Canadian Pacific Railway
1405 at West Toronto on 705 to Owen Sound at 8.28 A.M.
Standard Time Wednesday.
172 a 4-4-0 on the spur into Mount Forest.
Even with the arrival of diesels and RDC's steam still
provided some service in the late 1950's
Thursday, September 11, 1884
The CPR's new timetable, which took effect Monday, calls for the mail train from Toronto to leave at 7:20 a.m. and reach Orangeville at 9:50, Shelburne at 10:45 and Owen Sound at 1:00 p.m. The express leaves Toronto at 4:40 p.m. reaching Orangeville at 7:05, Shelburne at 8:03 and Owen Sound at 10:20 p.m. The mixed train leaves Charleston at 11:45 a.m., reaching Owen Sound at 7:15 p.m. Southbound trains leave Owen Sound at 5:20 a.m., 6:30 and 3:10 p.m. The express reaches Toronto at 10:45 a.m., while the mixed train reaches Charleston at 1:30 p.m., and the evening express arrives in Toronto at 8:35 p.m.
Passenger trains were operated three days a week (later, twice a week) in connection with the Canadian Pacific Steamship Service, which was originally based in Owen Sound and operated to Port Arthur. These were fast trains with few stops between Toronto and Owen Sound.
Twice daily except Sunday service was operated between Toronto and Owen Sound for many decades, first hauled by steam locomotives including the latest, modern engines G5 class Pacific type, and in later years by the newest streamlined equipment, the Dayliner, more often referred to by employees as a Budd Car for its maker. Dayliner service was introduced on one of the two pairs of trains with new time table No. 125 effective Sunday September 30th. 1956. #707 and 706 saving 1 hour on the 129 mile run although eight flag stops were eliminated at small communities.
1271 eastbound on the Galt Sub. approaching Lambton with
typical train from Owen Sound.
First diesel on the Orangeville Subdivision. March 6, 1954. David Hyde Collection
Passenger service between Toronto and Owen Sound Subdivisions had been operated for a number of years with Rail Diesel Cars (RDC), which were known as Dayliners to the Passenger Traffic Department and the public but, to Operating Department employees as Budd Cars, for their manufacturer. These self-propelled cars were a major improvement in many ways. The stainless steel car looked modern, while their design provided rapid acceleration and quick braking, ideal for curves and flag stops! The 2 or 3 man crew replaced a 5-man crew, which along with other reduced operating expenses meant they quickly paid for themselves, and in turn kept passenger service in existence longer. Note: The Owen Sound service required a trainman even for a single car for a number of reasons. First, and foremost, to provide flagging protection if, and when required as well as throwing switches at a meet. Second, to handle checked baggage and Royal Mail. He also handled the staff machine at Fraxa due to their being no operator at that point, as well as at Orangeville when an operator was not on duty. It also meant a second car could be added on weekends without the need to call an extra trainman.
Mail was handled until the change of time table effective October 26, 1958 when it was changed over to truck. Mail contracts had always provided steady revenue for many passenger trains everywhere. The loss of a mail contract often meant the end of a passenger service or, at the least contributed to its demise. RDC's then provided all passenger service twice daily, (one even included checked baggage), six and seven days per week between Owen Sound and Toronto until the time table effective October 29, 1961 when service became one round trip daily. Service reductions did not require regulatory approval, only elimination of daily service. The CPR then interpreted this to mean, up one day and back the next! With the change of time table effective April 26, 1964 service was reduced to every-other-day. This quickly drove off most of the remaining passengers allowing the CPR to claim big losses and few passengers. Approval to remove the remaining service soon followed and it all came to end effective November 1, 1970. Note: Last run was #307 from Toronto on October 30th. with the RDC being deadheaded back.
9115 RDC-2 waits at Owen Sound station in the latter
years of service.
Elora Mixed with D-10 953 has just left Cataract enroute to Fergus and Elora. Lloyd Baxter
Another view of 953 on the Elora Mixed at CNR diamond in Fergus, July 9, 1955. J.William Hood
Passenger trains were replaced by a mixed train in 1920 on the Elora Subdivision, and in 1932 on the Teeswater and Walkerton Subs. These all continued to operate Daily except Sunday, until August 3, 1957. A important aspect of mixed trains was the need to serve both passengers on a timely basis as well as look after the freight business which paid for everything. While a relaxed pace and more casual operation existed on these branchline mixed trains, people still wanted to get there without undue delay. A unique aspect of the Elora Mixed was the need for extensive, time consuming switching at the Beatty Bros. washing machine plant in Fergus, yet the desire of passengers to get to Elora. At one time this was solved in an informal manner, as were many things in the steam era on branchlines years ago, but a highly unusual one never-the-less. The crew would shove the combine west out of Fergus to the top of the grade, give it a kick, and uncouple it! The brakeman would ride the leading end, watching out as the combine came to a level crossing, having the trapped air to stop it in an emergency or upon arrival in Elora! Passengers got off, express etc. was unloaded and loaded, ready for the return trip. Eventually, the train would arrive with the freight cars, the steam locomotive would be turned on the table and things gotten ready for the return trip.
Wooden combine 3365 built in 1905, with a D10 at Orangeville,
1004 with mixed train at Teeswater July 24, 1957 John A. Rehor
Last run of the Teeswater Mixed M753 ready to
depart Teeswater on August 3, 1957.
D10 896 on Walkerton Mixed marshalling its train for return to Orangeville as M716. By this time operation over the Saugeen River bridge that was restricted to lighter D6 class engines had ended, the engine house closed and only one train was needed rather than two meeting ten miles east at Hanover and crews changing engines. The end of passenger service is only months away. Saturday, March 30, 1957 Ron Ritchie
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