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Canadian Rail 399 1987

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Canadian Rail 399 1987

Canadian Rail q=tJ
No. 399

Published bi -monthly by the Canadian Railroad
Historical Association P.O. Box 148 St. Constant P. Q.
JOL 1XO. Subscription rates $25.00
($ 22.00 US funds if outside Canada)
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO -EDITOR: Douglas N. W. Smith
PRODUCTION: M. Peter Murphy
LAYOUT: Michel Paulet
Car 27 and the last train to end-of-track on the Thurso
Railway pausefor lunch beside a picturesque stream at mile
on June 20 1986.
Photo by Bruce Ballantyne.
Deep in the colourful wilds of British Columbia at Cisco in the
Fraser canyon
where C. P. and C. N. lines cross each other.
On May 27 1986 they timed their trains in the most perfect
manner with an eastbound
C. N. passing over a westbound
C. P. coal train. This is a very rare event seldom seen by
visiting southern rail photographers.
Further cooperation by Canadas largest railway provided
a treat
to rail photographers by assigning 5409 and a slug to
power this regularly scheduled westboundfreight. Some three
miles east
of Ashcroft the Thompson river is crossed on a
beautiful curving -deck girder bridge. The roadbed
of C. P.
Rail can be seen above
the covered hoppers in this semi -arid
Both photos by Edward Wilkomen.
ISSN 0008-4875
P.O. Box 1162
New Brunswick E2L 4G7
P.O. Box
22 Station B
Montreal. Que. H38 3J5
P.O. Box
5849. Terminal A.
Toronto. Ontario M5W 1 P3
300 Cabana Road East,
Windsor. Ontario N 9 G 1 A 2
P.O. Box
St. Catharines. Ontario L2 R 6 W 8
P.O. Box
Smiths Falls, Ontario K 7 A 5 A 5
P.O. Box
6102. Station C.
Edmonton. Alberta T5 B 2 N 0
60 -6100. 4th Ave. NE.
Calgary. Alberta
T2.A 5 Z 8
P.O. Box
Cranbrook. British Columbia Vl C 4 H 9
P.O. Box 1006. Station A,
Vancouver. British Columbia V6 C 2 P 1
14 Reynolds Bay
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3 K OM4
P.O. Box 103
Kingston. Ontario K 7 M 6 P 9
T & NVR Last Run
By: Bruce Ballantyne
the Ottawa railfan community. Since 1982, we have lost
or part of some of the few branchlines left in eastern
Ontario and western Quebec. The most recent, CP Rails
M& 0 Subdivision between Ottawa and Montreal via Vankleek
Hill, was abandoned only a month after the CTC decision was
issued. Another abandonment jeopardized the steam operations
Wakefield Quebec using ex-CP 4-6-2 No. 1201. At the
hour an agreement was reached between CP and
municipalities through which the line passed and the Wakefield
of CP s Maniwaki Sub. was sold to these municipalities.
However, as if these abandonments were not enough to pain
heart and soul of a rail buff, we were aU shocked last April by
the news
that the last logging railway in eastern Canada (and for
awhile the
last in eastern North America), the Thurso and
Nation Valley Railway (T & NVR) would cease operations by
end of June 1986 at which time the whole line would be
ripped up!
Many of us in Ottawa, through the By town Railway Society
(BRS), had come to know the T & NVR weJl. They had
generously donated their official car, ex -CP No.2 7 , last of its
* , then provided their railway shops and a lot of material for
the Society to undertake an extensive restoration program­
When Car 27 was back in running order, the company even provided many opportunities to run it
on the back of their
Needles to
say, good friends were made among BRS
members and the railway, in
particular with the superintendent,
Gaetan Lafleur. We all « felt» for G aetan when the news broke
of the impending abandonment. Although everyone was sad
it, we know it meant more to him. His grandfather and
father had worked on the railway and
Gaetan had followed their
example by starting work
on the T & NVR at a young age.
We knew that, when it came, the last run would not only be a
farewell to a railway but to
some good times as well for many
railfans in Ottawa.
Finally, on June 20, 1986, the final day came and Gaetan
kindly offered to include Car 27 and the Societys ex -CP
caboose No. 436436 on the last train to the end of track . This is
an account of that trip.
Rather than review the history
of the Thurso & Nation Valley
Railway (this was covered in issue no. 147 , Canadian Rail) ,
lets look briefly at the territory through which the line passed to
the scene for our journey.
As the T & NVR left the Thurso Pulp and Paper property, it
climbed steeply for the frrst mile until it reached more level
ground above the Ottawa River flood plain.
The area here is
dotted with farms and rolling hills. The railway itself was a
Thurso Railway G.E. 70-tonners No.7 (5131) acquired new by the railway; No. 11 (5133) ex-C.N. 29; and No. 12 (5134)
ex-C. N. 36 haul a
log train south near Duhamel in May 1986.
Photo by Doug Smith.
Until a few years ago mile 46 was a major loading area with long
rows of logs filling the open spaces shown in this p.hoto. By A!ay 1986
when this photo was taken, most of the loading was being done further south
at mile 26. Nos. 7 and 12 can be seen in the distance preparing a log train for the trip south
to the mill.
Photo by Doug Smith.
winding roller coaster course extending 56 miles north of the
town of Thurso Quebec. As the line progressed north, the
landscape gradually changed
as farms gave way to forests. By
the time mile 26 was reached, the farmland had disappeared
although there were still a number
of small communities whose
livelihood depended
on lumbering. However with the numerous
lakes which the T
& NVR passed, the area had become cottage
country and during our trip we passed many summer homes
spread along these lakes. Gravel roads now cut through the
landscape to provide access and it
is these roads which helped
bring the demise
of the railway as it gave way to trucks.
The last 20 miles were bush country where dense growth was
broken only by clear blue lakes and streams which
jpeeted the
traveller providing a scene never -to -be -forgotten. In a number
of locations the railway passed through narrow deep cuts where
the forest reached out and almost touched the train.
But despite the rough terrain through which the railway
traversed. the T
& NVR was always a well-maintained
operation. The ballast was always weed-free and the ties
good condition – a credit to the crews who over the years
provided continuous maintenance.
The last run was to be a regular working
run, no special, no
banners and no bystanders to bid fond darewell. The train
at8: 40 AM with GE 70 tonner # 12, a half dozen log
cars, a flatcar, the railways crane and gondola plus the BRS s
caboose and Car 27 . Eleven members were in attendance and it
had been decided to do the last run
in style! A full course meal
was to be prepared including avacado, baked potatoes steak and
pies with a bottle
of red wine to complement the dinner.
Everyone relaxed
in Car 27 except for a few who wished to
rough it
in the van and watch the countryside roll for the last
time. Stories were told
of the many pleasant experiences on the
T &
NVR and Gaetan provided additional ones from earlier
years when
he was a young lad.
At mile 26 a brief stop was made while the crane picked up
some unused ties and placed them on the flatcar.
At the same
Thurso Railway Nos. 12, 11 and7 climb the grade out o/Thurso with a train a/empty log cars in tow. This grade, which begins
right outside the main gate, carries the track out
a/the Ottawa River valley into the hills a/the Canadian Shield.
Photo by Doug Smith.
Scene along the right -0/-way on the Thurso Railway at
31 looking south.
Photo by Bruce Ballantyne.
time the log cars were dropped off for one last pick up the
following day.
At mile 36 , another stop was made to pick up
more ties. Wild flowers were
in abundance all along the right­
of-way providing an array
of bright colours. Mike Iveson,
deciding it was only fitting that our dinner table be graced with
of this colour, began to gather up a bouquet of daisies,
buttercups and orange hawkweed. Several others joined in and
the result was a colourful mixture which looked appropriate on
the table.
The next stop took place at mile 38 where the railway
maintained a wooden locomotive shop at Duhamel.
building is now used by the local fire department. At this stop
the crane picked up still more ties plus a speeder and several
trailers. There was sufficient time again
for the travellers to
stretch their legs and take pictures
of the action. Soon we were
on the move again only to stop a short distance further north
where the crane and flatcar were dropped off. Now the train
consisted only
of the gondola, the van and Car 27 .
Our next
« scheduled» stop would be for lunch but an
unexpected one was made prior to this because of a
falle~ tree
across the tracks (logging crews must have figured the railway
was already closed
as they had let the trees fall where they
may). Fortunately the tree was no more than a sappling and
with logging railway ingenuity, the errant maple was pulled
down to the rail enabling the crew to use the locomotives wheels
to cut it. Necessity, the mother
of invention!
Finally we reached our lunch stop at mile
54. Gaetan
informed us we could stop for only half an hour so there was little
time to waste. Colin Churcher was acting
as chef with his son
Paul as assistant. They had been preparing the meal for some
time and as
we all soon discovered, had put together a fabulous
fit for a king. Theres nothing like a meal cooked on a
wood stove.
Later, another group was responsible to clean up
do the dishes. They immediately learned what it was like to
wash dishes on a moving railway car, with the water in the sink
sloshing back and forth (and sometimes right out of the
sink) .
True to his word, Gaetan informed
us after thirty minutes
it was time to leave. So off we went as everyone attempted
to secure their
pI ate and glass so as not to lose a bite ( or slurp) .
Car 27 is not exactly a six -wheeled heavyweight dining car.
At the end of the line the train was turned on the wye and the
gondola was dropped off to
be used by the company pulling up
the rail. The last departure from mile 56 left at 1: 10 pm and
everyone stopped to look back, knowing that this would be their
last time to see this sight. The train now consisted only
of engine
12, the van and car27 . We proceeded nonstop to Duhamel
where Gaetan had to leave
for other duties. Everyone shook his
hand and thanked him for the many opportunities to ride on the
Many had lumps in their throats as they bid him good-bye.
As the train started moving away, Gaetan paused before getting
into his truck, looked back and gave a quick last wave before
driving off. Certainly a sad moment.
