Canadian Pacific Railway
This scene shows the rugged beauty of the area around the mine and
crusher at Nephton.
In 1901, an Ontario incorporation was for the Norwood & Apsley, which included powers to construct elevators and wharves, also to operate vessels on Stoney Lake and other lakes reached, along with the right to lease or sell to the CPR. It would have connected with the old O&Q mainline at Norwood, 6 miles west of Havelock, and build 25 miles north to Apsley. In 1901, a CPR surveyor carried out of a survey of the line, however nothing was built. That is until a half of a Century later!
The 20 mile long line Nephton Subdivision from Havelock to Blue Mountain was the last built on the Ontario District. It was built between May and December 1954 to serve the American Nepheline Ltd.open-pit mine (2200 acres) and crusher located at Nephton (Mile 16.3) and later extended to another mine at Blue Mountain (Mile 20.0). The mine was originally opened in 1935 and is the source of one the purest deposits of nepheline syenite in North America, which is used in the manufacture of glass, ceramics and paint. Output had grown more than 30 times since it opened. Originally, the syenite was barged, until about 1949 when it was hauled by truck 24 miles to the CNR at Lakefield, which distance was only slightly farther than the CPR had to build. CNR President Donald Gordon visited Lakefield in his Business Car as the mine wanted a spur to their mine. CNR decided against building a branch since they already had the traffic.
Construction was carried out quickly through some rugged limestone cuts, swamp and across the 38' deep Long Lake where heavy blasting and filling put down a rock fill. The scenery wasn't to be enjoyed by many people since there was never any regular passenger service. There was only one short passing track at South Lake (Mile 8.8) and a wye at Nephton. It opened December 20,1954 at a cost of $1,500,000 for the 16.5 miles to Nephton.
At some time in the 1970's or 80's the CPR considered closing this branch along with the entire line to Agincourt on account of low traffic volumes. Much of the tonnage from the mines moved west to Toronto then returned east to Montreal, since the line east from Havelock had been abandoned. It was proposed to truck it from the mines to Trenton and load it there. This idea was dropped, possibly because the mine owner, IMC (International Mineral and Chemical), didn't like the idea and they were a major customer on western lines. Otherwise, it might well have happened since the line remains marginal.
Kawartha Lakes Railway
The Kawartha Lakes Railway was created on October 1, 1996 by the CPR as an internal shortline, a late 20th century method of local management and employee involvement utilizing an easing of restrictive union rules. It is still owned 100% by the CPR. There are no locomotives or other equipment owned or lettered for the KL. Diesels are "leased" from the CPR as required with maintenance included. Traffic is stagnant and its future is still undetermined. It is comprised of the Havelock Subdivision from Agincourt to the end of line at Mile 90.8, just past Havelock, and the entire Nephton Subdivision. There is also a small amount of former CNR track in Peterboro serving local industry including GE Canada.
8231_8208_8200 ready to depart with 19 empties for the mines. Havelock Yard February 3, 2005
Heading north at Mile 9.98 Nephton Subdivision. Same day.
8168, 8144 and 8145 were headed for the west end of
the Havelock yard prior to backing down on their consist for
Northbound at mile 10. Coming and going. The mile board
is barely visible just above and to the right of the nose of 8168.
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