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Canadian Rail 411 1989

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Canadian Rail 411 1989

Canadian Rail ~
No. 411
. 1989
6-~0008 .• 815 ____ _
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus For your membership in the CAHA which includes a
CO-ED/TOR: Douglas N. W. Smith subscription
to Canadian Rail write to:
PROOUCTION: M. Peter Murphy CRHA, P.O. Box 148. 51. Constant, Quebec
CARTOGRAPHER: William A. Germaniuk Aates: in Canada
J5A 2G2
…. $27,
… $23. in U.S. FUNDS. LAYOUT: Fred
F. Angus outside Canada:
TYPESETTING: Belvedere Photo-Graphique Inc.
C;:OV-.:Ee.:R.,Sc. -,:G:::,o,,- ,-P,do,,i og—–TAB LE 0 F CO NTE N TS ————-,
Canadn Rail IS cOnli(I.Ially In need of news. slories. hislorical dala. 1)00105. 1n1l1>5 !Iud othcr fcprodllClble m~teri~l. pra,se send al~
contribUlions 10 the editor: Fred F. Artgu$. 3021 Trafalga. Ave. Montra,l. P.Q. H3Y 1 H3. No payment cao be made fur cOfllribuhons. bUI
the conlributo. will be !:jiven credillOl malellal s of Imle v~lue ur1less it is shared wllh Olhe …. ··
Frederick F. Angus
R. C. Ballard
Jack A. Beatty
Walter J. Bedbrook
C. Blackburn
Charles De Jean
Gerard Frechette
William Hrynkow
David W. Johnson
J. Christopher Kyle
Bernard Martin
Robert V. V. Nicholls
Andrew W. Panko
Douglas N. W. Smith
The CRHA has a number of focal diVISions ,cross the country. Many nord regulat
meetings and issue newslellen;;. Fuither inform~llon nlay be obtained by wrillng to the
PO. 80. t 162.
SI,nl Jr>n.
N_ 8runlwI(k E2l 4G1
P.O. Box 22 SO~ 8
Mu …. a… H38 3J$
PO. Bo. 962
S … n, faRe. o..lallu klA 5A5
P.O. 8m< 100. $1.t10ll -A-
1(Olcon.OnuM 1(1M IIPB
P.o Bo. 5849. Term, •• A.
10f0nI0. 0,. ….. 0 M5W I P3
P.O. 811< 593
Sr. CIt .. ,n … OnIO l2R IIW8
300 ClDa … Roed b.
Wlndao<. Qntar, N9G , .. 2
I. Revn, 8ay
Winnll)eg.ManIUbi fiJI( OM~
80 _ 6100. 4th Me. HE
CltlllY. AIDftl. nA SZ8
• R
PO. 800 11102. SI.on C.
(dn. Arbllna 158 2NO
P.O. 80. 39
Revelol. 8.C. VOE 250
P.O. 80< 400
Ctanboogk. Bnlilh CoIumlMa VIC 4H9
123 Vi_Sr. .. 1
N,aon, B.C. YIL 2VB
P.O. Box 1006. Stal>on A.
v.nco …… ,. 8nl,sh CoIumb,. VBC 2PI
Oeryk Sparks
David W. Strong
M. Unwin
Richard Viberg
A. Stephen Walbridge
John C. Weir
Fir:/ S/6mhned Di$~I-Elecrnc Locomotive
Built In Cttnad. ~_ So pn;u:1 •• ms the $/go.s CNR
9400 em.rges from the Man/reel Locomotive
WOIis in 1950. This historic locomotive hs
now JOint:d rht! callt:crion .t the C.n.dJlJn
R.ilw.y Museum. Sr. page 134.
C.nfldi. Nrion.1 phoro.
As pan of i.S flclillilies. Ihe CRHA ope.ales
the Canadi~n Railway Museum Del$on/St.
Constant, Quebec which is 14 millS f23 Km.I
from downtown MonlreBI. II IS Optln daily
nom Ite May 10 ear1yOctober. Members and
their immediale families are admined Itee 01
Mooers Junction
By Orville K. McKnight
The Lake Champlain route has always been of great importance as a link between Canada and the United States. This importance
goes back to a time well before either country existed as we know them today. In colonial times it was this natural waterway through
the mountains that provided a practical connection between the French colonies
in the north and the English colonies in the south. The
route was much used for peaceful purposes, but was also frequently used
in war as the armies of England and France (and, later of
England and the U.S.A.) moved up and down the valley bound on raids on each others territory. By 1815 the armies had passed into
history and the traffic through this historic region was peaceful and beneficial to all concerned. This was the era
of the steamboats
which, with some portage routes, enabled one to travel from Montreal to New York
in about thirty-six hours.
In the second quarter
of the nineteenth century the land portages on this water route were replaced by railways, one of which was
the Champlain and St. Lawrence, built
in 1836, the first railway in Canada. By 1852 a rival company the Montreal & New York, the
successor to the Montreal and Lachine, offered an all-rail route (except for the crossing
of the St. Lawrence) from Montreal to the
U. S. border. On the evening of Thursday September
91852 the M. & N. Y. made a connection at the border with the Plattsburgh and
Montreal, and on September 20 through service to Plattsburgh began. Mooers Junction had been created the previous July 22 when
the tracks
of the P. & M. crossed those of the Northern Railroad of New York.
This account, submitted to Canadian Rail by F .
Ray McKnight of Portland Oregon, was written by Mr. McKnightS father Orville
K. McKnight.
He was born near Mooers N. Y. in November 1889 ,joined the New York Central R. R. in 1913 and retired in 1957
after 44 years service.
He died in Florida in December 1977 at the age of 88 years. His service on the N. Y.C. was always on the
Adirondack Division, and he was agent at Mountain View N.
Y. from 1916 to 1929. Mr. Ray McKnight was born there in 1917. We
are pleased to publish this interesting account
in the 100th anniversary year of the authors birth. It is also fitting to show the close
cooperation and friendship between railroaders on both sides
of the border in maintaining the vital traffic between the two countries for
more than 135 years.
Note: The city
of Plattsburgh has been spelled, at various times, with and without the fmal h. In this account it has been spelled
Plattsburg throughout, and we have followed that spelling. Other quotations and captions say Plattsburgh, and the editor hopes
the reader will forgive any seeming inconsistancy
in spelling.
Two views of the author, Orville K. McKnight, theftrst taken in 1915, the second at Lake Placid N. Y. in February 1941.
Mooers Junction came into existence well over a hundred
years ago when the newly incorporated Plattsburg and Montreal
Railroad building from Plattsburg to the Canadian boundry line
arrived there with their rails on July 22nd, 1852 and crossed the
of the Northern Railroad of New York. It is recorded that
there was a pause here which probably included the little
of adding the JCT. to the station name. Pushing on
they reached the Line on August 14th and here their
job was
finished. Their Canadian counterparts
of the cumbersome name
of the Lake St. Louis and Province Line did not arrive until
September 9th when the rails were then joined together.
That July day of 1852 was an epochal day for the people of
Mooers village. The Plattsburg and Montreal railroad had come
to town.
For weeks past the folks had watched the grading as it
slowly approached
from the south, the throwing of a bridge
across the Big Chazy and the progress through the center
of the
village. Then on a half mile more to where it formed a connection
with the railroad already there, the Northern Railroad
of New
The Northern had constructed their line through some four
years earlier on their way from Rouses Point to Malone and
Ogdensburg. But the Northern had kept to a straight east-west
line and had passed the village
by a half mile to the north.
Consequently the villagers felt an affinity
for the latter P. & M.
in the years that followed there were periods when the trains
made a regular stop at the village
for passengers.
Passenger service between Plattsburgh and Montreal was
inaugurated on September 20th, 1852 and their new timetable
that date showed the following trains at Mooers Jct. Two trains
in the morning, one each way, met there at 8:30. Likewise two in
the evening met there at 6: 15. Then there was one each way
during the middle
of the day; south at 1 :50 p.m. and northbound
at 3:30 p.m. These latter two were fast trains, as indicated by the
fact that only one stop was made between Caughnawaga and
Plattsburg, at Mooers Junction.
Although the foregoing rail line extended only between
Plattsburg and Caughnawaga, the Plattsburg to Montreal route
comprised a ferry across Lake St. Louis to Lachine and then
trains of the Montreal and Lachine Ry. on into Montreal.
7:45 2:45 5:30 Plattsburg 9:15 2:30 7:15
8:30 3:30 6:15 Mooers Jet. 8:30 1:50 6:15
9:45 4:
45 7:10 Cauglmawaga 7:15 12:45 5:00
10:30 6:20 8:
30 Montreal 6:15 12:00 4:00
At the time of the commencement of this service the Lake St.
Louis and Province Line, as a name was a thing
of the past.
Construction had barely been started
in 1851 when it was
reorganized as the Montreal and New York Ry.
of the first passenger trains on the Northern are not
available but they had started
in the fall of 1850 when the road
was completed. And so with the new service on the P.
& M. the
JCT added to the station name a year earlier was now
significent. Considerations in the building
ofthe Plattsburg & Montreal
and the Montreal
& New York was the growing movement of
travelers between the two cities. Also it may have been that the
promotors could see that the time would come when a rail line
would be built up the west side
of Lake Champlain and connect
with their line at Plattsburg. In the meantime a good freight
business was developing for the P. & M. between Plattsburg and
Mooers Jct.
in shipments originating in New England and New
York city and transported up to Burlington by rail, and ferried
across Lake Champlain to Plattsburg. Destination was the fast
growing upper New York section reached
by the Northern
Historically the Northern was outstanding, going back to the
earliest days
of railroading projected in 1829, at a time when
there was less than 23 miles
of railroad in the entire United
However, it was not until 1845 that it was incorporated and
got underway. New England was where the money was and the
Boston financiers were railroad minded. A vast amount
commerce could be envisioned moving both ways between the
West and New England via the Great Lakes, Ogdensburg, and
across northern New York. Construction started
in March of
1848 at both Rouses Point and Ogdensburg. By fall of that year
the rails had reached Centerville (Mooers Forks) and a year
later they passed through Ellenburg and
by October of the next
year, 1850, the last spike was driven at a point near Bangor.
Passenger service,
of a sort was initiated that fall over the 118
of the new road. The rate of construction was remarkable
for that era of hand and horse labor. Irish immigrants were the
manpower on the eastern half, and very likely the beginning
their fame as railroad builders.
That the promotors were sure
of a heavy traffic is shown by
the fact that they specified that the track be laid off center of the
one hundred foot right
of way to the extent of a second track,
against the time
of double tracking. But more than that they
insisted on a line
of Long tangents and easy curves. The
for the location of the road was given to a prominent
engineer, James Hayward. Survey crews were at work
in 1845
for the next two years, with the result that the Northern was
laid out with one
of the finest examples of good locating to be
found anywhere.
The long tangents and easy curves were there
and the long climb from Mooers
J ct. to Cherubusco was held to a
sixth tenths
of one per cent constant ascent for the 26 miles. On
the west side, from Moira to the top (Originally the name was
Summit.) the grade was less but equally constant.
For easy curves, Hayward really demonstrated what could
be done. From Mooers Forks to Clinton Mills the line
is a110f90
percent curves, made so largely because the curves were
lengthened out so extensively.
For instance at Mooers Forks
where the direction changes from west to south, the curve
made up of nearly a mile of track and between Woods Falls and
Altona where
it swings from southeast to west it spreads out to
over a mile and a half.
In 1852 a Floating Bridge had been constructed across
Lake Champlain at Rouses Point and a connection was made
with the railroads
of Vermont Freight business began to pick up
U.S.A. –
I -Initial through service New York -Montreal
Nov. 1875 to Nav.1876
2 -As above but detoured via Mooers and
Hemmingford branches, account bridge out
at Coaperville.
3 –
Plattsburg a Montreal -Montreal a New York
between Plaffsburg and Montreal, 1853 -1875
4-The White Mountain Flyer ,1880s
Eleven cars I double header engines.
5-Rutland a Burlington, Map I 08 L C
Approximately 1,000 cars per month each
way through Mooers Jct.
Not in Jan.,Feb. or March account
interrupted Ferry service. I via 0 S H o S
2 via 0 8 H G T
3 via P 8 M M S
4 via OSLC-CV
L C, G T
Periods of Heavy Freigh1 and
Passenger Traffic via Mooers Jct.
II II II M Freigh1
5 via RSB-MSP-08LC
II II Passenger 8 Freight
-+ —+-
Fer r y s ervi ce
w Q ~/88
and by the fall of 1854 there were six scheduled trains each way
per day on the Northern. Two were passenger and four were
freights, one
of the latter carrying a name instead of a number,
Potsdam Lumber Train. This special train operated between
Potsdam and Champlain. Why the destination was Champlain
can be surmised by the fact
that Champlain Landing was a
station there on the
Chazy River with an agent in charge, the
river being navigatable from there to the lake.
In addition to the foregoing the Plattsburg and Montreal was
beginning to pour a sizable amount
of freight into the Northern at
Jct. from its ferrying traffic across the lake to
There is record of22,000 tons in one season and in
the winter freight was even hauled across the lake by teams.
With the beginning
of service between Plattsburg and
Montreal a station had been established at the international
boundry line and was called Boundry Line. The reason for the
station there
is rather obscure, there being no settlement of any
kind and
not even a road led to the spot. The father of a Mrs. Hull
of Mooers was the first agent there. Train crews and equipment
moved through between Plattsburg and Caughnawaga without
change and it
is possible that records had to be kept of all trains
moving from the rails
of one company to the other for a
of revenue and expenses. Also there may have been
customs regulations. How long the agency was continued is not
known but a time table
of 1870 shows all trains stopping there.
However, as a junction in through car load billing between the
D&H and Grand Trunk the name Boundry Line was used as late
as 1910 and 1912.
All three roads used wood for engine fuel in the beginning and
the locomotives had huge smoke stacks, sometimes almost as
big as the front end
of the engine. These stacks contained the
spark arresting mesh necessary to prevent forest fires.
As time went on the engines became larger and the stacks
smaller, the mesh eventually being placed inside the front of the
engine itself. All the locomotives had names.
On the Plattsburg
& Montreal there was the Sciota, the Plattsburg and the
On the Northern, among others were the Chateaugay,
J.C. Pratt and the Deer. In Canada, on the Montreal & New
York, the Hemmingford, the St. Remi, and the Montreal. Wood
for fuel was often in hugh piles beside the track and the trains
stopped to load up, the work being done by the crew.
One such
pile was about a quarter
of a mile south of the Boundry Line on
the Plattsburg & Montreal and they also had a large open wood
shed at the Junction just north
of the diamond. However, wood
was undependable in quality and in getting a supply, and coal
soon began being used.
Engines were small and
of light weight and so were the cars
that they handled. Rails were slender and being made
of iron
were subject to kinks which meant being replaced. A supply
good rails had to be kept on hand for when the damaged ones
were in the companys blacksmith shop being straightened. Also
the new roads developed soft spots for gravel ballasting did not
come until later.
For all that however a look at the schedule of
the trains between Plattsburg and Caughnawaga shows
remarkably fast time.
In the 1850s new roads were being born every where and the
infant mortality rate was extremely high.
