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Canadian Rail 326 1979

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Canadian Rail 326 1979

COVER:
This is one of the twenty tres­
tles which were constructed
beb1een Six-Mile coulee and the
St. Mary River Crossing on the
CPRs first line west of Leth­
bridge, Alberta. Photo courtesy
Dr. A. Johnston.
OPPOSITE:
The fire hazard is dramatically
evident in this photograph of
the supporting structure for a
truss span crossing one of the coulees between
St. Mary and
Whoop-Up stations. Photo courtesy
Dr. A. Johnston.
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
BUSINESS CAR: J. A. deatty
OFFICIAL CARTOGRAPHER: William A.
r,ermaniuk
LAYOUT: Michel Paulet
CALGARY & SOUTH WESTERN
L. M. Unwin, Secretary
60-6100 4th Ave. NE
Calgary, Alberta T2A 5Z8
OTTAWA
D. E. Stoltz, Secretary
P. 0. Box 141, Station A, Ottawa, Ontario K
lN 8Vl
PACIFIC COAST
R. Keillor, Secretary
P. 0. Box 1006, Station A, Vancouver
British Columbia V6C 2Pl
ROCKY MOUNTAIN
C. K. Hatcher, ~ecretary
P. 0. Box 6102, Station C, Edmonton
Alberta TSB 2NO
TORONTO & YORK DIVISION
J. C. Kyle, Secretary
P. 0. Box 5849, Terminal A, Toronto Ontario
MSW 1P3
WINDSOR-ESSEX DIVISION
R. Ballard, Sr., Secretary
300 Cabana Road East, Windsor, Ontario
N9G 1A2
…… ….. … ·–
NHOOP-UP, StMPRf and
and the TEMPORARY LINE
by PatNebb
NHOOP-UP. St.MARY
and the TEMPORARY LINE
by PatNebb
The account of the Lethbridge Viaduct has at last been documented
in two excellent works. Less well known is the orig­
inal line which preceeded the building of the bridge and in par­
ticular, five miles of it unparalleled between the Great Lakes and
the Rockies in the trestlework required. While the location was in
service for only 12 years, it was a critical if expensive link in
the Crowsnest Pass line for by 1901 it was carrying out 112,000
tons of coal and 199,000 tons of coke a year to say nothing of the
general freight westbound into the British Columbin interior.
This is its story:
WHOOP-UP, ST. MARY and the TEMPORARY LINE
If economics -operating statistics -caused its aban­
donment, paradoxically ecoomic expediency created it b-ec·ause ft
was a trade-off, a temporary solution in Canadian Pacifics head­
long rush to gain access to the Inland Empire, the Kootenay region
of southern British Columbia. There in 1892, the enormous wealth
of natural resources was being bled off to the Great Northern and
the newly established center of commerce, Spokane. American
capitalists had been quick to realize what historian Ted Affleck
was much later to observe in his Kootenay Chronicles:
The Inland Empire of the Columbia in Canada
lay like a Sleeping Beauty awaiting the galvan­
izing kiss of the railways.
It remained for Canadian Pacifics Van Horne to act the
role of Prince Charming; he had long since perceived the danger
but in 1893 stood frustratingly outside looking in. At that
point C.P.s only presence in the region were a number of lake
boats and a short branch line. In the Companys protfolio were
some of the necessary charters but insufficient capital and des­
pite numerous proposals to Ottawa, the Dominion Government continued
to drag its feet on assistance. The year ended with Galts narrow guage
track into Lethbridge leased and standard gauged but that
was a hundred miles (and four years) ·from British Columbias
eastern border.
The St. Mary River flats and its trestle and deck truss, the view
looking north east April 25, 1898. Fort Whoop-Up would be just
out of the picture in the trees at upper left. The imcomplete St.
~Mary station is in the background while a work train stands in
~front of the water tank. The Twin Coulee trestles out of the pic­
ture at the upper left. Less the track and trestles this same view
is little changed today. (The Galt Museum Archives)
ii
!!
CANADIAN 71 R A I L
The temporary line swung south of Lethbridge to avoid the hook
of the Belly just west of the little town and also to avoid the
west bank of the river valley which even today is far more severe
than the east side. The name Belly comes from Blackfoot legend
and it was with relief that the name was finally changed downriver
from the c-onfluene·e of ttre Belly and Oldman in 1915.
Cumtox and Kipp were stations on the old line; Kipp was to move to
a new location with the opening of the Viaduct and relocation in
1909 and existed as a station until the sixties. Pearce was also
moved and marks a commuter village on the Crowsnest Subdivision to­
day. The dependence on rail transportation at the time can be il­
lustrated by the daily movements. Upon closure of the old line at
least six passenger trains a day were working east and west while
twice that number of freights were called for. The temporary line
quickly became strained beyond capacity.
Note both maps courtesy Dr. A. Johnston as are all trestle pictures.
..
Picture captions -all of the trestle pictures courtesy Dr. A
Johnston. The photographer of the trestle pictures is unknown,
likely it was a Mr. Heckman who was in the employ of Canadian
