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Friday, February 8, 2013

Staying with the Theme…

The theme is “Steam Engines Used by the Canadian Pacific Railway”. The engine pictured in this post card is known in Canada as a “Royal Hudson”. If you look carefully, you can see a crown on the front left of the engine, just above the steam cylinder attached to the running board. (You probably won’t be surprised to learn that these crowns became collectors’ items to the unscrupulous).
This post card belongs to the same series as the previous two. The picture of the engine was taken about 1957 while the engine was in Vancouver, British Columbia. Most of the information you will read below comes from the website: http://www.rrsites.com/royalhudson/ The term “Hudson” for a 4-6-4 wheel arrangement comes from the fact that the first steam engines to have the arrangement were made for the New York Central Railroad. Their main line in the state of New York travelled along the Hudson River; thus, the name Hudson for the engines. The New York Central had the largest fleet of 4-6-4s. The second largest fleet belonged to the Canadian Pacific Railway; they manufactured 65 of them in their Montreal Locomotive Works in Quebec beginning in 1929. The first few engines (Numbers 2800 to 2819) are referred to as “Standard Hudsons”; the rest (Number 2820 to 2864) are known as “Royal Hudsons”. The entire lot belongs to the H1 Class (from H1a to H1e) of steam locomotive. The cylinders are 22 by 30 inches; the Driving Wheels are 75 inches in diameter; the Boiler Pressure was capable of 275 pounds which was able to produce a Tractive Effort of 45,300 pounds.
All of the best features of North American locomotive design were incorporated into the Hudson. A real effort was made to give them really clean cut lines. The Hudson achieved great success as a high speed passenger locomotive, quickly making previous types obsolete. Her top speed was in excess of 90 mph! This cut down the time for cross country travel dramatically. The Canadian Pacific Railway used the Hudson for freight duties as well, making it a truly versatile locomotive. In 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (father and mother of the current Queen Elizabeth) crossed Canada by train, from Quebec to Vancouver. The train was provided jointly by the Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian National (CN) Railroads. Westbound it travelled over CP lines, while the return trip was over the CN. Hudson #2850 was given the honor of pulling the Royal Train to Vancouver. It was specially refinished in Royal Blue and aluminum, with a golden crown (the King's crown) at the front of each running board. CP Hudson #2851 was chosen to head the procession as a pilot train. It preceded the Royal train by exactly one hour, carrying the press and other officials. Both locomotives performed perfectly over the 3224 mile trip. After the trip, 2850 and 2851 were returned to their standard paint scheme. The CP applied for, and was granted, special permission to retain the crowns on the 2850, and to designate the Hudson as a "Royal" Hudson. Eventually, all of the Hudsons in the streamlined class (2820-2864) were fitted with crowns on their running boards and designated as Royal Hudsons.

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