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Canadian Rail 436 1993

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Canadian Rail 436 1993

Canadian Rail
CO-EDITOR: Douglas N.W. Smith
Fo( your membership in the CRHA. whic/l Icludes a
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Canadian Rail, write to:
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DISTRIBUTION: Gera.d Fechet1e
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CARTOGRAPHER. William A. Germaniuk
LAYOUT: Fred F. Angus
P<,r: ~r Procel p(i(~;lg
Rates: in Canada:
outside Canada: $30 (including G5T). $27.50 in U,S.funds.
PHOTO SECTION ………………………………………………………………….. BILL THOMSON …………………. 172
……………………………………….. . DOUGLAS N.W. SMITH ……….. 178
THE BUSINESS CAR …………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………. 186
Cana~an Rail is continually in need 01 news, stories, histoOcaJ data. photos, maps and other material. Please send all contriooHons 10 the
editor: Fred F. Angus, 30
21 Trafalgar Ave. Montreal, P.O. H3Y 1H3. No payment can be made for contributions, butlhe contrioolerwill
begiven credit for malerial submitted, Material will be returned 10 the contributor it requested, Remember Knowledge is of Unlevalue unless
it is shaled with Others·.
PAESIDENT: Walter J, Bedbrook Frederick F. Angus J. Christopher Kyle Douglas NW. Smith
.: Charles De Jean Alan C. Blackburn William Le Surl William Thomson
VICE PRES.: David W, Johnson James Bouchard Robert
V. V. NichoUs Richard Viberg
URER Robert Carlson Gerard Frechette Ernest Qltewell A. Stephen Walbridge
SECRETARY: Bernard Martin Mervyn
T. Green Andrew W. Panko Michael Westren
The CRHA has a nurrber at local divisions across the country. Many hold regular meetings
nd issue newsletters. Ful1her intormation may be obtained by writing to the division. FROKf COVER: A wtSlbound CPR
passtnger trail! trawlIing down 111( lIIain
Slrft1 of Kamloops B.C. in 1902. AI lilt
limt,lhc /oca/wags u.H!d /(J SI/) Ihal they
had Ihe /on/:lll intel/l//xIn railway illlhe
world! Tht mil bllifdilllJ 011 tht extreme
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(I hOSIe/for lrallsielll$.
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Kam/oops Museum and Archiw.s.
As part of ilS activities, the CRHA operates
the Canadian Railway Museum at Dalson f
51. Constant, Que. which is about t4 miles
(23 Km.) Irom downtown ontrBal. It is
open from late May to early October (daily
LaOOuI Day). Members, and their im­
mediate famities, ale admitledflooof Charge.
The Railway History of Kamloops B.C.
A Century Old Story
By David LI. Davies
A resident
of Kamloops
Kamloops, acity of70,000 in south central British Columbia,
celebrated its lOath birthday
as a municipality in July 1993. The
following month the City was host to the Canada
Summer Games,
nations own Olympics, which ran for the two mid weeks, from
August 8th to 21st. So it is no coincidence that this article appears
in Canadian Rail during the course of this year.
For a moment in its history, Kamloops was sharply focused
both provincially and nationally and it
is quite likely that those who
read these pages will also have seen glimpses
of the city on
television, for the CBC showed the Games for one hour per day
over 14 days.
in the limelight, gives as good an excuse as any to
examine the railway history
of Kamloops. In some parts of
Canada, the railway sadly languishes but not so in this city for it
is as dynamic in 1993 as it was in 1893. It is home to both CP Rail
and CN Rail.
The railway is very much an alive and intimate part of the
cityscape. Alive; because the passage
of freight trains is constant
and, intimate, because CP
Rails main line parallels the citys main
street -either alongside or up to two blocks away.
Most citizens,
travelling to
or from their work daily, will likely drive alongside
or across a railway line and will have an even chance of seeing a
train. And the train whistle has also been a part
of Kamloops life
for over a century. All this makes the railway an obvious and
important piece
in the mosaic that is Kamloops. The city also
shares the distinction, with Portage la Prairie
in Manitoba, of being
the place where the routes
of the two transcontinental railways
To understand how the railways evolved in and around
Kamloops, it
is necessary to appreciate the geography of the area.
of open grasslands dotted here and there with stands of trees
at 3000 to 4000 feet elevation, being suddenly aITested by a narrow
deep valley running east to west, whose bottom is 2000 feet
more below. Observe that immediately beyond and to the
of this valley, the character of the terrain changes. There is
a tumble of tall mountains and everything is clad in conifers, or
so it seems. From these northerly mountains a river flows
southwards, also contained
in a narrow deep valley. Kamloops is
where these two valleys meet
in an inverted T. The name
is the anglicization or an Indian word meaning possibly
of the waters/of people.
Before the coming of the railways, Cumcloups or Kamloops
was a Hudson Bay post on the pack tra
in route that connected the
fur trade
of the northern wilderness of the Province with the
Companys most westerly headquarters and depot, located 30
es from the sea on the river Fraser. The axis of communication
was roughly north-south and a trip to the
coast from Fort Kamloops
took many arduous days on narrow horse trails which
in the
canyons were dangerous.
The coming of the railway to Kamloops
dramatically altered the time scale
of travel. Journey time between
Kamloops and the
coast shrank to just over 12 hours without toil
or brunt of the elements.
By contrast with many places in western Canada, where
the railway construction crews appeared
out of the east like the
rising sun, Kamloops saw its first railway come from the west. In
1881 construction
of the Canadian Pacific Railway within British
Columbia commenced at the village
of Yale, at head of navigation
on the lower Fraser. Because
of the very formidable barriers of the
Fraser and Thompson river canyons, the railway did not reach
Kamloops until 1885.
The few inhabitants of the area saw the first
construction train arrive, headed by locomotive
Lytton, some
time between July I I th and 17th, 1885. The date varies depending
on who did the seeing and where.
The American contractor, Andrew Onderdonk, continued
to work eastwards and on
November 7,1885 came the famous link­
of track from eastern Canada at Craigellachie, exactly 100 miles
of Kamloops. In the well known photo recording this event
is a tenuous link with Kamloops. In the sea of about 40 male
faces, there
is one 22 year old worker called Donald Fraser. After
pursuing a variety
of occupations in the Interior of the Province,
he died in Kamloops in 1969 at the venerable age
of 106.
many instances in the rest of Canada, the CPR
appears to have had no hassles with land speculators at Kamloops.
In 1885 the tiny village
was located on a narrow ledge by the
Thompson River conveniently above the steamboat landing at the
of the two rivers. The CPR decided to locate about a half
mile east
of this point on suitable flat land and here it created a
Divisional point with all the needed supporting services. This
amicable arrangement was
due to the foresight of an enterprising
ofB.C. business men who bought up land where they concluded
a depot would likely be established and then donated 30%
of that
to the CPR on the condition that a Divisional point would be
built on it. Smart thinking!
(a) In Canada rail distances are still recorded in miles, but road & air miles are in kilometres. For sake of conformity all distances have
been quoted
in miles.
(b) The word station has been used to describe the place where passengers entrain, and depot the area containing station yards and other
related faciliti
(c) Kamloops Junction (CN Rail
& VIA) has now reverted to its original name of Kamloops , but has continued to be called Junction in
the text to avoid confusion.
Drown: 1993 8.Crawford
The first transcontinental revenue passenger train, the
Pacific Expre
ss, passed through Kamloops just before midnight
on 3 July 1886. A Mr
W.F. Salisbury, a CPR employee records the
event in a letter
to his wife; At 1 I oc [lock] at night we reached
KamJoops where we met Mr Harry Abbott (Gen Supt.
of Pacific
Division) who took charge
of the train personally. After a change
of locomotives, the train moved off again reaching salt water at
Port Moody, the telminus, and 238 miles from Kamloops, at noon
next day. This historic train covered 2891 miles in 5 days and
hours and the young Canada could now truthfully claim its motto
A mari usque ad mare. This was a moment of consequence for
Canada and for Kamloops but for the latter place, which was then
so small and insignificant, it could perhaps not be perceived.
The name of one of the outer suburbs of Kamloops is
associated with this first transcontinental train. Peter Bamhart was
a conductor on the train and
in the 1890s he left the CPR to run a
in Kamloops; later still he homesteaded about 10 miles to the
east and opened a post office to which he attached his own name.
The vicinity is now called Barnhartvale.
In the summer of 1887 William Van Home (then, and until
1894, still plain Mr), Vice President and General Manager
of the
CPR, made a fOlmal inspection
of the entire system. On September
he reported to the Directors:-In company with the President
and Donald Smith, I have, since the 12th August, made a careful
of the railway from Montreal to Vancouver and I am
gratified at being able to report that the entire main line is in good
working order a
nd that nearly all is in excellent condition.
British Columbia
at 1950
Altitude: approx. 1150ft 0.5.1. )
With regard to the Kamloops area, Van Horne wrote
From Sicamous NalTows to Savonas Ferry, 110 miles, the line is
fully completed in every respect, with the exception
of 6 to 8 miles
of ballasting and some widening and rock facing of embankments
for a short distance on KamJoops Lake, all
of which will soon be
done. All facilities at Kamloops depot must have been built and
to Van Hornes satisfaction, otherwise there would have been
as was the case with Revelstoke.
It is worth remarking that for the whole history ofpassenger
traffic, many
of the principal CPR trains and later those of the CNR
stopped at Kamloops in the hours
of darkness so that few passenger
accounts and photographs exist to record the activity. This aspect
is commented upon in the chapter When the Travellers Came to
of the centennial book Kamloops, published 1993.
A CPR passenger timetable
of 100 years ago that carried
what it calJed trackside annotations, mentioned the followillg
about Kamloops. 2655 miles from Montreal and
251 miles to
Vancouver; westbound and eastbound trains depart at 2300 h[ oulrs
and 0418 h[oulrs, respectively; population 2000; principal industry
around Kamloops
is grazing, since the hills are covered with most
nutritious bunch-grass.
Kamloops has had three CPR stations. The first, dating
from 1887, was a modest 2-storey rectangular house with a long
single storey building attached to one end, which could have been
a freight and parcel shed and perhaps a CPR consumable stores
It was located almost on the site of the present CP Rail
administrative building (station). An identical building stood at
. -~
A circa 1890 view of Kamloops first station with eastbound cpr train headed by 4-4-0 locomotive 376. Note velocipede below lower windows,
window boxes in agents quarterss, disc type signal, lunch room
to right and antlers fixed above loco headlight. At least one example of
the disc signal survived elsewhere in Canada to 1957 or later.
Kamloops Museum and Archives, photo No. 9676.
Donald in the same era and since Donald and Kamloops were
divisional points, it would appear this was an early standard design
for such a depot. On part
of the ground floor of the house was a
restaurant/dining room; this was a small facility and was not one
of the Companys official meal stops for passengers.
Being a divisional point, the Company erected a 10 stall
roundhouse and tumtable and a photo
of 1890 clearly shows the
scene with piles
of cordwood in the foreground awaiting loading
into locomotive tenders. Five sidings were also provided, each
of holding a train of the period. Water tanks, ice houses
and store sheds completed the facilities.
After twenty years
of service, it became very obvious that
the modest station house was much too small for the traffic passing
through and originating in Kamloops. In 1907 it was supplanted
by a structure worthy of a Divisional point: two storied. of brick,
commodious, and pleasing to the eye. This station was built about
a block to the east, at the foot
of 4th Avenue, and was in use for 60
busy years until 1968 when it was demolished.
This station was modemised in 1949 by removing its
roof lines
so that it became a rectangular box with another smaller
box on top, and the walls were stuccoed. It was not a very happy
upgrading from
an aesthetic viewpoint.
Around this second station in 1907-10, the CPR laid out
generous sized lawns and gardens which became famous locally and were always featured in photos and postcards. Kamloops lies
at the northern edge
of a semi-mid zone that extends northwards
from Washington State and receives only about 12
of precipitation
per annum, most
of it in the form of snow. In some summers there
is virtually no rain for two months
or more and as a result the
immediate countryside takes on parched grey tones. On
particular day or days in most years Kamloops can claim to be the
hottest spot in Canada,
so it can easily be imagined how welcome
this small oasis of greenery was to local residents; the memory of
it still survives with older Kamloopsians. In the same period the
of the yards was increased by adding sidings.
When the CPR was built through Kamloops, it was forced
to go down the centre
of the main street of the village because no
other right-of-way was available. Immediately on one side was a
steep hill and on the other the river Thompson, the proverbial
and a hard place. This situation, annoying to residents and CPR
alike, was remedied in 1912 when all land and buildings between
the road and the water front for nearly half a mile were purchased
by the railway company. By this time the core
of the developing
town had
moved half-a-mile eastwards to take advantage of
available flat lands, and to be close to the CPR depot. The
buildings -most of them makeshift and dilapidated -were demolished,
the bank in-filled. At the
same time, the company double tracked
its main line in the Kamloops area to ease traffic bottlenecks.
extended from a point 25 miles east to a point 9 miles west of the
These improvements came into use in 1914.
Postcard view of first vertical lift railway bridge in Canada taken prior to 1916 and possibly in the spring of 1914. Shows crossing of North
Thompson River
by the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway, looking upstream. Fifteen men are to be counted on the span. The presence
of staging about the motor housing suggests the mechanism is still being tested or final painting is under way. Present Kamloops Junction
Station (CN
& VIA) lies one-half mile to right and former Halston way-station three-quarters of a mile to left.
Kamloops Museum and Archives, photo No. 8598.
CPRs monopoly of traffic in and around Kamloops was
in the first decade of this century when the Canadian
Northern Railway (CNoR) said it would build a transcontinental
line, which in western Canada would run from Edmonton to
Vancouver via Kamloops. Business interests within Kamloops
wanted the line to run through the downtown area, proceed south
to Merritt and then west to
Spences Bridge in the. Thompson
Canyon. This was impractical from an operating point
of view as
it meant climbing another
summit to no purpose. The chosen route
came down the North Thompson valley and on reaching the
of Kamloops then turned west and thereafter paralleled
the CPR line
but on the opposing side of lake or canyon. This was an eminently logical decision but the
result was
that downtown Kamloops has ever since been reached by a
spur, which was an operational irritant to the Company when
passenger traffic ruled supreme. It could be argued that the 90
degree tum to the west could have been made close to the
downtown area in the angle formed
by the junction of the North and
Thompson rivers. It is believed this proposed siting was
unacceptable because it lay
in the flood plain of both rivers. The
site chosen for the depot, which lies 3 miles north of theriver
junction, is 20 feet higher and above any potential floodline.
The Canadian Northern followed the example of the CPR
by using Savona, a village at the western outlet of Kamloops Lake,
as its local construction depot. And like the CPR before, it used
OPPOSITE TOP: General view, looking northeast, of downtown Kamloops and the South Thompson river and its junction with sister North
Thompson at left. The photo
is undated but the CNR wooden truss bridge in middle distance places it as being between 1919 and 1927. Seventy
years later the view is essentially the same.
OPPOSITE BOTTOM: An early undated view
of the 10 stall roundhouse built in 1915 by Canadian Northern at Kamloops Junction. The
black smoke
is coming from the boilerhouse at rear, where the pump for the loco water tank was situated. Note the rotary snowplough in
the foreground which was more likely used north, rather than south,
of Kamloops.
Both photos, Kamloops Museum and Archives, photos
6782 and 6061.
