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Canadian Rail 370 1982

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Canadian Rail 370 1982

Canadian Rail i

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
LAYOUT: Michel Paulet
June 5 1938, saw fourteen members and
friends visit the Central
Vermont terminal at St. Albans
they took a moment to pose
in front of locomotive 472. The
of all in the group are known,
cept for the gentleman on the .
upper right, and are as follows with
their membership number in brackets.
Top: Fred Sankoff (81). Centre:
Carr (26), A. Mattingly (76),
Charles Viau (69). Bottom: Kamm,
R.V.V. Nicholls (17),_ Carson, L.A.
(12), Anna ODowd (18),
Mrs. C.L. Terroux (24), Mr. C.L.
Terroux (4), T.C.H. Smith (52),
P.W. Sessenwein (22).
Photo by W.G. Cole (member No. 40).
the C.R.H.A. ran its first chartered
train on a main-line railway. This
was the excursion to Huberdeau using
C.N.K. diesel-electric car 15837
and a wooden coach
on October 1 1950.
ISSN 0008 -4875
60-6100 4th Ave. NE
Calgary, Al berta T2A 5ZB
P.O. Box 141, Station A Ottawa, Ontario
P.O. Box 1162
Saint John,
New Brunswick E2L 4G7
P.O. Box 400
Cranbrook, British Columbia
V1C 4H9
P.O. Box 1006, Station A, Vancouver
British Columbia V6C 2Pl
P.O. Box 6102, Station C, Edmonton
Alberta T5B 2NO
300 Cabana Road East, Windsor
Ontario N9G lA2
P.O. Box 5849, Terminal A, Toronto Ontario
M5W lP3
P.O. Box 593
St.Catharines, Ontario
P.O. Box 99
Ste. DorotMe, Quebec H7X 2T4
An account of the
first half-centuIY
of the Canadian Railroad
Historical Association
Robert V.V. Nicholls
On the evening of March 15th, 1932, at the Choteau de Ramezay,
Montreal, seventeen members of the Antiquarian and Numismatic
Society met at the conclusion of on exhibition of railroadiana,
commemorating the lOath anniversary of the granting of a charter
to Canadas first public railway, the Champlain and St. Lawrence
Roil Rood. Victor Morin, president of the Society was in the choir
and John Loye outlined the nature of a proposed society of railway
historians and enthusiasts. At the conclusiDn of the gathering
fourteen signified their intention to join such a group. The
Canadian Railroad Historical Association was established forthwith,
and John Loye and Robert R. Brown were chosen to be interim pre­
sident and secretory, respectively. These men would ploy out­
standing roles in the affairs of the Association for many years.
The title, Railroad, rather than Railway, was selected because the
Champlain & St. Lawrence hod been deemed to be a roil rood rather
than a roil way. That is, the North American cu~tom was followed
when naming the society rather than the British.
A one-paragraph account of the inauguration of the Association
appeared on a bock page of THE GAZETTE, Montreals morning news­
paper. It included on invitation to anyone sufficiently interested
to attend the next meeting (April 6th) and to enroll. Mrs. Mabel
E. Bevington, libarian of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and Robert
V.V. Nicholls, on undergraduate student at McGill University,
appeared in response to the invitation. At the suggestion of Loye
they were enrolled as Founding (Charter) Members too-Fifty years
later this gracious oct is still green in my memory.
At the some meeting a Boord of Directors for 1932 was elected.
Loye, William E. Foster, and Brown were to be President, Treasurer
and Secretory, respectively. A simple set of by-lows also approved.
Very soon the gatherings assumed a pattern which was to be followed
for several years: ten monthly meetings in Montreal (usually in
the Council Room of the Choteau de Ramezay) from September through
June and trips to places nearby of railway-historical interest
(usually in July and August).
Almost from the beginning papers were delivered at the meetings.
They often incorporated the results of competent research carried
out by the authors. Some members opined that the Association was
destined to become 0 learned society. The first such paper was
read by Brown on May 18th. It was entitled: Montreal and Longueuil
Ice Railway. Loye and Brown were enthousiastic historians of
Canadian railways and tramways and by their papers and their conver­
sation inspired others –this author among them –to follow suit.
Other forms of entertainment were devised: screening of movies
(1932 onward), screening of colorslides (1949 onward), conducting
debates (the first on December 8th, 1954, was addressed to the
question, Is It Necessary to Have on Increase of Commuter Fares in
THE SECOND-EVER C.R.H.A. EXCURSION was held on Sunday, July 17 1932.
Eleven members, travelling in three automobiles, visited many points
of railway interest on the South sho-re of the St. Lawrence near Montreal.
These four photos show respectively: A. some of the group participating.
B. The remains of the Montreal & Champlain Ry. wharf at Moffatts Island,
C. The original Champlain & St. Lawrence R.R. terminus at Laprairie.
D. A portion of the original roadbed of the Champlain & St. Lawrence.
All four photos by Donald F. Angus.
the Montreal Area?, and of auctions of donated railroadiana (first
in 1957). A notable instance of the screening of color-slides took
place on November 14th, 1962, when Eric Johnson of Edmonton presented
his collection in absentia his commentary having been taped in ad­
I~September, 1958, the feeling was expressed that June meetings
should be dropped and so they were from the 1959 schedule through
1963. In 1974-75 ten meetings per season were reduced to five.
At present the responsibility for organizIng meetings in the Mon­
treal area has shifted from the Board of Directors to the St.
Lawrence Valley Division executive with consequent improvement in
their number and quality.
Up to 1940 (that is, to the first year of World War II) the
summertime trips were usually taken in private automobiles, provided
by the helpful owners, or rarely on regular trains. It was all
very relaxed and picknicy: The first such trip took place as early
as June 9th, 1932. The destinations were Lanoraie and Joliette
(formerly Industrie). to examine the abandoned readbed of the Lanorie
and Industrie Railway (the oldest component of the C.P.R.) and to
admire at La Seminaire Joliette the nameplate of the DORCHESTER,
only surviving fragment of Canadas first steam locomotive. (Thanks
to the generosity of Le Musee Joliette this priceless relic has been
conveyed on permanent loan to the Canadian Railway Museum -Le Musee
Ferroviaire Canadien.) Another memorable event was a two-day affair,
involving an overnight stay at Blue Lake in the Adironack Mountains
of New York State. In all there were some twelv,e such trips.
