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Canadian Rail 234 1971

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Canadian Rail 234 1971

Ca.:n.a.dia.:n.
) RS.8r1fill
:ivo. 2a4
JULY 1971

I
I
Tll
OMlllO~
I TL!lf Tl C BAIL I I
-A 999 YEAR LEASE
Being A Thumbnail Sketch of Its Beginnings
Rnd Some Photos of Today.
Glenn Wallis.
s EVENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, THE DOMINION
Atlantic Railway was incorpor­
ated by an Act of the Parlia­
ment of canada -Victoria 58-9,
chapter 47.
At the time of its organization,it was composed,like Gaul, of
three parts. First,there was the section of the former Nova Scotia
Railway from Halifax,Nova Scotia to Windsor,plus the former Windsor
and Annapolis Railway (see below). Next, there was the Western Coun-
ties Railway from Yarmouth east and lastly,the Cornwallis Valley
Railway. The Dominion Atlantic would acquire the Midland Railway
Company (Nova Scotia) to Truro,N.S.ten years later,when that line
was built.
In the beginning,the Nova Scotia Railway constructed a line fr­
om Richmond (Halifax) to Windsor Junction,N.S.,opening this portion
for service on June 3,1858. From Windsor Junction,two branches were
built,one to Truro and the other to Windsor,N.S. The former was com­
pleted and opened for service on December 15,1858 and,with the pas­
sing of the years,became part of the Intercolonial Railway of Can­
ada in 1867 and eventually a segment of the Canadian National Rail­
way
1
s main line from Montreal to Halifax.
The Windsor Junction-Windsor,N .s. branch was the original part
of the Dominion Atlantic Railway,as it exists today.
THE COVER THIS MONTH IS GRACED BY A PICTURE TAKEN IN THE SUMMER OF 1962,
near Digby Basin,Nova Scotia. The subject is Dominion Atlantic Railways
DAYLINER,on the Digby-Kentville-Halifax run. The photographer is none
other than Mrs. D. Carol Shaughnessy,wife of Jim Shaughnessy,and a very
competent photographer in her own right.
OPPOSITE,DOMINION ATLANTIC RAIL~AYS DAYLINER CROSSES THE LONG BRIDGE OVER
Smiths Cove,Nova Scotia,on its way to Halifax,in the summer of 1962. The
photograph was taken by Jim Shaughnessy.
CANADIAN
184
R A I L
The pertinent dates of opening for this first main-line rail-
way in Nova Scotia were as follows:
Richmond (Hall.fax) to Rockingham 4.oo mi. Feb. 1,1855
Rockingham to Bedford 4.50 July 1,1855
Bedford to Grand Lake 14.5() Jan. 1,1857
Grand Lake to Elmsdale 14.oo Jan. 1,1858
Elmsdale to Shubenacad ie 3.00 Mar. 1, 1858 Shubenacad
ie to Truro 21.19 Dec.15,1858
Windsor Junction to Windsor 32.00 June 3,1858
1869 saw the first passenger train on the Windsor and Annapolis
Railway,between the two towns whose names formed the corporate title.
The W&A was actually an extension of the Nova Scotia Railway but,as
an harmonius relationship between the two managements did not exist
constar.tly,the railway extension applied only to the right-of-way
and the rails and not to the service.
J.M.& Edward Trout,the Toronto chroniclers,in their 1871 pub­
lication entitled The Railways of canada for 1870-1
11
,make the fol­
lowing statement, under the heading Windsor and Annapolis Railway:
This line passes through the Annapolis valley, which is one
of the oldest settled and richest parts of the Province ,
connecting with the Nova Scotia Railway at Windsor, 45
miles from Halifax,and at Annapolis with a line of steam­
ers to St. John,New Brunswick,a distance of about 60 miles,
making a total distance between Halifax and st. John of
190 miles.
The road was partially opened on the 11th. of August,1869,
and completed on the 18th. of December of the same year.
During the first six months the line was by agreement wor­
ked for the benefit of the contractors. The length of the
main line is 84 miles,with 8 miles of sidings. The gauge
is 5 feet 6 inches. The rails are fish-jointed,and between
Windsor and Kentville they weigh 67 lbs. per yard,and the
remainder of the distance they are lighter,weighing only
52 lbs. per yard. The rolling stock is substantially con­
structed and consists of nine locomotives,twelve passenger
and
120 other cars. The most important feature of the line
is the iron bridge over the Avon at Windsor,where the tide
rises over 40 feet. The bridge rests on stone piers. There
are n:lne spans of lattice, iron girders. The total length is
1,130 feet. The total amount expended on construction ac­
count amounted to 542,332 sterling on the 3oth.June,1870.
EZEHR
THE LARGE-SCALE MAP OPPOSITE SHOWS THE DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANYS
greatest extent in the period 1905-1953. The detail map shows the main line
of the D~A.R. from Windsor through Kentville to Annapolis and the abandoned
(1953) Cornwallis V~lley Railway from Weston through Centerville as •••••••

