Saturday, May 20, 2017

Montreal Terminals - A Descriptive Sketch, Part 1

My brother gave me this wonderful little 4 inch by 6 inch booklet. In the railway's own words, it documents the state of many of the CNR's Montreal facilities in the late 1950s. 

As with most large organizations producing a publication for general distribution ... the probability that the information was reviewed by various departments and/or levels of the organization makes it particularly valuable as a historical document.

Dating: Although the booklet is undated, it mentions the removal of the interurban line from the Victoria Bridge and the servicing of steam locomotives. 

For people not familiar with the area and its features, 
and to provide some contemporary atmosphere, 
I have added a few images from the era described.

Schematic map included in the booklet.

from: Pamphlet: Canadian National Railways, America's Largest Railway System. Undated, circa late 1940s. Collection of LC Gagnon.

from: America's Largest Railway, 1950, Canadian National Railways. Collection of LC Gagnon.
The three 'white' windows with rounded tops mark the centre of the rebuilt (after the 1916 fire) Bonaventure station. 
Timetable west is behind the camera.
The station was demolished in 1952.

A newer version of some of the Bonaventure facilities is shown below.
The switcher is pulling timetable west.

from: Expo 67 Magazine. Collection of  LC Gagnon.

from: Railways of Canada; OS Nock; 1973; A&C Black, London.
With Montreal Island at the top of the photo, the south shore Victoria Bridge railway diversion 
and lift spans over the Seaway can be seen under construction in the late 1950s.

Below, the tracks leading from Central Station, into the Mount Royal Tunnel,
are seen in 1961.

Mount Royal Tunnel, Feb 1961. Ektachrome slide by LC Gagnon.

from: Canada Handbook; 1954; Government of Canada.
Above: The Wellington Tower interlocking.

Undated clipping from a Montreal newspaper during the CPR firemen's strike. Collection of LC Gagnon.
The legal CPR firemen's strike involved 5000 firemen and engineers from January 2 until January 11, 1957.
The CPR laid off 70,000 other workers for the duration of the strike.

The camera is facing timetable west.
At the right margin is Upper Lachine Road/Rue Saint Jacques.
The serpentine form near the top of the photo is the Lachine Canal.

Ektachrome slide by LC Gagnon. Feb 1961.
The photo was taken from Upper Lachine Road/Rue Saint Jacques.
Trains travelling to the left behind the water tower will reach Bonaventure, Central Station, etc.