pour une duree de 4 mois. Dans les faits, ces services
nauront jamais cesse de rouler depuis!
projet temporaire fait du sens : les couts sont
minimes, les voies ferrees sont deja en place, Ie materiel
roulant est disponible sur les autres Iignes. Les seuls travaux
a amenager des gares et des parcs de
stationnement provisoires. Cette solution economique –
confiee aux bons soin de la toute jeune Agence
be in place for a four-month period. In fact,
service on the line has never been
157 CANADIAN RAIL -484
This temporary project makes
sense: low in cost, the rails are already in
place; the rolling stock is available from
The only preparatory works
in the construction of short term
stations and parking facilities. The
mandate for managing this economical
solution is given to the new-born Agence
meropolitaine de transport (AMT, literally
Metropolitan Transport Agency)
which will fulfil the prelirrlinary work in
The popularity of this service
skyrocketed: from temporary service to
pilot-project and finally permanent
At the other end, an AMTs F7: an experimented locomotive!
A Iautre bout, la 1305, une F7 de I AMT : une locomotive qui a de Iexperience!
commuter service, ridership of the service never stopped
rising, ranging from a few hundreds at the beginning
8000 daily users in 200 I. Talk of a nice comeback for
passenger rail service!
Like a daily visit to the Museum!
As previously stated, the availability of rolling stock
was no problem when the MontreallBlainville project was
initiated: eight bi-Ievel commuter cars and two EMDs GP9
locomotive were borrowed from the lakeshore line (MontreaiJ
to form the two required trains. The gallery
cars, series 900, had been built by the Canadian Vickers in
1969 for Canadian Pacific. The 900 series cars were the pride
of the CP commuter service from the day
of their inaugural
trip on April
27, 1970; they have been commonplace on the
lakeshore ever since. But
as popularity of the Blainville line
rapidly grew, these two trains
proved to be insufficient;
something else had
to be found.
The Quebec Ministry of Transport had bought 80
in 1994, in a garage sale held by Torontos
Transit Corporation. The cars, bearing the renowned
CanCar name on its trucks, were built by Hawker-Siddeley
Ontario, between 1969 and 1976. They
constitute the 1000 series (plain cars) and the
100 series (with control cab). When cars were
acquired, the government
of Quebec did not
have any particular project for them, there were
talks for a commuter train network in the
Greater Montreal area but nothing came out of
it. So the 80 cars rested (rusted?) in a yard. metropolitaine de transport (AMT) -est mise en place en
La popularite de ce service a connu un essor fulgurant
: passant du statut de service provisoire
a celui de service
experimental pour finalement devenir un service permanent
train de banlieue, la ligne Montreal/Blainville, dont
lachalandage du debut etait de quelques centaines dusagers
maintenant quotidiennement pres de huit mille
personnes. Quelle belle revanche
du train de voyageur!
Un vrai petit musee ferroviaire!
A la mise en place du service, Ie materiel roulant ne
posait aucun probleme; huit voitures
a deux etages et deux
locomotives GP9 dEMD composent les deux trains en
service. Les voitures
i deux etages de la serie 900 -des
voiture construites par la Canadian Vickers en 1969 et mises
en service Ie 27 avril 1970 par Ie Canadien Pacifique –
avaient toujours ete
jusqualors en service regulier sur la
MontreaIlDorion-Rigaud. Pourtant, la popularite de
la ligne oblige la rrlise en service de plus de materiel roulant.
Le ministere des Transports avait achete 80 voitures de la
Societe GO Transit de Toronto en 1994. Ces voitures, des
Thus, it became natural to pick the
required cars from this available stock; 26 cars
sent for refurbishing at Alstom to
fulfil the needs of the new line. But again, by
2000 even with the newly injected
rolling stock, the line proved to be under
equipped, thanks to the tremendous growth of
the ridership. More former GO cars would have
to be renovated, but the line would meanwhile
still be short one train. So the AMT decided
rent cars for a six-month period, after which
additional CanCars could be put into service.
Bi-Ievel car # 8729 with control cab, built in 1960 by Pullman-Standard for
a deux etages avec poste de conduite numero 8729 a ete
construite en 1960 par Pullman-Standard pour Ie chemin de fer C&NW.
RAIL CANADIEN -484
OWNER cne L.L.C.
This small plaque fixed near the doors of a Pullman
car is a clear reminder of its origin.
Cette plaquette fixee pres des portes dune voiture
Pullman·Standard temoigne de son origine.
of control cab on car # 8737. Note the old-fashioned
Detail du poste de conduite de la
voiture numero 8737.
Remarquez la lanterne vieillotte.
Working fellows: Amtraks
# 319 and AMTs # 1326.
CollegLl~s de travail: La motrice numero 319 dAmtrak et
de I AMT.
This is why commuters were introduced to the new
of railway cars on January 29, 2001, the date when a
daily train was inaugurated. This train was
of four (and five at some times) bi-Ievel commuter
cars rented from Chicagos METRA. Built by Pullman
Standard between 1956 and 1960 for the Chicago and North
Western railroad (C&NW) the cars numbered 7670, 7880,
158 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
CanCar de serie 1000 (voitures ordinaires), et de
serie 100 (Voitures avec poste de conduite), furent
construites entre 1969 et 1976 par la firme
Hawkers-Siddeley en Ontario. On repeche donc
26 de ces voitures, qui etaient depuis leur achat
restees sur une voie de garage, on les fait renover
aux ateliers Alstom pour les injecter sur la
nouvelle Iigne. Vers la fin de 2000, Iachalandage
en hausse constante force encore Iajout dun
train. On devra puiser a nouveau dans Ie lot
d anciennes voitures GO en reserve. Mais la mise
en service se voulant
Ie temps manque pour renover
ces voitures CanCar, l
tourne vers Ia location de
voitures en attendant les
voitures rafraichies. Cest
alors que Ie matin du 29
janvier 2001, lin train assez
special commence a prendre
des voyageurs. Le train est
compose de quatre (et cinq
pendant quelques mois)
voitures 11 deux etages Iouees
pour 6 mois de la Societe
METRA de Chicago. Les
8704, 8729 and 8737 are more a treat to train enthusiasts
then for plain commuters! Motive power of the train
in charge by a rented F40 Amtrak locomotive -the 319, also
from Chicago! -on the Montreal bound end and by a glorious
F7 at the other end. The fact that engines are used on both
is a good indication suggesting that the control cabs of
the METRA cars are no longer active.
The rented cars are expected to cease service on the
Blainville line at the end
of June. AMT plans to put more ex
GO cars into service
in September, permitting it to lUn 10 car
trains. As for the motive power, four brand new F-59
locomotives will join AMTs roster in the Fall.
An Historical Route!
The rails on which the Blainville trains travel are less
known to Montrealers. However, they are among the oldest
of the Montreal area. The railroad north of the Park
Avenue station (Jean-Talon & Park) was laid
in 1876 by the
Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa & Occidental Railway (QMO&O),
Quebecs first publicly-owned railway! The QMO&O was
constituted when the government
of Quebec took over some
private railway projects on the verge
of being abandoned.
