December 1899, No. 22 The Railway and Shipping World (Toronto) Page 347, col. 3

Grand Trunk betterments, etc.

The new station at St. Hyacinthe, Que., has been opened.

The Victoria Jubilee bridge, having been finally completed, was further opened on Dec. 1 for foot passenger & vehicle traffic. A scale of tolls has been established under which foot passengers pay a cash toll of 5¢ or 6 tickets for 25¢. Bicyclists pay 10¢. cash, the other fares ranging up to 75¢ for 3 or more horses & vehicle loaded. The completion of the bridge is a great public convenience as heretofore the only crossing has been by ferry, which has been liable to interruption in the spring & fall. Notwithstanding this some people are complaining of the tolls charged & the matter has been brought under the notice of the Minister of Railways, who stated that in granting a subsidy towards the building of bridge no provision was made for government control of tolls. There was no mentioned made of anything other than provision for other railways to secure entrance to Montréal. There is not clause in the general railway act which would cover the case in question. Personally he was not aware of what rates were being charged for pedestrians or vehicles; but it did seem to him that they would be arranged on a scale to invite rather than to drive away probable traffic. Further than this there was nothing that he could say. He had not in his possession the schedule of charges for crossing by the ferryboat, but considering that the bridge is almost two miles in length, he did not incline to believe, so far as a glance at the situation showed him, that 5¢ or 6 tickets for 25¢. was excessive.

The yard at Trenton, Ont., is being raised and otherwise improved. At Gananoque the station is being moved so as to provide a better location for yard accommodation.

The yards at York, near Toronto, which are being remodelled, are expected to be completed by the end of Dec. The accommodation is being increased from a capacity of 500 cars to 1,500. (Oct., Pg. 291.)

A third track, to facilitate the passing of freight trains, is being built between Mimico & New Toronto, on the Toronto-Hamilton line.

Correspondence has recently taken place between Brantford city authorities & General Manager Hays, respecting the running of the Co.'s through Detroit & Niagara Falls trains via Brantford so as to place that city on the Main Line. My Hays said in a letter to the City Clerk: The question has been before the management in previous years, & while the advantage to our mutual interests in the change referred to has been conceded, the Co. has been deterred from taking action relative thereto owing to the hard times & consequent financial stringency existing. The season is now too far advanced for use to undertake anything in the direction desired this year, but we will be glad to again take the matter up for consideration & we may later on be able to lay before you a plan for consummating the change desired & asking your co-operation to that end. Should such a plan receive a favorable reception I have no doubt that I would be able to obtain the necessary authority to complete the work next year.

In regard to locating the freight station at Brantford on the south side of the tracks, instead of on the north as at present, & utilizing the old car shops for freight sheds, Mr. Hays said that the old car shops were unsuitable, & that better facilities could be acquired at but little greater cost by erecting a building specially adapted for freight purposes.

Owen Sound citizens recently petitioned the Co. to extend its line down the bank of the river to Division-Frost St. bridge, & received a reply from Superintendent Jones expressing the Co.'s willingness to comply with the request if the right of way could be secured from the town. The matter is now before the town council. It is probably that the line will only be extended to Dunn's boat house, & not as far as first proposed.

The extension from Port Huron, Mich., to the Jenks shipbuilding yard, which has been referred to as a branch, is only a side track to hold a few cars, & is likely to be built by the Jenks Co.

During 1899, 13 miles of second track have been laid between Montréal & Toronto, which leaves only about 46 of single track from Port Hope to Port Union. A surveying party is on this section, & if business is good it will be double tracked in the near future. The second track from Hamilton to Niagara Falls is laid out, & the work will be proceeded with next season. As we have already announced, it has been decided to double track the line from Port Huron to Chicago in the near future, & 10 miles of grading from Port Huron west are about completed. On the main lines 315 miles have been laid with 80 lbs. steel rails, while 285 miles of these rails, replaced by the 80 lbs., have been laid down on the branch lines, the latter being from 72 to 79 lbs,, & replacing in turn rails of from 56 to 60 lbs. So it will be seen that 60 miles of the lines have been greatly strengthened & improved. From Portland to Chicago there are now laid 720 miles of standard 80 lbs. rails, while the steel in the balance of the main line between those points average from 72 to 79 lbs. During 1899, 1,826,857 ties have been put in, 1,344,374 being cedar, purchased in Canada. The Co. has put down this year 321 miles of gravel & 50 miles of cinder ballast, 123 miles of fencing, & 63 miles of yards & sidings.

Some additional information as to improvements on the system, received too late for insertion here, will be found further on in this issue.

Railways: G.T.Ry.