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Canadian Rail 500 2004

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Canadian Rail 500 2004

ISSN 0008-4875
Postal Permit No. 40066621 CANADIAN RAIL
ISSUE NUMBER 500 ………………………………………………………………
………………………………………… .
CANADIAN RAIL! ………………………………………………………………
…… .. FRED ANGUS ……………………………… .
STEAM LOCOMOTiVE ……………………………………………….. . FRED ANGUS …………………………….. ..
THE HAUNTED RAILWAy ………………………………………………………………
………………………………….. . DOUGLAS N.W. SMITH ……………….. .
CREATION OF A LEGEND ………………………………………………………………
.. JAY UNDERWOOD ………………………. .
IN THE LIFE OF THE OCEAN. …………………………………………………………… .. JAY UNDERWOOD ………………………. .
OCEANLIMITED(POEM) ………………………………………………………………………………………… . KEN CAIRNS ………………………………. .
BEND ………………………………………………………………
……………….. . JAY UNDERWOOD ………………………. .
CPR2816 VISITS THE EAST ………………………………………………………………
……………………………. .
CAR ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… . 83
FRONT COVER: On Saturday, May 29th 2004, CPR steam locomotive 2816 and its tra/iz arrived at Montrea~ completing a trans Canada
tOUl: The .following day, May 3(}, it made five trips tiz the Montreal area. This photo shows it at Lucien LAllier Metro station (located three blocks west o.ft/le CPRs Wtiuiror Station) ready to depart.for a round trip to Montreal West
and Ballantyne.
BELOW Former 1ntercolonial Railway combine car 495 makes a rare appearance outstde on June 1(}, 2004 during construction work on the Exporail building
at the Canadian Rarfway Museum. This car was burft at least as early as 189(}, and may origtizally date back to the 1860s.
After many renumbenizgs it was on CNs Museum train and NMST in Ottawa. Both photos by Fred Angus
For your membership in the CRHA, which
includes a subscription to Canadian Rail,
write to:
110 Rue St~Pierre, St. Constant,
J5A 1G7
Membership Dues for 2004:
In Canada: $40.00 (including all taxes)
United States: $35.00 in U.S. funds.
Other Countries: $68.00 Canadian funds. Canadian Rail is continually
in need of news, stories
historical data, photos, maps and other material. Please
send all contributions
to the editor: Fred F. Angus, 3021
Trafalgar Avenue, Montreal, P.Q.,
H3Y 1 H3, e-mail . No payment can be made for
contributions, but the coniributer will be given credit for
material submitted. Material will
be retumed to the contributer
if requested. Remember Knowledge
is of little value unless
it is shared with others.
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO-EDITOR: Douglas N.w. Smith
Hugues w.: Bonin
LAYOUT: Fred F. Angus
Procei Printing
DISTRIBUTION: Joncas Postexperts
The CRHA may be reached at its web site: www.exporaiLorg or by telephone at (450) 638-1522
Issue No. 500
June 1968
With this number, Canadian Rail, and its predecessor, the CR.H.A. News Report, completes jive hundred issues over a period
of almost 55 years. Above are illustrated the covers of our previous four even hundreds , all of them milestones in our history.
Five Hundred Issues of Canadian Rail!
Ahnost 55 years ago, October 1949 to be exact,
the C.R.H.A. resumed its publication activities which
had been interrupted during World War II and the
irnmediatepost-waryears. This publication, originally
the C.R.R.A. News Report, and, since 1962,
Canadian Rail, has now reached the important
milestone of its five hundredth issue. Except for a hiatus
of five months (September 1951 through January
1952) publication has been continuous, at first monthly,
later eleven times a year, then monthly again, and, since
the introduction
of the large-sized format, six times a
In all that time the successive editors have never
missed an issue; although some have been late, they
were always made up and the schedule regained.
Since other milestones have been
commemorated by general overviews of the magazine,
for example its 50th anniversary, it seems
appropriate to go back and look at the four other even
hundred issues that have been produced. These
appeared in 1959, 1968, 1977 and 1987 respectively.
Since it now appears bi-monthly, these even
hundreds occur much less often, and if the present
frequency is maintained, issue No. 600 will not be
published untiIJanuary-February 2021, by which time
your present
editor will long since have departed this
earthly scene. So let us take the opportunity
of going
back and looking at numbers
100,200,300 and 400.
NUMBER 100, MAY 1959.
The year 1959 was a sad one for railway
The dieselization program on Canadas
railways was nearing completion, and 1959 was the
last full year that steam was in regular operation. In
addition, branch line service
of any kind was being cut
back at an alarming rate, and evelY new timetable was
thinner as passenger trains disappeared
or were
reduced in frequency.
If the rail way enthusiasts were
depressed, it was much worse for the juice fans or
those interested in electric railways.
On March 15 the
last run was made
ofthe Chernin de Fer de la Bonne
Ste. Anne, the ancient interurban running east
Quebec City. A week later passenger service ended
on the Niagara St. Catharines and Toronto, the last interurban in Canada. That was bad enough, but worse
was to come.
May 2 marked the end of street car
service in Ottawa, and
on August 30 the Montreal
system suffered the
same fate. By the end of 1959
only Toronto still had street cars, and it was expected
that a few more years would see the end ofthose lines
With all the abandonments and cutbacks, it is
no wonder that this period saw the development
the preservation movement, as artifacts were saved,
just ahead ofthe scrapper, and steps were
taken for the start
of work on the Canadian Railway
Museum, construction
of which began only two years
News Report No. 100, produced
under the editorship
ofOmer Lavallee, was dated May
1959,and featured a photo cover showing a view
Ottawa street car 826, as seen from the front of car
685 on a winter excursion about a year and a half
before. The end of the Ottawa street car system was
well described
by Orner Lavallee in the form of a
memorandum to the late Messrs. Ahearn and Soper,
the builders
of the Ottawa Electric Railway. This article
ended with the quote
As custodians of hi story, we
will look after the durable remains of the Ottawa
Electric Railway in a manner befitting one
of Canadas
pioneer electric railway systems.
The feature article
in this 100th issue was a major
by Mr. Lavallee, on the railway stations of
Toronto. This detailed account is still valuable to the
railway historian wishing
to know something about the
complex development
of stations in the Queen City.
Some comments made by the editor
in that issue
are worth repeating today, as they are still practiced
by the Association, and are still the policy ofthe present
Though the editorial is an editor So traditional
privilege, we keep our editorializing
to a minimum,
as we feel that our readers would rather we used
the space on Canadian railway doings, rather than
read opinions on controversial matters.
It has
always been our Association
So policy to do rather
to say, and if we lament the passing of the
steam locomotive or the trolley car, we take steps
to preserve suitable examples for the gratification
of those interested, rather than make public
outcries in matters which we feel are not the
of antiquarian societies. This policy has
for us a host of good friends throughout
the transportation and allied interests
in Canada;
it is our sincere wish that our policies and
relationships will stay this way.
In the news section, there were the expected
of cutbacks and, since this was the time of
spring timetable change, more than thirty branch
(7 on CP, 24 on CN) saw passenger service
NUMBER 200, JUNE 1968
1968, Expo year, with its great increase in
passenger traffic during the Worlds Fair, had come
and gone. However there was anticipation
of the
modem Turbo train scheduled
to be introduced by CN
later that
year. The Canadian Railway Museum was a
fixt fact, and had been open to the public for three
The 200th issue of Canadian Rail was
commemorated, by editor Sandy Worthen, by
new, a colour cover. This was not printed
as such but, thanks to the donation of more than 1000
colour prints
of the first run of the Champlain and St.
Lawrence Rail Road, it became a colour cover by the
simple expedient
of gluing one ofthese prints to the
of each copy! The glue used was not ofthe best
quality, so some copies
of this number are found in
which the illustration has long since parted company
with the rest
of the magazine. The cover itself was
printed on beige stock, the only time a departure has
been made
from the usual white paper. In keeping with
the cover illustration, the feature article was a lengthy
article, by
Mr. Worthen, on the first years of operation
of the Champlain and St. Lawrence Rail Road, the
first in
Canada. There was also an article
commemorating 200 issues of the magazine, as well
as an account of the Snow excursion recently held
by R.D.C. on the Quebec Central. Murray Deans
Power column showed a number
of interesting
of First Generation diesels which were then
to be retired in favour of the new types.
This issue, still under the editorship of S.S.
Worthen, did not contain any specific mention
of its
milestone status except for the inscription Three
Hundredth Issue appearing on the cover immediately
the date line. The feature article, which occupied
the majority
of the issue, was a detailed account, by
A. Moore, of the Lethbridge Viaduct in
Alberta. There were many interesting photos,
a wide-angle broadside view of the bridge which
occupied the center fold. There was also an account
of an historic event, the first ever joint CN -CP
passenger timetable, effectively the first timetable of
VIA Rail. The fmancial recession then in progress was
reflected in a report showing large numbers of
locomotives in storage by Canadas railways.
By this time Canadian Rail had gone to the large
size format and was being published bi-monthly. A brief
introduction and editorial, by editor Fred Angus,
commemorated the fact that this was indeed the four
issue. In line with printing detailed historical
accounts, most
of No. 400 was made up of a single
the longest published in the magazine up to that
time. This was an in-depth study, called Laying the
by Douglas Smith. The article was a study
ofthe period often neglected, the early operations
the CPR transcontinental line after the driving of the
Last Spike
in 1885. Many contemporary illustrations
to this article which is an important document for
those interested
in that period oftime. Since then we
have produced several single
subject issues, and they
seem to be popular.
A few short news items completed No. 400,
and it
was then on to the next hundred which have just
been completed.
During the run
of 500 issues, there have, of
course been many technological changes. From the
original mimeographed sheets, the publication has
to offset printing with illustrations, and later
to colour covers. From 1961 through 1982 the format
was reduced in size, but it was then increased again.
The computer revolution has had a major effect, and
who knows what innovations may await
in the future.
The 200th Anniversary of the Steam Locomotive
by Fred Angus
A late nineteenth century engraving oj the Trevithick locomotive oj 1804.
The year 1804 was a momentous year for Great Britain,
and indeed for the world. By the early nineteenth century
the Industrial Revolution had been in progress for several
decades, and the face
of Britain was changing dramatically.
In that velY year the poet William Blake wrote a hymn, which,
in a single work, included two immortal, but very contrasting
Those dark Satanic mills, and This green and
pleasant land. Clearly the world was becoming more and
more mechanized. In far away Canada, however, mechaniz­
ation was still far
in the future. The most efficient means of
transportation (except of course during the winter) was by
boat on Canadas numerous rivers. By coincidence the most
well known description
of Canadian river transp0l1ation, the
Canadian Boat Song, was written
by the Irish poet Thomas
Moore while on a visit to Canada in that very year 1804.
includes the familiar lines Row brothers row, the stream
runs fast. The rapids are near and the daylight is past. The
rapids referred to are those at Ste. Anne de Bellevue on the
vital water route between Lower and Upper Canada. However 1804 was also a year
of great anxiety. The
threat to Britain, and the British Empire, was from across the
English Channel, little more than twenty miles away.
since the breakdown of the Peace of Amiens more than a
year before, Britain had been at war with France, then ruled
by Napoleon Bonaparte, who would declare himself Emperor
before 1804 ended. The armies
of Napoleon had won victOlY
after victOlY as they swept across Europe; it seemed certain
that they would soon turn to attack England, the Nation
Shopkeepers, Napoleons most implacable enemy. During
the summer of 1804 there was a very real possibility that
England would be invaded by a foreign army for the first
time in 738 years. Britain was on high alert, as Boney was
expected any day. Even Canada was not safe as Napoleons
warships easily had the range to reach and attack, if not
invade, the
NOl1h American coast. It was not until Nelsons
victory at Trafalgar in October 1805 that Britains superior
sea power virtually eliminated the threat
of invasion, a threat
that did not appear aga
in until 1940.
With all this momentous news, it is not surprising
that little notice was taken
of a strange machine that was in
brief operation at a remote iron mine in Wales. Yet amid the
of war a new invention appeared, this machine which
was the first
of a new breed, a development that was to have
far-reaching effects than Napoleon and his many
victories. It was no less than the worlds first steam
Certainly land transportation was slow in 1804,
scarcely faster than it had been 2000 years before. There is
no better example than that
of the Lewis and Clark expedition
in the United States,
in progress at this very time, that took
two years to explore the territory between the Mississippi
and the Pacific. By the end
of the century such a trip could
have been made, behind steam locomotives,
in two weeks.
For many years mining companies had used railways
to haul heavy loads from the mines. Such railways usually
employed wooden rails topped by iron strips, although
sometimes cast-iron rails were used. However motive power
was by horses, or occasionally gravity or even man power.
Consideration was given to using steam power in an effort
to move heavier loads at faster speeds. The most obvious
way was by
cables hauled by stationary steam engines
located at various places along the line. However there was
another possibility, a small engine that could actually run
along the rails hauling the load by adhesion, with no
cumbersome cables. Such an engine would be called a Loco
Motive Engine, meaning simply an engine that could move
by itself. However such a plan involved many serious
problems. Since the engine would have
to be small, it would
have·to work at
much higher pressure to have enough power
to haul a meaningful load.
No boiler existed capable of
withstanding such pressures, and no high-pressure engine
had ever been built. Moreover, there was no guarantee that
such an engine could pull a load without the wheels slipping
on the smooth rails. For at least two decades many plans for
locomotives included complicated and expensive (and,
as it
proved, unnecessary) cogs and racks.
The first person to actually construct an engine that
ran on rails was a Cornishman named Richard Trevithick
(1771-1833). By the age
of eighteen he had demonstrated a
great mechanical ability, and during the 1790s invented
several improvements to steam engines. In 1799 he built a
high-pressure non-condensing steam engine which was a
to Watts low-pressure condensing engine. By this step
a necessary requirement for a locomotive was fulfilled. On
Christmas Eve 1801 he ran a steam powered carriage on a
common road, and the next year applied for a patent for
steam powered carriages, so anticipating the automobile by
almost 100 years. In 1803 he ran another steam carriage
through the streets of London, attracting considerable
attention. From there it was only a short step to creating a
railway locomotive, and,
as a result of a 1000 guinea wager
between a director
of the Peny-Darran iron works and a
of another iron company, he was allowed to try the
on the companys iron plate railway. So it was
that on February 21, 1804, the worlds first railway locomotive
hauled a number
of cars containing ten tons of bar iron, as
well as 70 passengers, from Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon on
the Monmouthshire Canal, a distance
of nine miles, in 4 hours
5 minutes, at a top speed
of five miles an hour.
Although the engine was a mechanical success, it
was a financial failure since it cost far more
to operate than
the equivalent power
in horses. Although it is reported that
a similar engine (or perhaps the same one) was used briefly
on the Wylam colliery near Newcastle the following year,
the time was not yet ripe for steam locomotion and the horses
returned to duty. Trevithick did build another locomotive,
called the Catch-Me-Who-Can, demonstrated in London
in 1808, but then turned his talents to
other projects. He
to see the steam locomotive come into its own following
the Rainhill Trials (1829) and the opening
of the Liverpool
and Manchester Railway (1830). However he did not profit
from his inventions, and he died penniless on April 22, 1833.
