Thursday 22 February 2024


By 1949, P-1d/e Mikados were taking more assignments on the KV Division in freight, pusher, work train and passenger service. Engines 5101, 5120 and 5121 had been working Passenger trains since the mid-1940's. After the boiler explosion in November, 1944 and subsequent rebuild, 5101 was relegated to freight service. At the time of the repairs, she received a new cab with a rounded front edge as can be seen in the photo.  Only two other P1 class engines received rounded cabs: 5120 and 5178, both of which worked the Kettle at various times.  Here is 5101 in a Norm Gidney photo from 1950 in Vancouver. The wiper on the cab roof is probably filling a sand box in the cab from which firemen would throw sand into the firebox on occasion to clean flues and boiler tubes. Author's collection.


In addition, P-1n class engines were showing up on the division having metamorphosed from 3600 and 3700 Consolidations. The Company chose at random 2-8-0 engines from the N-2 a and b classes to be stretched and re-boilered as 2-8-2 P-1n Mikados. They all received new vestibule cabs. Work on the first of the set transformed 3704 into 5200, out-shopping her in September of 1946.  The upgrade to the new class of engines ended when 3684 emerged as 5264 in December 1949. The CPR shops completely re-built 65 engines in 2 years and 3 months.

From the Vancouver City Archives, we have 5211 in March of 1948 just off the turntable in Vancouver sporting a plow and white wall drivers with a maroon panel and lining on the tender. There were three engines treated with this unique (for the southern mainline) paint job for the Chairman & President's special train to inspect the railway in August of 1947. According to the document, Mikado 5209 pulled the train from Midway to Penticton and 5211 took it the rest of the way to Odlum (and presumably through to Vancouver).  It is thought that this was also the occasion for D-10 No. 962 (see Rapido version) to be spruced up for inspection on the Okanagan Sub.

No. 5211 was probably assigned to Vancouver and worked to Penticton and return on Nos. 11 and 12 and Nos. 45 and 46. The Consolidation chosen to be re-built  as this Mikado was the 3717, having been out-shopped in her new guise in June of 1947.

The most visible difference of the 5200 from the 5100 engines was the absence of a feed-water bundle atop the boiler front of the newer version. All 5200's sported a 10,000 gallon tender and many were oil burners from the start.  The author kit-bashed a model of 5224 from an Athearn Geneisis USRA Mikado with moderate success. Alternatively, one could simply remove the feed-water bundle from the Van Hobbies brass Mikado to get started.  Either approach would require significant modification to both running boards.

In determining what other locomotives worked on the KV in 1949, we have two sources which are anecdotal and likely incomplete. Engineman Bob Osborne allowed us to copy engine numbers from his note book that he kept during his time with the division.  He worked mostly on the Coquihalla and Merritt Subdivisions with a stint in Penticton Yard Service.  We present what we gleaned from his record and combine it with information provided by Joe Smuin from his notes during a conversation some time ago in which we focused on the year 1949, this being the year of particular interest to the author.

The following table lists 50 engines for which photograph and documents record their appearance on the division whether or not they were actually assigned.

Through 1949 - sources are Engineman Bob Osborne, Joe Smuin, Photos.
Carmi Sub. 5243, 5202
Princeton Sub. 3629
Coquihalla Sub. 5101, 5120, 5131, 5134, 5202, 5230, 5231
Coquihalla Pusher 3721, 3731, 5101, 5134
Merritt Sub. 914, 925, 5120, 5169, 5234
Penticton Pusher 5770, 5786
Copper Mountain Sub. ?
Osoyoos Sub. 572, 3650, 5169 
Penticton Yard 3480, 3481
Passenger 5101, 5120, 5121, 5221, 5224

D-4-g Ten-Wheeler 443
D-9-c Ten Wheeler 569, 572, 592
D-10-g Ten Wheeler [907], 914, 925
M-4-a,g Consolidations 3480, 3481, 
N-2-a,b Consolidations 3613, 3627, 3628, 3629, 3635, 3636, 3648, 3652, 3655, 3677, 3678, 3681,

3686, 3687, 3721, 3731, 3734
P-1-d,e Mikado 5101, 5120, 5121, 5124, 5126, 5130, 5134, 5169, 5172, 5182, 
P-1-n Mikado 5202, 5204, 5205, 5207, 5210, 5211, 5212, 5218, 5219, 5224, 5230, 5243
R-3-c,d Decapod 5770, 5786

In March of that year, the roundhouse in Brookmere was destroyed by a boiler explosion of engine 907 which had been re-assigned from the E&N after early dieselization on Vancouver Island. It was also the year of conversion of coal-burning locomotives to Bunker "C" oil as their fuel which may account for the large numbers of locomotives here as the coal-burners were replaced and/or upgraded. Possibly looking at the 1950 record will give us a firmer idea of what engine numbers were more likely to have been assigned in 1949 where they carry over from one year to the next.

For 1950, we turn to the official document mentioned above and here is a legible version containing all the information of the original.

Period Ending March 14th, 1950.
Carmi - Princeton Frt. 3601, 3609, 3630, 3678, 3721, 3731, 

3747, 5101, 5202, 5219, 5230, 5264.

W.F. 914
[Coquihalla] Asstg. 3629, 5783.
[Penticton] Asstg. 5786
Osoyoos Frt. 925

Work 5231
Copper Mountain Ore 3657

Work 5231
Merritt Mixed 3602
Penticton Sw. 3460, 6940.
En Route to B.C. Div.
En Route Ogden
U[nder] R[epair] Penticton 3628
W. R. Ogden
3480, 5234, 5770
Engines: 28

914, 925, 3460, 3480, 3601, 3602, 3609, 3628, 3629, 3630, 3639, 3657, 3678, 
3721, 3731, 3734, 3747, 5101, 5202, 5219, 5230, 5231, 5234, 5264, 5770, 5783, 
5786, 6940

The appearance of four 3700's is notable in that these were all oil-burners. Interestingly a few years previously, three 3600's had been refitted with vestibule cabs and 8,000 gallon tenders making them identical to 3700's: 3601, 3609, and 3657. This was very much an upgrade from their lowly status as 3600 hand bombers with 5,000 gallon tenders.  More information on these engines and modeling suggestions are to found here: 

and here:

Here is a recent photo of engines of both classes double-headed on the Coquihalla Sub. during the transition from coal to oil fuel in 1949. They are holding the main for a meet at Romeo.  When underway, there would be thick black smoke pouring out of the smoke stacks. They worked hard on the 2.2% grades.

Coquihalla Man

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