Although the odds were greatly
against it happening, Mr. T.S. Armstrong
of Thunder Bay,
Ontario was most fortunate to
catch both the CPR passenger
train high on the Nipigon Bridge
while under chuffed the NIPIGON
TRAMWAY along the river bank. While
the date of the photo is
unknown it was probably taken
OPPOS I TE : This
rare photo taken by Mr. A.
J. Isbester, chief engineer for
the Canadian Northern Ontario
Railway, shows the freighting
operation as carried out up the
Nipigon River. The steam driven
tug NIPIGON is hauling the
barge loaded with narrow gauge
flat cars, they in turn are
loaded with construction mater
ials for the building of the
ISSN 0008 -4875
Published monthly by The Canadian
Railroad Historical Association
P.O. Box 22, Station B
Montreal Quebec Canada H3B 3J5
EDITOR: M. Peter Murphy
EDITOR EMERITUS: S. S. Worthen
BUSINESS CAR: John Welsh
LAYOUT: Joe Smith
CALGARY & SOUTH WESTERN
L. M. Unwin, Secretary
1727 23rd Ave. N.W., Calgary Alberta
D. E. Stoltz, Secretary
P. O. Box 141, Station A, Ottawa, Ontario
R. Keillor, Secretary
P. O. Box 1006, Station A, Vancouver
British Columbia V6C 2Pl
C. K. Hatcher, Secretary
P. O. Box 6102, Station C, Edmonton
Al berta T5B 2NO
TORONTO & YORK DIVISION
J. C. Kyle, Secretary
P. O. Box 5849, Terminal A, Toronto Ontario
R. Ballard, Sr., Secretary
300 Cabana Road East, Windsor,
Onta ri 0 N9G 1 A2
The #Canadian Northe1lf Station and
water tan … t Nipigon, Ontario
T.s.Armstrong photo. ..~~~~
If you pick up a modern map
of the still remote terr1tory
north of the most northerly por
tion of Lake Superior ,in eastern
Canada, you will find several
geographical tures all having
the same na There is Nipigon
Provincial Park, then Lake Nipi
gon, follow~d by the Nipigon
River and, last but not ~east,
the town of Nipigon, located on
a she~tered bay on the north
shore ~f Lake Superior at the
mouth of the Nipigon River, mile
63.3 on the N~pigo~ SID of CP
RAIL. The town of Nipigon has a very
important claim to fame in
Canadian histor it played an
important role n t buildjng
.l…..A.IH all th·ree ans-
CANADIAN 298 R A I L
cal inducements and personal vanity to consider most seriously
a second transcontinental railway, to run north of the Canadian
Pacific from Quebec to a port on the Strait of Georgia north of
Vancouver. The new railway would also act as a development line,
opening up vast areas to settlement, thus assuring Sir Wilfred
of a permanent place in the history of the development of our
While the concept may have been valid, it took lengthy
negotiations and a few years before an agreement was reached with
the then powerful Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada, which had been
selected to operate the new railway. It was finally agreed
that the Government of Canada would build the eastern section of
the National Transcontinental Railway, from Moncton, New Brunswick,
via Quebec to Winnipeg, a little more than 1,800 miles. The Government would,
upon its completion, lease the line to the Grand Trunk
Pacific Railway for 50 years at an annual rental of 3% on the cost
of construction. This turned out to be a bad bargain for the
parent company, the GTR.
The western portion, from Winnipeg to Prince Rupert, on
an inlet off Chatham Sound, was to be constructed by the Grand Trunk Ralway
Company and. was to be completed by December 1, 1908.
Entitled I Dr. Herman Bryan M.D. en route to Canadian National Railway
construction, north of Ombabika Bay on Lake Nipigon I, and taken by
E.C.Everett, Commercial Photographer, Nipigon, Ontario. Our readers
will probably be more interested in the 0-4-0 tank engine and the
flat cor in the background than in the good Doctor. Fortunately for
us the photo was taken and discovered in time for presentation with
.. , ..
The transportation of rails for the construction of the National
Transcontinental Railway in 1908 on Lake Nipigon, this time with
out the narrow gauge flat cars.
Marion Steam Shovel model 60 as used by E.F. and G.E. Faquier con
tractors on the construction of the National Transcontinental Railway
in the Nipigon region. T.S.Armstrong photo.
