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Canadian Rail 459 1997

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Canadian Rail 459 1997

86
CANADIAN RAIL
ISSN 0008-4875
PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY BY THE CANADIAN RAILROAD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE BROAD GAUGE AND THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAy ……………………. W.M. SPRIGGS………………….. 87
THE 1879 GOVERNMENT RAIL CONTRACTS ………………………………………….. FRED F. ANGUS ………………… 102
STEWART B.C. AND THE C.N.E.R …………………………………………………………… MERVYN
T. (MIKE) GREEN .. 104
A TURKISH DELIGHT ………………………………………………………………
……………… MERVYN
T. (IIIIKE) GREEN .. 109
FRONT COVER: Locomotive No. 82, Scotia of the Great Western Railway was originally numbered 90 and was built in the GWRs shops in
Hamilton in 1861. It was retired at the time of the change of gauge. The NG plate on the front indicates that the photo was taken during the
transition period
(1867-1873), and that the train hauled by No. 82 contained narrow (4 ft. 8 1/2 in.) gauge cars.
BELOW-This map, from the Official Guide, May
1874, shows the great importance of the GWR as a bridge line between points in the U.S.A ..
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. 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.
llAPOFTIJE
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
JULY -AUGUST 1997 87 CANADIAN RAIL -459
The Broad Gauge and the Great Western Railway
By W.M. Spriggs
This article, by the late WM. Spriggs, appeared in Bulletin No.2 of the CRHA in August, 1937. It was the very first historical article
to appear
in any CRHA publication, since Bulletin No.1 dealt entirely with current events. Mr. Spriggs was one of the original nine persons
who joined the
CRHA the day of its founding, March 12, 1932. He had membership number 5.
As part
of our commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the first CRHA publication, we reprint this article in full. In addition we
include a number
of photographs to illustrate it. These photos were collected by Mr. Spriggs and John Loye at the time but could not be
included
in the bulletin because it was produced on a mimeograph machine which could not reproduce photographs. After sixty years we are
rectifying the omission!
In this article there are some notes contained in square brackets and signed Ed.. These have been added by the present (1997) editor,
and are not part
of the original aIticle. Some additional material has also been added, notably maps, as well as material relating to the adoption
of the 5 ft. 6 in. gauge. It was felt that this is appropriate since this is the 150th anniversary of the adoption of that gauge.
To begin with it may not be amiss to refer to the possible
reasons why the G.W.R., together with other leading railways
of
Canada, used the track gauge of five feet six inches.
Some sources state that the use of the 5 ft. 6 in. gauge was
caused by an attempt on the part
of the legislatures of Upper and
Lower Canada
to render more difficult an invasion of Canada by
the United States, but on the other hand
it is stated that when the
two railways, namely the St. Lawrence & Atlantic (Canadian) [Not
the present St. L &
A. Ed.] and the Atlantic & St. Lawrence (Ameri­
can) were being promoted to build the line between Montreal and
Portland Maine, the Portland supporters
of the scheme were so anx­
ious that their city should have a monopoly
of transportation be­
tween Montreal and the Atlantic, that they urged the 5
ft. 6 in. gauge
to prevent Boston from sharing in the business. Boston at that time
was already served by lines
of 4 ft. 8 1/2 in. gauge.
Personally I agree with the opinion expressed by Mr. Loye
in his interesting articles on the Grand Trunk Railway in Bulletins
Nos. 18 and 25
of the Railroad and Locomotive Historical Society
[June, 1929 and May, 1931 respectively. Ed.],
in which he inti­
mates that from particulars on record the views
of the British mili­
tary element carried considerable weight with the government, and
their idea evidently was that a break
of gauge would materially
hinder any attempt at the invasion
of Canada by the United States.
He says,
The British authorities adopted the 5 ft. 6 in. as the Cana­
dian gauge because it was a well defined medium between the pre­
vailing gauges
in the United States at the time of the issuance of the
Charter
of the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railway in 1845. The Ameri­
can gauges were the 4
ft. 8 1/2 in., touching eastern Canadas fron­
tier, and also coming into Detroit, and the 6 ft.
of the Erie coming
into Buffalo. This idea
of invasion which to us seems so unfounded
was not so at that time,
as the international feeling was none too
good. After all, in 1845 the War
of 1812 had only been over for
thirty years; it was still within living memory. Ironically, however,
the fact that the United States portion
of the line was laid by the
Americans to the same 5
ft. 6 in. gauge did away entirely with the
protective possibilities
of that gauge to Canada.
It seems probable that this question of a new gauge being
brought into prominent notice may have been the cause
of the ap­
pointment
of the Committee in 1845 by a Royal Commission to
enquire into what would be the most suitable gauge for Canadian
railways.
It may be noted that this year 1845 was the same year in
which the Charter was granted
to the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Ry.,
the commencement
of work was in 1846, and although the junction with the American section, the Atlantic & St. Lawrence Ry., at Is­
land Pond Vt. did not take place until 18 June 1853, the two rail­
ways were
in working order for some distance inland from their
terminal points about 1848,
in which year the important bridge over
the Richelieu River at Beloeil was completed, and a number
of
locomotives were delivered to both railways [The St. L&Areached
St. Hyacinthe late in December, 1848. Ed.].
Apparently it took this Committee six years, from 1845
to
1851, to do anything, and in the latter year a large number of pro­
fessional men, engineers and others, were called up before the Com­
mittee
to state their views and opinions.
Takabury, in his Atlas
of the Dominion of Canada, 1877,
quoting from the Railways
of Canada by I.M. and E. Trout, in
refelTing to the Committee appointed by the Royal Commission of
1845, to report on the most suitable gauge for the railways of Canada,
says:-
Many of the persons examined before the assembly commit­
tee in J851 were not in a position to
form the best opinion as to the
relative values
of different gauges. M r. Harris, President of the Great
Western Railway, must be presumed to have given the question some
consideration and he gave his opinion in favour
of the narrow gauge
[In this context, the term naITow gauge refers to 4 ft. 8 112 in.
Ed.].
which the Great Western Ry. had then adopted. He said that
all their calculations, plans
and specifications were then based on
afour feet eight and a half inch track, and he gave the folio wing as
his reasons
for its adoption. First: Its established characta Sec­
ond: The saving
of money in the superstruclure, ties and rails re­
quiring extra strength for the broader gauge. Third: Saving of ex­
pense in runn.ing machinel),
for all time to come. Fourth: To form
an easy and economical junction with the railroads
of Michigan
and New Yorkfrom which the Company expects to receive vel) large
additions to the traffic on their road, a considerable portion
of
which is expected to follow a Grand Trunk Line [This was two years
before the
GTR Co. was incorporated. Ed.] through the Province to
Montreal.
He added, J consider the adoption of a broader gauge
than
4 ft. 8 112 in. would prove injurious to the interests of the
Great Western
Ry. Co., as well as to the Main Trunk Line [Soon to
be the GTR. Ed.] as far as Montreal because J feel that evel), in­
ducement possible will require to be made to secure the principal
part
of the travelfrom Chicago etc., through Canada, in preference
to the various channels now bwing opened on the south side
of
Lake Erie; and I feel convinced that any gauge that will not admit
of the baggage cars of the roads joining the Great Western. Ry. on
either side being carried across it, will deprive Canada of the greater
part
of said travel.
RAIL CANADIEN -459 88 JUILLET -AOUT 1997
THE CHIEF ENGINEER REPORTS TO THE DIRECTORS OF THE St. L&A ABOUT THE GAUGE
This report, dated 1847, exactly
a century and a half ago, sheds some light
on the question
of the adoption of the
broad gauge.
It was prepared by A.C.
Morton, Chief Engineer
of the St. Law­
rence & Atlantic. This particular copy
was presented
by the author to Mr. A.N.
Morin, President
of the St. L&A. It was
found by your editor in a second hand
book store about
1962.
. …..
On the first page of the report it
states that
an act (10th and 11 th Victo­
ria, Cap.
65) provided: That the Gauge
upon which the said rail
[sic] shall be
construct
ed, and which shall be used in
the said railway, shall be four feet eight
and one
half inches, unless, within six
calendar months, the Governor
of this
Province in Council, shall, by Order in
Council, determine upon any different
Gaug
e, and that, upon communication
to the
said company of any Order In
Council, establishing any different
Gauge, the Gauge so established shall
be the one used in the said road as
if the
same had been established by this Act.
THE GAUGE
F01l THE
ST. LAWRENCK AND ATLAN/rIC BAIL R01D,
It is obvious from the report that
Mr. Morton was a strong advocate
of the
broad gauge. After
68 pages of discus­
sion, in
cluding much reference to the
recent Battle
of the Gauges in England,
Mr. Morton makes his summary. In view
of the historic importance of this, we
quote it in full:
These considerations fairly car-
ay A.. c. 111 0 R T 0 l¥ , Eaqalre,
emr ~NGINnll.
MONTREAL:
ried out, with reference solely to the ques­
tion
of capacity as affected by the Gauge,
would lead
liS to the adoption of a Gauge
wider perhaps than
5 1/2 feet, but we
have taken this limit in consideration
of
the question of expense, as applied to the
branch lin
es, as well as the long main
lines which are
to be constructed, cou-
~
PIWIT&D ,&.1 TU DANAJ) 9AZZtTJ: onlOE, A
1847.
