Suburban Skyview: ‘Empress’ steam locomotive makes grand arrival in suburbs

Wearing an elegant combination of maroon, gray and black paint, the Empress made a grand appearance in the Chicago suburbs last week.

Canadian Pacific 4-6-4 Hudson steam locomotive 2816, built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1930, arrived in the area Monday as part of CPKC's “Final Spike” tour between Calgary, Alberta, and Mexico City.

The locomotive and the passenger train it pulled was displayed in Franklin Park on Wednesday before resuming its journey Thursday toward the Quad Cities and beyond.

Canadian Pacific merged with Kansas City Southern on April 14, 2023, and the tour is a celebration of the combined railroad's past and future.

It isn't often that a steam locomotive rides the rails of a mainline railroad, and railroad enthusiasts, employees and casual observers watched as the train rolled through the North and West suburbs, including Northbrook, Des Plaines, Bensenville, Roselle and Elgin.

In the aerial photo, 2816 is moving through a junction in Northbrook as it moves from the Metra Milwaukee North line to trackage that leads to CPKC's Bensenville Yard a dozen miles ahead. Metra employees are standing on the platform to the right to view its passage.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.