Manitoba Historical Society
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Locomotive CN 6043

by John C. Campeau

Manitoba Pageant, Winter 1974, Volume 19, Number 2

This article was published originally in Manitoba Pageant by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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The locomotive that sits in the Winnipeg Assiniboine Park listens patiently and quietly, as most pensioners do, to the comments of people passing by.

She, like other locomotives of her age, withholds many untold stories; although she did not make history like the mountain type locomotive No. 6057 in which Princess Elizabeth took the throttle between Yates and Piers, Alberta during her 1951 tour of Canada, she has her own.

Alive and proud of the fact that even though she retired in 1960, she was reharnessed and polished a year later for a special excursion on June 22, 1961 by the Manitoba Travel and Convention Association between Winnipeg-Brandon-and return.

Her conception dates back to the early 1920s - in the days of the Grank Trunk Railway.

The locomotive with number G.T.W. 6043 was a wheel arrangement of 4-8-2. She was built in Kingston, Ontario in 1929 and was renumbered C.N. 6043.

The 4-8-2 wheel arrangement was a logical extension of locomotive development that evolved from 4-4-0s to 4-6-2s in the years before. Spreading its weight over an extra axle, an engine of much greater power than its predecessors was possible and yet capable of running on the steep roadbeds that formed the Canadian National in those days. The eight-coupled dual service concept endured on the C.N. until dieselization, and ultimately totalled 286 locomotives.

The locomotive C.N. 6043 was purchased by the City of Winnipeg on March 1, 1962 in order to enable the public to view an obsolete system of communication. And, at all times, the contented old pioneer delights when we pay her a visit.

Page revised: 20 July 2009

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