Published monthly by The Canadian ~IL
Railroad Historical Association
P.O. Box 22, Station B
Montreal Quebec Canada H3B 3J5
The Peace River Bridge, center
span as photographed from the front
of the excursion trains locomotive
on August 6, 1978. Photo courtesy of the Author.
INSIDE FRONT COVER:
The Author and train conductor for the occasion
Mr. Dick Coulman as
photographed beside coach 18001.
EDITOR Fred F. Angus
CO-EDITOR M. Peter Murphy
BUSINESS CAR Dave J. Scott
OFFICIAL CARTOGRAPHER: Willian A.
LAYOUT: Michel Paulet
CALGARY & SOUTH WESTERN
L. M. Unwin, Secretary
60-6100 4th Ave. NE
Calgary, Alberta T2A 5Z8
D. E. Stoltz, Secretary
P. O. Box 141, Station A, Ottawa
Ontar i 0 Kl N 8Vl
R. Kei llor, Secretary
P. O. Box 1006, Station A. Vancouver
British Columbia V6C 2Pl
C. K. Hatcher, Secretary
P. O. Box 6102, Station C, Edmonton
Alberta T5B 2ND
R. Ballard, Sr., Secretary
300 Cabana Road East, Windsor
Ontario N9G lA2
TORONTO & YORK DIVISION
J. C. Kyle, Secretary P.
O. Box 5849, Terminal A, Toronto Ontario
Peter Warwick, Secretary
P. O. Box 593
St. Catharines, Ontario
ST. LAWRENCE VALLEY DIVISION
J. P. Chartrand, Secretary
P. O. Box 99
Ste. Dorothee, Quebec
. . . .
. …..- . .. The.Bridge,The
. . ..
August -6; 1978_Np~th~rnArb.ri~~om~e~orotiv~tralb arrive; t~ Q
_weh:o.mingcr9wd at FCi-irview, Alberta .–These cere-monies commemorate_
years of rdiJ,service which commence~on· November 2, 1928.
All-photos cOlJrtesy of the Author unless othe.ndse-indicated.
and The Railway
by George France
EVERYONE loves a birthday. And when there is occasion
to celebrate three important birthdays at one time, then a
celebration is called for. And such an occasion calls for a
So, sometime in 1978 a call went out from the car shop
at the Northern Alberta Railways Dunvegan Yards in Edmonton,
Alberta. And the call reached a weary red-oxided coach parked
on some siding somewhere on the N.A.R.; numbered 18001. Rules
Instruction Car proclaimed the faded white lettering. So
18001 auietly moved down to the car shop, and was lost to view.
Born a Pullman Sleeper she was; drawing room, open sections, a
compartment and smoker-wash room. A heavyweight wood sided
car on six wheel trucks. Believed to have originally served
on the Alberta Great Waterways, another of J.D. MacArthurs
Approaching Fairview, mile 97.4 at 13:10 hours on August 6, 1978.
Grain elevators dot the skyline, typical of Canadas prairie
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railroad, she saw service in the N.A.R. Blue Train, the main
line passenger train. Steel sheet had replaced the wood sides,
oil stoves replaced the pot bellied coal heaters, and the last
seven years had seen her fitted with desks and chairs, as she
moved from siding to siding as Rules Instruction Car.
In the March issue of Canadian Rail (No. 314) we had
brought you to Peace River Crossing in 1916 on J.D. MacArthurs
Central Canada Railway. Tenders had been let for the con
struction of the (One) Million Dollar Peace River Bridge.
Construction had continued apace under the hand of Mr. William
Jackson, main assistant engineer to the Central Canada Railway,
during the winter 1916-17. The contract for the steelwork was
let to Canadian Bridge Company of Ontario, and work was commenced
in May 1918. By late October the tremendous under
taking was completed and the bridge opened for traffic.
A wye, sidings, water tower and coaling chute were con
structed on the West side, and the point was named Duet -the
base of the second grade up the Peace River Hills, a new
division. Under an arrangement with the Provincial Government,
the latter provided lumber to plank the bridge deck, so as to
provide year round crossing of the river to team and motor
So sixty years later, on Saturday August 5th, 1978, the
regular Roma turn descended the Peace River Hill behind the
usual three SD-38-2 s, in N.A.R. colours. But this morning
she paused at Peace River and set a coach and caboose onto the
team track. Then.she went on about her regular business of
moving the transfer onto the Great Slave Railway at Roma
Junction. In the mixed consist were twenty-two loads of
twenty-four inch gas pipe.
