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Canadian Rail 474 2000

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Canadian Rail 474 2000

ISSN 0008-4875
Permit No. 1494279
IN NOVA SCOTIA ……………………………………………………… .. SCIENTIFIC AMERiCAN ………. ..
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FRONT COVER: 2000 Coming Around the Corner. The arrival of the new year 2000, the last year of the millennium, is symbolized by
this photo
of Montreal street car No. 2000 rounding the curve at Place dArmes on June 11 1957, only eleven days before the line was
abandoned. Car 2000 was built by Canadian Car and Foundry
in 1929, and was scrapped in 1959.
Photo by Fred Angus
BELOW: Locomotive Samson
of the Albion Colliery in Nova Scotia, with the railways small coach, photographed at some unknown
date before
1885. This early engine, built by Timothy Hackworth in England in 1838, has some very unusual features, most notable of
which are the vertical cylinders as well as the firebox and tender being at the front of the boiler. The latter arrangement was necessary
of the single return flue, bllt must have been awkward for the fireman. The engineer stood in the usual place on the footplate, but
had no cab
for shelter. Samson was in service from 1 839 until about 1 885, and was little altered in almost fifty years of service.
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The Albion Railway of 1839-40
Some British Roots of Canadas First Industrial Railway
by Herb MacDonald
Presented At: The First International Early Railways Conference, North-East of England History Institute, University of Durham,
Durham, UK, 10-13 September, 1998.
Conference sponsors included: North-East
of England History Institute, University of Durham; North of England Open Air Museum;
The Newcomen Society;
The Locomotion Trust; and The Institute of Railway Studies, University of York
Publication forthcoming in conference transactions,
A.PGuy and lRees, eds. North-East of England History Institute, Durham, 2000
This paper
comes out of work in progress for an MBA thesis for St. Marys University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. While I have
received much assistance
in Nova Scotia and beyond in North America from many not noted here, gratitude must be expressed to
many staff members at the Durham and Northumberland County Record Offices, the Ken Hoole Study Centre, Darlington, and the
Timothy Hackworth Mu
seum, Shildon, for assistance with research in England. I must also acknowledge my debts to Michael Bailey
of the Manchester Museum of Science and Technology, Andy Guy of the North of England Open Air Museum, Beamish, and Fred
Gamst of the University of Massachusetts for their extensive and invaluable support.
Diffusion of railway technology to North America took
many forms ranging from movement of engineers and
engineering expertise across the Atlantic to North American
of British inventions and purchase of British equipment.
As indicated by the research
of Fred Gamst and others, early
North American railways had fundamental links
to the evolution
of railways in Britain. On a small scale and in an isolated
location, Nova Scotia
s first tramways and railway illustrate
tills technological diffusion and the focus
of this paper will be
on linkages those lines, particularly the railway, had with Britain.
Unlike most
of North Americas first lines, however,
the Albion Mines Railway was neither a means for an
established port or
commercial centre to capture trade of a
nor a link in a water route like Canadas first railway,
the Champlain and St. Lawrence.
The Albion line was a colliery
road to move coal to
wharfside. As a result, its evolution
parallels the history
of early railways in the coalfields of Britain
more closely than most early Canadian and American lines.
Coal was discovered in nOlthern Nova Scotias Pictou
County shortly before 1800 and mining began
by 1807. But
there, as on Cape Breton Island, where coal had first been raised
under the French regime, initial activity was very limited.
During the two decades before the 1827 arrival
of the London­
based General Mining Association (GMA), annual output in
Pictou County did not exceed 1500 chaldrons, [chaldron implies
Newcastle measure
of 53 cwt unless noted] some of which went
to local buyers and the remainder to Halifax, the colonial capital.
The first Pictou County mine was located about one quarter
mile distant from the East River, about a mile upstream from
tidewater. Adjacent
to the pit, however, the river was not deep
to accommodate ocean-going vessels. Carts were used
move coal to the riverbank and small barges carried it
downstream for transfer to ships3. This transport method was also used initially by the GMA but its limitations soon led
the introduction of a tramway and then a locomotive-powered
rail way which opened in 1840. [Unless they carry different
meanings within a quotation, this paper uses railway
to indicate
the use
of locomotives and tramway to indicate an absence of
locomotives on a line.]
The links between that GMA railway and northern
England go through 28 Ludgate Hill in London, a few steps
from St. Pauls and the address
of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell
(RB&R), a notable firm of silver and goldsmiths. This firms
is revealed in a manuscript written in the mid 1840s by
George Fox who worked for RB&R from 1806 to 1843. Royal
patronage generated substantial profits for the firm, and led to
development of an international network of agencies and
suppliers, and the production
of work in silver and gold that
merits artistic attention today
In the I 820s, RB&R became involved in Londons
financial market, in a speCUlative boom with a strong Latin
American component
They established several companies in
1825 including the General South American MiningAssociation
(GSAMA) set up to mine gemstones in Colombia and Brazil.
South American was dropped from this firms name in 1829
by which time its focus had shifted to Nova Scotia
At this time, RB&R were also grappling with the
of overdue accounts. The Duke of York was one
notable customer with tastes which ran beyond his
income and
whose patronage extended totals in the Accounts Receivable
ledger. To convert the Dukes notes ioto a tangible asset, an
agreement was reached in 1826 giving
RB&R a sublease of
Nova Scotias mineral rights which the Duke held by Royal
s, The sublease was then transferred by RB&R to their
mining subsidiary.
The GMA, based at 52 Old Broad Street in London,
close to the Bank
of England and the Royal Exchange, would
be characterized
by a desire to develop large-scale production
export markets in New England, a strong capital base, and
~~?t~I~ ~:::·r-1~~/T-·l:~ , 1
:;::;;1/ }:;:,:;::~. ~ ~ ~, — –
~~.~t. ••• ,}~…. I.
the application of their capital to use of
modem technology. During its first 15 years,
the firm invested
over 150,000 pounds in
Pictou County9 which an estimated price
index ratio of 55: 1 converts into a current
British value in excess of eight million
pounds. Another context is provided by
noting that the
Nova Scotia governments
operating expenditure total for 1835, the
median point in that period, was just under
60,000 pounds 10.
In 1827, Richard Smith, a
Staffordshire engineer, was hired and arrived
with a
workforce to begin GMA operations
at the Pictou County site which he named
Albion Mines.
Smith introduced deep-seam
mining to seek out thick and productive coal
seams. In
contrast to the shallow pre-1827
pits, by the late 1830s the
GMA had shafts
as deep as
450 feet
A bord and pillar
model was
llsed underground to maximize
output which reached 25,000 chaldrons by
1839. On the surface, productivity was
promoted by the use of steam power.
Stationary engines were introduced to drive
pumps and winches, with the first winding
engine in operation before the end of 1827
There are conflicting claims but this may
have been the first stationary steam engine
in Canada.
TOP: This map, printed in 1877, shows the area in Nova Scotia where the Albion
Colliery railway ran.
An enlarged detail of the map, showing the track layout near Pictou in
The Albion Colliery railway fairly closely paralled the Pictou branch of
the 1ntercolonial, built years latel:
Tackabury s A /CIS of the Dominion of Canada, 1877.
A further indicator of the
GMAs technological orientation
the immediate introduction
of foundry capacity using British
pig iron which was soon
extended to include experiments
smelting local iron ore. By
1832, the foundry was
assembling steam engines and
engine construction
for external buyers.
The firm had
previously started manufactur­
ing chain cables and brick for
their own use and sale to the local
Related to the use of
operating technology was the
GMA policy of bringing in
experienced British managers
and skilled colliers and
tradesmen. Willingness to pay
higher wages to attract skilled
labour brought criticisms from
contemporary sources and
modern scholars.
The firm also
leading figures including
10hn Buddie and Thomas Telford
as consultants
on activity in Nova
Scotia. As early as
1834, Buddie
provided detailed sets of
recommendations for under­
ground operations and also for
the construction of a railway at
the GMA colliery in Cape
Breton. He served later as the
firms link to Durham and
Northumberland suppliers for the
Albion Mines Railway project
and will be referred to frequently
in this paper.
MINES, 1827-1837
A. Original workinen
B. Halifax Ooal 00.
O. Back mines
D. Albion mine
.. TerminuB or the
7. Gold.A. ehipyard
G. Aoadia minA
ij.Intercoloninl minI
:r. Nova: Sootia m1:1&
K. Btel.larton
The initial GMA goal was
improve water transport by
clearing the river along with
construction of larger barges
capable of carrying 50 tons and
This map, by Robert R. Brown, appeaerd in Bulletin No.6 of the CRHA, in August, 1938.
steamboats to use as tugs. In the
Colonial Patriot of 14 August, 1830, An Old Traveller noted
had anyone told me thi rty or forty years ago, that 1 should
live to see a steam-boat borne on
the bosom of wafers then
washing the shores
ofa wilde mess, I should have smiled at his
predictions, and probably recommended a Strait Jacket; but
have lived to see it with my eyes.
The age of steam evolved quickly in Pictou County.
Burning GMA coal from Albion Mines, the steamer Royal
sailed into the record book from Pictou for London in
1833 to become the first ship to cross the Atlantic under steam. A deep-water wharf had been built in
1831 as a transfer point
from barges
to seagoing ships. It was replaced in 1838 with a
600 foot wharf described as the largest in Nova Scotia
wharf introduced containerized cargo-handling with an eighteen
horsepower steam engine to move one-chaldron coal boxes
which fitted inside the barges.
These were equipped with trap­
doors so they could be lifted, swung
over a vessels hold, and
the coal dropped
in one quick motion. The Mechanic & Farmer
observed that thirty chaldrons can thus be transferred with
and ease in an hour:~ time.
A painting depicting the sailing of the pioneer steamship Royal William from Pictou harbour on August 18, 1833 for England
which she reached on September
6. This vessel, launched at Quebec on April 27, 1831, made the J 833 crossing IInder steam po wei;
often considered to be the first transatlantic crossing under steam. However it was not uninterrupted, for she had to stop her engines
every four days to clean the steam condense
rs. On this famolls trip she burned coal from the Albion Colliery.
Upriver, wharves were built to load barges from a
tramway that was under construction by 1830.