CANADIAN
18?
R A I L
DIRECTORS.-George Sheward,Lord Allan Churchill,Colonel Cole,
Albert Ruardo,Francis Lothell,John A. Bastard.
SECRETARY.-C.A.Talbot,Westminster Chambers,Victoria Street,
London.
GENERAL MANAGER.-Vernon Smith,Kentville,Nova Scotia.
CHIEF OFFICE Kentville,N.S.
Another railway was soon begun at the western tip or the Prov­
ince. It was incorporated in 1870 with the intention of building a
line from Yarmouth to Annapolis,along the Province•s northern coast,
to meet the existing Halifax-Annapolis line. In 1879, the towns
of Yarmouth and Digby were joined by the rails of the Western Coun­
ties Railway. This original name was changed in 1893 to the Yarmouth
and Annapolis Railway Company. Thus,by 1879,through service from
Yarmouth
to Halifax was possible,even though part of the trip was
by water. Passengers could travel by train to Digby,thence to An­
napolis by steamer and resuming their rail journey,they continued
onward to Windsor and Halifax by the steam cars. The missing
link in the railway system -between Digby and Annapolis -was
completed in 1891,thus creating a through line of rails from Yar­
mouth on the western extremity of the peninsula to the Provincial
capital city of Halifax.
In the meantime,the Cornwallis Valley Railway Company had been
chartered in 1887 to join Kentville on the W&A with Kingsport on
the Minas Basin of the Bay of Fundy,via Centerville. This line was
completed in 1890 and elevated Kentville to the position of an op­
erating centre for ~he various railway companies. Kentville was
later to retain this importance when the Dominion Atlantic Railway
Company was formed.
The various inefficiencies of these lines serving the fertile
valleys of western Nova Scotia are not the subject of this article,
nor are the legal battles fought over running rights,mergers, pros
and cons of becoming part of the transcontinental system of rail­
ways,nor the park,hotel and steamship operations.
As a result of -or perhaps in spite of -all of the above,the
Dominion Atlantic Railway Company was incorporated from these orig­
inal lines in 1895. Its rights-of-way exist today as they did then,
llR?
THE FIRST STATION OF THE WINDSOR AND ANNAPOLIS RAILWAY -ANCESTOR OF TODAYS
Dominion Atlantic Railway -at Annapolis,Nova Scotia,as it appeared in 1869.
THE ROYAL MAIL STEAMER,S.S.EVANGELINE,OPERATED BETWEEN ANNAPOLIS AND DIGBY
in the days when the rail connection between these two places was incomplete.
THE FIRST TRAIN OF THE WINDSOR & qNNAPOLIS RAILWAY ARRIVING AT THE NEW STA­
tion at Kentville,Nova Scotia,in 18?Z. Three photos from C.R.H.A.Archives.

CANADIAN
189
RA I L
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