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Canadian Rail 286 1975

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Canadian Rail 286 1975

Canadian Rail S
No. 286
ovember 1975


. .

. —

One Hundred Years
of Service
Albany , NY to
Mon treal ,

uring the afternoon af 17 November 1875, a very long and
very impressiv.e train of shiny new passenger cars and
palace coaches rolled majestically into the train shed
of the Grand Trunk Railways Bonaventure Station on Ch­
aboillez Square in Montreal. It was the first through tr-
ain over the Delaware & Hudson Canal Companys railroad , from
Albany, capital of the state of New York to Rouses
Paint, on the International Boundary, some 22 miles south
of the historic city of St. Johns, Quebec. It was at Rou­
ses Point that a connection with the Grand Trunk, the Ver­
mont Central and the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railways
was made, enabling the onward journey to Montreal, Boston
or Ogdensburg.
Bridge with the Montreal & Southern Counties Railways electric cars
and the St. Lawrence Seaway had not been invented, and there was no
shoo-fly on the east end. On 24 February 1951, Mr. A.W.Leggett was
standing on the north end of the station platform at St. Lambert and
took this picture of Extra 3429 East clanking off the bridge, through
the statiori at St. Lambert.
on their toes, especially when the decor was as pleasing as
the stretch of the line along the Red Rocks above Willsboro Bay on
Lake Champlain. 4-4-0 Number 130 and 0 combination car, probably fit­
ted up as a photographic dark-room, were on essential part of the
scene. The photograph is from Jim Shaughnessys collection.
Text by Harvey Elson
Pictures by Jim Shaughnessy
The completion of the portion of the D&H between Whitehall and
Plattsburgh was the realization of the vision entertained as early
as April 1832, then the Saratoga and Fort Edward Railroad Company was
incorporated. It is true that nothing was done tangibly there­
after, but another company was organized in 1869 to build the link
between Whitehall and the Au Sable River, south of Plattsburgh, with
Isaac V. Baker as one of its directors and the Honorable Smith M.
Weed of Plattsburgh as its principle proponent. Alas~ The difficul­
ties were so great that the project was abandoned in June 1870.
A fresh attempt at the construction of this difficult line was
crowned with success when, on 30 November 1874, the 39.75-mile str­
etch from Whitehall to Port Henry was opened for business, the 24
miles from Whitehall to Fort Ticonderoga being entirely new con­
struction. From Ticonderoga, formerly Addison Junction ond the site
of the connection with the Rutland & Burlington Railroad, to Port
Henry, the rails of the Whitehall & Plattsburgh of 1869-70 were
used. North of Plattsburgh, the existing line of the Plattsburgh and
Montreal to Mooers was available. But since the continuation of this
line to Hemmingford, St-Isidore Junction and St. Lambert, Quebec had
been taken out of service in favour of the route via Rouses Point
NY and St. Johns, Quebec, traffic fram the D&H had to use the rails
of the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain for 12 miles to the east to
Rouses Point and the connection with the Grand Trunk Railway for
St. Johns, Brosseau, St. Lambert and Montreal, referred to above.
The new railroad between Whitehall and Plattsburgh would probab­
ly have been opened in the spring of 1874 if the ice in Lake Cham-
plain had not destroyed the trestle carrying the line across Bul-
wagga Bay on April 18. This led inevitably to the decision to re-
locate and reconstruct five miles of main line.
Much of the new construction between Port Henry and Plattsburgh
necessitated the overcoming of insuperable difficulties. North of
Whitehall, the railway was carried across South Bay on a lang wood­en
trestle, which was afterwards filled in with earth and rocks, as
previously described. The marsh on the north side of the bay seemed
to be bottomless in many places. Old canal boats, miscellaneous tim-
bers, trees and great quantities of rock and earth were dumped in
the shallow, muddy water to form a solid causeway on which a road-
bed could be placed.
