Upper Canada Railway Society (UCRS) and its publications
Summary of Publications
The UCRS was formed in 1941, and began to publish a "Bulletin" at that time.
In 1945 it began to publish a regular "Newsletter", and continued with "Bulletins" on single subjects, especially traction and transit topics.
The last "Bulletins" were published sometime during the 1960s.
Between 1976 and 1979, its main publication became "Rail & Transit", before reverting again to "Newsletter" in 1980.
In 1992, the "Newsletter" reverted again to "Rail & Transit".
Publication of anything ceased in 1998.
A record of "Newsletters" and "Rails & Transits" from 1958 to the end of publication in 1998 is steadily being scanned to this page.
It is a time-consuming process, there some gaps in the earlier years that are being worked on, and this page will be "under construction" for some time.
Donations or loans (postage will be paid) of
- Newsletters prior to 1958, and for 1974 and 1975
- Rails & Transits from 1976, 1977, 1978 and the missing 1979 May-June copy
- any Bulletins not listed
for the purpose of recording on this page would be much appreciated. Please Contact Me.
All the information on this page is provided on the basis of being for personal use and research only. Its dissemination or citation in whole or in part may be subject to copyright law with respect to UCRS and/or the author of the material in question.
Jeffrey P. Smith, on his CNR in Ontario website, has posted extracts from early issues in the cited years:
(The number behind each year represents the number of pages recorded.)
- Upper Canada Railway Society Bulletin (Toronto)
- Upper Canada Railway Society Newsletter (Toronto)
The salient features, articles, news items of residual value are shown below. The editorial page may consist of commentary, correspondence, miscellaneous (usually current) railway news. Each issue also contains detailed equipment roster and other rail company news, CTC decisions, abandonment reports, miscellaneous items, society news and activities, book and video reviews and so forth. News items may appear in various locations by different contributors under different titles in each Issue, so that a careful search may be required.
These newsletters specialized in Canada LRT and TTC news and notes. [variously ... News, ... Notes, TTC News, TTC n, etc.]
It is planned to produce a major-topic cross-reference index to Issue, once the scanning has been completed.
Motive Power, Car Equipment and Operations Reports
From 1980 to May 1987, in most issues there is a "Motive Power and Car Equipment" report, hosted by Bruce Chapman, and sometimes assisted by Ron Lipsett and Mike Lindsay. These are identified as "motive power notes" and later as MP&E n on each Issue subject index.
Beginning July 1987, this feature was taken over by Pat Scrimgeour as "Motive Power and Operations" [MP&Ops n], and becomes wider in scope to include information on stations, abandonments, miscellaneous or "general" items, etc. It also includes a sometimes "Train Spotter" report by UCRS members. This feature eventually became separate during 1992.(It has not been annotated specifically in this Index, as it was only of contemporary value.)
Beginning in May 1988, the "Motive Power and Operations" feature was supplemented on an occasional basis with the "Rolling Stock and OCS Equipment"[RS&E n] feature, by Don McQueen, and subsequently by Don McQueen and Chris Martin.
Beginning 1990, it appears as "Motive Power & Rollingstock" [MP&R n]
With Rail & Transit starting in 1992, motive power, rollingstock and transit notes are wrapped into (Transcontinental) Railway News. [Rail(way) News]
"Itinerant Railfan" (starting 1986), by various writers
Variously-titled trips to the USA and on US railroads, by John A. Fleck
Rusty Railfans (starting 1987), anonymous - visits to various abandoned Ontario locations [Rusty Rails]
Just A. Ferronut (starting 1987) by J. A. (Art) Clowes, comments on railways all over. Initially in Issues 449 (down East) and 458 (on Interlocking), then becoming a regular feature - the "Ferrophiliac Column", starting in Issue 475. As of Issue 518, "Railway Archaeology". [Ferronut]
"To the Lands of the Geniuses" (starting 1988) by John A. Fleck, travel in Europe [Trip Europe]
"The Transition Decade" [1955 to 1965] (starting 1989) by Julien R. Wolfe - changes at the railway scene. [Trans Dec(ade)]
"On the Eve of Amtrak" (1990) by Carl V. Ehrke - travel in the USA [Eve Amtrak]
"In Transit" (starting 1989), edited by Scott Haskill [Tst n]. Starting with Issue 515 (Rail & Transit), this feature was wrapped into "Transcontinental Railway & Transit News" [Rail(way) News].
"Tales from the Tie Gang", starting in 1992. Section Gang information. [Tie Gang]
The "miscellany" section appears variously as:
B Nickle Notes or Miscellany [MiscBN], by Brian C. Nickle
Horner Miscellany, by George Horner
Operating News/Notes [ON]
Random Notes, by Doug Page and Mike Lindsay
Sandy Worthen Pieces, or "By Sandy Worthen" [SWP or SWPieces]
Short Hauls, by Bruce Chapman [SH]
Transcontinental Railway News (starting 1990) [Rail(way) News]
"Information Network", a questions and answers column, starting with Rail & Transit Issue 518 (1993).
Content summary for each issue is usually kept to one line. Where necessary, these abbreviations are used:
aband = abandoned, abandonment
acc = accident
ACR = Algoma Central Railway
Agin = Agincourt
ann = anniversary
ARM = Association of Railway Museums
Assoc = association
BR = British Rail
Buff = Buffalo NY
Cal = Calgary
Calif = California
Can = Canada, Canadian
CAR = Canadian Atlantic Railway
CROR = Canadian Rail Operating Rules
CTC = Canadian Transport Commission
cent = centenary, centennial
CWR = Central Western Railway
Chic = Chicago
comm - commuter
dem = demolition
derail = derailment
Det = Detroit
E = equipment
Edm = Edmonton
EERS = Edmonton Radial Railway Society
El = electric
ETS = Edmonton Transit System
exc = excursion
Fla = Florida
gnl = general
GV, GVR = Grand Valley Railway
Hal = Halifax
Ham = Hamilton
hear = hearing
HS = historical society
HSR = high speed rail
Hx = History
Misc = Miscellany/miscellaneous
MiscBN = Miscellany or Notes by Brian Nickle
Monc = Moncton
MP/mp = motive power
MP&E = Motive Power and Car Equipment (by Bruce Chapman, assisted by Mike Lindsay/Ron Lipsett)
MP&Ops = Motive Power and Operations (by Pat Scrimgeour)
Mtl = Montreal
mtve = motive
Mus = Museum
n = notes/news
NB = New Brunswick
NI = Northern Ireland
Niag = Niagara
NFTA = Niagara Frontier Transit Authority
NH = New Hampshire
OCS = On Company Service
ON = Operating News/Notes
ORA = Ontario Rail Association
O'ville = Orangeville
Ott = Ottawa
OWSR = Ontario West Shore Railway
pass = passenger
pen = peninsula
Pitts = Pittsburgh
PP = Potpourri
PDC - Prairie Dog Central
POP = proof of payment
PSTR = Port Stanley Terminal Rail
pwr = power
recoll = recollections
RCE = Royal Canadian Engineers
rpt = report
Rl/rl = Rail/rail
RR = railroad
RT = Rapid Transit
Ry/ry = Railway/railway
sbwy = subway
Scar = Scarborough
Sctn = Section
SEMTA = South East Michigan Transit Authority
SH - Short Hauls by Bruce Chapman, and latterly with Mike Lindsay, Doug Page
S&H = Salem & Hillsborough RR
SOD = Southern Ontario District (CNR)
SOLRS = Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society
Spad = Spadina
SSR = South Simcoe Railway
stn = station
Sub = subdivision
svc = service
SWPieces = Sandy Worthen Pieces
T2000 = Transport 2000 (advocacy group)
TIR = Thousand Islands Railway
tpt = transport/transportation
TRC = Toronto Railway Company
trt = traction
tst = transit
tt = timetable(s)
TTC = Toronto Transit Commission
Vanc = Vancouver
WC = West Coast
Wind = Windsor
Wpg = Winnipeg
WP&Y = White Pass & Yukon RR
Wstn = Western
1. The war-time Bulletins excerpted from Jeffrey P. Smith's website noted above also included Society business and member news.
