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Canadian Rail 456 1997

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Canadian Rail 456 1997

Canadian Rail
THE MAGAZINE OF CANADAS RAILWAY HISTORY
JANUARY-FEBRUARY1997
+
PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY BY THE CANADIAN RAILROAD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
PUBLIE TOUS LES MOIS PAR L ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DHISTOIRE FERROVIAIRE
CANADIAN RAIL
ISSN 0008-4875
PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY BYTHE CANADIAN RAILROAD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE PENNY WRECK, CENTENNIAL, 1897 -1997 …………………………………….. FRED ANGUS…………………… 3
RAILWAY SUBJECTS
ON CANADIAN STAMPS ……………………………………….. FRED ANGUS…………………… 15
THE ADTRANZ
IC3 FLEXLINER………………………………………………………
……… JOHN GODFREy……………….. 26
FRONT COVER: The second main passenger station in Saint John New Brunswick was this elegant structure built in 1884 by the Intercolonial
Railway
(1CR). In 1889 it became a union station when the CPR arrived via the Short Line across Maine. This building survived lin til 1930 when
it was tOIl1 down to make way for a new station which lasted until 1974. This photo was taken in May 1899 as part of a series of scenes of Saint
John.
Two years earlier this station had witnessed the arrival of the passengers from train 25, the Western Express, wrecked at Palmer s Pond.
For your membership in the CRHA, which
includes a subscription to Canadian Rail,
write
to:
CRHA, 120 Rue St-Pierre, SI. Constant,
Que.
J5A2G9
Membership Dues for 1997:
In Canada: $35.00 (including GST)
United States: $30.00
in U.S. funds.
Other Countries: $37.00 U.S. funds. Canadian Rail is continually
in need of news, sto­
ries historical data, photos, maps and other mate­
rial. 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
contributer will
be given credit for material submitted.
Material will
be returned to the contributer if requested.
Remember Knowledge
is of little value unless it is
shared with others.
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO-EDITOR: Douglas N.W. Smith
ASSOCIATE EDITOR (Motive Power):
Hugues
W. Bonin
DISTRIBUTION: Gerard Frechette
LAYOUT: Fred F. Angus
PRINTING: Procel Printing
The Larger Format Canadian Rail
This issue of Canadian Rail marks another major step in the evolution of the publication since it was founded, as tbe CRHA News Report, in October,
1949. For the first time since 1983
we have increased the size of the pages in Canadian Rai I. The new size is about hal f an inch higher than formerly, and will be
the standard 8
1/2 by 11 inch size used by many other magazines. This will give an average of two feet more of column space per issue, which will allow more
text and –
or photos without any increase in cost of production or postage.
The most important change inaugurated with this issue
is not as readily visible to the reader, but will make for improved quality of illustrations, as well
as greatly decreased cost. This is the introduction
of computer processing for illustrations. Since 1990 the text has been set by computer, but this will now be
extended to photos and drawings as well.
Up till now all illustrations have had to be photographed, either as half tones or line drawings, and then labourously
burned in separate
ly on the printing plates. This is, of course, an expensive process, costing at least $16 per illustration. With the new method, all illustrations
are scanned into the computer and cropped and scaled by the editor. They are then placed directly
in their final position by the computer, all ready to make the
negatives from which the printing plates are mad
e.
There are several major advantages to the new system. Foremost is cost; the expense per illustration will drop fiom $16 to zero. This will allow the use
of more illustrations, meaning that some may be included which would have had to be eliminated for financial reasons. It time it will also speed up production
time since it will not be necessary to wait the extra week formerly required for preparing halftones and transferring them to the printing plates.
The quality of
illustration will also improve since computer enhancement can be used on poorer quality photos to do such things as increasing contrast or cleaning up line
drawings by removing unwanted blemishes.
All this requires much more computing power than was previously available, which meant a new computer and lots
of time to learn the workings of the
new software. This
is why this issue is very late. However this has all been done and the new Canadian Rail is now on track. There are more than sixty
illustrations in this issue, the most ever, and all
of them were done through the scanner. Soon, we hope to be back on schedule if we receive manuscripts to publish.
We begin with the story of a strange train wreck of a century ago, and also include an article on railway stamps. This could not have been done before
because
of the cost of the large number of illustrations required. Next month will mark tbe sixty-fifth year of the CRHA, and this year also marks sixty years since
the first
CRHA publication appeared. It is hoped to have some commemoration of this in the next issue. So heres the new Canadian Rail. Hope you enjoy it.
Fred
F. Angus, Editor.
THE GOAL OF THE ASSOCIATION IS THE COLLECTION, PRESERVATION AND DISSEMINATION
OF INFORMATION AND ARTIFACTS RELATING
TO THE HISTORY OF CANADIAN RAILWAYS
JANUARY-FEBRUARY1997 3 CANADIAN RAIL -456
The Penny Wreck
1897 Centennial 1997
By Fred F. Angus
There are many connections between the study of railway history and the study of money in its vatious forms. Besides the obvious
financial considerations
in the building and operation of railways, there are other factors relating the subjects offerroequinology and numismatics.
In recent issues of Canadian Rail we have seen how railway subjects have appeared on coins, tokens and paper money since the earliest days of
railways themselves. Transportation tokens, sometimes bearing railway rolling stock, have been in use in Canada for at least 150 years, since 1847
when the Montreal
& Lachine Railway issued its famous tokens. Of all these connections between railways and coins, one of the most bizarre was
an incident that happened exactly one hundred years ago. In New Brunswick there is a legend
of how, long ago, a train wreck scattered a load of
pennies at Palmers Pond, near Dorchester. This is not fiction; it really did happen.
This story
is hot intended to emphasize the sensational aspects of the case. It is intended to preserve the story of an accident whose calise
may be unique in history. It also demonstrates how late nineteenth century progress in railway equipment so contributed to safety that only two
people died in a wreck as spectacular as the one
we are about to describe. To corrunemorate the centermial (or perhaps we should say centennial)
of tbat disaster we present the story of the events of January 26, 1897.
At 7 A.M. on Tuesday, January 26, 1897, Train number 25,
the CPRs Westeru Express, departed from Halifaxs North Street
Station for the long run
to Montreal. Behind Intercolonial locomo­
tive
No. I 50 were six CPR cars: mail-express car 204 I, baggage car
1746,
second class coach 989, first class coach 431, diner
Cumberland and sleeper Sherbrooke. ICR 150 was a high­
wheeled 4-4-0 passenger engine with
17 X 24 inch cylinders and 69
inch drivers. It had been built
by the Canadian Locomotive Com­
pany in Kingston in I 883 (construction number 277). In 1896 it had
been rebuilt
by the ICR in its Moncton shops, so was like a new
locomotive.
What was a CPR train doing in the heart
ofICR territory, far
from any CP
Line? The answer is simple. When the Canadian Pacific
Railway had opened its Short Line through Maine in 1889, it had
made an agreement with the Intercolonial Railway providing for the
CPR through passenger train, hauled
by an ICR locomotive, to run
on the
ICR tracks between Saint John N.B. and Halifax, an arrange­
ment which continued until 1917.
Among the numerous passengers on No.25 that
day, occu­
pying the drawing room in the sleeper, was
Dr. (later Sir) Frederick
William Borden (1847 -1917) who was Minister
of Militia and De­
fence from 1896 to 1911, and after whom Camp Borden is named.
He is not to be confused with Sir Robert Laird Borden (1854 -1937)
who was later Prime Minister (and who has his picture on the current
$100 bill). Another passenger was Charles Fawcett, the founder
and propriator
of the well known stove factory at Sackville. He,
and several others, had
just boarded the train at Sackville station. In
the express section
of mail-express car 204 I was an unusual ship­
ment, about 900,000 newly-minted Canadian cents, dated 1896,
weighing, with the boxes
in which they were packed, more than six
tons. Car 2041 was operating with the mail section forward, so the
coins were loaded in the rear
of the car. The train was scheduled to
reach Saint John at 4 P.M., and Montreal at 9:05 the following morn­
ing, but
on this trip it wasnt going to make it.
Noon on January 26 found the Western Express departing
Sackville, N.B.
10 or 1 I minutes late. It had just passed the east­
bound passenger train which had left Dorchester half an hour before.
The trip through Nova Scotia and into New Brunswick had been
uneventful. The day was cloudy with a strong northwest wind, and
the temperature was a cool I
° degrees Fahrenheit. No problems were foreseen, and
it was expected that arrival at Moncton would be close
to the scheduled time
of I :03 P.M. In the mail-express car, postal
clerks Arthur
C. Edgecombe, aged 34, of Fredericton, and Harry B.
Peck of Saint John were chatting pleasantly. They had completed
sorting the mail and were about to take a short break from their du­
ties and have lunch while awaiting additional mail which was
to be
loaded at Dorchester.
Mr. Edgecombe was scheduled to go off duty
at Saint John, but had received permission
to continue through on
the train to join his wife who was visiting relatives
in Fredericton.
In the first class car,
IW Howard, the news agent, was also on a
break from his duties, and had taken a seat beside an acquaintance,
Miss Beulah Patriquin, aged 18, a dressmaker from Bloomfield N.B.,
who had boarded the train at Truro. She was the daughter
of Alex
Patriquin, who had been for many years an ICR section foreman.
Miss Paniquin was telling Mr. Howard that her father had died two
weeks before, and she had gone to Halifax to attend his funeral. She
was travelling on a pass issued by the ICR at Moncton, and had
overstayed the time limit so the pass had expired. However she had
received special permission from the track master for it to
be ex­
tended to cover her return home. As the train neared Dorchester, the
topic
of conversation among the passengers turned to the sensa­
tional murder trial under way in that town. A man named John
E.
Sullivan was on trial before Judge Hannington for the murder of a
Mrs. Dutcher on the previous September 10. The trial was nearing
its end, and a verdict was expected the next
day. No one realized
that an even more sensational story was about to break!
Two miles east of Dorchester, the track descends a steep
grade, going from 234 feet
to 27 feet above sea level. One mile from
the station, at a location near what is now known as milepost 96.5
of
CNs Springhill Subdivision, the track passes Palmers Pond, by two
sharp curves, while still on the down grade. Soon after entering the
first curve the track emerges from a cutting at the edge
of a belt of
woods. It then passes on to an embankment which becomes higher
as the ground level descends to skirt the pond which
is on the north
(right
hand) side
of the track, and on the outside of the curve. At the
far end
of the pond the track crosses a small bridge before entering
the second curve. At some time between 12:20 and
12:30 P.M. (the
accounts vary as to the exact time, the official report says 12:25) the
. train entered the first
of the curves at Palmers Pond while proceed­
ing at a speed
000 to 35 miles an hour, well within safe speed limits.
Aboard No.
25 everything seemed in order.
RAIL CANADIEN -456
CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
SHORT LINE
HALIFAX, N.S., ST • .JOHN, N.B., AND MONTREAL
Ml. STATIONS R.l..ILWAY6_rJ.~~Sh~~·I~ Hlne!
il~ fu<_~ I:!j:i!::
~f£i=~litml
-m; 8t.~Ohn.N.B:TT.If! ~ ……………….. ~
~ ,.z!::~:,~ If~:~ :::::::::: :::::::::: ::::::::::
~l~?§§~~:7::~~~: Cn&e!~ ~tii:C~~:~::: ~~::::::::~
S65 V.noebolO16( .•••• 7.15 .. •••. •••••. .••••••••• 8.80 ..
m ~~2~:?:~:::::::: ~~:: : :::::::::: :::::::::::!:~ :
891 Dantorth ………… ~~.01 …………………. 16.10 •
= =rt~k·::::::::: Paclflo r;::H:: :::::::::: ::::::::::~;::g ..
W. RiD.,.,.. … …… ~ 8.16 .. .. ……………… fw ~.16
~1i~:J·j: &···-I~:···.~ •• • ••••••• 4ii·
615 oUkwith ………….. .. ………………………. , .45 •
m ~i:::d:::~::::::: Canadfan i:i:~::.:.: :::::::::: :::::::::: t 1:1 :
660 Boleb …………. Pa.cldo 1.30 ………… ……… 8.10 W
661 LowelltoWll. …, I .. ~.02 ….. •.••• …. •••• 1.115 ..
. ~ :;~1:j:~:>f -Quebec ~-~ ::::::::~: :~~:::::: :.~:~~~
1!~~~;~:~ —–}~~~:~~~~~~~~~ ~~~/~:::~
…. Lo, ………. ,,~ Contrai ~ U6 pm ………………………. ..
6015 &otatown …… . 3.31 ., ••••••.••. .••• …… 8.80 ..
619 Bury ………. .• Canadian ….. ….. ………. …….. 9.16
i E~ffE:;:::::::::: I::::::): :::::::::: :::::::::: ~:§ ~
&l6j Lenno:n1UeiJ…….. Pa.cttlc 1.48 …………………. ]0.40 ..
