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Canadian Rail 353 1981

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Canadian Rail 353 1981

CANADIAN
Published r.lOnthly by The Canadian Railroad
Historical Association
P.O. Box 22, Station B Montreal,Quebec,Canada
H3B 3J5
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO-EDITOR: M. Peter Murphy
OFFICIAL CARTOGRAPHER: William A.
Germaniuk
LAYOUT: Miche.1 Paulet
FRONT COVER:
MONTREAL AND SOUTHERN COUNTIES
Railway car 9, built in 1911,
just turning off the famed
Victoria Bridge en route for the
McGill Street terminal of the
M.& S.C. The date MDCCCXCVII
(1897) visible over the first
span is the-date of the rebuild­
ing of the bridge which first
made the M.& S.C. feasible.
C.R.H.A. Archives, Toohey
Co11 ection.
OPPOSITE:
RUSH HOUR AT McGILL STREET in February
1948, as five suburban
cars, a 11 different, leave the terminal.
Car 104, built in 1912,
is now preserved at the Canadian
Rai 1 way Museum.
C.R.H.A. Archives, Toohey
Co 11 ec t ion.
~IL
ISSN 0008·4875
CALGARY & SOUTH WESTERN DIVISION
60-6100 4th Ave. NE
Calgary, Al berta T2A 5Z8
OTTAWA
BYTOWN RAILWAY SOCIETY
P.O. Box 141, Station A Ottawa, Ontario
K1 N BVl
NEW BRUNSWICK DIVISIOtI
P.O. Box 1162
Saint John,
New Brunswick E2L 4G7
CROWSNEST AND KETTLE-VALLEY DIVISION
P. O. Box 400
Cranbrook, British Columbia
V1C 4H9
PACIFIC COAST DIVISION
P.O. Box 1006, Station A, Vancouver
British Columbia V6C 2P1
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DIVISION
P.O. Box 6102, Station C, Edmonton
Al berta T5B 2NO
WINDSOR-ESSEX DIVISION
300 Cabana Road East, Windsor
Ontario N9G 1A2
TORONTO & YORK DIVISION
P.O. Box 5849, Terminal A, Toronto Ontario
M5W 1P3
NIAGARA DIVISION
P.O. Box 593
St.Catharines, Ontario
L2R 6W~
ST. LAWRENCE VALLEY DIVISION
P.O. Box 99
Ste. Doroth~e, Quebec H7X 2T4

The Montreal
and Southern Couiies Railway
Twenty-five years ago the last run took place of the cars of
the Montreal and Southern Counties Ry. In its last years this elec­
tric interurban line seemed to be almost an anachronism with its
1910-era wooden electric cars and its friendly, almost informal,
style of operation. But the M_. & S.C. was no Toonerville Trolley.
For almost half a century it provided fast, frequent and efficient
service between Montreal and towns and communities south of the
St. Lawrence river.
A trip on the M. & S.C. could be either on the suburban or
the interurban cars. Both departed from Montreals Mc.Gill Street
station, travelled through the streets of waterfront Montreal, and
then made an impressive crossing of Victoria Bridge on what is now
the downstream (northbound) roadway. At St. Lambert the suburban
routes divided, one going to Montreal South and the other to Mac­
kayville and Greenfield Park. This operation was much like a street
car line with its double-ended cars usually running singly.
