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Canadian Rail 346 1980

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Canadian Rail 346 1980

Canadian Rail a
No.346
NOVEMBER 1980

C4
Published monthly by The Canadian Railroad Historical Association
P.O. Box 22, Station B Montreal ,Quebec,Canada
H3B 3J5
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO-EDITOR: t~. Peter Murphy
BUSINESS CAR: Dave J. Scott
OFFICIAL CARTOGRAPHER: Wi 11 iam A.
Germaniuk
LAYOUT: Michel Paulet
FRONT COVER:
FORMER C.P.RAIL RDC4 No. 9251 is
pictured at Sudbury Ontario in
September 1980, about to depart
for White River on VIA train 185.
One week later, on September 29,
this train was discontinued, as
train No. I, The Canadian, now
follows this daytime schedule.
Photo by Scott B. Anderson.
OPPOSITE :
CANADIAN NATIONAL LOCOMOTIVES
40 and 41 are seen on the
Montague to Georgetown branch
at Cardigan, Prince Edward
Island. This photo \6S taken in
August 1974, but three of these
G. E. 70-tonners are still in service
on the Island. Photo
by Bruce Ballantyne.
-~IAN
R4IL
ISSN 0008 -4875
CALGARY & SOUTH WESTERtl DIVISION
60-6100 ilth Ave. liE
Calgary, Alberta T2A 5Z8
OTTAYJA
BYTOWN RAILWAY SOCIETY
P.O. Box 141, Station A Ottalia, Ontario
KIN 8Vl
NE~J BRUNS~IlCK DIVISIQtI
P.O. Box 1162
Saint Jolm,
New Brun s~/i c k E 2L 4G7
CROWSNEST AND KETTLE-VALLEY DIVISION
P.O. Box 400
Cranbrook, British Columbia
VIC 4H9
PACIFIC COAST DIVISION
P.O. Box 1006, Station A, Vancouver
British Columbia V6C 2Pl
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DIVISION
P.O. Box 6102, Station C, Edmonton
Alberta T5B 2NO
WINDSOR-ESSEX DIVISION
300 Cabana Road East, Windsor
Ontario N9G lA2
TORONTO & YORK DIVISION
P.O. Box 5849, Terminal A, Toronto Ontario
M5W lP3
NIAGARA DIVISION
P.O. Box 593
St.Catharines, Ontari
0 L2R 6W8
ST. LAWRENCE VALLEY DIVISION
P.O. Box 99
Ste. Dorothee, Quebec H7X 2T4
eNs
Prince
Island Railway
By Bruce Ballantyne
A visit to the Prince Edward Island Railway is a must for
any railfan. Such an expression may seem like a cliche, but that
is the only way to put it. For the Island has a charm all its own
that gives one the impression he has stepped back 50 years ago and
is observing a branchline operation of that period -albeit without
steam! Better hurry though, for there is continued talk of total
abandonment and the railway is too picturesaue and unique to miss
(as is the whole province).
RAILWAY SHOPS IN CHARLOTTETOWN. The three stalls in the main
building are the areas where repairs are done.
Photo by Bruce Ballantyne 1974.
CANADIAN
325
R A I L
1. HISTORY
The railways present operations may be colourful, but so is
its history. Although Canadas smallest province developed a
cronic case of Railway Fever late compared to other regions of
the country, it did not prevent the Islanders from making the same
mistakes. According to G.R. Stevens in his book Sixty Years of
T rial and Error the problems of building the railway were a contr­
ibuting factor in Prince Edward Island joining Confederation.
When P.E.I. finally caught the disease, it did so with gusto.
In April 1870 a Railway Act was passed, tenders were called in the
summer and the first sod was turned in October. It was immediately
decided that the guage of the railway should be 3 -6, this being
more economical than a broader guage. However when ferry service
was introduced it meant, of course, that mainland cars could not
run on the island system.
As often occurs when politicians are involved, the building
of the railway was plagued with problems. Members of the Provincial
Legislature used their influence to affect the route and alter it,
in order to satisfy the voters. Contractors wishing to avoid major
excavations (it was easier to go around a hill rather than through)
put pressure on the politicians as well. Consequently the mainline
meanders across the island for 147 miles between Alberton and
Georgetown while the island is only 120 miles from tip to tip.
The actual construction of the railway was a blunder itself,
as emphasis was put on building the railway line specifically and
no provision was made for constructing shops, fuel facilities,
storage areas, etc. To make matters worse the builders had insuff­
icient pieces of rolling stock and had to build in small sections
on a piece-meal basis.
As construction progressed a minor panic occurred when
several influential citizens became concerned that the cost of
building the railway was becoming a burden on the provincial treas­
ury. The resulting unnecessary crisis forced Prince Edward Island
to do an about-face and to join Confederation. The federal gover­
nment would then be saddled with an expensive inoperable railway.
The Canadian government could say little about assuming
ownership, since the take-over was part of the bargain. After all,
how could it refu se the rel uest, when, at the same time, it was
helping push the transcontinental railway through to the Pacific
Coast as part of British Columbias agreement to join Confederation.
In taking over the railway, the federal government dispatched
T. Swinyard, Chief Engineer of the Department of Public Works,
to survey what the government had ac~uired. Swinyard became
involved in a frustrating situation in which the provincial govern­
ment and railway contractors attempted to keep the truth from the
chief engineer. The railway was in terrible condition and Swiny­
ard believed it advisable to consider the line unfinished and to
take it over as is before the contractors did any more damage.
However, the provincial government and the contractors wanted to
have the line certified as completed so the railway could be handed
over to the Canadian government and the contractors paid.
CANADIAN
326
R A I L
Eventually the provincial interests prevailed and on December
29,1874, the Canadian government became the owners of a half­
baked railway. The new owners worked quickly to put the system
into operation and by the summer of 1875, the railway was in full
operation.
By this time most of the railway as we know it today had
been built. The operations have never been money-makers, so the
idea of expansion and upgrading has never been considered. The
only extensions to the system occurred between 1905 and 1912 when
the Murray Harbour, Vernon and Montague lines were opened (1905
& 06) and the Elmira Sub-division was opened (in 1912). In 1917,
the line to Cape traverse was re-directed to the new ferry terminal
which was called Borden after the Prime Minister of the day.
The last work done on the railway was to standard-gauge the line.
This began in 1923 but was not completed until 1930 when the last
narrow-gauge rail was lifted on the Murray Harbour and Vernon
Branches. During the seven year conversion, parts of the system
were operated as dual gauge. A third rail was placed outside of
the track so that where the standard gauge met the narrow, both
types of trains could operate.
II . MOTIVE POWER
Down through the years the Prince Edward Island Railway has
operated with a variety of locomotive power. Initially, locomotives
were ac~uired from British builders including the Hunslet Engine
Company of Leeds, England. However, the railway discovering that
the British engines were too light auickly turned to Canadian
manufacturers. Wheel arrangements such as 4-4-0 and 4-6-0 were
most commonly used.
C.NS G.E. 70-TONNERS 40 and 41 heading back from Montague
P.E.I. just before Mount Stewart Junction where the branch
meets the main line.
Photo by Bruce Ballantyne 1974.
CANADIAN
327
R A L
TIMETABLES OF P.E.I. PASSENGER SERVICE
1 9 6 0
CH ARLOTTETOWN -SUMMERSI DE -TlGNISH
Road DQwn Rnd Up
M241 10.1251 10.1208 M252 M207 M2r2
TABL. 26
TOd,
Mon. E,. h. E,. E,. Ih.
W&d. Sun. Sun. Sun. Sun. Sal.
