R A I L
The photographs which have been selected, together with some
text,Nill tell you something about a typical days operation at
this important junction, if those days ~/ere a little before your
time. On the other hand,perhaps they will stimulate memories of a
pleasant enough era in railroading.
Those dear,dead days can never be recaptured because rail
ways have no meaning if they are not viable conunercial er.terprises,
tuned to the needs of todays and tomorroNs business society. By
way of contrast,raihlays were once gigantic make-Iork programmes,
albei t they were good to look at and a treat to ride.
There were in those days perhaps five distinct periods in an
average st. Lambert sununer day, differentiated by the type s of trains
that pledominatcd during these intervals. Let us classify them:
The Sunrise Parade began 1li th the arrival of two early Mon
treal-bound commuter trains and ended l1ith the ir.bound train from
Island Pond, Vermont at 10.20 a.m. This interval las domir.ated by
the advent of the heavy, long-distance, overr.ight, sleeping-car trair.s
from Halifax,N .S.,Nel York City and Vlashington,D.C.
These Here the glamor trains -12 to 18 cars -offering all
sorts of accommodat ion: coach, roomette, se ction, clraViing room and
lounge space. Tbe MONTREALER,northbound with through cars from Hash
ington,New York City and Boston,was regularly a part of the diploma
tic courier route between the capitals of the United States and Can
ada. Sometimes unique and interesting busir.ess and private cars l1ere
to the consist, including the private acc9DllTIodation for Hinston
S.Churchill and D,:ight D. Eisenhower. The regular head-end power
during this era was Canadian National RaihlaYs northerr. no. 6173 –
one of 2 handful of northerns with boiler certification allowing
them border-crossing privileges.
No. 6173 passed my house every morning at ten to eight
Only severe leather cor.ditions or gross operating difficulties such
as derailments and main-line blockages ever made her late. Or las
she always on time because of the cLlshion built in to the time
table rather than as a result of super-efficient railroading?
Another interesting ariival -Jas that of the Rutland Rail
roads MOUNT ROYAL, generally pov/ered by a grimy, typically U.S .,tlCa
vy pacific. These big engines seemed always to be driven by the
most diminutive of Yankee engineers. I used to 1Tonder hoVi they made
out in the days of the Armstrong Johnson-har -later and less im
aginatively -the reversing lever. The larger of the Rutlands two
classes of pacifics,numbers 83 to 85,had a most distinctive muff
led exhaust 1hich (most of the time) produced an audible three bea
ts for each revolution of the drivers, instead of the antiCipated
four, thus defying all of Stepllenson I s lalls. The chuffs ,,,ere on
the quarter-turns, but one viaS generally miSSing, unless a rare quick
start 1laS being made. And even then, the mi ssinz fourth las just a
pant,where the other three were quite clearly CI1Uffs
CANADIAN : 341 R A I L
this hesitant fourth was the result of sloppy valve-setting in the
back-shop at Rutland. CNR engines seldom suffered from the missing
fourth beat and CPR engines Ihich I often heard at Hestmount, never
Another distinguJ.,shlng characteristic of these appealing
engines of the Rutland las their whistles, which seemed to have a
Casey Jones kind of valve. That is, the engineer could and often
did play a l:ind of wistful tune, to some extent. As he blew for
tbe crossings at Victoria Avenue and Highvlay Number 1 just beyond,
the whistle lould moan and sob through the first two long blasts
and then would come out with a hiccupy chirp for the short one,fol-
10lled by a gentle and undulating moan for the terminal portion of
the quatrain. It was quite irresistable and utterly inimitable.
Speaking of distinctive locomotive eXhausts,CN no. 6173 in
variably could be easily differentiated from other CN northernsby
the vlay each eXhaust Ilhistled vlhen she was Ilorking at slo1 speeds
on a little steam. It…was as though she had a chronic case of sin
usitis, She was also renollDed for being the best smoke-ring blower
in the district. Neat,clear rings l-/ould soar to altitudes of 100
feet or more vlhenever she was working hard.
The Haritime trains,usually 12 to 1£3 cars long, were always
p011ered by northerns in the 6100,6160,6170 or 6200-series, opera
ting in a power pool. Most of the time they made the Montreal to
Halifax run of 842 miles over the old Intercolonial vii thout change.
Inbound to Montreal,they normally stopped at st. Lambert to detrain
passengers and the thunder of their eXhausts as they started up the
heavy trains on to Victoria Bridge could be heard for blocks.
Interspersed in the Sunrise Parade were a clutch of pas
senger locals, ,/i th equipment ranging from doodlebugs to a six-car
train hauled by a 6000-series CN mountain-type. Trle most peculiar
of the assortment was the lJaterloo local -just a combine and tvlO
coaches goir.g ahead ,·Ii th the lightest of light pacifics 11 of which
CN r.o. 5535 11as an example. This li tt le train made t 110 round trips
a day from Montreal to the Eastern Townships village of Haterloo
69 whole rail-miles -by a circuitous and ancier.t (1861) route via
st. Johns,Farnham,Granby to Vlaterloo,llith one part of the trip over
Canadian Pacific ralls, reached by means of a lengthy a peculiar re
ON ANOTHER MILD JANUARY (1950) DAY,CENTRAL VERMONTS GAS-ELECTRIC CAR
No. 148 put-puts and clatters out of St. Lambert,bound for Montr~al.
Photo courtesy A.W.LBggett.
How rare the RUTLAND! Pacific No. 84 rolls the Rutlands Mount Royal
past Edison Avenue towards MB Tower at St. Lambert. East leg of the
Edison Avenue wye is in the foreground. Three photos courtesy L.C.Perry.
Tenwheeler No, 1313,with inside Stephenson valve-gear frequently visited
St. Lambert. On this day,she was on the 8eloeil way-freight.Usually, she
was on the Sorel wav-freioht.
P.NOTHER FABULOUS MONSTER ,HICH FREJUE~JTED ST. UMBERT STATION Ill.AS CN S
oil-electric,self-propelled gargler No •. 15837 -The Nicolet Nightmare
coming off the subdivision onto the main line at MA Tower,St. Lambert.
