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Ontario Northland Railway

Later to be developed than many other Canadian railway lines, the Ontario Northland was created through an act of the Ontario Legislative Assembly on March 17, 1902 as the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway. The goals in the development of this line by Premier George Ross’ government were to encourage settlement and access to mineral […]

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CN & VIA Cavalier

Canadian National operated an overnight train between Montreal and Toronto, consisting usually of two sleeping cars, including a day niter car and four coaches. There was also a snack bar and lounge.[i] This train facilitated morning business meetings, allowing a same day return. One of the sleeping cars carried on to Port Huron, Michigan, as […]

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“Old Rivets”

Pennsylvania Railroad 4800, which was nicknamed “Old Rivets” was built by General Electric in 1934. It was kept in service by successor railroads, Penn Central and Conrail, until 1979, a service of 45 years. In 1933, Pennsylvania Railroad asked both General Electric and Westinghouse to design an electric locomotive that was capable of speeds of […]

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The Ocean Limited

The Ocean Limited, operated by Via Rail between Montreal and Halifax, is currently the oldest continuously operating named passenger train in North America. Together with The Canadian and Via’s corridor trains, the Ocean provides a transcontinental service. Inaugurated by the Intercolonial Railway Company (founded in 1872 and one of Canada’s first crown corporations), the Ocean […]

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Turbo Train

The TurboTrain was an early high-speed, gas turbine train manufactured by United Aircraft Corporation that operated in Canada between 1968 and 1982. It was one of the first gas turbine powered trains for passenger traffic, and was also one of the first tilting trains to enter service. United Aircraft used C&O patents from the 1950s […]

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The Caboose

Caboose creates the image of the “little red caboose” or the trainmen’s home away from home, trainmen walking across the swaying car tops to communicate with the head car or setting handbrakes. Formerly, trainmen lived in these cars for days on long runs or during layovers at a terminal. It was the original house trailer […]

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Locomotives 1290 & 1291

The Michigan Central Railway locomotives numbered 1290 and 1291 were manufactured at the St. Thomas Michigan Central shops. The locomotives were completed in July and October 1900. Manufactured as a 4-6-0 configuration and weighing in at a massive 45 tons, the cost of each engine was $18, 537.82 respectively. The total weight of Engine #1290 […]

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Railway Mail Cars

South Carolina Railroad took the first stack of mail aboard in 1831 and the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) began hauling mail in 1831. It wasn’t until 1835 that the B&O, which ran between Washington and Baltimore, established regular railway mail service was established. In the 1860s Col. George Buchanan Armstrong, assistant postmaster in Chicago, told […]

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The Toronto No. 2

James Good was a machinist and manufacturer who purchased the Union Furnace Company to bid on contracts for locomotives. His firm constructed “Toronto No. 2” as the first engine for the new Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Union (OS&H) Railway. More significantly, however, this engine was the first locomotive built in Canada. The locomotive had outside […]

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Freight Cars

Freight cars consist of boxcars, flatcars, gondolas, open and covered hoppers, refrigerator cars and tank cars. Each car is designed for a specific range of products. The top three rail-haul items are coal, ores and grain. Boxcars carry a wide variety of commodities. Some were designed with a “cushioned” undercarriage and interior load-restraining devices to […]

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