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Canadian Rail 381 1984

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Canadian Rail 381 1984

Canadian Rail ~
. .
No. 381

Published bi-monthly by the Canadian Railroad
Historical Association P.O Box 148 St. Constant P.O.
JOL IXO. Subscription rates $23.00
(US funds
if outside Canada)
EDITOR: Fred F Angus
CO-EDITOR: M. Peter Murphy
Mich~I Paulet
THE 12:30 AFTERNOON TRAIN has just
left EdmontonYs downtown C.P.R.
station and is seen heading south
onto the high level bridge in
May 1952.
Privincial Archives of Alberta
PA-200j 5.
HIGH LEVEL BRIDGE shows the south
end of the auto traffic approach
while a Whyte Ave. streetcar
makes its run towards South
Provincial Archives of Alberta
ISSN 0008-4875
P.O. Box 1162
Saint John,
Brunswick E2L 4G7
P.O. Box 22 Station B
Montreal, Que. H3B 3J5
P.O. Box 141, Station A
Ontario K1N 8V1
P.O. Box 5849, Terminal A,
Toronto Ontario M5W 1 P3
300 Cabana Road East,
Windsor Ontario N9G 1A2
P.O. Box 603
Ontario N1R 5W1
P.O. Box 593
SI. Catha rines,
Ontario L2R 6W8
P.O. Box 962
Smiths Falls
Ont. K7A 5A5
P.O. Box 6102. Station
Edmonton Alberta T5B 2NO
60 -6100. 4th Ave. NE
Calgary, Alberta T2A 5Z8
Cranbrook. British
V1C 4H9
O. Box 1006. Station A.
Vancouver British
Columbia V6C 2P1
Edmonton~ ~ificent
High Level Bridge
By Lon Marsh
In 1901 when the Calgary and Edmonton Rail­
way arrived at Strathcona, N.W.T.,
it reached its
northern terminus and
was ready to serve the
surrounding district. A problem
was obvious how­
as the town of Edmonton on the north side
of the North Saskatchewan river and the south
had no bridge at all! Passengers would de­
train on the south
side which is now 103rd St.
and 82nd Ave., and travel by horse drawn car­
riages via John Waiters ferry. It is known today
as the Walterdale Bridge (105th St.)
In 1902, the
Low Level Bridge was built which
was a great improvement for transportation. It
wasnt until October of this year that the Edmonton
Yukon & Pacific Railway engine NO. 26 was able
to pull a small passenger train over the Bridge into
the town of Edmonton. Business became very
competitive and consequently relations between the C
& E and the E.Y. & P. (the latter was part
of the Canadian Northern Line) was not very good.
The C
& E now known as the C.P.R., was pros­
pecting a direct
entry into Edmonton.
It wasnt until 1909 that the wheels of motion
slowly started
to move; the C.P. R. had completed a
large land deal in Edmonton. This brought a sharp
into the lime light. The land deal was
fairly simple. The C.P.R. had bought enough prop­
erty along 109th St. to provide for a right of way
from the river bank north to 104th Ave. and the site
for a station complete with yard trackage. While
unopposed in
Edmonton, the C.P.R.s decision
had generated plenty of heat in Strathcona. There
were questions
of a traffic deck on the Railway
bridge and
how far the city of Edmonton which
city status in 1904, should go in con­
cessions to the C.P.R. The most controversial
The excavation for the first pier of the high level b
ridge taking place during the winter of 1910 -11.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3337.
question of all–amalgamation of the two comm­
It finally took place however, on Feb. 1 st,
to form the foundations of the modern day
city of Edmonton.
Regarding the
traffic deck of the Railway b~idge,
the two municipalities were ready to contnbute
$175,000, the Provincial Govt., would also give
financial assistance, and the Federal Govt., were
to put up another $100,000. The C.P.R.s terms
that the City agree to cut off 1 02nd and 103rd
Aves., and
assume responsibility for any property
damage. Opponents
had their own ideas. They
wanted the C.P.R.
to go ahead with the Bridge
but leave the traffic deck out of the picture. Mayor
Lee championed the proposed agreemen.t
front of all the opposition and city council
backed him up.
As a result the agreement went to
the voters in November, 1909, and was officially
approved by a majority of 1,300 plus. With the
traffic deck now approved, the C.P.R. began to
speed up its end of the bargain. It took very little
time before the piledriving had begun.
July 9th, 1910, issue of the Edmonton
gave a brief description of what the new
bridge would
be like–Edmonton citizens are given
first idea of what the High Level bridge will
look like when completed. They saw a large
picture prepared by the architects which showed
the Bridge much
as it is today straddling the river
valley. The caption went on
to say–The structure
will be slightly over a half mile in length. The
concrete piers
will be the highest in the world.
The cost
of the Bridge is estimated at $1,500,000.
began the surveys prior to construction this
Within two years, it is expected to be in
use. The drawing shows lumber mills in the valley –
and elaborately landscaped gardens on the table­
land at the north end
of the bridge, on the west
side. More than 300
men are expected to be em­
ployed by the contractors. Life
will be risked
many times during the construction and
it is har­
dly too much to hope that the contractors will
carry through the undertaking without accident
or even loss of life. (The high level bridge did
four lives during its construction.)
The Edmonton Bulletin
gave more elaborate
of this new bridge—The bridge will
be supported by thirty two piers and pedestals.
Four large central piers
of concrete will be built,
one at each side of the -river at the commencement
of the water and two in the stream. These piers
be 138 feet high, the distance from the low
water level taken in July, 1906, to the top of the
superstructure. The
top of the rails will be 198.8
or almost 200 feet above the low water level. The central piers
will be 20 feet square at the
The C.P.R. rails will occupy the center of the
and on either side will run the street rail­
way tracks.
40 feet below the level of the tracks,
will be the traffic deck of the bridge, with a road­
of 23 feet in width and an 8 foot sidewalk
on each side. On the Edmonton side, the road­
will approach the bridge at about the present
On the Strathcona side, it will turn out and
rise 25 or 30 feet by a 5 percent grade. At no
place on either side of the bridge, will there be a
level crossing; the roads
passing in every case either
over or under the railway line.
The tracks
will be bridged at Saskatchewan Ave.,
will pass over a bridge at· Hardisty Ave., (98
th Ave.) running north along the lane between
ninth and tenth streets. From Sask. Ave., to the
west abutment
of the bridge, there will be a 10
percent grade. The C.P.R.
have provided the city
with a right of way from Sask. Ave. to the north
end of the bridge for sidewalks and roadways.
By the present street car route over the
low level
bridge, the distance
from the corner of First street,
to the C.P.R. station in Strathcona
is four miles. The distance between the same two
points by way of the high level bridge will be
2 7/8 miles, a reduction of 1 1/8 miles. On the
basis of a five minute car service, this would mean
a saving
of 408 miles per day. While the Leth­
is bigger, the Edmonton structure with its
traffic accommodation is very unique in the
In Aug., 1910 a $100,000 contract for the
of the gravel required in the construction
of the piers of the high level bridge, was awarded
to Huff Gravel Company, Edmonton. Fifty thou­
sand yards of gravel were to be delivered by the
Huff plant to both sides of the river where it was
required. The cost ….. approximately $2.00 per yard.
In a ten hour day, the Company was hauling 500
of gravel. The contract for the sand used
in the construction of the piers had been let to
Jos. Hostyn and would be brought to the bridge
from Clover Bar. A spur would run out from the
E.Y.&P. train track on the
north bank of the river
to facilitate the unloading of the sand from the
cars. As a interesting note, Mr. Hostyn was
also one of the builders of Edmontons Incline
Railway …. ref. June issue, 1980 Canadian Rail.
The digging
of the foundations for the piers was
done by Pennie and Kerr of Edmonton, who had
the sub-contract
for all the excavations on both
The pier excavations are well under way in this view
looking south in March 1911. Almost ready for the
frameworks for the concrete pouring.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3318.
Taken from the river, we see that the piers have reached
the north bank of the river valley. Note the box car on
the old Edmonton Yukon & Pacific tracks in the centre.
Fort Edmonton stands on the top right, while the new
legislative buildings are taking shape.
Provincial Archives of Alberta A2987.
sides of the river. There was 18,000 yards of mat­
to be excavated on the north side of· the
river. The excavation for this was approx. 40 by
60 feet and 60 feet deep.
All the piers would be supported by concrete
piling. On Oct. 17th, 1910, just after midnight
the night shift were ready to make concrete when
all of a sudden the bank of the excavation began
to cave in. In less than ten minutes, the entire bank
had caved in, smashing the timber wall to pieces.
The concrete mixers, boilers, and derricks used for
this excavation had precipitated into the giant
cavity and covered with earth. When the cave in
occurred, it sounded like a crash of thunder and
the men working at the top of the embarkment
felt the shock. There was an estimated loss of
$5000.00 and delayed work for approx. two weeks.
The firm of John Gunn & Co., built a black­
smith shop and office plus a large bunk house for
the construction workers during the building of
the bridge. One major set back occurred in the early
spring of 1912, when rain penetrated the drill holes.
At night the rain froze causing them to expand.
The tops of the concrete piers had to be blasted
off and repoured again. This delayed work for
approx. 6 months. Another delay occurred in the
fall of 1912, when the workers went on strike for
several weeks. Their pay was 45c an hour but the
strike ended when the workers agreed to work at a
rate of 50c an hour for a nine hour day. Now that
these delays were over, there was still alot of hard
work to be done.
One of the 125-foot piers all
ready for the steel. In the
background is St. Stephens co
llege, one of the first of
the University of Alberta
Provincial Archives of
Al be rta B331 5.
The substructure of the bridge is of concrete; four main
river piers each about 125 feet high. The Walters lumber
mill is in the background while the E. Y. & P. tracks
are in the foreground.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3316.
116 R A I L
A-There are also 62 smallet piers which support the approach
spans. These can be seen in the background looking south.
Ballard Brothers brickyard is in the right background.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3331. .
the staging is complete for one of the 288-foot
main spans, with the span resting upon it. This supports
the steel work until it is firmly in place.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3329.
