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Canadian Rail 447 1995

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Canadian Rail 447 1995

ISSN 0001.4875
THE R.-.llW,lYSOFCANADA INWOALD WAR u.IKTROOUCTlOH __ • ___ ._. __ • ______ .• _IAEOF.AliGUS._ .. ___ ._ .•.• ___
19l9·CAMADASRAlLWAVSPREPAREFOAWML .•. __ •• _____ •.• ___ •• _____ ,,__ _ ___ • _____ .• __ ….. 125
TROOPSAHOSI..IPPLIESOFFTOWA1L._ …. _______ .. _. __ …. ________ … __ .•. __ .• __ . __ .. ___ . ____ .. __ ……… _____ .. , •. __ ….. __ ._ ……… 126
RAIlWA. V ADVERTISING DOES ITS I>A,RT TO WIN niE W … R •..••. ____ .••. ___ ……………….. _ ……. _ .• ___ .•.. ____ • ____ .. ___ 130
CNR PROVIDES HOSPIT AL CARS •.. _. __ ._ ……… ___ ••• _ •••.•.. __ …. _. __ ._ … __ •. __ • ___ .•.•• ___ CANADIAH TRANSPORT AnoH, AUGUST liMO-132
THEIMPORTANCEOFRAI.WAYSINnt£WAAEFFOfIT~_._ ••••• ~ ••. _._ …. * .. __ …. * … __ .. __ .. __ ….. ____ ._._._* .. _*_ .. _. __ .. * .. _ 139
TIMEfiAIlROADItoIG· ile AHO 1!M:L-. __ ._~. ___ .•. ~ …. __ … ~~ .. _~*_ … _.~_ … _._ … _.~*CAN.o~N TRANSPORTATION. AUGUST 1945.~ 1.
THE BUILDING OF TANKS .oTnt£ CPRS NGUS SHOi>$ ••..•. ~ ….• * ..• * … _ …. _~_ •••• * •.. __ •• _ ………. _ ..•• _ … __ …….. _. FRED F. ANGUS_ .. _ ….. _ •• __ •• _ ••..• _ ••• __ .___ 142
STREETCAR SYSTEMS DURING WORLD WAIl .. ___ .• _ •• ____ .. * ••• __ . __ ._ .•••• _ … _ …… ___ • _____ .• _FRED F. A.ItOUS __ •.• 145
WOMENREPlACltKlMENINRAlLWAYSERIICE.. __ • _______ ._._________ _ 1~
GET11HG8AU)(ITETOARVIDAOURltKlWORLDWARIt.._ •.. ~. __ … _… __ .•.• _… _ ••• * _ …. _ .•••• ~._ .. __ .STEPHENDmMERS._ •••.•••. _.~ … _._ •••.•.. _ •. ~_ •• 1M
P.YWOOD80XC.oRSAND.oNARMOUREDTRAIN ___ .. _ … _ … _ ….. H ……. _ •• _.~._. __ ._ •••• _ ••• __ •• __ ._ _ …. __ _ 163
lIM5·THERETURNOFPEACE-_ __._ _ __ •. .. _ .•.•.•. _ 1116
FHOArr COVER. ArrMIl/: allhe po a/Halifax durillg 1V0rld lVar II, ~hilld locIJ/1Imill J /99.
(I eNR lroop Imill approaches Ihl poinl wliere lis fXl$stngtrs will {//IOOrt all slups 10 10k#! ,him
Ql·(rS#!Os. Thlf wa.l a (·m·utd passaglway jltSt Jolllh of the Sin/ion wher#! /h( trOOps would
l.tllJ;.f,om rhf /mj /0 the slii, This MOS Ihl las//llt·.I would .tU of Call at/ajar .wors. alld mall)
of/hem ,()lIlt! neWr rrilim.
ClI/I(uli(ln NII/ional plio/(} No. X9661.
For your membership in the CRHA. which
includes a subscription to Canadian Rail.
write to:
CAHA. 120RueSt·Pierre.SI.Constant, Que.
Membership Dues for 1995:
In Canada: $3t (including GST).
Outside Canada: $29.50 in
U.S. funds.
Canadian Rail is conlinually in need of news,
stories. historical data, photos, maps and
other mater
ial. Please send all conlrlbutions
totheedl1or: Fred
F. Angus, 3021 Trafalgar
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tributer wili
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to the con­
if request~. Remember Knowl­
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01 little value untess it is shared with
As pan 01 ilS aClivities. Ihe CRHA operates
the Canadian Railway Museum at Delson
SI. Conslant, Que. which is about 14 miles
(23 Km.) from downtown Montreal.
It is open
from la
te May to ea/ly October (daily until
Labour Day). Members, and their immediate
es, are admitted free of charge.
The CRHA IN • …,be< 01 loul divisions .crou
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I O. Be>: 2561
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Be>: 2–108
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80. 1001. SIaIlon
Y….,.,……… e.C. VtiC 2f1
11 … BaImoraI Rood
Vidoria. e.c. vaT IBI
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO·EDITOR: Douglas N.W. Smith
Hugues W. Bonin
DtSTAIBUTION. Gerard Frechel1e
LAYOUT; Fred F. ArlQuS
Prinlll–.g: Procet Printing
PAESIDENT: Waller J. Bedbrook
VICE PRES.: David W. Johnson
TREASURER; Raben Carlson
SECRETARY: Bernard Man!n
Frede~ F. Angus
Doug Battrum
Alan C. Blackburn
BS BoI.Ict1ard
Gerard Frechette
Frant;ais Gaudeue
Dean Handley
J. Christopher Kyle
V.V. Nicholls
Andlew W. Panko
M. Robertson
Douglas N.w. Smith
itharn Thomson
A. Stephcn Walorldge
Michael Weslrefl
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4515 Dalhart Road NW.
Calgary. AB T3A 1 B9
Phone: (403)·286·2189
49 -n Wellesley St. East
TorontD, ON M4Y 1 H7
Phone: (416)·962·1880
rd E. Viberg
172 Main
Hillsborough. NB EOA lXO
Phone: (506)·734-3467
… –
1945 1995
Canadas Railways in World War II
By Fred F. Angus
August 15 1995 marks the 50th anniversary of the end of
fighting in World War II, the largest, most extensive and most
of all the wars in history. Unlike some wars, this was a
highly mobile conflict, with campaigns being waged simultaneously
in many parts of the world. For six long years incredible numbers
of personnel and vast amounts of supplies of all kinds were
transported, often on very short notice, to locations many miles
away from their origins. Those
of us old enough to remember those
days tend to date history from World War II, speaking
of events as
occurring before the war or after the war.
To understand properly the countless news bulletins heard
on the radio (television was not yet on the scene in Canada) it was
necessary to consult good maps, for little-known place names
would suddenly become household words as they became the site
of some major battle. In studying these maps one would be
impressed by the importance to the war effort
of transportation.
This importance was not confined to the battle zones, but was
universal, covering all areas from the point
of supply to countless
of war, often thousands of miles away.
Nowhere was transportation more important than
in Canada,
with its great distances between population centres, and its major
ocean ports, both east and west, separated by three thousand miles.
On land the major transportation links were the railways and,
during those six years, they were utilized as never before or since.
In fact they were strained almost to the breaking point, and today
it seems a miracle that they met all challenges and carried on until
victory was achieved. Looking back after fifty years, one often
wonders how they did it and whether the present generation would
be able to do
as well if it became necessary. Let us sincerely hope
that we will never have to find the answer to that question! As a tribute to those who ran the railways and tramways in
World War
II, we are devoting this entire issue of Canadian Rail
to stories and accounts of some of the operations in which the
railways played a part during the years from 1939
to 1945.
Included will be contemporary articles, comments, illustrations
and some of the patriotic advertisements produced
by the railway,
and railway supply, industry.
The seeds
of World War II had been sowed twenty years
before its outbreak. Scarcely had the fighting in the Great War,
today usually known as World War I, ended on November 11,
1918, when tension began to build again. The telms
of the peace
treaty of 1919 imposed extremely heavy, and perhaps unjust,
liabilities on the defeated powers, especially Germany. The stage
was being set for the rise
of a dictatorsh.ip and, during the
depression which began
in 1929, the National Socialist (Nazi)
party, led
by Adolf Hitler, came to power in 1933. From this time
on it appeared that there would eventually be another world war.
in the far east, Japan (which had been on the allied side
in World War I) became more aggressive and, starting on September
18,1931, invaded northeastern China. It is not intended here to go
into details concerning the years leading up to World War II.
Suffice it
to say that the second half of the 1930s saw the prospects
of war increase with each ominous news bulletin. Unlike 1914, the
of war was not a sudden surprising event, but something
that was expected; the only question was when.
On September
1, 1939 the German Army invaded Poland
and within hours the long expected world war had begun. For the
first three years the advantage was with the Axis powers
as their
armies invaded and occupied more and more territory. The scope
of the war was vastly increased by two events in 194]. On June 21
Typical of the advertisements of the early years of the war is this one by Dominion
Foundries and Steel which appeared in Canadian Transportation in Janl/my,
1941. At
that time things were not going well for the Allies.
Germany invaded the Soviet Union, and on December 7 Japan
attacked British and United States possessions. During these dark
days the outcome truly hung
in the balance as both sides used every
means possible
to win. The term Total War was continually used
as every inhabitant became a fighter and those who worked on the
home front were considered just as important as those on the
fighting line. The effects of the war penetrated all aspects
society from the children who bought war savings stamps to the
elderly people who tended victory gardens. Unlike in World War
I, the war news came into every home thanks to radio, and the
newsreels shown at the movie theatres gave vivid pictures
of the
fighting. There was a sense
of togetherness as people, usually
without much complaining, put
up with restrictions, shortages,
crowded travelling and other unpleasant conditions fortheduration.
After all they owed it
to those fighting overseas. Tills must be
borne in mind to understand fully the meaning of the accounts that
Towards the end
of 1942 the tide began to tum and the
Allies slowly pushed back the Axis forces. It was a long hard struggle but the prospect
of victory became more and more real.
Finally, on May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered and the war in
Europe ended.
In the Pacific (a strange misnomer at that time) the
war went on, but on August 6
an atomic bomb was dropped on the
Japanese city
of Hiroshima. Following another atomic bomb on
Nagasaki three days later, Japan surrendered and on August IS,
1945 fighting stopped and the war was over. Slowly the world
to a peacetime environment, although things would never
to the way they had been before the war. For some time the
railways continued
to be very busy as the troops returned from war,
then they too gradually returned
to peacetime. The end of rationing
and other restrictions caused a great increase
of automobile and
truck traffic. Also the war had given a great boost
to the aircraft
industry, and this development continued. All this had a negative
effect on the railways which has continued
to the present time. Due
to numerous abandonments, the railway system of Canada is
considerably smaller than it was in 1939, so it is unlikely that the
railway traffic could ever again achieve the levels
it did during
those historic years from 1939
to 1945.

Canadas Railways Prepare for War
Although some preparation had been going on previously,
the outbreak
of World War II on September 1, 1939 was the signal
for both
of Canadas major railways to swing into action to meet
the emergency. Both the CNR and CPR placed immediate orders
for new rolling stock.
It should be remembered that the worldwide
depression was
just ending (in fact the war finally ended it) and the
railways had not acquired a great deal
of equipment since 1930;
hence new motive power and rolling stock was urgently required.
The following article, from Canadian TranspOJtation
of October
1939, gave the first details:
The amount of$25,000,000, which is to be spent upon the
of new rolling stock for the two transcontinental
is being expended to enable the railways to meet
anticipated traffic requirements which are expected
to be unusually
heavy. With heavy demand
for ocean ship space, and increased
ocean freight and insurance rates, it is probable that much traffic,
which would ordinarily proceed from PacifiC coast ports via the
Panama Canal route to Europe, will be hauled across Canada and
shippedfrom Canadian Atlantic ports. Also, it is a logical expectation
that,following the close
of navigation on the St. Lawrence route,
there will be heavy export traffic from the central Canada provinces
to the Atlantic ports.
It is reported that the Dominion authorities had
in mind the
of a bill, at the recent special session of Parliament,
to provide $30,000,000 with which to purchase rolling stock for
Canadian National Rys., with deliveries to extend to March 31,
1941. However, the plans were changed, and action was taken to
provide additional rolling stock for both the Canadian National
and the Canadian Pacific Rys. as quickly as possible.
A reported
for this change in plans is the governments desire to have
the railways supplied with the additional equipment needed at the
earliest possible date, so that the shops manufacturing the equipment
will be enabled
to proceed, without interruption, with the manufacture
of munitions.
Enquiries put out by the Canadian Pacific are
for 12 G3f
and 12 P2g locomotives, 1,000 box cars, 100 automobile cars, 200
refrigerator cars and
10 mail and express cars, and the Canadian
National is said
to be in the market for 25 locomolives and some
3,000 box cars and 500 flat cars.
Reliable information is
to hand at the time of writing, Sept.
23, that the equipment is
to be ordered without delay, with the
expectation that deliveries will start within three months and be
completed within six months.
On November 23, 1939 the Dominion government, by
in council, took what proved to be one of the most important
of the entire war effOJt. It transferred responsibility for the
War Supply Board from the Minister
of Finance to the Minister of
TranspOJ1. The latter position was held by the Hon. C.D. Howe,
who had held the portfolio since it was created
in 1936, replacing
the old Department
of Railways and Canals and the Ministry of
Marine. In 1940 Mr. Howe was also appointed Minister of
Munitions and Supply and he held that vital position throughout
the war. Although he officially resigned the portfolio
of Minister
of Transport on July 8, 1940, many of the transport department functions were placed under the Minister
of Munitions and Supply,
and thus remained under Mr. Howe.
He continued to serve as a
Cabinet Minister until the change
of government in 1957. Thus the
of coordinating the operation of all means of transport,
including the railways, was ultimately the responsibility
of Mr.
Howe who proved to be the right person at the right time
to get the
job done.
Meanwhile, the government created the post
of Transport
Controller to coordinate transportation,
to deal with priorities in
the handling
of shipments, and to so supervise land and water
transportation in,
to and from Canada as to secure maximum
efficiency and dispatch.
