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Canadian Rail 484 2001

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Canadian Rail 484 2001

ISSN 0008-4875
Postal Permit No. 40066621
A BRIEF SALUTE TO THE CNRS FAMOUS 4-8-4s…………………………………. …………………………………….. 147
.. JAY UNDERWOOD……………. 151
KETTLEWELL ……………………….. M AND R MARRONE…………. 168
REPORT ………………………………………………………………………… CHARLES DEJEAN…………… 181
THE MUSEUM EXPRESS ………………………………………………………………….. PETER MURPHy……………… 182
FRONT COVER: Canadian National Railways 4-8-4 Northern type steam locomotive 6167 hauls a CRHA excursion train bound for Victoriaville
Quebec on October
27, 1963. This photo was taken on the outbound trip as the train was crossing the Beloeil bridge across the Richeljell river. After
a career
of several years hauling excursion trains, 6167 was retired and is now on display near the station at Guelph, Ontario.
Photo by Fred Angus.
BELOW The Canada Southern Railway had a map of its lines on the $1000 bonds it issued on March 1, 1883. The line had been completed in 1873
and this bond, issued ten yea
rs later, was to raise money for further inprovements. An article, showing the line as it is today, begins on page 171.
For your membership in the CRHA, which
includes a subscription to Canadian Rail,
write to:
CRHA, 120
Rue St.Pierre, St. Constant,
J5A 2G9
Membership Dues for 2001:
In Canada: $36.00 (including all taxes)
United States:
$31.00 in U.S. funds.
Other Countries:
$56.00 Canadian funds. Canadian Rail
is continually in need of news, stories
historical data, photos, maps and other material. Please
send all contributions to the editor: Fred F. Angus,
Trafalgar Avenue, Montreal, P.Q. H3Y 1 H3, e-mail . No payment can be made for
contributions, but the contributer will be given credit for
material submitted. Material
will be retumed to the contributer
if requested. Remember Knowledge is of little value unless
it is shared with others.
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO-EDITOR: Douglas
N.W. Smith
Hugues W. Bonin
LAYOUT: Fred F.Angus
PRINTING: Procel Printing
DISTRIBUTION: Joncas Postexperts
The CRHA may be reached at its web site: or by telephone at (450) 638-1522
A Brief Salute to the CNRs Famous 4-8-4s
Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of No. 6100, Canadian Nationals first 4-8-4. It is intended to print a more
detailed history of these very notable locomotives at the time of the anniversary, but this is issue number 484 of Canadian Rail,
so it was a natural that some mention should
be made of 4-8-4s!
The first members of the 6100 selies were introduced in 1927, the 60th anniversary of Confederation, so the locomotives
were originally called the
Confederation type. However other engines of this wheel alTangement were running in the United
States where they were known as the Northern type.
The CNR soon followed suit, and Northerns they became and were known
by that name from then on.
In this issue we present a few unusual illustrations of Northerns. The drawing above is by Peter Murphy, and was
originally used on a menu for lunch service on
CRHA excursions. The photo below is by Lorne Pen), and shows the well-known
6218 at Limoilou Quebec in September 1950, many years before it began its excursion service. The scale drawings and
adVertisements on the next three pages are from 1927 issues of the Canadian Railway and Marine World. The Prime Minister of
Britain, Stanley Baldwin, rode the cab of 6120 at the time he was· in Canada accompaning the Prince of Wales (later King
Edward VIII and still later Duke of Windsor) at the time of the Royal visit to commemorate the Confederation jubilee.
While the Northerns disappeared from regular service in 1960, and from excursion service in 1972, one has
come back!
Grand Trunk Western No. 6325, almost identical to those of parent company CNR, is now on the Ohio Central and, after several
of restoration, has returned to excursion service. Its first trip was made in September 2001 and more are planned for next
So as you look at these photos and recall the great days of the Northerns, it is good to know that it will still be possible to
ride behind one
of these fine locomotives in the twenty-first century.
il II
For Passenger and
Fast Freight Service
MONG the many ou tstanding
locomotives recently designed to
meet increasing power requirements
and reduce the cost of operation is
the new 4~8-4 type built for the
Canadian National Railways.
Twenty of these new locomotives
which are designated by the railroad
as the Northern Type are now
under construction at our plant in
Kingston, Onto
These new engines are designed for
either passenger or manifest freight
service and it is intended to operate
them on extended runs over two or
more divisions between Montreal,
Que., and Sarnia, Onto
The boilers are designed for a work~
ing pressure of 250 lbs. per sq. in.
