The magnitude of Toronto as a great railway centre is not generally acknowledged by the citizen as it should be. At this time of the year, when travelling and shipping became more brisk, a short sketch of the G. T. R. and the work of the local staff in Toronto may be of interest to the public.
The lines of this great system, which branch out in a radius from Toronto and form a complete network over the most populous and richest part of Ontario, are made up of systems which have become amalgamated in the last few years—namely, the main line from east to west, the Great Western Railway, the Northern & Northwestern, the Midland, the Nipissing, the Wellington, Grey & Bruce, and others. The success of a railroad in a great measure depends on an able management, and convenient, safe and prompt transportation. During the last year the new system of the G. T. R. has been inaugurated, many changes have been made in the management, especially in the local staff, improvements of all descriptions have been started, some of which are finished and others nearly completed, and every department has been thoroughly and efficiently equipped with a competent staff.
The Canadian public were a little bit dubious when an American received the appointment of General Manager, but that was a year ago, and since then they have had time to change their opinion, as the successful system of the new management has been apparent from the start. When Mr. C. M. Hays made his first tour of inspection he called a meeting of his General and Assistant Superintendents in his private car at Belleville. To them he stated what his policy would be, and said:—"Gentlemen, our first consideration must be the giving of an efficient passenger service. I intend to have our passenger trains start out on time and reach their destination on time, barring accidents or stress of weather. In the summer season I want our passenger coaches to be kept clean and tidy, well ventilated and with plenty of ice water in the tanks. In the winter season I want them equally well kept, the fires moderate, not too hot or too cold, and also plenty of ice water in the tanks. Ice, coal and cleanliness are not expensive matters. I also want this general system of attention to passengers when on our trains carried out when they are waiting at our stations. Now if we give an efficient passenger service under these lines we shall soon give an efficient general service. I shall look to the Superintendents and their assistants to see that this policy is carried out." Further, he said:—"I shall insist upon every department co-operating the one with other towards this end, and also towards the general efficiency of the service."
To-day the result of these excellent instructions is felt wherever the G. T. R. is patronized. Some of the improvements before mentioned and which have been completed during the last year are:—Five splendid new stations, at Harvey, Ill., St. Henry, Que., Rockfield Que., Muskoka Wharf and Berlin, N.H.; large new machine and car shops at London; the new bridge at Niagara Falls, which is partly a union affair, and an immense elevator at Portland, Me., the capacity of which building is one million bushels of grain, its smokestack being one hundred and sixty feet high; also a car-heating and air-brake electric building at Montréal. The lesser improvements are going on all the time, and it would take too much space to note them all. In Canada alone the G. T. R. has over three thousand five hundred miles of track.
The work of systemalizing, regulating and improving such an extensive road is of vast magnitude and it must be a source of satisfaction to the shareholders, as it is to the public, that Mr. Hays is perfecting a system under which the G. T. R. is to-day operated throughout the whole country with efficiency, despatch and comfort to travellers.
The local staff.
Mr. Earl H. Fitzhugh was appointed Superintendent of the Middle Division of the G.T.R with headquarters at Toronto, in July 1896. In giving his appointment to Mr. Fitzbaugh Mr. Hays was influenced by the vast importance of Toronto as a traffic centre, and by the great responsibilities in connection with the operation of this division, which is acknowledged to be the hardest division to operate, on account of the four important American terminals, Niagara Falls, Windsor, Sarnia and Buffalo, and also on account of the numerous branch lines joining the main line, and the interchange with foreign roads. He evidently knew of no one so capable of filling all the many requirements and successfully discharging the manifold duties connected therewith as Mr. Fitzhugh. The division extends west to Detroit and Port Huron, east to Suspension Bridge and Buffalo, and north to Wiarton, Owen Sound, Southampton and Kincardine.
