Thurso and Nation Valley Railway

TNVR Diary 1944 -1945

The papers are listed here chronologically.

February 18, 1944 From Sessenwein Bros to Singer Manufacturing

This is to advise that we have now received into stock a quantity of 56/60# switchpoints and accessories. Due to the fact that there is a great delay at this time in securing this class of track accessory we thought it best to advise you that they are now available and if you contemplate requiring any sets of this section, we think it would be in your best interest to make a reservation at this time for delivery early spring.
In pencil "Damien Lafleur, any we can't fix?"

February 21, 1944 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Will you kindly give some thought to the following and at the first opportunity see me and give me your views:
Due to the extension of the railway now and the miscellaneous jobs involved, we have, at the present time, an outside engineer designing steel bunks to replace all the wooden bunks now on our logging cars. As soon as these steel bunks are installed on the cars, I thought that some kind of a repair shop could be put up at Mile 38 and the few repairs found to be necessary to logging cars, such as changing wheels, tightening truss rods, etc., could be done at that point in a systematic manner during the summer and fall before the shop there gets busy on Logging Department equipment. It may mean the addition of a man or two at Mile 38 but on the other hand it would provide them with year round work and reduce the amount of work and staff necessary at Thurso.

March 9, 1944 Switching Order to Damien Lafleur

CP 180713 From Thurso to Mile 26 Feed Advise Mr. J.O. Montpelier.

March 9, 1944 From Singer to Real Turpin, Ripon

You were right in assuming that the mill will commence to operate on Monday next but we regret that we cannot give you employment. We obtained a very good man to replace you when you quit without notice on May 22nd last and he is still with us.

March 13, 1944 Switching Order to Damien Lafleur

CP 480765 Thurso to Mile 26 Feed Advise Mr. Deschambault, Cheneville.

May 3, 1944 From TNVR to Stock

Requisition 2 Corbin padlocks @ 50 cents each.

May 9, 1944 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Please requisition 200 7/8" hex nuts for Frank Aubin's section of the TNVR.

May 9, 1944 From P.B. Bourget to Veneer Mill

Please arrange with Mr. Lafleur and ship five carloads of veneer log but offs to Duhamel. These cars are intended for the end of the wye where they can be unloaded for Henry Yank to split.

May 9, 1944 From P.B. Bourget to Scheult

You are authorized to build a dam at the foot of Cairo Lake. I think that this could be so built as to bring the water within 18" of the base of the rail without causing any damage to the railroad but at any rate, we shall discuss this with Mr. Lafleur. There is rock handy to rip rap at the north and where we have always had a little trouble holding the fill.
We would like you to make arrangements to build this dam as soon as possible so that we can control a supply of water on the logs this year and also construction will obviate the necessity of removing logs from the lower dams next spring to avoid damage. Kindly let us have an estimate of what you require in the way of lumber or other material for this construction. We have on hand at Thurso some square cedar of rather doubtful quality. At any rate you could inspect it and if found suitable it is available for the job.

May 20, 1944 From Boyd to P.B. Bourget

Work crew of 19, 1 team, new D7 tractor and the D4 for 4 days. At M47 30yd rock was broke at a cost of $7.00 yd. There is 10 yd left to break. The old D7 under repair at Hqts for 2 days for repair to track rollers.
Stumping is now complete to M48.2. M47 grade is 95% complete.
M48 grade is 85% complete M49 grade is 5% complete
Tractor work is 10 days behind our April estimate of completing to Camp 17 by May 17th based on tractors being under repair 25% of possible running time. The record to date of repair time in % of April estimate is:
new D7 25% on repair, old D7 90% on repair, D4 50% on repair.
On Sat 20th frost was encountered in boulders and gravel at M47.1 too solid for D7 to break.
Next week the Crystal Urea to be put on logs starting Monday. Rock work M47 will be complete early in the week. The old D7 expected to be delivered M46 Tuesday am and track lay will commence after it is unloaded.
Ballasting may be done at intervals commencing June 5th as engine is available.