To save weight, the shell courses
have been made ofhigh tensile silicon
Several new maintenance saving feat­
ures have been incorporated which
will be of vital interest to every rail­
road executive and mechanical de­
partment officer.
Some of the more important details concerning the ahove illustrated locomotive are as follows:
Weights in working order
on drivers
front truck
on trailing truck
total engine
Rated Tractive force
Tender: Dia. of
driving wheels-73 inches
x 30
Water Capacity
With Booster
Without Booster
Pressure-250 lbs.
–Bituminous Coal
I 10300 imp. gal:
Canadian LOCoIllotive Co., Ltd.
Britains Premier
in the ab
Whcn the Right Honoxablc Stanlcy Baldwin, Prime Minister
of Great Britain, was in Canada, he displi.1yed
considerable in ierest in the Canadian Na Ra ilways
rolling stock. Here we see the British Prem.ier in his shir!;
sleeves, sitting in the cab of on.e of the Cauadian National
6100 SCI·ies Northern Type Locomotives.
T is no!; surprising that Canadas distinguished visitor
showed such keen interest in this m.em.bel of the
6100 series.
It is one of the largest and fastest locom.otives in the
British Empire anel-naturally enough-is finished through­
out with Sherwin-Williams Railway Finishes, produced in
Canada by the largest Paint and Varnish makers in the
British Ernpire.
Uncommon Valour on the Grand Trunk
by Jay Underwood
One hundred and thirty-five years ago the British government presented the Victoria Cross, Britains highest award for
valour, to Private Timothy
OHea of the First Battalion of the Rifle Brigade. Although many VCs have been won by Canadians,
this was the only one actually won in Canada, and one
of very few won not in the presence of the enemy. This is the story of
that historic act of bravery, which has a very strong Canadian railway connection. An additional contemporary account has been
added by your editor
to give a feel to the atmosphere of crisis felt at the time in much of the country.
For years after the war of
1812, Canadians (those colonists
living in what is now Ontario and
Quebec) feared an imminent
invasion from the United States.
These fears grew as the U.S. Civil
drew to a close, leaving the
Union with an army of
more than one million men, and the
new-found mobility offered by the
which forever changed
the dynamics of troop movement.
The most tangible threat,
however, came not from the
American government, but from
some of its former soldiers still
itching for a fight. The Fenian raids
of 1866 and 1870 were launched,
in at
least three different areas of
British North America, by Irish men
intent upon striking a blow against
the British Empire,
as Mitch Biggar
succinctly notes on his website
had declared in Calais that
preventing the union of British
North America would strike a blow
for Ireland.
Contrary to Canadian fears,
however, the Fenians were not
intending to occupy Canadian soil,
merely the military attention
of the
Impelial government, as
P.G. Smith
notes in
his article available on the
Historynet web site of Cowles
magazines (
More realistic members of the
Fenian Brotherhood understood
the far-fetched nature of the plan.
focused instead on the more
likely possibility that the attack
could precipitate war between the
United States and Great Britain, or
at least cause enough of a
disturbance to force the British
Empire to reinforce Canada with
numbers of Regular troops.
Either of those circumstances
would create a favourable climate
for an armed uprising in Ireland
Ancient Irish warriors
were called Fianna and in the
of 1866 discharged Irish
soldiers were recruited into an
Irish national movement called the
The Fenians were formed
in New York under the leadership
of Bemanl Killan. The pillpose of
the Fenians was to overthrow the
British rule
of Ireland. One of their
goals was the invasion
of British
North America.
The Victoria Cross, Britains highest award
for bravery, is a bronze decoration made from
the metal from cannon captured from the
in the Crimean War. Since it was
instituted in 1856 the award has been made
more than 1350 times, but only once for
event that took place in Canada.
For many years prior to the
raids, the colonists in British North
America had been talking about the
of an inter-colonial railway
to speed troops from the Imperial
garrison at Halifax into the
interior of Canada, especially
In April of 1866 over 1000 of the Irish brotherhood
gathered along the New Brunswick border from Machias
Calais. Three British men of war from Halifax sailed up the
St. Croix River while several regiments of the New Brunswick
marched to Charlotte County. There were minor
border crossings but no full-scale invasion occurred. The
American authorities feared that the Fenians would attempt
to take over Eastem Maine. So General Meade [the general
who had won the Battle
of Gettysburg] was dispatched to
keep the Fenians out of trouble.