This became more and more important
as the war went on.
The importance of the railways was realized at once. A
typical attitude was expressed
in a speech by S.W. Fairweather,
of Research and Development, CNR, in a speech at Vancouver
on November 24. Among other things, Mr. Fairweather said:
Canada forms a splendid industrial base for the allies in the
present war, and her railways form a vital link in the lines
communication. We should be thankfulfor our railway development,
enabling the vast natural resources
of Canada to be thrown into
the war with a minimum
of effort. Contrasting the Canadian
railways with those
of 1914, the year of the outbreak of World War
I, he recalled that in that year Canada was in a period of railway
expansion, with thousands
of miles of line only half completed,
and that the railways comprised
in the present CNR system were
operated by no less than
19 different independent managements.
He said:
Hard pressedfinanciaily, they were weak in equipment;
they were incapable
of rendering any effective transcontinental
service; they had no substantial knowledge
of cooperation as
regards each other or as regardsJheir common competitor, the
Canadian Pacific, which was the only integrated railway system in
Canada at that time.
He recalled that in 1928 [the last year before the Depression]
the Canadian railways handled 30% more traffic than was handled
in 1917, the peak
of the war period, and he expressed confidence
that they could handle twice as much freight traffic
as in 1917. He
mentioned that 100 lb. and 130 lb. rails had replaced 80 and
85 lb.
rails on main lines, that the largest freight locomotives could exert
90,000 Ibs.
of tractive effort compared to 52,000 Ibs. in 1914, and
that average freight car capacity and average speeds
had increased.
Also, locomotive fuel consumption efficiency had increased to the
point where
it only required 120 Ibs. of coal per 1000 ton miles,
compared to 160 lbs.
ill 1914. He concluded by saying: The
railways are today getting 50% more transportation out
of the
same expenditure
all labour and materials that they were getting
a quarter
of a century ago. In her two transcontinental railway
systems, Canada
is provided wilh railway costs per ton mile of
service which are as low as in any other country at all comparable,
and much lower than in most countries.
By the end of December, the course for what turned out to
be the next six years was set. Canadas railways were at war, and
job they would do would far exceed the expectations of anyone
in 1939.
Troops and Supplies Off To War
In this section we present some photos showing how the railways moved !TOOpS and innumerable kinds of supplies during the war.
Every imaginable commodity was moved, and the railway systems carried more traffic than ever before or since.
OPPOSITE, TOP: The departure point for troop trains
at Point
St. Charles. Notice the sign indicating that there
are telephones in the old wooden car
in the foreground.
One last chance for a phone call before boarding.
CN photo no. X20269.
OPPOSITE, BOTTOM: Ambulances and other vehicles
loaded for shipment. These are U.S. vehicles, but the
Canadian ones were handled the same way.
CN photo no. XJ3655.
ABOVE: A training aircraft disassembled and loadedfor
shipment aboard a CN flat c
CN photo 110. X14554.
LEFT: A closeup
of all army tallk 011 CN flat cal 659844.
CN photo no. X14527.
OPPOSITE, TOP AND BOTTOM: Two views of soldiers by
troop trains, the first at Debert, Nova Scotia, the other at
unknown location.
CN photos X14532 and 41993.
ABOVE: Meals aboard the troop trains were sparten but
adequate, eaten
off sturdy enameled ware.
CN photo no. X9752.
LEFT: An army nurse boards the train as a CNR porter watches.
CN photo no. X15705.
Railway Advertising Does its Part to Win the War
Railroads back up the battlefronts with fast Shipments
4-8.4 Type Locomotive Built for Canadian National Railways
Cylinders, 2512 x 30
Driving Wheel Dia., 73
Weight of Engine
Maximum Tractive Effort
400,300 Ibs.
56,800 Ibs.
During World War IT, many firms, of all types, modified
or replaced their peacetime advertisements to reflect a Win The
War theme. The railways, and the railway supp
ly industry, were
no exceptions. In the early days of the war, the changes and
messages were rather subtle, but
as time went on they became
more pointed. Some
of these ads were real classics, both in design
and presentation. In this issue
of Canadian Rail we are reproducing
a selection
of these advertisements. All are taken from the trade
magazine Canadian Transportation of the dates indicated. Rather
than group them all together as one section, we are interspersing
them throughout the magazine,
iri between articles, much as they
would have appeared at the time. To heighten the impact we are not
printing any comment with each one, only the date, since they
speak for themselves.
Of special note is the joint advertisement
from the CPR and CNR on page 155; the two traditional rivals, here
united in the common cause.
4-8-4 Type Locomotive Built for Canadian National Railways
Cylinders. …. . …. 25~f x 30
Driving Wheel Dia ……………. , … .. …… 73
Boiler Pressure …………… 250 lbs.
Maximum Tractive Power ……………………………………… 56,800 Ibs.
Total Weight of Engine ……………………………………… 389,000 lb •.
Weight on Driving Wheels ………………………………….. 237,000 Ibs.
Canadian Locomotive Company
Kingston Ontario
May, 1944 (both advertisements)
pICTURE an assembly line stretching across
Canada from coast to coast! In this town,
theyre makin.g engines . over there, tail
assemblies .
hundreds of miles away, radio
equipment … other places, propellers or land­
ing gear. Ca·nadas widely-scattered production
plants are working in high gear on planes, Bren
guns, tanks, technical equipment, A.A. guns and
munitions to mention but a few of our war
Yet all of the parts needed, the raw materials
required, are flowing smoothly together, thanks
to Canadian National Railways.
Canadas development of industry in pea~etime.
plus precision in transportation, are to-day
applied to war needs. Canadian National
Railways are a striking example of the manner
in which modern industry is geared to wartime
needs . . . by fast dependable transportation
service dedicated to an all-out effort!
February, 1942.
CNR Provides Hospital Cars
From Canadian Transportation August 1940
During the 1914 -18 war, several cars for handling
wounded and sick soldiers were built at the Moncton shops
of the
Canadian Government Rys., now a part
of the Canadian National
system, but these cars lacked many
of the improvements which are
now evident
in cars now being built by the CNR at Point SI. Charles
in Montreal. The first of the new hospital cars, which,
following completion, was taken
to Ottawa for inspection by
of the RCAMC [Royal Canadian Army Medical CorpsJ,
is illustrated herewith. The car is the first of its kind to be fitted up
in Canada, and as others become necessary they will be provided.
This hospital car is what the name signifies; it
is quite different
from the type
of railway unit designated as an ambulance car.
After consultation between officers
of the RCAMC, the
railway medical services and the motive power and car equipment
department, it was left
to Dr. John McCombe, Chief Medical
of the CNR, to prepare plans for a car capable of taking care
of wounded and convalescent soldiers returned to Canada for The firSI CNR hospital car
of World War I/, photographed in 1940.
CN photo No. 42212.
to hospitals in various parts ofthe country. The suggestions
agreed upon were given
to John Roberts, Chief of Motive Power
and Car Equipment, and from designs prepared under his direction
the work was can-ied out at the Point SI. Charles Shops.
The new units are equipped with eight hospital cots, eight
upper berths for accommodation
of less sel10us cases, a room
of accommodating three nurses, a doctors office, a
generous linen cupboard, as well as a kitchenette complete with
gas ranges
to refrigerator, a dispensary and an ante-room for
surgical dressings. The exterior
of the car is painted Canadian
National green with the designation Hospital Car and the
of the International Red Cross. It will be used in trains
transporting wounded and convalescent members
of the armed
forces returning to Canada.
JULY -AUGUST 1995 133
ABOVE: Inside the Hospital car. CN photo No. 42213.
RIGHT, BOTTOM: Interior view showing wide doors
to permit easy
stretcher entrance. Canadian Transportation, August 1940.
In its original railway service, this pa11icular unit was a
sleeping car.
in the remodelling process, all of the lower berths
were removed,
as were four of the upper berths. The eight hospital
cots were installed
in the space which had been occupied by the
lower berths; the eight upper berths were left in place for the
of less serious cases. The room for the use of the
three nurses was the drawing room. A complete transformation
was made at the other end
of the car, where the room for the doctor
was fitted up, a linen cupboard was installed, and a complete
kitchenette was arranged; the dispensary and ante-room for surgical
dressings are at this end also. A feature
of tIle ante-room layout is
thaI at each side there are wide doors to allow stretchers to be taken
in and out with facility.
The usefulness of a car of this type is that it can be added
to any train carrying wounded or convalescent and become the
active and effective centre
of medical and surgical care for all
patients on board.

The conductor of a CNR train signs up a colleague to buy $250 in Victory Bonds. The date was March 5,1942, and it was the Second VictOlY
Loan. CN photo no. 43007-1.
are being accepted from those who have no gold articles
to offer.
The contributions are being received at the TreasUlY Department
office in Montreal, and expressions
of deepest loyalty and devotion
to King and Empire have accompanied the employees contributions;
unusually unique gifts reveal unsuspected depths
of sentiment and
patriotism. Among the contributions received were two old style
$5 bills, the donor of which wrote that they were the last
birthday gift
of her husband, a former prominent CPR official, ten
days before he was stricken by a fatal illness. The lady said she never had the courage
to spend the money, and she was sending it
as a direct contribution
from her husband to the golden bomber
fund. A company official has donated some fine pieces
of jewellery,
including some which were in his grandmothers jewel case and
which were more than 100 years old when he was a boy. Among
other contributions received were heavy wedding rings, large
watch chains and tulI1ip cases, brooches, pen nibs, broken
dentures, parts
of discarded spectaclejrames, a gold nugget and
a bottle
of dental fillings.
the large sum needed in 1941 no matter how
hard they try. Wage earners and salaried men
are, therefore, asked to make systematic
in War Savings Certificates.
As time went on, and the situation on the
war front became ever darker, the appeals grew
stronger and more pointed. Canadian
Transportation, in its issue for June 1941, had
this to say to urge on investors:
One of CPRs Cape class cars at Field B.C. painted specially to advertise the Eighth There comes a time
in the lives of most
men when they come face
to face with reality
and cannot dodge
it. Such a time has arrivedfor
every man and woman
in Canada who has a sum
of money over and above that neededfor ordinary
expenditures. There are few Canadians who
not treasure money, either for the protection it
affords against unforseen calamity or for the
value it represents in terms of goods which it
will buy. Some treasure money because it is the
concrete result
of years of hard work. Others
are reluctant
to part with money because to
them it is a sheltering arm around the family. victory loan in the spring
of 1945. Canadian Transportation, June 1945.
of the obvious sentimental value of many of these
gifts, entirely apart from their high intrinsic value, the committee
is issuing attractive Golden Bomber receipts to all donors. These
receipts are
in great demand, and one young donor, six years old,
is using hers
to prove to her school friends that she is buying a
for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
A work car
of the Toronto Transportation Commission advertising
the Fourth Victory Loan
in 1943. This car operated over the entire
TTC system.
Canadian Transportation, July 1943.
S.J. Hungelford, Chairmen and President of the CNR, in a
message sent
in January 1941, urged employees to invest in War
Savings Certificates. He said
Our nation needs money to win the
war. Every income can provide something for this common cause
is really the cause of all humanity. Finance Minister Ilsley
has said that the rich. the well-to-do, the financial and other
cOlporations, and the middle class bond buyers cannot provide all Now, however, Canadians are faced with
the realization that no matter how highly they
regard their personal cash reserves, they must loan it in order
keep it. The battle against Germany can be viewed in part as a
battle on behalf
of Canadian cash in hand. Let Germany win, and
the assets
of Canadians will dry up almost to the vanishing point.
Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa,
India and Canada have been left alone to fight the Nazi monster.
The challenge, undoubtedly the most stupendous
in world history,
demands the active help
of evelY Canadian. Those with money, be
itfifty dollars or two hundred andfifty thousand dollars, must loan
their cash
to the government if Canada is to carryon with her
present share
in the big battle. The man or woman who shrugs his
or her shoulder and deliberately attempts
to duck from under the
of each individual in this time of national crisis will
earn the contempt
of his fellow citizens.
of 52 specially decorated CPR cabooses operated
during the Eighth VictOlY Loan.
Canadian Transportation, June 1945.
Four Montreal street cars specially paintedfor the Eighth Victory Loan in April 1945. The top two cars are 2118 and 2201, while the bottom
two are
2212 and 2102. These cars were used in regular service as they advertised VictOlY Bonds.
CRHA Archives, Binns collection.
Later, the presidents of both the CPR and CNR renewed
the appeal. In November 1941 Sir Edward Beatty
of the CPR said:
It cannot be emphasized too strongly that to purchase War
Savings Certificates is to serve by saving. Immediate and essential
is given to the counl1y now, while the saving, represented
by the amount so invested, with accrued interest, will be available
later for your personal benefit. I earnestly desire to commend the
oj this campaign to eve,y officer and employee of the
company, and to urge that it be given the fullest possible support.
At the same time, R.C. Vaughan of the CNR stated: Idle
dollars are a liability at this time. They should be set
to work, and
one excellent way
of doing so is to use your dollars for the purchase
of War Savings Certificates. Your dollars, when joined with those
of your tens of thousands of Jellow workers, possess great power.
matter how small your own subscription may be it helps to swell
the main stream needed
to increase Canadas contribution in the
of the worlds liberties. By the purchase of War Savings
Certificates every individual can take a dir
ect and important share
in the battle.
The efforts of the railways in promoting the war loans were
not confined to their own companies. Special advertising, sometimes
on the sides
of rolling stock, carried the message to most of the
population. The city transit systems were also involved. Notable
were the street cars
in Toronto and Montreal which were fitted out
to carry messages.
In the case of Montreal, four cars went into
service on October 24, 1944 carrying messages advertising the
Victory Loan. These differed from those in some cities
in that the
cars were still
in regular passenger-carrying service at the time.
The great work
by the railways to raise money for the war
effort was successful, and many
of the campaigns went over the
top. The huge fund raising campaigns continued unabated
victOlY drew near; in fact the last Victory Loan took place after the
war had ended. Eventually the certificates and bonds matured and
the money bonowed from the people
of Canada was repaid. The
of all the money invested by railway employees, amounts
ranging from a few cents
to hundreds of dollars, expressed the
of the railroaders and played a significant part in the
final victory.
