Chief Operating Officer
JLB. File 39310.19. 6 Charles Street East,
March 18th, 1935.
Mr. Geo. Spencer,
Chief Operating Officer, B.R.C.
Mr. T.L. Simmons,
Chief Engineer, B.R.C.,
Complying with the instructions received regarding the application of the Canadian National Railways for leave to abandon portion of their Otterville Subdivision between Simcoe Junction (mileage 9.1) and Otterville (mileage 23.3), a distance of 14.2 miles, we have made an inspection trip over the line involved, interviewed all interested parties, and beg to submit the following:
The section of line it is desired to abandon, as pointed out in the Company's application, passes through a poor farming district due to the sandy nature of the soil. Agricultural products consists in the main of tobacco, vegetables and small fruits. This territory when the line was in operation was served by the following stations: Hawtrey which served a community of approximately 50. Facilities at this point consist of a frame shelter, cinder platform, stock pen, 15 foot loading platform, and 11 car siding. Should the line be abandoned, the nearest railway facilities would be half a mile away.
La Salette which serves a surrounding community of about 308. Railway facilities consist of a joint C.N. and M.C.R. station fronted by a plank platform. There is a freight shed in conjunction with the station, also a siding and short interchange track with the M.C.R. having a total capacity of 13 cars.
Brandy Creek which serves a surrounding population of about 300. Railway facilities consist of a flag shelter with cinder platform, a dead end siding with a capacity of about 4 cars. Should the line be abandoned, the nearest railway facilities would be about 2 miles away.
Ellaton which is a flag station in the midst of a thickly populated farming district. Railway facilities comprise a shelter (since sold), a cinder platform, and a 10 car siding. Should the line be abandoned, the nearest railway facilities would be about 2 miles away.
There are no industries at any of the above mentioned points.
No train service has been operated over, and no maintenance done on the line since the fall of 1933, with the result that bridges, culverts, etc., are in poor condition.
The district involved is not served directly by main highways although connected to them by county roads on which considerable trucking is done.
On the inspection trip in question, the Railway Company was represented by:
Mr. W.J. Piggot, Superintendent. Mr. J. Ferguson, Division Engineer. Mr. N.A. Peters, District Agent. Mr. F.P. Nelson, Div. Frt. Agent.
Notice of the inspections to be made was forwarded to:
Norwich South Township,Otterville, Ont.
Board of Trade,
Town of Simcoe,
These parties were advised the time and date of our movements over the line, when and how we might be reached, and that we would be pleased to hear any objections they might have to offer.
The only complainants to put in an appearance were Mr. Seigner, Reeve of Otterville, and Mr. C.W. Ottewell, also of Otterville. These gentlemen however, it devolved, were not interested in the proposed abandonment. Their objections dealt mainly with improved mail and train services between Otterville and Brantford.
Mr. J.J. Casey, General Merchant at La Salette, was interviewed by your representatives, and stated he had no objections to the proposed abandonment if some arrangement could be made whereby the M.C.R. would deliver cars to him on the C.N.R., and M.C.R., interchange track referred to above.
Mr. Casey advised he got in coal, salt, fertilizers, etc. to the extent of about 20 car loads per year.
Mr. Piggott advised the undersigned the Company probably would be agreeable to deeding the track, and land on which it stands over to the M.C.R. for this purpose.
At Hawtrey where the only other General Store on the line is located, the Proprietor, Mr. Beck, was absent in London but his son was interviewed along with one or two local residents. They raised some objections to the abandonment of the line but could give no concrete example of any particular harship. The objection in the main was that carload traffic had to be hauled from the M.C.R. 1/2 a mile south, as against a haul of about 300 yards from the C.N.R. Car load shipments ran to roughly 12 per year. L.C.L. freight averaging 300 lbs. per month has to be hauled from Otterville about 5 miles by road, while express shipments also taken delivery of at Otterville, averaged 1 per month.
The Railway Company's application appears to be entirely justified as the lack of official complaint amply implies, and in the circumstances, we would recommend that it be granted.
(Signed) J.L. Bourgault
Inspector Railroad Operation.
(Signed) D.G. Kilburn