At mile 26 we stopped to pick up some loaded log cars as well
as engines 7 and
11 to help pull the heavy loads back to Thurso.
This provided
us with the opportunity to take some pictures -the
last to
be taken of aT & NVR log train. The remainder of the trip
was uneventful giving everyone a chance to relax and chat about
the many happy experiences
of the past on the railway.
Upon arrival at the Thurso Shops, there was only one thing
left to do. Take a group picture
for posterity. An era has ended
but the Thurso and Nation Valley Railway went out
in style – a
fully working railway right
to the end with a very memorable last
* Except/or the body %fficial car #21 located at Hadashville Manitoba at the
Manitoba Forestry Association Site.
Passengers on the June 20 1986 trip enjoy a steak dinner
and wine
in the comfort o/ex-C.P. official car 27.
Photo by Bruce Ballantyne.
G.E. 50-tonner No. 10 (5132), originally Singer Manufacturing (New Jersey) No.1, is seen moving along the tracks
at the back
of the mill property where the loaded log cars used to be brought in for unloading.
was taken in July 1985 by Bruce Ballantyne.
At the time ofthe June 20 trip, we knew that our train would
not be the last run over at least a portion
of the T & NVR, just
the last to the end of track. We were told that another train
would be going to Singer, mile 26 , the next day and that this
would be the last run. There were a number
of loaded log cars to
be picked up although two had been derailed and their loads
dumped along the
right-of-way where the cars had over­
turned. These would be left behind.
For the summer all was quiet and everyone anticipated that
the T &
NVR would be no more by the end of August. To our
surprise, a call was received in mid -September from Gaetan
Lafleur advising that a special train would be going
as far as
Duhamel (mile
38) to pick up a few things and to retrieve the
derailed cars at Singer. Gaetan asked if he could use the BRS
caboose and in return we could couple on car 27 and come along
for the ride.
What a surprise! Another « last run » .
September 26 was set for the run and nine members
of the
Society plus
Gaetan s brother Andre boarded car27 on that day
for an 8
0 clock departure. The only thing missing was the sun
to accentuate the autumn colours which were almost at their
As before this
« last run» was a working train and its consist
eng~e no. 11 , the T & NVR crane, 3 flatcars on which
to load the retrieved equipment, the BRS caboose and
of course
car 27 . Promptly at 8:
00 AM the train departed from Thurso and
proceeded up the steep grade out
of town . Progress was slow due
part to the fact that crossings had to be approached slowly
since motorists would not be expecting a train.
None of the few
crossing signals along the route were working so member
Jacques Beaubien who was going to chase the train offered to act
as flagman to protect these crossings.
At mile 17 track
(rusty, wet rails etc.) caused no. 11 to stall on a hill
and progress was further delayed while several attempts were
made to climb the hill.
At mile 29.5 the beavers had built a dam causing the water to
rise over the tracks. With the clam shell bucket on the crane, the
crew made short work
of the beavers efforts and the backed up
water surged down the stream. This procedure was repeated
several more times before the day ended.
It doesnt take
natures creatures long to reclaim their territory.
At Duhamel, the crew began their work of recovering some
of the equipment. A fuel tank on legs was hoisted onto one of the
flatcars where it sat on
« all fours» for its trip back to Thurso.
This homemade fueling facility was another example of logging
railway ingenuity, having been made from the diesel fuel tank
a scrapped 70 tonner. Duhamel was the end of the line for this
trip as work crews had pulled up track back as far as mile
40 just
two miles ahead.
The train backed the 12 miles to Singer where the second
of equipment occured. The overturned flats had been
cut up into three sections and the crane easily lifted each onto
of the flatcars. A second homemade fuel tank was also
picked up and
car 27 and the van were moved to the back of the
Departure from Singer was at 1: 30 and the remainder of the
trip was unevental.
Thurso was reached at about 3 PM.
Lac La Ferme(fonnerly Bass Lake) fonns a scenic view from
the Thurso Railway as it follows along the shore. Picture
is looking south.
Photo by Bruce Ballantyne.
It is hoped that luck will prevail and perhaps another trip
be possible in the spring. It is expected that dismantl ing of
the line will only be completed as far as Singer by winter.
Certainly there will have to be a reason for such a trip but
« last run» would be nice.
The reason for the September 26 1986 trip! One of the two
overturned flat cars lies in the ditch waiting to be picked up
and returned to Thurso for scrapping.
Photo by Bruce Ballantyne.
The last train on September 26 1986 stops
to pick up the fuel tank at Duhamel, the temporary end of track until work
crews reached the village later on. G.E. 70-tonner No. 11 leads the train.
Photo by Bruce Ballantyne.
by: Lon Marsh
believe that a Railway line no longer than
ten miles in its entire length existed in
beautiful city of Edmonton many years ago.
It is very hard to believe, but such a line did
exist and
is classed as a very historical posses­
sion in our city.
In 1896, the Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific
was chartered as the Edmonton Dis­
trict Railway to construct lines from Edmonton
to Strathcona, St. Albert, Fort Assiniboine,
Fort Saskatchewan and on to the Sturgeon
with a branch line into Stony Plain. When
this venture failed
to develop, it was then re­
organized as the E. Y. & P. in 1899. About
this time, it came into the hands of Mackenzie
and Mann,
who saw it as a useful tool in ex­
panding their Canadian
Northern Railway em­
pire westward
from Manitoba. Mackenzie and
Mann were very
quick in building the first 4.5
mile section
of the line from Strathcona into
Edmonton to gain a foothold on the river cros­
sing. The route started at the southern end
of Strathcona, next to the C.P. R. mainline,
and wound northeast
to descend the grade
to cross the river on the Low Level Bridge near
The original grade can still be seen heading west where
E. Y. & P. had a connection with the C. P. R. South Edmonton
rail yards in the far distance. This is where it left the ravine. the
foot of 101 st Street. Here a temporary
station was built at the foot of McDougall hill,
below the embarkment on the north side of
the river, where the grades were steep despite
circular route taken. A quote from the
Edmonton Bulletin read as follows: Follow­
ing instructions received Saturday, Manager
Pace started a gang of men at work this morn­
ing laying
out the site for a building at the
junction of the spur line with the C&E (Calgary
Edmonton) below Strathcona. This build­
ing will be about 20 feet square with platforms.
The size of the platforms has not been stated
yet. The telegraph wire
on the C&E line will
be tapped at this point and an office arranged
operator kept in the building. A ticket
office and small waiting room will also be pro­
vided. The telegraph line
will be run into the
Edmonton, and an operator kept at this end
of the spur. Definite instructions regarding
the operating
of the spur are expected at any
… Another quote reads: The Canadian
Northern station at the foot of the hill has
been rather a neglected spot since the civic
holiday. (To celebrate the crossing of the first
This is where the old line entered Mill Creek ravine.
train into Edmonton, 1902) However, there
is still a certain amount of stir about the place,
all tending to have everything in readiness for
the time when regular train service will have
begun. A large heating stove has been set
in the waiting room and a good fire is kept
all the time. The doors of the waiting
room are unlocked during
the day; a telephone
has been installed
in the operators office, ready
for use. Additional sidings are being laid west
of the station. The track from the station
the junction with the C&E was all ballasted
in good shape before the ground froze up.
The town council
is having Second Street graded
to the station so as to make a straight
road north from
the station, up Bellamy Hill
to the town. The road from the foot of Ross
Its a very scenic bike ride through here in the summer.
Old rail lines can
still be put to good use after a/ll
There h8ve been a few ch8nges since the days when a
W8S photographed at this location in 1903. Modern
76 Ave. runs in the center
of this photo. The old trestle
C8n still be seen in the left of this picture.
hill, leading past the Edmonton Hotel, down
to the station is being cut away so as to make
a lesser grade and more space between
the rails
the hill.
The first train over this new line was hauled
by Canadian Northern Locomotive No. 26 a
4-6-0, crossing the river on October
20th, 1902
and arriving at the station
at 4 p.m. This was
the first train to cross the North Saskatchewan
River and the first one into Edmonton. The
crew were: J.E. Entwistle who was engineer,
superintendent and mast mechanic;
Mr. Bohm,
fireman; and
Mr. Pace as general manager of
this new line.
Mr. C.A. Hyndman was the first
telegraph operator employed by the old E.Y.
He worked for many years at the station lo­
cated on the north side of the river, which was
All the old trestles were left as they were, but theres
fenced railing along the sides for safety.
Another view of the old trestle alongside 76 Ave.
looking west.
The old railway grade is now a paved bicycle and hiking trail through
the ravine.
A railway signpost stands
as a silent sentinal to a busy railway which
once ran through
Mill Creek ravine.
One can remember as a child all the railway tank and boxcars sitting on a siding beside the loading doors
of Gainer s meat packing plant
of photo). Its since been closed. When the steam whistle on
the boiler house stack (far left) went off at 5 minutes to the hour, and
you hadnt aived at your mandatory destination yet. . . tou were in
trouble I
also the end of the line at that time. On board
were members
of the Edmonton town council,
railway officials and other V.I.P.s, The drab
flat cars were draped in green and the loco­
motive, with its high smokestack trailing a
long black banner in the
wind, transported
merry party back to the top of the South
hill. Observation cars in those days, held
their perils, and against the persistent cinders
and sparks
of the engine, the gaudy parasols
of the ladies began to take on the moth eaten
of cupboard derelicts, It was still a grand
celebration and when the
cars were placed in
front, rather than behind the engine, things
were considerably better.
first actual passenger coaches that en­
the northern part of what was to be Ed mon­
ton, did not do so until June 4th, 1904, carrying
the delegates
of the Grande Lodge of Manitoba
Masons. (Ed monton received city status in 1904,)
The south end
of the line made a junction with
the Calgary and Edmonton railway from Calgary.
