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Canadian Rail 514 2006

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Canadian Rail 514 2006

174
ISSN 0008-4875
Postal Permit No. 40066621 CANADIAN RAI L
PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY
BY THE CANADIAN RAILROAD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE SESQUICENTENNIAL OF THE MONTREAL-TORONTO TRAIN SERViCE …… FRED F. ANGUS………………… 175
THE GRAND TRUNK STANDARD STATIONS OF 1856 …………………………………… DAVID L. JEANES……………… 229
EDITORS VALEDiCTORy ………………………………………………………………
…… FRED ANGUS…………………… 239
FRONT COVER: VIA train No. 57, hauled by locomotive 6427, passes Ernestown station at high speed just before 1 P.M. on Monday,
October 2, 2006, en route to Toronto. The station, built in 1856, is one of the original main line structures. Photo by Fred Angus
BELOW: Three
locomotives and a snow plough photographed at Toronto about 1859. The first engine is No. 209, Trevithick, built
at Point St. Charles that year. The other two are unidentified Birkenheads. The snow plough is numbered No. 30 & 29.
BOTTOM: An early Grand Trunk
logo showing an 1840s vintage 2-2-2 locomotive of a type completely out-dated by 1856.
For
your membership in the CRHA, which
includes a subscription to Canadian Rail,
write to:
CRHA, 110 Rue St-Pierre, SI. Constant,
Que.
J5A 1G7
Membership Dues for 2006:
In Canada: $45.00 (including all taxes)
United States: $43.00 in U.S. funds.
Other Countries: $80.00 Canadian funds. Canadian Rail
is continually in need of news, stories
historical data, photos, maps and other material. Please
send comments (for this issue only)
to the editor: Fred F.
Angus, 3021 Trafalgar Avenue, Montreal, P.Q. H3Y 1 H3,
e-mail angus82@aei.ca .
No payment can be made for
contributions, but the contributor 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
ASSOCIATE EDITOR (Motive Power):
Hugues W. Bonin
LAYOUT: Fred F. Angus
PRINTING: Procel Printing
DISTRIBUTION: Joncas Postexperts
Inc.
The ClUIA may be reached a t its web site: www.exporail.org or by telephone at (450) 638-1522
GRAND TRUNK
OF
CANADA.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 175 CANADIAf1 RAIL -514
The Sesquicentennial of the Montreal-Toronto
1856
Train Service
2006
By Fred F. Angus
Research by Fred Angus and Doug Smith
Yesterday the trains from Toronto and Montreal met at the depotl Long threatened comes at last. Despite the falsehoods
of George Brown and his slaves, through trains passed from Toronto to Montreal, and vice versa. The Twenty-seventh of
October eighteen hundred and jifty-six will be a day long remembered in Canada; and it should be. The opening of the Grand
Trunk Railroad on that day inaugurated a new era
in the progress of the country. The train from Montreal numbered two
baggage, two second clas
s, and three jirst class cars; the train from Toronto two baggage, two second class and four jirst class
cars. Long before the hour
of their arrival a large crowd had assembled. The Eastern train came in jirst and was greeted with
loud huzzas;
we examined the cars, and consider them very substantial and jine specimens of home manufacture; we also made
inquiries from passengers east and
west, as to the state of the road -their report was -and they were Americans -that it was one
of the best they ever traveled on. What saith George Brown to this?
Kingston H.e.mki October
28, 1856.
The Grand Trunk Railway was yesterday opened for traffic through the entire route from Quebec to Stratford. A train
left Montreal
at half past seven in the morning, and before 11 in the evening, the Montreal papers of the same day were laid
upon our table!
1n like manner, a train left Toronto at 7 yesterday morning, and before 9 her safe arrival in the city of Montreal
was duly telegraphed! This undoubtedly
is a most notable event in the history of our country, and we heartily congratulate our
readers upon
it. We have assailed the manner in which the enterprise has been prosecuted -we have at no time denied the vast
importance
of the work.
Toronto
GiQQ.£. (edited by George Brown), October 28, 1856.
Yesterday the usually quiet citizens of this usually quiet city of Kingston were on the qui vive for the events of the
opening day
of the Grand Trunk Railroad. All seemed bent upon having a sight of the Toronto and Montreal trains -the train
from the capital
of Lower Canada and the train from the capital of Upper Canada -meeting at Kingston as th£u:£.111£LQ.f.1Jn.iled
CmwdiJ. The morning was pleasant but a slow, light, steady rain set in and made things rather uncomfortable. The Montreal
train came
in about half an hour after the announced time, and the Toronto half an hour later -a slight delay, indeed, for a jirst
passenger train -and after a short interval, devoted
to the rejieshing of the inner man, the iron horses parted; pursuing their
way with equal diligence
to the East and West.
Kingston liflJ!S October 28, 1856.
It was done at last! The main line of the Grand Trunk
was open, and the scheduled running time between Montreal
and Toronto had been reduced to fourteen hours.
The date
was Monday, October 27 1856. This year marks the
sesquicentennial (l50th anniversary) of that notable event in
Canadian history, a date when Canadas railway system, then
in its 21 st year, can be truly said to have come of age.
Introduction
The inauguration of the Montreal-Toronto train
service was the latest in a long series of improvements in
transportation along the valley of the St. Lawrence River.
When Jacques Cartier ascended the river as far as Hochelaga
(now the site
of Montreal) in 1535, he heard stories from the
natives
of a great territory inland, showing that the Indians
had
established some sort of lines of communication well
before that time. More than a century later,
in 1642, Montreal
was founded, and during the following century French
explorers penetrated deep into the continent in search of
furs, as well as a possible route to the Pacific and on to
China. In fact in the 1670s LaSalles base near Montreal
became known as La Chine (French for China) as it was
thought that this route might be a gateway to the orient.
The
name has survived in the present-day borough of Lachine.
In 1673 the French established Fort Frontenac near
the
eastern end of Lake Ontario. This was almost exactly
half way between Montreal and the place where Toronto
would one day be built. In the days of the British rule, the
name was changed to Kingston which became, and still is,
the largest city between
Canadas two largest metropolitan
areas.
In the eighteenth century a French trading post
was established at a location on Lake Ontario known as the
Meeting Place or, to use the Indian name, Toronto.
Actually it is likely that the first European to see this location,
with its fine natural harbour, was Etienne Brule
in 1615. In
fact the name
L. Taronto appears on a globe made in 1683.
After the fall
of New France in 1759 the French withdrew and
destroyed the Toronto trading post before their retreat.
NOTE 1: Some of the names of places referred to in this article have changed in the last 150 years; others are spelled differently than in 1856.
In addition, units of measurement and currency often differ from the units used today. In all cases, the names, spellings and units mentioned in
this article are those in use at the time in question, and not necessarily those of today.
NOTE 2: The newspaper extracts are mostly from microfilms of Library and Archives Canada.
RAIL CANADIEN -514 176 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
NEW SOUTH
W ALE S
45
40
s T
…J
o 85 80
Canada before railways. A New Map of Upper and Lower Canada published by J. Stockdale in London in 1798. This map was
used
to illustrate the journal of Isaac Welds Travels in North America, published in 1799. The locations of Montreal, Kingston
and York are plainly shown. Interestingly, the land west of James Bay was called New South Wales, a name which was later
transported
to Australia!
After the American Revolution and the arrival of
the United Empire Loyalists the colony of Quebec was split
into two parts, Upper and Lower Canada. This took place
in
1791, and the following year the first British governor, John
Graves Simcoe, established the first parliament of Upper
Canada at Niagara (now Niagara-on-the-Lake). It was soon
apparent that Niagara was not suitable as the capital and,
after some discussion, it was decided to move to the old
Toronto location.
It was decided to drop the old name, and
the new town, founded in 1793, was named York. By 1813 the
population
of York was still only about 700, and in the spring
of that year the town was captured and pillaged by invading
forces
of the United States during the War of 1812. (During
this battle Zebulon Pike, discoverer
of Pikes Peak, was killed
in the explosion of a powder magazine, but that is another
story).
By 1834 the town of York (also known as Muddy
York or Little York, to distinguish it £iom New York) had
grown greatly in impOliance and size and in that year was
incorporated as a city. At that time the city fathers made the
wise decision to revert to the old name, and thus 1834 is
considered to mark the birth of the present City of Toronto.
Little did anyone realize that only 22 years later Toronto
wou ld be connected to Montreal and points east by that
latest of technological marvels, the railway.
During the next twenty years many significant
happenings coloured the history of the Canadas. After the
rebellions
of 1837 and 1838 an act of the British Parliament
united
Upper and Lower Canada into what became known
as the Province of Canada, this act coming into force in
1841.
What had been Upper Canada was now known as
Canada West whi Ie the former Lower Canada became
Canada East. However these names never found complete
favour with the population, and the old names
were frequently
used until Confederation in 1867 when the new names
Ontario and Quebec replaced them. It is important to
bear this
in mind in reading old accounts of the period, when
all three names are sometimes found interchangeably.
Communications between the lower and upper
province were rudimentary to say the least. As early as 1770
a Jean Rousseau was granted a licence to
pass unmolested
with one canoe and six men from Montreal to Toronto with
liberty to dispose of his goods and effects as he should
occasionally find a market in his passage. There is no record
as to
how long this trip took, but it must have been very
arduous.
It was easier to send a shipment from England to
Quebec than it was to forward the same shipment from
Quebec to Upper Canada. In August 1796 a traveler named
Isaac Weld, on a two-year tour
of North America, made the
trip from Montreal to York.
It took nine days, seven of which
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
were by Bateau ascending the river to Kingston. The
following account (taken from Isaac Welds journal of the
enti.re tour, published
in London in 1799) covers only a small
part
of the voyage, that portion between Cedars and Coteau,
but
is typical of the whole journey:
The passage of these rapids is so very tedious, that
we here
quilled the bateaux, took our guns in hand, and
proceeded on foot to Le Coteau des Cedres, the Hill of
Cedars, about nine miles higher up the rivel: In going thither
you soon lose sight of the few straggling houses at the
cascades,
and enter the recesses of a remarkably thick
wood, whose solemn gloom, together with the loud roaring
of the waters at a distance, and the wild appearance of
every object around you, inspire the mind with a sort of
pleasing horrOl: As you approach Le Coteau des Cedres,
the country assumes a softer aspect; cultivated fields
and
neat cottages once more appear in view, and the rivel;
instead of being agitated by tremendous rapids, is here
seen gliding on with an even current between its lofty
banks…..
We now entered Lake St. Francois, which is about
177 CANADIAN RAI L -514
GO V ERNMENT CONTRACTS, I
For the Transport if Stares to Upper-Canada.
rrENDERS will be received to the lOth)
November, fur the Transportation of Provision. and
S(Ore~ ill the course of the ensuing Winter from Montreal to)
Kingstoll, Prescott, Cornwall, and also to Coteau du Lac-
to commence as soon as the: roads and icc be practicable for
sleighs.
Person~ desirous of contracting therefore by Loads of 10
Cwt. not less than 100 Load;, are desired to selld their pro­
posals sealed, llnrl!:ed PropoJaiJ for TranJporl, to the
Deluty-Commissaty-Generals Office, Montreal, specifying the
Tate of plyment for the carri the time in which they will perform thoir Conttact.
Montreal, Oct. 25,1814. 2W
In wartime, the difficulties encountered in transportation
became even more accute. This notice, during the War of
1812, called for tenders to transport urgently-needed
military supplies to the seat of war in Upper Canada. But
even these could only be moved as soon as the roads and
ice be
practicable for sleighs.
twenty~flve miles in length, and .flve
in
breadth; but the wind being
unfavourable, we were prevented
from proceeding further than Point au
Baudet, at which place the boundary
line commences, that
separates the
upper from the lower province. There
was one
solitary house here, which
proved to be a tavern, and afforded
us a well drest supper of venison, and
decent accommodation
for the night.
STAGE & STEAM BOAT NOTICES.
and Kingston about 1830 as among
the worst that human foot ever trod.
Finally Trout states that Down to the
last day before the railroad era, the
travelers in the Canadian stage
coach were lucky if, when a hill had
to be ascended or a bad spot passed,
they had not to alight and trudge
ankle deep through the mud. Trout
does mention a legendary case of
amazing speed with a sleigh in the win­
ter,
when there was no mud to bog
things down. The story goes that
Lord Sydenham (Governor-in-chief
from 1839 to 1841) made it from
Toronto to Montreal by sleigh in 36
hours, but this was in excellent
weather, snow well packed down, trav­
eling continuously by day and night,
and with a
change of horses at each
stage.
Of course he was the Gover­
nor, and could get such service; most
passengers would be lucky to get
Sixty years later the Grand
Trunk covered the nine miles from
Cedars to Coteau in 20 minutes, and
today the VIA trains do it in no more
than
eight minutes.
After 1816 steamboats were
put into service on the St. Lawrence
and the Great Lakes, and this
introduced speed and comfort to the
journey. In conjunction with these
boats stagecoaches were introduced,
running on the few roads, which were
usually
in terrible condition, especially
THE
UPPER CANADA COACHES,
Will leae MONTREAL, until further nolice
SIX Times per we~k, viz :-l!ONDAYS, TTESDAYS,
WEDSESDAYS, THVR.SDAYS and FlliDAYS, lit ELE­
VEN oclock, A. M.-nnd on SATURDAYS, at
FOUR oclock, A. M.
THE STEA~1 DO.T
ST. LAWRENCE,
Will ICRve LAC H IN E on CAch of Ih above days,
at ON E oclok, P. M. and also on SATURDAYS at
SIX oclock. A. M.
May, 1829. u 13
By 1829 travel between Upper and Lower
Canada had become much easier, as we see
from this advertisement for coaches and
steamboats. But it was still not advisable to
try it in the winter unless you were the
Governor on urgent business!
through in a week.
after a rainstorm.
Of course the boats could not run in the
winter, and travel then was mostly by open sleighs,
sometimes running on the ice of the river. Few people would
attempt the trip at that time
of year unless there was some
reason
of extreme importance.
In the 1840s, serious consideration was given to a
new technology in the transportation world; railways.
The
rust practical common-canier railways were built in England
in the 1820s,
and this new engineering concept showed
wonderful promise for the future. The first railway in Canada
was the Champlain & St. Lawrence which was opened
between Laprairie and St. Johns, in Lower Canada, in 1836.
This 14-mile line was actually a portage line on a primarily
water route between Montreal and New York City. Within a
few years, however,
some far-sighted individuals began to
think
of the railway as a system unto itself, not dependant
on steamboats.
Think of the benefits -much greater speed,
year-round operation, and the ability to serve localities far
from major rivers and lakes. There was, however, one major
problem. Railways cost money, a great deal
of money, and J.M. Trout
in the book The Railways of Canada,
published in 1871, described some
of the old stagecoaches
of the pre-railway era as Large oblong wooden boxes,
formed of a few planks nailed together, and placed on
wheels, in which
you enter by the window, there being no
door
to open and shut, and no springs. Another account
referred to the Niagara -Hamilton stage as
Reeling and
tumbling along the detestable road, pitching like a scow
among the breakers
of a lake storl11. No less a person than
William Lyon McKenzie described the road between Toronto
RAIL CANADIEN -514·
the decade which started in 1840 was a time of depression,
often called the Hungry Forties. In Canada some lines
were begun in this decade, most notably the Montreal­
Portland main line, but it was not until the following decade
that the great enthusiasm hit Canada. When
it came, however,
it
came with a vengeance, and the 1850s are considered to
be the time
of the first great Canadian railway boom. It is
during this time that the developments took place that we
are about to relate, culminating with that most significant
event, the opening of through service between Montreal
and Toronto on October 27, 1856.
A Trip in 1835
Before we consider the events of the 1850s, let us
go back to August of the year 1835, and consider the situation
of someone in Montreal who wanted to go, perhaps on a
business trip, to the recently-incorporated city of Toronto
in Upper Canada. We have chosen 1835, as that was the last
complete year in which
there were no railways in Canada. It
was during the reign
of William IV, and was a peaceful year
in Canada. The rebellions and financial panic that occurred
in 1837 and 1838 were still two years in the future, as was the
start
of the Victorian era, which saw so much progress over
the following 63 years.
Our would-be traveler picks up the
latest copy
of the Montreal Gazette (yes, the Gazette existed
then) dated Thursday Evening, August 20, 1835. At that
time many advertisements appeared on the front page and,
amid ads for garden seeds, leeches, soused salmon, pewter
goods, Bibles, Jamaica spirits, lynx skins, and the ever­
present dry goods, our traveler would find detailed
advertisements for various steamboats and stage coaches
bound for
Upper Canada. One of these ads appears below.
UPPER CANADA LINE
STEAMBOATS AND STAGES,
L
EAVE MONlR.F.A L ever.1J day except Sun.
da.y, at half.pllst ten, A. M. and arriev in
PRESCOTT the following day, with the excep.
tion of Sotm·do.ys stage, which will remain oer
the SlIbbath at CORNwALL,-as follows:
ifontreal to Lachine, by laud………… 9 miles.
Lachine to Cascades, by steambollt …… 24-do.
Cascades to Coteau du Lac, by land … 16 do.
Coteau du Lac to COlIJwall, via St.}
f:o:~:~: !.~d.i.~~ .. ~:~~~~.~:. ~: .. :~~~I.I~ ~ 41 do.
Co:~~~al.l. ~~ .. ~i.~~.~I.I~.~I::~ .~~::~.i::~:. ~.~} 12 do.
Dickensons Landillg to Prescott, by l
stealllwat ………………………… S 138 do.
140 do.
DOWNWARDIi.
Leave PRESCOTT every mornil/g. except Sun.
day, at 4 uclock, and Ilrrive in MONTREAL the
same evening.
A. WHIPPLE, Agent.
Montreal, May 30, 1835.
178 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
Because of the numerous rapids between Montreal
and
Prescott it was not possible to go all the way through
by st
eamboat as the canal system was not completed until
1847.
The route most often used is exemplified by the
combination land and boat journey shown in the
advertisement for the Upper Canada Line. One would take a
stage to Lachine, a
steamboat to Cascades, stage to Coteau,
steamboat to Cornwall, stage to Dickensons Landing and
steamboat to Prescott; a total
of six legs totalling 140 miles
of which 103 were by water and 37 were by land. The
passenger would leave Montreal at 10:30 A.M. and arrive at
Prescott the following evening.
LAI{E ONTARIO.
Arrangements for 1835.
THE STEAMBOATS
Great Britain and United States.
From 1st June to 1st September,
W
TT.,L, in connllxion, perform three trips in
ench week, ~tarting from NIAGARA and
from Or.OF.NSBUH.CH and PRl:SCOTT.
eve:1J of he! day, (cxclurling Sundays,) as fol­
low8 :-
THE GREAT BRITAIN.
GUING UP. -Leaves Pre.qcott, TuesdflY evcn­
ing . Brockuil/e, do. do ; Kirlgston, Vcdnesday,
] 2 noon; Oswego, do. 6 evening; T01:onto,
Thur~uay, at 1I00n, and arrjve~ at Niagara, Thurs­
day, P. M.
COM ING DOWN.-Leavts Ningna, Thursday,
1 0 in the evening; aud arrives at Oswego, Friday
afternoon.
GOING Up -Lellvcs O.wegll, Friday 6 in the
evening; Torrmio, Saturday, 12 noon, and arrives
at Niagara in the afternoon.
CO~HNG OuwN.-Leaves Niagara, Sunday, 4,
P. M.; Oswego, Mondy, 7 in the morn in!! ;
Kingston, Monday. 2 P. M.; D1ockuille, do.
evening, and arrives at PfCSCOtl the same evening.
THE UNITED STATES.
COMING D<>wN.-L£.aves Lewiston, Tuesday
evcuinK; Rocl.esle,, Vednesday mowing; O.HPC.
gr>, do. evening; Sackel.·s Hlubul, do. 12 lit
night; King.qton, Thursday lIlorning, and arrives
at Ogdensblwgh, Thursd .. y, P. M.
GOING Ul.-Leaes OgdensbuI·gTt. Thursday
evening; Killgston, Friday ll1urninj.(; Sackets
lImbol, Friday 1I00n, lind arrives at Oswego sallie
a£l COMING OOWN.-Lc!l.ves OFwegr), Friday, at Ii
P. M.; S(lcket·.~ l/mbnT, Friday, 1.1, P. M,
Kingston, S … turday, 7, A. !.,I. and arrIves at Og.
densburgh, Saturday afternooll.
GOING
tYp.-Leaves Ogdenshurgh,8, Saturday
evening j Kingst01l, Sunday morning; Sockets
R(I1bor, Sunday 1I00n ; Oswego, Sunday evenin~ ;
RocTte~te1, M ond~y momillg; Toronto, Munday
evening, aDd an i yes at Lewiston early Tuesday
moming.
And after the Gr,t of September, the respective
boats will re~ume their spring armngelllents.
May, 1835.
The steamboats Great Britain and United States offered
alternative routes between Prescott and Toronto.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
Downstream the trip was faster; the boat left at 4:00
A.M.
(presumably you could board the night before) and
arrived at Montreal that night. There was no travel on Sunday,
and those
who left Montreal on Saturday would remain
over the Sabbath at Cornwall.
Between Prescott and Toronto there was a choice
of routes. One could take the steamboat Great Britain which
departed every Tuesday evening and stopped mainly at
towns on the Canadian side, arriving at Toronto at noon on
Thursday, and continued on to Niagara. There was also the
steamboat United States which left Ogdensburgh (across
the river from Prescott) at 8:00 P.M. Saturday evening and
called at towns on the American side, arriving at Toronto on
Monday evening,
continuing on to Lewiston, N.Y. (Three
years later the
United States was to playa significant, but
unwilling, part
in the Battle of the Windmill near Prescott
in
1838, and was then withdrawn from the Canadian run).
The fare from Prescott to Toronto was £3 currency, or $12.00.
Yet another possibility was to take a stage to Kingston, then
board the
fast sailing steam packet St. George, which
departed Kingston every Tuesday and Saturday morning,
calling at Oswego,
Cobourg and Port Hope, and arriving at
Toronto on
Wednesday afternoon or Sunday morning. An
advertisement for this vessel appears below. We can see
from all this that the fastest trip from Montreal to Toronto
involved leaving Montreal at 10:30 on Monday morning and
arriving at
Toronto at noon on Thursday; more than three
days
if all went well. However some trips took considerably
longer, and, as for winter, the less said the better!
1835.
LAKE ONTARIO.
The fast sailing Stcam Packet
ST. GEORGE,
LIEUTENANT HARrER, R. N. COMMANDER,
W
ILL. until the 1st ScptemiJel, leave tht!
different ports IS follows:-
UPWARDS.
KINGSTON, every Tuesdav and Sliturday Morning.
OSWEGO. every Tuesday I;vening,
CODOURG, every WelinesdllY Moruing and Satur­
day ~vening.
PORI HOPE, every do. do.
And arrive at TORONTO 011 W cdnesday Afternoon
and Sunuay llollIing.
DOWNWARDS.
TORm-ITO, every Thursday Morning and Sunday
F:velling.
PORT HOPE, every Thursday Evening and Mon­
day Morning.
COBOURG, every do. do.
And alrive at KINGSTON in time for Passengen
to take the River Uoats for MONTREAL.
Passengers h~.RVjlg TORONT? by t1~e a~ove Boat
on SundRY and Thursday, will arflv.e III MaN
XREAL on Tuesday and Saturday Evenmg.
No Luggage or Parcels taken charge of, uules~
booked and paid for.
.AU Freight pUlJahle on delivery.
Kingslon, JUDe 8, 1836.
179 CANADIAN RAIL -514
~
–_:e~;.~ e··· ~
<.oOa -- I. :..,:.,a. . .... ;l: -.-. ~
——
RAIL-ROAD NOTICE.
T
HE COMMJTTF.l~ of the CHAMPLAIN
AND ST. LAWRENCE RAIL.ROAD
COMPANY having established all AGENCY for
the l.RANSFEU lilld REGISTRY of STOCK
in the City of NEw Y OR K.at the Office of Messrs.
BULLOCK & KELLOGG, No. 14, fYall Street j
Stockholders desirous of having their Stoc. placed
upon the 8001.s of the Agency,will, on apfllication
at the Companys Office in MONTREAL, be furnish­
ed with an order to that effect.
Bv order,
Co l-i. CASTLE, Sec. &> Tr.
Montreal, August I, 18~5. l
This Rail-Road Notice foreshadowed the start of a whole
new era of transportation in Canada, and would make
stagecoaches, and eventually passenger steamboats,
obsolete.
On Monday, August 24, 1835, our traveler paid his
fare and started
off on the stagecoach to Lachine -the first
leg
of his three-plus day trip to Toronto. Sailing through
Lake St. Louis aboard the steamboat from Lachine to
Cascades, he read his
Gazette more carefully, and noticed a
strange new advertisement, also on the front page. This bore
a crisp new cut
of a train (minus a tender!) that had seldom
been used
in Canadian newspapers before. Underneath the
cut were the bold words RAIL-ROAD NOTICE.
The notice
stated that the Committee
of the Champlain and St. Lawrence
Rail-Road had opened a stock transfer agency at No. 14
Wall Street in New York, and were selling shares in the
company in New York as well as in Canada. This company
had been
founded in 1832 and by 1835 had sold enough
stock to begin construction, as well as to order a locomotive
from the Robert Stephenson Company
in Newcastle England.
Actually railway news was nothing new
in Montreal; as early
as 1824 the
Gazette had reprinted a lengthy discussion on
the benefits
of railways. A news item from England that very
year
of 1835 told of an important event; the Great Western
Railway was incorporated and soon began to lay its tracks
to the
seven-foot gauge devised by its chief engineer LK.
BruneI. The local notice, howeve
r, was different from these.
Now a railway was being built right here in Lower Canada.
Progress on the Champlain & St. Lawrence was rapid
after 1835, and less than a year later, on July 21 1836, it
inaugurated the railway era in
Canada with a 14-mile line
from Laprairie to St. Johns. Perhaps our traveler, reading the
little notice in the Gazette, had some thoughts of the future.
Maybe someday these new railways would ease the tedious
portages on the route between Lower and Upper Canada.
If
he had a vivid imagination, he might have even thought that
some time in the far far distant future it might be possible to
go a
ll the way by rail. Little did he think, in the quiet year of
1835, that only twenty-one years later this dream would
indeed become a reality.
RAIL CANADIEN -514 180 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
In 1851 the stagecoaches were still very much at work, although their days were numbered. This view, taken from a
commemorative postage stamp issued in 1951, shows the Royal Mail stage by Jordans Hostel on King Street in Toronto.
1851 -The Railway Boom Begins
By 1850 the railways of Canada had been In
operation for fourteen years but had not expanded at
anything like the rate of those in Britain or the United States.
At that time
Canada had only 58 miles of track in operation.
Following the opening of the Champlain & St. Lawrence
more than ten years had passed before another line went
into operation. This was the Montreal and Lachine, opened
in November 1847; this I ine replaced the stage coach and
thus became the first rail link in the route to Canada West.
However many plans were in the works, and some were
actually under construction. In 1845 the St. Lawrence and
Atlantic in Canada and the Atlantic and St. Lawrence in the
United
States were formed with the plan to connect at the
border and form a through route between Montreal and
Portland Maine. By 1850 both lines were well under
construction; the St. L. & A. had reached St. Hyacinthe in
December 1848 and was advancing rapidly towards the
border. Both these lines eventually formed a part of a much
larger system, the Grand Trunk. Canada West also had plans
for
railways; the pioneer Erie and Ontario was soon to be
joined by numerous others, most notably the Great Western,
which it was hoped would soon form a large network.
There
were also plans to connect Canada East and Canada West
by rail. In 1846 the Montreal and Kingston Rail[Qllil
Company
was founded, which was succeeded, in 1851, by the Montreal
and Kingston Rail~ Company and the Kingston and
Toronto Railway Company. The M&K was granted power to
purchase the Montreal and Lachine Railroad, Montreals
pioneer railway, and extend the line westward to Kingston.
In many ways, however, transportation had
changed little since 1835. The steamboats and stagecoaches
still ran, and
our traveler of sixteen years before would still
travel to Toronto in much the same manner; the major
difference being that he could now take the train from
Montreal to Lachine instead of the stage. However if he
wanted to go to By town (soon to be renamed Ottawa City)
Bylown nnd Montreal Stage Line.
Through in Two lJayJ by DllyliglU !
JlLT
HE lU,dersigned
~olld repect-
_ ~ fuRy Intnuate to the
. Travelling Pub1ia
_!Il;iiflolllill:i!Ilol~a1liiiJ1jiOo. __ lUId othenl, that tbey
hue noW a LINE OF COVERED STAGES
numillg betwetJI BytoWJI IlJId MootreJi. or the mo.t
eommodiool and comfortable deacription, which
will be kept in thorough repair, and none but ex­
perienced Te3msterll will be employed. On the
roote between Hawkesbury and Montreal a four­
Lone team will be engaged during the sellSOn.
The Stages will leave Bytow.o and Monttelll 011
MONDATS, W EDNESDA. YS .nd FR.Ul.HS, at half-past
Suen oclock, A. M., -calling. ot Cumberhl1ld,
Buck..inJ;ham,
Lochaber, Petite Nation, LOrignal.
Ha..vrkesbury, (w~ere they will z:emain over-Dlght)
POlllt Fortuue, Rtgoaud, Vaudreull, St. Anns, Point
Clair, and La.chine, on the way down and np.
P.~RCI!r.s entlWlted to their eare will be forwarded
wjlh t1~8-patch and safety.
Seata ean be seented
aBd. furtber information ob­tained at Beauchamps
Stage House, SOSMeli: Street,
BytoWJl, IUld at Browmngs Ottawa Hotel, Great
St. J~~ ,street, Montreal.
KIRBY, PATTIE, BEAt:CHAJip & HJLLMA.!I.
BytoWJl, 7th Janoary, 1854. (48)
Through in two days by daylight, and in Covered Stages!
promised the Montreal and By town stages in 1854.
his best bet would still be the stage. By 1854 Messrs. Kirby,
Pattie, Beauchamp & Hillman offered
covered stages … of
the most commodious and comfortable description, and
made the trip in two days by daylight, overnighting in
Hawkesbury.
Things were very soon to change. By this time the
financial climate was better than it had been since before the
panic
of 1837, and there was more optimism that these railway
schemes would succeed. As the calendar changed to 1850,
the mid
year of the century, Canada was poised to begin a
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 181 CANADIAN RAIL-514
The new order ~ometh. This engraving, also from a commemorative postage stamp of 1951, depicts a typical train of the
era. It
is said that this is a scene on the standard-gauge By town and Prescott Railway, Ottawas first railway, that reached the
future capital at the end
of 1854, just before By town became Ottawa City. Soon it offered connection at Prescott with the Grand
Trunk,
ending dependance on the two-day stage described opposite.
decade of railway construction that would bring it into the
family
of countries possessing major rail transportation
networks.
In the words of Thomas C. Keefer, written in
retrospect in the year 1864, The years 1852 to 1857 will
ever be remembered as those
of financial plenty, and the
saturnalia
of nearly all classes connected with railways.
St. lftWnDCe NnTigntion.
rfi7~*· ~i~&~
I
N ORDER TO AFFORD GREATER
occolllmoJotion to the traoo. nnd thnt no delny
moy tuke place to ve!8t·ls navi~ntin~ till ~t. Law­
relWl·. the Govenrment hove placeu 011 the portionl
of the rivt:r between the resp.ctive Canals from PrlB·
(ou to Lnchine, n lllle of etlicirnt Stram Tug Boats.
under thili Dcpftrtmrlll, cnl)[lhle. of towing vtMtia 01
400 tomdlUrthen lit the rutc of ot leuH five mile!! per
hour.
The Tugs !loy now he. fonnd III Ilwir rC!lprctive
!!rutlom~, rently 10 tow 111(11 H,,~tIH II .. rnny 1tf}llire
thir IS~ISlltlll·t,!lt the lollnwillgratl.)j I)(!r lIlile.
Fur ~;,r1l! of IUO tUII, 11111.1 ulult,
DowlI\,lIrJ~, lJpwnrJ9,
1 tj -4.t 2~
200 1~-4tl ~R-8d
:JllU!.?iI 1i1
Aplli8Iiolls ror tvwil~ 10 he maJe to the MU!!tcr8
Oil liuar,l the Tt:=pertI
1,1:; bO:ltil
By ord(r
TI£Of..S ;. BE!;LY. Sr.r,
DlP:HllnL1l1 of Puhlic Vurb. ~ UJJw·lJll:l
.hy ~, 184~). ~
The system of canals on the St. Lawrence River was
operational by 1847, and in 1849 the government established
a
tugboat service, by which boats could be hauled up and
down the river between the canals. This speeded up freight
service on the river, but was seldom used for the
passenger steamboats which did not need the assistance
provided by the tugs.
The world was changing too. Nothing exemplified
the
spirit of the new half-century more than the Great
Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations held in
1851. This, the first worlds fair, took place in Londons Hyde
Park
in a huge building, 1851 feet long, known as the Crystal
Palace. The Exhibition, originally planned
by Prince Albert
the husband
of Queen Victoria, was a place where one could
see inventions and works
of art and industry from all over
the world. This meant that ideas originating
in many countries
could spread rapidly; the Exhibition was
an ideal means of
communicating knowledge throughout the world, Canada
had numerous exhibits at the Great Exhibition, including a
model locomotive (which amazingly still exists). As other
nations became aware
of Canadian products, Canadians
became aware of inventions and products worldwide.
One of the earliest known Canadian railway models, this
live-steam 4-2-2 locomotive, based on a st. L. & A. prototype,
was built about 1850 by a young man named Rodier at St.
HyaCinthe.
He exhibited it at the Great Exhibition in London
in 1851, and later (1855) at an exhibition in Milwaukee where
it won a prize. The model is preserved at the Chateau
Ramezay museum in Montreal.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
1852-53 -The Birth of the Grand nunk
ln 1852 an ambitious new scheme was made public.
This was to be no less than a consolidation of several
railways, some under construction, others only projected,
into one large system stretching from Levis, opposite Quebec
City
in Canada East, all the way to Samia in the western part
of Canada West, with a branch from Montreal to POItland.
The
main line, from Levis to Sarnia, was envisioned as being
similar
to the trunk of a tree from which many branches would
182 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
date of the establishment of the Grand Trunk. Then, on March
17, 1853
an act was passed empowering the Grand Trunk to
build a bridge, to be known as Victoria Bridge across the
St. Lawrence at Montreal
to connect the major segments of
this rapidly developing system. ln 1852 also, a bill was passed
repealing the incorporation
of the Montreal & Kingston and
Kingston & Toronto railways, both incorporated only the
year before,
on condition that the Grand Trunk reimburse
the
shareholders of these companies for any expenses
already made by them.
eventually grow. The
plan was most definitely
grand, especially for the
somewhat impoverished
Province
of Canada, so
the name proposed for
this new
system was
certainly appropriate –
The Grand Trunk
Railway Company of
Canada.
And be it enacted, Jhat the Gauge of the said
Railway shnJI be five feet six inches; and the fare or charge
for each First class Passenger by any train on the said Rail­
way, shall not exceed two pence currency for each mile
travelled, the fare or charge for each Second class Passenger
by any train on the said Railway, shall not exceed one penny
and one half penny cUlTency for each mile travelled, and the
fare or charge for each Third Class Passenger by any train
on the said Railway, shall not exceed one penny currency
for each mile travelled; and that at least one train having
in it Third Class Carriages shall run every day throughout
the length of the Line.
The next step
was the amalgamation
of
these various compon­
ents. An agreement was
signed
on April 12, 1853,
effective July 1,1853,
by
which all the Canadian
companies listed
in the
table below would be
amalgamated into the
Grand Trunk Railway.
The Atlantic and St. As we
have
seen, the St. Lawrence &
Atlantic and Atlantic &
St. Lawrence had been
An extract from the act of incorporation, fixing the gauge and the fares
to be charged. A penny currency was equal to 1 2/3 cents.
Lawrence, being an
American company,
incorporated as far back as 1845 and were well under
construction (They would
be completed in July, 1853). In
1850 tbe Quebec and Richmond Railway had been
incorporated
to build from Levis, opposite Quebec City, to a
junction with the
St. Lawrence & Atlantic at Richmond. On
August 30, 1851, an act was passed in the Provincial
legislature to make provision for the construction of a main
trunk line
of railway throughout the whole length of this
province. This led directly
to three bills being introduced
during 1852
to incorporate three new rai Iways. First and
foremost was
the bill incorporating the Grand Trunk Railway
Company
of Canada, to be built between Montreal and
Toronto.
In addition there was a bill creati.ng the Grand Trunk
Railway Company
of Canada East (to run between Levis and
Trois Pistoles), and the Grand Junction Railway (to run
between BelJeville and Peterborough; this line was not built
until many years later, and plays no further part
in our story).
All three bills were duly passed and received Royal assent
on November 10, 1852. This date is, therefore, the official
could not be officially
amalgamated, but the problem was solved by the Grand Trunk
making an arrangement,
on March 29, 1853, by which they
would lease the St.
L.& A. for 999 years, the lease taking
effect
on August 5, 1853. Thus we see that by the time the
St. Lawrence and Atlantic and Atlantic
& St. Lawrence met
at Island Pond Vermont in July 1853, so completing the line
to Portland, the whole line was fully under the control of the
Grand Trunk. Conspicuous by its absence from this
amalgamation was the Great Western Railway
in Canada West
which did not join the Grand Trunk until 1882.
Once the various components
of the Grand Trunk
were consolidated under one management,
it was time to let
the contracts
and get on with construction of the three major
sections. These consisted of: the line from Richmond east
to Trois Pistoles, the Victoria Bridge, and the line we are
concerned with here, from Montreal
to Toronto and points
west
to Sarnia. Looking back it is quite amazing that, little
more than three years after the amalgamation
of the railways
went into effect, the line from Montreal
to Toronto was
complete and open for service.
DATES OF INCORPORATION AND AMALGAMATION OF COMPONENTS OFTHE GRAND TRUNK
NAME OF RAILWAY (OR RAILROAD) INCORPORATED
Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada November 10 1852
Saint Lawrence and Atlantic Rail-road Company March 17 1845
Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad Company (Maine) February 10 1845
Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad Company (New Hampshire) June 30 1847
Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad Company (Vermont) October 27 1848
Quebec and Richmond Rail-way Company August 10 1850
Grand Tl1Ink Railway Company of Canada East November 10 1852
Toronto and Guelph Railway Company 1851
Grand Junction Railroad Company November 10 1852
Victoria Bridge (Grand Trunk Railway Co. of Canada) March 17 1853
AMALGAMATED
April 12 1853 *
April 121853 >I<
March 29 1853 (lease) **
March 29 1853 (lease) **
March 29 1853 (lease) **
April 121853 *
April 12 1853 >I<
April 12 1853 >I<
April 12 1853 *
NOTE: * Date is that of the agreement to amalgamate. It went into effect on July 1, 1853.
** Date is that of authority being given to lease. It went into effect on August 5, 1853.
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?
ANNO SEXTO-DECIMO
VICTORI~
REGIN
~
CAP.
XXXVII.
An
Act to incorporate
the
Grand
Trunk
Railway
of
Canada.
[Assented to 10th November,
1852.J
W
HEREAS
the
construction
of
a Railway from
the
City
of
Toronto
to
the
City
of
Kingston,
and
thence to the City of Montreal, would greatly
tend
to
promote the welfare of this
Province;
And whereas the persons hereinafter men­tioned are desirous of associating themselves
together
as
a Company for
the
purpose
of
constructing such Railway,
and
that
they and their successors
and
assigns, shareholders in such Railway, may be incorporated
and
invested with such powers as may enable
them
effectually
to
carry
out
their undertaking,
and
it
is expedient
to
accede
to
their
request:
Be
it
therefore enacted
by
the
Queens Most Excellent Majesty, by and with
the
advice
and
consent
of
the
Legis­lative Council
and
of
the
Legislative Assembly
of
the Pro­vince of Canada, constituted
and
assembled by virtue
of
and
under the authority
of
an Act passed in
the
Parliament
of
the United Kingdom
of
Great
Britain
and
Ireland,
and
in­tituled,
An
Act
to re-unite the Provinces
of
Upper
and
Lowe1
Canada,
and
for
the Government
of
Canada,
and
it
is
hereby enacted by the authority
of
the
same,
That
the Honorable
Peter
McGill, of the City
of
Montreal, the Honorable Georg8 Pemberton,
of
the
City
of
Quebec, Thomas
G.
Ridout and John George Bowes,
of
the City
of
Toronto, Esquires, William Price,
of
the City
of
Quebec, Esquire, John Shuter Smith,
of
the
Town of
Port
Hope, Esquire, Henry
Le
Mesurier, of the City
of
Quebec, Esquire, Andrew
Jeffery,
of
the
Town
of
Cobourg, Esquire, James Bell
Forsyth,
of
the
City
of
Quebec, Esquire, William Hamilton
Ponton,
of
the
Town of Belleville, Esquire, William Rhodes, of the City of Quebec, Esquire, David Roblin,
of
the City of Kingston, Esquire, William Matthie, of the Town of Brockville, Esquire, George Beswick, of the City of Quebec, Esquire, Chauncey
