Station On the Green
Hamilton's Other Railway
432 pages, 8.5 x 11", 394 b&w illustrations (an estimated 215 not previously published), hard cover, colour dust jacket, complete with bibliography and detailed index.
Published by the Bytown Railway Society, Ottawa, ON 2001. Still available, but they will soon all be gone. Your last chance to get the definitive history of this major southern Ontario pioneering railway at an outstanding value price - for order information please see below.
Each year the CRHA invites nominations for awards in the categories of Lifetime Achievement, Preservation, an Article and a Book.
The Book Award is "in recognition of outstanding accomplishment", and the recipient of the Award receives a certificate from the Association to acknowledge the author's contribution to railway heritage.
For more information about the CRHA, please go to my LINKS (Railway History & Research).
For a list of past recipients in all categories, please click here.
About the Hamilton & North Western
Hamilton's Other Railway traces the 19th century Hamilton & Lake Erie and Hamilton & North Western Railways through their pioneering construction to the eventual absorption of the successor Northern & North Western Railway into the Grand Trunk Railway, and in turn on to its take-over and assimilation by Canadian National Railways.
Historically, this book is not only a tale of civic pride and ambition as Hamilton struggled to rival Toronto in its emergence as Ontario's Queen City, but from the perspective of early Ontario's tumultuous railway history, also a compelling summary of the reasons for the gradual transformation of 19th century railroading in Ontario. The ambitions of the Hamilton & North Western were a thorn in the sides of both the Grand Trunk and the Great Western as they duked it out for supremacy. Then, through its own politically and economically necessary merger with the Northern Railway of Canada to become the Northern & North Western Railway, it proceeded to heed the economic imperative of the budding transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway project, and thus became a strategic property in the emerging bid of the Grand Trunk to keep the Canadian Pacific out of Ontario.
Hamilton's Other Railway features many unique, previously unpublished images from archival and other collections, along with great photographs from the Al Paterson, Dave Shaw, James Brown and Keith Sirman collections, and many other individual contributions, such as from the Gary Mauthe postcard collection, and the carefully researched track diagrams and the timeless photography of Bob Sandusky. All of these have been reproduced with singular care to provide a unique pictorial treasure trove of our railway past that reaches into all the communities that were touched by this railway; south from Hamilton to Port Dover via Caledonia, Hagersville and Jarvis; and north from Hamilton to Barrie via the Beach, Milton, Georgetown, Beeton and Allandale; with the branch from Beeton to Collingwood via Alliston and Creemore. Also included are the later services to Meaford and Port Rowan.
The Book's Special Features
Hamilton's Other Railway is of broader application than its title suggests because of its detailed treatment of locomotive and station development in the GTR era. Of particular interest is the substantial chapter on the development of trestles, bridges and culverts from the railway's pioneer beginnings through to the technology of the CNR era. This is a comprehensive general reference source for architectural and engineering terminology, construction methods, techniques and practices; and therefore a practical guide for any kind of model railway project. Also included is a rare glimpse of the railway post office service.
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Click the play button on the player below for the first stanza of a song to commemorate the "Hog Special", created and produced by Fran and Anna Lee Webster, with research by Helen Emmett-Blackburn and Peter Coates, for the occasion of the opening of the replica station community centre at Creemore, Ont.
- p 110 - (caption under Pete Coletti picture): The view of Burlington Beach, looking towards Hamilton, in fact dates from 1896 when the Hamilton Radial Electric Railway was under construction. The spur from the GTR track provided temporary access to the newly constructed power house. (With thanks to John Ames.)
- p 113 - According to the Board of Railway Commissioners for Canada Judgments, Orders, Regulations and Rulings, Vol. X, No. 22, February 1, 1921, and the Hamilton Spectator (Sep 2, 1921), it was intended to divert the radial service over the GTR track during the 1921-22 reconstruction of the radial and road bascule bridge, but this did not in fact take place. The service operated to the canal from north and south. (With thanks to Tom Luton of the HRER website, the Hamilton Beach Community Forum and David O'Reilly.)
