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Locomotive Hall

The Locomotive Hall contains four huge steam locomotives, some of which allow access to the cabs, a caboose, a business car, and an exhibit of Canadian railway bridges.

Category: Visual Arts Events


Audience | All Ages


Sound effects give the feeling of live locomotives. The engines are meticulously restored, with polished rods and with lighted number boards and class lights. You can also wander through a photo gallery of the Canadian railroad bridges that carried these magnificent machines.

Steam Locomotive Canadian National 6400
Built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1936, CN 6400 was a passenger locomotive designed in conjunction with the NRC, CN and MLW in an attempt to provide a semi-streamlined design which could help avoid the age old problem of smoke obscuring the engineer's vision. The final semi-streamlined configuration was the result of wind tunnel tests conducted in Ottawa - the Museum has the wind tunnel model in its collection. The locomotive operated in Ontario-Quebec regions and was one of the CNR locomotives used to haul the Royal Train in 1939. This is the only one of its class preserved.

Weight in working order: 299,016 kg (660,080 lbs.)
Length: 29 m (95 ft 1 in.)
Height max.: 4.6 m (15 ft 3 in.)
Diam. of driving wheels: 195,5 cm (77 inches)

Steam Locomotive Canadian Pacific 3100
Only two locomotives of this type were built by the C.P.R., and both were preserved, no. 3101 being at Regina. In spite of the many technical innovations in their design including the extensive use of nickel steel, they were not considered an unqualified success. Their great weight proved to be a handicap, and they had difficulty in achieving high speed. However, they were familiar sight for more than 25 years at the head end of the heavy Toronto-Montreal night passenger trains. Both locomotives were converted to oil firing in 1956 and finished their working life in Western Canada.

Weight in working order: 329,784 kg (728,000 lbs.)
Length: 29.7 m (97 ft 5 in.)
Height max.: 4.7 m (15 ft 6 in.)
Diam. of driving wheels: 190.5 cm (75 inches)

Steam Locomotive Canadian Pacific 2858
Built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in August 1938. These locomotives were eventually referred to by the popular press as "Royal Hudson" due to the fact that a number of this class, particularly CP 2850, were used to haul the Royal Train in 1939, hence the crown on the running board. These locomotives were used extensively by Canadian Pacific in passenger service throughout Canada.

Weight in working order: 293,770.5 kg (648,500 lbs.)
Length: 27.7 m (90 ft 10 in.)
Height max.: 4.7 m (15 ft 6 in.)
Diam. of driving wheels: 190.5 cm (75 inches)
Note on Cab of CP 2858

The engineer sat on the right hand side, the fireman on the left. A third person, a front end brakeman, could also be assigned to the locomotive. The wheel in front of the engineers' seat is the power reverse which was used to reverse the direction of the driving wheels. The locomotive was coal fired, using an automatic stoker.

Steam Locomotive Canadian Pacific 926
This comparatively diminutive locomotive is possibly the most representative Canadian locomotive in the collection. Between 1905 and 1913, Canadian Pacific built or purchased 502 engines of this type. A dual-purpose locomotive, these sturdy and dependable engines were used throughout Canada for freight and passenger service. Locomotive 926 was constructed at the CPR's Angus Shops in August 1911.

Weight in working order: 153,114 kg (338, 000 lbs.)
Length: 19.9 m (65 ft 3 in.)
Height: 4.6 m (15 ft 3 in.)
Diam. of driving wheels: 160 cm (63 inches)
CNR 76109 (Caboose)

One of the interesting aspects of railway operations until very recently is the fact that the individual responsible for a freight train, the conductor, was located not at the front of the train, but in the rear - in the caboose. The locomotive engineer was not responsible for the operation of the train, but only the locomotive. The origin of the term caboose as it applies to railways is unknown, but it may be derived from its original meaning, a Dutch nautical term for a shelter erected on the deck of a ship for the use of the crew.

This caboose was probably built for the Intercolonial Railway of Canada in 1898 and continued to operate until 1960 when it was donated to the Museum by CN and restored. It is typical of a standard caboose for the period 1900-1950. The cupola was used by either the conductor or rear end brakeman to view the train ahead and spot any potential problems, in particular smoke, which was a sure sign of an over heated axle bearing (a hot box), one of the primary causes of derailments.

CNR Business Car Terra Nova
The Terra Nova is an example of a railway business, or official, car which was used by railway company officials or their bursts as an office and private accommodation. The car is very small by most official car standards, containing two staterooms and two retractable beds. It has galley, small dining and lounge. As originally built in 1892, it has wood sheathing, probably mahogany, which was replaced by the painted plywood now on the car. It was the only business car on the Newfoundland Railway and, like the other equipment on that line, had narrow gauge trucks, 3'6'' wide between the flanges of the wheels. It was donated to the Museum in 1970.