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Canadian Rail 534 2010

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Canadian Rail 534 2010

CANADIAN RAILPUBLISHED BI-MONTHL
Y
B
Y THE CANADIAN RAILROAD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATIONIS
SN 0008-4875P
ostal Permit No. 40066621 E •SNTAE BELÉISDHNEDOF2
T
ABLE OF CONTENTSThe CRHA may be reached at its web site: www
.exporail.org or by telephone at (450) 638-1522FRONT
COVER: End of the line of Canada’s longest interurban railway! The first interurban train of the day from Vancouver has just
arrived from its 76 mile run and now sits on the Chilliwack depot’s magnificent double loop at 11:55 AM on a summer’s day in 1949.

Baggage-express car 1706, one of a set of 4 1912 Niles cars, 1706-1709, leads the way. Car 1305, a B.C. Electric product of 1911 is
trailing
with it trolley wheel to the wire. Robert W. Gibson, Collection Electric Railway Historical Society.
BEL
OW: Built in 1912 by B. C. Electric, car 255 loops through downtown Victoria on its way to traversing the scenic 5 – Gorge route in
July
, 1946. This line was one of two lines abandoned on Victoria’s first ‘Rails to Rubber’ day, June 30, 1947. Henry Ewert collection.
P
AGE COUVERTURE : Fin de la plus longue ligne de chemin de fer interurbain du Canada! Le premier train interurbain de la journée en
provenance
de Vancouver termine un parcours de 122 km. Il est en attente à la superbe double boucle du dépôt de Chilliwack en cette
journée
d’été de 1949. Il est 11 h 55. Au premier plan, on voit le fourgon à bagages express no 1706, l’un des quatre construits par Niles
Cars
en 1912. À l’arrière-plan, on aperçoit la voiture no 1305, construite par le BCER en 1911, avec la perche en position sur le fil aérien.
Robert
W. Gibson, collection de l’Electric Railway Historical Society.
Ci-DES
SOUS : Le tramway de la BCER no 255 termine son circuit au centre-ville de Victoria avant de parcourir la ligne panoramique no 5-
Gorge
en juillet 1946. Cette ligne est l’une des deux qui furent abandonnées à Victoria le 30 juin 1947. Collection Henry Ewert.The British Columbia Electric R
ailway, by Henry Ewert ………………………………………………..3
The Early Horse-P
owered Mining Railways of Cape Breton, by Herb MacDonald……………………………10
Stan’s Photo Gallery, by Stan Smaill
………………………………………………………………18
My First Diesel R
epair, by Barry Biglow…………………………………………………………..38F
or your membership in the CRHA, which
includes
a subscription to Canadian Rail,
write
to:
CRHA
, 110 Rue St-Pierre, St. Constant,
Que. J5A 1G7
Membership Dues for 2010:

In Canada: $50.00 (including all taxes)

United States: $50.00 in U.S. funds.
Other Countries: $85.00 Canadian funds.Canadian
Rail is continually in need of news,
stories,
historical data, photos, maps and other
m
aterial. Please send all contributions to
P
eter Murphy, X1-870 Lakeshore Road, Dorval,
QC
H9S 5X7, email: psmurphy@videotron.ca.
No
payment can be made for contributions, but
the
contributor will be given credit for material
submitted.
Material will be returned to the
contributor
if requested. Remember “Knowledge
is
of little value unless it is shared with others”.INTERIM CO
-EDITORS:
P
eter Murphy, Douglas N.W. Smith
AS
SOCIATE EDITOR (Motive Power):
Hugues W
. Bonin
FRENCH TRANSLA
TION: Denis Latour,
Michel Lortie and Denis V
allières
LA
YOUT: Gary McMinn
PRINTING: Impression P
aragraph
DISTRIBUTION
: Joncas Postexperts Inc.
CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 20103
By Henry EwertBritish Columbia Electric Railway Company Limited
Henry
Ewert grew up in Vancouver just two blocks from B. C. Electric’s formidable, fabulous, double-decked
Mt.
Pleasant streetcar barn, a venue which fascinated and drew him from his earliest years. Even though he became a
teacher,
a degreed pianist, a soccer player and coach, and a lecturer on opera, it was the lure and romance of streetcars
and
interurbans which never relented. He has written four books on the B. C. Electric, beginning with his first “The
Story
of the B. C. Electric Company Limited”, commissioned for Vancouver’s EXPO 86, with yet a fifth currently in
preparation.Naturally,
the arrival on May 23, 1887 in
V
ancouver of Canadian Pacific Railway’s first
passenger
train, from Montreal, propelled British
Columbia’s
three little southwest coast cities into
a
frenzy of projects and progress. Everything now
seemed
possible. Victoria’s National Electric
T
ramway and Lighting Company Limited
instituted
its streetcar service on February 22,
1890;
it was the third city in Canada with
streetcars
(after Windsor and St. Catharines,
Ontario). In V
ancouver, streetcars began regular
service
on June 27, 1890 under the aegis of the
V
ancouver Electric Railway and Light Company
Limited,
and on October 8, 1891, the Westminster
a
nd Vancouver Tramway Company got its
streetcars
going in New Westminster, as well as its
fourteen-mile-long interurban line between New

Westminster and Vancouver, Canada’s longest
interurban
line at the time.Map
of the British Columbia Electric Railway interurban lines, the company also operated city
streetcar
service in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Victoria and New Westminster. On a Streak of
Lightning
– Electric Railways in Canada by J. Edward Martin, Studio E – now out of print.
Carte du réseau des lignes interurbaines du British Columbia Electric Railways.
La compagnie a
géré
aussi le service de tramways à Vancouver, Vancouver-Nord, Victoria et New Westminster. On a
Streak
of Lightning-Electric Railways in Canada par J. Edward Martin, Studio E (édition épuisée). Along
Victoria’s Government Street on June 8, 1940, Birney car 400, one
of
a set of ten built in 1922, services the No. 2 Cloverdale – Outer Wharf
line.
Street car service in Victoria was inaugurated in 1890 and would
end
on July 5, 1948. Fortunately car 400 has survived and is currently in
Nelson
B.C. CRHA Archives, Fonds Corley.
Le
8 juin 1940, rue Government à Victoria, le Birney no 400, l’un des 10
c
onstruits en 1922,
d
esservant la ligne 2
Cloverdale-Outer
Wharf. Le
s
ervice de tramways de
Victoria fut inauguré en 1890

et cessa le 5 juillet 1948.
Heureusement,
le no 400 a
s
urvécu et circule
maintenant
à Nelson C.B.
A
rchives ACHF, Fonds
Corley
.
RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 20104
B
ut as excitement gathered, a worldwide
d
epression wreaked havoc on rampant optimism,
throwing
the three local companies into receivership,
V
ancouver’s first, then New Westminster’s, and finally
V
ictoria’s, on June 4, 1895. The three moribund
companies
were gathered together as the Consolidated
R
ailway and Light Company, financed by local and
English
investors. Purchased by a London syndicate
headed
by Robert M. Horne-Payne, the Consolidated
Company
increased its capitalization to $1, 500, 000 and
changed
its name to the more concise Consolidated
R
ailway Company.
But
then tragedy struck with overwhelming
force:
on May 26, 1896, Victoria streetcar number 16 was
bound
for Esquimalt for festivities in honour of Queen
V
ictoria’s birthday with 140 passengers and a crew of two.
As
it crossed badly-maintained Point Ellice Bridge, a
section
of the bridge gave way, plunging 55 of car 16’s
riders
to their death, in the worst electric railway disaster
ever
in Canada or the United States.
T
hrust into receivership, and massive
uncertainty,
the new company was resuscitated by the
incorporation
on April 3, 1897 in London of the British
Columbia
Electric Railway Company Limited, Horne-
P
ayne the chairman and R. Henry Sperling the general
superintendent.
With confident, vigorous headiness—
and
no local capital whatsoever—the street car and
interurban
systems of the three steadily-growing cities, V
ancouver especially, were undergirded for an early
t
wentieth century of tumultuous, unprecedented
development.
In
1903, B. C. Electric commenced building its
o
wn streetcars, interurbans, locomotives, work
e
quipment, and freight cars in a shop in New
W
estminster. During the shop’s eleven years of existence,
192
streetcars and interurbans would be outshopped by
this
award-winning plant. (B. C. Electric would ultimately
operate
457 streetcars and 84 interurbans.) B. C. Electric
was
operating 69 streetcars in 1904, and that year would
see
it transporting 8,869,486 passengers on its complete
three-cities
system and one interurban line. Freight was
beginning
to be a factor, with 6,065 tons hauled during the
year.
Having
leased C. P. R’s three-year-old Vancouver
and
Lulu Island Railway, B. C. Electric electrified it and
began
interurban and freight service in 1905 over its
fifteen-mile
Vancouver-to-Steveston distance, and in the
following
year, the company added a fourth city to its
roster
with the inauguration of streetcar service in North
V
ancouver.
A
third interurban line was built in 1909, by C. P.
R
’s V. & L. I. Ry., between Marpole, the mid-point of the
Steveston
line, and New Westminster, ten miles distant,
for
immediate lease and electrification by B. C. Electric.
October
4, 1910 brought the company an
unsurpassed
day of triumph, the beginning of regularly-
s
cheduled passenger
s
ervice, and booming
freight
traffic, on its new,
$3,
500, 000, 64-mile line
from
New Westminster to
C
hilliwack, an eastward
thrust,
but nudging the U.
S.
Border, which finally
opened
the southern side
of
the lower Fraser Valley
t
o settlement and
s
ophisticated
c
ommunications, and
b
rought electricity.
P
assenger interurban
t
rains would operate
b
etween Vancouver and
Chilliwack
for the next four
decades,
three trains each
w
ay daily, plus market
specials,
milk trains, and
t
he like, a distance of
slightly
more than 76 miles,
the
longest interurban run
ever
in Canada.
L
ess than a year
later, the company opened P
eter Cox caught sweeper S.58 in Victoria in September 1947. Somehow we think this shot was
arranged,
sweepers dont have their trolleys up in September! The S.58 was built by Ottawa Car
in
1913 and was assigned to the Victoria division. Peter Cox.
P
eter Cox a pris ce cliché du balai chasse-neige S.58 à Victoria en septembre 1947.
Évidemment
on a installé la perche sur le fil aérien pour le besoin de la photo (pas de neige en en
cette
période de lannée). Le S.58 fut construit par lOttawa Car en 1913 et assigné à la Division
Victoria.
Peter Cox.
5CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010a
much-needed new interurban depot in New
W
estminster, and in 1912 a splendid B. C. Electric head
offices
structure and interurban terminal in Vancouver,
both city’s buildings still in existence today in other uses.

During these two years, B. C. Electric’s fifth, sixth, and
seventh
interurban lines were inaugurated, the ten-mile
B
urnaby Lake line, joining Vancouver and New
W
estminster street carlines via central Burnaby, in 1911,
and
in 1912, centered on New Westminster’s new depot,
the
two-mile Fraser Mills line and the similar-length
Queensborough
line.Since
freight had become a pressing reality on
the
interurban lines, B. C. Electric constructed the 16th
Street
freight yard in New Westminster containing 8, 488
feet
of track in 1913. In the same year, the company
opened
its eighth interurban line, 23 miles in length, from
V
ictoria north through the Saanich peninsula to Deep
Bay.
During 1913, B. C. Electric’s street cars and
interurbans
carried 69, 639, 764 riders and its locomotives
hauled
448, 750 tons of freight.Over
the years the BCER counted 27 electric
l
ocomotives on its roster including 7
Baldwin–W
estinghouse built units. Here we see
B
-W 972 at New Westminster in September 1953.
CRHA
Archives, Fonds Corley.
P
endant son existence, le BCER a possédé un
parc
de 27 locomotives électriques, dont 7
engins
Baldwin-Westinghouse. Nous voyons ici
la
B-W 972 à New Westminster en septembre
1953.
Archives ACHF, Fonds Corley.Built
by Canadian Car and Foundry in 1925 and 1926, cars
700-719,
ten two-car, multiple unit streetcar sets caused a
sensation
when they hit Vancouver’s streets. In this July
1926
Canadian Car & Foundry view you can see why
V
ancouverites were indeed impressed with their new
streetcars!
CRHA Archives, Fonds Canadian Car &
F
oundry.
Les
10 tramways en tandem, construits par la Canadian Car
and
Foundry entre 1925 et 1926, firent sensation dans les
rues
de Vancouver. Photo prise à la CC&F en juillet 1926.
Archives
ACHF, Fonds Canadian Car & Foundry.Motor
car 714 probably with trailer 715 operates
in
this mid 1940’s view southbound on Main
Street,
about to cross the Great Northern’s
original
main line into Vancouver. The No. 7 –
F
raser line would cease operations in 1948,
replaced
by Vancouver’s first trolley coach line
on
August 16. CRHA Archives, Fonds Corley.
Le
tramway 714 avec probablement la remorque
715,
au milieu des années 1940, en direction sud
rue
Main, se prépare à traverser la voie du Great
Northern
à Vancouver. La ligne no 7 Fraser a
cessé
ses opérations en 1948 et fut remplacée
par
la première ligne de trolleybus le 16 août de la
même
année. Archives ACHF, Fonds Corley.
6RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
adequate
patronage. In 1926, Vancouver-to-Chilliwack
bus
service was instituted by B. C. Electric’s subsidiary,
and
the company’s first major streetcar line shutdown,
Georgia
East, occurred.
When
B. C. Electric placed two new bus lines
into
operation in Vancouver on October 6, 1930,
MacDonald
and Granville Street South, the company
thereby
made it abundantly clear that the building of
streetcar
lines was in the past. Here were two lines that
were
logical candidates for streetcar operation: they were
relatively
lengthy, they did not jut into new areas, and they
made
streetcar connections at either end of their
V
ancouver services.
Nonetheless,
beginning in 1937, the company
would
over the following nine years completely rebuild
150
of its streetcars: exteriors were modernized, often
radically,
and interiors were thoroughly refurbished, even
i
ncluding leather-covered foam seats. And more
modernization
would come with the placing in service of
B.
C. Electric’s PCC streetcar number 400 in 1939, the
first
of 36, numbered 400 to 435, all assigned to
V
ancouver.
The
building of a new bridge across the Fraser
River
in 1937 at New
W
estminster with its
i
nvasive exits and
a
pproaches in the
city,
brought an end
t
o interurban
services
of the Fraser
M
ills and
Q
ueensborough
lines,
and an end to
i
nterurban
operation
into New
W
estminster’s depot
by
the Burnaby Lake
line,
whose terminus
w
as cut back 2.4
miles
to Sapperton.
The
Queensborough
l
ine survives, re-
worked,
as a busy
f
reight operation.
N
ew Westminster’s
l
ast streetcar line
w
ould cease
o
perating on
December
5, 1938.
B.
C. Electric after
these
shutdowns was
o
perating 167.56
track
miles of street
car
lines and 168.97
of
interurban lines.Having
purchased the Western Power Company
of
Canada Limited, B. C. Electric electrified its seven-
mile railway between R
uskin, on the C. P. R.’s main line,
and
Stave Falls to the north and offered rudimentary
interurban
service from 1922 until its abandonment in
1944.
Three other hydro development railway lines, but
not
electrified and freight only, were built and operated
by
B. C. Electric: the six-mile Jordan River line, 1910 to
1971;
the nine-mile Coquitlam Lake line, 1914 to 1931;
and
the four-mile Alouette Branch railway, 1924 to 1931.
By
the end of 1923, Vancouver’s streetcar route
miles
count stood at 62, with two short segments to be
added
in 1927 and 1928, and three loops to be
inaugurated
in 1929, 1949 and 1950. New Westminster’s
system
was complete with 15 route miles, North
V
ancouver’s with 10, and Victoria’s with 31.
During
1923, B. C. Electric’s first city bus service
began
with Vancouver’s Grandview Highway line on
March
19, and the company’s first intercity bus service,
obviously
between Vancouver and New Westminster,
commenced
on May 1, 1924, operated by a B. C. Electric
subsidiary,
B. C. Rapid Transit. And then—the company’s
most
recently inaugurated interurban line, the Saanich,
was
abandoned, on November 1, 1924, for want of Streetcars
of North Vancouver’s three lines, 1 – Lonsdale, 2 – Lynn Valley, and 3 – Capilano, wait at the
foot
of Lonsdale Avenue, on the very shore of Burrard Inlet, as ferry passengers from Vancouver stride
to
their streetcars on a late afternoon in July 1946. The criss-cross on the face of 150 denotes a one
man
car. Significantly, car 153 to the right is one of only three B.C. Electric streetcars still in existence.
Vic
Sharman, Henry Ewert collection.
Des
tramways des trois lignes de Vancouver-Nord, 1-Lonsdale, 2-Lynn Valley et 3-Capilano, avenue
Lonsdale
près de la rive de l’anse Burrad, attendent des passagers en provenance du traversier en
cette
fin d’après-midi de juillet 1946. La croix devant le no 150 indique un tramway à un seul homme.
Le
tramway no 153 à droite est le seul de la BCER encore existant. Vic Sharman, collection Henry
Ewert.
7CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010major
streetcar lines ended service. In the early morning
of
July 4, 1948, operations ceased on the last of Victoria’s
streetcar
lines. However, electric transit of a different
kind
was instituted by B. C. Electric on August 16, 1948
with
its first trolley coach line, Vancouver’s ‘Fraser-
Cambie.’
B
y January 1950, 24.35 route miles of
V
ancouver’s streetcar operations had been abandoned
and
only eight streetcar lines remained. On B. C.
Electric’s
complete system, 225 streetcars, 73 interurbans,
168 trolley coaches, and 381 city and 105 intercity busses