These three photos all taken by Mr.T.S.Armstrong give an excellent
indication of life as it was in the early 1900 s in the Nipigon
Region or Northern Ontario. In the first photo we see the S.S.
OMBABIKA docked on the shore of Lake Nipigon. Secondly a group
of Native People in their Birch Bark Canoes as photographed from
the S.S. WABINOSH. Thirdly an across the lake view of the S.S.
WABINOSH CACHE docked at the same location as seen in photo one.
It was to be built to standards equivalent to the GTR main line
between Montreal and Toronto. The Canadian Government would
guarantee cost of construction and interest to a maximum of 75%
of the construction bonds issued by the GTP, such bonds to be
limited to $13,000 per mile on the prairies and $30,000 per mile
on the mountain section.
Government survey crews for the National Transcontin
ental project passed through Nipigon in the autumn of 1903. From
there, they went by boat to the north end of Lake Nipigon, where
they began running trial locations for the railway. The route
finally selected was similar to that recommended by Sanford
Fleming for the Pacific Railway nearly 35 years before.
An engineering headquarters was built at Nipigon in 1904
The EngiFleers office for the Trans Con-tinental Railwcry located in
Nipigon, Ontario. Photo courtesy Mr. T.S.Armstrong of Thunder Bay.
to service Division E civil engineers of the National Transcontin
ental Railway, which ran easterly from English River nearly to to
days town of Hearst. Mr. T.S. Armstrong was the chief engineer.
Messrs. OBrien, Fowler and Macdougall Limited were awarded
two contracts, amounting to 150 miles of railway, imme
diately to the east of the point where the GTP branch to Fort
William left the main line. This point had been named Superior
Junction, for obvious reasons. E.F. and G.E. Faquier Limited were
also awarded two contracts, one for the 75-mile section eastward
from Lake Nipigon to Grant and the other 100 miles westward from
Abitibi Crossing, the crossing of the Abitibi River in remote
Transporting equipment and supplies into this remote re
gion north of Lake Nipigon posed a big problem for the contractors.
Winter totp-roads were built from various locations on the Canadian
Pacific Rai Iway. Teams of horses hauled in supplies to the con
struction sites, usually about 100 miles to the north. Dog-teams
also proved to be useful. In summer, the Nipigon water route pro
vided the best means of transport. The problem of portaging the
many rapids on the upper Nipigon River was resolved by building
an 18-mile three-foot-gauge tramway. Its construction and opera
tion was undertaken by the Nipigon Construction Company and it was
called the Nipigon Tramway.
At Nipigon on Lake Superior, a large wharf and warehouse
were built underneath and upstream from the Canadian Pacifics high
bridge over the river. All the supplies for the construction camps were
loaded onto the narrow-gauge flat cars, which, in turn, were
loaded onto a scow or primitive car-ferry for the three-hour trip
up Lake Helen and the Nipigon River to Alexander Landing (or Alex-
Three photos showing the evolution of the Nipigon River Bridge of the
Canadian Northern Railroad. The first picture was taken by Mr. A.J.
Isbester chief engineer and shows the falsework behind which is the
tug NIPIGON. Next a broadside view of the falsework, and finally
the completed steel bridge over the river.
CANADIAN 303 R A I L
ander Point), a distance of 12 miles. The loaded cars were here
run off the scow to the main line of the narrow-gauge, and haul
ed 18 miles by a diminutive donkey engine (0-4-0 saddle-tank) to
South Bay at the south end of Lake Nipigon.
The loaded cars were stored here in warehouses, until the
second part of the trip was begun. The cars were loaded again onto
the primitive car-ferries for the 70-mile trip to the northern de
pot on Ombabika Bay. The cars were rolled off the scows to the se
cond part of the main line and hauled two miles further north to
the construction site, now the town of Ferland on the Canadian
National Railways Caramat 5/0.