Articles of residual railway history interest have been excerpted below from Bulletin 2 through to Bulletin 16.)
2. Most Bulletins from 26 on and all related items have been provided courtesy of Paul Rollinson, the Bookseller.
Bulletin 2 - (Nov 1941) Notes on early CPR engines - CPR Motive Power Today
Bulletin 3 - (Dec 1941) CPR Motive Power Today concluded
Bulletin 5 - (Feb 1942) Railways and Confederation, a Brief Sketch - Kettle Valley Railway
Bulletin 6 - (Mar 1942) The Beautiful Josephine - Locomotives Built in Toronto
Bulletin 7 - (Apr 1942) Locomotives Built in Toronto concluded
Bulletin 10 - (Oct 1942) NRC Timetable No. 2, 1863.
Bulletin 15 - (Feb 1944) TTC car inventory, including Toronto Railway Co. cars taken over in 1921, and those assumed from the T&Y Rly in 1927.
Bulletin 16 - (Apr 1944) Roster of Equipment of the Grand River Railway, the Lake Erie & Northern, and predecessor lines
Bulletin 26 - (Mar 1950 Toronto Civic Railways merged with the Toronto Railway Co. to form the Toronto Transportation Commission 1 Sep 1921
Bulletin 28 - (Nov 1950) TTC cars 1170 to 1308, formerly Toronto Railway Co.
Bulletin 30 - (Feb 1951) TTC PCC cars 4550 to 4574 ex Cincinnati
Bulletin 32 - (Jul 1951) TTC cars 151 to 155, formerly Toronto &York Radial Railway
Bulletin 36 - (Apr 1953) Hamilton Street Railway cars 500 to 547
Bulletin 37 - (1953) Four Whistles to Wood-Up, Stories of the Northern Railway of Canada, by Dr. Frank N. Walker
Bulletin 39 - (Jan 1954) The Centenary of the Buffalo, Brantford & Goderich Railway, by Dr. Frank N. Walker
Bulletin 40 - (Dec 1954) North Yonge Railways
Bulletin 44 - (Jun 1956) TTC cars 409 to 416 ex Toronto & York Radial Railway
Bulletin 48 - (Feb 1958) TTC cars 2580 to 2678 Brills and Small Witts
Bulletin 50 - (1958) Sir Adam Beck and the Hydro Radial Proposals, by John F. Due
Bulletin 51 - (Dec 1958) TTC cars 211 to 213 ex Toronto & York Radial Railway
Bulletin 55 - (Apr 1962) TTC Two-door trailers 2301 to 2419
Bulletin 56 - (Sep 1963) The Toronto, Grey & Bruce Railway 1863 - 1884, by Thomas F. McIlwraith
Related and Miscellaneous publications:
Uniform Code of Operating Rules (UCOR) 1962
Locomotive Data sheet #6703 TH&B locomotives 201 and 202.
Traction Special #2: TTC sweeper and snow plow routes 1967
1977 Aug Newsletter Informer UCRS news and advice re trips
1977 Sep Newsletter Informer Unity train - TTC Spadina subway cars - UCRS news and advice re trips
Newsletter prior to 1958
All missing except for what has been provided by Jeffrey P. Smith on his website (see above).
Newsletter 1958 - 1975
1. The Newsletters from 1958 to 1974 are being/have been provided courtesy of Paul Rollinson, the Bookseller.
2. Scanning of these will begin once scanning from 1990 to 1998 has been completed. These newsletters are in bound volumes, and will therefore take longer to be scanned. Also, the early issues did not have defined borders, and some text goes right to the spine, but every effort is made to ensure that each page is comprehensible. Also the earlier issues were typed, and legibility is defined by the amount of ink remaining on the typewriter ribbon!
212 Sep ACR - Steamtown roster - Lindsay, Bobcaygeon & Pontypool Ry - CNR CPR TTC news
246 Jul CNR news and aband. - CP "Dominion" - general and equipment news - CNR #74 - railway photography - Traction topics
251 Dec CN Turbo - CPR wreck Pickering - Equipment and general notes - CN diesel excursion - expo67 express - Montreal Metro - Traction topics
264 Jan (partial) The Confederation Train
278 Mar Steam's Final Years on the Stratford Division - Car 13
289/290 Feb-Mar General news and comment - equipment news - National Transportation Act - CN winter timetables - Edmonton LRT - Traction Topics
294 Jul Railway news and comment - CP's summer timetable - Toronto Belt Line - passenger train news - photos - equipment notes - Traction topics
297 Oct LNER Flying Scotsman and visit to Toronto
300 Jan Railway news and comment - fighting snow - passenger train news - rapid transit news - Traction topics
301 Feb Rly news and comment - CP electrification? - passenger train news - Whitby CNR station - TH&B #103 - equipment notes - Traction topics
304 May Railway news and comment - passenger train news - Hamilton Street Railway
306 Jul retirement CNR #6218 - railway news and comment - equipment notes - passenger train news
311 Dec Railway news and comment - passenger train news - BC Hydro's new SD 38 - Port Whitby & Port Perry Railway - decline Cdn passenger train
1975 (all missing except as below)
354-355 Jul-Aug Switzerland - reprint of Bulletin 39 - UCRS trip Budds to Barrie - Traction Topics
Rail & Transit 1976 - 1979
1976 (360?) Volume 1 (all missing)
1977 (361?) Volume 2 Numbers 1 - 6 (all missing except 2-4)
R&T 2-1 Jan-Feb
R&T 2-2 Mar-Apr
R&T 2-3 May-Jun
R&T 2-4 1977 Jul-Aug All Photo Issue
R&T 2-5 Sep-Oct
R&T 2-6 Nov-Dec
1978 (362?) Volume 3 Numbers 1 - 6 (all missing)
R&T 3-1 Jan-Feb
R&T 3-2 Mar-Apr
R&T 3-3 May-Jun
R&T 3-4 Jul-Aug
R&T 3-5 Sep-Oct
R&T 3-6 Nov-Dec
1979 Volume 4 Numbers 1 - 6
R&T 4-1 1979 Jan-Feb Railway and VIA news - rail photos - National Transcontinental Railway - Prairie Dog Central
R&T 4-2 1979 Mar-Apr Transit photos - Grace Mills - T2000 Future of passenger rail - wreck Super-C - rail photos - Stayner, Ont. station - concrete ties
R&T 4-3 1979 May-Jun missing
R&T 4-4 1979 Jul-Aug CN motive power allocation - CP solarium cars - VIA passenger service car rosters
R&T 4-4 1979 Jul-Aug Rail photos
R&T 4-5 1979 Sep-Oct grain tpt w Canada - Witt era - traction topics - rail photos - 125 ann NRC - Winchester car line - Edmonton transit - TTC Gray Coach
R&T 4-6 1979 Nov-Dec H&NW short history - rail photos - BR's High Speed Trains - traction topics - TTC route numbering - Scarboro LRT plans
Newsletter from 1980 onwards
Note in issue 363: ""The last issue of Rail and Transit to carry a number in the original Newsletter Series was July-August 1978 (#362) and this issue is accordingly #363. The Newsletter Informer, published in recent years, will be consolidated with this publication effective with the February issue."