Pacific about that time and who was photographer of the union
station picture.
The photographer had an eye for engineering and was obviously using
excellent equipment under extremely poor light conditions at times.
CANADIAN
74
RA I L
End of track then was at Lethbridgess little station
with a relatively easy approach and crossing of the Rockies
eventually planned at the Crowsnest Pass when economic conditions
permitted. A nagging engineering problem however stared Canadian
Pacific engineers squarely in the face. Almost under the last
rail at the coal town yawned a massive abyss more than a mile wide and
300 feet deep. At the valleys shoulders the alluvial clays
had been gouged by thousands of years of erosion into miniature
imitations of the parent -gullies emptying laterally into the
valley some of them meandering back into the prairies for miles.
The first white men in the area, American whiskey peddlars, called
them coulees and the name stuck.
Since 1885 survey parties oeriodically had been searching
the valley for an easy crossing when Galt first looked west for
reasons similar to Van Hornes. One of the first Canadian Pacific
trains into Lethbridge brought another crew with the same intention
and it was reported by a local resident that the railway had asked
the city fathers for half the amount of $200,000 it was estimated
to bridge the valley at river level. The reply was never recorded.
In 1897 patient negotiation with Ottawa brought its re­
ward to be known to posterity as the Crows ~est Pass Freight
Rates Agreement. Canadian Pacific, in return for a reduction on
certain specified commodities, received a subsidy of $11,000 a
mile or $3,404,720 enabling the track-laying gangs to renew the
race to the East Kootenays. However, the valley crossing at
Lethbridge, if built at prairie level, would consume a million
dollars and two years, neither of which the railway could afford!
The alternative was to cross at a lower level though that too
presented problems because the Belly River, gentle in most seasons,
could become a torrent in spring runoffs. Moreover flooding of
the entire valley floor was the stuff of local legend, the on­
slaughts frequent and devastating as Galts employees could attest
to.
St. Mary River double truss. The far pier is the only one stand­
ing today, the other two having fallen over.
CANADIAN
75
R A I L
Wind gusts up to 80 mph and higher are common in the area. Ob­
viously there was wind when these two Canadian Pacific emrloyees
were on the line.
Nervertheless by 1896 engineering studies proved the
feasibility of a 37 mile route to ~acleod and specified a low level
crossing south of Lethbridge. Thus at a point a mile and a half
east of the Union Station the surveyors turned their transits
south, three miles away calling for the first trestle to vault
Six-mile coulee. Here they bent the center line southwestward
swinging over the lip of the valley a mile west of where a station
bearing the colorful q.11.Jic r:; ·~··o(-p-up would be located. Recording
that a low cut would be necessary here, they eased into the valley
proper alternately slicing ridqes and vaulting coulees, all the
time dropping toward the river. (Construction practices at the
time frequently called for cut and trestle rather than cut and
fill because of the speed with which trestles could be erected.
At a later date and with no time pressure the track gangs could
replace the trestles with fill; these trestles were never filled).
At a point to be named St. Mary Station just south of
the junction of the St. Mary and Belly rivers they swung the line
west across the St. Mary, then picking up the far valley wall, ran
the stakes northwestward and began to climb out above the Belly,
reversing the procedure with cut and fill on a far easier face.
Once back at prairie level they were on the Blood Reverse and
tangent could be run until almost within sight of the newly­
constructed Calgary and EdMonton Railway. Here, ~ miles east of
Macleod the line left the Reserve where it finally had to cross
the Belly but on a far less formidable approach on a single truss
bridge.
CANADIAN
76
R A I L
This is likely the Six-Mile Coulee. It was the first of the cou­
lees south of Lethbridge and one of the widest. In wet years a
small brackish creek trickled through the grasses and low brush on
its way to the Belly.
No captions accompanied the pictures thus their specific locations ~
are impossible to identify. Moreover. due to the rivers erosion
some of the hills and coulees are unrecognizable today.
CANADIAN 77 RA I L
The almost ten miles in the valley but particularly the
4.9 miles from Whoop-up to St. Mary were to become a nightmare to
both the accountants and the operating men; in contrast the cross­
ing of the spine of the Rockies called for nothing as severe as
this. The trestles vaulting the coulees would require constant
maintenance and patrols because of the hazard of train-caused
fires while prairie fires which periodically raged across the