Frio Milos AlI:lnlk SI;oUUMU lima
–_._—.–
5-45
(rhl,l Ch;ulollntown Holal) .WI.
0.0 Lv GHAIUOfTltOWN. P.[.I.

1.45
F;;u
7 IS
12: 30
30.4 ~}EM(fAlD Je. (lablo2J) {~
12.10
3.il
Firlt 740
If.~g Trip 7.50 12.45 JJ.tI Fru~luwn Trip
000. Ie I I 31.0 Kolvin I I 0.0.16
..
8.05 1.25

Kllrl~inUlon 11.)5 8·18 1960
I I 40.9 CIUfnlunl I I
/ a IS I 1.40 43.1 Nuwlllw;m 111.20 18.00
I I 44.6 TIIvellclIs Rtllt:
llv
II/~
I
r.M. 8 JO 200
47.4 ~ }SUMlAIIO&
7SJ , ….
12 2S as; IN
116.
/.30
/12 31 I 9.0) 4J.:I St. Eiaino. I I 15
12 40 9.09 52.~ Mi~UlUCJ10 IO.~ 100
I I

$1. Nicllolu I I
1.10

59, , Wallington
r
1225
1.25 9.36 lil1 Ilicl1fllond I .00
IU~ ,.)7 9.44 .7 Nuflham
1!
I 55

6.).2 rurl Hill 11.<10
2 05 9,Sb 70.9 t:Ut!r~lie .J 11.)0
I I 73.2 McNeill I I
225 10 Ob 75.3 CoflW<.lY
~n 16l~ 2.0 10.13

Purlaot!
I I 61.3 W011 Dovon I I
JOO 10.25 8~.1 Guionliul
~~l IBM ) 25 10.lS 8i.4 O.~ry
I I 89.1 Huwlan I I I I
90.0 Duval
a1
I
)S5 10 59 93.2 Bh.)omfield
18J!
I nl 1 4 as /11.03 95.4 Piusvillo
4.20 11.13 JR.5 ElnlsJale 8.1 9.))
4.-45 11.27 102.l Alhorlon 0.0 9.20
1 5.05 111.11 lOB 4 Alma
I l~ij
/903
S 15 11.45 IOB.6 St. OUI
In~ 1 5 15 /11.52 111.0 Do.olOil / 7.44
I I 113.1 Ha1>8
. :b
I
8/)0 •. 00 12.10 115.5 At TIQtolltl, P.t.l. . nil
.M. ……. … ….
. Mon.
CHARLOTTETOWN -SOURIS
Bu. Mrvlco Until Oocombor U. Consult A..,onu or 5 M T looal (old.,.,
AaU tlekoU honourod. Chucked Baggago handled by tluck.
R.ad Down Rud Up
M23)
NOTt
Ell. Sun.
,..M.
2 3ll
1 2 36
I
2 S
2.45
1 2.47
12.SO
2.54
/ 3 00
Ul
I
JJ5
I
I ) 45
I I
J 58
I I
• 20
1 4 26
I
, )8
1 4 44
• 50
I
5 07
5.)0
.l1li.
M261 TABL. 28 M234
Tuc.
tfrECTlV£ O£CtMB£R 15, 1960
Ttill.
Sol. Miles Allanllc Sianflatd Timo Ex. Sun.
IAf~
0.0 Lv C~!~:,~!~Il~~!I,O~:;;~~t:~~t!! 73. 27)

io~20
1.9 SI. Dunslans 110 10
a~
3. Stlllrwood Jlv I
6.3 ~ }ROVAUY Jcr. (~a~; ~):
laW
o .
II<
I 8 … B,ackloy I 9 5
I 8 7.3 Union
I ~~ I ng
.0 York
11.4 SuHOlk / 9.4
Hi
13.7 Bodfurd
~l 16.7 TtaeatJie
I 9.0 Scolchlor I
9 II 22.1 M1. S1( …….. 11 JeT.. (O·&0111·8towr.:Tabio Hl 9.11
I 23.9 SI. flndrow
/ l~6 1 11.24 25.~ DoolJlas
I 28. Dunduo I I
30.1 lui 40 , .. , . … I
9 <12 31.4 Morl/It 8.44
I ll. DinowlIlI I I
35.8 Milluall
I
If) 05 38.B SI. Pilla,. ….. . . . .. ,
lUI /10.10 40.7 fiv{) Houlel .. .. ., .. ,
I 42.7 Ashlon … . . . . I
,:8~
46.7 S81kirk
I ~~ 47.9 31. ChMiel
10 )9
..
OOll( Hivel 7.5.
I 62.0 Now Zoaland I
li~
M.3 H~ln,ony Jr;1. (EI~hi, Table 2.) :
.. :
XlJ
60.1 At $(lUIUI, P.t.l ..
NOT[:–Mlnd luln 233 will OUIf.1 1 hour end 30 m1nut ..
leur on F,I., and S.t D.o. :tJ /lind 24,
M268
Tue. Tllu.
SaL
.M.
5.05
1 4.55
I
4.45
4.40
1 .,.32
1 4.26
4.20
1 4.13 4.05
J 55
I
))S
I
I 3.20
I I
).00
I I
2.35
I 2./5
I 2.
08
1 2.03
1·56
I
1.42
1.)0
CHARLOTTETOWN -MURRAY HARBOR
Bus aery/co until Docomber 14, 1960.
Conlult AQont:!! or 5 M T looal (oldol.
Rail tlckotl honourod. Chookod BaglloQo handlod by t,uok.
NOTE TABU 27
Ml2
9
EHtCTlV[ D[CtMBtR 16, 1960
Sun. Mite. AII.i~t,c SI~ndard Time
r2~45 0.0 Ly CtI~T~~~f~~3:~~~,~~~,~~~e~~el23, n)k
).00
I
).10
).16
J.20
/ ).26
).)0
) )1
/ ),U
3.42
).44
1 3.49
3.55
J.Sb
1 4.0)
4.09
I
4.20
4.30 4.40
1 4.47
5.00
5.10 5.18
I
1 5.30
5·4S
I
b.OO
,. ….
(Viii T~.d Tr~nsfl,,)
1.6 u Southport .. 1<
3.7 Bunbu(y . 6.1 Muunt
I-IIHbort
7.4 H;.Illllb(uuk:
8.8 Mount Aillion
11.1 Villagll 08ln
13 .• At LAII Vuo.
0.0 Lv lakll Vorde 1.1 Millviow …• , … k
3.8 ~ }voroon
Millvi8W
AT .ake Verde
13.1
Ly ..Altl VIIIOI
:~:~ ~oe/~~~~~ver
18.8 Gloncoo
20,5 UilJlJ
2
3.2 Gral1!.1viow
2n. , foflhla
~~:~ ~:r!ille
31.2 8ello RivOf
ih
II<
:Ly
…. k
~::1 ~~d Island .. :::::::::
40.1 HOPOriblc1
013.9 Murray River
6.9 WIlmot …..
018.0 At MIoIIllIIAY Hu.olll, P.E.I,
NOTII:i–Mlud tr.illin :Jo} will opor.h , hour, .nd 30 mlttuuI
r,I., .nd $;,.t .• 0.0. 23 .nd 24.
R.ad Up
M240
E,.
Sun,
10 15
I
S~
9.44
Bl
~.2.
3n
9.10
I Z~~
8 II
U~
I
g~
8 18.0,1
~. ~~
1)S
I
I / 25
7.15
I
7.00
A.M.
MOUNT STEWART JeT. -GEORGETOWN
BUI aervleo ontU Ducombur 14, 1960.
Conlult Agonu al 6 M T looal (aldor.
