Seen here is an example of a Fairbanks Morse model H16-66 locomotive. Referred to as a “Baby Trainmaster” by railway geeks, but never officially by the company that made them, this brawny engine is painted as CP Rail 7009 and is one of only two examples of this model extant.
Interestingly, this locomotive was never owned by the CPR and nor did they ever purchased this model from the builder. They did however own numerous similar looking Fairbanks Morse designed engines, models H16-44 and H24-66, built in Canada by the Canadian Locomotive Company in Kingston Ontario. To the uninitiated it’d be hard to distinguish any one of the models mentioned with any of the others. They all have the same large burly look about them and while somewhat unreliable when compared to locomotives from other builders, they somewhat made up for it by being incredible pullers, strong and able to out pull anything.
The unit’s number is in the 7000-7010 series which was reserved by CP Rail for demonstrator locomotives. So I guess the idea was to paint it up to make it appear that it was testing on the CPR, a very plausible story. Other locomotives that have also appeared in the same numbering block included two CPA16-4s, the very first Fairbanks Morse designed locomotives turned out by the Canadian Locomotive Company in 1951.
The engine seen here was US built and outshopped in 1958, and initially worked worked for the Aluminium Company of America (Alcoa). Later it was sold to Squaw Creek Coal Company (later named Peabody Coal) and then at some point it was purchased by a private individual and moved up here to Canada.
A somewhat rare model, the H16-66 was a specialized locomotive suitable for heavy but slow moving freights on lightly built lines. This was the second last of this model produced and was made as Fairbanks Morse was winding down its US locomotive operations.
For some reason I made no notes on the pictures but I believe the location here is High River Alberta, next to the old CPR train station. At the time there was a railway themed restaurant here and a number of old rail cars and locomotives were kept near the premises. The date of these pictures is likely the mid 1990s.
At some point after my visit this locomotive was taken to the famous Ogden Shops and painted in the traditional CPR Tuscan red and grey scheme. In late 2012 this locomotive along with another historical Fairbanks Morse (CLC) unit was seen heading west in a CPR freight, their destination unknown. It was assumed perhaps Squamish BC as there is a train museum there (see update below that confirms otherwise)
There are a lot of loose ends regarding this locomotive and I’ll continue to research and post as I find more. And as always I welcome input from our visitors.
Regarding the locomotive’s model number, which seems to be open to some debate – some sites list the model as an H-16-66 and others H16-66. It really doesn’t matter to me and we’ll use the terms interchangeably. Officially however, at the Canadian Locomotive Company at least, they listed locomotives in the latter form. I have confirmed this by looking at some verbatim records listed in the book “Constructed in Kingston, a history of the Canadian Locomotive Company 1854 to 1968” by Donald McQueen and William Thomson. It’s then assumed that parent company Fairbanks Morse also use the same model naming scheme. Or does anyone even care?
These pictures were scanned from 35mm prints. The quality of the images was not good to start with and scanning them did not help.
Update: January 2013. As of December 2012, this locomotive, along with a Canadian Locomotive Company CPA16-4 number 4104 were seen in Nelson BC, both freshly painted in CPR’s classic 1950s paint scheme. The plans, as I understand it, are to put the pair on display at the Nelson station which is now being renovated. Thanks to everyone who emailed me on this. An interesting sideline, sister unit to 4104, CPR 4105 appears on the cover of the book “Constructed in Kingston” which I mentioned earlier. The bottom image, courtesy of and copyright of Jan Hart, shows 7009 and 4104 in Nelson.
To see a report I did on the Nelson train station, follow this link…
Nelson then and now (3).
To see another report in which an FM designed (but CLC built) locomotive is seen, follow this link…
Crowsnest then and now.
If you wish more information, by all means contact us!
Date: Mid 1990s?
Location: High River Alberta (I think).