. .
.
–~,. -~.~.~. ——-
pled with the opinions entertained by the
respectable Engineers above quoted and my own, that
5 112
feet will give every desirable advantage.
There appears to me no room to doubt th
is, and my
sense
of duty and regard to the interest of the Stockholders,
constrains me
to urge you to use all honorable means to se­
cure
to your road the advantages of the 5 112 feet Gauge.
In recommending a Wider Gauge than the prevailing
one, I would not be understood as desiring
to erect any bar­
riers,
or interpose any obstacles to the accomplishment of
the objects sought by the promoters of rival lines. For they, in
fact, open communications
to good markets for the people of
Canada, and they will of course be benefited not only by these avenues, but by the competition likely
to arise as rival lines
are increased.
But what I would recommend
is simply that you give
to your own lines all the superiority over your rivals which
the experience of England and America has shown to exist in
a broader Gauge, and leave to the enterprisze
[sic] of our
neighbours
to overcome these advantages as they best can.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your Obedient Servant,
A.C. MORTON
Chief Engineer.
JULY -AUGUST 1997 89 CANADIAN RAIL -459
WAS THIS LIKE THE LOCOMOTIVE THAT INTRODUCED THE BROAD GAUGE TO CANADA?
JJu:4e.s .1,( =dni0==~i= ==if==.3====4==o±,==bi -==,7===8 Ia:t
Various reasons have been given for the adoption of the 5 ft. 6 in. gauge in Canada. On close examination, most of these
reasons explain why
the 4 fl. 8 112 in. gauge was not adopted, but they do not say where the 5 ft. 6 in. gauge came from. It is quite
possible that the answer may be found in Scotland. In 1839 a Scottish railway called the Arbroath and Forfar was opened for service.
It had been built to a gauge
of 5 fl. 6 in. According to the book The Railways of Great Britain and Ireland, by Francis Whishaw,
printed
in London in 1840: M!: Grainger [the Engineer of the A&FJ has adopted on this line, as well as all the Dundee and Arbroath
Railway, which joins it near the Arbroath
harbml1; a gauge of 5 feet 6 inches. He states as his reason, that he considers the English
gauge too narrow, and the Great Western gauge too wide; he has, therefore, taken something like a mean, which would enable him t6
allow sufficient space for the proper construction
of the locomotive engines, and also afford more useful space in the carriages.
Whishaw also included a detailed scale drawing of the locomotive Victoria of the A&F. This drawing is reproduced above.
By 1846, with connection to other British lines a real possibility, the
A&F realized that adopting the 5 ft. 6 in. gauge was a
mistake, and they converted their gauge to standard.
The old locomotives were thereupon sold. Just about this time, in far away
Canada, the St.
Lawrence & Atlantic was about to be built. The directors of the St. L&A learned of the availability of these Scottish
engines, and bought two
of them in 1847. These are said to have been the Princess and Britannia, built by Stirling in 1838, which
were renamed SI. Hyacinthe and Beloe
il. It appears that they were of 2-2-2 wheel arrangement, like Victoria above, and were
converted to 4-2-2 upon arrival in Canada. Since these, the first locomotives on the SI. L&A, were 5
ft. 6 in. gauge, it seemed logical
to build the first track to fit. The corresponding line in Maine, the Atlantic & SI. Lawrence, naturally adopted the same gauge and, in
due course, it became the official standard for Canada and parts of Maine. Although the old A&F locoinotives were scrapped about
1854, the influence they had was felt, for better or for worse (mostly for worse), until the gauge was finally changed after 1870. One
short line,
the Carillon & Grenville, retained the broad gauge until it was abandoned in 1910. Ed.
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JULY -AUGUST 1997 91 CANADIAN RAIL -459
The Spitfire was originally numbered 4], and later became No. 32. It was built by Fairbairn of Manchester England. It went into service qn
the GWR in May, 1855. The Fairbairn engines were not re-gauged, and Spitfire was scrapped about 1871.
There is something prophetic in some of these reasons.
The Great Western
Ry., which was practically compelled by the
legislature
to adopt a 5 ft. 6 in. gauge, was obliged to reduce it by
means
of a lhird rail to enable American cars to pass over their
line. The section
of the Main Trunk Line east of Montreal had been
commenced with a broad gauge and that circumstance may have
had some influence in determining the decision
of the Committee.
And so with all the evidence before them, and all the cir­
cumstances
to be considered, the Railway Committee, on the 3J
July 1851 decided infavour oftheflve and a halffeet gauge.
Of course a great deal more evidence both for and against
the
5 ft. 6 in. gauge was brought before the Committee than what I
have quoted, but it seems to me that the balance
of opinion was in
favour
of the 4 ft. 8 112 in. gauge.
In spite
of the fact that two railways between Canada and
the United States, the
5 ft. 6 in. gauge between Montreal and Port­
land, and the
4 ft. 8 1/2 in. line between Montreal and New York
state
were in full operation [The Champlain and Sl. Lawrence
extention to Rouses Point was completed in 1851, while the
Montreal
& New York and the Plattsburgh & Montreal would meet
at the
border in 1852. Ed.], and that either of these routes, on which
there
was no break of gauge, would have been available for inva­
sion purposes, I still believe that the fear of invasion loomed large
to the military authorities, and this, together with the fact as men­
tioned
above that not only on the railway to Portland but on the Main Trunk
Line east of Montreal the 5 ft. 6 in. gauge was already
established, led the
Committee to decide in favour of the 5 ft. 6 in.
gauge, even in the face
of the obvious drawbacks of change of gauge
during transportation.
Whether the foregoing opinion is correct or not may be
open to question
[It still is. Ed.], but the Government made its deci­
sion
in 1851 that the National railway gauge of Canada should be 5
ft. 6 in., much to the annoyance of the directors of the Great West­
ern
Ry., who had evidently made all their plans for a railway of the
4 ft. 8 1/2 in. gauge.
Although this law did not affect some
of the earliest rail­
ways in Canada, such as the Champlain & St. Lawrence, the
Montreal & Lachine, the Lanoraie & Industrie, and the coal rail­
ways
of Nova Scotia [The 1851 act exempted railways less than
100 miles long, and
Nova Scotia was not yet a part of Canada. Ed.],
all
of which were 4 ft. 8 112 in. gauge, it may be noted that after the
law was passed a great many lines were laid to the
5 ft. 6 in. gauge
in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, and some of
the smaller ones had to be subsequently assisted financially by the
Dominion
Government when it repealed the 1851 law, which it did
in 1870.
The Great Western Railway, owing to its geographical po­
sition, was from the first very dependent on through traffic from
and to different points in the United States. In fact the railway prac­
tically formed a
link in the east and west traffic of that country.
OPPOSITE PAGE: This map appeared in conjunction with the Great Western timetable in the Official Guide for Septembel; 1870. This was
during the gauge conversion.
In this map, the GWR is depicted as a major link in rail transportation between east and west. Places as far
distant as Kansas, Nebraska, and even Texas, are linked with New York and New England via the GWR. Of note is the Union Pacific lhie west
of Omaha marked To California. On May 1 0, 1869 the golden spike had been driven at Promontory, Utah TerritO/y, so by J 870 even the
riches of the Golden State wouldflow via the Great Western No wonder the company considered the standardization of gauge so important.
RAIL CANADIEN -459 92 JUILLET -AOUT 1997
The Great Suspension Bridge at Niagara Falls
The most important link between the Great Western and
the railways
of the Unites States was the suspension bridge at
Niagara Falls.Built
to the design of John Roebling, this bridge
was constructed between 1852 and 1855, and was opened for
service on March 18, 1855. It cost the comparatively small sum
of $400,000 which, even for 1855, Yas a bargain;·the Victoria
Bridge at Montreal cost $7,000,000.
The span between towers
(centre to centre) was 821 feet 4 inches, and the track was 245
feet above the middle stage
of the river.As can be seen from the
cross section (light) the superstructure
of the bridge formed a
girder, with the track on top and the road underneath. Tills stiff­
ened and strengthened the whole structure. In the words of Mr,
Roebling:
The efficiency of these girders became evident at the
first trial.
On 8th of March [1855] I made the first trial trip with
an American built engine
of 23 tons weight. with four drivers
placed but a short distance apart. The general depression in
the centre was 0.3 feet. Another American engine
of 22 tons
weight produced nearly the same effect…. Without girders the
trusses would not long resist the action of/rains.
Mostnotable from the cross section is the triple gauge
track on the bridge.
The two inner rails were laid to a gauge of
4 ft. 8 112 in., while the two outer rails were spaced 6 ft., the
gauge used by the Erie Railroad. Between one outer rail and the
opposite inner one, the gauge was 5 ft. 6 in. to accommodate
the trains
of the Great Western.
The Niagara suspension bridge served until 1896 when
it was replaced by an arch bridge which is still in use.
Cress Section; 0 f Super struclure
N.R.B. S . .B.
