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Quebec Central Transportation

by R.L.Kennedy

Quebec Central Transportation was incorporated in 1931 as a subsidiary of the Quebec Central Railway its self a leased component of the Canadian Pacific Railway since 1912.

Quebec Central Transportation came about as a result of the curtailment of lumbering operations due to the Depression, in the sparsely-populated area along the branch line between St.George and Lake Frontier. It was here that motor coach service began in August 1931 between Morisset, St.George and Levis replacing two passenger trains. The next year service was inaugurated between Sherbrooke and Newport, Vermont, 48 highway miles, replacing Mixed trains 50 and 51. It was well patronized with full loads becoming the rule. In May 1934 a service was established between Sherbrooke and Thetford Mines. And in June, service started between Megantic and Levis paralleling the Megantic Sub. and reducing passenger train service to tri-weekly. These services were only operated between May 1st and November 15th of each year due to lack of good year-round highways. An exception was the year-round service between Rock Island and Beebe Jct. connecting with all Sherbrooke-Newport passenger-carrying trains, saving the operation of main line trains on that branch.

QCT also carried Mail between Sherbrooke and Newport, Vallee Junction and Megantic, and St.George and Levis. A special 316 cubic foot compartment at the rear held the mail and baggage as well.

QCT operated six coaches over 220 route miles (102,819 miles operated) in 1936 carrying 24,230 passengers, revenue being 16.47 cents per coach mile.

QCT's franchise grew to 342 miles of highways and brought valuable new patronage to the company. In 1943 89,277 passengers (an increase of over 15,000 in 1942), were carried 137,389 miles. QCT began with a 1931 GMC gas bus, but by 1944 the fleet consisted of 8 maroon and cream buses, including 4 diesel, model P.D.29, 33 passengers, (1 with 24 reclining seats.) Two TG 21 gas buses with 17 seats and two older gas buses, the latter used for "sections". The diesel buses got 10.32 mile per gallon for a cost of 1.18 cents per mile compared to 6.54 miles for gas or 2.87 cents per mile. An 8- vehicle garage was located near the Sherbrooke railway station. QCR/QCT tickets were interchangeable.

Additional motor coaches were acquired from time-to-time until eventually the fleet grew to 25 vehicles for regular and charter service. In 1947 two new buses were acquired adding to the 11 already in use. Three new 41 passenger air-conditioned highway buses were added in early 1952. Over the years there were a total of 46 buses, many GMC's including PD4103, 4104 and 4106 models), along with five 1948 Twin Coach, one Flxible, and miscellaneous others including some second-hand buses. The last bus acquired 6/64, was number 47, a GMC PD4106, 39 passenger air-conditioned, lavatory equipped vehicle.

QCT went out of business when it was sold January 7, 1965 to Voyageur Provincial Inc.

A unique service was operated for a short while in conjunction with the Maine Central. Prior to 1926 the Quebec Central and Maine Central operated a through passenger train service between Quebec City and Portland, Maine via Dudswell Junction. It ended with the abandonment of the MEC line between Dudswell Jct, and Beecher Falls, Vermont (originally the Hereford Ry.). Both railways were aware of the passenger traffic potential and finally in 1940 the Maine Central RR bus subsidiary, Maine Central Transportation Co. and Quebec Central Transportation, began a daily through service between Palais Station, the Chateau Frontenac and the Eastland Hotel in Portland, where connections were made with Boston or New York buses. In 1942 the services were connected with each other at Jackman, Maine instead of running through. War-time restrictions suspended the MECT service.

Quebec Central Transportation Timetable 1942

Quebec Central Transportation Timetable 1963

Canadian Transportation July 1937 new bus acquired.

Canadian Pacific Staff Bulletin June 1944 feature article.

Canadian Pacific Spanner April-May 1952 three new buses acquired.

Quebec Central Railway a brief history.

Canadian Pacific Transport Company bus operation based in Preston, Ontario operated in connection with Canadian Pacific Electric Lines Two links to William E. Miller's ELSO website.


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