Daily Post: Brand New Canadian National General Electric Locomotives


CN’s Latest Alternating Current Traction Diesels ply the old Wisconsin Central.

In the fading light of a November 2013 evening three new Canadian National GE-built ES44ACs pass the Metra station at Round Lake, Illinois. Canon EOS 7D photo.
In the fading light of a November 2013 evening three new Canadian National GE-built ES44ACs pass the Metra station at Round Lake, Illinois. Canon EOS 7D photo.

There’s nothing like a shiny new locomotive; It will never look any better. Best of all, it’s really something new, not just the ‘same-old, same-old.’

Last week, Chris Guss and I were working CN’s former Wisconsin Central Limited lines in Illinois and Wisconsin where CN’s latest locomotives were plying the rails.

Until very recently, CN was the last major North American freight railroad to refrain from AC traction technology. First used on wide-scale by Burlington Northern beginning in 1993, by the late-1990s most big railroads had at least sampled AC traction diesels. Yet, CN kept ordering DC traction. But not anymore; today AC’s are the latest thing even on CN!

New ES44ACs lead a freight near Theresa, Wisconsin on November 8, 2013. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
New ES44ACs lead a freight near Theresa, Wisconsin on November 8, 2013. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
New CN General Electric diesels with M34241-07 with a freight some 9,300 feet long (weighing an estimated 17,000 tons). Another new GE was cut-in mid-train working as a radio controlled 'distributed power unit.' This train is holding at Marsh siding for a northward train. Lumix LX3 photo.
New CN General Electric diesels with M34241-07 with a freight some 9,300 feet long (weighing an estimated 17,000 tons). Another new GE was cut-in mid-train working as a radio controlled ‘distributed power unit.’
This train is holding at Marsh siding for a northward train. Lumix LX3 photo.

 

CN’s new ES44DCs look good working in pairs in the rolling Midwestern countryside.

Here’s a few photos I made over a two-day period in early November 2013.

On our second day, Pat Yough joined us for some of the photos and we also met up with Iowa-based Craig Williams near Fond du Lac while waiting for southward CN ES44ACs to emerge from some trees.

We were all on our way to one of the Midwest’s premier railway photography venues: Beecherfest (held near Milwaukee every year).

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