North of Whitehall and Port Henry, five ranges of the
Adirondack Mountains were encountered. These ranges terminated abrupt-
ly at the west shore of Lake Champlain in rocky headlands or in
mountoins falling steeply to the lake, thus presenting serious ob-
stocles. Skirting the almost perpendicular face of Mount Defiance at
the end of the first of these ranges, the Black Mountain, the rail­
way crossed the river flowing out of Lake George and immediately pl­
unged into the tunnel which pierced the headland upon which Fort
Ticonderoga is lacated.
The second range, the Kaderosseras, terminated in Bulwagga Moun­
tain, which overlooked the bay of the same name north of Crown Point.
The railway was carried through a deep rock cutting and along a ledge
of the continuous rocky bluff above the lake. The irregularities of
the bluff face required the construction of a tunnel and a series of
curves, following the general contour of the shore below.
The third mountain range, a continuation of the Schroon Range,
ended in Split Rock Mountain, north of Westport. By locating the
railway back from the lake, a route was found which avoided heavy
rock work until the shore of Willsboro Bay was reached. At this
point, the fourth range, the Boquet, ended in high bluffs extending
along the shore of Lake Champlain for seven miles. It was here that
the most difficult construction was encountered. The railway was
located high up on the face of the bluffs and the work involved the
construction of one tunnel and many rock cuts.
Just south of Port Kent, the fifth range, the Clinton, formed
a natural barrier ending in the high promontory of Trembleau Point,
around which the railway hod to be located.
For a considerable portion of the construction between Port
Henry and Port Kent, ties, rails and other construction materials
were transported down the lake by boat and barge and unloaded at
locations convenient to the railway being built.
On November 8, 1875, President Dickson of the Delaware and Hud­
son Canal Company-sent cards of invi tation tomost of,the most prom­
inent individuals in the northeostern United States, requesting them
to join the Company Managers in a commemorative excursion to precede
the opening of the new railway for public use. Arrangements were made
to go from Albany to Plattsburgh on 16 November ond onward to Mon­
treal on 17 November, returning to Albany on the 18th.
You might wonder why the special train should stop at Plattsburgh,
in particular. It stopped here because this city was the home of the
Honorable Smith M. Weed, a prominent business man who had worked very
hard to maintain local enthusiasm for the connection between Whitehall
and Plattsburgh.
The special train left Albany at nine 0 clock in the morning,
and consisted of a baggage car, a hotel car, seven Wagner palace
coaches, a Directors coach and, at the rear, an open-platformed Bald-
win coach. The locomotive used was 4-4-0 Number 213 Saratoga, a
first-class coal-burning engine. On its northward journey, the
special stopped at points along the line to pick up some guests who
ha~ not been able to join the train at Albany.
The guests on the special train could not have failed to be im­
pressed by the scenery between Westport and Plattsburgh. The train
rumbled into the latter town at half past four on Tuesday afternoon,
16 November, having made the run from Albany in 7t hours, the short­
est trip on record to that date. It is interesting to note that the
1975 schedule of the AMTRAK/NYDOT/D&H Adirondack allows 4t hours
for the 175 miles from Albany-Renssaler to Plattsburgh.
The passengers on the special train were greeted by the Platts­
burgh Cornet Band, which was already playing at the Foquet House, just
across the street from the D&H station. That evening, a gala banquet
was held in the hotel, with speeches by many dignitaries, not the
least of whom were the Honorable Smith M. Weed of Plattsburgh, one
of the most active proponents of the new railway. President Dickson
of the D&H Canal Company also addressed the guests.
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At half past eight the following morning, the guests were aboard
the special train, which left shortly thereafter for Mooer s (Junction)
on the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad, on the line through
Hemmingford to Montreal. But because service over this line beyond
Mooers had been suspended, the D&H special turned east for 12 miles
to Rouses Point, NY, and a connection with the Grand Trunk Railway
for St. Johns and Montreal.
From Plattsburgh to Rouses Point, the special was drawn by the
4-4-0 locomotive Number 126, I. V. Baker. The Grand Trunk locomotive
which replaced the I.V.Baker for the onward journey was decorated
with the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack.
