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Canadian Rail 452 1996

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Canadian Rail 452 1996

No. 452
Canadian Rail
MAY -JUNE 1996
ISSN 0008-4875
THE NORTHWEST TALGO ……………………………………………………………. JOHN
GODFREy ………………… 74
F. ANGUS …………………. 76
41906 ………. STEVE THORNING ……………… 82
AN M-630 TO THE CRHA ……………………. LEN THIBEAUL T.. ………………. 86
THE BUSINESS CAR ………………………….. ; ………………………………………………………………
……………………. 87
FRONT COliER. During a promotional tour of .wme major centres ill Ontario and Quebec,
ABBs X2000 made a one-day stopover
il1 Ottawa on July 28, 1993. Besides being on public
display, the X2000
made two short trips to Masson, Que. to el1lertain dignilaries and
members of the public. Since the train was not able to operate under its own power (there being
110 electrified overhead) all Amtrak F40PH was used to provide the necessary power.
Photo by Pierre Ozor6k.
For your membership in the CRHA, which
includes a subscription to Canadian Rail,
write to:
CRHA, 120 Rue St-Pierre,
St. Constant, Que.
J5A 2G9
Membership Dues for 1996:
In Canada: $35.00 (including GST).
United States: $30.00
in U.S. funds.
Other Countries: $35.00
in U.S. funds.
Canadian Rail is continually
in need of news,
stories, historical data, photos, maps and
other material. Please send all contributions
to the editor: Fred F. Angus, 3021 Trafalgar
Ave. Montreal, P.Q. H3Y 1 H3. No payment
can be made for contributions, but the con­
tributer will be given credit for material sub­
mitted. Material will be returned to the con­
tributor if requested. Remember Knowl­
edge is of little
value unless it is shared with
As part of its activities, the CRHA operates
the Canadian Railway Museum at Delson I
St. Constant, Que. which is about 14 miles
(23 Km.) from downtown Montreal. It is open
from late May
to early October (daily until
Labour Day). Members, and their immediate
families, are admitted free of charge.
The CRHA has a number of local divisions across
the eounlry. Many hold regular meetings and issue
newsletters. Further information may be obtained
by writing to the division.
P.O. Box 1
Saini John N.
B. E2L 4G7
397 Blvd. Rousseau
ee-Jonelion Que GOS 3JO
P.O. Box 22, Slation
Monlreal P.Q. H3B 3J5
P.O. Box 962
Smilhs Fall
s, Onl. K7A 5A5
P.O. Box 1714
Kingston, Onl. K7L 5V6
P.O. Box 5849, Terminal A
Toronto,Ont. M5W I P3
P.O. Box 20311 Granlham Postal Outlet
SI. Calharines, Onl. L2M 7W7
c/o Rick Connery, Seerelary
95 Bennell Creseenl N.
Calgary, Alberta T2L 1 R2
P.O. Box 2561
Revelstoke, B.C.
O. Box 400
Cranbrook, B.C.
VI C 4H9
123 View Street
Nelson, B
.C. VI L 2V8
P.O. Box 2408
Prince George,
B.C. V2N 2S6
P.O. Box 1006, Station A
Vancouver, B.C.
V6C 2Pl
1148 Balmoral Road
Vieloria, B.C.
V8T I Bl
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO-EDITOR: Douglas
N.w. Smith
W. Bonin
DISTRIBUTION: Gerard Frechette
F. Angus
Printing: Procel Printing
PRESIDENT: Walter J. Bedbrook
VICE PRES.: David W. Johnson
A. Stephen Walbridge
SECRETARY: Bernard Martin
F. Angus
Doug Battrum
Barry Biglow
James Bouchard
Gerard Frechette
FranGois Gaudette
Dean Handley
J. Christopher Kyle
Robert V.
V. Nicholls
W. Panko
Len Thibeault
William Thomson
Michael Westren
D. Walter Edgar
4515 Dalhart Road
Calgary, AB T3A 1
Phone: (403) 286-2189
Christopher Kyle
49 -77 Wellesley St. East
Toronto, ON M4Y 1 H7
Phone: (416) 962-1880
E. Viberg
72 Main SI.
Phone: 506 734-3467
Twenty-Five Years of Amtrak in Canada
Amtraks 25th Anniversary: 1971 -May 1 -1996
By Fred F. Angus
May 1, 1996 marks a quarter century since the formation of Amtrak. Some purists may say that the title of this article is a misnomer
since Amtrak trains did not run in Canada until September 1972, which
is not even 24 years ago, let alone 25: However they have run in Canada
during at least a
palt of every year from 1972 to 1996 inclusive which, as simple arithmetic will show, is 25 calendar years. Besides, the
logical time for the commemoration
is the silver jubilee of the corporation; hence the title, and the article.
Twenty-five years ago -May 1 1971, the National Railroad
Passenger Corporation, better known as Amtrak, began business in
the United States. Its purpose was
to take over the operation of
intercity passenger trains, thereby relieving the various railroads
of the burden of running trains that were carrying fewer and fewer
passengers and losing more and more money. Ever since soon after
World War II, passenger service in the U.S., and to a lesser extent
in Canada, had been declining year
by year and, by the late 1960s
was seriously threatened with extinction. It was in an attempt to
salvage the service and preserve a national passenger train system
that an act
of the U.S. Congress was passed to establish the NRPC.
At first the tentative name Rail pax was used for the proposed
new system, and it was not until a matter
of days before the
implementation date
of May 1 that it was announced that the new
corporation would trade under the name Amtrak.
When the schedules for the new services were announced
it was quickly realized that more than half
of the long distance
passenger trains in the U.S. would disappear the night
of April 30,
1971. It was the single biggest cutback
in American history and
was analogous to what Canadians would experience on January 15,
1990. Among the discontinued trains were all U.S. trains which
crossed the border into Canada. Gone were the Laurentian and
Montreal Limited
of the Delaware & Hudson, the International
of the recently-formed Burlington Northern, as well as trains
connecting Ontario with the midwest states. While there was hope
that Amtrak might one day reinstate some
of these services, in the
of 1971 no one could be sure.
This does not mean,
of course, that all international
passenger trains had stopped running. Canadian railways still
operated some trains that crossed the border. The Toronto Hamilton
& Buffalo offered a service, with Budd RDCs, between Toronto
and Buffalo, while both CN and CP ran trains that crossed the
border twice
in their runs between Canadian points. CNs was the
train from Thunder Bay
to Winnipeg via the old Canadian Northern
line that passed through a part
of Minnesota, while CP ran a train
known as the Atlantic Limited which passed through almost 200
of northern Maine on its route along the Short Line
between Montreal and Saint John N.
B. Far to the north, the trains
of the White Pass & Yukon Route crossed the international
boundary between Alaska and British Columbia. Railway traffic across the border between Canada and the
United States began on September
41851 with the opening of the
of the Champlain & St. Lawrence Rail Road from St.
Johns, Canada East (now Quebec), to Rouses Point, New York.
The Montreal Gazette,
in its issue of September 6 1851, rightly
predicted that this would be
the precursor of a traffic of which the
is incalculable. Ironically, the date of that alticle was the
of the death of Jason C. Peirce, one of the major promoters of
Canadas first railway. On September 17th, 18th and 19th 1851,
the city
of Boston held a huge Railroad Jubilee to commemorate
the opening of rail communication with Canada.
Railroad fever was
in the air in the early 1850s, and two
more international lines were already under construction. The first
to be completed was the Montreal & New York and the Plattsburgh
& Montreal which met at the border north
of Mooers, N.Y. on the
of Thursday, September II 1852. Full tluough passenger
service between Montreal and Plattsburgh (including a ferry boat
across the St. Lawrence river) began on Monday, September 27
1852, thus creating a rival to the C&StL. Then on July 18, 1853 the
combined St. Lawrence & Atlantic and Atlantic & St. Lawrence
(which by then had become part
of the newly-incorporated Grand
Trunk) was completed from Montreal to Portland Maine when the
last spike was driven at Island Pond, Vermont. A commemorative
plaque at Island Pond still proclaims that this was the first
international railway line
in AmeJica! As we have seen, however,
is incorrect; the line was actually the third.
As the years went on, more and more international railway
lines were built. From the eastern end
of the Maine -New
Brunswick border between Calais and St. Stephen, all the way to
the west coast, tracks were laid between the two countries. The
most remote was the White Pass & Yukon Route which, in 1899,
reached the international border at the sununit
of the White Pass.
There were even international street car lines, such
as the Calais –
St. Stephen system, the lines in the Niagara area, and the physically­
separated system serving the two Sault Ste. Maries, one in Ontario,
the other
in Michigan. Many of these railways offered through
passenger service, and some
of these international trains were
famous. The CP line from Montreal to Boston actually crossed the
border three times, with intermediate stations on both sides
of the
RAIL CANADIEN -452 64 MAl -JUIN 1996
Eighty three years before Amtrak A Snow Blockade on the Canadian Border shows what international train travel was like in winter ill
the nineteenth century. This woodcut illustration appeared in Harpers Weekly 011 November 24, J888.
1853 -1978
This commemorative cancellation of 1978 perpetuates the myth
that the Island Pond connection was thefirsl international railway.
As we have seen,
the true first was almost two years before at
Rouses Point
N.Y. That at Island Pond was the third.