If •
stern wheelers to ferry workmen and supplies along the edge of the
17 mile long finger lake. In places the sides of this lake have sheer
rock faces and both railways had to resort to some tunnel work.
of B.C. railway history are familiar with the
Quintette tunnels near Hope on the now defunct Kettle Valley
Railway (CPR) but Kamloops district also has its own quintette
tunnels, though a little less dramatic. When building the trans­
continental line
in 1884-5, the contractor was forced to build five
short tunnels in a row on the southern side
of Kamloops Lake at
Cherry Creek bluffs, aggregating 646 yards. CNoR was confronted
with the same kind
of problem and was forced to build three
tunnels on its side
of the lake; the longest at a halfmile (944 yards),
called Battle Bluff, is also the longest on
CNs trans-continental
line. All these tunnels lie
10 to 15 miles west of Kamloops. It was
at Battle Bluff that the construction workers were plagued with
rattle snakes because the snakes habitat had been disturbed.
When one man was bitten on the hand, he promptly cut
off the
poisoned finger with a meat cleaver.
Canadian Northerns construction work became evident
locally in 1912.
In April of that year a contractor launched in
Kamloops an elegant stern wheeler called the Distributor, which
was the last steam vessel to be built in the city. Her boiler, engines,
and fitments came from another sternwheeler
of the same name
that had worked on the Skeena River in B.C., supplying work gangs
building the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway east
of the then non­
existent Prince Rupert. The
Distributor was 143 feet long, could
can) 200 tons of freight and had a crew of 26.
The sternwheelers maiden voyage coincided closely with
Titanics but with happier results. It travelled up the North
Thompson for 70 miles which would be about where Clearwater
now stands. It could have proceeded upstream for another 40 miles
and probably did so later in the contract period. The vessels
job was to supply the construction gangs, as the railway
followed the river in most places, but it also took European
homesteaders to wilderness landings beside the river. After two
of freighting, the mechanical innards of Distributor were
removed and installed in yet a third hull on the MacKenzie River.
In February 1913 CNoR built a temporary connector
between the CPR
in downtown Kamloops and what was to be its
future Divisional point, three miles to the north. The route
of this
is identical to what exists today and this is no coincidence. It
was Canadian Northerns intent from the beginning
to have an
access line to the city. It appears the South Thompson river was
bridged with a wooden fixed span, a highly unusual concession on
a navigable water. Beyond and to the north
of the bridge the line
was built to
permanent standards and to this day much of the track
of rail dated 1912.
Over this connector passed rail, track fastenings, and other
supplies at the rate
of eight cars and more per day, which were used
layover 120 miles of track north of Kamloops. The temporary
bridge and the. track between it and the CPR were removed prior
to November 1, 1913
as per an agreement.
The most formidable obstacle on the CNoR main line at
Kamloops was the crossing
of the North Thompson river and this
was achieved with a 1209 foot single track steel bridge on 14
concrete piers. Completed in March 1914, it had a moveable span
to permit the free passage
of the inconsequential river traffic. The advent of World War I
in August 1914 caused immediate
of money, men, and materials and slowed down the
work. As a result, the line from Edmonton to Vancouver was not
a single ribbon
of steel until January 23, 1915, when the last spike
in the middle of nowhere, at Basque a point 57 rail miles
of Kamloops. There was further delay in opening the line
when a tunnel south
of Ashcroft collapsed two weeks later.
Canadian Northern purchased land from the Kamloops
Indian Band for its divisional point. In 1915 it proceeded to erect
facilities, the scale
of which still exists today. CNoR eventually
built over 500 stations west
of the Great Lakes so it is no wonder
it adopted five standardized designs of stations; Class I were
telwinals, Class II were divisional points, Classes III
to V were for
lesser places. As a result
of this categorization, Kamloops
(tl1en simply Kamloops) received a Class II station of
which there were fifteen others in western Canada, including
Portage la Prairie mentioned earlier.
The depot was rounded out with the provision
of seven
sidings, each capable
of holding a complete train, a 10-stall
concrete roundhouse with 86 ft tum table and attached boilerhouse
and machine shop. The rest
of the facilities included water tank,
with pump system connected to the river, oil fuel tanks, ice house,
stores and stockyard.
In 1927 a large capacity metal water tank was installed and
in 1929 a 6-stall addition was made to the roundhouse and the
machine shop and boilerhouse were replaced. Both parts
of the
roundhouses had concrete side and outer walls, while all else was
On November 24, 1915 a tri-weekly passenger service was
inaugurated between Edmonton and
Vancouver without any
ceremony. The three mile spur running southwards from the
Junction was given
an eastwards twist when it reached the South
Thompson River. It then ran
in an upstream direction beside the
river for a half-mile, telwinating at the northern end
of a wooden
road bridge on the fringe
of downtown Kamloops. This wooden
bridge, or its successor,
is still in very active road use and is called
the Red Bridge because it has always been painted red. Since the
arrangement was considered
temporal), no depot was erected and
passengers simply boarded the train from trackside. This early
is still in use as an industrial spur and at time of writing
holds a boxcar and six tankcars.
After the War in 1919 the termination
of this spur extended
across the river on a wooden truss bridge to the town.
It was
necessary to infill the low lying southem river bank with gravel to
accommodate this new depot site, so as to make it free
of any
normal floods. The Canadian Northern Railway could now
truthfully say it had a presence in downtown Kamloops.
In 1921 the newly established Canadian NationalRailways,
which was born out
of several absorbed railways including the
CNoR, produced a hard cover guide book for passengers
of 156
pages called Across Canada -Atlantic to Pacific. Useful as
was to a passenger, it was probably an exercise by the new
Company to establish its identity and show
off its acquired
tenitory to prospective customers. All routes were described as
travelling in a westward moving train with all CNR places that
carried a name board being listed in heavy type. Towns and cities
of significance were given individual descriptions, whilst places in
TWO CNR LOCOS ON MOBILE DISPLAY: This intriguing photo lies in the Kamloops Archives without a caption. It shows two CNR locos
on public display at CNR downtown Kamloops station. The locos are
4-8-2, #6058, built in July 1930 (and withdrawn in 1961) and #384,
a 4-4-0 built for Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
in 1909 and withdrawn in December 1934. Being a winter scene, the date gap is narrowed
to the period between November 1930 and December 1934. More specific information on this scene will be gratefully received.
Kamloops Muserm and Archives, photo
No. 7451.
between were covered by general isations of the area. The first and
last places listed were Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Victoria, B.C.
Kamloops received a four inch long description and it
is worth
quoting parts
of it to show how the City was viewed 70 years ago.
KAMLOOPS (alt: 1154 feet) This is the principal town
in the valley, is situated at the junction of the north and south
of the Thompson River and has a population of 5,500. It
has several industries and
is centre of supply for a large mining
and grazing district in the famous
d,y gel!. The town owns its own
electric light and water systems. Kamloops has a fine climate and
in the vicinity goodfishing and shooting are to be had. The climate
of the district is healthy, invigorating and suitable for people
from pulmonary trouble. The Provincial Government
maintains a well equipped sanitorium at Kamloops, and afflicted
people come here from all parts
of the continent, many being
restored to health.
A CNR branch line
is now under construction to Kelowna,
(Current authors note: as explained subsequently this declaration
was slightly premature) which will develop an important fruit
and will afford additional transportation facilities for the
famous Okanagan Valley. The Thompson valley at Kamloops is
very beautiful. Fruit growing by inigation
is carried on 1110st
successfully and 1110ny cattle and horses are raised in the district.
A flattering review indeed!
The Canadian Northern Railway had been authorised in
to penetrate south-eastwards to the Okanagan to take a share
of the lucrative fruit traffic, but the War and the Companys
insolvency afterwards prevented this. The newly formed Canadian
National Railways saw the merits
of the plan. In 1925 it completed
a branch line from
Kamloops to Almstrong, acquired running
rights on CPR trackage from there
to Vernon, and completed a new
line from Vernon to Kelowna. This 116 mile branch line was
known as the Okanagan Sub-Division. It started
at (downtown)
Kamloops, ran east for one mile and then joined the CPR trans­
continental line, using running rights eastwards for
11 miles. Then
it diverged onto its own trackage for 556 miles to AImstrong.
The last spike of this new branch was driven at Kelowna on
September 10, 1925 and freight service commenced soon afterwards.
After the CNR built stations
at Falkland and Kelowna, a once-daily
passenger train was instituted
on February 15, 1926. At the same
time the divisional depot called Kamloops was renamed Kamloops
Junction and the
downtown depot became simply Kamloops.
Beside this latter station, the CNR built three spurs and a warehouse
to handle small freight shipments. This was most conveniently
sited at the foot
of 3rd A venue, close to retail merchants and the
general public; this freight site is now occupied by the Riverside
Coliseum sports arena.
CPR LOCOMOTIVE AT SANDHOUSE: This 2-8-0, CPR loco 3628 is standing in Kamloops yard close to the roundhouse and turntable,
the edge
of the latter being just visible at the left. It is March 24,1935 and this loco has hauled an eastbound freight from North Bend and
is facing east. The engine has been coated and the wiper has just filled the sand dome. His next job is to replenish the 5000 gallon water
tender which will better balance the locomotive when he turns her
on the table. She will then befacing west for her next trip. Note the saw
mill slabs
in the foreground used to light fires in cold locomotives.
Lloyd Snowden.
Two years after the opening of this branch two major
improvements were made to it by CNR in the downtown area
Kamloops. Both were within a quarter mile of each other. In May
1927 a large elegant station took the place
of the temporary
structure and the wooden tmss bridge was replaced with a 728 foot
long steel stmcture incorporating a central swing span. This made
it the third
and final bridge to be built at this site by CNoR or its
The new station carried the status
of a Divisional point.
it was a one of a kind design not repeated on the
CNR system. This was likely due to its late building age in
the history of railway architecture. It is reported to be modelled on
USA fashions for Divisional points. Its dimensions are
118 feet by 34 feet and
is a brick two-storied building placed on
stone foundations, with
an awning on three sides. The ground floor
contained ticket office, waiting rooms, express and baggage areas,
and above were the Divisional offices.
It carried on its sides
mileage boards that read Montreal-2679: Vancouver-260.
CNR intended to demonstrate that Kamloops custom was important,
it had ably succeeded. As a result
of pressure over the years by the citizenry, CNR
diverted all its major passenger trains down the branch from
Kamloops Junction to downtown Kamloops immediately after
these improvements had been made. This movement involved
pushing the train backwards
in one direction and pulling it in the
other. This was a remarkable concession
as it added half an hour
to the trans-continental schedule which put the Company at a
disadvantage with the CPR. This practice continued from 1927 to
but only partially from 1935 onwards. From 1935 eastbound
trains ceased to go into downtown Kamloops, whilst most but not
all westbound trains continued to do so. The latters movements
was as follows: -Station stop at Junction, run down branch to
downtown Kamloops, stop at downtown station, return backwards
to Junction station, stop momentarily to pick up train orders, and
continue westward on the main line. It is unclear how passengers
made their way to the Junction prior to 1944, but
in that year free
taxi or bus service was advertized and so continued until its
elimination in
In employee timetables this 2.8 mile spur was listed as the
Kamloops Terminal Subdivision and showed a one way journey
JITNEY: The motor jitney and trailer were built in CN shops at Winnipeg in 1919 and were used between downtown CNR station and
Kamloops Junction. The motor jitney was powered by a Model T Ford engine and carried ten workers, whilst the trailer accommodated 16
seated. The trailer was numbered 15750.
A second identical set, shown here,carried numbers 15700 and 15701. The molOr jitneys had
an overall length of 16 feet, wheelbase of9 feet, and weighed 2 tons.
Kam/oops Museum and Archives, photo No. 5143.
time of to minutes, with a speed restriction of to mph for trains
being backed. A heavy-weight gasoline self-propelled car and
small light-weight homemade rail buses were used on the spur to
cany CNR workers between their homes in Kamloops and their
work at the Junction, without charge.
These vehicles soon came
to be called jitneys and were so recognized officially. Rules
included such wording as all other trains, engines and jitneys,
moving in either di.rection must communicate with Kamloops
Junction operator.
… .
The word jitney is seldom seen nowadays but was very
in vogue in the I 920s. Jitneys were large automobiles or
small mini-buses that pirated passengers away from streetcars
offering faster service. They had regular routes but flexible
schedules and were a thorn in the side
of streetcar companies and
municipal authorities. Small wonder that the
on demand shuttle
service for the CNR workers soon earned the nickname jitney.
Reverting to the more general aspects
of railroading, it
should be mentioned
that the speed with whiGh trains were and are
in the Kamloops area is quite definitely affected by the terrain.
Passenger trains have always been permitted to run faster than
freights and
in recent years braking and track improvements have
allowed higher speeds.
As a generality both Companies can
operate trains to the east or north for at least 30 miles out
Kamloops at 40 to 60 mph. This is because their rights-of-way lie
in the flat bottom lands of the North and South (actually runs east)
Thompson valleys and are reasonably flat and straight. To the
for both CP and CN it is a very different matter for both lines
commence their final descent to the sea and curvature and grades
restrict speeds to the 25-45 mph range.
Three depots have been mentioned
so far -Kamloops
(CPR), Kamloops (CNR), Kamloops Junction (CNoR
& CNR) –
but a fourth one should be added
to the list. It is Halston which
was sited exactly one mile west
of Kamloops Junction. It was built
in 1916 by CNoR and should have been of Class ill grade but for
some reason received an individual design with all amenities on
only one floor.
It had an agents office, waiting room and freight
room and behind these, living quarters for the agent and
rus family.
It was a somewhat untypical small way-station but its local
importance lay in the fact that it was situated on the isolated west
of the North Thompson River. If this depot had not existed,
anyone living in NOith Kamloops and wishing
to travel by CNR
would have had to make a tedious U shaped journey through
downtown to reach the Junction. To this day Kamloops Junction
lies in isolation
in open country and is currently accessible only by
private vehicle or taxi. Halston served the needs
of the thinly
populated fruit growing community
of North Kamloops and also
the ranchers
of the area who brought in or sent out livestock. This
depot had its name altered to North KamJoops in 1963 and was
CPR STATION -REAR VIEW WITH GARDEN: Rear view of CPR Kamloops station as it looked from 1907 to 1949 when it was radically
modified. Again the date
is unknown but understood to be in late J 930s. In the foreground are the fabled gardens though in this view they
look somewhat mundane. The two hills in the background are called Mounts Peter and Paul.
Kamloops Museum and Archives, photo No.
closed in about 1967 and demolished ten years later. It was located
a block west
of the present Halston road overpass on the south side
of the track.
Four other small stations existed in what is now within City
of Kamloops but which at the time of their construction and
use were in the country. They were Campbell Creek and McCracken
on CPR and Rayleigh and Tranquille (sanitorium) on CNR, now
12, 6, 7 and 8 miles out from their respective Divisional points.
of the express trains stopped at these way-stations except for
the sanitOJium at Tranquille, which was a public spirited act on the
of CNR to assist relatives to visit long term patients.
These buildings functioned as part
of train traffic control
in earlier days. Each of these way-stations had two semaphore
signals mounted
on one posl altached to the building, with each
signal controlling one direction
of traffic. A station agent could
halt a train
and hand its conductor written instructions which
would have
come by telegraph from the Companys dispatcher at
In the railway history of many places in Canada, a particular
year or decade which marks the commencement
of the shrinkage
of rail lines because of road and air competition. In Kamloops we
can boast that this has not happened. The year 1925 saw the
of track building in the Kamloops area and that
trackage remains to this day, plus one
or two minor embellishments.
Having made this point, it must
be emphatically stated that
everything else except the right-of-way has changed significantly
in the ensuing years; this is not peculiar to Kamloops but mirrors
the continuous changes seen right across Canada.
