The shop forces for the Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway were a talented bunch – and parent Canadian National Railways came to rely upon them to maintain a wide variety of equipment. This included Canadian National Transportation Ltd buses – such as the two shown here, from the collection of photographs, maps and other materials I acquired earlier this year from William Flatt:
CNTL 255 – St. Catharines. Photographer and date unknown.
CNTL 255 is a “Visi-Coach” model built for the NS&T in 1952. It’s built to a design from the Flxible (sic) Company in Ohio, distributed in Canada by the White Motor Company of Montreal. Buses 255 and 256 were the last of the cruiser style coaches acquired new by the NS&T.
CNTL 152 – St. Catharines. Photographer and date unknown.
CNTL 152 was part of a 15-bus order from Canadian Car & Foundry, which entered the bus market in the 1945 by establishing a plant in Fort William, Ontario. CC&F licensed the design for this bus from the J.G. Brill Company of Philadelphia.
(This isn’t the first time a bus has shown up on this blog. For a photo in colour, check out NS&T 14 – five at Thorold Station.)
In addition to its railway operations, the NS&T ran a fleet of buses in the Niagara Region, starting as far back as 1929. Over the years, these included city buses, sight-seeing and charter operations, and highway services. The NS&T was the first component in the CNR system to adopt buses, and the railway maintained buses for itself and several other operators under the Canadian National Transportation Limited umbrella at the Welland Avenue car barns.
(There’s a lot more information about the NS&T and Canadian National Transportation Limited in the revised book by John Mills.)
Eventually – inevitably – buses would take over completely. The transit services provided by the NS&T evolved into the St. Catharines Transit Commission, providing services in St. Catharines and Thorold. Today, this operator has a headquarters and maintenance garage on First Street Louth (west of 12 Mile Creek) and the Welland Avenue car barns were razed in the early 1960s to make room for a strip mall.
Back to the trains in my next post…