Aall tlok.t. honaurad. Choaked Baggage handled by truck.
ROlOll Up
NOTE: TAB 29 M24B
M249
EH£CTIVE: D[CtMBI:R 15, IHO
E,. E,.
Sun. Miles Allanti!: Siandud Time Sun.
, ….
0.0 L~

AQ~iO
3.45 MT, Sf,WAlt1 J!;T. (Table 11)
I J.SI 2.6 Pisquid . , , …. I 9.55
4.05 7.1
~~r::o~a I Il$ 14.14 …
14.24 12.2 40 Road I 8 19
1 ::~~
13.A rarlh 1 9 I)
18.2 CardiOAn :
Ly
0.01
… 6 19.3 At MOliTAOU& J,,: 7.55
.46 0.0 Lv Montaguo Jet .. .1< /.5S
14.49 1.1 Rosenoath 1 7. )Q
I 4.55 3. l1rudllell I /.44
14·59 .7 Robellson I 7.40
5.10 6.3 MonlAOUo 7.)1
15.14 Roboflson 17.20
I 5.11 8(udonoJi
; iTl
Bl
ROlonoalh
.. I< M8nlaIJuo Jct. . L, 1.15
5.26 19.3 Ly Mo,.Aoul Jcr,
.
7.15
I 5.)0 21.0 Emmsrson
·.Ly Ili}l
5·5
24.1 k GIOIIIQl10WN, p.i.:
, … …..
NOTI::-MIX.d train 249 …. 111 op.rah 1 hour and 30 mlnul ..
la •• , On frl., and Sal., D.o. 23 and 24.
AEFERENCE MARKS -TABLES 26, 27, 2S. 29
1 StOPI on IllIn., ld Mixed Iraln.
10
CANADIAN
328
R A I L
Dieselization came early compared to other Canadian railways.
With the acquisition of GE 70-tonners and Canadian Locomotive
Company (Fairbanks-Morse H12-44 s) locomotives, steam was retired
in 1950. The 70-tonners found a home on the light rail of the
branchlines while the CLC units were used on the mainline. The
H12-44 s disappeared by the mid-sixties while the GE units have
gradually dwindled to three (#30, 35, & 41) which still operate.
CN classed these as ER-6 while the CLC s were classed as CR12 s
and
were numbered in the 1600 series.
The CLCs were replaced by specially built, 6-wheel truck
(Montreal Locomotive Works) locomotives. These units were basic­
ally RS-1 s with A-1-A trucks used to spread the weight and were
given the model designation of RSC13. CN classed them as MR-10 s and
numbered them in the lower 1700 s.
The RSC13 s were replaced in turn by RS 18 s (1975) which
were modified by replacing their trucks with the 6-wheel trucks
from the retired units. They are classed as MR-14 s and are still
in service -numbers 1750 to 1756 (7 units).
So in total CN now has a fleet of 10 diesels on the island
but one wonders what will replace the aging GE units. Anything
heavier may not be suitable for operations on the Murray Harbour,
Vernon Branches.
III PASSENGER SERVICE
Passenger service on Prince Edward Island changed very
little over the years until total abandonment occurred in 1969.
Conventionally equipped trains supplemented the more numerous
mixed trains which served every corner of the province. Just
after the Second World War, there were about 28 conventional and
mixed trains serving Tignish, Borden, Charlottetown, Georgetown,
Murray Harbour, Souris and Elmira. Some operated daily while
others, particularly the mixed, freQuently were run on alternating
days. Hence 28 trains would not be running everyday.
By 1960, the number had dwindled significantly but there
was still the same variety of service being provided. At that
time only Tignish, Borden and Charlottetown had passenger trains,
although the CN timetable showed listings for bus service to some
of the other points. Interestingly enough, one of the timetables
shows bus service to Souris, Murray Harbour, Georgetown and Elmira
up to December when a mixed train was again introduced for the
winter months. Likely the Islanders did not have much faith in
their highways during the winter at that time, so the passenger
service was provided as a back up.
At one time, presumably in the 1950 s, consideration was
given to introducing RDC (Railiner) service on the Island.
However it was quickly discovered that the units would not fit on
the ferries (too high with the roof exhaust) so the idea was
dropped. If it had been possible, likely the convention trains
would have been replaced while the mixed trains would have remained
unchanged due to light patronage.
LOCOMOTIVES 40 and 41 at Montague P.E.I. The station is just
out of the picture at the left. The freight backs down to the
village from the junction since there is no place to turn the
train at Montague.
Photo by Bruce Ballantyne 1974.
C.N. RSC-13 No. 1729 and an unidentified mate in the yards
at Borden with a string of cars off the ferry from the previous
night. The freight is likely bound for Charlottetown.
Photo by Bruce Ballantyne, August 1974.
CANADIAN
330
R A I L
Service was finally abandoned completely in 1969 when only a
Charlottetown-Borden mixed train was in operation. The convent­
ional train had been discontinued the previous year between these
two points. If one considers the amount of patronage the passenger
service had during the final ten years, it is amazing that it was
not abandoned many years earlier than 1969.
IV THE FERRY SERVICE
Ferry service to Prince Edward Island has, since 1870, been
closely linked to the railway operations and deserves mention in
this article. Until the 1900 s the service could only be consid­
ered adequate during the warmer months when ice was not a problem.
In fact, winter travel across the Northumberland Strait could be
downright dangerous with the ice flows and bad weather taking their
toll.
The only method of conveyance for one hundred years between
1775 and 1875 was by birchbark canoe in summer and birchbark
canoes with runners (for pulling the boats over the ice flows) in
winter. This ingenious idea had been invented by the Micmac Indians
who were the original inhabitants of the Island. Obviausly, by
1870, this was totally inadequate and still quite dangerous. It
usually took four to six hours in winter and sometimes longer.
Many are the stories of hapless travellers drifting off course
with the ice and ending up miles away from the intended landing
spot. Most would be hungry and frost-bitten while others never
made it at all.
From the time P.E.I. entered Confederation, its citizens had
pushed the federal government for better ferry service. Not until
the 1960 s could it be considered adeOuate.
So by t he end of the decade (1870 s) two ships were placed in
service during the summer but winter travel across the strait
remained unchanged. Finally in 1885 ice-breakers of sorts were
introduced but were of limited success, frequently being caught in
Lce flows and drifting off course.
It was at this point that the first push for a tunnel began.
This dream of a tunnel has persisted on and off since then.
Succeeding governments have done various studies on the idea, each
meeting with the same conclusion -too expensive for the anticipated
traffic volume.
Not until 1913 was a suitable car ferry constructed that had
the power to handle the difficult conditions -summer and winter.
With the introduction of the steam-powered Prince Edward Island,
winter operations became practical. The service has seen the introd­
uction of several other ferries since then, including The Charlott­
etown, The Abegweit (Micmac for resting on the waters), the MV
Confederation, the Lucy Maud Montgomery, the John Hamilton Gray,
the Vacationland, and the Holiday Island. The last two are auto­
mobile/passenger ferries and along with the Abegweit are the main­
stay of the Northumberland service.
The story cr the P.E.I. ferry service deserves a whole chapter
for itself as its history is as exciting and interesting as that
of the railway. A book has been written on the CN Marine operations
(see bibliography) which includes a good account of the Northumber­
land Strait ferry service.
CANADIAN
331
R A I L
IV 1980 OPERATIONS
Operations today are limited to the mainline routes on a .
regular basis. Freight service from Borden to Tignish is Monday~
Wednesday and Friday with a return run on Tuesday, Thursday and Sat­
urday. Freight service from Charlottetown to Borden is Sunday to
Thursday with trains returning to Charlottetown the same day.
