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Canadian Pacific Railway 2816

Whyte System Type: 4-6-4 Hudson
Class: H-1-b

Builder: Montreal Locomotive Works
Date Built: December 1930
Builder's Number: 68535

Cylinders (diameter x stroke in inches): 22 x 30
Boiler Pressure (in lbs. per square inch): 275
Diameter of Drive Wheels (in inches): 75
Tractive Effort (in lbs.): 45,300

Tender Capacity:
    Coal (in tons): 17
    Oil (in gallons): Not applicable
    Water (in gallons): 12,000 (Imperial gallons)

Weight on Drivers (in lbs.): 186,900

Remarks: Sold January 1964 to Steamtown.

Canadian Pacific Railway 4-6-4 Locomotive No. 2816

History: By the 1920s, with conversion completed of passenger rolling stock on the Canadian Pacific Railway from older wooden cars to heavier, all-steel six-wheel truck equipment on main line trains (the railroad had 96 such steel cars in 1918, 707 in 1930), the need for passenger motive power still heavier than the 4-6-2 G-3 and G-4 class Pacifics had become evident.

Henry Blame Bowen became chief of motive power and rolling stock on CPR on September l, 1928, a position he was to hold for 21 years. His long tenure, despite the handicaps of the depression which began in 1929 and World War II, which began in 1939, was second only to that of Vaughan in production of new locomotives, totaling 462 steam locomotives and including many new designs, such as F-1 and F-2 4-4-4s, H-1 4-6-4s, T-1 2-10-4s, U-5 0-8-0s, and G-5 4-6-2s. "An unyielding advocate of steam up to the moment of his retirement," commented Canadian Pacific locomotive historian Omer Lavallée, "Bower was largely responsible for retaining this form of motive power for road operations long after many major North American carriers had thrown in their lot with the diesel-electric locomotive."

Immediately upon assuming his new duties as chief of motive power and rolling stock in 1928, Bower began formulating his own motive power policy, which, unlike that of his predecessor, Charles H. Temple, focused on new designs. The first two, produced by the drawing office on October 1, 1928, called for a Class H-1 4-6-4, or "Hudson" type, essentially an enlargement or development beyond the G-3 and G-4 4-6-2s and intended to replace them in main line passenger service, and a Class Q-1 2-8-4 intended similarly as a development beyond the Class P 2-8-2s as a new and heavier freight locomotive. Omer Lavallée observed:

In each case, the provision of a four-wheeled trailing truck would permit the use of a [mechanical] stoker, redesigned boiler with larger firebox capacity, Type E superheater and an increase in boiler pressure to 275 lbs. per square inch. Both designs would utilize the identical boiler, the tractive effort of the H1 would be 45,000 pounds, about the same as a G3, but the Q1 would be rated at 60,000 pounds as against 58,000 pounds for the P2s.

The first new Bower locomotives manufactured were 2-10-4s, No. 5900 completed in July 1929. It was not until four months later that the first of the H-1 4-6-4 Hudson type locomotives rolled out of the Montreal Locomotive Works erecting shop.

Lavallée made a number of observations on the significance of the new Hudson type:

The class H1 4-6-4s, whose first representative left the MLW erecting shop in November 1929, were destined to be a superior breed of locomotive. Eventually numbering sixty-five units, they were the CPR counterparts of CN's famed class U2 4-8-4s, by which they were far outnumbered. Where axle-loading restrictions on former Grand Trunk Railway main lines had influenced CN to select an eight-coupled locomotive for heavy passenger and fast freight trains, these restrictions did not apply to the CPR, hence the selection of the shorter-wheelbased 4-6-4. Nominally rated at a little over 45,000 pounds tractive effort, boosters eventually fitted to a number of His raised the capacity of those so equipped to 57,000 pounds, the normal capacity of the CN U2s. The first of the new 2800s were assigned to main lines, not only certain sections of the transcontinental route but also between Montreal and Toronto and Montreal and Quebec. In these services, they soon demonstrated their talents.