After 1945 more and more of these international railway
became freight only as a part of the general decline of
passenger trains. By 1971 the only passenger trains of the American
railways that
came into Canada were those on the D&H between
Montreal and New York and that
of the Great Northern from
Seattle to Vancouver. The D&H trains were of special interest to
railway enthusiasts because
of the four ex-Santa Fe PA-Ilocomotives
that were regularly used, aided at times by Erie-Lackawanna
power and rolling stock. In the last days of April, railway enthusiasts
nt much time riding and photographing the trains that many believed would never return.
On the morning of May I, the last
Montreal Limited arrived in Montreal from New
York. For the first time in almost 120 years, no U.S. passenger
trains were scheduled to co
me to Canada. An era had ended, but a
new era had begun.
For more than a year, railway enthusiasts on both sides
the border watched as Amtrak worked hard to improve and
upgrade its pioneer national system. Soon additions to the original
etwork were planned and in the summer of 1972 it was announced
that passenger service would return to the Seattle-Vancouver
route. On September 10 1972 this new train, the Pacif
ic International,
went into service and so inaugurated Amtrak selvice into Canada.
Less than three weeks later. the night
of September 29-30, Amtraks
new Montrealer (nOlthbound) and Washingtonian (southbound)
went into service between Montreal and Washington D.C. This
train had not been a casualty
of the 1971 cutbacks, but had been
discontinued in 1966, almost five years before. U.S. passeng
service had returned to Canada after a hiatus of more than sixteen
It has continued ever since.
Since 1972, trains have been added, others have been
discontinued, and there have been many modifications.
At least
two trains have been reintroduced
after having been previously
discontinued. There have been as many as five Amtrak trains
crossing into Canada
(from June 1994 to April I 1995 and from
May 26 1995
to September 9 1995). and at present there are four
During the lasl days of the Delaware & Hudson service between Montreal and New York, the D&Hsfamous PA locomotives were of ten joined
by Erie-Lackawanna units. Here
we see both sets of motive power at CPs Glen Yard on the mOllling of April 19, 1971. One set has brought
in the night train The Montreal Limited, while the other set is preparing to leave with the day train The Laurentian.
Photo by Fred Angus.
The last southbound Laurentian about
to leave Montreals Windsor station the morning of April 30, 1971 with Erie-Lackawanna 821
leading. The next day Amtrak would he horn. Photo by Fred Angus.
regularly scheduled daily trains. For a time Amtrak Superliner cars
operated on VIA Rails Panorama while VIA was contemplating
to buy new Superliners or rebuild the older cars. However
the decision was finally made to rebuild the existing equipment so
no superliners were ordered.
In addition to train service, there have
been, and
sLilJ are, dedicated bus cOimections between certain Amtrak trains and points in Canada.
We will here give a short
of each of these train services, as well as a table giving the
overall picture during the last quarter century.
On this silver jubilee, we congratulate Amtrak and sincerely
hope and trust
thaL it will continue to provide fast and convenienL
to its northern neighbour for many years to come.
With convenient connections to Chicago,
San Francisco and
Los Angeles trains.
is Amtraks nrst international service and
we want you to enjoy every minute of it. In deep
comfortable two-abreast seating. Sightsee through
big picture windows. And a nne breakfast
en route. Welcome aboard.
Re~d Down
Lv. 7:00 a.m.
An. 7:l0 a.m.
An. 7:50a.m.
An. 7:55 a.!ll.
An. 8:42 a.!ll.
An. 9: 19 a.!ll.
An. 10:08 a.m.
Arr. 10:34 a.m.
An: 11:15a.m.
Vancouver. B.C.
New Westminster
White Rock
Me Vemon·Burlington
Read U[l
Arr.l0:05 p.m.
Arr. 9:30 p.m.
An. 8:45 p.m.
An. 8:40 p.m.
Arr. 8:06 p.m.
An. 7:30p.m.
AlT. 6:44 p.m.
An. 6:22 p.m.
Lv. 5:50 p.m.
Were making the tlains worth traveling again.
ror rc,ervations and information. call your Amtrak Travel Agent
or call (604) 682-5552.
66 MAl .. JUIN 1996
Why Canadians
are visiting the U.S.
by the trainload.
Irs simple. Amtrak is making the train the best way to see
the U.S.A. Our U.S.A. RAIL PASS offers unlimited coach rail travel
at new off· season rates-US$165 for14 days, US$ 220 for
21 days and only US$ 275 for 30 days.
Our trains like the Montrealer and the Adirondack from
Montreal (schedules on opposite page) and the Pacific
naf from Vancouver offer convenient service from
Canada and connections to Amtraks entire U.S. rail net·
You can take the overnight Montrealer to New York City,
Philadelphia and Washington. D.C. Or board the day1ime
Adi rondack and follow the scenic western shore of Lake
to New York City. Our Pacific Internalional fea­
tures our new Amfleet service
to Seattle.
Need more reasons to join the Canadians who are
to the U.S. by train? Your travel agent or Amtrak
will gladly provide them.
Aliinlormall0ncomainedherein,ssutljecl tochangewrlhoul not ice.
les Canadiens
visitent les Etats-Unis
par b-ains entiers.
Cest tres simple. Amtrak fait que Ie train est Ie meilleur
moyen de voir les Etats·Unis.
Notre U.S.
A. RAIL PASS offre un parcours illimite par
chemin de fer en voiture·coach
a de nouveaux tarifs hors
saison -US$
165 pour 14 jours. US$ 220 pour 21 jours et
US$ 275 seulement pour 30 jours.
Nos trains tels que
Ie Montrealer et IAdirondack de
Montreal (horaires sur
la page en face) et Ie Pacific Interna­
tional de Vancouver, offrent un service pratique depuis
Canada et des correspondances avec Ie nlseau americain
entier dAmtrak.
Vous pouvez prendre Ie Montrealer de nuit vers New
York, Philadelphie et Washington. Ou bien monter dans
I Adirondack de lour et suivre la pinoresque rive occidentale
du Lac Champlain
en allant a New York. Notre Pacific
Internationat presente notre nouveau service Amfleet vers
Voulez-vous davant age de raisons pour vous joindre
aux Canadiens qui se rendent aux Etats·Unis par Ie train?
Votre agent de voyage ou Amtrak
se fera un plaisir de vous
les donner.
Tous 1es renseignements conlenus dans res pl~senles sonl sujelS ~ modification sans
Two Amtrak Canadian advertisements from the 1970s. The one
on the left
is historic as it annOllnces the very first Amtrak service
10 come 10 Canada, the Pacific inlernational. It appeared il1
Vancouver newspapers on inauguration day. September 10,
1972. The advertisement above appeared on October
by which lime Amtrak was offering three different trains to
CoLLection of Mark Paul.
MAY -JUNE 1996
Sep 10 1972. Pacific Intelllational, trains 194 -197, inaugurated.
Apr 29 1973. Train numbers changed
to 793 -794
Oct 28 1979. Train 793 leaves Vancouver later (11:25 A.M.
instead of 6:05 A.M
Apr 27 1980. Train 793 retullls to early schedule (7:00 A.M.).
Oct 1 1981. Pacific lntelllational discontinued.
May 26 1995 Mount Baker Intelllational, trains 760 -761,
inaugurated, using Talgo equipment.
in service as of writing.
Sep 29-30 1972. Montrealer, train 60, and Washingtonian,
train 61, inaugurated.
19 1974. Trains 60 and 61 are called Montrealer in both
25 1987. Montrealer discontinued.
18 1989. Montrealer, trains 60 -61, reinstated using different
route south
of Brattleboro VI.
Apr 2 1995. Montrealer discontinued; replaced by day train
Vermonter which terminates at St. Albans and does not go
Canada. Note: St. Albans has the smallest population of any
of an Amtrak train.
15 1974. Adirondack, trains 68-76 -63-69, inaugurated
using D&H equipment including the PA type locomotives. Later
these were retired and the train ran with turbo equipment.
15 1975. Train numbers now 68 -69. Note: On numerous
occasions this train has operated
ona different schedule on
Sundays and has thus calTied different numbers on that day. These
changes are not covered in this table.
Jan 12 1986. Montreal terminus
of train changed from Windsor
to Central Station. Note: This was the last scheduled long
distance train
to use Windsor Station.
Apr 7 1991. New York terminus
of train changed from Grand
to Pennsylvania Station.
Apr 2 1995. Adirondack, trains 68 -69, ran from Washington
to Montreal via New York and Albany.
Apr 14 1996. Extension
to Washington discontinued. Train once
more runs only between New York and Montreal.
Train in service
as of writing.
May 15 1975. Empire State Express, trains 63 -64, extended
from Buffalo
to Detroit via Canada, but does not make passenger
stops in Canada.
Nov 30 1975. Train now calTies passengers
to or from (but not
between) points
in Canada.
Northbound to Montreal, train No. 69, the Adirondack, near
Whitehall, New York on April
1, 1983.
Photo by David Morris.
Apr 25 1976. Trains 63 -64 now called Niagara Rainbow and
does carry passengers between points in Canada.
Oct 29 1978. Train rerouted through Niagara Falls instead
of Black
Rock -Fort Erie.