Service to Elmira, Souris, Vernon, Georgetown, Montague and
Murray Harbour is on an as-and-when-required basis except during
the potato season when two round trips are made on each subdivisions
per week. If anyone plans a visit to P.E.I. the best time would be
the end of August to mid-September. At this time you will see the
70-tonners often doubleheaded, journeying up and down the branchlines
to set otf boxcars and reefers and to pick up those which have been
loaded with potatoes. It is this part of the operation which takes
on the looks of a 1930 branchline. There is no tight schedule so
the pace is slow as the following will illustrate.
When I visited the Island in 1974 I had the good fortune of
exploring the railway when a train was running to Montague. On the
return trip to Charlottetown, the crew stopped behind a farmhouse.
I was at a loss to understand why, since there was no siding or
station. However, one of the crew ran into the farmhouse and
reappeared about 10 minutes later with a handful of ice cream cones:
Besides these train operations there is a yard crew at
Charlottetown and Borden five days a week and a road switcher is
assigned to Summerside six days a week.
For train movement, the railway utilizes the Manual Block
System. Consequently, there are no longer any train order stations
on the island.
The railway shops are located in Charlottetown next to the old
railway station which houses the offices. The shops consist of
an old brick building and a number of smaller structures. Only
minor repair work is done here as major overhauls would be done in
Moncton.
While exploring the railway in 1974, I found the railway
employees friendly and helpful. To find out if a train was running
I visited the offices in the station and with the help of a wall
map, I was shown how to get to the branchline to Georgetown and
Montague. The CN employees at the shops were friendly too, but as
with any other rail facilities, before you explore ask for permission.
The scenery of Prince Edward Island lends itself well to
rail fan photography. Along the line to Montague I viewed rural
stations, farmhouses, churches and stores. It made a perfect sett­
ing for the 70-tonners. So dont delay a visit to see this unique
operations. It should be on every rail fan s vacation plans.
1980 N.B. Ballantyne
BIBLIOGRAPHY
G.R. STEVENS, Sixty Years of Trial and Error, Clarke, Erwin &
Company Limited, Toronto. 1960.
HARRY BRUCE, Lifeline, MacMillan of Canada, Toronto, 1977.
O.S.A. LAVALLEE, Narrow Gauge Railways of Canada, Railfare.
Montreal, 1972.
JIM SHAUGNESSY, CNs Island Railroad, Trains Magazine, September,
1963.
BOB MOHOWSKI, Prince Edward Island, Railfan Magazine, October,
1977 •
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Special thanks to Mr. C.E. Johnston, Trainmaster for the CN
Prince Edward Island operations, to CN Marine in Moncton, and to
Mr. Earl Roberts of Ottawa for information provide for this ar­
ticle.
TheHarbour
Grace Railway
by Les Harding
In April 1880, as the first stage in a trans-island railway,
the Newfoundland House of Assembly decided to put down a narrow
gauge line between St.Johns and Harbour Grace a town some
eighty-five miles distant. The government did not seriously
expect to make any money out of the railway but hoped that it
would serve as a pump primer for the economy, opening up new areas
for mining, timbering and farming. A government report had
stated, with unconcious humour. The railway to be constructed
shall not be what is deemed in England or the United States a
first class railway.
The Tories were the opposition party. They and the news­
papers they controlled, were virulent in their aversion to anything
and anyone even remotely connected with the railway project. In
their opinion, the railway would drown Newfoundland in debt and
drive her into the waiting arms of a foreign country known as
Canada.
The journalism of the time was not exactly subtle. The
St.Johns Evening Telegram, still in existence, was the principle
organ of the Oppos1t1on. Its columns almost shook with rage at
the mention of that infernal project. The insults flew fast
CANADIAN
333
R A I L
and furious. On one occasion the Liberal Prime Minister, William
Whi tenay, was described as the Necromancer-General. The
Eveninw Telegram in one of its more moderate editorials, stated
that, In common with most natives we consider the Railway a
farce, or perhaps a political dodge with the design of getting us
into Confederation. The article concluded with a ringing call of
Newfoundland for the Newfoundlanders.
The months immediately following the introduction of the
Railway Act were spent in a survey of the intended route. The
New Brunswick firm of Knipple and Morris -their previous claim
to fame being the winning design for the St. Johns sewer system
-was given the job.
Early in July, the surveying team started to arrive. The
Evening Telegram, under a headline which left little to the imagin­
atl.on -The Confederation Advance Guard -reported that, No
doubt well have all the tramps in the Dominion down here when
they hear of all the givin s out. Even the name of the ship
the surveyors arrived on was suspect -the 55 Nova Scotia.
Despite a near riot in the village of Foxtrap, well aimed
pitch forks and buckets of evil smelling pickle-jar water The
Canadian Cormorants finished their survey on time and under budget.
The construction project was tendered and the winning bid
came from the American firm of A.C. Blackman. A contract was
signed on April 20, 1881 on the promise that the railway would
be in operation within five years.
In its ea gerness to obtain a railway at bargain basement
prices the government of Newfoundland became heir to a railway
built to bargain basement specitications. Ihe line was destined
to be more thrown down than properly constructed. To make matters
worse, within the space of two years the Blackman group went
bankrupt. Only sixty miles of ramshackle track had been laid
forcing the government to step in and -finish the line itself.
The government was saddled with heavy debts to the syndicates
creditors and expensive legal cases which dragged on for years as
for as the Privy Council in London.
On August 16, 1881, the sod turning ceremony had taken place
at Oak Farm near what is now the site of the Newfoundland Hotel
in St. Johns. Under the watchful eye of A.C. Blackman and
several cabinet ministers fifty men set to work with pick and shovel.
The St. Johns Newfoundlander, a paper controlled by the Liberal
Party, reported that, notwl.thstanding unpropitious weather the
men set to work with vigour and will. The Evening Telegram did
not bother to cover the event.
As the months passed, and the labour force grew to twelve­
hundred, the pro-government papers crowed with reports of the una­
bated energy of the workers, the superior quality of their labours,
the beauty of the gleaming iron rails and the immense benefits
to be accrued by the colony once the venture was completed. The
opposition press ignored the whole disagreeable business as best
they could.
CANADIAN
334
R A I L
The first steam locomotive for the railway met with an
untimely fate. It was scheduled to arrive aboard the schooner
Millo on October 24 but was lost overboard. The engine had
been purchased from the narrow gauge P.E.I. Railway. Loaded
aboard the Millo at Halifax the long and stormy passage to St.
Johns took thirteen harrowing days. The locomotive weighing a 12-
ton dead weight was strapped on deck. The sea was violent enough
to shif-tthis great bulk over on its side threatening the schooner
with capsizing. In order to save the vessel from sinking and their
own lives the frantic crew had to cut the restraining ropes and
over it went.
The Evenin
a
Telerram had a field day. Claiming that they
must be born un er a ucky star, and be one of heavens
peculiar favourites. The October 26 edition was crowned with
banner headlines. MELANCOLY MARINE CATASTROPHE. SUDDEN LOSS OF
OUR LOCOMOTIVE. A VALUED FRIEND THROWN OVERBOARD TO FEED THE
FISHES!!! ••• Newfoundland being a child of the sea, it is only
natural that the first locomotive should go down as a meat offering
•••• We are sorry to hear that the •••• locomotive was uninsured.
A second locomotive was ordered from the same source and
ita r r i e d sa f e and s ou n don Dec em be r 5. The eng in e was put to
steam and ran for the first time on December 13. What the
Newfoundlander called boisterous and jubilant, the Evening
Telegram called run down and laughable. Yesterday, the wheezy,
old, second-hand bulgine ••• made as much noise, smoke and smell
as a heathen volcano •••• It backed and butted wuss than a crazy
donkey ••• We fear Old Number Ten as the boys call it, has like
some of the rest of us, seen its better days.