The pioneer engine
of 1804 weighed about five tons,
ran on four wheels,
of 4 ft. 6 in. diameter, and had a boiler 6
feet in length with a return flue, thus the smokestack was at
the same end as the ftrebox. The single horizontal cylinder
was 8 inches in diameter with a stroke
of no less than 4 ft. 6
in. connected by gears to the driving wheels. Most prominent
was a huge flywheel used to smooth out the motion
of the
single cylinder. Apparently there was no footplate; it is
recorded that Trevithick walked alongside the engine, driving
it from the ground
as it were.
Trevithicks engine had two innovations that became
widely used later on. Exhaust steam passed through a blast
pipe at the base
of the smokestack, therefore increasing the
draft and improving combustion, and the wheels were
smooth, yet provided adequate traction. Despite this, it was
years before inventors were convinced that cog wheels were
unnecessary except on very heavy grades.
The steam locomotive, however, went on to much
greater things. Although Trevithick dropped out, other
pioneers, most notably George Stephenson (1781-1848)
continued on and created the practical machine that made
the worlds railway systems possible. Eleven years after the
pioneer run
of 1804, Napoleon suffered his final defeat at
Waterloo and peace returned to Europe. In fact an early
Stephenson locomotive
of 1814 was named Blucher after
the Prussian general who, with Wellington, was largely
responsible for the Waterloo victory a year later. By 1840 the
railway age had arrived as the new technology began its
spread throughout the world.
After well over a hundred years the steam locomotive
was superseded by other means
of propulsion, especially
electric or diesel-electric, although some steam locomotives
are still in use. The fate
of the 1804 locomotive is unknown,
but Orner Lavallee was probably close
to the truth when he
stated (in Canadian Rail No.
152, February 1964) that It was
broken up as surplus works machinery by some incredibly
narrowsighted boor, unknown,
as he well deserved to be.
However the basic idea, embodied in the 1804 machine,
a Loco Motive Engine running with metal wheels on metal
rails and hauling loaded cars, has never been improved upon,
is used by almost every railway in the world. Richard
Trevithick indeed builded better than he knew.
Thus the true revolution
of 1804 occurred not on the
of Napoleonic Europe, but on a remote railway
in Wales. Railway enthusiasts everywhere should pause to
commemorate the 200th anniversary
of the little engine that
started it all.
The Haunted Railway
by Douglas N W Smith
Based upon an account written
by C S Chard
The joint CPR IT&NO station at North Bay from which C.S. Chard departed about 1907.
There are few written accounts of the life in the many
isolated way stations along Canada
s developing railway
in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The author, C
S Chard, was a boomel; a railway man with wanderlust.
He wrote about his life
in the 1950s and the rambling text
can be
found in the National
miles from any town in the seemingly endless pine forests of
Temagami. Those wishing information about the new book
will find ordering details at the following website:
www.tracksidecanada.on,ca With this said, let s turn to
Chards story
of Canada. This section,
which was rewritten for
publication, concerns the winter
spent working for the
& Northern Ontario
Railway (T&NO).
As near as can
be determined, the period covered
by the accounts was the winter
1 came across the text while
doing research
for a book to mark
one hundred
years of passenger
train operation over the T&NO
and its successor, the Ontario
Northland. The book, which is
titled A Century
of Travel on the
Northland Railway, will
be published dwing the summer of
2004. Regrettably, 1 could not find
the space to
include Chards
of his time as agent in one
of the lonely northern stations
J. L. :atlOL,BHAlT. Oha.1ru:llUl,
Dl:lflB JIrolUIBY. QoZDJDJ.u:I,oD..r,
TratJIl mtuk~ run dnily; tcblly. ucopt Sunday. t.Te(.e.ptlph &tanoCLS.
COIIWECTIONI.-A, North Bay-Witb Cv..nadl:1n Pullc Ry. Ilad Grand Trunk Ry.
The T&NO timetable effective June 29, 1907.
MAY-JUNE 2004 89

~o w;
s •
A 1909 map of the T&NO. By that time Moose Lake had been renamed Tomiko.
When I applied for a job at the office of the T &NO at
North Bay, I was surprised when the Ch
ief Dispatcher, Mr
Stuart Ryan said, Yes, we want a man at the Moose Lake
station right away.
This response was unusual. Usually, the answer was
generally Drop around
in a few days and there might be a
vacancy when an agent was sick or going on vacation. As
Ryan said he wanted a man at Moose Lake, I noticed him
wink to the
Mr Chatterson, the dispatcher on duty. As work
scarce and my funds were low, I was thankful for a
chance to earn my Daily Bread. Ry,m gave me a pass for Moose Lake and told me to
to CPR-T &NO Union Station as the train for the north
would be leaving sholil
y. As I was to discover, Moose Lake
was an isolated outpost
of the railway, some 27 miles from
NOlih Bay. The station, built
to the T &NOs Standard Plan
No 9, was small,
just 30 by 10 feet. It had been built in 1905
sholily after the rails were laid tluough the area. I was the
night agent.
Ghosts -seen any tonight? was the query of all
the train crews stopping at the water tank during my first two
weeks there. One night I came near to seeing a real ghost
SUMMER allRYIOE JUNE 28th, 1907
and Northern Ontario Railway
The time (or conn&etlnc IlnftS
trains shown herelA II (or public
Information only and thl, com·
panyulurnes no liability therefor
with Qrand Trunk Ry. and
Canadian Paclflo tty.
OConnor Steamboat 00. and
Tomaeaml Nav. Co.
Upper Ontario Steamboat 00.
HAILEYBURY } Temlakamlnc
no WAIL lOB P1mTUf8 00.
and Northern Ontario Railway
And all Intermediate Points
THE NEW ROUTE to the Temagaml For .. t
Reserve through Plcluruque LUELAHD
d. H. BLAOK, SuperIntendent.
FM. and Pelt. Agt.
ub eel to chanCe w t out not ,e
The cover of the T&NO timetable for 1907.
with a new rifle. I had been warned to always lock myself
inside the station after the last train left. One night, I forgot.
I was busy copying tra
in orders and had a Work Order out
from about 10:30.
pm to 03 :00 to protect the nightly train
loading logs on the main line to the south. Dad Thomas, a
very old looking man, was its engineer.
As I was working away, I heard shots
in the night.
Looking up later, I got a real scare because there was the
small, slight man that I had been wamed about keeping out
of the station. He was holding a new rifle and very much
inebriated. Fearing for my safety, I asked
what he was
hunting. He responded,
Occasionally, the
Cobalt Special would stop for water.
This train ran between Toronto and New Liskeard and catered
to the mining speculators and owners travelling to the trains
namesake town. Because
of its fast schedule, the railwaymen
called it the
Flyer. Alex Cumpson, the conductor, strolled in
and asked, Seen any ghosts tonight?
Some nights the train would really
seem to be flying
as it was pulled by one
of new ten-wheelers delivered by the
Montreal Locomoti ve Works in 1907. Several of these
engines had 62 inch wheels for passenger service and the
crews really let them out. Dad Thomas broke these new
in on the log train. Most nights, even Sundays, he
would be waiting on the siding at Moose Lake for the
southbound passenger to pass.
After I had been working for two weeks, L McBride,
the day man, inquired
if any of the crews has asked me about
ghosts. I responded every crew did. McBride cryptically
responded, I may well ten you they could not hire a man
come here nights for love or money at North Bay.
1 asked as
casually as possible, What was the
90 MAI-JUIN 2004
He responded with the following tale. Seems one
Wednesday, a man stopped at the Ferguson McFadden
Lumber Company office that was just down the track from
the Moose Lake station. The only people at the office were
the bookkeeper, a cook and McBride, who boarded there.
The man, who claimed to have lost everything in a bad
in the Cobalt silver mines, said he had walked
the 77 miles from Cobalt and asked
if he could have some
dinner. Though
he appeared a little distracted, he seemed to
be all right. He resumed his southbound trek after eating.
The following Sunday, McBride and Allan
Duff, the
bookkeeper, went for a walk and found the poor fellow frozen
to death with his clothes piled up beside him. A message
was sent to North
Bay for the coroner and a coffin. The
coroner refused to come, but a wooden box was sent. George
Hall, the night agent, was standing in the station when the
train crew were putting the dead man into the coffm. Perhaps
as a bit
of fun, someone shook the box. Hall quit on the spot
declaring that they had put a live man
in it. He would not
even work that night and left on the same tra
Finally I knew the reason for the wink exchanged
between the Chief Dispatcher and Chatterson back in NOlih
Bay when 1 was hired.
One night I was told to relieve the McBride so he
could go home for Christmas near Amprior, Ontario. As I
had been on the
night shift and worked aU the next day,
other arrangements had to be made to protect Dad Thomas
and the nightly log train.
The T&NO had given several lumber companies
the right to cut the timber 50 feet back on either side
of the
railway right-of-way to reduce the danger
of locomotive
sparks starting a fire and to raise funds to help pay for the
of the provincial governments railway. The 60
foot long pine logs were shipped from Diver, 46 miles from
North Bay, to the Cleveland Sarnia Saw Mills Compa
ny in
Sarnia. They were carried on 61 foot long flat cars. Two men
had been killed switching the loaded cars
in the North Bay
yards as some
of the logs had been hanging over the ends
of the cars and struck them. After that, the cars had to be
inspected before they could
be moved from Diver. The agent
there also had to supply the number
of cars to be moved. At
this time, the lumber company had laid a spur line seven
miles long. This private railway was operated with very old
wood burning steam locomotive.
if there were not enough ghosts in the forest
country, my next adventure took place at Diver. Mr Crouch,
the regular agent there, was on leave to go to Montreal and
be married. His bride was coming from Liverpool and he
wanted to meet her. 1 was sent
to Diver as the trainmen were
afraid to take their orders from the first relief man sent there.
They claimed the man was
drunk most of the time. When 1
got to Diver, he seemed perfectly sober and a fme man. He
willingly turned over the office to me, and he
and a Mr
Gallagher, who been painting the new station, both left on
the next train for North Bay and a spree.
After Gallagher had not reappeared for a week, I began
asking the train crews
if they had seen him. Oh yes, they
replied, we see the two
of them most days and its not likely
that Gallagher will be back until they are both stone broke.
The Diver & Ottawa River Railway had a mixed roster of second hand locomotives including at least two former Grand Trunk
Railway 4-4-0s. The company began building its line eastwards from Diver, named after the Cleveland Sarnia Lumber
Company general manager, D L Diver, in 1905. The railway eventually reached a maximum length of 11 miles and was
abandoned around 1916. This photo shows one of the small ex-GTR 4-4-0s. -National Archives of Canada
It was quite some time before Gallagher reappeared
one fme winters
day. Passing me, he said Good Day and
walked on
up to the new station building where I thought he
would be painting the interior. I was busy and did not see
him that afternoon. After lighting the switch lamps in the
bitter cold at 5:
00 pm, I went to the new station to see how he
was doing. I found him passed out on a rough bed without
even a fire in the large camp stove. I finally managed to
rouse him and brought him back to the old station, which
had the smallest office I ever worked
in. Almost as soon as
we arrived, Gallagher said he wanted a strong drink. I asked
where could I find it? He replied,
Go into the waiting room,
then through the office and in the west window
of the living
room there
is a bottle in the window.
I found two bottles in the window, both the same
colour and shape. The one on the left was
less than one­
lf full, while the other was full. As I had heard always give
a person a good drink to sober them up, I started pouring
from the full bottle. To my surprise, it was full
of paint oil, a
toxic substance
if ingested.
When I got back
to the office and told him my mistake,
jumped two feet high and started raving. I had seen a
man getting over the blues previously. I started making
strong coffee for Gallagher. He would rave about
creepers forty feet long, quieten down for a while and
then start raving again. This went on all n.ight until
05:00 am when he went to sleep on a small cot,
the only bed in the
building. There was nowhere for me to lie down, so I tied the
telegraph instruments and laid down
00 top of them.
When I awoke at 07:
00 am, there was no sign of Mr
Gallagher. I started out to the section house, which was a
mile and a
half from the station, to get help. During the
night, there had been a snowfall and Ga
llaghers footsteps
showed plainly. I must have walked a mile in the cold, crisp when I saw a man coming towards me. It was Gallagher.
He was in
shirt sleeves and wearing carpet slippers and
perfectly sober. He had taken the station water pail and was
looking for a place to fill
it. A half mile towards the station,
a creek flowed through a trestle.
It was the only place where
potable water could be found. I took the pail and clambered
the ten foot
rock face to the reach the water. When we
reached the station, Gallagher said he could not eat anything,
but made more strong coffee. He then said, even though it
was a Sunday, he had
to paint. I said that I understood and
would not say a word about
Soon thereafter, the regular agent returned. He had
left his bride
in North Bay and would only bring her north
when the new station was finished. As soon as possible, I
transferred the accounts back to him. I was not s
orry to
to Moose Lake and the good boarding place I had at
the section house. Mrs Davis, the section foremans wife,
was a good cook and kindly soul.
The creation of a legend
by Jay Underwood
July, 2004 marks the 100th anniversary of Canadas longest-running name train, the Ocean Limited (now known simply
as the Ocean). To commemorate this important centennial, we are printing, in this
SOOth issue, some articles concerning the
Ocean Limited, as well as the line on which it runs, the former Intercolonial Railway
of Canada. This article tells how this famous
train came to be.
The Ocean Limited as it looked in its early days. This publicity illustration by the Intercolonial was often reproduced on post
cards, pictures
in stations and other railway literature. This one was from a post card of about 1910.
The Maritime of necessity did much local work which
greatly slowed her average speed, and
in 1904 Hon. Henry
R. Emmerson, of pious and immortal memory, supplemented
her with a faster through summer train which a public voting
contest named the Ocean Limited, and which eventually
operated the year round. -J.B. King (The pseudonym of
H.B. Jefferson. The quote is excerpted from The Maritime
volume I number 1, June 1968, published by the
Scotian Railroad Society, Halifax.)
While King (Jefferson) is acknowledged as the
foremost railway historian of the Maritime provinces in
modem times,
it is unlikely that Henry Emmerson deserves
sole credit for the creation
of The Ocean Limited, since he
became Minister
of Railways and Canals barely six months
before the service went onto the Intercolonial Railways
schedule on July 4, 1904.
It is probably more true to say that he shares the
credit with his predecessor, Andrew
G. Blair, another New
Brunswick Liberal, who recognized the need, and initiated
the planning for what has become North Americas longest
continuously operated named passenger train service.
In either case, it is true to say that the train truly
to the Maritime provinces, for the Ocean Limited
made its first run, from Halifax, on July 4, 1904, witnessed
with no great fanfare by the NovaScotian
of July 8 of that
year: The Ocean Limited, the magnificent new express,
which Hon. H.R. Emmerson, Minister
of Railways, has added
to the I.C.R. service between Halifax and Montreal, started
Monday, leaving Halifax at 8:45 a.m. The run to the
commercial metropolis of the Dominion will be made in twenty­
four hours, inaugurating a service between East
and West
which is bound to become extremely popular. The first Ocean
Limited left North Street Monday.
This low-key announcement belies the bold
that led to the creation of what deserves to be considered a
legendary train.
Blair, a Fredericton-born lawyer and lecturer, became
Minister of Railways and Canals in Sir Wilfrid Lauriers
government just months after Laurier had ousted the Tory
of Sir Charles Tupper, the former minister who
wielded his influence over the government railway
system with a heavy hand.