JULY -AUGUST 1997 93 CANADIAN RAIL -459
Great Western No. 15, Essex, built by Lowell in 1853 and delivered to the GWR in January, 1854. This c.1859 view shows the train coming
off the Niagara suspension bridge, that vital link in the rail network. In 1862 Essex was renumbered lJ. Because of its inside cylinders, it
was never re-gauged but was scrapped about
1868.
Now none
of the United States railways directly connected with
the
GWR were of the 5 ft. 6 in. gauge, most of them being of the 4
ft. 8 1/2 in. gauge which was already at that time becoming the
standard.
An exception, however, was the Erie Ry. which was di­
rectly connected with the
GWR at Niagara Bridge, but as this line
and its connections was laid to a gauge
of six feet, the break of
gauge difficulty was equally bad, if not worse.
As can be imagined, the transfer
of all goods from the
American gauge trains to the 5
ft. 6 in. GWR trains at Niagara
Bridge, and the retransfer from GWR to American trains again at
Windsor or Detroit was an endless source
of confusion, breakage,
delay and dissatisfaction
to everyone concerned, and the United
States lines at
last took up the question of an alternative route through
United States territory on the 4
ft. 8 1/2 in. gauge to avoid this
trouble.
The fear
of losing this valuable American business drove
the directors
of the GWR to petition the Canadian government for
permission to change the gauge, and
in the meantime they gradu­
ally mixed the gauge or,
in other words, laid down on most of their
tracks a third rail to accommodate the 4
ft. 8 1/2 in. gauge cars of
the United States railways, so that they could pass from one point
to another in the United States over the GWR without change.
It
is interesting to note the gradual way in which this change
of gauge took place on the Great Western Railway, and it was rather
unique [sic] in this respect compared to the numerous changes
of
gauge which have taken place in various parts of the world. In most
instances, once the work
of change was put in hand, it was carried
through as quickJy as possible, the operation, after considerable
time spent
in preparation, was only a matter of a few days, some-times only hours, whereas on the
GWR it was a matter of years.
The Great
Western Railway of England had a somewhat similar
experience with regard to
mixing the gauge on a large part of their
road, but when the change
of gauge came [1892] they had to close
a large part
of their main line, which the GWR of Canada did not
have to do,
the only part of the line actually closed was the branch
line between Hamilton and Toronto which was closed for eight
hours, as shall be mentioned later on.
The following are notes extracted from the half-yearly re­
ports
of the Great Western Railway.
The Great Western Railway of Canada was opened on 18
Nov. 1853 with a rail [sic] gauge of 5 ft. 6 in., in accordance with
the law passed
by the Canadian parliament in 1851.
Nearly eleven years later, at a meeting
of the Company held
on 24 Feb. 1864, the President, Mr. Thomas Dakin, in referring to
the delay and loss incurred owing to the break
of gauge between
the American railroads and the GWR, recommended that the
GWR
should at once lay an intermediate or third rail of 4 ft. 8 112 in. to
accommodate American cars, which would then run over the
GWR
without change. Cost estimated to be $700,000. Two years later, on
26 March 1866, the President refers to the narrow gauge track about
to be laid down on the main line, and in August
of that year Mr.
G.L. Reid, the Companys engineer, reports
that 50 miles of N.G.
rails are laid.
The President, on 28 March 1867, says that the N.G. track
is completed between Suspension Bridge and Windsor, that it came
into operation on January 1 last, and that the new car feny boat,
which will take
14 or 16 cars, also ran on that date. Further mixed
gauge sidings were badly wanted.
RAIL CANADIEN -459 94 JUILLET -AOUT 1997
GWR No. 84, Prospera was built by Stephenson in England and arrived on the GWR in Oc/obel; 1856. By the time this photo was taken it
had been renumbered 52. Both iI, and the Niagara opposite, display the NG plate indicating a mixed-gauge train. After the gauge
change Prospera was sold to the Midland Railway
of Canada.
Mr. Robinson, the Companys mechanical superintendent,
reports at the same time that 198 N.G. cars
of all kinds are now in
use out
of a total of 1511, and that 2 of the new Palace Sleeping
Cars, built
by the PuiJman Company, are at work, and others are in
hand.
From now on the work
of converting the cars from broad to
narrow gauge went steadily, though the locomotives did not seem
to be taken in hand until the spring
of 1870. The President, on 28
Sept. 1870, says that the u·affic has been handled
by broad gauge
locomotives,
but the system of working on a mixed gauge system
has been found to be unsatisfactory and expensive. Preparations
are now, therefore, being made to take up the outside rail -Parlia­
ment having sanctioned the change
of gauge -and it is proposed to
purchase some narrow gauge locomotives.
It is also proposed to
retain the broad gauge only so long
as it is necessary to obtain
sufficient N.G. locomotives.
The Pacific Railroad
in the United States [Completed by
the joining
of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads at
Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869. Ed.]
is spoken of on
13 Oct. 1869 as an important source of through traffic for the GWR
now that the narrow gauge is available, but more mixed sidings are
wanted, and the use
of Bessemer steel rails was just commencing in
November.
Mr. Robinson says that on 23 Aug. 1870 that the first two
narrow gauge freight engines are already at work and that more are
in hand. Some
B.G. engines are being sold, some broken up, and one small one converted into a N.G. shunting tank engine.
Mr. Reid
reports on 28 Feb.
1871 that the third rail had now been removed
from 100 miles
of the main line and from station sidings between
Windsor and Komoka, and also that in December last the track
of
the Toronto branch, 38 miles, was successfully changed from broad
to standard gauge
by an organized force of trackmen under Mr.
Weatherton with an interruption to traffic of only eight hours.
On the same date the Locomotive Superintendent explains
that the alteration
of the gauge being put in hand more rapidly than
anticipated has left him with a shortage
of N.G. engines. The Com­
pany is buying a large number
of these locomotives, both freight
and passenger, from the Rhode Island Locomotive Works and
is
converting GWR B.G. engines to narrow gauge at the Companys
works as rapidly
as the facilities will allow. But this conversion of
the locomotives was attended with difficulties for Mr. Robinson
remarks:
Many of the engines which were considered worth re­
constTUction with new boilers on their present gauge are now found
unsuitable
to convert to N.G., while others, notably of the Norris
class, originally considered not worth reconstruction, are the most
practical
to convert to N.G.. For these reasons it is now intended
to reconstruct the six Norris engines, numbers
17 to 22 inclusive,
with new boilers and cylinders, make them N.G., and select good
tenders for them from other engines, which, on account
of age and
difficulty
of conversion, will be broken up. Five Slaughter engines,
Nos. 65, 66, 68, 69, 72, and the Fairbairn engine, No. 32, all being
too old and worn out to
be worth conversion to N.G., are being
broken up.
JULY -AUGUST 1997 95 CANADIAN RAIL -459
The Niagara was the second locomotive of that name to run on the GWR. It replaced the original Lowell engine of 1 853 which had been
numbered
4, renumbered 27, and wrecked about 1862. This new Niagara was also numbered 27, and was built in Ihe GWR s own shops at
Hamilton, going into service in January, 1863. It did not survive the gauge change
and was scrapped in 1873.
Notes by W.M.S.: According to the 1862 list, the six Norris
engines were, No. 17 Venus, No. 18 Vesta, No. 19 Minerva,
No. 20
Jupiter, No. 21 Mercury, No. 22 Mars. The five
Slaughter engines were, No. 65 Python, No. 66 Lion, No. 68
Tiger, No. 69 Tigress, No.
72 Vulcan. The Fairbairn engine
was No. 32 Spitfire.
The report continues:-The engine stock has been increased
by five new
NG.freight engines built in the Companys shops. The
remaining portion
of the engine stock has been somewhat altered
during the
half year both in point of numbers and gauge. In addi­
tion, the two shunting engines (Nos.
91 and 93) are listed as sold
and one shunting engine (No. 92) as having been converted to N G.
In last half years report the following alterations and temporary
additions have been made:-One freight engine,
No. 54 (Titan
from Birkenhead) and one passenger engine, No.5 (Windsor
from Schenectady) have been sold. Four shunting engines, No. 86
Ontario, No. 88 Superior, No. 89 Michigan, No. 90 St.
Lawrence
, from the Globe Works in Boston, have been converted
to
N. G. One shunting engine, No. 87 Erie , is in hand being con­
verted. Thirteen
new NG. passenger engines and nineteen freight
engines have been purchased from the Rhode Island Locomotive
Works
and also one shunting engine from Baldwins. The stock of
engines at present is as follows: 77 B.G., 43 N.G., 13 being con­
ver(ed, total
133.
In consequence of this temporary shortage of locomotives,
the Directors were obliged
to change their plans somewhat and to
retain the mixed
gauge between Hamilton and London so that nar­
row gauge trains could be operated by broad gauge locomotives .
. The Directors report in April 1872 states that by
31 January the
whole
of the Companys car stock had been convertesJ to the new standard gauge, but that the broad gauge is still being kept between
London and Hamilton on which to run the remaining broad gauge
locomotives. Mr. Robinson, on 28 Feb.