Apr 29 1979. Western terminus
of Niagara Rainbow cut back to
Niagara Falls N.Y., so it no longer runs through Canada. Note: This
was the first Amtrak service in Canada
to be discontinued.
Apr 26 1981. Maple Leaf, trains 63 -64, inaugurated. Joint
service with VIA Rail between points
in Canada. Note: Train
numbers are the same as formerly us
ed for the Niagara Rainbow.
Apr 7 1991. New York terminus
of train changed from Grand
to Pennsylvania Station.
Train in service
as of writing.
Port Huron
3&1 Train Number
o.~ Frequency 01 OperabOn
I!!I Typo 01 Service
t.g Dp chf~~L -Union Sra. (eT) 1025

G;10 49A 2.

Hammon(1.llNhitLng. IN
88 Niles, Ml (ET)
.54P 22 .38 Kalamazoo, I (Gumcl Rapids A)
230P 258 .eo 8a110 Cnt8k. MI
:1 27P 3.35 208 E.~f~n~I~~~kMrf(~~:hg)
353P 382 238 Durand, MI.
41SP 400 254 FUn!, fill
39P … 27. LapOer, MI_
5 OP 513 31. ~ Port Huron, Ml e
S4SP 513 31.
600P Sl6 32
(VIA Awl Canada. Inc.}
AI Sctnl_, ONT. 0
630P 6 321 Op
51 360 SJtsthroy. ONT.
740P 6 380 London, ONT. (Stratford)
… 3.0 Ir.gersoll, ONT.
656 408 Woodstock, ONT.
838P 699 435 Branlford, ONT.
130 454 Dundas, ONT.
744 463 Burhnglon Wost o.~T.
2)P 762 474 OaKville.ONT.
950P 796 495 Ar Toronto OKr.
Train S;r..~e
(VIA Rail Canada, Inc.)
12 SOA Nlag;ua FaJI3, ONT.
6 lOA Ottawa, ora.
7 lOA AI Montreal, QUE.
Two Great Cities
Three Great Ways to Get There
If youre among the many who believe
Canada is at its best when covered with
light snow
and crisp air; let Amtrak take
you there this winter.
Amtraks Adirondack
off~rs you daylight
service-to Montreal from New York City via
Albany. This delightful trip along the
of Lake Champlain is perhaps
Amtraks most scenic. Or leave New York
in the evening aboard the Montrealer. This
comfortable overnight
train puts you in
Montreal in the morning.
Refreshed and
ready for a full day of sightseeing.
Toronto is the destination of Amtraks
Maple Leaf. This
daylight train originates
in New York and winds gracefully through
the hills
and farms of Upstate. before
crossing the
Niagara River Gorge and
arriving in downtown Toronto by early
evening. The Maple Leaf is the most
way to travel to one of Canadas
most beautiful cities.
Super Savings With Amtraks Circle Fare
When Visiting Both Montreal
and Toronto
Call your Travel Agent or Amtrak lor
68 MAl -JUIN 1996
Amtrak Invites You Limited
On An

fJlSu Suonty
181 0
IV 6 02P lO,,]P
D 522P 91001P
Chicago-Toronto in our exciting new train.
512P 957P
, 25P 9 tOP
3S5P .40P
Take the International, the new
240P 725P
AmtraklVlA train seNice and
212P 657P
discover Canada or the Midwest. 1 52P 637P
30P 61SP
Spread out, relax and sightsee
Dp 124SP , 30P
IV 120SP
• lOP
from the comfortable reclining
0, 1150A
• OS,
seats. Enjoy al/ the excitement of IV 1145A
• 30
II00A 344P
Toronto, one of Canadas most
modern cities. Special low fares
, 56A 243P
and go-as-you-please travel plans 926A 213P
~ 903A
make this the trip of a lifetime
• 39P
838A 1 ?8P
you cant attort to miss.
a lOA
.. ~:~.;.
. ;:35P
c 1135P
ABOVE: On April 24, 1983 Amtrak inaugurated the International between
Chicago and Toront
o. This went through the Sf. Clair Tunnel which had been built
between the two nations
in 1890. In April 1995 the new tunnel was opened and the
old one close
d. This allowed the use of double-deck Superliners on this train.
By October 25,1981, when this advertisement appeared, there were three
ways to reach eastern Canada by Amtrak.
It was also possible to make the circle
tour, in conjunction with VIA, and visit New York,
MO!1lreal and Torontr,; for a
special fare.
31 1982. International Limited, trains 364 -365-367, inaugurated,
IUnning via Brantford. Joint service with VIA Rail between points in Canada.
Note: Train often has run on different schedules on Sundays and has different
numbers on those days. These changes are not covered
in this table.
Oct 30 1983. Train drops the word Limited and becomes the International.
Apr 28 1985. For the next six months there were several changes to the
of the International due to work on the t.rack.
Jan 15 1990. Train rerouted via Kitchener. This was part of the restructuring
of VIA Rail Canada in which almost half of VIAs service was discontinued.
For some time the International used VIA and Amtrak power on alternate
days, but now regularly uses VIA locomotives and Amtrak cars.
Apr 5 1995. Train starts using new
SI. Clair tunnel.
in service as of writing, using superliners.
June 1994. Niagara Rainbow, train
65 (northbound, Friday only) and train
62 (southbound, Sunday only), inaugurated. Joint service with VIA Rail
between points in Canada. Note: This train was
to have begun operation May
1, and run twice weekly in both directions. However it was delayed until June
and only ran once weekly. This was the only Amtrak service into Canada that
did not
IUn daily.
Sep 10 1995. Niagara Rainbow discontinued.
MAY -JUNE 1996
On July 18, 1989 Amtrak revived the
Monlrealer using a different route south of
Brattleboro Vermont. The day before, a special
lrain was
rU/1 by day, and crowds turned OUllo
welcome it al every station along the route
from AmherSI MassachusellS to Montreal. The
on this page were taken by Fred Angus
0/1 that day.
RIGHT: At White River Junction, VT. the
great length
of the train is readily apparant.
At Montpelier Junction a banner is
stretched across the track as a gesture
of welcome
as the train approaches on July 17,
1989. These
banners were used al each station along
route, culminating in a large one hung in
MOlllreals Central Station.
LEFT: Bombardier Welcomes Amtraks
Montrealer to Vermont on July 17, 1989.
Behind the welcoming commillee is one of the
new Horizon cars, built by Bombardierfor
Sing & Swing
Your Way
To Canada
f summer hiking, winter skiing,
or anytime-of-the-year geta­
ways take you anywhere
between Washington, D.C. and
Montreal, Canada, then Amtraks
got just the ticket -the
Hop on board in the evening,
have a complete meal or snack in .
Le Pub car, then enjoy the
live musical entertainment
provided while you sip on
specialty drinks and make some
new friends. Catch some sleep
your wide reclining seat (or
optional sleeping accommoda­
tions), watch the beautiful
mountain scenery glide by your
window, and hop off refreshed,
relaxed and ready to roll.
Ask your travel agent or Amtrak
about special excursion fares and
hotel/tour packages. And have a
great time on the way to your
next getaway.
This adfor the Montrealer appeared on April 5, 1987, when the
had the Bistro car complete with piano. Not long after this
the train was temporarily discontinued.
70 MAl -JUIN 1996
Vive la Difference!
mtraks Washington-Montreal
overnight service aboard the
all-new Montrealer is an inter­
national adventure! Youll enjoy
excellent service, live entertainment
in the Le Pub car, casual dining,
and fun.
The Montrealer takes you from the
major cities of the Northeast­
Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia
and New York-through the beauty of
New England-including stops in
Waterbury and Burlington, VT, where
skiers will find
such resorts as Stowe,
Smugglers Notch and Sugarbush.
Then its
on to Montreal, Canadas
Golden City,
and back again. Connec­
tion service
is also available to
Atlantic City.
For reservations or more details,
please call your
Travel Agent or
at 1-800-USA-RAIL.
By October 29,1989, when this ad appeared, the Monllealer was
back, and it remained in service until April
2, 1995 when it was
replaced by the Vermonter, a day train which does not run north
of St. Albans Vt.
MAY -JUNE 1996
RIGHT: On September 16, 1993 work officially
on drilling the new St. Clair tunnel. SOOI1
after the ceremony, Amtraks International
passed by and entered the old tunnel, bound
Chicago. Note the Horizon cars, hauled by a
VIA locomotive.
Photo by Fred Angus.
RIGHT: Toronto-bound on September
17, 1994
is the short-lived Niagara Rainbow which ran,
on an overnight schedule between New York City
and Toronto. Northbound, the train left New York
on Fridays only, while southbound it departed
from Toronto on Sundays only. In this viw, at
Aldershot Ontario, the Niagara Rainbow
coupled to the VIA train. which wentfrom Toronto
to Niagara Falls the night before. and which
being hauled backwards to Torollto by the Amtrak
Photo by Fred Angus.
LEFT: Stopped at Niagara Falls Ontario,
while the passengers undergo customs inspection,
the Maple
Leaf, boundfrom New York City to
Toronto, is seen on May
23, 1994.
Photo by Fred Angus.
Oct 1 1981. Bus inaugurated between Seattle and Vancouver to
connect with the
Coast Starlight. This replaces the Pacific
Apr 27 1986. Additional
busses inaugurated to connect Vancouver
to Seattle and Everett for the Empire Builder and the
Apr 5 1987. Vancouver terminus
of connecting busses changed to
Sandman Inn.