Talcing the riding
of Sunbury-Queens in the election
of June 1896, Blairs was one of five ofthe 14 New Brunswick
seats that went to the Liberals. Nevertheless, he found
himself in the prestigious post at the perfect time, and used
to great political advantage. In the years between the 1896
election and the election
of 1900, the Liberals were able to
tell Canadians, as
1. Murray Beck notes in Pendulum of Power
(Prentice Hall, 1968):
In its one hundredth year, the westbound Ocean passes through Humphrey on March 27, 2004. Photo by Andrew Morris
.. their foreign trade had increased by $142 million
between 1896 and 1900,.compared with only $66 nllllion in
18 years of Tory rule. They were told that Conservative
deficits had been replaced by surpluses totaling $13 million
in the ordinary accounts; that immigration had increased
from 20,000 in 1896 to 32,000 in 1897 to 44,000 in 1898, and so
Immigration was in large part responsible for that
economic success, and the railway was the engine of
immigration, albeit concentrated in the prairie provinces, as
Beck notes:
They [Canadians] had it drilled into their heads
that the great trek
of immigrants to the West had already
given a strong impetus to business generally, and that
manufacturers, merchants and workingmen in all parts of
Canada would benefit still further as Western Canada became
more productive.
A consummate politician, Blair used his position to
ensure his home province received its fair share
of the Laurier
governments largesse, paving tbe way for an even bigger
In the election
of 1900, Blair took a political gamble
by running in the City of St. John, where he was re-elected,
easily defeating George Eulas Foster, a Conservative
heavyweight, and completely reversing the election result
of 1896, as nine Liberals took 14 of the seats available in that
province. As Beck notes:
It had been part of Tuppers strategy to pit his
chief lieutenants against Lauriers ministers, but here as
elsewhere it backfired badly.
Blairs reward was
to retain the railways and canals
ministry, but he soon found
himself at odds with Laurier.
While both men supported the expansion
of the government­
owned railways, Blair could not support Lauriers proposal
to build the National Transcontinental
Railway (NTR) as
competition for the Canadian Pacific in the west. Even
though part oJ the NTR would be built in Blairs home
province, from
Edmundston to Moncton, he was opposed
to constructing a line that would
in effect compete with the
Intercolonials line along the north shore
of New Brunswick.
The public disagreement would cost B lair his
cabinet post, and on July 20, 1903, he was replaced. Another
in his dismissal was the increasing expenditure within
his department
on the railways, which threatened to put the
lie to
Lauriers claim that his Liberals could run the
government without the deficits incurred by the
Beck hints at a more mysterious undercUlTent:
Apparently Blair was involved in a curious
conspiracy which was tumed into opera boufJe by LaurierS
decisive and timely interference.
In the end he spoke not a
word during the campaign.
Beck goes on to explain the nature of the
conspiracy, which revolved around the attempts by William
Mackenzie and Donald Mann, promoters
of the Grand Trunk
Pacific -a privately-owned competitor
to Canadian Pacific in
the west -to be named the lead contractors for the
construction of Lauriers NTR (which Laurier had authorized
without consulting Blair.)
The railway issue also indirectly produced an
extraordinary conspiracy against the government which for
sheer melodrama and sheer fatuity has never been equaled
in Canada. To this day the full extent of its ramifications is
unknown. It appears certain, however, that motive lay in
MacKenzie and Manns failure to be recognized as the
contractor for the
second transcontinental line, and their
desire to engineer the triumph of a Conservative government
that would be indebted to them.
It is also certain that its
leading figures were David Russell, well known
as a promoter
in Saint John and Montreal and as a participant in several
Mackenzie and Mann ventures, and IN. Greenshields, a
Montreal lawyer, who was solicitor for Mackenzie and Mann.
In part, the plot involved the purchase of several Liberal
newspapers and the switching
of their support to Borden.
There were other ingredients as well. A.G. Blair was to take
stump against the government; charges of corruption
were to he made against several cabinet ministers; and Liberal
candidates were to resign on nomination day because of
these revelations, allowing their Conservative opponents
to be elected by acclamation.
Only the
fUst pali of the conspiracy got off the ground,
and not far at that. Early
in the campaign, a former Liberal
in Saint John came under the control of Russell,
and presumably Blair. Then, on October 16, came the first
real bombshell,
LaPresse, it was rumoured, had been sold to
a number of influential Conservatives. Two days later there
was a second bombshell. Blair confirmed his resignation as
Chairman of the Railway Commission and reiterated his
opposition to the Grand Trunk Pacific. Immediately the
mystery deepened and excitement heightened. What would
happen next? Nothing did;
LaPresse was practically neutral
Mr. Blair remained a political sphinx. Rumour had it
that Laurier called on Blair
in Ottawa, and that Blair concluded
that silence was golden. The IUmour was never denied. As
La Presse, Laurier simply told its publishers that if it
changed its policy he would give the public the full story
about its sale to English-speaking speculators. That would
have killed it, for
it would have lost much of its circulation,
great was the strength of Laurier in the Quebec of
1904.The conspiracy had fizzled out. None of the other
Canadian elections has produced a Hollywood-type
melodrama to compare. with this misadventure of 1904.
Henry Robert Errunerson (Minister
of Railways and
Canals from 1904 to February 4, 1907) had been defeated
in federal elections prior to riding into Ottawa with the
Blair Liberals from New Brunswick in 1900. The lawyer from
Maugerville represented the riding
of Westmoreland, once
the bastion
of another great supporter of railway patronage,
Edward Barron Chandler. Clearly he was a willing acolyte
Lauriers NTR plan, and a necessary adjunct to the regional
of power within Lauriers cabinet. He became minister
of railways and canals January 15, 1904, six months before
The Ocean went on its schedule.
of the need for the Oceans extra capacity, as
King/Jefferson has noted, was caused by the popularity of
The Maritime Express, which was being obliged to call at so
many stations on the route that the name Express began
to lose all meaning.
For either Blair or Emmerson the new service was a
bold move, coming amid ever-increasing costs
in the ministry,
and threatening to put an end to the Liberal boast that they
alone could govern without the necessary evil
of a Tory-like
deficit. It was a message that was left to Emmerson to
in the same week that the Ocean began its run.
NovaScotian and Weekly Chronicle of July 8
1904, a supporter
of all things ICR (if not necessarily of the
politicians who occasionally found themselves in charge
the railway) chose to play the story under the positive
headline, Making I.C.R. great asset of Dominion.
Emmerson also sought to soften the blow by
comparing the railways economic performance as far back
94 MAI-JUIN 2004
as 1896, when the Liberals took control of the government
from the Conservatives, noting quite frankly that a deficit
had been incurred:
The Minister then proceeded
to give some figures
comparing ten months
of the present year up to April 30 last
with the same period a year ago. In this connection he said
that he could not give a very glowing picture on this account.
The expenditure was very largely
in excess of the receipts.
The receipts for the first ten months
of 1903 were $5,292,639
and for 1904 $5,287,521, a decrease
of $5,118. The expenses
in 1903 $5,288,765 and in 1904 $5,835,294, an increase
of $546,530. For the ten months in 1903 there was a surplus
of $3,676 and in 1904 a deficit of $547,772.
Mr. Clarke (Toronto) -The deficit is large.
Mr. Emmerson -It is the growing time. The increase
was due to higher wages paid, so that as we are the friends
of the labouring men my hon. friend will not cry over the
The minister went on to explain why he had taken the
unusual step
of bringing the accounts to Parliament before
the end
of the fiscal year:
Emmerson continues: I have found by
reference to Hansard that the statement is usually made in
Mayor June and commences with an analysis of the
preceding year and is followed by an analysis of accounts
for the current year, which usually is brought
up to the 30
of April. I am following the usage. I feel it my duty to lay
before Parliament the details
of the increased expenses so
that it may be apparent how it was caused.
Emmerson clearly defmed the higher wages in all
trades as the cause
of the deficit, but neglected to remind
the House that the Intercolonial had been absorbing other
lines in the
intervening period, acquiring not only new
employees, but more track and rolling stock that was in need
of repair:
In presenting these figures, which, as the Minister
stated, were not
of a glowing character Mr. Emmerson said
that he had no apology to make. The Intercolonial was not
built as a
commercial undertaking. It was constructed as
part of the work of Confederation for the purpose of
cementing the Provinces together. It was not COITect to say,
as some did, that the road was built in the interests
of the
to increase the freight rates. If any attempt was made
to do so, there would be a protest heard against it. But there
were other ways
of making the Intercolonial a success. A
good deal could be done
in modernizing the road. That was
something he would address
himself to. The straightening
of the curves and the improvement of the grades and
bridges to
bear the heavy engines that would have to be
secured would all go to make the road a more profitable
It was yet to be one of the greatest assets that the
country had.
The public contest to which King/Jefferson alludes
was not a Canadian initiative. The Halifax
Herald of April 30,
1904 had already given notice
of a contest by the Delaware
& Hudson Railroad which had offered a $50 prize to whoever
submitted the winning name for its new train to Lake Placid.
The conductor sits on the rear platform of the observation car of the Ocean Llmltedat Moncton in the 1930s.
Photo courtesy of
J. Norman Lowe
By including the public in the process, however, even
at a time when additional government spending on railways
was proving
to be a thorny political issue, Emmerson made a
calculated effort to allow the voters
to feel like they were
involved as stakeholders in the service, rather than
just a
silent partner or nebulous shareholder in The Peoples
Even though the new train would stop at fewer
communities than the Maritime Express, the taxpayer felt as
though the Ocean was their train, and the faster service
offering a relief from the often-tedious trip on the Maritime
Express, made it doubly welcomed.
It was clear in subsequent administrations that the
Ocean limited was to be a flagship for railway travel, and
regardless of deficits, no expense was to be spared. The
Canadian Government Railway Employees Magazine of
August, 1915 proudly boasted:
ATTACHED to the Ocean Limited on Thursday afternoon,
northward bound was Car. No. 168 and bearing the words
Canadian Government Railways. This was the cars
second trip since it left Rhodes, Curry Car works at
Amherst as a credit to its builders. It is the very last word
in first class cars. The
car is of steel framework with a
hard wood finish
of bright cherry stain. The ceiling is of
Nile green, relieved with a tracery in yellow. The
ventilating windows as well as the semi-circular half lights
above the regular windows, are of amber-tinted opaque
glass relieved in each half light by a narrow strip of
coloured glass, principally green in miniature leaded
panes. The amber tint varies in intensity making the
general decorative scheme of the art glass highly pleasing
-so much so that the gratification grows upon the traveller
as the
journey lengthens. The seats are easy and inclined
at a comfortable angle.
The upholstery is in a serviceable
green. The parcel racks are capacious in their width and
unobtrusive in design. Being of brass -bright and
new -the racks added much to the cars general
appearance. The car is lighted at night by electricity. Ten
lamps run along
each side of the car -or twenty in all.
Each alternate lamp
is set slightly lower and nearer the
of the car than its neighbour. The electric lights are
controlled by
switches and may be used in part or as a
whole. The globes are half-clear and
half frosted -the
latter being the upper half. The lights are equivalent
to 30
c.p. The general effect at night
is satisfactory and reading
is easy. There are three electric fans; one
at each end of
the passenger compartment and one in the smoker. The
lavatories are conveniently fitted out with a late type of
flushing system. The vestibules are of steel frame work
solid steel platforms. The car rides easily and is
in its seating; efficient and modern in all its
equipment and a marked advance in the system of
ventilation, through the adoption of electric fans. The
management merits commendation for this new departure.
That such opulence would
be offered to ordinary
passengers on the train was a clear indication that railway
travel in Canada had indeed become an egalitarian
institution, and by 1917 it was equally clear that the Ocean
service was
to be considered as something more than just a
necessary means
of moving people … it was being marketed
as a
joyride. The. Canadian Government Railway
Employees Magazine for September, 1917 cheerfully
TO HALIFAX –: By the Ocean Limited Along the St.
Lawrence Valley
to the Maritime Provinces -By A. H. L.
-IT is a pleasant ride from Montreal by the Ocean Limited
right through to Halifax. In fact I do not know where a
railway journey could be taken where the same amount
mileage will contribute a greater amount of enjoyment to
the traveller.
This in the summer time
of course, when the grass
is green, the trees
in full leaf, and hills, valleys, lakes,
rivers and sea, forming a panorama
of loveliness.
Seven oclock
in the evening is a good time to leave
the metropolis
of Canada, especially if it is hot weather
and you are bound eastward to
You are tired after the days business. On the
luxurious steel sleepers you find restfulness and comfort.
On the dining car you can amply satisfy the craving of
the inner man, while afterwards the mellowing twilight
tends to reflection, retrospection, and repose. You are
translated from the burdened atmosphere
of a busy city
to green fields and pure air, and if your physical state is at
all natural, you will slumber in peace and relaxed
In the morning when you hear the call of breakfast
is ready, you find yourself approaching the famed valley
of the Matapedia where for twenty-two miles the train
follows the river
to the meeting of the waters, where it
joins the Restigouche and sweeps on to the Baie de
Here is sunshine, light and colour, lofty hills
crowned with verdure, and a rapid winding river, the
abiding place
of lordly salmon. Here you catch glimpses
of sportsmen in canoes paddled by stoical Indian guides,
whipping persistently among the pools, and sometimes
96 MAI-JUIN 2004
have the privilege of seeing one playing a twenty pounder
with a skill that tells
of experience. At Matapedia station
you see the fine clubhouse
of the wealthy owners of this
famous stream. You see also the puffing train on a side
track that connects with the Ocean Limited and goes down
to the Gaspe
peninsula. Then a further dash along the
of the Restigouche takes you into the Province of
New Brunswick and to the town of Campbellton.
is where you can get some idea of the lumber
industry. Thousands of logs float in the booms, and
squatty tugs tow immense rafts to the mills. You hear the
weird music
of giant saws converting the logs into deals,
boards and shingles, and see at the wharves the ships
our own and allied and neutral nations loading cargoes
for export. A branch line runs from Campbellton across
the northerly part
of the Province to St. Leonard, a distance
of 112 miles.
Dalhousie Junction the train stops to transfer
passengers to the branch train for Dalhousie, a place that
has many charms for the summer visitor. Across the Baie
de Chaleur are the Gaspesian Hills, with the picturesque
of the settlers at their base. As far as the eye can
see the shores on both sides
of the bay are dotted with
clusters of white houses and tapering spires of distant
Other trains sufficiently serve most
of the stations
along the main line. The Ocean Limited is a through train
with a schedule calling for considerable speed. So you
glide rapidly
through this region of diversified scenery
come to Bathurst. Bathurst has gained greatly in
industrial importance during the last three years. Always
a lumbering centre, it has
now a large pulp mill which
gives employment to many workmen.
It is quite a live
town, charmingly situated at the mouth
of the Nepisiguit
River. At
Bathurst Point, overlooking the broad and
beautiful bay, there are summer cottages that are occupied
each year by visitors who enjoy the salt air and the
excellent bathing. The Nepisiguit is a fine salmon stream,
this a region renowned for sportsmen, as moose,
caribou, deer and bear are plentiful in the forests to the
North and East.
Farther along is Newcastle on the Miramichi,
another great lumbering centre, with branch lines running
to Chatham and Loggieville, and one to Fredericton, New
Brunswicks fair capital.
A train leaving
Newcastle after the arrival of the
Limited reaches Fredericton the same evening, a
connection travellers have not enjoyed before this summer.
Along this line is a region
renowned for sport, and the
opportunities for canoe trips, summer outings and camping
tours are innumerable.
