June 23, 1974: another day in the Kootenays

Any day that starts with a three-builder lash up led by a maroon-and-grey H16-44 has to be a good one. And June 23, 1974 was just that. No. 980, the CP train that connected with UP's Spokane International at Eastport, Idaho, set the agenda for the day when the lineup showed script-painted H16-44 No. 8711 working in the SI-CP manifest in the company of RS18 No. 8785 and GP7 8416.

Until recently the domain of UP F9s, the Spokane International train to the CP connection at Eastport, Idaho, drew a quartet of new GP38-2s.

The connecting CP train, however, was all old school. Performing a brake test on the Idaho side, No. 980 prepares to depart Eastport with a three-builder lash up: H16-44 8711, RS18 8785 and GP7 8416.

Arriving at Yahk, B.C., No. 980 pulls past the enclosed water tank.

Tracing the shore of Moyie Lake, No. 980 approaches Jerome Tunnel. Matching the CLC up front, a script-painted van brings up the rear of the eastbound manifest. 

CP 4065, one time "City of Kingston" demonstrator, is flanked by GP9s on the roundhouse leads at Cranbrook. In the foreground is former Quebec, North Shore & Labrador 116, in back is recently painted CP 8684.

Tough times on the Kootenay Division. A week before Extra 4565 West dodged a bullet crossing the washout at Sparwood, C630 4506 encountered a washout at Fort Steele with less fortunate results. The second unit on a coal train, 4506 struck the abutment of a collapsing bridge and burned. Fortunately, the lead unit and crew crossed safety before all hell broke loose. Dragged to the back track at "old Fort Steel," the C630 was scrapped on site.

Flying green, FP7 4061 leads F7B 4442, H16-44 8608 and GP9 8687 as First 980 stops at Fort Steele for orders.

Emerging from a spectacular thunderstorm Extra 4570 West hammers upgrade with Kootenay coal at Elko. 

Sundown comes late to the Kootenays on the second day of summer. It's nearly 22:00 as Third 980 waits on a meet with Extra 8649 West at Fort Steele.

At last light, Extra 8649 West arrives at Fort Steele as Third 980 holds at the junction switch.