The Northern was in
fmancial difficulties in 1858 and became the Ogdensburg Railroad. Again in 1864 the road was in trouble and was
as the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain. In 1870 it
was leased to the Vermont Central and three years later the lease
relinquished and the road went back under its former name.
of this later.
The Plattsburg & Montreal in 1856, when only four years old
had to be reorganized and switched its name around to the
Montreal and Plattsburg. Later the Rutland and Burlington
gained control and
in 1870 the Vermont Central took over both
of them. The Lake St. Louis & Province Line was now the
Montreal and New York, and a few years later merged with the
Montreal & Champlain and later with the
Grand Trunk.
For three years there was a traffic route between St. Albans
and Plattsburg via Mooers
Jct., the Vermont Central empire
having now extended to the Rutland & Burlington, the
Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain and the Montreal & Plattsburg.
From the beginning Mooers Jct. had been fortunate in
experiencing a growing freight movement between the P. & M.
and the Northern and it was in these first
few years that the small
wooden station
of the Northern, that stood to the west of the
diamond was tom down and a good sized new station erected.
This was placed in the southeast corner
ofthe intersection which
made the west end freight house door opening to the P. & M.
track and the north side door to their own rails, thus enabling
freight to be transferred from one road to the other through the
freight house. Even the through movement
of car loads to
destination was yet to come.
But with the continuing increase
this soon proved inadequate and the next move was to build a
long heavy platform, along side the Northerns house track, to
the west
of the diamond. This platform was box car height and a
new spur track brought in from the Montreal & Plattsburg to
along side the platform, enabled freight to be easily tranferred
across the platform from
car to car. Ironically the platform was
largely obsolete in the next few years with the coming
of the Civil
War and whole freight trains being moved through to destination
without breakup. But the old platform remained as a land mark to
beyond the tum
of the century.
Wye tracks were put in connecting the P. & M. (by now the
M.& P.) with the newly named Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain,
to the southwest; to the northwest and to the southeast. Also an
interchange track was laid down paralleling the southwest wye
and extending along side the M. & P. well down toward the
Village. This track, evidently was for cars moving to the M. & P.
were backed around the northwest wye onto the
0 & LCs
passing track. (See map)
By the end
of the 60s Mooers jct. must have had a full
complement of facilities as a junction even to track scales for
weighing cars, and the combined number
of employees on both
roads must have numbered fifteen
or more. A turntable was put
in use and for a number of years Mooers Jct. was the home
terminal for a mixed train crew
that ran to Ausable Forks and
All of this was necessary for the through traffic was
booming and a war was on between the Vermont Central and the
Rutland & Burlington for the through business to Ogdensburg
and the west.
The VC connected with the
0 & LC at Rouses Point and
would appear to have had the advantage over the ferrying across
the lake to Plattsburg. But the R & B had held the business
2 –
10 –
15 –
23 –
24 –
25 –
Rutland Main Line
Rutland Passing Track
Rutland House Track
East Wye
D a H Main Line
D a H Storage Trac.k
West Wye
Interchange Track
Standard Oil Storage Tank
Less Car Load Transfer Platfarm and Track
Turn Table lacation
North Wye
Hop Pole yard
D a. H Stock Yard
Cool Shed
Rutland Stock Yard
Milk Station
Rutland Hand Car House
U. S. Customs House
Rutland Station
D a H Station -Team Scoles at rear
D a. H Freight House
Track Scoles
High Ball Signal – D a. H mile post 188
D a. H Water Tonk
D a. H Hand Cor House
Location of Engine Wood Fuel Shed
26 27
t!:E3 ::: -_~J
W 0 !llee
through the good service that they had given from the beginning.
To offset the rail connection of the Vermont Central the Rutland
& Burlington in a bold nevJ move, had a large freight car ferrying
boat built to handle the freight cars across to the M.
& P. The
Oakes Ames could handle 11 or 12 cars and was also fast. With
an unlimited amount offreight to move the boat was put on a fast
non stop schedule night and day. Over a thousand cars a month
were moved.
of this traffic was handled through Mooers Jct., although
the VC made strenuous efforts to divert
it. Eventually the VC did
take over the R & B but at a disastrous lease rental that headed
them toward bankruptcy and they failed to gain any traffic.
Freight movement to and from Canada must have been
of a
fair amount but the only information found was
in an employee
timetable dated May 9, 1870, which follows.
Mooers Jct.
Boundry Line
Boundry Line
Mooers Jct.
North Bound
7:15 Mall
South Bound
FreIght Mixed
am 2: 10 pm
9:35 3:40
pm 7:40 am 4:30 pm
6:16 7:47 4:43 10:30 am
7:20 8:35 6:20 12:00 N
With the 70s came the prospect of a gain in passenger traffic
for Mooers Jct.
The Delaware & Hudson, now carving a niche
for itself in the rocky cliffs along Lake Champlain, was at last
headed north and 1875 saw their arrival in Plattsburg.
That fall
service began between New York and Plattsburg and a little later
was extended on to Mooers Jct. and a connection with the trains
of the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain. Also with this came the
of the Canadian partners name of the Montreal &
New York. But the new owners of the old Plattsburg & Montreal
has other plans. Secret negotiations were going on
November of 1875. The Victoria bridge has been completed
across the St. Lawrence
in 1859, giving the Grand Trunk
entrance to the city for its lines to Portland and to Rouses Point.
The D & H were intent on making this latter place the connecting
point for their
New York -Montreal Business.
The formation
of this arrangement was a big step forward in
lUXUry travelling and called for a proper celebration. Accordingly
special train was made up for an inaugural trip from New York to
Montreal, with a most distinguished list
of passengers including
Jacob Astor, J. P. Morgan, and Cornelius Vanderbilt and
Grant was invited but was unable to come. The train
consist was in keeping with the passengers. Engine Saratoga,
baggage car, hotel car, seven Wagner Palace cars and an open
Baldwin coach.
The party spent the night in Plattsburg and the
following forenoon, November 17th, 1875 about 10:30 a.m.
arrived at Mooers Jct. Here a short stop was made for the train
had to
be delivered to the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain
railroad for movement to Rouses Point. News
of the event had
gone throughout the community and a motley crowd was on hand
to behold the elegance
of the new train and no doubt hoping to
catch a glimpse
of some of the distinguished dignitaries on board. The
0 & LC crew took over and the train pulled out for Rouses
Point. Figures are not available but it
is a safe bet to say the
of persons on hand far outnumbered those present when
the Plattsburg and Montreal railroad arrived 23 years before.
Regular service was soon inaugurated via this route with a
stop at Champlain for passengers, and for a year Mooers Jct.
and a segment
of the 0 & LC were handling main line passenger
service. But
in the summer of 1876 the D & H started the
of a cutoff from near West Chazy to Rouses Point
and at the close
of the year trains were moving that way.
It is entirely probable that it was at this time that the through
train service between Plattsburg and Montreal via Mooers Jct.
and Hemmingford was discontinued and the sections were
thereafter operated
as branches of their respective companies.
Although they were branches, there was interchange
of freight
and passengers at both Hemmingford and Mooers Jct. although
the rails
of each company ended at the boundry line. For train
operations a workable set up was agreed upon, the
Grand Trunk
extending the operation
of their line on to Mooers Jct. and their
public time tables and employee timecards showing Mooers Jet.
as the end
of their branch and likewise the end of the D & H
branch coming
in from the south.
For train schedules, there were two trains each way per day
except Sundays. A D
& H mixed train went north in the
forenoon to Hemmingford where they delivered any freight cars
they had to the Grand Trunk, turned their train on the wye, and
returned to Mooers Jct. Late in the afternoon the Grand Trunk
mixed train came out from Canada with any freight cars they
might have for the D & H. Although the interchange
of cars,
loaded or empty, took place as above, the billing
of the cars listed
Boundry Line as the interchange point.
As there was no wye at Mooers J ct. for turning a train, the
Grand Trunk backed their train to Hemmingford rather than pay
the extra charge that would have accrued to the
0 & LC in using
the wyes that were there. The Hemmingford branch had now
been bisected by the Grand Trunk line from Montreal to
Massena, N.
Y., at St. Isadore Jct., thus giving the former a
direct entry into Montreal. The part from St. Isadore Jct. to
Caughnawaga was thereupon abandoned and taken up.
in the last years of the 70s, to the North Country there
came a
Name train in the form of the White Mountain
Express but popularly dubbed The White Mountain Flyer. This
was a summer train, Chicago to
Fabyans in the White
of New Hampshire. Out of Chicago on the Michigan
to Suspension Bridge at Niagara Falls, where it was
delivered to the Rome, Watertown
& Ogdensburg Railroad in
the evening. Early the following morning there was a brief stop at
Watertown, where they picked up two sleepers from Syracuse,
then on to Norwood, N.
Y. where the 0 & LC took over for the
run on to Rouses Pt. The train by this time was sporting a consist
of, at the height of its popularity, eleven cars, made up as
follows: Baggage, smoker, and nine Wagner sleepers. Due at
Mooers J ct. at
9: 10 in the forenoon, old timers forty years later
were still remembering the train.
At Rouses Point it passed onto
Central Vermont rails for handling via Montpelier and on to a
Connecticut River line.
HA MPLAIN DIVISION. ________ —-:
===—===–==-=: –·–:-_-::—_c· .. ::._::-:. ===
__ L_E_:_A~_E_. ___ ; !~~T~; ;; i LEAVE !=~ 1= ; =;:~;=
Albany ………… : 8,00lll.40P,., …… ,……. Montr,eal ……… 9.0~ … 1 ~.OOP …….. -…… .
——,—-Rouae 8 Point …. 11.10 5.10 4.00.1 ……. .
Troy……….. ,8.10 :JI.50 I …….. ……. Champl.ln ……. 111.25 ~.~O 4.18 ….. .
.. ,—___ 1 ___ ___ ~looersJunctloD …… 11.·10 5.35 5.00 ……. .
Schenectady …;~~~~~:..::.:~ I ~~~!~:::::::::::::::::tUp) U~ ~:~1 ::::::::
Whitehall ….. : .. 11.05. 2.~015.00.1. 2.50. illeekmautolVn ……. 12.20 16.1~ tl.l1 ……. .
Chubb, Dock ……… 11.26 …….. 5 35 . :3.15 I Plattsburg …… ArllZ.~O ,G. 22 ….. ..
Dresden ………….. 1l.32 ……… 5.50 3.40: …. ,—,——–
11 11.M 6.15 4.20 II Plattsburg ….. Lv, ……… ! .. _ ….. 7.:)0 •. 1 ……..
p~t·~:~;~::::::::::::: ilt.52 6.-tO 4.10 . 8n1OQn Rh·er ……. ,( …………… 7.50 …….•
~}!I~W:;:~:lf. ..: •••• /:[ !~1f~~/·i::i:g~r.> ••••. i~… •• • •••
. Iddison Junction …… 12.IOp :3.28 !.OO 5.10 I Ukne ……….. ;10.:12 ………………… ..
Port Henry. :::: …… 12.50 !.P4 0.00 630 PI ~.apbnm~ lill,. . ,H.g3 ……. ………… .
Crown Poillt 1~.:lO …….. 1.40 5.00 I Peru………. .. 1
………………… ..
Westpo.t…. .. ! 1.20 10.10.., ,almon RIVer.. .,11 _0 I·· ………. · …. .
Iadham, Mills.. U .27 .. 10.:10 ….. , Platt.burg .. .
ll1.~5 Ill…….. … …. .. ..
Wh.llunsbur~. ,1.36 …….. 10.00 … –. ———————-
Wills~orough . .. …. : 1.5; …….. 11.3.5 …. I ~lattaburg … Lv l·l.50 P 6~! P 9 00 J( ….. ..
PortKent …………. 2.25 (13$ 120PlI …. :!alcour ………. 1.0~ .6.~~ ~;;-s …. .
Valco r i 2.~O …….. 1 .. )0 …… /1 Pu,t Kenl.. … .. 1.20 . 7.1~ II _0 ….. ..
Plat~l t;,:,,;:g ….. A~ 2 .05 6.10 2.30 …. … , Will,borough …….. I 1.:,~ ,i.~S 1I .3.; …… . •
…….. . _________ · ____ 1 Whal!onsbur~ …… 2.10 . 8.04 12.20.lI …… ..
Plattsburg …… Lv i.3~ i :adhams Mills .. ··1~2.28 .t8.1~12.~0
~alroon River ……… 7. b., …….. , ……. ! est.pOlt. ……….. 2.40 i S.IO 1.0
I.anh.w. llll~ ……… 8.10 ………………….. · ….. ·.1· Port Henry ………. a.IO 8.45 ~.I~ 5.~0.,,,
. …….. ; S 2 Crnwn Point …….. ~.35 . 9.03 ·I.~O 620
~i~;r::·.·.·.i:::~.H· .!.~ ••• 1( :!. f}[¥i1ij[fj~1?:·~:~·.
LHpb~~;,~ )liil~::::::: 11.0:3 / ………….. . ……. I, Ft.Tlconder·ga Lv …… ……………… ·7 …. _1· ..
~almon River ……… 11.20 ………….. , …….. , Patt .. !on ……….. t-!.?, ~.3~
Platt.burg ……..
1I.45. …… ! ……. · …….. ·1· Putnam …………. 4.20 ……… 5.06 7.-t.>
_______ · ______ 1 ______ Dresden …………. 4.31 …….. 6.22 8.12
Platt.burg ……. !.v 3.10PI IL30 14.~OP …. I Chut:b, Dock ……… 4.39 I …….. 6.:IS 8.~~
8eekmaDtown ……… 3.n 0.40 I 211 . . . Wblteball ……. Ar 5.00 Jl0.15 ~ .,::.10 PM ~~~
Chazy ……………. , 3.3~ 6.52 4.40 …… I
~clota ……………. 3 . .j.~ 7.04 ,5.00 …….. Schenectady …. Ar 7{0: ………….. ..
Mooers Junctloo ……. 3.M i.15 15.35: …… ·li-·——-,——-
Champlain ………… 4.20 7.:35 6.~~ …….. , Troy …………. B.IO : 1.00A.{ ………….. .
Rouses Point ….. : 4 30 7.~o I 040. …… 1· —.—–,—,–. ——
Montreat ….. Ar: 7 00 P)I.10.00, …….. : ……… Albany ………. A:~~~.~~ ~:: __ :.: .. :_:::::: .:
——t Tra~~-;Lop to leavo or t(lk~-PasSenger3 on signal,
OONNEOTIONS.-At Wbiteball ,. h ~urnloga Divi,ion .. At Port Kent with Ferry to and from Burlingto,ll.
At MOQers J~lnction wit.h Central Yelmoot H. R. At ROll:$es Pomt wtth Grand Trunk and Central Vermont R. R. !t.
t.-_______ ._,~ …. ~t_~~~treal ~lt.h diverging Railroad and ~leamboat Lines.
History records of one accident besetting this train. While on
RW & 0 and in the middle of the night it was derailed with
reSUlting casulties. The size of this train always necessitated
double heading, as was the case the night of the accident.
Apparently the 0
& LC road bed was rather rough for one writer
ofthe time refers to
the Lively ride while thereon, but said the
passengers enjoyed it. This train was
in existance until around
1885, when the New York Central gained control
of the Rome,
& Ogdensburg and put an end to the competition.
