Russell's Railroad

From the Renfrew Mercury of 6 August 1880:
To the Editor of the Renfrew Mercury

Sir - there has been for the last two weeks a second railway in the village, or rather a branch line, called "Russell's Railroad," as it runs from Canada Central track down to Mr. L. Russell's lumberyard. Already a large quantity of lumber has been shipped over it, and it has proved of great convenience to Mr. Russell, as instead of drawing his lumber to the station for shipment, he now only has to draw it a short distance from the mill and the property at the back of the residence.

We believe he thinks of running the branchline right to his mill, but at present is rather undecided as to which is the most advantageous route to be taken, on account of the heavy cut that would have to be made in some of the hills. The present line is not very long, but it is a very good down grade, and for this reason, when Canada Central Railway hands placed a car with broken brakes on it, they put blocks of wood under the wheels to prevent it running down.

Next morning Mr. Antoine Denis came along and prepared to let the car down to the lumber piles, not knowing that the brakes were useless. So the blocks were pulled away and off started the car with Antoine on board. The car commenced to run and Antoine went to work to put on the brakes, but of course, in the condition they were in, with no effect in stopping the speed of the car. Folks at the other end of the line were beginning to wonder whether the car would run into the river or not, when it ran off the end of the track a few feet and stuck in the ground.

Next time Antoine goes down Russell's railroad on a lumber car he will examine the brakes before he starts.

Bytown Railway Society, Branchline, January 2006.

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