- p 149 - makes reference that the GTR obtained access to Owen Sound through its acquisition of the Wellington, Grey & Bruce Railway. This is incorrect. The GTR obtained access to Owen Sound through its consolidated subsidiary - the Grand Trunk, Georgian Bay & Lake Erie Railway. (With thanks to Peter Bowers.)
- p 200 - (caption Mrs. J. Galbraith picture): The fireman (on the far right) was not Gordon Dawson, but is believed to be Harry Ritchie. (With thanks to the late George Horner and Gordon Dawson.)
- p 258 - (caption - King St. Station plan, NAC):The credit line should read National Archives Canada NMC 96709. (Note: NMC 96710 is for the tudor-style version of the same station design.)
- p 260 - Glanford Station - Disposition - Moved to a site on Miles Road, now a private dwelling. (Information courtesy the late Rich Chrsyler.)
- p 311 - text: Engine #2223 (at Allandale) 4-4-0, was built by the GTR in 1883 and originally numbered #94. The builder's number was 1130. (With thanks to the late Ray Corley.)
- p 313 - text: 6404 - ignore the footnote reference (e).
- p 325 - The date of the Grand River bridge reconstruction at Caledonia was 1953, not 1952. (Courtesy Don Grove.)
Additions (see also "New Information")
p 30 - caption: The train was southbound at Ferguson Avenue and Rebecca Street (with thanks to the late Ray Corley).
p 131 - text: STEWARTTOWN - Exactly two/fifths of a mile north of the Trafalgar Road (Halton Hills 3) crossing there was in the early years a modest trestle over one of the Black Creek tributaries. Rebuilt in 1894, this structure consisted of a single 11ft span, and was modified on its northerly side in 1912 to accommodate an underpass for the Toronto Suburban Railway electric radial line, then under construction to Guelph. Today, there is a road underpass at the site, permitting an extension of Princess Anne Drive to reach Trafalgar Road. Between the underpass and Trafalgar Road, the roadbed of the TSR has survived and can be walked (with thanks to Ron Cooper and Bob Sandusky).
pp 286 to 315 THE MOTIVE POWER
These pages have attempted to piece together the H&NW's complex locomotive history.
Carl Riff, who has contributed handsomely to the research for this book has recently come across the 1880 ("the 1880 inventory") and 1882 ("the 1882 inventory") N&NW annual reports in the National Archives (Merrilees Collection).
The 1880 inventory identifies the former H&NW locomotives as those numbered consecutively from 41 to 57. It is clear from the 1882 inventory that engines 41 through 44 were those of the former H&LE, and those from 45 to 51 inclusive the Kingston-built engines purchased by the H&NW: formerly "Halton" No. 5 through to "Collingwood" No. 11. In addition, all other sources agree that the H&NW had five other engines originally numbered 12 through to 15 (two numbered 13), and whose record as it appears in R&LHS Bulletins #85 and #147 has been accepted as definitive. The engines latterly numbered 52 through 57 do not appear until 1880 and their origin remains a mystery.
Four items are of particular interest from this latest information:
1. Of the presumed former H&LE engines 41 through 44, along with Nos. 41 and 42 that are confirmed as Baldwin engines and presumably are the former "John Scott" and "J.M. Williams" (see p. 286), No. 43 is also shown as a Baldwin engine. On the 1880 inventory, No. 43 is described as a passenger engine. It might be reasonable to suppose that this No. 43 could have been the "magnificent new locomotive put on the Lake Erie branch of the H&NW. It is built in the most modern style, and will run on the principal trains" as reported by the Hamilton Times on April 17, 1876 (p. 289).
