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Canadian Rail 468 1999

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Canadian Rail 468 1999

Canadian Rail
No. 468
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1869 1999
ISSN 0008·4875
ALEX HENDERSONS WINTER TRiP …………………………………………………………………………. . JOHN THOMPSON …………………… .
IN MEMORIAM, JOHN THOMPSON, 1941 -1998 ………………………………………………………… ..
IN MEMORIAM, SANBORN S. WORTHEN, 1917 -1999 ……………………………………………….. .. FRED ANGUS & PETER MURPHY.
C.P.R. TOURIST CARS 100 YEARS AGO ………………………………………………………………
THE DAY THE SPERRY CAR REPLACED THE BUDD CAR ………………………………………….. .. SPERRY NEWS ………………………. ..
STILL MORE MURALS ………………………………………………………………
……………………………. . ROBERT SANDUSKy ………………. ..
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE AMERICA …………………………………………………………………….. . FRED F. ANGUS ………………………. .
THE BUSINESS CAR …………………………………………………………………
……………………………. .
FRONT COVER: A display of the four photos, cropped to fit oval frames, taken by Alex Henderson when snowbound on the Quebec and Richmond branch
of the Grand Trunk in February 1869. In the centre is a portrait of Henderson himself. The entire photos are reproduced in the article starting
0/1. page 3.
National Archives ofCan~/Cla, photos Nos. C-19385, C·4902, C·6055, PA·149747. C-76042.
A portion of an 1888 Grand Trunk map, showing the line between Montreal and Quebec. By that tilne Black River had become Sl.
Agapit, but all other names were as they had been in 1869.
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rial. Please send all contributions to the editor: Fred
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EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO·EDITOR: Douglas N.
W. Smith
W. Bonin
F. Angus
PRINTING: Procel Printing
DISTRIBUTION: Joncas Postexperts
Alex Hendersons Winter Trip
By John Thompson
Since the beginning of railways, snow and ice have been major obstacles, especially in Canada and other northern countries.
The ice storm of 1998, and the recent snow storm of January 1999, amply demonstrated that transportation at the end of the twentieth
is no more immune to disruption than it was inJhe mid-nineteenth century. Today when such interruptions occur, one may
expect to see some rail enthusiasts
out with their cameras, and perhaps videos, recording snowplows and special moves on film or
tape. It is now relatively easy to photograph plows at work, when one has 35 mm cameras and fast film, and one thinks little of it.
One hundred and thirty years
ago the situation was very different. The year was 1869, and the month was Febl1lary. The
Dominion of Canada was less than two years old, and did not extend any further west than Ontario. The first transcontinental railway
in North America was still three months away from its completion at Promontory Utah, and in far-away Egypt the Suez Canal was
also destined to be
in operation before year-end. The world was indeed getting smaller, a fact that Jules Verne would make the subject
of his book Around the World in Eighty Days, published less than four years later. In Canada, the Grand Tl1Ink, and most other
major lines, were still running on 5-foot 6-inch gauge track, although the change to standard gauge was less than five years away.
Photography had been around since 1839, but the wet-plate process in use before 1873 was extremely cumbersome and not at all
suitable for photographing snow plows in action and few photographers at that time would even consider attempting
This story, by the late John Thompson, tells of one photographer who did attempt it, not by design but by a fortunate
of circumstances that put him in the right place at the right time, and with the right equipment. In so doing he obtained
the best photos ever taken
of snow fighting in the early days of Canadian railways; and he did it in the snowiest winter ever recorded
in southern Quebec.
At 10: 10 pm on the
night of Monday, 22 February
1869, the Grand Tru nk
Night Express left
Bonaventure Station in
Montreal bound for Point Levi
/ Quebec City. In the sleeping
car on that train was
photographer Alexander
Henderson. Checked up front
in the
baggage car were his
large view camera and tripod,
a wooden case containing the
chemicals and trays he would
need to
make pictures, and a
bulky contraption that looked
like a cross between an
umbrella and tent on legs that
he called his portable
indoor winter scenes.
Henderson, with his portable
darkroom, went outdoors to
take winter pictures. Sleighs
photographed, he advertised
in The Montreal Daily Witness,

Tobogganing, snow-shoeing
and other winter sports 2.
Outdoors there was a lot
of snow -ten feetl. [304
cm] according to The Gazette.
February began with a big
storm, then on Valentines Day,
eastern Canada was hit by what
the paper called
the severest
snow storm experienced for
years.4 Snow blown by high
winds from the east blocked
roads and drifted-in railway
cuttings. And it continued to
fall off and on all week and over
the weekend. Monday
the 22nd
was sunny and mild (around -6
Celsius) -good for outdoor
photography. Since business
was slow because
of the snow;
Henderson decided
to do some
Alex Henderson, 38,
called himself a Portrait and
Landscape Photographer. A
Scot, he had lived in
Montreal for about 13 years.
Not long after arriving, he took
up photography as a hobby. As
an amateur he won prizes for
landscape photographs at
several Worlds Fairs. Around
Alexander Henderson and daughtel; about 1867.
National Archives
of Canada, Photo No. C-76042.
The train was scheduled
to arrive at Point Levi the next
1867 he decided to try to earn his living from photography and
opened a studio at 10 Phillips Square
Lately, winter
photographs had been popular with the public. Other
photographers in Montreal used props and fake snow to stage moming around quarter to eight
if Alexander Henderson took the ferry Arctic across the
St. Lawrence at
8: 15 a.m., he could be taking snowy pictures of
Quebec City by mid-morning. But the barometer was falling
fast. Another storm was coming!
One of the finest nineteenth century Canadian winter photos is this one, entitled Beauport while snowing , taken by Alexander
Henderson about
1865. It appeared in an album called Views and Studies by an Amateur. Soon after this, Henderson went into
business as a professional photographer.
National Archives
of Canada, Photo No. PA-135026.
Photogra.p oie.
8LfClO118 PBOTOGR.U·III!l!)~
whiter _poru. :J
~ANADIAIir LAKDtlCIIUJr.8: .hr.. OD yl …. ,
10 lBILLI.PB I5Q.llA.aE.
This ad appeared in the Montreal Daily Witness every day from
7 to mid-February 1869, just before Alex Henderson
made his memorable trip
10 Quebec.
of Canada.
Sometime in the middle of the night [scheduled time
was 2 am], the train reached Richmond, Que.,
113 kin east of
Montreal, and here it was divided in two; one section heading
southeast to Portland, Maine, the other northeast
to Point Levi
and Riviere du Loup. Here a new crew took over the Quebec
In charge of the train was a conductor beginning his
days work. Up front a brakesman attached a fresh locomotive
to the cars. In the cab of the locomotive the engjneer and fireman
waited for the signal to depart. The storm had started.
Alex Henderson did not reach Point Levi at eight that
morning. Instead, at that hour, he looked out
of the train window
at snow driven by high winds. It was a fierce storm. From
Quebec city the Toronto Globes correspondent reported,
Another tremendous snow storm and northwesterly gale set in
this morning. The western trains were stuck at Arthabaska.6.
Arthabaska [now Victoriavillel was 51 km from
Richmond. The drifts were too much for a single locomotive.
That afternoon three locomotives and a plough arrived from
to assist the train, but it took the rest of the afternoon
to travel the next 56 km through the blizzard. At suppertime
they reached
Methots Mills [present-day Dosquetl. Here
passengers and crews had dinner -engineers who had stood
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A Grand Trunk timetable in effect about a year before Alex
Hendersons trip.
In February 1869 the schedules were little
changed from those shown above. The Quebec Express was
to arrive at Pointe Levi at 7:45 A.M. This is west of the
later Levis station which saw passenger service until 1998.
all day on partly·open cabs peering into the whiteness, driving
into the drifts; firemen
who had shaken snow from every piece
of wood they had thrown into the fire boxes; brakes men who
had uncoupled the cars from the engines all day in the blowing
snow whenever a long plunge had to be made into the compacted
drifts. Hours and hours
of cold, hard, work, and after the meal,
46 km to go.
The down train from Montreal on Monday is still stuck
on the road, reported the
Globes Quebec correspondent. It
only reached Methots Mills, 20 miles above the Chaudiere
curve on Tuesday at 5 oclock; from that Black River, 9 miles,
though drawn by four engines with the snow plough.7.
River [present-day St. Agapit] was 32 km from
Point Levi.
Here the exhausted train crews had to stop. Here
Alex Henderson spent his second night on the train. Around
I that night, the storm finally began to abate.
Wednesday the 24th was a photographers day. Beautiful
light; not too cold (about -6 Celsius)
B The storm had gone. At
Black River,
Henderson struck. With the cooperation of the
conductor and the crews he arranged to take a photograph.
A portable darkroom of the 1860s similar to the one that
Alex Henderson used on his field trips during the wet plate era.
