Douglas E. Cummings
of the large cities of today, the
Metropolis of Vancouver,British Columbia
is located on a peninsula. While twenti
eth-century occupation of the peninsula
has since forced leap-frogging to ad
jacent shores, the presence of navigable
water on three sides has long since ch
anged the once-slumbering settlement into
a burgeoning city. The presence of all
this water has,over the years, restricted
both rail and road entry to the City,but
never waterborne traffic. Now, in the
second half of the twentieth century, the
rail routes into and around Canadas lar
gest western city and seaport are be
coming very crowded~but only in the last
few years has a development taken place
which hopefully will ease this congested
situation. The way that it all came a
bout is unusual and had its beginnings
more than eighty years ago.
Back in 1884,months before the Canadian Pacific Railway had
been completed as far west as the settlement of Port Moody in the
Province of British Columbia, the deciSion had already been made to
continue the line westward,past this original,temporary terminus,
to a seacoast location that was destined to become the. City of Van
couver. About that year,all that there was at the future terminal
location was a small, motley group of shackS in an informal arrange·
mente This locality was called GranvilLe and it was on an inlet of
the Straits of Georgia that had fantastic harbour possibilities •
• • •
FROM THE DEPTHS OF CAPITAL HILL TO THE TUNNEL PORTAL. The cover,this
month,was taken to show the right-of-way and dimensions of the new
tunnel,-the diract route to North Vancouver, B.C.
FOUR THROUGH TRUSSE~ AND A VERTICAL LIFT,-the segments of the new
Second Narrows Bridge on the north side of Burrard Inlet.
Both photos courtesy of Canadian National.Railways •
R A I L
The Canadian Pacific was determined to acquire virtually all
of the land owned by the Provincial Government in this area and it
was willingly given. With the gift of about 6,000 acres,the Rail
way and the Province signed an agreement in February,1885, which
anticipated the westward extension of the Canadian Pacific, a few
miles from Port Moody. Hhen this extension vias constructed,the
land would be deeded over to the Canadian Pacific Raihlay.
The C.P.R. from Montreal to the Pac if ic Ocean Nas completed, as
some history books tell us,on November 7th.,1885,at Craigellachie,
in Eagle Pass, with the driving of the last spike . The railway
to the Pacific -Ias indeed completed,but only to Port Moody,B.C.,on
Burrand Inlet,the first train arriving there on November 22nd.There
was still some work to be done on the line and it was not until mid-
1886 that there was regular operation. In that year,the first th
rough train eastbound left Port Moody on July 5th.,and arrived at
Montreal on July 12th.
Earlier in l886,construction of a branch from the main line
to New VJestminster on the Fraser River was undertaken. New West
minster was,at that time, the only important city on the mainland
of British Columbia. At one period, it vias the Provincial capital.
The C.P oR. main line bypassed it by only a few miles and, after
some cogitation, the branch was built and opened in December, 1886.
In the same year,the extension of the main line from Port Mo
ody to Granville (Vancouver) was commenced. In April,the community
of Granville was incorporated as the City of Vancouver. Almost as
if it were required that the community start life anew, what there
was of it,in the nature of, buildings,was totally destroyed by fire
on June 13th.,but within hours,rebuilding had started which would
make a new and splendid City of Vancouver rise like a phoenix from
the still-varm ashes.
The land granted to Canadian Pacific was used to advantage by
that Company, although much of it was withheld until later years,
for residential purposes. Plans included an opera house, hotel,
office buildings and wharves. Later on,the City offered the Rail
way a tax exemption on certain sections for 20 years, if the Rail
way would build its shops on the north side of False Creek, another
inlet on the south side of the City centre. The Canadian Pacific
lost no time in drawing up the necessary plans. Later,after the 20-
year exemption period had elapsed, the locomotive shops were to be
removed to C?quitlam and only car shops maintained at Vancouver.In
• • •
FROM THE PROVH!CIAL ARCHIVES OF BRITISH COIiUMflIA comes this picture of
the first Canadian Pacific Railway train to enter Vancouver,B.C.proper.
The eventful day was May 23,1887. The occasion was festive!
THE BRIDGE OVER THE FRASER RIVER AT NEW WESTMINSTER,B.C. was officially
opened in 1904 and this picture from the Provincial Archives of British
Columbia shows the first train to cross it.
CA NAD I AN
R A I L
later years, the Vancouver locomotive repair shops were used only
for minor repairs and the heavy work was transferred to Ogden Shops
in Calgary. Coquitlam repair facilities were never extensively de-
veloped for the same reason.
By May of 1886, construct ion of the extension lest from Port
Moody las under lay. The build ing of the cribbing along the shore
of Burrard Inlet was well advanced. On June 19th.,the barque FLINT
ailed from Yokahama, Japan, with a cargo of tea,bound for Port
Moody. She arrived on July 28th.,making the Pacific crossing in
just under 40 days. With some 60 new fre ight cars ready and more
expected from the builders, the first train-load of tea left Port
Moody by the Canadian Pacific Railway on July 30th. The planning
of this initial movement was very closely timed,as the Railway was
not in regular operation when the ship sailed from Yokahama. Three
additional shiploads of tea from Japan were expected and this was
an added incentive to rush the completion of the line to Vancouver.
Before long, the running time of some trains from Port Moody to Mon
treal was reduced from 137 to 96 hours. That same summer, the Rail-
way purchased two ships of its own for the run from Vancouver to
Victoria,Vancouver Island,-the Provincial capital ancl,at that time
the commercial centre of the Province of British Columbia.
Things got done in 1886! By early August,most of the new line
from Port Moody to Vancouver las graded and ready for the ra ils .
