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1 oz. Pure Silver Gold-Plated Coin - Locomotives Across Canada: RS 20 - Mintage: 7,500 (2017)

$112.95 CAD
Mintage: 7,500
Canada and US only
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2nd coin in the Locomotives Across Canada series! Order today!

Steam locomotives had become too cost-ineffective and labour-intensive, since they required a two-man crew and frequent stops to replenish water and fuel supplies. Also, electric locomotives were not a viable option at the time, given the power infrastructure required to operate them. Thus, the solution lay with the diesel-electric engines that are still the most common type of locomotive propulsion in Canada today.

The first diesel road locomotive built in Canada, the RS 20 is a classic "road-switcher" that was seemingly designed to perform any task, anywhere. Lightweight but powerful, the MLW RS-2 was built in 1949 and was one of eight manufactured by Montreal Locomotive Works. Its 12-cylinder, model 244 engine made it well-equipped for heavy road service in its time; today, the still-operational locomotive can be viewed at Exporail in Saint-Constant, Quebec, where it exemplifies the early wave of diesel-electric engines that superseded Canada's steam locomotives.

All aboard! An ideal gift for any train enthusiast! Order today!

Special features:
  • SECOND IN SERIES! Your coin is the second in a breathtaking series of three coins that explore Canada's history through some of its most iconic locomotives! Series also includes:
    • Coin 1: The 4-4-0 locomotive
    • Coin 3: The GE ES44AC locomotive
  • The RS 20 LOCOMOTIVE! Even the finest details shine in this meticulous design, thanks to a keen attention to historical accuracy, the precision engraving, and the use of multiple finishes that add subtle contrasts.
  • SELECTIVE GOLD PLATING! The selective application of gold plating places the focus on the early RS-20 road-switcher, which is made all the more visible thanks to the tiger-striped pattern, painted at the front. The rail yard in the engraved background is bustling with activity, and typifies the environment in which these versatile workhorses shine.
  • GOLD-PLATED RIM! As an added touch to make your coin more special, the rim of your coin is also gold plated!
  • AVAILABLE AS A 3-COIN SUBSCRIPTION! To receive all three coins, order the subscription and receive a FREE embossed metal tin box to display all three coins!
  • LIMITED MINTAGE: Only 7,500 coins will be made available worldwide. Hurry and order yours today before they are all gone!
  • ONE-OUNCE 99.99% PURE SILVER COIN! Your coin has no GST/HST!


Designed by Canadian artist John Mantha, your coin looks back at the first wave of diesel-electric locomotives that were introduced in Canada in the 1940s and 1950s. Used by the Roberval and Saguenay Railway, the RS 20 was the first diesel road locomotive manufactured in Canada, and was built in 1949 by Montreal Locomotive Works. The selective application of gold plating places the focus on the early RS-2 road-switcher, which is made all the more visible thanks to the tiger-striped pattern, painted at the front. The rail yard in the engraved background is bustling with activity, and typifies the environment in which these versatile workhorses shine.

Driving change in Canada

The early 20th century saw a rapid expansion of new railways across the country, and in areas further north than ever before. Trains had become the backbone of industry in Canada, allowing an easy flow of goods and services while transporting an unprecedented wave of immigration to regions that were once remote. The railway companies also spurred a budding tourism industry, by building resort hotels and launching campaigns that touted Canada's great natural beauty to the travellers of the world.

But the First World War marked a period of great change in Canada's railway history. Steam locomotives continued to sustain Canada's economy while supporting the war effort by transporting troops; but the limited availability of trainmen, a reduced ridership, and unrestrained expansion exacerbated the financial problems of many Canadian railways. In 1917, a royal commission recommended the nationalization of all railways—except the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). And by 1923, the Canadian Northern Railway, Intercolonial, National Transcontinental Railway, Grand Trunk Railway and Grand Trunk Pacific Railway were all amalgamated to form the Canadian National Railways (CNR). Gone was the great era of railway construction; decades later, the golden age of steam railways was itself relegated to the history books with the advent of a new technology: the diesel locomotive.

Did you know…
  • The first diesel-electric locomotive used in Canada, CNR 9000, was built in 1929 from coupled engines that could each generate 950 kW of power and weighed a combined 335 tonnes. 
  • Until the end of the Second World War, most of Canada's diesel locomotives were low-powered engines. Diesel-electric technology was largely used in submarines during the war, but was gradually extended to railways during the post-war period.
  • By 1960, steam locomotives were no longer used by either CNR or CPR for regularly scheduled service.
  • The diesel engine doesn't directly move the wheels that propel the locomotive forward—it drives an electrical generator, which powers the traction motors that make the wheels turn. 
  • The tiger-like stripes on the front of a locomotive are deliberately painted to improve the locomotive's visibility.


Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a black beauty box.

Order your coin today!



  • No.155136
  • Mintage7,500
  • Compositionfine silver (99.99% pure) with selective gold plating
  • Finishproof
  • Weight (g) 31.39
  • Diameter (mm) 38
  • Edgeserrated
  • Certificateserialized
  • Face value20 dollars
  • ArtistJohn Mantha (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)

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