Thurso and Nation Valley Railway

My slides of the Thurso and Nation Valley Railway are now available on Flickr at:


Additional black and white images have been added (2014) and can be seen by clicking here:

Click on the thumbnails below to view the pictures. You may use the images for your own personal use but not for commercial reasons.

Steam Era

Steam locomotive no. 1 with a snow plow about 1930.  The first locomotive on the TNVR was No. 1.  It is shown here with a short train consisting of a former Canadia Pacific snow plow and a flat car loaded with boats for the woodland logging operation.  The TNVR caboose brings up the rear
Steam locomotive no. 1 in the yard at Thurso about 1930.  A flatcar has been fitted out with a "pickel barrel" for water. This additional capacity would allow the small locomotive to range further without having to return to Thurso for supplies.
A Montreal Locomotive Work's photo of no. 2 dated February 1927.
A posed picture of no. 2 with a loaded train southbound on the Jasmin Trestle.  The engineer in the gangway is Park Smith while the fireman is Euclid Neveu. The Jasmin Trestle was filled in in 1939 so this photo was taken before that time.
 A head on view of no. 2 and a short train northbound around mile 2. The position from which this photo was taken is not known. The most likely explanation is that the photographer was in the cupola of the caboose of another train running just ahead of no. 2.
The Governor General on his visit of 5 June, 1936. Lord Tweedsmuir and his son are sitting on a flatcar behind car 27. This would have afforded an even better view of the scenery but was not in the plan established by P.B. Bourget to Bourget. Maybe this was a last minute addition for the vice-regal guests.
An embarrassing occasion in which no. 2 seems to have come off all wheels. To make matters worse, a commercial photographer was on hand to record the scene for posterity. This was used for a post card which was available in the Thurso area. In the cab, with the embarrassed grin, is Park Smith while the first four from the left are Damien Lafleur, Len Purdy, Pierre Blais and Sam Smith. Neither the other two on the ground not the owner of the legs dangling from the tender have been identified.
 View of a log train taken from the caboose.  The method of securing the logs can be seen. Chains were used to secure the bottom rows and are held tight by the logs placed on top.
Locomotive no. 2 at Thurso.  National Archives photo PA-205977.
Locomotive no. 2 at Thurso.  National Archives photo PA-205978.

Locomotive no. 3.
A Kalamazoo at Thurso in May 1947. National Archives photo PA-207256
A Kalamazoo in the woods.

Diesel Era

Brand new General Electric 70 tonner #5 posing with #4 on October 11, 1946, the day it arrived at Thurso.  Gaetan Lafleur photo.
#10 switching theyard at Thurso in 1965.  Jack W. Farrell photo. 
A line up of equipment outside the original car shop at Thurso.  This comprises the poison tank, a log loader crane, a car load of logs, the snow plow and car 27.
Ex-Canadian Pacific business car 27 at Iroquois - August 1985.
The TNVR purchased car 27 in 1929. By the mid 1970's it was getting in poor condition and this wooden car with wood sandwich frame trucks was restored by members of the Bytown Railway Society. It is shown here on August 27, 1985 towards the end of the restoration in the siding at Iroquois at the top of the big hill. Car 27 is now in the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa. Some artistic license was taken with the CP style tuscan red and the lettering as it is doubtful if the car ever carried this paint scheme.

An aerial photograph, taken from a poor newspaper clipping, of the wreck on 14 October 1958.
Interior of car 27 - 1983.
This shows the range which was extensively refurbished including re-nickeling. This coal or wood fired range maintained hot running water as well as providing a very effective grill, oven and warming compartment.
The Hill - October 1, 1983.
This shows horseshoe curve on the Hill at mile 35.3. TNVR engineers had to have their trains well under control for the descent. The loads were moved against the grade and frequently trains had to be moved in three sections and re-assembled in the siding at Iroquois, mile 33.
A northbound train of empties at mile 2 - October 3, 1985.
The two leading units are doing all the work while the third, no. 13, is idling because it was not set up for multiple unit operation. No. 13 is being ferried to the woodland operation where it spent most of its time. It was normally only returned to Thurso for maintenance. Click here to return to TNVR locomotives #13.
A northbound train of empties in the snow at mile 5 - February 28, 1985.
The leading locomotive is no. 12. It is running backwards as was common practice on the TNVR for better visibility and to minimize the fumes in the cab.
A northbound train of empties at mile 5 - October 3, 1985.
This was taken at the same location as the previous picture but in the fall.
A northbound train of empties at mile 12.4 - October 3, 1985.
Once again, the two leading units are doing all the work as no. 13 is just along for the ride.
A northbound train of empties at mile 19.5 - October 3, 1985.
The trains passed small pockets of farmland before entering the woods proper.
A fan trip southound at Singer - October 17, 1970.  This shows a locomotive still in the Canadian National colours it had worn while in service on Prince Edward Island. A rail mounted crane was being moved to Thurso. Most of the participants rode in the gondolas although the van and car 27 were also available.
A southbound loaded train at mile 5.6 - April 17, 1986.
A view just after the snow had melted.
A southbound loaded train at mile 5.5 - February 18, 1985.
The train is just about to begin the steep ascent into Thurso. TNVR engineers had to have their heavy trains well under control at this point. The brake shoes will be smoking heavily by the time the train comes to a halt in Thurso yard.
Car 27 and ex-Canadian Pacific van 436436 at Iroquois - August 27, 1983.
The TNVR would move car 27 and the van to the siding at Iroquois on the Friday train of empties and return it to Thurso on the Monday loaded train. This gave Bytown Railway Society members the opportunity to restore the car in a wonderful sylvan setting.
Car 27 at night at Iroquois - August 25, 1984.
The weekends in the bush provided a good opportunity for night photography. The station name board was placed there specially for the occasion.
Relaxing at Iroquois - August 23, 1983.
The weekend working parties were not all work!
TNVR locomotive no. 6 is pretty battered in this shot taken in the yard at Thurso.
A northbound train of empties with the fall colours.
Locomotive no. 7 crossing the Iroquois River close to the summt of the hill.
A train of logs bound for Thurso against the fall colours.

Return to home page
Return to TNVR Table of Contents