There were
four trains a day each way, carrying
passengers and freight, The fare
was 25 cents
for passengers, as regular passenger service did
not go into effect until December 17th, 1905.
On the north side, there was even a turntable
for the engine, This, of course, was used for
the engine to be turned around in order to
make its trip back .

Many Indians, who camped on Rossdale
flats, had never
seen an engine or a train, much
less ever ridden in one. Twelve of the braves
however, were persuaded
to trust themselves
to the mercies of the panting monster that
they regarded with such awe ! They were bun­
into a box car, and hurried back and forth
across the river. It was an epoch for them. Their
Chief could not be induced to follow their
example … What man does what the Gods
do, he felt reasonably justified in refusing
to tangle himself in the intricacies of their magic.
In November, 1905, the Canadian
main line reached Edmonton from North Battle­
ford, arriving from the Northeast to the new
station site
north of the river (bordering 104th
avenue), but not connecting to the original
E.Y.&P. line.
Mackenzie and Mann expanded
their system
Edmonton. In December, 1906, an extension
was made west from the station via St. Albert
to Morinville. The first section to E.Y.P. junction
This photo shows where the old grede went under the High Level Bridge end eround Victorie Perk.
The cers in the center ere used for
heuling out the
soil residue of the Edmonton Trensits south (under­
ground) extension of the L. R. T. which will cross the river et this point
into South Edmonton.
was built by the Canadian Northern; the balance
under the charter
of the Edmonton and Slave
Lake Railway. From this line, another line
struck west
from Edmonton Junction to Stony
Plain. This was built under the charter of the
E.Y.& P., and the line was opened in June, 1907.
Finally, the
E.Y.& P. was connected to other
lines in February,
1908, the remaining 3.2 miles
was opened from the station at Ross grade up
to the Canadian Northern main line at E.Y.& P.
junction. The E.Y.& P. had not yet been ful­
filled, though. In December, 1914, the Alberta
Midland, which
was a subsidiary of the Cana­
dian Northern, reached west from Camrose to
join the E.Y.& P. at its origin in South Edmon­
ton. This was to be used as its main-line access
to the Edmonton terminal on the North side.
This allowed the trains
to operate to and from
the Canadian Northern (main) Edmonton sta­
tion, via the E.Y.& P. to the Alberta Midland
The E. Y. & P. Reilwey becomes e peved cycle end welking trail just
ebove the Victoria Perk golf course. This view is looking eest.
Another view of the dump cars on Edmonton Transits new little
shortline railway.
route. After leaving the main line at E.Y.& P.
Junction, they travelled:
down the eastern slope of Groat
-above the civic golf course (some of the
bid grade can still be seen today);
-under the C.P. R. High Level Bridge;
-east along the river flats;
-past McDougall hill and the sight
of the
1902 station;
-south across the
Low Level Bridge (shared
with the Edmonton Street Car system);
the old Edmonton City Dairy Plant;
-south up
Mill Creek ravine to Gainers
Packing plant,
to join the C.P. R. at Strath­
The trains then proceeded south to Terminal
Junction, and on to Strathcona station, where
The old grade above Victoria Perk golf course is in parts just a grevelled
hiking trail. View looking east.
Jdham Building Supplies is now located. In
1929, the passenger service was
officia Ily discon­
tinued, and the line
now became a freight car­
rier. In 1952,
Edmonton Civic officials asked
the C.N.R.
to abandon the E.Y.& P. in order
to make improvements on the north bank of
the river, and allow for new roadway construc­
tion. The C.IJR. officially authorized the aban­
donment on December 11 th, 1953. On Apri I
29th, 1954, a special train was operated. The
J.J. Bowlen, then our Lt. Governor, drew
first spike to start the removal of 9.2 miles
of track of the E.Y.& P.
This ceremony took place at the foot of
McDougall hill, near the site of the first E.Y.& P.
station, which was built on that historic day
of October 20th, 1902. On May 29th, 1954,
the old
E.Y.& P. trackage was officially aban­
doned. Mr. George Clark was the
of the last train operated by the E.Y.& P. The
engineer was
Mr. Stuart Craig, and the fireman
was Mr. Harry Konowalchuk. There were still
2.7 miles of track running from Terminal Junc­
tion, through Mill Creek ravine, to Gainers
meat packing plant, retained
as a spur. However,
in 1980 -82, all
of this 2.7 miles of spur track
and ties were
lifted for use at the Alberta Pioneer
Railway Museum in
north Edmonton. The
original grade was paved and
is now used as
a bicycle and hiking trail. This is now part of
Edmontons Capital City Recreation Park
t •
. . ~ ~. ~
Using the power poles (left center) as a guide from old
photos, the old grade is easy to find. View looking west.
While the E.Y.& P. carried a long fancy name,
it never got beyond Edmontons boundaries,
much less up to the Yukon or the shores of
the Pacific. Even though other lines joined it,
E.Y.& P. still kept its record length of ten
miles in
… As a young lad walking home from Ritchie
School in the
mid 19605, it was always fun
walking on the tracks to gather pockets full
of old spikes, date nails, etc,; or standing just
beneath one
of the trestles, and looking up to
see the Gainer bound 5:00 P,M, freight rumble
overhead, The sound
was that of an earthquake
on the eardrums. Sights and sounds
of child­
hood one
will never forget!
.., A most colorful history of an interesting
… Lon Marsh
… The Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railway,
A Researched
History by R,F, Corley (Revision
of October 1, 1984);
… The Edmonton Bulletin (1901 -1902);
… The helpful and friendly staff of the City
of Edmonton Archives which lowe my
The old railway grade disappears entirely for long
at a time in certain areas. Time and rains over
the years have done there
job on the hillside. This view
is looking up hill towards the old Lamarchand mansion.
The location of this photo has changed greatly since the
trains first ran here in the early part of the century.
The E. Y. & P. reappears under dense vegitation farther along the hillside.
The old line would leave the river
and climb up toward 125 street (distant center)
and toward the downtown C. N. R. station. This view is
123 street looking west.
A striking tribute is paid to the Edmonton Yukon
and Pacific Railway from which this train takes its name. The train takes visitors around Fort Edmonton park.
Another view of the fine little train in Fort Edmonton
park. Engine
26 made the original crossing over the Low
Level bridge on October 20 1902.
The train waiting for the highball at Fort Edmonton park
train station.
This station serves as the main entrance
into the park. There is an admission charge.
The cars are painted a very dark green colour to match the rest of the trains decor. The E. Y. & P. name never existed as a
corporate identity on any piece of rolling stock of which the writer is aware during the little railways life.
Pontiac Pilgrimage
By: Ray Farand
Waltham Branch which runs between Hull and Waltham
Quebec(78 miles) can be attributed solely
to the existence of
the abandoned Hilton Iron Mine near Wyman (mileage 33.7) .
Although the mine no longer produced the iron ore which had
been extracted since the early
1950 s, it has become a good
of ballast for the railways in eastern Canada. It is this
material which keeps the trains rolling off and on during the
summer providing Ray Farand with the opportunity
to ride on
what is left
of the Waltham Sub. and to tell the story of his
The history
of the branch began in 1870 when the Compagnie
du Chemin a Lisses de Colonisation du Nord de Montreal, after
having completed the railway between Montreal and Ottawa
(via the north shore), was authorized to build a line to Deep
River Ontario from Hull. A look at a map
of the Ottawa River
Valley shows that such a route along the north shore provides a
fairly direct route
to Pembroke and thence to North Bay and the
west. The name
of the railway was changed, becoming the
better known Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and Occidental
(QMO & 0) in 1873 .
However, with the
QMO & 0 s takeover by Canadian
Pacific along with the Canada Central between Ottawa and
Pembroke, the push to build a line along the north shore west
Hull was abandoned by the QMO & Os new owner.
But the local residences
of the Pontiac region through which
the Waltham Sub. passed were not about to let the idea fade.
The Pontiac Pacific Junction Railway was therefore formed

C.P. RDr;-1 No. 9~49 (now VIA 6124) pausesJor a photo stop
on the bndge at DavIdson Quebec on the now-abandoned portion
oj the Waltham Branch. fTie photo was taken during the March 1973
By town Railway Society excursion. Photo by Bruce Ballantyne.
1880 with authorization to build west of Hull to a suitable
location along the Ottawa River where the line could cross and
continue to Pembroke.
The track was completed to Waltham by 1888 where it ended
for good. A major bridge across the Ottawa River would be
necessary and this would require a great deal of money. This
money could not
be raised so the Waltham Branch become a
rural branchline.
Things got busier in the early 1950
s when the Hilton mine
opened but the western portion remained a mainly rural
operation. Passenger services was abandoned
in 1959 and
freight service became intermittent from then on. The fact that
the section between Wyman and Waltham survived until 1983
is surprising considering the limited amount of business that was
F or now the remaining 3 3.7 miles
of the Waltham Branch are
secure, at least while the ballast material
is there. Here then is
an account of one trip on a ballast train which among the crews is
known as « The Hilton Mine Tum» .
Its almost Noon as I arrive at Walkley Yard. If everything
turns out
as planned, I will be spending the remainder of the day
aboard a rock train (the Hilton Mine Tum) on
CP Rails
Waltham Subdivision.
on my scanner indicates that No. 85 , the connecting
freight train from Montreal,
is in the area.
As I enter the yard office, I greet the Terminal Supervisor
fill out the necessary clearance forms.
Has No.
85 arrived at Gatineau?

No, not yet. They hit a cow three miles east of there and
have been delayed.
Another view oJ9049 on the March 1973 excursion this time at the
.francesc~ini Sandpits which once provided a gdod deal oj
busmess dunng the summer Jor the Waltham Sub. Photo by Bruce Ballantyne.
C. P. 4200, 1813 (ex-8756) and 8765 pass through Breckenridge Quebec on April 27 1983 with a load of ballast bound for Ottawa. Photo
be Earl Roberts.