Despite such determined opposition, the project continued
to forge ahead. In June, 1882, regular passenger service had been
innagurated. The fare was two dollars. Even with its opinion
on the matter well known, the Evening Telegram did not hesitate
to take front page ads for railway pleasure excursions. Business
was business. Under the drawing of a train proudly steaming along
were the headlines, Take Notice~ You are going to the Engineers
and Moulders Great Mamoth ~sic) Pic-Nic Excursion to Topsail by rail
••• Entertainment provided by Professor Bennets Brass and String
Band. The paper sent along a reporter to comment on the so called
Mamoth Pic-Nic Excursion. In the paper for the next day we
read, THE AGONY OF THAT TRIP TO TOPSAIL. The article goes on
to say how the engineers and moulders, accompanied by The Total
Abstinence and Benefit Society, ·experienced excrutiating agony •••
mental suffering •••• terryfying recollections and similar vicisitudes.
By 1883 bungling and extravagance had squandered the money
raised by the Blackman syndicate. The Americans declared themselves
bankrupt and the railway reverted to its bondholders. In receiv­
ership the last twenty-five miles to Harbour Grace was completed.
The last spike being driven by a young midshipman aboard HMS
Bacchante, a British warship which just happened to be visiting
St. Johns. The midshipman was later to become King George V.
THE END
TANK
LOCOMOTIVE
FOR
THE
PRINCE
EDWARD
ISLAND
RAILWAY
(3
FT.
6
IN.
GAUGE).
CONSTRUCTED
BY
THE HUNSLET ENGINE COMPANY, ENGINEERS, LEEDS.
TANK LOCOMOTIVE FOR THE PRINCE I
CONSTRUCTED BY THE HUNSLJ:
DWARD ISLAND RAILWAY (3 FT. 6 IN. GAUGE.)
, ENGINE COMPANY, ENGINEERS, LEEDS.
~I
ONE OF THE ORIGINAL LOCOMOTIVES ON THE PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
RAILWAY, this tank engine was built by the Hunslet Engine
Company of Leeds England in 1872. These small 4-4-0 s
weighed only 15 tons in runnin~ order, had 36 drivers,
110 leading wheels, and 10 ~bore) X 16 (stroke)
cylinders. The tanks carried a total of 600 gallons of
water, while fuel was 36 cubic feet of coke, enough for a
run of 40 miles. This class of locomotive had the distinc­
tion of being the first in both P.E.I. and Newfoundland,
since the first railway in the latter province used engines
purchased second-hand from P.E.I. It is one of these that
was lost overboard in October 1881, and so may still exist
somewhere in Davy Jones Locker.
Drawing from Engineering magazine, Nov. 8, 1872.

Gordon McBean
With the heavy criticism of all and sundry of the problems
resulting from accidents caused by Hot Box problems that
have appeared on nearly a day to day regularity in the
public press it seemed that members may be interested in
the following which was published in pocket publication
called Railway Lubrication and distributed by Imperial
Oil Company sometime in the late forties to early fifties.
Notwithstanding all the attention that has been given to
the details of assembly, repair and servicing of e~uipment,
the railroads are still confronted with one of their biggest
problems -delay to train movements. Among these delays
hot boxes are high on the list. By a hot box is meant
any unusual increase in bearing temperatures sufficient
to cause bearing failure unless given prompt attention.
Various railroads have different ways of recording the
number of hot boxes, ranging from delays of 15 minutes
on freights and 5 minutes on passenger cars caused by a
bearing heating, to the more strict interpretation of some
roads that record any bearing requiring special attention
either en route or at terminals as a hot box.
The logical question arises then is: What causes a hot
box?. This goes back to the theory of lubrication, and
in order to avoid confusion we will refer to a few prop­
ositions of more interest to the subject, roughly, as
follows: Irrespective of how smooth a journal and bearing
may appear, there are still projections on their surfaces.
These projections on the journal and bearing interlock and
abrade when set in motion, if not seperated by a film
of lubricant. The pressure of the oil film varies, being
greatest at a point a few degrees past the centre of the
b~ring load, and the sum o~ the pressures on the oil film
about equals the total load on the bearing. The pressure
of the oil film passing under the area of higest pressure
is not known, and the heat generated by the internal
friction 0+ the oil film causes this rise in temperature.
Various tests have shown that fluid film lubrication of a
journal requires –
1. A supply of oil at any speed sufficient to maintain
an unbroken film of necessary thickness over the whole
load carrying area.
2. A supply of oil at any time sufficient to make up for
the oil lost by leakage at the two ends of the bearing
due to the flow from maximum pressure zone to the two
ends where atmospheric pressure exists. In order to
avoid the breakinq down of the oil film at any point
the supply must be largely in excess of the require­
ments.
CA NAD I AN
339
R A I L
3. That oil is always available at the leading edge of
the bearing and over the whole length of it in suff­
icient quantity to permit the formation and mainten­
ance of a solid oil wedge.
Waste grabs -Too often in operation we have a partial or
complete interruption of these conditions because of lint,
small fibres of waste, and even strands themselves, being
carried by the oil and rotation of the journals up against
or under the edge of the brass, to give rise to a condition
known as waste grab.
The term waste grab often leads to wrong conclusions
because the word grab indicates to many a considerable
volume of waste, while in reality, most hot boxes, except
in cold weather, are caused by grabs where volume of waste
is not readily observable. It is also assumed that waste
grabs cause heating of the journals, due to the grabs
getting into the load area of the bearings, thereby raising
the bearing to one side and throwing the load into a re­
stricted bearing contact.
Waste grabs are more likely to occur after new bearings
have been applied to journals which are less than their
original diameter. Under these conditions the journal
leaves clearancw at the edge of the bea~ing which offers
amples opportunity for loose fibres or strands to enter.
After the rubbing surface extends down to the edges of the
bearing, the liability of waste grabs are lessened, but
heavy broke applications often force the journal far enough
away from the lip of the bearing to allow waste to enter.
New wool pocking presents a greater tendency for waste
grabs, especially the coarser and lower grades of wool, as
such material has innumerable fibres projecting out of the
strands. These fibres stick to the journals and pull loose
from the strands and enter the load area of the bearings.
Bearings that have not worn down to full contact when re­
moved will reveal, in many cases, this linty.material
jammed into the non contact area of the bearing surfaces.
While theoretically it is impossible for the journal
bearings to rise up off the journal due to the pressure
load on top of the journal box, it has been demonstrated
by means of photographs that brasses do leave the journal
due to rough switching of the cor in the yards. At 9 miles
per hour impact, the brass in some cases will be 3/8 off
the journal. If the pocking is high at the sides of the
journal box, loose strands will be pinched between the
brass and the journal which will create a hot box before
the cor has run many miles.
Other causes of Hot Boxes -Considerable time has been
devoted to hot boxes caused by waste grabs, because today,
the conditions just discussed constitute the majority of
evils. However, hot boxes are the result of many additional
DUST
GUARD
FIG. 6~-Cut Away View of A.A.R. Journal and nox Assembly.
FIG. CiS-Standard A.A.R. Journal Box, packed by A.A.R.
Method.
CANADIAN
341 R A I L
factors,but underlying all, the final heating of the bear­
ings is due to one cause and that is the total or partial
elimination of the oil film which may be caused by one or
more of the following conditions:
1. Improper bearing surfaces. A journal must have a uni­
form and accurate finish to give satisfactory results.