Vital Arteries in l:anadas War Programme
OVER the great network of tracks
spreads across the Dominion.
trains are thundering night and day
providing that prime e sse n t i a I of
modern warfare -fast, efficient and
dependable transportation.
At no time in their history have
Canadian Railways been called on to
handle as much traffic as is the case
today-activity which calls for heavily
increased effort
on the part of operat­
ing employees and maintenance of way
Wartime needs also make extra­
ordinary demands on mechanical and
motive power staffs, but despite this,
shops are also producing large
quantities of shells, tanks, field and
naval guns and other materials of war.
Compressed air speeds up many
operations In locomotive and car
shops, and also plays an important
part in the maintenance of bridges,
and roadways.
It is a source of pride to us to know
that Canadian Ingersoll-Rand aIr
compressors, air tools, tie
and other equipment are helping
Canadian Railways in their outstanding
contribution to the war effort.
Canadian Ingersoll-Rand L~~d
head office -MONTREAL QUE. —-works-SHERBROOKE QUE.
~lI September, 1942.
The Importance of the Railways in the War Effort
Early in 1943, both the Canadian National and Canadian
Pacific Railways produced interesting and attractive booklets
describing their work in the war effort. These booklets had wide
distribution among the general public and helped to create national
of the importance of the railways to the job of winning
the war.
Canadian National pointed out that it was Americas
largest transportation system, intemational in scope, and every bit
of its equipment and every man and woman in its employ were
dedicated to winning the war. Its 23,600 miles
of road formed a
steel network touching virtually every city and town
of importance
throughout Canada, with the sinews
of war and the commerce of
the nation passing over it day and night. Also, it pointed out, the
system served many large centres
of industry in the United States.
When war
came, the CNR was prepared for immediate transition
to war operations. Many old locomotives which ordinarily had
been considered beyond further usefulness, were reconditioned for
service and a number
of them were turned over to the United States
government for war purposes. More than 5000 box cars and
of passenger cars were rebuilt and reconditioned.
Approximately 100,000 freight cars per day were handled
by the
CNR and, during 1942, the system required 7,000,000 tons
of coal.
A unique division
of railway activity was the construction
of cargo ships and minesweepers in the CN shipyards, and naval
guns and other armament was being manufactured in the Munitions
of the company. Finally, it was reported that 10,000
CNR employees had joined the fighting forces, and all the companys
100,000 employees must be considered as servicemen; in the
fighting services and on the home front all were performing
meritorious service.
The Canadian Pacific publication emphasized that CP was
at war on land, sea and air; in its machine shops, freight yards and
offices, wherever its
more than 20,000 miles of railway went. As
of November 30, 1942, a total of 13,597 CP employees had enlisted
in the armed services. This was made up
of7510 from the railway,
5580 from
CP Steamships, 484 from the Express company and 23
from the airline. The book also described
CPs production of
Valentine tanks [see pages 142 and 143 of this issue], naval gun
production, munitions work and how the railway moved the
personnel in the services. In 1941, CP handled 51,105,656 tons
freight -almost double the volume carried during the last year of
the First World War, with 587 fewer locomotives and 13,464 fewer
freight cars than were employed
in 1918.
The activities
of the CPR steamships were described and
it was pointed out that the ships became engaged, under Admiralty
charter, in moving men and war supplies over the worlds treacherous
sea lanes.
The company lost the largest ship in its fleet, tbe
of Britain, to enemy action in 1940. In addition, the
of Asia, the Montrose, the Niagara and four of the
five Beaver class ships were all lost, but they perished with the
highest traditions
of the sea and of the country they served. In August, 1942, the CNR produced a very interesting and
booklet entitled The Railway and the War. This
book contained a series
of drawings by Thurstan Topham, a very
talented artist from Derbyshire England who came to Canada in
1912. These drawings were published in Canadian Rail between
July, 1992 and June, 1993. The book stated that the war was one
of transport, and the railways were the arteries through which
flowed the natural products
of forest and mine to Canadas great
war plants, and carried the products
of these plants to the seaboard.
It was noted that, since 1939, the
CNR had reconditioned
83 freight locomotives which ordinarily would have been retired.
of them had served Canada in four wars: that in the Sudan
(1896-1898), the Boer
War (1899-1902), World War I (1914-
1918) and World War II (starting in 1939).
The loss of CNs
steamships Lady Somers and Lady Hawkins was noted, and
recognition was made
of the heroism of the crews of these ships.
In June 1944, a report on the
CPRs war work in its various
shops was prepared by
Mr. H.B. Bowen, Chief of Motive Power
and Rolling Stock. A search
of the blueprint and photographic
records up to May
of 1944 showed that close to two million square
of linen and paper had been used in making tracings, blueprints
and other drawings. Back
of all this were over 10,000 original
tracings prepared on linen
in Montreal and Calgary. From these
more than 350,000 blueprints had been made and 22,000 vandykes
issued, from which prints can be made. In addition to blueprints
from original tracings, many had been made from forms such
requisition and data sheets, with 1,600,000 square feet of paper
used for the work. Mr. Bowen also reported that Angus Shops
production reached a peak total
of 78 Valentine tanks in one
month, each tank weighing
18 1/2 tons. More recently, the shops
had turned out six
of the main marine engines with condensers,
each unit weighing 89 tons with bed plates. Meanwhile Ogden
Shops in Calgary had delivered as many as 140 twelve-pounder
guns and 79 mounts for them in a month.
While all this was going on, the railways were giving full
cooperation to the authorities regarding air raid drills and other
preparations for emergency. To take one representative example;
in the blackout at Montreal in June 1941, both railways worked out
a plan to stop trains during the
15 minutes of the blackout and
extinguish all lights except switch lamps and automatic signals.
This included the lights in all stations and offices.
CP train 424
from Ottawa was held between Park Avenue and Montreal West,
while the departure
of the 10:30 D&H train was delayed. Passengers
were not allowed to board the transcontinental train, nor the
overnight train to Quebec City, until the blackout was over.
These few examples give a very small idea
of the great
of the railways during the war. Other features appear
in other articles in this issue, but to tell anything like the complete
story would require far more space than is available. All that can
be done is to tell some representative stories, and it
is hoped that
this article will be read in conjunction with the others
in this issue
to get a slightly better picture
of this contribution.
When you see a long train of Canadian National freight cars rolling along, you
can say Thats another load to speed Canadas war effort -and ten to one
youll be right. Were busy today … busier than ever before, helping to
deliver the goods to Canadas Allies!
Today, Canadas war industries are depending on the railways for a mighty
iob of transportation. Raw materials for our aircraft and munition plants are
being rushed by rail. Finished products … tanks, guns,
aircraft parts, shells and supplies . . . are being trans­
ported to seaports and to depots scattered everywhere
across this wide Dominion. Regardless of the weather,
Canadian National plays its part!
September, 1942.
Wartime Railroading, 1918 and 1943
From Canadian Transportation, August 1945
Number of Locomotives 5,756 4,364 -24.2
of Locomotives 146,753,205 173,937,940 +18.5
Average Mileage per locomotive 25,496 39,857 +56.3
of Freight Cars 209,026 158,390 -24.2
of Freight Cars 1,902,124,905 3,145,920,808 +65.4
A verage Mileage per Freight Car 9,100 19,860 + 118
Average Capacity of Freight Car (tons) 34.3 43.4 +26.5
of Freight carried one Mile 31,029,072,279 68,294,344,176 +120.1
of Freight carried 127,543,687 195,843,288 +53.5
Average Train Load (tons) 475 785 +71.8
of Passenger Cars 6,376 6,319 -0.9
of Passenger Cars 290,147,934 433,828,200 +49.5
Average Mileage per Passenger Car 45,506 68,655 +50.9
Passengers carried 50,737,294 57,175,840 +12.7
Passengers carried one Mile 3,190,025,682 6,525,064,366 +104.5
Average Passenger Journey (miles)
Average Passenger Cars per Train
Passengers Killed
Passengers Killed, one
in every
In his recent address, Mr. J.V. Dillabough, Transportation
Engineer, Western Region, CNR, after reviewing the activities
the Canadian railways since the outbreak of war in 1939, stated:
Vision, enterprise, ingenuity, scientific study, steadfast confidence,
in the future of our country and the final victory of the United
Nations, and wise investment
by the railway companies during the
last twenty odd years have all combined
to produce the railroad
as it exists at the present time.
After outlining
in great detail the nature of the task which
faced the railways following the outbreak
of war, the facilities
provided for railway performance and the use made
of such
facilities, he dealt specifically with locomotive performance and
then with freight traffic and passenger traffic
in tum, and presented
comparative figures which are reproduced
in the accompanying
Dealing with the locomotive situation,
he said: It will be
noted that there are 1392 fewer locomotives (24.2%)
in use in 1943
in 1918, although there was an increase of 18.5% in total
locomotive mileage, which means that the average annual mileage
per locomotive was 56.3% greater
in 1943 than in 1918. A feature
of this increase in annual mileage per locomotive, that WIll appeal
to mechanical engineers, is that with the annual mileage of about
in 1918, a locomotive would run about four years before
being sent through the shops for a general overhaul, whereas with
the annual mileage
of about 40,000 in 1943 this period would be
reduced to about two and one-half years. The effect
of this feature
of course, to increase the load on shops which are already
overburdened. This may sound somewhat similar
to the story of
the farmer who, when congratulated on having a magnificent crop
of grain said that it took an awful lot out of the land. 63
114 +81.0
.2 +58.6
32 9 -71.9
6,352,871 +300
There were 50,636 fewer freight cars (24.2%) in use in
1943 than in 1918, whereas freight car mileage increased 65.4%
and the average freight car travelled 10,760 miles (118.2%) farther
in 1943 than
in 1918. This is the result of a policy which may be
expressed in railroad talk as Get em loaded, Get em there, Get
em back and keep em rolling. Not only did the average freight
car travel more than twice
as far than in 1918, but its carrying
capacity was increased
by 9.1 tons or 26.5%. Nearly 68 million
(53.5%) more tons
of freight were carried, but this figure in itself
is of limited significance. The truth regarding the work done in
handling tonnage can only be determined by considering the
distance it
is hauled (ton miles), and you will note that over 37
billion (120.1 %) more ton miles were produced
in 1943 than in
1918. The average train load was 71.8% heavier than in 1918.
It will
be noted that while the number of passenger cars in
use was practically the same, the total car mileage was 49.5% more
and the average mileage per car was 50.9% more in 1943 than
1918; also, while over six million (12.7%) more passengers were
carried, over three billion (104.5%) more passenger miles were
in 1943 than in 1918. The average passenger journey
was 81.0% longer and the number
of cars per train 58.6% more in
1943 than in 1918. It may be of interest to point out that whereas
in 1918 there were 32 fatal accidents to passengers, or one in
1,585,340, in 1943 onJy nine fatal accidents occurred, or one every
6,352,871 passengers carried,
an improvement of 300.7%.
in tabloid form, is what our rai lroads ha ve accom pushed
under conditions
of total war, and can be explained as the result of
sustained and co-ordinated efforts of a loyal and efficient staff of
men and women together with the co-operation of an understanding
public, all
of whom, employees and public alike, are imbued with
but one idea -Win
The War.
The Building of Tanks at the CPRs Angus Shops
By Fred F. Angus
A Valentine tank produced by the CPR in the Angus Shops.
During World War II the CPR, at its Angus Shops in
Montreal, produced a large number
of Valentine tanks. Production
began in 1940 and ended in 1943. The first consideration
of using
the shop facilities
of the CPR to build tanks came on February 6,
1940 when a number
of representatives of the British Supply Board
and the Canaclian government inspected
CPs shop facilities and
decided that the Angus Shops were particularly well adapted for
tank construction. Negotiations with CP resulted in an agreement
for CP to undertake the tank building project under the direction
of H.B. Bowen, Chief of Motive Power and Rolling Stock.
It was decided
to produce the Valentine tank, which was a
British design, and for which 4000 drawings, covering more than
15,000 parts, were available. Two tanks were sent from Britain as
samples, the first, equipped with a gasoline engine, arrived on
August 29, 1940, while the second, diesel powered, came on
27 of the same year. During the time before the
drawings a
nd the sample tanks arrived, Mr. Bowen ordered the
of a full-size wooden mock up of a tank, as well as
actual size replicas of many
of the parts. This foresight familiarized
the workers with the parts they would have
to make, and eliminated
many bugs before they could crop up
in actual production. Thus
it was that by the time the drawings (many of which had to be
redrawn) and the sample tanks were available, the project was
already well under way.
To appreciate the work involved in converting portions of
the shops from locomotive work to tank production, it should be
realized that almost 8000 jigs, dies, fixtures and special tools were
to produce a Valentine tank. Studies of machining
Canadian Transportation, July 1942,jrom a CPR photo.
processes were done to determine the best utilization of existing
tools and
to develop the most satisfactory arrangement of equipment
and shop space required for the project. The manufacture
of some
of the components for the tanks were sub-contracted to other
manufacturers such
as American Car & Foundry, York Safe &
Lock Company, Buckeye Traction Ditcher Company, General
Motors Corporation, and McGill Manufacturing Company. The
heavy armour plate required was machined at Angus Shops, and
also at the Canadian Locomotive Companys plant at Kingston.
Actual production
of the tanks began late in 1940, and on
May 22,
1941 the first one was delivered. A brief ceremony was
held at which 2000 workers at Angus, together with various
dignitaries and 50 reporters and newsmen, watched as Mr. D.C.
Coleman, Vice President
of the CPR, officially handed over the
first tank
to the Hon. C.D. Howe, Dominion Minister of Munitions
and Supply. Among other things, Mr. Coleman said:
1 am very
to represent the builders on this happy occasion. Months
ago the Heaven-sent leader
of the British race invited us down an
avenue where,
he said, we wouldfind only blood sweat and tears.
Well, this machine before us
is the child of sweat and tears. It is the
of its type produced on the continent, and it will be followed
by hundreds and thousands
of its brothers who, in the aggregate,
will he
lp the British Empire to crash through to Victory.
