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Canadian Rail 499 2004

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Canadian Rail 499 2004

ISSN 0008-4875
Permit No. 40066621
EVERY BRIDGE TELLS A STORy ……………………………………………………….. JAY UNDERWOOD……………. 43
TO HIS POST……………………………. FRED ANGUS………………….. 52
A SATURDAY AFTERNOON ON 1275…………………………………………………… FRED ANGUS………………….. 54
OF THE TORONTO SUBWAy …………………….. COMPiLATION…………………. 60
A NEW HOME FOR B.C. RAILS BUDD CARS ……………………………………….. FRED ANGUS………………….. 74
IN 2003……………………………………………………… GORD TAyLOR………………… 76
THE BUSINESS CAR……………………………………………………………
…………… ……………………………………….
FRONT COVER: Heading west on Montreal s St. Catherine Street on April 28 1956, Montreal street car 1275 is making a rare (for that time) Saturday afternoon run. Behind 1275
is theformer Montreal Tramways Hochelaga office, and behind that is the place where the 1898 Hochelaga car barn
had stood until the previous January. Car 1275 was built by the Canadian Car & Foundry Co.
and placed in service in May 1913. Less than two months later, June 23 1956, the last of the series was retired. Photo by Fred Angus
BELOW Former Essex Terminal Railway No.9 being made ready for operation at Railway Days at St. Thomas, Ontario on August
24, 2003. The next month No.9 made several excursions, including the one to Goderich covered on page 76. Photo by Fred Angus
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Every Bridge Tells a Story
by Jay Underwood
To many people, a railway bridge is nothing more
than a monolith of steel and masonry, a convenience of transit
spanning river
or ravine, enabling the train to get from Point
A to Point B.
Engineers tend to examine bridges from the
perspective of that construction; how
bears the load, its deflection, its
trusses, how it
manages the stresses
and strains of thousands of tons
crossing its length at speed.
But the determined historian
should be able to unearth a story
behind every bridge, not just those
made infamous by their calamitous
collapse (like the Quebec Bridge in 1907
and 1916)
or the political squabbles
that led to their existence (like the Folly
in Nova Scotia.)
There are few bridges, however,
with the storied past of that which
spans the Straits of Barra on Cape
Breton Island; the Grand Narrows
bridge, located almost exactly at the
half-way point
of the railway line that
links Sydney with Port Hastings.
Indeed, the several stories associated
with this one bridge place
it well within
the realm
of legend.
The Grand Narrows bridges story begins with Sir
John A.
Macdonald, the doubty Glaswegian who rose to
become one
of Canadas longest-serving prime ministers by
of his ability to stir public passion at election time by
his tireless travel across the
growing country.
Sir John had a particular
fondness for Cape Breton; its highlands
and the great loch known as Bras
were a reminder to him of his own
birthplace across the Atlantic, and the
Man, as party faithful knew him,
made frequent trips to the island,
sometimes just to escape the bickering
of Ottawa.
lt was due to Sir Johns regime
that the railway was being built across
the island, pressed by the local
politicians who saw good public policy
combined with a chance for personal
profit along its path. It was the promise
of the railway that saw Hector Francis
McDouga II (born June 6, 1848, died
27,1914) first elected as the
areas member of parliament for Sir
Johns Libera I Conservative party in
1884 (he had previously been defeated
in 1882), and re-elected in every poll until
November 7 1900.
I most as soon as the
Intercolonial railway opened between
Tnlro and Riviere du Loup in July 1876,
fulfilling the promise
of Confederation
made in 1867, pol iticians and promoters
began laying plans for a continuation
of the line from New Glasgow to Cape
Sir John A. Mcdonald (1815-1891),
Canada s first Prime Minister. He picked
the location of the bridge. (National
Archives of Canada)
In 1887 McDougall and his
partner Edward A. MacNeil, another
local merchant, saw the tourism
potential develop for the railway,
beyond the steamer trade that plied the
of Lake Bras DOr, linking the
Sydneys to mainland Nova Scotia by
Predictably there were problems, mostly with
commercial rivals seeking profit from the construction and
of the line that would connect Cape Bretons coal
mines to the rest
of the nation, and communities intent upon
reaping the benefits a railway was expected to bring.
expected, several different routes were proposed. The first
scheme, floated in 1878, took a southerly route across the
island from
Port Hawkesbury to St. Peters and then to
Louisburg and Sydney. In 1884 an American syndicate
proposed to build the line, again to the south, but this scheme
also faded beneath a wealth
of promises of land grants and
subsidies. The route to the north
of the Bras DOr became
the political favorite
of Macdonalds party, anxious to deliver
upon the promise in some form, and knowing full well
that a
railway line brought federal votes
just as surely as highway
improvements purchased them provincially. way
of the St. Peters canal and the
Intercolonial Railway terminus at Mulgrave.
Together the entrepreneurs built the Grand Narrows
Hotel, a splendid facility that thrives today under MacNeil
It was at the hotel that Sir John found himself
one fine morning, enjoying the breathtaking splendour of
the scenery, and satisfied that the surveys for the railway
would be completed in time for him to go to the voters
of the
region seeking continued support.
Local legend, retold on the
hotels web site http;!/
and in the book
Tracks Across The Landscape, The S&L
Commemorative History,
by Brian Campbell (University
College of Cape Breton Press, 1995,) notes the prime minister
took in the majesty
of the scenery and from the front steps
of the hotel, pointing northward declared, That is where
the new bridge will go.
Hector Francis McDougall (1848-1914), He was the local
MP. and also owned the nearby hotel.
(National Archives
of Canada)
It was an easy decision, and no doubt one made by
the engineers
who plotted the course of the railway, since
the only other suitable crossing on the north shore of the
DOr would have been in the hilly country about KellyS
Mountain near Boularderie, but from such stories are legends
Thus anointed, construction of the line proceeded
apace, under the keen eye of engineer RoberrGillespie Reid.
It would be left to Reid to build the 1,697 foot steel bridge
across the narrows, with a swing span to allow the steamers
to enter Bras
DOr Lake from Great Bras DOr.
Robert Cuffs biography of Reid on the
Newfoundland heritage web site
societylrg reid.html notes that the future patriarch of an
influential Newfoundland family was born at Coupar Angus,
Perthshire, Scotland on 12 October 1842. He was
apprenticed at an early age to a maternal uncle as a
stonemason, and worked in the area
of his home village until
1865, when
he emigrated to Australia, seeking his fortune in
the. goldfields.
During the long voyage he met his future wife, Harriet
Duff (they were married at Auckland, New Zealand that
August), and, gold prospecting proving to be a hard way to
make a living, Reid soon returned to practicing his trade. He
found more gainful employment building stone viaducts for
a railway through the Blue Mountains
of New South Wales.
In 1869 Reids father died, and he took his family back to
Wanderlust soon set in again, and in 1871 Reid
emigrated for a second time, to work in Ontario, where family
legend says he worked on the masonry
of the Parliament
44 MARS-AVRIL 2004
Robert Gillespie Reid (1842-1908). The bridge project may
have doomed him.
(Provincial Archives
of Newfoundland)
Buildings in Ottawa. In 1873 he brought his family from
Scotland and settled
in what is now Cambridge as a principle
in the firm
of Isbester & Reid.
Ever restless, and in search
of new challenges Reid
then moved his family to California, and for a few more years
found work as a contractor and engineer, building bridges
on difficult western sections of American railways. By 1883,
when he completed a bridge over the Delaware Gap
in New
Reid had established an excellent reputation for
building bridges in difficult terrain, and for the reliability
his contracts.
Returning to Canada
in 1883, Reid again went to work
railway bridges in difficult terrain, this time for the
Canadian Pacific Railway along the north shore of Lake
Superior. In 1887 he received the contract to build the entire
87 -mile long Sudbury branch
of the CPR, the first project he
undertaken that went beyond mere bridges, and the first in
business with his son William.
This contract offered him
sufficient wealth
to settle his family in Montreal, and in time
all three sons would join the business. In all that time Reid
enjoyed a robust health, defying the often-unhealthy
environments of the Australian hill country, western U.S.
deserts, and Lake Superiors mosquito infested muskeg,
where typhus and cholera could easily claim
ones life.
Then, in 1890, he was awarded the contract to
complete the Intercolonials Cape Breton line, and build the
bridge at Grand Narrows.
It was in the cold, damp climate of
Cape Bretons fall air, at the age of only 48, that Reid is said
to have contracted the rheumatism that would plague him
for the remainder
of his life.
It was his involvement in
the construction of the
Newfoundland Railway that made
Reid fabulously wealthy, creating
the Reid Newfoundland
Company, which exists to this day
as a
major industrial force in
But it seems he
did not live long enough to enjoy
the success, as
Cuff notes:
Sir R.G. Reid died at his
in Montreal on 3 June 1908
(he had been knighted
in the 1907
New Years honours list). His wiIl
directed that his –
interest in the
Reid Newfoundland Company
was to be realized and disposed
of as soon as possible and he
advised his sons not to
any part of my estate in any new
enterprise or
in any speculative
or hazardous investments in
Newfoundland or elsewhere.
Dead at age 66, the
rheumatism he contracted at
Gnmd Narrows contributed to his
short life: Other-raaway engineers
The first train to cross the bridge at Grand Narrows carried a motley crew of workmen,
but the vice-regal nature
of the trek is told by the proliferation of top hats among the
dignitaries who rode with the Governor-General that
day. (Beaton Institute)
of the day lived longer. Sandford Fleming died in 1915 at the
of 88; Alexander Luders Light died in 1894 at the age of
77. Neither of them worked on railways in Cape Breton. Did
the Grand Narrows bridge doom the life
of its creator?
At least Reid got to watch as the line was opened
with rare vice-regal fanfare, and the Grand Narrows bridge
has the distinction
of being perhaps the only span in the
country ever to be officially opened by a Governor General.
The story
of the opening is told in Campbells book,
Tracks Across The Landscape.
At midnight, October 18, 1890, a five-car special train
carrying Governor-General Lord Stanley of Preston left
Halifax, and arrived at Mulgrave in the early morning
(October 19). The five cars were ferried across the Strait of
Canso, on the Intercolonials newest ship, the SS Mulgrave,
and reassembled into a train at Point Tupper, with the
Intercolonial Railway Companys locomotive 166 at its head.
At Iona, Lord Stanley (best remembered
as the donor
of hockeys Stanley Cup) formally declared the railway to
Sydney open for traffic, and then
himself drove the train
across the Grand Narrows bridge. The official train reached
Sydney at 7:10 pm, touching
off celebrations that lasted well
into the night.
Anointed by a prime minister, christened by a
Governor General, the bridge had already developed a lore
all its own, but the legend was to grow the day it was taken
For employees
of the Intercolonial Railway, Canadas
first Crown corporation, life on the job was not always the
cushy sinecure many citizens believed it to be. G.R.
