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Canadian Rail 177 1966

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Canadian Rail 177 1966

No. 177
10METIME THIS YEAR, a familiar landm3.rk in Canadas cap­
i ital, Ottawa Union Station, will make its curtain call. Its
role will be assumed by a new structure now under construc­
tion which, through some twisted logic privy to the capricious
profession of the town planner, will be situated som,~ two miles
from the centre of the city. Instead of being deposited across the
street from the seat of government, the rail traveller arriving in
the capital city will face a bus Or taxicab ride to reach downtown.
It is true that several benefits will accrue to the two railways for
which the new facility is being constructed. For one thing, Can­
adian National through trains will no longer have to head in to the
station, then back out to Hurdman and resume their itinerary; and
the Canadian Pacific trains bound for points west of Ottawa will
avoid having to follow an interprovincial snakes and ladders
route through some of the less inspiring neighbourhoods of Hull,
before proceeding on a reasonably westward course. Finally, the
new station may well be one of the last new railway passenger ter­
minal facilities to be constructed in NorthAmerica, in view of the
attitude taken by most of the major railways -with the com.mend­
able exception, in the case of Canada, of Canadian National.
Be that as it mil-Y, we are old-fashioned enough to believe that
railway passenger stations were built to ~ the travelling pub­
lic, and not the reverse, Jacques Greber et al to the contrary not­
withstanding. And we are but mildly consoled by the fact that the
new Ottawa Station is not quite as far from the city centre as Up­
lands Airport; it will be an awfully long walk from the station to
the Chateau Laurier -and without the benefit of a pedestrian tun­
nel, at that!
Our photograph shows one facet of Ottawa Union in happier
times, when steam was king and a Canadian Pacific mixed train
still ran from Ottawa to Waltham.. D-4-g No. 417 was a fixture on
this run and it could be seen daily, as the photographer captured
it, backing through the tunnel under the Chateau Laurier and Con­
federation Square, to pick up its train in the trainshed where kings
and queens and heads of state, members of the corps diplomatique
and ordinary mortals such as you and I, have arrived, departed or
just visited, in the COurse of fifty-four years.
They dont build stations like Ottawa Union any more, and the
rail travel world is the poorer for it.
-Orner Lavallee.
-~ THE EARLY YEARS. Canadas economy depended for transportation en­
U lirely upon its navigable water routes. Land travel was expensive and
difficult and goods were frequently damaged on journeys Over the extremely
rough roads and trails of the time.
For one hundred and fifty years. the packers trail running from the Recoll­
et Gate in Montreal to Kings Post at the head of the Lachine Rapids had formed
the first portion of the trip to the west. This was adequate for transporting
goods in units weighing up to one hundred and eighty pounds –the capacity of a
pack horse -but the advent of shipbuilding necessitated the movement of such
ponderous objects as huge masts and squated timbers. To transport these things
away from navigable water required pulling along a trail on rollers. and only
then with extreme difficulty.
The only solution to these problems was a canal. The first Lachine Canal
was started by the famed priest-engineer. Francois Dollier de Casson. in the
year 1680j it was to be one mile long and was intended to bypass the Sault Saint
Louis. or Lachine Rapids. Work was eventually stopped due to cOst. leaving a
trench eight hundred yards long. four and a half feet deep. and wide enough for a
canoe. It lay dormant for more than a century until the War of 1812 stimulated
the building of roads and canals. The Company of Proprietors of the Lachine
Canal was formed in 1819. backed by the Imperial and Provincial Governments.
Finally. in 1825. a canal for commercial sailing and steam vessels was finished
with a depth of five and a half feet. eight and one half miles long.
& The Montreal
Rai I Road and its
Lachine ~
Successors ~
Robert C. Bales
Seven years later. the Company of the Proprietors of the Champlain and
Saint Lawrence Rail Road was incorporated and built from St. Johns. on the
Richelieu River. to a point on the Saint Lawrence River at Laprairie. This.
Canadas first public. locomotive-equipped railway. was opened on July 21st.
1836j it was a portage line and took the place of a proposed canal over whose
location there had been much conflict in the preceding twenty-five years. Mer­
chants in Montreal now had a direct trade route to the south. connecting their
city with the open headwaters of Lake Champlain and the adjacent States.
