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Western Railroad Discussion > CP Rail train symbols

Date: 02/28/03 20:54
CP Rail train symbols
Author: Kentucky86

Does anyone know a source of CP Rail train symbols or numbers.

I am interested in operations around Kicking Horse Pass.

Many thanks in advance


Date: 03/01/03 02:23
Re: CP Rail train symbols
Author: railwayman69

A great source of info on trains in Canada, and Canadian Pacific Railway, would be the Canadian Trackside Guide books. Tons of great useful info in these books, including CP train symbols (which are in a number series), locomotive rosters, timetables, etc.
Some CP train symbols that operate through the Kicking Horse area include:

100-199 series: priority and automotive traffic
200-299 series: second priority intermodal, automotive, and merchandise traffic.
300-399 series: grain unit trains.
400-499 series: regional trains handling merchandise traffic, and handling online work.
500-599 series: service area short haul trains.
600-699 series: unit trains; 601-619 sulpher; 620-679 potash
700-799 series: unit trains, mostly tanks, pipe.
800-899 series: coal unit trains.

Date: 03/01/03 07:16
Re: CP Rail train symbols
Author: jsbach

Further to railwayman's information:

Typical westbound 100 series priority intermodal freights:

101, 105, 107, 109, 117, 177, 199
Eastbound counterparts: 102, 106, 108, 198. These are pretty much daily trains. The eastbounds are in the Kicking Horse area in late afternoon/early evening. The westbounds aren't as predictable although 101 is usually an early morning job. 177 is a daily Calgary-Vancouver train which usually runs a couple of hours behind 101.

Occasional trains like 117, 110 etc. may run as overflow trains, or combinations of two regular symbols.

Typical 200 series manifest freights are:

Westbound: 209, 267, 273
Eastbound: 298

These jobs are quite unpredictable. Run as track capacity/crew availability permit.

Typical Grain trains:

Westbound: 351, 353, 355, 357, 359, 361
Eastbound: 352, 354, 356, 358, 360, 362

No schedule on these.

Long distance locals: 471 and 470. 470 often overnights in Field and heads east up through the Spiral tunnels in the morning.

Typical sulphur trains: 601/602 603/604, 605/606, 607/608. Unscheduled.

Potash trains: 671/672 very common. Occasional 673/674 and Urea trains 677 and 679. Potash trains tend to run westbound in bunches. If a ship is due for loading in Vancouver, there may be 3 or 4 671's run within a 36 hour period. Corresponding eastbound empty moves tend to bunch up as well. Then days may go by without any Potash moves.

Fairly regular Tank car trains are 771 (Ethanol? from Medicine Hat to west coast) and corresponding eastbound empties 772.

800 series coal trains don't use Kicking Horse pass. They leave/enter mainline trackage at Golden (KC Junction) where the Windermere Sub. meets the Mountain sub. Golden is home base for Coal train fleet. Yard and shop is just south of town on Hwy 93. An average day would see 5 or 6 loads and the same number of empty trains heading south to mines in the Crowsnest area.

CP has been running a few 900 series freights which are merely extras. These are run on an as needed basis. These often are MOW equipment moving to a job site. Have seen 901 and 902. (Ironic as these numbers were the two hottest freights on the system in the 1960's operating scheme!)

In the summer season Rocky Mountain RailTours passenger trains run 6 days a week. West one day east the next. Their numbers are 11R westbound and 12R eastbound. Business trains (with the F units if you're lucky) show up with numbers like 21B and 22B. These numbers are somewhat arbitrarily assigned but the key thing is the "B" symbol.

This has turned out to be quite lengthy but as a dedicated CP observer I just wanted you to know what I've gleaned over the last year or so.

Date: 03/01/03 07:46
Re: CP Rail train symbols
Author: Kentucky86

Both posts are really great thank you!

Two reason for the query..

1. I am designing some activities for Mircosoft Train Sim for that route and I like to be as close to the prototype as possible.

2. Since getting the route I am finding that I have an interest in visiting there. Looks appealing to me. So if anyone has any advice is it worth it to go see, I will appreciate it..\\

And if anyone ever comes to Florida, Kentucky or Boston let me know...


Date: 03/01/03 12:50
Re: CP Rail train symbols
Author: soo6617

CP train 771 is Ethylene Glycol loads, and 772 is the empties. Train originates at Blackfaulds, AB. Ethylene Glycol is the main component of automotive antifreeze.

Date: 03/01/03 20:36
Re: CP Rail train symbols
Author: steamer6060

I posted a few pictures I took last summer in Kicking Horse Pass area in the media files -- three at Spiral Tunnels westbound and one eastbound about 3 miles east of Golden. Unfortunately the weather was not great that day.
Another source of information would be "Trackside Guide to CP Rail" by Jackie Morris which details points of interest from Banff to Craigellachie (the site of the golden spike west of Revelstoke where east met west back about 1885). I got my copy at the Revelstoke Railroad Museum -- www.railwaymuseum.com.

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