64618herbrOOke;2!f. ~::: :: ti:<.ia:;,; :::::::::: ~:~::::
=!lg~4.·:.:t -_-;r~~dm :t:?j~ h::~W ~=
;. 8outh8t.ukeley……. , ……… 18.52 ………… 15.15 M
m ~Ef;~·/+ Canacl~n ::;:J:~r i:g ~ ::HH Ii ~
i~ ~~::!::J~~a:::::: 1:~ : 1~:~ :: :::::::::: ll$ :
. .E! Ottawa 1Oj; .. ,-=, PaclOc n.WOm:tB.i!5p,!! ~ 1. am
TiX Montreal W1D~ 8.80om tIl. 8:i s.m ………. ~8.80
f~ ~~~~l9BI:::::::: t ~:tgP~i:::::::::: ~v:n ;:to::
iiOi London lib……….. ~! ………. .J:OO .. U.2()am
1m fueit~~ln;:;{~:~:__ ………… !::::::::::2:
g
~ ~:tl~:
1800 8t. LOllI ……….. , Wabash …….. / .. ,, …… Uipm,.7.!lhm
1697 Ohloaa:o,POlltBt • .&.& •••••••• ………. T.Maml •• epm
• Du.nr. f D&ll7. exet.pt !:Iundar. 1 DaUy. OXCltpt Saturday. 1 Daily. 6JtCllpt IIIOtl1161
IFl8.C 8t&tloDa.w!Tnee .• lbun. and. 8ftt.. on. 11 Mon .• Wed .• Frt., SaL. only. () 8w~ …. take
c::r;e~toflle:tu:~.e. .r Stop to lo$v6 ptIJItIIjIn.gm trorn .Eaa~ or vanceboro.
Weet.erD.. ~1eM leave5 BaHru: alld 8t. JohD d.a1ly. lXC4pt SUnday •• am~
Ilontree.l dAllJ. oil!): MondAYL Through 81eeperHautu 10 Hontrtaland MODfre&) to LoudOI1 .
. DlnlDg car Tnlro to rownrlJ.1.e Ilmc..
The CPR timetable for May 1897, showing the Western Express,
with a closeup below. West
of Saint John the times are slightly differ­
ent from the winter schedule
in effect at the time of the wreck.
Mis STATIONS
-0 Halifax …… -::-:-:-:-t.:v
…. Sydney; O-:B:-.~.
. . . . New Glaegow ••••••
tfi Truro .. -:-:-::-.-:~
–pfotOii.: …
108 Oxford-:unc-:-:-:-­
lZO Splinl( H1ll.JUDO.,N.S
138 Amherst ….. …… .
147 8aokvtlle ………… ,
159 Dorchester …….•…
–P-t. (tn Ohene … ;;:.
186 Moncton -::-:::-:-::-:-:-:.
208 Petl toodlao
231 8ullex …….. , .. , ~ … .:
275 St.John, N.B.771~
RAILWAYS
intercolonial
western
sFlxpress
+ 7.00aro
+ •. 000m
t 6.10am
8.65am
I 6.66am
10.~6am
10.66 ..
11.28 ..
1l.49am
12,l1pm
12.10pm
1.1lI pro
J 1.48 ..
2.81 ..
t t.OOpru
4 JANVIER -FEVRIER 1997
CANADIAN -:l
?ACI FIC IV.
THE SHORT LINE
-lO-
QUEBEC, MONTREAL,. Etc.
PACIFIC Ja:PRKS8 10 ….. St. Job., 11. Il.,.
41 0
P. Week daYIi. tor aDd arrlYIDf In
• .II. :M6gantta. 2.30 a. In.; Qotbeo. 2.00 &J
m.j tSherbroote. 6.40, m.; aDd Moo~
real. P.lI6 &. m .• CODDectlDIl tor Toron~
~·~lL.~~~hW~e!~~d ~~d:!J I:~rtl~
Oou<. I
roor Tlcke1t, fi:1oeplDi Oar Accommodatfon ••
etc .• appl7 &C otooe., (;hubb, Corpor, aDd .s:
…. 10.. I
D, McNlOOLL, A. B. ~OnfAN,
P …. Tra..mo Man.,er, Dilt. Pi.ur. Aleut.
MOI1t~~ t.GeI &: frl St. Jobn,!l. B)
Intofcoionial Railway
O
N AND A.MKR MONDAY. Ibo 12tb 00,,>­
bbr. 1886. Lbe t.r&.hll 01 thl 1UJ11r.7 .. 1lJ rOD
da..1l1 (BQ.Dd&, oxoepl.Od), .. tollow.:
TRAINS WILL lEAVE ST. JOHN.
Erpr688 for Campbellton, Pug-
wll8h, Pictou and BaliIn, 7.00
Express lor Halifax, l~.~u
Exprea8 for S!188ex, 16.35
Express fP.ro Quebeo and 1nont-
real, -17.10
.?&N6n,~n frOu. dC. Jobni tor QQeboo Dd
MOOlroal tat, throulb Sioepw&, Cu a Mooecoll
at. 20.10 o·cIOOk.
TRAINS WILL ARRIH AT ST. JOHN.
Expre88 from S1l88ex,.. . 8.30
Expreea from Montreal and
Quebeo (MoDday excepted), 10.30
Expr688
from MODcton (daily), 10.30
Express from Halifax, . • . 16.00
Expre88 from Halifax, Picton
and Campbellton, • . • .18.30
Acco=odauOD from Moncton, 24.30
The fnJDI Qt tbt IDt.eTOOloDl.a.1 R.&1hra7 AnI
br.ated by .t.ea.m from tbe looolDnUu, aDd tbot6
beL. MIl H •. .hfu abil .MonuD&..l ,..& Lon. Ua
ilcb>ocI by 0Ieou1ol1.
tr All I…u.. uo rQJ1 by Eut.ru lIw.4Ard
TInoo.
D. POTTINGER,
Geu.r …. MaD …… r •
I::
U,,, omoe,
MoO<:ton, N. B., SIl Oot~~r.
These advertisements for the service appeared in the Saint John
Globe on January
26, 1897, the day of the wreck. Note that a/l trains
ran
by Eastern Standard time, and the CPR was on the slightly slower
winter schedule.
Everything was not in order for long, In the cab of No. 150,
engineer Samuel Trider felt a sudden jolt, followed by a peculiar
motion
of the locomotive. Looking back he saw that his train had
disappeared! A further glance revealed that the train was running
off
the track and down the embankment. As quickly as possible Mr. Trider
brought No. 150
to a stop.
Mr. Alonzo Sohnson lived near Palmers Pond about 300
yards from the first curve. He heard the train coming and stepped out
of his house to watch it go by. Suddenly, as the train emerged from
the cutting, he saw a sight he would remember for the rest
of his life.
In his own words,
in response to questions asked at the Coroners
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1997 5 CANADIAN RAIL -456
This general view of the wreck scene was photographed from the opposite side of Palmers Pond after the arrival of the Moncton auxiliary, but
before any of the wrecked equipment had been moved. The train was heading from left to right (towards Moncton) when it derailed. The sleeper
and diner are nearest the track, with the first class coach at an angle to them. Closer to the camera are, from left to right, the second class coach,
the baggage
car, and the mail-express car. Notice the horse-drawn sleighs and a few people near the wreck. The varied equipment, including the
1870s-era coach, on the auxiliary train is also interesting. Photo courtesy
of the Keillor House Museum, Dorchester N.B.
inquest, he said: I saw the train coming out of the cutting; I judge
the train was running about her usual rate; I saw the express car
dash down the bank and the engine kept on; the express car was
nearly upright when I first
saw it; it was about the depth of itself
below
the tracks; the baggage car followed suit,
and the others and
they broke apart; all the cars turned towards me with their tops to­
wards me except the second class car; I rushed
to the scene and
rendered what assistance I could
. Mr. Sohnson had just become the
only witness, other than those
on the train, to the Palmers Pond
derailment, known in local history as the Penny Wreck. The mail­
express car had jumped the track, breaking the coupling between
that car and the locomotive.
Then all six cars had derailed, their mo­
mentum causing them to continue on in more or less a straight line
fiom the point
of derailment. After nmning along the ties for about
150 feet, they veered to the right, down the 25-foot embankment and
onto the frozen surface
of the pond. All the cars fell over on their
sides, except the mail-express car which came to rest partly on its
roof. Locomotive
ISO did not derail but continued along the track
until it could be stopped. Strangely, not very many rails were torn up
as the train derailed.
In the first class coach, as the train rounded the curve, Miss
Patriquin turned to
Mr. Howard and remarked Oh, Isnt that awful.
I can hardly keep
my seat. Little did she know that the train bad just
derailed and she had only a few more seconds to live!
We will let Mr.
Howard describe, in all its grim vivid detail, what happened next. I
was beginning to wonder what she would say when we came to the
second one,
which is much worse, but she never got an opportunity
to say. All of a sudden [felt the car give ajump. I mew what it meant,
and at once looked about to see what course I had better pursue.
There were
in the car partitions reaching out from either side to the
aisle. [ caught hold
of one of them, the upper one, as the car rolled
over; and held on to it till the car struck the ice. When I left Miss
Patriquin
s side she seemed to be awfitlly scared. When the car came
to a standstill I went over to her. The fifteen or sixteen passengers
were all penned
in the car; and it was pretty dark. I found that she
was on the lower side
of the Cal: Her body seemed to be part away
out
of the window, her hips were at all events, and her neck appeared
to be bent over. It was utterly impossible for her to move. She did not
speak, but as I caught hold
of her, her eyes opened. I tried to pull her
into the
car; but could not. Then I got out of the carriage as best I
could, and getting
an axe, returned. After I cut away the sash, etc., I
was able
to pull the poor girl out. When I got her head clear; blood
gushed from her mouth. She threw up one arm, but never moved
again. A
doctOl; one of the passengers, came along and said she was
dead.
(Saint John Globe, January 27, 1897).
Mr. Peck, the
postal clerk, was in car 2041 with Mr.
Edgecombe and, speaking in the third person, he gave details
of what
happened there:
When the car left the rails Mr. Peck was eating his
lunch at the end
of the car nearest the engine and Mr. Edgecombe
was standing near the other end
of the car next to the baggage Cal:
They were not at work sorting mail as they were nearing Dorchester.
As the car bumped on the railroad ties M,: Peck was trying to get
toward the rear end where
Mr. Edgecombe was so that he could get
something
to hold on to, but had not got far when the car turned over
RAIL CANADIEN -456
Second Edition.
AWFUL AD GIllE NT !
GI PI HI Train Thrown
Off the Track
BY A BROKEN RAIL AT
PALMERS PONTI
Two Persons Killed and
Many Badly Hurt.
Hon. Mr. Borden Slightly In·
jured-Postal Clerk Edge.
combe a Victim 01 the
Disaster.
(Sr.lCIJ…L TO GLO~B,]
DonC[)ESTEI, JAn. 0.
A U,rrlble accident bappeced Uo Ibe ex·
pre
.. from IIaIU.x, due at MoccUon at 00.
oclock Ibla afternooo.
The lr&io w,, approaching Dorcho.~r
about a balf boor late. Wheo with!.a ooe
mlle of
tbe au.tloo at a point known ..
Palmer. Pond, tbe whole tnlo, excepting
tbe engine aod lendor, len lb. rall. and
went over
an embankment .eventy·Bve (eet
hJgb.
Tbe cars plied up on one AllOtber and
lell c.,bed almo.t Uo klodllng wood on
tM ice In tbe pond.
The first cl … pASsenger> bad a mlucu·
1008 f8cap6.
The finot body takeo from lbe loins ..
tbat of .. WOmAn, MI .. Palriqoln, drea,·
maker, o( 13loomfiold, Kings coooly.
ner
body wa. u,rrlbly COl and brul.ed and lire
w .. qolte extinct. 10 lbe coo/mlon It
wa. thought she was lhe ooly penoo
kllled, bot eumlnatlon revealed that a
postal
CINk, Arthor C. Elgecombe, lOa.
pinioned In his C&T. Hlo bcdy 11 rele .. ·
ed .. Ith difficulty. It w •• very little hrnls·
cd, bot Itlsthoogbt hi. b,ck w .. broken, ••
hi. body all doobled op.
Coodcolor Millican, of
SL Jobo. was 10
C·l.16~ of tbe train. Til. drl.er waa Sam
Trldtr, 01 Moncton.
MI .. Palrlqnlc ….. a p .. sellger from
HalifAX Uo Dloomfield.
Among
tbo.e on bO&rd ….. the Minl.ter
or Mllltlt., lloo. Mr. BordeD, DC bl. way to
UI.Uo.., wnora Ill … If a I.. Me I. badly
burt abou, tbe bead, but tblck. be will be
abl. to coolloo. bl. j crney.
SenaUor Wood, S.ck·W~, 10&8 abalcen np,
but not otberwl.e bcrL
CbOlle< F .... cett,.uo •• (oucder,SackvUie,
w., quite .erlonsly bro~ed .bout tbe h •• d
and body.
6 JANVIER -FEVRIER 1997
LEFT: The first news of the accident to reach the outside world was this article hur·
riedly inserted into the second edition
of the Saint John Globe of January 26. Because
of the rush to get it into print, it contained some inaccuracies, such as the broken rail,
the condition of the cars and the height of the embankment, However the basic facts
were true
BELOW: This editorial appeared in the Daily Sun
the day after the accident. The Sun
was
a morning paper so it was likely written when the cause of the derailment was still
a mystery.