Montreal & Lachine Rail Road
One of the personal success stories of those adventurous times was that of
James Ferrier. a penniless Scot who arrived in Montreal in 1821. Through hard
work and enterprise. he rose to become a commercial power in his adopted city.
in the ensuing twenty years. In 1844. Ferrier decided to promote a railway to
the suburban town of Lachine. nine miles from the centre of downtown Mont­
real. It was to form a land trail or portage around the rapids and would replace
in importance. the post-chaise road (now Upper Lachine Road) to Montreal.
Passengers arrlVlng by shfp at Lachine Wharf could then be quick1y transported
to Montreal with their baggage, or could have their freight shipped between the
city and Lachine, and avoid the slow water passage through the Lachine Canal.
Alexander Millar arrived in the early autumn of 1845, after Ferrier had wr­
itten to Kinmond, Hutton & Steel of Dundee, Scotland. inviting them to send out an
engineer capable of building a railway. He had been Locomotive Superintendent
of the Dundee & Arbroath Railway in Scotland, and his enthusiasm equalled Fer­
riers. He set to work laying out the route and chose a straight and direct path.
In the middle of Millars proposed right-of-way and four miles west of the
Recollet Gate, sat a large, deep marsh, fed by the Petite Riviere Saint-Pierre;
starting behind Mount Royal, the river wound down finally running into the Saint
Lawrence at Montreals waterfront. Millar underestimated the depth and soft­
ness of this area, thinking that he could fill it with earth taken from the Canal,
which was then being deepened. Later, when the rail way was being built, Millar
discovered that part of the swamp was situated in a seemingly-bottomless stretch
of an old route of the Saint Lawrence River. Here and in other places, the track
had to rest on pilings driven into the solid ground many feet down. In 1848, in
fact, the Montreal & Lachine Rail Road lost its first locomotive, Lachine , when
it went off the track and into the swamp. Eight years later, another 10COITlOtive,
Grand Trunk Railway No. 14, was also lost in this marsh, following a derailment.
On June 9th, 1846, anAct (Ninth Victoria, Chapter 82) was passed incorpor­
ating the Montreal & Lachine Rail Road Company to -build from Montreal to La­
chine, and to operate steamboats from the Lachine terminus to points along the
Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. The railway was incorporated with £75,000
capitnl and had seventy-four co-sponsors, among them Sir George Simpson of
the Hudsons Bay Company and William Molson, who was also interested in the
Champlain & Saint Lawrence Rail Road. As completed, the Montreal & Lachine
was eight miles long, built with a Montreal terminal at St. Bonaventure Street
(now St. James) at Chaboillez Square, and another at Lachine Wharf. Curiously,
the M:mtreal & Lachine was built to a track gauge of 4 9 which was later chan­
ged to 4 8~, then and now the so-called standard gauge to which a majority
of the world 5 railways have been constructed.
The official opening of the Montreal & Lachine Rail-Road took place on Fri­
day, November 19th, 1847. At one 0 clock, a train, carrying the Governor-Gen­
eral, Lord Elgin; the Hon. LQuis -J os eph Papineau. and an influential party of
directors, shareholders and politicians. left Bonaventure Station. The train went
the eight miles to Lachine in twenty minutes, travelling at the rate of twenty-five
miles per hour. The Montreal Witnes_~of Monday, November 22nd, 1847, des-
c ribed the proceedings:
On Friday last (Nov. 19th) this important work was opened to the public. by
the passage of a train of cars from Bonaventure Street Station to Lachine.
The Directors have had no slight obstacles to overcome in their prosecut­
ion of their valuable enterprise, but the work is at last completed; and it
has been finished in a singularly short period. The short course of the
Canadian sum:ner has sufficed for the beginning. middle and end of this in­
dustrial epic; and this result has been attained by the energetic co-operation

of Messrs. Brown and Company, the contractors, with the Board of Direc­
tors. The train started about one oclock with the president, the Hon.
James Ferrier, a large number of shareholders and directors and their
guests. Among these were His Excellency Lord Elgin, the Hon. Messrs.
Daly, Sherwood, McGill, Papineau, Caley and Badgley and a numerous body
of the most influential of our fellow citizens. There were eight cars, of
all classes. attached to the engine and with this weight the speed attained
was about twenty-miles per hour, the entire distance being performed in
about twenty minutes. The shed at the Griffintown (Montreal) end of the
line is a very large open building. amply sufficient for the intended purpose.
and the Lachine terminus is upon a spacious wharf abutting upon the river
and intended to afford moorage for steamers, which will no doubt, land and
embark, at that place. numerous passengers departing for, Or arriving from,
Upper Canada and the United States.
