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Canadian Rail 214 1969

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Canadian Rail 214 1969


1Vo. 214-
OCTOHE~ 19&9

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Photographs by thB Author.
Douglas E. Stoltz
A fter two years of impending lflithdrawal,
Newfound lands narrow-gauge passenger
trains survived to appear in yet an­
other issue of Canadian Nationals
system timetable. However, the tem­
porary stay of execution was short­
lived and on July 3,1969, 71 years
of trans-Island service came t~ an
end vlith the arrival in st. Johns
of Train 102, the eastbound Caribou.
COVER PHOTO. In the hey-day of narrow-gauge operation in Newfound­
land, former Newfoundland Railways private car TERRA NOVA stands
wistfully in the passenger car Biding at st. Johns Nfld. The
historic car has gone to Ottawa, and the tracks have been lifted
to make room for an express terminal for trucks.
Photo courtesy F.A.Kemp.
PHOTO ABOVEI Tilted wafer insignia of the Nfld. Railway from
tender of a rotary snow-plow in the yards at St. Johns Nfld.
Octbber, 1954.
E.A.Toohey Collection.
PHOTO OPPOSITEI Running eastward down the Humber River valley, the
Bullet approaohes Corner Brook, Nfld. February ~~, 1969.
Background events
The demise of Trains 101-102, known affectionately to
many as the Newfie Bullet, is an almost direct consequence of im­
provements in the Islands formerly primitive system of roads. In
1965,the Newfoundland leg of the Trans··Canada Highway, bunt to
national standards,was completed,reducing time between St.
Johns and Port aux Basques to about half that required by the
train. Although rail and highway routes are roughly parallel and
the distances are about the same, the speed of the trains was se-
verely restricted by the combination of 42-inch gauge and the
lines famous rolle.t-coaster rlght-of-way. /hile passengers on the
mainland were flocking back to CNs trains, Newfoundlanders were
largely deserting the rails. By switching to buses, which can pro··
vide more frequent as well as faster service over the new high-
way,the Railway hoped to win back some of the lost traffic,or at
least to eliminate the excessive operatlng defecits incurred by
the trains.
CN first announced its intentions to drop the Caribou II
in rljay,1967. The changeover to buses was to take place the folloll­
ing spring. However, the withdrawal of the trains required the con­
currence of the Canadian Transport Commissions Railway Transport
COnmittee. Formal application was made in the fall of 1967 and ap­
proval 1aS finally given on July 3,1968. The railway was ordered
to discontlnue trans-island passenger train service by April 15,
1969; prior to that date,it was free to stop running its trains as
soon as the C ,T ,e, indicated its satlsfaction with the bus service
(although the equiprrent was to be kept ready for use in emergen­
cies . ).
On October 28,1968,the Provinces Public Utilities Com­
m1.ssion opened hearings on the railways applicat1.on to operate a
bus service between St. JohnS and Port aux Basques. Permission was
quickly granted, Two earlier applications by private firms had
been rejected and a third withdrawn in anticipation of CNs bid.
Sixteen new busses,equipped with two-way rad io, recorded music, al.r­
cond, reclining seats and toilets had already been
ordered from Prevost Car Company of St .. Clare,Quebec,
CNs new ROADCRUISERS (to use the railways euphemism for
busll),began regular service on December 2,l968,with schedules
501-502,507··508 and 511-512 (see CN timetable). The remaining local
runs were to commence December }O but, due apparently to delays in
delivery of the vehicles, only schedules 509-510 actually became
effective at that time;515-516 and 517-518 finally followed on Ap­
ril 7. Schedules 503-504,intended as summer-only runs,were added
at the change of time on April 27,1969. On May 18,adjustrrents were
made in the times of several of the locals. (CNS summer system
timetable gives the schedules effective on that date.)
The buses proved successful beyond everyones expect-
ations,including the railways, In the f:l.rst month of operation,
twice as many people road by bus as by tra:l.n and, by may, the ratio
was five to one, It was not rrerely a case of passengers switching
from train to bus; overall traffic, train and bus,more than doubled.
The Death of the Bullet is attended by the official mourners of
st. Johns Nfld •• on February 21. 1969.
Obviously,CN was attracting back many of the customers it had pre­
viously lost to other modes of travel and,moreover,the availabil­
ity of fast and frequent transportation was to some extent gener­
ating US OVID market.
Nevertheless,the for the termination of train
service,Aprll 15,came and went and still the Bullet could be
seen making its way unobtrusively over the hills and around the
bends of the Ne~foundland Air Line II , bli.thely ignoring event.s on
the neighbouring highway. Ironically,1t vms the overwllelming pop­
ularity of the ROADCRUISERS which had extended the train I slife
this CN was uncertain vlhether its buses could alone handle
the normal proportional increase in summer traffiC; although it
had ordered four additional vehicl~s,these vould not be delivered
before June, 1969. Thus,the railway had found itself applying to
the Canad ian Transport Commission again,·· now for permission to
keep its trains running.
Approval came on April lL~, the date on which the final
train was to have departed from St. John1s,westbound. A provtsion
of the Rail~ay Act limited the date of d tscont inuance to one year
from the announcement of the origi.nal order; hence, the revised ter­
mi.nal date of July 2,1969(thiS vras interpreted to mean the date of
the final departure) Ias the latest allov.Jable by la·I, preclud ing
any further reprieves,had they been thought desirable .However, the
C.T.C. di.d add a stjpulation that the railway must mai.ntatn pas­
senger equipment ready for operation until September 30,1970, for
use in case of emergency. So there remains the poss ibility that
sometime during the coming winter,a ghost of the Bullet may ap­
pear from the depths of a Ne,~foLmdland blizzard.