Asbestos P.Q. by means of the regular C.N.R. train. The object was
to visit and ride the Asbestos & Danville Ry. and this was done on
flat car specially fitted up for the occasion. The date was Sunday
July 9 1939. Not long after this. such acti vi ties came to a hal t for
the duration, in fact it would be nine years until regular C.R.H.A.
trips would resume.
Both photos
by IV.G. Cole.
A variant of trips to abandoned railways were visits to railway
shops (C.N.R. at Pointe St. Charles, C.P.R. at Maisonneuve, C.L.C.
at Kingston (the Associations first trip by train, September 26th,
1937), C.V. at St. Albans, and Q.C. at Newington (Sherbrooke).
The author, then youthful, found these visits particularly fasci­
nating, providing as they did opportunities to enter the secret
world of railways.
Beginning with the June 15th, 1932, meeting memoribilia
(pictures, documents, books, three-dimensional ob jects, etc.) were
frequently displayed, and often accepted as donations. As the
gifts accumulated they were placed in the care of Miss Anna ODowd,
Assistant Curator, Chateau de Ralltezay, and she wat; appointed to be
C.R.H.A. Custodian. By the summer of 1939 our possessions had
become sufficiently numerous to make the preparation of an inventory
highly desirable. This task was undertaken by Bevington and Nicholls.
The election of Honorary Members was a feature of the affairs of the
Association from the beginning. The appointment of Honorary Officers
followed soon after. By 1938 the procedure had settled into an
appropriate routine. The incumbent presidents of the Antiquarian
and Numismatic Society (Victor Morin to 1958) would be invited to
be honorary presidents of the Association. These invitations were
extended in recognition of the preeminent role the Society had
played at the birth of the Association and of the hospitality.
extended in providing a long-time place ot meeting (i9j2-39): The
incumbent presidents of Canadas two largest railways (C.N.R. and
C.P.R ) were invited to be h~norary vice-presidents. The first~
named feature of the tradition was abandoned when Nicholls was
appointed to be honorary president in 1975. The other feature has
persisted to this day (and has been enchanced in the interval) and
no ane doubts that it has rebounded to the great advantage of the
Honorary Members (and Honorary Officers) are 81ected for a one­
year term, though a particular individual may be reelected for ony
number of terms. The first Honorary Life Member was Victor Morin,
who was chosen in January, 1958. (The author finds it passing
strange that our Founding President, John Loye, was never elected
to be an Honorory Life Member, only to be 011 Honorary Member (in
March 1959) .•.. a sad oversight.
As the membership grew (slowly) in numerical size and geo­
graphical distribution, the Directors thought it desirable to create
an additional category. Coincident with the first anniversory of
the founding of the Association, Mr. I.E. Barr of Victoria, B.C.,
was elected to be its first Out-of-town Member. Since in any cose
Out-of-town Members could not conveniently exercise the privilege
of voting, they did not have this right conferred upon them. In
compensation they were alwa/s to pay lower annual dues than those
who came to be called Regular Members. Other firsts may be of
interest. Samuel Insull, Jr., Geneva, 111., was the first member
who did ilOt reside in Canada (elected Feburary 9th, 1938); Richard
Pennoyer, London, England, waz the first overseas member (elected
September 14th, 1938).
of the most important, self-imposed responsibilities
assumed by the infant Association (it had less than 25 members!)
was to assure that the inauguration of the Champlain & St. Lawrence
Rail Road (July 21st, 1836) would be duly celebrated in the summer
of 1936. On the societys first birthday Loye reported that he
had sent a letter to the C.N.R. Publicity Department (th~ C. & St.
L. R.R. is the oldest constituent of the C.N.R.) urging the Company
to organize a centena:y celebration. Another year was to pass
before a organizing committee was named. It consisted of repre­
sentatives of the C.N.R., of the C.R.H.A. and of the municipalities
of Laprairie, St. Johns and St. Lambert. Loye was the chairman
and Brown the secretory.
The celebration wa5 highly successful. It extended over two
days. Saturday, July 21 st, 1936, and Sunday, the 22nd. The prin­
cipal attraction wa5 a special train, hauled by the then-new C.N.
steam locomotive, No. 6400, to accommodate the official party. It
operattld from Montreal (Bonaventure Station) to Laprairie, to St.
Johns, to St. Lambert. Immediately behind the modern locomotive,
on a flatcar, was a replica of the DORCHESTER, built in the C.N.R.
shops. Laprairie and St. Lambert already had memorials to Canadas
first railroad, so another was unveiled at St. Johns.
Another highlight of the celebration was an exhibition of
railroadiana at the Chateau de Ramezay, the centrepiece of which
was a replica vf the DORCHESTER, which hbd been built by the staff
of the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society, assisted by William G.
Cole, a C.R.H.A. member. This replica is now on loan to the Cana­
dian Railway Museum at Delson/St. Constant.
While the euphoria of the centennial was still potent, the
Association erected on its own initiative a commemorative plaque
at a point where. the original roadbed of the C. & St. L. R.R. crossed
the King Edward Highway on Laprairie Common. The plaque was cast
and erected under the supervision of C.L. Terroux. a C.R.H.A. director
AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR the activities of the C.R.H.A. began to resume
slowly regain, and then surpass, their level of the 1930s. The first
chartered trip was made by C.R.H.A. members, but not as an official C.R.H.A.
trip, on August 7 1948 when Montreal street car 1054 was operated on a trip
complete with runpasts and photo stops. This set the stage for many more such
trips in the years ahead. Toohey
Collection, C.R.H.A. archives.