May 26 1995. Bus to connect with Coast Starlight discontinued
as it has been replaced by the Mount Baker International.
Oct 29 1995. Vancouver terminus
of connecting busses changed to
Pacific Central Station.
Busses in service
as of . writing.
72 MAl -JUIN 1996
Oct 29 1989. Bus inaugurated between Grand Forks and Winnipeg
to connect with the Empire Builder.
Oct 28 1990.
Bus, Grand Forks -Winnipeg discontinued.
Apr 2 1995. Bus inaugurated between Buffalo and Toronto to
connect with the Empire State Express.
in service as of writing.
Apr 2 1995. Bus inaugurated between SI. Albans and Montreal to
connect with the Vermonter.
Sep 10 1995. Departure time from Montreal set ahead to 4:30 A.M.
to accommodate early departure time
of the VeIIDonter.
in service as of writing.
SEP 10 1972
NOV 15 1974
OCT 291978
APR 291979
APR 261981
OCT 1 1981
OCT 31 1982
JUL 181989
JAN 15 1990
JUNE 1994
MAY 26.1995.
. APR 141996
1971 TO 1996

* *
* *
* *
* * *
* * *
* * * *
* * *
* * *
* * *
@ K
@ K
@ K
* * *
Daily service between points indicated.
N From October 29 1978
to April 29 1979 Niagara Rainbow ran daily via Niagara Falls instead of Black Rock -Fort Erie.
@ Ovemight train Niagara Rainbow ran north on friday, South on Sunday, in addition to day train Maple Leaf.
K Starting January
15 1990 Intemational runs daily via Kitchener and Guelph instead of via Brantford.
W From April
21995 to April 13 1996 Adirondack ran daily between Washington and Montreal via New York.
OPPOSITE TOP: Passing Montreals Wellington Tower on August 27, 1993, the Adirondack has just left Central Station en route to New
York City.
OPPOSITE BOTTOM: Another aspect
of Amtrak in Canada is represented by the numerous Amtrak cars being built by Bombardier. The
of the cars are built in Canada with final assembly at Barre VI. or Plattsburgh N.Y. This view shows seven new Superliner cars as
they appear when shipped
to the U.S. for completion.
BOlh photos by David Morris.
RAIL CANADIEN -452 74 MAl -JUIN 1996
The Northwest Talgo
By John Godfrey
Friday, September 30th,
1994. The nerve-rattling ring of
my travelling alarm clock announced
to the world that 0430 had arrived.
Ever want to
completely demolish
an almm clock?
It had been a short night.
, .:, ; ~
The effects of an unfamiliar bed
and some unresolved jet-lag from
my arrival two nights previously
had not made for a restful night;
and here another day
of adventure
was about to unfold for one bleary­
eyed traveller.
At least I was not
going to
be alone, my host Kevin
Dunk was yawning his way through
a bowl
of cereal in the kitchen. By
0515, showered and relatively
presentable, we were off to
Vancouvers Sandman Inn to board
the 0555 Amtrak Thruway bus for
Seattles King Street Station and a
rendezvous with our quarry,
Amtraks leased Talgo 200, for a
trip to Portland, Oregon.
The Northwest TaIga at Vancouver, Washington inAugust 1994. When the Mount Baker International
went into service between Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle, this equipment was assigned
to that run where
is still in service at the present writing. Note how short the cars are compared to the standard
passenger cars used in North America, also how the Amtrak locomotive towers above them.
Most of the fifteen or so
Photo by Mark Gustafson.
passengers on board were connecting
Amtraks train No. 11, the Coast Starlight, which left the
ern U.S. metropolis at 0940. This made our 20 minute
late arrival at 0930 a nail-biting experience for them. Kevin and I
did our best to dodge speeding Samsonites as we took
in the
of one of Amtraks premier long-distance trains about to
depart on its
joumey down the U.S. west coast.
Having ingested a second breakfast
at a nearby eatery, we
retumed to the station to find the Talgo at the bumper post
of one
of the Garden tracks south of the head house. On the next track the
car Dagney Taggart, a Budd-built observation car, that did
time on the
QNS&L and CP after its time on the NYC, quietly
looked on.
Photo time. Walking the length
of the train we found (from
rear to front): TG62-03 power car; TA6-62 first class coach;
66 first class coach; T A6-60 first class coach; TA6-58 first class
handicap coach; TC6-51 bistro car with kitchen; TR6-06 diner;
T A6-61 first class coach; TA6-64 first class coach; T A6-51 first
class coach; TA6-59
first class coach; TG6-03 power car; 287 F40
PH locomotive.
Walking the length
of the train, some of its features made
themselves apparent.
The windows are huge; much more akin to
eTa coaches than the Amfleet cars of the 70s. The train
is lower than the now-departed CN Turbos with whom it shares a single wheel-set pendular suspension system between cars. A
closer look at the wheel-set reveals that there
me no axles on this
train. Each
wheelan each side rotates independently of the other
while a device ensures that they remain parallel to each other.
We decided to secure sea
ts in the last coach of the train, and
so returned to the rear through the interior to see what was
contained inside the aluminum car bodies.
The train consists of twelve cars, each 44 feet long,
of eight coaches, a bistro-kitchen car, a diner and two
power cars. The coaches are configured as first class cars with 2-
I seating for 26 people facing the direction
of trave. From front
to rear the cars are numbered
31 t038 excluding the power cars.
The bistro follows the diner between cars 34 and 35. Car 35
contains only
14 seats, as it has space for wheelchairs as well as a
handicap-accessible washroom.
As departure loomed,
we settled into seats 5 and 6 of car
38. The seats are the pull-the-handle-and-slide-your-butt recliners
found in Europe; comfortable for short and medium distance trips,
but inadequate for longer runs. Overhead baggage racks are small,
just wide enough for the average brief case, and difficult to reach
from the aisle seat for us altitudenally impaired types. Most
passengers seemed to stow their belongings
in the two car-end
racks found on each car.
MAY -JUNE 1996
1130. Precisely on time, No. 793 eased into motion. As the
train worked its way out
of Seattle, both Kevin and I noticed that
the rocking motion thaI the Turbo had had through the track work
was also found on the Talgo. Out by the Boeing plant we were
surprised and amazed to see a Russian Antanov cargo plane sitting
the tarmac. This is the type of plane that GM used to fly that
to Ireland. Thats one big plane.
1216. We rolled to a stop in
Amtraks Tacoma station four
minutes early. Despite a good crowd waiting
to board, we depalted
on time at 1220.
The trains video system was put to good use on this run.
The four ceiling-mounted monitors (two facing in each direction)
presented shorts on the
WSDOT program to upgrade service from
Vancouver B.C.
to Portland Oregon, and also on the RENFE
(Spanish National Railways) Talgo and its features. Later on in the
trip, the film Major League II was shown.
1300-02. Olympia-Lacey, Washington. Time for a walk.
Those big windows can allow in a lot
of sunlight, though not today.
Should that be a problem, shades are easily pulled across them to
kill the glare. They compliment the two-tone grey and red interior.
To get from
car to car, one must cross the vestibule on a
slight step designed
to permit the wheel assembly to move under
the low:slung body
of the train. Full-length glass doors protect the
vestibules on all but the food service cars. They open automatically
at the pull
of a latch.
1320-23. Kelso-Longview, Washington. In the first coach
I met Juan Carlos Lopez, the
RENFE technician on board. He
explained that the train is entirely
self-contained. Two Mercedes
engines in each power
car provide electricity for all hotel power.
Also housed are air compressors, water reservoirs, batteries,
hostler controls, and a panel to monitor all the various systems. A
steam locomotive could haul the train and all this equipment would
still work. Juan also provided insight into one
of the trains selling
points: its mUlti-gauge capability.
The device that keeps the
Talgos wheels parallel also locks them in place at a pre-set gauge.
They can be changed
to another pre-set gauge on the fly by running
over a special section
of track that unlocks the wheels, regauges
them, then locks them back in place. A twelve-car train requires
about ten minutes for the gauge change. This feature
is especially
useful when the Talgos operate from their native Spain across the
border to France, since the Spanish gauge
is wider than the 1435
(4 8 1/2) used in most European countries.
1447-50. Vancouver, Washington. Thanks to some track
work that had the line single-tracked, we departed Vancouver, WA
five minutes late. Back in
my seat, I took some time to tryout the
seat-side sound system. There are three channels, two for music,
one for the video system.
The trains electrical system requires the
of special headsets which can be rented on board for $3.00.
Apparently Walkman headsets will short things out.
Before long the Portland skyline comes into view on the
left. Cross the Willamette River, a hard left, a trip through some
industrial neighbourhoods, and Amtrak 793 rolls to a stop at the
station at 1511, thirteen minutes early.
Kevin and I were ticketed to retum north immediately on
the northbound
Coast Starlight at 1555, so we decided to stay close
to the station and photograph the Bombardier-built MAX transit
equipment and the arrival of No. 14. Our time in Portland soon
stretched to over two hours, as the
Coast Starlighr did not come to
a stop on track five until 1700. By 1718, with servicing complete,
we were on our way. Proving the old adage that late trains get later,
we rolled to a stop in Seattle I hour and 54 minutes late at 2204.
