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Canadian Railroads > SD40s on the Gypsum

Date: 01/10/22 09:25
SD40s on the Gypsum
Author: cn6218

Until the demise of the MLWs on CN in the mid 1990s, one could almost count on seeing a pair powering the Nova Scotia gypsum trains between Wrights Cove in Dartmouth and East Milford.  As the C-630Ms, M-636s and HR-616s were retired, various different flavours of SD40s slipped into that role.  On December 16, 1998 train 701 was taking the switch from the Bedford Sub to the Dartmouth, at Windsor Jct.  SD40us 6017 and 6014 were leading a US-built SD40-2 bought second hand from Union Pacific.  Gypsum trains had moved from 50 to 75 cars, thereby needing another unit.  The 6000s were rebuilt in Montreal from CN's own fleet of SD40s, getting upgraded cabs, dynamic brakes, pacesetters and other improvements to make them the equivalent of a Dash-2 locomotive. The wavy track in the foreground was used for interchange with the Windsor & Hantsport.

Eventually CN discovered that a pair of SD75Is could do the same work as a trio of SD40s (and likely use less fuel), and that became the preferred power for the gypsum trains.  The train crews weren't complaining.


Date: 01/10/22 10:09
Re: SD40s on the Gypsum
Author: jgilmore



Date: 01/10/22 14:36
Re: SD40s on the Gypsum
Author: ns1000

Nice pic!!

Date: 01/10/22 22:07
Re: SD40s on the Gypsum
Author: feclark

That's a really nice shot of an interesting subject.

Date: 01/15/22 01:13
Re: SD40s on the Gypsum
Author: DGOLDE

Interesting it took three SD40s to replace two C630Ms or M636s.  The gypsum trains were and are fun trains to chase especially backed the 1992/1993 time period.


Date: 01/18/22 19:39
Re: SD40s on the Gypsum
Author: MC6853

Is there much in the way of gypsum traffic these days? Nice shot BTW

Date: 01/19/22 12:39
Re: SD40s on the Gypsum
Author: cn6218

> Interesting it took three SD40s to replace two
> C630Ms or M636s. 

CN had a wreck on the Dartmouth Sub some time in the '90s and lost a bunch of cars.  They changed from running three 50-car trains per day (One loading, one in transit and one dumping), to two 75-car trains, but had to wait at the mine for 20 or so empties they had just brought in, to be loaded.  The larger trains required them to add a third unit.

Gypsum still runs 6 days a week on CN.  New trains are 65 286K hoppers, for a net load of about 7500 tons per train.  When demand is up, they will run a second train, 513, in the evening.  511 is the regular job, and goes to work at about 07:00 in Dartmouth, they are usually coming back from the mine at noon, and are all finished by 14:00.  If there is a 513, they will go to work at 18:00, and follow 121 west.


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