Towards evening, a group of people began to converge
on the coach and caboose. General Manager N.A.R., Mr. Jim
Pitts, Traffic Manager Mr. Jim Dove, Rules Instructor Mr.
Harold Stepney; and members of the Sir Alexander Mackensie
Historical Society of Peace River, Mrs. Evelyn Hansen, Mrs.
Aurelia Vangrud, Mrs. T.J. Seeley and the Author. From the
Centennial Museum came Mr. Murray Cook and Mrs. Kathy Hoskin
Coach 18001 was resplendent in new Gold paint, Black
roof and undergear. Bl~e lettering proclaimed Northern
Alberta Railways, Golden Anniversary of Service 1929-1979.
Canadian and Alberta flags fluttered proudly from the
vestibule posts. Inside 18001 was trimmed with new curtains,
and a display of Steam Era memorablia adorned the walls. An
old time operators desk displayed a Morse Key, manual type
writer, and wall phone. There were some old and very rare
prints of early days on the E.D. & B.C., and Central Canada
Railways. Wooden chairs were set at the windows.
Caboose No. 13504 was freshly refurbished inside and
out, but was otherwise a regular service unit on the N.A.R.
White sheets on the three bunks no less; stove, refrigerator,
electric hot-plate and gasoline driven generator provided
all the comforts of home. Herein, the members of Sir
72 R A I L
Three photographs of the famous Peace River Bridge taken in three
different eras. Firstly a photo of the bridge under construction
in 1918, photo courtesy of Evelyn Hansen Collection. In the 1920
era we see Edmonton Dunvegan & British Columbias passenger train
crossing the bridge. Photo courtesy Peace River Centennial Museum.
third view was taken by George France in 1953 looking west.
The water tank in the wye at the west end of the bridge is visible.
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Alexander Mackensie Historical Society set up 0 photo
graphic and scale model display of the coming of the rails
to Peace River, and the building of the Bridge.
An H.O. scale diorama depicted the Blue Train of the
Fifties, and modern G.P. 9 diesels on freight service.
Engine 73,2-8-0, of C.R.H.A. and Alberta Pioneer Railway,
and the business car Peace River were also modeled.
Thus the scene was set for Sunday August 6th, 1978,
Albertas Heritage Day. The Roma turn passed through in
the morning, whilst Peace River people attended churches,
and on returning shortly after noon stopped short of Duet
on the West side of the river.
The three SD-38-2 s Nos. 403-404-401 cut off their
train and slipped uietly across the bridge to the depot
where a crowd was gathering around 18001. The three engines
coupled to the 18001, and pulled the Special into Peace
River Depot platform. At 1 pm (retired) Conductors Dick
Coulman and Lloyd Reynolds, both in full N.A.R. uniforms
called the passengers for Extra 403 for Duet. The invited
guests, railroad-oriented old timers, Officers of N.A.R.
and Sir A.M.H.S., Federal Member for Peace River Ged. Baldwin
were piped aboard by piper Frank Bishop. Yours Truly boarded
engine 403, under command of Engineer Norman Valiauette, and
Conductor Fred Napier.
At 1:10 hrs the Special pulled out and rounded the bend
towards the Bridge, entrance to which was barred by two red
ribbons guarded by a small group of people who had walked
ahead to the end of the embankment. There was a moment of
consternation when it was realised the ribbons had not been
pre-notched, and there was the risk of stalling the diesels.
However the engineer notched the throttle open and the Special
rolled safely onto the magnificent bridge, created sixty years
ago, and still adeauate for todays heavy trains. Extra 403
North stopped short of the Highway 2 crossing at Duet so as
not to obstruct traffic, but motorists pulled up short, mouths
agape at the sight of the flag bedecked golden coach.
After a brief pause for photographs, the Special backed
across the Bridge, through the ribbons again, and was met at
the Depot by a large crowd. Coach 18001 was set out on the
Team track next to Caboose 13504, and the power units went
back across the river to pick up their freight drag. At
14:00 hours commenced a program of short speeches by various
railroad officers and old timers. In the midst of the program
the N.A.R. of 1978 thundered past, and saluted the N.A.R. of
1929 -the Museum Coach 18001 and Display Caboose 13504.