(president, 1941-42). Unhappily, within a few years the plaque was
stolen and has not been replaced. The erection of plaques seems
to have lost its appeal after this unhappy experience~
Back in 1932 between the first and second meetings of the
Association Loye composed a ~et of by-laws, which were uncomplicated
befitting an uncomplicated organization. Almost immediately the need
arose to amend them, i.e. to provide for Regular ond Out-of-town
Members. By 1940 the provisions of the document had become so
untidy that a committee was set up under the chairmanship of Nicholls
to redraft it. The first of many such committees! Its work facili­
tated the application for a federal charter, which was granted to
the Association by the Secretary of State on August 22nd of the
following year. Other cycles of tinkering followed by redrafting
took place on occasions too numerous to mention down through the
years. Among the con~titution committees, which readily come to
mind, are those under the chairmanships of Nicholls, Worthen and
Heard. Along the way the several by-laws have been codified under
a General By-law No.3. The present version bears the date 1962
(amended in 1970,72,78 etc.) and is overdue for another revision.
One of the important changes introduce4 into the 1962 version
governed the minner of selection of the Associations officers. At
present those voting members in attendance at the Annual Meeting
elect twelve directors, from a slate distributed in advance. With
a -minimum of delay these directors and others that may have been
chosen by the Branches (now called Divisions) on a one-for-one basis,
meet and elect fr3m among their own number the officers of the
Association, Le. a president, one of more vice-presidents, a trea­
surer and a secretary. To the totality of directors are assigned
oortfolios or areas of responsibility, such as, archives, member­
ship services, the museum, the periodical, etc., etc.
Among other provisions which have been revised from time to
time are those of Categories of Members, such as provision for Junior
Members (1939), non-voting Associates (1964), and Sustaining Members
(1974). All of these categories are now in limbo.
Another matter, apparently readily settled, which has caused
a great deal of concern is that of a Franch-language title for the
Association. Initially, the one, which received general (and
official) approval was LAssociation historique canadienne du che­
min de fer. However, during the post year or two it has given
rise to criticism. As a result it has been set aside and replaced
by LAssociation canadienne d histoire ferroviaire. One fervently
hopes that further changes will not be found to be necessary.
Branches (Divisions) also require constitutions and by-lows.
Responsibility for the drafting of these documents, for submission
to the national board of directors, rests with the regional execu­
tives. In some instances this chore proved to be very burdensome
and time-consuming. Howeve~, in the end all was well. John (Jock)
A. Beatty, at that time (1967) Director of Membership Services, was
helpful in providing guidance by dradng up a model constitution
and by-lows.
John Loye, the Associations founding president (1932-41, 1942-
45, 1946-47), was by profession a designing draughtsman. He was
skillful and imaginative. Both of these talents hod been put to
full use in designing in the early days stationery for the Association
and for the Centenary Celebration Committee. The minutes of the March
THE FIRST OFFICIAL C.R.H.A. CHARTERED TRIP was with Montreal observation
car 3 on May 14 1949. A trip was taken including the mountain line as well
as a visit to Mount Royal car barn to see street car 350, The Rocket.
Toohey Collection, C.R.H.A. archives.
on October 30 1949.
Collection, C.R.H.A. archives.
9th, 1938, meeting record an important decision in the following
words: After a lively discussion the design of Mr Loye (for a
seal), which followed as closely as possible the design of that of
the Champlain & St. Lawrence Rail Road was approved. Though a
seal, in the limited sense of a device to emboss documents and sealing
wax, was not forthcoming until much later (1960), the approved design
of a seal became the symbol of the Association forthwith. It has been
much admired. It has been incorporated in the printing of countless
letterheads, envelopes flyers periodicals, etc., to this day. A
spectacular version of it, produced in living colour, was carried
as a drumhead insignia on the gate of the rear car of countless
C.R.H.A. excursion trains. It is now preserved in honorable retire­
ment at The Museum.
In recent months it has been found desirable to authorize a
revised verson of the insignia ,i. e. one in which the F renc h­
language name of the Association is incorporated. To the best of
my knowledge it was first used in the tastefully designed stationery
of the St. Lawrence Valley Division.
It is generally agreed that the Museum of the Association was
born in 1961 –after a lengthy gestation. However, three more
years were to pass before it was provided with an insignia or Logo.
The design was that of David R. Henderson, a director, and consisted
of a stylize silhouette of a 2-2-2 locomotive engine. Oddly enough
the concept seemed to arouse strong emotions among some members.
The present insignia, the silhouette of a steam-hauled train, was
proposed by Stephen Walbridge in 1978. Like that of the seal
its design has been registered against misuse.
Inevitably the existence of ~ seal led to the proposal (October,
1938) that lapel badges be mode available. They were not ordered
until some time later.
The minutes of the fiftieth meeting (FebrJary 10th, 1937) record
that Nicholls introduced for discussion the c;uestion of the publi­
cation of a bulletin. As so often happens in such circumstances
the initiator soon found himself appointed chairman of an editorial
committee and editor of The Bulletin. The first issue wa:; tabled
at the Ai,ril meeting. It was a modes1 quortery, consisting of a few
mimeographed pages, the typewritten text being illustrated occasion­
ally by line drawings. The editor was given a b~dget of $5.00 to
print the first four issues. In fact they cost $15.90, an early
example of over-spending~ Fifteen issues appeared. Publication
ceased at the end of 1940, when the editor became much involved in
wartime re~ponsibilities.
After this hiatus the periodical wa, revived in 1949 as a
monthly and with a new na;ne, C.R.H.A. New Report. Allan Toohey
was the first editor and the first issue consisted of four pages.
The News
Report retained its original, 8t x 11 format and its
mimeograph mode of printing for twelve years, though it soon im­
proved markedly in size, content and appearance. In January, 1961
(Issue No. 118) the format was ~hanged from ~etter size to booklet
(6 x 9) and the mode of productlon from multlgraph to lithograph.