The falsework consisted mainly of five strongly braced
towers which supported the steel during construction.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3311.
The steel for bridge was fabricated by the Cana­
dian Bridge Co.
of Walkerville, Onto It was shipped
to Strathcona where a storage and erection yard
had been built.
The steel work started from the
south side of the River Valley to the north side.
There were several carloads
of steel all ready for
use on the bridge. Timber cut according to specifi­
cations were in sorted piles all ready for use.
The erecting traveler
and its crew were going to
be very busy from now on. The travelers long
arms would pick up
the steel including the pieces
the large network of braces; it would
then swing and hold them in place until bolted
together. To accommodate the large traveler,
rails were laid
on the extreme edges of the struc
ture which later became the railway deck. A stan­
dard guage railway
track, which later became
the main railway line, was laid beneath the travel­
er. This enabled
the flat cars to be pushed forward
their material. There were also two rigid arms
extending from them to the structure. The high
winds which often blew along the river could now
The hoisting engines with their complement of
boilers were situated on top of the tall framework
of the traveler. This provided the power for the
lifting etc., of the bridge sections. A simple twist
of the wrist or a wave of the hand signalled in­
structions to the engineer on top of the erecting
crane. Any rope or chain tackle could be pulled or
slackened … the huge crane could travel backward
to pick up more material from a flat car under­
neath the crane and carry it forward to its proper
place in the bridge structure. Hand signals were
very beneficial especially
for the engineer. As each
span was constructed and erected, a fresh set of
blueprints were always needed as they told which
pieces were
to be loaded nest.
The locomotive crane now had double work to
do. It not only unloaded the cars of steel as they
arrived but it picked up and reloaded the material
on a flat car as required by the erecting crane.
This is a good view showing the traveller used in the
construction. It was arranged to erect not only the main
spans but also the other spans without falsework. The rigid a
rms are extended to counterbalance the high winds
in the valley. The sidewalk and roadway are below.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B330B.
A locomotive had just pushed a load of material under the
traveller which is to lift it into position when needed.
Note how the roadway and sidewalk curve out from beneath
the tracks upon the top deck.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3309.
The railway deck under construction. The track in the
centre is what the traveller rode on. The men are walking
on the train tracks while the street car tracks are to be
laid where the boxes are piled. Not the progress on the
legislative buildings in the background.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3347.
The steel work was comprised mostly of Pratt
type trusses approx. 288 feet in length between
the centres of the end bearings. The approach
spans were shorter; out of 13 of these, 7 were each
96 1/2 feet long and the remainder was 47 feet
the erection of the steel work, a false­
work of timber similar to a trestle were erected
between each set of piers. When the steel erection
advanced, the lower members rested upon this
falsework. When the next pier was reached, the
traveler moved beyond that pier which a second
timber falsework was erected. After each span was
the falsework was removed. Early in 1913,
the steel work had reached the north bank and the
last girder was placed.
At the same time the railway deck was being
built, so was
the traffic deck below. The two side­
walks were
supported in the clear on brackets
fastened to the ends of the roadway floor beams.
These were
attached to panel points of the main
trusses insuring an even solid
The first Canadian Pacific passenger train over
the North Saskatchewan River was on June 2nd,
1913, on the newly completed High Level Bridge.
Train No.
33 had seven coaches, including a baggage
and express car,
two first class coaches, a diner,
car and a sleeper. The train left 82nd Ave.
(Whyte Ave.)
station at 11 :00 A.M. and reached
the end of steel north of the river at 11: 1 0 A,M.,
returning later back to the southside C.P.R. station.
The train order which had authorized this First
Passenger Train over
this new bridge read as follows:
To engine 2100, operator and all northbound
trains, Strathcona, -Engine 2100 run extra Strath­
cona to Edmonton and return to Strathcona with
right over all trains. G.F. -dispatcher.
It is interesting to note that Engineer Fuller who
had been at the throttle on this initial trip over
the North Sask. River, was also the fireman on the
locomotive which hauled the first C.P.R. train over
the South Sask. River in 1883. Other members
The first passenger train corning off the bridge into
Edmonton on June 2 1913. Mayor William Short and special
guests were on the innaugural run. Note the date 1911
on the concrete pier (just below the tender). Its still
there today.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3302.
A The big day finally arrived on June 2 1913 when the first
C.P.R. train steamed across the high level bridge to
create this historic scene. The C.P.R., which had been
serving Strathcona for almost 22 years, gave a free ride
to anyone who could squeeze aboard the special train.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3303.
B Construction of the roadway was still in progress when
this view was taken. The top of the roadway is 19 2
below the base of the rail and is made of creosoted
blocks 14 thick at the crown. There is galvanized iron
under the tracks to stop cinders from falling through.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3335.
C The comple te d roadway looking north. The bridge is 52
yards less than half a mile long, and the south end is
about 10.34 feet higher than the north end.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3307.
of the crew were: Fireman J.E. Cameron, Con­
L. Wice. Brakeman F. Gordnier, Dining
Car Conductor J.E. Tedham and Pullman Car
Conductor W.F. Brough. Some
of the local dig·
nataries abroad the train were:
Messrs: J. Duggan,
Pres. Campbell of the Exhibition Assoc., and Alder­
man Douglas. Supt. Young
of the Canadian Bridge
was also on board this historical crossing.
On August
11th, 1913, the first streetcar had
crossed the bridge -arfd a regular 15 minute service
over the High Level had begun on the
same after­
noon. Some
of the first streetcar passengers were:
Mayor William Short, Commissioner Chalmers,
and a streetcar Supt. whose name
was Woodroffe.
passenger reported this first trip as follows:
From the streetcar, one looks down from a dizzy
height into the murky waters of the Saskatchewan
without so much as a handrail to break the gaze
into the abysmal depths below. Many people will
that dizzy feeling as they look out of the
passing over the bridge, the cars so near
to the outer edge. The fact that doing so will not
affect the safety of the car and will .not help re­
lieve the shiver of apprehension the passengers will
feeL By Sept. 13th, 1913, the traffic deck of the
bridge and the sidewalks
on either side of the
structure were now open and
in regular use.
The pedestrian walkway opened
on August 26 1913 and the
Edmonton Journal of that day
said: liThe exhilirating air
at this height is just the
thing for the morning constit­
• Note the street car
traQ~S just above.
Provincial Archives of
Alberta B3306.
A splendid view of the bridge with a train heading south.
The river valley is about half a mile wide and 160 feet
deep, while the river itself is 800 to 900 feet wide with
a depth ranging from 8 feet in summer to 40 feet in spring.
The current here is about 6 miles an hour.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3313.
Its August 111913 and the first street car of the Edmonton
Radial Railway is seen making its first trip across the
nearly completed structure. The roadway and sidewalks are
still under construction.
Provincial Archives of Alberta B3299.
The completed bridge looking north, showing the traffic on
the road. The sign on the Railway shows that the Edmonton
C.P.R. station is one mile away.
Provincial Archives of Alberta BA 424.
What better photo of the high-level bridge could be found
than that of a train and street carr passing each other
on their appointed rounds? Many hand-coloured post cards
were available in the early 1920lS ans showed this scene.
City of Edmonton Archives.
A view looking south-east showing a street car crossing
the bridge. Today the river valley road runs where the
telegraph pole shows in the foreground.
Provincial Archives of Alberta BA 425.
A southbound street car approaching the bridge from a
small incline leading up to the top deck. The roadway and
sisewalk curve out for northbound traffic leaving
the bridge. Today all auto traffic is southbound.
Provincial Archives of Alberta PA 58/16.
During the spring of 1915, some streetcar passen­
gers had a severe fright;
their southbound car had
at the north end of the High Level Bridge.
there was no danger of the car toppling
off the bridge. Passengers could not dismount
unless they climbed through a window for the
doors opened not onto the bridge itself, but
right into empty space! During the cold winter
months, passengers were very concerned as to
whether the streetcars would travel opposite their
normal tracks across the structure. Northbound
traffic took the west., (left track) rather than the
usual east (right track) side. Should an emergency
the passengers could have gotten off into
the center of the bridge and not on the edge of
the structure. South bound traffic would then
travel on the left or east track.
In 1931, an expenditure of $108,000 had been
spent on the south approach to provide a better
entrance onto the traffic deck of the bridge. At
the same time, provision was also made for a new west
entrance when traffic conditions would justi­fy its use in
the future.
The High Level Bridge however, was not always
for the purpose of getting from one bank to
the other. The Edmonton Journal reported in their
June 20th, 1932, edition as follows: Defying
death in a perilous ride, an unknown motorist
drove his car across the top deck of the High Level
sometime between 1 and 7 A.M. Sunday.
The. right wheels of the machine were with 3
of toppling over the ·east side of the bridge and
only a third streetcar rail saved the driver and
passengers he may have had from death!
From the records available, the first renovation
for the bridge, were started on June 11th,
1946. It had been suggested that four traffic lanes,
two on each side of the C.P. R. tracks on the top
deck, be added to accommodate city trolley buses.
At this time, the city was starting to change from
streetcars to trolley and motor buses. (The last
streetcar operation officially ended on Sept. 2nd,
1951). In May, 1948, Mr. P. L. Pratley, a bridge
designer from Montreal had a similar plan.
In one
Now you can see why a street car trip on the edge of the b
ridge was a hair-raising trip. Notice how the doors open
on to the bridge .deck instead of out into empty space. Car 40 is northbound, the
southbound tracks are on the rig
ht of the photo, and the train tracks run down the ce
ntre (where its safe~). The date was Feb. 141948. Pro
vincial Archives of Alberta GS 193/2.

of his plans the roadway was to be removed from
the lower deck which was to be renovated to ac­
commodate pedestrians and cycl ists. Both these
plans were
defeated in Nov., 1950. by city voters,
due to high costs involved. I n the late fall of 1962.
the 2,478 foot long steel structure had contracted
22 inches when the temperature dropped down to
27° below zero. The measurement was compared
with the bridge length at a temperature of 80°
above zero. Expansion plates allow for variations
in length caused
by heat and cold weather.
