Riding the CN Riviere a Pierre mixed in 1975
Limoilou (Quebec City) to Riviere a Pierre. Quebec.
On April 10th and 11th 1975, Dana Andrews (an operator for
CP in Montreal) and I went to Quebec City to ride the CN mixed from Quebec
Limoilou to Riviere a Pierre QC.
The precursor railway to the CN in this case was the Quebec & Lake
Saint John Railway, build between 1882 and 1887 to colonise the area around
Lac St.Jean. In 1907, the Canadian Northern purchased the Q&LSJ and
subsequent built south from Riviere a Pierre to other CNor lines on the
north shore of the St.Lawrence River.
Between 1910 and 1914, the Federal Government built the National Transcontinental
Railway from Moncton NB to Graham ON., connecting end to end with the
Grand Trunk Pacific. The NTR crossed the CNQ at Hervey Jonction QC.
Gradually the traffic shifted from Quebec City as a departure point to
Montreal, and the Q&LSJ from Quebec City to Riviere a Pierre declined
That said, there was regular CN passenger service from Quebec City to
Chicoutimi over the Q&LSJ until shortly before we rode the mixed that
replaced it. It operated on a daytime schedule opposite the overnight
Montreal-Chicoutimi train. There is significant settlement from Quebec
to Riviere a Pierre, including a large Army base at Valcartier. I think
the mixed train service was supplied as a partial replacement for the
regular passenger service, however the days we rode, we were the only
passengers and the seats were dusty indicating that no one else had ridden
Interesting to note in my pictures is that although Valcartier is boarded
up, there was still an attendant who had plowed the parking lot and is
just visible on the platform.
Loretteville appears an original station, St.Raymond is either a 1950's
built or rebuilt station. Note the colour light style order board. Riviere
a Pierre is also a recent build, with a searchlight style order board.
I believe the line from Quebec City was abandoned in the 1990's, with
ski trails now using parts of the right of way.
CN mixed train at Limoilou.
On board the mixed at Loretteville.
Valcartier all boarded up.
Interior of the combine.
Riviere a Pierre end of the run.