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Canadian Rail 292 1976

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Canadian Rail 292 1976

Canadian Rail
No.292
May, 1976
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MIXED THOUGHTS
on a
MIXED TRAIN.
A
G. Wallis
Photographs by the Author.
Map by Philip Mason.
maritime mixed train and a centipede with
ninety-nine sprained ankles may be said
to have one thing in common: lack of vel­
ocity. With this intriguing statement in
mind ond, in fact, to test its validity,
on a Saturday in August 1974, the 24th.,
to be exact) I packed a lunch-and-a-h~lf
and hurried to the station at Windsor,
Nova Scotia, to purchase a ticket-and-a­
half to Truro, in the same Province. The
half, in both cases, was for my six-
year-old son, Andy, who was as curious
about the venture as I was, but for a dif­
ferent reason.
With the ticket-and-a-half and the lunch-and-a-half, we board­
ed Canadian Pacific Railways heavyweight coach Number 1303, which
was, after some manoeuvering, an integral part of Dominion Atlantic
Railways Train 21, at Windsor on the day mentioned. The weather was
reasonably fine; the time was about 1455 and our destination was
Truro.
The readers knowledge of turn-of-the-century railroading in
this part of Nova Scotia may permit him to recall that the railway
over which we were to travel was completed in 1905, being built by
the Midland Railway Company (Nova Scotia). Twenty years previously,
two other railway companies had amalgamated to form the Dominion
Atlantic Railway, about which much has been written. The Canadian
Pacific Railway Company leased the Dominion Atlantic Railway in 1912,
the latter having purchased the Midland Railway Company (Nova Scotia)
seven years earlier.
When the DAR was leased by the CPR, its corporate title was not
modified to reflect the identity of the new owner and that, ~n a
sense, explains why our journey would be made over the Truro Sub-
JUST IMAGI~E! IN JUNE, 1966, YOU COULD SPEND A HAPPY SUMMER DAY AT
Montreals suburban station of Dorval, ~atching such extraordinary
signts as Canadian National Railways CLC-FM C-Liner Number 6704,
on the head-end of Train 15, the International Limited from Mon­
treal to Toronto and Chicago. Philip Mason enjoyed the occasion.
-I

t
THE PRESENT-DAY STATION OF THE DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY AT WINDSOR,
Nova Scotia, is a bare and functional building. However, it provides
shelter for the operator, express shipments and any occasional pas­
sengers which may turn up to travel by rail to Halifax, Truro or
the Fundy Coast to Kentville, Digby and Yarmouth.
division of the Dominion Atlantic Railway in a coach belonging to
the Canadian Pacific Railway (so it said), with the motive power sup­
plied by CP RAIL~
Now, the reason for the lunch-and-a-half was that DAR Train 21
was due at Truro at 1730, or supper time. Normally, it arrives with
every bit of the punctuality of the monthly issue of CANADIAN RAIL:
that is to say, rather late and somewhat the worse for wear.
The real reason for riding Train 21 now escapes me, although it
was probably derivative from Andys periodic questions and requests.
At the tim~, my enthusiasm seemed to be linked to his queries and
the fact that he had never ridden a mixed train. Moreover, in the
1970s, the railway mixed train seems to be a rapidly disappearing
transportation mode. It may soon be an extinct type and, in my opin­
ion, this cannot happen fast enough. But one ought to experience such
things before they become extinct, following the iron horse into
oblivion.
CANADIAN 133 R A I L
Conductor B. Young was most hospitable and made us welcome in
the CPR passenger car. Our accommodation was very commodious – I do
not say luxurious -as we were the only passengers, revenue or other­
wise, on the train. When Mr. Young realized this, he retired into the
familiar surrounding of his caboose, the next vehicle behind the pas­
senger car, never more to be seen that day. His absence had the ef­
fect of making me the resource person who answered Andys questions
during the trip.
Train 21-in the employees timetable -or Train M21 in the
public folder, composed of a CP RAIL diesel, a CPR passenger coach,
plus a CP RAIL caboose, left the station at Windsor and proceeded
about a third of a mile to the yard, where the diesel cut off to
pick up about 20 freight cars of various shapes, sizes, uses and
ownerships, which had come from Kentville that same morning. Having
THE BUSINESS END OF DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY TRAIN 21 (M-21) WAS CP
RAIL class DRS 12b, Number,8133, while on the opposite end, next to
the passenger coach, was CP RAIL van Number 437223. August 24, 1974.

t
TRAIN 21 DID NOT MAKE A VERY IMPOSING SIGHT, AS IT LEFT THE STATION
at Windsor, Novo Scotia, on August 24, 1974. A few minutes later,
it hod grown remarkably to 22 cars.
coupled these cars into the train, and after pumping up the train
line, we clattered off across the Novo Scotian countryside, with the
passenger coach and caboose in tow. We rumbled and clanked our way,
uneventfully, towards Truro; this was the kind of relaxing railway
journey which sooths even a maritimer~
It might be remarked in parentheses that, if you are a devotee
of the nostalgia kick, just buy a ticket on DAR Train 21 and amble
on down the Truro SiD of the Dominion Atlantic Railway, that was
once famous as The Land of Evangelj,ne Route.
While the employees timetable said that Train 21 was Mixed,
Daily ex. Sun., the current DAR public equivalent described Trains
M-21 & M-22 as follows:
Mixed train service (carrying passengers).
Full particulars may be obtained from your
local DAR agent.