Steam traction
gave way to diesel, passenger traffic virtually vanished, the
anything policy switched to specialised haulage of a handful of
commodities, the track itself improved to carry heavier weights,
the tonnage carried
by one freight train dramatically increased, and
finally, the labour force shrank with every enrichment
of technology .
As a result, the productivity of the railways has perhaps increased
tenfold in the last
40 years.
Until the early 1960s Kamloops was an island
of people set
in a sea of mountains within the interior of British Columbia,
isolated from other communities except for a railway umbilical
If Alice was getting married in Kamloops, or Uncle Hank
in Edmonton, or young Tom was searching for a lumber job
on Vancouver Island, it was the train that carried them, or relatives,
friends and strangers from, or to, Kamloops. Every manufactured
or raw material needed in Kamloops came by rail, whether it
was needle and thread, groceries, coal, well pump or horse tack,
not to mention mail or magazines. Even telegrams, the then
universal fast message,
came over the wires of the railway
For the past thirty years, the ownership
of at least one
private auto
by almost every family and the excellent network of
all-weather highways in British Columbia and the rest of Canada
has been a fact
of life. We are forgetting already how communities
were utterly dependent upon the railway prior to about 1960.
1930 and 1940 and 1950 Vancouver was a two day drive by
automobile along a tortuous and not well surfaced road, frequently
in the canyons and not to be undertaken in winter. By
contrast the journey could be made
by rail in comfort and without
mishap or danger within 9 hour
s. As for sending merchandise from
to Kamloops by truck, the idea was laughable.
Looking eastwards from Kamloops, until the late 1960s it
just about impossible to drive to Calgary or Edmonton without
taking a detour into the States and then only in fair weather months.
There was a road
of sorts through the mountains to Calgmy but
there was no road at all to Edmonton. Again,
by contrast, a
passenger train would only take 12 to
13 hours to Calgary (390
miles) and
15 to 16 hours to Edmonton (540 miles). In those earlier
days the superiority
of train travel was so obvious and its use so
universal that there was no need to even discuss its merits.
For the first half of this century, Kamloops saw two to four
CPR passenger transcontinental trains
in either direction daily,
which increased by one after the CNoR was built. After World
IT Canadian National added another daily transcontinental so
making a total of six passenger trains daily on the two railways in
anyone direction. In addition there were twice weekly local trains
on the
CNR calling at all stations between Kamloops and the next
divisional point both north and west. These were
mixed trains,
meaning the train consisted
of freight cars and a passenger car at
the rear.
The service to and from Kelowna via Kamloops is now of
historic interest because of unusual operating practices. In the
1930s there was a mixed train daily
in either direction and on its
tail end there was always a sleeping car from/to Vancouver, and
every other day there was a second sleeper which shuttled between
Kelowna and Blue River. This was a rare instance
of sleeping car
being part of a mixed train. A Kelowna passenger bound for
Edmonton would leave Kelowna
in the late afternoon and would
arrive at downtown Kamloops
in the late evening. Here the
car would be detached and stand till the wee hours when
it would be moved to Kamloops Junction and be attached to an
eastbound transcontinental train departing at about 0530 hours.
On arriving at Blue River at about 0930 hours, the sleeper was
STOCK CAR TRAiN: This CNR stock train, loaded with cattle and headed by loco #7540, is waiting to go east in the summer of 1942. Photo
is taken from the Red Bridge looking west with the CNR downtown Kamloops station at L. real. Note the handsome CNR tennis facilities
with game in progress behind the locomotive.
Kamioops Museum and Archives, photo No. 7453.
detached and the passenger
transferred to a day coach;
next day the service was
Commencing in
1935, this sleeper. service
survived till 1957 for Blue
River and 1961 for
For these express
trains, stops either
side of
Kamloops were Sicamous
and North Bend on the CPR
and Blue River and Boston
Baron CNR, plus Tranquille
(sanitorium) already
mentioned. All these places
were division points
excepting Sicamous which
was a junction for
Okanagan branch line.
Boston Bar and North Bend
are small communities
opposite each other but
separated by the Fraser
As for freight
traffic, the bulk of it travelled
right through Kamloops
from the Prairies to
Vancouver or vice-versa,
the two lar
gest items by
tonnage b
eing grain and
furnace and domestic coal.
I I 3 I 13 Iud. 4 I 14 2
-:-:——a:Jsr~15~15__..!5(j6:-j w R -For sc,vice nevelstoke and Robson WO)t via Arrow Lakes see Tabla 161 Folller A or C. —
8.3{ 6.25 5.30 Lv R .17.04 2520.9 Th,.. V. …………… 1636 111.:1, •.
. 17.30 Juno 30 2530.5 T. ………………… 1279 July3 1I1.?t ..
. n~~ 10 mu ~::~~:~h.~ …. :::::: ::: :m 10 ~::67
…. (8.02 ilug. n 2544.2 C.~bl…….. ………. 1178 Sep. I 10.56·
….. I 8.17. . 2547.4 Sol.qu… .. ……….. 1160….. flO.48 .
.. 10.03 8.20 7.05 2551 I W slc.~ou.l: 157…. t, 3.15 6.00 10 . .!i.
–For!cr~~coSlcanl(IUS and Penticton vjaOk:lOagan Valloy–soe Table 157 -Furdor A-Or~
-:-: To~OB)6 7.10. IL Slc~ou …………. Ai 1153 3.10 555 10::¥:
:: ::~W~i6 ··~~U ~:,n~:~A;.;,·.:::::::::::: mt23i I~~~
.. fll.C(· … 2517.1 T.pp.n ……………… 1158 ….. /9·3~··
.. -11.21 n. ..2591.5 C.n ……………… 1422 ./9.24.
:: tll1.~ 10.00 . ~~~jl ~1~~Cnh.H.I~. __ .:::::::::::: .1691. . ….. :: Hj
::/:U~ilOn31· .~[~~ ~~~:.:::::::::::::::::::m fi:i3
3JL !
.. 112.13 …… 2W2.0 Shuwap ……………. liS) .. 18.19..;;
.. 12.32 (I ….. 2611.1 Pltch .. d ……………. 1151 ………….. 8.01. c
.. 12.47 …….. IZ618.0 MontoC .. k …………. 1154 ………….. 7.48· 0
.. 1.2Q-I,4Q_IQ:JQ.2635.2w KAMLooPI ………… L~ __ …!LlQ 2~2….l..:1Q~ _~
-:-:—UO 11.55 10.30 L, KAMLOOPs.. ………… Ar 1159 12.00—Y~O /·05·
.. (1.47 …. . 204) 9 T .. nqulll ……………. 1142 ………….. 16.47.. VJ
.. f 2.02 ZH9.0 Ch.. C •• k………… 1141 ……….. I 6.32·
…… … . 2(,S4.~ Muno ……………… 1143 .. · .
:: U~ !l2:~a Slooors ~bb9j ~;f;:c·,;,~·::::::::::::: m~ (iiooSlcon~r~ l~]
.. f2.45 … only 2673.7 !;.~IIn ……………… 1148 iil:i4 only 15.3
.. I n~ 1.31 1.0111 ~b~~~ ::~~~:t:::::::::::::::: I~~ 10 I ~~
.. .r 3.32 Mooso 2(96.0 5p.u~… …………. 860 Mooso 14.51···
:: f ~~~ 2:22 Jaw ~mu ~;:~:~~;·8;,d~· … 1·54:.:::: r/j 924 Jaw I n~
::; ~l~ SeD m-tiJ ~~:~~~~;, .. :::::::::::::: m Se. HM
.. I 4.]0 Tahlo [724.9 GI.dwln…………….. i58 Tablo 13.4-).
:: ( ;1i
3 m~2 ~:~~~~.:::::::::::::::: m 835 3 d:k
:: ; UL ~;~n ~~:~~~~…… ….. ~U……… HJ~ .
… ~~ _~.-) ._)0. 215~ (; I~ORTH..![ND. . .. Lv __ –.llLJQ:.&.J)C_
… 0.05 .: 35 ,.IS il, NORTH BND.. ..k-493 7.20 10.15 I 22(, .
CPR passenger train service through Kamloops, as shown in the timetable of
March la, 1935.
invariably show boxcars.
Rail cars are becoming
specialised nowadays that
by the turn
of the century
the humble boxcar may well
find itself
in the ranks of
the endangered species.
The Achilles heel of a
moving train has always
been the part where the
vehicle frame sits on the
axles causing friction.
Before the advent of roller
bearings and lines ide heat
sensors, all freights were
stopped eery 30 to 35 miles,
were visually examined, and
their axle boxes touched
for excessive heat.
places closest to Kamloops
where these inspections
were made were: Chase
and Ashcroft (westbound)
or Savona (eastbound) on
the CPR; and Louis Creek
& d i tlo Ashcroft and Savona
on the CNR. Minor car
repairs could ge made at
Kamloops by both
Because railways are
inanimate, mechanical and
technically complex, there
Unlike the railways
of mid Canada, the movement of grain
westwards to Vancouver was a late starter and only commenced
when the Panama Canal was opened; this flow
of grain started as
a trickle
in 1916 and is now a tonent. These freights also supplied
Kamloops with all its mateIial needs and shipped out its rather
limited exports which were timber, livestock and, for a short
period mainly between the two wars, boxed apples and canned
tomatoes. In those days cars would
be attached or detached at
Kamloops on every freight as it came through, in contrast to
s practice. Nowadays every freight stops at Kamloops but
only the minority of them may have cars added or removed.
is the natural tendency to forget they are operated by people and it
would be remiss not
to emphasize that Kamloops has always been
a railway-oriented settlement.
The community owes its growth
and prosperity to being
at the hub of a transport system and the
railway has taken a major role
in this system. Whilst steam was
king, the railways were the prime employers
in the city. Only when
diesel replaced the steam locomotive
in the late 1950s and a pulp
mill was built in the city
in 1965 did the railways lose their
dominance as the number one employer.
Prior to the 1960s the typical freight train consisted
of boxcars because seven out of 10 freight cars owned
by both railways were
of that type. The eighth car would be a flat,
the ninth an open gondola usually carrying coal, and the tenth
would be none
of these; in Kamloops case the eighth car could
well have carried logs or dressed lumber, the ninth car fresh
cut ties
sent off to be creosoted, and the tenth a stockcar carrying
hter cattle to the coast. The reason that the boxcar was so
popular was that it carIied anything that might be spoiled by the
or could be pilfered en-route. Its principal use was as a
grain caITier
but anything needed by the merchants of Kamloops
or the ranchers
of the hinterland would come inside one. Any
photo scene
of freight trains around Kamloops in earlier days will Going back more than 80 years, an examination
of the City
Directory for 1912 shows the variety
of jobs held by CPR employees.
In the listing below,
,*, indicates many, and @ some.
Most of the men were settled
residents but a few lived at
the CPR Rooming
at 506 Lansdowne Street,
right beside the depot.
An analysis of a
1927 Kamloops Directory
shows 310 employees
working for CNR and 205
for CPR, making a total
515 employees. With a town
population of 6000 this
represents a quarter
of the
male population aged
II Rud Down MlIss I J I Alii-I Rud Up
U __ I~~~ I ~tr. TABLE No. 23 Tlm6~_2_1~_
. —.-..–~.. ~~. S ~1527 01 IrJ II •. f·jl • 0 I~ …… ~>-
. {if ~ ~ ::. 5 5 Lv Blu. River ……… K : fL· • 6:& 4 50 =:
j (f I C oVl . 2~1 Allgu~horn………… I 4) QV)
~ ~ 17 ei ~ E .: ~5 6 ~ ~~~tedren ::: .. : I?Q~~ ~ ~ ~ ~
f~:§ ~ ~ 0 16.48~~~f~ x~~~~nw~.~I~~~:, :: I~~~ 50)f~~ ~
.. I 9 t: .., ~ Z • •• • 2557 0 WHO Cacho. …… 1894 I ) 05 z
./94 …. w . . 125M d McMurphy………. 1786 . … I 2.40
. I 9 S ~ . .. 2568 3 Wabron . . . . . . .. . .• . .. . . ………. I 2. 2S
:::: :18! –,~ . ~~b U:~~~bY.:::::::::::::: I~~~ ·:.:::~r~6.~·~:
…… Il:l ……….. f8.10125B13.6 Oirchlsland………… 1386/3.4 1.10·· ..
…… /II:~ …… .2594.7 Clearwater………….. 1329 ….. /~:&O ….
:::::: ~:~:~O::…. .. .. ::: ~~:~ ~~~)~e~~.I::::::::::::: l~l: ::: ~l~:~ :::: ~
…. flf:i :::::i·9:64~~l~:~ ~houundh~~~ .. :::::::::::: l~~~ /f5i/lL~I:::: .~
…… ~ ~:~ …… .. .. r~~~f~ ~~;~i~~~ Cove. ……… b~8 … ~:g·1 ….. :.
i!r…~! ~t ii~i!~ f
>IT 3.50 …………….. 2659.2 R.yl.h…………… 1116 …… 9i~10!96
TuG.! 4.10 … ·.· ….. -10.352666 . .:1 k Kamloopi Jet. A106 .. L 1153 • 1.25 8. Wert. and
4.)0:.:…:..:..:..: ….. -11.IOl&~.) N K.moop, ……….. L Il3d ·l55 7.5 and
I~ Wed. :-…•.• ~iTlO~ v K •• owra~~~….. … . …. ~ To. Sat.
A.-. and 1.:….:…:.:.. ….. 110. .1 At KamlooPsJOb ….. eL ….. 17~ an.d ~
1.45 Sat. .. .. :-:-:-:-:-11. .3lv ,..mloop ……….. 11 Il)JfOjn~ Fl!. 4.30
1 3 ~I~. .. … 11. :~ Lv ~~I:t~~~PI .~~ .. ~~. N I:~j .~~:~. ~ / ::J~ ~
18}o ii: I TranQuiHe….. 118] 12.17 .. /3.40 d
I ~Jt .9 Fled~Hick… ….. 1171 ….. /3.20
~ ~:~ :: …. 26.8 ~ao:~: .. ~I.e.ek.. IIH . .. .. : ~ 1:~~
/IO.OS.. 27.8 Willhachin. ItlIS ….. 12.23
~Jg:~… .. …….. ~~1 J ~ncjjlbeor:::……….. 19~~ :: ………. ~ ~J~
I:l:~::: …. /l.2~~~~:~ ~:~;~:.t.t~CalibooRdl. ~~ ~10.42::::::/r~:~
/12.20… 7-10 5 MarteL.. ………….. eol …. /12.25
1.15 12 ]82747 0 Snence8 Bridgo…….. 742 /9.53 …… 12.00
~ ilL . mp ~~gg~,~ •. :::::::::::::: &~~ …… ::::: ~ib~
HlL::: :::::: : … f3 l~o 5 r~~~t:::::::::::;:::: m iBss ::::: i8M
~t~~::: …. · .. ··· :. ~~~~~ ~~j~C·reek::::::::::::: ~ : ….. ::.:.:~~:?8
f3.~~ ….. 1191 I Ink;.h… 568 .:~ …….. 9.45
(4.1 11916 Boolh.oyd………….. 520 …….. ,,/0.15
.40 • A~~~ 5[2797.8 N BOlton B.r, B.C … Alv 453 -/,;,. A~~~
CNR passenger train service through Kamloops, as shown by the timetable
of April 28,1935.
in 1950. Thereafter CN
Junction employees used
theirown transport
ora mini­
bus supplied free by the
Company and such an
amenity continued into the
early 1980s due
to a Union
For most rail way
employees, work was
physically demanding and
of long hours, but then
that was the lot
of alJnost
any worker
in Kamloops.
