The Daily Effort in photos: June 1953

Now this adds some flavour to what I’m doing…

Turning Mogul 90

I was just Googling about and I came across a blog that includes a four-part feature, with photos, of the mixed train that served Port Rowan (and Port Dover, and points between Simcoe and Hamilton). The pictures were taken by Bruce Murdoch, a photographer for the Hamilton Spectator, who rode the train in June of 1953.

Hamilton to Port Rowan to Port Dover and Back

Part One :: Part Two :: Part Three :: Part Four

Enjoy if you visit.

(BTW, I was happy to find the photo below as part of the series. It shows the Lyn Valley water tank with a MoW track speeder pulled off to the side. I’ve mentioned this photo before but had no online source for it – now I do. This will make for a great vignette on the layout!)

Lyn Valley Tank

12 thoughts on “The Daily Effort in photos: June 1953

  1. Superb.

    I was struck by a number of things, but from a modeller’s perspective, the fact that it took 3 minutes to turn the loco, that’s 6mpr!

    Overall, though, this just nails it for me:
    “One day when he made friends with a small traveller, the child’s mother introduced herself as the little girl who used to steal his lunch sandwiches while riding the line. ”

    Absolute gold.

  2. The mixed train ended service in October of ’56. We didn’t call it the “Daily Effort” although I heard that Port Doverites called it the “Grannie” (Grand Truck origin perhaps) while locals west of Simcoe simply referred to it as the “Mixed” or “The Train”.

    I rode it on December 27,1955 from St.Williams to Simcoe with my Mom and sister…it was my 6th birthday present.

    My cousin Linda and my Aunt rode from Hamilton to Forrestville and the conductor stopped the train at our farm crossing to allow them to detrain as the station was long gone by then.

    As a young child I would hear that train whistle at Cherwaty’s Service Station crossing the County road just west of Walsh Station. I could run and attempt to hide under our farm crossing gate (every farm had them)but the hogger always knew I was there so he would look for me. I gradually got over my timidity of the Moguls and waved at him, the crew and the conductor who would often be standing on the back end of the Combine.

    These were indeed wonderful times…

    Monte Reeves

    • Hi Monte:

      Thanks for the additional information – always useful!

      Re: The Daily Effort… I learned about that from my friend Rich Chrysler, who passed away last year. Unfortunately that means I can’t ask him for his source but I do know that he was a meticulous researcher so somebody, somewhere must’ve referred to the train by that name. Rich just didn’t make that kind of error. Perhaps I misinterpreted what he said – it might have been the name given to the train by the crew.

      They do indeed sound like wonderful times. Perhaps when I get farther along with scenery, I’ll have to add a kid peeking out from behind a farm crossing gate…


  3. What a great find, Trevor! I’ve told you from the outset that Ian Wilson’s book and your whole current enterprise really help materialize my vivid-to-vague childhood memories of occasionally encountering the mixed at the Walsh grade crossing, and my 1957 photo-opp with the 1541 just off the Port Dover turntable.

  4. Hi Trevor,

    Thanks for thinking about modelling small boys in your scenery for those small boys grow up to build model railroads of what they remember…

    If you turn to page 140 of Ian Wilson‘s book, Steam Echoes of Hamilton, then count one telegraph pole ahead of the train, then you have found the farm crossing where I became enamoued with trains. My house is out of sight on the right and I would be hiding just ahead of the engine.

    To the left of and just ahead of the maple tree there was a pickle factory. H.J.Heinz shipped pickles by rail from here on cars containing vats. There was a siding on the left here too and I would assume its capacity was three cars.

    My Uncle was a foreman at the factory and my father worked here when he was a young boy. The night before some Heinz management were scheduled to tour the facilities one of the employees used the company stencil spelling, Heinz 57 Varietys on the outhouse…the visiting officals were not impressed!

    The pickle factory was gone by the late 1930’s as was Forrestville Station and siding. My father was given the switchpoint from the west end of the siding. The baggage portion of the station was saved and moved to St. Williams where it was remodelled to become the last station. Its picture is also in Ian Wilson’s book on page 143.

    I am sure Trevor that you will come to treasure that book.

    With you at the track in memories,


  5. I was reading Charles Coopers book, Hamiltons Other Railway, the other night and it references ‘The Daily Effort’. According to the book it was the unofficial name given to the M233/M238 train to the Ports by the St. Williams people. True I have no idea, but it sounds good! It also says that the Hamilton based train crews called it ‘The Plug’.


    • Hi David:

      Thanks for the information- good to know.

      I’ll continue to call it The Daily Effort – it’s a nicer name than The Plug!

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