Stevens has
documented many instances of drunkenness,
Lord Stanley of Preston, Governor General of Canada from
1888 to 1893. He officially
opened the Grand Narrows
bridge. (National Archives
of Canada)
theft and loutish behaviour by the ICRs employees, but as
employer, the railway was equally guilty. Too many
politicians had a hand in determining who worked on the
railway, (each federal election could bring with it the summary
dismissal of employees considered to be disloyal to the
victorious political party) and as traffic on the Cape Breton
subdvision increased with the rapid development of
1Ivo views of the Grand Narrows bridge shortly after its
in 1890, one showing the swing span open,
the other showing it closed. Photos from Album
of Cape
Breton (Leighton
& Frey Souvenir View Co. Portland,
Maine). Note: The quality
of these two photos is not the
best, but they are all we have.
Sydneys steel industry, too little attention was paid to
the condition
of the line, turning even routine milk runs
into trips fraught with danger for the train crews.
And then
there was the question of pay. It did
not always arrive
on time, hours were kept erratically
and often not recorded at all, leaving the railway men
waiting for the
money due to them as their household
bills piled up.
Newspapers such as the Moncton Times,
sympathetic to the plight of the working men, railed
against such abuses, predicting a backlash would be
imminent as the employees formed trade unions to protect
their interests.
On the night
of Wednesday, January 16 1901, it all
became too much for the keeper
of the swing bridge at Grand
The Sydney Advocate recorded the events:
Traffic over the Cape Breton division of the
Intercolonial Railway was suspended for five hours
Wednesday night by the action of an employee who claimed
he had not received pay from the pay car. The employee in
J.J. McKenna, is bridge keeper at Grand Narrows.
He claimed fifty-two
days pay, and when he only received
forty-two took the matter
in his own hands.
As soon as the fast express had passed east he
notified Sydney and
New Glasgow that he would allow no
more trains to pass till he had received full pay and then
opened the draw
of the bridge. Two specials, one east and
the other west-bound, were obliged
to remain at the ends of
the bridge.
conductors at once telegraphed to Sydney and
Intercolonial Railway officer McDonald accompanied by city
officer Scott
went out to arrest McKenna. They found the
bridge open only a few feet and swung themselves across.
46 MARS-AVRIL 2004
McKenna was sleeping in the guard house and
awoke when he was disturbed. He expressed no
surprise at his capture,
remarking that he had been
expecting it.
Taken before a magistrate this morning, he was
charged with obstructing trains and was lodged in
jail but was at once bailed out by his friends. His
case comes up next Tuesday (January 22). Since he
had placed the lights at both ends
of the bridge when
opening the draw, criminal action cannot be brought
against him.
McKennas fate before the judge went
unrecorded, for the Advocate, and its daily paper the
Post (now the Cape Breton Post) suspended
publication prior to his court date, as the Halifax
Herald noted: in order to straighten out affairs prior
to appearing under new
Queen Victoria (as seen on a Canadian cent of the 1890s).
Her death, on January
22, 1901, superseded news of the
court appearance
of JJ McKenna.
He was deprived of his day in the news in any other
provincial newspaper, for the very day of his court
appearance (January 22, 1901) Queen Victoria died, and for
several days thereafter many newspapers eschewed local
coverage for pages
of remembrances of the dead monarch,
and tributes
to her successor, the new King Edward VII.
The airship Hindenburg (LZ-129) arriving at its German base in early 1937.
Only a week before McKenna took the bridge hostage,
an elderly lady had been killed by an express train at Iona,
cin the north shore of the narrows, and Railways Minister
G. Blair had pledged $2 million to improve safety on the
division. The accident was the only fatality recorded
in the
of the bridge, but Grand Narrows nearly became the
of one of the centurys greatest tragedies.
While the hotel was built to accommodate the tourists
and travelers
of the region, the Barra Strait saw its fair share
of industrial traffic, and the railway bridge faced its share of
the peculiar perils associated with marine transport.
For many years the only regular vessel to pass
through the swinging span was the wooden-hulled Jessie
a 76-ton steam scow built at Marble Mountain in 1889,
supply wood to the lime kilns that sprang up near the
limestone quarries around the shores
of the Big Lake.
As Cape Bretons steel industry burgeoned prior to
the First World War, Marble Mountain became an important
of dolomite, a form of limestone that was used as a
in the steel-making process, and traffic through the Barra
Strait between the quarry and the Sydney steel mills
increased dramatically as Cape Breton industry added its
weight to the might
of the imperial war machine deployed
against the Kaiser.
The Marble Mountain quarry was actually in the
waning years of its production when the war broke out, as
Dominion Steel (DOSCO) was beginning to import its
limestone from Newfoundland. The submarine scare
in the
Gulf of St. Lawrence, spurred by the presence of German U­
Boats in the gulf, made the Bras
Dor route a more secure
of supply. At some time between 1914 and 1918, a barge (actually
a .condemned steamer
of some kind) was being towed from
the quarry with a full load
of dolomite, when it struck the pier
of the bridge during a ferocious storm. It sank immediately,
with its
superstructure left jutting up from the water. The
deck was cut away, and the hull and its load remain at the
bottom of the channel to this day, unidentified, and its
unrecorded in the otherwise extensive archives of
either the Beaton Institute in Sydney, or the Maritime Museum
of the Atlantic at Halifax.
The Cape Breton Book of Days (Pam Newton, 1984)
notes that the
great airship Hindenburg (LZ 129) passed
over Cape Breton en route to Lakehurst, New Jersey, on
5, 1937. Newton records that the Zeppelin passed low
over the railway bridge at Grand Narrows, offering its
passengers a spectacular view of Reids structure, but
causing some concern on the ground.
Although not yet at war with Germany, people in Cape
Breton were well aware
of the events taking place in Europe
at the time, and the sight
of the swastika on the tail of the
dirigible stirred the anger
of a major of the local militia. Big
Gordie MacNeil, a First World War veteran and resident of
lona, ran to his bam to retrieve a Lewis machinegun he kept
there, intending
to take a shot at the airship. Some residents
calmed him down and prevented his firing on the ship as
moved on to its destiny with fate, the fiery crash at Lakehurst
New Jersey on May 6, 1937 that killed 35 passengers and
ended the era of transatlantic airship travel. Had
MacNeils neighbours not restrained him, who knows what
further tragedy might have been witnessed from the Grand
Narrows bridge?
The Great Railway Shops of Montreal
Continuing our series, we will consider the Grand Trunk shops at Pointe St. Charles. This article was the result of a visit to
the shops by a reporter for the Montreal Herald, and appeared in its issue of May 15, 1897. As he did at the CPR shops three
weeks earlier, the representative
of that paper spent an afternoon touring the facility before writing the article. Interestingly the
heading refers only
to the car shops, wheras the actual story describes the entire shop complex at The Point. As before, the
is reprinted here exactly as it fust appeared 107 years ago.
Visited by a Herald
Everything in the Big Works in Its
Own Place.
Ihe Tomporary Hospl tal and the
Literary Institute Are Among the
SpeCial Arrangemen ts.
When a Herald reporter called at the office
of Mr. F.W. Morse, superintendent of motive power
of the Grand Trunk Railway, during the past week,
and intimated a desire to go through the extensive
works, that gentleman kindly expressed his
willingness to afford every facility in his power to
make the visit satisfactory. He remarked,
however, that at the present time there is nothing
of special interest attached to the work in
progress, it being merely the routine construction
and repair work incidental to large railway shops.
He at once placed the reporter under the direction
of an obliging and well-informed member of his
staff, with instructions to furnish all the
information possible.
What was seen in the subsequent hours
which were occupied in going from one shop to
another practically represented the railway
locomotive from the time it is a molten mass in a
great furnace until it is ready to draw a train of
passengers or goods across the country at a rate
of from 30 to 50 miles an hour. There could also
be seen the preparation of the iron work which
enters into the construction of cars of all kinds,
as well as the hundreds of smaller affairs which
are essential to the successful operation of a great
railway. To the visitor the system with which all
these manifuld prOcesse.sare worked out appears.
wonderfuL The manufacture of a hundred or moxe
little things are commenced so widely apart that
they seem to have no relation whatever to each
other, but they keep on going from one department
to another until they emerge from the shops a
massive locomotive or a handsome passenger
These operations are of course attended
with a great deal of smoke and grime, especially
in the rolling mills and blacksmith shop, but even
in these places the order of things is as scrupulous
as it is possible to imagine could be the case
where work of such a character is carried on. But
there are places where the general attention to
tidiness shines out much more conspicuously,
in ratio to the opportunities and character of the
work. The most striking effect of that kind was
observable in the large shed where the repairing
of locomotives is carried on. On raised platforms
on each sides are dismantled engines to the
number of nearly fifty, all undergoing repairs.
There is a broad space between the two rows, and
so neat and clean is the prospect of such a
considerable area of flooring that the suggestion
at once occurred that it might with little trouble
be transformed into a ball-room. The impression
of tidiness was maintained throughout the whole
The Finest Passenger Train in the World.
A Solid Pullman, Wide Vestibuled Train from Chicago to Portland and Old Orchard, via st. Clair Tunnel, ThouSllnd
The St. Lawrence River, the White Mountains, and the Seaside Resorts of the Atlantic Coast.
The Finest Passenger Train in the World was the boast of the Grand Trunk Railway in its Summer Tours brochure for 1897.
These are the kind
of cars that were built and maintained at The Point at that time.
The building in which Mr. Morses office is
located is situated practically in the heart of the
extensive works, and it was from there the start
was made. From the administration offices the
visitor passes into a large room devoted to the
draughtsmen. The work carried on there is of the
usual character, but several large boards covered
with various-coloured tags was an attractive
feature of the room, and naturally invited closer
inspection. It was learned that it was nothing else
than a clever plan, inaugurated by Mr. Morse, of
keeping track of all the locomotives on the system.
The first tag in the row gives the number of the
engine, the size of her cylinder wheels [sic], the
number of the latter and her build. The second
tag tells the district in which she is employed,
and the third the service in which she is engaged.
Her general condition, whether good, medium or
bad, is denoted by different coloured tags, while
even the condition of various important parts is
distinctly and readily ascertained. As there are
some nine hundred locomotives represented on
these boards, in can be easily appreciated that it
is no easy task to keep them in order. Reports
are received every month from the master
mechanics of the various divisions, and it is from
their statements that the tags are moved about
to represent the condition of affairs as told by the
reports. It will thus be seen that a glance is
practically sufficient to tell where an engine is
working and all about her.
After passing through the supply
department, where so many little necessities are
stored, a visit was paid to the rolling mills, a
department which was added to the works about
four years ago. The men employed there do not
work regular hours like most of the others, but
are engaged on the contract system, being paid
so much for every ton of material they produce.
The bodily exertion required of those so engaged
is of such an exacting character, largely on
account of the great heat, that they knock off work
when they are satisfied that they have done a
days labor. The manufactured article, as it
comes from the mills, is in bars of various sizes
and goes into the stores department where it is
requisitioned as required.
