The Railways of Ottawa

Findings of the Circle

1.14    Canadian Northern Ontario - Federal
In a 1928 air photo (A2176-15) the station area at Federal is clearly visible. The station building appears to have been about 10'x20' in size and may be the original "temporary" facility as described in Canadian Railway and Marine World in 1914. It is located north of the Smiths Falls Sub and south of the switch to the roundhouse lead coming off the siding along the Beachburg Sub. Two semaphores are visible on the roof, one for the Smiths Falls Sub and the other for the Beachburg Sub. To both the east and west of the station it appears as though planters comprising some sort of station garden are visible.

On the north side of the Beachburg Sub. immediately opposite the station, there is a structure on the side of the embankment, and another at the bottom, connected by some form of conveyor or passageway. The identity of these structures is unknown.

Several hundred feet west of the station the section house is to be found just south of the roundhouse lead. It appears to be approximately 30'x40' in size and may be two storeys high judging by the length of the shadow in the picture. In front of the south face of this building a "V" shaped garden complete with planters is also visible. The laneway leading to the section house splits in two at this "V". Just west of the section house are several smaller structures which may be piles, huts or cargo. Approximately a hundred feet southwest of the section house several rectangular footprints are visible on the ground. Perhaps
supplies were stored here. Today a small swamp exists in this location, possible implying a need to remove some sort of contaminated fill at some point.

Other structures visible in the station area include some form of platformed structure approximately 10'x4' sitting perpendicular to the south side of the roundhouse lead about half-way between the station and section house. A square structure approximately 4'x4' is to be found between the rounhouse lead and the siding on the Beachburg Sub. near the station. Finally there is a small boxy structure approximately 4'x8' adjacent to where the laneway crosses the Smiths Falls Sub.

In this particular air photo a train is seen crossing over the Prescott Hwy Bridge. It is comprised of a small steam locomotive, two boxcars, some tank cars and a caboose. Two unidentified cars, presumably flatcars, are parked on the roundhouse lead about 1/3 of the way between the station and the section house. A boxcar is parked closer to the section house. This particular air photo does not show much to the west of the section house, although at this time the roundhouse lead is still in place beyond this point. The tracks are overgrown in this area and it would appear as though a backup move had been made recently to a point about 50' past the section house with the remaining rail to the west being obsured by weeds. Also at this time (1928), the Ontario Good Roads Spur was no longer in place. The embankment is almost totally invisible. It is likely the spur only existed for a very short time after 1919 and was not built to any particularly high standard, unless indeed it was bulldozed afterwards.

In a 1931 air photo in the area around the junction of the Smiths Falls and Beachburg Subs can be seen what appears to be benches with 2 lamp posts (one on either side) between the two tracks adjacent to the switch of the roundhouse spur.

 See also section 5.4 on the CNOR roundhouse at Federal.

Updated February 2008

Top     Home   Findings    Circle