I am not surprised. Cattle and trains have enjoyed a close
relationship over the years. Too bad cows
cant read time­
tables. Sure hope this
isnt a sign of things to come.
The crew
for the mine job is from Smiths Falls and arrive
shortly after I do. Their questions directed at the Supervisor are
much like mine and
his responses bring only a few grumbles. I
guess this
is nothing new for them. Much to my delight, I
recognize the engineman
and the conductor. The head end
is relatively new to the road and will be making his
first trip up the line, as they say in the Pontiac .
After an exchange
of pleasantries with the Conductor,
including his approval
to ride with him in the van, I do my best to
stay out
of everyones way. The last thing I want to do is to
make a nuisance of myself.
of the yard office and next to the diesel shop sits RS-
18 uNo. 1820, patiently awaiting sister engines 1807 and 8796
(RS -18) off Train 85 . The three units will be used for the Mine
Tum which today, with51 hoppers, 2 box cars, and the van, is
the biggest of the year. I learn that the box cars are carrying
supplies for the section gang and have been billed to the
Its almost 14: 00 when No. 85 finally backs into the yard.
An agitated conductor steps down and
is greeted by the
In broken English, he takes out his frustration on
the official who handles the situation quite calmly and says very
little. The Skippers condition
doesnt improve a great deal when
hes informed that return train No. 86 cant leave for
Montreal until the mine train returns from Hilton which
in all
wont be until well past midnight.
The idea
of a long layover in Ottawa, especially on a
doesnt sit well and he stomps off to talk to the
Montreal dispatcher, muttering something about booking off
and taking the bus home.
I approach the Supervisor and
Im told that the gentleman in
question, tends to get a little worked up. Ah, the joys of
railroading. Needless to say, the cow has had nearly as much
impact on the front
of Locomotive 1807 as the conductors
After a crew change, the three units are
mu ed and our train
is assembled. Two of the hoppers brought in from Montreal
have doors jammed open. Unsuitable for loading, they are cut
out. With things progessing quickly now, I return to the yard
office to pick up
my gear and check to make sure that I have my
signed release form
in case any unexpected railway officials
happen along.
As I enter the yard office, the telephone rings.
Its Hilton
Mines wondering if a train will
be coming up. With a few
calming sentences, the Supervisor assures the other end that
things are starting to roll.
By 14: 30, were just about ready to leave. The conductor
walks the train, making his Number 1 brake test, while I board
van No.
434529, my home for the next ten hours.
The two-stall engine shed at Waltham Que. as it appeared in 1965 shortly be/ore it
was demolished. Photo by Broce Ballantyne.
Suddenly we lurch ahead. After a few car lengths, however,
we come to an abrupt stop. I peer out around a corner of the van
and see the conductor standing nearby.
Im told that another car
has to be set out before we leave.
Finally, at
15 : 00, our train is rolling under the Bank Street
bridge. I stow
my belongings and prepare to climb up into the
cupola, taking the time
to ask the conductor which side he
prefers to sit on.
Lets face it, its his train!
With his choice made,
we both settle in. We pick up speed,
and clatter over the Ellwood Diamond (junction with the
Beachburg Subdivision) and head for the Ottawa River and the
Quebec side.
A milestone in
my life is reached as we rumble across the
Ottawa River and swing around the south leg of the wye at
Wamo (Junction of the Lachute and Waltham Subdivisions) .
is the first time in 25 years that I have ridden on the
Waltham Sub. Considering all
of the abandonments that have
taken place locally over the past
few years, I find it surprising
that the opportunity still exists
in 1986 . Even more amazing is
the fact that it can be accomplished aboard a fifty car freight. I
savour the moment.
Along Brunet Boulevard
in Hull, traffic comes to a stop at the
several grade crossings. In front
of an apartment building, people are standing around enjoying the sunshine and wave
we pass. It feels strange to be the focus of their attention.
Id be down there with them. Dutifully I return their
greetings, considering it
my unofficial responsibility.
I wonder what it
is about trains that makes people want to
, I ask the conductor. He replies that he prefers it that
as opposed to those who like to throw things. Fortunately,
he continues, only a small percentage are inclined in that
The conversation remains on this subject until were
past the Champlain Bridge.
Out along Lucerne Boulevard, better known as the Lower
Road(neethe Hull Electric Railway), we pickup speed
Im cautioned to keep my head and arms well inside the
cupola window
as we pass through a narrow corridor of trees . It
is easy to get scratched and cut by the many branches if caution
is not employed. It will be this way until we are past
Soon we roll through Aylmer, under an increasingly cloudy
sky. Once again many
of the locals ex tend their greetings. As
we highball out of town , our speed accelerates to the permissible
maximum of
25 mph and our van rocks back and forth. This
isnt CWR, but its not bad, all things considered.
Dunc duFresne,
youd love this ride. Given your opinions of
the Waltham Subdivision, the pike must still be like the good old
in cottage country, the line climbs and dips, respecting
the topography
of the east shoreline of the Ottawa River. As a
kid, I recall riding on the passenger train
from Campbells Bay
to Ottawa and looking out over the river. Today, the river
is for
the most
part hidden from view by the thick vegetation that has
grown up over the past twenty –
five years.
At mileage 15 , we encounter a slow order, the first of three ,
and crawl across the creek at Breckenridge. I wonder how much
tonnage that the little timber trestle has seen over the years.
After passing the section shed opposite the former station
site, the track sweeps around a wide curve that has often
an excellent camera location for railfans. The sky is
becoming increasingly dark and lightning can be seen in the
At Parker, a pelting cold rain makes any further photography
The conductor teIls me than an old wood sleeping
car that used
to be located on the south side of the tracks in an
Extra 1832 passes near Luskville Que. on July 291986 on its way to the Hilton mine with engines 1832 (ex-8757), 8784 and 1813
(ex-8756). This is typical of the landscape through which the Waltham sub passes on its way to the mine. Photo by Ray Farand.
adjacent bam yard has been removed. Does anyone know its
Before long the Quyon mile board appears on the north side
of the train. Soon we cross the Quyon River on a newly
refurbished bridge and wind our way up to Wyman and the spur
into the mine.
Radio chatter between the head
ead and the conductor is
becoming more frequent and the head end brakeman is reminded
that he must detrain to throw the switch that will take
us to the
mine spur.
By now the rain has nearly stopped, making his task
considerably easier.
This c/ose-up of the operations at the Hilton mine shows the ballast-loading facilities as they appeared
in August 1986.
Engines 8032, 8027 and 8758 are preparing a train of loaded cars for the return trip
to Ottawa. Photo by Ray Farand.
We creep down the spur and come to a stop, shortly after
17:00, approximately two hours after leaving Walkley Yard.
CP Air would have had me half-way to Calgary in the same
from Branchline .
An overview of the facilities at Hilton illustrates the mountains
of ballast material available. The small locomotive at left is a Plymouth built
in 1955. It came from the Franceschini Sandpits further west
in 1979.
Photo by Ray Farand.
c. P. 1813 (ex-8765) and 8796 cross the bridge westbound over the Quyon River on July 21 1986 (the 150th anniversary of Canadian Railways). Note the old concrete piers from an early bridge likely replaced
when the mine was opened in the early 1950 s. Photo
by Ray Farand.
From South. of th.e border down Wisconsin way.
View into Sumas Washington from Huntingdon B. C. Undefined international frontier is actually just beyond the road. Track at far left is
the Burlington Northern connection to the B. C. Hydro railway. CPAA box car is used in international service. Track in foreground is Canadian Pacific connection
to Northern Pacific and former Milwaukee Road.
Then Ed. Wilkomen strolled back into his own country and shot a view into Canada. Note that at the exact border the tracks (MILW on
the left and N.P. on the right) have compromise joint bars on them. This is because Canadian Pacific likes to use larger size rail.
Vue Generale de la gare de Montreal-ouest le2 juin 1985 a 1 hOO p. m .. On remarque surla photo que les renovations ne sont
pas encore completees. Des la reouverture les passagers pourront utiliser un tunnel qui reliera la gare au quai central.
Photo de Daniel
La ligne Montreal-Rigaud vient de franchir une
autre etape. En ettet, Ie train de banlieue
rencontre depuis lundi, Ie 3 juin 1985, Ie metro a
la station vend6me.
Cest donc
dire que les passengers du train
nont plus besoin de se rendre a la gare Windsor
pour transferer avec Ie metro.
leur descente du train a la gare vend6me,
les voyageurs
nont qua emprunter Ie tunnel qui
les meme directement au metro.
fait parti dun plan de modernisation des
trains de banlieue entreprit depuis 1982. En
effet, depuis Ie 1 er octobre 1982, la commission
de transport de la communaute urbaine de
Montreal opere les trains de banlieue, ce qui fit
diminuer Ie prix dun voyage a Iinterieur du
territoire de la C.U.M. de plus, les passengers qui
montent dans Ie train sur IHe de Montreal
peuvent transferer gratuitement avec Ie metro et
les autobus de la C.T.C.U.M
On procede, en ce moment, a la renovation de
plusieurs gares Ie long de la ligne. Cest Ie cas aux
gares de Beaconsfield, Valois et
On prevo it la reouverture de cette derniere pour
Iautomne 1985.
MaTheureusement, Ie progres a souvent raison
installations du passe. Cest Ie cas a Dorval.
Afin dy installer une gare/station de correspon­
autobus-train et un stationnement, on
bient6t detruire la gare de Dorval qui de
1887. Cest Ie cas aussi a
Westmount ou avec
Iouverture de la gare vend6me, on a dO proceder
Ie 2 juin 1985 a la fermeture de la gare
Westmount qui date de 1984. A noter que cette
gare a deja porte
Ie nom de St-Antoine, avant
Par la suite, on procedera
a plusieurs
reamenagements de circuits dautobus de la
afin de mieux alimenter les gares.