There had been an attempt by the irate citizens of Port Moody to
delay the construction, in lhich they Iere aided and abetted by the
waterside property ovmers,along Burrand Inlet,across vlhose Iater
frontage the Railvray ,,,as to go. A court action was taken against
the Railway and thus the completion of the line las delayed some
months. But in December, 1886, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled fa
vourably for the Railway and tenders Iere called for immed iately
for the construction of the remainder of the line.
The opposition of the citizens of Port Moody Ias quite natural
since they feared that their community would lose out if it became
a i~histle~stop instead of a terminal. They contended variously
• that the Railway had no legal right west of Port Moody, in view of
the terms of its charter. But their efforts v[ere to no avail. The
property mmers along 2.75 miles of shore line also sought injun
ctions and the Railway was forced to carry its line offshore on
trestle-work in some places. New Hestminster also tried in a mild
way to have the Railway designate that city as its Pacific termin
us,but even though it was on the Fraser River and the centre of
commerce for the entire Fraser Valley and estuary area,it too fail
ed in its promotional attempts •
., . .
THE ORIGINAL OPERATION OF PACIFIC GREAT EASTERN into North Vancouver,B.C.
was a stub at both ends -North Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay. Here is PGE
combo passenger-baggage gas car at North Vancouver in the 1920s.
Photo Norm Gidney from C.R.Littlebury Collection.
R A I L
After months of seemingly endless delay, finally on April 26th.
1887,Canadian Pacific RaihTay engine no. 132 came whistling vTest-
ward,vTith four cars of rails and ties and a caboose. She came to
the end of Alexander Street,Vancouver,British Columbia and stayed
overnight. This VlaS the first Canad ian Pacific train into Vancou
ver. On May 2nd;,two carloads of sand arrived via the Canadian Pa
cific,this being the first freight shipment by rail into the grow
ing fTest-coast port-city. Pr~vious freight shipments v[ere Company
materials for construction of the line and shop use.
The very last rail to the new Vancouver ·[harf Nas laid on
April 26th.,1887,thus completing an uninterrupted line of raihlay
from the banks of the St. La.Hence River at Montreal to the waters
of Burrard Inlet at Vancouver,B.C. On May 21st., the extens ion was
handed over by the contractor to the Raihlay; of course, it Vias al
ready being used. On the 23rd.,Canadian Pacific engine no. 374,novl
preserved as the historic first, with passenger cars nos. 54,274,
»)1 and sleeping car NEPIGON, made a ceremonial first passenger tr
ain arrival,having earlier been selected and decorated for the
occasion at North Bend,B.C.,the division point at the llestern en-
trance to the Fraser River Canyon. Before the arrival of this
ceremonial first passenger train, a passenger special had ar-
rived with people from Ne·r Westminster and the surrounding country
side,to ielcome C.P.R. no. )74 and train. The first regular through
freight train departed from Vancouver for the east on May 27th.,18-
At the time, Vancouver vlas a community of only a few thousand
people 11hich,had it not been for the advent of the RaihTay, might
never have achieved the growth ,.,hich the moderr~ City r.efl,ects. Be
fore many years .,rere to pass,it was an important seaport for,aside
from the Raihray,the only Iay to or from, in or Out,1Tas by ,water,
unless the traveller .,Iere willing to walk or S:Tim! Indeed, within
hours of the completion of the final few miles of the Railway,car
goes .Tere arriving for transshipment to vlest-coast cities in the
United states. This was entirely possible since, in March, 1887, a
locomotive for the Satsop Railroad in the neighbouring State of
Ifashington passed through Vancouver ,along with carloads of equip
ment and shortly thereafter ,cars and machinery for the then-build
ing Seattle,Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad. This material came
out rest over the Canadian pacific Railway.
The Orient was an immense source of tremendous business for
the new overland Canadian Pacific route,for the line provided an
advantageousshort-cut for cargoes bound from the East to Europe,
and although there had been a transcontinental railroad in the
PACIFIC GREAT EASTERN RAILWAYS ISOLATED BRANCH LINE from North Vancou
ver to Horseshoe Bay,B.C. Combo 102 gas car leads coach no. 105 over a low
trestle skirting the beach west of North Van,on the way to Horseshoe
Bay. Looks like a fan-trip in the early 1920s.
Photo by Norm Gid~ey from C.R.Littlebury Collection.
R A I L
United States since 1869, newspapers of 1887 are full of reports of
freight arriving for and from such Ilestern ports as San Francisco,
en route to and from Japan and China.
Although a street raih1ay was organized ir: Var:couver ir: 1886
ar:d oper:ed in l890,the Canadian Pacific retained a monopoly ur:til
1904 as the or:ly raihlaY into Vancouver offering other thar: local
service. And that das quite a long timel
To the north of the City,across Burrard Inlet,tl1e possibiliti
es of rail~Tay construction viere very limited. To the south of the
gr01iing City,the contrary;was true. In conjunction lith the build
ing of the Bellingham Bay and British Columbia Railroad ,north from
the town of Ne1l Hhatcom, Hashington State (present-day Bellingham),
to SUlll8.s,B.C. and the Seattle,Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad ,north
from Seattle, the Canad ian Pac ific undertook to build a short branch
line from st. Marys Mission (M:ission,B.C.) and the line Vfas com
pleted in AprH, 1891, -one month after the Bellingham Bay and Brit
ish Columbia arrived in Sumas. The first through trair: from Var:
couver to Bellingham,via Mission City,ran on June 22nd.,189l and
the Seattle,Lake Shore and Eastern connection ITas made shortly th
ereafter. For many years,a through train service between Vancouver
and Bellingham and Vancouver and Seattle was operated through the
For a per iod of one year from February 1st., 1894 to January
3lst.,1895,the nevfly-formed Great Northern and the Canadian Pac
ific had an agreement for joir:t entry into Seattle and Vancouver
over each others rails, usir:g the same port of entry at the Ir:-
terr:ational Boundary. This arrangement had been assumed by the
Great Northern during the panic period of the Northern Pacific
Railroad,which involved the Seattle,Lake Shore ar:d Eastern. After
the panic had abated, the Northern Pacific-Car:ad ian Pacific agree
ment for the Seattle-Vancouver access remained in force until its
expiratior: in 19l0,Ilhen the N .P. began using Great Northern rails
for its Vancouver run. This arrangement only lasted a few years,
until Horld l;lar I and the United States Railroad Administration.