The number of pages a~so grew (to 28 or more) and halftone illus­
trations were commonplace. By the summer of 196 it was decided
that the new periodica: deserved a new name. An excellent choice
was made, CANADIAI~ RAIL. By this time (Issue No. 135) the Editorial
Committee, as always a dedicated group of amateurs, were editing,
stuffing, addressing and mailing each month upwards of 1 ,000 copies
333 R A I L
of a professional magazine. Possibly the 200th issue was the finest
yet published. It was certainly the most colorful, with its cover
bearing a reproduction of A. J. Kellys well-known painting, depicting
the first run on the Champlain and St. Lawrence.
The Associations periodical has always been blessed by its
talented and devoted editors. In this connection the unselfish efforts
of Allan Toohey, Orner Lavallee, Anthony Clegg, Sanborn Worthen, Peter
Murphy and Fred Angus spring to mind. (Worthen was named Editor
Emeritus on his retirement in 1966.) The current issue bears the
Though a monthly magazine of good quality is a costly periodical
to produce and distribute, few persons will challenge the claim that
it is essential for a society such as ours, since for the majority
of members (now about 1,600) it is the sole substantial link binging
them together. CANADIAN RAIL has been highly praised by librarians
and other discriminating critics. We may be very proud of it.
Naturally, several of the Branches (Divisions) followed in the
path of the national board and publish periodicals. To the best of
my knowledge the first to appear (1966) was the Branch Line of the
Ottawa Branch (By town Railway Society). Then followed (in alpha­
betical order): The Marker of the Alberta Pioneer Railway
Association (in collaboration with our Rocky Mountain Branch), the
Sandhouse of the Pacific Coast Branch, The Semaphore of the
Windsor-Essex Branch and The Turnout of the Toronto & York Branch.
We all share in their pride of achievement.
A GIANT STEP FORWARD FOR THE ASSOCIATION occurred in 1951 when the Montreal
Tramways Company presented salt car 274, a former passenger car built in 1892,
to the C.R.H.A. Restoration of this car occupied much time during the next
five years, and here we see a group of members posing in front of the car at
St. Denis barns on May 3 1952. This car was the first full-sized piece of
railway equipment saved by the Association, and was the start of the museum
collection which now numbers more than 150 items.
Photo by Fred Angus.
The first postwar excursion organized by the C.R.H.A. (Trip
Committee) took place on May 14th, 1949. It was the first to use
chartered equipment (M.T.C. Observation Car No.3) and involved a
trip around Mount Royal. Though I know of no complete inventory of
Association-sponsored excursions, which have taken place since
their revival, the total number must be almost 150, of which about
90 were by railway, 45 by tramway, 10 over interur·ban lines, and
the remainder by road. Of course, one can only mention a few of
the more notable in this Outline. October 1st, 1950: first C.R.H.A.
chartered excursion over a railway (to Huberdeau over C.N.R.) and
first to be named (Fall Foliage Trip). October 5th, 1952: first
steam-hauled excursion (behind C.N. 5292). June 23rd, 1957: one of
several Route Farewell Trips over M.T.C. tracks, made notable by the
fact that the C.R.H.A. s own tramcar (No. 274) was used. December
14th, 1957: first trolley trip operated outside Montreal (in Ottawa).
October 4th/5th, 1958: first attempt to run a pair of excursions on
successive days, to Garneau behind C.N. 5702 and to St. Gabriel behind
C.P.2633. October 15th, 1960: First excursion to use a diesel­
hauled conventional train (to Huberdeau behind C. N. 1914). November
6th,1960: Excursion to St. Lin. Last steam-hauled passenger train
to operate over aC.P. line. October 27th, 1963: first of several
excursions over C.N. lines using Big Power, i.e. steam locomatives
6153,6167 and 6218. September 11thl12th, 1965: first overnight
trip (to Portland, Me.). May 3.1st, 1969: record-breaking excursion
(to Grande Mere) with more than 800 passengers. June 20th, 1970:
last steam-hauled excursion organized by the C.R.H.A. (behind 6218
to Coteau, Valleyfield, Cantic, and St. Johns.
The lack of a C.R.H.A. medium for the publication of lengthy
works of original scholarship was the principal reason why Robert R.
Brown was forced to publish (in 1936) his definitive history of the
Champlain and St. Lawrence in the Bulletin of the Railway and Lo­
comotive Historical Society (headquarters in Boston). All were
pleased then, when after the War the Association found the means to
produce separate monographs (at first they were called Bulletin).
For a period of some twenty years a stream of publications appeared
as a result of the researches of Brown, Lavallee, Clegg and others.
They are still sought after and quoted by serious students. Regret­
ably, in the last decade the number of new works has diminished, in
part due to the uppeurance of a non-C.R.H.A., publishing venture,
the Trains and Trolleys Book Club. However, the gap has been
filled to some extent by the revision and reprinting of older works.
The decade of the 1960 s was a particularly active one for the
production of those publications, which by their very nature had a
limited objective and a limited life. Among these may be mentioned:
(1) leaflets and flyers to promote membership in the Association,
(2) flyers to advertise excursions, (3) leaflets and, flyers to
advertise The Museum, (4) booklet to promote donations. to The Museum,
(5) guidebooks for The Museum, (6) calendars, and (7) Christmas cards.
The last three were printed to be sold. Remarkable were the 1963
Christmas cards of which 900 dozen were printed –and sold:
I have always presumed that the inclusion of Canadian in the
Associations name was designed to indicate that the founding
fathers in Montreal intended from the beginning that it would be­
come nationwide in due course. Therefore, early in 1940 I was
pleased but hot sUDprised to be given a mandate by the directors to
negotiate with a group of interested persons in Toronto (John Griffin,
William Olver and others) the formation of a C.R.H.A. branch in that
city. The negotiations were successful and a committee was created
under my chairmanship to revise the by-laws to provide for branches.
Its recommendations were approved (by one vote, I admit). Reconsi­
deration was demanded, –the revision was not approved –the branch
was not formed. A traumatic experience for our friends in Toronto
and for me!