Moncton is reached at 4:00 p.m. and connection
here made with a train from Saint John, and with the Boat
train for Point
du Chene, for the benefit of travellers for
Prince Edward Island. From Moncton eastward the train
stops at Sackville, Amherst, Maccan, Springhill Junction,
Londonderry and Truro, where connection is made with
evening trains for
New Glasgow and Pictou and for the
Sydneys. Halifax is reached at 10:50 p.m. after a journey
of twenty-seven hours, covering 836 miles. Do you know
of a more interesting and enjoyable train ride elsewhere?
Two photos of the interior of the new Renaissance cars
as used
on the latest generation of the Ocean. Above is the
dining car ready to receive hungry passengers, while to
the right is the electronic indicator board showing the
stations at which the train will stop.
Indeed, only the necessities of war could interrupt
Oceans regular schedule, as it did in 1917, threatening
to spoil what has become a longstanding record for service,
while the Ocean is longest continuously scheduled
name train service, its schedule did not necessarily take it
all the way ftom Halifax to Montreal, as the Moncton
of March 2, 1917 observed:
MONCTON, MONDAY -Will Continue On The Present
Schedule Between Moncton And Halifax -MARITIME
Small Branch Runs Cut Or Modified To Suit Changed
Conditions -Commencing Monday, March 5 in order
to facilitate the movement of overseas freight and
ameliorate the freight situation generally, it has been
decided by the management of the Canadian Government
Railways to withdraw from service the
Ocean Limited
between Moncton and Montreal. The last through, west­
bound train (No. 199) will leave Halifax Sunday, March
and the last east-bound train (No. 200) will leave Montreal
on Sunday, March
The foregoing information is contained in a brief
circular issued to the Canadian Press last night, through
The Daily Times, by the management of the Canadian
Government Railways.
The following information relating to the Limited
between Halifax and Moncton and to other local trains
affected by slight changes in schedule, is also contained
in the circular, which
Trains Nos. 199 and 200 will run between Halifax
Moncton daily except Sunday on present schedule.
The Maritime Express will run through between Halifax
and Montreal daily, commencing Monday, March
5h. In
order to make close connection from Sydney with
Maritime Express (Westbound), train No.6 will leave
Sydney and intermediate stations
to Truro one hour earlier
than present schedule. Trains Nos.
41 and 42 will be
restored to schedule as shown in time table No.7,
commencing Monday, March 5
This interruption was short-lived. In its April 3,
1917 edition, the
Daily Times noted:
/ ..
U ,~
Ocean Limited Will be Put Back Into Service About The
of The Present Month -That the Ocean Limited is
to be restored to the Canadian Government Railways time
card between Moncton and Montreal, sometime about
the middle of April, was the interesting news learned by
The Times at railway headquarters here last evening.
Manager F. P. Gutelius, when questioned as to
the correctness
of rumours which have been in circulation
for several days, .authorized the above statement, and
referred the newspaper representative to the passenger
department for further particulars.
H. H. Melanson, general passenger agent of
the Canadian Government Railway, stated that according
present arrangements, the restoration will take place
on April 14h and 15h. No. 200 will leave Montreal at 7: 15
on the evening of the l4h on her first trip east, and No.
199 will leave Halifax on the IS, on her first trip west.
The time
of the Limited will be the same as before the last
of time-table. No. 199 will reach Moncton from
at 2:00 p.m., leaving for Montreal at 2:25 p.m. No.
200 will arrive from Montreal
at 5:35 p.m., leaving for again
at 6:00 p.m. for Halifax.
It was originally the intention to keep the express
on all winter, but the exigencies
of the freight and military
situation, as explained in
parliament several months ago,
it necessary to take the train off for a while. The
of the restoration will without doubt be received
with general pleasure by the travelling public. It is learned
from general
manager and general passenger agent that
no further changes in the passenger time card are
to take
place at the present time.
A new time card
covering the necessary changes
is being issued.
Nor has the train always followed the same route
over its I 00 years.
Accidents, derai Iments and weather
conditions have all conspired at times to force the train to
take the NTR route from Moncton to Edmundston.
Derailments and
spring floods in the early 1960s
even obliged the train to travel from Halifax
to Truro, then
to Pictou, then to Oxford
Junction by way of the short
line along Nova Scotias Northumberland shore, back on
to the main line for Moncton.
It may be this determination to get through
despite many obstacles that has brought the Ocean
Limited its revered position in Maritime Canada.
Some Milestones in the Life of the Ocean
.Compiled by Jay Underwood
Editors note: The official name of the train was changed from Ocean Limited to Ocean in the 1960s. In this compilation the two
names are used interchangably.
July 4 1904 -First Ocean Limited leaves Halifax for
Montrea1. Intended as a weekly summer time train to take
excess passenger traffic from the Maritime Express.
1914-Ocean for Montreal numbered 199, Ocean for Halifax
numbered 200
May 2 1915 -Ocean goes into daily summer service, partly
to accommodate excess troop traffic for Halifax in First World
War. 25-hour trip promises new sleeping cars, new dining
cars, new
day coaches, the most modern and powerful
locomotives of the dreadnought class. Timetable allows
for daylight runs through Wentworth and Matapedia valleys.
July 23 1915 -The body of Sir Sandford Fleming, whose
death took place on July
201h, went forward in the private
Rosemere attached to the Ocean Limited to Ottawa.
January 1916 -Ocean Limited winter schedule in effect.
January 10 1917 -With many passenger trains being
cancelled to relieve war-related congestion on the railway,
the Dominion Railway Commission announces one
which will be made is in the time of the Ocean Limited
which will take about 27 hours and 55 minutes between
Halifax and Montreal, instead
of 25 hours and 5 minutes
as at present. The
Limited will now leave Halifax at 7:00
oclock and will reach Montreal at 10:00 the following
December 6, 1917 -The Ocean misses the devastation of
the Explosion caused by the ships Mont Blanc and Imo in
Halifax Harbour. Much
of the citys north end, including the
Intercolonial Station on NOith Street, was damaged in the
morning blast. The westbound
Ocean had departed an hour
before, and the eastbound was not scheduled to arrive until
4:25 p.
m. and was stopped at Truro.
December 10 1917 -Ocean resumes runs into Halifax,
terminating at a makeshift station in the citys south end.
January 1918 -Ocean Sunday run taken off schedule.
Replaced by Maritime Express.
November, 1919 -Four men are alTested and an undisclosed
amount of cash is recovered after robbers broke into the
mail car attached to the
Ocean Limited near Quebec City.
1927 –
Acadian, an all-sleeper service, is added between
Montreal and Halifax
to relieve traffic on the Ocean.
1928-Average speed of the Ocean 31 mph.
May 7 1937 -Eastbound Ocean collides with string of
runaway coal cars from the Cumberland Coal & Railway Co.
near Little Forks N.S. Six people are known to have died (two
of them are unidentifiable), and as many as four others, all
men riding blind baggage may have been killed. A royal
of inquiry makes recommendations to improve
of switching operations near the main line, and ends
the practice
of riding blind, non-paying passengers riding
on the open vestibules
of coaches.
1941-Ocean was leaving Montreal in seven sections to
accommodate increased waItime passenger traffic.
Ocean Limited is the first CN passenger trai.n to
go diesel.
1959-Ocean Limiteds best time is recorded at 20 hours 15
1961 –
Ocean colour scheme changes from CN green and
to black and silver.
1963 -CN introduces pilot Red, White
& Blue fare scheme
Ocean Limited as passenger traffic begins to decline.
1963 -Six Skyview bedroom-lounge cars are introduced
on the
Ocean and Scotian in an attempt to attract more traffic.
Average speed
of the Ocean is 40 mph.
1967 –
Ocean records best-ever scheduled run from Halifax
to Montreal of 19 hours 50 minutes.
1969 –
Oceans best time is recorded at 19 hours 55 minutes.
1978 –
Ocean colour scheme changes from CN black and
to VIA blue and yellow, with red CN logo on locomotive
nose. VIA Rail Canada Inc., a subsidiary
of CNR, assumes
of the Ocean, along with passenger train services
of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific.
March 31 1978 -VIA Rail assumes ownership of Ocean
April 1 1978 -VIA Rail becomes a Crown Corporation,
passenger-related employees at CN become VIA employees.
November 1981 -The Ocean survives the 30 per cent
reduction in services ordered by the federal government.
1983 – A
severe winter puts strain on all VIAs steam
generator units, with many on trains like The Ocean Limited
breaking down. Leads to move toward new electrical heat
generating units.
The westbound Ocean, No. 15, as seen just outside of Amherst on March 27, 2004, with an all stainless-steel consist. By the
of the summer of 2004, the Ocean will be entirely Renaissance. We will leave it to the readers to decide which they prefer.
Photo by
Andrew Morris
1985 -The Ocean is powered by new GM F-40 locomotives.
Steam generator units are removed from service.
c 1986 -VIA CQmpletes takeover of aJl passenger stations.on
Ocean route from CN.
May 1987 -VIA program offering 50 per cent fare reduction
for passengers who arrive at their destination more than
minutes late extended to Ocean passengers. Reduction is
to cost of next ticket purchased.
1988 -F9 and F9B locomotives are withdrawn from service.
11 1988 -VIA opens its new maintenance facility
at Halifax
to service Ocean equipment.
December 1988 -VIA begins $200 million modernization
replacing the blue and yellow passenger cars with
modernized stainless steel cars, including 157 previously
acquired from
CPo This upgrading program was completed
by 1992.
April 1 1989 -6700 series FP4A units are not permitted
lead trains, including the Ocean. Last FPA4 and FB4
locomotive units taken out of mainline service.
April 1989 -The
Ocean survives the 50 per cent reduction
VIA passenger services ordered by Conservative
Transportation Minister Benoit Bouchard.
October 41989 -The Ocean (Trains II and 12) is expected
to be
reduced to tri-weekly service in the wake of the
Bouchard budget cuts.
November 1989 -Bouchard budget cuts affect The
The days of operation of Trains 14 and IS between Montreal
and Halifax will alternate with the days
of Trains 16, 17
between Montreal and Gaspe, and with Trains 11 and 12, the
Atlantic, going by way of Saint John. There is no service
depatiing on Tuesday from either Halifax or Montreal.
January 1990 -Train numbers become: VIA IS (Su We Fr)
from Halifax
to Montreal VIA 15 (Mo Thu Sa) from Montreal
to Halifax.
VIAll (Mo Thu Sa) From Halifax to Montreal (Tu
Fr Su) from Montreal
to Halifax. VIA 14 (Su We Fri) From
to Halifax. VIA 12 (Mo Thu Sa) Montreal to Halifax
October 1990 -Style and Stee!pr0gram introduces
refurbished stainless steel passenger lounge cars to Ocean.
Art deco decor aims to attract new passengers to VIAs trans­
continental trains.
December 15 1994 -The Atlantic is cut from service. The
Ocean now operates six days a week between Montreal and
March 2001 -VIA tests Nightstar equipment on Ocean
route. Destined to go into service in 2003.
April 12 2001-
Ocean is derailed at Stewiacke NS by a 15-
year-old boy tampering with a switch. The 13-car train is
wrecked, but there are no fatalities. The youth is
subsequently convicted and sentenced to a detention
facility. Upon his release, he is charged in connection with
an incident of cruelty to animals.
May 2001 -Two men are killed at Elmsdale NS, after the
Ocean strikes their vehicle on an unmarked grade crossing.
July 30 2003 -VIA Rail introduces Renaissance cars,
renovated European Nights tar carriages surplus from
Channel tunnel operation. Locomotive power
is 6400 series
(F40PH-2). Stainless steel equipment, including scenic dome
cars, are
to be phased out of service over a period of about
one year.
Aug 7 2003 -Halifax departure and arrival
of the Ocean is
delayed by an explosion at the nearby grain elevators.
July 3 2004 -The Ocean celebrates 100 years of service,
Canadas longest running named train
The Ocean Limited
by Ken Cairns
The following verses are from a longer poem by Ken Caims,a Cape Bretoner who presently lives in New Minas, Nova Scotia. He
has worked for CN and Via Rail for the past 33 years. He is presently working on the Ocean, Nos. 15 & 14 as a Service Manager,
is hoping to make it four in a row on the Bras Dor (Halifax to Sydney, NS) this summer.
In the year
of nineteen four,
Eastern people began to roar.
What we need is another train,
To take
away the surnmer pain.
The Maritime Express is full.
All the cars that steam can pull.
Who will we talk to, whos on our side?
Get H.R. Emmerson, Westmorlands Plide.
So Emmerson worked with all his might,
Because he knew that votes were tight.
Public contest was the plan,
As Minister
of Railways he was the Man.
to the people of the time,
By word of mouth and papers fine.
What will we call it, its our train?
The Ocean Limited
is a mighty fine name.
When the leaves began
to fall,
The Board of Commissioners made the call.
The Ocean Limited we will keep,
Through rain and snow, and wars and heat.
Sleeping ,dining and parlour cars,
Coaches, big engines and baggage cars.
Will the Ocean Limited comprise,
We will try it on for size.
Connections from the Sydneys old,
Confederations home
is in the fold,
The Loyalist City joins up next,
The Boston States, so dont be vexed
The Peoples Railway had ajob,
To handle traffic, what a mob!
The people to the train did flock,
All the way to Motissey Rock.
it was the start.
Moncton also played a part.
N0l1h Shore and Wentworth Valley fine,
Miramichi Salmon and Riesling wine.
Through the Matapedia Valley bold,
To St. Flavie, as the miles unfold.
Time to sleep and curl up tight,
In the moming, what a sight!
The Empress of Ireland sank one night.
As you pass through Rimouski, look
off to the right.
The mighty St Lawrence, with scenelY so bright,
Levis is left, Quebec to the right.
The Citadel across the river,
An awesome sight, it makes me quiver.
Into Montreal by noon,
This new train has been a boon.
Down through Quebec with its churches pristine,
Farmland and woodland, and villages clean.
of wind, master craftsmen work on
Known round the world, by voices in song.
The River St.
Lawrence,soon will she cross.
Millers and brewers make fortunes from hops.
Ice hockey team, that is second to none,
Now shes arrived at the end of her run,
Once gracing the front
of the five dollar bill,
Down through the valley the whistle is shrill.
Cross bridges and rivers, by the bay that is warm.
When she atTives at the station, how people do swaim!
sixth 17, was an awful day,
A mighty bang, blew the station away.
The Ocean Limited continued
to run,
With doctors and nurses
… and, I bet, some rum!
As the lamps across Europe stal1ed to go out.
And men were needed the enemy
to rout.
Coach cleaners and operators,
women stepped in;
Twelve hours a day for less than a fin.
During the war in forty one,
The Scotian was added to the run.
The Gull from Halifax and through Maine,
The Ocean Limited, a sleeping
car train.
Debel1 was a military
post during war.
The Limited passed heading north from the shore.
The Cooks and the Chefs, their pies they did bake,
At St. Fabien, she survived an eat1hquake.
The bridge at East Mines was a vulnerable spot,
Guarded in wartime, against an onslaught.
The North Novas stood in the wind
and the rain,
As the Limited passed, shes holding the main.
C. T. C. is needed whatever the cost,
Without it, in Europe, the war might be lost.
The first line in Canada, where will it be?
The Bedford and Springhill, way down by the sea,
Chmchill and Roosevelt in Quebec did meet,
Two Royal trains, a mighty fine feat.
of might and fame,
To the salmon rivers came.
The fifties would see the greatest change
of all time,
of engines, no work in the mines,
Ice under cars when the weather was hot,
Gave way to A,C.,
were improving our lot.