semi-arid grasslands would be as dangerous as forest fires on a
mountain wall, so quickly did they move under the fan of a chinook
wind. ~or could the line earn revenue crossing the Reserve, oper­
ating costs would sky-rocket and tonnage fall on the otherwise
flat line. But it would have to do until earnings improved and
capital became available for a relocation.
Construction began in 1897, the entire hundred miles to
the B.C. border being in operation the following year. Actual
mileage was 38.5 from the Lethbridge station to Macleod, as the
crow flew less than 30. The ruling grade was specified at l.2Z
with a maximum seven degrees of curvature. However 20 trestles
and bridges were required between Six-~ile coulee and the St.
Mary River crossing, their total length 12,063 feet or 2.8 miles.
That totalled 15 million board feet of timber, all of it likely
floated down the Oldman and Belly rivers from the timber reserves
in the Porcupine Hills west of Macleod as had the wood for Galts
mines and railways. Several of the trestles exceeded 100 feet in
height and many were longer than 400 feet. The span over the St.
Mary River was a deck truss resting on three concrete piers with
a trestle crossing the valley floor on its western approach.
These two spans were the giant of the lot, 2,933 feet in length,
65 feet above the water. One construction in this area was suf­
ficiently time consuming that the contractor -Michel J. Haney –
built a shoe-fly and temporary yard on the St. Mary River flats
where he stockpiled supplies and where timber was likely retrieved
from the river and cut up. St. llary station was located at the
crossings east end flanked by a water tank.
Once the line went into use, operations must have been slow
though routine. Until Six-mile Coulee the flat prairie belied
what lay ahead; once clear of Whoop-Up station and for the next
five miles the route described an enormous horseshoe with the
notorious whiskey-trading fort, Whoop-Up, at its center. Two rivers
clawed at the roadbed an was at the top, the valley below provided a lush contrast of green
meadows and stands of cottonwoods. Slashing under the trestles
were the coulees, the home of crocuses, rattlesnakes, no-seeums,
sage, cactus, and tumbleweed which defied gravity by rolling uphill
driven by the howling chinooks out of the southwest.
~ Motive power was evidently provided by ten wheelers on
passenger trains with moguls and later consolidations on the
freights. Westbound from Medicine Hat and leaving the stub-ended
grandiose named Lethbridge Union Station, trains backed the 1.5
miles to Lethbridge Junction over three rail track. (The narrow
gauge A.R. and I. joined Canadian Pacific tracks a half mile east
of Lethbridge Junction, at Montana Junction. This situation exist­
ed until 1912 when the last of Galts narrow gauge was torn up and
C.P. took over the line to Raymond and Cardston). Passenger trains
such as the Spokane Flyer were timetabled at a leisurely two hours
to Macleod, freights three.
CANADIAN
78
R A I L
Dr. Alex Johnston in his account, The C.P. Rail High Level
Bridge at Lethbridge recalls the memory of Mrs. Annie Peat
who rode the line:
The time that I travelled this route it was a long
journey, as the train crawled slowly over all the
bridges, but it was a picturesque view going through
the valley, past old Fort Whoop-Up and other interest­
ing sights. It was a most windinq and twisting rail­
road.
While other accidents may have occurred, two stand out
in the mind of retired hogger Andy Staysko of Lethbridge. He re­
lates that a vicious snow storm struck the foothills on May 21,
1903. Two days later the snow had piled sufficently deep in the
cut a mile west of Whoop-Up station to trap a freight. In it con­
sist were two cars of cattle. By the time the frozen train was
dug out and dragged into Lethbridge, the cattle were dead.
Nor was this to be the last death on the line. Various
stories surround the wreck of Engine 1413 in 1910. The little
track as the Lethbridge Viaduct had been put into service three
months earlier. One account suggests that the regular crew had
booked-off sick on that Monday morning. The spare crew, being ig­
norant of the exact spot where the track was being torn out, over­
ran the flag and collapseJ the partially dismantled trestle.
Still another account suggests that it was the salvage
contractor who didnt know his job and loosened too many cross­
braces near the train. Whatever the truth, four flats, the engine,
This was Alberta, Railway and Irrigation Companys engine number 1,
one of the switchers working the Lethbridge three-rail yard during
the period 1897 -1912. (The Galt Museum Archives)
This was the Lethbridge, Alberta Union Station servin~ both the
Canadian Pacific and the Alberta, Railway and Irrigation Company
as it appeared on 21 July 1907. Note the dual gauge track and
the large ice-house behind the station which stood until 1977.
Photo courtesy CP Archives, Joseph W.Heckman Collection.

