6.2 Deep Cut (non interlocked)
6.3 CAR Rideau Canal drawbridge
6.4 CAR Hawthorne
6.5 CPR Hurdman
6.6 CPR Dows Lake (see section 2.4)
6.7 Salmon River and Northern Railway
OER-CAR/GTR/CNR Queen Street West/Fleet Street
6.9 CNOR Ottawa Junction
6.10 CNR Riverside
6.11 CPR and Hull Electric at Central/Union Station
6.12 CAR-CPR at Hammond
6.13 CNOR-GTR at Rockland
6.14 CPR Bedell
6.15 CPR Carleton Place
Note: In talking about Ellwood care must be taken not to confuse Ellwood Diamond with Ellwood and also Ellwood Junction.
Ellwood Diamond is where the Canadian Northern (later Canadian National) crossed the Canadian Pacific on the level. This was the name used by Canadian Pacific, Canadian National called it Ellwood Junction.
Ellwood, originally known as Chaudiere Junction, is a little further south and was where the Canadian Pacific Sussex Street line joined their line from Prescott to the Chaudiere..
1) The CNOR was authorized to cross the CPR Prescott line at Ellwood Diamond or Ellwood Junction in Sep 1910.
2) CNOR construction trains used the diamond with flagging.
3) An interlocking was installed in a tower located in the south quadrant and normal operation was authorized in December 1912.
4) In Aug 1916 CNOR were given authority to construct a transfer track with the CPR. Powers of expropriation were obtained and Barratt Brothers who were on adjacent land retained powers to be connected directly with the CPR. Two connecting tracks were built on the south side of the diamond and running parallel to the CNOR. The transfer track was located in the south west quadrant.
5) The transfer track was removed at some time - possibly soon after CNOR was absorbed into the CNR around 1920.
6) In 1933, CNR gained the right to appoint the man in charge of the interlocking. Before this time he had been appointed by CPR.
7) In August 1935 the interlocking was closed between 20:00 and 04:00 week days and from 04:00 to 20:00 Sundays.
8) In August 1936 CNR obtained permission to convert the mechanical interlocker to automatic operation and this was completed in October 1937. At this time the control was probably passed to Hurdman tower.
9) In July 1966 the NCC obtained authority, on behalf of the CPR, to operate over the connection in the north west quadrant. The formation seems to have been prepared for a connection in the north east quadrant but no opening order can be found and it does not appear ever to have been completed. The interlocking signals at Sawmill Creek on the Ellwood sub northbound and Heron Road southbound on the Beachburg sub are uniquely 3-head searchlight signals, required to signal the nonexistent connecting track as a medium speed (30 mph) route with red over green over red for clear. Since the Heron Road
signal eventually only controlled the diamond (green over red over red), and the slow speed (red over red over green) connecting track in the northwest quadrant, the medium speed indication was never needed and a plain red light
with no colour changer was substituted for the middle searchlight. All other signals in the area have one or two heads.
10) Following the changes CPR and CNR were authorized to operate across the diamond at track speed in September 1966. CPR was limited to 20 mph between Ellwood Diamond and Walkley Diamond.
11) In July 1967 a temporary connecting track was authorized in the south west quadrant presumably on or close to the original CNOR connection. A switch tender had to be on duty all the time and he was under the direction of the Train Dispatcher. This connection came into use in August 1967and was likely removed shortly after CP moved its yard freight operations from Ottawa West to Walkley on October 28-9, 1967.
12) In June 2003 the switch to the connecting chord from the Ellwood sub. was removed as a part of changes carried out to improve the trackage used by the O Train. Thus Ellwood Diamond is now a diamond with no connecting tracks.
CP 8599 is westbound on the Beachburg subdivision, having just left the connecting track with CP's Prescott subdivision on 26 October 1967. The Prescott subdivision became the Ellwood subdivision three days later on 29 October. This connection in the south west quadrant of the crossing of the two subdivisions was short-lived as it was not required after CP's Ottawa freight operations moved from Ottawa West to Walkley Yard during the night of October 28-29, 1967.
The view is looking geographically north (eastward on the Beachburg) with the Ellwood Subdivision barely visible in the right distance. The train is likely a yard movement en route to Plant 10, a Francon concrete facility just east of Stittville on the Carleton Place Subdivision. The sand and gravel in the hopper cars likely arrived Ottawa West earlier in the day from Franceschini Pit on the Waltham Subdivision.
On October 26th, 1967, Work Extra 8599 left Ottawa West southbound at 1105am with engineer Arnold Pearson, still alive in Renfrew Ontario, Conductor C.J. Mcgee, yardmen Robertson and Ross McLaughlin
with 21 loads, 1 empty, 2000 tons, 'A' rating going up that hill from Ottawa West to the onfederation/Ellwood Diamond crossing...that must have been something pulling 21 cars singlehandedly around that connecting track on the grade across Heron Road!!
He never booked himself back in, but that evening, 8758-8599 headed back south on old train #83 to this connecting track, leaving Ottawa West at 1945 with 14/22, 1483 tons, coming back the next morning as 1/90 from Smiths Falls with 8784-8599; L.G.Powell conductor, breakies Hart and Delahunt.
Photograph by Bill Linley.
6.2 Deep Cut - Non-interlocked
The switches and signals in this area were brought together in a small cabin. Deep Cut had the following controlled interlocking elements:
1 - junction switch with CPR M&O subdivision
2 - westward signal between CPR and NYC
3 - crossover switch at west end of double track from Riverside
4 - crossover switch at east end of double track from Laurier Bridge
5, 6 - westward signal (two arms) between double track and CPR - engine house track switch (hand signalled)
7 - connecting track switch from Main Street
8 - signal between engine house and connecting track from Main Street
9 - switch at start of coach lead
10 - eastward signal on coach lead 130 feet west of westward main track switch at Deep Cut
11, 12 - first eastward signal west of Deep Cut on Canal Side of double track (two arms)
13 - eastward signal 433 feet west of Deep Cut
This is a Newton Photo from the City of Ottawa Archives. MG: 393 Code: AN-NP-030422-001 CA-003541-001 Date: 1954-03-11
Ottawa Journal 24 January 1899
"Mr. William H. Young, representing the Union Switch and Signal Company of Swissvale Pa. is in the city in connection with the interlocking switch system which is to be put in at the junction of the railway lines at the Deep Cut. The interlocking system is now in use at nearly all junctions lines in the States. Collisions are impossible with the system. Mr. Young says his company will have the interlocking system in place by May 31st. and work will be begun in April. The plant, he says will be the finest in America.
In the interlocking switch system a building is erected at a point where it commands a view of the tracks on all sides for some distance. A derailing switch is put on each track about 500 feet from the junction. Further down the track from the derailing switch is put a home signal and some distance beyond is the distance (sic) signal. The distance signals are usually green and the home signals red. When a train is approaching the junction and it is signaled to cross, the track is all clear and the interlocking system which connects with all the other tracks shows danger signals on all those lines and any other train attempting to approach would be derailed."
In the event it appears, in latter days at least, the installation at Deep Cut was not interlocked.
6.3 CAR Rideau Canal drawbridge
The original drawbridge over the Rideau Canal was built around March 1882 just before the opening of the Canada Atlantic Railway into Ottawa. Authority for the canal crossing was given by Order in Council PC 1882-414 of 6 March 1882 which:
Approves application by the Canada Atlantic Ry. for authority to cross the Rideau Canal by means of a swing bridge to be constructed at a point near the City of Ottawa, Stewarton shown on a plan submitted.
The Chief Engineer of Government Railways reported "there seems to be no objection to allow a railway crossing at the place mentioned provided the approach to the swing bridge on the Stewarton side is made either of open work or has openings in it so as will allow the water to flow freely and that there shall be no descending grade in the immediate vicinity of the bridge and leading to it and greater than 20 feet to the mile. Also that there shall be proper rest piers for the bridge when open and that these piers shall have guards and the whole as well as the superstructure of the bridge shall correspond to the centre line of the Canal as marked out by the officer in charge of the Canal, openings for navigable channel on side of centre pier for swing bridge to be not less than 40 feet in width."
Authority was given subject to the above conditions.
Just after construction in September 1882 - PA-12201
Canada Atlantic Roundhouse was built in 1882. It is under construction here so the photo is probably that year.
A view of the drawbridge showing the semaphore signal in the centre with possibly the Bridgemaster leaning on the post. Behind the bridge can be seen the Elgin street roundhouse.
This is where the Queensway bridge over the Rideau Canal is located today. (Collection N. Bruce Ballantyne.)
June 1902 from the LAC PA-28212 Topley Collection. This is taken from the north west quadrant near the CAR yard
About 1910-15 in GTR days. LAC PA-9936. A similar picture was taken a shortly afterwards with the train further advanced.
In the foreground is the siding to the Ottawa Silicate Company on the Rideau Canal see item 18.2
(PA-131875, from the Ballantyne collection is not a picture of the railway bridge but the foot and buggy bridge that was located to the north of the railway bridge).
On 12 August 1891 CAR locomotive No. 33 fell into the canal. Two photos in the Public Archives depict this. PA-127265 shows the preparations for raising the locomotive and PA-127267 shows a partially submerged CAR locomotive. This is the Ottawa Citizen account:
A disastrous accident, which fortunately did not result in loss of life, occurred early yesterday morning at the C.A.R. depot. An engine and three cars was in readiness to shunt on to a load of cars for the east and Fireman Page, without waiting for the engineer, started the engine and three cars for the swing bridge over the canal to shunt back. At the same time, the tug Minnie Bell whistled for the bridge to open and Bridgemaster Wallace opened the bridge and signalled the approaching train. Fireman Page seems not to have heard either the tug's whistle, the bridgemaster's shouts or to have seen the semaphore on the bridge until, on the verge of the opening, when he, too late, reversed his engine. The train, however, had no chance to stop and the engine, tender and half the first car disappeared into the canal. At once a rush was made to the spot, and no one expected to see Fireman Page alive. He, however, had a miraculous escape, as he was pitched from the car and swam ashore suffering only slight shock. The tug Minnie Bell was sufficiently far off to see the danger and slow up, and thus escape running under the train. The blame of the accident rests with the fireman, who in the first place assumed the responsibility of starting the locomotive without the engineer, and secondly, had no occasion to run as far as the bridge to shunt his cars. He has only been in the employ of the company about two years, and reported yesterday that he was suffering too much from chills and shock to attend the investigation.
