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  #841  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2019, 1:56 PM
JET JET is offline
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A few years back I was in Montreal and wanted to go to the train station to see if there was any semblance to the sights and sounds and smells from when I was a kid and we traveled through on the train. Sadly there was absolutely nothing at all familiar
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  #842  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2019, 9:38 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by ns_kid View Post
According to the website Nova Scotia Railway Heritage, the Halifax train shed was demolished "by 1989". However Jon Archibald, in a wonderful collection of photos he's made available on Flickr, features images of the structure still partially standing taken as late as 1992.

This disheartening image, taken in the fall of 1991, shows VIA RDC units, sidelined by Mulroney's draconian 1990 cuts, next to what remains of the train shed's steel framework.



Source: Jon Archibald Flickr

This image was taken 10 years earlier when the train shed was still intact, if a bit tired. Given the angle of the sun, my guess is the train on track four is #12, the Atlantic, in from Montreal and Saint John at 3:15. It was discontinued in November, 1981 (although revived briefly from 1985-90).



Source: Jon Archibald Flickr

The train shed had six interior tracks, although tracks 1 and 2 were for express and freight. It was a bit dingy in its later years though as a kid I loved the place; it was always a bit dark and mysterious, the ceiling black with the effects of age and more than thirty years of coal smoke. The place was always rich with the scent of diesel exhaust, creosote and fresh steam.
Wow! Fantastic imagery, thanks for the links, photos, and commentary. Fascinating.

This photo, from the Nova Scotia Railway Heritage site linked above, shows what appears to be retractable shutters at the top, presumably to provide "ventilation" for coal, and later diesel, smoke - while providing shelter for travelers going to/from the train.



I was always fascinated by trains/rail travel, but for some reason have little recollection of these sheds. Most likely the reason is due to not actually traveling by train until the late 1990s, after they were gone.

One childhood rail memory I have, that I have not been able to find visual proof of, is that there were a couple of out-of-service steam locomotives stored at the siding by the old Simpson's building on Mumford Road. This would have been around the late 1960s, I believe or possibly early 1970s.

I keep hoping that I will find a photo of it online some time in order to resolve the childhood memory that I have of it.

Really appreciate your posts on this subject!
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  #843  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2019, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
One childhood rail memory I have, that I have not been able to find visual proof of, is that there were a couple of out-of-service steam locomotives stored at the siding by the old Simpson's building on Mumford Road. This would have been around the late 1960s, I believe or possibly early 1970s.
Thanks for that. Yes, I too find it fascinating. Unfortunately your photo link seems to be broken at the moment.

I believe what you're referring to is the ill-fated railway museum established by the Scotian Railroad Society around 1970. A group of well-meaning enthusiasts -- my dad was among them -- led by the late Halifax neurologist, Dr. Stephen Bedwell (who I remember as a wonderful, charming man) attempted to establish a collection of historic rail equipment. They actually hand-laid that siding which, as you recall, paralleled the CN main line just off the Simpson's parking lot.

Among their collection was a beautiful private car built by Pullman in 1891, operated by the Rutland Railroad in Vermont as the "Ethan Allen", but purchased by Nova Scotia Pulp and Paper around 1964. The Halifax journalist H.B. Jefferson bought it in 1970 and a year later the SRS acquired it from his estate. I was in high school at the time and helped work on the car, which had a lovingly maintained mahogany interior.

They had a few other pieces, including a 1875 baggage car from the old Intercolonial Railway and a 1907 caboose but their showpiece was that steam locomotive, an 0-6-0 switcher nicknamed the "Georgia Peach". It was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1911 and once operated in Georgia (hence the name) but had worked at the Drummond Coal Company in Westville from 1950 to 1967, making it the last steam loco to operate in revenue service in Nova Scotia.

Sadly the tale has an unhappy ending. Maintaining this collection proved too ambitious for a small volunteer group. Somewhere around 1983, I think, the SRS shut down and, unable to find anyone willing to acquire this historic equipment (including Nova Scotia's museums), all of it was scrapped.

