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Canadian National Railway 6714
1913 General Electric Co.
by William E. Wood, April 2001
Electric locomotive #6714 from Montreal, Canada is a veteran machine that has shown how well built locomotives were. Ordered by the Canadian Northern Railway in 1913, the Z-1-A units were destined to serve an important scheme to gain improved access to Montreal Central Station, which would be Canadian National Railway's main station in the city. The work included the 3.1 mile Mount Royal Tunnel, a new terminal and 8 miles of 2.4 kV overhead electric system. The environmental and operational needs of not having steam engines in the tunnel and station dictated the electrical operation and it became one of the earliest uses of what was considered a very high voltage.
The engines were assembled in the Peterborough, Ontario facility of Canadian General Electric Company, who provided both the mechanical parts and electrical equipment. The design was early North American "box-cab" type.
The units are 37'-4" over coupler centers and a working order weight of 78 tons. Its maximum traction effort is 43,400 lbs., a continuous traction effort of 18,800 lbs. at 22.7 mph and a maximum speed of 55 mph. The trucks are articulated which bear all traction and buffing forces. Control is rheostatic and is fitted with multiple-unit control.
Over the years the original 8 miles was extended to 27.3 and both suburban and through passenger traffic was worked electrically. With the demise of CNR steam, the Z-1-A units were left to share the Cartierville and Deux-Montagnes commuter traffic with British and US supplied locomotives built in 1925 and 1950 respectively.
It is interesting to note that #6714 had a numerous numbers assigned. The first number was Canadian Northern Railway #604 and later #4612. Canadian National Railway renumbered to #9104, then to #104, and then finally to #6714. With the complete rebuilding of the electrical system sometime between 1989 and 1990, this changed the voltage from 2.4 kV to 25 kV 60Hz. In 1995, the Z-1-A locomotives were retired.
Connecticut Trolley Museum member Walter Sheffeld bought #6714 and moved it on its own wheels to Palmer, Mass. over the New England Central Railroad to the Massachusetts Central Railroad to utilize their container lift. The body was placed on one trailer truck and the wheels on another for the final leg of the trip to the trolley museum. The locomotive arrived at the museum on August 17, 1996.
| Controls: 1 - C106A, 1 - C522B
Motors: 4 - Unknown
Brakes: Train air K14
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