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Canadian Railroads > Moncton NB, railway hub of the Maritimes


Date: 12/18/12 11:39
Moncton NB, railway hub of the Maritimes
Author: eminence_grise

Moncton, New Brunswick became a centre of railway importance 150 years ago, before Canada was a country.

The first railway to arrive in town in 1860 was the 5'6" guage European & North American. As originally chartered, this line was to link Portland ME. with a planned deep water harbour at Shediac NB. The funding was to come from the British Government. It is a measure of the bad feeling the the British Government still had toward their former American colonies that the funding was not forthcoming, either to build the E&NA or to build the deep water harbour at Shediac, because part of the railway would operate in the US.

It is also indicative of the independent spirit of the Maritime colonies that the New Brunswick portion of the E&NA was built without British funding, and in time, most of the planned railway in the US and Canada was built by other entities such at the New Brunswick Railway and a US precursor to the Maine Central. The E&NA became a line of importance linking Moncton to Saint John NB. It became part of the Intercolonial in 1874 and was standard guaged by the end of the 1870's.

The first image shows a Moncton-Saint John CN RDC service at Moncton. Although shown in the public timetable as an RDC, often this train ran as a locomotive hauled train in CN days, with a schedule timed to meet the "Ocean Limited" at Moncton.

One of the promises the Canadian Government made to the Maritime Provinces was to assure a railway would be built to connect the Maritimes to Central Canada. This came in the form of the Intercolonial Railway in 1872, five years after Confederation in 1867.

Moncton was chosen as the headquarters for the Intercolonial, with a main shop at John Street in Moncton and a large Gothic-Romanesque station/headquarters building. The ICR became the biggest employer in town.

The second image shows the westbound "Ocean Limited" passing through downtown Moncton en route to the station. Note the "tell tale" warning device to keep trainmen of the roofs of freight cars approaching a highway overpass. The "Ocean Limited" traces its history back to Intercolonial Railway days.

Finally, in 1912, Pacific Junction just west of Moncton was chosen as the eastern terminus of the National Transcontinental Railway linking the Maritimes with western Canada via the NTR/Grand Trunk Pacific. The NTR used the ICR facilities in Moncton.

The bankruptcy of the ICR/Prince Edward Island Railway caused the Canadian Government to nationalise them, and include the always Government owned NTR to create the Canadian Government Railway.

The final image shows John Street shops in Moncton, which was expanded under CGR and later CNR ownership.

In the 1960's, CN built a new classification yard was built near Pacific Junction, called Gordon yard and built a new regional headquarters building at Moncton, plus a new passenger station.

By the 1990's, CN closed the John Street shops and the regional headquarters.

Although diminished in rail traffic and importance, Moncton remains an interesting railway town.








Date: 12/18/12 13:01
Re: Moncton NB, railway hub of the Maritimes
Author: FiveChime

What was the 3800 pictured next to the crane in the last photo?

Regards, Jim Evans



Date: 12/18/12 14:08
Re: Moncton NB, railway hub of the Maritimes
Author: pummer

Nice stuff, really like the Ocean Limited shot.



Date: 12/18/12 17:30
Re: Moncton NB, railway hub of the Maritimes
Author: nsscot

the 3800 was a mlw rs 10 retired between 1966-70
numbers ran from 3800 - 3822

Don



Date: 12/18/12 17:31
Re: Moncton NB, railway hub of the Maritimes
Author: eminence_grise

FiveChime Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What was the 3800 pictured next to the crane in
> the last photo?
>
> Regards, Jim Evans

CN 3800 was the first unit of a 15 unit order of MLW RS 10's delivered in 1955 and retired between 1966 and 1970. CN disposed of most Alco 244 powered units in the late 1960's. I suspect Moncton John Street was scrapping the 3800 for parts for the still active RS 18's.



Date: 12/19/12 05:32
Re: Moncton NB, railway hub of the Maritimes
Author: DrawingroomA

eminence_grise Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>...
> The first image shows a Moncton-Saint John CN RDC
> service at Moncton. Although shown in the public
> timetable as an RDC, often this train ran as a
> locomotive hauled train in CN days, with a
> schedule timed to meet the "Ocean Limited" at
> Moncton.
>...

In the mid 1970s I took the Saint John-Moncton train to connect with the Ocean; the RDCs were replaced by a train of 16-section sleepers. Fortunately the train had a light load so no more than two people had to share a section.



Date: 12/20/12 12:39
Re: Moncton NB, railway hub of the Maritimes
Author: DavidP

When I first visited Moncton in July 1989 it was a hub of sorts for VIA in Atlantic Canada. There was the daily Montreal - St. John - Halifax Atlantic, arriving from the east just after the Ocean from Montreal, which terminated at Moncton after transiting the Intercolonial line. There was also a daily Halifax - St. John RDC run on an opposite schedule from the Atlantic, a morning out/evening back RDC to Campbelltown, and a tri-weekly RDC to Edmundston on the NTR route. When I returned the following year, the only trains were the tri-weekly versions of the Ocean and Atlantic.

Dave



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