1873,reports that only 24
B.G. engines now remain out
of a total of 177. The report of 26
March shows that the supply
of locomotives is still insufficient and
that the outer rail between Hamilton and London must be contin­
ued for the present. The new steel rails are giving great satisfaction
both in use and in decreased expenditure.
The Directors, in their
report
of 16 October, announce that at last this outer rail was re­
moved at the end
of June, that the system is now entirely of stan­
dard gauge, and that at the close
of the previous year only 30 miles
of iron rails remained on the main line. It is mentioned in the same
report that freight trains
of 27 cars are now run on the main line
wheras 24 cars were formerly the maximum, and then extra engine
help was often required. By 1874 the Westinghouse Atmospheric
Brake was beginning to be installed.
To conclude I may again refer to the process through which
the Great Western Railway went during the period
of the change of
gauge. -First, the laying down of the narrow gauge rail primarily to
. accommodate the American cars, at that time there being no nar­
row gauge stock on the GWR. N.G. rail, Niagara to Windsor, was
in operation by January I, 1867. Second, the gradual conversion
of
the GWR cars, both passenger and freight; the first GWR N.G. cars
were running by the spring
of 1867. Third, the convers~on of the
locomotives. The first N.G. engine, a shunter, was not running un­
til the spring
of 1870.
[The Great Western Railway ended its independant exist­
ence when it was sold to the Grand
Trunk in 1882, and »,ilS ab­
sorbed into that system. Most
of the former GWR lines are still in
use as part
of Canadian National Railways. Ed.].
RAIL CANADIEN -459 96 JUILLET -AOUT 1997
JULY -AUGUST 1997 97 CANADIAN RAIL -459
OPPOSITE: This beautiful example of the engravers art is a bondfor 100 pounds Canadian currency ($400) issued by the County of Oxford
in 1853 to raise money
for the County to buy Great Western stock, and so ensure that the railway would serve that county.
TOP: The Adam Brown was originally
No. 76, Minos built at Birkenhead in 1855. By 1870, when this photo was taken, it had been
renamed, and also renumbered 55.
It was later sold to the Wellington Grey & Bruce. This locomotive was featured on a Canadian stamp, one
of a series depicting historic locomotives.
ABOVE: Another renamed engine, Dakin was originally Woodstock,
No. 14, built by Schenectady in 1853. In the 1862 renumbering it
became No.8, and was later renamed Dakin after the GTR president. It also did not survive the conversion to standard gauge.
NEXT TWO PAGES: In 1858 and 1859
Mr. Samuel Keefer produced two reports on Canadian railways. This was by order of the Royal
Commission on railways set up in the aftermath
of the Desjardins Canal disaster on the GWR in March, 1857. Among other items, the Keefer
Reports contained complete locomotive rosters
of all railways in Canada. On these two pages we reprint the rosterfor the Great Western as
of December 31, 1858, showing buildel; date, dimensions, miles run, etc. The Keefer reports are more complete than many later publications.
RETURNS
OF
LOCOMOTIVE
ENGINES,
AND
OTHER
ROLING
STOCK,
OWNED
BY
RAJLWAY
COMPANIES
IN
CANADA,
ON
THE
31st
DECEMBER,
1856.
.

,,–_
._

N nmhol, des(;liptioll
aud
condition
of
Locomuti e Ellgine::;
owned
by
the
Gm;Al
WESTElW
n.ILWAY
CO)flANY,
of
C
,til
ad a,
IIlL
the
;n
t,
Ueecll1hcl, 18:38,
and
miles run
by
the
same
up
to
that
d:tk.
ENGINES.
. .

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uly,53 262441108115
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ulean
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Stromboli
do 66
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1
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do
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D.
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do
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57115570 22008
do
— –I
I
========================================.-~
,
-=
,,~=
~====
===
(Signed)
RICHARD EATON,
Lo
co
,
SUjJCtt.
c… C ~ » c G) c (j) -l co co -…,J
co co
o » z » o :x; z :u ~ r ~ (Jl co

RAIL CANADIEN -459 102 JUILLET -AOUT 1997
The 1879 Government Rail Contracts
Or: When is 56 Equal to 57 3/11 ?
By: Fred Angus
One of the attractions about the study of railway history is
the way one item can prove to be the end of a thread which leads to
a previously-unknown story, often containing surprising facts
of
considerable interest. Such a case occurred during the study of an
inscription on an old piece of rail.
Recently I acquired a piece
of what appeared to be 56 lb.
rail, approximately three feet long, bearing the following inscrip­
tion:
BARROW STEEL 8Mo. 1880 C.P.R. 132. At first glance
this seemed quite simple; here was a rail used during the construc­
tion
of the CPR in the 1880s. There are quite a few of these rails
surviving,
in sidings, branch lines, even used as posts and traffic
stops. But -wait a minute.
We aU know that the CPR was founded
in February, 1881, yet this rail is dated 1880. Whats going on? The
logical assumption
is that this rail was made for the government
construction, which was called the Canadian Pacific Railway, un­
der which considerable track mileage was built. When the Cana-dian Pacific Railway Company was founded
in 1881 the agree­
ment was that the government-built sections would be handed over
to the company;
in some cases, notably in British Columbia, this
was not done for several years.
Assuming that this rail was made for the government con­
struction (an assumption that proved
to be correct) the next step
was to consult that mine
of information: Report and Documents
in Reference
to the Canadian Pacific Railway by Sandford Fleming
C.M.G., Engineer in Chief, published
in Ottawa in 1880. There are
other years
of this report, the first of which was plinted in 1877, but
it is the 1880 report that concerns us here. Here the answer was
found, and the results were surprising. During 1879 the Dominion
government awarded no less than six contracts coveling a total
of.
50,000 tons of rail, enough to build 555 miles of track. This is
considerably more than the amount
of track actually constructed at
that time. The six contracts were as
in the table below:
CONTRACTS AWARDED IN 1879 FOR RAILS FOR GOVERNMENT CONSTRUCTION OF c.P.R.
CONTRACT DATE CONTRACTOR DELIVERY DATE TONS OFRAIL
44 lun 24 1879 West Cumberland Iron Aug 15 1879 2,000
and Steel Company
45
lun 25 1879 Barrow Hematite Steel Co. Aug 15 1879 1,500
46
lun 261879 Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Aug 15 1879 1,500
Coal Company
53
Aug
301879 Barrow Hematite Steel Co. Oct 1 1879 5,000
lun 1 1880 5,000
Sep 1 1880 5,000
Sep I 1880 5,000
Oct 1 1880 10,000
54 Sep
11 1879, Guest and Company Oct I 1879 5,000
lun 1 1880 5,000
55
Aug
291879 West Cumberland Iron Oct 1 1879 3,000
and Steel Company Nov 1 1879 2,000
TOTAL 50,000
JULY -AUGUST 1997
In addition, contracts 47, 50 and
51 covered such items as spikes, fish
plates, etc., while contract 52 was for the
transportation
of 4,000 tons of rail from
Montreal to Fort William.
All
contracts specified that the
rails were to be
manufactured to the Ca­
nadian Pacific Railway standard, and
were
to have a weight
of approximately 57.25
pounds per yard. Here was another sur­
prise.
ft had always been assumed that the
original
CPR rails weighed 56 Ibs. per
yard. This would work out evenly in the
old English standard
of exactly half a hun­
dredweight
(l12 lbs.) or a fortieth of a long
ton (2240 Ibs.). However, there is logic in
the 57.25 pound weight as well. Flemings
report states that, using this weight
of rail,
it would require exactly 90 long tons
of
rail to build one mile of track. Calculat­
ing back from this, we arrive at
a weight
of 57.27 (or to be exact, 57 3/11) pounds
per yard, but 57.25 is close enough for a
ll
practical purposes.
The piece of rail in question is
dated 8Mo.
1880, obviously standing for
the 8th month,
or August. It was made by
the Barrow Hematite Steel Co. Ltd.
of Bar­
row-in-Furness, England, which firm had
contract 53, by far the largest, a total
of
30,000 tons. The number 132 probably
refers to the design of the cross section.
The rail probably was from one of the two
lots,
of 5,000 tons each, due for delivery
on September 1, 1880. The reason that two
such lots were shown, rather than a single
one
of 10,000 tons, was that the prices per
lot were slightly different.
Another surprise was found in the
notes.
Of the total of 45,000 tons (enough
for
500 miles of track) covered by con­
tracts 53, 54, 55, there were
11,000 tons
103 CANADIAN RAIL -459
CONTRAOT No. 53.*
.RAILs.-l~ol tho supply of 30,000 tons of steel rails, with the proportionate
quantity of stcel fi~h.platcl:l and bolts and nuts, delivered at Monkeal. The specifi­
cation Jequired tho rails to be of the section knowll as the CAnadian Pacific Railway
Standald; weight of rail to be 57;} lbs. PCl yard, gonolll.llengLh of rails to be 30, 28,
26 and 24 feet, but 10 pel cont. will be received in I:lboller lengths (22,20, 19 and
18 feet, in about equttl proportion) j bolt holes to be drilled (not punched). Rails to
be inspected
during tho wbole course of manufacture, and subject to tbe tosta pro·
vided in ,;pecification.