R A I L
There vlere two doodlebugs -comlentior.ally known as rail-cars
CNR no. 15837 from Nicolet -at the confluer.ce of the Nicolet and
st. LaNrence Rivers -had a six-cylinder gas er.gine fitted with a
battery of straight-pipe 8xhaust stacks,or.e from each cylir.der.Hhen
she got under vlay,the racket was utterly deafenir.g. At night,little
blue flames shot from each exhaust stack in rh,,rthmical sequence .Cen
tral Vermont Railways no. 148 .Ias a tinier, gentler, more friendly
doodlebug,with wide yello.1 stripes plastered diagonally across her
front end. She provided local service to and from st. Albar.s, Ver
mor.t via st. Johns, st. Armand,Highgate Springs ar.d Swanton ( Fonda
Junctior.). Hhenever No. 148 was out of service -which was NOT in
frequent -the smallest CV steamer available >las substituted. She
No. 219,an incredibly petite 4-6-0,whose sister,No. 220, is now
preserved at the Shelburn Musel:ll11,Shelburn,Vermont.
The l,Iassena Milk Train ~/as just bare ly internat ional, orig
inating only 20 miles ir.side the United States, where it turned and
spent the ,r.ight. It .Ias really tIO trains in one, because it p.ioked
up two cars from Hemmingford at st. Isidore Junction, 73 miles from
its pOint of origin and 23 miles from its terminal. Trains 79 & 80
.Iere all that , … as left of a twice-daily service for mail, milk, news
papers,express and -when offered -passengers. When I knew the
Massena Milk Train,the power was CN pacific No. 5559 and the
conductor was called Horseface, because thats what he looked like.
And he was as gruff as they come, tool
The Canadian Nationals line to Richmond,Sherbrooke, Island
Pond, Vermont and Portland,Maine -original constituent in the Grand
Trunk Railway Company of Canadas system -was served by a r.umber
of daily passenger trains of which the morning portion ~as two out
and one ir.. Pacifics in the 5050,5550 and 5280-series were the
usual p01ler, but Trains 11 & 12 from and to Island Pond rated hea-
vier power,engines 6017 or 6020 -1925-model,beetle-browed moun-
tains -beir.g rostered.
Two other morning trains that merit mention,particularly be
cause of their motive pOller,were the Rutlands daytime accommodation
train, the GREEN l-10UNTAIN FLYER and the Central Vermonts M-IDASSADOR.
The first vras a short coach train, powered by a 70-series ter.wheeler
most days and the latter ~~as a conglomeration of New Haven,Boston &
l-laine, Central Vermont and canadian National cars, hauled by one of
the CVs long, 10>1, lanky 600-series mountains. One of these engines
.Ias christer.ed City of st. Albans n on the occasion of the centenary
of railroad service to that Vermont city. The 600s paradoxically
boasted an air-horn in addition to the usual stearn 1histle, a com
promise meaningful only to a Vermor.t master-mechanic.
After the Sunrise parade, the late summer morning at st.
Lambert station was primarily devoted to observing freight trains •
way-freights usually got under way during the latter part of
the passenger parade,llhile the balance of the a.m, ias replete with
the mair.-line freights for Portland,14aine;Rouses Poir.t,New York;St.
Albans,VermontjMassena,New York and Sorel ar.d Joffre (Levis), Que.
R A I L
The vlay-freights rated moguls, tenvlileelers or consol
illations. The through freiVlts used mikados,l1ith some notable
exceptions. The Joffre manifest freights were powered from a pool
of northern-type 6200
and the daily st. Albans paper train laS
hauled by the biggest pow;r to visit st. Lambert -the Central Ver
mont TOO-selies 2-10-4 s. They were 2556 more powerful than the nor-
therns. IVhen they slowly accelerated their trains of 130 to 100
loaded cars around the S-CUlves leading south out of St. Lambert
station,past HB Tower, the ground shook, the neighbourllOod windmls
rattled and every dog within hearing started to bark. Fortunately ,
our house wa::; on the windward side of the tracks for the prevailing
westerly vlinds, but on quiet or rainy days, the soot fall-out was som
ething incredible and scandalous.
The normal operating procedure for outbound freights for
the Rouses POint Subdivi::;ion las to leave Turcot Yard,Hont.Yeal with
about half-a-train. Additional tonnage las picked up at Southwark
Yard,about tHO miles east of St. Lambert ::;tation on the main line
to St. Hyacinthe. This meant that the Rouses Point freight took the
.,rest leg of the ye to Edison Avenue, then reversed over the east
portion to the westbound side of Southwark,where the additional ton
nage las assembled.
This procedure usually took about an hour and the freight
then departed southbound for st. Johns and Rouses Point. The cross
over at Edison Avenue HaS on a curve and,from time to time, caused
considerable misery to any locomotive that had a l1heel or suspen
sion problem. Serious derailments occurred at this spot in 1944, 19L~9,
1950 and 1951. T,IO of them involved the same 10comotive,CN mikado
The first ,as the worst. Extra 3722 north left the rails at
the lYe, the engine turning completely around to face the opposi te
way and thereafter lying down in the ditch. Four cars of Floridas
best citrus fruit /ere constderably demolished and thereafter local
residents enjoyed grapefruit, tangerines and giant oranges for 1Ieelcs.
On such occasions -or rather ,after them -the old CV wye ~18S
pressed into service,being used at extremely reduced speeds Since,
over the years,it had deteriorated and was relegated to the rank
of an industrial spur.
Later, a new pick-up procedure for tonnage las introduced, pa
rticularly for the CVs paper train. Coming across Victoria Bridge,
the engine would leave the train parked on the bridge, while she
4-8-4 ENGINE NUMBER 6173 -IN 1971,RESIDENT IN TORONTO AT THE EX –
was once the r8gularly assigned engine on CV-CN 1Jasilingtonian and
t~ontrealer from IJhite River Junction, Vermont to ~lontreal. She was
typical of the big power on express passenger trains through St. Lam
bert in that era. Photo courtesy L.C.Perry.