Although the Fenians caused little trouble
the impact
of their threats had a lasting effect. The leader of the Fenians
during the winter months, when the
St. Lawrence was ice-bound and the
of troops at critical times was severely hampered
by the weather.
Desmond Morton (A Military History of
Canada, and A Short History of Canada) notes, however,
that the greatest threat from the Fenians came in an area far
removed from the territory
of any possible inter-colonial
Repeatedly in 1865 and 1866, thousands of militia
turned out
to face an imminent invasion. For St. Patricks
1866, more than fourteen thousand Canadians
volunteered for duty. Two and a half months later; on the
of May 31, the attack finally came. Instead of the
A $5 note issued in New York in 1866 to help finance the Fenian raids into Canada. It is in the name of the Irish Republic
(which did not exist at that time) and was to be payable six months after Ireland became independant. The names of the
of Ireland are engraved in the border and, appropriately enough, the seal is printed in bright green while the note
itself is dated March 17! The portrait on the left is of Theobald Wolf Tone, a leader of the Irish rebellion of 1798. This note
somewhat resembled a contemporary United Sates
$5 bill, which may have made it easier to peddle.
promised thousands, General John ONeill led a mere six
hundred Fenians across from Buffalo
to Fort Erie. At Dawn
on June
2, near Ridgeway, the Fenians ran into two thirsty,
sweaty battalions of militia, marching across country to
join a British column. The Canadians turned, advanced like
and 011 the verge of victory, were tumbled into
by contradictory orders. Moments later, a flood
of panic-stricken volunteers poured down the sunken road
to Ridgeway. The shaken Fenians soon retraced their steps
to Fort Erie. After scattering a few militia who had arrived
in their absence, most of ONeills men crossed to Buffalo to
be interned. The Canadians tried their prisoners
and sent
of them to the penitentiary.
The railways played a significant part in the
Canadian victory as Col. G.R. Stevens notes in his two­
volume history of Canadian National Railways:
F. W. Cumberland, General Manager of the
Northern Railway, received orders to concentrate the militia
to meet the enemy; within twenty-four hours he had delivered
1,240 men at the threatened point, and twice that number
were on their
way. The invasion was over before it had begun;
the iron horse
had been worth a division of the Queens
That the Fenians did not cause more trouble may
have been due to the fact that once across the border, like the
Aroostook invaders two decades before them, their
transportation options had been limited. Although ONeill
(a former Union cavalry officer) and his followers were
veterans of the Civil War from both Union and Confederate
ranks, they failed to make use
of railway facilities to speed
their mobilization.
It was not as though they did not try, as Smith
notes in his history of the attack from Buffalo. ONeill led
his men to a railway yard near Ridgeway, Canada West:
0 Neills force reached the rail yard shortly after
a locomotive had chugged away with the last
of the rolling
stock. A small party set
off on a handcar but could not catch
to the train.
In the meantime there were threats of a Fenian attack
Canada East (now Quebec), and preparations were made
on a fairly large scale. Among the numerous militia units
deployed was a rifle brigade organized by the Grand
Railway, and made up of employees of that company. The
attack came in June, soon after that on Fort Erie. This raid
was not as serious as that in Canada West, although the
Fenians occupied Pigeon Hill, and plundered the towns
Frelighsburg and St. Armand and surrounding country. On
the arrival
of the army, however, they retreated after a short
engagement. Once again the railway, this time the Grand
Trunk, had proved its value by moving troops and supplies
quickly and in time to repel the invaders. An excellent
account of what occuned is given in Ville Marie or Montreal
Past and Present
by Alfred Sanciham, published in 1870.