The record of
the tramway is fragmentary, contradictory, and complicated by
later secondary references to a tramway dating from 1818,
ni ne
years before the GMAs arrival. However, a total absence of
reference to a tramway before 1827 in survi ving contemporary
documents makes it appear that a pre-GMA tramway is a legend
with its origins
in an 1891 paper by Hel1lY S. Poole
For the years immediately after 1827, the record is
vague. Several press reports
18 indicate a tramway was planned
by the
GMA on arrival. The Novascotian of 21 July, 1830
described a line under construction for
about a mile and a
half and noted that, Nearly the whole of this Railway has
already been completed, all the iron materials
for it having
been cast at the Establishment.
It is intended 10 run slout
wooden cars upon
it, which hold just a clwldron [Winchester
measure assumed],
and are constructed so as to empty their
lading immediate
ly infO the boats.
Newspaper accounts like this provide a basis for Pictou
Countys claim for the manufacture
of the first iron rails in North
America, a claim which continues to be widely recognized
though there are conflicting references about whether the rails
were made from locally smelted ore or British pig iron.
However, one report
stated, less than five months after the
GMA arrival in Pictou County, that, the materials for a· rail­
road are also in the possession
of MI: Smith at Pictou. If true,
this raises the possibility the rails
came from England. With
such inconclusive evidence, a firm
judgement can not made at
this time about the origin
of the tramway rails.
Precise dates for either the beginning
of construction of
the tramway or its opening are also uncertain though press
reports indicate that by 1833, a line
over one and one half miles
long was in use
and by 1834, an additional lnile was under
construction. Over 140 Winchester chaldron carts were used.
These were scrapped when the railway came into service
By 1834, an additional three and one half miles of line
had been surveyed to a deep-water wharf site, though
construction was deferred. Two years later, the GMA obtained
in the Nova Scotia Legislature of an Act giving the
company powers for extensive work on the East River. But
increasing opposition to the GMAs monopoly power led
inclusion in this Act of a clause23 contesting the validity of the
Dukes grant and, indirectly, the legality
of the GMAs sublease.
Though the Act was rejected by the British govermnent in
August, 1836, the timing of this political problem coincided
with a decision
by the GMA to abandon use of the river as part
of the coal transport system.
Samson , the first locomotive 011 the Albion Colliery Railway, as it appeared in the 1880s, after being retired from service,
In 1830, The Novascotian of 21 July had observed, As
the freight
of the coal from the Boat landing to the vessels is
the most expensive part
of the business of transportation, … if
the Company would go to the expense of continuing the Rail
… so thai the Vessels might come lip ana take in the coal
without the agency
of BoalS, it would ultimately repay them
amply. While the 1834 survey for tramway extension
demonstrated consideration of this, the Pictou Bee of 28
1836, provides the first record of a GMA decision
to proceed, and of the model that would replace the use of
The Bee reported that the Albion Mining Association
have it
in contemplation to extend the Railroadfrom its present
termination below New Glasgow
.. when Locomotive Engines
will be employed in propelling the cars. This is the first post-
1834 reference found to plans to extend
or rebuild the line or
use locomotives. Early in 1837, the Bee
carried the first in a
of tender calls for the railway. Apart from these, few
sources survive to reveal the plans for the new line or document
its construction. Much
of what has survived is in British archival
of Buddies papers and sheds much Jight on British
links to the railway25.
LINKS. 1838-1840
While the key d
ecisions about the railway were certainly
made in London, only one primary document from GMA
headquarters outlining specifications has been found. A 22
February, 1838 letter from J.B.Foord, Secretary to the GMA
Board, to George and John Rennie
invited a proposal from
the Rennies for construction
of three locomotives for Albion
Mines (these being eventually built by Timothy Hackworth)
and provides
some details about GMA plans.
Those details were concise but are very important in
confirming a number of things in keeping with a British railway
The roadbed was to be 6 112 miles, nearly on a dead
level with
the fall being only 10 feet .. in favour of the load.
Curves were to be very gradual, the sharpest has a radius of
25 chains. The rails specified by Foord were heavy, 51 112
Ibs per yard, as were the chairs at 20 Ibs each, and the gauge
was indicated as 4 feet 8 inches apart inside.
Unlike many British lines, the right
of way was single
track though construction charts indicate provision for five
sidings where trains could pass.
Another feature of British
construction that did not appear in Nova Scotia was the use of
stone blocks to support chairs. Stone was considered for a short
GMA tramway in Cape Breton
apparently not used. The
tender call for sleepers for the Albion Railway28 specified good
sound Hemlock known for resistance to rot.
The Pictou Observers account
of the railways official
opening reported the
roadbed involved excavation of 400,000
cubic yards for cuts and fills and about twenty bridges, some
of them built in a style of masonry that would reflect credit on
any country.
One stone bridge carried a railway siding until
1962. Some wooden bridges were relatively large, ranging from
100 to 1500 feet. The latter, erected on huge pile piers about
J 5 feet aparl ran from the riverbank to the whatf which was
initially equipped with three turntables also supplied by
Descriptions of the use of the wharf turntables and
loading frames which carried coal cars out over the holds of
vessels} reflect coal whatf operations in northern England at
the time. A
model for wharf activity is found in the 1834 report
Buddie prepared with recommendations for the GMA railway
Cape Breton, copies of which have survived in both Nova
Scotia and
The Observers opening day account also referred to
the rails as
all of malleable iron, and average aboul J 00 IOns
to a mile. They all came oul ready made from England, but the
castings have been
made, we believe, at the Albion Foundly.
No evidence has been found to either support or explicitly
contradict this reference to the chairs being cast atAlbion Mines.
no evidence has been located to identify the
source of the rails, given Hackworths involvement as supplier
of the locomotives and turntables for Albion Mines, and the
HackworthlBuddle links to Michael Longridge of the
Bedlington Iron Works, it is tempting
to speculate that Longridge
may have been the source. While this
is only speculation, it
can be offered in a
ssociation with the fact that Vulcan, the next
locomotive to arrive after the Hackworths, was built by
& Co.n Evan Martins work4 on the Longridge
firms does not record the GMA as a customer, however, and it
is possible that Vulcan came to Nova Scotia in 1850 as a second­
hand engine.
Six cross-section charts outlining construction
1837 and 1838
indicate work was under way on many
of the roadbed at the same time. As a result, the project
was highly labour-intensive.
The GMA reported a construction
of 296 at the end of September, 1838 when activity
was likely close to its
peak36. The cross-section charts also show
that the roadbed was totally ne
w. The railway did not incorporate
any part
of the original tramway line.
1842 GMA report to the Nova Scotia governmentl7
indicated 154 one-chaldron coal cars were then in service with
wheel and axle sets and
other iron on hand for close to 100
additional cars. References to loaded and empty trainload
weights in Foords letter to the Rennies indicate an expected
net weight
of about 2700 Ib per car. Letters between Buddie
and Foord from February through August,
1839 show an order
for 180 sets of waggon gear was filled by Robert Rayne of
Newcastle)S and shipped from Newcastle in late August, 183919.
Constlllction of the rolling stock was obviously carried out at
Albion Mines.
Rayne is also identified as a supplier of machinery and
boiler parts for
the GMA in Cape Breton
and there had been
other links between Rayne and BuddIe as well. At least two
documents in the BuddIe papers41 deal with contracts filled by
Rayne in 1838 for English collieries through Buddie.
The contract for the supply of locomotives was acquired
by the
Rennies who apparently subcontracted it to Timothy
Hackworth. John BuddIe acted as GMA liaison with
Hackworth, and the surviving copy of the Foord-Rennie letter
one sent by Foord to Buddie for reference in dealings with
s letter to the Rennies stated the GMA wanted
Three Locomotive Engines of the most approved description ..
of hauling 150 tons gross at eight mph on the downriver
run and the
50 tons of empty cars back to the mines at twelve
mph. Given their destination, Foord said that coal rather than
coke would be acceptable as fuel and less injurious to the
Furnace Bars and Tubes. Foord also noted that the
construction of the engines must be as simple as possible, all
their parts
plain, strong & substantial and in every respect
suitable for the purpose of conveying coal. The simplicity,
based on the fact that in
1838-39 the design was an obsolescent
one, was probably to minimize difficulties in maintenan
ce or
repairs in an isolated location.
One engine & tender, wrote Foord, must be ready
for sh
ipment in August next, and the two others in April, 1839.
The first locomotive built was Samson which still carries
Hackworths plate dated August, 1838. Hackworth did running
trials on an unidentified locomotive for an outside contract in
. Research by Michael Bailey on Hackworths
shop records
has indicated
no other external contracts were
ongoing so th
ese tests were almost cettainly on Samson.
By November of 1838, Hackworth was at work on the
other two engines which would be named Hercules and, to no
ones surprise,
John Buddle. BuddIes diary for Sunday, 18
November, 1838
, indicates a visit to Hackworth and noted
progress with alilhe Work executed in a salisfaclory l/utnneJ:
Running trials were carried out early in 1839 and the
locomotives shipped from Newcastle on the brig Ythan
(identified as belonging to Mr Rayne) in mid-April
The shipment of the locomotives provides another
illustration of the connections at work in these and future
contracts for Albion Mines. David Bum of Busy COllage Iron
Newcastle, supervised shipment of the engines for
Nova Scotia
. Burn was apparently associated with Robert
Rayne at this time and some years later, the firm Rayne and
Burn was established. That name would appear on the builders
of at least one later locomotive brought to Albion Mines
in 1854. As was the case with Rayne, Burns connections to
Buddie were not limited to contracts for Nova Scotia. In
November of 1839, he provided quotes to Buddie for iron
components for a local order being co-ordinated by Buddle
Most accounts written since 1891 have suggested that
Samson arrived before the other engines. As a result of Foords
original requirement date, presumably for use of a locomotive
support construction activity, and the confirmation of
Samsons road tests in August of 1838, Bailey and Glithero
accepted Autumn, 1838 for Samsons arrival in Pictou County
with a trial run being
made there before years end.
Some of the old coal cars of the Albion Colliery railway at StellerlOl1 on September 12, 1894. By then most of the old equipment was
retired. Locomotives Samson
and Albion had gone 10 Chicago for the Worlds Columbian Exposition, and the rest was lying
derelict awaiting the scrappeJ:
Two of these wheel sets, which may date back as far as 1839, are at the Canadian Railway Museum,
stored outside, their signijicence not fully appreciated.