The bridge was not damaged and traffic was not impeded. The engine, no 33, was not damaged, but as it weighs 70 tons, the work of raising it will be an arduous and expensive one, and the loss to the company will be in the neighbourhood of $1,000.
See The Rideau Canal Accident
An article by Austin cross in the Ottawa Evening Citizen of 11 November 1948 sheds additional light on how the bell was donated to the Ascension Church but the date of the accident is way out.'Cross Town by Austin Cross
For more than forty years now a railway bell has been calling faithful Anglicans to church. What astonishes me is that I have been scooped on such a story for that church bell is right over my own Ottawa East. How the church bell got from the bottom of the Rideau canal to the top of Ascension Church belfry is an interesting story. This is one Lud Hawkins shouldn't miss.
One day, back about '04 or '05 before any lady working on the The Evening Citizen was born, Engineer Frank Turner of the old Canada Atlantic Railway was easing a train eastward from Bank Street toward the Rideau canal. Handling the shovel was Fred Page.
As often happens, when an engineer has a good fireman, he lets the knight of the shovel take over.
"Take her over Fred." he said.
Those were the saddest words he ever said. Fred took her over and started to wheel No. 33 toward the bridge. She was a little old Rhode Island type. Then, as now, there was a swing bridge, and the bridge opened to let traffic through. There was a lot more water traffic then than now.
For what reason I know not, Fred ran C.A.R. No. 33 through the open bridge. In a word, he put her in the drink. No. 33 settled down calmly and quietly into the ooze and that was than.
I am not sure what happened to Frank Turner, but it was goodbye to the Canada Atlantic for Fred Page. Mr Turner, incidentally, dead many years, had a son, Louis Turner, who worked for the Canadian National.
Meanwhile Fred Page got a job for the Ottawa Electric and ran on the street cars for Athearn and Soper for many years before he retired. He is dead now.
The little Rhode island engine sat in the ooze for some time till the Canada Atlantic got the hook, and hauled her out.
At this time, somebody mentioned in Ascension Church that they were without a bell.
I got in touch with Mrs Ike Johnson, 137 Hawthorne, who is over 30, and who recalls the incident very well. Rose Johnson said that when the matter of the bell came up. Joe Leslie, then people's warden at Ascension drew attention to the existence of this bell and said he thought he could get it. It also happened that E.J. Chamberlain, who klater became president of the Grand Trunk which bought the Canada Atlantic, was the original general manager of the CAR. The result was that it was an easy thing to get the train bell for the Anglican Church on Echo drive.
Old No. 33 has gone to that heaven of all engines, the scrap heap, a long long time ago. But there's a touch of immortality about old 33 just the same. For each Sunday the spirit of the little Rhode Islander rings out a message, calling the Ottawa east Agglicans to church. As it ding dongs a message to the faithful, it conjures up a message to the old timers still alive.
There was a second accident at the drawbridge on 23 August 1907. This time the locomotive did not finish up in the water: This is the account from the Ottawa Journal:
An unusual accident, luckily involving no loss of life, took place this morning shortly after 6 o'clock at Ottawa East.
Locomotive on rampage.
Engine No. 451 backing west through the Grand Trunk yards to be attached to the regular daily way freight train going east, on reaching the drawbridge over the canal at Ottawa East, became unmanageable and started to back towards the river, instead of over the bridge. The engine ran off the rails and travelled nearly the full length of the bridge on the ties, ripping and tearing them badly, and finally hung with its tender suspended over the waters of the canal.
The engineer - J. McKenna and fireman - G. Johnston, vainly attempted to check their engine. The brakes seemed to be out of order and only after the application of both the air and emergency brakes was the mogul freight engine brought to a standstill.
The engineer and fireman both remained in their cab until relieved by personal orders of Mr. Donaldson, the G.T.R. general superintendent.
Three engines to the rescue.
No less than three huge engines were required to haul the runaway back to the metals, and in the meantime, for nearly two hours, traffic was at a standstill over the Grand Trunk tracks.
The back truck of engine No. 451are somewhat damaged, the tender is smashed and the underbody of both tender and engine are pretty well tangled up.
A large force of men was quickly put to work, the ties of the draw bridge were patched up and the damaged locomotive was towed to the repair shops.
Both engineer and fireman were badly shaken up and had to go home.
Various craft on the canal, including the steamer Rideau King, were delayed for an hour or so, being unable to get under the bridge until the engine was removed.
After one of the two incidents, the Grand Trunk (or CAR) donated the bell to the Holy Trinity Church. Eventually it was replaced with chimes and the bell now calls the faithful of St. Augustine's Church in Newington to worship.
The drawbridge was replaced with a new deck plate girder swing span by the Grand Trunk Railway in January 1912. This was authorized by Order in Council PC 1910-2386 and BRC orders 12752 of 13 January 1911 and 15838 of 24 January 1912.
The drawbridge was not originally interlocked and all trains were required to come to a full stop prior to passing over the structure during navigation season. During the winter freeze up the bridge was secured across the Canal and trains were operated normally. The stopping of westbound trains was particularly difficult, because it was often necessary to provide assisting engines to get full tonnage trains into the Bank StreetYard. The turning of trains Nos. 1 and 2 entering or leaving Ottawa station involved a backup movement and, in one case, a head on movement in the other around the wye and up to or over this bridge. In order to avoid these difficulties, as well as to reduce the smoke and noise nuisance in the navigation season, an interlocker was installed in 1940. This did not constitute a full interlocker inasmuch as there were no approach signals nor signals provided for movement out of the side tracks within the interlocker. Due to the slow movement of all traffic over this drawbridge and being within yard limits, this did not create any difficulty and a speed limit of 10 mph. applied to all trains approaching the drawbridge. A small cabin was constructed which contained a six lever frame (2 home signals, 2 derails and 2 bridge couplers, no spares) as follows:
1. Signal for eastbound movements. 4. Bridge coupler bridge lock. 2. Eastbound derail - locked the main line switch normal. 5. Westbound split point derail - when open this bolt-locked the main line switch normal. 3. Bridge coupler power switch. 6. Signal for westbound movements.
The derail on the east side was located just opposite the main line frog which was an unusual location but owing to the side track switch being so close to the main line frog, it was impossible to locate it otherwise without rearranging the track layout.
You can see the rodding from the interlocker, controlled from the cabin on the far right. There are three rods on the bridge, one of which presumably controls the near-end lock (4 in the above list). Two rods continue through the box at the end of the abutment towards the lower left, presumably to control the approach signal and derail (1 and 2 in the above list). I wonder how power was fed to the mechanism at the centre of the bridge?Note also the ladder and catwalk, (for access to the machinery under the bridge?) David Jeanes.
This interlocker was authorized by order 59374 of 11 July 1940, the work was completed and brought into use by order 60695 of 12 May 1941. This remained in use during the navigation season until the line was abandoned. The bridge was taken out of service on 3 February 1963 and handed over to the National Capital Commission the following day.
6.4 CAR - O&NY Hawthorne Interlocking
An interlocking was installed where the O&NY crossed the CAR at Hawthorne. This was a plain crossing with just a diamond and no interchange track. A plan prepared by the Canada Switch & Spring Co of 18 May 1898 was filed with the Privy Council shows "the arrangement of signals and derails for crossing of O&NY and CAR at Hawthorne". The Railway Committee of the Privy Council approved this on 7 Jun 1898. The interlocking tower is shown to the south east of the diamond. This was a 15 lever machine with three spare levers. The function of each lever was as follows:
1. O&NY eastbound distant 6. Spare 11. Derails at signals 11 and 12 2. O&NY eastbound home 7. Slip diamond 12. CAR westbound home 3. CAR eastbound distant 8. Slip diamond 13. CAR westbound distant 4. CAR eastbound home 9. Spare 14. O&NY westbound home 5. Derails at signals 2 and 14 10. Spare 15. O&NY westbound distant
In all cases:
(National Archives negative no. NMC 184285)
- the distant signals were 1,200 feet in advance of the home signal;
- the home signals were 50 feet in advance of the derail;
- the derails were placed 500 feet in advance of the diamond.
On 19 Nov 1921, the NYC was relieved from maintaining a signalman between the hours of 22:30 and 06:30 daily provided that the signals and derails be set clear for the GTR and against the NYC. On 14 Mar 1922, this was modified to provide that special movements may be made over the crossing during the hours the operators were off duty on condition that NYC arrange to have operators called to operate the signals when each special movement was made. The GTR had to be advised in sufficient time to allow trainmen to be advised of such special movements.
On 26 Oct 1928, the NYC was relieved from maintaining signalmen between 06:30 and 22:30 on Sundays; provided that the signals and derails be set clear for CNR and against NYC during the said hours; the key of the tower was to be retained by NYC; in the event of an emergency movement over the crossing on the part of the railways requiring the operation of the interlocking plant, the matter was to be arranged between the companies and the operators called to protect such movments.
On 28 Jun 1932, the arrangement was further altered so that arrangements could be made whereby a signal can be provided at the intersection of the two railways, set for the CNR at all times when a telegrapher was not on duty. The NYC was granted leave to maintain one telegrapher daily except Sunday.
On 13 Nov 1945, following alterations, the CNR and NYC were authorized to operate through the interlocking without stopping provided the signals indicated proceed. NYC trains were not to exceed 15 mph when approaching the crossing.
On 28 Nov 1946, theNYC was authorized to install automatic interlocking signals in lieu of the present mechanical interlocking. The work was completed and on 13 Jun 1947 CNR were authorized to operate their trains through the interlocking plant "without their first being brought to a stop: PROVIDED the signals are in the "proceed" position".