were in daily operation. During 1950, B. C. Electric’s
streetcars,
interurbans, trolley coaches, and busses
transported
148, 746, 411 riders, and its locomotives
hauled
952, 784 tons of freight, connecting with the C. N.
R.,
C. P. R., Great Northern, Milwaukee Road, and
Northern
Pacific.As
World War II was slowly coming to an end, B.
C.
Electric announced , on September 30, 1944, its ‘Rails-
to-R
ubber’ programme, a multi-million-dollar plan for
the
elimination of most of its rail passenger services,
though
there were indications in it that streetcars on main
arteries
would survive, the older streetcars to be replaced
by
the extraordinary PCC’s. In 1944, B. C. Electric was
operating
327.41 track miles, Montreal Tramways 279.34,
and
the Toronto Transportation Commission 266.88. Its
398
streetcars, of which 133 were one man vehicles, were
distributed
in the following manner: 11 in North
V
ancouver, 346 in Vancouver, and 41 in Victoria,
including
10 Birneys. Seventy-three interurbans were
kept
busy on the company’s interurban lines.
“R
ails-to-Rubber’ struck North Vancouver first,
with
its last streetcar in regular service on April 24, 1947.
The
programme began in Vancouver six days later as two A
Vancouver-bound interurban train from
Chilliwack
waits momentarily at the three-track
through
depot in New Westminster in 1940. One
of
three B.C. Electric combines, car 1400 was
built
by American Car Company, coupled car
1301by
Ottawa Car Company, both in 1910,
expressly
for Chilliwack line operation. Henry
Ewert
collection.
Un
train interurbain en provenance de Chilliwack
et
en direction de Vancouver attend au dépôt à
trois
voies de Westminster en 1940. L’un des trois
véhicules
combinés du BCER, le no 1400,
construit
spécialement pour la ligne Chilliwack
par
l’American Car Company en 1910, est attelé
au
no 1301 construit par la Ottawa Car Company
également
en 1910. Collection Henry Ewert.T
wo interurban cars built for the
Chilliwack
line are seen here in
operation
in 1946 on the Central
P
ark line, on Commercial Drive
at
Broadway, New Westminster-
bound.
The first 3.6 miles out
f
rom the Vancouver BCER
terminal
were street-run before
taking
to the private right-of-way.
Car
1305 was built by B.C.
Electric
in 1911, and car 1306
was
one of three (1306-1308)
e
specially handsome G. C.
K
uhlman products also 1911.
Henry
Ewert collection.Deux
véhicules interurbains construits pour la ligne de Chilliwack en service sur la ligne Central Park, rue Commercial Drive à
l’intersection
de Broadway et en direction de Westminster, en 1946. La voie ferrée partageait la rue sur les premiers 5,8 km à partir
du
terminus du BCER avant de poursuivre sur une emprise privée. La voiture no 1305 fut construite en 1911 par la BCER tandis que
la
no 1306 fut l’une des trois voitures (1306-1308) spécialement construites par G. C. Kuhlman également en 1911. Collection
Henry
Ewert.
8RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
Curved
sider car 88 was a 1917 home built product that seated 41 passengers. It was 43 4 long and weighted 46,300 pounds. It is
seen
here plying the Dunbar 14 route, note the ad for Rat Portage wood and coal! CRHA Archives, Folds Corley.
Le
tramway à flancs recourbés no 88 construit par le BCER en 1917 pouvait accueillir 41 passagers. Il avait une longueur de 13,1
mètres
et un poids de 20,998 kg. On le voit ici sur la ligne 14 Dunbar. À noter l’affiche publicitaire “Rat Portage wood and coal”!
Archives
ACHF, Fonds Corley.B.C.
Electric’s observation streetcars graced many a post card, here car 124 with ‘Teddy’ Lyons conductor posed for Harry Bulein
photographer
. Michael Leduc collection.
Le
tramway observatoire du BCER a illustré beaucoup de cartes postales. Ici, la voiture no 124 avec son contrôleur, « Teddy »
L
yons, pose pour le photographe Harry Bulein. Collection Michael Leduc.
9CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010T
wo interurban lines were left, Marpole-
Steveston
and Marpole-New Westminster, and the hourly
service
on the latter came to a conclusion with the closing
out
of passenger service on November 18, 1956, thereby
ending
65 years of interurban service in New Westminster
and
Burnaby, the municipality—now city—sandwiched
between
Vancouver and New Westminster.
Interurbans
ran for the last time between
Marpole
and Steveston on February 28, 1958. The last
run,
with car 1225, left Steveston at 1 a.m., Lawrence
L
ove, conductor, and Bert Hall, motorman, along with a
standing
room only host of last-timers, including this
writer.
Two special interurban trains, 1231 and 1222, and
1208
and 1207, brought specially invited guests to a ‘last
ceremonial
run’ luncheon at 12:15 p.m. half way along the
line
to Steveston in the hall of Brighouse United Church,
signalling
the end of rail passenger service by B. C.
Electric.
In
freight operations still today, under C. P. R.
management,
is the Marpole-New Westminster line, as
well
as a short stretch from Marpole of the Steveston line.
In
addition, as noted above, the New Westminster-
Chilliwack
line still flourishes, as does the almost
completely
rerouted Queensborough line, operated by
Southern
Railway of British Columbia.
On
B. C. Electric’s freight only former South
Shore
line along Vancouver’s False Creek, the Transit
Museum
Society’s Downtown Historic Railway has made
possible
a tourist operation featuring brilliantly restored
interurbans
1207 and 1231, the former built in 1905 by B.
C.
Electric, the latter, the very last interurban to roll over
B.
C. Electric rails, in 1913 by St. Louis Car Company.
Other
extant B. C. Electric interurbans include
1220,
1223, 1225, and previously noted 1304, all in the
V
ancouver area, and 1235 at the Canada Museum of
Science
and Technology in Ottawa. Only three street cars
s
urvive: single truck 53 in the Spaghetti Factory
R
estaurant in Vancouver; 153 in North Vancouver; and
Birney
400 in Nelson, B. C., and snowplow S. 103 at the
P
uget Sound Railway Historical Association’s
compound
near Snoqualmie Falls, Washington.Observation
streetcars 123 and 124 worked their
last
day on Sunday, September 17, 1950, there being too
few
streetcar lines left to form a viable routing. Just two
weeks
later, on October 1, the very last interurban to
operate
on the Chilliwack line, car 1304, closed passenger
service
on the line, almost forty years after its opening.
(Car
1304 rests today in Surrey, B. C. under the care of the
F
raser Valley Heritage Railway Society, awaiting
restoration.)
The Chilliwack line today is still a vigorous
mover
of freight, operated by Southern Railway of British
Columbia.
The
next interurban line to shut down was the
well-patronized,
double-tracked Vancouver-to-Marpole
line,
6.9 miles, on June 18, 1952, replaced by a bizarre new
trolley
coach line that ended in a loop one mile short of
Marpole
and didn’t even come close to covering the same
territory
in the interurbans’ time.
October
23, 1953 marked the cessation of service
on,
and the complete abandonment of, the Burnaby Lake
interurban
line, as well as the end of passenger service on
the
6.7 miles of the Central Park interurban line between
V
ancouver’s eastern boundary and New Westminster.
Then,
in the early morning of July 16, 1954, interurban
service
ended on the remaining Vancouver end of the
Central
Park line, and the first 4.1 miles of track at the
V
ancouver end were abandoned. (After 62 years of
i
nterurban service between Vancouver and New
W
estminster, there would be a hiatus of more than 32
years
before a new type of interurban service began
between
the two cities on January 3, 1986 with ‘SkyTrain,’
following
the identical route but largely elevated.)
Almost
eleven years after ‘Rails-to-Rubber’ had
been
decreed, it was the appointed time for the end of B.
C.
Electric’s last streetcar line, No. 14 ‘Hastings East,”
with PCC car 424 in the early morning of April 22, 1955;

Vyv Saundry was the motorman and Jung Sing was the last
passenger.
On Sunday, April 24, ‘Rails-to-Rubber’ Day,
29
of the PCCs gave free rides all along the No. 14 line
from
1 to 5 p.m.; car 415 was the very last car to operate.
All
36 PCCs were scrapped locally.B
CER PCC 402 operating on route 14, Hastings East on
July
8, 1954. The BCER had 36 PCCs (400 to 435) built
between
1938 and 1945, car 402 was built by St. Louis
Car
Company and assembled by Canadian Car and
F
oundry in Montreal in 1940. Stan Styles, GTC
Collectibles
BCE-402-1.
Le
PCC no 402 de la BCER sur la ligne 14, Hastings East,
le
8 juillet 1954. Le BCER a possédé 36 PCC (no 400 à
435)
construits entre 1938 et 1945. Le no. 402 fut
construit
par la St.Louis Car Company et assemblé par la
Canadian
Car & Foundry de Montréal (Lachine) en 1940.
Stan
Styles, GTC Collectibles, BCE-402-1.
10RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
by Herb MacDonaldThe Early Horse-P
owered
Mining Railways of Cape BretonIntroduction
My
article on the Albion Mines Railway in Canadian Rail # 474 included brief references to the
introduction
of horse-powered railways by the General Mining Association [GMA] in both Pictou County and Cape 1
Breton at the beginning of the 1830s. This article examines the horse-powered era in Cape Breton, a product of the
GMA
’s adoption of the mine waggonway which had become a core component of the coal transport system in Britain 2(Fig.1). GMA records usually referred to the firm’s early rail lines using the British ‘waggonway’ with its double-g
and
I have retained that term, except in quotations, throughout the article. Original Imperial measures of weights
and
distances and currency references in Sterling are used throughout. This
drawing, believed to be of the Willington waggonway
approaching
the north bank of the river Tyne, symbolizes the
mine
railways that had evolved in British coal fields over the 2previous 200 years. The wagon is fairly representative of
those
used in northeast England though when compared
with
Figs. 4 and 5 several things stand out. The back of the
wagon
here is vertical, not sloped, and its sides likewise
seem
to be vertical. This wagon also appears a bit higher
than
most ‘Newcastle chaldrons.’ These details may reflect
artistic
license or may illustrate the variations in wagon
design,
rails, track construction and gauge that existed from
one
line to another. The prominent hand brake and the
combination
of flanged iron wheels with edge rails illustrate
northeast
England norms of 1820. The nature of the track is
unclear
but the fill between the rails to protect the horses
suggests
use of stone blocks to carry the rails. The two wharves with wagons in the left background reflect the extensive use of
waggonways
in the northeast. By this time, mines in Northumberland and Durham operated many hundreds of miles of horse-
powered
rail lines running to shipping wharves on the coast and the banks of the Tyne, Wear, and Tees rivers. North of England
Institute
of Mining and Mechanical Engineers Collection, Northumberland County Record Office, Newcastle upon Tyne.
C
ette gravure semble illustrer un wagonnet de Willington s’approchant de la rive nord de la rivière Tyne. Elle représente l’évolution 1des voies ferrées des mines dans les houillères d’il y a 200 ans. Ce wagonnet est une représentation fidèle de ceux utilisés dans le
n
ord-est de l’Angleterre. Lorsqu’on le compare avec ceux des figures 4 et 5, plusieurs éléments ressortent. L’arrière du wagon est
v
ertical et non incliné, les côtés aussi semblent verticaux. Il est aussi un peu plus élevé que la majorité des « chaldrons de
N
ewcastle » (standard). Ces détails sont peut-être des interprétations artistiques, ou alors, ils illustrent les variations du design, des
r
ails, de la construction et de l’écartement des voies, qui différaient d’une ligne à une autre. Les normes anglaises de 1820 sont
t
raduites par la proéminence du levier de frein, par les roues de fer à boudins et par le rebord des rails. Les caractéristiques de la
v
oie ferrée ne sont pas précisées, mais il semble que la pierre ait été utilisée pour remplir l’espace entre les rails afin de protéger les
c
hevaux. Les deux quais et les wagonnets en arrière-plan indiquent une grande utilisation de ces voies dans le nord-est du pays. À
c
ette époque, les mines de Northumberland et de Durham exploitaient plusieurs centaines de kilomètres de lignes ferroviaires
h
ippomobiles pour expédier leurs produits vers les quais sur les rives des rivières Tyne, Wear et Tees. Collection du North of England
I
nstitute of Mining an Mechanical Engineers, Bureau des données de la région du Northumberland, Newcastle sur Tyne.1.
The only published references to the GMA waggonways which warrant mention are two articles by Robert R. Brown: ‘Railroads of the General Mining
Association,’ Bulletin of Canadian Railroad Historical Association, # 6-7, 1938; and ‘Canada’s Earliest Railway Lines,’ Bulletin of the Railway &

Locomotive Historical Society, # 78, October, 1949. An unpublished study, ‘Mine and Industrial Railways in Cape Breton,’ 1956, provides some
extension of Brown’s earlier articles. His efforts were a work in progress over two decades but problems persisted because he did not have access to the

GMA papers that are now available or the related documents found more recently in England. The few references to the waggonways that have

appeared since the 1950s have all been based on Brown’s work and inherited the problems contained within it. The waggonway era is generally ignored

in Canadian railway history where a ‘railway’ is usually assumed to involve locomotive power. A good example from a Nova Scotian perspective is SE
W
oods, Cinders & Saltwater: The Story of Atlantic Canada’s Railways, Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 1992. Woods grants thirteen lines of text to the pre-
locomotive period in Nova Scotia.
2.
For background on the development of British waggonways from the 1600s to the early 1800s, the definitive study is still Michael Lewis, Early Wooden
Railways, London: R
outledge, 1970. Another valuable work is Bertram Baxter, Stone Blocks and Iron Rails, Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1966. An
early start on the subject was made by Dendy Marshall in his History of British Railways Down T
o The Year 1830, Oxford University Press, 1938. A
concise review
, more easily found in Canada, is in Michael Flinn, The History of the British Coal Industry, vol 2, 1700-1830, Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1984; see chapter 5, ‘The T
ransport of Coal.’ Fig. 1: A North England W
aggonway, c. 1820
11CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010L
ondon. Dated 15 January 1830 and quoted later that 7
year in the Quarterly Mining Review [QMR], it stated
that
work on the temporary waggonway had begun before
the
end of 1829. The letter reported, ‘The line of rail-way
from
the pit to the wharf has been surveyed and leveled,
the
length of which is 1560 yards.’ The new wharf was
recorded
as ‘built up to the required height, viz 12 feet
above
high water to the extent of 160 feet, which was as far
as
could be done that season.’ The
footnotes are numerous and sometimes
lengthy
but I make no apologies for them. When breaking
new
ground, it is important to indicate the basis for what is
presented.
When that content includes an extensive array
of
speculations as well as many unanswered questions, it is
even
more important to provide details that could assist
future
researchers who might explore the challenges that
remain.
Where potentially useful to those researchers,
t
he notes also include references to missing
documentation
and potential sources of answers to the 3
questions that still exist.
The
Sydney Mines ‘Temporary Railway,’ 1830-35
4
Sydney Mines was always the most important of
the
GMA mine sites on Cape Breton Island. An 1871 5
book by Richard Brown (Fig.2) – the first GMA manager
there
who spent almost 40 years in that position –
provides
a brief overview of the beginning of serious
activity
once legal problems regarding the company’s
mineral
rights in Cape Breton were resolved in 1829. A
200
ft shaft was sunk at Sydney Mines in 1829-30 and two
steam
engines installed for pumping and winding. A new
wharf
and a ‘light temporary railway’ were also built,
though
Brown failed to note precisely when or provide
any
detail about the rail line. He recorded the opening of
a
second shaft in 1834, this one 320 ft deep, and
construction
of another wharf. A second waggonway,
designed
to replace the temporary line, connected both
pits
to the new wharf, though again Brown provided few
details.
Brown’s omissions and the absence of local
newspaper
coverage of the early years of GMA activity in
Cape
Breton leave us dependent on the limited supply of 6
remaining primary documents.
One
important early source from England is a
letter,
probably from Brown, to the GMA head office in 3.
Suggestion that missing material may appear may seem overly optimistic but there is a basis for optimism. Since the publication of my article on the
Albion Railway in 2000, a number of interesting things relevant to GMA railways in Nova Scotia have unexpectedly emerged from obscurity including a

collection of nearly 50 letters from Richard Smith, the first GMA manager in Pictou County; an English drawing of the locomotive John Buddle made

before its shipment to Pictou County in 1839 (and probably the earliest illustration of a locomotive that operated in Canada); newspaper accounts from

both Nova Scotia and England to answer the question about when the GMA introduced the first two locomotives in Cape Breton (see note # 55); and

long-forgotten photos of Stephenson and John Bridge, the third and fourth GMA locomotives used at Sydney Mines. (The drawing of the Buddle and

the two photos will appear in articles in preparation for future issues of Canadian Rail.)
4.
While modern-day Sydney Mines was the location of the original colliery and wharf plus the first waggonway, the second wharf and the wharf end of the
second waggonway were in what is now North Sydney
. During the era covered in this article, the entire ‘northside’ of Sydney Harbour was usually
referred to by the GMA as ‘Sydney Mines’ and I have retained that useage.
5.
The Coal Fields and Coal Trade of the Island of Cape Breton, London: Samson, Low, Marston, Low & Searle, 1871.
6.
The critical source is the collection of GMA papers from Cape Breton at the Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University, Sydney, series MG 14,19
[hereafter BI, GMA papers]. This collection is extensive but far from complete. Many documents that could shed much more light on the GMA’s early

railways are still missing.
7.
Quarterly Mining Review [QMR], vol 1, no 3, September, 1830, p 347. The first four issues of this London journal have extensive coverage of GMA
activity in both Nova Scotia and South America and I am indebted to Michael Lewis for alerting me to their content. F
or reason(s) unknown, the flow
of GMA information through QMR was cut off at the end of 1830 and nothing more about the company appeared during the rest of this journal’s

publishing life which ended in 1835. For a Canadian, the closest known complete set of QMR is in the Science Museum’s Historical Collection now at
Imperial College Library in London. The location of this material is highly appropriate. Just across Exhibition R
oad is the Victoria & Albert Museum
with the largest public collection of work in gold & silver made by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell – the original source of the core of the GMA’s capital base.

