TTT  (Today's Train Trivia) by Ronnie (No Daytonas) & guests

(12/9/2016) One hundred years ago, the Canadian Pacific Railway's five-mile-long Connaught Tunnel was opened and dedicated.  At the time it was the longest tunnel in the Western Hemisphere.  Today it ranks as the fifth-longest railway tunnel in the Western Hemisphere.

(10/27/2016)  On this date in 1930 the Northern Pacific Railway consolidated its six passenger districts into three.

(5/7/2016) On this date in 1890 The Tacoma, Olympic and Grays Harbor was incorporated by Northern Pacific Railway interests.

(4/10/2016) We are less than two months away from having a world's longest and deepest rail tunnel.  Construction has been going on for nearly twenty years, but the Gotthard Base Tunnel inside the Swiss Alps finally will open on June 1, 2016, moving rail cars of passengers and freight between Zurich, Switzerland and Milan, Italy.  At 35 miles long and dipping about 7,500 feet below the mountain peaks above it, the Gotthard Base Tunnel eliminates the need for winding mountainous routes by offering the first flat-track route through the Alps.

(4/24/2015) Today marks the 60th anniversary of the inaugural run of the Canadian Pacific Railway's unmatched The Canadian between Vancouver and Toronto/Montreal, Canada.  Today the equipment soldiers-on in last-of-its-kind trainsets (in North America) between Vancouver and Toronto albeit mostly on trackage comprising of different-than-original route which is owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway's historical rival, The Canadian National.  The current train known as the Canadian, is operated by Via Rail Canada.  Most of the sixty year old cars from the unprecedented 173 car order placed in 1953 with The Budd Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania still exist and most of those cars remain in service to this day.

(1/19/2015) Railroads went from hauling 9,500 carloads of crude oil in 2008, to 435,560 in 2013.

(1/8/2015) According to the January 2015 posting of Wikipedia, Lake County is the one of California's fifty-eight counties never to have been served by a railroad line.  (Those with any knowledge contradicting this statement are invited to contact Ronnie so that he may post any updates or corrections necessary.  Notifications sent to any Daytonas will remain unread and unanswered because, well, see below.)

Ronnie (No Daytonas)

(12/16/2014) Today marks the 98th anniversary of the opening of the Canadian Pacific Railway's famed Connaught Tunnel in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada.  The Connaught Tunnel eliminated the curve-laden and dangerous climb over the previously traversed (1885-1916) and avalanche-prone railway summit at Rogers Pass and Rogers Pass Station.  Completed after three years of construction effort beginning in 1913, the five mile long tunnel was the longest railway tunnel in the Western Hemisphere at the time it was built until superseded in length by the Great Northern Railway's eight mile long Cascade Tunnel in 1929.  Even so, the Connaught Tunnel remained the longest double track tunnel in the Western Hemisphere until 1959 when it was single-tracked in conjunction with the installation of Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) in this region.  The current railway summit (on the Connaught Line) at Rogers Pass exists just within the confines of the west portal of the tunnel at Glacier, British Columbia.  Walking slightly uphill through the west portal to the quickly-encountered summit allows one (author included) to peer down the one percent grade on tangent track and see the pinpoint glow of light from the tunnel's east portal some five miles away.

(8/19/2014) Last year on July 6, 2013, Canada experienced its worst-ever train wreck/disaster at the town of Lac Magentic, Quebec in which 47 people perished.  The following link will take you to a Transportation Safety Board of Canada's website containing the just-released report on the circumstances surrounding the causes and effects of this disaster.  http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/rail/2013/r13d0054.asp

(11/7/2013) Today marks the 128th anniversary of the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway which was commemorated with the driving of a plain iron spike by Donald Smith at 9:22 AM on November 7, 1885 at Craigellachie, British Columbia, Canada.

(5/10/2013) 144 years ago today, the United States' Transcontinental Railroad was symbolically completed with the driving of a golden spike at Promontory, Utah.