MOGUL ~UMBER 849 -ORPHAN ENGINE OF CANADIAN NATIONAL -IS RELEGATED TO
midwinter snowplow duty. 849s usual assignment was the Ormstown Way
freight,an equally tedious responsibility. Photo courtesy L.C.Perry.
R A I L
made a fast run to South,ark Yard to secure the additional tonnage.
The engine and the fill-out cars then backed through st. Lambert
station, coupled up llith the train on the bridge,pumped up the train
line and came clattering back through the station to take the curve
for Edison Avenue,Ranelagh,Brosseau,Lacadie,St. Johns and Cantic.
During this fancy back-up movement,a brakeman with a light
ed fusee rode the cat/alk of the leading freight car for the three
or so miles, .hile a second brakeman stood on the end of the freight
car next to the engine,to pass the signals to the engineer in the
While the station platforms sizzled in the afternoon sun and
the only sounds were those of the cicadas and the intermittent chat
ter of the telegraph sounder, st. Lambert station and MB Tov/er drous
ed. It las the tail-end of the first trick -the time for catching
up on the paper ,ork, signal maintenance, express sorting and team
The yard engines roaming around st. Lambert and shuffling
transfers from Southwark to Turcot Yard were the 8200 and 8300-ser
ies 0-8-0 f s. The two or three assigned to South1ark stayed there
through more than one shift and then scuttled off to Turcot Round
house for firegrate cleaning and additional coal and 11ater,usually
making the trip backl-Iards at speeds of 30 miles per hour, weaving
and corkscrewing along the main line and across the Victoria Bridge
much to the consternation and dismay of the maintenance-of-I/ay for
through fleights to and from Joffre (Levis) ./ere
I .C .R. f s, since they ran over the portion of CN f S eastbound
line,from Ste. Rosalie Junction (st. Hyacinthe) to Joffre,
once belonged to the Intercolonial Railway Company of Canada.
Although the approaches to Victoria Bridge were governed by
CTC,all extras picked up orders and clearances at st. Lambert, out
bound,east and south. The ICR trains thundered off Victoria Bridgefs
mildly dOlmhill gradient, .11th the brakeman poised on the engine f s
deck,ready to pick up the hoop. The engineer would hold the trainfs
speed as near the permitted as possible,so that a perfect catch
Hhen the brakie missed -which happened once when I 11as on
the other end of the hoop -hundreds of braJ~eshoes erupted into
shrieking squeals as fifty cars (and the van) slowed dOl-Tn and ground
toa halt. The incandescent brakie then had to trot back along the
right-of-.. ,ay to meet me with the essential orders and clearance. He
.. las not exactly impressed with my performance -or rather lack of i t
and said so in the manner for which railway men are famous. Of
course,he had already been cheled out by the engineer as an acces
sory after the fact,/hich did nothing to improve his humor or his
ltlestbound I.C.R. f S set off almost all of their tonnage at
Southwark Yard and usually rambled across Victoria Bridge and drift
ed into Turcot with only the van. Many of the loads were thereafter
_~ : 351
R A I L
assembled at Southwark and .lorked straight through Point st .Charles
and Turcot and onward to Toronto and Beyond in trains originating
at Southwark Yard. This alleviated the congestion in Turcot Yard.
The power,usually 6200s with a sprinkling of Grand Trunk Vlestern
6300s,was despatched from Turcot Yard and turned on the wye at st.
Lambert,prior to backing uown onto their trains. They regularly
moved out ./i th 60 to 80 cars, sometimes requiring a shove up the 1%
grade of Victoria Bridge by the Southwark Yard s.litcher,loose-coup
led to the caboose.
The residual calm of the lazy late afternoon was partially
dispelled by a local passenger to Sherbrooke,the outbound Massena
Milk Train and the gradual but sporadic return of the days way
As industry located in the communities along the south shore
of the st. La~lrence at locations such: as Varennes and Vercheres, the
consist of the Sorel way-freight gradually enlarged. The branch it
self came up to a junction with the main line on a considerable gra
dient and the CNs l300-series tenwheelers
sometimes had quite a
tussle with the tonnage. It was usually a remarkable display of
antique power being pushed to its limit. One day, as I .latched, no.
1313 made four runs at the hill
before she succeeded in making
the main line. The grade up the eastern side of Victoria Bridge was
neatly avoided,since the usual procedure was to back the train down
to Southwark Yard and set off cars.
The observer was often quite delighted on such a quiet af
ternoon by the sudden appearance of a just-outshopped locomotive
from Point st. Charles on a test run. The engine would come across
the bridge backwards and Nould continue some distance east on the
main line to the crossover at South.lark East. Then, back she would
come -full-tilt -smoke belching,1lhistle screeching! Surely a si
ght to stimulate the adrenal glandsJ This practice afforded the ob
server a view of a locomotive that otherwise might visit st. Lam
bert only rarely -5700s, 6060s, 64oos -all the real Glamorous
Gals of the Canadian National!
FIVE 0 CLOCK FRENZY.
There was one IIpure
commuter train ol1tbound from Montreal
each tlOrking day. This was Train 38 to Ste. Rosalie Junction, at the
end of the st. Hyacinthe Subdivision. Train 38 consisted of about
10 old wooden coaches,.l1th green plus seats and varnished interiors
pulled by a 5280-series pacific 11. Some of the cars Here lighted by
Pintsch gas lamps a.s late as the 50
~very other outbound train in the 5.30-7.00 p.m. interval
also handled commuters -the Nicolet doodlebug, the Island Pond lo
cal and the round-about Vlaterloo. The second of the morning com
trains did not return from Hontreal until almost midnight.
During this period, several of the inbound main-line freight
trains cleared the circuit, the ones from the south taking the wye
for Southwark Yard to set off tonnage.
R A I L
THE NIGHT EXPRESSES.