363 Jan Introductory statement - Obituary Andrew Merrilees - GO Transit Hamilton - Buffalo Light Rail
364 Feb Bramport Terminal - expansion Union TTC station - Prairie grain transportation - financial aid Montreal transit - Potpourri
365 Mar Scarboro LRT - CP Rail dieselization past and present Pt I - CNR Wiarton Sub abandonment - TH&B loco #71 - Prairie Dog Ctl, TTC, Sault n
366 Apr Future WP&Y - Van LRT - CP Rl dieselization past and present Pt II - TTC pass and sbwy extensions - GO Tst plans - Buffalo LLRT - B Nickle notes
367 May PDC notes - 20th ann 1960 tripleheader excursion - VIA, UTDC, TTC, Edm, Vanc, Buffalo LRT news - Caledonia, Ont. wye - CP Baldwin diesels
368 Jun Royal Hudson 2857 Farewell - CP Rail dieselization past and present Pt III - Farewell Cannonball Express (Port Hope 1951) - TTC news
369 Jul Calgary LRT - CN and CP Notes - TTC Russell substation - TTC Boston tests - CTC Notes - B Nickle Notes - MP&E notes - BCR notes
370 Aug GTW + DT&I n - MP&E n - CN n - TTC CLRV n - CP car #9002 - VIA E n - Horner Misc - CN owns NAR - Stratford tml - ACR derail - Tor stns
371 Sep GO Milton line - Edmonton and Calgary LRT - National Railway Historical Society Convention Toronto - CN #6060 - VIA railiners
372 Oct W NY HS - VIA Hal -Yar svc - 1201 exc Wakefield - Buffalo LRT - CTC stn orders - VIA, West Coast n - TTC n incl dem North Yonge tml - Birney Mtl
373 Nov BCR + ETS news - VIA tt - ONR news - CP rebuild program - CN motive power and gouging GO - TTC news and San Francisco cars - Preserv n
374 Dec TTC subway extensions - motive power and equipment news - operating news - CNR #86 - Vancouver trolleys - ARM convention
375 Jan GO Willowb'k maint depot - CTC Halib'n Sub - Vanc LRT - GTW-DT&I merger - Int'natl Ltd - TTC n - Miscellany (Nickle) - MP n - CN derails SW Ont.
376 Feb Vanc transit - Cantrak - CNR #50560 - Cal and Edm LRT - VIA western trip report - CNR #86 - CTC report - TTC news and roster - MIscBN
377 Mar CP cent - T2000 on VIA svc - CN Palmerston Div - transit news - CN dental car - Golden Age Pt I - Toronto memories - GO, TTR, TTC n - Misc
378 Apr CN MP - ry news - Golden Age Pt II - Florida rys - CN Forest Sub - TTC trolleys - MP news - ORA tourist ry Meaford Sub - HSR aband - CTC notes
379 May General, roster, and VIA GO THB notes - ON - Nephton branch - CP Rail change out unit (RCU) - TTC magnetic tickets - TTC n - TH&B farewell
380 Jun TH&B last run - SW Ontario notes - BC news - "Maple Leaf" train - CN derailment Paris West - Scarboro LRT
381 Jul Scarboro LRT - T2000 Ottawa train proposal - - Sault area news - Kirkfield Mackenzie home - Nfld Ry Centenary - Calgary LRT - VIA n - ON (Nickle)
382 Aug Toronto Suburban Ry - CN Brampton Intermodal tml - CPR Toronto West stn - TTC news - GO equpt notes - VIA notes - Operating notes (Nickle)
383 Sep Pepin VIA cuts - Ont task force rail policy - Edmonton LRT - VIA LRCs - TTC news - trolleys Mississauga? - Toronto next LRT? - Nfld Ry first lines
384 Oct more on VIA cuts - motive power news - trip on the ONR - TTC vibration issue - TTC news - E&N non-timetable stops
385 Nov* Atlantic Ltd. - TTC Witt 2894 - CN and Southern Ont. motive power notes -UTDC - CP stations doomed - TTC VIA CN notes
386 Dec CPR Rogers Pass - motive power news - Portland OR Tri-met - Edmonton trolley news - VIA timetables - GO Milton line - TTC news
*Courtesy John D. Thompson
387 Jan GO Milton - CP Mtl comm svce - Hamilton ICTS - car ferry SS Chief Wawatam - News: CN, VIA, Motive pwr, transit, Beach Sub - Tor amuse rlys
388 Feb Buffalo LRT - mixed train travel - VIA Super Cont. - CN, VIA, TTC , CTC notes - CP Mtl commuter - CP communication centre - MiscBN
389 Mar Nfld cent'l train - ONR vans - GO n - Buffalo nostalgia NYC THB IRC - Operating Notes - VIA derail - transit notes - E M Frimbo
390 Apr North Vancouver transit - future of VIA - CN CP Conrail news - Vancouver ALRT - TTC news - Pittsburg Shawmutt & N - Edmonton transit - VIA news
391 May* NAR history - ONR VIA notes - trip reports Europe, SEPTA, Florida - CN VIA SW Ontario notes - SE Mich Transit Auth - Edmonton transit
392 Jun* Vancouver trolleys - CN Terra Tpt - CP GTW GO TTC THB news/notes - RTC decis'ns - NFTA - VIA NS Budd svce, trip ON MB QC - CP rail safety
393 Jul Pepin cuts again - Calgary LRT - VIA timetable - CP diesel shop Wpg - TTC Rapid transit study - CN and GO news - word from Amtrak
394 Aug* Edmonton, Calgary Transit - lost CNR Mogul #417 - Southern Ont power - TTC VIA notes - MI NH tours - Scotian RR Society - Somerset RR
395 Sep Windsor Essex &LS Ry - ONR news - CN Div boundaries Great lakes - CP and TTC news
396 Oct CP Havelock Sub - VIA > GO Bradford and Stouffville - CP Lethbridge relocation - VIA Edm-Cal - VIA service - Edm and Buffalo LRT - TTC news
396 Oct addendum TTC specifications ALRV
396 Oct addendum TTC specifications CLRV
396 Oct addendum TTC specifications PCC
396 Oct addendum TTC specifications SUBWAY CAR M & H
396 Oct addendum TTC specifications TROLLEY COACH
396 Oct addendum TTC specifications WITT
397 Nov TTC: transfers, CLRV rpt, trolley plan update - GO ALRT interurbans - GM-DD loco orders - CN n - Mtl commuters - Prairie Peanut - Niag Falls tst
398 Dec VIA International - VIA timetable - CP CN VIA notes - TTC news and notes - Tijuana trip - Expo Express - P Franche on VIA - GTW news
*Courtesy John D. Thompson
399 Jan West Toronto CPR - CP motive power - CP CN VIA notes - TTC notes and subway plans - the Canadian - the Lackawanna Ltd.