At St. Johns, Quebec, a brief halt was made, during which a
short address of welcome was read by the Mayor and the President of
the Board of Trade. After this preface to the days celebrations,the
special train ran onward to Montreal, crossing the St. Lawrence
River via the Grand Trunks Victoria Tubular Bridge to Bonaventure
Station on Chaboillez Square, arriving at one 0 clock in the after­
At three 0 clock, the United States visitors were tendered a
dejeuner reception at the Corn Exchange, where covers were laid for
three hundred guests. Dr. Hingston, the Mayor of Montreal, presided
and toasts were drunk to Her Majesty Queen Victoria and the President
of the United S tates, the Honorable Ulysses S. Grant.
On the following day, the guests of the D&H left Montreal in the
morning, to arrive at Albany at twenty minutes after five, that after­
noon. The Pennsylvania delegation rested at the Delevan House over­
night before taking the train aver the Albany and Susquehanna Rail­
road for Oneonta and Binghamton, New York and Scranton and Wilkes­
Barre, Pennsylvania.
Shortly after this inaugural run, the D&H completed the con-
struction of a short cut from Canada Junction, narth of Platts-
burgh, to Rouses Point. The old line, via the Ogdensburgh and Lake
Champlain, was used only for a year after the opening of the line
along the west shore of Lake Champlain. The new line was opened for
use on November 27, 1876.
From 1875 to 1907, the D&H connection to Montreal was assured by
the Grand Trunk Railway. In April of that latter year, the D&H bought
the Napierville Junction Railway, which provided a connection between
their main line at Rouses Point and the Grand Trunk/Canadian Pacific
at Delson, Quebec.
Delaware & Hudson passenger trains continued to appear in Bona­
venture Station and freights ran to Turcot Yard until late in 1917,
when, for reasons which are not clear, the D&H switched termini in
Montreal and from then on used Windsor Station and Outremont/Hochel-
aga freight yards of the Canadian Pacific. Today, the Adirondack
terminates at Windsor Station of CP RAIL and Napierville Junction
Railway freight trains run to CP RAILs St-Luc Yard.
To commemorate the advent of the first through D&H train one
hundred years ago, when service was inaugurated on 29 November 1875,
we are proud to present a photographic cross-section, illustrating
the extraordinary engineering features of this portion of the line
and the various types of equipment which have graced these locations.
Details respecting the picture on the inside front cover have
been given. Looking south from the position from which this photo
was taken, the late Mr. S.R;Stoddard positioned Number 130 and com­
bination car just north of the northern entrance to the 606-foot cur­
ving Red Rocks Tunnel, through a shoulder of the Boquet Range.
In the next picture, Mr. Stoddards photographic special, head­
ed by 4-4-0 Number 130, posed on the trestle over Higby Gulf, above
Willsboro Bay, Lake Champlain, in 1885.
Moving forward in time to the Roaring Twenties, about 1925, in
fact, a northbound local, probably Train 3, rattl~d along high above
Willsboro Bay, with a 500-class 4-6-0 camelback for power, just north
of Willsboro station.
The picture of D&H 4-8-4 Number 305, hauling the southbound
Laurentian above willsboro Bay, was taken on 13 August 1947, while
the same train, hauled by PA 1 Number 16, was photographed a
miles further north on 10 June 1969. This photo is followed by
picture of Train 34 southbound at Shermans, one mile south of
Henry, NY, in May 1968, with PA 1 Number 19 on the point.
The final picture of passenger equipment is another shot of the
Laurentian, running on the rock shel f high above Willsboro Bay,
approaching the north portal of Red Rocks Tunnel, with an unidentifi­
ed PA 1 on the head-end.
But by far the most important part of the D&Hs business is
freight and in the succeeding pictures are shown a southbound mer­
chandiser, powered by four RS 3s, making its way along Willsboro Bay
south of Red Rocks Tunnel on 10 June 1969, and freight Train WP-1 ,
with the D&Hs remarkable Baldwin Sharknoses Numbers 1205 and 1216
going north at Dresden station in June 1975.
Theres no doubt that the D&H has had its share of hard knocks
since the Depression Years and World War II, not the least of which
was the collapse of the coal market. But in the last half of the
Twentieth Century, under the able direction of President Bruce Ster­
zing, the D&H has retained the good-will of its customers and, in­
deed, the public in general, wherever its dove-grey, sunshine yellow
and birds-egg blue colours appear. May the D&H continue to prosper.