In reply, Mr. Howe made a speech from which thefollowing
is taken:
The building of this tank has been, 1 think, one of the
grealest problems that Canadian industlY has had to face.
started in June last with very sketchy plans, with no production of
armour plate in this country, and with a good many components
that had not previously been produced
here. Since then Canadian industry
has produced an armour plate that
equal to armour plate used anywhere,
and has solved numerous problems
incidental to building this tank, and
have delivered he
re this morning the
finished article. I want to mention
particularly the work
of Mr. Coleman
in directing this production, and the
of Mr. HB. Bowen, Chief of
Motive Power, who has had direct
of this construction; and
particularly the work
of the foremen
and men
of the Angus Shops, who
have been working nighl and day for
many months
to make this evel1l
On August 12,1941 the tank­
building facilities at Angus Shops
were inspected by the Earl
of Athlone,
of Canada, and later,
on August
29, by the Duke of Kent,
of King George VI, during his
North American visit. Then, on
A new tank rumbles past as the Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada, watches, at the Angus
Shops on August
12, 1941. Note the V for Victory sign in the background.
Canadian Transportation, October 1941.
of the new tanks awaiting shiment on CPR flat cars.
Canadian Transportation, February 1942.
November 6, 1941, the 100th tank rolled off the assembly line.
Once again there was a commemoration
of the event as the tank,
bedecked with flags and signs, moved on its own power to
others awaiting shipment. A brass band, composed of shop employees, furnished appropriate music for the occasion.
The new tanks, together with a largenumber
produced by the Montreal Locomotive
works, had been shipped overseas by early
The building
of Valentine tanks
continued at the Angus Shops until early
May 1943 when
The needs of a global war
having dictated a change to other weapons,
last of more than 1400 tanks came off
the production line. Many
of these tanks
were for the Russians who used them with
great effect in their campaigns. By 1943
Canada had sent more than $100,000,000
of war supplies to the Soviet Union,
more than
half the value of which was
made up
of tanks. Major-General Elyaev
of the Soviet Army had these words
praise: 1 am glad to inform you that the
Canadian tanks, Valel1lines Vll, have shown
good results in combat action on ourfront,
and have proved themselves the best
of all
our imported tanks.
The end of tank production did not
end the war work done by CPR shop facilities.
Many other items
of war supplies, such as
equipment for the navy and air force,
well as various types of munitions and
other equipment continued until the end
the war. All this, together with the greatly increased maintenance
work required on railway equipment because
of increased wartime
traffic, was a major example
of the contribution of the railways to
the the huge job
of winning the war.
• The hands that once built street cars and
buses are otherwise engaged … on vital
war work. Cancars output of Hawker Hurri·
canes stands as a great achievement. Avro·
Ansons continue to roll off production lines.
Curtiss Dive Bombers are well on the way.
Crack stream· lined car building and repair
144 JUILLET -AOUT 1995
crews continue however to meet the need for
essential rolling stock … building and reo
pairing tank cars, box cars and other freight
carriers to haul the raw materials and tools
of Victory. Meanwhile, we can only ask you
to wait for that glorious day when peace
comes .and we can once more turn to peace.
time production.
June, 1943.
Street Car Systems During World War II
By Fred F. Angus
This photo, taken at the corner of Craig and Bleury in Montreal late in 1941, gives a good view of wartime operation of street cars. Ten
trams are visible, many
of them being the old Montreal roof 1200 class of 1911 to 1913. Note the sign on the back of 1277 saying Come
on Canada, buy the new Victory Bonds. The only bus visible is a long distance one from Sorel.
CRHA Archives, Binns collection.
During the 1930s most of Canadas transit systems had
been operating below their full capacity. The Depression that had
begun in 1929 had reduced ridership so much that some equipment
had been placed in storage and lightly used lines had been
abandoned or converted
to bus operation. Although economic
conditions had improved somewhat
in the later 1930s, conditions
were nowhere back to 1929 levels at the time war broke out in
September 1939. Immediately upon the outbreak
of war it was
realized that all
of Canadas transit systems would be called on to
carry much greater loads than they
had been doing. But no one
could have predicted that the growth would set new records year after year and that the number
of passengers would also set records
that have never been broken. Many systems were strained almost
to the breaking point, but they carried on and got the job done.
Although some tramway systems in Canada had been
abandoned, and others cut back, the majority
of transit lines in
Canada in 1939 were still operated by street cars, especially the
heavily travelled routes. Since very few new cars had been
bought in the 1930s, most
of the cars in use were at least ten years
old, and some dated back almost
to the tum of the century. Some
older cars had been retired, but were still in dead storage awaiting
a possible upturn in traffic. Well this upturn came with a vengeance
A long line of old Montreal streetcars waits on Ontario Street East, in the summer of 1943, as workers
from the war plants prepa
re to board. All these large cars were built between 1906 and 1908, and
some had been retired, and slated for the scrap pile, in the 1930s. Reconditioned and returned to
for Toronto, was split three ways,
some going to Toronto as planned,
but others going
to Montreal and
Vancouver. Many
of the second
hand cars were from systems
in the
United States that had recently been
abandoned, and many were
of quite
modem construction. Notable were
the fifty cars that came
to Montreal
from such widely spaced places as
Springfield Massachusetts, Schen­
ectady New York, and Tuscaloosa
The record for long
distance travelled
by second hand
streetcars was that of the five Birney
cars that came right across the
continent, from Bakersfield Cali­
to Halifax Nova Scotia! Oldest
of the boomer trams were seven
old cars, built
in 1908, of the Third
Avenue Railway System
in New
York City that came
to Quebec City
in 1942. There were also moves
second hand cars within Canada as
exemplified by the Birneys that
went from Toronto
to Halifax, and
the old wooden cars from Toronto
that were sent
to Ottawa and Quebec
service, they did great work during the war. CRHA Archives, Binns collection.
and within a year or two most of this old equipment had been
reconditioned and was back
in service carrying record numbers of
passengers. Even some routes that had lost passenger service were
restored. The prime example
of this was the main line of the
SL Catharines & Toronto interurban
line. Even as late as June 10,
1941 it had not
been realized how much the wartime traffic
would grow and passenger service had been
completely discontinued on that date. However
as traffic did continue
to grow, and gasoline
and rubber tires were needed for military use,
the Transit Controller ordered its reinstatement.
Thus passenger service
on the NS&T main line
returned, partially on April 27, 1942, and
completely by November
15 of the same year.
… ~ .. .j
.: …….
The problems were getting worse.
ill March, 1941 the management of
the Winnipeg Electric Railway said: Out here in the west the mere
of last year are beginning to swell and the tidal wave may
yet reach
liS. Montreal had to go out and buy street cars in order
to meet the demand. Halifax
is taxed beyond capacity. Toronto is
.. L
Despite making use of every car that
could operate, the transit companies were
dire need of even more equipment. Several
systems acquired second hand street cars while
the few new cars that were being built were
to places where they could do the
most good. By this time all the transit systems
in Canada were under the authority
of the
Transit Controller, and his office decided which
cities were assigned which new or second hand
cars. As an example, a group
of 50 new PCC
cars, delivered in 1944 and originally intended
Toronto Railway Co. number 1842 was built in 1912, and was sold to Quebec City in
1943. It is seen here
in Quebec in July 1944. CRHA Archives.
experiencing similar tribulations, as
are 0 ttawa and Hamilton. Fort William
was so badly swamped tfult their transit
management purchased two older type
street cars from Winnipeg Electric
Company. The cars were running on
Fort William streets on the afternoon
of the day they arrived by railway flat
By the end of 1942 the supply
of second hand cars had dried up, yet
the demands
on the street car systems
got ever greater. Various expedients
were tried
to make better use of the
existing rolling stock. Perhaps the
most bizarre was the attempt,
in 1943,
by the Montreal Tramways Company,
to build a roof on one of its observation
(No.3) and use it in passenger
service. This was not successful so
four wooden car bodies (1175
to 1177)
were built new
to use the trucks and
electrical equipment from the
observation cars which were retired
the duration. A more significant
improvement was the implementation
of staggard working hours by major
industries. This spread the rush hour
through.the entireday and made for
more efficient utilization
of transit
equipment. Those systems that did not
get more equipment tried other means
to cope. For instance, Saint John New
Brunswick, which had only 34 trams,
A strange experiment was the fitting of a roof to Montreals observation car No.3, seen here on
the Cartier ville line in
1943. When this proved impractical,four new car bodies of completely
wooden construction, like 1176 shown here, were built, and these served until the end
of the war.
They were then converted to work equipment. CRHA Archives, Binns collection.
confined them to the most used routes and, in 1942, temporarily
replaced the cars on the other routes with some
of the busses that
were available. Needless
to say routine maintenance on all the
systems suffered since most
of the fleet was in continuous use, but
smaller systems, like Saint John, suffered worse, and by the end
the war were worn out. This may account for the early abandonment
of some of the smaller lines soon after the war was over.
While all transit systems faced similar problems, we will
take as an example one
of the lesser known smaller systems, the
Levis Tramways Company, across the river from Quebec City. An
excellent account
of the wartime traffic on this system appeared in
the September, 1942 issue of Canadian Transportation. The
following is from that account:
The Levis Tramways Co., serving
the city
of Levis, Que., and environs, where industrial production
is now at a high level, is one of the many transit properties in
Canada which has found itself called upon
to provide a greatly
increased transportation service because
of war conditions; like
many other properties, it has done everything possible, and
employed eve,y facility, to meet the war emergency conditions;
that the management has been successful infilling all demands for
is indicated by the fact that the company is handling more
than twice as much industrial traffic as
in 1939, and it is operating
more cars, morning and night, for war industrial workers than it
does in its regularly scheduled service. The manager
of the company has had to exercise every
ingenuity in order
to make this possible. They have even salvaged,
repaired and remodelled electric railway cars abandoned many
years ago, some
of these having been built when the electric
railway industry was
in its comparatively early stages. Not only
have they reclaimed all available old equipment and materials on
their own property; they have even obtained several old cars by
purchase from other transit properties, some
of these having been
badly damaged in collisions and having been considered by their
former owners as not worth salvaging. Readers will recall that
1940 the government requested the transit indusliY to salvage and
reclaim from scrap all old material and equipment which could be
rendered serviceable, and
it is evident that the Levis Tramways Co.
management has been in the forefront as concerns co-operation
with the government in this programme.
The reason that the Levis Tramways Co.
fuls been called up
to furnish such a large amount of transportation for war workers
is that the property serves
an area where there is not only a great
of munitions manufacture, but also one in which shipbuilding
is carried on. There are two arsenals
in the area, and ship
construction plants on both sides
of the St. Lawrence River, in
addition to government war and semi-war industries. To add to the
burden upon the transportation system, there is a pronounced
of housing accommodation, not only in Levis, but in
iOUI U.1-1
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They Also Serve
who only
Par/( and Wait
YES. I [S a long woy from a No Patking ,ig
In Montreal 10 Berlin, but what hoppens
here (on be lell rhere! Workmen pour InfO a
foc [ury all lime, a bumber (oils off the line 10
try Its wJngS~-Qnd theres a (argo of bombs !hOI much closer
10 I IS lorget In Germany
Or a cor i!t. parked, Iralhc IS tied up, delive.riu ale deloyed
—and on aerlcl mtssoge of high t)(ptosives IS Jole Of II::.
appOintment With the enemy.
fleo·flowing trollic moku .he dillerenul And yOU. every·
one In Monlreol -mOlonSls, pcdesl,ioo!.. drivers of public.
(onveyo()(es and all olhe( vclilcies … can conltibule to the
(ree flow of QrmamentS to our fighlU19 (orces by (o()lributiog
10 tho free ffow of troffic in our ,ify.
Montreols Irofl.( SIil/oIlOIl must be remedied The police
Iave power 10 enforce Ihe S~ven·Polnl regula I Ions shown here
-but Ihey prefer thai rhe problem be ~olved through your c.o·
operation, not by exerCISing their power. Thol puts it up 10 uS
aI!, so read the Seven POlnrs -. c.omply with them -ond
toko the brakes off our wor produ,lion!
-SpllflJurcd by –
lOIlOd.:!fl PlogfeH Cr •. ,b Oplml~t Crill>
Gyu .. Clllb Rotory crvb of Mont/eo
K~men Ch,b flolory (I …. b of Montreol·Weu ….. ord
K,,onls Club 01 MOMle,, ROlory Club of Weslmour.1
Llom Club 01 Monlreol 51 Lowlence Kwonis Clue..
L.on~ Club 01 Verdvn Zonla Club
That the government is now
recognizing the importance of the
transit industry in the war effort,
that such recognition has been more
evident in recent months than
throughout the first two years of the
war, is apparent. That the importance
of transportation, in localing new
war industries, was not recognized in
the early stages
of the war, is
demonstrated by the fact that great
had to be made to provide
transportation after some plants had
been built and were ready to begin
operation. Recent months have
demonstrated that the vital nature
and important ftmctions of the local
transportation systems have been
realized, with appropriate action taken.
There are those in the industry who
feel that its importance couldbeftlrther
recognized, such as by the granting
of higher priority ratings, and by
recognition that it is an essential war
At all events, those within
the industry itself are striving to make
the industrys contribution to the war
effort as effective as possible,
and the
of the Levis systemfumish
a good sample of the manner in which
transit is contributing to the war effort.
In spite
of aU the demands of
providing service, some of the transit
companies found time to do war
of their own, much as the
main line railways were doing. For
example, starting
in 1940, both
Youville Shops
in Montreal and
Hillcrest Shops in Toronto
manufactured such items as gun
carriage parts, components for anti­
aircraft equipment and parts for large
marine engines. One casting, made in
Hillcrest Shops for an air hammer for
war plant, was the largest casting
that had
ever been made in the shop.
Work was done
in shifts to keep the
machines in operation; all this over
and above the work being done to
keep the street cars running.
