Quebec, Montreal & Southern

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Our feature article: Québec, Montréal, and Southern Railway

Saint-Jerome Plow

Timeline of Railroads in the Adirondacks

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Summary of Dates for how New York Central (now CSX) got to Montreal .

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Saint-Jerome Plow

The Québec Gatineau Railway (QGR) uses this spreader to plow their yard and industrial trackage in Saint-Jerome, Quebec.

They enter Saint-Jerome from the South, serve the paper mill (Casade), then run North. There is a yard near the Palais de Justice, then they run through a residential area, go under the Autoroute and serve an industrial park in the Bellefeuille sector.
January-February 2008 was a lot of snow and they had clean tracks all the way!
Bytown Railway Society

Atlantic Northeast Rails and Ports
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New York Central station in Ogdensburg New York Central station in Ogdensburg
Take a look at my blog about railroads in Ogdensburg, New York.

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In the early part of the twentieth century, the Delaware and Hudson expanded into Canada. In 1906 the company purchased the Québec, Montréal, and Southern Railway, a 143 mile line extending almost to Québec City.

Although it had been acquired with the intent to complete the track to Québec City, that plan never came to fruition. In the Spring of 1907 the Delaware and Hudson bought another Canadian line called the Napierville Junction Railway. This twenty-nine mile line ran from Rouse's Point, New York north to St. Constant, Québec on the Grand Trunk Railway. By agreement with the GTR, the D&H used its track to complete the link to Montréal. As a result, the Delaware and Hudson became part of the shortest route from New York to Montréal. The reason for buying the Canadian railroads was to haul pulpwood south to the paper mills in the upper Hudson Valley and establish new coal markets to the north.

The story behind the Québec, Montréal, and Southern Railway began in 1882 when the Great Eastern Railway Company built a railway line between Dundee and Lévis, in the province of Québec. Seventeen years later, the Great Eastern Railway Company was acquired by the South Shore Railway Company, which was subsequently acquired by the Québec Southern Railway Company in 1901. In 1906, the Québec, Montréal and Southern Railway Company was incorporated by the D&H to acquire the operating rights, trackage and any other property of the Québec Southern Railway Company. By the mid-1920s the Delaware and Hudson management began to abandon track in the name of efficiency. With a high of 895 miles under operation, the first track reduction of 12.76 miles took place in February 1925. Another loss involved 143 miles in 1929 when management sold the unprofitable Québec, Montréal and Southern Railway to the Canadian National Railway. This prudence kept the company solvent even in the 1930s depression years at a time when anthracite tonnage, a main source of freight revenue, had begun to decline.

After acquisition by Canadian National, all of the freight equipment was renumbered into CN's fleet by 1937. It doesn't appear the passenger equipment made it. Some of its history is shown below:

QM&S No. Type No built Service Dates Lngth Remarks
100-151 Flat 45 2/10-1/21 34
1000-1089 Stock 90 2/10-7/36 36 To CN 171610-171695
2000-2009 Reefer 10 2/10-7/32 36 Ice bunkers; to CN 200225-200234
3000-30193020-30393040-30793080-3122 Flat 123 12/24-7/36 37 Some were boxcars
4000-5399 Boxcar 1400 2/10-7/35 36 Some rebuilt to flats

The general offices of the railroad were in the Keefer Bldg, 698 St Catherine St. in Montréal while the operating headquarters were in Sorel, Québec.

According to the February 1927 Official Railway Equipment Register (from August 1992 BLHS Bulletin) the road had 189 miles of road with 50 under construction. It owned 14 locomotives and the cars were lettered "Q,M&S". A summary of car equipment is shown below:

Type of equipment Number
Box car 1288
Stock car 86
Refrigerator express car 3
Refrigerator car 7
Flat car 80
Miscellaneous equipment:
Steam shovel 1
Wrecking 1
Pile driver 1
Bullock rapid unloader 1
Water tank cars 2
Flats 35
Snow plows 2
Caboose 4
Boarding 8
Miscellaneous 3
Flanger 1
Spreader 1
Passenger equipment
Passenger 12
Combination 6
Gasoline motor 3
Express 5
Total 1500