There we transferred to what was to become the bus ride from Hell
with Norman the frustrated OJ-cum-bus driver and his irritatingly
incompetent and verbose road show. We did not get back to
until after 0200 in the morning, an awful ending
to an
otherwise good day.
But what
of the Talgo? September 30th 1994 was to have
been its last day in service before returning to Spain. However,
while on board, we learned that it was to leave on October 3rd on
a U.S. tour, then return to its run between Seattle and Portland for
seven months. When Amtraks
Mount Baker intemational, running
between Seattle and Vancouver B.C., began operating, the Talgo
was transferred to that run and, as
of March 1996, it is still in that
service. Another Talgo
is also running in California.
Washington State
DOT are pleased with the train. Despite
the reduction
of the Pioneer to tri-weekly, patronage between
Seattle and Portland increased
44% in April and May 1994 over the
cOtTesponding period in 1993. The 79 MPH speed limit that track
conditions impose on the train does detract from the
high speed
qualities being touted, but does pelmit one to speculate what things
might be like at the
125 MPH designed speed. A Talgo 200 trainset
reached 181
MPH on a test run in Germany in 1985, while a Talgo
truck was successfully tested at
311 MPH.
Everything on the train
is functional. There are no fancy
wood interiors
or push-button faucets, as are found on the previous
two speedsters (the X-2000 and the ICE train) tested on
North East Corridor over the last couple of years. The bistro­
kitchen car offers a 16-seat counter and two dinette tables for use
by patrons purchasing snacks, beverages and souvenirs at the take­
out counter. The 30-seat diner is divided into two and four seating.
The day we travelled, three convection-style meals were available:
poached salmon, marinated sirloin roast, and breast
of chicken
with oriental noodles.
Two people staff this two-car combination.
The Amtrak operating crew amounted to three: engineer, conductor
and assistant conductor. One representative each from
WSDOT rounded things out. On the day we travelled the passenger
load was heavy; evenly divided between through and local traffic.
Would the Talgo work in Canada? You bet. Any operating
locomotive can haul the train (it
is self contained). No need for
overhead or third-rail electrification
or dedicated rights-of-way.
The passive tilt system employed requires no high-end maintenance
or special attention. In addition, the cars are available in three
different sleeping configurations for ovemight travel.
The twelve­
car train in the northwest weighs about as much as three of VIAs
Budd coaches. It is speculated that any made-for-North America
models would weigh more so as
to better meet North American
standards. Another thought bandied about
by Kevin and I would be
to replace that vestibule step with a ramp set-up to further decrease
the chance
of spills on the way to the toilet,. exit, or bar car.
Will the Talgo make it into
VIAs stable? You bet. Right
after a daily, steam-heated, F-unit hauled
Canadian retums to
CP route, to and from the West!
RAIL CANADIEN -452 76 MAl -JUIN 1996
The Centennial of the Point Ellice Bridge Disaster
Some Observations About the Car Involved in the Tragedy
and its Radial Truck
By Fred F. Angus
In happier times, Victoria street car No. 16 is pictured at Esquimalt about 1894. The Robinson Radial truck is plainly visible. This was about
two years before the fatal accident. CRHA Archives, Binns collection.
One hundred years ago the electric railway era had arrived.
Electric lines and street car systems were being built
in many parts
of the world, but above all
in North America. However it was
barely a decade since the first practical elect.ric railways had been
introduced, so the industry was just emerging from the pioneer
period. There was still a lot to learn. During this era occurred the
worst-ever disaster on a North American street car system, the
Point Ellice bridge disaster
in Victoria B.C. on May 26 1896, a date
which, after a century, is still looked on with horror. The story has
often been told, and the reader
is referred to Canadian Rail No. 209,
April 1969, for an excellent article on the subject by the late
Richard M. Binns. It
is not proposed to go into details of the
tragedy here, only to give
an outline of the facts. lnaddition, more
information has come to light, since 1969, concerning the car
involved in the accident, and some photos from the B inns collection,
not used in that article, are shown here. The car was very interesting
in its own right, and was the only one of its type ever to operate in
Canada. Eighteen ninety-six was near the end
of both the nineteenth
century and the Victorian era. Queen Victoria had been the British
sovereign since 1837; in fact most Canadians had never known
another monarch. The following year her sixtieth jubilee would be
celebrated with great festivities all across the British Empire. That
empire was approaching its height
of importance, and it was often
said that it was so far reaching that on it the sun never set. One
of the major holidays, celebrated across the empire, was the
Queens birthday, the 24th of May, and in 1896, her 77th birthday
was being celebrated as usual with great enthusiasm. As May 24
fell on a Sunday that year, many
of the celebrations were scheduled
for Monday the 25th and Tuesday the 26th. Since a major strength
.of the British Empire was the Royal Navy, it is natural that any
place where there was a naval base would have celebrations
involving the navy. Such a base was Esquimalt B.C., near the
capital city named after the Queen. So it was that a sham naval
battle and military exercise were scheduled for Esquimalt on
Tuesday, May 26 1896.
The day dawned bright and
sunny and large crowds
of people
boarded the cars
of the Consolidated
Railway and Light
Company for the
trip from Victoria to Esquimalt.
route crossed the Point Ellice bridge,
an iron truss structure which had been
built in 1885, before the electric
era, and which had seriously
deteriorated in the intervening eleven
years. About ten minutes before
P.M., car 16, the largest car on the
system, began to cross the bridge. An
estimated 142 passengers were
crowded into, and on the platforms
of, this car which had seats for 34!
Suddenly there was a loud cracking
sound and, within a few seconds, the
first centre span collapsed, carrying
it car 16 and its passengers and
crew. While some
of those on the
platforms were able to
jump free,
of those inside the car never
had a chance.
The newspaper The
in its issue of May 28 1896,
The Robinson Radial truck was prone to derail on some curves, and this faded old photo shows car
16 derailed as several onlookers watch. Undoubtedly it was soon back on the tracks, but
afar worse
fate was
in store for No. 16. CRHA Archives, Binns collection.
reported: Those who were in the cal heard a crackle, felt
descendingJound themselves in sudden darkness, and
then felt
(he water rising about them and engulfing them. Those
who were on the right hand side
of the cal had practically no
of escape,for the cal tumed over on its side infailing.
it afterwards righted itself; those who were on the left hand
seat were able to crawl through the windows or were floated
through them, and so had a chance to fight
for their lives. The car
did not sink to the bOllom but hung suspended by the wreckage
the bridge with ten or twelve feet of water under it.
Within seconds of the crash, rescuers were atwork attempting
to pull passengers from the water. Many were saved but when the
wreckage was raised and the bodies recovered it was found that 55
persons had died, setting a record for fatalities which has never
been broken on any street
car system in Canada or the United
We sincerely hope that this is a record that will stand for all
time. Needless
to say, all festivities were immediately cancelled.
and what had started so happily became a day
of deep gloom. A
hundred years later one still t.rembles
to think about it.
What about this car that was involved in such a tragic
To find out we must travel across the continent, to far away
Boston Massachusetts, where the story began. Car
16 was, in 1896,
about four years old, having been built in 1892 by the Newburyport
Car Company of Newburyport Mass. CRHA members will likely
observe that our car 274. the first piece
of equipment in the CRHA
collection, was built in the same factory ill the same year; perhaps
they were in the shop
at the same time. What is especially
is that the Victoria car appears to be almost identical to
group of 45 cars being built by Newburyport for the West End
Street Railway of Boston at the same time; it fact it is likely that
it was an add on to the Boston order. Furthermore it was
equipped with the Robinson Radial Truck, as were a number
the Boston cars at that time.
The West End Street Railway was the operator of what
was, in the 1890s, the largest street railway
under a single
in the world. Following numerous mergers about
1887, the
West End controlled almost all the street railway lines in
Boston, unlike other large cities that had
numerous different
companies. Following their electrification, starting in 1888, the
West End sought to increase their passenger-carrying capacity and
so, early in 1890, they developed what was for that time a very
large car. This type, known as the 25-foot car, had an overall length
of just over 34 feet and a body length (as its name would suggest)
of 25 feet, with nine windows per side.
There was, however, a technical problem. At that time
most street cars were single truck with bodies less than 20 feet
long. A 25-foot car was obviously far too long to be mounted on
a single truck, but st.reet railway companies seemed reluctant to
adopt fully double truck cars. One reason for their reluctance may
have been concern
over the ratio of powered wheels. No four­
motor street cars were in existance or contemplated, thus the most
that could be powered would be four wheels unless complicated
gearing was used.
So a double truck car would have only 50% of
its wheels powered, compared to 100% for a single truck car.
Therefore there was considerable experimentation carried out in
an effort to improve this power ratio, yet still
accommodate the
requirements oflongercars.
In Boston the problem was compounded
by the many narrow winding streets that were (and in
many cases
still are) a feature
of that citys traffic.
Some cities tried the Maximum Traction truck; a double
truck design in which the two motorized wheels are larger than the
two non-powered ones and carry a greater proportion
of the
weight. While Boston did use some
of this design, they also tried
something else. This was the Robinson Radial Truck, a six-wheel
device, carrying two motors, which might be described as
a truck
and a
half It is best described by the drawings and writeup from
RAIL CANADIEN -452 78 MAl -JUIN 1996
. ,
, ,
. . , .
