Home Open Account Help 263 users online

Canadian Railroads > QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles


Pages:  [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ Next ]
Current Page:1 of 2


Date: 10/14/11 08:16
QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: eminence_grise

In 1992, several of us western Canadian railfans did a thorough tour of the iron ore railways on the north shore of the St.Lawrence River in Quebec.

One of our number was in management with CP, and we had been given permission to visit the Iron Ore Company of Canada's vast storage yard at Sept.Iles QC, which is also the main yard and shops of the common carrier Quebec,North Shore & Labrador.

The QNS&L was built in the late 1950's to transport iron ore from mines in northern Quebec and Labrador to the harbour at Sept.Iles, where it is loaded into Great Lakes ore carrying ships for delivery to US steel mills.

When the railway was built, there were no roads to the mining communities, and public airline service had yet to be established.

In the 1960's, access to the mining communities was by passenger trains, which included sleeping and dining car services. For visiting steel company executives, QNS&L supplied business cars.

The Moisie River, which the QNS&L follows is a spectacular salmon river, and the railway supplied fishing excursions for miners and their families, and visiting executives alike.

The "boom" in development of the iron ore mines corresponded with the decline of passenger train service in the rest of North America, and the QNS&L was able to acquire a substantial passenger car fleet, notably from the CP.

The QNS&L is not connected to the rest of the North American rail network, and all equipment has to arrive by ship. Since there is not much of a buyers market for second hand passenger equipment that requires being loaded on a ship for delivery to a purchaser,
most if not all of the QNS&L stored passenger equipment has been scrapped on site.

Road access to the mines was achieved in the 1970's, and frequent (but not cheap) airline service to the mining communities became available also. Passenger train service is still available to many communities on the QNS&L, but the range of services and amenities that were available in the 1960's are not.

Many of the originally acquired cars were converted to accommodation cars for work gangs along the railway but by the 1990's, these were being replaced by trailers on flat cars.

When these images were taken in 1992 in Sept.Iles , most of the equipment shown was planned for scrapping in the near future.








Date: 10/14/11 08:19
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: eminence_grise

The first car shown was not ex-CP, it was rumoured to be ex C&O. The second car was a former dining car








Date: 10/14/11 08:21
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: YankeeDog

Looks like old CPR 2100 and 2200 series coaches that were built in the late '30s and some in the '40s



Date: 10/14/11 08:23
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: eminence_grise

More equipment on the scrap line at Sept.Iles.








Date: 10/14/11 08:37
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: eminence_grise

There were a couple of RPO's on the scrap line, having been used in work train service for many years. Whether they were a type of car easily available from other railways in the 1960's, or whether they were used in mail service, I don't know.

Finally, two cars that were in active service in the 1990's. One of the mainline railways converted a business car to a track geometry car for the QNS&L.

The passenger train service in 1992 featured ex-Southern stainless steel coaches.

Many of the ex-CP smooth side cars were from the lightweight fleet supplied as fixed consists to run behind "Jubilee" class 4-4-4 steam engines on fast runs like Calgary-Edmonton, Regina-Saskatoon or Montreal to Quebec City. Of significance is the lounge-buffet car in the first set of images, which has painted over observation windows on the rear. These trains featured a combination baggage car on one end of the consist, and a lounge-buffet on the other. At the time we visited, there were all three types of lightweight train cars on the QNS&L property.








Date: 10/14/11 10:41
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: TCnR

Interesting essay, as always. I photographed a QNS&L SD40 at Fields sometime in the 80's and have been trying to figure out where it came from since then. A trip to Sudbury has made me more curious of the mining operations in Quebec and Ontario.

Wikipedia always seems to have interesting info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sept-%C3%8Eles,_Quebec
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_North_Shore_%26_Labrador

Maybe these folks could add a Railfan expedition department:
http://www.labradorhuntingfishing.com/maps_canada_labrador.htm

Found a really interesting map of Quebec Province showing a number of the mining RR's:
http://www.proximityissues.ca/Maps/RAC-2004-QC_sub.pdf

Sure hope they don't limit how many times I can edit this thread.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/11 11:31 by TCnR.



Date: 10/14/11 15:04
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: Ptolemy

I was lucky enough to ride the QNS&L in the early 1970s--it was amazing, with a 15-car train jammed full of people in the middle of nowhere.



Date: 10/14/11 15:05
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: spdaylight

Phil

Another fascinating post from His Excellency . . er . . Eminence.

Phil . . those antennae shown in photos #1 & #6 . . TV antennae or ??. I'm assuming those were only up when the coaches were stationary and not moving . . . ??

Craig



Date: 10/14/11 18:26
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: ghCBNS

Here's a link to the passenger service on the QNS&L today provided by Tshiuetin Rail:


http://www.tshiuetin.net/an_informations.html



Date: 10/14/11 23:02
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: nhiwwrr

Its a shame if that Lackawanna Boonton got torched...