As might have been anticipated the vacuum thus left was filled
by the establishment of independent societies in Toronto and else­
where. The realization of the dream of having the Association truly
national was made just that much more difficult of realization. A
new start was made in the 1960 s. See the June, 1960, issue of the
News Report. The Edmonton (later to be renamed Rocky Mountain)
Branch (Division) was formed in February 1962. The Ottawa Branch
(Division) followed in 1965, Pacific Coast in 1970j Toronto and York
in 1972, Calgary and South-Western in 1973, Windsor-Essex in 1975,
St. Lawrence Valley in 1978, Niagara in 1978, Crows Nest and Kettle
Valley in 1979, and New Brunswick in 1981. At this juncture one
recalls with regret the abortive attempt ot form a Winnipeg (Manitoba)
Lack of space and the authors lamentable ignorance preclude
an adequate expose of the accomplishments of the Associations Di­
visions (this title was approved in November, 1978). It must suffice
to write that all are viable, though some are in better health than
others. All have a high degree of autonomy and arrange their affairs
in reponse to local conditions. Some publish periodicals and/or
monographs; Some operate museums (constituent parts of the Canadian
Railway Museum -Musee Ferroviaire Canadien). Some operate excurs­
ions, andsoforth.
By the mid-1970s so numerous and important had the Branches
become that the national directors felt it desirable to establish a
Branch Liaison portfolion with the Board. Among those who have
discharged this responsibility with distinction are Sanborn Worthen,
Jack Beatty and Walter Bedbrook.
During the 1960s too there had been appointed a number of
Regional Representatives. The first was Peter Cox of Vancouver.
They were well suited to the needs of the Association at that stage
of its development, functioning as lines of communication between
the Board of Directors and the Editor of CANADIAN RAIL on the one
hand and the rail enthusiasts in their areas on the other.
As has already been noted the Association from its infancy be­
gan to collect Canadian railroadiana. At first these relics were
pictures, books, documents and small three-dimensional objects.
They were stored dt the Chateau de R6mezay, courtesy of the Anti­
quarian and Numismatic Society. However, during the first decade
our possessions increased in number and in size. For example, we
acquired a signal pole from an Eastern Townships railway and a pair
of wheels-and-axles from a coal mine in Nova Scotia; Adding to the concern was a growing feeling that the C.R.H.A. had
overstayed its welcome at the Chateau. Alternative space was sought
–and usually found in the basements, attics, yards and gardens of
members. News that such a member had sold his house or was moving
away would preciptate a crisis, an oftentimes frantic search for
alternative storage space. Inevitably some treasures were mis­
laid when transfers from one house to another had to be made in a
During this.period, and from time to time, a director would
may, Some day we must have a museum, and the like. Such remarks
were made jokingly; they were received with chuckles. Then in
A FEATURE OF THE SMALLER TRI PS IN THE 50 I S was the group picture taken
at one of the stops en route. Perhaps some of the members can pick out their
younger selves from these nostalgic photos. The trips depicted are all on
the Montreal street car lines and are: A. TI~o-car train 1555 and 1664 to
Montreal North on October 30 1954, B. Car 1046 to Montreal North on October
1955. C. Car 997 to Notre Dame and George V on June 3 1956. D. Car 1046
to Lachine on September 29 1956.
All four photos by Fred Angus.
ACTIVITIES has been the observance
of the last runs of railway and street
car lines as abandonments take place.
In one viel, I,e see seven members (Messrs.
Pharaoh, Stannard, Chi vers, Brown, St.
Pierre, Kemp, Lavallee) in fronc of M.
& S.C. car 107 just before car 326
made the final run of the M. & S.C.
across Victoria Bridge early in the
morning of June 18 1955. The other
photo I,as taken on the last run of
the Cartiervi11e run early on June 28
photos by Fred Angus.
September, 1950, the Montreal Tramways Company offered to the society
an early electric streetcar, No. 274, for restoratian and preserv­
ation. This offer was engineered by Richard Binns. It was a
challenge. Where to put the car? Happily, the donars themselves
solved the problem. They affered to store the car far a while and
grant access to a working party. A while was to extend for thirt­
een years: No further gifts af rolling stock were promoted for six
years. Then an approch was mode ta the Canadian National Railways
far a M. & S. C. Ry. interurban car. The company promised a gift
of not one but two ca~s. Again storage presented no immediate pro­
blem. The cars would be in service for some time. The same year
a small steam locomotive was donated by the Eddy Paper Company.
Obviously, something had to be done, and soon ta ~cquire a museum
si te, to lay track on it, and to erect a buildinq –for the decisian
had already been taken (it would never be compram~sed) that all 10-
motives and cars must be placed under cover. At last after the
inspection of many passible sites in and near Montreal, Nicholls,
then chairman af the recently established Museum Committee, was
able to annaunce in 1960 that the Canada Creosoting Company, a
subsidiary of DOMTAR, had agreed to lease far a extended periad
and at a naminal rental charge, a 10-acre site at Delson-St. Cons­
tant, fifteen miles from downtown Montreal. Endorsation of the
Canadian Rail Transportation Museum and a promise of tangible
cooperation were sought and received from the presidents of the
Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways. Both the Federal
and the Quebec Governments granted to the Association the status
of a charity. Donations to its Museum (whether of money, construct­
ion materials, or exhibits) would be deductible from taxable income.
A campaign to raise $210,000 for a building, a yard, a fence and
other essentials was launched. So 1960 drew to a close.
The campaign was sufficiently successful so that by April,
1961, the Directors could authorize the expenditure of up to
$10,000 for the construction of the Museums first building, a
modest affait, 80 x 165 ft., from wood poles and aluminum sheating.
This structure was not in fact built, because gifts of structural
materials made possible the use of concrete footings and steel
girders. Solemnly, the first sod was turned on July 15th, 1961.