2. Likewise, on the 1880 inventory, No. 44, presumably ex-H&LE No. 4, has been described as a "passenger - engineering - etc." engine. The identity of H&LE engines No. 3 and No 4. has never been ascertained. While it is reasonable to suppose that "Lucy Turner" was relegated to No. 3 when the "John Scott" and the "Refluent Wave" (later "J.M. Williams") were acquired, it may also be further supposed that "Lucy Turner" was again relegated (as an older engine) to No. 4 when the Baldwin-built engine noted above was acquired. In the Ferguson Avenue roundhouse fire reported on pages 295 and 298, No. 4 is described as a passenger engine that had just been overhauled. All of the engines in that fire were repaired by July 1881, and the 1882 inventory notes that No. 4, or 44, was sold in May 1882 to the Canada Atlantic Railway. Since "Lucy Turner" was certainly an ageing engine owned first by the H&LE, and dating from 1848, such a disposition would make sense.
3. The 1882 inventory lists engines No. 35 through 39 as part of the former NRC roster. The H&NW roster as compiled by the R&LHS Bulletin #147 includes engines numbered 12 "Port Dover" (Rogers-built), 13 "Col. McGiven" (Schenectady-built), 14 "Alliston" (PRR Altoona) and 15 "Cookstown" (also PRR Altoona-built). Strangely, these do not appear in the 1880 inventory, but the 1882 inventory shows builder attributions as follows: 35 NRC, 36 GWR, 37 and 38 Rogers, 39 Taunton. The earlier R&LHS Bulletin #85 identified H&NW engine No. 13 as being Taunton-built, and scrapped in 1881. There is no other Taunton-built engine referenced in any of the extant H&NW locomotive records. Is it possible that the "Taunton" survived longer than previously thought, and if so, how does that square with the other No. 13 "Col. McGiven" that according to R&LHS Bulletin #147 was renumbered to 37 in 1879 and was then also scrapped in 1881? The R&LHS Bulletin #147 shows the former ex-PRR No. 14 "Alliston" and No. 15 "Cookstown" as renumbered in 1879 to Numbers 39 and 40 respectively, and both being scrapped in 1881. The 1882 inventory shows no No. 40 (which is consistent), but shows No. 39 as being Taunton-built. so was that engine assigned a new number? Coincidentally, the R&LHS Bulletin #147 shows the former No. 12 "Port Dover" as being renumbered to 38 in 1879 and surviving to 1889. The 1882 inventory shows No. 38 to be a Rogers-built engine. May it be assumed that this was the same engine? If so, that would account for Numbers 38 and 39 on the 1882 inventory, but what of Numbers 35, 36 and 37? R&LHS Bulletin #147 does show the renumbered former H&NW locomotives beginning at No. 37, but if the "Col. McGiven" was indeed scrapped in 1881, was this number reassigned to some other engine also, just as 39 was assigned to a (the) Taunton-built engine? According to R&LHS Bulletin #147, there were NRC engines numbered 35 and 36 that were not scrapped for another decade or more, and certainly NRC No. 36 was GWR-built. Perhaps No. 37 had not been deleted from the 1882 inventory record, or perhaps "Col. McGiven" was not scrapped until a little later. But why did Numbers 35 through 39, and for that matter No. 40, not appear on the 1880 inventory?
4. The 1882 inventory no longer lists engines 52 through 57. It stops at No. 51 and then picks up again at No. 61 through to 72 with the newly acquired engines built for the N&NW by Brooks. As mentioned, the identity of the engines numbered 52 through 57 has never been established, but Numbers 54 and 56 were also reported in the 1881 Ferguson Avenue roundhouse fire. They appear to have been acquired around 1880, but they were gone by 1882.
pp 286-287 THE MOTIVE POWER
The "Julia Collier" locomotive. A clipping from the Hamilton Spectator dated March 2, 1878 has come to hand (courtesy of Tom Luton) that confirms the existence of this engine on a run from Jarvis to Hamilton. HOR notes this engine as being latterly the “Port Dover”, and no other information had turned up at the time of writing as to the “Julia Collier”. So this clipping confirms an HNW engine bearing this name as late as 1878. It is possible that the loco was renamed to “Port Dover” in 1879 when she was renumbered from 12 to 38 – also that was the year of her former owner's (Col. Collier) dust-up with the CVR. The HNW/NNW may well have wanted to distance itself from any perceived connection. Another or an additional explanation for the renaming may have been that the HNW finally reached Port Dover in 1878. Railway companies of the day liked to name locations that they served on their engines - a primitive form of marketing!