Other people in the city
envied the railroader because
had a virtual lifetime
job, good pay by comparison
with others and many fringe
benefits, not least
of which
was amodest pension. There
playas well as work.
Each company had
sponsored clubs involving
sports, socials and dramatics;
specific actlvItles of
baseball, glee club singing,
rifle shooting, tug-of-war,
bridge, tennis, and curling,
have been noted.
There were also free but
limited travel passes which
covered the whole family, between
20 and 65 years. Employees were essentially divided into
two categories. Operating staff were employed on call
or shift
work and ran the trains or manned the depot
s. The second category
worked steady shifts, mostly days, and were responsible for
maintenance whether
of locomotives, cars, track or structures.
The CPR roundhouse, located at the foot of 6th Avenue,
had a steam whistle that sounded until the early 1960s.
It not only
regulated the Jives
of railwaymen but others who Jived within its
The whistle blew cautionary notes at 0745 and 1245
hours, and start/finish times at 0800, noon, 1300 and 1700 hours.
This was a valuable service when few people canied watches,
alerting families
of impending meal times.
thereby allowing VISits to the coast and places further afield.
Judged by the standards
of the time, railway work was interesting
and self rewarding, had status within the community and was
secure and reasonably well paid. Scratch any middle aged
retired person in Kamloops and you will find in at least a third of
the cases that there is a connection with the railway, be it a father,
uncle or grandfather; the roots go deep.
When Canadian Northern established its depot at the
Junction, its labour force lived three miles away in Kamloops,
from the start the Company established a free shuttle ride for its
employees. This jitney service, alJeady mentioned, comprised
two big gas cars, numbers 15809 and 158
and two small buses
which were capable
of pulling two trailers each. The gas cars could
carry 39 seated and almost twice
as many standing, whilst the little
jitneys seated
in the bus and 126 in a trailer. The large gas cars
arrived in 1931 when
CNRs passenger service on Vancouver
Island between Victoria and Youbou was phased out.
These were
turned on conventional turntables but the small
jitneys were
provided with 12 foot diameter tables at the downtown yard and the
Junction roundhouse. All the jitneys, big and small, were withdrawn
In the pre-1950s period when the only external entertainment
in Kamloops was movies and radio, there was far more social
gatherings than nowadays.
Amongst these was the hiring of a train
an outing, organised by a group within the community or by a
railroad employees association.
Three examples have come to the
authors attention. One was the annual Elks picnic which on more
than one occasion went 35 miles east by CPR to Little Shuswap
Lake at Chase; another was Kamloops hockey team -and all
supporters -going to play the Kelowna team using a CNR train
five cars which returned the same night; the third example was an
CNR picnic train which went 92 miles east to Kalamalka
Lake near Vernon.
It used the Lumby branch to reach the site; this
latter branch has never carried passengers since its opening.
The railways still continue to have a sizeable work force
Kamloops, for it is the largest rail centre between Vancouver and
Revelstoke on CP and between Vancouver and Edmonton on CN.
However, with the growth
of Kamloops (directly attributable to the
Page 164
building of a newsprint pulp mill in 1965 on the outskirts
of the City), the relative importance of the railways as an
employer has declined. Currently
CN and CP have 550
and 200 workers stationed at Kamloops which equals 4%
of adult working males in the city. This .is not t.o say
women are not employed but they still
fOIm a small part
of the railway labour force.
It was not so clear at the time, but the 10 year
period between 1955 and 1965 was a momentous one for
the railways. In that time diesel became the prime mover
and ousted steam, and passenger traffic went into a severe
decline. Dieselization brought radical changes
in railway
organization. Steam lo
comotives needed to be constantly
watered and fuelled and attended to in the roundhouse on
periodic routines varying
in cycle from a few days to half
yearly. In contrast, the diesel can run for long periods
with minimal attention.
The result was that the roundhouse
and all its workers became redundant. And this is what
in Kamloops both to CP and eN.
The changeover from steam to diesel traction was
dramatic and obvious but, curiously, it has not been easy
to establish when the
last steam locomotive was phased
out locally.
It may have occurred at CN Junction in the
first week
of April 1958 and involved CN loco 4308, a
giant 2-10-2, Santa
Fe type, the most powerful of all CN
locos and of which 33 were built in 1929/30. These
locomotives were principally employed on heavy freights
around Jasper for much
of their working lives. In the five
year conversion period from steam to diesel they suffered
downgrading for main line service and at
least three of
them had the humiliation of having to work the Kamloops­
Kelowna Branch.
The last CPR steamer to work in
Kamloops was freight locomotive 5342 which was abrupt
withdrawn sometime in 1956.
CP Rail through its real estate arm Marathon
Realty, realised
it had valuable downtown property in
Kamloops which was not producing the revenue it should.
The decision was taken to demolish the station at the foot
of 4th Avenue, the roundhouse and 90 foot turntable at the
of 6th Avenue, and related trackage and small buildings.
Demolition took place
in 1968. In their place a shopping
to be known as Thompson Park opened the following
year. Within the mall, the curre
nt tenant London Drugs
is located where the passenger station stood and the
parking area to the east
of the mall is the site of the
In 1959 CPR built a modem brick two-storied
office with flat roof about one block west
of the station
and close to
3rd Avenue. Its ground floor was a sleeping
BILL MINER & MOUNTIE: A 1993 Kamloops reconstruction of the arrest of
Bill Miner, train robber; it is meant to be entertaining and is not intended to be
historically co
nect. In real life Bill Miner is Neil McLean, professional
forester, and the Northwest Mountie is Constable Daryl Schimpf
of the RCMP
Kamloops Detachment. The scene was taken at
CN Kamloops Junction, using
Service boxcar #67008 as the prop. This
caris sited at the end of a spur and
has not movedfor at least 20 years and is rumoured to have been sold privately.
It may have been built in 1936.
Wilf Schmidt.
and rest centre. This was for the convenience of train crews at the
furthest leg
of their trip waiting to take a train back to their home
depot. These facilities, still in use, consist of a lounge, kitchenette,
and 49 single bedrooms. When the CPR passenger station was
demolished, this building also took over
the function of handling
the dwindling passenger traffic; its present role has reverted
what it was designed for in the late 1950s and remains the signing
on point for all train crews who take trains west to North Bend or
to Revelstoke.
In terms of track facilities, CP Rail has had to pay the price
of being the pioneer system in Kamloops. Its yard trackage is
essentially the same as that of 1910, then generous but now
constricted. It
is not able to enlarge because urban Kamloops hems
in at all points along its original boundary. The depot is capable
of holding three 110 car freights, two on the through lines and one
on a siding. There is also a halfmoon of ten switching tracks with
decreasing capacities
of from 35 to 10 cars.
The universality
of passenger trains was
so ingrained
in the minds
of the public and in travel
habits and the railway
companies, that the
notion that passenger
traffic might sluivel to
nothing was unthinkable
in the 1940s. In the 1950s
people began to use their
automobiles for intercity
trips. By the 1960s, the
of the trains had
fallen dramatically and
the decline
of the industTY
was an inescapable
line between Winnipeg
and Vancouver.
train stops at theJ unction.
The first local
of this trend
occurred on CNR s
Kelowna branch. In 1958
the mixed train that had
run for 30 years was
converted to a passenger
tra in, perhaps
in response
to an
highway that had been
TOURIST TRAIN CROSSING RIVER: Great Canadian Rai//our Companys train
backing across
CNs swing bridge over South Thompson river in the late afternoon of
13 June 1993, propelled by GCRC loco No.7488. This portion has returned from
Jasper and will soon join
up with the returning section from CalgOly; both parts
leaving for Vancouver as a united train the next mornin
g. The former CN downtown
Kamloops station lies 300 yards
to the right of the bridge.
Since 1977 this station
has carried a dual and
changing identification.
To CN employees it is
simply Kamloops and
to VIA and the public it
was first known as
Kamloops (CN) and
since 1985 it is
Kamloops North -an
accurate description.
passenger train is
virtually unseen by
Kamloopsians as it stops
on the uninhabited side
of the City during
nocturnal how·s. Current
arrival times are
westbound and 0426
eastbound. These trains
make a half-hour
servicing stop.
David Davies.
opened between Vancouver and the Okanagan the previous year.
It still took just over five hours for the rail ttip. In 1961 the service
was upgraded
by replacing the steam train with a cleaner, faster,
self-propelled Budd car which took only 3 hours to reach Kelowna.
But the circuitous route, cost and time involved could not
with the flexible
door to door automobile owned by a Vancouverite
visiting the Okanagan. As a result, passenger service on the branch
was withdrawn
in late 1962. This meant that the downtown CNR
Kamloops station had lost its prime purpose.
In 1968 the federal government started subsidizing rail
passenger costs and, a decade later, the two major railways
Canada said they wished to be out of the money losing business.
This resulted in the creation
of VIA Rail Canada, a federal
government corporation, in January 1977 for the purpose
running passenger trains. At first VIA maintained the two trans­
continental daily services on both
CP and CN trackage. In 1981 the
CN service between Winnipeg and Vancouver was telminated
an economy measure. For the first time since 1915, there were no
passenger trains running through Kamloops Junction to Vancouver
or Edmonton; however, this service was reinstated in 1985/
At the beginning
of 1990, the federal government chopped
the VIA subsidy
in half. The effect on Kamloops was the
immediate disappearance
of passenger trains on CP Rail trackage.
These trains had been a daily sight for 103 years and their loss was
marked by nostalgic sighs.
The last passenger train to pass through
Kamloops on CP trackage was the
Canadian on January 17,1990.
As a result Kamloops CP depot ceased to cater to the public.
Since then the only VIA train now passing through Kamloops
is the thrice-weekly transcontinental service which uses the CN
The original
Canadian Northern
station at the Junction was demolished in 1985 and was replaced
by a pleasing one room VIA structure.
If one wishes to see what
CN station looked like, an identical building is still standing at
Boston Bar, but hurry, for it is disused and
is for sale by removal.
In this vein, VIA is to be congratulated for introducing an
innovative tourist service
in 1988. It ran a weekly train in the four
summer months from Vancouver to the Rockies in daylight hours
The first day saw the train running on CN tracks from
to Kamloops, where the passengers disembarked and
overnighted in hotels/motels. Next morning the double headed
train was split in two with one portion going to
Banff on CP tracks
and other to Jasper, continuing on CN tracks. On reaching the two
terminal points the passengers had three days to themselves.
they wished, the could ttansfer between Banff and Jasper by
special bus to complete a scenic loop. On the sixth day the two
of the train returned to Kamloops, followed by an overnight
stay and on the seventh a reunited train returned to Vancouver.
This venture was an immediate success and also profitabl
e. It is
ironic that when VIA was slashed in half in 1990 this particular
service was so
ld off to private enterprise. !tnow runs as the Rocky
Mountaineer with the same operational format but with slightly
ease frequency of service and an added third option to visitors.
The train on the Banff leg now operates to Calgary. The total
is very popular with foreign tourists.
In the same period that passenger services declined, freight
traffic was revolutionized.
In place of being all things to all
customers, both Companies decided to concentrate on the swift
movement of a dozen or less commodities in purpose built cars in
long trains of about 100 cars, travelling long distances. Commodities
selected were powdered coal, sulphur, potash, forest products,
grain, chemicals, liquids, liquified gases, merchandise containers,
and automobiles. The Crows Nest Pass Agreement made the
of grain uneconomic for several decades. That is why the
two railways own so few grain hopper cars. Cash relief came to the
in a 1984 agreement, but grain revenue still compares
poorly with other goods, ton for ton. For every grain
car that rolls
through Kamloops, and they amount to 300 to 500 a day, the
is assisting with a subsidy as grain farmers do not pay
their total transport costs.
The infrastructure needed to implement this new freight
policy was put in place. Weight
of rail was increased to about 130
Ibs per yard and its length increased from 39 feet to quarter mile;
of passing sidings were extended to 1 miles, locomotive
horsepower steadily increased from 1000 HP to 3000 HP per unit,
freight car capacities were increased from about
40 tons to the 75-
100 ton range, and each freight train became capable
of hauling
10,000 tons
of cargo. Put all this together, then double or triple the
average number
of daily freights on a given piece of trackage, and
it will be seen that this was an extra-ordinary change.
Kamloops was witness to all this. Today, approximately
to 80 through freights pass through Kamloops each day, about
equally divided between
CP and CN. Naturally half of them are
loaded and the other
half are the returning empties. All the bulk
mineral and grain freight is westbound. Fortunately this direction
is downgrade to the sea where this traffic
is loaded into ships,
principally bound for the Orient. All these bulk freights originate
on the Prairies, except for coal hauled by CP which comes from
south-eastern B.C. via Golden Junction. This coal is shipped
unit trains of bathtub cars that run in an endless loop from mine to
ship loading berth to mine, taking about four days to complete the
cycle. They were introduced
in 1970. These trains are loaded and
unloaded at a walking pace, so theoretically such a train never
stops moving.
The fastest trains are container freights and are run
from Vancouver to
Toronto as if they were crack passenger
of old.
of the above relates to through traffic, so what about
local freight.
The outgoing traffic is almost exclusively three
products -dressed lumber, plywood and newspaper pulp. These
are all derived from fir trees harvested within a 200-300 mile
A pulp
miU was built in Kamloops in 1965 to convert wood
chips into newspaper pulp.
It was so located to take advantage of
the then wasted byproducts of sawmilling or of timber too small to
be economically sawn. Most
of the chips are brought to the mill
by road but a small percentage is delivered
by rail as are all the
needed chemicals.
The end product, doughnuts of newspaper pulp,
is shipped exclusively by rail to Vancouver where it is loaded on
ships and taken
to mills around the world for conversion into
The pulp mill is located beside the CP main line and is
switched twice daily resulting i.n about 20 loaded pulp cars being
moved every
24 hours.
KamloQPs has always shipped lumber. by rail from· its
earliest days but the
amount has been relatively small and sometimes
intermittent. In the last ten years, loadings have substantially
increased due to both railways policy
of concentrating the loading
of lumber cars at one point in an area or region. Both CN in 1982
and CP
in 1987 have built Reload facilities within city limits,
where dressed lumber
is trucked in by road from sawmills within a
200 mile radius. Here the lumber is temporarily stacked or
immediately loaded onto specialised lumber cars and shipped out
at the combined rate
of close to 100 cars per week. This trend was
accelerated when the Kettle Valley Railway (CP Rail) west
Penticton was closed in May 1989, forcing mills on the line to seek
·new transport outlets.
Both railway Companies actively discourage the use
private spurs with irregular, small and infrequent movement of
cars, with the result that only about half a dozen industrial spurs
exist within city limits. Compared
to the number of cars transiting
Kamloops, these local deliveries are on a trivial scale and comprise
gasoline, raw materials for making plywood glues, liquid propane,
liquid asphalt for making blacktop, steel rod and beams, and the
of cement; of these gasoline is perhaps the leader with CN
delivering a few tank cars each week to a Petrocan road tanker
terminal which
is located on the site of a dismantled small refinery.
A new CN spur for the loading
of cattle was built as recently as
1977 on the outskirts
of the city but the last stockcar was hauled
away in 1985.
CP Rail runs a daily weekday way-freight, complete with
caboose, westwards from Kamloops to Ashcroft, averaging about
half a dozen full
or empty cars per trip. It has something of a vested
in this run in that it delivers untreated ties to a plant at
Ashcroft and then subsequently picks up treated ones for dispatch
to all parts
of the Province.