1.
A distant shot of 1413, her stack pointed toward the bottofTl of the
valley at left. The caboose and water car are out of sight in the
coulee behind the tender. It appears that 1413 was pushing the
flats ahead of her down the hill from left (to right) with her
water car and caboose in tow when the span collapsed. (Galt
Museum Archives}
2 The wreckage of the caboose is in the right foreground with the
•remains of the Twin Coulee trestle in the background. (Galt
Museum A,.chives)
3 rhe picture was obviously taken soon after the accident as the en­•
gine is sti I relatively intact. The frozen Belly River lies far
down the slope to the left under west. (Galt Museum Archivesi
CANADIAN
82
RA I L
tender, a water car, and caboose fell, taking with them portions
of the Twin coulee trestle. The Lethbridge Daily Herald ran a
special edition on January 31, 1910, covering the accident.
The accident took place near Whoop-Up about ten
miles southwest of the city. Just before the
track comes to the St. Marys River are two small
bridges on either side of a narrow ridge separating
the coulees. The drop from the bridge is about
fifty feet. The old line, having been abandoned, the
bridges were being torn down. The train, a work train
on the bridge, had a gang of men with it tearing down
the bridge that was farther west. J. Robski was
killed and twelve men seriously injured. The engineer,
George Monroe died later. The wreck train left Leth­
bridge at 3 P.M. with Dr. McNally on board. Nurses and
other doctors sped to the scene of the accident.
The decision to relocate the line eliminating the grade
and trestles had been made by 1904 when it was found that the
truss work particularly, was in need of extremely costly repair.
Adding to the problem was the increased traffic from the vast coal
deposits and lumber stands in British Columbia which had made the
Macleod-Lethbridge section a bootleneck. In 1905 the divisional
point at Macleod was moved to Lethbridge so that it became in­
creasingly important to relocate a more direct ~oute westward
crossing the valley at prairie level. Work on the viaduct com­menced
in 1907 and with its opening in late 1909, the last freight
drum~ed over the trestles followed by work crews who tore every­
thing out. The Lethbridge paper let the closing of the old line
slip by unnoticed in the vast lineage devoted to the celebrations
of the world-record bridge and new, more direct line.
One of the trestles adjacent to the twin coulee where 1413 would
go down.
CANADIAN 83 R A I L
St. Mary River trestle from its west end, the eastern edge of the
Blood Reserve.
Today, Whoop-Up and St. Hary stations are history -but
rusted spfkes, fragments of timber, the cuts, and three pfers at
the St. ~ary crossing still clearly mark the route of the early
line. Bu,t nature has not been ab1e to reclaim the roadbed par­
ticularly on parts of the Reserve where agriculture has never
disturbed the soil dragged up the the Haney Brothers crews
eighty years ago.
NOTES:
1. In 1907 or 1908 the Government of Canada completed a hydro­
graphfc survey which determined that the Belly River flowed
into the Oldman River. This change in name would suit the
residents of rapidly drawing Lethbridge in particular who
had always suffered some discomfiture at the name of the
nearby stream –it was made official in 1915.
2. At a later date the apostrophe and the s were dropped from
all names in Canada designating geographic features or land­
marks. Thus early ref~rences are to St. Marys station, St.
Marys River, and so forth while contemporary reference re­
fers to St. Mary station, St. Mary River.
3. When construction began on the Crowsnest line, its likely
that work also began both east and west out of Haneyville, a
point just southwest of the town of macleod because the Cal­
gary and Edmonton, a C.P. branchline from Calgary, had reach­
ed the north side of the Oldman River at Macleod in 1891.
Haneyville no longer exists but is marked by the Macleod air­
port, the remnants of one of the myriad W.W. II training sta­
tions for the Commonwealth air training plan.
4. Fort Whoop-Up was the largest of the forts of the illegal