H.
Peck,
of
the Town
of
Prescott, Es­quire, Thomas Rya.n,
of
the
City of Montreal, Esquire, John Counter, of the City
of
Kingston, Esquire, Roderick McDonald,
of
the Town
of
Cornwall, Esquire, George Etienne Cartier, of the City
of
Montreal, Esquire, Henry Chapman,
of
the
City of Montreal, Esquire, Alexander Tilloch Galt, of the Town of Sherbrooke, Esquire,
Luther
Hamilton Holton,
and
David Lewis McPherson, of the City
of
Montreal, Esquires,
and
Hemy
Mather Jackson, of the City of London, Esquire,
together
with such person
or
persons as shall, under the provisions
of
this Act, become proprietors of any share
or
shares in the Railway hereby authorized to be made, and their several
and
respective heirs, executors, administrators, curators and assigns, being proprietors
of
any share or shares in
the
said Railway, are,
and
shall be a Company, according
to
the rules, orders and directions hereinafter expressed,
and
shall for
that
purpose be one Body Politic and Corporate, by the style and title of
The Grand
Trunk
Railway
Company
of
Canada;
and
the said Company shall be
and
are hereby authorized
and
em­powered, from
and
after
the
passing
of
this Act, by them­selves, their deputies, agents, officers, workmen and servants,
to
make
and
complete a Railway
to
be called
The Grand
Trunk
Railway
of
Canada,
from
the
City
of
Toronto through
the
Towns of
Port
Hope, Cobourg
and
Belleille, to the City
of
Kingston, thence by
the
route
they may find most practicable, through the Towns of Brockville
and
Prescott,
to
a point in
the
Eastern
boundary line
of
the
Township of Osnabruck, thence, in as nearly a direct line as may be
practicable,
to
St. Raphaels,
and
thence
to
the River Ottawa,
and
across
the
said River
to
a point between the Lake
of
the
Two-Mountains
and
the Village
of
St. Annes,
and
thence
to
the
City
of
Montreal by such line as the said Company may deem most
advantageous;
but
the
different sections
of
the said road may be made
at
the same time
or
in such
order
as
thA
Company may
think
proper;
Provided always,
that
if
the
Governor shall, after actual survey, ascertain
that
the
interest
of
the
Province would be pro­moted by
the
adoption
of
any
other
route between Kingston
and
Montreal, the said Company shall construct the said Railway on the line selected by the Governor after such survey.
(J) m 1J -l m 5: CD m JJ 6 o -l o CD m JJ I) o o Q) ex> c.u o » z » o » z JJ » r ()1 –.j:>.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
1852-53 -The Contracts are Let
Faced with a huge job of railway construction, the
Grand Trunk Railway had to consider who were suitable
contractors to accomplish this mammoth task. Before going
any further
we should consider what the Province of Canada
had got itself into
in 1853. Here was a British colony, with
few financial reserves and with a
population of barely two
million, preparing to let
contracts totaling more than eight
million pounds sterling, about $40,000,000. This is about
twenty dollars (about $800 in todays currency) for every
man, woman and child in the entire Province of Canada. With
this huge sum, Canada proposed to build what was to be the
longest railway
in the world, about 800 miles, stretching from
Trois Pistoles to Sarnia, as well as the line from Montreal to
Portland, plus the Victoria Bridge. Altogether a gigantic
undertaking for any country to tackle.
184 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
LEFT: A certificate for £5 sterling
worth of stock in the Grand
Trunk Railway Company of
Canada. Although this certificate
was issued in 1884, the format
had changed little from that of
the original stock offering of the
1850s. The format of this
certificate, with its plain design,
its watermarked paper, and its
indentured left margin, is
typically British, completely
different from the designs used
in North America at that time.
This is quite understandable
when we realize that the Grand
Trunk was a British company,
which had its headquarters in
London,
and the majority of the
stock was owned in Great
Britain.
Collection of Fred
Angus
We will not go into detail about the political and
financial dealings that went on, some in public, some in
secret. Suffice it to say there was a great deal
of discussion
before all the necessary legislation was passed and the
contracts signed. As early as May 1851, Francis Hincks,
who was Premier from late 1851 until 1854, had several
personal negotiations with Mr. Jackson of the well known
English firm of Peto, Jackson, Brassey and Betts (different
accounts show the names in different order, but it is the
same firm. For consistancy we will use PJB&B). The subject
of the negotiations was the possibility of a contract to build
the railway.
Soon an agreement was reached that PJB&B
would build the lines east of Toronto, as well as supplying
locomotives and constructing the Victoria Bridge. For the
lines west of Toronto a consortium of Canadians was formed
to seek the contract for this section. This consortium
consisted of Casimir S. Gzowski, David L. McPherson, Luther
CONTRACTS AWARDED FOR CONSTRUCTION OF GRAND TRUNK
DATE RAILWAY LOCATION CONTRACTOR PRICE
Dec. 14 1852 G.T.R. of Canada Montreal -Toronto PJ.B. & B. £7625 sterling per mile *
Mar. 23 1853 G.T.R. of Canada Montreal -Toronto PJ.B. & B. £3,000,000 sterling
Mar.
23 1853 G.T.R. of Canada East Levis -Trois Pistoles PJ.B. & B. £1,224,000 sterling
Oct. 22 1852 Quebec & Richmond Richmond -Levis
PJ.B. & B. £650,000 sterling
Nov. 28 1852 Toronto & Guelph Toronto -Guelph C.S.G. & Co. Not stated
**
Feb. 18 1853 Toronto & Guelph Guelph -Sarnia C.S.G. & Co. Not stated **
Mar. 24 1853 G.T.R. of Canada Toronto -Sarnia C.S.G. & Co. £1 ,376,000 sterling
Mar. 23 1853 G.T.R.
of Canada Victoria Bridge PJ.B. & B. £1,400,000 sterling
Mar. 23 1853 Grand Junction
Ry. Belleville -Peterborough PJ.B. & B. £400,000 sterling
NOTES: PJ.B. & B.
is Peto, Jackson, Brassey and Betts (the English Contractors).
C.S.G. & Co.
is Casimir S. Gzowski, D.L. Mc Pherson, Luther H. Holton, and Alexander T. Galt.
* The contract of December ]4, 1852 was amended by that of March 23, 1853.
** These contracts were cancelled and replaced by that of March 24, 1853.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
./
…. -….. ,
u
— .. -_._–_.—
·,3 tJ
r·~-
o
185 CANADIAN RAIL -514
LEFT: A map of 1856 showing the railways in the
northeastern part of North America.
Appletons Railway and Steam Navigation Guide,
December, 1856 .
H. Holton and Alexander T. Galt. The two groups
were known as
The English Contractors and The
Canadian Contractors respectively .
A glance at the names
of the contractors will quickly
reveal that several of them, including Messrs.
Jackson, McPherson, Holton and Galt were among
the original
twenty-four incorporators of the Grand
Trunk. Given the
way things were done at that time,
it is
not surprising that quite a number of these
individuals, as well as members of the government of
the day, made fortunes out of the Grand Tnmk, while
the
company itself suffered badly financially as
construction proceeded.
How much of the total cost
of the railway went to line the pockets of politicians,
contractors and others will never be known, but
subsequent investigations revealed that the amount
was very su bstantial.
One
major item to be settled
was the choice of route,
particularly between Kingston and Toronto. Some
wanted the railway to be near the lake because it
would be easier to build (supplies could be brought
in by water) and it would serve more towns. Others,
no doubt recalling the war
of 1812-14, thought that it
should be inland to get it farther away from the
American border. Among those who favoured the
lakeshore route was Casimir Gzowski, and
in the end
this
is the route that was chosen (times had changed
since 1812). The history of the last 150 years has
proved that the right decision was made. East of
Kingston, the choice of route was left to the
company, although the government reserved the right
to
override their choice if they fel t that this was
necessary. Here again, the route near the river was
chosen, and that has also proved to be the best
choice. The final route was 333 miles between
Montreal and Toronto.
Once the acts
of incorporation were in place, and
the
approximate routes decided, the line had to be
surveyed, the required land purchased or
expropriated, and the contracts let. It was specified
that the main line
was to be of the best English
standard which meant more cut and fill, stone
stations at most towns -and much higher costs. In
most cases the line passed near,
if not through, the
centres
of population, two notable exceptions being
Kingston and Trenton.
The first contract, signed on
October 22 1852, was for the Quebec & Richmond.
The contractors undertook to build this line for
£650,000 sterling (all the contracts were in pounds
sterling, worth about $4.87, rather than pounds
currency, worth $4.00). After the incorporation of the
Grand Trunk on
November 10, and the subsequent
amalgamations, the signing of contracts came thick
and fast, the last one being awarded, on March 24,
1853, to the Canadian contractors, for the Toronto –
Sarnia section. With the final
surveying complete,
work could at last begin.
RAIL CANADIEN -514 186 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
1853 -The Work Begins
It is difficult today, in this age of heavy machinery,
to imagine the back-breaking
work that must have gone into
the construction
of the Grand Trunk. In many ways it was as
bad
or worse than the building of the CPR thirty years later.
In the j 850s there was virtually no mechanical earth-moving
machinery, no compressed air drills and no dynamite. All
blasting had to be done by black powder, a much less
powerful, but more dangerous, explosive than the dynamite Very
soon the work began. In the early phases of
the construction, emphasis was placed on the lines in the
east. First priority was the completion of the line through to
Portland. Since construction here had begun as early as
1846, the work was almost completed by the time the St.
Lawrence
& Atlantic and the Atlantic & St. Lawrence came
under the control of the Grand
Trunk. The connection was
finally accomplished on July
11 1853 when the rails of the
St.
L. & A. and the A. & St. L.
met at Island Pond Vermont.
The entire 292 miles from
Montreal to Portland was
opened for business on July
18, 1853. The Quebec &
Richmond was pushed
forward and reached Point
Levi, on the south side of the
river a short distance up­
stream from Quebec City, in
December 1854. By December
1855 the track, was extended,
by the
Grand Trunk Railway
of Canada East, 41 miles
further, to St. Thomas, near
Montmagny. Eventually, by
1
860, it reached Riviere du
Loup, but never did make it to
Trois Pistoles (that section
was eventually built by the
Intercolonial).
Meanwhile, work had
begun on the Victoria Bridge,
when the first stone was laid
on July
22, 1854. This was by
far the biggest construction
The c;rand Trunk Works.
It may not be uninteresting to our readers to
reca.ll
a littla of tbe early history of the railwa.y
movements which proved
the germ of the Grand
Trunk Railway. Date
of Charter.
Portland to Canada Hne .••••••••• Feby 10, 1845.
Montreal to Boundllry
….••••.. March 17, 1845.
Work commenced by breaking ground
at Port­
land,
July 4th
l
1846. Sections opened IS follows:
Miles.
Portland to Yarmoll.Lh. I I… 12
II Mechanic F aUa.. 36
II Paris ……….. 41
II Bethel.. •. ….. 70
Gorham.. .. …. 91
Northumberlalld.122 Island
Pond .•.• 149
Montreal to St. Hyacinthe … 30
Richmond
…… 72
(I Sherbrooke ….. 96
IC Island Pond ..•• 143
July 4, 1848
Feby
4, 1849
June 8, 1850 March, 1850
July 23, 1851
July 12, 1852
Jan. 29, 1853 Dec. 27, 1848 Oct. 15, 1851
Sept.Il, 1852
July 11, 1853
Opened for business from Montreal to
Portland,
July 18, 1853 …….. 292 miles. Richmond to Quebec
..•. 96 II Decemb. 1854
St. Thomas 41 Dec. 3, 1855 Montreal to Brockville
.. 125 Nov. 19, 1856
Toronto
•••• 208 Oct. 27, 1856
Toronto to
Stratford…. 88 Oct. 13
1
1856
850 miles.
Celebration
at Montreal to commemorate open­ing to Toronto, Nov. 12th
and 13th, 1856.
The stone
of the first pier of Victoria bridge
laid
July 221 1854.
The progress of the construction of the Grand Trunk is
summed up
in this table which appeared in The American
Railroad
Journal on December 6, 1856.
and giant powder in use after
Alfred Nobels invention of
1866. When one looks at the
embankments, both those still
In
use and those later
relocated, it is hard to realize
that these were built by
thousands of toiling workers,
one wheel barrow full (or at
best one horse-drawn wagon
full) at a time. Everything had
to be done by hand with pick
and shovel. Since the railway
was supposedly to be built to
the
best English standard,
and this involved a minimum
of curves and steep grades,
the amount of cut and fill was
far
above the North American
standard. As construction
neared its end, and the money
was running out, the standard
was allowed to slip a little, but,
all things considered, it was an
excellent job. Today when we
travel over this line from
Montreal to Toronto in four
hours, we should pause to
give thanks to those workers,
most of them nameless, who
built the line a century and a
half ago.
Unfortunately there are
few first hand accounts of the
physical construction from the
point of view of those who
actually did the job. The
newspapers of the day were
more concerned with the
project of the entire Grand
Trunk, occupying almost five
and a half years, until trains
began to use it on a regular
basis on December 17 1859, at
which time the eastern and
western portions of the
railway were physically
connected for the first time.
In 1854 also,
work was begun on the line with which
we are particularly concerned, the m
ain line heading westward
from Montreal to Toronto.
The most impressive structure on
this portion
of the line was the tubular bridge at Ste. Anne
de Bellevue, where the line leaves the Island of Montreal
and crosses one of the branches of the Ottawa River between
Lake of Two Mountains and Lake St. Louis. Once this bridge
was constructed, the line pushed slowly westward,
crossing
IIe Perrot, then another branch of the Ottawa on to the main
land, up Vaudreuil hill past Cedars to Coteau, and so on
west. Through service from Montreal to Brockville began
on
November 19, 1855. political and financial aspects
of the Grand Trunk, and, other than coverage of the
construction of Victoria Bridge, did not devote much space
to what
was going on in the field. This is a pity, since history
was being made as the longest railway in the world was
gradually taking shape. A few accounts have survived,
especially from the later times as the construction neared
completion, but in most cases the day-to-day events that
would have made the story so interesting are lost. The
construction trains, carrying vast quantities of material to
supply the large army of workers, departed Montreal daily
except Sunday as the railhead advanced up the river into
Canada West and on towards Toronto.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 187 CANADIAN RAIL -514
The Grand Trunk bridge at Ste. Anne de Bellevue as it appeared in the 1850s, soon after its completion. This structure,
sometimes called The Victoria Bridges little sister, Yas an important link in the Montreal-Toronto main line .
. fj.~.-Q
GJlAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Tiel Wanted between Vaudreuil and Montreal.
T
HE under8igned requires TENDERS for TIES,
which D1Il8t be delivered ou the line of the
Grlllld Trunk HnilwRY. lUI Uhdcr, by the I,t day of
July. 1855. Thry nre t~ b~ nine fcr..t long, not les
,han fire nor more thnn 81 Inches thIck when hewn,
.nd tn 1I1~a.allre nut Ie .. than eight ilchc~ in width
at lUly put. Tbey ara to be !rInde of sou/HI ~trjght I
TQIll,ac, 8qq,Hcd ut !he end., ant! cRrefully hewr.
A til proportiun of Black and Y ~lIow A ~h.
Orry or Rock Elm. Oak or oceond-growth Hen.­
loe. wonld ~ receivc ~eeeeU oue-tbi,d of the whole lunntily d~livertll.
Tv be deUHtecl OD the :::tatioll Croun.l ~ 10,000
Puillt 1:1. Ch~rle~, lVlontreul 5
at Lachine. 5,000
•• tt Pointe C luire, -2,500
<, •• St. ADnM. -10,000
It •• 1.10 Perrott. -1,000
j bttwetn Vaudrtuil nDd Coteau
LaDding. 10,000
Ttndrr •• ~nting price, quantity, nnd where pro­
poud to be dclircu·d, to bp 3ent to th undersigDfd
at th. Onmd Trunk n.llroad 01licc, Point Sl.
ChuIer, not Inter thlln January 20th, 1855.
JAMES HODGES.
Montreal, Jannary8th. 1855. (l8b)
Pa.ssengers
refl18ing W pay
fare may be put
out..
InwDctlted conductor
of
locomotives.
ABOVE: Another view of the Ste. Annes bridge showing it in 1882. By
1899 it was the only bottleneck on the entire Montreal-Toronto main
line over
which large locomotives could not pass, so in that year it was
rebuilt as an
open-work truss bridge. Picturesque Canada.
LEFT: An
advertisement calling for ties to be used in the construction of
the line from Montreal to Coteau Landing. By advertising for the ties in
January,
the railway made sure that they would be delivered at the
appropriate locations in time for the start of the 1855 construction season
which saw the line completed through to Brockville.
Passengers refusing to pay their fare, may, by the
conductor of the train and the servants of the Company, be,
with their baggage,
put out of the cars, using no unnecessary
force,
at any usual stopping place, or near any dwelling house,
as
the conductor shall elect, first stopping the train.
All persons
in charge of a locomotive engine, or
acting as the conductor of a cal or train of cars, who shall be
intoxicated on the Railway, shall be deemed guilty of a mis­
demeanor.
Any passengcr injured while on the platform of a
RIGHT: Some interesting rules and
regulations imposed by the
government, and implemented in
1853 with the opening of the first
lines of the Grand Trunk. Although
some of the wording may be
different, rules very similar to these
are still in
effect today.
car, or on any baggage, wood or freight car, in violation of the
~:;:e~~l~ if printed regulations posted up at the time in a conspicuous
injured when on place inside of the passenger cars then in the train shall have
platform of cars, l . C h . d d ffi . . d f h
&c. no c mm lor t e lUJut·y, provl e Sll clent room lUSl e 0 suc
passenger cars, sufficient for the proper accommodation
of the
passengers, was furnished at the time.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
1853 -The Canada Works
As soon as the firm of Peto, Jackson, Brassey and
Betts received the contract for the construction
of the Grand
Trunk lines east
of Toronto, they established a large factory
in Birkenhead, England (across the river from Liverpool), to
manufacture locomotives, ironwork for bridges (including
Victoria Bridge), cars and other structures on the line.
Because it was anticipated that most of their output would
be
destined for Canada, the new factory was named the
Canada Works. In May, 1854, the
Liverpool Journal printed
a very informative,
but somewhat overoptimistic, article on
these works; the article was later reprinted in several Canadian
newspapers. Because
of the importance of the Canada Works
to the
building of the Grand Trunk, we reprint the article
(taken from the Brockville
Recorder of June 1, 1854) in full:
THE CANADA WORKS, BIRKENHEAD
The Canada Works are a thing of magic, in the
rapidity with which they have been constructed and brought
into
active operation. Here it is that Messrs. Brassey,
Jackso
n, Feto, and Betts, the contractors for the Grand
Trunk Railway of Canada, are constructing their plant and
materials for carrying on that great undertaking. A II the
work, except the tubes
and some smaller mailers, is made
on the premises;
and it is an interesting sight to see a place
which
12 months ago was a piece of waste land, covered by
buildings and railways, and the ground strewed in all
directions with boilers, tenders, wheels, engine-frames, and
the other parts of locomotives. The premises are very
extensive and as complete as pOSSible. The main building
is 900 feet
in length by 36 feet in width, and there are also
other erections. The yard encloses a long water basin,
where engines
and other necessary stores are landed at the
very spot where they are wanted. Besides this, the line
of
railway is carried from the docks to all parts of the yard.
The establishment is divided into two distinct
compartments; one for the manufacture of locomotives,
wagons, carriages, and plant, and the other for the
construction of bridges; for all the large bridges on the
Canada railway are to be tubular,
and one of them, over
the
St. Lawrence, will be a mile and three-quarters in length,
throwing into the shade all previous attempts at tubing,
the
famous Britannia Bridge included. The parts of this
bridge are being
made in a shed 215 feet long by 48 feet
wide, and one span of 155 feet is about to be shipped. In
this department the iron is delivered by railway,
and the
plates are rolled, punched, and subjected to such
manipulations as will prepare them to be put together when
they arrive in Canada. The parts are so numbered and
packed, that when they arrive there will be no difficulty in
riveting them togetha The general management of Canada
Works is in the hands of Mr. Harrison, a gentleman of great
experience
in such matters; and the bridge department
is superintended by
lvfr. Evans, who brings equal ability to
the peljormance of his duties.
The main building is, of course, divided into
separate compartments, the principal
of which is the jitting,
turning,
and erecting shop, a noble room, 300 feet long.
There is also the boile
r-makers shop, the smithy (with 22
furnaces), the brass-founders
and copper-smiths shop, the
188 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
pattern-makersshop, the cast i/On foundry, the warehouse,
the store,
and other smaller shops . The bridge department
includes two shops -the smithy and the plating-room.
Spacious offices,
and a suitable house for the foreman s
residence, stand detached fro 111 the other buildings. There
is, also, stabling
for a number of horses employed in out­
door work. The premises include an eating-room and a
reading-room,
for the use of the artisans employed.
The
locomotives and their tenders are entirely
constructed at these works, as are all the castings,
mouldings and forgings, in fact all the iron-work -for the
carriages
and wagons of the Grand Trunk Railway; but the
wood-work
and jitting-up of the latter are, for very obvious
reasons, effected in Canada, principally at lvfontreal.
Two
large stationaty high pressure engines of 30 horse power
each, supply the motive power to the numerous slolling,
planning, punching machines, steam hammers, and other
mechanical contrivances for assisting the labor of
handicraft-men. The machines are constructed by Whitworth
and Naysmith of Manchester; and Shank, of Johisten. The
locomotives are constructed ten at a time,
and the jirst batch
of ten are now drawing towards completion -jive of them
for passenger and the other jive for goods traffic. It is
expected that steam will be up, and the jirst jive of these
ready
for delivery at their destination by the end of May. It
will be interesting to
many to state that the Grand Trunk
Railway of Canada is on neither the broad or the
narrow gauge principle. The Canadian gauge is jive
feet six inches. The contractors have bought a lwge vessel
(0 be employed solely in conveying the locomotive and
carriage work across the Atlantic, and her tween decks
are being opened up and fitted up so as to give great
stowage for such heavy ji-eight. She can lay alongside the
yard, where there is a powerful crane that will hoist her
cargoes on board as they are completed.
Of the ultimate extent of the operation carried out
at the
Canada Works, it may be somewhat premature to
speak just now, but (he number of men employed now is
upwards
of 200, and every week additional hands are being
taken on
until the expected total of 600 is reached. The
wages of the mechanics range from 28 shillings to 34
shillings per week, the average being 31 shillings sixpence.
The monthly expenditure
in wages alone is now upwards of
£5, 000; and, when the work is in full operation, it will be
more than double that amount, or at the rate of £1 20, 000
p
er annum, nearly all of which will be spent among the
shopkeepers
of Birkenhead. It is calculated that the works
are capable
of turning out 40 locomotives with their tenders
in the period of one yeal; which at the moderate estimate of
£2,500 for each locomotive (they are very large and
poweljulones), gives £100,000 per annum for the work of
that department alone. The railway will require for its own
uses this rate
of manufacture for the next seven or eight
years, or 300 locomotives. The carriage, bridge, and
miscellaneous plant work will probably reach double that
amount,
and thus we have £300,000 worth of work turned
out yearly from the Canada Works alone. The people of
Canada have thus the assurance that their great Railway
will be completed as speedily as possible, jor all hand~ are
working over-time,
and the machinery is kept going night
and day.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 189 CANADIAN RAIL -514
As it turned out, the Grand Trunk
did not purchase 300 locomotives from the
Canada Works. In all, there were a total of
fifty Birkenheads put into service on the
Grand Trunk between late 1854 and late 1857.
In addition, three were delivered to the Great
Western, for a total
of 53 that came to Canada.
Once the contract with PJB&B ended,
deliveries to Canada ceased, and later Grand
Trunk engines were built in Canada or the
United
States. However the Canada Works
continued in operation until the 1870s,
building locomotives for many countries of
the world, including the first to operate in
Finland.
Some railway enthusiasts, actually
jump to the conclusion that they were built in
Canada! It is reported that one Canada Works
locomotive still exists at Bucharest, Romania.
The Crimean railway at Kadikoi, headquarters of Sir Colin Campbell, in 1855.
1854 -War Intervenes
The problems facing the Grand Trunk, already
beginning to feel the financial pinch, were made considerably
worse by the outbreak of the Crimean War early in 1854.
Today,
when we think of the Crimean War, we think of
something that happened long ago in history, perhaps the
Charge
of the Light Brigade, or maybe Florence Nightingale,
or even Cardigan sweaters.
Someone from Montreal might
recall the two Russian cannon, captured at Sebastopol, that
still grace Place du Canada.
In
some ways the name Crimean War was a
misnomer, because there was also action
in the Baltic where
Russia had major ports;
however it is the action in the Crimea
that drew most attention, then as now. The causes of this
war were quite complex and do not concern us here. Suffice
it to say that
it was a conflict between Russia and a number
of other European countries, including Turkey, Britain,
France, Prussia, Austria and Sardinia. Interestingly it was
the first time
in centuries that Britain and France fought on
the
same side in a major war; these traditional rivals had
been enemies
in innumerable conflicts from Medieval times
right up to Waterloo in 1815. War had actually begun between
Turkey and Russia in 1853, and Britain and France soon
joined in, declaring war on Russia on January 27, 1854. For
more than two years the fighting continued, and names like
Balaklava, Inkermann, Alma,
Sebastopol and Tchernaya (a
name which would later play an interesting part
in our story)
quickly became household words.
One of the more notable
events was the tragic
storming of the Russian guns by the
Light Brigade
of the British army at Balaklava on October 25,
1854. This event was quickly immortalized by the poet
Tennyson in his famous poem The Charge of the Light
Brigade. A measure of the interest shown in Canada is
exemplified by the fact that, in spite of the lengthy time it
took to receive news (this was before the Atlantic Cable),
the poem was printed in the Otlawa Citizen, and other
Canadian newspapers, as early as January 13, 1855, only
eighty days after the charge took place.
During this war the firm
of Peto, Jackson, Brassey
and
Betts constructed a complete railway in the Crimea,
using specially built equipment, some of which may have
been made at the Canada Works. This railway started at
Balaklava and had branches to various siege works.
Construction started in February 1855 and proceeded very
quickly.
This vital line was of immense value during the
terrible winter of 1855 and the siege of Sebastopol. We will
not detail the story
of this truly epic task except to say that
it was
one of the first, if not the first, major instances in
which railway operations, in considerable numbers, were
used in warfare. This preceeded by seven years the American
Civil War which is often considered to be the first conflict in
which railways played a significant part. Meanwhile, the
war
dragged on, with ever increasing losses, due to disease as
well as
enemy action. Finally, following the death of Czar
Nicholas I on March 2, 1855, and the capture of Sebastopol
on
September 9, a peace treaty was signed at Paris on March
30, 1856, and the war was over.
The effect of the Crimean war on the Grand Trunk
was serious. As usually happens during wartime, prices and
wages rose alarmingly, and at that time no wage and price
controls existed. Furthermore, shipping of much needed
equipment from England (including rails and locomotives)
became more difficult since many ships were requisitioned
by the British
government to transport supplies and troops
to
the Crimea. All this, of course, threw the budget for
construction off coWse, and undoubtedly added to the total
cost as well as delaying the completion
of the line.
Despite the war, the work
of construction went on.
There was even a parody
of Tennysons poem that is said to
have been recited by
some of the crews as they plied pick
and shovel:
Half a league, half a league, half a league onward,
On the road to Toronto toil the Six hundred.
Today, the Crimean war is largely forgotten, but
there are many towns and villages, founded during the 1850s,
that have streets with names like Balaklava, Alma, Cardigan,
Raglan, Nightingale etc. In fact there is a street called
Sebastopol in Montreal, very near the former Grand Trunks
Point St. Charles shops. It does not take much imagination
to know where that name came from. Some
of the houses on
that street, which were built for Grand
Tnmk workers in the
1850s, are still standing, and have recently been restored.
RAIL CANADIEN -514 190 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
Canadas last Birkenhead, the Ottawa of the Carillon & Grenville. National Archives of Canada. photo No. C-2597.
Grand Trunk Locomotives built by
Peto,
Jackson, Brassey, and Betts
The locomotive roster of the Grand Trunk in the
1850s was a rather mixed bag.
Not only were the engines of
the St. Lawrence & Atlantic and the Atlantic & St. Lawrence
included, but the Grand Trunk itself purchased new
locomotives from various builders as the work went on.
Among the notable pieces of GTR motive power were the
fifty
engines built by Peto, Jackson, Brassey and Betts in
the Canada Works in Birkenhead England. Since they were
perhaps Canadas most distinctive early locomotives, and
many were intended specifically for the Montreal-Toronto
service, we will concentrate especially on these. They were
of a rather strange appearance, and were copied from the
Crewe Goods engines, introduced in 1847, of the London
& Northwestern Railway. One of these locomotives has been
preserved and
is in the National Railway Museum in York,
England. Very quickly the new Grand Trunk locomotives
became known as Birkenheads. While most of these
locomotives did not bear names, at least the first two did,
being named Lady Elgin and Lord Elgin after the
Governor General and his wife. The English magazine Mining
Journal,
published in early June, 1854, printed an interesting
article about the first of these engines. The article was
reprinted in the Sarnia Observer for June 29, 1854, from which
it
is copied here:
TRIAL OF A NEW LOCOMOTIVE ENGINE
FOR CANADA
The first engine made at the Canada Works,
Birkenhead, was subjected
to a trial on Monday, previolls
to shipment for the Grand Trunk Railway. The engine, which
is the first locomotive engine made in Birkenhead, was built
as
No.1, and each successive engine will be numbered
onward [EditorS note: This refers to the builders number,
not the road number]. It was named after Lady Elgin, M,:
William Jackson, M.P christening it. The second will be
called the Lord Elgin,
and both will be dispatched by the
steam-ship Ol/awa
.
The railway is between the narrow and broad
gauges in width -viz. 5 ft. 6 in., which will make the
carriages more commodious, and add greatly to the
steadiness
of the trains. The engine has a cylinder 15 inches
diamete/~ and 20 inches stroke, with driving and trailing
wheels, the laller
6 feet diametel; and the leading wheels 3
feet
6 inches diameter. The engine is tubular, having 178
tubes each 1 7/8 inch diameter, which
is equal to 872 feet
of heating surface. In the fire-box, the heating stlljace is
equal to 78 supeljicia/ feet; making a total of 950
superficial feet of heating sUiface. The American principle
of a spark catcher has been adopted, as the steam will
be
generated by wood fires, which throw sparks up the
chimneys,
and which require to be intercepted so as not to
damage or set fire to the forests through which the engines
travel. This engine will be able
to take 22 or 23 carriages
40 miles an
hoUl:
During the trial the engine was decorated with
branches
of oak, and it caused no little interest among the
men.
Very few engines tested turn out so pelfect as the Lady
Elgin
, no drop of water coming from the boiler when the
steam was up, though it never had water or steam in it
before.
The principals of the establishment celebrated the
event by dining together in the evening at the Woodside
Hotel,
Mr. Gough providing the excellent dinner, and on
Satllrday the men will celebrate the event in a
suitable
manner.
There
are 400 men at work in the engineering
department, and the latter is to be considerably increased.
Of what are technically termed pits , or places where
engines are built, there are
1 0, and there are five passenger
and five goods engines in the course of construction. There
are two modes
for shipping the engines when complete –
one by water, 20
feet deep, at the back of yard; and the
other by dock railway, which runs into the workshops.
These first Birkenheads were built with the 2-2-2
wheel arrangement; the trailing wheels being the same
diameter as the drivers but not coupled. In Canada, most
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 191 CANADIAN RAIL -514
GRIND TRUNK: NQ 51
BUlL,. 8.1 -CANADA WOQI<:S. BIRJ<.ENHEAO. ENGLAND -JPN· -I 125<0
ORNER.:> -GO· 011 FLUE,S -178 @ Ii LEIOING WHEELS-7.7OIA HEA,IHG 5UI2FN:E. -TUBE,::> 877·455Q·FT.
CILINOEl<5 -16-~ 20 FIQE.BO)( -BcD· 00 5Q. FT·
BOILER PR~5Ul.RE-J>–14·75 SQ·FT·
WEIGH, OF ENGINE LIGHT -7.5 ,ONS -12. CWT.
WEI6I-IT
OF TE.HDER wiTH WOOD ~ 1073 P. C;P-L, WATEQ-I:lTONS-7 CWT·
I,oJElGHi
OF E.NGINE ~ TE/·mEI< LOADED WITH WOOD {WA,Ee -38 TOHS -I~ cwT·
5-·
·1
Scale drawing, by G.A. Parker, of GTR freight engine No. 51. Note that the early GTR locomotives, especially the British ones,
did not carry headlights; only small oil lamps, in the typically British style. However conventional headlights soon came into
use when night running became common. CRHA Archives
were soon convelted to 2-4-0 (by coupling the rear wheels),
and later to
4-4-0 (by replacing the original two-wheel leading
truck with a 4-wheel one). After 1855 all Birkenbeads
constructed for the GTR at the Canada Works were built as
4-4-0, for this wheel arrangement was most suitable for North
American conditions. From early records
it appears that the
passenger engines were painted vermillion red, while the
freight engines were a deep green colour.
The official terms
were red cased and green cased.
The Birkenheads survived for many years in Grand
Trunk service, and quite a number were converted to standard
gauge in the early 1870s. The very last was GTR No. 70,
delivered in May 1856, the 34 locomotive built by the Canada
Works.
It was sold to the Carillon & Grenville Railway, where
it was later named the
Ottawa, and was still in service well
ioto the t
wentieth century. Unfortunately, despite attempts
to preserve it, it was scrapped about 1916. The last smoke­
stack it carried
is now at the Canadian Railway Museum.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
Locomotives of the Grand Trunk in 1858
The Keefer Report
At the time the Montreal-Toronto main line was
completed, the Grand Trunk had almost 200 locomotives,
only about a quarter of which were built at the Canada Works.
Oldest of these were some which had been delivered to the
St.L&A and the A&St.L by the Portland Company, the earliest
dating back to 1848. As the system grew, the
GTR ordered
new motive power from many different sources, both in
Canada and the United States, including the Portland
Company, the Boston Locomotive Works, Kinmond Brothers,
the Amoskeag Company, James Good of Toronto, the
Hamilton Locomotive Works, the Kingston Locomotive
works, and, of course, the Canada Works in Birkenhead.
Some of these locomotives were purchased directly by the
Grand Trunk, while others were acquired by the various
contractors and later transferred to the GTR.
192 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
GTR Nos. 23 and 45) only two wheels are actually powered,
the remaining two being,
in effect, trailing wheels. Many of
the early Birkenheads were delivered in this configuration,
and would be, in modern parlance, 2-2-2s or 4-2-2s,
depending on whether they had a two-wheel or four-wheel
leading truck. Most later were equipped with four-wheel
trucks and had their drivers coupled by means of connecting
rods, so
becoming 4-4-0s, but at least three remained not
coupled as late as the end
of 1858.
Another observation concerns the use of names.
The Keefer listings for the smaller railways includes the
names
of the individual locomotives, sometimes even to the
exclusion
of numbers, but the Grand Trunk list does not use
names and relies entirely on numbers.
It is well known that
the GTR did, especially in the earlier days, have quite a few
named locomotives,
some of which were built at least as late
as 1
857, and quite possibly later. It is almost certain that
many of these still bore names at the time
the roster
was prepared, but the company
appears to have been gradually phasing
them out, and did not list any names at all
in the I ist that it submitted to the Keefer
Commission.
Although prepared in 1858, the
Keefer Report does not include all the
locomotives owned by the Grand Trunk up
to that time. Even at that early date
some
engines had already been retired, scrapped
or sold, sometimes as the result
of a wreck,
One of the oldest locomotives in the GTR roster was No. 106, formerly No.6,
Coos, of the Atlantic & St. Lawrence. It was built by Portland in 1850, and is here
seen at Island Pond
Vermont in 1856; it was then still lettered for the A&St.L.
other times because they had become worn
out or obsolete. An example
is the earliest
locomotives
of the St. Lawrence & Atlantic,
which were second-hand Scottish 2-2-2s
It is due to an interesting sequence of events that
historians have a reasonably accurate roster
of Grand Trunk
motive
power as of December 31, 1858, little more than two
years after the completion
of the Montreal-Toronto line. In
March 1857 there was a tragic
wreck on the Great Western
when a train crashed through the bridge over the Desjardins
Canal near Hamilton, and many lives were lost. In the
afterma
th of this tragedy the government of Canada set up a
Commission under Samuel Keefer, a very well known
engineer, to investigate the railways of Canada and make a
report on the same.
The Keefer Commission actually made
two reports, one in 1859, covering the year 1858, and the
other
in 1861, covering the years 1859 and 1860. Among the
various items produced
in the Keefer Report were essentially
complete rosters of the locomotives of every railway in
Canada, with many details regarding builders, dates, vital
dimensions, miles run, and other information that is now
considered
of great historical value. On the next three pages
we have reprinted the Grand Trunk locomotive roster as it
appeared
in the 1858 Keefer Report, printed in 1859.
In using the Keefer report, one should note several
things, and possibly pitfalls. In those days the Whyte system
of classifying wheel arrangement did not exist, so the report
does not show how many
(if any) leading or trailing wheels
the engine had. Only the driving wheels are shown, this is
usually 4, but where the wheels are not coupled (for example built
in 1838, and which were retired soon
after the line pa
ssed under Grand Trunk management. In
most cases, numbers rendered vacant by retirements were
re-used by new engines. An exception is No. 144 which had
probably been retired only a short time by the end
of 1858,
and the number had not yet been re-used (it was re-assigned
early
in 1859).
The weights should also be observed. These are
always shown in long tons (2240 pounds) and
hundredweight (112 pounds, abbreviated Cwt.). It is easy to
convert these to modern measurement (even metric if you
really want to). This should always be borne in mind when
comparing weights to those of modern locomotives.
Finally, there
is the perennial curse of the compilers
of data, typographical errors. It is not known how many
typos there are in the Keefer Report, but the number seems
to be
amazingly small; evidently the report was compiled
with great care. One obvious error concel1lS engine 132, this
is shown as
having been built in 1844, when it should, of
course, be 1854.
While the Keefer Report may have its limitations, it
is
an invaluable resource for railway historians, and without
it we would be
in the dark about many aspects of early motive
power.
For this reason we are happy to reprint the Grand
Trunk locomotive section of this report, showing the
equipment as it was at the end of 1858.
I
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 193 CANADIAN RAIL -514
LOCOMOTIVE RETURN OF GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY OF CANADA.
Number, description and condition of Locomotive Engines owned by this Oompany, on the 31st December, 1858, and miles nm by the sama up to that date .
Driving
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Ton •. Owu GalloDI. Ton •• Owt· 8 T01l8.0Wea
1 Coupled 4 5 15 22 144 10 5t Itf 23 10 1438 16 0 39 10 Portland
Co. ____ , ______ • Nov. 48. 10269 54291 2
do 4 5 6

