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CP 2816 Empress 

Credit: Graham BoothSteaming out of the past comes CP 2816 Empress steam locomotive. The resurrected locomotive 2816 re-entered active service in 2001 as a roving ambassador for Canadian Pacific. The CP Empress is now a significant component of our Community Connect program.

CP's 2816 is a class H1b Hudson type locomotive built by Montreal Locomotive Works in December 1930. The CP Empress is now the only surviving H1b Hudson and is one of only a handful of preserved and operating CPR steam locomotives in North America. 

About the CP 2816 Empress

Built by Montreal Locomotive Works in December 1930, the CP 2816 Empress is a class H1b Hudson-type steam locomotive. It is now the only surviving H1b Hudson and is one of only a handful of preserved and operating Canadian Pacific steam locomotives in North America.

Initially, the locomotive ran westward out of Winnipeg to Calgary and eastward to Fort William, Ontario (now part of Thunder Bay). Locomotive 2816 then moved into service on the Windsor-to-Quebec City corridor. Its last assignment was at the front of a Montreal-Rigaud commuter train, making its final revenue run on May 26, 1960. Having logged more than two million miles in active service, 2816’s fires were extinguished.

Rebuilding began in 1998 and the restoration of the CP 2816 Empress was completed in 2002.

The rebuild team consulted more than 800 engineering drawings of CP class H1b locomotives to rebuild the locomotive from the ground up in much of the same manner it was built in more than 75 years ago. The 2816 is the only survivor. These drawings show every nut, bolt and rivet – hand drawn to scale and accurately identified as to location, size and material specification.

Today, the CP 2816 Empress is restored to the original specifications with external details from the 1940s and ‘50s. The vintage steam locomotive and support cars are roving ambassadors for Canadian Pacific’s 16,000 employees in 1,100 communities across North America.

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