July 10, 1940 B.R.C. File No. 39310.51 (Tweed Sub. - Yarker to Tweed) (Ottawa)

Board of Railway Commissioners for Canada

Engineering department

July 10th, 1940.

D.G. Kilburn, Esq.,

Chief Engineer, B.T.C.,


Dear Sir:—

File 39310.51 — Appln. of the C.N.R. to abandon line Yarker to Tweed, 33.94 miles.

I went over this line on July 9th with Mr. Fraser, Engineer, C.N.R., and Mr. Bourgault, Inspector of the Board.

The line is an old line build about 1880 from Deseronto and Napanee to Tweed. That part of this old line from Yarker to Tweed is the part proposed to be abandoned.

The line is in fair shape for a light traffic branch line and is kept in good shape for the traffic. The rail is mainly old 56-pound rail kinked and bent to some extent. The ballast has been kept fair with cinders. About 7,000 ties are required per year and are being put in. The fencing and crossing are fair and drainage is fair, though probably some of the line in spring gets soft. The bridges are in fair condition.

There is a speed restriction of 25 miles per hour on the line and the heaviest car permitted to operate over the line is 169,000 pounds, both of which are amply sufficient for the country and the traffic.

Yarker, the east end of the line proposed to be abandoned, is on the C.N.R. line from Napanee to Ottawa. Tweed, at the western end of the proposed abandonment, is on the main line of the C.P.R.-Toronto to Montréal through Peterboro.

The C.P.R. Lake Shore line from Toronto to Montréal through Belleville crosses the line proposed to be abandoned about 10 miles from Yarker and Lens, about 3 miles from Enterprise is a station on the C.P.R. Lake Shore line which would have to serve this country.

The country, Yarker to Tweed, is on the border between rich farming country and rocky rugged land and is not what could be called rich land, but it is evidently good cattle country, well settled, and apparently prosperous, with farms of large acreage.

Tamworth and Enterprise are fairly prosperous small towns and Tweed is a pretty fair sized town along the line. Yarker, Marlbank and Erinsville are good small communities. Marlbank at one time had an important Portland cement factory, but it has been abandoned for years.

Belleville and Napanee are important centres for the country through which the line Yarker to Tweed runs. Both these centres are on No. 2 Highway and good roads run from No. 2 Highway at Belleville, Shannonville, Marysville and Napanee north thought the country now served by the railway. Belelville, Napanee and Tweed are cheese marketing stations.

There is also a good gravel road running from Tweed to Yarker close to the railway line proposed to be abandoned. The country is plentifully supplied with good roads, though they are not high speed highways. I would judge that in winter time many of these roads get block after snow storms and that there is considerable movement by team and sleigh through this country. Incidentally, I drove through this country myself a short time ago and know first hand what the country looked like away from the railway track.

If the line is abandoned the country will be served by good roads to the stations on page 2 of the application and from which rail shipments will have to be made.

I have made a summary of the full car loads going in and out of the country. You will note that the traffic is almost entirely cattle traffic, cattle and cheese out and grain for feed in, with some lumber.

Cattle — About 4 of 5 cars of cattle per week have gone out of the country since 1936. I understand practically all the cattle goes out of the country by train. It is brought to the railroad by truck or team. I understand that a truck collects hogs around the country near Moscow and brings them to the C.P.R. at Robbindale.

Cheese — There are cheese factories all through the country. The cheese has to go to Belleville or Napanee where it is graded. Cheese traffic varies. There are about a dozen factories near Tweed. The agent states that at present all the cheese from Tweed is going to Belleville by truck and from Belleville to Montréal by boat for shipment to England. He states that a cheese buyer owns trucks and ships and is able to bid higher for cheese than buyers who ship by rail and the highest bidder gets the cheese.

Lumber & lumber products — In spite of the fact that there are several wood working establishments along the line and the country is well wooded, less than an average of a car a week moves over the line.

Miscellaneous material out — An average of 3 cars of clay per year go out of Marlbank, which station at one time was an important cement shipping centre. There is a steel works at Tweed which has shipped out a few cars per year of ovens, barrels or other steel plate products. It is busy now, I believe, on war work employing 30 or 40 men. There is not much material that comes into the country and that consists mostly of mill products, feed, grain and salt to the extent of a couple of cars per week.

