Canadian Pacific Railway
London Division Branch Passenger Service
Branch lines had varying levels of service over the years. Guelph to Guelph Junction had frequent passenger service to connect with the main line trains. Hamilton-Guelph-Goderich had Daily ex Sunday through passenger service. The Woodstock area Branch lines all had twice Daily ex Sunday passenger service from early years until the Great Depression by which time service had been reduced to one Daily except Sunday Mixed train. By the late 1950's most of the Mixed trains had disappeared, but the mainline still supported plenty of service. A decade or so later it all changed as CPR gradually withdrew from the money-loosing passenger business until in July 1971 the last train (RDC) came off. In 1976 the CPR finally got out of inter-city passenger service everywhere, turning over what remained to VIA Rail Canada.
This small self-propelled gas-mechanical car briefly operated
between Vancouver and New Westminister (24.9 miles) and later between
Slocan City and Castlegar (45.1 miles). Only 47 feet long, weighing just
13 tons, it was powered by a 75hp 4 cylinder engine, 34 seats plus 10
in smoker. It was the only one acquired. Re-engined at Angus Shops with
a 77 HP Hinkley gas engine, it was tested on the St.Thomas Subdivision.
Effective October 1, 1925 it operated two round trips Daily Except Sunday
between St.Thomas and Woodstock (33.6 miles). During the Depression this
was cut back to one roundtrip. Scrapped 1939.
William I. Miller/Collection of William E. Miller
One of the more unusual types of self-propelled passenger
car was the storage battery car. Looking similar to the more conventional
gas-electrics, they were powered by batteries, the electrical power of
which was delivered to the traction motors. Developed in the U.S., they
found favour in short haul branch line service.
Battery-electric car 9002 with what appears to be a mail and express car at the junction in 1941. Al Paterson
886 with mixed train including some covered hoppers in
St.Marys cement service.
2925 train 637 Hamilton-Goderich approaching Waterdown
just south of Hwy.5
Train No. 637 is seen arriving at Guelph Junction from Hamilton
on May 24,1954, at 9:00 a.m. The train will pull ahead to the eastbound
main line of the London Division, cross to the westbound main, back down
west of the station, turn on the wye facing north and stand behind the
station, awaiting the arrival of Train No. 21, the Chicago Express.
It will depart shortly after, heading for Guelph and Goderich, returning
later in the day as Train No. 640.
Arrival of the first train from Goderich on the G &
G Railway, August 26, 1907
Previously, a passenger service from Toronto to Guelph had
been initiated after the opening of the branch from Guelph Junction to
Guelph in 1888. In 1912, the line was built from Hamilton to the Junction,
providing a passenger service from Hamilton to Galt and connections with
the Toronto to Goderich trains. During World War One, the four Goderich
trains were rescheduled and Train Nos. 637 and 640 began running to approximately
the same schedule for the next 39 years. By the mid-1920's, these trains
began operating from Hamilton, and Toronto connections were made with
Train Nos. 21 and 632, the London local. In 1930, there were some 30 passenger
movements per day at the Junction, including the gas-electric turns to
Guelph. In 1935 during the Great Depression the CPR tried to substitute
a bus to Puslinch for the self-propelled car, but was thwarted by the
GJR's directors. The self-propelled car was at one time CP 9002,
a unique battery-electric car, and in later years 9004 a more common gas-electric
car. The Guelph-Guelph Junction service connecting with CPR trains on
the Toronto-Windsor mainline ended April 29, 1961. By 1932, the Goderich
service had been reduced to one train each way (gas-electric for some
years). Trains Nos. 637 and 640 continued until April 23,1955. The next
day, the service was converted to mixed trains, Nos. 683 and 684, later
M741 - M740 -M742, from Guelph to Goderich with a connecting service from
the Junction. On April 27,1958, the shuttle service from the Junction
to Guelph was reduced from six round trips to two per day, cutting the
morning connection for Goderich. These trains were replaced by mixed trains
effective October 26, 1958. By October 30,1960, all Junction connections
were dropped, leaving the Guelph to Goderich mixed trains on their own,
the last ones in southern Ontario, until the last run on Saturday, August
4, 1962 (engine 8144, combine 3313), making the entire line freight only.
Note: All passenger service between Hamilton and Guelph Jct. had
ended in April 1955.
D10g 952 with what appears to be a regular passenger train
which may have been a Goderich train.
A sense of urgency is evident in this photograph with
the bell caught swinging high on D10 886 with mixed train M683 at West
Monkton. If both trains are on time it is heading for a meet with its
southbound counterpart a few miles away at McNaught at 12.05 P.M. Friday,
September 20, 1957.
9004 above at Guelph, August 14, 1943. All photographs by Wm. I .Miller collection of W. E. Miller.