Friday, June 29, 2018

The Agawa Canyon Excursion on the Algoma Central Railway

It's June 1991, and we're off for a trip up the Algoma Central Railway to Agawa Canyon.

Making his way around us - his numerous Platform Supervisors - the carman gives his joint a last look.

There was an interesting diversity of passenger equipment during these years.
Above is ACR Diner 504, built by Budd in 1948 ... ne: an ATSF counter diner.

Leading from Sault Ste Marie will be GP7 170, built in 1952 and upgraded by CNR in 1978.
The tailend points to the three-storey Algoma Central office building and former station.
The new station is located in the mall parking lot - with the black bear on top.

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Through the window yard pot shots ...

ACR wooden caboose 9502, built by the Algoma Central in 1946.

This is scrapped SD40 180 or 182.
The two were wrecked in 1990.

Here are the doors to the engine house, I think.

from: Engine Houses & Turntables, 1850-1950; Edward Forbes Bush; 1990; Boston Mills Press.

The Algoma Central, and later the CNoR/CNR at Hornepayne, apparently had the only engine houses with covered turntables in Canada.

We were in the dining car for breakfast, upon our departure from Sault Ste Marie.
Looking at the photo, I see that chili was on the menu for lunch.
The breakfast theme was 'Round and Flat': pancakes and slices of ham.

Passengers explore their surroundings during the canyon layover.

The view of the south-facing train from the lookout.
The day was warm, but it seemed warmer after our ascent.

... and from the tailend.
Notice the lighter rail on the siding and the back track.

An unexpected railway-subject bonus was this international procession of speeders.
... Shepherded by this ACR hi-rail vehicle of some years' service.

The speeders paused ... probably for a rest and a new order or permit ...
before preceding us southbound.

I think we overtook them later on.

The railway had a simple run-around technique to ready the consist for its return.

This postcard was mailed from Oxford, Michigan (north of Pontiac) to
Leonard, Michigan (within walking distance ... at least it was back then) in 1919.

Noting the number of board feet and the rock outcropping,
this may be the trestle at Mile 104.09 as shown in Dale Wilson's
The Algoma Railway Story (1984).

Sitting with resting staff in the diner (scroll to right), we cross the bridge and dam on the Montreal River.

The Montreal River at Mile 92 - a postcard using a photo from the ACR.
I believe this is the future MacKay Generating Station.

Dale Wilson notes that this bridge, begun in 1911,
was the first and only bridge at this site.

Above and below, are a couple of views from our return trip.
In the lower photo, you can see that other ferro-cognoscenti are at the dutch doors.

I noted that I was sharing my vestibule with a smaller, older English woman.
She only had one, single exposure left on her film and she seemed to be intent
on making it acceptable for publication by the Royal Geographical Society.

... so I missed a few opportunities as she carefully composed her frame.

Meanwhile in England:
'I regret to inform Her Majesty that a boorish native Galoot with large elbows ... '

*  *  *

Below is the Official Guide entry from November 1958.

Readers with railway libraries which include works about the Algoma region of northern Ontario
will want to make note of the name A.M. Wilson, Chief Engineer (above).