Published monthly by the Canadian
Railroad Historical Association
P.O. Box 148 St. Constant P.Q.
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO-EDITOR: M. Peter Murphy
OFFICIAL CARTOGRAPHER: William A.
LAYOUT: Michel Paulet
PASSING BLACK LAKE on the run from
Marelan to Kilmar, the railway of
the Canadian Refractories Company
describes an interesting and
picturesque series of curves. This
line-has now been abandoned.
INSIDE FRONT COVER
LOCOMOTIVE NUMBER 1 of the Canadian
Refractories railway is a G.E.
diesel-electric. In this view, taken
at the Marelan plant, we see Messrs.
V. Thorburn, G. Poulter (driver)
and W. Stewart (trainman).
ISSN 0008 -4815
CALGARY & SOUTH WESTERN DIVISION
60-6100 4th Ave. NE
Calgary, Al berta T2A SZ8
BYTOWN RAILWAY SOCIETY
P .0. Box 141, S ta t i on A Ottawa, Ontario
NEW BRUNSWICK DIVISIQrl
P.O. Box 1162
New Brunswick E2L 4G7
CROWSNEST AND KETTLE-VALLEY DIVISION
P.O. Box 400
Cranbrook, British Columbia
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 TSB 2NO
300 Cabana Road East, Windsor
Ontario N9G lA2
TORONTO & YORK DIVISION
P.O. Box S849, Terminal A, Toronto
Ontario MSW lP3
fi IAGARA 01 V I S I (}j
P.O. Box S93
ST. LAWRENCE VALLEY DIVISION
P.O. Box 99
Ste. Doroth~e. Quebec H7X 2T4
By Robert F. L.egget
Another of Canadas small industrial railways has
finished its course after 65 years of faithful service. It will
soon be just a memory to the few who knew it well. For the last
run was made on 17 July 1981 on the Canadian Refractories line from
Kilmar to Marelan, Quebec. All rolling stock was then brought down
to the Companys main plant, at Marelan, and has now been disposed
of; the twelve miles of track have now been dismantled.
The accompanying sketch map shows the location of this
little-known line in Quebec, across the Ottawa River from Hawkes
bury, Ontari~ roughly midway between Montreal and Ottawa. The
southern limit of the Precambrian Shield here comes close to the
Ottawa. Original settlements were naturally along the banks of the
Grand River (as the Ottawa was known in earlier days) but small
groups began establishing new homes along the early logging roads
going up into the hills. One of these small outposts eventually
became the Scottish settlement of Kilmar, eleven miles north of the
river towns of Calumet and Grenville. It is said that an itinerant
preacher first noticed the glistening white ore near Kilmar around
the year 1900. This was start of the notable industrial complex
The white ore is low-grade deposit of magnesite, formed
in the Precambrian Grenville complex. It is believed that solutions
high in magnesium penetrated the Grenville limestone in some geolo
gical upheaval eons ago, forming the valuable magnesium carbonate.
Originally mined in open pits, the magnesite has been mined from
shafts since 1936, the underground operations of today being
efficient and highly mechanised, with proved reserves available for
many years to come.
Mining commenced in 1914 when supplies from an Austrian
mine were cut off by the first world war. Dominion Timber and
Minerals Company was the operating agency. Ore was brought in horse
drawn carts down the winding road from the mine to a siding on the
North Shore line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, as many as one
hundred teams of horses being employed at one time. In 1916 a
charter incorporating the Grenville, Harrington and Northern Railway
was issued for the construction and operation of a standard gauge
railway from Grenville to Labelle, Quebec but this company was
apparently never set up.
CANADIAN 262 R A I L
Later that year, however, a narrow gauge railway was
constructed from mile 54.7 of the C.P.R. Montreal to Ottawa line
as far as the magnesite mine, approximately 11.5 miles to the no~th.
Urgentlr needed for war purposes, magnesite was shipped down the
little ine in ever increasing quantities (35,000 tons annually by 1918)
and transferred to main line cars at the junction with the
C.P.R. All the equipment for the little line had been purchased
from a logging company in the Fort William district, lock, stock
The names Kilmar and Marelan were derived from the
Kilbourne family which had early f~nanc~al interest in the develop
ment. It was taken over in 1918 by the Scottish Canadian Magnesite
Company; this company was succeeded by Canadian Refractories
Limited in 1933. This Company maintained close links with the
Harbison-Walker Refractories Company of Pittsburgh which finally
purchased a controlling interest in the operation after the end of
the second world war. In 1967, Dresser Industries obtained control
and the operation is now known as the Canadian Refractories Division
of Dresser Canada Inc.
In the 1920s the unique properties of the Kilmar ore,
even though low-grade, were studied by scientists of National
Research Council of Canada, notably by Mr. F. E. Lathe (whom I had
the pleasure of knowing as a colleague in my first years with the
Research Council). Methods were developed of beneficiating the
ore, notably by heavy-mineral separation; it could then be dead
burned in a rotary kiln and crushed. It is in this form that the
ore is shipped from the processing plant at the mine to the modern
manufacturing plant at Marelan, adjacent to Highway 148 and so
familiar to all who use this pleasant north shore road from
Montreal to Hull. The main products of the plant are MAGNECON
refractory bricks in a variety of sizes and shapes, used for such
purposes as lining kilns and furnaces. They are shipped from the
plant, initially by C.P.R., to countries allover the world, consti
tuting one of Canadas notable specialist exports.
The first plant at Marelan was started in 1953; it
has been expended at regular intervals since then. The latest
addition is a replacement of the smaller special products plant
located at the Kilmar mine. It was this change in manufacturing
that sealed the fate of the little railway since all that it would
now have to carry would be the crus.hed ore from the mine to the
plant and this could clearly be done more economically by contractors
using trucks. The automobile had won another victory!
Plans for upgrading to standard gauge the original
narrow-gauge line were made in 1930 and carried out in 1931, using
the same alignment. After leaving the mine the route follows a
winding course through the bush, generally following the contours
of the land with only a few short sharp grades. There are no earth
works to speak of and only a few short steel joist bridges, crossing
ond recrossing the Calumet and Kingham Rivers. The winding course
changes abruptly to a two-mile tangent as soon QS the boundary line
of Chatham Township is reached, an interesting feature of location
for which an explanation has not yet been traced. This long straignt
stretch is on a down grade of about 1.8 per cent, finishing with a Y
MORNING TRAIN READY TO LEAVE KI LMAR for ~Iarelan. An empty B. & O. box
car is ahead of two loaded hopper cars.
