Electric coal train, Tumbler Ridge

While working on the BC RAIL Rock Gangs, I spent three summers at Tumbler Ridge in northern BC. It was a brand new subdivision, built specifically to haul coal out of the mountains to Japan, connecting to the railway line going to Prince Rupert. The engineers planned a route that included two long tunnels: 5 km. (Wolverine Tunnel) and 8 km. (Table Tunnel). The decision was made to have electric engines, to avoid the cost of mechanically ventilating the air in the tunnels. Each unit weighed just under 400,000 pounds, and was powered by a 50,000 volt overhead line. Six such units were delivered, here unit 6002 leads a southbound unit train of 99 coal cars towards Tacheeda, where the electric units will be replaced with the usual road engines. There are two more units at the tail end of the train, acting as "pushers" to help it get up the grade. At Prince Rupert, the coal cars were rotary dumped without being uncoupled.