n the first place, you have to understand
that this is not a cowboy story of the old
McGillivray is not a cowboy.
The Loop is not a lariat.
From the enthusiasts point of view, part of the fascination of
mountain railroading lies in the consideration of the strategms used
by the civil engineer in bringing the railway to and through mount
ain passes. Whereas these natural gaps were utilized to solve the
problem of overcoming the mountain barriers, access to the pass it
self was frequently a far more formidable challenge. Once through the
pass, there was the corollary and just as difficult problem of bring
ing the railway back down to the level of the valley country. In
these circumstances, the civil engineer had to use every natural to
pographical advantage, so that construction costs and subsequent op
erating expenses were both kept within reasonable limits.
In the railway builders bag of tricks could be found cuts,
fills, tunnels, trestles, bridges, ledges, curves and the altitude
gaining helix and loop, both of which were generously used in the
mountain regions of the west.
Not surprisingly, then, loops and helixes abound on western Can
adas mountain railways and those lines in the same regions of the
United States, as well. The Burlington Northerns former Great Nor
thern main line loops lazily along the southern perimeter of Glacier
National Park and coils sinuously along its western approach to the
world-famous Stampede Tunnel. The well-known Tehachapi Pass contains
a partially buried helix, while Georgetown Loop on the old South
Park, in an aerial frenzy of track-and-trestle-work, flew over itself
on its way to a dead-stop at Silver Plume. Though Dave Moffats loop
at Yankee Doodle Lake and the Rio Grandes Tanglefoot may be more re
nowned, CP RAIL surpasses them both with its pirouette of helical lo
ops in Kicking Horse Pass, colloquially known as the Spiral Tunnels.
Some distance to the south is the former main line of what was
subsequently referred to as the Kettle Valley Railway, which swings
and loops along its entire length with all the skill and grace of a
figure-skater. One of the most dramatic figures it accomplishes lies
just inside British Columbia, in Crowsnest Pass. All this is near
McGillivray and it is in this area that the Loop is located.
Geographically, both are located on the 12 miles of CP RAILs
southern Main Line between Crowsnest and Michel. The dozen miles of
track which twist the line down the west side of the barrier of the
Rockies are not plainly apparent; the railway archeologist who stum
bles upon its numerous 10 and 12-degree curves might be forgiven if
he assumed it was some kind of narrow-gauge railway, because it at
first appears to be just that, except for the lOa-pound steel on
The eastern approaches to Crowsnest Pass are gentle and the pass
itself is the second lowest crossing of the Canadian Rockies. The
west side is something else. Here, the Columbia River watershed falls
away abruptly from the summit and, as a consequence, Mike Haneys
track-laying gang, in their rush to beat Jim Hills Great Northern
into the Kootenays in 98, found themselves on a high mountain wall,
with no easy way down.
CANADIAN 196 R A I L
Laboriously dynamiting their way four miles westward along the
ledges on the cliff-faces, through rock cuts and occasionally into
empty air, the contractors worked their way 300 feet above the South
Branch of Michel Creek, rapidly running out of mountainside on which
to build a roadbed. There was an improbable solution. The creek had
cut a deep valley at right-angles to the railway location westward,
and, through the use of this natural passage, a way was found. The
track was swung around to the south into this valley by tunneling 900
feet under the corner of a gravel-shale ridge. It then dropped down
the east wall of the valley for a mile where, reversing its direction
and hopscotching the small creek four times, it reached the valley
floor. With all this manoeuvering -or because of it -the ruling
grade eastbound was kept to about the acceptable one percent.
This difficult piece of construction probably cost William Cor
nelius Van Horne the race against Jim Hill, since the latter brought
his Great Northern trains into Fernie, British Columbia, a scant few
days ahead of the Canadian Pacifics.
The resulting tortuous railway is a superintendents nightmare
or a civil engineers masterpiece, depending on the point of view.
Beginning about Mile 4, the sheer stone retaining walls under the
track are reminiscent of those on the abandoned main line of the CPR
through Rogers Pass, while the entrances to the 900-foot tunnel were
classic Nineteenth Century timber architecture, complete with orna
mental corner-posts. Inside, there was sheet-metal lining down the
centre of the wooden-sheathed roof, as protection against the hot ex
haust, sparks and incandescent cinders of two generations of steam
locomotives. The curve in the bore was 10 degrees, with the added
ruse of 10-degree reverse curves on both approaches.
Swinging from west to south, the railway broke out along the
face of the unstable ridge, where a boxcar station was established at
the beginning of a 1000-foot passing siding. Although, in fact, this
was only a 90-degree curve, it was christened The Loop or just
Loop. It was to be another 52 years before it properly deserved the
A mile west down the hill and two more 12-degree problem-solvers
further, the track executed a reverse figure at McGillivray, with a
horseshoe spanning the meadow, turning 180 degrees in a single sweep,
neatly bisected by the bridge marking the first crossing of the South
Branch. By a simple calculation, this works out to a curve with a
476-foot radius, narrowly squeezed between the steeply rising valley
walls. From here to the valley mouth, a mile-and-a-half north, the
creek was bridged three more times. Paradoxically, the single truss
span at Mile 8.9 is 300 feet or less distant from Mile 5.5, high up on
the Loop, as though the railway had every intention of passing
Shortly after the first CPR trains worked up and down the hill,
coal interests in the area sponsored the building of the Eastern Br
itish Columbia Railway, which was wyed to the outside of the CPRs
main line curve at McGillivray. The EBCR was constructed 15 miles
farther south up the valley to Corbin, British Columbia. It did not
ABOUT A MILE EAST OF THE STATION AT MCGILLIVRAY, EASTBOUND
4105 came shouting up the hill towards the former tunnel under
ridge. John Sutherland, who took the picture in the fall of
thought they were ALCO units, at first.