R A I L
junction ond then a junction with the C.P.R. North Shore line at
the former Marelan station, followed by a short run into the sorting
yard of the Marelan plant. There are only one of two house along
the track (near the southern end); a small quarry is passed but
otherwise all that can be seen is the untouched bush.
The narrow-gauge railway was equiped with small side
dump cars, two of which when loaded were hauled by one of the stud
of our small saddle-tank dinkies. No details of these small steam
locomotives are now available and no picture has yet been traced but
they must have provided a pleasing sight hauling their little trains
down from the hills. At one time, the line was so busy that all
four locomotives were in steam at once, working day and night and
requiring a total of thirty two trainmen~ Then the line was
converted to standard gauge, they were replaced by Plymouth 4-wheel
35-ton chain-driven gasoline locomotives -one of the first
conversions from steam haulage in Canada: There were eventually
three of these versatile machines, only one of which was retained
when, in 1950, a General Electric 65-ton, 580 h.p., diesel-electric
locomotive was obtained. It provided the main motive power for
the line for over thirty years until the line was closed; it
was then in excellent condition. It has been sold to an industrial
complex at LOrignal. The Plymouth was used only in emergencies
such as times when sections of the line were flooded as snow and ice
melted in springtime. The crushed ore was carried in standard
bottom-dump covered hopper cars; half a dozen tank cars were also
on roster for transport of oil up to the mine.
It was on locomotive No. 1 -the diesel-electric –
that I was privileged to make the journey from Kilmar to Marelan on a
lovely summer day shortly before the line was closed. Mr. J. D.
Hollett, Manager of the Marelan plant, kindly granted permission
SNOWPLOW OF THE KILMAR -MARE LAN RAILWAY. Simple but effective.
THE ONE REMAINING PLYMOUTH GASOLINE LOCOMOTIVE in its storage shed
at the Kilmar mine.
THE END OF THE TWO MILE STRAIGHT showing the switch into the Y
adjacent to the main line connection.
CANADIAN 266 R A I L
for this privilegej Mr. B. Boivin, Manager of the Kilmar plant,
made the necessary arrangements. I am indebted to Mr. Hollett for
many courtesies, including some of the information which this account
contains. I was accompanied by Mr. V. Thorburn whose 35 years with
the Company enabled him to answer all my persistent questions,
adding so greatly to the pleasure of the journey. It was a pleasure
to watch the expert handling of the locomotive by its drive, Mr. G.
Poulter who was assisted by Mr. W. Stewart as trainman and second
man, busy indeed when our little train reached the plant.
The load was typical of the daily run -an empty B & a
boxcar being returned to the main line and two loaded hopper cars,
each with about 350 tons of crushed calcined ore. Very shortly
after leaving the mine yard all traces of civilisation had
disappeared, a part only from the track ahead. It was a real
pleasure to be again amid untouched bush country, with birds
innumerable around. Wilson Lake is passed on the left (to the east)
at mile 2, the track runing along the edge of Black Lake two miles
further on. The track was well ballasted throughout, with waste
rock from the mine. Despite the fact that it had not been economical
to provide new ties for some years, riding was generally quite
smooth for such a heavy locomotive. Two thirds of the line has
80 pound rails and one third 100 pound rails. It was clear that
the small maintenance-of-way gong had been doing a good job.
TYPICAL VIEW FROM THE FRONT PLATFORM OF THE LOCOMOTIVE showing the thick
bush through which the line ran.
R A I L
Their main problem was easily seen -water: Since
the line wanders along the low-level areas between typical glaciated
exposures of the Shield, it traverses water-logged ground for much
of its length. Not only is this typical muskeg topography widespread
but the water problems are componded by the activities of beavers.
I saw more beaver dams and houses during the hours ride than I had
seen for malY years: We noticed the results of work by the track
gang in removing some beaver-made structures which were too close
to the line to be left intact. Rebuilding by the beavers of some
of these was also noted.
The water-logged nature of much of the track had led
to occasional derailments but only one serious mishap has interfered
with operations during recent years. This was a winter derailment
when improper clearance of snow at one of the few crossings caused
the flange on the locomotives lead wheel to climb, ten feet of
railhead being broken off. The locomotive was derailed and tipped
on its side, fortunately sustaining no real damage even though the
ground was frozen. It proved possible to bring up the rough gravel
road (for which the crossing was provided) two powerful mobile
cra~es. Once positioned, the two cranes had no difficulty in
replacing the locomotive on the track; it was soon operating again
as usual. There have been, naturally, typical troubles with snow
drifts but the line had its own somewhat unusual snow-plow; when
operated by the Plymouth, this cleared the track without difficulty.
The last part of our run, down the two-mile-straight,
showed Driver Poultons skill in handling his brakes since no power was
needed until the Y was reached and the Marelan plant was in
sight. The locomotive ran round its three cars by using the Y and
then pushed them into the plant yard, past all that remains (a
battered hut) of the original Marelan station. Shunting took place
immediately, a job that will have to be done in future by a CPR
yard locomotive. Later in the day the return trip to Kilmar would
be made, with empty cars an occasional tank car full of oil, and
regular shipments of miscellaneous supplies for the special products
plant and the mine.
The elimination of this return freight, when the new
special products plant opened at Marelan, was largely responsible
for the closing of the line -obviously unavoidable but still
regrettable to a railway lover: It is to be hoped that future
transport of the ore by road will prove to be as safe and reliable
as it has been for 65 years by the railway. But a parting warning
from my new friends was to drive up the road from Calumet to Kilmar
with unusual care when next I paid a visit since it would then be
used by t~cks bringing down the ore:
Robert F. Legget
THE MORNING TRAIN BEING PUSHED BY LOCOMOTIVE No. 1 past all that
remains of Marelan station. The C.P. North Shore line from Montreal
to Hull-Ottawa is in the background.
MORNING TRAIN BEING PUSHED (by loco No.1) into the railway yards
of the Marelan plant.
