Grand Trunk Pacifics
hundred years or more ago, the crown colony
of British Columbia, three thousand miles
distant from Montreal -so it was said -was
more than willing to confederate with the
five eastern provinces of Canada, as long
as the federal government would agree to build a
railway west across the plains and through the
mountains to Victoria, Vancouver Island. The
Pacific Railway would start, logically, from the
terminus of the line in Ontario that ran farther
est west from the Main Line of the Grand Trunk
Railway Company of Canada at Toronto.
The Grand Trunk Railway was then the largest and most important
railway in Canada. It expected to be asked to build the transconti
nental railway and it was not disappointed. It expected that it
would be allowed to choose its own route west, via the southern city
of Chicago, to which it already had a line.
This route was refused without qualification by Canadas federal
government and Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, who insisted that
the transcontinental railway should be located entirely on the Can
adian side of the International Boundary. This stipulation also frus-
PARTICULARLY TYPICAL OF LIFE ON THE RAILWAY IN THE EARLY PART OF THE
Twentieth Century is this portrait of the section gang on the Grand
Trunk Pacific Railways Lake Superior Branch at Dona, Ontario. The
picture is very reminiscent of other locations on the National Trans-
continental in northern and eastern Quebec. The picture was loaned
for presentation by Mr. T. Delvecchio.
~ AFTER THE LAKE SUPERIOR BRANCH OF THE GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY
Company was declared ready by the contractar, there was a tour of
inspection by Messrs. O.O.Winter, A.B. Atwater, Charles M. Hays and
Alfred W. Smithers, pictured here at Fort William, Ontario, in 1910.
Photo courtesy Public Archives of Canada.
, .. _-_ .. ,
CANADIAN 261 R A I L
trated the United States financier Jay Cooke, who would have prefer
red that the railway should run via Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and
upper Michigan, with a connection to the Northern Pacific Railway at
Duluth, Minnesota. In any case, everyone agreed that any southern
route would terminate at Winnipeg, where the real transcontinental
line would begin.
Because of this difference of opinion between the federal gov
ernment and the Directors of the Grand Trunk, the latter lost their
chance to build the Pacific Railway. At that time, the loss was of
no great concern to the Grand Trunk, which was busy gobbling up var
ious short lines in Ontario and Michigan. Thirty years later, it was
esteemed to have been a most serious loss. By the turn of the cen-
tury, it appeared that the Grand Trunk was going to get a second
chance to build a transcontinental railway.
By 1901, the occupation of the Canadian west, via the Canadian
Pacific and Canadian Northern Railways, was in full swing. Even the-
then Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Wilfred Laurier, was keenly
aware of the need for a second transcontinental railway, to offer
competition to the Canadian Pacific and to transport the ever grow-
ing traffic which could not be handled over one line. There was a
need for another coast-to-coast railway, as William Mackenzie and
Donald Mann of the Canadian Northern had already proved.
Under the leadership of Sir William Laurier, who sincerely be
lieved that his duty was to lead Canadians into a new and greater era
of prosperity, the national transcontinental proposal was continued.
It was proposed that the government of Canada would build the east
ern portion of the line from a terminal in Nova Scotia to Winnipeg,
via Quebec, northern Ontario and possibly Fort William or Port Ar
thur on Lake Superior.
The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, a wholly-owned subsid
iary of the Grand Trunk Railway, would build the Nova Scotia-Winnipeg
portion for the Government of Canada and would lease it back for op
eration. The Eastern Division would be leased for operation for 50
years to the Grand Trunk Pacific at an annual rental of 3% of the
construction costs, with the first seven years rent-free and a three
year grace period, if the railway did not earn enough to pay the
interest on its construction cost. Everyone agreed that the country
between the St. Maurice valley in Quebec and Superior Junction in
northwestern Ontario was very barren.
As the construction of the eastern and western portions of the
new transcontinental railway went forward, the grain harvests on the
prairies increased year by year. In order to take advantage of this
traffic, the Directors of the Grand Trunk decided that it was essen
tial to have a connection with the ports at the head of Lake Superior
as soon as possible. The proposed line would leave the main line
at Superior Junction in northwestern Ontario, running some 200 miles
southeast to Fort William on Thunder Bay. The Grand Trunk hoped that
it could secure a portion of the grain traffic from the prairies to
the Great Lakes.
A charter was granted in 1903 for a railway from the National
Transcontinental to Fort William, port Arthur or some other port on
Lake Superior. It was to be known as the Lake Superior Branch. The
Province of Ontario awarded the line a subsidy of $ 2,000 and 6,000
acres of land per mile in 1904, the land to be alotted in ten large
blocks adjacent to the railway.
CANADIAN 262 R A I L
In choosing a site for the terminal at the lakehead, the GTP
civil engineers examined several sites and land was optioned to take
the line to Bare Point, noith of the harbour at Port Arthur.The site
selected was a 1,600-acre tract obtained from an Indian reserve, fr
onting on both the Kaministiquia and Mission Rivers at Fort William.
The latter stream required considerable dredging. Fort William
paid handsomely for the privilege of welcoming the Grand Trunk Pa
cific, with $ 200,000 cash and a $ 50,000 subsidy to build a combin
ation rail and road bridge to gain access to the land on the south
side of the Kaministiquia River. There were also tax exemptions,land
grants and street closings. The enabling by-law was ratified by the
Fort William ratepayers in the ratio of 100 to 1.
