RSC-14’s in Cuba

It started a while ago with a link that was posted to the Atlantic Rails Yahoogroup pointing to some pictures posted to the web of a former CN RSC-14 now in Cuba. I’m pretty sure I’ve already posted a link to those photos but here it is again:
http://locopage.pikfu.net/set1951039/media69371915.html

Many CN diesels eventually wind up “south of the border” when they finish their service in Canada but I didn’t know that any of the RSC-14’s had. This afternoon I had the extreme pleasure of joining a Saturday afternoon op’s session on the Bayside and Tidewater Railroad in Summerside and during that session someone asked about the link to the RSC14 pictures linked above. Back at the house I went online to look for the link again and I found some other neat pieces of this puzzle and I thought I’d put them together in this post.

Confessions of a Train Geek
Steve Boyko’s excellent blog site has a terrific page on the RSC-14’s and in it he notes about the disposition of some of these great diesels. Here’s the page link:
http://blog.traingeek.ca/2010/01/diesels-on-prince-edward-island-part-5.html

Steve notes:

Of the 38 units, four were sold to ACINOC in Cuba, one was sold to ALCAN Jamaica, three were sold to the CB&CNS railway (since scrapped), two remained in Canada, and the rest were scrapped. One of the two Canadian survivors is CN 1762, on display in Kensington PEI, and the other is former CN 1754, which went to the Salem & Hillsborough Railroad in 1994 after their disastrous fire, and still remains there in operable condition.

How did I miss this earlier?! It’s likely that the pictures linked at the start of this post are of one of the units sold to ACINOC. I started to dig around a little further and then remembered the excellent CNRHA website, the CNcyclopedia.

CNcyclopedia
If you haven’t been to this website you really owe it to yourself to start digging around inside. I remembered their section on diesels where they have a note about every single diesel in the CN fleet, but road number, and that brings us to this section for the RSC-14’s:
http://cnlines.ca/CNcyclopedia/loco/mlw/#CN1750

Based on their list the following units are in Cuba: 1750, 1751, 1761 and 1786. 1768, 1785 and 1782 are in Jamaica working alongside a fleet of RS-10’s.

Next up we need to figure out which diesel became which. That brings us to another familiar website, the Railways of Canada site.

Railways of Canada Archives
From their news article:
http://www.trainweb.org/canadianrailways/CanadaCalling/February1999.html

An RS18m’s recently sold to Cuba was painted at Canac, Montreal, and appears ready to be shipped. It is numbered 29004 and is lettered Acinoc. These ex-CN locomotives which had been converted to RSC-14s from MLW RS18s numbered 1750 and 1751 were sold by Canac. Since the first two that went there a few years ago were 29001-29002, one may assume this one and its yet to be painted mate will be numbered 29003 & 29004. Neither of these units have been chop-nosed.

The funny part is that the engine in the picture is number 91402. It is clearly an engine from the Island so what I need is to trip across a reference for when these were renumbered. My best guess is to look closely at the numbers on the cab side. They aren’t all the same type size and the “02” are smaller and a different font which leads me to think that this unit is probably (fingers crossed and a little intake of breath here) 29002 which should trace it back to being 1751 according to the ROCA article.

I remember seeing 1751 here in Charlottetown. In fact the first time I ever shot a picture of anything with 35mm film was a shot of it parked in front of the Superintendent’s Office in the Charlottetown yard. That picture I even developed myself. I’ll have to scan it to share here someday.

Not that I need many excuses to travel but it’d sure be fun to try and plan a little side-trip to see these great MLW’s again in Cuba. Geez I sure miss them.

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