The final remarks are as true today as they were 100 years ago.
THE DAILY SUN
ESTABLISHED 1878
ST. JOHN, N.B. JANUARY 27, 1897
THE RAILWAY DISASTER
A great many years have passed since
an accident has taken place on the Intercolonial
Railway of so serious a character
as yesterdays
disaster. The loss of two lives effaces for the
time the consideration of the great destruction
of property and
of other losses. It is not yet cer-
tain whether any, or how many, of the large
number of persons injured may be found to
have
been dangerously or fatally hurt. What we know
is that an estimable and popular young public
servant was instantly killed at his post of duty,
and that the valuable life of a young lady was
cut short at a moments notice. When all the
circumstances are considered the surprising
thing
is that so many escaped, after that terrible
fall and shock. No doubt the most rigid enquiry
will be made into the cause of the accident. The
Intercolonial road bed
is reported to be one of
the best
in Canada, and no effort or expense
has been spared to keep
it in perfect condition.
But the best that railway men can do
is not a
perfect guarantee of immunity from accident.
on its side and he received such an ugly wound over the right eye that
he was stunned
for a time. On regaining his senses he could not see
anythingfor escaping stea
m, butfinally climbed up through the side
door
of the car, which was then on top. He called out to M,: Edgecombe
and the only response he received was a couple of groans. j1r. Peck
then re-entered the car and found
Mr. Edgecombe pinioned between
the iron rack (used
for holding the mail bags) and the side of the car
that was crushed
in. He tried to pull his unfortunate companion out
but was unable
to do so. M,: Edgecombe was then quite conscious
and said / am very weak. These were the last words he said. Mr.
Peck went out of the car, and securing an axe and some help returned
and tried to chop the wood clear which pinioned Edgecombe across
the chest, but
it was a dangerous piece of work, as the iron rack was
apparently supporting the side
of the car and if chopped away the
car was liable to collapse
and kill the rescuers. Preparations were
then made to support the side
of the car, and while this work was
being done as quickly as possible
M,: Edgecombe breathed his last.
About
15 minutes elapsed from the time the car left the rails until
death came. About
/0 minutes after he died his body was removed
from the wreck. (The Daily Telegraph, Saint John, January 27,1897).
The heavy shipment of coins also played a direct part in Mr.
Edgecombes death for the Daily Sun, in its issue
of January 27,
1897, quoting
Mr. Peck, reported: When the car went off, Mr.
Edgecombe was thrown against the side of the cm:… Then the boxes
came tumbling down upon him, and he was
jammed in between them
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1997 7 CANADIAN RAIL -456
What 2041 looked like before the wreck. 2055 was a mail-express car very similar to the ill-fated 2041. The shipment of coins was loaded in
the express end
of the car, which is the end nearest the camera in this photo. The mail was in the other end which is the end that derailed.
Leach Collection.
First class coach 426 was built for the Short Line service
in 1890. It is much like 431 which derailed in the Palmers Pond wreck, and in
which Miss Patriquin was killed. Note the ornate narrow vestibules which were typical
of the 1890s.
Leach Collection.
when Mr. Peck saw him…. Catching hold of Mr. Edgecombe he en­
deavoured
to extricate him from under the rack and boxes, but all to
no avail. [It is no wonder he could not move them, each of the boxes
of coins weighed 140 pounds] …. A whole lot of letters were satu­
rated with blood. The addresses
of many of them could not be made
out. The postal
car, M,: Peck says, is a total wreck. It is difficult, he
says, to understand how such a heavy car could be
so nearly smashed
to pieces.
Mr. Peck, when he found himself, was lying on the ice, the
lower side
of the car, where he was, being completely broken out.
Letters
and papers were scattered in all directions. Mr. Peck will
probably be laid off/or a few days . A passenger
in the sleeping car Sherbrooke repOlted: I,
with a couple more gentlemen, was in the smoking department [sic]
of the sleeping cm; and the train was going along at a good rate of
speed, when all in an instant we felt the car leave the rails and we
bumped along
for a short distance, and then the car t:urningpartly
over began sliding down the bank
and on to the ice in the pond. I was
thrown about violently
and shortly after the car stopped the water
began flowing
in through windows and doors and it reached up around
ollr waists. When I collected
my senses I found a window which I
burst open
and managed to crawl out onto the ice. After me came the
porter
of the car and a couple of other gentlemen .
RAIL CANADIEN -456 8 JANVIER -FEVRIER 1997
DAILY
1IO:{TREAL, SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 1807.
~
. _.——
—–=—-~–
—::=
St;ENE OF THE. RECENT ACCIDENT ON THE I. C. R.
The aceOmp!l!JyiDg illustratioo or the sceDe of the accident to Traio No. 2.l from Halifax at Palmer. Pond, :-;.1)
on Tllesd,), morning last, will cause ana to be 8urprised at the comparativel) small loss of life tbat it occ •• ionod,
Thi. i. e~pecially the eltSe wheD it is remembered that the emhankment i, forty feet In height aDd that the whole
train, ith the exceptioD of the engln~. weot rolling down 00 to the ice of the 10Dd. The Hon, Dr. Borden, ~jioister
of Militia, who WI>S amoog the pasaenger. injured at the time, is reported to be imprond and expects to be at his PObt
in OUalm ;,0 I> few days.
Within a few days the accident was front page news in other parts of Canada, no doubt because of the fact that the Minister of Militia and Defence
was aboard the train,
The Montreal Daily Witness printed this excellent drawing, obviously drawn from the photograph (page 5). In those days
photoengraved illustrations were not used much
in daily papers, being confined to slick paper publications,
Drawing
courtesy
of Keillor House Museum, Dorchester NB
Unbelievably, Miss Patriquin and Mr. Edgecombe were the
onJy fatalities, however thiJ1y-nine others, including Dr. Borden, were
injured, some seriously, Some passengers, although shaken up, were
not injured at all. Had the accident occurred
in summer it would have
been far worse since the cars would have been submerged
in the
pond and some passengers would have drowned. Nevertheless,
it
was the worst wreck ever to occur on that section of the ICR.
Immediately after the wreck, engineerTrider proceded ahead
in the locomotive to Dorchester station to summon help while con­
ductor James Millican, although badly shaken up and bruis
ed, re­
mained at his post with what was left
of his train. The news spread
very quickly At the Hotel Windsor
in Dorchester, a large number of
people attending the Sullivan murder trial were in the dining room
during a break
in the court proceedings. Suddenly there was a com­
motion outside, and the news was told that the CPR train had been
wrecked, Rumours quickly spread and got worse with each telling.
Soon it was said that the train had gone down a 75 foot embankment,
that there were eight known dead and many others presumed drowned
in the icy waters
of the pond. Lunch soon ended and COlllt proceed-ings were temporarily adjourned
as hundreds of people, including
Judge Hanington himself, statted for the scene
of the wreck. It was
certainly the biggest event in the area for years and
no one wanted to
miss the excitement.
It was not all motivated by curiosity, for the
local people helped a great deal to rescue passengers and crew from
the wrecked cars, Soon the Hotel Windsor was turned into a make­
shift hospital as the citizens did all
in their power to help the injured,
Dr. Borden, the Minister of Militia, was taken to the house of Mrs.
George W Chandler, where it was found that his injuries were not as
bad
as first reported. Gradually stories came out of hairbreadth es­
capes, some bordering on the miraculous. The general opinion was
that, except for the two fatalities, it had been an extremely narrow
escape for a great number
of people; an experience they would al­
ways remember.
While this drama was taking place, the ICR authorities in
Moncton were busy. The next few hours were an example of
railroading, and cooperation between the ICR and the CPR, at its
very best. As soon as the news
ofthe disaster had reached Dorchester,
the agent there telegraphed Moncton, 27 miles
away. The response
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1997 9 CAIJADIAN RAIL -456
Looking down on the wreck from the rai/way right of way. The sleeping car Sherbrooke is nearest to the camera. This car was destined to serve
the CPR for another
65 years before being preserved. Photo courtesy of the Keillor House Museum, Dorchester N.B.
was immediate and positive, with no delay whatever. The Moncton
auxiliary wreck train was made ready and an urgent call for doctors
was sent out. Within minutes doctors Chandler, McCully and others
responded, and, with Superintendent Pottinger and the emergency
crew, boarded the train. Immediately the auxiliary was dispatched
with the highest priority and a clear track all the way to the
wreck
scene. It arrived about 2 P.M., little more than 90 minutes after the
wreck! The medical men aboard the auxiliary joined Doctors Teed
and Mitchell
of Dorchester who were already on hand and treating
the injured. As soon as the auxiliary arrived, workers set to work to
repair the damaged track. All the wrecked cars were lying well clear
of the line, and they had derailed so cleanly that there was surpris­
ingly little damage to the track and roadbed. As a result it was a
matter
ofless than three hours to lay new rails and have the line open
for limited service.
The next train following No. 25 was the ICR day express
from Halifax to Saint John which was due
to pass Dorchester about
2: 15 P.M. and arrive at Saint John at about 6:30 P.M. It waited near
the scene for about two and a half hours and then passed, very slowly,
over the newly relaid track. On reaching Dorchester it picked up any
passengers who were able
to travel and carried them on to Saint John
where it alTived at 9
P.M. Meanwhile, the crew of the eastbound CPR
train had received word
of the wreck on arrival at Saint Jolm at 1:30
P.M. It was decided to hold the train at Saint John and send the east­
bound passengers on a special ICR train which was quickly pre­
pared.
By the time tlus train reached the location of the wreck, the
line was open again so it proceeded on to Halifax. The CPR train which had been short turned was all made up and ready, and it waited
at Saint John for the day express to alTive from Halifax. When this
pulled in, little time was lost
in taking aboard the westbound passen­
gers and so the new Western Express departed for Montreal at
9: 15
P.M. Despite all they had been through, the passengers had experi­
enced a delay
of only five hours.
The arrival
of the Halifax train at the Saint John station was
a scene
of drama and pathos. It had been only two and a half years
since the tragic wreck
of July 2 1894, in which five men died, (see
Canadian Rail No. 435, July-August 1993 for an account
of this
wreck), memories
of this event were still fresh, and the thought of a
repeat
of this tragedy was very disturbing to all. A very large crowd
of citizens was on hand when the train came in at 9 P.M. Reporters
from the newspapers had gone east on another train and met the in­
coming one at Salisbury. They had interviewed most
of the passen­
gers on the train, and already had their stOlies when it anived at Saint
John. Expressions
of regret for the disaster were on every face. Rail­
way men, especially, showed
by their manner and words their sor­
row and sympathy. When the train rolled in, most
of the onlookers
quietly watched as the passengers began to disembark. The first
off
was H.B. Peck, Edgecombes partner in the ill-fated car 2041. His
head was bandaged and his face was very pale. Friends rushed for­
ward to shake
his hand. Many of the passengers lived in Saint John
and they were warmly welcomed by the citizens. After all had dis­
embarked the crowd began
to disperse so fewer people were on
hand when
the next train arrived at 2 A.M. It carried some more
survivors, and also the remains
of Atihur Edgecombe.
RAIL CANADIEN -456
Very soon investigation was begun to find out the cause of
the wreck. At first a broken rail was suspected, but subsequent inves­
tigation
disclosed that all the rails involved, although bent in the wreck,
were unbroken. The rails
-had been manufactured in 1891, and were
thus little more than
five years old, and they were of the best quality.
The roadbed was also well maintained and had not given problems
to any other train. There was also speculation that a wheel
or axle on
the mail car had broken, but investigation showed all to be intact.
The possibility
of a frost heave was also considered but was ruled out
since no other train had experienced roughness at that place. Further­
more, all accounts agreed that the train was not travelling at an exces­
sive speed, the consensus being that it was going 30 to 35 miles an
hour; perfectly safe for that piece
of track. Yet trains do not derail
suddenly without some cause, so the investigation widened. On Janu­
ary 28, Supt. Pottinger and Hon.
Mr. Blair, Minister of Railways,
proceeded by special train
to the wreck site. Meanwhile, on January
27, Post Office inspector
S.1. King had visited the scene and made a
thorough inspection
of the wreck. He also ordered photographs to
be taken as part
of the documentation of the accident. These photo­
graphs have survived and are reproduced here. On the following
day The Saint John Daily Sun had an excellent description which
was largely based on
Mr. Kings observations:
The cars left the track just after striking the embankment.
They did not go down it at right angles to the track, bUI diagonally,
turning over
on their sides as they went. They did not telescope each
other,
and are all separated ji-om each other as they lie. While the
postal car is six or seven hundred feet from the point where it left the
rails, the
pullman [sic] is only about half a car length from the rails,
resting
on the side of the embankment. The postal car was thefirst to
le
ave the rails. It ntshed down with the filll momentum of the train s
speed. The trucks were knocked from under it and it went gradually
over on its side, grinding over rough boulders before reaching the
ice, turning over still
further as it progressed, and as the side was
ground out of it, until when it came to a stop its roof was down and
its bottom up. But one side and the roof were practically dragged out
of it, leaving splintered fragments all along its course. It was this
destructive work, displacing the interiorfittings, that
caused the un­
fortunate
Mr. Edgecoinbe to be pinned down and !alled. The mail car
is a total wreck, alld only the iron work is worth taking away. Still, it
is possible to go inside of it to the place where Mr. Edgecombe lay
andfrom which Mr. Peck was able to get out.
