Canadian Pacific Railway No. 1278

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Canadian Pacific 1278
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderCanadian Locomotive Company
Serial number2435
Build dateApril 1948
 • Whyte4-6-2 "Pacific"
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver dia.70 in (1,778 mm)
Adhesive weight151,000 lb (68 t)
Fuel typeCoal
Boiler pressure250 psi (1.72 MPa)
CylindersTwo, outside
Cylinder size20 in × 28 in (508 mm × 711 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort34,000 lbf (151.2 kN)
OperatorsCanadian Pacific Railway
Number in class7 of 30
DispositionStored, in need of repair.

Canadian Pacific Railway No. 1278, like her sister, CPR 1293, was built by Canadian Locomotive Company in 1948, and is a type 4-6-2, class G5d light weight "Pacific" locomotive. It was purchased by F. Nelson Blount in May 1965, and renumbered 127. Blount had planned to renumber all three of the 1200-series CPR locomotives in his collection from 1246, 1278, and 1293 to 124, 127 and 129 respectively, but 1278 was the only one of the three that underwent the change. The new number remained on the locomotive from 1966 until 1973, when its former number was restored. The locomotive was leased to the Cadillac and Lake City Railroad in Michigan from 1970 to 1971. After some repair work, the locomotive was returned to Steamtown, USA, Bellows Falls, Vermont where it served on excursion runs. After Steamtown moved to Scranton, CPR 1278 was traded to the Gettysburg Steam Railroad in Pennsylvania.[1]


Shortly after 7 p.m., Friday, June 16, 1995, an explosion in the firebox of CPR 1278 burned three members of its crew. One man, James Cornell, the son of the owner of the engine, was critically injured.[2] The train that the locomotive was pulling had 310 passengers on board.[3] None of the passengers, who were taking the "Summer Eve Dinner Excursion" to Mount Holly Springs, were hurt.[2] An investigation done by the National Transportation Safety Board determined that the accident was caused by poor maintenance and operator training. The board also pointed out that the Canadian design of the firebox may have prevented further injuries and perhaps deaths.[3] Jerry Jacobson bought the engine at an auction in 1998, and it sat in an Ohio Central Railroad storage facility, still awaiting restoration as of 2009. 1278 currently (2016) resides inside the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek Ohio safely out of the weather. It has had a partial cosmetic restoration to improve its looks as a static display currently.[1]


  1. ^ a b "CP 1278 - Ex Canadian Pacific 4-8-2 No. 1278". Age of Steam Roundhouse. Age of Steam Roundhouse, LTD. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Roth, Jeffery B. (June 19, 1995). "Man Critical After Train Explosion". Gettysburg Times. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Holt (November 12, 1996). "Gettysburg Mishap 'Could Have Been as Catastrophic as TWA Flight 800'". Gettysburg Times. Retrieved March 13, 2012.