UPDATE ON C.N No. 417
In the January 1982 issue of Canadian Rail we printed an article
entitled WHERE IS CN 4171. This engine is shown in C.N. s official
records as lost in Armstrong Lake. The question was which Armstrong
Since then, as a result of this article, the story has gradually
unfolded and now the mystery of 417 has been solved as can be seen
from the following correspondance.
The Mystery of CN 417
Due to the persistent research of Jacques Messier
in reviewing possible locations of Armstrong Lake, the
authors of Canadian National Steam Power believe we have
located the lake from which CN 417, as the J.D. McArthur
2-6-0 No. 22, was reported as being in, and not recoverable,
in the CN Motive Power retirement record of October 1920.
Mr. Messier redirected our attention to the lake
in Manitoba on the Hudson Bay Railway. While several of
this class of locomotive were used on McArthur contracts on
the NAR, the company also had the contract for construction
of the first 214 miles of the HBR to Pikwitonei, about 10
miles south (before) Armstrong Lake.
vhen this possibility was examined a few years ago,
the writers research led him to dismiss it, since the account
of the HBR construction stated the line got to pikwitonei and
then construction ceased in 1917.
But·.now a more defini ti ve account consul ted indicates
the rails had reached mile 333, but when work ceased and the
McArthur contract was closed, the CGR operated a service to
Hence by at least 1917, McArthur was constructing
over the arm of Armstrong Lake. After 1917 it is likely
locomotives ventured beyond mile 214, either operated by
McArthur or the CGR, to close camps, take in materials, etc. On
Sept.19l9 the McArthur locomotives were officially accepted into
the CN roster.
Thus the locomotive could have been lost by l1cArthur,
or the CGR/CN, in the period up to October 1920, and only
written off on the latter date.
Further research suggests starting at that date and
working backwards, and the assistance of CN Archives, and the
Manitoba Archives, on construction history of the HBR, and
l1cArthur, will be sought. In addition to determining the date,
we may also learn what was the nature of the incident (washout,
collision, speed, etc.).
Our thanks to t·!r. Messier for redirecting our attention
to this location.
l-1ay 12, 1982
R A I L
CANADIAN 271 R A I L
THE ~lYSTERY OF CN 417
Further to our enquiries of November 19B1 and
May 19B2, some further research, great co-o~eration and
a little luck have resulted in a definitive answer.
Orner Lavallee, dean of Canadian railyay
historians, was researching Canadian Railway and Marine
World on another subject when he spotted some news items
in the 1915 issues. And there, on page 392 (October 1915)
appears The contractor, J.D. 11cArthur, is reported to have
said in an interview recently, that the accident early in
the summer, when the trestle bridge over Armstrong Lake
gave way, had not interfered materially with the summers
work on the line. At the time of the accident a locomotive
and a track layer were precipitated into the lake: these
have been definately located, and it is expected that they
will be recovered during the ;linter.
This is undoubtedly CN 417 which, contrary
to J.D. HcArthurs expectations, was not retrieved and hence
was ultimately reported to the CN as Lost in Armstrong Lake
in October 1920. Undoubtedly there was hope it could be recovered,
and it was carried on pap,-r as being acquired by the CN
with the rest of the McArthur fleet.
The ,riter surmised the accident could have
occurred at least up to 1917 -but this, and earlier 1915
reports, confirms construction north of mile 214 was in
effect by 1915.
With thanks to the t1ani t.oba Archives, CN Archives
a!Jd the individuals who have assisted, now all we have to
determine is the date in the summer of 1915.
June 6, 19B2
NEWSPAPER TRANSCRIPTS RE CN 417 IN ARl1STRONG LAKE
(exactly as written)
t1anitoba Free Press Honday Hay 31, 1915 (Page 10, Col. 4)
rhe Pas. Man., May 29 -An engine and three cars loaded with
track steel last Tuesday went through a vent in the bridge
over Armstrong lake on the Hudson Bay railway, and lies out of
sight in 30 feet of mud. The engineer was the only person
aboard and he escaped by climbing through the cab window into
the lake as the engine toppled over and swam ashore. ~
The bridge was just finished and this was the first attempt
to take a train of any kind over it. The railway engineers
were uneasy about it sustaining heavy traffic on account of
the great depth of light swampy soil to solid bottom.
Assistant Chief Engineer J.P. Gordon sat in a canoe ciose to
the bridge and narrowly escaped serious injury when the engine
went down. He was observing the action of the structrue under
the heavy strain.
The cause of the accident is attributed to the weakness of
the wooden piles and failure to drive them far enough down to
rock bottom. A delay of from three to six months will occur
in the completion of the railway through this mishap.
The accident followed a pressure test of 300,000 pounds,
causing a displacement of track pilings. The bridge is 900 feet
long and half of it was destroyed. Reconstruction of the damaged
part has commenced.
Hudsons Bay Herald (The Pas) June 4, 1915 (Page I, Col. 2)
Assistant Chief Engineer Gordons report on the Armstrong Lake
bridge acciden.t attributes it to the faul tiness of track piles
between vents Nos. 8 and 14. The total loss will probably
amount to $54,000, $24,000 on the destruction of 24 vents in the
bridge and the balance on the enginecars and material that
have entirely disappeared in the mud beyond all chance of salvage.
Engineer Cameron saved himself by diving under the engine as it
reached the water. The fireman escaped when the bridge started
Every precaution was taken to avert disaster. The night before,
four cars and track layer were shunted out on the bridge and
remained there all night, subjecting the piles to a pressure of
three hundred thousand pounds. Mr. Gordon examined the bridge
in the morning and found no movement had taken place. Reconstruction
of the vents destroyed is proceeding -lith and it is not expected
to delay the completion of the railway from the time set.
~ EDITORS NOTE: An amusing choice of words. If this was literally true
it would be nice to have a photo of the engine swimming ashorel
R A I L
The bridge is 900 feet long, of 60 vents .of 15 feet each. It is
built of heavy timber. The piles were driven last spring and
tested from time to time. The erection was done by Hudsons
Bay Construction company from plans of Hudsons Bay railway
engineers. Some uneasiness was felt on account of the character
of the soil and every carewas exercised in driving the piles to solid
bottom. They attained a greatest depth of 135 feet. The railway
must go over Armstrong lake in order to obtain better soil
conditions, shorter route and less cost than by a more roundabout
way entailing an unpromising increased mileage.