The main attraction of the buses, over the long haul, at
least, has been the greatly accelerated schedules and consequent
eliminati.on of ni.ght-time travel. The express bus crosses the Is­
land in ILl· hours 15 minutes, includ ing two l~5-mi.nute meal stops .The
best train time was 21 hours 35 minutes,of which 50 minutes was
consumed at divlsion points. As a further inducenent to travellers,
CN has taken full advantage of the inherest flexibility of bus op-
eration, to provide frequent local services, in addition to the thr­
ough runs,
Two reserved-seat express buses (501-502, 503-504) run
daily each way between St. Johns and Port aux Basques, stopping on­
ly at Gander,Grand Falls and Corner Brook,the first and last for
neals. Dubbed EXPEDO, these may be North Anerica s first Name bus­
es. Another bus,507-508,makeS local stops and detours from the Trans
Canada Highway to reach Stephenville, completing the trip in seven­
t~en hours, Four other internediate local runs round out the slate,
giving each bus stop a total of three local schedules in each dir­
ection,daily,comparing rather favourably with the trains thrice­
weekly frequency, Moat stops are at railway stations or centrally
located commercial establishnents.
Fares under the Red, White and Blue scheme have remain­
ed identical for the bus as to~ the train. The extra cost of over­
night accommodation,howeverj is avoided on the bus, although meals
are extra. CN competed to one degree or another with several inde­
pendent bus or taxi firms operating local shuttles as follows:
st. Johns-Clarenville; Gander-Grand Falls; Deer Lake-Corner BrookJ
Corner Brook-Stephenville.
Review of Train Services
The service provided by Trains 101-102,fornerly nos. 1 &
2,was augmented on certain days of the week by the addition of a
coach to otherwise-freight trains 203 & 204,which run
daily. Until the fall of 1962,both services operated 6 or 7 days a
Subsequently,101-102 ran 6 days a week, during the summer mon­
ths only and thrice-weekly the rest of the year. The frequency of
mixed service varied,being once per week at the end,-though it
did not appear at all in the last tinetable. The last trip was the
eastbound of June 30-July 1. The arrival may actually have been on
the morning of July 2,as the ~rains were invariably late, often by
several hours. The frequent delays,added to what was already a
painfully slow schedule (31 hours westbound),made travel on the
mixed a singular test of patience and endurance.
In addition to the trans-Island mixed service,a coach was
always present on Trains 203-204,between Bishops Falls and Corner
Brook, on the days the Caribou did not run, for the benefit of How­
ley and Millertown Junction residents. These communities lie along
the BO-mile section of the railway, between Bad@Sr and Deer Lake,
is isolated from the Trans-Canada Highway. In its decision,
the C.T.O. ruled that CN must continue to provide coach service
between Corner Brook and Bishops Falls and on a daily basis. This
vesti@s of trans-Island service will disappear as soon as a pas­
sable road reaches Howley.
Railway Post Office service ended in Newfoundland on
October 1,196B. Handled on Trains 203-204,it was the last narrow­
gau@S R.P.O. run,on the continent. The mail was reassigned to con­
tainer trucks (CN had become the first tranS-Island trucking op­
erator in 1961), a move which reportedly saved CN its post office
contract. Now,except between Bishops Falls and Corner Brook, only
the express cars ahead of the caboose distinguish 203-204 from the
other main line fre ights, nos. LIOO-LI·Ol. In recent years, despite the
difference in class,the two have differed little in their function
as frelght trains, each handling ·through cars and performing road­
switching. Extra
freights, incidentallY,are seldom seen on CNs
Newfoundland lines.
Mainline freight traffic is healthier than ever,so that
total abandonment of the railway is not yet in sight. particularly
reassuring is CNs substantial investment in providing·for the tr­
ansfer of mainland freight cars to the Island. Unfortunately, the
picture on the Islands branch is less encouraging. The railway has
applied to abandon both the Argentia and Bonavista Subdivisions as
soon as new IIhighroads 11 are completed to the areas involved. The
present service on both lines consists of a thrice .. weekly mixed tu­
rn; the Argentia train is based at St. Johns and calls in at Car­
bonear on the return trip. Both the Carbonear and Lewlsporte Sub­
divisj.ons are to be retained for the time being. Though not shown
in the timetable, the five-days-a-week Gander··Levlisporte train (209-
210)Jessentially a fuel-supply shuttle for Gander Airport, will
stU.l accommodate passengers in the van.
In passing, H is >lOrth mentlonlng CNs contemplated ac­
qutsHion of a 10-mile branch, built by the UnHed states Army dur­
ing Horld Har IIJ connecting Harmon Air Force Base at StephenVille,
with the then-Ne>lfoundland Railway at vhites Road .Although the line
is apparently not in use, the tracks have never been taken up.Since
Harmon A.F.B. was vacated j.n 1966, the Provincial Government has
been successful In attracting new industry to the area, creating the
need for a direct rail link.
Of the t>10 othe r ra Uways in Newfound land (see map), the
Grand Falls Central still carries passengers. Five or six unschedu­
led trains run eve ry 2LI· hours, offering 1I1imited passenger accommo-
dations 11 in the caboose. .
morning after at
CrUisers, west of Bishops
Falls,Nfld. The stray
placard refers to the ear­
lier loss of the Bullets
first class dining ser­
vice, February 22, 1968.
IIsave the Bullet II
The proposal to discontinue the Islands rail passen@er
service at first met with much well-publicised opposition. The IIBul_
let was, after all,a Newfoundland institution, along with codfish
and Joey Smallwood. When the Islands roads were muddy tracks and
most Newfoundlanders were
still strangers to one another, let alone
the rest of the world, the slender thread of the railway had sus­
tained what unity and national identity the isolated coloby could
muster. It was therefore not unnatural that when the trains became
threatened by decisions being made in ottawa and Montreal,a reser­
voir of sentiment should have arisen in their defense.Moreover, in
Newfoundland as elsewhere, the public made little distinction be­
tween the cessation of passen@er service and the outright abandon­
m:lnt of the railway. To many an Islander,the loss of the Bullet
signified the death of the Newfoundland Railway; letters to the
Editor left the impression that the tracks were already all but
torn up).