A constant thorn in the side of the street car companies was the motorist who parked and blocked
flow of traffic. This pointed advertisement, which appeared in Mon/real on April 29, 1942,
showed who really benefited from such selfishness I
Even the transit systems had to
during blackouts or other
emergencies. In the early years of the
war, the possibility that Canada would be attacked directly by the
enemy, either
by air raid or invasion, was very real indeed. The
danger was even greater
in seaports such as Halifax or Saint John
where enemy submarines or other vessels could shell the city at
any time. Frequent air raid drills were held, and emergency fire and Lauzon and in Quebec
City itself, with the result that large
of war industrial workers are compelled to reside in small
outlying municipalities
and to travel to work in the morning and
home in the evening, relying upon the Levis Tramways Co. to
furnish transportation service.
rescue brigades were ready all the
time to
try to cope with damage.
During the air raid drills there was
usually a blackout when the sirens
would sound and
aU lights would be
off until the all clear was
given. Fortunately the real thing never
took place
in Canada, but in 1941
there was a very good chance that it
would. An account
of a blackout
appeared in Canadian Transportation
in August, 194J as follows: In both
Montreal and Toronto, transit service
was suspendedfor short periods during
June, on account
of blackout practice.
In Montreal, the blackout period was
from 10:20 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. on
Monday, June
9; electric railway cars
stopped on their routes and buses
stopped at the curb at 10:20 p.m., and
all lights were extinguished, and the
vehicles remained in complete darkness
until completion
of the blackout at
10:45 p.m. Similar procedure was the
in Toronto on the evening of
Wednesday, June 18.
In spite of aU the trials and
tribulations, the street railways
Canada carried on. Even· as victory
appeared to be
in sight the number of
passengers continued to increase. For
example, during the last year
of the
war the Montreal system was carrying
an average of a million passengers a
Even the most serious subjects have their light side. An amusing incident from the dark days of
World War 11 concerns the above photo. During the war it was forbidden to photograph any means
of transportation in port cities. Mr. Robert R. Brown, a long time CRHA member, was in Saint John
NB. during the war and wanted to take photos of Saint Johns quaint street cars. FeG/ful of being
arrested as a spy, Mr. Brown sneaked
afew clandestine cloak and dagger photos from between
the slats
of the venetian blind of his room in the Royal Hotel on King Street. This view shows N.B.
Power car No.
86 going up King about 1942. The shadow of the blinds shows clearly. No 86, built
1912 and rebuilt in 1924, has long gone, but an identical car, No. 82, has been preserved at the
Canadian Railway Museum. Collection
of Fred Angus.
day. When the war ended, and traffic gradually began to return to
normal, the street car systems
of Canada could certainly point to
a job well done.
LEFT: A Levis street car of 1902,formerly used in express service, that was salvaged from the scrap pile and used to carry war workers.
RIGHT: Another Levis street car, built
in 1904, that was pressed into passenger service. Canadian Transportation, September 1942.
1. Shells of various sizes for the British Empire
and U.S.A. Forces.
2. Anti-Aircraft Gun Mount Platforms and
Legs and Miscellaneous Pressings.
3. Heavy Alloy Steel Drop Forgings for
4. Steel stampings and Pressings for Army
Universal Carrier.
5. Steel Cargo Bodies for Army Trucks.
6. Miscellaneous Pressings for Bofors Gun.
7. Miscellaneous Pressings for 6 Pdr. Guns.
Head Office and Works
150 JUILLET -AOUT 1995
8. Armour Plate Pressings and Forgings for
9. Light Alloy Pressings for Aircraft.
10. Light Alloy and Steel Drop Forgings for
11. Alloy Steel Forgings for the Navy.
12. Ore Cars for important Mining Industry.
13. Gun Cotton Cars.
14. Cordite Cars.
15. Locomotive Cranes for Steel Mills. Harbours
and Railways.
16. Miscellaneous Freight and Baggage Cars.
Sales Office
April. 1943.
How does the steel ore from the mines
reach the steel
foundries? How does the
steel for tanks, guns, shells, planes, war­
ships, trucks reach the manufacturers who
make them? How do all the finished tools
of war reach the ports where ships will
take them to eager hands?
How is Canadas wheat and other farm
products serving Canada
Sbell 01 various sizes for the Bnliah Empiril
and U.S.A. forces.
A~·AircI4ft Guo Mount Platforms and
Legs and Miscellaneous Pressings.
Sleel Cargo Bodies lor Army Trucks.
SfU!i;!~:fiC~:ri:~: Pressings for Army
Miscellaneous Pressings lor 6 PdT. Guns.
Miscellaneous Plessings
for &Iots Gun.
our Plate Pressings and Forgings lor
Light Alloy Pre!siogs lor Aircraft.
Light Alloy and Steel Drop forgings lor
HslIVY Alloy Steel Drop ForqiJ1.qs for Guns.
Alloy Steel Forgings for tbe Navy.
Cus for important MtDlnq mdustry.
Gun CoHon Cars.
Cordite Cars.
Locomotive Cranes for Steel Mills, Hal­
bouts and RaUways.
RaHway P
4usnger and Freight Equipment.
—_. ~ ——_.-..
produce moved to its markets? How do we
get our food and clothing, coal and oil for
heating? The answer is always the same
-almost entirely by freight car-a sturdy,
seemingly unromantic
but exceedingly es­
sential base for our whale tremendous
war effort!
war is placing an immense slrain
these freight cars. We have only
171,420. In 1928, when a peace time
peak of 41 billion ton miles was
reached, there were 217,028 cars avail­
able. It is estimoted that our 1943 traffic
mounted to the all time high of
60 billion
ton miles.
So now, with 45,608 less freight
Canadas railroads-and the men
who operate them-are doing magnificent
in coping with 45% increased traffic!
……_—_.,. —-.–.~–.-
The production of freight cars is an im.
portant activity of National Steel Car. Our
know that freight cars are essen­
in peace as in war, to Canadas well­
being. They take pride
in the expert, skilled
workmanship they bring to the job-as
National Steel Car management take pride
in developing improved
methods of
manufacture which result in
the lowest
possible cost.
Freight cars
are nol the only contribution
that National Steel Car are making for
Victory. Millions of the finest shell
and a
long list of other
war material also flow
in a steady stream. National Steel Car
labor, capital
and management are all
working as a balanced team in the fight
beat the enemy!
May, 1944_
Women Replacing Men in Railway Service
A group of women employees at CNRs Point St. Charles Shops, pose by one of the railways newest locomotives, Mountain type No. 6060.
This engine is familiar
to a later generation for its excursion service, and it has been preserved. CN photo No. X18790.
During the war, a great many railway employees, most of
them men, left their jobs and enlisted in the fighting services. To
fill these vacant positions, the railways hired large numbers
women, not only in positions traditionally occupied by women, but
also in what had formerly been considered
mens jobs. This
included work
in the shops both in the maintenance of railway
equipment as well as in the manufacture
of munitions and other
war supplies. It soon became apparent that these women were
highJy efficient workers, and stories
of such legendary persons as
Rosie the Riveter or Winnie the Welder are part
of the story
of World War II. A number of transit companies hired women as
conductors on the street cars, and some were even employed as
motormen. In a few cases, some women railway employees had
experience, having done much the same work
in World War I, a
of a century before.
Sadly, when the war was over, and the men returned, most
of the women were laid off and went back to private life. However,
the experience
of working in industry was a great spur to the
womans quest for full employment opportunities, a guest that is
rapidly being fulfilled today.
Car cleaners at work in CPR coach yard, autumn of 1942.
Canadian Railway Troops on the Western Front
From Canadian Transportation March 1945
Khaki clad railwaymen, key to the military
of supply lines that overnight expanded
from thirty to two hundred miles after the NOImandy
breakthrough, are writing a chapter
in modem rail
transportation which reflects the sound and efficient
of Canadian railways and the almy. But it
hasnt been only a problem of expanding supply
lines. Between Allied bombings and German
demolition, French railways, especially main lines,
were little more than a twisted, tangled mass
rails, wires and shattered stations. However, the
operating, signals, construction and clerical groups
have patched and rebuilt French railways
in record
time, to keep rapidly advancing fighting men
supplied. Pressure
of operating a railway in a war
zone inevitably has broadened the ex.perience
these soldiers, and they will be a valuable asset to
the industry on their return to Canada.
With communications and rails rehabilitated,
army trains began to roll from rear areas to the
front, saving thousands
of gallons of precious
gasoline and clearing the overburdened highways
of hundreds of supply convoys. Putting French and
Belgian railways back into operation was as much
A heavily loaded supply train, manned by Canadian Army Engineers, pulling oul of
the yards. Canadian Transportation, March 1945.
a problem of rolling stock as of communication, marshalling yards
and rails. In the initial stages
of operation, captured enemy rolling
stock was pressed into service. Even today a train made up
French, Belgian and German freight cars may be seen rolling
through the countryside. Captured German locomotives ranged
from engines which had been produced
in 1944 to an Austlian
small 0-6-0 switcher turned out in 1865.
But captured equipment was only a stop gap, for thousands
of British and Americans were ferried across the channel after the
of Cherbourg. The diversity of engines and rolling stock hasnt
fazed Canadian army railwaymen. An army engineer will climb
into the cab
of a captured locomotive, study its layout for a short
time and learn where the steam, throttle and brake are located.
Within a short time
hell have that engine rolling up and down a
siding until hes discovered every trick. This ready adaptability to
strange equipment
is one of the soldier railroaders outstanding
characteristics. Most
of the locomotives used by the two companies
are British 2-8-0s, 2-1
O-Os and 0-8-0s. Besides a strange cab, army
engineers from Canada have had to accustom themselves to
driving from the left side.
Some indication of the tension under which army engineers
be understood when it is realized that frequently they are
over new roads. Night work, the men say, is the worst.
Trains operate without lights, due to blackout regulations, and the
of highways crossing the right-of-way on every
provides mental agony for the man at the throttle. Then, too, those
theyre hauling arent loaded with wheat, but generally with
high explosives
in one form or another. Add to this the fact that,
of mixed rolling stock, only 60% of the cars being hauled
may have steam [sic I. SO few of the cars may have brakes that the
brakeman must assist the engineer each time it is necessary to stop
or slow down. Despite the fact that many of the army engineers
have never smelled
main line smoke in civilian life, theyve
done a
job worthy of veterans who pull the transcontinentals.
The firemen have their own difficulties. All the locomotives
in use are hand fired, there being no automatic stokers.
In the early
days in Normandy, more than one fireman kept his fuel box filled
with smashed cross ties when coal was shOlt. Often water was
taken from lakes by bucket brigades, and even a water-filled shell
hole sometimes was looked upon
as a legitimate water tower.
When French coal became available, firemen found it satisfactory.
However Belgian coal has not won the same praise. Fine and damp
coal sometimes forced the firemen
in Belgium to clean out their
fires a couple
of times en route to their destination.
Canadian Army yardmen are convinced that the European
coupling system was devised to keep them thin. Swi tching operations
are a headache to these men, because each coupling must be linked
and then screwed by hand. But speak to army railwaymen about the
European track system, and their eyes shine with enthusiasm. And
with good reason, for double track
is standard throughout.
Service hours are non-existent for train crews in the army.
When the pressure
is on, crews will alight from one train and,
without a layover, be sent
out on another run. They are ingenious
at preparing their meals while on the road, with the firebox
providing the required heat. And when they get a chance to sleep,
its in box cars fitted by themselves.
Major H.T. Alcorn (CNR), Melville, Sask., is in command
of one stretch. Captain George Young (CPR), London, Ont., is
Locomotive Superintendent, and Capt. G.K. Brown is in charge of
traffic control. Lieut. Tom Huntingdon (CPR), Cowley Alta., is
Assistant Superintendent.
Long before army trains began highballing through the
French countryside, Canadian Army Railway Signals companies
were unscrambling the remains
of the communications system. To
accomplish this, linemen, instrument men and construction gangs
spent their days and nights working directly in back
of our leading
troops. Not infrequently linemen found themselves skinning
down a pole to the accompanying whistle
of German 88 mm.
No.1 Company Railway Signals is a typical example of an
army railway outfit. Commanded by Major R.H. JennerofSaskatoon,
the unit includes men from both civilian railways and telephone
This unit has worked on everything from permanent
overhead routes
and underground cables to the smallest type of
field cable. However, the greater portion of their work has been the
of permanent lines.
But the
job in which the unit takes the greatest pride was
the stringing
of a circuit many hundreds of miles. Laid in pairs, the
circuits were completed in six weeks. All this work was accomplished
under operational conditions. Construction gangs bucked roads
jammed with military traffic to get to their work. But on reaching
the right-of-way it was impossible to get down to the
job of
stringing wire immediately. First there was a soldiers job to be
done. Mines and booby traps had to be removed from the area, and
a liberal number had been left behind by the retreating Germans.
Once the area was deloused, rehabilitation
of the line commenced.
Improvisation and scrounging
is the answer to the speed
with which the lines are constructed said Lieut. William
of Charny, Que., with the Canadian National Railways Signal and
Maintenance Department from 1926 until his enlistment.
In a war
zone, what might have been a branch line in peacetime suddenly
becomes a
mainline. We provide our own copper wire, instruments
and tools, but things like poles must come from the country in
were working. A non-operative branch line may have to
us with things like poles and three-bolt clamps, while
were not adverse to installing a few captured Jerry instruments if
theyre suitable to our requirements.
A Normandy episode, illustrating the hazards faced by a
soldier-lineman, occurred when tanks moved into a field where a
gang was repairing a line. German air reconnaissance spotted the
tanks and artillery fire was brought down on the area.
The tanks,
of course, moved on, but the signalmen waited the barrage out and
finished the job.
European climbing spurs have been hastily rejected by
men as being much too awkward. They are similar to a sickle with
154 JUILLET -AOUT 1995
A French diesel locomotive captured from the Germans.
Canadian Transportation, March 1945.
small teeth. European railwaymen argue that our spurs ruin the
poles, by leaving large openings, into which water seeps, causing
rot. Again it is all a question
of wood shortage, for the average life
of a European pole is 50 years. When in England,
Canadian linemen removed poles that were planted
in 1882.
Behind these operating groups are hard working clerical
staffs, handling the paper work
of operating almy railroads. While
a substantial portion
of these men are former railway employees,
many come from other civilian occupations, and were trained
specificalIy for their task by the army.
Swiftly changing priorities, brought on by sudden demands
from the front, require painstaking accuracy on the part
of these
clerks. And the varied type
of freight cars does not simplify the
ease with which a train may be made up on paper. As
in civilian
life, they must ensure that the proper freight is shipped on time to
the correct destination.