Throughout the showery afternoon the Displays were open
to the public who came in a steady flow. 18001 was the setting
for showings of the N.A.R.s film Rails North, presented by
Mr. Harold Stepney, and a slide show Rails to the Peace pre
sented by Mrs. Evelyn Hansen; Historian to the Sir Alexander .
Mackensie Historical Society, and the Centennial Museum. The
ladies of the Hospital Auxilliary plied all with coffee and
sandwiches. At 21:00 hours the show closed for the night.
R A I L
The approach to the bridge, the highway bridge is at the right
and was built in 1968, once over we have the view from the
other side looking back from DUET.
R A I L
1918 and the Central Canada was across the Peace River,
and headed West, but money was short and construction erratic.
A preliminary survey was run for the grades west of the river
right away, but no work was commenced until after a second
survey in 1920, and the rails did not reach Whitelaw the next
Divisional point until 1924.
Here was built a two stoll engine house, to service loco
motives for the next division west to British Columbia and the
Pacific ocean -but it never stalled a locomotive. It then
become apparent that the roils would miss the next settlement
of Waterhole, on the wagon trail to the Dunvegan crossing, and
would pass two miles to the north. So the settlement upped
and moved lock stock and barrel to the railhead which was
established in 1928 and named Fairview, and this point remained
the end of steel on the Central Canada, until the new Northern
Alberta Railways extended the line to Hines Creek in 1930. The
first train arrived in fairview on November 2, 1928.
So Fairview celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary on
Heritage Day Monday August 7th, 1978.
N.A.R. General Manager, Mr. Jim Pitts invited yours truly
and Mrs. Evelyn Hansen to help them take the whole show on up
to Fairview, so at 08:30 hrs on a cool August morning I arrived
at Peace River Depot to catch Extra 203 North, the way freight
to Fairview and Hines Creek. No train in sight, so I sought
General Manager Mr. T.O. Pitts adresses the crowd which had gathered
for the ceremonies at Peace River. On the right are conductors (retir
ed) Dick Coulman and Lloyd Renolds.
the warmth and relative comfort of the waiting room and its
wooden benches. The setting was appropriate as the portrait
of a once proud Cunard Steamship still adorned the wall, and
the Ticket Window is still in place. Presently the N.A.R.
members arrived, and around 09:00 hrs the daily Roma turn
rolled through, the three 50-38-2 s shifting from Dynamic
braking to power with not a ripple through the fifty tankers
and empty ore hoppers and lumber flats, as the brass gave the
train a visuol inspection from both sides of the track.
N.A.R. s Roma and Hines Creek Divisions are operated now on
the Manual Block system, so Extra 203 North was held at
Judah Siding at the top of Peace River hill until the Roma
turn had cleared the Bridge. Extra 203 North arrived shortly
before 10:00 hrs and picked up coach 18001 and caboose 13504.
Yours truly was welcomed aboard G.P. 9 203 and helper EMD 303
by engineer Ivan Ivancin, a ten year veteran on the N.A.R.,
hoving served as engineer for five years previously on
Czhekoslovakian Railways. Our senior Conductor was Gordon
McArthur, Head End Brakeman Ward Began with three months
service and Rear Brakeman Leonard Lindsay. First the two
engines were cut off to pull one loaded boxcar across the
river and set it out on the Horne and Pitfield warehouse
siding, then we backed across the bridge and made ready
Extra 203 North departed Peace River, Mile 48.6 at
10:10 hrs, and began the 2.2% climb to Roma Siding at Mile
57.5. The load was eight empty boxcars, caboose, 18001 and
caboose 13504, so the two power units made light work of
the climb, and we arrived Roma at 10:40 hrs. Here we lifted
the twenty two cars of gas pipe which had been set out for
us by the Saturday Roma turn. The cars were set out in two
Milt 0 MocKezlf Hwy.
N.A.R -Northern Albedo RI}.
G.S.L. -Great Sloyt Lake RI),.
[b-Counlr), Groin EleyotOf
NOT TO SCALE
cuts of eleven cars each; one hundred foot cushion cars,
the stretch was long and gentle. At 11:15 hrs we passed
Roma Junction at Mile 60.6; we could see Extra 404 South
the Turn making standing brake tests in the G.S.L. yards,
protected by a locked Derail on the transfer track. It is
all downhill from Roma Junction to Peace River, so no run
aways are invited. As soon as we cleared the switch, we
advised Dispatch and 404 by radio.