Owing to the manner in which the rails are laid and the superior condition
of the springs, the hangings and the buffers of the cars, the motion on this
road is of a particularly smooth and equable character. The· inside fittings
are precisely on the English plan; the first class cars are finished in a
luxurious m,,-nner. with satin hangings. the softest cushions and silk blinds.
The second class are substantial with comfortable leather seats and windows
to protect the inmates against the inclemency of the weather. The third
class are open. After the trip to and from Lachine. the company adjourned
to Doneganas Hotel. where the directors had provided for their guests a
very handsome and substantial lunch.
Later. the local trains carried traffic between Montreal, Vinets Hotel. Tann­
eries Village (now Place St. Henri), Reillys Crossing Station or Rockfield.
Lachine Locks. and finally the wharf station at Lachine,. (at 21st Avenue)
According to the American Railway Guide and Pocket Companion for 1851.
the Montreal &. Lachine Rail-Road ran six round trips a day over the line. each
train making a twenty-minute trip from Montreal to Lachine. with a ten-minute
stopover there before returning to Montreal. It thereby became Montreals -­
and Canadas –first rapid transit system.
At first, the railway was an enormous success. After curtailing its services
for the winte r. it started again in the s pring of 1848, now boasting two brand -new
Scottish locomotives to supplement the American-built one with which the line
had been opened in the previous November. The railway even went so far as to
issue third class copper tokens, with a hole in the middle. so that they could be
used over and Over again. The management expected the Indians from Caugh­
nawaga (who operated a canoe ferry across to Lachine) and the workmen who
were employed on the enlargement of the Canal. to go along just for the sake of
a ride. The story is told that a number of American railroad men arrived one
day. and Alexander Millar took the throttle himself. The train dashed off at a
breakneck speed and arrived in Lachine eleven minutes later.. Everyone detrain­
ed there in a furious humour. and most of them quickly called for carriages to
take them back to Montreal in a much slower but safer fashion. Millar promised
to behave. and promptly returned to Montreal in nine minutes. President Ferrier
immediately called for him and openly reprimanded him –while privately
congratulating him.
While travel on the Montreal & Lachine thus had its share of amnsement, its
operation was not particularly profitable. Patrick Kelly had become the engine
driver and he outdid Millar on just about every trip. Only the adventurous would
ride with him, as well as those who wished to see Kellys almost-daily fights
with Reilly, the gatekeeper at the level crossing with the Upper Lachine Road at
Rockfield. Within three years of its opening, the Montreal & Lachine was in
serious straitsj its shares were offered at 250/0 of their par value, with no takers.
All of this time, the other line. the Champlain & Saint Lawrence Rail Road, was
making handsolne profits. The answer seemed to be to move farther afield in
search of a greater volume of traffic, and two directions were open then to ex­
pans ion: to the south and to the west.
James Ferrier and his colleagues first turned west, and the charter of the
Montreal & Kingston Railway Company was obtained. This railway was to be
built from Lachine to Kingston, thereby producing a rail link between Montreal
and the Great Lakes. ill 1852, before construction had been started, the Mon­
treal & Kingston was bought by interests who formed the Grand Trunk Railway
of Canada in the following year, and this railway formed the basis of the trunk
system, which was built to the broad, or Provincial gauge of 5 6 –nine
inches wider than the Lachine line. On August 10th, 1850, two amendments to
the Montreal & Lachines charter were made: the first gave the M&L permiss­
ion to change its name to the St. Lawrence & Ottawa Grand Junction Railway and
to build along the Ottawa River to Grenville Or Hawkesbury, and then south to
Prescott on Lake Ontario. However, this never materialized.
