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Canadian Rail 439 1994

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Canadian Rail 439 1994

Canadian Rail
No, 439
……. HOWARD O·HAGAN…………… 66
…………………………………………………………… DOUGLAS N.W. SMITH ……….. 72
-UP …………………………… . ………………………………………… ____ .. 73
79 IN MEMORIAM EDMUND LAMBERT.. …………………………………………. .
FRONT COVER. Bock iii IhtdaY-I 0/ steam Ihe roulldhou.le was one of Ihe mosl im/,or/GIII
.lIrlll:/IIres on 111<, railway SPiel/!. In III!y ifllplf:SJire vi(ll, rakell in 1953, we src CNR MUJI/J/uill­
type /(l
eomo/ire 6005 011 Ihe IImJ/ahll! 0/ lire roundhouse 0./ Jruper. AlMrta. NOll Ihe
magnijicofll sighl of Ihe Rocky MOU/Jlllills in flit bodgrowrd. also Ihe impressivt W(I/Iff Wllk
ond chimney
Provincial AIl:/rilts 0/ Alberto, phOI., ,v(J. PA.6
i19, cour/tiy of (nn Marsh.
For your membership in the CRHA, which
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C/O Ian ~. SllUeur,
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feveIsIOb. B.C ~ 2SO
P.o. eo • .(O()
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EDITOR: Fred r. Angus
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ames Bouchard
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Phone: (506)-734-3467

Foreign Loconlotives and Power Units
in British Columbia
By Mervyn T. Mike Green
During the research for my book on all the industrial
locomotives ever used
in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory
since 1863, I became aware that there was a wide variety
foreign-built locomotives (using steam, compressed air, electric
and diesel traction) and power units used in B.C over the last 130
years. I am referring here only to items built in construction plants
located outside
of North America, for although units built in
various U.S.A. loco plants are technically
foreign, many copies
of these American types were also produced in Canadian plants
(mostly in Ontario and Quebec). I am therefore not including, for
example, any loco produced by General Electric, nor General
Motors Diesel Division
(GMD)/ Electro-Motive Division (EMD),
of General Motors, nor Plymouth, nor Porter, nor Whitcomb,
to mention only a few.
The foreign units described below have worked in many
different industries in B.C., but the greatest number were employed
in some
fOlm of mining. There were also a few which never turned
a wheel in revenue service; these have included some units which
were in transit
to another country or Canadian province, or which
were displayed in B.
C. as a builders sample or as part of a major
exhibition such as Expo 86.
Apart from Expo
86, foreign locomotives used in B.C.
have been imported from at least fourteen different foreign builders,
in five different European countries and one Asian country.
In alphabetical order, the European units were built in Austlia,
England, Gelmany, Scotland and Sweden, while there has been but
one group
of units from Asia, all of which were built in Japan. The
country which has provided the largest variety
of locos over the
years has been England, which has exported units for more than
150 years.
The numbers carried on the builders plates which were
assigned and attached at the times
of construction are given below
(wherever known), after the abbreviation c#, for construction
The Austrian locomotive builders are represented in B.C.
by two types
of mining unit, all built by the JenbacherWerke (JW)
in Jenbach, a small town a few kilometres east of Innsbruck. The
constIuction plant is located on the north side of the Austrian
Federal Railways (OBB) main line which goes east
to Vienna. JW
has built diesel industrial units in any gauge from one metre up, but
it has also built many standard-gauge locos for OBB, including the current standard diesel switchers
of classes 2043 (built 1964-74,
weighing 68 tons, supported on two 4-wheel trucks and producing
1475 hp),
2060 (built 1954-60,27 tons, 200 hp on 4 wheels), 2062
(built 1958-66, 32 tons
400 hp on 4 wheels), and 2068 (built 1990-
93, 1100 hp on two 4-wheel trucks with hydraulic drive
The seven 4-wheel diesel-mechanical units in B.C. were
all built in the mid 1950s, for Teck Corporation
s operations at the
ex-Highland Bell Silver Mine, located inside Wallace Mountain at
Beaverdell, about
90 km. south of Kelowna B.C. The locos are all
gauge mine mules of two sizes: #1 to #3 weighing 10 tons
each and #4
to #7 weighing 20 tons, carrying c#s 1) 81-87 (in
numerical order, on units 1-7). Each has a distinctive
JW logo
(with the J above the
W) cast into its wheel axle bearings. The
locos were in use at Beaverdell until 1989, when Teck closed down
mine. All the equipment used there (including some other 24
gauge battery-electric units, whose maker
is not known) was
moth-balled and stored, pending a decision on the future of the
whole mining operation during the depressed state
of the international
metals market
in the late 1980s.
Later that year, two
of the small JW units (#2 and #3) were
sold to the Nelson Machinery Co. (Nelmaco). which is located on
a sandy bench above the Thompson River at Savona B.C.
This site
is about 40 km. west of Kamloops, adjacent to the CPR main line
at mile 25.2
of the Thompson Subdivision and just north of (and
below) the Trans-Canada Highway, #1. The vast storage yard
there stretches over several rolling hectares
of semi-desert. From
about 1960 to 1988, Ne1maco also had a small storage yard at
#1255 Welch Avenue, North Vancouver Uust west
of the BCR
passenger station), but since 1988 aU of its business of servicing,
salvaging, rebuilcling and scrapping
of industrial locos has been
at Savona. The climate here is so dry that units can
be left
out of doors without covers, with little or no damage or
deterioration from rusting
of metal surfaces. JW #3 is still there,
awaiting a call to service.
#2 was sold (1991) to the Savage brothers of #16300
CambieRoad, Richmond B.C. (about 25km. southeast
of Vancouver),
where it is now located, about 0.5 km. south
of the CNR Mile 7
of the Greater Vancouver Telminals. Many readers know of
the Maine Two Footers on the U.S. East Coast, which were once
used to harvest cranberries, and which operated until 1992 on the
Edaville RailJoad at South Carver Massachusetts. This equipment
has been moved
to Portland, Maine for a new Maine Narrow Gauge
Museum. Few know that similar narrow-gauge lines still exist
today on the West Coast. There areover ten cranberry
rail operations on the Pacific Coast at Grayland
Washington and one cranberry rail way
in Richmond
B.C. -the latter
is a unique operation in Canada!
44 MARS -AVRIL 1994
Since 1991 the Savages have used the small
Austrian unit each October and November on their
24 gauge Columbia Cranberries Railway (CC)
during their annual cranberry harvesting season.
They first built the rail trackage
in 1982 and have
it twice since then, first further northward
and then eastward, to a
CUITent total length of about
5 km. After experiments with various methods
getting the ripe cranberries out of the flooded peat
in which the fruit grows and onto road
vehicles for transportation to the nearby cranberry
packing plant (which have included power vacuums,
helicopters, and road trucks with trailers), the Savages
have settled on a rail-based method. They have
found that a combination
of man-operated rakes Columbia Cranberries Auslrian-buill Jenbacherwerke 24 gauge 4-wheel10-loll unit
and booms to collect the ripe berries in the flooded #2 aboul to work Oil the peat Jields in Richmond B.C. in 1991. It is one oj a group oj
fields, then transfer of the fruit onto a gas-powered three small units built in AustriaJor the Beaverdell Mine in the 1950s. (Author)
conveyor belt and into large wooden containers
carried on narrow-gauge railway flat cars, then transfer
of the
containers by forklift truck onto a road truck, to be carried to the
Ocean Spra y Cannery abou
tone km. a way, was the bes t com bination
of methods. The weight of the picked berries is well distributed
over the surface
of the earthen levees along which run the rail
tracks; this
has minimised surface damage and compression of the
field levees and lessened costly rebuilding. Here, #2 works with
three other varied diesel units, all obtained from Nelmaco.
The chief engineer
of this motley diesel collection is an
engineer for the B.C. Ferries coastal fleet (based a
short distance
to the south on the Fraser River) -an
occupation that is a vast difference in size and power
from his rail charges!
He is also responsible for
maintaining a steam-powered 4-4-0 loco, #1865, built
by the Crown Metal Products of Wyano PA., which is
to haul three steel passenger cars to give rides at
Savage family picnics and to Lions Club outings for
needy children. The Savages also own a 1915 Sawyer-.
Massey steam traction engine, which
is fired up on rare i ..
occasions. Meanwhile, unit #3 is still awaiting a buyer
at Savona B.C., while the rest
of the JW group (#1 and
#4-7) remain
in storage, sealed inside the mine at
Beaverdell B.C.
(HUNS), also of Leeds (Yorks); Manning Wardle & Co. (MW),
also of Leeds; and Ruston & Hornsby Ltd. (R&H) of Lincoln, in
East Anglia.
The A veling & Porter company
is best known for its
stream road traction engines and road rollers, many hundreds
which were built from the 1850s up to the years after World War
IT. The first two A&P units in B.C. were built in 1860 and are
The English units were built by six different The British Londoll Midland and Scot/ish Railway Co. standard-gauge 0-6-0 diesel­
companies: Aveling & Porter Ltd. (A&P) of Rochester hydraulic switcher #7056 is the same type as the two Hudswell Clarke units built ill
(Kent); Electromobile Ltd. (EL) of an unknown source; 1949. They were acquired from Samuel Williams oj Dagenham Docks in April 1960.
Hudswell Clarke & Co. Ltd. (HC) of the Railway #21 and #22 spent the next 13 and 14 years respectively working Jor Vancouver
Foundry, Leeds (Yorkshire); Hunslet Engine Co. Wharves ill North Vancouver, B.C. (AuthOl~ s Collection)
believed to be those used by Rogers Logging on the very first steam
logging operations in B.C., hauling logs from
1871 to 1895 or so
for a few kilometres northwest over a wood pole track from the
inland area being cleared
in Kitsilano (western Vancouver) to
Jerrys Cove, on English Bay (now, Jericho Beach, but first named
after Jeremiah Rogers, for the Biblical Jeremiah came from
The route today is occupied by Valley Drive and runs
northwest into English Bay. There, the logs were transferred to
barges a
nd sailed east along the coast to sawmills located on
B urrard Inlet and around False Creek. Around 1871, logger
Jeremiah Rogers bought two second-hand 4-wheel steam tractors.
They had run on four road wheels apiece, and had been operated
by the Barnard Freight Line along the Cariboo Highway which had
been built between 1861 and 1865 and ran from Yale to
Barkerville via Yale, Spuzzum, Lytton,
Cooks Ferry, Clinton and
Soda Creek. The road tractors had run since about 1865, having
come second-hand to B.C. from England. Later, with their road
wheels replaced by four new double-flanged steel wheels apiece,
they operated for Rogers on wood pole rails
of unknown gauge (cut
from the surrounding forest), until about 1895. Rogers also had a
rail logging operation which ran north down from Little Mountain
(via todays Swangard Stadium) to a mill on False Creek. When
rail logging operations ceased, both
A&P units were scrapped,
probably on site, somewhere in the Kitsilano or False Creek areas,
about 1895.
The second two
A&P units were used on the Departure Bay
Coal Co. (DBCC) operations
in Nanaimo B.C., on the eastern
of Vancouver Island. They were both 0-4-0s, built in July
1875 as 36 gauge 6 horsepower steam road tractors, with c#s 1109
and 1110 (DBCC
#1 and #2). The Nanaimo company bought them
Mr. W. Bird, a dealer in Vancouver, who imported them from
England in 1875.
The DBCC had them both converted to 42 gauge
flanged wheels and a geared drive in Nanaimo, where they worked
for the next
14 years, pulling wooden tubs of coal from the mines
to be dumped into coastal lighters. The mines became part
of the
Dunsmuir & Diggle Coal Co. (D&DCC) of Nanaimo
in 1889 and
the two locos were part
of the deal. They did not last long with their
new masters, however, for they were the
odd men out. D&DCC
preferred a roster
of 6-coupled tank engines, all built between 1876
and 1888 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works
of Philadelphia
Pennsylvania -both the English engines were scrapped
in Nanaimo
soon after their purchase
The ElectromotivE limited (sic) locomotive is a unique
item. It is a 4-wheel 30 gauge battery-electric mine mule
weighing 3 tons. Power from the batteries (located
in two large
boxes, one at each end
of the loco) feeds a small electric motor,
which drives the axles through a series
of steel triple chain links.
Believed to have been built
in England in 1920 by General Electric
(as its type R27M) for the Clayburn Brick & Tile Works
Abbotsford B.C. as its #5, it became Clayburn Industries #5 in
1928, and spent the rest
of its life hauling 4-wheel wooden wagons
of fireclay out of the mine adit on the southwestern flank
of Sumas
Mountain over a 200 metre line
to a reload point at Kilgard, east
The British-builtlO gaugefour-wheelbattery-electric ElectromabilE
Limited unit used by Clayburn industries (near Abbotsford B.C.) was
in its battery-charging shed in Kilgard for 25 years after its
withdrawal from service in
1968. It suffered from vandalism while
sitting inside its dark little home; seen here in
1992. (Author)
of Abbotsford. When operations ceased in 1968, the loco was
stored in a small battery-recharging shed at Kilgard. UnfOltunately,
the unit was vandalised at least once, so that its
makers plates have
been removed from both ends
of its frame. Attempts to identify it
from sources in Canada, U.S.A. and Britain have so far not
produced any definite data, apart from its indivual controller
In March 1993, CI donated #5 to the Sumas-Matsqui­
Abbotsford Museum Society, which plans a cosmetic restoration.
In July 1993, the loco was removed to a new site, at 4315 Wright
Street, in Clayburn Village (north
of Abbotsford), behind the
Clayburn Community Centre, where it resides under a lean-to
cover, at the rear
of a separate shed.
Hudswell Clarke was one
of the earliest British exporters
of steam locomotives, supplying many units to British colonies
and other overseas buyers from its Leeds Railway Foundry from
1870 on. The first two HC units did not arrive in B.C. until 90 years
later; they were standard-gauge 6-wheellocos and a lot heavier at
30 tons and more powerful (producing 275 hp) than most industrial
locos. Based upon a shunter design for the London Midland &
Scottish Railway, these two were built in 1949 with diesel-
was scrapped in North Vancouver in January
1973, but its sister #22
(#0702) lasted for a
few more years. VW #22 was sold
in 1974
to Commercial Steel Co. (CSC), a scrap
metal dealer located on Commercial Orive,
Burnaby (east
of Vancouver). There, it
switched hopper cars
of scrap steel and other
metals brought
in over BCER tracks from
BCR and CNR until 1976. Then, it was also
cut up and joined the other metals unloaded
by two rail-mounted 4-wheelcranes (equipped
with electro-magnets) and placed forsmelting
CSCS electric furnaces.
This 6-wheel Huwood Hudswell36 gauge diesel mine loco is now displayed (1992) at the
Fernie East, B.C. Infocentre with a train
of four 4-wheel wood-sided coal cars. (Lome
The third HC unit never turned a wheel in
revenue service in B.C., but it does still exist
in this province. This is a 36 gauge 100 hp
OM 641 series unit: a
6-wheel diesel­
mechanical ioco, built in 1948 for the
International Coal
& Coke Co. of Coleman,
Alberta. It carries an unusual Huwood
Hudswell plate on its radiator nose -the
Huwood Co. was a major Canadian importer
A close-up of the brass builders plate on DM 641 at
Fernie, B.C.
(Lome Nicklason).
hydraulic power plants (c#s 0701-2) for Samuel Williams
Ltd. and were used to switch
(shunt) the Oagenham
Docks (near the Ford Motor Co.
s main British erection
plant) on the Thames in Essex, east
of London. They
arrived in North Vancouver
in May 1960, were numbered
#21 and #22 and were put to work at Vancouver Wharves
(VW) operation there, switching hopper cars and gondola
of sulphur, coal and molybdenum, en route to Asian
customers. They were the first diesel-hydraulic locos in
B.C. and worked for almost 14 years, until they were
by larger, heaver and newer units. These were
American Locomotive Co. and Montreal Locomotive Works
S3 diesel-electric units, which arrived from 1969 on, to
handle the heavier trainloads being brought
in by BCR and
CNR to be unloaded at
VWs telminal. Unit #21 (#0701)
of HC locos in the years after World War II.
After working underground until 1969, the loco was retired and
then acquired by the City
of Fernie B.C. It spent 20 years in the
City Works Yard, before being repainted and
put on display in
1989 with four wooden 4-wheel coal cars at the Fernie Travel
lnfocentre, on Hight #3 at the east end
of the City. Here, it can
easily be seen from the Crowsnest Highway. It is displayed with
several other items
of local mining history, including a tall wooden
derrick, several steel ore cars and four other locos: two Porter-built
steam 0-4-0STs (built 1901 and 1904) and two Hunslet-built
diesel-mechanical 4 wheel
mine mules (described below).
The Hunslet-built 36 gauge diesel-mechanical unit (from the Elk River
Colliery) on display
in Fernie, B.C. (1992) Note its mismatched train -a 42
gauge steel hopper car. (Lome Niclason)
The Hunslet-built units in B.C. are of three
s: tw04-wheeldiesel-mechanical mine mules;
4-wheel diesel hydraulic light switchers; and
one small diesel-mechanical mine mule. The
first sub-group consists of two 36 gauge undergrOlU1d
units, currently on display in Fernie B.C. They are
c#3428 (built March 1947) and c#4131 (built
January 1950); both were acquired from the Elk
River Colliery, in 1965 and 1971 respectively.
They have spent time at various locations in Fernie,
before being
moved to the Fernie Infocentre display
in 1990 and 1989 respectively.