whiskey trade in 1374 and the end of the Whoop-Up-Benton (Montana)
trail. The Fort was captured and put out of busi­
ness by the arrival of the ~orth-West Mounted Police at the
CANADIAN 84 RA I L
end of their long trek in 1374 but in 1897 it stood almost
intact if rundown and was still inhabited. An exact replica
was reconstructed in Lethbridge in 1967 and today serves as
a tourist attraction.
The name Whoop-Up comes from the unique brand of beverage
distributed by the whiskey traders. The base was alcohol but
beyond that, almost anything that was handy was added to give
it body and color. If we can believe accounts of the time,
it made Newfie Screech look like a fine old liqueur by com­
parison.
5. Mr Andrew Stayski, retired Canadian Pacific hogger, began his
career on Galts narrow gauge then joined Canadian Pacific at
Lethbridge. He has vivid memories of the temporary line, the
first being the deaths of two men at the St. Hary bridge when
temporary scaffolding blew down, probably in 1897. He noted
that a number of the salvage crew riding the flats were also
severely injured in the Twin Coulee wreck and it was the
badly-burned engineer who staggered back up to the prairie
to get help. Mr. Staysko frequently fired the 1413 after her
rebuilding and recalls that the engine was a good steamer,
nor did Lethbridge crews consider the engine unlucky despite
the fact that she overturned at Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, some
years later, killing the engineer.
Particular thanks for assistance in preparation of this
article must go to Dr. Alex Johnston, President of the Whoop-Up
Country Chapter, Historical Society of Alberta, who unearthed so
much of the foregoing material in his research on the Lethbridge
Viaduct. As well Mr. Ed llay of the Lethbridge Community College,
the Galt Museum and Mr. Omer Lavallee, Corporate Archivist of
Canadian Pacific assisted materially. For the account of the
building of the Lethbridge Viaduct see George Moores The Big­
gest Bridge, January 1977 edition of Canadian Rail. Also see
Dr. Johnstons previously mentioned booklet The C.P. Rail High Level
Bridge at Lethbridge, available from the Galt Museum,
Lethbridge.
The usefulness of the water barrels was questionable as they re­
quired constant replenishment.
[he …
uus1ness car
IF NUMEROUS WOODEN TRESTLES CARRIED THE CPR WESTWARD FROM LETH­
bridge, Alberto at the turn of the century, the Lethbridge
Viaduct is olive and well in 1979 as noted in the enclosed
photo. Pot Webb through the courtesy of the Lethbridge Herold
sent along this shot of a 105 car train of empties on the viaduct
heading west to Corbin B.C. Somewhere around mid-train is the
robot and power on~ the rear end brakeman hos just radioed that
he is safely aboard. The train is returning from its once a week
round trip to the McKellor Island Terminal at Thunder Boy, Ontario.
CP Roil is erecting five 30 meter towers between the Crowsnest
Poss and Medicine Hot for two-way communication between train
crews, stations and the Calgary dispatcher.
( Pot Webb, Lethbridge)
CANADIAN
86
RA I L
THE HON. ELWOOD VEITCH , MINISTER OF TOURISM AND SMALL DEVELOP­
ment for British Columbia has announced another season of
touring for BC s 2860 and train. To be dubbed THE GOOD
TIMES EXPRESS the train will remain in western Canada and north­
ern US where an extensive tour the details of which are to be
found below. The consist will be: Royal Hudson 2860, auxiliary
tender, tank car, 2000HP BC Rail diesel booster, Nanaimo River
box car, Prince George baggage car, Discovery, Nootka Sound, Skee­
na River, Kootenay River, Cowichan River, Mount Hood, Endeavour,
Britannia, Adventure and Peace River. Total length of the 1979
version of BCs display train will be 1189 feet. We are pleased
to present the following schedule but last minute changes always
seem to take place, consult your local newspaper or BC Rail if
you live or are visiting the area. Our thanks to Dave Wilkie
and Vrlak Robinson Advertising for providing the details to
Canadian Rail.
DISPLAY
DATE DAY DAYS RLY. CENTRE
Mar. 26 Mon. l
B.C.H. Richmond
Mar. 27
Tue. l