CANADIAN 135 R A I L
You might have concluded logically that no one in western Nova
Scotia was particularly interested and therefore had not inquired of
their local DAR agent. The number of passengers in our coach suppor­
ted this conclusion. Thus, it is also quite reasonable to conclude
that, when you make your pilgrimage, your only inonimate companions
in the classic CPR coach Number 1303 will be the lavatory-type blocks
of deodorant which are profusely distributed on the luggage racks
above the coach seats. The punctuality of Trains M-21 & M-22 may be
terrible, but it can never be said that the passenger accommodations
stink~
It is also correct ta say that the train crew expects that pas­
sengers will behave as they should and no hanky-panky, such as ri­
ding on platforms or in the caboose cupola, will occur. There are,
MR. ANDREW WALLIS OF HANTSPORT, NOVA SCOTIA, WAS ONE OF TWO COURAGE­
ous passengers who boarded Canadian Pacific Railway coach Number 1303
at Windsor, Nova Scot.ia, on August 24,1974, for the ride to Truro.
CANADIAN 1 36 R A I L
however, other compensations. Switching stops -when they occur -are
prolonged, although they are few in number. Some of the windows of
the CPR coach can be raised sufficiently to permit the passage of
the head and shoulders -and the camera -of an adult. Simultaneously
admitted to the coach are the odours of ~arnyards, tidal mud-flats
and diesel engine fumes.
For some railway enthusiasts, open windows in passenger cars are
a delight, but the objective observer must perforce agree that open
windows also invariably admit fine gravel dust from the right-of-way
in great quantities. More specifically, profuse amounts of iron-rich
red dust from the tidal flats on Chignecto Bay powder the interior of
the coach.
Since CPR Number 1303 is the only passenger coach used in this
service and, in view of the fact that neither Windsor or Truro boast
of passenger-car cleaning facilities, it must be assumed that, one
day, the interior of Number 1303 will be preserved to eternity, cov­
ered in a smooth, impervious coating of iron oxide. That is, unless
the car finds its way to Kentville, or the windows are kept closed~
It is also possible to sleep quite comfortably on this Water­
Level Route, but the passenger should be alert for the transit of
the Shubenacadie River estuary at Mile 41, near South Maitland, and
the splendid and odouriferous vistas over the tidal mud-flats near
:[l~i~l7jOld B~~n:~e particular occasion being considered, the motive power
-;J:t$~~for our train was CP RAIL DRS 12b, Number 8133, sporting the new CP
::{i:.·: .. ~:·RAIL multimark, with Engineman H. Pollock at the throttle. At the
other end of the 22-car consist was CP RAIL van Number 437223, also
in multimark. Passenger coach Number 1303 looked rather out of place
in the old tuscan red paint scheme that had been used for more than
half-a-century on Canadian Pacific Railways passenger rolling stock.
The DAR stations at Windsor and Truro, Nova Scotia are today
spartan and functional, in no way resembling the genteel Eduardo-
Georgian (V) structures that still stand at Kentville and Digby.
But Caveat emptor. -Let the buyer beware.. A sleepy 56-
mile Saturday afternoon ride on the DAR from Windsor to Truro is not
exactly what you would call inexpensive. The fare if $ 5.50 and the
half is $ 2.75 which, for the fare, works out to about 10¢ per
mile. Compared to prices in the good old days, this is expensive.
It can be argued that most things are, in 1974, compared to the good
old days, whenever they were. But the good old days are now gone
forever and, as with most other leisure-time activities, the cost of
riding even the humble mixed train has increased. And, after all, it
is not a very high price to pay for an ostensibly private car, all
the way from Windsor to Truro.
Suffice it to say concerning our leisurely trip to Truro, that
we did arrive about 1730. The lunch-and-a-half had been demolished en
route. And as for the return trip to Windsor on Train 22 (M-22), said
to depart Truro at 0530, daily except Sunday, well, that is something
else.
Every now and then, Andy makes veiled suggestions that we just
might make another afternoons sojourn aboard DARs Train 21. But
the still-cold weather and the uncertainties of Number 1303 s Baker
Heater, not to mention the dwindling supply of Maritime coal, have
thus far discouraged a return engagement. The proposal to take a
ride on Train 22 from Truro to Windsor has been temporarily postponed
due to the uncivilized hour of departure, noted above.
I
I
t
NORTHBOUND MIXED TRAIN 21 RUMBLED OVER THE BRIDGE ACROSS THE ESTUARY
of the Shubenacadie River at Mile 41, near South Maitland, Nova Sco­
tia, on the way to Truro.
, DOMINION ATLANTIC MIXED TRAIN M-21 WINDS ITS WAY ALONG THE MUD-FLATS
~ of an inlet of Chignecto Bay, Northbound for Truro on August 24,1974.
THE DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY STATION AT TRURO, NOVA SCOTIA, IS NOT
as grand as it once was. Mixed Train 21 arrived on time on August
24, 1974, at 1730, having made an average speed of 23 mph from
Windsor, Nova Scotia.
Without doubt, operating efficiency or progress or some such
nebulosity will deprive Andy of the pleasure of sharing this exper­
ience with his son, some time about 1995. It is entirely possible that
Trains M-21 & M-22 will suddenly disappear with a timetable change,
perhaps in 1976, unless there are agreements pertaining to operation
of which potential passengers are unaware.
If you plan to sample this Nova Scotian delicacy this summer, you
should not postpone the adventure too long. No one knows when
CP RAIL and the Canadian Transport Commission will agree that this
is not an essential passenger service. When the decision to ter­
minate the service is taken, Dominion Atlantic Railway mixed trains
Numbers M-21 & M-22 will join all those other irreplaceable mixed
trains, classic cars and steam locomotives in the Valhalla which
some imaginative souls say exists for such gallant mechanical con-
trivances, which once roamed the seacoasts, plains and mountains of
Canada. Their glory is not easily forgotten and their fascination and
charm can sometimes still be recaptured, daily except Sunday, on the
DAR mixed train from Windsor to Truro, Nova Scotia.