When Mr. Fitzhugh is in the city it is an easy matter to see him. Of course he's a very busy man, but never too busy to see any of the employees, and when any one of the general public wishes to see him it is only necessary to go to his office and tell one of his clerks his business and, if possible, he give an audience. If not, his chief clerk will attend to any matters in connection with the department. When I called I wished to see Mr. Fitzhugh himself, and so waited patiently till he could receive me. Then I discovered what a pleasant man he is. His handsome, good-natured face is a sure index of his character, quiet and unassuming, but of great determination, combined with unusual forethought and sagacity—a man who will be and is respected and esteemed by all who come in contact with him, not only for his personal charm, which is very great, but for the uprightness of his character and the liberal and fair treatment he accords each one and all. There is a merry twinkle in his blue eyes as he looks me through and through while listening in surprise when I ask, " If I may ramble around through the offices and gather some items in connection with his work and that of his staff?" He evidently does not get an exalted idea of the "interviewer," judging from the individual before him, but, true to his kindly nature, he pleasantly offers to give me any information I required.
Mr. Fitzhugh came from Moberly, Mo., and has had a long railroad experience for a young man. Starting in 1871 on the St. Louis, Kansas & Northern Railway, he filled various positions till 1879, when he was appointed master of transportation for all of the Wabash lines west of the Mississippi, with headquarters at St. Louis, Mo. This position he held until 1889, when he resigned to become Secretary to Mr. C. M. Hays, no General Manager of the G. T. R., later receiving the appointment which he at present is filling in a very efficient way. He is greatly interested in his work, travelling continually in his private car, with a view always to the better supervision of train and station service. There are 1,500 miles of track, 4,000 men employed and 227 stations in his division, which he considers the garden of western Ontario, rich, as it is, in agriculture, stokc-raising and exports of all kinds, supplying the market of eastern Canada and also shipping vast quantities to Liverpool and foreign ports. in operating the 1,500 miles of track which comprise Mr. Fitzhugh's division, a task which involves a tremendous amount of work, he has the able assistant of an assistant superintendent, Mr. G. C. Jones, who is stationed at London; Mr. L. J. Ferritor, train master at Stratford, and Mr. C. S. Cunningham, train master at Hamilton, while Mr. David Morice has the immediate care of the important terminals, namely, Don, York [Danforth], Toronto and Parkdale.
Mr. Munro is Mr. Fitzhugh's chief clerk; he has charge of his office in Toronto, and attends to all matters in connection with it. Besides him there are four clerks, who attend to the correspondence connected with the department.
Mr. Fitzhugh thoughtfully suggested that Mr. Munro should accompany me on my rounds, and give me the "official sanction," as it were, a valuable thing that, an "open sesame" in fact with many a door that otherwise would have been closed, as the officials are all very busy men, and have no time to bother with every prowler that wanders in; besides you have to wade through two or three outer offices before reaching the head of a department—a very good idea in arrangement—as it deters most people, unless they have important business to transact, from calling in and proving a nuisance. To open a door and be confronted by a dozen or so men all looking at you with an inquiring expression, and further on another room with more men is appalling to even the stout-hearted "new woman" but we had a splendid escort, who kindly led the way. Thanks to Mr. Munro, we were switched, shunted and side-tracked on every department down at the Union Station, and quickly comprehended the working of the switch and signal system—that is, the switch of a skirt through an office door was a danger signal to the poor man inside. In our case they bore the infliction very bravely, and we had many pleasant chats with them all. Coming in contact with the numerous employees in Mr. Fitzhugh's division as I did, it was remarkable the way they all spole in the highest and warmest terms of him, and his courteous treatment of them. It is a great thing to be so well thought of by a man's associates.
The offices are all large, splendidly lighted, and well furnished apartments, containing every convenience necessary to the transaction of business; it was surprising the number of typewriters in use, and nearly all of the clerks in the different departments are stenographers.
District freight agent.
Mr. Arthur White is the district freight agent. His division extends from Toronto to Belleville on the main line, and laong the northern branches to Penetanguishene, Midland, Collingwood, Meaford and North Bay, in all about 1,000 miles of track. Mr. White has been connected with the G. T. R. for 25 years, having been stationed for the last twelve years in Toronto. In his offices business is despatcher in a very rapid manner; as the clerks go from one room to another you notice the excellent discipline and quietness with which all matters are attended to, and when summoned to Mr. White's private room they enter with such a military bearing that you instinctively look for a uniform. Mr. White look a general, and has such a very pleasant, brisk manner, and is so clear and concise in his statements that it is an exceedingly pleasant task to interview him. On the walls of his room hand framed portraits of the officials of the G. T. R., and also maps on which we trace out the extent of his division, and then begin to realize what a vast territory it covers, and what a great amount of business must be transacted in the course of a year, as the largest lumber section of Ontario—"being on par with the Ottawa district"—is on the Georgian Bay, which is also a great fish section. South of Lake Simcoe, Meaford and Penetanguishene the country becomes more thickly populated, and grain is raised, along with live stock for packing and export purposes. The west coast of the Nottawasaga Bay is on of the best fruit sections in Canada; the apples and plums last year were the finest in the country. Then there are many manufacturing cities and towns all through his division, and they all do a great amount of shipping.