One of the most thrilling sights for a train-watcher of
those days was the spectacle of the OCEAN LIMITED,as observed from
the st. Larllbert wye. You could see her coming do,m the eastern
slope of Victoria Bridge,her white cyclops-eye grmling larger and
larger as she came on. She was usually hauled by engine no. 6160 ,
Those headlight pierced the evening shadows, as her exhaust ever and
again rose through the girders of the bridge or in a column to the
dark sky or slTirled about her shining boiler barrel. Clouds of steam
and tendrils of smoke rose red and green, coloured by the glittering
eyes of the CTC signals. Flinging her dark breath to the sky, she ac
celerated her train from the station, followed by a seerlingly never
ending procession of cosily-lit sleeping cars and anon, her shrill
Thistle echoed through the outskirts of the city as she ble, for
the road crossing at coteau Rouge. And on the occasional evening,
,hen the lind was from the east, her imperial progress across the
level plain to st. Bruno and st. Basil 1IaS clearly audible, long
after the station at st. Lambert had recovered its nocturnal quiet.
Of all the nights of the Teek,Friday night 1Tas best because
there were several extra passenger trains anticipated. A typical
summer evening saw the departure of the Friday-only train to Matane
ten cars or So,pol/ered by a 6200 -leaving for a summer resort on
the Gulf of St. La,rence -or almost. Then came the OCEAN LTIHTED ,
highballing through St. Lambert station, frequently followed by a
second section. Next came THE SCOTIAN, generally in tTO sections, on
her nightly pursuit of her fleeing sister -the OCEAN LD~ITED -over
that great I.C.R. racecourse to Levis,Riviere du Loup, Campbellton
~ A~lID THE LAST OF THE HNTERS SNOW,THE ROUSES POINT FREIGHT CO~1ES OFF THE
I~ subdivision of the s~me name onto the main line at MB Tower,St. Lambert,
Quibec. The motive power on this sunny afternoon is eN mikado Number 3735.
Photo courtesy L.C. Perry.
AFTER PICKING UP FILL-OUT TONNAGE AT 50UTH~AqK YARD,CENTRAL VERMONT 2-10-4
No. 707 backs its train through the cross-over switches at St. Lambert Sta
tion,to couple up to the rest of her train,which trails back half-way to
the middle of Victoria Bridge. All this in the days before the seaway and
dieselizationl Photo courtesy L.C.Perry ,
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAIL~AYS TRAIN 17 -PORTLAND,MAINE TO MONTREAL,HEADED
by Pa~ific Number 5300 -pauses at St. Lambert Station to entrain and de
train passengers, In the interval,the engineer inspects a main rod bear
ing that he suspects is running a little warm. Photo courtesy L.C.Perry.
IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME -CANADIAN NATIONALS MID-MORNING WATERLOO
Roundabout -with a few more cars than usual -coasts into St. Lambert
Station on its leisurly way to WatBrloo,~uibec,via St. Johns and Granby.
Photo courtesy L.C.Perry.
R A I L
St Hyacinthe Su
Not to Scale LCP
, INSIDE CANADIAN I~ATION,LS flG Tl1!dER,LfJCATED JUST EAST OF ST. LAMBERT STA
~ tion,Qu&bec,with Towerman Ren~ Leblanc at the CTC board. This board con
trolled the junction of the St. Hyacinthe and Rouses Point Subdivisions
and the main line cross-over switches,among other things.
Photo courtesy A.W.Leggett.
R A I L
Next came the more distinguished WASHINGTONIAN in two sec
tions,carrying the technocrats and bureaucrats south to their sev
eral conferences and lectures -route of the Ivy League,all the
way 1 The first section was generally powered by a Central Vermont
600,while the second almost invariably was led by CN 6173.
Parenthetically, opposing movements usually included the in-
bound Portland,Me. passenger train, the Central Vermonts paper-
train northbound, the CVs day passenger train 307 and sundry local
One night when a friendly to~er operator was on duty, a ques
tion was raised as to what would happen if the double crossovers at
the east entrance to Victoria Bridge -just west of St. Lambert st~
tion -were both reversed,so as to run an eastbound train across to
the westbound main line and then back again to the eastbound main.
Being a venturesome type, the operator asserted that the best way to
find out would be to try it. That was at 8 p.m.,with the OCEAN Lll1-
ITED due to pass at 8.15 p.m.
That night,the OCEAN LD~ITED didnt leave S~. Lambert until
8.35 p.m. The unexpected really did happen. One of the crossovers
refused absolutely to return to the normal position, nor could any
kind of a clear or caution signal be obtained for the proposed al
ternate route. Presumably the system downstairs in the tower just
was not designed to make this kind of movement possible and, under
the stress and strain,in utter frustration, it quit Iorking.
Needless to say,our beautiful experiment as a failure and
never repeated. The to,erman never did tell the signal-maintain
er the full story. The maintainer said he found a piece of steel
accidentally stuck in the sHitch,but we concluded he was just gro
ping for an excuse or explanation that I~ept him in the clear. It
probably saved our collective necks.
Finally and as though to ,ri te a penultimate couplet to the
evenings activity, came the Rutland IS overnight train to Boston and
New York. Sometimes she rather staggered in,as though experiencing
grave misgivings about the route she VIas to follow to the south.And
JaS it any ,onder? Had you asked some of the passengers in the sle
epers the precise route to their destination,it is quite likely that
they could not have told you. Boston via Rutland and BelloHs Falls?
New York via Bennington and Troy? It defied all reason!
I..J CANADIAN NATImJAL RAIU~AY S TRANSFEH FREIGHT FII[JM SOUTHJ.JARK YARD TO TURCOT
I~ Yard,with 0-8-0 No. 8298 on the business end. Sorel Sub can be seen branch
ing off directly behind the engines tender,while the Rouses Point Subdiv
ision cross-over switches appear just above the bridge railings. The switch
er kicks up a fuss as she rushes the tonnage up the grade onto Victoria
Bricge. Photo courtesy L.C.Perry.
THE DAY THE DOODLEBUG BROKE DOWN II -CENTRAL VERMONT ENGINE NO. 209 ON
Train 43 from St. Albans,Vermont pauses at St. Lambert Station on a cold
spring morning with perhaps 10 passengers and a little express,bound for
MontrBal. Photo courtesy A.W.Leggett.
TRAIN 11 OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS,HAULED BY MOUNTAIN-TYPE ENGINE NO.
