Correct on several points. An article in CN Lines Vol.16 No.2 Issue 59 on CN/GT summer service going back to the 1930's
Maine Coast Special states the the first two years of the beach train (1962/1963) was an overnight trip with a reprinted
flyer showing a Friday night departure from Montreal at 11:00 PM, arriving in Portland at 7:20 AM. The return trip left
Portland at 2:25 PM Saturday arriving back at Montreal at 10:55 PM. The same article has a photo of a modernized (in 1958)
Ainslie at the rear on the train at the Portland station in 1963. I believe this issue of CN Lines is available from CNRHA- a
link for back issues is Blair Smith at [email protected]
. The Trackside GTNEL book by George Melvin has several photos of
the beach train with FPA4's and a caption sates they were the normal power for the first season and I can remember seeing
them as a kid. I've seen photos of the train with single CV passenger service GP9's, while they still had servicable steam
generators and hence no trailing steam generator car. CN 3100 series RS18's were the norm the last three years the train
ran and were considered passenger units by CN with high speed gearing and thru steam train lines- albeit no steam gens.
I rode the next-to-last run which had a single 3100. A friend of mine rode the very last trip, also with a single 3100, and
the train was lucky enough to hit a pickup truck at a crossing in Oxford, resulting in the rest of the trip being made with
the traction motors on the from truck cut out. Bacon's grade from west Paris to Bryant Pond was a tough go!