CANADIAN 198 R A I L
last very long and was soon abandoned. Anyone who was curious could
find remnants of the roadbed and derelict trestles in the summer of
73. Last summer, Mannix Construction rebuilt a couple of thousand
feet of the line for use as a coal-loading spur, so that todays CP
RAIL SD 40s line up coal drags where light moguls, fueled with the
very material, once filled out their consists.
When freights were shorter and more frequent, McGillivray siding
was always busy with frequent meets; today, there are almost none.
A station once stood on the outside of the southeast extremity of the
curve, but by 1965 and the end of the RDC Dayliner passenger service
through Crowsnest Pass, the station had been reduced to a shanty, which
in turn was removed when the new spur was reconnected in 1974.
Time has brought other changes to this remote stretch of railway.
In 1950, the Loop Tunnel was classed as unsafe (at any speed) and an
other 12-degree bow-tie was built, cutting around the outside end
of the ridge and rejoining the original line in front of the tunnels
south portal. This, indeed, did result in a single curve of 180 de
grees. Some time later, the roof of the tunnel caved in, just inside
this entrance and thus the bore was sealed. Constantly falling rock
and gravel probably hastened the lifting of the passing track, for
that, too, is gone. A small derelict shanty, without a name-board,
still stands adjacent to the collapsed tunnel entrance. Below it, at
the bottom of the valley, a coal spur has disappeared, obliterated
entirely by the resurgent vegetation.
Compared to many in the East Kootenays, the four bridges along
this stretch of CP RAILs Cranbroo_kS/D are relatively undramatic.
Only the 161-foot-long overhead truss at the third crossing of the
creek is remarkable. But the original stone walls under the ledges
on the cliff-face, east of the Loop, remain as an imperishable monument
to the work of those same masons who, 13 years before 1898, had
supported the exposed stretches of the main line through Rogers Pass
in the Selkirk Mountains to the north.
An accurate description of the climate of the East Kootenays is
severe in all seasons. Winter snowfall is heavy and can lay two
feet over the rails in a single fall, producing a post-card, tranquil
scene in the valley and a flurry of snow-plow extras on the railway.
When that same snow comes down the valleys as melt in the spring
rains of late Mayor June, the placid South Branch and Michel Creek
can change within an hour or two into raging torrents, assaulting em
bankments and washing away rip-rap and roadbed at any of a dozen pla
ces. The work extras are thereafter hot on the job, dumping ton after
ton of rock to reinforce weak points. Constant reballasting of the
crushed-rock roadbed is necessary. Even the old protective rock-fill
ed cribbing near Mile 8 has been washed away, exposing the embankment
to fresh and more damaging assaults.
Prior to internal combustion, Canadian Pacific 2300-class pa
cifies, 5100-class mikados and 3600-class consolidations led the
motive power parade, but the timetables -then as now -testified to
a snails-pace of operation up and down the divide. The crack Spo
kane Flyer on its 9 hour .:lnd 10 minute, better than 300 .11ile dash
~ CP RAIL UNITS NUMBERS 4512, 5825, 4508 AND 4565 TUG AN EASTBOUND MER
chandiser along the ledges near Mile 3 and the Loop on May 28, 1974.
The picture was taken by John Sutherland.
CP RAIL UNITS NUMBERS 8711, 8607 AND 8710 POWER A SULFUR EXTRA FROM
the Pecton SiD gas plants south of Pincher Creek past Mile 6, the lo
cation of the new coal spur to leave the main line just about where
the lead unit is. The original station building at McGillivray was
located immediately in front of the gravel piles just around the
curve. The date was February 10, 1974; the photographer John Sutherland.
from Dunmore, on the main line east of Medicine Hat, to Cranbrook,
British Columbia, made its slowest time over this difficult stretch.
The run up the west side from Michel to the Crow -known to
the crews as The Hill -explains why the cabs of the diesels be
come so damnably hot. Michel is 12.6 rail-miles west of Crowsnest,but
590 feet below it. Six and a half miles east and south, the bench
mark at McGillivray reads 4172 feet and the gradient steepens to
By the time the lead unit noses around the curves at Mile 5 at
the Loop, just over to the north the track has gained another 76 feet
on the one-percent-average climb. Five-unit lashups of admittedly sm
all power are necessitated not only by the grade but also by the
nine, ten and twelve-degree curves.
Certainly CP RAILs Spiral Tunnels are more touted to the tour
ists, but the scenery along the South Branch of Michel Creek, both
natural and contrived, is incomparable. Through this heavily wooded
valley, some of the most unique lashups in North American Class
railroading lug or drift, up and down. GP 7s and 9s in old and new
CPR/CP RAIL livery predominate, interspersed with F 7A and B units,
PNC GP 8 and GP 10 green and yellow rebuilds, M 630s and M 636s, M
428s, SD 40s, FAs, GP 38s and, every now and then, a very tired Bes
semer & Lake Erie orange and black F 7A or B.