CN Rail also has a weekday way-freight running north to
Vavenby which deals exclusively with finished lumber and wood
It also has an unusual and innovative system for handling
on its Kelowna branch. In April 1992 CN created a
subsidiary which
is at arms length from the parent. It is run by a
joint management-union team which is responsible for running the
line and making it pay. This subsidiary, which operates out
Vernon, has 21 employees and its own locomotives. It runs a
weekday freight, averaging about 40 cars; a considerable amount
of the inbound Karnloops traffic comprises wood chips for the
pulpmill. These freights operated with a caboose.
The depot facilities at CN Junction have also seen much
in the last quarter centUiy. Passenger station changes have
already been noted. The original 1 Ostall roundhouse was demolished
in the early 1960s, leaving the six stall addition intact. The latter
was subsequently used for a variety
of purposes including non­
scheduled pit inspections
of diesels and the repair of CN road
It currently has tluee tracks to it, is little used,
and is slated for imminent demolition.
If the building were in
downtown Karnloops it is possible it could be used as an indoor
or display area, but its present inaccessibility dooms it.
In marked contrast
to CP, Canadian Nationals yard still
in open country and full advantage was taken of this in the
1980s. As part
of the double tracking programme between
Edmonton and Vancouver, the line on both sides
of Kamloops
Juncti0n was.doubled between 1982 and 1984 using concrete ties.
In contrast, CP continues
to use wooden ties. CN began negotiations
in 1981 to buy land from the Karnloops Indian band to enlarge its
yard. In JanualY 1985 a new surge yard was opened and called
Mary Leonard, after the name
of the Indian negotiator and Band
Chief of the time. The new yard can accommodate five 100 car
freights, two on the through lines and three on storage tracks. In
1 9 3
r 1 1 1 1 r 1
-, 1 …. , LJI
LEFT: The Kamloops coat of arms is surmounted by winged wheel, indicating the citys role as a transport hub.
NTRE: An open book indicates the pas/ and future, and also the two rivers meeting.
RIGHT: The games are taking place amidst mountains and a valley.
Inferior Dlrecllon
Superior Dlrecllon
42,,/1. Aver.
Page 167
fiRST i



399 193 89

90 194 400 402
If lI

Mixed Mixed PllIr.
Pig Mixed MId Mixed
ij =~
Mon. Tues. Dally
::e ~u; ….
Q. ….
0; 5
Dally Tuet. Thull .
Wed. frl. EI. Sun. Dally Dally Ell:. Sun. Wed. Sal. Sal.
L 7.45 L 23.10 L 23.00 2.8 K ………….. KAMLOOPS _ ………… T
KS 24 50 A22.50 A 4.55 A 16.25 A 15.00
A 7.55 A 23.20 A 23.10 .0 CK W Y ………. KAMLOOPS JCT •………. T KA 36 1032 L 22.35 L 4.40 L 16.10 L 14.50
Jcl. wllh Aahcrollind ClearWller

Traina must not
exceed ten (10) mUll per hour when backing Into Kamloopa Yard. Over South Thompson River at Kamioopl.
Kamloopt, 3450 ft. South of Kamloopt and extending north to Kamloopa Jct. Industrial …………………… M lIesgs 2.1 Capacity 129 Cars
KAMLOOPS As a Divisional point (1993)
Company SubDiv. Name From To Miles
CP Rail SHUSWAP Revelstoke Kamloops 128.5
THOMPSON Kamloops North Bend 121. 5
CN Rail CLEARWATER Blue River Kamloops 139.4
ASHCROFT Kamloops Boston Bar 125.5
addition there are another 16 switching tracks, each capable of
holding 50 to 70 cars. These switching tracks take the form of two
yards, one behind the other, and have eight tracks abreast. Full
grain trains are frequently switched
in this yard to make the cars
into lots for each grain terminal
in VancoU1er; should the yards· in
Vancouver be overloaded. The term
surge means that if train
congestion arises at either Edmonton or Vancouver, freights
enroute can
be held at Kamloops until matters return to normal.
For the rail buff, the slightly more unusual rolling stock to
be seen at Kamloops
is as follows. Both Companies maintain
switchers and cabooses (for way freights and
work trains) the first
to be seen east of Vancouver. CN holds a modern
superintendents inspection car, 61200, built
in 1976. CN also
maintains wrecking crane 50397 at the Junction which
is one of six
on the whole system that has a 250 ton capacity. Its nearest sister
is stationed at Edmonton. This crane, which itself weighs 195 tons,
was involved in a mishap this spring. The crane was replacing part
of a creek bridge in the Rockies when a boulder the size of a pick­
up truck came tumbling down the creek and crashed into the crane
and turned it onto its side. Fortunately none
of the work gang was
hurt; the crane
is now undergoing repairs at Kamloops. CNs
wreck removal train contains six old passenger and baggage cars,
of which two have the old type clerestory roofs. CP used to have
a wreck train at Kamloops but now relies on the 250 tonner at
Revelstoke. No snowploughs are stationed at Kamloops
as the
constant movement
of trains is sufficient to keep the track clear of
snowfalls normally encountered.
Both Companies in the last year have enlarged their
tunnels west ofKamloops to accommodate double stacked container
cars. CP did this
by blasting out the tunnel roofs and CN by cutting
out notches
in the roof curvature. Both Companies were running
double-stack trains
of the larger size before the end of 1992.
In December 1989 CN Rail created the
B.C. South District
Office in downtown Kamloops which centralises the control
of all
CN trackage between Edson in Alberta and Vancouver.
It houses
about 40 employees and is responsible for this area, but excludes
the line from Tete Jaune Cache to Prince Rupert.
CN also operated
a residential school for 12 pupils at the Junction between 1978 and
1991 which taught track maintenance; nowadays it
is a day school
for teaching operating rules and can take classes
of up too 25
running trades employees.
Finally, a word about signalling, traffic control and accidents.
Both Companies introduced the Absolute Block System (ABS),
with its colour light signals
in place of semaphores, in the late
1940s, and the more sophisticated and current system of Centralized
Traffic Control (CTC) in the years about 1970.
CP train movements
between Vancouver (Coquitlam) and Kamloops are controlled
from Vancouver, and those between Kamloops and Revelstoke at
Revelstoke. With CN Rail, the Dispatcher
is at Kamloops Junction
is responsible for the segment between Vancouver (Thornton)
and Jasper.
most dramatic accident in the inunediate area occurred
in January 1934 when an eastbound CNR freight of 51 cars ran into
a rockslide
just before a tunnel near Tranquille. Locomotive 2727
fell into Kamloops Lake, sadly call),ing her engineer with her.
about 1970 scuba divers located that engine and some five boxcars
on the lake bottom, retrieving the number plate and a few other pieces which are now on display
in Kamloops Museum. In 1917
two CPR freights collided head-on
just outside Tranquille Tunnel,
nine miles west
of Kamloops. Fortunately, there was no loss of
life. Confusingly both Companies have tunnels named Tranquille
and opposite each other.
Within the last 10 years both Companies have had one
accident each within city limits.
CPs involved a unit coal train
where the axle
of a slave locomotive seized and derailed at a
switch, whilst
CNs was a hopper car train of fertilizer with a
broken wheel. In both cases some 25 to 30 loaded cars were
derailed with at least half
of them wrecked beyond repair. In CPs
case, the two slave units received damage to their trucks but were
otherwise little affected. Local dealers bought the granular
cargoes at minimal prices and were responsible for removing them
by suction from the site by a certain deadline.
This concludes the history
of the railways in Kamloops
from inception to present day, but there are several areas
of interest
worth describing for the city and its people have had many
associations with the railway over the years.
Since this is Centennial year
in Kamloops, perhaps it
would be appropriate to recall the collective railway experience
contained within the first elected council. Prior to July I, 1893 the
of 800 to 1000 people was remotely governed from the
Provincial capital
of Victoria. Thereafter it was incorporated as a
of some 600 acres and control passed to a municipal council
of a mayor and five aldermen, elected by 215 male voters. Three
of these aldermen had been employed in railway building which is
not surprising given the times. Alderman George Munro had
CPR pile driving in the Kamloops district in the 1880s,
and at the time of his election was the CPR Kamloops roadmaster.
Aldermen Robert Smith and Robert Lee had also worked on
construction, the former with the CPR and the latter on USA survey
by 1893 Lee had become the local civil engineer and
provincial land surveyor.
In contrast to these upstanding public spirited aldermen,
there appeared, 15 years later, Bill Miner, the gentle train robber.
The United States had
60 train robberies between 1870 and 1933
and it
is said that Canada had only fom. Two of them were the
of one man, Bill Miner, an American, who robbed
stage coaches and then trains and spent much
of his life in prison.
He first robbed a Canadian train at Mission, B.C., in 1904 and then
repeated the act at Ducks, now called Monte Creek,
14 miles east
of Kamloops. On the night of May 8, 1908, Bill Miner and two
accomplices stopped the westbound CPR Imperial Limited and
came away with almost nothing. The trio were tracked down
the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP) and were
arrested two days later. They were tried and convicted in Kamloops
and were sent to the B.C. Penitential),
to serve long sentences.
In 1982 an excellent movie called Grey Fox was released,
starring Richard Farnsworth as Miner.
It is a fictional story told
in a low key
as·suits the character ohhe robber. Much of the movie
centres on Kamloops but in fact none
of the shots are very
atmospheric and were filmed on the BC Railway or on the
Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway on Vancouver Island. This
movie, which can be rented on video,
is highly recommended
viewing, whether you are a rail fan or not, for quality
of acting,
stOI), depth and the scenery of British Columbia.
PEDESTRIAN SUSPENSION BRIDGE: No one can quarrel with the statement that this footbridge has no equal along the length ofep Rails
trans-continental line between Montreal and Vancouver. The graceful suspension bridge straddles 3rd Avenue in downtown Kamloops and
is adjacent to CPs operations centres (formerly its passenger station); it was opened in February 1993. It connects the downtown core with
Riverside Park and the sports arena. A CP westbound container freight passes underneath, with some
of the cars carrying double-stacked
containers filted into the wells.
David Davies.
In this years Centennial celebrations in Kamioops, two
s are taking part in formal and impromptu events
throughout the summer, so it should come as no surprise to learn
that they are Bill Miner and a
RNWMP constable. Kamloops has
slowly adopted Bill Miner as
some kind of local folk hero for he
was a gentle man, even
if he was a robber; it seems the world is
always attracted to a l.ikeable rogue.
The citys Museum contains
a display
of Miner memorabilia and a model of Monte Creek
railway station. A visit to this Museum
is recommended as it
features an exhibit
of a station interior as well as other local railway
is unusual as it lies on an inland navigation route
is about 1150 feet above sea level. Extending from Enderby
to Savona, this Federal Goverrunent waterway carries navigational
aids along its entire length.
It was plied commercially by steam
boats between 1866 and about 1914, with a swan song
by one
sternwheeler between 1933 and about 1948. Nowadays it
is used
only by pleasure craft.
As a result
of being a navigation and waterway, both CPR
and CNoR were forced to build drawbridges when crossing the
Thompson River system between Enderby and Savona. There are
three types
of drawbridges: swing (by far the most common),
vertical lifting, and bascule (like a castle drawbridge). Kamloops
has examples of the swing and lift types, though the latter no longer
As a
IJ·eady described earlier in the text, the CNoR was
forced to build two moving bridges over the North and South
Thompson Rivers. This must have upset the Company which knew the days
of navigation on the North Thompson were coming to an
end, hastened by
the very alTival of its own railway. For the cash­
poor CNoR, the requirement to install a moveable span in a bridge
complicated the design and added to its cost.
The North Thompson lift bridge, which was built in 1914,
had a moveable span
of 93 ft. and a vertical Lift of 55 feet above
high water mark. The span was held between two towers and
connected to two 59 ton concrete counter weights by cables
running over pulleys on the tower heads. A gasoline engine,
located under the track at span centre, was used to tum the sheaves
that moved the holding cables. This was the third railway lifting
bridge to be built
in North America and the first erected in Canada.
The deSigner and consulting engineering firm came from Kansas
City, Missouri. Its erection was supervised by the
CNoR Divisional
engineer. As anticipated by CNoR, the lift span was little used.
1937 the CNR was given permission by the federal government to
remove the suspended counterweights and bolt the lifting span into
a fixed position. CN currently owns and operates the largest lifting
bridge in Canada; it crosses the Second Narrows in Vancouv
Harbour and by comparison has a span of 503 ft and a lift of 153
On the branch to downtown Kamloops, three bridges have
been built over
the South Thompson River at the same location.
The first structure was the temporary wooden trestle erected in
1913 to move construction supplies between the
CPR and CNoR
yards. The last two bridges were more durable. A swing span was
involved in each
of these bridges. The first permanent structure
went into use
in 1919 and was a wooden truss bridge with a central
swing span. It was intended to be used for a short period. In 1927
it was replaced with a steel girder bridge which has a 208 foot
swing span
of through truss design. This span rotates on a circular
of25 foot diameter and provides two openings, each of 90 foot
width. It was built
by Coughlin Steel Ltd, a Vaf)couver film that
fabricates steel which built merchant ships during World War
When the freshet occurs each year in late spring, the water level of
the South Thompson River in flood usually is less than 5 feet from
the bottom
of the girder spans of this bridge.
It will be noticed that the present tense
is partly used in the
above paragraph.
From the date of its construction to 1985 the
draw span was rarely used and was swung once a year in a ritual
to show that navigation rights were being preserved and to test the
In that year the tourist sternwheeler Wanda Sue
commenced thrice weekly runs to the head of Kamloops Lake.
This necessitates opening the bridge, a practice that has continued
to the present.
The bridge was designed to be swung manually, with an
arrangement somewhat akin to winding a mantlepiece clock. A
four sided stem or shaft rises vertically to track level and presumably
a capstan bar was attached to this
and two or four men rotated it.
Nowadays a compressor is trundled onto the swing span and
creates the turning power. Curious
ly, there is no signal interlocking
in place to warn of the open span. As speed is restricted and
the bridge is within yard limits
presumably it was felt this
safeguard was unnecessary.
No passenger train ran over tllis
bridge from 1963 until 1988 when the tillice-weekly summer train,
the Rocky Mountaineer, started running.
Close to this bridge stands forlorn the CN downtown
Kamloops station with its windows boarded up. Happily,
in 1992
it was given an historical safeguard under the (Federal) Heritage
Railway Stations Protection Act which ensues it cannot be demolished
or altered. About 90 stations across Canada carry this designation.
It is the intention
of City Council to purchase the building from CN
and refurbish it for community use. One or two rooms may be
devoted to local railway history.
The implementation date will be
approximately the year 2000. In summer months, the station
is used to receive the Rocky Mountaineers passengers.
Another downtown building of rail related interest but
little historical merit
is a grain elevator owned by Purity Feeds Ltd
on the northern edge
of the CP yards. Such structures are
commonplace on the Prairies but rare in British Columbia.
It was
in 1912 when immigrant farmers were still trying to grow
on the open uplands immediately south of Kamloops. Trade
languished between the
Wars but in 1947 the elevator was enlarged
and became a receiving point, its contents being sold to local
ranchers. It continues to operate
in 10 grain cars per year but all
supplies now
come by road and the rail spur is about to be removed.