Airplanes also took to the skies,
Delegrave looked at them, eye to eye.
Red, White and Blue
is how it should be.
People this country,
just have to see.
Sixty seven was a hundred years,
Since Sir Tupper had cried
in his beers.
of Maritimers to EXPO went,
The Limited carried them,
and never broke a sweat.
The Chaleur from Moncton
to Montreal,
The Cabot from Sydney, through Grand Falls,
The Maritime, its days were done,
But the Ocean Limited continued
to run.
The price
of gas went up and up,
People staIted to close up tuck.
A vacation and travel
is what we need,
Jump on the Limited, and forget the speed,
The Tantramar Marshes, they made a great set,
For Colville the painter, and his brushes wet.
And Hank Snow the singer has written a song,
The Limited continues to Chug, chug along.
The Scotian died in seventy nine,
Some thought the Ocean Limited had done its time.
Now the Atlantic was her partner true,
Soon six days a week, under government Blue,
in funding are no way to work.
Connections are needed, it
isnt a perk.
Cape Breton and Saint John, in the original plan,
Now they all ride
in a shuttle type van.
The Chef has his prime rib all ready on time,
The Steward
is getting his wine in a line,
The Cook has fresh fish all ready
to bake,
And sauces and chowder, some pies and some cakes,
The Porters are folding their towels so clean,
And Waiters and Pantrymen make silverware gleam.
The Sleeping Car Conductor, sorts his tickets
by car,
B. B. L. Porters serve drinks in the bar,
Sleepers and pari
om cars ever so clean,
And spitoons
in the smoker, how they do gleam,
Fresh flowers on tables
in each dining car,
As we sit down to dinner,
weve traveled so far.
Chowder and Prime Rib with horseradish sauce,
Creamed parsnips, baked potato,
is this ever posh!
White jacketed waiters, with aprons like snow.
A blue vested Steward, how they do glow.
Chefis the pride of the C. N. R.line,
The Steward informs me, as he opens my wine.
Apple pie for deselt, freshly baked on the car,
Conversation and coffee as I light my cigar.
A drink in the Cape car, double scotch, make
it neat,
As I climb in
an upper, whew what a feat!
White starched linens, so crisp and so cool
Next time Ill take a lower, I feel like a fool.
Although many trains from the Maritimes went,
The Ocean continues, shell never be spent.
Purple her livery, then black green and gold.
Nurnbered as three and four when she was bom.
Then she was one and two, the pride
of the line,
Black red and white and a noodle so fine.
Fifteen and fourteen soon she would .be
As she continued to roll
to the sea.
Blue and yellow was the next trim,
Somehow she continued to look quite prim.
Changes were coming as HEP replaced steam,
Old Timers thought it must be a dream.
Stainless and blue now does she show,
Never held up, not by rain, wars or snow.
Now therell be Renaissance, the next generation
Running into Halifax station.
If the Ocean could talk, it would tell quite a tale.
The history its seen as its whistle did wail.
The people its can-ied whether famous or not,
Its palt
of our history that has to be taught.
So heres
to the people who worked on the line
To keep the Ocean Limited running on time,
May we ever remember their work that was fine,
As the Limited passes over the
1. C. R. line.
Intercolonial to C.N. and then Via Rail
Although she
is old she is still mighty hale.
One hundred years is a mighty fine feat,
No Canadian train with a name has her beat.
So on third
of July, two thousand and four,
We should remember all who have gone before.
The Ocean Limited
is still first class,
So come on folks, lets raise a glass.
The legend of the Grecian Bend
by Jay Underwood
In the years since George R. Stevens wrote his history
of the fonnation of Canadian National Railways (MacMillan
& Co.) much calumny has been heaped upon John Livesey,
the principal partner
of the International Contract Company,
and owner
of the iron mines and foundry at Londonderry,
Nova Scotia.
Stevens version of the events that led to the
creation of what is known derogatorily as the Grecian Bend
Liveseys intransigence and political machinations
for the decision to
have the Truro-Amherst section of the
Intercolonial Railways main line swing miles
offa more direct
course, to pass through Londonderry and Liveseys Acadian
Iron Mining
Association mine and foundry, then over the
Cobequid hills on a
grade that made it uneconomical and
difficult to operate passenger trains safely.
Given his reputation for having a bawdy sense
humour, it is. hard to believe that Sandford Fleming -the
chief engineer of the Intercolonial, and the man with whom
Livesey would clash -.didnot see the humour in the
soubriquet. It was no doubt to him a serious business. In his
1876 history Fleming referred to it wryly:
.. hence arose that gigantic and conspicuous
sweep which the railway traveller will observe on the
flank of the Cobequid Mountains, where the line
describes nearly
half a complete circle. So marked is this
in the location that the popular voice has applied
the term The Grecian
Bend, which, possibly, may be
so long as the railway endures.
In that fmal observation, Fleming proved prescient.
Another stretch of the line, making a similar wayward
sweeping curve near Amherst, was referred to as Tuppers
Bustle, a reference to the political intervention of Charles
Tupper -who had interests in the local coal mines – but that
term has long since passed out
of use.
It is widely believed the term Grecian Bend was a
of the day to the often-extreme proportions of a
ladys dress bustle, greatly exaggerating her figure from the
rear. In fact, it refers to the manner in which women who
chose to wear the bustles carried themselves, as an
anonymous historian notes on the web site http://
Fashionable ladies of the day wore corsets that
caused them to assume a bent over posture which was
to as the Grecian bend.
The Grecian Bend was the most erotic style of the
To effect the look of the Bend, women had to be
corseted. The corset had
to be laced as tightly as possible.
A mid 19th century illustration of the Grecian Bend, by
Currier and Ives, as seen in an American magazine of
the time. (Courtesy Library of Congress)
Shoes had to have the highest possible heels in order to
achieve the stride that attended the posture. Sauntering
down the street required complicated mechanics. The body
was thrust both backward and forward
so that bosoms and
buttocks would
protrude as much as possible. The style
was often
so exaggerated, and the corseting so restrictive,
that women could not sit upright in carriages. They were
to lean forward and rest their hands on cushions
on the
floor to support themselves. Extrication from the
carriage took the helping hand
of a friend.
It is perhaps unfortunate for Fleming that this style
became fashionable at the same time he was haggling with
politicians over
the route his railway would take in Nova
Scotias Cumberland County, a fashion lampooned in a
popular 1868 ditty (see side bar opposite).
MAY-JUNE 2004 103
The Grecian Bend
New York: 1868
The Ladies wanting something new, As women are so prone to do,
Wear lofty heels upon the shoe to give them a Grecian Bend.
With foot so short and heel so high they cant stand plumb if they would try,
And so they think to catch the eye by means of the Grecian Bend.
see them promenade Broadway, from early morn to end of day:
hear what dashing gents will say about the Grecian Bend.
Tis fun to see a lass so tall, lean forward till youd think shed fall:
Or pitch against a tree or wall, Because of her Grecian Bend.
Een bashful girls are forward now, So forward that the people vow;
Theyve been all day behind a plow, To give them their Grecian Bend.
Fat women now will not be seen, For all are bent upon the lean;
A novel way jo walk the Queen, Thrs beautiful Grecian Bend.
When g~rls go oLitupon the street, Their -heads arrive before their feet;
The figure cut is stlTe a treat, But this is the Grecian Bend.
The doctors think the walk is fine, For all the ladies who incline;
Must have a curvature of spine, To give them a Grecian Bend.
Old maids declare it just the plan, They try this semicircle sham,
Pitch into horse and dray, and man. And spoil their Grecian Bend.
What next well have we do not know, For novelty is all the go;
And when designs begin to flow, Where will the follies end?
Perhaps youll see them by the scores, Down on their knees upon your floors;
To try to go it on all fours, And cut the Grecian Bend.
The Grecian Bend for Westend Belles, is thought by love the thing
The Roman Fall for bout town Swells, Is what my boys I sing;
Heads up, chests out la militaire, How graceful the effect,
How stylish yet how debonnaire, It is the walk correct.
In The Myths of Sandford Fleming, (Canadian
No. 483, July-August 2001) it was shown that Liveseys
request, subsequently upheld by
Nova Scotia politicians –
and Flemings overseers on the railway commission -indeed
made a great deal
of sense. The railway would come to support
an industry that was vital to the economic development
the fledgling country, and would take the line through what
was then a major population centre at a time when portions
of Flemings route through northern New Brunswick were
being criticized for doing
just the opposite.
Fleming made great fare out of Liveseys
antagonism in his 1876 history of the completion of the
Intercolonial. He fought it more vehemently than he did
Tuppers Bustle, or the equally famous Dorchester
Diversion inspired by the demands of railway commissioner
Edward Barron Chandler
of New Bn1l1swick.
There may, however, have been another motive for
Flemings choice
of a more direct route, and it could be shown
that Livesey saved the Canadian taxpayer (who would
ultimately be repaying the British imperial government for
Stevens map of the Grecian Bend: The location he gives for Flemings preferred
route through the Cobequid Mountains seems impossible on practical inspection.
the ravines and gorges of the
tributary streams,
your work merits
special notice. It is well known to
those who have had experience in the
of railway works, that a
solid embankment is greatly to be
preferred to any bridge or viaduct,
however well built, or however
durable its component parts may be.
In the latter case, the joints of masonry
require frequent pointing, and the
iron work requires
to be painted every
few years, and the timber floor is
subject to inevitable decay. But in the
case of a well consolidated
embankment, no future expenditure is
needed; and the exposed faces of the
culvert which passes under
it bear no
comparison with the superficial areas
of a lofty bridge, with its abutments
and wing-walls and piers, and its iron
or wood superstructure.
the loan which financed construction of the railway) millions
of dollars by insisting upon his route, or at least the
compromise that favoured his commercial interests.
The Intercolonial earned Fleming much acclaim for
the substantial nature of the construction, and it perhaps
fitting that the Londonderry controversy should take place
in Nova Scotia, where the engineer honed his craft building
the Pictou branch
of the Nova Scotia Railway in the years
immediately preceding Confederation.
Prior to the Pictou branch, Flemings only significant
railway experience was gained upon the Northern Railway
Canada, a project that required the steadying hand of
Frederick Cumberland to resurrect it from its inadequate state
and near-bankruptcy.
the completion of the line from Truro to
Pictou, Fleming was congratulated by several reputable
engineers for the quality of his work; men no doubt cultivated
for their opinion, which was made public by Fleming
in an
unabashedly self-congratulatory pamphlet intended to
deflect some
of the political criticism he had faced in Nova
of the compliments, of which he may have been
particularly proud, came from George Lowe Reid, the engineer
of the Detroit & Milwaukee, Great Western of Canada, Galt
& Guelph, London & Sarnia, Petrolia, and Toronto &
Hamilton railways. Commenting upon Flemings use of
culverts and embankments Reid wrote:
In the formation of the numerous embankments
the bends of the principle river valleys, and across I observed several instances
in which you have, a.t a largely increased cost, built a solid
embankment and culvert; where, by a slight change of
location and grade, you might have greatly reduced the
of excavation, and have crossed the ravine by a
of spans which would have produced a very pleasing
structure which an unprofessional man might suppose
be more costly and more durable than a solid embankment
with its accompanying culvert.
Few persons besides the
Engineer and the contractor know how much costly
masonry is buried out of sight underneath one of those
heavy embankments
to which I refel; and fewer still know
how much care and skill are required
in their construction,
and how much is saved by them in future years, in the
general maintenance and repairs
of the road.
In his history of the Intercolonials construction,
Fleming emphasizes Reids assertions about the economics
of culvert versus trestle construction:
It has already been stated that a viaduct is not,
under ordinary circumstances,
an economical or desirable
structure, and that
it should only be introduced where a
of considerable width has to be crossed. Accordingly,
Bridges have been avoided in all cases, where a solid
earthen embankment could be formed. The one exception,
at the River Folly in Nova Scotia, has already been
It would appear from these two statements that
Flemjng was very much an embankment
man, eschewing
bridgework for reasons that he could justify as he did in his
1876 book:
In laying down general principles by which the
of the whole of the structures on the line was
ABOVE: Map showing the various
alternatives proposed for the route of the
Intercolonial in Flemings report of 1865.
An enlarged detail from the above
map showing the routes in the vicinity of
the Grecian Bend. Note the spelling
Folleigh Lake.
From: The IntercolonIal a History, by
Sandford Fleming C.E., published in 1876.
to be governed, engineering requirements
were primarily regarded; but economy in
expenditure was by no means lost sight
It was felt that while the abutments and
piers should be designed to efficiently resist
peculiar climatic forces to which they
would be exposed,
it was equally important
to accomplish the desired object at a
minimum cost. A saving
of expenditure at
one point, or on a single structure, might
be a matter
of no great consequence, but
multiplied by the number of cases
which occur on such a length
of line, the
importance of a well-considered system
becomes apparent.

~ ,<
To the Honorable William McDougall
Provincial Secretary, Canada
106 MAI-JUIN 2004
MONTREAL, February 9
I have the honor to submit the following report on the exploratory Survey
of the Tenitory through which the
Railway between the Provinces
of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is intended to run.
In conducting this Survey, I have considered the routes for the projected Railway which have on previous
occasions been contemplated, as well as some others which seemed worthy
of attention.
I have especially directed my attention
to the best means of overcoming or avoiding obstacles which were
previously considered serious or insuperable.
I have endeavoured to carry on the Survey with a strict regard
to economy, at the same time efficiency -and I
have completed the whole service at
as early a period as it was possible, with the means at my command.
I shall
in the following pages describe the quality of the land in the country examined, and its fitness for
cultivation and settlement so far as I have been able
to acquire information. I shall also make some allusion to the climatic
influences which may operate on the several routes.
I shall likewise report, although I fear imperfectly, on the comparitive advantages
of the various routes, in a
commercial point
of view.
The relative position
of the several projected routes with the Frontier of the l)nitedStates, will be described.
The estimates
of probable cost will be based on calculations made with a view to efficiency, stability and
permanency; at the same time having due regard
to economy in the expenditure.
A schedule
of the plans and profiles of the several lines surveyed, and explorations made, which have been laid
down to convenient scales; together with other papers relating
to the survey, will be found subjoined.
I trust that the infOlmation which I have now the honor
to submit will enable the Government to judge of the
practicability, probable cost, and respective merits,
of the several projected routes of this proposed Intercolonial
The Governments
ofthe Sister Provinces have afforded me every facility in the prosecution of the Survey, and I
am under no ordinary obligations
to many of the leading gentlemen in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for their ready
assistance and the valuable information which they have furnished me.
I have the honor
to be,
Your Obedient Servant,
The introductory letter to Sandford Flemings 1865 report to the Canadian government, covering the survey made in 1864.
This report described no less than fifteen alternative routes
for the proposed Intercolonial Railway. It should be noted that,
in 1865, the line would
truly be intercolonial, as Confederation did not occur for another two years.
While tbis was true to some extent, it does not explain
why Fleming chose
to use so many embankments, rather
than viaducts. In the very next paragraphs
he notes:
The question is governed by several considerations,
the most important
of which is the difference between skilled
and unskilled laboUl: The Engineer determined that iron
be used instead of wood in the spans of bridges, on
account of its durability, but he also considered that there
be as few bridges as possible, for reasons already submitted; and from the consideration that the iron work
to be imported; and, being the product of skilled labour,
more costly than ordinary earth or stone work executed
the locality. Again, as masonry, is likewise the product of
skilled labour and costs for a given quantity, .fifty times as
much as earthwork, it should in consequence be lIsed
in fact never introduced where the latter can be
substituted: moreover, it was held that none but the best
masonry should be admitted and that a limited quantity
good masonry could in most cases be employed more
advantageously than a larger quantity of inferior masomy;
that the difference
in cost between equal quantities of both
lands was limited,
and no way in comparison to the greater
of stability and permanency attained by the use of
masonry of the jirst quality.