Hudson Bay Herald (The Pas) June 11,1915 (Page 1, Col. 1)
Chief Engineer ;J .11. Porters examination of the Armstrong bridge
collapse on the Hudsons Bay railway nearly two weeks ago, has
resulted in orders being issued to rebuild the bridge with
pilings as before. It is thought that piles can be driven to
solid bottom, necessitating the construction of a special pile
driver and piles. t-1r. Porter believes the whole bridge may be
finished inside a month and the time thus lost of no serious
moment. Mr. Hazelwood thinks the track layer and perhaps the
engine and cars may be rescued from the lake next winter. This
depends on the extent of the cars sinking in the mud.
Hudson Bay Herald (The Pas) Aug. 20, 1915 (Page 1, Col. 3)
R.A. HazehlOod, chief engineer for t-1cArthur on construction of
the Hudsons Bay railway, thinks the engine and track-layer
lying at the bottom of Armstrong Lake may be recovered as soon
as the ice forms. A diver has examined the condition of the
wrecked cars, and he believes they can be raised. The engine
is lying deep in the mud. A special hoisting platform has been
placed in position for supporting the lifting cranes.
NOT E S
Xeroxes of newspaper articles provided courtesy
of Provincial Archives of Manitoba.
Accident date: Tuesday May 25, 1915.
June 16, 1982
REMEMBER WHEN. Trolley Wires Spanned The Country.
Bulletin 119 of the Central Electric Railfans Association.
Norman Carlson and Arthur Peterson, Co-Editors.
Occasionally it is our pleasure to review a book which is
truly outstanding in its field. Such a book, from the point of
view of those interested in street car and interuban lines, is
Bulletin 119 of the Central Electric Rail fans Association based
in Chicago Illinois. This association was founded in 1938, and to
commemorate their 40th anniversary in 1978 undertook to publish a book
illustrating many of the electric railways of the United States
and Canada which existed during these forty years. The resulting
book, completed late in 1980, is a masterpiece.
Bulletin 119, entitled Remember When Trolley Wires Spanned
The Country is a hard-covered book of 160 pages, size 8t X 11 in
an oblong format. It starts with a brief history of the Association,
then goes on to illustrate a tour of the electric railways of North
America which could have been made in the years from 1938 to about
1958. This is where the book is so outstanding. There are no less
than one hundred and fifty-four photos, all full page (6 X 9t
plus captions), all very clear, and all in full colour~ When one
considers the scarcity of colour film in the 1938 era one realizes
just how rare some of these photos are.
Most of the lines depicted are, of course, in the United States
(30 photos in the Chicago-Milwaukee area), but the fifteen photos
taken in Canada are of grea t interest to Canadian enthusiasts. Some
of the more interesting are: Niagara, St. Catherines and Toronto
car 130 on a trestle at WeIland on July 4 1953; Toronto two-car
Witt train on April 4 1954; Montreal car 2002 on Mount Royal on
October 31 1951; M. & S.C. 607 near the McGill Street terminal;
Q.R.L.&P. cars 410 and 455 in 1951; Port Arthur car 70 in July of
1941 (surely one of the earliest colour photos of a Canadian street
car); Fort William car 45 the same day; and two good photos of
B.C. Electric cars in 1950 and 1952 respectively.
Most of the cars depiced have since been scrapped, but a few have
been preserved in museums. Interestingly, the oldest car in
the book, Ottawa grinder 6 (formerly passenger car 66) buUt in 1897,
is now at the Canadian Railway Museum at Delson.
CANADIAN 275 R A I L
A few areas, such as Canadas Maritime provinces, were not
visited by the C.E.R.A. members when they still had street cars so
are not in the book, and other systems, notably the network of lines
in Ohio, had been abandoned before the era of colour photography.
But there was a huge variety of electric lines still intact in the
1940-era, although some were very near their end. This book shows
vividly the contrast between the electric car days and the era of
the automobile which wiped out most of these electric railways in
less than twenty years. Only now, as gasoline prices soar is it
realized what a mistake this was, and new electric lines are starting
to be built after a hiatus of almost half a century.
While the price of $30.00 U.S. (now about $39.00 Canadian) for
bulletin 119 might at first seem high, it is really a bargain when
one considers that it works out to about 25¢ each for 154 high
quality rare colour photos. And the quality is high, the colour
printing is just as clear as most quality black-and-white photos.
The book is strongly recommended to trolley enthusiasts; and mode
llers too will now know the proper colour for their models.
Enthusiasts on both sides of the border will en joy this book; there
is something here for almost everyone.
REMEMBER WHEN Trolley Wires Spanned The Country.
Published by: Central Electric Railfans Association
Post Office Box 503
Chicago, Illinois 60690
Price: $30.00 U.S.
The …… .
CONSTRUCTION HAS BEGUN ON A $130 MILLION PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM
alongside CNs Uxbridge subdivision, in Metro Toronto.
In on agreement executed last January, CN will lease surplus
right-of-way from the Kennedy-Eglinton subway station to Scarborough
Town Centre to the TTC for the next 99 years.
R A I L
The new transit link is an Intermediate Capacity Light Rail
Transit (ICLRT)system. The first of its kind in Toronto, the ICLRT
uses light weight trains, propelled along standard gauge tracks by
linear induction motors.
One of the major problems in planning a transit link through
a highly developed area, such as Scarborough, is the creation of a
right-of-way, says Paul Elias urban projects manager for the GLR.
Buses and street cars, the more traditional modes of public
transit, are subject to limitations of the road, particularly traffic
congestion. The ICLRT is designed to travel on elevated guideways
in urban areas. Thus it offers the benefit of a dedicated roadway
for fast, convenient and regular service at a fraction of the cost
of constructing a subway line.
The groundwork for the ICLRT was set in 1975 when then vice
president great lakes region, Keith E. Hunt, promised CNs cooper
ation with the City of Toronto in helping the TTC realize their trans
portation goals by permitting the line to abut CN track.
This line provides the most direct route from the Kennedy
Eglinton subway station to the Scarborough Town Centre, the ideal
route for the ICLRT line.
