December 1941, No. 3 Upper Canada Railway Society Bulletin (Toronto) Page 3

Excursion of November 23, 1941

The excursion which the Society held on November 23, 1941, though attended by a relatively small number (six members and one guest) was a great success from the standpoint of interest. The party assembled at a central point in Toronto at 9.30 A.M. on what was unfortunately, a dull and cold Sunday morning. From there the group, in two cars, headed west.

The first stop was at the C.P.R. Cooksville Station where an excellent view of #21 at high speed was afforded. It was hauled by Engine 2856 and consisted of a baggage car, two C.P.R. Sleepers, two Pullmans, parlor car, diner and observation sleeper.

The party halted next at Oakville to see C.N.R. #94, eastbound, hauled by Engine 5250, with a Central Vermont baggage car, a cafe-parlor and three Pullmans.

The long and least-interesting part of the drive then followed, over the Hamilton Mountain (where everything was covered by an early snow) and so to Waterford.

At the New York Central Station the excursionists arrived in time to see a fine passenger train hauled by Engine 5329 grind to a halt to pick up a flag passenger. All were struck with the extreme superelevation of the curve right at the station, which is usually passed through at speed. This train contained two beautiful, streamlined coaches with folding steps.

From here the group drove the few hundred yards to the Waterford Station of the Lake Erie and Northern electric line. This station sits on the southern rim of the valley through which the New York Central line passes; hence the LE&N crosses the Vanderbilt road on a long bridge, of steel resting on concrete piers. From their position on this height the group saw what all agreed was the finest sight of the day—an extremely fast, solid baggage train doubleheaded by two of the famous Hudsons, Engines 5362 and 5242. It was impossible to count the number of cars due to the strong wind which obscured the train for most of its length in dense clouds of smoke.

Almost immediately along came the Lake Erie and Northern northbound electric, and the car stopped in a very convenient place for taking photographs. As soon as this had passed over the bridge and made its meet with the southbound car, the latter arrived and the party boarded it for the trip to Port Dover on the shores of Lake Erie.

The group was fortunate in striking a very amiable crew and some of the members rode the whole trip in the cab with the motorman. Others found the conductor a source of much information. At the spot where the line crosses the C.N.R. there is an interlocking plant, always set in favour of the big road. As a result, on every trip, the conductor of the electric train has to get out and change the plant over. He very graciously took the excursionists with him into the tower, part of the party on the southbound trip and the remainder on the return.

Following a twenty-five minute layover in Port Dover the train returned to Waterford, reaching there at 2.40 P.M. E.D.T. The New York Central again put on a good show. Two high-speed freight trains passed through at the excursionists' feet hauled by Engines 2048 and 3026. Another passenger train was also seen hauled by Engine 4643 with two express refrigerators, five baggage cars and a coach.

The party then drove to Brantford, only stopping as it was leaving Waterford to view the trackpans where the New York Central trains can take water without stopping. At Brantford the yards of the L.E.&N. were visited, several passenger cars and freight motors being out in the open, where they could be see.,

At a point on the way to Hamilton the party pulled up by the C.N.R. tracks in time to see #183 pass at speed with Engine 5304, a baggage car and three coaches. Although it was moving along at a satisfactory rate it was impossible to avoid drawing comparisons between it and the really high speed witnessed on the New York Central.

At the smartly modern station of the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo in Hamilton the party saw #79 with New York Central Engine 4390, a baggage car, three T.H.&B. coaches and two Pullmans.

From Hamilton the group returned to Toronto, driving into Parkdale Station in time to see C.P.R. #37 with old Pacific 2135 and six cars.

Altogether about 200 miles were covered on the trip, which was planned by the Excursion Committee of the Society under the Chairmanship of Mr. John MacNab. All who made the trip agree that Mr. MacNab and his associates did a most capable job in planning it. There was not one occasion on which a planned connection was missed, nor one on which an unreasonable wait was necessary in order to see the train in question.

Railways: C.N.Rys., C.P.Ry., L.E. & N.Ry., T.H. & B.Ry.