In the blacksmith shop, the extent of which,
coupled with the variety of work turned out, would
make a village smithy [sic] stare with
amazement, parts of the Westinghouse air brake
equipment, now being extensively added to Grand
Trunk rolling stock, were being worked into shape,
under the muscular sledge blows or by means of
pounding hammers. The larger furnaces there
are fed with crude petroleum. It was pointed out
that not only is the fuel oil 25 per cent cheaper
than coal, but it is less trouble and is much
cleaner. The oil is fed into the furnace by
gravitation from tanks above. The fire is easily
started and there is no refuse to clean away. Water
Official car Violet was in the shops at the time of the Herald reporters visit. This car was then only a year old, having been
in those shops in 1896. Sadly, the Violet, much rebuilt, was destroyed in the tragic fire at the Salem & Hillsborough in
New Brunswick on September
16, 1994. National Archives of Canada, Merrilees Collection, photo No. PA-187470
boilers are fitted above the furnaces and steam
is thus supplied without extra expense for
running the large hammers. The oil is kept in a
vault separate from the rest of the buildings and
about a thousand gallons a week are consumed.
In the erecting shop, where the building and
repaIrIng of locomotives is attended to,
considerable was learned about those all
important adjuncts to a railway system. There
were forty-five dismantled engines ranged on two
sides of a large, well lighted shop in charge of
gangs of men working at various parts. The
intestines of a locomotive, it seems, are a matter
of much trouble to the railway management. The
boiler tubes are a locomotives intestines and
their good behavior depends upon the conditions
which obtain in the country in which their
usefulness is directed. For instance, an engine
employed on the eastern section of the Grand
Trunk, where soft water is found in abundance,
will continue in good working order much longer
than one used where hard water containing much
alkali is provided. Scales form on the tubes more
readily and they become clogged up much quicker
in the latter case. A locomotive requires to be
taken into the shops for treatment for every
60,000 miles it travels or once every eighteen or
twenty months. A word or two about the treatment.
On being removed from the boilers, the tubes are
placed in a rumbler, an instrument of torture,
which revolved the live-long day, and the tubes
keep tumbling and scraping against each other,
until the scales, with the aid of water which flows
into the rumbler, are all rubbed off. After some
further attentions they are ready for the road
again. The outsides of the boilers are now covered
with asbestos paper, which, being a non­
conductor, keeps the heat in the boiler better and
incidentally effects a saving in fuel.
The next interesting operation witnessed
was the riveting of boilers by hydraulic power. The
process is very simple to understand, when it is
seen, but it is another matter to explain how
easily an immense boiler is swung into the air
by hydraulic means, the rivet hole placed between
the jaws of a vice-like apparatus, the red-hot belt
placed in position, the former applied by a simple
turn of the hand, and the rivet fixed solidly in
place,all by being done without the least noise or
fuss. Compressed air is also used in connection
with some of the works.
A lesson on the adjusting of tires on the
driving wheels of locomotives proved interesting.
The system now in vogue is called the Manesll
fastening, which renders it an impossibility for a
tire to become detached from a wheel. When a
groove is worn in the tire from the constant
grinding on the rails to which it is subjected, the
wheel is taken into the shops and by means of
machinery cut level again. Under the Mansell
system the life of a tire is longer, as it can be
leveled down oftener with absolute safety than
could be done under the former modus operandi.
After a visit to the electric lighting plant
the Westinghouse air brake repair proved the next
object of interest. That wonderful system, which
has revolutionized the handling of trains, is an
exceedingly intricate piece of machinery. In the
repair shop are to be found sections of the interior
workings of the machines which are used to
demonstrate to engineers and trainmen how the
brake is worked. There is also a brake arranged
in working order so that its use can be applied on
the spot. It is practically a school, for the men
who come in contact with the brake in their labors
must thoroughly understand how to
work it and they have to pass a rigid
examination before they are
qualified to take positions where
they are required to manipulate the
machine. Upon their knowledge
sometime might depend the lives of
all on board a train. The great utility
of the brake, the use of which is
practically universal, was demon­
strated for the benefit of the visitors.
After a trip through the
machine shop, tin shop and iron
foundry, the visitor was shown the
Engineers quarters and the hall of
the fire brigade. In the engineers
room are 44 beds where they can
retire when they come in after a
run. The place is used, of course,
by men who find themselves away
from home and as everything is
kept neat and clean it proves a great
boon to them.
In the rear of the hall where
the fire apparatus is kept is the
ambulance department. If a man is

hurt in any of the shops there is.

every pIovisionfor the alleviation
of suffering and the application of
simple remedies until the arrival
of a doctor. They have a trained
ambulance class among the men in
the works. A visit to the shops where
passenger cars are under con­
struction and repairs also proved
interesting. The beautiful car Violet,
which the president, Sir Charles
Rivers-Wilson travels in when
visiting this country, is at present
undergoing some alterations.
The sumptuous and highly ornate interior of a Grand Trunk sleeping car was
in this promotional brochure entitled The Scenic Route of America ,
issued by the GTR in 1898.
One of the last but most interesting features
of the visit was the time spent with Mr. F.E. Wyer,
librarian of the Grand Trunk Literary and
Scientific Institute. There were 693 paid up
members on the list last year and the number of
books circulated from the library was 16,285. The
total volumes catalogued to date is 6,844 including
scientific works, history, biography, travels,
magazines, etc. It was learned from Mr. Wyer that
Conan Doyle is one of the most popular novelists
among the members of the institute. Works of
fiction are largely asked for but a good many
scientific works are also taken out.
When the whistle blew a 5 oclock there was
a rush for home and soon the metal checks were
raining in upon the attendants at the wickets.
Men who toil all day in the heat and smoke and
noise of great works like those of the Point may
be excused for losing no time in grabbing their
coats and making for the exits. The grinding of
machinery, the clanking of hammers, the roaring
of furnaces are quieted and silence reigns
throughout the deserted shops until the light of
another day calls men forth from their abodes to
resume the arduous duties of life, and at the signal
given by a hoarse whistle the equipments of the
various departments are let in motion for the day.
Tiresome and monotonous as many of the
occupations incidental to works of that kind
cannot fail to be, there are, however, the bright
sides to be considered. One of them which shines
conspicuously is the Institute where many
facilities are provided for legitimate and profitable
How Engineer Hutchinson Stuck To His Post
A Forgotten Story
of a Brave Engineer
by Fred Angus
The westbound express of the Grand Trunk Railway
approached Burlington, Ontario soon after 3
oclock in the
afternoon of Tuesday, March I, 1898. The train had left
Toronto at 2:00 and was due at Hamilton at 3 :25. At the
throttle was Thomas Hutchinson, aged 57, a veteran
of 36
years service with the Grand Trunk and its predecessor the
Great Western. Ahead
of him was a freight train which was
supposed to go into a
siding to let the express pass. The
switch was protected by a semaphore which had a red target
indicating danger
if the switch was set for the siding. The
caboose of the freight train was painted bright red, the same
colour as the semaphore target, and by chance the two were
in exactly the
same line of
had the collision taken place at track speed, it is almost certain
that the wooden passenger cars would have telescoped and
at least
half the passengers would have been killed, and the
rest badly injured. Thanks to air brakes, and Engineer
Hutchinsons heroic last stand, Canada was spared what
might have been one of the worst wrecks in its history.
Thomas Hutchinson was born in Ireland in 1841, and
came to Canada in the mid 1850s.
In 1862 he joined the Great
Western Railway as a fireman, and in 1869 was promoted to
When the Great Western was taken over by the
Grand Trunk in 1882 he became a GTR employee and
in his duties as engineer until his death, a total of
29 years, during which he
sight as seen from the
engine of the oncoming
ex press. Beca use of the
light conditions that
afternoon, the semaphore
S tuek to His Post.
was promoted from yard
service, to freights, and
eventually to the express
passenger trains, the best
the GTRriln.
was virtually invisible
against the background of
the similarly coloured
caboose. The result was a
recipe for disaster.
Enllineel Hutchinsons Bravery
Saved Ma.ny Lives.
The job of locomotive
engineer was a very
dangerous occupation in
century, but Thomas
Hutchinson seems to have
had more than his share of
close brushes with death.
Believing that the
freight was safely in the
siding and the line was clear,
engineer Hutchinson main-
Sketch ot the Hero Who Died in Bnm·
llton Hospital on Wednesday Hight.
He fully realized the dangers
tained scheduled speed
until within a few hundred
of the train ahead. Then,
The headline in the London Advertiser of March 4, 1898 which
described the tragic events
of the previous Tuesday.
but often said that, in the
event of an accident, he
would stay at his post until
according to fireman Clark
of the express, he noticed that something was wrong, and
that the switch had not been set back for the main line. Both
realized that it was too late to stop and a crash was inevitable,
the only question was how severe would it be. There was
still time to
jump and perhaps escape with little injury, but
engineer Hutchinson instantly decided to stay at his post.
In tbe few remaining seconds he threw the engine into reverse
and applied the heavy emergency brakes which immediately
took hold and began to slow the train. However the
momentum of the heavy train pushed it on relentlessly, and
seconds later it crashed into and demolished the caboose,
derailed the engine and trapped engineer and firemen in the
wreckage. Both were rescued alive and taken to the hospital
Hamilton. Fireman Clark survived, but engineer
Hutchinson died of his injuries on Wednesday evening,
March 2. However his self-sacrifice was not in vain. Before
the crash the passenger train had slowed to the point where
most of the cars stayed upright and were not seriously
damaged. It was the opinion of Grand Trunk officials that-
the end. He saw and
survived a considerable number of wrecks in which men
of him were killed. One day in the 1890s he was
of the Toronto Express when it crashed into a freight
on the Wye at Hamilton, killing his fireman, Robert Archibald,
as well
as baggageman Peden. On this occasion, Hutchinson
stayed with the engine until the crash, when he was thrown
over the tops of two locomotives and through the open
door of a boxcar in front. Landing in a pile of wheat, he was
buried up to the neck; however he was dug out almost
uninjured! Another time he was engineer of the second
locomotive of a double-header which was .. wrecked at the
Welland Canal. Thomas Cox, engineer
ofllie first locomotive,
was killed, but Hutchinson survived. The most bizarre, and
potentially disastrous, situation occuued when he was
driving the engine of a holiday train consisting of twelve
coaches, all full of passengers. While running along a high
embankment, one
of the big driving w.qeels broke loose, fell
off the engine and rolled down the embankment into the
ditch. Even engineer Hutchinson could not explain the miracle
Grand Trunk Railway 4-4-0 No. 2042 was built by Manchester Locomotive Works in August 1873 as No. 186. It received a new
in December 1882 and was renumbered 472 in 1898. Subsequently renumbered 270 (in 1904) and 2042 (in 1910), it
was scrapped in May 1917. Collection of Donald Angus
that followed. Somehow he managed to stop the
just at the edge of a high trestle, and not
person, of the hundreds aboard the train,
was even hurt.
After all these narrow escapes, it is no
wonder that he always thought that death would
come to him while driving his beloved engine.
On Sunday, February
27,1898, he put on anew
suit of clothes before going to service at Christ
Church Cathedral
in Hamilton. Possibly he had
some premonition, for he remarked to his family
that he would probably be buried
in that suit.
This prediction
proved all too true. Two days
later, on March I, he took his last ride aboard his
engine, and the following Friday was indeed
in the new suit.