The second amendment was the acquisition of the charter of the Lake Saint
Louis & Province Line Rail-way Company, which had not yet been built. This
gave Ferrier permission to build from Caughnawaga (opposite Lachine) south
to the border. William Molson was behind the Lake St. Louis line, which had an
authorized capital of £l50,000j the idea was to form a connection with the Nor­
thern Railroad of New York, which ran from Rouses Point to Ogdensburg in New
York State slightly south of, but roughly parallel to, the Canadian border. In
the same year, 1850, the Montreal & Lachine and the Lake St. Louis company
were united under the name Montreal & New York Rail-Road Company. Ferrier
was probably spurred on in this mo ve by the fantastic tales of railway promot­
ion then current in the United States. At that time, no railroads extended into
the United States from Canada. Though the Saint Lawrence & Atlantic Railway
was slowly building to Portland, both Ferrier and the Champlain & Saint Law­
rence line had time to collect some capital and start building. The C.& St.L.
got there first, however, by obtaining the rights of the Montreal & Province
Line Junction Railway Company to build along the Richelieu from St. Johns to
Rouses Point, and it arrived at the latter town on August 26th, 1851. There,
physical connection was made with the Northern RR and the Vermont & Canada.
The Montreal &. New York Rail-Road Companx:
When Ferrier decided to build south to Mooers, N. Y., he had planned on
linking up with the Northern Railroad. However, he could not raise much en­
thusiasm with that company, because it already had a Canadian connection en­
sured with the building of the C.& St.L. to Rouses Point. He then went to Platts­
burgh, 24 miles south of the border on Lake Champlain. There, his appeals for
cooperation resulted in an agreement signed on April 4th, 1851, calling for the
building of a railway north from Plattsburgh to connect with the one being built
south from Caughnawaga. The new American line, to be operated in conjunction
with the Montreal &. New York, was to be called the Plattsburgh &. Montreal Rail
Road Company. Construction continued on the Montreal &. New York south from
Caughnawaga through St. Remi to Hemmingford, a town two miles north of the
United States boundary and twelve miles west of the Richelieu River. It was then
continued south for a few mOre miles, crossing the border and terminating at
Mooers, N.Y., on the Northern Railroad. The first train arrived there from
Montreal in August 1852, one year after the Champlain &. Saint Lawrence had
reached neighbouring Rouses Point. The Plattsburgh railway south of Mooers
was nearing completion, and through service was established between Platts­
burgh and Caughnawaga on September 20th, 1852.
At first, passengers were transferred by an ordinary ferry between Caugh­
nawaga and Lachine. In 1853 however, the railway had built by the shipyard of
Augustin Cantin, of Montreal, what was certainly Canadas and possibly North
Americas, first train-ferry. This two-hundred-f()ot vessel, the Iroquois, had
sufficient capacity for a locomotive and three cars.
While the Montreal &. New York thus solved its transshipment problems ac­
ross the Saint Lawrence River, the Champlain &. Saint Lawrence was at a com­
parative disadvantage. Early in 1852, it had brought its western terminus clos­
er to Montreal proper by diverting its line at a point midway between St. Johns
and Laprairie, and carrying it into St. Lambert, then out onto Moffats Island on
a long, trestle-like wharf. This terminal, called South Montreal, was still sep­
arated from the metropolis by the several-hundred-yard-wide St. Marys Curr­
ent of the St. Lawrence River. and freight and passengers had to be transshipped.
While the water journey between the railway terminus and Montreal had been re­
duced in length, the double change, one onto the ferry and the other onto the
train, still proved to be an inconvenience. Competition was heightened, in 1853,
by the completion of the St. Lawrence &. Atlantic Railway in that year, between
Montreal and Portland, as a broad-gauge railway. Thus, three lines were
in competition for American trade.
One of the effects of the completion of the Montreal &. New York to Platts­
burgh was the formation of a defensive alliance between the Champlain &. Saint
Lawrence and the Vermont &. Canada Railroad, which received and delivered
New England traffic to the C. &. St. L. These two railways obstructed the new­
comers whenever they could, and a battle royal ensued. Rates were cut, ser­
vices were multiplied and traffic was solicited in frantic campaigns to raise
freight and passenger volumes. In retaliation, the Plattsburgh .&. Montreal plac­
ed a steamer in service on Lake Champlain operating between Plattsburgh and
Whitehall. This allowed the parent Montreal &. New York to produce much low­
er rates because of the proportion of service by water, which was much cheaper
than rail, albeit slower. However, this only helped to anger the Lake Champlain
ship operators and the Rutland &. Burlington Railroad, whose carferry carried
the through freight upon which the Montreal &. New York depended.
Court cases over the ship service cut into the railways operating income
and the Plattsburgh &. Montreal section began to take substantial losses. To­
wards the end of 1853, the Canadians felt that they couldnt continue to provide
the service to Plattsburgh, but when challenged by their American associates,
(continued on page 105)
Expo Expre 55
by Derek Boles.