Along with the White Mountain Flyer that the NYC took
the~selves, they also took a nice movement of freight that the
& 0 had been handing to the 0 & LC at Norwood for
rerouting and the Northern road was once again fending
itself. But once again help came from the East. The Central
Vennont took control
in 1886 and traffic promptly picked Up.
Heavier CV power appeared with freight runs coming out of St.
Albans as their tenninal. Long freights westbound
of 65 cars on
one engine were being handled through Mooers Jct. True they
stopped a long way ahead
of the 400 foot limit before going over
the diamond, thus spotting their train on the down slope
Rhoadses Hill and giving them an impressive start for the 26
miles climb to Cherebusco. Switching also was going on a large
of each day by CV-O & LC and D & H crews in the
of cars, and the long interchange track was coming
in handy. These too, were the days
of Wooden Cars and Iron
Men. Brakemen were brakemen who rode the Hurricane
Deck, (car tops) and Tiedem Down. when the engineer
called for brakes, for power brakes did not extend beyond the
No automatic couplers then, and men had to stand in
between the cars and guide the link into the slot, the reason why
so many men had fingers, or even a hand missing.
Many inovations were tried
in those days. A way freight crew
on the 0 & LC used a long rope running from the caboose, over
the tops
of the cars to the engine for signalling the engineer. This
was seen one time between Mooers Forks but was not
commonly used and probably proved a nuisance. However, on
passenger trains a cord always ran from the engine back through
the coaches for use
in emergencies. But it still was the way freight
crews who came up with ways
of getting their work done quicker
and easier and with less leg work. An eastbound way freight
would be seen coming into town, with the engine and a car or two
ahead in the lead, and the rest
of the train cut up into two, three,
or four pieces and slowly following. A company switchman was
located at the entrance to the yard, the engine crew had handed
off a switch list, and the cars were diverted to their respective
tracks, all due to
that gentle slope of 6/10 of 1 %.
The coming of the telegraph in the 1860s and 70s changed –
in the moving of trains. Please note the following from
the Employee Time Table,
of the Montreal & Plattsburg
Railroad, dated
May 9, 1870, in the way of instructions.
No.6 will have right to the road against No.2 until 7:20
P.M., after which time No. 6 must keep out
of the way of
The standard time for trains on the Champlain Div. will be
the clock at Plattsburg.
All trains will run at reduced rate
of speed over the bridge at
Plattsburg, and without working steam.
Passenger trains having the right of Road must not leave
any Station, or
Side Track whereby the Time Table it should
pass a Train, until
FIVE minutes after its time, per Time Table,
and this five minutes allowed safety, must operate at every
succeeding Station until the expected Train is passed. Freight
Mixed Trains must keep ojJtime of Passenger Trains.
Geo. A. Merril, Gen[ Supt.
In 1883 a list of the stations and the agent in charge was put
out by the
0 & LC, and is remarkable in that even the smallest
places had a station and an agent. The nearby ones are
Woods Falls-
Centerville (Mooers Forks)
Mooers J ct. –
Perrys Mills –
Champlain –
Champlain Landing
-Pat Casey
J. W. Lansing
Geo. W. Hotchkiss
T.E. Winthrop
L.A. Perry
Geo. Clark
H. Clark
The last years
of the 80s were booming years, years for
freight on the
0 & LC with its connecting boats out of
Ogdensburg and the RW & 0 at Norwood. In 1887 the tonnage
handled was
582,000 and in 1892 had jumped to 1,090,000
tons. Coal and grain accounted for the larger part
of the traffic
and lumber a third factor, a portion of which being reflected
the interchange at Mooers Jct.
An item of light interest in the interchange at Mooers Jet.,
in those days, was the liquor traffic moving from Plattsburg
to points west.
This was
in wooden barrels, and being less than a carload was
transferred through the
0 & LC freight house. Legend has it that
few left without losing samples. The method of
withdrawing it was never disclosed.
In the 90s, the CV (To whom the 0 & LC was leased, 1870-
1898) put on some heavy freight engines, so heavy
in fact that
the word went around that they could only
be used in winter time
when the roadbed was frozen, and it may be that it was at this
time that the line was laid with 80 pound steel.
It is known that the new power was handling trains west bound
of up to 60 cars.
These were the busy days at Mooers Jct. with the way freights
east and west, on the
0 & LC spending hours there switching and
handling less carload house freight. And the D
& H mixed train
which did their switching, often used up to an hour extra time to
get their work done.
The southeast wye at the back
of the D & H station was used
as a team track for the loading or unloading
of cars. Behond this
and toward the south end
of the wye Andrew Steenbarge had a
coal shed where cars
of coal were placed for unloading. These
cars, in the light
of today, were unique. So small they were
almost square and with a capacity
of only ten tens, mounted on
but a single pair
of wheels under each end. They had to be
unloaded by hand and a partly unloaded car presented a certain
attraction to the boys from the surrounding farms and
backwoods, many
of whom had never been on a train.
The D
& H returning from Hemmingford at about eleven
oclock was good for up to 45 minutes
of switching and here the
car came into play. Cars on the team track had to be pulled
out and others put
in or moved elsewhere so consequently the
engine coupled onto the coal car which was first
out and kept it
attached for
all the switching thereafter until the last move was
made and the car returned to its original spot. Mooers Jet. had
far more than the usual station to intrigue an interest the farm
boys. The wooden station platform was a long, long one.
plank and six feet wide it started at the east end of the 0 & LC
station where it was 18 inches high by the waiting room.
Continuing on it sloped up sharply by the office bay window to
box car door height for the length
of the freight house. But there it
did not end. Turning south across the end
of the building and at
full width it dropped down a steep slope to ground level to
accommodate a driveway, then up to the 18 inches for the D & H
passenger station and lastly
up an incline to box car height for the
of the D & H freight house which was a long building with
two doors.
This platform had several incentives.
The two wheeled
hand trucks could be raced from one end to the other, (if you
didnt keep it up too long). Standing outside the open office
window listening to the strange clicking sound inside, and that
spot on the last upward slope to the D & H freight house where,
when the Grand Truck train came in around 6:30 at night, the
bous could stand and look right
in through the cab window, their
engines were that small. The older boys climbed to the tops
of the
box cars
in the yard and raced along the cat walks,jumping from
one car to the next one. And the still older boys had their
too. Many of them rode the engines while switching, even taking
a hand at firing or at helping the crew handle freight. One kindly
o & LC engineer by the name of Clark Wilson was so well
remembered by the many who had a ride up
in the cab with
High Ball signal pole had been erected at the
Diamond at the Junction, at some unknown date, governing
the cross over
of trains: A red or green ball, or light, and the
following specifications.
For the 0 & LC: A stop 400 feet away,
designated by a sign, a green ball or light, a whistle signal
medium length to be blown before moving ahead. For the Grand
Trunk: A green high ball signal and the whistle. No stop. The D
& H : green ball or light, no stop or whistle. The signal was hand
operated from the ground by two pairs of chains and one evening
in a high wind a chain swung out and was snagged by the
Trunk backing by, breaking the pole off at the base and it coming
down alongside the track.
In the six miles of track between Mooers J ct. and
Hemmingford several things occured.
One summer a car of
cattle was shipped weekly from Hemmingford to the States. This
commodity called for fast movement and the two companies, by
formal agreement
or a bending of the interchange rules, had the
D & H pick up the
car at their forenoon turn around there. Cars
still has link and pin couplings and hand brakes. Coming out of
Hemmingford, on the long descending grade the stock car broke
loose from the coaches behind and the crew looking
out as the
coaches slowed
to a stop saw the head end disappearing around a
Whether the men in the engine cab noticed what they had
lost is not known, but they did continue on to Mooers J ct. There
they set off their
car of stock and after explaining to the
dispatcher what
had happened were issued a work order to go
back for their missing equipment.
In due time they found it and
once again the crew were headed for home. But not for long.
Approaching the
Jct. at what may have been an excessive rate of
speed, a piece broke out of a driving wheel and went hurtling
down the bank.
They tied up and an engine was sent up from
Plattsburg to bring them in.
At some earlier date the D & H train was derailed near the
road crossing between the Line and Hemmingford. A
McCuen who lived near the crossing stated the engine was on its
in the ditch with the drivers still turning, indicating that the
throttle could
not be closed. There can be little doubt that this
was the same
spot that caused another wreck about 1896. The
story was that ice was frozen solidly over the track on a winter
morning that followed a fall
of snow during the night. The D & H
snowplow outfit
up from Plattsburg consisting of plow, engine,
flanger and caboose, all went in the ditch. Nobody was hurt
the plow operator was forced to jump from the cupola window. It
was two days before the wreck was cleaned up and traffic
As this was D & H equipment on GT rails it raises the
of responsibility . However, it was common practice for
the D & H plow to go to Hemmingford for turning.
D & H mile
post 188 (Miles from Albany) stood right at the
at Mooers J ct. and 189 at the north end of the half mile
long Gettens
Cut. This cut started in gradually at the south end
getting deeper until
at the north end a train would be hidden from
view. A ten foot
board snow fence extended the entire length.
One winter snow conditions were unusually bad and the plow
was up frequently, always ahead
of the forenoon branch train.
one morning after a fall of snow and a howling west wind
plus a drop in temperature the hard packed drifts were deeper
than usual.
But the railroad officials were onto the drifting
condition and when the plow arrived from Plattsburg it was being
pushed by a double header
of engines. A stop was made for
Grand Trunk running orders and the tale is that the D & H crew
had some derogatory remarks about the trouble the 0 &
LC men
were having keeping their line open.
Leaving town they were soon headed into the cut and found
they were hitting deep drifts in spite
of the fact that this was the
shallow end
of the cut. With wide open throttles and a full head
of steam they forged ahead until near the north and they stalled
Mooers Junction, probably prior to 1910. AD. & H. train is at
their station while the Rutland station is
in the foreground.
Mooers Junction
in 1911.
with the plow buried to its top in the snow. A long difficult time
ensued in getting themselves loose and backing out.
With a gang
of shovellers that were along, the snow was cleaned away from
around each unit and the rear engine encoupled from the
ahead. This one backed the train away from the head engine and
Head engine was then uncoupled from the plow but found
it was unable to stir, so the second engine was brought up,
on and pulled the head one out. After considerably more
shovelling the two engines were able to loosen the plow
and then
back the whole train out
of the cut. Getting a start from way back
near the station they broke through the remaining drifts and into
clear track, and were
on their way. Something worthy of mention
in connection with the day was the fact
that this was the first time
this piece
of railroad had ever seen a double header.
Branch lines like the Mooers and the Hemrningford branches
had their winter trou bles and except for the worst storms the one
of each had to look out for themselves, the Mooers branch
being the shorter
ofthe two by 12 to 24 miles. A common sight
was the D
& H coming into town with the front end of the engine
banked high with snow, even to the front
cab windows. Both
branches had the disadvantage
of a north-south direction and the
open flat country of the north end of the Hemmingford branch
was the worst
of all. A train has been known to have lain there in
the snow over night and a call to St.
Lambert for the snow plow
was sure to mean the Hemmingford branch. The GT engine on
the branch was equipped with a front end plow and even a
flanging arrangement that could be operated from the cab. They
also did have a certain advantage between Hemmingford and
Mooers J ct. for the D
& H train or snow plow would have been
over the track in both directions before they used it at six oclock.
But the 0 &
LC should not be overlooked for they had real
winter troubles and the Ellenburg
Cut could tie up the road for
days. Once it had to be opened up by hand labor.
In summer, life on each
of the branches could be pleasant.
Both crews were home for all meals, work was easy and were
seldom bothered with officials.
Two men of each crew who
constituted a sort
of home guard and were widely known,
were Hugh Brennan, condr. and
Dave Palmer, engr. of the D &
H and condr. Poupore and engr. Joe Abare of the Grand
Although the interchange
of freight traffic in car loads
between the D
& H and Grand Trunk over the years had been
very modest, consisting mostly
of coal going north in the fall and
winter and hay and pulpwood south in the winter and spring.
However there came one winter when there must have been a
hay crop failure in all points south and business picked up. Eight
or ten
caTs would be on the rear of the Grand Truck when they
came out at night and when the number got up to ten
or twelve
they began making an extra trip out at noon with the freight cars.
The maximum came one day when they had nineteen.
The little
GT engine took full advantage of the down grade from
Hemmingford to the
Fisher Street road crossing but the upgrade
from there pulled them down and the steeper incline south
Line slowed them to a walk when they lost their footing and
stalled. Breaking the train in two they took the first ten on to
and then returned for the other nine. Probably the longest train
ever handled on the Hemmingford branch and definitely the only
one to
double the Hill. Most of these cars moved back empty
later as per governing rules, the greatest number in
anyone day
17 which the D & H handled easily.
Somewhere along in these years there was a period when the
Grand Trunk ran their pay car in the circuitous route of
Montreal to Rouses Point, then west over the 0 & LC to Mooers
Jct., and then north to their own Hemmingford branch. This was
always in the forenoon and on one trip they came into conflict
with the D
& H, a scheduled train also going to Hemmingford. It
may be that the pay car had taken longer than expected getting
around the wye onto the D
& H tracks or maybe the operator at
St. Isadore Jct., who was also the dispatcher for the branch, was
struck with a yen for hurrying up the pay car (And his pay) and
gave him a
Run Ahead order.
just over a mile out of town the pay car men were
surprised to discover the D
& H tight on their heels and gaining.
But not for long. With an exhaust shooting upward the pay
pulled ahead, the old freight engine with the low driving wheels
was no match for a passenger engine and one car.
In August of 1903 a southbound freight on the D & H
out of Rouses Point ran into the open draw over the
Chazy River
at Coopersville, demolishing the center pier on
whieh was the swing span, thereby tying up their mainline.
frrst that folks up around Mooers Jct. knew about it was when
A Grand Trnnk engine of the type used on the HemmingJord
two Grand Trunk engines, running separately and backing up,
came out from Canada about seven
0 clock in the evening. These
were put in on the siding at the
Jct. but shortly afterwards one
was found to have leaking flues and was dispatched to
Hemmingford where it was exchanged for the branch engine,
tied up there for the night.
By this time news had gotten around
that the mainline trains
were going to be detoured through Mooers J ct. and Hemmingford
to Montreal, and a crowd
of people had gathered around the
The relief engine from Hemmingford had arrived and was
put into clear on the siding. Two northbound passenger trains
had been held at Plattsburg and the first southbound sleeper had
left Montreal via the detour.
The first train to arrive from the south was the afternoon local
with six cars.
The D & H engine was cut off and a Grand Trunk
substituted and departed. Soon the northbound day Express
followed and the process was repeated. Also about this time the
westbound passenger train on the Rutland
(Former 0 & LC)
came in and a transfer
of passengers and mail made.
Two D
& H engines were now on hand having been turned
around by using the wyes to the Rutland tracks.
Next was the
of the frrst New York sleeper. When this train came in for
many it was the frrst time they had ever viewed sleeping cars, or
even cars with vestibules.
Car inspectors were on hand for
checking the train before being accepted
by the D & H, and
after some delay there were the four beeps
of the inspectors air
whistle and the train departed, the two red rear marker lights
plus the two red lanterns on the
rear making a colorful exit.