During its short government-administered period, the
QMO&O spread its network west to Hull (1877), via St
Therese and east to Quebec City (1879) via Laval (from the
St-Martin Junction) and the north shore. Another former hne
of the QMO&O, and none the less, is the legendary ptit
train du Nord, initiated by the Cure Labelle in the late 1870s.
In the early 1880s, the government of Quebec began to think
that maybe pubhc ownership of a railway company wasnt a
good idea after all; the need for perpetual investments made
adventure too costly, and decided that it was not the
governments responsibility to develop railways. Therefore,
QMO&O returned to private property in 1882, being
acquired by two railway companies: the Eastern Division,
from St-Martin Junction to Quebec City, was bought by the
159 CANADIAN RAIL -484
Built in 1969 by Canadian Vickers, the ex-Canadian Pacific
# 900 is a gallery car with control cab. Once the pride of
CPs rolling stock, the 900 series cars have provided
to commuters for over three decades.
La voiture a deux etages avec poste de conduite numero
900 a ete Construite en 1969 par la Canadian Vickers
pour Ie Canadien Pacifique. Les voitures de serie 900,
jadis la fierte du CP, ont fidelement servi les banlieusards
depuis plus de trente ans,
voitures 7670, 7880, 8704, 8729 et 8737,
des Pullman-Standard construites entre
1956 et 1960 pour la Chicago & North
Western (C&NW) saverent davantage un
pour I amateur de train que pour Ie
voyageur ordinaire. La force motrice de ce
train hoIs de Iordinaire est assuree a
Iextremite sud par une locomotive F40
louee d Amtrak (aussi de la region de
Chicago!) et par une glorieuse F7 a Iautre
bout. Lutilisation de
locomotives aux deux
extremites prouve que les postes de
conduites des pullman-Standard sont
Adjacent to a 900 series gallery car, is ex-GO Transit # 103 (the 100 series
cars are all equipped with control cab) a CanCar
built by Hawker-Siddeley.
Les voitures louees doivent cesser leur
calTiere sur la ligne
a la fin du mois de juin.
L AMT prevoit InJecter davantage
danciennes voitures GO en Septembre et
mettre en service des trains de 10 voitures.
Cote locomoti ves, l Agence attend pour
lautomne la livraison de 4 rutilantes
La voiture numero 103 (to utes les voitures de serie 100 sont equipees dun
poste de conduite) une CanCar qui a deja arbore les couleurs de GO Transit,
aux cotes dune voiture de serie 900.
RAIL CANADIEN -484
A front view of locomotive 1326, an F59 recently acquired
by AMT alongside its American friend, # 319 an F40 engine.
Une vue de face de la locomotive 1326, une F59
recemment acquise par IAMT cote a cote avec sa
consoeur, I Americaine numero 319, une mot rice F40.
view of car number 104 one of
80 ex-GO Transit cars acquired by
the government of Quebec in 1994.
This type of car is commonplace on
the Blainville line.
La voiture numero 104, vue
sa longueur, est Iune des 80
voitures achetees de GO Transit en
1994 par Ie gouvernement du
Quebec. Cest Ie type de voiture
principalement utilise sur la ligne de
160 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
Un trace historique!
Les voies empruntees par les trains de cette ligne
sont peu connues de bien des Montrealais. Pourtant, elles
par~ie des plus anciennes installations ferroviaires de la
region de Montreal. La voie ferree qui part de la gare Pare
(Jean-Talon et avenue du Pare) a ete amenagee en 1876 par
Ie Quebec, Montreal,
Ottawa & Occidental (QMO&O), Ie
premier chemin de fer gouvernemental Le gouvernement
du Quebec a constitue Ie QMO&O en acquerant divers projets
prives de chemins de fer en voie dabandon. Pendant la courte
quelle fut controlee par lEtat, Ie QMO&O etendit
son reseau vers vers
louest jusqua Hull (1877) depuis Ste
Therese et vers
lest jusqua Quebec (1879) sur la rive nord
du fleuve en passant par Laval (depuis St-Martin Jonction).
Puis, un autre lien de
cette compagnie, peut-etre Ie plus
Ie ptit train du Nord du cure Labelle. Au debut des
Ie gouvernement comment;:ait a trouver que Ie
developpement ferroviaire coutait cher et que ce netait peut
Ie role de IEtat que den faire Ie developpement. En
QMO&O redevint de propriMe privee en etant
acquise par deux entreprises ferroviaires : la division est, de
la Jonction St-Martin
a Quebec, devient propriete du North
Shore Railway, societe associee
au Grand Trone; la division
velS Ottawa ainsi que la ligne velS Ie Nord, sont
ache tees par une nouvelle entreprise qui caresse un projet
relier Ie Canada en entier par chemin de fer: Ie
Canadien Pacifique. Suite a ces transactions, les citoyens de
Quebec trouvaient injuste que la desserte felToviaire de leur
region devienne exclusive
Grand Trone puisque cette
derniere operait deja un
service vers Quebec par la rive
sud. Sous la pression
populaire, Ie premier ministre
intervint pour forcer la
cession au Canadien Pac
ifique de la ligne de Quebec
par la rive nord. Voila
Ie CP sest retrouve
proprietaire du reseau du
QMO&O en entier.
Bearing an unusal paint scheme is car number 1091 which is also assigned on special touristic trains during summer.
voiture numero 1091, arborant des couleurs inhabituelles, est aussi utilisee sur des trains touristiques Iete.
North Shore Railway, a corporation allied with the Grand
Trunk; the Western division and the north line
to a newly
constituted firm that had a crazy dream
of covering the whole
with a railroad : The Canadian Pacific
of the Quebec City region found this sale
service to their region was to be an all Grand
Trunk affair since that company already had a line
on the south shore. In response to the pressure of the
population, the Canadian prime minister Sir John A.
MacDonald, intervened in 1885 to force the transfer of
property of the north shore Quebec line to Canadian Pacific.
This way, CP became owner
of the entire QMO&O network.
The previously stated
ptit train du Nord -the key for
Laurentians economic development for years -also travelled
on these notorious tracks.
More than just a freight carrier,
the train also helped create the leisure status
of the era; one
to think of the boom generated by the famous ski
trains. These trains carried skiers to the Laurentians from as
far as the United States.
In the 50s, it is estimated that an
of 10 to 12 thousand skiers headed to the region to
practise their favourite sport, most of them reached the hills
train. Le p tit train du Nord was abandoned in 1981
of insufficient ridership, thanks to the spreading of
the road network and the expansion of the automobile!
Then, after years
of tranquillity, the branch is coming
to life but in the other way: after having carried people
northbound for decades, the route now contributes
suburbanites into the city;
its like a reward for past services!
161 CANADIAN RAIL -484
Arr impressive view of
locomotive number 1305.
Une vue impressionante de
la locomotive numero 1305.
Le ptit train du Nord qui
fut un element essentiel au
des Laurentides a emprunte
ces voies jusqua son
abolition en 1981. Le ptit
train na pas que contribue a
Iessor economique de cette
region par Ie transport des
This railway bridge, resting on pillars, spans the Mille-lies River between Sainte-Therese
marchandises. Le ptit train du
Nord a aussi fait sa marque en
taurant une vocation de
villegiature dans les Lauren-
Ce pont ferroviaire sur pilliers traverse la riviere des Mille-lies entre Sainte-Therese et
tides. Les gens prenaient Ie
pour aller faire du ski
A different mood!