RECENTLY ON DISPLA Y at Windsor Station in Montreal was a six-car train
of Expo-Express, the new automatic mass transit system that will transport
visitors free of charge around the grounds of Montreals Expo 67. The $12
million system was designed and built by the Hawker-Siddeley firm at Fort
William, Ont., and is claimed to be the first completely automatic train system
in North America. Expo-Express will be able to transport 30,000 visitors an
hour along the 3~-mUe double-track expressway. Average speed will be 23 mph
and a trip from end to end including stops at five stations should average about
10 minutes.
The line starts at Rendez-Vous 67, the main entrance gate on Mackay Pier.
It then continues along the pier to Habitat, and swings over the St. Lawrence
River to the upstream end of St. Helens Island. Continuing Over another river
channel to Ile Notre Dame, it then turns abruptly back across this channel to the
downstream end of St. Helens Island –the eastern terminus.
The rolling stock will consist of eight six-car units, operating at two-minute
intervals. Seven trainsets will normally be in use, with the eighth on standby for
emergency use. Each of the lightweight aluminum cars is fully air-conditioned
and fitted with large windows permitting a panoramic view of the city and Expo
grounds. An added advantage of this system will be its adaptability for use after
the closing of the exhibition. As the units are designed to run on standard-gauge
railway track, they can be operated on existing systems with little modification.
The installation of the roadbed, track and operating system was completed in
June of this year. The manufacture of the rolling stock commenced in January
and is expected to be completed by October.
Expo-Express can certainly be regarded as a major breakthrough in the
development of mass transit in Canada.
A.nother item of interest to transportation enthusiasts at Expo will be the
Swiss-built secondary transit system recently purchased from the Habegger Com­
pany of Thun. The system consists of a minirail and a tele-canopy.
The minirail is a small open-air monorail system travelling through the pav­
ilion areas from the upstream, to the downstream ends of St. Helens Island. The
telecanopy runs on two rails but with the passengers facing one side. The mount
and dismount the cars from a large disc which revolves at the same speed as the
passing trains. This will run from the La Ronde amusement area to the Paris­
Montreal monument. The $ 9 million system is almost six miles long and cap­
able of transporting 15,000 passengers per hour.
RIGHT; Expo-Express car F06. at the head of the first six-car unit to be del­
ivered. is hand-signalled to a stop on track 9 of Montreals Windsor Station.
preparatory to a two-day public display which took place June 29th and 30th.

TOP; A new Alco Century 630 unit, Union Pacific #2903, accompanied by #2904,
were temporarily detoured through Canada for trials in May and June. The
units were turned over to CPR in Montreal, and left for the Pacific coast on
train #949 at 11 ;00 PM, May 24th, 1966. Returned to Montreal, they were
handed over to Canadian National Railways for similar tests. Photo shows
#2903 at St. Luc Yard, before departure on the CP test. (R.Halfyard)
LEFT; The distinctive profile of Mount McKay identifies this photograph as
taken at Fort William, Onto The train is the first six-car unit of Expo­
Express, which was taken to Montreal, 1,000 miles, on its own wheels at
the rear of a Canadian Pacific freight train. The other seven new trains will
be handled similarly, sandwiched between specially-equipped flatcars due to
lack of standard coupling gear on the transit equipment. Trains in which the
aluminum cars are handled are limited to 35 mph, the movement supervised
on board by railway officers. (CPR)
BOTTOM; The car with the blank look is Canadian Pacific passenger car
No. 2298, stripped of all interior equipment and with windows closed up and
sides refinished. Car is one of a number on lease to the federal government
for use as an exhibition car in the Confederation Train. At departure from
Montreal on May 25th, it bore an undercoat finish. Final multi··coloured
paint scheme is to be applied to this car and others, in Ottawa. (R.Halfyard)

they denied any intentions of ending it. When William Molson suddenly seized
the Montreal & New York steamer on Lake Champlain and transferred it to the
Champlain & Saint Lawrence, the Americans retaliated by taking Over the Can­
adian rolling stock on their part of the line. As a result, services were stopped
temporadly just north of the border at Hemmingford and a lengthy court battle
ensued. After a great deal of argument, the partnership between the Montreal &
New York and the Plattsburgh & Montreal was dissolved.