When QMR ceased publishing in 1835, the Mining Journal [MJ] became the coal industry’s journal of record. A recently developed search engine for

MJ on the website of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers < http://www.mininginstitute.org.uk/tools/jsearchv2.php >
shows a vast array of references to the GMA and Sydney Mines in that journal over the period 1835-1860. I have not had an opportunity to examine the

journal in England and those early issues could prove valuable to future researchers. C
W Vernon, Cape Breton at the Turn of the 20th Century,
T
oronto: Nation Publishing, 1902, p 16Fig. 2: Richard Brown, the First GMA
Manager in Cape Breton
12RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
8.
Among the most significant GMA records which appear lost is most of the correspondence between Sydney Mines and head office in London. No part
of this run of records is found in the BI collection. P
ursuit of the head office papers at logical locations in London such as the Guildhall Archives, the
British Library
, the London Metropolitan Archives, the archival directories at the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, and the National
Archives at K
ew has been to no avail. Despite the absence of papers at the time of writing (save for the 1829 Deed of Settlement at the Guildhall
referred to in note # 17 below), any one of these sites would be logical sources for future acquisitions of GMA papers or knowledge of their existence

elsewhere.
9.
The beginning of work on the waggonways at the two sites was close to simultaneous. At Albion Mines, the first 200 yards of rails were laid at the end of
April, 1830 indicating that work on the roadbed had started very early that year if not before the end of 1829; QMR
, vol 1, no 3, September, 1830, p
348. Unfortunately the letter that reported the date included no details about the source or specifications of the rails.
10.
One key basis for this claim was a report in The Colonial Patriot (Pictou, NS), 28 January 1829, that ‘railways (rails) are now casting and will be ready
for laying down in the spring.’ However
, the QMR letter referred to in note # 9 indicates no rails were laid for over a year after the Patriot report. This
raises the question, why not? W
as the delay the result of quality or production problems? If so, were they resolved or was the idea of local manufacture
abandoned? The answers to these are unknown but if the P
atriot’s ‘now casting’ is taken seriously, the possible appearance of some major production
problem must also be taken seriously
. The Patriot and QMR indications of intent to manufacture rails at Albion Mines must also be seen in the light of
an earlier press report. The Novascotian (Halifax, NS), 18 October 1827, less than five months after the arrival of the first GMA contingent in Pictou

County, stated that ‘the materials for a rail-road are also in the possession of Mr. Smith at Pictou.’ Had Smith brought any railway material from
England in 1827, the most likely components would have been the iron work – wheel sets, chairs, and rails. On 21 July 1830, The Novascotian reported

within Joe Howe’s note about the Albion Mines waggonway, ‘all the iron materials for it having been cast at the Establishment…’ While this sounds
definitive, Howe’s report went on to comment on the limited activity and success at the foundry where there had been high plans but no output ‘except

for the bars for the railway’ and a few other items. These two segments from Howe are not fully compatible and raise the question of what was meant

by the ‘bars for the railway.’ These press references must be considered in the context of two other sources. In 1894, HS Poole published an account of
foundry activity that obviously was based on original GMA documents. Here one would expect to find details about rail manufacturing, if such had

actually taken place, but there is no reference to the production of rails; see ‘Iron Making in Nova Scotia Early in the Century,’ Transactions of the
Mining Society of Nova Scotia, 1893-94, vol II, part II, pp 144-52. The evidence from Cape Breton, despite its limitations, also seems relevant. As will

be seen in the text, it appears that the original 1830 right of way at Sydney Mines was built with 15-foot rolled rails, specifications that indicate British

manufacture. Given the apparent expectation in 1830 of higher output at Albion Mines than at Sydney Mines, something reflected in the use of

Winchester wagons on the Albion Mines waggonway, twice the size of those first used at Sydney Mines, it seems improbable that the GMA would have
laid lower quality
, locally manufactured rail in Pictou County. Though cost considerations could have theoretically played a role in the decision, at this
time the company was flush with cash and committed to a capital-intensive approach to developing its properties. W
ith the uncertainties and
inconsistencies here, I believe my “unproved” conclusion is warranted until more definitive evidence is found – if it is ever found.
11.
BI, GMA papers, D-8-a, Manager’s Letter Book, 1827-1833, R Smith to J Smith, 12 June 1833; a follow-up letter on 18 June requested the addition of
any old chairs available to any shipment of rails.
12.
BI, GMA papers, D-8-a, Manager’s Letter Book, 1827-1833, R Brown to Belcher & Co, Halifax, NS, 6 January 1833, and to William Fairclough,
Liverpool, 12 January 1833. The Belcher firm was the GMA shipping agent in Halifax where they had been merchants for Cape Breton coal for over

35 years prior to the arrival of the GMA in Nova Scotia. Andrew Belcher, then resident in England, was a member of the GMA Board in 1829. On
Belcher
, see David Sutherland’s biography in Dictionary of Canadian Biography [DCB], vol IX, 1976. William Fairclough was owner of the Mary
Anne, probably the GMA shipping agent in Liverpool, and possibly a GMA shareholder
. His name appears a number of times in correspondence about
cargos shipped out of Liverpool. were
made there in 1829-30, because this would have
been
a North American ‘first.’ Various sources in Canada
and
beyond have accepted the reliability of that claim but,
as
a result of conflicting evidence, I regard it as 10
unproved.
Similarly,
there is no evidence to confirm the
precise
source of either the first rails laid – or the later
ones
– at Sydney Mines. The earliest reference found to
rails that may have gone from the Albion Mines to Cape

Breton is a request for shipment of ‘old rails’ dating from 11
mid-1833, though this was without any indication of
where
they were to be used. From the beginning of that
same
year come the first limited details about British rails 12
for Cape Breton. Letters from Richard Brown to
Belcher
& Co in Halifax, and William Fairclough of
Liverpool,
confirm the arrival on 9 January 1833 of the
brig
Mary Anne from Liverpool with 200 tons of ‘Railway
Iron
for the Sydney Mines.’ Brown’s letters unfortunately
fail
to offer information about the manufacturer or
specifications
of the rails. The intended use of this cargo is
also
uncertain, though the timing and size of the shipment
suggest
it was for the waggonway built at Bridgeport later
that
year rather than for use at Sydney Mines. Among
the questions that remain unanswered
are
when the decision to build that first rail line was made
and
whether that decision was made in London or in Cape 8
Breton. Also unknown are when this temporary line was
completed
or when it went into service. From a Nova
Scotian
perspective, it would also be interesting to know if
construction
of the first Sydney Mines line began before
or
after work started on the first waggonway at Albion 9
Mines in Pictou Countyand to establish which went into
service
first. These have also proved impossible to
resolve,
though it seems likely that both lines were being
used
before the end of 1830.
F
ew engineering details about the temporary
Sydney
Mines line have been found. Brown refers to it as a
‘light
railway,’ a description that raises questions about
the
rails and where they were made.

A tantalizing reference in the letter of 15
January
1830 in QMR noted the ‘rails &c. it was intended
to
manufacture at the Albion Mines foundry.’ Intention is
one
thing, but rail manufacturing is something else.
Contemporary
press references indicate the Albion
Mines
waggonway was built with iron rail, but there are
nagging
uncertainties about its origin(s). As a native of
P
ictou County, I would like to accept the claim that rails
13CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010that
will be addressed below. The terrain, with a steep
slope
that dropped about fifty feet down to the shoreline,
certainly
required one if wagons were moved down to the 16
wharf. There is no basis for drawing any other
conclusions
about the line’s structure or operation though
it
is possible to calculate estimates of traffic. These will be
considered
below along with an analysis of traffic on the
second
waggonway.
A
Second Waggonway For Sydney Mines
By
1833, a major expansion at Sydney Mines was
being
planned. It involved a second mine called Biggs
Main,
a new wharf, and a new waggonway to link the new
pit
as well as the older Sydney Main colliery to the new
wharf. That summer, J. B. F
oord, Secretary to the GMA
Board
of Directors, and Thomas Bigge, a member of the
R
undell family, one of the largest GMA shareholders, 17
and an important member of the Board, came to Cape 18
Breton. Preliminary decisions about locations for the
new
wharf and waggonway had been made and work had
begun
on both before the arrival of Foord and Bigge.
Arrival
of a large shipment of chairs in September of 19
1833 suggests the original objective had likely been to
start
laying track before the end of that year. However,
the
presence of the visitors from head office seems to
indicate
concern about some aspect of the new projects.
This
conclusion is supported by Foord’s return to Sydney 13
The 1837 Sydney Mines Stock Book, the
earliest
surviving GMA inventory record from Cape
Breton,
reports the presence of over seventy-five tons of
‘light
rails’ in 15-foot lengths. These were classed as
‘loose’ stock and further described as ‘malleable iron,’ ie

they were rolled rails. This fact, plus their 15-foot length,
indicates
they were of British origin. They may have been
new
stock for future use but, given the fact that there was
no
obvious short-term need for such a stock, I suspect
they
were old rails that had come from the temporary 14
line. This hypothesis plus the British origin of the Mary
Anne’s
cargo seem to indicate the Albion Mines foundry
could
not supply rail in any significant quantity and
increases
my doubt that it was ever the source of new rail,
whether
for Cape Breton or Pictou County.
Little
has been found about operations on the
temporary
Sydney Mines waggonway, though the 1837
Stock Book’s record of old wagons shows the wagon size 15was ½ Winchester chaldron. More than two years after
abandonment
of this line, the company inventory showed
twenty-two
of the first wagons still operational plus an
additional
twenty-nine similar wagon bodies without
wheels.
There is no basis, however, for speculating about
whether
the original wagon complement was much in
excess
of that fifty-one. The 1837 inventory also records
an
‘old incline wheel’ located ‘near the old wharf,’
suggesting
use of an incline of some type there – a point 13.
BI, GMA papers, B-1-k; detail in the 1837 Stock Book is extended by the content of the 1838 volume, BI, GMA papers, B-4.
14.
Assuming a weight of no more than 30 pounds per yard, this ‘light rail’ inventory is compatible with the 1,560 yards reported in the QMR letter of 15
January 1830 if provision is made for additional trackage in sidings and on the wharf
. The 1837 Stock Book entry was not carried forward to 1838. I
speculate this indicates the rails went into use in one of the pits, something that further suggests these were old rails, the only logical source of which

would have been leftovers from the original waggonway.
15.
The Winchester chaldron was equal to half a Newcastle chaldron. Though both were primarily measures of volume rather than weight, a ‘Newcastle
wagon’ carried about 5,900 pounds and the original Sydney Mines ½ W
inchester wagons about 1,475 pounds. GMA reports to the Nova Scotia
government relating to sales, the base for royalties payable, used the Newcastle measure. F
or internal purposes, the company used the Winchester
chaldron as its standard unit of account. Use of the Newcastle measure for royalties was negotiated with the British government and the agreement was

regarded by the Nova Scotia government as a case of ‘sharp dealing’ since pre-GMA royalties had been paid to Halifax based on the Winchester
measure. On the origin of this and other legal and political disputes between the GMA and the government in Halifax, see Del Muise, ‘The General

Mining Association and Nova Scotia’s Coal, Bulletin of Canadian Studies, Autumn, 1983, pp 71-87.
16.
Richard Brown’s 1871 book includes a fold-out engraving showing the shoreline of the north side of Sydney harbour. It illustrates the topography which
dictated use of an incline if the wagons were brought down to the first wharf
.
17.
Board membership plus a detailed list of shareholders and their holdings as at April of 1829 are in the GMA ‘Deed of Settlement,’ Guildhall Archives,
London [GA], ms 24,532. Members of the Rundell and Bridge families and others associated with their goldsmithing firm held about 45% of GMA

shares at that time. Thomas Bigge was a first cousin of Edmund Rundell, the GMA Chairman. Reference in my paper on the Albion Mines Railway to
Rundell, Bridge & Rundell as a ‘notable firm’ has been found to be a considerable understatement. A
fter completion of that paper, one later stop in my
ongoing pursuit of GMA documents was at Goldsmiths’ Hall Library in London where a number of secondary works on the goldsmithing partnership

were found. One of the most valuable is an article by John Culme, an authority on Regency gold and silver, which refers to the Rundell firm as ‘the
most celebrated of its kind in the history of the British goldsmiths’ trade.’ See ‘A Devoted A
ttention to Business: An Obituary of Philip Rundell,’ Silver
Society Journal, W
inter, 1991, pp 91-102.
18.
BI, GMA papers, D-8-a, Manager’s Letter Book, 1827-1833, R Smith to J Smith, 12 June 1833.
19.
BI, GMA papers, D-9-a, Richard Smith Correspondence, 1831-33, #s 94-96, Belcher & Co, Halifax, to R Smith, 10 August, 12 August, and 3
September 1833. The letters report arrival in Halifax of over 2,800 chairs, enough for more than three quarters of a running mile of track. Unfortunately

the shipment also included ‘70 iron bars’ within its total identified weight of 56 tons. As a result, it is impossible to determine a unit weight for the

chairs. If, for the sake of guesswork, we assume the “bars” might have weighed as much as half a ton each, the chairs would have been about 14
pounds each, comparable to the weight then in use on British main lines and compatible with chair weights reported in the 1838 Sydney Mines Stock

Book. William Fairclough was noted as UK agent for this cargo which had sailed out of Liverpool. While I have interpreted these letters as referring to
chairs for the waggonway
, it is possible that the ‘tram plates’ were in fact plateway rails intended for use in one of the mines. The term ‘tram plate’
appears to have had dual meanings at this time.
14RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
uncertain
whether Hoard had been engaged by the GMA
or
if he had been recruited by Buddle to do fieldwork in
Cape
Breton. I suspect he was Buddle’s own ‘man on the
spot’,
though I cannot account for his selection because of
the
dubious reputation he would likely have carried as far 26
as the GMA Directors were concerned.
The
initial location chosen by the GMA for the
new
wharf was four miles further inside the harbour than 27
the original one with a resulting length of about 4½ 28
miles for the new waggonway’s main line. Buddle knew
work
had begun on both and assumed that the locations
were
set. He also assumed the line needed a capacity of 2
9100,000 Newcastle chadrons per year. These
a
ssumptions had an impact on some of his
recommendations
which included:

using locomotives because of the projected 4½ mile
length
of the main line;

40 pound per yard malleable iron rail on 14 lb chairs
to
be set on ties supported by 2 feet by 2 feet by 1 foot
stone
blocks (Fig. 3);20
Mines in January of 1834 and the fact that by this time
the
Board had engaged the services of two high-profile 21
British consultants, Thomas Telford and John Buddle.
Both
would be ‘armchair’ consultants; neither crossed the
A
tlantic to view the site in person.
T
elford’s role was limited to a review of plans for
location
and construction of a breakwater to protect the 22
new wharf from winter storms and ice. Buddle was
charged
with assessing the plans for underground 23
operations in Biggs Main as well as the plans for the new
waggonway.
His responses were contained in two reports, 24
each about twenty pages in length. The ‘Railway
R
eport’ and associated correspondence provide
c
onsiderable evidence about the successor to the 25
temporary waggonway.
Buddle
had been provided with an array of maps
and
documents though these unfortunately have not
survived
within his papers. When completing his ‘Railway
R
eport,’ he was assisted by Daniel Hoard who had
travelled
early in 1834 from Sydney Mines to Buddle’s
home
in Wallsend, Northumberland, England. It is 20.
The Cape-Bretonian and General Reporter (Sydney, NS), 25 January 1834. This weekly published at least 60 issues during 1833-34 though copies of
only eight issues have survived. These are at the P
ublic Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax [PANS], microfilm # 8506. The timing of Foord’s second trip
suggests a sense of urgency since a winter voyage would have been much more dangerous.
21.
See my paper in Canadian Rail, #474, regarding Buddle’s role in the construction of the Albion Railway. For a wider perspective on Buddle, see
Dictionary of National Biography
, London: 1886, vol VII, pp 222-23. Flinn, 1984, contains numerous references to Buddle in the contexts of
transportation, engineering, and colliery management. On Buddle’s influence on railways, see the papers by Andy Guy and Jim R
ees included within
the volume, Early Railways, London: The Newcomen Society
, 2001, which they edited. The only accessible copy known in Canada is at the Robarts
Library at the University of T
oronto (from where it is available on inter-library loan).
22.
PANS, Mines & Minerals papers, RG 21A, vol 39, no 32, George Duval (GMA, London) to John Buddle, 12 March 1834. Telford’s diary for this
period is in the collection of the Institution of Civil Engineers in London. A review of the diary by Mike Chrimes, Chief Librarian at ICE
, indicates
T
elford invoiced the GMA for seven days of work for the breakwater study.
23.
The new mine was called ‘Biggs Main’ in the 1837 and 1838 Stock Books and obviously named after Thomas Bigge despite the missing ‘e.’ These
references are the only ones found using this name for this mine which became known locally as ‘Jacob’s Pit.’ While the Bridge and Rundell names

disappeared from the GMA during the 19th century, the Bigge family connection continued. Edward Bigge was Secretary of the GMA Board when the
firm was wound up in 1900.
24.
Copies of these that came to Nova Scotia, presumably from the GMA head office, are at PANS, RG 21A, vol 39, nos 32-33. Buddle’s file copies are at
the Northumberland County R
ecord Office [NCRO], John Buddle papers, Reports Volume, BUD/19.
25.
Unless otherwise noted, all details about the new waggonway in the rest of this section are based on Buddle’s ‘Railway Report’ and several letters
attached to the P
ANS copy; Buddle’s ‘Report on the Sydney Colliery;’ the Sydney Mines Stock Books of 1837 and 1838; and one critical letter in the
Buddle papers at the Durham County R
ecord Office [DCRO] from Daniel Hoard (Sydney Mines) to Buddle, 4 August 1834, NCB1/JB/717. It should
be noted that at the time of writing the Buddle papers at DCRO and NCRO have relatively little documentation on Buddle’s connections to Cape

Breton. These collections, however, are prime contenders for the future appearance of material relevant to the early years of the Cape Breton
waggonways.
26.
While I have not been able to establish anything about his background before 1827, Hoard was involved during 1827-31 with the attempted
construction of the Shubenacadie Canal from Halifax harbour to the Bay of F
undy. A number of GMA investors became involved in this ill-fated
scheme. Eight GMA directors and several other shareholders plus Thomas T
elford collectively took over £7000 of the £27,000 in preferred shares
floated in London in 1829 by the canal company; P
ANS, Shubenacadie Canal Company papers, MG 24, vol 43, no 1. Though the fixed dividends
were paid on the preferred stock through 1835 under a Nova Scotia government guarantee, by 1832 the company was effectively bankrupt. F
or a
corporate obituary
, see The Novascotian, 29 March 1832, pp 97-98. During the final stage of this undertaking, Hoard had been an important
contractor and the evidence indicates that problems with work he supervised or carried out made a major contribution to the collapse of the canal

company. In the wake of that collapse, Hoard spent most of 1831 in debtor’s prison in Halifax. It seems highly unlikely that Buddle would not have
known about Hoard’s involvement with the canal project and the implications of that involvement from the perspective of the GMA Directors in