A Turntable
for
Wakefield

Duncan H. duFresne
C
itizens of the Nation s capital were very
happy to learn, early in 1974, that a
train powered by a real steam engine was
going to operate over CP RAIL trackage, up
the Gatineau River Valley during the summer.
The motive power, former Canadian Pacific
Railway D-10 Number 1057, and the rolling
stock, were supplied by Ontario Rail Asso­
ciaiion, I ncorporated of Brompton, Ontario.
In order to provide a method of turning Number 1057 at the nor­
thern terminal of Wakefield, Quebec, it was decided to locate, move
and install a turntable there. Two turntables were available from
CP RAIL and a seventy-footer at Kingston, Ontario, was selected.
The removal of the turntable from its foundotions in Kingston
and its loading in a gondola car, with leading and trailing idler
flats, was no small task. However, the turntable arrived at Ottawas
Walkley Yard at 2230, July 3, 1974 and, after remarshalling, was
shipped over CP RAIL lines to Wakefield early on the morning of July
4, 1974. Two large mobile cranes were assembled on July 10, 1974 and
the table was offloaded. After being positioned on its new founda­
tion, it was operationally tested (without its air-motor) by a CP
RAIL diesel-electric unit on Friday, July 12, 1974.
The turntable from Kingston was used by steam locomotive Number
1057 of the Credit Valley Railway (ex-CPR D-10 class, 4-6-0) for the
first time on July 14, 1974, when the train arrived at Wakefield at
1130 hours.
In charge of the installation of the turntable at Wakefield was Mr.
Alan Ede of the National Capital Commission, Ottawa; under the
guidance of Mr. Frank Zettler, a 70-year-old expert who had instal­
led other tables over the years, and Mr. John Corby of the National
Museum of Science and Technology, the installation was completed on
schedule.
The use of a turntable at Wakefield, rather than a wye, for tu­
rning Number 1057 was promoted by Mr. Corby and the Author, who, as
CA NAD IAN 141 R A I L
a special advisor, had been commissioned by the National Capital Com­
mission and the National Museum of Science and Technology to make a
detailed technical examination of the Kingston turntable and to draw
up recommendations regarding the acquisition of this last remaining
specimen at Kingston, where it had been installed in 1912.
Installation at Wakefield required the agreement of CP RAIL to
use a portion of the vacant land adjacent to the railways team tr­
ack at Wakefield. The team track was rebuilt, elevated and realigned
by the National Capital Commission, to serve its new purpose. A pas­
senger platform was built alongside. The turntable pit fitted neatly
between the new platform and Wakefields main street, which is part
of Quebecs Route 11. A newly installed switch Cit the south end of
the team track permits access to the table. A stub-end run-off
track lines up with the table on the north side of the pit.
Another innovation in this new facility at Wakefield was the
ringing of the pit with a specially constructed wooden sidewalk,per­
mitting spectators to enjoy a vantage-point from which they could
observe the operation of turning Number 1057. For the less inquisi­
tive, a grassed area has been fenced in, alongside the access track,
and provided with park benches. The comings and goings of the train
to Wakefield and the turning of Number 1057 can be observed from
this peaceful observation area.
CANADIAN 142 R A I L
In the photographs accompanying this article, the CP RAIL turn­
table at Kingston, Ontario, was photographed while still in operation
by Mr. John Corby. The picture was taken on April 9, 1974, just two
months prior to the relocation. Of interest is the wooden centre-bear­
ing base and the piling -supported cribbing around the pit.
Mr. Bruce duFresne welcomed the turntable body when it arrived
on the new platform track at Wakefield. It was reposing on its side
in a 65-foot gondola car -bottom side facing the camera -flanked
by two idler flat cars. On July 8, 1974, the area adjacent to the
main street was somewhat dislocated, with the construction of the
turntable foundation in full swing. The concrete support for the
centre-bearing is shown in Mr. Bruce duFresnes second picture.
July 14, 1974: the first turn at the new location. Number 1057
was turned for the first time on the armstrong-type turntable. The
pit cribbing and the observation sidewalk were yet to be installed.
Mr. Bruce duFresne took the picture.
I~
(}~MMitte ,
s.s.Worthen
By far the best way to avoid the implementation of
a sound proposal is to refer it to a committee for
further study.
Old political adage.
N
owadays, hardly anybody pays much attention
to the distance between the rails of any of
Canadas railways. Most people who are even
remotely interested in this characteristic
of the modern railway quit thinking about it
when the Newfoundland Railway became part and
parcel of the Canadian National Railway Com­
pany and, subsequently, lost its steam en­
gines. Granted, there is still the White Pass
and Yukon Route and other lines with slight
differences in track gauge, round about the
country, but they are often remote and very
hard to find.
There was a time, back in the early history of our country, when
the distance between the rails was very important. Gauge was quite a
reliable indicator of the future success or failure of the venture •
For nearly 15 years after 1853, the railways in the eastern United
States had to contend with the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada,
which was of a non-standard gauge, as far as they were concerned. In
southern Ontario, the Great Western Railway Company busily loaded and
unloaded freight cars at Niagara Falls, Windsor and sarnia, where it
connected with U.S. railroads -all because of the difference in
gauge~
In later years -and farther west -this gauge problem was
encountered, since by the time the western lines were built,
great contention about the guage of railways had been settled
a once-and-for-all decision rendered.
not
the
and
IN THE INTERVAL 1866-1873, THE STATION OF THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY
at Hamilton, Ontario, was a mass of complicated dual-gauge track­
work, the standard-gauge having been laid alongside the 5-foot,6-in­
ch Provincial Gauge in the former year. When the Provincial Gouge
law was repealed in 1870, the GWR began the conversion to the Ste­
phenson gauge, to permit easier interchange of traffic with its con­
nections to the United States at Niagara Falls and Windsor/Detroit.