The second sub­
group consists
of three identical standard-gauge
units, built for Pacific
Grain Elevators over a
of six years. They are still in use in Lapointe
Pier (Stewart and Commissioner,
in Vancouver,
on the south shore of Burrard Inlet), where they
switch grain hopper cars for unloading into
the elevators and for returning the empties to the
CNR and CPR tracks nearby. They are all 252 hp
locos with hydraulic drives, built and numbered as
#A c#6687, built Sept. 1968; #B c#7182,
The third of the three Hunslet-built standard-gauge diesel-hydraulic 4-wheel switchers
owned by Pacific Elevators
Ltd. is seen going about its daily chores along the
of Vancouver, B.C. in 1986, as it was then painted (Ronald Keillor)
of the Ruston & Hornsby 30 units is shown at work at
the Giant Mascot Mine near Merritt, B
.C. in the 1960s,
handling a train
of side-dumping steel bath-tub are cars.
Derailments in the mine were
common: note the rerailers
hanging on the back end
of the loco. Note also a standard
of equipment of every mine loco: a strong light at each
end. (UBCSCD)
built May 1971; and #C c#7404, built July 1974. The third
sub-group consists
of one tiny 24 gauge unit, producing a
mere 5
hp to power 4.wheels. It was originally built for Ken·­
Addison Mines Co.
of Ontario in May 1959 (c#5286), then
sold in the 1980s to a scrap dealer
in Hope B.C., who sold it –
to the
Columbia Cranberries Railway in Richmond B.C. in
September 1988. It did not do very well there: one of its three
was blown in early 1990. It was sold by Nelmaco
Savona B.C. in June 1991 (and replaced by JW unit #2,
above). It was still there in July 1992, when there was talk
of rebuilding it with a Deutz engine, with a potential sale to
another customer.
There has been no fUIther news of it to date.
There have been only two Manning Wardle (MW)
locomotives in use in B.C. The first was one of the earliest B.C.
units, for it appeared
in 1874, when the H.M. Baird Coal Co. of
Nanaimo B.C. received a new 36 gauge IO-ton 0-6-0 ST steamet,
c# 647: it worked for three years without a running number. The
operation was renamed the Old Country coal Tar Mine in 1877 and
was closed
down soon thereafter. The loco was then sold later the
same year (1877) to the Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Co.
(VCML) of Nanaimo, B.C., where it received running number 3
and the
name Nanairno. After hauling coal tubs around the
Among the locos displayed (1993) along the Industrial Road at Britannia
Beach, B.C.
is Ruston & Hornsby 24 gauge 4-wheel mine unit #78. This
started life
43 years ago, as Crows Nest Pass Coal Co. #78. (Author)
Two of the four currently-operating diesel-mechanical 24 gauge
of the Columbia Cranberries line are shown here, resting during
1989 harvest season in Richmond,B.C On the left is #3, Ruston &
Hornsby of 1958, accompanied by Jimmy #1, a much-altered Plymouth
FMD-OO of 1959. (Author)
Nanaimo pits for the next 28 years, it was leased for
The fifth group of English-built units came from Ruston &
Hornsby Ltd. R&H) and comprised three diesel-mechanical
The first sub-group consisted of a single 24 gauge mine
mule built in 1950 for the Crows Ne
st Pass Coal Co. (CNPC),
a Great Northern Railway subsidiary, which operated in the
Fernie and Michel areas
of southeastern B.C. The second sub­
group comprised three 24 gauge mine mules built in 1958
for the Craigmont
Copper Mines Co. of Merritt B.Cc. while the
third sub-group consisted
of at least two 30 gauge units, which
were built for the Giant Mascot Mines Co.
of Hope B.C.
The first R&H unit carried c#349078, was a type DLG-48,
and weighed 7.5 tons. It worked in the CNPC
coal mines for
seven years, until the company closed down in
1957. Soon
after, it was sold to the
Vancouver Iron and Engineering
Works, located on the south shore
of False Creek in Vancouver.
It worked there, handling loads of iron and steel construction
materials, until it was declared unnecessary after a change in
materials handling at the Works.
The unit was sold to Nelmaco
in 1964. but there were
no buyers for it, so in 1976 it was
donated to the recently-opened B.C. Mining Museum (BCMM),
at Britannia Beach, on the eastern shore
of Howe Sound, about
50 km. north of Vancouver. Over the years, Nelmaco has been
very generous to the
BCMM, donating at least three diesel
locos for display at its site in the ex-Anaconda Copper Mine.
almost three years (1905-08) to the Andrew Haslam
Co. of Nanaimo. There it helped to log an area
about 15 km. south
of the city. Upon its return from
lease in
908, #3 was sold to the Ladysmith Lumber Co.
of Cassidy B.C., which operated over part of
the Dunsmuir-owned line from Departure Bay to East
Wellington (another part
of the Dunsmuir empire,
which also included the Esquimaltand NanaimoRailway
but it lasted there only for a few months. In late
1908 it was sold yet again, this time to the New
Lumber Co. of Ladysmith B.C. However,
its journeyings were not yet over, for it soon moved to
the B.C. mainland. Here, it was used on the Howe
Sound Pemberton Valley & Northern Railway Co.
between Squamish and Anderson Lake, during the
construction period
of the railway, 1909-10. After its
transfer to the ownership
of the Pacific Great Eastern
Railway Co. in November 1912 as #3, the loco saw
(but limited) service on the PGER, until it was
withdrawn and
scrapped at PGERs Squamish Works
in 1919. Thus, in its lifetime of 45 years, this boomer
loco worked. for seven different owners, having one.of
the most varied careers of any industrial loco in B.C. A
second larger
MW 0-6-0 ST (built 1874) was also
acquired by the VCML (from an unknown source) in
Parked just above the entrance of the B.C. Mining Museum of Britannia Beach is
NB 36 gauge mine unit #36. Seen here in 1993, this unit started
36 years ago in Lethbridge, Alberta, then was used in Coleman, Alberta,
Hope,. B.C., Fort Nelson,
B.C., and Savona, B.C., before coming to rest at
Britannia Beach, B.C. Note again a mismatched train, consisting
of a 42 gauge
Granby steel ore car. (Autho
1884. This unit weighed just over 10 tons and carried the name

London, running as #4. However, this umt stayed and worked on
Vancouver Island, hauling logs in the forests
of the Nanaimo area,
until it
was withdrawn and scrapped in Nanaimo in 1918. This R&H unit
is displayed along the Industrial Road, just across
Highway #99,
the Sea to Sky Road (Vancouver -Squamish), and
of the BCR main line (mile 31.0 of the Squamish Subdivision.
The three Craigmont Copper Mine
units were built 1958 as
typeLBU, with 3-
cylinder engines of 10-25 hp, and were
numbered and disposed
of as follows:
CCM#l, c#427805, engine #402492,
in the mine (located in the Nicola
Valley, about
15 km. north of Merritt, B.C.),
until the mine was closed
in 1982, then it was
sold or scrapped on site
in 1983.
c#427807, engine # not
known, worked and was disposed of as #1
CCM#3, c#427806, engine #402568,
worked as a 24 gauge unit, then it was
to 42 gauge, then it was reconverted
back to 24 gauge and sold to the Columbia
Cranberries Railway in 1983. There it
is #3
is still at work in East Richmond, B.C.
The two Giant Mascot Gold Mine
Co. units were
of 30 gauge: two 4-wheel
types with Deutz engines: the DLU-48 type,
including c#349059
of 1950, and the F2L812
type, including c#392572
of the mid-1950s.
Both were sold to the West Hope dealer
The standard-gauge ex-Hannover Duewag articulated LRT unit #601, stored in the
Dominion Bridge site
of B.C. Transit in Burnaby, B.C., April 1985. This tram is now in
Edmonton Alberta. On the right can be seen ex-BCER car #1220 (built St. Louis 1913),
which is currently being restored by the Steveston Interurban Restoration Society in
Richmond, B.C. (Lubertus Post)
second-hand forestry equipment in the early 1980s. They have
remained ever since
in his yard, on the groud in the open, awaiting
a buyer. The yard is located at Tom Berry and Starret roads,
adjacent to the CNR main line (mile 43.5
of the Yale Subdivision)
There have been two German builders represented in B.C.:
Henschel-Werke GmbH of Kassel; and Duewag GmbH ofDusseldOlf.
Henschel and Sohn built a large number
of small 0-4-0 T steam and
just east of Hope Airport.
Unit #601, shown here in Fort Edmonton Park in 1990, prior to being refurbished
by Edmonton Transitfor use
011 a special tourist route over the ex-CPR High Level
Bridge with two other trolley cars. (Author)
locos for the Gelman Almy during the time of the Nazi
of military strength in the Depression Years
of the 1930s.
One such unit is c#23026, built in 1936:
is a woodbuming IO-ton 24 gauge unit, used in
earth-dam construction. It is believed to have been
stored for a while during and after World War II, and
then was used by the
US army of Occupation. It was
in the early 1960s by an unknown mining
contractor, who shipped it to North America. It was
resold in 1964 to Leonard Hutton and stored on his
property near Victoria B.C. There
is no information as
to whether this loco ever turned a wheel in revenue
in B.C, although it was lettered by Hutton as
BWR, for his Blue Water Railway. It was sold in
1978 to the Olympic Game Falm Railroad (OGFR) of
Sequim (near Seattle), Washington, after being equipped
with a new boiler
bLlilt in Victoria. As #7 of the OGFR
it pulled train-loads
of visitors to view the zoo animals
1979-80. The whole railway was put up for sale in Dec.
1980 (for
$1 00,000, including track and cars). In April
1988 the locomotive passed through Seattle Docks en
route to Japan. Its fate there
is not known. Recent
research has
shown that a similar German loco
displayed in the
Town of Leavenworth Washington

Nephews to unit #601 -a 6-car train of Edmonton Transit, northbound in November 1992 from
University Station
to Grandin Station, was approaching the tunnel of the north side of the North
Saskatchewan River, running on the last section
of the new LRT bridge which was built in 1991 and
1992. The train
is composed of three 2-car articulated U2 units, built by Siemens-Due wag in
Edmonton, Calgary and Germany. (George Duncan)
comparatively brief stay there,
this orphan
LRT car was sold for
$1 to the Edmonton RadialRailway
Society, in
December 1987. It
moved by road
in 1988 to storage
in Fort Edmonton Park as #60 I .
Plans were made to operate it
Edmonton with two other street
cars (both acquired
in 1989; an
ex-Toronto transit Commission
PCC car #4367 and another tram
from Hinkai, Japan), on the ex­
CPR High Level Bridge Line over
the North Saskatchewan River.
The route would connect the LRT
station at Grandin (beneath the
Legislative Assembly Building)
with South Edmonton Uust north
of the disused CPR depot), but
these plans are still not finalised.
The three cars are on lease to
Edmonton Transit and have
undergone cosmetic restoration at
the D.L. MacDonald Maintenance
Depot, where they are currently
stored, close to theSiemens-Duwag
U2 articulated cars #1001-37 used
(The Bavarian Town) some time
in the 1980s, was actually built
in Sweden, and was returned to Sweden in Fall 1992. This loco
has been confused
in the past with the unit from Victoria/Sequim,
but it is now clear that these are two different units.
The Duewag unit is a two-car Light Rapid Transit set, built
for Hannover,
in the northern part of Gennany, in 1970. This is a
standard-gauge three-truck articulated streetcar
of a new design
(named LRV 1), which ran for three years as Hannover #601.
It is
an uncle of the Siemens-Duewag LRT U2 type, of which many
now in use-in Calgary and Edmonton Alberta, with others at
work in other North American cities, including San Diego California.
There were no repeat orders for the LRV I type: in 1971 the 31-ton
vehicle was bought from Gennany
by the B.C. government, then
shipped to Vancouver
in January 1976 as a demonstration vehicle
for a planned
LRT operation there (which became the SkyTrain
operation, and opened for service just before
Expo 86). A change
of goverrunent occurred
in B.C. soon after LRV 1 arrived, and the
new politicians never really liked the car.
LRV 1 was renumbered
JOOOI and stored between 1976 and 1980 in the B.C. Hydro Ry
(BCRR) depot at Trapp Road, New Westminster B.C. (now the
Southern Railway
of B.C.). It was then transferred in 1980 to the
Transit (BCT) Storage Depot on Boundary Road in Burnaby
(inside the ex-Dominion Bridge warehouse site), adjacent to the
BCR-CNR joint line. Six years later, it was transferred yet again;
this time to the
BCT SkyTrain Yard in East Burnaby. After a by Edmonton Transit. Thus, after a lengthy and roundabout
journey, car #601 is at last near to some
of its nephews, although
it is in need of further work on its narrow-tired tramway
wheelsets (which need to have broader tires, to allow smoother
operation on standard
CPR track).
The only Japanese units ever to run in commercial service
in B.C. (and probably, in all of Canada) were a group of five
electric locomotives built 1969-71 by the giant Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries Ltd.
of Tokyo, Japan. Copper prices then were high on
the world market and Japanese industry was eager to invest
in new
raw materials sources, including the Canada Wide Mines Ltd.
(Granduc) copper operation below Granduc Mountain. This is
located in the remote extreme northwest corner
of the province,
about 60 km. north
of Stewart, B.C. and just east of the Alaskan
boundary. A
16 km.-long tunnel was built between 1964 and 1969
(using three 42 gauge Plymouth DMD24 diesel-mechanical
unitsj. built-1962-63, to ·haul·the construction trains) from Tide
Lake Camp
to reach the ore body. The raw ore was then carried in
8-wheel steel ore cars, running on 42 gauge track as 15-20 car
trains, each hauled by one
of five 8-wheel 750 hp double-ended
electric locos, drawing
power via a pantograph from a 1500 volt
DC overhead catenary line. The locos also transported the miners
between the Leduc work face and the surface camp at Tide Lake,
pulling 4-car trains whose cars held 55 passengers apiece. There
was also one 4-wheel electric converter
unit, used with rail maintenance trains
the tunnel. One of the five locos was
in 1971, soon after its arrival in
B.C. and
it was scrapped: its makers
plate was saved and is now on display in
the Stewart Museum. The remaining four
locos and the converter car worked until
the mine was closed
in 1984, due to the
world-wide slump in copper prices. All
five units were then sealed inside the
mine workings, awaiting a buyer,
or a
major upswing in world copper prices,
to enable the mine to be reopened. Ten
years later, they are still waiting!
A major problem for any potential
is the remote location: the only
surface access
is by a 40 km. gravel road,
leading from the Tide Lake ore
concentrator and camp via Hyder AB to
Steward B.C., but the expensive-to­
maintain road needs constant snow
clearance each winter. It runs along the
east side
of Salmon River and Salmon
Glacier and was built only to serve the
mine. The dried copper ore concentrate
One of the five Mitsubishi-built 42 gauge mine locos, photographed at Canada Wide Mines
camp at Tide Lake, B.C. in
1971. These units were unusual mine locos on several counts: they
had driving cabs at both ends; they ran
on two 4-wheel trucks, to give flexibility and to support
their great length; they drew power via two pantographs (from the overhead 1500v electric
supply line); and the produced a hefty 750 horsepower. (University
of British Columbia, Special
Collections Division)
was sent in six special dual-purpose highway double-tankers
(making four round trips a day) carrying 25 tons
of ore to an ore
and fuel dock located on Portland Canal,
just west of Stewart, then
loaded onto freighters for Japanese customers. The first shipload
of Granduc ore left for Japan in Jan. 1971. The road tankers
returned to Leduc laden with fuel oil supplies for the concentrator
and for the camp heating plant. Since the mine closure (in 1984)
there has been no need to maintain the road,
fOf no caretakers
remain at Tide Lake, thus the
roads condition has deteriorated
F • . ~ : •
The Mitsubishi-built 42 gauge 4-wheel electrical converter car of Canada Wide Mines Ltd.,
also seen
at Tide Lake Camp in 1971. Note the single pantograph on the roof and the Keep Out
-insulated plates on the units sides, which warned maintenance personnel
of electrical
hazard. (UBCSCD)
badly north of the Westmin Resources
plant. This active open-pit gold and
silver mining operation (which opened
in 1989) is located at the sites of the
underground Big Missouri and Premier
mines (about 210 km. from Hyder),
which first operated from 1923 to 1932.
There were also two Japanese-built
maglev units displayed at Expo
which are described below, but these
were never used
in revenue service in
A Made in Scotland label today
to mind exports of knitted clothing,
tam oshanters and tat1ans, and foodstuffs
such as kippers, malt whiskey,
shortbreads, oatcakes and marmalades/
jams, but there also used to be several
major Scottish locomotive builders,
located in the low Clyde Valley in western Scotland.
Two builders are represented in B.C.: the North
British Locomotive Co. (NB), which had two
separate plants in Glasgow, the Queens Park
Works and the Hyde Park Works; and the Sharp­
& Co. plant, also in Glasgow (and later
absorbed by NB). Each builder
is represented by
units, with two preserved and one for sale in B.C.
52 MARS -AVRIL 1994
One NB 30 gauge 4-wheel IS-ton diesel­
mechanical loco
of type BLW-5 was built in 1957
as c#27720, with a 1000 hp Crossley engine. It
first worked for Lethbridge Colliery Ltd. (later,
Dominion Coal Co.)
in Alberta until 1965, when
it was sold to the Giant Mascot
Gold Mines Co.
operation and numbered #36.