National Archives
of Canada, Merrilees Collection, photo No. PA-164709.
Evidence suggests, however, that Sal11son came with the
other locomotives. On Foords letter to Buddie which dealt
Ythan charter9, Buddie made a summary notation on the
document showing it involved a vessel to take out the 3
locomotives to Pictou. This
is supported by a Pictou newspaper
report~O while the Ythan was at sea that there were three
locomotive engines on their wayfrom
Englandforthe rail road.
Other key points also come via John Buddie. He had
arranged for John Stubbs,
Hackworths shop foreman
, to go
out to fit up .. the three locomotives in May of 1839. In a
December, 1839 letter to Foord
, Buddie reported a
conversation with Stubbs, now back in England, noting that
says there was not a Rail of the Way laid till the 1st of
July. This provides a credible answer to a long-standing
question and also indicates there would have been no reason
for delivery
of a locomotive earlier than May of 1839. It also
establishes that, r
egardless of delivery dates, no railway right
of way existed for running trials or use of either rolling stock or
locomotives before July of 1839.
Buddie also recruited two locomotive engineers for
Albion Mines
He had some difficulty finding candidates and
had to
offer a wage of 3 pounds per week, a figure he indicated
was highs4. George Greathead appears to have been an
employee of Hackworthsss but, save for his name in Buddies
financial records
nothing has been found about him in British
or Nova Scotia sources. George Davidson, the other engineer,
spent over half a century at Albion Mines and maintained a
connection to Samson which lasted through that locomotives
appearance at major exhibitions in Chicago in 1883 and again
in 1893.
When the lines first two and one half miles were
officially opened on September 19, 1839, it followed the British
pattern and was clearly designed to generate good will
for the
GMA through the biggest public celebration staged in Pictou
County or possibly in Nova Scotia up to that time. With parades,
rides on trains
powered by Hercules and BuddIe, a feast centered
1100 Ibs of beef and mutton, music and dances, the day
was summarized by an oft repeated statement in the Mechanic
& Farmer;7 that there was not an unemployedfiddle or bagpipe
from Cape John
10 the Garden o/Eden, -the extremities of the
The paper noted that the only misadventure of the day
invoIved a
dog being run down by one of the locomotives and
had the good taste not to draw comparisons with opening day
on the Liverpool and Manchester [which had taken place in
at which
one of the guests of honour, William Huskisson,
was run over and killed].
Locomotive Pictou, identical to Albion , on September 12, 1894. This engine was likely scrapped soon after the photo was taken.
National Archives
of Canada, Merrilees Collection, photo No. PA-164710.
The remaining four-mile section was completed and
trains started running to the
wharf in May, 1840
The railway
operated for the next fifty years with few changes except for
rail upgrades and the addition
of rolling stock and locomotives.
Hackworths engines all worked for
over forty years and Samson
was in use until 1885
Since the railway was abandoned, it
has become little
more than a dim memory centered on the
surviving locomotive
s, Hackworths Samson, and Rayne &
Burns Albiol1
which came to Pictou County in 1854.
Within the last decade, a new provincial
Museum of
Industry has been opened at a site within a few yards of the
original railway right
of way. This facility has finally assured a
proper display location for Samson and Albion and the
conservation / restoration efforts on the locomotives, based on
assessments carried out
by Michael Bailey and John Glithero
in 1992 (see their paper on the Samson project), have breathed
new life into the legacy
of the Albion line.
There are many unanswered questions about the Albion
in addition to those identified above. There are major
gaps in our knowledge about construction activity or those who built the line.
There are fragmentary details about the provision
of public freight and passenger service but without the scope to
assess the social and economic impacts
of the railway on the
community. It is equally difficult to assess
the extent to which
the line influenced the development
of later railways in Nova
Scotia. While there is some information about day to day
operations, little is known about the crews who
operated the
line. Other llJUesolved questions have closer connections to
England and several
of the most pressing of these involve John
Given BuddIes status as an industry consultant, it seems
likely that his 1834 proposals for Cape
Breton would also have
considered by the GMA Board in the context of later
developments at Albion Mines. It also seems possible that those
proposals could have influenced both the decision to
a railway in Pictou County and the specifications for the project
when it reached the implementation stage though, at this time,
it is
unknown if either was the case.
third question centers on the supervision of
construction of the railway. The Observers account of opening
day indicated that construction has been conducted under the
immediate sllpervision
of M,: Peter Crerar; whose practical skill
Samson and Albion as they appeared in 1928, at the time of their return to Nova Scotia after a 35 year absence.
({ civil engineer is too well known to require mention. But
later accounts
of the extent of Crerars role seem difficult to
Pattersons history
of Pictou County, written almost four
decades after the opening
of the railway, states
that Crerars
plans, as sent to London, led to the reconunendation by an
unidentified British engineer who reviewed them that the GMA
no better superintendent than the man who prepared
A leap of faith is necessary to accept that the GMA
would have taken such a recommendation literally and agreed
to give full responsibility for a project expected to
cost more
than 50,000 pounds to someone who had never seen a railway.
Pattersons version is simply not plausible but nevertheless has
become an established part
of the railways history as recorded
Nova Scotia.
What seems more reasonable is that Crerar did the work
on the ground in Pictou County while taking the advice of, and
under the direction of,
someone with engineering expertise
known to the GMA, even if that individual was never on site in
person. The Observers phrase under the immediate
supervision may well refer to this kind of arrangement.
BuddIes reports on Cape Breton record activity there by D.
Hoard who reported directly to BuddIe rather than
to the GMA.
The one surviving letter from Hoard
indicates he was on site
in Cape Breton for at least three months in 1834. No evidence
has been located to indicate this was the managerial model for
of the Albion Railway, but this appears a more
satisfactory explanation than the one to evol ve from Pattersons
account. And this suggests, as a hypothesis, that Buddies role
in the project may have been even more significant than that
shown in the documents identified to date.
These and other unresolved questions may continue
be unanswered. Considerable GMA material exists from Cape
Breton, but few company documents from Pictou County are
found in
Nova Scotia archives. More significantly, GMA
records in London apparently did not survive the firms 1901
dissolution. While the BuddIe papers examined to date are a
critical source to trace
some core links between the Albion
Railway and the British
influences which shaped it, many
challenges remain to invite future research in both Canada and
1. see F.C. Gamst. The Context and Significance of
Americas First Railroad, Technology and Culture, vol. 33, #
I, January, 1992, as well as his paper.
2. see J. E. Vance. The North American Railroad.
Baltimore / London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995
3. Public Archives
of Nova Scotia [PANS]: RG 1, vol. 458,
RG I, vol. 458 112, 18; RG 1, vol. 463, # 41
4. Baker Library Business Archives, Harvard Business
School: Fox manuscript; Industries, Oversized,
c. 1; see also
R. W.
Lovett, Rundell, Bridge and Rundell -An Early
Company History, The Bulletin of the Business Historical
vol. 23, # 3, 1949, for a detailed synopsis of the Fox
5. Illustrations of RB&R work for clients including the
Royal Family appear
in Celina Fox, ed. London -World City –
1800-1840, New Haven / London: Yale University Press, 1992,
6. see F. G. Dawson. The First Latin American Debt Crisis:
The City
of London and the 1822-25 Loan Bubble. New Haven
/ London: Yale University Press, 1990

First Rails in Atlantic Canada:
The Evolutioll
of a Legend
By Herb MacDonald
In 1818, when coal mines were first opened on the East
of Pictou, a tram road was made from the pits to the head
of the tide … I
With this beginning to a paper presented in Montreal in
Hemy S. Poole created a legend about the first use in
Nova Scotia (or any of the Atlantic provinces) of rail-based
This study examines the diffusion of that legend
through the popular and academic literature
of early Canadian
transportation history as it has appeared in Canada, the United
States, and Britain over the past century. Utilizing primary
Canadian and British sources, it also presents a case for the
of the status often accorded the 1818 Pictou County
tramway2 as a landmark event
in the history of transportation
in Canada. Both of these must begin with consideration of the
context where that first reference to the 1818 tramway appeared.
At the time Pooles paper was written, he was General
Manager of the Acadia Coal Company in Stellarton
Scotia and the senior local official for the dominant mining
company in Pictou County. He had published works on geology,
mining engineering, and the industrial history
of the area, and
was a prominent figure in the coal industry locally and
nationally. His father, also Hemy Poole, had been Agent for
the General Mining Association [GMA] in Pictou County during
the period 1840-1854.
The elder Poole was in charge ofGMA
operations there when the Albion Railway, the first locomotive­
powered railway
in Nova Scotia and the second in Canada, came
into full operation in 1840. This line, initially powered by three
locomotives from the shops
of Timothy Hackworth of Shildon,
County Durham, England, was the focus
of the younger Pooles
paper. As a result
of both his fathers position during the 1840s,
and his
own role a half-century later, when Henry S. Poole put
pen to
paper, his words carried a cachet of authority which they
sometimes did not deserve.
Pooles account is an important re
source, made the more
so becau
se primary documentation and contemporary sources
dealing with early rail transport in Nova Scotia are in
frustratingly short supply. But Poole must be assessed
in the
of the primary and contemporary sources which have
survived. When examined
in that context, he is found to be far
from infallible.
Alongside his reference
to a tramway dating from 1818,
Poole also stated that it was
in that year … when coal mines
were first opened
… in the dfsth-ct. The historical record is
not as extensive as we might
wislrbutprimary documents, which
be referred to in some detail below, indicate that mineral
rights had been acquired from the colonial
government and
mining was under way at least as early as 1807. With his clearly
erroneous date for the beginning
of mining activity in Pictou County,
Pooles credibility is weakened in the very first phrase
of his paper.