Although the article is quite long, your editor decided to
include it in full to give the
proper perspective of the times:
For some time during the latter part of the year
[1865] the attention of the authorities had been directed
towards the movements of an organization existing
principally in the United States, and known as the Fenian
, whose design was the liberation of ireland
from British rule. At its organization, and for a considerable
time afterwards, little attention was paid to threats made by
its leaders, but when they proceeded so
far as to threaten
the peace and safety
of the country, the authorities made
preparation whereby they might be able to repel any attack
On Monday, 13th March, 1866, a company of the
of Wales Regiment and the Battery of Artillery (both
volunteers corps) were reviewed at
5 oclock, PM., and at 9
the same evening they left
for the frontier, where an attack
The troops being reviewed on the Champ de Mars in Montreal, on their return from fighting the Fenians in June 1866.
was threatened. Owing to the haste in which these
volunteers, as well as other Montreal companies stationed
throughout Canada, had been despatched from the city, they
unprovided with many articles necessary for their
personal comfort, and many of them left families entirely
dependent upon the small pay to be received for their
services. The citizens determined to show their patriotism
and loyalty by making some provisions towards supplying
these wants,
and at a public meeting held on 26th March,
the large sum
of $20,000 was at once subscribed for the
purpose. This amount was afterwards considerably
augmented, and from this fund an outfit was procured for
every volunteer requiring it, and 50 cents per day (in
to the regular pay) was allowed to those who had
families dependent upon them.
addition 10 the volunteers then on duty the
commandant received instructions on 1st June, to despatch
fOllr more companies to the West immediately. The cause of
this order was the news received that a body of Fenialls had
actually crossed the border and were already at Fort Erie.
As might be expected this startling news created 120 little
excitement in the city. Neither fear nor dispondency however,
had any share in the mingled feelings with which the news
was received and discussed.
All classes seemed agreed that
such an unjustifiable invasion of the country should be
speedily repulsed,
and that wherever opportunity occurred
punishment should be inflicted upon the men guilty of the
act. The alacrity
and good will with which the volunteers
to the call to muster for departure for the frontier, there, probably, speedily
to encounter an enemy, was highly
encouraging and commendable,and had the effect of
showing the Fenian body that Montreal contained but few
sympathizers with their attack. The result of the raid at Fort
is well known. The lawless invaders were repulsed, but
not without serious loss
of valuable lives on the part of our
brave defenders.
On the evening
of June 2nd, Nos. 3 and 8 batteries of
the Brigade of the Montreal Garrison Artillery, under
Captains Brown and Hobbes; a company of Prince of Wales
Rifles, under Captain Bond; Victoria Rifles, Captain Bacon;
Royal Light Infantry, Captain K. Campbell; and the
Chasseurs Canadiens, Captain Labelle, left by special train
from Point
St. Charles for St. Johns and Isle aux Noix. The
same evening a strong reinforcement of regulars left for the
same stations,
and on the 4th several additional companies
of volunteers were dispatched to Hemmingjord and other
places along the frontier. Among those going to the front
were the famous Barney Devlin, the great criminal lawyer
and the political opponent of D Arcy McGee, and the Rev.
Father James Hogan
of St. Patricks, who acted as chaplain.
The scene
of special interest in Lower Canada was
the township
of St. Armand, adjoining the State of Vermont.
At a place named Pigeon Hill an attack was made on June
7th by a body
of Fenians, but upon an advance being made
by the troops and volunteers they retreated after a short
skirmish, but several of the party were taken prisoners by
the /I Montreal Guides, and were brought to the city and
placed in the gaol.
In order to render as comfortable as
possible the campaign life
of our volunteers,
Relief Fund Committee was active in
procuring everything necessary and
forwarding it to the various camps. Boxes of
creature comforts, reading matter, medicines,
&c., were sent in large quantities, and to insure
the prompt delivery
of the same the grocers of
the city attended to the delivery at the railway
of all parcels sent by the Committee,
and a number
of delegates from the Young Mens
Christian Association left the city daily
for the
various camps, having
in charge those articles
as well as letters, papers, and books with which
the men might pass their spare moments.
Fortunately the necessity for the
services of the volunteers soon passed away,
and on the 18th June the companies arrived
the city from the front and were enthusiastically
received by the citizens, who cordially and
unanimously agreed that some more public
reception or ovation should be given.
Accordingly, Saturday, June 23 Id, was
generally observed as a holiday for the
purpose of taking part in the ceremony to take
place in the afternoon of that day on the
Champ-de-Mars. At four oclock the whole
regular and volunteer force was drawn
up on
the ground, with exception
of the artillery and
who formed in Craig Street, and a few
minutes after that hour Major-General Lindsay
and his staff drove along the line and inspected
the several corps.
troops then advanced in line
the saluting base, and the commanding
officers having gathered round, His Worship
the Mayor read the address on
behalf of the
civic Authorities, tendering to the troops
/I sincere expressions of gratitude and thanks
for their devotion, loyalty and courage in the
late emerge
ncy, and bidding them all a heartfelt
welcome back to the city,
and to their happy
homes, and beloved
and expectant families.