But the most impressive aspect of the M. & S.C. was the run
to Granby on the interurban car. Climbing aboard a big 600-class
car at Mc. Gill street, the traveller would soon be crossing the
river, but this time with a three or four car train usually with
a freight motor at the head end. Once clear of street traffic the
train would pick up speed on its own right-of-way, and with the
air horn blowing to warn traffic at crossings, would traverse the
picturesque apple-growing countryside of southern Quebec. Soon the
Richelieu river would be crossed, later the Yamaska, and finally
the train would pull into Granby. En route, numerous stops would be made,
not only for passengers, but also for freight, including milk
and farm produce along the wayo
Service began on November 11909 when the first car ran from
Mc.Gill Street to St. Lambert. In the next few years the line was
extended until it reached Granby in 1916. Apart from a few small
changes, service continued until the electric cars were cut back
from Granby to Marieville in 1951. Four years later, June 19 1955
the last M. & S.C. train crossed Victoria Bridge, but even then
the service beyond St. Lambert continued, and until 1955 it could
be said that the system had at least one car of each class on its
roster. The end was near, however, and early in the morning of
October 14 1956 the last run was madeo
October 14 1956. A lot of water has flowed under Victoria
Bridge since then, and a whole new generation of Montrealers has
grown up. As another in our series of special issues of Canadian
Rail devoted to interesting railways of the past we again present
a nostalgic flashback, this time to the days of the M. & S.C.
when electric cars left every 20 minutes for the South Shore, and
several times a day for Granby.
Extra 611 East now leaving for St. Lambert, Chambly, Richelieu,
Marieville, Rougemont, St.Cesaire, Abbotsford, and Granby.
ALL ABOARD! EN VOITURE!
CANADIAN 167 R A I L
MCGILL STREET 1909 -1955
M. Peter Murphy
The Electric interurban in Canada never gained the prominence
it did in the United States this obviously because of our relat­
ively small population and its sparce distribution across our ten
glorious provinces. Canada never knew the glory of an Indianapolis
Traction Terminal where an average of 520 passenger,cars from 12
routes were accommodated daily, or a marble and tile finished
traction terminal as existed on the Salt Lake and Utah Railroad.
We did however have several very interesting terminal operations
such as the Carrall Street depot of the Be Electric and the St.
Catharines Terminal of the N St. C & T. Another interurban
terminal and precisely the subject of this article was the McGill
Street terminal of the Montreal & Southern Counties Railway.
Operating out of a modest brick station more reminicent of a
rural post office than a railway station the M & S C terminal
operation is most interesting because of its political evolution,
track layout and combined surburban/interurban operation.
Albert Corriveau was the secretary and principal promoter
of the Montreal Park & Island Railway which by 1897 was operating
surburban trolley line~ to virtually all the Montreal surburbs
located on the island. Expansion to the South Shore was impossible
because of the natural obstruction created by the mighty St. Lawr­
ence River even though the original charter of the MPIR permitted
1 .birds eye view of the HcGill Street station, with no less than
sixteen M. G S.C. passenger cars visible in the ),anl behind the
building. This photo gives an excellent idea of the track layout
at the terminal. The photo was taken by R.F. Corley on May 3 1948.
CANADIAN
168
R A I L
A TIMETABLE OF DECE~lBER 1910 lists all runs between Montreal, St.
Lambert, and Longueuil. The interurban section was not yet built.
it to do so. As plans were being prepared for the replacement of
the original Victoria Tubular Bridge, Albert Carriveau and assoc­
iates were busy applying for a Federal Charter to construct an
electric railwar from Montreal to the South Shore and Huntingdon.
On June 25, 1897 the charter for the Montreal & Southern Counties
Railway was granted but no actual work was done for several years
even though the new Victoria Jubilee Bridge was opened lated in
1898. In 1901 Corriveau retired from active railway promotion and
the MPIR came under control of the Montreal Street Railway.
It was ten years after the charter had been granted that
construction actually began on the M & S C. The Grand Trunk Railway
granted permission to use the downstream lane of the Victoria
Bridge for the electric railway and by a generQUS infusion of money
to get construction started the Grand Trunk took a controlling
interest in the new railway.
CANADIAN
169 R A I L
The Montreal Street Railway vigorously opposed the granting
of running rights through any of the streets of Montreal to the
M & S C and by the time the rights were obtained the M & SC had
attended no less than 145 regular and special meetings of the City
Council of Montreal to plead its case.