Like many rail centres
in Canada, Kamloops has managed
to preserve a few pieces
of rolling stock. In Riverside park
adjacent to the downtown
al:ea and the heritage eN station, stands
CN steam locomotive 2141, which was placed there in 1961. She
was built
in 1912 for the Canadian Northern, saw service on the
Prairies, and ended her days on Vancouver Island. She was taken
of service in July 1958. This locomotive has no connection
with Kamloops and every now and then controversy swirls about
her stack. One group
of outsiders periodically wishes to overhaul her and put her to work on
some preservation railroad, whilst
diehards resist transfer anywhere.
The book Vancouver Island
Railroads by Robert Turner carries a painting
of the 2141 on its
dust-jacket and frontispiece, showing it heading a CN freight
lLLmber cars.
Two other pieces of preserved rolling stock stand together
on the Indian Reserve, not too far from the vertical lifting bridge
and CN Junction. They are both
CN stock and consist of a stockcar
and caboose -the former the only example preserved
in B.C. and
the latter
is fairly commonplace. The stockcar started life as a
CNoR boxcar in 1912. Sometime in the-1930s, it was converted
by the
CNR at Winnipeg to a stockcar and given its CWTent number
It was withdrawn from service in 1962 after 50 years of
service. The car was presented to the City of Kamloops in 1970 by
CN as a reminder of this areas cattle and horse traffic. It now does
summer service as a tourist information booth and is in an
excellent state
of preservation.
This article ends, perhaps appropriately, about the
of the mind and body but with a railway flavour. Peter
Sawatsky is an established British Columbian artist, living in
Kamloops, who specializes in painting rail and period scenes
throughout the Province. His paintings are then applied to
individually numbered, limited issue wall plates. Within the last
few years Sawatsky has produced a set
of four plates detailing
CPR scenes at Nelson, Yoho, Revelstoke and Kamloops.
His Kamloops plate appeared
in 1991 and shows the CPR station
in the early 1940s with a westbound passenger train headed by
Pacific class 4-6-2 loco 2704. At that time, 18 to
20 CPR
locomotives were stabled at Kamloops.
As to
feeding the body, any rail minded tourist is
recommended to sample food and beer at the McCracken Station
in the suburb of Valleyview. Both the exterior and interior of
the pub are modelled after a small country station. It takes its name
from McCracken way-station which used to stand five miles to the
east at Mile 123.0 on the CP Shuswap Sub-division.
The interior
displays various railway artifacts and photos.
The menu can-ies a
distinct railway touch -but not aroma. The piece-de-resistance on
display is a beautiful 5
ft. long model of CPR locomotive 2716, a
Pacific type 4-6-2, scaled to 3/4 inch to the foot.
It is no
coincidence that the prototype
is of the same class as that depicted
on the plate painting for they are part
of the same Kamloops
memory. This wheel arrangement
of locomotive was very popular
on the
CPR and more than 15% of all its locomotives were in this
category. The prototypes
of the model consisted of a sub-group of
18 machines, Class G4a and b, all built in 1919-20 by CPR itself.
They were used on lighter passenger trains and a few
them were stationed in Kamloops for three decades. The model
itself was built in 1936 by Lloyd Snowden, then 19 years old and
of Kamloops. His father was a CPR engineer and Lloyd followed
in his footsteps becoming an engineer
in 1946 and retiring in a
supervisory position
in 1982; he and his wife continue to reside in
the city. The model, which is non-working, took a year to
complete. It has meticulous detail and shows painstaking
As Kamloops celebrates its centenary,
we -the citizens –
salute the railways to whom we owe much
of our heritage. Long
may they continue
to meet and diverge in our City!
ANDERSON, FRANK: Bill Miner, Train Robber. Frontiers Unlimited, Calgary, 1980,56 pp. (P. 35-44 train robbelY at Ducks).
CPR Railway Stations in B.C. Orca Books, Victoria B.C., 1990, 108 pp. (P. 84-85 comprise two photos with captions).
BALF, MARY: Kamloops: History of District up to 1914. Kamloops Museum Association, reprint 1981, 157 pp. (P. 28-32 about CPR
BALF, MARY: Kamloops, L914-1945. Kamloops Museum Association, 1975,140 pp. (P. 25-28 review).
BALF, MARY: The Railroad. Newspaper Kamloops News, April-May 1979. (4 part review of CPR construction in Kamloops).
BOHI, CHARLES: Canadian Nationals Western Depots. Railfare Books, Toronto, 1977, 128 pp. (Relevant data on pages 63, 104, 109,
BURROWS, ROGER: Railway Mileposts in B.C., Vol. 1. Self pub., North Vancouver, 1981, 110 pp. (P. 58-59 and 70-73, route,
structures, map, very explicit).
FA VRHOLDT, KEN: First Train in Town. Newspaper Kamloops News, 12 July 1985. (1 page commentary on arrival of CPR construction
in 1885).
ALLEE, OMER: Van Hornes Road. Railfare Books, Toronto, 1974, 304 pp. (Photo of locomotive Kamloops on page 46,
of line and fencing problems in Kamloops area in 1880s, with two photos pages 218-219; 1887 timetable on page 415).
MEYER, RON: Railroading in B.C. – A Bibliography, B.C. Railguide No. 12. Pacific Coast Div. of CRHA, 1993, 114 pp. (P. 61 Bill
P. 104 Fraser Canyon and Thompson Regions; this reference book has 1500 entries and should be held by every student ofB.C. railway
Canadian Northern Railway Construction at Kamloops (my created composite title). Newspaper Kamloops News, 27
to 8 Dec 1978. (Series of seven one-page articles, each of which carries a separate title).
NORTON, W. and SCHMIDT, W. (Co-editors): Kamloops -100 years of Community, 1893-1993. Sonotek, Merritt B.C., 1993, 148
pp. (Chap
8, Cowtown & Railcity, describes movement of livestock by rail).
SMITH, DOUGLAS: Best Route Through the Rockies (Construction of Canadian Northern Ry. within B.C.). Canadian Rail No. 420,
1991,35 pp article. (About a dozen references and details plus photo of media train crossing North Thompson river in 1915).
SMYTH, DAVID: Extant Engine Houses in Canada, Report to Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. 1992, 580 pp. (P.
562-564, CNR roundhouse at Kamloops Junction).
STEVENS, G.R.: Canadian National Railways, Vol. 2. Clarke & Irwin, Toronto, 1962,547 pp. (P. 96 and 103-105, construction of main
in Kamloops area and Okanagan branch).
TURNER, ROBERT: West of the Great Divide. Sono Nis Press, Victoria B.C., 1987,336 pp. (P. 190-191, operating trains in Kamloops
WEIR, THOMAS: Ranching in Southern Interior Plateau of B.C. Queens Printer, Ottawa, 1955, 124 pp. (P. 58-59 and 74-77, rail
livestock movements).
Canada -Atlantic to Pacific. Canadian National and Grand Trunk, Montreal, 1921, 156 pp. (P. 144, description of Kamloops).
Canadian Trackside Guide -1992. By town Railway Society, Ottawa, annual, 463 pp. (Miscellaneous details in sections 3.10, 7.2, 10.6,
13.1 to 13.14, 14.2,14.51).
KAMLOOPS MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES. This facility, though cramped, is the equal of any in the interior of B.C. Four specific sources
are: 1). Newspaper Inland Sentinel, considerable microfilm coverage of lifespan 1880 -1987. 2). City Directories, providing names and
of railway employees. 3). Public (nationwide) and Employee (B.C. only) timetables, for CP and CN, for years 1927 to 1976,
comprehensive but not complete. 4). Railway photographs, about 50 covering CPR and CNR equally, variable quality; considering that
Kamloops has been a railway point for over 100 years, the collection
is relatively small and disappointing.
KamJoops Museum and Archives; CP Rail, Kamloops; CN Rail, Edmonton; Lloyd Snowden, Kamloops; Adrian Taylor, Kamloops; Les
Kozma, Edmonton; Dave Wilkie, Victoria.
Photo Section
By Bill Thomson
The Lake St John area in n0l1hern Quebec has been the home to two durable short lines, the Roberval and Saguenay and the Alma and
Jonquiere Railways. Over the years, very little has appeared
in Canadian Rail on these two properties. We are pleased to be able to present
these photos from the collection
of member Bill Thomson. It appears that these views were taken during the 1930s.
The origins
of the R&S date to 1911 when it received a charter from the Quebec legislature to build rail lines in the Lake St John area. While
it undertook very little actual construction
of its own, in 1915 it took over the Ha Ha Bay Railway. By the time these photos were taken,
the company had considerable track mileage.
ABOVE: The R&S turned to the Canadian Equipment Company, a dealer in second hand locomotives for three of its steam locomotives.
Acquired in
1919, locomotive 9 had been buill for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad in 1889. The tidy lillie 4-6-0 remained on the R&S
roster until 1940 when
it was dismantled.
OPPOSITE: The Montreal Locomotive Works lurned out R&S
13 in September 1927. While receiving a higher number, sisler engine 14
had been turned
out for the R&S by MLW in June 1926. Engine 14 was sold to the Alma & Jonquiere Railway in 1937.
In JanuaJ) 1928, the R&S purchased 0-4-0 tank locomotive 15 from the Aluminum Company of Canada.
The R&S operated a very modest pasenger service. At the beginning
of the 1930s, it operated a daily except Sunday round trip between
Bagorville, on Ha
Ha Bay, to Arvida with a side trip down the branch line to Chicoutimi. By the late 1930 s, the service had been reduced.
The side trip up
the branch to Chicoulimi was completely discontinued and the remaining service was only provided from Arivada to
Bagotville. This train which never returned operated until the early 1960·s. To meet its requirements it acquired a number of second
hand open platform cars. Combine
2 appears to be have been a former Pennsylvania RaiLroad coach of the early /880s.
The Grand River Railway extendedfrom the former city of Galt (now Cambridge) to Kitchener and from Preston to Hespeler. The rail lines
had been built between
1894 and 1902. CP had leased the electric railway in 1908 to tap the large manufacturing cOllcerns in this region.
To handle the large freight business which developed, the Grand Riverfielded
afleet of 11 freight notors. Dating to 1906, the 224 had been
heavily rebuilt in as late as
1952. After the end of electric service in 1961, it was sold to the Iowa Terminal Railway in 1963. This view
shows the unit switching the CP-GR interchange tracks at Galt near the end
of electric operations.
The London
& Port Stanley Railway was one of the oldest railways in Ontario. Completed between these Iwo centres in 1856, it existedfor
more than a centUJY before passing to the Canadian National in 1965. The railway was electrified comparatively late in 1915. 11 was to
serve as the prototype for a system
of electrified railways to span southern Olltario. Electrified operations ended in 1963. Unit L-3 was
from General Electric in 1915 at a cost of $29,367. While the L3 has been scrapped, sister units Ll and L2 have been preserved.
In happier times, the
L3 is seen switching Ihe L&PS freight yard in London ill 1962.
New York Central locomotive 5240, by then part of the Penn Central system, hauling a transfer of freight cars, coming off the International
Bridge at Fort Erie, Ontario in May, 1970.
. ..
CN No. 2503 (MLW 1973) and NO/folk & Western 3560 and 3725 (ex Wabash) at Fort Erie in January, 1974.
A magnificant view of CPR G1 s class 4-6-2 No. 2221, built by MLW (construction number 49482) in 1911, hauling an all-wooden train,
of three head-end cars and two coaches, westbound through Pointe Claire, Que. in 1938.
CP 4043, 8599,4048 hauling a train over the Credit River bridge at POI Credit, Ontario in July, 1967. Note the business car
Rail Canada Decisions
By Douglas N.W. Smith
Fredericton Railway No.2, FREDERICTON seen al its namesake city in 1877, soon after it was delivered to the railway. Note the exhibition
buildings in the background, also Boss Gibson standing beside the tender. This locomotive had no less than TEN different owners during
its career, more than any other locomotive
in Canada. Built by Rogers in Philadelphia in 1869 (construction number 1691) it was: Western
Extension Ry. No.1
(1869-1872), European & North American Ry. No.1 (1872-1877), Fredericton Ry. No.2 (1877-1887), New Brunswick
No. 30 (1887-1890), CPR No. 507 (1890), Willard Kitchen Co. No.1 (1890), Tobique Valley Ry. No. 1(1890), Cornwallis Valley Ry.
No. I (1890-1892), Windsor
& Annapolis Ry. No. 13 (1892-1894), Dominion Atlantic Ry. No.1 (1894-1912). If was scrapped ill 1912,
just before the Dominion Atlanlic was leased to the CPR,
Canadian Pacific photo No. 5075.
On March 4, 1993, the Agency granted CP pennission to
abandon 68.6 miles
of branch lines in New Brunswick. Included
in the authorization is the Fredericton Subdivision between Fredericton
Junction and Fredericton, a distance
of 21.2 miles; the Gibson
Subdivision between South Devon and Southampton, a distance
37 miles; the Southampton Spur, a distance of 9.5 miles; and the
Minto Spur, a distance
of 0.9 miles.
The oldest line
is the Fredericton Subdivision which was
incorporated as the Fredericton Railway
(FR) in 1866 by the
govemmentofNew Brunswick. Construction began at the Fredericton
end of the line. In August 1868 work began on a wharf which was constructed at the foot
of Westmoreland Street. On October 16,
1868, The Reporter announced that the first locomotive had
arri ved
by schooner.
This 4-4-0 was
FR No.1 and named the Oromocto. No
as to the origin of this locomotive has come to light. It
remained in service until 1877 when it was sold. On October 30th,
(he Oromocto was steamed for the first time. Excited members
of the public were carried over the newly laid track from the wharf
to the Exhibition Building.
By the end
of November, The Reporter noted that the
company was building workshops and blacksmith shops near the
wharf. These facilities were to produce freight and passenger cars
CPR 5239 and 2397 at Fredericton NB. in 1954.
of Douglas N.w. Smith.
for the FR and the European & North American Railway line which
was in the process
of building its line from Fairville, in the western
of Saint John, to the Maine frontier. To avoid confusion
with the oliginai E&NA line between Shediac and Saint John, this
line was popularly referred to
as the Western Extension Railway
(WER). As well,
by the end of November the FR had completed
two miles
of track from the wharf to Monisons Mills.
The progress on the FR was mirrored on the WER. The
1, 1869 issue of The Reporter noted that locomotives
were running for
17 miles on the WER. It was expected that in a
month the rails would be laid to Hartts Mills (later Fredericton
Junction). To speed progress on the FR, the company began to lay
rails from
Fredericton Junction the last week of July.
On June 21, 1869, the President and Secretary along with
other gentlemen rode on the locomotive over the
11 miles of line.
Durillg the summer months progress was slowed when the navies
struck for higher pay and then they ceased work after the subcontractors
failed to pay them. One noteworthy event during this period was
the shipment
of twenty freight cars completed at the Fredericton
shop to the WER in August. As the FR had yet to complete
tracklaying, the cars were shipped by water.
The Reporter proudly noted in its issue of November 5th
that the first passenger car which had passed over the line on
November2nd was a second class car which had builtin Fredericton.
The official opening for the line was deferred from November 17th
to December 1st when both the FR and Western Extension
celebrated their completion. At that time, a special train departed
Fredericton at 0930 for the Junction. At that point, it met a special
train running from Saint John over the Western Extension. This
train proceeded
to the New Blunswick -Maine border and then
returned to the terminus at Fairville, near Saint John. That evening
the guests were treated to the usual banquet to mark the completion
of the enterprises.
Initially passenger service was confined to one round trip
per day. However, in February 1870 the number
of trains running
over the line was doubled.
