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Thread: Catch of the day - Ex-BC Rail 3903 solo

  1. #1

    Default Catch of the day - Ex-BC Rail 3903 solo

    Since the take over of BC Rail by CN in 2004, BC Rail motive power has been moved all over the map and some have been put into transfer service. Of all of the power BC Rail had, CN has decided to keep its GE locomotives that consist of C40-8Ms, C44-9WLs and the rare B39-8.

    Numbered in the 3900 series and only 10 on the roster, the B39-8s are the interesting of BC Rails downsized fleet. It has been reported in the last few days that a few have migrated to CNs Thornton yard for transfer service. One of those is the 3903, which is a B40-8, and on Thursday, was solo with a 33 car transfer from Downtown Vancouver to Thornton yard.

    Luck would have it that I was in the right place at the right time fanning with member BCR4619. Some chatter on the scanner would set us up for a photo.

    BC Rail 3903 passes southbound through BNSFs Old yard at Braid St in New Westminster, BC.

    GMDX70
    Last edited by GMDX70; 06-11-2009 at 11:29 PM.

  2. #2

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    Great catch! Those are some nice looking engines in BC Rail blue. It's starting to look a littly rusty now though.

  3. #3

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    Nice catch, indeed. I'm in Edmonton right now visiting my daughter. We came up from Langley through Prince George, Dawson Creek, etc. I caught sister B39 3911 sitting at Exeter (just outside 100 Mile House) one night and then pulling into Williams Lake on a northbound two days later. Can't post pics right now; no way to process images...
    Keith

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Burnaby, BC
    Posts
    609

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Balto View Post
    Great catch! Those are some nice looking engines in BC Rail blue. It's starting to look a littly rusty now though.
    Nah its Just primer...

    Here is my shot under the signal tower at 400mm.
    Christian Vazzaz - Two-Tone Green Video Productions
    Resident BCR Photographer/Videographer
    My Pictures
    My Videos

  5. #5

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    I believe there's 12 of them... road numbers 3901-3911 and the other one, numbered 1700.

    We seem to be using mostly road power (25xx's, 26xx's, 56xx's, 57xx's) in transfer service aside from the one pair of GP38's. The second GP38 pair is stored in the meantime (4718 just had SmartStart installed, my project over the last couple of weeks). 3903 is the only one that's been lingering around now... but I'll keep watching

  6. #6

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    Has it been just sitting in Thornton, or has it actually been sitting around. Id really like to catch it before the diesel people decide its fate elsewhere.

    GMDX70

  7. #7

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    Nah, it's already gone. As of 10:30 tonight it was already in St. Lazare, MB on train 302. I took a look at the rest of them, seems most are kicking around BC. You should be in Chetwynd; apparently there's four of them on 574... 3902, 3906, 3907 and 1700.

    I've never seen 1700, but apparently it's got a unique paint job...? I'll have to look up some pictures elsewhere.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by CN Sparky View Post
    Nah, it's already gone. As of 10:30 tonight it was already in St. Lazare, MB on train 302. I took a look at the rest of them, seems most are kicking around BC. You should be in Chetwynd; apparently there's four of them on 574... 3902, 3906, 3907 and 1700.

    I've never seen 1700, but apparently it's got a unique paint job...? I'll have to look up some pictures elsewhere.
    1700 was the unit assigned to BC Rails short lived Whistler North Winds luxury train that went between North Vancouver and Prince George. It was cut when it was seen as not producing not much revenue, and its critices think it was a good day when it was dropped.

    Thus leaving the only remenants of the North Winds on BC Rail.

    GMDX70

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Williams Lake, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4,585

    Default

    Attached a few pictures of 1700 in regular service on the Whistler Northwind, I did a couple of trips on the train and stopped at Mile 206 Lillooet sub for these pictures. Unfortunately I can not recall the date, it was the first season that it ran. Also the quality of image is very good, it was print to cd and actually from a bunch of films I recently found stored away with some junk. I was surprised some of the pictures on the films are of "familystuff" etc from 1999!!! and all the print film was developed successfully after all this time. I have some other "digital" images of 1700 taken a couple of years ago, post them later.
    BTW, from what I recall running those 3900's, somebody is taking an awful chance sending one out by itself, a "one unit blunder"
    Doug

  10. #10

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    The 3903 had a traction motor replaced at Thornton last week, apparently... which is probably why it was thrown into transfer service (while we wait for PG to build the motor combo and ship it to us).

    With so many units parked, the transfers seem to be the crap that's sitting locally waiting for parts. It might not get full HP, but it's working enough to pull something. Better than sitting around doing nothing, I suppose... but it's a sad sign of CN's abuse of the equipment and not maintaining it properly.

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