In the spring of 1981, as part of Edmontons
Project Uni, southbound buses now travel up 97th
Ave. beneath the Govt Centre development and
over the traffic deck of the High Level Bridge.
for the first time in Edmontons history,
trolley bus coaches would regularly travel across
the Bridge.
The High Level Bridge took three years to build
and cost the lives of four people. Work was started
in Sept., 1910, and completed in 1913 at a cost
of more than $2,000,000. The cost was shared
by the Provincial Govt, the C.P.R. and the City
of Edmonton. The bridge is 2,478 feet long and
43 feet wide. Height from the water level approx.
160 feet. Wooden blocks which originally made
up the traffic floor of the bridge were very haz­
ardous in wet weather, thus giving way to cement.
Many times, the south entrance had been called
the beginning of the Alaska Highway.
to World War II lights on the traffic deck
of the railway bridge had faced upwards, provid­
ing viewers
with a breathtaking sight. As a safety
precaution during the War, the lights were turned
The Bridge took approx. 1,000,000 feet of
steel, weighing approx 17,200,000 pounds. It
took 700,000 board feet of lumber and nearly
1,400,000 rivets. A total of 25,000 barrels of ce­
ment were poured into piers supporting the bridge.
The surface area is 860,000 square feet. The span
will carry weight of 30,000 tons or more. Approx.
5,000 gallons of paint are used every few years
to prevent rust. Mr. Phillips B. Motley of Montreal,
who was a famous C.P. R. Construction engineer,
was the builder. He retired in 1937 after 45 years
of service with the Railway.
From the fur traders to the passenger train, it
took only a matter of 75 years. But if a fur trader
A Another view of car 40 on the bridge. It has been derailed
(luckily not half way across~) and the men are trying to
sort the problem out. Note the date 1911 on the pier.
The photo was taken on February 14 1948.
Provincial Archives of Alberta GS 193/1.
B One of the last views of the street car line on the bridge
was this view of car 80 derailed on its approach on
May 21 1951. 3~ months later this scene would only be a
passing memory. However car 80 has been found in the Peace
River district o~ Northern Alberta, has been brought back
to Edmonton and is awaiting restoration.
Provincial Archives of Alberta GS 830.
in the early 1800s had seen visions of steel mon­
sters crossing
the North Saskatchewan River on a
that was 160 feet high, he would surely
have been
suspected of dipping into the liquid
of the trading store!!!!!!!!
In June 1983 it had marked the 70th Anniver­
of the offi~ial completion of this awe ins­
pi ring structure which gracefu lIy spans the color­
North Saskatchewan River Valley.
1. Alberta History Magazine, Winter, 1978.
Edmonton, A History, by James MacGregor,
Hurtig Publishers,
3. The Best Edmonton Stores by Tony Cashman,
Hurtig Publishers, 1976.
4. The very friendly and helpful staff of the City
of Edmonton Archives for the use of their early
newspaper files.
Staff of the Rutherford Library at the Univer­
sity of Alberta for a copy of the Nov., 1913,
issue of the Canadian Railway and Marine World.
6. A very special
and grateful thanks to the writers
mother, Mrs. June Marsh who performed the
final editing and typing of this completed article.
GONE ARE THE DAYS. One of the last traces of the street
car system disappeared on March 27 1967 as C.P.R. crews, us
ing a steam crane, removed the last of the street car t
racks. The poles for the trolley wire still survive.
Twelve years later a street car briefly reappeared when
car No. 1 was operated over the bridge as part of the
75th anniversay celebrations (see Canadian Rail Jan. 1980).
Provincial Archives of Alberta J-74.
Do editors have more fun
than people 1
By Pat Webb
If you read
only the occasional railway enthusiast
publication, you may find the format a little old-hat
and the method of information retrieval guaranteed
to make the
most hard-headed reader more than a
little green with envy. There is the impression that it
works like this: The Editor, learning of an impending
last run, makes his reservations as much as possible
in advance, boards a 747
for the 1000-mile flight,
arranges to ride
the locomotive pilot: cab, the mid­
train dome(s) and drumhead signs; eats, sleeps and,
if the
truth were known, drinks -not water -in
every car in the consist, brainwashed the brass
statistics and returned by the same 747 to set down
on paper, at his leisure, his impressions of
experiences denied to the majority of us because (1)
we are
not Editors, (2) we have to monitor numerous,
offspring who have (3) a multitude of variable
activities at
any and all hours of the day and night,
of which require transportation, including a
The aforementioned offspring also
possess (4) dogs, (5) cats,
(6) turtles and (7) fathers,
the latter being
encumbered by (8) houses, (9) lawns
and shrubs, (10) a steady
employment, which
interferes with most leisure-time activities and (11)
wives, usually
of importance in the order given.
With such odds against a day of train-spotting and
it must be a source of amazement to us all
that any
photographs of trains, either moving or
stationary, are ever taken at all. In fact, for most of us
who have surrendered to the
biological urge to find a
dayfor the observation and recording of railways and
railway trains requ ires
planning of the skill and scope
is usually associated with the launch of a space
through an arpeture that appears as
frequently and as large as Haileys Comet. Having
weighed the pros and cons
of this extraordinary
preparatory requirement, the question then arises as
to who -subsequently -has the most fun.
Having promised to prepare an article on a railway
subject, two
unsuspecting fathers began the
impossible task of trying to escape the myriad
responsibilities of domestication. The office
computer, a current CP RAIL timetable and weather
for the past hundred years or so were
invaluable, but
only brute bribery finally succeeded.
imminent arrival of in-laws, working wives and
shaggy lawns
notwithstanding, freedom was won by
bribery, by promising to take the children to the
mountains for a day.
That did it.
beautiful Tuesday morning in June sparkled with
sunshine flashing from the finest equipment modern
technology could produce. Japanese cameras,
binoculars, Japanese taperecorders,
Japanese black-and-white and colour film and
enough (Canadian) food and drink to survive the
crossing of the Sahara (Africa). The latter were to be
needed. These technological benefits were
distributed unequally between two fathers, four
bubble-gummers and Cindy, the game and ever­
faithful mutt and taxed the carrying capacity of the
camper on every undulation. It was a matter of
incredulity that a freight train was overtaken within
30 miles of the start. It was also sheer chance.
Number 8612 was working the west end of the Fort
Macleod yard, before resuming her daily jaunt west
Crowsnest and the greener forests of British
Columbia. As it backed past us, a friendly hogger
waved everyone in the camper up into the cab.
Knowing the limited size of the Geeps head-end,
Cindy wisely decided that she and I should stay on
terra firma. Moments later,
Number 8612 lumbered
moose-like down the uneven roadbed, with her one
working horn half grunting, half crowing, because
nine-year-old Bill couldnt quite get the knack of
working the handle. Fortunately, there are few
eligible moose around Fort Macleod in the mating
When Number 8612 was hitched up, ready to haul
train west, there was a race 15 miles west to
Scotchmans Coulee, where the line gouged its way
through the crest of a ridge on a 1.5% hill. Trailing the
unit was a leased B%LE F7B, Number 727, and 57
loads. The units would be working up the hill.
However, the
only time a Westphalian camper could
outrace anything would be in a Grand Prix de
Watkins Glen for tractor-trailers. The upcoming race
was to be
no exception.
In a Le Mans start in reverse, we
ground to a stop
the Peigan Indian Reserve, with the sounds of
labouring EMD products filling the air. Cameras
flying, two adults, four scroungers and one dog
exploded simultaneously from the camper. If there is
anything more breath-taking than Christmas
Rail No. 1409 takes on fuel prior
to departure in December 1974.
Photo by Pat Webb.
morning, it is the Peigan Indian Reserve dump on a
morning in June. Where else can you find a dead
horse, a
five-gallon milk can (dented) and a million
other things more interesting than an old freight
attention was rivetted on the train. He
stopped in his
tracks and, in an effort to avoid a
collision with all that expensive technology, I made a
clumsy jump and landed with a thump in the largest
burdock patch in southern Alberta. Cindy, not to be
out of these apparently primitive ceremonies,
doing stiff-legged jumps in circles in the knee­
high grass,
trying to espy the enemy we were so
obviously attacking.
Friend Dave made the top of the embankment and
quickly set up his equipment. With new, unwashed
jeans on
that fitted like an iron corset, I headed for
the top of the cut at a lope, which began to convert to
a Bannister
four-minute mile as 8612 made noises
like the
sound-track from Gangbusters. My arrival
on the
knoll was as graceful as a medieval knight with
bees in
the back-porch. I remember thinking bad
thoug hts a
bout my M issis who had i nsted that, for a
day in the
country, Mr. Denims revenge was the only
suitable garb.
a dead heat.
While 8612 and train panted up and
throuqh the cut from the east, the enthusiastic train-
watchers arrived from the west. So much for the
While 8612 grunbled away to the west, the orderof
the day was coffee for Dave and me and soda-pop for
the remaining off-spring; this was enough to silence
them while we picked off burrs and decided which
junk we should lug away. By now it was mid-morning
and the canned pop only whetter the insatiable
appetites of the active participants. The growling of
their stomachs was. surpassed in volume and
intensity only by their anguished pleas for food.
our (lying) assurances that we were only
twenty minutes (40 miles) from our lunch-stop, the
wailing and gnashing of teeth became louder and
more ominous. We ate on the move.
At Crowsnest Lake, the whiners happily
entertained themselves in a swampy pool full of
tadpoles,minnows and other slimy unidentifiables.
8612 failed to appear. Curious, we checked with the
operator at Crowsnest, to find that the two units had
to double Frank Hill, a manoeuver rarely
necessary since the days
of steam. And we had
missed it. .