Two steam tugs were used to push the scows up the lake;
they were the Ombabika and the Pewabic, both built as lake
fishing boats about 1901. The steam tug Nipigon was used to push
the scows on the Lake Helen-Nipigon River run and a small tug along
side the scow helped to guide it through the fast-flowing, turbu
The return trip from Ombabika Day, with empty cars on the
car-float, was made at a much faster speed. On arrival at the
southern terminal, the cars were hauled off the scow by horse power and
take,lb __ to th.e, .. wareh.o,lJses, where theYo.were ·r,e·loadedas quio-kly as
possible for another trip up the lake. Hay and oats for the horses,
coal for the steam engines, track-building material, commissarys
supplies and other associated items were rushed up the lake before
the freeze-up in the fall of 19080
The Canadian Pacific built a siding, or, more correctly,
a spur from its main line to the warehouses alongside the narrow
gauge railway, where construction materials and supplies were in
terchanged. Rails for the National Transcontinental were also un
loaded here for transhipment onto the narrow-gauge cars. In 1908,
a large dredge was busily engaged in deepening the channel into
Nipigon Bay, so that the larger lake freighters, laden with rails,
could tie up alongside the wharf.
At each rail-water interface point on the narrow-gauge,
loading ramps, each with three tracks, were built so that the load
ed or empty cars could be run on and off the scows. Each of the
three tracks on the scows held three cars, for a total of nine cars
Passengers were also transported on the tug-boats. For
the rail portion of each journey, passengers enjoyed the rocky
ride over the portage railway in a closed-in car with longitudinal
benches, the capacity of the vehicle not being known.
An alternate route to the construction site, via Windigo
Bay on the northwest side of Lake Nipigon, involved traversing a
formidably rough terrain and only light supplies were brought in
to the NTR location over this route. Ombabika in the Ogibway
language means a high rock cliff rising up from the edge of the
When the winter freeze-up arrived, the tote-road from Nipigon
again was used to transport the essential supplies north
to the construction sites.
Construction scenes along the Canadian Northern Railway include this
un-identified 4-6-0 with gantry on the Blende River Bridge follawing
its completion. No. 1240 got her feet wet following a wreck at the
Current River Yard,
Animal power pulling narrow gauge lorries was the order of the day
as workmen dug through this clay cut at mile 86, the lorries were
transferred to locations requiring fill as noted in the second photo.
View of yet another extensive cut under construction near the town
Pilings for the trestle over the Kenogami River at Long Lac, Ontario,
the trestle was built on a 4 degree curve and required 61 bents.
CANADIAN 309 R A I L
In 1908, at Nipigon, two, old, rival fur-trading com
panies, the Hudsons Bay Company and Revillion Fr~res, were lo
cated side by side. Both firms were still engaging in competition
for the furs of the local Indians and trappers. A little further
up the towns main street there was a store operated by William
McKirdy, an old Hudsons Bay man, who competed successfully for
local furs with his two powerful rivals.
Wholesale businesses established branches in Nipigon to
supply contractors with groceries and hardware. A branch of the
Bank of Ottawa was soon opened to transact the business offered
by the contractors, among whom were Messrs. Chambers, McQuaig, McCaffrey and
Russell. This company later built the rock break
waters in the harbour at Port Arthur.
Many other business establishments were soon opened in
the town, including hotels, restaurants, stores and a barber shop.
All of them, including the last one named, did a thriving business.
No sooner had construction on the National Transcontin
ental begun than William Mackenzie and Donald Mann, owners of the
Canadian Northern Railway, announced plans to build a Pacific and
an eastern extension to their system, which would thereby create
yet a third Trans-Canada railway. Un December 30, 1902, the rail
way from Winnipeg to Fort William had been completed and it now
remained to build a main line from the Lakehead to Toronto and
Montr~al. Survey crews began running trial locations east from
Fort William-Port Arthur in 1905. By September 1910, the route
of the Port Arthur-Ottawa railway was announced and the Canadian
Northern (Ontario) Railway Company was incorporated to build it.
Contracts for the new railway were awarded to Foley
Brothers, Welch and Stewart and construction started in the spring
of 1911. Rapid progress was made, steel laying being started at
Port Arthur in June 1912. By March 1913, the new railway was com
pleted for 130 miles eastward to a point 70 miles west of Sudbury
(Capreol). On January 1, 1914, Sir William Mackenzie drove the
last spike in this section at Little White Otter River, 254 miles
east of Port Arthur. Ballasting was still incomplete and it was
October before a freight service was started between Toronto and
The location chosen followed Nipigon Bay from a point
just north of Red Rock to the town of Nipigon. Here, the Canadian
Pacific right-of-way hugged the shoreline at the base of a high,
focky bluff and there was just no room for another right-of-way.