In their case, the company is not likely to
become involved in a lawsuit over an error. But something far
more serious might result from slipshod work -lives might be lost
because fighting men did not have
what they needed when they
needed it.
as in Canada, army railway clerks compile operating
statistics for each day, covering the
number of trains moved,
tonnage, fuel consumption, engine mileages and breakdowns.
Complete statistics are kept on all repair
jobs, including the
of new parts. Technical storemen are kept busy working
on indents for the railway shops doing these repairs.
In addition to the regular clerical work
of operating the
military line, there
is the matter of feeding, clothing and housing
of all the employees. Clerical work on this aspect alone is not
inconsiderable. Because it makes for mobility, the office generally
is found in a box car, although on rare occasions a slightly damaged
railroad station has provided the men with a feeling
of magnificence.
JULY -AUGUST 1995 155
Last year, we hauled 150 million tons
of materials, foods and munitions …
double the pre·war traffic.
We carried Twenty Million NEW
passengers … fighting men and war
We built tanks, guns, shells, ships.
Twenty-two. thousand of us were
with the armed forces
of our country.
Now, we are busier than ever pro­
viding the mass transportation that
only the railways can furnish.
The country depends upon us to
do this job. We must move the troops.
We must handle freight. And, with
your cooperation, it will be done.
April, 1943.
Getting Bauxite to Arvida During World War II
By Stephen Dettmers
Because bauxite is an important raw material in the
of aluminum, it was an essential war material. However
during World War Two there was one problem that almost
defeated the Allies, bauxite supply. Not that there was a shortage
of bauxite in British Guiana (now Guyana) for the Aluminum
of Canada (Alcan), or in Dutch Guiana (now Surinam)
for the Aluminum
Company of America (Alcoa). The problem was
the supply line, because as the war intensified with the
BattLe of the
Atlantic, the shipping lanes used by the ships transporting the
bauxite to North
America were ravaged by the German submarines.
Alcans harbour, Saguenay Terminals Limited in Port Alfred
near Arvida, was difficult to reach because the upper Saguenay
River was blocked solid by ice for nearly five months every winter.
To move the bauxite, Alcan purchased three ore carrying
ships named
or renamed Peribonca, Cora bella and Newton
Moore, of British registry, each of9000 tons deadweight, operated
by the Saguenay
Terminals Limited. All were sunk by German U­
boats during World
War II.
Besides the
German U-boats, another problem which
limited bauxite deliveries was the Demerara River, on which the
bauxite mines were located
in British Guiana. It was shallow and
filled with silt that created sand bars, limiting passage in the river
to shallow draft or half filled larger ships. This created a need for
a bauxite storage area
at a deep water harbour near Guyana, where
large ships could top up with bauxite for the journey north.
In 1938-
39, a private coaling station
near Saint Thomas in the Virgin
Islands was leased, and a small fleet
of shallow draft Canadian lake
vessels was acquired to shuttle bauxite the
800 miles between the
Virgin Islands and Guyana. However the Virgin Islands were
considered too far away from Guyana
to operate small fully loaded
great lakes ships
in the open ocean. In 1940 some German U-boats
started operating
in the vicinity of the Virgin Islands, and it became
to build a large stockpile of bauxite near Arvida. Up to
it was a hand to mouth situation, that is there was just
enough bauxite near Arvida to cover production needs.
In 1940 a better location was leased
at Chaguaramas Bay,
Port of Spain in Trinidad only 400 miles from Guyana. The
Americans were not too happy that Alcan had leased a bauxite
transfer station inside their new naval base. However the ability to
form up small convoys
of bauxite ships, and provide them with a
armed escort within the protected waters
of a naval station would
be a real advantage in the struggle with the German U-boats.
The bauxite ships were largely unmolested until the summer
of 194 I, when the German Naval High Command decided to attack
the bauxite supply line near its origin. This lasted until mid 1942
when the American war machine was at full production, after
which they could now provide more naval ships to escort the bauxite ships, and at least one escorted convoy per week was
dispatched from Chaguaramas Bay to
New York City.
The submarine danger to the bauxite ships was at its worst
in the spring and summer of 1942. During 1942, of Alcans 233
loaded bauxite ships dispatched from Trinidad,
Saint Thomas, or
Guyana, 25 loaded bauxite ships and 117 crewmen were lost. In
early 1942 because
of the limited availability of armed escort
vessels, ships dispatched
to North America, were justthat, dispatched
to anywhere on the North American Atlantic Seaboard.
If the
ships Captain perceived the ship as being
in danger, he had naval
commands permission to run to the nearest safe port on the North
American Atlantic Seaboard.
Then Alcan, hearing that the ship had
landed somewhere on the Atlantic Seaboard such as New Orleans,
Miami, Norfolk, Newport News, New York,
or Portland had to
send personnel
to the port to arrange the unloading of the ships, and
rai I transportation to Arv ida.
fi.rst the Royal Canadian Navy was only able to provide
very limited protection for the bauxite ships because
of the U-boat
threat around Nova Scotia, the Gaspe Peninsula, and in the
Gulf of
SI. Lawrence. The bauxite ships were dispatched to Portland,
Maine all year round, not just in the winters as before the war. Then
the bauxite was transported from Portland, Maine to Arvida,
Quebec by the Canadian National Railway.
The route followed
was the Grand Trunk and CN line from Portland, Maine to
Montreal. Then the ex Canadian Northern line to the former
Quebec and
Lake Saint John Railway which then went to Arvida
in the Saguenay Lake Saint John Area. The 300 miles of
track from Montreal to Arvida was a single track line built at the
of the century. All the bauxite, plus the construction materials
for the expansion
of the Shipshaw hydro-electrical plant, over
three million tons a year, had to
move over this line.
Canadian National used their largest and
most powerful
freight locomotives for this service, the
2-10-2 Santa Fe type
which had a tractive effort
of 65000 lbs. There were the T-I-a class
builtin 1916 by the American Locomotive Works Brooks Locomotive
Factory located in Dunkirk, New York, with boilers built by the
Montreal Locomotive Works
in Montreal. They were numbered
4000 to 4009. There was also the T-l-b class, numbered 4010 to
4019, built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1918, and
I-c type, also built by the Montreal Locomotive Works, but in
1920, numbered
4020 to 4044. The next class, the T-3-a type, were
New York Central Railroad Z-la locomotives numbered 1100
1109. They were purchased from the N.Y.Cs Boston and
Albany Railroad
in August 1928. They were USRA 2-10-2s built
by the American Locomotive
Workss Brooks Locomotive Factory
in Dunkirk, N.Y. and had a tractive effort
of 69900 Ibs. The T-4-
a class were built by the Canadian Locomotive Works in Kingston,
Ontario in 1929 and numbered 4300 to 4314. These booster
equipped locomotives had a tractive effOlt
of 60100 Ibs. and 70500
Ibs. when the booster was used. The T-4-b class were also built by
the CLC but in 1930 and were numbered 4315 to 4332. However
they were not equipped with a booster so had a tractive effort
66000 Ibs. Also very occasionally a Central Vermont Railroad T-
3-a, 2-10-4 Berkshire Locomotive
of the type numbered 700-709,
with a tractive force
of 76800 Ibs. plus a 10100 lb. booster, would
be used between Portland, Maine and Montreal. Each
of the above
locomotives could haul sixty 52 ton open hopper coal cars loaded
with bauxite but at a speed
of only twenty miles per hour because
of the poor condition of the railroads road bed.
In the winter of 1940-41 there was a great deal of snow
between Christmas and New Years; very large blizzards blocked
the tracks and completely buried trains with snow. The bauxite
reserves got so low the aluminum smelter might have had to close
down, thus shutting
off half the aluminum supply to the Allied
Aircraft Industry which built aircraft needed to win the war. It took
about a week to remove the snow from the tracks and the first
bauxite trains pulled into the Alcan refinery behind a vanguard of
snowploughs. Even though the bauxite was frozen solid
in the open
hoppers it did arrive in time to keep the plant open.
With the coming
of spring, because of the large winter
snowfalls there were now problems with flooding. The overloaded

; ;
The 13,800 cars built to Specification 480 were exempli­
fied by these photographs of NYC 5-429000, built by Ihe
Standard Steel Car Co. in 1924. This car was one of 1,600
to this specification built with truck design 10 NYC
drawing N-38314, which was sprung at the journal box
and was furnished by the car builder. These trucks were
phased out alter 1938.
soggy roadbed began to collapse in many places causing serious
derailments which closed the line for days at a time. Trains were
backed up for days while track engineers tried to shore up the
roadbed threatened by spring flooding. This massive railroad
jam caused two are trains to collide killing four trainmen.
Passenger service was discontinued on alternate nights to keep the
line open for the eighteen bauxite are trains required every day on
what was called the most congested railroad line in Canada.
After the United States
of America entered the War on
December 7th. 1941, a new Washington Agency was created
The War Shipping Administration (W.S.A.) which took
control of, and responsibility for, all bauxite shipments.
The result
was that Surinam bauxite occasionally wound up at Arvida and
.British Guiana bauxite ended up at the Alcoa smelter in Massena,
The strain on the transportation system was immense. This
was because, in mid 1942, the U-boats started to move north to get
the convoys
of ships leaving Halifax, Nova Scotia for England.
The ships were limited to carrying 500 tons of Aluminum in case
they were sunk. The theory was that they would put a small amount
of aluminum in each ship so most of it would reach its destination,
as it would be extremely difficult for the submarines to sink a
of ships in a convoy with an armed escort. The German
submarines were operating
off the coast of Nova Scotia, the Gaspe,
and in the
Gulf of Saint Lawrence (U-boat Alley). The W.S.A.
decreed that no ships transporting bauxite would be permitted in
the Atlantic ocean north and
east of the City of New York. So Alcan
leased ore handling facilities
in Hoboken, New Jersey, near
Weekawken, where the
New York Central Railroad had its
southernmost freight terminal in
New Jersey.
This ore handling facility had railroad sidings with a
of up to 600 seventy ton New York Central open top
Bauxite hoppers.
The New York Central would transport these
hoppers to Huntingdon Quebec, located on the New York Centrals
Canadian branch, the Saint Lawrence and Adirondack Railroad,
where it crossed the Canadian National.
The NYC would haul the
bauxite from
Weehawken, up the west shore line to the Selkirk
freight yards located near Albany, N.Y.
They would then use the
New York Central four track mainline to the Dewitt freight yards
located near
Syracuse, N.Y. Then north on the SI. Lawrence
Division through Watertown to Norwood, N.Y. At Norwood, the
trains with bauxite
for Alcoa, located in Massena, N.Y., would
continue north on the SI. Lawrence Division to Massena Springs.
The bauxite trains for Huntingdon, Quebec would take the Rutland
il road line to Ma lone, N. Y . then the SI. La wrence a nd Ad i rondack
north to Huntingdon.
They did the interchange of cars atHuntingdon
of the New York Centrals Massena Springs, N.Y. freight
yards because the latter freight yards were overflowing with
bauxite trains for the Alcoa Aluminum Smelter in Massena.
CNR would haul these cars towards Montreal on the Massena
Subdivision across the Victoria Bridge
to the Turcot Yards, then
to Westem Junction then onto the Canadian Pacific Railways
tracks, through the
Outremont Yards, then onto the CNR again at
the Moreau Street Station. The trains then went east on the ex
Canadian Northern line through Maisonneuve, Longue Pointe and
Montreal East to Point aux Trembles and across the
Bout De Lile
Bridge to Joliette, then from Joliette to Garneau Junction where
they went on to the ex Canadian Northern tracks. At Garneau
Junction they would start to use the tracks
of the former Quebec
and Lake SI. John Railway to Riviere a Pierre, where the line met
Q&LSJ line from Quebec City to Lake SI. John. Then the trains
to Chambord Junction on Lake St. John, then to Arvida and
the Alcan smelter.
Starting in the
summer of 1942, a way, other than by
railroads, was found to
move bauxite from New York City. An
ingenious barge route was developed by the transportation department
of the Chicago Tribune Newspaper. This large American Newspaper
owned the Quebec North
Shore Paper Company located on the
Lower SI. Lawrence Rjver to produce newsprint to supply its large
printing presses. It also owned a steamshlp line that had a fleet
small ships that could fit into the locks on the Soulanges Canal
which were 270 feet long by 44 feet wide and 14 feet deep,
canal could handle ships not longer than 257 feet, nor wider than
43 feet, with a shallow draft
of not more than 14 feet if they did not
want to drag the bottom. Compare this
to the present day SI.
Lawrence Seaway Locks which are 800 feet long
by 80 feet wide
30 feet deep; however the St. Lawrence Seaway was not
completed until 1959, so was not available during World
War n.
158 JUILLET -AOUT 1995
These bulk cargo canal boats were used to transport this newsprint
to Chicago. This 350 mile barge route used tug boats hauling two
wooden scows each, loaded with bauxite and they went from the
New York City area up the Hudson River then along the New York
State Barge Canal to Oswego, N.Y., on Lake Ontario, where dock
and storage facilities were leased. Then the bauxite was transported
to Massen
a, N.Y. and Port Alfred, Quebec by bulk cargo small
shallow draft
Soulanges Canal boats. This all water route was a
great help in the summer and fall of 1942 until the winter of 1942-
43 when the S
aint Lawrence River froze and the real crisis started.
Aretired Alcan employee, Percy Radley, was the
Company of Canada Arvida smelter works manager. His personal
of working in the Alcan smelter during World War
n state: The winter of 1942-43 was Ihe worsllime, at one time we
were down to about a three days supply
of bauxite. Then to make
molters worse the open hoppers
of bauxile would get rained on en
route and would arrive at Arvida fro
zen like concrete. As we were
to unload an average of 1 00 hopper cars per day, we were
faced with an almost impossible task. Everything was tried, jack
hammers, heating the railroads.jinally
we built a huge trestle. At
one time I
J 00 men were working on the unloading of bauxite then
at another time there were 2700
cars offrozen bauxite filling every
in Arvida and back as for as Quebec City and the City of
Montreal waiting /0 be unloaded. It was the coldest willieI on
record .