Photograph courtesy Canadian National Railways.

CANADIAN 145 R A I L
True narrow-gauge railways ( 3 feet 6 inches, or less) could, of
course, be built for reasons of economy, but if they were built, it
was with the clear understanding that they were narrow-gauge and could
not expect their standard-gauge neighbours to make any special conces­
sions on account of the difference. The Stephenson gauge was firmly
established. If you wanted your company to participate in the ex­
change of interline traffic, that was the guage you adopted.
Curiously enough, Canadas first two public railways, the Cham­
plain and St. Lawrence and the Lanoraie and Village dIndustrie Rail
Roads were both built to the Stephenson gauge, the first in 1836 and
the second in 1850. Contrariwise, the St. Lawrence and Atlantic/ At-
lantic and St. Lawrence, Canadas first long-distance railway, was
planned ond constructed to a 5-foot 6-inch gauge. Indeed, when the
Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada obtained its charter in 1853 ,
it was obliged by law, if you please, to adopt this Provincial Gau­
ge. So was the Great Western Railway in southern Ontario. How did
this unwise legislation get on the statute books?
By 1867, Confederation had been accomplished, God was in Heaven
and Sir John A. Macdonald was ensconced in Ottawa as Canadas first
prime minister. The Grand Trunk -the MAIN LINE -boasted a magni­
ficent broad-gauge, trunk-line railway from Portland, Maine, U.S.A.,
to Sarnia, Ontario, on the St. Clair River near Lake Huron. This
impressiue 5-foot 6-inch gauge empire was not destined to endure un­
changed, for practical necessities led to the eventual decision to
narrow the gauge to the Stephenson width by 1875.
You could say that, prior to 1845, the gauge of a Canadian rail-
way was largely determined by the equipment that it purchased from
the United States or England. This apparently cart-before-horse si­
tuation becomes logical with the realization that English locomotive
builders generally chose the Stephenson gauge, while United States
builders tended to favour that gauge. There were other gauges, grant­
ed, but George Stephenson was after all the Father of the Railway
and Isambard Kingdon Brunel and his 7-foot 0 3/4-inch-gauged railway
could hardly be taken seriously.
On the Canadian scene, the British Government who were in fact
still responsible for the defense of the Canadian colonies had not
completely recovered emotionally from the War of 1812. They lived in
trembling, if not in fear, that there would be a. future invasion of
British North America, probably from the south. To frustrate the
possibility of Canadian railways being used to the advantage of the
enemy, they decided a gauge of 5 feet 6 inches would be advantageous.
There were other reasons for the adoption of this gauge. Mr.
Miles Pennington, the first Freight Traffic Manager of the Grand Tr­
unk Railway in 1853, made a visit to Portland, Maine in that year
and reported that the broad-gauge had been chosen in order that Port­
land should be the terminus of Canadian railroads and thus the trade
would be prevented from going past Portland to Boston. Mr. Penning­
tons conclusion apparently received wide acceptance and for many
years was considered as the real reason for the adoption of the
Broad-gauge in Canada.
Now let us turn to the real sequence of events. In 1846, before
construction began on the first portion of Canadas first main-line
railway, the Government of Canada appointed a committee to inquire
into the subject of the gauge of this, and succeeding, railways. By
1851, the Government got around to receiving the report of the com-

CANADIAN 147 R A I L
mittee, despite the fact that the St. Lawrence & Atlantic/ Atlantic
& St. Lawrence was well on its way to being completed.
To arrive at a recommendation, the Committee had consulted a
variety of authorities, as follows:
-John Young, Vice-President, St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad:
Mr. Young recommended the gauge of 5 feet 6 inch­
es. He had to. His railroad was practically com­
pleted, built to this gauge;
-Charles Seymour, Chief Engineer, State of New York, U.S.A.:
Mr. Seymour was influenced by the Erie Railrood
whose main line had been built to a gauge of six
feet even. Mr. Seymour was able to rationalize a
narrowing of this gauge to 5 feet 6 inches, and
he thereafter recommended that this gauge be se­
lected;
-Thomas C. Keefer, Civil Engineer, Provin·ce of Canada:
Mr. Keefer favoured the Stephenson gauge of 4 feet
8t inches. He was a practical man.

James G. Ferrier, President, Montreal & Lachine Railroad:
Mr. Ferriers preference was the gauge of his own
line, which had been in operation for about four
years. It was 4 feet 8t inches between the rails.