Grimshaw, Mile 65.0 was reached at 11:26 hrs and this
town welcomed the first train in 1922, the southern terminus
of the MacKensie Highway to Hay River and Yellowknife. Here
we set out the twenty two cars of gas pipe, again eleven cars
to a siding for off loading onto trucks. The heavy laden
cushion cars had been a very smooth steady pull, and were the
reason for our helper Engine 303 coming along. The track west
is relatively level and straight, angling a little to the
South of West. We departed Grimshaw 11:50 hrs on 65 Ib rail
with a speed limit of twenty five miles per hour. The radio
crackles Extra 203 North stop at Berwyn to entrain one
passenger. Our engineer spots coach 18001 exactly at Berwyn
Depot, Mile 71.5 at 12:00 noon, and Mrs. Hansen is welcomed
Just west of Brownvale, which we highballed through at
12:17 hrs, being Mile 77.6, we crossed the right-of-way for
the new pipeline, the destination of our consignment of pipe.
Whitelaw, Mile 84.6 is reached at 12:34, but we do not stop
here either, and there is no change of engines awaiting us
CA NAD IAN
R A I L
Extra 203 North. Stop at Bluesky to entrain passengers
for Fairview. It is rough and overgrown where the depot used
to be. Let us spot the coach on the grade crossing at the
East approach. Bluesky, mile 91.8 is reached at 12: 50, and
some twenty Fairview Old Timers are waiting to board the
train that will bring them home to Fairviews Fiftieth
We have been travelling generaly parallel to the Peace
River, and about twelve miles north of it, through the middle
of a narrow strip of fertile farm land, which is bordered to
the north by the Clear Hills. These hills may sometime yet
yield their low grade iron ore to the railway and thence to
Japanese interests. As we look to the south now the fields
slope gently down to the edge of the river canyon, and about
the same distance the other side, we can trace the line of
the Edmonton, Dunvegan, and British Columbia Railway through
Wanham, Rycroft, which is the nearest the E.D. & B.C. ever
got to Dunvegan (City), and to Spirit River, the end of steel
on the western line. The main line turns South at Rycroft
for Grande Prairie.
So at 13:10 hrs, just ten minutes off the mark, Extra
203 North arrived at Fairview, Mile 97.4, greeted by a very
large crowd of more than five hundred souls. 203 broke through
a red ribbon where the depot once stood; but for today a short
wooden platform had been assembled beside the track. Our
engineer made a slight back-up move to spot the vestibule
right on the mark, the crowd cheered and a piper welcomed
the Old Timers home.
To the tune of bag pipes passengers board the coach for DUET, Alberta.
R A I L
rhe SPECIAL train pulling onto the main line prior to boarding
at Peace River, Alberta.
The SPECIAL consisting of locomotives 403,404 and 401, coach
18001 and van VT41700 in the station at Peace River.
fr~ig.ht pulrs into Grimshaw, Al-berta
town grain elevator,
R A I L
Pin 203. The way freight cut off from the 5 pecial,
leaving the 18001 and 13504 on the main, and departed west on
the N.A.R. line of 1930 for the last sixteen miles to Hine
Creek, Mile 113.4, end of steel. This point is currently the
N.A.R. s busiest single loading point, handling grain and
Fairview is a bustling agricultural centre, home of the
Fairview Regional College, the district cattle market, and
several farm machinery companie~. The track here is laid
without any tie plates, and some of the rail in the sidings
belJrs the legend North Columbia 1881. Coach 18001 welcomed
visitors to the film Rails North and the Rails to the
Peace slide show all afternoon and evening, and the caboose
was the scene of a continuous line of intere~ted visitors,
more than a thousand that afternoon. Yours Truly occupied
the conductors chair in the bay window, and endeavoured to
answer all the many and varied ouestions.
At sunset we closed the show, and headed for home by
car. A last look back revealed the Passenger Train, holding
the Main, Canadian flags proud in the evening breeze, sil
houetted against the setting sun.
Whitelaw was the divisional point on the old Central Canada Railway.
Today three grain elevators stand and are serviced by the Northern
R A I L
So we come to 1979, Northern Alberta Railways is Fifty
Years old, and alive and well. Fifty years of service to
the Peace River Country. Happy Birthday N.A.R. A celebra
tion is in order.