The fi~h-plateti to be of a ~ection to fit the Canadian Pacific Standard rail, of a
similar quality of tough mild oteel, lluhject to onch tcsts Uti may be requirod. Each
fish-plato
tu lJo 20 inchc~ long, punched hot, with four holes, and otherwise made
tl ue to
template.
Tho balta it in. diamoter, 3t in. long. to be made with cup· heads and square
Decks j iron to be of:~ tougb, fibroufl quality j woli(mantiuip and fini~h of the best
d:scription
j threads ofscroWs to be Whitworths standard, ten to the inch. Bolts
and nuts to bc heated and dipped to prevont rusting, and packed in strong iron­
boulld
case~, to contain not over 2 cwl.
Manufacturors. …………. Barrow HcematiLe Steel Co. (Limited).
Date of contract ……….. 30th August, 1879.
The qnantities, dateH of delivory and pliceti ale dn follows:
I
;.
Date of Delivery. Rails.
I
RIlte per Ton of 2,210 Ib
————
Rails. Fish-plates. ao~okt~lS.
—————————-
Tons. £ B. D. , £ B. D. £ s. D.
October I, 1879 ……… , ………………………… 5,000 4 17 6 5 17 6
:
10 5 0
~~I~~~ble8r8t ·is8o·:.::::::·::·:::::: ::.:. :::::::::. :::. :::.
5,000 5 0 0 6 ()
0 10 5 0 5,000
4 17 6 fi 17 6 10 5 0
do ……………. _ …. _ ……………..
5,000 5 0 0 G 0 0 10 5 a
October I, 1880 …………………. ……………… 10,000 5
2 6 6 2 6 10 7 6
I
Estimated cost …. …. …………… £160,500 0 0 ona.y 3781,000 00
Of the above theJo has boon deliverod 6,101 ton~. Value. $123,156 ::18
• Contracts Nos. 53, 54 and 55 embrace 45,000 tons of steel rails and fastenings, 11,000 tons of which will be used on the itiviere du Loup Section
of the Intercolonial Railway.
The summary of Contract No. 53, between the Dominion government and the Barrow Hematite
Steel Company for the supply
of 30,000 tons of raiL The estimated cost was 160,500 pounds
sterling, or $781,000.
Report of Canadian Pacific Railway, by Sandford Fleming, Ottawa 1880.
intended for use on the Riviere du Loup section of the Intercolonial
Railway.
Th.is line had been bought by the ICR from the Grand
Trunk on July 17, 1879, and ICR operation
on that line had begun
on
August 12, only 18 days before contract 53 was let. The track
involved extended from West Junction, near Levis,
to Riviere du
Loup (118.1 miles) and from Charny to Hadlow (5.8 miles), a total
of 123.9 miles. This line had been completed in 1860, but not seen
very much traffic from that time until it became a through line when
Ihe Intercolonial
went through in 1876. For sixteen years it had
been a real money loser for the GTR, and it
was logical that it
should become part
of the ICR. It is very likely that it still had its
original rails, possibly iron
U rails, which were now due for im­
mediate renewal.
The 11,000 tons would be enough for 122 miles
of track, sufficient to re-lay almost the entire newly acquired line.
On
wonders if these rails were lettered C.P.R.. company until May, 1883. West
of Winnipeg, the government con­
struction was heading westward. When the company was formed,
much
of this construction was abandoned and re-laid on a different
routing. Finally, in the mountains
of British Columbia, constluc­
tion on the
Onderdonk section up the Fraser had started on May
14,1880; this would not be completed until 1885, and handed over
to the company even late
r. So our 1880 rail could have been used in
anyone of three widely-separated locations. Based on mileage built
that year, the most likely
place is the Thunder Bay section.
The actual piece of rail is in surprisingly good condition; in
fact much worse appearing newer rails are still in use. It is 36.85
inches long and weighs 57.32 Ibs. This works
out to exactly 56 lbs.
per yard, thus in 117 years
of wear and rust, it has lost only about
1.3Ibs., or 2.3 percent of its weight, and so now really is 56 lb. rail.
It is very likely that many more pieces of rail from these
50,000 tons are still around. Old rails have a habit
of turning up in
unlikely places (your author recently discovered a piece
of 1882
British rail
on the top of the Pyramid of the Moon in Mexico i), and
who knows where these relics
of the 1879 contracts may be found.
But that is what makes it all so interesting.
Where on the CPR this rail was used is difficult to deter­
mine.
There were three major parts of the line under construction at
that time. Work was continuing on the very difficult section be­
tween
Thunder Bay and Winnipeg; construction on this section had
started in 1875, and it would not be completely handed over to the
RAIL CANADIEN -459 104 JUILLET -AOUT 1997
Stewart B.C. and the C.N.E.R.
By Mervyn T. Mike Green of Richmond B.c.
and Robert.D. Thrner of Victoria B.C.
1. INTRODUCTION: In the early
years
of this century, Stewart B.C. was often re­
ferred to as the Gateway City (to the so-called
Groundhog Area, to the east,which had already
been located as a mineral-rich zone). Stewarts
location at the head
of a long narrow glacial in­
let, now called the Portland Canal, gave deep­
sea ships access to minerals found on and along
the Bear River, which flowed down into the Ca­
nal from glaciers melting into the valley floor
of
the fiord. Its location at latitude 56 degrees north
was en route to the existing ports between Van­
couver B.C. at 49 d
egrees north, Prince Rupert
B.C. at 54 degrees north, Skagway AK at 59 de­
grees north and Anchorage
AK at 62 degrees
north. Today, all these other ports have both rail­
way and rail-barge connections. Although
StewaIt provided an ice-free port at the far north­
west
comer of the Canadian coast of the Pacific
Ocean,
it was connected only by a 23-mile sin­
gle-track railway with mines in the Bear Valley,
which at one time was surveyed (but never built)
for another 177 miles. The rail line was first
called the Portland Canal Short Line Railway
(PCSLR), and then, later, the Canadian North
Eastern Railway (CNER).
2.
STEWART IN PRINT: Thesmall
area
of the delta of the Bear River was platted
and a townsite was laid out
in 1911 by the Stewart
Land Co. Ltd. Very little was ever written
or
published about Stewart, or its railway line to
the east.. When this writer was collecting mate­
rials for the article published in Issue No.
442 of
Canadian Rail (September -October 1994), 1
could find less than one dozen written sources.
Since then, thanks to the research
of Robert S.
Turner, 1 have been given access to a number
of
archival materials in the Archives of British Co­
lumbia in Victoria B.C. These have enabled me
to fill in some
of the gaps left in that Issue No.
442 article and I have penned this data as a result,
to expand and update the previous story.
In 1909 the Portland Canal Short Line Railway Co. was
duly incorporated
by Special Act of the B.C. Legislature to build a
standard gauge single track railway line from the head
of Portland
Canal and up the Bear Ri ver Valley for 30 miles and then up Ameri­
can Creek with its branches to the various mines. The name
of the
railway was changed to the Canadian Northeastern Railway Co.
in
1911, with authority to build to the eastern boundary of the prov­
ince at Peace River on Pine Point Pass, with a branch down the
Naas River to the Pacific Coast, plus a line to the Grand Trunk
Pacific Railway line, and a line
to the northern boundary of the
province. To allow for completion
of these lines and the construc­
tion
of wharves, a time extension was granted, with an increase in
the Capital Stock.The earliest mention of Stewart and its railway
Map of Stewart area
..-
c..c.~

, t- ~-.
;-
,. ,
/.
;>
…..
. …..
.
potential appeared in a the Portland Canal Miner issue of May 7,
1910, when it repolted that
H. F. Knobel, engineer-in-chief for R.B.
Mann
& associates, arrived in camp, accompanied by W.H. Grant,
of Toronto, who was to become general manager of constlUction
for the Portland Canal Short Line Railway Co. Other members
of
the party were: E.O. Lewis, C. E. (formerly a member of the C. P.
R. engineering staff; Ross Welt, who was to bevome chief account­
ant there; and a
I arge engineering staff. Material for constlUction
of the railway was arriving on each steamer, while camps were
being located along the proposed route. A section
of the engineer­
ing corps was starting the work
of surveying for the dock, while the
balance was making a final location
of the proposed 20-mile rail­
way up Bear River and the camps tributary thereto.
(I)
JULY -AUGUST 1997
Canadian North-Eastern Railway
TIME TABLE
Le.,., 8:00 A. 1:1. • • •.••• i ………. Bt6l111.I!1 .
… 12:00 IIOOD. uri ….
g:l6 A. M… . …… 8 .. .
.. Olacler Orn: . . … 11:46
9:30 A. M. . …. 19 ..
..BIHIr Oretll: ..• ,.. . .. 11:50
Arrl1elO:OO A. Y. , …….. ~.l& … …… Red OUf! )110.,
… 11:00 Lean
UNION STEAMSHIP CO. OF B. C., Limited
. Dirt(t Regular ~Sc.r~·ict from
Vancouver to Stewart
S. S. CAMOSUN
. ,
~llIn& (rom Vancouver evtry Tuuday at 9 p.m. ror
AllJert Uy. Hlnly Day. Swanson Bay, WJrc.e Island. Cla:ollon, rrince RUpUI, Pon
Simpwn II.llrl Stc,,,rt,
Ruurnlng Leaves StewII.rt cvuy FridAY At 7 p. m., arriving at V.ncouvtr MondllY
morning.