(5/5/2013) On May 6, 1982, the last Morse Code train order issued in the U.S. or Canada was sent to the operator at Whitehall, Montana on the Burlington Northern Railroad.

(3/4/2013) 103 years ago today, on March 4, 1910, an avalanche in Rogers Pass British Columbia killed 62 Canadian Pacific employees working to clear a snow slide.  This was the "final straw" in Canadian Pacific's attempts to keep the avalanche-prone area open to railway traffic.  The Rogers Pass line had been in use since 1885 (when the railway line was completed).  This single disaster and massive loss of life was the turning point in the Railway's making a decision to tunnel under the most avalanche-prone potion of the line and to begin construction of the 5- mile long Connaught Tunnel which was completed an opened on December 8, 1916.  96 years after its opening, The Connaught Tunnel is still in use on a daily basis.

(2/5/2013) The following was taken from "This Week in NW Rail History" by Mike Denuty: February 5, 1958: Two weeks after a passenger train is derailed at Grand Forks, B.C. under suspicious circumstances, Canadian Pacific announces a reduction in the passenger service from Nelson to Penticton from daily to twice-weekly daylight-only, due to continuing "terrorist activities."

(12/18/2012) Pendleton, Oregon is located on the mainline of the Union Pacific Railroad.  It was a station stop for Amtrak's Pioneer until this service was discontinued over 15 years ago on May 11, 1997.  The original town was platted on this date 144 years ago (on December 18, 1868).

(12/17/2012) On this day 128 years ago (December 17, 1884) the tracks of the Northern Pacific Railroad's Cascade Branch reached the vicinity of Yakima City, then a thriving county seat with around 500 inhabitants.  Residents did not celebrate, however, because the company had just announced that its trains would not stop in the city.  Instead, the Northern Pacific built a depot at a new town site it had platted about five miles farther northwest.  Within a year, the city moved to the new site. 

(12/16/2012) Today marks the 96th anniversary of the opening of Canadian Pacific Railway's Connaught Tunnel in Rogers Pass in the Selkirk mountains.  At the time of its opening, it was the longest tunnel in the Western Hemisphere at just over 5 miles in length.  The original tunnel was built to accommodate double track but this was changed to single track in 1959.

(1/11/2012) The Empire Builder follows the Middle Fork of the Flathead River through Essex, Montana.  It was named for Canadian James J. Hill and completed in 1893.

(1/10/2012) The Portland, Oregon Union Station was completed in 1898.

(11/7/2011) On this date 126 years ago (November 7, 1885) the last spike on the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven by Sir Donald Smith at 9:22 AM at Craigellachie, British Columbia.  A short, fifteen word speech was given by the Company President, William Cornelius Van Horne in which he simply stated "All I can is that the work has been well done in every way."

(11/1/2011) The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway founded the town of Ludlow, California in 1883 as a railroad water stop.

(10/12/2011) In the Tuesday night (October 11, 2011) episode of NCIS, Dr. Mallard (Ducky) was working on, and talking to Gibbs about, a scale railroad model of the British steam locomotive known as Mallard.  Here is some additional information about this record-setting locomotive (which has been preserved at the Railroad Museum in York, England):

Number 4468 Mallard is a London and North Eastern Railway Class A4 "Pacific" steam locomotive built at Doncaster, England in 1938.  While, in other respects, it is a relatively typical member of its class, it is historically significant for being the holder of the official world speed record for steam locomotives at 125.88 miles per hour.

(9/25/2011) Although occurring over a span of 104 years, all of the below-listed events happened on today's date; September 25th

September 25, 1902: Puget Sound Electric Railway interurban begins service from downtown Tacoma through Milton, Auburn, Kent and Renton to Seattle near Pioneer Square.  The line shuts down on December 30, 1928.

September 25, 1908: Northern Pacific train No. 16 crashes into an extra freight in a snowstorm at Young's Siding, four miles from Park City, Montana, shortly after 8 AM, killing 18 passengers and injuring many others.  The engine crews barely had time to jump.