Two journals may appear to be alike in finish, but if cal­
ipered, one may be accurate while the other may be tapered
or with high spots. Any inequality will cause an overloaded
area.
2. Improper fitting of brass and wedge. If the brass does
not have a full crown bearing for the entire length of the
journal, the bearing area will be so reduced that the load
per square inch will be above the film strength of the oil.
Also, if the load is carried along the sides of brass, it
will act as a wiper, robbing the bearing of the necessary
lubricant. A wedge that has worn on top so as to destroy
the camber will cause an unequal distribution of weight.
3. Defective journal boxes. Numerous hot boxes are due to
improperly fitting lids and dust guards which allow water
and dirt to enter the box and contaminate the packing.
Under certain circumstances, such as brine drips on re­
frigeratorcars, wheel wash in wet weather, snow blowing
into boxes under improperly fitting lids, sufficient water
enters the box either to wash out part of the lubricant or
to cause it to emulsify. Worn pedestals will often cause box
heating, as will also a new box which is tight in the ped­
estals, because this condition will not allow free up and
down movement of the box to conform to track conditions.
4. Hard spots or improper mixture in babbitt lining: These
cause a rupture in the load area of lubricating film, where
its stability is vital.
5. Insufficient lateral: This creates excessive friction and end
wear on brasses so that temperature is raised above
safety zone.
6. Overload or unequal distribution of weight on boxes:
These conditions are due to improper functioning of springs
equalizers or boxes.
7. Glozed packing: Due to di rty oil and dirty packing, the
openings between the fibres are filled with dirt so that cap­
illarity of the oil is reduced or entirely destroyed.
8. Unmatched wheels: Unless wheels of equal diameter are
mounted on the same axle, hot bearings are liable to occur
due to one wheel travelling faster that its opposite,
which has the same effect as a tapered journal.
The foregoing are only a few of the more common causes of
heating, and to attempt to explain the many other condit-
ions which cause journals to heat would be almost imposs-
CANADIAN
342
R A I L
ible. It has been estimated that there are more than one
hundred conditions which would cause a hot box, and in
railroad work, as in every other specialised division, it
re~uires familiarity and experience to solve many of the
problems which arise.
Cooling Compounds. -Before leaving the subject of hot
boxes, we should touch upon the treatment of them in ser­
vice. It has been conservatively figured that each hot box
costs the railroad $25.00 (Prorate todays costs represents
tremendous costs to the railways annually. Ed). This figure
does not include the loss of time and interest on the
investment of enuipment delayed, but only includes the
labour and material charges incurred. Cars have fre~uently
to be set out of trains at points where no repair facilit-
ies are present, with the result that car repairers are sent
out from the nearest terminal to rebrass and repack the car
so that it can be moved to the repair yard. Consequently,
anything which will assist in bringing these cars to a
terminal will result in considerable savings to the rail­
road, and it is for this purpose that Cooling Compound was
developed. This is manufactured in the form of sticks so that
it may be easilly carried and applied. When a journal has
reached a temperature high enough to set the packing afire,
it is beyond the flash point of the oil, and the journal has
generally become roughened so that oil is of little value.
The Hot Box Compound, being heavy solid grease with compound
melts as it is applied along each side of the journal,
helping to dissapte the heat, and provide a heavy film of
lubricant which assists in preventing metal to metal con­
tact. Before a pplying the Cooling Compound, the old packing,
if on fire, should be removed, and the journal cooled as much
as possible and then repacked with new packing. Following
this, a stick of compound should be applied along each side
of the journal and in contact with it. It may be necessary
to repeat this treatment before the next terminal is reached,
but, if followed up, it will bring the average hot box into
the terminal. After reaching the terminal any box having had
Cooling Compound used en route must be repacked, as this
compound is only an emergency measure and not designed for
normal lubrication.
Reprinted from the
July 1980 issue of
MILEPOST
LAST SPIKES
in BRITISH COLUMBIA
By Mervyn T. Green
Newspaper pictures in mid-May of the Premier of British
Columbia and the president of CP tapping in a rail spike should
remind us that last spike ceremonies are fairly common in B.C.
rail history. The latest one occurred when the last spikes were
inserted in the first phase of CPs current double-tracking in
the Rocky Mountain area. This first phase, costing $32 million,
included 17 km of new track Tappen-Notch Hill and 7.2 km between
Revelstoke and Clanwilliam. The site of the latest ceremony was
at Tappen, just west of Salmon Arm. As has often happened in the
past, when dignitaries are invited to become spike-drivers for
a few moments, neither Premier Bill Bennett nor president Fred
Burbidge were very accurate and had to be satisfied with a few
light taps into a pre-drilled hole in the tie on May 15, 1980.
Many people are familiar with the ceremonies connected with
the completion of the first transcontinental railways, thanks to
the films on theatre and TV screens. The meeting of the Union
Pacific & Central Pacific construction forces at Promontory, Utah,
in 1869 has been often retold: today, the U.S. Parks Service main­
tains a Visitor Center and displays at the site. Canadians were
first made aware of their first completion ceremony when the CBC
broadcast its version of The National Dream in 1973. Based
upon the two books by Pierre Berton which chronicled the esta­
blishment and construction o· the CPR across Canada (The National
Dream, The Last S ike , the TV series portrayed the last sp~ke
e~ng r~ven at ra~gellachie, in Eagle Pass, on November 7,· 1885.
However, B.C. has been the site of several other similar ceremonies,
including marking the completion of the other transcontinentals:
The Grand Trunk Pacific (in 1914), and the Canadian Northern
Pacific (in 1915). Both lines are now part of the CNR system.
It was a dull murky morning when the CP group from the West,
led by Andrew Onkerdonk and Michael Naney met with the directors
from the East, led by William Van Horne, Sandford Fleming and
Donald A. Smith. Smith drove in the last spike (on the second
try, for he bent the first). Major Rogers tried to mark the site
with an upended tie, but the site remained largely unnoticed
and unmarked until the erection of a stone cairn and brass plate
on the north side of the track. The plaque (like the original
ceremony) is plain and simple, and reads: Here was driven the
LAST SPIKE completing the Canadian Pacific Railways from OCEAN
to OCEAN November 7, 1885. A commemorative plate was also erected
at the side of the nearby road (Trans Canada Highway No 1) in 1958.
The s)econd last spike ceremony occurred at Cliffside, on
the eastern side of Shawnigan Lake, on August 13, 1886. This
time, B.C. was honoured by the presence of the Prime Minister,
Sir John A. Macdonald, who drove the last spike of the Esquimalt
and Nanaimo Railway. A cairn now marks the spot. The line was
built by the Dunsmuirs, mainly to facilitate coal exports from
their mines on Vancouver Island. It was purchased by CP in 1905
CANADIAN
344
R A I L
and later extended to Courtenay and Port Alberni (by 1914). The
last spike on CN lines on Vancouver Island was not driven until
1928, when the oft-delayed line from Victaria to Cowichan Lake
reached Kissinger (Nitinat Camp).
The Grand Trunk Pacific was authorized in 1903 to provide
a second transcontinental route. Construction began in Manitoba
in 1905, in Eastern Canada in 1906, and from Prince Rupert east­
wards in 1908. Work began on the section through the Rockies
in 1909 and cost over $100,000 per mile. Such heavy expenditures,
allied with the outbreak of World War I, led to the financial
crippling of the GTP. In 1923 it joined the CNR. The third
last spike in B.C. was driven on April 7, 1914, about one mile
east of Fort Fraser. A commemorative plate on Highway No. 16 was
erected~in 1966. The 60th Anniversary (in 1974) was marked
by CN with a ceremony and a small display at Fort Fraser. Five
of the original construction workers were present.