400 Feb Automated Vancouver LRT - discont. and abandon. - CPR train dynamic analyser - trolley coaches - Manitoba mixeds - W Ont, Bufflo, TTC notes
401 Mar CP 1983 capital program - CN motive power - motive power notes - BCR elec. - Newfoundland notes - TTC items
402 Apr Prairie Dog Ctl - Rail Heritage West - station preservation - CN motive power - San Diego USA - SNCF TGV - UTDC Conrail VIA notes
403 May ONR freight - trolley future - TTC notes - CP hot box detects - Wpg tst and trolleys - E&N, GO n - MP notes - Buff LRT - CN aband - CP Crow rate
404 Jun 40 yrs fan trips - N, St.C.&T Ry - Niagara rapid transit? - trips Springfield IL, Churchill, New York State - TTC news - motive pwr - CN rail changeout
405 Jul TTC new cars - CP West Toronto PS - VIA timetables - TTC notes - Central Ontario Rail - Quebec notes - Webbwood CP demolished - Short Hauls
406 Aug LRT-ALRT ROUNDUP Alberta LRTs - Buffalo NFTA - UTDC - Dallas - SEMTA - CP trailer trains - Conrail - Nfld - Motive Power notes - Short Hauls
407 Sep* CP dangerous commod - Tpt 2000 aband ROWs - GO news - VIA reorg - CTC decisions - motive power news - CN Meaford aband - RR prayer
408 Oct "in the drink" 100+ years Blairton - NE corridor and Florida - trolley coach corner - 1958 NRHS Toronto convention - misc notes
409 Nov E&N dayliner - TTC news - CNE transit & water front - SPV cars > Springfield - CN-CP and CASO - motive pwr - VIA - TO rail safety - Short Hauls
410 Dec 100 yrs Niagara cantilever bridge - GO notes - Somerset RR - Switzerland rys - motive power notes - VIA timetable - Short Hauls
*Courtesy John D. Thompson
411 Jan John St. Tor museum prop. - SEMTA commuter svce ends - motive pwr notes - VIA, transit, GO n - stations update - Tor radial tales - Short Hauls
412 Feb GO news - VIA updates - trip reports (Agawa, Charleston SC, Amtrak) - Baltimore metro - TTC notes
413 Mar 30 yrs Yonge subway TTC - motive power notes - ORA incorporates and Meaford Sub - trip around USA - NS&T last run revisited - TTC news
414 Apr Vienna Austria - CP runaway at Medicine Hat - Vancouver Brill cars - TTC news - new passnger equip - motive pwr notes - CN BCR VIA CTC notes
415 May 25 years Ottawa transit aband - Nfld update - Ont news - Short Hauls - TTC notes - Motive power news - Eurailpass - Montreal news
416 Jun CP Rail progress - future of VIA - 60 yrs Hillcrest shops TTC - TTC notes - motive power news - Short Hauls - OERHA 30th anniversary
417 Jul VIA tt - pass rl - Calgary LRT - Salem & Hillsb' RR - MidWest El Ry Assoc - mtve pwr notes - trip VIa/Amtrak - CN notes/aband - Salamanca Ry Mus
418 Aug CSR at CTC - Scarboro RT - VIA timekeep - Chessie and PM Canada - notes Mtl, Vt, Conrail - mtve pwr n - CTC re Med' Hat acc - NFTA n TTC n
419 Sep Mtl CTCUM transit - VIA stn Calgary - Mtl end streetcars 1959 - Short Hauls - WP&Y n - CASO hearing - motive pwr n - Port Stanley Tml Rl news
420 Oct H&LB Ry - Mtl sbwy - no vans - Wstn NY Ry HS - CN CTC Beeton Sub - Vanc Ham trolleys, Ottawa, ONR, mtve pwr, VIA, CP n - Coal t Austria - SH
421 Nov* Nfld report - VIA n - Calgary LRT - station notes - TTC news - CN wayfreight/switcher schedules - motive power and car equpt
422 Dec* Obit: D.W. Knowles - TTC Harbourfront LRT - Dundas Xmas night wreck - Ontario news - TTC news - Ottawa news - Florida trip - MP&E notes
*pages 17-18 missing
423 Jan* worldwide new railways - Tor-Mtl track pool - Cal LRT - MP&E n - N&W J class 611 - Sudbury rpt - SEMTA - Buff trolley reviv - PSTR - Short Hauls
424 Feb** VIA shake-up - Nfld, TTC, Mtl metro, Conrail, Alaska RR, MP&E n - CN Meaford Sub dec'n - trip Florida - Short Hauls - Gulf Coast Ltd - CP qual ctl
425 Mar* London & Port Stanley Ry - pros and cons of vans - Ottawa n - Misc n - MP&E n - TTC notes and news - HSR n
426 Apr TTC Scarboro RT - CP Westmount Mtl stn - TTC n - MP&E n - Gatineau Valley Ry - E&N steam? - trip California - Short Hauls
427 May railways in Europe - VIA svc - CASO decision - Buff NFTA - MP&E n - Short Hauls - Central Western ry - TTC n - THB aband application
428 Jun GO tst history and POP - TTC sbwy report and n - CASO update - n around E Twps - wheel squeal - trip Int'n't'l - Cal, Buff, Boston LRT - MP&E n
429 Jul PSTR and Meaford update - Mtl comm - Niag-Det ry - TTC n - CN Wpg n - MP&E n - Miscellany - CPR #374 Vanc - SNCF report
430 Aug Chunnel - Amtrak Mtl link - SW Ont notes - Detroit transit - GO, TTC n - MP&E n - VIA tt - Calgary LRT
431 Sep Case for shortlines - Tor downtown yds - Agin hump noise - CN, CP, Ott, BC tst, Cal n - John St. r'house - Fla trip - MP&E n - TTC & Scar RT n - SH
432 Oct CP on dangerous commodities - Ottawa n - Pboro n - Florida trip Pt II - MP&E notes - Miscellaneous
433 Nov Spadina r'house f'well - CP last spike - Cal-Edm last run - Miscellany - Detroit LRT - TTC n - MP&E n - Buff n - Halton Rad n - 1201 Calgary - VIA n
434 Dec Cal LRT - BC tst - CP rail speeds - Palais stn - Spadina LRT, TTC n - Miscellany - Ottawa n - MP&E n - Windsor, Pboro n - SH - Buff-Pitts tst - VIA n
*pages 17-18 missing ** Pages 23-24 missing
435 Jan GO future - W Ont n - Canadian - street cars Fort Edm - Tor Union stn rehab - TTC n - expo86 - MP&E n - SH - HSR Mtl-NYC - NFTA railbus - VIA tt
436 Feb BC skytrain - Ott n - Ocean - TTC n - aband Meaford, Pt McNic, Cannington Spur - misc - MP&E n - Short Hauls
437 Mar CP 100 yrs - Itinerant Railfan I - CP bus car #76 - VIA n - Buff NFTA - TTC n Hillcrest track changes - Hinton acc - MP&E n - Ott, ONR, BCR n
438 Apr Pass rail Canada - Itinerant Railfan II - TTC GM report - railscanning - PSTR n - expo86 steam pwr - THB #103 - MP&E n - derails - UCRS car #13
439 May Amtrak trip - Itinerant Railfan III - chunnel - CN CASO, CN VIA n - Lake Erie Ltd. - MP&E n - UTDC rail plant
440 Jun CN Spad r'house - ORA to Beeton - Itin't R'lfan IV - Ham trolleys - VIA Wind svc - CN Monc shops - TTC, MP&E, CN n - SH - CN Pagwa Sb - misc
441 Jul Itinerant Railfan V - trip Calif - Ottawa, TTC n and all-night services - Random Notes - MP&E n - VIA, will it survive? Pt I