On 5 Mar 1948, CNR were authorized to operate passenger trains at a speed of fifty mph through the automatic interlocking.
Further work was carried ut in 1954 and on 15 Dec of that year CNR and NYC were authorized to operate their trains through the interlocking without their being brought to a stop, provided the signals were in the proceed position.
On 12 Dec 1957, CNR were authorized to remove the interlocking following abandonment of the NYC earlier that year.
6.5 CPR Hurdman Interlocking
My dad the telegraph operator at the CPR Hurdman Tower September 1952 - Agatha Houke
The final interlocking frame was over 30 feet long. Some of the remote switches were electrically controlled, including the CNR switch at Riverside and the connecting track switches at Ellwood diamond. Most of the switches at Hurdman were controlled by rods (also called pipes).
The Ottawa Citizen of 24 January 1899 describes the installation of the first interlocking at this location:
Mr. W.W. Young, of the Union Signal and Switch Co. of Swissvale, Pa., is in the city arranging for the installing of one of the company’s switch plants at Ottawa East, where the C.P.R., C.A.R. and O. & N.Y. roads cross.
This plant, which is in operation in the railway yards in Toronto and other large centres, is a complex and ingenious arrangement. By it the entire system of switches is brought under the control of one man, stationed in a central tower giving full view of the tracks and switches under his control. The different signals, switches derails, etc. are distinguished in the usual way by the standard colored lights and discs. Each switch is connected to the central tower with levers numbered and colored correspondingly. These are ranged in rows and under the immediate control of the operator. When he wishes to clear a line he works the levers attached to the switches along that line, some of which may be a long distance off. The switches are interlocked both in the tower and at the track, so that the latter is made absolutely safe, which is shown by the connecting signals. Should the operator make a mistake or neglect his duty, the switches through the signals show this end and the oncoming train is brought to a standstill.
Details of the first interlocking (St.L&O crossing M&O and CAR) are shown on Union Switch and Signal plan C 2028 revised to 4 Nov 1898. This shows the connection with O&NY as well as a proposed line to a lumber yard (running south from between switches 19 and 20). The two quadrants (north and south connecting tracks) between Sussex St. sub and M&O are also shown.
Arrangement of levers:
1. Eastbound M&O distant. 19. Switch M&O/O&NY. 2. Eastbound M&O home. 20. (a) Switch M&O/North Connecting track and;
(b) Southbound derail on North Connecting track.
3. Eastbound M&O starter. 21. (a) Switch M&O/South Connecting track.
(b) Northbound derail on South Connecting track.
4. Eastbound O&NY starter. 22. (a) Switch St.L&O/South Connecting track and;
(b) Southbound derail on South Connecting track.
5. Southbound StL&O distant 23. Southbound StL&O derail (protects StL&O/CAR diamond). 6. Southbound StL&O home. 24. Westbound CAR derail (protects StL&O/CAR dimond). 7. Southbound StL&O starter. 25. Northbound StL&O derail (protects StL&O/CAR diamond). 8. Westbound M&O distant. 26. Eastbound CAR derail (protects StL&O/CAR diamond). 9. Westbound M&O home. 27. Spare. 10. Westbound O&NY distant. 28. Spare 11. Westbound O&NY home. 29. Spare 12. Spare. 30. Westbound CAR home. 13. Spare. 31. Westbound CAR distant. 14. Spare. 32. Northbound StL&O starter. 15. East and westbound M&O derails (protect StL&O/M&O diamond). 33. Northbound StL&O home 16. (a) Switch StL&O/North Connecting track and;
(b) Northbound derail on North Connecting track.
34. Northbound StL&O distant. 17. South and northbound StL&O derails (protects StL&O/M&O diamond). 35. Eastbound CAR home. 18. Westbound O&NY derail. 36. Eastbound CAR distant.
12 levers for 18 switches and 18 locks
18 levers for 18 signals and 4 b. locks
30 working levers
6 spare spaces (12-13-14-27-28-29)
36 lever frame
Signals 3 and 4 were on the same mast with signal 4 being to the right of and lower than signal 3. The 14' x 20' tower was in the south west quadrant of the StL&O/M&O diamond and was aligned parallel to the StL&O.
(RG 46 M 2000012783 Acc. No. 77803/23 D1097 F 19 (National Archives negative No. NMC 184286))
6.6 Canadian Pacific - Dows Lake (See section 2.4)
6.7 Salmon River and Northern Railway
Board order 632 of 2 Sep 1905 authorized the Salmon River & Northern Railway, a logging railway owned by Haskell Lumber, to cross the CPR 4 miles east of Montebello at mile 70.6 Lachute subdivision. The SR&N ran north to bring logs out of the hills but it also needed to move traffic to and from the Ottawa River. An undated plan showing the layout authorized by the order has survived - it is entitled "C.P.R. East Div. Dist 3, Plan shewing location of proposed Diamond Crossing and sidings for the Haskell Lumber Co, Mileage 70.3 Ottawa Section.
The crossing of the CPR required an interlocking with semaphores but the company needed to use the crossing before the semaphores could be installed in order to transport from the Ottawa River a large quantity of logs which had been floated down and which, if left in their present position, would become embedded in ice or otherwise lost and destroyed. Interim order 696 was issued on 5 Oct 1905. This allowed the SR&N to use the crossing between sunrise and sunset and required that the SR&N provide a flagman to signal to all trains. SR&N trains were required to come to a full stop before reaching the crossing and could not proceed until the signal had been given. This order remained in force for a period of ninety days.
There was an application on 28 Mar 1906 for an second interim order. Owing to inclement weather, frost and snow, the installation of signals was delayed and SR&N needed to use the crossing in order to haul to the mill of the Haskell Lumber Co. a number of logs which were to be floated down the Salmon and Ottawa rivers with the breaking up of the ice. Without such permission a great deal of valuable property might be detained, imperilled and lost. Order 1044 was issued on 24 Apr 1906 extending terms of 696 until 1 Jul 1906.
The connecting track between the two railways was in the north west quadrant and there were two exchange sidings adjacent to the CPR on the west side of the crossing, 680 feet and 1050 feet long.
The interlocking was presumably installed before the expiry of order 1044. A letter 16 Apr 1930 from CPR to the Board advised that the interlocker at the crossing of the SR&N directed to be installed by 632 was removed on 14 Sep 1925 due to the SR&N being taken up.
6.8 OER-CAR/GTR/CNR Queen Street West/Fleet Street
This interlocking was situated where the CAR Chaudiere line crossed the double track OER at Queen Street West (Queen Street later became Fleet Street).
From the Ottawa Citizen 23 July 1938.
"On October 27, 1907, Ottawa was the scene of an accident in which many people had narrow escapes from death.Following this accident the BRC, on 12 March 1908, ordered the GTR, which was junior, to protect the crossing by:
"A street car on the Chaudiere line crashed into a G.T.R. freight train at the Queen street west crossing. The entire vestibule of the car was crushed in, and the car turned across the tracks. It was on its way to the Chaudiere filled with passengers. Motorman Page and Conductor Brisbois were in charge. As the car came down the grade nearing the G.T.R. crossing, a long freight train was pulling out of the city. The motorman tried to apply the brakes but they failed to work. Then as the car went on down the incline, Conductor Brisbois ran back and put the brake on at the rear. He then shouted for the passengers to jump for their lives.
Many of the passengers sprang through the windows and doors but others were too slow and were still in the car when it struck the freight train. A middle-aged woman was just leaving the rear steps when the crash came, and was thrown towards the train. This was not the only narrow escape. Just at the moment when the car struck the train Motorman Page jumped. The next instant the entire vestibule was crushed in."
(1) placing derails one 75' from point of crossing on east side of the GTR and on north track of OER and one 75' from crossing on east side of the GTR and on the south track of the OER. The derails were to be interlocked with gates so that when the gates were down the derails to be open and against the OER and when raised the derails to be closed.
(2) Cost to be borne by GTR.
(3) A trolley guard be placed over the trolley wire on the south track of the OER where it crosses GTR and to be installed at the expense of the OER.
The trolley guard was to prevent the trolley pole from coming away from the wire and stranding the car across the crossing. It was only considered necessary on the OER south track because cars were running downgrade on the north track.
There was a great deal of procrastination on the part of the GTR and the installation was not installed and placed in proper working condition until July 1914.
This was a very busy crossing for streetcars, vehicles and pedestrians and it was decided to install an interlocking plant which would provide for the crossing gates to be automatically lowered when the signals werere set in the clear position on the GT tracks and the derails are open on the OER tracks. The arrangement is shown on GTR plan SD-1091 dated 24 April 1914 and the installation was approved on 27 October 1915.
The lever frame was of the W.H. Patton type consisting of 5 levers which had the following functions:
1 Double gates on the east side closing across the OER. 4 GTR home signal for northbound trains. 2 Double gates on the west side closing across the OER. 5 GTR home signal for southbound trains. 3 Derails on the OER, one on the approach on each of the OER tracks.
The derails were both pipe operated, all in oil pipe and the gates were cable operated. The signals were pipe operated and interlocked with the derails and the gates were interlocked with the signals and derails. The ground lever cabin was was in the north east quadrant and had a concrete foundation and leadout cellar.
The working of the interlocking plant was as follows:
- first movement is to open the derails on the OER;
- second to lower the gates;
- third to lower the home signal to clear position.
On 13 November 1916 there was a complaint from V. Bouvin on behalf of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America. The motormen suggested that if there was a light signalling a car that the derail switch is against them it would save a lot of worry and derailment. As it is, a car has no way to know if the switch is against them until they come too close, especially in the dark.
The BRC was particularly concerned about the eastern derail which was located on a down grade about 66’ from the GTR. Both derails were often out of order. Cars going west on Wellington Street towards Queen Street may coast for ¼ mile without need of any power, in fact cars on this route would run away if not kept in hand - hand brakes only were in use. The BRC felt that ample warning of the approach to the derail was essential. The derails were often out of order, particularly west of the crossing during severe winter weather due to water running down the track into and freezing them when closed. The GTR attempted to put in a drain but were prevented from doing so by refusal of the owner of a small piece of property over which we wanted to run the drain.