Waiting for a train is something else in an urban
environment. While the usual hum of all these automobiles,
trucks and buses
is always heard in a stressful background,
on the platform is, on the contrary, quite relaxing.
Since the ballast
of the line is mostly hedged with trees and
shrubs, the foremost sounds are
those of birds singing and
leaves rustling in the breeze;
its a portion of country for
breakfast! And what about the scent
of the ballast? It smells dans
Ie Nord. Les skieurs venaient daussi loin que des Btats
Unis. Au plus fort de la periode des trains
de skieurs, on
estime qUenviron 10 a
12 mille skieurs allaient passer la fin
de semaine dans
Ie Nord. La plus grande partie dentre-eux
y rendait par train.
Apd:s des annees de tranquillite, la voie reprend vie
mms en sens inverse : apres avoir contribue a transporter les
Ie Nord, la voie sert desormais a transp0l1er
les banlieusards vers la ville; juste retour des choses!
RAIL CANADIEN -484
railwayl Suddenly, the three triangularly-positioned
headlights appear afar. Gradually, a motor sound is audible
as the locomotive approaches. By the same time, we realize
how big and
powerful the machine is. And as it passes in
front of us, we experience, for a brief moment, a mild fear
by the proximity of such an impressive beast. After
that instant, the characteristic click-a-clack noise
of the trucks
on the rails is clearly heard; the cars slow down, the doors
conductor steps out and watches as the travellers
that have reached their destination disembark.
Simultaneously, he (it could be
she as weill) welcomes
those that are
at the beginning of their trip as they enter the
When everyone is aboard, he closes the doors and
says: OK 319, doors are closed
in his walkie-talkie. Once
this shibboleth is uttered to the trains engineer, the bell
heard and the motor of the locomotive as well; were leaving!
This train is
of strange configuration; the bi-Ievel
Pullman-Standard cars are pulled by a noisy F40 bearing
the Amtrak livery, and pushed
by an AMTs F7. At rest, the
by the F40 is so loud in comparison with the
pun of the F7, that it seems she is doing all the work.
But dont be fooled! The sound of the F7 as the train proceeds
is solid proof
of the locomotives contribution. Almost as if
she knew from experience just when to work; do locomotives
have a personality?
on these two pages:
162 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
—: …. ;:-,
Des allures dautrefois!
Lattente dun train Ie matin est une experience
differente en milieu urbain. Alors que lon per~oit la rumeur
aux relents de stress de toutes ces
autos, ces camions, ces bus
sur la rue tout pres, sur Ie quai Iattente est bien paisible.
Comme la voie est bordee dune vegetation abondante, on
peut y entendre Ie chant des oiseaux, Ie bruissement
dans les feuilles; cest un moment de campagne au petit
dejeunerl Puis il y a I odeur unique du ballast; ~a sent Ie
chemin de fer! Tout a coup, Ie voila! Les trois phares disposes
en triangle viennent dapparaltre a Ihorizon. GradueJlement,
un grondement sourd de moteur se faire entendre. Au fur et a
la locomotive approche, on redecouvre un peu a
i quel point la machine est grosse et puissante;
lorsqu elle passe devant lui, Ie voyageur ressent une peur
bien momentanee, comme une frayeur, causee par la
proximite dun engin si imposant. La locomotive pas see, on
nd clairement Ie clic clac caracteristique des bogies sur
ils. Les voitures ralentissent, les portes souvrent, Ie
A nice typical railway station,
but unfortunately abandoned sits at the starting point of the line towards Quebec City: St
Martin Junction. Certainly
an important feature for years in this area of Laval, the station is now enjoying a quiet retirement,
filling its days by observing passing trains! The only remaining trace of the stations past importance is the name of the
nearby street: rue de la Station (Station Street).
Cette jolie station
typique mais laissee a Iabandon est sise au point de depart de Iembranchement vers Quebec: Saint
Martin Jonction. Surement un lieu de premiere importance pendant des annees dans ce coin de Laval, la station
heureuse retraite en regardant passer les trains! La seule trace encore visible de son importance dantan est
Ie nom de
fa rue de fa Station.
An all-different urban perspective!
For a native Montrealer, a ride
aboard the train
is an excellent way of
rediscovering his or her own city from
completely different angle, almost
like visiting a foreign town!
After leaving the Blainville and
St-Therese stations, the trains pass
across the Mille-Iles River by means of
a low-profile bridge resting on pillars
Lavals territory. This latter
fast expanding city keeps here and there
some remains of its agricultural
heritage. Passengers can observe
through the windows a changing
scenery: old neighbourhoods, new
developments, industrial sectors and
sometimes, an old forgotten. farm house.
Along the way traces of former
branches that used to serve nearby
factories can also be seen, as to remind
everyone that railroads were once an
of economic growth;
if the train had not been there, many
towns would simply not
exist We also cross the St-Martin
Junction where still stands a nice old railroad station. From
here passenger trains once regularly reached Quebec City;
there could be a commuter train towards Terrebonne
switching. here some day! Once the two Laval stations
(Sainte-Rose & Saint-Martin) have been visited, our train is
already on Montreals doorstep.
It traverses the steel bridge
(built in 1876 by the QMO&O) spanning over the Riviere
des-Prairies between Laval and Perry islands, the tiny river
to be crossed to be on the island of Montreal is
quickly passed thanks to a little concrete overpass.
The train barely reduces speed on the site
Bordeaux station and
is promptly heading towards Bois-de
just over Henri-Bourassa Boulevard, where
163 CANADIAN RAIL -484
chef de train descend de
marche laisse des
cendre les voyageurs
rend us a destination et
salue ceux qui en sont a
Le chef de
sassure dun coup
doeil que tous sont
montes, il actionne la
fermeture des portes et
lance au conducteur un
« Cest beau 319, les
portes sont fermees »
dans son rad iotele
phone. Ce mot de passe
prononce, la cloche du
train retentit et les
moteurs des locmotives
grondent; on part!
Ce train est dune
les voitures Pullman
Standard a deux etages sont tirees (en
direction de Montreal) par une bruyante
F40 aux couleurs
d Amtrak et poussee
F7 de I AMT. Avant Ie depart, la
F40 emet un tel son
quon dirait quelle
Ie travail! Tandis que la F7 y va
de son ronron nonchalant. La situation
change quand Ie train se met en
mouvement; la F7 fait bien entendre que
sa presence n
est pas inutile. Cest un
peu comme si, forte de son experience,
la F7 faisait les efforts necessaires juste
il Ie faut; les locomotives ont
elles un personna lite?
Un decor urbain completement
Pour un Montrealais de souche qui
connait la ville comme Ie fond de sa
poche, un trajet vers Ie centre ville
pelll1et de voir la ville sous un tout autre
cest Ie depaysement total!
