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*full download below*

The majority of this album was recorded in the mountainous regions around Vancouver in 1974. Since the XXI Winter Olympics are currently unfolding in the same terrain I figured it’s a perfect time to post A Royal Hudson.

With the exception of small tourist getups, I’ve never seen a steam train muscling its way through the countryside. I can only imagine, after listening to this album, that it must be a heavy spectacle. The way the steel beast roars and echoes through the mountain passes on A Royal Hudson can at times be terrifying.

While listening to this I kept imagining that I was an injured baby fawn, perhaps with a split hoof and a mother killed by an unlicensed hunter, trapped on the tracks over the Capilano River–unable to move or comprehend what strange, fire-breathing monster laid in wait around the bend. The fear was overwhelming but thankfully the end will be quick. I hope.

**Album Notes From the Back Liner

Side 1

(1) 5:52

Ferry boat horns,sea gulls, and other delightful park woods sounds abound in this early October 1974 morning, as No. 2860, a beautifully restored ex-Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson, departs the North Vancouver area, northbound forSquamish. Our quadraphonic microphone is located just west of the Capilano River bridge that separates North Vancouver from West Vancouver.

(2) 3:46

The breathtakingly beautiful mountains that surround Squamish, B.C., provide a unique echo chamber for the whistle of Royal Hudson No. 2860, as she heads southbound of North Vancouver.

(3) 4:25

Kew Road in West Vancouver, a very fashionable suburb of the greater Vancouver area, plays host to the 4-6-4 daily during the Summer months except Tuesdays. What fun!

(4) 1:38

North Britannia, deep rockwall cut, and a 2% grade provide the stage, Engineer Frank Smith coaxes the star, and the result? A stellar performance by the object of just about everybody’s affection.

(5) 2:52

Burkehill Road, West Vancouver, first No. 2860 works her way over the crossing and past our microphone location. But then do we detect second No. 2860, on another track perhaps? About the only way we can describe this entire band, “twice is nice.”

Side 2

A cab ride! Yep, almost as good as leaning out the right hand side of the cab window yourself, and waving to everybody who turned out to see a Royal Hudson steam and whistle by today.

Your very own right hand seat box trip will include–

The air test and time signal over two way radio at North Vancouver;

pulling out of North Vancouver Station;

crossing the Capilano River bridge entering West Vancouver;

on the northbound grade from milepost 6-7 and 8-10;

the North Britannia grade through two tunnels yet.

All of the sequences noted above, have been edited or otherwise condensed from over one hour of actual recorded time, into twenty-one minutes of pure joy.

Important Special Notice

The British Columbia Ry. Observes all rules and regulations prescribed in the Uniform Code of Railway Operating Rules for Canada. However, certain liberties were taken during the actual recording scenes, particularly with the whistle signals; which are meant solely as entertainment and does not imply improper adherence to the Uniform Code by the British Columbia Ry.


Click to download the sounds of a Royal Hudson

Specifications of Royal Hudson 2860

Built:  June, 1940, Montreal Locomotive Works

Shop Number: 69292

Class: H-1e

Drivers: 75-inch

Cylinders: 22×30-inch

Boiler Pressure: 275 pounds per square inch

Tractive Effort: 42,250 (with booser: 57,250) pounds

Total Weight: 657,500 pounds

Water Capacity: 12,000 imperial gallons

Fuel Capacity: 4,100 imperial gallons