The duties of a division freight agent are to supervise rates from all stations on the division, to have business consultations with shippers residing in the division in connection with the freight earning portion of the G. T. R. services, to arrange interchange of traffic with various lines of steamers plying on the lakes and canals, such as Lake Simcoe, Muskoka Lakes and the chain of lakes running from Huntsville, Burk's Falls, Nipissing and Georgian Bay, and to reporting directly to the general freight agent, Mr. J. W. Loud, at Montréal, by letter and personally twice a month. Mr. White has a private telephone line direct from the Board of Trade to his office, and it is a very important instrument in transacting business. When the Board of Trade is in session between 12 and 1 o'clock every day, they can have direct communication with Mr. White in arranging rates and other matters in connection with business. This is the only line in the city, and to be certain of the fact we rang up and out for ourselves that it could not be attached in any way to another line.
In is office are fourteen clerks, who attend to the business connected with the department, and, with on e exception, that of his chief clerk, they all write shorthand and use the typewriter. Mr. White selects bright and capable boys, takes them on trial for three months, and at the expiration of that time of that time if they are found worthy he puts them on his permanent staff; they are instructed to study shorthand and promoted according to merit.
The baggage division.
Mr. J. E. Quick is General Baggage Agent for the entire G. T. R. system, from Chicago to Portland, including all branch lines. Mr. Quick commenced service on what is now the Chicago and Grand Trunk division of the G. T. R. system as baggage master, at Port Huron in 1871, when but nineteen years of age. He was afterwards made general baggage agent of the road, and in addition there were added the duties of depot and city ticket agent, which position he held until 1881, at which time, upon the amalgamation of lines west of the river under one management, he was made general baggage agent of the lines west of the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, with office at Detroit, Mich. On April 15, 1896, he was made general baggage agent for the entire G. T. R. system, with headquarters at Toronto. The proper supervision of the baggage department on a line with the magnitude of the G. T. R. entails a large amount of detail work. A passenger receiving a check for baggage does not give thought to the care and record that is necessary to ensure prompt handling and quick tracing of it, thinking all that is necessary is the putting it on the train and taking it off at its destination. The forwarding baggage agent must enter the number and kind of check given the passenger on the way-bill for the train it is intended for. The train baggageman must check up this bill to ascertain whether he has received all the baggage that was checked for this train. If the bill is not correct, and he is short any baggage called for in the bill, he must at once advise the general baggage agent by wire. If the bill is correct it is signed and filed away will other bills received, to be sent to the general baggage agent at the end of the trip. The train baggagemen must make a record of all baggage carried by him, and in putting it off at stations, or transferring it to connecting lines, bills must be made out by him, to be treated in the same manner as the station way-bill. All of these must be sent to the general baggage office, to be checked up and filed away, so that any report of bill can be referred to at a moment's notice. With the exception of two or three men noticed, Mr. Quick's clerks are all ladies, and they were all busy attending to the daily reports, which are records of all baggage received and delivered, with a description of each piece. There are over 300 train baggagemen, and 660 stations on the G. T. R. system. Daily reports must be received and filed away from all of these. It was decidedly interesting to start with an "old russet valise minus one handle, with a weak lock and a propensity for disgorging its contents," and follow its wanderings in those daily reports. We could see it so distinctly from the minute description—represented by letters"and imagined the "tall talk" that enlivened its passage, especially when it disgorged and shed its "queer" contents. We owned just such a valise once, and remembering how it looked when we reached our journey's end.