However, centre stage long belonged to the CLC Fairbanks-Morse
C Liners, which specialized in lifting 60 loads of raw materials and
CANADIAN 201 R A I L
finished products out of central British Columbia. The Cranbrook SiD
is the elephants graveyard of CP RAIL, the stamping ground until
recently of the last five surviving C-Liners and the few rema~n~ng
H-16-44s. The natural, profound silence of the mountain valley was and
is overwhelmingi time was when it was broken by a bevy of King
ston products headed up the grade, their throbbing opposed-piston
cacaphony echoing and re-echoing off the rock faces and forested
slopes of the surrounding mountains.
At McGillivray curve, with speed dwindling to an invalid walk,
the flanges used to emit banshee squeals and shrieks that had to
be heard to be appreciatedi no description can imitate the sound,
EXTRA EAST 4057 -UNITS NUMBERS 4057, 8715, 4440 and 4092 -LUG UP
,,+ the hill at Mile 8. The rock beside the line on the hillside in the
background, visible through Number 8715 s exhaust, is the south por
tal of the old Loop Tunnel, now caved in. The date was February 20,
1974 and the photographer John Sutherland.
WHITE FLAGS FLYING, EXTRA 4065 EAST -UNITS NUMBERS 4065, 4478 AND
4057 -pound up the hill past Mile 8, along the bank of the South Br
anch of Michel Creek. Number 4065 was the demo City of Kingston be
fore being purchased by Canadian Pacific. High-sided ore cars from
the Great Slave Lake Railway work east from Trail to Calgary, Edmon
ton and Pine Point, NWT. Date: January 24, 1974. John Sutherland was
, CREEPING UPGRADE PAST THE DERELICT SOUTH PORTAL OF LOOP TUNNEL,EXTRA
~8723 east, units Numbers 8723, 8710, 8603, 4433 & 4065, nears the
top of the hill. Number 4065 was not MUed and was obviously dead.
Date: September 29, 1973. Photographer: John Sutherland.
CANADIAN 204 R A I L
not even remotely. The din of the battle of the giants against the
force of gravity reverberated up, down and across the valley a sec
ond time as the units ground relentlessly up the east wall of the
valley to the Loop, where the crescendo was momentarily muffled along
the high ledges of Crowsnest itself. The volume and opacity of ex
haust produced would have done credit to a pair of D 10-class steam
tenwheelers; the diesel enthusiast stood the chance of being totally
bombed, while the steam buffs hardened heart was softened a little.
At Crowsnest, five miles east and astraddle of the Continental
Divide, the old 8-stall roundhouse, standard 40,000-gallon enclosed
watertank and traditional coaling tower have all disappeared. Only
the turntable remains. This is a crew-change point still; consequent-
ly, a number of units can always be found idling on the siding, as
freight power is frequently reshuffled to meet eastward or westward
Movements up and down the hill in the fall of 74 occurred on a
scheduled basis in the early morning and again around noon, while
the downhill drags moved through in the late afternoon, all under
train orders. Extras can, of course, be observed at any time. In
either case, it is better to check with the operator at Crowsnest be
fore going out to look for the action. A tape-recorder, placed at
McGillivrays east mileboard, will capture the audio portion of the
drama, coming and going, while camera angles are innumerable and in
clude perches on limbs half-way up some of the taller trees.
All of the foregoing -and more -can be enjoyed, if not from
British Columbia Highway Number 3, under the ledges, then from the
all-weather road to Corbin, which dodges up the valley, providing
spectacular views of the right-of-way both above and below it, until
it,ducks under the track at McGillivray.
Michel, British Columbia, is the centre of coal unit-train load
ing operations. The unit-trains from Sparwood to Roberts Bank follow
the Crowsnest siD to Colvalli, running thence up the former Kootenay
Central to Golden and CP RAILs main line west.
The McGillivray Spur is presently used as a loading point, the
coal being trucked from the mine at Corbin and loaded into cars with
a front-end loader. Loads are brought to Crowsnest by a pair of SD
40s and marshalled into eastbound trains for Coalhurst, near Leth
bridge, and Calgary. At Calgary, midtrain slaves are added and the
train then moves west over the main line. Unit trains of sulfur from
the Pincher Creek natural gas plants follow the same route.
In February 1974, it was announced that yet another coal mine
would be opened in 1978, almost on the International Boundary south
of Corbin. This announcement raised the possibility of an extension
of the former Eastern British Columbia Railway to Corbin and the new
To the crews that work this mountain section daily, the twelve
miles of twisting railway are routine. But for mountain railroading
at its best, this remarkable figure of line location, as an integral
part of CP RAILs southern British Columbia operation, provides drama
and excitement equal to that found anywhere else in todays dieseldom.
NEAR MILE 4, EXTRA 5543 WEST IS BUNCHED UP AS IT WINDS THROUGH LOOP
Cut near Mile 4, with units Numbers 5543, 8724 and 8711 on the point.
