NS&T Employee Time Table from 1945

Well, now I’m in trouble. This week, the mailbag included a terrific score – a copy of NS&T Employee Time Table 61, effective May 13th 1945:

NST Employee Time Table 61

This book runs 26 pages, and has a wealth of information between its covers. Already, I’ve learned some eye-opening things about the NS&T.

For example, on a weekday, the line through Thorold hosted an astonishing 78 scheduled trains: 39 in each direction. Some ran through between St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, on the Main Line. Some took the Welland Division to Fonthill, Welland and Port Colborne. Some started or ended their run on the layover track in Thorold. But all passed the depot, the small yard, and the substation.

Even if one keeps in mind that each train is one or possibly two cars long, and that the same equipment ran under several schedules over the course of the day, that’s a huge amount of traffic.

Thorold Map - labelled.

There wasn’t a lot of track in Thorold – but there sure were a lot of trains. Right-click on the image to open in a separate window, in a larger format

What’s more, this does not include any freight trains that operated on the line, or switched in Thorold itself. I don’t know how the crews switched Thorold without going nuts, trying to keep out of the way of all of that…

The employee time table is in excellent condition, too – only lightly used. It is a reprint, done in 1972 – but even so, I can’t believe my luck in finding this one online for the princely sum of $8.

6 thoughts on “NS&T Employee Time Table from 1945”

  1. This timetable is definitely a big score and for an astonishingly low price! One thing to remember when looking at frequency of operation is that this was the municipal transit system at the time and that a lot of runs were to be expected. Sometimes we tend to forget this. Here in Ottawa, the bus transitway sees movements on headways as little as 1 to 2 minutes which, if they were rail cars, would mean quite a few movements as well. Granted, no freight trains but then, in the case of Ottawa, go to the downtown core and imagine this same frequency of buses in and around truck deliveries to stores, etc.

    1. Hi Philip:
      Yep – I had already figured out that this was the transit system. As a single-track line with passing sidings, however, most trains needed to run on a proper schedule – as opposed to what happens in Toronto (where I live), where double track is everywhere and the streetcars simply chase each other around the loop.
      It’s also important to remember these are the war years, and services that had been reduced or annulled probably picked up again. The NS&T certainly brought cars out of retirement during those years. I will need to compare the schedule in my 1945 Time Table to the one in the 1938 Time Table that’s published in the John Mills NS&T book to see what effect the war had on traffic levels.
      I’ve now checked the Port Dalhousie line too – a popular destination for picnics, dances, and so on. There are 80 scheduled trains on the time table to the Port.
      Cheers!

    1. Hi Gord:
      You would think so, wouldn’t you! But actually, staging needs are probably pretty modest. Keep in mind that a single interurban car (or pair of them, coupled) would make several trips through town in each direction during the course of a day – and each one of those would be on a separate schedule on the time table. I need to graph out the train movements by time and place, to determine just how many pieces of equipment were active on the line to cover the schedule. When I do, I’ll share the results via this blog.
      Cheers!

  2. Definitely a great find.

    Given the number of trains if you ran the full timetable it could definitely be a stressful “day”. Without seeing the distribution of trains you may want to segment the schedule by time or operational variety — intense morning or afternoon commuters or lighter midday passenger runs to give the freights a chance.

    Any way, if you do build this you definitely could have a great and different layout.

    1. I’ve done some plotting of the schedule and it was pretty even throughout the day – basically, hourly service on each of two routes through Thorold, so there would be four moves per hour on a layout centred around the community.

      In addition, they all bunch together to accommodate transfers, so most of the hour is left open for a freight crew to do its work.

      I’ll write more about this in a future post.

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