30s and 40s High Speed
Calgary-Edmonton Passenger Rail
'The Chinook' CPR Jubilee 3001
was 1 of only 5
and credits at bottom of page.
The F2a 3000 class of CPR locomotive
established the speed record of 181 km/hr (112.5 mi./hr.) in 1937
that was not broken until 1976.
No locomotives of this unique class
semi-streamlined Jubilee locomotive 3001, a unique 4-4-4 wheel
arrangement, served the CPR Calgary to Edmonton passenger route from
1936 to 1955 except for a few years during the Second World War when heavier
locomotives were required to haul longer trains carrying troops to
training centres across the country and to ocean ports.
Part of the vision of the Forth Junction Heritage Society is to
eventually create a miniature replica of Jubilee 3001 that headed 'The Chinook', as a functioning
and accurate live steam 7.5"
(1:8 scale) locomotive that could potentially haul passengers at a
Forth Junction Rail Park.
In 2009, the Canada Mint issued a $20 silver coin commemorating
Jubilee locomotive 3001 name 'The Chinook' by Canadian Pacific.
The 'high speed' Jubilee was used daily, primarily for the 'Eskimo'
in the morning northbound from Calgary and the 'Stampeder' in the
afternoon southbound from Edmonton. The trip, including 22 stops
along the 194 mile line, took 5 hours and 15 minutes, about one hour
faster than conventional steam locomotives.
The train usually consisted of the Jubilee locomotive, four light-weight passenger cars
and sometimes an express box or refrigerator car. Occasionally, the
train had as few as 3 cars or as many as 5. The engine was too light
to haul much more than that, especially in reverse moves.
A complete consist of four of these passenger cars, including one
that was exclusive to the Calgary-Edmonton line, have been located at the
former Canadian Museum of Rail
Travel in Cranbrook, B.C.
The first of five of the Jubilee F2a class emerged from the Montreal
Locomotive Works in July 1936 designed for fast, lightweight
inter-city passenger service. Two were assigned to the
Montreal-Quebec City run (3003 & 3004), two for the Toronto-Windsor
run (3000 & 3002) and one for the Calgary-Edmonton run (3001). The
4-4-4 wheel arrangement was named 'Jubilee' to commemorate the 50th
anniversary of CPR transcontinental passenger service.
a tour across western Canada to Vancouver on the main line and
returning to Calgary on the southern route, the 3001 began the
'Chinook' service in September of 1936.
During the war years, the 3001 was assigned to the Lethbridge-Medicine
Hat line as much heavier locomotives were needed to haul the massive
increase in passenger travel on the Calgary-Edmonton line due to the
war effort. Towards the end of the war, the Chinook returned to the
A few changes to the locomotive occurred early in its return -- the
original coal tender was converted to oil (the only one of the five
that was) and the distinctive but easily damaged sheet metal
wraparound pilot was replaced with a front similar to the 2900 class
F1a as a result of encounters with vehicle traffic at some of the
210 grade crossings between the two largest Alberta cities.
In 1954, the new RDC Budd Dayliners started replacing the Jubilee
and by the next year, 3001 'The Chinook' was retired. Apparently due to a misunderstanding where both Calgary and Montreal thought
the other was going to save the last locomotives of the class, both
were scrapped, the 3001 in March 1957.
A sister locomotive, No. 3003, broke the steam speed record in
Quebec in September 1937 during a special air brake test clocking in
at 112.5 miles per hour (181 km per hour) that was never matched by
any other Canadian steam locomotive. In fact, it took until March
1976 for both a diesel LRC and Turbo Train to exceed that speed.
similar class of locomotive, twenty F1a Jubilees numbered in the
2910 to 2929 series, were built in 1937 and 1938 with 75" drivers
instead of the 80" drivers of the 3000 series, were five feet
shorter, lacked the distinctive wraparound pilot, and the main rods
were connected to the rear drivers instead of the front as was the
case with the 3000s.
They were used for secondary passenger runs
including Edmonton to Lloydminster and Edmonton-Wetaskiwin-Hardisty
and as a result passed through Red Deer periodically for maintenance
in Calgary. They were also known to have hauled freight after their
retirement as passenger locomotives until their disposal.
Two of the
2900 class survived -- 2928 is located at the Canadian Railway
Museum (Exporail) in St-Constant, Quebec and 2929 (built 1938, sold
in 1959 to Nelson Blount) is at Steamtown National Historic Site
(created in 1986) in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Both are waiting for
restoration, likely for static display only, and are not currently
available for public view. Engine 2929 in Scranton is in especially
bad shape having been exposed to the elements for many years.
A Canadian-built 4-car trainset of lightweight passenger cars
representing 'the Chinook' has survived at the Cranbrook History
Centre (formerly the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel). It includes
mail-express (3612), baggage-buffet combine (3051), and two
first-class coaches (1700 & 2104). All require restoration and are
currently for sale.
A long term goal of the Forth Junction Heritage Society is to replicate the 3001 in live steam 7.5"
(1:8) scale either as a static display or used to haul passengers at
the proposed community heritage rail park.
Photo descriptions and credits:
Jubilee 3000 locomotive Toronto 1953 (J.F. Beveridge, Dave Shaw
Jubilee F2a 3001 'The Chinook' Calgary Aug. 1938 (Otto Perry);
Jubilee promotional photo (Canadian Pacific Archives);
Royal Canadian Mint 2009
commemorative coin 'The Chinook';
'The Chinook' south of Edmonton 1939 (BC Archives);
'The Chinook' train led by Jubilee 3001 and 4 cars (Canadian Pacific
Jubilee F2a 3001 heading 'The Chinook' at Lacombe 1936 (Lacombe &
District Historical Society);
Jubilee 3001 heading 'The Chinook' near Innisfail 1943-44 without
wraparound pilot (Donald Wallington);
Speed-record locomotive Jubilee F2a 3003 Montreal ca 1950 (Canadian Pacific Archives
- Omer Lavellee);
Jubilee F1a 2922 at Red Deer 1940 (Red Deer Archives P7583);
Jubilee F1a 2928 at Guelph, Ont. May 1954 (J.F. Beveridge photo, F.D.
Jubilee F1a 2929 at Steamtown, PA needing restoration (Steamtown
National Historic Site);
'The Chinook' trainset at former Canadian Museum of Rail Travel
Cranbrook (Paul Pettypiece 2009)