On Saturday 17 November 1917 additional changes were put into service. The east derail, originally 66' from the crossing, was moved 50 further away from the crossing placing it close to the bridge over the spillway from the waterworks Pumping Station. A cluster of lights was installed immediately over each derail. This cluster consisted of six white lights and a red one and was controlled by a switch in the gateman’s shanty. The procedure was for the gateman to turn on the switch before opening the derails. The lights do not appear to have been interlocked.
On 29 November 1921 the GTR applied for an order that would permit the company’s trains to pass over Queen Street West crossing without stopping. The matter was thoroughly investigated by the BRC which was concerned that vehicular and pedestrian traffic were extraordinarily heavy, there were no derails on the GTR and the present protection was not positive and that OER cars operated over the crossing controlled by hand brakes only.
The GTR connected the J.R. Booth lumberyard and the tracks north of Queen Street with the main track at Rochester Street and was used entirely for freight movements. The approaches on the GTR were on heavy curvature in both directions with short views of the home signals due to obstruction by buildings. It was important that GTR trains approach the home signals at slow speed, the northbound movement being on a down grade and, in every case being a backup or reverse movement. All trains were backed up out of Rochester Street to the Eddy Yard. The locomotive was on the leading end for the run from Eddy back to Rochester Street.
OER cars westbound were also on a down grade. In November 1921 an OER car failed to stop clear of the derails resulting in a derailment and the car fouling the GTR track.
GTR practice was for trains to come to a slow rate of speed and not actually come to a stop. GTR felt that this is perfectly safe as the crossing was protected and trains were under control. To bring the trains to a full stop difficulty would be, at times, experienced in starting up again and in addition to this if trains are of any length it would likely block other streets.
On 10 March 1922 the GTR and OER were authorized to operate over the crossing at Queen Street West without their trains being first brought to a stop provided the speed shall not exceed 10 mph.
On 9 July 1925 the CNR was authorized to discontinue the watchman on Sundays which saw no trains that day. At that time the operating hours were from 10:00 to 18:00 there being no train movements outside these hours with the exception of the winter months when logs were sometimes moved at which time a watchman was placed in charge of the crossing in every case where switching or train movements were made across it.
There was an accident on 1 October 1929 at 02:10. Yard engine 7135 was passing over the crossing with 12 cars at about 3 mph when a Whippet coach auto crashed through the gates and hit the side of the train. The passenger was slightly injured and the driver was sentenced to 7 days for driving a car while under the influence of liquor. The report indicated that the crossing was well protected with gates, signals on the railway and derail on electric railway all worked manually from a cabin on the north east side of the track. There was also a bell that the man in charge would ring before he started to work his levers. There were two men handling movements – one 09:00 to 18:00 who was relieved by another man who worked until 02:00 unless advised to remain longer by the Yard Office.
There is no mention in the file of when the interlocking was removed but it presumably was taken out of service shortly after the last streetcar ran to Hull on 27 November 1954. There was a proposal, in 1962, to install push button operated flashing lights and bells with a cantilever structure but this came to nought as the National Capital Commission was negotiating over the future of the E.B. Eddy plant which, apart from the little used team track ramp and overhead crane at Chaudiere Yard, were the only remaining users of the Chaudiere line.
The crossing was taken out of use when this portion of the Chaudiere branch was abandoned on 15 November 1965.
Sources: National Archives RG 46 vol. 1498 case 3050
Orders of the BRC/BTC and CTC
6.9 Canadian Northern Ontario - Ottawa Junction
BRC order 7490 of 6 Jul 1909 auhorized the CNOR to cross and connect with the Ottawa & Prescott Railway at m. 56.6 west from Hawkesbury. CNOR to install an interlocking plant at its own expense. Interlocking to be installed within 60 days after construction of CNOR.
BRC order 7597 of 24 July 1909 provides as follows:
(1) CNOR allowed to use the crossing with the Ottawa & Prescott for construction purposes only pending the installation of the interlocker provided for in 7490;
(2) All CNOR trains to be brought to a full stop and do not proceed to make the crossing until the flagman signals that the way is clear aand to proceed;
(3) A flagman be stationed at the crossing for the purpose of flagging trains across; such flagman to be appointed by CPR and paid for by CNOR.
A 1915 plan showing changes to the Hurdman Interlocking shows the interlocking where the CNOR crossed the Sussex Street line. The tower is in the north east quadrant and close to the diamond which has an angle of 92 degrees 16 minutes.
The diamond is protected by home and distant semaphores in each direction on the Sussex Street line and from Hawkesbury and Henderson Avenue but not from Rideau Junction. Derails are placed on the switch for movements to Henderson or Hurdman off the Hawkesbury line, both sides.
With the Sussex Street sub. already a low traffic switching line and the reduction in trains which took place after CNOR became part of CNR the traffic over this interlocking was not high.
BRC order 23373 of 27 Feb 1915 notes that the crossing between CNOR and CPR at Hurdman's Bridge, Nepean is particularly light, there is in fact no night traffic on the CPR. So long as the character of the movements over the crossing shown to exist continues, companies are relieved from maintaining a night signalman to operate the crossing; home signals and derails to be set clear for the CNOR; key to the tower to be left in the custody of the CNOR.
BRC order 33290 of 15 Jan 1923 approves CNOR plan showing layout of interlocking plant proposed to be installed at the crossing of the Sussex Street branch by two tracks of the CNOR at Hurdman. To be installed by 15 Jul 1923. Order 33939 of 26 Jul 1923 granted a time extension for installation until 1 Sep 1923. The new interlocking was authorized by order 34234 of 26 Sep 1923 which authorized CPR and CNR ato operate their trains over the crossing without bringing them to a stop, provided the signals are clear and that the speed of trains shall not exceed 15 mph.
BRC order 37458 of 3 Apr 1926 provided that:
(1) So long as the character of the movements over the crossing of the CPR by two tracks of the CNOR shown to exist continues, CNOR and CPR are relieved from maintaining a signalman entirely on Sundays and between 19:00 and 09:00 on weekdays; the signals to be set for the CNOR and against the CPR; the key to the tower to be retained by the CNOR, but if CPR desires to make a movement during the time the crossing is closed, a notice shall be given to the CNOR and the operator shall be called to take charge of the interlocking plant to cover the movement desired.
(2) CPR is authorized, at the expense of the CNOR, to move the east distant signal on the CNOR to a point 600' from the home signal.
It is not known when Ottawa Junction interlocking was taken out of service. It likely lasted until the abandonment of the L'Orignal subdivision in July 1939.
6.10 Canadian National - Riverside
Bill Linley picture. March 1963.
Bruce Chapman comment: Riverside after the operators were eliminated and only the switchtenders remained at the west end of the bridge over the Rideau River. Hurdman would be at the far left.
Riverside tower (non interlocked) was located to the west of the Rideau River and is shown on plan X-2-216-6 of 23 Jan 1934 and plan X-2-216-7 of 6 Jun 1941. It seems it replaced the watchman 's shanty which was set up in 1916 on the east side of the Rideau River to control movements to and from the interchange between the CNOR and GTR. It controlled:
- both ends of the CNOR/GTR interchange tracks including the crossover at the CNOR end (Hurdman sub). In the 1941 revision the double track was shortened and the switch at the Alexandria sub. end was included in the Hurdman interlocking;
- the switches to the double track and Ottawa Gas.
6.11 Canadian Pacific and Hull Electric at Central/Union Station
Hull Electric cars coming into Ottawa from Hull took the western track of the three tracks running from the Interprovincial Bridge. Having unloaded passengers, the streetcars crossed the Canadian Pacific main line on a loop track under the Chateau Laurier and back to a loading platform for Hull bound passengers. Movement over this loop track was controlled by a half interlocking - so called because there were no distant signals. BRC order 115 of 26 July 1904 authorizes this interlocking as follows:
The Canadian Pacific Ry., upon whose tracks the Hull Electric Ry. operates, do forthwith place a semaphore with two arms interlocking at the point of crossing of the Hull Electric Ry. and the main line of the Canadian Pacific Ry., one arm to extend over the tracks operated by the Hull Electric Ry. and one arm to extend over the main line of the Canadian Pacific Ry., with lights to correspond. A detailed plan of the interlocking semaphores provided for in the proceeding section of this order be submitted by the Canadian Pacific Ry. for the approval of the Chief Engineer of the Board, before the installation of the same. A substantial outer guard rail of wood, 8 inches by 9 inches, shod with angle iron, be placed outside the outside rail, on the incoming track of the Hull Electric Ry. from the Alexandra Bridge to where the incoming track leaves the edge of the retaining wall, except across the two viaducts between these two points which are provided already with guard rails; the speed of the cars over the Hull Electric Ry. not to exceed 8 mph over this part of the track. The cost of the works are to be borne by the Canadian Pacific Ry.
Changes to this arrangement were made through BRC order 16537 of 17 May 1912:
Canadian Pacific Ry. is authorized to carry out changes in the location of the terminal station in the vicinity of the Dufferin Bridge in order to accommodate the electric cars of the Hull Electric Ry. A split point derail is to be placed on the incoming track used by the Hull Electric cars with semaphores on each side of the diamond. The levers at the diamond to be operated by a signalman. Speed over the diamond to be limited to 15 mph. Crossovers to be spiked and only used in case of emergency.
Temporary operation was granted by order 18127 of 25 November 1912
Canadian Pacific Ry. application to operate its trains over the diamond with the Hull Electric Ry. authorized by 16537 temporarily and pending the completion of a half interlocker to be installed at this point. Leave granted to operate over the diamond until 31 January 1913 provided that a watchman is stationed and maintained at the crossing to flag the Hull Electric Ry. cars over the crossing.
Order 19433 of 31 May 1913 extended time within which Canadian Pacific Ry. was allowed to operate its trains over the diamond with Hull Electric until 30 June 1913 pending installation of the half interlocker.