During the three year construction period a portion of CN
track will be diverted to permit excavation of a flyunder tunnel. Once
construction is completed an operating and maintenance agreemmt must
This will protect CN financially, operationally, and against
liability, says Mr. Elias.
To ensure the safety of TTC passengers and CNS operations a
sensitized fence will separate the two tracks. In the event of a
derailment the electronic circuits in the fence will activate CNs
signals and TTCs master control centre to prevent any trains from
entering the derailment site and aggravating the situation.
The Ontario governments involvement is to promote the ICLRT
with an eye to marketing it worldwide. Its innovative linear induc
tion motor which is silent, pollution-free, and can pull the train up
steep grades, is a major selling feature.
Metro Toronto and Scarborough officials hope the ICLRT will en
courage commercial and residential development around the Scarborough
Town Centre. The centre contains municipal, business and commercial
offices, as well as a large shopping complex.
The ICLRT can transport 30,000 passengers per hour and will be
funded jointly by the Ontario government (80 per cent) and Toronto
municipal government (20 per cent).
GO IS BREAKING NEW GROUND AGAIN IN ELECTRIFICATION~ AND ITS RELYING
on its contacts in the industry to help initiate the project.
Currently there are 11 Canadian engineering consultants vying
for the opportunity to have their electrification proposals for the
Lakeshore line accepted; they are establishing teams of experienced
railway electrification people from inside and outside Canada to help.
R A I L
One of the firms will be chosen soon for the projects design phase,
which is scheduled for completion within the next two years.
Since it is the first heavy rail electrification since the
Montreal tunnel completed in 1918, there is a dearth of knowledge on
the subject in Canada. GO would like to remedy the situation.
We want to ensure that Canadian experience and expertise exists
after the project is complete, and that there is a transfer of tech
nology to Canadian companies, explains Dave Sutherland, Director of
Development and Special Projects.
THE ONTARIO COURT OF APPEAL RECENTLY ISSUED ITS DECISION CONCERNING
the Ontario & Quebec Railway Company. The Court ruled in favour
of the defendent, Canadian Pacific Limited, which company had
appealed the 1978 lower court decision which was in favour of the
plaintiffs. Although the Eaton firm has not indicated whether it will
appeal to a higher court, it is possible that co-plaintiff, Joseph
Pope & Company may. Shares of O&Q dropped from $10,700 to $1,700 per
share with the courts decision. The Ontario & Quebec minority share
holders had filed a suit of $524,000,000 against major shareholder,
Canadian Pacific, concerning various alleged misuses of O&Q s prop
The White Pass & Yukon has ordered for May 1982 delivery its
first new power in years. Four diesel-electric locomotives, Nos.
111 to 114, are to be built by Bombardier at a cost of $4,500,000.
They are 1200 hp DL535E units. –The Sandhouse
S RS NEWS
POWER CORPORATIONS ON AND OFF INTEREST IN BECOMING A VERY VISIBLE
Canadian Pacific shareholder is on again, with that Company now
admitting ownership of 6.4% of the stock and an eye on acquir
ing much more. Power Corporation has agreed to a limit of 15%, and
already has claimed two seats on the Board of Directors of CP Ltd.
The fine print in the agreement is rather full of loopholes and is
only for ten years. The first of Power Corporations seats on the
Board will be held by none other than Power President Paul Desmarais.
The thought of one of Canadas mightiest corporations becoming a
subsidiary of another equally mighty corporation should be alarming
A PROFESSOR OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO, ONT.,
has developed a way to truly train his students in programming
microcomputers: hes set up a network of actual model trains,
and his students have to program the micro that controls the trains
so that mUltiple routes can be run at the same time. The set-up is
located in a room in the mathematics and computer building.
CANADIAN 278 R A I L
If the students program is correct, the trains run smoothly.
I f theres a programming error, however, they wont run at all.
Dr. Michael Malcom has been refining this technique for the past
seven years, and is now into his third trainyard design.
Our track now has tiny phototransistors positioned at various
points along the routes, he explains, allowing the computer to react
very quickly to data detailing exactly where ea~h train is moving.
We put a silver sticker on the side of each car, and as the car passes
the phototransistor, light from an LED is reflected into the sensor,
which then transmits the positional data to the computer.
The microcomputer can operate as many as four trains simultan
eously, controlling direction and speed. Also, it can control the
decoupling and switching of various cars on each train •
The trains profice a realistic and challenging real-time control
problem, Malcom sums up. They give the students a feeling for the
potential significance of the programming techniques theyre learning.
CANADIAN DATA SYSTEMS
AMTRAK IS CHANGING THEIR FOOD SERVICE ONCE AGAIN –ONLY THIS TIME,
its for the better. By March 1, all breakfasts served on
dining cars will be freshly cooked, with lunches and dinners
remaining in the pre-processed airline form they are currently in.
Amtrak says the change in breakfast preparation is a response
to customer complaints. Eggs and other breakfast foods were not being
heated properly in the convection ovens, and the only option was to
return to the old system.
Other changes to dining car service will include tablecloths,
long absent from Amtraks tables. Other amenities which should be
returning shortly are glass salt and pepper shakers, stainless steel
water and sugar containers, and flowers (even plastic flowers would be
welcome:). The plastic plates, knives, forks and spoons will
remain for now, primarily because Amtrak has large amounts of them.
Amtrak hopes that the changes will not only please passengers,
but help improve employee morale as well.
COLIN GARRAT, ONE OF THE FEW PEOPLE WHO MANAGES TO MAKE A LIVING
photographing steam trains these da~s, claims to have discovered
one of the few (or only) remaining 7 foot gauge locomotives
from the Great Western Railway in Britain. He found the locomotive
slowly rusting away on the tiny island of Sao Miguel in the Portu
guese Azores, and speculates that it was sold to the builders of the
harbour on that island to haul stone when the Great Western was conv
erted to the conventional gauge of 4St.