In the last century and a half many
hundreds of railroaders have died in the line of
duty while serving the railways of Canada. Most
are now
completely forgotten. Four years ago
we told the story
of Joseph Birse who died in a
spectacular plunge
of an express engine off the
Lachine wharf. There are many parallels with the
present story. Both wrecks occurred
in the 1890s,
decade when wooden cars ruled the rails,
and train speeds were being increased to
unprecedented levels at the same time as trains
were getting longer. Both engineers were long­
employees of the Grand Trunk, and both
displayed the highest type of heroism and
courage, saving the lives of their passengers at
expense of their own. In both cases the
engineer was the only fatality in what could have
been a major disaster. Stories like this are a vital
of railway history, and it is one of the duties
of historians to see that people like Thomas
Hutchinson are never forgotten.
31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47
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This schedule, from the Grand Trunk system timetable of October 5, 1896,
shows the trains running between Toronto and Hamilton. It is believed
that it was train
37 that collided with the freight on March 1, 1898,
although accounts of the accident differ.
A Saturday Afternoon on 1275
by Fred Angus
In service only two months, Montreal Tramways car 1202 poses at the corner of St. Denis and Belanger streets on February 8,
1912. Although modified over the years, all 125 of these cars served for more than forty years, and a few lasted until 1956.
CRHA Archives, Binns Collection
By the spring of 1956 the Montreal street car system
was nearing the end
of the line. In the four years since the
conversion to all-bus operation had begun, several major
lines had been abandoned, and the number
of cars in service
was little more than
half of the 939 trams that were running
when the conversion began. The largest conversion of all,
the St. Catherine line and its feeders, was set for the following
September, less than six months away.
It was expected that
the last tram would disappear from Montreals streets by late
1959 or early 1960.
Several older series
of cars had already disappeared,
and others were reduced
to only a small fraction of their former
numbers. Gone were the 703 and
901 classes, the last of those
dating back
to the days of the Montreal Street Railway, and
gone also were the last
of the Park & Island cars, the 1032
The oldest trams then running in Montreal were the
1200 series, the first built for the Montreal Tramway Company,
in service between late 1911 and mid 1913. These were
the last cars with the so-called Montreal
Roof, a distinctive
of most street cars built for Montreal between 1896
and 1913. Cars 1200
to 1209 and 1270 to 1299 had been built
by Canadian Car and Foundry, while 1210
to 1269 and 1300 to
1324 were built by Ottawa Car Co. Originally 125 strong, the first
of the group were retired in 1952. By the start of 1956
there were
18 left, but 6 were retired early that year. Thus by
April there were only
12 still in operation (Nos. 1208, 1211,
Interestingly, ten of these last 12 were Ottawa-built, only 1208
and 1275 were Can Car products.
It was obvious that the few
remaining 1200s would not last much longer, and a
considerable effort was made by those interested to
photograph them in service
in the short time that remained.
For more than ten years, ever since the end
of World
War II, there were no 1200s
in regular all day service. The
older cars were used
only in rush hours, but during these
hours they could be
seen on most routes in the city, very
frequently showing the designation EX, standing for
Extra, it place of a route number. During the war, many of
the older trams had had their cross seats turned longitudinally
increase standee space. In the late 1940s, some were
changed back to their pre-war configuration, but all cars
numbered below 1325 retained their longitudinal seating until
the end.
One major restriction on the older cars was that
those with the older type
of controller were not permitted to
run on steep hills such as Cote des Neiges. Such cars were
marked with a white disc, an inch and a
half in diameter, on
the right side of the front dash. These
included all trams older than No. 1270,
as well as a
number of later ones,
some as high as the low 1500s.
1956 the Cote des Neiges line had
been abandoned, so the restriction
did not have much meaning, but the
white disc remained. That spring
1956 your editor made quite a number
of early morning and late afternoon
expeditions, and did
in taking quite a few photos
of 1200s in rush hour service.
Of all the 1200s, there was one
that had especial interest for the
writer; this was No. 1275. In the days,
around 1947-1948, when I was first
getting mildly interested
in street cars
I had heard
of a family legend of an
experience that had happened
to my
mother about the year 1929. Finishing
This drawing, by Richard Binns, shows MTC 1270 as it appeared when new in 1913.
This tram, built by Canadian Car
and Foundry in 1913, was the first one of the sub class
to 1299) which included 1275.
some Christmas shopping, she boarded a streetcar, No. 1275,
and discovered to her chagrin that she had no car tickets left,
and, even worse, no money to buy any! However she
somehow managed to sweet talk the conductor into giving
her a free ride. Ever since then, my mother had always called
1275 my car. Naturally I wondered
if this car was sti.ll around,
since the oldest I had then been
on was a 1400. Eventually I
it About 5:0o-P.M. ·on the mid-term holiday Monday,
16,1948; haw an old car coming down Lansdowne
Avenue, running extra on the Guy Beaver Hall
14 route. It
proved to be 1275, and it is from this moment that I date my
in street cars, and later, railways. During the next
eight years I did ride 1275 quite a few times, as well as many
other cars
of that series, for they could then be seen all over
the system. However, since mid 1955, such rides were few
and far between, as most
of the 1200s were gone. For at least
30 years 1275 had been assigned to the St. Henri carbarn, but
after the major abandonments
of June 1955 it was moved to
Hochelaga where it served out the remaining year
of its career.
All this brings us to Saturday, April
28, 1956. Exams were over, and it was time
to relax a bit. That very morning there had
been a feature article
in the paper about
the scrapping
of Montreal streetcars; one
realized that the end
of the 1200s was not
far off.
However that day there was no
of seeing a 1200 in operation, as
they were never used on weekends, only
in rush hours Monday through Friday. (As unmistakable look
of a 1200. My first thought was this cant
be, its a Saturday. I then thought that it might be an excursion
of some sort, but as it got nearer, I saw that it was a regular
3A, run No. 42, bound for the corner
of Somerled and Walkley
in Notre Dame de Grace. This was even stranger, because,
since June 1955, 1200s were not seen west
of Atwater, even
in rush hours. The final surprise came as the car I was on
the westbound 1200; it was none other than 1275!
The immediate question was what to do. Obviously
all thought
of the movie vanished in light of this surprising
development. I got
off at the next stop, but of course 1275
was long gone. I even briefly considered chasing it in a taxi,
but soon discarded this option for financial reasons. The
best approach was to walk back along the line, and, sooner or
later, the elusive tram would pass on its return trip. So I walked
west along st. Catherine, up Atwater (the 3A used Atwater,
whereas the 3 used Greene) and west on Sherbrooke. Just
approaching Clarke Ave., near Westmount City Hall, I saw
1275 coming, heading east. There was just time for a quick
photo; then I got aboard and began this nostalgic ride.
it turned out this day, never was actually
hardly ever, in true Gilbert and Sullivan
style.) There was a good movie playing, _
and I decided to go to it, but for some
reason I did bring a camera along, which
proved to be very fortunate. Heading east
on St
Catherine Street, en route to the
movie, I suddenly noticed that an
approaching westbound car had the
1275 eastbound on Sherbrooke street near Westmount City Hall on the afternoon
of Saturday, April 28, 1956. The photo is somewhat fuzzy since it was taken with
ASA 10 Kodachrome,
and there was not time to make fine adjustments for fear of
missing the car.

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Diagrams of the 1200
class when they were
new in
1912, The
lighter weight comp­
osite construction,
which was based on
the ,near side. -cars
of Philadelphia, was
considered velY high
tech in
19 J 2, and
these were the first of
their type to run in
Canada, The style of
covering shown
in the plan view did
not last long
CRHA Archives, Con­
CaI Collection
~Sing a song of Streetcars, seats all lined with chaps. Four and fYlJenty maidens hanging from the straps . So said a trolley joke
book in 1912, and it Obviously still applied in 1956! Here we see a typical rush hour scene which was seldom photographed.
Straphangers riding along St Catherine street aboard 1275 on April
28, 1956. Note that the interior of the clerestory roof,
including the glass,
had been painted cream in an attempt to make the car look more modern . From 1952 on, most 1200s,
and a few older cars, received this treatment.
Heading east on st. Catherine, the
car soon filled up, and it was not long before
all seats were taken and people were
standing. I had hoped to take an interior
photo, showing details of the car
construction, but this did not seem feasible
as the car was too crowded. However I did
try one photo and ended up with a very rare
of straphangers in action, holding
on to the straps just like rush hours on st.
Catherine Street. At the corner of St.
Lawrence Boulevard (The Main) there was
another surprise.
Coming east was none
other than Birney car 200. This car had not
carried regular passengers since 1947, but,
after a career
of transporting fare boxes, was
serving as a rolling billboard. This time it
was advertising the forthcoming opening
of the baseball season. There was time for
one photo as
200 and 1275 passed each
other, then on to the terminus at Harbour
Street (Rue
du Havre) which had been the
eastern terminus
of the line since 1952, when
the line east
to Viau Street had been replaced
Crossing The Main, Birney car 200 passed. This was one offourteen such cars
acquired second
hand from Detroit in 1924. All were retired from passenger
service by 194
7, but 200 survived and is now at the Canadian Railway Museum.
ABOVE AND LEFT Two views on the wye
at Somerled and
Walkley, the end 0/ the
as 1275 prepared to return east to
Hochelaga. The Esso station was selling
gas at
39 cents a gallon.
Before getting off, I ascertained
that 1275 would make another trip unless
dispatcher decided otherwise. So I
crossed the street and waited
to see what
happened. In the background was the
place where the 1898 Hochelaga carbarn
had stood (see article
in Canadian Rail No.
466, September-October 1998). This
venerable structure had been torn down
in February 1956, and the Frontenac bus
terminus was under construction.
About five
or six minutes went by, and then 1275
reappeared, heading west; it was indeed going to make
another trip! There was time for one photo (see front cover)
showing the car with the old Montreal Street Railway office
in the background and also the space where the
Hochelaga barn had stood. Since I was using the old
Kodachrome (speed index ASA
10) I had to use a 1/50 second
exposure, and as 1275 was moving at a fair speed, it was
necessary to pan the photo, keeping the car sharp and
letting the background get slightly blurred with speed. 1275
soon stopped and I got aboard, paid another fare, and sat
back to enjoy a ride the entire length
of the 3A line, all the
way to Notre Dame de Grace. At the corner
of Somerled and
58 MARS-AVRIL 2004
Walkley, the end of the line, I got off and took photos of 1275
turning on the wye, before going east again.
What happened then?
You guessed it, I got back on
1275 again, paid a third fare, and rode east to the corner
Victoria and Sherbrooke. By now it was getting late, so it was
time to get off, take one last photo, and go home after a most
interesting and unusual afternoon. I never did find out why
1275 was running
as a regular 3A on a Saturday aftemoon in
1956. The most logical explanation is that the regular car
(probably a 2100) assigned to run
42 had broken down and
the powers that be at Hochelaga had decided to replace it
with the first car available from the extra pool. This just
happened to be 1275.
At the corner of Victoria Avenue and Sherbrooke Street it was time to get off and go home. The afternoon ride was over.
Less than two months later,
on June 22, 1956, car 1220 pulled
into the barns after a rush hour run
on route 96, Van Horne. This was
the last run
of a l200 in passenger
service, and truly the end
of an era.