602o,rumbles into St. Lambert en route from Island Pond,Vermont and Sher
brooke to MontrBal,while CN engine No. 3410 (2-8-2) weits for the green
on the eastbound main line. Photo courtesy L.~.Perry •
R A I L
Just as the dayls activity at st. Lambert station began to
taper off with the departure of the Rutland,so my interest in train
latching 1aned as the steam engines began to disappear and the pas
senger-train consists became shorter and more standardized, Unknow
ingly I was getting older all the time, too, The next generation of
train-l/atchers was to be composed of a new breed of enthusiast Ii th
the same passion for diesels and TURBOS as I had for the steam and
I don It asl< the nel., generation to weep v/ith me for an era
now departed, but rather solicit an understanding of that time, be
causein a very special way, it helps to give meaning to the present,
ili CENTRAL VERMONT I S GAS-ELECTRIC CAR NUMBER 148 – A TIHN-STACK JOB, Cm1flLETE
, with Railway Post Office and roller bearings,misfires noisily at St. Lam-
bert Station. Photo cnurtp.sy L.C.Perry.
Editorial Staff CANADIAN RAIL
~p RAIL has redesigned some of its 57-foot flatcars
to accommodate two 20-foot containers, one at each
end of the car, with a fork-lift truck freeway between
them. These cars will be assigned to Quebec Central
Railway operation for on-line asbestos producers at
Coleraine, Black Lake,Thetford Mines,East Broughton &
Robertsonville,Que. The theory is that fork-lift trucks
can load palletized bags of asbestos by driving right
into the containers, which have a capacity of about 20
tons of bagged asbestos, each.
Canadian asbestos producers adopted containerization
several years ago and this innovation has upped CP
RAIL-QCR containerized loads by 53% during the first
half of 1971. (The 470. )
contrary to announcements made by CP SHIPS in 1970, the Division
announced in November, 1971 that the S.S .EMPRESS OF CANADA vlould be
sold. Reason given was that the desirable profit factor could not
be achieved in 1971 operation. purchaser is rumored to be Home Lines
who are ar~ious to use the ship in cruise service. Home Lines seem
to be able to turn a satisfactory profit, where other companies can
not. (Sandy Worthen)
Late in 1971,CP RAIL was seriously considering the
introduction of a daily ll-hour passenger service by
RDC DAYLINER between Montreal and Saint John,N.B.,to
supplement the existing overnight ATLANTIC EXPRESS •
Subsequently,the proposal was abandoned when the Maine
Central Railroad -Oltmer of the line between Matta1am
keag and Vanceboro,Maine -adVised CP RAIL that the ex
isting automatic block Signals would not invariably be
activated by RDC units.Moreover,Interstate Commerce
regulations required that a fireman or
enginemans helper be carried on the DAYLINERs and that
a seat -permanent, not a moveable stool -be installed
in the vestibule.
It is surprisj.ng to note that CP RAIL are presently ob
ligated to continue the ATLANTIC LIMITED or a comparable
passenger service through northern Maine for approxi
mately 5 more years, since the Company did not enter the
AMTRAK agreement. Had the stops advertised to be made
by the ATLANTIC LIMITED in northern Maine been elimina
ted before AMTRAK, CP RAIL .lould not now be obliged· to
run the train for this period. Of course, the ATLANTIC
LIMITED is a passenger train service according to the
definition of the Canadian Transport Commission and any
move to terminate it vlould be examined closely.However,
by voluntarily providing passenger train service to
these isolated northern Maine communities,Cp RAIL has
assumed a continuing obligation, despite the all to ob
vious steady decline in passenger train revenues.
(Dwight Smi th • )
CANADIAN R A I L
I notllei ePisode in tllC fascinating saga
of the unique ALCO PA-lls,once the
pride of the Atchison,Topeka and
Santa Fe Railroad IS fleet,has been
Units lately numbered 16 & U3 on the Delaware & Hudson -once Num
bers 59 & 62 on the Santa Fe -were leased in October;1971 (with a
six-month option to purcllase) to Steam Tours, Incorporated, iho are
also the Qlo,TDers of ex-Reading Railroad 4-8-4 steam locomotive Num
steam Tours,Inc. has been running the eX-Reading engine in
summertime tourist operation on tile Greenbrier Railroad,which
vertises passenger train service (non-AMTRAK) from Huntingdon
Hinton,West Virginia,U.S.A.,over ex-Chesapeake & Ohio trackage.
The PA-l I S made their first run on ttlis line on October, II, 1971
when an excursion behind the 2102 -/as in trouble,as tilE engine got
10 on coal. The PA-l IS hauled the train the last few miles into
Roncevert,while the fans in the first car were almost asphyxiated
in the process. There is adequate photographic proof that the PA-ls
smoke bad ly at Iml speeds. First offiCial trip for the PA-l IS vlaS
on October 23,on an excursion from Huntingdon to Hinton,vl.Va.
At last reports,the D&H llad returned units 17 & 19 -ex-Santa
Fe numbers 60 & 66 -to General Electric Company of Erie,Pa., on
October 21,as trade-ins on an upcoming order for 8 U-36-C
Meanwhile, Steam Tours, Inc. llave found a PB-l at a junk-dealer I s
in·Chicago and plan to purchase and restore tilis B unit to work with
the eX-D&ll: A units .This will provide the Greenbrier Railroad with a
genuine PA/PB/PA lash up for sumrael 172 operation – a happening which
will attract diesel fans from far and near and thus ring up a few
more dollars on the cash register. (Jim Sllaughnessy.)