13~
1rw 23 8 1500 14 0 37 8 do May 50. 10003 95217 ………. -………..
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169
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• ___ ……. a. ___
4 do 4

15 20 132 10 4
23 5

14 3 S1 8
do ____ . _______
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118

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P eto & Co. ______ • ______ .
Jany55. 19530 88861
6 do 4

13 7
do

936 85012 —…. —-……..
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8 do 4

II

do do

19901 114913 9
do 4 5 6 15 22 169 10 7
II! 24 2 1438 16 10 40 12 Portland Co. … _-.. -.. -.. -…. Dec. 51. 13030 111662
10 do 4 5 0 14 21 160 11 0
Hi 22 6 1450 15 12 31 18 Kinmond Bros. _ … _ .. _ ..
July 54. 415 46081
11 do 4 4 6 16 24 110

25 6 1521 40 18 AlJiOskeag Co ….. __ • _ …. Nov. 52. 12022 19866
12 do 4

do

4398 68945 ——…… –.
13 do 4 5 6

20 10 10

do Dec. 52. 8108 60564 —–_ …. —-
14 do 4 5 0

22 160 11 0

25 10 1598 17 13 43 3 Portland Co. Jany58. 13581 37081 –…. _ … -… _–
15 do 4 4 6

24 170 10 10
1521 15 12 41 2 Amoskeag Co .. ___ .. _ … __
Aug. 53. 8480 81324
16 do 4 5 6

20

41 2 do …. _. __ ….
Sept. 53. 15464 81501
11 do 4

24 136
10 lOt 26 2 1658 19 13 45 15 Kinmond Bros. . … _ … _.

19162 59169
18 do 4 4, 6

110 10 10

25 2 1521 15 12 40 14 Amoskeag Co .. _ .. __ …… Oct. 53. 10485 81889
19 do 4 5 6 ~o

do

10296 11389 ——_ …… _-
20 do 4 5 0 5 24 156 10 11
26 ]2 1658 18 II 45 3 Kinmond Bros. —-_. -….. Nov. 53. 16931 55371
21 do 4 5 6 16 20 141 11 0
24 16 1561 18 4 43 0 Bo!ton Locomotive Works. Feb. 54. 18483 101801
22 do 4

do do

18035 89043
23
Not
4 6 0 15
It
178 10 4,
Itt 2.3 12 1013 13 1 36 19 Peto & Co. -_ ….. _–_ ….. Feb. 55. 10484 51998
24
Coupled.
4 I) 0 11

141 11 2
Itt 24 16 11161 18 4 43 0 Boston Locomotive Works. Feb. 54. 20550 97181
Coupled
25 do 4 5 6 15 21 160 110

28 2 1450 16 9 44 11 Kinmond Bros. ___ .. , . ___
Aug. 54. 9542 51291
26 do
4

14 22 124 10 6

21 2 1438 14 ( 35 8 Portland Co. .. ___ ……. Jany54. 6210 66026
21 do
4 5 0

20 116 10 8

Amoskeag Co ………. __ . May 54. 10496 51295
28 do 4 5 0

20 116 10 8
21 2 1438 14 6

do . _._ ……..
May 54, 12199 58366
29 do 4

16 24 154 11 0
26 12 1658 19 13 46 5 Kinmond Bros. • .. _ ..• ____
June 54. 18631 49938
30
do
4 5 6

26 2
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144 5461
—-…… -….
31 do
4 5 0

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26 12
46 5 do Feb. 54. 13994 60564 …………….. _ ..
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4

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21 12 1521 16 9 44 1 Amoskeag Co. _. _ .• _ ……
May 54. 12606 61681
33 do
4

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21 12

do

9391 85~38
.. –….. –… -..
34 do
4 5 6

22 150 10 11

26 0 1583 16 0 42 0 Good, Toronto. .. _ .. , •.•• Sept. 54. 11902 29336
35 do
4 6 0 17 20
174 10 8 Ih 26 14 1151 11 12 44 6 New Jerspy Loco. Works.

1139 54060
36 do
4

do do

1850 45805
37 do
4 5 0 16

154 10 4
1+1 25 6 1521 15 6 40 12 Amoskeag. -_ …… —–.-…

17300 71411
38 do
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do Oct. 54. 2836 62091 -….. -_ ……… —-
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do Jany55. 11591 51691 –………. __ …
40 do
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10154 64961
…….. —- _ .. -..
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4 6 0 15

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III
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25 5 1073 13 7 38 12 Peto & Co. …. -. –_ ………. Nov. 54. 14093
31991
42 do
4

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43 do 4

do Mar. 55. 19011 66531 —-.-.. -.. -….
44 do 4

do

6711 32395 ……………………
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4,

28 12

36 19 do

14906 31621 ……. -………..
46 Coupled 4 5 0 16

10 1
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38 19 do April 55. 6076 57255 ……………
41 do 4

do Ma.y55. 18969 52218 ………………
48 do 4

h

do Dec. 55. 1850B 43253 .. –………….
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do Jan. 56. 3068 28991 ……. -. ……..
50 do 4

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16199 44495 … -………….
52 do 4 6 0 15

10 4

26 5
38 12 do Deo. 56. 8056 21418 ……………………
53 do 4 .5 0 17

141 11 2 IH 24 16 1561 18 4 43 0 Boston Locomotive Works. Feb. 54. 7892 31300 54 do 4

15 24 162 11 0

23 16 1598 16 4 40 0 Portland Co. Nov. 55. 11598 54240 ……………………
55 do 4

15 24
11 0

do Feb. 56. 1922 39800
……….. , …
56 do 4

16 20 154

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11 4 42 0 do May 56. 14860 56244 ………………
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118 10 1 Itt 26 12 1516 18 7 43 19 Peto & Co. 0-…………. _ Nov. 55. 20031 38689 58
do 4

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9592 36320
…………….
59 do 4

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31098
…………….. .. …….
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62 do 4

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63 do 4

.,
do

15349 29862 …….. -………
64 do 4

do ……………. JaD. 56. 11292 43812
RAIL CANADIEN -514 194
SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
Driving
,.; {;j
ENGINES, Cylinders, Flues,
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ft. in. Inohes Inches
ft. in. Inche
e TOIl8.Cwta Gallons. TODS.Owts Tons.CwlS
65 Coupled 4 6 0 15 20 178 10 4
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1073 13 7 38 12 Peto & Co ………. _ – _ .• Nov. 55. 17507 42162
66 do 4

do –… —– … Jan. 56. 23240 44646
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do .. —0 _ .. _ .. _. Dec. 55. 19828 39692
68 do 4 5 6 16
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7437 36358
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· . —….. ,
72 do 4
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24 16 1598 18 4 43 0 Portland Co. · … ……….. July 56. 24399 61231
73 do 4

do —…….

15052 58487
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2() 12 1578 18 7 43 19 Peto & Co · , .. ….

11606 30207
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5104 25325
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2295 24447
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7584 35914
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19114 45698
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101531 36752
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do · …… -… Nov. 56. 3061 30663
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do ……………… Oct. 56. 20402 42623
85
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do …… -_ ………. Nov. 56 3450 2398
86
do
4 5 6 15 21 160 10 10, IH 28 ~ 1473 16 9 44 11, Kinmond Bros. ….. _ …. -…….. Oct. 56. 6116 30364
87
do
4

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do Nov. 56. 17572 35115 …. —-_ ..
88
do 4

20 158

24 2 1292 14 10 38 12Ontario Foundry. Oct. 56. 9470 13554 …………….
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25 6 1521 15 0 40 6 Manchester Works. _ .
__ • ___ Nov. 56. 15214 38075
95 do 4

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96 do 4

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…. _ ……
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…… …………
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___ • ___ . Sept. 48. 24148174879
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……..
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Feb. 49. 25976
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1, 24 14 1649 15 0 39 14 do May 49. 17274139539 ………
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……. do Jan. 52. 17994-130864
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.. -……..
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4 4 8 14 22 129 10 6 1M 22 12 1998 15 0 37 12 …….. do June 52. 14460 93744
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____
do Nov. 52. 12570 96453
…… –.
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____
do Jan. 53. …… -….
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1
99753 115
do 4 5 6 14
II
114 10 6
..
21 9 1602 14 6 35 15 do …… —.. —
116 do 4 5 0 15

129 11 0

28 10 1950 16 0 39 10 do April 53.1 21029 95536 _ ……
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16

150 10 6
..
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__ .
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22714 133327 …………
118 do 4

15

141

24 0 1841 14 11 38 11 do May 58. 13147 89008 ……..
119 do 4

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10 7

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do June 53. 17874 114640
-.. -.. …. —-
120 do 4 5 6

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18240 96148 .. . .. ……….
121 do 4 5 0 16
II
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II
IH 24 4 1775 18 4 42 8._ .. do Sept. 53. 19271 126236 …………
122 do 4 6 0 14

125 11 0

22 0 1950 14 6 36 6 .
___
do Nov. 53. 8080 .,.9009 ………… –
123 do 4
..
15

136

23 10

16 0 39 10 do
..
9133 72208 ……. -……… –
124 do
4, 5 0

24 140

,(
23 17 J772

39 17 Boston Locomotive Works. Maroh54 22632 105042
125
do 4

..

..

1870

do

16483 109705 _ …. –
…. –…..
126 do 4 5 6

20 132 10 6 I….,. 22 7

38 7 Portland ComDany .• __ .. __ . Jan. 54. 22746 761115
127 do 4 5 0 16 20
154 11 0
IH 25 10

17 13 43 3 do …… .o ……….. Mar. 67. 26174
737291
128 do 4

15 22
141 10 6

22 17 1950 15 13 38 10 do .. -.. -…. _ … -.. Mar. 54, 13477 112488
129
1
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22465
..
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……….. -….
130 do 4 6 0 14
.. 125 11 0 . 21 19

14 6 36 5 do ………………….. 8eb. 54. 1630 46243
131
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132 , do 4 5 6

20
.,
10 6
..
21 0 1602

35 6 do ………………… June, 44. 11012 75391
I
I
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 195
CANADIAN RAIL -514