Railway & Steamship timetables (1912)
The Railway & Marine Worldfor May
1910, p.369, also reported that the steel for the
PCSLR had been delivered at Stewart and that con­
struction was imminent, from StewaIt
to some min­
ing
propelties which were being developed
by D.D.
Mann, about
IS miles up the Bear Valley.
Shortly after, the Portland Canal Miner
also reported that the contract for the Whalf & Rail­
way had been let. James McDonald secured the
wharf building work and Sol Cameron the rail­
road work.
Another report
in the R&MWfor June
1910 said that, for construction purposes, two
steam locomotives had been bought
in the USA,
while the Canadian Car & Foundry Co. was build­
ing a combination passenger car and caboose, with
23 flat cars. The company was also expected to be
in the market for some ore cars towards the end of
the summer.
105 CANADIAN RAIL -459
Plan of Lot 5096, Cassiar (1928)
A furtherR&MW report in Sept. 1910
gave details
of the construction work. The wharf
approach at Stewart was 5,960
ft. long, being a
pile construction for heavy loading. The wharf
had a deck elevation
of 4 ft: above extreme high
No. 7483 -PCSL First Rails Laid (1911). Note: All photos are
from the Public Archives
of British Columbia. The number at the
beginning
of the caption is the P.A.B.C. number.
tide and was located so as to provide 22 ft. pf water at extreme low
tide.
It was made of Douglas fir, upon hemlock pilings. It meas­
ured 160
ft. by 60 ft. There was also about 1300 ft of pile trestling
along the track. Both a freight shed and a station were completed,
with a locomotive shed, tumtable, water tank and coaling plant
planned. Other stations planned for Glacier at m. 5.5, Bitter Creek
at m. 9.5, and Red Cliff at
m. 13.45, never appeared. One locomo­
ti ve, the combo passenger car, 2 box cars and 4 flat cars arrived in
Stewart on Oct. 11, being the first rail vehicles to appear there
(R&MW, Nov. 1910). {2)
In letters dated 30th. July 1911 from engineer
J. Mason
(of the Cassiar Construction Co. Ltd.) from Stewart, while survey­
ing a route east through Red Cliff. The Portland Canal Mining Co.
Ltd. was formed the same year, and in another letter (dated 17th.
October 1911 from W.E. Elundorfto Neill McL. Curran at Stewart), he gives descriptions
of the propelty & operations of the PCMC
which had been given inthe report
of the Provincial Mineralogist of
B.C., W. Fleet Robertson. This had been published in the Bureau
of Mines Bulletin #2 of 1910 & was also included in the Annual
RepOit
of the Canadian Geological Survey for 1910. {3)
In the year from October 1910, 1965 feet
of develop­
ment work was done, at a cost
of about $15.00 per foot. This in­
cluded both hand and machine work, both in the mine and at vari­
ous points on the surface.
The concent.rating mill was enlarged by
the addition
of 6 tables, giving a capacity of about 1 00 tons of ore
per day. The average metallic contents
of the ore were paid by the
smelter to realise
0.1 23 ounces of gold, 7.40 ounces of silver, &
3.5 ounces
of lead. This was felt be a fair average of the ore that
was mined from October 1910 to September 1911, which could be
materially bettered by improved facilities for mining and handling.
RAIL CANADIEN -459 106 JUILLET -AOUT 1997
showed a daily train at 9 a.m, from Stewart to
Red Cliff Mine, returning at 11 a.m. to arrive
back
at Stewart one hour later. The timetable
shows the distance as 15 miles, so the average
speed was 15 mph.
The boat connection be­
tween Vancouver
& Stewart was on board the
S.S. Camosun, sailing from Vancouver every
Tuesday evening at 9 p.m., then returning south
every Friday at 7 p.
m. I All are carried on board
was transferred at Vancouver
onto another ves­
sel to the Tacoma smelter.
No. 65150 -Stewart, Corner of 5th. & Columbia Streets
A good alignment, with some long
tangents, was in use.
There were 26 curves,
amounting to about 17% of the length, with a
few 10 degree curves,
one of II degrees, but
nothing sharper. All gradients were less than
I %,
save for a short stretch of 2% into the Red
Cliff Mine. However, the heavy rainfall had
already taken its toll
of ties (originally 6 x 8
inches and 8 feet long), for all were rotten. Al­
though the roadbed was in very
good condition,
About
7000 tons of are was milled, producing about 2000
tons of concentrates. Some 1700 tons were shipped to the smelter
at Tacoma WA. Costs were expected to fall with larger operations.
The current operation was from three stapes in two levels. The
Company had spent $300,000.00 in development and improvements.
Aside from the mine, the most valuable asset was the water power
from Glacier Creek, giving an average of 300 hp per month, with a
minumum of 75 hp, which could have been doubled. AS-drill,
water-driven air-compressor (belted at the mill) furnished power at
the mine.
14}
3. CONSTRUCTION AND EARLY OPERATION:
Rail construction began in 1911. A subsequent Inspection Report
by D.C. Lewis, dated 1915 at Victoria
B.C. and headed Canadian
North Eastern Railway, described the entire construction as being
12.43 miles
in all, from Stewart Waterfront to Red Cliff Mine, plus
1.13 miles
of trestle built across the tidal flats to give access to deep
water in the Canal, totalling 13.55 miles of main line. There were
also 3
short sidings & some spurs, to permit loading of ore onto flat
cars.Not much ballast had been used, but the material for most of
the distance was gravel from the river bottoms.
At the same time, a timetable issued by the Canadian
North Eastern Railway
& the Union Steamship Co. of B.C. Ltd. with a few exceptions
(where some embank­
ments and timber trestles were washed out), the entire right of way
was covered by a
dense growth of bush (!). IB}
No Number -PCSL 2-6-0 loco (no number) about to back
onto the combination coach & depart east for Redcliff
No. 68910 -CNER 2-6-0, (no number) moves east off the Stewart
Whaif toward the Town Station
The line operated daily until the mines at Red Cliff were
shut down in 1912. The original charter had provided for
the completion eastward to the Alberta boundary, but fail­
ure to
complete this line resulted in the lapse of the char­
ter. Then, in the fall
of 1927, Vancouver Holdings Ltd.,
organized by H.H. Stevens
& WA. Lewthwaite, purchased
Sir Donald Manns title to the railway & announced their
intention to rehabilitate the line.
The B.C. Legislature
granted authority to build from Stewart to the Finlay River,
along with a
spur line to the northerly boundary of the
province.
During 1928-29, negotiations were opened up
with the Consolidated Mining
& Smelting Company re­
garding
shipment of are from its property in Bear River
Valley and
from the George Copper property. Finally, on
July 2, 1928, COMINCO purchased the CNER from Van­
couver Holdings Ltd.
JULY -AUGUST 1997
No. 72764 -CNER, about April 10, when the pile-driver
had reached across the first main channel of the Bear
River, but no ladder could reach across to thefirst gravel
bar. The contractor, Ernie Workman studied the cur­
rent below the bridge on the down-river side
of the
bridge
Meanwhile, in April 1915, the two 2-6-0 steam locomo­
tives, 3 boxcars (200102 & 343), 22 flat cars (with odd numbers
between 301 & 345), one combination baggage & passenger coach
(all still letteredPCSLR), a lathe, an upright drill, a shaper boiler
and an engine had been placed on board a scow at Stewart docks
and hauled by a tugboat
to the CN Port Mann yards in southeast
Vancouver, where they were dismantled & sold for scrap. How­
ever, the two locos lasted until 1923, when PCSLR
#1 was scrapped
by CNR in May and PCSLR #2 was sold to Huff Gravel Co. of
Edmonton AB in September.
At the same time, most
of the buildings had been demol­
ished, including the frame water tank, roundhouse
& turntable at
Stewart. The telegraph line poles and wire were largely gone, to­
gether with the dock & its trestle work & the section house. Re­
pairs were also needed to the station building (and its offices above).
Three other buildings used as residences
& one used for stabling
horses were also in good shape
107 CANADIAN RAIL -459
. .. ~ –
<
No. 72787 -CNER, the old sections of the original
bridge over the Bear River were sawn up
& pulled down
to allow reconstruction of a new bridge to replace it.
Note the men climbing on the twisted rails over the rush­
ing river
4. LATER CONSTRUCTION COSTS: By July 1928,
the total cost
of renewing the track & structures was estimated at
$99,611, plus with replacing trestles
& Bear River bridges, another
$151,000 or so. This expense forced the CNER in 1929 to seek
another name change, plus authority to build
to the Finlay River, an
increase in both Capital Stock
& in the companys bonding power,
plus a 5-year time extension. However, the Great Depression was
already eating at all minerai operations, with the need to collect all
the motive power and stock for transmission
to the CN POlt Mann
Yard in southeast Vancouver by tugboat
& scow. In 1935, a provi­
sion for extension
of time by Order in Council was not applied
for. Even so, although the overgrown track, collapsing trestles and
lack
of equipment made any rebuilding very unlikely, the ever-hope­
ful CNER had been planning for further construction eastwards. It
had estimated
in 1911, before completion of the first line, that the
cost for building from:
Meziadin Lake (mile 40) to the Naas-Skeena Valley (mile
70): 30 miles at $1,350,00. per mile
Mile
70 to mile 150: 80 miles at $3,999,60 per mile,
Mile 150 to mile 177 (Naas-Skeena Divide & the
Groundhog coal field): 27 miles at $xx per mile.