May 22, 1944 From Arthur Lamontagne to Scheult

I regret having to come to you when you are so busy but it is absolutely essential that the railway through my land be enclosed as I am going to get a flock of sheep.

May 25, 1944 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Attached is a letter from Eli Rodgers, together with our reply who wants a gate on lot 40 range 4 of Preston. This is just north of Mile 40. I suggest that you see him when this is convenient and possibly you can talk him out of the necessity for it. However, I recall telling him that if in the future he did require a gate we would give him one.

May 27, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to P.B. Bourget

Work of 35 men, 1 team, 2 D7 tractors and D4 tractor. Grade M47 is complete, grade M48 is 95% complete, or 11800 yd. Grade M49 is 5% complete or 500 yd.
Old D7 arrived on work Wednesday 24th but due to idling and slow running following overhaul and hydraulic pump trouble it did little effective work. The D4 under repair in field 2 days. The new D7 is running very steadily.
Steel laying commenced Wed May 24 with Mr. Kirkland as foreman. Total of 3300 feet laid during the week, starting 2435 ending 2468.
Crystal urea applied to 2000 logs in 10 man days at a cost of 2c per log and 3/4c material. 100 lbs of crystal urea used and all hardwood above camp 17 treated. Roadwork at M47 all complete on Tuesday. Most of the crew away fire fighting on Monday at Cairo Lake.
Next week steel laying and grade work continue.

June 2 1944 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

On June 20 Mr. R.W. Stewart, his wife and two boys will arrive at 11:40 to go to the Lodge at Duhamel. Sometime between now and that date could you tell me if it would be convenient for the train to leave immediately after they arrive. For this small party, we think that your van will be quite suitable. They will return to Thurso on June 26 and I think that if you were to leave the Barriere at say 1:30PM it would get them here in plenty of time to see the plant, as requested by Mr. Stewart.

June 3, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to P.B. Bourget

Work crew of 30, 2 teams, 2 D7 tractors and D4 tractor. Monday and Tuesday 15 men away fire fighting. Grade M48 is complete. Grade M49 is 20% complete or 220 yd. Tractors are now working at M48.6. The old D7 under repair to Jack Pump 50% of its possible running time. The new D7 and D4 under repair about 20%.
Tracklay May 30th 400, may 31st 1000, June 1st 600, June 2nd 100. Total 3000. Started 2468 ended 2498. Track lined and levelled up to 2480. Next week track lay and grade work continue. Shovel will be ready for ballasting on June 12. It will be placed at M46.8.

June 8, 1944 From P.B. Bourget to Medard Lavergne, Ripon

I have received your letter of 7 June. If Mr. Aubin did not employ you it is most likely that he did not have any work for you. If you wish to work from now until haying you could work on construction and for this all you have to do is to contact Mr. Lafleur.

June 10, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to P.B. Bourget

Work crew of 40, 2 teams, old D7 tractor & D4 tractor. Grade M49 is 50% complete or 5500 yd.
Tractors now working M48.7. New D7 at Hqts all week for replacing cylinder head gasket and refacing valves. Old D7 ran steadily all week.
Tracklay June 5th 900, June 6th 800, June 7th 700, June 8th 800 Total 3200 ft. Started 2498, ended 2530.
Track lined and levelled to 2532. D4 moved to M43 on Saturday.
Next week track on Monday and ballasting starting Tuesday. Grade work to continue. New D7 expected back by mid-week.

June 16, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to Damien Lafleur

Track laid this year 2.4 miles. To lay with sidings 2.6 miles. Track bolts and washers on hand .2 miles. Bolts and washers required for 2.4 miles. Required 2 tons or 3500 bolts and lock washers.
Spikes at M46 are now more than half used. Tracklay will proceed again June 26th. Please check stocks on hand against requirements and deliver more here next week.
Confirm leaving engine here over the weekend to Pierre.

