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Canadian Railroads > Montreal "retires" CP M630's & M636's, Dec.1993

Date: 12/07/08 23:39
Montreal "retires" CP M630's & M636's, Dec.1993
Author: eminence_grise

On December 23rd, 1993, CP held a brief ceremony celebrating the retirement of CP's fleet of MLW M630's and M636's which were based out of Cote.St.Luc yard in Montreal in their later years.

Many of the M630's were originally purchased to power unit coal trains from mines in southeastern BC to the Pacific Coast.
Their western career was brief due to unreliability caused by loss of coolant.

Later they were transferred back east, where they had their radiators and piping rebuilt and many other modifications.

After rebuilding the M630's and the always eastern based M636's were much more reliable and continued on for many more years until this date, December 23rd, 1993 in Montreal.

Strangely enough, 1993 was a busy time for traffic, and the 4500's and 4700's continued to operate for at least a couple more months.

Date: 12/08/08 10:10
Re: Montreal "retires" CP M630's & M636's, Dec.1993
Author: highball

One funny story about that photo op was that after all of the pomp and ceremony, and while the brass and reporters were leaving, a shop mechanic restarted the locomotive that had just been symbolically shut down. He was concerned that with the cold temperatures, the engine would freeze up. One of the managers had to rush back to get it shut down again, since this was supposed to be the last big MLW engine running, and he didn't really care if it froze up.

The following winter was exceptionally hard, leading to a high locomotive out of service count, and the need to lease hundreds of extra locomotives. Grain trains were left standing, and the CPR was criticized by the wheat board for lost sales. Meanwhile, the MLWs remained parked.

By March, a frustrated executive ordered the locomotives restarted, but the worst of winter was already over, so it was more symbolic than anything. The locomotives were finally retired later that year.

Date: 12/09/08 10:32
Re: Montreal "retires" CP M630's & M636's, Dec.1993
Author: M-420

Does anyone know which of the big M's was the real last one in service then?

Date: 12/09/08 11:23
Re: Montreal "retires" CP M630's & M636's, Dec.1993
Author: CCMF

From my notes, the last "251-powered" big-M I saw in service was CP 4742 at Orrs Lake, ON 1995-07-15. Several were running well into 1995, some with blanked cabs.

I also recorded CAT-powered CP 4711 on 1998-02-12 at Galt, ON.

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