First he determined where to take the picture -making
most of the light -then he brought his camera out of the
baggage car, opened the tripod and placed it half-way up the
snowbank in a dug-out area beside the tracks. He unfolded his
portable darkroom and set it up.
On a relatively mild day he
could have his portable dark room set up right beside the camera.
Next he brought
out the bottles of chemicals he would need.
Some of these chemicals were quite dangerous, either poisonous
or explosive! He poured ferrous sulphate into one shallow
tray and
some fixer (either hypo or the highly toxic potassium
cyanide) into another and placed both trays
on a shelf inside
the darkroom tent. Into a third tray he poured
some silver nitrate
solution and left it out.
Henderson then took out a 5 x 8 [11.9 em x 19.6 cm]
of clear glass, cleaned it carefully and then painted it with
a thin coat
of a sticky substance called iodized collodion. This
was guncotten dissolved in ether, with a soluble iodide added.
Once in the dark, he dipped the tacky plate into the pan of silver
nitrate so that a thin, even, film
of the chemical stuck to the
collodion, and formed light-sensitive silver iodide.
Then he
placed the tacky plate into a light-tight plate holder and slipped
it in place in the back
of the view camera. The plate had to be
exposed and developed while wet,
or it would be no good; hence
name wet plate photography. He slid open the front of
the plate holder and took the lens cap off the camera and allowed
for, say, a 10-second time exposure.
He then replaced the cap, slid shut the front of the plate
holder and slipped it
out without exposing the plate to light.
He took it to his portable darkroom, where he removed the wet
plate from the holder and dipped the plate in the tray of ferrous
sulphate, waiting while this chemical reacted with the silver
iodide to produce the image.
Experience told him when to
remove it.
He then dipped it into the tray of hypo to stop the
chemical reaction and brought the plate into the daylight.
A. Henderson 2487, also titled Preparing to Charge , was the magnificent result of Alex Hendersons first attempt. He could
see that he had a good photograph
. Indeed he could; it was one of the best of its type ever taken!
National Archives
of Canada, Photo No. C-J9385.
Next he had to thoroughly wash and then dry the wet
plate, possibly using the heat from a small alcohol lamp
to speed
the drying. When it was completely dry, he painted the plate
with a light, protective coat
of varnish. This he had to dry very
carefully so the varnish did not run. He could see that he had a
good photograph:
A. Henderson 24879.
The train moved on. All that Wednesday, whenever he
could, Henderson kept taking photographs. To get Plate 2493,
he brought his camera
to the top of the drift in front of the
plough and shot the scene
of the four smoking locomotives in
the deep trench.
10. He must have had a difficult walk atop the
snowbanks with this plate to get to his darkroom -unless he
brought his darkroom with him
to the top of the snowbank,
itself an arduous undertaking.
Another photograph
is a mystery. Its number is unclear
and seems
to have been marked on at a later time in pencil. Is
2496,91 or 92?11. In it a lone locomotive stands seemingly
defeated at the edge
of the dlift, overpowered by the snow. The
weather appears worse than
in his other pictures and it seems
this might have been his first photo, taken the previous day, the
23rd, except he entitled one copy Snowed
upl 24 Feby. 186912.
-the only photo in the series he dated. Is this a posed picture? Was the negative handworked to create the stormy effect? What
happened to the other engines? Did the crew detach them and
back them up so that Henderson could capture this picture
the power of winter? Where is the crew of the locomotive?
Behind him having helped carry his equipment? And where
was his portable darkroom? Beside the camera?
OPPOSITE, TOP: A. Henderson 2493 is also known as
After the Charge. Under an original print
of this photo is
the handwritten inscription In the Snow Near Black River
TR. . It was taken from atop the large snow drift.
National Archives
of Canada, photo No: C-4902.
OPPOSITE, BOTTOM: This photo (numbered
2496 or 2491
2492, the last digit is indistinct), shows a single Birkenhead
locomotive with the plow
up hard against the drift. The lettering
on the plow reads
G. T R. No.9 Q. & R., referring to the
& Richmind. This photo is somewhat of a mystery. It
may have been taken the first day, although one copy bears a
handwritten notation Snowed
Up 124 Feby. 1869.
National Archives
of Canada, photo No. C-6055.

Henderson Plate 2497 shows the bleak wilderness through which the train woul have to pass. Despite the title Track after Snowplough
was Backed, the photo was taken before the plough tackled the drift.
National Archives
of Canada, photo No. PA-149747.
For the last photograph, Plate 2497, Henderson turned
towards Point Levi and showed
what the train crew was up
against. Whiteness everywhere.
The picture -somewhat over
exposed -was later captioned,
Track after snowplough was
D In fact it shows the snow covered track before the
plough moved through it. Only
part of one rail can be seen.
There is no visible track.
Later that Wednesday,
24 km from Point Levi, the train
ran into more great drifts:
It again stopped at CraigS Road
The Globes Quebec correspondent
reported that evening, and will only arrive late tonight.
Sometime that night the crew of the Quebec Express brought
their train into the station at
Point Levi and, around 48 hours
after leaving Montreal, Alex
Henderson finally reached his
Henderson does not s
eem to have taken any photos at
Point Levi or Quebec while he was there. How long did he
stay? Did he take the next train back
home? If so, when? The
next express train to Montreal was scheduled to leave around
5:30 on Thursday evening, but at that hour that evening the
Express from Montreal had not yet reached Point Levi,
although it was
It is unlikely that any train left until
Friday evening. And, as
The Globe reporter noted the next day,
that train also got stuck: … ,the up train from here last night
has only reached Danville [19
km from Richmond]. The freight
Montreal is stuck at Black River and the passengers are
completely without food being
15 miles from any dwelling ….
Snowing heavily again today.16. On
Monday the train had still not made it to Montreal.
Quebec up train last heard
of at Danville reported the Montreal
Star that day. Its arrival here is anxiously looked for.17.
1 .. ——·—–· _ .. -.. _ .. -.
-/Q– .. . ~)
o. .
i ~tlr;8di!ln $ullrnz. $trrlc ~irll)~, &-c., .1-t ..
I ro.rlraU ~ ~a.ndm~~ ~ ~otograp~f!. ;
HnnnraJ.le ).I~lItllln. [)ul,lln tl,1 trh
Irl~, LIIIJou lid :lIlJth
Neg,tiVOt Preserved
I ~ g
I a—:-__ ~
An advertisementfor Alex Henderson s photo studio about 1869.
National Archives
of Canada, Photo No. PA-147392.
Whenever Henderson did return home, the journey
would have been a slow one. Certainly he was back in Montreal
by Thursday, March the 4th, because on that day he placed a
new advertisement
in The Witness offering to photograph private
residences in the snow and noting that
he had new winter
landscapes on view at his studio.18.
A total of 187 cm [74 inches] of snow fell in February
-the heaviest fall for the month
ever recorded -making a
of 330 cm [130 inches] for the winter up to the first of
March. And there was more to come. On Tuesday 10 March
1869, John Dougall, the Editor
of The Witness, noted at two in
the afternoon, A cold drifting snow storm with a strong north
east wind prevails since early morn.19. His competitor at
Star wrote: The Weather. Today is simply disgusting -The
wind which blows
in fitful gusts is accompanied with small
of hail…. The cold in unsheltered places is intense.2o.
It was a perfect day for Alex Henderson to walk down
to the Witness office and give a copy
of his snow plough pictures
to Editor John
The next day Dougall reported: The snow storm
yesterday and last night was. perhaps the worst of the year.
The wind blew with great violence, and the snow fell and drifted
with great
rapidity…. Trains out on the Railroads also must
have been snowed-up with the compact drifts and what
passengers would do for food we cannot imagine.
In another item
in that issue. Dougall gave his fellow
Scot a
plug: Snowed up -Mr. Alex Henderson of Phillips
Square, photographer, has been fortunate enough to secure some
large photographs
of a train labouring in the terrible snow-drifts.
The long line of locomotives with snow ploughs attached is
represented as in the deep cutting which it is slowly making
just preparing for a new plunge into the deep beds of snow.
If anything could awaken sympathy for a Railway Company, a
of these pictures could hardly fail to do SO.22.
In time, Alex Henderson sold many copies of his
snowplough pictures. No one had
ever seen anything like them.
He had been fortunate enough to have been in the right place
at the right time -on the Night Express to Quebec in the
snowiest winter
of the century.
The line on which this adventure took place was the
Quebec and Richmond Railway, a branch
of the Grand Trunk.
It was constructed
in 1854 and connected Richmond, on the
Montreal-Portland main line. with Pointe Levi and Quebec City.
In 1855, work was begun on a branch from near the present day
Charny which eventually reached Riviere du Loup in
1860, and
after 1876 became the main line
of the Intercolonial. In the
1890s the Intercolonial built its
own line from St. Rosalie,
through Drummondville to the west end
of the Chaudiere bridge
and, after the CNR took over both the GTR and ICR. this became
the main line, while the old
GTR Quebec branch through
Victoria ville became a secondary route. Passenger service was
cut back to Lyster in the 1960s, and discontinued a few years
later, but this scenic line was the route
of several memorable
steam excursions to Victoriaville
in the 1960s. In 1989 the entire
line from Richmond
to the Chaudiere blidge was abandoned.
