To:  Colin Churcher     

OTTAWA RAIL ARTEFACT DISCOVERY SPRING 2016

A single-shoulder, 3-hole tie plate with a spike through it, was found buried in the sandy soil of the north raised embankment of the 1913 CNR rail spur into Uplands. The location was ~100 metres SE of the Airport Parway (at the point where the west off-ramp to Uplands Dr/ Alert Rd begins). Inspection of the NRC topographical map from 1914 indicates the rail spur curved southward around this point, to the ballast pits, presently between Alert Rd and the NRC Rail Test Facility.The spur embankments at this location are evident on aerial maps from 1965 to present (GeoOttawa website), however all traces of the rail bed between the Airport Parkway and Uplands Dr were obliterated with the 2011 construction of the EY Center.

SINGLE-SHOULDER, 3-HOLE TIE PLATE

DIMENSIONS             10 ”  x  7”

WEIGHT                     ~10    lbs

ONE    SQUARE HOLE  2 5/8” FROM TOP AND  3 ” FROM SIDES  

TWO    SQUARE HOLES  8 5/8” FROM TOP AND  2” FROM SIDES  

RAIL-SIDE   HIGH SHOULDER  3”  FROM TOP  (MAX  PLATE THICKNESS  5/8  HERE) 

RAIL-SIDE SHALLOW HORIZONTAL RIDGE  8 ”  FROM TOP  (PLATE  7/16’’ THICK HERE)

RAIL-SIDE FROM SHOULDER TO TOP, IS BEVELLED IN A SHALLOW WEDGE

TIE-SIDE 4 HORIZONTAL RIDGES ‘CLEATS’  2 7/8”, 5 1/8 ”, 7  ”, 9   FROM TOP

TIE-SIDE RIDGES ‘CLEATS’ ~ 1/8” HIGH

RAIL-SIDE  ALPHA-NUMERICS CAST ABOVE THE SHOULDER:

                                                                       2 - 12 - 19

IE            PAT - 6 - 3 - 13                    LUИ

                  VII     -  1921                           A

 

SPIKE

LENGTH                     6”

SHAFT                                    5/8  SQUARE             1”  TAPER TO POINT 

OVAL HEAD              1 ”  x  1 ”  (5/8  MAX THICKNESS) 

COMMENTS

 

2 - 12 -19                                 ?         

PAT - 6 - 3 - 13                       patented           June 3, 1913

VII    - 1921                             manufactured              July  1921 ?

RAIL BASE WIDTH                           5 ”                 Dudley 105 pound per yard jointed rail

 

CONCLUSIONS

Colin informed me that the present 1913 patended tie plate was used between the rail and the wooden tie to spread the load and reduce wear on the tie, and the design is a garden variety railway item . It was unearthed with a spike embedded through the shoulder hole. Whether the spur played a role in the construction of the 18-hole golf course, established north of Hunt Club Rd in 1920 is unknown  When the spur was ripped up, evidentally the rails were removed without full withdrawal of the spikes. Likely a broken tie with attached plate and spike, was discarded on the embankment. The well drained sandy soil at this location would have inhibited corrosion of the steel artefacts. What width of rail base did the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway use for the 1913 Beachburg Sub?

Inspection of the 1965 GeoOttawa aerial map reveals the rail bed at this location, was part of a ‘service road’ which terminated at the CPR siding, presently part of the NRC Rail Test Facility. In 1965 there was a lot of construction at the airport and C.F.B. Uplands.

Colin thank you for your excellent railway info (http://churcher.crcml.org/circle/findings2.htm#Uplands) which is an essential tool for the historian/ archaelogist. The rail beds are often the only man-made constant throughout the years.

Regards,  Alex B. Driega, Ottawa, ON            alexdriega@gmail.com         Dec 21, 2016