Fortunately one car of that class
was saved. Car 1317 was kept,
probably because its interior
woodwork still had the varnished
finish and had
not been painted
over. This.despite the fact that 1275
and 1234 (a rather interesting
number) were in better condition,
having been more recently
overhauled. In August 1956, and
on a few occasions after that, 1317
was used on CRHA excursions,
and it is now preserved at the
Canadian Railway Museum.
In April 1957, less than a
year after the adventure related
above, I paid two visits to Youville
Shops and went to look at the cars
on the scrap line. There was 1275
awaiting its demise. I managed to
take a few last photos and save its
ABOVE: The end of the line. 1275 on the scrap line at Youville Shops on April 9, 1957. By
this time there were only five 1200s left. The car immediately in front is 1265 and the one
is a 1550. The dents in the side of 1275 were the result of an encounter with a
truck about
1954. All these cars were burned three weeks after this photo was taken.
BELOW A closeup of the number on the side of 1275 showing the removable side panels
to make it easier to repair dents such as the car shows in the photo above.
reverse lever as a souvenir. This was the last I ever saw of
1275. About three weeks later all the cars in that line were
turned on their sides, soaked with oil and burned. What was
left was then cut up for scrap. I was certainly glad
to have
had that very interesting, and entirely unexpected, Saturday
afternoon excursion
on the old car in the spring of 1956,
now almost
half a century ago.
Fiftieth Anniversary of the Toronto Subway
On March 30, 1954 the Toronto Subway, the fust in Canada, opened for service. To commemorate this anniversary we are
printing significant articles
photos and advertisements, chiefly from the publication Canadian Transportation, especially the
of December 1953. We are also reprinting two articles, one by Orner Lavallee, the other by Forster Kemp, that appeared in the
C.R.H.A. News report, the forerunner of Canadian Rail, for May, 1954 (issue No. 45).
Excavation on Yonge Street, looking north from Queen. In
the foreground air hammers are breaking up the soil.
The inauguration or-the Toronto subway was the
culmination of a great deal of planning and construction going
back many years. Discussion on the subject
of a subway for
Toronto dated back
at least as far as 1910 when Messrs.
Jacobs and Davis prepared a report on street
railway transportation and recommended a
of subways. In 1911 a tender of an
incredibly precise estimate of$5,497,395.96
by Haney and Miller was accepted, but the
required vote
of acceptance was defeated
to 8,233. Another committee, set up
1915, recommended new electric
suburban lines but no subway. Little was
done until 1942 when, with the great increase
in traffic due
to World War II, the project
was revived. Plans were drawn up in 1944
for a 4.56 mile line, following Yonge Street,
from Union Station
to Eglinton Avenue, and
drawing up of detailed construction
plans was approved. On January 1, 1946
another public vote was held, and this time
support was overwhelming, the vote being
77,935 to 8,360 in favour
of the project.
Detailed plans were drawn, contracts were
awarded, and, on September
8, 1949, work
began on Canadas first subway.
This view, looking north on Yonge Street from Albert Street,
was taken on November
7, 1949. The numerous underground
and conduits are plainly visible.
method, under Yonge Street as far north as College, it was
necessary to close parts of the street from time to time and
lay temporary decking on which street car tracks were laid.
of College, a private right of way was constructed,
often in open cut. Between College and St. Clair this route
was east
of Yonge, but it then crossed that
street and ran the rest
of the way to Eglinton
on the west side. During all this time
numerous diversions of street car I ines were
During the next four and a
half years
construction proceeded at a rate that
averaged out to about a mile a year. Since
the line was built, by the cut and cover
A pile driver in action on Front
Street looking east, in the early
stages of the work.
In November 1951 a contract for 104
subway cars was made with the Gloucester
Railway Carriage and Wagon Works of
Gloucester England. The first ofthese cars,
numbers 5000 and 5001, arrived at the port
of Montreal on July 26 1953, and were then
transported on special CNR flatcars to
Toronto where they arrived at Hillcrest
shops on July 30. From Hillcrest they were
moved, mounted on Witt car trucks, to the
Canadian National Exhibition where they
were on view to the public, later being
moved to the new shops at Davisville.
Subsequent cars were sent directly to
Davisville. By the end of 1953 there were 66
subway cars on the property, and 100 were
on hand by March 5 1954, well before the
opening day. The specifications for the last
four cars were changed to aluminum
construction in order to save weight; they
were delivered later that year.
10 U·I 2·0 n··. 1..0
+ Ir–
: L.—–

~9 11.10 ~.o ,·0 7~O I
construction work had
advanced to the stage where
the first test run could be
made, and this took place on
September 20 1953, using
cars 5004 and 5005. The test
was run from Davisville to
Bloor. On January
1, 1954,
the Toronto Transportation
Commission, reflecting its
new role, changed
its name
to the Toronto Transit
Commission, however the
TTC remained the

lr ~r
I ~ :ir
As the proj ect
Section through the subway at a station.
neared completion Toron-
tonians looked forward
in eager anticipation, and the
big day finally arrived on March 30, 1954. At 10:00
A.M. the band
of the Royal Regiment of Canada
began to playa selection of musical numbers,
recalling how the band of the Artillery Regiment had
played spirited airs at the opening
of the original
horsecar line, which covered much
of the same route,
away back
in 1861. Soon the ceremony began, and at
11 :00 A.M. a ceremonial subway signal light turned
to amber as the band played God Save the Queen.
After some speeches, and a blessing by Rev. C.H.
Mr. Leslie Frost, the Premier of Ontario said:
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, it is now my
great honour and pleasure to give Canadas first
subway the green light.
As he said this he turned a
handle and the ceremonial signal light turned to green.
The band played a fanfare, the air whistles of all
subway cars
in the Davisville yard blew a salute, and
then the official guests boarded the first train which
soon departed, bound for Union Station which it
reached about
12: 1 O. After almost half a century of
talk and planning, Canada had an operating subway.

This photo illustrates the cover part of cut and cover.
It is taken on Yonge Street, looking north to Wellington,
and shows the steel deck beams in place in the foreground,
with timbering and laying
of temporary street car tracks in
the background.
13-6 ,.6 13· 6 • .-2·0


6 ….
~I e.3
. ~1=41
Section through the subway between stations.
Excavation proceeded under the cover. This photo shows
the intermediate lift excavation
in the area near Yonge
and Queen. Heavy trucks are hauling earth up ramps to
exits on side streets.
Before the subway cars arrived, this gauge car was used
to test clearances as construction of the tunnels proceeded.
A momentous event!
The first subway car is unloaded from the
s.s. New York City of Bristol City Lines at Montreal on July
27, 1953. COincidentally, this was the day the Korean War
ended. Three days later the first two cars were in Toronto.
With the subway open,
the street car service on Yonge
Street ended the same day. The
last scheduled run was made
early that afternoon by car 2928
which ran from Eglinton
to the
temporary yard at tbe barbour,
where the old cars were stored.
At 2:40 P.M. a special two car
train, chartered by the Upper
Canada Railway Society, and
by car 2574, departed for
the last time.
It was the end of
two-car Witt train service and of
the Yonge street cars. After 93
years the Yonge cars were gone;
the subway had taken over.
62 MARS-AVRIL 2004
This mock up of a subway car was built late in 1949 to
test the door and window arrangements before the actual
cars were ordered. No passenger would be more than
7 feet
6 inches from a
ABOVE: Concrete work progressing steadily in the area of
Wellesley Station. Note the steel reinforcing bars ready to
be placed in the concrete.
BELOW The first run of rapid transit equipment in Canada.
The first test train, consisting
of cars 5004 and 5005, just
after passing under the Aylmer Street bridge on September
20, 1953. Note the crowd of people on the bridge watching
this historic event.
In the succeeding fifty years the
mileage of the Toronto subway has
grown to many times the size of the
original 4 112 mile line of 1954. All the
original Gloucester cars are gone now,
replaced by much longer units, and the
system has been upgraded and
modernized over the years. The subway
has been an important factor in the
growth of Toronto, which is now by far
the largest city in Canada. As Chairman
McBrien said on March 30, 1954
It was
job well done.
~ f , •
UPPER RIGHT: A 49 cent Canadian stamp issued in
March of 2004 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of
the opening of the Toronto subway.
RIGHT A view of the open cut right of way as
seen looking south from Rosehill Avenue.
LOWER RIGHT: Looking south along the open cut
section, showing some of the many bridges which carry
streets over the rapid transit line.
BELOW An advertisement for the Arthur A. Johnson
Company which
were major contractors in building the
Toronto subway.
We lt$ JlOO~.-,dfl 1}()f1oAclo-t (or Ihr. nuj(][ PI}TtiOll
oJ dl~ n¢w lurfrUlll !j~hy,(J}, aT!-Ituml of our pUI in Ihj~
tn()3l JI.lh~wvr1)ty lIr.hi~,r.[IJMU f.9 fiLly I~hlllm-d
by lhll con1Jlli::jrOlltt~ .J.Htl. iJfliitH:erj ot t.he
1.toulo TliJlJ!>poof.i..l:tlOD Co(lmml~~tI)U.
)t..7M.(1..Jil l~-t 1 __ ~_·l:.!·lln;o~;ll flQ..l~rt)r j!JI.nI.lflJ;J C(lir.,,~·t,;,tJ;
r..~ri:lf.ll·n 1uJI-#, {J,i…~~,. fllit~f~I(_ Dim .. C1l.;nul,
lJr.lJ,(1J:!.II!;,1. r;~II(.l,lJ;m!J1Ii.l1Jt71.t~:t1(J-JhltCrrfJIJ.

, , , , , ,
, ! t ! ,<
LEFT A subway token of the type
first issued by the TTC when the
subway opened in 1954. Both
sides of this token are the same .
Although superseded by a later
type, a few of this design are still
in use. However they cost a great
deal more
now than they did in
-i;~-JIJ ~-
~x:.07~) II ~~~
The Cars for Operation on the
Rapid Transit System
Passenger service in the Toronto subway will be
provided by 104 cars bejngbuilt in England by the
Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company,
Limited. The first 100 will
be of steel construction, whereas
the last four will utilize aluminum
to the maximum practical
in order to determine if the economies due to
lighter weight justify the additional first cost. The first
two cars were delivered
in late July for display at the
Canadian National Exhibition,
and it is expected that
delivery will
be completed during the first quarter of 1954.
Significant dimensions of the car are:­
Car Length over bumpers
57 ft. 1 1/2 in.
Car Length over body. 55 ft. 7 1/2 in.
Car Width 10ft. 4 in.
Car Height
Truck centres
Truck wheelbase
Wheel diameter
Door openings
Door opening width.
Door height
Seating capacity 12 it. 0 in.
38 ft. 0 in.
7 ft. 0 in.
30 inches
3 per car side
6 ft. 4 in.
Train Size: The cars are semi-permanently
in pairs to form two-car units. Train size will
vary with the traffic,
up to a maximum of eight cars (four
two-car units) which
is the maximum number that can
be accommodated
at the 500-foot platforms provided at
all subway stations. Operation of eight-car trains will
accommodate some 40,000 passengers per hour
in each
~ I
0 EEEB 0 0 EE
~.JIilC. ~; ……. =>
-~ <:;;:7
Car Body: The underframe, body and roof are of
steel. The side panels are attached
to the structure with
countersunk rivets thus giving a smooth appearance. The
is of 1/4 in. rubber, laid on 1 1/2 in. of cork fastened
to a dovetailed steel sub-floor. This arrangement has
excellent sound-deadening qualities.