The H&NW roster remains complex, with many unanswered questions because of the amalgamation of the H&NW with the H&LE in 1875, the subsequent merger with the NRC in 1879, and the further realignments implemented by the N&NW which saw the disposal of a number of ageing locomotives in the 1881-82 period, combined with the complications of leased, imported and resold locomotives, as well as contractor's engines that also served as operating locomotives.
p 221 - In the recital of the fatal accident near Glencairn, the quoted Toronto Globe report cited the fireman's name as Henry Gough. His marble tombstone records his name as Henry Goff (with thanks to Paul Kuzyk, Head-of-the-Lake Historical Society). He is buried in Hamilton Cemetery, and the back of the slab bears this unusual epitaph:
My engine now is cold and still
No water does my boiler fill
My coal affords its flame no more
My days of usefulness are o'er.
My wheels deny their running speed
No more my guiding hand they heed
My whistle too has lost its tone
Its shrill and thrilling sounds are gone.
My valves are now thrown open wide
My flanges all refuse to guide
My clacks also, though once so strong
Refuse to aid the busy throng.
No more I feel each surging breath
My steam is now condensed in death
Life's railway o'ver each station past
In death I'm stopped and rest at last.
Farewell all dear friends and cease to weep
In Christ I'm safe, in Him I sleep.
The origin of this epitaph is discussed at length in Dow's Dictionary of Railway Quotations (2006, The Johns Hopkins University Press, page 65). It is referred to as "the Engine Driver's Epitaph", and is cited there as having appeared for the first time on the headstone of Oswald Gardner (St. Mary the Virgin Parish Church, Whickham, County Durham, England), killed at the age of 27 by a broken connecting rod on August 15, 1840. It has appeared on at least three other tombstones, two others in the U.K., and one other in the U.S.A., all for railway men in their twenties, and Dow's Dictionary observes that "this is a young man's epitaph". (Henry Goff was 23 years of age, and died instantly on February 3, 1880 when a wheel of the engine he was firing disintegrated near Glencairn, Ont., causing it to topple down an embankment.)
A quick history of the Beeton branch and some reminiscences of the “Creemore Spur”
Recently, someone got in touch with me as follows:
“Good morning Charles: My hometown is Collingwood, Ont. and even though I have lived in Victoria, B.C. for the past 40 years. I maintain a keen interest in the history of Collingwood by writing historical articles for the Collingwood Historical Society. These are posted on their website monthly. My story for August is titled "Death Knell On The Hamilton & North Western Railway". I have both of your books on this railway and I have referenced "Hamilton's Other Railway" a couple of times in the story. You can find my stories at: www.collingwoodhistoricalsociety.ca
My great-grandfather, R. W. O'Brien, represented Collingwood on the Simcoe County Council and in that capacity he was the last one appointed by Simcoe County to the Board of the H&NW (in 1889) to see to the jilted interests of Simcoe County in the years between the merger with the Northern and the takeover by the Grand Trunk. I hope you will enjoy reading my story. Your books are marvellous. [Ed. Thank you, David!] David Vuckson”
To download David’s “Death Knell on the Hamilton & North Western Railway”, please click here for a summary history of the H&NW's Beeton branch and an interesting insight into the short-lived years of the Creemore Spur before the disappearance of the H&NW entry into Collingwood altogether. I was particularly interested in David's eye-witness account of the operation of CNR 4-6-4T (Baltic) No. 48. I had heard that the CNR had experimented with this engine design on the Spur, but was not able to get any corroboration by the time of HOR’s publication. Thank you for getting in touch and offering your story ( – and yes, I think we both agree that boxcar tale has to be a bit of a “rural legend”).