The date: July 6, 1974; the photographer: John Sutherland.
CANADIAN 206 R A I L
THE SOUTH PORTAL OF LOOP TUNNEL: THE LOWER LINE AT MILE 8 CAN BE SEEN
among the trees immediately above the peak of the shed roof, on this
side of the creek. Photo by the Author.
IN THE HEART OF THE LOOP ON THE 476-FOOT RADIUS CURVE AT MCGILLIVRAY.
The freight has changed direction from west to east. The new spur to
Corbin can be seen above the boxcars on the bridge over the creek.
Photograph courtesy of the Author.
No. McGillivray is not a cowboy. But the Loop is a genuine modern
wild-west show, after all.
Never Comes Back
Robert F. Legget
Photographs by the Author.
t was a very strange feeling, indeed. One
would think it quite impossible, these
days, to ask for a ticket to a station
shown in a public timetable, only to be
told by the passenger sales representative
that such a ticket was not available. But
this is just what happened to me when, on a
fine summer Friday afternoon, I stood at the
ticket counter in Canadian National Railways
Central Station, Montreal, and asked for a
one-way coach ticket on Train 945-187 to
The passenger sales representative, alias the ticket clerk, was
polite but emphatic. There was no such station to which he could is-
sue a ticket. When I showed him the public timetable giving the
schedule of the Friday-only CNR Train 187 from Deux Montagnes to
Grenville, he fled to consult his supervisor. He returned and -at
last -issued the contentious ticket, throwing in a suspicious look
with my change~
The 5.40 p.m. train from Montreals Central Station proved to
be Train 945, one of CNs regular commuter trains to Deux Montagnes,
using the Mount Royal Tunnel, but headed by a diesel locomotive. When
we reached Deux Montagnes, the end of the regular commuter run and
the start of that part of the trip which was of special interest to
me, the few remaining passengers on board (including me) were re-
quested to leave the train. There had been a wash-out on the line
ahead and rail service had been temporarily suspended. We were cour
teously conveyed 011 the way to Grenville by taxi, if you please,and
my hopes of riding a train over what remains of the right-of-way of
the old Carillon & Grenville broad-gauge portage line, from Cushing
Junction to Grenville, were, for the time being, utterly frustrated.
If at first you dont succeed, try, try again~ On yet another
summer Friday afternoon, not wishing to be disappointed a second
time, I visited the Operations and Maintenance Department of Canadian
National Railways, Montreal, and was kindly issued a pass to travel
on Train 187 to Grenville, but, this time, on the locomotive. Weather
reports had indicated that no heavy rains were anticipated and so I
hoped that, this time, the train and I would get through to Gren
ville -and we did~
In the cab of the diesel, I was welcomed by Engineman Robert
and his helper. Conductor Derocher added his welcome to this odd-ball
() :I> Z l> 0 -l> z III ~ 0 CIO III
CANADIAN R A I L
traveller. To account in part for the curiousness of my request, it
should be noted that Train 187 was scheduled to arrive at Grenville,
Quebec, 53 miles west of Montreal, at 2000 hours. Grenville, with a
population of about 1400, is on the north side of the Ottawa River,
opposite Hawkesbury, Ontario. There is no other train service from
either place; there may be a service by highway bus, but, like a
true railway enthusiast, I was and am uninformed on this point. The
question might therefore very properly be asked as to what I, a
stranger, would propose to do in Grenville from Train 187s arrival
on Friday night at 2000 hours to the departure of Train 188 at 0620
the following Monday morning •
.. MONTUAL -GRENVILLE ..
Fri. Mit ..
n .. 00
I It 14
,,>C, … , ..
~(nlme .. ~.
~1.Qu .. , …
OV .. -MOtIlIf,….
UJ …. d. I07Gt
SI …. d_ENt
c.-two … ~ ……..
…….. ,.., It :F-
Train 187 is the only regular diesel working through Mount Royal
Tunnel and this is just as well, according to Engineman Robert, in
view of the tunnels length and the way in which the locomotive has
to be worked with its eight-oar train. It was most interesting to
see the interior of the tunnel from the vantage-point of the diesel
cab. The now-rebuilt southern portal brought to mind all the hapes
that were centred around this great engineering work when it was
opened in 1918. While the track through the tunnel is well maintain
ed, the heavy rail traffic carried through it nowadays has prevented
maintenance of the northbound commuter lines to the same high stan
dard. The continuing existence and use of these lines support the
conclusion which I still share, that railway commuter traffic to the
north and west of the tunnel, in and out of Montreal, may yet see a
revival, if only as a result of the development of Mirabel Airport
and in the interests of energy conservation.
The obligatory slow transit of the crossing at EJ Tower was the
first unusuol operating practice. At Val Royal, the first inbound
electric train was passed, before we entered the single-track sec
tion to Deux Montagnes. A single track on a railway used for commu
ter services must be a somewhat unusual feature. Train 974 passed us
at Roxboro, but only after a 15-minute wait, which naturally was a
subject for a~propriate comment by our engine crew. Train 976, how
ever, was waiting for us at Desprairies and so, after the lovely cr
ossing of the islands in the Riviere des Mille Iles, near Laval-sur
le-Lac, we were no more than these 15 minutes late, when we came to
a stop at the station at Deux Montagnes.