September 25, 1925: Great Northern's engine #2517 leaves Seattle on its famous Silk Train marathon run.

September 25, 2006: Washington & Idaho Railway, Inc. contract with Watco-owned Palouse River and Coulee City Railroad to operate and maintain approximately 138 miles of track from Marshall, Washington to Moscow, Idaho, and WI&M trackage from Palouse, Washington to Princeton, Idaho, with a branch line from Pullman Junction to Thera, Washington.

(9/19/2011) On today's date, 32 years ago, the following event occurred.

September 19, 1979: The Port of Pend Oreille purchased Milwaukee Road's Newport to Metaline Falls, Washington line.  (The last Milwaukee Road train operated on October 1, 1979.)  The Pend Oreille Valley RR began operation several days later with Kyle Railways as the contractor. 

(9/11/2011) Here is an example of what was happening on this date 128 years ago:

September 11, 1983:  The first Northern Pacific transcontinental passenger train arrived in Portland, Oregon via The OR & N.

(9/1/2011) Today's Train Trivia focuses on events occurring on today's date; September 1st:
September 1, 1880: Oregon Central RR Co. [1866], opened Portland to St. Joseph OR, 46.8 miles, Jan. 4,1872; leased to Western Oregon RR Co. September 1, 1879 to August 31, 1880; consolidated into Oregon & California RR Co.

September 1, 1988: NP buys CR&N, including some Coeur d'Alene steamboats and the 3-foot gauge railroad.

September 1, 1900: Northern Pacific Railway begins operating Palmer Jct. to Auburn WA line, 21.7 miles.

September 1, 1917: GN passenger Train 2, Engine 1458, 8 cars, collided with the rear end of an eastbound freight attempting to enter Havre yard.  One killed, two injured.  Both trains were issued Block Occupancy Cards to run from Pacific Junction MT to Havre but the passenger train was not advised of the train ahead and the freight train brakeman was not protecting against the train behind.  Pacific Jct.-Havre was supposed to be Absolute Manual Staff territory where the engineer carrying the staff had the only right to occupy the track.  This rule had been modified locally to cut down on 16 hour law violations, but the investigator found several other rules were being violated.

September 1, 1923: Great Northern leases 5,500 refrigerator cars to GN-owned Western Fruit Express Co. [which affiliates with Fruit Growers Express to pool equipment as needed.]

September 1, 1953: UP motor Trains 573-574 discontinued, Minidoka - Buhl ID.

September 1, 1954: NP's first piggy-back flat car service begins.

(6/25/2011) June 25, 1881: NPRR steel gang reaches Spokane Falls, 149 miles from Ainsworth W.T., stopping near the Howard Street intersection early in the afternoon.  Graham's Band assembled at the Depot Grounds at 6:30 pm and struck up "a lively tune."  At 7:14 pm, a work train consisting of a locomotive and six boxcars came into view.

(6/3/2011) On May 22, 1961, the Milwaukee Road "Olympian Hiawatha" speedliners, Trains 15-16, began final two-day runs between Chicago, St. Paul/Minneapolis and Seattle Tacoma.

Trains 15 and 16 arrived at their terminals on May 24, 1961. [Since the late 1950s, Trains 15-16 had been combined with Hiawatha Trains 3 and 6 between Minneapolis and Chicago.]

The following "last consists" were recorded by Larry Nelsonof Spokane, courtesy Rocky Gibbs.

CMStP&P/MILW#16 at Spokane, May 22, 1961 - 10:42 pm-11:05 pm - last eastbound & last consist.
99A-102B-35A FP-7A-F7B-E-9A
1206 mail-baggage [ex-RPO]
605 leg-rest seat coach, 40 seats [Deadhead?]
123 diner, 40 seats [DH]
5748 Touralex "Mt. Hope" (14 Sec) [DH]
1350 baggage-dormitory
657 leg-rest seat coach, 40 seats
654 leg-rest seat coach [rebuilt from 52-seat coach]
57 Super Dome lounge
115 diner, 40 seats
5742 Touralex "Mt. McKinley" (14 Sec.)
8 Pullman sleeper "Lake Peewaukee" (10 Sec, 6DB)
17 Skytop ob-sleeper "Marble Creek" (8 DB-lounge ob)
[Called for 10:45 pm; flag off 11 pm - no delay.]

