A VERY OLD TRAIN ORDER
Research by R.L.Kennedy. Train order supplied by Newton Rossiter
One piece of very old paper tells an interesting story if you know how to interpret it. This 31 order issued March 22nd 1918 to the engineer and conductor of an Extra North leaving West Toronto bound for Mac Tier 127 miles away. This is the main line to northern Ontario and Western Canada, a very busy single track main line.
It's 9 p.m. on a Friday night and passenger train #27 has just left West Toronto Depot at 8:50 p.m. for Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.
Extra 1091 was ordered to meet EIGHT southbound trains in the first half of its run! (All trains in this Order are freight trains).
Extra 3292 South, Extra 1005 South and Extra 2207 South, all at Tremof just three miles away at Mileage 3.0 of the Mac Tier Sub.
First Number 80 at Emery, just 5 miles farther on at M.8.0
Extra 325 South at Woodbridge, M.11.8
Second Number 80 at Kleinburg, M.16.7
Number 82 at Palgrave, M. 31.3
First Number 84 at Essa, M.58.9
NOTE: 953 may have been returning from Mac Tier off 953 as it was the regular engine on 953 for some time, fired by my grandfather. Handling 25 cars and 25 mph it was the hottest thing leaving Lambton yard, and he felt 953 was a great train compared to a more typical run taking 12 hours or more and 12 tons of hand shoveled coal. Drags could take many more hours and tons, requiring the engine being cut off at Midhurst (m.67.2) to reach the coal chutes in the yard.
What is not evident from this train order is what else will happen once the 1091 gets going. More train orders will be issued by the train dispatcher, likely many more; they will change the place of some meets, add more meets of additional trains and generally add to the confusion. Some will be hooped up by the operator as the 1091 passes stations, others will have to be signed for (all 31 orders) which may necessitate an extra stop. Orders will be changed if a train runs into problems enroute delaying them and thus the planned time for meeting other trains.
Most of the engines were 4-6-0's including four newish D-10's, along with one 4-6-2 and one 2-8-0, many of them enduring for over 40 years!
THE WEST TORONTO ENGINES
In searching for suitable photos to illustrate this old scene I came across two old photos I had previously researched for the West Toronto Junction Historical Society of which I am a Life member. Surprisingly, they are very close to two of the engines in the train order and were photographed at West Toronto. 1493 was renumbered 3293, and was identical to 3292; while 2751 became 951, identical to 953 and it figured in a serious wreck about ten years later that resulted in it being scrapped.
West Toronto Junction Historical Society
951 was wrecked on Sunday, November 27, 1927 when running as Second 910 (hot freight Toronto to Montreal), it failed to clear First 19 (passenger, Montreal to Chicago), engine 2329, at Dockrill, Mileage 56.2 Belleville Subdivision. Between Wilkinson m. 52.4 and Lens m.61.2 (Smiths Falls m.0.0). It was at the bottom of a dip on a curve and the engineer overran the passing track switch. He was unable to backup due to the grade behind him (road engines did not have backup sand either), it was decided to uncouple the few cars over the switch, take them to the far switch and back through the siding to return to his train and pull it into the passing track. There simply wasn't enough time to do all this and apparently, the headend brakemen did not go out to flag down the oncoming passenger train. Disaster resulted. The CPR was criticised by the Board of Transport Commissioners for locating a passing track in such a location, however it was many years later before it was removed.
2329 a G3 class 4-6-2 was only 15 months old at the time (built 8/1926). It was repaired but 951 was scrapped, one of the earliest D-10's retired.
2329 was a hoodoo (jinxed) engine, it was in another head on wreck on July 22,1941 at Tripoli, mileage 102.7 of the White River Subdivision when two passenger trains of The Dominion met. 2339 on westbound #7 and 2329 on eastbound #8 came together as a result of a lap order. This was a dispatcher's most dreaded situation where he gives out an overlap of authority for two trains to occupy a single track in opposing directions. Sometimes they saw each other and got stopped, sometimes they didn't. Both 2300's were scrapped as a result of this wreck.
Engine 1493 at West Toronto West Toronto Junction Historical Society
There is a possible error in this caption, it is more likely the Engineer was in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Division 295. The fireman was in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Enginemen, Lodge 162. The Conductor and Trainman (or Yard Foreman and Yardman), in the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Lodges 277 and 579, but why two lodges? One may have been for road men and the other for yard men. The engine appears in this photo to be a Compound, note very large cylinder, while the right one is not visible and would have been smaller. These engines were rebuilt to Simple, superheated, and reboilered starting in 1911. It was an identical sister to 3292 in the train order. Note too the long wooden pilot instead of footboards which a yard engine should have. This 2-8-0 road engine may have been assigned to yard service at the time. The Brotherhoods fought to have yard engines properly equipped with footboards for safety reasons and finally succeeded in getting this in their Collective Agreements. So too did all the Brotherhoods fight for many safety features on engines and elsewhere.