To overcome this obstacle, the Canadian Northern built a ret.ining
wall close to the Lakes shoreline and filled the space between
it and the rocky shore with a huge amount of rock and fill, dred
ged from the lake and brought in from other locations. At Nipigon,
the new line crossed a lagoon on a causeway, which also required
a very large amount of fill.
After passing under the Canadian Pacifics Nipigon River
bridge, the Canadian Northern turned north, staying on the west
bank of the Nipigon River for six miles and then crossing the river
on a multi-span bridge. After running a further four miles on the
rivers east bank, the line turned northeast along the shore of
Orient Bay, a long, narrow inlet on the southeast end of the main
lake. Leaving the lake, the line headed for Long Lac, 198 miles to
CANADIAN 310 R A I L
the east and only 32 miles south of the National Transcontinentals
main line at Nakina.
During the building of the Canadian Northern, headquar
ters were established at Nipigon by the surveyors; Foley Brothers,
Welch and Stewart also had their headquarters there. The Nipigon
River route and the narrow-gauge tramway were again used to trans
port equipment and supplies to the construction sites along the
Nipigon River and Orient Bay. As a consequence, the town of
Nipigon continued to prosper during this second period of railway
buil di ng.
the completion of the Canadian Northern Railways
line through northern Ontario early in 1914, with the subsequent
introduction of freight service in October 1914 and passenger ser
vice in 1915, the last of Canadas transcontinental railways was
completed. Today, Nipigon, Ontario, is not as prosperous as it
once was, but it remains as a fine example of the many scenic loca
tions in this region of northern Ontario.
there are three large hydroelectric power plants
on the upper Nipigon River, between Nipigon and South Bay. These
are at Pine Portage, Cameron Falls and Alexander. The latter two
are close together, while the former is up-river and was the last
Armstrong, Ontario, the western terminus of Canadian
National Railways Caramat 5/0, is named for T.S. Armstrong, Chief
Engineer on Division E of the National Transcontinental Railway.
The late Duke of Windsor was taken on a fishing trip on
The motor launch as used by Foley Brothers during construction of
Even after completion of the grade workmen had to often return to
repair flood damage to newly placed fill. Firstly a slide at Red Rock
being repaired by a clam shovel aboard a barge, then two phatos
of serious washouts along the line. All photos in this series cour
tesy of the authors collection.
CANADIAN 312 R A I L
Lake Nipigon and the upper Nipigon River during his tour of Canada in
the summer of 1924. Mr. John G. McKirdy, now of Thunder Bay,
was a guide with the party.
The region encompassing Nipigon Provincial Forest and Nipigon-Onaman
Game Preserve is a paradise for the nature-lover
and sportsman, well known for its beautiful scenery, fishing and
hunting. The area is accessible from Ontario Highway 11, the
northern Ontario Trans-Canada Highway route.
The National Transcontinental Railways Division E Engin
eering Headquarters building of 1904 was used by the surveyors of
the Canadian Northern Railway during its construction in 1911. The
Nipigon Woodlands Division of the Brompton Pulp and Paper Company
of East Angus, Quebec, used this building as its main office for
many years. DOMTAR, the successor to Brompton Pulp and Paper, sold
the building and land to the town of Nipigon for the sum of $1 and
other considerations, with the provision that is should be used and
maintained as a museum for the collection and preservation of items
associated with the history of the Nipigon area.
Trains of Recollection:
Canadian National Railways,
Volume 2: Towards the
Canada Great Highway: From
the First Stake to the Last
Port Arthur NEWS:
Fort William TIMES
Hanna, D.B. The Macmillan
Company of Canada, Toronto
G.R. Stevens; Clarke, Irwin
& Company, Toronto 1962.
Secretary, J.H.E., London, Engl and
Thunder Bay. Ontario, October
Thunder Bay, Ontario. October
The author would like to thank the following people for
their valuable assistance in the preparation of this article:
Mrs. J. Si mpson
Mr. T.C. Armstrong
Mr. Cl ifford Brown
Mr. E.C. Everett, Photographer
Mr. William Germaniuk
Mr. John G. McKirdy
Mr. L.M. Buzz Lein
Mr. H.J. Netemegesic
Mr. W.H. Thompson
Mr. J. Thorsteinson
The Nipigon Museum
The Nipigon GAZETTE
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The . . ~
BRITISH COLUMBIA RAILWAYS RAILWEST CAR MANUFACTURING PLANT AT
Squamish has -c-losed. Tile plant opened March 27,19%,
and had a ~/Ork force of 260 at peak. A total of 1,400
cars came off its assembly line. Decision to tlose down followed
unsuccessful .attempts to gain additional contracts.