In addition, special
sound-deadening paint
is applied to the inner side of the
exterior body panels, including a layer of fabric from floor
to window bottom. The seats, consisting of a combination
of longitudinal
and cross types, are arranged to provide
adequate comfort, and rapid passenger movement at
stations. The frames are of cast aluminum
to which is
attached rubber latex cushions and rubberized hair seat
backs, both covered with
red plastic upholstery. A liberal
supply of stanchions
and ceiling-attached grab handles
accommodate standing passengers.
There are three door openings, each of 45
in. clear
width per car side, The sliding aluminum alloy doors are
by pneumatic engines. Each abutting door edge
is of rubber, and one leaf of each door opening in the
closed position
can be pulled open 4 1/2 in. against a
in order to free any object that might get caught.
Windows are arranged with the bottom half
stationary and the top half movable vertically.
is one drivers cab per car body, located at
the coupling end, In effect this provides a two-car unit,
114 feet long with a cab at each end. This arrangement
provides for double
end operation, which is less expensive
it would be to provide underground turning facilities.
Multiple unit Operation: The cars are equipped
for multiple unit operation. That
is, in a train of any length,
all cars are motor driven; not one is a trailer. When the
in the leading car are operated the motors or
brakes of every car
in the train respond simultaneously.
This feature results
in faster speeds, smoother and faster
acceleration and braking, and, in
general, greater train efficiency.
The Guard is stationed
in an
unoccupied operators cab on the
platform side
of the train. From this
he is able, by means of a full
cab window, to view the station
in both directions, and he has
control of
all the doors on that side of
the train
by means of push buttons.
Lighting aM Heating: The
is provided by incandescent
fixtures. The units
are of the circular
ceiling-recessed type, commonly used
on modern
street cars and trolley
coaches. There are 47 fixtures in each
car, to provide an illumination of 18-20
foot candles
on the reading plane at
550 volts. Forty-one
of these lamps
in 2 parallel circuits off the 600-
volt power supply, while the remaining six are connected
to the 50-volt supply from the storage batteries.
In case
of a power failure the battery-operated lights remain in
operation to provide sufficient illumination.
is furnished from under-floor current
resistors of
30 kw. capacity over which air circulates to
the car through seat pedestal louvres. Thermostatic
in three 10 kw. steps provide a temperature of
62-65 F. degrees. A combination of fresh and/or
recirculated air may be obtained by adjusting the controls.
Propulsion and Braking Equipment: The
are supplied by the Crompton Parkinson Co. The
four motors per car are rated at
68 h.p. each, and are
wound for 300-volt operation with two-in-series.
The drive is by propeller shaft to a hypoid gear on
each axle, similar to automotive practice and the P.C.C.
car. This reduces the unsprung truck weight, thereby
reducing noise
and vibration. 65
Automatic acceleration
is provided, with a choice
of three rates under control of the operator. There are
also three running positions, switching, series (half speed)
and parallel (full speed). The maximum speed of an empty
on level track is approximately 50 m.p.h.; although
proximity of stations will seldom permit this speed
to be
The control
is known as type PCM (Pneumatic
Cam Magnetic), and is manufactured by the British
Thomson-Houston Company of Rugby. It is almost
identical with that used exclusively by the London
Underground for many years. Its predominant
characteristics are its compactness, simplicity and
extreme reliability. The car increases
in speed from
standstill by the cutting out of resistance placed
in series
with the motors. This
is done by rotating a cam shaft
by pneumatic pressure, the various cams
operating electrical dontactors. The control,
and various
low voltage devices are operated from a battery which
charged from a motor generator set.
The braking is by compressed air operating on
brake shoes on the wheels. It is provided by the
Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company of England
and is practically identical with that used on the London
Underground System. The system
is of the electro­
pneumatic type, that
is, the application and release of
air to the brakes of each car
is controlled simultaneously
from the operators position by
electrk:wires: This
ensures that all brakes
ona train operate simultaneOl.isly,
and those
on a long train as quickly as on a short one. In
the unlikely event of a failure of the electric portion, the
same functions
can be performed, but not quite so rapidly,
by straight pneumatic means.
A unique feature
is a retardation controller. In
principle, it is two mercury U-tubes located in each
cab and having electrical contacts which are made or
by the movement of the mercury. It operates in
two ways: (a) to prevent the application of more air if or
when a pre-determined braking rate has been obtained,
and (b) to exhaust air if the rate tends to exceed the pre­
determined rate of braking
as a train decreases in speed.
Its chief purpose is to bring the train to rest as smoothly
and as rapidly as possible.
The braking mechanism consists of two brake
per wheel with one brake cylinder per shoe, or
eight per truck. Each cylinder has
an automatic slack
adjuster. This arrangement, which reduces the amount
of brake rigging required, also reduces noise
and vibration
and increases the uniformity of braking.
Trucks: The trucks are manufactured by the car
and are very similar to those used in London,
except for the modifications needed to mount two
propeller-shaft driving motors per unit instead of one axle­
motor. The frame is of structural and cast parts,
assembled by a combination of welding and rivetting.
Anti-friction journal bearings and 30 inch solid steel
are used.
66 MARS-AVRIL 2004
The suspension system consists of leaf springs
and double coil helical springs, suitably connected for
maximum passenger comfort. Spring-loaded friction pads
provide suitable damping. A screw adjustment
compensates for wheel and rail wear to keep the floor
height uniform.
Each truck has a third rail shoe
on each side for
current collection from the top surface of the contact
rail. Also, there
is a pneumatic trip cock on each leading
truck, and it
is engaged by a corresponding wayside
track trip
to effect an automatic emergency stop if a train
be operated past a red signal light.
Connections between Trains: The two cars of
anyone unit are held together mechanically by a coupling
bar together with a suitable amount of cushioning or draft
gear. The electrical and pneumatic connections are
made by means of multi-conductor cables
and hose lines
respectively. The two halves of a unit will not
be uncoupled
in the case of major shop repairs or maintenance.
They are not exactly similar, but consist of
an A and a B
car. The A or pneumatic car contains the air compressor,
while the B or electric car contains a 50-volt storage
and a battery charging MG set.
The coupling between any two units is by means
an automatic electro-pneumatic coupler manufactured
the G.D. Peters Company. The coupling and
uncoupling are· accomplished by. remotec6ntroJ from
within the cab of the moving part
ofthe train. The coupler
transmits the mechanical forces, the pneumatic brake
lines and the electrical control. The contacts
of the
electrical control are protected
by a metal cover in the
uncoupled position, the cover being pushed aside
as the couplers engage.
Summary of Safety Features: In an underground
system where multiple-unit trains operate
at high speeds,
frequent headways
and with rapid rates of acceleration
and braking, all precautions must be taken to ensure
that a very high degree of safety
is incorporated. For that
reason, the
chief safety features of the system are
summarized below
in order to show the care that has
been given this important subject:
The line
is protected with an automatic block signal
system, equipped with wayside track trips and
interlocking in the yards and terminals, all designed to
prevent trains from coming in contact with each other.
system of underground telephones together with
adjacent push buttons, permits contact with supervisory
forces and permits power to
be cut off from any section
of track with minimum delay.
A train cannot start until
all side doors are closed.
Brakes will
be applied automatically on a train if a
driver attempts
to pass a red signal, releases his hand
from the controls, has his train break
in two, or a guard
or passenger operates the emergency cord
in any car.
On Canadas first subway
I TS the pride ~f the peop1eof Toronto that ~ei.fs is
the first undergroUnd system in Otnadll.. And d!eyre
going to be equally proud of the superbly equipped cars
which in peak periods,
and by means of 8-cartrains. can
carry up to 40,000 passengers per hour.
All the rolling stock for this new project comprising
104 cars has been designed and built by Gloucester Rail­
way Carriage & Wagon Company, specialisu in rolling
stock for the
world. railways ainc:e 1860.
A system of battery lights provides adequate
in every car in case of failure of the power
supply. Front
and rear marker lights would automatically
remain lit also under such conditions.
A system of pantograph gates
and chains prevents
passengers from falling
on the track between cars, either
from the platform or when walking from one car
to another.
A train cannot
be moved, or connected to another
train, or disconnected from another train unless there
an adequate supply of air for braking.
There are
tWo. independent means of applying the
air brakes: The system used normally has
an indicating
to show that it is in good condition, similarly for the
retarder that provides the high
and uniform rate of braking.
by using electricity to effect application and release
of all cars in a train, a long train can have its brakes
as quickly as a short one.
Each brake shoe has its individual brake cylinder,
16 per car. Thus, failure of one, or even several, would
still leave a substantial proportion to bring a train
An exterior red light ,over the centre door on each
side of each car indicates when any side door of the car
is open, similarly when not lit it indicates that the doors
are closed. Likewise a dual-light indicator
in the drivers
cab and guards
cab gives a green indication when all
side doors are closed.
The abutting door edges
at each side door opening
are protected
by soft rubber. Also, one leaf of each pair
can be shoved open manually
by about 41/2 in., in case
any object should become caught.
Marker lights
at the front and rear of a train are lit
in the performance of other functions
to train movement.
A system of spring buffers between cars provides
an uninterrupted and smooth floor between cars, thus
minimizing dangers of falling
and of accidents.
All compressors start and stop simultaneously,
thereby ensuring equal division of load.
68 MARS-AVRIL 2004
Each car has a plainly visible fire
Summary of Dependability Features: In
case of trouble on a subway train, it is essential
that adequate means
be provided to get the
train moving with minimum delay
in order to
avoid disruption of the service and to reduce
all possible chances of passenger panic.
Torontos subway cars have
an elaborate
of features designed to provide these
features, and the main ones are summarized
In normal operation all side doors must be
shut on a train before power can be applied to
it. However, it is possible in the case of door
trouble to prevent any
or all doors from opening at
Two side door openings on each car can be
in emergencies, either with or without
The end doors on a train are normally locked, but
can be very easily or quickly unlocked and opened by
passengers or crew in case of an emergency.
By the breaking of a sealed switch, a train can be
moved in an emergency with reduced air pressure.
Likewise, operation
of another sealed switch permits
cutting out the electro-pneumatic brake system
of trouble and operation on the straight pneumatic brakes.
In case of compressor trouble on a train, any
compressor can be disconnected electrically from its
source of supply.
Isolating cocks permit isolation
of almost any
piece of defective pneumatic equipment or burst air lines,
thereby permitting movement with the
affected parts out
of service.
Should the propulsion equipment of any car
in a
train become defective, the
affected car can be quickly
rendered inoperative, becoming
in effect a trailer, while
still remaining
in service.
Should the brakes
on any car fail to release, they
be released, or released and rendered ineffective,
from within the car
and with little delay.
In the construction of Canadas first
subway cars, the Toronto Transportation Commission
has drawn upon the knowledge
and experience of a great
many individuals
and firms. It has sent representatives
to study methods in effect in many cities of the world
where rapid transit service
is provided. It has collaborated
with operating
and manufacturing companies to obtain
the most modern transit vehicle for the needs of Toronto.
