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Date: 04/14/17 10:42
Quebec Operations
Author: kalthoff

As a yank I've always wondered if French is the official language for rail operations within the Provence of Quebec ?     



Date: 04/14/17 10:51
Re: Quebec Operations
Author: CPR_4000

When I railfanned western New Brunswick and eastern Quebec on CN, as well as CP east of Montreal years ago, radio communications were conducted in French. CP trains from Montreal and Sherbrooke crossing the border into Newport, VT spoke English, IIRC.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/17 10:52 by CPR_4000.



Date: 04/14/17 16:45
Re: Quebec Operations
Author: kgmontreal

By the way it's province, not provence.  A generalization is that east or north of Montreal the language is French.  West of Montreal the language of work is a mixture of French and English.

KG



Date: 04/14/17 17:43
Re: Quebec Operations
Author: Mberry

kgmontreal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> By the way it's province, not provence.  A
> generalization is that east or north of Montreal
> the language is French.  West of Montreal the
> language of work is a mixture of French and
> English.
>
> KG

To break it down by Railway, CP (who only operates west and south of Montreal since the 1990's) is nearly 100% English on through freights and a mix of French and English on locals and commuter trains. CN is as described above by KG.

Michael



Date: 04/15/17 07:43
Re: Quebec Operations
Author: Lackawanna484

Wasn't  there a mention during the Lac Megantic investigation that the MM&A operated with instructions in English east of Sherbrooke QC, and in French west of Sherbrooke?

On the related former CP line down to Wells River VT, I can recall hearing scanner conversations in English in the 1980s.



Date: 04/15/17 12:41
Re: Quebec Operations
Author: CPR_4000

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> On the related former CP line down to Wells River VT, I can recall hearing scanner conversations in English in the 1980s.

Those were American crews running in the U.S., and so they spoke English. Not sure if they were based in Newport or White River Junction. It was a joint operation between B&M and CPR, so crews and locomotives were allocated according to the mileage, which was approximately 1/3 B&M and 2/3 CPR. Back in the 50's there were 3 through freights a day each way between WRJ and Newport, one B&M and two CPR. In later days when only one trip was made per day, I think B&M guys had the job for 4 months and the CPR guys had it for 8.



Date: 04/15/17 13:12
Re: Quebec Operations
Author: PHall

CPR_4000 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > On the related former CP line down to Wells
> River VT, I can recall hearing scanner
> conversations in English in the 1980s.
>
> Those were American crews running in the U.S., and
> so they spoke English. Not sure if they were based
> in Newport or White River Junction. It was a joint
> operation between B&M and CPR, so crews and
> locomotives were allocated according to the
> mileage, which was approximately 1/3 B&M and 2/3
> CPR. Back in the 50's there were 3 through
> freights a day each way between WRJ and Newport,
> one B&M and two CPR. In later days when only one
> trip was made per day, I think B&M guys had the
> job for 4 months and the CPR guys had it for 8.

IIRC, French could be used while in Quebec but once you crossed into the US English was required.



Date: 04/15/17 13:45
Re: Quebec Operations
Author: robj

As a side note going back, on the Cartier  the crews of course spoke French but the sidings (as I remember) were Able, Baker, or something akin so it was easy to figure out.

Bob



Date: 04/17/17 07:47
Re: Quebec Operations
Author: eminence_grise

robj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As a side note going back, on the Cartier  the
> crews of course spoke French but the sidings (as I
> remember) were Able, Baker, or something akin so
> it was easy to figure out.
>
> Bob

​When the Quebec Cartier was built in the 1960's, the civil engineering company named the sidings after the phonetic alphabet used in radio communications with some adaptions. "Forest" became "Foret" and for some reason "Quebec" became "Queen".  There were some exceptions where place names already existed as in "Lac Jeannine".  The crew change location where crews rested at about the mid-point of the railway is called "Love".



Date: 04/19/17 13:43
Re: Quebec Operations
Author: march_hare

The neighboring QNSL seemed to be an oddity when I visited in the 1990s.  It appeared to be truly bilingual, at least in some cases.  You'd hear the DS talking to a train crew in English, and to an MOW foreman in French.  At least that's how it sounded to this (non-Francophone) railfan.



Date: 04/20/17 09:51
Re: Quebec Operations
Author: eminence_grise

march_hare Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The neighboring QNSL seemed to be an oddity when I
> visited in the 1990s.  It appeared to be truly
> bilingual, at least in some cases.  You'd hear
> the DS talking to a train crew in English, and to
> an MOW foreman in French.  At least that's how it
> sounded to this (non-Francophone) railfan.

The QNS&L has two crew bases, Sept Isles in Quebec and Labrador City in Labrador. The south end is the French end, and the North end is the English end. They meet in the middle of nowhere at Mai QC.

When CN abandoned all rail lines in Newfoundland in the late 1980's, many of the displaced crews came to the QNS&L.

Unlike the Cartier, the QNS&L is a common carrier. The main line crews and the rail traffic controllers were UTU, and the yard crews were USWA (Steelworkers).

Since most other railways in Canada have seen the UTU replaced by the Teamsters, I'm not sure which union represents them now.



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