I haven't been able to find a photo of the "Georgia Peach" online though I know I have one somewhere in storage. I also have the locomotive's #4 number plate that I picked up off the ground near Simpson's one night after it had been scrapped.

Last edited by ns_kid; Mar 24, 2019 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Correctsdating error
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  #844  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2019, 4:28 PM
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While I have not yet located a photo of the "Georgia Peach" locomotive, I did come across this image of the interior of business car "Ethan Allen". That's journalist H.B. Jefferson seated at the dining table sometime around 1968, while he was in negotiations to buy it from Nova Scotia Pulp & Paper. Even in black and white, it's easy to see how faithfully this 19th century car had been maintained, and how tragic it was to lose it.


Source: Canadian Rail 231
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  #845  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2019, 4:14 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by ns_kid View Post
Thanks for that. Yes, I too find it fascinating. Unfortunately your photo link seems to be broken at the moment.

I believe what you're referring to is the ill-fated railway museum established by the Scotian Railroad Society around 1970. A group of well-meaning enthusiasts -- my dad was among them -- led by the late Halifax neurologist, Dr. Stephen Bedwell (who I remember as a wonderful, charming man) attempted to establish a collection of historic rail equipment. They actually hand-laid that siding which, as you recall, paralleled the CN main line just off the Simpson's parking lot.

Among their collection was a beautiful private car built by Pullman in 1891, operated by the Rutland Railroad in Vermont as the "Ethan Allen", but later purchased by Nova Scotia Pulp and Paper. The Halifax journalist H.B. Jefferson bought it around 1964 and in 1971 the SRS acquired it from his estate. I was in high school at the time and helped work on the car, which had a lovingly maintained mahogany interior.

They had a few other pieces, including a 1875 baggage car from the old Intercolonial Railway and a 1907 caboose but their showpiece was that steam locomotive, an 0-6-0 switcher nicknamed the "Georgia Peach". It was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1911 and once operated in Georgia (hence the name) but had worked at the Drummond Coal Company in Westville from 1950 to 1967, making it the last steam loco to operate in revenue service in Nova Scotia.

Sadly the tale has an unhappy ending. Maintaining this collection proved too ambitious for a small volunteer group. Somewhere around 1983, I think, the SRS shut down and, unable to find anyone willing to acquire this historic equipment (including Nova Scotia's museums), all of it was scrapped.

I haven't been able to find a photo of the "Georgia Peach" online though I know I have one somewhere in storage. I also have the locomotive's #4 number plate that I picked up off the ground near Simpson's one night after it had been scrapped.
Regarding the linked photo in my post above, I realize I probably shouldn't link the photo directly as it may not be in the public domain, but I was referring to the fourth photo down on this page.

Again... wow! The information on the Scotian Railroad Society is new to me, and answers some questions that have been lingering in my mind for decades now.

Their acquisitions sound amazing and the end story is tragic. The "Ethan Allen" seems to be at the pinnacle of 19th century luxury travel. Absolutely beautiful, even in black and white as you say, you can see the handwork involved to give it that beautiful, detailed and finished appearance. I am curious as to how it ended up with NS Pulp and Paper.

The "Georgia Peach" is a sad loss as well, especially when you consider that steam locomotives were pretty much finished in Canada by 1960, and almost all of them had been turned into scrap metal by then.

It's too bad that the society couldn't make a go of it, but you are right on the money that it is an ambitious goal due to the size and storage requirements of the artifacts. However, a real rail museum in Halifax would have been something worth maintaining, if it had been possible to keep it going.

Thanks again for the posts, I find it to be fascinating reading...
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  #846  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2019, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Their acquisitions sound amazing and the end story is tragic. The "Ethan Allen" seems to be at the pinnacle of 19th century luxury travel. Absolutely beautiful, even in black and white as you say, you can see the handwork involved to give it that beautiful, detailed and finished appearance. I am curious as to how it ended up with NS Pulp and Paper. (...)