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(Signed) T. W. TREVITHICK.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
1854-55 The Work Accelerates
©[Fl~~1Q) lr~lWOO~ OO~O[!:,W~~.
TO BIJILDERS.
Tenders for luU4In, StatiOIS.
T
in: UruJerai(ntd if prepared to r~eae Ta:.D&aS
lor the erection cl STATtoN BUILD(NUS at
IIl~kYillfl, P, .. coll, Matilda, and MorriiOurc,
P11 … and Srecitkation. mly be w~tf!d tit lbe
OfficCl of the CQIIIIAC&.or al Paillt St. Cbarlea. in tile
Cily of Montreal. nlld ,1.0 at Ihtir ollie .. at Pff.eott.
Scaled Tendefl, c:ndot.ed .. Tnd.r, JDr Building
8tation.~, will be r~ceivt!d lip 10 the TWEl(TY-NorTH
Non:MBsI, at t~ office in Monn·ell.
S .. curiLY tor lhe dUfl performance of the Contract
ill be required, amI the Undd,igllttl does Ilot bind
himsfllfto &ccepllho lowest Telldet.
JAMES HODGES.
Point ~1. ChllrI6~. Montreal, ~
Octooer 16,1854, ~ .t::
By the end of 1853 the work on the Grand Trunk
was well under way. Already the project had drawn much
attention in many parts of the world as news items reported
on the huge railway being built
in Canada. Canada, backed
by Great Britain, was waking up, and other countries,
especially the United States, were beginning to take notice
with interest, and
perhaps with a bit of apprehension. The
following, which is a portion of an article appearing in the
Utica N.Y.
Gazelle in August 1853, is typical:
Canadas Grand Tlllnk Railroad
This
is one of the greatest projects of the age, and
is to be put in operation at once by English capitalists ….
The capital of $34,000,000, one half in stock, and the other
in bonds,
guaranteed by the provincial government of
Canada, is already taken in London, and contracts for the
whole line are let to two companies. The corporation are
in negociation for the crossing of the St. Clair river from
Sarnia
to Port Huron in Michigan, and for the immediate
construction
of a railroad across Michigan to the mouth of
the Grand River on Lake Michigan, and thence by
steamboat, 60
miles to Milwaukie, and doubtless from
thence will extend their line to the Mississippi and over the
Rocky Mountains
to Puget Sound on the Pacific Ocean. On
the Atlantic, they have taken lease of the railroad from the
city
of Montreal in Canada to the city of Portland in Maine.
This
gigantic enterprise originated in England,
and that
it is going on under the sanction of her government
is plainly to be inferred. Its contemplated effect is to ensure
the prosperity
of Canada and other British territories on
the northerly
part of this continent. Canada is already a
powerful country, possessing a population of one and a
half millions, and actually increasing at a higher ratio
than the United States. Her commerce
is increasing in like
proportion,
and by means of this grand artery of railway,
may be placed on an independent footing, irrespective of
our government, or that of any other nation.
196 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
England is a great nation, powelful, wise, bold at
times, cautious always –
and her government is such that
our best and most talented statesmen are continually
directing governmental action, in obedience to the public
sentiment
of her Empire. Will it be iost labour to endeavour
to call the attention of merchants, particularly of the city of
New York, to this wonderful railway project of England on
our very borders; in comparison with which the Fishery
Question
is a bagatelle?
The spirit of the times is exemplified in a poem of 24
stanzas, entitled
News-Boys Address, which appeared in
the Brockville Recorder on January 5, 1854, and which looked
forward to the coming new year. Four of these stanzas
concern railways, and show the optimism of the time.
Steam, long for its power renowned,
Cars, boats,
and machinery has whirled;
Now propels
0 er a wide space of ground;
T would suffice for a road round the world.
From lethargy long
and profound,
Canadians are lately bestirred;
The Railroads! The Railroads! resound
Their echo
is everywhere heard.
The Grand Trunk
, gigantic in size,
Our province within its grasp takes:
O
ld Ocean beholds with surprise
As his neighbours, a great chain
of lakes .
And trade is now furnished with wings
Her treasure
on all sides to pour;
Supplying vast store
of good things,
Conveyed thus
to every man S door.
Early in 1854 the contractors greatly stepped up
their work force as preparations were
made for the coming
years construction. Herapath s Journal, an English
publication, reported, in its issue of March 41h 1854, that
many workers were indeed intending to march forth, being
recruited by the contractors in England for Canada, and
going to work on the construction of the Grand Trunk.
Perhaps many felt that working on railway building in Canada
was vastly preferable than being sent to serve
in the Crimea.
This
is what Herapath s had to say:
Grand Tlllnk Railway of Canada
A very large emigration
of masons, carpenters,
quarrymen, engine-drivers, engine-fitters. and other
artisans. is taking place for this railway. Between four and
five hundred have already left England, and all the third
class accommodation in the Canadian Screw Company
s
vessels. which leave England this and next month, has been
secured by the contractors
for the men. Great numbers are
seeking this employment. tempt
ed partly by the high wages
offered
(in many instances double what the men receive in
England and Scotland) and partly by the comparative
cheapness of provisions in Canada. and by the certainty of
every industrious man becoming a possessor of land within
a
few years. Arrangements have likewise been made for
sending out large drafts of navies and other laborers in
sailing ships during the spring. The passage money of those
who
cannot pay it, as well as those of their wives and
I
I
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
children, is defrayed for them, on condition of the men being
under stoppages
of a shilling a day each, until the debt is
liquidated. This is a slight imposition inasmuch as the
lowest rate
of pay for unskilled labor is 4 shillings per day,
and it ranges up to 8 shillings and 10 shillings a day for
mechanics and artisans. If the conduct of these latter have
been
good during twelve months after arrival, each is to
receive a bonus
of £2, and, under similar circumstances,
each laborer
is to receive £1.
During the next year and a half, work continued on
the
multitude of tasks, both large and small, involved in
building a large railway. In the latter part of 1854, notices
appeared in the newspapers caJJing for tenders to bui Id
stations and other buildings, and also for the supply of
cord wood to be burned in the locomotives used on the
construction trains. During 1855 the work on the section
between Montreal and BrockvilJe was pushed steadily on,
and grading began west of Brockvi lie, far ahead of the
tracklayers, including the very difficult portion where the
line traverses the
Frontenac Shield, east of Kingston. First
hand
accounts of the actual work in progress are quite
rare, but a most interesting such item was published in the
Brockville
Recorder on August 30, 1855, and gives a brief
glimpse of the work involved. The mention of the Coleman
line also points out an interesting fact; it was possible for
the
engineers to make small diversions from the officially
s
urveyed line in order to save money, in this case the
considerable sum of £10,000:
The Grand Tmnk Railroad
Last week,
in order to satisfy a little curiosity, we
accompanied
S. Hazelwood, Esq., engineel; over a portion
of the road under contract west of Brockville. The
contractors
of this section are Brown & Co.
The work on this portion of the road, we
understand,
is by no means so heavy as on the section filrther
west,
yet there are several cuts and embankments of no
mean
description to be completed. On the farm of Mr.
Charles Grant, east of the plank road, there is an
embankment
of sixteen feet to be filled up. This fill terminates
near the Lyn road, which
it crosses on a level.
From the Lyn
plank road to the old road to Lyn,
the line lies pretty much through rock, the average cutting
on which
is about six feet. Westward through the farm of
Mr. John Grant the cuttings are principally rock
excavations, the deepest cut on which is sixteen feet. The
cuttings
and fillings are on a maximum gradient of 52.8
feet to the mile.
Crossing the
first concession line there is a rock
cUlling completed, the greatest depth
of which is nine feet.
To the west of this, on the farm of MI: John Lehigh, an
embankment occurs
formed of rock and clay mixed, the
deepest fill on which is fifteen feet.
On the farm of M/~ John
Weeks the
heaviest rock cutting takes place. The cut in
some places
is thirty one feet, the whole length of the cut
being one thousand feet.
Westward
of the above mentioned culling another
extensive
embankment occurs half a mile in length, the
deepest
fill of which will be sixteen feet. This terminates
197 CANADIAN RAIL -514
PUBLIC NOTICE.
T
HE Gran,1 Trunk Railnny Company of Cana·
. Ja are prepared to releJve Tellcle~ for ho
supply of Fire-wood, to be t1eljn~reci at the under
mentioned placell. No Tonders will be recoivrnJ
after the Sixtp.£mth of J)ec,ombN.
,-:,,,,;,.,.._ WHtI(. lJ,vpriuH.
~Ilrl!~ …………. 1I t!OO ClUl… nlf .,,(1. hit If hardw .. tl.
.t . .mr…………. 000 I) … AIII.un!.
a,hl,ellil ……….. 2.000 l~,. /I~-hi,,1 .,>il, IW,-II,;,II.
MT/
C,I,u •.. ,. ..•. . . . . .:;00 I). A II ard.
CItBU ) ….. ,J,,,!{. . . . .. IIO() n. A II hllr.1.
I … ruter ………… 1.600 Un. A II h~,cI.
<: .. 1,, .. 11 ............ ~,601 1). lIul-.r., half hlll1l.
J)jck~.. I. I … .H. 1.000 II… , II !,nftl.
Jlnri~bur~ •………. !,1iOO Dn. Olle tlll,.1 ~I. -Ihirik
.. .,,1.
E,,.udMlIl .. · … /iOO Il …. A!ll.:ord.
I,~-(,,….. . ……. 1.4100 1).1. .- II Itanl.
lIo(ki!le……….. .!,IIO() IJ. Ilttl-… ;1, hllif hltrtl.
••• Th lenqlh .,f the ,,,,,1 hI htt .II:C,J fIlll_ Io~ alw_d
.. ~ch -rudr.
. The Vood must be of ~UIIJ anu good qua­
lity, l~ feet cube to tho Cord, free fwm cull
piecos. It. will have to ue piled ai,l,;. feet nigh,
the bark sIde ot the Wood beJrlg upwan!lI, in
place:!! ~inled out by tho Company. Agent
upon slrmgttrtt laId on the ground, and in all
calt6t1 the pdes will havo to be two lttet apart.
The whole quantity to bo re-piled or dresseu
up on or before the first day of July, One ThOll.
8alld Ei~ht Hundred and Fifty-fivo.
All W 00<1 of inferior quality will have to be
removed by the party tmpptying it at hilJ own
(~pen.~c on recelvlIlg notico from tho Agent.
PaymeUtf; will be made monthly, reserving
tell per cent. until completIOn, of cOIitract, whon
a fillalscttlcrnullt ~iU be rnaJt.
Sealed Ielldcrti malk()d .. Tenders for Fire­
\oud, II) be tor\arcll~J to thrj IIlldersigned.
JOlIN M. GRA~T.
. Jis,lillfml.l S(cretltry.
Montroal, I:>t NuemlJer, 1854. ,t.,}f
near Coleman s creek, over which a bridge is to be built,
the foundation
for which is solid rock.
On
the whole, this section of the work is
progressing rapidly. This fact
is no doubt owing in a great
measure to the ability
of the contractors and the foremen
they have placed over the various portions of the line, as
well as to the personal superintendence of Mr. Brown
himself, whose experience in works of this description is,
perhaps, second to no other man s in the Province. M/~
Hazlewood, as superintending engineer. is also daily along
the line, and his presence tends to keep mailers on the
right track.
The line
under contract between Brockville and
LYI1, we are told, was pointed out by the Messrs. Coleman,
being different from the one first run. By adopting the
Coleman line the Railroad Company will save at least
£1 0, 000 -a saving of some importance in making five miles
of road.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
November 1855 -Brockville En Fete
As the summer of 1855 went on, the Grand Trunk
prepared for a major milestone; the opening
of rail service
through from Montreal
to Brockville. On November 1, the
Brockvi
lie Recorder arU10unced We are authorized to state
that
the Btockville Section of the Grand Trunk Railroad
will be opened
for passenger and freight traffic on Monday
the nineteenth day of this month. Plans were immediately
put in motion for a suitable celebration, to which the town
contributed
£100. As the Recorder put it We know what
the patriotism
of the inhabitants did in a few hours notice,
in celebrating the glorious victory of the fall of Sebastopol.
A
period of nineteen days allows sufficient time to get up
such a display as will make the name
of Brockville resound
in terms of approbation throughout Canada, the United
States and England.
Off hats, then, and three cheers for the
nineteenth
day of November. A celebration was indeed
justified, for this was the first major pOliion
of the Montreal­
Toronto main line
to be opened for service.
Saturday, November
17, 1855 was a truly special
day. The
Recorder stated that Saturday last was a great
day
for Brockville. On that day Brockville had a pleasant
and unmistakable evidence of the completion of the Grand
Trunk Railroad between this place
and Montreal. About
noon a special train arrived from Montr
eal bearing a number
of gentlemen belonging to the Grand Trunk Company, the
Mayor
of Montreal and various members of the Montreal
cOlporation,
and other gentlemen connected with the trade
and
commerce
of that city of merchant princes, with whom
also were a number
of Ladies, who, on occasions of this
kind, always lend a grace
and interest to the proceedings
on hand.
In addition eight members of the press were
present
in order to cover this important event. The train was
scheduled to arrive about noon, and a dinner, tickets for
which had been sold for
15 shillings ($3.00) each, was to
take place immediately after its arrival.
In the
words of the Recorder of
November 22:
198 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
a hearty chee/~ and then a pel/ect jam took place by the
outpouring
of the passengers among the crowd of eager
lookers-on, nor could the platform be cleared till 1.s.
A1artin, Esq., the polite and gentlemanly station
superintendent, opened a center door in the rear and
allowed a great portion of the crowd to make their way
towards
the town by this outlet.
DINNER
I
n hOOQr oi UJ& opening oj the BROCIfVILU;
SUT 10)1 gf he
GRAND TRUNK RAILROAD!
The DINNER will take place in
METROPOLITAN HALL,
On 8aturday, • th in..
Tioketa to be had at Willsons Hotel, prie.
158 each.
The cars from Montreal are expecteu to
arrjYe .bout mid-day, and the dinner will
take place immediately after their arrival.
Brockville, NOT. 14, 1855. a46
The dinner, held at the Metropolitan Hall, was a
great success,
and the spread provided by the town was
so elaborate that
it took the Montrealers completely by
surprise. Numerous speeches and toasts were given,
including those to: The Queen, Prince Albert and the
Royal Family, The Governor General, The Allied
Armies, and, of course, The Grand Trunk Railway
Company. During the toasts, the Brockville band livened
the occasion
by playing appropriate airs. The hall was
decorated with
the flags of the allies fighting in the Crimea,
while a number
of mottos were plainly
displayed, including:
Montreal, Brockville greets you
The IrOI1 Horse united Brockville to
Montreal, November 17, 1855
Long before the cars arrived,
the waiting /Oom and platform at the
depot were
crowded with ladies and
gentlemen, who looked, and /10 doubt
felt, that
the train of cars expected was
the inauguration
of an era of no mean
importance to the town and country
surrounding us, and although the day
was
rather cold, the interest of the
multitude never lagged. The curling
smoke of the locomotive as it came
driving along from the curve at the
plank road, was the first indication
of
the approach of the train. The
e
xcitement then became intense, and
every available spot where a good
look-out could be obtained was
searched for with an avidity quite
astonishing. When the cars reached the
depot, their inmates were greeted with
BROOKVILLE.
Though for apart, the railroad brings
us near
jlIl-: PUBI.IC an! wpelhdly j,,rllltllloI
Ihalllll) S[;CTI()!; BETVI::I,::
nnOORVILLF: AND MONTHEAL
WJ J.J. u~: OII:NJ.;H
FOR PiSSF.NGEIl AND FRE!GHT rllMFIC
.Uouclay, I nll. j~ol~n.b(·I·.
. jill/STand SECOND <:I.AS~ THAIi
\ill 11!:1VIl Ih Sial ion, IlI!()CI( VI 1.1.1:,
Every Day During the Winter,
(SllIltinp I!XCCIII!tI> at IIJ i. lVI., arrillIg al
i1onlll:1lnI1
1.11. ; il!avil Monlreal at H.:lO
,.11., alltl arrive at BlOlckville at ~l.:10 P.M.
Th alloy,) an aIT:lII!!colw CtHlIllct wilh tho
Tfilill~ of Iho OTTA iVA alld PHESCUT
H,I[,V;\aIIHESCOlT, 11l;IldlrolTt IllI!
(TIT (lJ. ()(nV,.
s. 1. !llll I )(:11,
C;enl~ral J1all Ihod;nile, r,(jIlIl>, 7, 18=>. IriS
Dr. Nelson, Mayor of Montreal,
said that the railway would do much
more than unite Brockville
to Montreal.
It would
unite to lv/ontreal every town
on the noble
SI. Lawrence, and in the
for west, even to the great Mississippi.
Mr. John Crawford, Mayor of Brock ville,
acting as chairman
of the festivities,
alluded
to the difficulties with which the
Grand Trunk had to contend, but despite
all, they had gone on,
and the progress
they
had made was of a most satisfactory
character.
He hoped that in a year hence
they would meet once more
to celebrate
the opening
of the road to Kingston or
Toronto. This remark was greeted with
I
,
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 199 CANADIAN RAIL -514
This $4 banknote was issued in 1854 by the Brockville branch of the Commercial Bank of the Midland District which was based
in
Kingston. At that time all of Canadas paper currency was issued by the banks and not by the government. Although the
use
of dollars would not be official until 1858, most people were familiar with the coming new system, and the banks were
glad
to oblige. The illustration on the note captures the spirit of the times perfectly, and could be thought of as a commemorative,
for we see farmers working in a field while the new passenger train passes by; symbolic of the new era of the 1850s. This
very note could easily have been used by someone to buy a ticket to the celebration dinner (and get a dollar back in change).
R.R.
—-
BROCKVl LLE. .s E c T I ON.
PORTLAND SE:CTION.
S ….. THOMAS SECTION.
Maps of the Grand Trunk Railway as it was from late 1855 until the opening of the Montreal-Toronto line in October 1856.
Although the lines west of Brockville were well under construction, they are not shown on the map.
International Topographical Rail Road Guide, September 1856.
loud cheers. He recollected when it took eight or nine days
to reach
Brockville from Montreal, which comment was
greeted with laughter. In those days men had to push
themselves onward with long poles. To improve upon this
slow mode of progression, canals had been built, and now
they had the Grand Trunk, by which they could travel from
Montreal to Brockville
in five or six hours, and the distance
would soon be run
in four hours. At the conclusion of the
ceremonies, the guests boarded the train and returned to
Montreal. Two days later, on Monday,
November 19, regular
Montreal-Brockville service began.
For most of the next year, Brockville remained the
western terminus
of the line from Montreal, but meanwhile, the Grand
Trunk was busier than ever as preparations were
made for the following year. Although serious financial
problems were beginning to affect the railway, work did not
slow down.
If anything, the pace of the work increased. The
Canada Works were busy building and shipping locomotives,
structural iron work
and many other supplies. Victoria Bridge
was well under construction, and the line east from Richmond
had reached Levis and was extended to St. Thomas by
December 3, 1855. In the Crimea, the war was winding down,
and prospects for
peace were good. Further west, the work
of construction went on, and there was every prospect that
the
new year of 1856 would see Montreal and Toronto
connected by rail.
RAIL CANADIEN -514 200 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
The interior of Point St. Charles shops about 1859 showing the transfer table. At least ten locomotives are visible.
National Archives of Canada, photo No. PA-138678.
The Shops and Engine Houses of the Grand Trunk
The main shops for the Grand Trunk Railway were
constructed
in Montreal, near Victoria Bridge, in a district
known as Point St. Charles.
As built, these were far more extensive than had
been planned, and therefore
cost about double the original
estimate. A report by Charles Hutton Gregory, a British
engineer, was attached to the 1856 annual report of the Grand
Trunk. His comments on these structures follow:
Locomotive 209 Trevithick under construction at Point St. Charles
in 1859. This was the first engine built by the Grand Trunk.
National Archives of Canada, photo No. C-46486.
The workshops, as e.xecuted differ widely pom those
specified. The workshops erected at Montreal are greatly
in
excess of those shown on the contract plan, having been so
made with the idea of centralizing there the heavy repairs of
the whole system of the Grand Trunk Railway. The character
of the permanent buildings at the shop site is first rate, and
they are well adapted for the purposes for which they are
intended.
I
do not find the extent of Engine Shed room fully
up
to what, according to my calculation, would be due
to the proportion of engines supplied under the Contract,
which would usually
be in running orda This deficiency
arose partly from the Engineer having found
it necessary
to
put the turn-tables inside the sheds, to keep them
protected
and in working orde/; during the inclemencies
of winter; but I still think that shed room for six more
Engines
should be provided -a requirement in which
the Contractors at once acquiesced.
The shops at Point St. Charles, greatly expanded
and rebuilt
over the years, remained the main shops of
the system all through the Grand Trunk era, and continued
as
such under Canadian National Railways. In recent
years, CN has moved its operations to other more modern
facilities, and the old shop buildings were leased to
other
companies engaged in the manufacture of railway
equipment. This use has since ceased, and the future of
the area is much in doubt. It is likely that, except for VIAs
shop facility nearby, railway operation at The
Point will
be a thing
of the past after more than 150 years.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 201 CANADIAN RAIL -514
1856 -The Dream Approaches Reality public, judging from the actual results of the line already
in operation, have somewhat hastily concluded that there
is no
reasonable assurance or even prospect of a
remunerative return
for their investment …. A large portion
of shareholders took stock in the Railway in consequence
of the glowing representations, or as we rather call them
misrepresentations,
of Mr. Hincks and his cohorts, and
whether true or false the faith of the Province is implicated
in the statements which
her Government laid before the
British publi
c. It is moreover the interest of the country 10
get the line completed as speedily as possible, otherwise
the
immense amount of capital already expended must
continue unremunerative, and the progress of the country
materially
hindered… Nothing appears more certain than
that
it is the duty of the Provincial Government to come at
once
to the rescue. The credit of Canada is at stake.
For the construction season of J 856 much of the
action shifted to the line between Kingston and Toronto.
Work still
continued on the very difficult section between
Brockvi.lle and Kingston, but crews now began to tackle the
long stretch near Lake Ontario. Here there was a distinct
advantage as supplies could be brought in by water, and
numerous railheads could be worked on at the same time.
However there were several major structures to be built,
including the bridge at Napanee, and the long viaduct across
the wide valley at Port Hope. The latter structure, to be
known as the Albert Viaduct, was the second longest
bridge on the entire Grand Trunk, second only to the Victoria
Bridge. As the work began, anticipation began to grow, for
it
appeared more likely that this year would see the Montreal­
Toronto connection complete. West of Toronto, the
Canadian contractors were tackling the construction that
would see the line reach Guelph, Berlin, Stratford, and,
eventually Sarnia. By February the tracks had reached
Guelph, and the Stratford Beacon-Herald in its issue of
February 8 quoted a dispatch dated February 4, which
reported, with a slight degree of hyperbole, that:
The Grand Trunk road is now completed as far as
Guelph,
and the Governor General and a distinguished
party visited that place by rail on Wednesday last [January
The problem was simply that Grand Trunk stock
had fallen to barely half of its par value, the market for its
stocks and bonds had dried up, and not enough securities
could be sold to complete the line. The company had
received £3,111,000 in bonds from the Province of Canada,
and had
also borrowed £2,145,000, the so-called second
charge, in England. This was not enough to complete the
line. After much discussion, the
government of Canada did
indeed provide a guarantee of return to shareholders and
bondholders, realizing that to default would have extremely
30). Although the country was covered
over with snow, his Excellency
appeared to be charmed with it.
Having lived all his offiCial life in the
Lower Provinces, of course such a
country as he passed over on h
is way
to Guelph was quite new to him. But
w
hat will be his admiration and
surprise when he makes the journey
from Toronto to Stratford in summer?
When the Grand Trunk
is opened from
Guelph
to Stratford, it will be the most
propitious day that ever dawned on
Toronto,
and that highly important
event cannot now be far off.
Troubles, however, were
looming. By the spring of 1856 the
Grand
Trunk was in a serious financial
situation.
The Cobourg Star reported
on April 9:
Certain letters from Mr.
Brassey, the well-known Railway
Contractor, to the Hon. John Ross,
President
of the Legislative Council,
have recently appeared
in the Toronto
papers, announcing to all the
startling and disagreeable fact that
the stock
of the Grand Trunk Railway
has so fallen in market value that the
contractors are unable to complete
the
Line unless its failing credit be
restored by Provincial guarantee ..
We are informed that the English
Bay of Qlllnto anel River St.
Lawrence.
ThrougA FreighC and PfUlagt Boat,
THE STEAlnm
1856~1856
St. HELEN,
c. B. CHRYSLER, M.uua
W
ILL, durillg the prtlllont 8euoll
make re~Dlar Weekly Tripi from the
head ollho Bay and Belleville to Mon.
treal, III follow viz :-Leaving Trenton
every Monday morning at 6 oolock, Bello­ville
the lame day at 12 Oclock, M.,
and Kiogdlon same evening at 9 oclock for Montreal and iotermediate Port.l
arri­
ving in Montreal on ·fue.day evening.
RETORNUiG:-Will leave Montreal for Belleville and Trenlon
and intermediate
Portl, every Thuredaij at !l oclock P. M.,
and Kinj!8ton every ;::;aturday morniog ae
7 oolock, arriving al Trllolon on Satur.
dayevenlDg.
tt)-Tile St. Helen hu an Upper Cabin,
and ba, exoelloDt aooommodalion for pat­
IOngert.
For
Freight or Pallage, apply to Honry
Pretty, Bolleville; Glusford & Farrow,
Montreal, or to the Captain 00 Board.
Kinjl~ton, April 8, 1856. (lMlf.)
Even as the railway was being rushed to
completion, the steamboats were
enjoying their last year of exclusive
service. By the time the 1856 navigation
season ended the railway was complete.
However steamboats continued to run for
many more years.
serious consequences. Some of the
Grand Trunk bonded debt, incurred in
the 1850s, plagued the company for
generations, and was still a problem to
its successor, Canadian National
Railways. However, the actions of the
government did partially relieve the
crisis, and the work of construction
continued, although some parts of the
project were placed in abeyance.
A piece
of very welcome news
came on April 18. Word was received
that a peace treaty had been signed with
Russia on March 30, the Crimean War
was over, and the British Empire was
again at peace. Church bells in most
. Canadian cities rang in jubilation, and
.
everyone voiced the collective remark
Thank God, all that is now over!
Early one Sunday morning,
May 25, disaster struck when the
Toronto engine house burned down and
eight locomotives were heavily damaged.
The Toronto Leader reported:
DREADFUL FIRE. -At ha/fpast
one
0 clock on Sunday morning, a fire
broke out in the Grand Trunk Railway
engine house, a little west
of Queen s
wharf There were five or six men
working in the building at the time. The
fire originated,
it is said, in some waste
stuff lying about, and, although the men
RAIL CANADIEN -514
==
GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
ST. JOHN SMITH, Pres., Portland. S. p, BIDDER, Gen. Sup., rvrontreal.
S. T. CORSER, Superintendent, Portlnnd District, Portland.
D. STARK, Resident Engineer nnd Supt., Montreal Dist., Montreal.
J. WEDSTER, Resident Engineer & Supt., Quebec District, Quebec.
T. C. REEFER, Brock-ville District, Supt, &c.
GEO. DARTNELL, Genernl Agent, Niagnra Fulls, N. Y.
DOWN TRAINS. I-x1 ~
Exe Acc~ Exs~ 2 ~
STATJONS. s·~ Up TRAINS.
~ ~ }~xal Ace. Exe.
—PMPMPM
——i .
TRAINS
LEAVE ARRIVE
.•… IHoNTREAL …. 645 1 30 945
AlIIlp;fJPM —
7 45 345. 4 45
800400500
8 34 4 351 . .. 17
90550355530
: ~ : ~ : tc~~1~~~i~ ~ : : : :
292 6 30 1 10 9 30
275 5561232
930 535 …. 43 262 5 30[12 06
836
249 50311 40
… St. Hyacinthe .. .
……. Upton ….. ..
1~!~ ~ ggl 7 20 i~
243 451111 26 220 4
0510 40 7 20
……. Acton …… .
.. ,,_ Richmond .. _ ..
11 18
11 47
1206 1227
1241
12 5~
84
~ 1~~ ~
~m~
127
P 139 ~
f!! 148 153
~
~ 15g cJ
.. __ Danville … .
…. Wnrwick .. . ·
.. Arthab •• ka ..
· … Stan fold ….
· . _ Somerset . __
· _ . Becnncour. __
.. Methot. Mill •.
· .l3luck River .. ..
Craigs Rond ..
… Chaudiere .. .
84
72
64
55 49 41 29 20
15
9
128
149
200 212 235
1005 168 · .. Point Levi .. .
11
3018 15
1136821
…. 8 36
1200 845
Ii ~g79~
205 735
230 805
:3 40 920
352 932
4 2510 10
…. 1030 AM
5 1511 05 700
52711 18 715
5371128 727
6001205800
6 10 1218 815
…. 12 41 8 40
6351245 846
700 1 15 9 10
PM PM AM
96 …. Sherbrooke . . .. 196 99
…. Lennoxville . . .. 193 106
….. Waterville….. 186 110
….. Compton … 182 118
….. Coaucook….. 174 143
…. Island Pond…. 149 158
… North Strnt.ford.. 134
1.83 .. Northumberland .. 122 201
…. Gorham… .. . 91 207
…… Shelburne. . .. 85 222
……. Bethel. ….. . 70
230 … Bryant. Pond… 62
244
South Paris…. 48 251
…… Oxford…… 41 256
… Mechanic Falls… 36
264 .. Danville Junction. 28 270
.. New Gloucester.. 22 280
_Yarmouth Junction. 12
281 Yarmouth….. 11 292
…… Portland ……
.ARRIVE LEAVE
1001
933
914
853
839 821
752
731
720 708
6 45 4 15
305 935
258 9 ~9
244 9 15
236 906
220, 850
1308 am
12301707
1207 640
1100525
1040 500
1010 425
…. 1400 PM
~ ~gl ~ ~ ~ ~~
850 255 740
830 230 717
815 215 705
1 45 6 30
743 1 43 627
715 1 15 600
AM PM PI!(
202 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
GRAND TnUNK RAILWAY CONNECTIONS.-At Montrenl with Montreal
& New York rond, Champlnin & St. Lawrence rood i nt Island Pond with
Connecticut & Passumpsic rood i nt Mr.chnnic Foile with But;kficld Brollcb
rond j fit J?A.llville Junction with Androscoggin & Kennebec rond; nt
Portlnnd With Portlnnd, SueD & Portsmouth, & Kennebec & Portland ronds.
ST. THOMAS BRANCH.
Dows TRAIN.
~ STATIONS ~
Up Tn.AI~·.
—Poss.
W W
—–
TRAINS
pass.
——
– —
PM –
LEAVE ARRIVE
-AM
____ ._ …. Longucuil. ____ …•.
199
300 ………. Point Levi …… ____ 49 730
324 8 … _ .• Chaudierp. Junction. ____ . 41 705
351 17 ………. St. Henri ………. 32 636
4 15 25 . ……… St. Charle ……….. 24 612
433 21 . … ___ ._.St. MichaeL ……… 18 554
500 40 . … _____ •. Berthier ………..
9 527
530 49 ………. St. Thomas ……… 500
PM ARRIVE LEAVE A>I
BROCKVILLE SECTION.
Up TRAINS. l
~ STATIONS. ~
l DOWN TRAINS.
~
__ !xp_ Ace.
~
——_.-
if