All agents and baggagemen must keep themselves supplied with proper checks from the general baggage office, of which a correct record is kept. The excess collections and checks must be carefully watched and checked up, and all complaints for over-charge, dealy or danger must be carefully investigated, and the large amount of correspondence made necessary by these details must be attended to. It would seem to an outsider that much of this detail work was unnecessary, but when it is borne in mind that the G. T. R. handled 2,112,679 pieces of baggage in 1896, without one piece being actually lost, and very few cases of baggage going astray, it can readily be seen that the work entailed, and the proper care and record of such an amount of baggage, must necessarily be very complete and systematic.
Patrons of this line, who have become accustomed to the "brasses" so long in vogue will certainly be pleased with the change in the method of checking baggage. The present system, as nearly everyone who has had baggage checked is aware, consists of a brass check, which simply bears the umber and the name of the road issuing it. In addition to be cumbersome and unwieldy to carry, it gives no information to the passenger of the destination to which the baggage is checked, and passengers always have an uncertain feeling as to finding it at the proper station when they arrive. In the place of the brass duplicate, as formerly received, there will be a neat cardboard check, convenient to carry, on which will be plainly printed or written the route and destination. One can at once see if baggage is properly checked, In addition to the convenience of handling, and assured correctness of checking to passenger, it is a much safe check to the railroad company, and will avoid many vexatious delays and unnecessary tracing for the company.
Mr. Quick is devoting much thought to the safest and most compact method of carrying bicycles, which have become such an important part of the baggage department. As it is never possible to know the number of wheels which may be shipped, it is necessary to always be prepared, and this necessitates some arrangement by which they can be held stationary in the cars, the forms when not in use to fold up in a very small space. Several models of "holders" were to be seen in the office. The favorite one so far appeared to be one which resembles a long keep of stout wire fastened to the wall by means of bracket, which when not in use drops down and takes up no space whatever. Mr. Quick is, as most Americans are, delighted with Toronto, and we assured him that the longer he resided here the better he would like it. He is te Secretary-Treasurer of the Association of General Baggage Agents. This association, formed for the purpose of general discussion of topics pertaining to the baggage business, has been a great success. The last meeting of the association took place at the Hotel Jefferson, Richmond, Va., January 20, 1897, and was largely attended.
The terminal service.
Mr. David Morice, Superintendent of Toronto terminals, is well-known and very popular in Toronto. He commenced service with the G. T. R. in 1864 at Brantford, and since then has filled many responsible positions, such as freight and passenger agent at Stratford, traffic agent Niagara Falls and Suspension Bridge, assistant superintendent of the southern division at London and assistant superintendent of the central division at Toronto. At the present time he is superintendent of the terminals in Toronto district.
The office of terminal superintendent is something quite new in Toronto, but in all American cities stations surrounding the city are taken in under one terminal superintendent. In Mr. Morice's district are the Don, York [Danforth], Toronto and two Parkdale stations, having in all a staff of 300 men employed, and this number is increased during the busy season.
The business men of Toronto thoroughly appreciate Mr. Morice and are aware that any complaints they make will have his personal attention, and a satisfactory arrangement will be the result.
Mr. Morice is the right man for the office, as he is the essence of good nature and never considers it too much trouble to personally look after the smallest detail in connection with his department.
From this office the distribution of empty cars from the Toronto terminals take place. This is found most convenient for the business men, who desire cars to be placed for their disposal at different stations on the line, so such detail work is necessary in connection with this. All matter of delay are attended to by him, and all trains come under his charge when they enter Toronto. Mr. Morice is as great a favorite with all the men at the Union Station as he is with the Toronto public.
The passenger agency.