This mine was
located high
in the mountains, 30 km. north of
Hope, B.C. #36 stayed there until 1970, then it
was sold to the Churchill
Copper Co. mining
operation near Fort Nelson, B.C. where it ran with
same number. When the mine began to close
down in 1973, #36 was withdrawn from service
Copy of a ticket issued for a trip on the Fort Steele Railway behind Shillp-Stewart-built
0-4-4 T steam loco Dunrobin. (Authors Collection)
and sold to Nelmaco. At about the same time, the
BCMM was being established at Britannia Beach B.C and Nelmaco
donated #36 (and some other
mine locos) for display there. It
arrived and was put on display
at the Museum entrance gate in
February 1974.
It remains there to this day, forming an ore train
with a 42 gauge
Granby steel ore car. A similar unit, c#27492
of 1955 was also used by Giant Mascot Mines until the early 1980s,
when it was sold to the forestry equipment dealer in West Hope,
B.C., where it still sits on the ground, awaiting a buyer (see above,
for the address).
Just across the Alberta border, displayed outside the
Crowsnest Museum in
Coleman Alberta, is a composite NB
mining loco made
of parts from two units owned by Lethbridge
Coal Co. ltd. (LC). This
is a 36 gauge 4-wheel diesel-mechanical
unit built in 1948, but similar to the BLW-5 type displayed at
Britannia Beach Museum.
The Coleman unit carries two makers
plates, with a different number on each side: c#26696 (LC #A) and
c#26697 (LC #B).
The staff of the Fernie Museum in southeastern
B.C. claim that one
of these units should have been displayed in
B.C., as it worked for some time in the Fernie area, but there is no
other confilmation
of this. Anyway, how do you display half of
a preserved loco?
The Sharp-Stewart standard-gauge 0-4-4T steam loco is
much older, having been built at the Atlas Works in Glasgow in·
1895 (c#4085 and named
Dunrobin) for the private railway of the
of Sutherland, one of the financial backers of the Highland
of Scotland (HR). Weighing only 31 tons, it met the main
line trains with a
small4-wheel private saloon/parlour car (built in
1909 by the HR), which carried the Duke and his guests from
Golspie (near Inverness)
to his castle. Dunrobin was maintained
by the HR and subsequently absorbed in HR stock as #397. Withdrawn from service before World
War II, it was stored for
many years, until it and the saloon coach were sold in 1950 to the
Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway in east Kent. It stayed
there as a static display item
at Hythe Station until 1965, when a
Victoria B.C. businessman bought both
Dunrobin and the coach.
He shipped them both to Victoria and placed them
in a storefront
static display on Douglas Street as a tourist attraction. Victoria is
of English reminders of its early years as an English colony
in North America -ironically, these two items were Scottish! (it
be assumed dlat most American tourists cannot distinguish
between England and Scotland. After all, they are both
over there to the East, i.e. Britain!) In 1967 they were both
bought by the Fort Steele Provincial Heritage Park, located 12 km.
of Cranbrook B.C. The site is about 100m. above the east
of the Kootenay River, just east of lie junction of the CPR
Cranbrook Subdivision and the Windermere Subdivision. There,
Dunrobin took up duties on a one-mile loop of track, hauling a
single twin-bogie passenger compartment coach acquired from
British Railways (built
in 1954 for its Eastern Region as its
in addition to the HR 4-wheel saloon.
Dunrobin continued in this role until 1988, sharing its
passenger duties with Lima 3-truck Shay #1l5, built in 1930
(acquired in 1970 from Railway Appliance Research Ltd.
of North
Vancouver B.C.), handling the summer crowds of visitors. It paid
a short visit to Vancouver in 1986, to appear in steam
at Expo 86
(see below), then it was stored and refurbished for a little over two
years. It then reappeared as a star performer at the
Railfair 91
celebrations in the California State Railroad Museum at Sacramento
California in April-May 1991, crewed by Ernie Ottewell of
Revelstoke (CRHA Selkirk Division) and Mike Westren of
Cranbrook (CRHA Crows Nest & Kettle Valley Division). Today,
Dunrobin is back at work on the Fort Steele Railway, but now it
shares passenger duties with #1077, a seventy-year old 2-6-2
steamer built as a wood burner by the Montreal Locomotive Works
of Dec. 1923) for Cathels & Sorenson Lumber Co, of
Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island.
[Editors note: One might also include the thirty locomotives built
for the CPR by Dubs
of Glasgow in 1882; sone of these also saw
service in B.C.].
The Swedish railway builders have become very weJl­
known to North Americans, following the 1993 demonstration
the ASEA-Brown Boveri-built 6-car X2000 electric tilt train on
Amtrak and on its brief tour in Ontario and Quebec. In B.C.,
however, Swedish rail products have played a far less glamorous
role, for they have all been narrow-gauge units, designed for ore
haulage inside mine adits.
Two makers have units here now: the
Atlas Compressed Air Locomotive Co. (ATCO) and the Industria
General Aktiebolaget Co. (IGA), both
of Stockholm. The ATCO
units have seen operation
in several different B.C. locations, with
preserved items today at the BCMM and elsewhere; while the two
IGA units saw mine service in Salmo B.C. and now haul passengers
in summer in Kimberley, B.C.
Many ATCO-built 4-wheel compressed air units
have passed through Nelmacos yard in Savona, B.C.
main competitor in compressed air-driven A-wheel front-end
loader/mucker units was the EIMCO-Finlay Corp.
of Salt Lake
City, Utah, which has built similar units
in gauges from 18 to 42.
There were many customers
in B.C. for its Rocket Shove units
(including the Robert Gold Mine Co. at Ymir, near Nelson, B.C.,
where they were
in use 1952-74) and many others have also been
by Nelmaco. The ATCO units have included: c#59245, a
24 gauge front-end loader/mucker
of type LlOO, which was
acquired from a mine on Vancouver Island in the early 1970s, then
was donated in July 1979 to
be BCMM at Britannia Beach B.C.;
C#298358, a 30 gauge front-end 10ader/mucker, which was
acquired in the early 1980s from another unknown mining operation;
c#112880, a 36 gauge unit
of type E31 is also there, but its origin
is not known. The last two (and another similar unit of 36 gauge,
c# and previous histOlY is also not known) were all for sale
at Savona in mid-1991.
The Texaco Mine Co. operated a copper-iron mine on
Texada Island, some
15 km. south of Powell River B.C., from 1893
to 1977. When the mine closed, an ATCO 36 gauge front-end
loader/mucker was sold to an unknown buyer in August 1977.
Giant Mascot Mine Co. of Hope B.C. also used at least one ATCO
unit, c#191581, a type 56-E 24 gauge front-end loader/mucker.
This one was acquired
by the Hope dealer (mentioned above) after
the mine closed down in 1974.
The Hudson Bay Mine Co. had a lead-zinc mining operation
at Salmo B.C. about
45 km. northeast of Trail, B.C., from the early
1970s to 1978. The HB co. was a subsidiary of the giant Cominco
organization (the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co.
of Canada),
which was established by Alfred Heinze in 1895 to build and
operate the smelter at Trail, on the Columbia River. Heinze was
bought out by the
CPR in 1898, to protect its mining interests
against imoads from its arch-rival the GNR, headed by James
Hill. Cominco had a number of ore properties in B.C., besides the
HB Mine, including the giant Sullivan
Mine (lead-silver-zinc) at
Kimberley and copper mines at Rossland, B.C. (1924-28) and
Stewart, B.C. (1898-1928). Today, the Trail smelter is owned by
Teck Corp. and receives its ore concentrate from the Red Dog Mine
in Alaska, with the ore sent
by road trucks to Anchorage AK, then
by barge to Vancouver Wharves in North Vancouver (bought by
BCRail in 1993) or to Seattle W A, then by BN hopper cars to an
offload site at Boundary, on the Washington B.C. border line, for
delivery to Trail
in road trucks.
In the HB Mine there were at least two IGA-built 36 gauge
8-ton diesel-mechanical units built
in 1972 with Deutz engines:
They were numbered 2 and 4
in the mine. After the mine closed
in 1978, both locos were bought by the Bavarian City Mining
Railway BCMR)
of Kimberley, B.C. and renumbered 1985 (ex-#2
and 1986 (ex-#4). The BCMR line (formed as the Kimberley
Railway and Steam Navigation Association Inc.
in 1978 and built
by volunteers over the next six years) was originally sponsored by
the Kimberley Chamber
of Commerce. Since 1984, the BCMR has
operated each summer for the tourist season, running two-car and
three-car trains
of covered passenger stock over a 2.5 km.-Iong
circular track, built
in the Happy Hans Campground. This is
located just above the City of Kimberley, on Gerry Sorenson Way,
about 5 km. from Kimberley (mile
16.3 on the CPR Kimberley
Subdivision from North Star). Cranbrook B.C.
is about 25 km. to
the south.
The 4-wheel cars each hold 12 passengers and were built
by the BCMR on steel chassis fOimerly used for HB Mine ore cars.
In 1991, the BCMR bought enough new concrete ties to extend its
trackage downhill into the City centre, 5 km. to the south:
construction started in 1992. The rail
ways prospects and the
future lives
of the two IGA units look good. Kimberley was
established and grew up
as a mining town, but for the last 20 years
it has been presenting itself as a tourist centre (promoted as a
Town) and selling the skiing delights of the surrounding
At one point beside
the BCMR track loop, there is an
outdoor display
of the Kimberley District Heritage Society Museum
(KDHSM), containing six 4-wheel mine mules from the Sullivan
Mine Gust across the intervening valley, to the east). However,
these are not foreigners: Cominco overhead-electric units #1, #4
and #5
(aU 36 gauge), and J#34 and #36 (both 18 gauge were built
by the Jeffrey Manufacturing Co. of Columbus Ohio and were all
acquired by the KDHSM
in 1991; the sixth unit, battery-electric
36 gauge Cominco #69, was built
by the Goodman Mining
Equipment Co.
of Chicago Illinois and was acquired by the
in 1985.
Two views of the BREL 2-car standard-gauge railbus #142049, on display at Abbotsford, B.C. (July 30,1986)
The upper view clearly showsthe two-piece automatic folding doors. The temporary Railbus System connected
with the SkyTrain, and passengers changed from one
to the other at New Westminster, B.C. The SkyTrain
service between Vancouver and New Westminster opened for public service
in December 1985, six months
before Expo started. (Both photos by Ronald Keillor)
Finally, there have been a
number of other foreign
locomotives in B.C. which have
spent comparatively short periods
of time within the province, either
because they werepassing through
(en route to a new owner), or were
on display at a Fair or Exposition.
The former types are epitomised
by a smaIl British steam 0-4-0 T
in 1890, which paused for a
while in Vancouver
P0l1, en route
to Hawaii. It may have been
employed briefly
on the narrow­
gauge trackage used to transfer
raw Hawaiian sugar from ocean
freighters to the
factOlY, at #123
Rogers Street, Vancouver,
of the
Sugar Refining Company
which was established in 1890.
At that time, and until 1908, the general moti ve power used
by B.C. Sugar was horse
power, pulling 4-wheel flat
This was supp­
lanted by three gas­
powered trucks with
flanged steel wheels
pushing the trucks, a
system used from 1908
1925. In the latter year
these were replaced
by a
gravity and escalator
system which continued
in use until 1957. Today,
the Rogers Sugar RefinelY
at this site has standard­
gauge rail service via CNR
and CPR, but the plant
has no locos
of its own.
There have been
several foreign demon­
strators in B.
C. at various
times, but the greatest
collection of foreign locos
power units at any
one time occurred in 1986,
when the Expo 86 Worlds
Fair of Transport &
Communication was held
around False Creek in
Vancouver B.C. from April
October 1986. It included
of rail motive power
from many different countries,
incl-uding these foreigners:
From Britain -Rocket,
full-size standard-gauge
replica of Robert Stephenson
& CO.s 0-2-2 steam loco
1829, built in 1979 at the York
National Railway Museum,
where it currently resides. It
was on display inside the ex­
CPR Roundhouse (built
in 1886,
now preserved and the home
ex-CPR 4-4-0 steam loco#374,
which headed the first
transcontinental train from the
East, arriving
in Vancouver on
May 26, 1887).
Rocket also
participated in the Steam
Cavalcade (see below).
Hong Kong double-deck tramcar #12, while on display with a great variety of public transportation
methods at Expo
86, in Vancouver, B.C. in August 1986. (Author)
-#142049, a
standard-gauge two-car diesel-
mechanical railbus Sprinter set, built by BREL-Leyland in 1986
and on loan from British Railways.
It consisted of cars #55590 and
55640, carrying a total
of 121 passengers. Equipped with a 205 hp
Leyland diesel engine, it was tested on theBCR Squamish Subdivision in June 1986, then it operated a twice-daily six-week service from
June 25
to August 10, 1986 on the BCHR (now SRBC) line from
New Westminster to Abbotsford B.C.
From Czechoslovakia – a
4-wheel gas-mechanical 6-man
track inspection car (standard­
gauge), built in 1910 by Usti­
of Bohemia. On loan
from the National Technical
of Prague, it was also
on display inside the
From France -#12, built
by Soule
of Paris: this was a 6-
person elevated system hauled
by a cable. Twelve cars
of this
people-mover system operated
at the French Pavilion.
built a similar system for the
Charles de Gaulle Airport
Paris in 1992-93.
HSST car #500, outside the Japan Pavilion at Expo 86, Vancouver, B.C. (Author)
-AJamis was a
12-person LRT car, built by
of Paris in 1986. It also
was on display outside the French
Also at Expo 86, on display outside the Japan Pavilion, was Maglev car
#03. (Author)
Pavilion. In 1991, Matra provided this system (OrlyVAL) to
connect the second Paris airport at Orty with the Metro and RER
in the city.
From Germany -#4,
an 800 mm. gauge steam 0-4-0 T,
built in 1884
by Krauss-Maffei Locomotive Works in Munich,
Bavaria (c#1576) for the Kladno Steelworks (SONP) in
Czechoslovakia. It was displayed inside the. Czech
.. Pav.ilion, on,.,
loan from the National Technical Museum
of Prague (CZ).
-#07, a sleek 4-seat passenger-carrying maglev
car (powered
by magnetic levitation) built in 1985 by Thyssen­
Henschel Gmbh
of Kassel. This car, displayed inside the German
Pavilion, had reached a maximum speed of 355 kph on December
12, 1985.
From Hong Kong -#12, a colourful 42 gauge double-deck
tramcar equipped for one-man operation (through English
Electric controls) from a
500 volt DC overhead power line.
Built in 1949 at Hong Kong Docks and operated by Hong Kong
Tramways until 1986, it was later moved
to the B.C. Museum
of Transportation (BCMT) at Cloverdale B,C. after Expo 86
closed and was displayed there until 1989. It was then donated
to the Greater Victoria Electric Railway Society (GVERS)
participated in a 1991 exchange deal with the Glenwood
Trolley Museum Uust west
of Portland Oregon). In return for
#12, the GVERS obtained a 4-wheel Brill trolley car, originally
in 1912 for use in Oporto, Portugal and displayed in
Glenwood since 1988
as #167, The GVERS then repainted this
in red and cream as BCER #30 and loaned it to the BCMT
at Cloverdale during
1991 and 1992. It was returned to Victoria
when the BCMT closed down in 1992.
From Japan -#03, a single car powered by maglev, built
Sumitomo Industries of Tokyo, which operated back and forth
on a 0.45
kID. demonstration track, giving free rides to the
It was sponsored by Japan Air Lines as a high-speed
surface transport mode with potential as an airport link,
Both the Expo 86 monorail and the overhead cable ways
(Skyrides) were buill in Switzerland in
/986. (Brian Kent/
Vancouver Sun)
The John Molson 2-2-2 steam locomotive replica (buill in Japan in 1970) was on display for the Steam Cavalcade of
Expo 86, May 1986. (Author)
capable of carrying 40 passengers in a single cabin at speeds up to
308 kph. However, passengers to/from Vancouver International
Airport have not yet been provided with any form
of high-speed
rail transport, seven years later!
-#500, an unmanned maglev test car, model
ML500, built
in 1979 by Sumitomo to develop the #03 listed
above. Capable
of speeds up to 517 kph, kit was displayed outside
the Japan Pavilion.
From Switzerland -ten 9-car monorail trains, each carrying
100 passengers, were built
by Von Roll Habegger of Bern in 1986.
They operated over a 5.3 km. elevated track throughout the Expo
site. The trains and track were sold to a Fun Park in England in
-a 58-car cable way, with each car carrying six
passengers, was built by Garavanta in 1986. It was sponsored
Air Canada. A second 67-car cable way, also with each car seating
six persons, was built by Von Roll Habegger
in 1986. This one was
sponsored by CP Air. Both cable ways were dismantled after Expo
and returned to Switzerland.
As part
of the Expo 86 celebrations, a Steam Cavalcade
was mounted
in the CNR Freight yard along Terminal A venue in
Vancouver, between May 23 and June 2,1986. Twenty-two steam
engines participated, but not
aU joined in the opening processions
(in steam) from the CNR Yard, via the Burlington Northern track
to the waterfront, then west along the CPR main line to End of
Track at mile 129.9, of the Cascade Subdivision. Only four of the
22 participant steam standard-gauge locomotives were foreign­
1. The #3, a 4-4-0 loco built by Dubs & Co. of Glasgow.
in 1882 (c#1572). The Prairie Dog Central Railway and
the Vintage Railway Society (both
of Winnipeg) have operated it
on steam passenger excursions over the CNRs Oak point Subdivision
in recent years.
2. the Dunrobin 0-4-4 T loco built by Sharp-Stewart of
Glasgow in 1895 (c#4085). This engine was on loan from Fort
Steele, B.Cc as has been noted above.
