When Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker died on August 16, 1979, his funeral arrangements were made. Dief was the principle, and the chief organizer of his funeral, which would add a memorable funeral train particularly. Bruce Chapman kindly shared some photos at Ottawa in a subsequent post. At Ottawa station, the casket was loaded onto baggage car 9601. Notice the way the Red Ensign is overlaying the Maple Leaf flag.

Dief meticulously planned his own funeral, though MP Jean Pigott was responsible for some of the arrangements. Apparently one of the was the loading of spirits from an LCBO vehicle. This took one hour and was finished prior to departure and (mostly) from the public eye. It would end up being an intriguing trip. Watch the teach depart Ottawa at the 8:45 tag of this Dief documentary.

Aboard the teach were 84 travelers including the official party, family, friends, security personnel, and 38 journalists. Spot the obvious change in motive power? At North Bay, the A-B-A power have been turned. CP 8598 was added and the CN models were on idle. Regardless of the presence of a teach rider, it was decided to remove the ex-CN units at Sudbury. Workmen keeping hard hats in their hands as the train passed. Old men standing at attention.

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