I often refer to my layout as the Port Rowan branch, but the line I’m modelling is (or was) actually part of the CNR’s Simcoe Subdivision.
The Simcoe Sub consists of the two branches originating at Simcoe and running to Port Rowan and Port Dover. Looking at the Simcoe Subdivision Time Tables for April 1953 and April 1957 – which were in effect in the late summer in the two years I model on the layout – I’ve determined a number of interesting things that inform my operating sessions.
To fully understand what’s in these scans, I really need complete Employee Time Table documents – #3 and #11, as indicated on these scans. I would also need a copy of the CNR’s operating rules from the period: I have a volume from 1929, which is better than nothing, but not good enough. I’d prefer something from the 1950s.
(If anybody knows where I can obtain such copies – perhaps someone has duplicates in a collection they’d like to sell? – please contact me. Thanks!)
With that in mind, here’s what I either know, or can guess:
First, I can’t see that anything changed, operationally, in the four years between Time Table 3 and Time Table 11. That’s not surprising, since these lines were at the end of their lives. (The exception is speed and equipment restrictions. The line hasn’t changed, but the relevant equipment has: In 1953, the restrictions apply to Consolidation (2-8-0s) and Pacific (4-6-2) steam engines, and note CNR 10-wheelers (1300 series) are the heaviest locomotive allowed to operate to Port Rowan. By 1957, no mention of Pacifics or Consolidations, but Mikado (2-8-2) types are listed, as are single unit diesel road switchers. These larger steam engines would operate on trains only as far as Simcoe – and run light down the Port Dover branch to the water tank at MP 5.6. I would never see them on the Port Rowan branch, unfortunately.)
The Mixed Train runs on the schedule of M233 to Port Rowan, operating as a second class train – and runs on the schedule of M238 returning to Simcoe, operating as a third class train. (There’s a good reason for this: I’m guessing that Eastward trains are superior to Westward trains (since the Eastward Trains are listed to the right). If M238 was also a second-class train then M233 headed to Port Rowan could, if running late, run afoul of M238’s schedule – in effect, it would be stopped dead by its future self. By making M238 inferior by class, this can’t happen.)
The Port Rowan branch is defined as Yard Limits from the junction switch in Simcoe to end of track – 16.9 miles away in Port Rowan. Train and yard movements between Simcoe and Port Rowan are restricted to 15 mph. (Curiously, in the 1953 Time Table the mixed train would actually have to exceed this speed limit over most of its run in order to maintain its schedule. Running at 15 mph would cover the distance between Simcoe and Vittoria on time, but the train must do more than 20 mph to keep its schedule west of Vittoria. Between St. Williams and Port Rowan (the stations I’ve modelled) the speed calculation looks like this: 3.39 miles / 10 minutes = .339 miles per minute * 60 minutes = 20.34 mph. And remember, all of this is without any time allotted for station stops! The problem appears to be corrected in the 1957 Time Table, which provides 14 minutes for the run from St. Williams to Port Rowan.)
St. Williams is a train order office (office signal S T). I assume the “D” means it’s staffed only in the daytime. A four-car spur is listed but the siding is not. (UPDATE: See comments from Monte Reeves and Steve Lucas to explain why this is so.) The S next to the time indicates it’s a regular stop (as opposed to a flag stop).
M233 is scheduled to leave at 12:30pm for the 3.39 mile run to Port Rowan, arriving in Port Rowan 10 minutes later (in 1953 – and 14 minutes later in 1957). There, the crew has until 2:00 pm to switch the train, turn the locomotive, build M238 and take a break for lunch. That’s 80 minutes in 1953, and 67 minutes in 1957.
Port Rowan is a Train Register office, as noted by the “R” on the schedule. (It’s also a “Z”, but I’m not sure what that means.) There’s a train order office operating in the daytime, with telegraph code P R. Track capacity in 1953 is listed as 17 cars – although by 1957 it’s simply designated as a YARD.
In addition to the Mixed Train, the Time Tables both note that there’s a wayfreight operating six days per week between Hamilton and Simcoe. This is called for Hamilton in the morning – 8:00 am in 1953, and 8:15 in 1957 – although the times are not scheduled: this train would run as an extra. Again, I’d never see it on my layout.