Quebec Cartier Rai.lvJay expects to diversify its traffic in
19T2, when Rayonier Quebec Limiteds pulp mill at Port Car·
tier,Que.,comes on stream. The mill is part of a $ 50 mil
lion development to take place over 16 years and ttle rail
way is expected to carry some 600,000 cords of iood annual-
ly. Mill production will be shipped from Port Cartier to
Europe,for tbe production of rayon fibres. (Steve Vlalbridge)
After 90 years of operation -98 to be precise -the Lake Champlain
and Moriah Railroad is no more. This little-knmm line ~aS completed
in 1873 and ran from Port Henry,New York -on the western shore of
Lake Champlain -nortlnlestllard up six miles of hairraising grades to
the Town of Mineville -the location of the iron mine which justi
fied the railway. Late in 1971,Republic Steel Company of Cleveland,
Ohio -successors to the original company -announced tl18t the mines
at Mineville Hould close, thus removing the raison d I e-tre of the
railway. For furtller details on this unj.que operation, see Jim Shaugh-
nessys book DELAHARE AND HUDSON. (Doug. Spencer.)
R A I L
About September 15,1971,three of Canadian National Rail
t/ays subsidiaries in the United States !Tere consolidated
into a r:el company: Grand Trunk Corporatior:. properties
j~ncluded in the neVi corporation were the Grand Trur:k Hes
tern Railroad -946 miles -with headquarters in Detroit,
t-richigan; the Central Vermont Railway -360 miles -based
at St .AlbpCls, Vermont ar:d the Duluth,ll/inr:ipeg ar:d Pacific
Railway -168 miles -of Virginia,Mir:nesota.
Dr. R.A.Bandeen,Vice-president,Great Lakes Region,Canadian
National RaihlaYs, was appointed President of the new oold
tng company. Dr. Bandeen explair:ed that altilougll GT Cor
poration Vlill mair.tair. a separate and distinct identtty,
a tlo-way floVi of informatior. and expertise betlcer: CN
and GT Corporatior. ,ould cor.tinue.
Cor.spicuously abser:t from t,lis neVT US groupir.g 1as CN s
Grand Trunk Railway from Islar.d Pond,Vermor.t to Portland,
r-iaine. Thts US operation is sUll the Berlin Subdi visior.,
Champlair: area, st. Lawrence Region, Canadian National Rail
I/ays I (Don Law)
CP RAILs fleet of class DRS-lOa BaldTin diesel-electric units or.
Vancouver Island,Britisll Columbia -Nos. 8000-8012 (except r:os.
3001,13004 & (1005) -arc still goir.g strong on the Esquimault ar.d
Nanaimo Division. Late ir. 1971,Nos. 8001 & Go04 t/ere 8li tching
at Coquitlam,B.C. on the Cascade Subdivision -(1here they were
spotted by Ken Goslett) and No. 8005 Has undergoir.g repairs to
a broken cranltsl1aft at ogder. Sl1ops, Calgary.
The Bald;/ir.s /ere joined by two CP RAIL GP-9 s ir. the summer of 19~(0
ar.d a third Geep VIas added ir. 1971. The Geeps are used mainly or:
freights on the Port Alberni Subdivisi,or. from Parksville to Port
Alberni. It appears likely ttlat v/hile the GP-9 s may be changed off
and or. from the Vancouver pOvler pool, at least three 1ill be main
tained on Vancouver Island to assist the Baldwins.(John Hoffmeister)
Towards the end of summer 71,Canadian National Rail
v/ays announced that work had begur. on a 10-mile ir.
dustrial spur from tile Sorel Subdivisior. to a new in
dustrial park at Becancour,Que.,opposite Trois-Rivieres,
Que., on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River.
The projected new 11r:e, which will serve the ~(, OOO-acre
development, is the result of ar. agreement behleen CN
and the Cer:tral Quebec Ir:dustrial Park Corporation. It
will include the construction of a bridge and viaducts
over the Becancour River and the laying of four miles
of yard and switching trackage.
Contracts for bridge and viaduct construction will be
awarded by CN late in 1971,but the contract for level
ling and draining the land has already been awarded to
St. 1·1aurice Ready-Mix Company and 1-1. Justin Desy, a
Shav/inigan, Que. contractor.
Project completion is scileduled for the early part of
1973. (CN KEEPING TRACK)
R A I L
Inconclusive reports on the activity of the Victoria Pacific Rail
way continue to be received. No activity on this new enterprise has
been observed during summer 71. Apparently all of the motive power
rolling stock is stored at Mile 5.5 of Canadian National Rail
ways Cowichan Subdivision,just outside Victoria,B.C. Along with two
ex-British Columbia Hydro cabooses are ex-Hillcrest Lumber Companys
Climax No. 10,ex-Comox Logging & Railways 2-8-2 No. 16, a flatcar,
a crane,a boxcar and a parlor car (?). (Doug Cummings)
Among new motive power orders received by Car.adian die
sel-locomotive builders is one for 110 ur.its from the
Yugoslavian Railways to Ger.eral Motors Diesel of London,
Ontario,worth $ 33 millior. and one to the same builder
from CP RAIL for fourty SD-40s at a cost of $ 17 millior..
Delivery of the CP RAIL units will be scheduled for 1972.
They will be classed DRF-30h,will be numbered 5589 to 5628
and will be used ir. freight service between Montreal, Tor-
onto and Calgary. (Roger Boisvert)
Four Bangor & Aroostook Railroad GP-9s -Nos. 76,77,79 & 80 -and
one GP-7 -No. 75 –
were,as of November 15 last,leased to Morrison
Knudsen for construction work on the extensior. of the British Colum
bia Railway in northern British Columbia. Elsewhere it is noted that
nine GP-7 s and one GP-9 are or. lease to CP RAIL. (Dwigbt Smith)
CP RAIL must have the largest number of leased ur.its
ever -as of November 10,1971. A total of 62 units –
increased to 64 (see below) -have been borrowed from
Car.adian ar.d Ur.ited States lir.es,scattered half -way
across the continent. Assigned to St-Luc,Montreal are
24 GP-7s and GP-9s from Canadian Bellequip,Limited
the leasing organizatior. of the Quebec,North Shore &
Labrador Railway; 10 Boston & Maine Railroad units ( 8
RS-3s, 1 F7-A & 1 F7-B) and 2 PECO (the Company just
changed it s name to Precisior. National Corporation)
RS-27s. Assigned to Winnipeg are four F7-As and four
F7-BS from the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad, 6 SD-7s
and 9s from the Duluth,Messabi & Iron Range and ter.
assorted GPs ( 9 X 7s and 1 x 9) from the Bangor and
Aroostook. Last but r.ot least,two U-23-Cs,NOs. 2302
2303 returned from the British Columbia Railway on
November 10,these being the property of the Lake Super
ior and Ishpemir.g Railroad of northern 1:lisconsip.. The.se
latter units will be assigned to service bet.Teep. Montr
eal and Toronto/Iiip.dsor and Calgary, but will be main
tained at Wip.nipeg. (Roger Boisvert)
Late last September,M. Gerard Gascor.,Director of the Montreal Urbar.