Five miles away,
FreightTrain 994 was due within a
half-hour. Packing the now mudstained waifs into
the VW camper, we reced westward again. The best
camera angle appeared to be about 100 feet up the
of the mountain from the road. Don, Jon and I
managed to
climb to the location just as the lead unit
of the freight stormed by. Dave and Billy had reached
spot about half-way up. Simultaneously, a Cessna
180 roared overhead at
tree-top level. Billy, looking
up, lost h is balance on the steep slope. Dave grabbed
Dorothy-Ann began to yell and Cindy went into
her routine all over again. Thus ended our exciting
encounter with 994.
this was the last activity planned for this
afternoon and, in view of the possible relay of
information eastward about trainchasing in the
Rocky Mountains, we decided that discretion was
the better part of valour and went home. But hope
springs eternal! The bubble-gummers are bound to
grow into teenagers and, some summer soon, we will
once again make a pilgrimage to Crowsnest Pass or
north to Kicking Horse for a couple of days of action
around the Spiral Tunnels.
wont need a 747 to get there; the stu rdy VW will
Along the way, we will enjoy some of the
most spectacular scenery in North America. Perhaps
we can
justify yet another trip, to ensure complete
And the choice as to whether we participate
entirely or relax and enjoy the activity is our own. Do
people have more fun than Editors? You will have to
work the answer out for yourself.
By Robert F. Legget
Canadas oldest railway tunnel is still little known
except by some of the railway buffs of eastern
Canada, and the citizens of Brockville, Ontario.
Brockville? In the flat plain of the River St. Law­
rence? So it is,
and the tunnel is there in Brock­
ville, still
to be seen by those interested, after 120
years of service. Adding to its unique interest is
the fact that it should never have been driven in
the fi rst place!
Railway mania (as it was known in the Eng­
world) gripped Canada in the 1850s
so strongly that the citizens of the fledging town
of Brockville decided that they must have a rail-
way. Located 333 km east of Toronto, and 217
km west of Montreal, Brockville would eventually
come to be an important divisional point on the
Grand Trunk Railway (later Canadian National)
between the two major cities.
In 1852, the citizens of Brockville chartered a
new line, the Brockville and Ottawa Railway,
to tap the great forest resources of the Ottawa
valley, for shipment of lumber from its wharves
down the St. Lawrence. In 1853, a contract was
with a British firm of contractors, Sykes
and Company, for the construction of the
line; clearing of the route started soon after.
Following the example set in 1830 by the Can­
terbury and Whitstable Railway in southern En-
Canadas oldest railway tunnel seen from its waterfront end and facing north to the City of Brockville. Canadian Pacific
recently deeded the tunnel to the city which plans to develop a park at the river end of the tunnel. using funds willed to the
city for this purpose by a prominent citizen.
~lltmmtionitI ~ui[lunll nnb ~tcRnr ltnbiglliion @lIibt.
L·.l,,AD..l CElTR..lL lU1LW,AY.
fbe opelling of tbis Line uCLweeu Ottawa nnd Carleton Plnce, wbere it CUOllcct.s
with tbe Brockdllc and Ottawa Line, wa~ celebrated on Lbo 15t·h ult. b:1 a grnod
excursion from Ollawn to Sand Point, tbe northern terminus uf latter Lino. 11
Train consisting of eight pnsscugcr cars, cont.niuioJ; auonL 300 guests, proceeded to
Carleton Plnce. n distanco of 28 miles froDl Ottawa, in nbout au bour. rhe roulo lies
through n rich nod well scltiE::d agricultural couulry. lmL which, at present, is tDucb
by tbe dClBSlntiog effects of tho lote destructive fires. A further rUll of 31
miles brought tbe Train t..o its destiuotion nt Sand Point, beautifully situated on tbe
banks of tbo Ottnwa Ricr, wbic:b, at thii Point, i$ fuUy 3 miles wide, nnd studded
blre oud therc with islands, rivnllillg in beauty tho fnr·famed Loke of tbe Tbousnud
blnnd~. .A. sumptloua lunch wa·3 here pro,ided in 00 elegantly doeorated room,
presided orcr by tbc Hon. J. J. C. Abbott, 01 Montrenl, After 0. number of toast~ had
been proposed o.nd rcspouded to, t~c party lcfL for 011 <1n, JUaking thc rchlCll trip in
nbouttbrcc bours,
Tbe complction of tbi:3 fir:)tlink in thc great. chnin of Rnilw(L.ys-dcstincd, we t.rust,
at no distant doy, to eoun(,lt thc grcat. oceaos of tbc Enst aed West-reBccts much
credit. on
tbe enterprising projccrors, who hn,o, amid roany diffieultio8, suec~cdcd jn
building and equipping tbe Linc in n mnnner t.hat \ill alt.rnct, we leel flMtlTed, a lorgc
sbarn of travel.
The rnDniug nrrangements of this Line, in connectiou witb the .i3rockillu J:. OUawR.,
arc ery complct.e, and \ill be found 011 pnge 45. At llrockfillc closc connections are
made with the Grand fruuk Hnilwny, nud we notice the Company no,ert.iscs shortly to
run sleeping CDrs througlJ without change bctweeu Toronto nno Ottawa,-a ~reat bOOD,
whicb will be dilly apprccintcd by tTexeliers to 3ml [rom the Capital.
Traina or~ run h MO:iTRUL Tnn:. (Srp/(mber 16,18jO.
H, ABBOTT, Director, and W. R. VoRsLn, Secretary &. Trea..·lcr, Bnocx.:YrLLE, 01.
Brookville to Perth aud Sand Point. I Sand Point and Perth to Brookville.
~ Sum.. r..,. ~I •. ,. .,.1 s .. … I~ ~ .. ~
LF:,n ),. V p:w~ P.l! J LF:A.£ ),. W £..)/1 f.
O,BROCKVILLE S 0. a 00 44<) !,!SAND POINT ...... . . 5 9 535
Grll.nd Trunk June … , 810355 450 5,Arnpnor .. …. , ,. . 55 91 :; 51
5 F81r6eJd . . . .. 4
1.. 13.PllkenhfltD ….. . . 6 48 9 6 15
!l;~~tc: ::::::::::::::~:~:: :S:f k to 17Sndd.n··p~~c~:ji;i··::::: I§I:;:~ :~:;
21 Irish Creek .. 9.08 5.2 5,.7 n ………. : …. . 8.45,1u.51 ;.Z;
• s , ………………. , …… 5.4 5.55 trausons ………. , ……. , 8.40j ……… .
~. Fall •.. c.:, ….. :. , …….. ~ ~ ~ OIlERTH ………………….. ~ITIo 5:ro
s Falls..,. … ,,, … 7.64 .. ~1.~1 6:PlkeFa.lIs …. · ………….. , ….. , 9.00 5.40
FRIIs ……. ,· ……….. 8.14. ., … 11.~ 12;Smilhs F~~I •……… , .. , A.r!:.:…:.:.: 9·2D1_6..:~
?i ~~~{~~~::..;::~.~ >f~:-~ t~ 1::37~.. {.~forJ;~t::::-:·:·:·:i:·::·.:~·:~ .. ll!.: ::~; ::~~
45 C-Lm PLACK Jo.e ……. 10.2/ S.I~ 7.00 6IBeU, …………………… 10.39 ….. …. .
~ i~~~~2ce:: :::;:::: ::~:~ :~.~ U!:::: il~~~f~~:;;::::.·.~:::~~:~·::: .J ~ ~~i:~~~
G! ArnprioT ……. , …. , .. ,, … !lJ.35 9·53 6.011 731hand Trunk JUDe ……….. 11.4.> 12,42 9,13
;4 SAND POINf …. , .. ~R·R,·,:;.i~o~ ~:~~1::¥. ,jBROCKVJLLE …… ·~R·R;~i:.ll:~. ~:~ ~:!~
DBOCIVrLLE-Connc::u with Grand Trunk Raihva.y, East nnd West.
S.l.SD POlsT-Conneets with St.ea.mers for Portage dll Fort, Pembroke, &C.
C.RLr.TO~ PLAC JUSCTJOX-CODDCC18 with Cnnada Central Ra.ilway to rrom Ottawa.
CANADA CENTRAL RAILWAY. (Selltfmou )6, 1870.
Brllckvillo to Ottawa. Ottawa to Erockville.
Yli STATOOSI. E … I E.,. I 0AT>0, I E.,..i E …
. ~1r-iJ. -·I-i L!A.VG A)/PWI-
DROCKVIT.LE.. .. hS 05 • ~ O,OTlA IV A…. . . 900 5 M
45 CARLETON PLACt:: Jl,lf,C . 0 241 7 00 • 6 BriiaDD16 … … . 9 185 531
4; Appleton.. ,10.31 7 Oi. 9lDells COTDeT! • ,…. • 9.2i 602, . 4g
~fbt.oD …. ,. 10 38 7 14 . 15lSLitlsvllle. ,….. . . •…• ~ 4J) 6 &21
58:Shttsvlllo •. ,11 04 7 41 2tIMbtoo., …. , . 10 12 G 41 ..
~ ~~::D~~m~~~. . ., H ~ ~ ~ . ~ ~~~:.~~~ PLACE j~~c • :. i8 ~I ~ ~ : .
i30ITAWA .. ,., ARRIVr.,!~~1 ~,~ 73!BROCKVILLE ARRI£ 1~ ~~! ~ ~8
CARLETON PLACr. Ju~cTlo-AIi TralDS make close coooccliocs wlib Brockville A::: Ottawa
Railway to
a.nd from DrockviHe.
gland, the British contractors took the view that
no railway was complete unless it included a tunnel!
In laying out the Brockville end of the line, there­
fore, the contractors located the terminal on the
waterfront in the center of the town, the approach
to which would have to be in-tunnel, under the
center of the little town.
Those who know Brockville may recall that
the older buildings and civic center are located
on a slight rise above the surrounding St. Law­
rence plain. It
was through this small hill that this
first tunnel was driven, right under Market Street,
with a total length of 510 meters.
Samuel Keefer was the consultant to the
railway company and he protested strongly
against this location. He pointed out that ac­
to the waterfront could easily be achieved
bya line skirting the hill to the west of the town.
His advice was spurned, some accounts stating
that a plebiscite of townsmen was held which
fully supported the idea of the tunnel. And
so a subcontract was arranged by the contr­
actors with John Booth and his son, David,
from England. A grand opening ceremony
was held, with full masonic honors, on Septem­
ber 16, 1854 and work began. Excavation was
to begin with, being in soil, but before
the end of the year, bedrock was reached. The
primitive methods then available for rock ex­
cavation soon slowed up the work.