Special Thanks are dup-to Mr. Jim Pitts, General Manager,
the Officers and crews of the N.A.R.
The Sir Alexander Mackensie Historical Society
The Peace River Centennial Museum
And all the poeple who made it all haopen.
The Winnipe Electric
Railway Leve Crossin
Accident of Ju~8, 191
by Fred Angus from
by Mr. Bill Blake.
Canadas street railways have had an enviable safety re
cord over many years, and really serious accidents were rare. In
cases where street car lines crossed main-line railways at grade,
protection was such that there was seldom any unfortunate incident.
However nothing is perfect and sometimes plans do run awry. One
such case happened on July 8, 1910 when a serious accident occurred
at the level crossing between the Canadian Northern Railway and the
Winnipeg Electric Railway on Pembina Ave. (now Osborne Street) in
the city of Winnipeg. This collision, involving a r.lOtor and
trailer street car, was one of the most spectacular accidents ever
to occur on the Winnipeg system, and it is surprising that it re
sulted in the loss of only one life.
To understand the circumstances which led to this tragic
event it is necessary to go back more than twenty years. The rail
way line was built by the Northern Pacific Ry. in 1888 as a single
track line, later became part of the Canadian Northern, and even
tually the Canadian National. Now enlarged to four tracks, it is
still in use as part of the main C.N. line yJest of Winnipeg. The
street car line was built in 1891 as an extension of the original
R A I L
electric line in Winnipeg. This pioneer line, constructed in 1890 and
opened in January 1891, was itsel f an extension of the horse
car system which had been promoted by Albert Austin in the 1880s.
In the latter part of 1891, another company, the Winnipeg Electric
Street Railway Co., began its own electric service in direct com
petition to Albert Austins horse car routes. The two systems co
existed until 1894, in which year the original lines, both horse
and electric, sold out to the Winnipeg Electric Street Ry. The
horse car lines were then abandoned or electrified, while the ori
ginal electric line of 1890 -91 became part of the unified system.
By 1910, traffic on both rail~/ay and street car lines had
increased far beyond that of 1891, and the level crossing was be
coming increasingly more dangerous. This had been realized as
early as 1906; on October 20 of that year a contract had been drawn
up between the city of Winnipeg and the Canadian Northern Railway
providing that construction of a subway (underpass) at this cross
ing should be started within seven months, and be completed in six
teen months from the start of work. As so often happens with such
projects, delay followed delay, actual work did not even begin un
til 1908, and was not fully completed until 1912, almost six years
after the ori ginal contract. A temporary diversion was made in the
street car line during construction, and a flagman was stationed at
the point where this track crossed the steam railway line. The
underpass was, therefore, scarcely half completed when disaster
struck at 4:35 P.M. on Friday, July 8, 1910.
The Oak Point local of the Canadian Northern Railway was
sCheduled to depart from the old Water Street station at 4:30 P.M.
It is possible that on this day the train was fifteen minutes late
since some published reports claim that the accident occurred at
4:50 P.M. In any case, the local reached the Pembina Ave. crossing
just as a two-car train of Winnipeg Electric Ry. street cars was
crossing the railway track. This train consisted of single-truck
C.N.R. and W. E.R. Track intersection at
Pembina St. and Rosser SI.
Loop Indicates 90° temporary cr oiling
where accident occurred
R A I L
closed car No. 62 hauling open trailer 15. In those days trailer
operation was quite common, although becoming obsolescent, and was
gradually being phased out as large double-truck cars were built.
Photos of the period depict as many as four of these small trailers
being hauled by a single motor car, since the flat topography of
Winnipeg and its consequent lack of grades allowed this practice.
Car 62 had been built for Winnipeg by the Toronto Railway in 1899,
and was in fact the last Winnipeg street car built in the 1800s.
It was of the typical flat tongue-and-groove-sided configuration
introduced in Toronto in 1894. Trailer car 15 was a light-weight
open car, and was also built in the 1890s.