Allan Bernfeld
s all the world and Pierre Berton fans
are well aware, November 1885 was tr­
, anscendental in Canadian railroading
history because it was in that month
that the Canadian Pacific Railway span-
ned the country (well, anyway, the most
important parts) and the dignitaries who
could afford the train fare pounded down a
spike made out of a metal that cost
considerably less than it does now.
But there were millions of people in the world, especially in
the United Kingdom and in North America, who had little love at that
moment for the top-hatted or cloth-capped colossi of capital who
built and operated railways. The colossi were, after all, constantly
being portrayed as sinister plotters in corporate board-rooms, who
cared precious little for the common folk. It was an era of plain
choices, when people believed in simple virtues.
Two months before the epoch-making event in the wild interior
of British Columbia, at St. Thomas, Ontario on the evening of Sep­
tember 15, one of the biggest symbols of simple virtue that ever
walked the earth was killed by the engine of a Grand Trunk Railway
freight train.
His name was co-opted into the English language forever: JUMBO,
n. Big, clumsy person, animal or thing, esp. (Jumbo) famous elephant
in London Zool. Gardens; notably successful person (?). But in 1975
we have great difficulty in trying to understand Jumbos fame and
the affectiun which millions of people felt for him, and therefore
why his death became the most widely publicized and best remembered
accident in Canadian railway history.
Jumbos exact age was never determined. When captured in Africa
around 1861, he was a baby pachyderm, standing about four feet high.
He was first exhibited at the Jardin des Plantes zoo in Paris. In
1865 when he was still under six feet in height, he was traded to
the Royal Zoological Society in London for a rhinoceros~
Harvey A. Ardman gave an excellent account of Jumbos life in
London in an article in NATURAL HISTORY magazine of February 1973,
and we now borrow freely from that source.
Jumbo arrived in London in June 1865, the first African ele-
phant to reach England alive. His advent created tremendous excite­
ment in the mid-Victorian population. The earliest photographs show a
gangling, almost misshapen animal, with tremendous length of leg
even as a youngster. The most recent photographs which accompany this
article confirm that, in body proportions, Jumbo was definitely not
your average African elephant. When he reached full growth, while in
London, children who rode on his back were more than 12 feet off the
ground in the swaying howdah.
He was not the biggest African elephant ever known. The Smith­
sonian Institution in Washington, DC, has a stuffed specimen that
was shot in Africa in 1955 and measured thirteen feet two inches at
the shoulder and weighed 12 tons. Mr. Ardman says that it is very,
very difficult to measure a living elephants height, not to mention
his weight, particularly, one supposes, if the elephant is somewhat
uncooperative and does not want to be measured or weighed. The London
Zaa did not really care that much and later, P.T.Barnum preferred
his own statistics to the correct ones. But estimates made after his
death placed Jumbos height at 11 feet and his weight at 6t tons.
Barnum claimed that, with trunk outstretched, Jumbo was more
than 26 feet long -over couplers, as it were. Even today, Jumbo is
generally considered to have been the biggest animal that ever
lived in captivity.
More important than his size were his simple virtues:gentleness
and loyalty. When Jumbo reached London in 1865, he met on animal
handler named Matthew Scott and a friendship was formed which lasted
for 20 years until the untimely death of the great beast in Canada.
With Scotty tucked comfortably behind his huge ears and eight
or ten shrieking children in the box on his back, Jumbo ambled con­
tentedly around a circular track at the London Zoo, day after day.
It is estimated that about a million and a quarter children took
this thrilling ride, including the offspring of most of the crowned
heads of Europe and including the young Winston Churchill. The
reigning monarch of the British Empire and the Victorian population
of Great Britain were very definitely amused~
As it must to all male elephants, the season of musth came to
Jumbo in his maturity and the Royal Zoological Society,contemplating
a new and different situation, began to be worried. Mr. Ardman says
that the musth still is not fully understood by naturalists, but it
is apparently related to sexual development and lasts from one to
five months. A gland between the eyes of the animal exudes a bitter,
tar-like substance, said to be a mating signal as well as a medium
for delineating the male elephants territory. In any event, the
male becomes aggressive and, if in captivity, can start tearing the
house down. Obviously, the Zoo did not want this to happen when there
were children involved and, at that most opportune psychological mo­
ment, the London agent of world-famous showman P.T.Barnum came for­
ward with an offer of £ 2,000 -then $ 10,000 -for Jumbo.