Funds ran out in 1855 and work was sus­
pended. It was not resumed until 1858 when
new financing was arranged. Progress was so
slow that it was not until December 31, 1860
that the first small train, a wood-burning loco­
motive and two coaches, came through the
completed tunnel. The tunnel was lined through­
out with stone masonry, placed in brick-sized
Good maintenance through the years
kept the tunnel in good shape. When I walked
through it a few years ago, it was difficult to
imagine that it had then been in use for well
over 110 years.
The railway was slowly extended to the north
but it was not until 1867 that the line reached
the shores of the Ottawa River at Sand Point.
With this goal achieved, the company then
went into the steamship business on Chats Lake,
competition with an existing steamboat com­
pany. Bitter rivalry resulted and inevitably
amalgamation took place.
branch line to the little town of Ottawa,
from Carleton Place, was built in 1870 .
the building of the Canadian Pacific Rail­
way, the little line was one of the many bought
up by the new company; Carleton Place was
soon an important point on the CPR transcon­
tinental line. And so the Canadian Pacific Rail-
way Company came to be the owners of the
Brockville tunnel.
The small cross-station of. the tunnel neces­
sitated the use of small-scale locomotives, once
the CPR began to develop its fine modern roIl­
stock. Two small 2-6-0s were specially st­
at Smiths Falls for use through the Brock­
tunnel until 1954; (for those interested,
they were of the J class, Nos. 3011 and 3063.)
. Diesel-shunting locomotives took their place
for the final years of service, the last use of the
tunnel being in 1970. Soon after rails were
lifte-d. But the tunnel is still there, as are the
great oak doors at either end which gave it
asked the Toronto Transit Commission
to try for a better deal for a new type of street
car from the Ontario Governments Urban Trans­
portation Development Corp.
The executive committee has questioned why
the TTC should be paying more for a long artic­
ulated street car than Santa Clara, Calif. The TTC
has also been asked to justify going to the long
The new street cars will be able to carry 150
passengers; regular ones carry 90.
The TTC will ask for a meeting with UTDC
Is on revising the proposed purchase agree­
ment, said David Phillips, TTC general secretary.
TTC officials, however, did not hold out much
hope of getting a change.
another claim to fame. They were solemnly
at sunset and opened at sunrise, to keep
out wandering cattle, and to help maintain an
equitable temperature within the tunnel.
Interest in the tunnel is still lively in Brock­
ville. Railway
historians have pieced together
much of its history. I am indebted to one of
our foremost historians, Omer S.A. Lavallee,
the Corporate Historian and Archivist of Can­
adian Pacific
Limited, for much of the inform­
ation used here. Despite its strange history,
the Brockville tunnel is the oldest railway tunnel
in Canada and as such, worthy of recognition.
Alfred Savage, TTC. chief general manager,
told the executive committee members that the
street car to be built for Santa Clara and possibly
for other U.S. cities is different from the one the
TTC may order.
We wouldnt take the Santa Clara street car
as a gift, a senior official said in an interview.
He said the standards demanded by the TTC are
far superior.
into account the currency exchange,
technical factors and other differences, the TTC
has estimated that the price to Santa Clara is $1,
392,000 and to the TTC $1,402,000.
Mr. Savage said in an interview the price diff­
erence cou Id be as much as $40,000 if other factors
were included.
The TTC wants to spend $72.9-million to buy
52 street cars a third longer than the present ones.
.Added costs for test equipment and spare parts
would be $30-millionand modification of track
switches, pedestrian safety islands and other things
would cost $9-million.
The price for the Santa Clara car is less, officials
because it is a standard model that will be
saleable in other U.S. cities. The price for 50 San­
ta Clara street cars is based on the eventual sale
of at least 100 others to other cities.
Globe and Mail.
Car plant officially became Can Car Rail Inc.
the result of an agreement between the
Urban Transportation Development Corporation
(UTDC), an Ontario-owned Corporation, and
Hawker-Siddeley Canada Inc., the former owner
of the plant.
The agreement has created a holding company
called RailTrans which is 80 per cent owned by the
UTDC thus giving the corporation full control
of the plant.
Can Car has been well known in the past for
its financial difficulties and work shortages due to
difficulties in securing a steady flow of major
contracts. In an address to Thunder Bay Chamber
of Commerce recently, UTDC president Kirk
Foley said the companys historic reliance on
large orders will have to change. He pointed out
that orders for hundreds of streetcars, subway
cars and heavy rail cars are not only few and far
between but they also invite fierce competition
from other manufacturers, consequently driving
down both prices and profits.
Foley said Can Car Rail will willi concentrate in­
stead on smaller orders. The UTDC, which has
acting as an agent for Can Car over the past
year, has already secured two contracts in this
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) recently
approved a $185-million contract for the cons­
truction of 126 subway cars by Can Rail. The
cars will be used on the TTCs Yonge Street line,
the aging British built vehicles now in use.
The TTC will receive four of the cars in late
1985, 90 throughout 1986 and the remaining 32
by Apri I 1987. The contract is expected to em­
200 workers and will overlap with another
streetcar order for Californias Santa Clara County.
The latter contract provides for the sale of a
minimum of 50 Articulated Light Rail Vehicles
to the district, just south of San Francisc). The
total package is worth about $60 million in Can­
funds and will provide 200 man years of
work at the Thunder Bay plant. Manufacturing
will begin in the second half of 1984 with final
in 1986.
the contracts, Foley warned Chamber
members that Can Rail will have to become more
profitable and flexible within the next five years
or he would have Iittle choice but to recommend
that the facility be closed.
We are in business to make profits, he said.
We are
not in business to carryon at any cost.
To do so would be nothing better than providing
a specific
welfare program for the management
and workers of Can Car.
Since redesign work, retooling, and material
ordering have to be done before manufacturing
can start on the two contracts, Foley predicts
Can Rail will lose $6.5 million this year. Five
year projections show a pre-tax profit margin of
only 3.5 per cent and Foley insists that something
has to change or we will have to shut the facility
Part of the new strategy being proposed for the
tacility involves the use of computers to replace
manual drafting at the design stage. Foley says
designs will be
complete in a matter of hours in­
stead of weeks through use of new technology.
It is also being proposed that manufacturing
processes be developed to ensure that the product
line meets customer needs. Other recommendations
are that Can Rail purchase goods and services
whenever possible; that workers be trained
to deal with advancing technology; and that man­
agement be more flexible in its approach to labour,
the community, and customers.
The plant will never again operate at peak levels
of 1,200 workers but Foley says 300 to 500 em­
ployees will be kept working full-time and con­
tinuously. Two production lines will be put to
work in mid 1984 on the Santa Clara and TTC
contracts and the possibility of a third production
line has bot been ruled out.
In January, bids were made on contracts in
Singapore, Boston, and Sacramento California.
The Sacramento bid is to supply 26 articulated
street cars, similar to those being built for Santa
Clara, to the Sacramento Transit Development
Northern Ontario Business.
will be seeing some new passenger trains in
the next four years.
And the best part of the deal is that most of
the $40 million to be spent on the trains will have
direct benefit for the north, specifically the Can­
Car Rail
plant in Thunder Bay.
CanCar will be building new passenger cars for
the Ontario Northland Transportation Commis­
sion, which runs rail service
from North Bay north
to i passenger trains on. the line are also responsible
for traffic between Toronto and the northeast.
Ontario Northland
has inked a $12 million
contract with the Ontario government and the
Urban Transportation Development Corporation,
which owns the CanCar plant,
to buy double­
passenger cars to replace the current night
train between the
north and Toronto. The new
will come on stream in the fall of 1986,
and according to Northern Affairs Minister Leo
Bernier, the ONTC
will be acting as a showpiece
for the UTDC when it tries to market the new
train concept
to other rail lines.
The double-decker
passenger cars are rough Iy,
based on the GO Trains run for commuters in the
Toronto area. However, they will be modified
to include sleeping, bar, and restaurant facilities,
all features
of the current night train.
OIJTC expects the new trains to offer a
much higher level
of efficiency than the current
equipment, which is more than 40 years old. The
cars will make for a shorter, lighter train,
and upgraded suspension and heating (electric
versus the current steam) will mean the travelling
will enjoy the ride more.
are looking to greatly improve the comfort
and efficiency of the Northland overnight train
with this new equipment, said Bernier.
ONTe has been testing GO Train cars on
its tracks
north of North Bay, and has found them
acceptable. The overnight run
now has about
passengers annually, and ONTC chairman
Wilf Spooner
said an aggressive advertising cam­
paign should
be able to increase that dramatically
one the new trains come on stream.
They will actually debut at Expo 86 in Van·
couver. Once completed at the Thunder Bay plant,
the trains
will go west for testing and demons­
tration. Mr. Bernier said UTDCs goal is to market
the trains
to regional services elsewhere in Canada
and in the United States, and. Expo 86 is consid·
ered a highly visible place to start.
The announcement
of the new service, rumored
for more than a year, brings
into question the
totality of the ONTCs passenger service, and
gave a strong indication that once the
bilevel train
gets broken in, it will be the only
passenger train to travel on ONTC rails.
The ONTC now runs
two passenger trains: the
conventional overnight train,
and the modern
looking Northlander day train. The day
train was a
much publicized venture which
saw the ONTC
buy 20-year·old
unit trains from the Trans Eur­
opean Express, which
was switching to more mod­
ern equipment. The striking appearance and fast
service attracted
passengers, but they have suff-ered a number
of problems since being brought
seven years ago.
The biggest problem
was the power unit, which
seemed unable to function properly in the harsh
northern climate. ONTC finally adapted conven­
North American engines to provide power
for the trains about four years ago.
Like most passenger trains in Canada, the North­
lander runs at a loss,
but the bulk of that loss
comes in the segment from North Bay northward.
The trains heaviest ridership
is between North
Bay and
Toronto. Mr. Bernier said a decision on the
future of the day train will be made in 1986, but
Mr. Spooner said the ONTC will have to take
some serious steps then to reduce costs.