By Spring 1909 the M & SChad laid tracks along Riverside,
Mill, Common, Grey Nun and Youville Streets, the actual brick stat­
ion being constructed at the south west corner of McGill and
Youville Streets. Originally cars were wyed at the corner of
Grey Nun and Youville Streets but as train lengths increased
another means of turning the cars had to be found. By 1913 the
Montreal & Southern Counties Railway had negociated and agreement
with the Montreal Tramways Company whereby M & S C trains could
share a one block long length of common southbound track on
McGill Street between Youville and Common Streets.
While the M S Rand M & S C were originally viewed as rivals
they indeed turned out to be complementary to one another.
Rapidly the McGill Street terminal of the M & S C became the
transfer point for street car passengers travelling to the south
shore. Operation of electric cars on the common track consisted
of southbound Montreal Tramways Cars operating on Outremont
route 29. It was on route 29 that the MTCo operated its fleet
of PCC cars almost exclusively, and so it was not unusual to see
ABUT,IF.:-.T ::-.D END SPANS. VICTOR!,-. JLBILEE BRIDG.E.
WIIAT TilE :-.1. & S.C. :–1IGIIT IlAVE BEEN LIKE! An artists conception of
the rebuilt Victoria Bridr:e ill 1893. Notice the electric car bearing
number 1898 in the front dash board. Other than the fact that the
car is running inside the bridge span, this is quite similar to what
actually came to pass cleven years later.
Railway and Shipping liorlJ, Vol. 1 No.1, :Iarch 1898.
CANADIAN
170
R A I L
TWO PHOTOS ILLUSTRATING THE OPERATION ON THE Ca~MON TRACK between the
M. & S.C. and the Montreal Tramways Co. In one view, car 104, fully
equipped for winter with snowplow and double windows, heads south on
McGill
street on January 25 1948. The other photo, taken at the same
spot only three days earlier, depicts Montreal P.C.C. car 3514 at
the south end of the Outremont street car line. Note the double wire
overhead; one is for the M. & S.C. while the other is for the M.T.Co.
Both
photos from C.R.H.A. archives, Toohey collection.
II1II111 SI.
CANADIAN
J[
.d, ,.1.11, IfIr
0 Lua.at C … ,
171
YOillUI. II.
R A I L
;;
a
[
HOUSE
C.N.R.
M.t C.
Olas-c.
.. … ·10
trains of lu~bering CNR green interurbans interspursed with a cream
coloured PCC car or two during ruah hours on Mc Gill Street.
While t~e tracks were shared the trolley overhea. was not.
Two separate wires hung about 18 inches apart assured independent
power supply for each railway. At the foot of McGill Street
trolley contacts were installed which fed the first electric switch
to be installed in Montreal. An M & S C trolley making contact
threw the switch to head west along Common Street, while a MTC
trolley threw the switch to head east to the Youville Loop and
the end of route 29.
M & S C suburban cars in rush hours looped around Grey Nun,
Youville & McGill Streets stopping to load in front of the M & SC
station. The interurban trains on.e looped around McGill Street
were backed into the yard where after the express had been loaded
and passengers boarded they headed out curving directly onto
Co •• on Street, Black, Bridge, Mill Street and the Victoria
Bridge.
CANADIAN 172 R A I L
ONE OF THE OLDEST STREET CARS THEN RUNNING IN ~lONTREAL, car 793,
built in 1908, is just approaching the Mc.Gill Street terminal on
October 25 1947. Note the ~. & S.C. track in the foreground. This
type of car was in service before the interurban, and were a fam­
iliar sight in the area during almost the whole era of the M. & S.C.
C.R.H.A.
archives. Toohey collection.
(.
CANADIAN 173 R A I L
P.C.C. CAR 3508 turns off the conunon track while ~.1. & S.C. car 324
follows close behind. The two trolley wires are clearly visible.
The date was April 1953.
C.R.H.A.