June 17, 1944 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Tracks - Thurso Yard
Please have your Ripon gang put in at least half a day a week lifting the tracks in Thurso Yard where the cinders have been spread. It can be arranged so that no overtime is involved. We are giving this order despite the fact that we know that your main line requires considerable work but we think that under present circumstances you will appreciate this request.

June 17, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to P.B. Bourget

Labour crew of 40, 2 teams, old D7 tractor, new D7 for 3 days. Grade M49 is now 80% complete or 8800 yds. Tractors now working M48.9. New D7 away on shop repair since June 5th started again June 15 and is working well. The D4 completed road work to Cleroux cottage in one day June 12 and was under shop repair the balance of the week.
Trackage starting 2530 June 12th, ending 2545 June 12 .. 1500 ft.
Ballasting started Tuesday June 13th with shovel set at M46.8 in good fine gravel. 2435 to 2495 completed .. 6000ft.
2500 yd handled at cost of shovel 8c, engine & train 10c, lift crew 30c for a total of 48c.
This compares with a cost of 55c a year ago and this year more ballast is being used in surfacing as there is very little lifting. Next week grade work and ballasting continue. Expect to do one or two days ballasting M45.3 to M45.9 south from the wye while shovel is set at M46.8. Shovel to move to M47.8 about Wednesday next.

June 19, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to Damien Lafleur

Track bolts and washers
Over and above the deliveries made this day the further requirements for new track bolts are:-
2300 bolts or 23 to 27 boxes depending upon length of bolt.
1600 washers or 16 boxes about 160 lb.
Present stocks will carry the work to about July 15th.

June 19, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to Damien Lafleur

Hqts switch
Will need the Jim Crow on Thursday for laying of Hqts switch. May call on section crew to assist in lifting Creek a Jean siding and for the laying of the Hqts switch.

June 24, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to P.B. Bourget

Labour crew of 40, 2 teams and new D7 tractor. Old D7 under repair to steering clutch all week. Shovel loading ballast all week.
Grade M49 is now 95% complete. Grade M50 is now 5% complete. Tractors now working M49.1.
Monday to Thursday 1500 yd was placed on maintenance ballasting M46. Friday and Saturday ballasting new construction 2495-2515 1000 yd.
Shovel was moved to M47.9 on Thursday PM. Creek a Jean siding was lifted Thursday and Hqts siding laid on Friday. The train will complete the week hauling maintenance ballast to M45. Grade work to continue. July 1st to be taken as holiday.

June 24, 1944 From L.E. Hird to Damien Lafleur

Attached is a list of employees who must report for medical examination at Lansdown Park on the dates mentioned. Arrangements have been made for one of the Company trucks leave Thurso to take the men up. The truck will leave in sufficient time to get the men there for the time required. Kindly arrange with your men accordingly. This list is for your CONFIDENTIAL use only.
The list shows four groups of men having to report to Lansdown Park June 26, 27, 28 and 29. Each man had a call number.

June 26, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to Damien Lafleur

Guard rail new Headquarters switch. Rail drill required to put in bolts. You might have the section crew attend to this.

June 29, 1944 Plant closing

In addition to Saturday July 1st the sawmill, lumber yard, veneer mill and car shop will be closed on Monday July 3rd for boiler cleaning. The Office and the engineering department will have only sufficient maintenance crew absolutely necessary for required repairs.

July 7, 1944 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur and others

It has been decided that the week ending July 22 will be the annual week's vacation.
For Monday morning July 10 please arrange to submit any extra work that you would require to be done, particularly inside the Thurso plant during that week. No work of any kind will be planned or undertaken unless it has first received approval.

July 8, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to P.B. Bourget

Labour crew of 20, 2 D7 tractors and D4 tractor running well, speeder shovel parts of two days, 2 teams. Dysentery kept 20% of the men in camp during the week and general production of men and machines was lowered by 20% by same also. All men were out at work again at weekend. All ballasting and surfacing completed to end of steel at 2545 and one day was spent on maintenance and surfacing of mile 45 and Long Lake Spur. Grade on M50 is now 50% complete with tractors now working at 2615. Next week grade work continues and tracklay will start again on Monday provided Plymouth or other motive power is available.