Les passagers
pourront alors compter sur un
ameliore et mieux ada pte a leurs besoins.
Daniel Poirier
Vue partielle de la nouvelle gare vendome. Comme
peut Ie lire sur la photograph ie, les deux paliers de
ont contribue au projet. Cette photo fut
prise la veille de Iouverture de la gare a 1 h30 p. m ..
Photo de Daniel Poirier.
Vue generale de la gare de Dorval Ie 3 juin 1985 a
2 h30 p. m .. A noter que cette gare sera vraisemblable­
ment demolie pour faire place a gare tran -autobus et
a un stationnement.
Photos de
Daniel Poirier.
Dans Iapres-midi du 3 juin 1985, Ie train #24 entra en
a Dorval a 3h08 p.m ..
Photo de Daniel Poirier.
La locomotive
# 1305 du train #33 a la toute nouvelle
gare vendome,
a 4h45 p. m. Ie 3 juin 1985. On remar­
que que Ie train s arrete toute pres des autobus de la
C. T. C. U. M., facilitant ainsi les deplacements des
de Daniel Poirier.
Le train #24 quittant la gare de Dorval en direction de
Montreal a 3h 10 p. m. Ie 3 juin 1985.
Photo de Daniel Poirier.
La gare Westmount photographiee dans
I apres -midi du
3 juin 1985, a4h50 p.m ..
Photo de Daniel Poirier.
Le train #24 passant devant /ancienne gare a la hauteur de la 40· Avenue a Lachine, dans Iapres-midi du
28 mai 1985, a 3h 12 p. m ..
Photo de Daniel Poirier.
Voici un train de banlieue sur la voie d evitement de la cour de tirage de Westmount, au mois d avril
Photo de Daniel Poirier.
7iansport Decisions
federallegislation fall under the jurisdiction of the Railway
Transport Committee
of the Canadian Transport Com­
mission (CTC) . The CTC was created in 1967 as part of the
new National Transportation
Act passed by the government in
1966. The National Transportation
Act marked a new
departure for the government as it recognized that transport
carriers forced to maintain services as an imposed public duty
should receive compensation for their losses. This applied
particularly to the railways whose applications to eliminate
money losing passenger trains and branch lines were being
as the services were deemed essential in the public
The National Transportation Act consolidated all the
various agencies regulating rail, marine, aviation, motor
vehicles, and pipelines into the
CTC. The CTC in tum
established committees to regulate each mode.
The Railway
Transport Committee (RTC) replaced the
of Railway Transport Commissioners which had been
established on
February I ,1904 under the amendments made to
the Railway
Act in 1903. The Board assumed the duties and
ofthe Railway Committee of the Privy Council.
Thus it was hoped to lessen the criticism
of political partisanship
or expediency in the regulation of railway affairs. The powers of
the RTC like those of its predecessors relate to the location,
construction, operation and abandonment
of railways as well as
the field of rate regulations.
In 1987 , the federal government will pass a new National
Act which will deregulate of the modes of
transport. The theory is that competition in the market place
will encourage increased efficiency and reduce the cost
transportation. The CTC will be replaced by a new body to be
known as the National Transportation Agency.
The decisions of these agencies presents the vast history of
Canadian railroading since confederation. The invaluable
Canadian Railway and Marine World , which
started to document Canadian railway developments in the mid
1890 s for many years ran a regular column listing all the Orders
of the Board of Railway Transport Commissioners. Canadian
Rail does not have the space to cover all the RTC decisions but
will commence with this issue to report those deemed to have
substantive historical interest.
CN is seeking to abandon all its trackage in the Bruce
Penn insula region
of Ontario. The lines affected are: the
Newton Subdivision from Stratford to Palmerston, 35.4 miles;
the Owen Sound Subdivision from Palmerston to
Owen Sound,
71.4 miles; and the Kincardine Subdivision from Listowel to
Wingham, 30.3 miles; and the Southampton Subdivision from
Harriston Junction to Douglas
Point, 60 miles. In 1985 , traffic
volumes over these lines totalled approximately 1,100 carloads
and losses were
$ 1.5 million.
The Wellington, Grey & Bruce Railway, which was leased
to the
Great Western Railway before construction even began,
completed the construction
of its line from Guelph to South­
ampton and Kincardine in 1874. The Stratford & Huron
Railway completed its line from Stratford to
Wiarton in 1882. It
was leased to the Great Western in 1881 . Both lines came under
the control
of the Grand Trunk in 1882 when it took over the
Great Western. In 1894 , a Grand Trunk subsidiary, Georgian
Bay and Lake Erie Railway completed the line from
a point 6 miles south of Wiarton, to Owen Sound.
On March 26, 1987, the CTC denied CN permission to
abandon the
Newton, Owen Sound or Kincardine Subdivision
betweenmilesO.O and
1.4. On April 13,1987, it issued a notice
that it will be considering the need to hold hearings on the
application to abandon the Southampton Subdivision and the
of the Kincardine Subdivision.
As an alternative to the abandonment of these lines, Ontario
Midwestern Services has proposed to incorporate this trackage
into their proposed
short line railway serving southwestern
The Ontario Government has awarded a $ 100,000
contract to have a consultant look into the feasibility
of such a
CN is favourable to selling these lines to anyone who
can come up with the asking price which
is rumoured to be more
$ 30 million.
On June 19, 1987 , the CTC approved CN s application to
abandon its final remaining portion
of the Albert Subdivision
from Salisbury to Mile
2.85. On April 23, 1982, the CTC
approved CN s application to abandon the line from Mile 2.85
to Hillsborough. The Salem & Hillsborough Railway, an
of the New Brunswick of the Association,
purchased the line between Mile
13 to Hillsborough and leased
the remainder. Steam tourist operations started over the
purchased trackage in 1983 .
The Albert Railway completed the original line from
Salisbury to Albert in 1877 . After a number of name changes
and financial visisitudes, the line was sold to the Dominion
government in 1918 and later made
part of Canadian National.
The portion between Albert and Hillsborough was abandoned
New Brunswick Electric Power Commission opposed the
as it could sever rail service to a major power
substation. Rail service
is the only way to move large
transformers to the site. NB Power refused a
CN offer to sell
them the line, but it appears the Salem & Hillsborough will
discussing acquiring the line from CN which is necessary to
provide a means to move equipment to and from their line.
On April 22 , 1987, the CTC approved CP s application to
abandon the portion
of the St. Marys Subdivision from
Ingersoll North to
Zorra, on the Toronto -Windsor main line.
No traffic had been handled for the last
five years.
Oct. 1986 the article on the Montreal and Southern
Counties Electric Railway Trains, Montreal to Granby.
would like to add to this most interesting article a few more facts
not included in the article.
First of
all I am close to 75 years old and have lived the better
part of it
in Granby. I remember very clearly the days when the
M&SC left the repair shop on Main St. Granby West and
headed straight up the Main St. all the way
to the Red Brick Stn.
on the comer of DRUMMOND St. and Main, then up
Drummond the full length to LANSDOWNE where it swung
left for about300 ft. then backed down on a curve
to the right on
Drummond once more now heading back to the Repair Shop at
Granby West. As the tum about was very sharp it made a great
deal of noise both in coming up and also
in backing about the
I do not recall the date of the change over that you describe
but the trains ran for many years straight up MAIN ST.
I recall
all too well the celebration of burning the stuffed bag
of hay dressed up like the
GERMAN KAISER at the end of
World War I. The late train from Montreal could not pass the
great fire in the middle of Main St.
It did not make a great deal of
The line was completed under the charter of the Tillsonburg,
Lake Erie and Pacific Railway
in 1911 as part of a planned
ex tension from Tillsonburg to Stratford. The railway had been
taken over
by CP in 1904.
On April 6 , 1987, CPs application to remove the agency
position at Weiland, Smithville and Dunnville, Ontario was
approved. These are
all located on the former Toronto,
Hamilton and Buffalo Railway lines. A mobile supervisor
in Weiland will handle the work previously done
by the agents.
One June
2, 1987, Chessie System Railroads application
to remove the agent operator position from at Blenheim, St.
Thomas and Wallace burg and the mobile agent position at
Leamington, Ontario was approved. Work will be consolidated
at a centralized agency
in Chatham.
as everyone was too happy at the end of the long
WAR, so the train returned to the Repair Shop.
The Station at the comer
of DRUMMOND remained for
many years and was used
for many things, but was tom down
several years ago and the area
is now a fine little park.
I rode this train many times to and
from MONTREAL as has
my wife
as she worked in Montreal for several years and rode
this train back to Granby nearly every weekend.
* Editors note: It was January 2, 1925 .
In the March-April issue of Canadian Rail
we printed a letter from
Mr. Paul Bown who did not wish to renew his membership. Mr. Bown was shown as president
of the By town Railway Society. While this is true, Mr. Bown has indicated that
his resignation from the C.R.H.A.
has nothing to do with his position in the B. R. S., but was done as an individual. The editor regrets any
misunderstanding which this item may have caused, either
to Mr. Bown or to the By town Railway Society.
By town Railway Society, P.O. Box 141, Station A ,
Ottawa Ontario KIN 8 V I , announces a steam trip from Ottawa to Pembroke a
nd return on Sunday, October4 1987. The special train will be hauled
by former C.P .R. steam locomotive 1201 and will consist of
the regular train used on the Wakefield run together with one or two air­conditioned VIA Rail cars, Departure
from the National Museum of Science and Technology, 1867 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa Ontario, will be at 9: 00 A . M. with the return expected at 5 : 30 P. M. The trip wi
ll cover C. N . s Beachburg subdivision to Pembroke, and
will return by the same route. Price ofthis scenic
fall foliage steam trip will be $50.00, and further information may
be had from the By town Railway Society at the above address.
The Toronto
Civic Railways
By: J. William Hood.