Thereafter,the Canadian Pacific never again reached Seattle,except
by water I
The VIestminster and Vancouver Tramway Company established an
electric car service from Nel>l vlestminster to Vancouver in October,
1891 ar:d much to their complete surprise,the Canadian Pacific im
mediately discontinued most of their New Hestminster-Vancouver lo
cal passer:ger service. This electric line subsequently became the
… . .
. ~ PART OF THE ANCIENT TANGLE OF LINES AROUND VANCOUVER. At New Westminster,
B.C.,Canadlan National 2-8-0 no. 2091 leads a freight across the lines of
the British Columbia Electric Railway on August 11,1950.
Photo from C.R.H.A. E.A.Toohey Collection.
R A I L
Consolidated Railway Company and later the British Columbia Elec-
tric Railway and vias,in later years,the B.C.E.R.s Central Park
line,one of three interurban routes from New Westminster· to Van-
couver. Until the late 1890s,lhen the B.C.E.R. developed the fr
eight business,it remained essentially an interurban passenger and
express line,with little freight traffic.
The Nevi Hestminster Southern Railway began as a private ven
ture but soon passed into the Great Northerns system. It was star
ted in 1888 to make a connection between Bellingham,Viashington and
Vancouver. The Fairhaven and Southern Railroad laS to build north
through the State of Washington to the International Boundary and
the N.W.S. south to the same point,where they vould meet. By means
of the Seattle and Montana Railroad and other Great Northern lines,
Seattle Hould ultimately be reached. The N.H .S. began building in
August,1888,but ran into difficult construction problems vlith un-
stable soil conditions. It Vias not until February,1891,that the
line was completed and opened,running from Liverpool,B.C. on the
south side of the Fraser River,opposite NeH Westminster, to Blaine,
Washington. A bridge across the Fraser VIas proposed and help vias
expected from the Prov inc ial government. Hmvever, some ten years
were to elapse before the bridge construction was started. Mean-
Hhile,a ferry service on the river suff·iced and, for a short period
Great Northern entry into Vancouver V/aS effected via the Canad ian
Pacific through the 1894 C.P.-G.N. agreement,described previously.
For a very short period,the Great Northern (New Hestminster South
ern) and the Hestminster and Vancouver Tramway Company had a traf
fic agreement to give the G.N.-N.W.S. access to Vancouver,but this
was shortlived and before and after this period,a boat connection
to Vancouver was used.
1;lork on the bridge across the Fraser River at New Vlestminster
was begun in April, 1902, by the Department of Public Horks of the
Province of British Columbia. This famous or infamous structure
afterwards became the property of the Federal Government. A rail
lay line from NeVI Hestminster to Var.couver had been contemplated,
in conjunction Hith the original bridge proposal of nearly fifteen
years earlier,but aside from· some right-of-Hay clearing, it came
to naught. However, in February, 1903, the Vancouver ,vlestminster and
Yukon Raihmy began construction and built this section (Vancouver
New Westminster) and oper.ed it for use late in 1903. Hith the open-
ing of the Fraser River bridge at New -lest minster ,access to Van-
couver laS immediately possible and rail service over this route
vias inaugurated on August 23, 190L~. The nevI connect ion las finance d
by the Great Northern,although they did not actually take control
ONE OF THE TidO LARGE BULK TERMINALS IN NORTH VANCOUVER. Curved-side hop
pers dominate the scene at Vancouver Wharves,Limited and their contents
are variously piled in the open or stored in the silos. This operation
is switched by the PC Shays of Pacific Coast Terminals (CANADIAN RAIL No.
218,February,1970),one of which is ~isible in the foreground. The side
rodded,jackshafted diesel is also there,if you are sharp-eyed enough to
find it! Photo courtesy of Canadian National Railways.
CA NAD I AN 157 R A I L
until 1905. This was only one of the many pieces of the Great Nor
therns corporate jigsaH puzzle. But what this really meant was
that Vancouver had another outlet to the east,besides the Canadian
Pac ific I
The building of the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway into
south-central British Columbia Nas undertaken at the he ight of the ir
construction boom. Grandiose plans vlere announced for this project,
including a 1~.5-mile tunnel, double-tracked, -a fitting entrance to
Vancouver and total electrification of the western section of the
line in British Columbia,no less! Construction commenced in 1910,
both east and west,with the Vancouver entry planned as a line al
ong the north shore of the Fraser River, then through the 4-mile
tunnel under the City,to emerge in the False Creek area. An agree
ment had been reached lith the City Thereby the Canadian Northern
Pacific Nould build a large hotel, establish a steamship service and
turn 164 acres of tidal flats into good,solid ground. The spec
ulation bubble burst about this time and, in 1912, another agreement
was signed in Ihich trackage rights over the Great Northern and
the Fraser River bridge at NeVI ilestminster alloNed the nelq railway
to enter Vancouver. No steamship serv ice Nas eve-r established by
the Canadian Northern Pacific,aside from a car-ferry to Vancouver
Island. The Prince ships of later fame >lere operated by the Gr
and Trunk Pacific Railway,from its terminus at Prince Rupert,B.C.