The Montreal & New York and the Champlain & Saint Lawrence began to
share their rates in 1853 and soon it became evident that they could not hope to
continue as separate railroads. The Montreal & New York had already been buy­
ing into the C. & St. L. and in 1857, both roads were formally merged to form the
Montreal & Champlain Railroad Company. The Plattsburgh & Montreal com-
pany, owned by northern New York interests, continued a separate existence,
late r being reorganized as the Montreal & Platts burgh Railroad company; still
later, it became a part of the New York & Canada Railroad, a subsidiary of the
Delaware & Hudson Canal Company.
The Montreal & Champlain Railroad Company
One of the results of the 1857 merger agreement was that not less than one
train per day should be run over both lines to the international boundary. This
destroyed much that had been gained by amalgamation. By 1862, the Montreal &
Champlain owed £130,000 above its realizable costs; the Directors made per­
sonal advances and the Bank of Montreal was lenient. Due, however, to the Civil
War and the accompanying tension between London and Washington, a railway
that depended upon north-south international traffic seemed to be a poor invest­
ment. The railway then put out an issue of preferred stock, which was supposed
to wipe out the debt, but there were no takers. The Bank of Montreal, which had
been paid 30~ on the dollar in payment of the advances it had made to the Mon­
treal & Lachine, may have approached the Grand Trunk, by then well-established
as the Canadian main line, asking its intervention in the affairs of the distressed
The Grand Trunk Railway wanted a convenient connection to the United States
and particularly to Boston. The Montreal & Champlain, Vermont & Canada and
Vermont Central railroads could provide it; also, after arriving in Montreal
from the west in 1855 and from the east, over the Victoria Tubular Bridge in
1859, the G.T.R. had no proper passenger terminal. Travellers detrained in a
makeshift station in the freight yards at Point St. Charles; it took the G.T.R. two
years after completion of the Victoria Bridge to realize that its closest hope for
a central terminal lay in getting the M.& C. s Bonaventure Station.
Inevitably, the end came for the Montreal & Champlain Railroad Company.
On September 23rd, 1863, the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada leased the Mont­
real & Champlain Rail Road for a rental of $100,000 per year for the first three
years. then one-fifteenth of the net revenue of the combined property thereafter.
LEFT: An original Montreal & Lachine Rail Road third-class
token, and its replica, issued as a souvenir medal during the
railways centenary in 1947. The replica has the dates 1847-1947
J ~
MONTREAL (Bonaventure)
t I
, I
j: J
.flW .–it…
Cote Ste. Therese
0/l~. 19zl
There was also. an o.ptio.n to. pur<;hase the M&C eutright for a set price o.f
$500,000 at any time after five years.
In 1864, a third rail was laid Victo.ria Bridge to allo.w standard (48~)
gauge trains to. use the 5 6 gauge track o.n the structure, and ano.ther third rail
laid o.utside the standard gauge trackfro.m St. Henri into. Mo.ntreal, so. that bread
gauge trains might use Bo.naventure Statio.n. Co.ncurrently, the terminal at So.uth
Mo.ntreal was abandened. This arrangement o.f do.uble-gauge co.ntinued in use un­
til 1873, when the Grand Trunk lines in the vicinity o.f Mo.ntreal were reduced
unifo.rmly to. the standard gauge.
While the o.ptio.n fo.r purchase o.f the M&C by the GTR was extended fo.r an­
o.ther ten years in 1867, the Grand Trunk purchased the smaller co.mpany out­
right on June 14th, 1872.
Through train service to Plattsburgh had been resumed sho.rtly after lease
o.f the Mo.ntreal & Champlain by the G rand Trunk in 1863. Certainly, through
trains were o.perating fro.m Mo.ntreal to. Plattsburgh via Lachine in 1868, when a
guide lists a 4~-ho.ur trip in each directio.n between the two. extremities o.f line.
During the change-o.f-gauge o.f the G.T.R. in 1873, new standard-gauge engines
and cars were o.n the Champlain Dh·isio.n (which it had no.w bet­
ween Caughnawaga and Hemmingfo.rd, and as a result, service was suspended
co.mpletely. The peeple fo.rmerly served by this line, resentful o.f the GTRs
suspensio.n o.f service, to.ok their revenge by remo.ving co.upling pins and o.ther
po.rtable equipment fro.m the new engines and cars.