A contract was signed with Foley Brothers, Larsen and Company
of Min n e sot a, U. S • A. 0 n 0 c t 0 be r 5, 1 905, for the con s t r u c t ion 0 f
slightly less than 160 miles of railway. The first sod was turned at
W est fort at 1 5 4 1 hours, 5 e pte m b e r 11, 1 90 5 by P rime M in i s t e r Sir
Wilfred Laurier, with 10,000 people in attendance. The GTR officials
were inclined to ignore this ceremony, as they had already held one
on the main line of the GTP at a point six miles north of Carberry,
Manitoba, on August 29, 1905.
But Sir William, like politicians then and now, was not to be
denied. He had been persuaded to stop off at Fort William on his
way back to Ottawa, after his western tour. The official party came
east over the Canadian Northern Railway and, after the sod-turning
ceremony, the politicians assured the citizens that, with the build
ing of the GTP, Fort William would be the Chicago of the north, an
allegedly very desirable condition. Sir Wilfred and Lady Laurier were
entertained at a reception at the home of Dr. Hamilton, later leaving
to spend the night in their private railway car at Port Arthur. In
THE EXTRA GANGS COOK AND FOREMANS SLEEPER (THE SIGN ON THE DOOR IN
dicates that the contents are Perishable) belonged to the Canadian
Government Railways and came from the Intercolonial Railway component.
This photograph, taken during the construction period of the Lake
Superior Branch is through the courtesy of Mr. T. Delvecchio.
~NE OF THE MANY WOODEN TRESTLES ON THE LAKE SUPERIOR BRANCH. THIS ONE
was on Subcontractor Winstons contract, under the supervision of
Foley Brothers, Larsen and Company of Minnesota, U.S.A.
Photo courtesy Public Archives of Canada.
THE LAKE SUPERIOR BRANCH OF THE GTP 50 MILES NORTHWEST OF FORT WIL
liam, showing the trestle and tunnel at Flett, Mile 9.6 on todays
Graham SiD of CN. This picture was taken in 1909, about 6 months af
ter the line was opened. Photo courtesy Public Archives of Canada.
the morning, the private car was attached to the rear of an bound
Canadian Pacific Railway express, for Ottawa.
Foley Brothers, Larsen and Company were the largest heavy con
struction contractors on the North American continent, at that time.
John W. (Jack) Stewart, Canadian general manager of the company, ar
rived in late October to make preliminary arrangements, but work did
not get under way on a large scale until 1906. Jack Stewart later
served with distinction as head of the Canadian Railway Corps in
World War I and became a Major-General.
Shortly after leaving West Fort William, the new GTP line made a
half-loop to avoid the heavy grade alignment of the Canadian Pa
ci fic. This loop was facetiously named the Mooses Nose or Devils
Elbow. The GTP ran close to the CPR for the first sixty miles out
of Fort William, before turning in a more northerly direction to
join the main line at Superior Junction, 6.4 miles east of Sioux
Lookout and known by the same name today. The railway was built with
considerable difficulty through forest, muskeg and rocky terrain,cr-
CANADIAN 267 R A I L
os sing a multitude of streams which flowed in and out of many lakes.
While construction techniques had certainly advanced since 1883,when
the Canadian Pacific was under construction through this desolate
area, the difficulties provided by the terrain certainly had not ch
A significant amount of rock-work was required and a 600-foot
tunnel was driven through the rock at Flett. Sixty bridges were
constructed, each one numbered from West Fort to Superior Junction.
Work went on at a fast pace, but completion of the line was delayed
by a shortage of 60-pound rail, on which a tarrif had been imposed by
the Canadian government. Nevertheless, the line was completed and
opened for service on November 27, 1908.Three years and one month for
the construction of about 160 miles of railway was not bad going,con
sidering the ruggedness of the terrain.
All stations west of West fort were named in alphabetical order,
starting with Alba and continuing on to Superior Junction. Today,the
26-station sequence is still relatively intact, only B, D, I, Nand
X being lost over the years. Ta compensate, G, land R are today re
peated. The same station-naming practice was instituted by the GTP
west of Portage la Prairie to Edmonton.
Construction of the Mission terminal required a swing-bridge to
gain access to the l,600-acre property on the east side of the Mis
sion River. A large 5.75-million-bushel grain elevator was built
near the river to handle the grain from the GTPs 131 prairie ele
vators being built along its western lines, as well as that from
other private companies.
A large coal-handling facility was built to speed up the trans
shipment of coal from lake ships to railway hopper cars. Two large
transfer sheds were built for pa~kage and bulk freight to and from
the lower lake ports. In addition, there was a large amount of yard
trackage, the usual multi-stall roundhouse, water tank and car shops
on the Mission property. Later, a spur was built to Fort William, so
that the GTP could gain access to the Canadian Pacific Railways sta
tion for their passenger trains. The GTP superintendent and the Com
panys offices were located here. A new freight shed was built near
by on the Kaministiquia River to serve the local trade.