(Toronto GLOBE AND MAIL)
SIX MAJOR RAILWAYS HAD A COMBINED OPERATING PROFIT OF $28.8 MIL
lion on their Canadian operations in June 1977, up from
$4.2 million in June 1976, according to Statistics
Canada. Operating revenues rose 14.5 percent to $296 million
while operating costs rose 5.1 percent to $267.2 million a year
For the first six months of 1977, operating profit
totalled $113.7 million, up from $20.7 million a year earlier.
Operating revenue totalled $1.68 billion, up 13 percent, and
operating expenses totalled $1.57 billion, up 6.8 percent.
The six lines are CN, CP Rail, QNS & L, B.C. Railway,
Ontario Northland and Chesapeake & Ohio.
(Toronto GLOBE AND MAIL)
CN IS TESTING COMPOSITE BRAKE SHOES IN AN ATTEMPT TO I(EDUCE THE
number of forest fires caused by brake sparking, accord
ing to a Halifax news report of August 20, 1977.
Statistics from tile Nova Scotia lands and forests de
partment say eight to ten percent of all forest fires in the pro
vince are caused by trains. Last year, 43 fires attributed to
trains destroyed 244 acres of woodland. After every railway
caused fire the railway is billed for the cost of extinquishing
it, says a provincial official.
CANADIAN 314 R A I L
Davis Blair, CNs Atlantic Region vice-president, says
composite shoes are being investigated for rate of wear, minimum
sparking, ease of installation and cost per unit.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTIONS OLD ROUND HOUSE IS TO BE USED BY UNITED
Railway Supply Co. of Montreal as a diesel locomotive
engine rebuilding plant. URS will lease the building.
from the Central Vermont Railroad and hopes to open another fac,l
ity in St. Albans, Vt. if a suitable building can be made avail
able. Each operation would employ 35 people at peak.
(The 470, Portland)
SIR SANDFORD FLEMING (1827-1915) RECEIVES RECOGWITION WITH A NEW
Canadian twelve-cent stamp, issued September 16, 1977,
and featuring a train crOSSing one of the Fleming
designed steel bridges on the Intercolonial Railway.
Fleming designed Canadas first stamp, the Three Penny
Beaver. In addition to surveying a route for the ICR, he worked
on the CPR, invented a system of standard time and promoted the
RAIL PASSENGER TRAFFIC IS MAKING A STRONG COMEBACK THIS YEAR, AC
cording to rail officials quoted in the Toronto Globe and Mail (August
31, 1977). Passenger traffic is up
about 10 percent so far this year. On the Toronto-Montreal route
the increase is 20 percent. August saw a phenomenal 30 percent
increase, mainly because of the air traffic controllers strike
as well as flight delays that followed the controllers return to
work. CNs Montreal-Toronto Turbo and Rapido services have car
ried about 70,000 more passengers so far this year than last,
according to Harold Murray, CN general manager, passenger ser
vices. Even our transcontinental traffic is 7 percent ahead of
last year. Toronto-Ottawa is up about 10 percent, while passenger
traffic in southwestern Ontario (Toronto-London-Windsor-Sarnia)
just continues to grow and is up by 11 percent, Mr. Murray said.
In the Maritimes, CN passenger traffic is up by 6 percent. Holi
day tours by train introduced by CN are also proving very popu
lar; between Montreal and Toronto, between Winnipeg and Churchill
and from Toronto and Montreal for boat tours of the Thousand Is
lands -we are gOing to carry 17,000 to 18,000 people to the
Thousand Islands this year.
LAKE MICHIGAN TRAIN FERRIES ARE STILL OPERATING BUT BOTH GRAND
Trunk Western and Chessie System are trying to get out
of the business because of the losses incurred. GTW
petitioned the ICC for permission to abandon the operation more than
two years ago, the Chessie System some three years ago.
