National Film Board of Canada
My regular readers know I enjoy reviewing B&W railroad films produced in the 1950’s by the NFB of Canada. In this documentary short, we take a look at the railroad town of Melville, Saskatchewan whose main raison d’etre is Canadian National Railways.
Melville is/was a division point with a two-story depot, a large rail yard with ample steam and diesel servicing facilities. The depot is still there as of 2022 and is being restored.
Steam was still plentiful, but early first generation diesels were on the scene and slowly taking over with full dieselization occurring just four years later. Also, this was pre-1960 “wet-noodle” C N logo and paint scheme.
Check out this gem with CBC host Fred Davis getting no less than 3 cab rides and an open air speeder trip!
This is the mystery locomotive from the documentary. CN #8553 does not appear to match up with any CNR roster I could find online.
It is an end cab switcher, possibly a GMD-built SW-900 that was quickly renumbered to the 7200 series. In one of my books (Rail Canada, Volume 1 by Donald C. Lewis), I have a picture of CN #8555 at Calgary, so this is a distinct possibility.Continue reading