Obviously, as the man ultimately responsible for
bringing the project in under budget to please his masters
both the Canadian and Imperial governments (and by Canada
is here meant the upper provinces that would soon become
Quebec and Ontario,) Fleming felt it important to cut down
on the use
of viaducts in order to reduce the reliance upon
expensive skilled labour
to build the bridge piers. But in the
preceding quote, he overlooks the necessity of equally
expensive, massive masonry structures hidden in
embankments -as Reid had noted, -and, devotes almost the
entire seventh chapter
of his work to the character of the
culverts he had built.
In this respect,
some of Flemings true genius has
been overlooked. He was a master of stone culvert design,
and meticulous
in his specifications. The 1864 contract for
of the Pictou Branch of the Nova Scotia Railway
was· unJike any
the provinces contractors had seen before,
particularly those who
had worked on the earlier sect.ions of
the line between 1854 and 1858, Flemings instructions ·were
both precise and exacting, especially when
it came to the
masonry and embankments:
That jirst class masonry shall be built in regular
of large well shaped stone laid in mortar on their
natural beds, the beds and vertical joints shall be hammer
dressed, so
as to form quarter inch joints. The vertical joints
shall be dressed back square nine inches, the beds shall be
dressed perfectly
parallel throughout. The work shall be
left with the quarry faces, except the outside arises, strings
and coping, which shall be chisel dressed.
He was likewise specific about the embankments
surrounding the masonry:
That after the masonry of a structure has been
for a period of four of jive weeks, the formation
of the embankments around it may be proceeded with. The
earth shall be carefully
punned in thin layers around the
and in this manner the filling shall be carried up
simultaneously on both sides. The contractor shall be
extremely careful in forming the embankments around
culverts and bridges, as he shall be held liable for any
damages to the structures that may arise through his
negligence. The punning shall be carefully attended to,
and the whole, jilling shall be done in uniform courses,
from the bottom to the top of the embankment without
heading one side
of the masonry more than another. The
of punning shall be covered by the price of other work.
That the
bottom of culverts and slopes of
embankments, where required along the rivel; shall be paved
with stones set on edge to a moderately even face. The palling
shall not be less than ten inches nor more than two feet in
and it shall be measured and paid for by the cubic
yard at the price herein before declared.
Under such strict conditions were the culvert and
embankment at Lansdowne constructed. That culvert has
enshrined in the legend of Sandford Fleming as the
of the celebration for the completion of the Pictou Branch
in May of 1867. In Railways of Canada: A pictorial histOlY
(McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1978) Nick and Helma Mika note:
The line was completed in 1867, one month before
Confederation. Contemporary railway engineers described
it as the
jinest half hundred miles of railway in British
North America.
To celebrate completion of the job, Fleming
staged a picnic
for everyone concerned with the project. A
downpour did not dampen his spirits. He ordered
the picnic tables moved into a large railway culvert between
Lorne and Glengarry, and a good time was had by
This story has dubious merit, since the culvert at
Lansdowne -although sizeable -is not big enough to hold
picnic tables and party-goers, and
in a heavy downpour, the
last place anyone would want to be is
in a culvert through
which. a
rain~swollen brook flows!
It cannot be said that Fleming was comp.letely
oblivious to the expense of culverts. Wherever possible he
avoided them by cutting directly through the native rock.
The most obvious example
of this can be easily seen from
Highway 4 over Folly Mountain, at the base
of the existing
railway viaduct. He describes it thus:
The most important of the several iron bridges, is
that over the River Folly, with six spans of 100 feet, 82 feet
in height from the bed
of the river, a striking structure built
of durable sandstone of various colours. The foundations
are on rock. It spans the eastern portion of the valley at
this place. A long narrow ridge, about 50 feet high, divides
the valley
of the Folly from that of a smaller stream. This
second valley, 80 feet deep, is crossed by a solid
embankment; the stream being diverted through a tunnel
into the Folly.
The stream is fittingly known as Tunnel Brook.
Similarly Fleming, or rather his resident engineer Thomas S.
Rubidge, used this method on several occasions on Contract
of the Nova Scotia division through the Wentworth valley:
On this division seven tunnels are introduced, in
place of long heavy culverts, in the ravines passed over;
of 9 feet diameter, four of 7 feet. The three former are
respectively 300, 355, and 370 feet long. These seven
tunnels are cut through solid rock; and require no lining,
in the case of one, which, for a length of 211 feet in
the middle, required the protection of stone masonry 18
inches thick, with a water-way
of 6 feet. There are, moreover,
several tunnels 4 feet wide by 5 feet high, to take the place
The bridge at East Mines, at the eastern approach to Folly Mountain, is spectacular for its length and height, and for the
Hole in the Wall through which Tunnel Brook was diverted. From: The Intercolonial, a History, by Sandford Fleming.
published in 1876.
falls of Higgins Brook in the Wentworth Valley. The
water was diverted through the rock beneath the right of
way. (Photo by Andrew Underwood.)
of bog culverts for ordinary suiface drainage. These tunnels
are constructed on a steep side-hill and answer the purpose
well. The
small tunnels, at the upper end, have a wide
perpendicular well, cut into the rock,
from the bottom of
which the incline commences, parallel to side-hill. Choldng
by floods and injury
to the road-bed are thus avoided. A
of at least 6 feet of solid rock has been maintained
over the smaller, and
of 12 feet over the larger passages so
the conduits themselves are imperishable.
The most striking example of this practice can be
seen in the Wentworth Valley, at the Hidden Falls off
Highway 4 near the local motel. Accessible by a sholi walk
along a dirt track, and only occasionally visible from the
highway when the winter has removed the foliage from the
surrounding trees,
it is a delightful waterfall that many may
mistake for a natural wonder. Only after a strenuous climb
up the high side
of the valley does one realize the tme nature
of the work.
This tunnel was made necessary by the
embankments across Henry, Hany and Smith brooks. Fleming
noted that Contract 7 required some heavy excavation
work, almost all of it in the last six miles leading to Contract
12 -the stretch from Folly Mountain to Truro:
.. having upwards of a million cubic yards of earth
excavation, and forty thousand cubic yards
of rock. Nearly
all the heavy work
is on the last six miles. There are several
rocky ravines, the embankments over three of which
have respectively a height
on the centre line of 70 feet, 96
feet, and 105 feet. One cutting, chiefly rock, has a depth
52 feet in the centre line; as these works are on the steep
of hills, so the extreme heights and depths are greater.
But the rock tunnel
was not always an option,
certainly not along the
course of the Folly River
valley (in Contract 12). If he
had been pennitted to follow
his original proposed line
over the Cobequid Mount­
ains, Fleming would have
had to make a decision on
whether an embankment or
a viaduct would be used to
cross the valley.
(It should be noted
here that a great many people
suppose the name Folly, for
both river and mountain,
arose from the squabble
surrounding the location of
the railway. This is not so.
The area was apparently
The Folly bridge as it is today. The arrow pOints to the Hole in the Wall.
(Photo by Andrew Underwood.)
named for the Ulster Scots family of Folleigh, which arrived
shortly after Col.
Alexander McNutt and his Philadelphia
Company colonized. the area in 1765. The name
was quicklymisspel1ed,even by·
the provincial governments
own cartographers, but the railway remained true to its
original etymology until late in the 1930s. In his popular
Scenic Rail Guide to Central and Atlantic Canada
(Grey dePencier Books 1983) Bill Coo claims the community
was the result
of a bad choice of settler Flemming, called
Flemmings Folly. While the Flemmings were early settlers
in the area,
Coos account cannot be accurate, since period
of the era clearly show the original spelling.)
Fleming described the more modern history of the
route in this manner:
The working season of 1865 was occupied in
surveys. Every pass across the Cobequid mountains, within
the limits
of the iron district, was examined, and every effort
was made
to secure a practicable line near the Iron works.
Six lines were surveyed, designated by the letters
A, B, C,
Livesey supported Line A. Fleming-while
acknowledging Line A would serve the iron mines -preferred
Lines C, D, E and F all passed by Folly Lake, where
they attained the summit level
of 590 feet above sea level.
An argument ensued between Fleming and Livesey
over the position
of the track along Line F, relative to the
of the Londonderry iron deposits, which would have
required Livesey
to build a seven-mile branch from the main
line to his mines. Nothing was resolved, even after Livesays
company was awarded the contract to build that portion
the line:
In August, 1865, a contract was entered into
between the government of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,
on the one side,
and the 1ntercolonial Contract Company
of London, on the other, for the construction of the railway
The visitor to the Hole in the Wall at the foot of Folly
Mountain can see through to the other side of the rock
ridge that stood in Flemings way. (Photo by Andrew
be/ween Truro and Moncton. The Government of Nova
Scotia, having in May,
1866, received the report of the
Chief Engineel; endorsed his views
in reference to the Folly
Lake route, Line
F, and rejilsed to sanction the construction
of this portion of railway under the contract which they
had made with the 1ntercolonial Contract Company, unless
the Company adhered
to line F
Despite pressure from Liveseys political allies in
Nova Scotia, Fleming stuck to his objection to Line A:
The cost of construction of line F and a branch
would be considerably less than that
of line A, without
adding to A
for the extra cost of working it. 1t was of
importance that the iron works should have the benefit of
railway service, and it was desirable that the earliest
possible connection, consistent with general interests,
should be made with them and the Springhill coal mines.
was considered that line F and a branch to the iron to
mines would also extend a connection with the coal mines,
so much more favourable
for cheap transport than line A
that it would
prove to be the most economical route for
mineral traffic.
The decision arrived at was based on a comparison
of the ·lines .. Line F passed over a summit 100 feet lower
than that crossed by Line A; it was the best, the shortest,
and, even
including the branch to the iron mines, the
cheapest, and was therefore entitled
to the preference. A
combination line was mentioned as having been traced
new ground between lines F and A. It was four miles longer
than line F but
reduced the branch from seven miles to
three. In the comparison, the Engineer
considered the
combination line second
in point of merit, to line F, and in
his opinion line A was the least favourable of the three.
The combination of Lines A and F has become what
is known as the Grecian bend, but it is the location of Line F
and Flemings claim that it would have been cheaper to build
that is
of interest here.
Certainly Fleming was correct
in asserting that his
line was shorter, with lesser grades and more economical to
operate than Line
A, but it may not have had an easier grade
than the combination line unless some extensive cuttings
and embankments were involved.
If that was the case, the
claim that his Line F was cheaper to build
is also suspect. It
may be, however, that he confused the distinction between
capital cost and
operating cost for that section -either
deliberately to confuse Liveseys allies and sway them in
his favour, or
by unbridled enthusiasm for his subject.
Equally curious,
is his omission from the 1876 history
of a map showing the lines over the Cobequid Hills, so that
readers might judge the best route for themselves.
One person who did come to an informed judgement
was Captain
Henry Whatley Tyler, the British Board of
Trades inspector of railways, who was drawn into the dispute
by Livesey. Fleming described Tylers involvement:
On the other hand Captain Tyler, Government
1nspector of Railways, England was applied to Mr. Livesey,
and reported
in July 1868, that in his opinion, taking into
110 MAI-JUIN 2004
account cost of construction, working over the super­
elevations, counter gradients and the curves on steep
gradients, line A would be considered cheaper than line F;
that the construction of line F instead of him, from every
of view, to be great mistake; and that the manufacture
of iron in a cheap form by the use of Springhill coal was of
so great importance that such an obstruction to the
of such resources, as the construction of line
F when line A is available and less costly, would be nothing
less than a general misfortune
to the industrial interests of
the Dominion.
It was useless for Fleming to cast any aspersions on
TylerS judgement. The fonner captain
of the Corps of Royal
Engineers was one
of the boards chief inspectors of railways
between 1853 and 1870, and
chief inspector from 1870 to
In that time he became a recognized expert in railway
construction, [mance and accident prevention. In 1877 Tyler
was knighted, and became president of the Grand Trunk
Railway Company of Canada. He held this position until
1895; and for the period 1880-1892 he was also member
the British parliament for Harwick and Great Yarmouth.
Instead, Flemihg chose to insinuate that Tyler . had
been misled:
In replying to this letter of Captain Tyler, the Chief
Engineer stated that he was satisfied that Captain
and Mr. Atkinson who had worked out the calculations for
Tyler, were not in possession of all the information
which the survey afforded, and therefore that their
conclusions, based on imperfect data, could scarcely be
correct; and he repeated that without capitalizing the extra
of working line A, this line would cost, in construction
alone, about. $100,000 more than line F with a branch
the iron mines; that line F was the cheapest to operate, the
shortest, and as
far as he could judge, the best in every
respect .
But could it have been that Flemings data were
incorrect? Practical examination of the topography suggests
as much.
The Folly River is neither wide nor deep, but the
ravine it has cut from its source at the northeast
of the glacial
lake to the broader valley at the foot
of the mountain is both
Flemings Line F would have carried the track over
the ravines
of Weatherby Brook and the East Branch Folly
River. The terrain
is difficult, as the builders of the Colchester
& Railway Company found in 1903, as they built a line
from East Mines (where
it joined the Intercolonial main line
at milepost 13.9) to its short-lived mine at East Folly
Mountain, some 600 feet above sea level (almost at the same
level as the station at Folly Lake; milepost 24.0, elevation
611.6 feet.
Altitudes in Canada by James White, Ottawa,
1915). The Folly mountain mine closed
in 1910.
This shorter, more direct distance gives an increased
of almost 1.5 to 1.68 per cent. The existing grade on
the west slope
of the mountain is 1.0-1.2 per cent through
The line, as finally built, is shown on this map, which was printed in 1876 as part of the Intercolonial timetable of that year.
This was one
of the first timetables to show the complete through service. The location of the Folly Mountain iron mine is
highlighted. Note the use
of the old spelling, Folleigh. Collection of Donald F. Angus.
Londonderry by way of the Grecian Bend. The only way to
avoid a heavier grade on Line F would have been to employ
more cuttings through the greater elevations, and use the
as fill for embankments across the two ravines, resulting
in the same kind of heavy work Fleming described in the
last six miles
of Contract 7.
Given his stated preference for embankments over
it is certain Fleming would have chosen the fonner.
A bridge (or series
of bridges) across the ravines would
have been almost three times as long as the 464-foot (14l.5
metre) viaduct across the Folly River.
The embankments across the ravines would have
rivalled those across Smith and Henry brooks in the
Wentworth valley, and the masom-y needed to carry the water
through them would have been massively expensive. The
structures would have
been enormously impressive, and
Flemings record shows
he was fond of such monuments. In
addition, these embankments
would have been far more
to the railway passenger as the train crossed them.
culvert under such a structure would have been far
larger than the Lansdowne culvert for which Fleming had
received such praise in 1867, and which -until the completion
of the Intercolonial -stood as the only truly notable
monument to his skill.
