Royal Hudson #2839 Visits Newton & Conover, NC

Photos by Don Barker

Royal Hudson 2839, one of Canadian Pacific's crack streamlined steam locomotives, was restored and leased to the Southern Railway for their 1979-1980 steam excursion program. Originally 2839 was planned to go to a museum in eastern Canada but ended up being sold to a group of owners in Pennsylvania. Because of her streamlined cylindrical design 2839 was nicknamed the "beer can". After Southern returned the engine to its owners, it temporarily was stored near Allentown, Pa on the Blue Mountain & Reading Railroad. Eventually she ended up as a part of the Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, California. #2839 was originally built by the Montreal Locomotive Works.

In 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth travelled across Canada by train pulled by CP's Hudson #2850 decorated in royal livery with a golden crown at the front of each running board. Later CP was granted permission to designate all of its streamlined of Hudsons as "Royal Hudsons". The entire class of 45 locomotives (#2820 through 2864) were outfitted with the crown insignia. The original Royal Hudson #2850 is on display in Montreal at the Delson Railway Museum. All of the Royal Hudsons were retired by 1960.

While the Southern Railway had possession of #2839, she led an excursion from Salisbury to Ashville on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the first train to travel that route. Frank Clodfelter was the engineer on this historic run and Don Barker got the shots below in September 1980 at Conover and Newton approaches.

Click on each photo to see its full sized version.

#2839 Rolls Along Under Full Steam. Photo taken from College St. N. Main overhead bridge in Newton.
#2839 Stopped between Newton and Conover
Passengers Boarding One of the Coaches at the Conover depot
#2839 Rounds a Curve. Photo also taken from College St. N. Main overhead bridge in Newton.

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