Memories

Found the picture on this page and then recieved a wonderful email from David J Gagnon.
For a place that I only visited 3-4 times in my life – and all before the age of 6 – Turcot certainly holds a big place in my imagination and memory. My father was always interesting in trains. In the early 1960s, articles in the Montreal Star announced that the old steam engines were being stored at Turcot (and Angus) as they awaited scrapping. This happened at many other railway yards across Canada as well. My father took me down a few times to walk Turcot on weekend afternoons as he surveyed, close up, the rusty old beasts.
Canadian steam on the CNR and CPR was finally officially finished in 1960, but enthusiasts were supported in their desire to ride behind steam by the CNR. The locomotive in the photo, 6153, was one of the first they used. Later on, CNR actually had to FIND retired locomotives in good condition and re-shop them at much greater cost (after the infrastructure had been dismantled). So 6153 was probably one of the last pre-1960 locomotives to operate continually in regular service, through excursion service, then into retirement. It is at the museum at Saint-Constant now.
On this occasion (July 19, 1961) my grandfather – a retired school principal – was with us as the 6153 waited to unite with its excursion consist. My reference to the cab inspection just means we seemed to be well-dressed and well-mannered trespassers (with a little kid) so why not offer us a look in the cab? They are always very hot with a roaring fire, and gases and liquids hissing through the locomotive’s plumbing – quite a wonderful experience.

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