CMStP&P/MILW#15, Spokane, May 24, 1961 - 12:05 am to 12:36 am. - last westbound
103C-100A FP-7A's
1956 baggage
1953 baggage
1943 baggage
1352 baggage-dormitory
503 coach, 52 seats
630 leg-rest seat coach, 40 seats
50 Super Dome lounge
120 diner, 40 seats
11 Pullman sleeper "Lake Crescent" (10 Sec, 6DB)

[Engineer Rube Cowell, Conductor Clyde Modeland.  Called for 11:50 pm; blue flag off 12:16 am but 10 minute delay account express - unloading magazines.  Train missing its Touralex sleeper and its Skytop sleeper-observation.  The extra baggage cars were probably for loading of passenger station materials, with the cars to be returned east in freight trains.]

On May 23, 1961,  much shortened Trains 15-16 began their daily runs between Minneapolis and Deer Lodge MT.  These would last until 1967; Minneapolis to Aberdeen SD #15-16 operated until 1969.

100 Years Old: The Original Olympian, Train #15, made its first trip westbound from Chicago/Milwaukee on May 28, 1911; eastbound Olympian #16 made its first run from Tacoma/Seattle on May 29, 1911. [The Columbians, #17-18, made their first runs the same days.  All four trains would not serve Spokane until Sept. 15, 1914.

(5/10/2011) Today, May 10, 2011, marks the 142nd anniversary of the completion of the first North American transcontinental railroad.  A "Golden Spike" was driven by Leland Stanford to join the rails of the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific at Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory.

(5/6/2011) Unlike most railroads of the time which typically numbered railroad cars with 5 or 6 digits in series, the Moron Railroad had a steel boxcar that, simply, carried the number "1".

(4/6/2011) Revelstoke, British Columbia, still an important Division Point on the Canadian Pacific Railway, was originally named Farwell.

(1/30/2011) Many publications state that Canadian Pacific's Class T1a, T1b and T1c 2-10-4 5900's worked "as far west as Revelstoke" but they actually worked as far west as Taft, British Columbia in Eagle Pass.  They worked as pushers from Revelstoke to Taft due to the steep westward grade between Revelstoke and Clanwilliam at the summit of Eagle Pass.  They continued westward to Taft because Taft had a wye large enough to turn them for their Eastward return trip to Revelstoke.

(11/7/2010) Today marks the 125th anniversary of the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway at 9:22 a.m. at Craigallachie, British Columbia.

(11/5/2010) Canadian Pacific Railway's five 4-4-4 class F2a Jubilees (Nos. 3000 through 3004) were the only Canadian Pacific Railway steam locomotives that employed Boxpok driving wheels (which were 80 inches in diameter).

(11/4/2010) The Canadian Pacific Railway's two 4-8-4 class K1a Northern Nos. 3100 and 3101 employed the same basic boiler as was utilized on the twenty 2-10-4 class T1a Selkirks Nos. 5900 through 5919.

(9/23/2010) Canadian Pacific Railway's steam locomotives that were painted in the Tuscan/Black/Gold "passenger scheme" had their lead-truck wheels and driving wheels painted with "whitewalls," however, their trailing-truck wheels were typically not whitewalled.

(9/13/2010) Part of the Canadian Pacific Railway's unprecedented order for 173 stainless steel passenger cars (constructed in 1954 and 1955) from the Budd Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania included 18 dome-lounge-sleeper observation cars referred to as "Park" cars (since they were named after 18 Canadian parks).  Some 55 years later, 17 of the original 18 still exist with "Fundy Park" having fallen victim to a rear-end collision at Gull Lake, Saskatchewan in 1959 and subsequently scrapped.