During the war, the customs regulations then in force
regarding American built railroad locomotives entering Canada
were lifted.
These regulations had said that any American built
locomotive entering Canada
to visit a terminal without carrying
freight and/or passengers from one Canadian station to another
Canadian station, providing
it would leave Canada within twenty
four hours, could enter Canada duty free
if the Railroad took out
a refundable bond equal to twice the duty payable based on the
locomotives value. This bond was transferable from one locomotive
to another, but each bond could be used for only
one locomotive
at a time. However the bond was only good for up to a maximum
of three years. If an American built locomotive remained in
Canada longer than twenty four hours at a given time, and/or was
carrying freight and/or passengers from one Canadian Station to
another Canadian station, full taxes and duties would have to be
paid on it.
The regulations concerning equipment required for
in Canada were also lifted; the main one was that locomotives
running on railroad main lines between stations required a pilot
cowcatcher; they could not have just foot boards.
The New York Central assigned the 2700 class L-2a 4-8-
Mohawk steam locomotives to haul the Bauxite trains between
Weehawken, New Jersey and Massena, N.Y.
or Huntingdon,
They were numbered 2700 to 2799 and were built in 1925-
26 by the Schenectady/American Locomotives
Works located in
Schenectady, New York. They had a tractive
effort of 60620 lbs.
and a booster with a tractive effort
of 12400 lbs. The main
distinguishing feature
of the L-2-a engine was the presence of a
large Elesco feed water heater on their fronts makiJlg their fronts
~:KJ OVER (lNNIII(; lJa-4I1D
r—.—–…. ———
-IO:~ ·OYEA A:..
. _ –J9 !/Ij-:.JlV£! !!.9.l!.F JNEC TS
J~~o~ftr:E!. 1~_!.IDf __ . ___________ ._ ~I

~ / .~
d __
I.t) (1-
__ t) . B-~
L~ 8~
1-.5 8-
.. -.5:0
$: ~ 10-
_+-~~-+_r __
4 ____ ~~O.rOvER END SILLS.
Lot 720-R
WrCDPEC..J(I!U2 Rebul1t from Lote 466-R,467-R,488-R,496-H,499-8
look like the Canadian Nationals 4-8-4 Northern type steam
locomotives like 6218. Also the occasional L-2-d, 4-8-2 Mohawk
built in 1930 also
by Schenectady and with the same tractive force
as the L-2-a Mohawks but with no front mounted Elesco feed water
heater. These looked like large versions
of the famous New York
Central 4-6-4 Hudson type steam
The New York Central Railroad would also use its latest
freight locomotives, the L-3-b
or L-3-c Mohawks numbered 3025
to 3064. L-3-a Mohawks numbered 3000
to 3024 were dual
purpose freight/passenger locomotives and spent the war hauling
overloaded main line passenger limiteds.
The new Mohawk freight
locomotives would haul bauxite, when not hauling other more
essential wartime cargo trains on the main lines, however at that
time there was not much that was more essential then bauxite. They
were used
to haul the bauxite from Wehawken, N.J. to the N.Y.Cs
Dewitt freight yards
in Syracuse, N.Y. This modem super steam
power was built by the American Locomotive Company and the
Lima Locomotive Works. Such a new freight locomotive would
normally never have left the
NYCs four track main lines to go to
places like Massena or Huntingdon, even in wartime, as their job
to help keep the mainlines clear for trains like the Twentieth
Century Limited and not clogged with things like bauxite trains.
They had about the same tractive force as the L-2 Mohawks, 60100
Ibs. and a booster of 14000 lbs. To get that bauxite from Dewitt to
Massena, N.Y. or Huntingdon, Quebec the NYC would use an A­
I Berkshire, L-l Mohawk or doublehead a pair
of H-6-a Mikados.
Every now and then an
A-I, 2-8-4 Berkshire steam locomotive
would be used. They were built from 1926 to 1930 by the Lima Locomotive Works located
in Lima, Ohio. These large New York
Central locomotives had a very large Elesco feedwater heater
mounted on their front and they had a tractive force
of 69800 Ibs.
and a booster with a tractive force of 11000 Ibs.; this made them
look like what they were, New York Central super steam power.
They were normally used on the NYC
s Boston and Albany
division to haul freight between
the Dewitt and Selkirk freight
yards and Boston, Massachusetts over the Berkshire Mountains.
They were occasionally drafted into bauxite service when needed.
Similarly the 4-8-2 L-I class
of Mohawks were used; they had a
tractive force
of 11000 lbs. They looked like large K-Il 4-6-2
pacifies but with an extra set
of driving wheels which is exactly
what they were. The
K-II pacifies built from 1910 to 1913 were
the assigned passenger locomotive on the Saint Lawrence a
Adirondack Railroad from 1917 to 1952 after their stint 19!O to
1915 as a mainline freight locomotive. The L-l Mohawk steam
locomotives numbered roughly from 2500
to 2700 with gaps as
some were scrapped before the war. The
L-l-a and l-I-b locomotives
were built
by the Schenectady Locomotive Works from 1916 to
1918, the L-l-c and L-l-d locomotives by the Lima Locomotive
Works in 1918 in the days before such refinements as feedwater
heaters and such. Similarly some H-6-a Mikado 2-8-2 were double
headed to move the bauxite from Dewitt north, these were built in
1918 by both the Schenectady and Lima with a tractive effort
54720 lbs. These light USRA Mikados were the mainstay freight
locomotive on the
NYCs Saint Lawrence and Adirondack Railroad
from 1930
to about 1948. This NYC controlled railroad ran from
Malone, New York
to Montreal, via Huntingdon, Valleyfield,
Beauhamois, Chateauguay,
to Adirondack Junction, then the
Canadian Pacific tracks
to the
CPRs Outre­
mont freight yards.
There were others also
used but not mentioned
because any large New
160 JUILLET -AOUT 1995
York Central Railroad
freight locomotive
running between Wee­
hawken, New Jersey,
Albany, New
(NYC Selkirk Freight
Yards), Syracuse, New
York (NYC Dewitt
Freight Yards)
Huntingdon could have
been drafted into
bauxite service if
~I–______ 3 9 ! OL[NG 7H INSIDc ___ _
Spec. 480
needed. All the loco­
motives used in the
New York Central
Railroads Bauxite
service were serviced,
H-f9!CVI.5ED OCc, 31, 193~ I
Lots 1,35-fl, 1,36-11, 116b-ll, 1,67-1l, 1,76-1l
1,88-11, 1,95-H, 1,9(J-H, 1199-1l, 525-fI
repaired and over­
hauled at the NYCs
West Albany Shops.
70 ton hopper car with saw-tooth outside hoppers and shallow centre hoppers.
In the spring of 1943 the bauxite crises started to subside
of the establishment of a ring of American Naval and Air
bases in tile Caribbean which permitted more numerous surface
and air patrols against German U-boats. Elsewhere, the Allies
were starting to win the battle
of the Atlantic although attacks on
bauxite ships continued to some extent for the rest
of the war.
Bauxite ships started going to Port Alfred from Guyana
in the
of 1944. Then to Portland, Maine in the winter of 1944-
45, relieving some
of the pressure on the bauxite supply line. After
the war, the NYC only brought bauxite to Montreal
in the winter
when the shipments from Portland, Maine were not sufficient for
production demands.
However in the early 1960s, the CNR and the
St. Lawrence and Adirondack Railroad was the location
of one of
first CNR unit trains carrying Alwnina and Aluminum between
Valleyfield, Quebec and Massena Springs, N.Y. using the St.L&A
between VaJleyfield and Huntingdon and the CNR between
Huntingdon and Massena Springs.
is a description of the cars used in bauxite
service. Cars to specification 480 were originally built with a
shallow centre hopper, then when they had their first general
repairs a saw-tooth centre hopper replaced the shallow centre
hopper, increasing their carrying capacity
to 2518 Cu. Ft. 240 cars
from the above lots were converted
in 1942 to have removable
sectional roofs applied and were assigned exclusively to bauxite
hauling service
as lot nO-H; they were numbered 882000-882239
after being outshopped at East Rochester, NY. The rest
of the
above open hopper cars were assigned to bauxite service when needed without a roof, but were also used when and where needed
to transport coal and iron are.
In 1923 the NYC acquired additional new 70 Ton open
hopper cars. These 5,300 cars lots 435-H, 436-H, 466-H, 467-H
and 476-H were built to the NYC specification 480-b. This
specification closely followed the 70 ton open hopper
car design
developed by, but not built by, the United States Railroad
Administration. As built, these cars had saw-tooth outside hoppers
and a shallow centre hopper, see diagram H -19. As these cars
received general repairs, the shallow centre hopper was replaced
with one
of the saw tooth type.
The year 1924 saw the delivery of an additional 8,000 cars
to the specification 480-C, lots 488-H, 495-H,
496-H and 499-H.
of the above mentioned open hopper cars were built and
maintained with sides
of riveted construction and with outside
pressed stakes.
All New York Central 70 ton open hopper cars were
equipped with friction bearing trucks having 6 X 11 journals and
33 wheels. Because
of in-service replacement and substitution of
interchangeable components, it is difficult to do more than describe
them as built condition
of the cars.
Except for a total
of 1,600 cars in lots 466-H, 488-Hand
524-H, all cars from lots 435-H to 597-H inclusive were equipped
with trucks to the USRA standard, 5 feet 8 inches wheelbase. Lots
435-H to 525-H were equipped with trucks having the Keystone
side frames with separable journal boxes.
The exceptions, 100 cars
in lot
488-H, and 500
cars in lot 524-H had
N-38314. This truck
was sprung between
the journal box and
the side frame, rather
than between the side
frame and the bolster.
This truck was phased
out after 1938, but
some were still in
service during World
War II. As the years
passed, the side frames
with separable journal
boxes were renewed
with integral journal
side frames.
All open hop-
cars built prior to
770-H were orig­
inally equipped with
In 1942240 cars from Lots 466-H. 467-H, 488-H. ~96-H and 499-H (Specification 480) had removable sec:ional
roots applied and were assigned 10 bauxite service as Lot 720-H, cars 882000-882239. Car 882198 is shown as
outshopped at East Rochester.
KD-1012 brake equip-
ment, when the AB brake was
made the standard brake system
cars remaining in service were retrofitted with AB equipment.
Open hopper cars built prior to lot 597-H were equipped with
staffhandbrakes, Lot 597-H and subsequent open hopper
were equipped with geared handbrakes.
The underframe construction on open hopper cars built
prior to lot 770-H had built-up
centre sills consisting of two rolled
channels and a top
cover plate. Lot 770-H and subsequent open
hopper cars had the current standard
AAR Z-section centre sill.
cars prior to lot 770-H were delivered painted black.
770-H to 824-H inclusive were delivered painted red oxide.
Lots 865-H and subsequent
open hopper cars were delivered
painted black.
In late 1942 the demand increased for aluminum and
therefore the need for larger
amounts of dry unfrozen bauxite to
manufacture it.
The open hoppers proved inadequate to keep the
bauxite dry and unfrozen
so removable roofs were applied to 240
open hopper cars from lots 466-H, 467-H 488-H, 496-H and 499-
H. These 240 cars were then assigned to lot nO-H and were
renumbered 882000 to 882239.
This work was done at East
Rochester, N.Y. and after their
wartime stint these cars were
reconverted to their original configuration and reverted to their
original numbers.
See diagram H-47.
It is sad that none of these 70 ton open hopper cars was
even though they remained in service until the 1980s. They
were highly important in the war effort in that they helped the
Allies by delivering massive amounts
of bauxite to the Aluminum
Company of Canadas Arvida smelter. This aluminum was used to
build the aircraft that helped the
A llies to win the war: So these cars
probably among the most historically significant pieces of
railway rolling stock of the twentieth century.
Global Mission, The Story of Alcan Volumes 1 to 1950, by Duncan
C. Campbell, Ontario Publishing Company Limited.
Canadian National Steam Power, by Anthony Clegg and Ray
Corley. Copyright 1969 by Railfare Enterprise Limited. Published
by Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited 150 Lesmill Road, Don Mills,
70-Ton Hopper Cars of the New York Central, by Charles M.
New York Cent.ral Headlight 3/83 Page 8. Published by the
New York Central Historical Society.
Locomotives of The New York Central Lines, by William D.
Edson and Edward L. May, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York,
Edson-May Publications. 1966.
The Peoples Railway, A History of Canadian National, by Donald
MacKay, Published by Douglas & McIntyre. 1992.
June, 1944.
Plywood Box Cars and an Armoured Train
The Canadian Pacific Railway has
begun to receive delivery
of 750 box cars
from the builders, and close to
700 tons of
steel is being conserved in the construction
of these cars, to go into the pool of essential
metals currently employed
in the national
war effort. An illustration
of one of these
cars appears herewith. These Victory cars,
soon to be in operation throughout company
lines, follow the design forvictory prominent
in other Canadian Pacific activities.
The experiment
by the CPR to replace
much-needed metal, heretofore used to
provide outside panels for box cars, has
in the successful substitution of
Canadian wood, which, according to H.B.
Chief of Motive Power and Rolling
stock, CPR, has withstood toughest tests,
and has proved highly satisfactory.
One of the Victory Freight Cars on the Canadian Pacific. In 750 of these cars, nearly 700
of steel, vital in the war effort, were saved.
Five-ply British Columbia
fir, 5/8 inch thick, has been employed
by company designers to replace the
1/1 0 inch thick steel sheathing
formerly used, and the intentional,
experimental hard-handling
of a
sample car
in CPR freight yards has
proved the new victory motif ample
as well as advantageous.
of wood for
metal has reduced the net weight
steel required for each freight box
by approximately 1800 pounds.
By this token, the car is capable of
transporting additional weight in
freight. It is estimated, therefore,
that the
750 cars now being built for
the CPR, and employing Canadian
plywood instead of steel, will
able to distribute 700 extra tons of
freight weight per trip, including
the deliveJy
of vital war orders.
On Canadian Pacific Railway
of 75,119 railway-owned and
2,105 privately owned freight cars,
of the company-owned cars
of total) and 7 of the privately
owned cars (0.3% of total) are
awaiting or undergoing repairs. This
compares to 5.9%
of railway-owned
and 0.4%
of the privately owned
cars on May
1, 1941.