The Royal Zoological Society accepted the offeri Barnum sent
his cheque and all hell broke loose~ Letters from heartbroken Vic­
torians, young and old, poured into newspaper offices. Editorialists
thundered. Children allover England sent their pennies to a fund
which had been established to buy Jumbo back. Meanwhile, Jumbo made
it very clear to Scotty that he had no intention of walking through
London to dockside and the ship, and the agents had to use great
six feet tall. Here is a picture of Baby Jumbo and his keeper,
Matthew Scott, about 1865.
Photo courtesy American Museum of Natural History Archives.

ingenuity to persuade him to enter a cage. The Zoo belatedly and
unsuccessfully tried to implement legal action.
Then, there came the sad day on which 40 horses drew Jumbo in
his cage – a combined weight of 12 tons -through the crowd-lined
streets of the metropolis and a crane swung the cargo aboard the
steamship ASSYRIAN MONARCH, which was also carrying some 400 human
immigrants to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
On Easter Sunday, April 9, 1882, awestruck New Yorkers lined
Broadway as Jumbo came ashore and was hauled to Madison Square Gar­
den. The extra business done by the circus in the ensuing two weeks,
Barnum later wrote, more than covered the $ 30,000 which the pur­
chase and movement of the animal had cost. In Jumbos first 31-week
season, Americans paid more than $ 1,750,000 to see him -along with
such other attractions as Tom Thumb, the miniature clown elephant,
an eight-foot Chinese giant, the Wild Men of Borneo (who were re-
ally Hiram and Barney Davis of Long Island) and Chang and Eng, the
original Siamese twins, who between them fathered 21 children.
And so it went for the next three years, with Barnums talented
artists designing ever more and gaudier posters and his press agents
spreading incredible stories of the great beast throughout the land.
Nobody in that era doubted that the-then Barnum and London Shows was
indeed The Greatest Show on Earth.
In the Elegant Eighties, of course circuses trd~elled by train;
in fact, an article in WEEKEND Magazine this past summer said that
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey is the last circus in North
America which is still doing so. Between 1882 and 1885, Jumbos Pa­
lace Car, portrayed on the circus posters as an ornate, high-roofed
boxcar with centre doors and a depressed floor, became a familiar
sight wherever the circus toured.
Halfway up one end-wall of the car was Scottys bunk and one
anecdote tells of the time when Scotty forgot to share his evening
pint with his large friend. Jumbo waited until Scotty was asleep and
then reached up with his trunk, gently removing his keeper from his
berth and depositing him on the floor of the car, where Scotty pre­
sumably passed an uncomfortable night. After that, Jumbo always got
his beer.
On the fateful autumn day in 1885, the circus train stood on a
passing track beside the Grand Trunk main line at St. Thomas. The
tents had been pitched in a field belonging to a farmer named Mann,
adjoining the tracks. The circus personnel, who were as superstitious
as they come, became very apprehensive when a bareback rider named
Nicolls slipped when his horse was jumping a hurdle during the after­
noon performance. The show went on, according to tradition, but Nic­
olls died of his injuries.
The grand finale of each performance was the elephants Mili­
tary Drill. As the evening performance continued, animals and per-
formers who had finished their turns, came back to the train on
the siding. When the elephants Military Drill was finished,
the elephants, 31 in all, were led back to the circus cars while the
paced the paths of the London Zoo for 16 years, with happy children­
and the occasional worried adult -riding high on his back.
Photo courtesy American Museum of Natural History Archives •
. -….

show continued. Jumbo came last with Tom Thumb because they finished
the elephants turn in the ring.