Not until 1899, thirty-three years after the event, was amedal given to
the troops
who had fought in the Fenian Raids! It was silver, with a
of Queen Victoria on one side and a flag surrounded by maple
leaves on the other. It could swivel so either side could be displayed.
The name
of the recipient was impressed around the edge. Three
different bars were issued, Fenian Raid 1866, Fenian Raid 1870
and Red River 1870 (the North West Rebellion of 1885 had had its
own medal). Few, if any, recipients were entitled
to all three bars. The
ribbon was red with a white stripe down the middle. In 1899 it was
as a general service award for Canada but, happily, no further
took place and it was never again given. This particular
medal was awarded
to Cpl. E. Lacroix of the 4th Chasseurs who took
part in the fight at Pigeon Hill. The pin inscribed E.L. was privately
made by
Mr. Lacroix so he could wear the medal.
The address was responded to by Major-General
Lindsay, after which he instructed Captain Healy to read a
district order lately issued, which order
/I acknowledged the
services rendered by the volunteers during the late
emergency, the patriotic spirit displayed by both employers
and employed, and the zeal, aptitude, and endurance
of the
. The proceedings were closed by three enthusiastic
cheers for the Queen, after
which. the volunteers returned to
their several armories and dismissed to return once more 10
their homes. The address of welcome, with its attendant
ceremonies, was a graceful, and above ali, a most highly
deserved tribute to both branches
of the service, and more
to the volunteers, who whilst willing to become
soldiers for a season, yet counted
it their highest honor and
dearest privilege to be good, peaceable, and law-abiding
In 1870 the Fenians tried again, but the attack
apparently failed because of an inability to get control of
the Grand TlUnks facilities. The Cariboo Sentinel of June 1,
1870, quoting the pro-Fenian Boston press, reported the
event as follows:
Boston, May 25 -Reports at headquarters state
that the advanced guard occupied Pigeon Hill
[This is an
error; should be Eccles Hill. Ed.], the Sixth Rifles falling
back with out firing a shot. The Grand Trunk Railroad is
torn up for quite a distance to capture a cattle train.
As a British-owned railway, the Grand Trunk would
playa crucial role in the campaign against the Fenians. The
British military had been fully aware of the important
potential of railway transportation long before the Americans
proved its efficacy
in the Civil War, as Edwin Pratt noted in
his 1915 work, The Rise of Rail Power:
Section 20 of the Railway Regulation Act, 1842
(5 and 6 Viet., c.55,) entitled An Act for the better Regulation
of Railways mul for the Conveyance of Troops, stated:-
Whenever it shall be necessary
to move any of the
officers or soldiers
of her Majestys forces of the line … by
any railway, the directors shall permit them, with baggage,
stores, arms, ammunition and other necessaries and things,
to be conveyed at the usual hours starting at such prices or
upon such conditions as may be contracted for between the
Secretary at War and such railway companies on the
production of a route or order signed by the proper
This was the first provision made in the United
Kingdom in respect
to the conveyance of troops by rail. It
was succeeded
in 1844 by another Act (7 and 8 Viet., c.85,)
by which (sec.
12) railway companies were required to
provide conveyance
for the transport of troops at fares not
exceeding a scale given
in the Act, and maximum fares were
in regard to public baggage, stores, ammunition,
certain exceptions, applying to gunpowder and
explosives) and other military necessaries. In 1867 these
provisions were extended
to the Army reserve.
It was under these conditions that the Grand Trunk
became part
of the military machinery, and as a result, played
a role in the only
incident in which a Victoria Cross was
awarded for actions on Canadian soil. The occasion was the
Fenian raid
of 1866 into Canada East, and the date was the
day after the return
of the volunteers to Montreal.
The story of Corporal Timothy OHeas bravery
Canadas unfamiliarity with the railway as a
military asset, and the Grand Trunk Railways rather callous
of immigrants.
Among the
British units assisting in the effort to
resist the Fenians, were the
4h Brigade of the 60
(based at London, Ont.), and the
1$1 and 4h Rifle Brigades.
K. Gray, curator of the Museum of the Royal
Green Jackets, at Winchester, UK, notes that part
of the 4h
Rifle Brigade, led by Lt. Acklhad been successful in
infiltrating the ranks of the Fenians and taking prisoners
near St. Armand, Que.
