CN/SRC O9a Switcher
Between 1903 and 1913, a total of (123) 0-6-0 switchers classified as O-9-a were produced for the Grand Trunk Railway. Weighing in at just over 75 tons, the O-9-a sat on (6) 56″ drivers, produced 31,515 lbs of tractive effort, and operated at 165 boiler psi. The O-9-a locomotives received a vast amount of running number changes throughout their careers. They went from (3) digit numbers, to (4) digit numbers in 1919, another (4) digit change in 1923 when the Grand Trunk was merged in the Canadian National, and one more (4) digit number change in the early 1950s. As larger switchers and newer diesels began to arrive on the CNR, the O-9-a class was slowly retired and scrapped between 1935 and 1956.
One of the O-9-a’s lasted until 1958: #7312.
#7312 was built by Baldwin in 1908 and was originally GTR 118, followed by GTR 1708, CNR 7157, CNR 7240, and finally CNR 7312 in 1957. #7312 spent it’s last few years as a shop switcher at the CNR’s Stratford, Ontario yards until 1958. The following year, #7312 was discovered by Strasburg Railroad Vice President: Bud Swearer. Since the SRC had been looking for a smaller steam locomotive that could handle the increasing tonnage of the newly formed SRC tourist operation, #7312 was found to be quite suitable for the task. In the summer of the following year, #7312 was delivered to the Strasburg Railroad and placed back into service that September, making her the first steam locomotive to be returned back into FRA regulations in the US. Renumbered once again as SRC 31, she holds the distinction of being the SRC’s first steam locomotive on their roster. She operated on the SRC from 1960 through 2009 as both SRC 31 and SRC 7312, totaling (1) year less on the SRC than that on the CNR and GTR combined. As of 2009, #31/7312 is undergoing a major rebuild. No estimated completion time has been determined, but the SRC has all intentions of returning her to service once again in the future.
By the mid 1960’s, the Strasburg Railroad had amassed quite a collection of passenger cars, all but two are still in active service today on the SRC. The paint scheme back then was similar to how it looked through the 1980s, but instead of the fire engine red, it was a forest green.
CNR/SRC O9a set includes: (5) Engines, (5) Tenders and (8) Passenger cars
Locomotive variations include:
CNR: 1923-1958 appearance
SRC V1: 1960-Early 1990s appearance w/SRC Egg Logo
SRC V2: Mid 1990’s appearance
SRC V3: Late 1990’s-2001 appearance
SRC V4: 2002 appearance
1960’s Passenger cars include:
001: “Eshelman Run” B&M Coach
002: “Grasshopper Level” B&M Coach
003: “Willow Brook” Ma&Pa Coach
004: “Cherry Hill” P&R Coach
005: “Walnut Hollow” P&R Coach
006: “Gobbler’s Knob” B&M Coach
007: “Conestoga Creek” PRR Mp54 Trailer
008: “Cinder Catcher Club Car” PRR GRa Gondola
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