Chessie carries both passengers and automobiles; GTW has not
been permitted to carry autos and dropped passenger service in 1971.
CANADIAN 315 R A I L
TRAINS OF NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND IS A NEW ILLUSTRATED BOOK BY JOHN
Krause and Frederick Bailey, which covers Rutland, B&M,
Maine Central and Central Vermont. Publisher is Quad
rant Press, 19 West 44th. St., New York, N.Y. 10036 and the
price is $7.50 plus $0.50 for postage, according to a brief review
in the Railroad Enthusiasts Portland Division newsletter of
THE MARY MARCH MUSEUM IN GRAND FALLS NEWFOUNDLAND HAS LITERALLY dug up
an addition to its collection – a century old locomotive
that has been buried underground since the late 1930 s.
Museum curator Glen Stroud says the locomotive, the first steam
engine used on Newfoundland rails, is in poor condition but can
be restored so that its exterior will be a replica of the origionol.
Stroud said it is not likley the 20 foot -long engine can be brought
back to working condition.
The museum is attempting to find out some of the details of the
locomotiv~, which was brought to Newfoundland in 1881 from the Haw
thorn-Leslie works in England.
It once operated as engine No.1 on the Harbour Grace -St.Johns
run but later spent many years running between Grand Falls, an
inland newsprint town, and the seaport of Botwood. In the late
1930 s it was stripped and buried behind the newsprint mill here.
Its behind the mill above ground right now, said Stroud, and
once we have a place to put it and have some research done, we
hope we can get some people to volunteer time and knowledge to
(The Montreal Gazette)
CNs GIMLI (MAN.) TRANSPORTATION TRAINING CENTRE MARKED FIVE YEARS
of operation June 5/77. The centre, which began with a
class of 20 students, has provided training for 4,394 CN
transporta ti on employees from all pa rts ot Canada. Of these, 1,450
were student locomotive engineers. The school now includes courses
for train dispatchers, transportation supervisors, master mechanics,
general yardmasters and operational trainees. In addition to CN
personnel, Giml i has accepted students from the Ontario Northl and,
British Columbia, Central Vermont and Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific
–CI~ KEEPING TRACK
RECOMMENDED READING FOR TRACTION/TRAM/INTERURBAN ENTHUSIASTS IS
Headlights (Electric Railroaders Association Inc.) for
July-December/76 (Vol. 38, No. 7-12) offering 48 pages
on operations in Europe with more than 100 fine photos, detailed
captions, useful notes for the visitor, indices of traction in, a) Western Europe,
b) Eastern Europe and of interurban services all
over Europe etc. Responsible for this issue was John F. Bromley of
Richard L. Shantler of our Vancouver Branch has been kind enough
to forward two recent photos showing the arrival of the new light
rail transit cars for Edmonton at the Vancouver docks. The car
bodies were loaded onto CP rail flat cars for the eastward journey
to Edmonton from Vancouver.
Gord Taylor from Lakeside, Ontario has sent along two interesting
photos showing the view from within and without Norfolk and West
ern F unit 3725 as she operates over trackage in Southern Ontario.
3725 is Canadian built and the last F unit in operation on the
N & W. The cab view shows the scene as the 3725 enters St.
Thomas, Ontario yard on joint CN -NW trackage. Just ahead is
the former London & Port Stanley level crossing which intersects
at the signal. Our thanks to Gord for submitting these two
CANADIAN 318 R A I L
AMTRAK UPS FARES, CUTS TRAINS -EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 30, 1977 SERVICE
in Amtraks Northeast Corridor and on three other routes
will be cut back and fares on most routes will increase
about 2t percent to help trim a deficit projected at $535 million
for fiscal 1978 which begins October 1. 1977. In the Boston
Washington corridor, an average 22 trains daily out of 120 being
operated will be trimmed. largely involving weekends and shorter
runs. 10 Metroliner runs are to be dropped. Daily service will
be cut to four times a week on the Washington-Cincinnati Shenan
doah and the Washington-Catlettsburg, Ky. Hilltopper. One
daily round trip and one Sunday-only round trip of Chicago-Milwau
kee Turboliner service will be eliminated. Public hearings will
be held on possible elimination or service reductions for the
Effective September 8. the New York-St. Petersburg
Champion was discontinued; the Empire Builder was cut to
four times a week and the ~orth Coast Hiawatha to three times
a week. Also cut to four times a week were the San Joaquin
and the Palmetto; to three times a week the St. Louis-Laredo
portion of the Inter-American.