ABOVE: Within days of his return to Montreal, the
indefatiguable Alex Henderson was offering to photograph
private residences
in. the snow.
The Montreal Daily Witness. March
BELOW: Two photos of private residences, taken by Alex
Henderson at the time of the great snow storms of 1869, are
seen. below. The top one is Henderson photo No. 2489 and shows
a horse and sleigh standing outside an unidentified house on
the aptly
named Cote Des Neiges Road near Montreal. Its
numberfalls within the range
of those taken on the trip, showing
that he did not number his negatives consecutively.
It was most
likely taken
just after he returned from Quebec. The other
Henderson photo (number unknown), probably taken while the
snow was stillfalling,
is a rather bleak and gloomy view of the
of MI: Albert Furniss, also on Cote Des Neiges Road.
This house, built
in J 848, still stands and, considerably altered,
is presently the home
of your editor.
All that was left was the short line from the bridge to Levis
station which still had through passenger service to Halifax
and Gaspe. Now that branch too has gone with the rerouting
the eastern VIA trains over the freight line between Charney
and St. Charles.
Thus. except for the bridge and less than a
mile to Charny, it is no longer possible to ride any
of the line on
which Alexander Henderson was snowbound 130 years ago.
The fame of Alexander Hendersons photographs of the
snow ploughs in action spread well beyond Montreal and well
beyond Canada. Prints
of these views were sold by Henderson
himself for many years, indicating that the original negatives
ed for a long time. However it is believed that they, along
with most
of the original Henderson negatives, were tragically
destroyed in more recent times. Actual prints made from the
original negatives are now quite rare, however copies and other
of them are seen in numerous archives.
These photos were also reproduced, usually by woodcut
engraving, in several contemporary publication
s, both books
and periodicals.
The most noted of these was the English weekly
magazine The llIustrated London News, which reproduced
in 1870. At that time the ILN, founded
in 1842 and still in
business, was one
of the greatest, if not the greatest, illustrated
in the world. Its circulation extended all over the
British Empire (which then extended over much
of the globe)
and other English-speaking countries as well. Thus the pictures
of the Grand Trunk snow ploughs in action might be seen in
England, Africa, India, Australia, or anywhere else in Queen
Victorias far flung empire.
Accompanying the illustrations was a very interesting
article on snow on railways. This article is reprinted here exactly
as it was published:
There is nothing in the ordinary phenomena of the
seasons that
is so apt to interrupt the traffic of railways as
the accumultion of snow. The Mont Cenis summit-line,
constructed by
Mr. Fell, with its gradients, as steep as the
old street of Holborn-hill, easily and safely climbed
by the
grip of the horizontal wheels upon the central rail,
is yet
subject to the loss of three or four days working receipts
almost every winter from this common accident of the
Alpine heights. The Highland Railway of Scotland, and
others in the northern parts of Britain, are frequently
in winter, to very troublesome occurrences of
the same nature.
It may even be remembered that the
Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, and several other lines,
including part of the London and North-Western Railway,
near Manchester, were closed during two whole days,
a season of extraordinary severity, about eighteen years
ago, by the masses of snow that filled the cuttings, so that
both travelling and postal communication were stopped.
The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, with its magnificent
extent of 900 miles, comprising the branches, through a
country which never fails
to exhibit the effects of winter in
full force, has of course had to contend with this enemy to
locomotion. Its engineers have invented for that purpose
a very powerful kind of snowplough, the form and use of
which are shown
in the Illustrations we have engraved,
from photographs
by Mr. A. Henderson, of Montreal. The
shape of the mighty shield, carried
in front of the engine,
with its hollowed face, and with its cutting edge
at each
side, is well adapted
to make its way through the deepest
and densest snowdrifts.
It is such an implement as the
Canadian climate demands.
In those days photo-engraving had not been developed,
so the
ILN relied on highly skilled engravers to copy the
illustrations by the woodcut process, which meant engraving
them on hard wood blocks which are then set
up with the type
and used to print the publication. Each issue contained many
such illustrations, which today are a fine depiction
of what was
happening at the time. As would be expected, some changes
were made by the engraver
s. In these ones, the most notable
are the addition
of people into some views, perhaps to show the
of the snow drifts, and also to add interest to the published
views. Other retouching was done, perhaps
to clarify some
features, but the result is very pleasing, and a tribute to the
ILNs engravers as well
as Alex Henderson himself.
Our copy
of the article, cut from the original magazine,
does not show
the date. However the paper on which it is printed
has a watermark in which can be clearly be read the words
MAKER 1870. This indicates that the paper was made in
1870 and, since the ILN was a large publication and did not
stockpile its paper for long, we can assume that the article was
in 1870, i.e. about a year after the photos were taken.
Over the years other publications (including Canadian
Rail) have used both the photos and woodcuts, so it is very
likely that Alexander Hendersons snowbound views will be
seen for many years
to come.
OPPOSITE: Woodcut engravings of two of the Henderson
photographs, slightly enlarge
d, but otherwise exactly as they
appeared in the Illustiated London News
in J 870.
ABOVE: Reduced-size prints
of the original photos, included
here so that one can compare these with the engravings
observe the differences.
1. Stanley G. Triggs, Alexander Henderson: Nineteenth­
Century Landscape Photographer, Archivaria,
v, (1977 -78), pp.
45-59. I wish to thank Stanley Triggs
for his advice and
in the preparation of this paper.
2. The Montreal Daily Witness, 7 Jan.-mid-Feb.1869 (Fig. 4:
see above)
3. The Gazette [Montrea
l], 19 Feb. 1869
4. Ibid.,
16 Feb. 1869
5. The moming Chronicle [Quebec], 22 Feb. 1869
6. The Globe [Toronto], 24 Feb. 1869
7. ibid
., 25 Feb. 1869 citing Quebec Report of 24 Feb. 1869
8. The Gazette, 24 Feb. 1869
9. National Archives
of Canada, Photography Division, Photo
C-19385 [Henderson 2487]. Preparing to Charge. I am
to Nora Hague, Curator of the Notman Photograpruc
of the McCord Museum in Montreal for information
on the wet plate proces
s. See also Ralph Greenhill, Early
hy in Canada (Toronto: Oxford University Press,
1965), p. 30.
10. Ibid., Photo C-4902 [Henderson 2493 In the Snow / nr
Quebec; also entitled After the Charge.
11. Ibid. The photo is
listed in the NAC under both 2491 and
2492; it cou
ld also be seen as 2496. Stanley Triggs, an expert
on Henderson, does not place much
stock in Hendersons
numbers necessarily being chronological (a very good example
of this is photo 2489 on page 9). See Archivaria, op. cit., p. 53.
12. Ibid, Photo C-6055. He also entitled it
Plough in drift.
the plough is marked G.T.R. No.9 Q & R. Behind it is a
freight locomotive with 5-foot driving wheels, built
by Peto &
Co. of Birkenhead, England in the mid-1850s, no number
visible. Two such engines are known to have been on the Quebec
and Richmond line, GTR, 47 and 49. Nine others were assigned
to the larger Eastern Section -Nos. 46, 48, 50, 51, 59, 64,
83 and 84.
13. Ibid., Photo PA 149747.
14. Globe, 25 Feb. 1869 citing Quebec Report
of 24 Feb.
15. Ibid
., 26 Feb. 1869 citing Quebec Report for 25 Feb. The
train arrived in at 6 p.m. Thursday.
16. Ibid., 1 Mar. 1869 citing Quebec Report
of 27 Feb.
17. The Daily Star [Montreal], 1 March 1869
18. The Montreal Daily Witness, 4 March 1869
19. Ibid.,
10 Mar. 1869
The Daily Star [Montreal], 10 Mar. 1869
21. In the Henderson Correspondence in the Notman
Photographic Archives, is a letter dated 12 Nov. 1908, from
Alex Henderson, then 78 years old, to
his daughter. In it he
confides, I cannot go
in a storm or snowshoe in a blizzard as I
used to and enjoy it now.
22. The Montreal Daily
Witness, 11 Mar. 1869.
Montreal. McCord Museum, Notman Photographic Archives,
Henderson photographs and cOITespondence.
Ottawa. National Archives
of Canada, Photography Division,
Henderson photographs (1,667 in all).
Greenhill, Ralph. Early Photography in Canada. Toronto,
Oxford University Press, 1965.
Myles. Railways and Other Ways. Toronto,
& Co., 1896.
Guay, Louise. Alexander Henderson / Canadian landscape
photographer. Archivist, xiv, 5, September-October 1987.
Harris, David. Alexander Hendersons Snow and Flood after
Great Storms
of 1869. Revue d art Canadienne / Canadian
Art Review, xvi, 2, 1989.
