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Page 3 - Working on the S&L; Railroad Part One

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/6/1 (391 reads)

TIME TABLE No. 52 TAKING EFFECT 12 01 A. M. Mon. Sept. 30th, 1935 For Use of Employees Only I Destroy Former Time Tables STATIONS INTEKNATIONAL PIER 2.2 SYONKY Dep. 1.5 SYDNEY JUNCTION 16 ASSEMBLY YARD 1.0 VICTORIA JUNCTION S.O OLD TANK 1.5 G/iRDINER 1.5 coal to the States then. They shipped all the coal to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland. There were 15,000-ton steamers taking that coal. The coal company's Black Diamond fleet--that had 17 coal boats they owned themselves. Then they'd charter 7 or 8. There were 22-23 boats in the coal trade every year. Going up the St. Lawrence Riv? er. Going to Maritime ports. And going to the States. There were 17 pits working al? together. Fifteen mostly, and always 2 on and off. And all that output in the winter, what they didn't bank would go on the boats. Everybody burned coal those days. There was no oil then, remember. Look at the millions of barrels of oil that's com? ing into the Maritimes today--there wasn't one gallon of oil coming in one time, only a little kerosene for lights. So coal was king. The fuel was coal and wood. And god knows, they didn't bum much wood, because coal was cheap--$2.80 a ton, that's the first coal I bought. And they banked coal. They banked coal in Sydney and Glace Bay and New Aberdeen. They could bank a million and a half ton up there. They continued to mine it and banked it. Then when the summer came and the river trade would open up, that went up the St. Lawrence to all different parts of Quebec, up into Ontario. Ontario Hydro even bought coal from here. That trade is all gone. And there were passenger trains. Passenger train would leave Sydney, connect with the CNR. If you were living in Louisbourg, you'd come down, get off the CNR and get on the S & L passenger train. Then that went out through Gardiner, Dominion, Glace Bay, Birch Grove, Morien, and through to Louisbourg. Then it came in in the evening. Then there was a train going the opposite way with passengers and mail and express. Left Louisbourg in the morning and went through and met the other one. Then you had your coal trains beside. Then you had your freight trains. Carloads of Newfound? land fish, dry cod. And later on they'd come into Sydney, shipping coal by rail. That didn't start till the '40s. They shipped coal up the line by rail. There was steel going. Sometimes I went out on runs, all we handled was steel--flatcars loaded with rails, and steel billets, and blooms, and steel wires for factories. Sometimes you'd take a train of steel out and a train of empties in for the coal pits. Sometimes you'd take a train of coal out and you'd bring home empty freight cars for the CNR. That's the way it was. And all this went on the same track. Syd? ney to Louisbourg, about 39 miles long. And with its branch lines and its sidings, about 115 miles of track. They had link-and-pin in the early days. You didn't, have the automatic coupler. You coupled all your cars by hand with pins-- that's why so many railroad fellows lost fingers. You could tell an old railroad man by looking at his hands. I know a man, he had no fingers at all on this hand, and he only had a thumb and a forefinger on this hand--that's from dropping the pins down. You'd be signalling the queer fellow, the driver, come back a little bit and DOMINION 2.0 BRIDGEPORT 2.0 HUB JUNCTION 1.0 GLACE BAY 1.0 CALEDONIA JUNCTION 5.0 MORIEN JUNCTION 4.0 HOMEVILLE CATALONE 2.0 CLARK'S 'PIER AT LOUISBOURG
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