It was after eleven oclock before the second New York
sleeper came in, late because the engineer was not familiar with
the route lind after dark, and barely escaping stalling on the sharp
grade just south
of the Line.
This event brought many changes to Mooers Jet. Night
telegraphers had to be put on in both D
& H and Rutland offices
and at
Canada Jct. on the D & H, also at Hemmingford and
other offices on the
Grand Trunk. Car inspectors for both D & H
GT had to be on hand and all engines cut ofT south bound
Grand Trunk trains had to be returned to Hemmingford for
turning and holding until brought back to Mooers J ct. for a
northbound train. A Rutland car inspector was needed for D &
H freights were being rerouted via Mooers J ct. to Rouses Point
and also these same freights had to have a Rut. pilot engineer.
extra passenger train at this time was the movement of a
Canadian military unit called
The Queens Own from Plattsburg
to Montreal via Mooers J ct. and Rouses Point and was handled
by a brand new, larger D & H engine, the 389.
Train Movements Between Mooers Jet., and Hemmingford
in August 1903 due to Detouring D & H Mainline Passenger
Trains over the Mooers and Hemmingford Branches between
Plattsburg and Montreal. Times are approximate.
About 5:30 a.m. southbound GT engine (backing)
6:30 a.m. northbound sleeper
7:00 a.m. southbound
GT engine (backing)
7:30 a.m. northbound sleeper
9:30 a.m. southbound passenger
10:00 a.m. northbound
GT engine (backing)
10:15 a.m. northbound D
& H branch passenger
10:45 a.m. southbound D
& H branch passenger
12:00 p.m. southbound passenger
12:30 p.m. northbound
GT engine (backing)
1:30 p.m. southbound
GT engine (backing)
2:00 p.m. northbound passenger
6:00 p.
m. southbound GT branch passenger
6:20 p.
m. northbound GT branch passenger
7:15 p.m. southbound
GT engine (backing)
7:30 p.m. northbound passenger
9:30 p.m. southbound sleeper
10:00 p.m. northbound
GT engine (backing)
11:00 p.m. southbound sleeper
About 11:30 p.m. northbound
GT engine (backing)
This was an exciting time for Mooers Jct. and one that was
long remembered for the total movements of the Rutland trains,
plus the D
& H and the Grand Trunk totals up to 30 to 35 per
But the heyday came to an end. One week later the D & H
had thrown a temporary bridge across the river
at Coopersville
and the Mooers and Hemmingford branches went back to their
easy and quiet existance.
Three views of D. & H. engines at Mooers Junction. We see here
numbers 390,
421 and 438.
In 1907, 08 and 09 fluid milk companies in New York built a
of milk stations across northern New York on the Rutland
road and Mooers J ct. was
in on it. A milk train was put on and in
time built up to a train often to fifteen cars. At some stations cars
were placed at the milk station platforms for loading and at the
lesser stations the train backed
in to their platform and the milk
was loaded into cars in the train. These trains operated daily,
including Sundays and the agent or operator
had to be on hand
Sundays for billing out the shipment.
At Mooers Jet. the milk
moved to Melrose Jct. station
in New York City.
But one
of the Rutlands predecessors, the original Northern
of New York had hauled dairy products back in its
earliest days
of 1851 when it handled butter destined to Boston
in brand new refrigerator cars that had been constructed in their
own shops at Ogdens burgh, the beginning
of railroad refrigerator
The Butter Train, out of Ogdensburg every Monday night
ran down through the years until past the turn
of the century
when the shipments offluid milk began to take over. However,
1910 now reduced to one car it still ran out of Ogdensburg once a
.. ~
From the beginning both railroads through Mooers Jct. had
Mail and Express trains listed on their schedules, the
probably denoting a fast train. Much later different express
companies developed and the American Express Co. was on the
CV and Rutland and the National on the D & H and Grand
Trunk. At one time cream in volume moved from Canada to the
States, arriving
on the Grand Trunk and transferring to the
Excursion trains were a feature Back in the
Days and Mooers
Jct. had its share.
The Plattsburgh Fair in September was the one
big feature.
Then the D & H branch train on its regular forenoon
trip might have six coaches instead
of its regular two and six cars
was some train in those days.
To get the patrons back home at
night an extra train was run through to Hemmingford, where it
turned and dead headed back to Plattsburg. Even the
Trunk made extra trips when their Ottawa Fair was on, by
coming out to Mooers J ct.
in the morning for the few passengers
there. Connection was made with the
Canada Atlantic railroad
at Johnsons, some seven or eight miles beyond Hemmingford.
Return was the same night on the Grand Trunk.
On the 0 & LC or CV excursions were run every summer to
Alburg Springs
or to Rouses Point to connect with boats up the
lake or to Burlington. A tragic accident happened on the return
home, part
of one of these earliest trips. The excursion train
westbound, met the eastbound passenger train head on at
Champlain and several persons were Idlled. In the other
direction excursions were run to the Thousand Islands, via
Ogdensburg and the boatline. Also, but in later years, to Ste
Anne de Beaupre via Malone and the New York Central.
Of two Sunday excursions, one was from St. Remi, Que., to
Cliff Haven, near Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain. This was
Grand Trunk originated and was turned over to the D
& H at
Mooers Jct. where an engine and crew were on hand, up from
Plattsburg. The
Grand Trunk engine and crew returning to
Hemmingford to wait until evening when they came back to
Jct. and the exchange was reversed. The other Sunday
one was from Ottawa to the same destination, but taking in three
different railroads. Ottawa
& New York, Ottawa to Moira;
Rutland, Moira to Mooers Jct. and D
& H Mooers Jct. to ClifT
Haven. Returning was via same route.
One other excursion and one that was a little bit unusual in
that, part
of it was over the narrow gage Chateauguay Railroad,
was put on
by the churches of Mooers in 1900 or 01. The
destination was Dannemora and Chazy Lake. Sunday school
children were largely included in this, possibly for the effect
tour of the State Prison at Dannemora. Special train was run
up from Plattsburg which was run through to Hemmingford for
turning, and back at Mooers Jct. at about 8:30, for picldng up.
Everybody was eager for the change
at Plattsburg to the small
sized narrow gage cars with seats arranged with full sized ones
on one side and single ones on the other. Excursion was handled
by their regular train with extra coaches on the rear. These
coaches were cut
out at Dannemora and at about two oclock in
the afternoon picked up by another train and taken on to Chazy
Lake for the
few remaining hours. Arrival back in Mooers was
about 7:30.
Only two private
car movements are known, both of the
Rutland era. One was a Pullman sleeper and a Delux horse car,
moving from Plattsburg to the Malone Fair.
A Pullman sleeper and de luxe horse car en route to the Malone fair.
Time evidently did not count in this instance for the cars
arrived about 10:30 a.m. on the regular branch train and layover
until evening when they were picked up by the westbound
Rutland passenger train,
No. 265, Pullman porter was in charge
of the sleeper and trainers looked after the horses. The other
movement was more important as it was the D
& Hs private
car moving from Plattsburg to the Rutland railroad and
using Mooers J ct. as the transfer point. Move was evidently top
priority and every thing was handled with precision and no
Car arrived on the rear of the regular branch train and
backed around the north wye onto the Rutlands passing track,
and still backing up the long passing track
to the west switch.
Here they waited and Rutland 264 arrived shortly, pulling on
by the switch. D
& H then pushed the car out on the main and the
Rutland backing up, coupled on. The answer for using Mooers
for the transfer instead of via their main line and Rouses
Point probably due to the fact that at the latter point they had no
direct connection with the Rutland and a transfer there would
have involved going also through the
Grand Trunk yard.
Just following the turn
of the century some excitement was
generated around Mooers Jct. by the D
& H prospecting for a
connection with the
CPR somewhere in toward Montreal and
the Mooers branch, and possibly the Hemmingford branch too,
in for consideration. But in the end a new line was decided
upon, running out
of Rouses Point and connecting with both the
CPR and the Grand Trunk at a new point, given the name of
Delson Jct.
The transfer
of solid trains from the D & H to points west
were now a thing
of the past although the long transfer track still
remained. Coal still moved to the
Grand Trunk and pulpwood
and hay to some extent
in the opposite direction, but the only
transferring that remained was the less carload from Plattsburg
to points west on the Rutland. All three roads had settled down to
a quiet existance,
in later years to be looked back upon as the
Good Old Days. Agents pay was about$57.50 a month and the
section bosss about the same. Second trick men about $52.,
which the Rutland station had one; but the D & H had a car
inspector, who also filled
in as a signal operator for the High Ball
at the diamond. Station hours at the D
& H were from 9 a.m. to 7
p.m., or to cover all trains.
At the Rutland 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. or
to cover all passenger trains. Over time had never been heard of
and your monthly pay covered all emergencies such as calls in
the middle
of the night or on Sundays when the station was
closed. Same general conditions applied to section gangs.
In 1900 with the Rutland coming into possession, the
0 & LC
name was finished, after some disappearing and reappearing
acts over the past forty years. But it wasnt long before the
Rutland began to lose its identity too. The New York Central
started buying
intojts stock and soon after 1905 the passenger
equipment was carrying the legend, New York Central Lines on
the letter boards.
No longer were the little Mogul 2-6-0s
showing up
as the helper engine on the head with a cut often cars
between it and the larger road engine. Now both engines were the
big consolidations (2-8-0s) and bearing the
NYCs 2400s
numbers. The two milk trains engines, the 1000 and the 1001
were former
NYC engines of the 4-4-0 heavy high boiler
These were the good comfortable days for the Rutland with
two through freights each way per day, two passenger trains each
way except Sun., one way freight each except Sun. and the afore
mentioned milk trains plus occasional extras. A second trick
operator had been added through the intercession
of Dr. Mulvey
and although the interchange
of many car loads was a thing of the
past there was an occasional car or two from the D & H and also
a good amount ofless carload from them to points west.
The shirt
in the village was in operation and Sid. Goodsell with his
horse drawn dray was always on hand upon the arrival
of the
Plattsburg train and the east and west bound way freights on the
Grand Trunk trains and Wilbur Wookley had the contract for
the newly initiated express delivery
in the village.
At the D & H, Angus Wood was busy forenoons with the
arriving freight and car inspector Elmo Garrow took care
of the
high ball signal and delivered the mailbag to the post office. The
afternoons were the times for relaxation and a friendly card game
with old cronies dropping in.
Not heretofore mentioned were out of town tracks. One such
was at the village, between Main Street and the river bridge,
leading in from the south. This was handy for carloads arriving
and unloading. Also when the excelsior mill was
in operation,
about a carload a week being loaded. Also
in 1904-5-and 6 a
spur track was located a mile and a half north for the loading
cord wood. And in connection with the spur at the village an
incident happened that was very funny but could have been
the opposite. The switch had inadvertantly been left open and
the approaching train
did not notice the red switch target until
too late. A freight car stood at the end ofthe track but with the air
in emergency and the wheels sliding the train hit the car hard
enough to knock it into a shed
in the rear of Samples store.
No serious wrecks are recorded at Mooers Jct. or in the
immediate vicinity.
Of minor ones, back in the link and pin days
a flat
car was knocked otT its trucks. About 1909 a brand new
MDT refrigerator car in an eastbound freight jumped the track in
going over the diamond and without breaking loose from the
train, followed along on the ties to the east switch and back up on
the rails again.
In 1911 the same thing happened to another
brand new
MDT refrigerator, but this one broke loose from the
train and went
in the ditch.
A brand-new MDT refrigerator car in the ditch in 1911.
About this same time too, the eastbound night freight
discovered they had a loose driving wheel tire and limped into
Mooers J ct. Using the whistle they aroused the agent who stayed
at the Ingleside, and got a relief engine up from Alburgh that took
their train
in. Following forenoon an extra was run up from
Alburgh with the shopmen and a tire setting mechanism. In less
than two hours the disabled engine was repaired and ready to be
in when it was discovered their own engine had a loose tire
and a second operation had to be performed.
The Rutland had one
in midwinter that could have been very
bad. A westbound snow plow, after dark and with a meet on at
Mooers Jct. with 252, the eastbound passenger, was facing a
blinding snowstorm and failed to see the east switch. A violently
swinging lantern
of 252s brakeman stopped them but not until
they had just nosed into
252s engine pilot, damaging the pilot
and the nose
of the snowplow.
is known of such events on the GT although they must
have had some. One such happened in the late fall when the run
out to Mooers J ct. was after dark. A wind blown tree,
just south
ofthe Line was across the track but the engine was able to push it
somewhat to one side and they scraped by.
On their return with
their two cars backing it was a different situation, and they could
not get by. Returning to the crossing, one mile, plus a quarter
mile hike to a farm house they obtained an axe. Then with the
axe back to the tree, they cut the top section off the tree and could
get by. Ten minutes later they were back
in Hemmingford, otT
duty and on their way home to a late supper. Not necessary to
prove that the axe was back to its owner on their next trip
Their train trip out
of Hemrningford in the morning was
strictly a commuter run and
at such stations as Barrington a
of persons would be on hand, mostly women with market
baskets piled high with garden produce. These baskets were
in at the baggage car door, the women climbed aboard,
all set for a day
at the Montreal market, and claiming their
baskets on arrival
in the city.
The branch run ended at St. Isadore Jct. and ten minutes after
their arrival the train from Massena pulled in, picking up their
cars and taking them on
in to Montreal. The crew then turned
back toward Hemmingford as a way freight. After laying over
there for about two hours they were on their way back toward St.
Jct. doing way freight work. About 5:30 their baggage­
smoker and the coach had arrived on the Massena bound train
from Montreal and picking up their two cars they were on their
way back toward Hemmingford
as a passenger train. Arriving
there, they picked up any freight cars on their rear and continued
on to Mooers J ct. as a mixed train. There was one summer when
a milk
car was added to the train for Montreal. And at this point a
belated note might be added to the Hemmingford branch, the
part from St. Isadore
Jct. to Caughnawaga had been abandoned
in 1880.
Between Mooers
Jct and the Line, pretty well along toward
mile post 190, the ditch on the east side
of the track was quite
deep and after a spell
of rainy weather would be full of water. At
the end of a certain hot sultry day some of the younger boys
headed for the spot and a swim
in the soft warm rain water.
Enjoying themselves they forgot all about the
Grand Trunk train
being due until the sound
of its approach. Submerging, they were
of sight as the train went by. But soon afterwards one of the
boys, with a startled look on his face, suggested they had better
see iftheir clothes, which they had shucked while standing on the
track, were
alJ right. They were lucky, their garments were along
the ends
of the ties, all except one shirt. It was across a rail and
had been cut
in two.
It was not far from this same spot that one summer during a
long hot drought that one
of the two trains set a forest fire, the
only such incident known. The fire burned for ten days
or two
weeks, resisting all attempts to put
it out, account of burning in
muck soil. Many trees were toppled over, the soil having been
burned from around their roots.
By the end
ofthe century freight moving through Mooers Jct.
was dropping
ofT. Instead of the 25 cars every forenoon from
Plattsburg it got down to around ten and neither station
generated any great amount
of freight of their own. The Rutland,
as the 0 & LC became in 1900, shipping maybe a dozen cars of
cordwood in the winter time and the D & H half that many of hop
poles, and two or three cars
of apples in apple picking time.
Inbound shipments were better.