Triggs, Stanley
G. Alexander Henderson: Nineteenth-Century
Landscape Photographer, Arcruvaria,
v, 1977-78.
Newspapers, February and March, 1869
The Gazette, The Daily Star, The Montreal Daily Witness
Quebec City:
The Morning Chronicle
The Globe
OPPOSITE AND ABOVE: As on the preceding two pages, these
are the
other two Henderson photos as engraved by the
Illustrated London News, with reduced-size copies of the
for comparison.
In Memoriam, John Thompson, 1941 -1998
Noted historian John Thompson died at Wakefield, Que.,
near his home at Low, on October 31, 1998.
Many members of
the CRHA will remember him for his great work on our publication
on the Sesquicentennial
of the Champlain and St. Lawrence Rail
Road in 1986. He has also written articles for Canadian Rail,
including the lead article
in this issue. Born on October 28,1941,
he was a nati ve of Hudson, Quebec, although his actual birthplace
was Ottawa when his father was stationed there during World
War II.
In 1963, at the age
of 22, he co-founded the Hudson
Historical Society with another young history student, Maben
Poirier. He graduated with an MA in History from McGill in
1965; his thesis on the history
of the English-speaking settlers of
Hudson was published by the Hudson Historical Society and has
been reprinted twice.
He taught for 4 years at Stanstead College,
in Stanstead, Que., and was employed as Historian for the Historic
Sites service
of the Federal Government from 1969-74. During
this period he did much
research, both as an employee and for his
own interest, on the early histolY
of railways in Canada. John had
been interested in railways since
his childhood; he kept albums of
photographs, some taken by him with his Donald Duck camera.
From 1974 until his death John worked as a free-lance writ
Most of his research and writing was historical -articles for
journals and magazines, papers for the government and for native
groups. A hiatus
in his historical work took place from 1977 to
84. Fuelled by a belief that Canadians should be able to cross
Canada, staying
at bed-and-breakfast places as they do in Britain,
cajoled country people allover Canada to offer bed-and­
breakfast. His book Country Bed and Breakfast Places in Canada
published annually for 6 years, by which time bed-and­
breakfast was commonplace in Canada. He always said that he
would feel he had succeeded when his book was no longer
Just before his death, John Thompson sent three
manuscripts, and some smaller items, to the editor for use in
Canadian Rail. Two of these have now appeared, and tbe remainder
in future issues. Recently his family has presented to the
CRHA his books, periodicals and notes concerning railways.
To his family, we offer
sincere sympathy. The railway
movement has lost a good friend.
On Saturday, October 31 st a native son of Hudson passed away after a courageous battle with leukemia. John Thompson
really was a native of Hudson though for the past number of years he had lived with his family in the lovely Gatineau Hills town of
Low, Quebec. Though only fifty-seven years old John had already accomplished more than the average person of his age
in his
special line of work -History. John Thompson was Hudsons foremost historian par excellence. His best selling book, Cavagnal
1820-1867 has been the basis of all historical research on this fine community we now know as Hudson since it was first published
in 1967 as Johns thesis for a Master of Arts Department of History at McGill University.
In the fall of 1963 during a CPR commuter ride to Montreal John was sitting with another Hudson historian, Maben Poirier.
They had often discussed their mutual interest
in local history. That fall day, they decided to form a small group of local citizens into
a History Society. The Hudson Historical Society had been founded. Both men became Life Members and contributed immensely
to preserving local history. John moved from Hudson many years ago but
he kept in close contact with his mentor until his death a
few years ago -Canon E.C. Royle.
In many of our long talks about local history, Canon Royles name would almost always come up.
He had shown great interest
in Johns career and had helped him out many times. John even worked for the Hudson Gazette,
producing numerous articles relating to, what else? Hudson history!
In 1824 a poor family of farmers from Drigg, Cumberland, England settled on Lot
41 in Cavagnal. It was John Thompson and
his wife Jane Shackley and their family of ten children. Their descendents have lived here ever since. Thompson Park
in Alstonvale
was once land farmed by another descendent,
Mr. Frank Thompson, whose original farmhouse is still at 693 Main. The last John
Thompson, 1941-1998, was also a direct descendent and he was VERY proud of his heritage. Maybe that is why he got so involved
with that and local, and above all Canadian, history. John was
an expert on native histories, especially those relating to our neighbours
across the river
in Kanesatake, the Mohawks. He wrote numerous articles in many Canadian magazines and did immense research
projects studying their history and land claims. Many of these are now
in the National Archives of Canada and with the Mohawk Band
Council and Longhouse members
in Kanesatake. If John was not an honourary member of the Mohawk nation, he should have
been. He cared for them so much.
Just three weeks ago I asked John
if the Hudson Historical Society could reprint his book, CavagnaI1820-1867. He
replied, Only if you do some changes that I wish to have done. I agreed immediately and even though John knew
he had only days
to live, that brave and courageous man never stopped writing, calling or mailing articles and letters to me. His last wishes concerning
Hudson history was to have his book redone
in a modern way and updated with corrected material concerning the genealogy
section. We both were
in contact with Shirley Lancaster of Thornhill, Ontario and she agreed to handle the genealogy section and
I would handle the rest.
It should be ready by April, 1999 and have a new title: Hudson, The Early Years up to 1867. Even though
his time with us was limited, this now frail man kept his mind working until the end. His love of history was unbelievable and he
encouraged me to continue with my own historical research projects right until the last time I spoke to him, three days before he died.
John Thompson died peacefully and he left his wife and two daughters and a sister who still lives
in their family home in
Hudson Heights. John will be greatly missed by all those who had the pleasure to know him and respect him. Not only Hudson but
also Canada has lost a true native son who cherished his job of preserving our countrys past for those who follow. Rest
in peace
John, Ill always remember how you have influenced my career as a historian.
L. Hodgson, President, Hudson Historical Society
Source: The Hudson Gazette, Wednesday, November
11, 1998.
In Memoriam, Sallborn S. Worthen, 1917 -1999
By Fred Angus
On December 11, 1940, World War II was in its second
year, and things were not going well for the Allies. On the home
front, the railway enthusiasts movement was in somewhat
of a
decline after all the activities
of the 1930s, for most people had
more serious matters
to contend with. Nevertheless, the CRHA
continued its meetings, albeit with much reduced attendance,
all during the
war years, and it was at one of these meetings, on
the aforementioned
December II 1940, that Sanborn S. (Sandy)
Worthen joined the Assoc-
In 1965 the Canadian Railway Museum opened, and
the old system
of the museum committee was inadequate for
the new enlarged operation. Despite the protests
of those used
to the old ways, an elected Commission was set
up. As these
were controversial times, the Commission wanted a Chairman
(the actual title was
Spokesman for he was to report to the
CRHA Board) who would be unbiased, and make productive
The choice was, of course, Sandy Worthen, and he
iation and received member­
ship number 83.
For the next
fifty-eight years, Sandy
Worthen would be great friend
of the CRHA, serving in many
positions within the Assoc­
iation, as well as a personal
friend to so many of the
members. On January 8, 1999
Sandy died at the North York
General Hospital in Toronto at
the age
of 8l.
Sandy Worthen was a
of Montreal and Ayers
Cliff, and graduated from
Bishops University in
Lennoxville, Que. During the
war he worked at Defence
Industries, a division of
Canadian Industries Ltd.,
which made ammunition for
the military, at a special war
plant at a place called Nitro,
near Valley field
Que. During
time he edited a small
newspaper called The Nitro
News, an experience which
would be of benefit in later
years as editor of Canadian
Rail. Our member Steve
Walbridge, who also worked
there, recalls those days well.
After the war he was employed Some thoughts
on Sandy Worthen
By Peter Murphy
Sanborn (Sandy) Worthen made a significant
contribution to the CRHA, especially during the critical years
when the Canadian Railway Museum was being planned and
initially built. When, like most non-profit organizations, the
CRHA went through a period of internal upheaval, around
1965, Sandy above all could be counted
on for an unbiased
he always kept a level head, always looking at both
sides of the issues at hand.
Sandy was active
in all aspects of the CRHA including:
The archives;
he was primarily responsible for the acquisition
of the E.
A. Toohey collection of excellent negatives after
Allens untimely passing. The museum;
he was active on
numerous committees which met on a regular basis to
establish the CRM, and served
as the first chairman of the
Commission. Above all, Sandy as editor of
Canadian Rail set new standards of excellence for the CRHA
journal which
to this day are still difficult to maintain. His
command of the English language was unparalleled,
he was
one of those few people who would rather write than phone.
The term the red door will always have a special
meaning for those who knew Sandy while
he lived in Montreal.
you went to the red door, you were visiting Sandy at
his home
on Mira Road, which obviously had a real red door.
He will be remembered for his dry humor, bow ties, obliging
manner and above all his excellent editing of Canadian Rail.
He was one of the true pioneers of the CRHA and
will be sadly missed.