The need to effect economies while meeting competition during the first years of the Depression produced some beneficial effects in locomotive utilization, largely as a result of the introduction of the new class H1. In the summer of 1930, Hi No. 2808 set the stage by making what was described as a record continuous run handling Toronto-Vancouver passenger train No. 3, "The Dominion" between Fort William, Ont., and Calgary, a distance of 2,015 km (1,252 miles). The departure was made from Fort William on 19 June 1930 at 2020 CST, with arrival at Calgary at 0700MST on 21 June. The locomotive repeated its performance on a return trip, leaving Calgary on train No. 4 at 1450 MST on 22 June, reaching Fort William at 0535 CST on 24 June. The only servicing which No. 2808 received during these journeys was lubrication and fire and ashpan cleaning, carried out during brief scheduled stops at subdivision points. This test was undoubtedly influenced by the New York Central Railroad's experience after introducing its famed pioneer class J-1 a 4-6-4s in 1927 to pull the "Twentieth Century Limited" between New York and Chicago, a distance of 1,545 km (960 miles). However, there was one engine change between these termini.

The result of this was the introduction of regular long-distance assignments to passenger power on all of the system's main lines, using older 4-6-2s in addition to the 4-6-4s. . . .

Montreal Locomotive Works had turned out the first six Hudson type locomotives for CPR in November 1929, Nos. 2800 through 2805. Another four rolled out of the erecting shop in December. All of these fit in Class H-1-a. Nearly a year later, Montreal Locomotive Works began producing the first variation on the theme, Class H-1-b, four in November 1930 and six in December 1930. The latter were Numbers 2814 through 2819, including, of course, Steamtown's No. 2816.

Then the depression, reaching its depths, cut so far into CPR passenger traffic that the company built no more Hudsons for over six and a half years, resuming production in September 1937 with 30 of the new subclass H-1-c locomotives by the end of the year. In August 1938, the company began procuring still another subclass, H-1-d, consisting of 10 locomotives produced that month.

In 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth made the first visit of a reigning monarch to Canada, and to haul the royal train, the Canadian Pacific repainted 4-6-4 No. 2850 blue and silver with stainless steel boiler jacket, cylinder casings, and grabirons, and with royal crests on the tender sides, on the smokebox front, and on the running board skirts above the cylinders. In honor of the King's visit, the railway designated the entire H-1-d class the "Royal Hudsons."

After two more years and the beginning of World War II in 1939, the Montreal Locomotive Works produced in June 1940 a final five Class H1e Hudsons, for a total of 65 Class H1 4-6-4 locomotives.

The Canadian Pacific Railway experimented with a number of variations of smoke deflectors on the Hudsons over a period of years, and No. 2816 carried one of the more successful variations of smoke deflectors for some 20 years.

Canadian Pacific Railway Locomotive No. 2816 arrving at Toronto, Ontario, on July 9, 1948, with eastbound Train No. 8. note the smoke deflectors or "elephant ears" alongside the smokebox, which are no longer on the locomotive.
Photo by Elmer Treloar, Steamtown Foundation Collection

F. Nelson Blount acquired Hudson No. 2816 for the Steamtown Foundation in January 1964, by which time those smoke deflectors or "elephant ears" alongside the smokebox had been removed.

No. 2816 is the only H-1-b subclass CPR 4-6-4 to survive, but H-1-d No. 2858 is preserved in the National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, Ontario, and H-1-e No. 2860 operates an excursion train near Vancouver, British Columbia, for which service it has been named "The Royal Hudson," although it was neither the original Royal Hudson nor of the true Royal Hudson subclass of H-1 4-6-4 locomotives.

Condition: The condition of this locomotive is fair; it has operated about 35,000 miles since it was last shopped.

Recommendation: This locomotive is at present the only 4-6-4 type in the Steamtown collection and for that reason should be preserved by the National Park Service. If any major overhaul to restore the locomotive either for exhibit or for service ever is undertaken, it should be preceded by a report, which should include a thorough physical and operational history of the locomotive prepared by an experienced railroad historian and research in relevant Canadian archives, railway museums, and historical organizations. The report should determine precisely during what years the locomotive had smoke deflectors, and whether more than one type was used. It should also determine whether the engine carried more than one color and lettering scheme, and if so, precisely what those were. In addition to photographs, physical analysis of paint layers and lettering and striping layers should be done to determine color and placement of such decoration, with careful tracings made to serve as the basis for stencils. The report should then recommend to which period the locomotive should be restored.


Guide to the Steamtown Collection. Bellows Falls, Vt.: Steamtown Foundation, n.d. (ca. 1973), Item No. 38 and roster entry.

Lavallée, Omer. Canadian Pacific Steam Locomotives. Toronto: Railfare Enterprises Ltd., 1985: 178-221, 315, 421, 454.

Stagner, Lloyd E. North American Hudsons: The 4-6-4 Steam Locomotive. David City: South Platte Press, 1987: 28-33, back cover.

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Last Updated: 14-Feb-2002