This is reckoned to be the birthday of our museum. And just in
time too for the Association had committed itself to the preservation
of 35 locomotives and cars, including 10 steam locomotives and 5
passenger cars from the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Museum
Train of the Canadian National Railways. (In fact the Museum Train
went to the Museum of Science and Technology at Ottawa, with the
exception of an unique ex-I.C.R. bagage car which went to the Scotian
Railway Society in Halifax.)
Government aid was forthcoming for the first time in 1962,
$25,000 from the Province of Quebec and $50,000 from the Dominion of
Canada. Since at that time there was no legislation in place autho­
rizing Federal Government support for a museum of technology, a
clever subt~fuge was used. The grant was given for the preservation
of three historic sites, that is, C.N. steam locomotative No. 4100,
C.P. steam locomotive No. 5935, and C.P. business car, Saskatchewan.
At intervals further grants were received, in 1965 $13,000 from Que­
bec and in 1968 $25,000 from Ottawa.
The year 1962, was memorable in other ways too. During that
year hundreds ot feet ot track were laid in the Museum yard and in
the Museum building (now grown to 90 x 330 ft.) by volunteers (with
the exception of 500 ft. transfer track laid by a C.P.R. gang. The
work by members, carried out on innumerable weekends, was very heavy
but, oh, so satisfyin~: The result of all this activity ,was that
the first locomotive ~Quebec, North Shore& labrador No. 1112) was
pushed in Building 1 on November 26th. This was the year when the
Directors signed an agreement with the C.N.R; for the indefinite
loan of 9 steam locomotives, carefully selected to represent the
latters principal consti tutuents and to fill out the Museums
examples of principal wheel-arrangements. Finally, this was the
year too when the Directors decided to receive into the collection
a limited number ot locomotives from countries other then Canada
(eventually from the United Kingdon, France and the Uni ted States)
The following year was marked by a breath-taking increase in
our collection ot electric streetcars. The Montreal Transportation
Commission sold to the Association for the proverbial Slits
collection of 25 tramcars –unique on this continent –spanning
60 years of street-railway evolution. This gift was a marvelous
endorsation of our efforts. Between June 11th and 17th the fabulous
array was moved on low-loaders from Montreal to Delson/St. Constant.
By this time it had become evident that the administration of
the multifaceted Museum left much to be desired. Accordingly the
three operating committees were amalgamated into the museum
Committee early in 1965 under the chairmanship of Worthen. later
it was reorganized as the Museum Commission, which still did not
prove entirely satisfactory. At present the Museum is administered
by a Boord of Directors (with David Johnson as chairman), some of
whom are also directors of the parent Association and some are
elected by the volunteers-m6!mbers who work at Delson/St. Constant.
The Managing Director is a member of the Board ex officio.
During the 1960~s the fund-raising campaign on behalf of the
Museum was continued as vigorously as possible, bearing in mind
that the solicittng (especialy of support from industry) was carried
on by Directors, that is, by amateurs serving part-time, and not by
professional agency. It was quite successful. Sufficiently
successful so that the Musuem was able to construct (1) a second
display building, equal in size to the first (that is, to a football
AN UNSCHEDULED STOP on an excursion with Montreal
& Southern Counties Ry. car 107
on May 1 1955. The trolley dewired at speed
the retriever rope has actually wound
around the catenary!
Photo by Fred Angus.
field:), (2) an archives-library-small exhibits (Hays) building,
(3) a thousand feet of tramway line, (4) an AC-DC converter, housed
in a separate building, (5) a heavy-duty bridge spanning the St.
Pierre Brook. By way of saying, Thank You, 150 benefactors of the
Association were transported to the Museum in a C.P.R. Dayliner on
October, 1965. They expressed themselves as much impressed and well
The 10th anniversary of the inauguration of the Canadian Rail­
way Museum -Musee Ferroviaire Canadien was celebrated at a special
Members Day at Delson/St. Constant on August 14th, 1971. Gordon
Small, who had prepared the drawings from which the working replica
of the JOHN MOLSON was built, flew from his home in Alloa, Scotland,
and delighted those in attendance by driving his locomotive. Se­
nator Hartland Molson, representing The Molson Foundation, donors of
the locomotive, was also present.
Riding on a wave of self_satisfaction (measured in terms of
exhibits our Museum was already one of the most comprehensive in the
world), the Directors of the A.sociation in December of that year
prepared an invent~ry of essential capital requirements. The dollar
value of these requirements amounted to $370,000. So they boldly
applied to the Federal Government for this sum. Not unexpect
an immediate, favorable response was not received. Howeve:;, J.n
concert with other museums of technology pressure was applJ.ed to
the government in the following years whenever it appeared likely
to be effective. This strategy was devised by Stephen Cheasley,
who had succeeded Nicholls (1959-71) as President. The Directors
were to be greatly encouraged when, in the spring of 1977,.a gr~nt
was received to employ David H. Scott Consultants Ltd. to J.dentJ.fy
the needs of the Museum.
Their report appeared in April under the title, Guidelines for
Planning. About the same time Tom Parkinson on behal f of the Con­
sultative Committee on National Museums Policy visited our museum
and presented a very positive evaluation. Soon after Barry Lord
in his Specialized Museums in Canada: A report to the Museums
Assitance Programmes of National Museums of Canada recommended that
the C.R.H.A. receive first consideration when grants were being
aHcrde.d. On May 8th, 1978, the Secretary of State announced the
inaugurati~n JF ~he Assisted Museums Programme and that the Canadian
Railway Museum would be one of two to receive aid in the initial
phase. This announcement meant that the Federal Government acknow­
ledged that our collection was de facto The National Railway Collect­
ion. It did not mean that the Association-had surrendered title to a
collection wh1Cn now numbered in excess of 120 locomotives and cars.
Using a portion of the federal grant the Association employed
Urban Design Associates to assist in drawing up a master plan of
capital expenditures. The Working Partys term of reference was to
plan the perfect museum –bearing in mind, of course, in and unchangeable constraints. Not surprisingly the price tag was
greater than any anticipated government aid. Nevertheless the
exercise was valuable. Among the important decisions, which followed
from the extended deliberations, the following should be mentioned.
