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Canadian Pacific Railway 2317

Whyte System Type: 4-6-2
Class: G-3-c

Builder: Montreal Locomotive Works
Date Built: June 1923
Builder's Number: 64541

Cylinders (diameter x stroke in inches): 25 x 30
Boiler Pressure (in lbs. per square inch): 200
Diameter of Drive Wheels (in inches): 75
Tractive Effort (in lbs.): 42,600

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

Weight on Drivers (in lbs.): 181,500

Remarks: Sold November 1965 to Steamtown, in 1986 and 1987 this locomotive operated excursions out of Scranton.

Canadian Pacific Railway 4-6-2 Locomotive No. 2317

History: Before the Canadian Pacific built the small 1200-series G-5 "Pacific"-type locomotives to replace earlier classes of ten-wheelers and light Pacifics, the railroad had acquired a much heavier class of 4-6-2 locomotives for main line passenger traffic.

William H. Winterrowd had become chief mechanical officer of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in April 1918 as the World War was winding down. Under his supervision, and possibly that of his predecessor, wartime chief mechanical officer William E. Woodhouse, the drafting office had prepared designs for no less than four new postwar heavier and more powerful locomotives of the 2-8-2, 2-10-2 and 4-6-2 wheel arrangements (two classes of the latter). First to be constructed, ten new 2-8-2 Mikado types of Class P-2-a rolled out of CPR's erecting shops in April and July, 1919. Last to be produced, Winterrowd's 15 Class S-2-a 2-10-2 locomotives constituted at the time CPR's heaviest freight motive power, following the successful 2-10-0s Woodhouse had introduced.

For passenger service, CPR needed heavier locomotives because "heavyweight" six-wheel truck all-steel cars had rapidly replaced the older, lighter wooden passenger cars on main line runs. Building on Vaughan's successful G-l and G-2 Pacifics manufactured well before the World War, Winterrowd's team produced plans for four G-3-a 4-6-2s with 75-inch drive wheels for service over relatively flat terrain and five G-4-a Pacifics with smaller 70-inch drivers for main line service in hilly terrain. Numbered 2300 through 2303, one of the G-3-a locomotives appeared in July 1919 and the other three in August. Construction of this type would resume with the G-3-b subclass in 1920 and extend with variations through G-3-j subclasses. Locomotive No. 2317, the eighteenth of the G-3 series, would be the seventh in the G-3-c subclass, which with its predecessors in that subclass was outshopped in June 1923. By that tine Charles H. Temple had succeeded Winterrowd as chief of motive power and rolling stock. Two more G-3-cs, Nos. 2318 and 2319, also came Out in June, followed by six more in July, before the railroad began procuring the next G-3 subclass, the G-3-d. These were the first locomotives in North America to have nickel steel boilers and the first Canadian Pacific engines to be built new with feedwater heaters. Whereas all the G-3-a and G-3-b subclasses had been built at CPR's own Angus Shops, the G-3-c and G-3-d locomotives were erected by the Montreal Locomotive Works. Ultimately, the CPR acquired 173 G-3 4-6-2 locomotives in nine subclasses.

The G-4 class began coming out in October 1919, and totaled only 18 locomotives built in 1919, 1920 and 1921.

The operational history of G-3-c locomotive No. 2317 awaits further research in Canada, but the locomotive is known to have been stationed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for many years. Canadian Pacific apparently retired the locomotive from service and put her in stored status in 1959, after 36 years of operation.

F. Nelson Blount acquired the locomotive for Steamtown at Riverside near Bellows Falls, Vermont, in November 1965, but the Steamtown Foundation did not restore No. 2317 to serviceability until 1978, more than a decade after Blount's death in 1967.

Because of the locomotive's overall excellent condition, Steamtown began its overhaul in March 1976 so it could pull a bicentennial train known by the unwieldy title of Vermont Bicentennial Steam Expedition sponsored by the State of Vermont. Steamtown was to have the locomotive serviceable by July. But it turned out that the engine had an axle loading too heavy for a few wood bridges between Riverside and Chester. Steamtown instead assigned a lighter and more modern CPR 4-6-2, No. 1293, to haul the Vermont bicentennial train, and suspended work on No. 2317. Steamtown's shop did not resume work on the overhaul of No. 2317 until June 1978. in order to place it in service by the Annual Railfan's Weekend that October. On October l, 1978, engineer Andy Barbera opened the throttle on a live No. 2317 for the first time in 19 years. On October 24, 1978, Steamtown posed the locomotive on a bridge at Rockingham, Vermont, for an "official" portrait.

The Steamtown Foundation in Scranton operated Canadian Pacific Railway Locomotive No. 2317 with a fictional Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad color and lettering scheme because it was in use on trackage that originally belonged to the Lackawanna.
Photo by Frank Ackerman

Steamtown had repainted No. 2317 in a CPR gray and Tuscan red passenger train color scheme, a pattern apparently inspired in 1933 by operation across Canada and to Chicago for the World's Fair of a British train in maroon and gold "livery" named the Royal Scot. Canadian Pacific had originally adopted that color scheme between 1933 and 1936. The response of the public and railroad enthusiasts to the appearance of No. 2317 in this color scheme proved to be so enthusiastic that the following year, 1979, Steamtown repainted and relettered G-5s Nos. 1246 and 1278 in the same dark red and gray colors.

On February 4, 1982, the collapse of the Steamtown shop and storage building under the weight of three feet of heavy, wet snow caused some damage to this locomotive, though it was not serious.