The flagman, Mark McCloy, appears not to have seen the
approching train, for, as the street tar approached the crossing,
he gave the si gnal for the Motorman to proceed. The street cars
were squarely over the railway line when locomotive No. 45 struck
them, with a loud and spectacular crash, just between the motor and
trailer. The result was that car 62 was thrown violently and
fell over on its side, while trailer 15 came to rest part way down
the embankment on the opposite side, and both cars suffered heavy damage. Mrs. John
Lawrenc~ of Fort Rouge was thrown under the
locomotive and instantly killed. She had just left a friends
house with her little children and had planned to ~alk home, but
changed her mind and boarded the open car less than five minutes
before the accident. Although several .0thers.~lere injured, Mr.s.
Lawrence was the only fatality.
Within minutes, police, ambulances, and railway crews were
on the scene and traffic was immediately stopped on both lines
with no further accident. Once the injured had been taken to hos
pital the line was cleared as speedily as possible; the C. No. Ry.
was opened about one-and-a-half hours after the collision, and
street traffic resumed about half an hour later. The damaged lo
comotive and baggage car of the train were able to move on their
own wheels, while the two wrecked street cars were lifted by a Winnipeg
Electric Ry. crane on to flat cars and taken to the Com
panys shops. Soon the physical traces of the accident had been removed, and
then began the investigation, with its charges and
countercharges, as to the causes of this fatal event.
The inquest began on Saturday evening, July 9, 1910, and
the testimony brought out not only various accounts of the wreck,
but also of earlier near-misses and lack of proper protection at
this crossing. In all there were 53 witnesses, although many had
little of value to contribute. Some of these accounts, however,
are of great interest, and are quoted at length, since they depict
the accident and the events leading up to it in some detail:
W.B. Tomlinson state·d: Having a machine I go out every
evening, crossing the tracks about four times; yet never once have I
seen a signal from William Young, the night signalman.
Several times though, I had to stop because a switch engine
or freight train was coming along, but he never made a signal
either to stop or to go ahead. He was sitting down most of
the time. In one instance he turned the flag over to a young
fellow certainly not more than twenty years old who did get
out and give a signal. One night I was going in about 10:30
when it was extra dark for the time of year and I was given a
white light. I pulled along and got to within three feet of
R A I L
the track when I happened to see a light apparantly on top of
a box car. I stopped, and a box car passed within two feet of
the front of my car… On the other hand, I have found the
day flagman not only attentive but even exerting himself to
save delay of traffic at all times. But the way this night
man Young acts is an absolute menace to everybody going over
Constable Badgley: At 4:45 P.M. I was standing on the
Canadian Northern crossing when I noticed a passenger train
travelling at a good rate of speed. The flagman at the cross
ing raised the white flag, and Park line car No. 65 (sic.)
with trailer No. 15 going South started slowly to cross the
track. When crossing the line, the train coming from the East
struck both the electric cars, tearing them apart, knocking
one South of the track and the other in the opposite direction,
the latter going down the incline to the subway. I saw Mrs. Lawrence
under the catcher of the engine, and she was pushed
along the ground in this position a distance of about fifty
yards up the line. I also saw the conductor of the car fall
from near the head of the engine to the bottom of the subway .
•.••. Ambulances arrived shortly afterwards to remove the in
jured. Mrs. Lawrence was terribly mutilated, and was pro
nounced dead when taken from beneath the engine.
Marquis McCloy the flagman was cross-examined .by the
Coroner: Did you not expect the train?
Witness: Our rules tell us that we must give no prefer
ence either to trains or cars. I should judge that the
train was going at the rate of 15 to 20 miles an hour.
Coroner: Did you look up the track to see if a train
R A I L
Witness: I could not see, there were a number of ob
Coroner: What are you there for?
Witness: There are teams crossing all the time and
there was also an engine working in the yard ••..•• I
thought everything was safe.
Coroner: How could you think so when you had not
Witness: I had my rules.
Harold N. Nichols, the engineer of the Canadian Northern
train stated that he was moving about fifteen to twenty miles
an hour when approaching the crossing. 300 yards from the
crossing he put on the brakes, but getting the proceed signal
from the flagman he released them again, and when he approach
ed close to where the accident occurred, he would be going at
a rate greater than ten or twelve miles per hour. He saw the
street car when he was about seventy feet from the crossing,
and had gone about 150 feet before he could bring the train
to a standstill. He stated that he did no~ blow the whistle
but di d ri ng the bell; however it was noi sy and the bell mi ght
not have been heard.