The new Lake Superior Branch of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
included the 252-mile section of the National Transcontinental from
Superior Junction to Winnipeg. The contract for this portion was
awarded to J.D. McArthur and Company of Winnipeg and a large amount
of rock-work was necessary, as well as a considerable stretch of
muskeg on the eastern end of the contract. Although completion of
the Lake Superior Branch was hastened, the GTP was unable to use it
to haul grain until 1909, in spite of the fact that they were ship
ping grain from the prairies west of Winnipeg as early as 1907. How
did it reach the Lakehead? By the Canadian Northern Railway.
~ A WESTBOUND GTP PASSENGER TRAIN POWERED BY A TENWHEEL STEAM ENGINE
thunders across the bridge over the Dog River at Dona, Ontario,about
35 miles west of Fort William. Photo courtesy T. Delvecchio.
A GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC FREIGHT TRAIN, HAULED BY 2-8-0 NUMBER 213,STOP
ped near Dona, Ontario, presumably for a meet. Photo T. Delvecchio.
CANADIAN 270 R A I L
The Government of Canada had assured the GTP that the Winnipeg~
Superior Jvnction section of the NTR would be completed on time, but
with the exception of one ten-car train of grain moved in the late
fall of 1909 over unballasted track, no further grain shipments mov
ed. The McAtthur contract was completed in August 1910, but a dis
pute with the Canadian Northern over trackage rights in Winnipeg de
layed the opening of the line until April 1911. Thus the GTP lost
out in moving grain in the 1908-09-10 seasons, which it had expected
to deliver to the Grand Trunk on the lower lakes via lake carrier
out of Fort William. This very lucrative traffic had to be turned
over to the Canadian Pacific or Canadian Northern at Winnipeg and
the anticipated revenues of the three seasons were thus lost to the
three In the end, the National Transcontinental cost almost
time the original estimate. The Grand Trunk directors soon
that the NTR would not earn enough revenue to pay the high
rental fee, calculated by federal government experts. The GTP
refused to assume the expensive NTR lease with such a small
of revenue traffic in view.
Despite the protestations and pleas of the Grand Trunk, the
Department of Railways and Canals of the federal government refused
to renegotiate the terms of the lease, insisting that the GTR must
stick to the original terms, like it or not. When it became evident
that the Grand Trunk just could not continue further operation of
the NTR, the Government of Canada assumed operation of the NTR on
June 12, 1914, considering it as an element of the newly-formed Can
adian Government Railways.
The Lake Superior Branch was leased in perpetuity by the CGR
at an annual rental of $ 600,000 with option to purchase at any time
within 21 years for $ 13,333,333. It was officially taken over by
the Canadian Government Railways on July 1,1915, the new manager
being Mr. Brewer, with headquarters in Cochrane, Ontario.
When the Government of Canada consolidated the operation of the
Canadian Northern Railway with the Canadian Government Railways on
December 20, 1918, Mr. D.S.Hanna was appointed manager of the com
bination. In the same Order-in-Council, the new Soard of Directors
of the CGRys were instructed to use the name Canadian National Ra
ilways in lieu of the names Canadian Northern Railway System and
Canadian Government Railways. This was the first appearance of the
name which today identifies Canadas major railway.
Under Mr. Hannas leadership, many improvements in the NTR/GTP
were made, including the replacement of the timber bridges and tres
tles with steel and concrete or with rock and gravel fill, the lat
ter coming from the huge Dona Pit located on the west side of the
Every opportunity was taken to effect economies in the opera-
tion of the new company and, in 1922, it was decided to build a
large, new yard at Fort William to handle all the grain and other
traffic coming to the lakehead for trans-shipment. A new line was
built from Neebing, a few miles west of Fort William, to Conmee Jun
ction, parallel with but higher than the ex-Canadian Northern right
of-way on the south side of the Kaministiquia River. Initially, a
single track was laid, but the right-of-way was made for double tr
ack. A large bridge was built to carry the new line over the Mattawin
River and the Canadian Pacifics double-track line along its bank.The
new line was completed in 1924.
CANADIAN 271 R A I L
The 26-mile section of the GTP from near Conmee to Fort William
was abandoned in the fall of 1924. The rails were taken up in 1925
and the bridge over the Dog River was dismantled and taken to Saska
tchewan. The abandonment of this section involved the closure of four
stations: Alba, Baird, Crest and Dona. Today, only the settlement of
Baird remains. It was originally called French Settlement, but it is
now almost totally populated by Canadian farmers of Dutch origin.
Once the Lake Superior Branch, today its title is the Graham
Subdivision of Canadian National Railways. It is a busy line, carry
ing iron ore from Bruce Lake, in addition to grain, forest products
and other troffic from Canadas great west to her industrial east.
A new branch line, 12 miles in length, to the mines in the Mattabi
district of GTP Land Block 7, was recently opened. There was once
another logging railway to Sturgeon Lake, but it has long since been
The ten land blocks awarded to the GTP as a land grant were la
ter sold to the Abitibi Power and Paper Company, while Blocks 9 and
10 reverted to the Government of Ontario in exchange for other con
If you would like to see this part of Canada, there is still a
twice-weekly passenger train operating from Thunder Bay North to
Sioux Lookout -returning next day – a distance of 202 miles. The
service is advertised on page 23, Table 42 of the April 25, 1976 to
October 30, 1976 public folder: Trains 277/278. In the former time
table, these were mixed trains, widely used by forest workers, hun
ters and fishermen. The railway runs through an area with many beau
tiful lakes and streams. Several large pulp and paper companies op
erate logging camps adjacent to the line.