-R.W.Harris, President, Great Western Railway, London, Ontario:
Mr. Harris favoured the Stephenson gauge for fo­
ture railways in Canada, recognizing that a part
of their role in continental transportation would
be as bridge lines for existing standard-gauge
lines in the United States;
-R.G.Benedict, Chief Engineer, Great Western Railway;
Circumstances, and the location of the Great Wes­
tern, forced Mr. Benedict to make the same rec­
ommendation as his President. Alas for logic~
Both recommendations would soon be declined;
-Erastus Corning, Industrialist, Town of Corning, New York, USA:
Mr. Corning preferred the Stephenson gauge, as it
was the same as that of adjacent lines in the
United States -except the Erie Railroad group;
-James Gould, Railway Car Builder, Albany, New York, USA:
Recognizing his position as a supplier of equip­
ment to ALL railways, Mr. Gould recited all of
the advantages and disadvantages of most of the
di fferent gauges in use at the time, but, in the
~THE SARNIA, ONTARIO BRANCH OF THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY (CANADA)WAS
opened from Komoka, Ilear London, to Sarnia on 27 December 1858, nearly
a year before the Grand Trunk. The Provincial Gauge of this branch
was adapted to Stephenson gauge operation by laying a third rail in­
side the 5-foot six-inch tracks early in 1867. In mid-1870, the old
broad-gauge rails were being taken up. At 8.20 a.m. on a summer morn­
ing in the dual-gauge era, GWR 2-4-0 Number 52, Prospero, a Robert
Stephenson & Company (Darlington, England) product of 10/1856, was
ready to leave on the morning Express for London, Paris, Hamilton,
Suspension Bridge, Albany and New York, N.Y. The dual gauge is vis­
ible on the near track and the locomotive carried a sign, N.G. on
the right front buffer-beam, indicating that there were narrow gauge
(4 feet 8t inches) cars in the trains consist.
Photograph courtesy Canadian National Railways.

CANADIAN 149 R A I L
end, refused to recommend any of them;
-H.H.Killaly, Engineer, Department of Public Works, Canada:
Mr. Killaly was expected to advocate the 5-foot
6-inch gauge. He was, after all, a representative
of Her Britannic Majestys government. He rose no­
bly to the occasion and did so recommend;
-John A. Roebling, Civil Engineer and Bridge Builder, New York:
Mr. Roebling recommended the Stephenson gauge.
In summary: there were three recommendations for the 5-foot 6-
inch gauge, six for the Stephenson gauge of 4 feet 8t inches and
one non-commital. The democratic process should have prevailed. But
with the completed portions of the St. Lawrence & Atlantic right un­
der their noses, the Committee could not summon up much opposition to
the broad gauge. Moreover, at the Portland, Maine Railroad Conference
of 1850, the broad-gauge had already been approved for the main line
projected from Canso, Nova Scotia to Portland and Montreal, to form
a continuous line from the Ocean to the River.
There were, in addition, cogent commercial reasons. The British
trading companies, at the insistence of the Government, still clung
tenaciously to the concept that trade with the United States ought
to be restricted, while commerce with England ought to be encouraged.
A continuous railway from Nova Scotia to Montreal, by whatever route,
would surely bring this about. In addition, it would encourage an
east-west, rather than north-south, flow of traffic, desirable to
the Anglo-Canadian traders.
After hearing all the pros, cons and neutrals; after all the
various opinions and recommendations had been expressed; a number of
resolutions were jammed through by the Railway Committee on 31 July
1851 :
1. MOVED that the question of the gauge to be
adopted by the Grand Trunk Railway now be
taken under consideration:
Carried. 9 for, 1 against.
2. MOVED that, in the opinion of the Committee,
the medium gauge of 5 feet 6 inches is the
most favourable to the interests of Canada
and should be recommended to the House:
Carried. 9 for, 1 against.
3. MOVED that, in the opinion of the Committee,
the said gauge of 5 feet 6 inches should be
adopted as the standard gauge for the Grand
Trunk Railway and also that the Government
should recommend its adoption by the Directors
of the Great Western Railway:
Carried. 9 for, 1 against.
And so the gauge of 5 feet 6 inches became official, to be known
as the Provincial Gauge. It remained official for some 20 years.
~CONVERSION OF THE 42-INCH GAUGE TRACKS TO STANDARD GAUGE IN 1919 ON
Prince Edward Island necessitated a complicated arrangement of guard­
rails, switch-frogs and points at the entrance to the yard at Summer­
side, Mile 47 from the nerve-centre at Charlottetown. Canadian Gov­
ernment Railways standard-gauge 4-6-0, Number 4522, is approaching
on the main line.
Photograph courtesy J. Norman Lowe, Canadian National Railways.
CANADIAN
150
R A I L
It would be interesting to know which of the 10 members of the
Committee was the obdurate and recalcitrant opponent of the three
motions, every time.
The Great Western Railway built to the Provincial gauge and
thereafter satisfied the practical problems of operation by laying a
third rail to accommodate Stephenson-gauge equipment from connecting
lines. The company finally capitulated to the inevitable by standard­
gauging all its lines in June 1873. The Grand Trunk tried to tempor­
ize by building a fleet of some 400 freight cars with adjustable wh­
eels to suit either gauge. Special tapered sidings were constructed
to force one wheel on each axle apart or together, so that the car
could continue running on the new gauge without being uncoupled from
the train. The moveable wheels were locked in place with steel pins.
Some of these dual-gauge cars were built in the shops of the Vermont
Central Railroad at St. Albans, Vermont.
Twenty years later, the awkwardness of the Provincial Gauge had
been thoroughly demonstrated for MAIN LINE operation, but there were
situations where narrow-gauge (3-foot 6-inch-gauge) railways could
be built to advantage. The alleged economies of narrow-gauge constr­
uction influenced the Toronto, Grey and Bruce and the Toronto and
Nipissing Railways in Ontario and the Prince Edward Island Railway
to build to a gauge of 3 feet 6 inches and the Glasgow and Cape Bre­
ton Coal & Railway Company to adopt a gauge of 3 feet, 0 inches.
A few years later, in 1892, several electric suburban railways
were constructed in the outskirts of Toronto, Ontario. These were
built to what is probably the most unique of all Canadian gauges , 4
feet 10 7/8 inches. For years, the derivation of this gauge eluded
Canadian railway historians. The late Robert R. Brown of Montreal fi­
nally explained the enigma, but not the ultimate reason for its se­
lection. In European terms, this particular gauge, still used today
by the Toronto Transit Commission, is almost exactly 1.5 meters.