Ed Jones, the motorman of the street car testified that
immediately prior to the accident, on getting the white flag
signal from the flagman, he went on at a good rate. When he
was near the crossing he noticed the Canadian Northern train
at forty or fifty yards distance. He had expected the road
was absolutely clear for them.
Following the inquest, the Railway Commissioners issued
an order that all trains, both East and West, must stop 100 yards
from the crossing and only proceed on signal. Furthermore, the
street railway must build a single-track line through the partial
ly completed subway to eliminate the level crossing as soon as pos
sible. It was pOinted out that, had the terms of the original con
tract been followed, the accident never would have happened. There
is no record of what settlement the railways made to the victims,
but it appears that the Canadian Northern admitted responsibility
and settled out of court. The subway was finally completed in 1912,
so the level crossing completely disappeared. Although heavily
damaged, car 62 was rebuilt and returned to service.
In the ensuing sixty-eight years, the Pembina Ave. cross
ing accident has been all but forgotten. The railway, now four
tracked, is the main line of the Canadian National, and Osborne
Street (formerly Pembina Ave.) still crosses it through the succes
sor to the underpass that took so long to build in 1908 -1912.
Single-truck cars like old No. 62 disappeared in the 1920s, and
the last street cars in Winnipeg were retired from service in 1955.
The Canadian Northern Ry. had become part of Canadian National in
1918, and by 1960 the steam engines had also gone. Today, as one
watches the modern-day traffic passing under the busy railway main
line, it is difficult to visualize how this scene looked when a
flagmans error brought death, injury and destruction to the pass
engers and crew of the Winnipeg Electric Railways cars 62 and 15
on that long -gone afternoon in 1910.
Jhe .. ~.
CONRAIL TO RETIRE ITS LAST GG1 ELECTRICS -Just a few weeks after
pioneer eGI #4800 was w~thdrawn trom service, Conrail has decided
to retire all 17 of its Gs still in operation. They are: #4809,
4828, 4835, 4840, 4850, 4852, 4856, 4859, 4864, 4865, 4867, 4869,
4885, 4886, 4887, 4889 and 4894, together with #4891 set aside in
October. On November 20 the Mechanical Department in Philadelphia
issued instructions that all remaining GG1 electric locomotives
be sent to Wilmington, DE, where they would be stored pending
their formal retirement in a few weeks. The last revenue freight
train to be hauled by GG1 s was ENWI1, arriving in Wilmingtons
Edge Moor yard from Enola at 9:40 AM on Thanksgiving Day, November
22. The two units which brought in that train were #4859 and 4887,
built by Altoona in 1937 and 1939 respectively. They had been in
continuous service for over 40 years but now, with their sisters,
these veteran motors sit forlornly on a sidetrack awaiting their
final orders for movement to the scrap yard. There is one excep
tion, however, to the funereal summons. Conrail-blue #4800,
prototype of the fleet, is being held in a different location
while arrangements are made to preserve the historic unit.
The Pennsylvania Railroad acquired a total of 139 GG1 s between
1934 and 1943. Generally acknowledged as the most successful
electric locomotive design in history, the distinctively-styled
2-C+C-2s rolled up hundreds of millions of miles and assisted
mightily in moving huge ~uantities of passenger and freight
traffic during World War II. As recently as 1976 there were still
106 Gs on the Penn Central and Amtrak rosters, but retirement
of the aging units has accelerated since that time. With the
passing of Conrails last GG1 s only 44 of the original fleet
remain in service, all of them hauling passenger trains exclusively.
As of November 30, 1979, the active units by ownership are:
New Jersey DOT -4872-84 (Total 13)
Amtrak -4890, 4895, 4896, 4901, 4902, 4904-06, 4908-17, 4819-
21, 4924-28, 4930, 4932, 4934, 4935, 4939 (Total 31)
(Cinders via the 470)
R A I L
On July 4, 1979 Burt Van Rees was fortunate to be in the right
place at the right time to see a fleet of all new SD40-2 s
being brought into Woodstock, Ontario from St. Thomas. CP Rail
RS-10 No. 8467 did the honors on this occasion.
CANADIAN 91 R A I L
On October 20, 1979, Gord Taylor took these two photos of action
in and around London, Ontario. This colorful lineup of Chessie,
C&O and GO units was taken at CPs Quebec St. Yards. At the same
time Gord noticed that the CP yard switcher had received a new
paint job and recorded the scene on film.