Throughout the controversy, the Provincial Government voi­
ced only token opposition to CNs plans. (Interestingly, it had been
Premier Joey Smallwood who,as far back as 1940, first envisioned com­
plete abandonment of the railway.) The opportunity to exploit pub­
lic sentiment was not lost on the Islands conservatives,whose pl­
atform in the 1968 @eneral election campaign included a ~ave the
Bullet plank. Realistically, all they could hope for was a more
gradual replacement of the trains by buses. This much has in fact
been achieved, but without the interference of the politicians, un­
less one chooses to believe that their criticism put CN on the de­
fensive,which would perhaps explain the Railways reluctance to
drop the trains while there remained any possibility of inadequa­
cies in the bus service. In any event, the Tories, on the strength of
this and other issues, did manage to capture 6 out of 7 seats in the
traditionally Liberal province. On their way to ottawa .in September
1968,four of the M.P.s staged a protest ride as far as stephenville
Crossing. There,in an appropriately symbolic gesture,they abandon­
ed the train for an AIR CANADA flight.
Many of those opposed to the bus service had been count­
ing on the Newfoundland winter to put CNs ROADCRUISERS off the
road,thereby demonstrating a continuing need for rail service.How­
ever,the combination of diesel bus, first-class highway and modern
snow-clearing equipment proved an effective match for all but the
severest storms and delays were few. On one occasion,buses even
came to the rescue of rail passengers. It had been hoped that in­
dividual Islanders would do their bit to save the i:Bullet II by ac­
tually rid:ing on it. But,for the most part,travellers continued to
avoid the train in droves. The final blow was the immediate and ,
widespread pu~lic acceptance o~ the buses,which effectively sealed
the IIBullets fate once and for all. On June 30,Tr&nsport Minister
Donald Jamieson (a Newfoundlander) announced that the Federal Cab­
inet had decided not to interfere in the matter.
Destinat,1on Holyrood
A meet with Mixed Train No.
20) at Northern, east of
Deer Lake.Nfld. The mixed
still runs over this 11ne.
February 19. 1969.
Low clouds accentuate the
bleakness of the barren
heights of Gaff Topsails
near Summit, the highest
point on the trans-1s1and
Hhile the Initi_aJ. storm of protest eventually gave way
to resignation on the part of most Islanders, the pro-train forces
managed to organize a colorful demonstrat iorr in St. Johns as re­
cently as last February 21. The occasion ,as tl1e visH to the
City of trw House of Commons Standing Committee on Transportation
and Communications. The twenty M.P.s qere touring the Atlantj.c
Provinces to gather briefs on local transportation proble ms. As
might be expected,the abandonment of rail passenger service ,as
at the centre of attentlon at the St. Johns hear:i.ngs.
In the evening, the Committee ,as scheduled to ride Tr-
atn 101 as far as Holyrood, -all of 30 miles,then to return by
ROADCRUISER to st. Johns. The lr aim JaS ostensibly to compare the
tl0 modes of travel and dctermtne bether the bus service was rea­
lly as i.nferior as its opponents claimed. The exercise was a con­
cession to Committee members James ~1cGrath and Halter Carter, who
happen to represent the two St. Johns ridings in th.e House of Com­
mons. Their pre-election pledge to try-to save tbe IIBulletll oblig­
ed them at least to go through the motions. The Committee did sub­
sequently recommend a review of the C.T.C.s decision,but their re-
port was never adopted by parliament.
Hell before train departure time,a large crCflwd had gath­
red at the great stone station, which also house s CN Newfoundland
Area offices. Soon 30 or L~O demonstrators carrying placards began
marching around the building, chanting 1:Ie want the Bullet! , en­
couraged by a film cre~ from the local televi.ston station. At the
head of the procession waved a Union Jack,paradoxically a sym­
bol of the Islands formerindependence from Canada. Next, came a
coffin bear:lng the inscr:Lption Nevlfoundland RailwayBorn 1898,
murdered by Canada, 1969. The marchers who followed, -everyone
from school children to vlell-preserved old.timers,carried signs
proclaiming Train plus Bus equals Just Society, Stop the Great
Train Robbery, even Save Llves -Keep the BUllet.
Around the station, up and down the long platform and in
front of departing Prevost buses they marched sJ.nging >Te shall
Overcome. A carnival atmosphere attended the whole production .At
One of the larger of the
two models of ROADCRUISER,
at the eN station in st.
Johns Nfld. February 21.
.: .. :.-<..:..: .. : .. : .. : .. : .. :.
The New Look of transpor­
tation in Newfoundland. On
February 22, train 900 de­
railed near Spruce Brook.
Passengers were transferred
to regular bus runs. Here
No. 511 stands ready for
loading. Extra bus at the
rear was not required.
one point, the sleeping car porter entered one of the vestibules,
peered out at the milling throng, then clutched your reporter ela­
tedly. IIIsnt it wonderful I II he exclaimed, -but then reflected,
Ah,but you know, I dont think itll change a thing. No.
He was
right,of course, but the mood of the moment tended to obscure the
unpleasant reality.
When the Commons Committee members arrived,they were
faced with a noisy welcome on their way to the first of the usual
three coaches. Jim McGrath and Walt carter were the heroes of the
day and beamed their broadest political smiles. Unfortunately,the
commotion prevented an on-t·ime departure. At 2340,10 minutes late,
the doors f~ally slammed shut and the trip began. Most of the
placards and not a few placard-bearers had found thelr way aboard
and some of each dangled from the vestibules,as the train moved
into the citys suburbs, quickly gaining speed.
Then,only five minutes out of st. Johns,to everyones
dismay, the Bullet
suddenly slowed to a halt. Apparently those who
had been IIcarried awayll during the eXcitement of the demonstration
were now being politely discharged. Once resumed, the journey con­
tinued without event the rest of the way to Holyrood. Some of the
M.P~s mingled with the passengers in the Club Car; others huddled
in their coach for mutual protection. Onetime railwayman Jack Sko­
berg,NDP M~p.1or MooseJaw,rode the cab. At Holyrood,another crowd
and more newsmen were
waiting, along with two special CN buses, to
return the Committee and reporters to St. Johns. Committee mem­
bers appear to have found the ROADCRUISERS comfortable enough–­
most of them reportedly slept all the way back.
Just twenty years ago,a new era of rail passenger ser­
vice began in Newfound land, when Canadian National assumed opera­
tion of the Islands rail network. Today,that era has ended and
another has be gun, as public transportation takes to the highways.