Mr. M. C. Dickson, the District Passenger Agent, was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, and has been connected with railroads since his earliest years. In 1877 he received an appointment on a Canadian road, and since then has filled a good many offices. A change with him has always meant something better. His private sanctum is a bright and cosy room, and the big easy chairs very comfortable, tempting one to linger and chat, as Mr. Dickson can tell many interesting stories in connection with the roads. It is small wonder that he is such a favorite with the public, as he has a bright, pleasant manner and funds of good humor. Mr. Dickinson's staff consists of Mr. C. W. Graves, travelling agent for the G. T. R., and Mr. W. Keating, the well-known and popular city ticket agent, corner King and Yonge street, and in his office are four clerks, who look after the special correspondence. His district extends west from Toronto to Windsor, south to Niagara, and east to Kingston, including all of the intervening districts. The duties of his office include the supervision of all the passenger business, both regular and special, arranging special excursions on holidays, the distribution of posters and necessary advertising and time-tables, making arrangements for extra coaches and settlers' excursions. these settlers' excursions have been of great benefit to the country and largely patronized. Then there is a great deal of theatrical business during the year. This is all arranged for a long time ahead. During the winter season the audit office prepares a statement of the year's business and what each excursion has brought the G. T. R., thus enabling the management to know the best excursions to secure for another season. The sume of $25 would cover losses for some years past, and this amount will eventually paid in. A great number of excursions are booked for this coming season. We tried to get a peep at them, but never a peep would they let us have, and so we can't say how many glorious excursions are on for the 24th. A surprising little thing to hear was that when a person or a party unaccustomed to travelling leaves a small town on a long journey, with a wait over in Toronto, the station agent at the point of departure wires to Mr. Dickson's office. On of the clerks is at the train to meet the party, attend to their through tickets, have the baggage rechecked and examined, if crossing the line, to advise them as in a good hotel or lodging, in fact to attend to all of their wants and see them safety started on their trip. This was told us casually, and we give it for the benefit of the travelling public.
The signal service.
The signal service has been under the supervision of Mr. P. F. Hodgson, signal engineer, since 1893. In Canada along there are between 1,200 and 1,300 signals in use, and these must be kept in perfect order. The importance of the signal service is not generally understood, as the travelling public are more apt to think of personal comfort and speed and give little attention to the different mechanisms that work together and form a perfect system. In Toronto the switches and signals are operated together automatically and worked by men in switch cabins. There are four of these cabins between the Queen's wharf and Berkeley street, and the signals are placed on high bridges, one east and another west of the Union Station, each containing seven signals. To get a practical idea and also view the workings of the system Mr. Hodgson took us down to one of the cabins, which contain two rooms, one above the other. The ground floor s given up to cranks and machinery that form the connecting link between the levers or handles and the switch pipes and signal wires. In the room above a man is stationed, and by the simple moving of one of these levers the switch is set and the signals given. There are three men attached to each cabin, working on e at a time, and changed every eight hours. They have a pleasant apartment to work in. The walls are nearly all glass, and when we ascend the narrow stairway the sun was streaming in and brightened the interior with a golden radiance. The man stood at his port of duty—the long row of levers near the south wall—a splendid specimen of physical strength. He pulled one of the levers over to a different position, there was a grating of machinery beneath the floor, and looking out of one of the windows, we saw the rails bear the cabin move into position at the same time a signal away over on the bridge shot out and up in position. Of course he worked them several times for our benefit, as one can only see a certain part working at one time. The switches and signals are so interlocked the one with the other as to prevent the signals being given for any other route than that for which the switches are set. The signals are worked by wires and the switches by gas pipe, which runs along the ground under the rails. We would liked to have examined this but were informed that "cow catchers" had no respect whatever for "official sanction." Above the row of levers several boxes or machines that resemble an old-fashioned clock in a way, only they have two dials on, which are marked the various kind of train run on that section of line. They are called train indicators and are used as a means of communication between the signalmen in the cabin. There is also a loud-speaking telephone from the station superintendent office. In this way special orders given by Mr. Gormally can be heard all over the cabin and the man is sure to hear. While looking around the room we heard the machinery working again and turned in time to see a long passenger train roll by. The engineer leaned out of is window and gave a hearty "hello, there," saw us, and quickly disappeared from view. For shunting purposes in the yard a low signal is used which stands about three feet from the ground and does not conflict with the signals on the bridges. Going back to Mr. Hodgson's office in the Union Station, from the windows of which one gets a splendid view of the yard, we were shown many photographs and sketches of different systems in use all over the world, among them was a photograph of the largest switch cabin in the world. It is located near Brighton, England, and was built by Saxby & Farmer, an English firm, with whom Mr. Hodgson was connected before coming to Toronto. Everything in connection with this department is very novel and interesting, at the same time awfully scientific. We left all the science with Mr. Hodgson., We are only common, ordinary persons and some of the simple workings was what we were after. Mr. Hodgson was very kind and offered to stock us up again should we hanker for more information. There was not the slightest doubt in his mind but what we would be "befuddled" with it all before we reached the elevator.
The local freight agent.