E~IAcc._
~
TRAINS
jl:
AlII pM
-LEAVE ARRIVE -PM PM
940 430 •…. MONTREAL ….. 125 400 200
1013 512 75 15 · …. Pointe Cloire ….. llO 120
1026 5281 00 21 · ….. St. Annes …… 104 104
10 33 537 1 00 24 · __ … Vaudreuil …… 101 315
1
1256
551 1 50 ~9 · .. Cedars (Road to) go 1242
11 00 613 200 37 · … Coteou Londing. _ . 88 1222
11 37 701 250 54 · …. _ Loncaster …… 71 II 37
1212 750 250 68 ……. Cornwoll …… 57 1531055
804 275 74 · ….. lloulinette …… 51 1030
1231 815 3 00 77 · DickinsonS Landing. 48 !O 19
835 3 00 84 ….. Aultsville …… 41 959
102 857 3 ~5 92 · …. vVillinmshurg …. 33 102 9.17
1
1819 17 3 50 99
……. Matilda ……. 26 917
9343 50 105 · . _ .. Ed w ardsbulg …. 20 900
1 55 95713 75 !13 ……. Prescott ……. 12 1223 830
2 20 ~g ~b14 00 120 ·
…… Maitlund __ ….. 5 813
125 · . _ .. BnocKvILLE ….. 1200 800
ROUTE FROM MONTREAL to Toronto, Hamilton, NiagarA. Falls and th~
Wcst.-Leove Portland, White Mf)untoins, Quebec, &c., by Grand Trunk
rAilway to Blockville, connecting with American EXlJress Steamers, (for
Alexolldrin, Cloy ton, King-stOll, Oswego, Rochester, alld ot Niagoro Folls or
Lewiston with roilroads for Ningoro FoIls, the ERst and Vest,) and with
Royal Moil and lllternotionul Lines of Stemnera for Toronto and Honl·
il[On j thence by Great Western road for Suspeusion Bridge, Niagara Falls,
Detroit, Chicngo, and all pOints west .
For the major part of 1856 Brockville was the western terminus of the Grand Trunk lines that were open for service. Not until
late August (too late to be included in the September issue of the guide) was the Toronto-Oshawa section inaugurated.
International Topographical Rail Road Guide, September 1856.
used every exertion to extinguish it, their efforts were almost
rendered useless in consequence of the quantity of oil lIsed
for cleaning the locomotives, which were in the building.
In a short time, the eight locomotives in the building, as
well as their tenders, were consumed -at least, all the
wooden work about them. The wooden building in which
they were kept was also consumed.
As yet, it is impossible
to
give a correct estimate of the loss.
It is not known which locomotives were involved
in the fire, but it seems as if they were repaired and returned
to
service, since Keefers report does not show any gaps
occurring at this time. All these were used on lines west of
Toronto, since the eastern section ended at the Don River.
A happier occasion occurred on
Tuesday June 10,
when the first train arrived at Berlin (today known as
Kitchener) from Toronto. In the words of the Berlin Chronicle
of June 11, 1856:
THE FIRST TRAlN. -Yesterday the first train came
over the Grand Trunk Railway Fom Toronto to Berlin, and
reached this place about l2 0 clock. It contained M,: Ross,
President
of the Company, M,: Gzowski and M,: McPherson,
the contractors,
M,: Beatty, M,: Morrison and Mr. Lindsay
of the Leader , Mr. Brassey, M,: Shanley, &c. The party
was conveyed in a carriage to the Queen s Arms Hotel, and
after looking around the town for a few minutes and
partaking of some refreshment, immediately started back
for Toronto. In a few days trains will run regularly.
Meanwhile work continued on the line between
Montreal and Toronto. The major structure then being built
was the Albert Viaduct at Port Hope. On August 18, the
Toronto
Globe, in an editorial on Port Hope, said:
The Grand Trunk Railway has nearly finished a
magnificent viaduct across the whole Font of the town,
which is over
half a mile in length. The supporters are of
brick, with a stone foundation, and have been put up within
the short course
of four months, by the contractOl; M,: Betts,
who has an efficient engineering corps located on the spot.
Nothing remains
now to be done, save to place iron girders
on the
top, to form a tram-way for the cars. The supporters
are each
about twenty feet in height, and altogether the
viaduct, when completed, will afford a very pleasing sight
along the lake.
As the Grand Trunk line rapidly progressed towards
completion, it gradually became more and more apparent
that the railway construction was changing the whole
country in many ways. The new order of speed, efficiency
and industrialization
was quickly coming in, and the old easy
going way of life, with its stagecoaches, quiet roads, and
slower living,
was disappearing forever. A certain amount of
nostalgia became evident. On August 18, 1856 the Toronto
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 203
newspaper British Colonist printed, on its front page, a poem entitled
The Railway. In it, the poet laments the passing of the old way, but
later realizes the benefits
of the new, and begins to accept them.
The Railway
The silent glen, the sunless stream,
To wandering boyhood dem~
And treasured still in many a dream,
They are no longer here.
A huge red mound
of earth is thrown
Across the glen so wild
and lone,
The stream so cold and clear;
And lightning speed and thundering sound
Pass hourly 0 er the unsightly mound.
Nor this alone,
for many a mile
Along that iron way,
No verdant banks
or hedge-rows smile,
In summer s glory gay.
Thro chasms that yawn as though the earth
Were rent in some strange mountain birth,
Whose dep
ths exclude the day,
Were borne along at headlong pace,
To win from time the wearying race!
The wayside inn, with homelike
ail;
No longer tempts a guest
To taste its unpretending fare,
Or seek
its welcome rest.
The prancing team, the merry horn,
The cool fresh road at early morn,
The coachman
s ready jest;
A ll, all
to distant dream-land gone,
While shrieking trains are hurr
ying on.
Yet greet we them with thankfitl hearts,
And eyes that own no tem;
Tis nothing now, the space which parts
The distant from
the dear.
The wing that to her cherished nest
Bears home the
birds exulting breast,
Has found its rival here.
With speed like hers, we too can haste,
The bliss of meeting hearts 10 taste.
For me,
1 gaze along the line
To watch the approaching train.
And deem it still, twixt me and mine,
A rude but welcome cha
in
To bind us in a world whose ties
Each passing hour
to sever tries,
But here may
tly in vain!
To bring us home when many an art
Stern fate employs
to keep apart.
By the summer of 1856, railway excitement was quickly taking
over
in Canada West. Advertisements on many different subjects made
allusion to railways. When Spalding and Rogers circus played in
Toronto
in late August, they made a great deal of the fact that they
now, for the first time, traveled by r
ail. The advertisement was headed
by
the words LOOK OUT FOR THE LOCOMOTIVE! in large block
letters, and
the text proclaimed that there would be no more rickety
wagons, tarnished trappings, worn out horses or tired performers.
Instead there would be fast men, fast women (this term obviously had
a different corU1otation then), fast children and fast horses, as all would
be well rested after a refreshing trip by rail!
CANADIAN RAIL -514
~mu(jtmtnt(j.
J,OOK OUT FOR THE J.OCOMOTIVE I
WAIT FOR THE TRAIN.
The OreaUlit of Clrcaet will Bvlltch off at
TORONTO, TWO DAYS,
TUf:S/)A Y AN]) fl1~])N};Sf),1 l,
AUG tI Ii T 2 6 t Jl and Z 7 t h.
o Ilk vi Ill) !Mth and Brnxnpton 28th.
Will b. ~xhlII,1 .,),0.
lit 11).1( p •• 1 p~~: nu.1 lI.a,r.
flItt ~U··.VF … l, p.IIl with ~Ino
or
THEIR OWN CARS!
(( IID~oyln~ h~lr IClII, /lor·
:tOte and Prol~lrICJt,) 1 t.~I1I1·
1I.l!uc..ell ..,. odlo 111.111:(11 tiLlII)
Jrorll tile 7 .. n(.~ 1011., 7rfll !
Jr(O .oa_
Illul.loll lc,u.. JlO~_ I —–~-.~
IIIC~P;T WAIIGO)H I
T lIT n II h edT r 1 p pin g ,~
lrOW:f uti IUXO IIOICHIli I
TI REI) I ~:~n.() R !J ~; R S ,
, …. llb the ()I~ ~ogy WRKRo
h.oW~1 lrvolllll~ ~tI nlgli10llr
rUUKh lOad, hut
lut Men! Ftlit Women
~A:-T cn.lJlt~~! • 11,1
~AST HORSES
10 leooll up with tho tlmOll.
rrl .. tm~ w.n Hr.ted I
/UJ Ifurw oj 8;ril ! and
T R A Ir I :I II (. U ~ T II 0 U:-!
Arlrtoolc r.nd 114r Thundor.
or N. Y., a, tt. •• 11,>1 1),(1.
/10 1——……
II~C 1110 abolo Wlnnera vI ,.—-~–.-~
all Iho
FIRST PRIZEr:l
Tho (IOf 0 kuoon IU)
tlIrlQnfM .r~ .. II 1IkO.~ :_
W.,1 1111 .
IJJk:JtT III f b:
JOHN IIAVY.NIi)/lT,
JAIU~ &O)l.il:iO,1
-,.,
J,IIAYJ.()II,
r.TfI().II~
C, I r,IKJlI.AY.
MANAUJGRIJ I
orDullo_,
I)t. II, fl. ~1Al,IIINO
(1/ the Oroh •• tra. •
tIJARIJ KI.NJlAIJ.,
Ofl.lIlnl,
ItllII)Hf WHITI<.
ADMISSION, onlyTwenty.five Cents.
Toronlo, August 15,1856. )01.1I1T,1I61.11
RAIL CANADIEN -514
[n late August the Stratford Beacon reported that
The track
of the Grand Trunk is laid to within five miles of
this town, and it is confidently expected that the iron horse
will
make his welcome debut into Stratford next week.
The actual opening of service to Stratford did not take place
until early
in October, and, mainly because of the shortage
of money, Stratford remained the western terminus of the
Grand Trunk for three years, until the line was pushed
on to
Sarnia in 1859. Meanwhile the section from Toronto eastward
to Oshawa was almost completed, and work was being rushed
through, on many different fronts, on the long section
between Kingston and Oshawa. The line east of Kingston
was virtually finished, so the day
of the completion of the
whole line from Montreal
to Toronto was almost in sight.
Toronto to Oshawa,
and the Duel That Never Took Place
On August 25 the Toronto Globe contained this
small, but very significant, item:
We are happy to announce that the portion of the
Grand Trunk Railroad from Toronto to Oshawa will be
opened to-day. Cars will leave Don station at noon, arriving
at Oshawa at 2 p.m.,
and will leave Oshawa at 3, and arrive
in Toronto at 5 p.m.
This was highly significant, since it was the first
Grand Trunk line
to be placed in service running eastward
out
of Toronto. It did not connect with the westward lines,
as there was still no track laid between the Don River in the
east and the terminus
of the I ines running west from Toronto.
The eastbound trains started from Don station, to reach
which one had
to travel over a muddy road of indifferent
quality.
It was hoped that a track would soon be laid along
the Esplanade to bring the trains from the east into
downtown Toronto.
The opening day ceremonies involved an excursion
from Toronto
to Oshawa and return, and, depending on which
newspaper accounts one reads, turned into somewhat
of a
fiasco. After a century and a half, the old accounts make
rather amusing reading, but at the time were taken very
seriously by the various protagonists.
The inaugural train consisted of an engine, a
baggage car, four coaches and five open cars. The Globe
account
of August 26, 1856 makes very interesting reading,
as it gives a nice description
of the line between Toronto
and Oshawa
as it was then; so different from today, when
most
of the area is built up, and some of the track re-Iocated:
The event of yesterday was the opening of the
Grand Trunk Railway from Toronto
to Oshawa. invitations
had been issued to a considerable number of citizens, and
four cars were very speedily filled when the hour of
departure arrived. None of the members of the Government
nor leading officials were there, but the Corporation
mustered in full force, headed by the Mayor, and the
presence
of a number of ladies added much to the attractions
of the trip. A vel]! fine brick station-house has been erected
at the Don depot, apparently much too good
for the business
to
be done there, but with the aid of decorations of
evergreens and flags, it relieved the desolate aspect of the
grounds which border
on the marsh. At a quarter past twelve
the train started,
and proceeded at a very slow place up
the ascending grade
toward~ the Scarboro heights. People
in Toronto are in the habit of thinking the whole locality to
204 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
the east of the city as very low, but it is a fact that on the
Grand Trunk east, a high altitude
and a view of the bay
and lake are obtained sooner than on any of the western
roads.
The line throughout almost the whole distance
between Toronto and Oshawa traverses the shore of the
lake; at each
stopping place the blue I·vaters are in full
vieH~ and the excursionists had the opportunity of observing
the position
of all the little ports which stud the shore. The
stoppages were long
and the progress slow, and it was not
till nearly half-past two that Oshawa was reached.
Upon arrival at Oshawa, there was a ceremony
in
the freight house, including a welcome by Mayor Gibbs of
Oshawa, and the usual speeches. The train then returned
four miles west to Whitby where a very substantial
luncheon, or rather dinner had been prepared by the
hospitable people
of that rising town. The dinner was held
in the freight house, adjacent to the station which though
only
of wood, has a neat and substantial appearance. Once
again there were congratulations, speeches and toasts, one
of which evidently ruffled the feathers of the Globe, which
had consistently criticized the management
of the Grand
Trunk, and this perhaps contributed
to the bad press they
gave
to the return trip:
To the contractors, Messrs. Jackson, Peto, Betts,
Brassey,
& Co., who have prosecuted the work with energy,
in the midst of so many disadvantages, we think a meed of
praise is justly due, and we would take this opportunity of
stating that we have no sympathy with those who have
apparently taken pleasure in throwing obstacles in the
way,
and increasing the difficulties with which the
contractors have
had unavoidably to contend.
It was on the way back that things began to go
wrong, and the Globe was lavish in pointing out all the
problems encountered!
After the
last toast had been drunk, the last speech
delivered, and the last farewell exchanged with the
hospitable people of Whitby, the company left to resume
their seats
in the cars. They found, howevel; that most of the
space had been occupied by a motley crew of persons
belonging to places along the line, who, willy nilly were
determined
to make their way in comfort to their various
destinations, without regard to the rights of previous
incumbents. Strenuous efforts were made for their
dislodgement by the officials, but with little success, and
the train proceeded with over five hundred persons on
board. It proceeded velY slowly, however; the engine being
a miserably
bad one, and the up grades being not only
heavy but very numerous, even in places where a little
cu
tting would have removed them. Slower and slower
became the progress of the train, until at length it stopped,
and began to recede gently down hill. After a little rest,
steam was got up
in sufficient quantity, and the grade was
surmounted
in safety. By and by, another engine came up
behind
to assist the first, but the speed was but little greater
and
it was not till the train began to approach the city and
to run downhill that speed was obtained. When the train
reach
ed the station it was half-past seven 0 clock, two hours
and a half behind time, and the company separated, well
wearied
of the first class English road and the wonderfiil
English punctualit
y. It was a subject of general remark
that the curves were more numerous
and sharp than they
ought
to have been in a road about which so many boasts
are made as the Grand Trunk,
and engineers observed that
the culverts,
of brick, were not so substantial or enduring
I
I
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 205 CANADIAN RAIL -514
A Birkenhead locomotive on the bridge across the Don River at Toronto in 1859. Near this bridge is where the terminus of the
Montreal-Toronto
line was when it opened in 1856. National Archives of Canada, photo No. PA-138692.
as befitted a road which cost over £10,000 per mile.
In
regard to the engines, also, it should not be
forgotten that our locomotive factory in Toronto
was closed because the Grand Tnmk would not give
an order
for its engines, though they were of first­
class excellence;
engines were ordered from the
States and England instead, and they proved
yesterday how much inferior they were to those of
home manufacture.
In contrast to the Globe, the Toronto Leader
was very positive about the whole affair. The line
was described as being remarkably smooth; and,
owing
to its being ballasted with gravel, entirely
free from dust.
The episode of the delay returning
was glossed over by simply stating that two engines
were required because
of the grades. Another article
concluded by saying:
Grand Trunk locomotive 162 was built by the Amoskeag Works in
Manchester New Hampshire, and was delivered in November 1856.
Note
the large, North American style, headlight. CRHA Archives.
Like all human schemes, the Grand Trunk Railway
has
passed through gloom, difficulty and aspersion. But
that time has now
gone by. The old saying goes that the
darkest period of night is the hour before dawn.
Recollecting the acrimonious discussions which arose last
winter, well may it be
applied to this railway. For now
before
us lie only hope and confidence.
Soon the letters to the editor began to pour in, and
the
war of words began. Prominent in this correspondence
was William Kingsford, the local superintendent
of the Grand
Tnll1k.
In a lengthy letter he detailed all the grades and curves
on the line, and
pointed out that the maximum grade was
52.8 feet per mile,
or I percent, which was accepted practice.
His next comment, delivered
in a tongue-in-cheek fashion,
throws much light on the situation:
If there is an engineer in the country who will
attest, after this explanation, that
it was possible for the
line
to be otherwise than it is, all that can be said is, that he
will discover a
new era in engineering, and will mount
summits and overcome descents without changing level,
and go round hills on a straight line.
After the arrival at Whitby, a second engine was
fired up. It was not an English engine but was constructed
in New Hampshire. The driver selected was one of the most
careful on the works, but having only lately been detailed
to the upper section, he was not so familiar as he has since
become. The grade on which there was a
pause of some
minutes was one in a hundr
ed, 53 feel to the mile, and is a
mile and a quarter
in length. Owing to the wood which had
been taken being somewhat damp -the cars being
new –
and the engineer not being conversant with the line, in
mounting the ascent there was a want
of steam. After an
ineffectual attempt to
proceed from the point where the
engine stopped. the train was run back
to the foot of the
steep grade, steam was made, and the engine
and cars ran
into Toronto without difficulty.
The delay did not exceed
twenty minutes. That the cars did not arrive at the time
nam
ed in the programme, was simply for the reason that
the hospitality
of the Oshawa municipality detained the
guests nearly an hour; an unanticipated pleasure, and
likewise because the Whitby dinner extended an hour
longer than was intended; a delay totally beyond the
control
of the railway officials.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
All this was too much for the Globe which replied
in a scathing, and perhaps even libelous, editorial:
The only things well done on the excursion were
the
superintendent s polite attention to the ladies of the
party,
and the delicate and sensible speech which he made
after the champagne
had gone round. We recommend him
to turn his attention in that direction excluSively, and leave
railroad superintendence
to some one who has not studied
female dress
and deportment so deeply, but can run a train
up
to time.
There was also a disagreement as to how many
freeloaders were on the return train; Mr. Kingsford saying
that 1500 passengers were aboard (another reason for the
delays), while the Globe claimed there were only about 600.
After this, the three-way war of words intensified,
culminating
in one of the most bizarre incidents in Canadian
railway history. On September 4, 1856, Mr. Kingsford
challenged Mr. Gordon Brown, one of the editors of the Globe,
to a duel! Bear in mind that this was the enlightened year of
1856, and dueling was obsolete (not to mention illegal) in
Canada. In fact the
last fatal duel ever fought in Canada took
place in Perth, Upper Canada in 1833, twenty-three years
before the events we are relating. The letter of challenge
was written in the formal manner of the code duello and
read as follows:
Toronto, Sept. 4, 1856.
Sir; -As you have offensively merged the railway
operating into a personal mail
er, there is but one mode in
which it can be further dealt with. My friend, Captain
Turner, waits upon you to make the necessary arrangements.
I
am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
Wm. Kingsford.
Gordon Brown, Esq.,
Globe Office.
Mr. Browns reply, delivered via Captain Turner,
was a rejection of the challenge.
Lamb s Hotel, half-past ten,
Thursday mornin
g.
My dear Kingsford, -I handed your note to M/~
Gordon Brown: he declined to accept the proposed
alternative, on the ground, that he, as a Christian, was
opposed to duelling. I told him that I thought he should
reply in writing; this he declined to do, and said that M/~
Kingsford might do as he thought best. It is an awkward
affair, but under the circumstances, I do not see what jilrther
steps can be taken with propri
ety.
Yours eve/~
J.B. Turner:
William Kingsford, Esq., Toronto.
To this, Mr. Kingsford replied:
Toronto, Sept. 4, J 856, 11 a clock.
Sil; -I learn from my friend, Captain Turner that
you give as a reason for not meeting me, that you are a
Christian,
opposed to duelling; and thus it appears that,
having been personally offensive,
you think that you have
no jitrther responsibility. I can understand the
conscientious
scruples
of a religious mind which would lead a good man
to decline such an alternative. What is your conduct? You
state deliberate falsehoods as to the opening of the Grand
206 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
Trunk Railway to Oshawa, and because I feel it my duty to
vindicate the interest entrusted
to me, you assail me with
low abuse, attacking my professional character, and
slandering me personally. It appears to me that i/your sense
of right prevent you from fighting, it should equally prevent
you from being insolent and calumnious. If it had done so,
you would not appear in the deplorable condition in which
you now stand. For I have
to tell you si/~ and the community
among which
YOll have sought notoriety, can now beller
understand your character -as one remorseless and
unscrupulous in every course of conduct but that which
affects
your personal safety.
I am, SiI;
Your obedient servant,
Wm. Kingsford
Gord
on Brown, Esq.,
Globe Office.
When this exchange of letters became public, there
were cries of disbelief, and both parties quickly became a
laughing stock throughout Canada West, and even into
Canada East, and the bordering states. One tongue-in-cheek
letter, ostensibly from A Bravo of Venice, offered his
services, to
wing an antagonist for 25 shillings, to drill
him for 30 shillings,
or to give him the coup de grace for 50
shillings, with the guarantee that
the job shall be done in a
satisfactory and artistic manner.
Needless to say, the duel
never took place (one wonders how it would have been
fought; Birkenheads at fifty paces perhaps), no blood was
shed, but a great quantity
of printers ink was wasted in long
discussions
of the pros and cons of the ridiculous situation.
Mr. Kingsford continued with the
Grand Trunk until 1860,
and lived until 1898. Long after he left the railway, he wrote
an
excellent ten-volume history of Canada which was
published between 1887 and 1898. UnfOliunately it ends with
the events
of 1841, so does not include those of 1856!
Meanwhile, the Grand Trunk was facing more
pressing problems than a fight with newspaper editors.
Summer was nearing an end, and winter was not that far off.
There were still major gaps in the Montreal-Toronto line,
and if these were to be filled in before the snows arrived,
work would have to be speeded up
even more.
I
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 207 CANADIAN RAIL -514
The Albert viaduct at Port Hope, the second-longest structure on the entire Grand Trunk. Here, the last connection was made
in the line between Montreal and Toronto. This photo was taken about 1856, just after the bridge was completed. The broad
gauge
of the track is very apparent. National Archives of Canada, photo No. PA-205515.
September and October 1856
The last Gaps are Closed
The late summer and early fall of 1856 would have
been a great time
to be a railfan. There were excursions almost
every week, as new sections were opened. September began
with a noteworthy event
on the very first day of the month,
the connection
of the track through from Toronto to Port
Hope. The locomotive, cars, rails and other equipment for
the construction
of this then-isolated section west of Port
Hope had been landed at Port Britain, three miles west, and
near lake level. The Port Hope
Standard reported:
Railway jollifications are the order of the day in
Canada at the present. Different sections of our great
national work -the Grand Trunk -are being weekly
completed. The line is now open from Toronto to this place,
and in early October it is expected to be in running order
through
to Montreal…. 011 the JSI. Inst. those enterprising
contractors, Messrs. Humphrey
and Harris, finished their
section, which extends the entire length
of the Township of
Hope. They issued invitations for an excursion over the
line, from the Viaduct
to the boundmy between Clarke and
Hope, to a limited number of citizens…. The company were
bound to enjoy themselves,
and they did. The road for the
greater part of the distance follows the winding shore of
the lake. There are some heavy cuttings and fillings on considering Ihat
it is not yet ballasted. Indeed it will now
compare favourably with many lines doing an ordinary
business. On arriving at the Clarke line, we found that the
rails
for a few feel on the east end of Spence and Mackenzie s
contract were not laid. Men, however, were hastily at work,
and in a few minules the connection between Toronto and
Port Hope was completed. Three cheers were called for
Messrs. Humphrey and Harris, and Ihe same compliment
was
paid to Messrs. Spence and Mackenzie. The train
started on its return and reached Port Hope about seven
o clock, without the slightest accident having
occurred to
mar the pleasure of the occasion. The company at once
made tracks jar Ihe restaurant of lvk Ralph Francis, where
they
had been invited to join the contractors in discussing
the merits
of a good spread.
There were the usual speeches and many toasts,
as well as songs, including Queen of Otaheite, Red White
and Blue,
My Native Wales and Molly Carew. Another
link in the Grand Trunk was open.
On the subject of songs, music played an important
part
of many aspects of Victorian life. Songs was played
under many conditions, even
in wartime during major battles.
Certainly the construction crews building the Grand Trunk
would have enjoyed playing and singing songs
in their off
times, and no doubt hummed or whistled tunes while actually
Messrs. Humphrey & Harris section.
The backbone
of the job was pointed
out to us by Gen. Humphrey. It is a
long and deep CUlling a short
distance this side of Port Britail1. Mr:
rr enders for Firewood.
at work. Only one song, with proved
provenance from the Grand Trunk
construction era, has come down to us.
H
is entitled Chauffez, Chauffez Fort
(literally shovel, shovel hard), and was
sung
by the French-speaking workers
in Canada East. It is known to date from
the 1850s, and the lyrics specifically
mention the Grand Trunk and its
construction. We can well imagine
other songs sung by the workers.
Much music was oflrish origin, brought
Tate was so fearful this part of the
section would not be completed in
time, that he bound the contractors
in heavy penalties to remove 20,000
feet
of earth evelY three months. They
removed 40,000 feet the first two
1110nths. The rail is very smoolh,
T
HB Grand T rullk I.i:~il way Compauy of
Canada art.! Ilropar.ld tu raot1i va
Teuueril for tht1 IJullply of Firt1wood at t lIu
Statiolls botweoll KingHton aud (;ranon, to
be delivorod immediately. Applicatioll
to bo made ill wriliug to DARN TON
HUTTON,
Resident b:n!lr.
iltllltvilltJ, August 29th,
1856.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
A Grand Trunk bridge just after completion in 1856.
to Canada by the numerous Irish immigrants that came to
this country, but others were the popular songs of the day.
These would include those by Stephen Foster, then at
the
height
of his popularity, old favourites like Home Sweet
Home,
and of course the number one hit of 1856, Septimus
Winners Listen
to the Mocking Bird.
On September 6, 1856 there was an excursion from
Cobourg
to the eastern end of the as yet uncompleted Port
Hope viaduct. This trip was operated by John Fowler,
contractor for the Grafton -Port Hope section.
Since the lines still had
to be ballasted before full
service could begin, and time was running out, work was
redoubled
on this important job, sometimes extending far
into the night. This could
lead to serious trouble, as we learn
from a report
of an incident that took place just west of
Oshawa at about 2 A.M. in the morning of Tuesday,
September 16. The Oshawa
Vindicator reported:
A fatal accident occurred on the railway near the
Oshawa station on Tuesday
morning last, by which two
men were killed
and two others injured The accident was
caused by some cows lying on the track, when the platform
cars
passed down from Whitby to Oshawa with a load of
gravel about two a clock on Tuesday morning. The scene
of the occurrence is about a mile and a half west of Oshawa.
The cars were going at a high rate of speed at the time in
order to overcome the approaching grade. The engine
driv
el: it appears, discovered the cattle lying on the track,
and gave the signal to apply the breaks, to which no
attention
was paid by those whose duty it was to do so, and
before the engine could be reversed it was hurled off the
tracks
and continued working furiously until the steam
was exhausted
One of the men standing on the car next the
engine was killed
on the instant. another had his leg broken,
and two more were slightly injured The man whose leg was
broken has since died
Dr. McGill was promptly on the spot
and afforded all the relief in his power to the sufferers.
Three cows belonging
to Messrs. Higley, Powers, and Van
Sickler, were killed, and one belonging to vb: Chas. Lark
was much
injured The tender and engine were capsized
down an embankment of ten feet and much broken. The
engine driver had a narrow escape; he
was severely scalded
The Coroner held
an inquest on Tuesday. and a verdict in
accordance with the above was found by the jury.
208 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
National Archives of Canada, photo No. PA-127496.
In the aftermath of this incident, the Grand Trunk
published very stern advertisements
in many papers warning
landowners
to keep their fences in good order, gates closed,
and not
to allow cattle to stray on to the tracks. However
this could not protect the line from vandalism. Although
such incidents ,vere rare, they
did occur. One such incident,
with very serious consequences, happened near Cobourg
on September 12. The Leader of the following day published
the following account:
OUTRAGE ON THE GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY -Last
Friday afternoon, some scoundrels nailed a four inch plank
across the railway track, a little north
of Cobourg. The
ballast train. consisting
of four cars and a locomotive. was
backed upon it. The result was the cars were completely
smashed to pieces. and the fireman and engineer were both
injured.
the engineer badly. He is howevel; we are glad fo
find, out
of danger. It is believed that the pelpetrators of
this dastardly outrage will be caught.
Despite the incomplete state of the ballasting,
excursions were run between Toronto and Oshawa on
September
13, and again a week later. There were about 250
passengers
on each of these trips, and it is recorded that a
good time was
had by all as more and more people tried out
the new means
of travel.
About this time a
new concept was being tried out
on the Grand Trunk -air conditioning! Me Henry Ruttan of
Cobourg, the inventor of this new system of ventilation,
obtained the permission
of the railway to test it in actual
service. At least one car was fitted with the experimental
equipment, and, during the summer
of 1856, it was tried with
very favourable results. According
to the Toronto British
Colonist
of September I, 1856:
We are happy to learn, from a scientific friend who
was on
the train during the experiment. that Air. Ruttan s
apparatus appeared to answer every purpose on the Grand
Trunk Road,
and we may premise that the operation of the
ventilation
excited in all the passengers (three loads of
whom were carried) great curiosity. and has given universal
satisfaction. The air is received in its filthy state on the top
of one end of the CQ/; into what is called the receiving
box
and … is propelled down two flues at the end of the
car
to a flat shallow water tank which is fixed, air light. 10
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
A cross section of a passenger car showing Henry Ruttans
ventilation system, as it was tried out on the GTR in 1856.
the bottom of the car; the area of the tank is nearly 200
square feet, although only about two inches deep
… The
natural effect
of a current of air passing over water is to
cause evaporation, and a fog arises which precipitates evelY
particle
of dust into the watel; and every cinder falls by its
own gravity
… The air then rises into the car through two
ornamental pedestals
and each passenger is fanned with a
stream
of pel!ectly pure ail: When the passengers feel this
cool air they will gladly leave the windows closed, but
even
if some are open, the pressure of 1500 cubic feet of air
per minute inside
the car will give the air an outward course.
In winter a heating machine can be placed over one of the
pedestals and 900 cubic feet per minute of warm air
circulated throughout the cm; keeping it warm.
The Grand Trunk did make use of the Ruttan system
on a number of its passenger cars, and some were in service
for years, until better means
of ventilation were developed
later in the century.
Early in October, a special train, carrying high
officials, went from Toronto to Stratford, and, on October 8,
the 25 miles from Berlin to Stratford was officially opened,
even
though nine miles were still unballasted. It had been
intended that this extension be opened on the same day as
the Montreal-Toronto line, but
The good people of Stratford
HEADLIGHTS RECOMMENDED
209 CANADIAN RAIL-514
1856. 5f1§~~~~~ 1856.
GRAND TRUNK RAILROAD.
GREAT PLEASURE ROUTE TO
MONTREAL, QUEBEO, WHITE MOUNTAINS, PORT­
LAN]), BOSTON, NEW YORK, AN]) THE
AlLANTIO SEA OOAST,
:By the Express and Mail Line of Steamers on Lake Ontario.
TO BROCKVILLE ..!iND OGDENSBURG.
Ann. from Ihence per GRAND TRUNK RAILROAD, or RIVER ST.
LAWRENCE STEAMERS to MONTREAL.
Througb to :Montreal, tla Hamilton, in Twenty-Ove hours, passing tho Thousand Islands bftwecn
SMen and Ten oclock A. :L
TbO following FIRST CLASS DOA.TS oompose tbo above Line, and leave daily, (Sundays
excepted.)
AMF,RIOAN MAIL LINE. BRITISH MAIL LINE.
ONTARIO, ……………. Capt. THROOP. MAGNF.T, ………….. Copt. TWOHY.
NORTHERNER, ………. Cupt. CAlLOS. I PASSPORT, ………… Capt. HAROOITLB.
OATARACT, …………. Capt. ESTI&.. ARABIAN, …………. Capt. SL …. l·BD.
BAY STATE, …………. Capt. LEDYARD. KING8TON, ………… Capt. HunLTON.
GREAT WIlSTERN EXPRESS LINE.
AMEPICA ………… Capt. JOHN H ••• OH./ NEW yORK …….. Capt. R. B. CHAPAN.
CANADA, ……•. Capt. Gao. E. W(LLO(1GflSY.
Thc Steamers uAMERICA n.nd CANADA, (Grcat Western Line,) :Lrc unsurpnssed by
:1Oy boat.s in thc world, for Speed, Safet,y, Comfort and EqUipment, baving cost neull
Hair : Million DoHus in construction.
THE AMBRICAN LIKR Icave:l Lcwiston and Nillgara at 3.80 P. M., and nrdves io Ogdensburgh
at 8 P. M. next day, connecting at Prescott with tbe 8.30 A.. M. train on G. T.
R. R., and steamers down the river.
THE RRITISH LINK leaves Toronto at 11 A. M. nnd arrives tn BrockfIJle at 7.30 A. M.
the following morning, connecting wit.h t.he 8 A.)f. train on G. 1. R. R, and steamers
00 the rivcr.
THIl GRIi]AT WESTERN F,XPRESS LINE leave. Hnmllton at 6 P. M .• nDd orrlye.
in Brockville at 10 A. M. next morning, connecting with the 12 M. Exprcss Train on the
G. T. R. R. and steamers dOwn thc river.
In connection wlt.h the nbove Liues of Steamers, trains leave the N. Y. C. Depot at 3 P.
M. for Lewiston (for American Line,) at 7.15 A. M. for Torouto, ((or British Line,) and
at a P. M. for Hamilton, (Grent. Western Line.)
By taking this route, the Grand and Picturesque Scenery or tbe Thonsnnd Islands, and
tbe wonderful Rapids of the St. Lawrenoe are passed duriug Dayll,ght. Families,
and Tourists generally, tmveJing to NEW YORK, BOSTON, &c .. and dcslr­ing to
visit tbe seaside, can procure THROUGH TICKETS by this rout.e, via Montreal, Quebec,
Wbite Mountains, and PorUnnd, entimug them to stop over at noy point on tbe
road, without further charge 01 trouble.
Pleasure and Busin~ss Travelers will find thi:l lobe most pleasant and only direct and
Reliable Route to tbo Quiet and Beauliful Villages at the mouth of tbe St. Lawrence, or
be Gav nnd FllShlonuble Towns OJ) the Shores of the Atlaotic.
THROUGH TICKETS, and every Iuforma.Uon, oao be obta.ined ~1 t.he offiee, eornn
CA.tnrMt Hotel Block, N. Fulls.
W. O. BRIEN, Agent.
GEO. DARTNELL. Gen. Agent.
During the summer of 1856, the Grand Trunk was actively
promoting tourism and was calling itself The Great
Pleasure Route. This ad appeared in September.
were so anxious that no time should be lost, that the
contractors, at their earnest entreaty,
consented that it
should take
place as soon as possible. Once again it was
an occasion for a big celebration as the railway reached what
was to be, for the time being, its western terminus.
The train
l
eft Berlin shortly after 11 A.M., and passed Petersburg at
Il:SI, Baden at 12:00, Hamburg at 12: 13, Shakespeare at 12:38,
and arrived at Stratford at 1 :00. A huge crowd was waiting,
and the band
played See the Conquering Hero Comes.
After more speeches, the train left at about 3:00 heading
east. A special lookout was kept on the track ahead because
The verdict of the Coroners Jury, who were engaged for two
days enquiring into the cause
of the late lamentable accident on the Grand
Trunk Railway near this place (Berlin)
is as follows: That the deceased.
Robert Kilgour, Michael Macher and Michael Laneen came to their deaths
by being overtaken whilst driving a hand car, which they injudiciously
placed on the railway track between Berlin and Breslau. knowing at the
time that the construction train down
had to follow to meet passenger train
up
at Shantz, as usual, and that no blame can be attached to the engineer,
Mr. Dalbec, or any other persons on the construction train. The Jury would
recommend that no locomotive
or train should be allowed to run on the road
after dark without head-lights
. Berlin Chronicle, October 17. 1856.
of a recent tragic accident. Two days before, there
had occurred the first fatal collision on the Stratford
line. A
handcar (some versions of the story say a
wagon) containing five
people had been hit by a fast
train between Guelph and Berlin, resulting
in three of
the five occupants of the wagon being killed. Despite
this lookout, the
inaugural train was involved in a
mishap, the only unfortunate incident
that day. Near
Berlin a stray cow was seen on the track, but before
the train
could be stopped it had hit and killed the
errant bovine. The delay was only slight, and the
train reached Toronto
about 7:30, and that night a
celebration ball was held.
There is no record as to
whether or not fresh
beef was served!
RAIL CANADIEN -514 210 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
The Albert Viaduct at Port Hope as it appeared in 1882. It had not then changed much since
1856. A few years later it was rebuilt with new steel work, and a smaller number of stone
sound of a bell was heard
from near the depot.
Presently a rumbling noise
and puffing of the iron
horse approached us,
when
we, with a few others,
were invited
to take a ride
on
the rail across the
Albert Viaduct. We, of
course, availed ourself of
the pleasure, and off we set
at a
rapid rate, about 40
feet above the locality
where the dismal swamp
and the Canadian
Nightingal
e existed but a
few months back. As soon
as we cleared the curve
on
piers replacing the original brick ones. Picturesque Canada.
By this time Railway fever was at its height in
Canada West. The line between Kingston and Port Hope
had been completed, and the only gap remaining between
Montreal and Toronto was the I 850-foot long Albert Viaduct
at Port Hope. There was a curious reason for this delay. As
we have seen, the ironwork was fabricated at the Canada
Works in Birkenhead and shipped to Canada. The last batch
of ironwork for this bridge was shipped from England in the
Tchernaya, a vessel named after a river near Sebastopol, the
site
of an 1855 battle in the recently-concluded Crimean War.
Unfortunately the ship had a serious mishap en route, as we
read in the
British Colonist of September 2:
We are informed that an engine of the Grand Trunk
Railway went through from Oshawa
to Port Hope yesterday.
The only delay now in opening the line is the completion of
the viaduct at the latter place, the iron for which is in the
Tchernaya
, a vessel lately ashore in Gaspe, but safely
brought
off with her cargo by one of Mr. Babys steam tugs.
The iron may consequently be expected daily,
and we learn
that only three weeks are necessary
to put the the girders
in position. There is, therefore, every reason to think that
our national line
of railway will be opened by the 15th of
October to Montreal.
In September the iron arrived at POlt Hope and the
work of erecting the remaining part of the superstructure
began at once. For the last time in the construction of the
main Montreal-Toronto line, the loud reverberating clanging
of the hammers was heard as the workers pounded in the red
hot rivets. Then it was finished and the hammers fell
si lent.
On October 13, the first train passed over the Albeit
Viaduct. Whether it was by coincidence or design, the date
was significant
in the history of Upper Canada, for it was the
44h anniversary of the battle of Queenston Heights, where
the American invasion of 1812 was l11med back, and in which
General Brock was killed. There does not appear to have
been any
Last Spike ceremony, but the events of October
13, 1856 served the same purpose. The Port Hope
Standard
of October 14 gave a good account of what transpired:
Yesterday at half past twelve the cry of all ready
was announced by someone
on the great viaduct in front of
the town, and in a few seconds a shrill whistle and the the west end
of the viaduct,
the steam was put
on, and the locomotive went over the rest
at the rate
of at least 45 miles an hoUl~ It then returned and
took on a few more passengers,
and proceeded at a similar
rate.
All parties on board being so delighted with their
trip, they were taken back
from whence they came, where
the locomotive was
at/ached to ten platform cars, having
about
70 tons of iron upon them; and then proceeded with
the whole over the viaduct, as
far as Cobourg. It is worthy
to
remark that the ease and steadiness with which the
locomotive traveled over this stupendous structure is
unsurpassed
in railway history. The deflection (if any) of
the girders was not perceptible, and the whole work is
both
substantial and creditable to the Contractors and
Engineers. The road from Toronto to Kingston is now in
excellent order. -When the locomotive was over the
opening where the Lindsay
Railroad passes, a train was
coming up at the time,
and the scene was certainly novel
and interesting. The G. T locomotive blew her whistle as a
salute, which was responded
to by the PH. and L.R. engine.
This high Iy satisfactory test of the Albert Viaduct
was very significant; it meant that the track was at last
connected all the way from Montreal to Toronto.
Accordingly, on October 16, the directors of the Grand Trunk
made the long awaited announcement that regular through
service would stalt on Monday, October 27, 1856. This gave
only eleven days to
complete ballasting, fit up the stations
along the line, and finish the large number of small tasks
required for smooth operation on
the opening day. Also on
October
J 6, it was announced that a Grand Celebration of
proportions never before seen in Canada, would take place
in Montreal over two days, November 12 and 13. This would
be sixteen days after the opening, but all that extra time would
be needed for the various
committees to organize an event
worthy of the occasion. Concurrently with this, the new
timetable was released, to come into force on October 27.
The Cobourg Star commented:
We have just received a copy of the time table for
this line for the Montreal and Toronto district … II is of
importance to observe that Montreal time will be observed
all along the line,
and this is about 19 minutes faster than
our own.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
T
HE Public /lre respectfully informed tha~ the
RAILWAY
WILL BE OPENED
THROUGHOUT TO
T o R o N T o
ON
MONDAY, OCTOBER 21.
J:t-Trains will run as follows:-
THROUGH TRAINS,
Stopping at principal Stations,
Wi1lleave MONTREAL every morning (Sundays excepted)
at. 1:30 A.M., arriving at TORON­
TO at 9:30 P.M.
Will leave TORONTO at 7:00 A.M., arriving
at MONTREAL M 9:00 P. M.
LOCAL TRAINS,
Stopping at all Stations,
Will leave BROOKVILLE, daily, for MONTRE­AL,
at 8:30 A.M.; returning-from MONTRE.
AL at 3:30 P.M.
Will leave BELLEVILLE, dally, for BROe VILLE
at 7:00 A. M.; returning from BROCKVILLE
at 3:15 P.M.
Will leave COBOURG, daily, for TORONTO,
6:30 A.M.; returning rrom TORONTO at
4:45P.M. __
The Trains will be run on Montreal Time, which is
8Y. Minutes laster than Brockville TJme.
12 Kingston II
14Y… Belleville ,I
23 .. Toronto ..
Freight Trains will no&. run beween Brockville
and Toronto during the first week.
F ARES BETWEEN TORONTO tc MONTREAL.
First Class …………… $10 00
Second do •••••••••••.••• 8 00
S. P. BIDDER,
General Manager.
Montreal, October 16, 1856. 246
211 CANADIAN RAIL-514
GRAND TRONC DE CHEMIN DE
FER DU CANADA.
LE pUblic est r8flpectueusement inform.s que
Ie CHEMIN DE FER
SERA ENTIEREMENT aDVERT
JUSQUA
TOH.4DlWTO!f
LUND I,
LE270CTOBRECOURANT
Les CODvois seront comme suit :-
CONVo/S DIRECTS
ARRETANT AUX PRINCIPALES STATIONS.
Prrtiront de MONTREAfJ tous lea matina (ex­
cepto 168 Dlmancbes) a 7.30 A. M., et arri·
Viront B. Toronto II. 9.30 P. M.
Paniront de TORONTO Ii 7h., A. M., et arrive­
ront II. Montr~al Ii 9h., P. M.
CONVOIS LOCAUX
ARRETANT A TOUTES LES STATIONS.
Partiront de BROCKVILLE tous les jours pour Montreal,
a 8.30 A. M., retournant de Mon­treal,
II. 3.30 P. M.
Partironl de Belleville, tous les jours, pour Brockville,
a 700 A. M., retournant de
Brockville, 11.3.15 P. M.
Partiront de Cobourg, tous les jours, pour Toron­to,
8. 6,30 A. M., rctournant de Toronto, a
4.45 P. M.
II ny aura pas de Convois de Fret entre Brock­ville
et Toronto durant la premiere semaine.
Prix entre Toronto et Montreal:
Premiere Classe .•. $10 00 Seconde
do …. $ 8 00
18 oct 1856-m
S. P. BIDDER,
Directeur General.
The news everyone was waiting fori It told, in both languages, that Montreal-Toronto service would start on October 27, 1856.
Monday, October 20, 1856 was a dull foggy day in
Toronto. A thick fog had hung over the city and suburbs for
the
past two days, and on that Monday its density was
much increased, causing delays to trains, particularly west
of the city. However on that seemingly unpropitious day
occurred a noteworthy event, no less than the arrival of the
first
ever through train from Montreal to Toronto! The train
consisted of several baggage and passenger cars, and its
main
object was to distribute the furniture to the different
stations along the I ine, as well as to position equipment in
preparation for the opening, a week hence. However several
officials
took advantage of this historic occasion to ride the
train. In
Toronto itself, the event passed almost unnoticed.
The next day, the
Leader ran a short article:
The first train, through from Montreal, arrived at
the Don Station yeste
rday. It consisted of several baggage
and passenger cars. The object in running it was, we learn,
to distribute furniture at the different stations heretofore
ul1supplied.
Among those present, we noticed Mr. s.p
Biddel; General J1anagel; MI~ Hodges, MI: Rowan, MI: Tate,
and the Hon. HH Killaly, who with MI: Street attended 011
behalf of the Government.
As might have been expected, the Globe reported
nothing! After all the uncertainty, waiting, and controversy,
this little article told Torontonians that the completion
of the
project was almost here. A train had actually run through
from Montreal to Toronto. In a few days would be the official
opening, and then Canada could celebrate!
RAIL CANADIEN -514 212 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
slackened speed on many portions of
the road as a matter of precaution. It
consisted
of seven well-filled cars.
All along the line, hundreds
of people watched to see the first train
go
by. At many stations, where time
permitted, a local delegation would
make a speech, to which a railway
official would reply. A typical such
event occulTed
at Cobourg where the
mayor made a brief speech, saying,
in
part:
A Grand Trunk passenger train in 1856 or soon after, showing the baggage car and
first coach. This photo is believed to have been taken at Hamburg, between Berlin
and
Stratford. Headlights were now becomming more common. The passenger
cars were painted yellow, with red lettering.
With this day commences a
new era
in the histolY of Canada -the
benefits conferred by the conH(Jl1-
mation of your labours in the great
work of construction have been but
dimly foreshadowed.
Mr. Ross of the Grand Trunk
made a suitable reply, concluding by
saylllg:
October 27, 1856 -The Service is Inaugurated
The morning of October 27 1856 was an exciting
time
in both Montreal and Toronto, as the regular through
trains prepared
to depart from their respective cities for the
first time. Newspapers
in most towns along the route made
mention, often quite briefly,
of what was going to happen
that
day. For example, the Kingston Daily News said
The Grand Trunk Railroad opens to-day for the
regular conve
yance of passengers between Montreal and
Toronto. The mails will be conveyed by rail on and ajier to­
morrow.
The eastbound train from Toronto departed first,
leaving Don station soon after half past six
in the morning,
local time. Since standard time zones
did
not exist, the trains were run by Montreal
time, which was
23 minutes faster than
Toronto time. Hence the departure would
have been at
6:37 Toronto time,
corresponding
to 7:00 Montreal time. We
may therefore infer that the train depatted
on time. There is no record as to whether
anyone missed the first train because
of
the 23-minute difference in time. Exactly
half
an hour later, at 7:30 A.M. Montreal
time, the
westbound train departed from
Montreal. Here,
of course, there was no
difference between train time and local time.
According to the Toronto Leader of
October 28:
Our time. you are aware, is short; the train must
proceed on its course, and for the present I wish you all
good bye
and much future happiness.
The most significant stop was at Kingston, midway
between Montreal and Toronto, for here the two trains met
for the first time ever. The railway
in this area passes quite
far inland,
welJ away from the city, but it made a deliberate
curve so that the Kingston station was within the limits
of
the city as it was then. In spite of this diversion of the track,
the station was at a rather
inconvenient distance from
downtown Kingston, and people would have
to travel almost
two miles
to reach it. Even though the weather was cold and
rainy, a considerable number
of Kingstonians were on hand
to watch
history being made. The
Kingston Advertiser of October 28
described the event as follows:
Not a few availed themselves of
this, the earliest opportunity of
proceeding to Montreal by rail. The train
arrived at Montreal shortly after ten
o clock PM. The morning train left
Montreal at
half past seven A.M., same
day,
and arrived here about eleven
o clock, although it went at a very
The International rail guide of
September 1856 still showed that
Brockville was the western terminus,
but two months later it was updated
to show it running through to Toronto.
That crowning event which has
been looked forward
to for years by our
citizens as the commencement
of a new
era
in the history of Kingston, has at last
taken place. Yesterday, close
on the hour
laid down
in the time table of the Grand
Trunk Railroad
Company, the ImlJ._.liQLS£.
made its first appearance at Kingston,
which forever releases
the good old city
from its winter fetters, while
it brings us
within seven hours of Montreal, and
relatively short periods of the cities on
the
Atlantic seaboard. A good many
passengers were in the train, wh ich
remained
at the depot for half an how: A
considerable concour
se of citizens were
awaiting its arrival, who gave the
interesting cortege a very cordial
reception. The Grand Trunk Railroad
will henceforth be the great commercial
artery
of Canada.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
213 CANADIAN RAI L -514
GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
MONTREAL AND TORONTO DISTRICT.
WINTER ARRANGEMENTs.-Commencing October 27, 1856.
S. KEEFER and WM.. KINGSFORD, Superintendents.
1IME TABLE.
Up Trains going West. Down Trains going East.
0 0 0
o • ….
0
….
0
~
…. ~ el)Q)
…. 0
STATIONS.
11
el):
…. Q)
…., t>~