Cuts.on other routes are being considered.
(Wall Street Journal)
(Note by Editor: Amtrak announced its October 30th changes a full
two months before the effective date. Can Canadians expect the
same considerate attention from VIA?)
CN HAS BEEN ORDERED BY THE CTC TO CONTINUE PASSENGER TRAIN SERVICE
between Toronto-North Bay-Kapuskasing which includes the
overnight Northland and week-end trains between Toronto
and North Bay. The commission said it will review its findings if
the new service of the Ontario Northland meets the needs of the
public; this Northlander service started last June and runs six
days a week. CN operating losses on this route rose to $2.9 mil
lion in 1975 from $1.6 million in 1972. (Toronto GLOBE AND MAIL.
September 10, 1977)
CP RAIL HAS EMBARKED ON THE FINAL PHASE OF A FIVE-YEAR, SlO-MIL
lion upgrading of its Megantic-Saint John. N.B. main
line of some 300 miles. Significant increases in traf
fic. particularly container movements from the Port of Saint John.
and longer and heavier trains have made these track improvements
necessary. according to division engineer S.K. Chopra. Saint John.
Over 250.000 new ties and more than 1.5 million tons of ballast
will have been laid on completion in September 1977. One of the
most difficult pieces of track to rebuild was between Mattawamkeag and
Vanceboro. In some areas more than 1,300 new ties per mile
were required. Work crews have averaged more than one mile of
completed track per day with the program running during the frost
free months from May to November. In some areas. the line was so remote a
meals on wheels scheme was used to get food to the men.
This called for a work train or track motor car travelling up to
10 miles from the auxiliary diner to deliver hot meals.
(CP RAIL NEWS)
CANADIAN 319 R A I L
BRITAINS fASTEST TRAINS (80 MPll AND OVER) ARE REVIEWED IN THE
Railway Magazine of August 1977. Douglas ferrys
five-page article notes that Britains first 100 mph
bookings and no less than 73 runs at more than 90 mph (to be in
creased to 81 runs after October) •. keeps this country fl rmly in
the position of second only to Japan. The HST programme helps
to give a total of 303 daily runs at 80 mph and over, covering
21,635 miles between them, in the summer 1977 timetables.
The Great Western Region leads with four runs SwindonReading
at 103.3 mph (166.3 kph) in a total of 136 runs. West
Coasts best effort is topped by two trains Rugby-Watford at 88.8
mph (143 kph) in a total of 165 runs. East Coast shows only two
runs of which the best is one run York-Darlington at 81.4 mph
(.131.1 kph). Of all trains, the fastest over the longest dis
tance is West Coasts 16.45 Euston-Preston dash of 209 miles at
82.8 mph (133.3 kphl.
HALL COMMISSION REPORT ON THE GRAIN TRADE COMMENTED ON THE STATUS
of the Fraser River Bridge, owned by the federal govern
ment, controlled by Burlington Northern and also used
CN and B.C. Hydro. The dispatcher who controls the movement of
trains ov~r the bridge is a BN employee based in Seattle, although
an assistant located in the Vancouver yard of BN was said to con
trol the operation. When the Commission inspected the bridge, it
discovered that communication with the Seattle dispatcher was ne
cessary. Furthermore, it appeared that BN trains have precedence.
It is not a case of being nationalistic, but of efficiency, that
the Commission recommends that control of traffic over this
government bridge be in the hands of CN in Vancouver, as it is
a virtual bottleneck for CN traffic going to the grain terminals.
(The SANDIIOUSE -Pacific Coast
New image CONRAIL GP-7 (Canodian Built) No. 5826 was caught switching
the St.Thomos, Ontario yard on July 2, 1977 by Burt Von Rees.
Hr. I.C.Plott of Sydenhom, Ontario submits this photo of Capitol 43
running about one hour late crossing the Trent River Bridge in Belle_
ville, Ontario. The train was headed up by locos Nos. 6534 and 6626,
our thanks to members Mr. Von Rees and Mr. Plott for $vb~itting the
above mentioned photos.