The Canadian Northern Pacific was the B.C. extension of the
Canadian Noithern lines promoted and built by the two entrepreneurs,
Donald Mann and William Mackenzie. Political and economic diffi­
culties plagued the construction from its inception in 1909.
Costs sky-rocketed, with heavy work required in the Thompson and
Fraser River valleys, where the line was forced to locate across
the rivers from the previously-built CPR, which had generally
chosen the better locations. Construction at Hells Gate badly
affected the salmon runs (Not corrected until recent years< with
the building of salmon ladders on both sides of the Fraser;. A
small group of engineers and workmen watched B.C. s fourth last
spike being driven on January 23, 1915, some ten miles north af
Spences Bridge. A roadside plate was erected there in 1967 (along­
side Highway No.1.)
The next last spike followed soon after. The eastern
section of the Kettle Valley Railway, from Penticton. to Midway,
was officially opened on Moy 31, 1915, when the first train ran
through to Pentictons lakeside station. Two ceremonies -the
first unofficial-were held at the east end of Princeton, on
April 21 and 23, 1915, to hammer in the last spikes of the
Merritt-Penticton line. The main line of the KVR, over the Co~ui­
halla Pass was not completed and repaired from the ravages of the
1915-16 winter until the summer of 1916. The first train over
the bridge (at Lander Creek) crossed on June 11, and when repair
work was finished a simple last spike ceremony was held at the
east end of that bridge. The new main line was declared completed
on July 31, 1916, and Vancouver-Nelson through passenger trains
commenced. The CP s southern main line was finally complete.
On a smaller scale, the Pacific Great Eastern/British
Columbia Railway has also had its lost spikes. The main ones
were the completion of the Quesnel-Prince George main line in 1952,
the Squamish-North Vancouver link in 1956 and the building of the
Fort Nelson extension in September, 1971. A silver spike was
driven home at mile 369.1 near Ahbau Creek, on November 1, 1952,
to complete the Quesnel-Prince George Line. June 10, 1956, sow
the lost spike driven on the North Vancouver-Squamish extension,
a short distance north of Horseshoe Boy. The official lost
spike (of copper, from the Britannia Mine) was driven at North
CANADIAN
345
R A I L
Vancouver on August 27, 1956. The future may see BCR with yet
another last spike ceremony, if the proposed link with the
Alaska Railroad is ever built, extending north from the presently­
stalled Dease Lake extension line. If done, such a ceremony would
certainly rank with the three transcontinental last spikes that
B. C. has already experienced.
SOURCES
Berton, Pierre, The Last Spike. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart,
1971, pp. 412-6.
The National Dream and The Last Spike (Abridged).
Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1974, pp. 493-6.
Cox, Peter, Waybills, Canadian Rail. Sept, 1974, pp. 283.4.
Lamb, W. Kaye, History of the Canadian Pacific Railway. New York:
Macmillan, 1977, pp. 134-5.
McGill, David E., 126 Stops of Interest in Beautiful B.C.
Aldergrove: Fronher Publ~sh1ng, 1979, pp. 32, 44, 96.
Meyer, Ron, Railroad Ma~ of Greater Victoria. Vancouver: Pacific
Coast Branch of C HA, 1973.
Montaldi
J
D.A. The Business Car Canadian Rail. April 1979, p.125.
Ramsey, Bruce, PGE: Railway to the North. Vancouver: Mitchell
Press, 1962, pp. 244, 247.
Sanford, Barrie, McCullochs Wonder. Vancouver: Whitecap Books,
1977 q p p. 1 90, 196.
Stevens, G.R., History of the Canadian Pacific Railway. New York:
Macmillan, 1977, pp. 134-5.
Turner, Robert D., Vancouver Island Railroads. San Marino: Golden
West Books, 1973, pp. 44, 108.
RAILS IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
Adolf Hungry Wolf
Good Medicine Books, Box 844 Invermere, British
Columbia, Canada VOA 1KO
368 pages $35.00
A most excellent and well researched book by this resident
of southern British Columbia. He covers thoroughly the rail­
roading history and heritage of the area from Calgary west to
Golden and from Golden southward over the Kootenay Central Branch
towards Cranbrook. The tour continues up the Columbia to its
headwaters and down the Kootenay River past Fort Steele Pausing to
explore branches leading to a connection with the Union Pacific
(Spokane International) at Yakk and to the mining operations at
Kimberley. From Cranbrook the journey turns eastward over the
Crows Nest Pass line to Fort Macleod, Lethbridge and Calgary.
The book is a photo history illustrating the trains,
stations and railway operation in the area through all facets of
its operation from the beginnings to the most modern. The photo­
graphs chosen show locomotives long gone, stations which, one
active, now lay dormant and those that through various causes
have met destriction such as the original Fernie station destroyed
by fire in 1908; The text is a history in itself and shows that
the author has dug deeply to come up with some most excellent
sources. He speaks to retired railway men who recall such as the
last Crowsnest Passenger Train; the memories of Andrew Staysko
who worked out of Lethbridge as fireman and engineer on both
narrow and standard gauge trains (Alberta Railway and Irrigation
Company and Canadian Pacific). This gives the book and added ,~
interest as it delves into history with the men who made it the
road builders and tracklayers, engineers and firemen, conductors
and brakemen and other ••
The final chapter is the authors own experience the ride
from Calgary to Skookumchuck in his own caboose os it was being
transported to its final resting place as his office and head­
quarters. The voyage of caboose 436788 was an experience which
combined the friendliness of the railroaders with the feeling of
exploring some of the most historic canadian country. Throughout
the journey the author met with railroaders who went out of their
way to assist him in his efforts to restore the original splendor
it once earned. He was told by Red Donovan that the car had
CANADIAN
347
R A I L
long worked out of Cranbrook for most of its early career assigned
to conductors such as Rollie Cox and Black Jack Sutherlin.
Later it was assigned to the Kimberly way freights before reaching
retirement. The crews all told him it was going home.
The book is definately most excellent and would definotely
be of interest to the majority of railfans.
Harvey w.
The -, .
Dusiness car
AGREEMENT WAS REACHED IN JUNE WHEREBY CANADIAN NATIONAL WILL
become the sole owner of Northern Alberta Railways Company by
purchasing t~e shares held by Canadian Pacific Limited
for cash and other considerations.
The NAR, a 925-mile network of rail lines, runs from Edmonton
to Dawson Creek in northeast B.C. and to Barrhead, Hines Creek
and Fort McMurray in Alberta.
Terms of the transaction and the purchase price were not
disclosed.
INCORPORATED IN 1929
The NAR was incorporated in 1929 with Canadian Pacific and
Canadian National each owning fifty per cent of the capital stock.
Under the agreement, CP Roils established traffic rights
over the NAR will be preserved. Completion of the transaction is
subject to regulatory approval, which is expected to be given
before the end of the year.
Ross Walker, Mountain Region vice-president, said that early
in the negotiations, CN assured employees, through NAR management,
CANADIAN
348
R A I L
that should negotiations be successful, CN would take all practical
steps to minimize any impact on the NAR workforce.
$24 MILLION REVENUES
The NAR currently employs between 550 and 600 persons. In
1979 the system generated about $24 million in revenues including
Government of Canada branch-line loss payments.
With expenses of about $21 million, there was an after-tax
profit of approximately $1.6 million.
GRAIN CARRIER
Most of the current freight traffic is grain from the Peace
River country, between 45 million and 50 million bushels annually,
as well as lumber and general cargo.