t>1) ….
j
a5
_0$ aj …..

:;:: _ ….
o J.o
~ el)~ .~.~ -1=1
~
~
~
l>-.b
:;~
+>r;:I
0 -.!A
~o 0 J:l 0

+>0 ~2 0-
~
~
…. ~1=1
00
0..0
~ 1=10 0-,.00
~
00 _0
~c
E-1
0 …
oel)
oE-1
~~
-,-,
~~
I-<~
Q ~~
E-oI
Q
~
~

._-
———
A. M.. r. M. P. M. A. M..
LEAVE ARRIVE P. M. P. M.. A. M. P. M.
7 30 3 30
· ….. llIontr(~al. ….. 333 9 00 1 30
345
5 ….. Blue Bonnets ….. 328 117
4 10
15 · …. Pointe Claire ….. 318 12 55
4 26
21 …… St. Annes …… 312 12 41
8 26 4 83
24 · ….. Vaudreuil …… 309 8 04 12 33
4 47
I
29 …….. Cedars …….. 304 12 22
854 5 07
37 · .. Coteau Landing …. 296 7 37 12 04
524 I
44 … River Beaudette … 289 11 48
9 30 5 50
54 · …… Lancaster …… 279 7 02 11 27
6 04
60 · … SumOlerstown ….
278 11 12
10
07 6 32
68 · …… Cornwall. ……
265 6 25 10 47
643
73 · ….. Moulinette …… 260 10 35
10 26 654
77 · Dickinson H Landing. 256 10 26
711
84 · …… Aultsville ……
249
10 10
10 57 7 82
92 · … Williamsburg …. 241 534 9 51
7 49
99 ……. Matilda ……. 234 9 35
8 02
104 ….. Edwardsbur~ ….. 229 9 28
11 40 8 22
112 .. Prescott JunctIOn .. 221 4 52 9 06
11 47 8 30
118 ……. Prescott ……. 220 4 44 8 56
8 47
120 .. , …. Maitland ……. 213
8 51
12 18 9 00 3 15 125 …… Brockville …… 208 412 8 30 11 30
3 25 129 ……… Lyn ……… 204 11 19
3 47 137 · …. Mall0d;town …..
196 3 47 10 57
4 12 146 …… Lans owne …… 187 10 33
1 22 4 36 155 .. , … Gananoque …… 178 3 08 10 09
5 14 169 · … Ki¥lston Mills ….
164 9 30
2 30 5 35 178 ……. ingston …..•. 160 2 00 9 10
554 180 ….. Collins Bay …… 153 8 51
617 188 · ….. Ernestown ……
145 8 28
3 35 6 47 199 ……. Napanee ……. 134 12 55 7 58
7 15 209 ….. Tyondonafa …..
124 7 31
7 25 213 ….. Shaunonvi Ie ….. 120 7 20
4 36 745 220 · ….. Belleville ……
113 1154 7 00
5 07
232 ……. Trenton ……. 101 11 23
5 32 242 ……. Brighton …….
91 10 58
5 49 249 ……. Colborne ……. 84 10 40
6 08 256 …….. Grafton ……. 77 10 22
6 33 6 30 263 ……. Cobourg ……. 70 9 58 800
6 53 6 50 271 …… PortHope …… 62 9 38 739
6 58 274 ….. Port Britain …. , 59 780
7 15 7 18 280 ….. Newtonville ….. 53 715
7 29 286 …… Newcastle …… 47 658
7 42 7 38 290 …. Bowmanville ….. 43 8 50 647
8 06
8 04 300 ……. Osbn.wn. …….. 33 8 25 618
817
8 14 304 ….. Port Whitby ….. 29 814 607
8 31 810 .. , .Duffins Creek …. 23 550
8 37 312 · .. Frenchman·s Bay … 21 544
8 48 316 · .. Port Union ….. , 17 533
8 57 8 59 320 · …… Scarboro ……. 13 734 522
9 18 327 ……… york …….. 6 5 02
9 30
9 35 333 · ….. lolonto …… 7 00 445
P. Jli. P. M.. P. M.. A. M. ARRIVE LEAVE A.M. A. M. A. M. P.M.
The first through timetable between Montreal and Toronto, effective October 27, 1856. Note that there was no local train
between Belleville and
Cobourg, and the through train had to act as a local between those points. Collection of Fred Angus
RAIL CANADIEN -514
There was, however, some concern felt by the
citizens of Kingston in regard to the numerous level
crossings
in the area near the city. In the township of
Kingston, the railway crossed all the principal roads
leasing
to the city, as well as many of the smaller country
roads. The rai
lway had already erected signboards, bearing
the
words RAILWAY CROSSING on both sides,
stretching across the
highway. It was suggested that, in
addition to this, a barrier be placed across the road at
times when trains were expected to
pass.
Another problem which affected Kingstonians
in the first few days concerned checked baggage. For
some reason, the Grand Trunk had issued an edict that
lugg
age was to be checked to all places on the line e.·:r: .. c.eJ2l
Kings.ln./1., and tha t KingsJ.flJ1….1J1gg(lge was not to~e.
ch£..cls&i…JJLall. It is not known why this was done, or how
long the situation lasted. Perhaps
it had to do with lack of
transportation between the station and downtown.
However it did cause a great deal of complaint and
criticism. At any rate, a gentleman named Mink soon
established
an omnibus service to and from the station at
train time,
and it is thought that soon thereafter checked
baggage
was accepted to and from Kingston.
Two days after the service began there occurred
the
first accident. But for an extremely lucky stroke of
providence, this might have resulted in a very serious
wreck. The
Colonist reported:
The up-train from Montreal on Wednesday night
[October 29], we understand, ran off the track by a switch,
which was left open through some misapprehension as to
the exact time the train would pass. The engine and tendel;
when they
got off, became detached from the passenger
cars, and the latter therefore sustained no injury. The
locomotive ran
for some distance through a sand bank,
and then overturned. There was no person injured, the
e
ngineer having jumped off the locomotive before it
overturned. The passengers were detained,
in consequence
of the accident, seven hours.
214 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
RAILWAY TIME BETWEEN CHICAGO & MONTREAL
To the editor of the MONTREAL GAZETTE:
SI R, -I send you a memorandum of the railroad running time
between this city and Chicago, that
you may make such use of it as you
consider desirable.
Having left Chicago at 9
on Sunday evening, by the Michigan
Central Railroad, I reached Detroit next morning (Monday) about
9; took
the Great Western train for Hamilton, and reached there same evening
at
6; left Hamilton next morning at 4, and connected with the Grand
Trunk at Toronto at 7 A.M
., arriving at Montreal at 9 last evening
(Tuesday). Thus you will see that the time spent en route was
48
hours, 11 of which were passed at Hamilton. I might have left Chicago
at 5 on Monday morning, and reached here at the same time on Tuesday
evening -making the running time between here and Chicago about
37
hours. One hours time should be deducted from this on account of the
difference
in longitude. When the connections are properly arranged,
the whole distance, about 850 miles, may be
run easily in 30 hours.
You will be glad to learn that the road between this city and
Toronto is extremely smooth and far superior
in that respect to any
road on this continent that I ever traveled over, and I have been over
nearly all of them. It will
be desirable that through tickets be sent on as
soon as possible to Chicago, that persons coming here from thence
may obtain them. They had not reached that city when I left.
Yours,
L.
Montreal, October 29,1856.
A
most interesting letter from an unknown person (signed
only as L) who was one of the first to travel from Chicago to
Montreal using the new service. He would have been on the
second through train from Toronto to Montreal.
Aside from the
se problems, which were common to
most new systems, the Montreal-Toronto service was a
success
from the start. Comments in the newspapers (even
the Globe), and letters to
the editors as well, all attested to
its convenience and quality. After years of effort, the trains
were running satisfactorily.
Now it was time to pullout the
stops
and have a first-rate celebration.
Grand Trunk
passenger cars in Toronto about 1856. The 14-window cars are likely built in Montreal by the English contractors,
using iron hardware manufactured by the Canada Works in Birkenhead. The 15-window car, second from left, was probably
built by a Canadian builder. Note that the English cars have spoked wheels.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 215 CANADIAN RAIL -514
An early1850s style passenger car, as illustrated in the British American Guide Book of 1859. This type of car
was somewhat outdated by 1856, especially with regard to the design of the trucks.
0.4 ______ 5
A cross sectional drawing of an iron U rail, as
used by the Grand Trunk at the time of its
construction in the 1850s. This drawing is from
the Handbook of Railroad Construction, by
George L. Vose, printed in 1857. He states that A
good rail must be able to act as a girder, between
the ties, as a lateral
guide upon curves, and must
possess a top surface of sufficient hardness and
size
to resist the rolling wear of the wheels.
Few interior views of 1850s passenger cars exist. This woodcut, which
appeared in the I/Iustrated London News in 1852, gives an approximate
idea of what accommodations were offered in the early days of the
Grand Trunk.
LEFT: The Grand Trunk
bridge which crossed
the Chaudiere River, on
the line from
Richmond
to Levis, as it appeared
in the l11ustrated
London
News for December 13,
1856. The
same issue
had a very objective
account of the celebrat·
ions of November 12
and 13.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
UP
SEP
1856
216 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
This early brass padlock is stamped
GTR on the back and is the type used
to secure buildings and switches on
the Grand Trunk. Note the patent date
of October 14, 1851.
One
of the major advantages of the railway was the speeding up of mail service. By the mid 1850s rail post offices (RPOs)
were in regular use on
many railways including the Grand Trunk. Mail could now be sorted en route, speeding up the service.
These
illustrations show postmarks of the Montreal & Brockville, Montreal & Toronto, Kingston & Toronto, and Montreal &
Kingston RPOs, all of the Grand Trunk. Up trains were those going towards Toronto (i.e. up river) while those marked
Down were heading towards Montreal. Note that the Montreal & Toronto postmark is dated only one week after the
through service began. The postage stamp shown is the famous three-penny (equal to 5 cents) beaver, designed by
Sandford Fleming and in use from 1851 to 1859, after which it was replaced by a 5 cent of the same design and colour. It
covered the cost of sending a letter anywhere within the Province of Canada. The beaver stamp design was issued until early
1868, a few months after Confederation, and was then discontinued.
An
artists conception of a scene at Toronto station in the early days, only a few years after service began.
I
.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
I iLJ.m~~ 11:~:i1ml[ 1
.KTNG STREET WEST, II
TC>~C>NTC>. ~
THOMAS L,!1B. PROPRIETOR.
…. n OUJiuibn al AY. in A..uondnncc:.
O~1NIBUS LINE,
FOR IIOTELS, CARS AND BOATS.
1I. A.l0.·~·8. M, ~I. (JUHIIIII), T.Oltllll:,,
BY l:. F. PEARSOl:.
CORNER FRONT & YONGE STREETS,
T<>~C>NTC>. o. ~.
adJoinillt: tho Grnncl Trllnk nnll O. S. hnd Hllron RnillOud
Depol..8, ulln lIenr tho G-:Dtrnl SteftOl Uont Lflndinga.
TOP LEFT: A Canadian $1 banknote of 1856.
It is denominated in both dollars and
shillings. This is the kind of money used at
the time the GTR opened. Eight of these
would have purchased a second-class
through ticket from Montreal to Toronto.
Many of these were in circulation in
Montreal at the time of the celebration.
TOP RIGHT:
This is the kind of button worn
by the Grand Trunk train crews on their
uniforms. The 2-2-2 was decidedly old
fashioned by 1856!
ABOVE:
The various omnibus operators
provided service from the Don station to
downtown Toronto. Lambs Hotel is where
Captain
Turner was staying at the time of
the Kingsford-Brown duel challenge.
RIGHT:
There was a good variety of
interesting books and magazines on many
different subjects available to passengers
in 1856, both from the news agents on
board the train and along the line. One could
also buy a copy of Longfellows new poem
Hiawatha, the best-seller of that year.
Reading material was very important on a
14·hour trip.
217 CANADIAN RAIL -514
DERBY & JACKSONS
New Books for Railway and Steamboat
READINGS_
——–.——.-… ~.~—————
ALONE, by MARION HARLAND, 12mo., 384 pp. 20th Ed. neat cloth, $1 25
I TIlE HIDDEN PATH, by MARION HARLAND, Author of Alone,
12Mo., 434 pp., 18th Edition, neat cloth, •
IVE BEEN THINKING; or the Secret of Success. By A. S. ROE,
12mo., 327 pp., neat cloth, . . . . . • .
A LONG LOOK AHEAD; 01, The First Stroke and the Last, by
A. S. ROE, 12roo., 441 pp., 6th edition, neat cloth, ..
TO LOVE AND TO BE LOVED; And rime and ride, or Strive to
Win, by A. S. ROE, two volumes in one,434 pp., neat cloth
(new edition,) . . . . . . . . . STAR PAPERS; or, Experiences
of Art and Nature, by HENRY
WARD BEECHER, 12mo., 359 pp., 25th edition, neat cloth, .
ISORAS CHILD, 6th edition,
by HARRIETT A. OLCOTT, 504 pp.,
12mo., neat cloth, . . WINNIE
AND I, 12mo., neat cloth, 3d tdition, 350 pp., . .
THE SPARROWGRASS
P APJmS, by FREDERICK S. COZZENS, illus-
trated by Darley, 12mo.,. . .. ..
MARRIED, NOl MATED: or, How they Lived at Woodside and
Throckmorton Hall, by
ALICE CAREY, 12ruo., neat cloth,. .
j
THE WIDOW BEDOTT PAPERS, Edited by Ar,ICE B. N~AL, 12mo.,
with eight spirited illust.ratlons, cloth, gilt back, . . THE WAR IN KANSAS;
01, a Rough Trip to the Border among
New Homts and a Strange People, by GEORGE DOUGLAS BREWER-
1 25
1 00
1 25
1 25
1 25
1 25
1 00
1 25
1 25
1 25
TON, 12mo., ilIulltlated, . . . . . . . . 1 25
CAMP FIRES OF THE RED MEN; or, a Hundred Years Ago, by
J. R. ORTON, 12mo., 400 pp., illustrated, cloth, gilt backs,
TilE GREEN MOUNTAIN GIRLS, A Tale of Vermont. By
BLYTHE WHITE, .Tr., 121110., illustrated, cloth, gilt back,. .
MY COURTSHIP AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, By UI:NRY WIKOFF,
a true account of the Authors Adventures with Miss J. C.
Gamble, of Portland Place, London, 12mo., cloth,. . .
FEMALJtJ LIFE AMONG THE MORMONS, 12mo., with illustra-
tions,
450 pp. cloth, gilt back,. . . . . . .
1 25
1 25
1 25
I
COUNTRY MARGINS AND SUMMER RA~lBLES, by S. H. fuM-
MOND, and L. W. MA…~8FrELD, 1Zmo., neat cloth, . 1 00
BELL SMITH ABROAD, 12mo., illustrated, 326 pp., neat cloth, • 1 25
HUNTING ADVENTURES IN THE NORTHERN WILDS; oy S.
H. HAMMOND, 12mo., clot!!, gilt back, wit·h four colored illus-
trations,. . . . . . . . . . . 1 00
CUMMINGS HUNTERS LIFE AMONG WILD ANIMALS, Edited
by
BAYARD TAYLOR, thick, 12mo., colored illustrations, 629 pp., 1 25
I
For Sale by tho Agents on th@ Cars and Steamboats, ~nd Booksellers I
ge1l6rs.lly.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
November 12 and 13 1856
The Grand Celebration
As soon as the date of the opening was announced,
plans were made for a grand celebration to be held at
Montreal, one that would out-do anything previously held
in Canada. As the Cobourg Star very aptly said:
It appears that the good citizens 0/ Montreal are
resolved to have a celebration worthy 0/ their time­
honoured city, and worthy 0/ the occasion. One day will
not sa
tisfy their ambition, they must have a second. We hope
that either the one day or the other will be made by universal
consent a general Provincial holiday. Peace hath her
victories no less renowned than war. The great scientific
conquest just achieved by
the engineers 0/ the Grand Trunk
surely deserve some commemoration. It will
prove 0/ far
more importance to Canada, if not to the world at large,
than
the capture 0/ Sebastopol, though we be no means
undervalue the triumph
there achieved by the allied armies.
The scene now shifts to Montreal, where great
preparations were under way
to handle the myriads of little
details required
to make the event a success. The logical
way
was to divide the work up into various sections, and set
up committees
to work on these sections; this is exactly
what was done. There was a banquet committee, a ball
committee, a procession committee,
to name just three, and
in addition there were numerous sub-committees. Overseeing
a
ll this was the executive committee, to which all the other
committees reported. Although it might seem rather
bureaucratic, this division of the task into its logical segments
worked very well
and was a major factor in the success of
the celebration.
Another most
fortunate factor was the decision to
seek input, and involvement, from the public. Adveliisements
soon appeared
in all local newspapers inviting tenders for
various jobs
to be done. This ranged from the design for the
triumphal arch on McGill Street, to the request for citizens to
make their homes available for the accommodation of guests.
When a city with a total population
of 60,000 prepares for a
party where 6000 guests are expected,
it needs all the help in
can get, and Montrealers indeed rose to the occasion, much
as they did exactly III years later for Expo 67. The sheer
logistics
of the task are quite daunting; to take but one
example: where does one
go, in 1856, to find champagne
for 6000? Also, invitations
had to be designed, printed
and sent out
all across Canada and the United States. No
doubt many used that relatively recent innovation, postage
stamp
s, which had been in use in Canada for five years.
Despite the difficulties, the organization
committees worked very hard, often well into the night,
much
as the Grand Trunk workers themselves had done
218 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
.—–
Grand Truuk Railway.
SPECIAL NOTICE.
T
HE BulleyjlJo r~nd J3rocbillt) lmin
will he di!conlinlltd durin!; lhn wock
of the Hail way cl·!Icbrarioll, Hlld n Irain
will leavo n(lllt~ilic Oil TUl!:3day the Itlll
Nov. nt 8 A. M., for l1oalrcal, slopping al all
stalioll~. anli IV i II return jrocn Montr~aJ
Qrrain on Friday the 14th Nov. !lopplng
ut::!o at all ~I.atiolls.
Bror.kvilk, 4th Nov.
S. I~EEfiER.
!SuP[·
There was no Belleville-Brockville local during the
celebrations, but there was a Belleville-Montreal local,
down on the 11th and back on the 14th.
to regular trains. On the morning of November 12, the day
the festivities began, the Montreal Gazette reported on some
of these arrivals:
OUR GUESTS. -STILL THEY COME. -A train
conSisting
0/ f 2 cars left Toronto yesterday morning at 4
a.m.,
and reached Montreal at midnight. Another,
consisting
0/ f 5 cars, left an hour afterwards. This had not
arrived at
2 a.m.
At the depot
ground~ at Point SI. Charles a bonfire
was blaZing, rockets were sent up, and the arch 0/ welcome
was again illuminat
ed. Another train 0/ fourteen cars came
still late
t; and when we went to press in the morning the
roar
0/ carriages was still heard upon the streets.
A telegraphic dispatch from Portland sa
ys that a
train
0/6 cars, containing fully 400 persons, left that city
yesterday /01 the Celebration. The /irst train 0/ the
Champlain
& St. Lawrence Railroad brought in about 150
visitors yesterday morning. A t half past two 0 clock in the
afternoon a special train arrived over the same road, having
on board the Mayor
0/ Boston and 60 other gentlemen.
INVITATION.
THE BANQUET AND BALL

GI:lAND TRUNK CELEBRATION, AT 1I10NTREAL.
liEW &: F ABIDOBAlILE UTICllS, IJ(POanrn XXPRE88LY for t.hi& OCCABlOH,
-.4 L.LJ.oK .u::soaTltCT QF-
Pla.ln 8.lId Dress Sbirls, TIes, Cranls, Glares, Collars, &c. &c. &c.
SAINT COLLIEllS CELEBRATED PARISIAN SHIRTS.
lIOTE TRB AllDB.X88,
AT FREDERICK OROSSS
n.o.J.ty, Olott Lad BbJrt WUCOOlat, 16J }O
e [);a.ml .treel, oone:r of Sl. LIomtHrt ..nd ~Olt. Dunl.
~ .sOtCIDM 6, au. 2062 tI
to complete the line on time. As the days went by,
excitement grew, along with optimism, for t
he pieces were
falling into place, and Montrealers became more and more
sure that the events would come
off in proper style.
Soon came the second week
in November, and then the
guests began
to arrive. They came by train, by steamboat,
and some
by road. In a number of cases, special trains
were
run, and in others there were special cars attached
A Montreal haberdasher took advantage of the upcoming
celebration to advertise his wares Imported expressly for this
occasion in a Toronto newspaper.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 219
TBI BAIiQUi1 OOlUnTlllD lInlleTeDden
fOB
8UPPLYING
1
BANQUET AT POINT 81. CHARLES,
1111 WBDNESDAY, Uie 12Lb or NOYember, Pt<­
Olllalll ot bich JIl&l be obtailled 011 ppllClAllon
to. e uaderllped, ~&eell tbe boun ot 9 aDd
12 da1l1.
!renderl will be reoeyed up to 4 ooloak 00
rrlda1nu:t.
I. O. DINNING,
Sourelary.
249 JIoou.al, Octobeto 18, 1856.
~.-
RAILWAY OELlIIBRATION.
T
HE PROOESSION COMKITTEB 10,1,
TENDEI18 aDd DESIGNS tor Ibe eNlo!loa
oto
ARC H
III
McGILL STREET.
J;J-Prlloulau ot whlob ml be obtlned (rom
O. GUTS, Beqjlbe Obalrmao, on ppllcalion I
&be Meohanlo natllnLe.
T
HE BALL OOMMITTE ,,110 In,ILeTENDERS
and DESIGNS (or tbe
DECORAl:ION
BON SEC 0 U R S HAL L
THIll B ALL,
10 II al~1> Tal 011 Tal 13TH PROXIMO.
-For partJoulro, apply Lo Ibe undenlgned,
al Union Bolldinlll, SI. Frn~ol. Xul.r StreeL.
TENDERS ,,11 be recelled up to , oolock,
011 FRIDAY out, 2tLh In.tAIIt.
THOS. WILY,
Secn
tar

MODlreal, Ootober 22, 1856, 311
CANADIAN RAIL -514
Some notices that appeared in the newspapers concerning the coming celebration. Note that admission was by invitation
only, and the invitation lists were closed on October 23, almost three weeks before the events. By November 8 it was realized
that
there was not enough hotel space to accommodate all visitors, so an appeal was made to residents with spare rooms
to accommodate guests.
There were three special trains yesterday from
Portland and Boston, which brought in upwards of 2000
persons. These, we
understand, have been snugly quartered
011 board the steamers Quebec and John Munn . The
visitors on their arrival were met by a deputation from the
New
England Society. Amongst those were many
distinguished men from Maine and j1assachusetts. We may
mention Governor Dunlop of lv/aine, Ex-Mayor from
Charleston, Samuel Lawrence Esq., and Senator Wilson.
The passengers were brought up by the Grand Trunk ferry
boat in three separate trips. The Portlanders were
accompanied by a splend
id brass band, who, while coming
inlo port,
played God Save the Queen in capital style.
Roman candles were discharged Fom the boat, and rockets
from
the shore.
The train from Toronto
did not arrive until after
one a clock this morning.
His
Excellency, Sir Edmond Head, Governor
General, accompanied by Lady Head and suite, arrived in
this city yesterday about 6 p.m.
The train that carried the most people was the ten­
car Celebration Special from Toronto. Hundreds of people
boarded this train at Toronto, and
hundreds more boarded,
or attempted to board, it at stations all along the line. This
led to considerable confusion. Although the train was very
crowded when it reached these intermediate stations, many
RAIL CANADIEN -514
more passengers climbed aboard
and tried
to settle into whatever
space was available. A rumour
had gotten about that a second
train was following close behind,
so some people who might have
squeezed
in decided to wait for
the second section. Unfortun­
ately this
second train did not
exist, so all those would-be
passengers were out of luck, and
had to wait until the next day,
thereby missing the first day
of
the celebrations.
Those who did manage
to get aboard were in for a very
long day, as the train was delayed
at numerous stations en route.
There was
no food service on the
train, but many passengers ma
de
do, as we read from this amusing
account from the Kingston Daily
News
of November 13:
A LUDICROUS SCENE.-
220
gljuJ tIJl-l
j
I\1 ~mil.o.J 1 UuJ ~i.tu,ll l JA~mt 1
. ,,,dJ <.t.J.u~ 1 ).0) ,.IO,~ i.b i.~ uJ,+dJ) MW.I t!uJ Fbu4
UMtW 1 IoJ J.l.!k\JJ 11,0 ~JJ,,lih~ 1 toJ :LIl j,JdJ u,ll
Ju..t.J 1 u,cLdiJ\1 l1uJ ~WJ ) ~tL I ,m) &>«().LhlJmJ
j,)ll Uu fi~lou,~~
1. lrfORLIlND, D. KINNEAR,
%tcrCliltll·
MICHIGAN CENTRAL.
SOUTHEllN MICHIGAN. GREAT WESTERN.
NOItTHBllN ONTAllO, SIMCOE & HURON. GRAND
TRUNK.
OTTAWA AND PRESCOTT. ANDROSOOGGIN AND KENNEBEC. BOSTON AND MAINE. EASTERN RAlLIWAD. CHAMPLAIN AND ST. J,AWRENCE.
MONTREAL
AND NEW YORK.
RUTLA~D AND BURLINGTON.
CllESIIillE. FITCHllURG. VEltMONT CENTRAL.
NORTHERN NEW HAMPSHillE. CONCORD.
MANCHESTER AND ST.
LA WlENCE. BOSTON AND LOWELL. VERMONT
AND MASSAOHUSETTS.
RENSSELAER AND SARATOGA. SARATOGA AND WHITEHALL. LAKE CHAMPLAIN STEAMllOAT
Co.
On Tuesday when the Toronto
train
reached this station, most
of the passengers kept their seats,
fearing, should they vacate them,
others might take possession.
Some, howevel; made themselves
liS efu I by bringing loads of
turkeys and other fowl, which …. ——————–…….
they
divided by tugging at the This letter, when accompanied by the official invitation,
allowed the bearer to travel free on any of the railways
limbs, and distributed the parts (and one steamboat company) when going to and from
SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
parlance) a bumper. The
number
of strangers conveyed to
the city by railroads and
steamboats was aboul 15, 000.
Immense Irains
of cars, loaded
wilh passengers, continu
ed to
arrive, and when the eventful
day dawned, the city had a most
extraordinary appearance. The
crowds of strangers pouring
through the chief streets and
thoroughfares reminded one of
Cheaps ide or the Strand.
Vehicles, too,
of all kinds and
descriptions, were in requisition
Ihe whole time, so that the scene
of animalion and interest never
flagged.
On Wednesday, the
12th,
the trade procession
mustered in Commissioner (now
Victoria) square. By ten 0 clock
all was in readiness,
and at the
sound 0/ a bugle the order was
given for the procession
to move.
The immense procession passed
through
the principal streets of
the city, which were densely
packed with spectators. After
this the banquet took place at
Point St. Charles. At the
entrance to the banquet room
the crush was immense, and
when the company of 4,000 were
present, the room appeared like
a sea
of head5. The decorations
among their famished com-the celebration in Montreal. Warren Baker Collection.
panions, as well as cakes, pies,
of the room were all that could
be desired Speeches were made by the Governor-General
and other distinguished visitors. After the banquet a
remarkably well got up
and effective torchlight procession
went through the principal streets,
and closed the first day
of celebration.
and all sorts of fixins . The
incident created a good deal
of amusement, in which a very
large
number of spectators partiCipated with apparent
gusto.
Fourteen years later, in 1870, the events of November
1856 were still vivid
in the memory of Montrealers. In that
year the well known historian Alfred Sandham (author
of
Canadas first coin catalogue) published a historical book
entitled Ville Marie, or Sketches
of Montreal, Past and
Present. His account
in that book sums up the whole event.
The year J 85 6 was one of continued excitement.
Scarcely had the reception
of the 39th regiment [which had
just returned
from the Crimea. Ed.] ceased to be a subject of
interest when a public meeting of merchants and other
citizens was called
to take steps for celebrating the opening
of the Grand Trunk Railway between Montreal and Toronto.
A committee was appointed
to take up subscriptions, and
to make arrangements. The matter was entered into with
characteristic spirit and energy, and about £3, 000 was
subscribed on the spot. The programme decided on
combined a procession, a banquet,
an excursion and a ball.
This event
in the history of Montreal took place
on the 12th and J 3th Novembel: As those days approached,
it became evident that the city was going to be (in histrionic
On the follOWing morning many thousand visitors
and citizens wended their way towards the whatf,
and about
9 0 clock several steamers started for the new whGlf at
Point St. Charles. Hoving inspected the works at the
Victoria Bridge, a train of twenty-one cars, containing
about
3, 000 persons, proceeded to view the new wheel­
house
of the water-works. The party then returned to the
city,
and in the afternoon a militmy review took place on
Logon
s farm. At 9 0 clock in the evening a diJplay of fire­
works
commenced on the Island what! A promenade
through the city during the evening was an exciting ai/ail;
the streets and houses in every quarter being brilliantly
illuminated. Cannons roared, the gratified spectators
loudly cheered, and hats were waved by both young and
old. The ball, held the same evening, was overcrowded,
many being unable
to gain admission. Altogether, it waJ.>a
night long to be remembered in lv/ontreal, and it
unmistakeably demonstrated the sympathies of the people
of the city in the cause of industry, skill and enterprise.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
w
u
::;
o

RAILWAY CELEBRATION!

