Friday, December 3, 2021

Intercolonial Railway, Locomotive Roster (1875-1910)

Always with an eye for important historical data to be kept on file, LC Gagnon saved this ICR roster from an August 1966 copy of Railroad magazine. While it represents a specialized piece of Canadian history, it could be valuable to anyone interested in this era. I have left some of the peripheral articles and ads in the scans as some of them might be of historical interest themselves (e.g. one contains the use of the term 'hoboes').

The roster was compiled by The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary as I post this. 

You can see a photo of its founder and president, Charles E Fisher (also the person who contributed this roster to Railroad magazine) at the top left of the linked page. Note 03 at the bottom of the same webpage confirms this. (The link is active in 2021).

Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Centennial Page

For this roster ...

  • The notes reference numbers form the column at the extreme right of all five pages and reach 211. 
  • The corresponding notes text appears with the numbers bracketed, for example (211), on the first two pages.

Can't get enough of the Intercolonial?

A long time ago, on an earlier website, I wrote a piece about the Intercolonial and Sandford Fleming. That whole website was capped by my ISP at 100MB - about the size of just one of the page images reproduced above. 

The webpage linked below includes my transcription of the 1876 rulebook. (Back then, green was the colour used to signal proceed with caution, and white was proceed. It also refers to keeping a prescribed number of links and pins on hand). 

The rulebook for this government railway came into being through the equivalent of an Order in Council and I found it in a book of old laws of the 'Parliament of Great Britain' - because that's how things got done back then ... Queen Victoria would review Canada's proposed laws and email them back with some funny cat videos which she thought Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie hadn't yet seen.

It is another piece of specialized Intercolonial history, and early Canadian railroading procedures ... if you are interested ... 

Sandford Fleming & the Intercolonial Railway

Friday, November 26, 2021

Winnipeg map 1960, Spiral Tunnels diagram, ACR Baggage Car interior, CNR 86

Trains supplies two important historical hand-drawn images and an interesting car interior photo.

from: Trains and Travel, Railroad and Photo Annual, 1953

While 3/4 front views of locomotives are nice, interior rolling stock photographs are dandy for depicting the human experience of railroading and rail travel.

Photos by AC Kalmbach, himself, from: Trains and Travel, Railroad and Photo Annual, 1953

Somewhere I read that a surprising number of light steam locomotives operated from the beginning of the CNR (they generally originated from the CNR's predecessor railways) until near the end of steam in 1960. 

... Of course, these light locomotives would have been rebuilt a number of times. They continued in service because they were ideally suited to light-rail branch lines which had never been upgraded with heavier rail (or in some cases with significant crushed rock ballast, or tie plates) since their construction. 

Eventually, these branch lines died because of: the loss of freight and express business to trucking firms running on 'new free paved highways'; the end of Royal Mail contracts which had subsidized local passenger trains; or the growth of diesel locomotive rosters (including Budd cars) which allowed more efficient and economical servicing of the branch lines with diesel power.

After its appearance on the Westport Subdivision, which was abandoned in 1952 ...

The 86 was photographed by Don Wood heading south from Owen Sound as seen in August 1958 Trains.