Apres avoir quitte la gare de Blainville
et passe celie de Sainte-Therese, les
un pont bien discret sur piliers sur la riviere
et passent en territoire Lavalois. Ville qui se
developpe a un rythme rapide, Laval conserve a bien des
endroits des traces de son passe agricole. On voit defiler
decor changeant quartiers anciens, nouveaux
developpements, secteurs industriels et parfois les restes
dune ancienne ferme. Pour se rappeler que Ie chemin de fer
est pour beaucoup dans Ie developpement originel des
villes, on pellt voir .ya et la des traces d anciens
embranchements de voies qui menaient jadis aux entreprises
au long de la ligne. On rencontre aussi Iembranchement
Saint-Martin Jonction ou subsite une jolie petite gare; de
la, on pourrait se rendre a Quebec. Peut-etre que cette partie
velTa un jour des trains de banlieue vers Terrebonne!
RAIL CANADIEN -484 164 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
The railway bridge spanning over the Des Prairies River (Bordeaux Bridge?) has been part of the landscape for generations.
Erected by the OMO&O in 1876,
it was the third railway bridge to be built from the Island of Montreal (The first one: the
bridge at Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue -1854; the second one: the Victoria bridge -1859). Note the gauntlet track.
pont de chemin de fer sur la riviere des Prairies (pont de Bordeaux?) fait partie du decor depuis bien des generations.
Construit en 1876 par la OMO&O,
iI fut Ie troisieme pont ferroviaire it etre jete depuis Montreal (Ie premier: Ie pont du Grand
it Sainte-Anne de Bellevue -1854; Ie deuxieme: Ie pont Victoria -1859).
many students whose destination is the nearby college
disembark. As we pursue our trip, many other traces of bygone
sidings can be observed. For instance, the rails that used to
link with the perpendicular CN tracks south
of Sauve Street
have been removed a long time ago but the viaduct over De
I Acadie Boulevard is still standing as if it was now acting
as a monument
to the glorious Railway Era!
Immediately after, our train runs alongside the Marche
Central (literally: Central Market) currently being
redeveloped. On tills large portion of land stood some years
ago a yard of sidings where box cars full of fruits and
vegetables where unloaded. We then cross over the
Metropolitan Expressway; traffic jams are so common here
that one can seriously question the validity
of qualifying as
rapid this thoroughfare! Station
Parc suddenly calls the
conductor. For tills area, it is a real case
of railway renaissance
except for the station itself which is now occupied by a
supermarket. Furthermore, there used to be more tracks; side
tracks have all been removed. All that remains is the two
mmn tracks and a few shelters for waiting commuters. End
line for skjers for many years, Parc (Park) is again a terminus
for many trains
of tills commuter service. Just a few trains go
beyond that point in morning and afternoon rush hours, up
to the Windsor terminal and tills final part is a treat for the
Apres avoir desservi les deux gares de Laval
et Saint-Martin), Ie train est deja rendu a la
porte de Montreal.
II franchit Ie pont de fer construit en
1876 par la QMO&O. Le pont sappuie dune part sur la rive
de Laval et dautre part sur 1lIe Perry, ensuite un ponceau de
Ie petit bras de riviere restant et Ie train entre
sur 1lle de Montreal.
Le train ralentit a peine devant Ie site de
lancienne station de Bordeaux et se dirige al1egre-ment a
son prochain arret, la gare Bois-de-Boulogne sise
du boulevard Henri-Bourassa. Apres avoir deverse son flot
detudiants se destinant
au college tout a cote, Ie train repart.
Encore ici, les anciens embranchements -surtout industriels
-sont encore visibles. On peut voir entre autres
I ancien lien
velS les voies du CN au sud de la rue Sauve; les voies ont
depuis ete retirees mais
Ie viaduc au dessus du boulevard de
I Acadie est reste en place, faisant office de monument du
passe glorieux des chemins de fer.
on frole Ie marche central autre secteur en
plein redeploiement. Naguere, un faisceau de voie
au dechargement de pleins wagons de fruits et
legumes. Puis, Ie train passe au dessus de lautoroute
Metropolitaine si souvent congestionnee que lon comprend
mal pourquoi cet axe est identifie
comme voie rapide! Et
cest larrivee a la gare Parc, lieu qui vit la renaissance dune
Since the only possible way to Windsor terminus is
going around Mount Royal, the tracks follow a long
circular pattern so as
to realign the rails in direction of Cote
St-Luc. The train is now going through the Outremont yard
and passes under the Rockland Road overpass. On dated
of this area, we can see that a roundhouse
of which no traces remain -was standing just by the tracks,
and there was a level crossing to allow the passage of
Rockland Road. It is in that same yard that a Sperry Rail
Service car could (too briefly
I) be seen on a cold grey morning
last February. By the same time
we can glance at vehicles
waiting behind lowered gates on Wilderton Street, we
perceive perpendicularly the long steel ribbons of a railroad
lower level, we know that we are right over the West
of the Mount-Royal Tunnel of the MontreallDeux
Were picking up speed! We now skirt lean-Talon
Street; we meet arteries that, despite the fact we know them
very well, look unfamiliar viewed from that so different angle.
We fly over the Decarie Expressway in its usual parking
lot disguise. As we land on the other side, we are now mnning
165 CANADIAN RAIL -484
vocation ferroviaire sauf que Ie batiment
principal est maintenant occupe par un
supennarche. Et autrefois, il y avait plus de voies
devant la gare. Seules restent aujourdhui les deux
voies principales et de petits batiments en bordure
en guise dabris pour les voyageurs. La gare Parc
est encore un terminus pour la plupart des trains
de la ligne Montreal/Blainville. Seuls quelques
Ie matin et quelques autres au retour I apres
midi poursuivent plus au sud
cest cette partie qui represente Ie plus
dinteret pour Iamateur!
Puisque Ie selll chemin ferroviaire
possible vers Ie terminus Windsor est celui
contournant Ie Mont-Royal, au depart de la gare
Parc les voies effectuent un long virage en
direction de Cote-Saint-Luc. Le train franchit
alors la cour de triage dOutremont et passe sous
viaduc de la rue Rockland. En observant
danciennes photos aeriennes du secteur, on peut
quune rotonde -dont on ne voit
maintenant -selevait tout pres des
voies et quun passage a niveau permettait Ie
passage de la rue Rockland.
Cest a cet en droit
quun matin gris de fevrier on put voir -un trop
bref instant -une voiture dinspection Sperry.
Puis,lorsque Ion franchit a basse vitesse Ie
passage a niveau de la rue Wilderton et qu on
aper90it setendre perpendiculairement au loin
Ie long mban dune voie ferree plus bas, on sait
lon passe au dessus du portail ouest du tunnel
Ie Mont-Royal de la ligne MontreallDeux
On prend de la vitesse! La voie longe
la me lean-Talon; on croise des mes,
des quartiers que lon redecouvre vus dun autre
angle. On traverse Iautoroute Decarie qui a
souvent des allures de parc de stationnement!
cest lhippodrome ou chaque matin, beau temps, mauvais
temps, les jockeys et leurs chevaux sont en piste. Apres, Ie
decor redevient ferroviaire car on croise plusieurs jonctions
a limmense cour de Cote-Saint-Luc. Cest sur cette
du trajet que lon voit au fil des matins des employes
a decharger de pleins wagons dautomobiles. Cest
ici aussi que Ion rencontre de long convois de fret tires par
locos aux couleurs du Saint-Laurent & Hudson, du
et du Soo Line; heureuses rencontres!