The baggage
car followed pretty close to the posta! car, but
is not nearly
so much damaged. It lies on its side, with the bottom
toward the track. A little
farther back the first and second class cars
are side
by side, but while the first class car, which is nearest the
track, has its bottom toward the track, the other
car canted toward
the track
and lies on its left side, with its roof toward the rails. Still
farther back, the dining and pullman cars are lying on their sides on
the embankment,
the pUllman nearest the track. They did not reach
the
foot of the embankment or the pond at all, and the story about
water
coming up in one of them is therefore wholly incorrect. Neither
did any of the cars roll ovel: None did more than turn on its side,
except the
postal car, as already described.
Inspector King observed that the position
of the cars is a
great
proof of the value of the Westinghouse air brake. The moment
the postal car leftthe rails and was disconnected from the engine,
the brakes
on all the cars were automatically applied. But in the case
of the postal car and baggage car this was of no avail,for the reason
that they were instantly
off the rails and there was nothing for the
wheels to grip.
Infact the cars canted over and the wheelsjlew from
under them as they swept forward. But in the case of the cars farther
back, the brakes had time to get in their work and check the speed,
especially in the case
of the pullman, which had a whole train length
10 JANVIER -FEVRIER 1997
DID TBJ: OJ:!fTS C.UY THI: WBICK ?
Tb. 1 ,.n ,b.or, .. d.-DOld bl t.b. r.n­
w, m.D fer the ,e,ideD 1. ,ball it wa
oaaNd
b, .l~ tiD of o.pper GlDti ID eD
.Dd .f tb. b., ou. Tb ..
O.DI w.ra Itlm lib. miD la EDlllUld
od w.r. belD, Ihlpped .. bl
(Juadtall IOTerDmD.
The first report of what might have happened was contained in this
account in the Halifax Herald
of January 27, 1897.
to go before leaving the rails. Had there been no such brake these
cars would have
gone down with almost equal momentum, and there
would no doubt have
been great loss of life.
Another point
made clear, the inspector says, was the pow­
erfitl build
of the cars. Though the sides of those which ground along
for the longer distance are damaged, the bottoms of them are intact,
not even warped out
of line. Of course the trucks went out Fom un­
der, and wheels are scattered everywhere. Another singular fact is
that in the dining car, pullman and first class car the seats remain in
their
places, and the lamps in the ceilings hang there with scarcely a
shade broken. The pullman
car is as straight as a gun barrel. The
second class car is more damaged than the other passenger com­
partments The
people who received most injury were those sitting
on the side
of the car that rose in the air. They were thrown to the
lower side.
In this way Miss Patriquin was killed, and Han. Dr. Borden
injured. There was no sudden
stop and jolt when the cars went off.
The embankment, at the
point where the cars went off, is not over 20
to 25 feet. Farther along it is much higher. While Inspector King was
there yesterday the CPR express
passed along. Looking up at hel; he
said, it was almost impossible to realize that such a train could run
down that
bank without being smashed to splinters. (The Daily Sun,
Saint John January 28, 1897).
Suspicion soon fell on the six tons or more
of coins that were
in car 204
I. This suspicion was greatly strengthened when it was
revealed that the entire shipment was stowed within a
12 foot space
at the rear end
of the 65 foot car. It was thought that this unbalanced
loading might have unduly lightened the other end
of the car and
caused
it to oscillate up and down to such an extent that it would
derail on the sharp curve.
The Daily Telegraph
of Saint John reported in its issue of
January 28: The generally accepted theory now is that the wreck
was caused
by the large quantity of coin which were being shipped in
the mail
car, for as far as can be seen the wheels and the rails at the
curve are pel/ect. The coppers were
packed in the rear end of the
mail car
and there were 90 cases of 100 [Sic. Should be 140] pounds
each. In the other e
nd of the car there was nothing. It is supposed
that the great weight
of metal would cause the front end of the car to
spring
and jump as power was applied from the engine. When the
curve was reached,
thefront wheels left the track, broke the coupling
between the mail
car and the engine and dragged the rest of the train
from the track.
The investigation and inquest which followed called numer­
ous witnesses and considered
most of the facts. Unfortunately it
never did reach a definite conclusion so, officially, the case is un­
solved. However most people involved strongly believed that the
shipment
of cents was indeed the cause of the wreck, and this belief
continues to the present time.
In the Dorchester region it is still known
as The Penny Wreck.
JANUARY-FEBRUARY1997 11 CANADIAN RAIL -456
To determine how many coins
were involved it
is necessary to make
some assumptions and do some arith­
metic. Each coin weighed 87.5 grains
thus, at 7000 grains
per pound, 80
coins would weigh one pound. Two
accounts say that each box contained
$100 face value, i.e. 10,000 coins.
At
80 to a pound, these would weigh 125
I
bs. The accounts state that each box
weighed 140 Ibs.; undoubtedly the
extra
IS Ibs. was the weight of the box
itself which would have
to be strongly
made
of wood. There were 90 boxes
which would weigh 12,600 lbs. or 6.3
tons,
just about the weight reported.
Thus we are quite safe
in saying that
the six tons
of cents repOlted means
six tons
of boxes of cents, so there
were 900,000 in the shipment.
Both sides of an 1896 Canadian cent. The actual coin is one inch in diameter and weighs one
fifth
of an ounce. There were 2,000,000 cents of this date made at the Royal Mint in London
England.
Of these, 900, 000 were in car 2041 of train No.25 on January 26, 1897. This particular
coin
may well have been one of the 900, 000. We will never know! Photos by Fred Angus.
Canadian cents had been made since 1858 when the old
Province
of Canada (now portions of Ontario and Quebec) changed
its currency from pounds
to dollars. The earliest cents weighed 70
grains each, but subsequent additional ones, made from 1876 on,
were
25% heavier, the same weight as the British halfpenny. These
were minted in England as required in various years, including every
year since 1890. The Canadian cents
of tbe Victorian era were not
like the small thin coins
of today. Until 1920, cents were big, made
of solid bronze, were exactly one inch in diameter, a.nd weighed 87.5
grains; exactly one-fifth
of an ounce. On one side of the 1896 cents
was a profile portrait
of Queen Victoria surrounded by the inscrip­
tion VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
REGINA. CANADA. Although
the Queen was then in her late seventies, and had ruled for almost
sixty years, the portrait showed her as she had appeared almost
forty years before. On the other side
of the coin, surrounded by a
serpentine wreath
of sixteen maple leaves, was a three line inscrip­
tion
ONE CENT 1896. When newly minted these coins shone
brightly, almost like gold. They had real buying power too,
in 1897
there were quite a few things that could be purchased for a cent.
Until 1908 Canada had no mint, so all Canadian coins were made in
England, either at the Royal Mint in London or at the Heaton Mint in
Birmingham. They were then packed securely in strong wooden boxes
and shipped
to Canada. Each box was about 13 by 10 by 8 inches
and had a gross weight
of about 140 pounds. The coins involved in
the wreck had been ordered and minted,
at London, in 1896 and all
bore that date. By the time they arrived in Canada
it was already the
new year
of 1897. The Mint records state that tbe entire coinage of
cents for Canada in 1896 was 2,000,000 pieces. Since there were
900,000 in this shipment,
it means tbat almost balf of the 1896 Cana­
dian cents ever made were in that wreck! This
is as good a time as
any to clear up another point. Although these coins are commonly
called pennies, they were,
in fact, cents. There was a penny coin at
this time, the English coin, exactly twice as big as the Canadian cent.
These did circulate in Canada, but for two cents each!
Once the injured had been rescued the crowd started sal­
vaging relics. Among other things in the mail car was a shipment
of
live lobsters destined for Montreal. They survived the wreck, although
their boxes were somewhat the worse for wear. Nevertheless they
were forwarded to tbeir destination without being devoured
by the
townspeople. However, foremost in the minds
of those present were
the coins. Many boxes (some say as many as fifty) had been broken
open and cents were scattered everywhere. In their brand-new condi­
tion they must have looked like shiny gold lying on the snow. The locals must have felt like the prospectors who had discovered gold in
the KJondike, only a few months before. They likely would have
sung Pennies from Heaven, except that song was not written until
1936! The Moncton Daily Transcript reported:
After rescue of those
injured
and killed from the wreck, attention was turned to a collec­
tion
of mint from England to Montreal, seven Ions of which was in
the postal car and the boxes containing which were smashed and
Palmer s Pond strewn wilh coppers,
in some instances two or three
feet deep. A congregation
of boys started in to assist in the recovelY
of the mint from the snow in which it was embedded and last evening
the Coroner was flooded with new cents which had evidently been
taken from the place.Tbe
Saint John Daily Sun ofJanuary 28 1897
said
The coins were scattered very much, about Jifty of the cases
being broken. An engine with hose
and steam was at work melting
the snow so that they could be picked
up. Inspector King said he
thought about all the mail matter
had been picked up. They found the
clerks list and only one registered letter
is now missing. There might
be some letters found under the baggage or other cars.
Of course
they
had no check on letters not registered . Although Judge
Hanington had taken charge, as a representative
of the Crown, and
detective Ring and County Secretary
S. Edgar Wilson were placed in
charge,
many coins escaped the official roundup; there was plenty of
penny pinching that day. The DailyTranscript also reported: 1896
cents, sOllvenirs of the ICR accident, are already in circulation. There
were seven tons
in one of the wrecked cars and the boys, and even
those
of older growth, liberally helped themselves. While this was
going on, tbe word was received, almost anticlimatically, that tbe
murder trial was concluded. The
jury had brought in a verdict of
guilty and, on January 27, Judge Hannington sentenced John E.
Sullivan to be hanged on March 12.
A much larger job than recovel;ng the cents was the clean­
ing up
of the wreck site and salvaging the equipment. Little damage
had been caused
to the track and roadbed, so in a very short time
trains were lUnning again. The night
of January 27 it began to snow,
and this soon turned
to a raging blizzard which slowed down, but did
not stop, the salvage work. Car 2041 was beyond repair and, after its
contents were removed, it was burned and the metal recovered for
scrap. The other cars were in remarkably good condition, consider­
ing what they had been through, and they were laboriously hoisted.
up to track level and taken to Moncton. The Saint John Daily Tel­
egraph reported on FeblUary
1, 1897: Good progress was made
today
[January 31] in clearing lip the wreck at Palmers Pond. A
gang
of 35 men under NL. Rand worked steadily from early morn-
RAIL CANADIEN -456 12 JANVIER -FEVRIER 1997
/fe, the undersigned jUlY, impanelled to inquire into the
death o{Arthur Edgecombe,jind that deceased came to his death
from injuries received
in a railway accident which occurred at
Palmer
s Pond, Dorchestel; on Ttlesday, the 26th of January, inst.
Upon inquiry into that accident, we can
find 110 fault or negli­
gence
all the part of the Intercolonial authorities, who control the
running
of CPR. trains over the 1. CR. In the absence of evidence
as
to how a quantity of heavyfreight was loaded in express car
No. 2041, and evidence as to the condition of said em; we cannot
exonerate the CPR..for want o{precaution
in loading said Feight.
Former CPR business car British Columbia at the railway Museum at
Squamish, B.C. on July 7, 1996. This car began its career in 1890 as the
sleeping car Sherbrooke. One hundred years ago it
was the sleeper on
train 25 in the Penny Wreck. Today it is a beautifully restored museum
piece, the crown jewe/
of the Squamish collection. It is also the last survivor
So ended the investigation without coming to a definite con­
clusion
as to what caused the derailment. However most people
did not need an official verdict as they had already made up their
minds; it was the shipment
of cents. Gradually the news of the
wreck disappeared from the front pages
of the papers. On Janu­
ary 30 news came
of another wreck on the CPR line, this time ten
miles east
of Megantic, near the Maine border (the first repolt
said it happened at Megantic, Maine!). This wreck was indeed
caused
by a broken rail, and resulted in the derailment of the East­
ern Express, with almost as
much damage as at Palmers pond.
of the Western Express of January 26, 1897. Photo by Fred Angus.
ing until dark and accomplished more than in any two days last week
A track about 300 feet long had been laid
to the wreck and today the
sleeping car Sherbrooke was pulled
up on to the main line and
taken to the l. CR. repair shops at Moncton. The jirst-class car was
lifted lip yesterday
and a large hole was found in the side where Miss
Patriquin was !alled. The hole was caused
by the car falling on the
trucks. A nother box
of cents was found beneath the ruins of the ex­
press car today, leaving about one box, or $100
to be accounted fOl:
All the cars are to be taken to Moncton, with the exception of the
postal
car, which will be burned on the spot. A few more letters were
picked from the debris this ajiernoon. Hundreds
of people drove in
from the sunOtlllding countly to visit the scene of the wreck today. If
the weather is favourable the wreck will be cleared up this week D,:
Borden continues to improve, and hopes to be able to proceed on his
journey some time this
week
The body of Mr. Edgecombe was taken to his native
Fredericton while that
of Miss Patriquin was returned to Bloomfield.