New Information (see also "Additions")
- Page 24 - The Cumberland monument: Shortly after Hamilton's Other Railway went to press, the Barrie Lawn Bowling Club pavilion burned down. The Cumberland monument went into storage, but the Allandale Railway Historical Society advises that it is now on display again next to the South Shore Community Centre (the former Mechanics' Building of the railway era), where the grand old man of the Northern Railway of Canada once again looks over in the direction of the Allandale railway lands.
- Page 59 - The identification of what was apparently the Glanford station building at the time of cessation of the "mixed" service in 1957 leads to the conclusion that the 12 x 25 x 8 ft building recorded in the 1907 GTR B&B inventory as dating from 1877 was in fact in service for 80 years. This is corroborated by information from a retired CNR engineer that in his time "the Rymal and Glanford stations were similar buildings". Glanford would therefore be another surviving H&NW structure, along with Barrie, Burlington, Cheltenham and Cookstown (p 248).
- Page 106 - The characters in this early picture of Allandale station are, from left to right - Roger McGill, stationmaster; Harry King, brakeman; Mike Maloney, telegraph operator; John Dobson, roadmaster. (Simcoe County Museum).
- Pages 108 and 261. The Beach Road station. A photograph has been referred for identification from Doug Smith of Canadian Rail.
The station on the left is the building that coincides with the description of the Beach Road station built in 1890, when the GTR built the through-connection from Beach Road to Stoney Creek to create a complete Hamilton by-pass using the original H&NW alignment across the Beach. The image on the right is that submitted by Canadian Rail. This picture is a puzzle because it is definitely GTR vintage (going by the crenellation on the roof), but the bicycles are equally definitely early 20th century. Yet the building is clearly marked "Beach Road". Judging by the number of telegraph wires, it would be reasonable to conclude that it may have been a telegraph office erected some time after 1907 (the date of the GTR inventory in which this building does not appear) to handle increasing Beach bypass traffic, possibly during WWI.
- Page 113 - On December 26, 1901, five cars of a northbound coal train plunged through the weakened structure of the Burlington Canal swingbridge, triggering its replacement in 1902-3. (courtesy Carl Riff and John Ames, both of Hamilton, Ont.)
- p. 194 "the packing plant in Collingwood". The Collingwood Meat Company was established in 1894 by the amalgamation of the local packing firms T. Long & Bros., C. Stephens & Co., and Telfer Bros. It was located behind the Kaufman Furniture Co. on Harbour Street, and was served by a spur from the Collingwood - Meaford line. It was destroyed in a spectacular fire in August 1916. Research courtesy Don Boone, Collingwood.
- Page 283 - The Creemore station. The Creemore Station-On-The-Green Committee achieved its object of erecting a replica of the 1906 GTR building for use as a community centre. It was officially opened Saturday, June 1, 2002.
- pp. 286-299 The August 18, 1927 Collingwood Bulletin published reminiscences by Mr. David Dick who worked for the H&NW and was part of the crew of the first train into Collingwood on December 30, 1878. The train was drawn by the Hamilton, and Mr. Dick recalled that other engines were the Alliston, Simcoe, Collingwood, J. Proctor, W. Hendrie, J. Scott, Peel, Lucy Turner and J.M. Williams. All of these engines are referenced in HOR except the J. Proctor. Since John Proctor was at that time the general contractor for the H&NW north of Hamilton, this may have been his own construction locomotive after all (see p. 290). Courtesy Don Boone, Collingwood
- Page 325 - Don Grove, a retired CNR conductor, and a contributor elsewhere to Hamilton's Other Railway, has provided the following in the context of the Caledonia Grand River bridge replacement in 1953
"Before the bridge was rebuilt in 1953, the heaviest engines allowed on the bridge, were single engines of the 80-90 series Moguls. There was a lot of stone moving out of Hagersville in the 1950s, and often the Moguls would be double headed. When operating with a double header, the lead engine would be cut off and ran light over the bridge. The second engine would handle the train across the bridge.