PROGR4/ffME

TIm QUND PROOJC8SION,
~ 1~18llG.
Oapt&lD Hat-.
OBlD 0 PuL10Jt-WOllAc.4.
Dlnalon of the 011 Poliea.
0&nIn oa UDfI.Mek.
XoatrMl Y, Bripda,
lJ,c!w e 41reedoD of OapL Bwtnun, 0hW
:DJi-01 the Fire Dep&rtZIfJlIt, &ad W.
WONt, 2nd AalI&D Koci-.
Karabal, Oapt. r~, b.AMt. KII~.
Moe,u.allire 00. No.1. Boee ~ ~. No. ,.
Jf~. .. No.2. UIIloa No. ••
Prot.ec, I No. a. IJwo No. t.
Q_ It No. &. Hook~ 1(0. 10
VolUrar .. No. e. BooktLaddw Ho. 11
BDt110alUlfal P4 A.~oalaral 8cHdeu..
B …. Rl>rs BAND.
Obk( )~bal Trad .. ~~
lob Grut., &.q.
.J..a.al.taD ditto, …. la.u 410.
,I.. X. Farlel, Eaq. J… W. 0,,1,–, &.q.
…:
u
TB.ADRB PRQOESBION.
lat84HlUa..
DJ;. JHrDard. w ….. bal.
rlu .l.rU.
2nd 8eeUOD.
O. Brown; K.q., K.anbaJ.
L .. l.ber.
3111 &c1l0 ••
P. M. 0ri.t1.1a, B¥t,.l lII.anW.
Boa,6a4 ou.
Us BKUOD.
1 ohu ~bcwoll~!:., WarUal.
Woo •
6tb 8eCUoIl.
W. P. Banl, Kill Mt.rIbaJ.
lrou.
OAN4.DlAN-IlfDKPKND&KT BAND.
~. el~.
8th &>oLloD.
J… l.&roH~.q., Manbal.
wood.
hb Beetion.
A. Waad, K.,.., lianbal.
Wuon ••
8Lb BecLiou •
.Ii. …… 81enn8.,., K.q., XanMl.
PriAUtlC·
9th &etloo.
S. P. Tlhoo{ X ….. l£.anh&l.
Wl80e laneou ••
W.eh&A~ 11ll~tQ~.
~ Ald.
MarataJ,
Oaplain K. }{a
..
o
..
Ald. n
-Dubl.m61, &tq. ~ … .,. Deul,-leru, Etq.
221 CANADIAN RAIL -514
SARSFIELD BAND.
N.4TlON.l.L SOCIETIES.
BL. A.draw. Societl
PORTLAND BAND.
New Rogl&.lld 8oei.,T.
B~ Pal.rleka BoclM,T.
at. ~rge. Boelet1.
Qerman Bool,11.
BT.
J08BPH BA.ND.
Joe.ph KWard.
BI. JMIl8&pL.aeSoc.et,., IIlDITiaIou .. folloln:
8t. ADk/loe. 81. Joeepb.
8t. Fralilfoia Xa,.l.r. L(ulltut OaoAdleD.
LUoloo St. JOMpb. Bt. Jacqol!ll &ctioa.
St. Miohet. 0011e~ Sle. Marl ••
TemperuC41 8oc:iet1. Oolle,. 4. Moatnal.
aDd
Tbe O!loen of 8t. J .. Bapdle.
……. LL.
8.1. L7JDU, Keq.
AJd. AU.
G ••. Sa.n.,…. Dr • .Llflbocl.
lWLJI .uJI~
a.IU7P~
~ LUIrarT ,..u..
JIarbooar 00mm1eeJoa .. aU TrlaJJ.a-.
Boet« ol~.
Qoweaeca .. d ~1. wS4l ….. ~
..; of McGill CoHeRe.
u Our CiMtlJIIIIIlibe 0.,.. Jll U.t …..
~ 0*.
~ BOOM Dt ~laI1.
t.ectalaUn OoucW.ort.
.Jut-•
ClIlU,. OouaoU.
Oorpoct.Uoll olllloll&rtal.
AalJ-llt ChW of Poll ..
Dlriaklu ot PoUoe.