Date: 10/15/11 08:59
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: eminence_grise

spdaylight Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Phil
>
> Another fascinating post from His Excellency . .
> er . . Eminence.
>
> Phil . . those antennae shown in photos #1 & #6 .
> . TV antennae or ??. I'm assuming those were
> only up when the coaches were stationary and not
> moving . . . ??
>
> Craig

Those are TV and radio antennae from when they were outfit (camp) cars in work train service. Even in the 1990's, I would have expected dishes, the big TV antennas would be from the 1970's.



Date: 10/15/11 09:22
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: eminence_grise

I've read descriptions and heard personal accounts from the 1960's of the QNS&L passenger trains. Not just miners and their families rode the trains, they also served a sizable First Nations and Inuit population, plus provided ground access towards the Air Force base at Goose Bay, plus hunters and sport fishermen.

A medical pioneer famous in Newfoundland and Labrador is Sir Wilfrid Grenfell. As a medical Doctor and evangelical Christian, he saw a need for hospitals and clinics in remote areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. He set up a charity in the UK and the US to fund hospitals and clinics in those colonies as the Grenfell Institute. He wrote about his experiences in Newfoundland and Labrador and his "adventure novels" were popular in the 1920's and 30's, although today they are considered condescending towards indigenous people and those not of the same social standing or faith community as the writer. He predated the railway in Labrador.
He was knighted for his work in promoting health care, and later became the chief fundraiser for the charity. Period social attitudes aside, he was a genuine hero and his legacy continues today in remote hospitals and clinics bearing his name.

Communities which received Grenfell hospitals included Labrador City on the QNS&L. The Grenfell Institute recruited medical staff from within the Church community in the UK and elsewhere. I remember reading a "Wilderness Nurse" article that my mother passed on to me which included a surprisingly detailed description of a journey to Labrador City on a QNS&L passenger train in the 1960's.She met her future husband aboard the train who protected her from the "rugged and uncouth individuals" also riding the train.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/11 11:12 by eminence_grise.



Date: 10/15/11 10:20
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: ts1457

eminence_grise Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The first car shown was not ex-CP, it was rumoured
> to be ex C&O. The second car was a former dining
> car

Thanks for posting the interesting series of photos.

I'm curious what the heritage of the HW diner is?



Date: 10/15/11 11:00
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: eminence_grise

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm curious what the heritage of the HW diner is?

CP, I think.



Date: 10/15/11 11:51
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: inCHI

About the current passenger operator: Where exactly do they operate? I see mention that they no longer for to Labrador City. This map : http://www.tshiuetin.net/images/map_tshiuetin.jpg also indicates they don't go to the coast from emeril junction. If so, I wonder how patronized/useful inland service is between Emeril Junction and schefferville? Also, does this map indicate they own that portion?



Date: 10/15/11 13:46
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: MThopper

Great stuff, Phil. I made a motorcycle trip in '09 up Quebec via QC 389 to the Trans Lab and managed to catch a train on the Cartier just before the Labrador border and caught a QNS&L just east of Labrador City. As a metallurgist, this stuff gets me excited, as there is pretty good history by now of the iron ore mining in Labrador. And more to come.



Date: 10/15/11 14:49
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: ghCBNS

inRVA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> About the current passenger operator: Where
> exactly do they operate? I see mention that they
> no longer for to Labrador City. This map :
> http://www.tshiuetin.net/images/map_tshiuetin.jpg
> also indicates they don't go to the coast from
> emeril junction. If so, I wonder how
> patronized/useful inland service is between Emeril
> Junction and schefferville? Also, does this map
> indicate they own that portion?

Yes the passenger trains still run to/from the coast at Sept-Iles..........Operating Sept Iles – Emeril Jct – Schefferville and return twice weekly. The schedule is in the link I provided above.



Date: 10/15/11 15:33
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: eminence_grise

Schefferville at the northern end of the QNS&L was the site of the main iron ore mine served by the railway.

In time, further iron ore mines developed at Labrador City and Wabush, some miles to the west of Emeril Junction on a separate branch (Northernlands Sub) of the QNS&L.

The ore deposit at Schefferville was mined out, and the town ceased to be a mining community. It remains an important service centre for a vast area of northern Quebec, which is the home of northern First Nations and Inuit (Eskimos).

With the completion of the Trans-Labrador highway, the railway north of Emeril Junction ceased to be used for access to the air force base at Goose Bay.

Because the QNS&L crosses Provincial boundaries, and is Federally regulated, it is entitled to the same "remote communities" passenger train subsidy that several Via services receive. Once the passenger trains north of Emeril Junction ceased to perform any function of the mining companies that own the railway, the line was transferred to the ownership of several First Nations Communities, who operate the train from Sept-Iles to Schefferville.



Date: 10/16/11 08:37
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: MThopper

It is my understanding that mining in the Schefferville area has resumed and several train loads of ore have been shipped.



Date: 10/16/11 09:40
Re: QNS&L's passenger car storage line 1992, Sept.Iles
Author: TCnR

What would somebody standing at a well chosen trackside location be seeing on this line these days?

They might have a camera.



Pages:  [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ Next ]
Current Page:1 of 2


[ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.1606 seconds