The hotel commitment .las eventually fulfilled wl1en the Canadian
Northern and the Canadian Pacific jointly constructed a new edi
fice,the Hotel Vancouver. The land reclaimed from False Creek is
today the yard area for Canad ian National Raihiays and lIas part of
a larger reclamation project, included in which 1-laS a sizeable ch
unk of reclaimed land for the new Great Northern yards,as well as
industrial sites. Canadian Northern and Great Northern never reach
ed an agreement for a Union n station, but subsequently there were
two stations,a G.N. and a C.N.,side by side. Train service from
the east via the Canadian Northern P,cific lIas inaugurated in Nov
ember,1915,after the driving of the Last Spike of this railway
at Basque,B.C., in the valley of the Thompson River .
• • •
THE THREE BRIDGES at Burrard Inlets Second Narrows. The first railway
bridge,over whiCh the transfer freight is passing,is scheduled for de
molition. Photo courtesy of Canadian National Railways.
LeOKING NORTH OVER THE SECOND NARROWS,the new line to North Vancouver
coming out of the tunnel crosses over CP RAILs main line,onto the
bridge. Photo courtesy of Canadian National Railways •
.. UNDER THE RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT ON CAPITAL HILL, the new line from I~il
lingdonto North Vancouver and the bulk terminals makes an uncomplica
ted route to Burrard Inlets North Shore.
Photo courtesy of C~nadian National Railways.
R A I L
@ ,,___ )./J
BA~~ __ ..
R A I L
IN VANCOUVER AREA
Canod/on Nor/anal Railwoys
Cireat Narlher/7 Railroad
Canad/an Paci,r/c RoilUJay
Vancovver & Lvlv Island Ry.
B. c. Hydro Ra//woy
PQci~/c GreaT Eastern R!f.
JOintly-used railltnes to Robert,s Bank
New construct/on Ior line To Rober7s Bonk
1 CP over CN to connec t with POE.
2 CN over CP to connect with Second Narrows Bridge.
3 Second Narrows Bridge.
4 CN Tunnel.
, BCERy passenger lines to City Terminal, abandoned.
6 BCERy Burnaby Lake line, abandoned.
7 Railways along Nell Westminster waterfront: CN,GN,CP, V&LI,RCH.
8 Govt-OlIned rajlway bridge, used by CN,GN,BCH.
9 Minor track diversions.
10 Tilbury Island Dock -CN.
11 Line to Roberts Bank -new construction.
cP .-. ./
CANADIAN 160 R A I L
The late-comer to the Vancouver area 1aS the Provincially-own
ed Pacific Great Eastern Railway. From 1914 to 1928, the P .G.E. op
erated a rail service from North Vancouver,across Burrard Inlet
from the City,to Horseshoe Bay (11 miles),but it did not connect
with any other railway. However,with the opening of the then-new
Second Narrows Br idge in 1927, the Vancouver Harbour Commiss ioners
built their railway over it and a connection was made for a few
months,until P.G.E.abandoned their line. The Vancouver Harbour Com
missioners had some trackage in North Vancouver in 1926,which had
been worked by the P.G.E. With the P.G.E.abandonment, the V.H.C.
took over the industrial and dock switching in North Vancouver, as
well as their own terminal railway operations in Vancouver. When
the National Harbours Board assumed the operation of port facili
ties,including railway lines,at all of Canadas major ports, Can
adian National Railways were given the responsibility of operating
the railways and thus it was that operation of V.H.C. railway fa
cilities was assumed by the C.N. on January 1,1953.
When,at long last,in 1956,the Pacific Great Eastern returned
to North Vancouver as a permanent resident,it established freight
yards and other facilities. The Canadian Pacific was quick to see
the advantages of interchange traffic and accordingly secured run
ning rights over the Canadian National to an interchange yard. In
1959,a terminal wharf operation was organized by Vancouver Wharves
Limited,adjacent to the P.G.E. yards and this soon developed into
an extensive,ever-expanding bulk-loading facility for sulphur,pot
ash and other commodities. Potash from Saskatchewan was one of the
most freq uently shipped products, be ing brought to the llest coast
by Canadian National.
Until the advent of the P.G.E. to North Vancouver,with its
new through line to Squamish and Prince George in the heart of cen
tral Brit ish Columb ia, all traff ic to the north shore of Bur rard In
let was terminal. Anything routed farther north had to go by rail
barge to P.G.E. s first tidewater terminal at Squamish. Hith P.G.
E.s through line a reality,north shore traffic increased rapidly
to boom proportions. Combined with the bulk commodity traffic, wi
thin 10 years there was a terrific bottleneck in North Vancouver.
The Canadian Nationals Glen Yard at Vancouver could not handle a
train of more than 58 cars,due to the length of the longest yard
track and,as a consequence, long freight drags headed for the Van
couver wharves had to be split at Port Mann and run through Van
couver to North Vancouver in several sections. This operation was
complicated,requiring movements through Vancouver city over in
dustrial trackage with many grade crossings,from the CN yard to
the waterfront yard, then along the waterfront and over the Second
Narrows Bridge (1927) to the North Shore of Burrand Inlet. As the
UNIT-TRAIN PRECURSOR; A train of curved-side hoppers follows Test Car
89 and Canadian National units 5028,5040 and 5046 westward through
Burnaby, B.C. at Cariboo Road on 20 June 1968. Photo by D.E.Cummings.