"During the reconstruction of the bridge, which started in November of l953, a yard engine and crew were stationed at Hagersville to do all the switching. While the bridge was out of service, all the trains that would normally operate south of Caledonia, were routed on the Dunnville Subdivision from Caledonia to Canfield Jct, and then on the Cayuga Subdivision ( Wabash ) to Jarvis.
Update Station News:
Allandale - Barrie - H&NW:
The Directory of Railway Stations Vol 2 (published by Canadian Railway Station News [Dave Savage], p.41) reports that the Allandale (Shear Park) station has survived at Donald St. in Barrie. Subsequent information favours the position that the Donald Street house is the (somewhat altered) original Sophia at Bayfield St. short-lived (1877-1879) terminus of the H&NW in Barrie. It was apparently moved there in 1953. This would be one of five known currently surviving H&NW stations, along with Glanford, Burlington, Cheltenham and Cookstown.
Burlington Freeman - GTR:
This station was used by the Hamilton-Allandale service after the discontinuance of passenger trains along the beach in 1904. It was moved to make way for an additional track to improve GO-Train service to Hamilton, and was temporarily stored on a parking lot of a fire hall at 1255 Fairview Street pending permanent relocation. In 2013 the station was moved again onto private property in partnership with local firm Ashland, Inc., where the station is more visible and allows restoration to commence and fundraising to continue. Its location now is still on Fairview Street, just west of Brant Street, adjacent to the Burlington Fire Department. The Friends of the Freeman Station [FOFS] are working on its interior restoration. Memberships in FOFS ($10 annually) are available, and donations ($25 and over gets a tax receipt) are gratefully received at FOFS, 3023 New Street, P.O. Box 91536, Burlington ON L7R 4L6, and further information is obtainable at firstname.lastname@example.org . (Also see the testimonial by John Mellow below.)
Burlington - H&NW:
According to a report in Building Stories, an on-line interactive historical building inventory, the former downtown Burlington H&NW station has survived at 431-433, Brock Avenue, Burlington. Its present occupant has confirmed this. This makes it one of five known surviving H&NW stations, along with Glanford, Cheltenham, Cookstown and Barrie.
Hamilton - Ferguson Ave:
The old freight yards have been turned into a recreation park, with soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and so forth. The rail trail runs along the edge of the park. There is a small pavilion in the middle of the park, designed to be reminiscent of an old railroad building. It presumably houses washrooms, changing rooms, and probably storage facilities for park maintenance equipment. (Courtesy Mr. Fred Briggs, Burlington.)
Jarvis - GTR:
The station was moved in 2016 to an agricultural museum off Highway 6, just south of intersecting Highway 3, on the Walpole Antique Farm Machinery Association property. A Tim Hortons restaurant is now at the former station site. (2017).
The book sure is fascinating stuff. Your coverage of Georgetown, Cardwell, Milton, Port Dover, Burlington is extremely interesting. And so much I didn't know before. It's great that you have been able to take your Rails to The Lakes and expand it without any of it appearing to be filler.
Paul Tatham, Moderator, the Bruce Railways Group
I wanted to thank you for your work on Hamilton's Other Railway. As a medical writer and RR enthusiast I realize the effort that went into making this book as complete and accurate as it is. I am working on an N-scale rendition of the Hagersville sub (circa June 1953) and your book is my key resource on the subject. Excellent work. Michael Livingston
I am reading your book Hamilton's Other Railway, and I'm quite glad I bought it. I worked for VIA Rail for 20 years, then was General Manager for the Southern Ontario Railway for two and a half years while it was still part of Railink. I enjoyed my brief time there, and your book has many interesting facts and pictures I can relate to.
Dave Sherlock, General Manager, St. Catharine's Transit Commission.
From John Mellow:
Thanks again for such a wonderful book.