When dealing with a number
of key points about his
core subject matter, the Albion Railway, Poole further
demonstrated that his command of what he presented as fact
was not always secure. Referring to the locomotive-powered
line, Poole stated,
It was finished in 1838, and went on to
assert that,
in that year the first locomotive ran over a rail
road in Nova Scotia.4
Had a locomotive been assembled at either Albion Mines
or the shipping wharf at the northern end of the railway at any
time during 1838, survi ving construction cross-sectional
which illustrate progress on the roadbed, show that not more
than 112 mile of continuous right of way could have been in
place anywhere along the line. In fact, evidence in a letter from
John Buddle
to J.B. Foord of the General Mining Association,
indicates that
not a Rail of the Way was laid before the 1st of
July, 1839. BuddIes source was John Stubbs, an employee of
Timothy Hackworth. Stubbs had been sent to Albion Mines in
May of 1839 to fit up … the three locomotives7for the new
railway and would
have had more than passing interest in the
of way on which the HackwOlth locomotives would be
Despite the assertion
made by Poole (and many others
after 1890), there is no primary
or contemporary evidence to
document arrival
of any locomotive(s) prior to May, 1839 . There
are, however, two
important sources which point to May, 1839
as the anival date for the three Hackworth engines. A February
27, 1839 letter from Foord to BuddIeS, referring to the ship
which had been chartered to carry locomotives from the Tyne
Nova Scotia, has a summary notation in Buddies hand
indicating the charter was for 3 locomotives. While the Ythan
was at sea
an account in a Pictou newspaperlO refers to three
locomotives being en route from England. These sources
would seem to confirm that the three initial Albion Railway
came on the same ship in May of 1839.
No evidence has been found from primary sources
any operation of the locomotives prior to the official opening
of the railway on September 19,1839. When this opening took
place, local press reports
II clearly indicate the line had then
completed less than half way from the Albion Mines
pithead to the Loading Ground wharf, the northern terminus
near the mouth of the East River. The railway was not
operational the rest of the way to the whatf until the spring of
the following year. The Observer of May 19, 1840, reported
the first eventful journey from the Mines to the Loading
a few days after it took place.
Henry S. Pooles
paper is a valuable resource despite
the presence
of inaccuracies such as those noted and others.
But the absence of information about his sOLlfces and his
ABOVE: Samson , probably in Hal(fax, soon after its return in 1928. OPPOSITE: Albion at the same location at the same time.
Both photos from the collection
of Donald Angus, likely acquired from John Loye.
potential for inaccuracy make it vital for his paper to be viewed
with a critical eye, something which has generally not been
applied. Instead, Poole has
aU too frequently been accepted as
a definitive source rather than
just one to be judged against
other or earlier sources. As a result, many
of his assertions
which do not stand up
to critical assessment have been widely
incorporated into the post-1890 literature
of the Albion Railway.
Among these is the proposition that there had been an operating
tramway before the arrival
of the General Mining Association
in 1827.
In 1896, five years after Pooles work appeared in print,
Edwin Gilpin, Nova Scotias Inspector
of Mines, published a
paper on the history of coal mining in Pictou County. After
reviewing pre-GMA activity and the first years of GMA
operations, Gilpin began a section on transportation in the Pictou
coalfield with the following statement:
When the first attempt was made to work coal
systematically in 1818, a rough tramway was built from the
mines to a point on the East River a
few hundred yards distant
… which could be reached by barges at high tide.2
Had Gilpins reference appeared before Pooles, it would
have to be regarded much more seriously. As a result
of his
government position, Gilpin had access to government
documents and historical records. He wrote and published
widely, mostly on geology and mining engineering but with
some overlaps into historic and economic aspects
of the field.
Unlike Poole, Gilpin generally documented his sources (though
no footnotes appeared in this particular paper) and usually
deserves high
marks for accuracy.
But when his 1896 paper appeared, Gilpin would
certainly have seen Pooles account. Gilpin also published in
Tral1sactions of the Society of Civil Engineers and the two
men would undoubtedly have met many times between 1890
and 1896
as a result of their respective positions. Given the
timing, the absence
of citations, and the parallel phrasing, one
can only conclude that Gilpins reference to the 1818 tramway
came from his acceptance
of Pooles statement as an accurate
After the publication
of GilpinS paper, almost three
decades passed before the next reference
to the 1818 tramway
From Warren Anderson in 1924, we find Pooles
words almost verbatim when Anderson wrote:
In 1818, when the coal mines at East River were
opened, a tram road was built from the pithead
to the head of
the tide.13
No citations were provided by Anderson buthis phrasing
appears to be a direct rewrite of Poole.
In 1933, Robelt Brown, who played a leading role in
the establishment of the Canadian Railroad Historical
Association, presented some Additional Notes on the Early
in Nova Scotia as a follow-up to Andersons
paper. Here he stated:
The old horse operated tramway at the Albion Mine
originally built
in 1818 and rebuilt in 1829 was soon Jmmd to
be inadequate, so
in 1834 or thereabouts … 14
As with Anderson, there were no notes or sources and
one can only conclude that Brown took his content from
Anderson and/or Poole.
Most significant about Browns 1933 reference to the
1818 tramway is that it was not carried forward to his later
work dealing with Nova Scotias transport history. This is
conspicuous in 1938
and 1949
papers that provided a detailed
of early tramways and railways in Canada. The absence
of a pre-1827, ie pre-GMA, tramway there indicates that Brown
had decided post-1933 that the case for the 1818 tramway could
not be
justified. This is confirmed in a later letter from Brown
which suggested that Pooles claim for a pre-GMA tramway
was incolTect. Unfortunately this letter provided neither specific
reasoning for this conclusion nor
an indication of when Brown
had changed his mind about the matter.
In 1933, the pre-GMA tramway made its first appearance
in a b
ook providing extensive coverage of the history of
Canadian rail transport. Thompson and Edgars survey of
Canadian railway development included recognition of: … a
tramroad built during 1818 to connect the coal mines oj East
River with tidewater … 18 within a short account of the Albion
Railway. Despite the assurance
of the authors determination
to spare no effort in ascertaining the true
Jacts19, in addition
to the 1818 tramway, they
incorporated other inaccuracies
regarding early events
in Pictou County including, like Poole,
reference to the arrival
of Hackworths three locomotives in
1838. Norman
Thompson was identified as the Canadian
Representative of the Railway and Locomotive Historical
Society. This direct connection to the R&LHS and an
acknowledgement to the Societys Bulletin leads one to
conclude that the authors reference to the 1818 tramway was
based on the
the paper by Anderson and possibly also that by
Brown in 1933
In 1960, in the introductory section of his official two­
volume history
of the Canadian National Railways, George
Stevens included a short section on the Albion Railway which
also began with a claim for the existence
of a pre-GMA tramway.
Stevens wrote:
From 1818 onwards the early Pictou coal measures
were worked by means
oj a tramway Jour miles in length, over
which horse-drawn carts carried the coal to loading quays on
Stevens page-long section on the Albion Railway was
not documented
in any way. It appears that he drew on a vmiety
of common secondary sources but he also offered several
distinctive inaccuracies.
Among those were an 1828 date for
the organization
of the GMA, and an assertion that the Albion
Railway was abandoned toward the end
of the 19th Century
because the pits it served were
worked out.
As a result, there is no basis for speculating about
Stevens source for his reference to the 1818 tramway. But it is
there, along with
other elements which are flatly contradicted
by the
primary documents. Stevens may well have felt the
Railway did not merit particularly careful attention
within the context of his much wider subject matter and such
an assertion would probably stand the test
of argument. It is
amusing, however, to find the 1818 tramway as well as
obvious problems of content dealing with early rail history in
Pictou County
coming from the pen of a professional historian
who was born in a railway station at Tatamagouche, Nova
Scotia,22 only 40 miles from SteJlarton.
With the publication
of The Picton ian Colliers in 1960,
James Cameron, a prominent local historian in Pictou County,
made an important contribution to the history
of his county and
the coal industry in
Nova Scotia. Cameron also accepted the
of the 1818 tramway without question although his account
does differ in
one respect from the standard post-Poole version.
He provided a new element by appearing to allocate credit for
the tramway to a specific individual when he wrote:
By 1818
coal demand increased sufficiently to encourage construction
of water shipping facilities. A tram road was constructed from
John MacKays pits one quarter mile
in length to the head of
tide water on the East Rive/:23
John McKay is the earliest known holder of mining
rights in Pictou County. However, in introducing MacKay [sic],
Camerons version has a major problem beyond his failure to
document any connection between MacKay and the tramway.
In 1818,
John McKay no longer held the mining lease.
Camerons content is interesting but does not offer anything to
enhance.the traI:n.y;ays historical standing.
While all the references
to the 1818 tramway noted to
point were by Canadians, the papers by Anderson and
Brown were published in the United States and widely circulated
there though the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society.
The 1818 tramway, however, has also appeared in the work of
a number of British and American writers.
The first identified British reference appeared in a paper
Kenneth Brown [no relation to Robert R, Brown] which
appeared during the period 1928-1935
Within an article about
the Albion
Railway locomotives, Samson and Albion, which
had been returned to Nova Scotia in 1928, Kenneth Brown stated
that the: …
road on which Samson worked was originally
in part in 1 81 8 as a tramroad.
This reference is interesting because it is one of the very
few to suggest that the railway right
of way incorporated sections
of any earlier tramway. This suggestion, however, is
contradicted by primary sources. The railway construction
cross-sections referred to above illustrate that the roadbed for
the rail way constructed in 1837-1840 followed a different route
from the tramway built by the
GMA after 1827.
The next identified British reference appeared in 1936
in a paper by G.R. Lockie. When referring to the engines built
by Hackworth for the GMA, Lockie stated that the line on which
they ran:
had originally been opened as a horse tramroad in
1818 when the mines in question were first worked. 26
More recently, Ian Bowmans 1978-paper noted that:
As early as 1818 there was a horse-dIawnfailway from the
Albion coal mines
to the whan1es of the East River at PictoU.27
Neither Lockie nor Bowman provided footnotes or
indicators of the sources they used. In both accounts, however,
the phrasing and the absence
of content to suggest use of any
primary sources tend to indicate that their 1818 tramway
references ultimately came from Poole or a source based on
Of the two, Lockies reference to the 18] 8 tramway
was the more
significant because it became the basis for a
quantum leap in the
tramways academic stature.
Michael Lewis 1970 study of early British and
continental waggonways has been widely recognized as the
definitive work on the subject. Within this
major study, Lewis
also provided a concise survey of the application of the
of the British waggonway in North America and,
citing Lockie as source, made brief reference to the 1818
tramway.28 This was the first
of several instances of British and
American scholars with significant reputations in the early
history of rail transport accepting the evolving chain of
secondary evidence about the tramways existence.