On July 2, 1929, the Consolidated Mining & Smelting
Corporation
of Vancouver bought the CNER, hoping to build fur­
ther to the east.
(3)
RAIL CANADIEN -459 108 JUILLET -AOUT 1997
No. 72752 -CNER hand car, cleared of snow (April 1927)
By the mid-1930s, however,such numbers were far too
rich for even the biggest mining firm in B.C. to consider investing
any more money in a decrepit rail line with no further direct online
rail connections. Any loads
of ore were carried aboard the one or
two 4-wheel gasoline-engine speeders
of track patrolmen and were
off-loaded
at the Stewart Docks. {I } Scrap metal needs for World
War II required the use
of the remaining track and rai Is, which were
torn up
in 1940-41 and shipped south by scow to the smelter at
Tacoma WA. Soon after the end
of the war, the trackbed in Stewart
was covered with blacktop and named
Railway Avenue.
5.
ASSOCIATED ROAD DEVELOPMENTS: Dur­
ing the 1960s, the road to Mediazin Junction became Highway 37
A.
At the Junction, a major highway (37) was built north, to Upper
Liard (with a connection there with the Alaska Highway) and south,
to
connect with New Hazeiton on the CNR line: From there, the
track ran west (paralleling Hwy 10), through Terrace to the port
of
Prince Rupert and east through Smithers, Houston, Burns Lake,
Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof (paralleling Hwy 16) to Prince George,
and a further rail connection with the
PGER (todays BCR). {J}
By the 1980s and 1990s, the need for a rail link in far
northern
BC were long gone. Mineral prospecting by helicopter
and transport
of ore by trucks along the continually expanding road
network were now the norm. There was no need for the projected
CNER route to be actualized, so there was no further interest in the
line. Today, nearly all signs
of its location have disappeared, hav­
ing been washed away by the Bear River
or grown over by trees
and bush. A couple
of houses are still in use in Stewart, and some
of the wooden pilings where the Stewart Docks were located could
still be seen in June
1990. Otherwise, the initials PCSLR & CNER
are lost in history.
Today, in 1997, Stewart has only about 800 permanent
residents. Nearby
Hyder Alaska (90 residents) is the source of con~
siderable smuggling into Canada and the Canadian Customs au­
thorities have recently been attempting to decrease the flow by ex­
tending the opening hours
of the entry post at the Hyder-Stewart
border.
The great mineral hopes of 1910 have been replaced by an
illegal trade in booze!
(5) But, no talk of reopening the railway
line
most of which has disappeared under blacktop. 6.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF STEWART?: In
mid-February, 1997, the 200 loggers employed in Stewart by Repap
Industries Ltd. were told
of a plan to put half of those unemployed
back to work, after
low pulp prices has forced Repap to slow down
its operations last year.
The pulpwood forests that dominate the
region cost $75 a cubic metre to harvest, but because
of depressed
pulp prices, are worth only $35. Repap closed its logging opera­
tions
in early December 1996, citing logging costs that were twice
as high as revenues.
The shutdown put 200 loggers out of work,
throwing Stewart into an economic tailspin, according to
Mayor
Andy Burton. Repap is now ready to bring back 100 of the log­
gers. In return, the province has agreed to rewview the stumpage
appraisal system, in which pulp wood was appraised the same as
higher-value saw logs, and to allow Repaps overdue stumpage bill
to continue to accrue while a takeover bid by Avenor Inc.
is devel­
oped. Repap is clllTently $5 to
$6 million in arrears.
Forest Renewal B.C. has established an $800,000 emer­
gency loan
programme to area contractors and other businesses hit
by the logging shutdown.
FRBC will partially gauarantee loans to
contractors, reducing the risk that the local credit union would oth­
erwise face.
Asimilar programme was established in Golden, when
that communitys major licensee shut down operations in October,
1996. Now, about 100
of Stewarts loggers have got five weeks
work.
(6)
NOTES
I. P.A.B.C. M85-15, letters.
2. P.A.B.C. 6-15 letters.
3.
4.
5.
6.
P.A.B.C. 56-28, Daily Province, Vancouver BC, Consoli­
dated Mining
& Smelting buys up H.H. Stevens Road from
Stewart
Eastward. July 2. 1929. page I.
Canadian Rail, Montreal P.Q. No. 442, p.167.
Vancouver Sun, Vancouver BC, September 13, 1996.
op cit, Vancouver BC, Gordon Hamilton. Page D14, Feb
ruary 11, 1997.
JULY -AUGUST 1997 109 CANADIAN RAIL -459
A Turkish Delight
A Personal Report of Three Months in Europe & Asia, in the Spring of 1997
By Mervyn T. (Mike) Green
Early in April, my wife Rita & I flew to Heathrow Airport
in London for an extended vacation. We flew Air Canada Boeing
747 nonstop service from Vancouver to London, where we stayed
in a comfortable West End hotel, arranged
by our BCAA travel
agent. After three days there, we joined a Trafalgar Group bus tour
for a trip to Gatwick Airport en route to the Channel Islands. An
Airbus 323 took us to Jersey, where we stayed in the capital city
of
St. Helier. There is no longer any rail activity on the island, but
right across from our hotel was a 300 metre coloured lifesize repre­
sentation
of the Jersey Central Railway terminus, complete with
steam loco, before the war.
All the Channel Islands were occupied by the Germans
1940-5, but there are no relics remaining
of their extensive rail build­
ing. Today, only a short passenger line exists on the Isle
of Alder­
ney, which we did not visit. After a week on Jersey, with visits
by
coach to many local sights we moved across by catamaran to the
Isle
of Guernsey. Our hotel was located just south of the capital, St
Peter Port. Again we used local bus services & managed a visit to
a 5.5 garden passenger-carrying railway at the north end
of the
island.
Two days after, we went
by local ferry to the Isle of Sark,
which
is a privately-owned island and permits no cars. All public
transport there
is by tractor or horse-drawn buggy. Just outside the
main church
is the extensive HO gauge multitrack Model Railway
of Sark, which is the only rail activity the island has even had! A
subsequent extensive tour
of Guernsey then lead to a return flight,
again on a Channel Island European Airways Airbus 323, back to
Gatwick Airport, followed
by a coach ride back into Central Lon­
don. There, we met our second daughter
& her husband who were
spending time on a honeymoon trip
in England & Wales with the
donors (an Air Canada employee
& his wife). One day, we rode
with them on a Stagecoach 4-car E.M.U. from Waterloo to Wind­
sor (where the Royal Windsor display
in one of the rail stations is
not yet completed) but they also visited the Royal Castle; on an­
other, we took a canal barge to the public market at Chelsea Locks,
while overhead, London Transport
Underground 8-car trains
passed us frequently. We also rode several
of the characteristic
London double-deck red diesel buses.
Then came the piece de resistance. We rode the
momingEurostar20car service (powered by units #3022 and 3144)
from Londons Waterloo International station, {I} leaving at 0905
for Paris Nord terminus. We were preceded by another Eurostar
going directly to Disney Paris
at Marne-Ia-Chassey, with its dis­
tinctive bright yellow fronts
& shiny white sides. As usual, traffic
between London & the coast was busy, with innumerable D.M.U.s
& E.M.U.s in several different liveries Our train was well filled
(mostly with tourists such as ourselves, so that our baggage had to
be moved between coaches), while our speed was relatively slow
within England, for the direct rail line has yet to be built. However,
the ride was smooth, quiet and swift, with
on time operation in
both countries. For a snack lunch, we visited the train buffet en
route, after we left the Chunnel. The p.a. system told us when we
were halfway through the Chunnel
& when we reached our maxi­
mum speed (300 kph in France!). The speed in Britain had been
restrained, including passing Ashford International. When we
The author, about to board his Euroslar unit #3223 al the depar­
tureplatjorm in Londons Waterloo International station, May 19.
All photos by Rita Green.
passed Dollands Moor (at the Chunnel mouth), there were at least
three freight trains hauled by class 92 locos, while at the French
terminal there were another three others.
Elsewhere in France, there was little
of loco interest, ex­
cept when passing through Amiens. We also passed
at. least five
northbound Eurostars en route. Approaching Paris, there were
numerous double-deck emus
in use, mostly painted in orange &
brown. After a quick check on our motive power (units #3022 and
3144)
(2), we left Paris Nord terminus on a rapid taxi trip to our
central hotel, located near the Folies Bergere (which we did not
visit!).
We walked along the Seine & through the Louvre Museum.
We also visited the Galeries Lafayette, while dodging the frequent
heavy rain showers, but avoided riding the Paris Metro.