Passe ces lieux,
Ie train bifurque pour rejoindre les voies
vers Ie centre-ville, qui sont sur Ie trajet habituel des voyageurs
de la ligne MontreaIID0l10n-Rigaud. On y file
a vive allure
pour acceder aux deux dernieres gares : Vendome et Ie
terminus Windsor. La partie
du trajet, entre Parc et Windsor
se fait en environ 20 minutes. Cest comme une petite
escapade qui rend plus agreable I aller-retour quotidien.
La petite distance de marche qui reste
a effectuer en
descendant du train permet dentendre dautres sons que
Iautomobiliste manque tels les neuf coups du carillon de la
vieille eglise Saint-George, rue de La Gauchetiere. Oui
vraiment, il ny a que des avantages a voyager en train!
RAIL CANADIEN -484
alongside the Hippodrome de Montreal
(formerly the Blue Bonnets Race Track)
where every morning, rain or shine, the
jockeys and their horses are on the track.
we switch to a railway-oriented
as we meet several junctions from
where trains can reach the gigantic Cote
St-Luc yard. Its on this part of the trip
that some mornings we can see railway
employees unloading cars full of… Cars
(as in automobile evidently!). It is also
here that we meet with delight never
ending freight trains hauled by groups of
mighty locomotives bearing proudly their
& Hudson, Canadian Pacific
or Soo Line liveries. And again our train
switches in order to get
on the rails leading
downtown, shared with the Lakeshore
commuter trains of the Montreal/Dorion
Rigaud line. This final stretch up to the
Windsor terminus*, including a stop at the
Vendome station, is
covered briskly. The
distance from Parc station to Windsor
terminal takes usually about 20 minutes.
Its like a little excursion that helps
enlightening the daily commute.
As the conunuter exits the train and
walks the remaining distance to
destination, he or she can here again listen
sounds that are rarely heard
by the mororist; for instance, the
the old St-Georges church on De La
Gauchetiere St. as it strikes nine. Oh yes,
it makes sense to travel by
* A few years ago, a sports arena was
erected light on the historical tracks where
trains alTived and departed for nearly a century cutting train
access to the outstanding Windsor station. Trains now stop
at a modern building two blocks away, namely the Windsor
of beautifully restored Pullman-Standard cars,
of the same series as the ones described in this article, can be
seen on the web site of the Illinois Railway Museum: http:!
Suddenly, the three triangularly-positioned headlights
« Tout a coup, Ie voila! Les trois phares disposes en triangle
viennent dapparaitre a Ihorizon.
166 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
* C est en effet Ie terminus et non la gare Windsor La
construction dun amphitheatre sportif directement sur Ie
site ou des trains sont arrives et partis pendant pres dun
siecle fait que les voies natteignent plus Ie magnifique
edifice de la gare Windsor. Cest maintenant un batiment
moderne, deux coins de rues plus loin, qui fait office de
Note : des photos de voitures Pullman-Standard
magnifiquement renovees, de meme serie que celles decrites
dans cet article peuvent etre vues sur
Ie site Web du Illinois
Railway Museum: http://www.irm.org
Amtrak locomotive 263 is hauling a train composed of 5 bi-Ievel Pullman-Standard cars. The train is just about to enter the
island of Montreal thanks to a little concrete overpass.
A la tete dun train de 5 voitures Pullman-Standard, la locomotive numero 263 d Amtrak qui franc hit un ponceau de beton,
est sur Ie point dentrer sur Iile de Montreal.
is pushing a 5 bi-Ievel car train -headed by engine 263 -as it passes over Gouin Boulevard, in the
La locomotive numero 1305 pousse un train de cinq voitures, dirige par la motrice 263, alors quil franchit Ie boulevard
Ie quartier Bordeaux.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2001 167 CANADIAN RAIL -484
RAIL CANADIEN -484 168 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
The Legacy Of Elizabeth Willmot Kettlewell
By Marco and Robert Marrone
Addendum to Canadian Rail No. 472, September-October 1999, article The Anytime Photographer
Elizabeth Willmot Kettlewell spent many years
honing her craft of railway photography. In an era when it
was not fashionable for women to engage in such
explorations, she traveled the back roads, often alone, in
search of that perfect shot. Her work, which includes
thousands of prints and slides, serves as a testament to the
people and places associated with the railway.
Although Will mots work embraces all facets of
railway life -locomotives, water towers, tracks, urban stations
and people, her special interest was the rural railway depots
and the people associated with them. The photographs
included here, were taken when the stations were well past
their usefulness and on the cusp
of the wrecking ball. She
recognized early on, that she was capturing the expiration
of the rural railway station and their importance to the
of the remote communities they served. Where
these structures once served as a vital link to the
world, they now sit as derelict sentinels -their purpose long
forgotten, overseeing a landscape devoid of activity. Change.
Transition is paramount. It permeates every object and
shadow of the composition
as it does life.
EJizabeth:s creative pursuits found a voice in
photography. She had often said that Life seems to be filled with surprises. This was indeed the case with her work
It lead to a lifetime of discovery and enlightening stories
about the past.
On many occasions, she regaled us with interesting
tales about the people she met along the way.
easily as the tea she poured and as carefully
considered as the railway memorabilia which adorned her
home. Each story imbued with a warm revelation, as
as the sunlight which bathed the living room on
those memorable afternoons. Sometimes,
as the conversation
developed, we would hear a locomotive hom in the distance.
Elizabeth would smile and say How I love that sound –
takes me back. These visits were supplemented with many
letters that she would dash
off -adding more depth to the
narration or another photograph of a station. How we
enjoyed receiving those letters.
When asked what she believed was a key factor to a
existence, she was apt to respond Remember to
always keep busy!!, Thats the secret.
Elizabeth died on June 17, 2001
in Clinton Ontario.
She was 82 years
of age. We are forever indebted for her
contribution to railway photography and history
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2001 169
CANADIAN RAIL -484
FOUR OF ELIZABETH
ABOVE: C.N.R. station,
Left: C.N.R. station,
Next Page: C.N.R. station,
RAIL CANADIEN -484 170 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2001 171 CANADIAN RAIL -484
New C.P.R. Route to Port Maitland
by Roderick Taylor
The prominent newly posted warning signs at level
crossings along the route CAUTION TRAIN SERVICE
RESUMED announced the unusual change to all and sundry.
of a disused main rail line was coming back to life.
of May 9 this year, Canadian Pacific switched its Weiland
Port Maitland freight service, in Ontarios Niagara
Peninsula, to a segment of the former Canada Southern
(CASO) rail line, running between the Niagara River and
Detroit, which had lain unused for five years.
The changeover was prompted by the deteriorating
condition of CPRs traditional route to Port Maitland (and
Dunnville, nearby) from Smithville, on the railways
Hamilton-Weiland main line. Chartered originally as the
Erie and Ontario Railway, this branch line, latterly known as
Dunnville spur, was built under the auspices of the
Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway in two segments.