(Reviewed by Fred F. Angus)
Published by:
Upper Canada Railway Society
Box 122,
Terminal A
Toronto, Ontario
Price: (plus $2.00 postage)
$24.95 (hard cover)
$19.95 (soft cover)
the establishment of the Toronto Transportation Commis­
in 1921, the city of Toronto was served by two street
car systems. This strange situation arose because ofthe way the
Toronto Railway Company, which ran the transit system from
to 1921 , interpreted the franchise agreement granted to it
by the city
in 1891 . The agreement provided for service through
the city, but the company took this to mean within the city limits
as they were
in 1891 . Thus they refused to extend their lines into
territory annexedby the city after
1891 and, in effect, clung to
the streets
where the nickels were the thickest .
By 1910 the city
of Toronto had extended well beyond the
of 1891 and yet there was no car service in the new
area. Finally giving up in its efforts to persuade the T. Ry. Co.
to extend
its lines, the city decided to do something about it.
The result was the Toronto Civic Railways, designed and built
by the city, the forerunner of the
T. T.C. and the subject of this
Starting with the vote on the Civic Railway proposal on
January 1 1911, the author, William
Hood, takes us on a most
interesting tour through the years and along the lines of the Civic
Railways. Starting with four cars, operating on one route,
December 1912 , the system grew to seventy -three cars on three
by the time it was absorbed into the T. T. C. in September
1921 . The
T. C . Rys. were never a single connected system
but, like
Gaul, were divided into three parts, one to the west,
one north, and one east of the T. Ry. system, with connection
being over the lines
of the latter.
In this 152 page book the reader will fmd 175 photos, some of
them very rare, 7 maps, detailed drawings of nine car types. as well as a host
of other details such as tickets, schedules and
The history of each route and each car type is
covered in detail and in a most interesting way with illustrations,
of great nostalgic value, being placed just where they are
the most useful. Even details of the tickets (including lists
serial numbers!) are covered, and one can read of such types as
bearskjns and safety firsts when describing
ticket designs.
The story does not end with the creation of the T. T . C. and
the unifying
of the system in 1921. The history of both lines and
is continued, in some cases to the present day for parts of
the Jines are still running and three cars have been preserved.
Some were used
by the T. T. C. as late as 1948 while others
went to other cities, most notably 22 Birney cars that served
Halifax until 1949.
The electric railway enthusiast will find this book to be a

must ; even the steam fans will like the views of construction
No.5 at work building the line. The photo reproduction
is superb, and the colour photo of car 55 on the cover is a most
worthy beginning. Altogether this book
is one not to be missed.
Steam Locomotives of
New Zealand
Part One: 1863 to 1900
By: T.A. McGavin
in April 1987 by the New Zealand Railway
and Locomotive Society Incorporated,
P.O. Box 5134, Wellington, New Zealand
72 pages, 240 x 180 mm, illustrated, full-colour soft covers
Recommended retail price in New Zealand,
$20 including GST.
been used in normal commercial service by New Zealand
Railways since
1971, they continue to fascinate large
of people. These steam machines were used in New
Zealand for more than a hundred years, and their story has
spawned quite a number
of books on the subject. Interest in their
history however seems to be unabated, so the New Zealand
Railway and Locomotive Society
is producing a three -part
work on the subject. Part One, covering the formative years
from 1863 to
1900, has recently been published. It was
by Tom McGavin, editor of the SocietyS NEW
The object of the series is primarily to meet the needs of those
who seek a ready reference to the characteristics, dimensions
and features
of the many different types and designs of steam
locomotives used
in New Zealand, combined with a concise yet
coherent survey
of the development of steam locomotive design
in this country. In addition some indication is included of the
identity and character
of the people responsible for or associated
with that development.
Part One has been divided neatly into five chapters covering
flfSt the provincial period and then the public works era following
the adoption in 1870
of Julius Vogels bold immigration and
public works policy. Over chapters cover the American
influence and the associated controversies during the 1880s
Our member Mr. Wayne McKell was at the right place at the right time one day last autumn. Driving along highway 128.
he was just approaching the crossing
ojC.N. s Massena subdivision when
C.N. s new TEST train (see Canadian Rail jor January­February 1987) appeared
in sight. Fortunately Mr. McKell had a camera ready and the result was this supurb photo
oj the TEST
train just coming on to the crossing.
about the relative merits of American and British designs for
New Zealand conditions; the
NZRs own designs as built in
New Zealand and introduced
from 1889 onwards; and finally
the nature oflocomotives introduced by private companies such
as the Midland and the Manawatu.
The story to 1900
is presented in 72 pages well illustrated
with photographs and dimensioned diagrams. Appendices
provide many useful details. Parts Two and Three are being
prepared to cover the periods from 1900
to 1930 and from 1930
to 1971 respectively.
The present book, which
is distributed to the book trade
throughout New Zealand
by Brick Row Publishing Company
P.O. Box 85 -057 , Auckland 10, is also available by
mail from the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society,
whose address
is given above.
A Bed and Breakfast
with a Difference
actual functioning railway station? Now you have a chance are passing through British Columbia and stop at the
of Blue River. Shirley Stewart runs this unique tourist
in the second floor of the C. N . R. station at
Blue River on the main line 397 miles from Vancouver and 132
miles from Jasper Alberta.
Blue River
is situated in the Yellowhead Pass area near Lake
Eleanor the jewel of the Yellowhead
in the heart of the scenic
mountain country. Recreation facilities exist nearby such
swimming in summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.
One may reach it on VIA
Rails Super Continental either from
Edmonton or Vancouver.
If driving one may tum east off
highway No.5 opposite Venture Lodge, then on Harwood
Road which becomes Harwood Drive.
At the first intersection
tum left on to Angus Home street and proceed to the railroad
tracks, then tum right and
go about three blocks to the station.
Entrance to the lodgings
is by the blue door which is to the left of
the orange one.
BOX 115 -BLUE RiVER, … •
(604) 673-8472
Stewarts Bed and Breakfast has three rooms, 1 double and
two single, so reservations should be made
in advance by
phoning (604) 673 -8472 . The rates are an ex tremely reasonable $10.00 for a single and $ 20.00
for a double room INCLUDING
BREAKFAST. Home cooked meals are provided upon request
for guests only. Special diets are accomodated if possible. No
smoking is permitted in the guest house.
Unlike projects where an abandoned station has been
adapted for other uses, this bed and breakfast
is in the real thing
an operating station on the main line!
This, coupled with
gracious hospitality, make
Stewarts a great place to stop for
any railway enthusiasts travelling through the scenic mountains
of British Columbia.
The Blue River Historical Committee in Blue River B. C. is
in the process of compiling a local history book. To this end they
would appreciate contributions from anyone who was
or is living
in Blue River. Also welcome are reminiscences of those whose
work or travel have taken them to this beautiful
part ofB. C. The
deadline for submissions is fast approaching so please reply as
soon as possible to:
Blue River Historical Committee
Blue River, B.C.
VOE 110
Any assistance
in compiling this work will be greatly
of employees gathered in front of the John Street Round­
house for a photograph.
The quiet occasion,
in reality, was a wake for a57 -year-old
building that had once been the last word in railway technology
and an enormous source
of pride to CP Rail and those who
worked within and around its walls.
From October, 1929, through the golden age of steam during
1930s, 1940s and 1950s, the John Street Yard built a
reputation that earned it a place
in Canadian railway lore.
Its 32 bays were the maintenance centre
for the likes of the
Express, the Overseas, the Royal York, the

Dominion, and the Canadian, -all famous names
during the height
of Canadian Pacifics rail passenger service
Steam locomotives
of the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo
Railway and the New York Central were familiar sights inside
the walls.
The roundhouse was truly the companys heart of
steam activity.
During the steam era, locomotives serviced at John Street
were readily recognized.
. After the nitty -gritty
of mechanical overhaul and adjustment,
It was not unusual to have as many as six men wipe down the
engine after washing. Junior crew members attended to the
of the lower part of the engines while the seniors buffed a
high shine to the top. This roundhouse trademark became
known as
the John Street polish.
The facility was the first and largest direct steaming type
in Canada. In this system the firebox was emptied
outside, the locomotive driven into the roundhouse on the
remaining steam, hooked up to a steam main system until
serviced, then given a boost
of operating pressure through the
system and rolled out to a firing -up house.
The use
of direct steam from a central plant, provided by the
Toronto Terminal Railway Company, improved working
conditions and reduced fuel consumption.
BehindJohn Streets General Car Foreman Ed Kolicos is an
array ofrail equipment. From left
is a Wickham car, aBudd
car, a 1930s streetcar, Canadian Nationals GM GP7, the
Race and CP Rail 7020, the first yard switcher
to Toronto.
The John Street roundhouse
is slated to become a Railway
Interpretive Centre.
In fact, many of the design features and concepts used in
building the roundhouse have only recently been adopted by
modern architects. In his Short History of the roundhouse,
John Street Yard carman
Randy Marsh writes: Its employ­
of an integrated energy system, as well as other
conservation -minded production methods, allowed it to form a
total engineering system, an integrated, fully -functional steam
locomotive terminal.
At the end of the 1940 s, the C. P . R. stood tall with an
impressive complement of steam locomotives and one of the
continents premiere maintenance facilities.
For those who looked closely, however, the writing was on
the wall. As far back as 1937 the railway had recognized the
of diesel power. In that year a road switcher,
7000, entered service in Montreal.
In early 1960, steam locomotives 2839 and 1271 , the last
the breed, made their final trips from John Street. The brute
of steam gave way at the roundhouse to the servicing of
RDCs, regular passenger trains such as the Canadian and
road switcher units. The heydays at the roundhouse,
for all
intents and purposes, were over.