It's too bad that the society couldn't make a go of it, but you are right on the money that it is an ambitious goal due to the size and storage requirements of the artifacts. However, a real rail museum in Halifax would have been something worth maintaining, if it had been possible to keep it going.
With your question about the "Ethan Allen" I realized I made an error in my original account. NSP&P acquired the car in 1964; H.B. Jefferson bought it from them around 1970. (I've corrected this in the original.) Unfortunately, the source article in Canadian Rail (which is still published by the Canadian Railway Historical Society) doesn't say how the car made it from Vermont to Nova Scotia. But it does say the car was sitting on a siding in Port Hawkesbury when Jefferson discovered it, being used as accommodations for the construction manager in charge of building the Port Hawkesbury pulp mill at the time. Probably the most luxurious construction trailer that guy ever stayed in!

Historical preservation is a messy, expensive business, as other threads about our built heritage attest, and preserving old rail equipment is no different. Sadly, SRS is not the only group to founder in the attempt. I remember being quite bitter that no Nova Scotia institution was willing or able to step in. But I had moved away from Halifax at that time and I don't really know the details. It's quite likely there were real time pressures. It's also true that in many of these cases the enormous difficulty in maintaining these big artifacts outdoors means corrosion and decay advance to the point they are beyond salvation.

[Now this is veering completely off topic but, for anyone curious about what successful preservation looks like (and the deep pockets required to make it happen), in May the Union Pacific Railroad will complete its restoration of a 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" locomotive, the biggest and most powerful locomotive ever built (133 feet; 1,250 tons, 6,290 hp). The locomotive hasn't run in 60 years and it's taken five years to restore. UP won't say what it's costing but estimates range from $6-$8 million. It will make its inaugural run, from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Ogden, Utah, on May 9th, part of the celebrations around the 150th anniversary of the completion of the US transcontinental railroad.]

Last edited by ns_kid; Mar 24, 2019 at 11:09 AM.
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  #847  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2019, 10:56 AM
ghYHZ ghYHZ is offline
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Here’s the “Georgia Peach’ on a flatcar in Stellarton ready for the move to Halifax. It had been loaded on the flatcar at the Drummond Mine in Westville. I’m guessing I took this picture around 1974.





And a Scotian Railway Society Brochure from 1975.




Last edited by ghYHZ; Mar 24, 2019 at 11:13 AM.
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  #848  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2019, 10:57 AM
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Here’s several pictures of the Halifax Station: The old Ticket Counter across the end of the Waiting Room with the doors/gates to the tracks on the right…..and a Dominion Atlantic Railway ‘Dayliner’ heading to Yarmouth.






The Train Shed was removed in spring 1984. The first picture is in May but by June it was gone.



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  #849  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2019, 11:00 AM
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Here’s the Ocean from Montreal in June 1984. VIA had just started using the exCPR ‘Park Cars’ on the Ocean and first time Dome Cars were regularly seen in Halifax. CN had used ‘Skyview’ Cars on the Ocean and Scotian but they were removed in the late 1960’s and stored in Halifax for a number of years.




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  #850  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2019, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ghYHZ View Post
Here’s the “Georgia Peach’ on a flatcar in the Stellarton ready for the move to Halifax. It had been loaded on the flatcar at the Drummond Mine in Westville. I’m guessing I took this picture around 1974.
Those are wonderful pictures, ghYHZ. Thank you for sharing, especially the image of the late, lamented "Georgia Peach". The photos of the CN "Skyview" cars (ex-Milwaukee Road "Skytops") brought back some warm memories. When I was a kid in the 60s our family traveled annually to Montreal or Ottawa by rail and I loved watching the world go by from those cars.
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  #851  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2019, 1:57 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Again... wow! Thanks ghYHZ and ns_kid for your great stories and imagery. There's a lot to absorb there, and I intend to look into it in detail when I have a little more time.