One of the strangest stories of Canadian railroading in World War II concerns the armoured train
which was designed
to defend the Pacific coastal area in the event of allack by the Japanese. Motive
power was
to have been rebuilt diesel locomotive 9000. Fortunately it was never used.
CN photo No. XJ9434.
Work for the construction of naval guns at the Ogden
Shops in Calgary
is well under way. The entire locomotive shop at
Ogden is being devoted
to this purpose, and it has been necessary to make certain additions to facilities elsewhere to take care
heavy repair work previously done at Ogden.
From Canadian Transportation July, 1942.
May, 1945.
1945 -The Return of Peace
As 1944 gave way to 1945, it appeared
that Victory was in sight. After well over five
of war, the Allied armies were advancing on
all fronts and the territory occupied by the Axis
forces was getting smaller every day, as more
the occupied countries were liberated. In Europe,
the armies
on both eastern and western fronts
were poised to invade Germany itself, while in the
Pacific heavy fighting was bringing the Allies
closer to the main Islands
of Japan. Certainly the
general mood was one
of optimism; a far cry from
the dark days
of three years before. The railways
were still carrying record amounts
of both passengers
and fright, but they realized that soon they would
be transporting the returning troops.
. :~
On May 7, 1945 the Gelman armies
surrendered and the war in Europe was over.
next day, the day of the formal surrender, was
declared to be
VE Day, for Victory in Europe. Not
long after this, the troops began returning to
Canada, and by July 16, the CNR had transported
65,985 soldiers while the CPR had transported
33,100. For five and a half years the signal lights
on CN and
CP lines had been showing green for
speeding eastbound trains; now they were showing
green for the westbound specials!
Vetrans of the war, among the first to return, enjoying one oftheirfirstCanadian meals
in more than five years, aboard a CPR dining car.
Canadian Transportation, August 1945
The first notification the CNR Passenger Traffic department
would receive
of a forthcoming special move would be a long
distance call from National Defence in Ottawa in this way:
thousand two hundred and fifty Canadian soldiers will arrive
New York on S.S. Queen Mary due to dock on July 11., or The
S.S. lle
de France is expected in Halifax on July 14 with 9700
During the week of July 9, four such calls were
received. Usually about ten days notice was given, but sometimes
it was considerably less. For these two troop ships, about ten
specials had to be at dockside in New York on July 11, and twenty
more in Halifax on July 14 to take these members
of the armed
forces to their homes in all parts
of the Dominion as far distant as
Vancouver, more than 3000 miles away.
The railways would have to work out all the details
connected with these moves, including such considerations
as to
which civilian trains would be the least affected by the removal
sleeping and dining cars. The magnitude of this work is exemplified
by the fact that, on a trip from Halifax to Vancouver, 8400 meals
to be served on each troop train, requiring a total of eight tons
of supplies. In Montreal, old Bonaventure station, which had been
superseded by Central station two years before, was named the
official reception depot for the returning soldiers. It was fitting
that, after having seen them off to war, it would finish its
of service by welcoming the victorious troops back again.
There was no herding in or jam packedness about the
troop trains, for the work of repatriation was not haphazard. On the
contrary, it was a well thought out plan which sought to give the
returned men the maximum
of comfort and consideration. Walking
wounded and ex prisoners of war were accommodated one to a berth, while in other cases two were assigned to a lower berth. In
no case were two placed in an upper berth.
The situation on the CPR trains was much the same as on
CN. By July 16, almost 100 troop specials had been operated by
CP, using
l60 dining cars, 924 sleeping cars and 92 baggage cars
an undetermined number of coaches.
The specials were not only running from the storied
Eastern Canadian Ports, but were operating wherever required
the country. Headaches and sleepless nights were frequent, but the
job was being done quietly, efficiently and with a minimum of
interference with other wartime traffic, for the war in the Pacific
still raged on and was expected to continue well into 1946.
The end was sudden. On August
6, the announcement was
made that an atomic bomb had been dropped on the Japanese city
of Hiroshima. Three days later another atomic bomb devastated
Nagasaki, and soon thereafter Japan surrendered. On August
hostilities officially ended. The war had lasted almost six years,
had cost untold millions
of lives and untold billions of dollars.
The special trains continued to bring the troops home, but
there were so very many
of them that would never be coming
home. The shipment
of war supplies wound down and the munitions
plants were closed. Gradually the railways got back to peacetime
operation and prepared for the postwar era. There were celebrations,
commemorations, and services
of thanksgiving, but one emotion
was predominant; relief and relaxation from the tension
of six long
Today, after fifty years, it
is our duty to remember all that
was done by the railways to contribute
to what was certainly the
greatest project in the history
of the world.
By Brigadier H.A. Joly De Lotbiniere, M.e., R.E.
Reprinted from Canadian National Magazine, June 1948.
A memorial window for the Canadian railway troops, who
did their overseas training on the Longmoor Military Railway, was
unveiled, April 25, 1948 at the Garrison Church at Longmoor,
Hants, England.
The window bears the following inscription:-
To the Glory of God and in grateful Remembrance of
the Staff of the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific
Railways, who fell
in the war of 1939-1945
In writing
of this stained glass window, I would like to
explain the association Longmoor has for railwaymen
in general
and Canadian engineers in particular,
so many of whom have
in the small yet beautiful church standing in its
military setting
of barracks and parade grounds in a rural corner of
Hampshire, England.
The present Transportation Training Centre
of the Corps
of Royal Engineers originated in 1904, on the return of the Regular
forces from South Africa. In 1902 a camp for a brigade had been
commenced at LongJnoor. Subsequently it was found that during
wet weather
in winter the ground became flooded, rendering the
camp uninhabitable.
It was then decided, since the huts were fully erected, to
move them bodily to Borden
Camp lying four miles to the north of
Longmoor. To effect this, narrow gauge lines were built parallel
to each other, and on each line was placed a bogie truck. By means
of jacks, each hut, after it had been suitably strutted to prevent
distortion, was lifted onto the bogies. Cables were then attached
to the trucks; and motive power, provided by a donkey-engine, was
employed to move them across to Borden Camp –the temporary
of so many Canadian troops –where they were erected, and
are still standing.
calTY out this work, the 10th Railway Company was
sent from Chatham and so became the nucleus
of the present
Transportation Training Centre. Subsequently the 10th Company
was joined by he 8th Railway Company from Woolwich, and later
by the 53rd Company, which latter company was disbanded
shortly before the 1914-1918 war.
With a view
to providing railway training in peacetime to
these three regular Railway Companies
R.E., and two Militia
of railway troops, a broad gauge line was commenced
in 1906 from Longmoor Camp, which at that time was the Mounted
In fa n t.ry Training Centre, to Borden Camp. This Ijne was completed
round about 1909, and consisted
of some six miles of broad gauge
railway. During the First World War, it was enormously expanded
and became the training centre
oftheRailway Operating Department
(known as the R.O.D.), where railway units were trained and sent
out of France.
On the termination
of hostilities and the consequent reduction
of the army, Longmoor shrunk to a Headquarters known as the
Railway Training Centre, R.E., consisting
of two companies, the
The stained glass window at Longmoor, in memory of the
Canadian railwaymen who fell
in the war. Dedicated
Sunday, April
25, 1948
8th and 10th (Railway) Companies, R.E. –a total of some 500, all
In 1925 it W3S decided that some organization was essential
by which a trained body of profcs5ionai railwaymcn could be made
immediately allable 011 mobiJi7.3lion and. in cooSCI:]uence. seven
units were raised from among the four main Brili~h Railway
Companies. TIlc$c were known as SupplcmcllIary Reserve Railway
Units. R.E .. and totalled some 2,000, all r~nks. These units, like
the Tcnitorials. carried OUI a fonnighC~ Irdining each year at
Loogmoor and. in this way. a highly efficient reserve was created
~-and one which was immediately available on lhe outbreak of
hostilities in 1939. In Seplembcr, 1939. all Supplementary
Reserve Units were mobilized and Sent oversea.~ IOgclhcr willi the
81h (Railway) Company R.E. The 10th Company was retained al
l.ongmoor, and in due course bttame Ihe Tr.msportation Training
eD(rc R.E .• embmcing all fonns of lran~ponation Imining. viz: –

railway, port operating, port construction and inland water
in 1942 the Director ofTransponatioll, Major General.
now SIr
Donald Mc~·lullen. K.8.E., C8., D.S.O .. foresaw the
nece~ .• ity for more RaHway trOOI>$ and. in consequence.
representations were made to the Canadiall Government with
view to fUrnishing some railway troops. ntis request was aece(joo
to and orders were issued early in 1943 for the formation of a
Railway Operatmg and Workshops Group.
No.2 (Railway Opernling) Company. R.CE.. the first unit
to be mised, was fonncd from railwaymen dmwn from the various
of the Canadian Expeditionary Force located in Britain. A
second comp
any. later known as No. I (Railway Opernting)
R.C.E. together with No. 3 (Railway Workshop~)
Company. RC.E .. W3S llIised ill Canada by Lt Col. EEL Wootton.
.• who had returned to Canada from Engl:md for Ihal specific
While No.
I Company.togetherwiththeRailwayWorXshO{lS
Company WIlS being raised in Canada. No.2 Company was fllnm .. ,<1
at Longmoor and a eourse of training in British Railway methods
was undenaken under the
aegis of the Commandant Transponmion
ining Centre, R.E. This course proved most successful. After
II period of indiiduallrnining, the ullit proceeded to Weston Camp
near Derby where they u
ndertook collcctive train:n~ in the fnnn of
operating the twelve miles of railway known as the Melbourne
Military Railway. between Chel1t1SIOIl and Ashby-de-Ia-Zoudlc
(not by the
n)C tmining facilities afforded by this line were admirable
in that wille 8,000 wagons of coal had to be cle .. red every week
!he New Loum Colliery, apan from very heavy traffic in
TllUlliportalioll Imd Ordnance stores.
D-Day No. ) Railway Operating Group, R.C.E.
formed pa
rt of the army croups undcr General Muntt!omcry, .. nd
withcoo.~iderabledistinttjon in the advaI1<;e frum Nonnandy
the Rhine and beyond.
The Garri.WII Church
Prior 10 1935. Divine Service for the Church of En~land
and Free DlUrehcs was held in lhe Soldier.;. Sailors lind Airmens
Institute ~t Longmoorknown :tsthcSeymourlbU. Thisamngement
roved most unsatisfacto
ry and, it w1l.Sdecided. on the mechanization
of t
he horsed Artillery units sta1ioned at Longmoor. to convert the
txlrn into a Church. Dedication ….. as in 1935. Ilnd U slI:cplc
w~s added. In 1936 M:ljur (now Brigadier) C.A. Lutgley. C.B.E ..
~.1.c.. as second in command of the R.T.C., R.E .. initiated the KIca.
of otilizing a wind-fall of canteen rebale from the last war for the
llation of:l War Memorial in the Church. This took the foml
of a very hundwme Reredos and Crudfu. At tile ~111e time, Major
Langley prevlliled upon cach of lhe four main Railway Companie~
in the United Kingdom. lind the London Passenger Trnnsport
Board. 10 supply n slained glass window in commemoration of the
men o
flheir Companics killed dunng the 1914-1918 war. These
windows were un,eiled in 1938 and, on the outbreak ofhoslilitie~
in 1939. to prt:veru possible damage. the Ii,c memorials \ere
taken out and buried on Weavers Down
under one of the signnJ
cabins. 1llese were disinterred at the close of hostIlities in 1~5
d wen: reinstalkd by lhe Comm.1ndallt of the Cent~.
When vi~iting Colonel F.E. Wootton at RhcillClIt Westphalia
in May 1945. I suggested it would be :lpproprimt to haw: two
memorial windows
in the Church to commemorate the training of
the Canadian Troops 81 Longmoor. This idea \ow, dce1opcd hy
Colonel Woollon on his retUJTlIO Canada. alld arr.tngemcuts forth<:
of the ….. illLlow were made by him. The work was
commissioned from
Mr. M~nin Traers.A.R.C.A. (Arch, London),
who had designed and erectcd the original five memorial windows.
A graduate
of the Royal Collegc of An in Archit~eture. he gained
tl~ Gr:md Prix de Paris for Slanted glas.I in 1925. and has installed
in New ualand, South Africa 31ld India. in addition to
many mhc,… in Britain.
It may :lIsa interest e)(-Scrvice readers to know that on June
61h. 1947. two brass memorial tablets erected 00 the walls of the
we~ unveiled by Major General Edmond H. wry. Chief
of Transportation. U.S. AmI). These tablets were erected by the
Officers Commanding the
755 and 763 Rail ….. ay SImps Ba!1alions.
AmlY. both of which IllljL~ had. ror a period of the war. fonned
un admin
iSirative p:!rt of the Tmns.ponalion Training Centre. R.E.
Me,orial Uilldo~ Dedicated
The Illc)11orilll window w~s dedicated April 25 by Dr. W.L.
Anderson. Bishop of port~mouth. in the Service Garrison Church
at Longmoor.
Draped with
II Union JadL the window wu unveiled by
Konnal Robert:.u
n. Canadian -ligh Commissioner. The window
ponray~ 51. Lawrence dressed in II dealun8 dalmmic nnd carrying
a Bouk
of the Go~pcl in one hand and a gridiron ill the other.
showing t
haI he: was manyred. Standing on the bank of a large
ll. he i .. .surrounded by the anns of Canada and ,he nine
Canadi~ns ~t the ceremnny were R.A. McMullen.
Agent-Directur [Of Allx:na; L
t.-Col. W. Rae of the Can:ldian
Legion: J.C. P;llle~orl ;Illtl J.8. Thurn, respective European managers
of the C.P oR. and C.N.R .. and B(ig. Howard Graham. heud (If the
Canadjan Joint Liaison Staff
in England.
BACK COVER: Montreal Tramways Co. slreet caf No. 2656. paintcd 10 advenist Ih~ Seventh Victory Loan, in OClo~r. 1944.
CRHA Archives. Bi
nf15 collet/ioll.

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