-·~——-·–;-~-·—-it——-!·; __ A
~ ~I
l~ ~i
Diagrams of the Robinson Radial truck from Electric Railways and Tramways printed in 1897. This shows a later version of the truck in
which the bearings
of the centre axle are outside the wheels.
the book Electric Railways and Tramways by Philip Dawson,
CE., printed in London in 1897.
We will now consider a different type of truck, namely,
one with six wheels, and known generally as a Radial truck. This
was introduced
to do away with the waste of power due to the
skidding and grinding
of the wheels all curves of small radius
which frequently occur on street railways. It originated
in Boston,
a city which
is not laid out in square blocks like most American
towns, but has winding streets. The truck is composed
of three
independenltwo-wheel trucks pivoted together, the two end trucks
canying most of the load and the motors. The centre axle frame has
smaller wheels, and moves transversely across the bottom
of the car body, which
is pivoted on the central truck and not attached to
it. In running, the axles become exactly radial in the curves. The
of the trucks is built of steel channel-irons riveted
together, and these are suspended by coil springs
from the axle­
boxes. The illustrations show elevation and plans
of a radial truck
and its behaviour
all curves. The disadvantage of this gear is that
on double curves
of S shape, the truckfrequelltly derails, while
it is more costly than afour-wheel truck. Where very large calS are
in use, two four-wheel bogies are generally considered
to be
to the radial truck.
In the early 1890s, the West End Street Railway equipped
a fairly large number
of its 25-footers with radial trucks, either the
A detailed woodcut, made in 1891, showing West End Street Railway No. 277, built in 1890 and one of the first 25-footers. The drawing clearly
il/ustrates the action
of the Robinson Radial truck on a curve. In 1891 the body design was modified slightly so thai cars built from then on
had sides which were less
curved. Victoria No. 16 was of the .laller type; identical to those being supplied 10 Boston throughout 1892.
Robinson ones or its own later (but not necessarily improved)
design. However as time progressed it was realized that the
complications and problems in the radial truck outweighed their
theoretical benefits.
The double truck for city street cars was
becoming more and more a reality, and
by 1899 some street cars
actually had four motors.
The radial truck was quickly losing its
raison detre. Few
of them were manufactured after 1892, and the
days were numbered for those in service.
It was an ingenious idea,
in theory but impractical in operation. Starting late in 1892,
the West End Stre
et Railway began to specify standard equal­
wheel double trucks for all its 25-foot cars delivered from then on.
By 1896
the radial truck was well on the way out and they were
rapidly scrapped and replaced with double trucks.
It was quite easy
to convert the 25-footers, and by 1900 the radialu·uck was virtually
Since the basic principle
of a radial tJuck is sound in
theory, it is not surprising that, in later years, the idea, in various
fOlms, has reappeared from time
to time over the last century.
Today some of the modern high-speed trains use the radial principle; however
in a form quite different from the old Robinson
The truck which was fitted to car 16 when it was in service
in Victoria was a true Robinson Radial one of the original design,
identical to those used in Boston at that time.
The truck shown in
the 1897 drawings
is a slightly later version but the principle is the
same. Why the company acquired a car and truck
of this type will
never be known, but it was certainly a radical (or radial)
idea at the time. However there is no evidence that the truck design
played any part
in the accident; it was simply that the bridge was
too weak for such a large, heavily loaded car.
The final fate
of No. 16 is unknown. A photo of it after the
wreck shows the car body
to be in surprisingly good condition, but
one thing is sure, it was never returned to service; there would have
been too many tragic memories. One story says that it was used for
a time as a storage shed, but it soon disappears from the pages
history. The Robinson Radial truck was probably recovered from
the wreckage
of the bridge and was almost certainly scrapped soon
after, since by 1896 it was virtually obsolete.
RAIL CANADIEN -452 80 MAl -JUIN 1996
Hundreds in Successful Operation in ELEVEN STATES and Four Foreign Countrie$,
.. It has always glrcn UM satisracUon.-IIENRY M. WIIITNEY. FrrIidrnl //01 Elld Sirul Railway Cn .. B,,,,,,.
~Ir. WII.LlAIoi ROUINSON, SUIERI~TEN/)ENTS O …. ,CE. Ill Markel St .• LYNN. MASS. Sep!. II. 18<)1.
Orar Sir :-We have in use (our open cars 35 Ct:et long, mounted on Robinson Rad;al Truck5. They have Leen in usc
Slimmer, and have given guod satisfaction. We consider them the IIest Ilnd smuothcst running Trucli~ In the
lIIarket, rollowlug the track IIetter than IIUY 1ruck we hale eler Hcen.
. Yours truly, Q. A, TOW:-J5, Fro. Lynn Edt Li,,, Ry.
The Traction of the nobinson Radial is Double that of the Eight-wheel Car.
WM. ROBINSON, General Manager.
The only truck suitable for electric railroading was the exaggerated claim made for the Robinson Radial truck in this
of late 1891. Practice proved this claim to be false, and they soon went out of use.
Back in Boston, the25-footcars proved to be very successful
and well over a thousand
of them (1155 to be exact) were built by
various builders between 1890 and 1900.
As we have seen, most
were equipped from the start with double trucks (with one motor
per truck), and all that had radial trucks or other experimental types
were fitted with conventional double trucks before many years had
passed. Some
of these cars remained in passenger service as late
as 1928, and some were in use as work cars into the 1950s. One has
survived, No. 396, built
in 1900, is preserved at Seashore Trolley
Museum in Maine.
In 1963 this car was restored and appeared in
the movie The Cardinal.
To end this story, we present a final tragic irony, which
occurred more than twenty years after the Point Ellice bridge
disaster, and which completes the strange link between Victoria
16 and the Boston 25-foot type. Shortly after 5:00 P.M. on
Tuesday, November 7 1916, more than twenty years after the
tragedy in Victoria, Boston car 393, built in 1900, was on a rush
hour run when it went through an open drawbridge and fell into the
Fort Point Channel drowning 47 passengers, almost
as many as in
Victoria -and under very similar circumstances. So it was that
perhaps the worst street car accidents in both Canada and the
United States involved cars
of very similar design -and both
disasters took place on a Tuesday!
Today it
is a full century since that fine day in 1896 when
16 went through the bridge. Streetcars_vanished from Victoria
in 1948, and the bridge which replaced the collapsed span was itself replaced by yet another
of modern design. The British
of Queen Victorias day has long gone, evolved into todays
Commonwealth, and the world, and Canada, is a greatly different
place. Technology has changed too, and the street car, in the form
of the light rail vehicle, is also coming back. Whatever happens in
the future all hope that never again will be seen a street car accident
as tragic as that which occurred one hundred years ago.
OPPOSITE TOP: A general view of the wreck scene after the body
of car 16 was brought ashore. The lettering on the side of the car
says Fort Street
& Esquimall. Other than some roof damage, the
car seems
to have suffered surprisingly little after its terrible
experience. Note the man sitting on the window sill looking inside.
There is no sign
of the remains of the collapsed span since the
water was very deep and no wreckage showed above the sUiface.
OPPOSITE BOTTOM: A close up view showing the left-hand side
of car 16. Through these windows quite a few passengers escaped
since, unlike those on the right-hand side, they were not blocked
by the wreckage of the bridge. The seats were longitudinal and
hence did not offer as much obstruction as
if they had been
crosswise. Nevertheless it seems incredible that about87 passengers
to escape in the few seconds after the plunge.
Both photos from the collection
of Richard M. Binns.
RAIL CANADIEN -452 82 MAl -JUIN 1996
A Bad Day for the Grand Trunk
Monday, June 4, 1906
By Steve Thorning
As the train passed
diagonally through the farm of
Bill Byers, engineer George
Angel, in the lead locomotive,
peered ahead into the glow cast
by the headlight. He caught sight
of a horse running ahead of the
train between the rails. He applied
the brakes, but seconds later his
pilot hit the quadruped.
locomotive jumped
off the rails,
surged ahead about 100 feet,
and turned into the ditch
on the
left side
of the track. The second
locomotive partially mounted
the tender
of the first, then veered
off into the ditch on the right, 75
feet ahead
of the first one.
The rest
of the train
What a mess! The amazed look on the face of this bystander is understandable. This is the scene along
the east fence line
of the track.
pushed ahead. When everything
stopped moving,
12 of the 23
CaIS were on the ground and 150
of track had been ripped up.
The force smashed some
of the
wooden cars to splinters.
Although a short train, it was a
heavy one. All cars were loaded,
of them with cement. The
derailed cars consisted
of seven
of cement (probably from
This photo, and the next two, are from postcards produced soon after the wreck. All were mailed on June
18, and bear the regular
1 cent postage stamp, with a picture of Edward VII, that was the rate for
postcards at the time. This· card says on the front
A G.TR. double header wrecked J1I2 miles north
of Fergus June 4 -06. 3 men injured only. The address side of one of the cards is also shown,
illustrating the stamp and the Elora postmark.
the plant at Owen Sound or
Shallow Lake), two
of lumber Historians are occasionally fortunate to stumble on an
incident from the past that is well documented through written
sources and photographs. This is the case with a Grand Trunk train
wreck near Fergus, Ontario on June 4 1906, exactly ninety years
ago. This line was originally the Wellington, Grey and Bruce
of the Great Western, running north from Guelph to Elora,
Fergus and Palmerston. The route became an important Grand
Trunk secondary line, serving the various branches that radiated
from Palmers ton.