Transportatior. CommiSSion annour.ced that tenders would be
called in January,1972,for extensions to Montreals METRO.Montrealers
had already anticipated such an anr.ouncement,ir. view of tile mour.ting
CANADIAN 368 R A I L
enthusiasm of Mayor Jean Drapeau for the Surmner Olympic Games plan
ned for 1976. Official sod-turning ceremonies -with a concurrent
mildly successful publicity blast – took place in October, on the
fifth anniversary of the opening of the pneu system.
project ONE -first on the list -is the extension of Line 1 south
west from its present terminus at Atwater and Ste-Catherine Streets
to Verdun,C6te St-Paul and Cite La Salle. However,the Line 1 ex
tension east and north from the present Frontenac Terminus to Mon
tee St-Leonard and Beaugrand -site of the 1972 Olympics -will na
turally get done first. Construction of these extensions is planned
for completion in 1974. Eventually,Line 1 will turn north through
St-Leonard to Riviere des Prairies -but this extension is quite a
PROJECT THO involves Line 2,whicb presently terminates on the south
somewhere under Mountain street near CP RAlLIs historic Hindsor Sta
tion. It dill be extended west to a crossing and interchange wi th
Line 1 near At~ater And St-Jacques Streets in the St-Henri district
and thereafter will turn north under Northcliffe Avenue, rougrlly
parallelling the Decaire Expressway to stations at Victoria Avenue
and Queen Mary
Road,C6te Ste-Catherine Road and Van Horne Avenue ,
terminating at Pare street. In a much later phase, this line will
continue northward through the City of St-Laurent to Cartierville •
Details were announced recently on delivery dates and
road numbers for CP RAIL units ordered from General Mo-
(with HIAD trucks) for coal unit-train use:
January, 1972 6 units Nos. 5565 to 5570,inclusive;
February 10 Nos. 5571 to 5580,inclusive;
March 8 Nos. 5581 to 5588,inclusive.
for service between Montreal,Toronto & Calgary:
May 10 Nos. 5589 to 5598,inclusive;
June 14 Nos. 5599 to 56l2,inclusive;
July 10 NoS. 5613 to 5622,inclusive;
August 6 Nos. 5623 to 5628,inclusive,
Meanwhile,CP RAIL completed an extensive renumbering of its 1900-
series diesel-electric units:
Old Old New New
number class number class
1900 DPB-17a 4473 DFB-17a 1901
1908 DPB-15a 4434 DFB-15c
Later in the year,a further 12 units were renumbered, these being the
4500-series for coal unit-train service. Units 4513-4516 will be re
numbered 4558-456l,while 4574-4581 are being renumbered 4562-45691
The shop painters and the statisticians will never keep up!
CANADIAN R A I L
Mr. Samuel Pinsleys famous Hoosac Tunnel and Wilmington
Railroad -more popularly known as the Hoot, Toot and Wh
istle -embargoed all freight shipments on August 24,
1971 and a few days later, quietly abandoned its ll-~ile
operation between Hoosac Tunnel (Zoar),Mass. (connection
wi th the Bos ton & t-Iaine) and Read sboro, Vermont. For most
railroad enthusiasts, this was a very special railroad ,
their world is thus a great deal the less.
For some reason, not readily apparent to the railway enthusiast, CP
RAIL last autumn assigned four CP AIR trained hostesses to the DAY
LINER trains between Calgary and Edmonton,Alta. At the same time,
DAY LINER service was doubled Monday through Friday. CP AIRAIL hos
tesses assist passengers en route and serve meals and snacks on
airline-type trays at passengers seats. DAYLINERs were extensively
refurbished prior to introduction in service and were repainted and
refitted with reclining seats and adjustable footrests. But to the
uninformed observer, this upgraded service would preferably have been
introduced between Toronto & Windsor or Montreal & Quebec. (Staff)
On September 8,1971,CP RAIL unit No. 1417 had the mis
fortune to fall (glide, travel, run) into the turntable pit
at Vancouvers Drake Street Roundhouse and caught fire.lt
was very heavily damaged. Switcher No. 7075 suffered dam
age to its cab and is reported as being repaired by Pa
cific Region. (Roger Boisvert)
For trle first time in 14 years, the Central Vermont Railway showed a
net railway operating profit. In add1tion,the railway has reduced
its deficit almost by half during the year 1970 and has recorded its
lowest overall deficit since 1953. (A. Spaulding)
4400-series Grand Trunk Western Railroad units have been
moved east to power Trains 393 and 394 -Montreal to port
land,Maine through freights. In October, 1971, Units 4427,
4429,4431,44)7 and 4440 were seen in Portland. (470 NEWS)
Working flat out,Canadian National Railways ferry service person
nel on the Cape Tormentine,N.B. -Borden,P.E.I. runs had hauled
190,987 vehicles and 537,706 passengers across the 9-mile Northum
berland Straits between June 25 and August 15,197l.
This ~TaS a 12.5% increase in vehicles and a 14.4% increase in pas
sengers over 1970. By years end,CN expects to top the ONE MILLION
record, established a year ago. Helping in the rush were CNs new
M.V.HOLIDAY ISLAND and 101.V. VACATIONLAND,double-decked,double-ended
vessels,built especially for this service. At peak periods,CN ferry
crews were able to maintain a 2-hour,round-trip schedule,~/hich was
in force during the summer. C.J.Farrell,CNs Manager of Ferry Ser
vices,says that the best measure of efficiency of the service was
that very few complaints were received during the period.