3. the John
Molson, an operating replica of one of the 2-
2-2 locos built in Britain and exported
to Canada in the 1840s.
by Kawasaki ofJapan in 1970 (c#32430), this loco represented
the Canadian Railway Museum, which
is operated by the C.R.H.A.
in Delson-St. Constant. Quebec.
4. the
Rocket, an operating replica of the famous 1829
0-2-2 loco built by Stephenson. This unit was built
in York,
in 1979; it was on loan from the National Railway
Museum there,
as is also noted above.
#1 and #3 of the above locos participating in
Steamexpo, or displayed/operating on the CNR Terminal Avenue
Yard site. all returned home during June 1986. All those units on
display or operating on the False Creek site of Expo 86 returned
home during October-November 1986. There have been no further
foreign units arriving in B.C. for work or display s
ince then.
With the current depressed state of economic conditions,
particularly in the world metals market, it seems unlikely that, in
the forseeable future, we will see any additions to the foreign
locomotives and power units list above.
The two major users of foreign power in B.C. industry in
the past have been mine and forestry operators. Much of the
mining activhy today is occurring
in open-pit mine sites, where
large rubber-tyred road vehicles are commonly utilised
to transport
ore from mine site
to concentrator. New federal restrictions on
mine emissions came out
in the third quarter of 1993: they have
made mining more expensive and will proba
bly result in the
premature closure
of marginally economic mines. The use of rail
transport in the forestry extraction process is now reduced
to only
one operation
in B.C. This is the Canadian Forest Products Co. s
(CFP) line from the woods
of the Nimpkish Valley of northern
Vancouver Island, over some 90 km.
of rail line via Woss and
Nimpkish to the reload site at Beaver Cove, 20 km. east of Port
McNeill. However, there are
no foreign units here: CFP uses four
SW1200RS units, three built
by GMD in 1956-59 and one built by
EMD in 1954. All new forest operations since 1956 have used only
road transport methods.
Unless there
is a marked upturn in the mining industry in
the near future, with the use of new adits to recover underground
ore veins and lodes at depth (yet protecting the environment from
mine emissions), it
is most unlikely that there will be any new
underground rail operations
in B.C. Sadly, then, this survey of
foreign locomotives and power units in British Columbia is
therefore probably the first -and
the last -for ever!
Archival Staffs in Britannia Beach, Fernie, Kimberley, Richmond,
and Stewart museums and
in Vancouver City Archives, 1990-93.
Bown, Paul, et al: CANADIAN TRACKSIDE GUIDE 1993.
Ottawa, Ontario: By town Railway Society
me., 1993.
Cordner, Ken, editor:
Wortdview Austria, in. MODERN
RAILWAYS. Shepperton, England: Ian Allan Publishing Ltd.,
December 1992.
Ewert, Henry: THE STORY OF
Whitecap Books, 1986.
58 MARS -AVRIL 1994
POCKET BOOK #2). Sheffield, England: Platform
5 Publishing Ltd., 1986.
Granduc Operating: CRANDUC. Vancouver B .C: Granduc Operating
Co., 1976.
Green, Mervyn
All-Time Listing, Including Museums). Vancouver, B.C
.: Pacific
Coast Division
of CRHA, 1992.
Green, Mervyn T. Mike: Mining
& Tunnelling Locomotives in
British Columbia
Today, in CANADIAN RAIL #423. Montreal,
Quebec: CRHA,July-August 1991.
Interviews 1990-93 with: Claude Eyling, Cyril Holbrow, a
nd Bill
of Clayburn (Abbotsford), B.C.; the late Geoffrey Moore,
of Beckenham, Kent (England); Brian Shadwick, of Bodmin,
Cornwall (England); Douglas Battrum, Lubertus Post
& Andrew
of Coquitlam, B.C.; Lorne Nicklason, of Delta, B.C.
George Duncan and Harrie Pollard,
of Edmonton, Alberta; David
of Kamloops, BC; Frances and James OConnor, of
Kimberley BC Scotty Scot III, of Leavenworth, Washington
(USA); Kenneth Moir,
of North Vancouver, BC; Michael Jeffrey,
of Savona, B.C; John Taubeneck, of Seattle, Washington (USA);
Brian Peters,
of Surrey, BC; and Ronald Keillor, Ronald Meyer
and Martin Rogers,
of Vancouver, B.C.
LOCOMOTIVES. Burlingame California: Chatham Publishing,
Vancouver, BC: TalonBooks, 1992
B.C:Pacific Coast Division
of CRHA, 1973.
Railway Working Timetables: BRITISH COLUMBIA RAIL (BCR)
#8, June
14. 1981;
REGION #3, January 19, 1992;
SYSTEMS) #86, December 9, 1990, courtesy of Bert Post.
Taubeneck, John: MotorCars Work in theBogs , in THE SPEEDER.
U.S.A., M.C.C.A., Fall 1990.
1 :600,000 Scale.
Victoria, B.C: Department
of Recreation and Conservation, 1975.
The CNR Roundhouse at Jasper Alberta
By David Smyth
With this issue of Canadian Rail, we continue our series on Canadian enginehouses. Most of these bastions of the steam age have
fallen to the wreckers. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board undertook a major study of the remaining extant facilities during the early
1990s. This study formed the basis for the heritage designation accorded to three remaining enginehouses in 1992.
The Jasper facility,
however, was not a successful candidate.
The building was originally submitted to the Historic Sites
and Monuments Board for heritage designation by the Rocky
Mountain Rail Society, which hopes to acquire
it from CN Rail to
house and service both its restored
steam locomotive, 6060, and its
several passenger cars.
The feeling in the Jasper area, outside of CN Rail, seems
to be that the only way to save this building is through designation
by the Board.
For whatever reason, perhaps because of the fate of
so many other roundhouses which no longer exist, there is a sense
CN Rail is imminently going to tear down the roundhouse.
This is certainly
not the position officially expressed by the
or felt by its lower echelon, local employees. I Today the
roundhouse is still used to service rolling stock and remains an
active part
of the CN Rails operations in Alberta and British
From the mid-1820s to the early 1850s the Yellowhead
Pass was an integral part
of a major Hudsons Bay Company route
across the Rockies.
In 1864 the Pass was surveyed by John Rae,
the famed Arctic explorer, for a proposed,
but never built, Hudsons
Bay Company telegraph from Red River to Vancouver. Eight
years later Sanford Fleming retraced
much of Raes route, at least
of the Yellowhead Pass. This 1872 survey remained the
officially approved railroad route through the Rockies for almost
a decade.
The CPR decision to take a more southerly route across
the prairies and
to breach the Rockies via the Kicking Horse Pass
seemed to ring the death-knell for the Yellow head Pass route.
For years after the completion of the CPR in 1885, there
seemed to
be no possibility of any other transcontinental railroad
ever being needed or being built. The expected immigration boom
to the prailies did not materialized.
In fact, until 1901, emigration
to the United States from Canada was greater than immigration
into Canada.
However, a rapid turn-around occurred that year
initiating a period
of rapid population growth. Concurrently, this
marked the beginning of major capital investments from abroad.
So promising and optimistic were the times that by 1903 not one,
but two
new transcontinental lines were being proposed. Despite
fecieral government attempts to merge the interests
of the two into
more rational single venture, the rival companies would have
of it. By 1915, two new transcontinental railroads were
completed, and both followed the Yellowhead Pass.
The two railways were the Canadian Northern Railway
(CNoR) and the Grand
Trunk Pacific Railway (GTPR). William
Mackenzie and Donald Mann were the driving force behind the
They entered the railway business in 1896 in Manitoba.
By 1899 their lines had been named the Canadian Northern
Railway. They expanded rapidly, purchasing or building lines in
Ontario and
Quebec in 1901 and 1903, respectively. By 1903 they
had conceived
of the idea of a transcontinental railway and within
two years they had constructed a mainline from
Port Arthur, on
Lake Superior, to Edmonton.
In 1908 they surveyed a route west
from Edmonton, choosing Flemings route
of 1872, through the
Yellowhead and then southwest towards Kamloops and along the
River to Vancouver.
When it was completed in September
1915, the road was heavily in debt.
The GTPR was the offspring of the Grand Trunk Railway
Company (GTR), the principal line in central Canada,. serving the
countrys most densely populated area and its industrial con·idor.
Melville Hays, an American, was brought in by the
British-controlled GTR in 1896 to salvage the companys marginal
financial situation.
He soon dominated the companys operations
and planning and set his eyes on the West. He was instrumental in
establishing the
companys heavily capitalized subsidiary, the
GTPR, in 1903. An arrangement was negotiated between it and
federal government to co-operate in the construction of a
transcontinental line.
The goverrunent would itselfbuild a completely
new railway, the National Transcontinental Railway (NTR), from
Moncton to Winnipeg, while the
GTPR would build from Winnipeg
to the West Coast. For an agreed-upon fee, the GTPR would then
the NTR line.
Construction was begun on the
GTPR in 1906 and at its
some 25,000 men were employed.s Standards of construction
were very high, and very costly.
The CNoR and the GTPR built
their lines through YeUowhead Pass simultaneously. West of
YeUowhead Pass, the GTPR line swung northwest along the upper
Fraser River and then west to an isolated port on the northwest
coast now called Prince Rupert. The first train reached that site
Winnipeg in April 1914.
Both the CNoR and the GTPR of necessity established
divisional points for the management and maintenance
of their
lines and rolling stock. Both mainlines passed through the town
Fitzhugh, re-named Jasper in 1911. The GTPR made it the site of
its divisional headquarters in the Rockies, while the CNoR chose
the hamlet of Lucerne, about 22 miles away on the British
This view shows six stalls of the original enginehouse at Jasper as it appeared in 1953, six years before it was torn down. On the left appears
of the 1924 addition which is still standing. All these photos were taken by afirm called Columbia Pictures and are made available
to Canadian Rail by thye Provincial Archives
of Alberta, via Lon Marsh.
Provincial Archives
of Alberta, photo No. PA-685/14.
Columbia side of the Yellow head Pass. The first GTPR train
reached Jasper in 1911 and the first passenger train arrived there
following year.
The year 1912 also saw the construction of the
GTPRs station and roundhouse at Jasper.
To help to guarantee high quality and to attempt to keep
down costs, the GTPR built many
of their structures to standardized
plans. Wayside buildings, divisional headquarters and terminals
would be standardized to as great an extent as possible.7 Though
ideally the GTPR would have pref(med the convenience
of identical.
facilities for similar local needs, individual conditions dictated
variations in yard plans and facilities.
The divisional points at
Rivers, Melville, Watrous, Biggar, Wainwright, Edson, Jasper,
McBride, Endako, Smithers and Pacific were notvutually identical,
one has claimed, but had varying yard plans to suit local
geography and even different facilities within the layouts.
of these divisional points did have a standard plan 12 stall roundhouse and turntable, but not all had machine shops, for
instance Watrous, Biggar and Wainwright.
The Jasper roundhouse
complex is the only one
of these to have survived in any form.
The following is a blief description of the construction of
the GTPR facilities at Jasper:
The Roundhouse was the G.T.P. slandard 12 stall. The
conlraCI for the construction
of the Roundhouse was awarded 10
Collins Bros. and Hamilton of Edmonton in June of 1911 and
construction commenced
in July, 1911 and was completed, in
December,1911. A contract for the heating system was awarded
to the Canadian Buffalo Forge Company Limited. This system was
installed in January, 1912 although
it does not appeal 10 have been
made operational until August, 1912. A standard 75-0 through
turntable wasfabricated by the Canadian Bridge Company Limited
of Walkerville, Ontario
Another view showing the old, and part of the new, enginehouse at Jasper. Mountain-type locomotive 6005 is on the lUill table, while most
stalls are occupied. Engine numbers visible are
2-8-2 No .3803, and 2-10-2s Nos.4328, 4316, 4326, 4325, 4330.
Provincial Archives
of Alberta, photo No. PA-685/10.
The strong expansion of the Canadian economy from 1902
to· 1912, during which the bulk of construction of the competing
CNoR and GTPR lines was completed,
came to a sudden end in
1913 with the onset
of the pre-war depression. The fierce
competitiveness had led to the inevitable over-building
of railway
lines in the West. With the commencement
of the Great War in
August 1914, inflation took its toll. Financial crises ensured, and
the seemingly bottomless
pit of money dried Up. Railways
across the country sank into seemingly ilTetrievable financial
situations. This led to the creation
of Canadian Goverrunent
Railways in 1915 when the government tookover the National
Transcontinental Railway, and its successor, Canadian National
Railway (CNR)
in 1918. The needs of the war effort forced the
of many parallel, competing lines. Such was the
case in 1917 when much
of the CNoR track west of Edmonton was
torn up and sent
for militalY railways to support the troops in
France and Flanders.12 By the end of the year most of the CNoR
line between Edmonton and Jasper had been torn up, leaving the
competing GTPR the route through the mountains.
This unification of the competing companies lines west of
Edmonton was an omen of things to come. In expectation of a
government take-over of the CNoR and GTPR, reports were
prepared for the Department
of Railways and Canals in 1917
outlining the facilities
of the two competing lines and assessing the
changes that would have to be or could be made should the railway
be amalgamated. In the event of such a merger, almost
certainly one
of either the Jasper or Lucerne yards would be closed.
This telegraphed report
of May 1917, written five years after the
of the yard, describes the facilities at Jasper.
Jasper Yard Grand Trunk has station building, one thousand
ton icehouse, seventy five foot
tUlIltable, twelve stall hot air heated
engine house with brick walls, eighty thousand gallon [word
unclear} steel gravity tank and standpipe, cinder hoist, three
hundred and fifty thousand gal/on oil storage tank and twenty five
thousand gallon service oil tank, four hundred ton coal chute,
freight shed, superintendents office, nine coach hydrants, pintsch
gas tank
for charging cars, five through sidings capacity three
hu.ndred cars, wye./J
Earlier in this 1917 report the reason for the large oil
storage tanks was noted.
All locomotives running out of Jasper
Westerly are oil burners
and would have to be converted or
replaced if oil not provided at Lucerne.
The GTPR began using
oil-fired steam locomotives in the mountains in
1915, but the
CNoR apparently had not converted any locomotives by 1917.
Oil-burning steam locomotives were first introduced in
Canada by the CPR in
1912, an adoption of a recently established
American practice. As locomotives grew larger it became quite a
problem feeding tons
of coal into their enormous fire-boxes;
sometimes two firemen were required.
The CPR first used fuel oil
in their locomotives going into the mountains from Revelstoke.
During World War I the automatic coal stoker was invented, thus
eliminating the coal firing problem and lessening the demand
.convert locomotives to burn fuel oil. Developed about 1910 in the
United States for general heating purposes, fuel oil remained
expensive when compared to coal.
The exploitation of the Turner
Valley oil fields immediately after the close
of the war changed the
of the situation, providing cheaper fuel for several
already converted oil-burning locomotives. As well, the cinders
from coal-burning locomotives were recognized as a fire hazard in
mountains. This combination of economic and safety
considerations prompted both the CPR and CNR by the 1920s to
use fuel oil burning steam engines in the Rockies. Conventional
coal-fired steam locomotives continued to be used
east of the
Rockies. What began as a solution to a physical problem ultimately
was adopted for economic and safety reasons.
Shortly after this above-noted 1917 report was written, the
gloomy forecast for the two new transcontinental railways came
pass. The CNoR was nationalized in 1918 and the following year
negotiations were begun by the federal government
to takeover
both the Grand Trunk and Grand Trunk Pacific railways.
In 1923
the operations
of the all these companies were merged with the
Canadian Government Railways to form the Canadian National
Railways system.
In preparation for this amalgamation in-depth reports were
prepared on the current state and estimated cost for upgrading
the facilities at all the divisional points.
Data from the report for Jasper are reproduced below.
This division point has an engine house of 12 stalls
capacity, brick walls, wood roof, mill construction with
cinder floors.
There are
12 engines assigned to this point. Electric
power and light supplied by generator set. Coal storage
is provided
for boilers, cars are run alongside storage
and coal shovelledfJ.Om cars. Water supply by.gravity
from mountains.
The enginehouse has a capacity
of 12 stalls, G.T.P. No.
2-L design. It is in good condition. The boiler room,
hotwell, pump pit and coal bunkers are
in building
to engine house. Fan roomfor indirect heating
system is centrally located against outside wall
of engine
62 MARS -AVRIL 1994
Drop Pits: I-Driving wheel drop pit under 3 pits equipped
with air operated jack.
75 length operated by standard G.T.R. ail
motor.Recommedned turntable be lengthened
to 88-6
in 1922.
Coaling Plant: I-G.T.P. standard gravity type,
24 pockets,
12 each side.
Sandingfacilities: Located inframe building neal coaling
Water Supply: Water
for this point comes from a lake
from which there is a natural fall,
to the yards and round
house. The supply is ample at all times. Engines here
can water either at wood tank or at stand pipe, located
at the north end
of roundhouse. 15
With the merger in the works, the CNR would cease to use
either Lucerne
or Jasper as a divisional point. At first glance Jasper
would appear to have had the upper hand. Its facilities were far
more extensive and better built. At Lucerne the turntable was
86 feet, but the roundhouse had only five stalls and was of
wood-frame construction. 16 Deciding whether to retain Lucerne
on beautiful Yellowhead Lake
or Jasper as the next westerly
divisional points was a
… difficult problem. Each town had been
established for nearly ten years, each had a choice location, and
each had a population approaching three hundred.J7 A description
of the railway facilities at Jasper and Lucerne is shown in Table I
which appears on the opposite page.
Despite the apparent advantages
of the Jasper yard, the
management of the CNR wanted to abandon it and expand the
facilities at Lucerne.