Full operation was authorized by order 19740 of 3 July 1913 which allowed Canadian Pacific Ry. to operate its trains over the interlocking with the Hull Electric Ry. without their first being brought to a stop.
The interlocking was used until the discontinuance of the Hull Electric service into Ottawa at which time order 68538 of 28 January 1947 rescinded order 16537.
The following extract is taken from the 1913 Hull Electric Ry. rule book:
135. Ottawa Terminal
Cars approaching platforms must be run slowly and under full control. Passengers must be kept off car steps. Do not allow them to get off until after the car has stopped.
Passengers must not be allowed to board cars from unloading platform, and under no circumstances shall passengers be allowed to ride on cars across C.P.R. tracks and around loop. After passengers have left car at unloading platform the car shall proceed carefully and slowly across C.P.R. tracks around to the loading platform in accordance with the special rules and regulations governing this crossing. Cars shall await leaving time opposite waiting room, and it shall be the duty of the motorman to see that destination sign at this point is properly set.
6.12 Canada Atlantic - Canadian Pacific at Hammond
Both pictures from the Bytown Railway Society, Carriere Collection
Construction of the M&O direct line by Canadian Pacific from Vaudreuil to Ottawa required a crossing of the Canada Atlantic Rockland Branch at Hammond. Privy Council Railway Committee order of 2 September 1898 approved the crossing and the connection. There was a diamond crossing together with a connection in the south east quadrant.
6.13 Canadian Northern Ontario - Grand Trunk at Rockland
In constructing its Hawkesbury to Ottawa line, the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway had to cross the Grand Trunk Rockland branch extension to the Edwards Mill. The crossing was authorized by order 2031 of November 1906 and the Board authorized temporary operation, for one month during construction, by order 5569 of 3 November 1908. With no prospect of operation during the winter of 1908-09, a three month extension to the construction order was issued on 3 December 1908 by order 5749. The CNOR only needed to use the crossing during this period to bring in materials for the construction of the Greens Creek bridge but the Grand Trunk Superintendent, Donaldson, made it difficult and had to be instructed to obey the board order. A further extension of time for temporary construction was obtained through order 6551 on 18 March 1909.
Bytown Railway Society Carriere Collection
An interlocker was installed but it failed its first inspection because the mechanism was stiff, one of the signals on the GTR was poorly sighted and because of a twisted stock rail. The angle of this crossing was very acute (9° 46') and a moving point frog had to be used rather than a more normal diamond. The changes required by the Board were carried but then there were problems with high water on the Ottawa River so that the work could not be inspected and a further temporary extension was required (22 May 1909 order 7058). The operating order, 7621, was issued on 24 July 1909. CNOR trains were required to slow down to 15 mph.
The interlocking, constructed by Union Switch and Signal, was lever locked rather than latch locked. The signal cabin was on the north side of the crossing and the machine, a half interlocking because there were no derails or distant signals, contained six levers. The moveable frogs were fitted up with 50 ft. long detector bars. The lever were as follows:
1 GTR southbound home signal 380 ft. from crossing.
There was no number five 2 CNOR westbound home signal 800 ft. from crossing. 6 GTR northbound home signal 800 ft. from crossing. 3 Moveable frog. 7 CNOR eastbound home signal 800 ft. from crossing. 4 Facing point lock bar.
The use of the crossing of the GTR spur to Edwards Mill was particularly light with no night traffic and only an occasional daylight movement. On 16 March 1915 by order 23418 the railways were relieved from providing a signalman to operate the crossing; home signals and derails were to be set clear for the CNOR and the key to the tower was left in the custody of, and the interlocking plant to be operated by, the crew of the GTR. This situation did not last for long as 24910 rescinded this arrangement on 19 April 1916.
Even so the interlocking did not last very long. With the amalgamation of both CNOR and GTR into CNR there was a move to rationalize duplicate facilities and the interlocking was replaced by plain switches. An air photo from 1927 (A47-22 and 23) clearly shows that the crossing and tower had been removed and replaced by a switch. The Edwards Mill extension had been removed north of the CNOR with access being provided from the spur at the west end of the Rockland siding. It also appears that the switch was not at the location of the former crossing, but in fact, at the west end of the Roakland siding after running alongside the CNOR main line for a distance. There certainly appears to be new fill and ballast along the right of way between the former crossing and the siding.
The Rockland to Clarence Creek section of the former GTR Rockland branch was abandoned on 30 June 1936, while the entire line between Ottawa, Hurdman, and Hawkesbury was abandoned on July 10 1939.
|6.15 CPR Carleton Place Interlocking|
Photo by Bill Linley 19 January 1988
From Bruce Chapman: Carleton Place Saturday night was a toughie. Normally the freight train #82 ran south from Ottawa West to Bedell then west to Smiths Falls. Saturday this train would run via Carleton Place, then south to Smiths Falls. He would have hot traffic for Western Canada which connected with transcontinental freight #949. This freight train in the Carleton Place subdivision would run as #83, and we hoped that Ottawa West would get him out in good time. #83 would cut off his power and the hot western Canada traffic at Carleton Place, run around the south wye and tuck himself into an old siding called Paul, south of Carleton Place and wait for #949. Now if #949 was by Franktown, 10 miles south of Carleton Place, we'd have an awful time trying to get #83 into clear so #949 could lift the traffic, as there were no signals towards Smiths Falls. There had been in the 1950s, but as traffic dwindled, the interlocking was cut back. And another problem was the train dispatcher in Smiths Falls named Gerry O'Neill - what a pest. However, we did the best we could with this old interocking arrangement. At Carleton Place, we sold passenger tickets. There was a train order signal on the Chalk River subdivision, about 2000 feet west of the station, but if we had to hoop a train over there, either they stopped their train over there and came into the station for orders, or if we had a car we'd drive over the the main street crossing and hoop up the orders if it was a hot train. The Carleton Place subdivision from Ottawa to Carleton Place was dark territory, the Chalk was ABS.
The whistle signal has to be sounded wherever a whistle post (W) is put up. The regulations required that a whistle post be placed a quarter of a mile from every public crossing - not private or farm crossing. The engineer must blow the familiar whistle signal two long, one short and a long until the crossing is fully occupied. This is rule 14(l) of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR) and was the same number in the old Uniform Code of Operating Rules (UCOR).
When whistling became recognized as an annoyance in the 1910 -1920 period, the Railway Act was changed to the effect that if a community passed a by law which prohibited whistling the Board of Railway Commissioners (later Transport
Commissioners, later Canadian Transport Commission and finally National Transportation Agency) could pass an order approving the by law and the railway would instruct train crews that rule 14(l) would not apply at a crossing or at a series of crossings in a zone.
In many cases the whistle post was left in place because it was still necessary to ring the bell.
In the Ottawa area the applicable orders are as follows:
46416 of 16 Mar 1931 which approves City of Ottawa by law 7054.
52018 of 14 Jun 1935 which confirms City of Hull by law 325.
90474 of 18 Dec 1956 which confirms City of Hull by law 625 as amended by 639.
101322 of 26 May 1960 which confirms City of Ottawa by law 280-56 as amended by 14-60. This came into effect on 10 Jun 1969 at which time 46416 was rescinded.
R-1989 of 9 Apr 1968 which confirms City of Ottawa by law 19-68.
R-8316 of 17 Mar 1970 which approves by law No. 369-1 of Town of Gatineau prohibiting the sounding of whistles at Labrosse Street (m. 111.40, Lachute sub); Main Street (m. 111.91 Lachute sub.); Maloney Blvd at m. 0.10 and 0.15 CIP spur off m. 112.40 Lachute sub.
R-11001 of 18 Feb 1971 which approves Town of Renfrew by law 45 - 70 prohibiting the sounding of engine whistles on the CPR Chalk River sub. at Hall Avenue (m. 58.40); Renfrew St. E (m. 58.63); Plaunt Street (m. 59.00); Munroe St. W. (m. 59.05) and Raglan Street (m. 59.08).
R-15193 of 24 Oct 1972 which approves by law of City of Smiths Falls No. 3931-72 prohibiting the sounding of engine whistles at William Street (m. 0.17), Chambers Street (m. 0.30) and Lorne Street (m. 0.73) all on the CPR Brockville sub.
R-17177 of 17 Aug 1973 which approves City of Smiths Falls by-law No. 4001-73 of July 16, 1973 prohibiting the sounding of the engine whistle with respect to the shed track crossing at William Street (m. 35.11 CNR Smiths Falls sub.) provided that all train movements are manually protected by a member of the train crew.
R-19746 of 11 Dec 1974 which approves By-Law No. 369-2 of City of Gatineau prohibiting sounding of engine whistles at Montee Paiement, m. 113.10 Lachute sub.
R-41244 of 6 Nov 1987 which approves City of nepean By-Law No. 127-85 prohibiting the souning of whistles ar merivale Road, Woodroffe Avenue, Fallowfield Road, Greenbank Road, Jockvale Road and Cedarview Road on the CNR Smiths Falls sub.
1988-R-55 of 7 Mar 1988 which approves by-law of Town of Renfrew prohibiting whistling at Hall Avenue, Renfrew Street E., Plaunt Street, Munroe Street W., Raglan Street on the CPR Chalk River sub. This rescinds order R-11001.
The Rideau Canal Rail Road
In Engineering Landscapes, page 223,
a recent (2006) publication, there is an additional plan showing Hogs
Back in 1831, looking north (NMC 21975 (RI-0852).
Ken Watson also notes:
Later references suggest that the tramway was constructed all the way to Nepean Point but this does not appear to be the case. However, the hills west of Dows Lake are also referred to as the Nepean Hills, i.e. the lands of the Experimental Farm, the Aboretum and along Prince of Wales Drive to Hogs Back. It is possible someone mixed up Nepean POINT and Nepean HILLS as the location of the line.
From this it can be concluded that the tramway was built from the Hogs Back dam to a stone quarry to the east (not west as stated in Leggett) and that it did NOT run from Hogs Back to Nepean Point. This was quite possibly a wooden pole type tramway which presumably used animal power. Fenelon's contract was terminated in February 1828 but the tramway is shown in the 1831 map above.