Graham, Ontario, the divisional point on the main line seven mi-
les west of Superior Junction was renamed Sioux Lookout after the
line had been opened. But the name itself was not lost for the turn
around point on the Lake Superior Branch at Mile 107 became Graham,
honoring the Honorable George P. Graham, Minister of Railways and
Canals in the cabinet of Sir Wilfred Laurier.
During the construction of Neebing Yard at Fort William, most
of the original terminal facilities of the GTP were demolished, but
the coal docks on the harbour front continued to be used and are now
employed for loading iron ore pellets by a private company. The
grain elevator has been sold to a private operator and the spur line
to the CP RAIL depot, once used by GTP passenger trains, has been
For many years, the section foreman at Dona, Ontario, Mr. T. Del
vecchio of Kakabeka Falls, worked for the GTP, the CGR and the CNR.
He was also foreman on many large track-loying jobs, including the
diversion at Conmee Junction. After the new line was completed, he
supervised the lifting of the rails from Dona to West Fort William.
Mr. Charles A. Lucas of Thunder Bay was a telegrapher, working
at many stations on the Lake Superior Branch. He started work with
the Canadian Government Railways.
There have been a good many relocations of railway lines
other changes since the Lake Superior Branch was first placed
eration. Today, there are still some evidences in the western
of Thunder Bay, but you have to have sharp eyes to find them.
CANADIAN 272 R A I L
The Author would like to thank the following people who have
contributed pictures, information and assistance in the preparation
of this article:
Miss Clara Cook
Mrs. P. Williamson
Mr. & Mrs. William Germaniuk Mr.
& Mrs. Tuominen Mr.
Clifford A. Brown Mr.
Mr. L. Delvecchio
Mr. T. Delvecchio
Mr. Robert Southall
THE RAILWAY BUILDERS
THE GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY OF CANADA:
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Fort Willinm TTMF.S-JOURNAL
(Baird) Thunder Boy, Ontario
Thunder Boy, Ontario
Thunder Boy, Ontario
Thunder Boy, Ontario
Thunder Boy, Ontario
Thunder Boy, Ontario
Thunder Boy, Ontario
Thunder Boy, Ontario
Various issues 1905 to dote.
A GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC BOXCAR OF THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, COMPLETE
with truss-rods and arch-bar trucks, recorded at Dono, Ontario, by
AS RECORDED ELSEWHERE, THE CHANGE OF TIME TIMETABLE PUBLISHED BY
Canadian National Railways, was an eye-catcher, multi-
coloured booklet of traditional dimensions, but with a
bright orange-and-blue TURBO on the cover, painted with CNs new
trademark, VIA. Careful analysis of the contents of the folder,of
ficial from April 25, 1976, must await individual appraisal, but
for the lazy reader, John Welsh has provided a sort of extract of
the major changes:
-STEAM SPECIALS with CN Number 6060 are advertised in Table 29,
although the reference says See Table 28. It has been quite
some time since steam train operation was advertised in a CN
public timetable. Oh yes, the specials are to operate from
Toronto to Niagara Falls and return, starting June 12j
-abandonment of Quebecs Palo is Station, not mentioned in CP
RAILs new timetable of April 25, will mean some slower sched
ules in regional passenger service, e.g., 30 minutes more for
Trains 678-679, Quebec-Clermont (Table 36) j
-Table 21: Train 73, Toronto-Windsor (daily), offers a con-
nection with AMTRAK TURBO Train 355, Detroit-Chicago (daily),
the transfer service from CN Windsor (Walkerville) to Detroit
(AMTRAK) being $ 6.00 per person;
-Table 39: Quebec-Montreal-Senneterre-Cochrane Train 175 shows
sit down food and beverage service Quebec-Montreal to Senne
terre. It seems unlikely that this food service would be pro
vided for the 184 miles west of Senneterrej
-Table 24: Montreal-Ottawa/Hull: the frequency of service has
been restored to what it was some years ago but the timings
have been lengthened, e.g., Train 2 at 150 minutes is 15 min
utes slower. The four runs now advertised as RAPIDO are each
slower than the corresponding trains in previous timetables.