I had expected that, in view of the limited passenger traffic on
ward to Grenville, some of the coaches would have been left here. I was
wrong. The entire troin made the full journey. The track beyond
. ~ :
CANADIAN 211 R A I L
Deux Montagnes was in fairly good shape, even though now used
for freight service and the four passenger trains per week.
junction for the short branch to Oka was passed, Mile 10.8;
are still in place although the 4.5-mile branch now carries
A short stop was made at Fresniere, where a CN Express truck was
waiting to receive a small shipment. No passengers disembarked. Then
came Grenmont,Mile 15.6 of the Montfort SiD, the junction for the
Grenville SiD, and we were soon running on rails used by only two
scheduled -and two unscheduled -passenger trains per week. By way
of comparison, one might say that the main line of the Montfort siD
onward to St-Jerome has no passenger trains at all~
Despite its infrequent use, the track of the Grenville siD was
in reasonobly good shape, to such an extent that Engineman Robert was
able to make up some of the lost time. Through St-Benoit, St-Placide
and Lalande, the line runs an long tangents, so that there are no im
pediments to straight and level running. The locomotive acts as a
sort of bush-trimmer, pushing aside and occasionally breaking the
brush and overhanging tree branches which have encroached on the tr
ack, since a train last ran over the branch.
The station building at Lalande, Mile 12.2 from Grenmont, has
gone, only a lonely sign remaining to indicate the halt, and yet Mr.
Robert told me that he could well remember when he would load up a
complete express car with milk cans every morning at this one sta
tion. The area through which the Grenville SiD runs is fine farming
St. Andrews East was the first stop for Train 187 and here, two
passengers did indeed detrain. They are regular patrons each Friday
and so Mr. Robert made every effort to stop the train in the same
spot, for their convenience. Crossing the pretty Riviere du Nord on
a deck girder bridge, the railway curved around to the west and the
earthworks assaciated with the Carillon Hydroelectric Development on
the Ottowa River soon came into view. Particularly obvious was the
long earth dam that was built from Carillon as far as Cushing, 4.5
miles, to prevent flooding the land to the north and, simultaneously,
the very railway over which we were travelling. The Grenville SiD
train was therefore at first below the level of the water impounded
by the Carillon Dam, but, gradually rising on an easy grade, the lar
ge man-made lake created by the dam was in full view before Cushing
The Carillon project had flooded out the Carillon and Chute a
Blondeau Rapids and the historic Long Sault in the Ottawa River, in
addition to the small Ottawa River Canals, constructed between 1819
and 1834 to circumvent the foaming rapids. It was to provide faster
passenger service than the canals could offer, between steamboats on
the upper and lower sections of the Ottawa, that the old portage ra
ilway, the Carillon and Grenville, was built in 1854 (1). The C&G
stubbornly kept operating until the end of 1910, when river pas
senger traffic, already on the wane, was finally abandoned. For the
latter years of its service, the Carillon and Grenville was the
last surviving provincial gauge railway (5 feet 6 inches) in Can
ada (2). It was built to this gauge during the period when the Gov-
~ CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS TRAIN 187, AT DEUX MONTAGNES, QUEBEC, ON
a sunny, summer afternoon, prior to leaving on its journey to Gren
ville, Quebec, on the banks of the Ottawa River.
MR. ROBERT, ENGINEMAN, AT THE THROTTLE OF DIESEL UNIT NUMBER 4102,
classed by CN as a GR-17p.
THE VIEW FROM THE FIREMANS SIDE OF ENGINE 4102 HAULING TRAIN 187,
as it approaches Cushing, Quebec, with the Ottawa River coming into
sight on the left, held back by the Carillon Hydroelectric Dam a
short distance downstream. The highway from Carillon to Grenville
runs along the top of the earth dam and can be seen in the failing
light of a midsummer day.
ernment of the united Province of Canada had decreed that all new
railways in Canada would be built to this gauge. In the 1870s, when most
provincial-gauge railwars in Canoda narrowed their width to the
Stephenson gauge of 4 feet 8
inches, the C&G was too remote and too
poor to make the conversion. It continued unchanged to the end of its
life just before World War I.
Canadian National Railways Grenville SiD crosses the former
right-of-way of the C&G about a mile west of Carillon station, there
after running between the C&G and the Ottawa River until a few yards
west of Cushing Station, where the two grades rejoin at a point once
known as Cushing Junction; the CN thence uses the old right-of-way
as far as Grenville Station -the end of the line~
It was to ride over these last few miles of the Grenville Sub
division that I had made the 53-mile trip from Montreal. It was, per
haps, a poor substitute for a ride on the broad-gauge C&G, through
Watson and Stonefield, but it was the best that was obtainable in
1974. Short as the journey was, it was for me a memorable experience,
particularly so in view of the uncertain future of this fragment of
Canadian Nationals vast trans-Canada system.
