1952 Modern Railroads Vol. vvv No. nn

Their movement controlled by CTC, diesel and steam pass at Oba in Northern Ontario. This important single track main line was converted to CTC last year.

Big expansion in CTC

Initial part of Canadian National's long range plan is to cover the line between Toronto-Montréal and Winnipeg with CTC

Movement of trains over the Oba sub-division is controlled from this board, located at Hornepayne.

One important course adopted by the CNR to meet the increased requirements of the growing nation for transportation has been installation of centralized traffic control.

The effectiveness of CTC was amply demonstrated in the CNR's first two installations. They made railroad history because without them the Canadian railroads could not have handled the traffic load during the early years of World War II when the U. S> was a neutral power. All materiel of war had to take an all-Canada route to costal ports during the winter months when the St. Lawrence River was frozen. Installation of CTC on 302 miles of the Halifax-Montréal line enabled the CNR to handle the heavy increased traffic requirements.

The first of these installations was over 186 miles bedtween Catamount, N. B., 14 miles west of Moncton, and Windsor Junction, 15 miles west of Halifax. The second was over 116 miles between Lévis, near Québec City, and Ste. Rosalie Junction, near Montréal. These instyallations indicated that CTC could permit single track line to handle up to 75% as much traffic as double track (with automatic block signaling), at a cost of about 5 percent that of adding another track. Maintenance was indicated to be about 3 percent that of a second track.

The CNR's third installation was completed last year1 in Northern Ontario on the Oba sub-division between Foleyet and Hornepayne, a distance of 147.8 miles. This is an important segment of the single track main line between Toronto-Montréal and Winnipeg.

Further installation will progress under a long range plan of ultimately applying CTC to improve the service of the transcontinental lines of the CNR. The initial part of the long range plan is to cover the line between Toronto-Montréal and Winnipeg.

The 147 mile stretch between Foleyet and Hornepayne completed last year is the first link in this long range plan, whic will utlimately give the equivalent of double track line between Toronto and Winnipeg. The rest is planned to progress at a rate of approximately 150 miles per year.

The fourth part of the the 600 miles of CNR track now under CTC is on the Kashabowie sub-division west of Port Arthur, Ont. It controls 105 miles of single track as well as a crossing with the double-tracked CPR main line 1½ miles west of Port Arthur. The installation was made to accommodate existing traffic and prospective heavier iron ore traffic from the huge Steep Rock iron ore development. The iron ore traffic will move onto the CNR main line at Atikokan after a five mile run on the spur from Steep Rock. The increased traffic required that either a second track be laid for the 105 miles between Atikokan and Conmee, or CTC be installed. The heavy grain movement to the Lake Superior transfer facilities also occur during the peak of the ore movement. The ore movement alone is expected to average 5 million tons per year over the next ten years. To meet this condition, CTC is being installed to govern the single track portion of 105 miles. The 38-mile double track section between Conmee and Port Arthur will be equipped with automatic block signaling.

On the Oba sub-division the installation is a modified centralized traffic control. Train movement is controlled from the usual centralized control machine, but power switches are at one end of the sidings and spring switches at the other end. There also are no intermediate signals, with station to station blocks prevailing.

The control machines are designed so that if and when requirements demand, the system can be expanded to full CTC.

One of the three self-controlled diesel-electric generator units which provides power to operate signals over the 147.8 Oba sub-division. A modified CTC is used.

Elsewhere on the 22,063 mile system are stretches of main line track that have not yet been signaled. Signaling of the mountain line between Jasper and Vancouver in British Columbia is being completed. When completed, this 512 miles will be an absolute permissive block system with searchlight signals and plug-in relays.

A modern interlocking system is scheduled for installation at the Winnipeg terminal; and such a system already controls operations in and the through the important Montréal area3. Signaling into the Toronto terminal area is governed by the Toronto Terminals Railway Company, which is jointly owned by the CNR and CPR. At the Mimico Yard in Toronto, however, the Canadian National is installing a relay interlocking, the remote control portion of which will be equipped with Syncrostep. The control machines will have 54 track lights and 77 levers for the control of 39 switch machines and 38 signals.


  1. ^ Installation was completed 1951-12-14; descibed in Railway Age, April 20, 1953, pp. 90-93.
  2. ^ Described in Railway Age, February 21, 1955, pp. 54-56.
  3. ^ Described in Railway Age, January 22, 1944, pp. 232-235.

The Ocean Limited crosses concrete-and-steel bridge over Richilieu River in Québec. In Western Canada, much work is being done in replacing temporary trestles.

CNR rehabilitates its bridges

An important engineering project that is not being undertaken by the CNR but will have a vital effect on it is the 3000 ft causeway to be constructed by the Dominion government joining the main land of Novia Scotia and Cape Breton Island. It is through this island that the CNR has its main link to Newfoundland at Sydney.

A rock-filled causeway is being built, with a lift bridge for passage of ships. When completed, the project will eliminate train ferries. Operation over the causeway will require construction of 14 miles of new track and rehabilitation of three miles of existing track to provide for suitable approaches.

With respect to its bridges, considerable strengthening on secondary lines is anticipated so Mikado and Consolidation locomotives can be accommodated. An extensive program is also under way of rebuilding temporary trestles, particulatly in Western Canada where the railroad's timber trestles total some 55 miles. As these trestles wear out, they are either replaced in kind with treated timber trestles or with a culvert and fill where water run-off conditions permit.

On the eastern part of the railroad, masonry bridges built 75 to 100 years ago are beginning to require rehabilation. A considerable amount has already been done, largely by the intrusion method. In some instances, the masonry piers have been enveloped with reinforced concrete; in others rehabilitation has included underpinning of abutments and piers.

Extensive use also has been made of precast concrete, ballast-decked bridge over highway which was developed by Charles P. Disney, a Canadian National bridge engineer, and described in detail in a book entitled "Modern Railroad Structures."

This year, the railroad's maintenance forces will receive four new 40 ton diesel-electric cranes equipped with pile driving attachments that are powered by oil-fired steam generators.

f="../Subdivisions/Kashabowie.html" target="_parent">Kashabowie Subdivision; Oba Subdivision