The Board of Railway Commissioners for
Canada, however, ordered that the application to close the
divisional point at Jasper,
in the Province of Alberta, be refused;
the divisional point to be consolidated at Jasper.18 Consequently,
Lucerne would be closed and the staff re-Iocated to an expanded
Jasper operation.
Reluctantly the
CNR made Jasper its main divisional point
in the Rockies. Jaspers domain stretched in the
east to that of the
former GTPR terminal at Edson, in the
northwesuo thaL-of the
fOlmer GTPR terminal at McBride, and in the southwest to that
the former CNoR terminal at Blue River. To accommodate both
a greater volume
of traffic and larger locomotives the facilities at
Jasper were expanded in 1924. A six-stall addition was made to the
roundhouse at a cost
of $54,000. This included a new machine
shop. A new generator room and stores building
were also built at
this time.
The stalls were longer than in the original 1912
structure. Apparently the 70 foot turntable was not replaced with
the currently-in-place 100 foot item until 1930.
Jasper remained, and remains, an important CN Rail
maintenance centre in the mountains. The original
1912 GTPR
roundhouse was taken down by the company in 1959, leaving just
the 1924 six-stall annex which has undergone significant alterations.
Today repairs are regularly done to rolling stock and only the most
minor work is calTied out on diesels at the Jasper Roundhouse.
12 Stall Brick Round House 87 ft., Boiler $45,000
Room 64 X 71 and annex 27 X 35
ft. Standard tumtable, concrete circle No insurance
4 Pocket Coaking (sic)
Trestle $27,500
44 X 21 Sand House $550
Steel 100,000 gal. tank and 1 wooden $5,300
40,000 gal. tank
Frame Station $14,500
Frame Freight House $6,100
Oil Storage Tank $21,000
Frame Engineers Bunk House $1,300
Frame Shopmens Bunk House $750
Frame Ice House $4,500
Frame Section House $2,400
Frame Storehouse $8,000
Section Bunk House $900
Master Mechanics Office $1,050
4 various
tool houses $1,400
Coal shed and coal boxes $500
Oil and dope house $700
Stock chute $25
Material racks $75
5 Through Yard tracks; 1 wye; Freight
Shed spur; Spur track past stock yard; &
other. engine spurs and. tracks
TOTAL $141,550
While no one outside CN Rail can tell definitely what the
railways plans for the surviving part of the roundhouse
at Jasper may be, it reports, as noted above, no intention to cease
its maintenance operations there. Today Jasper would appear to be
more important as a service centre than ever before, though this
may offer no security
to the particular roundhouse under study.
Jasper is now the
only maintenance facility between Edmonton,
Prince George and
Kamloops. It also services engines and cars on
branch lines
to the coal fields. Edson, McBride and Blue River are
now merely the turn-around points for the Jasper crews.21 The
roundhouse complex at Edson was demolished in the late 1950s.
That at McBride was torn down in the early 1950s and the Blue
River facility also has been demolished
5 Stall Frame Round House 90 ft., and
shop 35 X 80
86 9 Turntable, concrete circle
Steel 60,000 gal. tank
1 Frame Pump House
Frame Station
Locomotive Foremans
Bunk House
Frame Ice House (750 tons)
Frame Section House
Frame Storehouse
4 Through Yard tracks; 1 wye; other
engine spurs and sidings
Construction Character
No insurance
None of the original 1912 GTPR roundhouse remains.
noted above it was demolished in 1959. What is Jeft is the 1924
CNR six-stall roundhouse addition, built after the consolidation
the two divisional points at Jasper. The 1924 building was of brick
construction, with cinder floors and a roof supported
by wooden
members. It was originally steam heated, from boilers contained
in the 1912 section of the building, but now all remnants of this
system have been removed. Six sets
of double-hung wooden stall
doors on the four remaining active stalls, these new doors likely
having been installed after the last steam locomotive was serviced
A view of 6005 on the turntable at Jasper, showing the six-stall 1924 addition to the roundhouse.
Provincial Archives
of Alberta, photo No. PA-6851l1.
here. Apparently new metal posts and cross-members are in place
in both the roundhouse and machine shop, as additional roof
support to the original wooden members.
Functional or Operational Quality
Massive alterations have also been carried out on the
surviving 1924 roundhouse addition. The most obvious
of these
were the complete elimination
of two of the stalls in this originally
six-stalled building.
So complete have these modifications been
not one of the eN Rail staff interviewed at the roundhouse in
November 1990 was even aware that the roundhouse initially had
six stalls. Now only four doors exist and only three stalls, only one
of which has a working pit. The crew there was aware of the
of four stalls in days past. The southern-most and
northem-mostslaUs now house storage rooms and offices respectively.
windows and doors, not remotely resembling the originals,
been installed throughout. The boilers and all the machinery
from the machine shop annex are all gone.
The machine shop now serves
as a garage for a mobile crane. Not surprisingly, no sign of
the exterior portion of the smoke jacks has survived, neither any
interior part.
The 1930 turntable is still in service and looks much, if not
exactly, as it did
in the early 1950s.
Ancillary Features
The roundhouse is the lone surviving slIUcture from the
steam era
in the Jasper yard. The water tower, coal chute, original
sand tower and other important steam era struclures have all been
removed. The roundhouse
is definitely an integral part of a fully
operational rail yard, but it
is the sole survivor of its time.
1. Smytn, David, Extant Engines in Canada: A Report Presented
to tne Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Not
Publisned, .1992
2. No one at any level at CN Rail, at either Jasper
or Edmonton,
admitted any knowledge
of any plans to discontinue the Jasper
Two roundhouse employees, carman Al Laarz and
administration clerk Val Covey, both expressed confidence that
tne building would be maintained. Tnougn citing no precise
figures, botn Laarz and Covey separately asserted tnat the money
recently spent on the existing roundhouse could have paid for a
replacement building, if that had been the corporations intention.
Smyth interviews
of 28 November 1990 witn Laarz and Covey.
3. David Smyth, The Yellowhead Pass and the Fur Trade, BC
Studies, No.
64 (Winter 1984-85), pp. 48-73.
4. Robert F. Leggett, Railroads of Canada, (Vancouver: Douglas,
David and Charles, 1973), p.
5. Ibid, pp. 111-8, and T.D. Regehr, The Canadian Nordlern
Railway: Pioneer Road
of the Northern Prairies, 1895-1918
(Toronto: Macmillan Company, 1976). For a discussion
of tne
route selection
in Britisn Columbia, and its associated problems,
see pp. 297-300
of Regehr piece.
6. Robert F. Leggett, op.cit., pp. 119-32.
7. James G. MacGregor, Overland by the Yellow head (Saskatoon:
Western Producer Book Service, 1974), pp. 168-87; Leslie S.
Kozma, Senseless Duplication: A Brief Case History
of the
Development and Demise
of tne CNoR and GTP Mainlines from
Edmonton, Alberta
to Red Pass Junction, B.C. -1905 to 1960
(Unpublished Marcn 1978 typescript manuscript held by tne
of tne Glenbow Museum, Calgary), and Merna Forster,
.. A Walk in the Past ([Jasper?]: Parks and People, 1987),
8. R.M. Bailey, Some Background on the Historical Significance
of the Jasper Turntable and Roundhouse (Unpublished three­
page manuscript prepared in March 1988 and submitted
to the
of Jasper National Park in April 1988), p. 2.
9. Ibid.
10. Kozma to Smyth letter of 19 October 1991.
11. Edward Forbes Bush, MRS No. 209, pp. 198-9, and Hilderman,
Feir, Witty and Associates, Hanna Historical Roundhouse and
Village: Feasibility Study and Concept Design (Edmonton.
Unpublished June
1981 report prepared for Alberta Tourism and
SmaU Business, Travel Alberta Planning Unit), pp. 23-5.
12. Quoted from 12 January 1990 letter to author from R.F.
Haglund, Building Manager, ManitobaEastDistrict, CN, Winnipeg.
? Leslie S. Kozma, op.cit.. p. 1.
14 James G. MacGregor. op.cit., p. 217.
15. Telegraph report dated at Edmonton on 23 May 1917, to G .A.
Bell. Photocopy supplied
to author by Leslie S. Kozma. the
of this repOlt is in the NAC, RG43, Vol. 587, File
18648D1. The number
of stalls in the Jasper roundhouse was
incorrectly listed
by OHagan as 10, and this figure was accepted
by Bush. Howard OHagan, Roundhouse Below the Mountain,
Canadian National Magazine, Vol. 34, No.
12 (December 1949).
p. 7, and Edward Forbes Bush, MRS No. 209, p. 259.
16. The infolmation in this paragraph is derived from a telephone
of 4 January 1990 with Orner Lavallee, retired CPR
archivist. See also, Laura Atkins, Colleen Nicoll and Jody Stewart,
Turner Valley Oilfields, Alberta History, Vol. 32,
No.1 (Winter
1984), pp. 9-19. The date
of GTPR conversion to oil was supplied
to the author by Leslie S. Kozma.
17. 1920 Evaluation Report, Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
Jasper, British Columbia. Photocopy supplied to author
by Leslie
S. Kozma. The original
of this report is in dIe NAC, RG36, Series
35, Vol. 27.
18. 23 May 1917 telegraph report to G.A. Bell (cited above in note
125); Edward Forbes Bush, MRS No. 209, p. 512, and Howard
OHagan, op.cit., p. 22, and NAC, RG 30, Vol. 7507, File 588-1.
This file deals with the problems faced in sorting out which
Lucerne or Jasper should be retained.
19. James G. MacGregor, op.cit., p. 218.
20. Order No. 33402
of the Board of Railway Commissioners for
Canada, 3 March 1923. NAC, RG 30, Vol. 7507, File 588-1.
21. Howard OHagan, op.cit.; Kozma
to Smyth letter of 13
December 1989, and telephone conversation of 13 December 1989
with Robert Haglund,
CN engineer, Winnipeg.
22. Howard OHagan, op.cit.,
p. 23.
23. Telephone conversation
of 28 December 1989 widI Val
24. Telephone conversation
of 28 December 1989 with Fred
Johnson, Calgary, Locomotive Foreman at Jasper Roundhouse
from early 1960s
to 1979, and Edward Forbes Bush, MRS No. 209,
pp. 198-9. Johnson himself was involved in the demolition
of the
complexes at Edson and McBride.
The Roundhouse Below the Mountain
By Howard OHagan
We are pleased to supplement Mr Symths historical review with the article Roundhouse Below the Mountain from the December
1949 issue
of Canadian National Railways Magazine. This article provides a personal view of the difficulties of merging the former Grand
Trunk Pacific and Canadian Northern employees when the duplicate divisional points at Lucerne and Jasper were amalgamated.
A bove the Canadian National roundhouse
inJ asper. Alberta.
lies Mount Tekarra. dominating that part
of the Athabaska valley
as the roundhouse itself dominates the town
of 1.700 people.
Tekarra. the mountain above the roundhouse. is about
8.500 feet high.
It was named after his devoted Iroquois guide by
James Hector. later Sir James Hector. an early traveller through the
Athabaska valley.
The word in Iroquois means Fidelity.
Mountain and roundhouse. each
in its separate way. is an
old-timer. Tekarra was there when the ice
came and saw it recede
and later watched the river make a valley.
The roundhouse was
built by the Grand Trunk Pacific in the
summer of 1912. It had 12
stalls. Today it has 18.
In this growth. the roundhouse. like
Tekarra. might be regarded as a symbol
of fidelity–the fidelity. not
of one man. but of dozens and hundreds who over the years have
toiled here and nursed and nourished the proud and white-and
black-piLuned monsters which go
out each day and night. wailing
into the mountains. drawing behind them the cargo. passenger and
freight. which
is a nations blood and business.
The first locomotive to enter Jasper and to be tended in the
roundhouse came.
of course. from the east in the summer of 1912.
It was
G.T.P. No. 60 and was driven by Noble Findlay. The
locomotive foreman at the time was Jack Lewis. now retired and
living near Vancouver. He was in charge
of the roundhouse until
1924. when following the consolidation
of the fonner Canadian
N0I1hern divisional point
of Lucerne. B.C .• with Jasper. Tom
Young came from the former town to take over.
Noble Findlay. the first man to drive a locomotive into
Jasper Park.
is still a familiar figure about the town. He has Ii ttle
to say about this early experience. It was. to him. merely another
over a new stretch of mountain line. He can tell you. however.
that the bell
of old No. 60 is not yetsilenced. It still rings up against
the mountains. for it has been preserved
as a memento of the early
days and
now hangs above Green 13 on the Jasper Park Lodge golf
course. Nor is its purpose purely one of commemoration. Green
13 is a sunken green. Golfers playing there are not visible to others
approaching along the fairway. Therefore.
when they have picked
up their balls. they pull a rope. ring the bell of locomotive No. 60.
that those waiting to drive on to the green
may proceed with their
game. It was only a year after the opening
of the Lodge in 1924.
that the Jasper roundhouse entered upon its present stage
development. This was the year when Lucerne came to Jasper.
Tom Young. then the newly appointed locomotive foreman. today
is retired and will stand under the mountain ash and poplar trees
around his neat home in the north end
of Jasper and talk of the
problems which beset him during consolidation –problems which
were peculiar not to the roundhouse atJasper. but whose significance
is that they were common to the meshing of dozens of divisional
points which took place during the early
1920s in the process of
forming a unit out of the many roads which. under the late Sir
Henry Thornton. developed into the Canadian National Railways.
For one thing.
Tom Young points out. feeling ran high
between the Grand
Trunk men at Jasper and the Canadian Northern
men who came from Lucerne. just on the other side
of Yellowhead
pass. Each group thought
in terms of its past affiliation and not yet
in terms of the new. Tom Youngsjob was to make a working team
of these disgruntled elements.
The Lucerne men were disgruntled. some of them at any
rate. because they had to give up their homes
by a green mountain
lake and move across the divide into another community.
Jasper men. again some of them. were disgruntled by the invasion
of their working quarters by newcomers with schedules and ideas
that were strange.
These resentments had been fortified by the years
of delay
in consolidation and
of indecision as to whether Lucerne. a freight
terminal. would
come to Jasper or Jasper. a passenger terminal.
to Lucerne. Jasper. a national park headquarters as well as
a railroad town. was less adversely affected by the postponements
than Lucerne. In Lucerne. composed except for a few trappers and
three storekeepers. entirely
of railroaders and their families.
houses were neglected, gardens untended. for their owners did not
know when they might be called upon to leave them. When the
order came through in 1924 and the working staff moved to Jasper.
reliefin many cases was matched by a not unnatural disappointment.
This was only the background
of the real headache of the
new locomotive foreman in the Canadian National roundhouse in
Jasper. the main headache was the matter
of schedules. In the
mechanical departments, the schedules
of Jasper and Lucerne men
jibed, but quite the contrary was so with the locomotive engineers
and firemen. Here the G.T.P. had one schedule, the Canadian
Northern from Lucerne another.
Two terminals lie west of Jasper:
McBride on the old G.T.P. and Blue River on what was once the
Canadian Northern.
Tom Young, at first, could send no C.N. men
to McBride and no G.T.P. men to Blue River.
is the telminal to the east of Jasper. Here, where
only one line was used, the difficulty was settled
by allocating
in the proportion of three to two in favor of the Canadian
Northern crews. The effort required to keep this proportion
invariable was no sma
ll one and confusion was a constant threat.
The problem was finally solved
by Howard Chase, then Chief
Engineer for the Brotherhood
of Locomotive Engineers, who came
up to Jasper and persuaded the adherents
of the G.T.P. and of the
Canadian Northern to
acceptacommon schedule. Similar agreement
was reached in other western duplicate telminals such as Edmonton
and Saskatoon.
In the shop
itself, where schedules were not a trouble, there
was still the problem
of bringing together in close working
association men who were used to slightly different working
methods and each man, inevitably prejudiced
in favor of his own.
I solved that one, Tom Young says with a wry smile.
I solved
by teaming a G.T.P. machinist with a Canadian Northern helper
and vice-versa. When the boys saw that no favorites were being
played, we had the situation licked. But, you know, what impressed
me most about it was that this
wasnt just a worry for us here in
Jasper. It was a difficulty which had to be met and beaten
in dozens
of other shops. Because it was being beaten, the men gradually
came to realize that they were no longer working for the o
ld Grand
Trunk or the old Canadian Northern. No, they came to understand
that they were now working for the Canadian National.
Tom Young, who was succeeded as locomotive foreman
by G. R. Steeves of Hanna, Alta., in 1935, is the link in the history
of the Jasper roundhouse between the past and the present–a link,
for instance, between 1924 when the roundhouse handled locomotives,
including the old 2100s, ranging in weight from 90 to 130 tons, to
today when it takes in the 4300s, the
6000s and 6100s which
scale from 250
to 300 tons.
The locomotives of 1924 were known as 90 per cent
s. Those of the present are 150 per cent or better. This 150
per cent means that the locomotive has a 150,000 draw-bar pull,
less one per cent for the weight of the locomotive itself. According
to Tom, the draw-bar pull is estimated in this way: you take 85 per
cent of the steam pressure of the locomotive. This represents the
actual pressure on the valves because the steam reduces after
leaving the throttle. Then you square the diameter
of the cylinder,
multiply this
by the 85 per cent of the steam pressure and by the
of the cylinder. Divide this by the diameter of the driving­
Then, if your calculations are sound, you have the draw-bar
pull. In the old days, Tom says locomotives were rated
by the
number of cars they puJled, this whether the cars were loaded with
straw hats, coal or lumber. Incidentally, car limits for locomotives
leaving the Jasper roundhouse are, currently, 59 west and
70 east,
easily twice the number hauled, on the average, 245 years ago. The
average monthly dispatch
of locomotives is around 450. This is
not twice the figure of 1924 for the reason that, though traffic has
tremendously increased, todays power units perfOlm much more
work on each dispatch.
