Comments on the use of Thurso and Nation Valley Railway Car 27
Duncan du Fresne provided some interesting commentary on car 27 and its use on the Thurso Railway (January 1995 Branchline).
The visit to the Singer Mill and woodland operation by Lord Tweedsmuir was quite an event for the railway. Fortunately the instructions for the day that were issued by Mr. P.B. Bourget (General Manager) to Damien Lafleur (Railway Superintendent), dated June 3, 1936, have survived. I set them out here in full. The trip took place on June 5, 1936.
VISIT OF LORD TWEEDSMUIRThe party is expected to arrive at 10:30 A.M.
1. Mr. Simpson will wait for them on the highway in front of his residence with car and guide the party to the rear of the Power House.
2. Car 27 will be stationed at the Power House just west of the car loading entrance and bags, etc., will be transferred from autos at that point while the party visits the Mill.
3. As soon as bags are transferred car 27 will be switched by the Plymouth to track "D" and marshalled to the rear of log train.
4. Train will leave Thurso at 11:00 or 11:15 for Headquarters. Light tonnage and no stops for water. Lunch at Headquarters.
5. In addition to usual routine Mr. Lamb will:- (1) Saw a few choice logs and (2) have a few cars being unloaded into the pond. (3) One band being sharpened etc. while party is in the mill.
6. Leave Headquarters for Iroquois - Mr. Lafleur to make arrangements for quick change to Heisler at mile 32.
Mr. Scheult to have boat ready on Iroquois Lake. Engine should be warmed up prior to arrival and possibly a few benches arranged.
Time of return not yet determined.
Train should not carry too much tonnage in order to avoid delays.
On arrival at Thurso Plymouth will immediately pick up 27 behind train and shunt to Power House with party aboard. All switches to be secured so that Plymouth operation won't be delayed.
For the main line portion of the trip the 2-6-2 steam locomotive no. 2 would have been used. Note that Mr. Bourget uses the name "Headquarters" for the small community that later became to be known as "Singer".
It seems the plan did not go completely to plan because there is a photograph of Lord Tweedsmuir on this day sitting on a chair with his son on a flatcar attached behind car 27. It looks as if this has been added hastily because there are some logs and other debris still on the car.
Bytown Railway Society, Branchline, February, 1995.