Train 31 is now 11 minutes slower, Train 36 is 5 minutes slow
er, Train 39, formerly Train 37, is 1 minute slower and Train
30 is 8 minutes slowerj
-Table 6: Halifax-Sydney-Montreal: Train 11-19, Scotian is 20
minutes slower eastbound, while Train 15-12, Scotian is sli
ghtly slower in both directionsj
-Table 27: all Toronto/Windsor/Sarnia trains are now shown as
TEMPO, except Train 659 RAILINER, the midnight special,Toronto
to London, arriving 01 30 (!) ;
the best Toronto-London time is now 120 minutes,wh
ereas previous best time, which has prevailed for several yeais,
for several trains was 115 minutesj
the best Toronto-Sarnia time is now 195 minutes com
pared to 200 minutes beforej
CANADIAN 274 R A I L
-Tables 12 through 15: Transcontinental services: Train 1, the
Super Continental, is now a full hour slower (note the two
hour siesta at Winnipeg), but Train 2 is 85 minutes faster,
despite 90 minute stop at Winnipeg. Previously, it was 75
-Table 25: Montreal-Toronto: here is where the fun begins. The
best TURBO time is now 16 minutes slower than when this ser
vice was introduced eight years ago. This is partially ex
plained by new stop at Kingston and 9-car train formation.What
price a new speed record of 140.6 mph~;
Lakeshore andBonaventure replaced by daily afternoon
RAPIDO and by shuttle RDC DAYLINERs Montreal-Brockville, con
necting with Ottawa-Toronto Capitale and The Exec, which
means transfer for passengers travelling, for example, from
Montreal to Oshawa, Port Hope to Cornwall, etc. Note that 44
minutes will be lost at Brockville by passengers transferring
from Train 46 to Train 654, Toronto (16 30) to Montreal (22 30);
Ontarian, Train 651-656, is now slower by 6 minutes, each
all four RAPIDOs are slightly faster than the one-time norm
of less than 5 hours (4 hours 59 minutes);
-Table 58: Winnipeg-Sioux Lookout: WOW~ This has to be the most
accelerated service on the system. Train 287, Monday, Wednes
day & Friday, arrives at Winnipeg 1 hour 55 minutes sooner.Can
it be that this is no longer a mixed train service? The M
is no longer shown;
last but not leas~~ No passenger service is shown for the
Mont-Joli/Matane branch, formerly the Canada and Gulf Terminal
Railway. If passenger service has been withdrawn, it will be
quite a disappointment.
End or 30.
IN A NEWS RELEASE SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE IN APRIL 1976, THE STATE OF
West Virginia announced from Ronceverte that the popular
Greenbrier Scenic Railroad was abandoning operations, due
to increased operating costs and consequent diesel locomotive and
train crew leasing costs. In addition, the Chessie System was con
sidering removing a large portion of the Greenbrier River valley tr
ackage from Durbin south to North Caldwell station, near Ronceverte.
The four passenger coaches owned by the Greenbrier Rail
road were to be sold by bid. The remaining 14 coaches and cars, owned by
the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, were to go
into storage at the Cass Scenic Railroad.
Seven excursions on the Greenbrier in 1973 attracted some
2,200 passengers from 23 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and
several foreign countries. Five excursions in 1974 drew 2,456 riders,
while six 1975 trains attracted 1,688 fares. This lower total last
year did not result in a financial deficit.
~PIERRE PATENAUDE REPORTED IN MAY THAT THE ROBERVAL & SAGUENAY RAIL
way had purchased the former Southern Pacific Corporation
ALCO DL 701 Number 2931. For transit and customs purposes,
the unit was numbered FS 2931. Pierre photographed the unit at Mon
treal Yard of Canadian National Railways on 20 March 1976.
CANADIAN 276 R A I L
THE BRITISH COLUMBIA RAILWAY AWARDED AN $ 850,000 CONTRACT TO GTE
Lenkurt Electric Canada Limited of Burnaby, British Col
unbia for microwave communications equipment to replace a
500-mile section of a telecommunications network used by the railway.
The new equipment will be installed by the communications
department of the BCR and is expected to be in operation late this
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS RECENTLY CALLED FOR PROPOSALS FOR THE RE
development of the station property at Belleville, Ontar
io. The proposals were to be made in the light af a long
term leasing arrangement with a maximum of 50 years. Involved in the
redevelopment were approximately 8.8 acres of land, a portion of CNs
station grounds at Belleville.
IT WAS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE SCHEDULE OF BRITISH COLUMBIAS ROYAL
Hudson Steam Train, hauled by ex-CPR Royal Hudson Num
ber 2860, was not available to us for publication before
18 May 1976, when it was received from Rick Shantler of the Pacific
Coast Branch of the Association.
At that time, the train was to begin operating on Friday,
May 21 with fares unchanged from 1975. The last day of operation was
announced as Monday, October 11, Thanksgiving Day.
Service was advertised as every day of the week, Mondays
and Tuesdays; if a holiday were to fallon either of
two days, then the train would operate as usual.
The trip from North Vancouver ta Squamish and return was
advertised at $ 5.50 for adults, $ 4.00 far senior citizens and stu
dents ( ages 12 through 18) and $ 2.75 for children.
The special train was to leave North Vancouver at 10 00
hours far Squamish, returning in the afternoon to arrive at North
Vancouver at 15 45. A very comfortable schedule and reasonable price.
IN EASTERN CANADA, CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS BROUGHT WELL-KNOWN 4-8-2
steam locomotive Number 6060 down to Montreal for two
pre-season runs to Riviere-o-Pierre (May 29) and Sherbro-
oke (May 30). The Riviere-o-Pierre trip was sponsored by the St.
Lawrence Valley Railway Society, while the Sherbrooke trip was run
by Canadian National. Subsequently, the locomotive returned to Tor
onto to be ready for the several summer excursions from the Queen
City to various terminii in southern Ontario.
~ THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THE CENTRAL VERMONT RAILROAD BOASTED SOME RE
markably large steam engines. The magnificent 2-10-4s were exempli-
fied by Number 701, pictured at Turcot East, Montreal, waiting the
highball to depart over Victoria Bridge for the southbound run to
St-Jean, St. Albans and White River Junction, Vermont. The date was
11 November 1948.
First-class power for the CV passenger trains were the group of
4-8-2s, many of which were named. In the accompanying picture, Num
ber 601 rolls the southbound Ambassador -with a six-car consist _
through western St. Lambert toward Ranelagh, the crossing with the
electric interurban Montreal & Southern Counties Railway. The date
was 22 October 1951.
Bath photographs are from the E.Allen Toohey Collection in the
CANADIAN 279 R A I L
SASKATCHEWANS TRANSPORT MINISTER GORDON MACMURCHY RECENTLY CALLED
on Canadas federal government to ful fill an election pr
omise and to create an independent national rail passen
ger corporation to improve rail passenger service for the citizens of
Saskatchewan. Mr. MacMurchy said that Canadas major railways have
not promoted passenger service, have not tried acceptable scheduling
and have allowed equipment to deteriorate. In addition, he said that
it was difficult to avoid the conclusion that the railways have de
liberately attempted to exterminate the passenger train.
Two weeks before, Martin Dorrell of Charlottetown, Prince
Edward Island, said in the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL that P.E.I.,too, was
about to lose all rail service. Formerly, about 90% of the outbound
traffic was potatoes, but when shippers found that carloads of spuds
took as much as two weeks to reach central Canadian markets, with no
interim temperature control, they switched to trucks. CN countered
by offering piggy-back facilities, reducing the estimated transit
time to three days, but this was expensive and the potato marketing
board did not feel responsible to help reduce the cost.
In his article, Mr. Dorrell concluded that the predicament
facing the PEl rail lines was the same as that confronting passenger
train service in central Canada: which came first, poor service or
fewer customers? With the new CN schedule published in late April,
1976, there may yet be an opportunity for the citizens of Saskatch-
ewan to prove that there are plenty of customers for the improved
passenger train service in central Canada.
FURTHER PERUSAL OF THE APRIL 25 CN TIMETABLE, SAYS JOHN WELSH, SUG
gests that it is possible to travel from Montreal to Tor
onto, Windsor and Chicago in 13 30, which is considerably
less time than the days of the International Limited. The scheme
is as follows:
12 15 12 15 16 10 17 00
Train 61 TURBO
Train 73 TEMPO
AMTRAK 355 TURBO
But, says John, unless its guaranteed by CN, that Toronto
connection looks a little risky~
EARLY IN THE SUMMER, CP RAIL AND CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS WERE BUSY
developing a unit-train approach to the transport of grain
from the prairies to east-coast ports. Rate quotations for
these new trains were expected shortly. The CP RAIL route was planned
to run from Moose Jaw and Weyburn, Saskatchewan to Saint John, New
Brunswick, while the proposed CN route was from Saskatoon and Rose
town, Saskatchewan to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
IN MID-MAY, THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT APPROVED THE AWARD OF A TEN
tative $ 27.2 million contract to Bombardier-MLW Limited
of Montreal for the construction of 36 electric commuter
cars for the Illinois Central Gulf Railroads Chicago South Suburban
Mass Transit District Board. Approval of the contract, awarded to
MLW last November, was necessary because the U.S.government was sub
sidizing 30% of the cost of construction. The cars are expected to
be delivered within the next two years for operation by the ICG.
CANADIAN 280 R A I L
CANADIAN NATIONAL CHARTERED A NEW FERRY FROM STENA LINE AB OF SWEDEN
for the next five summers. The new ferry, a sister-ship to
the other two already chartered to CN, was put on the run
from North Sydney to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. These ships can
carry 1,200 passengers and 300 cars. Three older ferries are being
RECENTLY, DON MCQUEEN OF LONDON, ONTARIO -THE HOME OF THE DIESEL DI
vision of General Motors of Canada Limited -sent in some
details of Order C-390, the pretty GT26CW units for the
Algerian Railways. Don describes the underframe and trucks as a
pearly (silver) grey, the buffers and couplers being the same shade.
The locomotive ends and running-boards are in a pastel (citron) yel
low. The body is in two shades: a glossy black on the upper rear half
and a pastel chade of orangey peach (~) on the remainder of the body,
except for a triple-segmented band in cherry red.
The manufacturers name for the peach shade is High Gloss
Beige, but, when applied, this coating has the appearance of several
different shades, depending upon the angle at which it is observed
and the lighting conditions.
At the time of the observations, there was no lettering on
the unit but space had been left for a circular herald on the cab.
Numbers 060 DG1 (A3388) to 4 were in various stages of
test on 3 June 1976, 060 DG 5 and 6 were just through the paint shop,
060 DG 7 and 8 were primed for painting, while 060 DG 9, 10 and 11
were built up on the erecting floor.
Being assembled behind these latter units were the balan
ce of the order 060 DG 12 to 15. There were also signs that the next
order for the Algerian Railways, C-391, was about to begin, although
at the time of observation, none of the order had been built.
Other than the excessive length of these units, they are
different in that the light-weight export frame has been used, a
6900-liter fuel tank is installed, the data and instructions are in
the French language and the SP tunnel-style radiator fan auxiliary
is on the rear.