London.
27.
The idea of relocation may have been the result of heavy storm damage to the first wharf in March of 1830; QMR, vol 1, no 3, September, 1830, p 348.
28.
Buddle’s ‘Railway Report’ identifies these as ‘Mr. Smith’s plan.’ Richard Smith was the Albion Mines manager and the designated ‘Mining Engineer’
for the firm; his position is noted in the GMA’s 1829 Deed of Settlement, GA
, ms 24, 532, p 17, and in QMR, vol 1, no 1, March, 1830, p 168. In that
capacity
, he seems to have been Richard Brown’s superior. The 1827-33 Manager’s Letter Book shows that Smith was in Sydney Mines most of the
time during 1833 and early 1834. F
or background on Smith, see David Frank’s biography in DCB, vol IX, 1976.
29.
Sydney Mines output by the GMA never reached this level. Production peaked in the 1890s with outputs ranged around 80,000 chaldrons.
15CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010•
lighter weight rail for pit sidings and other lower
traffic
locations;

stone bridges rather than wooden ones;

upgrading wagon size to the Newcastle chaldron;

a single track line with passing sidings; and

standard gauge track.
F
ollowing some of these recommendations,
Buddle
ordered a completed Newcastle chaldron plus a
set
of iron work for another wagon, several chairs, and a
set
of components for a switch, all from Robert Rayne of
Busy
Cottage Iron Works, Newcastle, for shipment to 30
Sydney Mines. These were undoubtedly samples of
specifications
he wanted to have adopted. For the wharf, 31
Buddle recommended use of loading frames (Fig.4) and
a
reorganization of the original plan for the layout of
sidings
on the wharf.
Buddle
also suggested reconsideration of the
locations
planned for the wharf and the wharf-end of the
waggonway.
He proposed moving the wharf to just inside
the
‘North bar’ as it offered the only natural shelter from
wind,
wave or ice coming from the open sea. This site, the
l
ocation of the modern-day wharf used by the
Newfoundland
ferries, was about mid-way between the
old
wharf and the site first accepted for the new one. This
relocation
would shorten the waggonway’s main line by
40%
– from 4.5 miles to 2.7 miles. While identified as
Hoard’s
idea, the proposal was endorsed by Buddle and
incorporated
into his report with Hoard’s estimate of 32
savings of £8,000 to be achieved by its adoption.
F
ollowing the submission of Buddle’s ‘Railway
R
eport,’ it appears that Hoard met with the GMA
Directors
in London on his way back to Cape Breton
though
no decisions about the wharf location and
waggonway
route were immediately forthcoming. They
were
made by a new player on the scene, Samuel Cunard, 33
who had recently become the GMA agent in Halifax.
By
mid-1834, after visiting Sydney Mines to look at the
alternate
locations for the wharf, Cunard accepted the 30.
Details on Rayne’s 1834 invoice to Buddle were provided by Michael Lewis from notes taken from the Buddle papers, vol 64, no 27, at the North
England Institute of Mining & Mechanical Engineers. This document was transferred with other Buddle material to NCRO but I have not established

its new call number at NCRO. Rayne was also involved though Buddle in the supply of boiler parts and other pit machinery to Cape Breton; DCRO,
NCB1/JB/1761. He was supplier
, again through Buddle, of a substantial order of iron work for wagons for the Albion Mines Railway in 1838; DCRO,
NCB1/JB/1733-5 and NCRO
, BUD/60/2/Folio 31; and had later connections with that railway (including the supply of the locomotives Albion and
Pictou in 1854) after Buddle’s death in 1843.
31.
No evidence has been found about how coal was loaded at the first Sydney Mines wharf. Despite this, the presence of a loading frame at Little Bras
d’Or (which likely preceded the recommendations in Buddle’s 1834 ‘R
eport’) suggests that a frame may have also been used on the first wharf at
Sydney Mines.
32.
All currency references are in Sterling, the base for GMA accounts. Some comparative financial references have been converted from colonial ‘Halifax
currency
.’ A rule of thumb conversion formula to provide a 2009 Canadian dollar equivalent of an 1830s Pound Sterling is to multiply by 130. For
those looking for a more precise approach, I recommend as a starting point, R T
wigger, ‘Inflation: The Value of the Pound 1750-1998,’ London:
Economic P
olicy and Statistics Section, House of Commons Library, Research Paper 99/20, 1999 (presently online at
< www
.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp99/rp99-020.pdf >)
33.
Having foreclosed on money owed him by Andrew Belcher, in 1834 Cunard added Belcher’s business including the GMA agency to his growing empire
that evolved into the Cunard shipping line. A
t about this time, he also became a GMA Director. I suspect Cunard joined the Board when he became
GMA agent in Halifax though the earliest documentation showing him as a Board member is the Act of Incorporation of the GMA in Nova Scotia,

Public Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1836, ch 87. Whether on the Board or not, when he made the decision about the wharf and railway as reported in
Hoard’s letter to Buddle in A
ugust of 1834, Cunard had obviously become an influential voice within the company. Despite
Buddle’s recommendation and the tender call
illustrated
here, stone blocks were not used, a decision
assumed
the result of problems of availability and/or cost.
The
Cape-Bretonian and General Reporter, 24 May 1834;
P
ublic Archives of Nova Scotia, microfilm # 8506
Malgré
les recommandations de Buddle et la soumission
illustrée
ici, les blocs de pierres n’étaient pas utilisés, et ce, à
cause
de leur prix élevé ou de leur non-disponibilité. The
Cape-Bretonian
and General Reporter, 24 mai 1834; Archives
publiques
de la Nouvelle Écosse, microfilm no 8506.Fig. 3: GMA T
ender Call for Stone Blocks, 1834
This
drawing from
a
GMA copy of
Buddle’s
‘Railway
Report’
illustrates
o
peration of a
l
oading frame.
T
he frame was
hinged
at point ‘a’
and would be in a

vertical position
when
a ship tied
u
p. When the
v
essel was
p
ositioned to
align
the hold with
t
he frame, the
frame
would be
l
owered to the
h
orizontal
position
shown in
t
he drawing.
W
hen loading
w
as completed,
the
frame would
be
pulled back to
t
he vertical to
permit
the ship to
d
epart and
another
vessel to
t
ie up. A
c
ontemporary
British
account in
The
Monthly Supplement of the Penny Magazine (# 197, 31 March–30 April, 1835, p 162) offered the following related description:
‘A
man … unfastens a latch at the bottom of the waggon, which, being made to turn upon hinges like a door, immediately opens
and
the whole of the coal in the waggon is cleanly poured into the hold. To facilitate this operation the sides of the waggons
converge
toward the bottom and are lined with smooth iron plates.’ Nothing has been found to indicate if any of the early wagons
in
Cape Breton had internal iron plating. Public Archives of Nova Scotia: RG 21A, vol 39, no 32, p 12e berths for three vessels to
load
at the same time.’
Ce
dessin, une copie du Railway Report de Buddle, illustre l’utilisation d’une structure de chargement. Le cadre attaché au point «
a
» basculait en position verticale quand le bateau remontait avec la marée. Lorsque le navire était aligné avec le cadre, celui-ci
était
abaissé en position horizontale, comme illustré sur le dessin. Le chargement complété, le cadre était retiré vers l’arrière,
permettant
ainsi au bateau de partir et à un autre de prendre la relève. Un compte rendu du magazine britannique contemporain
The
Monthly Supplement of the Penny Magazine (no 197, 31 mars au 30 avril 1835, p.162) donne la description suivante : « Un
homme
[…] retire le loquet à la base du wagonnet qui permet à des charnières, comme une porte, de s’ouvrir et au charbon de
s’échapper
. Pour faciliter cette opération, les côtés du wagonnet convergent vers le fond et sont garnis de plaques de fer lisses. » À
noter
qu’on n’a rien trouvé qui puisse confirmer la présence de ces plaques dans les anciens wagonnets du Cap-Breton. Archives
publiques
de la Nouvelle-Écosse : RG 21A, vol. 39, no 32, p. 12.16CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 201034.
Brown 1871, p 84.Hoard-Buddle
proposals for the wharf site and the
waggonway
route.
R
ichard Brown’s book stated the new 34
waggonway opened in 1834 but this is unlikely. The best
evidence
found is an advertisement by Cunard that first
appeared
in Halifax in The Novascotian on 17 September
1835.
It reported that, ‘The line of railway at the Sydney
Mines having been completed from the P
its direct to the
North
Bar, vessels can now load in all kinds of weather Fig. 4: Copy of John Buddle’s Sketch of a Wharf F
ramewithout
any risk of being detained as heretofore.’ Details
noted
the protected location of the new wharf and stated
that
‘there are berths for three vessels to load at the same
time.’
So
what do we know of the second waggonway
and
the impact of Buddle’s suggestions?
T
he following list revisits the core
recommendations
with the GMA responses:
17RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
continued on page 27The
completed main line was 4,953 yards or 2.8
miles
with an additional 3,782 yards in a branch to the new
mine,
seventeen line and pit sidings, several wharf sidings,
plus
one other interesting section to be referred to below.
Nearly
90% of the total of 8,735 yards was laid with ‘heavy’
rail;
the remainder – mostly in ‘pit sidings’ – was identified
as
‘light’ rail. Given Buddle’s recommendations about rail
weight
and construction standards to carry locomotives
plus
the presence of rail identified as 28 pound per yard at
nearby
Little Bras d’Or, a much less important GMA site
(which
will be discussed below), I speculate that the ‘light’
rail at Sydney Mines was also 28 pound per yard and the

‘heavy’ rail approached or even exceeded Buddle’s
recommendation
of 40 pound per yard. The likelihood of
what
might seem extraordinarily heavy rail for this setting
is
supported by the inventory of loose chairs recorded in
1838.
A total of 2,600 were on hand of which 90% were 16 38
pound with the remainder weighing 12 pounds each.
The
‘loose’ 28 pound rails at Little Bras d’Or in
1838
and the 75 tons of ‘loose stock’ rails at Sydney Mines
in
1837 were in 15 ft lengths, the most common length in
use
in Britain at the time. It thus seems likely that all rails
laid
in Cape Breton in the 1830s were also 15-footers,
regardless
of weight. Most references to waggonway rails
in
the Sydney Mines Stock Books included identification
as
‘malleable iron,’ indicating they were rolled rather than
made
of cast iron. At this time, British 15-ft rails generally
had
5 sections, each 3 ft in length, with each section
incorporating
the ‘fish-bellied’ design with greater depth
from
bottom to top in each section between the
supporting
blocks or ties than at the points where the rails
and
chairs rested on their supporting ties and/or blocks.
The
side view of the Newcastle chaldron in Fig. 5
illustrates
the profile of fish-bellied rail though it appears
in
that drawing in 4-ft sections. RECOMMENDED
L
ocomotives
4
0 pound per yard
malleable
iron rail
14
pound chairs
Chairs
to be set on ties
T
ies to be supported by
stone
block
Lighter
weight line where
appropriate
Stone
bridges rather than
wooden
one
N
ewcastle chaldron
wagons
Single
track with sidings
Standard
gauge
L
oading frames on wharf
R
elocation of proposed
wharf
S
hortened waggonway
routeFINAL DECISION
No
– not used until 1853
W
eight uncertain, but most
‘heavy’
Inventory
shows 12 pound
and
16 pound used
Y
es
N
o – despite the
advertisement
for blocks
Y
es – 10% of trackage as
recorded
in 1837
No
Y
es – 102 in use in 35
361837 (Fig.5)
Y
es
37
Yes
Y
es – three at outset of
operation
Y
es (Fig. 6)
Y
es (Fig. 6)35.
In addition to the large inventory of new Newcastle wagons, the 1838 Stock Book also recorded ‘6 New 1 Chaldron wagons’ (assumed to be Winchester
chaldrons), BI, GMA papers, B
-4.
36.
This drawing has been selected to indicate that even before the GMA introduced the waggonway in Nova Scotia, American engineers and businessmen
were importing the technology in conceptual form, either via British publications or through on site research in England. W
illiam Strickland was one of
the most influential early American reporters and his R
eports … put first-hand accounts and fine technical drawings of British equipment into
circulation in the United States; see James Calvert’s account of Strickland at < http://www
.du.edu/~jcalvert/railway/strickla.htm >. The ‘Beginnings of
Railways” section of this website includes several other articles that provide contexts for both Strickland and the Cape Breton waggonways. Especially

relevant is Calvert’s commentary on ‘Tramway Engineering.’ For a recent perspective on Strickland and other Americans who brought the concept of
the waggonway and the railway to the USA
, see Alan M Levitt, ‘How America Discovered The Railway,’ in Michael R. Bailey, ed., Early Railways 3,
Sudbury
, UK: Six Martlets Publishing, 2006, pp 126-152. An earlier assessment of trans-Atlantic technology transfer is DH Stapleton, ‘The Origins of
American Railroad T
echnology, 1825-1840,’ Railroad History, # 139, 1978, pp 65-77. For a valuable account of the evolution of the Newcastle wagon,
see RR Darsley
, ‘The Origins of the Chaldron Waggon in the Northeast of England,’ in Bailey, 2006, pp 221-41.
37.
The question of gauge on this line and the other waggonways is considered later in the paper.
38.
Consultations with Michael Bailey, Andy Guy, and Michael Lewis about norms for rail and chair weights in the UK in the period 1830-35 have made
me conclude the second Sydney Mines right of way was designed to provide a lengthy period of service. While the weight of the rails at Sydney Mines is

uncertain except in the context of the precisely weighted rails at Little Bras d’Or, the 12 pound and 16 pound chair weights are high even by British main
line standards at this time. Achievement of line longevity can be seen through the use of most of the 1835 main line by the locomotives introduced

nearly 20 years later. Related to this assumption about the GMA’s decision to come close to matching UK main line standards is the fact that in early
1838 the company indicated intent to use 51 pound per yard rail on the locomotive-powered line then being planned for Albion Mines, DCRO
, Buddle
papers, NCB1/JB/1740, JB F
oord (GMA, London) to George & John Rennie, 22 February 1838. The only contemporary reference I have found to the
weight of the rails laid in Pictou County in 1839-40 appeared in The Observer (Pictou, NS), 24 September 1839, where they were described as ‘about

100 tons to a mile,’ a weight that converts to 57 pound per yard.
18RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
Stan’s Photo GalleryLes photos de StanJanuary – F
ebruary, 2010
By Stan Smaill
F
rench Version, Denis Latourjanvier – février
, 2010
P
ar Stan Smaill
V
ersion française : Denis LatourIntroduction:
The
Photo Gallery for this issue of Canadian Rail
has
a steam and traction theme partly by design and partly by
default!
Continuing with our remembrance of the end of
Canadian
traction operations fifty years in 1959 (except for
T
oronto), we are pleased to present a colour photo gallery
featuring
the streetcars and interurbans of the British
Columbia
Electric Railway. The B.C. Electric operated
Canada’s
longest interurban electric railway, running from
V
ancouver eastward through the Fraser valley / Lower
Mainland
to Chilliwack, B.C. Streetcars on the BC Electric
made
their last runs on April 24,1955 and interurban
passenger
operations ended on February 28,1958. The
editors
of Canadian Rail gratefully acknowledge the
assistance
of M. Brian L. Kelly and Henry Ewert in preparing
this
photo gallery and especially to George E. Kanary for
making
available the images of noted American traction
photographer
Robert W. Gibson.
The
steam component of this Photo Gallery
features
a selection of images taken by Canadian Rail editor
emeritus
the late Sandy Worthen. The
subject
of Sandy`s lensing ties in nicely
with
Barry Biglow’s article ‘My First
Diesel
Repair’ in that it features images of
the
October 5, 1958 CRHA excursion to
Garneau,
Quebec powered by CNR K5
class
4-6-4 5702. Because Barry was
otherwise
occupied with trouble shooting
the
errant CLC 1600 series roadswitcher
on
the CNR Granby-Montreal passenger
train,
he missed his connection with the
CRHA
excursion with the famous Hudson
on
the point! Hopefully, this selection of
images
taken by Sandy Worthen will
partially
compensate Barry for the photo
opportunities
he missed! I
ntroduction:
L
a GALERIE DE PHOTOS du présent numéro de
C
anadian Rail comporte deux sujets, la vapeur et la traction
é
lectrique! Nous continuons à nous rappeler le retrait définitif des
t
ramways urbains et interurbains électriques au Canada en 1959 (sauf
à
Toronto). Il nous fait plaisir de dédier la partie traction électrique à
l
a British Columbia Electric Railway, dont la liaison interurbaine
V
ancouver-Chilliwack était la plus longue au Canada. Les tramways
u
rbains de Vancouver furent retirés du service le 24 avril 1955 tandis
q
ue les voitures interurbaines cessèrent le service le 28 février 1958.
L
es rédacteurs de Canadian Rail remercient
M
. Brian L. Kelly et M. Henry Ewert de son aide dans la préparation
d
e la présente galerie de photos, ainsi que George E. Kanary qui a
m
is à notre disposition les photos de Robert W. Gibson, un renommé
p
hotographe de tramways.
L
a partie Vapeur de notre galerie nous montre une
s
élection de photos prises par feu Sandy Worthen, rédacteur émérite
d
e Canadian Rail. Le lien est bien apparent entre les photos de
S
andy et larticle de Barry Biglow intitulé « My First Diesel Repair ».
B
arry était occupé à remettre en état de marche une locomotive
d
iésel CLC de classe 1600 remorquant le train de voyageurs Granby-
M
ontréal. Malheureusement, le retour à la gare Centrale ne put être
e
ffectué avant le départ du train spécial vers Garneau… remorqué
p
ar une des fameuses Hudson de la classe 5700! Espérons que la
s
élection de photos prises par Sandy pourra
c
ompenser pour celles que Barry na pu capter
s
ur pellicule!
U
n train interurbain de la British
C
olumbia Electric Railway, composé de deux
v
oitures, se dirige vers louest en empruntant
l
aiguillage qui permet un accès plus direct au
t
erminus. La photo fut prise dun étage
s
upérieur du siège social de la BCER; le
t
erminus était situé au rez-de-chaussée.
L
édifice est toujours là, quoique aucun indice
n
indique que les voitures interurbaines aient
c
irculé dans la bâtisse, qui aujourdhui abrite une
b
anque! À noter, les tramways de type PCC se
c
roisant en arrière-plan. Une autre vue, en page
c
ouverture arrière, nous montre le cinéma
L
UX. Cette dernière photo est de Stan Styles et
e
st offerte par GTC Collectibles (-1309-1).A
two car British Columbia Electric Railway interurban train is heading west on Hastings Street and is taking the crossover track to
the
eastbound line. Back to back switches will permit the train to turn left into the ‘run through’ Vancouver Interurban Depot. The
photo
was taken from an upper floor of the BCER head office, the interurban depot was on the ground floor. The building still exists
today
with no hint that interurban cars ‘ran through’ the building, which now houses a bank! Note the two PCC’s crossing in the
background.
See another view showing the LUX theatre on the back cover of this issue. Stan Styles, courtesy GTC Collectibles
B
CE-1309-1.
Un
tandem de voitures interurbaines du British Columbia Electric Railway roule en direction ouest sur la rue Hastings et se
prépare
à prendre la voie de croisement pour la ligne en direction est. Les aiguillages dos à dos permettront au train de franchir le
dépôt
des véhicules interurbains de Vancouver. La photo fut prise dun étage de lédifice du siège social du BCER qui abritait au
rez-de-chaussée
le dépôt. Lédifice existe encore de nos jours mais sans aucun indice qui laisserait croire que des interurbains
traversaient
le rez-de chaussée de part part, on y trouve plutôt une succursale bancaire! À noter en arrière plan les deux PCC qui
traversent
la rue. Voir une autre vue sur la couverture arrière sur laquelle on peut apercevoir le théâtre LUX. Courtoisie, Stan Styles
G
TC Collectibles BCE-1309-1.

27CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010Continued from page 17It
should be noted that Buddle’s influence had
led
indirectly to most manufacturers of rolled rails
including
this design element (which had first appeared in
much
shorter cast iron rails before 1800). Buddle’s direct
influence
was on and through Michael Longridge of the
Bedlington
Iron Works where Britain’s first rolled rails
were
produced in 1820 using a technique developed by 39Longridge’s partner, John Berkinshaw. Bedlington
rails,
including the ‘fish-bellied’ design, were copied by
other
producers and the design was in wide use in the UK
by
the end of the 1820s.
It
is also interesting to note the 28 pound weight
recorded
at Little Bras d’Or was identical to the weight of
the
Bedlington rails laid on most of the original right of
way
of the landmark Stockton & Darlington in 1824-25.
Though a number of British firms were producing rolled

rail by the end of the 1820s, the many linkages between
B
uddle, Longridge, Timothy Hackworth, and the
S
tephensons in the UK plus the known Buddle, 40Longridge and Hackworth connections to the GMA
provide
a basis for speculating that the rails laid in the
1830s
in Cape Breton (and perhaps Pictou County as 41well) may have come from the Bedlington Works.
Now
to the ‘interesting’ section of track noted
above.
The waggonway had a slight downward grade away
from
the pits until fairly close to the wharf where there
was
a slope with a vertical drop of about thirty-five feet in
a
3% grade. For reason(s) unknown, consideration of this
slope
on the side of Goat Hill and how to deal with it is
conspicuously
missing from Buddle’s ‘Railway Report.’
Despite
the lack of reference in the report, Hoard advised
Buddle
in his letter in August of 1834 that ‘we have a self-
acting
incline plane.’ It should be noted in passing that the
construction
of the incline indicated a decision had been
m
ade before the letter’s date to reject Buddle’s
recommendation
of locomotives, at least in the short
term,
a decision that will be assessed below.
Simply
described, a ‘self-acting incline’ (or ‘self-
acting
engine’ or ‘balanced incline’) was a double-track
line
on a steep grade with a rope or cable controlled by a This
drawing shows two profiles of a ‘Newcastle chaldron’
from
a set of three (a top-down view has been removed)
published
in Philadelphia in 1826. In contrast to the drawing
in Fig. 1, the basic design with sloped sides and ends (as in

Fig. 4) is much closer to the ‘standard’ Newcastle wagon. The
drawing
also illustrates the nature of the hinged bottom hatch
for
unloading. The chain couplings indicate that wagons were
sometimes
run in sets rather than as singles. As in Fig. 1 we
see
flanged wheels and edge rail with stone blocks to carry
the
rails. The profile of ‘fish-bellied’ rail here is a valuable
bonus.
As with Fig. 1 there are also several untypical things.
There
is no sign of a normally prominent hand brake, and the
‘sheet
iron’ body differs from the more common British
construction of wood with an interior iron lining. Edited from

William Strickland, Reports on Canals, Railways, Roads, and
Other
Subjects, Philadelphia: HC Carey & I Lea, 1826, plate
#
51 orth Bar, vessels can now load in all kinds of weather
Ce
tableau représente les deux vues en élévation d’un «
Newcastle
chaldron » (la vue en plan a été omise) publiées à
Philadelphie
en 182636. Contrastant avec le dessin de la
figure
1, le design de base avec les côtés et les extrémités en
pente
(comme dans la figure 4) est plus proche du « standard
»
du wagonnet de Newcastle. Le dessin illustre aussi la
trappe
qui permet de vider le wagonnet. La chaîne d’attelage
indique
que les wagonnets étaient manipulés en groupe
plutôt
qu’à l’unité. Comme à la figure 1, nous voyons des
roues
à boudins, des rails à rebords et des pierres qui
supportent
ces rails. Le profil de rail en « ventre de poisson »
est
un atout précieux. Comme à la figure 1 aussi, on remarque
quelques
particularités atypiques. Il n’y aucun indice de
levier
de frein et le corps en feuilles métalliques diffère des
constructions
en bois avec renforts métalliques à l’intérieur.
Reports
on Canals, Railways, Roads, and Other Subjects de
W
illiam Strickland, Philadelphie, HC Carey & Lea, 1826,
plaque
no 51.T
itle: Fig. 5: A Newcastle Chaldron Wagon39.
An 1832 letter from Michael Longridge crediting Buddle with
convincing him to incorporate the fish-belly design when the

Bedlington Works started rolling rails is quoted in Evan Martin, The
Bedlington Engine and Iron W
orks, Newcastle upon Tyne: Frank
Graham, 1974, p 10. The Longridge firm was located at Morpeth,

about 20 km north of Buddle’s home at Wallsend.
40.
Hackworth’s primary involvement with the GMA was as builder of the
first three locomotives to come to Albion Mines in 1839; Longridge

was the builder of Vulcan, the fourth Albion Mines engine, which went
into service in 1850.
41.
While the Mary Anne sailed from Liverpool to Nova Scotia, there is
no evidence that the ‘Railway Iron’ was loaded there. My speculation

is contingent on the possibility the rails and chairs could have been

loaded at a port in the northeast and the Liverpool stop was to pick up

additional cargo or supplies for the voyage. A recognized limitation on

this speculation is the absence of any documented link between the

GMA and Buddle or his northeast England compatriots prior to

Buddle’s engagement by the GMA during the winter of 1833-34.
28RAIL
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Despite
the absence of reference to dealing with
the
slope down to the site of the new wharf in Buddle’s
‘R
ailway Report,’ the 1834 incline there may have been
built
according to his directions. As noted previously,
however,
an incline of some type, either a self-acting
design
or a single-track winch-driven model, appears to
have
been used down the slope to the original wharf and
construction
of the 1834 incline might have been
influenced
by that earlier model. large wheel at the top of the slope and rollers to support
and
guide the rope down each track. One end of the rope
would
be attached to downward bound loaded wagons at
the
top of the incline and the other end to empties at the
bottom.
Gravity power, controlled through the wheel,
carried
the loads down while the loads simultaneously
pulled
the empties up the hill on the other track. It was a
very
simple yet highly effective way to deal with grades too
steep
for horse power or settings where low traffic
volumes
made a stationary steam engine uneconomic.
Use
of such a system was obviously more efficient in a
setting
where the loaded wagons were going downhill
though
it could also be used to pull loads uphill.
The
1837 Stock Book records the double-
tracked
section on the incline as 441 yards long, while
Hoard
referred to a length of ’16 chains’ (1 chain is equal
to
66 feet) with ‘a fall of 1 foot in 30.’ The two are
compatible
with the terrain and its thirty-five foot drop.
The
Stock Book reports the incline was equipped with a
wheel
costed at £35 and used a 5½ in rope ‘200 fathoms’
long
(1 fathom is equal to 6 feet). This rope length
suggests
that a total of about 40 yards of double track was
distributed
above and below the working section of the
incline
where the down loads pulled the empties up the
slope.
Hoard’s ‘16 chains’ falls short of the Stock Book
references
to incline and rope lengths. Perhaps his
distance
referred only to the part of the incline with a
grade
and excluded the level sections usually included at
the
top and bottom of an incline. This was the first 4
2documented self-acting incline in Canada.
Unfortunately,
no first-hand accounts of operation have
been
found.
By
1834, self-acting inclines had been in use in
the
UK for over 75 years. Buddle had no monopoly on the
concept,
but did incorporate inclines in various projects.
F
or example, at Seaham in County Durham, where an
artificial
harbour and a waggonway were built under his
supervision
for the Marquis of Londonderry between
1828
and 1831, the Rainton and Seaham Railway
included
two self-acting engines each more than a half 43mile in length.42.
If there are other prime contenders for the status of ‘first,’ they are from the same neighborhood. The first possibility is the original line at Sydney Mines.
The second possibility is in the Biggs Main colliery
. Two ‘incline wheels’ appear in the Stock Book accounts for Biggs Main though there is no
indication they were used on the waggonway and the terrain does not indicate potential need for inclines there. I speculate that they were used to move

waggons out of the mine. Buddle’s ‘Colliery Report,’ recommended use of self-acting engines to draw pit wagons up to the surface though the reference
to the incline wheels is the only hint that his recommendation was adopted in some form. Use of the self
-acting model at Sydney Mines was a late
arrival in a wider North American context. F
red Gamst documents a self-acting incline on what he considers the first railway in the United States, a
line on Boston’s Beacon Hill in 1805 (that he noted may have operated in an earlier form in 1795); see ‘The Context and Significance of America’s

First Railroad,’ Technology and Culture, vol 33, no 2, January, 1992, pp 66-100. In the 1820s, a double track incline appears to have been used by the
R
oyal Engineers during reconstruction work on the Citadel at Quebec City though it is reported as powered by a stationary steam engine; see Robert
Brown, 1949, p 52.
43.
At the time of writing, two 1835 engravings from the Penny Magazine showing of one of the Seaham inclines are available on the University of
Newcastle website; see < http://sine.ncl.ac.uk/search.asp >. In the search engine, enter ‘seaham incline’ to locate the engravings. A further

demonstration of the importance of self-acting engines in northeast England at this time is the presence within a five-mile radius of the Rainton &
Seaham line of nine other self
-acting engines on the Lambton waggonway and the two branches of the Hetton Colliery line. For an excellent review of
different types of inclines, see Colin Mountford, ‘R
ope Haulage: The Forgotten Element of Railway History,” in Guy and Rees, 2001.This
map is a simplified and reworked section from a larger
map
in Richard Brown’s Coal Fields and Coal Trade of the
Island
of Cape Breton.
Une version réduite et simplifiée d’une carte extraite du Coal
Fields
and Coal Trade of the Island of Cape Breton de Richard
Brown.Fig. 6: The Sydney Mines / North Sydney Area
29CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010speculation
rather than fact.
The
Stock Books provide costing data useful for
comparison
purposes. Assuming that all construction and
materials
costs are included in the accounts, the main line
was
completed at a cost of 15 shillings per yard or £1,320
per
mile. Fully equipped, including wagons, the wharf,
and
significant items of additional inventory such as rails
and
chairs, the total cost of the new transport system was 4638 shillings per yard or just under £3,400 per mile.
These
data invite comparison with the first two
Canadian
locomotive-powered lines. The Albion Mines
R
ailway in Pictou County, completed by the GMA in
1840,
had a right of way cost of £8,935 per mile and a fully 47equipped cost (including its wharf) of £12,275 per mile.
The
much more modest Champlain & St Lawrence
reported
a fully equipped cost of just under £2,300 per
mile
for its 14½ mile strap-rail, single locomotive line
(with
several wharves) when it opened near Montreal in 481836.T
he documentation of the incline clearly 44undermines references over the last fifty years that
suggested
use of ‘dandy cars’ on the slope to the wharf
with
horses being carried down and being used to pull
empties
back up the slope. The term ‘dandy car’ was
widely
used in England to refer to cars used to carry
horses, usually down grades where loaded wagons either

coasted under gravity power or were under the control of
some
kind of incline. Despite the relatively recent
appearance
of references to the use of dandy cars on the
Goat
Hill slope, knowledge of the 1834 incline’s existence
had
not vanished during the 19th century. In a letter 45written in early 1933, Michael Dwyer, then General
Manager
of Scotia Steel & Coal, the GMA’s successor
firm
at Sydney Mines, referred briefly though very
explicitly
to the incline by stating, ‘the coal was dropped
down
to the wharf by an endless rope – the full cars going
down
brought the empties back.’ The transition between
the
date of Dwyer’s letter and what has appeared in print
in
Nova Scotia in recent decades illustrates the problems
that
may emerge as ‘history’ is
w
ritten and rewritten without
examination
of original sources.
Even
though the recent
references
to the use of dandy cars
at
Goat Hill are not credible, they
may
have some other basis in fact.
The
1837 and 1838 Stock Books do
record
the presence of ‘4 Waggons
f
or carrying horses’ and the
w
aggonway section between
Sydney
Main colliery and the top of
the
incline might have been the
l
ocation of ‘dandy’ operations.
B
uddle’s report indicated the
r
oute would have a slight
d
ownward grade leading away
from
the mines. With good track
and
wheels, it is possible that gravity could have carried
the
loads to the top of the self-acting engine and the
horses,
carried down in dandy cars, might have been used
to
move empties from the top of the incline back to the
mines.
While this suggestion seems plausible, it is 44.
For example, see EE Jackson, North Sydney, Nova Scotia: Windows on the Past, North Sydney: 1975, p 5; Town of Sydney Mines, The History of
Sydney Mines, Sydney Mines: 1990, p 121; and most recently
, Rannie Gillis, Historic North Sydney, Halifax: Nimbus, 2005, p x. These I suspect all
have roots in a reference in R
obert Brown’s 1949 paper, p 60.
45.
BI, MG 12, 40; Michael Dwyer Papers, C-1-38; Dwyer to Thomas Cantley, 11 January 1933; Cantley, then MP for Pictou County, had previously been
a senior manager at Nova Scotia Steel & Coal, the company which purchased the GMA’s Cape Breton properties in 1900 and which evolved into the

firm then managed by Dwyer.
46.
As at 1838, the fully equipped capital cost of the second Sydney Mines line including the wharf was just under £17,000, one fifth the total GMA
investment of £78,000 in Cape Breton, BI, GMA papers, B
-4, Sydney Mines Stock Book, 1838. That £17,000 would have been the equivalent of about
2.2 million 2009 Canadian dollars.
47.
AH MacDonald, ‘The Albion Railway: A Study Of An Early Nova Scotia Experience With The Industrial Revolution,’ Halifax, NS: Saint Mary’s
University
, MBA Thesis, 1999, Appendix E. For comparative construction costs in a North American context, this appendix includes cost per mile
estimates for the 30 lines that had laid about 1200 miles of solid iron rail in the USA prior to 1840.
48.
Converted to Sterling from data reported at the C&SL 1836 Annual Meeting, The Gazette (Montreal), 13 December 1836.Data
sources: Journal of House of Assembly of Nova Scotia,
1859,
Appendix 22, pp 389-90, and other Journal issues,
1860
-1872.
Source
: Journal of House of Assembly of Nova Scotia, 1859,
annexe
22, p. 389 à 390 et autres éditions, 1860-1872.
30RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
A
n obvious question is whether the new
waggonway
had any significant effect on activity at Sydney
Mines.
There was a slow, but steady, increase in traffic
into
the early 1840s that will be examined below. This was
a
function of the increases in output recorded in the sales
data
graph that also appears below. Employment levels,
other
things being equal, were tied to output. The total 49Sydney Mines workforce grew from 174 in 1832 to 187 50
51in 1835, 214 in 1836, and slightly above 400 in 1838.
W
ithin the 1838 total, for July of that year, there is an
isolated
reference to a waggonway crew of ‘20 cart and
R
ailRoadmen’ out of a total surface workforce of nearly 52200.
W
as any of this increase in activity attributable to
the
new waggonway? That is impossible to assess since we
have
no idea of the temporary line’s capacity. Its
estimated
traffic peak of an average of 200 wagons per day
in
1832 will be seen in the traffic graph below. But we
don’t
know how many wagons it could have handled
assuming
requisite equipment, workmen, pit output, and
wharf
handling capacity. In 1836-7-8, the new line was
handling
50-70% more volume than had been carried in
1832.
But since the new wagons carried four times the
load
weight, fewer trips per day were needed. There is
anecdotal
evidence in shipping activity reports in the
press
that the old wharf was often backed up with waiting
vessels.
Ultimately, however, we don’t know if the
temporary
waggonway was a bottleneck between pithead
and
market or if the new waggonway had any significant
positive
impact on the volume of coal the company could
ship. 49.
BI, GMA papers, E-1-a-4, Workmens’ Time Book, June 1832.
50.
For both 1835 and 1836, see PANS, ‘Statement of Men, Horses & Machinery Employed at Sydney Mines in 1835-36,’ RG 1, vol 464, no 7.
51.
PANS, ‘Statement of Men, Horses & Machinery at Sydney Mines in September, 1838,’ RG 1, vol 463, no 32
52.
BI, GMA papers, C-1-n, Surface Labour Accounts, 1838.
53.
Buddle’s ‘Colliery Report’ offered detailed recommendations about underground operations to permit the most efficient extension or relocation of rail
lines in the pit as coal was removed.
54.
Buddle’s ‘Railway Report,’ pp 11 and 14, includes his inaccurate projection of a six-month shipping season. A sampling of GMA shipping documents
at the Beaton Institute indicates a season generally running from mid/late April to mid/late December during the 1830s and 1840s.A
complementary question from the company’s
perspective
would have been if the new waggonway had
an
effect on the transport cost per chaldron-mile between
pithead
and ship’s hold. Either an increase in handling
capacity
without impact on unit costs or a reduction in
unit
transport costs independent of volume could have
p
roduced a positive effect on the GMA Income
Statement.
Whether the new line did this and, if so, at a
level
that exceeded the cost of capital invested in the new
waggonway
and wharf are questions that should have
been
of interest to the shareholders. It is impossible,
however,
to even speculate about the answers since the
surviving
records from this period do not contain any data
on
operating costs for the waggonways or overall colliery
operations.
The
GMA commitment to rail transport was not
limited
to surface waggonways. In 1838 the Stock Book
shows
the two pits at Sydney Mines had another 6,500
yards
of underground track. Of this, 80% was recorded as
‘metal
waggonway,’ presumably cast iron plateway,
weighing
58 pound per yard, obviously per running yard
and likely including both rails and chairs. The remaining