Most of the railways built to the Provincial Gauge were stan-
dardized to 4 feet 8t inches between 1870 and 1890, A notable ex-
ception was the Carillon and Grenville Railway, a portage line some
distance above Lake of the Two MO,untains, west of Montreal, Quebec,
on the Ottawa Rivers east bank. This broad-gauge anachronism, a ver­
itable, venerable, prehistoric relic, managed to operate until 1910
but was removed about 1914. Outside of Newfoundland and Yukon Terri­
tory, the last Canadian narrow-gauge operation of any size, that of
the Prince Edward Island Railway, was converted to the Stephenson
gauge in 1931.
Whot the Railway Committee of 1851 began, time and circumstan­
ces undid. Government legislation notwithstanding, the Stephenson
gauge of 4 feet 8t inches finally triumphed. Bureaurocracy suffered
a resounding defeat when, in the second session of Canadas Parlia­
ment in 1870, an Amending Act was passed legalizing the standard
gauge for Canadian railways.
To paraphrase the Duke of Marlboroughs riposte: All the
wise men were on one side and one demnd fool was on the
other and, by gad, sir, the demnd fool was right,
Year
opened
1829
1836
1847
1849
1853
1853
1855
1854
1854
1853
1856
1854
1854
1858
1858
1859
1859
1859
1860
1860
1871 -1875
1875
1898
CANADIAN 1 5 1 R A I L
THE GAUGES OF SOME OF CANADAS EARLY RAILWAYS
Name
Albion Mines Railway
Prov­
ince
N.S.
Gauge as
built
4 8-8t
Champlain & St. Lawrence R.R. Que. 4 8t
Montreal & Lachine Rail Road Que. 4 9
St. Lawrence & Industry Village Que. 4 8t
St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad Que. 5 6
Great Western Railway of Canada Onto 5 6
Nova Scotia Railway N.S. 5 6
By town & Prescott Railway Onto 4 8t
Year stan­
dardized.
1850( ?)
1874
1873
1875
Carillon & Grenville Railway Que. 5 6
Ontario, Simcoe & Huron Union RR Onto 5 6
Grand Trunk Railway Company Que.-Ont. 5 6
Abandoned 1910
1872
Erie & Ontario Railway Onto
Coburg & Peterborough Railway Onto
New Brunswick & Canada Railway N.B.
Buffalo & Lake Huron Railway Onto
Brockville & Ottawa Railway Onto
WeIland Railway Onto
5 6
5 6
5 6
5 6
5 6
5 6
Victoria Bridge GTR Montreal Que. 5 6
European & North American Ry. N.B. 5 6
Stanstead, Shefford & Chambly RR Que. 4 8t
Intercolonial Railway N.B. -Que. 5 6
(except Ste-Flavie to Campbellton)
Prince Edward Island Railway PEl 3 6
Newfoundland Railway NFLD 3 6
AII .. ;,dd(! I bt;.
1872-1874
1873
1873
1875
1873
1873
1873
1874
1875
1875
1931
STILL IS ~
Determination
Hard
Work
story by
Charles A.S. Ball, RIA
pictures by
Deborah Edwards
C.A.S. Ball
and
If enough people in a community, large or
small, anywhere in Canada, want some­
thing badly enough, they will generally
find a way to get it. Keeping this axiom
in mind, come with me and learn about the
disappointments, victories and achieve­
ments which have been encountered in the
creation of the Strathclair Museum, which
was opened to the enthusiastic citizens
of Strathclair, Manitoba, in July of 1974.
One of the oldest railway stations on the Bradenbury Subdivision
of CP RAIL in west-central Manitoba was the former Canadian Pacific
Railway station in Strathclair. It was built in 1900 and; for many
years, played host -temporarily -to travellers going to Winnipeg,
Portage La Prairie and Saskatoon.
When it became apparent that CP RAIL was prepared to sell this
historic station, the Rural Municipality of Strathclair, under the
leadership of Reeve Kenneth D. Rapley, decided to take an opinion
pole of the citizens in the district to see if they would be agree­
able to the proposal to have a museum in the station. This survey was
also to determine the feasibility of the proposal and whether or not
there would be sufficient continuing interest to warrant such a
project.
Following a positive response from the citizens, the Rural Mu­
nicipality began negotiations with CP RAIL for the purchase of the
station and the attached freight shed, as a first step in creating a museum
for Strathclair. On March 22 1972, an organizational meeting
was held to elect a Board of Directors to coordinate the various as­
pects of the project and to advance the establishment of the museum,
which had been begun by the Rural Municipality. The Board was for­
tunate in having the complete support of the Rural Municipality.
Assistance of a more practical kind was obtained from the young
people of the district, who applied for and were granted assistance
under the Government of Canadas Opportunities for Youth programme.
This OFY grant was most helpful in preparing the building for its
subsequent move and in discovering artifacts to be displayed therein.
CANADIAN 153 R A I L
In retrospect, there seems to be one disadvantage in the OFY
programme. The young people are supposed to carry out the programme
on their own, with little or no spuervision. Unfortunately, some of
the assignments were not completed with much refinement and there­
fore extra time for revision was required subsequently to turn them
into workable procedures. Apart from this difficulty, the work of
the young people involved in the project was most helpful, since the
financial assistance was forthcoming from government sources and the
Board meanwhile had the time to undertake other important aspects of
the project.
One of the stipulations with CP RAIL in the purchase agreement
was that the building would be moved from its original track-side
site to another location. After the new location on the road allow­
ance on Main Street in Strathclair, east of the original location,
was chosen by the Rural Municipality, some difficulty was encountered
in the actual move.