CP RAIL ALSO PRACTICED BIG FREIGHT TRAIN OPERATION,as witnessed by
this extra east (no flags) at Banff,Alta.,with units 4502,8637,8652 &
8690 on 19 January 1969. Photo by Robert A. Loat.
163 R A I L
traffic increased,so did the associated operating problems and in
1968,a second bulk terminal facility, Neptune Terminals, was sched
uled for North Vancouver. It seemed as though the whole freight
operation was in danger of coming to a gr ind ing stop. A better me
ans of access to the North Shore had to be found.
Part of the solution lay in the total elimination of the bulk
commodity traffic from the complicated rail lines through the City
of Vancouver. If Vancouvers congested yard and terminal faciliti
es could be avoided,an easing of the situation could be achieved.
Plans were therefore formulated to tunnel under Capital Hill, from
Canadian Nationals main line just east of Vancouver,at Willing
don Avenue in Burnaby,B.C. The tunnel,together with a new bridge
over Burrard Inlet at the Second Narrows,would provide direct ac
cess to the North Shore and would thus expedite the bulk commo
ity traff ic •
Shipments to the North Shore via Canadian Pacific were always
routed over the Second Narrows Bridge,using Canadian National track
age. Normally,there would be no direct connect ion, but CP RAIL has
now upgraded its line from Coquitlam to Sapperton. At this latter
place,a nm1 interchange yard with C.N .-G.N. has been built and CP
RAIL traffic,not destined for transshipment at that Companys bulk
terminal at Port Moody,can thus enjoy the benefits of the new tun
nel-bridge facility,which will relieve the pressure on CP RAILs
terminal facilities at Vancouver, as well.
This new route to North Vancouver will speed up the transport
of bulk commodities and reduce terminal time by many hours, since
trains can now operate directly to and from North Shore terminal
points. Neptune Terminals is an on-line inductry for C .N., but
Vancouver Ivharves is switched solely by P .G.E., using PC Shay loco
motives nos. 114 & 115,owned by Railway Appliance Research Limited.
Notwithstanding these essential improvements,it is anticipated
that freight traffic in all of Vancouvers railway yards will c.on
tinue to increase at a rapid rate. It would appear that a deriv
ative requirement is now emerging in this area: that of total traf
fic control. The eventual solution to this second problem may be
the creation of a Greater Vancouver Terminal Railway,with all of
the yard operatlons in and around the City handled by one terminal
system, perhaps jointly-owned. The problems and time-lags sometimes
resulting in the present multi-Company operation would likely be
reduced tnrough consolidation and centralization. Present-day op
erations can become very complex,with five railways in the Vancou
ver area being involved, not all of which connect directly lith one
MORE CURVED-SIDE HOPPERS COMING WEST TO VANCOUVER,with coal and potash.
They are following Canadian National units 5062 and 4214 through Bur-
naby,B.C. on 13 January,1969. Photo courtesy D.E.Cummings.
THE NEW LOOK
VI .J .Bedbrook.
seems likely that the next major change to
be made along Canadas ra ilways is in the
IIplaces where the passengers entrain or de
train, vhethe r the se be terminals or sta
tions. steam locomotives have disappeared,
se~phore signals are rare and there are
more than a fevT peculiar structures carry –
ing station name boards.
Travelling round the country, these days,one is constantly re
minded of the changes taking place in raihTay buildings and struct
ures. The familiar water-tank is no longer part of the railway sce
ne. The older stations, like Barrington Station at the Canadian Rail
1ay MuseUJn,are nmv nearly all disappeared and their foundations can
be seen at intervals along the right-of-way. These were the stations
at which scores of travellers bought their tickets and boarded the
IIcars II for the next town or for trips across the country.
Many of todays stations are still in use for the purposes for
which they were constructed, but many others are boarded up either
to await better times or subsequent demolition. Some have been re
served as local museum projects and some have been sold and con
verted to summer cottages or farm outbuildings. The stations still
in use have generally been modified to conform to modern require –
ments,necessitated by reduced passenger train operation with a con
sequent diminution in passenger traffic. Freight and baggage ( ex
press) facilities in modern stations have been expanded and mod
ified to suit road haulage vehicles.
Ind icative of the fate of railway stations and terminals in
Canadas major cities are the frequent neJspaper articles on urban
redeve lopment in Vancouve r, Toronto and Montreal. Major re locat ions
of passenger train stations have already been completed in SaSka-
WH~T THEYLL LOOK LIKE IN THE 70S: This new Canadian National station
in Oshawa,Ontario is a very long way from the traditional mens-and-la
dies plus operators office of the early days of Canadian railroading.
And its much more functional and pleasant,tool Photo courtesy of the author.
R A I L
toon,ottaVia and Calgary. Altl10ugh ottala s famous Union stat ion
laS refurb ished in 1967 and renamed Centennial Hall and has sub-
sequently hosted Prime Minister Trudeau and the provincial Pre-
miers at the recent Dominion-Provincial Conference, there are still
dark rumors that it is to be demolished to make way for other, more
important construction in Canadas capital.
More in keeping with the supposed preference of the cit izens
are the neN stations recently constructed in communities such as
Dorval,Que. and OshalTa,Ont. The old stations (CN) in these cities
have been replaced with modern, utilitarian structures, very much
different in appearance from that normally anticipated. Construct-
ed of precast concrete slabs and cement blocks, they present a
spartan facade,but are equipped Nith every modern facility, both
for passengers and for railway staff ..
The relocation of Canadian Nationals main line at Fort ~Hl-
liam,Ont. ,has isolated the old station and the replacement is a
pre-painted,steel building package,adapted for railway use.