1,200 yards was identified as ‘malleable iron way’ but
without
identification of weight. The presence of 77
switches
and more than 3½ miles of track shows the 53underground systems were complex ones.
T
raffic on the Sydney Mines Waggonways
The
sales data graph (Fig.7) for three of the four
sites
considered in this article shows that Sydney Mines
generally
provided most of the output. Bridgeport was
very
much a secondary operation while it lasted. Little
Bras
d’Or’s output was minimal and is not shown in the
graph.
Lingan became an important producer for a few
years
in the 1860s but never challenged the supremacy of
the Sydney Mines pits. The data constitute a sound basis

for estimating traffic at Sydney Mines and Lingan. Coal
was
stockpiled at the pits at both sites, so annual sales data
are
reliable indicators of waggonway traffic.
As
a result of harbours freezing and the dangers
of
inshore pack ice, the shipping season for the GMA in 54Cape Breton was only about eight months in length and
rail
operations were limited to that time frame. Assuming
an
eight-month season and a six-day work week, it is easy
to
convert the sales data into reasonably reliable
estimates
of traffic volumes on the waggonways.This graph is based on data for Fig.7 plus
assumptions noted in the text.Ce graphique est basé sur les données de la figure 7 et des
hypothèses notées dans le texte.
31CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 201055.
Shortly after the original version of this paper went to press in England, I found a reference in The Cape-Breton News (Sydney, NS), 17 September
1853, p 3, that stated the locomotives Sydney and Halifax had ‘recently’ gone into service. Soon after
, from Frank Jux of the Stephenson Locomotive
Society
, came a reference in the Newcastle Courant (Newcastle upon Tyne) of 29 April 1853 noting running trials of two locomotives named Sydney
and Halifax built to handle ‘coal waggons on a railway originally constructed for horse power
.’ A number of secondary references starting with Vernon,
1902, p 168, have suggested 1854 as the transition date. The most recent of these is Gillis, 2005, p x. R
obert Brown’s unpublished 1956 paper and Colin
Churcher’s online roster of industrial locomotives in Nova Scotia offered 1856. An account by Ian MacIntosh, The Cape Breton P
ost, 10 May 1985, p
5, suggested 1838. None of these, however
, gave any evidence for the various dates presented. I am satisfied that the News account, bolstered by the
reference in the Courant, finally provides a date that is accurate within a margin of a few weeks.
56.
The name of Bridgeport (close to Glace Bay) likely recognizes either John Bridge or his nephew, John Gawler Bridge. Both were GMA Directors as well
as partners in Rundell, Bridge & Rundell when production began at this site. John Bridge was also the name carried by a GMA locomotive at Sydney

Mines during the last three decades of the 19th century.
57.
PANS, ‘Statement of Men, Horses & Machinery Employed at Bridgeport Mines, 1835-36,’ RG 1, vol 464, no 6.
58.
QMR, vol 1, no 4, December, 1830, p 538; this is the only Annual Report found which precedes the printed series that began in 1868. An almost
complete run of that series from 1868 till the GMA wound up its affairs in 1900 is found in the Richard H. Brown papers, P
ANS, MG 1, vol 157.
59.
Brown 1871, p 86; absence of detail here about this period in Bridgeport is particularly frustrating. The BI correspondence shows that Brown was there
most of the time in 1833 and he likely supervised construction of the Bridgeport waggonway
.
60.
Closure of Bridgeport in 1842 is one of the few critical events at that site that is well documented. An extensive file of correspondence about the closure
is in BI, D
-9-b. Though references can be found in GMA and government records to sales of Bridgeport coal after 1842, the closure correspondence
indicates intent to stockpile unsold coal at the wharf till it could be disposed of at a later date. Small sales were reported from this Bridgeport stock

throughout the rest of the 1840s.
61.
Neither Stock Books nor other capital account documents from Bridgeport appear to have survived but they should be on the ‘try to find’ list for future
researchers.
62.
The two miles (plus an additional half mile assumed for sidings and the wharf) laid with 28 pound rail and 12 pound chairs would have taken 175
tons of iron. W
ith an appropriate ratio of rails to chairs, the January 1833 shipment on the Mary Anne could have fitted out the line at Bridgeport with
25 tons of rails and chairs left over
.
63.
BI, GMA papers, D-8-a, Manager’s Letter Book, 1827-1833; R Smith to R Brown, 5 August 1833.The
Sydney Mines traffic graph (Fig.8) plots
annual
estimates for the temporary line from 1830 to 1834
plus
estimates for the new waggonway averaged for multi-
year
periods from 1836 through 1852. An assumption in
the
graph is that the ‘temporary’ line was fully operational
throughout
1830. The two transition years, 1835 and 1853,
are
skipped. Following 1853 when the use of the horses
ended,
multi-year average estimates are shown for the
early
years of locomotive operations for comparison.
Note that this graph uses two different wagon measures.

The wagons per day on the temporary line in the 1830-
1834
period were ½ Winchester chaldron wagons carrying
almost
1,500 pounds each; those from 1836 onward,
w
hether handled by horses or locomotives, were
Newcastle
chaldrons carrying about 5,900 pounds each.
The
data for the new line after 1835 show a
pattern
of gradually increasing traffic over the next two
decades
though there is no reason to believe that the
waggonway
would have been overly strained by the early
1850s.
Even so, the horses were retired and two
locomotives,
the Sydney and Halifax, were introduced 55late in the summer of 1853. Factors that appear to have
influenced
the conversion to steam power will be
discussed
below.
Bridgeport,
1833-42
56
Mining activity at Bridgeport which started in
1829
was secondary to Sydney Mines based on both the 57output and longevity of the three Bridgeport pits. The 58GMA Annual Report dated 30 June 1830 observed that
‘Bridgeport
will also require a tram road and wagons, and
s
ome improvements to its harbour.’ However, a
subsequent
reference that ‘steam machinery will not be necessary
for that place for some time to come’ seems to
indicate
that the company did not have high expectations
for
this site in the short term. The ‘tram road’ was not built
until
1833 when, as Richard Brown stated, ‘a light railway,
two
miles in length, was laid from the pit along the sand 59beach to the harbour.’ Brown’s account went on to 60report that Bridgeport was abandoned in 1842 when

the railway materials and moveable plant were
transferred
to the Sydney Mines.’

Nothing has been found to indicate the
Bridgeport waggonway was ever upgraded from its ‘light 61railway’ status and ouput levels make that unlikely. The
weight
and source of the rail are unknowns, though the
1833
construction date points to the cargo on the Mary
Anne
noted earlier. That total of 200 tons seems
appropriate
with an assumed rail weight of no more than 6230 pounds per yard and the use of iron chairs.
W
ith output volumes never exceeding 6,500
Newcastle
chaldrons per year, Bridgeport would not have
needed
a large complement of wagons. With its ‘light rail,’
it
is reasonable to assume the line did not handle wagons
larger
than the original half Winchester chaldron size
used
at Sydney Mines. Assuming this wagon size, the
highest
daily traffic total would not have reached over 130
per day at the peak of output in 1838. W
ith the two-mile
distance,
it also seems likely that no more than 30-40
wagons
would have been needed to handle the traffic.
These
conclusions about the roster and traffic
levels
are all based solely on the assumptions noted. The
extent
of the surviving documentary evidence about rail
operations
at Bridgeport is a single reference to the
transfer
of twenty wagon axles from Sydney Mines in the 63summer of 1833.
32RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
Little
Bras d’Or, 1833-37
The
few secondary sources noting the existence
of
pre-locomotive GMA rail lines in Cape Breton prior to
1850
refer only to Sydney Mines and Bridgeport. In the
fine
print of the Sydney Mines Stock Book for 1838,
however,
there is also record of a waggonway at Little
Bras
d’Or. Though an extremely modest operation, this
line
was unique because it used both iron and wooden rail.
This
is the only identified use of wooden rail by the GMA
in
Nova Scotia. Despite high expectations demonstrated
by
acquisition of over 3000 acres of land in 1832 and 641833, sales data show this mine was far from successful.
The
coal quality was poor from the outset of activity in 651833, when the waggonway is assumed to have gone into
service,
and mining and rail activity were abandoned in 661837.
The
Little Bras d’Or line was recorded in 1838 as
having
been 431 yards long with 231 yards of malleable
iron
rail plus 200 yards of wooden rails that were 5 inch x 5
inch
hardwood in 8 foot lengths. A small quantity of loose
iron rail was reported in 15 foot lengths and weighing 28

pound per yard – the only pre-1860s reference found
w
here both rail length and weight per yard are
documented.
The loose stock also included over 200
hemlock
ties identified as being 8 feet in length. The
absence
of loose chairs or wagons in the Little Bras d’Or
inventory
likely indicates removal of assets to Sydney
Mines
was under way when the 1838 inventory was 67done.
An
interesting but unanswered question is why
part
of the line was built with wooden rail. My
speculations
about Bridgeport, the cargo on the Mary
Anne,
and related assumptions suggest that Mary Anne
should
have delivered enough iron to also construct the
complete
line at Little Bras d’Or, but this obviously did
not
happen even though the timing was appropriate. One
possibility
is that either the rails or chairs or both were
heavier
than estimated in my assumption. Another is that
some
of the cargo was diverted for use at Sydney Mines. In
either
case, or if wooden rail was laid on a temporary basis
for
some other reason, the next question is why iron rails
did
not replace the wooden ones fairly quickly. Perhaps
the
company had almost immediate second thoughts
about
the potential of the site though this should have led
to
initial construction of an all-wood line. Another
possibility
is that there were short-run reasons related to supply
or price that were not resolved until after a later
conscious
decision not to upgrade the wooden section of
the
line. All these, however, are speculations. Why the
wooden
rails were laid initially or retained throughout the
waggonway’s
lifetime remains a mystery.
As
with Bridgeport, it seems reasonable to also
assume
use of small wagons but there is no firm evidence.
There
are, however, references in the inventory to two
other
important details. The stock account included an
incline
wheel costed at £20 and a ‘shipping frame with iron
spout’
costed at £50. The incline may have been on the
waggonway
or may have been to pull pit wagons out of the
mine.
The presence of a shipping frame indicates that the
wagons
would likely have been designed with bottom
hatches
for direct unloading into the frame’s spout in a
manner
similar to that illustrated in the Buddle sketch in
Fig.
4.
A
final detail from Little Bras d’Or involves right
of way costing. The wooden rail section is recorded at 3s

6d per yard, while the malleable iron segment appears at a
cost
of 12s 6d per yard, a ratio of 3.6:1. Absence of other
capitalization
entries for the line suggests these included
all
roadbed, material, and construction costs. The 12s 6d
per
yard for the iron rail section is fairly close to the 15s
per yard cost for the 1834-35 main line at Sydney Mines,

an indication that it was well built despite its connection
to
a wooden rail section.
The
Question of Gauge
Buddle’s 1834 R
eport had recommended use of
4
foot 8 inch gauge for the second Sydney Mines line. That
recommendation
was followed though we can only
confirm
that by working backwards. The line was
documented
as standard gauge some years after the 68introduction of locomotives. We also know that the pre-
locomotive
complement of Newcastle chaldrons had 69continued in use with the locomotives. This provides
good
evidence that the 1834-35 waggonway had been
constructed
as standard gauge.
In
addition to the Newcastle wagons, the 1837
S
tock Book recorded twenty-two operational half
W
inchester chaldron wagons from the first waggonway
still
on the books. The only logical reason for them not to
have
been written off during 1835 or 1836 is that they were
still
in use. This leads to the conclusion that the first
Sydney
Mines line had also been standard gauge.64.
JHANS, 1834, Appendix A-12.
65.
Detailed annual output data show that almost 50% of this mine’s total output had been graded as ‘slack;’ JHANS, 1859, Appendix 22, pp 389-90.
66.
Brown 1871, p 90.
67.
The absence of reference to Little Bras d’Or in the 1837 Sydney Mines Stock Book suggests that separate accounts were kept for that site till 1838
though none are found in the BI collection. These also belong on any ‘try to find’ list for future researchers.
68.
See ‘Railway Statistics, 1875: Lines of Railway Owned by Coal Mines,’ Parliament of Canada, Sessional Papers, 1876, vol 8, Sessional Paper # 51, p
31.
69.
BI, GMA Papers, B-1-a and B-1-b, Sydney Mines Stock Books, 1855 and 1862; the roster of Newcastle wagons had increased to 201 in 1855 and to
226 in 1862.
33CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 201070.
Data reported to the government show the first coal was raised at Lingan in 1854; JHANS, 1859, Appendix 22, pp 378 and 389-90; but details in the
Lingan Stock Books indicate the waggonway was not operational before 1855.
71.
Richard Brown’s 1871 book includes a fold-out engraving showing the shoreline at Lingan and the terrain from the mine to the shipping wharf.
72.
BI, GMA papers, B-2-a and B-2-b. Future discovery of any Lingan Stock Books from the 1850s could yield evidence to replace the uncertainties about
the early years of the waggonway at that site.
73.
Department of Mines Report for 1866, JHANS, 1867, Appendix 12, p 27.T
hat conclusion seems transferable to
Bridgeport
as a result of the 1833 relocation of old wagon
axles
from Sydney Mines. The transfer of waggonway
material
back to Sydney Mines upon Bridgeport’s closure
in
1842 provides further evidence of the use of the same
gauge
on both sides of Sydney harbour.
A
bout Little Bras d’Or, there is neither
documentary
nor circumstantial evidence about gauge.
However,
the assumed commonality of gauge between
Sydney
Mines and Bridgeport makes it seem likely that
the
Little Bras d’Or line, which opened at almost the same
time
as Bridgeport, would have been built to the same
gauge.
This would have permitted transfer of equipment
among
the three waggonways while all were operating.
Lingan,
1854-66
Though
waggonway operations at Lingan did not
begin
until after the introduction of locomotives at
Sydney
Mines, it would be inappropriate to ignore this 70line. It was built in 1854-55 to serve a new mine across 71the bay from Bridgeport. While expanding capacity
with
this mine, the company remained financially
cautious.
As a result of the distance of just a mile from the
Lingan
pit to the wharf and the desire to curtail costs, this
line
used horse power in its early years. A second decision,
presumably
also to cut costs, made the Lingan line unique
within
a company context. It was 42 in gauge, the only use
of
narrow gauge by the GMA.
As
with the other GMA waggonways, the scope
of
available information falls far short of what would be
nice
to have. It seems certain that separate accounts were
kept
for Lingan from the beginning of activity there, but
from
the first 15 years of operation only two Stock Books 72have survived – those for 1865 and 1870.
Those
inventory records suggest the main line
was
first built with 22 pound per yard rail mounted on 8.6
pound
chairs. Trackage on the wharf, originally fitted with
three
loading frames, was slightly heavier, 28 pound per
yard,
but supported by chairs identical to those on the
main
line. Neither the size nor the number(s) of wagons in
use
over the first decade are documented. In 1865, the
wagon
roster was reported as 70, though it seems likely
this
number would have increased over the ten years since
the
line started operation in response to the growing
volume
shown by the Lingan component in the sales
graph
above.
Lingan’s
production increased more quickly
than
had been the case at Sydney Mines, a reflection of
the
popularity of its coal for conversion to gas. The demand
for Lingan coal grew rapidly with the boom in the
US
market during the Civil War years. In response to that
boom,
the decision was made to introduce locomotive
power
and, in preparation for that, to upgrade the rail
line.
Despite these improvements, however, the 42 in
gauge
used on the waggonway was retained till the GMA
abandoned
the site 20 years later.
P
re-locomotive Lingan wagons also survived the
transition
to steam power, at least in the short term. This
is
shown in the Nova Scotia Mines Report for 1866 that
also
noted the wagons as ‘containing two tons,’ the 73earliest reference found to wagon size at this site. This
detail,
combined with the assumptions that this wagon
size
had been in use since 1855 and that all traffic was
handled
by locomotive power in 1866, provides a basis for
estimating
traffic volumes through the life of the
waggonway
and five years beyond (Fig.9). The
Triumph of the Iron Horse
In
1854, after years of negotiation, a ten-year
R
eciprocity Treaty was signed by Britain and the United
States
to reduce customs duties and expand trade
between
the British North American colonies and the
US
A. From a GMA perspective, the most important
provision
was the elimination of the American tariff on
N
ova Scotia coal. No contemporary GMA
correspondence about the likely impact of the treaty has

been found though Richard Brown, writing in 1871,
stated
the company had expected a major increase in sales
into
the US market.
Optimism
about the American market appears
to
have led to the 1854 openings of the new mines at
Lingan
and Sydney Mines. Conversion of the Sydney
Mines
waggonway to locomotive power the previous year This graph is based on data for Fig.7 plus
assumptions noted in the text.Ce graphique est basé sur les données de la figure 7 et des
hypothèses notées dans le texte.
34RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
seems
to have also been in expectation of sales to be
generated
by the anticipated treaty and fed by output
from
the new ‘Queen Pit’ at Sydney Mines since the
growth in traffic up to that time does not appear to have

justified the decision.
Sales
to the USA from Sydney Mines did grow
after 1854, but the growth was not particularly dramatic.