At the new site, a concrete slab was prepared, the exact size of
he station and freight-shed. Nothing like a firm foundation~ Nego-
~iations were then undertaken with the movers and, here, the diffi­
culties began. The first mover consulted suggested that the building
be cut in two, the division being made between the station and the
freight-shed. But when it came to the actual signing of the contract,
this first mover declined to carry out the work and other arrange­
ments had to be made.
A second mover was found and he agreed to move the building, but
he felt that he could not give a firm estimate of the cost involved,
nor would he sign a contract which would have protected the cost of
the move. Despite these difficulties, the station and freight-shed
were moved in July 1972.
CANADIAN 154 R A I L
Now placed in position, work began at once to secure the build­
ing, to repair the damage caused during the moving and to refinish
those parts of it which required repair. Meanwhile, artifacts were
being collected to form the nucleus of the displays inside the sta­
tion and freight-shed.
The general shape of the station and freight-shed has changed
very little in the years since it was built. The accompanying photo­
graph, taken in 1915, shows the platform side, with Mr. George Ir­
ving and Mr. Fred Crawford. Mr. Irving was the agent from 1915 to
1935 and Mr. Crawford worked for the Canadian Pacific for 50 years,
retiring in 1965 as Superintendent of Transportation for the Manitoba
Division.
Although we are endeavouring to obtain artifacts and memorabilia
relating to the immediate district, we propose to bring together all
those things that pertain particularly to any railway station. The
building is being furnished to portray a typical station of its era.
For example, we were most fortunate to obtain the following items
from CP RAIL: A message hoop; a trainmans lantern; a train-order
board; complete telegraphic equipment; a dispatchers telephone and
some antique invoices.
The operators office has been restored, as far as has been pos-
sible, to its appearance in the days when Strathclair was an opera-
ting point on the subdivision. There is a dispatchers phone and
telegraph sounder, a trainmans lantern, a switch lantern, flagging
equipment and -an oil can~ The telegraph equipment, lncluding the
relay and sounder, is operable and, during the periods when the
museum is open, can be used by interested visitors. In the waiting
room is a train bulletin-board, giving the times of passenger trains
through Strathclair.
The operators office was equipped with the assistance of Mr.
N.E.Watt, who was the last agent to occupy the stations living
CANADIAN 155 R A I L
quarters. Mr. Watt is now retired and lives in Neepawa, Manitoba.
While we have been fortunate in acquiring many very desirable
objects, there are others which we have not been able to obtain. In
some cases, we have had to substitute objects obtained from other
sources. To complete the general decor, we are looking for a pot-
bellied stove, a station clock and a station order-board. The second
item is one that is sorely lacking; more properly, it should be cal­
led an operators clock.
During 1973, when the museum was open for the school reunion,
we were able to borrow a suitable clock from one of our local resi­
dents and the effect is shown in one of the accompanying pictures.
This clock was used for many years at The Old Stone Schoolat Str­
athclair. It is not in fact the kind of clock that was used by sta­
tion operators, but it looks enough like one to be one~
The living quarters of the station have not been overlooked. We
are endeavouring to furnish them as they would have been in the years
when an agent was in residence. The kitchen furnishings are those
that were used in days gone by. A coal-oil lamp sits in the middle
of the table, while, in the corner, there is a rocking chair, a spin­
ning wheel and a Singer sewing machine. A wood-burning cookstove, a
sideboard and several period pictures complete the arrangement.
The freight-shed holds a remarkable collection of items. While
they could not all be called railway artifacts, they are, neverthe­
less, quite at home in these surroundings. They seem to suggest the
type of merchandise that the railway would have carried as freight in
this agriculturally-oriented area.
There have been some difficulties, it is true, in realizing the
CANADIAN 156 R A I L
plan to make the Strathclair Museum out of the former Canadian Pa­
cific station in the town. Our victories have therefore been all the
more appreciated. There has been an excellent response from local
residents and their relatives, which all began at the time of the
Strathclair School Reunion of 1973. At that time, the Museum was
open at irregular hours. Only after the official opening in 1974 were
fixed, regular hours established.
We anticipate with confidence that the Strathclair Museum
progress steadily and that our collection of railway artifacts
memorabilia will grow to occupy all of the empty spaces in the
tion and freight-shed.
will
and
sta-
The citizens of Strathclair and the district have been very
generous with donations, as have our visitors from greater distances.
We have been privileged to receive grants from the Province of Mani­
toba, the Department of Tourism of Manitoba and the Rural Municipal­
ity of Strathclair. For this assistance, we are very grateful and
we hope that we have demonstrated our trustworthiness by the manner
in which we have spent the monies donated.
In the operation of the museum, we are able to obtain sugges-
tions for management techniques from the Association of Manitoba
Museums and the Canadian Museums Association, with which we are
associated.
From the time of acquisition of the former Canadian Pacific Ra­
ilway station in June 1972, through the move to the new location in
July and the Official Opening in July 1974 and continuing through
the years to come, it has been, is and will be our sincere hope that
our museum at Strathclair will reflect and preserve the heritage of
the years past, for all present and future generations. It is with
this conviction and for this purpose that we have worked together.
The Official Opening of the Strathclair Museum took place on
Saturday, July 6, 1974. Many distinguished guests were present, to
join the townspeople and former residents of the community on this
happy occasion, as you can see from the accompanying photograph.
Among them were representatives of federal, provincial and municipal
governments, CP RAIL and the Association of Manitoba Museums. Also
on hand were Messrs. N.E.Watt and Lionel McGhie, the last two CPR/CP
RAIL agents in Strathclair.