Another reminder of the historic portage railway was evident
about a mile-and-a-half west of Cushing station, where, incidentally,
CANADIAN 215 R A I L
our two remaining passengers disembarked, one from each side of the
train: Mr. Robert pointed out, in a short rock cutting, the site of
Cushing Junction, the place where the former Canadian Northern Que
bec Railway from St-Jerome and Lachute joined -once upon a time –
the line to.Grenville and Hawkesbury. This location is between Watson
and Stonefield, which halts we passed without stopping and then,
quite unceremoniously and without passengers, we slowed to a stop at
the isolated little station building at Grenville, Quebec, 53.2 mi-
les from CNs Central Station, Montreal, a few minutes behind the
scheduled arrival time of 2000 houis.
In fact, the track continued a short distance further, curving
to the southwest across Quebec Route 29 toward the Ottawa River, but
stopping short of the bank. This curious extension is all that re
mains of the eastern approach to the multi-span, deck-plate girder
bridge, built by the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway in 1914. This
bridge on the CNorO s main line from Montreal to Ottawa was demolish
ed in 1963, when the level of the Ottawa River was raised by the Car
illon Dam sufficiently to drown the bridge.
I had now arrived, alas, at the end of my journey, but Mr. Robert
and Train 187 had not. The locomotive was quickly uncoupled from the
train and, even as I said my farewell to Mr. Robert and his compan
ions, the slow turn onto the weed-grown wye had begun. In one of
the smartest manoeuvers it has ever been my pleasure to witness, the
diesel unit was coupled to the erstwhile rear-end of the train and,
os an extra east of dead-head equipment, the train departed Gren
ville on its way back to Grenmont, Deux Montagnes and Central Sta
At Central Station, no passengers are detrained. In fact, the
train may not stop, but may be moved at once to the St-Henri coach
yards, where it stays until about 0230 on Monday mornings when, as
Train 167 -dead-head equipment -it makes its way back again to
Grenville, there to start the working day as Train 188, leaving Gren
ville at 0620, faithfully picking up its regular passengers for the
You might think that such an unusual train would be entirely ex
empt from the hazards of main-line operation and, while this is sub
stantially the case, there was the tragic accident early on the morn
ing of 7 October 1974. On that Monday morning, Train 167 collided
head-on with a freight near Pierre fonds on the Montfort Subdivision.
J.N.Alberic Lemieux was the engineman and both he and his helper, Mr.
Noel Morin, were killed.
Should you decide to take a ride on this train that never comes
back, be sure that you have alternate transportation available when you
reach Grenville at about 2000 on a Friday evening. Otherwise, it
is a long walk across the Perley Bridge to the bright lights of Hawk
esbury, Ontario and the tender mercies of the highway bus~
~ AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS CENTURY, THE CARILLON & GRENVILLE RAILWAY
still operated broad-gauge motive power and rolling stock. The two
car train and wood-burning 4-4-0 wait at the station at Carillon for
the Ottawa-bound boat from Montreal.
CANADIAN 216 R A L
(1) THE LAST BROAD GAUGE Brown, R.R., Bulletin 18, October 1954
Canadian Railroad Histor~cal Association.
(2) THE RISE AND FALL OF THE PROVINCIAL GAUGE, Lavallee, O.S.A.
CANADIAN RAIL, Number 141, February 1963.
Editors & Authors Postscript:
During a telephone conversation in February 1976, the Au
thor remarked to the Editor that he had heard that, one wintry Fri
day night, Canadian National Railways Train 187 had made its last
trip westbound on January 9, 1976. A call to CN-Montreal affirmed
that this was indeed true and that this unusual passenger service
had been withdrawn with the consent of the Railway Transport Com-
mittee of the Canadian Transport Commission.
The Editor wonders what arrangements the two passengers
from Cushing have been able to make.
TIME TABLE No. 99 -APRIL 25th, 1911.
1747 0321 0.0
—-:~-I–.. -. -. _-.. O-R-.-N–O-N-T-.. -. -.-.. -. P-.-z -. —-06-3- -. —
0.6 Uc: .nth Want,,,H Sub.)
1158 0332 .2
1806 0340 8.
FIB14 0347 12.2
………….. ST. BENOIT ..
.. ST PLACID!! …
, .. LALANDI!: ….
. …. 0612
15 0604 ..
S 1825 0357 ~_I_,-.. -.. -.-.. -.s-T.-A-N-O-.2.-.f-s-.-A-s-T–.-z,_w-0 19 0552.
p 1832 0402 19.3 20.0 ………… CARI1~~ON.. . .. z. 4J 0544 ..
F 1837 0406 21.3 ………………. MONALEA ..
F 1842 0411 23.8
F 1846 0414 415,0
… CUSHINO ..•
……… WATSON ..
. .. F0532·
1852 0419 27.2 . , .. STONEIIELO ..
, .. QltE.NVILL!:.. , ,. Vt .
0520, s 1900 0425 30,3 17
Rulee 41 and U applicable.
187 167 188
GRENVILLE SUBDIVISION FOOTNOTES
1,1 GRE:\lLLE -Switcb point deraillocaled 332 feet aoutb
or end of IIlCcl, normal when act in derailing poeition,
DiUM.1 un ita ill 2000, 2300, 5000 anJ 5100 sctire reelricted.
llcaidl Clir Jlcrmit.l4.J, groM weight 220.000 Ihe.