July 15, 1944 From Barclay Boyd to P.B. Bourget

Labour crew of 25, 2 D7 tractors, D4 tractor, 2 teams. Old D7 tractor on field repair to trailbuilder rocker arm all Friday and Saturday. All tractors lost 30 working hours on account of rain. Labour lost 15 working hours on account of rain.
Tracklaying 4000 feet during the week.
Ties were taken mostly from Ubald Preiard's cut M49.6 and were distributed by team.
Some blocking of track was done on Saturday.
Grade M50 is now 70% complete with tractors working at 2635. Labour is short and to stabilize the situation for the balance of tracklay good men will be advanced from $70 to $78 per month starting next week. Next week tracklay on Monday and ballasting again with the 3-spot starting Tuesday. Grade work to continue.

December 27, 1944 From Main Office to Damien Lafleur

Car CP #225567
On your next trip to Head Quarters kindly arrange to pick up from our siding the above car to Baie de l'Ours for W. Caron. 

January 3, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to J.O. Montpellier

We regret that we are unable to transport hay between Thurso and mile 26 because our road locomotive #2 is broken and has been sent to Montreal for repair.
As soon as we receive the machine back in good repair I will let you know.

January 3, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Gagnon, Cheneville

I have received your letter of 29 December asking me to send a car of feed over our line to mile 26. I regret to have to inform you that we cannot accept your order for the next month because our road engine #2 is in Montreal for repairs. As soon as it returns I will let you know.

January 3, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Municipality of Cheneville

I regret to have to tell you that for the present we are unable to move a car to mile 26 because our road engine #2 is in Montreal for repairs and we do not know when it will be received back in good condition. Click here to return to TNVR Locomotives.

January 20, 1944 From L. Hird to Damien Lafleur

Memo questioning the use of oil, waste, and lubricants. The figures given previously would suggest that no oil, waste and lubricants were used during 1943. We are aware that our railroad is the best one in the country but we cannot see how you could get along without any oil and if you did we had not let Mr. Bourget know as he would expect the same this year. Click here to return to TNVR People, L.E. Hird

 January 25, 1944 From Boyd, CPR to P.B. Bourget

With reference to repairs to your locomotive TNVR #2. For your information the following repairs were made to the locomotive.
2 side patches applied at front corners 22" x 9" x 3/8"
14 rivets on each side of the tube sheet, removed from fire cracks in tube sheet legs.
Tube sheet laps removed and holes in sides welded up and bead welded to tube sheet legs. Also five rivets renewed on bottom of tube sheet. 14 new staybolts applied.
Front section of the ashpan removed and reapplied.
Old fusible plug removed, hole countersunk and welded up, new fusible plug applied one row further back.
Boiler given test.

January 25, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Attached hereto is a letter from the CPR giving details of the repairs they have made to locomotive no 2. Kindly give this to Mr. Park Smith and suggest that great care be taken this year not to leave any dead clinkers in the firebox etc, which through a period of time cause much corrosion. Click here to return to TNVR Locomotives.

January 25, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Lafleur, Clermont and Simpson

In accordance with letter dated January 10 addressed by us to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Rollin of Papineauville tells us that there are some twelve cars of hay to be moved from Thurso. Six cars are intended for mile 26, three for Ripon and three for Duhamel. In each case the Secretary of the Municipality has notified that we shall bill at the net rate in accordance with our letter to the Deputy Minister and that for each shipment we shall forward three invoices.
We have notified the Secretary at Ripon that inasmuch as there is no siding at that point, they must immediately after a telephone message from us giving them the time of arrival of the train, make the arrangements to unload as soon as possible. Click here to return to TNVR locomotives #2.

 January 29, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

It was observed that engine #3 has to come back from the dump at Camp 15 clear down to mile 43.7 for water at this time of the year. As soon as labour is available for the purpose, we suggest that a well be dug alongside the track in the sand near Camp 15. Mr. Boyd could take the elevation of the track at present low water level and if the depth of the well is not such that the steam syphon could not work, then the well should be dug as soon as possible in order to save time and coal.