By sifting through various sources, it
is possible to reconstruct
the events
of 90 years ago. About 1 A.M. on the morning of June
4 1906, the Grand Trunk operator at Palmers ton dispatched a 23-
car freight train to Guelph, hauled by two aging 4-4-0 locomotives.
An hour later the train neared Fergus. The engineers shut
off the
steam and began to coast downgrade on the approach to the
Canadian Pacific diamond and the 135 degree curve that swung the
main line past the Fergus station and on to Elora. and one each
of brick (probably from the brickyard at Drew, east
of Harriston), ties and flour.
Amazingly, no one was seriously injured, other than the
horse who was killed. Engineer Angel (whose guardian angel must
have been with him), and Collins, the fireman on the second
locomotive, walked away from the wreck. Engineer Jeffrey, on the
second engine, received some minor scrapes and bruises.
Moorehead, fireman in the first locomotive, and brakeman John
Pettigrew stayed briefly at the Fergus hospital to have some cuts
to. The rear crew members received only a bad shaking.
Fortunately neither boiler exploded, and the debris did not
catch fire. Within a couple
of hours, wrecking crews were on their
way. The Palmerston auxiliary arrived first. It coupled to the cars
still on the track and towed them to Alma, the first available siding
of the site of the wreck, and then returned to begin work on
the north side. Later the Stratford auxiliary pulled up, routed by
MAY -JUNE 1996
way of Guelph, and started
attacking the wreckage from the
Crews worked all day
Monday, through the night, and
day Tuesday.
The derailment tied up
an important branch line for two
days. Normal daily traffic
consisted of three scheduled
passenger trains each way, a way
in each direction, and
or more through freights,
such as the one that derailed.
On Monday morning,
northbound train 17 met
southbound train 18 at the wreck.
Passengers, mail and
were transfelTed between the two
around the
wreck site, and the
two trains then retraced their
paths in reverse. Dispatchers sent
alliatertrains between Palmers ton
and Guelph on Monday and
Tuesday on a detour route via
Stratford. A temporary shuttle
service connected Fergus and
Elora with
Guelph for two days.
In the ditch. Locomotive 364 was the second engine pulling the train. At the time of the crash it was 32
years old. It was scrapped two years later, and may never have been repairedfol/owing the wreck. Note
oldjashioned kerosene headlamp. The cab of the locomotive has been completely smashed.
Miraculously, the crew escaped wilh only scrapes and bruises.
By Tuesday night the
track had been replaced, and most
of the wreckage cleaned up. The
The message on the card reads A douhle header and 14 cars loaded with brick, cement, lumber,flour
etc. caused by horse lying
011 track.
crew sal vaged the two locomoti ves, some car parts and much of the
While the cleanup work was in progress, the recriminations
The Grand Trunk had been advised several times that the
fences along this stretch
of track were in very poor repair. The
horse killed by the train, and another that was not injured, had
apparently jumped the fence at a low point, from the adjoining
pasture. Fencing was improved within days
of the wreck, possibly
on the orders
of General Manager Charles Hays
after he reviewed the accident reports. Engineer
George Angel contended that at a higher speed the
horse would have been tlu-own clear and the train
would not have derailed.
A lthough in open countly, the wreck occurred
about a mile and a half from downtown Fergus, in an
easily accessible location. Hundreds oflocal residents
showed up to take in the scene, and watch the two
auxiliaries at work. A few amateur photographers
snapped some shots, and these soon became
collectibles in Fergus. The best pictures, though,
were produced by John Connon, a professional
photographer from neighbouring Elora. Connon
sold scenes of the wreck as postcards, and tlu·ee of
his views appeared on the pages of the Fergus News
Record four days after the wreck.
of its locomotives in 1904. New paint partially disguised the fact
that both were
more than 30 years old, and may well have racked
Lip a half million miles or more in service. Over the years, both had
been altered considerably: narrow smokestacks when they were
convelted to coal, shorter pilots, and air
pumps when air brakes
became standard railway equipment.
The Grand Trunk had acquired
both locomotives
in the early 1870s during the standard gauge
The two locomotives involved in the wreck
were older than some of the crew members. The
Grand Trunk had renumbered and repainted many
The address side of one of the cards, showing the stamp and postmark.
rail. Light bridges and culverts ruled
out any motive power heavier than
the old J4 and J5 4-4-0s, which
in at only 38 tons, Uneven
track caused frequent derailments,
of a minor nature, and mostly
in the spring, The most serious was
the derailment
of a passenger coach
of Guelph in 1903 that killed
two and injured 25,
The Fergus
wreck was one
of the few on the line
that could not be blamed on bad
The best show in town, The wreck occurred about a mile and a halffrom Fergus, and it attracted quite
a crowd
in the pleasant June weather of 1906, This view looks north, Note the light 56lb, rail, At the
right, cleanup crews have piled intact bags
offlour or cementfor salvage. Workers are moving debris
to the side: reopening the track was the first priority,
In 1908 the Grand Trunk
began rebuilding the line between
Palmerston and Guelph, with
improvements in grading, deeper
ballast and heavier
rai1. The bridge
over the Grand River was replaced
in 1909, and the final replacement
rail was laid in June, 1910, This
of the track permitted
the GTR to use class E 2-6-0s as the
standard freight engines on the line,
and class H14-4-0s, and other heavier
engines, on passenger assignments.
The message on the card reads It has taken them two days to get it in this shape, Quite a jam up,
Curiously, the details of
conversion, Rather than convert all of its existing roster, the GTR
purchased many new standard gauge engines:
270 of them in 1873-
74, The wrecked locomotives, of the J4 and J5 class, dated from
that period.
The lead locomotive in the crash, number 372, was part of
an order of 23 from the Portland Company of Portland Maine, It
was built in December 1873, with cylinders 17 X 24 inches, 63 inch
driving wheels and 140 lbs.
of boiler pressure, It had been rebuilt
in 1892 with a new boiler. Originally numbered 262,
it was
renumbered 319
in 1898 and 372 in 1904,
The second locomotive, number 364, came from the
Kingston Locomotive Works
in Kingston Ontario, in October
1873, as part
of an order of 12, Its technical specifications were
virtually identical to No, 372. Originally numbered 271, it was
renumbered 445
in 1898 and 364 in 1904.
No. 372 was rebuilt following the wreck, It was renumbered
in 1910, and served until 1919, No, 364 did not fare as well.
At the time
of the wreck only three of the twelve Kingston
in this group were still in service. Five had been sold
to the
Temiskaming and Northern Ontario I today the Ontario
Northland], and the other four wrecked or scrapped, No. 364 itself
cut up in 1908; it may not have been repaired after the crash.
On the other hand, 17
of the 23 engines from the 1873 Portland
order were still
in service in 1906, and a half dozen lasted into the
post World War
T period.
The Wellington, Grey and Bruce line was not in the best of
condition in 1906. Although the line had been in operation for 35
it was still not well ballasted, and was laid with old 56-lb, the 1906 wreck did
not enter local
folklore, although hundreds
of people visited the site during the
cleanup operations, Ninety years later, photographs are still among
the heirlooms
of some families in the area, but the date and details
of the occasion have been forgotten.
Today the location
of the wreck has changed considerably.
No train
has passed this way for more than a decade. There is no
visible remnant
of the wreck, but a metal detector would probably
turn up some artifacts. Nature is taking over the roadbed, It
is hard
to believe that this was once the main transportation route to NOIth
Wellington and large parts of Grey and Bruce Counties,
Drayton Advocate: June 7, 1906,
Elora Express: June 6, 1906; September 8, 1908,
Fergus News Record: March 19, 1903; March 26, 1903 ; June 7,
1906; June
14, 1906; July 15, 1909; June 23,1910,
Guelph Weekly Mercury: June 7, 1906,
D. Edson et a1.: Locomotives of the Grand Trunk
Railway, Railroad HistOIY: No, 147, Autumn 1982, pages 42-
A.E. Carswell to William Carswell: June 18, 1906, collection
the author.
The author
is indebted to Mrs, Ruth Hodgins of Toronto for
supplying the tluee postcards illustrated here, also to Mr. Douglas
of the Wellington County Museum, forreproducingphotographs
from contemporary newspapers.
MAY -JUNE 1996
The three photos on this page appeared in a
newspaper at Ihe lime, so are
I/.ot of Ihe
highesl qualily. However Ihey do
show delails
oj Ihe wreck nol olherwise available.
RIGHT: The wreck scene, looking west. The
Stratford auxiliary is al work
allhe left of Ihe
RIGHT: A photo opportunity. The crews
paused and posedfor photographers by silting
Ihe wrecked boxcars. NOle the photographer
with tripod in the foreground.
LEFT: Slill a long way to go. This view looks
weSI and shows Ihe Slratjord auxiliary at
work removing Ihe wrecked loconlolives, some
12 or 14 hours after Ihe wreck occurred.
