It’s been a year since Canadian Pacific Rail and Kansas City Southern merged to form CPKC and to celebrate their first birthday they are undertaking a train tour like no other; the Final Spike Anniversary Steam Tour. 

"We're very excited about it," said spokesperson Terry Cunha. “It's about to kick off here on April 24th. We'll be doing a six-week journey across North America where our steam locomotive will be visiting 11 cities across Canada, the United States, and Mexico to celebrate the one-year anniversary of bringing CP Rail and Kansas City Southern together. So it marks our one-year anniversary, the final spike and we're very excited to be out and visiting these communities and showcasing our steam locomotive.” 

The locomotive that will be making this massive journey is 2816, The Empress, originally built in the 1930s. 

“So here we are just short of 100 years later and there is a dedicated team here at CPKC who's worked very diligently over the last few years refurbishing this incredible locomotive and bringing it back to operation,” added Cunha. “It's just an exciting opportunity to see something like that come back into your community and just really showcase the history of locomotives and that journey of what's transpired here over nearly 100 years. So it's a great opportunity to come out and be part of that.” 

Cunha noted that this is the first time a steam locomotive will visit Canada, the United States, and Mexico in a single journey and they have big plans for the communities they will be visiting. 

“So it's a free event where individuals in the community are going to get an opportunity to see this steam locomotive, which was built several decades ago, and it's an opportunity to come out and see it and see part of history, but also it's a great opportunity for the families to come out. As well, we’ll have our Puffer Belly Express mini-train out offering free rides to families and individuals interested in participating. But again, as I mentioned, it's a really great opportunity for those who appreciate the history of this, the locomotives, and what the transition has been from steam to diesel and just see this incredible piece of machinery that's been completely refurbished and brought back to life and completing this amazing journey as they'll be visiting Canada, the United States and Mexico.” 

Cunha added that the closest stop to Weyburn will be in Moose Jaw on April 28th from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the CPKC facility but it won’t be the only opportunity for Weyburnites to see the Empress. 

“During the travel of moving across North America, the steam locomotive will be passing through Weyburn on the morning of April 29th as it makes its way out to North Dakota for our next stop,” he said. "Individuals are free to, you know, stop by somewhere safely along the highway and see the steam locomotive pass through the community during that morning of the 29th and take some pictures and see it at a safe distance. But, if possible, I encourage you to come out to Moose Jaw on the 28th and see it in person where it'll be stationed for a number of hours that afternoon, and then be able to ask questions from this team on site who are much more knowledgeable than I am on the history and how the work was done to bring it back into operation over these last two years.” 

Cunha added that while people are encouraged to come out and see the Empress and take pictures, safety is the most important part of this tour and it’s important to keep a safe distance from the railway tracks.  

“We’re hoping to see a very strong turnout for those who can make it to Moose Jaw and, if not, just seeing the crowds as it passes through Weyburn on April 29th"