As mentioned a year or so ago on this blog, the CNR attempted to abandon the line to Port Rowan in the 1930s. As part of yesterday’s visit to my layout, Jeffrey Smith, owner of the CNRy in Ontario website, shared a couple of files from the archives that cover this application.
The files are pretty extensive – one runs more than 300 pages – but there’s some great information in them. Here’s an example:
The application, which was denied, included some terrific information about the gross earnings and carload traffic on the branch in 1935 – presumably to justify the railway’s abandonment bid to the Board of Railway Commissioners for Canada.
Some quick observations:
1 – Total inbound and outbound loads for 1935, from all stations on the branch, added up to just 169 cars. Assuming each load generates an empty, that’s only 338 car movements in a year. Since the mixed operated six days per week (or 312 days per year), that’s barely one car per day – either on or off the branch and spread across all stations. Obviously, my layout is a lot busier than the prototype was.
2 – Port Rowan and St. Williams are the two busiest stops on the branch.
3 – The top commodities on the branch, in order, were: Gas and Oil (28 inbound); Hogs (23 outbound); Lumber (4 inbound, 19 outbound); Coal (17 inbound); and Cement (13 inbound).
4 – As expected, CNR cars dominate. Outbound loads are almost exclusively in CNR cars.
Even though I model a different era, I will have to study this list more closely to see if I can tweak my waybills to better reflect the origin and destination of cars on my layout.
Meanwhile, I’ll continue to dig through the mountain of information I’ve just received…
Thanks again for this, Jeff – great stuff!