Accounts
of both the funerals appeared in the newspapers, but more
coverage was given to that
of Mr. Edgecombe since he was well
known
in the community. At the Edgecombe funeral, on January 28,
in the midst
of the blizzard, a floral tribute came from one who had
been tluough the same experience, Mrs. Walter Starkie, the widow
of the mail clerk who had died in the wreck of July 2, 1894.
Gradually the excitement died down and the official investi­
gation continued. Numerous witnesses were interviewed, and con­
siderable coverage was given
by the newspapers, but no significant
evidence was uncovered beyond that which we have already consid­
ered. On January 29, the coroner
s inquest was concluded. Two sepa­
rate juries were impanelled, each considering one
of the fatalities.
The first verdict was as follows:
We, the undersigned jury, called to enquire into the death
of Beulah Patriquin, late o{Bloomjield in the province of New Bruns­
wick, that she came to her death in a railway accident at Palmer
s
Pond, in the Parish of Dorchestel; on the 26th day of January, inst.,
and that we attach no blame to the railway, it appearing to us that
the roadbed and train were apparently
in good order and condition
at the time
of the accident.
The second verdict added a significant comment at the end
which left the major question unanswered due
to lack of sufficient
evidence: However thi
s time no one was killed. Then, as if to show that
misfortunes go
in threes, on February 16 a man named Dixon
was walking along the track at the Palmers pond curve when he was
hit by a train and killed. By mid February the Palmers pond wreck
was fading from being a topic
of every day conversation, and was
entering the realm
of folklore and legend, a position it still occupies.
This brings
us to the main question, did the cents derail the
train? Certainly a static load
of 6.3 tons at the end of a 65 foot car
would not lift the truck
at the other end. However this was not a static
load when the hain was moving. A dynamic system was created which
may be considered as a horizontal compound pendulum. Such a sys­
tem
may, by the laws of physics, be shown to have a natural resonant
frequency.
If the conditions of load, speed and rail length were just
right, a resonance could be set up which could, in a very short time,
build up
to the point where it would lift the front ax-Ie enough to
derail. Perhaps the running in
of the slack in slowing for the curve
created, momentarily,
just the right conditions. Since all other causes
seem to have been eliminated, it seems very likely that public opin­
ion was correct and the cents did indeed derail the train.
To complete the account, it is interesting to trace the history
of the participants in this story in the years that followed. The condi­
tion
of Dr. Borden soon improved sufficiently that he could return to
Ottawa, which he did in the private car Boston, specially sent for
the purpose, and he made a full recovery.
He remained Minister of
Militia and Defence until 1911, and was knighted in 1902 for his
service
in the South African War of 1899 -1902. He retired after the
defeat
of Sir Wilfrid Lauriers Liberal goverruuent in 1911, and died
in 1917. Although the injuries to some of the passengers and crew
were quite serious, all eventually recovered, and the ICR and CPR
employees who had been in the wreck were soon at work again.
Locomotive 150 was virhlally undamaged and soon returned
to service. In 1912, as part
of a general renumbering, it became Ca­
nadian Government Railways (the successor to the ICR) No. 1091.
It
survived long enough to be taken into the CNR roster when CN took
over the CGR
in 1918, at which time it was assigned CN number
225. However this new number was never applied
as the engine was
retired, at Moncton, on November
16, 1921, still beariJlg the CGR
number 1091. It was scrapped in January 1922, exactly a quarter
century after its adventure at Palmers Pond. Car 2041 was scrapped
immecliately after the wreck, but the other five cars, amazingly, sur­
vived. They were taken to Moncton where it was expected that they
would be repaired in the ICR shops. However the ICR had so much
JANUARY-FEBRUARY1997 13 CANADIAN RAIL -456
Exactly one hundred years separates these two views of Palmers Pond, as seen from the track. The top view was taken on January 26, 1897,
soon after the derailment. The bottom photo was taken from the dome car of the Ocean at 12:22 P.M. on January 26, 1997 at approximately the
same location. The shoreline
of the pond is virtually unchanged, and two or three houses can be identified in both photos. There was almost no
snow on the ground in
1997, unlike 1897, but most notable is the growth of forest on the hills which has replaced the open fields. The ghostly date
97 1 26 in the lower photo was put in automatically by the camera, but it could be a reminder of what happened there the last time that date
rolled around. Oh yes, theres one other difference
too. The wreck has been cleared away.
Top photo courtesy Keillor House Museum, Dorchester N.B. Bottom photo by Fred Angus.
work at that time that they could not repair them immediately, and
the CPR wanted them back
as soon as possible. Accordingly, they
were moved to Montreal where CP rebuilt them.
In some cases this
rebuilding involved stripping them down to the frame and recon­
structing them, but it was done and
all the cars saw years more serv­
ice, including service on their old run. Most interesting
of all was the subsequent history oftbe sleeping car Sherbrooke.
It had been built
by Barney
& Smith in 1890, especially for the Short Line service,
and it returned to that route, as good as new, after its repairs. It re­
mained a sleeper until 1910 when it was rebuilt as
an official car,
renamed New Brunswick, and assigned to its namesake district.
Later it was transferred to different parts
of the CPR system and bad,
RAIL CANADIEII-456
at various times, the names Laurentian,
Ontario, Selkirk and British Columbia,
before receiving the number
16 in 1928. Its
last official assignment was at Medicine Hat,
Alberta before it was retired in the early
1960s. Its career was not over though, for it
was acquired by the West Coast Railway As­
sociation which restored
it and named it Brit­
ish Columbia, a name it had borne briefly
in
the 1920s. Today it is a prized exhibit at the
railway museum at Squamish B.C. where it
is on public view. It is still as straight as a
gun balTel (to quote Inspector King
in 1897),
and shows no sign
of the adventure that al­
most tenninated its career a centwy ago.
14 JANVIER -FEVRIER 1997
What happened to those velY impor­
tant participants in our story, the cents them­
selves? Despite the penny pinching
of the
local people, the great majority
of the coins
were recovered and reached the government
vaults from which they were placed into cir­
culation. Many
of the looted coins were also
spent and joined the others
as well. Cents of
this weight continued to be made until 1920
when the size was reduced to
48 grains, the
same as the United States had used since 1864,
and roughly the same as those used today.
The large cents were not withdrawn then, but
continued to circulate alongside the small ones
for another twenty years.
It was only the metal
This little bookshelf is made from wood recovered
from car 2041 in
1897. It is owned by a member
of the family of a former station master at
Dorchester. Notice the cent mounted in the top, in
among railway enthusiasts, although it has
been a legend locally. Some families still
have souvenirs recovered a century ago, in­
cluding, no doubt, a few 1896 cents.
If pre­
served
in mint condition they would be worth
a
lot of money now. The museum at
Dorchester has a framed photo of the wreck,
and in each
of the four comers of the frame
is mounted one of the cents. They also have
a cane in the top
of which is mounted an
1896 cent on which is engraved 27 [sic]
January 1897. 2 killed. A
few years ago a
coin dealer
in Montreal offered one of the
cents, suitably inscribed, for sale. On Feb­
ruary 2,1985 the Moncton Times Transcript
ran a lengthy story about the derailment. Like
many events
of long ago, the story of the
Penny wreck has become a legend. Peo­
ple can remember their parents or grandpar­
ents telling about hearing
of this event from
their parents. Older people can remember,
many years ago when they were children,
searching for, and perhaps even finding, one
or two
of the lost coins. Although a recent
search with a metal detector did not tum up
anything, this
is not surprising since what­
ever remains is probably
at the bottom of
the pond. It is not like pirate gold but, in a
way, it is still a fonn of buried treasure. They
memory of the Penny Wreck. .
shortage of World War II that caused the final retirement ofthe large
cents
in 1940, when they were melted down. By that time those minted
in 1896 were 44 years old, but the majority
of them were still in
circulation until then. A sample
of324 Victorian cents, removed from
circulation about 1940, reveals
17 of 1896, about the statistical aver­
age for that date. They remained in better condition than some
of the
later dates which wore unevenly due to concave reverse dies. Many
cents
of 1896 survive today; it is not a scarce date. Almost any coin
store will have one for prices from 50 cents up. $5 will buy one in
very fine condition which will satisfY most persons. Since 45%
of all
the 1896 cents made were in the Palmers Pond wreck, there is a very
good chance the one you get is one
of them. (The odds get much
better with more coins.
In the 17 mentioned above, there is a 99.996%
chance that at least one
of them was in the wreck).
For those persons who were in, or who witnessed, the wreck,
it was an experience they would remember for the rest
of their lives,
which in some cases were very long. As the years went by, memories
of details faded and stories got embellished. It became more and
more difficult
to distinguish fact from fable. In the 1950s there were
still some elderly citizens who had been on the
ill fated train No. 25
so long ago, but the last survivor is thought to have died about 1960.
Although there were
no more remaining first-hand memories, tales
were passed on from generation to generation and the
stOlY was never
completely forgotten. Looking at the old newspaper files
is like clear­
ing away a veil and making it all seem like front page news again.
Today VIA Rails Ocean still runs
by Palmers Pond, al­
though it no longer stops at Dorchester. The scene
of the wreck looks
somewhat the same as it did
in 1897, although the trees are much
more numerous. Through service from Halifax to Montreal,
on the
CPR line, ended in 1917 but resumed in 1979 with the coming
of
VIA. Sadly it disappeared again when the Atlantic was cancelled
in November 1981, returned in June 1985, and then disappeared
again in December, 1994. The 1897 wreck
is not generally known will be corroded now, but undoubtedly there
are still 1896 cents down there somewhere, relics
of that day 100
years ago when a derailed tram spilled pennies from heaven over
the countryside.
EPILOGUE
On January 26 1997 the author was aboard VIA train 14, the
Ocean, bound for Sackville. That morning the weather conditions
were
just about like they had been exactly 100 years before; cloudy,
temperature about
12 degrees Fahrenheit, with a strong northwest
wind. One difference was that, unlike
in 1897, in the last few days
the weather had been unseasonably warm so there was little snow on
the ground, Passing Palmers Pond the features described
in the ac­
counts, and shown in the photos, were clearly recognizable. There
was one final irony. The Western Express was wrecked at about
12:25 P.M. on January 26, 1897. One hundred years later, train 14
was almost an hour late, so it passed the wreck site at 12:22 P.M. on
January 26, 1997. Thats about as close as you can get.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The author wishes to acknowledge the help of several per­
sons
in the compiling of the material used in this article. Mr. Doug­
las Smith first drew
my attention to the occurance of the wreck, and
also provided newspaper
artides and reports. Mr. Harold Wright of
Saint lohn gave me several good leads, and Mrs. Sylvia Yeoman
and Phyllis Stopps
of the Keillor House Museum in Dorchester
N.B. did research for me and provided valuable information and
illustrations.
Mr. and Mrs. lohns of Saint John gave me much in­
formation about the railway at Dorchester and Palmers Pond. The
Saint John Free Public Library allowed me to look at their micro­
film newspaper files, from which I obtained many of the accounts
of the wreck. Mr. Larry Leach provided two photos of early CPR
passenger train cars, and
Mr. Ray Corley gave me data on ICR
locomotive 150.
To all these people, Thank You! Without your help
this article could not have been written.
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1997 15 CANADIAN RAIL -456
Railway Subjects on Canadian Stamps
By Fred Angus
A corner block of nine of the world s first stamp bearing a picture of a railway subject. This stamp was
first issued
for New Brunswick on May 15, 1860. This block is from the second printing, done in 1864.
In recent years many new issues of Canadian stamps have
depicted subjects relating to railways. The last time Canadian Rail
covered railway-oriented stamps in general was in issue number 206
in January, 1969. That article discussed only ten different stamps out
of about twelve that had then been issued. There have also been a few
articles on specific stamps (e.g. the New Brunswick 1 cent
of 1860)
but no general article. Since 1969 Canada has issued numerous rail-
An original Threepenny Beaver of the early 1850s. Note the im­
print (upside down)
in the bottom margin. These stamps were
printed by Rawden, Wright, Hatch and Edson
in New York City.
This company became pari of American Bank Note Co. in 1858.
way stamps and other, older, issues have, on further consideration,
been deemed worthy
of including in the list. Today there are well
over fjfty stamps, not including varieties, relating to railways issued
by Canada, including Newfoundland and New Brunswick.
In 1859 the beaver stamp was changed to five cents, this being
equal to three pence
in the old currency. This Five Cent Beaver
was cancelled
on the Great Western Railway s eastbound rail post
office car
on September 26, 1861.
The first stamp we will consider
is not a railway stamp at all.