We extend our sympathy to his wife
and surviving family members. occupied this position until the
Commission was fully
operational and had been
functioning for some years.
During those years, the
News Report had grown, and
in 1962 was re-named
Canadian Rail. Sandy
Worthen was always involved
in the publication, but
in 1968,
upon the reorganization
of the
publications committee, he
was appointed Editor of
Canadian Rail, effective with
the February 1968 issue. This
is what many CRHA members
remember him for today, and
he raised the quality of the
magazine to a level which is
still the standard the present
editor follows today. After
nine and a half years, and III
issues, Sandy relinquished the
editorship in June 1977, in
of Peter Murphy, who
had been Production Manager
for many years under Sandy.
Peters memories
of Sandy are
printed in a separate editorial.
This was not the end of Sandy
Worthens connection with
Canadian Rail, for he was
named Editor Emel1tus, which
he was for many years.
by Abbott Laboratories until his retirement.
In the
late 1940s, the CRHA was revitalized and
membership began to increase again. Excursions began to be
run, the News Report (now Canadian Rail) started
in 1949, and
the first discussions began about starting a railway
This received a big boost with the acquisition
of the first piece
of rolling stock, Montreal street car 274, in 1951. During all
this important time Sandy was very active
in the Association,
serving as Trip Committee Chairman from 1953 to 1955,
of Artifacts 1954 to 1955, and then as President of
the Association from 1955 to 1957. After his term as President,
he continued his activity unabated, remaining a director until
1980s, and Vice President for many of those years. After retirement, Sandy went to live in the Toronto area,
he relinquished many of his former CRHA activities.
Nevertheless his interest
in railways continued, and he was often
seen at special activities, including the
commemoration, at
Craigellachie B.C.,
of the 100th anniversary of the driving of
the Last Spike on the CPR. In recent years Sandy had not been
in very good health; nevertheless it was with great sadness that
all who had known
him heard of his death. Even at the end he
thought of the CRHA, for his obituary in the papers said that
donations could be made to the Association. With Sandy
Worthens death another link with the old days of the CRHA
is gone, and we have all lost a fl1end. To his wife, Mary, and his
family we offer
our deepest sympathy.
The New Headquarters for the Grand Trunk il11899
The illustration on this page shows the handsome
structure which the G.T.R. will erect in Montreal. It will occupy
the entire square bounded by McGill,
S1. Paul, William and
Wainwright streets, covering an area exceeding 30,000 sq.
Its principal frontage -200 ft.-will be on McGill street, and will
be very imposing in appearance. The splendid adaptability
McGill street to attractive buildings designed for financial and
commercial purposes is well illustrated in the new G.T. offices.
The width
of the street will enable the structure to be seen to
great advantage, and the florid nature
of the sculpture work and
the outside ornamentation will not be lost, as is the case with
of Montreals stately structures.
The building will be one of the finest architectural
productions in the Dominion, a remarkable union
of richness
and breadth as well as dignified simplicity.
The style of
architecture is Neo-Grec, that is, a modern adaptation of Greek
and Roman -not a servile copy, but from the spring, from which
marvelously simple a
nd logical inspirations of the art of the
is obtained. Architecture is required to modify its forms
in accordance with the conditions
of light, of temperature, of
needs and purposes. The plans are calculated to give good light
in a maximum
of apartments combined with striking adaptations
to the complex needs and purposes, as well as an effective
There is an easily accessible basement, and 5
storeys above, with strongly accentuated corner treatment -one
of the G.T.s alliance with one-half of the globe,
of strength, and a third of swiftness. Strength is
represented by mythological griffins, and swiftness by the
winged dragon.
The basement will be utilized for express storage and
mail purposes. On the ground floor the Auditors, Treasurers
and Paymasters departments will be situated. The 1st floor will accommodate the General Purchasing Agent, Divisional
Freight Agent, and Freight Claims Agent. The executive
departments will be situated on the 2nd floor. These will include
the pri vate and general offices
of the General Manager, General
Assistant, General Traffic Manager, General Passenger Agent
and the Companys Solicitor.
The offices
of the General Superintendent and the Chief
Engineer and the car service, telegraph and telephone
departments will be located on the 3rd floor. The upper or 4th
floor will contain a large assembly room, where deputations
may be received, and the superannuated, medical and stationery
departments, as well as the offices
of the Express Auditor and
his staff. Waiting rooms and lavatories will be fitted up on each
floor. There are 2 towers
to the building, one of which will be
by a dome and flag pole. The other will be flat and
will be used for the purpose
of showing visitors and railway
officials the Victoria Bridge and the Point
S1. Charles property
of the company. From this vantage Point an excellent view of
the city may also be obtained.
The material for the exterior walls has not yet been
selected, but it is probable that a mixture
of sandstone and
granite will be decided upon. The interior furnishings will be
of oak and marble.
The corridors will be will be wainscotted with marble,
and above
that the panels will be fitted in with ornamental plaster
work. The wainscotting in the different offices will be
of oak,
richly panelled and carved. the offices will open
out on the
gallery corridors, and the whole building wilI be well lighted
and ventilated. The structure will be heated by steam, and
lighted by electricity. Its cost will amount
to about $500,000.
It is expected that the building will be ready for occupancy in
January, 1900.
The Railway and Shipping World, January 1899.
CPR Tourist Cars 100 years ago
The C.P.R. Passenger
Department has issued an illustrated
pamphlet Travelling Comfort,
describing the Companys new tourist
sleeping cars, 20
of which have recently
been put in service. It states they are
strongly constructed
of the best material,
and claims that they are higher, wider
and heavier than those in general use
and that the substantial structure reduces
to a medium [sic]. The special
ures of the new cars are wide
vestibules (full width of car) latest car
range [stove
1, double standard lamps
and the
general arrangement of the
interior. The wheels
of steel, 40 inches
diameter, with steel
sleeper contains 14
sections, each sect­
ion having double
upper and lower
berths. At night the
sections are divided
wooden part­
itions, and by
curtains as in the
pal ace sleepers.
Each tourist sleeper
has 2 toilet
with car range in INTERIOR, C.P.R. TOURIST SLEEPER
kitchen in a comp-
artment in the centre. The sleepers are
equipped with mattresses, comforters,
pillows and linen. The seat frames are
of wood, and the cushions and backs
of the seats are upholstered in corduroy.
Each berth is provided with hooks. The
aisle is carpeted. In addition to steam
heat from the engine, each car is
equipped with a beater for emergency
use. Detactchable side le
af tables are
provided for meals, &c. Each car
accompanied by an uninformed porter.
of the illustrations from
the pamphlet are reproduced on this
page. The pamphlet, which is terse and
forcible, was written by J.G. BrignaU,
of Assistant General Passenger Agent
McPhersons Office, Toronto, and was
printed most effectively
by the Mail Job
Printing Co., Toronto.
The Railway and Shipping World,
February, 1899.
The Day the Sperry Car Replaced the Budd Car
For some time there was a story told of how a Sperry car was pressed into passenger service on the Sudbury to White River run
operated by two
of the few remaining Budd RDCs in use in Canada. There were, however, no details and we could not be sure
if the story was true or just a rumour. The mystery was solved when Mark Gustafson gave us a copy of Sperry News which tells the
story and confirms that the rescue did indeed happen.
The photos, were not taken that day, but were by Fred Angus at Cartier on August 15 1998. However they do show the same
car on the same line. Furthermore the passengers waiting for VIA train 185 look as if they were about to board the Sperry car, but how
they would have got the canoes aboard
is another mystery!
By Jan Olejnik
I was
working on SRS 148 when we ran light from
Thunder Bay to Sudbuty, Ontario.
We were following two signal
blocks behind a hot intermodal train through some
of the most
beautiful and rugged scenery Ive ever seen, around the
northeastern shore of Lake Superior. Everything was running
smoothly until
we got about 30 miles west of Chapleau. We
received news on the railroad radio that the train
we were
following was having some sort of trouble and was stopping
to inspect it. We were told to stop and
wait further instructions. Well it turns
out that one
of the wheels on the train
was broken and dropped into the gauge
and dragged for
21 miles.
A Budd
car was to run west
from Chapleau to White River. (For
of you that may not know what
Budd car is, its a self-propelled
passenger car, Budd being the name
of the company that built them). When
the railroad found out about the train
dragging the wheel, they cancelled the
Budd car, stranding the people waiting
to catch
Backing up to clear, we picked
up all these people, eight as I recall,
one dog. We managed to fit all
their bags in the bedrooms. Everyone
squeezed into the lounge, I put on a video,
gave them some bottled water and
proceeded to run light backwards about
seven miles to where the railroad had some
vans waiting to
pick them up.
After they departed we waited several
hours for further information. Finally
9:30 we decided to get some sleep. No
sooner do we turn out the lights, BAM!
s a railroad pilot banging
on the side
of 148. Hes come to take us to
Chapleau. We had to
creep along at 10
MPH or less over track torn up by the
broken wheel. Several hours later we finally
got to Chapleau and were able to sleep.