Archives, Toohey Collection.
CANADIAN 174 R A I L
And so it was for many years until the early morning hours
of Sunday, June 19, 1955 when car 326 departed the McGill Street
Terminal for the last time. While the M & S C was not officially
abandoned until October 13, 1956 service after June 19, 1955 was
provided out of St. lambert only as the downstream lane of Victoria
Bridge was converted back to a roadway in conjunction with the St.
lawrence Seaway construction.
The little McGill Street Station was boarded up and remained
that way until recently lave for a brief period when it was used
as a home for an office service company.
We are pleased to report however that the McGill Street
Station is today alive and well and operating as a nostalgic
light meal restaurant appropriately called 11 6tait une fois
(once upon a time). Tastefully re-decorated by The Ettingers
the restaurant is overflowing with nostalgic decor and has
maintained its railway motif including the traditional pot­
bellied stove front and centre.
While one can no longer board the grinding green car for
Mar~ville at McGill Street you can enjoy a fine meal and relax
in the cosy atmosphere that only the old M & S C McGill Street
Station can offer.
Bibliography
Catenary Through the Counties (Clegg, lavallee)
T he Interurban Era (Middletoll)
ON YOUVILLE STREET ON JANUARY 25 1948, M.T.Co. car 2859 is about to
turn north on to McGill street accross the street from the M. & S.C.
station. This section of track was not common to both systems, but
was exclusively used by the ~Iontreal city cars.
C.R.H.A. archives, Toohey collection.
Car 326, bound for Montreal South, and a 100-class car, heading for
Greenfield Park and Mackayville, standing in front of the Montreal
terminal ready to depart. Both these routes ran at 20-minute intervals
during the daytime. Note the Montreal Tramways P.C.C. car in the
background.
Collection of Peter Murphy.
THREE ~IONTREAL TRA.IIIA·.S CO. TWO-~IAN CARS wait on ~lcGill Street while
~I. & S.C. baggage motor 502 rounds the curve leaving the terminal.
The date was September 3 1951, and the street cars were on a special
rail enthusiasts excursion. The track they are on was not used by
the M.T.C. in regular service. M. & S.C. 502 is, however, on a reg­
ular run to Granby.
C.R.H.A.
Archives, Toohey collection.
1——————————….. + …..
1—————————-…… ..
1——~~==::jt====================u-o
__ ~~I·~·~~I~·I~liI=1 ~~~
THIS DRAWING, REPRODUCED FROM AN ORIGINAL BLUEPRINT OF 1909,
shows one of the first M. & S.C. cars of the series numbered
from 1 to 8. Three of these cars lasted until 1955.
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SUBURll./lN rRlJl.l.EY !:A[i.
MlJllTBC/IC /I SO[JlHCBAlCOONlI£S BY.
CAd PEPT.
MONTREAL JAN es/os
CANADIAN 178 R A I L
A lineup of seven M. & S.C. cars on Grey Nuns Street on June 10 1952.
These
are all suburban cars ready to load the rush-hour crowds bound
for the South shore.
Collection of Peter Murphy.
CANADIAN
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179 R A I L
. 1
WHEN THE M. & S.C. BEGAN SERVICE in 1909 it had eight passenger cars
numbered 1 to 8. This view shows No. 8 at St. Lambert on May 3 1948,
one
of three original cars (the other two were 5 and 6) which were
in service until 1955.
Photo
by R.F. Corley.
FO~IER WINDSOR ESSEX AND LAKE SHORE CAR 621 hauls trailer 220 on
~tcGill street in February 1948. Th~se luxurious cars were not
usually run on the line to ~ontreal South, so this is quite a rare
view.
C.R.H.A. Archives, Toohey Collection.
eLEVATION
~,~~~
..I
I,
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U
1,1
1..1
I,
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PLA
N
SUBURBAN

M~NTREAL
~SOUTHERN
co
.
RY
.
