February 1905, No. 84 The Railway and Shipping World (Toronto) Page 53, col. 2

The Pere Marquette in Canada.

The Pere Marquette Rd. purchased the Lake Erie and Detroit River Rd. in 1903, and in 1904 arrangements were completed with the Michigan Central Rd. for the running of trains over portions of its line, and particularly between St. Thomas, Ont., and Buffalo, N.Y. The object of the P.M. Rd. in entering Canada was to obtain a connection with Buffalo, so as to compete for through traffic from Chicago, and the Canadian portion of the company's business in operation as the Buffalo Division. Ever since the new order of things came into force complaints have been frequent that the local traffic on the old Lake Erie and Detroit River Ry. was being sacrificed to enable the through traffic to be carried on. The complaints of freight being left behind, of passenger trains being cancelled, and of the general unreliability of the trains became so frequent that the Board of Railway Commissioners sent A. Lalonde, one of its inspectors, to investigate matters. He reported that the complaints made were well founded, and that the company's officers stated there was not motive power to handle the traffic, and that rolling stock also was short. During the time the inquiry was going on, a number of the municipalities through which the line passes threatened to cut off the company's water supply if things were not remedied, and the city of London discussed the possibility of cancelling the lease of the London and Port Stanley Ry., if a better service was not provided. The Railway Commissioners notified the company that unless the switching was done properly, and trains run on time, and not be given full loads at initial points, the Board would forthwith put the law in motion to the limit of its jurisdiction and powers. Since the beginning of the year the service generally has been improved, and the causes of complaint removed.

J. S. Pyeatt, Superintendent at St. Thomas, Ont., stated that the causes leading to the complaints were to be found in the fact that the locomotives were not in a condition to handle the traffic, owing to lack of repairs; the water tanks were too small and too far apart. The company had removed its shops from Walkerville to St. Thomas, where the locomotives would be repaired. The fact, however, remains that the Lake Erie and Detroit River Ry. handled the traffic satisfactorily, and there is no doubt that under the new ownership, Canadian business has been sacrificed for through U.S. business. The company has, since these difficulties have arisen, voted $4,500,000 for additional equipment, a portion of which will be provided for its traffic in Canada.

Railways: L. & Pt.S.Ry., M.C.Rd., P.M.Rd.