Along the well-known Lakeshore,west of Montreal,CP RAIL has
been replacing existing stations gradually by eitller glass-steel
or bus-type shelters, similar to those used by GO TRANSIT on sub
urban CN lines in the Toronto suburban area. A nel~ CN stat ion at
GuildvlOod,Ont.,is a converted road-trailer, complete with 1heels,-a
~atural convenience for a future purchaser, in the event that this
station was closed and had to be removed from the site. It should
-be remembered that this latter condition is the principle one that
a purchaser of stations has to fulfill.
A not-sO-Vlell-known but very interesting station is presently
in use at r1ine Centre,Ont .,west of Thunder Bay on the Canadian Nat
ional. This lTas former ly a busy centre, but now that near ly all of
the mines in the area are abandoned,so the area is reverting to
its former state of nature. Most of the original tom and the old
station ,ere destroyed by fire. NO~ serving as the station is an
old baggage car,lThich has been set off beside the track. It has
been fitted Nith an operators vlindoVl and an order board. You can
still receive and ship express and freight from this station and,
except for the operators bay added to the side of the car, the
interior is unchanged from the days when tile car VIas in service on
the main line. As CTC signalling is planned for this major line
from the Lakehead to Hinnipeg,the inevitable removal of the oper
ator lvill certainly mean the end of the road for this anc ient
GAUGE HD-N. About the smallest and most functional type of station that
can be erected today. The sign may now read Thunder Bay,Ontario!
Photo courtesy of the Author.
HAVE STATION -WILL TRAVEL. A mobile home for Canadian Nationals pas
sengers at Guildwood,Ontario,-just in case this station stop ever
needs to be moved to another location. Photo courtesy of the Author.
R A I L
In addition to the obvious ,improvements in station and ter-
minal facilities and their marked effect on adjacent urban proper
ties, sucll as have been seen in Montreal, Saskatoon, Calgary and UJn
don,Ont ., to name only a fe,,,,, there must be many other Canad ian c i
ties and tOlms,like Dorval and Oshavla,Nhich have been rejuvenated
by the construction of modern railvTay stations. Let us hope that
this rejuvenation is a continuing process •
• • •
BAGGAGE CARS MAKE ATTRACTIVE STATIONS. This redundant CN baggage car has
found a new use as the station at Mine Centre,Ontario. Its life-expectan-
cy is probably not too long. Photo courtesy of the Author.
THE BUS STOP STYLE IN STATIONS. It provides good visibili~y and adequate
protection; it is pleasing in appearance and easy to maintain.
THE FORMER STATION AT FORT WILLIAM, built of good,solid,conventional brick
and used for a variety of purposes,in addition to shelting passengers in
tending to ride on Canadian National. Now isolated,it has fulfilled its
destiny. Both photos courtesy of the Author.
• • • • •
Provincial elections in the Pro-
vince of Quebec were held on
April 29,this year,only three
days after the new CP RAIL sub
urban schedules became official.
Almost all business organizations closed their offices and other
activities at 1500 hrs. to comply with the Provincial law which re
quires every company to allow its employees to leave their jobs at
least four hours before the poles close.
A monumental traffic-jam ensued almost immediately,which snarl
ed most of Montreals main arteries. CP RAIL had arranged a special
train to leave Windsor Station at 1530 hours for Vaudreuil, replac
ing Train 253,which normally leaves at 1719. However,at 1515, it was
announced that there was no more room on Train Election Special .
It was a standard 13-car train (1,339 seats) and must have trans
ported nearly 2,000 passengers. Train 265 at 1610 was the next one
to depart and its nine bi-level cars carried one of the few full
loads that they are likely to get at that hour, with many passengers
standing,most of them in the entranceways in the centre of each car.
A ticket booth was set up in Windsor Station concourse for
suburban tickets and gatemen checked all tickets before allowing
passengers onto the platform. These measures were intended to speed
up ticket collection by reducing the number of cash fares to be
collected by the conductor on board the train.
CP RAIL has been granted permission by the Canadian
Commission to remove agents from several stations on its
lines, including Dorval,Valois,Beaconsfield and Ste-Annes.
rooms will be kept open at most of these stations.
Canadian Nationals ferry services have made considerable
news in the past several weeks and not all of the items
would have been approved by CNs Public Relations staff!
The most noteworthy event occurred on April 20th. This was the sink
ing of tbe car ferry PATRICK MORRIS with the loss of the Captain
and three officers. The PATRICK M:lRRIS had finished loading 18 box
cars at North Sydney,N.S. and left her berth,without passengers,be
fore her scheduled departure time, in order to assist the crew of
the herring seiner ENTERPRISE,which was reported sinking about 10
miles off the Cape Breton shore.
According to reports,the PATRICK MORRIS,her stern into the wind
stopped to recover the body of one of the crew members of the
R A I L
ENTERPRISE,Ilhen a 20-foot wave crashed into her stern,breaking in
the large doors which close the train deck at the stern.
The high seas which were running at the time broke over the
vessels stern and soon flooded the train deck and the engine room,
the ship sank within 35 minutes. The crew took to a motor-dri
ven lifeboat and 47 men were picked up by the West. German ore-car
rier RHINE ORE and landed the following day at Port-Cartier,Que.