1
A
drawing
of
a suburban
trailer
of
the
10w-200
series.
However
the
IOO-series
motor
unit
s
were
similar,
except
they
had motor
trucks
and
trolley
poles.
A.lthough
the
drawing
was
made
in
1922,
the
cars
were a
decade
older,
having
been
built
in
1912.
TRAILER
PASSENGER
CAR
MONTREAL,
qUEBEC,CAMAOA,
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CANADIAN
182
R A I L
Suburban car 100 just coming on to Blacks Bridge at the start of its
southbound trip. In the upper-right corner can be seen the outline of
the Sun Life building, then the tallest in Montreal!
Collection of Peter Murphy.
INSIDE THE MC.GILL STREET STATION on the last night, the benches are
empty, and the old clock ticks away the last few minutes of service
at the old depth. Note M&SCR on the clock glass.
Photo by Fred Angus.
THE LAST CAR TO LEAVE THE MC.GILL STREET TERMINAL! Car 326 is shown
here in the early morning hours of Sunday June 19 1955, just before
it departed for the last time, ending 46 years of service.
Photo by Fred Angus.
CANADIAN
184
R A I L
!lACK AT TilE BARNS at about 2:00 A.:I. on ,June 19 1955, No. 326 has
completed the last run of a ~. & S.C. car accross Victoria bridge.
Photo by Fred Angus.
IN ST. LA,lBERT TOWN SQUARE car 324 stops to pick up a passenger on
June 5 1950.
C.R.II.A.
archives. Toohey collection.
THE YARD AT ST. LA,lBERT on June 5 1950. From left to right we see
cars 103, 107, 200, 8, 12, 13. C.R.II.A.
archives. Toohey collection.
CANADIAN
186
R A I L
CAR 8 AT ST LAMBERT on June 5 1950. This is one of the original
cars built in 1909.
C.R.H.A. archives. Toohey collection.
A RATHER RARE VIEW showing the M. & S.C. track on Victoria Bridge
with car 320 approaching ~lontreal in 1949. lIhat is now the downltream
roadway
on the bridge was then shared by the electric line and a
sidewalk for pedestrians and bicycles. The main C.N.R. tracks are
in the background inside the span.
C.R.H.A. archives. Toohey collection.
CANADIAN
188
R A I L
No. 12 WAS ONE OF THE CARS acquired second-hand by the M. & S.C.
It closely resembled a double-truck Birney, and is shown at
St. Lambert on a sunny summer day in 1949.
C.R.H.A.
archives. Toohey collection.
CANADIAN
189
R A I L
NO. 104 CROSSING THE C.N.R. LINE at Ranelagh in 1949 bound for
MacKayville. This car has been preserved and is now at the Canadian
Rail way 1-1useum.
C.R.H.A. archives. Toohey collection.
CAR 623 AND TRAILER 220 on Common Street in the year 1949.
C.R.H.A.
Archives, Toohey Collection.
CONTlh~ATION NOTICE
Du~ to the laree amount of eood aateri31 that hal turned up lately,
we
have had to split our H. ~ S.C. fluhback into two parn, and
devote this issue to the suburban operations. We ~st. thereforc
ask the readers to transfer at St. Lambert, and we will resuse our
trip to Granby with the July Canadian Rail. In that issue We will
give you .are than thirty fine photos, as well a$ four scale draw­
ings, reduced to 110 scale, of interurban cars. We will also tell
you why car 606 disappeared fro~ the roster in 1927. Or did it?
So watch for the Interurban opcration of the 1. G S.C. in July.
RACK COVER
MONTREAL & SOUTHERN COUNTIES
RAilWAY COMPANY
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OliE OF THE :-I. ~ S.C. 5 ::lOst modern cars, No. fl21, built in 19JO, is
seen on )li11 ltrec:t aid grain elevators ncar the port of .1ontreal.
C.R.II.A. Archives, Toohey collection.
,.

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