But the necessity for a separate military priority on
the railways became apparent, when on June 19
, 1866, a
Grand TlUnk train from Quebec City stopped at DanviUe, on
its way to Montreal. The web site
of the Royal Green Jackets
Association ( notes:
Locked in converted boxcars were 800 German
immigrants. In another boxcar was 2000 pounds of
ammunition for use against the Fenian raiders.
Evidently the Grand TlUnk had not learned its lesson
the Beloeil Bridge disaster, and was still carrying
immigrants in the same kind of locked box cars that they
had been using at the time
of that tragedy two years before,
only this time they
made matters worse by including an
ammunition car
in the same train!
Accompanying the car, tasked with guarding the
ammunition, was 20-year old Timothy OHea, and four other
of the 151 Battalion, Rifle Bligade (Prince Consorts
CI,i.I,g … ~;;)~ rSf:;.. (tI<..lII1{ c:&c... W:Lcn
iII.0< ~. CSt. >foC]
MG1,.,t.:, M,ljj [P6;f … ~tJ
GIMJ. TfUftk 1Wt..;., tf Cd.nw.
E;,uk … .s~ctiOlV
hJe:l—.f 16itro-. (I,.,,;)
____ 5~~ !~~<~J.
A sketch map by the late John Thompson, showing the
location of Danville, where Timothy OHea
l{on his Victoria
Late in the afternoon, DRea noticed that the boxcar
containing the ammunition was on fire and after shouting
an alarm, discovered the railwaymen
and other soldiers
had fled. DRea grabbed the keys to the boxcar from a
dithering sergeant and climbed aboard. He ripped burning
off ammunition cases and tossed them outside, then
for almost an
hour, making 19 trips to a creek for buckets of
water, he fought the flames, the immigrants cheering him on
of their peril.
.. By evening, the ammunition had been loaded into
another car and the train -with the immigrant coaches still
attached -was on its way again.
DRea not only displayed
great courage and total disregard
for his own life in putting
out the fire in the boxcar, but also saved 800 immigrants
from certain death
had the ammunition exploded. His was
the only Victoria Cross ever won
in Canada.
The cause of the fire was never determined; quite
possibly it came from a spark thrown from the locomotives
smokestack, a
common enough occurrence. But unlike the
British railways, it seems the Grand Trunk sought to
economize by putting military stores on a convenient
immigrant train.
The Victoria Cross was instituted by Royal Warrant
in 1856 but was made retrospective to the Autumn
of 1854
cover the period of the Crimean War. The medals were
cast from the bronze of cannons seized from Russian
positions at the fall of Sebastopol, and there have been
several amending warrants since then.
The medal has been bestowed 1354 times
since1854, usually only for actions in the presence of the
enemy. From 1858
to 1881, however, an amendment allowed
for awards under circumstances
of extreme danger. Only
six awards were
ever made under these conditions, all of
them in 1867, and one of them to Corporal OHea at Danville.
Jay Underwood is the author
of Ketchums Folly,
the history of the Chignecto Ship Railway and Full Steam
Ahead: The life and locomotives
of Alexander Mitchell. His
next book,
Major Robinsons Path: the Military Imperative
of the Intercolonial Railway, is currently being considered
by a Canadian publisher.
The MOlltreaIIBlainville Commuter Train Line
La ligne de trains de banlieue MontreaIIBlainville
by / par Denis Duquette
La redecouverte du train de
The noisy 319, at one end of the bi-Ievel Pullman-Standard cars, is part of a group of
F40s leased from Amtrak for Montreals commuter service.
Par un matin de semaine
comme bien dautres, un train de
banlieue file a vive allure vers
Montreal. Ses voitures sont remplie
capacite de voyageurs qui
soccupent a diverses activites
pendant Ie trajet; quelques uns font
la conversation,
d autres lisent bien
tranquillement, certains sont bien
absorbes devant un ordinateur
portable et il y en a meme qui font
tout simplement
la sieste. Cette scene
bien paisible d un voyage en train
semblerait sortie tout droit dun
cOllunercial de services ferroviaires
iI nen est rien, cest la vie de
tout lesjoursabord du.train de
banlieue MontreallBlainville! Dire
qui1 n y a pas si long temps, la
majorite de ces voyageurs
« perdaient
» ce temps precieux dans des
embouteillages au volant
La bruyante 319 a un bout du train compose de voitures Pullman-Standard a deux
etages est Iune des cinq F40, louees dAmtrak, en service sur les trains de banlieue
a Montreal.