If Fleming was seeking to create another, more
visible monument, he was thwarted by Liveseys
determination to profit from his iron mine, but if so, the
engineer appears to have borne no lasting scars. In his
presidential address before the Royal Society
of Canada in
1890, more than twenty years after the completion
of the
Grecian Bend, he noted:
In a remarkable lecture delivered last year by
Sir William Groves at the Royal Institution, London, he
submitted the proposition that antagonism
is not the baneful
thing which many consider it; that it is often the
of good; that it is a necessity of existence and of the organism
of the universe as far as we understand it; that motion and
life cannot go on without it; that it is not a mere casual
of nature but that without it there would be no
nature at all even as we conceive it; and that
it is inevitably
associated with matter and sentient beings. The lecturer
showed that, although itself an evil, antagonism is a
necessary evil.
The author is grateful to the following persons for
their assistance
in the preparation of this article: Bill Linley,
Halifax Nova Scotia; Mark Rushton, Truro Nova Scotia, and
Carol Hyslop, Wentworth Nova Scotia.
The great Railway Shops of Montreal
The third in our series of reprints of articles on railway shops in Montreal concems the Youville Shops of the Montreal
Tramways Company. These shops, in the north end
of the city, were built in 1912 and replaced the old shops at Hochelaga. They
of the latest modem design and they remained in use, in essentially the same configuration, until the end of the street car era
in 1959. Youville Shops were so complete that they could build street cars from scratch, as was done on several occasions,
especially for work cars. Following the end
of street car service in Montreal Youville Shops lay idle for four years until they were
demolished in
1963 to make way for the new Metro shops, which also bear the name Youville.
The following article appeared
in the Canadian Railway and Marine World for March 1913, at which time the shops were
virtually complete. The article
is reprinted exactly as it appeared 91 years ago, although some captions have been rewritten.
The Montreal Tramways Companys New Shops

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Montreal Tramways Companys new plant. viewed from the South.
These shops have recently been opened for
repair work, although the rolling stock
department has been housed in its new offices
in the shops for the last 18 months. The shops
are situated near the village of Youville, a suburb
of Montreal, near the Montreal Park and Island
Rys Sault au Recollet line, about half a mile
beyond the terminus of the St. Denis Street line
of the city service.
The plant is said to have been designed on
the same general lines as the Plank Road shops
of the Public Service Co., of New Jersey.
The general design and construction were
carried out under the direction of D.E. Blair,
Superintendent of Rolling Stock, who is in charge
of their operation. The designs of the buildings
were developed by Marchand and Haskell,
architects, Montreal, the engineering work being
done in the Montreal Tramways Cos. engineering
department, under J.D. Evans, Chief Engineer,
and R.M. Hannaford, Assistant Chief Engineer.
The site, on Vervais Road, is about 30 acres
in extent, with a frontage of 576 ft., and an average
depth of about 2000 ft. The shops are situated
about half way back in this tract. The site being
off the railway line, a special spur had to be built
along Vervais Road from the St. DeniS Street line.
The plant consists of a main building and
several minor buildings at pOints around it, the
majority having a direct connection, making an
admirable arrangement for intercommunication
in cold weather.
The dimensions of the main building are
approximately 425 ft. long by 269 ft. wide.
Essentially, the main building consists of two
units under one roof, the two sections being
separated by a transfer table down the center
between the two parts. In this particular, the
OPPOSITE: Plan of the Montreal Tramways
Companys new plant. showing layout of all
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Three exterior photos of Youville Shops as photographed new in 1912. Note the old cars, of 1890s
vintage, some of Montreals earliest electric cars, outside the shops in the two top views. These cars
were retired from passenger service about this time: most were scrapped but some were converted
to work cars. On the left side of the bottom view can be seen the bodies of about a dozen open cars,
built between 1893 and 1895. These were undoubtedly awaiting scrapping.
shops are unique, the practice of
covering the transfer table not
being usual. In the peculiar
climatic conditions with which the
rolling stock department is called
upon to cope, an outside transfer
table would be the source of a great
deal of trouble from blocking up
with snow in winter. The transfer
table, fig. 4, 70 ft. 8 in. wide,
operates in a runway 346 ft. long,
which contains three standard
gauge tracks, laid with 80 lb. rails,
on which the table operates. The
motive power is a small, discarded
electric railway motor, mounted on
a projecting platform of the transfer
table, and operated by a controller
on a projecting platform adjoining.
The runway has a cinder floor. Covered-in transfer table which centrally divides the shops.
1208 on the transfer table. This car was new, having been delivered from Can Car late in 1911.
The building is built of brick throughout,
on concrete foundations, with large window
spaces on all sides. In consequence, the light
penetrates into the center of the shop at the
transfer table. In addition, the skylights in the
roof assist materially in making the interior light
at all times during the day. The transfer table
runway is spanned by a 70 ft. truss, the highest
part of the building shown being the monitor that
runs the full length of the runway. The sides of
the mOnitor have swing sashes, operated from one
end by a shaft.
The front section of the shop is what may
be termed the motive power section, as all the
repairs to the running gear and traction motors
are attended to in it. This part of the shop is
further subdivided into six sub sections,
consisting of: car hOists, overhauling section,
wheel and axle shop, blacksmith shop, machine
shop, and armature shop, all these several
departments centering on the overhauling
department, which is located down the center of
this half of the building.
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Details of one of the twelve car hoists.
Cars to be overhauled enter the building by
the doors at either end. the principal entry being
from the door to the south. Running on the
transfer table. a car is quickly spotted on the
required repair track. of which there are 14. laid
with 80 lb. rails. Twelve of these repair tracks
are equipped with car hoists. a construction that
is rather novel in Canadian car shop practice.
The construction and operating mechanism of the
hoist is shown in the attached diagram. The
hoists are arranged in a row. just far enough back
from the edge of the transfer table runway to give
clear passage way along that side.
On each side of the pit. at 10 ft. centers. is
30 ft . .length of 12 by 5 in. I beam. mounted on
the upper ends of two 4 in .. 3/4 in. pitch. square
threaded screws. This section of the shop. the
length of the car hoist. is chambered out beneath
at the same level as. parallel to. the pit. The hoist
screw passes through into this lower chamber.
and is supported on a vertical thrust block nut in
this chamber floor. On each of the screws. just
above the chamber floor. is a worm gear. engaging
with a worm on a shaft near the floor. parallel
with the pit. The ends of the parallel shaft on each
side of the pit mesh with bevel gears on the end
of a cross shaft in the pit at the transfer table
end. Driving this shaft is an old 12A (30h.p.) motor.
Between each hoist. on the column next to the
transfer table. there is an old KIO controller. above
which is mounted a double throw switch. by which
means either of these hoists can be operated at
the use of the car hoists. it is the practice
to place a section of I beam across the pit at the
ends of the side I beams. under the ends of the
cars. and by raising the screws by the motor the
car body can be raised from its trucks and the
latter run out. when the car body can again be
lowered to a more convenient height for working.
or if desired. lowered on shop trucks for removal
to the paint or erecting shop. for further repairs.
if the nature of the repairs is such that it would
not be desirable to await the repair of the trucks
before proceeding for final finishing. These car
hoists have been found to be of great vcalue in
assembling new cars as received from the factory.
The bodies. as received on the flat cars. can be
raised. the flat car run out and the trucks run
into position and the body lowered thereon.
The pits. both under the car hoists and
further back in the shop. are of concrete
construction throughout. Under the car hoists.
there is a supporting wall under the rail. but the
balance is chambered along the hoist shaft as
mentioned. with a concrete floor. and a reinforced
concrete main floor over top. The extension of the
pit in the overhauling department is similar in
construction. with the absence of the side shaft
tunnel chambers. At that end of the pit. there are
also steps to the level of the shop floor. The total
length of the pits. hoist and overhauling. is 87 ft.
10 in .. with a depth of 4 1/2 ft. Between the hoist
and overhauling sections of the pits. there is an
uninterrupted passage under the tracks. where
the track supporting wall is cut away. permitting
access between pits. On the floor of the pit. and
running the full length of each, is a 4 ft. gauge
track for a small car. on which the motor and
under gear of the car can be lowered. and run
along to the center of the overhauling pit. where
the parts can be raised from the pit by the jib
cranes on the adjoining posts. there being a jib
for each pit. It will be noticed that the trucks as
run out from under the cars at the hoists. are
spotted over the pits in the overhauling section.
and there dismembered when required. On low
benches adjoining. the motors and equipment as
View showing the car hoists.
removed may be mounted and kept conveinintly
together while undergoing repair. The parts that
require machine or forge work can be brought
across into those sections in front of the
overhauling department.
Along the north wall of the shop is located
the wheel and axle department. Ranged along the
wall in this department are all the machines.
which include a steel wheel lathe. wet tool grinder.
axle straightener. wheel boring machine. wheel
press and an axle lathe. These machines are all
on a group drive. with overhead shafting along
the wall. In front of the boring machine and axle
lathe are air hoists. suspended on an I beam
parallel to the line of the machines. with local
air hoists on cross I beams for the mounting of
the work in the machines. Running over the first
pit. there is also an air hoist for the carrying across
of the axles and wheels. which are removed under
the air hoist. run out on the transfer table and
brought down the shop to this track. adjoining the
wheel and axle department. Between the axle
straightener and the wheel boring mill. there is
a space used for the interior storage of wheels
before and after machining. stacked in piles out
from the wall. A stock of wheels for this
department is maintained in a small frame
building across the outside track from the side
The blacksmith shop occupies that portion
of the shop in an area of 71 by 66 ft. The floor of
this department is of the usual cinder form. in
which it differs from that in the balance of the
shop. which has a more solid construction. The
original intention was to have a solid concrete
floor. but the plan had been modified in the
constructed building. the floor consisting of a layer
of concrete on a cinder bed. the concrete being
superimposed with a 2 in. layer of bitulithic
pavement. This covering has the advantage of a
longer life. and at the same time its plastic nature
leaves it freer from breakage from parts falling
on it. with consequent dire results to the falling
parts. In the event of anything falling on the
bitulithic floor. the resulting hole in the floor can
be removed by the rolling over of the plastic
Interior view of main building, showing Blacksmith Shop, and overhauling space in· the background.
The 651 class open cars, built in 1901, are in the shops being converted to closed cars.
material. A springy floor of this kind is also much
easier on the operators who must stand on it all
day, concrete floors being a fruitful cause of
ailments, while the bitulithic, having less heat
conductivity, never becomes as chilled.
The blacksmith shop is equipped with a
liberal supply of machines for the efficient
handling of all classes of repair work. This
equipment consists of the following: cold saw,
punch and shear, 4 by 2 ft. oil furnace, bulldozer,
dry grinder, and 6 down draft forges. The forced
draft and exhaust fans for these six forges are
located along the north wall, driven from the line
shafting of the wheel and axle department. The
exhaust from the forges is discharged through a
pipe that rises to the roof directly over the exhaust
fan. The blast and exhaust of the forges passes
through pipes bedded in the concrete floor so that
the whole blacksmith shop is remarkably free
from obstructions. The air hammer used in the
department is an upright steam hammer using
compressed air as the operating medium instead
of steam, the exhaust discharging into the shop
over top of the machine.
Something new in the manner of handling
the bar iron stock in the blacksmith shop has
been introduced here. In the corner of the shop
adjoining the blacksmith department, there has
been constructed a bar iron rack of sufficient size
to handle all the stock required to be carried for
the blacksmith department. The ends of the rack
are provided with expanded metal doors, of which
there are three, these doors being kept normally
locked. When the blacksmith requires some
stock, the stores department is advised, and the
stores attendant comes over to the rack and
delivers to the blacksmith the required stock,
charging it in the usual manner. The object of
this arrangement is to obviate the necessity of a
couple of men making several trips back and forth
between the blacksmith shop and the stores
department to bring over a few bars of stock, the
stock being now kept in the place where it is
required. It is unloaded directly from the supply
View showing the armature shop.
car into the rack just as conveniently as in the
stores building.
The machine shop adjoins the blacksmith
department to the south, occupying the whole
central portion of the east side of the shop, in an
area 71 by 100 ft. The machine equipment
consists of the following tools: 3 spindle drill, 24
in. lathes, three 20 in. lathes, 15 in. lathe, wet
tool grinder, 24 in. lathe, horizontal boring and
milling machine, grindstone, power hack saw, 34
in. drill, 26 in drill, double head bolt cutter, 20 in.
single head bolt cutter, 3 spindle drill, shears,
2 babbit melting pots, two 24 in. shapers, planer,
buffer, turret lathe, and speed lathe. The drive
. for these several machines is from overhead
shafting, the machines arranged in groups for
group drive.
The armature department occupies the
south easterly section of the shop. The tool layout
in this shop includes the following machines: 18
in. lathe, 22 in. lathe, wet tool grinder,
commutator slotter, 2 spindle drill, 20 in. drill
armature bander, printers cutter, and universal
miller. In addition there are seven of the usual
armature stands, and three armature tables, one
of which is in the immediate foreground, and the
others in the left background. Along the west wall
are fitters benches, and along the south wall, on
two benches, are mounted the taping machines,
and other eqUipment for finishing the armature
and field coils.
Circling the armature department is an
overhead I beam trolley, which travels around over
the armature tables and stands in the path shown
in the plan of the shop building. The armature to
be repaired is brought in from the left in the
direction indicated, from the track leading from
the transfer table, and placed on the first armature
table. The armatures from there are picked up
as required, and placed on the stands, and when
repaired, removed to the second armature stand,
ready for removal to the point of entry, and thence
to the awaiting trucks by way of the transfer table.
The armatures thus make a complete belt line,
with a constant forward movement.
Built out from the south east comer of the
shop, there is a small room containing two
impregnating tanks and an oven for the treating
of the armature and field coils.
View of some of the lathes in the machine shop.
About midway along the east wall, is a
projecting wing, which is divided off into rooms.
The southerly room contains the heating
equipment for the part of the shop east of the
transfer table. This is made a local power room,
for along the south wall of this room are located
two compressors, one of which is 19 h. p. and direct
connected, and the other is 20 h. p. and geared.
The air storage tank, 37 in. diameter and 12 ft.
high. is located in the corner. The compressed
air from the compressors in the original
installation was forced directly into the tank, but
as trouble was experienced with condensed water
in the air, a cooler has been introduced,
consisting of two cast iron headers between which
the air flows in small piping, the heat radiating,
and the water distilling and collecting at the
bottom, where it can be drawn off. This cooler is
located in the connection between the
compressors and the tank on the outer wall of
the room. These compressors deliver at a pressure
of 80 lbs. For riveting, 100 lbs. is required, so the
shop is provided with a car set for boosting the air
from the line pressure of 80 lbs. to 100 lbs.
The room adjOining is the tool room, and in
addition to carrying the usual assortment of small
tools, etc., contains a tool room grinder and a drill
grinder. The entrance is from the shop, and in
that wall, there is a delivery window for handing
out the tools.
The foremans office is housed in the room
adjoining, which it will be noticed is bayed out
into the shop, giving a more comprehensive view
of the shop interior. Adjoining the foremans room
to the north, is the lavatory, which is a splendid
example of shop accommodation. Down the
center, next to the windows, is a double row of
washbasins, provided with hot and cold water, and
along each wall is a row of urinals, with the
balance of the wall length taken up by closed in
water closets. The end room contains lockers.
The shop is equipped for oxy-acetylene
welding, handled at present at the northerly end
of the transfer table. A small out building is under
construction for this plant, where all repair work
for the plant will be handled. The range of work at
present handled is quite extensive, all manner
of repairs being made to motor casings and truck
The projecting wing on the south side of the
building is for the local stores, and the
accommodation of the required material. It is a
room 69 by 26 1/2 ft., and is known locally as the
machine shop store.