And, as far
as possible, it has provided cars which
combine efficiency, appearance, comfort and, above
and safety.
SOURCE: Canadian Transportation, December 1953.
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Address by TTC Chairman William C. McBrien
at the Opening Ceremony of the Toronto Subway,
March 30, 1954.
In speaking at the Davisville station ceremony, Mr. McBrien said:
Honourable Sirs and Distinguished Guests, on behalf
of the Toronto Transit Commission I welcome
you here today and wish to thank each
of you for coming and helping us make this, the official opening of
Canadas First Subway, a success.
We would not be human if we did not admit that we are a very proud organization today. This
tremendous task is completed.
The dream
of 1944 becomes a reality of 1954. This project was designed and built in the ten most
chaotic years
in the history of our country -war, shortage of steel and building supplies, shortage of skilled
and unskilled labor and a general increase
in labor and materials of nearly 100 per cent.
True, it cost more than our original estimate
often years ago, but if started today, at present prices,
it would cost at least 15 million dollars more or 30 per cent above the actual cost.
We are more than satisfied with the design, construction, finish and equipment, and today
publicly express our sincere thanks to the engineers, architects, contractors, suppliers and workmen for a
grand job.
In admitting that we are a proud organization today we must also admit that we are also a humble
one. For we know that the completion
of this subway is not the final solution of Torontos traffic problems.
is only the start of combatting this monster. Many other lines will have to be built in the future.
But the right-of-way and construction
of all future rapid transit lines will have to be financed out of
. general taxation. Ifpublic transportation is to be the medium of relteving traffic congestion in our cities; and
. we believe It is, its suCcess will depend upon getting more people to ,
lise it rather than On IrTcreasirigfares
to make it pay. We must not price ourselves out
of our own field. We know that moving the masses, in the
future, will be a tremendous task,
if planners will give us the same consideration as the automobile in providing rights-of-way for
new rapid transit lines; if government bodies, federal, provincral
and civic, will start making capital expenditures
forthe benefit of public transportation, we will accept the challange.
Our major problem in Toronto is traffic congestion, If our small downtown business area supplies
of our taxation we cannot allow it to be strangled to death by traffic congestion.
Surely we now realize that our patent medicine prescription
of street widenings is not the cure, For
it has only lured unmanageable numbers
of automobiles into our downtown streets that were already
overcrowded. We suggest:
1, Eliminate parking on all major streets in the downtown area.
2. Parking meters belong to the horse and buggy days and have no place in a large modern city.
3. Develop fringe parking lots to be serviced to this subway and the downtown area by bus transportation.
4. Downtown business will have to establish a system of staggered hours for their employees. All of these
improvements can be put into effect with little or no capital cost.
5, The proposed mile
of Queen Street subway should be started at once, eliminating 80% of the street car
in the downtown area, and freeing many main streets for one-way traffic.
Do not sell public transportation short. We are not a dying industry, but one that can and will meet
the competition
of the automobile, For we know that the egotism is gone from driving a motor car and that,
today, tens
of thousands of automobile owners do not want to bring their cars into the downtown area.
We also know that what the great majority
of our people want is good public transportation with more
speed, greater comfort and improved service at a reasonable fare, Our ambition
is to give such service.
In conclusion, I wish to say that the Toronto Transit Commission does not want or expect any praise
orglory for the completion
of this gigantic task. It was our job and we did it. Our reward is in the fact that we,
ourselves, know –
It was a job well done. Thank you.
will help speed 20,000 passengers per hour on
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Shortly after noon on Tuesday, March 30th,
1954, the first rapid transit subway in Canada
was opened to the public by the Toronto Transit
Commission. It marked the culmination of more
than four years of work by the TIC and was an
event looked upon with interest by city
transportation groups throughout the country.
The work started officially on the rapid transit
line on September 8th, 1949 and involved the
systematic removal of parts of Yonge and Front
Streets in the downtown section, to construct the
subway structure. Temporarily paved with wood
planking, the street was eventually totally
restored while the work of expropriation of property
and removal of buildings went forward on the
northern sections of the line. Part of the route
lay in open cut rather than in a tunnel and
viaducts and bridges were necessary at a number
of places where east-west streets crossed the
transit lines route.
In July 1953, the first subway cars arrived
in Canada from the builders, the Gloucester
Carriage & Wagon Company of Gloucester,
England. The first of the 104 cars created an
unusual amount of interest as they stood on
railway flatcars on Montreals waterfront while
Montreals radio stations urged the citizens to go
and look at them, as they were liable to be the
only subway cars Montrealers would see for a long
time. They were referring to the oft-planned,
much talked about and discussed subway in
Montreal, which has never left the planning stage.
Soon the cars were being received regularly
in Toronto, and the first units were shown at the
Canadian National Exhibition, in the Queen City
in September 1953. The cars were hauled to and
from the C.N.E. grounds using the surface line
rails, in the small hours of the day.
Such measures, however, were only
temporary. Crewmen were trained, signalling
installed, outside earthwork landscaped,
modernistic stations, autobus and tram transfer
facilities, loops and shelters received their
finishing touches in anticipation of the Big Day,
March 30th, 1954.
As might be expected, the opening of the
subway was a tremendous Success. Crowds
formed at the stations long in advance of the
public opening time, and despite the unusual
crush of traffic created by the curious lending
bulk to the mass of regular riders, no train was
completely full, and schedules were maintained
and the public served, as if the line had been in
operation for years. Above the ground, members
72 MARS-AVRIL 2004
of the Upper Canada Railway Society rode the last
cars down Yonge Street, leaving Eglinton shortly
after 2 PM.
By the end of the first week of operation,
TIC officially reported that the Yonge tube [sic)
had carried 1,800,000 paying passengers. This is
actually an understatement as far as capacity is
concerned, for many, many passengers paid only
one fare and rode from end to end of the subway
many times. Of this number of paying passengers,
TTC stated that only twelve foreign subway
tokens had been placed in the turnstiles in the
initial seven days.
Those of us in Montreal and in every part of
Canada congratulate the Toronto Transit
Commission on its initiative, its hard work and
perseverance to accomplish this essential public
work which will pay rich rewards in time to come.
The possibilities of the rapid transit rail system
in urban transportation are limitless; already,
there is some agitation to start work on the
complementary Queen Street subway.
One of our members, Mr. Forster Kemp,
visited Toronto on the Sunday following the
opening, rode on the Rapid Transit line, and later
in the day participated .inan excursion sponsored
by. the Upper Canada Railway Society, using a
single Peter Witt type trolley car, and a motor­
trailer train from the former Yonge rail line
which is now defunct. His account of his visit and
observations, done with typical thoroughness,
by Forster Kemp
I spent April 3rd and 4th in the city of the
subway, that is, of course, Toronto. Train Number
Four arrived at the regular time of 7:05 AM, and I
headed for the subway right away. The entrance
is at the east end of the lower concourse of Union
Station. After I boarded one of the red cars, it
remained there for twelve minutes due to signal
trouble. Once we were under way, a fast run was
made as far as St. Clair. I marvelled at the
stations, with their gleaming glass tiles, -a
different colour scheme for every station. At that
time of the morning, they were being mopped out,
before the rush of shoppers and sightseers which
later besieged it. I wonder how many other cities
wash their subway station floors? There are three
light colours for stations: yellow, grey and green.
Three dark shades are used for a narrow top band,
and all lettering except that on the top band.
These contrast colours are red, black, blue and
dark green. So, there are four yellow stations
(Union, Dundas, Bloor and St. Clair) but the first
of these has red headlining and lettering, the
second, green, the third, blue and the last, black.
A clock is provided at the end of each
platform, so it is easy to watch your progress.
There are newsstands in all but two stations. Most
stations also have telephones and lockers for
parcels. Escalators are provided at principal
stations, but in most cases they accomplish only
about half of the upward journey to the street.
In the first paragraph I cut off my northward
journey at St. Clair. North of this point, there was
some signal trouble, so after a number of extra
stops I arrived at Eglinton at about 7:30 AM. I took
a look around the chic, spacious terminal which
is located there and re-boarded the same train.
On the southbound trip I rode in the first car, and
was very interested as we stopped at every block
signal down to the portal above St. Clair. At each
signal thcre is a box containing a telephone, so
that motormen can pull up to a restrictive signal
and report to the towerman. The latter can pull a
lever which supplies a yellow calIon light. After
this is done, a key can be inserted in a slot below
the phone box and used to retract the trip which
will apply the brakes if run through. This
procedure, known as keying by was done for
some half-a-dozen signals. After that there were
green blocks an,d.;:dast run. to Union Station, time
8:03 AM-.
This trouble did not last an day, but it
recurred about 5:00 PM to a lesser extent,
resulting in serious overcrowding at the already­
packed Queen Street station, which appears to
have been made too small for the traffic it handles.
This station has only one level. Stairways come
down from the street into entrance lobbies on both
sides at platform level. A passage joins the two
beneath the tracks. There are entrances into
Eatons, Simpsons, and Woolworths basements
in addition to the regular exits and this makes
Queen Station one of the busiest on the line.
Trains are mostly of four and six cars with
a two-man crew. There is motorman, who is on
the left side, in the front, and a guard, who sits at
the rear of the second or fourth car, opening and
closing the doors. The latter blows a shrill whistle
before closing the doors, giving ample warning.
The tunnels have fluorescent lights throughout
their full length. In the stations, every fifth fixture
contains incandescent lights, apparently for
standby lighting.
The scene as a train enters is as follows:
Passengers on the platform peer anxiously down
the track in the direction from which the train
comes. As it approaches, everyone steps back.
There is a rush of air, but not as much noise as
you would expect. The train rushes in, and as it
passes the centre of the station, the brakes are
applied and the train comes squealing to a stop.
(The brakes are apparently of the disc or drum
variety, for the sound in stopping is like that of a
Rail Diesel car). Everyone hurries inside, the
guard blows his whistle, closes the doors, and the
train draws smoothly out of the station (except
for the cars which have incurred flat wheels
during the training period).
There were a great number of sightseers
on Saturday and Sunday. Six-car trains were run
and they were full of children who crowded to the
front of the first car, ran between cars (until the
doors were locked), swung from the handstraps
(they make great gymnastic appliances) and often
rode from Union to Eglinton all day, finally
obtaining a transfer for the homeward trip, all on
one car ticket!
Thousands of Torontonians found a new
recreation in riding the subway on Sundays, but
I spent most of Sunday, April 4th, on streetcars.
The UCRS ran what they called the last trailer
train in North America excluding interurbans,
of course. [Editors note: Montreal ran two-car
trains, albeit with a semi-motorized trailer,
until November, 1954]. Actually, there were three
cars, as they also had a big Brill, No.2668, along
with former Yonge motor car 2932 and trailer
27.83. An interesting routing was plannecl out,
using little-used lines; mostly in the. west end of
the city. Curious stares were given the procession
as it passed along such streets as Lakeshore Road
in Long Branch, Old Weston Road, St. Clair
Station, Danforth Avenue, and others.