Langley
Mar. 28 Wed. l
Abbotsford
Mar. 29 Thur. l B.N. · E..-erett-, Wash.
Mar.
30 Fri. l
II
Wenatchee
Mar. 31,Apr. 01 Sat.,Sun. 2

S pokcne
Apr. 02 Mon. l U.P. Sandpoint, Idaho
Apr. 03 Tue. l C.P. Creston
Apr. 04 Wed. l

Nelson
Apr. 05 Thur. l

Castlegar
Apr. 06 Fri. l

Trail
Apr. 07 Sat. l

Cran brook
Apr. 08 Sun. l
II
Fernie
Apr. 09 Mon. l

Lethbridge
Apr. 10,11 Tue.,Wed. 2

Calgary
Apr. 12 Thur. l

Golden
Apr. 13 Fri. l

Revel stoke
Apr. 14,15 Sat. ,Sun. 2

Kelowna
Apr. 16 Mon. l

Vernon
Apr. 17 Tue. l
II
Salmon Arm
Apr. 18,19 Wed., Thur. 2

Kamloops
Apr. 20 Fri. l C.N. Clearwater
Apr. 21,22 Sat.,Sun. 2

Prince George
Apr. 23 Mon. l

Smithers
Apr. 24 Tue. l

Terrace
Apr. 25 Wed. l

Kitimat
Apr. 26 Thur. l

Prince Rupert
..
CANADIAN
87
RA I L
DISPLAY
DATE DAY DAYS RLY. CENTRE
Apr. 27 Fri. l
II
Burns Lake
Apr. 28 Sat. Travelling
~.N.~.
.c ..
Apr. 29,30 Sun.,Mon. 2
II
Dawson Creek
May 01 Tue. l
II
Fort St. John
May 02 Wed. l
II
Chetwynd
May 03 Thur. Travelling
II
May 04 Fri. l
II
Quesnel
May 05 Sat. l
II
Williams Lake
May 06 Sun. l
II
100 Mile House
May 07 Mon. l
II
Squamish
S N R
May 08,09 Tue.,Wed. 2 B.N.R. Burnaby
B.C.H.
BALANCE OF ITINERARY TO BE OPERATED WITH
STEAM LOCOMOTIVE 1077
May 12 Sat. l Nanaimo
May 13 Sun. l Courtenay/Comox
May 14 Mon. l
Port Alberni
May 15 Tue. 1 Parksville
May 16 Wed. 1 Ladysmith
May 17 Thur. 1 Chemainus
May 18 Fri. 1 Duncan
May 19,20,21 Sat,Sun,Mon 3 Victoria
NO TRAIN DEPARTMENT! THE CURRENT VIA TIMETABLE SHOW EXISTENCE
of train service linking Clareville and Bonavista, Nfld.,
but the trains have not been running since December 1977,
due to flood conditions. The CTC has begun an investigation of
C.N.s failure to repair the Bonavista branch line. In the meantime,
the company has been using a trucking service for freight, and a
taxi service for passengers affected by the line closure.
(SRS NEWS)
TWO NOTABLE HISTORICAL EVENTS OCCURED AT WINNIPEG IN OCTOBER.
On the 4th, a pla~ue was dedicated at Canadian Nationals
station on Main Street. The building has been designated
a historical site. Meanwhile, across town on Higgins Avenue,
Canadian Pacific closed their passenger station after departure
of the westward Canadian the night of October 28th, 1978.
Henceforth, the Canadian will use the C.N. station at Winnipeg.
This ends an era going back to 1882.
(Milepost -Midwestern Rail Assn.)
CANADIAN
88
R A I L
N & W IS STILL ON STRIKE -BUT WITH A DIFFERENCE~ DESPITE THE
fact that N & W has been handling only 50% of the merchandise
traffic it carried in pre-strike days, it is doing so with
only 15% of the work force. Like the FEC, it has been running
trains without cabooses, and with two-man crews. In addition,
supervisory personnel are operating full 8-hour days, rather than
the traditional 100 miles. Analysts claim that the labor savings
are so great that N & W will actually show a profit for the quarter
••• while on strike~
(The 470)
CALGARY MAY BE LATE, BUT AS THEY USUALLY DO, THEY ARE STARTING
out with their project just about twice as large as the
corresponding project in Edmonton. So says the APRA MARKER,
referring to light rapid transit in Calgary. The initial phase is
now under construction and, once leaving the downtown area, will
generally follow the CP Rail Macleod Subdivision. Calgarys
system will have eight miles of route, 27 cars and 12 stations –
compared to Edmontons four miles, 14 cars and five stations.
And while the MARKER does add that Edmonton is expanding its
system, it also drew attention that service provided by Brill
trolley coaches on Edmonton Transit would end on November 19th,
1978. This in contrast to another item in that publication that
August 13th marked the 30th anniversary of trolley coach operation
in Vancouver, B.C., with more than 300 in service on about 20
routes.
FOR TRAVELLERS WHO WANT TO RIDE, BRIEFLY, IN A PRIVATE RAIL CAR,
AutoTrain Corp. began a new service November 15th. It will
cost Sl,500 for the 17 hour one-way trip from the Washington,
D.C. area to Orlando, Florida. The tab wo~ld be the total for a
party of six, using three bedrooms, plus two autos that would ride
along on the same train. Price includes a five-course dinner on
gold and blue anti~ue plates, nibble on a late-night snack of fruit
and cheese and have breakfast before leaving the train the next
morning.
The car was built in 1914 by AT&SF as a parlor car, and was