As well, ONTC officials concede privately that
eliminating the day train from North Bay north­
seems the most logical step once the new
night train
is in service. It will largely be a pol·
itical decision though, and much
will depend on
how enthusiastic travellers are for the new night
One of the most outspoken groups on the is­
sue has been the Northeastern Ontario Municipal
Action Group, made up of mayors of cities and
towns along the 0 NTC line. The Action Group
asked that current service continue uninterrupted
at least
until new trains were purchased, and the
announcement in January falls in line
with that
request. It also accommodates the unspoken part
of the Action Groups position: that once new tra­
are in place, the day train can be discontinued.
At the same time Spooner and Bernier were
announcing the ONTC plans in
North Bay, federal
Transport Minister
Lloyd Axworthy was in Th­
under Bay
to announce new equipment for the
transcontinental service offered
by VIA Rail.
VIA deal will cost about $28 million. VIA
has agreed to purchase a new generation of pass­
enger cars for its long and short haul runs outside
of the high density routes, such as the Toronto­
Montreal run
served by the new LRC (for Light,
Rapid, Comfortable).
is involved in the VIA deal, but most
of the work will be done by Bombardier Inc. of
Montrea I. The trains, though, wi II be seen regu 1-
arly in the north on V lAs transcontinental runs.
Axworthy expects it will be 1988 before the
new trains
are in regular service.
for the new rail ventures involves both
the federal and provincial governments.
In the ONTCs
case, the federal Department
of Regional Industrial Expansion will put up $1
million toward the development and design costs,
and the UTDC
will contribute an equal amount.
The provincial government
will pay the $10 million
purchase price for the actual equipment. DR I E
is putting $2.75 million into the VIA Rail venture,
with VIA paying the $25 million balance.
S. Northern Ontario Business
rity scheme will begin today, restricting the
times motorists can drive along tram tracks.
After a one-month trial, drivers will face fines
of up to $150 if they disrupt trams or illegally use
tram zones.
The $17 million project will initially affect the
North Balwyn line, Collins Street, City, and parts
of Flemington Road, Parkville and Nicholson
Street, Carlton.
The scheme wi II be extended to the East-Bruns­
wick and Preston areas early next year, and is
expected to cover 90 per cent of Melbournes
tram routes within two years.
The new law is the first significant change to
Victorian road rules since 1973, when drivers
Stop signs were first required to give way to
traffic on their left and right.
Under the new scheme, which will be based on
yellow painted road lines, three types of tram
fairways will be introduced, banning or limiting
car use on tram tracks.
430-630 ..
liON -fRI
The most common marking, a broken yellow
line, means motorists can use a tram lane at any
time, provided they do not delay trams.
An unbroken yellow line means that motor­
ists are banned from fairways during peak hours,
while an unbroken yellow line with raised sep­
aration bars permanently bans cars from entering
or turning across tram lanes.
Reflective green-and-yellow signs have been
erected along tram routes affected by the fair­
way law, to warn drivers that they are approaching
the new zones.
Motorists caught infringing the new law in its
month of operation will be handed explana­
tory brochures by police or local by-laws officers.
But drivers caught doing so after that time will
be liable
for fines up to $150, depending on the
time and nature of their offence.
A $200,000 campaign featuring television and
newspaper advertisements has been prepared to
explain the new road law to motorists, and color
pamphlets about the scheme will be sent to motor­
ists with their motor registration certificates.
The brochures also will be available from BP
service stations, whose advertising campaign Go
with the green and gold is compatible with the
Ministry of Transports green and gold livery.
the new system, the Minister for
Transport, Mr. Crabb, said he expected it would
cut tram travel times by up to 20 per cent.
He also said that a new electronic traffic light
system, which would be triggered by approaching
trams, would speed the progress of right-turning
cars, and clear the track ahead for trams.
The fairway system is aimed at taking the
tangle out of traffic, Mr. Crabb said. This will
to a decrease in tram journey times without
necessarily increasing car journey times.
Mr. Crabb said local councils whose areas were
affected by the fairways agreed with the general
principal of the idea, although many sought
further talks on the fine details.
The mayor of Kew, Councillor Jim McCue,
said his
council was concerned that the scheme
might aggravate existing traffic problems at Kew
Junction, and had commissioned its own traffic
study to monitor the effects of the fairways.
He said residents also were concerned that moto­
rists would use residential streets to avoid conges­
tion caused by tram priority, and traders were
worried that the fairways would take away parking
in main streets.
S. Alwyn T. Marshall,
Melbourne Australia.
passenger service ended 13 years ago and no~
not even the freights stop at the old CPR sta­
tion on Richmond Street … but for Dr. Vic Vigna
the fires have never gone out.
Like a lot of Londoners, Vigna thinks the station
would make a great restaurant. The hitch is that
when CPR eventually decides it can no longer use
the old station, the company will expect any pur­
chaser to move it off the property.
A lot of hellos and goodbyes were exchanged
on that platform –maybe a mother shoving a
basket of sandwiches into the hands of a son off
to a Prairie harvest excursion in the 1920s, maybe
a new bride giving a last hug to a guy in khaki or
blue in 1940, maybe an immigrant father wel­
coming a long-missed family
to their new land in
the post-war years.
lot of passers-by cant look at the 84-year­
depot without thinking of the smell of coal
smoke and the solid sheen of wooden waiting­
room benches under the dim, yellow lighting that
seemed to be standard at all railway stations.
Those memories play a part in the vision of
Vigna, a pediatrician and self-confessed railway
buff who was smitten with the station-restaurant
idea when he saw a restaurant dolled up as an
depot in Florida.
But that was just something put together in a
basement. Here we have a station already made,
he said.
I sure
would like to take another look at it,
said Vigna, who confesses to being in and out
very fast in the London restaurant business. He
ran Valentis at the corner of Richmond and Car­
streets for four years before it self-flambeed
The doctor had visions of a glassed-in outdoors
dining area where the long-unused platform stands.
He approached the CPR with his idea about five
years ago,
but said he backed off when he was
to understand a CP R retirees association
some kind of handle on the building.
I sure would like to take another look at it,
Vigna said this week, after learning that CP dos­
ent expect to get many more years out of the
old station.
CPR public relations spokesman Paul Thurston,
in Toronto, said he believes the fate of the build­
is in the hands of London division superintend­
ent George Nutkins.
It cant have any more than a couple of years
left, Thurston said of the classical brick-and­
timber station.
Nutkins agreed. He said the division· has just
finished some renovation work at the station –
putting in carpets and things like that –as the
s.tation plays its role as head office for the London
division (thats everything between Misissauga and
Windsor) and the renovations were strictly a stop­
effort to extend the buildings life for about
two years – I cant see going much longer than
Wed be willing to co-operate with anybody
who might be interested in the station, Nutkins
He noted that CP sold its Chatham station for
$1 to a nursery farm operator who dismantled
the building and is rebuilding it on his property.
But, Nutkins noted, moving the station would
be quite a job; it would cost a lot and once CP
decides the building is redundant for railway
purposes .. we wouldnt want to wait too long
before getting rid of it.
If no individual or group has the resources to
move the station, it could meet the fate of CPs
Toronto station. After weeks of uproar
over that depots fate, the company resolved the
issue by flattening the station, much to the dis­
of history buffs.
London (Ont.) Free Press.
Western Canada; the direct steaming plant to
be built this year by the Canadian Pacific Railway
at its Alyth roundhouse will give Calgary Canadas
most modern locomotive facilities.
modern brick building supported by steel
and columns 40 feet high, covering an area
of 4558 square feet, and with an eight-foot base­
ment will house the boilers and equipment to
revolutionize handling of locomotives in the im­
portant Calgary roundhouse.
Two new boilers with 1200 output horsepower
and developing 250 pounds pressure will replace
the present line of boilers.
by E.G. Bowie, superintendent of
motive power and car department for C.P.R. west­
ern lines,
the new plant will have many features
to streamline locomotive servicing.
It will
enable the Canadian Pacific to apply
steam direct from the plants boilers to locomotive
thereby eliminating the slow and costly
procedure of Lighting up engines.
In the new plant the procedures will be to fill
the locomotives with hot water and apply steam at
225 pounds pressure directly into the boiler, after
which the engine will proceed out of the round­
under its own steam to be lit up outside of
the shop.
This means that slT)oketacks can be dispensed
in the shop and roundhouse, representing not
only a sizeable saving in the cost of heating the
huge building through elimination of such air
but also eliminating smoke nuisance.
Features of the new plant will be travelling
chain grate fuel
feed, automatic combustion control,
forced draught combustion, overhead coal bins
from which mechanical conveyors will carry fuel
to the boilers, a vacuum ash handling system which
automatically carries ashes from under the grates
to the ash-disposal bins.
Another important innivation will be a hot lime­
soda feed-water
treating plant filter and treat
water, making it possible to operate the new steam
plant boilers for six–month period between wash­
outs, now a mo nth Iy necessity.
of the 5900 series, largest and heaviest
in the Empire, operate between Calgary and Revel­
stoke, and are serviced at the Alyth roundhouse.
Just under 100 feet in overall length, it was neces­
to make alterations at Alyth, Field and Revel­
stoke to accomodate them.
At Alyth, 14 of the original 24 stalls were length­
ened from 90 to 110 feet for these monsters of the
rails, and a new section making room for 12 add­
itional stalls
of this type has been erected.
In addition to this work, however, a new machine
shop was built at Alyth during the past three years,
after Ogden shop, since reconverted to locomotive
work, was converted to armanent manufacture. The
Alyth shop now boasts some of the finest equip­
ment to be found in any railway locomotive repair
shop, including hydraulic tables for removing and
applying driving wheels o-n engines
in record time,
electrically-driven air compressors, and the most
modern types of iron and steel working machinery.
