pulling through Gladwin.
Passing beneath CN's Cisco bridge. Her speed caught me
unprepared with the camera shutter.
One of the Yale tunnels at milepost 26 of the Cascade
A mapping software file may be downloaded from this
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.
- 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:
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.
- her 2 coaches
- her car 96
- CP 9767
- KHR baggage car with model railroad
- RMR diesel
- RMR coach
- CN diesel 2644
- 2 KHR open riding cars
- KHR coach (ex-CNR coach)
- RMR Observation car
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.
Canadian Pacific Railway
2005 William C. Slim