In 1930
Tom Young saw the installation the present turn­
of 100 feet, capable of handling the new locomotives taking
the place
of the old 90 to 130 percenters.
Other changes have come about. The ice-house, by the
roundhouse, has now four times the capacity it had
in the 1920s.
Air conditioning has had a lot to do with bringing this about and
today a passenger train, during the summer months, will take from
20 to 30 tons of ice before it pulls out of Jasper.
Should for any reason the town water supply fail, the
roundhouse will not be caught short for an auxiliary system has
been laid down to the Athabaska river. The towns water comes
from Cabin creek which drains a series
of lakes below Mount
Pyramid to the west.
Today, under Locomotive Foreman Steeves and his assistant,
H. Kensit, a staff
of 104 is working in the motive power and car
departments and 96 engine-men
in the motive power department.
On the Brule,
or eastern subdivision are six freight engines and two
passenger engines, while
12 freight engines and two passenger
engines serve the Tete-Jaune and Albreda subdivisions to the west.
Those to the west bum oil, to the east coal. Two switch engines
in the yard.
of the old-time engineers and firemen who came from
Lucerne at the time
of the amalgamation in 1924 are presently on
the job.
Of the Grand Trunk men who were in Jasper then, all are
of service. Of the Lucerne men four remain: Oscar Jacobson,
Tom Cheeseman, Sammy Fellowes and Sam Sliter.
They, and the other more recently arrived engineers and
firemen, today roll the freight and passenger trains
of the Canadian
National east and west on the main line–east along the wide, grey
Athabaska to Entrance and through the foot-hills
to Edson and west
over Yellowhead pass, under the
lordly frown of Mount Robson
down the Fraser to McBride or over Albreda Summit to the North
Thompson and Blue River. Each
of them is more than a raiLroader.
Each, through his years on the road, has learned
to know the tilleat
of mountains, to study the weather which may bring slides or
washouts. Theirs is the vigilance of service, of faith to a trust as,
on each journey, they go out from under the shadow
of the
mountain whose name stands for fidelity.
Source: Canadian National Railways Magazine, December 1949.
Working on the Railway
This is the second instalment of this series looking at the Jives of individuals who worked for the railways during the steam era. The
first individual who was featured in this series moved across the continent duing his sixty career working for the Intercolonial, Canadian
Northern, Canadian National and Northern Alberta railways. This instalment features the life story
of an individual who rose from an
apprentice on the Grand Trurlk to the highest executive positions on the Canadian National. This article appeared in the a 1931 issue
of the
Canadian National Railways Magazine.
Six Decades of Railway Life
By Colin G. Groff
The life story of any outstanding railroader furnishes
material aplenty
of the romantic and inspirational kind, forrailroading
is in itself a romance and an adventure.
But few
of them could equal in romance and inspiration the
of William Doig Robb, retiring next month from the
of vice-president of the Canadian National Railways,
after 60 full years
of service; for to few railroaders anywhere in the
world has been given the privilege
of rounding out six full decades
of service, retiring at the age of 74 with so abundant a remaining
of health and vigour as to guarantee many years for the
of well-earned leisure.
The youth
of Canada can find inspiration enough in the
of this remarkable Canadian, who, in the 60 years of his
devoted service to the great railway system which
is now the
Canadian National Railways, not only rose from humble apprentice
to a vice-president but made outstanding contribution to the
growth and development
of his own system and to Canadian
in general. Mr. Robbs history is, of course, the history
of Canadian railroading itself. The 60 years of his service is the
span that bridges the gulf between the wheezy old wood-burners
of the sixties and the locomotive giants of 1931, and, from first to
last, from the time nearly 50 years ago, when he installed the first
aUbrake in Canada on a locomotive, to the day a
year ago, when he officiated at the inauguration
of the train
telephone, latest marvel
of the modern railway world, he has had
some hand
in most of the improvements and developments that
have helped
to build up what is now known as one of the worlds
most modern transportation systems.
Mr. Robb is just completing his 74th year
of life. But he
looks younger than many men of 60, and is as health and vigorous
as at almost any stage in his long career. Sitting across from him,
at his office at headquarters,
in Monuea, listening to his recital of
incidents in his life, it was difficult to realize that he had done 60
of service. It just didnt seem possible that it was his own
personal story he was telling; for
60 years of hard, griding
railroading doesnt tend to make a man look young at14. What was·
the secret
of it? There was no secret at all. Mr. Robb simply was
just another wonderful exemplification
of the old adage that hard
work never did anybody any hann. But there was something more
to it than this. Mr. Robb was blest with a happy nature, an ability
not to
worry, a philosophical outlook on life, and the capacity to
take a keen enjoyment
in every task that confronted him. He faced
and solved problems
in the tough days of pioneer railroading with the
same keen pleasure that in later years he was wont to order
a dinner at his club. They were meat and drink to him.
Not only is the retiring Vice-President the oldest executive
in point
of years, but he is also the executive the longest record of
Mr. Robb was not quite three years old when the Prince
Wales, later King Edward VII, officially opened the old tubular
VictOlia Bridge,
in 1860. He was present years later as Superintendent
of Motive Power for the Grand Trunk System, when the Duke and
of York, later King George V and Queen Mary, presided
at the opening
of the re-constructed Victoria Bridge, now doing
service for the system.
Mr. Robb has lived and breathed the atmosphere
of railroading
all his born days. The pungent smoke
of the old wood-burning
engines was in his nostrils
as a wee chap, for his father, who had
been an engineer on the Caledonian Railway, in Scotland, had
come to Canada on invitation
of the Grand Trunk Railway, which
was a British institution and was
in need of engineers. The
terminus and shops were then at Longueuil, where Mr. Robb was
born on September 23rd, 1857. On completion
of the tubular
Victoria Bridge, across the St. Lawrence, the terminal and shops
were moved to Point SI. Charles, and Mr. Robb,
senior, ran out of
that terminus as an engineer east and west, until he went to
Sherbrooke as locomotive foreman.
He afterwards went to Richmond,
and after two years there was moved to Hadlow Cove, one and a
half miles from Point Lewis, and it was here that
Mr. Robb, as a
boy, commenced the career that was to lead him to a vice­
presidents chair.
He entered the shop as a machinist apprentice,
on July 1st, 1871.
A few months later, when he had
just turned 14, he met the
fUst real test of his career. He was called upon suddenly to fire
one of the old wood-burning locomotives on the passenger run
from Levis to Richmond. The engine run then was from Point
Levis to Richmond and from Point Levis
to Riviere du Loup, and
there was often a shortage
of firemen. The call came one night on
short notice for a man to fire the engine hauling the passenger
train leaving Levis at seven
in the evening. Fourteen-year-old
Robb was the only man handy, and he was detailed. Every
50 miles
it was necessary to stop and load up a fresh supply
of wood. The
conductor, brakeman, engineer and young Robb would get off and
join in the
job of throwing wood on to the tender.
Leaving the terminal, the juvenile fireman had to oil the
engine, take water and wood and back down to the switch at
hadlow, there the engineer stepped on, the boy running the engine
down and coupling
to the train. At Richmond the engineer got off
the train, and young Robb had to reverse the engine, take water,
wood and oil, and back on
to the train. The firing was a back-
Grand Trunk locomotive No. 286 is typical of the motive power in use when Mr. Robb went to work for the railway. No. 286 was buily by
the Canadian Locomotive Company in Kingston (construction number
79) in November, 1870. Originally broad gauge, it was converted to
standard in March 1874 and renumbered 96. In 1881 it was sold to the arch-rival Canadian Pacific Railway where it became No. 11, one
of the new companys first locomotives. It served the CPR unlil October, 1895 when it was scrapped.
National Archives
of Canada, Merrilees Collection, photo No. PA-185883.
breaking job, stuffing wood continually into the hungry fire-box­
-stiff enough for an able-bodied man, almost a staggerer for a 14-
year-old lad. But young Robb was strong
of back and sturdy of
spirit. He fired that engine for a week. The only respite he got
from feeding the fire-box was during stops at stations. In those
of no air brakes, it was necessary to shut off steam a
considerable distance out
of the station, and apply the hand brakes
on each
car in order to guarantee a stop by the time the station
platform was reached. Fortunately for the young stoker, there were
many such stops. That was the longest spell
of firing he had. I
do not suppose there is another railroad man in Canada to-day that
just such an experience as that, says Mr. Robb.
Robbs determination to get on early asserted itself.
he was being paid 60 cents a day in the shops at Levis, which was
high pay at that time for an apprentice. To finish his course he went
to the large repair shops at Point St. Charles, Montreal, having still
two years to complete his term. Here his pay was 80 cents a day,
and here it was that, still a mere boy, he realized for the first time
just how small a unit he was in the system, and that
if he was to
make progress
it was necessary that he apply himself strictly to
work and learn as rapidly as possible.
To qualify himself further,
went to night school, sacrificing what time he might have had
for youthful enjoyment, and was taught mechanical drawing, and
practical mechanics
appertaining to railway locomotives and
equipment. This line
of action soon brought its own reward. At
the age
of 24 he was made Charge hand, rebuilding and repairing
engines, and early
in 1883 he was made night foreman at Point St.
Charles. Later that year he went
to Belleville as locomotive
In those early days of railroading there was opportunity for
much wider experience than
is the case at present. At that time the
English system
of railroading was still largely in effect on the
Grand Trunk, the Motive Power Department being entirely
independent from any other department. A locomotive foreman
had many more responsibilities and more departments under his
charge than
is the case to-day.
As locomotive foreman, Mr. Robb had all the engineers
and firemen strictly under his jurisdiction. he examined them in
both transportation and mechanical rules. In addition, he had
under his jurisdiction all the water service department from
Vaudreuil to Port Union. He had shops which took care
engineering department, work such as the making of frogs, switches
and diamonds. Thecardepartment, between Kingston and Cobourg,
was also under him. He attended all investigations for the Motive
Power Department on the same footing as the transportation
representatives. It can be seen from this that Mr.
Robb received a
very extensive railroad experience which it would not be possible
for a locomotive foeman
of the present day to obtain.
During the early years
of Mr. Robbs career, very interesting
developments were going forward in Canadian railroading. These
had largely to do with the gradual shifting over from conditions
the countrys first crude railway operations to more modern
methods. Indeed, Mr. Robb had much to do with bringing these
changes abollt, and
in later years, introducing innovations which
played a big part in the evolution
of railroad operations.
In the beginning of his apprenticeship, very crude conditions
The engines and cars were all small, sidings were short,
and a great deal of the railroads was laid with the old iron u rails
imported from England. Gradually they were replaced with the
steel rail, 56 pounds to the yard, also made in England. The engines
were eight-wheel, with drive wheels about 5 feet 6 inches, cylinders
16 inches by 24 inches and pressure running from 110 to 120
pounds–mere toys
compared with the giants of to-day.
The Grand Trunk at that time still operated on the old
English [sic] gauge
of 5 feet 6 inches, while the roads in the United
States were on a 4 feet 8 lI2 inch gauge. Interchange
of traffic
between Canada and the United States roads thus presented many
difficulties. A change was imperative.
The Grand Trunk adopted
the United States gauge west
of Montreal in 1872 and the following
year east
of Montreal. In both cases, the change-over was made in
one day–on a Sunday.
The new locomotives were brought in from
the United States, from the Baldwin, Schenectady and Rhode
Island locomotive works.
After the national policy
came into force in 1878 in
Canada, no more locomotives were brought in from the States.
From that time
on for many years the engines were made at the
Point SI. Charles shop. In later years, when
Mr. Robb was
of Motive Power, as many as 25 to 50 engines were
built in a year.
It was during his service as a machinist at Point St. Charles
that Mr. Robb installed the first Westinghouse airbrake on a
locomotive in Canada. This machine was one being used on the
Delaware and Hudson line for hauling trains into the Bonaventure
Station in Montreal.
The Grand Trunk trains were then equipped
with the vacuum brake, an English railway equipment, which
fact is still in use on British railways both in Britain and in
Argentina, where Mr.
Robb saw them on his recent trip to South
It was not until some years later, when Mr. Robb was at
Belleville, that the airbrake was placed on all Grand
equipment, and Mr. Robb, with his knowledge of the new brake,
was called in
to instruct the engineers and firemen in its operation.
From Belleville, after 16 years
of service there, Mr. Robb
went to London, Ontario, as Master Mechanic, where he remained
six months then was moved
to Toronto as Master Mechanic in
of the Mechanical Department of the system over lines in
Ontario from York (now Danforth)
to SI. Clair turUlel.
Four years later he was brought to Montreal as Acting
of Motive Power, and within 11 months of that
time was in the saddle as Superintendent
of Motive Power for the
entire Grand Trunk system, a position carrying a salary
of $5,000
a year.
That was in 1902. Fifteen years later he eamed the record
of long service, initiative and enterprise, and his proved ability to
handle men,
by his election to the executive of the system as Vice­
President in
Charge of Motive Power and Car Departments.
Promotion beca
me even more rapid as the top of the ladder was
being reached, for inside
of 13 months he became Vice-President
in Charge of Operation. Four years later in August, 1922,
following the retirement
of the President of the Grand Trunk
System, he was appointed Vice-President and General Manager,
which position
he retained until the appointment of Sir Henry
Thornton as Chairman and President
of the fully consolidated
Canadian National Railways.
70 MARS -AVRIL 1994
Mr. Robbs keen interest in the welfare of his fellow
workmen and employees under his care, has never waned throughout
the years
of his busy career. The magnificent system of First Aid
for injured workmen which
is now one of the outstanding features
ofthe National System, owes its origin to Mr. Robbs determination
to remedy pitiful conditions which existed away back in his early
apprentice days. In those day
s says Mr. Robb, we saw injured
men die before our eyes for want
of immediate medical attention
which was not available, since there were no telephones and no
autos, and doctors were difficult to get. Fellow workers would
stand around in a sympathetic attitude, but, knowing nothing
First Aid, were helpless to render assistance. This was one thing
that impressed me when I was an apprentice, and I determined if
ever I had the power, I would make an improvement. When I
returned to Montreal as Acting Superintendent
of Motive Power,
I introduced
First Aid instruction at Point SI. Charles and later over
the whole system, and along with that I introduced the teaching
safety first. By the time the amalgamation came about, we had
so many employees on the Grand Trunk System with a knowledge
of first aid that it was almost impossible for an accident to happen
without there being someone in the vicinity to render immediate
assistance and relief.
Another thing that impressed me while an apprentice was
the need for a better apprentice training system. I was able in later
years to introduce a new apprenticeship system, issuing text books
and indenturing boys for five years, withholding a certain amount
of their pay. We provided instructors, held yearly examinations,
and when the course was finished, gave the apprentices a bonus.
This system was later copied by railways throughout the world.
This apprentice system stood us in good stead during the
At that time we had no agreement with any union and could
put on as many apprentices as we liked. I had increased the number
of apprentices to such an extent that during the war, when our
machinists were taken over by munition plants, the apprentices
were able
to take their places, and we carried on without trouble.
of the war years, here is something that is not
generally known, says Mr. Robb.
Both the Grand Trunk and the
C.P.R. established in their plants, munition shops to assist in
keeping up with the demand for shells.
For two or three years, at
Stratford and Montreal, the Grand Trunk turned
out 2,000 or more
I8-pound shells
per day. This was largely under Mr. Robbs
It was while
at Belleville as locomotive foreman that Mr.
Robb put into effect a most far-reaching innovation. This was the
of washing locomotive boilers with hot water. In those
days, said Mr. Robb, we were very hard pressed at times for
motive power. Locomotives had to be washed out after every
1,000 miles
of operation, and the process was a long one, for, to
avoid destruction
of the fire boxes, the locomotives had to be
off gradually, before being washed out. It required
generally from 12
to 14 hours for the washing out process and this
seriously tied
up our engines and the yards often became congested
with cars waiting to ge moved. This, I felt was wasteful in many
ways. I therefore evolved
the system of hot water washing. When
the engines came in they brought their own hot water. I blew this
water our
of the engines into a storage tank, and washed them out
with their own water and with water heated by the sand drier. In
Theres time for a few last touches with the oil can as the conductor walks back to the coaches before train 6, the Inter City Limited will
pull out
of Hamilton for Toronto. When this circa 1934 view was view, Number 6 was one of three daily Chicago-Taranto-Montreal trains
CN. The 6000 was the first 4-8-2 type locomotive built for Canadian National and served as the fore-runner of af/eet of Mountain,
Hudson, and Northern type steam lo
comotives which would become the standard power on CN main lines. It rolled out of the Kingston
Locomotive Works in June
1923 and lasted till the last days of steam on CN. The masive proportions of these engines drawfed the 4-4-0 type
steam locomotives, like No.
286, which pulled the Grand Trunk trains when Mr RoM began his railway career in the i870s.
Source: Paterson-George Collection
this way I turned engines out in from three to four hours, saving not
only time, but fuel, for the engines, being still wann, required little
fuel to raise steam once more.
The new system worked so well that
I was given authority to install it all over the Grand Trunk system.
It was some years later before this system was adopted by
any other railway either in Canada or the United States. Some
to 20 years later, an amusing incident happened. Some United
States firm stumbled
on to the idea, and immediately patented it.
