Posted on 14-06-2008
Filed Under (Calgary 1960s, CPR, Many Jobs and Trades) by Broken Rail

I’ve posted a photograph taken at the Load Test this was a stub track located between the North side of the Locomotive Shop and the Foundry. When locomotives were rebuilt at Ogden they had to go through extensive testing before they were released back to active service. In a complete overhaul, the locomotive diesel engine would be completely overhauled and rebuilt, on the electrical side. The main generator and traction motors on each axle received the same restoration. The locomotive was started up and brought out to the Load Test and tested under simulated load conditions, by the machinists and electricians. The 7070 was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1948, and in this photograph taken in 1961 is in its Canadian Pacific block lettering and Tuscan red, gray, and yellow paint scheme. The locomotive Model number was DS4-4-1000, which classed it as a Diesel Switcher 4 Wheels on one truck and 4 Wheels on the other truck, and rated at 1000 Hp. I have seen a photograph of her in active service at Port Coquitlam, British Columbia in May 1975 painted in the CP Rail color scheme. In the picture the 7070 has all hatch doors open and the Machinist Duane on the front end would be checking for any leaks from the diesel engine block. The engine would be run through all eight-throttle positions for hour after hour. I remember going out there one day on an engine being tested that did not have all the sheet metal reinstalled in the locomotive cab, we finished our work and left in short order. I sure wouldn’t want to work out there hour after hour with throttle in the eighth notch position.

I remember that they also did a road test, my best friend, Jimmy was a machinist apprentice and I went for a ride with him on a B unit one day. We traveled down to the north end of shops compound and out onto the yard lead that ran besides the shops. Jimmy had a flagging kit and stayed on the ground to protect this movement with a red flag, track torpedoes, and red fusees if necessary. B units have no operating cab, but they do have operating controls and the operator, usually a machinist foreman could look out the circular porthole window on the side of the locomotive. With the track clear ahead for three quarters of a mile the foreman could open up a throttle and see how locomotive performed going forward and backwards. This was a dangerous practice as there was quite a curve in the track and a yard movement, or a train coming in from the east could show up at any time. When the locomotive had passed all its tests it would be released to the shops at Alyth, and the switch crew from the yard would take the locomotive along with any other rolling stock lead had been released.

The switch crew started their daily duties inside the Ogden Shops there was a yardmaster who worked there and gave them their daily list of the duties they had to do. The crew consisted of a locomotive engineer, yard foreman, and helper. The duties were fairly light so the job went quite high on the seniority list. There was also a lucrative sideline they were engaged in, there was a working man’s bar called the Shamrock Hotel in East Calgary and a bookie worked out of there. The working men at the shops like to gamble on the horse races, so there was different places around the facility, where a boilermaker, machinist, electrician, or carman working a job in a stationary location would collect money for the bets. While one of the crew on the ground would do the work required with the locomotive engineer, the other crew member would go around and collect all the money for the bets and would go to the Shamrock early in the afternoon to see the bookie and place all the bets. This had been going on for many years on tell the city police busted the bookie and the game was over.

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