Some memorable scenes took place, such
as at Humber Loop where several members took
pictures of John Mills as he took a picture of 2932
from the roof of 2668, or at 8t. Clair Station, where
No.2932 crushed a ventilator against the
overhanging station roof. This car was low in front,
high in back, and the station is not built for Peter
Witt cars! Other sights seen were: a PCC with
Curtis trucks (at Hillside Shops); cursing
motorists when we held up traffic to take pictures
on Avenue Road hill; the patches over the rails
on the same street (we ran right through them!);
Bob Sandusky with a large container of Lady
Borden ice cream; the Niagara Falls, New York
destination sign on the Brill (from the NS&T); No.
4000 with the legend London Transport on the
side and a large 54 in the windshield; No. 2210
moving around the yard. I ripped a button off my
coat while throwing the switch under her; we
didnt have room to clear that long overhang –
that is when you need a Montreal switch rod.
The weekend in Toronto proved to be most
interesting, even more so than I had expected.
Source: CRHA News Report No. 45, May 1954.
A New Home for B.C. Rails Budd Cars
When B.C. Rail gave up its regular passenger service, its famous Budd Rail Diesel Cars quickly found new homes. Three
of them (10, II and 31) are used regularly in the summer months on the Lewis & Clark Explorer train running between Portland
and Astoria
in the state of Oregon. This train, commemorating the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery
expedition (1803-1805), runs through very scenic country to the historic town
of Astoria, near the mouth of the Columbia River.
An added bonus
is the 1913 street car (operated by a motor-generator in a trailer unit; no overhead wires) that runs for almost two
miles along the waterfront. This car began its career in San Antonio Texas, and is on loan from that city. Anyone with an interest
in western history, or who likes riding Budd cars, should take this trip. The fare is minimal, and the full day required will give the
rider a good sense
of history and a most enjoyable experience.
ABOVE: The train at its terminus, just outside Portland, about to start its run to Astoria.
BELOW Car 10 (formerly BC-10) waiting outside the station at Astoria.
All photos by Fred Angus on August
4, 2003.
ABOVE: The train at Astoria station with the street
car on the adjacent track.
LEFT The insignia that appears on the sides of the
LEFT AND RIGHT An exterior and interior
of street car 300, built in 1913.
By Steam to Goderich in 2003
Photos by Gord Taylor
In our November-December issue we made mention of the steam excursion, with former Essex Terminal Railway No.9 from
to Goderich and return on September 27, 2003. Our member Gord Taylor has sent these very fine photos that he took on
that day.
RIGHT Number 9 getting a last
minute check-over at the
Goderich & Exeter yard at
Stratford, Ontario.
RIGHT View from the cab of Rail Link
No. 1400 as the
special train leaves
Stratford en route
to Goderich.
LEFT Rail Link No. 1400 at
the rear end as a helper
the special train.
RIGHT View in the rear view mirror of No. 1400 on the
s side, showing No. 9 on the head end.
BELOW View from the cab of No. 1400, showing sister
locomotive 1401
in the Goderich & Exeter yard at Goderich.
RIGHT No.9 at the top of the big
hill at the Goderich
& Exeter yard
at Goderich. The former CNR
station is
in the background.
The Business Car
On November 29th. Bryce Lee reported that
had reached an agreement with Irving owned Sunbury
Transport and the New Brunswick Southern RR to haul twenty
piggyback cars
in each direction, between Brownville Jet. in
Maine and Farnham, Quebec. Trains operated westbound on
Saturday and eastbound on Sunday. This traffic was
originated by Wal-Mart Canada and Canadian Tire. It was
expected this traffic would grow to eight cars
per day within
three to four months. The trains originated on the New
Brunswick Southern in Saint John and were handed over to
the MM&A at Brownville Jet. for forwarding to Farnham.
December 17, Atlantic Northeast Rails & Ports
reported the Sunbury Intermodal was
running five days a
week, an increase from the weekend-only trial operation earlier.
ANR&P also reports Ed Burkhardt, head
ofMM&As principal
owner Rail World, remarked at the annual Maine
Transportation Conference, In Maine, the best success will
be a public-private partnership, working with
leaders. He tipped his hat to DOT and other Maine leaders:
is no place Ive ever been thats helped us more than
in Maine … a pro-business state.
ANR&P goes on to state: Burkhardt announced the
MM&A broke into the black in August, just eight months
after taking over the formerly bankrupt BAR, and we have
increased profitability since, though not detailing frnancials.
The good news resulted from trimming payroll and increasing
service. To be successful, we have
to make our customers
successful. On the nearly-completed Searsport project,
Burkhardt called it a great asset for which we have to
make a partnership with private and port officials. Shipping
lines are not happy with the ports they use, specifically
referring to Saint John, Halifax, and ports down the coast,
citing their burden with labor and management problems.
Referring to his past life as head
of the Wisconsin Central,
Burkhardt revealed he had looked at acquiring the
BAR in
J 993, but was rebuffed by then-BAR President Bucky
Source: The 470, January 2004
Editors note: A visit to Farnham on April 3, 2004 revealed
of a magnitude not seen there for many years. A real
success story for the former CPR Short Line.
The following letter was received recently:
I was
passed your e-mail address by Mr Francois
Gaudette. I am researching the visit
of the London, Midland
and Scottish locomotive, Royal Scot 6100, to Canada and
the USA
in 1933. Francois supplied me with 2 past copies of
Canadian Rail containing reports on the visit.
Would it be
possible to advertise for information/
newspaper clippings/
photographs from your readers in the
Best regards,
Phlyn Simpson,
1, Barnes Lane, Wellingore, Lincoln.
LN5018 United Kingdom
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Late in March 2004, Canada Post issued four new 49
cent commemorative
stamps featuring light rail and rapid
transit systems
in Canada. The reason for the issue was to
commemorate the 50th anniversary, on March 30, of the
of the Toronto subway. There are four stamps in
the series, depicting, from top to bottom, the
systems in
Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary. We have
illustrated a large photo of the Toronto stamp on page 63,
but above is the complete set, including the inscription on
the margin
of the sheet.
The stamp comes in sheets
of J 6, containing four of
each stamp. They were designed by Debbie Adams from
photos by Andrew Leyerle, and are printed by the Canadian
Bank Note Company in Ottawa.
Canadian National, which has transformed itself over
last decade from a lumbering government agency into the
of North American railroads, recently completed a share
buyback worth $655 million and gave notice
of plans to raise
up to
$1 bi Ilion in debt. Cash flow is at record levels, and the
share price has surged almost 50 percent so far last year. CN
is the only railroad in North America with a network linking
the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the
Gulf of Mexico.
It hauls more freight than it did a decade ago, and is more
profitable now, even though
it has 22,000 fewer workers, 800
fewer locomotives and 22,000 fewer freight cars. Most recently,
employees have been urged to wage a
war on bureaucracy
for instance, sharing office printers and sending
documents by mail rather than couner.
CNs operating ratio, or the proportion
of revenue used
to operate and maintain the railroad, stood at 68% in the third
by far the lowest in the industry (as in golf, the lower
the better). The best-performing U.S. -based calTier, Union
Pacific, reported
an 80% ratio. At Kansas City Southern, it
was almost 90%. No American railroad can hold a candle to
CN at the moment in terms
of efficiency, said Frank N. Wilner,
a former
chief of staff at the Surface Transportation Board,
which regulates the railroad industry in the U.S. CNs stock
closed at
$53.94 Canadian in Toronto on April 5th, 2004.
Although well down from its high s
et last Fall, the value is
more than four times its listing price at the time of the
companys privatization in 1995. In the same period, UPs
stock has risen 36 percent, while shares of CSX and Norfolk
Southern have lost about a fifth
of their value.
According to
Mr. Wilner, who has written a book on
the deals that have shrunk the number of major American
. Railroads from 30 to 5 in two decades,
It is fully expected
that CN will merge with a major American system, certainly
within the next
10 years; it would not surprise me if that were
to take place within the next five years. Hunter Harrison,
who took over as
CNs chief executive late in 2002, said that
once the first shot
is fired in the next round of mergers and
takeovers, the number
of big railroads could dwindle rather
quickly from seven, including CN and CP, to two. CN, in the
meantime, has no shortage
of other outlets for its cash. The
company has raised its dividend for seven years. CNs
strategy was evident in its purchase recently of Great Lakes
Transportation. Besides 382 miles
of rail line, CN will take
of a fleet of eight ships that carry iron ore.
Based on
an article in the New York Times via The 470.
On Friday, April 2nd, 2004, Canadian National
informed VIA Rail Canada that it will no longer allow the
public to access CNs property at Transcona, supposedly
for reasons of railway safety. This means that passengers
VIAs train The Canadian will no longer be able to
board or detrain at Transcona and the stop is therefore
cancelled, effective immediately. This appears to be related
to events in the recent strike against CN rather than concerns
of national security. Those passengers who would have
or detrained at Transcona are advised to instead
use VIAs station at
123 Main Street in downtown Winnipeg,
located some
13 km west of Transcona. VIAs historic, fully­
accessible Winnipeg station offers a full range
of services,
including reservations, ticketing, and checked baggage.
The Shoreline Trolley Museum (Branford) at East
Haven Connecticut has recently completed restoration of
former Montreal street car No. 1972. Acquired by the museum
at the same time as Montreal double-ender 200 I, the 1972 has
in storage for many years awaiting restoration. That
restoration has now been done, and No. 1972 takes its place
in the roster of operating cars at Shoreline. 1972 is a single­
ender, built by CanCar in 1929, very similar to 200
I. It fact it
was identical, from the same lot, before 200 I was converted
to double-end in the early 1930s. A
photo in Shorelines
newsletter Tripper shows 1972 about to start its first revenue
run. Alas, the route signs are wrong, showing St. Catherine
52 (Route 52 was actually Mount Royal, and both it and the
St. Catherine routes never used
one-man cars). Visitors to
New England should drop in at Shoreline and ride a Montreal
car that has not been in service for a very long time.
On April 6, 2004 the Green Lake trestle between
Nanaimo and Lantzville B.C. caught fire. All traffic on the
E&N has been halted until further notice. The trestle is
approximately three hundred feet long. VIA Rail passenger
service to Courtenay,
BC has been suspended for at least a
month. Trains will run between Victoria and Nanaimo.
Officials think a spark from the southbound E&N Parksville
Turn caused the fire.
of John Godfrey
On November 13, 1983 the Salem & Hillsborough, a
of the New Brunswick Division of the CRHA, had its
first day
of operation. This year will mark 20 years since the
first full year
of running trains for the public. Despite the
disasterous fire in 1994, the S&H has continued service,
including the ever-popular dinner trains, ever since. Members
visiting the Maritimes should visit the
S&H and help them
observe this significant milestone.
By now most CRHA members should have received
of forthcoming national convention to be held in St.
Catharines, Ontario over the Victoria
Day weekend. Members
are urged to attend what should be a most interesting event.
BACK COVER TOP: On July 9 1960, a Toronto subway train, consisting of original Gloucester rolling stock, passes a
on the open-air portion of Toronto:S pioneer rapid transit system.
BACK COVER BOTTOM What the subway replaced Small Peter Witt car 2758 returning 10 the barns after its morning rush
hour runs
on August 23, 1962. Both photos by Fred Angus
This issue of Canadian Rail was delivered to the printer on April 8, 2004.

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