For the Rutland, loads were the
exception but they did have considerable
I.c.l. merchandise. The
D &
H, cars of coal and less frequent, tank cars of kerosene for
the Standard Oil co.
Passenger business was fairly good at both stations and both
were stocked with interline tickets for far away places. All
packages were handled
by express for parcel post was not yet in
existence. Telephone was for local use only. For long distances
Western Union telegrams were used. Neither station carried
Pullman tickets but space could be ordered for the passenger and
picked up before boarding the train at Plattsburg, Rouses Point
or Alburgh. And becoming more up to date, a
News Butcher
(news boy) appeared on Rut. 264 and 265.
In 1913 the D & H station was struck
by lightning and burned
to the ground.
It was not rebuilt, the Rutland station becoming a
dual station with the D & H. Angus Wood, the D & H agent for
so many years, known and liked
by everyone, went to
Coopersville agency to finish out
his service with the company.
The D & H had often made use of the 0 & LC between
Jct. and Rouses Point, but only once so far as known,
did the other road have to resort to detouring over the D & H. About 1912 a wreck occured at Champlain, blocking their main
line. Rutland 264 switched onto the D & H at Mooers Jct.,
thence south to Chazy Jct. and over the D & H main line to
Rouses Point.
Some years previous to this a woman had narrowly escaped
being killed at the main street crossing in the village and the
railroad company had immediately imposed a speed limit
of ten
MPH for Northbound trains over this crossin$. Also the whistle
for the crossing was changed in that the last (4th) blast was
not terminated, but was dropped to a lower note and continued
until the engine was over the crossing. This crossing was
considered a blind spot for persons moving west on Main Street,
largely because
of a small house on the south side of the street.
An air of mystery surrounded this building which was of a
brownish color and had a slate roof, because it was located
within the standard 100 foot right
of way of the railroad.
Apparently it was on the spot before the coming
of the railroad
and had tenaciously clung to
it. It did have to accede to a thin
wedge shaped slice being taken off the west side which barely
allowed trains to get by without touching. In the winters to come
it would be a safe bet to say that the railroad snow plows when
coming up the branch would be sure to have their wings folded
when approaching the Main Street crossing. And that peculiar
crossing whistle was a sound that would remain with the people
of Mooers for many years to come.
it was the silvery toned bells oftheD&H engines, as they
came to s stop in front
of the station that were a delight to hear.
No other road had any thing like it.
And one more thing in favor
of the Delaware & Hudson, they burned hard coal, there was no
In the late 90s with freight falling
ofT on the branch,
passenger engines began taking over. One
of these, the 386
became almost a permanent fixture it was on the run so long.
in 1910 the newer and larger Double Cabs began being
For years all D & H passenger engines had been equipped
with Hoarse whistles. The same with passenger engines on
0 & LC CV but freight engines retained the old tone whistles.
However the Grand Trunk still clung to their one tone for their
passenger power for many years to come. Also the Grand Trunk
still retained their old time crossing signal
of Long Short
Medium, whereas the American roads had always been using
the standard long long short long.
But an oddity that the D & H held onto to the last was the
letter R on their whistle posts.
The Rmeant ring, for in the
beginning bells were placed
on locomotives to be rung when
approaching crossings
as a warning to people to keep off. The
whistle was used only when nearing stations, to alert passengers
embarking, and also the passengers on board
of their approa­
ching destination.
Many railroads, especially those with long grades, have tales
of run away trains, or of cars getting loose and taking ofT down
hill. The D & H and Grand Trunk, being
in flatter country, seem
to have missed all this but the
0 & LC did have a well worn story
of a wild ride one of their conductors took, without even knowing
An empty coach was being dead headed west on a freight, but
behind the caboose. However, it was not quite empty, for a
conductor worn out from long hours on duty was inside, catching
Rutland locomotive 2419 at
Mooers Junction.
D. & H. 99 is typical of the Moguls which hauled trains between Plattsburgh and
Mooers Junction. The usual consist was about 25 freight cars and two passenger
coaches. The engines burned hard coal, so produced only a minimum
of smoke. This
was built by Dickson in 1890 as number 311, and it served until 1917.
up on some shut-eye. At Ellenburg a stop was made for some
routine work and while this was going on some one discovered
that the coach had broken loose and was on its way from which it
had just come. Luckily the telegraph was by then in use and work
was flashed to all the stations, Forest, Altona, Woods Falls,
Mooers Forks, Mooers Jct., Champlain and Rouses Point to
keep everybody and everything off the track. Apparently there
was no train
in the area.
With a slope
of six tenths of one percent, the car was soon
traveling fast, and it was here that the excellence
of the road
construction, earlier mentioned, paid off on the wide sweeping
curves. The first opposing grade was Rhoades hill, east
Mooers J ct. but the run-away gaily went up and over the top and
then picked up more speed dropping down to Champlain. The
story tells how a crowd had gathered
at Champlain station and
pelted the car with tin cans, etc. as it sped by. Between
Champlain and Rouses Point there
is a rise of considerable
elevation but it was soon been approaching Rouses Point.
Through the maze
of tracks at Rouses Point it leisurely rolled
along and out onto the pile trestle across Lake Champlain where
it came to a stop.
A statement by the lone passenger on that trip might be
interest but the story ends minus that information. It is not
known whether the man was even awake or not.
With the outbreak of World
War One in 1914 business on the
railroads took on a spurt, both
in freight and passengers. A
through sleeper was put on from Boston to Ogdensburg, going
through Mooers Jct. on the morning train, number 251. Also a
through express car was added to the same train Boston to
Ogdensburg account the increase
in express business. In freight,
all available equipment was put into use on all roads in the
Then in the 20s with the war over, the D
& H with other
railroads, adopted a policy
of retrenchment and soon flied an
for the abandonment of the Mooers branch. In 1924 permission was obtained to discontinue the part between
Mooers J ct. and the Canadian Line. This being joint trackage
the Grand Trunk Railway concurred and one day
in 1924, date
unknown, the last D & H train, and the last Grand Trunk train,
passed over the rails between Mooers Jct. and Hemmingford.
The spot midway in between called Province Line, then Boundry
Line, and lastly
just the Line was left to its self to revert back to
the wilderness. But it
is marked with a small granite monument,
one side reading United States, and the other side Canada, and
across the front, Treaty
of 1842.
The remainder
of the Mooers branch, from the Junction to
Canada Jct. was abandoned the following year and the rails on
both segments taken up.
Mooers Jct. as a junction was
of the past. The JCT so
proudly added to the name in 1852 was removed and now it was
just Mooers again. A rise, a decline, and demise. Seventy three
years, the life span
of an ordinary person. However, it fulfilled a
need and gave a service to a young land when it was needed, and
left many memories behind.
The Rutland remained, but a void was there far out of
proportion to the missing D & H and Grand Trunk trains. Down
through the years of the 0 & LC, the Central Vermont and the
Rutland, all trains coming into town had to slow down and come
to a stop
400 feet from the crossover. Then one blast of the
whistle and then move on to make the station stop, or if a through
freight, to continue on. But now they tore through town with no
of friendliness, as if to leave the place behind as soon as
Better too, were the freights
of earlier days. The little Mogul
engines with the
2-6-0 wheel arrangement as the helper on the
head end, with a cut
of some ten cars between it and the road
of much larger size, arranged in that order because of
weak bridges, and both putting out clouds of black smoke as they
in getting their train moving for the long climb to
Four hours later the little helper would be coming
back down the hill, drifting along contentedly, but making the
stop and whistle salute before crossing the diamond.
In the years before the automobile became common all
of life appeared to be tied in with the railroad. People set
their clocks by the time the train went by. The maps in the
railroad folders showed where other cities and towns were
located or how many miles it was to the next large town. All
merchandise arrived by rail. All passenger trains carried mail
cars with a mail exchange at every station. Mooers Jct. had six
arrivals and departures
of mail per day. But on the other side of
the ledger, however, there were no passenger trains any where,
particularly, on Sundays. In all four directions from Mooers Jct.
the railroad was the center
of life in every community.
A phase of railroading before the coming
of the automobile
was in having a train stop at a country road to land a passenger,
or less frequently, pick one up. Whether as a matter
of goodwill,
the return
of a favor, or compensation, is not known. And
houses, far from town and beside the railroad track, were
especially favored
for the inhabitants and the railroad men soon
got to know each other and a wav.e
of the hand and a toot of the
in answer was a common greeting. Two such homes were
not too far away, one an even mile north
of the Jct. was a not too
uncommon stop to land a passenger and save
him the walk from
the depot. Also this family possessed a certain railroad vehicle,
called a speeder, and the envy
of all the neighbors. It had three
wheels, two of them flanged for the left hand rail and a smaller
on as a guide to keep it on the rails, on the other side. A seat
for a man to pump it plus one passenger.
The other house was nearer to Sciota.
It was somewhat more
of an attention getter for the house was on one side of the track
and the barn on the other. Many a long walk with a heavy satchel
has been eliminated
by the generosity of a train crew.
But it was the eloping young couple that a train stop at some
obscure road crossing was the acme
of convenience, security,
and dispatch
in getting away unbeknown. Of course this all had
to be arranged before hand with the train crew, but no railroad
man has ever been known to be so lacking
in chivalry as not to
take part in such a venture.
And a comely high school girl at the station one forenoon
mentioned to the telegraph operator that she had always wanted
to have a ride
in an engine cab. The northbound D & H train was
at the station, she was taken over to the engine, her
request made known to the engineer, and promptly taken on
board. A trip to Hemmingford and return was made and she had
her engine ride. A sixteen year old boy with
no other way of
getting back to his job at Rouses Point was taken aboard by the
engine crew
of a helper engine coming back down from
Cherubusco, given a seat on the firemans side and landed at
Rouses Point.
Again at Mooers Jct., a girl with a battered old tin bucket, out
beside a standing engine, and the fireman pouring a stream
coal down into the bucket, for her home fire.
In 1910 a telegraph operator from the Boston & Maine by the
of Grimes was working second trick at Mooers Jct., when
one day in mid summer agent Downs, returning from his midday meal at one oclock, found Grimes missing. A check
of the cash
and tickets showed everything there okay. But it was known that
the man was having domestic troubles and was also heavily in
debt to the storekeepers in town.
For some time any trace of him
was lacking, but later it was learned that he had been seen
walking the railroad track toward Hemmingford.
or several days the station was short handed until the agent
found a young man with some railroad experience and worked
him into the job. Nothing was heard from Grimes for a long time
and then one day one
of the merchants received a money order
postmarked in western Canada. Examination
of the railroad
guide showed that the place was located on the Grand Trunk
Pacific west
of Port Arthur. The money orders continued to
arrive monthly until all his accounts were cleared up, as well as
his name.
Then there was another operator, who at an earlier date
worked the third trick at Altona. He had a girl friend who lived
Mooers, and had found various ways to get down to see her in the
afternoons. But to get back for 11:00 p.m. at night posed a
problem. A little bit
of ingenuity solved that. A westbound
through freight was due along about nine or ten oclock at night.
So with a switch key
he had obtained somewhere he would open
the east switch to the passing track and keep out
of sight as the
train approached. With the switch light showing red the train
would come to a stop and while the switch was being closed he
would hop aboard.
At Altona they had to stop for water and as
they slowed down he would drop off, in plenty
of time for his
11:00 oclock job. Everything just made to order. After a few
such happenings a company cop was sent to Mooers Jct. which
soon put an end to the red switch lights and the operator too.
Also there was the case
of the disappearing air brake hoses,
taken off the freight cars
in the yard at the Jct. this occurred at
irregular intervals for some time. No detection of the thief was
ever arrived at, and it
is difficult to imagine what use could be
made of them anyway. The way freight crews were glad when it
ceased, for a car without brakes had
to be switched around
behind the caboose to be handled in the train.
In the earlier days
of the railroad between Mooers Jct. and
Plattsburg, passenger trains at times made regular stops
at the
village to pick
or discharge passengers. But in 1877 that part
coming into Mooers Jct. became a branch of the D & H and at
some time thereafter passenger service was reduced to a mixed
train that came up
in the middle of the forenoon and left going
back about
11 :30, and there were no more stops for passengers.
So it naturally came about that some men and boys took
to riding
the rear platform
of the coach which was the last car of the train
and dropping off at the village. This was easy enough
for the train
was heavily loaded with a long string
of freight cars and was not
moving fast. There was told the story
of a portly business man
who tried this one day to save the halfmile walk. But
he hesitated
slightly when getting off and when he landed he was on the
further sidewalk with a momentum that carried him crashing into
the front door
of a house nearby. Another rider whose trip was
not so funny was Andy Floody, a boy from over near the Jct.
stayed on through the village and for quite a ways beyond,
probably figuring that the steep grade ahead would slow them
down. When dropping off
he was knocked unconscious and lay
there for quite some time before regaining consciousness.
The Rutland yard at Mooers Junction looking east.
D. & H. yard looking north. Note the ancient coach used in work service.
In the winter of 1904 an odd incident occurred and has
a mystery ever since.
The regular D & H train bound
for Hemmingford from Mooers Jct. came to a stop at the Line,
and remained there. In a little while a
Grand Trunk train was
heard coming from Hemmingford and met them there. After
some time both trains backed to their respective stations.
Why the D & H did not, or could not, go across the line into
Canada that one day is not known. The Grand Trunk train made
its regular run out
to Mooers Jct. and returned that evening as
usual. Inquiry years later at Mooers
Jct. brought no in­
in the past, has been known as a hazardous
occupation, but only one personal injury is known to have
happened to Mooers
Jet. men. Willard Wells, section foreman on the Rutland, had both legs
broken by a passing passenger train which had a long rod
extending out from a
car at right angles.
Back in the days
of Local Option the town of Mooers was dry
but the adjoining town
of Champlain was wet and the sale of
round trip tickets to Champlain became a noticeable commodity,
the return portion
of the ticket insuring the holders return. One
balmy summer evening, westbound 265 made the usual station
with the coach directly in front
of the station door. Two of
the towns prominent and staid citizens were in full view in the
coach window and engaged in a serious and motionful
The brakemans Board was unheeded, the train
pulled out. But Mooers
Forks was ahead, and the train stopped
there, only three miles from home.
One other case was not in failing to get off, but in failing to get
on, which happened at Altona. A family group appeared at the
station one forenoon and bought tickets for some point east. No.
264 arrived and the family hurried to get on. But alighting from
the train was another group, old time friends. Greetings were
fervent and sustained. The conductor, standing
in the baggage
car door, looked back. Seeing no move to get on, waved a high
ball to the engineer and the train pulled out. Consternation
followed but another day was coming.
As to the place, Mooers Jct., which was an outlying part
Mooers Village, there was in addition to the railroad facilities, a
large general store, a hotel, the milk station and a coal shed. Also
there was the U.
S. custom house. There was one nice street of
ff~sidp,nces, Maple Street, with the Wesleyan Methodist church
at the further end.
Two customs-immigration men were
in charge at the customs
house, Wm. Stevenson and a
Mr. Swivel, one of whom rode the
D & H train to Hemmingford and return each day and the other
met the Grand Trunk train at about 6:30
in the evening.