442 Aug GTW Doodlebug - Central Wstn Ry - VIA , will it survive Pt II - Short Hauls - NS notes - MP&E, TTC n - VIA schedules - 100 yrs Windsor street cars
443 Sep 125 yrs Tor transit - TTC subways - MP&E n - Florida trip - Itinerant Railfan VI - Random Notes - VIA bilevel cars
444 Oct S&H RR - Cal transit - Gravenhurst n - cabooseless - TTC, Scarb RT n - trip Northern Ont. - Ottawa n - Saskatchewan n - Regina tst - Short Hauls
445 Nov CN by Lawless - PSTR n - Ott n - Ont n - Sandy Worthen n - Cal RT - TTC n & trolley map - MP&E n - VIA n - CP n - Short Hauls - Tor lighthouse
446 Dec Zimbabwe ry museum - Hamilton trolleys - CP Pt Burwell Sub - radioscanning - Det tst - MP&E n - TTC n - Edm tst - GO eastern ext. - Barrie yard
447 Jan Buff tst update - VIA n - CN CP Det tunnel enlarg - VIA rail speeds - CN CP cabooseless - Rusty Rails I Meaford - VIA trip - Ott n - TTC n
448 Feb Itinerant Railfan VII - Hinton acc rpt - Hunter St stn Ham - VIA stns - Short Hauls - TTC n & all night svc - Island Pond - MP&E, Ott n - CN Ont aband
449 Mar Ferronut down East - Det tst rpt - TTC Porter and Savage - VIA pass decline - Austria trains and trams - Ott n - SWPieces - MP&E n - n old tt's
450 Apr TTC RT - TTC, GO n - Anticosti Is RR - CP CTC inaug - HSR rpt - Det addendum - Ott n - Rail & Musk boats - Calif LRT - MP&E n - Short Hauls
451 May Go 20 yrs - PSTR rpt - GTR Ont branch lines - MCR branches in Ont. - TTC n - SWPieces - Vienna tramway mus - MP&E n - Short Hauls
452 Jun Don stn restore - TH&B end - VIA, EDM tst n - VIA uniforms - Ott n - NY trip - Europe HSR Pt I - SWPieces
453 Jul TTC ALRV - $ coin - Ott n - TTC trolley order - GO n & exp to Oshwa - trip NYC Courtright - TTC grinders - MP&Ops n - Europe HSR Pt II - Chic RT
454 Aug Cal LRT - VIA new CEO - Cal tst - Ott n - MP&Ops n - VIA Moose Jaw stn - Rusty Rails II SW Ont
455 Sep ACR update - Calgary Heritage Park - TTC G-2 conversions - TTC, Ott n - NHRS convention Pt I - Cal n - Que-NB items
456 Oct CP line rationalization - Ott n - CP Teeswater aband - TTC n - MP&Ops n - NHRS convention Pt II - Edmonton transit n - CN St Bruno stn
457 Nov VIA rebuild program - VIA n - CP Elora Sub aband - Cal NWLRT opens - Ott n - MP&Ops n - Rusty Rails III Barrie-Beeton - Calgary transit notes
458 Dec CP coal transportation and Golden AB - TTC trolleys rpt - MP&Ops n - Ferronut on interlocking - Deux Montagnes commuter line - Ottawa n
459 Jan CSX Windsor-St. Thomas aband - highway danger more trucks - trip Swiss rlys - MP&Ops n - Ott n - TTC trolley rpt - by Sandy Worthen
460 Feb Canadian rail speeds - CP n - CP stn n - CN St. Hilaire commuter svc - TTC n & rpt RT - Ott n - MP&Ops n - Edm Rad Rly Soc update
461 Mar Irish Rlys - CP Sortin Yd - GO integrated telephone svc - TTC n & Harbourfrt LRT - ONR n - MP&Ops n - Ott n - CN logo display, Pagwa Sub rails
462 Apr Rail technlogy - CP capital progrm - MP&Ops n - BC tst - CN radio channels - TTC, Ott n - Aurora & Newmarket stns - Expo 86 Pt I - New England n
463 May Amtrak Viewliner - Calgary transit comments - NRHS Buffalo trip - Kitchener transit history - MP&Ops n - RS&E n
464 Jun CP Elora branch - TTC and TTC trolley n - SE Ontario Sub n - hazards American RRs - Ott n - Cal Htge Pk - VIA tt summary - EERS DUWAG 601
465 Jul VIA annual report and comments - Nfld total aband - MP&Ops n - RS&E n - TTC and GO n - CN aband Galt-Lynden offer to buy
466 Aug CP Bruce update - Pboro n - BC tst Skyway ext rpt - Mtl tpt plan - MP&Ops n - Ott n - Rusty Rails IV Mt. Forest-Harriston-Palmerston - TTC n
467 Sep TTC 50 yrs PCCs - TTC n - MP&Ops n - Expo 86 Pt II - TTC Harbourfront LRT update - Toronto John St. Roundhouse study
468 Oct CP CAR n - CN loco perform - VIA contract by CN - Guelph Rad Ry - MP&Ops n - Bruce pen branches - ONR trip - CP Westmount stn - Ott n
469 Nov TTC Y-U-S sbwy study - S&H rpt - Ott n - Trip Europe Pt I - Rusty Rails Pt V Teeswater - NFTA rpt - CP on trucks - Wat-Elm tourist line - Ops n - Cal LRT extensions - MP&Ops n - cabooseless update - see Dec for some corrections
470 Dec GO fare POP system and n - GV tourist Ry prop - CN tenders track rem - MP&Ops n - Trip Europe Pt II - TTC Harbourfront LRT update
471 Jan WWII Can rly troops RCE - Baltimore tst - Greater Victoria El Ry Soc rpt - MP&Ops n - Can rail speeds - Ott n - Calgary LRT - Newmarket rpt
472 Feb TTC streetcar rebuilds - Rails to Trails - more about CAR - Eastern Can n - Que-NS n - GO track diagram - SOLRS n - MP&Ops n - Ott n - BC tst ext
473 Mar WP&Y, Detroit, Ott, TTC n - Trip Europe Pt III - Windsor stn Mtl 100 yrs - CN South Ont assignments - MP&Ops n - Tor Union stn walkway
474 Apr Ott car #825 - Pboro, Ott, Amtrak fare, TTC n - 2ft Tor construct ry - pass ry el ntwk south Ont. - CN aband ex WG&B - CWR - MP&Ops, RS&E n
475 May Trans Decade Pt I - VIA hatchet - Ferronut,Tor Union, King, O'ville stns - PCC rebuilds, Spadina sbwy extn - TTC, MP&Ops n - Tourist Trolleys Pt I
476 Jun CP maintnce - Edm LRT - NB, CN Wingham aband - Trip Europe Pt IV - Alta dam proj - BC tst trolleys - CN wooden cars - MP&Ops - RS&E, TTC n
477 Jul Alta-BC roundup - Ferronut Pt Dover, other stns - Trip Europe Pt V - Obits Charles Bridges, David Smith - MP&Ops n - TTC n - Ott n
478 Aug Montreal commuting - TTC Belt line - NFTA n - CN 6060 on CWR - Pboro-Lindsay n - MP&Ops n - Ferronut branch lines, McAdam stamp
479 Sep Railfanning east of Toronto - BC tst n - BC Rail new locos - trip Erie PA - Ferronut all over - Pboro n - MP&Ops n - Ott n - Trip Europe Pt VI
480 Oct VIA cutbacks - train control technology - TTC n - Ferronut all over - Trip Europe Pt VII - radio frequencies - MP&Ops n - visit to Delson
481 Nov Can pass train speeds - northern Ont n - CP leased grain cars - VIA cuts - Ferronut all over - NI Rlys - Cdn steam USA - Transit n - MP&Ops n
482 Dec VIA schedules - staff system Ott - Rusty Rails VI Beeton Sub - Transit n - VIA transcont svc - Ferronut all over - MP&Ops n - Trip Europe Pt VIII
483 Jan CP Vaughan terminal - Tourist Trolleys II - CP and trucking by Ritchie - MP&Ops n - Ferronut Maritimes, Cobourg market bldg - Transit n