Seeking for prospective purchasers for the system, the finn found
that the Grand Trunk was using
it and immediately threatened suit
for infringement
of patent. Mr. Robb took a considerable amount
of satisfaction in informing the firm that he himself had patented
the system
15 years before, record of which was registered at
Washington. The manager, astonished, came to Montreal to see
Mr. Robb, and asked him why he had not pushed the patent for sale
to other railroads. 1 was too busy working in the Grand Trunk,
was Mr.
Robbs reply. This was the beginning of one of those long
finn friendships with which Mr. Robbs career has been so
richly endowed.
Mr. Rbbb was probably the first railway man in Canada to
use air appliances for shop practices. He was the first to operate
a turn-table by air pressure, using one man in place
of four or five.
During the final part
of his career, the nine years that have
elapsed from the formation
of the Canadian National System to the
present day,
Mr. Robb has, in his capacity of Vice-President, had
of departments which have furnished him with new and
exceedingly interesting fields for
his initiative and energy. As in former years, he has been actively behind eery movement for the
of the most modern improvements in equipment and
service. For instance, as Vice-President
in Charge of Telegraphs
Radio. he sponsored the development
of the train radio and the
train telephone, which has put the National System in front of my
other railway system in the world in respect to such modern
equipment. The development also
of the carrier current on the
telegraph system, which
as proved one of the wonders of the
modern electrical and mechanical world, was brought about under
his jurisdiction.
As Vice-President in Charge of Colonization and
Agriculture, he has ·seen these departments take their place as
important factors in the development
of the immense fertile areas
throughout the dominion served
by the National System. For eight
years he has taken a keen interest in the promotion
of the Boys and
Girls livestock clubs, and has ben a familiar and welcome figure
among the young farmers each year at the Royal Winter Fair during
the Canadian National Railways competitions for these clubs.
As the crowning event
of his career, Mr. Robb fittingly was
chosen as the official delegate
of the Canadian National Railways,
and the. personal representative
of Sir Hem), Thornton, to accompany
the recent Canadian Trade Mission
to the South American Republics.
In the words of the Montreal Star, Mr. Robb … has well earned his
leisme and well will he know how to enjoy
it. Always an eager
travellers and student
of life, always an intelligent lover of good
by the way, his sons have inherited–and of late
a real golfer, his coming years
of freedom from the burdens of
office should be as rich and satisfying as his six full decades of
devotion to duty and substantial achievement.
Rail Canada Decisions
By Douglas N.W. Smith
During the last hal f of the nineteenth century, the communi ty
leaders of Owen Sound waged a continual effort to secure a share
of the vast traffic in goods and people moving between the eastern
manufacturing centres and the developing westem farmlands. In
1850, the community had refused to provide a bonus to the Ontario,
Simcoe & Huron Railroad which was to built from Toronto to a
point on Georgian Bay. Spurned, the OS&H ran its tracks to
and Chicks, the present site of Collingwood. The OS&H terminus
became the centre for shipping on Georgian Bay. With its speedy
rail connection to Toronto, it also became a major trans-shipping
point for settlers and manufactured goods moving to the American
Midwest and grain and lumber shipments going to the east coast.
Having witnessed Collingwoods rapid rise to prominence,
Sound readily agreed to pay a $300,000 bonus to the narrow
gauge Toronto, Grey & Bruce Railway
in 1872. The arrival of the
first TG&B train in 1873 failed to touch
off the expected major
boom in trade largely because the port lacked its own steamship
company. Hampered
by limited on-line traffic and the unfortunate
of narrow gauge which precluded the transfer of freight
cars with the rest
of the countrys railways, the TG&B faced
financial collapse by the end
of the 1870s.
it appeared the Grand Trunk Railway had secured
of the company, but an adroit purchase of the TG&B s
bonds in 1881 gave control
of it to the newly formed Canadian
Pacific Railway. The TG&B fOlmed a key link between
rapidly cobbled together network of lines in southern Ontario and
the trackage completed west
of Fort William (now Thunder Bay),
To tie together the two disparate parts of its railway, CP
inaugurated steamship link between Owen Sound and Fort William.
To accommodate the increased traffic,
CP rebuilt the line to
standard gauge, expanded the terminal facilities, and built the first
grain elevator along Owen
Sounds harbour. [See the article
Canadian Pacifics Fist Steamers in the May-June 1992 issue
Canadian Rail for further details on CPs shipping interests.]
The 250,000 bushel elevator rapidly became overburdened
by the flow of wheat. In 1887, the towns municipal officials
CP a bonus to double the elevator capacity, but were turned
Rankled by
CPs attitude, the towns leading businessmen
were ready to listen when the GTR made them an offer to build a
line into the city in 1891. In exchange for a subsidy
of $75,000, a
GT subsidiary, the Grand Trunk, Georgian Bay & Lake Erie
Railway built a 12.4 mile line from Parkhead, the junction with the
its from Stratford to Wiarton. The GTGB&LE had been created by
the GT in 1881 to takeover several struggling railway companies
in the Bruce Peninsula. The GTGB&LE had completed the line to
the Georgian Bay port
of Wiarton in 1882. The first GTGB&LE
train rolled into Owen Sound on July 12, 1893.
This construction of this branch line capped a program of
railway construction and amalgamation which the GT had been
following almost from the time it completed its original main line west from Toronto to Point Edward (Sarnia).
In 1859 when the GT
had completed its line from the Atlantic Ocean at Portland, Maine
to the shores
of the St Clair River at Point Edward, Ontario, it
comprised 972 miles
of main line. Two decades later, its trackage
had only grown by
301 miles or an average of 15 miles per year.
The fifteen year period between 1880 and 1894 was a
of intense expansion as the GT strove to meet the challenges
of the CPR. Over these years the GT grew 2,239 miles or some 149
miles per year.
While the Owen Sound extension marked the end
of the
greatest period
of growth in the GT system, it was not destined to
fulfil the hopes
of the leaders of the Owen Sound business
community. Its lines already served the ports
of Windsor, Sarnia,
Port Edward, Port Huron, Goderich, Kincardine, Southampton,
Wiarton, Meaford, Collingwood, Penetanguishene, and Midland.
The company had encouraged the construction
of grain elevators
at many
of these communities. Arrangements with many steamship
Jines on the upper Great Lakes gave the
GT a commanding
advantage over CPR. Not wanting to upset these arrangements, the
GT announced that it was not interested in building a grain elevator
or establishing a line
of steamers at Owen Sound.
Grain statistics appear to bear out the policy adopted
by the
GT. In 1899, it hauled 11.3 million bushels
of wheat from the
elevators at Midland, Goderich, Collingwood, Sarnia while
handled 2.6 million bushels through its sale port at Owen Sound.
Never quite happy with the harbour at Owen Sound, CP moved
of its ships to the new grain port of Port McNicoll in 1912.
While the availability of competing railway service
encouraged the growth
of the Owen Sound, the community would
a regional centre and not a key point
in the national grain
transportation system.
A little more than a century after the
GT began service to
Owen Sound, CN received Agency authority to telminate its
service. On September 30, 1993, it authorized CN to remove its
trackage from Harriston
to Owen Sound, a distance of 62 miles.
By the end of 1993, CN trackage in Nova Scotia had been
reduced to its main line from Amherst to Halifax, the branch from
Windsor Junction
to Dartmouth and little else.
On September 24, 1993, the Agency gave CN permission
to abandon 15.5
of the 16.5 miles of the Pugwash Subdivision
between Oxford Junction and Pugwash Junction and the 4.6 mile
Pug wash Spur. Salt traffic, which formed the major commodity
handled over the line, will be trucked to a reload facility near
Oxford Junction. This trackage formed part
of the ill-fated venture
to develop a major port for trans-Atlantic shipping
in eastem
The Great American and European Short Line was chartered
in 1882. At this Lime, ships crossing the Atlantic between
Liverpool and New York City required upwards
of eight days to
make the journey. Their route brought them close to the east coast
of Newfoundland and Cape Breton before tuming south. By
transferring passengers and mails to trains, several days could be
off of the journey time.
Initially, the company planned to build its line from St
Johns to a point opposite Cape Breton, run a steamer over the
of St Lawrence, build a line from a point near Cape North to the
of Canso, run their trains across the straits on a car ferry,
purchase or rent the Intercolonial Railway trackage from Canso to
New Glasgow and build a short line from New Glasgow to Oxford.
At Oxford, the trains would run westwards over the Intercolonial.
Though construction began on the New Glasgow-Oxford
line, the company rapidly ran out
of funds. It was absorbed by the
in 1888. The trackage was completed from Oxford
to Browns Point, the junction with the ICR branch to Pictou,
The second segment of CNs Nova Scotia trackage to be
in 1993 was the portion of the Chester Subdivision
from Summit [Mile 4.9) and Barrys Stillwater Marsh [Mile 42.3).
This trackage was built by the Halifax & Southwestern Railway
(H&SW) as part
of its line between Halifax and Yarmouth. While
this segment was completed
in 1904, the entire line was not
finished until 1907. At this time, the
H&SW was the second largest
in the province with 350 miles of trackage. The Intercolonial
had 475 miles while the Dominion Atlantic had 290 miles. Today
less than five miles
of the H&SW remains.
The major change, however, involved the sale of the
Truro-Sydney main line and the spurs to Pictou and Hopewell
a new short line. On October 1, 1993, the Cape Breton and Central
Nova Scotia Railway began operations.
The company is owned by
RailTex of San Antonio, Texas. What makes Canadas newest
railway noteworthy
is its roster which is entirely composed of
Montreal Locomotive Works locomotives. Main line power is
primarily C-630M type diesels.
The Chemin de Fer de Lanaudiere has set up shop on the
former CP trackage between 10liette and St-Felix-de-Valois,
Quebec. The lines primary shipper Bell Gas Ltee purchased the
line from
CP and began operations in March 1993. Motive power
is a Montreal Locomotive Works S-13 acquired from CN.
On August 15, 1993, the Ontario Northland Transportation
Commission assumed ownership
of the CN line from Cochrane to
Calstock, Ontario.
CN received Agency authorization to abandon the
Raymond Subdivision from Shannon to Saint Raymond, Quebec,
a distance
of 19.7 miles. This line was built by the Quebec & Lake
St John Railway in the early 1880s.
In 1925 the rails
of the Alberta & Great Waterways
reached the
hamlet of Waterways, some 272 miles north of
Edmonton. The line subsequently became part of the Northern
Alberta Rail ways and then part
of Can ad ian National. On September
14, 1993, the Agency authorized CN to abandon the trackage from
Lynton to Waterways, a distance
of 9.9 miles.
On September25, 1993, CN received permission
to abandon
the last 1.4 miles
of the Kincardine Subdivision near Listowel.
Canadian Railway Troops – A Follow-up
The article on the Canadian Railway Troops in World War I, which appeared in the November-December 1993 issue of Canadian
Rail, has brought forth more comment than any other article which has ever been published in our magazine. Quite a large amount
interesting information has been received and is printed here as an update or sequel to the original article.
By Mervyn T. (Mike) Green
1. Front cover and pages 208, 213:
I assume these are the Simplex 4-wheel petrol-engined
Tractors that you mention on page 200, with additional armour
plating to protect the engine crews. There were 837 Simplex
units produced by the Motor Rail & Tramcar Co. Ltd.
of Bedford
(England): at the peak
of production, in early 1917, the factory was
out 20 to 25 machines a week. They became the most
common units on the Western Front. The 20 h.p. unit was specifically
for working in forward areas over light track and was
built only as an unprotected cabless machine.
The 40 h.p. model,
however, was built
in three versions: open (with a pillar roof over
drivers seat), protected (rifle-proof shields and steel doors), and armoured (completely enclosed like a small tank).
It would
appear that those shown in the article were the 40 h.p. protected
variety. 200 other 45 h.p. petrol-electric tractors were built by
Blitish Westinghouse Co. Ltd. (100) and Dick -Kerr Ltd. (100).
There are several 1912 -1919 built Simplex units
preserved today in England at:
Amberley Chalk Pits Museum, near Arundel, West Sussex.
Irchester Narrow Gauge Museum, near WiUingborough,
Midland Railway Centre, Butterley Station, near Ripley, Derby (2
of Army Transport, Flemingate, Beverley, North Humber.
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York (60 cm. gauge).
2. Page 191, Areas of
Railway Operations:
.. –……
74 MARS -AVRIL 1994
The memories of my father,
Simon Edward Green (1895 -1972),
who was a volunteer soldier from
1914 in
the 1st. Machine Gun
Company, 4th Battalion, the
Wiltshire Regiment of the British
Army (commanded by Col. John
Redman), included time with
railway-building companies in the
Middle East. He was sent to the
Indian Empire in 1915 and stationed
near New Delhi. A joint British and
Indian Army expeditionary force
(the Egyptian Expeditionary Force)
was raised a
nd sent to the Persian
Gulf in 1917, under the command
of British General Edmund H.H.
(1861 -1936), to develop a
Second Front and remove the
Turkish Army from the Middle East.
My father was part of this: he
participated in the .March on
Damascus in 1917 -18 and he
provided Lewis machine-gun
covering for the accompanying
The firs! train over Vimy Ridge after the Arras offensive of April 1917, operated here by Canadian
troops with double-headed Simplex
20 horsepower gas-mechanical/ractors. From a painting by
C. Link, based on an Imperial War Museum photo (CO 1259).
companies of railroad-building sappers.
My father used the name
sapper for any and all types of
Army engineers: he also applied it to any soldier who built
trenches, tunnels, roads, railways,
or bridges and not just to the
Royal Engineers personnel.
The original name was applied only to
REs who sapped into the opponents trenches and depots
and destroyed them.
He recalled these sappers as including soldiers
from Britain, Canada, India, Australia and New Zealand. He also
his other fellow-soldiers by occupation (e.g. gunner,
rifleman, cook, driver,
or batman), rather than by company origin
(e.g. British county regiment, Service Corps, Indian regiment, or
Royal Engineers). These troops
were (in part) rebuilding the
(German-built) Hedjaz Railway, sometim
es called Lawrence of
Arabias line, because of the destructive raids of Col. Lawrence
and his Saudi desert groups against the Turks who previously
the line. Much new line was also laid, mainly with
metre-gauge track lifted from Indian branch lines: this was pushed
estwards as the troops advanced up the Tigris -Euphrates
in Mesopotamia (now Iraq, but he always referred to it as
Mespot) to Jerusalem (Israel) and Damascus (Syria). Some parts
of this line still exist in the three countries named.
My father and fellow veterans
of 1914 -1918 had few
positive memories
of the war, although he became a member of the
British Legion
in the 1930s. They always referred to the turmoil
The Great War. Even though my father was also a member of
the British L.D.V. and Home Guard in World WarII, 1939 -1945,
on loan from the London Passenger Transport Boards
Chiswick Bus Works, and employed on repairing Bristol Aircraft
in Esher, Middlesex, he never referred to the Great War as World
3. My fathers memories were not told me until some 40-
odd years after the Great War, in the late 1950s, when he realised
that we had a common military interest
in the Middle East, even
though neither of us had ever been stationed in the same place,
apart from passing through the
Suez Canal Zone.
I had by then spent my two years as a National
as part of the Royal Air Forces Middle East Air Force, being
stationed at Khormaskar (Aden Colony, now South Yemen) and
Khartoum (Sudan), with brief stays at
several Suez Canal Zone air
bases, 1951 -1952. Later, as a Regular Officer,
r was stationed at
RAP Pembrey in South Wales (1952 -1958). It was during those
latter years that my fath
er finally told me of his Great War
4. Page 196 -Colonel Stewart: There is a considerable
of information on him in The Railway Contractors by
Geoffrey W.
Taylor (Victoria, 1988). Stewart later helped develop
the well-known Western Canadian rail construction firm of Messrs.
Foley, Welch
& Stewart, which had widespread interest in the
Grand Trunk Pacific and other lines.
5. Page 197: The 0-4-0 steam locomotive in silhouette
appears to be
of a fairly standard design used on industrial lines in
France and Belgium in the first half of this century. I believe a
of these were taken over by the British Railway Operating
Department (ROD) in 1914. It could also be one
of the hundreds
of small (60 cm. to 1 metre) 0-4-0 Ts built by Decauville of
France, many of which were used by the French Army on their
portions of the Western Front. One of this type is sti II operating at
the Amberley Chalk Pits Museum, near Arundel, West
England. There are also others still in existence: see below at
paragraph 6e.
6. Page 200 -Motive Power used:
a. About 600 varied standard gauge steam locomotives
were taken over from British railways by the Ministry
of Munitions
in 1914, mostly of the 0-6-0 freight (or goods) type from the
Great Western and Great Central Railways. New 2-6-0 dual­
service (or mixed-traffic) locos
came from the GWR also.
Particularly useful were Great Central Railway 2-8-0 dual-service
locos and Great Eastem Railway 2-4-2 T switchers (or shunters),
all lettered ROD (Railway Operating Department). Both types had
low axle-weights, to allow operation on hastily-laid standard­
gauge lines with unstabilised ballast and rails. They were painted
an all-over dark grey, with white lettering and numbers.
b. The Belgian light railways were known as the Vicinal
of the Western Field Railways. They were of great
importance to the British Almy and 50 metre-gauge 0-6-0 T tram
of class 18 were built in 1917 -1918 by Robert
Stephenson (30) and by Hawthorne Leslie (20). Many
of these
locos worked
in the Ypres sector. After the war, 48 of these were
taken over by the SNCV (Societe NationaJe des Chemins de Fer
Vicinaux), as Class 19; most operated in the Province
of Antwerp.