The main portion, the 14 112 miles from Smithville to
Dunnville, was completed in 1914; the 4-mile extension
from Dunnville to Port Maitland, on Lake Erie, followed
two years later.
The line was, therefore, among the last to be
built in Southern Ontario.
Although the terrain over which the line runs
flat and unremarkable, there are a handful
of bridges, which
were in need
of comprehensive repair or replacement. It was
reasoned that it would cost much less to reactivate 11 miles
of the CASO line between Hewitt, three miles west of
70: ,Fort E;:;;
Weiland, and the junction with the Dunnville spur, just east
of Attercliffe Station, than it would be to undertake the
necessary bridge replacements and repairs
on the Smithville
route. So the decision was made to switch routes.
A new connecting curve was constructed at the
Dunnville spur diamond. By early May, this work, together
with other necessary upgrades
of the CASO line had been
completed; the last train
to traverse the Smithville-Attercliffe
of the Dunnville line ran on May 7. Thereafter, the
line was taken
out of service, with trains switching to the
CASO route two days later.
The changeover seems
to have been a sensible move
The condition of the CASO line appears to have
been such that little upgrading seems to have been required.
The heavy, 127 Ib jointed rail, which is the standard
throughout the length of the CASO line, is still in very good
condition, with many years of useful service clearly
Likewise, the track and most of the crossties were
still in good shape despite (or probably partly the result of)
being left unused for five years. As a result, necessary crosstie
replacement has been minimal, and the work required to
rehabilitate the CASO line would appear
to have been largely
restricted to the clearing
of brush, level crossing equipment
installation and reactivation, sign-posting and, of course,
of the connecting link near Attercliffe.
RAIL CANADIEN -484
There are few
to speak of on the
line, and it is
level, or nearly so,
throughout its length. This
is a disting-uishing feature
of the CASO line, which was
to main line standards
from its opening in 1873.
The new routing arr
angement has been very
beneficial for CPR from an
provides a route that is much
more direct than before.
The Port Maitland
freight service originates at
CPRs Weiland Yard. The
to the new route
approximately halves the
distance, which trains must
172 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
Left: Bound for Port Maitland on the
morning of Friday, June 1 2001, the tri
weekly CPR freight from Weiland
leaves the CASO line and rolls on to
the new connecting curve near
Below: A few seconds later the train
further into the curve.
Bottom: A few more seconds and
entirely on the curve.
tra vel en rou te be
tween Attercliffe and
Hewitt; about twelve
route miles are now
shaved off of a one
way trip between
Weiland and Port
Maitland, as trains no
to travel a
circuitous route via
without a hitch. CPR
police visited area
homes in the weeks
leading up to the
to advise area
residents of the resum
of service on the
Other than route alteration, CPRs
rail service to Dunville and Port Maitland
remains the same, and consists
of a tri
weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and
Fridays) local freight, which typically
leaves Weiland between 7:00 am and 7:45
am, reaching Port Maitland, and the only
regular customer on the line, Rhodia
Canada (formerly Albright and Wilson
Americas Ltd.), around 9:30 to 9:40 AM.
The chemical plant, which is one
of the largest employers in the area,
manufactures soap and food grade
phosphates. The raw materials required
for this process are soda ash and
phosphoric acid, and these are brought in
While most of the outbound
phosphates are shipped by truck, a
significant portion, specifically the larger
bulk quantities, are taken out
by rail. So,
overall, the plant is heavily dependent
on the rail service.
173 CANADIAN RAIL -484
Looking west along the alignment of the disused CASO line at the start of the
new connecting curve
on June 1 2001. The E&O diamond is next to the box in
Meanwhile, the Attercliffe-Smithville
of the ex-E & 0 line remains, at time
of writing, out of use, its southern end
disconnected, and awaiting lifting.
The larger question behind the routing
is the effect that it may have on the
of the ex-CASO line as a whole. In itself,
it represents the latest twist in the saga
line that has developed a history of
confounding the pundits.
Looking north along the alignment of the ex E&O line on April 28 2001. The
CASO line diamond
is visible in the distance. Construction work on the
new connecting curve at the right remains to be completed.
Purchased in 1985 from Conrail by a
Canadian National/Canadian Pacific
consortium, it was confidently anticipated that
most of the 235-mile, formerly double track,
main line -specifically
the 151 -mile central
portion between Fargo Gust south
and Hewitt -would
be abandoned in time. It
appeared that that moment had finally arrived
in 1996, with the final passage over the line
is completed at
the Rhodia plant (the number bf
carloads handled is typically in the
order of 15 to 25 per day) the train
returns to Weiland Yard, usually
arri ving there between 11:30 am and
The travel time for the 23 1/2-
mile one-way trip would
be less but for
a 15 mph speed limit
in effect over the
of the reactivated portion of the
CASO line. The speed restriction would
seem, to the casual observer at least,
be overly cautious. The condition and
of the track are such that
significantly higher train speeds could
probably be safely accommodated.
Looking West along the CASO line near Moulton on June 1 2001. A CPR level
crossing inspection crew precedes the return of the Port Maitland freight to
RAIL CANADIEN -484 174 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
of the northerly portion of the
Dunnville spur, its rebirth could
also, arguably, be interpreted as
of a commitment to area
rail services, on the part
of CPR at
that was absent, or at least.
weaker, a few years
A view west along the CASO line at Wellandport Road (Montague) on April 28 2001. A
CPR work crew installs and reactivates level crossing equipment in preparation for
the line reopening.
The total abandonment of rail
service to Dunnville and Port
Maitland mayor may not have
been seriously considered a few
years ago. But, certainly, as
recently as 1999, when the possible
version of rail serv ice to the
CASO line was being broached,
the service was designated for spin
off to a short line operator. One
can only conclude that termination
of the service was a real possibility
in the event that no one else
displayed any interest in operating
the service, for CPR let it be known
at the time that it did not at all
envisage continuation of the
service under its aegis.
on April 1
of that year of the last train
CSX Buffalo-Detroit freight
service -to traverse the full length
the line. The concurrent enactment
by the federal govermnent of the
Canada Transportation Act seemed to
clear the way for the co-owners
line (CN and
CPR each own a 50%
share) to abandon the stretch, as the
act simplified and expedited the rail
But the years since seem to
have witnessed a change of heart
about the value of the line by its
owners, especially by CPR, prompted
at least in part by an upsurge in
railway freight traffic in Southern
Ontario, and a growing appreciation
that independent short lines are a
viable option for many lightly
The 55-mile stretch of the
CASO line between Fargo and St.
Looking east at the same place on April 28 2001. Another view of the CPR work
crew installing and reactivating the level crossing equipment.
Thomas (which, in contrast to the disused portion of the line
Thomas and Hewitt, has always had a local, if
limited, freight service) had, by 1999, been designated for
transfer to a short line operator, instead of abandonment.
Moreover, CPR has been studying the possible use of the
of the CASO line between St. Thomas and Windsor
as an alternate route to alleviate
looming congestion on its
Windsor main line.
And while the ostensible reason for the reactivation
of the Attercliffe-Hewitt portion of the CASO line (again, a
relatively recent change
of plans) was the deteliorating state
Now, however, not only is there no talk of
abandonment of the service, tpere would appear to be no
thought, for the time being at least,
of transfening the service
to a short line operator. According to Paul Thurston,
manager of communications and public affairs, such a
scenario is not even in the cards at the moment.
