Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 29 > Page 23 - On the S&L Railroad Part Two

Page 23 - On the S&L Railroad Part Two

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/8/1 (1019 reads)

cars, They were putting cars down on a cer? tain track, see. You'd pull the pin on them, the lever--the pin was disconnected from the lever. So he gave the driver a stop signal. You weren't supposed to go be? tween two cars, when they were moving, but everybody did it. And he went in between the cars and he was walking with them, holding the pin up where it was discon? nected so that the other cars would drift down--and I'll be damned if he didn't slip and go down under'-cut him right in two. Charles Bagnell: The shipping pier, the Black Diamond Fleet, the S & L were all in? terlocked to a certain extent, one de? pended on the other. When there was a lot of shipping, the railroad was busy. When shipping was slack, the railroad was slack. If there was a strike, everything was tied up. It all depended too, whether the col? lieries were working or not. If a colliery was idle today, that cut off crews. If they were all idle, there was nothing to do, I've seen the harbour here in Louisbourg that full of ships that they couldn't take any more in, They were down here, they were up in the upper end there, they had to turn some away. They'd have to give them each a certain amount of space to swing in, when they'd anchor. At that time, coal was in great demand for bunker. And sometimes it took quite a long time to get the bunker aboard, because there was a lot of trimming. They'd have to probably throw it what they'd call 2 or 3 spaces--throw it so far and then somebody else would throw it again. To get it in the place where they wanted it--or else they couldn't get as much coal aboard as they wanted. Oh yes, they had a certain number of trimmers and shippers here. And some? times at the latter part of it, some of them never left here. They stayed here all the time. They'd be shipping and trimming in the wintertime, then they'd go fishing in the summertime, Then there was another crowd, when they'd be through here, they'd go to Sydney, go on trimming and shipping in there. After 1968 there were no trains from here. They used to bring a train in here twice, three times a week, to service the fish plant. One time the fish plant was burning black coal. Whenever there was any fish to be taken out, used to go in refrigerator cars. They'd send a train in to get it, al? though there was no train out of here. In '68 they cut it out altogether, and every? thing was going by transfer. Coming in the same way. The trucks were replacing the trains. (And the high and low piers, are they still here?) No, One is, the outside end of it, I think there's a block of it--that was the freight wharf. The coal pier, the shipf)ing pier--that's been dismantled and knocked down a long time ago. There was no business for it. See, the CNR ran into North Sydney. If there was freight going to Newfoundland, there'd be the freight charge to North Sydney, and then the S & L would charge to Louisbourg on top of that. And the way it was with freight rates, the first so many miles was a high rate; and the S & L was getting the high rate all the time for bringing freight from Sydney out here to Louisbourg. So they shipped out of North Sydney whenever they could anyway. And once they got those heavy ice- breakers--once they could keep Sydney Har? bour open all year round--that gave them all the more reason to use Sydney. So they dismantled the pier. But they were pretty hasty, I think--they took the rails up all the way out here. That was a mistake. 18 th Century Dining at the Fortress of Louisbourg L'Ep'e Royalle has been carefully recreated to portray the lifestyle of an 18th century Louisbourg inn, while L' Hotel de la Marine portrays lifestyle in an 18th centruy cabaret. The food prepared from authentic 18th century French recipes and served in the style and atmosphere of that period makes a visit an unforgetable experience. For more formal dining experience, eat at L'Ep'e Royalle and for nourishing fare at affordable prices try L' Hotel de la Marine, q'''. j'jj'' 'q SEPTEMBER Fortress of Louisbourg, Cape Breton
Cape Breton's Magazine
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