By the time that the railway was freed ef equipment, an alternate
ro.ute was being co.nstructed o.n the side o.f the bo.undary. The former
Plattsburgh & Montreal, now a part o.f a new co.mpany, the New York & Canada
Railway, running the west shore o.f Lake Champlain all the way fro.m Al­
bany to Rouses Point, was used north of Plattsburgh fer o.nly a few miles to
Canada Junction, where a newly-co.nstructed line to.ok off nertheastward to.
Ro.uses The section fro.m Canada Junctio.n to Mo.o.ers became a little­
used byway. The first thro.ugh train frem Albany to. Montreal passed o.ver the
Plattsburgh-Ro.uses line in August, 1875.
At the no.rthern, CaughnawaLa end ef the erstwhile M&NY, co.nstructio.n of a
new Grand Trunk ro.ute fro.m a near Laprairie thro.ugh St. to. Mass­
ena, NY. brought abo.ut the abando.nment o.f the sectio.n no.rth of the new line to
Caughnawaga in 1883. The new junctio.n was called St. Junction and this
is presently the no.rthern extremity o.f the o.ld line. At the so.uthern end, the
railway cro.ssing the bo.undary lasted so.mewhat longer, the track between Hem­
mingford and Moo.ers being abando.ned and taken up in 1924 by Canadian Natio.n­
al Railways, which had abso.rbed the Grand Trunk in 1923. The Delaware & Hud­
so.n, successo.r o.f the New York & Canada, suit in 1925 by abando.ning
the sectio.n between Canada Junctio.n and Mo.o.ers. Thus, the 1852 extension o.f
the Mo.ntreal & Lachine passed out o.f usefulness. It had o.nly helped
its parent co.mpany to abso.rbed into. the Mo.ntreal & Champlain, and
later swallowed by the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada.
A s to. the parent cempany itself, the original Mo.ntreal & Lachine
main line between Montreal lit J-.achine retained its original function unchallenged
as a suburban carrier until 1896, when Albert J. Corriveau and his associates
built the electric Montreal Park lit Island Railway to Lachine. This formed a
connection with the Montreal Street Railway, and was therefore able to give fast
and frequent electric streetcar service between Lachine and downtown Montreal.
Grand Trunk Railway and, after 1923, Canadian National Railways, continued to
operate railway suburban service between Montreal and lakeshore points via
Lachine until 1961, when the service was discontinued, after one hundred and
fourteen years. The Ivlontreal & Lachine was properly a rapid-transit system,
too early in the railway history of Canada to survive as such. Today, it is hardly
possible to equal its twenty-minute schedule by private automobile, let alone by
public transportation. Strangely, while this railway still exists physically, no
passenger service is offered in an era which has come to consider rapid railway
transit as the most effective solution to traffic problems.
[t is now quite unlikely that Lachine will ever again be a train stop on the
way from Montreal to New York, as it was for nearly twenty years in the middle
of the Nineteenth Century.
In 1851, according to the American Railway Guide and Pocket Companion
of that year, there were six trains daily in either direction over the Montreal &
Lachine Rail-Road. The first train left Montreal at 8;00 AM and from then, each
train left at subsequent intervals of approximately two hours, arriving at Lachine
twenty minutes later. There was then a stopover of ten minutes before returning
to Montreal.
Later, as shown in the International Railway Guide for 1868, six trains
were still being operated in either direction. However, the average time inter­
val between the trains departures was closer to two-and-a-half hours and for
the first four trains, a stopover of at least one half-hour had been put into effect.
For the other two, no stopover at all occurred at Lachine. The second train
leaving Montreal at 9 ;00 AM, travelled all the way to Plattsburgh over the Amer­
ican section. This journey allowed a half-hour for the ferry from Lachine to
Caughnawaga. Nine years later, Appletons Railway Guide for 1877 shows
that there were only four round trips per day to Lachine, one of which crossed
the ferry as before to Caughnawaga, but proceeding south to Hemmingford only.
This service ceased in or before 1883, when the section from Caughnawaga to
St. Isidore Junction was abandoned. In later years, service to points between
St. Isidore Junction and Hemmingfor d was provided by a passenger, and later
a mixed train, running via St. Lambert and Laprairie. This was discontinued
some years ago.
On the Montreal & Lachine proper, a suburban service operating at mOrning
and evening rush hours, and occasionally during the day, continued until June,
1961, when it, too, was discontinued.