Coal — Not much coal comes into the country for heating and that all goes to Tweed to the extent of an average of 7 cars per year.

Miscellaneous — About 1 car of miscellaneous material, including cement, shingles, etc. comes into the country per week.

The total number of full cars moving over the line per year is about 500; that is, an average of 10 cars of material per week move over the line for which the C.N.R. has been maintaining a daily service in each direction.

There are three section gangs on the line, foreman and man on each section. There is an agent at Tweed and Tamworth, with local caretakers at other stations.

My opinion is as follows:—

Cheese — The country is a cattle country. Cheese evidently can move by track as there is no cheese movement in the winter. They tell me it is all moving by truck now, to Belleville and canal sized boats to Montréal.

Cattle — Most cattle evidently move by train now. They will have to be driven from some farms a little farther to the C.P.R. On drover now collects hogs at Moscow on the C.N.R. and delivers them to the C.P.R. so cattle can move by truck.

Grain — Grain comes into the country for feed from various eastern elevators. It will have to swing from C.N.R. to C.P.R. and some of it will have to be haled farther.

Mail — I would imagine mail service will suffer.

On the whole I do not believe the present daily service is justified. I am also inclined to believe that the abandonment of the lien would cause no great loss to the community. Tweed will be served by main line of C.P.R. Yarker will be served by Napanee-Ottawa line of the C.N.R. A main line of the C.P.R. runs in between the two ends of the abandonment with stations three miles from Enterprise and 6 miles from Tamworth and 7 miles from Marlbank, the main points along the C.N.R. line, and 7 milers in a truck tracks about 15 minutes time.

1936 1937 1938 1939
Summary of carloads of traffic going off the line.
— Livestock —
Moscow 49 58 43 25
Enterprise 63 59 64 67
Tamworth 39 42 52 60
Erinsville 16 19 37 37
Marlbank 39 31 13 11
Larkins 3 8 8 16
Stoco 4 1 0 3
Tweed 14 10 18 12
227 228 235 231
— Cheese —
Moscow 18 8 6 5
Enterprise - 3 10 3
Tamworth 2 1 - 1
Tweed - - - 42
20 12 16 51
— Lumber, Logs & Wood Products —
Tweed 21 30 33 11
Enterprise - 2 3 2
Tamworth 1 4 1 -
Erinsville - 2 3 15
Marlbank 6 10 4 5
Larkins 14 8 1 2
Stoco - - 1 -
42 56 46 35
— Miscellaneous —
All stations 16 18 2 5
Summary of carloads of traffic coming into the country.
— Mill products & feed —
Moscow 3 2 2 1
Enterprise 8 2 2 2
Marlbank 5 5 2 3
Tamworth - - 1 2
Tweed 20 28 13 18
36 37 20 26
— Grain —
Moscow 1 - - -
Enterprise 3 1 8 12
Tamworth 11 10 1 6
Marlbank 1 1 - -
Tweed 54 57 36 43
70 69 44 61
— Salt —
Enterprise 1 - 2 -
Moscow - 1 2 -
Tamworth - - - 1
Erinsville - - - 1
Tweed 5 4 7 6
6 5 11 8
— Gasoline —
Gasoline movement has stopped
Enterprise 9 11 4 -
Tweed 12 9 - -
17 20 4 -
— Coal, anthracite —
Enterprise 1 1 1 1
Tamworth 2 1 - -
Tweed 7 4 6 5
10 6 7 6
— Miscellaneous —
Larkins 2 1 - 1
Enterprise 7 6 1 -
Tamworth 7 6 3 1
Erinsville 3 7 2 3
Marlbank 2 - - -
Stoco - - - 1
Tweed 38 53 45 46
59 73 51 52
— Total Cars —
In 203 210 138 153
Out 304 310 301 322
507 520 439 475

Yours truly,
George Kydd
District engineer.

Railways: C.N.Rys.

Stations: Enterprise, Erinsville, Marlbank, Moscow, Stoco, Tamworth, Tweed, Yarker