Between the snowstorms and traffic
insisted on running over the track, it took
us a week to test the
21 miles affected by
the mishap.
Several broken angle bars,
switch points, frogs, and rails later, we finally made it to
Sudbury. By the way, the Inco Mine
in Sudbury has the worlds
tallest smokestack.
Goheen, Chapleau, Ontario. Once more I would like to thank
you as it was very important that my daughter Bonnie get back
to town as the next day she had to be
in Timmins for her cancer
treatment. Its railroaders like you
who go the extra mile that
make a difference.
Reprinted from Sperry News
More Murals
Continuing our feature on railway murals in Canada, we are pleased to present seven sent to us by Mr. Robert Sandusky who
took all these photos.
So far the project has turned up a large variety of these impressive works of art. Please keep sending them in!
This mural near the Burlington Northern station in Salmo, B. C. commemorates the good old days when the Great Northern ran to
Nelson. June
28, 1994.
This lengthy mural showing the Esquimalt and Nanaima station in Nanaimo, B. C. is just north of the existing station there, and is
passed twice a day by the RDC to and/rom Courtenay. May 24, 1986.
ABOVE: At the cutoff from highway 4 into Port
B. C is this carved wooden mural. The Shay
locomotive shares its historic significance with the
Marlin Mars water bombel; two of which still
operate. May, 1986.
LEFT Mural ofCNR 2747 (original in nearby park)
on the Toronto-Dominion Bank,
Bond and Regent
Avenue, Transcona, Manitoba. July
2, J993.
OPPOSITE, TOP: CPR mural on the west wall of
the Royal Hotel in Moose Jaw, Sask. April 10, 1992.
Painted by Dan Saws/sky from Chemainus, B. C, a
town also
notedfor its recent murals.
OPPOSITE, MIDDLE: The Crowsnest Pass coke
ovens (possibly at Michel) are commemorated by
this mural at a shopping centre beside highway
3 in
B.C December 4, 1997.
OPPOSITE, BOTTOM: Near the Royal Alexandra
in Toronto, Ontario is this mural depicting
a PCC car and several
of downtowns well-known
characters. Could the artist have
beenforseeing the
of streetcar service to Spadina Avenue?
September, /989.
What Happelled to the America?
By Fred F. Angus
The Stourbridge Lion as it appeared in the year 1829. From an engraving in History of the First Locomotives in America by
H. Brown, second edition, 1874.
The story of the first locomotives to operate in America
is familiar to most railway historians. The Delaware and Hudson
Canal Company, founded in 1823, began as a canal system to
transport coal from the mines
of Pennsylvania to New York.
However a steep stretch over the mountains was not suitable
for canal construction, and it was decided to build a portage
railroad over this section.
The radical decision was made to use
locomotives on this section, something that had never before
been done anywhere in North America. It is well known that a
locomotive, called the
StoUl-bridge Lion was brought out from
England, that it was tried out at Honesdale Pa. in August 1829,
was found to be too heavy for the track, and was almost
immediately retired. The use of locomotives on the so called
gravity railroad was abandoned, although the railroad itself
lasted until the canal was abandoned in 1899. Meanwhile,
course, the D&H had built conventional railway lines and
changed its name
to drop the word canal.
Many of us remember the occasion of the 150th
anniversary of the D&H, in 1973, when a special steam train
came to Montreal bearing, among other things, a full-size replica
of the Stourbridge Lion complete with the fierce-looking
lions face painted on its smokebox door. Today the
D&H is
of the Canadian Pacific system, so could perhaps be
considered as the oldest constituent
of the present-day CPR, as
well as being the oldest company operating a railway in the
American continent.
What is not so well known is the fate of the other D&H
locomotives of 1829, for there were more than just the
Stourbridge Lion. The Lion itself was a one-off, vertical
0-4-0 (although the Whyte classification system had
not yet been invented), built
by Foster, Rastrick and Company
at Stourbridge England. It arrived in New York sometime in
May 1829 in charge of Horatio Allen. But, Allen had ordered
more than one locomotive, the others being
from the famous
Newcastle firm
of Robert Stephenson and Company who, later
that very year, would build the
Rocket which would win the
Rainhill Trials and establish the feasibility
of modern steam
The story of the Stourbridge Lion has often been
told, but what about the Stephenson engine (or engines). There
has always been doubt on this subject but, according to an aIticle
in the October 1998 issue
of American Heritage magazine, the
mystery may be solved at last.
of what we know about the locomotives of those
days is thanks to a book entitled History of the First
Locomotives in America, written by William H. Brown and
in 1871, with a second edition in 1874. Brown had
been doing research for that book at least as early as 1859, for
a letter to him from David Matthew (who had assisted in fitting
up the engine) dated December 6
of that year, said in part Some
time about the middle
of May, 1829, the locomotive called the
StoUlbridge Lion arrived from England, on the ship John Jay_
It was landed at the whalf of the West Point Foundry Works,
foot of Beach Street, New-York City …. The
locomotive was blocked up in our yard,
and steam put to it from our works, and it
became the object of curiosity to
thousands who visited the works from day
to day, to see the curious critter go
through the motions only, as there was
no road
for it about the premises. Bear
in mind that this letter was wri tten in 1859,
only thirty years after the events related,
well within living memory.
undoubtedly carved, at the time, probably
as a
memorial, by someone who was
present when the events took place. On
the cover
is a carving of the locomotive
and tender, on the front side is the
inscription THE IRON HORSE, and on
the back side
is the name AMERICA.
Underneath is carved (in three lines)
JOHN B. JERVIS / 18 D&H 29 /
CANAL COMPANY. But it is the
inscription on the underside of the lid that
tells the story. Its message
is very clear,
saying simply BLEW UP JULY 26
Another letter to Brown, from
none other than Horatio Allen himself
says about the Stephenson engine: This
locomotive, or motive (but not progressive
motion), was
nor the engine which made
the first run on the railroad at Honesdale,
Pennsylvania. This engine (built by
Stephenson at Newcastle-upon-Tyne) was
set up at an iron-yard
on the East River
of New York, and being blocked up,
so that the wheels could not touch the
ground, the engine could go through the
motions without running.
Brown was led
to believe (erroneously as it turned out)
that this locomotive arrived in September
1829, long after the Lion. In his
excellent history of the D&H, Jim
Shaugnessy confirms that the Stephenson
engine, called the
America, arrived in
New York on January 15, 1829, and was
demonstrated (with wheels blocked up)
on May 27, the day before the
demonstration of the Lion. However he
was not able to find out its fate, except
that one cylinder appears to be preserved
the Smithsonian. It is possible that
another Stephenson engine arrived in
September, and this
is the one referred to
in Allens letter to Brown, but this
is not
likely. In the end, unable to find out any
more (although there were those then
living who undoubtedly knew the true
story) Brown did not refer further to the
Stephenson engines. All that was known
was that the America and the
Stourbridge Lion were shipped from
New York
to Honesdale, the Lion (and
presumably the
America too) alTived on
July 24 and had its famous trial on August
1829, and the America vanished
behind a veil of mystery.
By 1881 the D&H was a major railway in its
own right, extending all the way to Montreal,
far cry from the days of the America and
Stourbridge Lion . Note the canal, in use
1899. Official Guide, February 1881.
So after all these years we know
what happened.
The America was the
first to be tried, secretly on a Sunday, two
days after
it arrived, at some isolated part
of the line near the summit. Thereby it
became the first locomotive to operate on
a common carrier railroad in America.
How far it got, and how it performed we
do not know except that it had a tragic
ending. Perhaps, like the
Best Friend of
Charleston a year and a half later,
someone tied down the safety valve.
Perhaps the engineer let the water get low.
At any rate there immediately ensued
what Demos and Thayer call the first
corporate cover-up
in America. Worried
what would happen
to D&H stock if the
news of this fiasco leaked out, all
concerned agreed on a conspiracy of
silence, a silence that was still apparent
more than thirty years later when
was doing his research. So it feU to the
Stourbridge Lion to be the first to be
tried publicly, 13 days later.
Like the
America, the Lion also failed, not in
a spectacular way like the
America, but
because the rails were too light
to carry
the weight
of an operating locomotive. So
the D&H gave up the idea of steam
locomotives, for the time being, and
operated the gravity railroad by horses,
winches run by stationary steam
engines. By this decision the D&H lost
the chance
of becoming the first steam
railway in America. That distinction went
to the South Carolina Railroad which put
their first locomotive
Best Friend of
Charleston in service in December
Fast forward now more than 150 years, to 1981 when a
small carved wooden box, in the form
of a coffin, turned up in
an antique store in New York. It is this box that is the subject of
the article The Case of the Vanishing Locomotive by John
Demos and Robert Thayer, published in
American Heritage
for September 1998. Anyone wanting more detailed information
is referred to the article in question which has the suspense and
of a who dunnit. Suffice it to say that the box was This story shows that railway historical research is
complete. Even after more than 150 years, a small box, which
m.ight have been passed over
by most seeing it, was appreciated
for the story it could tell, and the story was told.
