NS&T 83 – Substation Junction

Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway interurban car 83 was frequently recruited for fan trip duties and shows up in many of the images in the collection of photographs, maps and other materials I’ve recently acquired from William Flatt – such as this one:

NS&T 83 - Substation Junction

NS&T 83 – Thorold. Photographer and date unknown.

Here, a railfan special (note the white flags at the front of the car) is approaching the bridges over the Welland Canal in Thorold. The switch it’s on is for the east end of the passing siding at Substation Junction.

I like how close together everything is on the NS&T – like a model railway, in some respects. The headblocks for this switch are practically on that first bridge, and everything is on a grade.

Also, look at the number of people who are actually on the bridges in this scene. I count more than half dozen.

Car 83 is wearing CNR green, which means this photo was taken in the mid-to-late 1950s. By this time, the main line to Niagara Falls was long abandoned and this stretch of track would’ve reached across the Welland Canal just far enough to allow the NS&T to access the spur to Walker’s Quarry. This was normally the patrol of a freight motor with hoppers or drop-bottom gondolas in tow.

But the NS&T was very agreeable to taking the rail fans wherever they wanted to go… even if that destination was a gravel pit.

NST sweeper 23 – Thorold

The Niagara St. Catharines and Toronto Railway owned a variety of non-revenue equipment, obtained from a variety of sources. Here’s an example from the collection of photographs, maps and other materials I’ve recently acquired from William Flatt:

NST 23 - Coal Track, Thorold Yard

NS&T 23 – Thorold. Photographer and date unknown

NS&T 23 is a single truck McGuire-Cummins sweeper, built for the Toronto Suburban railway in 1913. The NS&T acquired it in 1924. Sometime in the 1950s, I believe, it was painted into the very visible orange scheme shown here. The 23 was 27′-10″ long and weighed 32,100 pounds.

The sweeper is parked on the coal shed spur track in the small yard at Thorold. At one time, this was the A Martin & Sons coal dealer – but I’m not sure of ownership at the time this photo was taken. Ormond Street is in the background, and the brown and white church still exists.

Thorold Map – labelled

I have posted some photos of Thorold to this blog already, and plan to post many more over the next few days – so I realized that sharing a map of the railway in this town would be a good idea. Here it is:

NS&T - Thorold Map - Labelled

This is the 1920 NS&T Property Plan for Thorold – which I have revised and labelled to the best of my knowledge. You should be able to right click on the map and open it in a separate window to view it in a larger format.

This map nicely shows the relationship between the NS&T and the Old (second) Welland Canal. It also shows the relationship between the “High Line”, the station, the freight shed, the yard, and Substation Junction. North is to the right.

The area is vastly different today. The “High Line” is gone. So is the station and all the trackage from the north end down to Lynden Street. The Trillium Railway operates the trackage across the south (left) edge of this map – but the track arrangement is very different. The Pine Street trackage was in place until recently (but the track arrangement at the paper plant was very different than what’s shown on this map).

The biggest change? The town of Thorold filled in the Old Welland Canal in the 1960s. Part of it around Lock 25 is a park and the walls of the lock have been preserved. The rest of it, and most of the abandoned right of way, has been built over.

NST 16 – Substation Junction

I’m working my way through the collection of photographs, maps and other materials I’ve recently acquired from William Flatt – and I thought I’d share some of the images that speak strongly to me about the Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway. A few days ago, I shared a photo of a passenger train at Substation Junction. This photo was taken in almost the same location.

NST 16 - Substation Junction

NS&T freight motor 16 with a string of CNR GS gons at Substation Junction – Date and photographer unknown.

The crew is likely shoving these cars across the Welland Canal bridge en route to Walker’s Quarry on the east side of the canal. As with the earlier photo referenced above, the track its on is the mainline to Niagara Falls. The photographer is standing on the south leg of the wye that marked the connection to the Welland Division. The substation – for which the junction was named – would be behind the photographer.

NS&T 16 was the second #16 on the line. The 50-ton motor was built by National Steel Car in 1918 for the Queenston Power Canal Construction Railway. The NS&T acquired it in 1926 and rebuilt it with a new cab in 1930. When the CNR dropped the NS&T’s wires in 1960 in favour of diesel power, the 16 was transferred to the Oshawa Railway. In 1965, it was sold to Noranda Mines Limited.

Walker’s Quarry is now a garbage dump.

NST 135 and 132: Substation Junction, 1943

I’m working my way through the collection of photographs, maps and other materials I’ve recently acquired from William Flatt – and I thought I’d share some of the images that speak strongly to me about the Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway. Here’s one:

NST 135 & 132 - Substation Junction

NS&T 135 & 132, Substation Junction 1943 – photographer unknown.

In this photo, a pair of the NS&T’s elegant Preston-built wooden cars are rolling through Substation Junction in Thorold, Ontario. The track they’re on is the mainline from Niagara Falls – they’re headed north towards the photographer, and the St. Catharines Terminal. These cars were regulars on the run between the Falls and Port Dalhousie East, where they met the boats to and from Toronto.

Behind the cars, the Main Line swings east and crosses the Welland Canal. The photographer is standing on the south leg of the wye that marked the connection to the Welland Division. The substation – for which the junction was named – would be behind the photographer.

With its combination of industries and junctions, Thorold is shaping up to be a fascinating subject for a model railway.

I’ll share another photo of these two cars tomorrow.