In 1990, Michael Bailey and John Glithero, established
authorities on early British locomotives, carried out an
of the condition of Samson and Albion, the surviving
GMA locomotives in the collection of the Nova Scotia Museum
of Industry in Stellarton. In one of their reports for the Museum,
reference was made, citing Poole, to the 1818 tramway.29
Communication by the author with Bailey and Glithero
established that they ha~ examined most of the post-Poole
sources referred to above but were not aware of any earlier
evidence to support the tramways existence.
The.most recent scholarly reference to the 1818 tramway
is that by Frederick
Gamst of the University of Massachusetts
in his English-language edition
of Franz Anton von Gerstners
monumental report on American railways based on an 1838-39
of the United States. In his extensive notes to this first
English translation
of von Gerstners text, Gamst included an
annotated list
of the 20 earliest tram lines in North America, all
dating before 1830. He accorded 7th place in the chronological
sequence to the
East River line of 1818 which he describes
as a
short wooden railroad for hauling coal .. worked by
Gamst did not document his reference to the 1818
but has indicated in personal correspondence with the
author that it was based on his interpretation
of HelllY Pooles
The emergence of tills secondary record about the 1818
tram line, and the identification
of it as one of the earliest in
North America in major works of scholarship like Lewis Early
Wooden Railways
and Gamsts edition of von Gerstner are
invitations to the erection of commemorative plaques or
stamps3), or the construction of a working replica as an outdoor
attraction at the
Nova Scotia Museum of Industry in Stellarton,
a facility located at almost the
exact point where the tramway
would have started –
if it had really existed.
But the case for the tramway, based on these post-1890
secondary accounts,
must be assessed in the light of both the
limitations to that secondary
evidence and the record of those
primary and contemporary sources which have survived.
an assessment casts considerable doubt on Henry Pooles
Contrary evidence regarding the 1818 tramway is of an
unusual nature, the essence of which is its absence.
Unfortunately one does not normally encounter sources stating
something does not or did not exist. A case for non­
must be made through the absence of reference in
those locations where
it should logically be found.
there been a tramway in Pictou County in 1818 or
any time up
to the arrival of the GMA in 1827, there are three
pre-1890 secondary works where one would particularly expect
to find reference to it. Iffound, those would be more significant
than other undocumented references appearing
70 or more years
after 1818. However,
if absent, the absence of the references
should merit an equally higher level
of significance.
The first, chronologically, of these potential sources is
Thomas Chandler Haliburtons Hisiorical and Statistical
of Nova Scotia published in Halifax in 1829 by Joseph
Howe. Lack
of reference to the tramway here is important.
This two volume work was designed to be, among other things,
a major promotion piece to tout Nova
Scotias history, resources
and development potential
in Britain and the United States. Had
there been a lramway in operation prior to 1827, it is difficult to
believe that neither Haliburton nor
his publisher knew of it or
would not have included reference to it
Haliburton indicated that Richard Smith, GMA Agent
in Pictou County, 1827-1834, and Richard Brown, Sm.iths
counterpart in Cape Breton, provided the whole of the
in the nine-page chapter on mineral resources
and mining
in the province. This provides an even higher level
of probability that a tramway acquired by the GMA in 1827
would have been noted as part
of the account of the development
of mining in Pictou County found in Haliburtons book.
Almost as close
in time to 1818 were the Albion Mines
of Joseph Howes Eastern Rambles of 1829-31.
Rambles were detailed accounts of eastern Nova Scotia
based on
Howes travels in that part of the province and
published in his newspaper.
If the General Mining Association
had acquired a tramway on their arrival in 1827, it should have
been known
to Howe, as noted above. Even if it was not deemed
of inclusion in Haliburtons book, it seems difficult to
imagine why it would not have received at least passing
reference in the Rambles. Its absence is particularly noticeable
one of Howes 1830 accounts
which described in some
detail the tramway the GMA then had under construction at
Albion Mines.
A third location where existence
of a pre-GMA tramway
might be expected to be noted is George Pattersons
HistOlY of
Pictou Counti
which appeared in 1877. Pattersons primary
interests were religious affairs,
personalities, and politics in
roughly that order and he unfortunately paid relatively less
attention to
economic history. However, had there been a
of a tramway predating the GMA arrival in the county,
one would think that Patterson would have been aware
of it and
included reference
to it.
All surviving issues of pre-1850 Pictou County
newspapers have been examined and no reference to a pre-GMA
tramway has been located. This absence, however,
is of less
consequence for several reasons. The earliest paper in the
district, the
Colonial Patriot, did not appear until December,
1827 and a tramway that dated back to 1818 would have long
ceased to be newsworthy, assuming it would ever have
been newsworthy. Local content was often neglected
by the
of this period and those published in Pictou County often
had more news about Boston, London, and Edinburgh than about
the local area. In addition, there are numerous missing issues
from the papers which appeared between 1827 and the 1850s.
As a result, the absence
of any mention of a possible tramway
from a minimum
of a decade earlier in the surviving newspaper
record is less significant than its absence
in the sources noted
immediately above.
If the absence of reference to an 1818 tramway in
Howe, or Patterson is significant, the absence of
reference in primary source materials from the early years of
the Pictou coalfield is even more important. Though the primary
materials which have smvived are far from a complete record,
they do provide a cross section
of detail from the years before
the arrival
of the GMA. For example, the documents record
sequence of the leaseholders over the period 1807-1827
and coal production volumes during this period.
For some
topics, however, the details are fragmentary, and for others like
the 1818 tramway, they are non-existent.
These surviving documents in the Mines and Minerals
of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia are particularly
significant becau
se a number of them do refer to coal transport
and coalfield investments
in:Pictou County in the period up to
1827. These provide a context where one would most expect
the tramway to be mentioned, if it had existed.
In a petition to Governor Dalhousie dated Sept 29, 1819,
McKay sought compensation for work done at the mine
site during his years as leaseholder, 1807-1817.
McKay stated
he had:
expended very large sums of money in sinking drains
to carry off water from the Mines, and in making permanent
and Bridges from the Mines to the River.36
McKay put a value of upwards of Fifteen hundred
pounds on Drains and Ditches, and making Roads and
Bridges. Given the objective of his petition, if McKay had
made any investment in a tramway, it seems certain that it would
have been noted here. This document also confirms that
McKays lease was turned over to Edward Mortimer in
r, 1817, at which point McKay stated he had been in
debtors prison for upwards of twelve months, a point that
speaks to the lim.its to
McKays assets and the profitability of
his mining activity.
A sworn statement dated May 4, 1820 was presented
by five
of John McKays supporters in a civil suit he launched
against the Mortimer
estateY It outlined McKays investments
in boals, carts, dwelling houses and blacksmith shop. Another
statement supporting McKay, from
G. Cutler (McKayS clerk
in 1816-1817), and sworn on May 2,1820 referred to McKay
making expenditures on drain.s, roads, bridges, etc. to enable
the said mines
to be worked.
Neither of these, like McKays
petition to DaUlousie, offers any indication of a tramway being
built by McKay.
The Samson as seen on a Canadian stamp issued ill October 1983; aile of a series of
stamps depicting historic Canadian locomotives.
This letter dates from 15 years
Carr signed over his lease to the
GMA when he, as phrased in his
was driven out by Richard
after six months hard
wwfare. Carr noted that when he
gave up, Smith
took the tools from
me and
[1] receivedfor coal boats &
carts and with all the other
implements slightly over 182
pounds. Though this letter was
written well after the events in
question, it has in Carrs own hand
greatest detail of what he did
during his tenure. And here again, in
a context where a tramway would be
expected to appear, had one been
constructed by Carr, we find no
tramway. A horse gin mentioned here
by Carr is the most sophisticated form
of equipment noted in any of the
documents dealing with mining
acti vity prior to the arrival of the
General Mining Association in 1827.
Another document which came out of McKays suit
against the MOliimer estate is a statement by John Pagan,
Mortimers bookkeeper in 1818-1819, which was sworn on
August 4, 1820.3
This provided a brief account of the short
Mortimer era. Pagan referred to
Mortimers not doing anything
at the mine site until April, 1818, after which he made
improvements including a new bridge and a road laid with
timber which sounds like a corduroy road but not a tramway.
A statement from
Adam Carr (who obtained his sub­
lease from Mortimers successors in November, 1819 and
worked it until after the arrival
of GMA in 1827), sworn on
August 4, 1820, stated that during
J 8 I 9, as result of McKays
denial of transit rights over land he owned between the mine
and the river,
Mortimer had to haul coal through a con~field
for which licence he was obliged to pay.40 This appears to
further indicate that no tramway was in operation during the
of 1819, the last summer MOl1imers employees worked
In 1827, Adam
Carr found himself under pressure to
sell his sub-lease to the
GMA. Carr petitioned Governor James
on July 3, 1827 seeking support from the government
for the continuation
of his sub-lease till mid-I 828, the originally
contracted date, and sought aid against GMA threats to
undersell Your Petitioner ill the Market which Carr indicated
would ensure that Your Petitioners ruin would be
consummated. Carr referred to his investments after 1819 in
boats and construction
of a wharf but says nothing at all about
a tramway.
The final document that merits specific attention is an
1842 letter from
Carr to George Wightman, the provincial
engineer, replying
to comments in a report on mining activity
in Pictou County which Wightman prepared for the Nova Scotia
Carrs objective was to deny Wightmans claim
that the government had paid for a wharf built
by Carr. Carr
on to refer to activities during his tenure in some detail.
Given the fact that these surviving documents are
conspicuously silent about a tramway prior to 1827, one must
consider whether Poole meant what his paper literally stated in
its published form. His
18 I 8 tramway reference was followed
in the latter part
of his first paragraph by reference to the transfer
of the property to the GMA in 1827. This sequence makes it
appear that the I 818 was not a typographical error intended
as 1828, ie. as a reference to
GMA activity after 1827, but rather
that Poole
meant either 1818 or, at the very least, something
before the arrival of the GMA.