The first was to give top priority to the acquisition of the land,
which would be needed for expansion adjacent to the present site,
and of the Candiac industrial spur, so that trains could be operated.
The second was to make a fresh approch to individuals, corporations
and foundations for support. The acquisitions have been completed
and the Association now owns 80 acres of prime land and 2 miles of
railway line, sufficient for any conceivable need.
A representative of the Quebec Ministry of Cultural Affairs
attended most of the Working Partys sessions. Stemming in part
from the favora~le impression thus conveyed, in August, 1979, the
Quebec Government announced the award of an operating grant of
$42,000. Increased grants were forthcoming 1n subsequent years.
As a result the Association has been able for the first time to
employ professionals on its Museum staff at Delson/St. Constant, a
managing director (Giles Ayott) , an animateur (David Monaghan) and
a secretary (Mme Francine Dupont) •
Though the Museums holding of historic locomotives and cars
are probably unsurpassed, there are understandably a number of gaps
that cannot now be filled, the desired originals having been destroyed
or passed beyond retrieval. A second-best alternative, which has been
followed, is to acquire replicas (such as those of the DORCHESTER
and of the JOHN MOLS·ON) and models.
I have confined my remarks about the Canadian Railway Museum –
Ferroviaire Canadien almost exclusively to its Delson/St. Cons­
tant manifestation. I would be derelict in my duty as recorder, if
I did not at least mention that it is a decentralized activity, that
is, smaller but very important sub-collections exist at Saint John,
Ottawa, St. Catharines, Windsor, Edmonton and Cranbrook. All items
are considered to be in a pool and are available for exhibition
at centres across Canada. But the cost moving large exhibits, e.g.
locomotives and cars, can be horrendous and so the implementation
of this policy cannot help but be somewhat constrained.
THE FIRST STEAM EXCURSION organized by the C.R.H.A. was the trip to Rawdon
on October 2 1955. Motive power was C.N.R. 674, a former Grand Trunk mogul
built in 1899, and the train was made up of early-20th century wooden cars.
About 120 persons participated which set a record up to that time.
Both photos by Fred Angus.
At the present time (1982) the value of the Associations tan­
gible assets is in excess of $1,500,000. (placing no value on its
irreplaceable holdings of railroadiana) and its annual operating
expenditures are in excess of $1,200,000. It has no debts. This
impressive result of its endeavors during fifty years has been the
cansequence of careful planning, hard work, generous friends, and
meticulous husbanding of financial resources. In the last named
sphere the Association is much indebted to the devoted efforts of
its treasurer, Stephen Walbridge, who has worked tirelessly in that
office since 1959, that is, for 23 years. He is irreplaceable.
Reference has already been made how during the 1930 sand 40 s
the growing number, size and variety of the Associations possessions
rendered increasingly acute the problem of finding suita01e space for
their storage. The larger three-dimensional objects presented a
particular challenge, which was not resolved until the 1960 sand
the inauguration of the Museum. Meanwhile in February, 1953, the
Directors had considered it expedient to surrender many items to the
Canadian National Railways on permanent loan for display in its
Museum Train. Smaller ones were retained in the homes of members
(Terroux, Lavallee, Worthen, Saunders, Parker, Nicholls, etc.) This
unsatisfactory arrangement was not terminated until the four daughters
of the late Charles Melville Hays, former president of the Grand Trunk
Railway, donated the financial means for the construction of an Ar­
chives-Library Building in his memory. The Hays Building was completed
in 1970. It is located at the Museum.
Though limited financial resources have required the A&sociation
to depend largely upon gifts, the availability of adequate space of
good quality for storage and consultation at one location has had a
reassuring and stimulating effect on prospective donors. As a
consequence of this and other factors the Archives/Library has e­
volved into one of the finest repositories of historical material in
Canada, probably only surpassed by the Public Archives and the National
Library in Ottawa, The heavy task of making an inventory of our poss­
ssessions, now totaling hundreds of thousands of items –an inventory
to be coordinated with the National Inventory –has been greatly
assisted by university students, working during their summer holidays,
from 1971 onward under Federal Opportunities for Youth and other
From the account already written the reader may have gained the
impression that in the C.R.H.A. all is work and no play. Such is
far from the ~ruth. The members have participated in many happy
occasions of a social nature. Among these may be mentioned the
annual dinners, which in early times (from 1940 onwa::d) took place
almost annually. If some special event was to be celebrated such as
the 20th, 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th and 50th anniversaries of the Assoc­
iations founding, the dinners became banque:ts and the organizing
committees would take special care to arrange gala programmes. A
banquet, which the writer remembers with particular satisfaction,
took place on November 7th, 1960, in the Alouette Room, .Jindsor
Station. Those, who attended, celebrated the 75th anniversary of
the completion of the C.P.R. s transcontinental line. Mr. Norris
Cr~mp, President of the Railway, was guest-of-honour and principal
By 1942, when the C.R.H.A. was ten years old its members num­
bered about 100. By 1957, when it was twenty-five they had increased
to perhaps 250. I recall at that time, when I was your president
and attempting to raise funds for the infant museum, how terrified
I wos that I might be asked by a prospective donor how many members
we had. I never was~ Then Cheasley became Director of Membership,
followed by Beatty. Admission to membership wa~ stream-lined. A
campaign to enroll new members was mounted. Seemingly in no time
the number reached 1,000 and eventually surpassed 1,800. To be sure
it now stands at somewhat less. However, great credit is due to
Cheasley and Beatty for their incredible effort.
The Railroad Historical Association would not be Canadian if
it did not suffer from the obstacles placed by geography upon ease
of communication between its many parts. With a view to surmounting
these obstacles a convention of members was held at Delson/St. Cons­
tant (Montreal) in the late summer of 1973 and another at Harbourfront
(Toronto) the following year. They were pleasant affairs but did not
prove viable on an annual basis. In 1978 a three-day national con­
ference of a different type was held in Montreal. The agenda focussed
June 23 1957 J the day after the abandonment of the Notre Dame line. These
photos were made that day, and one of them is the usual group photo. As
a point of interest the new 2300-class bus in the background has long
since been scrapped while 274 is now a healthy nonogenarian at the Museum.