(CN KEEPING TRACK)
R A I L
In midsummer 71,Mr. S.E.Spencer,Manager,Toronto Area,
Canadian National Railways,joined Mr. W.D.Piggott,Assis
tant Vice-president,Great Lakes Region,CN, and Mr. R. A.
Illing~orth,Mayor of Aurora,Ontario,at a ceremony at the
said city to commemorate the operation of the first steam
train in Canada West -today the province of Ontario. On
May 16,1853,the Ontario,Simcoe and Huron Union Railroad
Company operated its first steam train from Toronto, Can
ada West, to Machells Corners -today the City of Aurora.
After thirty-seven years of publication,CP RAILS SPANNER is -alas
-no more. The last issue of this excellent house-organ was that of
April-May-June-JulY,1971 -Volume 1l,Number 2. The first issue of
CP RAIL NEWS -September 8,1971, Volume 1,Number 1, which is de
signed as a conwunications replacement, appeared last September.
Mr. O.S.A.Lavallee,author and writer, Special projects Section, Can
adian Pacific, composed a suitable valedictory for SPANNERs last
issue. SPANNERjS ancestor ~;as a information bulletin published by
the passenger traffic department in 1909. By 1934,this bulletin was
expanded and became the CANADIAN PACIFIC STAFF BULLETIN, introduced
by the-then Chairman and president, Sir Edward Beatty.Begun as a quar
terly,the STAFF BULLETIN became bi-monthly in the same year. By 1937
it popularity was such as to warrant monthly publication. It assumed
magazine format with issue No. 97 in January,1944, and a section
franCfaise was added. In October, 1947, the new title SPANNER was
adopted.A coloured cover was first featured in February, 1951. Con
secutive numbering of issues ceased in 1963 and numbering by volume
The last issue,14/sPANNER,is the 340th. consecutive edition since
CANADIAN PACIFIC STAFF BULLETIN NO.1 appeared in June, 1934.
First issue of CP RAIL NEWS featured stories on CP RAILAIR hostesses
on the Calgary-Edmonton DAYLINER service,CSC(CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRE)
program and 1971 Record Grain Shipments. James Chouinard will assist
Supervising Editor Ronald Grant with the new publication.
ONE ASPECT OF ANCIENT AND MODERN RAILl-lAYS,
too long neglected by enthusiasts, is the
recording by sketch and photograph of the
many and varied architectural styles of
railway stations across Canada. In a quiet
and unassuming way,Miss Elizabeth Willmot
of Toronto,OntariO has for some several
years been making pilgrimages here and
there, according to fancy, across Canada,
photographing stations along both main
branch lines. Since July,1970, Miss
Willmot has covered over 7,000 miles and
taken almost as many pictures -mostly in
Ontario. MiSS Willmot feels that, with the
R A I L
abandonment of rural railway stations the
length and breadth of the country,a facet
of Canadian life is ~iowii di~a~pearing.
The stations were contact pOints with
the world outside the community~ asserts
Niss Willmot,and with their disappearan
ce,this important communication interface
has been lost.
Some private individuals and groups have
shown foresight,Miss Willmot feels. The
old T.H.& B. station at Brantford,Ontario
has been converted to a steak house,while
the Meaford station is a museum. The one
at IVllitby has been proposed for an art
centre, to open in the summer of 1971. Pe
tersburg station has been moved to Doon
Village near Kitchener,where it has been
restored. Miss Willmot hopes this trend
may be continued.
i ESQUH1AULT &. NANAIMO (CP RAIL) RDC-2,NO. 9102 -TRAIN ~JUMBER 1 -IH,RIVES
1r at Courtenay,B.C.,January 9,1971. These trains,nos. 1 & 2,constitute the
only CP RAIL local service in British CoDumbia,daily except Sunday. This
139.7-mile Victoria Sub run is now made by No •. 9199.Photo John Hoffmeistflr.
Private car MADAIIJASKA of the Terniscouata Railway at Rivi~re du Loup,r]1J8.
January 15,1950. Photo courtesy C.R.H.A.,E.A.Toohey Coll.
ASSOCIATION G ARCHIVES
published by t.he
CANADIAN RAILROAD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION ~~~~:, ~2 Qu~~0n 8
Associat.e Membership including 11 issues of
Canadia.n Rail 8.00 annually.
EDITOR S.S. /Vort.hen PRODUCTION P.Murphy
EDITORIAL ASSOCIATE F.A Kemp
DISTRIBUTION J.A.Beat.t.y & F.F.Angus
Canadian Railway Musculll
VISITEZ L E
lIusec FClToyiairc Canadicn
OPEN MAY SEPT. OUVERT MAl -SEPT.
Our 10th. Ann1 versary Notre lOem. Annlversa1re.
DIRECTOR OF BRANCHES
C.~-l.K.Hesrd. 74 Southern Drive, Ottawa 1, CanAda
DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP SERVICES J.A.BEATTY
ASSOC IA TION BRANCHES
OTTAWA rJ.R.Llnley. Secty •• P.O.Sox 141. TerminAl A, Ottawa.
ROCKY KOUNTAIN Mr.Donald W.Scare 12407 Lansdowne Drive, Apt. 101 Edmonton.
PACIfIC COAST Mr.Barrle Sanford,Secty .• P.O.Box 1006 Stn. A. Vancouver.
K,f.Chlvers, Apt. J~67 Somerset St. -: Otta~a. Ontario.
J.S.N1choloson. 2)06 Arnold St .. Saskatoon, Saskatche~·len.
Peter Cox, 609 Cottonwood Ave., Coqultl8.m. Brit1sh C01ur.:u1a.
!.D.I~cKeown. 6-7. 4-chome, Ye.lfiate-cho,Suita Clty, Osaka, Japan.
J.H.Sanders, 67 W11low Way, Ampth111. Beds .. 2ngland.
K. G. Younger, 267 Vernon Rood. Wi nn i peg, ~:an 1 [;0 ba.
Hr. Donold W.Scofe.12407 l.£l.nsdolo:ne Drive, Apt. lOl,Edmonton Alta.
Copyright 1971 Printed 1n Canada on Canad1an Paper