R A I L
A freight train trundles down the line from Toronto towards the
yards in Hamilton, Ontario passing through Bayview Jct. on June 3,
1979. SD-40 # 5041 leads a GP-9 and a GP-40 on a 64 car freight.
Down the tracks towards Hamilton a high green signal indicates
all clear. Photo courtesy of John Russell.
R A I L
… , .
This long CP freight headed by 5D-40 No. 5745 was photographed
passing through Bayview Junction, in Hamilton on its way to
Fort Erie. The date was June 3, 1979 and John Russell took the
R A I L
STEAM RESTORATION FANS BEWARE C&O #2716 has been returned to
the Kentucky Rallroad Museum. The Family Lines finally mode up
its mind and has cancelled the repairs of the 2-8-4. The loco
went back as a kit, with two gondolas full of parts following
the loco and tender. A financial settlement was reached to cover
the damage to the loco in the botched start of the repairs. You
may remember that the inexperienced crew removed boiler jacketing
and appliances with a torch, makin~ no notes as to what went where,
or seeing to it that supporting studs, etc, were left alone. The
damage is repairable, but will take time. The return was via
Chessie lines due to clearance problems. These have raised
nuestions about the loco running on the Family Lines to begin with.
A sad end to a worthwhile. (High Green via the 470)
AGREEMENT REACHED —The Maine Central announced on 12/21 that it
has negotlated a settlement of litigation disputes with the B&A.
The settlement resolves Maine Centrals claim against the B&A for
a violation of the ICC Act as well as a case resulting from the
1971 derailment at Clinton. In 1977, the ICC found that the B&A
was in violation of the Interstate Commerce Act when it entered
into an agreement with CP Rail to divert traffic away from inter
change with the MEC. The derailment case involved Bangor and
Aroostooks claim against the Maine Central for enforcement of
arbitration awards resulting from the major derailment at Clinton
and Maine Centrals related claim against the B&A for rolling
stock and property damage. (The 470)
CP RAIL TO BUY LOCOMOTIVES -CP Rail is placing an order for 75
new dlesel locomotlve to help move the increased tonnages of
prairie export grain and other traffic expectednin Hte·,-1980s·
This is the largest single order placed by CP Rail since it
converted from steam engines to diesel locomotives in the late
1 950 s, sa i d W. W. 5 tin son, ex e cut i ve vic e -pre sid e n t for CPR a i 1.
It reflects our commitment to the government of Canada to do
our share in transporting export grain from prairie elevators to
shipping terminals at the Lakehead and the West Coast. The new
OOO horsepower locomotives are to be built by the diesel divi
sion of General Motors of Canada Ltd., at London, On., for
delivery in the fourth quarter of 1980 and the first quarter of
1981. Value of the order is more than $75 million.
(CP Rail News via the 470)
GO TRANSIT IS EXPANDING ITS BUS FLEET BY 18 VEHICLES TO MEET THE
demand expected as commuters shift from the private automobile
to public transit because of the soaring gasoline prices.
Six new 33-seat Orion buses made by Ontario Bus Industries and 12
Prevost Champion 47-seaters will be added to the GO Bus fleet of
142 in the next few weeks when current deliveries have been
completed and the vehicles readied for service.
The additional buses are needed to meet the immediate requirements
of steadily-growing GO ridership, which totals about 25,000
passenger trips on GO Buses and about 42,000 on GO Trains daily.
GO Transit last bought new buses in 1977 and is always reviewing
its needs for new equipment. However, the current energy situ-
otion has created unprecedented de~and for new buses throughout
North America –with delivery leod times averaging two yeors
and buying used buses conseouently was the fastest and ~ost
econo~icol woy to odd much-needed capacity.
he 12 Prevost Choapions are deluxe coaches bought from Murray
Hill Cooch lines of Hontrliol, … here they were used in highoy
service; lhe 30-foot Orions Ofe Ontario-designed highway coaches
which were made with modifications for GO at the Ontario Bus
Industries plant in Hississaugo.
( GO transit press release)
This should hov~ be~n a CN 4_8_4 NORTHERN on the point but
the diesel era had aaived ot Conadian National and the 6100 s were
giving woy to units such os the GH 9000 pictured here in
the early fifties at lachine west approaching Dorval, Quebec. Ph
oto courtesy CRHA Archives, S.S.Worthen Collection.