While mixed-train service lasts,it will still be possible to ride
narrow-gau~ trains in parts of Newfoundland, including segments
of the main line. However,the long trans-Island passenger trains,
in the tradition of the Newfoundland Railway~.s Foreign Express
and IIOVerland Limited,now belon& to history.
The author is indebted to W.J.OI.eary and H.F.Howe of the Can­
adian National at St.Johns for their aSSistance in preparing
this article.
, ,
· ·
· . .
,/1 N • ..u. S)fJ.. ..
N.S. (eN fmy)
Other lines I
1. Ex-U.S. Army line (not in use)
2. Amerioan Smelting & Refining Co.
3. Grand Falls Central Railway
Appendix I
Newfoundland Area.
passenger Equipment Roster as of December 31,1967.
Total Numbers Builder Year Note
Steam Generator
5 2950-53 CNR-Moncton 1956 2956
Box Baggage 10 1590-159L~ Eas te rn Car Company
199~ A
1595-1599 Eastern Car Company 1954 B
Bageage 10 1300-1302 Canadian Car & Foundry 1943
Canadian Car & Foundry 1950 1306
-1307 National Stee 1 Car
1958 1300-1309
CNR-Moncton 1956 C
f 1600-1603 Canadian Car & Foundry 1943
Express –
5 1900 190L~ Eastern Car Company
Insulated Box
5 1950-199f Eastern Car Company 1951 D
7 1702 Newfoundland Railway 1924 E
1800-li302 Canadian Car & Foundry 1943
1803-1805 Canadian Car & FOWldry 1952
Coach 22
750···752 Canadian Car & Foundry 1943
f-757 Canadian Car & Foundry 19~·3
758-(65 Canadian Car & Foundry 1949
766-770 Canad Car & Foundry 1955
Natjonal Steel Car
7 170 National Steel Car 1930 171
National Steel Car
172-174 Canadian Car & Foundry 1943
Canadian Car & Foundry (?) F
176 Nati.onal Steel Car 1958
Sleeping 17 300 BURGEO Nat .Steel Car 1930 –
301 BarVlOOD C .C .& F. 19
I3 -302
BUCHANS C.C.& F. 1943 -303
FOGO C.C.& F. 1943 –
f GANDER C.C.& F. 19~·3 -305
GRAND FALLS Nat .Stee 1 Car 1928 -306
HUtillER Nat .Stee 1 Car 192U -307
LEHISPORTE Nat.Steel Car 1930 –
30(3 ST .GEORGE S C.C.& F. 1938 –
309 TWILLINGATE C.C.& F. 1938 -311
CIARENVILll~ C.C.& F. 1952 -312
FLOWERS COVE C.C.& F. 1952 -313
CORNER BROOK C .C.& F. 1952 -314
PRINCETON C .C.& F. 1952 -315
BISHOPS FALLS C .C.& F. 1952 –
3 (Inspection Car)
A Converted in 1961 from 8100-series box cars.
B Converted in 1957 from 8100-series box cars.
C.C.& F.
C.C.& F.
(? )
C Converted in 1964 from Steam Generator cars 2954-2955. 1952 –
1955 –
(?) G
(? )
(7 )
D Converted in 1961-62 from Express Refrigerator cars 1908-9-5-7-6.
E This wooden relic was the oldest piece of non-work equipment on
the ISland,except for a number of wooden vans, built mostly for
the Reid Newfoundland Company, which date back to 1900.
Converted in 1953 from Coach no. 36 • G
Officially presented to the National Museum of Science and Tech­
nology,Otta~/a,canada, in June, 1969.
Total number of passenger train cars—–, 92
passenger cars are non-aj.r-conditioned.
Sleeping cars are 8-section 1 drawing-room • .
_The s.Q,.called Club Cars or Beer Parlour Cars, a standard feature
on the Caribou,~/ere drawn from the dining car fleet.
Canadian Nationals Caribou 19S6 style, doubleheaded with engine
No. 317 a 2-8-2 type in the lead position. Photograph taken at the
west end of st. Johns yard. five hundred and forty seven miles
East of the train~ destination of Port aux Basques Nfld.
·~. @ ~~~ ~~u 0}j)®~~~
~. me. ·l1r
_. , ••• e,.,. ,
: ~ .: ~ : eo . eo. .: ~
: .. ,. .
. .. . .
(The tollowing article was written prior to the
discontinuance of passenger train service in
Newfoundland in July,1959,)
Listening to the stories of travellers, –
mostly from central Canada but frp.quently
from other locations, it is all too often
concluded that the train services to and
in Canadas Maritime Provinces are, in
general, terrible. More than that, -the
same services in Canadas tenth -and
youngest province -Newfoundland, are in­
finitely worse~
This primitive and unsatisfactory situation is usually said
to be due to (a) the equipment, (b) the indifference of the authori­
ties and last, but not least, (c) the railway itself and its propor­
tions. And of course all of these self-styled transportation experts
assume from the outset that because Newfoundlands railways are only
three feet and a half between the rails -as contrasted with a nor­
mal (conventional) socially-acceptable separation of 4 feet 8t in­
ches, anything less than this latter distance is antique and outmoded and
can only result in a predictably primitive second-class sort of
Certainly, these self-styled experts ought to verify their
facts before making any purportedly authoritative statements on the
subject, -but they seldom do. Current schedules published in the
public time-tables raise some very particular questions
which can be
answered by observation of Newfoundlands railway, -ts principal
main-line railway, that is. The observations and the conclusions
drawn therefrom are supported by the follovTing table of maximum speeds
published in the operating time-table for the information and govern­
ment of employees only I
0.0 to 10.6 10.6
to 15.5 15.5
to 31.0 31.0
to 33.0
35 m.p.h.
Freight & Mixed
35 m,p.h.

33.0 to 55.0
55.0 to 61.5
61.5 to 83.0
83.0 to 98.0
98.0 to 100.6
100.6 to 126.0
126.0 to l31.l
35 30
35 30 35 35 30
of the
of the
The foregoing tabulation applies to the first 131.1 miles
once Newfoundland Railway, -presently the Newfoundland Area
Atlantic Region of Canadian National Railways, from St.
to Clarenville.
