Scenes from an old Smith-Victor box: November 23, 1974
Forty years ago this morning, a friend and I set out in his 1967 Falcon station wagon with a full tank of gas, a few rolls of Kodachrome and high hopes. We had no particular agenda, no hot leads, no inside information, but our timing was good. We arrived at Galt just minutes ahead of CP train No. 74, a hot eastbound freight normally through well before dawn. We had just enough time to set up at the Grand River bridge to photograph the train, led by SD40 5541, the last CP SD left in Tuscan and grey. A meet with the London Pickup at Killean slowed the train just enough for us to rocket across town and country for a second photograph of the train at "old Killean."
The Pickup, normally powered by a trio of 8100-series SW1200s, had another treat in store; trailing behind pups 8130 and 8164 was western Canada-assigned GP9 8518, a boiler-equipped Geep still in Tuscan and grey and equipped with its original garbage-can headlight.
We stuck with the Pickup as far as the Highway 97 overpass west of Galt, then worked our way through Paris and London (the Ontario versions, I mean) and St. Thomas. The cold rain that moved in while we enjoyed a late dinner called for a change of plans. Instead of starting for home, we broke out the tripods for time exposures at CP's Quebec Street roundhouse and CN Stratford. Cold, wet and happy, we called it a day — and a night — after lingering in the company of the RS18s, Geeps and MLW switchers gathered at the roundhouse.