The completion
of the FR spurred plans to build a line up
the Saint John River Valley and on to the
St Lawrence River. In
1870, the provincial government issued a charter to the New
Brunswick Railway (NBR) authorizing it to build from a point
opposite Fredericton on the Saint John River to Woodstock and on
to Edmundston.
The line was popularly known as the Riviere du
Loup Railway as this was viewed as its ultimate destination.
The communities in the southern portion
of the province
had vigorously opposed the decision to build the Intercolonial
Railway (ICR) through Campbellton. While a route which followed
the more populous Saint John River valley had been surveyed, it
was rejected since it was to close to the American border.
Imperial government favoured a route well-removed from the
border region. Memories
of the invasion of Canada during the War
of 1812 were still fresh in politicians minds. The border skitmishes
with the Fenians following the American Civil War renewed fears
for the defense
of the country.
Page 180
While the ICR was far from the
Americans, it also ran through very thinly
populated region
of New Brunswick. The
manufacturing centres of Saint John,
Fredericton, Woodstock, and St Stephen
were handicapped by the circuitous rail
haul to send their products to the Central
Canadian market.
In 1878, the conservative
government ofJohn A. MacDonald launched
its National Policy. Under this policy, the
government raised tariffs on manufactured
goods in order to foster industrial
development within the Dominion. While
immensely popular
in Central Canada, the
scheme was very unpopular in southern
New Brunswick. Largely shut
out of the
Central Canadian markets by the circuitous
rail haul, these firms depended upon sales
into the markets of New England and the
northern United State
Once more the cry arose for a rail
line to be built up the Saint John River
Valley. As early as 1836, the business
of southern New Brunswick had
received a charter for the St Andrews &
Quebec Railway to build a line from the
ofSl Andrews to Levis, on the southern
of the St Lawrence River opposite
Quebec. While the ill-fated
StA&Q never
reached its western terminus,
it did become
a part
of the New Brunswick & Canada
Railway which operated a thriving network
of line linking St Andrews to Woodstock
with branches to St Stephen and Houlton,
Maine. A more detailed history
of the
is contained in the May-June issue
of Canadian Rail.
Spurred on by the inducement
large land grants and cash subsidies from
the local municipalities, the New Bnll1swick
Railway was successfully organized.
Chartered by the provincial legislature in
to build a line from Fredericton to
Edmundston, the projectinitiaUy languished
for lack
of financial support. Once more it
appeared that the long desired link would
not be buiIt.
The Reporter announced in its
November 8,
1871 issue that the railway
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From the New Brunswick Reporter (Fredericton),
Wednesday, June
most people expected it to be pushed to
Riviere du Loup, where a connection could
be made with the Grand Trunk.
In an effort to keep the costs
of the
railway as low as possible, the line was
built to the narrow gauge
of 3 feet 6
inches. This was a major departure from
the other rail Jines in the province
were built to the broad gauge of 5 feet 6
Surveyors were placed in the field
during the course
of the winter of 1872.
The line was rapidly placed under
construction. The Reporter announced
in its September 4, 1872 issue that the first
rails had been laid from the
wharf to the
of St Marys, opposite Fredericton.
The NBR eventually fielded a fleet
of ten narrow gauge locomotives. In his
of the narrow gauge railways in
Omer Lavallee was able to trace
the lineage
of nine of these locomotives to
either the American firms
of Mason or
Baldwin. No firm data concerning the
first locomotive
is known. Two interesting
items concerning this locomotive appeared
The Reporter. On October 9, 1872,
the newspaper reported that the locomoti ve
for the RduLR was ready for shipment
England. Owing to a delay, it was not
in proper season and it is improbable
thatit will arrive
tiU spring. The November
27th issue reported that the locomotive
was due to arrive Saturday last but did not
come due an inexplicable delay in
Scotia. On December 18, 1872, it was
that the locomotive had been
delivered to the
NBR and would be ready
for service in a couple
of days. The
newspaper regrettably contains no reference
to the source of the locomoti ve. Whether
it was the errant English locomotive or a
second hand engine from a narrow
line in Nova Scotia or, possibly from the
Prince Edward Island Railway,
is a matter
for conjecture.
In Feblllary, Gibson retumed from
a trip to England where the bonds
of the
company found a ready market. While
funding was thus secured to press on with
was not a
fixed fact. Alexander (Boss) Gibson, a successful
New Blllnswick businessman, is reported as saying he would build
of the railway rather than see the scheme miscarry. It
is not surprising to find that the first portion of the line would
provide access to the extensive timber holdings Gibson held along
the Keswick, Mactaquac and Nackawic river valleys. The company
was popularly known as the Riviere du Loup Railway (RduLR) as construction, the
re were difficulties securing rails. The English
colliers had
gone out on strike causing the price of rails to rise to
an unprecedented level.
On June 17, 1873, the Lieutenant Governor performed the
ceremonial turning
of the first sod for the rai lway. This tardy event
was capped by a twenty mile excursion over the line to Burts Mills
Road where a reception was held for His Excellency and the
Following the discontinuence of steam-hauled passenger trains to Fredericton in 1956, CP provided service with gas-electric cars. Here
we see No. 9005 leaving Fredericton on March 10, 1962, shortly before this service was discontinued.
Photo by Conrad Steeves.
official party. Due to the lack of a passenger car, the celebrants
were can-ied
on a flat car which had seats and an awning improvised
by the companys workmen.
The NBR officially opened the 28 mile line between St
Marys and Nashwaak on September 10, 1872. Less than a month
later, the Construction Company building the line inaugurated
scheduled passenger service between Nashwaak and Millville on
October 6th. Rounding out the years progress, the company
operated an excursion train from
St Marys to Northampton, just
across the river from Woodstock, on December31
Sl. The Construction
Company operated one Nashwaak-Northampton round trip daily
except Sunday between January 5 and May 12, 1874. Following
the transfer of the line to the
NER, the company inaugurated two
daily exceptSunday round trips between StMarys and NOJ1hampton.
Skipping ahead, the line reached Edmundston
in the fall of 1878.
NBR was not fated ever to extend its line to Riviere du Loup.
The Temiscouata Railway filled in the missing link
in 1889.
The narrow gauge was recognized as a mistake. It inhibited
the free interchange
of cars with the rest of the provincial railway
network and required costly transshipping
of cargoes. The company
converted its lines to the new provincial standard
of 4 feet 8 1/2
inches in 1881.
The faltering railways of southern New Brunswick were
consolidated resulting
in a series of amalgamations. The first
union, in 1882, was between the NBR and the New Brunswick
Canada Railway. In 1883, the WER, then operating under the name St John and Maine Railway, was added to the
NER. While
of the FR were acquired at that time, it continued to operate
under its old name until 1892.
The CPR leased the NBR in 1890 to complete its
transcontinental line from Montreal to Saint John. This formalized
the relationship between the two corporations.
CP President and
financier George Stephen had owned a portion
of the NBR from the
The Southampton Railway was chartered in 1910 to build
from the Gibson Subdivision to the Saint John River.
The 13 mile
branch was operated
by CP from its completion in 1913.
The final segment, the Minto Spur, originally was built by
the Fredericton and Grand Lake Coal and Railway
Company in
The CPR leased the company in 1913.
CN received pelmission to abandon the Havelock Subdivision
between Petitcodiac and Havelock, New Brunswick on April 13,
For a relatively short piece of trackage, this line has a
complex history.
In 1874, the New Brunswick legislature issued a charter to
the Petitcodiac and Elgin Railway Company to
between the
communities bearing these names. This 13.8 mile line was opened
to traffic
in 1876 Nine years later, it constructed the line from
Petitcocliac to Havelock.
A three-cal train of the Montreal & Southern Counties Railway at Granby West on June 12, 1949. The
consisl is motor cars
622 and 621, wilh trailer 220. These calS were built in 1930 for the Windsor Essex
and Lake Shore, and came to the M
& SC in 1939. In 1956 they went to the Niagara St. Calharines &
Toronto, where the motor units rail until 1959.
between Montreal and Granby,
a distance
of about 50 miles.
The trackage from its Montreeal
terminus at the foot
of McGill
in Montreal to M&SC
Junction via the Victoria Bridge,
St Lambert and Greenfield Park
was laid by the company between
1908 and 1912.
The 27.4 miles
of trackage extension of the
M&SC between M&SC Junction
and St Cesaire were leased from
the Montreal & Province Line
Railway, which was owned by
the Central Vermont Railway.
While the Central Vermont
turned over the M&PL propelties
CN in 1950, the M&SC
continued use the line until the
of electric services.
The section between
St Cesaire
and Granby was built by the
M&SC between 1915 and 1916.
service between
MarieviJle and Granby was
discontinued in November, 1951,
Photo by Ray Corley.
Financial difficulties caused the line to enter receivership
in 1890. The bondholders purchased the line in 1892. Two years
later, the Elgin and Havelock Railway was incorporated to operate
the line.
The line remained
in very poor financial and operational
state. In 1918, it was
purchased along with several other
unremunerative lines by the
Dominion Government for
operation by the Canadian
GovemmentRailways. Indicative
of its true state, the Dominion
Government paid only $30,000
for the E&H.
In 1935, CN applied to
the Board
of Railway Comm­
issioners for permission to abandon
the line.
The Board turned CN
down citing public requirement
for service. Twenty years later,
CN secured authority to abandon
the original portion
of the line
between Petitcodiac and Elgin.
u_ 1il
and service with diesel passenger
trains ended in 1962. A detailed history
of the M&SC appeared in
the January-February 1989 issue of Canadian Rail.
On March
1, 1993, the Agency authorized CN to abandon
the portion
of the line between Granby and Marieville, a distance
of23.6 miles. With this abandonment, Granby becomes the largest
in Quebec to have no rail service.
The M&SC was Mont­
reals only electric interurban
railway. The company provided
and passenger service
Granby station as il appeared on May 2,1948. The slation was used by the M & SC and the CNR.
Photo by Ray Corley.
CP 8161 switching the Seagrams distillmy at Waterloo, Ontario in 1971. The plant was recently closed, and the building has been
demolished. On July
6, 1993 CP operated its last train through the sluets of Waterloo.
Photo by Bill Thomson.
The Edmonton and Slave Lake Company was chartered by
the Dominion government in 1899 with the grand ambition
linking Edmonton to the Peace River via Lesser Slave Lake. When
the charter was amended in 1903, the word railway was inserted
into the corporate title.
In 1906, the E&SL opened its first section
of line from a
junction with the Edmonton, Dunvegan & British Columbia near
Edmonton to Cardiff, a distance
of 21.7 miles. Other constmction
was deferred until after the
E&SL amalgamated with the Canadian
Northern Railway in 1911.
In 1912, the E&SL opened a 74.4 mile
extension from Cardiff to Athabasca. Any plans
to build further
north were deferred by the financial panic
of 1913 and the
of World War I in 1914.
CN abandoned a twelve mile section of the line between
Trelle Junction and Morinville
in 1947. Its trains subsequently
exercised trackage rights over the Northern Alberta Railways to
access the northern portion
of this subdivision.
The Agency gave CN permission to abandon the section
between Legal and Athabasca, a distance
of 60.9 miles on February
On July 6, 1993, CP operated its last freight train to
Waterloo, Ontario. Due to the closure
of industries along its line,
CP received pelmission from the Agency to abandon the northern most 2.8 miles
of its Waterloo Subdivision. Authority was also
given to abandon the one mile Ottawa Street Spur and 0.4 mile
Kent A venue Spur which branched
off from this line. This
trackage at one time formed the northern most portion
of CPs
intemrban subsidiary, the Grand River Railway.
The Agency granted CN permission on May 27, 1993 to
abandon the segment
of the Uxbridge Subdivision between mile
38.88 and mile 40.31.
CSX Transportation continues to chip away at its former
main line between Windsor and St Thomas. On April 7, 1993, the
Agency gave CSX permission
to abandon the 6.1 miles of track
between Arner and Ruthven, Ontario.
Canadas newest short line is the Grand Forks Railway.
Living up to the name short line, the GFR is only 1.25 miles long.
Its only connection
is with the Burlington Northern. This was the
last piece ofCP trackage
in the community following the abandonment
of the line between Midway and Robson West in 1991. the history
of this line appeared in the November-December issue of Canadian
On March 24, 1993, the federal cabinet rescinded the
Agency order permitting CN
to abandon the 7.8 mile segment of
the Montmagny Subdivision between St Romulad and Harlaka,
Quebec. This trackage
is used by VIA Rail Montreal-Halifax and
Montreal-Gaspe train
to serve Levis.
The Agency authorized CP to abandon the Berthierville
Spur on August 3, 1993. The spur was built by the Quebec,
Montreal, Ottawa & Occcidental Railway in 1878 -79.
From the New Brunswick Reporter (Fredericton, N.B.) Friday,
October 8, 1869.
NOTE: This article appeared only a few days after the
famous Saxby Gale which occurred on the night of October 4 –S,
In fact the excursion took place on the very next day. This
storm, the most famous ever to strike New Brunswick, had been
predicted months in advance by an English officer and astronomer
named Saxby. Although some people heeded the prediction, most
ignored it,
and as a result hundreds of people lost their lives and
pOitions of the province were devastated. The galecaused considerable
damage to the rail way, and was one of the causes of the postponement
of its opening beyond the originally scheduled date of November
17. Nevertheless the trip proceeded as planned, albeit with some
delays due to the storm.
Mr. E.R. Burpee, Contractor on Western Extension,
having the rails laid along the whole line
in New Brunswick to
the American boundary, invited the members of the local
government, prominent railway men from Maine and the
Province, the Press of Sf. John, Fredericton and elsewhere
available, together with a number of other gentlemen, to ride
over the road, and to see for themselves what energy and
have already effected towards the accomplishment
of their great undertaking.
Accepting this invitation, Hon. Judge Fisher, Hon.
Provo Secretary, Hon. E. Perley, who happened to be in
Fredericton at the time, Dr. Dow, M.P.P., John L. Marsh Esq.,
City Clerk, John Richards Esq., Secretary of the Fredericton
Branch, and the representatives of the local press, went out
in carriages to Hartts Mills
[today Fredericton Junction] to join
the excursionists from Sf. John. Went out, we say, by
carriages, but mark you, returned by the iron horse, thus
witnessing the closing of one era and the opening of another
in the local history of Fredericton and its surroundings.
The devastations of the storm furnished constant
topic of conversation, more especially as we were compelled
two or three times to halt in our progress and lift the waggons
over the fallen trees which blocked the roadway. Near
the end of the journey, however, the last half mile was so
completely blockaded that we were obliged to find our way
the station on foot, dismissing the horses and carriages for
evermore, as among the things of the past so far as this
journey is concerned.
Arriving at Hartts Mills, we found, as mentioned
elsewhere, that the long wood shed, recently put up at
considerable expense to the Company, had been the toy of
the wind the proceeding night, and after being dashed hither
and thither lay a confused heap upon the ground. While
amazed at the strength of the blast which had snapped
strong rafters like pipe stems, a distant whistle sounded, and
soon a locomotive drawing
an elegant monitor-top passenger
car and two open cars, dashed into the station, and presently
descended a goodly company
of gentlemen from St. John,
including the contractor himself, Mr. Parks, the President of
the company, the representatives of the Press -Messrs.
Anglin, Willis, Livingstone, Ellis and Knowles, with Mr. Blackadar,
Queens Printer of
lJova Scotia, the Mayor of the City, Hon.
Mr. Flewelling, Surveyor General, Hon. Mr. King, Mr. Grant
of Eastern Extension fame, and a number of others whose
names we cannot recall.