The shops are more or less symmetrically
arranged around the central transfer table, and
in construction the halves are similar in nearly
all details. At right angles to the transfer table,
there run five bays of equal width, each spanned
Some 651 class cars awaiting conversion to closed cars in 1912. Also two large 703 class Pay As You
Enter cars awaiting repairs. Note the blackboard with the car numbers written thereon.
by a roof truss, the top members of the trusses
being extended on the south side so as to form a
saw tooth construction with the skylight opening
to the north light. All these skylight windows have
controllable sashes that can be opened in unison
from below.
The section of the shop to the west of the
transfer table is used entirely for car body work,
and on account of the inflammable nature of the
material contained, it is divided off from the rest
of the shop at the transfer table edge by a
corrugated iron wall. Thirteen tracks are
contained in this half of the shop, located directly
opposite the corresponding tracks in the machine
shop section. In the car section are housed three
departments -car washing and painting, erecting
shop and mill, the latter two in one section, and
the first in a separate section, the two parts being
separated by a corrugated iron wall for similar
reasons to that stated for the other wall.
The mill space contains the following
machines: Jig saw, saw gummer, tool grinder, iron
drill, single and triple drum sanders, dowel
machine, horizontal boring machine, band saw,
tenon machine, shaper, jointer, four side
moulder, surfacer, rip saw, solid chisel mortise,
cross cut saw, pattern makers lathe, hollow
mortise, chain mortise and exhaust blower. The
requirements of a mill are such to necessitate a
very clear overhead space if rapid production is
much desired. In consequence, this plant has
introduced the underground drive, which is
becoming so popular in woodworking plants. In
this underground scheme, practically the whole
shop where the machines are located, is
chambered out to form a shallow basement, in
which are located the motors, shafting and
belting, the latter coming up through the floor to
the machine. It will be noted that there is no
belting visible, the driving equipment being all
located under the floor in the shallow basement,
approached by steps from the right.
auxiliary equipment for the shop is also
housed in this shallow basement, including an
exhaust blower. This underground scheme is
particularly advantageous for this, as the shaving
and saw dust exhaust pipes at the machines pass
down through the floor into this basement,
connecting with a central pipe through the
basement to the exhaust fan, which delivers the
shavings through an inclined pipe to a hopper in
the power house.
In the mill space, there are no tracks, but
the erecting shop in the same room contains four,
each of which has a pit of the same proportions
and 66 ft. long, at the transfer table end. One of
these is used as a local store for the rod stock
used in the erection work.
The car washing and painting shop to the
north of these last departments, contains 9 tracks,
An assortment of no less than six cars, all different, in Youville Shop in 1912. From left to right we
see: A single-truck open car built in 1899, A suburban car of the 1031 class, formerly open but
converted to closed, A former open car rebuilt as a convertible in 1905, Former Montreal Terminal
Railway closed car 14, An early closed electric car looking rather the worse for wear, A 1032 class
former Park and Island suburban car.
the southerly three of which contain similar pits
to those in.the erecting shop. making 7 pits in all
in the car department-. This department. with an
area 176 1/4 by 150 ft .. is the larger portion of
the car department. and it is in this department
that the major portion of the car overhauling.
conSisting for the most part of repainting and
general brightening up. is performed. The north
wall of this section is the sash and door fInishing
section. in which all the removable parts of the
car body are finished; this includes painting.
glazing and varnishing. Shop trucks will be noted
in the foreground. These are taken to the car to
be dismantled. loaded with removable parts and
taken on the dismantling track to this department
for finishing.
A paint mixing shop. 18 by 38 ft.. is located
to the west of the north west corner of the shop.
and is separated from the main building by a
covered-in passage way for fire purposes.
The dry kiln and lumber shed are located to
the rear of the mill space. in narrow buildings.
These two buildings communicate with each
other and with the mill space by a track through
the buildings into the end of the mill space. which
is used for the bringing in of lumber stock to the
mill. The dry kiln is 52 by 16 ft .. and has a
projecting side wing on the south side.
Communication at both ends is through tight
sliding doors. In this projecting wing. on the south
side. there is a heating unit consisting of a bank
of pipe coils. with a 4 ft. fan directly connected to
a small engine. the steam being -received from
the power house near by. Thelumoer shed to the
rear is113 by 30 ft .. provided With-Piling racks on
each side for the select woods.
Along the south side of the car department
section. there is a projecting wing containing
lavatories. office and heating unit. all exactly the
same as the arrangement in the machine shop
The general stores department is the long
building at the southerly end of the transfer table.
communicating with the main shop at that point.
The east end of the stores building is two stories
high at the sides. with the upper stories for offices.
On the south side is the office of the
Superintendent of Rolling Stock. and on the north.
that of the General Storekeeper. To the rear of
this point is the stores section. That side consists
of a series of 11 cross tiers of store bins. and on
the north side. there are lower bins for heavier
stores. The north side also has an upper gallery.
along which is a tier of store drawers for light parts
such as screws and other stores that are required
in large quantities. This gallery communicates
with directly with the General Storekeepers
offices and also has a stair to the floor level. At
the west end of the south side. there is a vault
structure, 35 by 18 ft .. which is used for storage
of patterns. The rooms under the offices are for
springs. gears and pinions.
Through the center of the stores building
runs a track, by which the stores can be brought
directly into the building, and loaded again
directly on the stores car for distribution over
the system. This track to the rear leads out
through scrap bins that are now under
construction. These bins are arranged along both
sides of the track and are covered. The bins on
the south side have a narrow gauge track along
the front for the passage of the scrap into the
desired bin and for sorting, and midway in this
track is a track scale for weighing the material.
The power house is located to the west of
the oil house, and is a brick structure, 52 by 58
ft., divided into boiler and transformer room by a
brick partition. The boiler room contains three
175 h.p. boilers, carrying 100 lbs. of steam. To
the rear of the boilers is a fuel economizer, the
scraper for which is operated by a 3 by 2 1/2 in.
vertical engine. The boiler feed is provided for
by a 10 by 6 by 10 in. feed pump, but under
normal conditions, it is not required in service,
as the city water pressure is 125 lbs.
The transformer room of the power house
contains three 50 k.w., and one 30 k.w.,
transformers. The former receive power from the
high tension lines to the shops at 13,200 volts,
dropping it to 2,200 volts for transmission to the
shops. At the shops there are transformers
mounted on a bracket on the machine shop stores
room wall, receiving power from the power house
at 2,200 volts, and dropping it to 220 volts for shop
use. The fourth transformer in the power house
is for dropping the 2,200 volt power to 110 volts,
the shop lighting system.
To the west of the power house is the coaling
plant, consisting of a trestle ramp, open below
upon which the coal cars are run and dumped.
Between the trestle piles below, it is the intention
to lay a narrow gauge track for a short industrial
line to carry the coal into the boiler room to
replace the present wheelbarrow method. An ash
handling plant is under construction at the upper
end of the ramp. In front of the boilers, there will
be a long worm in a channel, which will carry the
ashes out to an elevator at the end of the ramp,
raising them to a chute projecting over the car.
The lighting of the shops has been carefully
attended to, with due consideration to the pOints
where the maximum amount of light is required.
For this purpose, the tungsten light is peculiarly
adapted, having a wide range of sizes of
illuminating units. In the section of the shop to
the north of the transfer table, the lights are
arranged in rows of 10 between the tracks. In the
paint and erection shop portion of this end, the
lights are all 250 watt, excepting the 9 at the
transfer table end, which are all 150 watt. In the
mill section the lights are nearly all 150 watt,
A view inside the Stores Department. showing the
track from which it is supplied.
with here and there over certain of the machines,
these are increased to 250 watt. Over the transfer
table is a row of five 100 watt lamps. Between each
of the lifting hoists are six 100 watt lights, while
down the machine shop section are four rows of
150 watt lamps, interspersed in which are a few
250 watt lights. In the general stores building
there are seven 150 watt lights down the centre,
with a similar row down the side of 100 watt lights.
lights are suspended from the roof girders.
The fire protection of the main building and
general stores building is arranged for by a system
of thermopiles located under the roof. Normally,
the galvanometer indicator shows a safe sign, but
in the event of any abnormal heat, which would
strike the roof first, the thermopiles would cause
the galvanometer to deflect, the greater the heat
the greater the deflection as the thermopiles are
in series. Deflection beyond a certain point leaves
the needle in the operating field of a strong
magnet, which draws the needle still further out
of its normal position, closing an electric circuit,
and ringing an alarm bell.
The fire service main, 8 in. pipe, divides
near the comer, a 6 in. main running south along
the second row of columns, and another 6 in. main
west along the first row of columns. There is also
a 4 in. main that runs back from the meter about
100 ft. from the entry comer of the building. The
machine shop has six hydrant connections, three
at the outer and central columns in the line of
the main, and three in the line of the columns
centrally with the car hoists. Five of these are
from the southerly main, this main also branching
out to a hydrant about 100 ft. diagonally from the
south east corner of the building, with another
branch from a central point to a hydrant outside
the center of that side. This main terminates in
two hydrants in the general stores building.
CPR 2816 Visits tIle East
~===-====o ~=======.I~~~~

In late May and early June 2004, steam enthusiasts
in eastern Canada got a rare treat as Canadian
Railways 4-6-4 steam locomotive 2816, known as the
Empress made a tour from Vancouver to Montreal, and
ran several short trips
in the east. These photos are a few of
those taken during this eventful visit.
TOP: 2816 and its train coming in to White River Ontario
on its
way east. Photo by Andre Kennedy.
ABOVE: The banner, bearing the insignia
of the CPR and
of G. W Travel, operators of the trip, which was displayed
at Montreal when the trip arrived at its destination after
its cross Canada
run. Photo by Fred Angus.
RIGHT: 2816 has its number plate polished before
departing Montreal for a special return trip to the Canadian
Railway Museum
on June 10. Photo by Peter Murphy
TOP: By the shore of Gitche Gurnee, By the
shining Big-Sea-Water, 2816 and train heading east along
the north shore
of Lake Superior. Photo by Andre Kennedy
OPPOSITE BOTTOM: At Montreal, ready
to make a trip to
Montreal West and return. Photo by Fred Angus
The Business Car
After 156 years the CN bridge across the Richelieu
river at Beloeil Que.
is no longer a swing span. Traffic of
large vessels on the Chambly canal has declined to the point
where the swing span was seldom,
if ever, opened, and the
railway has received permission to remove this span and
make the entire bridge a fixed linle During the conversion,
rail traffic was interrupted for a few days, as was traffic on
the road under the bridge. At this time the Montreal-Quebec
trains were replaced with busses, while passengers for the
Ocean were bussed to Charny. These photos were taken
on April 24 2004,
as work progressed.
Railway historians will remember that the predecessor
of this bridge, built originally in 1848, was the scene of
Canadas worst train wreck. Early in the morning of June 29,
1864 the swing span was open to let
some vessels pass
through, and a Grand Trunk immigrant train crashed into
the opening, killing 99 persons.
In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the
worlds first steam locomotive (see article on page 86) the
British Royal Mint has produced a coin with a face value
of 2
pounds sterling for circulation in the United Kingdom. This
is bi-metallic, like the Canadian $2 piece, and comes in
several versions, all with the same design. The regular coin,
intended for actual
yirctilat~on,has a nickel-brass outer pordon
and a
cupro-nick~1 centre. There .is also a proof coin, struck
with a high quality finish, and intended for collectors.
Additionally, there are 25,000 proofs struck in sterling silver,
with gold plated outer ring, sold at a higher price. This also
comes in a double-thickness (pie fort) format. For the well­
heeled collector, the coin
is available in gold, in which the
outer ring
is 22 karat red gold (alloyed with copper) and the
is 22 karat yellow gold (alloyed with silver). Only 4000
of these have been produced, and all have been sold.
Continuing the railway theme, the British one pound
coin this year bears a picture
of the F0I1h Bridge in Scotland.
The Canadian office
of the British Royal Mint is in
Hamilton Ontario,
and may be reached at Dundurn Postal
Outlet, P.O. Box 33518, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4X4.
Our member Harold Davies, of 205 Brook Lane,
Newport, NC, 28570, U.S.A., writes:
Can you give
me a name (email address or whatever)
who could look
over a page or two on CLCo., Montreal
Locomotive Works and Canada Foundry? I have a book in
progress on the North American locomotive builders and
their insignia. I am including also the small Canadian concerns
that had such a
brief existence. In each case the text is a
summary —two or tluee pages on CLC and
on Montreal, less
than a page
on Canada Foundry. I have one photograph of a
XCF engine. I have good photos of Fleming, Montgomery
and early CLC but am still looking for Good and Gunn. I need
only one or two
in each case.
Our member Douglas Brown sends this interesting
photo with the following comments:
few days ago I was examining the contents of an
envelope marked
Misc. and the enclosed photograph was
It was taken at Lanoraie Que. on Wednesday, August
17, 1932. Obviously it was taken during C.R.H.A. nip No. I. I
can put names to some
of the faces as follows, from left to
right: Unknown, Donald Angus, Unknown, L.A. Renaud,
John Loye, Robert
R. Brown. The back of the photo is signed
P.O. Tremblay, so one asks is M. Tremblay the photographer
or one
of the unknowns?
Mr Brown also points out some corrections and
clarifications in the article on ills donation willch appeared in
Canadian Rail No. 498, January-February 2004:
Page 30, CPR 29. In this picture the tender
is receiving
a fresh supply
of coal, not water.
Page 30, MTC 1054. The person standing beside the
tram is ME.
Page 31, MSR 274. I question the word only because
the tram was out
in the street several times such as the two
farewell parades.
31. Boat nain at Port McNicoll. For the purist,
the ship at the dock is CPSS Assiniboia.
Editors note: In 1932, P.O. Tremblay was the curator
of the Chateau de Ramezay museum of the Antiquarian and
Numismatic Society. L.A. Renaud was the Assistant Curator,
and Donald Angus was a member
of the council.
The Canadian Antiquarian and Numismatic Journal
for 1932 reported
as follows:
The Canadian Railroad Historical Association, formed
under the auspices
of the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society
at the Chateau de Ramezay on the the occasion of the
centennial of Canadian railroads in February 1932, had
organized an excursion
of its rnembers to visit the site of the
railway built between Lanoraie and the village
of LIndustrie
(now the city
of Joliette) in 1847-50.
The account goes on to relate how the members heard
a report
of ancient Indian artifacts being discovered in the
area. After a local archaeological frenzy had subsided, some
members returned and conducted a dig. A&NS president
Victor Morin reported:
Beaugrand-Champagne took the level of the
grounds while Messrs. Renaud and
Angus worked unlike
corporation labourers in digging the sand carefully for the
of pottery, tools, bones, fire-pits and other evidence
of Indian handicraft, which were carefully annotated and
BACK COVER TOP: A spectacular view of CPR 2816 on the Lachine bridge acrossing the St. Lawrence rivel~ 2816 was
hauling a special train
en route to Delson on June 10, 2004 for a visit to the Canadian Railway Museum. Photo by FL. Smith
to 2816 is former Grand Trunk Mogul No. 713 which was built in 1900. It is seen here,
malang a rare appearance outside,
at the Canadian Railway Museum on June 10, 2004. Photo by Fred Angus
This five hundredth issue of Canadian Rail was detivered to the printer on June 22, 2004.

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