Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) predecessor railroad Canadian Pacific has been “lifting” steam locomotives for 110 years. Today, working in the same location CP railroaders did in 1913, crews at the historic Ogden Shops in Calgary lifted the 2816, The Empress 4-6-4 H1b Hudson. Here, the iconic, 1930-built steam locomotive’s boiler/firebox/cab assembly is seen being reunited with its pilot truck, drivers and trailing truck as refurbishment work nears completion. This summer, The Empress will make more history when it departs from Calgary on a special North American tour to celebrate the creation of CPKC, North America’s first and only single-line, transnational railway, linking Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Railway Age nearly two years ago broke the news of 2816’s return to steam. On Sept. 17, 2021, the day after Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern officially announced their merger agreement, CPKC President and CEO Keith Creel told Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono 2816 would return to the rails in a transnational tour to commemorate the historic transaction, provided the Surface Transportation Board approved the merger. STB gave its blessing on March 15, 2023. On April 14, a ceremonial, traditional Final Spike was driven in Kansas City.