Rediscovering The Commuter Train
On an ordinary week morning, a commuter train is
swiftly heading towards Montreal. Its cars are filled almost
to capacity with
passengers enjoying this free time with
occupations: some are talking; others are quietly
reading; a few are welded to the screen of their laptop
computer; theres even a few simply taking a nap. This quiet
travel sequence sounding like
an excerpt from an ad for rail
services, is nothing
else than the usual mood aboard the
commuter train. Not so long ago, most
of these people were losing this valuable time driving
Ironically, The automobile -this old rival of the train
-caused the creation
of this new commuter service. Back in
1997, the provincial ministry
of Transport was planning the
complete closure
of Marius-Dufresne bridge, an important
between the north shore and Laval, for it required
important repairs. Since all inbound routes are heavily used
normal situation, the perspective of a closed bridge
sounded apocalyptic. This is why the Ministry proposed an
unusual altemative: a train! A line, in operation on weekdays,
from B1ainville
to Park Avenue station in Montreal, with bus
service to resume the final portion between the station
(located in the north end of the city) and the downtown area.
This project, called a mitigation measure, was heralded to d
automobiles pour se rendre au
cest Iautomobile -ce vieil ennemi
du train -qui
est a I origine de la creation de la ligne de
banlieue Montreal-Blainville. En 1997, Ie ministere des
Transport planifie la fermeture complete du pont Marius­
Dufresne, lien important entre
la Rive Nord et Laval, pour y
effectuer des travaux de voirie. C est rien de moins que
Iapocalypse qui est anticipee; les routes et les ponts vers
centre-ville sont tellement charges aux heures de pointe
quand il ny a pas de travaux, que la perspective de la
fermeture dun pont donne au projet de construction des
allures de cauchemar. Le ministere propose toutefois une
alternative inhabituelle aux banlieusards
pour la duree du
chantier : un train En service sur semaine seulement, Ie
train relierait Blainville a la gare Parco Pour terminer aisement
leur trajet vers
Ie centre-ville, un service rapide par autobus
serait aussi instaure :
Ie 935 Trainbus Blainville-Centre-ville.
On annonce une mise en place de ces mesures de mitigation

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
preparatoires consistent
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
interrupted since!

This temporary project makes
sense: low in cost, the rails are already in
place; the rolling stock is available from
other lines.
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
two months.
·····l ,lEm
~ :.,
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
to nearly
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
commuter cars
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
deux mois.
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
were then
sent for refurbishing at Alstom to
fulfil the needs of the new line. But again, by
the year
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
C&NW railroad.
La voiture
a deux etages avec poste de conduite numero 8729 a ete
construite en 1960 par Pullman-Standard pour Ie chemin de fer C&NW.
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
la 1326
de I AMT.
This is why commuters were introduced to the new
of railway cars on January 29, 2001, the date when a
new morning
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,
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
AMT se
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
is taken
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
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
reliable service
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
motrices F-59.
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.
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
sur toute
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
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
annees 1880,
Ie gouvernement comment;:ait a trouver que Ie
developpement ferroviaire coutait cher et que ce netait peut­
etre pas
Ie role de IEtat que den faire Ie developpement. En
1882, Ie
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
fou de
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
canadien, John
A. MacDonald
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
Canadian territory
with a railroad : The Canadian Pacific
Company. People
of the Quebec City region found this sale
unfair; rail
service to their region was to be an all Grand
Trunk affair since that company already had a line
to Quebec
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
simply has
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
to bring
suburbanites into the city;
its like a reward for past services!

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
developpement economique
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
and Laval.
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,
the wait
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
Montrealais dans
Ie Nord, la voie sert desormais a transp0l1er
les banlieusards vers la ville; juste retour des choses!
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
open, the
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
sound emitted
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:
—: …. ;:-,
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
du vent
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
mesure que
la locomotive approche, on redecouvre un peu a
chaque fois
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
en te
nd clairement Ie clic clac caracteristique des bogies sur
les ra
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
vit une
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
to access
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
important factor
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
arm still
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
of former
Bordeaux station and
is promptly heading towards Bois-de­
Boulogne station
just over Henri-Bourassa Boulevard, where
chef de train descend de
marche laisse des­
cendre les voyageurs
rend us a destination et
salue ceux qui en sont a
leur depart.