How many
other artifacts are out there with interesting stories to tell?
No one knows, but it
is certain there will be many more surprises
as a result
of research as we go into the 21st century.
The Business Car
Allan Swift Canadian press
MONTREAL -While some bemoan the brain drain of
Canadians to the United States, there is also a train drain going
on. Canadas two major railways are increasingly putting their
focus on the United States -at the
same time as they continue
to cut jobs and abandon track in Canada. For the last few years,
Canadian National Railway Co. and
CP Rail have described
themselves as continental, rather than
just Canadian, freight
carriers. In 1998, they stepped up efforts to increase and protect
their U.S. presence as that
countrys rail industry goes through
a massive consolidation. Canadian National
is a good example.
This year, it announced a $2.4-billion U.S. takeover
of Illinois
of Chicago, to form the fifth-largest railway in North
It expects to get final approvals in the spring. CNR
also extended its reach in the U.S. with a long-term alliance
with Kansas City Southern, a big railway in the U.S. midwest
states. Spokesman Mark Hallman said about 39 per cent
business is in the U.S. or across the Canada-U.S. border. With
the acquisition
of Illinois Central, this will rise to 50 per cent.
North-south trade is growing
at about 10 per cent annually,
vs. east-west trade at around 3 to 4 per cent, Hallman said.
Were very much cognizant of the whole influence ofNAFTA
and the growing north-south trends, and its important to position
CN customers
to be able to compete in the North American
Meanwhile, back in Canada, more CN employees will
be cut from the ranks
of the Montreal-based company. The
railway angered its unions with a surprise announcement in
just after signing new contracts, that it would cut
another 3,000 jobs from its payroll, by the end
of 1999. The
railway employed an average 21,800 in the last year, down 1,000
from 1997. But Hallman was quick to point out that job
reductions were proportional on both sides of the border and
were not connected
to the merger. CN operations are greater in
Canada than in the United States, he said, which explains why
only 200 jobs were lost south
of the border. Canadian Pacific
was also active in the U.S. during the year, trying to protect its
northeastern subsidiary Delaware and Hudson from being
squeezed into oblivion
in the wake of major consolidation by
U.S. carriers.
The strategy appears to have worked. After the
city and state
of New York demanded that a competitor be allowed into the region, CPR was chosen to compete with CSX,
a mega-railway
company that grew into a dominant regional
carrier through acquisitions.
CP Rail will get direct access to
New York City and other east-coast markets, a potential boon
to the company. Calgary-based
CP Rail has also signed an
alliance with Norfolk Southern so
it can develop a doublestack
container service for a north-south corridor bypassing
as well as New York. CPRs trans-border corridor between
Chicago and Vancouver is also poised to expand. Major
expansions were completed to intermodal yards in Toronto and
Calgary, while expansion of the Vancouver yard will be
completed in 1999. Analyst Winnie Siu, of Salman Partners in
Vancouver, said coal and grain shipments by rail are expected
to fall in 1999, and the North American economy will slow
next year,
so this is going to affect traffic. At the same time,
she said she expects railways will do well financially as cost­
cutting measures kick in and opportunities in the U.S. start
providing new revenues.
A parallel trend to the train drain by the majors is the
of more short line railways in Canada, as entrepreneurs
take up track sold
off by CN and CP Rail and try to make a
profit carrying
local traffic, and feeding freight to the two majors.
There are 48 railways in Canada, up five from the
same time
last year. Railway association spokesman Roger
Cameron said
that since the Canadian rail industry was deregulated in mid-
1996,7,231 kilometres
of track were transferred to new owners,
and 1,213 kilometres were discontinued.
Sheila McGovern, The Gazette
Via Rail Canada showed off its renovated Dorval station
yesterday (January 11, 1999) -an $850,000 project it hopes
appeal to globetrotting Ottawans. The formerly fiat,
utilitarian building -first constructed in 1967 -has a new red
roof and tower reminiscent of bygone stations. The new roof
should also make the station easier to find, and the govermnent­
owned passenger railway hopes the Via sign, very visible at its
summit, will remind passers-by that the train
is an option for
The spruced-up interior has improved seating, a bank
machine, vending machines and a small first-class lounge. And
of Feb. 8, its going to be busier. Via intends to boost its
weekday service between Montreal and Ottawa to five trains
from four.
The fifth train has been timed to coincide with the
Old Dorval station, photographed in /893.
arrival and departure of international flights at Dorval airport.
Passengers will be offered free shuttle service to the airport
from the station, plus baggage handling.
Via president Rod Morri
son said the railway is making
a concerted effort to draw
more passengers and is convinced,
given congested roadways and airports, that it can seJl itse
lf as
a good way to get to the airport. Residents in the Ottawa area
take about 300,000 international flights a year, he said, but in
many cases, they have to travel to Montreal
or Toronto to get a
He said he doesnt know how many of those passengers
the railway carries now, but
hes convinced it could carry more.
Direct rail links to airports are common in Europe, and Morrison
said Via is convinced such a
service would work at Dorval and
at Pearson Airport in Toronto. Via is looking at linking Pearson
with London and Windsor, he said, but the Dorval project is
farther ahead. Aeroports de
Montreal and the St. Lawrence
Hudson Railway, a division of Canadian Pacific Railway,
are studying the feasibility
of building a rapid shuttle service
between downtown Montreal and Dorval within three to four
years. Morrison said such a project would
complement rather
compete with Vias service,
Via would dearly love to have a
spur line right into the
airport, he said, and would be willing to work with those
involved in the shuttle service. Federal Transport Minister David
Collenette, who attended the inauguration, acknowledged Via
has had a tough time in recent years with severe cutbacks in
federal funding. But he insisted the government is now
committed to improving rail service as an alternative to
congested highways.
He said he hoped that on his next visit he
would be announcing government involvement in a shuttle
service. Morrison said the governments renewed commitment
passenger rail is helpful, although it hasnt increased the
railways subsidy
of $170 mjllion a year. Still, he expects the
railway will be able to improve its revenues and find additional
ways to
cut costs -such as renting or leasing equipment rather
than buying.
The Gazette, January 12,1999.
Once the fastest railway cars in the world, Japans
original bullet trains will make their final runs in 1999. The
trains will be gradually retired throughout next year to make
for a new, faster express, Central Japan Railways said on
December 30, 1998. Billed as the super-expresses of the
century when they debuted
in 1964, the first-generation trains
traveled between Tokyo and Osaka at a speed of more than 200
kilometres per hour.
Sleeker, faster trains have been introduced, including
Nozomi, which travels the 400 kilometres from Tokyo to
Osaka in just 2.5 hours vs. four hours on the original train. A
new version
of the Nozomi, with a maximum speed approaching
300 kph, debuts in March.
Thousands of trucks that intimidate car drivers on the
expressway between Montreal and Detroit will instead
piggyback on railway cars, thanks to Canadian Pacific
Iron Highway project. CP hopes that this will open a brand
market for short hauls, which are dominated by trucks.
The railway has been testing the Iron Highway for two years,
running two weekday trains each way between
Montreal and
Toronto, able to carry
20 trailers each. Some of the early trains
ran empty, but
CP is now a believer in the project. After investing
$20 million into the Iron Highway, CP Rail will invest
$40 million this year. By early February, capacity will
double on the Toronto-Montreal run. By summer, it will triple,
and the.
service will be extended to Detroit, gateway to the
industrial stat
es in the U.S. midwest. Iron Highway is now
running 80 to 85 per cent full, which amounts to at
least 64
trailers a day,
or 16,640 a year. Triple that capacity works out
about 50,000 trailers a year. By comparison, the Ontario
Transportation Ministry has clocked 2,500 commercial trucks
of all sizes going west each weekday on Highway 401 -the
main highway across southern Ontario.
have for years canied intermodal cargo, steel
containers and reinforced truck trailers that also
go on trucks
and ships.
These boxes, strong enough to be hoisted by cranes
and double-stacked
on railway cars, are efficient for long hauls
over 2,400 kilometres. But for relatively short distances, such
as the 560 kilometres between Montreal and Toronto, trucks
dominate because theyre faster and more flexible. For the
railway to win back business from the trucking industry in those
shorter distances, Iron Highway has to provide scheduled fast
short terminal turnaround times, the ability to carry light
truck bodies, and a smooth ride.
Your editor recently read a news item wruch caused some
concern. It seems that the CRHA was planning to dissect a
one of those new electronic toys that were such a hit at
Christmas, to see if they would interfere with electronic
equipment. Intrigued, and puzzled how this toy could upset the
of the Association, I continued reading the article.
However I was relieved to read that The CRHA has no voice­
activated machines that could be upset by a Furby. Still
concerned, however, I continued the article and eventually found
out that the CRHA in question is not this association, but is the
Calgary Regional Health Authority!