Summarized in another manner the 547.8 miles of main line
from St. Johns, -the Provincial capital, to Port aux Basques, –
western ferry terminal and jUmping-off point for North Sydney on Cape
Breton Island and thence to the mainland, may be divided as
follows according to permitted maximum speeds for passenger trains:
Miles run at indicated m.p.h.
Sl1:bd1:lz1s1cn ..1
.l2 !til ..l.Q
St. Johns 0 0 0 2.0 0 25.0
73 .~
24.1 6.5 131.1
C lar envi lle 0 0.5 0 0 0 11.0 49. 62.7 13.1 136.2
Bi~hops Falls 0.2 0 0.8 0.3 0.1 36.5 68.0 21. 5 12.6 1~8.0
Port aux Basques 0 0.6 2.0 0.1 6.2 31.7 45.8 27.2 30.4 1 2.5
The natural question arising from this tabular presenta­
tion is What in the world is the reason for all these slow speeds?
The .answer is not a simple one and there are many reasons for the
situation all of which are valid.Let us take a few for instances.
On Newfoundlands main-line railway the observer will note stretches
of track where he cannot see for much more than 500 feet ahead. He
will watch the track dive down a 2% plus-grade, through a narrow
rock-cut and around a towering cliff on an incredibly tight curve –
some fifty to one hundred feet above an arm of the ocean or a vast
highland lake. Elsewhere the observer will ride over a causeway, –
just about the width of the track, with the water almost at rail
level at flood-tide or in the spring of the year. Midway in this
causeway is a combination wood-steel draw-bridge, – a remarkable
mechanism resembling the draw-bridge of a castle moat of the Middle
These are two of the reasons why, on the Bishops Falls
Subdivision, -which incidentally may be said to be the driest of
the four subdivisions from St. Johns to Port Aux Basques there are
only 12.6 miles where Nos. 101 and 102, -the Caribou to some and
the Ne~lrie BUllet to others, can run at the top speed of 50 miles
per hour.
~ Mixed Train M-206 of CNe Newfoundland Aree operation,with engines
nos. BOO & B01,rumblee along the edga of GOOS8 Bay,on the branch
betwesn Clarenville and 8onavieta,October 8,1968.
Photo by W.R.Linley,Ottawa,Ont.
When you ride tbe Newfoundland Area of Canadian National
Railways, -and youd better plan to do it soon, all of these ap­
parently ridiculous speed restrictions will become very logical re­
qUirements. Theres no doubt about it, -you just have to see the
operation to believe it, and to understand it. There have been a
multitude of descriptions of the line both historic and contemporary
but it is quite certain that the personal experience of riding the
railways of Newfoundland will prove conclusively the impossibility
of composing an adequate description, in writing, of this unique
But we have digressed. The purpose of this report was to
show why it takes, (in the Autumn of 1968), 21 hours and 35 minutes
for the eastward trip, -St. Johns to Port aux Basques. As an
aside, the westward trip requires 22 hours, providing that No. 102
keeps to the schedule, and there are no unusual happenings. Let us
then examine the run of No.lOl on a Friday night and all day Satur­
day in the month of October, 1968, with reference to the number and
variety of train orders issued by the St. Johns and Bishops Falls
dispatchers.The capital letters indicate tbe operating point on the
line, and the orders are numbered and reproduced without change:
ST. JOHNS Orders 40 -46 -570 -580
Train Order No. 40
To Trains 101 & 203 at St. Johns.
No. 203 Eng. 919
run ahead of No. 101 Eng. 923
from St. Johns until over­
Train Order No. 46
To No. 101 Westward Trains at St. Johns
Westward trains except No. 101
Eng. 923 wait at St. Johns until
nought Six hundred 0600.
Train Order. No. 570
To Westward Trains at St. Johns
Do not exceed fifteen 15 miles per
hour within five hundred 500 feet
of road crossing until crossing
Qccupied at mileage one thirty
point nine 130.9
Oct. 18, 1968
Complete 1911
Oct. 18, 1968
Complete 2149
Oct. 16, 1968
Complete 0115
Canadian Nationals Train 102.-THE NEWFIE BULLET -otherwise known
as the Caribou, with engines 9Jb and 931 on the point, speeds east­
ward along the edge of Deer Lak~, Nfld., October 9,196~o
Photo by W.R.LinleY,Ottawa,Ontarioo

Train Order No. 580
To Westward Trains at St. Johns
Cars on following Passing tracks
St. Johns sub
lrv ine Four 4
Talcville Five 5
Kelligrews Three 3 Whitbourne Four
Oct. 18, 1968
FGD Complete 0121
GMD is Mr. G. M. Delaney, Dispatcher at St. Johns, who was on the
evening trick. FGD is Mr. F. G. Doyle, Relief Dispatcher at St.
Johns who had the midnight to 0800 shift on Friday morning.
Train 101, westbound, left St. Johns Friday night at
about 2238, with the following consist:
Engine 923 Class GR 12 GMD 1200 h.p.
Engine 903 Class GR 12 GMD 1200 h.p.
Train Heating Car 2956 Baggage Car 1306 Cafe Car 176 Coach 769 Coach 767 Coach 772 Coach 771
Dining Car 172
Sleeping Car PRINCETON no. 1010
Sleeping Car CLARENVILLE no. 1011
Sleeping car WHITBOURNE no. 1015
Sleeping Car BORGEO no. 1016
Sleeper-Observation Crew Car FOGO
WHlTBOURNE Orders 1 -52
Train Order No.1
To No. 101 at Whitbourne No. 102 Eng. 929 meet
No. 101 Eng. 923
at Goobies
Train Order No. 52
To No. 203
No. 101 at Whitbourne
204 Eng. 913
meet No. 203 Eng. 919
at Ferguson instead of
Tickle Harbour and meet No. 101 Eng.
at Camp 4
Orders 1
R .A .B.
G .M.D.
Oct. 19, 1968
Complete 0127
Oct. 18, 1968
Complete 2327
TJ:~in 0rd~r NQ. 1
To Opr. at Goobies
Eng. 929 meet No. 101
Eng. 923
at Goobies R .A .B.