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
composition bizarre:
les voitures Pullman­
Standard a deux etages sont tirees (en
direction de Montreal) par une bruyante
F40 aux couleurs
d Amtrak et poussee
par une
F7 de I AMT. Avant Ie depart, la
F40 emet un tel son
quon dirait quelle
fait tout
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
trains franchissent
un pont bien discret sur piliers sur la riviere
des Mille-lies
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
de voie
velTa un jour des trains de banlieue vers Terrebonne!
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
Grand Trunk
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
beton couvre
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
au dessus
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
sy etalait
pour servir
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
aerial photographs
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
at a
lower level, we know that we are right over the West
of the Mount-Royal Tunnel of the MontreallDeux­
Montagnes line.
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
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
jusquau terminus
Windsor et
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
voir clairement
quune rotonde -dont on ne voit
plus trace
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
men ant
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
Canadien Pacifique
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!
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
to agreeable
sounds that are rarely heard
by the mororist; for instance, the
clock of
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
Note: Pictures
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
appear afar.
« Tout a coup, Ie voila! Les trois phares disposes en triangle
viennent dapparaitre a Ihorizon.
* 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:
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.
Locomotive 1305
is pushing a 5 bi-Ievel car train -headed by engine 263 -as it passes over Gouin Boulevard, in the
Bordeaux District.
La locomotive numero 1305 pousse un train de cinq voitures, dirige par la motrice 263, alors quil franchit Ie boulevard
Gouin dans
Ie quartier Bordeaux.
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.
The stories
flowed as
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
C.P.R. station,
Alton, Ontario.
ABOVE: C.N.R. station,
Picton, Ontario.
Left: C.N.R. station,
Kirkfield, Ontario.
Next Page: C.N.R. station,
Sydenham, Ontario.
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.
A portion
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
is quite
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
all round.
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,
the construction
of the connecting link near Attercliffe.
There are few
to speak of on the
line, and it is
straight and
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
standpoint. It
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
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
it is
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
longer have
to travel a
circuitous route via
The changeover
was accomplished
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
CASO line.
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
by train.
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.
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
the distance.
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
of a
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
of Chatham)
and Hewitt -would
be abandoned in time. It
appeared that that moment had finally arrived
in 1996, with the final passage over the line
After switching
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
12:30 pm.
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
the alignment
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
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
-a daily
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
of the
line (CN and
CPR each own a 50%
share) to abandon the stretch, as the
act simplified and expedited the rail
abandomnent process.
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
trafficked lines.
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
between St.
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
full length
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
eying the
line west
of St. Thomas as an alternate route for its Toronto-
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
clearly evident.
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.
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
window. From
this point westwards to
Fargo, the CASO line is host to a limited
freight service, as evidenced l;Iy
the sheen onthe rails.
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.
Above: Looking west
towards the St. Thomas
station building in the
distance on November
27,1999. CASO trackage
here is
unused; except
for very occasional use
as an extended
siding in
switching operations.
Locomotive 4134 had just
arrived with a local CASO
from Rodney and
Ridgetown, and was
returning to CN trackage
via the CPR connection.
Looking west across the Kettle Creek viaduct west of St. Thomas on November 27,1999. The sheen on the rails
indicates that
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.
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
When considered
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 eleven
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
transportation links.
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.
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
of them.
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.
Exporail Project
Project Reports Nos.
5 and 6 -September
28, 2001
Charles De Jean
Project Manager
Summer has
been good and the
pace of the con­
struction illustrates it.
Now that fall
is here,
were happy to report
70% of the new
steel structure
of the
EXPORAIL project
The railway
exhibit hall section
has all the steel
Rapports des Trav­
aux Nos. 5 et 6 -28
septembre 2001
Charles De Jean
Charge de projet
erected and the metal Photo by Charles De Jean, September 13, 2001.
Le merveilleux
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
been completed.
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
viewed from
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
the end
of February.
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
la collection.
structure d acier pour la derniere section du
batlment con tenant la salle
d archives, la bibliotheque, la
cafeteria, les
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
devront etre
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 …
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
of them
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
of crossing
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
to be
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
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,
1926 -1963.
They served the tiny railroad/hunting/
trapping settlements, north of roads (in the early days)
and north
of education.
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
to her
pen pal
Im not like you. I mean in the way I live.
The story
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.
Constant, Quebec.
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.

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