After the decision to move Steamtown from near Bellows Falls, Vermont, to the Consolidated Rail Corporation yards at Scranton, Pennsylvania, No. 2317, dead, and a baggage car, four former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western "Boonton" coaches, and an Erie-Lackawanna business car pulled by Boston & Maine, Delaware & Hudson, and Norfolk & Western diesels arrived in Scranton on January 31, 1984. On Saturday, February 4, 1984, a Steamtown crew steamed up No. 2317 for a well-publicized "Grand Entrance" of Steamtown to Scranton at 2 p.m. that day. Mayor McNulty praised all concerned in Steamtown's move to Scranton and declared, "In Scranton, the light at the end of the [Nay Aug] tunnel was an oncoming train!"

At 10:47 am. Saturday, September l, 1984, No. 2317 headed Steamtown's first revenue excursion train out of Scranton for Elmhurst, Pennsylvania, with nine passenger cars. Steamtown had decked the locomotive out in red, white, and blue bunting and American flags for the occasion. Bill Chaplik commented in Railpace Newsmagazine "If steam engines had a soul, and I'm not so sure they don't, 2317 might have thought this a little peculiar considering her Canadian heritage, but she accepted her new status as an American citizen with dignity and put on her best show for everyone. Her Canadian builders would have been proud." During September and October 1984, Steamtown's first operating season in Pennsylvania, No. 2317 hauled about 45,000 riders, compared with only 60,000 during the entire six-month season in Vermont in 1983; lack of patronage due to distance from centers of population was one of the reasons Steamtown left Vermont.

During the winter of 1984-1985, Steamtown undertook the overhaul of No. 2317, and began the 1985 excursion season on March 23 using No. 1246, but No. 1246 soon developed a crack in the firebox and Steamtown had to resort to the use of diesels, for 2317 was still in the shop. As repair of No. 2317 neared completion, the shop force bolted the left cylinder head in place, and then found a large crack that could not be repaired. A new left cylinder head had to be manufactured from 6-inch-thick steel boiler plate, which took a full month. It was not until mid-September 1985 that No. 2317 returned to service, and a number of other problems plagued the locomotive for several weeks, not uncommon in the case of a newly shopped engine. By the close of the 1985 season on October 27, No. 2317 operated well and with relatively little trouble, but Steamtown had used diesels so much that year that the foundation was subjected to a storm of scorn and criticism.

In 1986, No. 2317 went back into excursion service, but with the tender lettered "Lackawanna" and the running board skirts lettered "Pocono Mountain Route," a nonhistoric color scheme on this Canadian locomotive intended to harmonize with the trackage over which it operated, which at one time had been a part of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. Again in 1987, No. 2317 was down for repairs, which forced the Steamtown Foundation in August to purchase another locomotive, this one a former Canadian National Mikado, from the Gettysburg Railroad.

No G-3-c 4-6-2 locomotives survive among the 29 Canadian Pacific locomotives preserved in Canada, but a very similar G-3-d. No. 2341, built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1926, is preserved in the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson, Quebec.

Condition: Locomotive No. 2317 is essentially a serviceable locomotive with suitable running repairs and periodic inspection and overhaul.

Recommendation: Because the Pacific type is well represented in the Steamtown collection by an American locomotive, Boston & Maine No. 3713, Canadian Pacific No. 2317 should be used as excursion train motive power.


B & M [Boston & Maine] Bulletin, Vol. 11, No. 4 (Summer 1982): 35.

Chaplik, Bill. "Steamtown USA Startup!" Railpace Newsmagazine, Vol. 3, No. 10 (Oct. 1984): 33, 34.

"Editorial: Steam's Up!" Railpace Newsmagazine, Vol. 3, No. 11 (Nov. 1984): 3.

Guide to the Steamtown Collection. Bellows Falls, Vt.: Steamtown Foundation n.d. (ca. 1973), Item No. 37 and roster entry.

Lavallée, Omer. Canadian Pacific Steam Locomotives. Toronto: Railfare Enterprises Ltd., 1985: 159-183, 308-310, 315, 400-401, 420, 421, 437, 441, 449.

"Photo Gallery." Rail Classics, Vol. 8, No. 3 (May 1979): 58.

"Photographing the Steamtown Excursion Train." Railpace Newsmagazine, Vol. 3, No. 10 (Oct. 1984): 35-37.

"Railnews." Railfan and Railroad, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Mar. 1980): 2; Vol. 4, No. 4 (May 1982): 22; Vol. 5, No. 4 (May 1984): 28, 29.

"Railroad News Photos." Trains, Vol. 44, No. 7 (May 1984): 16.

"Steamtown: A Championship Season." Railpace Newsmagazine, Vol. 3, No. 12 (Dec. 1984): 18-21.

Steamtown News Special Edition. n.p., n.d. (ca. 1979): 4, 5.

"Steamtown: Railfan Weekend '85." Railpace Newsmagazine, Vol. 4, No. 12 (Dec. 1985): 19-22, back cover.

"Steamtown Update." Railpace Newsmagazine, Vol. 3, No. 11 (Nov. 1984): cover, 16-19.

"Steamtown USA." Railpace Newsmagazine, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Feb. 1987): 30.

"Then and Now." Railpace Newsmagazine, Vol. 5, No. 7 (July 1986): 16, back cover.

Trains, Vol. 39, No. 4 (Feb. 1979): 2.

In the Steamtown files are some Canadian Pacific Railway mileage and shopping records for this locomotive that would facilitate preparation of its operational history.

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Last Updated: 14-Feb-2002