However it was designed by a person who was very closely con­
nected with Canadian railways from Atlantic to Pacific. This is,
of
course, Canadas first stamp, the threepenny beaver, designed by
Sandford (later Sir Sandford) Fleming (1827-1915) and first issued
on April 23, 1851. The life of Sir Sandford and his connection with
the Intercolonial and Canadian Pacific railways, his development
of
standard time, and so much else, is not part of this story and is very
RAIL CANADIEN -456
well known. However it is justification for including the Beaver stamp
in this listing. The threepenny beaver was issued from
IS51 to IS59,
the last years production being perforated. In IS59, after Canada
switched
to decimal currency, the value of the stamp was changed to
five cents, which was equal to three pence in the old currency. In this
new form the stamp was issued until IS6S when
it was discontinued
upon the issuance
of the new post -confederation designs. Although
the threepenny beaver
is quite scarce (especially the perforated ver­
sion) the five cent
is quite common and readily available. This was
the rate for an ordinary letter within Canada, so there are a lot
of
these stamps around. An added bonus would be to find one, or better
still a complete envelope, bearing a Railway Post Office (RPO) can­
cellation.
The nex! stamp
to consider is the first tme railway stamp, in
fact it is the first railway stamp in the world. This is the well known
one cent stamp
of New Brunswick first issued in IS60. When New
Brunswick switched from pence to cents a new series
of stamps was
ordered, and was printed by the American Bank Note Company
of
New York. Undoubtedly they used a standard locomotive design, but
it was the first time any railway related subject had appeared
on a
stamp. Credit for this idea probably belongs to Charles Connell, the
Postmaster General
of New Brunswick, who was quite involved in
railway development at that time. Unfortunately, Connell made one
serious mistake;
he put his own picture on the five cent stamp; the
most used denomination! The stamp was never issued, one bearing
Queen Victoria was substituted and Charles Connell resigned. How­
ever the one cent continued
to be used. A new printing was made in
IS64 which is distinguished by being a deeper violet colour. In IS6S
all New Bmnswick stamps were replaced by Canadian ones, and the
remaining supplies were stored. When the Customs house
in Saint
John burned
in IS92, supplies of these siamps, stored there, were
liberated
by some telegraph messengers and sold to stamp dealers
in New York. Thus unused examples of the one cent of the IS64
printing are quite common, and even complete sheets are not un­
known.
In fact unused stamps are much more common than used
ones.
The 1908 Newfoundland map stamp.
After the discontinuance ofthe pre-Confederation stamps in
IS6S, there were no further railway stamps used in Canada until the
twentieth century.
In fact Canada itself did not actually issue a rail­
way stamp until 1927.
In the meantime, however, Newfoundland,
then a separate Dominion, had produced two stamps which could be
considered to have railway connections. In 1905 a shipment
of newly
printed stamps, en route to Newfoundland from New
York, was lost
16 JAIJVIER -FEVRIER 1997
in a shipwreck. Some of these stamps were washed ashore, and the
government, fearing that they might be used on letters, decided to get
out a new issue. Although the panic passed, and most surviving ship­
wrecked stamps were recovered, the new issue
of two cent stamps
did appear
in September, 1905. This attractive red stamp featured a
map
of Newfoundland on which was plainly shown the routes of the
Newfoundland Railway. There was only one printing
of this stamp
and it was replaced
by a new design in 1911. Nevertheless, it is not
particularly scarce. In 1910, as part
of a series of stamps to com­
memorate the 300th anniversalY
of one ofthe early settlements, New­
foundland issued a ten cent black stamp showing the paper mill at
Grand Falls. Tracks, and some freight cars, are visible near the mills.
The earliest examples
of this stamp were lithographs of rather indif­
ferent quality, but these were followed, in 1911, by high quality en­
graved stamps
of the same design. Few of either version were pro­
duced and they, especially the engraved ones, are very scarce.
What might have been . The 1914 Victoria Bridge stamp of the
proposed Macdonald -Cartier issue that was cancelled due to
war.
For the next examples we must enter the realm of what might
have been.
In 1914, Canada planned a series of six stamps, called
the MacDonald Cartier series,
to commemorate the 1 OOth anniver­
sary
of the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald (ISIS -IS91) and Sir
George Etienne Cartier (1S14 -IS73). (This
is not a typo error, his
name was George, not Georges). The fact that Macdonald was born
in January ISIS does not seem to have concerned the authorities
who planned to commemorate both birth dates late in 1914. The
stamps were designed and engraved and a very few die proofs were
made, both in black and in the colour
of issue. All that was needed
was to make the plates and print the stamps. The ten cent value,
in
brown-violet, had an engraving of the old Victoria Tubular bridge at
Montreal, the design being copied from the lithograph published by
John Weale
in IS60. Under the illustration was the inscription, in
French,
Le Pont Victoria. On the twenty cent stamp, in olive green,
was a detailed engraving
of farmers on the prairies with a six car
passenger train going
by, heading towards the mountains appearing
in the distance. The picture
is very detailed, even showing people on
the open observation platform
of the last car. Under the picture is the
title All Aboard For The West. Unfortunately, like
so many other
good things, the plans for the new stamps were abandoned upon the
outbreak
of war in August, 1914. The very few surviving proofs are
extremely rare, and stamp collectors are not likely even to see one.
While the Victoria Bridge engraving was never used, the view
of the
train in the West did finally make
it, fifteen years late. The twenty
cent red stamp
of 1929 uses exactly the same picture, but without the
title. The rest
of the newer stamp is entirely different from the pro­
posed design
of 1914.
JANUARY-FEBRUARY1997
The transcontinental railways appear on Ihe 1927 map stamp.
[n 1927 Canada celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of Con­
federation, and this
included a set of commemorative stamps. Two of
these had railway subjects. The twelve cent blue stamp had a map of
Canada showing the countrys borders in 1867 and in 1927. On this
map clearly appears the routes
of both of Canadas hanscontinental
railways. The 20 cent orange special delivery was a classic, and the
Canada s first railway stamp; Ihe 1927 Special DelivelY
first Canadian stamp to actually show a train since the New Bruns­
wick one cent
of the 1860s. This vertical format stamp features a
gothic arch through which
is seen a mountain as well as various means
of transportation; passenger train, steamboat, horseback rider,
airplanes, dogsled but, interestingly enough, no automobiles or trucks!
It is a busy design, but very effective. Neither of these stamps is
scarce and, in fact, from the 1920s on, all the stamps we will consider
are
common and easily obtained.
In 1928 it was Newfoundlands turn, and they produced their
last, and by far their best, railway stamp. This was the famous five
cent grey stamp featuring a picture Express Crossing Newfound­
land,
It appeared in three versions, all very similar, When New­
foundland changed printers
in 1929, a new engraving was made which
differs from the original in only the minutest details. Then in 1931,
the stamps began
to be printed on watermarked paper, so creating the
third variety. The design was replaced
in 1932, but enough have sur­
vived to
make them common. Closing out the I 920s, Canada issued
a new set
of regular stamps in January 1929, The twelve cent grey
depicted the Quebec Bridge, while the 20 cent red used the 1914
17 CANADIAN RAIL -456
Newfoundlands 5 cent, issuedji-om 192810 1932.
engraving previously mentioned. This series lasted less than two years
and was replaced by a new set
in December 1930. Here, the 20 cent
red shows grain elevators, and a railway line, but
it takes a lot of
imagination to see the hack, and we leave it to you as to whether to
The Quebec Bridge on a 12 cenl stamp of 1929
The 20 cent stamp
of 1929 had the same picture that had
been plannedfor the never-issued 20 cent of 1914. How­
ever the rest
of the stamp was quite different. This stamp
was part
of the same series as the Quebec Bridge 12 cent
stamp shown above.
include it or not. In 1936 was the centennial of Canadas first rail­
way, but the Canadian government, despite considerable urging, did
not see fit to issue a stamp. Thus it was another decade before any
stamp appeared having a subject dealing with railways.
RAIL CANADIEN -456
The train ferry Abegweit on the 1946 $1 stamp.
Following the end of World War II, it was decided to replace
the War issue
of 1942 with a Peace series showing peacetime
activities. This set
of nine stamps appeared on September 16, 1946.
The highest value in the set was the one dollar pink stamp which
featured the train ferry Abegweit which ran between Prince Edward
Island and the mainland. This stamp was a regular issue and was
in
use until early 1951. Then, in 1951, came the only contribution of
The 1951 commemorative showing old and new trains.
the 1950s to our collection, but one of the best ofthe lot. On Septem­
ber 24, 1951 a set
of four stamps appeared to corrunemorate (five
months late) the April 23,
1851 issue of Canadas first stamp, the
threepenny beaver. The first tluee
ofthese stamps (4, 5 and 7 cents)
showed old and new means
of transportation, while the 15 cent showed
the 1851 beaver stamp.
It is the four cent black that concerns us here.
This stamp features a passenger train, said to be on the Brockville
&
Ottawa Railway, of 1851, complete with station and waiting passen­
gers. In the sky above, appearing like a
vision, is a passenger train of
1951, hauled by what looks like an E-8 diesel numbered 51. In this
authors humble opinion, this
is the finest railway stamp ever pro­
duced
in Canada and one of the best in the world. Like most stamps
of the period, it features detailed steel engraving, today almost a lost
art in this age
of multi-colour lithography. Being printed in black, it
has high contrast with the white paper and it clearly shows every
detail. Although only issued for a few months, many were printed
and
it is easy to find.
The 1960s produced
only one railway-theme commemora­
tive stamp, the five cent pink
of 1963 depicting Sir Casimer Gzowski.
On the right hand side
of this stamp appears a nineteenth century
locomotive, probably
of the Grand Tnmk. Then, in 1968, came the
first new regular stamp to show a train since 1929. The postage rate
was raised from five cents
to six cents on November I, 1968 and this
necessitated a new six cent stamp. This one, which was first pro­
duced
in orange, featured various means of transportation but, very
prominent on the left hand side, was the Turbo tmin which was then
being introduced by the CNR.
In January 1970 the colour of the
18 JANVIER -FEVRIER 1997
Sir Casimir Gzowski, 1963
stamp was changed to black and in 1971, when the rate was raised to
seven cents, the same design was used again on a green seven cent
stamp. However, when the rate was raised again,
to eight cents in
1972, a new design was used and the Turbo, like the prototype, was
discarded.
The regular six cent of 1968 showing the Turbo
In the 1970s there were three designs that concern us. First
came the issue, on November 4, 1970,
of a six cent green stamp to
commemorate Donald Smith, later Lord Strathcona. Then on Sep­
tember
16, 1977 appeared a twelve cent brown stamp to commemo-
Donald Smith on a commemorative ill 1970
rate the l50th anniversary of the birth of Si.r Sandford Fleming. This
stamp features a portrait
of Sir Sandford with a view of an Intercolonial
Railway train crossing the bridge over the Miramichi River
in New
Brunswick. This was one
of the last stamps to be entirely steel en­
graved in one colour. Multi-colour lithograph examples had been
introduced
in the I 960s, and the new teclmology gradually replaced
the traditional method. The last railway stamp
of tbe 1970s was the
fifteen cent CIuistmas stamp issued on October
17, 1979. This fea­
tured a cham1ing colour picture
of a primitive toy locomotive.
JANUARY-FEBRUARY1997
Sir Sandford Fleming, with the fCR bridge across the Miramichi
rive}; appeared 011 this twelve cent commemorative in 1977. The
piers
of this bridge, with new superstructure, are still in use.
The fifteen cent Christmas stamp of 1979 featured an old fash­
ioned toy locomotive. There were more of these printed
(109,500,000) than any other Canadian commemorative showing
any railway subject.
Cure Labelle with a 19th centUlY locomotive
in the background.
The 1980s marked the real proliferation of railway subjects
on Canadian stamps. During this decade there were no less than twenty
five different stamps
of that category! Foremost among them were
the four series,
of four stamps each, that depicted sixteen historic
Canadian locomotives built between 1836 and 1945. Fifteen
of these
were steam, with the sixteenth one being the CNRs pioneer diesel
9000
of 1929. The dates of issue of each of the four series were:
October
3, 1983; October 25, 1984; November 7, 1985; November
21, 1986.
Of note to historians was that the first series (1983) was
inaugurated at the Canadian Railway Musewn at Delson, willIe the
third series (1985) was timed to coincide with the I
OOth armiversary
of the driving of the Last Spike on the CPR, and was inaugurated at
CraigelJachie B.C. on the armiversary day.
In addition to the regular
stamps, the issue
of October 25, 1984 has a variety, for a souvenir
sheet
of the four stamps was also issued for a philatelic exhibition.
The stamps on tills sheet differ from the regular ones
in that the back­
ground is blueish instead
of greenish. No such varieties exist for the
other three sets.
19
v v
…..
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<11 CII
jj
00
CANADIAN RAIL -456
CANADA 30
Three Montreal street cars appear on this 1982 stamp.
CANADA
30
Box cars in Alberta from another stamp of the same issue.
The old and the new on the Expo 86 stamp.