February 21, 1945 From Main Office to Damien Lafleur

It would be appreciated if you could arrange to send down to Thurso 40 hard Maple logs about 10' long and 15" and up in diameter. These should be real veneer logs as they are for a special order received for #1 Clear Veneer in 3/16".

March 3, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

On 29 January last it was pointed out to you that car no 43 should be removed from operation, scrapped and new center sills installed. In a talk with Mr. Labrosse today he informs me that this car has not yet been shopped. He agrees that it is entirely unsafe for operation and we must, therefore, ask you to shop it immediately.

March 6, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Alcidas Richer, Montpelier

I am pleased to give you permission to cut hay on the same piece of land as last year, that is to say the land that formerly belonged to M. Arsene Deschatelets.

April 4, 1945 From Headquarters

Veneer in storage
Veneer in storage from previous year in storage mile 26. 450.000 FBM
Veneer of 1944-5 in storage mile 26 350.000 FBM
Total veneer in present storage 800.595 FBM

April 28, 1945 From Barclay Boyd to P.B. Bourget

Camp 17 was opened on Thursday April 19th. The 3-spot came up from M26 with the ballast cars Friday 20th AM and loaded a train along the Car Shop switch to give clearance for a second switch, this was dumped at points M38 to 41. The shovel was set at M46 and the washout M47.2 filled. Monday April 23rd the shovel was set at M49.8 and 2600 ft of part left unballasted last year was ballasted ending station 2663.00.
Friday April 27th as lost with rain. On Saturday the 28th the shovel was brought back to Hqts and the last train loaded was taken to M2.
By the 28th ten men beside the Duhamel section crew were used on the lift crew.
Next week clearing for campsite and rail extension will commence. The two D7 tractors go up on Monday.

April 28, 1945 From Barclay Boyd to P.B. Bourget

3000 feet of track to be changed starting M41 using 60 lb steel, same spikes to be used (D.L. advises not to try to use any of the old bolts with the good steel)
1000 feet of track to be changed at M45.7 (D.L to see you as to this)
1800 feet of new line starting M50.6 using good steel and fastenings.
800 feet of siding starting M50.6 (with steel and bolts lifted at M41)
Rail fastening requirements over stocks in hand would be - 8 boxes of bolts (shorter than the last purchased if possible) 1 ton of spikes and 2000 (200 lb) lock washers.
For total shortage of fastenings for steel to lay 1.4 miles of track now in storage at M46 refer to my report of Oct 6th 1944.
In switch material there is at Hqts. Two sets of points, one set in good condition and the other in very bad condition (10"of the top edge being entirely worn away). One switch will be required at M50.6 another if a through switch is made at Hqts., (putting the loading platform at the end of the car shop) and another should a 2nd switch be put into the car shop. 3 complete switches may be required.

April 30, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Regarding your requisition for one crank shaft, set of bearings and one set of rings for 4hp speeder, we would like to know what happened to this speeder. Indications are that someone ran it without oil and if so we would like to know who was using it at the time and whether or not it had been properly maintained. These parts are not only expensive but difficult to obtain at the present time.

May 2, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Some time ago it seemed to me that we had given away to your employees the lumber and other material in the old boy scout camp at Green Lake. Mr. Picard, owner of the local movie theatre, has asked for it. He has been told that providing you cannot dispose of it to Neveu or anyone else we shall sell it to him.

May 19, 1945 From Barclay Boyd to P.B. Bourget

Two acres of r/w and dump ground was cleared during the week, this completes all the clearing for this year's construction and makes a total of 5 1/2 acres cleared this year. One tractor worked 4 effective days during the week: stumping is now 50% complete and grade work 30%.
Starting Saturday the 12 extra labourers at camp 17 were all put with Mr. Kirkland on maintenance M.46 to M.50.
Next week grade work to continue using the two D7 tractors and all grade work should be complete within two weeks. All extra labour to be left with Mr. Kirkland on maintenance Duhamel up. Tracklaying at Little Long Lake may be started sometime May 28th or following.
Also talks about progress at Duhamel waterworks including list of people using the new water system.