Considering its history, its not surprising there are plans for
the facility. City
of Toronto planners envisage a Railway
Centre. Surrounded by a parkland promenade,
they see the roundhouse as a museum to house equipment and
pieces from
Canadas railway past. Adjacent would be a
rotunda which would
be a showcase for new rail technology .
The turntable, which
in years past bore the weight of
countless hissing steam locomotives, would be the centrepiece
of equipment, gift boutiques and foot outlets. CP Rail has
endorsed the plan and turned over the facility to the city in 1985 .
Left at the roundhouse are four examples
of another era –
ironically two are from the early dieselization period.
Nationals GM GP7 , a 1950s giant painted in the
period company colors
of olive green and yellow; a 1930s
streetcar that once plied the streets
of Toronto; the Cape
Race, one ofl3 buffet lounge, double bedroom steel cars built
for the
C. P. R. about 1929; and another diesel, CP Rail 7020 ,
the first yard switcher assigned
to Toronto are at the roundhouse.
They sit in the eerie silence ofthe cavernous interior. Despite
the years
of wear and tear, the tracks bordering the bays are still
shiny and the floor, gouged here and there by shifted heavy
equipment years ago, are clean.
The over –
all impression is that of a temporary lull in activity
and that somehow, any moment, one
of those snarling, steam­
breathing giants will roll into place and be readied for a John
Street polish.
CP Rail
News by Jim Barlow
Editors note, TTC car 2300 Torontos first large Peter Witt
streetcar owned
by the CRHA is presently housed in the
roundhouse awaiting cosmetic restoration.
Argentinian railway system
on auction block
By: Tim Coone
Financial Times
Buenos Aires
loss -making F errocarriles Argentinas -one of the
countrys sacred cows -is going under the state
auctioneers hammer.
Its privatization
is an emotional issue, as is the Govern­
ments whole controversial program launched last year of
selling off or reducing holdings in a range of state -owned
The 35,000 -kilometre network, which skeptics discount as a
of outdated iron, stretches the length and breadth of the
country. Constructed largely by British engineers, the system
was, until 40 years ago, owned and managed by British
businessmen. Nationalization came
in 1948, when the populist
leader Juan Peron swept
to power. He began the countrys
industrialization, and the railways became a symbol of national
prestige and virility.
The proposed plan is not a classic privatization. To calm the
of the powerful railway unions -already on a war footing
of major job losses in the industry and which face
further cuts -the Government is not selling off any
of the actual
or even its rolling stock.
Instead, it is putting various branch lines out to tender, to
give the private sector an opportunity to operate its own
passenger and cargo services with its own rolling stock, which
will then pay a fee for using the lines. The first eight branch lines
were placed on offer
in February. Transport and Public Works
Minister Pedro
Trucco says the state simply lacks the resources
to maintain the network and make necessary investments for
improvements .
The Government
is facing severe austerity measures to cut
spending and reduce inflationary pressures within the economy.
Capital spending is being reserved only for bare essentials.
A recent trade union study on the system claims that only
11,000 kilometres
of track are in an acceptable state,
another 14,000 kilometres are in a poor state while 7,000
kilometres are unusable. The figures have not been contested
by the state company. Rolling stock has fallen by almost half
1970, while 6,000 kilometres of track have been
or tom up.
It is a vicious circle, say those who defend the industry. As
service deteriorates through lack of government investment,
customers look increasingly to the better and faster services
by the road network.
Road transport has a powerful political lobby -the
rubber, steel, cement and petroleum industries as
well as trucking and bus companies and transport unions.
only political lobby of any weight for the railways are the railway
unions with their 100,000 -membership, which
is falling each
The manufacturing sector supplying capital goods for the
railway has up -to -date technology, exports throughout the
continent and wins international tenders against developed
country competitors. But it lacks orders from the local market,
and the annual turnover at
$ 200 -million (U. S.) is minuscule
compared to the
$ 6 -billion turnover of just the car and
petroleum industries in
Geographically, Argentina like the U. S., suffers from being
a large country and having its population concentrated in a few
urban centres with the rest scattered thinly over a vast expanse.
Long-distance passenger transport has to compete with rapid
and efficient air and road transport, and long stretches
of track
become expensive to maintain with little income.
The traditional cargo traffic of grain and meat is also
declining as plantings fall and the cattle herd declines because
protective agricultural policies in the European community and
According to
Eduardo N ava, vice -president of the Railway
Chamber of Commerce, trains on some major trunk
routes have to slow down to
30 kilometres per hour because of
poor tracks. Half a century ago, steam locomotives regularly
hauled trains at
80 kilometres per hour between major cities.
Fares, meanwhile, have been kept down to provide an
essential social service in some rural areas and
to keep living
costs down in the cities.
In the days when the system was expanding, large chunks
land were handed over to the British companies to encourage
them to build lines into the interior and to encourage settlement.
The Argentine central railway, for example, was given 1.2
million hectares
in the last century of the most fertile land in the
country, according to one historical study. Under the later
development and competition
of the road transport lobby,
however, many
of those same lines are now expensive loss­
Total company losses are estimated to be higher than $1-
million a
Mr. Nava therefore welcomes the privatization plan. If the
state does not have the capacity or money to invest
in the
system, then allowing the private sector in is an obvious way to
improve services and give
an impulse to the upstream industries,
However, a long -standing scheme to privatize a total of
25,000 kilometres of routes is not taken seriously. Mr. Nava
smiles and shakes his head. He thinks that only certain routes
will prove attractive, where road services are poor and an
unexploited potential remains for certain types
of cargo
The Governments aim, therefore, appears to be to
concentrate its own investment effort on key urban passenger
and rural cargo routes, leaving the private sector to set the pace
in standards in service and efficiency with the remainder.
hope is that losses will be cut and that the network will undergo a
revitalization. But the idea that a slimmer Ferrocarriles
Argentinas might become profitable is unlikely.
Globe and Mail, March 12, 1987.
Italian trains slower
powered express trains faster 50 years ago than the modem
electric trains
of Italy run today, figures published by the
state railway show.
The Naples -Milan trip takes eight hours and
15 minutes
today -one hour longer than in
Only 56 per cent of Italian trains arrive on time, compared
with 93 per cent
in France and 85 -90 per cent in West
1938, the Turin-Venice express steam train service was
25 minutes faster than
todays service, and the Rome-Naples
service in 1937 was
20 minutes faster.
April, 2, 1985.
station at Montebello, Quebec, has been sold for $ 1.00 on
the condition that it be moved from its present site. Land
has been purchased across the street with the move
of the 1930-
era station scheduled for next summer.
Source Le Droit via Branchline.
Les nouvelles locomotives G. M. de Via Rail ont maintenant
jaites leur apparition sur plusieurs liaisons jeoviaires au
Sur la photo, nous apercevons une nouvelle locomo­
6415. Ellejutphotographieea15 h26 a la
gare de Dorval sur la train No. 62 en provenance de Toronto.
ce 11 jevrier 1987, if sedingea par fa suite vers la gare
Centrale de Montreal.
de Daniel Poirier.
out of the biggest gold rush the world has ever seen.
And long after the fortune -seekers had fled, it continued to
carry thousands
of tourists each year through some of the most
spectacular mountain scenery
in North America.
The 170 -km trip from the Alaskan port of Skagway to the
Yukon capital
of Whitehorse took an eye -popping eight hours to
But as the mines closed and the Yukon economy slid into
recession four years ago, the elegantly decked Victorian
of the Whitepass and Yukon Railway made their last
then, the WP & YR s track and trains have been
dormant. But if a 39-year-old New York-based railway
entrepreneur has his
way, rail passengers may once again
traverse the historic White Pass Summit as early as summer.
Don Prima, president of Fantasia Trains, is currently
wooing Canadian and American investors for
the$ 50 million he
is needed to put the WP & YR back on track.
Prima, whose own company plans to invest millions in the
venture, is a passionate believer
in the lines usefulness.
I expect people will come from all over the
world, booking
ahead, just to ride that train, he said enthusiastically.

Its a gold mine!
The comment is an ironic one, given the railways
Construction of the line began in May 1898, less than two
years after gold was discovered in Rabbit Creek (since renamed
Bonanza Creek) , a tributary of the Klondike River.
of the find sparked one of the great mass migrations in
North American history, with as many as 100,000 people
heading for the gold fields and about
half that number actually
reaching them.
The coveted spot lay 1,046 km north of the head of navigation
at Skagway and
Dyea, Alaska.
The quickest was to get there was to travel up the West Coast
to Skagway or Dyea, hike about 65 km by either the Chilkoot
or the White Pass Trail to Lake Bennett, then build a boat
and sail
800 km down the Yukon River to Dawson.
Railway capitalists quickly realized that money could be
made moving prospectors to the fields.
Chief among them was Mike Heney, otherwise known as the
Prince, a former Canadian railway contractor who had
helped build the Canadian Pacific.
Backed by British financiers,
Heney erected a railway
uniquely suited to the snake -like terrain along the Whitepass
Old·time ,steam eosine shuttled along nbrthem route
. . . riden of byro;Je etfIf:Ddiirtd 170-hD trip tlW lasted eigh, bouts
Instead of the usual 1.43 -metre gauge, the space between
WP&YRs tracks was only .91 metres, an innovation
which probably cut the companys construction costs
By doing this, Heney had abandoned a tradition that went
to the days of the Roman Empire, when all chariot wheels
were set precisely 1.43 metres apart.
The railway between Skagway and Whitehorse took $ 10
million and 27 months to complete. The number of workers on
the project on a given day varied
from 2,000 to 700 , depending
on how many were lured away
by rumors of another gold strike.
Canadian and American dignitaries watched as a real gold
spike was placed on a rail at Carcross, Y.
T., on July 29, 1900.
Perhaps ominously, the spike refused to be driven
in and ended
up a twisted piece of gold.