1I:.II.viUlt. auxiliary pclrroit.t.e
Pll&IIengor Iraina Lone ,
Freight. and mixaJ Ir.ll.inlJ lone
6~~~ili~:l~)~~~~I=~ ~,tn.ll.Jr;~~·ero~~· sj)u~::
Nol ,o1ltd by 20, 01 Spud Rt./ri(fjt S,
he name of this unusual book is theGUINNESS
BOOK OF RAIL FACTS AND FEATS by John Mar
shall, second edition 1975. It is published
by Guinness Superlatives Limited, 2 Cecil Court,
Enfield, Middlesex, England. The price is £4.95.
It is hard-cover, 256 pages, 7x9t inches, has
a full-colour dust-jacket, more than 200 black
and-white photos plus mops and diagrams and 16
pages in colour.
This is a fact and interest-packed book designed to brighten
ny hours. The first edition (1971) hos long been out of print,
though a North American edition of that date, under the title
RAIL FACTS AND FEATS may still be found.
John Marshall has taken advantage of time and the help of many
first-edition readers to expand and improve a volume that is as dis
tinctive as the good brew bearing the family name.
International in scope, the book covers almost as many aspects
of railways and rail-lore as one can think of: history, locomotives,
tunnels, races, engineers, bridges, summits, stations, stamps, music,
ferries, trains, records (first, last, biggest, longest, shortest ,
fastest, highest, slowest, and so on).
For example: what is the first and only railway on top of a vol
cano? What was a Parliamentary train and why was it sa called?Which
is the oldest name train in the world? Who was in charge of the Great
Westerns pioneer mail car between Ni.agara Falls and London, Ontario,
Thirty pages alone are devoted to The Pioneers, with biograph
ies of 89 men who led the way in construction, motive power design,
ticketing procedures, miniature passenger-carrying railways, timeta~
ble layout and production, and so on. Canadians are well represented.
Portraits and illustrations of distinctive achievements add to the
interest of this section.
Another 30 pages on Trains, 54 on The Lines, 34 pages on
Motive Power, with one or more illustrations on almost every page
combine to tempt the browser as well as the dedicated scholar.
Expanded references to Canadian history and operations are due
in part to the help ~f Raymond Corley of Toronto, Omer Laval16e of
Montr6al and Fritz Lehman of Vancouver, duly acknowledged in the
introduction. The colour frontispiece is of a CP RAIL freight in the
Rockies. Elsewhere, we find a colour photo of Budd RDCs on the Brit-
CANADIAN 218 R A I L
ish Columbia Railway at Squamish. Book-wide, the colour illustrations
are well reproduced and have been selected to show operations in most
parts of the world; most appear in print for the first time. One
colour page is devoted to crests of pre-grouping and pre-nationaliz
ation British railway companies, another to postage stamps featuring
railways ( a companion page in black-and-white faces it).
Black-and-white illustrations include some that will be familiar
to CANADIAN RAIL readers. Reproduction is generally good but there is
occasional muddiness. Overall, the printers have done an admirable job,
using substantial paper stock and good basic design.
Of the ten maps presented, one or two suffer from the reduction
in size necessitated by the page layout.
Inevitably, the reader may pause here and there to question ac
curacy. For example, is the worlds longest non-stop run really that
of AMTRAKs Silver Meteor, between Richmond and Jacksonville? The
realist may doubt that there is no crew-change stop somewhere along
the way. A note just received from Donald Steffee of speed-survey re
nown expressed his doubts, as well.
All in all, and for those who appreciate a view of the curious
ities of railroading world-wide, a worth-while purchase.
IF YOU HAVE EVER WONDERED WHERE THE WESTERN TERMINUS OF THE CHICAGO,
Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad might be, it can be found in
Port Angeles, Washington State, U.S.A., across Puget Sound from Sea
ttle and across Juan de Fuca Strait from Victoria, British Columbia.
The 52.2-mile disconnected extension from Port Townsend skirts the
corrugated seashore and wanders through incredibly beautiful pastoral
landscape in the shadows of the Olympic Mountains.
Although a mainland operation, barge service connects Port
Townsend with Seattles Pier 27 slip of the Milwaukee Road.
On the afternoon of June 5, 1975, John Hoffmeister caught
Milwaukee SD 7 Number 504 in the yard at Port Angeles, terminus of
the CMSt.P&P s Fourteenth Subdivision, Coast Division, nearly 2,500
miles west of Chicago.
CANADIAN 220 R A I L
OF THE MANY SAD RAILWAY SIGHTS NOW TO BE SEEN IN THE UNITED STATES
of North America, one of the saddest must be the once-magnificent
Union Station in St. Paul, Minnesota. A splendidly proportioned clas
sical facade fronts a great hall, writes Dr. Robert F. Legget of Ot
tawa, Canada, that is in itself an architectural delight. But all is
locked, closed, disused and neglected and there is not the least
whisper of possible preservation.
So certain was the demise of this once bustling station that
rails were laid down the centre of the great concourse to carry the
refurbished, original First Locomotive of the Northwest. This
green-liveried 4-4-0 was named after the first Chief Engineer of the
St. Paul and Pacific Railroad – a predecessor of the Great Northern
Railway -William Crooks.
Built in Patterson, Nel: Jersey, U.S.A., the William Crooks ar
rived in St. Paul via Mississippi River steamboat in 1861. She weigh
ed 40 tons and measured 51 feet long, with her 8-wheeled tender.