May 21, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

To confirm our telephone conversation of this morning it is now necessary and urgent that all crossing signs be renewed. If necessary, stipulate directly that one day per week will be devoted to this work until it is completed from Thurso to mile 26. The posts should be straightened up and wherever necessary renewed. I understand that there are some poles that could be used for this purpose at Headquarters, Mile 38.

May 21, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Mr. Clairmont at Thurso will make you some standard stands on which you will kindly arrange to place spare rails along the railroad. These should be placed at a distance of 7 feet from the rail and the stands should be placed 18 feet apart.
Naturally, these stands should be placed where most convenient and the rack should be placed so that a rail can be moved over to a lorrie with the greatest facility.

May 31, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Boyd

Your memorandum of May 29 concerning the boundary line at mile 21 has been received. With regard to the last paragraph of your letter we arranged with Mr. Lafleur to have the section gang move the fence exactly where it should be in accordance with your memorandum.

May 31, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Attached is a letter from Andreas Massie of Ripon who wants to put a water pipe under the track near mile 17.5. Will you kindly investigate this and report whether we should allow it.

September 1, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Mr. Leduc, who owns a farm south of the Cavan trestle, asked me today if we could improve his crossing on the south side of the track to lower the grade a bit so that he can haul manure and purchased fertilizer to his land North of the track.
We informed Mr. Leduc that the engine was going to be busy for approximately 15 to 20 days and we thought that when you were through at the trestle you could probably bring down a car or two of ballast & that you might be able to improve his crossing.

September 21, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

I have made arrangements to purchase a car in Montreal to replace the present boarding car you are using. It should be much warmer than the one you now have. With regard to the old one I think what we might be able to do with it is to take it to Mile 38 and have them strip the inside, leaving a stove. We might be able to make some wood benches and it could be used for transporting men when you have a big gang to bring down from camps or other places. Naturally the running gear must be in a safe running condition.

October 10, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Scheult

Confirming our telephone conversation of this morning, we shall be very glad to have Mr. Lafleur load what maple logs would be suitable for veneer from your dump which is accessible at the present time. There is no particular rush and if you want to wait for the load to dry it is quite in order for you to do so. We would, of course, like you to choose someone to sort this maple and only send logs that show considerable sap and are sound as these are to be used for test purposes in the manufacture of veneer power sewing machine tables.

October 11, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

The Diesel Electric Locomotive is to be delivered during the month of November and will come from Erie, Pa. through Buffalo, Toronto to Thurso. We have been offered the opportunity of having one of our men ride the engine from their plant to Thurso, and in addition spend three or four days in their plant to get some training in its operation.

Will you please recommend the employee you would like to proceed to Erie for this training?
My own opinion is that it might not be a bad idea to have you go along too and you can let me have your opinion with regard to this.
Click here to return to TNVR history.
Click here to return to TNVR locomotives #4.

October 12, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Adelard Legault, Ripon

Thank you for your letter of October 11. This week Mr. Lafleur will see you concerning the construction of a siding at Ripon.
We will ask him to let you have rails 5 1/2' to 6' feet long. I presume you would want us to cut the old ones to this length, or if you can cut them yourself tell Mr. Lafleur and he will give you as many rails to make the number of rails you need.

October 18, 1945 From Ernest Lanthier, St. Sixte to Singer

Complains that there is a blocked culvert that floods his land and also that the ditches need attention. 

October 30, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur and others

This is to inform you that Mr. Leonard Purdy has been appointed Acting Wood Superintendent as from November the first next. I count on you to give him your closest co-operation, as in the past. Click here to return to TNVR People.

 October 31, 1945 From P.B. Bourget to Damien Lafleur

Will you kindly let us have a report showing the number of Ties and Posts distributed along the TNVR for maintenance during 1945.

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