EDMONTON JOURNAL; )lIA THE MARKER
R A I L
REGINA UNION STATION, VARIOUSLY THREATENED, REPRIEVED, AND THREATENED
again is once more in reprieve mode. The Saskatchewan Government
and VIA Rail will spend $10 million to convert the classic struc
ture into a joint bus and passenger train terminal. The station is
currently serving the Canadian, and the strange Winnipeg -Regina –
Saskatoon train which runs minutes before The Canadian in each direct
ion. The funds will be spent on land purchases, renovations and
construction, with the Saskatchewan Government picking up $6.2 million
of the tab. Lets hope that they leave the track in long enough to
DAILY COMMERCIAL NEWS, VIA THE MARKER
THOSE PLANNING A VACATION TO CAPE COD THIS SUMMER MAY BE INTERESTED
that regular passenger service will return to the entire upper
Cape Cod area beginning this spring for the first time in two
decades, since the Old Colony Line went out of existence. Mark Snider,
owner of the Cape Cod and Hyannis Railroad, which ran a highly profit
able excursion service between Hyannis and Sandwich (Mass.) last summer
announced he will expand service this year to include Buzzards Bay
and Falmouth. There are some new features being thrown into the oper
ation this year in addition to the new stops. The Hy-Line company ex
cursion boat, Viking, will made a daily stop at the Mass Maritime
Academy dock to pick up train passengers for a trip up and down the
canal. The old Buzzards Bay railroad station will be used as a reg
ular ticket agency, and, in addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
will have a special slide show on the history of the Canal waiting
for the train passengers. There will be a club car serving refresh
ments to the passengers. The trains will run seven days a week this
year instead of five. They will run to Falmouth on the two days a week
that the freight trains run over the tracks. In addition to the
round trip, excursion runs, the train schedules and fares are being
drawn up to accomodate those people who want one way tickets.
BROCKTON ENTERPRISE VIA JOE BOLSTER AND THE 470
BANFF EXCURSION TRAIN URGED AS UNIQUE TOURISM CHANCE READ A HEADLINE
in the Calgary Herald, 22 Jan. 82. Local Calgary real estate
agent Jim Fetterly is promoting a daily train to Banff as a
tourist attraction and convention feature with the specific winter
role of hauling skiers. His working title for it is the Rocky Mount
ain Special. He sees an eight coach diesel hauled train of renovated
1930 s vintage stock. These would include observation and concession
cars plus a couple of refitted luxury cars. It would take about
$500,000 to get started. CP Rail apparently would be prepared to
rent rail space. Alberta Department of Tourism liked the idea, but
suggested it may be politically unpopular with Jasper having just lost
daily service. Fetterly, who has a long volunteer background, is
currently an associate director of the Stampede Board and past-pres
ident of the Calgary Tourist and Convention Association and the Travel
Industry Association of Alberta.
With the Winter Olympic~ only six years away, now is the time to
get such a train on the tracks he says.
CRHA CALGARY & SOUTHWESTERN
R A I L
AMTRAK PLANS BULLET TRAIN: AMTRAK HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS TO BUILD
Americas first bullet train –a Japanese-style passenger
train that will speed between Los Angeles and San Diego at 160
mph. The train will make the 130-mile trip in 59 minutes–less than
half the time it takes to travel by car or conventional train, but
about the time it takes to fly. The fare will be about $35–about
the cost of an airline flight. For most of the trip, the train will
travel on elevated tracks built on the median strip of the San Diego
Freeway, a six to eight-lane superhighway. The project will be devel
oped by the American High Speed Rail Corp. a private company formed
by Amtrak. Lawrence Gilson, president of the new firm and a vice
president of Amtrak, said the trains will go into service in about
six years. Test runs will begin in about three years. Building
the line will cost $2 billion, of which $500 million will come from
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD VIA THE 470.
BRITISH RAIL IS RECEIVING THE FIRST OF OVER 200 NEW SLEEPERS BASED
on its current Mark III carbody. Two types are being built-
one with 13 rooms and one with 12 and an attendants serving
room. One attendant serves two cars and he can serve l~ ht snacks
and breakfasts which have been prepared. Rooms are similar to our
bedrooms, with cross-wise sofas which convert to beds. If used as
first-class, they sleep one per room, and if second class, the upper
bed is also made up. Each room has a wash basin, but two toilets
are located at one end.
DESPITE VIA RAILS CANCELLATION OF THE MONTREAL-LABELLE-MT.LAURIER
ski train servic~ we are pleased to report the popularity of
The Great Alaska Ski Train -which carried more than 2,000
passengers in three runs over two weekends. It not only attracts
cross country ski fanatics and snow campers, but also train buffs,
those who like to party and dance and city slickers who prefer their
wilderness within shoutin9 distance of transportation. And with
the poor snow conditions 1n Anchorage, the ride is even more
appealing. Up in the hills where the train stops, there is a
light blanket of powder snow stop the thin snowpack. The ride
to the ski area is slow and leisurely, thanks to frost heaves
and slide zones which limit the train to a top speed of 49 mph,
according to the assistant to the general manager of the Alaska
Railroad. The trip takes about two hours and 15 minutes. The
train leaves Anchorage at 7:30 a.m. and returns at about 6: 15 p.m.
On the return trip this past Saturday, the train passed but one
car on the Seward Highway, an event which brought forth loud
cheers from the crowd of revelers packed into the dance car on
the return trip. The polka dance -with live music provided by
the Krause~pieler Blaskapelle Band -was held in a rocking and
rolling converted baggage car built in 1962 for the Union Pacific.
A relatively new car on the train, it joined a couple of rebuilt
military cars from 1945. The 30-year old coaches, which seated
the approximate 700 passengers, were purchased frnm the Southern
Railway, where they were used on the Southern Crescent, a Mardi
Gras run from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans. The dome cars
are on lease from Amtrak. You might remember seeing them featured
in the National Gerographic advertisements of the 1950 s when
they were the pride of the Northern Pacific Railroads North
R A I L
Coost Limited between Seattle and Chicago. They may be old, but
theyre in good condition and are roomier than more modern cars.
They also havp. large windows which afford a spectacular view of
Turnagain Arm as the train winds its way along the shore. Only
members of the Nordic Ski Club were alowed on the train, but
the train ride is quite an inducement -if not the sole reason –
for many people to join the club, which now numbers more than
FROM AN ANCHORAGE PAPER VIA DOC BRANSON AND THE 470.
300 NEW WOODCHIP GONDOLA CARS ARE BEING BUILT IN CN RAILS
Transcona shops to supplement the chip car fleet on the St.
