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Vintage locomotive 'The Empress' passes through Saskatchewan


A lengthy 93 long years after it first hit the track, CPKC’s 2816 locomotive known “The Empress” has embarked on its “Final Spike Tour.”

The trip is in celebration of the rail network – which connects Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

The Empress’s return trip from its cross-continental journey brought it back through Saskatchewan on Monday.

Train enthusiasts of all ages gathered in communities along CPKC’s main line as The Empress steamed through. Among them was 94-year-old Paul Schlosser, who fired down the same rail line many times as far as McLean.

Schlosser wanted an opportunity to see “The Empress” again.

“I worked on the railroad for five years and this is the last steam engine that we may see so I want[ed] to get some pictures of it,” he explained.

“This is a big passenger engine that worked out of Moose Jaw, and they were very good. They hauled seven to eight cars at 80 miles an hour.”

The still functioning working began its journey in April at CPKC’s headquarters in Calgary. The train would go on to make 11 stops, travelling as far south as Mexico City.

Back in Saskatchewan, Stacey Molleken was another spectator. He has seen The Empress several times – but keeps coming back – for another glance at the vintage beauty.

“It’s a steam engine and it’s just one of my passions. I’ve always loved steam engines because they’re not around anymore other than a few of them,” he explained. “So this is a great opportunity for me to come out and take some pictures and see it again.”

The Empress will stay overnight in Moose Jaw before heading through Medicine Hat and its final destination of Calgary on July 10. Top Stories

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