The evidence, however, in all its forms appears to
indicate that the 1818 tramway was either a figment
of Pooles
imagination or the product of a local legend. Absence of any
pre-Poole reference in any source makes the local legend
appear an unsatisfactory explanation. As a result, there is no
alternative but to conclude that Poole was the original source
of the story of the I 8J 8 tramway.
There is an explanation for Pooles assertion regarding
an 1818 tramway. In 1818, an Act was passed by the
Scotia Legislature to facilitate the opening and working His
s Coal Mines … . This statute included two references
a railway44 as one thing a leaseholder would be empowered
to construct under the terms of a lease issued under the Act.
Perhaps the 1818 statutory provision for tramway construction
was transformed, for
some unknown reason, into a belief on
Pooles part that a tramway was actually built that year.
While the absence of any significant evidence for the
of a tramway before the arrival of the General Mining
Association in Pictou County in 1827 can never prove absolutely
one did not exist, that absence speaks in a very convincing
way. What it says is that, after a century of status as a significant
event in the history of transportation in Nova Scotia and Canada,
it is timefor Pooles 1818 tramway to be reclassified as a legend
some primary evidence emerges to give it credence.
1. Henry S. Poole. One of the Earliest Rail Roads in
Canada, Transactions of the Canadian Society of Civil
Engineers for 1890,
vol IV, Montreal: Lovell, 1891, P 30
2. In this paper, tramway means a surface rail line with
horse-drawn carts, synonomous with
waggonway frequently
used in the north
of England. Railway, unless otherwise
note9, implies the use
of locomotives.
Stellarton was the name adopted in 1870 for the
community originally named Albion Mines upon the beginning
of activity there by the London-based General Mining
Association in 1827. Most subsequent references within this
paper will be to the pre-1870 period and thus to the earlier name
for the community.
4. Poole, p 30
5. Nova Scotia Museum of Industry, 197.30.3 -197.30.8
6. Northumberland County Record Office, Buddie papers,
BUD/60/3/# 46; December 29, 1839. Buddie was one of the
most prominent figures
in the coal trade in the north of England.
He acted as a consultant to the GMA and also as liaison for
GMA with suppliers such as Hackworth in Durham and
Northumberland. One of the three Hackworth engines which
came to Nova Scotia in 1839 was named John Buddie.
7. Buddie to Foord, December 18, 1839, Durham County
Record Office, Buddie papers, NCB
8. Durham County Record Office, Buddie papers, NCB V
9. Buddie -Foord letters indicate the Ythan departed
Newcastle in early April, 1839. Durham County Record Office,
Buddie papers, NCB/I/JBII737-1739
The Mechanic & Farmer, May 1, 1839; reprinted in The
Acadian RecOIder [Halifax, NS], May 11, 1839
11. The Mechanic & Farmer, September 25, 1839; The
Observer [Pictou, NS], September 24, 1839
Coal Mining in Pictou County, Transactions of the
Royal Society
of Canada for 1896, Section IV, p 172
The Nova Scotia Engines, Bulletin of the Railway and
Historical Society, # 7, 1924, P 7
Additional Notes, Bulletin of the Railway and
Locomotive Historical Society, # 31, 1933, P 21
15. Railroads of the General Mining Association, Part I,
Bulletin of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association, # 6,
August, 1938
Canadas Earliest Railways, Bulletin of the Railway
Locomotive Historical Society,
# 78, 1949
17. Robert Brown to Bruce Jefferson, July
14,1957, Public
of Nova Scotia [PANS], Scotian Railway Society
papers, RG
28S, vol 8, no 2, p 1024
18. Norman Thompson and
1. H. Edgar. Canadian Railway
Development From
The Earliest Times, Toronto: Maernillan,
1933, p 9
Thompson and Edgar, p xlii
The exact relationship between the publication dates for
Browns 1933 paper and the Thompson
& Edgar book has not
been established.
21. Canadian National Railways; vol 1, Years of Trial and
Toronto: Clarke Irwin, 1960, p 42
22. Bruce Jefferson to Michael Dwyer, September 2, 1958,
Beaton Institute, University College
of Cape Breton, Dwyer
papers, MG 12/40, A28. Jeffersons account reported on a
meeting with Stevens a few days earlier.
23. The Pictonian Colliers, Halifax: The Nova Scotia
Museum, 1960, p 267
24. Details on mining operations prior to 1827 will be found
The original publication date in The Locomotive has not
been established though the content indicates
it was after June,
The paper was reprinted, with credit to The Locomotive,
under the title Historic Railway Relics in Nova Scotia in The
Chronicle [Halifax, NS], November 25, 1935.
Early Locomotives in Canada, The Railway
Magazine, Feb. 1936, p 112
27. Railways in Nova Scotia,
Transport HistOlY, vol 9,
2, Autumn, 1978, p 110
28. Early Wooden Railways, London: Routledge, 1970, p
29. The Samson and Albion Locomotives: An Assessment
of Current Condition, Stellarton: Nova Scotia Museum of
Industry, 1992, p 14
30. Early American Railways, Stanford: Stanford University
Press, 1997, p 818
31. Hackworths
Samson was portrayed on a stamp issued
by the Canadian post office
in 1983. It is not unrelated to an
underlying theme
of this study to note that the official Canada
Post philatelic bulletin
[# 1983-10-03] stated that Samson came
into service in 1838 [the wrong date] running from the Frood
[misspelling the name
of lB. Foord after whom that
shaft was
named, and overlooking the fact that the Foord
Colliery was not opened till 1867].
32. Haliburton was a member
of the Nova Scotia House of
Assembly and went on to a career on the Bench. Howe was
just beginning a career in journalism which led to politics and a
dominant role
on the Nova Scotia stage over the next 40 years.
There were probably no two men better informed about events
throughout the province
in the late 1820s, a fact which has a
major bearing on the significance
of the absence of reference
to a pre-GMA tramway in Haliburtons book or Howes Halifax
r, The Novascotian.
33. Haliburton, vol 1, p VIII
The Novascotion, July 21,1830
35. A HistOlY of the County of Pictou, Montreal: Dawson
Brothers, 1877
36. PANS, RG
1. vol 458 1/2, # 13
37. PANS, RG 1, vol 458 112, # 18
38. PANS, RG I, vol 458 1/2, # 19
39. PANS, RG 1, vol 458 1/2, # 15
40. PANS, RG 1, vol 458 1/2, # 17
41. PANS, RG 1, vol 458, # 146
1, vol 463, #41
43. Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1818, Chapter XXII, clause 5,
p 339, and clause 6, p
44. Railway here was clearly synonymous with
tramway or the British waggonway.
The Survival of the Samson and the Albion
by Fred Angus
The Transportation Building at the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago ill. 1893. Here Samson and Albion were displayed
as part
of the exhibit of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
The survival of two of the early engines of the Albion
Colliery railway is one
of those fortunate events that happens
all too seldom
in the history of railway preservation. When one
iders how few pre-1850 locomotives have survived, even
in England, one cannot help wondering how two locomotives,
one twelve years older than the date and one only
four years after it, are still
in existence in Canada. Even more
unbelievable, both locomotives have n
ever undergone major
rebuilding, and survive in
something resembling as built
The major efforts at preserving significant railway
equipment only began after World War II, yet here are two
examples preserved more than fifty years earlier. The lack
incentive to preserve is exemplified by the fate of the Oreat
estern (of England) broad gauge locomotives North Star
(1837) and Lord of the Isles (1851) which were set aside for
eservation in 1892, but broken up in 1906 due to lack of space,
and lack
of interest by any museum in England at that time. In
Canada, the broad gauge Carillon and Grenville locomotives
were scrapped after the line was abandoned
in 1910, again due
to lack
of interest. In America before 1900 there was one major rail way
that did have a sense
of history and a desire to preserve some
early equipment. This was the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad,
which had been chartered
in 1827, the first major railway in the
North American continent. In 1892 the B&O decided to set up
a major exhibit at the World
s Columbian Exposition which
was to be held the following year
in Chicago. At that time some
very old equipment was still in existence on the B&O, and
pieces were refurbished and made ready for the
fair. In
some cases replicas were built to replace certain
important items that had been gone for years. However the plans
for the
B&Os exhibit extended beyond its own lines, and
included other items which illustrated the development of
railways from the earliest times up to 1893. lO. Pangborn of
the B&O, who was responsible for setting up the exhibit, wrote
a book called The Worlds Rail Way, dated 1894 but actually
in 1896. I n this book he said:
As the mailer of representation at Chicago was dwelt
upon in all its possibilities, the conclusion was finally reached
10 comprehensively illustrate the inception and growth upon
a basis which would afford an intelligent study, the proper
procedure would be the embracing
of all important stages from
first thought, that of Sir Isaac NewlOn, in 1680, 10 the
locomotive of modern times. This was a broad and
liberal basis from which to view the situation, and it cannot be
regarded as out
of place to refer to the fact that the Baltimore
and Ohio Company ill what was actually accomplished gave
less prominence
10 itself than to others when aggregating them
in comparison with the number
of its own examples shown. In
other words, there was
ill reality more in the exhibit that did
not directly pertain 10 the Baltimore and Ohio than did; but the
importance and
value of the whole was correspondingly greater
that selfishness did not
same work cited above, as follows: The Samson , built by
and the first locomotive in Nova Scotia, is a six­
wheelel; with all wheels coupled. The boil
er is horizontal and
has return tubes, the fire-box and smoke-stack being at the same
end. The
cylinders are double acting, located vertically above
the back
pair of driving wheels, and secured to the boiler. The
piston-rods extend through the lower heads
of the cylinders,
and connect with a system of levers giving a parallel motion,
and the connecting-rods are attached to the back drivers. The
valves are
worked by four eccentrics, two for each valve, placed
on the back axle. The valve arrangement is very complicated
and located in a recess in the back end of the boilel; At the front
nd of the engine an iron basket
govern. The exhibit was
with the realizing sense of the
opportunity that reflected credit
on the Company, and was in
keeping with the breadth
spirit actuating the Exposition,
almost, if not ail, its
departments The spacefilled
by this representation of
evolution and development was
something over thirty-six
thousand square feet, the
greatest area occupied by a
single exhibit in the entire
This attitude on the part
of the B&O saved the
Sa:mson and A lbion, for
they would have almost
certainly been scrapped if they
had not gone to the fair.