Of interest to Albertans in connection with the
new plant
is the fact that the two new boilers are
to use a type of coal known to the trade
as bugdust, or more technically minus three­
eighths. This
is the residue left at mines after coal
has been screened for various stoker sizes. Usually
is useless and represnets a straight loss to coal
Use it in the new Alyth plant will give
Alberta mine operators a market for what is now
an unsaleable product. The Canadian Pacific have
similar tloilers at their
big Weston shop in Winnipeg,
and at their stationary boiler plant
in Regina, and
these have been operating with gratifying results
to the company and the western coal industry.
.. From the Western Canada Coal Review,
with Canadian National Railways
that sets
the stage for major redevelopment of the rail­
ways downtown yards, says Mayor Cec Purves.
He said the CN R has given the city a letter of
intent and asked the city to begin preparing re­
development plans for the area.
will be asked to authorize the prepa­
of redevelopment plans. Any redevelopment would likely
in~lude .major
housing projects, parks and LRT cOrridor
In the
area between
101 st and 116th Streets and 104th
107th Avenues, Purves said.
While emphasizing
that develop.m~~t ~etails
still have to be negotiated, Purves said the Intent
is there for these things to happen.
He said he was pleased the deal had been reached
as it gives the city the chance to revitalize the
downtown area. Edmonton has been pushing for nearly two de­
to get the railway yards redeveloped.
Purves and Aldermen Paul Norris and Gerry
Wright have been involved
in negotiations with
CN R representatives for the past two years.
Norris praised the deal reached with
CN R. say­
ing it gives the city an excellent potential to
provide affordable housing. Wright
was more cautious, noting the weak
economy could delay redevelopment for a long
CPR on December 22, 1888, when the
Supreme Court of Manitoba ruled that the
government had the right to charter new railways
in the province. The decision was upheld by the
Supreme Court of Canada in February 1889.
The so-called war was very exciting and dan­
gerous for a few days
in October 1888. Govern­
ment contractors were building the
Red River
Valley Railway and a branch south
of the Assin­
boine river
to Portage la Prairie.
It was necessary for one feeder line south of
Headingley to cross the tracks owned by the CPR
which resented its monopoly being broken. The
CPR obtained an injunction to prevent the govern­
ment railway (Northern Pacific and Manitoba) from crossing its line.
Joseph Martin, Manitoba commissioner
of Rail­
ways who later became premier
of British Col­
umbia, was determined
that the tracks should be
laid and told the contractors
to go ahead.
CPR placed locomotives and flat cars man­
ned by extra crews, at the place where the crossing
be made.
Martin sent
out bands of special constables to
protect the government workers.
The situation was tense
as the track layers got
to the CPR line but night fell just before
they reached their objectives. Work stopped and
cooler heads prevailed.
It was decided to send
the dispute
to the courts and no actual fighting
The situation became known
as the battle of
Fort Whyte because William Whyte was the west­
ern manager
of the CPR.
S. Cornwall Standard
RAI LWA Y artifacts, some dating back to the
WAY in 1912, were handed over to the B.C. prov­incial museum
in mid JULY.
They included a roll-top desk, a hand track
drill, a railway clock, locomotive bells, a comp­
tometer patented
in 1913, a 68 year old type­
writer, old ledgers and newspaper clippings and
historic pictures. One
of the bells came from the
PGEs first locomotive. Some items will find a home
in the provincial museum, others may be placed
in the museum train, while pictures and records
will be turned over to the provincial archives.
ONTHE MOVE FALL 1978 edition.)
for construction of the nine-mile
(14.5 kilometre) tunnel under
Rogers Pass
in British Columbias Selkirk Mountains.
We expect
to receive proposals from about
12 renderers representing some 30 companies,
said John Fox, vice-president, engineering, special
In addition, later this year tenders will be
called and contracts awarded for excavation of
a one-mile (1.6-kilometre-tunnel, construction
of eight bridges, grading of the 11-mile (17.7-
kilometre) surface route, and site preparation and
of a ventilation shaft to the long tunnel.
Those tendering are to submit their bids by the
end of March. Contracts will be awarded by the
end of April with a view to starting construction
by July 1.
The tunnel is part of a $600-million project
to reduce to one per cent the existing 2.2 per
cent grade
from the Beaver River Valley to Rogers
Pass. The grade reduction is necessary to provide
Rogers Pass
Ventilation System
increased mainline capacity required by 1990 to
meet projected traffic demands between Calgary
and. Vancouver.
In the planning
stage since 1972, the Rogers
Pass project is the biggest single project under­
by CP Rail since driving the last spike in
the transcontinental line in 1885.
The 1984
work program was triggered by the
new Western Grain Transportation
Act which
puts railway grain
traffic on a paying basis for
the first time in decades.
It will take until the end of 1988 to complete
the project, which
will create construction employ­
ment measured in the thousands
of man-years.
CP Rail will establish two work camps, each
to house 400 people, to accommodate construct­
ion workers employed on the tunnel
portion of
the project. One will be located in Beaver River
area near the east portal of the the long tunnel,
other in the Flat Creek area near the west
portal. Both camps
are within the borders of Glac­
ier National Park.
~. ~o:: ~
L,….._ ~F/~ _..c–~
–. c::;:J g g
GA TE CLOSED • Train Direction
~~ I tU]GATECLOSED .-__ ___ _ ____ Air I=/ow ~
~ .~ –. -.-/ c:::;;::J r:=;;:;J r;;;;:;;;l —=:…+ ——
• Train Direction GATE OPEN
——.;:-;=,,——__ –=.J L1I1 ~ATE OPEN
Exhaust removal: The key to the ventilation system for the nine-mile (14.5 kilometre) tunnel is a mid-tunnel ventilation
system which will allow exhaust fumes to be removed from the eastern portion of the tunnel while the train is passing
through the western portion as illustrated from top to bottom in the above sketch.
Rogers Pass
Grade Improvement Project
.-… E.blingu.-.
—eonn..ghI TUIIt-.!
•••• PropowdT~.
_ Tr.ICanada

o , ,
,……, Km
o , ,
Improving the grade: The $600-million-plus Rogers Pass
project wlYI reduce the railway grade in the project area
illustratedabove to one per cent from 2.2 per cent.
Provision is being made for a third camp near
Rogers siding, outside the National Park, to acc­
ommodate those
working on the surface route.
of the tunnel will be carried out
from both ends. Designed to carry westbound
trains, the tunnel
will head in a southwesterly
from the east portal through Mount
Macdonald. It will pass about 300 feet (91.4 me­
tres) below the existing Connaught tunnel, and
some 840 feet (256 metres) under the summit
of Rogers Pass. .
It will emerge from beneath Cheops Mounta.ln,
crossing the Trans-Canada highway
~o merge ~Ith
the existing main line about 3.4 miles (5.4 kilo­
metres) west of G lacier station.
The overall project involves
21 miles (33.7 kilo­
metres) of new main line including 11 miles (17.7
of surface track, a one-mile (1.6 kilo­
metre) tunnel under the Trans-Canada highway
and the nine-mile (14.4 kilometre) tunnel.
The project begins at Rogers siding
with the new
trackage running parallel
to the existing m~in line
until entering the short tunnel under the highway.
This section
will involve construction of eight
bridges, including a
4,020-foot (1,225-metre)
elevated bridge deck. Emerging
from the so-called
short tunnel, the route crosses Connaught creek,
then continues on the surface
for some 4,000
feet (1,219 metres) before entering the east portal
of the long tunnel.
of the surface route will involve
of more than 1.5 million cubic yards
million cubic metres) of overburden and
460,000 cubic yards (349,600 cubic metres)
rock. The elevated bridge deck will cross an area
of extremely steep slopes. This type of structure
was chosen over conventional cut-and-fill met­
for both economic and environmental reasons.
of the tunnelling will be through rock
formations similar to those in the eXisting Con­
naught tunnel, which
is basically a dry tunnel.
are that similar conditions will exist
in the new tunnels .
Both new tunnels
will be constructed to ac­
commodate future electrification. The finished
interior will be 17 feet (5 metres) wide on str­
aight track and 18 feet (5.4 metres)
on curves with
an over-all height of 25 feet, 10 inches (7.9 metres)
above the
top of rail. The entire length of the
long tunnel
will be concrete lined and both tunnels
will be illuminated.
The long tunnel requires a
ventilation system
will be the only one of its kind in the West­
ern Hemisphere.
The system must provide air
to cool the lo~o­
motives and purge exhaust fumes from a passing
train before the
next train enters the tunnel.
To enable a frequency
of one train every 30
minutes a 1
145-foot (348.9-metre) vertical shaft
will co~nect to the tunnel near the mid-point.
It will have a concrete-lined finished diameter
of 28 feet (8.5 metres), partitioned so that air can
be moved through both sections of the tunnel.
The mid-tunnel
facility, featuring a door which
closes after a train
passes the midway point, allows
the eastern
portion of the tunnel to be purged
of exhaust while the train is passing through the
portion. . .
Since the project
is located f,or most part within
the boundaries of Glacier National Park, extens­
ive environmental impact studies have
been con­
ducted, including examination
of avalanche haz­
ards visual impact
of cuts and fills, terrain impacts,
ani~al movements, water course studies and land
An environmental assessment panel established
by the Ministry of the Environment has cond~cted
public hearings on the entire project. CP Rail h~s
maintained close contact with Parks Canada In
planning the project, and arrangements have been
made to have full time Parks Canada representa­
on site during the construction period, at
the railways expense,
CP Rail News
two West Island commuter train lines is very
disappointing and may lead Montreal Isla.nd
transit officials under which CP Rail and Canadian
National operate them.
Jacques Bouvrette, general manager
of operations
of the Montreal Urban Community Transit Commis­
sion (MUCTC),
said the number of passengers on
the Montreal-Rigaud and Montreal-Deux-Montagnes
is running at less than 40 percent capacity,
which is very disturbing.
There was so much pressure (from Quebec)
on us to take over the lines, but now that we look
back on it, were very disappointed, Bouvrette
told The Gazette.
CN Deux-Montagnes line was integrated with
the MUCTC bus and Metro system in July, 1982.
CP Rigaud line became part of the MUCTC
following October.