Lines to UplandsThe first line into the Uplands Airport area was a spur to a ballast pit built by the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway when the present Beachburg subdivision was under construction in 1913. The Ottawa Journal for 28 January 1913 shows:
The Canadian Northern has closed with an Ottawa land syndicate re. the purchase of two farms on the other side of Billings Bridge. The farms were formerly known as the Upton and Langstaff properties, and it is understood the railway will use them for gravel pit purposes. As the deal was closed directly with the Toronto office the purchase price is not known. It has been estimated at $30,000.
The spur ran from a point on the Beachburg subdivision from roughly where Wass Junction is today to the pits, now abandoned, around the current NRC rail test facility. This pit was only a few hundred feet from the CP Prescott line. The CNR line was used for about five years for ballast purposes.
Air photos and topographic maps from the 1920's and 1930's show the CNOR line abandoned.
Canadian National reinstated the line in the early part of the Second World War and service was provided to the Department of National Defence, Air Service. The same easement was used from Wass (WHAT WAS IT CALLED THEN?) to the jog in Hunt Club Road near the Mercury dealer. From there the line angled diagonally over to the northern hangers. There was a coal fired heating plant served by the spur. The BTC authorized the location of the DND storage facilities in June 1953 and the CNR line was likely abandoned shortly after this authority was rescinded in June 1960. The right of way is still very evident in the NCC fields between Uplands Road and the Beachburg sub., and the ties are still there.
On Nov. 29 1941 CPR applied for authority to construct a siding (7,700 feet long) from mileage 6.15 Prescott subdivision to a point of connection with the CNR siding to the Royal Flying School. This was rejected in early 1942 on the grounds that CNR was already providing adequate service to the area. Other records indicate that the CPR did indeed build a spur into the base in the 1940's. It served the recently removed Air Force tank farm on McCarthy (now renamed Uplands) and around 1951 was extended across McCarthy into the base proper. It then crossed Bowesville Road in the base, terminating at the largest hanger in the southern group of hangers. It seemed to have been used primarly to bring construction material (steel) for base development during the 50's. The spur terminated just outside the the hangar that is north of the remaining international executive flight hangar. Sometime in the 60's it was cut back to the McCarthy tank farm which was used exclusively for militaary use. In the mid 70's a new level crossing was built for the Airport Parkway. With the closure of the military base in the mid 90's the tank farm was closed and in the summer of 1998 the remainder of the spur was taken out, including the Airport Parkway crossing.
There was another spur a little to the south during the 1950's. This served a pit which is now just north of the Airport Parkway/Uplands interchange. It may have also brought cement and other construction material for the major runway construction which was taking place. There is little evidence of it today although it was used by the National Research Test facility now known as the Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory.
Click here for a document perpared by Alex Driega concerning an artefact discovered on this section of track
The topo map sheets in the National Air Photo Library, 31G/11, show the GTR coming in from the south at a northwest angle and merging in with the CNoR at the west end of Rockland...Hwy 17 would have been built pretty much on top of the CNoR at that point. To the west of Rockland, CNoOR diverted a few hundred feet to the south for a mile or two but then went underneath again.
The air photo's of the area confirm this (HA142 prints 70 to 75 in 1927 and A9550 prints 1,2,3 in 1945 - both lines had been abandoned by 1945). There was a large amount of lumber stored between the CNOR and riverfront north of Rockland. No sign of a turntable, but there was a wye among the various sidings.
To the east the line veers away from the Hwy 17 to the north, closer to the riverbank. There should be signs of the bridge embankment over the creek north of the highway but the creek seems much wider in the post 1950's maps due to the dam? The CNoR then meets up with the Hwy around South Nation where the bridge piers are still visible to the north.
Pictures can be viewed at http://davesrailpix.railfan.net/odds/qu/htm/her09.htm
On June 20, 1896, page 1, the Ottawa Evening Journal describes a test run from Hull to Aylmer and back on the Hull Electric Railway. The opening run is described on page 7 of 29 June, 1896. The railway took over the CPR track to Aylmer.
In August 1901 there was an agreement with the PPJ and the ON&W regarding running rights by the Hull Electric over the Interprovincial Bridge into Ottawa. The first car left the Chateau Laurier on 25 July 1901.
In 1913 there was an agreement between the HER, CPR and ON&W regarding car service over the Interprovincial Bridge and making provisions regarding the lease of the HER.
Privy Council order PC 1926-1699 approved an agreement between the Hull Electric and CPR by which CPR leased to HER two tracks between Sparks Street, Ottawa and Youville Street, Hull together with a siding and diamond crossing and the right to maintain shelters, ticket office, waiting room, platforms and stairways at Sparks Street for the term of 21 years from 12 Aug 1926.
The CPR right of way north of Sappers Bridge was shared with the Hull Electric Railway, which ran either side of the CPR line. Before 1912, the station for the railcars was under the Dufferin Bridge. After the Chateau Laurier opened, the tracks north of Dufferin Bridge were enclosed under a terrace and passenger platforms were provided. The Hull Electric had a pair of crossovers to the CPR track, beside the Chateau Laurier. There was also a turning loop, in a tunnel under the new Plaza Bridge built in 1912 to replace the Dufferin and Sappers Bridges.
Hull Electric Railway Roster - compiled by Tom Grumley
DT Baggage Mail
DT Wing Plow
DT Line Car
DT Flat Crane
Sold to Ottawa Gas 1927.
50 ft Burned before 1912
50 ft.- converted to closed trailers
50 ft.- converted to closed trailers
50 ft.- converted to closed trailers
50 ft.- converted to closed trailers
50 ft.- lasted until 1947
50 ft.- lasted until 1947
50 ft.- lasted until 1947
50 ft.- lasted until 1947
50 ft.- lasted until 1947
Body scrapped 1922; new body by OCC
50 ft.- lasted until 1947
Body scrapped 1922; new body by OCC
Burned in 1916
Lasted until 1947
Lasted until 1947
Lasted until 1947
Lasted until 1947 ?
Lasted until 1947
21 ft.- Converted to Welder
21 ft.- Scrapped in 1932
Lasted until 1947
Lasted until 1947
Lasted until 1947
Originally a mail car, Lasted until 1947
Lasted until 1947
To Cornwall 1947
Ex Grand River #40
Scrapped in 1947
Scrapped in 1947
Scrapped in 1937
Originally trailers; motorized in 1937; scr. 1947
Originally trailers; motorized in 1937; scr. 1936
Originally trailers; motorized in 1937; scr. 1947
Originally trailers; motorized in 1937; scr. 1947
Lasted until 1947
Lasted until 1947
PA 168293, PA 152236, PA 203603
SJ, Box # 2000724464
PA 106223PA 152234 (open car)
Box # 2000724355
Box # 2000724355/464
Box # 2000724464; PB/APC
PA 203602; PA 152235
Box # 2000724355
Box # 2000724464; PA 152223
Box # 2000724464
Box # 2000724464
CGE – Canadian General Electric, Peterborough, ON
DE - Double-ended
DT - Double-truck
OCC – Ottawa Car, Ottawa, ON
SE - Single-ended
Sources for Photos:
Box # - This refers to the Merrilees collection container number in the National Archives.
C - refers to the National Archives photograph number
HC – Halton County Pamphlet on Ottawa Car Co.
PB – Paul Bown
PG - Paterson George collection
SJ – Stan Jones
PA – refers to the National Archives photograph number
Sources for Roster & Photo Information:
ERA Headlights Vol.16 No.2 February 1954 (Original Roster)
Paul Bown, Colin J. Churcher, Tom Grumley, Stan Jones, David Knowles
Ottawa Evening Journal
Canadian Railway and Marine World
Last updated 6 April 2003
Bennett and McCuaig, in their volume "In Search of the K&P", state that the first K&P station (and K&P headquarters) in Kingston was at Place d'Armes and Ontario Street. The stone 'Inner' station followed in 1884, some 30 years before amalgamation with CP.
The K&P extended its tracks south to the Kingston waterfront in 1886, portions of the right-of-way being shared with the GTR. Here, the company built a new station and other terminal buildings. In February 1889, entry was gained into Kingston by the Napanee, Tamworth & Quebec Railway (BQR) which constructed a four mile link between Yarker and Harrowsmith and obtained 19 miles of operating rights south over the Kingston and Pembroke Railway. This situation continued until 1925 when Canadian National chose to suspend further use. The BQR used the K&P station in Kingston near City Hall.
The CPR took over operations in 1903 (page 26). The 1915 CP timetable (page 37) shows that by that time there were no special arrangements for transfer at Harrowsmith. By comparison, at Sharbot Lake, connections are shown to the Toronto-Montreal Line, see table 9.
Details, timetables, etc. for the Bay of Quinte are shown in the book “Lost Horizons” by Donald M. Wilson (also author of the Ontario & Quebec), Mika Publishing, Belleville, 1993. See Page 136 for a January 1, 1912 employee timetable on the K&P which shows the "BQR." train as being a Third Class Mixed, Daily ex Sunday. A 1904 BOQ timetable on page 127 shows trains 11 and 12 between Kingston and Tweed which would have used both the BQR and the K&P.
Additional information can be obtained from:
Finding No. 13 Updated May 9, 2001
A 1895 sketch of the Penitentiary grounds shows, not only, the streetcar line along Portsmouth Ave was shown, but also, a north -south railway that crossed at what is now called Sir John A. MacDonald Blvd. The line started on the west portal (Portsmouth side) of the Penitentiary, looped south betweeen the Penitentiray and Portsmouth Harbor, then west along the south wall and finally northwards along Sir John A. Boulevard, crossing the streetcar line.
There are references to quarries worked by inmates north of the Penitentiary, on what is now mostly the McArthur Campus of Queen's University.
This was a horse drawn railway which was used to bring large blocks of stone inside, presumably for for those doing 'hard time'. There are some references to this in a history of the Canadian penitentiary system published by the Correctional Service some years ago. Similar operations, such as that at St. Vincent de Paul, actually ran new Plymouth gas or diesel 0-4-0s while at least one was electrified, of which there are photographs.
