Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 No. 1293

Builder:Canadian Locomotive Company, Ltd. – Kingston, Ontario
Built:June 1948
Serial Number:#2450
Wheel Arrangement:4-6-2 Pacific
Driver Diameter:70″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:20″ x 28″
Boiler Pressure:250 psi
Pulling Power:34,000 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:117 tons
Length:76′ 4″
Capacity:Coal – 14 tons; Water – 8,000 gallons

The G-5 class of 4-6-2 Pacific type steam locomotives were constructed after World War II to pull passenger and freight trains on the Canadian Pacific Railway’s branch and secondary lines. The G-5’s basic dimensions were patterned after an earlier CP design, but these 102 upgraded 4-6-2s were equipped with the latest improvements, innovations and appliances then available.

Most significant was the use of a front-end throttle in the smokebox section of the boiler for more precise control of the high pressure steam passing into the cylinders. These 4-6-2s employed a slotted dry pipe, eliminating the need for a steam dome atop the boiler. The four-wheel lead truck was equipped with roller bearings, while the two-wheel trailing truck was of a unique design which allowed the axel to slide within the engine’s frame instead of a stand-alone trailing truck frame.

Due to the tough Canadian winters, the G-5’s were also equipped with enclosed “all-weather” cabs. (These were great for keeping crews warm in Winnipeg or Saskatoon, but climb into the cab on a typical Ohio July day and you will quickly feel the downside of these tight, poorly ventilated spaces.

The G-5’s were built by three different manufacturers into 1948, with G-5-d No. 1293 being constructed in June of that year by Canadian Locomotive Company in Kingston, Ontario. However new and efficient these Pacifics were, all would be out of work within a decade as dieselization spread across the Dominion. Retired in 1959, No. 1293 was placed in storage with numerous other locomotives waiting their turns to be cut up for scrap metal.

In 1964, No. 1293 was purchased from the CP by F. Nelson Blount, and moved to his Steamtown USA museum in Bellows Falls, Vermont. The 16-year-old 4-6-2 needed only minor repairs to get it under steam again, and soon No. 1293 (relettered Green Mountain RR) was pulling short tourist trains at Steamtown. It also was used to pull the Vermont Bicentennial Train during 1976, and, temporarily renumbered “1881” to appear in the 1979 horror movie Terror Train. In 1984, The engine was moved to the new Steamtown site in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but never operated at that location.

Jerry Jacobson purchased No. 1293 from Steamtown in 1996, and Ohio Central crew rebuilt the engine. It debuted on OC rails in the fall of 1997. Easy to fire and good on coal and water, No. 1293 showed just why CP crewmen loved these little locos. A half-dozen of the G-5 Pacifics still exist, but No. 1293 is the only one which has recently operated. Number 1293 last operated in 2017 and is now due for its Federal Railroad Administration-mandated 15 year boiler inspection.