The SNCV operated an extensive network all over the country, the
tracks often being laid alongside public highways. Most were
closed in the
1950s and 1960s.
c. Some small Gelman-built locos were also in temporary
use by the Allied forces
on the Western Front, after capture during
the infrequent advances before 1918.
d. The U.S. Transportation Corps
in France used many
standard-gauge Pershing 2-8-0 units. A large number
of naJTOW­
gauge units were built by Baldwin (495 4-6-0 T) and Aleo (100 2-
6-2 T): they were also sent to France and used by the U.S. AJmy
1917 to 1919. The Baldwins were built and shipped at the rate
25 per week, the last batch being delivered in France in July 1918.
Very few returned to the U.S.A.: most stayed
in France, while a
small number went to Britain and elsewhere. It was probably one
ofthese that David Ll. Davies remembers working in a Welsh slate
quarry (page 213). Others still exist
in Britain at Porthmadog, in
Wales, on the Ffestiniog Railway: a 1918 Baldwin 2-4-0 T and a
1917 Aleo 2-6-2 T (acquired
in 1984 from France).
e. A careful search
of the Canadian Trackside Guide
(Ottawa, 1993) does not reveal that any
of the several thousands of
rail units used in the Great War have been preserved in Canada, but
there may be some
in the U.S.A. However, as mentioned above,
there are some units preserved in Britain, while some others are
also preserved on the European mainland:
In France, at the French Railway Museum
in Mulhouse, in Haut
just north of Basel.
In Switzerland, at the Narrow Gauge Museum in Blonay-Chamby
(between Vevey and Montreux).
In Belgium, at the Tramways Museum at Schepdaal, near Brussels.
f. There were also large numbers of railway locomotives
used by the Central Powers on the Western Front, especially 600
cm. and metre-gauge types. Several German units are preserved
Austria, France and Germany. Other preserved units can also be
found in Turkey.
g. In a little over 20 years, in 1939, world war was renewed.
Once again, very large numbers of steam locos were provided for
the British Army (through the British Ministry
of Supply). These
included some used earlier
in the Great War (marked *) and:
108 Great Western Railway Dean Goods freight 0-6-0s *
259 London Midland & Scottish Railway Stanier class 8F freight
92 London & North Eastern Railway Robinson class 04 freight 2-
8-0s * and 13 class F4 and F5 2-4-2 T switchers *.
935 Standard MoS Riddles freight 2-8-0s (after the war, 733 were
taken over
by British Railways and classified as class 8,184 by the
NS in Holland, and 4 to the Kowloon-Canton Railway
of China; the
rest [14] were destroyed
by air or land bombardment).
150 Standard MoS Riddles freight 2-10-0s (all
of which were
absorbed by BR and classified as class 9).
of the Standard MoS Riddled-Hunslet 0-6-0 ST switcher (in
1946,75 were sold to the LNER in Britain, 75 to the NS in Holland,
and 6 to the
CFT in TWlisia, while several hundred were used in
Britains National Coal Board Collieries, with the last in use until
the early 1990s -many have been preserved).
And a few smaller steam and diesel units.
All locos were lettered WD, for War Department, and
ina sand-brown or khaki livery (some with green camouflage
stripes and blobs).
7. Page 201: The soldier-driver
of the 4-wheel passenger
speeder is an army Lance Corporal, the lowest of the non­
commissioned ranks. He has a single chevron on the upper part
each sleeve. A Corporal carried two chevrons and a Sergeant three.
My father reached the heady rank of Lance Corporal for a short
period during his four years
of army service!
8. Although there can be few living veterans
of the Great
War, it
is possible that further data could be forthcoming from
of the Royal Canadian Legion abd the Army, Navy and
Air Force Veterans
in Canada organizations.
9. Sources:
Butcher, Alan, RAIL WA
YS RESTORED. Shepperton, Surrey
England: Ian AUan, 1992.
By town Railway Society Inc
1993, Ottawa, Ontario 1993.
Davies, W.J.K., GREAT WAR RAIL WA YS, Edmonton Alberta:
Alberta Pioneer Railway Associations The Marker, October­
November 1983.
Friel, Charles P., IN SEARCH
OF THE LAST 141R. Shepperton,
Surrey, England, Railway World, October 1974.
1915-18. Bideford, North Devon, England: Green Family, 1957.
1940-1965. New York, N.Y., Macmillan Publishing, 1974.
Ransome-Wallis, P., PRESERVED STEAM
OF WESTERN EUROPE. Shepperton, Surrey, England: Ian Allan,
2 volumes, 1971.
Research Assistance: Ron Meyer and John Picur, both
of Vancouver
B.C., 1993-94.
Richmond VT: Empire State Railway Museum Inc., 1990.
Taylor, Geoffrey W.,
C., Morriss Publishing, 1988.
Tourret, R., WAR
England: Tourret Publishing, 1976.
Westwood, John, RAILWAYS
AT WAR. La Jolla, California:
Howell Nor
th Books, 1981.
By David LI. Davies
You have given me a clue about Purfleet (see bottom of
right hand column, page 196), which is on the north side
of the
15 miles due east of the centre of London. In World War
r it would have been served by the London, Tilbury and Southend
From your comments, it would appear that at the beginning
of 1917 Purfleet became the English base camp for the CRT. This
would make sense as ships from North America could land
supplies there and specialised loads could go forward to France
from there, avoiding the clutter
of general ports.
The sale
of the Baldwin to the Glyn Valley Tramway (my
boyhood railway) took place at a dump at Purfleet. All adds
My father was also in the British Army in France from
December 1914 to April 1919; and I followed
in 1945 -1948 in the
Welsh Regiment -now of
Les Kozma
I would like to make some clarifications regarding the
paragraph Constructing and maintaining in the right hand column
of page 198 [regarding the rail removed from redundant railway
in Western Canada).
18 December 1916, the DominionGovernmentreceived
an appeal from the British Government requesting 1,200 to 1,500
of steel rails for the War effort. An order-in-council was
passed the following day and work commenced almost immediately
on the lifting of unused sidings on the Canadian Government
Railways, primarily
on the under-utilized National Transcontinental
line. Four hundred miles
of track, complete with switches and
fittings, were taken up, and presumably shipped overseas. About
of the lifted track was replaced by lighter rail, while the
balance was not replaced.
In May 1917, the Dominion received anotiler request
rails, and on 18 May 1917, another order-in-council was passed,
authorizing removal
of rails on the Canadian Northern and Grand
Trunk Pacific lines west
of Edmonton. Work in the field commenced
at once. Connections were made between the respective lines and
the track was lifted and shipped east. Portions
of the consolidated
line were used jointly by the CNoR and GTPR
as e Work was completed by October 1917.
76 MARS -AVRIL 1994
The rails and fittings were all sent to Trois Rivieres,
Quebec for shipment to France, but primary documentation indicates
that the steel removed from the West never left Canada! I have
been unable to determine the exact disposition
of these materials,
but it appears that it was subsequently
consumed in railway
construction and maintenance
in the East.
I can cite National Archives
of Canada, RG 43 Volume
587, File 3323, W.
H. Biggar to the Minister of Railways and
Canals, dated 2 January 1919:
The work was being done as a war
measure … the clear intention
… was to secure railfor war purposes
in France. It now appears that very little rail, if any, went to
France, but remained in Canada, and was disposed of by the
in Canada.
Submitted by R.F. Corley
The units of the Canadian Railway Troops, with their dates
of organization and disbanding.
1st Battalion, CRT, formed from experienced Canadian Pacific
Railway personnel
June 15, 1917 -November [, 1920
2nd Battalion, CRT, formerly the 127th Canadian Infantry Battalion,
Canadian Expeditionary Force
June 15, 1917 -November
3rd Battalion, CRT, formerly the 239th Canadian Infantry Battalion
June 15, 1917 -November
1, 1920
4th Battalion,
June 15, 1917 -November 1,1920
5th Battalion, CRT
June 15, 1917 -November 1,1920
6th Battalion, CRT, formerly the 228th Canadian Infantry Battalion
June 15, 1917 -November
1, 1920
7th Battalion, CRT, formerly the 257th Canadian Infantry Battalion
15,1917 -November 1,1920
8th Battalion, CRT, fonnerly the 218th Canadian INfantry Battalion
15, 1917 -November 1,1920
9th Battalion, CRT, formerly the 1st Pioneer Battalion
June 15, 1917 -November
10th Battalion, CRT, formerly the 256th Canadian Infantry Battalion
June 15, 1917 -November 1, 1920
11 th Battalion, CRT, formerly the 3rd Labour Battalion
June 15, 1917 -November 1,1920
12th Battalion, CRT, formerly the 2nd Labour Battalion
June 15, 1917 -November 1,1920
13th Battalion, CRT
June 15, 1917 -November
14th Battalion, CRT Depot
June 15, 1917 -November 1, 1920
No. 1 Section, Skilled Railway Employee
s, CRT
February 1, 1917 -November 1, 1920
Ruthenian Railway Construction Company
February I, 1917 -November
1, 1920
Railway Construction Company, Military District No.
10, Manitoba
1, 1917 -November 1, 1920
Railway Constillction Company, Military District No.
II, British
1, 1917 -November 1, 1920
Railway Construction Company, Military District No. 12, British
Febl1lary I, 19
17 -November I, 1920
Railway Construction Corps, Military District No.
February I, 1917 -November 1, 1920
Railway Construction Company, Southern Alberta
February I, 1917 –
November I, 1920
.2 Section, Skilled Railway Employees Battalion, CRT
June 15, 1917 -November I, 1920
No. 1 Skilled Railway Employees Reinforcing Draft,
June 15, 1917 -November 1,1920
No. 1 Railway Construction and Forestry Depot
15,1917 -November 1,1920
No.2 Railway Construction and Forestry Depot
June 15, 1917 –
November 1, 1920
No.3 Railway Construction and Forestry Depot
June 15, 1917 –
November 1, 1920
No. I Railw
ay Constl1lction Reinforcing Draft
15,1917 -November 1,1920
Corps of Canadian Railway Troops
3,1918 -November 1,1920
Depot Corps, CRT
September 3,1918 -November 1, 1920
In the article on the Canadian Railway Troops, it was
mentioned that
they are almost forgotten today. However, they do
have a monument. On
Canadas national war memorial in Ottawa,
to the rear
of the arch, is the figure of one of the Canadian Railway
Troops, wearing his steel helmet and with a spike ma
ll over his
shoulder, looking as
if he was ready to continue laying rails under
such terrible conditions so long ago.
It is very fitting that this
important branch
of the war effort is recognized in such a fine way
in the nations memorial to its warriors.
Our President, Mr. Walter Bedbrook, sent a copy of
Canadian Rail, with the CRT article, to the Kingston Whig­
Standard newspaper.
The paper printed a lengthy column, with
excerpts from the article. Walter has written a letter which he asks
be included
in this issue of Canadian Rail:
A member of the Canadian Railway Troops, with his spike
mall, stands as a part
of Canadas national war memorial
in Ottawa.
To our members:
Mr. Lyndon Jones, a columnist with the Kingston Whig­
Standard, wrote an article
in his weekJy column excerpted from
Canadian Rail and which included an unsolicited review
of the
At one point, calling Canadian Ra
il a booklet, he sums up
his comments as follow
s: Canadian Rail is the bimonthly magazine
of the Canadian Railroad Historical As.sociation and Canadas
only railway magazine that covers the latest in technological
developments, historical articles and essays and photographic
stories o/Canada
s railways -steam, diesel and electric, national,
short-line inter-urban or street railways.
This is a very comprehensive statement from an unbiased
source, and what Canadian Rail is to most
of the Associations
members, and certainly to me as President. Whatever ones
particular interest in railways, it can be found somewhere in
Canadian Rail.
Itis necessary to increase the membership in the Association
to help in defraying the ever increasing costs
in producing the
magazine. One
of the better ways to do this is by asking all present
members to solicit new members from among their friends and
associates. Please help.
In doing so, Canadian Rail will be able to
continue presenting in-depth articles as noted in the above review.
Walter J. Bedbrook, President.
A Busy Fall and Winter
At the Canadian Railway Museum
By A. S. Walbridge
When the Montreal Transportation ceased its street car
operations in 1959, it sold all remaining track, and support poles
for trolley wires, in the streets to the city for
$1. Thirty-four years
later, a long section
of street car rail was extracted from the
pavement, and loaded into two
CP Rail gondola cars as a donation
to our museum. Also received was a carload
of steel poles. Several
of reasonable weather permitted our volunteers to
unload the cars and store the material, all without acc
ident. It was
a small miracle cons
idering that unloading 65 foot lengths of rail
from cars measuring 65 6, using
an ancient Montreal Tramways
electric crane
is a very tricky operation. Our long-term volunteer
Ed Lambert handled the crane unloading the first two cars, but
unfortunately he died on November 25 before the third
car was
The unloading job was continued by Barry Biglow, and
completed on December 11. To Charlie Dejean, Dave Johnson,
Alain Bosse,
Roger Desautels, Francois Gaudette, Andre Beaupre
and others –
Thank you!
Our new shop building was completed during the spring
summer of 1993. Building connecting track, from the turntable
into the front
of the shop, was completed during the spring.
the back of the shop with nearby street car track
necessitated the relocation
of the street car switch; then the
of connecting track to the rear of the shop. Our old
Tramways crane was
of considerable help, along with the unusually
mild weather during the fall. Montreal Tramways car 1959 was
towed into the
shop over the pit for extensive work on its
mechanical and electrical parts. It operates daily during
museum season.
Ex Port
of Montreal switcher 1002 is receiving a tuneup.
The interior of its cab is being repainted. Ex CN 15767 has had its
roof removed. A n
ew roof deck is underway, and we hope to return
it to active duty on Sundays during the 1994 season. What a
pleasure to work
in a heated building during the winter after over
30 years
of outdoor winter work.
THIS PAGE, TOP: Unloading the last street cal railfrom CP Rail
gondola on December 11,1993. Barry, Francois, Dave, Charlie
and Alain pose
for the photo.
W2 at work stacking rails, December 11,1993.
BOTTOM: Connecting the track into the real of shop building.
1959 outside the shop building in November
OPPOSITE, BELOW: Inside the shop building
in December,
1993. Andre, Barry, Char
lie, Francois, Len, Rogel, Alain and Rob
pose in front
of cal 1959.
All photos by A.S. Walbridge.

As pan ofche projecllo relocale the MOlllreal
Forum adjacent to CP Rails Windsor Stalion, the
fonnerexpress wing. known as the Mud Hut was
demolished at the beginning of March 1994. This
structure was built in 1906 with a single storey 3ml
sloping roof which, willi ils stucco finish. made it
look, indeed like a mud hul. [n Ihc 1920s it was
cnlarged 10 three Slories with flat roof. but the old
name continued 10 be used by older employees. ITs
destruction marks Ihe end of one more item of
OUlreals ever-dwi.ndling railway heritage.
In Memoriam
The members of Ihe CH HA were shocked 10 hear of
lhe sudden death. on 1bursday. November 25. 1993. of our
long-time mem
ber and friend Ed Lambert. Ed had joined Ihe
Association in December, 1957. and had been 1Il:1ivc in mall)
of CRHA aClivilies induding a lernl as Director. In
more reccnt limes he had been very aClivc at the MU$Cum.
especially in Ihe reslornlion of the Sireel cars. and il was
ly due 10 his pcrscver.mce lhal car 1959 and the crane
car were restored to oper.Hillg oondilion, Often he worked
singlehanded1yon a piece of equipment Oll1side and in less
lh:l.n ideal weather conditions. It is ironic and sad Ihal his
Mr. Ray Corley has sent some additional
nfomlalion and corrections 10 the anicle on the Train
Masters in Ihc las issue. He says Ihat CNR 3000 was
painted and tenered for eN while demonstrating and
did not have a spcriaJ painl job. Lots of inionnaliOIl is
ilahle incillding Canadian T ranspor1alion. Seplemlx:r
1955. page
488. CPR 8900 came OUi oflhe Beloil plant
fully p:linled :md lettered for Canadian P!lCifk.
Referring to Table /I (page 6), Mr. Corley
SlalCS lhat CP 8901 ·8920 had GE 752PC 1 motors buill
by Canadian General Eltttric in Peterborough, Onlario.
Edmund Lambert
death came just as the completion of the shop building meant
far better working conditions.
A long.time employee of Allis Chalmers in LlChine,
Ed had also seen service in the Royal Canadian Navy during
orld War II. His ~1orics of the old days. especially about
the street ears and intemmans. were of grea1 imeresl to
To hi.~ widow and flUllil), we offer our sincere
1bc passing of Ed Lambcn leavc.~ a gap that will
be difficuli or impossible to fill. He will be sorely missed.
Fred F. Angus.
BACK COVER: The illlenor of Ihl: 111:14 shop hlliidillS aJ Ihe Cmladiml Railway MIISclIm al De/SOli SI. C(lIISllWI. Qllt. as it (/PIXllred ill
Jomwr), 1994. Three pieceS of eqllipment are in Ihe lhop hOIing 1I0rk dOlle. 011 the left 14( se, l()Como/iIe 1002 ()f rill. 1011 Ilf Momrcuf.
is lI11it has had Ihe inftrim of ils cab re{Xlill/ed (lnd is II/lliergoin8 Ilec/rical lwd mechanical II/oimenc(. In fm, of il is MOII/r(al stn·,·t
car 1959 which is IUIIing nflI hcar/IISl illstal/cd as weI/I). a mechallical dClIItup. To Ihe right is eN passenger lrailer 15767 which i.f IU/IiIIS
its roof re·corered. Ih()/O b) A .S. Walhridge.

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