Long forgotten Canadian Northern Railway

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  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 3,102 posts
Long forgotten Canadian Northern Railway
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, December 02, 2017 4:14 PM

Here is a good one for SD70M-2 Dude and everyone else interested in Classic Trains. What a beauty.

CNoR 500 Wason Mfg. Co. (sub. of Brill, Springfield, Mass.) CGE 3718 October 1911. 
Canadian National 15064A 

This 74 passenger gas-electric 57 foot combine had an open rear platform.
Canadian Northern was the first railway in Canada to have a self-propelled passenger car 
with an internal combustion engine. It was the only one Canadian Northern had. 
CNoR was the first Canadian and sixth customer of GE-Wason cars. 
Less than 100 in grand total were built. 
500 operated between Toronto and Trenton on April 13, 1912 follwoing which 
it operated 32 miles on the Central Ontario between Trenton and Picton in April 1912. 
Summer 1912 it ran between Quebec City and Lake St.Joseph 
(where there was a railway-owned hotel) 
on Quebec and Lake St.John a CNoR subsidiary.
Fall 1912 it returned to CNoR between Napanee-Trenton-Picton.
Car had a fire in 1915 at Trenton. Rebuilt 1916 by CC&F in Montreal. 
June 1, 1920 operated a frequent local service between Winnipeg and Transcona. 

1921 became CNR 15800, in 1923 rebuilt by NS&T to battery-electric. 
1931 rebuilt to 87 passenger trailer re# 15748. Scrapped 11/1940 at Leaside.

Kind of has that Brill look to it. 1911 is waaay back there. Amazing 

  • Member since
    March, 2013
  • 711 posts
Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Saturday, December 02, 2017 6:04 PM

Cool, never knew CNoR had anything like that, and I am surprised it lasted so long after CN was formed. 

On a related note, this was not the only unusual self-propelled railcar in Canada at the time.  It is not widely known that the Alberta & Great Waterways railway (later part of the Northern Alberta, and today's CN line to the Fort McMurray area) purchased two McKeen cars secondhand, for a similar resort hotel service between Edmonton and Lac La Biche, AB.  Unfortunately the cars suffered from the usual McKeen issues and did not last long in that service.  They wound up being used as storage sheds at the Dunvegan, AB (Edmonton) and Dawson Creek, BC yards, and were both scrapped sometime after the Second World War.


NA-3853-1 - McKeen Motor Car at Lac La Biche - 1910s

And didn't Grand Trunk have some steam-powered railmotors?

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 300,866 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:59 AM

Cool stuff! 

Perhaps Canadian National should change the corporate name to Canadian Northern.  It would fit much better into the internal expansion invasion it took into Mid-America. 

IC is dead; Long live IC!


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