BAR eco-644 (prismatic cab) #1200 in blue/red/dark blue LT&L eco-644 (standard cab) #1313 in patch-painted CSS&SB colours

In 2011, the Parsons Vale placed an order for 17 DL30 locomotives to replace some of their worn out DL17s. However, during the production of the first batch of them Caterpillar subsidiary Progress Rail (EMD’s new owner) got into a contract dispute with the workers at GMD and closed the London works instead of coming to an agreement.

Needless to say, this did not go over well with the Canadian public, and that included the workers at ILW and the union representatives on the Parsons Vale board. So the order for enough C175s to finish the the DL30s was cancelled and ILW instead went to Cummins to buy a fistful of their new “Hedgehog” (QSK95) prime movers instead.

The eco-644 was what came out of that abrupt change of plans; abandoning the shrink-wrap design of the eco-642s for a full-height long hood (to fit the QSK95’s exhaust cleaning system), built on St Jean frames, and usually with ILW’s prismatic canadian cab (a few railroads, such as the Illinois & Michigan, preferred the more traditional ‘standard’ cab, so that variant was catalogued as an extra-cost option.).

ILW eco-644-2 demonstrator 644-1 (numbered as BAR #1494) in big sky blue

In 2023, ILW updated the model to the eco-644-2 with radial trucks and a reprofiled “Vista” prismatic cab. The demonstrator rolled out of the works in early August 2023 and is currently operating on the BAR & the LT&L’s international line to St Johns, NB.

  • Copyright © 2024 by Jessica L. Parsons ( unless otherwise noted
    Sun Oct 09 23:15:17 PDT 2022