Going to the Union Depot during a recent visit to the Twin
ties ( in April 1975), it was not possible to obtain permission
enter the station to view the historic locomotive, since all
doors were securely locked, bolted and barred.
All that one could do was to follow the example of the proverb
ial schoolboy and peer through the dirty glass of the once-proud main
doors, to obtain a fleeting and unsatisfactory glimpse of the hall
and its temporary occupant.
The ancient locomotive is to be dismantled and moved to a pro
posed transport museum in Duluth, Minnesota, where she will be
The future of the famous St. Paul Union Depot is still in doubt.
The first of the two pictures which accompany this item shows
the afternoon Twin Citiea Zephyr of the Chicago, Burlington and
Quincy Rail-road leaving the Union Station at St. Paul, Minnesota, on 17
July 1949, headed by unit Number 9907A, Silver Knight and an
unidentified B unit.
R A I L
The second picture shows the 4-4-0 William Crooks, identified
on the tender as belonging to the 1st. Division of the St. Paul and
Pacific Rail Road, with the subtitle Great Northern Railway, in
the pagean~ Wheels A Rollin at the Chicago Railroad Fair, on July
22, 1949. Both photographs are from the Associations E.A.Toohey Mem
FROM LETHBRIDGE, PAT WEBB REPORTS THAT CP RAIL C-LINER NUMBER 4104
was stored in the roundhouse at Lethbridge during the win
ter of 1975-76 and moved west to Cranbrook about the first
week of March. The unit was destined, reported Pat, for the Fort
Steele Historical Park at Cranbrook. More information will follow,
says Pat, as it becomes available.
NINE CHICAGO & NORTH WESTERN RAILROAD BI-LEVEL PASSENGER CARS WENT
into service for GO TRANSIT on January 19, 1976 on Train
954 between Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario. The train left
Hamilton at 0720 and arrived Union Station at 0827. These cars were
on loan for a period of four months, after which they were scheduled
to go to Vancouver, British Columbia.
In the first of the two pictures accompanying this
GO TRANSIT unit Number 9806 leads -while Number 9812 pushes -957
just west of Bathurst Street, Toronto, at 0839 on January
1976. This is the dead-head move to Mimico after the arrival of
ain 954 from Hamilton.
In the second picture, GO TRANSIT unit Number 9606 leads
while Number 9812 brings up the rear of the nine-car train.
The Secretary left these two pictures with the Editor and
did not say who had contributed them. The Editor suspects it
John Sutherland, our member from Highland Creek, Ontario.
BOB LOAT OF CALGARY, ALBERTA AND PUEBLO, COLORADO, MADE SURE THAT HE
was at the trestle at Gainford, Alberta at 1507 hours on Saturday,
April 13, 1974, to take this splendid picture of Canadian NQtional
Railw.ays freight Train Extra West Number 351, with SD 40 Number 5144
on the point. The trestle construction is almost as varied as
the freights consist.
ISSN 0008 -4875
is published monthly by the
Canadian Railroad Historical Association
p.o. Box 22. Station B, Montreal,Quebec,Canada/H3B 3J5
Editor; S.S.Worthen Production; P. Murphy
CALGARY & SOUTH-WESTERN
L. N. Unwin, SccrLtory 1727 23td. Avenue N.W.,Colgory,Alto.T2M lV6
D. E ,5 lal tz,$ ecretory P.O.Box 141,St.ation A, Otto …. a,Canado KIN 8Vl
R. Shontler,Secrctory P.O.Box 1006,Stotion A,Voncouver,B.C.V6C 2Pl
C. H. He lc,,er I S ec roto ry P.O.Box 6102,Stotion C,fdrlonton,Alto.TSB 4K5
TORONTO & YORK OIVISION
O. Scott Secretory P.O.Box 5849,Tornino1 A Toronto,Qnt,M54 lP3
WINDSOR & ESSEX DIVISION
J. R. Wal fe, Secretory 300 Cabana Rood East, Windsor, ant. N9G IA2
AUSTRAL IA C.L.Coop 68 Hount Pleasont Rood Elthom 3095 Victoria
EUROPE J_H.leclercq Residence 8011cYue de Pic,… 01220 OiYonne Fronco
fAR EAST W.O. McKeown 6_7, 4-cho.,o, YOlllote-cho,5uito City,Osaka Jopan
MANITOOA K.G. Yaunger 267 Vernon Rood, Winnipog. tlonitobo R3J 2W1
SASKATCHE-IAN C. Barrett P.D.Oox 268, Langham, Soskatchewan SOK 2LO
SOUTH AMERICA D.J.Howard Price,Waterhouse & Pcote,Coixo 1978,500 Paulo.Srolil
SOUTHERN Al SERTA E. W. John SOn 4019 Vordell Rood N.W.,Calgary, Alberto T3A OC3
UNITED KINGDOM J.H.Sonders 67 Willow Way, Ampthill, Oeds. MK45 2Sl England
WEST AfRICA R.E.luggatt Inst. of Applied Science,Uni …. Ibodon,Ibodon,Nigerio
Visit the Canadian Railway Museum St.Constant; Quebec, Canada.
100 pieces of equipment on display-