Both photos by Fred Angus.
upon the museum activities of the Association; each Division sent
two delegates; the National Museums Corporation was represented; the
travel expenses of those chosen to attend were paid by a federal grant.
Fruitful sharing of experiences was effectively accomplished. The
following year another conference was held. This time invitations to
send representatives were extended also to all non-C.R.H.A. railway
museums and museum railways. Almost all accepted. The meeting
terminated with a resolution to meet again in 1980 and, if possible,
to form a continuing body. This aim was achieved with the creation
depicted here. The C.P.R. trip to Labelle on October 6 1957 even had
parlour car, while the C.N.R. double-header circle tour to Cantic
and Grenville on March 30 1958 featured engines 1165 and 1391. Number
1165 (now 1009) is now at the Canadian Railway Museum.
Both photos by Fred Angus.
of the Canadian Council on Railway Heritage with Nicholls, Honorary
President of the Association, being elected first President of the
The Association has received various sorts of recognition, noth
national and international, of the excellence of its accomplishments.
Already mentioned is the de facto status of The National Railway
Collection accorded to its Museum. In 1967 Robert Nicholls and Wyatt
Webb rec~ived Confederation Medals in recognition of the societys
efforts in preserving, restoring and displaying railroadiana. Ten
years later 50mo: of us received the Jubilee Medal also. In August,
1976, the International Association of Transport Museums, of which
the Canodian Railway Museum is a member accepted our invitation to
hold its annual meeting in Canada (a~ Montreal, T~ronto and Ottawa)
The I.A.T.M. had never met outside Europe. Your Association played
host and raised sufficient money locally so that the delegates from
overseas were freed of all travelling expenses when in Canada.
The C.R.H.A. has surely accomplished herculean feats, bearing
in mind the small fraction of its members which is active. In
the opinion of this commentator there is one area in which it5
efforts leave much to be desirad, that is, Publicity/ Public Relat­
ion s (a n 0 u t s tan din g e x amp 1 e be i n g Lor n e Per r yin the 1 ate 1 950 s)
and though in recent years much money has been spent to secure
professional help, far too few Canadians know of its existence and
of its most dramatic manifesta~ion, the Canadian Railway Museum.
Canadian locomotive in existance. to the C.R.H.A. This was the first
main-line steam engine owned by the Association. To commemorate this
event two trips were run with this 1886 veteran. A group of C.R.H.A.
officials pose in front of 144 at Cornwall Ontario on November 22 1959.
Photo by Fred Angus.
ONE OF THE FINEST ACTION PHOTOS taken on a C.R.H.A. steam trip is this one
of C.P.R. 29 en route to St. Lin on the trip of November 6 1960.
Photo by Robert Half yard.
NOVEMBER 6 1960 was an historic day in the
C.R.H.As history. On that day a steam
trip was run to commemorate the 75th
anniversary of the driving of the Last
Spike on the C.P.R. on November 7 1885.
occasion was more historic since the
trip, using 1887 locomotive No. 29, was
the last steam trip run on Canadian
Pacific lines until relatively recent
times. The spike-driving was re-enacted
near St. Lin P.Q. when Donald Angus
(representing Donald Smith) drove a
spike. In this photo, Omer
Lavallee, representing William Van Horne
holds an original Van Horne watch, while
Dr. Nicholls, representing Sandford
Fleming, looks on.
Photo by Fred Angus.
THE CoR.H.Ao HAS HAD A PUBLICATION for most of its half-century existance.
The first series of Bulletins began in 1936 and continued until wartime
conditions compelled their discontinuance in 1940. The news report began
in 1949 and, renamed Canadian Rail in 1962, has continued until the present.
In the early 1960s the printed sheets were collated and stapled by the
volunteers before being stuffed into envelopes and mailed. All this was
in one evening; 1000 magazines to be made up and stuffed. These two
views were
taken at John Saunders house in St Lambert in 1961. In one
view, Peter Murphy and Tony Clegg staple a magazine while Paul McGee prepares
to stuff the finished product into an envelope. In the other view, a brief
break in the action shows the participants seated around the table.
Both photos by Fred Angus,
IN 1HE 1960s trips began to be taken farther afield. One of the more
enjoyable was the one on the Canada & Gulf Terminal Ry. on March 14 1964.
The train consisted of diesel-electric car 405, and in this spectacular
photo we see it demolishing an intentionally-made snowdrift on the line.
Photo by Peter Murphy.
THE LARGEST TRIP EVER RUN BY THE C.R.H.A. was the second Maple Sugar
excursion to St. Albans Vermont on April 7 1973. About 1100 passengers
crowded into all available space in 15 coaches for the days outing.
These cars, together with a baggage car and steam-generator car, were
hauled by three locomotives, the only triple-header ever run by the
C.R.H.A. Such mammoth excursions are no longer economically feasable.
Photo by Peter Murphy.
operating tramway line at the Canadian Railway Museum on September 23
1972. Here Dr. Nicholls stands beside Donald Angus as the latter drives
open car No.8 through the ceremonial banner.
Photo by Peter t4urphy.

NOT ALL C.R.H.A. TRIPS ARE ON THE SURFACE! On October 10 1973 a trip
was hold on the Montreal ~Ietro. including II tour of that SY$lellS lie>
Youville Shops, In this photo, Peter Murphy has just presented II 1932
street cllr photo to the representitive of the Transit Co .. lss10l1, While
other .e.bers and participants look on.
Photo courtesy ~.U.C.T.C.
A TWO-CAR TRAJN of C,P. Rail R.D.C. s rounds II curVe past II irouP of C.R.H.A.
photographers on the winter excursion to Labell. on March 2 1969.
by Peter Murphy.

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