At this point, we must digress. There are a good many accounts
of the fatal accident, but they differ in some essential details of
the track layout at St. Thomas, the sequence of events and the areas
of responsibility. The author and the Editor of CANADIAN RAIL concur
in the opinion that what is hereafter described is an accurate re­
construction, but more detailed explanations af some of the events
would be welcome.
As mentioned, the circus train had been shunted onto the pass­
ing track, presumably at some distance from the station at St. Thom­
as, because at that point there was a fence on the other side of the
main line, opposite the cars of the circus train, with an embankment
below it. There is also evidence that the accident occurred because
of misunderstanding between the circus people and the Grand Trunks
night operator, suggesting that the circus train was some distance
from the station. Our reconstruction concludes that the GTR station
was on the south side of the main line -assuming that the tracks
ran east and west -with the passing track immediately on the north
side of the main line.
The elephants were being led back to their train from its rear,
walking along the main line with the fence and embankment to their
left and the train on their right. The Grand Trunk later claimed that
the circus people had been warned not to encumber the main line and
not to start loading before 9.55 p.m., and then only if a yard crew
was on hand. But, as mentioned, loading while the performance was
still in progress was standard procedure for the circus people and
there was no yard crew handy when the tradgedy occurred at about 8.15
in the evening.
Engineer William Burnip was at the throttle of Number 88, a dia-
mond-stacked locomotive an the head-end of Extra 151, a fast west­
bound freight. Clattering down the grade, Engineer Burnip was on the
alert, even though his orders specified no eastbound movements. But
as he approached the passing siding at St. Thomas, he saw some dim
shapes on the track ahead. His first action was to attempt to reduce
his trains speed with the engine brake; next, he blew three short
blasts on the whistle which ordered the front and rear-end brakemen
to start applying the hand-brakes, while he notched the Johnson re­
verse lever past centre to reverse the engines drivers; the West­
inghouse air-brake had not yet been applied to freight cars.
With 29 other elephants safe in their cars, Jumbo and Tom Thumb
trumpeted in terror at the approach of the noisy apparition. Quite
literally, they began to run for their lives along the main line.
Scotty tried to make them jump down the embankment to safety; some
accounts say he was looking for a hole in the fence. But darkness had
fallen and the elephants were panic-stricken, so Scotty decided that
their only chance was to beat the freight to the end of the circus
train, where they could get off the main line.
A story later assiduously spread by Barnum and which crops up
even today in anniversary press stories, alleges that Jumbo picked
ican Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Photo courtesy American Museum of Natural History Archives.

only a
up Tom Thumb ond pitched him over the embankment to safety. It
more likely that Jumbo simply outran the smaller elephant in his
ro. and that it was engine Number 88 s cowcatcher which threw
Thumb over the embankment. Tom Thumb, in any event, sustained
broken leg, was later sent to London for treatment and lived for
many more years.
We are also told that Jumbo met the freight locomotive head-on
in a mighty crash, but this account seems to be based on an evalua­
tion of the head injuries of Jumbo. In fact, Jumbo did not reach the
comparative safety of the end of the circus train. Engine Number 88
ran him down, inflicting terrible injuries to his back and flanks,
and was itself derailed, together with two freight cars.
The Montreal STAR of September 17 reported that the shock was
as if two trains had rammed together. The cowcatcher, headlight and
bell were ripped off the locomotive and its sides were damaged. It
was later shopped for repairs and for the rest of its days, carried
on its big box-headlight the sheet-metal silhouette of an elephant.
One account says that Engineer Burnip died in the collision, but
most reporters have said that he and the fireman just plain joined
the birds and saved themselves.
Following the collision, Jumbo lived for a few minutes, his head
jammed into a circus train car and his tusks impacted from the blow.
As he lay dying, he drew Scotty. to himwith h.i-s trunk .in a las-t em­
brace and the hard-boiled circus roustabouts wept unashamedly.