About this time the
Albion Colliery railway had
fallen into disuse, but some
the old equipment still survived,
in a semi-derelict condition, in
Nova Scotia.
Samson appears
have been last used about
1884, and
Albion was also
The Samson had upright inverted cylinders at the
trailing end of the engine
15 1/4 inches in diameter and a
16-inch stroke, Watts parallel motion instead of cross head
and guides, six-coupled cast iron plug wheels 4 feet
diameter, and a wheel base of 8 feet 8 inches, boiler 13
feet 4 inches
in length with a working pressure of 60
pounds, and a water capacity of 540 Imperial gallons. All
gages [sic] were
on the side of the boiler and the engineer
had to leave his place
to read them. The single return flue
was of 3/8 inch plate, single riveted, 26 1/2 inches
diameter around fire and 18 inches where it entered the
smoke box. The engines had no sandboxes, but instead
carried two pails of sand and the sanding of the track done
by hand. The tender was
in front and the fireman alone
attending to the fire. The driver was seated
in an iron
chair behind the engine and at the front was hung
an iron
basket filled with fire to light the way at night. The weight
of engine was seventeen tons of 2,240 pounds, and
it cost
…. When the big wheels and all parts of the
Samson had been assembled,
it was gazed upon by an
awe-strickened crowd, as few, if any, had ever seen a
steam engine, and
it looked little short of a miracle and
in their eyes These old machines were well
made, bv the fact that the original pins and brass bushings
in the levers and stuffing boxes were still in place, and
showed very little wear after nearly half a century of
is hung, in which 10 burnfagots,
to light the way at night.
At the conclusion of the
fair, this equipment was
retained by the B&O and
placed in storage. It had been
the desire of Pangborn and
others that the B&O exhibit be
kept intact and become a
museum of railway develop­
ment. However in the 1890s the
time was not yet ripe for a
railway museum, although
much of the equipment was
saved. Eventually it became the
of the B&O museum, now
in and around a historic
se in Baltimore; one
of the finest railway museums
in the world. In the 1920s, some
Canadian railway historians,
like Anderson and Brown,
wrote about the
Samson and
wondered what had become
it since 1893. Neither had seen
it, for Anderson was not born
until 1896, and Brown not until
1899. Then in 1927, the
Baltimore & Ohio celebrated
The Nova Scotia Engines, R&LHS Bulletin No.7, 1924.
retired. An 1894 photo shows
that at least one other
of the old 10comoti ves, Pictou was still
there in 1894, but it did not survive. The B&O learned about
these o
ld Nova Scotia locomotives (perhaps because Samson
is reported to have visited the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1883),
and in due course the company acquired
Samson, Albion
and the directors car (now strangely called the bridal
carriage). All three pieces of equipment were shipped, via Saint
John N.B., and in due course arrived at the Worlds Fair in
Chicago. According to Warren Anderson, in a 1924 article
Bulletin 7 of the R&LHS, veteran engineerGeorge Davidson
in charge of the locomotives during the move; he had come
to Albion from England, and had run
Samson from 1839 to
1882! At Chicago, these venerable locomotives and car became
of the B&O exhibit, and thereby escaped the scrapper.
in 1893, the Samson was considered to be a very
old and ullusuallocomotive.
It is desclibed by Pangborn, in the the IOOth
anniversary of its
charter by a great railway pageant called
The Fair of the Iron
Samson and Albion took part in that fair, their first
public appearance
in 34 years. Following this, there was a move
to repatriate them
to Nova Scotia, and on June 21, 1928 the
B&O presented them to the Nova Scotia government, and they
returned to
Canada. The carriage remained with the B&O, and
can be seen today, an exhibit
in the museum in Baltimore.
Samson and Albion were exhibited for years in
Halifax, and
later were moved to New Glasgow. They are
preserved today in the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry in
Stellerton, within a
short distance of the place where they
worked so many years ago. They are by far the oldest
locomotives in Canada; in fact Samson was built only two
years after
Dorchester, Canadas first locomotive. Thanks to
the far sighted ness
of the Baltimore & Ohio, more than one
hundred years ago, these engines survive today, among the most
significant of all relics of Canadian railway history.
A Primitive Railway in Nova Scotia
The following article, with photo, appeared in Scienlific American for December 21, 1895. The article does not say where in
Nova Scotia this,
or the other two lines were located. A somewhat similar pole railway, in the Queen Charlotte Islands, is described on
pages 50 and
51 of Canadian Rail No. 457, March-April 1997. Can anyone provide more information about this Nova Scotia line?
We give a picture, from Black and White, of a pic-ruc
party cele
bratingthe opening of a pole railway in the province
of Nova Scotia. It is a novel line, thirteen miles in length, and is
the third of its kind in the province. For the most part it is utilized
in bringing the deposi
ts of silica found in the lakes down the
to shipping ports. The way is of spruce poles. The
engine h
as sufficient power to draw four empty cars up the heavy
of the railway. By taxing the motor to its utmost, and by
a liberal u
se of sand on the rails, eighty excursionists were taken
up the incline on
the occasion represented.
The pole railway is probably the most economical form
of steam railway that has been produced. It is of American origin
and has b
een in vogue in different parts of the country for the
past quarter
of a centuly. It is especially adapted for use in forest
regions, where lumb
ering is the principal industly.
A first class, substantial road built
of poles will cost
anywhere from seventy
-five to two hundred and fifty dollars
per mile, according to local circumstances. The expense, of
course, is greater when the road has to be carried across ravines,
as indicated in
our engraving. The poles employed for rails
should not
be less than nine inches in diameter at the smaller
end, and should consist as far as possible
of the heart, or they
will decay before they wear out. In the best roads, a bed
is hollowed out in the butt end
of the pole to receive the small end of the one adjoining, so as
make a secure junction. The bed is made about nine inches
in length and deep enough to permit the smaller end to come
up flush with the larger.
The poles are simply laid on top of the
except where the surface is very uneven, dirt thrown
on each side and trampled down to form a solid bed.
After they
in place, they are slightly trimmed down with an adz. When
a crook of any kind occurs in the poles, it is of course turned
down in laying the track. No cross ties are necessary, as the
locomoti ves a
nd cars are so constructed that they exert no lateral
pressure. After a few trains have passed over
the road there is
no fear
of the poles becoming displaced. Curves are made up
of a succession of short poles, care being taken that the joints
come opposite to each other. The switching is readily
accomplished in the ordinary way. When heavy grades are
encountered, it is
the practice in some localities to place the
locomotive in the middle
of the train, and at the particularly
steep grades to cut away half the train, push up the o
ther half,
uncouple, and return for the remaining cars.
In this manner,
of six loaded cars have been taken over grades of 700
feet to the mile with the use of only one locomotive. The wheels
of the cars and locomotives have very broad treads, deeply
grooved, so as to fit the curvature of the poles.
Our Gallery of Murals
Continuing our popular series of railway murals in Canada, we present three more pages of these artistic works. We still have
more on hand that will appear in future issues, but
welcome more. Please keep sending them in.
TOP and ABOVE: This mural graces a wall in Deseronto, Ontario, alld shows the town in the days of the railway, early in the
century. The view immediately above is an enlargement
of a portion of [he mural, showing the train in more detail.
Photos by Fred Angus on August
29, 1999.
Another spectacular mural is this olle in Napanee, Ontario, showing a Grand Trunk train crossing the bridge in that town sometime
ill the second half of the nine[eenth century. Photo by Fred Angus, August 29, 1999.
LEFT· This mural at Uxbridge,
Ontario is near the station
where one can board the York­
Durham tourist railway.
Photo by Fred Angus,
1, 1999.
BELOW: In the town of
Nipigon, Ontario on May 2
1999 was found this mural
depicting the former CNR
station along with what
appears to be an oil-burning
Western Canadian 2-8-0 with a
4-6-2 s number! Perhaps it is
modelled after a plinthed loco
sillce the number plate is
missing along with the
engineers doO/:
Photo by Bob Sandusky
LEFT-Not exactly a mural, but this sign otttside
a restaurant in Mallawa, Ontario refers to the
vel) popular Timber Train, even though the la!ler
is not steam-hauled.
by Fred Angus, JlIly 31, 1999
OPPOSITE PAGE: These three murals are all
in Nelson B.C. They show
a steamboat, a train,
and a street
car, all of which ran in the Nelson
area. A
revived street car line once again
operates in Nelson, recalling the original line
that operated
for half a century between 1899
alld 1949.
Photos by Fred Angus, JlIly
7, 1999
The Quebec North Shore & Labrador Railway
by Fred Angus
In December 1999, Mark Gustafson and your editor took a trip on the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway. As most of
our members have never ridden this line under winter conditions, we thought we would share our experiences. After a long bus ride
from Quebec City
to Sept Iles, we had the next day to rest before departing at 7:00 P.M. on December 14 for Labrador City. Arrival
in Lab City was about 3:00 A.M. Atlantic time, but there was all the next day to recover. In the afternoon
of December 16 we took the
shuttle train to Ross Bay Junction where we connected with the weekly train
to Schefferville which we reached late that night.
After a night in the Guest House, we depalted Schefferville at 9:00 A.M. This was a nine-car train, and almost every seat was taken
due to the pre-Christmas rush. We arrived at Sept Iles that night and the next day headed home after a truly memorable trip.
~ ~ .~
~ e:: (5


~ –

j i
~ .
~. .j
Train Schedule


TrAin Schedule
(Flf. ,uk Q/ Jue to 111../ •• ,,,1; /lflltU/ if/d.)
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Sq-I·ilcliOl· .• b …. ·Ct)
L~tldDl·(h·WS L,o/!!!;,:I(ot·(illlo.)$(hdltr.ilh
I(,¥:$ …… ; .. ·,e> (1{,,~tt.Tl ~~ J
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1i(.,,/1II) ,II
ldS Lll:u~.C:ils.:~I.r!n
L.,,:ador(I) loJSchl:l,,:viHc
S,;;,~,~ … I!i!~ 10:> Ubl~~(.C,(,
u~St9f;CI~r-r .. :tJC~Ir·
!l!#.i!H. Ij
,>(e, Jlw:I Q:S&L R>Jdwuy ,,cr.e;: lilt rllhllO chap~1: IIJ (ralll >-:h~lul<.:
8c(I .. ·.I/
Sepl·I(~ iIl~d .
fntO;1I: C,lt.,c;.1 10 d~ wnhoul OOlh:~.