A source for information on these narrow gauge railways are the annual reports of the Inspector General of Prisons, which go back to at least 1875. These contain references to the Kingston Railway, although not to its construction.
Interestingly, Kingston Penitentiary also was contracted on at least four occasions by the government to produce frogs and switches for the Canadian Pacific Railway (government version).
A 1898 letter from the Grand Trunk Railway indicates that the GTR already provided service to the Penitentiary and was concerned that the Kingston Street Railway had applied for permission to put in a siding to the Penitentiary as well.
Achievements of J. R. Booth
Relations with other railways
14.1 Achievements of J. R. Booth
This part will summarize J.R. Booth's impact on the railway scene in Ottawa, before he sold out to the Grand Trunk in 1904.
Booth purchased and completed the Canada Atlantic Railway.
He built the Ottawa Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway.
He established many major railway facilities in an around Ottawa, namely:
- Bank Street Yard
- The car shops on Catherine Street (for building rolling stock)
- Chaudiere Yard (including the present E.B. Eddy site on Chaudiere Island)
- Rail-served lumber and coal yards around Wellington and Somerset Street (today's City Centre)
- Besserer St. Yard (at least the freight house and 6 to 11 tracks)
- the canalside yard between Argyle and Waverley
- Rideau lumber yard, between today's Industrial and Terminal Avenues.
- Nepean lumber yard, south of Carling Avenue between Merivale and Fisher
- Dows Lake lumber yard served from Rochester.
- The coach yard between Deep Cut and Laurier Bridge
- Mann Avenue roundhouse, locomotive erecting shop, and yards
- Central Depot, (later Union Station)
Booth arranged the only land assembly ever undertaken to bring railways into the heart of the city (by lease and purchase) and offered use of these tracks to any passenger railway on fair terms.
Booth undertook the project for a central union station in Ottawa, encouraged by a $50,000 grant from the city of Ottawa for the purpose. However he only built a temporary station and regretted accepting the
subsidy from the city see Section 14.2
The central station construction was subsequently undertaken by the Grand Trunk, within three years of buying Booth's railways.
The railway lands Booth assembled now account for the following facilities:
- the Queensway from Lees Avenue to Bayshore, including the entire Nicholas Street Interchange and most of the Bayshore Interchange.
- Colonel By Drive, from Deep Cut to the Westin Hotel
- The Conference Centre, Rideau Centre (in part), Westin Hotel, Congress
Centre, and National Defence HQ.
- The Queen Elizabeth Driveway from the Pretoria Bridge to Waverley Street
- The war veterans housing built as the Carlington subdivision south of Carling Avenue between Merivale/Fisher
- The northern part of Lebreton Flats.
- Part of Alta Vista Postal terminal.
- The Terminal Avenue freight and express terminals (the only site that is in part still a rail facility)
The following interview gives insights into J.R. Booth's antagonism to the Canadian Pacific and Ottawa and New York, (later New York Central) railways, which later would prevent his selling his railways to either company. Comments of the circle are in small type enclosed in square brackets [ ].
THE OTTAWA EVENING JOURNAL, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 1898 PAGE 5
Mr J.R. Booth States His View of the Position
PARRY SOUND ROAD HAS AN EXCEPTIONAL RIGHT
It's Lease Must be Construed Only by the Courts
He Does not Think That the City's $50,000 Bonus Should be Rubbed into Him, and is Willing to Return it.
There appeared in the Evening Journal some days ago an article commenting on the disputes between the several railway companies respecting the lands of the canal reserve. This article stated that the Booth roads were monopolizing the station grounds and the entrance thereto, by blocking other railways. That the Parry Sound and Canada Atlantic Company have established upon these grounds a freight shed of their own, but object to any other railways building freight sheds upon the same grounds; and the Journal contended that the city council should insist on the whole site being reserved for passenger traffic.
Mr. J.R. Booth was seen by a Journal representative subsequent to the printing of the foregoing article and he complained that the matter had not been fairly stated by the Journal and that the questions at issue between the several companies were not generally understood.
Publication of Mr. Booth's statement has been delayed in order that he might revise it himself, so that there should be no mistake about the contents.
"It has been stated," said Mr. Booth, "that we have been acting unfairly towards the Ottawa and New York Railway. Now I wish to deny that emphatically. We have never refused to the Ottawa and New York Company or to any other company free and reasonable access to the Central passenger station. We have always expressed our willingness to negotiate with them for terms, and in case we could not agree upon the terms and conditions, then we were willing that the same might be settled by the railway committee of the Privy Council.
[Booth's confidence in the government was based on a close relationship with the incumbent Liberals under Laurier, who were trying to persuade him to run for Parliament].
"In the first place, the Ottawa and New York Company insisted that the C.A.R. Company should be compelled to give them running powers over their tracks from Hawthorne into the city, about 5 miles. This we were willing to give upon the payment of a reasonable sum for the privilege allowed, but we stated that the New York Company had no right whatever to demand running powers over our lines upon their own terms, because while their company was subsidized by the government and the city, the C.A.R. Company never received one cent of subsidy from the government or from the city of Ottawa, and should not be asked to relieve the New York Company from the usual expense of building their own railway or from paying a reasonable sum for the use of our railway.
"The O.A. & P.S. railway has a lease from the Crown of certain portions of the Rideau canal reserve, and whatever rights may have been granted under that lease, and they are not many, they are clearly stated therein, and there is no reason why we should be compelled to abandon our rights to the New York company or to the C.P.R. company, merely because they wish to occupy the position which we have been first to acquire.
"We are certainly entitled to use the lands mentioned in our lease for all the purposes of our railway that are not excepted by the terms of the same and the Ottawa & New York company as well as the C.P.R. company are only entitled to an entrance over our tracks, along with other roads to the Central passenger station, and this privilege has never been refused to them.
[The C.P.R. was planning to use the C.A.R. entrance to the city, but had just completed its own rail bridge over the Rideau river, and had built a trestle to reach the C.A.R. at Deep Cut. Service would start on Monday 18 July].
"The C. P. R. stated that it was not reasonable that a large and powerful company such as theirs should be the tenant of the O.A. & P.S. company, and thereupon they and the O. & N.Y. company made an application to the railway committee of the Privy Council asking that our leases might be cancelled and that the lands might be held by the government for the purposes of the several railway companies as station grounds. This was an unreasonable demand, and the railway committee refused it; yet we at once consented that both those roads might bring their passenger trains to the passenger station over our tracks upon terms which were then agreed upon - which terms will govern the traffic until permanent terms shall be arranged by the railway committee.
"In your paper I have been blamed for putting up a freight shed in front of certain lands which the New York company purchased. The expression is used that the Parry Sound company 'knifed' the New York company in that respect. This is quite untrue. The Parry Sound company have an absolute right to use these lands for all the purposes of their railway, and they have a perfect right to use the surplus lands for freight purposes, under the provisions of their lease, but other companies are only permitted to have access to the passenger station, and besides there is no room upon the grounds in question to handle the freight traffic of all the roads that may enter. And the place selected for our freight depot was determined upon and plans therefor completed more than a year before the N.Y. Co. ever thought of using our ground.
"For a number of years the government and the citizens of Ottawa have complained about our company shunting across Elgin street and Bank street and to avoid such shunting over the streets and to have a clear passageway for our freight were the principal objects we had in view when we obtained a lease of the Canal reserve. Having obtained certain rights on the Canal reserve, there is no good reason why other companies should attempt to prevent our using these lands for the purpose for which we rented them, by threatening to expropriate portions of the lands to be used with adjoining lands for their freight purposes. They would have to shunt back and forth over our tracks, and in addition they would close up the only streets accessible to the station grounds.
"The C.P.R. has already a freight station at the Chaudiere and another freight station on Sussex street. For many years past these stations were considered sufficient for all the business they carried on here, and if not, there are ample grounds round the city available for freight purposes, without crowding in upon one small piece of ground which has already been secured by another company.
[The C.P.R. would in fact continue to run its freight business at Chaudiere and Sussex into the 1960's, abandoning the Sussex Street yard on 15 June 1964 and Ottawa West (Chaudiere) on 29 October 1967].
"Any person who chooses to look over the grounds will admit that the freight shed which I have erected is located in the best and only suitable position for the freight business of that station, and if I can believe the general expression of the public, it is a great advantage to the business men and the shippers of the city. But why should I be compelled to give up to a competing company the property which we have acquired?
"If we have not acquired it," said Mr. Booth emphatically, "the matter can easily be determined in the courts, in which our leases must be construed.
"It is quite true that I have taken strong grounds against the claims put forward by the C.P.R. and the O. & N.Y. companies for a joint ownership of these lands, and so far I have been right and certainly my contention has been sustained by the railway committee.
"You ask the question, 'Why should not other roads have the same privileges as ours with regard to freight?' and I reply that the ground in question is not sufficiently large to accommodate the freight business of all the railway companies, and in addition thereto the other railway companies have no more right to ask that we should give them freight privileges than that I should be compelled to abandon my present railway terminals. The leases have been granted to our roads, and surely I cannot be blamed for protecting the property, which we have acquired and which has cost us very dearly.
"I pledge myself to give to the citizens of Ottawa a first-class passenger station, and I never will at any time block or attempt to block any railway company desiring access to that passenger station. All that I ask is a reasonable, fair rental from the several roads for the privileges they will certainly enjoy.
[Booth never did build a first-class passenger station, and it was up to the Grand Trunk railway, which bought his combined railways in 1904, to build the new Central station to open on 1 June 1912].
"It is true that the city of Ottawa granted a bonus to assist in the erection of a Central Union passenger station, but your statement respecting the amount is not correct - the bonus granted was $50,000 and not $75,000, as noted by you. I do not wish to appear ungrateful to the people of Ottawa, but I cannot but express my regret now that the bonus was ever given. It has been cast up to me again and again. If the city of Ottawa would receive that bonus back again, I would willingly pay it back and build the same station without it, nor would the public suffer one cent.