It took a hundred men, straining with ropes, to slide the huge
carcass down the embankment to clear the main line and, the following
day, the famous photograph was taken, later to be published in many
Barnum had the carcass transported to Rochester, NY, where two famous
taxidermists went to work on it. They mounted the skin on a hardwood
frame and it came back to Barnums circus. Meanwhile, Barnum had
purchased Alice, a female elephant which the London Zoo had tried
unsuccessfully to mate with Jumbo. Barnum exhibited Alice with the
skin of the late behemoth, billing her as Jumbos weeping widow, but
the erstwhile gullible public did not respond by ticket purchases and
Alice died in a fire in the circus winter quarters in 1887.
In due course, the various permanent portions of Jumbo reached
their final resting places. The mounted skeleton was donated to the
American Museum of Natural History in New York, where it is on dis­
play today. Barnum was a trustee of Tufts College in Medford, Massa­
chusetts, where he endowed the Barnum Museum of circus memorabilia
and placed the mounted skin and tusks of his monster. As late as
Christmas 1974, children in the United States continued to write to
the Museum for information about Jumbo. He was that well-remembered.
But tragedy pursued even the inanimate remnants of Jumbo. On
April 14, 1975, a three-alarm fire destroyed the four-storey Barnum
Hall, built in 1882, and almost everything in it, including the re­
mains of Jumbo. Professor Russell Carpenter, Curator of the Barnum
mists in Rochester, NY and P.T.Barnum later placed them in the Barnum Museum
at Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. This famous ex­
hibit stood for more than 85 years, until it was destroyed by fire
in April 1975.
Photo courtesy Barnum Museum Archives, Tufts University.

352 R A I L
Collection, advised the Editor of CANADIAN RAIL in a letter in June
that all that now remains of the immortal Jumbo is a charred tusk.
As usual, there were a few items of interest post-mortem. Bar­
num sued the Grand Trunk Railway for $ 100,000 for killing his huge
attraction. For an account of this litigation and its consequences,
reference is made to an article published in RAILROAD MAGAZINE in
1956, of which the authors name eludes me. In any event, the usual
charges and countercharges were exchanged. The Grand Trunks dir­
ectors were not to be cowed by a loudmouth like Barnum, after all.
However, Barnum had filed the suit for damages in the State of New
York, where the publicity value was great but the Grand Trunks as­
sets were conspicuously nonexistent. During the following winter,how­
ever, a party from Canada was indiscreet enough to travel to New York
City in a GTR private car, which Barnum promptly seized~
The Grand Trunk naturally wanted its private car back, but was
not about to fork over the $ 100,000 essential to its release. On
the other hand, Barnum would tour Canada again the following summer,
as he did every summer, and if he could not travel over the rails of
the Grand Trunk, he could never reach the most lucrative market area.
So, an agreement was reached. Barnum returned the private car; the
GTR waived its $ 4,400 fee for the 1886 tour. One account says that
the Grand Trunk did in fact pay Barnum his $ 100,000. On the face of
the evidence available, that is rather unlikely.
And so the situation remained until Barnums circus completed
its last performance at Guelph, Ontario. Then the great showman de­
cided to make an appearance at Brantford, which was not in the pre­
season contract and therefore not prepaid. For this deviation from
the schedule, the Grand Trunk Railway charged Mr. Barnum exactly
$ 4,400 for the approximately 30-mile run from Guelph to Brantford.
Mr. Barnum hollered pretty loud and got quite a lot of publicity in
the local papers, But he paid up.
The top-hats had won again~
Authors Epilogue.
Its a long time since lve been to the circus, so I
dont know whether things are as bad as theyve been
described. MAD Magazine says that in todays circuses
its considered an achievement if the elephants can
get into and out of the ring without killing them­
selves. Canadian Press reported from Ottawa in Aug-
ust 1975 that The ~reatest Show on Earth wouldnt
make it to Canada ~his summer because the federal
government wanted to levy a withholding tax on all
income earned in Canada by foreign performers who
stay briefly and then return whence they came.
The Shriners still bring a circus to the Mon­
treal Forum each year, but it travels via the rubber
tyre route.
The increasing scarcity of this once-popular
diversion suggests that those readers who have cir-
cus memorabilia, particularly photos, posters or
models of circus trains, should be careful not to
sell their material to the first bidder.

Biographical Postscript.