The officers of the PATRICK N:ORRIS left the sinking vessel on
a life-raft but were not able to survive in the stormy waters of
Cabot Strait. The Department of Transport is to hold an inquiry
into the sinking of the car-ferry. The PATRICK MORRIS was a vessel
of 9,777 gross tons,was built in Montreal in 1951 and joined the
CN fleet in 1965,operating as a side-loading truck and container
carrier until 1968,when she was reconverted to her original rail
car function. She was not strengthened for navigation in ice and
just re-ente red se rv ice, afte r be ing laid up for six wee ks dur
ing the heavy ice season (Marchand early April),during which time
service was maintained by the newer, ice-strengthened FRZDERICK CAR
TER. The PATRICK MORRIS was valued at about $ 10 million, but the
replacement cost for a new vessel would be about $ 15 million. The
sunken vessel lies in about 300 feet of water and officials have
considered salvage, but it is likely that another existing car
ferry will be purchased,perhaps in Europe.
Shortly before this disaster,the CN had called for tenders for
the construction of a car-ferry dock at Mulgrave,N.S.,to be used as
an alternative loading point during the late winter and early spring
when Sydney Harbour is often blocked by heavy ice. Mulgrave, now at
the end of a short branch of the CN from Linwood,N.S.,was once the
mainland terminal of the former Canso Strait ferry service, which
was the only rail link to Cape Breton Island before the Canso
Causeway was built.
In southern Nova Scotia,a Swedish company is to begin a ferry
service for passengers and road traffic between Portland,Maine and
Yarmouth,N.S.,this summer and CN has called for tenders for the
construction of terminal facilities at Mile 136.4 of its Yarmouth
Subdivision. The car-ferry to be used is an end-loader, while the
CNs Yarmouth-Bar Harbour,Maine ferry BLUENOSE is a side-loader and
existing terminal facilities are arranged accordingly. The new ves
sel is to be named PRINCE OF FUNDY, although it will not actually be
ope rat ing in the Bay of Fundy.
The CN Prince Edward Island ferry LUCY MAUD MONTGOMERY, which
made news last summer when she operated in cruise service out of
Charlottetown and reportedly served Green Gables
rum on board,may
be placed in service on the Wood Islands,P.E.I.-Caribou,N.S. run
this summer, if suitable docking facilities can be provided.
CN has another ferry operation in southern Ontario,where the
st. Clair and Detroit Rivers form the Canada-United States boundary.
Recently,CN hired a tug to push its ancient car-ferry HURON between
Hindsor,Ont. and Detroit,Michigan,while the almost-as-ancient side
wheeler LANSDOWNE continued to operate under its own power. Follow-
R A I L
ing the experiment with the HURON, tenders were called for the pro
vision of tug service on both the Windsor-Detroit route and the
projected Samia-Port Huron service,as well as for the construction
of docking facilities at Sarnia and Port Huron. It would seem that
all river car-ferry operations will be converted from self-propel
led vessels to tug-and-barge operations,as considerable economies
can be realized by uSing one tug to handle tNO (or more) non-power
ed car-ferries or barges.
THE TlMEIABLES GET SHORTER AS THE DAYS GET LONGER
April 26,1970,was the date set for the
annual switch to Daylight Sav ing Time
this year and the principal timetable
changes were to be found in the new
folders of CP RAIL.
The introduction cif bi-Ievel passenger equipment on the Mon
treal-Vaudreuil-Rigaud suburban services resulted in a general –re
vision of the entire schedule of suburban services and the issuance
of a separate folder for it. The number of train-sets was reduced
from seven to six. Of these, the nine bi-level cars will form one,
with a capacity of 1,488 passengers. There will be three trains of
conventional cars (800 series,built 1953) and two made up of ROC
Dayliner units,which will provide daytime and evening service,ma
king seyeral trips during the day. One rugh-hour train has been
eliminated in each direction,but evening and week-end service has
been increased,especially between Montreal and Vaudreuil.
The late-evening service (2300 hours) has been restored,allow
ing suburbanites· to spend an evening in town and return by train
rather than driving the family car in or enduring the tedious bus
ride home,-the time of local buses from Montreal to Dorion is 1 hr.
40 minutes, compared to 55 minutes by train.
There is increased service in the direction opposite to the fl-
ON of traffic normally encountered,as Dayliners shuttle in and
out of the city. There are now 12 trains Monday to Friday, instead of
ll,in each direction,while there are 2 additional trains on Satur
day and I on Sunday. Week-end service beyor.d Vaudreuil has actual
ly been reduced by one trip in each direction. All trains have been
renumbered,eliminating all numbers between 242 and 249.
The b i-leve 1 tra ins are as follO/s: No. 272 leaves Rigaud at
0648,arrives at Hindsor Station at 0815. No. 265 leaves Montreal at
R A I L
l6l0,stopping at most stations to Hudsor.,arriving at 1720 and re
turning as No. 264, leaving Hudson at 1727. It stops at most lake
shore stations and arrives at 1830. Leaving again at 1845 as No.
273,it returns to Rigaud,a:riving there at 2015.
It would seem that there is little hope of getting a full pas
senger load on either of the outbound trair.s,unless there is quite
a drastic change in the working hours of most downtown offices. The
question remains as to why two control cars were acquired when only
one was really needed.
Montreal-Quebec and Montreal-Ottawa schedules also underwent
further revision. Dayliner equipment was eliminated from the re
vamped schedule and the two Skyline dome-equipped convent ional
train-sets are used ,to make three round trips daily, leaving both
cities (Montreal and Quebec) at 0800,1300 and 1800 hours. The mid
day trains serve five stations en route not served by the other
trains, but no less than eleven stations have lost their passenger
service as a result of this revision. These trains (153-154) are
allo~ed 3 hours,35 minutes for their journeys,while the others are
allowed 3 hours 20 minutes.