T..w 11l:r;!r d,fl<:1 In Qd~-.: ~d In
) I
Q II i: n I: (
ABOVE LEFT The QNS&L timetable effective
17, 1999. Notice that no arrival
times are
ABOVE: This map is displayed ill the waiting
room at Sept Iles.
LEFT The station at Sept Iles showing the
two plinfhed steam locomotives, QNS&L 702
Gulf Pulp & Paper Co. No. 48.
BELOW Rail Diesel Car 6203 after arrival
at Labrador City on December
15, 1999.
The passenger train, consisting of three RDCs, departing Labrador Cit) for Sept lles in the afternoon of December 15, 1999.
A meet between two freight lrains al Labrador City in the afternoon of December 15, 1999.
A former Southern Railway baggage car al Labrador City. The name Soulhem is still faintly visible on the side.
The passenger train to Ross Bay Junction about to leave Labrador City on December 16, 1999. It connects with the trains to andfrom
Scheffer-ville. Note the Southern Rai/way passenger cars.
Another view of the train
from Labrador City to Ross Bay
Junction, showing the cars in mom
An interior view of one
of the recently-refurbished,
former Southern Railway
passenger cars on the train from
Labrador City on December
1999. The QNS&L plans to
efurbish a number of these cars
and upgrade the passenger
service, then they
will dispose
of their six RDCs.
Two views oflhe Wabush Cannonball, Ihe are train from the iron mines al Wabush on December 16,1999. Some lrains of empties
had as many as 210 cars
CRHA members in the Montreal area may recall seeing these special are cars on sidings near Montreal in
Ihe 1960s, when the cars were new and awaiting shipment 10 Labrador.
ABOVE: The most impressive
passenger train of the trip was the
weekly trainfrom Schefte rville
to Sepl
Iles. Here
we see it about to depart
Schefferville on the //Iorning of
December 17,1999. There were nine
passenger cars, all
of them full. The
RDCs in the consist were not
operating 0/1. their own po wei; bUI
were hauled by the locomotive. We
rode in car 6218, which also
contained the conductors oftice.
An extra train was to be run the
following Monday to handle the
Christmas rush.
RIGHT: Back at Sept IIes on
December 17,1999, the baggage was
being unloaded from RDC 6203. The
memorable trip was
The Business Car
In recent months some unusual (for the service)
locomotives have been hauling commuter trains on the former
CPR lines out of Montreals Windsor Station. Our member
Warren Mayhew sends these two representative photos. Above
is Amtrak No. 319 at Ste Anne de Bellevue (with the
lie Perrot
mileboard visible) on August 31, 1999, while below we see
VIA No. 6302 on July 30, 1999. Until recently, 6302 was in
service between Winnipeg and Churchill, Manitoba.
The 26th Anniversary show
sponsored by the Lindsay and District
Model Engineers will take place
on April
8th and 9th, 2000 at the Victoria Park
Amoury, 210 Kent Street West, Lindsay,
Ontario. Hours will be (Saturday)
11 :00
A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and (Sunday) from
11 :00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Admission
charges are $4.00 for Adults, $3.00 for
seniors and students, and $1.00 for
children. Further information from George
Morgan, phone (705) 887-5892.
Opvrqllng layouts, OvahnL OIl: II
~~Ia Slatk Displayiand Prv1vnl ~:,: ~~~:~~:~;:~:~:r~~~~~~~~~1 ::.:
::~ u.tJl-~rAr~7;~~;4~~, …. II>1 j}:JITJ . .,
,,-~;~. Il/(I~:;~~~u.~ .{~~~h
9 ~ lr:: I:! Ii1II..1L ……… U~I:I …. ~~,;)~~4 tJ
o .t -:~~~~~~!f!~ ~. ~
Gowtga MQlgan. Silo.,., Co-or~iId~. 8S7·5B92
History was made on Sunday, January 16, 2000 when
VIA trains
50 and 51 began overnight service between
Montreal and Toronto, exactly 10 years to the day since they
had been discontinued. The first No. 50, photographed
Fred Angus just before its departure from Toronto, consisted
of locomotive 6412 and cars 4104, 4122, 4102, 4001,
Chateau Denonville, Chateau Marquette, Revelstoke Park.
du 6 au 9 juin 2000
The 9th In trenational
Railway Film Festival will take
place in Paris, France from June
6 to
June 9, 2000. Cinerail
continues to move with the
times, and its festival will
coincide with the celebration of
the 100th anni versary of the
Paris Metro. With a resurgence
in popularity, metros and trams
everywhere are going from
strength to strength. Once
—=-./s…. .. ALSTOM ,,·u[e ~ ~~11
again, film makers are set to
open up new horizons to Cinerail guests. Rail and cinema,
of the 19th centurys most significant inventions, joined
forces in 1895 in Paris with the Lumiere brothers famous
Arrivee dun train en gare de La Ciolat, the star attraction
of the first public cinema presentation. The last Cinerail of
the Millennium is returning to its roots in Paris.
Information from: Cinerail, 9 Quai de Seine, F93584 Saint-
Ouen, Cedex, France.
The Osborne Collection of early
childrens books featuring trains will be
on exhibition at the Lillian H. Smith
of the Toronto Public Library,
239 College Street, 4th floor, Toronto,
Ontario from January 14
to April 14,
2000. Hours are (Monday through
Friday) 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.,
(Saturday) 9:00 A.M; to 5:00 P.M.,
closed Sunday. Admission
is free.
In the article on the Boer War in the last Canadian Rail,
your editor inadvertantly mis-spelled the name
of the most
important battle in which the Canadians took part! What was
printed as Paardeburg should
of course be Paardeberg. We
regret the error, and thank the members who pointed it out.
This hardcover book, with an attractive dust jacket, will
have 348 pages and contain more than
350 photographs. While
countless books have been published on the history
of Canadian
railways, comparatively little
of substance has emerged on the
locomotive builders
in this country -until now. Constructed in
Kingston is a thoroughly researched, profusely illustrated and
easy to read account
of a company which supplied moti ve power
to most major Canadian railways, as well as countries all over
the world. Besides a history
of the companies, the
book includes a history
of production with totals,
year by year, all CLC customers, CLC builders
photos, builders plate designs, CLC locomotives
still in existence, appendices, bibliography, and
much-much more.
Obtainable from:
PO. Box 1714, Kingston, Ontario K7L 5V6
CPR No 423, built in Kingston (bldrs. number355) in 1888. Scrapped in 1937.
Montreal May 19-22,2000, Tentative Schedule
Friday, May 19th, evening: Registration; Hospitality
A History of the Canadian Locomotive Companies, 1854-1968
By Donald R. McQueen and William D. Thomson
By The Canadian Railroad Historical Association,
and the
Kingston Division, Canadian Railroad Historical
This is the story
of Canadas longest surviving railway
locomotive builder, which pioneered, innovated and mass­
produced more
th.ln 3,000 steam, electric and diesel locomotives
over the 118 years
of its existence. All but two of the companies
that built locomotives in Kingston carried the name Canadian.
From the mid nineteenth century to the seventh decade
of the
twentieth, its name, its successes, and
its products became
preeminent in the engineering evolution of Canadian railways.
Not only did every province
in this nation lJave Canadian
locomotives operating within
its boundaries, Canadians could
be found on the European,
African, and Asian and American
continents. To read the history of the Canadian Locomotive
is to read the history of Canadian railway technology.
This long-awaited book will be available in March 2000
and prepublication orders are being accepted until March 21,
2000 at the following prices:
Canada (except NS,
NB &Nfid.) $66.00 plus $4.65 GST and
$7.00 postage and handling.
NB, NS and Nfld $66.00 plus $9.95 HST and $7.00 postage
and handling.
To addresses in the USA., $58.00 US funds, postpaid.
To International addresses, $90.00 Cnadian, postpaid ($105.00
After March
1,2000 the prices wiD be $76.00 Canadian
plus all taxes and shipping. Dealer Inquiries welcome. Room, Montreal
May 20, A.M.: CRHA Annual General Meeting,
Delson. PM. :.S!lec~-.L a<:!j vities for members at the Canadian
Railway Museum; Special photo session; OpportlJnity to operate
streetcar, diesel and
steam locomotives; rides with steam
locomotive John Molson; the museum staff will offer special
tours of the collection, storage areas and archives.
Transportation to and from Delson on Saturday leaves Montreal
30 a.m. returns 5:30 P.M. Evening: CRHA Annual Banquet,
Montreal. Guest speaker and surprises …
Sunday, May
2T: All day CRHA Train Excursion on Quebec
Southern Railway from Montreal to
Magog and back. Last
regular passenger train on this portion
of ex-CPR Short Line
was in 1979.
Monday, May 22: Special activities for members at the
Canadian Railway Museum.
At the Annual General meeting, four directors will be
elected for a three-year term. A nominating cornmi ttee has been
set up to prepare a slate
of four candidates for election, Any
voting member in good standing
of the Association has the right
to propose nominations for the
Board of Directors, which
nominations must
be duly proposed and seconded in writing,
must bear the consent
of the nominee to serve if elected and
must be
in the hands of the secretary at least 75 days before the
annual general meeting. Deadline for nominations
is Monday
March 6th 2000, Nominations should
be sent to the Secretary
at the Associations official address: 120 rue St. Pierre, St.
Constant, Que. J5A 2G9.
If an election is necessary, ballots
will be mailed 60 days before the Annual General Meeting
(scheduled for May 20th at Delson, Que.)
BACK COVER, TOP: In June 1962 CNs scenic line to Lac Remi was abandoned. This view, by the lake at Newaygo, was of the last
train. In honour
of the occasion a runpast was staged with a regular train!
Photo by Peter Murphy
BACK COVER, BOTTOM: The CPR mixed train between Lalloraie Quebec
and St Gabriel de Brandon is seen al St. Gabriel 011 May
16, 1957. There was no freighl that day, so the baggage car and coach made up Ihe entire consist.
Photo by Fred Angus
This issue orCalladiull Rail delivered 10 prinle( January 28, 2000.

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