rebuilt by SAL in 1948. As a private car, it was used by
John W. Smith, the late president of the former SAL, which was merged
into several other lines that form Seaboard Coast Line
Industries Inc. The car, formerly named Southland has real
porcelain ceilings of a bone white colour, a dining room, living
room, wall to wall carpeting, and a kitchen. Also abord is a
radio-telephone, a stereo-cassette player and colour television
sets in the bedrooms.
(The Wall Street Journal)
MUCH WORK AND MANY INVESTIGATIONS BY BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND
commissions preceded the formation of such conglomerates as
Penn-Central, Conrail, B-N, and lately Amtrak and VIA. But
the same for a 111-mile international 3-foot gauge line, with no
direct connection with other railroads, half in Alaska and half in
the Yukon Territory? Such is the case of the White Pass & Yukon
Route~
CANADIAN
89
R A I L
EDMONTON TRANSIT KEPT ITS AILING FLEET OF CAN-CAR TROLLEY BUSSES
in service until the 1978 Commonwealth Games to kelp hand­
le the peak traffic loads. The units have since been retired
and replaced by Flyer type trolley-busses in the white, blue and
yellow color scheme. Ted Wickson caught Can Car 197 on May 24, 1978·
on 102 Ave. at Churchill Park, he then snapped Flyer E800 coach
with modified rear roof section in service on route 1, Jasper Place.
CANADIAN
90
RA I L
OUR CORRESPONDENT, MR. WILLIAM F. GIESLER OF WHITEHORSE, YUKON
has kindly sent clippings from the Whitehorse Star, Yukon
News, and Northern Times.
At the outset, Arrow Transportation Systems of Vancouver
applied to the Yukon Transport Public Utilities Board to grant it
ten licenses to haul freight by truck to points in the Yukon
from Stewart, B.C. via Cassiar. The freight would arrive by barge
from Vancouver. Earlier this year, Arrow was awarded the contract
to haul asbestos fibre from the mine at Cassiar, B.C. to Stewart
when Cassiar-Asbestos decided to stop using the port of Skagway.
The contract had been held by WP&Y. Arrow currently barges freight
south from Stewart, then returns with empty containers. We just
want to put some freight in a few of those empty containers coming
north said Arrow president Jack Charles. If WP&Y has to compete
with another company transporting in and out of the Yukon, it could
mean the end of the Yukons only railway and the slowing down of
future mineral development in the territory. That was the gist of
the opposition presented by White Pass officials at the hearing.
The lawyer for White Pass suggested to the board the railway was
vital to the territorys future development, and although another
transportation company might bring short range relief to consumers,
it would hurt the long range public interest of the Yukon and the
country. While White Pass has never asked for government aid in
its 80-year history, any threat to its precarious financial position
might just force it to do so. In an effort to cut expenditures,
their two ships plying between Skagway . ..and Van~ouver are being
converted to barges to be hauled by a tug with a 7-man crew, compared
with 24 men on each of the self-propelled ships. But the slower
operation would reduce service to three trips a month instead of
weekly. At the same time White Pass has undertaken a major staff
shuffle, and is moving senior top-management personnel to Whitehorse
from Vancouver, with a view to improving efficiency. White Pass
president Jack Fraser of Winnipeg stated that the railroad would
fold in two years unless 16 million is invested in it.
In addition to the hearings before the Yukon Transport Board,
in August the federal government in Ottawa set up a task force to
study the White Pass situation. In typical fashion, the task force
chairman stated that its findings might be kept secret.
WAY BACK IN 1906, THE UP AND SP ENTERED INTO A FRUITFUL PARTNERSHIP
as co-owners of a refrigerator car operation that achieved
both size and fame over the years as the familiar Pacific
Fruit Express. Last April the partnership was dissolved, but
business will continue. The cars and operations were divided up:
UP will operate its half as UPFE, SP will retain the old PFE
designation for its part. The split up is expected to give each
company better control of services on its own lines, with resulting
better service to its customers.
( NRHS Bulletin )