It is also interesting to note that, so far, each unit has
been built with one EMD and one DOFASCO-made six-wheel truck, as Don
says, a rather neat international touch!
AT THE BEGINNING OF JUNE 1976, JOHN WELSH SPENT A DAY AT BROCKVILLE,
Ontario and observed that Canadian National crews were
hard at work taking down the last of the light standards
in the mini-yard opposite the station. All tracks had been removed and
all buildings demolished except for three small shacks used for
storage of odd articles. Also, the tower for the crossing watchman had
been removedi the gates are now automatically controlled by a
crossing circuit, the same as the gates at Montreal West on CP RAIL.
Later, this land was offered for redevelopement in Montreal, Brock
ville and Toronto newspapers.
With the Rapido trains now running through Brockville
without a crew-change stop and with no through cars from Ottawa, due
to the discontinuance of the Lakeshore, railway jobs in this city
appear to disappear.
TURBO timekeeping, John reported, was terrible at the
beginning of the summer. The services from Montreal and Toronto were
rarely on time. On one day, John observed that the morning TURBO to
Montreal was through Brockville about the time it was due in Dorval,
the suburban stop in western Montreal.
CANADIAN 281 R A I L
The new connecting runs using Budd RDC Railiner cars
were not much better: one run from Montreal was 55 minutes late; an
other left Brockville on time, lost 14 minutes to Cornwall and ar
rived at Dorval 20 minutes late. It is probable that the performance
will improve as the operation continues and experience is developed.
THE UIPLEMnlTATION OF CONRAIL IN THE UNITED STATES ON APRIL 1,1976
raised a question regarding the disposition of several
railway companies incorporated in Canada and once leased
or wholly or partially owned by the New York Central Railroad Com
pany and later the Penn Central Transportation Corporation. These
were the St. Lawrence and Adirondack Railway Company (Adirondack
Junction to Valleyfield, Huntingdon and the Quebec-New York State
boundary near Athelstan, Quebec), the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo
Railway Company, jointly owned with Canadian Pacific Limited and the
Canada Southern Railway Company, from Fort Erie to Windsor, Ontario.
The Canada Southern, together with the Detroit River Rail
way, Bridge and Tunnel Company and the Canada Southern Bridge Com
pany (the bridge over the Niagara River from Fort Erie to Buffalo)
were leased in 1904 to the Michigan Central Railroad Company, which,
in turn, leased the Canada Southern to the New York Central Railroad
Company in 1929 for the ur.ual 99 years.
At the end of May 1976, the disposition of the Toronto,
Hamilton and Buffalo Railway Company was described in the Globe &
Mail of Toronto:
A conditional agreement has been signed by Canadian Pacific
of Montreal, the trustees of the Penn Central Transportation
Corporation of Philadelphia and the trustees of the Michigan
Central Railroad of Philadelphia whereby Canadian Pacific
will acquire 31,930 shares of the Toronto, Hamilton and Buf
falo Railway Company. Purchase price is approximately $ 5.4
million. When the purchase has been concluded, Canadian Pa
cific will hold 46,625 of the 54,150 issued shares of Tor
onto, Hamilton and Buffalo. The remaining shares are held
by the Canada Southern Railway Company of Chatham,Ontario.
While this item explained the fate of the TH&B, there was no news
of the disposition of the St. Lawrence and Adirondack. On June
2, angry minority stockholders in the Canada Southern tried to find
out what was happening to their equity. CaSos board consisted of
four United States appointees of the Consolidated Rail Corporation
(ConRail) and a Toronto lawyer, A.S.Kingsmill. Toronto investor Mr.
Albert Segal wanted to know whether the directors could tell the
shareholders what happened to 125 diesel-electric locomotives be-
longing to Canada Southern but not shown among the Companys assets.
Of the 150,000 issued shares of Canada Southern, ConRail holds
Toronto investment dealer Mr. Joseph Pope repeatedly challenged
and questioned the Canada Southern Board, but made relatively little
progress. He was able to determine that, of $ 198,000 paid for legal
and accounting fees in 1975, $ 30,000 went for accounting expenses.
The balance was paid to three law firms: one in Philadelphia to act
for Canada Southern in opposing a suit by two United States share
holders who wanted the Company to pay a dividend. Pope said that he
found this shocking and continued to try to obtain other details.
As soon as the election of directors and the appointment of
auditors was concluded, the chairman asked for a motion to terminate
the meeting. A director quickly seconded the motion and the meeting
ended with four angry shareholders on their feet, protesting bitterly.
CANADIAN 282 R A I L
The following day, Mr. Herb Gray, MP for Windsor West, and former
cabinet minister, said that he had asked the Foreign Investment Review
Board to investigate the allegations that the Canada Southerns assets
were being dissipated. .
THE SHAREHOLDERS OF MLW-WORTHINGTON LIMITED MADE IT OFFICIAL AT THEIR
Annual Meeting on 22 June 1976, when they approved the
change of name of the Company to Bombardier-MLW Limited.