In the late
20s the Rutland too began to suffer from lack of
traffic, due largely to their circuitous route between New
England and the West. Long past the Government had decreed
that railroads could not own boat lines and the Rutland had to
give up its Rutland Transit Line from Ogdensburg to Detroit
and Chicago. Also the New York Central which had forrnely
included it
in their system were now active competitors between
West and New England. The picture brightened a little bit at
one time when numerous Maine Central cars appeared
in the
westbound freights bringing to mind the early days
of the
railroads and the projected Portland and Ogdensburg railroad.
But that soon vanished, and with the
30s came the Great
Depression, and in 1938 the Rutland was in bankruptcy.
But they struggled through with the only apparent change that
their title ended
in Ry instead of R.R. In the forties came the
Second World
War and business soon boomed and the railroads
were swamped with freight and passenger traffic. Government
fmancing soon entered the picture and some heavy modem
engines were
a10tted the Rutland. But the war ended and with the
eight hour day
in effect· for the railroad men, the Rutland was
back on hard times again.
In June 1953 came the Rutlands first strike, with the Order
of Railroad Telegraphers. The strike ended with the very
generous agreement, that the company could withhold a part
the mens pay until such time as the Company had more
resources. Seven years later, 1960, came the second strike, with
the Company threatening to abandon the road. Valiant efforts
were made by local organizations to aid the railroad and several
towns cancelled entirely the roads property tax. Appeals were
made to the I.C.C. and other government agencies but
no help
was forthcoming and on September 25th, 1961 the last train ran
on Rutland Railroad rails.
Today with
no railroads at all the place bears little
resemblance to its former days. The Rutland station still stands,
in its 120 years and the D & H freight house, equally
stout, in
as many years, both in commercial use.
With diligence all the former tracks can be traced out, even
though covered with grass and weeds and brush. Even, the old
turntable pit can be discerned.
Northern Railroad of New York
of Trains at Mooers Jct.
April 24,
18S I.
West Bound
8:35 AM Passenger
2:40 PM Passenger
East Bound
12:25 PM Passenger
6:20 PM Passenger
October S ,1854
12:42 AM Postdam Lumber 8:28 AM Through Freight
12: 32 PM Passenger
4:28 AM Night Freight 4:43 PM Way Freight
AM Through Freight 6:42 PM Passenger
AM Way Freight 10:30 PM Night Freight
8:33AM Passenger 11 :25 PM Potsdam Lumber
December 2, 1867
7:50 AM Passenger
PM Passenger
10:05 AM Passenger
4:54 PM Passenger
May 17, 1880
No Schedule Available
No Schedule Available 5:42 AM White Mountain
4:42 PM Passenger
Cent. Vt.
9: 10 AM White Mountain
January 7, 1901
7:05 AM Passenger
7:05 PM Passenger
9:15 AM Passenger
15 PM Passenger
December 6, 1906
6:48 AM Passenger
8:50 AM Mixed Freight
and Psgr 9:35 AM Passenger
6:00 PM Mixed
Approximate Time of all Trains
in 1910, 1911 and 1912
6:45 AM Mail
AM Way Freight
11:40 AM Through Freight
PM Milk Train
PM Express
10:30 PM Through Freight
10:10 AM Express
AM Through Freight
12:25 PM Milk Train
12:45 PM Way Freight
7:20 PM Mail
2:00 AM Through Freight
June 25, 1916
AM Mail
PM Milk Train
PM Express
9:45 AM Express
II :40 AM Milk Train
7:30 PM Mail
* ERROR. The 8 hour day came in World War One.
Names and locations of Men Connected
with the Railroads
of Mooers Jet.
o & LC-Rutland, D & Hand GT
T.E. Winthrop Agent Mooers Jet.
–Cronin Agent do.
–Hull Agent do.
H.H. Downs Agent
S.-. Marshall Agent do.
Mcallister Agent do.
–Grimes Operator do.
–Bootman Operator do.
O.K. McKnight Operator do.
–Rock Psgr. Condr.
–Bentley do.
Homer Maloney Freight Condr.
Frank Sessions
Con. Whalen do.
Willard Wells Section Foreman
Mathew Downs
Jerry Crowley Road Master
Joe Lalonde Lineman
Clark Wilson Way Freight Engr.
Caspar Ingram Freight Engr.
Agent Champlain
–Storms Operator
–Batchelder Agent Mooers Forks
Tom Casey Agent Altona
–Starks Operator Altona
–Gowan 1st Trick Dispr. Rutland
U.V. Mace Chief Dispatcher
R-. Perry Operator Burlington Yd.
E.A. Newcomb Freight Agent do.
S.S. Colton Superintedent Rutland
J.F. Carrigan Asst. Supt. Malone 1883
1910-13 Angus Wood
Lucian Boire
Elmo Garrow
Dolph Garros
Hugh Brennan
Dave Palmer
Parker Pigeon
George Bostley
Skip Laporte
Joe Abare
Delaware & Hudson
Agent Mooers Jet.
Car Inspector
Section Foreman
Psgr. Conductor
Psgr. Engineer
Psgr. do.
Express Messenger
Road Master
Grand Trunk
Agent Hemmingford
Express Messenger
* Approximate Date
Sources of information
Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, BuUetin No. 39
The Rutland Road -Shaughnessy
The Rome Watertown
& Ogdensburg-Hungerford
Railroad Magazine
Railway Age
The North Countryman
The Rutland Herald
Official Railway Guides
Employees and Public Time Tables
of the Three Railroads
My Father, Edwin
L. McKnight
Personal Observation and Knowledge
The following items were copied by your editor from the newspaper The Plattsburgh Republican , issues of 1851 and 1852, and
they give a good idea
of the contemporary interest in the building of the Plattsburgh and Montreal Railroad.
July 19 1851
The Breaking of Ground on the Plattsburgh & Montreal Railroad.
July 261851
Plattsburgh & Montreal Railroad. The work on this important enterprise is, we are happy to say, being pushed forward with great
May 15 1852
We are happy to see the rapid progress making in ftnishing up the work on the line of our road, and especially the bridging and other
work through this village.
The bridging will be completed, we understand, in a very few days, and the laying of the track commenced
in the course of the ensuing week. About 500 tons of the rails have already been delivered here and piled up on the companys
ground near the wharf ready for laying -also a portion
of the chairs and spikes. A locomotive will be on the ground in the course of a
week or ten days to aid
in the track -laying operation, and everything now promises fair for realizing the expectation that the Road will
be in running order at an early day.
May 291852
The first locomotive and tender for the Plattsburgh & Montreal Railroad arrived here on the steamer Boston on the 25th inst.
is now on the track at the wharf opposite Fouquets Hotel. It will be put to work in a few days, so we hear. The track layers are
going ahead rapidly, some four or five miles being now
in running order.
June 5 1852
Thursday last(3rd inst.) was indeed a proud day for Plattsburgh, and one long to be remembered by her citizens , and all others who
feel an interest in her prosperity.
About 6 oclock
P.M. of that day, the last connecting bar of iron having been laid down on the track between the bridges across the
Saranac, the locomotive
Sciota (recently purchased by the company) started from the depot grounds near Fouquets Hotel, on the
first experimental trip over the road to Howes mill pond,
in Beekmantown, as far as the track is now laid. The locomotive and tender
were filled to overflowing by the directors and officers
of the Road and a goodly number of our citizens, (including ourselves) and
steamed off in gallant style along the iron track amid the cheers and congratulations
of crowds of people who lined the banks and
houses wherever a view
of the machine could be obtained, eager to witness the novelty of the first locomotive that has ever run out of
our beautiful village.
July 3 1852
& Montreal Railroad. We learn that work on this Road is now rapidly approaching completion. About thirteen miles of
is now laid northwardly from this point, to within about seven miles of the junction with the Ogdensburgh Road at Mooers.
17 1852
We learn that the tracklaying parties on the line of this Road between this place and Mooers have been doing wonders during the
past week, and that by tonight the last bar will probably be laid down to complete the connection between our place and the
Ogdensburgh Railroad .at Mooers.
The regular passenger trains, we understand, will commence running on
or about Tuesday, July 20th inst., in connection with the
trains of the Ogdensburgh Road, the morning and evening Boats on the lake and the Rutland and Burlington Railroad, and that a large
of travel will be immediately poured upon the Road there can be no doubt.
One year ago yesterday occurred the first formal breaking
of ground on this Road.
The two tracklaying parties on our Railroad had their wedding last Thursday evening (22nd inst.) at 7 0 clock -at which time
the last bar was laid completing the connection between Lake Champlain, at this place, and the Ogdensburgh Railroad,
at Mooers, to
announce which fact the superb lAlcomotive Plattsburgh, direct from Mooers, came sounding her shrill congratulations into our
village about 9 P. M. that day –
roarin~ like a very Bull of Bashon .
It will be predicted that the company intend giving the Stockholders an excursion over the Road this afternoon. Their number is so
large that accommodations cannot conveniently be provided at this time for more -so we learn.
The whole line through to Montreal
is expected to be opened about the 20th of next month.
The regular Trains between this place and Mooers Junction will commence running on Monday next (26th), connecting with the
Trains of the Ogdensburgh Road and the steamers on the Lake.
14 1852
Plattsburgh & Montreal Railroad. This Road has
now been in full operation to Mooers Junction, Ogdensburgh Railroad, for three
weeks, and
is doing a very handsome business already …. The track is now nearly completed to the Canadian line, and is expected to
be entirely so by tonight -it could have been much sooner there but for delays in the receipt
of iron.
The Canada portion
of the Road, we learn, is in rapid progress towards completion, and as soon as the track of the P. & M. R.
touches the Canada line an additional party oftrack layers
will be put on to the south end of their line and the work thus be driven on at
double speed. Should no unforseen occurrance intervene, the whole line from Plattsburgh to Caughnawaga will be completed by the
25th inst. and then our citizens may anticipate a glorious opening excursion to Montreal-a consummation of their hopes long and
anxiously looked for, and now, thanks to the energy and enterprise
of all concerned, very nigh at hand.
September 11 1852
We learn that the track of the Montreal & New York Rail Road was connected with the track of the Plattsburgh & Montreal Rail
ad at the Province Line, on Thursday evening last, thus completing the iron connection between Lake Champlain at Plattsburgh
and the River St. Lawrence
at Caughnawaga. It is understood that the ensuing week will be devoted to putting the track of the Montreal
and New York Rail Road
in complete running order and fmishing the Tum-Table at Caughnawaga, and that the regular Passenger
Trains between Plattsburgh and Montreal will commence running on Monday,
20th inst. We understand that the fmal opening of the
entire Road from Plattsburgh to Montreal will take place
in a few days, of which due notice will of course be given, as well as the
regular running
of the Trains. Our citizens and the travelling public will then have an opportunity of visiting the metropolis of Canada
in a new and highly-improved manner over the old round-about and tedious process of reaching that point. Success to the new
undertaking say we all.
October 9 1852
Open through from Plattsburgh to Montreal
On and after Monday September 27th 1852, and until further notice, Passenger trains will run as follows, viz:
LEAVING PLATTSBURGH FOR MONTREAL at 7:45 A.M., 2:45 P.M. and 5:30 P.M. arriving at Montreal at !0:30A.M.,
6:20 P.M. and 8:30
LEAVING MONTREALFORPLATTSBURGHat6:15 A.M., 12:00 noon, and 4:00 P.M. arrivingatPlattsburghat9:15 A.M.,
2:30 P.M. and 7:15 P.M.
J. Carter,
Engineer, P. &
M. Railroad.
Plattsburgh N.Y., Sept.
About 1973 your editor was browsing in a flea market in St. Albans Vermont and came across some old papers relating to the
Plattsburgh and Montreal Railroad. These proved
to be no less than the original bills of sale for locomotives Sciota , Plattsburgh
Mooers , as well as the actual (cancelled) bank draft used to pay for the Sciota . Also included was a weekly report of the
of the locomotive Clinton for the week ending March 12 1853. The contemporary accounts in the newspapers show that
Sciota was the first locomotive to run
in Plattsburgh, while Plattsburgh was the first to run from Mooers to its namesake village.
These unique documents are published here
for the first time.
@tcclil] J)cporl iI/V 7 c/ (!,?H,.d:~ ……. .e7.P tlv ,{ ,.01.7 &a1!.y.AJ~/~.~d5.
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Alone ~: 01, JTel.ldersTcudcrsQu .. rIsPmll,l. Pounils Eu;;ine Fire
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le 13
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App)op-ed, and ohargeable t9 ,aooount of
TOP: The original bill of sale for the locomotive Sciota bought secondhand from the Nashua & Lowell Railroad. The low price
of$2750. compared to $ 7400 each for the new locomotives Plattsburgh and Mooers suggests that Sciota was already an
old locomotive by 1852, possibly
of 1840 era.
BOTTOM: The original bank dro,ft used to pay for the Sciota . It was payable four months o,fter date, was signed by the
of the P. & M. and was accepted by the Bank of Burlington Vt. Note that the amount was charged to .fUrniture .
OPPOSITE: The original bill of sale for locomotive Plattsburgh and Mooers bought new in 1852 from the Taunton Locomotive
Manufacturing Company. The bill contains detailed statements
of payments made and interest charged.
All three items. collection of Fred Angus.
~I! t11~ ~i~~~~nl, ~ ~)Fttll~tJl~41 ~~~l il~&~ ~tW!t~~:f ~
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./j-tJ () tJ () ./
/) ) -+-i. +I-C] -!~ VI
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J~ cJ tl/iLi.!i.£id (;…. __ .. ____ ….. oF. ~. Z; . ..r-:,f
~———–/~6£i.Jf}:[:£K …
The Treasurer of the PlatUllurgh ~ Mamreat
!Wit &ad Oompany wiU pa,Y the within account,
viz: ~~ ~ Dollars .
. ——.–… –.. –.. 1hI~
President P. ~ M. R. R. 00.
~~. d-; 1. I, Ird).-. ~ ,ny
ry~ r ~ d….=…. f)
!fJ(,;J4¥ vtiJ· JL f-~–( .
a-~d.-Z-hp,J..-..-< ,.,-1 fl·~
~t-7i f JI .
The outside of the bill of sale for Sciota . The outside of the bill of sale for
Plattsburgh and Mooers. The reverse
of the Sciota bank drqft
showing that the account
was paid in foil
on September 21 1852, just blifore through
to Montreal began.
CNR 9400
On June 12th, 1989 the Canadian Railway Museum, took
of Canadian National Railways diesel-electric
locomotive No. 9400. The locomotive was placed
in the
of the Museum following lengthy discussion for the
of the locomotive from the National Museum of Science
and Technology, Ottawa. The locomotive had been transferred
to NMST following its withdrawal from service in 1968.
The Canadian Railroad Historical Association has had a
long standing interest in the preservation of the 9400 and its
acquisition for its National Collection in Saint-Constant. Built
by the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1950 the locomotive was
the first cab unit built
in Canada. An FA -1 , the locomotive was
assigned primarily to freight service
in Eastern Canada. It was powered
by an ALeO 244 V-type engine with a rating of 1500
H. P., Electrical equipment was provided by General Electric.
A total
of 412 FA-ls, with a rating of 1500 H.P., were
for the North American market between 1946 and
of which 36 were sold in Canada. Canadian National No.
is the only example of its kind preserved in Canada and
possibly one
of two in North America.
Following receipt
of the locomotive, a sum of $5,000. was
by Mr. Stanton Smaill, a member of the CRHA and a
Museum volunteer,
for the restoration of the unit. Plans are
currently underway to restore the locomotive by August, 1989.