484 Feb Canadian and other VIA trains - past discont pass trains - Stratford shops - Ferronut all over - Ott n - RS&E n - MP&Ops n - Tst n - Highlights 1989
485 Mar CN#6060 > Cal - Eve Amtrak Pt I - Sctn 229 Rly Act dang goods - Ferronut all over - CN re access John St r'house - Trip Europe Pt IX - MP&Ops n
486 Apr MCR master car builder - 100 yrs BC Tst - TTC PCC cars - Think Rail Group - Transit n TTC and BC - Ferronut all over - MP&Ops n
487 May Cuba rlys - trip Parry Sound - US on VIA cuts - Tst n - Eve Amtrak Pt II - Ferronut re gauges - MP&Ops n - Obit David Morgan
Note: Newsletters were single-leaf, top-left stapled, until May 1990. Beginning in June 1990, they became booklet-style (still letter-size) with two staples in the gutter of the centre-fold.
488 Jun Lindsay area n - trip new Canadian - NB steam recoll - future of CN #6060 - Trip Europe Pt X - RS&E n - Ferronut around Ont. - MP&Ops n - Tst n
489 Jul TTC Harbourfrt LRT opens - Eve Amtrak Pt III - Hx SW Ont. Rlys - MP&Ops n - Quebec City tst - Ferronut on Morse, around Ont. - TTC n
490 Aug PEI dual gauge hx - TTC PCC cars disposal - NFTA extensions - ry tetrospect - Ferronut mostly Ont. - Trip Europe Pt XI - MP&Ops n - Brockville hx
491 Sep ONR trip - Rlys historical research - Chinese locos in Pa - MP&Ops, RS&E n - Ferronut Ont., S&A, gnl - TH&B trail - Trip Europe Pt XII - TTC Tst n
492 Oct Rusty Rails VII Beeton Sub - Itinerant Railfan CN Pelletier Sub - Snowball-Gibson Ry - Accessible Tst - Railway News - Obit P. Oehm - CROR - Ferronut call signs and gnl - GO tst roster - Tst notes - TRC car Haileybury - Brantford & Southern tourist train
493 Nov Toronto Eastern Ry - Alford Jct - Art on VIA - Tst n - MP&R n - Rly map Wpg - Railway News - Ferronut around Ont - Trip Europe XIII
494 Dec CROR - Pass rail decline? - Rusty Rails VIII Meaford Sub - Van LRT diagram - Ferronut Midland Sub - Transit n - Railway News - MP&R n
494 Dec Insert: BRMNA catalogue
495 Jan CP Wstrn trip 1956 - Pboro-Lindsay n - CN 4-8-4s in the W - Ferronut Ath, call letters - VIA schedules - CPR Ops 50 yrs - Rail News - Tst, MP&R n
496 Feb Canada by Rail - trip to Churchill - Putting Canada back on rails - Windsor yd closed - Railway News - Tst n - Ferronut all over - MP&R n
497 Mar Cal LRT - RT in Canada - Toronto TTC Gloucester cars - Europe Trip XIV - Ferronut Simcoe Ont. - Telegraph hx - Railway News - Tst n - MP&R n
498 Apr Ottawa Railway ops 1948 - Tst n - Camp Borden trains - Midland-Coldwater proj - Ferronut Ont gnl - Railway News - MP&R n - CP #1238
499 May Last run CNR train #95 Pt. Hope - VIA schedules - RT In Canada - Ferronut Ont. NB - Railway News - Tst n - MP&R n
500 Jun 1st 10 yrs UCRS - UCRS excursions 1963 - CP solarium cars - Tor arr/deps - Canadian, Super Continental - Ferronut Ont. Samson - Railway News
501 Jul CNoR Todmorden - Aband lines Ctl Ont. - Camp Borden 1944 - NH news - Trip Europe XV - Ferronut gnl - Rail News - CSX in Ont. - MP&R, Tst n
502 Aug Ont. steamships - world pass train speeds - Lennox picnic logistics - trip across Canada - Tst n - Ferronut general - Railway News
503 Sep 60 yrs since interurbans - Ferronut general - Railway News - Transit notes - MP&R n
504 Oct ONR operations - ONR trip - Canadian rolling stock 1990 - Ferronut mostly Ont. - Tst n - Railway News - cross-Canada trip
505 Nov St. John Rvr Valley - TTC crosstown sbwy - CP's Big Hill - Trip Europe XVI - Ferronut New Mex, GTR original route Ont. - Rail News - MP&R, Tst n
506 Dec Rusty Rails IX C&O stns Ont. - Adolf Hungry Wolf - speeders on ACR - Mtl items - CN Gaspé aband.- Ferronut Ont., gnl, stns - Rail News - Tst n
507 Jan TTC trolleys stored - trip Florida - TTC roster 1991 - Ferronut all over - short lines discussion - Railway News - Transit n, MP&R n
508 Feb Obit Omer Lavallée - Wallaceburg, Ont trains - trips Atlanta, Mtl - North Toronto stn - CP freight trains - MP&R, Tst n- Ferronut all over - Rail News
509 Mar VIA LRC cars withdrawn - Trip Europe XVII - Ferronut PEI, Ont. Que - Tst n - Railway News
510 Apr God'rich-Exeter Ry - Brandt Road/railer - trip Chaleur - Tie Gang I board cars - VIA tt - Indian steam - pass travel WWII - Ferronut Ont - MP&R, Tst n
511 May Pictou County NS - CN passenger marketing - Ferronut Ont, Georgetown - Railway News MP&R n - Transit n
512 Jun Trip Myrtle B'ch - Trip Europe XVIII - Tie Gang II - Lancaster NB stn - VIA arr & deps - Ferronut Ont - MP&R, God-Ex n - Rail News - CP Pt McNicoll
513 Jul Trains across Canada - Tor-Mtl high speed trains - MP&R n - Kincardine, Ont. - Ferronut Ont., OWSR - Tst n - Railway News
514 Aug World pass trn speeds - 100 yrs el streetcars Tor - Trip Europe XIX - SSR begins ops - Ferronut WP&Y, Ont - Tie Gang III - MP&R, Tst n - Rail News
RAIL & TRANSIT 1992
515 Sep Hx W, PP & Lindsay Ry - trip VIA and ACR - Ferronut TIR, Ont. NB - CP MP assignments - Railway News
516 Oct trip SE Alberta - trip across Canada - TRC car 306 - Privatization BR - CN Sydney-Truro - Tie Gang IV - Ferronut CN sellwood, Ont., NB - Rail News
517 Nov-Dec Deux Montagnes - W, PP&L Ry - CNoR stn names - Moncton trams - Ferronut, Champlain&St.Lawrence, stn news - Railway News
518 Jan Pioneer locomotive promoters - Hx Stratford, Huron & Bruce Ry - CP freight schedules - Tie Gang V - Ferronut Ont., NB - Railway News
519 Feb CN loco roster and freight schedules - CP Port McNicoll aband - Ferronut Ont., Mtl, stns - Railway News
520 Mar Toronto subway expansion - CP Ont. local trains and switchers - Tie Gang VI - Ferronut CNoR Gowganda, stns, Que. - Railway News
521 Apr CP Rail paint scheme - trips Northern Quebec, Pennsylvania - William J. Huckett - Ferronut Mtl area, CP St. Gabriel Sub - Railway News
521 Apr supplement CPR's Lambton (Toronto) roundhouse
522 May Train speeds - CP recycled bridges - Alta grain car advertising - Ferronut down east - Railway News
523 Jun Southern Rails (Sask) Co-op - trip CP Alta/BC - Ferronut Ry hotels on stamps and all over - Railway News
524 Jul 50 yrs Mtl Central station - Western Canada station names - trip west VIA Canadian - Ferronut stns Burlington, Mtl, abandonments - Railway News