Again, there may be a link with the future
of the CASO
line here. There are growing indications that the entire CASO
line could conceivably become a CPR route throughout its
length in the near future. Not only is the company
of St. Thomas as an alternate route for its Toronto-
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2001 175 CANADIAN RAIL -484
Above: The same
viewpoint as the top
photo, but almost a
year and a half earlier,
on December 4.1999.
The derelict state of
the CASO line is
Above: Looking west at
Hewitt on April 28 2001.
Recent trackwork is
evident around the CASO
line. CPRs main line to
Hamilton veers off at the
Looking east along the disused CASO line at Townsend (Nober), some
30 miles west of Attercliffe,
on October 1,2000. East and west construction crews met here
on February 20,1873, completing
the Canada Southern Railway at
this point. An archetypical New York Central concrete milepost
stands at the left.
RAIL CANADIEN -484
Above and right: Looking east (above)
and west (right) past the St. Thomas
building on November 27, 1999.
Part of the buildings pedigree is
evident above the boarded up lower
this point westwards to
Fargo, the CASO line is host to a limited
freight service, as evidenced l;Iy
the sheen onthe rails.
176 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
Left: Looking west past the
disused St. Thomas South
tower on November 27,
Above: The CPR Woodstock branch
off to the left at the eastern
end of the vacant St. Thomas yards,
while the CASO trackage, rusted
and weed-infested, continues
unbroken all the way to Attercliffe,
November 27 1999. CPR is con
sidering using its Woodstock
branch and the CASO line to the west
as an alternate main line.
Right: Looking east past the modest
CASO station at Hagersville, on
September 12, 1999. The Southern
Ontario Railways Brantford
Nanticoke line crosses the disused
CASO track before the
station and a
RaiLink locomotive sits on the
connecting curve to the left.
177 CANADIAN RAIL -484
Above: Looking west
towards the St. Thomas
station building in the
distance on November
27,1999. CASO trackage
for very occasional use
as an extended
Locomotive 4134 had just
arrived with a local CASO
from Rodney and
Ridgetown, and was
returning to CN trackage
via the CPR connection.
RAIL CANADIEN -484 178 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
Looking west across the Kettle Creek viaduct west of St. Thomas on November 27,1999. The sheen on the rails
this stretch of the CASO line hosts a limited local freight service. Note the lengths of 1271b. continuous
welded rail from the lifted westbound main still lying on the trackbed.
The CASO bridge over the Grand River, on September 12, 1999. Remedial
work was proposed on this bridge, which
is one of the largest structures on the CASO line (the largest on the disused portion), by one of the unsuccessful
bidders for the route in 1984.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2001 179 CAIJADIAN RAIL -484
A quartet of locomotives rumble in CPRs sizeable Weiland Yard on December 4, 1999. Of the former principal CASO yards,
only this one and the Windsor Yard are today still active and largely intact.
The view looks west towards Hewitt.
Windsor freight traffic, it is also considering reactivating
the entire route for
an expanded Expressway truck I train
intermodal service linking Chicago and Detroit with Buffalo
New York, for which the CASO line would be the
speediest and most direct route.
One is left with the impression that CPRs goal may
now be to move steadily towards acquiring greater control
of the CASO line. The reactivation of the Attercliffe-Hewitt
of the line can certainly be interpreted as move in
that direction, for while the
50/50 ownership structure of the
line remains unchanged, the line reactivation has the
immediate practical effect
of transferring eleven route miles
of the line from CN to CPR for the purposes of maintenance
and practical control. CPR is now responsible for the main
tenance of all
of the CASO line eastwards from the diamond
at the Dunnville spur (mile 30.5) to Niagara Falls and Fort
in the context of recent changes in
ownership and control of the western extremity of the CASO
network, the Detroit River Tunnel (where CN has sold its 50
percent stake in the tunnel
to a third party, clearing the way
for CPR to assume responsibility for maintenance and
operational control of the tunnel stretch) it suggests an
emerging pattern that will perhaps eventually culminate in
full CPR ownership or control of the CASO line.
It is also impOltant to note that the reopening
of the CASO line to catTY traffic to and from Dunnville
and Port Maitland improves the economics
of reopening the
entire route, if that eventuality were to come
to pass. With
the line reactivation, the length of CASO trackage that lies
unused, and which would have to be rehabilitated in order
to restore the route in its entirety, has now been reduced to about
85 miles, or about 36 percent of the total – a far cry, it
might be said, from the
151 miles of the line that had, for a
long time, been envisaged for abandonment.
If restoration of the complete route becomes a reality,
it would probably provide something
of an economic boost
for a part of Ontario that has long felt neglected
in tenns of
There would appear
to be considerable local support
for reopening the line. The restoration of a direct rail link
from the Dunnville area to Windsor, Detroit and the U.S.
Midwest would be welcomed by Rick Gilbert, general
manager of the Rhodia Canada Port Maitland plant. It (the
line reopening) would improve the efficiency of our
operations and reduce the transit time for some of our inbound
cargo, he says.
It is a development that would also
be welcomed by
Dunnville Chamber of Commerce. We look at the
of rail lines as being very positive, says Robert
of the chamber. And he goes on to point out that
of rail service is one of the chief concerns of
companies looking to locate in the area.
But the restoration of the rest of the CASO line
depends not only on a decision on the part of CPR as to
to reopen the line, but also on the consent of CN, as
as that company remains a co-owner of the line. A sale
by CN of all or part of its interest in the CASO line remains
a distinct possibility.
In the meantime, it is nice
to see another segment of
an erstwhile famous main rail line, which was in its heyday
a premier express route for trains travelling between New
York and Chicago, returned to use.
RAIL CANADIEN -484 180 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
CRHA Gets Trackwork From St. Henri Carbarn
by Peter Murphy
Just another demolition site ……. Not really!
Panzini Demolition Ltd. has
demolished the old St.
Henri car barn
of the Montreal Tramways Company; this is
to build a new Home Hardware store. FOltunately our Daniel
Lurendeau arranged to have it written into the demolition
specification that all streetcar tracks were to be carefully
removed and turned over to the CRHA for use in the Exporail
The good news is that Panzini cooperated fully with the CRHA, the bad news is that all tracks and special work
imbedded in concrete beneath the cobble stones and
the later asphalt surface on top
Nevertheless most of the special work including a
diamond was salvaged, along with numerous single point
switches. Six trailer loads of material were salvaged in
varying degrees of damage.
Our thanks to Daniel, Gord Hill, Peter Murphy and
Charles de Jean who participated in the salvage operation.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2001 181 CANADIAN RAIL -484
Project Reports Nos.
5 and 6 -September
Charles De Jean
been good and the
pace of the con
struction illustrates it.