RAIL CANADIEN -452 86 MAl -JUIN 1996
CP Rail System Donates an M-630 to the CRHA
By Len Thibeault
~, .
heavy overhaul. This reality became even
more clear when the famed Angus Shops
were closed. 4563
is notable for being the
last M-Line locomotive to receive such an
overhaul. As
major failures started to
in the early nineties, their numbers
started to dwindle, and the last one (4706)
was retired on December 23, 1993.
4563 At St. Luc on December 20, 1995, just after restoration was completed.
However this was not the end of
the story for CP found itself in a severe
power shortage
as its traffic level rose
quite significantly ineariy 1994. Desperately
seeking to put back on the road any operable
locomotives, it decided
in mid-1994 to
un-retire the
34 best of the recently
retired veterans, and to strip the remaining
29 for any serviceable parts that could be
to keep the remaining locomotives of
the ML W fleet running. Restricted to trailing
unit status, these battle-scarred warriors
saw service for one last time throughout
of the system, with some making it
On December 20th 1995,
CPRail System made the donation
of M-630 No. 4563 to the CRHA with a tUI1lover ceremony held
at the St. Luc steam shop. This ceremony marked for
CP the end
of the Big Aleo era.
In the mid-sixties CP purchased 55 DS40 units which
proved to be less than a success; among other things a problem was
the IDAC control system (sometimes known as
I Dont Always
Correct). Following this experience, CP turned its attention to
MLW who was claiming to have a much better wheel-slip control
system and a better product -the M-Line seIies. No. 4563 was
built in 1969 (serial number M6030-1O)
as No. 4575 and was
originally assigned to the coal fields
of British Columbia. She and
her 28 other sisters launched the robot control concept and unit
coal train service on CP. They were also the first locomotives to be
in the Action Red and Multimark paint scheme.
CP soon found that these locomotives were
certainly not living up to expectations. A rash
of mechanical
failures and trains stalling on the main line because
of slipping
locomotives proved
to be too much. Perhaps the assignment of
MLW units to a mostly GMD region and maintenance facility was
not the wisest decision on
CPs part. The M-630s soon migrated
back to eastem Canada, joining their 4700-series sisters, where
they were assigned to the St. Luc diesel shop. They saw service
any type of assignment east of Winnipeg, such as intelIDodal
in the Montreal-Windsor corridor and general freight
service between Montreal and Saint John, N.B.
In the mid-eighties it became quite clear that their years
were becoming numbered
as they received, at that time, their last as far as Vancouver B.C., but time soon
caught up with them and the last ones
(4743,4573, 4736) were
in the summer of 1995. No. 4563 had already been retired
on November 19, 1994.
This could perhaps have been the last chapter if it had not
been for the generosity
of the CP Rail system. In September 1995,
of the CRHA and CP personnel chose, out of the
remaining units, No. 4563 to be preserved at the Canadian Railway
Museum. Twenty three employees
of the St. Luc diesel shop
performed a full exterior and interior cosmetic paint
job to this
unit. The CRHA would like to thank those employees who, by their
contribution, have made this locomotive a premier exhibit at the
Museum. Here are their names:
Mario Bergeron, Facility Manager; Yvon Chalifour,
Operations Co-ordinator; Gordie Rushton, Resource Specialis
Assistant Co-ordinator; Yvon Lauzon, Brake test; Andre Jacob,
Job Supervisor and Acquisition
of Supplies; Carmen -Jean-Paul
Franc,:ois Turgeon; Danton Swan; Andre Bernard;
Boilermakers -Yves Archambault; Daniel Fortin; Lucien Ouimet;
Andre Perreault; Michel Pilon; Gilles Bergeron;
Andre Roy; Michel Bertrand; Serge Lafleur; Derek Lecours;
Pipefitters -Michel Duzick; Claude St-Cyr;
PieITe Archambault;
Machinist -Hubert Drainville.
of these employees can certainly be proud of their
Finally, the CRHA would also like to extend a thank you
to two
of its volunteers whose patience and dedication made this
donation project possible. They are Alan Blackburn and Charles
The Business Car
On April 2, CP Rail gave its money-losing operations in
eastern Canada a new name and a goal: break even this year. The
Sl. Lawrence and Hudson Railway was officially created with the
r, for operating purposes, of CP Rail track (other than the
main line)
in Ontario and Quebec with the Delaware and Hudson
in the U.S. Jacques Cote, president of the new railway, revealed
that the eastern
Canadian section lost between $50 million and
$100 million la
st year, while the D&H made a small profit. Our
goal is to break even this year he told a news conference. Cote has
his work cut out for him.
The freight market served by the SL&H,
between Quebec City and Chicago and down to eastern U.S. ports,
is dominated by trucks. Trains carry mainly manufactured goods
cars, car parts and import-export containers. With
of $700 million, and 4500 employees, the new railway is
still pretty impressive.
To become profitable, the SL&H plans to sell or abandon
of its 6000 kilometres of track, mostly on the Canadian side.
Some will be abandoned and some sold to short I ine operators. The
new railway will also lobby governments in Quebec and Ontario
to reduce the $24.5 million it pays each year in real estate taxes
track rights-of-way in cities. This is essential to our survival
Cote said, noting that cities dont impose road taxes on trucking
The deal makes it unlikely that CP Rail will merge with the
newly privatized CN
in the east, an option once considered to deal
with the bleak railw
ay business and cutthroat freight competition
in the region. We couldnt sit around and wait for discussions
CN, said Cote.
The SL&H also operates commuter trains in Toronto and
Montreal that carry 7.3 million passengers a year. It will be a
of CP Rail System which is moving its head office from
Montreal to Calgary this spring.
Trains running across northern
Ontario from
Toronto and Ottawa will remain a part of CP Rail
because they carry long-haul goods.
CP severed its links to the
Maritimes at the
beginning of 1995 with the sale of its line through
Maine and New Brunswick.
Source: Montreal
Gazette, April 3, 1996.
In a related development, shareholders
of Canadian Pacific
Limited have been asked to approve, at the
companys annual
meeting in Vancouver on
May 1, a restructuring of the company.
Under this plan, its railway assets will become the property
of a
company to be called
Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR),
which will be one
of six wholly-owned subsidiaries of a new
CP Limited. The SL&H will be wholly-owned by
If, as is highly likely, the plan is approved by the shareholders,
and by the courts, it would
come into effect about mid-June 1996.
One thing immediately noticeable is the revival of the old
historic name Canadian Pacific Railway Company,
or CPR, under which the
company operated from its founding in 1881 until 1968.
In fact the initials
CPR were used for the railway as far back as 1871
when the federal government began surveys to build the
continental railway. Whatever happens, it is good to see the
old n
ame and initials in use again after a 28-year absence. One
wonders if they will again a
ppear on the companys locomotives
A thoughtful, but unnamed, member sent the Association
a collection
of sheets of Canadian postage stamps issued ill years
past -mint -which we have been using for Association mail. We
will gladly accept similar donations, sheets
or smaller quantities,
and acknowledge with a
Canadian income tax receipt. Please
contact Steve Walbridge, c/o 120 rue St. Pierre, St. Constant, P.Q.
2G9 if you would like to make such a donation. Thanks.
The following letter was received from Margaret Madden,
16 Pierpont Place, Mississauga, Ontario, LSN SV I
My great grandfather William Freeman was a conductor
on the
CPR based in Prescott, Ontario froll1 1881 until 1899, when
he died. He was born in 1834
in Quebec and I believe he started in
the railway around 1851 in Hemmingford, Huntington County,
Quebec. William married Fanny McGrath, the daughter
of Henry
McGrath a railway man, and they lived in Hemmingford from
859 to 1868. At this time I lose them until 1881 in Prescott. On
May 2S 1881, William Freemans daughter married James F.
Mundie, station agent for the CPR in Ottawa. William lived on lot
Dibble Street, Prescott from 1881 to 1899. There was a railway
of Freemans and McGraths in the CPR and GTR:
GTR, Montreal:
George V. Freeman, Clerk -Time keeper, 1876 -1885. Moved to
CPR in 1885.
Hemy McGrath, Clerk, 1860 -1879.
William McGrath, Brakeman, 1879.
McGrath, Clerk -Checker, 1884 -1901.
CPR, Montreal:
William Fre
eman, Conductor, 1881 -1899.
George V. Freeman, Clerk -Time keeper, 1885 -1901.
H. Freeman, Foreman shipper, 1897 -1906.
Richard S. Freeman, Clerk, 1896 -1906.
The latter two were sons of William Freeman.
I am hoping you might have
some information on William
Freeman, conductor, of Prescott, or information on the Prescott –
Montreal line. I will gladly pay for any photo copies
Anyone who can provide information should contact Mrs.
Madden. This would certainly make an
extremely interesting story
of a family who were employed in the railways from the very early
days until into the twentieth century.
BACK COVER: Tea with Royalty. The Royal Hudson steam locomotive 2860 has been pulling British Columbias premier excursion train
jor the past 23 years. In 1995 BC Rail upgraded the service with the addition oj 12 newer coaches and a parlour platform observation car.
Here we see 2860 beside the parlour car Mount Cascade, built
in 1930, which is lIsed on the scheduled summer service. Parlour class
il/cludes a luncheon served on the way
to Squamish, and tea and desert served on the return leg to Vancouver.
Canadian Rail
120, rue St-Pierre, St. Constant, Quebec
Canada J5A 2G9
Postmaster: if undelivered within
10 days return to sender, postage guaranteed.

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