When Canadian Pacific completed its purchase of the Central Maine & Quebec on June 3, 2020, many observers believed that CMQ’s stable of rare GMD SD40-2F cowl units (nicknamed “Blue Barns”) would quickly be relegated to storage, or worse yet, the scrap heap. But record CP grain carloadings in western Canada exacerbated a motive power shortage in the east, and provided a brief respite for the handsome blue-and-gray units.
While there has been good press coverage of several CMQ units running on the former Delaware & Hudson during early June, several cowls also made it west to the Niagara region and into Buffalo, New York.
A perfect storm happened on June 20, 2020, as a duo of Central Maine & Quebec SD40-2Fs made their way into the United States on CP train 143. The Barns were put on in Smith Falls, Ont., after the horn failed original leading unit, CP 8014.
Somehow these non-PTC equipped units made it all the way past Toronto, and were approved to enter CSX’s territory without PTC at Welland, Ont., just a few miles from the international border…