CN Resurrects Iconic Steam Era Logo

Written by Stephen C. Host
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In an unexpected move, CN has resurrected an iconic Canadian National logo on one of its newest locomotives, 100 years after it initially appeared on its steam fleet.

CN 3309, a Wabtec AC44C6M rebuild upgraded to AC traction and 4, 500 hp in 2022 from DC-traction Dash-9 2598 built in 1998, has been assigned to CN’s Executive Train for the past few months. President and CEO Tracy Robinson and her team made a trip from Montreal to Eastern Canada in August 2023. After the trip, the Executive Train returned to the shop for some special preparations. Emerging last week, 3309 sported a major carbody change, with the red and white Canadian National emblem as it was introduced by the company in 1923.

Canadian National Class K-3 4-6-2 5588, “Spirit of Windsor””on display in Windsor, Ontario. Wikimedia Comms/SoftwareSimian

When CN was incorporated by an act of Canada’s Parliament in 1919, the railroad introduced a logo inspired by the Canadian Northern, which Canadian National had absorbed following a bankruptcy. In 1923, the much larger Grand Trunk Railway became part of CN, and a new logo, now seen on 3309, was created. It reflected the tilted lettered box of the Grand Trunk’s prior logo, and was used for 20 more years until World War II.

Grand Trunk Western 8380 is a class P-5-g 0-8-0 built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1929. The locomotive was donated to the Illinois Railway Museum and remains there on display.
The CN Executive Train is pictured here at Copetown, Ontario, Sept. 16, heading back east for another C-suite tour of Eastern Canada in the wake of Hurricane Lee, which has been battering the U.S and Canadian east coast over the weekend. Stephen C. Host

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