There was a heavy movement of construction materials into
tar sands projects near Fort McMurray during their construction.
The NAR now operates a twice weekly passenger-freight train
from Edmonton to Fort McMurray, serving communities north of Lac
La Biche where there are no roads.
The railway owns 21 locomotives and more than 200 pieces of
work equipment and leases about 100 special cars for lumber traffic.
Otherwise it has depended on CN Rail and CP Rail for its supply of
revenue freight cars.
ORIGIN IN 1907
The
NAR was originally formed from the Edmonton, Dunvegan and
B.C. Railway incorporated in 1907, the Alberta and Great Waterways
Railway in 1909, the Central Canada Railway in 1931, and the Pembina
Valley Railway which was completed in 1927.
Its lines connect with the British Columbia Railway at Dawson
Creek, B.C~ the Alberta Resources Railway at Grande Prairie, and
the Great Slave Branch of CN Rail at Roma Junction near Peace River,
as well as with CN Rail and CP Rail at Edmonton.
KEEPING TRACK
A 40-MAN CREW REPLACING WOODEN TIES ON A 17-MILE STRETCH OF THE
Canada and Gulf Terminal Railway laid a record-making 2,060
ties in 11 hours on May 14. The previous record was 2,041
installed in one day.
The Canada and Gulf Terminal Railway, which was acquired by
CN in 1975, runs from the CN Rail line at Mont Joli to Matane, a
distance of about 36 miles. The tie replacement program was
carried out on the 17-mile stretch between Mont Joli and Baie-des­
Sables.
A total of 18,250 new wooden ties were laid in 14 days at
a cost of $400,000. Partial renewal of ballast on that section is
scheduled to be done this month.
CANADIAN 349
R A I L
The crew worked with a special work train which included 13
track maintenance machines mounted on eight power trucks.
The machines do such work as spike pulling, removing,
replacing and tamping the ties, spike installation and regulating
the ballast.
The work train also included 26 cars to transport material
and provide crew accommodations.
KEEPING TRACK
CN REPORTED CONSOLIDATED NET INCOME OF $37 MILLION FOR THE FIRST
quarter of 1980, an increase of $14.7 million over the same
period last year.
The main contributors to the improvement were CN Rail, Grand
Trunk Corporation, CN Telecommunications and Real Estate.
CN Rails income increased by $3.1 million. The major factor
was the elimination of passenger losses with completion of the trans­
fer of inter-city passenger train services to VIA Rail Canada Inc.
inA p rill 979 •
This was ,offset ,in part. by lower income from other rai,! oper­
ations where revenue improvements resulting from rate increases and
increases in tonnages and lengths of haul -particularly in the fuels
and chemicals, forest products and export grain groups -did not
eaual the increase in expenses.
Expenses were higher mainly due to the impact of inflation and
the effect of a greater operating workload, partially offset by the
effects of a milder winter. In addition, there were increa~es in net
e~uipment per diem rental costs, fringe benefit costs and provincial
sales and fuel taxes.
Grand Trunk Corporations income of $8.3 million was $6.7 million
higher than in the corresponding ouarter of 1979. In spite of infla­
tion and increased fuel costs, expenses decreased, mainly as a result
of the mild winter.
An improvement in revenues due to higher rates was partially
offset by reduced traffic volume, of which automotive traffic was
the most significant.
CN Telecommunications income increased by $3.5 million, due
principally to rate increases and higher business activity.
Real Estates income improved by $8.4 million, mainly from increased
land sales.
The increase of $5.3 million in the CN Express loss resulted from
lower revenues and the effect of inflation on labor and materials costs.
partially offset by expense reductions from handling a lower traffic
volume.
The results of CN Hotels and CN Marine improved over last year,
while those of CN Trucking, TerraTransport and the Miscellaneous .
sector declined.
Because of the general slowdown in the economy, the corporotions
net~ncome for the year is expected to be slightly lower than that of
1979.
President Robert Bandeen told a senior staff meeting in mid-May
that revenues for the rest of the year will be less than anticipated
for almost all divisions, reflecting a softening of the economy and
a general falling-off in business.
He explained that while the first-quarter financial report was
very good, showing net earnings of $37 million for the corporation,
revenues began declining in March, fell even further in April and
continued to do so in May.
Mr. Bandeen said that corporate divisions were taking a very
detailed look at what can be done to correct the lower-revenue
situation as well as what actions can be taken to stem some of the
decline in net earnings. A preliminary projection estimated year­
end net earnings at $191 million -$26 million less than budget –
but Mr. Bandeen said the figures will have to re-examined because of
current economic conditions.
(KEEPING TRACK)
THE RIDE INTO HISTORY WILL RETURN. THE OLD NO. 1 STREETCAR THAT
was recently restored and was operated across the High Level
Bridge will soon have a permanent home. The car will
run at Fort Edmonton Park operating out of a replica of an early
Edmonton Radial Railway car barn which will be built this summer.
The initial funds for this project were awarded by the
City ~75th Anniversary Co~mittee several weeks ago. The $177,000
received will allow work to get underway immediately.
,The project is to install a street railway system at Fort
Edmontop with three objectives in view.
a) To provide transportation nr visitors to the Park.
b) To form a working exhibit of cars, tracks and associated machin­
ery.
c) To provide opportunity for retired transit employees and others
for social contact and for continued exercise of their skills
through the construction, operation and maintenance of the system.
Completion date for the basic track installation from Fox
Drive to the Fort Edmonton Station and thence via 1920 Street and
1905 Street would be the summer of 1985, but it is proposed to
have a streetcar operating by means of an auxiliary diesel power
unit over the existing railway tracks during the 1980 season.
Members of the Edmonton Radial Railway Society will be
involved in the construction, operation and maintenance of the
system. Membership in the Society is open to all and many skills
will be required in the restoration of vehicles and artifacts. It
is hoped that many senior citizens will become involved. Transit
Department staff who are interested in assisting in this project
are asked to contact Bob Clark at 428-2758 for further details.
The skills represented by members of the Society are many
and varied, a number having had leading roles in the introduction
of LRT to Edmonton. Society members were responsible for the
restoration of Street~ar No. I and its suc~essful operation on the
High Level Bridge in October 1979. Several members have been
involved in stre~t roil~oy preservction groups such as the Canadian
Railroad Histaritol Association and the Tram~oy Museum Society.
The Society anticipates 0 danatian of between 10 and 20
thousand dallors towards the construction of the cor born os well
as a ~uantity of obsolete machinery from Edmonton Transit and
other sources.
As the street roil~ay will form on integral port of the
displays ot Fort Edmonton, it is anticipated that its costs will
be covered by gate rDvenu~, as is the case with the railway. Since
the streetcars ond the workshop exhibit will be manned and main_
tai
ned by volunteers from th~ Satiety the only operating ~xpenles
will be heating, lighting and power. Casts are likely to be nini­m
ol compared with the saving that will occur from not having to
operate the stean train at periods of low traffic and relieving
Edmonton Transit from having to operate special bUIes into the
Pork, ofter the Fox Drive extension is built.
This project ~ill lost as long as Fort Edmonton Pork exists and wi
ll ~tond as a perpetual reminder of what City Transit wa~
like in the first half of the 20th century. It will be 0 ~e~orial
ta the fcrsightedness of cur early City Fathers and to faithful
cor and bus driv~r$ through the years.
(EDMONTON TRANSIT NEWS)
BACK COVER
VIA RAIL TRAIN lB5 AT SUDBURY awaiting the time to d6part for
White River, only one ~eek before th~ train was token off.
ROCs 9111 and 9251 are still in the C.P. Roil point scheme.
Ph
oto by Scott B. Anderson.

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