The convention of the CRHA will be held at Revelstoke
British Columbia in 1999, a year which also marks the
centennial of the incorporation of Revelstoke as a city. All who
were at the last convention there will remember the interesting
time had by all. More details will be sent later.
Ex -CPR 1293 on the Ohio Central on October 11 1998.
Contrary to our report in the September-October 1998
of Canadian Rail, the Ohio Central will continue to operate
regular excursion trains
out of Sugarcreek Ohio in 1999. The
original announcement
of the discontinuance of these popular
tlips caused great disappointment among railway enthusiasts
and others, and sufficient letters
of protest were written that the
OC reversed its former announcement. Thus it will still be
to see, and ride behind, ex-CNR ISS 1 and ex-CP 1293
as they run through the scenic Ohio countryside. Anyone
in the
area should ride these trains, as this is the best way
to ensure
their survival.
For the third year running, Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (near
Tours, France) welcomes the Cinerail Festival from 21st
to 24th
of April 1999. The only festival in the world dedicated to short­
footage films
inspired by railways, offers the opportunity to
watch international productions each year comprising creative
shOit-footage films, advertisements, television documentaries
and reports and corporate films.
is a festival for professionals as well as for the
general public. It opens its doors to
everyone and offers
enthusiasts screenings
of productions of any nationality, that
railways have inspire
d. In 1998, 16 countries came to share
their ideas
of the train in registering their films for competition.
The prize
list, from 68 films, selected from more than 100 films
registered, honours the international characteristics
of this
productions from Yugoslavia, Spain, Australia,
Germany, Japan and France have been awarded.
But the organizing committee is going further in their
desire to
make this Festival a railway observation post. The
spectators will discover the different facets that trains can take
in examining technical
or artistic photos, drawings, models …
or palticipating in the cultural excursion by train through the
of France.
The entrance to the projection room, where the
competition is held, is free. Only a registration fee of 30 French
is asked for opening and closing ceremonies.
For further information, contact:
Cinerail -9 Quai de Seine
F-93584 St. Ouen Cedex
0140109807 -Fax: 014010 58 OS
The 25th Anniversary show, sponsored by the Lindsay
and District Model Engineers will be held on April 10th and
11 th, 1999 at Victoria Park Armoury, 210 Kent Street West,
Lindsay, Ontario. On Saturday, April 1 0, the show will run from
II :00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., while on Sunday April 11 it wil.l be
11 :00 A.M. until 4:30 P.M. Admission is $4.00 for adults,
$3.00 for students, and $1.00 for children. For more information
call George Morgan, show co-ordinator at (70S) 887-5892.
The 1999 calendar produced by Sperry Rail Service
features a large colour photo of Sperry car 132 in the clear on
a siding at Canmore, Alberta, with a rainbow
in the background.
This is the second year in a row Sperrys calendar has featured
a scene on the CPR, for
in 1998 it showed SRS 127 beside
CPR locomotive 6029 on a bridge at Po
rt Coquitiam, B.C.
All from The Railway and Shipping World.
Canadian Pacific Railway
Well have a faster service than has been is evidently
the determination
of Sir William Van Horne.
January, 1899.
lEditors note: This is a takeoff
on the motto We Hold a Vaster
Empire Than Has Been which appeared on the famous
Canadian 2-cent map stamp issued in December, 1898.]
C.P.R. Western and Pacific Divisions
General Superintendent Marpole, of the Pacific Division,
has issued the following circular, with the approval
of Manager
of the Western Lines:
On Feb. 1 that section of the Western Division from
Donald to Laggan [now Lake Louise] will be operated as part
of the Pacific Division, and together with the Selkirk section
will form one operating section extending from Revelstoke to
Laggan, and will be known and designated thereafter as the
Mountain Section. The Selkirk section will lose its identity,
and Donald will be abolished as a divisional
point by this
arrangement. Supplementary Time Bill No. I, affecting current
Time Bill 13, so far as relates
to that section of the Pacific
Division between Donald
& Revelstoke, will be issued before
1. This supplement will include the addition to the Pacific
Division from Donald to Laggan, and all employees concerned
are directed to immediately familiarize themselves with its
contents, particularly noting that the Pacific Standard Time will
apply on and after Feb.
1, throughout to Laggan. The jurisdiction
of E. 1. Duchesnay, as Superintendent, is extended to cover all
the Mountain
Section; the Despatching Office will continue to
be at Revelstoke, with T. Downie as Chief Train Despatcher. T.
Kilpatrick, as Bridge Inspector, will have jurisdiction over all
Superintendents Division. The limits of the roadmsters
sections will he continued as at present, viz. : Revelstoke to
Donald, with
W. Newmaan in charge, with headquarters at
Revelstoke, and from Donald to Laggan with
H. C. Killeen as
Roadmaster, with headquarters at Field.
In reference to the foregoing it may be added that Laggan
station and yard will remain a portion
of the Western Division.
Field will become an important divisional point, and engines
and crews will run through from Field to Revelstoke.
The heavy
consolidation engines working on the Kicking Horse grade will
have their headquarters at Field, and will be used entirely to
move the traffic between Field and Laggan, under the
supervision of the Pacific Division officials.
The dispatching on this portion of the line will be done
from Revelstoke. Heretofore it has been done during slack
seasons from Medicine Hat, and when traffic was particularly
heavy by dispatchers stationed at Field. Another result
of this
is the abolition of Gleichen and Canmore as divisional
points on the
Western Division, and the substitution of Calgary.
Engines will run from Medicine Hat to Calgary, 180 miles, and
from Calgary to Laggan, 116 miles.
The new shops at Calgary are covered in, and the
of machinery is commenced. The turntable is in place,
and the running shed will go into immediate use.
The shop
will not be in operation till the
end of Feb. A running shed with
6 stalls has been established at Laggan, for the Western Divisions
which turn around at that point.
The building is solid stone, as
is also the new 12-stall roundhouse at Field. Large additions
have been made to the tracks at Field, Laggan and Calgary, for
the accommodation
of through business.
ary, 1899.
Columbia & Western
On returning to Rossland, B.C., lately from Montreal,
D.J. Fitzgerald said he had gone east in the hope
of securing
payment from
the C.P.R. for certain fuels and stores, the property
of the B.C. Smelting and Refining Co., which the C.P.R.
specifically agreed to purchase separately, and which he alleged
were not included
in the transfer of the smelter and railway
when F.A. Heinze sold out his B.C. interes
ts to the C.P.R. last
He said the two companies had failed to adjust their
differences, and that as the C.P.R. had refused to treat with him
and fulfill its alleged covenant, Mr. Heinze was forced to sue
R.B. Angus and
Thos. G. Shaughnessy, as representatives of
lhe railway, to secure payment of his claim.
January, 1899.
Toronto Union Station
The illustration on this page shows the north and east
of this building, and the extensions towards the lake, with
a portion
of the north train shed. Most of the views heretofore
have shown the north and west sides. We do not
publish this illustration with any idea that it may serve as a
model, for the general consensus
of opinion is that the Toronto
Union is
one of the most inconvenient stations in America,
expensive to run and unsatisfactory in very many other respects.
January 1899.
Newfoundland Northern & Western
Last month the Governor of Newfoundland received a
dispatch from Colonial Secretary Chamberlain, refusing to grant
petitions praying for the disallowance of R. G. Reids
contract, on the ground that he could not interfere with the
legislative acts
of a self-governing colony.
January, 1899.
Quebec Bridge
An item which has been going the rounds of the daily
to the effect that the Dominion Government has invited
tenders for a bridge over the St. Lawrence at Quebec
is incorrect.
The tenders have been asked for by the Quebec Bridge
Company, the time for making them being extended to March
1. We understand several large bridge builders are preparing
designs, and will submit tenders.
ry, 1899.
White Pass & Yukon
The Customs Department is completing arrangements
for the transit
of goods to the Yukon over the White Pass Railway
in bond. Trains are now running from Skagway to nearly the
Canadian border, and as soon as the line reaches
territory a
sealed car will be placed on the route to carry
Canadian bonded shipments from Skagway across the disputed
February, 1899.
BACK COVER: On August 15, 1998 Sperry Rail Service car 148 pulls up to the CPR station at Cartier, Ontario. The passengers are
lIot waiting for the Sperry em; but for VIA train 185, the Lake Superior, which has already left Sudbury bound for White River. In
ofew minutes car 148 will depart, and the passengers, with their fishing equipment (including the T shirt saying / fish, therefore /
lie), will bomd Budd cars 6205 and 6250 and be on their way. Howevel; one day nol so long ago the Budd cars were blocked by a
derailment, and SRS
148 saved the day by picking up the passengers. Photo by Fred Angus
This issue ofC~nadian Rail delivered to printer January 19.1999.
Canadian Rail
120, rue St-Pierre, St. Constant, Quebec
Canada J5A
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