In 1959, Canadian steam was being systematically replaced by diesels… and the end was near for these huge machines. There are plenty of CN and CP freight and passenger trains with a variety of power, as many engines make their last summer of existence memorable for all of us to enjoy. The third tape in the Vintage Canada Steam series features a 1959 trip to Canada by Maynard Laing. Elwin Purington was also along recording audio, and many 16mm film scenes have the exact authentic audio – matching locomotive film to locomotive audio – making this a rare treat indeed. Highlights include the last run of a CN passenger train on the Virden to Winnipeg branch line with 4-6-2 #5612, plus a chase of 4-8-2 #5060 bucking high winds with a heavy 10,000 ton freight. Then we see plenty of scenes around Portage la Prairie where the CN and CP transcontinental lines cross, and other lines diverge.
There is lots of great steam activity here, including a neat late afternoon flurry of activity. Several times you will see more than one train in a scene. CN also has a large coal and water facility and nearly all trains stop for servicing. Locomotives seen on the Canadian National include 4-6-0, 2-8-0, 2-8-2, 4-6-2, and 4-8-2. Canadian Pacific locomotives include 4-6-2, 2-8-2, and 4-6-4. These are truly historic steam treasures that will be enjoyed by all steam and historic railroad enthusiasts, and the fact that many scenes have exact audio is quite remarkable for films this old.