The offices of the local freight department are located in the western wing of the Union Station, on the second floor, and approach through a corridor from the Union Station, or by a bridge from the foot of Simcoe street. They are large and spacious. The easterly room is occupied by the accountant's department, under the supervision of Mr. G. S. Spence. The payment of salaries, wages, et. for Toronto is all done in this room, and amounts fo about $70,000 monthly.
The westerly room contains the "inwards," and "outwards" desks, cashiers, claims clerks, and desks at which the general public conduct their business. Immediately west of this is the local freight agent's offices, and his inner private office, all of which are nicely fitted up and most convenient for transacting business without any trouble on the part of their patrons. Lavatories and cloak rooms are provided, and all the accessories of well appointed offices. Telephones connected with the city system and also with all points in the sheds are provided, so that the work can be conducted in a most systematic manner. The extesive freight sheds are situated at the foot of Simcoe street, and run west of Peter street along Front street. They are nearly half a mile long, and the bulk of the freight traffic is handled in these sheds. There is an army of men engaged in the handling, and the whole work is so systematized that there is little confusion or disorder. As a rule the goods are brought to and delivered fromo the sheds by the cartage companies, who have offices in the sheds, and their work is directed from there. The customs also have offices to conduct the handling of export and import freight. There are about 100 teams, 30 checkers and 170 porters employed at the sheds. The company's freight yards extend from Simcoe street to Dufferin street, and all along are what are called "team tracks" for loading and unloading traffic in car loads. Each point has a checker's office to arrange loading or deliveries and collect charges. The stock yards are located west of Bathurst street, and all live stock is handled there, the G. T. R. on the north side, and the C. P. R. on the south side, although the G. T. R. have also access to the annex or south side over their own tracks, which they are no enlarging. All along from one end of the city to the other are what are called private sidings running into warehouses and premises, where dealers have cars placed directly at their works. Mr. Nelles also has charge of the Parkdale station, in the west end, where all shipments from that quarter are handled, and of the Don station in the east, where a large business is done with the dealers in that vicinity.
At the foot of Yonge street the G. T. R. have sheds and offices, at which is handled the fruit traffic, car loads, for delivery on the Esplanade, and bonded freight from the United States, imports via the Niagara frontier. This is a most convenient oint, and located, as it is, in the heart of the city, close by the customs offices and large warehouses, probably in all an average of 100,000 tons is handled during each month. During the month of March, 1897, about 25,000 cars were handled in Toronto yards, and that is not by any means the heaviest month for traffic during the year. As an item of interest and showing the immense volume of business conducted, during 1896, 470,000 consignments were received for forwarding and 400,000 advice rates or expense sheets for delivery. The G. T. R. has at Toronto two grain elevators, each with a capacity of 260,000 bushels, and another (leased), with a capacity of 160,000 bushels. There are also wharves and docks at the Don in the east end of the city, and a continuous line of wharves from the waterworks at the foot of Peter street to Bathurst street, and immense quantities of lumber and square timber are handled at the docks during the year.
Mr. Nelles' tall figure is well known all over the city, and during the military camp at Niagara every season he is one of the most popular officers in the camp. It was strange at first to associate him with business, having seen him on the field with his battalion, the 37th Haldimand Rifles, of which he is Major. But it was only necessary to talk with him a few minutes to find out what an interest he takes in his work, and also how much thought, time and attention he must give to it to have developed the perfect system under which the local freight business is managed in Toronto. A general feeling of regret was felt by all the employees on account of Mr. Harkone's departure, and as his successor, Mr. W. D. Robb, had not arrived from London, it is impossible to give a synopsis of the working of the mechanical department.