Allan Bernfeld is a Montreal technical writer and editor. He
did a hitch with Canadian National Railways Public Relations in the
mid-1950s, during which he became a railway enthusiast, researched
the death of Jumbo and was responsible for translating and publish­
ing an authentic Canadian railway folk-song: Chauffe Fort, anglice
Shovel Hard, with the assistance of the late Dr. Marius Barbeau of
Allan says that his remuneration for writing and contributing
this story of Jumbo will be one minute at the throttle of a working
locomotive at Delson, where he promises not to break anything.
to fit in the Montreal Forum. It used to pitch its big-top on vacant
fields in the Citys east end. Above: Circus roustabouts pull on a
youngsters trunk and push on the other end to help him down the
ramp. Below: Ma, Pa and the Kids pose for a family photo. The car
markings indicate that the overall length is either 70 or 73 feet and
that the journals were last inspected and packed in Florida.
Photos courtesy Canadian National Railways.
November 1975
and the CNR on Vancouver Island. First, a resume of E&N
The 139.7 miles of the E&N, from Victoria to Courtenay, was com­
pleted just before the outbreak of World War I and the remaining 30
miles to Campbell River, the intended terminus, were never built by
the E&N. F.reight and passenger service were relatively profitable as
the years went by. Passenger service was reduced to,.Budd RDC Day­
liner equipment and in the spring of 75, the service was reversed:
that is, it originated at Courtenay each morning (except Sunday) and
returned from Victoria each evening. A Budd RDC 2 was used.
With the change of timetable in the spring of 1975, it was an­
nounced that the 44.5-mile segment between Parksville Junction and
Courtenay were to be closed, because the bridges at French Creek (mi­
le 98.6, 1,045 feet of structure) and Tsable Creek (mile 125.5, 589
feet of structure) are unsafe for further service, because the wood­
en approach spans have deteriorated.
On Monday, June 30 1975, the final clean-up train lifted all the
on-line cars from Courtenays small yard and thus terminated nearly
51 years of rail service into this important Island town.
As of 15 July 1975, passenger service operates from and to
Parksville (mile 95.2), with the Port Alberni freight switching Par­
ksville locally and spotting cars for highway transhipment.
Needless to say, much formal opposition to this closure has been
exerted and, while there are apparently no plans to remove the rails
this year, it is reasonably certain that the last train has departed
Courtenay, Vancouver Island.
On the CN, until 6 May 1975, the Cowichan Subdivision had dis­
patched trains between Deerholm andeYoubou only. There was also some
operation over the short Tidewater Suedivision: Deerholmeto Cowichan
Bay. The last through service between Victoria and Deerholme, mile
58.2, occurred 27 September 1965, when a trestle bridge at mile 2.4,
just outside Victoria, failed to meet safety standards.
Until 1973, trains ran sporadically between Colwood Siding,mile
8.2, from Deerholme, as business warranted. By this time, this seg-
ment, too, had also been declared unsafe, as other bridges showed
signs of deterioration. i
During early 1975, repairs to the Koksilah River bridge at mile .
51.1 premitted resumption of the service to Leechtown, mile 33.6,
where the R.C.Hughes Company had been stock-piling poles for rail
Presently, there are roughly two freights a week to Youbou and
one or more a week to Leechtown through the operating point of Deer­
CN maintains three locomotives on Vancouver Island, assigned as
Deerhol:ne: NUllber 991, c1. 0_12, for service to Youbou,
Leecntown & Cowichen BOYi
Victorio: Number 7210, d. SW_900, for service in lIill
(Point Ellice area cnd north to Lokenill on remainder
Yard) of Patricio Boy Sub. Vi
ctorio: NUliber 7154, c1. SW_8, (or service to Victorio
(Ogden Point) Groin Elevator and (I fish-packing plant.
John sends tho occo~ponyin9 picture of eN 0-12 Number 991 at
Deerholme, BC, in April 1975, with the tonk-cor of diesel fuel which
hos to accompany the unit at all tilles.
dome_cooch on the rear end, was
Ken Geslett. Two PA Is for four
captured on fil .. in January 1975 by
cooches~ SOllle power-ta_weight rotio.

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