525 Aug Sweden X2000 in Canada - CN #6060 Calgary - Ferronut down east - Railway News
526 Sep Helpers BCR Squamish Sub - World speed review - Ferronut all over - Railway News
527 Oct Trip South Africa - Dominion Atlantic Ry last days - CN freight trains in the mountains - Ferronut Joliette, heritage stns, E&NA - Railway News
528 Nov Toronto Ry Co. car 898 - Canadian Atlantic Ry - CN freight trains Maritimes - Ferronut Quebec - Railway News
529 Dec The VIA Meridian and Atlantique - TTC equipment notes - Following CP MLWs - trips SSR and RMS Segwun - Ferronut down east - Railway News
530 Jan trip France - Ott preservation n - hx rys s'thern Que - speed updates - TTC streetcar track diag'm - Ferronut down east - CN CP merger - Rail News
531 Feb-Mar CP Wynyard SK - Railway Signalling - trip Canadian out west - Ferronut out east - Railway News
532 Apr CN SOD ops - ACR rpt - major Can stns closed since 1960 - BCT skytrain extend Whalley - Ferronut nth out to SK - world loco orders - Rail News
533 May Obits Robert Legget, Ralfe Clench - Detroit River tunnel - transit in NB - Ferronut eastern Twps - Railway News
534 Jun trip CN Rapido - Kenora rail & transit art gallery - car float ops Windsor, Ont end - Ferronut, more eastern Twps - Railway News
Credits and Contributors
Robert Lubinski, archivist, UCRS archives, Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (OERHA)
Paul Rollinson, the Bookseller, Waubaushene, Ont.: 705.538.2281 or email (paste in) firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffrey P. Smith: CNR in Ontario website
John D. Thompson, Hamilton, Ont.: former president and newsletter editor, UCRS
This history of the UCRS is provided by John D. Thompson (UCRS Member #474 [joined March, 1960], past President and Director):
The Upper Canada Railway Society was formed in 1941 by several Toronto-area railfans. The name may have been suggested by member and lawyer John Griffen, thinking of the Upper Canada Law Society.
The society had its origins in the Toronto Engine Picture Club, a relatively informal group of local railfans, that dated back, possibly, to the early 1930s. The members had met through personal acquaintance, or listings in the pages of Railroad Magazine, the primary railfan publication at that time.
As the time implies, the people were mainly involved in taking, and trading, photographs (black and white, generally size 616) of steam and, perhaps, the odd electric locomotive. They would meet in each others’ homes to share photographs, and discuss their railway interests. This was before movie and slide photography became common among railfans.
This activity continued after the UCRS was formed, whose first member was Doug Knowles [Ed. Note: see page 4]; his brother Jack joined soon afterward.
In addition to the home meetings, members would gather at railway stations for an afternoon or evening of train watching, and take trips by train or car. Visits to railway or streetcar facilities may also have been arranged, although wartime security would have been an issue.
A number of members had joined the armed services; at one time during the conflict, there were only about a dozen members remaining in Toronto.
In the spring of 1943, despite the decimation of membership to the armed forces, the UCRS took a bold step: the co-sponsorship of a fantrip, with the Buffalo and Rochester Chapters of the National Railway Historical Society.
The occasion was the return to service, after nearly 20 years of storage, of Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto Railway interurban car 83. It was built in the mid-1920s as Toronto Suburban Railway 107, and had made the farewell run on that line in August, 1931.
In Toronto individual hand-written letters were sent out to prospective riders, and presumably much the same was done in Buffalo and Rochester. Despite the wartime circumstances, a sufficiently large crowd showed up to make the trip financially successful. The NS&T wasn't worried about security concerns, and the members were free to aim their cameras wherever they chose during the fan trip.
After peace was achieved in 1945 the Society membership was bolstered by returning members, several of whom proved to be capable and energetic members. The UCRS produced its first newsletter, a single mimeographed sheet, in September 1946, edited by university student Stu Westland. He remained as Editor until 1960. The newsletter continued in this simple format for several years, but it contained a great deal of "hard" news contributed by members, including the Editor. These newsletters represent an invaluable record of railway and transit news of the era.
The Society also began producing bulletins, printed on quality paper, with photographs. These covered both historic and contemporary subjects, alternating, more or less, between rail transit and railway subjects. These were issued on a periodic basis, but at least one per year, that were mailed to members and sold to other interested people. The last of these was likely issued during the 1960s.
In October, 1950, the UCRS sponsored another fan trip, using TTC PCC 4597, recently purchased from the Cincinnati Street Railway. This was the first of many TTC excursions that continued for about 30 years.
The NS&T was not forgotten, either, and UCRS members returned time and again to this classic interurban line until abandonment of passenger service in March, 1959. Trips sponsored by the NRHS, for example, the farewell to Grand River Railway-Lake Erie and Northern interurban service in 1955, also attracted UCRS members.
During the 1950s, 1960s, and later, the Canadian Railroad Historical Association, based in Montreal, sponsored a number of steam powered fantrips, and UCRS members were usually among the ticket buyers. The Society also participated in the operation of a Belleville-Bancroft CNR steam excursion in May, 1959. As the 1950s wound down, it became obvious that 1960 would be the last year of steam operation for both CN and CP. The Society decided to commemorate this sad event with farewell excursions on both railways.