For further information contact: Director, Canadian
Railway Museum
(514) 632-2410
The 1939 Royal Tour: Sotne Revisions
by Douglas N. W. Smith
In preparing the article on the Royal Tour of 1939, I spent
considerable time looking
at newspapers to fill in details about
those portions
of the tour not operated over CN and CP lines. As
the train operated into the United States and over the Quebec
in the closing days of the tour, it was not apparent that
the tour had experienced a major delay
at its commencement.
Fog and ice conditions off the east coast delayed the ship
bringing the Royal
party to Quebec by two days. Thus King
George and Queen Elizabeth arrived in Quebec
on May 17th,
not the 15th.
In order to run most of the tour on schedule, two
days were dropped from the
Ottawa itinerary. Thus the map in
the last issue
of Canadian Rail reflects what had been planned
not what actually occured.
The following are the corrections.
The Royal couple left Quebec City on May 18th stopping in
Montreal and Trois Rivieres. They arrived in Ottawa on May
19th and left on May 21st.
Dyson Thomas brought to my attention the fact that CP
operated an additional special train for the King and Queen as
part of the 1939 tour. On June 13, 1939, the King and Queen
travelled from Newcastle to Moncton via Fredericton and Saint
They left the Royal train at Newcastle that morning. The
Royal train then ran to Saint John via Moncton. The Royal
couple travelled by limousine from Newcastle to Fredericton. In
order to give them a rest period, it was decided to travel by rail
from Fredericton to Saint
John. As the Royal train could not be
in Fredericton for a mid afternoon departure time, CP
assembled a six car special train. The following article from the
Saint John
Telegraph-Journal of June 13, 1939 recounts the
special grooming given to the locomotive assigned to the train as
well as its consist:
Locomotive All Groomed For Royal Trip
McADAM, N.B., June 12 -The C.P.R. shops at
McAdam have been a humming hive
of activity during the past
few weeks as, under the supervision
of Master Mechanic W. J.
Pickrell and his staff of foremen and mechanics locomotive
to be used on the train to transport the King and Queen
from Fredericton
to Saint John, has been thoroughly groomed.
When this locomotive
was chosenfor the Royal train it was
placed in the McAdam shop for a thorough overhauling.
Erecting Foreman J. Bell has been
in charge of the work in the
All parts were completely dismantled and inspected
before being reassembled. The engine has been completely
and varnished from draw-bar to draw-bar and all brasses have been thoroughly polished.
All lettering an dfigu res
have been done over in gold leaf and the locomotive presents a
dazzlingpicture. Hundreds
of people viewed it in the shops over
the week-end.
The engine will haul a train
of six cars made up of the
presidents private car Thorold,
to be used by the King and
Queen, the vice-presidents car St. Andrews, to be used by
Premier Mackenzie King, two Pullman cars Stanbridge
Sovereign, one day coach and a baggage car. These cars
along with the engine will
be thoroughly cleaned and checked at
This train althought not streamlined nor carrying the
colors, still will comparefavorably with the Royal train used in
crossing Canada
and on the trip to the United States by Their
Majesties, as, nothing has been overlookedfor the comfort
the Royal party.
Engineer D.
C. Campbell, Saint John, one of the oldest
in the servive, will handle the throttle on the trip to
Fredericton to Saint John. F. L. Green, SaintJohn, will be his
fireman. Conductor
F. D. Appleby, Saint John, senior
conductor in point
of service on the Eastern Division will be in
of the train and will be assisted by Trainman G. H.
Currie and J. 1. McKim, all of Saint John.
This train will leave McAdam vely early tomorrow morning
for Freden·cton.
The special train moved from McAdam to South Devon,
across the Saint John River from Fredericton. The King and
Queen boarded the train for a brief rest before the round of
official functions began in the New Brunswick capital city. At
1505, the special train departed from Fredericton. The train
at the Saint John suburb of Fairville at 1730 where the
Royal couple disembarked to enter the city by limousine. After
the official programme in Saint John concluded, the Royal
couple boarded the regular Royal train.
A following brief vignette about the life
of the Royal couple
aboard the train was carried in the Saint John
The life of the Royal couple on board the train is simple.
They go
to bed early when possible but while travelling in
daytime, their buzzer signal sounds almost continually telling
of crowds lining the tracks ahead. !fthe King is busy with
and state matters, the Queen steps to the
platform alone.
A final note. The two young princesses remained in England
while their parents were in
The Royal Tour of 1919
This year is the anniversary of three famous Royal tours.
Many people remember the tours of 1939 (covered in the last
of Canadian Rail) and the tour of 1959 when Queen
Elizabeth II officiated at the opening
of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Less well remembered today
is the visit of Edward
Prince of Wales to Canada in 1919. However, seventy years ago
Canadians welcomed the heir to the throne with an
seldom shown to any visitor. There was a good reason for this.
The world had just passed through more than four years of war,
and the Royal visit provided an occasion for exhibiting some
long-supressed celebration.
The Prince of Wales arrived
in the battleship Renown at
Newfoundland on August
11 1919. He first reached Canada on
August 15, since Newfoundland was then a separate colony.
For more than three months he toured the country as well as
making a visit to the United States. On November 25 he sailed in
the Renown from Halifax and the tour was over.
Although the Prince made many more trips to Canada, and
even owned a ranch in Alberta which
he often visited, no other
tour generated the enthusiasm
of that of 1919. Not until 1939
was there as much excitement shown for a Royal visit. Prince
Edward succeeded to the throne
in January 1936 as King
VIII, but his reign was very short as he abdicated in
December of the same year. He then became the Duke of
Windsor and lived until 1972.
The pictures on these two pages are from a book published
in 1919. They show part of the trip through southern Ontario
during which the Royal train was hauled by
CPR locomotive
2231 . This locomotive, built
in 1914, was somewhat altered in
the 1920s. It has survived, and is one of the exhibits at the
Canadian Railway Museum where, like Royal Hudson
2850, it
is a reminder of the RoyaJ tour of long ago.
Sand Fly Special
by Sheila McGovern
The Times Review -Fort Erie, Ontario -Wednesday, August 8, 1978
On a warm, sunny, summers day traffic on the Peace Bridge
is backed up from the Canadian Customs to the Buffalo side as
our friends from across the river begin their annual imigration to
the sandy beaches
of Fort Erie.
They come by car, camper and motorcycle, and head out to
Crystal Beach, Windmill Point, and areas all along the Niagara
Parkway. But
thats not how it has always been.
Shortly after the
tum of the century, when Fort Erie was
known as Bridgeburg and the
Peace Bridge was yet to be built,
the summer migration began by means
of the Fort Erie, Snake
Hill and Pacific Railroad, afTectionally known by its passengers
The Sand Fly Special.
The engine,
No. 271, was of the Puffing Billies type, and
arrived in
Fort Erie with its locomotive and six cars in 1904.
Until Labour
Day, 1930, the train carried vacationers in four
open cars from
Fort Erie to Erie Beach, then called Fort Erie
The weekend excursion cost the passengers two dollars, and
included passage across the Niagara River, on Hope, or Niagara
ferry boat, and the train ride from
Fort Erie to Erie Beach.
Today little remains
of the renowned Sand Fly Special ,
sometimes referred to as
The Dummy. The engine has been
replaced by the car, and most
of the railway tracks have
Erie Beach, or
Fort Erie Grove, as it was then known, once
the liveliest place
in town, is also slowly slipping into extinction.
The only thing that really remains
cif the railway, is the
tradition it started.
NOTE: Reference to The Dummy as applied to the Sandfly Express requires
some scrutiny. The
Dummy as I remember it was a steam powered
rail coach that operated across the International Bridge between
Bridgeburg and Black Rock.
by Francis Petrie
Niagara Falls Review -Mar/18/70
The article on old Erie Beach mentioned the small Railway
engine and cars that brought hundreds
of picnickers daily to the
Beach from the old ferry landing
in Fort Erie. Actually there
were four engines operating over this narrow guage railroad
during Erie Beachs 45 year history.
To begin with the railroad bore the quaint title of the Fort
Erie, Snake Hill, and Pacific Railroad as it operated over little
more than two miles distance between
Fort Erie and Snake Hill
(the old name for the Erie Beach site), but where the
comes from is unknown.
The quaint line, however, bore the more familiar name of
The Sandfly Express.
These two photos were taken in Fort Erie Ontario in the early
1930s, using a Brownie Box camera.
CN 6140 is pictured by the
old coal dock
which is no longer in existance. TH & B 15 is shown
by the Michigan Central station. It was on the regular run between
Toronto and Buffalo, and
is heading towards the International
Both photos courtesy
of Bob Hamon.
The first of these four famous engines was Old Eunice.
She was built in London, Ontario in 1885 and was brought to
Fort Erie, where with her four coaches, she instituted the
After a few years Old Eunice was replaced by a saddle­
back boiler type
of locomotive simply designated number
Old Number 29 operated on the line until replaced with two
newer engines in 1901, when she was dismantled and sold for
scrap metal.
Old Eunice, her predecessor was sold to a
Northern Ontario lumber company, and continued to haul logs
many more years
in a Northern logging camp.
The year 1901 saw the arrival of the first of two famous
engines, both called
The Dummy. Their official numbers
271 and 272 and these were two Puffing Billies
that had seen service
in New York City on the Manhattan
Elevated Railway.
A Grand Trunk steam dummy designed for use on the International Bridge. This photo of Number 1 was taken about 1878.
National Archives
of Canada photo C-2618.
When this latter line was electrified, they were put up for
sale. Frederick Webber bought them
in 1901 and brought them
Fort Erie to bring picnickers and visitors to his new Fort Erie
The purchase included the two engines, each weighing 29
tons, and eight wooden coaches.
It proved to be a good move on
part, as it was to be a park feature that was to remain long in
the memory of Erie Beach visitors.
All reports
of the trip made over this line were not full of
praise, however, as one writer bluntly stated, the old dinky
huffed and puffed between the
Fort Erie ferry landing and Fort
Erie Beach spewing smoke and cinders over the passengers as it
rocked along with its rickety coaches.
Many stories are connected with line. On the night
October 4, 1904, the members of the Fort Erie Volunteer Fire
Company and their wives were at a special dance
in the old Erie
Beach dance hall. Suddenly, word was received
of a fire burning
in town, so all the firemen climbed aboard the train and
under the able guidance of engineer William Purrington and
conductor H. S. McClure arrived at the scene
of the blaze in a
31 minutes.
It was later attributed to this high speed that the Fort Erie
business section was saved that day from fiery destruction. One
accident at least
is recorded as having taken place on this line on
Friday evening in late spring of 1913. Near the pumping
station, the engine turned over on her side and one car was derailed. Engineer William Purrington and fireman Richard
Stockhouse received slight injuries but no passengers were
harmed. The engine was reported going about 20 miles per hour
at the time and it was believed that a flange leaving one
of the
driving wheels was the cause of this accident.
A long-time employee on this line was Jacob Barnhart.
started as a fireman on the Erie Beach line in the fall of 1901 and
stayed with it until it closed down in the
fall of 1930. In the
winter months he was employed
as a night watchman on the
ferry boats.
When the line was discontinued in September 1930,
Mr. Barnhart ran old 271 into the side track where she stood
until dismantled. Naturally, the
Fort Erie, Snake HilI, and
Pacific Railroad ceased to exist as
of September 1930 Labour
Day, the day the Erie Beach Park was closed down for
The two trains and their little green cars were sold at auction.
The two engines eventually wound
up as scrap iron during the
metal shortage
of World War Two but the train coaches were
taken to new locations and converted into summer homes.
tracks and ties were taken up and all traces of the 45 year old
Park features removed. As far
as I can determine, only
memories remain
of the Sandfly Express and these are still
foundly recalled by citizens
of Fort Erie and Buffalo. One Fort
Erie doctor featured a drawing of the train on his family
Christmas card a
year or two ago which cards are still treasured
by their recipients.
The Violet
by Richard Viberg
During 1896, Sir Charles Rivers Wilson, then President of
The Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada, arrived in
Canada from England. The purpose of his visit was his the
annual inspection and tour
of the property.
Not all of the details are well known except he followed the
of that age in that he did not live in Canada; rather he
stayed away from the society and civility of England only so long
as was absolutely necessary.
Sir Charles arrived by ship and disembarked in Montreal and
few steps away would be his home, his transportation and
his place
of work for the next few weeks. A brand new business
car built
in 1896 for his use at The Grand Trunks Point St.
Charles Shops and named after his second wife
The Violet was a pleasent and comfortable way to :0.
Today, The Violet is no longer the handsome example of
graceful travel she once was. Indeed the mere fact that this car is
still in existence almost 93 years after her debut is more by
chance than design.
Several years ago the car was officially retired from the
Edmunston Auxilary.
From an operating viewpoint, there was
no future
for the car and only some non-operating use would
save it from being disposed
of or worse, dismantling. Don Law,
who at the time was Regional Manager of Public Relations, had
Violet moved to the Moncton Coach Yard when he
discovered CN 58976 orViolet was the oldest car still on the
CN registry of railcars.
When approached
by the Salem & Hillsborough Railway in
early 1985, CN had plans to refurbish and use the car for
receptions and private partys, however shortly afterwards Don
was transferred to Montreal. During 1986-1987
we again
CN Public Relations, however, no decision had
been taken and I was asked to be patient.
In August 1987, the telephone rang one afternoon and what a
surprise. Violet would be given to us, however, the details
had to be ironed out. Once again we had too wait. Finally she
arrived, tattered and
tom apart by the car shop employees who
took out what they could get from her during the winter
of 1987-8.
We have made some temporary roof repairs and have put
Violet on display in the upper yard for now. Once in a while
we proudly show off the oldest piece
of rolling stock we now have
to the visitors.
The earliest line drawing
of the interior of Violet still in
existance is dated June 4,1947. This interesting document tells
part of the story of what happened to the car over the previous 50
On January 24, 1927 the cars length was increased from
748 to 752; on December 10,1927 there was an addition of
windows in the passageway, in 1947 interior changes were made
in one of the rooms. It is not precisely known what use Violet
had between completion
of her service for Sir Charles and 1940
except that
it continued to be used as a private car.
In 1910, the car was renamed Bonaventure but reverted to
the old name or simply car 95 sometime prior to 1940. It is also
known that prior to 1940, either through accident or hard use the
cars back was broken.
A photo of the Violet, now at Hillsborough N.B., taken by
Richard Viberg
of the S & H in 1988.
In due course and because of her age and wooden construction
she was taken out
of service and placed in the Montreal CN
Headquarters pool of cars. There she remained until 1954 when
she was rebuilt to form part
of the Edmu.ndston Auxiliary.
Unfortunatly there
is very little of the orginal Violet left
except, the basic structure, some ofthe siding and the iron work.
The interiors orginal oak and mahogany woodwork was
probably removed
in 1954 during the conversion from executive
private car
to Auxilary Diner.
In the orginal configuration, there was an observation room
in the rear with settees, tables and chairs. Next came the
secretarys room which featured a bed, desk and chair, a locker,
a cupboard and toilet with washing facilities.
The next
compartment was a double bedroom with bath. In the centre
the car were guest quarters consisting of a small bedroom with
two upper and lower berths.