The new cars have solid ends and a capacity of 6,700 cu.
ft. The design is similar to that of the 879000 series car
shown in the photo below except there is no side door.
Delivery starts in April at the rate of three cars a day.
AFICIONADOS WILL WELCOME THE PUBLICATION OF A NEW ADDITION TO
the growing library on railways -Canadian National in the
East (Volume One) by J. Norman Lowe. In addition to a number
of fascinating photographs of locomotives, passenger
cars and stations, Mr. Lowes extensive research provides
detail and color about the railways operations over the past
In his introduction, the author begins with the opening of
the Champlain and Saint Lawrence Rail Road on July 25, 1836,
and then introduces readers to a remarkable number of railway
companies, leading to the formation of Canadian National Railways
in 1918 and to· the further amalgamation in 1923.
Among the photographs and detailed descriptions are those
showing the Grand Trunk Station in Hamilton, Ontario, taken in
1903; the arrival of the Royal Train at the new Toronto Station,
taken in 1927; the Tunnel Station. Montreal, 1930; and winter
diesel operations in Moncton in 1964.
Copies of the 26-page book are available from B.R.M.N.A. 5124 –
33 st N.W., Calgary, Alta. T2L 1V4 for $6.00 including
Incidentally, a similar presentation depicting CNs recently
acquired Northern Alberta Railways is also available from the
same publ isher.
A CONCRETE POURING CEREMONY; HELD ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON, OCTOBER
16th 1981 in North Vancouvers Lonsdale Quay Development,
marked the start of construction of the British Columbia
Railways new home, which is to be known as B.C. Rail Centre.
BC Rails president and CFO, Mr. Mac Norris was the Master of
R A I L
Ceremonies, and took the opportunity to comment briefly on recent
happenings on the provincial railway. In recent years BCR has
added new equipment in both its office and train operations,
upgraded the Fort Nelson Extension, opened a new terminal buil
ding, cor shop and stores centre in Prince George. In addition,
British Columbia Railway has pioneered development of on elec
tronic system for the control of train movements. The railway
is involved with the giant northeast coal mining project; this
is well under way and on schedule for the start of coal shipments
to Japan by the end of 1983. Access roods to the sites of
tunnels have been completed. Work is progressing on clearing
and grading work, bridge construction and the excavation of the
tunnel portals. The coal site is at the end of the 129-km
Tumbler Ridge Branch line which leaves the main line at Anzac,
B.C. and runs easterly. B.C. Rails move to its new location in
the Lonsdale Quay Development will consolidate some 500 of the
railways employees from nine separate areas into one centralized
location within sight of the companys railway line. The six
storey B.C. Rail Centre, to be built at a cost of $13.8 million,
will be a cast-in-place concrete structure with two underground
levels of parking space, sufficient to accommodate 230 vehicles.
The building will provide 15,140 square meters of office and
retail space. The railway itself will occupy portions of the
first five floors and the entire sixth floor. Certain areas
of the first five floors will be leased ta a number of commercial
enterprises. The B.C. Rail Centre building will feature an
exterior of double-glazed solar bronze windows set in aluminium
frames with pre-cast light buff concrete panels.
S RS NEWS
THE TORONTO-PETERBOROUGH-HAVELOCK LINE PASSENGERS ASSOCIATION
has recently presented a report to Ontarios Minister of
Transportation. In it the Association claimed that reten
tion of the line would save the taxpayers considerable sums of
money. The Association in mid-February applied to the Ontario
Supreme Court for an injunction that would prohibit cancellation
of the passenger service.
S RS NEWS
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS IS TACKLING PERSISTENT PROBLEMS WITH
worn out wheels and tracks on its western Canada rail
lines by turning to high technology in the form of a self
steering truck for 91-tonne coal hoppers. The railway is plan
ning a multi-million dollar purchase of 970 hoppers with the
advanced truck design for use on its line to Prince Rupert. The
railway has already converted 110 of its cars to the self
steering type to gain operating experience before placing the
large order. The new truck design contributes to a 30 per cent
reduction in wheel and rail wear in the mountain lines.
S RS NEWS
R A I L
THE THURSO (& NATION VALLEY) RAILWAY HAS ACQUIRED ANOTHER GE
10-Ton unit from the used diesel market, this time from
Georgia, U.S.A. Not being superstitious, it will be numbered
13. It joins other 10-Ton units numbered 1, 11 and 12, plus GE
yard switcher #10. The receipt of #13 allows the Thurso Railway
to dispose of GE 25-Ton, single truck #6.
S RS NEWS
AT THE END OF FEBRUARY, CN RAIL UNVEILED A LOCOMOTIVE WHICH
may set new industry standards for safety performance
and reliability in northern climate railway operations.
The new locomotive, dubbed the Draper Taper by Bombardier
Inc., builders of the first 20 locomotives, is in large measure
the brainchild of William L. Draper, assistant chief of motive
power -operations department. Mr. Draper says that the Bro
therhood of Locomotive Engineers and Bombardier were also
involved in disigning the new locomotive, and the union approved
the fi nal design.
The locomotive, a mainline freight-haul unit, is of a wide
carbody design, but features a revolutionary cutaway behind the
cab. The cutaway, which gave rise to the Draper Taper nickname,
permits the engineer exceptional rear visibility for a wide car
body, and allows full view inspection of the train, even on a
very slight curve. The new unit combines the best operating feat
ures of a wide carbody locomotive and a narrow carbody road
The new locomotive also incorporates a number of other
design features, added Mr. Draper. It improves reliability
of train operations, particularly in cold weather, and most
particularly in heavy snow conditions.
Current locomotives are sometimes stopped when snow is
carried into electric traction motors with cooling air. In
the new locomotive, air will be ducted to each motor from a
central blower housing positioned at the forward end of the
main diesel engine. In addition, the blower housing has a
system of louvers in the top, servo-controlled, and the servos
will be activated by changes in traction motor temperature.
Hence, when the temperature .rises, the louvers will open to admit
Its expected that in winter conditions, the louvers will
remain closed most of the time, largely eliminating the problem
of snow shorting out the traction motors, said Mr. Draper.
This feature offers an additional benefit. When the lou
vers are closed, the horsepower draw from the main engine at
full load is reduced from approximately 120 to 20. In sus
tained operation, this will mean signi ficant fuel savings.