On the Direct Line,Train 233,the Rideau now runs 5 minutes
earlier,to allow time for Quebec Train 152 to leave at 0800.It thus
arrives at Ottawa at 1010,only 1 minute after CN Train 3l! Train
235, the Alouette has reve rted to °i ts forme r, more conven ient time
of 1700 hours, arriving at Windsor Station at 1930,but this has re
sulted in Train 234 being set back 55 minutes, leaving Ottawa at
2050 and arriving Montreal at 2300.
The Canadian,Train l,leaves Montreal 15 minutes earlier, wh
ile Train 2 runs 5 minutes later.
On the North Shore, Dayliner No. 133, via Montebello,has been
rescheduled 35 minutes earlier,at 1750. Connections from Ottawa to
Quebec have become almost impossible,but Quebec to Ottawa still has
a good connection via Trains 153 and 235. Passengers to and from
New York,via Delaware & Hudson, are less well off than before, but
they still have one good connection to and from Quebec and also to
and from Ottawa.
The Atlantic Limited,Trains 41 and 42,have been speeded up
by 15 minutes, leaving Montreal at 2000 and saint John at 2110. How
eve r, they have lost the ir connect ion with st. Stephen and st. And rews
as the chartered bus service formerly available has been discon-
april 26, 1970
CANADIAN 174 R A I L
While Canadian National changed its main-line schedules in Ja~
uary,1970 instead of Apri1,it did issue a new suburban ~older, com
bining the formerly-separate Cartiervi11e and DeuX-Montagnes sched
ules into one. The only noteworthy change was the reduction in Sun
day service and that for holidays as we11,by the elimination of one
Montrea1-Cartiervil1e round trip in the morning and one in the af
ternoon. The trains to Deux-Montagnes,c10sest in the timetab1e,were
rescheduled to plug these gaps and make the side-trip to Cartier
ville. There are now 14 Sunday trains instead of 16.
These days,Niagara Fa11s,Ont. has a one-track mindJ On March
19,1ast,the Private Bills Committee of the Ontario Legislature ap
proved a bill permitting the City of Niagara Falls to sign an agree
ment with Niagara Falls Monorail Limited for the construction of a
six-mile monorail system along the Penn Central right-of-way, from
the City Hall on Queen street to Front Street,in the former village
of Chippawa,Ont.,which became part of Niagara Falls last year. Ser
vice on the new line is to begin within 36 months and will be pro
vided by at least 10 diesel-powered cars of about 30 passengers ca
paCity each, which will ride on rubber tires along rails (presumably
of concrete,like those of Seattle IS monorai1),suspended from towers
resembling lamp standards.
At first, the Company had proposed & summer tourist service,but
the 10-year agreement stipulates dai1y,a11-year service, with the
schedules to be renegotiated between October and December,each year
The Penn Centra1
s right-of-way is part of the former Erie and
Niagara Rai1way,bui1t in the 1850
s between Niagara-on-the-Lake and
Fort Erie,Ont. Another passenger-carrying line in the same area was
the Niagara Falls Park & River Rai1way,-an electric line which ran
from Queenston,through Niagara Falls to Chippawa. Originally built
to connect with steamers at both ends, it became part of a famous
trolley circle tour around Niagara Fa11s,the Rapids and the River.
Passengers rode along the top of the cliffs on the Canadian side of
the River and along the edge of the foaming rapids and the Whirl
pool on the United States shore,crossing bridges at both ends of
the Gorge. It ran from 1896 to 1932, when it did not renew its lease
with the Nia~ra Parks Commission. The latter was eventually ob1ig
.ed to pay the REPLACEMENT value of the 1 ine., which was many times its
actual of scrap value, in a lawsuit which was taken to the Privy
Council of Eng1and,in London.
Hopefu1ly,the present agreement will contain safeguards against
another such eventuality at the end of the 20 year period. It is in
teresting to wonder how many of the present negotiators of the agre
ement are acquainted with this precedent and its importance.
11111111I1111 i III1I [111111111
ANGUS F.F. GJNGRAS Dr. G. MacNIDER C .H. TIBBElTS R .C •
MAGEE J.A. THIBODEAU N.
AUGER M.L. GRIER Mrs. L.
I-1cINTYRE H.D. THRALL K.W.
GROH J.H. McKEDHN G.E. TURNER K.R.
BADGLEY J.L. GRUBER F.L.
McLEAN Alan TUSrrN R.J.
BAXTER Dr. H. GUMNERE B.,jr McMILLAN H.P.
MURPHY M.P. WAGNER Vl.C.,jr.
BEERS B .H. HAMILTON H.L.
BLOOR R .1:l • HASTJNGS Dr. P
NOEL P.H. WHARRY R.
BICKERTON J.H. HARRIS R.C.
BOONE G. HESSION E.C.
BUILER A. HIGH J.S.
PIZZARDI J .. B. YUILL W.A.D.
BURNS H.H. HOBSON J.I. ZINK R.D.
CAIE I.A. HUNTER J.H. _ REKIEL R.
CHEASLEY C.S. RIDDELL H.
CLARK DeB. JACOBSEN R.C. RUBJN A.
CLARK R. JANES R.D.
CONE P.M. JENNER J.E.
SAN SC ART IER L-P
CORNISH H.J. JOHNsrON B.C.
DALE L.A. LAl>1BERT E.
DERY J.D. LAMBERT J.
OONALDSON S.M. LAMBERT ,-I .T • SMALL M.
OOUGLAS A. LANGEVJN Jos.
OOYON M.G. LEOOUX R.
STEPHENS -J .S.
EAsrON J.N. LEYLAND A.
ECK 111.E. LILL A.B.
SUMMER S Mr s • A.E.
LOHE H .B.
FROM THE ASSOCIATION S ARCHIVES
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