After two days, we took another taxi
to the Gare de LEst
terminal for the next leg
of our route, to Germany. We had dinner
at the station, while watching large numbers
of SNCFs 8-car emu
double-deck train sets (painted red
& blue) which were servicing
the evening commuter rush, plus an occasional large diesel unit in
the 15xxx or 16xxx series on non-electrnied services. After an
interesting couple
of hours, we boarded the overnight 1 O-car sleep­
ing car train via Metz & Krehi to the Frankfurt-am-Main
Hauptbahnhof. We changed our power from a French electric unit
to DB 181.218 during a ten minute stop at Metz
in the early hours
of the morning (0210).
RAIL CANADIEN -459 110 JUILLET -AOUT 1997
Two Eurastars after arrival at Paris Nord terminus, May 19: units #3017 & 3224.
In Germany, later in the morning, we passed several of
DBs ICE trains. Our couchette (one of the SNCF Grand Can fort
series),was fully booked, but we had passed a pleasant night, be­
fore arriving at 0710 for breakfast at Frankfurts Macdonalds,
in
the main terminal. At 0940 we took the local commuter service
(painted bright orange), hauled
by a DB 141 unit, to the airport. En
route we passed the Frankfurt engi
ne depot, which was packed with
a variety
of passenger & freight locos of the DB 103, 140, 150,
160, 180
& 181 series & at least 5 switchers in the 350 series. A
quick check-in with our bags at Rhein-Main AirpOlt took us to a
Lufthansa Boeing 737 flight to Istanbul, Turkey.
Arrival at the Kemal Atatuk Airport in Istanbul was on
time,
& then there followed a frantic bustle to buy a visa (with new
US currency) & gain entry, then to claim our bags & get a taxi to
our hotel (the 5-star Hitton Parksa). This was our introduction to
the density
& speed of local traffic! Turkey has few car owners,
even though there are at least 9 car builders in the country, includ­
ing Ford
& Renault. Most citizens either walk, or use a taxi, or take
a bus, which range
in size from frequent running 17-passenger
jitneys (built
in North Korea) to 4-wheel 32-passenger vehicles,
many
of them in the Mercedes Benz 0302 series. There is also a
frequent use
of four-wheel diesel trucks (Hanimag et al) for car­
riage
of all kinds of freight, including bricks, pipes, & logs for
house construction
& foodstuffs for local markets. At many towns,
there were groups
of 5-7 condominiums under construction, while
frequent food markets were open at gas stations
& small villages.
Fortunately, we avoided most
of the traffic crush by join­
ing another Trafalgar coach tour,
in which most of our fellow-trav­
ellers were from the Antipodes, plus a few Americans, while we
were the lone Canadians.
It was a very congenial group, however, with no annoying latecomers at each stop
& visit. We all travelled
in a 3 year-old 44-seat air-conditioned Mitsubishi bus
(3), equipped
with a local Enghshspeakirig guide (Orner), driver (Jakob)
& his
assistant (Ah-Babar).
The latter washed our impeccable bus DAIT..-Y,
& provided us with lemon-water fresheners & twice daily brews of
Turkish apple-tea (very refreshing).
We had alTived a day early, so we first took a local bus
tour to the Beylerbei Summer Palace (on the Asian side
of the
Bosporus), the Topkapi Palace
& the Spice Market. Near the latter
is the terminus of the two-car electIic trolley system that services
the southern area
of the city (4). The nearby original TCDD ter­
minus, once used by the Orient Express trains, appeared rather
decrepit, with a preserved steam 0-2-2T unit outside.
The local
switcher was a red class
DH 7000 (0-6-0 diesel hydraulic unit with
a Cummins engine), busy with the many Turkish
& foreign boxcars
in the extensive yard.
As we moved across the country, we noticed much new
road construction (funded by European Common Market loans),
especially along the major highways. Railway construction was
not quite so apparent, although we noticed a large section
of rail
quadrupling near to the capital, Ankara. Rural rail services were
handled
by 2-car Fiat-built diesel-electric multiple units of class
MT5500,
for instance, at Sultanibar. Both Istanbul
& Ankara have
large sections
of underground metro lines under construction. At
other larger centres, like Izmir, there were local passenger services
of 5-6 corridor coaches (& freight trains) hauled by bright red
Alsthom DE 24000 units. Unfortunately, we saw no signs
of the
two recently-restored steam locos, reportedly now
in daily use there.
At Konya, there were two separate two-car trolley lines servicing
the centre
of town, but most towns offered only road bus services.
JULY -AUGUST 1997 111 CANADIAN RAIL -459
?—–……,
We also discovered that much of the country is not desert
(as
we had previously thought), but because of the Black
Sea to the
east & north & the MeditelTanean Sea to the
south, there is enough rainfall to allow the growth
of cot­
ton, & a variety of mid-latitude fruits, which form a large
proportion
of this countrys exports. We were blessed with
blue skies & cool nights every full day we were there.
However, on our first & last days we were affected by
widespread thunder
& lightning storms, with lengthy heavy
rains.
Soon after our return home, Turkey held a na­
tional election, but while there, we saw no signs
of unrest
in either the major cities or the regional capitals.
We cov­
ered
over 3,000 km. without incident.
Our colOLl/ful Mitsubishi bus, our transportation throughout Turkey. Photo taken
at Istanbul, May
24.
Our final day came too soon, with an afternoon
boat ride on the Black Sea, followed
by an evening group
visit to a belly-dancing display. We rose at 0245 the next
morning, to catch our bus
to the Airport, where we boarded
our early morning Lufthansa Airbus flight to Frankfurt –
& we were able to book all our luggage right through to
Our experiences of food in Turkey were that it was very
varied
& very good, although we usually carried bottled water (&
brushed our teeth in same) & avoided salads when warned by our
guide to do so.
The variety of fruits & vegetables was large. Both
Rita
& I stayed clear of any internal problems throughout the tour.
Boxes of the sticky-sweet locally-made Turkish delight were on
sale at all the restaurants
& coffee shops we frequented, but we
rarely saw any local inhabitants buying a box: it was the foreigners
buying the confection,
& so were helping the positive export bal­
ance
of the local economy 1
Our first day took us west along the Bosporus, with a
stop at the famous
ANZAC cemetary at Galipoli, celebrating the
World War I disaster, before we
spent our first night near Troy.
Subsequent nights included stays at places equipped with outdoor
& indoor spas. Most places had ruins or tumuJi associated with the
great empires
of the past. We obtained a very wide-ranging intro­
duction to the many great cities & empires that
once populated the
previoUSly-forested uplands
of Turkey. At Troy & at Ephesus we
toured extensive ruins which were being slowly extracted by teams
of Turkish & foreign archeologists from below the local villages.
At Panakkule we walked around the unique habitations still in use
in the distinctive stone highland villages.
InAnkara, we visited the
impressive huge mausoleum
to Kemal Ataturk (which included his
favourite cars: all Lincoins!), located on
one of the 5 hills upon
which the capital city is located,
& close to the TCDD main station,
where a Japanese-built class E43000 electric loco was about
to leave
with a long cOlTidor-passenger train for Istanbul.
One of the less delightful aspects of Turkish life was the
ongoing and continual 80% annual inflation rate. One result
of
this is the use of high (& to Canadian eyes, ridiculous) denomina­
tions
of Turkish currency, where ptices are given in millions of lire
& banknotes are in use in denominations including 1,000,000 &
5,000,000 each. This was the first
(& also probably the last time)
Ihat I would be able to lend a fellow traveller a one million lira note
to buy a shawl -worth about US$7.00!
During our tour, we visited both a rug factory
& a ce­
ramic
plant & spent a short time in an elementary school of about
200 boys
& girls, who all wanted to tryout their English upon us.
Two-car tram sets reversing ends outside the Spice Market, Istan­
bul, June
3.
YVR I. An on-time flight to Germany & a 2-hour layover there was
followed by a Lufthansa Boeing DC737 flight to London Heathrow,
from Frankfurt.
There were signs at Heathrow Airport there
of widespread
construction
of both of the direct rail services connecting it to Lon­
don: both will open later this year. Our stopover there gave Rita
time for a quick shop at the HalTods store, with a few final pur­
chases, followed by a
quick cram of our carry-on baggage & a
short lunch. We boarded an
Air Canada Boeing 747 non-stop flight
for the final leg
of our vacation, home to Vancouver.The take-off at
London was delayed, because of a computer foulup with a fuel
gauge, leading to excessive fuel, which had to be removed, result­
ing in a one-hour delay.
The flight to Vancouver therefore arrived
home
one hour late. All our luggage (from Istanbul) appeared on
the correct carousel, and our oldest daughtter was awaiting with
our car, so it was then only a short drive home & a speedy jump
into bed. Jet-lag bothered us for a couple of days, but we have
overcome that now & are therefore able to pen this report upon our
most enjoyable Turkish Delight of 1997.
BACK COVER: This scenic view shows VIA train No. 16, the eastbound Chaleur, running along the picturesque shore of its namesake bay
on July 12, 1997. This is on the section, east of Chandler, which has no freight traffic. This trackage has recently been sold by CN and has
become a short lin
e. The new owners have agreed to continue to run the VIA train on their line, to the delight of tourists and residents alike.
Photo by David Morris.

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