CN HAS TAKEN DELIVERY OF 50 NEW 70-TON AIR-DUMP CARS, ALONG WITH
480 longitudinal hoppers for use in that companys share of
the federally-funded grain line rehabilitation program. All
cars are being used on CN branch lines in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
(Keeping Track)
CANADIAN 91 R A I L
Gord Taylor took this shot of N & Ws last operating cab unit No.
3725 at the St. Thomas, Ontario tie-up because of problems created
by the strike in the U.S., note the un-official lettering scab
under the engineers window. At last report 3725 was back in ser­
vice and was seen heading up a time freight to Buffalo N.Y.
(Gord Taylor)
THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS IS UNDERTAKING A Sl.7 MILLION PROGRAM
to rehabilitate the Cape Cod rail line, by up-grading 33.5
miles of track to permit 40 ~ph freight, and 60 mph passenger
train operation. This will not only result in improved freight
service, but is expected to result in resumption of The Cape
Codder, the excursion train between New York City and the Cape
this summer.
(The 470 )
CANADIAN NATIONAL WILL APPLY TO THE CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION
to abandon several branch lines in Prince Edward Island. The company
does not believe that traffic levels warrant the
expenses of continued maintenance. It becomes one more sore point
for discussion among the farmers, the PEI Potato Marketing Board,
the CN and the Island and federal governments. The impasse between
the railway and the PMB for rates this fall, the state of branch
lines, the lack of reefers, and the farmers perceived fears have
contributed to a situation where the railway is having a difficult
time being heard.
( SRS News)
CANADIAN
92
R A I L
No sooner hod the new AM-FLEET cars been introduced into service
when the train was abandoned due to high costs and poor patronage.
This is the Niagara Rainbow, Amtrak train # 64 on the high bridge
crossing from Canada to the USA at Niagara Falls, Ontario. The
lost run was mode on January 31, 1979 and so the Buffalo -Windsor
via Canada connection is no more.
(Kenneth A.W.Gonsel)
I
l
CANADIAN
93
R A I L
SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (SEMTA) HAS EXPANDED
its Monday to Friday commuter service from three to four
round-trips between Pontiac and Detroit.
(The Semaphore, CRHA Windsor/Essex Div.)
WITH THE OPENING OF CNS NEW EXPRESS TERMINAL IN LACHINE, THE
terminal on the site of the former Montreal Bonaventure Station
has been converted to other uses, and the trackage removed
between Bonaventure and St. Henri.
(SL VRS Bulletin)
Mr. I.C.Platt of Sydenham, Ontario caught CN 5067, 5068, 5073
wheeling a Procor unit train through Kingston, Ontario on
30 March 1978. This is probably the Bi-weekly Imperial Oil to
~ouglas Point service, the other such unit train being operated
is from Golden Eagle Ltd. in Quebec City to a destination in
Ontario.
CR RAILS ALASKA CRUISE SHIP PRINCESS PATRICIA WAS TO HAVE BEEN
retired at the end of the 1978 season due to two lean years.
However, there was such a about-face in 1978, with practically
all 18 sailings being sold out, that the vessel will again operate
in 1979.
(CP Rail News)
CANADIAN
94 RA I L
PACIFIC COAST TERMINALS 0-6-0 No. 4012 IS SEEN TRAVELLING NORTH
across the Arbutus Canyon Bridge, Mile 14.9 Victoria Sub.
as part of the consist of train 51 on January 4, 1979. 4012
is enroute to Heritage Park in Calgary for a new lease on life
and last saw active service on August 25, 1962 when she handled
the New-Westminister-Sumas turn for the West Coast Railway Assoc­
iation. She has been in storage on Vancouver Island since April 3,
1965, good luck 4012. ·
(Photo and information courtesy Dave Wilkie)
Some double tokes must hove been mode at various level crossings
across Canedo when CN transferred these cobless slug units Nos.
274 -277 to the various yards to be hooked up to their respective
motes. These ore basically cut down versions of the GP-38-2 and
were photographed in transit at the CN enginehouse in London,
Ontario on November 26, 1978.
(Gord Taylor)
BACK COVER
Canadian Notional 6076 was built in 1944 and was classed as o U-1-f
4-8-2 mountain type. Jim Shaughnessy of Troy, New York pictured
the machine on the ready track at Niagara Falls, Ontario in the
early 1950 s. ( S.S.Worthen collection, CRHA Archives)
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