Sydney Mines data indicate an increase in output of 37%
from
1849-52 to 1854-57. Even with that increase, the two 74locomotives that went into service in 1853 would not
have
needed to move more than about four trainloads
each
per working day during the rest of the decade of the
1850s. The data show that the American Civil W
ar had a
stronger
impact on GMA sales than the Reciprocity
T
reaty, but most of the additional business went to
Lingan.
Upgrading the Sydney Mines waggonway to
locomotive
power in 1853 thus seems to have been
premature,
a move that paralleled the heavy investment
the
company made in the Albion Mines Railway in 1838-
40
in anticipation of traffic that did not materialise for
over
a decade.
Having
gone out on a speculative limb about why
the
Sydney Mines waggonway was converted to steam
power in 1853, the mirror image question should also be

addressed: why did this not happen sooner?
The
GMA had made the decision to introduce
locomotives
in Pictou County within a year of the first
appearance
of Cunard’s advertisement that the new 75Sydney Mines wharf was open for business. John
Buddle
had recommended use of locomotives at Sydney
Mines
in 1834 and most of the rail line built in 1834-35 was
designed
to handle steam engines as soon as the decision
was
made to retire the horses. In Pictou County, the
original
waggonway had to be rebuilt to handle the weight
of
locomotives and their trains. This cost on a per mile
basis
was almost seven times that of the 1834-35 right of
way
at Sydney Mines, though the line was only twice as
long
as that at Sydney Mines. If three additional
Hackworth
engines had been brought to Sydney Mines at
the
same time as Samson, Hercules, and John Buddle
went
into service in Pictou County, the additional cost
should
not have more than £10,000 – this based on £6500,
the
cost of the three Pictou County engines, plus an
estimated
additional £3500 for track realignment around
Goat
Hill and down a grade where the locomotives could
operate.
For the new railway in Pictou County, the GMA
invested
over £75,000 over the period 1838-1840. Compared
to that, the estimated incremental cost of
introducing
steam power at Sydney Mines would have
been
modest and could have been justified by the fact that
overall
production levels from Sydney Mines and Pictou
County
remained close to equal from the mid-1830s until
well
into the 1840s despite wide swings in output in Pictou 76County from one year to the next. The question posed
in
the previous paragraph is thus a reasonable one.
No
documentary evidence has been found to
provide
an answer. Since the decision was likely based on
financial
rather than engineering considerations, it
should
be noted that in addition to the absence of the
correspondence
between Sydney Mines and head office
in
London, we have neither annual reports for the
relevant
period, ie 1835-1853, nor information about
company
profitability on either an aggregate level or for
individual
collieries. Information about the company’s
capacity
to invest or the willingness of the Board to do so
are
also missing. Finally, there is virtually nothing in the
way
of information about the company’s expectations
about
future sales prospects for either of the two main
collieries.
Despite the missing documents, however, some
speculations
can be offered.
Since
it seems safe to assume the company was
not
deterred by cost considerations in 1834, the initial
decision
was likely connected to either the revision and
shortening
of the original plan for the new waggonway
route
or to a revision of short-term expectations about
coal
output and sales. Hoard’s letter to Buddle in August
of
1834 noted the latter factor as a possible reason for
rejection
of locomotives in the short term. In the late
1830s, the level of investment going into the new railway

in Pictou County may have been the basis for postponing
additional
investment at Sydney Mines.
In 1840, the year the Albion Mines R
ailway was
completed,
there was a dramatic drop of over 45% in
output
and sales in Pictou County. Foord came to Albion
Mines
that summer and was reported in the local press to
have
been ‘ordering the discharge of a large number of 77the men.’ Though production in 1841 saw a recovery to
the
1839 level, there were drops of 25% in 1842 and an
additional
33% in 1843 by which time Pictou County
output
had fallen below the 1840 level. At Sydney Mines,
however,
things were much more positive. While there
was
a decline of about 15% in 1840, output throughout
1841-43
stood at close to 20% above the 1839 level.
Despite
the performance at Sydney Mines, it is quite 74.
While GMA records indicate some details about these two engines, there are many unanswered questions plus contradictions between the primary
sources found to date and what has been written about these locomotives over the past 50 years. The same applies to the next two engines that came to

Sydney Mines over a decade later. Research on these four locomotives is ongoing and will be reported on at a later date.
75.
The earliest indication of this decision appeared in The Bee (Pictou, NS) on 28 September 1836. The paper reported on GMA plans for improvements
to the Albion Railway and stated that ‘… Locomotive Engines will be employed in propelling the cars …’
76.
Over the years 1835-40 inclusive, annual outputs at both sites averaged a bit over 15,000 Newcastle chaldrons; for the period 1841-49, both showed
annual averages a bit over 25,000 chaldrons. Pictou County output was subject to wide swings from year to year but for the multi-year periods, the

differences between Pictou County and Sydney Mines were less than 2%; JHANS, 1864, Appendix 18, p 25.
77.
The Mechanic & Farmer (Pictou, NS) 5 August 1840.
35CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010possible
that the volatility of activity at Albion Mines,
which
may have had parallel effects on GMA profits, may
have
caused the Board to become more conservative in its
use
of capital. In the decade following 1843, despite a
clear
long-term pattern of growth in output in Pictou
County,
the sales graph for Sydney Mines remained
relatively
flat. This could have justified the continuation
of
a more cautious approach to investment there until the
stimulus
of the anticipated Reciprocity Treaty came
along.
Despite
the strand of factual details noted, these
interpretations
are essentially speculations but they
represent
the best that can be offered at present to explain
the
continued use of horse power at Sydney Mines for
almost
20 years on a right of way that required only minor
c
hanges to accommodate the introduction of
locomotives.
While
the question of when locomotives were
first
used at Sydney Mines has been resolved, it should
also
be noted that some doubt remains about the extent of
their
early operation. It seems reasonable to assume that 78the expenditure of almost £3000 on the first two engines
would
have been accompanied by immediate realignment
of
the wharf end of the main line. This would have been
needed
to avoid the slope on the side of Goat Hill and run
the
locomotives all the way to the wharf on a grade they
could
handle. Only with this realignment would the GMA
have
been able to abandon the self-acting incline that had
handled
traffic on the slope going down to the wharf.
While
the assumption that this happened in 1853 seems
reasonable,
there is no documentary evidence to support
it.
The Cape Breton News account of the locomotives’
arrival
does refer to them operating ‘to the Shipping Pier’
but
some elements in that account leave me uncertain
about
the reliability of all of its details. And there is a
suggestion
in the Michael Dwyer letter of 1933, referred
to
previously in the context of the 1834 incline, that the
incline
remained in operation till about 1870. Given the
source
of this suggestion, it must be kept on the table as a
possibility
until more concrete evidence appears to
confirm when the locomotives first ran all the way to the 79wharf.As
noted above, the conversion to steam at
Lingan
took place in 1866. To handle the engine weight,
65%
of the line was relaid with 63 pound per yard rail and
23
pound chairs with the remainder using 45 pound rail.
Some
time prior to 1864 (likely in response to the sales
boom
in the early 1860s), Lingan’s shipping capacity had
been
extended by the construction of a second wharf. The
rail
line, however, remained single track until it branched 80close to the wharves. The locomotive that came to
Lingan,
the only one to be used there, was a small 0-4-0
tank
engine built by Black, Hawthorn & Co (BH) of 81Gateshead near Newcastle upon Tyne.
W
hen the GMA abandoned horse
power
at Lingan, their timing again proved to be less than
favourable.
Lingan’s output had peaked in 1865. Non-
renewal
of Reciprocity in 1864 and the end of the Civil
W
ar the next year led to a big drop in GMA sales to the
US
A with Lingan being particularly hard hit. During the
20
years starting with 1867, in only three years would
Lingan’s
output reach the average of the boom years of
1861-66.
Except for its first year in operation, the little BH
tank
engine, locally known as Fairy, did not come even
close
to moving the volume of traffic handled by the
waggonway
horses during their last two full years of
service
in 1864-65.
Conclusions
Despite
its extensive pool of available capital and
willingness
to apply new and expensive technology in the
early
years, the GMA recognized the usefulness and
practicality of the traditional horse-powered waggonway

for short-distance and/or low-volume routes. Recognition
of
that practicality was coupled with awareness of what
would
ensure longevity, minimize maintenance, and be
readily
upgradeable in the future. While the second
Sydney
Mines line used horse power for nearly 20 years,
the
roadbed and right of way were very well built by North
American
standards of the 1830s. With its use of rolled
iron
rails and heavy chairs, the right of way was far
superior
to the strap rail line opened by the Champlain &
St.
Lawrence in 1836 or many similar lines being built in 82the United States at this time.78.
This cost estimate is based on depreciated values at the end of 1855 and depreciation rates in use for 1855; BI, GMA Papers, B-1-a, Sydney Mines
Stock Book, 1855.
79.
Despite Dwyer’s credibility based on his 1933 position and knowledge of mining history (reflected by his awareness of the self-acting engine on the Goat
Hill slope), his letters to Cantley contain a number of inaccuracies about early GMA operations. One Cape Breton example is reference to 1854 for the

arrival of the first locomotives at Sydney Mines. As a result, his suggestion that the incline remained in use well after 1853 merits recognition, but not

automatic acceptance without documentary confirmation.
80.
The second wharf appears in the detailed insert of Lingan in the ‘Topographical and Township Map of Cape Breton County,’ Bedford, NS: AF Church
& Co, March, 1864. The detailed insert of North Sydney on this map shows that a similar upgrade had been made there. That insert shows a second

wharf and indicates that from the point where the rail line branched toward the two wharves, both branches were double-tracked.
81.
AC Baker, Black, Hawthorn & Co Works List, Richmond, Surrey: The Industrial Locomotive Society, 1988; Department of Mines Report for 1866,
JHANS
, 1867, Appendix 12, p 27.
82.
Precise details on the c. 2,200 miles of strap rail laid on 140 railways in the USA during the 1830s are found in Fred Gamst’s edition of Franz Anton
Ritter von Gerstner’s Die innern Communicationen; see Gamst, Early American Railroads, Stanford University Press, 1997; pp 785-89 provide a

concise summary table. The American data in my thesis, referred to in note # 47, are based on this source.
36RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
The
1835 Sydney Mines line provided efficient
service
for two almost decades before the introduction of
the
iron horses John Buddle had recommended in 1834.
Even
when this transition took place at the most
important
colliery in Cape Breton in 1853, the company 83continued to operate waggonways into the 1860s where
the
capital costs of locomotive power were clearly 84uneconomic for existing traffic levels.
The
waggonway experience at Sydney Mines
collapsed
into fewer than 25 years the lengthy recorded
history
of the British waggonway that began with the
wooden
rail line constructed by Huntington Beaumont in
Nottinghamshire in 1604. Though the Cape Breton lines

skipped many of the formative British developments, for
example
the use of wooden rail (save for the 200 yd
wooden
section at Little Bras d’Or) or the use of flanged
rather
edge iron rail, they provide interesting parallels to
the
early days of rail transport in the UK.
The
Cape Breton story is likely not too different
from
what happened at Albion Mines during the 1830s
regardless
of some superficial distinctions. Cape Breton
had
a number of lines in contrast to the single waggonway
at
Albion Mines that was extended on several occasions
during
its short operating life. The steep slope along the
S
ydney Mines-North Sydney shoreline provided a
challenge
not present at Albion Mines. The Albion Mines
line
appears to have used only Winchester chaldron
wagons
in contrast to the three different wagon models
used
in Cape Breton. Despite things like these, however,
the
essential aspects of construction and operation were
probably
quite similar and much of what is now known
about
developments in Cape Breton likely reflects the
ten-year
life of the GMA waggonway in Pictou County.
The
important difference, however, is that there
is
a substantial documentary base dealing with the Cape
Breton
waggonways. Despite the many things missing
from the surviving records and the resulting unanswered

questions, that base has made it possible to offer this first comprehensive
look at some of Canada’s earliest
railways.
Acknowledgements
T
his article has evolved out of a
preliminary
presentation at the ‘Early Railways 3’
conference
at the National Railway Museum in York,
UK,
in September 2004 and a first published edition in
Michael
R. Bailey, ed. Early Railways 3, Sudbury, UK: Six
Martlets
Publishing, 2006. That version has been revised
and
expanded for Canadian Rail’s readership.
The
original stimulus for this study goes back to
the
late 1990s to questions about Cape Breton raised by
F
red Gamst during the course of our correspondence and
discussions
while my MBA thesis on the Albion Railway
was
in progress. His questions and encouragement
prompted
recognition that the Cape Breton waggonways
warranted
serious investigation though neither of us
expected
the project would take as long as it has.
During
my research, I have incurred
debts
far and wide and some of these must be
a
cknowledged. From the UK, Michael Bailey of
Manchester,
Andy Guy of Luddenden, and Michael
L
ewis of Hull, have helped in many ways. Staff at the
Guildhall
Archives, Goldsmiths’ Hall, and Imperial
College
Library, all in London, plus those at the Durham
and
Northumberland County Record Offices in north
E
ngland, offered hospitality along with crucial
documents.
In Halifax, staff at the Public Archives of
Nova
Scotia and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural
R
esources Library contributed greatly to my work. Jay
W
illiams of Halifax provided invaluable assistance in
preparing
the illustrations for publication. Above all
others,
however, I am indebted to the staff at the Beaton
Institute
at Cape Breton University for their assistance
during
my extended explorations of their collection of
General
Mining Association papers. 83.
In addition to Lingan, waggonway technology was introduced relatively late and retained well into the age of the locomotive at Joggins in Cumberland
County
. From its 1848 opening until sold by the GMA in 1871, this site contained a smaller version of the first Sydney Mines line. A wharf with capacity
for three vessels was equipped with extended ‘shoots’ for loading the coal. These seem to have been a result of a cliff overlooking the wharf that was too

steep for use of an incline or any other way to take wagons down to the wharf. An 800 yd waggonway was laid with iron rail, apparently about 30 pound
per yard, from the mine to the top of the ‘shoots’ and equipped with eleven W
inchester chaldron wagons. When the GMA left Joggins, the waggonway
was still in service and was the last of the company’s horse-powered surface lines. Details on the Joggins waggonway are in an 1859 GMA report to the

Nova Scotia government, PANS, RG 1, vol 461, no 106; a second GMA report in 1864, PANS, RG 1, vol 464, no 75; the GMA Annual Report for
1870, P
ANS, MG 1, vol 157, no 54; and the 1871 prospectus of the Joggins Coal Mining Company, the firm which bought the site from the GMA,
CIHM microfiche series, # 13205.
84.
While they do not deal directly with the GMA’s railways, I would be remiss not to refer the reader to two studies of the firm by Marilyn Gerriets of the
Economics Department at St. F
rancis Xavier University. Gerriets looks at the company’s managerial approaches, its early willingness to invest heavily
in modern technology followed by a tendency in later years to live off its capital and minimize new investment, its failure to integrate the mines with

other logical undertakings such as iron and steel, the influence of its London base, and other aspects of the firm’s performance and local impact over

its 70-plus years in Nova Scotia. Her papers provide a wider framework for consideration of the GMA’s involvement with rail transport. See ‘The

Impact of the General Mining Association on the Early Development of the Nova Scotia Coal Industry,’ Acadiensis, vol XXI, no 1, 1991, pp 54-84;
and ‘The Rise and F
all of a Free-Standing Company in Nova Scotia,’ Business History, vol 34, no 3, 1992, pp 16-48. A third study that should be noted
is Daniel Samson, ‘Industrial Colonization: The Colonial Context of the General Mining Association, Nova Scotia, 1824-1842,’ Acadiensis, vol XXIX,

no 1, 1999, pp 3-28. Samson looks at the early days of the GMA from a more political perspective than Gerriets through his assessment of the firm as

both instrument and reflection of British economic and colonial policy. An important element in this paper is Samson’s beginning of an examination of
the interests of major GMA shareholders in other business ventures in British North America. My reference to GMA links to the Shubenacadie Canal

Company is just one example of the extent of those interests.
37CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010Artifacts
from the early Cape Breton coal mining railways were the first to be acquired by the CRHA in 1937 (Artifact No. 1937.1).
These
pairs of wheels and axles (and section of Bull Rail) came from the Acadia Coal Company in Stellarton, Nova Scotia and were
used
to support the wooden coal hoppers the subject of this Library and Archives Canada photo taken in 1858 (note the manual
brakes).
The wheels were stored at the home of Donald Angus in Senneville for many years, They have been mounted to form a
primary
display at Exporail, located immediately behind the wooden model of the Dorchester, Canada’s first steam locomotive.
Library
and Archives Canada / Stephen Cheasley.
Ces
artéfacts provenant des anciens chemins de fer de mines de charbon du Cap-Breton furent, en 1937, les premières
acquisitions
de l’ACHF (artéfact no 1937.1). Ces paires de roues proviennent de l’Acadia Coal Company à Stellarton, Nouvelle-
Écosse,
et furent utilisées pour supporter des wagons-trémies en bois. La photo fut prise en 1858 (à noter : le frein manuel). Les
roues
furent entreposées au domicile de Donald Angus à Senneville pendant plusieurs années. Elles sont maintenant installées à
l’entrée
d’Exporail, juste à côté de la réplique en bois de la Dorchester, première locomotive du Canada. Bibliothèque et Archives
Canada/Stephen
Cheasley.
38RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
By Barry BiglowMy First Diesel R
epairIn
1958 having graduated from the University of
Manitoba
with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical
E
ngineering, I went to work for the Canadian
W
estinghouse Company. I first went on the Graduate
T
raining course in Hamilton, Ontario. I spent several
months
in Hamilton and in that time managed to get in
fan
trips on the Canadian National Railway (CNR) to
Stratford
shops and also on the Niagara, St. Catharines &
T
oronto Railway. I then went to Granby, Quebec working
in
the Lighting Division. Granby was the end of the
Montreal
& Southern Counties (M&SC) line, which was
a
well known interurban from Montreal, but by the time I
went
to Granby the electrification had been removed.
The
CNR had replaced the electrification with a diesel
hauled
service going directly into Montreal’s Central
Station. E
n 1958, avec en poche un diplôme de
b
accalauréat en science (génie électrique) de
l
’Université du Manitoba, j’ai été engagé par la
compagnie
Westinghouse du Canada. Je me suis d’abord
inscrit
à une session d’entraînement pour les nouveaux
diplômés,
d’une durée de quelques mois, à Hamilton,
Ontario.
J’ai alors profité de mon séjour dans cette ville
pour
participer à quelques excursions pour amateurs
ferroviaires
offertes par le Canadien National (CN),
entre
autres aux ateliers Stratford et sur le réseau du
Niagara,
St.Catharines &Toronto Railway. Après ma
session
à Hamilton, j’ai travaillé à la Division éclairage de
l’entreprise
à Granby, au Québec. Cette ville fut le
terminus
de la ligne du Montreal and Southern Counties
(M&SC),
un service interurbain électrique bien connu à
l’époque.
Mais lors de mon séjour à Granby, le CNR
avait déjà remplacé le réseau électrifié d’origine par une

traction au diésel qui amenait les trains directement à
gare
Centrale de Montréal.P
ar Barry BiglowMa première réparation
d’un diéselM
ontreal & Southern Counties electric
service
was from Montreal to Granby, cut
back
to Marieville in 1951. The new CNR
diesel
service operated from Waterloo to
Granby
and on to Montreal. Enhanced map
detail
from Lines of Country by Christopher
Andreae,
published by Boston Mills Press in
1955,
now out of print.
La
ligne électrifiée du Montreal & Southern
Counties
reliait Montréal et Granby jusquen
1951
où le service sarrêta à Marieville. Le
nouveau
service diesel du CNR relia à ce
moment
là Waterloo à Granby puis de là
jusquà
Montréal. Carte détaillée de /Lines of
Country/
de Christopher Andreae publié par
Boston
Miles Press en 1955 (édition épuisée).A
wet snow was falling on November 24, 1951 when M&SC
baggage motor 501 and 600 series passenger interurban