Thus, on a pleasant Sunday, June 5, 1960, railfans assembled at Toronto Union Station for a Toronto - Port McNicoll fan trip behind CPR Royal Hudson 2857. The locomotive had been repainted, cleaned and polished, and on that day was truly fit to wear crowns. The Royal Hudsons were the railway's "symbol" engines, and it was quite appropriate that one of them should power this historic excursion. A matching consist of modern maroon baggage car and coaches complemented the 2857. When departure time arrived, the engineer moved the valve gear into full forward motion, released the brakes, and pulled back on the throttle. The great locomotive came to life, stack erupting with strident exhaust, gray smoke billowing skyward. The train made its way through the terminal area and veered onto the Mactier Subdivision, gaining speed with each revolution of the 75 inch drivers. As the Toronto outskirts were reached, 2857's beautiful chime whistle echoed backward; surely a sound to stir the soul. During the course of the day several run-pasts and still photo stops were held, as train riders aimed their still and movie cameras at 2857 and its gleaming consist. The June 5 excursion was a success in all respects, and was a fitting farewell to one of the most beautiful and successful locomotive classes ever built in Canada. CPR, unfortunately, was unenthusiastic about future steam fan trips out of Toronto after the June 5 excursion, and by the end of the summer the three passenger locomotives in Toronto: Pacific 2414, and Royal Hudsons 2839 and 2857, had left the area.
The next Society outing would be little more than a month later; a CN excursion from Toronto to Niagara Falls via Caledonia, using Northern type 6167. The engine was selected by the Excursion Committee as it represented a sub-class that had spent much of its life in the Maritimes.
The CNR steam trip of July 10, 1960 was a financial success but, more importantly, it convinced CN management that steam excursions could be a public relations bonanza, as well as exposing potential riders to the advantages of train travel, albeit not steam powered. Thus, a hold order was issued on 6167 after an NRHS trip on July 17, and it rested quietly in Mimico Roundhouse until April, 1961, when a fire was again laid on its grates, and the Northern came back to life. This was the beginning of a wonderful 19-year period of steam excursions with 6167, and successors 6218 and 6060, until CN ended its steam program in 1980 and sold 6060 to the province of Alberta. The most ambitious steam trip was in September, 1963, Toronto-Ottawa - North Bay, then diesels on the ONR to Temagami and return. The consist included sleepers, a diner, and observation car.
Over the years the UCRS also operated several fan trips over CN and CP secondary lines with conventional equipment and RDCs. These included trips to Haliburton from Lindsay behind the railways' rare GMD1 locomotives as extensions to steam trips, during the fall foliage season.
In 1963 a retired wooden CPR Business Car from Nova Scotia was bought by the Society for excursion service, repainted blue, and renamed Nova Scotia. It was replaced in 1969 by a steel heavyweight solarium lounge car from the CPR, CAPE RACE (a location in Newfoundland, not served by CP). CAPE RACE saw considerable use on fan trips, as well as private charters by members, to far flung destinations. The car is now at the John Street roundhouse museum in Toronto.
The UCRS continued its TTC streetcar excursions, focusing periodically on lines that were about to be abandoned. Complimentary night trips for members during the summer were also a feature for some time. Tours of TTC facilities, such as Davisville and Greenwood Shops, were also arranged, thanks to the Society's excellent relations with the TTC.
Over the years, monthly meetings (usually on the third Friday) had changed their venue. The first big change came circa 1946, when they began to be held at Room 486 in Toronto Union Station, where they remained until June, 1962. They had outgrown members homes; Stu Westland related to the author that the proverbial "last straw" occurred when 26 people showed up at his house for a meeting, and he had to borrow chairs from a next door neighbour!
At the meetings at Union Station, formal entertainment began to be provided: members showing their 35mm slides or 8mm movies, or commercial films borrowed from railways or the TTC. On one occasion member Andy Merrilees, a railway equipment dealer, gave a lengthy lecture on tank cars, probably telling those present more than they really wanted to know about the subject! Talks by railway and transit managers were also occasionally on the agenda.
After the meetings, it was a tradition for members to adjourn to the nearby all-night Mercury Restaurant on Bay Street, or the Bond, for coffee, and to continue their discussions of their favourite topic.
Post-June, 1962, the Society met at a variety of locations, the final one being Metro Hall, located, ironically, near the site of a CPR freight yard.
The Society's newsletter also evolved over time. Commencing in the early 1960s, thanks to fan trip revenues, and member Basil Headford, a commercial printer, the publication was printed on quality paper, with photos. Departments featured such topics as motive power and rail transit (primarily, TTC) news.
After Stu Westland stepped down as editor in 1959, due to career and family responsibilities, various other individuals held the position during the 1960s and 70s. At one point during the latter decade [ed. note 1976], the name was changed to Rail & Transit, and the publication became more elaborate. Attempts were made to sell it at hobby shops.
By the late 1970s, the publication had fallen drastically behind schedule, partly due to the time and effort required to produce it. Society membership had climbed significantly since 1960, due to the fan trips and membership campaigns. In addition to lateness, Rail & Transit suffered from poor photo reproduction.
In the fall of 1979, realizing that something had to be done - and quickly, this writer and original newsletter editor Stu Westland volunteered to take over. A simple, but news- and feature-filled publication would be issued, timed to reach members by the third Friday of each month (the Toronto division meeting week). The editor's promise of an on-time publication was kept for the next decade. The date that the newsletter had to go to the printer was sacred; there would be no waiting for specific articles or photos; we went with the material on hand. During this period many members, including several Americans, contributed articles and news items. The editors also put pen to paper and fingers to typewriter.
Personal circumstances circa 1990 required both of the editors to step down. The new editors ultimately revived the Rail & Transit format, with the same unfortunate results as before. Publication ceased in 1998 when the editor moved away from Toronto.
As previously mentioned, steam trips became a thing of the past after 1980. Even diesel excursions became difficult to arrange, due to [lack of] equipment availability and high costs. Streetcar trips on the TTC were still possible, fortunately.
The Society for some time rented space in the basement of the CNR St. Clair Avenue station, Toronto, for storage of its library, and other materials. This arrangement ended when the railway advised it would be either selling or demolishing the structure.
With the end of the steam trips, membership went into a long decline from a high of about 900. By the turn of the century only a handful of people were attending meetings at Metro Hall, and it was decided to "pull the pin" on the Society's Toronto activities.
The Upper Canada Railway Society still exists, however, in a form reminiscent of 70 years ago. The Hamilton Chapter, founded in early 1961, continues the tradition. Meetings are held monthly on the evening of the fourth Friday of the month (except July and August, and sometimes third Fridays in December). The location is the Peoples Church, on the north side of Mohawk Road West just west of Garth Street, Hamilton Mountain.
Entertainment consists of informal slide shows or presentations on specific topics. Refreshments are served; the hat is passed for a $2 donation to cover room rental and refreshments. Things are kept simple: no membership fees, no publication, no excursions, no officers except for the chairman, who for many years was genial Doug Page, still a fixture at meetings.
Thus, while its glory days are in the past, the UCRS still exists as it nears its 80th anniversary. Railfans still meet under its banner to enjoy their hobby, just as they did in 1941.
Derek Boles of the Toronto Railroad Historical Association has also provided a thumbnail sketch of the UCRS in his:
"A Brief History of the Railfan Hobby in Canada - Part 4 of 5"
Note: In its newsletter Canadian Rail (Number 544) CRHA advised that the UCRS archives were donated to the Ontario Electric Railroad Historical Association.