In addition to the sixteen locomotive stamps, there
were nine other railway stamps issued in the 1980s. The Canada day
souvenir sheet
of 1982, containing twelve different 30 cent stamps,
contained two that meet our criteria. The one representing Quebec
has a painting, done about 1929,
of an intersection in Montreal in
willch appear three street cars. The painting is so accurate that the
class
of each car is easily recognizable and in one even the nwnber is
visible. Two are of the 2100 class while the third one is a 1200 with
the
number 1277 plainly readable. The stamp representing Alberta
has a scene
of grain elevators with several box cars visible. Then on
HAIL GAIJAUII=IJ -4bb
September 16, 1983 a 32 cent stamp came out commemorating Cure
Antoine Labelle (1833 -1891). In the background
is a locomotive of
one of the colonization railways that Cure Labelle did so much to
promote. The Canada day sheet
of 1984 showed a train on the 32
cent stamp representing Saskatchewan. Then on April
28, 1986 ap­
peared a set commemorating Expo 86
in Vancouver. On the 86 cent
stamp
of this set was a B.C. Electric intemrban car with a modern
elevated system somewhat resembling the Sky Train. As part
of the
technology series
of June 27, 1986 was a 34 cent stamp depicting the
business end
of a rotary snow plow. This set was issued in sheets
containing
all four
of the stamp types, thus it is possible to obtain a
block
of four with one of each. Only one of the four contains rail­
ways, however.
The three more railway stamps
of the 1980s included two
commemoratives and one regular issue. On November 4, 1986 a 34
cent stamp came out commemorating the 150th anniversary
of the
JANVlcH -rcVHlcH 1997
phers. One of these 38 cent stamps, commemorating William Notman,
showed one
of Notmans famous photos, taken about 1859, of the
building
of the piers ofVictOlia Bridge.
The 1990s have continued the pattern set
in the 1980s, with
ten railway type stamps issued so
far. On March 25 1992 a set offour
was produced commemorating the 350th anniversary of the found­
ing
of Montreal. The 42 cent of this set shows Montreal as it is now
and, in tile foreground, plainly appears a train
of Montreals Metro.
This stamp also comes on a souvenir sheet, but this
is not distin­
guishable from the regular issue
if it has been separated from the
sheet. On June
14, 1993 a series of stamps came out depicting fa­
mous CPR hotels. While all of these might be considered as having a
railway connection, the only one we include is the
43 cent showing
the Banff Springs Hotel,
for, running along in the foreground, is CPs
famous transcontinental train The Canadian. Then on November
8, 1993 came the fifth in a series of four each commemorating Cana­
das involvement
in World War II. The 1993 series features the cam­
~ •• -•••• w •••••••••••••••
paigns of 1943 and two of these 43
cent stamps; Aid to the Allies and
The Italian Campaign show railway
hacks and freight cars.
A rotary plow on a 1986 stamp
The
1983 set of locomotive stamps depicted the earlier types.
death of John Molson. In the
background are representa­
tions
of the Molsons many
activities, including an early
train
of the Champlain and
St. Lawrence Rail Road, the
first railway in Canada. Then
on May
5, 1989 an orange $2
stamp appeared which de­
picted the impressive CPR
station at McAdam New
Bnmswick. This was a regu­
lar issue stamp which contin­
ued to be issued until 1994
which was, coincidently, the
year in which McAdam lost
its passenger service with the
discontinuance
of Via Rails
Atlantic. Last
of the 1980s
was one
of a series to com­
memorate early photogra-
:. ~s-.it;O-O~ · . .
• ••••••••••••••
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:·Canada




• •


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The 1984 set featured locomotives of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was
the only set that was also issued as a souvenir sheet,
·


..


JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1997 21 CANADIAN RAIL -456
Canada
The 1985 set of locomotive stamps issued on November 7, 1985 at Craigellachie B. C.
34
The last set came out in 1986 and included CPR Royal Hudson
2850 as well as
CNR s pioneer diesel locomotive 9000.
The John Molson stamp was issued in 1986 the year 0/ the 150th
anniversary
0/ his death. Note the pioneer train 0/ the Champlain
and
Sf. Lawrence Rail Road in the background.
C A n A 0 A
S i!
McAdam station on a regular issue $2 stamp.
The Quebec Bridge,
1995. Contrast this view with
the engraved
12 cent stamp of 1929.
RAIL CANADIEN -456
On August 19, 1994 a souvenir
sheet
of six different stamps was issued
showing,
as part of an ongoing series, his­
toric means
of land transportation. One of
the 88 cent stamps has an excel lent side view
of a Saint John New Brunswick street car,
number 40, which was built by the Ottawa
Car Company for the Saint John Railway
in 1894. This stamp was issued only in the
souvenir sheet form. This author can claim
a small part
in the design of that stamp for
he was called in a consultant and was able
to supply information about the authentic
colours
as well as making numerous small
corrections,
all of which were adopted, to
the proposed design of the stamp. See next
page
for an illustration of this stamp.
On September 1, 1995 a set of 45
cent stamps appeared showing famous
bridges. One
of these was the Quebec
Bridge which
had appeared on a twelve
cent stamp back
in 1929. The new picture
of the bridge was quite different from the
old one. A set of 45 cent stamps showing
well known comic strip characters made
its appearance on October 2, 1995. Since
Superman
was created by two Canadians,
he is shown flying high above a speeding
streamlined steam locomotive.
In
1996 a special large souvenir
sheet appeared showing all
25 of the his­
toric transportation stamps, but
in different
denominations from
the originals. Saint
John street car
No. 40 reappeared, tllis time
as a ten cent stamp, and with a differently
coloured background.
FinaJly a special set
of 45 cent stamps was issued commemo­
rating
100 years of movies in Canada. These
stamps
were issued only in peel and stick
format
in a special pack with a very inter­
esting descriptive booklet. The first stamp
in the series was a scene from the first movie
ever shown in Canada, a train entering a
station
in France in 1896. The last stamp in
the set shows a scene from the movie The
Grey Fox, and a steam locomotive appears
in the background.
Any consideration of trains on Ca­
nadian stamps would not be complete with­
out including the postal stationary, i.e.
stamped envelopes
and post cards. The his­
tory
of stamped envelopes in Canada goes
back
to 1860, and many have designs quite
different
from the regular stamps. Stamped
postcards, newspaper mailers, air letters
and other forms
of postal stationary have
appeared over the years. In 1968 the new
six cent stamped envelopes showed the same
designs,
and in the same colour, as the regu­
lar stamps which
showed the Turbo train.
The envelopes were made in both the
number 8
and number 10 size and were
22
Montreal showing the Metro
The piers
of Victoria Bridge in 1859.
Banff Springs Hotel and The Canadian.
Aid to the Allies in World War JJ
The Italian campaign of World War 11
JANVIER -FEVRIER 1997
Supermanf/ying over a speeding train
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The arrival of a train in a station was the
first movie ever shown
in Canada (June 27,
J 896). A frame from that film is shown on
this stamp.
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This scene from thefilm The Grey Fox
features a steam locomotive
in the back­
ground. This is the most recent railway­
type stamp
to be issued in Canada.
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1997
ABOVE: Saint John Railway
Co. car 40, built by Ottawa Car
Co. in 1894, was the subject of
this 88 cent stamp issued in Au­
gust
of 1994. A similat 10 cent
stamp came out later as
part of
a special souvenir sheet.
made with all three varieties of the stamps, six cent orange,
six cent black and seven cent green.
Then in 1982 a new
series
of stamped envelopes came out with designs entirely
different from the regular stamps. The theme
of all these
was transportation, and each envelope bore three identical
images, in different colours, paltially superimposed.
The
number 8 envelopes featured railways while the number 10
ones depicted ships. As the rates changed, the colours
changed too and some the design as well. Three different
designs were used during the life
of this series. The 30 cent
(1982 to 1983) and the 32 cent (1983 to 1985) featured a
Grand
Tnmk 4-4-0 of 1881. Some of these 32 cent enve­
lopes were later surcharged for the new higher rate
of 34
cents.
The 34 cent (1985 to 1987) and the 36 cent (1987 to
1988) bore a broadside view
of a Temiscouata Railway rail
bus. Finally the 37 cent (1988 to 1989) and the 38 cent (1989
to 1990) featured a side view
of Ottawa Electric Railway
mail
car 423. This car is now at the Canadian Railway Mu­
seum.
When the postal rates were raised again in 1990 a
new series was introduced which did not concern railways.
Stamped post cards were also issued and those that
came out between 1968 and 1972 showed the same view of
the Turbo train as the stamped envelopes issued at the same
time. [n the 1970s there was also a set of ten pictorial post
cards issued for the National Postal Museum.
These cards
had pictures relating to postal history, and the stamp printed
on it had the same picture as that on the card itself. One of
these stamps had a view of one of the early mail cars, intro­
duced in 1894, of the Ottawa Electric Railway.
So far, the movie stamps of 1996 have been the last
that showed railways, but it
is very likely that others will
appear in the future. Well over half of all the varieties ever
issued have appeared in the last fifteen years, which raises
hopes that we wil I see future issues. Canada has the longest
history
of railway stamps in the world, going back 137 years
to the one cent New Brunswick
of 1860. It is hoped that this
history will continue and that we will in the futme see many
more new Canadian stamps bearing railway subjects.
23 CANADIAN RAIL -456
A Grand Trunk 4-4-0 of 1 881 appeared on the 30 and 32 cent small-size stamped
envelopes.
When the postage rates went up
to 34 cents, the 4-4-0 was replaced by a rail bus
of the Temiscouata Railway. This design continued for the 36 cent envelopes.
POSJAGE jL
POSfES
. !
;;. I
I
The last issue of railway-oriented stamped envelopes, the 37 and 38 cent de­
nomination, featured Ottawa Electric Railway mail car
423. This car is at the
Canadian Railway Museum.
RAIL CANADIEN -456 24 JANVIER -FEVRIER 1997
CANADIAN STAMPS WITH RAILWAY SUBJECTS
SCOTT DENOM. SUBJECT COLOUR DATES ISSUED QUANTITY
NUM.
CENTS PRINTED
NEW BRUNSWICK
6 Locomotive Lilac May 15 1860 to 1864 200,000
6a
Locomotive Violet 1864
to 1867 400,000
NEWFOUNDLAND
86 2 Map ofNfld. Railway Red Sep 1908 to 1911 Unknown
95 10 Mill, showing Railway Black Aug 15 1910 to 1911 10,000
101 10 Same, but engraved Black Feb 7 1911 to 1911 Unknown
149
5 Nfld. Railway Train Grey Jan 3 1928
to 1929 650,000
167
5 Same, slightly modified Grey Sep
14 1929 to 1931 Unknown
176 5 Same, watermarked Grey Jul
1931 to 1932 Unknown
CANADA
Note *: Nos. 1,4, 12, 15 are not railway stamps but are included because of their connection to Sandford Fleming.
1&4 3d Beaver (imperf.) * Red Apr231851 to 1858 3,100,000
12 3d Beaver (perf.) * Red Jan 1859 to 1859 428,200
15 5 Beaver * Red Jul 1859 to 1868 39,792,172
10 Victoria Bridge Violet 1914, Never issued NONE
20
Western train Olive 1914, Never issued NONE
145
12 Map showing Railways Blue Jun 29 1927 to 1929 7,492,000
E3 20 Train and mountains Orange Jun 29 1927 to 1930 671,000
156
12 Quebec Bridge Grey Jan 81929 to 1930 4,300,000
157 20 Train in West Red Jan 8 1929
to 1930 7,009,000
175
20 Harvesting wheat Red Dec
41930 to 1935 21,000,000
273 100 PEl train ferry Pink Sep
16 1946 to 1951 15,375,000
311 4 Old and new trains Black Sep 24 1951 Conunem. 49,750,000
410
5 Sir C. Gzowski Pink Mar 5 1963 Commem. 27,820,000
459
6 Turbo etc. Orange Nov 1 1968 to 1970 1,017,400,000
460
6 Turbo etc. Black Jan
71970 to 1971 Unknown
531 6 Donald Smith Green Nov 4 1970 Commem. 35,400,000
543 7 Turbo etc. Green
Jun301971 to 1972 271,445,000
739
12 Sandford Fleming Brown Sep 16 1977 Commem. 12,000,000
839
15 Toy locomotive Blue Oct 17 1979 Commem. 109,500,000
956
30 Montreal street cars Multi Jun 30 1982 Conunem. 5,400,000
964
30 Box cars in Alberta Multi Jun 30 1982 Conunem. 5,400,000
998
32 Antoine Labelle Multi Sep 16 1983 Commem. 20,000,000
999
32 Toronto Multi Oct 3 1983 Conunem. 9,000,000
1000 32 Dorchester Multi Oct 3 1983 Conunem. 9,000,000
1001 37 Samson Multi Oct 3 1983 Conunem. 8,600,000
1002 64 Adam Brown Multi Oct 3 1983 Commem. 8,200,000
1023 32 Train
in Saskatchewan Multi Jun 29 1984 Commem. 4,400,000
1036
32 Scotia Multi Oct 25 1984 Conunem. 9,000,000
1037
32 Countess of Dufferin Multi Oct 25 1984 Conunem. 9,000,000
JANUARV-FEBRUARY1997 25 CANADIAN RAIL -456
1038
37
G.T. Class E3 Multi Oct 25 1984 Conunem. 8,600,000
1039
64 C.P.R. Class
DI0a Multi Oct 25 1984 Conunem. 8,200,000
1039a
Souvenir sheet
of 4 Multi Oct 25 1984 Conunem. 700,000
1071 34 G.