Orders 6 – 7 – 9 -562 -572 -582
To No. 203
No. 101
To No. 203
No. 101
To No. 101
Train Order N_~
at Clarenville
No. 400 Eng. 918 meet No. 203 Eng. 919
at Terra Nova and meet No. 101
Eng. 923 at Clode
Train Order No. Z
at Clarenville
No. 203 Eng. 919 Run ahead of No. 101 Eng.
923 from Clarenville
until overtaken unless overtaken
at Clarenville
~in Order No~
Westward Trains except Bonavista Sub
at Clarenvi lIe
Westward trains except No. 101 Eng.
923 wait at Clarenville until nought
Eight hundred 0800.
To Westward Trains
Except Bonavista Sub at Clarenville
Do not exceed Thirty 30 Miles
per hour on Bridge mileage one
forty eight point eight 148.8
Ten 10 Miles per on Bridge
Mileage one sixty four point
eight 164.8 and fifteen 15
miles per hour on Bridge
mileage one eighty nine
point nine 189.9.
Oct. 19, 1968
Complete 0126
Oct. 19, 1968
Complete 0342
Oct. 19, 1968
Complete 0346
Oct. 19, 1968
Complete 0455
Oct. 14, 1968
FGD Complete 0149
To Westward Trains
Eastward Trains
Train Order No, 272
at Clarenville
Do Not Exceed fifteen 15 Miles per hour
within six hundred 600 feet of road
crossing until crossing is occupied at
mileage one thirty one point five 131.5
Train Order No, 582
To Westward trains at Clarenville
Cars on following passing tracks
Sub Stanley Twenty five 25
Glenwood five 5
Oat. 16, 1968
Complete 0120
Oct. 18, 1968
Complete 0128
RAB is Mr. R.A. Bartlett, Dispatche~ at Bishops Falls. No. 101 was
due to leave Clarenville at 0445. Since order 9 was complete at
0455, it is concluded that No. 101 was somewhat late in leaving.
Order 572 covered a highway crossing about half a mile north of
Clarenville. Order 562 referred to the bridge over Southwest Brook, a good
sized stream, in the first instance, and in the second to the
crossing of the Terra Nova River, near Terra Nova station, mileage
~ No orders
No orders
OK at 0719
OK at 0726
Orders 150 -166 -351 -377 -392 -398 Order No, 150
To Westward Trains at Bishops Falls
Men working nought Seven Hundred 0700 until
Eighteen Hundred 1800 between mileage Three
nine Five 395 and mileage Three nine Six 39q
All Trains be prepared to Stop at the red·
Train Order No-L..J.Q6
To No. 101 at Bisho~s Falls
No. 101 Eng. 923 meet No. 204 Eng. 933 at
Millertown Jct.
Train Order No. 351
To Westward trains at Bishops Falls
Oc t. 19, 1968
Complete 0112
:Oct. 19, 1968.
Complete 0852
Oct. 5, 1968
Tha brakeman is ready to couple up the engines and the heater car to
the remainder of Train 102,at Port aux Bssquea,Nfld.,October 6,1968.
Train 102 eastbound was hauled by Engines 946 & 931,with heater car
2951. Photo by W.R.Linley,Ottawa,Ont.
West End of passing track at South Brook
Train Order No. 377
To Westward Trains at Bishops Falls
Do not exceed Five, miles per hour within
Five nought nought ,00 feet of Road Cros­
sing until crossing occupied at mileage Two
Six Seven point Five 267.,
Complete 0949
Oct. 12, 1968
J.F.R. Complete 2232
~in Order No. 392 Oct. 16, 1968
To Westward trains at Bishops Falls
Cars on following passing track Bishops
Falls sub
South Brook Nineteen 19
Russell Twenty three 23
RAB Comolete Ol~~
~~er No. 398
To Westward trains at Bishops Falls
Do not exceed twenty five 25 Miles per
hour between Deer Lake and mileage Three
seven nine 379
Oct. 18, 1968
SJB Complete 2221
JFR is Mr. J. F. Ryan, the afternoon trick dispatcher at Bishops
Falls. He turned over the desk to Mr. Bartlett, who worked the mid­
night to 0800 trick. SJB is Mr. S. J. Best, the day dispatcher at
Bishops Falls. Order No. 150 notified the crew of No. 101 that the
section gang would be working between South Brook and Russell in
the spectacular canyon of the Humber River, just east of Corner Brook.
Mr. Tom Glavine, No. lOlls engineer from Bishops Falls to
Corner Brook, called this part of the valley the Humber Canal, –
or at least thats what was understood~
To No. 101
No Orders OK at 1013
Order 175
Train Order No. 172
G .M.D.
Oct. 19, 1968
Trains at Millertown Jct.
Westward trains except No. 101 Eng. 923
wait at Millertown Jct. until Thirteen
Fifty 1350.
G .M.D •
Orders 400
Train Q~~ No. 400
To No. 101 at Deer Lake
Do not exceed five 5 miles per hour between
ten 10 poles west and thirty five 35 poles
west of mileagp. three nine five 395
G.M.D. Complete 1140
Oct. 19, 1968
Complete 1316
This is the same trackage referred to in Order No. 150, where the
track gang Was engaged in relocating about 500 feet of the main line
back from the edge of the bank above the river. The Trainmaster ex­
plained that the rails had been creeping towards the edge gradually,
and the time had come to relocate the line, including easing the
left-hand curve, for safer and faster train operation. This reloca­
tion also eased off the grade (eastbound) a little.
CORNER BROO~ Orders 170 -171 -185 -378 -379
Train Order No, 17Q
To Westward trains at Corner Brook
No. 102 Due to Leave Port aux Basques
Saturday, Oct. 19th is annulled Port
aux Basques to Corner Brook.
Train Order No • .J.Zl
To No. 101
Extra 934 West at Corner Brook
Extra 934 West Run ahead of No. 101 Eng.