The first locomotive to run on the Montreal & Lachine Rail-Road was prob­
ably built by Richard Norris of Philadelphia, Pa., in 1847. It is thought to
have had the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement. The driving wheels are said to have
been 60 in diamter. Our-lack of precise knowledge of this engine is due to
the fact that it was lost in the swam;) west of Tanneries Village in 1848.
The two Scottish engines, built by Messrs. Kinmond, Hutton &. Steel of the
Wallace Works, Dundee, were sent to the Montreal &. Lachine Rail-Road in
July of 1848. They had a 2-2-2 wheel arrangement with 66 driving wheels and
were named Jamp.s Ferrier and Mo ntreal. The M0ntreal Witness of July
31, 18-48, described the first run of the James Ferrier:
On Monday, the James Ferrier, one of the two new locomotives expressly
constructed for the Lachine Railroad Company by Messrs. Kinmonds &.
Co., Dundee, was placed on the line for the first time. This being the trial
trip, and the machinery all new and untried, no very extraordinary speed
was attempted in going to Lachine, but in returning, the speed of 50 miles
an hour was attained with the utmost ease, though it was not judged advis­
able to maintain it for the whole distance, which, nevertheless, was done in
14 minutes, being much the shortest timt~ in which it has yet been performed.
It is confidently anti.cipated that in a very short time, the journey will be made
in ten minutes. The writer of this notice was on the locomotive both going
and returning, and, during the greatest speed, the vibration was absolutely
trifling, owing to the nice adjustment of the various parts of the machinery.
It reflects great credit, both on the makers, and on those to whom the putting
together of the engine was entrusted here, that no single portion of the mach­
inery required the slightest re-adjustment after being put together. The
other locomotive, the Montreal, will be ready in about a fortnight, when the
company will be able to devote one locomotive to the conveyance of freight,
etc., exclusively.
The John Molson, a similar locomotive, was sent from Dundee in 1849,
but it was bought from the Montreal &. Lachine and diverted to the Champlain &.
Saint Lawrence before it arrived.
Five locomotives used on the Lake St. Louis &. Province Line Railway sec­
tion of the Montreal &. New York Rail Road, were:
-the Souhegan, a 4-2-0 type with 59 drivers, built by Hinkley of Boston and
bought second-hand from the Concord Railroad in 1852j
-the Caughnawaga with 60 drivers, the New York with 66 drivers and
the Hemmingford and liSt. Remi with 54 drivers. These last were all
4-4-0 type, built in 1853 by Amoskeag of Manchester, N.H.
EDITORS NOTE: The paper foregoing was written by the author in 1964 as a
Grade X history assignment. The original has been edited slightly. It is
accompanied by an elaborate index to references, and an extensive biblio­
graphy which, we regret. must be omitted for space considerations.
Export Model
Philip Masons impression of the last class of steam locomotive to be introduced
on the Jamaica Government Railway, a series of 4-8-0 types built by the Canad­
ian Locomotive Company at Kingston in 1944. They were standard gauge.
Dunrobin, a small, British 0-4-4T and its private, four-wheeled saloon car,
once the private property of the Duke of Sutherland, has now been acquired by the
Government of British Columbia and restored to operating condition at a reputed
price in excess of $ 60,000. It made its first run under steam early in July,
from New Westminster to Marpole and return, along the tracks of the British
Columbia Hydro &. Power Authority, formerly the British Colum1Jia Electric
Railway. Actually, the line is leased from the Canadian Pacific, being part of
that systems Vancouver &. Lulu Island Railway Company. So, in a devious
sense, it may be said that steam has returned to the C.P.R. !
It will be recalled that Dunrobin was purchased and transported to Canada in
1965, after having been on display in England, at the property of the 15 gauge
Romney, Hythe &. Dymchurch Railway. It was brought to Canada by a department
store proprietor from Victoria, BC and put on display there. Recently, the owner
went into bankruptcy, and the future of Dunrobin and saloon became dubious.
Now its future is assured, thanks to the efforts of the British Columbia Govern­
ment, who plan to use this historic train at various events during centennial year.
NEW MANAGEMENT Doug Wright –Montreal Star
~he ~owler Comm,ssion $U1.le~fs
mOre ?(;v~e. operators fo compete
with C Be, How ClPOJt CI similar
deal for Monkeal comml.4ters?
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