February 1923, No. 300 Canadian Railway and Marine World (Toronto) Page 71, col. 1

Longlac-Nakina cut-off contract, Canadian National Rys.

The Canadian National Rys. management has given a contract for clearing, grading, culverts, timber bridging, and substructures for bridges on the 29.4 miles connection between the Canadian National Ontario Ry., near Longlac, 480.7 miles northwest of North Bay, and the National Transcontinental Ry., near Nakina, 272.25 miles west of Cochrane, to Foley Bros. & Hervey. The members of the firm are Foley Bros., of St. Paul, Minn., and Brig.-Gen. Chilion L. Hervey, D.S.O., C.E., Montréal. There was spirited competition for the work, among the other tenderers being V. T. Bartram and A. H. Britton; Chambers, McQuigge & McCaffrey; Hugh Doheny & Co.; Dominion Construction Co.; Johnson Bros. & Tomlinson; R.A.R. & Ian R. Sincliar; Grant Smith & Co. and McDonnell, Ltd.

The authority for the construction was given by the following, whcih was approved by the Governor-General, on Dec. 22, 1922, and passed as an order in council:—The committee of the Privy Council have had before them a report, dated Dec. 21, 1922, from the acting Minister of Railways and Canals, representing that the Chairman of the Boards of Directors and President of the Canadian National Rys. has submitted a report, recommending that, in connection with the Long Lake cut-off, which is a connection 29.5 miles in length, proposed to be constructed from a point near Long Lake station, at the most northerly point in Ontario, on the Canadian Northern Ontario Ry., to a point near Nakina station, 15.9 miles west of the divisional point of Grant, on the National Transcontinental Ry., authority be given to proceed immediately with the proposed work. It is observed that the proposed cutoff will shorten the route between points in eastern Canada and Winnipeg by 102.6 miles, and between Fort William and Québec by 99.1 miles; the latter being an important factor in connection with the haulage of grain for export from the head of Lake Superior to the Atlantic seaboard; that, after the construction of the proposed cutoff, it is estimated that there will be an annual saving of $389,200 in the movement of traffic; further, that a large increase in passenger traffic will accrue as the result of shorter schedules, which will make possible an estimated annual increase in earnings of $600,000, without any material increase in expenses. It is, further, observed that the total estimated cost of the work will aggregate $1,944,006, including the removal of the terminal facilities from Grant to the new junction point, and that sufficient funds are available to provide for any expenditure up to March 31, 1923, but that, in view of the fact that the proposed work will obligate the Government to the above mentioned expenditure, $1,944,006, it is considered that authority should be obtained before proceeding with such work. It is pointed out that if the work is not commenced immediately, a delay of one full season will result in the completion of the line, with consequent loss of profit; that, providing immediate authority is given to proceed with the proposed work, a great deal of preliminary work, such as making tote roads, arranging for supplies, establishing camps, clearing right-of-way, and excavating rock, can be performed advantageously during the winter months, which will permit of actual construction work commencing as soon as the snow is off the ground in the spring. The Minister, therefore, on the advice of the Deputy Minister of Railways and Canals, recommend that authority be given accordingly. The committee advise that the requisite authority be granted.

The work will be under the Canadian National Rys. Construction Department, of which M. H. MacLeod, C.E., is Vice President, the engineering being under the direction of H. T. Hazen, Chief Engineer, Canadian National Ry. Lines East of Port Arthur, who visited its locality in the middle of January, having been preceded by H. T. Morrison, Locating Engineer, C.N.R., who was engaged on the preliminary surveys and made the final location one, and by R. A. Baldwin, District Engineering of Construction, Ontario District, C.N.R., both of whom went over the route to lay out the work for the contractors. The construction will come under Mr. Baldwin, and the Division Engineer of Construction will be Capt. K. G. Polyblank, heretofore Division Engineer, Nipigon Division, Ontario District, C.N.R., Hornepayne, who will have four resident engineers under him. O. W. Swenson, Secretary-Treasurer of Foley Bros., also visited the locality early in January to make preliminary arrangements for the work. Both the C.N.R. and the contractor's headquarters for the work will be at Longlac.

Canadian Railway and Marine World for Dec. 1922, gave, on pg. 623, the reasons for building the connection, a description of the surveys made, a table of the savings in distances which will be effected, and particulars of the country through which it would run. The accompanying plan shows the connection's location. The curvature on the line will be very light, the maximum being 4°. The maximum grade in each direction will be 0.4%, compensated for curvature. The elevation at the point where the connection will leave the Canadian Northern Ry. is 1,032 ft. above sea level, and the point where it will join the National Transcontinental Ry. is 1,045 ft. The country to be traversed being fairly flat, the summit for the whole connection will be but 1,085 ft. above sea level. At the south end of the route there is a considerable quantity of rock, and on the balance of the line there are long stretches of spruce swamp, with clay subsoil. The north middle portion of the line is partly sand and gravel, and at the north end the country is again swampy. The principal bridges will be at the crossings of the Kenogamisis River at mile 6; the crossing of Devilfish Lake, mile 13.7, and the crossing of McDonald Creek, mile 28.8, at each of which places a plate girder span will be erected on concrete abutments. There will be 6 small pile trestles.

The article in our December issue gave details of the distances to be saved through the building of this connection, and the profiles of the Canadian Northern line between Longlac and Winnipeg, and the National Transcontinental line between Nakina and Winnipeg, given herewith, show the advantages to be derived in the matter of grades. Trains using the cutoff will not have to dip down to the Lake Superior level and climb up again; westbound trains will miss the long climb west out of Fort William, elevation 613 ft., to Huronian, elevation 1,571 ft., a difference in elevation of 958 ft., while the advantage in the way of grades for eastbound trains using the National Transcontinental Ry. and the cutoff, from Winnipeg to Longlac, compared with the Canadian Northern route from Winnipeg to the same point, is evident on comparing the two profiles.

The terminal facilities at Grant, the present divisional point, 254.2 miles west of Cochrane, and 15.9 miles east of Nakina, will be removed to Nakina next summer.

Railways: C.N.Rys.

Stations: Grant, Longlac, Nakina