923 from Corner Brook until overtaken
Train Order No, 182
To No, 101
trains at Corner Brook
No. 101 Eng. 923 wait at mileage four
nought nine 409 until twenty two hundred 2200
Oct. 19, 1968
Complete 1038
Oct. 19, 1968
Complete 1042
Oct. 19, 1968
~aln Order No. 378
GMD Complete 1430
Oct. 12, 1968
To Westward trains at Corner Brook
Do not exceed five 5 miles per hour over
culvert twenty five 25 poles West of
mileage four one nought 410.
Train Order No. 379
JFR Complete 2235
Oct. 12, 1968
To Westward trains at Corner Brook
Do not exceed twenty-five 25 miles per
hour between mileage four nought eight
408 and mileage four one nine 419.
JFR Complete 2235
Train Order No. 396 Oct. 18, 1968
To Westward trains at Corner Brook
Cars on following passing tracks Port aux Basques
Sub Beaver
St. Georges

13 South Branch
Cape Ray
five five
CMH Complete 0415
CMH is Mr. C. M. Hannon dispatcher at Bishops Falls on the after­
noon trick on October 18, 1908. Ten miles east of Corner Brook, on
the side of the valley above a little brook, there were signs of
washing by recent rain. Order No. 379 imposed a speed restriction
for some 11 miles, with Order No. 378 designating the real trouble
Train Order No. 199 Oct. 19, 1968
To No. 101 at Stephenville Crossing
No. 101 Eng. 923 meet Extra 917 East at
No. 101 Take Siding at Fischell
SJB Complete 1655
On Mr. S.J. Bests instructions, No. 101 took the si~ing and waited
just about 15 minutes. Extra 917 East had three units and a long
train, including both Newfoundland area (3 ft. 6 in.) freight cars
and a few standard gauge box cars and tank cars mounted on narrow
gauge trucks.
Orders 207 -208 -209
Tu1n °rQ,~r NQ. 2QZ
No. 101 at Robinsons
101 Eng. 923 Meet No. 204 Eng. 928
at St. Andrews SJB
Train OrQ,~r NQ. 2Q8
No. 101 at Robinsons
101 Eng. 923 Meet No. 204 Eng. 928
at Riverview Instead of St. Andrews
T1:§~!l °rQ,!i!l:
No. 202
No. 101 at Robinsons
101 Eng. 923 Wait at Riverview until
Twenty Twenty 2020 St. Andrews Twenty Forty
2040 Cape Ray Twenty fifty five 2055
Oct. 19, 1968
Complete 1839
Oct. 19, 1968
Complete 1843
Oct. 19, 1968
SJB Complete 1848
Normally, No. 101 should have met No. 204 at Codroy Pond,
some 20 miles east of Riverview. With No. 101 now running more than
The eastbound CARIBOU,-Train lO~ of CNs Newfoundland Area,eastbound
near st. Georges, on the French Treaty coast. Engines 946 & 931 haul
the train while Heater Car 2951 supplies the steam.
Photo by W.R.Linley,Ottawa,Ontario
45 minutes late, some adjustments had to be made. These are reflec­
ted in Train Orders Nos. 207 and 208.
There is a great deal of traffic, -both passenger and
freight, moving over the railroad in the Newfoundland Area of Cana­
dian National Railways. In addition, essential maintenance projects
must be completed during the relatively short summer. Put all of
these conditions together, and it is not surprising that there are
times when the trip from Port aux Basques to St. Johns takes more
than the scheduled 22 hours. Nonetheless, the whole Newfie railway
team is working very hard to keep the service running and the road
in tip-top condition. This is a far from easy job, but with the
reputation which they have earned for all-weather, efficient opera­
tion, they cant afford to relax their vigilance.
So, the next time you hear someone being critical about
the operation of the railway in Newfoundland, you might suggest that
it would be a good idea if they made a trip to the Island, so that
they could better appreciate the workmanlike job that is being done on
the little railroad that could -and did, and doesl
.. : .. : .. : … : .. : … : .. : .. : .. : .. :.
White Pass and Yukon Railway parlor cars presently in service on
that railway. New additional units are on order. (see observations)
WHITE PASS GETS NE~ CARS ••••••••••••••••••
On the other. side of Canada,passenger service 1.S on a line
6 inches narrOller and 437 mlles shorter than the route of the Car_·
, The White Pass & Yukon Rai_lway operates all-parlor car tr·
ai_ns,connecting with eaoh cruise steamer at Skagllay,Alaska, for a
day excursion to Lake Bennett,where a bearty,frontier–style meal
is served, The increasing popularity of west-coast cruise tours
has increased to six the number of vessels calling at Skagway,.and
has placed a strain on the capacity of the ageing White pass fleet
of open-platform wooden parlor cars, some of were second -hand
from trle Oahu Railway in Hawaii.
For this reason,as reported last month, the Company ordered four
new parlor cars from a Vancouver builder. They are of steel con­
struction and of similar appearance to the existing wooden cars.
The number ordered would seem to tndicate that the new cars will
be used mainly on the dally Skagway-Whi.tehorse mi.xed trai_ns, which
normally carry two cars each.
Freight traffic is also on the lncrease on this containerized rail­
way and a large number of new flat cars were recently transported
from Hamilton, Ont.,to Vancouver, stacked in CP RAIL gondolas, after
delivery from National Steel Car Company, I,imHed.
MLW-Worth:l.ngton is building seven 1200 hp. d1.esel-electric
motives, which will be better able to boost tra1.ns up
Dead Horse Gulch and through White pass than the present 800 hp.
General Electric A units.
A LAST RUN FOR NUMBER TEN ••••••••••••• , ••••••••
vancouver Islands once-numerous logging railways are disappearing
and getting rid of their interesting motive power, including the
Climax,Heisler and Shay geared steam locomotives,which sacrificed
speed in favour of more power,to haul the big sticks to the many
Island sawmills .The last operating Climax locomotive on the Island
outside of museums and parks, was No. 10 of the Hillcrest Lumber
at Mesachie Lake,B.C.,which ceased operation in 1968. This
engine has been sold to Terry Ian Ferguson,a young Vancouver cit­
izen,for preservation and,if possible,operation,as a private com­
mercial venture.On May 4,the locomotive made three round-trips be­
tween Mesachie Lake and Lake Cowlchan,hauling a passenger-laden
CP RAIL gondola,on a last run,before being moved to either Van­
couver or Victoria.