Roun 01 Tim PROO.a&lOJl.
rorm ill Oomllll .. loDen Squue, JioOlU aDd
0,.1, Street, a1 RIGHT oclock, Lm., filt LlIroultb
Grea1 St. Jabi .. Street. rouud ~ PIao. 4ArmN,
tbrouib Notre Da.me SUM1 t.o Dalbou,le Sctuue,
dowlI 81. P .. I S.reet t.o Jacqu.e OanWr Squar-a,
illt.o OommlN1ODera St t.o MoQUI &rMt, up
81. Joeeph to Moaatalll Bt.rMt, iAto lh. A.ntolD.
. Btretlt. baok t.o OOlllmlAlQllenl ~uue azul ~
dlaptrte.
GOD S.4..E TH.E QUEEN!
Tb, OlllMo. are reapeotlull,. r6qUNted ~ d ..
corale wlLb Banura IUld ~.,erlTo, UM bcxaN
ou 1he IIDe of march.
OlUB. GA.RTH,
o ba1ralaI1 Pre. OOID.
THOS. WILY!
Grud .&lIb&1.
liootrMl, No.,. 11, 1856. elsa
Of course the newspapers printed the full program
of the events to come, as can be seen in the synopsis above
of the procession, and in addition ran articles describing the
various features
of Montreal, including a large six-column­
wide engraving of Victoria Bridge as it would look when
completed. After the events there was, of course, full
coverage of what had occurred, including copious extracts
from the many speeches which had been given.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
THE HISTRIONIC POLKA & ZOUAVES POLKA.
—==:::::.–
..,., —.-$J!!. iY9J;ktY-Wi
~r~~
Polilisl,l kr-S~T. GO.R0 ON:-R.91.BrOfldffOV.
v.J _ …. r.lj:-_ :/
Jlimlrl!(lZ. CPfcHUIflh., Itfdl1.
-MENAV PP.IHCL—-TP.UAX 9ALOWIN .. –~ P.DS! CDCKS Itt! …….
222 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
THE JUBILEE~CELEBRATION POLKA.
C{lInpoud h) MlHRY PRINeL
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
One thing which seems strange from a 21 century
point
of view (but was quite common in Victorian times) was
that ladies were not admitted to the banquet; it
was strictly
a male event.
As the New York Times commented:
The room is four hundred feet long, and tables run
from end to end, forming altogether a mile and a half of
tables, at which some five thousand men are to sit down
and eat. Ladies have properly been excluded from such an
indecent
sight.
Even requests by lad ies to see the set-up before
the dinner took place were denied. The executive committee
made this
very clear in an advertisement published in the
papers
of November 12:
The Executive Committee, having found it
impracticable to make suitable provision
for the Ladies to
witness the Banquet, consider it proper to give notice, much
as they regret the necessity, that NO EXCEPTIONS whatever
can be made.
Despite the stern wording of this notice, at least
one exception WlS. made. The afternoon before the banquet,
Lady Head, the wife
of the Governor-General, was given a
complete tour
of the hall.
J=~~;f~~
~ A ~~c-~-:c-IT i
~ ~
~ CJ;LEDRATlO, OJ fITE OPBJVW ~
~ .,, ~
~ :::~:.~ .. :::::~:.:.,:::~ ~
j. i
~~~ JHonlrc.,( I §l
lr.r:TKD m; lOll:/ 1.O,,:r,[., AT un: SU .. U(-lBo.IfloO ~T.UJ,NII)(!I.. -,
IT. :<,~(lr.l~ 1:1:1.
l8.:l0.
~W.2!NJ~Jli.~fl~:~~if~~
Even with the ladies absent, the banquet was a
great s
uccess. It was said to have been the largest assembly
that
ever sat down at table under the same roof, and the
speeches, and the champagne, flowed freely.
Among other
things, each guest found at his place a book entitled
Montreal in 1856. Since many of the guests had never
been to Montreal, and knew little about it, this 52-page
booklet was prepared. It described much about Montreal
and its industries, including,
of course, its railways.
223 CANADIAN RAIL-514
RAILROAD CELEBRATION,.
SJ;:COND DAY,
THURSDAY, 13TH NOVEMBER, 1856.
PROGR.AMME
VIOTORIA BRIDGE,
IJl)
WHEKL HOUSB OF THE MONTREAL
WATER WORK3.
SI«lmn. ,iU W,N tAt ltltaid Wlarf
.n JrTn dCLOCIl PUCLJIII.T.
Tboee deilroUJ of ~n.m.In,g tbe Work. Work­
IbOpl and buUdicg. at PolDt 8t. Obarles,
(or wbicb ner] fwUt] will be otrered by
tbe Otllcen of the Grand Trunr. Oompa.o]
aDd tbe OODtrt.ctora, are aa~l.ed to go at
tbll hour.
BAND8 OF MUSIO
ILL J.CCOItPUT.
STEAMERB wl11 II.g&.lD Lene tbe &me Pll.e6
AT HALF-P A8T NlN& OOLOCK,
To coDn], his Wonblp the MaJor aDd Oor­
pon.llon.
Tbo.e .. bo )refer, may .. alt for tbla Trip.
TICKETS to ~ retAined, but .bOD .. bet!
golcg oa boArd.
00 arrlnl of tbe Mayor acd Corporatloa al
PolDt at. Cbarlu, a
TRAIN OF CARB
Will be ia rudlneu
r
t.o conny Lb&m and tbOM
who wlab 10 jolc, 1.0
THB WHUL HouaK OF T~ W AT.ER
WOR~
The Part, .. Ill malo tbere for THREE
QUARTERS OF AN BOUR, and reLarD,01l IbI
Oarl, to the Bt.umera, 10 U 1.0 arriTe back III the
0111 before lIOOH.
l:)-Penon … ILbonL Ticket. are requut.td not
1.0 BD~r tbe C&l1I, nor att.trppL golni on bo&td
tbe Btume~.
A PROCESSION,
Btt.4ed by the MAYOR 4 CORPORATION,…w
proceed from Lbe Ll.IIdini Wharf t.o Oom­
mlM1onet
Sq!l.&lil, .. her. tbe
OPBJllW 01 THB MONTREAL W Ana
WORKS
1rUl bt .. Iebra~, at NOON.
J:J-Stnnprt _4 OIL1M11j1 alonl Un Uoe, art
re T. 8. BROW.,
CMnI .. ~ z.uur~ eo…tu …
As would be expected in a function of this size,
there were a few troubles.
The Gazelle reported We regret
to learn that some persons found their way into the banquet
hall yesterday morning
and carried off, not only the small
flags ornamenting the shields, but some of the shields
themselves, and valuable banners lent for the occasion by
OPPOSITE: The Jubilee or Celebration Polka was composed by Henry Prince especially for the 1856 celebration. Henry
Prince
was born in England in 1825, but lived in Montreal most of his life. He was a bandmaster of note, and composed many
quadrilles, polkas and other dance music. He was in the music business until 1888, and died in Montreal in 1889.
ABOVE LEFT: The
cover of the booklet prepared for the guests. It clearly described many features of Montreal.
ABOVE RIGHT: The programme
of the second days activities as published in the newspapers.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
O~
·Thursday Evening,J3th Novem.ber,.18 .6:,
. • tt I … .
——_._——_._-
·-2—–.. ·————–.. ———————–·
-3——————————–·——-.. —­
~——————————————-­
5———.. ———————————-.
6-
r—-.- –
~—————————~——-­
-7–~———————————–~—–·
-If————————–,.·—————-
-9—————–.. ————————–
10————————.. ———·——–­
11————————-·——————­
I~——————————————-
13—————–~———–:—–·—­
I4—————————-~—————–
16———————-.. ————–­
i6——-:—.-~—————————-
17———————————————­
i8————–c—————–·————~
fo·——————————————-
20——————————————–
21———————————
22————————————-­
iil–.. ——-…. ————-~—————-.. -·
~,r—-·—.. ———————–.. ————
224 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
l-Qllndrille …..•…. La Reino do Na vane.
::!-Polka …………. Sultans.
3-Q,l(Idrillo
….. , …. Sobastopol.
4-Ga(op …………. Express ..
5-Quadrille ………. Omar Paeoa ..
e-Cotillion
… ; …… —_
7-WIlItZ ………… Rosalinda.
8-Quadrllle …… .. Edinburgh.
9
-Polka ……. ..•. Klng PippeD.
JO-Recl …………. __ _
ll-Galop ………… .LELna.
I2-Quadrille ………. Palermo.
IS-Cotillion
………. -__
14-Waltz …….••… COlllottQ.
15-Poll(a ……….•.. Invitation.
Ie-Quadrillo ………. Little Bo·Peep.
17-Galop …………. Schomberg.
18-Waltz ….. .•… Labelle Suls3e.
Ie-Cotillion
………. —t
20-Pollm …….•…. Snrdinilln.
2I-Qlladrille
………. England.
2~-Galop .•………. Target.
23-Hool ………….. —
21-Slr Roger do Coverly-.–
)Iossrs. David Kinnear.
,
Henry Starnes.
L II. Holton.
Chllr les Garth.
A. A. Dorion.
Honry Lyman.
Honry l.!ulmer.
W. Workmlln.
John Leoming.
Algustus Heward.
,.1
Messrs. Tho.,. S. Drow!l.
Thomas
ClIlllp.
1. W. Jone,.
….. C. J. CO·lr.~ol. .
:So Chamborlln.
TholDllS Wily.
Alfrod Perry.
W. Hoddon.
J. G. Dinning-.
Thomas Morland.
An extremely rare original programme for the Railway Celebration Ball held in the great hall of Bonsecours Market 0)1 the
evening of November 13, 1856. One of these programmes was given to each person attending. In many cases the actual
musical number played is indicated. The page marked Engagements is where each participant could write the name of his
or her partner in a particular dance. The programme included a small pencil, attached with a ribbon, for this purpose.
Warren Baker Collection.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
public bodies, We hope the offenders will be detected and
punished, though we fear it will be impossible to find them
out,
There were also a few accidents We regret to learn
that at the Revi
ew yesterday, Capt, McDonald, of a rifle
company belonging
to Hamilton, was badly injured by being
shot
in the eye with a wad from a gun; and that a laboring
man named Kelly,
we believe, had one of his wrists badly
injured from the same cause,
In addition, a few windows
were broken as persons, mostly invitees, but including a
few freeloaders, were over-impatient in their attempts to
gain entrance.
It was also reported that the Mayor of Toronto
was relieved of his watch by pickpockets! Despite these few
unfortunate incidents the day was pronounced to
be a very
grea t success,
The
following day was the tour to Victoria Bridge
and the visit to the shops at Point St. Charles, as well as to
the new Montreal water works, Once again there were bands
playing music, and a general good time,
Early that evening
there was a
soiree and concert, but most of the guests
were preparing
for the ball, and little more than a hundred
attended,
Then followed a massive and very spectacular
display of fireworks over the waterfront. (By a strange
coincidence, entirely unrelated, on this very day, November
13, 1856, Londons famous bell Big Ben was first rung in
public.
It soon cracked, and was re-cast in 1858,)
Later that evening, the guests were conveyed to
the great hall
of Bonsecours Market for the ball. The guests
were admitted starting at 9 p,m., and
obviously the ladies
played a
full part in this event! It is said that dancing did not
get
fully under way until almost 1 a,m and it continued well
into the next morning, long after the newspapers had gone
to press!
The next day the visitors
began to depart for their
trip home, and gradually
life in Montreal returned to normal.
It had been an amazing several days, a time which would be
,remembered for many years to come.
The celebration attracted the notice
of people all
across North America, and articles describing, in highly
complimentary fashion, the events of November 12 and 13
appeared in newspapers in dozens of cities, Most were
surprised that a city as small as Montreal (it did not even
225 CANADIAN RAIL-514
have streetcars for another five years) could put on such a
big show. The prestigious New York Times devoted almost
half of its front page of November 14 to the Grand Trunk
celebration. One of the guests was the Mayor of New York,
so reporters from the papers of that city were in fuJJ
attendance. The Times, in its usual efficient way, summed up
the feeling of everyone with this delightful paragraph:
But let us do the Canadians justice, If the climate
is
cold in winter -and that it is infernally so must be
admitted -the people deserve all the more credit for
conquering such a serious obstacle to commercial progress,
Their pluck and energy are immense, Railroads now
traverse the whole Province, and, in proportion to the
population, are more extended here than
in any country in
Europe, The completion of the Grand Trunk between
Montreal
and Toronto -an enterprise which adds the last
link
to the chain that connects the East with the for West,
the North with the extreme South -may well be considered
as worthy
of an extravagant jubilee.
Once the celebration was over, Canadians took to
riding the rails as if they had always done so, starting a
national habit that endured
for more than 100 years, Within
a surprisingly short time train travel became routine. On
December 31,
the Montreal Gazette took note in an editorial
of the very numerous achievements of the departing year:
A.D, 1856 is about to be gathered to his fathers.
Tomorrow will bring 1857. For Canada 1856 has been a
year
of bright prospects …. The opening of the Grand Trunk
Railway, which we recently celebrated,
is a great event,
and, we believe, in every way fraught with good For the
rest, the earth has brought
forth plenteously; and trade
has been very healthy
AltogetheJ~ we have just cause for
thankfulness,
Seventy-one years later, in 1927, a great celebration
took place in Ottawa when the Peace
Tower on Parliament
HilJ was inaugurated, It was also the 60[10 anniversary of
Confederation, and even the Prince of Wales, later Edward
VIII, was there, One old lady, then in her late eighties and
who
had seen the 1856 celebration, remarked that the Ottawa
party
was quite a lively show, but not as memorable a time
as when they opened the Grand Trunk to Toronto,
OPENING OF THE GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY OF CANADA.
The opening of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada was celebrated on the 12th and 13th of last month in Montreal, in a manner that,
taking our previous impressions of back woods life into account, seems little short of a brilliant dream, Six thousands of guests were
collected from every part of North America –
the larger number being from Chicago, in Illinois, 850 miles from Montreal; many from Boston
and New York, and some even from Charleston and Cincinnati, in the south -and met at dinner in Montreal to celebrate the opening of
a Canadian railway. Nor was the meeting of
so many strange and hitherto un-acquainted peoples, the most novel feature of this
extraordinary pageant. The manner
in which they were entertained, and the numbers who were present, cast in the shade all previous
demonstrations of the
kind in America, and may well excite astonishment in England. A mile and a half of guests sat down to the banquet
in Montreal, and there was not a single individual from Europe or America, the flag of whose country or chief commercial city did not
serve to embellish the magnificent apartment
in which the banquet was held, The western Yankee, with all his rude energy, took his
place alongside of the British officer, just returned from the Crimea, with as much self-possession and bonhomie as if
he had been in
the trenches with him before Sebastopol; and the little, animated, lively, and ever-polite French Canadian might have been seen
between two tall Kentuckians, or surrounded by a host of Hoosiers from Michigan, enjoying, to his hearts content, their broad and
boisterous humour, and their
no less comical dialect and expressions, What strikes us in England as most wonderful, however, is the
sumptuous elegance and admirable taste displayed
in such matters in a city of little over 60,000 inhabitants, and known chiefly as a
shipping place and a commercial emporium for the West. Champagne for 6000! yet the New
York papers, and all the colonial journals,
speak of it as not only
in perfect abundance, but of a quality both rare and expensive; and the bill of fare, as regards eatables, was
furnished
in a completely kindred spirit. All this was managed by a little city that could be ten times over taken out of London without
being missed,
Illustrated London News, December 13, 1856,
RAIL CANADIEN -514
Conclusion
At the end of 1856 there was sti II much to do to
complete the Grand Trunk. There was the line to Sarnia, as
well as that to Trois Pistoles, and perhaps the branch from
Belleville to Peterborough. Additional sidings needed to be
built, and it was becoming painfully apparent
that iron rails
had a rather short life, and would soon have to be renewed.
This was especially true for rails that had been used by
heavy construction trains on lines that had not been fully
ballasted and had insufficient ties. Above all,
it was of vital
importan
ce to complete Victoria Bridge as soon as possible,
and a target date was set to have
it in operation by late 1859
or early 1860. There was also the matter
of the line along the
Esplanade in Toronto, in order to connect the GTR lines
running east and west of that city. Unfortunately the new
year of 1857 did not bring the prosperity that was expected.
During the year there was a serious financial panic which
brought an end to the prosperity enjoyed during the mid
1850s.
Since the Grand Trunk already had serious financial
problems, the depression
of 1857 only made matters worse.
STATEMENT shewing the Expenditure on tbe different Railways for­
ming The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada up to 3/51 December, 1856.
Up 1:~h:c~!~~,O~t:hf~~~d~i~~ .. t~~~~ . ~~~ ~.~e.~ ~.a.i~ . t~ ~.o.n.~~~t~~~
From Ihtt Amalgamation lothe Sist December, 1856, tbere ~u Leen expended
……………….•……………….. _ ….•.
Total cost of the Quebeo &. Richmond R. R., to 31 st December, 1966.
The Toronlo &. Sarnia Railway-
I
462,924 5 II
641,778 II 8
994,702 17 7
Up tOr~~~.~~t~.o_~ .~~.a.l~~.~~t.i~~ .. t~~~~. ~~~. ~~~ ~~.p.e.~~~~I.~~ .1~.i~1 10,537 9 8
Fromb~~~ e~~e~19:;~I.i~~ .t~.~~~ .~~~I .. ~~~~~~~~~ .1.8.~~1. ~~~~~ ~~~f~~.269 ~
ToteJr::8b~~~~~~oo~:o 1:5~~~~i.~ ~.::. ~ .~B.r. ~~ .~~~I.r~~.I~~ .u.~ ~~ 1 1,:198,806 12 10
Tbe Grand Trunk Railway-~—–
On I~: SSle8~liD~~~~be~,o~~~6~ .t~ .~~~~nt.o. ~~~~~. ~~~ .~~~: .e:<.~e~~~~14,022,694 12 9
On tbe Seclion from Quebec 10 51. Thomas tbere has been eX-I
ponded up 10 31st December, 1856 ……………………. ~4.4.632 ~~
Total cost of the Grand T!Uok R. Way to 31a1 December, 1866 .. 14467.~~~
The Victoria Bridge-
fh.r~8~~· .be~~~~pe~d~d. ~nlbe. ~i~l~ri~ .~d~~ •. UPIO. 3!~lr~~~YI 605,057 13 9
N.
B.-Tbe above are exclusive of the amounts exppnded on the AtlAntic and SI.
aWlence Rail Road, leased by the Grand Trunk Railway Ccmpany-£397,078 19 6.
The accounting of expenses in building the Grand Trunk,
up to the end of 1856. Note that these amounts are in pounds
J~urJ.Jill~ ($4.00) wheras the figures given in the annual
report (next column) are in pounds siediog ($4.86 2/3). This
explains the difference between the two sets of figures.
Nevertheless, after more discussion, a full
government audit, and another act (20 Vict. Chap. 11, passed
in 1857) the problems were partially countered, and the GTR
construction projects that were in abeyance were resumed.
After much negotiation with the City of Toronto, the line
along the Esplanade was built so, by 1858, the train from
Montreal could run
to downtown Toronto, near the present
location
of Union Station. The eastern part of the line was
226 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
EAS7.ERN DIVISION-
S. z.w……. IIDd AfJanfJo }
Q.–IIIld Riohmond, and
~ ItTroIsPlstoles Railways
A Eogioeeriog -.. _
B Worka agd Permaoeot WA~ –
~ ~~~~~~8, and _0 ces _ ~
E Mercbandiee Car Stock •
F P …… gor ditto _
G
Miscellaneous Stock H
Electric Telegraph
I Geoeral Expenses ~
Lands and Land Damages •
OENTRAL DIVISION-
rTo~~~r~ Toron!<> -.. ~ _
B Worka agd~ermaneot WA~ –
g t!:!Li~:1~S, and ~O ces _ –
E Mercbandiee Car Stock F P
…… gor ditto • G
Miscellaneous Stock. _
H Electric Telegraph _ _
1 General Ex pcnses -.
B~Ueville and Peterboro Barvey _
WESTERN DIVISION-
Toronto and Sarnia· •
~ ~~~~~e:~i~~~rmaoe~t Wa ~ .. –
C Stat(008, Huildiogs. and 0~ce3 …
D Locomotive Stock _
E Mercbaodi.se Car Stock
F Passenger ditto ..
G MI,ellaneouB Stock – _
H Eledric rtlegraph .. ..
1 General Exl,se.. •
Stratford and London Survey Accoant
Amount allowed Canadian Contractors
as compeDBation -..
PORTLAND DIVIBION­
AfJanUc & St Lawrenoe Railroad
leased by the Oompany _ •
~ ~no~~e:~~~nnane~t Way -_ ..
g ~:.:ti~e~~f and ?fficea. –
E Me,bandiee Car
Stock _ • F P
…. nger ditto _ _
G~ .. Stock· -H Eloetric Telegraph _ 1 Ueneral Expenaca _ •
Lauds – _ _ •
Lease.f AtLantic&&. Lawren Railroad Victoria Ilridge _ _ •
Steam Ferry Hoats· _ _
London Offioo Lpeuaea •
Ii
::a
279
38S
88
U9
E~Qdodto
Slat. Deeember,185B.
£ .. tl.
74,619 5 8 1,892,414 8 6 169,8a4 7 5 156,897 1
0
106,6t3 11 6 29,865
11 4
13,723 9 9 6,075 12 3 169,887 10 4 8,966 16 0
62,899 8 10 2,621,437
11 6 247,518 15 9 187,327 17 3 78,411 3 3 25,848 4 4
1,4.54 6 2
4,2n 11 11
123.578 6 10
6,500 0 0
26,509 19
6
906,272 8 2
67,8t7 8. 6 67,659 16 10 66,787
15 8 16,486 2 10 264 9 1 1,803
0 6
21,ij69 14 1 2,066 19 6
.. ..
1,080 18 11
23,959 16 9 82,810 8 8 3,084 12 9 8,481
o 10 1,430 12 7 816 4 5 1,889
°
8 4,724 18
2
1,676 7 2
213,362 8 7 497,807 13 9 20,661 4
0
.. ..
TOTAL 849 £7,896,677 14 8
An extract from the Grand Trunk annual report for 1856,
showing expenses up to the end of that year. The railway
had cost so far 7,895,577 pounds, 14 shillings, 8 pence
sie.di.n.g. This is about $38,425,150, equivalent to almost two
billion
dollars in todays currency. CRHA Archives.
completed to Riviere du Loup, but it never did reach Trois
Pistoles, until the Intercolonial
Railway built its line in the
1870s. Early
in November 1859 the line finally reached Samia,
and the official opening took place on
November 20. There
was now only one gap remaining in the system, and it was
only a month before that gap was closed as well, for on
December 17, 1859 the first regular train crossed Victoria
Bridge. Although there was a considerable ceremony for
this event, the official
celebration did not take place until
August 25, 1860, when the Prince of Wales (later Edward
VII) officiated at the dedication of the bridge named after his
mother.
Of course the bridge had been in use for eight months
by then. The festivities at this time rivaled those
of 1856.
As time went on, improvements were made as the
system evolved.
The first was the introduction of sleeping
cars which occurred before the year 1859 was out. The Ottawa
Citizen
reported this on December 13 of that year:
SLEEPING CARS ON THE G. T RAILWAY -[he cars
recently introduced on this railway
for night travel are the
most elegantly filled up
of any that we have yet seen; but at
present lack one very important auxiliary
to comfortable
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
repose, i.e. something to represent quilts and blankets. The
entire absence
of any covering, save one s own clothes, is
not calculated to usher the way-worn traveler very suddenly
into the soothing embrace
of Morpheus; and the attempt to
supply the necessary warmth by red hot stoves is anything
but healthy or agreeable.
We hope travelers shall not long
be
compelled to find grievous fault with what would, if
properly appointed, be a palace in which the sleepy god
would delight to dwell.
On November 10, 1859, the Chicago Press and
Tribune
published an editorial which, in the light of early
21 st century events, was even more prescient than anyone
realized
at the time:
The Jesuit missionaries, who first penetrated the
central portions
of the American continent, were possessed
of indomitable energy and magnificent conceptions.
Deriving their ideas from the grandeur of the lakes and the
rivers and the prairies which they were
the first to explore,
they established a cordon
of military posts between Quebec
and New Orleans, and for years cherished the sublime
scheme of grasping the entire continent. The commencement
of the year 1860 will witness Quebec and New Orleans
connected by bands more powerjiil and enduring than were
ever
dreamed of by these old exploring heroes. In the
comparison, military
posts are but cobwebs, and for all
lime
to come commerce will bind, as by hooks of sleel,
Quebec
and New Orleans, by Chicago, the great central
city
of Ihe continent. The magnificent conception of Ihe old
Jesuits will soon be more than realized.
Following Confederation, in 1867, there was more
and more urging by the railways to get rid of the 5 foot 6 inch
broad gauge
and adopt the standard 4 feet 812 inches. This
was eventually accomplished in the 1870s, the
Montreal­
Toronto main line being converted to standard in November,
1873.
How this was done in a very short time is a story in
itself.
At that time a number of locomotives were converted
to standard gauge, but
many of the early engines of the
1850s were scrapped as it was not economically feasible to
THROUGH BOOKING BE1WEEN EUROPE AND AMERICA
227 CANADIAN RAIL -514
Montreal, 16th December, 1856.
TO THE SECRETARY OF THE GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY
COMPANY OF CANADA.
Sm,
Enclosed please receive final certificate, Monlreal and Toronto section, in
favor of lhe contrn.ctors Messrs. Jackson, Pelo, Brassey &. Bells.
The entire work and equipment are completed and provided, so us to justify
my recommending the Company to take the Line off the hands of the contractors. And I
am, Sir, Your obcdient
selvt.,
ALEXR. M. ROSS,
Engineer.
FINAL CERTIFICATE.
MONTREAL ANn TORONTO SECTION.
TO THE SECRETARY OF THE GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY
COMPANY.
15th Decemb I certify thut tho sum of Ten thousand one hundred and ninety-fiye pounds sterling,
is dne to lhe contraclors Messrs. Jackson, Pelo, Brassey & Betts, for work dono
in completing the Works and RoUing Stock on the Montreal and
Toronto soction of the Gmnd Trunk Railway of Canada.
ALEXR. M. ROSS,
£10,195.
Engineer.
GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY OF CANADA.
:MONTREAL AND TORONTO SECTION.
FINAL CERTIFICATE.
15th December, 1856.
r~~~~;:~lio;: …………………………….. ~ .. 8:. ~:13000~000 80 do
Top ballast. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . .. .. . . . . … . .. .. . . . .. 3,000 0 OJ
Proportion of Toronto pBBsenger station. . . . . .. . . . .. 5,000 0 0 … 8~OOO . 0 .. 0
2,992,000 ° 0
Cr.
By amount of previous certificates ………………………….. I 2,981,805 0 0
Amount now due… …… … …. …. ………… 10,195 ° 0
The Final Certificate for the construction of the Montreal­
Toronto line was issued on December 15,1856, and delivered
to the contractors the next day. Upon payment of the last
£10,195 sterling due to the contractors, the Grand Trunk
officially took over full operation of the line. The great work
was donel
Statements, Reports and Accounts, Grand Trunk Railway, 1857.
Mr. S.P. Bidder, general manager of the Grand Trunk Railway,
has arrived
in England, with the view of making arrangements for his
through ticket system from every shipping port of importance
in Europe to
any port in North America. Agreements have already been made by Mr.
Bidder with all the leading railways of the United States, by which pas­
sengers, whether emigrants or otherwise, will
be passed to any part of
Northern or Western America upon tickets issued
to them in Europe. Thus
passengers who purchase through tickets from
the agents of the Grand
Trunk Railway
at Havre, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremen, and Hamburgh, as
well as at Liverpool, Hull, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast, Dublin, Cork,
Galway, or any other port which trades
with Boston, Portland, Quebec, or
Montreal, will
be conveyed to any point in Canada to which the railway
runs, or
to any place in the United States where a leading railway has a
station, without the trouble of making even
an enquiry, or the delay of a
single unnecessary moment. Each passenger will
be supplied with a
ticket (authenticated
by the signature of a duly authorized chief officer of
the Grand Trunk Company), a map of his route, and even a time-table,
which, while
he will be secured against all imposition, vexations, and
delays, after
he lands, will tell him almost the very hour at which he will
arrive at his destination. If this system
be thoroughly carried out, it will
tend
to revolutionise the whole passenger traffic between Europe and
America,
as well as in America itself. Canadian News, January 7,1857. convert them.
In 1891, the opening of the St. Clair
Tunnel provided an all-rail route to Michigan and on
to Chicago. Towards the end of the nineteenth century
there
was a large project to double-track the main line
(which had been envisioned since the early 1850s),
and this was completed by the early twentieth century.
A
bout this time, and on many occasions since, the
Montreal-Toronto line has been upgraded and
relocated,
as curves were straightened out and grades
reduced. Probably barely
half of the present-day line
sti
II runs on its original roadbed of 1856.
In the second decade of the twentieth
century the Grand Trunk fell on extremely hard
financial times, due to many reasons. One was the
huge expense
of the Grand Trunk Pacific I ine to Prince
Rupert,
and another was the great rise of prices caused
by the First World War. As a result of this, the Grand
Trunk was taken over by Canadian National Railways
in 1923. The old name continued in use on the
companys lines in the United States until recent
RAIL CANADIEN -514 228 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
MQNfn]O;AL FROM IRE ST. LAWRENCE. SHOW1NG KON1 ROY hL
CITY :OF TOlUjJllr~l, ] The two termini of the Montreal-Toronto main line as they appeared in 1860. Victoria Bridge in Montreal has been completed,
and the railway has been
built along the esplanade in Toronto.
times, Grand Trunk in New England, and Grand Trunk Western
in Michigan and on to Chicago. The latter railway has used
the slogan The Good Track Railroad
on many of its freight
car
s. In the last few years, however, the term CN System is
being more and more used for the entire network, and the
historic old name Grand Trunk
is disappearing.
The upgrading
and rebuilding of the main line has
continued
to the present time, and it has always maintained
its status as a vital link carrying very large volumes of freight
and passengers. At the end
of the twentieth century,
Canadian National took over the Illinois Central, reaching
New Orleans, and thereby realizing the dream predicted
by
the Chicago Press and Tribune in 1859. Now it was possible
to go from Quebec to New Orleans on a single railway under
one management throughout. Despite all the vicissitud
es
encountered over the last century and a half, the hopes of
the pioneers of 1856 have been more than fully realized.
Today, one
can board a train in downtown Montreal
and
be in downtown Toronto in barely four hours, only a
small
fraction of the time taken in 1856. However one can
st
ill see some links witll the past, most notably the old stone
stations, some still in use, that date back to the very
beginning. One can also stand b
eside one of these stations
and watch 160-car freight trains, hauled
by four or more
locomoti
ves, go by at 60 miles an hour, carrying goods from
all over the world.
To end this article, let us lise a little imagination.
Imagine
it is late one night, perhaps October 27, or even
October 31, when ghosts are said
to be about. We are near
the tracks
of the Montreal-Toronto main line, by one of the
old boarded-up stations where the trains
no longer stop.
The
last LRC passenger train of the day has just gone by at
85 miles an hour. Suddenly the distant roar of highway 401
vanishes, and it is now completely quiet. We notice
something
very strange; the boards have disappeared from
the windows
of the old station and there are lights inside.
Then
in the distance we hear, faintly but unmistakably, a
stuill whistle, followed
by the sound of a steam engine, and
the rumble of railway wheels. Then out of the darkness
appears a clean
and polished vermilion coloured Birkenhead
hauling a train
of bright yellow passenger cars! For a very
shOtt time
it is 1856 again, and, by the light of the oil lamps in
the cars, we see the passengers, in Victorian costume,
looking out the windows. Perhaps they have returned for a
brief
visit to see how their railway is running after 150 years.
Soon the train from s
ix generations ago disappears in the
distance, the sound of its whistle fades away, and once again
we are in the year 2006. Then we realize that our ancestors
were like ourselves; they
had much the same troulJles and
pleasures
as they built the Canada that we have inherited.
No one knows what the next
150 years will bring, but we can
be sure that Canadas railways will keep lip with the latest
technology
and continue to move forward.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 229 CANADIAN RAIL-514
The Grand Trunk Standard Stations of 1856
and their architect, Francis Thompson
by David L Jeanes
Abstract: In 1856 the Grand Trunk Railway from Toronto to Montreal, (and its 1859 Detroit extension), included a large number
of standardized stone or brick wayside stations. Many of the 150-year old stations survive as designated stations, national
historic sites or museums. Francis Thompson, a prolific pioneer of British railway architecture, created the first ltalianate
stations, the first roundhouses, major bridges (with Robert Stephenson), railway hotels, railway worker housing, and the first
known book on railway station architecture.
Thompsons formative years had also included important work in J 830s Montreal.
The Grand Trunk Railway of
Canada was established in 1852 to I ink
the A tlantic to the
Great Lakes, and
on 27
October 1856 it joined Montreal
with Toronto.
The contractors for this
segment were the leading British
railway builders Thomas Brassey,
Samuel Morton Peto, Edward Ladd
Betts, and their associate William
Mather Jackson. The Grand Trunk
continued west of Toronto to Sarnia
and then in Michigan from Port Huron
to Detroit, built by the leading
Canadian railway engineering
brothers, Walter and Francis Shan Iy,
for contractor Sir Casimir Gzowski.
Francis Shanly also built the Grand
Trunk Toronto station and shops, as
well as
work for other railways.
common, with five. The building
depth was the same for all, except for
a
smaller version used in Michigan.
Initially none of the stations had
projecting bay windows. Kingston,
unlike the others, had an attic storey
with
five dormer windows on each
side of a Gambrel roof.
The stations, bridges, and
engine houses, however, were built
to standard patterns by both
contractors, and their designs were
largely the responsibility of the noted
British railway architect Francis
Thompson and the civil engineer
Francis Thompson as he appeared about 1873.
J.W. Thomas; Canadian Centre
for Architecture
The building materials for the
stations varied along the line. Most
were of locally quarried stone, and
the treatment of the stone around the
arches and the quoins at the bui Iding
corners varied. Some were built
entirely of brick, but with brick
detailing of arches and quoins similar
to the stone stations. Only one of the
standard pattern stations is known
to have been bu i I t of wood, and
remarkably it survives, in Port Huron
MI,
together with thirteen brick or
stone stations along the line. The
walls were all massively built with
great thickness to support the
wooden clear span roof trusses. Over
Alexander Mackenzie Ross. Both came to Canada in 1854
and stayed with the Grand
Trunk until the completion of the
great Victoria Bridge in 1859, designed by Thompson and
Ross in collaboration with the famed railway engineer Robert
Stephenson. Thompson and Ross then both disappeared
from the scene, Thompson returning to England and Ross
dying from exhaustion.
Neither has a published biography,
yet Thompsons architecture survives in many important
heritage stations along the Grand Trunks Ontario and
Michigan route.
The wayside or 2nd class stations on the Grand
Trunk were possibly the first large-scale pattern stations.
They provided a large column-free interior under a low­
pitched Italianate-style
roof with broad eaves to shelter the
platforms. All had
an arcaded front and back of round-arched
full-height doors and windows, with a regular 9-foot spacing.
This permitted great flexibility in configuring the interiors
to
meet local needs. The stations came in three sizes: Type A
with seven
arches, Type B with six, and Type C, the most the
years most of the full-height arches were changed to
windows with sills, operator bays were added, and new roofs
or other alterations were made to a few of the stations.
Accounts vary of the actual number of these
stations, but there seem to have been as many as 35 brick
and
stone stations between Toronto and Montreal, at least
5 west of Toronto, and 7 in Michigan. There are two National
Historic Sites, (Prescott and Belleville), 7 designated heritage
railway stations. (Prescott, Kingston, Ernestown, Belleville,
Port Hope, Georgetown, and St. Marys Jct.), and five
museums, (Brighton, Port Huron MI, Mt. Clemens MI, New
Haven MI, and Smiths Creek, relocated to Dearborn MI).
The 7-bay Type A stations were built only at the
most important towns along the line, Prescott (the junction
for Ottawa), Cornwall, Kingston, and Port Huron. Only
Cornwall has been demolished, Prescott is to be leased to
the
Glengarry Historic Society, and Kingston is derelict and
under threat.
6-bay Type B stations were used at junctions:
Belleville, Cobourg, Port Hope, and St. Marys (for London).
The 5-bay Type C buildings served most other stations from
RAIL CANADIEN -514
the Ontario/Quebec border to
Detroit, but three in Michigan were
narrower tban the standard, (at
Smiths Creek, New Haven, and
Fraser).
230 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
There were standard
outbuildings at the stations: a
raised
wooden platform typically
200 or 300 feet long, a stone or
brick 2-story water tank building,
a wood frame
mens privy, and one
or more long woodsheds.
Numerous stations had engine
sheds, which were also to a
standard design with rectangular
or cruciform shape, indoor
turntable, and from three to twenty
tracks radiating into the wings.
The engine sheds were stone or
brick with column-free interiors
and regular arcades of round­
arched windows along the side
walls. At least one, at Brock
ville,
survived for over 100 years, but
none are still standing. The largest
Prescott station is a fine example of a type A (7 bay) station. This photo was likely
taken in the early 20th century, after the operators bay window was added. There is no
sign of the usual circular attic window.
National
Archives of Canada, photo No. PA·112557.
in Ontario were 12-track sheds at Brockville, Kingston, and
Toronto.
Point St. Charles in Montreal had two cruciform
engine houses, later extended to 20 tracks each. first parliament. Unfortunately it was gutted by fire
during
the infamous riots in 1849. However, it may well have been
the model for Thompsons later railway stations in England
and North America.
Also with John Wells, Thompson
designed houses, a Presbyterian church, a
synagogue, and a jail, all in the Italianate style. He
then returned to Britain
about 1835. John Wells
continued as one
of Montreals leading Italianate
arcbitects, designing the grand classical porticoed
head office of the Bank of Montreal in Place
d Armes. [n Britain, Thompson joined railway
I builders George and Robert Stephenson as their
The Midland Hotel in Derby, built in 1841 and still a first·class hotel today.
preferred architect. Thompsons first commission
was for the entire railway centre of the North
Midland Railway in Derby. It included the
enormous one-sided Trijunct station, shared with
the Midland Counties and
Birmingham & Derby
railways. He designed Britains oldest surviving
railway hotel, the first locomotive roundhouse,
recently restored
worker housing, and a pub for
Queen Victoria stayed there in the 1840s. David Jeanes
The architect to the Grand Trunk from 1854 to 1859
was Francis Thompson (1808-1895). He was born in
Woodbridge, Suffolk, England where his father George
Thompson and uncle Mark Graystoke Thompson were both
architects, with several churches to their credit. After initial
training as an architect and possible contact with the leading
exponents
of Italianate style, Sir Charles Barry and Charles
Cockerell, Thompson moved to Montreal where he partnered
with another East Anglia architect, John Wells. In 1832
they
designed a large Italianate style arcaded building for St.
Annes market in Place d Youville. Its upper storeys were
adapted in 1845 for the two chambers and library of Canadas railway employees.
Other North Midland work for
Thompson included
24 wayside stations, city stations in Leeds and Sheffield,
another roundhouse in Leeds, and tunnel portals along the
railway.
He turned this work to advantage by publishing his
station designs
in the first known book on railway station
architecture. He also adapted these
designs for cottages in
the 1853 edition of Loudons monumental Encyclopedia of
Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture. Thompson was listed
as an illustrator on the first edition,
published in 1833. It
included a ground breaking chapter on English Italianate
architecture, with contributions from Sir Charles Barry, who
was bringing the style to Londons club land. Barry sketched
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
an Italianate circular stable and carriage house, which
has a strong resemblance to Thompsons later full­
circle railway roundhouses. The encyclopedia was
widely used, also in the United States and Canada,
and Thompsons designs are linked to the first
American Italianate railway stations. Grand Trunk
contractor Sir Casimir Gzowski owned a copy, which
he donated to the lnstitute of Civil Engineers In
Canada.
231 CANADIAN RAIL-514
After Thompsons Derby work ended in
J 842, Robert Stephenson selected him for the new
workshops of the London and Birmingham Railway
in London, including the now famous Chalk Farm Thompsons roundhouse at Derby as it appears today. David Jeanes
I
a dozen more enclosed circular roundhouses that
appeared on various railways connected with the
Stephensons or with Peto and Betts. Thompson may
also have
worked on Stephenson overseas projects
including the tubular bridges
over the river Nile, a
grand Italianate railway station in Alexandria, Egypt,
and stations in Italy.
Cambridge station, designed by Thompson. The multiple arches
foreshadowed his later design used for the Grand Trunk. David Jeanes
In Montreal, Thompsons St. Annes Market
had been destroyed five years before, but rebuilt by
another architect. He reprised its arcaded ltalianate
style all
along the Grand Trunk Railway, remaining
architect to the railway until 1859. His largest station
was one
of the first, in 1854 at Portland Maine. His
trademark single-sided station had a long 19-bay
two-storey arcaded head house under the overa II
trainshed roof. It has been called the largest U.S.
station of its day, designed to handle the many
passengers disembarking from Bruneis ill-fated
(economically) steamship Great Eastern. But this
roundhouse, very similar to his Derby roundhouse. It later
became the scene of famous rock music concerts and has
now been redeveloped as a theatre. Thompson then was
Stephensons architect for his major bridge projects: the High­
Level Bridge at Newcastle, Royal
Border Bridge at Berwick,
and the
Conway and Britannia tubular bridges
in North Wales. On these projects he would have
worked with Stephensons assistant engineer,
Alexander Mackenzie Ross. Francis Thompson
returned to Montreal in 1854 at the same time as
Ross,
who became chief engineer of the Grand
Trunk. Both of them had leading roles in
designing the great Victoria Bridge at Montreal. traffic never materialized. A very similar station was designed
in 1855 for the
Esplanade in Toronto, almost certainly by
Thompson. Though
never built, it was clearly the inspiration
for the 1873 high
ltalianate Toronto Union Station, with its
three added towers.
In the meantime Thompson had also
worked for the leading contractors Samuel
Morton Peto, for whom he designed Italian ate
stations in east Anglia including Audley End
and Cambridges long single-sided arcaded
station. In NOIth Wales he designed the stations
along the
Chester to Holyhead railway, for which
Edward
Ladd Betts was a contractor. In Chester,
be designed his masterpiece ltalianate city
station, built by the greatest of railway
contractors, Thomas Brassey. A decade later,
all these contractors were
to playa major part in
the construction
of the Grand Trunk. It is likely
that before 1854 Thompson designed up to about
Chester station, on the Chester & Holyhead Railway, was also designed
by Thompson. The multiple arches are also very prominent in this
structure. This is the oldest surviving Italianate-style station in Britain.
David Jeanes
RAIL CANADIEN -514 232 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
RAI LWAY ELE VAT ION
END E LEV A T ION
ABOVE: Grand Trunk plans of
the 1850s, showing the basic
dimensions of a standard five­
bay station as built in 1856.
National Map Collection,
Library and Archives Canada
LEFT: Ernestown
station is a
rare
surviving example of a
five-bay station that never had
an operators bay window
added. No longer used by the
railway, it is here shown as it
is in 2006. David Jeanes
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 233 CANADIAN RAIL-514
-Jfone
———-:~—-.——_.-•….
.. _–_._ .. _._._-_ ……. –.. _. _ .. —-+ … –
~:~~;~~–:.-. —–
~–.~ ——.—–~~~~,—,–
-…. __ … -.–…. —–.
jOUTH ELEVATION.
The wayside stations were built west from
Montreal, though all the known stations as far as the
Canada West (Ontario) border were wood frame.
Once
across the border the stone stations started at
Lancaster and continued every few miles to
Brockville. The central section of the line was
commenced at Kingston, where the resident engineer
for the contractors, Frederick
James Rowan built the
7-bay Type A
wayside station with an attic and five
dormer windows each side under a gambrel roof.
Census records and a Canadian National 1925 drawing
showthat it was living accommodation, probably
originally for the female staff of the restaurant.
Kingston also still has a row of stone workers terrace Wooc/-I
houses (see page 239), designed by Thompson and
similar to his 1839
Derby terrace houses. There once
was a large 12-stall cruciform engine house north
of
the station. East and west from Kingston, the stations
were built from the
same Kingston limestone, except
at Brighton and Colborne where locally manufactmed
brick
was substituted.
Thompson probably assisted Alexander Ross with
the design
of the tubular bridge at St. Anne de Bellevue with
which
Stephenson was not involved, as well as stonework
for the variolls tubular deck bridges along the route,
including the very tall stone piers at Kingston Mills. All the
bridges
were assembled from prefabricated and pre-drilled
cast iron
segments from Peto, Brassey and Betts Canada
Works, in Birkenhead, England. In 1855 Alexander Ross
directed that construction west of Toronto should meet the
same standard for bridges and stations. Gzowskis chief
engineer, Walter Shanly, was summoned to Point St. Charles
where he
was very impressed by the station and workshops
with thei.r
new style roofs. In july 1855, station drawings
approved by
Alexander Ross were received by the resident
engineer,
Frank Shanly, in Toronto.
Thompsons standard wayside sta tions then
appeared in rapid succession at Brampton (brick),
Georgetown, Guelph, Berlin (Kitchener, also brick), perhaps

/–_.-.-
i
EAjT ELE.VATION,
Kingston station in a 1925 plan, made by Canadian National
Railways
two years after they took over the Grand Trunk.
C. Robert Craig Memorial Library, Ottawa, Ontario
Stratford, and St. Marys Junction. Tubular iron deck bridges
manufactured at Birkenhead also
appeared west of Toronto
at Georgetown and Guelph. Standard engine houses,
approved by Ross, were built along the line, including a 3-
stall version at Guelph and later a larger one at Point Edward
(Sarnia). Walter Shanly was certainly impressed with the
Grand Trunks station and engine house architecture,
according to letters
to his brother Frank, after visiting Point
St.
Charles and Prescott. Frank reused elements of these
designs, particularly the engine houses and the water tank
buildings, on projects that he undertook in 1858 and 1859 as
contractor for the Grand Trunk along Torontos Esplanade
and the Northern Railway from Toronto to Allandale, and
possibly the Weiland Railway for which he was chief engineer
from 1856.
RAIL CANADIEN -514
Thompsons full-circle domed roundbouses also
appeared in Portland,
Sherbrooke, and in 1860 in Toronto.
Similar
ones appear in early views of Brantford, Detroit, and
even Brockvilles waterfront, and may have been influenced
by him. The
enclosed circular design ceased to be used in
Britain about the time that Thomson left for Canada. The
most extensive use on American Railways was by Benjamin
234 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
Latrobe Jr. on the Baltimore & Ohio, where one post-civi I
war rebuild survives at Martinsburg WV (the other was
destroyed by vandalism in the 1990s). Latrobe had worked
in England and was closely associated with Frank Shan Iy,
who built the Toronto domed roundhouse, probably to
Thompsons design.
A view of the original Kingston station as it appears today, fire-ravaged and
deteriorated,
but still standing. Here, on October 27, 1856, occurred the first meet
But the masterpiece in Canada
was the Victoria Bridge. It was built
between 1854 and 1859 by Peto, Brassey
and Betts
chief engineer, James Hodges,
with whom Thompson had previously
worked on railway projects
in East Anglia.
Though Hodges account of the bridge
does not mention Thompson, who was
not on his staff, a book by Hodges
assistant engineer Charles Legge, A
Glance at the Victoria Bridge and the Men
who
Built It, lists Francis Thompson,
Esquire, Architect together with Robert
Stephenson, Alexander M. Ross,
Esquires, Associated Chief Engineers of
the Victoria Bridge separately from Peto,
Brassey and Betts employees and
subcontractors. The tubular bridge
stonework included 24 massive piers and
two partially enclosed abutments.
It was
the longest bridge in tbe world when
completed, at 9184 feet long (over 2.8 km)
with 3 million
cubic feet (nearly 90,000
cubic meters)
of masonry. between the Montreal-Toronto passenger trains. Fred Angus
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006 235
TIll<] BUILDER.
c====
CONSlRucrION OF TilE GREAT VICTORIA BRIDGE, IN CANADA,
,.
,
~:.-.. !r-==
~
t~
T
! .. -, -.-_·_·.~t·_r~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~·t ~.~~~~: ~~
,. –1ilf–f-4}·
I i~
I ~,
Fir:. s. Rflnj 0/ Tu[,r..
CANADIAN RAIL-514
[OCT. 20, 1860.
~;~;;-i ……. , …… ;:~-tt., •• tv7fr.–;:;vJ: . .:.,,!!!,. __ !,!, __ .J!_ __ ~_ __ !J: __ ,,~!IfI,,:,,:,,:m~~~~!:!~~
—–._———–;:;…-_._——.—.——-_..–.——… —–.. ——-
FlO .•• E.rtcr1l(fi View.
~ ..
~.
1:
~
~.
FlO. I, Floati,,/{ Dnt, Or CU;Uf). Jut P/~rJ
In 1860, the English magazine The Builder published these five illustrations of aspects of the construction of Victoria Bridge.
Note the dinner tables set up in the abutment -either for the 1859 or 1860 celebration. Collection of Fred Angus
RAIL CANADIEN -514 236 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
.;,—-r==
.-E/Cd. . _U4W.-.io.m.. __ ./ ;. ~ ,.rc.a.~~/
Francis Thompsons 1855 plan for the large station at Toronto. This structure was never built. From the left, the first two
openings are for the head house and waiting room, the next (large arch) is for the platform, and the next (also a large arch)
is where the trains would have entered. The remaining two openings are stabling tracks where extra equipment was
kept. Only one
track would have run entirely through the building. National Map Collection, Library and Archives Canada
A lively scene at
Mount Clemens Michigan about 1860. The station is a brick type C structure with five bays. This station is
still standing. National Archives of Canada, photo PA-138693.
The Grand
Trunk between Toronto
and
Montreal had opened on 27 October
1856, with all its stations, and had already
been
completed west of Toronto, for
example to Berlin (Kitchener) by 1 JUly. The
Victoria
Bridge and the extension beyond
the train feny at Point Edward (Sarnia) to
Detroit would not
be completed until 1859.
But then the work was done for the railway
builders who had come
from England in
1854. James Hodges and Francis Thompson
both returned
to EngJand where Thompson f
had retired by 1881 to his birthpJace, where
he died in 1895. Alexander M Ross retired
and died of exhaustion in 1862, but James
Hodges returned to Canada to try to
Another surviving brick station is Brighton, now a railway museum. David Jeanes establish a locomotive peat fuel business
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
Some recent photos of the 1856 station
at Port Hope, still in use by VIA today.
RIGHT:
Exterior view. David Jeanes
BELOW: Interior view. The wood-work
likely does not date back to 1856, but it
is certainly very old. Fred Angus
BELOW RIGHT: A 19th century light
fixture, now electrified, still performing
its original function. Fred Angus
BOTTOM: Looking west from Port
Hope. Near here the locomotive started
on its first run across the Albert
Viaduct, completing the track from
Montreal to Toronto on October 13, 1856.
Around the curve begins the
downgrade to Port Britain, three miles
away, where locomotives and supplies
were landed during construction. Note
the
brick bay window; a later addition.
Fred Angus
with Walter Shanly and other
former Grand Trunk associates.
He went to Peru to build seaport
facilities
in 1874 before retiring
to England.
Francis Thompsons
legacy survives in many Grand
Trunk wayside stations built
from 1854 to 1859. Belleville
(with an added Mansard roof),
and Port Hope are still active
VIA Rail stations. Georgetown,
heavily altered, serves VIA Rail
and
GO Transit. Napanee has its
original waiting room at one end,
though
it is owned by the town.
Prescott, Kingston (outer
station), Ernestown, and St.
Marys are still
in eN ownership
with
some doubt about their
futures, though Prescott will be
237 CANADIAN RAIL-514
RAIL CANADIEN -514 238
Historical society to lease train station
By Derek Abma
PRESCOTT – A new use for the old Prescott train station is just down the
track. Town council has approved a deal to lease the station building on Railway
Avenue
to the Grenville County Historical Society for $1 a year for 50 years. However,
the town still has
to wait for Canadian National (CN) Railway to officially turn over
ownership of the station to the municipality, as promised. Various authorities need to
sign off on the donated-land transfer, such as the federal and provincial governments,
said Robert
Haller, Prescotts chief administrative officer. He said it will likely be another
three months before everything is finalized. The historical society
is looking to turn the
old station into its resource centre. The current one is located on Edward Street. Its a
place where people can access records to research things like genealogy and the
history of the area. Valerie Schulz, vice-president of the historical society, said the
train station will serve the same function as the current resource centre and more.
I
think it will be an attraction just on its own, just to have the train station opened to the
public
, she said. Hopefully, well be able to show some of our artifacts, which were
not able
to do (at the Edward Street location). Schulz added that the owner of the
Edward Street building, the Knights of Columbus,
is looking to sell the property. She
said
the society would not be able to afford the heating costs at that site, known as the
Crane Building. The train station was built
in 1855. It ceased functioning as a full­
service train station
in the 1970s though passengers were still picked up and dropped
off there until 2001.
Schulz said the historical society hopes to
move its operations to the train
station
by Mayor June. In the meantime, theres much work to do. She said the priority
is to fix the roof. More works needs to be done on the inside ceilings and walls and one
of the two washrooms there
is to be converted into storage space. Schulz added that
the exterior of the building will
be turned back to its original green, though this work
might
be ongoing after it opens as the historical societys new resource centre. Haller
said the town
is working with CN to allow the historical SOCiety access to the building
before the ownership change so that work can begin on fixing the roof. Schulz said
it
would be desirable for the roof work to be done before winter. She would not disclose
the anticipated cost
of the renovations planned for the train station, but she did say
some fundraising would
be taking place for it.
Brockville Recorder & Times, September 20, 2006.
leased
to the Glengarry Historical Society. Brightons station
is
now privately owned as an indoor and outdoor museum
of railway memorabilia. Known as Memories JUllction, it is
well w011h a visit, but its long-term future is also in doubt.
SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2006
ABOVE LEFT: Prescott station as it appears
in
October 2006. Fred Angus
ABOVE: An example of first rate masonry
work is this arch in Prescott station, still
true after more than 150 years. Fred Angus
Note: The only substantial account
of the work of Francis Thompson appeared
in
Oliver Carter, Francis Thompson 1808-
95 -an
architectural mystery solved,
Backtrack Magazine, Volume 9, Number 4,
April 1995, pp 213-216. Carter had intended
to
publish a biography, but it never
materialized. The article mentions but does
not focus on the Canadian buildings.
There is no comprehensive published list
of Thompsons buildings.
David L. Jeanes, a professional
engineer, recently retired from 31 years in
high-tech and telecommunications re­
search. He is now president of Transport
2000 Canada, a volunteer advocacy group
In Michigan, the surviving Thompson-designed
stations are in much better health. One is a fine museum in
the wooden 7-bay station under the
Blue Water bridge at
Port Huron.
Mount Clemens Station is also a museum, and
Smiths Creek station has been relocated to Greenfield Village
museum
at Dearborn MI. New Havens station has also been
beautifully restored with the hope of creating a transit
museum. The largest station on Michigans original Grand
Trunk line was at West Detroit and was 10 bays long, but no
pictures seem to have survived. In
stark contrast to the Thompson stations in Canada West,
the GTR station at Riviere du Loup, here seen
about 1860, is
of a completely different design, as were all those in Canada
East. It was part
of the 1858 contract, and was designed by
Pierre Gauvreau. The engine house in the background is
typical of those in both Canada East and Canada West.
National Archives of Canada, photo PA-164654.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2006
Another Thompson-designed structure,
still in very good condition, is the Grand
Trunk Terrace in Kingston. Located near
the old station, these houses were built
about 1854 to accommodate railway
employees at this important point. The
houses are much like those designed by
Francis Thompson for Derby in 1839.
During construction they were probably
used by the contractors. To the right is
the structure as it appears today, and
above is the historical plaque affixed to
the building. Photos by Fred Angus
for public transport, and vice-president of Heritage Ottawa,
dedicated to preserving built heritage. He
is also a member
of several model railway and railway history associations.
With his son Andrew, who is studying railway station
heritage, he presented the history and architecture of
Ottawas former Union Station at NMRA Capital Express in
2001 and Maple Leaf in 2003, and at CRHAICARM in 2004,
and this
work at CRHAICARM in 2006, plus other talks on
bridges, trainsheds, and grand railway stations. He has
239 CANADIAN RAIL -514
organized and led Doors Open tours of Ottawas 1912 and
1966 stations, and has assisted with tours
of Toronto Union
Station for which he sits on the City of Toronto Public
Advisory Group.
David L Jeanes
687 Windermere Avenue
Ottawa
ON K2A 2W9
613 725 9484 .d.ac.i.d~aD.~ska
Editors Valedictory
This is the last issue of Canadian Rail that I will
produce as editor. I have held this position for
26Y2 years,
ever since the spring of 1980, in the days of the small-format
magazine.
There are several reasons why I have decided to
step down at this time. The primary reason is,
of course, my
medical condition. In the early summer of 2005 I was
diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer, which had metastasized
to the liver, and is incurable. On July 5, 2005, I underwent a
serious
operation, which removed the primary tumour, and
subsequently I have undergone numerous sessions of
chemotherapy. This has had a very positive effect, and at
present I am able to carryon as always, just the same as
before I was taken sick. Right now, however,
it appears that
the end
result will be terminal, although no one can really
predict future events,
or set a timetable.
During the last year I have been editor more in name
than
in actual fact. Ever since 1990, when Canadian Rail began
to be
produced by computer, my job has been not only to
assemble the articles for publication (and occasionally write
an article
myself), but also to set up the layout in its final
format.
This is no longer the case. Because of my sickness,
and also the new organizational structure set up
in 2005, the
layout has been done by another person, and so the final
product sometimes differs from
what the editor had in mind.
In the long run this will be good, as it divides the work, but
it is not the way with which I am comfortable, as I consider
article and layout to be an integral whole. For this last issue,
however, I am doing all the
editing, and layout, in the old
way, and the final result fits the text and illustrations together
as planned.
The subject is worth the effort, being the 150
lh
anniversary of one of Canadas most important railway lines.
This will be the largest issue of Canadian Rail ever produced
(68 pages) and will contain the longest article (26,800 words)
ever to appear in this magazine.
In 1858, the first Atlantic cable failed after less than
one month
of use. Before it failed, the last word it transmitted
was forward. This provided inspiration to continue the
effort, which was eventually successful. Accordingly, the
last word
of my last feature article as editor is also forward.
I am
sure that whoever continues on with Canadian Rail
(and I still hope
to be a member of the team) will carry on the
tradition
of quality that I have tried to maintain for more than
a quarter
of a century.
Fred Angus, October 12, 2006.
BACK COVER: Two rare pieces of memoribilia from the 1856 celebration commemorating the opening of the Montreal­
Toronto main line. The dance program is from the collection of Warren Baker, whilst the picture of Victoria Bridge is from the
collection of Fred Angus. Note that the latter item is from a piece of sheet music entitled Grand Trunk Waltzes. It is
dedicated to Samuel P. Bidder, Manager of the GTR from 1854 to 1858, thus it is from the 1856 celebration, and not that of 1860.
This issue or Canadian Rail was finished cum summa lucubralione Oclober 13,2006, (1501h anniversary ofconneclulg Ihe Monlreal-Toronlo track) and delivered 10 Ihe prinler.

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