The Canadian Rail document that ns_kid posted made a reference to issue #212, so I looked that up to read a little more about the society. I was pleased to find a photo of the baggage car mentioned earlier.

Here's the link:
https://www.exporail.org/can_rail/Ca...no212_1969.pdf

It's a little more than halfway down the pdf document.

Fascinating information!
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  #852  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2019, 8:33 AM
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Here’s the “Georgia Peach’ on a flatcar in Stellarton ready for the move to Halifax. It had been loaded on the flatcar at the Drummond Mine in Westville. I’m guessing I took this picture around 1974......
I stand corrected…..The Georgia Peach was moved from Westville in 1972.

The Scotian Railway Society produced a glossy quarterly magazine and the Winter ’72 issue has an article on how the society member went about building a ramp at the Drummond Mine in Westville to load the locomotive on the flatcar and move it to Halifax.



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  #853  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2019, 5:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ghYHZ View Post
Here’s several pictures of the Halifax Station: The old Ticket Counter across the end of the Waiting Room with the doors/gates to the tracks on the right…..and a Dominion Atlantic Railway ‘Dayliner’ heading to Yarmouth.



Would this be taken as if you were standing in the main doors of today facing the harbour?
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  #854  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2019, 6:05 PM
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Would this be taken as if you were standing in the main doors of today facing the harbour?
Yes.....the Ticket Office is now on the right and those doors to the tracks are still in the same place on the right.
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  #855  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2019, 2:59 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I stand corrected…..The Georgia Peach was moved from Westville in 1972.

The Scotian Railway Society produced a glossy quarterly magazine and the Winter ’72 issue has an article on how the society member went about building a ramp at the Drummond Mine in Westville to load the locomotive on the flatcar and move it to Halifax.



Thanks for that! I'd be interested in reading the rest of the article, if you have it scanned already...
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  #856  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2019, 11:29 AM
ghYHZ ghYHZ is offline
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Thanks for that! I'd be interested in reading the rest of the article, if you have it scanned already...
I'll get it scanned this week and posted..
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  #857  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2019, 1:05 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I'd love that! Thank you!
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  #858  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 2:22 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by ghYHZ View Post
Here’s the “Georgia Peach’ on a flatcar in Stellarton ready for the move to Halifax. It had been loaded on the flatcar at the Drummond Mine in Westville. I’m guessing I took this picture around 1974.





And a Scotian Railway Society Brochure from 1975.



So it looks like the museum/siding was located on the site currently occupied by that little shopping plaza off Mumford?

https://goo.gl/maps/YKec3X1jSxE2

https://goo.gl/maps/o2Q1WCDMrbS2
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  #859  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 2:24 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Would this be taken as if you were standing in the main doors of today facing the harbour?
The last time I was in the station, the baggage carousel was in the space occupied by the ticket counter in that old photo.
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  #860  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2019, 2:55 PM
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So it looks like the museum/siding was located on the site currently occupied by that little shopping plaza off Mumford?

https://goo.gl/maps/YKec3X1jSxE2

https://goo.gl/maps/o2Q1WCDMrbS2
I think that's true, or immediately behind the plaza location. My recollection is (and perhaps ghYHZ will have a better recall) the siding on which the museum rolling stock was located was built off the Simpson's siding. The 1962 aerial photo from the Nova Scotia Archives is not super clear, but you can see the switch where the siding diverges from the main line just south of the Mumford Road overpass. The museum track was just long enough to hold the equipment and, once the track was built, the temporary switch was removed so the track was no longer connected to anything.

(The Simpsons-Sears warehouse, behind the Simpson's retail store, had several rail spurs. Here's another obscure piece of old Halifax trivia: When I was a kid in the 60s Santa Claus arrived at Simpson's each Christmas for several years by train. His arrival would be announced with a big ad in the Herald featuring the Jolly Old Elf himself astride a CNR locomotive.)

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