T. Class K2 Multi Nov 7 1985 Conunem. 9,000,000
1072
34
C.P.R. Class P2a Multi Nov 7 1985 Conunem. 9,000,000
1073 39
C. No. Class 010a Multi Nov 7 1985 Conunem. 8,600,000
1074
68 C.G.R. Class H4d Multi Nov 7 1985 Conunem. 8,200,000
1093 68 B.C. Elec
& Sky train Multi Apr281986 Conunem. 15,000,000
1099
34 Rotary snowplow Multi Jun 27 1986 Conunern. 5,250,000
1117 34 John Molson Multi Nov 4 1986 Conunem. 14,000,000
1118
34 C.N.R. Class
Via Multi Nov 21 1986 Conunem. 7,000,000
1119 34 C.P.
R. Class Tla Multi Nov 21 1986 Conunem. 7,000,000
1120 39 C.N.R. Class U2a Multi Nov
21 1986 Conunem. 9,500,000
1121 68 C.P.R. Class Hlc Multi Nov 21 1986 Conunem. 9,500,000
1182
200 Mc. Adam station Orange May 5 1989 to 1994 Unknown
1237
38 Victoria bridge piers Multi Jun 23 1989 Conunem. 3,750,000
1404 42 Montreal showing metro Multi Mar
25 1992 Conunem. 7,500,000
1407a
Souvenir sheet
of 4 Multi Mar 25 1992 Conunem. 400,000
1468
43 Banff with train Multi Jun 14 1993 Conunem. 750,000
1503
43 Aid to Allies (World War II) Green Nov 8 1993 Conunem. 2,500,000
1506
43 Italian Campaign (WW II) Brown Nov 8 1993 Conunem. 2,500,000
1527e 88 Saint John street car 40 Multi Aug
19 1994 Conunem. 800,000
1570
45 Quebec Bridge Multi Sep 1 1995 Conunem. 3,750,000
1579
45 Superman Multi Oct 2 1995 Conunem. 6,000,000
10 Saint John street car 40 Multi 1996 Conunem. Unknown
45 1896 Movie scene Multi 1996 Cornmem. Unknown
45
Movie Grey Fox Multi 1996 Conunem. Unknown
CANADIAN STAMPED ENVELOPES
Envelopes are #8 size unless indicated as # 10
U90 6 Turbo etc. Orange Nov 1968 to 1970
U90a 6 Turbo etc. (#10) Orange Nov 1968 to 1970
U91 6 Turbo etc. Black Jan 1970 to
1971
U91a 6 Turbo etc. (#10) Black Jan 1970 to 1971
U92 7 Turbo etc. Green Jul 1971 to 1972
U92a 7 Turbo etc. (#10) Green Jul
1971 to 1972
U112 30 GTR locomotive Olive May 1982 to 1983
U114
32 GTR locomotive Sepia Feb
1983 to 1985
U118 34 GTR surcharged 34 Sepia Jul 1985 to 1985
U116 34 Rail bus Yellow Jul 1985 to 1987
U120 36 Rail bus Blue Apr 1987 to 1988
U122
37 Ottawa mail tram Mauve Jan 1988 to 1989
U124
38 Ottawa mail tram Brown Jan 1989 to 1990
CANADIAN POST CARDS
UX103 6 Turbo etc. Orange Nov 1968 to 1970
UX104
6 Turbo etc. Black Jan 1970 to
1971
UX105 7 Turbo etc. Green Jul 1971 to 1972
UXI09C 8 Old OERy. mail car Multi c. 1974 Conunem.
RAIL CANADIEN -456 26 JANVIER -FEVRIER 1997
The ADtranz IC3 Flexliner
By John Godfrey
A stream of people flowed through the open door of
gate 5 into Ottawa Station early in the afternoon of December
10th, 1996. As the last
ofthem trickled through the opening, a
disembodied voice announced that VIA train #640 would ar­
rive
in a few minutes at gate 5. I knew I hadnt imagined see­
ing a cart before a horse in the driveway! A glance out the
floor-to-ceiling window revealed that #640 was,
in fact, in the
station, and that I had not ticketed myself the long way home
in vain: todays #640 -soon to be #643 was comprised of one
of the IC3 trainsets leased by VIA for 4 to 6 months of testing
in Ontario. I escaped the warm confines
of the station build­
ing to examine this visitor more closely.
Each
of the two train-sets in test service in Canada is
about the length
of an RDC and a half. The 193 foot extended
aluminum carbody is divided into three sections and rides on
four trucks, the middle section sharing a truck with an adjoin­
ing one, and is officially considered an IC3D
by the manu­
facturer, ADtranz. Schafenberg couplers on the end on the end
of each trainset enable it to couple to up to five similar trainsets,
be they diesel or electrically propelled. A full-width cab on
each end is accessible directly from the outside by means
of
an external cab door and stirrup steps. Passenger access is pro­
vided by automatic plug-type access doors and folding steps
on each side
of each motor coach. A rubber bladder on each
end
ofthe trainset inflates to make the set more aerodynamic.
Once speed reaches
80 kmIhr, it creates a vacuum in front of
the unit, so that there is little air resistance to the movement.
When it is desired to couple two or more trainsets together, air
pressure
is decreased in the bladder, which becomes a dia­
phragm
to enable passengers to pass from one set to the next
out
of the elements.
Having seen all that I could see, I headed back to the
station.
It was about 1320, and the wind was whipping about
ice pellets, snow flakes, and whatever else it could pick up,
with a fair amount
of velocity. Judging by the length of the
line-up that had formed inside, most
of the 141 seats would be
occupied today. At 1345, #643 was declared ready for board­
ing, and those assembled headed for the train. I grabbed a window seat
in the middle section on the firemans side,
and stowed my things
in the overhead luggage bin.
Inside, the IC3
is airy and functional. Window blinds
roll up completely out
of the way, allowing natural light to
flood the blue/grey interior through huge windows. Seats, while
relatively low-backed, are wide and comfortable.
If there is
one nit to pick, the reclining mechanism for each seat, found
between the two seat cushions, may have you getting to know
your fellow passenger better than you might want to.
We got underway two minutes late at 1352; if! had not
been looking outside at the time, I would not have known,
as
there was no perceptible sensation of motion. That is until the
train went through the various switches that were lined for its
route onto the Beachburg Sub, when the gentle telltale rock
of
the tilt system told us that we were leaving town. A technician
from ADtranz
is on board for each run an IC3 makes. Once
my ticket was collected, I set about to find and interrogate him
in an effort
to learn all I could about this new technology.
The trainsets testing
in Ontario are hybrids in a sense.
ADtranz leased them back from the Israel State Railways ex­
pressly for testing and evaluation in North America. Their in­
teriors were modified
in consultation with Amtrak (since the
sets will spend most oftheir North American time in the U.S.)
to include phone booths (the European models have wall
phones
in the vestibules), electric heat (vs. oil fired), compu­
ter outlets, and North American type wall outlets. The Israel
sets were chosen as they are the only ones constructed to date
with air conditioning; European sets have open-top windows.
The 109 seats in the coach section are 2-2 facing across a
small table. First class contains seats for 32 people
in groups
of two, three, and four facing each other across another small
table.
Top speed for the Flexliners in Canada
is 95 mph. Over
in the U.S. they are allowed to get up to 100 mph. Four 400
HP air-cooled engines power the inboard axle
of each truck
by means
of a drive shaft (just like a Budd car) and produce
33,000 lbs.
of starting tractive effort (each trainset weight
224,000 Ibs.). Three types
of brakes are included on the IC3:
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1997
electro-pneumatic, air and, to keep the train stationary during
long stops, a magnetic brake not unlike that found on the PCC
streetcar. All systems are monitored by a battery
of on-board
computers which relay information
to the enginemans con­
sole. Mechanics can download performance information dur­
ing their weekly inspections in order to evaluate performance
and make any repairs necessary. Both on-board and under­
neath components are arranged in modules, which can be re­
placed in minutes; sending the train on its way before the dam­
aged module
is repaired and placed back in the stores. Opera­
tional modules for North American service include a bell, AAR
radios, and
an event recorder.
As we slowed for the station stop at Smiths Falls and
the associated change
of iron from CN to Cp, a glance at my
watch showed us to be slightly ahead of the advertised. The
conductor joined the technician and I at the rear
of the train.
He noted that we are
to meet two CP freights and VIA #42
here. The freights turned out to be the eastward and westward
Iron Highway sets CP
is testing between Montreal and To­
ronto. While we waited for the freights to clear, the techni­
cian put the extra time
to good use, explaining the method of
coupling trainsets together; a simple matter of flicking a switch
that enables his set
to join a stationary one ahead of it at a slow
creep and deflate the bladder. Once coupled, the controls are
set
to MU, much as in a North American diesel locomotive
consist, and, making use
of compressed air, the enginemans
console and end door are swung aside
to permit unrestricted
passage into the next set. Panels fold across the former cab
area, creating a 4.3 foot wide corridor. The average passenger
would not realize that he was walking through the control area
at all.
In addition, sets can be uncoupled on the fly (up to
about 20 mph), the trailing set coasting to a momentary stop
to have its operational systems configured to lead and to
secure clearance, before continuing on its
way.
We departed Smiths Falls 32 minutes late at 1305. Once
on the Brockville Sub, I headed back
to my seat to write down
some notes. Brockville: 1533; we made
up 6 minutes and
seamlessly made our way onto the Kingston Sub. Kingston
is
the heaviest stop ofthe day: 1613 vs. 1549. Trenton Junction:
1720; now
25 minutes down, thanks to a couple of slow or­
ders.
I was beginning
to get concerned over making #68 at
Guildwood for the trip home to Montreal. What should have
been a 35 minute connection was fast eroding.
To take my
mind off the situation, I tried out some
of the creature com­
forts found on the Flexliner.
The underside
of the overhead luggage bins contain
the usual reading lights, as well as airline-type train attendant
call buttons and fresh air vents, and headphone jacks to tune
in any of the five on-board channels.
27 CANADIAN RAIL -4bb
The various sections of the train are separated by see­
ing eye doors (similar
to those found at the supermarket. While
most
of the doors seemed to work well, the one next to my
seat must have been blind. More often than not, the unsus­
pecting passenger would walk into a door that remained closed
after the beam was broken. Automatically operated toilets and
faucets, common in European rolling stock, are found on the
Flexliners. The one designated for the use
of the mobility­
impaired is more spacious than its counterpart on VIAs LRC
cars. Most signage on the train
is of the pictogram variety,
though each vestibule and each passenger compartment con­
tains dot display information screens
to provide passengers
with updated information about the trip. Each vestibule also
contains a brief description
of the Flexliner, and a map identi­
fying the routes they can be found on during their stay in
Canada.
Oshawa 1754;
25 minutes down. Having travelled these
tracks many times, I knew how much time it took
to get from
here to Guildwood; somewhat less than the
17 minutes the
schedule called
for. Time to get my gear together.
VIA #643 rolled
to a stop at the station shared with
GO Transit at 1808,22 minutes late. I set foot on the platform
amid a crowd
of nonplussed commuters interested only in
getting home after a days labour, and stepped back to watch
the Flexliner head into the night. No rhythmic chant
of a prime­
mover or statacco bark
of exhaust for this fleet-footed speed­
ster
of the rails. The chimes of the electronic bell were soon
lost amid a roar that seemed to denote more
of a kinship with
Kenworth and friends, than with the Budd-built ancestors a
generation
or more ago. I turned into the wind, and shoul­
dered my way towards the nearby station building for a few
minutes
of warmth to ward off the chill of the cold, damp
wind
off nearby Lake Ontario.
Safely aboard a sparsely-populated #68, I pondered
the merits oflarge scale use
of the IC3 in Canada. While there
are some significant technological advances incorporated into
the Flexliner, the sets would have
to be significantly strength­
ened
to meet North American buff force requirements. Seat
arrangement may also have
to be modified. VIA discovered
that most
of its clientele did not enjoy riding backwards for
great distances, and they modified the rearward-facing seats
in their LRC cars accordingly when they came due for re­
building. Lastly, one has
to wonder how the purchase of a
fleet
of Flexliners can be justified in the cost-conscious board
room
of VIA, when a fleet of predecessor RDCs, some re­
cently rebuilt, lie idle in Toronto. Perhaps the answer would
be to incorporate some
of the IOtechnology into the already­
paid-for and more structurally rigid RDCs, and thus attempt
to regain some of the market share it abandoned to other modes
of public transit it abandoned a few years ago on its feeder and
secondary routes.
BACK COVER: Street car number 40 of the Saint John Railway Co. was one of eleven (Nos. 30 to 40) built for that company in
1894 by the Ottawa Car
Co. This was part of the re-equipping of the Saint John system after the reorganization following the
failure
of the earlier companies. Cars of this type saw a great deal of use, and some lasted as late as 1920. Number 40 was the
prototype for the Canadian commemorative stamp that was issued
in 1994. A photo of that stamp is on page 23.
NationalArchives of Canada. Merrilees Collection, Photo No. PA-166554 ..

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