Now that fall
were happy to report
70% of the new
exhibit hall section
has all the steel
Rapports des Trav
aux Nos. 5 et 6 -28
Charles De Jean
Charge de projet
erected and the metal Photo by Charles De Jean, September 13, 2001.
ete qui se termine
nous aura perm is
accelerer Ie rythme
de constl1lction sur
chan tier d EXPO
RAIL. C;est pour
quoi, en ce debut
d au tomne, nous
sornrnes fiers de vous
annoncer que la
du nouveau b1Himent
est elevee a 70%.
roof welded in
place. The below ground rain run
off plumbing has also
Anyone visiting the site can now see the basic
building orientation including the framework for the 12
massive rail access doors (14 feet wide x 20 feet high). The
mezzanine, from which the main rail display hall can be
13 feet above the ground floor or rail level, will
give an interesting over view
of the collection. The twelve
display tracks will be approximately 240 feet long with 45
of rolling stock under cover.
The last phase of the steel structure housing the
archives, library, cafeteria, display and exhibit halls, storage,
reception area, store, administration offices, shipping and
receiving bays, should commence
on the second week of
October. The complete enclosure of the structure (roof,
windows, metal walls and brick) is anticipated prior to
Christmas. Last but not least, the interior finishing with
gyprock, all the fixtures and paint, should be completed by
As the building is completed, the work is only half
The museum staff, professional and volunteer help,
will require 5
to 9 months to prepare and set up the various
exhibits for display. It should be pointed out that our
association has thousands of exhibits ranging from conductor
uniform buttons to the largest steam locomotive in the
Commonwealth, or from railroad stamps to Ottawa street
cars. Some of which are quite presentable while others require
of hours of restoration.
Again, we need your continued help and support to
be ready On Time (in the grand railroad tradition). The
opening ceremonies are anticipated late June 2002.
Thanks for your support!
A ce jour, la
charpente metallique et
Ie sous-toit de metal de la grande
galclie, ainsi que la piomberie servant a Ievacuali6n des
eaux de pluie, sont en place et completees.
Les visiteurs peuvent dores et deja apercevoir les
immenses entrees, de 14 pieds de large par 20 pieds de haut,
qui serviront a entrer les 45 pieces de
la collection sur les 12
nouvelles voies ferrees. IIs pourront egalement voir la
mezzanine et imaginer
la vue, dune hauteur de 13 pieds, sur
structure d acier pour la derniere section du
batlment con tenant la salle
d archives, la bibliotheque, la
salles dexposition, Iaccueil, la boutique,
Iadministration et les aires de reception du materiel,
devraient debuter a la mi-octobre. La fermeture complete de
Iexterieur du building avec
Ie toit, les fenetres, Ies murs et
la brique, est prevue tout juste avant Noel. Finalement, la
interieure, avec Ie placoplatre, Ieclairage et la
peinture, devrait etre terminer pour
la fin du mois de fevrier.
Vne fois Iedifice complete,
Ie travail des employes
du musee et des nombreux benevoles, lui, ne Iest pas. De
cinq a neuf mois seront necessaires pour preparer les
nombreuses expositions. Je me permet de vous rappeler que
notre association possede des milliers dartefacts allant de
boutons duniformes de chef de train a la plus grosse
locomotive du Commonwealth, ou encore de timbres a
caractere ferroviaire aux tramways d Ottawa. Dans plusieurs
cas, des centaines d heures de restauration
Finalement, et comme a lhabitude, votre aide nous
sera tres precieuse si nous voulons inaugurer EXPORAIL,
tel que prevu
au mois de Juin 2002.
A suivre …
RAIL CANADIEN -484 182 SEPTEMBRE-OCTOBRE 2001
Museum Express July 15, 2001
by M. Peter Murphy
History of sorts was made on Sunday afternoon, July
15, 2001 as the first
of six scheduled Museum Express
four car trains pulled out
of Montreals Windsor Terminal on
time at 13:00 hrs. bound for the Canadian railway Museum
at Delson / Saint-Constant, Quebec.
The day was partly
overcast, an improvement over the preceding two weeks
constant rain and thunderstorms.
Over 300 passengers were on board, dozens
last minute ticket purchasers (reminiscent
of bygone CRHA
excursion nail biting days)! A healthy mix
of young and
senior, Anglophone a
nd Francophone, what other family
outing could offer an afternoons educational entertainment
$ 60 per family of four. The fare included transportation,
museum admittance, animation
in your language of choice,
coloring books for the children and the awe
CPs St. Lawrence River Bridge at LaSalle.
Except for two minor delays, one for the seaway lift
bridge, the other a freight meet, the train arrived at the
museum (slightly late) and was switched right into the
museum property. The museum
staff was prepared, the
load was divided into groups and proceeded to visit. The
MTC observation car was taxed
to the limit, it looked like
rush hom on St. Catherine Street at the designated car stops.
The horn sounded at 15:55 and
off we went on the
return trip departing precisely at
16:00 hrs. Lots of sleepy
children on the return trip, even some adults were caught
Montreal observation car No.3 at the Museum, with
the Museum Express on the Candiac Spur behind.
dozing! A great time was had by all, only comment from
some is that more time should be allowed at the museum.
The schedule is tight and any transportation delay (lift
bridge) effects the length of stay at the museum greatly.
All who were (and are) involved with this project are
commended, from Marie Claude Reid our Museum
Director, to Yves Gladu publicity, Kevin Robinson
implementation, all the animators and employees too
numerous to mention, a job well done.
Above and Below: The Museum Express
at Windsor Station just before departing
for the Museum.
Photos by Fred Angus
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2001 183 CANADIAN RAIL -484
Strange School, Secret Wish
by Bernice Gold
We have received an advance notice of a forthcoming book which should be of interest to our members. It is called Strange
School, Secret Wish, and it is written
by Bernice Gold of Montreal. It is due for release in late October, after which date it should
be available in most book stores. A brief description, as well as three photos, are given below.
Description: Historical fiction based on fact, for
readers, about nine to thirteen.
Scenario: The Strange School. A railway car school,
of seven which operated in Northern Ontario,
They served the tiny railroad/hunting/
trapping settlements, north of roads (in the early days)
Each railway school car was half a one-room
school (usually grades 1 -7 or 8) and half the teachers
family living quarters.
Each school car (hauled by freight engine)
travelled its own route through four or five
settlements, staying a week at a time at each place.
Jenny Merrill, in grade 7, is the
teachers elder daughter. Her goal in life
is to be a
great violinist. She longs for the fine violin advertised
in the Eatons 1927 catalogue. But it costs $18.50.
to get the money? How to find a way to earn it
while living on the school car? As she says
Im not like you. I mean in the way I live.
is an interweaving of Jennys quest,
of life on the school car, of NOIthern Ontario and of
its people, in 1927. Every aspect
of this story has been carefully
Two of the original schools on wheels are
museums; one in Clinton, Ontario, one in St.
Above, Left: Archival Collection, Canadian Museum of
Science and Technology, photo No.1 0400.
Above: Ibid. Photo No. X-35299.
BACK COVER: A two-car train on the Yonge Street line of the Toronto Transportation Commission at Alexander Street in
August 1950. The front car is No. 2988, the trailer is unidentified. September 1 is the 80th anniversary of the start of
operation of the TTC which became known as the Toronto Transit Commission (same initials) in 1954.
Photo by William Bailey
This issue of Canadian RaiJ delivered to printer October II, 200 1.