The railway was supposed to provide a regular service taking
freight and passengers from tidewater at Skagway to Whitehorse
and thence
by riverboat to the Klondike fields. But by the time it
opened, the stampede had ended as new strikes
in Alaska and
British Columbia enticed prospectors.
Still, until the First World
War the railway stayed busy
hauling bullion out
of the Klondike. But then the Yukon
economy ground to a halt.
For a time, the WP & YR survived on tourism. By 1927,
passenger traffic peaked at 22,
667. But the Depression took
even this business away.
By the late
1930s, the Yukons population had shrunk to
4,000, while Whitehorse became a virtual ghost town of 375 ,
of them employees of the WP & YR.
The railway might have died then were it not for the outbreak
of the Second World
THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, Sunday, January 4, 1987
The WP & YR became an integral part of the Alaska
Highway project, moving troops, construction workers and
materials to a road which was to connect a string
of airbases
stretching from Edmonton to Fairbanks, Alaska.
In fact,
for the last four years of the war , the U . S. Army took
over operation
of the railway.
During the postwar
years, the WP & YR s commercial
operations gradually diminished as highways and airplanes
became the favored modes
of transport into the Yukon.
But the crunch came
in 1982 when the territorys largest
mine operation, Cyprus Anvil, shut down. A
few months later,
the railway was similarly mothballed.
The reopening
of the Cyprus Anvil mine last summer did little
to revive the railway.
Part of the deal struck between the
government and the
mines new owners, Curragh Resources,
was the year-round maintenance
of a road between Whitehorse
and Skagway. The company has found
it cheaper to move its ore
by truck rather than rail.
That leaves tourism as the only possible savior
of the
WP & YR. Rolf Hougen, a Whitehorse businessman and head
of a Yukon Chamber
of Commerce committee aimed at
reopening the railway, notes that the number of cruise ship
in Skagway has nearly doubled in the last two
Based on this,
he estimates that between 80,000 and
100,000 people per year would take the train trip, each paying
$100 (US).
Having travelled the line dozens
of times himself, Hougen is
confident tourists will be drawn by its remarkable scenery and
unique history -including the chance to view from the comfort
of a railway carriage the Trail
of 98 and the famous Dead Horse
Gulch, where gold -crazed prospectors drove thousands of
horses into the gulch and left them there to die.
Hougen supports
Primas ambitious plans-which include a
theme park
in Skagway and a year-round resort at Bennett­
with only one proviso.
If he acquires it and fails, we want the Alaska and Yukon governments to have the right
of first refusal to buy it, Hougen
Whatever happens,
we dont want this railway to end up on
the scrap heap.
Source Edmonton Journal via Lon Marsh.
Deux Autorails Anglais chez Via Rail
Par: Daniel Poirier
un complement d information it I article paru it la page 177
No. 394 de Canadian Rail.
Nous apercevons sur cette photographie, derriere les trois
Ie railbus No. Bre175 en route vers Thompson
au Manitoba. Apres avoir effectue
dif:Terents tests aux
de Montreal et de Chicoutimi, ilJut alors trans porte
du Centre provisoire de maintenance
de Via Rail, de Ville
vers Ie Manitoba, sur Ie wagon plat du Canadien
National No.
667196, faisant ainsiparti dun train de
marchandise regulier du C. N. Cette photographie Jut prise
lapres-midi du 17 avril 1986 sur la voie principafe
de Canadien National a Ville St-Pierre, en banlieue
de Montreal.
de Daniel Poirier.
Apres avoir termine les diJjerents tests
a Alexandria en
Ontario et a Thompson au Manitoba, Ie railbus etait de
retour a Ville St-Pierre (Qc). On I aper{:oit ici dans fa
cour de Via Rail, Ie matin du 23 novembre 1986. A
remarquer Ie logo de Via Rail et de Transport Canada sur
Ie cote de la voiture.
Une surprise attendait les amateurs de chemin de fer au
de novembre 1986. En ejJet, deux railbus de la
compagnie Leyland pouvaient etre remarques dans
la cour
de Via Rail de Ville St -Pierre (Qc). II sera it interessant
d ajouter pour Ie benefice de nos lecteurs et lectrices que
deux railbus semblabfe ont effectues durant Expo
86 a
Vancouver, trois voyages quotidien sur les voies ferrees de
BC Hydro, entre Abbotsford et New Westminster en
Colombie Britannique, de la fin du mois de juin jusqu au
du mois d aout 1986.
Cette photographie Jut prise Ie 23 novembre 1986.
12 fivrier 1987, Daniel Poirier.
Amtrak: The head -end push
Seventy-Jour new car.r atkkd 10 itsfleet havegivenAmrrok new
muscle in irs fight for mail-and-express lrqific -and the
results are sho
….. ,ng up dramatically in the relenue column.
By: Gus Welty
siege develop (l siege mentality: Its circle the wagons,
and h a1 hands prepare to repel boarders.
Amtrak ha~ been under siege since .. bout 1981 , lighting for its
very life against Administration -led efforts to end its federal
financial ,uppar!. efforts that somehow fail to recogniz.e that the
National Railroad Passenger Corp. represents one of the few
federal programs that is doing more for less.
ut Amtrak 5 theory is that the best defense ill a good
offense. II has worked to build its basic business, passenger
traffic. with new equipment, improved service and iroaginative
tion. That work is paying off. by viTlually every indicator
of service and financial performance.
weIJ-known up to this point is what Amtrak is doing to
its freight ,. business. But this effort is something to be
reckoned with, because Amtrak now has the equipmCJlt, tbe
service aud the desi
re to make it a major player. competing in
the big leagues with
other carries. surface and even air.
• New c:apaeity -aod a new look. An;llraks mail-and­
express business rates just a few Lines in the 1986 annual report.
lines that
J;lotethat revenues wen! up by 5.5% and that prospeCIS
for future increases have been improved by the addition of 74
new cars to the flee
Seldom have so few lines said so little about so much
Amtrak did add those ear.;. Thrall-built 61-foot
(inside) plug-door
cars, and thereby added about 50% to its
mail/express capacity. But what Anltrak has al~o added is a
whole new look at what railroads used to
call the ., headend
Amtrak went after more business from the U. S. Postal
Service and got it. Mail revenues in the early 1980$ were about
$10 million a year. Mail revenues are now running about $29
million in Fiscal Year 1988. On at lesstone route, Amtrak has
led Express Mail and done as well with it as if the premium
mail had gone by
Amtrak has gone into the big-package. regular-customer
express business hea
d-to-bead with motor carriers. with
station-lo-station service over its rail network and with pick­
livcry service at major points in cooperation with
local truckers.
Amtrak has gotten the airline industry
5 attention with a
transcontinental express s
ervice between Boston-New York
and Los Angeles. Of
course. the service isnt as fast as air
freight. But
it s reliable and it s cost-effective for shipments
dont require delivery in a matter of hours: A single new
Amtrak express
car can handle the same freight volume that a
727 air· freighter can handle. and it costs a lot less
to move that
express car than it does to fly a 727 coast-to-coast,
• Seizin, opportunltiet. In both mail and express operations.
Amtrak has taken advWlUtgcof opportunity. focusing on what. s
happening in the marketplace with both
rurline deregulation and
ruotor-carrier deregulation.
or example, with the Civil Aeronautics Board headed into
the s
unset, mail contracts and the handling of those contracts
Amtrdk: was able to establish and maintain a good
rdalionship with the USPS, one that gave rise to the railroads
Norlhe ….. t Corridor, Washington-New York· Boston mail
trains and one that
atso added welcome mail revenues to a
or long -haul trains.
On the elCpress side. Amtrak looked at what the many
express companies were doing and saw over -capacity in the
small· package business.
It also looked at motor-carricr defeg
and saw a lot
of operators working on irregular schedules. It
looked at its own operation, which had been essentially a
ge-cxpress busi.ness, and decided that the time was ripe
for a change -to merchandise a dependable, regular service
tied to passenger-tra
in schedules and aim its promotion at fcwer
but more-regu
lar commercial shippers. Amtrak. Express was
born Jan. 1, 1
986. and business has been growing. Small
packages are still we
lcome. of course, but a major rocus has
en on heavier freight.
With its car-fleet expansion, with a major marketing push on
express business and with estab
lishment of a customer scrviee
centet( comp
lete with toll-frce 800 number) , Amtrak is now a
fulJ-service operator .

Support from the top. Oonald R. Skinner i~ Amtraks
manager-cnail and express sales, and Susan Henriques -Payne
is cruef -express sales, and what theyre seeing is an Amtrak
managemenl that has been
exttemely supportive of the mail­
express initiative.
As just one example, Amt
rak is now operating separate
trains along the C
hicago-Pittsburgh route of the Broadway
Limited and the Capitol
Limited instead of combining the
ains at Pittsburgh. That has advantages for passcngers. It also
benefits Amtraks mail-handling
Naturally, Amtrak watches the dollar closely. It drove a
hard bargain
and got a good one on the 14 new mail-express
cars. But
it also spends when the spending will producc a good
return on rtxed facilities:
Amtrak invested about $ I million in a
tenninal for mail-handling at Washington. andi! is looking
at construction of a
similar temlinal at the north end of the
In Fiscal Year 1986. Amtrak showed all-time-high
revenues, more than
$861 million. Expenses were down. The
ta-expense ratio improved. The operating subsidy
edined. And there was another significant improvement in the
easure known as passenger-miles· per-dollar -af· federal­
is, first and foremost, the nationS passenger
But the gains it
s making in the freight business, the mail­
and-express business. are strengthening its case against those
who would lay siege to
it .•
Source: Railway Age.
Editors Note: Why cant via do the same?
On June 5 1948. C. P. R. train No. 53 I, consisting of se~n wooden cars and hauled by locomotive 258 J, sped west along the
embankment lhrough Notre
Dome de Grace between Westmoun( and Montreal West stations.
C.R.H.A. Archi~·e.r. Toohey Collection.

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