More than 6,500 commuters ride the Deux­
Montagnes line daily, and
only half as many use
the Rigaud line, which is only 60 percent of the
MUCTCs forecasts, Bouvrette said.
The people on the West Island dont seem to
be using the trains as much as we expected, he
have some trains that run at five percent
of their capacity and thats much too low.
Bouvrette said that there is a cancellation
clause in the contract it signed with CN and CP
which would allow it to back out of the agreement
in 1987.
All we have to do is give one years notice and
we could
be out of it, he said.
. West Island mayors, who
have been pressing
to lower the price of monthly passes
which run as high as $39 compared to $22.50 for
bus and Metro passes, were furious when told of
Bouvrettes statements.
The MUCTC has never been too keen with
trains on the West Island-and rather than help the
system live
its trying to kill it, said Kirkland
Mayor Sam Elkas.
said the MUCTC could increase ridership
by offering express trains, scrapped when it took
over the CP line, and by integrating buses into the
train schedule.
Ive always maintained that if we dont use the
we could lose them, said Dorval Mayor
Peter Yeomans.
S. The Montreal Gazette
of Canada Ltd. are negotiating a multi-million­
dollar sale of diesel locomotives to Iran, and
chruch leaders
say there are no guarantees the
will not be used for military purposes.
Gordon Soutter, a spokesman for General Motors,
said representatives from the companys diesel
division in London, Ont.,
have been in Iran for
more than a week.
We have people over there now, Mr. Soutter
said. Were talking about the possibility of selling
them a number
of locomotives.
of the companys officials now in Iran is
John Jarrell, the general sales manager of the diesel
division. Mr. Soutter
said he did not know the details
of the negotiations. A man saying he represented
Iranian interests called The Globe and Mail last
week and
said the possible deal involved 60 loco­
Each· locomotive is worth about $1 million, Mr.
Soutter said.
Any sale anywhere in the world
be great right now. Things are slow for us.
Thomas Jones,
an international trade officer
with the federal Department of External Affairs,
said he has had discussions with General Motors
about the possible
export of locomotives to Iran.
Mr. Jones said company representatives
him the diesel locomotives were not armoured
military trains. He explained than an export permit
not be required in this case, because standard
are not on the export control list.
Asked what would prevent Iran
from converting
the locomotives
for mi I itary use after they had
been delivered, Mr. Jones replied: I dont think
we have any control over that.
Rev. Paul Hansen, a Redemptorist priest and a
of the exective committee of an inter­
church task force on corporate responsibility,
said the federal Government should set up an
agency to monitor the use of Canadian exports.
If they find that the equipment is being used
for military purposes, the contracts should be
cancelled, Father Hansen said. I wouldnt want
to enhance anything that (Ayatollah Ruhollah)
is doing over there.
William Davis, treasurer of the United Church
of Canada, said he is concerned about General
Motors possibly supplying locomotives
to Iran.
The United Church owns 20,000
shares of General
lVIotors Corp., the
U.S. parent of General Motors
of Canada.
Its not certain that the equipment can be
used for military purposes, but Im concerned
that Ill probably write. a letter to the
companys management,
M r. Davis said.
He added that the church probably would not
sell its shares in protest. Selling shares is a last
of limited usefulness, Mr. Davis said. Gen­
eral Motors would just shrug its shoulders.
The United Church sold its
shares of Falcon­
~ridge Nickel Mines Ltd. (now Falconbridge Ltd.)
in 1979
to protest against the companys partner­
with the South African Government in min­
ing operations in Namibia.
Hansen said the Redemptorist Order does
not own shares of General Motors.
The. United Nations Commission on Human
has condemmed I ran for numerous viol­
ations, including summary and
arbitrary executions,
religious persecution,
torture and detention with-
-out trial.
John Larmond, vice-president of General Motors
diesel division, wouldnt comment on whether
the company was concerned about possibly ex­
porti ng locomotives to I ran.
I dont mean to be vague, but I dont want to
get into it, Mr. Larmond said. Do you think
theyll use this equipment to wage war? How do
you fight a war with locomotives?
After it was explained to him that locomotives
could be used to transport both military equip­
ment and troops to within 60 kilometres of the
border between Iran and Iraq where the fighting
has been the heaviest, Mr. Larmond conceded, I
guess its possible.
Mr. Soutter said an Iranian trade delegation vis­
the companys manufacturing plant in London
earlier this year. He added that the deal, if con­
cluded, would be the first contract ever signed
between the Canad ian company and I ran.
Employment at the diesel plant has declined to
1,400 from 2,600 workers two years ago. Some
of the employees who have been laid off could be
recalled if the company wins the contract, IVIr.
Soutter said.
Globe & Mail
ction of a 32 million surface rapid transit
system (SRTS) to operate through Lachine from
the vicinity of 30th Ave., along Victoria St. on an
existing railway right-of-way, terminating at Mont­
real West railway station.
The Chronicle has learned that Bureau Trans­
port Metropolitain (BTM), the engineering body
of MUCTC, , is preparing plans for the construction
of a modern electrically operated SRTS over app­
roximately 10 miles of track along Victoria St.,
through Lachines eastern industrial area and contin­
uing into Ville St. Pierre. Construction is expected
to start in 1986.
Property once owned by the CN R at 32nd Ave.
and used
by it as a private recreation club, is now
owned by Lachine. It is a logical terminal for an
SRTS except for difficulty expected in passing
beneath the six-lane high traffic roadway. Because
of the expected difficulty a location east of 32nd
Ave. is being considered.
Negotiations have begun with the CN R, owners
of the railroad right-of-way. The only commercial
user of the track, Pfizer, has issued a letter of
intent to stop using the railway. As long as the rail­
way is being used commercially it may not be
converted for public transport.
Public streets crossing the railway will be mod­
ified to accommodate the rapid transit system:
25th Ave. will be closed; 18th Ave. will be convert­
ed to an underpass; 15th Ave. will be closed and
10th, 6th and 1 st Aves. will remain open.
The Chronicle learned that once the SRTS
reaches the eastern industrial area of Lachine it will
turn north towards Ville St. Pierre. Passenger
stations will be built in the vicinity of Jenkins
Brothers Ltd., Dominion Engineering and Northern
Telecom in Lachine.
The $32 million SRTS will operate over approx­
imately 10 miles. In comparison, subway constr­
uction costs have averaged $32 million per mile.
in the plan is the possibility of changing
Victoria St., which runs parallel to the old railway
tracks, from a two-lane street to a four-lane boule­
More than 22,000 people come to work in
Lachine each day, claimed mayor Guy Descary.
Any improvement to public transportation in
this city would help both the people and the shop
Descary claimed Lachine is the most indust­
city in Canada on a per-capita basis, but
took exception to the city being refered to as
little Detroit.
We are a very industry-oriented city but the
quality of life in Detroit is nothing compared to
Lachine, he said.
The construction of a rapid transit system in
Lachine would be the beginning of a very important
dossier for this city, said the mayor, explaining
the transit system and the improvement of Victoria
St. as a logical step in the redevelopment of the 18th
to 25th Aves. area of the city.
According to Descary SRTS will change the
whole philosophy of the public transportation as
we know it, describing it as a glorified tramway.
Time for the trip from one end of the proposed
system to the other has been estimated at 10 min­
When asked
why the city has not made more
use of the railway operating parallel to highway
2&20 Descary answered, The highway is like a
There are only a few places where a person
may cross it and none of these a railway station,
discounting the 48th Ave. stop as a poor excuse
and one of the reasons why only about 75 people
use the stop each day.
We need transportation where the people are,
insiste.p the mayor, who approves of the proposed
Because the SRTS will attract passengers from
areas other than Lachine is operating costs will be
included in each municipalitys share of the MUCTC
budget. Lachine will pay 3 percent of the service.
The Chronicle has also learned Northern Telecom
has initiated the closing of its LaSalle plant and part
of the Point St. Charles plant. More than 1,400
employees will be transferred to the N.T. location
at 1st Ave. and highway 2&20, which is scheduled
for service by the SRTS.
City engineers have prepared a proposal to
modify the roadway at 1 st Ave. in anticipation of
the sudden increase in traffic. The 1st Ave. N.T.
location has never employed more than 850 people.
Transfers will put their numbers over 2.000.
374 –the Kitsilano Trotn–to its 1886 appear­
ance was launched as local enthusiasts met to
celebrilte the 96th anniversary of the trains arrival
in Vancouver.
Over 50 supporters including Steve Stark, presi­
dent of the Canadain Railroad Historical Assoc­
iation MLA Doug Mowat and Ald. Marguerite
Ford, gathered the first passenger train to enter
The local landmark, which has endured years
of bad weather, vandalism and abuse in its pre­
sent unsheltered location at Kitsilano beach will
be moved to the old Morrison Steel Foundry on
Granville Island where the repClirs will be under­
taken by CPR master mechanic Bill Silver and a
small army of volunteers.
Estimated cost of the two-year renovation
project is $100,000 with only $40,000 of that
promised from B.C. Heritage Trust.
say that public donations are also
eing sought, and may be sent to: The Canadian
Railroad Historical Association, P.O. Box 1006,
Station A, Vancouver, B.C.
After repairs, the engine will be sent to a new
home ··the old CPR Round House, in False Creek.
A part-time position exists in Vancouver for a
steam locomotive specialist. The candidate
must have: Extensive experience in moving
ste am locomotive S ove r long distances unde r
modem conditions; thorough fam1.liari ty wi tb
international safety and regulatory standards;
demonstrated diplomatiC, managerial, and
budgetting skills; freedom to travel. A second
language is an asset.
ly, in writing only to:
1655 Duranleau Street
Vancouver, B.C.
V6H 3S3
C.P.R. LOCOMOTIVE 8518 and Northern Alberta Railways No. 207
haul a train southbound over the Edmonton high level bri1ge
on April 8 1975. Note the IICanadian Pacific
script on the
rear car.
Provincial Archives of Alberta 51814.
Canadian Rail
P.o. Box 282 St. Eustache, Que., Canada
J7R 4K6
Postmaster: I undelivered within
10 days return to sender, postage guaranteed.

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