Booth's initial station, opened in 1896, was a conversion of part of the old stone Militia stores and the erection of two wooden outdoor shelters and platforms and an enclosed stair tower to street level on Sapper's bridge.
Montreal gave a million dollars to the Grand Trunk for a station, and is giving now a site in the heart of the city for offices; the C.P.R. was similarly bonused there, and I may be pardoned if after bringing five hundred miles of railway to Ottawa and facing a large expenditure to make a great railway entrance into the city, I dislike to feel that the bonus of $50,000 given for the station is something I should always be on my knees for."
Mr. Booth proceeded to say that in the published report of the discussion before the railway committee the Journal had been unjust towards Mr. Booth and his counsel, Mr. Osler.
"Mr. Osler had stated that the New York Company had nothing whatever to do with the question whether the Parry Sound Company had broken its agreement with the Crown or not. Why should this expression be termed 'Insolent?' Surely the government are quite capable of enforcing their own agreement and with respect to that agreement the New York Company has nothing whatever to do."
The reporter reminded Mr. Booth that the minister of railways had used the expression that the Parry Sound Company had "trespassed on the agreement with the Crown."
[It was actually the O. and N.Y. lawyer who had used this expression. This minister had concurred with it].
"What Mr. Blair meant by that was that the Parry Sound Company should have submitted the plans of its freight stations to the minister of railways before they were erected. Whether we were bound to do so or not is open to argument. We do not believe that such was the intention, but whether it was or not, it was not a question that the Ottawa and New York Company had a right to complain about, because even assuming that the minister of railways had to approve of the design of the freight sheds, he certainly had not to approve of the location or situation of the freight sheds upon the grounds."
In conclusion, Mr. Booth referred briefly to the extent of the Canada Atlantic and Parry Sound systems and asked whether an organization of that kind, centering in Ottawa, doing its business here, maintaining hundreds of employees and endeavoring to further Ottawa interests did not deserve a generous judgment from the people of the capital. Opposed to it in the present instance was a road which had not an employee in the city, was not spending a dollar here, a limited enterprise of 60 miles, now in the market to the highest bidder. The public interest would surely be better served by relying on the roads which had proved their strength and independence and were large factors in Ottawa's welfare."
[The two Booth railways were to be amalgamated as the Canada Atlantic in the following year, 1899].
"I have never at any time," concluded Mr. Booth, "asked any favors from other railway companies, but have vigorously and independently completed the system which I have centred in Ottawa against the most trying opposition of older and larger companies and there is no reason why I should be compelled to give up any of the privileges I have been successful in obtaining simply for the purpose of enabling a competing Company to obtain an entrance into the city without doing as I have done - building its own road."
[The referenced article, which had appeared nearly two weeks earlier, was as follows]:
THE OTTAWA EVENING JOURNAL, THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 1898 PAGE 7
MR. BOOTH'S BIG FREIGHT SHED
Comes in for Discussion at the Privy Council
OTTAWA AND NEW YORK ROAD CAN'T REACH THEIR LAND
The Booth Roads see no Room for any Freight but Their own - An Interesting Discussion.
The Ottawa and New York Railway had another struggle with J.R. Booth to-day. A meeting of the railway committee of the Privy Council was held to consider an application from the O. & N.Y. road to get into town over the tracks which Mr. Booth has laid, or over the government land he has captured. At the last meeting of the Railway Committee, the government said that Mr Booth was "primary tenant" of the Canal bank and Central Station, and that the C.P.R. and the O. & N.Y. road must rent rights from him over his tracks. To-day's application of the O. & N.Y. road referred not merely to running rights on the tracks and in the station, but to be allowed to get to the property they bought last year, in front of which Mr. Booth has installed a fine big freight shed. John Christie of Christie & Greene, Ottawa, and B.B. Osler, Q.C., appeared for Mr. Booth, alias the Parry Sound and Canada Atlantic roads. Z.A. Lash, Q.C., and J.K. Kerr, Q.C., of Toronto, appeared for the O. & N.Y. company.
A plan was filed showing that the Ottawa & New York road wanted to reach the property they had acquired at the canal basin, almost alongside of the Canada Atlantic Railway Depot.
Mr. Osler being asked to state the position which his company would take in regard to the application, said that the application was insufficient, and in regard to the merits of the case he opposed any scheme of freight delivery. There was no need for any freight business in the centre of the city. To grant it in this case would mean the shutting out of the Parry Sound road from their central depot. It would have the effect of wrecking the scheme for a central passenger depot at the canal basin. It would cut off access to the same. The old station at Sussex street, of the C.P.R., was open to the Ottawa & New York people. They ought to go and purchase there. The reason, he said, why the Canada Atlantic railway transferred part of its freight business to the canal basin was to partly relieve the large shunting which had to be done across Elgin and Bank streets.
Hon. Mr. Mills - When you propose to shut out all other companies from doing a freight business at the Canal basin except yourselves?
Mr. Blair - The applicants have exactly the same rights as any other company in respect of freights.
Mr. Osler - There are no such rights under the lease. There is not enough of room for our own business and we are now trying to get more property in the same neighbourhood. We therefore ask that the committee do not sanction the closing of two streets, Wilbrod and Court streets, which can only be done by legislation and with compensation to the parties concerned.
[The O. & N.Y. did in fact begin their passenger service to the C.P.R. Sussex street station when they announced the establishment of service on August 2, though as late as their demonstration run, reported July 27, they had indicated that the C.A.R. would be used. At that time the O. & N.Y. branched from the C.A.R. at Hawthorne, five miles out of Ottawa. Wilbrod and Court streets were the only streets extending west of Nicholas Street, (the latter in line with Stewart Street, opposite the old courthouse and on the north side of the Land Registry)].
Mr. Lash on behalf of the O. & N.Y. road said that it found no part of their plan to close any street, or to attempt any infraction of the law.
Mr. Blair - Having regard to the public safety can you say that it would be safe to lay tracks on the streets referred to?
Mr. Lash - I most certainly say so.
Mr. Osler - The Canadian Pacific Railway found already that there was not sufficient room. It was only this morning that under an excavation we had to get a little more room and had to pay $400 to a squatter for his right.
Mr. Lash - To contend that eleven or twelve tracks of 2,800 feet in length were now required for the Parry Sound and C.A.R. business alone was utterly absurd.
[Circle comment - 2,800 feet would have taken the Booth tracks all the way from the Central depot to Deep Cut. There were certainly never this many tracks over this length. Apart from main tracks, there were at most five or six yard tracks south of Laurier Bridge, and possibly a few more short tracks north of the bridge].
In regard to the Canada Atlantic and Parry Sound Co. carrying on a freight business at the canal basin, Mr. Lash maintained that they had been trespassing against the rights of the crown in erecting its shed at the point it did.
Mr. Osler maintained that it was within the Parry Sound rights to do so.
Mr. Blair - I am sorry to hear you say so, because it was flying in the face of a distinct agreement.
Mr. Osler was prepared to argue that his company acted within their rights.
Mr. Lash said that the Parry Sound had acted contrary to its agreement with the government and now asked the government to sanction the wrong that it had done.
Mr. Osler said that if the Parry Sound, his company had done what was wrong in regard to its agreement with the government, he did not think that Mr. Lash had any business with it.
Mr. J.R. Booth said that it would destroy the whole depot to permit the Ottawa and New York Railway to do a freight business at the canal basin.
In reply to Mr. Osler, Mr. Hibbard of the O. and N.Y. road said that his company might exist for a year by doing its freight business at Sussex st., but he did not think that they should be compelled to do so. His company would have now to sell some of its property at a sacrifice owing to the erection of the freight shed by the Parry Sound people, as they could not reach that point now. The shed was built after his property was purchased and it was bad enough to have to suffer from this loss and inconvenience without being driven away altogether.
In reply to Mr. Blair, Mr. Hibbard said that one track might be sufficient for the company for freight purposes.
Mr. Osler said that while his clients, the Parry Sound road protested against the whole scheme, they would consent at the outside limit if the committee insisted to give the use of two tracks alongside of theirs, leaving 164 feet clear for themselves.
Mr. Blair - Do you want the O. & N.Y. road to build new tracks or come on existing ones?
Mr. Lash - We want to build new ones.
Mr. Hibberd asked the government to give an early decision.
Mr. Blair promised to do so and the committee then adjourned.
[The O.A. & P.S. reference to two tracks plus 164 feet could have explained the earlier O. & N.Y. reference to eleven or twelve tracks. However, this was at the widest point of the land assembled for the yards, and would not have allowed any space for loading platforms or buildings between the tracks]
InterchangesFrom the Holt Report, Ottawa Improvement Commission (Federal Plan Commission), 1915, Page 73.
"Analysis of the present method of interchanging freight cars shows that they are inadequate. Interchange from the Canadian Northern and the Ottawa and New York, to the Grand Trunk, is handled by the Canadian Pacific and takes place at Somerset Street near Bronson Avenue. These interchange cars are taken all the way round to Chaudiere Junction, [the old name for Ellwood Junction at Walkley Road], from the east before being handed over to the Grand Trank. They are then hauled back to the Bank Street yard for sorting. This involves unnecessary mileage inasmuch as the Grand Trunk is close to both the Ottawa and New York and the Canadian Northern near the Rideau River".
Holt's answer to this confusion was to propose effectively nationalizing all tracks and rail operations in the Federal District. The report proposed rationalization, a cross-town subway, and extensive electrification. The proposed new Union Station would have had 11 through tracks, over 160 trains and over 41,000 passengers a day! Greber's later report credited the vision
and depth of the Holt report as far more that he could have accomplished on the railway question.
Article by Colin J. Churcher which appeared in the May 2000 edition of the Bytown Railway Society's magazine "Branchline". Click here to view the article.
Article by Colin J.
Churcher which appeared in the June 2001 edition of the Bytown Railway
Society's magazine "Branchline". Click
here to view the article.
Updated 15 January 2005