trainspotting (blog)

Word association

Worse for wear, but still earning her keep after more than 42 years, CP 5612 trails sister 6007 and AC4400CW over the Grand River bridge at Galt, Ontario, September 22, 2014.

You say CP 5612, I say Twin Coach. I was reminded of that odd association as I watched CP 5612 roll past yesterday afternoon as the trailing unit on a westbound freight. It’s true, every time I see CP 5612, I think of a certain Galt Public Service Commission Twin Coach.

So what could an SD40-2 possibly have to do with a city bus? In the case of 5612, just this: I’ve been known to photograph the occasional city bus, but you can probably count the number of times I’ve actually chased one on the fingers of one hand. July 14, 1972 was one of those days. Headed to the CP station in Galt, a friend and I were briefly diverted when we crossed paths with Galt Public Service Commission 98, a 1948 model 38-S Twin Coach.

We hadn’t a clue where the old Twin might be going, but took off after it. We must have been a sight, a '67 Ford Falcon wagon in mad pursuit of a '48 Twin. We managed a photo at the Ainslie Street terminal in downtown Galt and another on a residential street somewhere on the north side before sanity was restored and we made our way back to the Galt station.

No. 904 was rumbling across the Grand River bridge as we approached the Bond Street crossing. The watchman in the tower at Brook Street had the crossing signals activated. The Falcon screeched to a halt, and I had just enough time to bail out and aim the camera as a pair of factory-fresh SD40-2s and a grubby M636 accelerated past the station.

CP 5612 and 5624 had been on the property little more than 24 hours. They’d been delivered from GMD to the Quebec Street roundhouse the previous day and worked to Windsor. Following a longstanding tradition, the pristine SDs were assigned to No. 904 — the hottest train on the London Division — for their first eastbound trip.

That muggy July afternoon marked the first of many encounters with CP 5612, but it would be the last time I saw Galt PSC 98.

Galt Public Service Commission 98, a rare 1948 model 38-S Twin Coach, pauses on Ainslie Street in downtown Galt. A worthy diversion.

Somewhere on the residential backstreets of Galt. The driver is unidentifiable but I'd like to think his last name is Miller.

No. 904 accelerates past the station at Galt with factory-fresh CP 5612 and 5624 making their first eastbound trip in the smoky company of M636 4710 on July 14, 1972.

greg mcdonnellComment