The Strathclair Museum is open at regular hours during
mer months. Should the Museum door be closed when you visit
clair, please contact one of the following Directors:
Mr. Bruce Parker -(204) 365-5354
Mrs. Velma Snowden -(204) 365-2195
the sum­
Strath-
Visitors are very welcome, as are -of course -donations~
Further information may be obtained by writing to the Author, in care
of the Strathclair Museum, Strathclair, Manitoba ROJ 2CO or by cal­
ling 204-365-2480 or 204-365-2558.
May 76
WIII!tLS
MR. DONALD G. WOODEN, EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE CENTRAL VERMONT
Railway, Inc., announced in January 1976 that the CV, to­
gether with Grand Trunk-New England had joined the grow­
ing number of United States railroads which have decorated locomo­
tives in appropriate paint schemes to mark the United States Bi­
centennial in 1976.
The decorative theme of CV/GT Number 1776 is drawn from
the blue field of the Bennington flag, of special pride to New En­
glanders, which is featured under each cab window. The distinctive
arch of seven-pointed stars, surmounting the script numerals 76 is
displayed on each end of the unit and a giant 1776 is painted on
each side of the hood.
The special paint job was applied by the locomotive shop
forces in St. Albans, Vermont, where the fleet of 32 Central Vermont
aod Grand Trunk upits is mainta,ined. .
Priorto the~pecidl designation, the unit was GT Number
4450, but it was Number 1776 when it first went into service in 1956.
During the first part of the Bicentennial year, Number
1776 will be in regular service to and in Portland, Maine. Through
the efforts of John Carbonneau, jr., President, Island Pond Historic­
al Society, the unit will be exhibited in Island Pond, Vermont from
January 26 to February 2. Later on, CV/GT Number 1776 was scheduled
to appear in tawns and cities along CVs main line.
CANADIAN 159 R A I L
ONTARIOS TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER JAMES SNOW AN­
nounced in December 1975 that the Toronto Area Transit
Operating Authority had succeeded in concluding the lease
of 10 bi-level commuter coaches from the Chicago & North Western Ra­
ilroad to increase the capacity af the heavily-used GO TRANSIT tr­
ains, until such time as the new bi-level coaches from Hawker Sid­
deley Canada Limited are available.
Recent changes in the C&NW cammuter operations, in which
these bi-level cars are normally used, had made these 10 cars tem­
porarily surplus to its requirements.
The C&NW bi-levels entered service in the Toronto area
early in January and were expected to stay in service until March,
when the first of an order of 30 uni-level GO coaches were scheduled
to be delivered by Hawker Siddeley Canada Limited of Thunder Bay,On­
tario.
WHEN THE ITEM ABOUT THE ONTARIO NORTHLAND RAILWAYS STATION AT NORAN­
da, Quebec was being typed up for presentation on page
27 of the January 1976 issue Number 288 of CANADIAN RAIL,
the typist erred and substituted North Bay for Noranda.
Apologies are extended to John Welsh for this transposition
and to those members who looked for the position-light signal at North
Bay, Ontario, without success.
~ SWINGING THROUGH THE REVERSE CURVE JUST EAST OF PARIS, ONTARIO, CAN­
~. adian National Railways Train 144, the Windsor-Toronto fast express,
gets into its stride with units Numbers 4102 and 4104 on the head­
end. The time is 1425; the date is October 28, 1975 and the man be­
hind the camera is John Sutherland, to whom our thanks for this view.
AUS
fAR
MAN
SASt
SOU
S
OU
SOU
UN!
Editor; S.S.Worthen Production; P. Murphy
CALGARY & SOUTH-WESTERN
L.H.Unwin, Secretory 1727 23rd. Avenue N.W.,Coigory,Alto.T2M lV6
OTTAWA
D.E.Stoltz,Secretory P.O.Box 141,Stolion A, Ottowo,Canado KIN aV)
PACIfIC COAST
R. Shontler,Secretory P.O.Box l006,Stotion A,VonCOUVEll,B.C.V6C 2PI
ROCKY flOUNTAIN
C.
H.Hotcher,Secretory P.O.Box 62,Stotion C,Edmonton,Alto.T5B 4K5
TORONTO & YORK DIVISION
D. Scott I Secretory P.O.Box 5849,Toc1II1no1 A loronto,Onl.H5W lP3
WINDSOR & ESSEX DIVISION
J.R.Wolfe,Secretory 300 Cahona Road Ecst, WindsOl,Ont. N9G IA2
Association Representatives
AUSTRILIA C.L.Coop 68 Mou,,, Pleosont Rood Eltholll 3095 Vldorio
EUROPE J-M.leclorcq R6sidonco Bollo … uo de Plan, 01220 Divonnc Franco
FAR. EAST H.D.McKeown 6-7, 4-chome, Yomote-clta,Suito City.Osoka Japan
MANITOBA K.C. Younger 267 Vo rnan Rood, W inn ipeg, Han i tallo R3J 2W I
SASKATCHEI-IIIN C. 80rrett P.O.Box 288, Longholll, Saskatchewan SOK 2LO
SOUTH AMERICA O.J.lla … ord Price,Waterhouse & Peoto,Coixo 1978,Soo Poula,Orozii
SOUTHERN ALBERTA E.W.Johnson 4019 Vordoll Rood N.W. ,Calgory, Alberto T3A OC3
UNITED KINGDOH J.H.Sondors 67 Willow Way, Alllpthill, Bods. HK45 2SL England
-lEST AFRICA R.E.Leggott Inst. of Applied 5cienco,Univ. Ibodon, Ibodon,N.igt;lrio
Visit the Canadian Railway Museum St.Constant;Quebec,Canada.

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