CNR 4204

What is that, hulking behind the Mogul?

CNR 4204 is a T-3-a class 2-10-2 – a monster of an engine that has no place on my layout. But I don’t care because it’s beautiful.

CNR 2-10-2s were used in the Toronto area to help shove eastbound trains up the Don Valley. And the T-3-a was more commonly found in the Montreal area, on transfer runs.

But the trains on the line I model also needed help – not 2-10-2s, but 2-8-2s – to scale the Niagara Escarpment as they headed south (railway west) out of Hamilton. Those helpers would be cut in behind the road power, as suggested in the above photo.


This stunning example of the scratch-builder’s art was built for me by my friend Simon Parent, who also did my 2-6-0s and 4-6-0s.

If I recall, it is the 3rd of 10 of these locomotives he plans to build – although the number may be less. The model combines brass castings and photo-etched nickel silver. Simon designs his own patterns and makes masters for his own castings: It’s an almost-lost art.

Like all of Simon’s work, the 4204 is finished with details specific to the road number and the era. I obviously didn’t need this one – but I love Simon’s work and wanted to support it.


I picked up the while visiting Exporail with my friends in the S Scale Workshop last weekend. I expect it will spend most of its time on a display shelf, waiting for those times I can run it on the group’s modular layout. Here, the 4204 hauls a (very short) train over my modular contribution the Workshop’s exhibit, at the 2016 Brampton Model Railway Show:


I do test the 4204 on my home layout from time to time. While the real thing would’ve collapsed the bridge at Caledonia and busted all the rails in St. Williams and Port Rowan, it is fun to hook up a string of cars and imagine what I would do with a larger space. It sure looks handsome…

I was pleased that Simon designed this massive machine to negotiate a 40″ radius, even if it looks a bit pinched in the process. Here it is on the 42″ radius leading into Port Rowan:

I guess in this case, the crews forgot to cut out the helper at Glanford and just got lucky with the bridge…

Thanks, Simon: Great work as always!

Published by Trevor

Lifelong model railway enthusiast and amateur shepherd, training a border collie to work sheep. Professional writer and editor, with some podcasting and Internet TV presenting work thrown in for good measure.

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