R A I L
The wide car body design also makes routine maintenance
much easier. On earlier-model road switchers, the narrow body
meant the diesel engine was tightly enclosed and access to the
engine was from the outside. In winter, catwalks along the sides
of the locomotive would frequently jam with snow, creating a
hazard for train crews. Occasionally, the snow would totally
block access to the engine compartment. These will not be con
cerns with the new locomotive. Access to the engine is internal.
However, the side access doors normally considered an advantage
on older motive power have been retained.
The cab itself is considerably larger than on earlier road
switchers. The electrical cabinet has been moved back, increas
ing the floor space in the cab by about 25 per cent, and improv
ing crew comfort. In addition, later models will have a new,
much smaller control console, eliminating the old-style controls
and making the cab even more spacious.
Some of the design innovations resulted in part from a
study of Soviet locomotive designs carried out by Bill Draper
during a visit to the Soviet Union four years ago. We didnt
directly adapt anything the Russians were doing, but I learned
from that visit that we were on the right track, he said.
Mr. Draper says that the GR-418 series locomotives, currently
being rebuilt at the Pointe St. Charles shops, incorporate many
of the winterization features developed for the new locomotives.
A number of these are already in service, and have performed
exceptionally well in winter conditions.
The combination of features built in to the new Draper
Taper locomotives will become standard for all CN mainline
THE SAME SIEMENS/DUWAG TROLLEY USED IN SAN DIEGO AND EDMONTON
has been recommended for a proposed trolley line along New
York Citys 42nd Street. A new study financed by the Power
Authority of the State of New York was made public in late
July, and it called for a streetcar line along the busy street,
from river to river. Traffic on 42nd Street now averages 5mph,
but streetcars could run the length of the thoroughfare in only
18 minutes, compared to 45 minutes now taken by buses. Other
studies in 1977, 1979 and 1980 made similar recommendations.
The present study proposed that private sources could finance
the operation, which would require 535.6 million in capital
expenditures. Annual operating costs were estimated at 52.8
TRANSIT NEWS (EDMONTON)
R A I L
THE WAIL OF A STEAM WHISTLE HASNT BEEN HEARD ALONG THE WHITE
Pass & Yukon Route narrow gauge railroad since June of 1964,
when the last steam locomotive was ret red from active ser
vice. But that silence is about to be broken.
After a year of labor, the White Pass & Yukon Corp. has
restored old engine No. 73 to operating condition, and with
justifiable pride announces that she will make her inaugural run
from Whitehorse to Carcross, Yukon Territory on May 29 for
representatives of the press and the tourism industry and the re
maining old time Yukoners who pioneered the country.
A repeat of the inauaural festivities is planned on the
Alaska side of the railroad, with a train from Skagway to Lake
Bennett, B.C., and return on June 12.
A total of eight special through excursion trains have been
scheduled for the 1982 season, with the steam engine pulling a
train of open paltform parlor cars dating to the turn of the
century. As on all White Pass through trains, a complimentary
lunch stop is provided at Lake Bennett, B.C.
Excursions for the summer from Whitehorse to Skagway will
operate June 7, july 5, Aug. and Aug. 30.
Trains north bound from Skagway to Whitehorse will run
on June 20, July 29, Aug. 16 and Sept. 22. Seating capacity is
limited to 80 passengers on each trip and reservations are
One way fare is set at $120.
Between excursions, the locomotive will be used for two weeks
at a time in her layover terminal for Charter service and
To insure a high degree of visibility, the No. 73 will handle
the morning chore of pulling the scheduled passenger trains out
of the depot to the edge of town where regular diesel will take
over. The steamer will also meet the afternoon inbound train at
that same point, and with suitable smoke and whistle fanfare
bring the arriving train into the depot. Passengers on the WP &
YR trains should be able to see old No. 73 at one end of the line
or the other throughout the summer, and have several miles of
steam powered train travel on their railroad journey.
The opportunity to experience a pioneer transportation
reborn is an exclusive of a northern tour over the WP & YR nar
row gauge. With the return of No. 73 to service, the railroad can
lay claim to having the northern most operating steam locomotive
on the continent, and to turning back the clock to the glory
days when steel and steam opened Alaska and the Yukon to the
For reservations and information contact: White Pass &
Yukon Corp. Ltd., P.O. Box 2147, Seattle, Washington 98111,
DAILY JOURNAL OF COMMERCE
R A I L
On Feb. 23/82 a snowplow extra with 3 engines, a snowplow and a
caboose was attempting to clear the main C N line in Prince coun
ty, P.E.I. A viscious winter storm on Sunday, Feb. 21st had filled
in cuttings already several feet high.
The train got as far as Piusville, 8 miles north of OLeary,
where it became hopelessly caught in enormous banks. The crew was
able to free one of the engines and the caboose which were backed
the half mile to the village of Piusville where it got stuck as
On the 26th of Feb., high winds and bitter cold combined to
make unbelievable drifts almost covering the two engines and the
plow still marooned north of Piusville. Snowmobiles formed a path
right over one engine and crossed it. Hundreds of local residents
walked over the train. By the time the winds stopped, banks towered
almost 20 feet all around the imprisoned plow.
When the engines started running out of fuel and there was
fear that the water in the engines might freeze, two workmen were
flown in by helicopter to remove the water. The helicopter was
necessary since no roads were open in the Piusville area for a week
after the storm.
Twelve days af~er getting snowbond, the engines and plow were
freed by another crew. They hauled the dead engines to Bloomfield
and put them on a siding. The second snowplow extra then proceeded
to open the rest of the line westward. On Sunday, March 7th a
train came up and hauled the dead engines to Charlottetown where
they were checked over in the shops.
This ended one of the most interesting railway events in West
Prince for a long while.
THE TRAIN STUCK IN THE SHO~~RIFTS with only the front of the first
A SIDE VIEW OF THE 1I1101J! TRAIN.
THE TRAIN THAT EVENTUALLY FREED THE SNOWBOUND ONE sitting in front
of Alberton station the .arning after It cleared the line •
A FRONT VIEW OF TIlE SNOII BLOWER ATTAOIMEHT on a C.N. crane which
was able to clear the line right to Tignish.