CP RAIL AND THE NEW IMAGE II ••••••••••••••••••
CP RAlLs new gallery suburb<3.n coaches nos. 900 to 906 and con­
trol cars 2700 a.nd 2701 were scheduled to be delivered during Au­
gust from Canadian Vickers Limited,of Montreal. In the meantlme,
a larger-than-usual number of heavyweight coaches were used in
suburban service during June and JuJy, to permit repainting the
SOO-series cars in the nevI image. It would appear that RDC 9049
,lill be the first DAYLlNEH repaj.nted, but the extensive repatr job
on this car Ivas not finished when the Angus Shops closed for the
annual vacation period on July 12. Only one side las repalnted,encJ­
str1plne; remaj.ningthe same,but action red VIas used,
but not so many as beforel The discontinuance of Canadian Pacific
Express Travellers Cheques in March has been follDlled by a sim­
ilar cut-off of Canadian Pacific Express Money Orders. The rea­
son given in the case of the travellers cheques was the increas­
ing usc of credit cards by travellers,but another factor may have
been that CP Express cheques have never enjoyed the wide accep­
tance of those of American Express. No reason for discontinuance
of the money orders was given. They were cheaper than those is­
sued by banks and post offices and had the advantage of being ob­
tainable on Saturdays,Sundays and holidays.
Another service being eliminated,as it gradually evolves into CP­
CN TEIECOMMUNICATIONS is the personal or individual telegraph
service. Telegraph offices at both Central and Windsor Stations
in Montreal were closed recently and persons travelling by train
are often unable to send any messages at all en route,in case of
emergencies,due to the closure of many public telegraph offices.
The sending of money by wire,formerly quite common in emergency
cases,has become almost impossible,as the limited service still
available usually depends on the relay of messages by telephone.The
telecommunications business is becoming increasingly wholesale , as
is the raihTay business generally and the small customer,to whom
or BROADBAND machine is utterly redundant is being slowly
squeezed out. This SlOI decline, coupled with the alarmtng deterior­
ation in postal services,means that,in an age where mass communica­
tion is the rule,reliable individual communication is becoming more
and more difficult.
CP RAIL MarIVE PO.{8R ..•.••.. f ••••••••••••••••••
All diesel units repainted at Angus Shops from June 15 until the
vacat ion closure on July 12 we re given the new image, I1hich (ap­
pearance to the contrary) is more complicated to produce than the
old colour scheme. The placement of the MULTlMARK at the rear of
all units and the black, white and red striping on the ends, means
in effect a different colour scheme for each type of unit. The
faot that screens, shutters and hoods are often painted while they
are separated from the body makes the work even more complex .Con­
version work on the two steel silk cars,being converted into ROB-
ar units :3 & Lf VIaS stopped in June. The two original ROBar cars
(nos. 1000 & 1001) Vlere brought into the shops and some of the
equipment removed. Eventual disposition of these cars is not yet
CP RAIL coach 2101, one of the original streamlined cars of 1936,
is to be scrapped.
MORE RENUMBERING FOR A.C. I ••••••••••••••••••
At the time that renumbering of alphabetically-identified equip­
ment was begun by Canadian National,to conform to Automatic Car
Identification requirements,no provision was made for the equip-
ment used in Ontariols GO TRANSIT suburban service in the Tor-
onto area. This rolling stock and motive power, including Gp-hO
diesel-electric units numbered in the 600
s,push-pull control
cars (C-700s) and self-propelled diesel-mechanical cars (D-700S)
will be numbered in the 9800-series,to keep A.C.I. happyl
The recent postponement of the Great Cause,~ay Project , bet,~een
NeVI Brunswick and Prince Edvlard Island VIas partially mitigated by
the effort necessary to rush to completion two neVi ferry termin­
als at Cape Tormentine,N.B. and Borden,P.E.I. Hhile train service
to and from the Island has sunk to a new low,more and better fa­
cilities are being provided to reduce the big wait formerly in­
flicted on the summer motorists. There are now four ships in the
ferry service. The JOHN HAMILTON GRAY recently Joined the ABEG­
HEIT in the train ferry services, carrying automobiles and passen­
gers as vlell and replaCing the PRINCE EDHARD ISIJND, which has novi
been retired after 53 years of operation.
The LUCY MAUDE MONTGOMERY, late ly the STENA DANICA, has joined the
CONFEDERATION in transporting road vehicles and passengers only,
The former vessel w~s purchased in Europe and was once used in a
similar service between Denmark and SVleden, The four vessels will
make 21 scheduled crossings each day during the summer, But is thi.s
:realiy the end of the controversial causeway concept? Hait until
next year I
published monthly exoept July & August oombined)
by the
ASSooiate Membership inoluding 11 1ssues of
Canad1an Rail 6.00 annually.
DISTRIEUTION J. A. Eeatty & F.F.Angus
Mr. J .A.Beatty, 4982 Queen Mary Road, Montreal 248, Quebec, Canaaa.
OTTAWA Mr. M. IVeson I Seaty., p.e,Box 352, Terminal IIAII ottawa Onto
ROCKY MOUNTAIN Mr. Donald W,Scafe 12407 Lansdowne Drive, Apt. 101, E<1monton Alta.
K.F.Chlvers, Apt. J. 67 SOmerset St. W Ottawa. Ontario.
J .SoNlcholson, 2)06.Arnold St. f Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Peter Cox, 2936 West 28tn. Ave., Vanoouver, British Columbia.
WID.MoKeown, 6-7. 4-ChOtDe, Yamate-oho,Sulta Clty. Osaka, Japano
J .H.Sanders, 67 Willow Way I Ampth1ll, Beds .. England.
K.G.Younger, 267 Vernon ttoad, Wlrmipeg, Manltoba.
Hr. Donald W.Scafe, 12407 Lansdowne Drive. Apt. 101, EatDonton Alta.
Copy r 1 gh t 1909
printed in Canada
Canadlan paper

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