The largest room was the dining room which could
seat eight
around a mahagony table complete with buffet and a side table.
The kitchen was next door with
full facilities for the gourmet
meals prepared within
by the two stewards whose accomoda­
tions were close by.
In the orginal
Violet, both the dining room and the
observation room were painted light orchid with dark orchid
waincoting and cream headling. The compartments were all
painted light blue except for the secretarys compartment which
was all sheated
in oak. The hallways were blue and white rubber
While Violet rests on the S & H station track, the old car will
soon have a new life. Violet was not liked
by those who rode
her at least in later years since there was considerable sway.
This conjures up visions
of the poor secretary to Sir Charles
trying to take notes or type in
his small quarters as Violet
swayed down the track.
Violet is the perfect match to our Grand Trunk first
class coach which
is the S&Hs most popular passenger coach
and hopefully
in the not too distant future the two Grand Trunk
wooden cars will travel together on our line.
Canada Decisions
by Douglas N. W. Smith
On May 2, 1989, the National Transportation Agency
(NTA) ruled that
CP could abandon the trackage between
Hamilton and Simcoe, Ontario. This line
is composed of
trackage built by three different companies. One of these was the
last major railway to undertake construction in Ontario.
In its decision, the
NT A granted CP permission to abandon
the Waterford
Su bdivision between Mile 41 in Hamilton to Mile
61 in Brantford and from Mileage 53.7 in Brantford to Mileage
78.9 at
LE&N Junction near Waterford. Permission was also
given to abandon the Simcoe Subdivision from Mile 35.3 at
Waterford to Mile 43.1 at Simcoe Junction near the Town
Simcoe as well as the 1.1 mile Waterford Spur.
The oldest segment
ofthe line covered by the NTA decision
was between Waterford and Brantford. The Brantford Waterford
and Lake Erie Railway (BW &LE) completed this line in 1890.
This railway was acquired
by the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo
(TH&B) in 1892. CP acquired the TH&B lines in
The next section
of the line to be built was between Brantford
and Hamilton. The
TH&B opened this section for traffic in
1895. An extensive article on the BW
&LE and the TH&B was
in the May-June 1988 issue of Canadian Rail I copies
of this issue are available at $ 4.25 postage paid from
P.O. Box 148, St. Constant, Quebec J5A 2G2J.
The section
of the line between Waterford and Simcoe was
by the Lake Erie and Northern Railway (LE&N). This
was the last major railway to be start construction in Ontario.
Following the chartering
of the LE&N in 1911, CP acquired the
company. The
LE &N was completed from Galt to Port Dover
in 1916. The 1.1 mile Waterford Spur was part of the old LE&N
main line. In recent years, it had been used by CP to connect the
Waterford and Simcoe Subdivisions.
The Hamilton-Brantford section
of the line has been out of
service since the spring of 1986 when a collapsed embankment
rendered the track unuseable.
CP advised the NT A that it could
cost up to $12 million to re-open the trackage.
Traffic over the remaining portion
of the line decreased from
57 carloads in 1985 to 13 carloads in 1987. The losses in 1987
amounted to
$483,731. Based upon these facts, the NTA
concluded that CP could abandon these lines.
The NTA authorized CN to abandon the 12.9 mile section of
the Chelan Subdivision between Reserve and Weekes,
Saskatchewan on April 7, 1989. The Chelan Subdivision
extended from Reserve
to Crooked River. Connections were
made with the line between Melville and Hudson Bay at Reserve
and with the line between Prince Albert and Hudson Bay at
Crooked River.
This line was officially opened
in September 1930. Passenger
service over the line was always infrequent. When the line
opened, twice weekly mixed train service was provided. In
1980, when passenger service ceased, the Saskatoon
to The Pas
railiner operated three times weekly.
No traffic has been handled over the portion of the
subdivision to be
abandoned since 1985. Shipments from the
elevators along the subdivision all move westwards through
Crooked River. Losses on this section
of the line totaled almost
$88,000 in 1987.
On April 7 , 1989, the NTA authorized the longest single rail
line abandonment ever
to occur in New Brunswick. On that
CN received permission to abandomn 103.5 miles of the
Quentin Subdivision between Tide Head Junction, near
Campbellton, to
INR Junction, near St. Leonard.
In April 1885, the Restigouche & Victoria Colonization
Railway was incorporated
to build from Campbellton to either
Grand Falls or Edrnunston. After eleven years of inactivity, a
new charter was issued to the Restigouche & Western Railway
(R& W). In November 1898, the first ten mile section from
Campbellton to Felix Gulch was completed. This short piece
track was all the R&W would build.
In 1903, the R& W was reorganized as the International
of New Brunswick (lRNB). The new name reflected
the hopes
of the incorporators that this line would form a key link
for traffic moving from the paper mills
in the Gaspe penninsula
to the United States.
Progress, however, was very slow. Up to the
endofl905, the
IRNB had completed only ten miles
of line beyond Felix Gulch.
Further tracklaying was held up until the summer
of 1906 while
the bridge over the Upsalquitch River was being completed.
This bridge, which consisted
of two 100 foot through steel
spans, was the longest on the line. Once the bridge was
completed, the pace
of construction quickened. By the fall of
1909,71 miles oftrack had been laid. The line was completed to
a junction with
CP at St. Leonard the following fall.
While the line was not officially declared open until 1910, the
line was transporting goods and passengers on an infonnal basis
from at least 1906. In that year, the Dominion governments
inspecting engineer reported that the company possessed 2
locomotives, 1 passenger car and
25 flat cars. On January 1 ,
1910, the company inaugurated a scheduled passenger service
from Campbellton to Mile 50.
By 1914, the railways roster had increased to 6 locomotives,
2 first class and I second class coaches, 2 combination cars, 1
baggage-mail car, 6 box cars, 66 flat cars, 1 caboose, 1 official
and 1 company service car. The major commodity handled
the railway was lumber and related products. Of the 88,872 tons
of freight handled in the fiscal year ended June
30, 1914, almost
90% consisted of forest products. As a reflection of the low
of freight traffic, passenger traffic generated 38% of the
total revenues reported by the company.
In contrast, the average
for Canadian railways that year was only 27%.
While revenues exceeded the costs of operation, the profits
were insufficient to pay the interest charges on the debt. In 1914,
the Dominion government leased the line
for $90,000 per
annum. This was sufficient to pay the creditors while negotiations
to purchase the line were completed. The Canadian Government
(CG R) took over operation of the IRNB on August I ,
1914. The government acquired the title to the IRNB
in 1916
and purchased the property
for $2.7 million in 1919.
In 1918, the
CGR constructed a connection between the
IRNB and the fonner National Transcontinental Railway main
line west
of St. Leonard. This involved the construction of less
than 0.2 miles
of track and the lease of 0.6 miles ofline from the
Van Buren Bridge Company by.the
CGR. The Van Buren
Bridge Company was a subsidiary
of the Bangor & Aroostock
of Maine. Their bridge over the Saint John River was
in 1915 to permit movement of Maine forest
products and potatoes to points
in Central Canada and the
American Midwest. This connection remains an important one
for the Bangor & Aroostock. Traffic moving over this bridge to
CN has actually increased during the past few years.
The CGR abandoned 7.4 miles of line built by the
Restigouche & Western between Campbellton and Christopher
in 1919. This step eliminated duplicate trackage and a
section of the line with heavy grades. The
CGR built a 2.7 mile
line from Christopher Brook to Tide Head where a connection
was made with the former Intercolonial main
line to Campbellton.
During the 1980 s, the main commodity shipped over the line
was wood chips.
CN offered the line to the two main shippers.
Negotiations with
J. D. Irving failed as no agreement could be
reached on the selling price
of the line. The other firm, Fraser
Inc, indicated it was not interested in acquiring the line.
Ironically, traffic volumes over the line increased during the
1980s. The peak year was 1986 when 2,971 carloads were
handled. Operating losses that year, however, amounted to
more than $1.5 million. During 1988, the woodchip business
shifted to trucks. Based upon these facts, the NTA concluded
the line was uneconomic and ordered it abandoned.
On April 4, 1989, the NTA authorized CN to abandon a
further 75 miles
of line in New Brunswick. The trackage included
in the NTAs order included the portion of the
Caraquet Subdivision
from East Bathurst to Tracadie, a
of 67.7 miles, and the 7.7 mile spur from Pokemouche
to Shippigan. These lines were built by the Caraquet and
Shore Railways in the later decades of the nineteenth century.
While the Caraquet Railway was chartered
in 1874,
of a railway through this area had been recom­
mended a decade earlier. After a survey
in 1864, Stanford
Fleming recommended Shippegan be developed as the terminal
for a steamship service between Britain and North America. He
proposed that the dominion government build a branch line from
ICR main line to the port. While this would have been the
shortest crossing
of the Atlantic [the distance between Liverpool
and New York was 2980 miles versus Liverpool-Shippegan at
2300 miles], the idea found no favour with steamship lines.
A decade passed
from the time the Caraquet Railway charter
was granted to the time when construction began. No visible
progress was until the Dominion and New Brunswick govern­
ments voted subsidies to help build the line from Gloucester
Junction, near Bathrust, to Shippegan. The New Brunswick
legislature voted its subsidy
in 1882 and the Dominion
Parliament voted a subsidies for the line from Gloucester
Junction to Caraquet
in 1883 and from Caraquet to Shippegan in
1884. Todays conflict of interest legislation was unheard of in
Victorian times. The federal Member of Parliament for the area,
William Bums, who lobbied the Minister
of Railways and
for the subsidy, was also the president of the railway.
The subsidies were payable upon the completion
of each ten
of the line. Even though construction only began on
4, 1884, 10 miles were completed by years end. In
1885, the line was completed to Grand Anse, 36 miles from
Bathurst. While the company often suspended operations during
the harsh winter months, it inaugurated scheduled passenger
for the benefit of the public upon reaching Grand Anse.
Le Courrier des Provinces Maritimes announced in its
October 14, 1886 issue that trains were now running to
Caraquet, some
17 miles beyond Grand Anse. On December
15, 1886, the President of the railway, William Bums and
friends, were taken to the end
of the line at Poukemouche by
special train. Less than a year later, on November 18, 1887, an
inaugural train ran over the entire line to Shippegan, 66 miles
from Bathurst.
The closure
of the railway for considerable periods during the
winters of 1887 and 1888 finally provoked a public discontent.
At a meeting held on April 24 , 1884, a motion was passed urging
the provincial and dominion governments not to pay and
outstanding subsidy claims until the line was kept open year­
round. The voice of the people was not
to be denied. Le
Courrier des Maritimes drily noted that the first train since
December 1887 pulled into Shippegan on April 30th.
The Gulf Shore Railway was chartered to build a 13 mile line
from Pokemouche to Tracadie
in 1885. Work started on the line
on July 27, 1896. The trails were laid into Tracadie the second
of December 1896. The line was extended southwards
from Tracadie to Grande Riviere in the
fall of 1897.
The two railways amalgamated to from the Caraquet
& Gulf
Shore Railway
in 1911. The faltering finances of many of the
small railways
in New Brunswick during the second decade of
Ibis century posed a serious problem for the Dominion
government. In order to maintain service over these line
s. the
dominion government passed legislation in April 19
15 em­
powering the Minister of Railway and ClUlals to acquire any
railway directly connected to the Canadian Goverrunent
Railway (COR) which could be moce conveniently or usdully
operated as pall of the COR. This legislation spared many of the
New Brunswick short lines an early trip to the ba.o.kruptcy
courts. Purchase of the Caraquet & Gulf Shore was authoriled
in May 1918. The line became part of the COR in June 1920.
In 1981. eN reduced Ihe service over the line to one round
uip per week. The line was closed belween January 7 and June
6 J J 984 due to a major washout. Reverting to the practice of the
early years of lhe Caraquet Railway, eN closed the line during
the winterof1985 and 1986,
The line has remained closed since
1986. During lilt closures, shipments to affected
customers have been handled by trucks to
and from Bathurst.
to the 1986 closure, freight volwnes amounted to less
tllan 80 carloads per year. The operating losses amounted
almost $ 500,000. Given the pooc slate of the rail line and the
ability of CN to handle traflic through piggyback, the NTA
concluded that adequate alternatives existed for shippers.
CP received permission from the NTA to relocate its rail
and freight yards from the centre to tlle perimeter of the City
orRed Deer on March 8, 1989. Undertheplan, 8.6 milesofline
through the city and the downtown freight yards will be relocated
to the west of the city alongside of the main highway between
and Edmonton.
On December 8, 1987, the Canadian Transport Commission
CP tocontinue the operatio[lofthe NeudorfSubdivision
between Rocanville and Esterhazy for a one year period. A
of thls 28.5 mile long rail line was earried in this section
of the September-October 1988 issueorCanadian Rail. In its
decision dated May 3,1989, the NTA determined that the line
was uneconomic and ordered it abandoned. The
NT A noted that
there was
DO opposition to the abandonment application.
Major Canadian Railway History
Project Underway
The history of the Canadian nation has been intertwined wilh
the development
of the railway network. Most of the attention of
h..istorians has focused upon the Canadian Pacific Railway and
its role in spanning the empty spaee~ of the Canadilln west.
Whcn compared with the expansive number
of publications
dealing with the
CPR, Canadas largest railway and its
antecedents, has been largely ignored. A large scale historical
ha~ been launched by eN to help correct chis situation.
In the fall of 1988, a group offive individuals was evnstitute to oversee this project. Included in the group is Kenneth S.
Mackenzie, eN Archivist; Mark McCoudach, System
Coordinator, Communications Programmes; Dorothy Webb,
CN Advcr!i~ing and Public Affairs; Brian Young, Professor of
History at McGill University, Doug Smith, CRHA boud
AuthorS have been commissioned
to write manuscripts on the
following aspects
of eN history:
I. CN and its HiStorical Record~
2. CN and its Predecessors, 1835-1915
The Formation and Foundation oreN, 1897-1923
4. CN at Sea
5. CN Through its Photographs
6. The CN Deparunent of Colonization
7. eN and Technological Change
8. CN in Atlantic Canada: Aspecls of the Intercolonial
9. CN in Quebec: History of Pointe SI. Charles
to. The Canada Atlantic Railway
II. Anthology of Railway Culture: Working for CN
The target dale for the completion of the manuscripts is the
fall of 1990. It is expected Ihat !)lost, if not all of these
will be published and made available for sale to the
c, in both official languages.
CN will sponsor a puhlic conference with the authors of these
lS. This conference will be held at CN Headquarters
in Montreal during Octoher 1990.
The culmination of this process will be the production or a
new corporate hi~tory. CN is to be commended for undertaking
this projc~t which is one of the most ambitious ever embarked
upon by a North American railway.
On May 17 1986. Mr. EdwD.rd Wifkomen 0/ Wauwafosa IVISCOfI.Jin look ,!lis imprtssi~ phoro oleN ilXOmofi~ 5409 sIoijlching aJ
AshclOft B.C. Nole 1M strings 0/ continuolls keidf1d raillyi.., in the b4llas. prior to plo«mtnl.
Canadian Rail
P.o. Box 148 St. Constant, Que., Canada
J5A 2G2
Postmaster: II undelivered wflhfn
10 days
ralum to sander, postage guaranteed.

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