In the office of Mr. Crowley, C.E., who is stationed at Toronto, the plans and estimates are made, such as surveying a new line, building a bridge, and plans of station yard. When we entered the model of a time-table for a western branch of Mr. Fitzhugh's division was in course of construction, and Mr. Crowley kindly explained some its mysteries to use. The form on which the plan was drawn was a large white enamelled surface, probably 5×6 feet, and nearly all the surface was spaced off with horizontal lines, leaving a margin on the four sides of several inches. At the top and bottom of these lines were quarter, half and hour marks, denoting in all twenty-four hours; down each side were the names of all the stations on that branch and distances apart, according to mileage. The trains have a rated speed, and as it takes a certain known time to go from Toronto, say, to the end of the branch, then all of the intervening stations must touch the hour lines, according to the distance they are apart. This may sound very indefinite, but on account of limited time we were not able to try our hand at one, consequently there were many things in connection with it that we won't say anything about, beyond the great difficulty there must be in placing the names of stations according to a mile scale, as the slighest deviation of a hair's breadth would cause a great difference in time rating. I don't suppose it would affect the trains at all, because the G. T. R. trains are known to run in the worst weather, and storms seldom affect the road. Still it is a good idea to have the trains and time-tables correspond. We were unable to get the number of time-tables consumed during the year. They are stored in a room, and there were too may to even make a guess at the number. Very neat and attractive they were, too.
We also noticed a great many blue prints in Mr. Crowley's room. On closer inspection these proved to be plans of variou kinds. The blue prints are in use all over the various departments and are a great improvement on the old way of making separate drawings. Now one sketch is sufficient, as it can be laid over the prepared paper and as many prints as required can be made by exposing it to the sun. It is always necessary to have several copies of every plan used, and these blue prints are accurate, and at the same time much cheaper. Mr. Crowley told us about the building of culverts and the many experiences incident to the surveying of a new line, and many more things in connection with his department that were very interesting, and at the same time beyond our comprehension, as it was quite scientific and requires a life study to become proficient in.
The provident society.
Most of the railway systems in England and the United States have relief organizations in connection with them for the benefit of their employees who may meet with accidental injuries or who may suffer from sickness while in their service. while in their service. The Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada, under the power of certain acts passed by the Dominion Parliament from 1874 to , has established a relief system called the Grand Trunk Railway & Provident Society.
The expense of maintenance is partly borne by the company and partly by monthly contributions from the employees of the road.
Prior to 1885 there was an insurance fund, which was used to pay a weekly allowance to employees who were injured while in discharge of their duties.
The association as at present constituted and working for the past twelve years provides for its members medical and surgical assistance and medicines in all cases of sickness or accident, provided weekly payment while the employee is incapacitated from following his employment, and the payment of a sum of money in the event of the death of a member or in event of his being permanently disabled. The amount of insurance ranges from $250 to $2,000, according to the contract made by the member with the association.
The association has divided the entire railway system into districts and as about 150 surgeons employed at different points along the various lines, who look after the health of the members. The Grand Trunk Railway Company, besides contributing $12,500 annually to the funds of this association, provides all facilities for carrying on the business of the society gratis, such as furnishing offices, free use of train and mail service, free transportation of officers and representatives of employees attending the necessary business and committee meetings, and free transportation of disabled employees whether sick or injured, to hospitals or their homes. The assistance of the best specialists in the large centres are at the disposal of the members when needed.
The affairs of the society are administered by a joint Board or Committee of Management, made up of representatives elected annually by the employees and by officials of the company. The head office is at Montréal, in the general offices of the company, and is under the able management of Mr. H. B. Moore, Secretary-Treasurer, and Dr. J. Alex. Hutchison, Chief Medical Officer, Grand Trunk Railway.
The total expenditure of the association from Jan. 1885 to Dec. 31, 1896, was $1,750,058. During the past year there were 12,274 members insured as permanent employees, and 2,256 as temporary employees. There were twenty-two deaths from accidental injuries, and 159 members died from natural causes; two committed suicide. There were 4,578 cases of sickness, in which members were paid a weekly allowance, and 1,113 cases of accidental injury. Members of the insurance fund may continue their life insurance after leaving the service of the company, and that this privilege is appreciated is shown by the fact that 568 who have retired from the service continue to pay their insurance premiums. There are about 1,100 persons employed in the Toronto district. Mr. Bruce L. Riordan has been district surgeon at Toronto since the inception of the society. His skill is held in high esteem, and he is most popular with all departments of the Grand Trunk system. A number of employees have taken advantage of his lectures on "First Aid," and some held certificates from the St. John Ambulance Association of London, Eng.
The G. T. R. Company have donated a large sum of $6,000 and also the building on Front street, where the old Northern offices used to be situated, for the Y. M. C. A. Association in connection with the G. T. R. It will be opened on May 15, 1897, of which notice will be given.