made their final call at Granby’s impressive brick station.
CNR
heavyweight coach passenger service hauled by new
six
-axle diesels would replace the electric cars the next
day
. Edmund Lambert.
Une
neige mouillante tombait en ce 24 novembre 1951, au
moment
où le fourgon à bagages motorisé no 501 et des
voitures
de passagers de la série 600 se préparaient à
quitter
pour la dernière fois l’impressionnante gare de
briques
de Granby. Dès le lendemain, ces véhicules
électriques
étaient remplacés par des voitures lourdes du
CNR
tirées par des nouvelles locomotives diésels à six
essieux.
Edmund Lambert.MarivilleT
raduit en français par Denis Vallières
39CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010A
t this time CRHA fan trips were being held
using
as many different types of steam engines as possible
before
they were retired. On this occasion, October 5,
1958,
a fan trip was being held from Montreal using one of
the
CNR 5700 Hudson class engines built for the high
speed
Montreal-Toronto service in the 1930’s. By taking
the
early morning train from Granby to Montreal, I could
make
a connection to the fan trip at Central station. Thus
I
got up early and caught the diesel train to Montreal.
The
M&SC, with its interurban origins, was not
built
using heavy rail. Thus the diesel electric locomotives
for
the Granby service were three special lightweight 1200
horsepower,
6 axle units equipped with a steam generator
numbered
1615 to 1617. These class CRG-12b units were
built
by Canadian Locomotive Company to the designs of
F
airbanks Morse. To spread out the weight of the units,
their
trucks were A-1-A style having an idler axle between
the
outer axles driven by traction motors.These
units were part of an order placed on
September
21, 1950 by the Canadian National
R
ailway for 18 road switchers from the Canadian
L
ocomotive Company in Kingston, Ontario. CLC
builder’s
numbers 2650 to 2652 were delivered in
October and November 1951 as H12-64s (CNR Y-2-

b). These three units had steam generators and were

assigned to the Granby-Montreal passenger service
replacing
the M&SC electric interurbans, which had
ceased
operation beyond Marieville. These units
originally
carried CNR road numbers 7615 – 7617;
they
were re-numbered to 1615 – 1617 in 1956 to free
up
road numbers.
The
other 15 road switchers were built as
CLC
builder’s numbers 2653 – 2667 and were
delivered
between November 1951 and January 1952.
They
were classified as CNR Y-2-a and carried road
numbers
7600 – 7614. Like their passenger hauling
sisters,
they were re-numbered 1600 – 1614 in 1956.
(
Don McQueen and Constructed in Kingston
published
by the CRHA)À
l’époque, on utilisait pour les excursions à
l’intention
des amateurs ferroviaires de l’ACHF la plus
grande
variété de locomotives à vapeur possible avant
qu’elles
ne soient définitivement retirées. Ainsi, le 5
octobre
1958, pour une excursion entre Montréal et
T
oronto, on nolisa l’une des locomotives du CNR de type
Hudson,
série 5700, construites pour le service grande
vitesse
Montréal-Toronto dans les années 1930. En
prenant
le train tôt le matin vers Montréal, j’arriverais à
temps
pour la correspondance à la gare Centrale.
L
e réseau du M&SC, conçu pour faire rouler des
véhicules
interurbains électriques, avait été construit avec
des
rails légers. C’est la raison pour laquelle on avait
choisi
d’utiliser trois locomotives diésels légères de 1200
chevaux-vapeur
à six essieux, équipées d’une génératrice
à
vapeur. Numérotées 1615 à 1617, ces engins de classe
CRG-12b
furent construits par la Canadian Locomotive
Company
selon un design de Fairbanks Morse. Les
bogies
avaient une configuration A-1-A, un essieu libre
entre
deux essieux motorisés, afin de mieux répartir le
poids
des locomotives.L
es engins faisaient partie d’une série de 18
locomotives
de manœuvre de ligne, commandées le
21
septembre 1950 par le Canadien National à la
Canadian
Locomotive Company de Kingston en
Ontario.
Portant les numéros de série 2650 à 2652 de
la
CLC et de type H12-64 (CNR Y-2-b), elles furent
livrées
en octobre et novembre 1951. Ces trois engins,
avec
génératrice à vapeur, furent assignés au service
passager Montréal-Granby, remplaçant les véhicules

électriques de la M&SC – dont le terminus fut ramené
à
Marieville. En 1956, le CNR changea leurs
numéros
d’origine, 7615 à 7617, pour 1615 à 1617, afin
de
libérer ces numéros pour d’autres séries.
L
es 15 autres locomotives de manœuvre de
ligne
se virent attribuer par le CLC les nos 2653 à
2667
et furent livrées entre novembre 1951 et janvier
1952.
Elles furent classées par le CNR comme Y-2-a
et
portèrent les nos 7600 à 7614. À l’instar de leurs
sœurs
assignées au service passager, elles furent
renumérotées
1615 à 1617 en 1956. Constructed in
Kingston
de Don McQueen, publié par l’ACHF.
40RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
Le
no 602 du M&SC est sur la voie d’évitement tandis que le train de Granby, tiré par la locomotive no 1616 du CNR, quitte Marieville
en
direction de Montréal en ce 15 mai 1956. Marieville fut le terminus du service interurbain de la M&SC de novembre 1951
jusqu’au
13 octobre 1956, date à laquelle prit fin le service de la ligne électrifiée. Stephen D. Maguire.The
train having laid overnight at Granby left on
time
with me as the only patron. Good progress was made
until
we stopped in a field near St. Paul d’Abbotsford. The
diesel
engine was heard to start several times, but the train
did
not move. Finally being a brash young engineer I
decided
to go to the locomotive and see what the trouble
was.
Nodding to the baggageman, I stepped onto the unit
and into the cab. As might be anticipated the unit would

not generate current for the traction motors, i.e. would
not
load. Now Westinghouse made a sales feature of the
fact
that all circuits on their locomotives used breakers
rather
than fuses, which were used on GM and ALCO
diesel
locomotives. Fuses using zinc elements have a nasty
habit
of failing falsely when they are subjected to cycles of
current
and this fact disabled many early diesels.
What
to do! Well having not been thrown off the
unit
and saying I worked for Westinghouse (I didn’t say
how
long!), I was asked to repair the unit. I decided to
start
by turning all the breakers off and making sure they
were
reset. After starting the unit the engineman tried the
throttle
and the unit loaded. Fine now to get going. After
whistling
two on the horns and getting a reply of two on
the
communication whistle, we set off again. Some
progress
was made towards civilization but a breaker
opened
and engine loading stopped. I persuaded the
engineman
to keep on coasting while we waited for the
breaker
to cool. When the breaker thermal element
cooled,
it could be reset and the engine loaded. We
proceeded
in this fashion until it was discovered that if the
throttle
was not advanced beyond the third notch that the
breaker
did not trip. After some time we arrived at
Marieville,
a station with a working railroad telephone
circuit
and with the operator and his family prepared to go
to
Sunday mass. The train was now seriously off schedule
and
some protection was needed against the train from
Montreal
if we were to proceed. Were we to proceed?L
e train, garé pour la nuit à Granby, partit à
l’heure.
Un seul passager : moi-même! Nous avions
parcouru
un bon bout de chemin quand le train s’arrêta
soudain
dans un champ près de Saint-Paul d’Abbotsford.
J’ai
alors entendu l’engin redémarrer à plusieurs reprises
sans
succès. Finalement, jeune et fier ingénieur, j’ai
décidé de m’avancer vers la locomotive pour m’enquérir

du problème. Saluant au passage le préposé aux bagages,
je
suis monté à bord et suis entré dans la cabine. Comme
je
l’avais soupçonné, le courant de la génératrice ne se
r
endait pas aux moteurs de traction. La firme
W
estinghouse était la seule à installer des disjoncteurs sur
ses
circuits de locomotives, à l’opposé de GM et Alco qui
persistaient
à utiliser des fusibles. Ces derniers, à
éléments
de zinc, avaient la fâcheuse manie de sauter
lorsque
qu’ils étaient exposés à des variations de courant,
ce
qui avait pour effet de rendre inutilisables plusieurs
locomotives
âgées.
Que
faire? N’ayant pas été expulsé de la cabine
et
ayant annoncé que j’étais à l’emploi de Westinghouse –
sans
révéler depuis combien de temps! –, on m’a alors
demandé
si je pouvais tenter une réparation. J’ai d’abord
fermé
tous les disjoncteurs et je me suis assuré ensuite
qu’ils
étaient tous remis en fonction. À la suite du
démarrage
de l’engin, le mécanicien a actionné le
régulateur
de marche et la locomotive fut prête à
poursuivre
sa route. Après deux coups de klaxon et les
deux
rappels du système de communication, ce fut le
départ.
Nous avions progressé quelque peu vers la
c
ivilisation lorsqu’un disjoncteur se déclencha de
nouveau.
Re-arrêt total. Nous avons attendu qu’il
refroidisse
et sommes repartis aussitôt. Nous avons
répété
cette manœuvre jusqu’au moment où nous avons
découvert
que le disjoncteur se déclenchait lorsque la
manette
du régulateur était à la troisième position. Après
un
certain temps, nous sommes enfin arrivés à Marieville,
À
cause du retard accumulé, notre train avait besoin
d
’une protection pour continuer son chemin, car
maintenant,
il devait en croiser un autre en provenance de
Montréal.
Poursuivrait-il son chemin?Montreal
& Southern Counties 602 is
on
the passing track as the Granby
train
hauled by CNR 1616 pulls away
from
Marieville bound for Montreal
on
May 15, 1956. Marieville was the
i
nterurban’s outer limit from
November
1951 to October 13, 1956
when
all electric service ended.
Stephen
D. Maguire.
41CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010The
entire class of CNR Y-2-b’s is
represented
in these three Lorne Perry
photos
taken when the units were
almost
new in 1952. All three photos of
the
Granby train were taken at St.
Lambert,
Quebec. Lorne Perry.
Photos
prises en 1952 à la gare de Saint-
Lambert
au Québec. On y voit les trois
locomotives
du CNR de classe Y-2-b au
moment
où elles étaient encore neuves.
Lorne
Perry.A
discussion was then had with the foreman at
the
Pointe St. Charles diesel shop. Having come some
distance
in third notch I felt the unit could make the
remaining
distance to Montreal since we were within
commuting
distance from Montreal. But we still had to
have
an order on the train from Montreal. At this point
the
operator and the conductor had a dispute since the L
a gare possédant un système téléphonique de
réseau,
une discussion s’engagea avec le contremaître de
l’atelier
diésel de Pointe Saint-Charles. Comme nous
étions
à proximité de Montréal, j’estimais que nous
pourrions
faire le reste du parcours même avec un
régulateur
de marche limité à la troisième position.
Cependant,
nous avions besoin d’un ordre en provenance
42RAIL
CANADIEN • 534JANVIER – FÉVRIER 2010
Barry
snapped 1616 (formerly 7616) at Granby
circa
1958. Barry Biglow.
Cliché
de Barry de la no 1616 (ex-7616) à Granby
vers
1958. Barry Biglow.Our
train, consisting of a locomotive, baggage
car,
and passenger car, crept its way across Victoria
Bridge
which has a significant (for our train) hump in the
middle.
At Bridge Street station a 180 series Z4 electric
hauler
was waiting to take us to Central station. Next
problem
– how to double head the air brakes? The
engineman
had not done it for some time and was not
sure.
After some tries the brakes were set in the correct
position
and the train set off for its final destination –
Central
Station. The ride behind the hauler into Central
Station
was the fastest portion of the whole train trip. We
arrived
in Central Station in grand style, though too late
to
connect with the CRHA excursion train.
Not
being an experienced railfan at the time, I
did
not request a copy of the Marieville order or even note
the
number of the diesel engine. Thus the trip remains
only
a memory. I did get some pictures of the Montreal
streetcar
system while filling in the time until I returned to
Granby.
Thus I never did get to ride behind a CNR
Hudson.
Oh well, I had my own fun that day. And I
s
ubsequently became very familiar with diesel
locomotives
during my career of 31 years with Canadian
National
Railways in the Equipment department.Notre
train comportait, outre la locomotive, un
fourgon
à bagages et une voiture de passagers. Il réussit à
franchir
le pont Victoria malgré la pente ascendante,
significative
dans ce cas-ci. À la gare de la rue Bridge, une
locomotive
électrique de type Z4 de la série 180 attendait
notre
train pour l’amener jusqu’à la gare Centrale.
Nouveau
problème : comment relier le système de frein
des
deux locomotives? Le mécanicien n’avait pas exécuté
cette
tâche depuis un certain temps et n’était plus sûr de la
procédure
à suivre. Après quelques essais, les freins
furent
reliés en bonne position et le train put se rendre à
sa
destination finale. Cette dernière portion du parcours
fut
la plus rapide de tout le voyage. Nous entrâmes à la
gare
Centrale en pavoisant, mais trop tard pour la
correspondance
avec l’excursion de l’ACHF.
N’étant
pas encore un amateur ferroviaire averti
à
ce moment-là, je n’avais pas demandé de copie d’ordre
de
marche de Marieville ni même noté le numéro de la
locomotive.
Cependant, j’ai profité de mon séjour à
Montréal
pour prendre des photos du réseau de tramway
de
la ville jusqu’à mon retour vers Granby. Je n’ai donc
pas
eu l’occasion de voyager derrière une Hudson du
CNR
ce jour-là, mais j’ai vécu un autre type d’expérience.
A
u cours de ma carrière de 31 ans au Service de
l’équipement
du CNR, je suis devenu très familier avec
les
locomotives diésels. operator
wanted to be called on duty (and be paid) for
taking
an order outside regular time. He then could go to
Sunday
mass. The operator was called on duty, the order
giving
the Montreal train rights over our train was duly
given
and we proceeded. The Montreal train was met on
the
way and having made a slow trip we arrived at St.
L
ambert. Could we make the rest of the way without
assistance?
We would try.de
Montréal pour agir. Le chef de gare venait de quitter
son
poste et se préparait à partir à la messe dominicale
avec
sa famille. Une dispute éclata entre lui et le chef de
train,
le chef de gare demandant à être rappelé
o
fficiellement en devoir afin d’être rémunéré.
Finalement,
tout rentra dans l’ordre, le chef obtint gain
de
cause. Puis, l’ordre de priorité a été dûment donné au
train
en provenance de Montréal, et enfin, notre train
s’est
remis en marche. Nous avons croisé le train de
Montréal
en toute sécurité et lentement, avons
fini
par arriver à Saint-Lambert. Pourrions-
nous
faire le reste du parcours sans assistance?
Nous
le tenterions.
43CANADIAN RAIL • 534JANU
ARY – FEBRUARY 2010BACK
COVER TOP: Car 147 built by the British Columbia Electric Railway in 1910 then completely rebuilt in 1940 makes its way
west
on Hastings Street just west of Columbia Street back in 1948. Sister cars as well as a fastback ‘BC Radio Cab’ are evident in
this
marvellous urban scene of late forties Vancouver . Collection of Electric Railway Historical Society.
COUVER
TURE ARRIÈRE : Le tramway no 147 construit par la BCER en 1910, puis reconstruit en 1940, en direction ouest rue
Hastings
à l’ouest de la rue Columbia en 1948. On aperçoit aussi d’autres tramways semblables et un taxi de la BC Radio Cab sur
cette
magnifique scène urbaine de la fin des années 1940 à Vancouver. Collection de l’Electric Railway Historical Society.
BACK
COVER BOTTOM : The CNR CRG CLC’s certainly got around. So did the itinerant Forster Kemp. In this view from the early
fifties, H-12-64 1619 is the power for today’s mixed train from Pine F
alls, Manitoba to Winnipeg. The 1619 still sports the ‘CNR’
herald
she left the Kingston works of CLC with but has forsaken her original road number 7619. CRHA Archives, Fonds Kemp.
COUVER
TURE ARRIÈRE : Photo prise par Foster Kemp de la locomotive de type H-24-64 du CNR no 1619 construite par la CLC au
début
des années 1950, à la tête d’un train mixte reliant Pine Falls et Winnipeg au Manitoba. Elle arbore encore l’emblème original
du
CNR, mais non le numéro 7619 qu’elle portait lorsqu’elle a quitté les ateliers de la CLC à Kingston. Archives ACHF, Fonds Kemp.CNR
H-12-64 7616 crosses Waterloo Lake on the last lap of her
journey
from Montreal to Waterloo, Quebec in the early 1950’s. The
CNR
Montreal to Granby and Waterloo passenger service
replaced
the interurban service between Marieville and Granby
after
1951. Diesels and interurbans overlapped between Montreal
and
Marieville between 1951 and 1956. James A. Brown.
La
locomotive H-12-64 du CNR traverse le lac Waterloo vers la fin
de
son parcours entre Montréal et Waterloo dans les années 1950.
Le
service de trains passagers du CNR entre Waterloo, Granby et
Montréal
a remplacé le service de la ligne interurbaine électrifiée
entre
Granby et Marieville entre 1951 et 1956. James A.Brown.Now
reclassified as a CRG-12b,CNR H-12-64 1615 reposes with
sister
1617 outside the Montreal yard diesel shop circa 1958.
CNR
diesels were reclassified according to builder in a
classification
scheme that still exists today on CN and VIA
diesels.
Thus CNR 1615 and 1617 are Canadian Locomotive
Company
(C), roadswitchers (R), equipped with steam
generators
(G), with 1200 horsepower (12), on six-axle trucks (6),
with
four axles powered (4). Peter Cox, CRHA Archives, Fonds
Corley
.
La
locomotive CNR H-12-64 no 1615 est sur une voie de garage
dans
la cour de l’atelier diesel de Montréal autour de 1958.
L’identification
alphanumérique CGR 12-b de ces locomotives a
été
rendue nécessaire à la “12” à 12,000 c.v., le “6” (H-12-64) à 6
essieux
et le “4” à 4 essieux moteurs. Peter Cox, ACHF, Fonds
Corley
.At
Granby ,Quebec circa 1951 H-12-64 7615 prepares to leave for
Montreal. The trolley wire over 7615 is of no use as interurban electric

service no longer operates east of Marieville on the old M&SC. Photo:
James
A. Brown.
Granby
, Québec vers 1951. La H-12-64 no 1615 prête pour le départ
vers
Montréal. Le fil aérien au-dessus de la locomotive nest plus utilisé
puisque
le service sur le réseau électrifié de la M&SC sarrête
désormais
à Marieville. Photo James A. Brown.

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