M. Laurent Beaudoin, President of the Company, said that the plant
at La Pocotiere, Quebec is now running smoothly, after settlement of
a recent labour problem and that the first delivery hod been made
the week of June 13 on the $ 118 million order for new cars for Mon
IT IS HOPED THAT TORONTOS PARKDALE RAILWAY STATION, BUILT IN 1885
by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and used by pas
sengers up to about six months ago, can be preserved. To-
ronto Alderman Janet Howard, member of the UCRS and the CRHA, and
Parkdale residents approached the Queen Street Mental Health Centres
administrators recently to see if the station could be moved to the
Health Centres grounds, where it would be used as a day potient the-
rapy centre or a volunteer workers headquarters, or a community
centre in the evenings.
CP RAIL HAS APPLIED TO ABANDON THE SUDBURY-SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO
passenger service, which presently consists of a Budd RDC
DAYLINER each way, daily. It is claimed that the loss in
1976 on this service will be $ 500,000. The Canadian Transport Com
mission hod ruled earlier that, while the service was admittedly un
economic, it should be maintained. CP RAIL is now seeking a reversal
of this ruling.
Briefs opposing the application have been presented by the
City of Sault Ste. Marie, the Town of Blind River, the United Trans
portation Union, federal government deputy for Sault Ste. Marie Mr.
Cyril Symes and Ontario government deputy Bud Wildman, arguing that
the reduced revenues have occurred because the railway has not ad
vertised the service and has done little to improve it.
At one time, the schedule of this service was such that
it militated against its regular use by the travelling public, since
it departed Sudbury after arrival of the westbound Canadian at
about 01:00 hours.
REMEMBER THE ITEM THAT APPEARED A FEW ISSUES AGO ON THE EQUIPMENT OF
CP RAIL that was used in making yet another movie, this
one, a Hollywood product? Through the kindness of Mr. Rick
Irwin of the Lethbridge, Alberta HERALD, we present herewith a photo
of the filming crew, caught in the act~
Mr. H. McCullough of Terry Bland Associates, allows us to
present a picture of CP RAIL units Numbers 4070 and 4067, identified
as belonging to a company called AMRoad, taken in the rain on Good
Friday 1976, as the train was on its way to Crowsnest Pass for film
ing. The AMRoad logo, from the rear of the unit forward, was red,
white and blue, while the name Silver Streak, visible on the rear
of the crew-car in Mr. Irwons picture, was silver on a deep blue
R A I L
The third picture was taken by Mr. McCullough at Montana
Junction, just east of Lethbridge, in March 1975. The freight, head
ed by CP RAIL unit Number 4250, is the Coutts Turn, the six-day-a
week interchange connection with the Burlington Northern from Shelby,
Montana, the old Alberta Railway and Coal Companys line. When Mr.
McCulloughs negative was printed, there was a noticeable peculiarity
about the marker lights above the cab. This should be a dreadful warn
ing to be sure that there is nothing in the background when you are
photographing your favourite motive power.
Our thanks to Pat Webb of Lethbridge for securing these
pictures for presentation.
CANADIAN 285 R A I L
THREE YEARS AGO, THE ASSOCIATIONS WEST AFRICAN REPRESENTATIVE, MR.
R.E.Leggott of Ibadan, Nigeria, took his trusty camera
and went out to look for items of interest on the rails
of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
The first item that Al found was an 0-8-0T switcher, Num
ber 84, working the yard at Ibadan. In 1973, there were about 48 of
these 50-year-old steam locomotives active throughout the NRCs sys
One of the NRCs GM (U.S.A.) units, Number 1124, roared
west with an 18-car passenger train for Lagos. MLW Industries unit
Number 1731 was being hauled dead to the shops at Ebute Metta. The
NRC rarely used mued units, as trains were limited to about 30 cars
by the length of yard tracks, passing sidings and coupler strength.
Next on the list was MLW Industries unit Number 1731. The
short hood-end is shown in picture Number 3. These units are all
named: this one is Oreke. The crest is that of the Nigerian Rail
NRC unit Number 1735, Dogon Dutse, is an MLW Industries
product. This photo shows the short-hood end and truck details.
Locomotive Number 1735 accelerates past the engine shed
at Ibadan with the Lagos-Kano-Port Harcourt limited express.
On a goods train, which followed the express our of Ibadan
was engine Number 1745, Akitpa.
Finally, MLW Industries-built unit Number 1737 and train
were moved from the make-up to the departure track by steam switcher
Number 92, an 0-8-0T. The ~rime-mover of the unit was idling. The
reason for using the steam switcher to move the unit and train is to
avoid the necessity of calling a road engine-driver for the relative
ly short move.
Our sincere thanks to R.E.Al Leggott for sending these
pictures for presentation.
WHILE DETAILS Ot~ THIS SUMMERTIME PICTURE ARE-LACKING, JIM SHAUGHNESSY
did note that the train is Canadian National Railways Train 15 from
Montr6al to Toronto, passing the out-of-service (but still standing)
station at Pointe Claire, Qu6bec. Perhaps one of our knowledgeable
read~rs will be able to supply ~dditional details.
ISSN 0008 -4875
is published monthly by the
Canadian Railroad Historical Association
p.o_ Box 22. Station S, Montreal,Quebec,Canada/H3B 3J5
Editor; S.S.Worthen Production; t! Murphy
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Visit the Canadian Railway Museum St.Constant;Quebec, Canada.
100 pieces of equipment on display-