I have tried to cross reference where the QM&S was in relationship to other routes:

Railroad References (1964 Official Guide) Town on Q,M&S
Canadian National Sorel subdivision begins here; not shown in Guide. Bruno Junction
Canadian National
Canadian National Freight only Fortierville, Québec
Canadian National CN route Montréal-St Lambert, St Hyacinthe, Drummondville, St Leonard de Nicolet, Aston Junction, Villeroy, Charney, Lévis; CN route Montréal, St Hyacinthe, Richmond, Drummondville, Trois Rivieres, Lévis; also CP and Québec Central Lévis
Canadian National Freight only Nicolet, Québec
Canadian National Freight only Noyan Junction, Québec
Canadian National Freight only Rougemont, Québec
Canadian National Freight only; located on Richelieu River Sorel, Québec
Canadian National Not shown in Guide St. Angele, Québec
Canadian National Shows two listings: Iberville Dist is both CN and CP; Nicolet County is just CN (freight only) St. Gregoire, Québec
Canadian National CN route Montréal-St Lambert, St Hyacinthe, Drummondville, St Leonard de Nicolet, Aston Junction, Villeroy, Charny, Lévis; CN route Montréal, St Lambert, St Bruno, St Basil le Grand, St Hilaire, St Hyacinthe, Actonvale, Sherbrooke, Lennoxville, Coaticook, Portland (Maine); and CN route Montréal, St Hyacinthe, Richmond, Drummondville, Trois Rivieres, Lévis. St. Hyacinthe, Québec
Canadian National CN route Montréal-St Lambert, St Hyacinthe, Drummondville, St Leonard de Nicolet, Aston Junction, Villeroy, Charney, Lévis; CN route Montréal, St Lambert, St Bruno, St Basil le Grand, St Hilaire, St Hyacinthe, Actonvale, Sherbrooke, Lennoxville, Coaticook, Portland (Maine); St. Lambert, Québec
Canadian National Not shown in Guide; located on Richelieu River Tracy
Canadian Pacific Share same station with Canadian National. On line but not shown in timetable. Iberville Junction, Québec
Central Vermont (Canadian National by 1964) Freight only. Share same station with Canadian Pacific. On line but not shown in timetable. Iberville Junction, Québec
Delaware & Hudson Also connection to Grand Trunk and to Napierville Junction Rouses Point, NY
Rutland (Central Vermont by 1964) On line but not shown in timetable Noyan Junction, Québec

A part of the former Québec, Montréal, and Southern Railway is CN's Sorel Subdivision which runs along the St. Lawrence River, beginning at the Bruno Junction (mileage 0.00), where it joins the St-Hyacinthe Subdivision, and extends eastward through the city of Sorel, connecting the cities of Tracy (mileage 45.50) and Sorel (mileage 47.16) located on the west and east banks of the Richelieu River respectively. CN has tried to get rid of this and contends that the physical condition of the branch line varies from poor to fair. The biggest problem was CN estimated that it will incur a minimum cost of $774,300 to rebuild two pillars supporting the swing bridge over the Richelieu River. The overall condition of this bridge remains precarious because it lacks two pillars to stabilize the superstructure when the bridge is opened. The pillars serve to divert ships away from the pivot pier and the superstructure. For some period of time, CN used buoys as a substitute means of protection. The branch line is used mainly by two shippers to transport steel rods and bars for export and to transport grain.

What happened to the rest of the D&H in Canada? What else does parent CP Rail own? Currently, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (a.k.a CP Rail) and it's operating subsidiaries St. Lawrence and Hudson Railway Company Limited, the Soo Line Railroad Company and the Delaware and Hudson Railway Company, Inc. have the following ownerships:

Aroostook River Railroad Company
Atlantic and North-West Railway Company
Calgary and Edmonton Railway Company, The
Dominion Atlantic Railway Company, The
Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company, The
Grand River Railway Company, The
Houlton Branch Railroad Company
International Railway Company of Maine
International Railway Company, The
Kingston and Pembroke Railway Company, The
Lake Champlain and St. Lawrence Junction Railway Company, The
Lake Erie and Northern Railway Company, The
Manitoba and North Western Railway Company of Canada
Massawippi Valley Railway Company
Missisquoi Valley Railway Company
Montreal and Atlantic Railway Company, The
Napierville Junction Railway
New Brunswick and Canada Railroad Company, The
Newport and Richford Railroad Company
Ontario and Quebec Railway Company
Quebec and Western Railway Company
Quebec Central Railway Company
Saskatchewan and Western Railway Company, The
St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway Company, The
Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway Company
Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway Company Limited, The
West Ontario Pacific Railway Company, The

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Joint Winter Olympics for Montreal and Lake Placid? New York Central Adirondack Division Railroad
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Find out about accomplishments and Fair Promise has provided a 1942 Quiz Book on Railroads and Railroading.

Here's some interesting questions and answers:

Give a brief description of the railroads of Canada.

The Dominion of Canada is served by two large railway systems, the government-owned Canadian National and the privately-owned Canadian Pacific, and by thirty-four smaller railroads and switching and terminal companies. On December 31, 1940, there were 42,565 miles of railway lines in Canada, of which 42,475 miles were of standard gauge and 90 miles were of 3-foot gauge. Total length of all track was 56,533 miles. Rolling stock consisted of 4,308 locomotives, 6,267 passenger cars, 160,697 freight cars and 14,107 units of other equipment. Railroad properties represented an investment of $3,159,573,547. Their gross revenues in 1940 totaled $429,142,659. The railroads provided employment to an average of 135,700 persons during the year.

On December 31, 1940, the Canadian National Railways operated 23,638 miles of railroad lines, of which 21,799 miles were in Canada and 1,839 miles were in the United States.

The Canadian Pacific Railway, on the same date, operated 20,986 miles of railroad lines, of which 17,153 miles were in Canada and 5,330 miles were in the United States.

Other important Canadian railroad lines are the 923-mile Northern Alberta Railway, extending northeastwardly and northwestwardly from Edmonton, Alberta; the 514-mile Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway, owned by the Ontario Government, with main line extending from North Bay to Moosonee on Hudson Bay; the 348-mile Pacific Great Eastern Railway in central British Columbia; the 321-mile Algoma Central & Hudson Bay Railway, extending from Sault Ste. Marie on Lake Superior to Hearst, Ontario; the 113-mile Temiscouata Railway, extending from Riviere du Loup, on the St. Lawrence River, to Connors, on the St. John River; and the 104-mile Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway, in southern Ontario.

Railroads of the United States were operating the following road mileage in Canada on Dec. 31, 1940: The New York Central, 500 miles; Pere Marquette, 319 miles; Wabash, 245 miles; Great Northern. 223 miles; Northern Pacific, 74 miles; Central Vermont, 25 miles; Maine Central, 5 miles; Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific, 3 miles; Pennsylvania, 2 miles.
The article "Québec, Montréal, and Southern Railway " appeared in the June 2000 BRIDGE LINE BULLETIN of the Bridge Line Historical Society.
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Tahawus: Railroad to a Mine, Does it have a Future?
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Will the last section to the mine come back to life?

Genesee & Wyoming in Quebec
Genesee & Wyoming operates two short lines in Quebec:
Quebec Gatineau Railway and St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad

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Railroads On The Rebound

Over the last 50+ years, railroads have changed a lot. Now they are about to change again.

It is all about a combination of economic factors and climate factors.

Since 1950 , railroads have consolidated. Freight moved from a "box car mentality" to a "unit train,mentality". Passenger went from a robust business to a "caretaker" arrangement called AMTRAK. This happened as everybody could drive for free on the Interstate Highway System or fly on an airline system where the government subsidized both airlines and airports. In the meantime, railroad express and railroad post offices went "down the tubes". The old Post Office Department and the Railway Express Agency could not adjust to the new way. UPS and Fex Ex could.
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Several years ago I wrote a story on the major railroads of 1950 and what happened to them.

Now I am following up with a closer examination of the New York Central Railroad. This railroad only lasted until 1968 when it merged into Penn Central.

But, what was the NY Central Railroad like in 1950?

You will also be interested in "What if the Penn Central Merger Did Not Happen"
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