After mutual greetings and a few minutes delay all
aboard was the word, and we soon found ourselves hurrying along a well laid track, the section taken by Messrs. Thompson
& Rainnie, and speeding towards the American boundary.
The country through which the road passed is decidedly
uninviting, and until we reached Cork Settlement and the
Harvey, apparently unfit for settlement. At the latter place a
handsome station has
been erected, and the advantages of
railway building are here manifesting themselves abundantly,
Harvey is bound to prosper.
The next point of interest is the Magaguadavic and
lakes. Along the edge of the latter the road gracefully winds,
with a fine
view extending to the top of Bald Mountain, from
whose summit fifty lakes are counted, Catadin [sic] seen
the distance, and the finest view in New Brunswick may be
The Magaguadavic itself is spanned,
100 feet in the
clear, by a splendid iron bridge of Boston manufacture.
It was
with this bridge, which Mr. Hibbard prophesied was to
swept away last spring, that the government were to be
on to their doom, but if they are to remain as long as
the bridge, there are a good many long speeches yet
in store
for the House and country.
over Messrs. Brooks and RobinsonS portion
of the contract, we came to City Camp
[today McAdam], the
junction of the St. Andrews and Woodstock lines with the
Western Extension. Here we were joined by Mr. Jewett and
a number of prominent railway men from Maine, and also by
Hon. Messrs. McAdam and Lindsay, and by friend Watts of
the Sentinel. Pushing on four or
five miles further, we come
to the ne plus ultra -the end of the line cut at right angles by
the St. Croix,
over which an iron bridge is to be constructed,
heavy masonry of which is now being prosecuted. Across
the water is the domain of Uncle Sam, who
in this contract
matter is not up to tune, for while young New Brunswick has
so nearly completed its portion, Maine has
50 miles scarcely
yet explored.
[The two lines were finally joined in 1871. Ed.].
Across the Sf. Croix and directly in view there is a very
cutting, which is only just commenced. Here is the
mammoth tannery of Messrs. Shaw
& Co., just beginning its
[No, they did not tan mammoth hides there. Ed.].
Returning to City Camp we were most hospitably
entertained by Messrs. Robinson
& Brooks with a substantial
dinner, which being discussed, we started homeward, imbarking
with us, in addition to those already mentioned, Judge Kent,
lady and son, also Mr. Ramsey, who has been appropriately
styled the original pioneer of Western Extension. Judge Kent
is quite a celebrity
in his own State, and was Governor of
Maine during the Aroostook war [which took
place in 1839.
We reached the station at Hartls Mills shortly before
6, where, after saying goodbye to the St. John party, we
waited until 7 1/2 for the locomotive which was to bear us to
Fredericton. The locomotive presently put
in an appearance,
the first which
ever passed over the entire length of the
Branch, consequently our party was the first to
have the
honor of travelling the Fredericton
Br. Railway. The night was
rather dark and cloudy; the rails had only been joined a few
hours previously, and as may be imagined, the journey was
just risky enough to make it exciting. Happily,
however, we
reached our destination without accident or hindrance of any
kind, and parted at the depot with three rousing cheers for the
Fredericton Branch and three for Western Extension.
The road from Fredericton to Fairville
is being rapidly
ballasted; the temporary bridges, such as that
over the North
Branch of the Oromocto, are being replaced with strong
permanent structures of iron, stone or wood, and
in about six
weeks it is probable the road will be formally opened to the
We should not forget to mention that there was any
of good cheer on board the car, which stood the
attack bravely until nightfall. A bottle of rich moiselle, left
charge of a local editor, mysteriously disappeared. The
is concerned for its fate.
From the New Brunswick Reporter (Fredericton, N.B.),
January 7, 1874.
We have
so frequently alluded to the operations along
the line
of the New Brunswick Railway, that any further
comment at the present time seems almost unnecessary.
Louder, however, than any words of ours is the bald and
notable fact that by means
of the large hearted enterprise of
the Directors, ably seconded
by the untiring energy of their
it is now possible to leave the City of Fredericton
at 8 oclock
in the morning, dine at Woodstock, and return
again to Fredericton
in the evening. Herein constitutes a full
on the progress of the work and promises of the
This feat was accomplished
on Thursday last, when
the President, Directors
and Officers of the Road, accompanied
by a few friends, made
an excursion to Woodstock, celebrating
in an unostentatious manner the union of the two cities by
of this new iron band. The morning promised auspicious
weather, and the party set out
in high spirits, enjoying as they
rolled along the magnificent prospects stretching out
either hand, proclaiming our SI. John scenery grand, even in
its winter attire, though the waters are frozen into stillness,
and the hills are covered with snow.
As far as Woodstock
Junction, the line we may say
is completed, and riding in one
of the first class cars, the motion
on the rails is as gentle as
in any Pullman carriage, or any broad gauge in America. This
last was observable by all parties.
On reaching the junction all eyes were strained for the
locality which had been
so recently the scene of the battle of
the gauges, and although purely a question for engineers, yet
to ordinary mortals any other gauge save that adopted
seems absolutely impossible.
The passage over the branch line was made slowly
and cautiously on account of its unfinished condition. A few
days, however, of fine weather and
it will be placed in safe
running order,
if not thoroughly completed. One of the most
interesting features of this branch
is the immense cob-work
cedar bridge over Downey creek, recently constructed by
Currie. It is 92 feet high, 300 feet long, and is composed of
over 7000 cedar timbers. It is much admired by the Engineering
Arrived at Northampton we found nearly all Woodstock,
with their fine band, waiting for our arrival, and ready
conduct us in triumph to the city. This effected, we found a
sumptuous repast awaiting discussion
at Exchange Hotel, to
which about 1 00 persons, including several prominentcitizens
of Woodstock, paid their hearty respects. Dinner over, the
President of the Company, Alex Gibson, Esq., announced
that he had a most pleasing duty
to discharge, and requested
Mr. Burpee to read the following Address:-
To W.A. Nichols, Esq.
Chief Engineer of the New Brunswick Railway.
The New Brunswick Railway Construction Company
in opening their Railway from St. Marys to Woodstock,
embrace the opportunity to acknowledge their obligation to
you for your valuable services
in accomplishing this object.
Although we have labored under great disadvantages
from the failure of parties
in England to furnish iron at the time
agreed upon (being the proper season for laying track) as
as from the unusually early setting in of winter, and the
difficulty of procuring labor, yet owing chiefly
to your untiring
exertions and your skill
in overcoming difficulties, we are now
on the first day of January, 1874, to open our road
to the Bank of the SI. John River opposite Woodstock, thus
complying with the requirements of the Legislation
of last
As a slight token of the high estimation
in which we
hold your character and professional ability,
as well as your
in advancing the interests of the Company and as
mindful of your unfailing punctuality in the discharge of your
duty, we beg your acceptance of the accompanying time
E. R. Burpee,
A.H. Fairweather,
A.F. Randolph.
Mr. Nichols, who was completely taken by surprise,
returned his thanks
in a few appropriate remarks, declaring
tharhe had rather build five miles of railway than make one
Brief speeches were then made by Col. Baird, who
congratulated the Company
on their success and welcomed
to Woodstock, and by Mr. Lindsay, M.P.P. The latter
(in alluding to a remark which fell from Mr. Gibson,
viz. that this ovation seemed
to give the lie to certain petitions
passing through the County) that the County of Carleton had
and that she would seek those rights in a constitutional
manner. There were
no other speeches as the stay in
Woodstock was exceedingly limited.
At half past three oclock the party returned
to the
cars, and started
en route for Fredericton, arriving without
accident, and having enjoyed a most delightful trip, shortly
before 8 oclock.
The Officers of the road
at present are as follow –
W.A. Nichols, Chief Engineer.
Moses Burpee, locating Engineer.
Thomas Hoben, Acting Superintendent.
A. Mcl. Seely, Accountant.
Daniel McQueen, Conductor passenger car.
C.H. Cowperthwaite, Conductor Construction train.
P.A. Logan, Master Mechanic.
Flewelling Carpenter, Foreman.
Daniel Tapley, Driver No.1 Engine.
Daniel Doherty, Driver
No.2 Engine.
Archibald Davis, Driver
No.3 Engine.
Steward Yorxa, Driver
NO.4 Engine.
The road
is now located to Grand Falls.
The Business Car
In the summer of 1993 the Awards Committee of the
CRHA announced the following awards for the year 1992:
Allan Patterson and Dick George (the latter deceased on July 2.
Also nominated was Nicholas Morant.
The Cranbrook Archives Museum and Landmark Foundation for
the repatriation and rehabilitation
of the 1907 observation buffet
sleeper Curzan.
Also nominated were:
The New Brunswick Division of the CRHA for the restoration of
ex-CN Jordan Spreader No. 51040.
Cranbrook Railway Museum for its unique and invaluable collection
of railway passenger equipment.
Komoka Railway Museum for its collection
of restored artifacts
and rolling stock.
Geoffrey A. Lester. Some Pre-Canadian Pacific Promotions for
Canadian Transcontinental Railway. Published in Canadian
Rail No. 429. July-August 1992.
Also nominated was:
A. Stephen Walbridge. The Ste. Annes
Bridges Then and Now. Canadian Rail No. 426, January-February
Fritz Lehmann,
The Phoenix Foundry of Saint John N.B. and
George Fleming, Locomotive Builder. Canadian Rail Nos. 430
and 431, September-October 1992 and November-December 1992.
Bert Post and Mike Green.
The Crumpkins. The Sandhollse, June
Lome Nicklason, An Historical Map of the Lower Mainland
Area of British Columbia, 1882 -1992. The Sandhouse, March
Donald Davis, Technological Momentum, Motor Buses and the
Persistence of Canadas Street Railways to 1940. Material
History Review No. 36, Fall 1992.
Also nominated were:
John F. Garden, Coal
From the Crowsnest. Trains Magazine,
April 1992.
Ronald S. Ritchie,Join
the Railway and See the World. Branchline,
June 1992.
Scott Hartley,
End is in sight for CNs Old Montreal Electrics.
Trains Magazine, December 1992.
David Nason, Railways of New Brunswick. New Ireland Press,
Fredericton N.B., 1992.
Also nominated were:
R.B. Fleming,
The Railway King; A biography of Sir William
McKenzie 1849 -1923. University of British Columbia Press,
Darryl E. Muralt,
The Victoria and Sydney Railway 1892 -1919.
British Columbia Railway Association.
Greg McDonnell,
Signatures In Steel. Boston MiJ1s Press. 1991.
J.F. Garden,
Nicholas Morants Canadian Pacific. Footprint
Donald Mackay.
The Peoples Railway. Douglas & McIntyre.
M.T. Green,
Industrial Locomotives. Pacific Coast Division,
On June 19, 1993 the Cranbrook Railway Museum officially
adopted its new name, Canadian Museum
of Rail Travel. With
twelve passenger cars now available for display, the new
more adequately conveys the truly national scope of the exhibit.
The Museum can justly claim to be more than local in its
Museum was very proud to be the recipient of the
prestigious heritage Canada Achievement Award for the
preservation and restoration of the 1929 Trans Canada Limited
train set.
This was indeed a momentous event.
ABOVE: Raising the flag! The new sign goes up. June 18 1993.
OPPOSITE. TOP: A crowd gathers before the brass railed
and Curzon for the ceremonies. June 19, 1993.
OPPOSITE, LOWER: A tranquil garden track scene on June 20,
1993, showing the Trans Canada Limited (right) and
Strathcona (centre) viewedfrom the ens platform of the Curzon.
All photos by Mike Westren.
Clayton Cook of P. 0 Bo)( 88, Lethbridge. Newfoundlund
i~ looking fOf a phOio of slttping car WHfrBOURNE of the
Newfoundland Railway. llle car came to Newfoundland in he
latc 194{rs or early 1950·s. If any of our members has a photo
this car. Mr. Cook would greatly appacime having a print.
Mr. John McQuigg of T:lmpa. Rorida. sent this vcry
resting letter:
While enjoying the May-June, 19>3 issue of Canlldian
.l c.a.rne to the World War 1.L news cartoon Oil page 97. nlere
r read the story of the Canadinn National ship Lady Hawkins
wa.~ sunk by a U-boat torpedo on January 19. 1942. The story
on 10 say how 72 passengers and crew in a single lifebo sailed f
or five days before being picked up by the S.S. Coamo.
offer you a sequel of son~. During I:lte 1942, my f:ltller.
ohn L. McQuigg, was one of a small num)cr of U.S. Anny Air
Forces offi
.. -ers who tr,lclkoJ safely frolllthe u.s. to Grcat Brit:lill
on the Co.amo 10 become early members of the U.S. Eighth Air
Force. Unfortunatcly.
the Coruno was sunk by a U-boat on the
trip back. home.
Recently the nation of Tuvalu. as part of a seric.1 on wOIld
locomotives, featured a VIA Rail LRC locomotive on IWO of its
35c slamps. One stamp sho,s
a broadside view. as well as a frOlll
view, of !he locomotive, while the other stamp depicts a three­
rter view of the locomotive hauling a two·,ar LRC I(din.
We are indebted 10 the Casey Jones Rail Rood Unie of the
rican Topical Association (an association of stamp collectors)
for this infonnatioo.
The May-June 1993 is.~ueoftheirpublication
.1lte Dispatcht-r has a photo of Ihese stamps plus inlcresting datil
about lhe locomOlives. Infonnation about Ihis publicalion may be
had from P.O. BOll 31631. San Frnncisco. CA 94131. U.S.A.
From August 31 10 Seplember 6. 1992.thc Trinity Train
Loop Amusement Park.
on lhe abandoned Bonavislll branch line in
eastern Newfoundland. played host to a large reunion
of railroaders.
heir families. widows of milroaders. and ruilrond buffs for a six­
day e
.I:Ir.tvagalza. pl.lrponed to be Ihe first ever such gathering 10
be held in Canflda. The jflmboret was a complete success, (mel all
railroaders who auendcd len wilh fond memories Wid hoped 10 be
back in 1993.
Angust 23. 1993, CP Rail obtained pennission 10 abandon
the ]Xlnion of its Montreal -Saint JOJUI linc between Shcrbrookc
the Quebec -Maine border, and also from the Maiu( -New
I1runswi(k border to Saint John. !lie date of abandonment was set
at August 23.
1994. subscqu(ntly c~lcm1t:d by govenlment unler
10 Janu.lry I. 1995. Thi~ dt:cision i~ being appealed. and.m ICC
hearing is
10 lake place in October regarding the ponion of the line
in Maine. Mure details will be reported in later issues.
BACK COVER: Kalil/oops Before The Fact. This Ii/hogm,, appRoret/ ill Iht f)r((lIlber oms is,wl. Of Tilt West Shur,,, (/ lI/aga:il1e
published itl Portlalld. Oregon_ Tlli … was a slJecial issut delvled 10 ClIIIOlIIl. The Iilho!:tI(lh i.~ tlw fir,/ jllll,Ilrti/ioll 10 IliaII (j railway (IS parI
oflhe Kum/uop.f landscape. T/rt m1isf likely tI,.IW Ihe Scelle illlh.> /ilsllwlj 0/ 1885 whell/he righl-ol-nlI), ,C/.I being CUlIJIIIIC(n/ bill 110 /flKk
11iIt! Mill Illid. The ral/ey is compntlIlfy depicted alllithe fOCllllal 1110 trains may 50011 col/ide i.f called or/iMS liallCt. Thre i.f 110 hilll of
a depot illlhe view he(:oll.ft nOlle exi.fled at the lime a/the drawillg. Col/ection of Fre, Angus.

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