(9/8/2010) Over the weekend CORP had a little "issue" with some center-sill flats.  About 20 or so that were in storage in the siding at Hugo somehow had their brakes released and rolled down the hill, through Merlin (about five miles), slowed to a stop, then proceeded to oscillate until they finally stopped, blocking a crossing at Merlin.  CORP sent an engine from Grant's Pass to put everything away.  No word yet on how the brakes got released.  [by guest writer "NB"]

(9/6/2010) The 1976-released movie Silver Streak had a train consist which included the Canadian Pacific Railway's "Park Car" Kokanee Park, one of eighteen "Park Cars" delivered to the railway for service primarily on The Canadian which began service between Vancouver and Toronto/Montreal on April 24, 1955.

(9/3/2010) Two of Canadian Pacific Railway's six class T1c Selkirks (numbered 5930 through 5935) have been preserved; Number 5931 in Calgary, Alberta and number 5935 in Delson, Quebec.  Prior to the preservation of number 5931, there was a large, city-wide fundraiser orchestrated in the city of Calgary to solicit funds for the preservation of Canadian Pacific Railway class T1c Selkirk number 5934.  The funds were ultimately raised, however, when the City went to select their "prize" (number 5934) from the scrapline of steam locomotives at Ogden Shops (Southeast of downtown Calgary) it was discovered that Selkirk number 5931 was in much-better shape for preservation than its sister, number 5934.  Having exposed the public to months of solicitation for the preservation of Selkirk number Fifty Nine Thirty FOUR, it was decided to re-number the locomotive for display, hence, number 5931 was preserved wearing the number of its now-scrapped sister, number 5934.  The phantom "5934" sat for years and years alongside the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway east of downtown Calgary until its move from that location to its current location at the entrance to Heritage Park in Calgary (which occurred in the early 2000's).  At that time, the locomotive was repainted and the injustice of its false numbering was finally rectified.  Today, class T1c Selkirk number 5931 is proudly displayed with its correct number.

(9/1/2010) Canadian Pacific Railway's first road passenger diesels, three La Grange-built EMD E-8's (numbered 1800, 1801 and 1802) were delivered in 1949 for use in the railway's service between Boston, Massachusetts and Montreal, Quebec.  They were actually ordered as E-7's so as to be the same as the locomotives in-use by the Boston and Maine Railroad who also provided service between Boston and Montreal.  By the time EMD received Canadian Pacific's order, EMD had changed its model design and designation from E-7 to E-8, hence the reason for Canadian Pacific receiving E-8's instead of E-7's.

(8/31/2010) The Canadian Pacific Railway's Laggan subdivision extends 136 miles between Calgary, Alberta and Field, British Columbia.  "Laggan" was the original name for the railway's siding at Lake Louise, Alberta.

(8/30/2010) Partridge siding, located at milepost 128 of the Canadian Pacific Railway's Laggan Subdivision, was formerly named Mars.

(8/10/2010) The locomotive cabs on the Canadian Pacific Railway's thirty-six 2-10-4 Selkirks (numbers 5900 through 5935) were curved inward at their tops in order to provide sufficient clearance when travelling through the double-tracked Connaught Tunnel.

(7/30/2010) The Canadian Pacific Railway owned six 0-6-6-0 articulated locomotives.  Five were simple articulateds but one, number 1950, was a compound mallet.  All were considered unsuccessful and were subsequently rebuilt into 2-10-0 decapods.  An unusual feature of Canadian Pacific's articulateds was that the cylinders for each of the two engines faced "inward" (i.e. they faced each other). 

(7/25/2010) The Canadian Pacific Railway owned 21 Trainmaster locomotives, numbers 8900 through 8920.  Four of them, numbers 8901 through 8904, were equipped with dual steam generators and had their "short" hoods widened to the full width of the cab.  As such, these were the only Trainmasters constructed in either the United States or Canada that were delivered with these full-width "short" hoods.

(7/24/2010) The Canadian Pacific Railway owned 15 Class S2a 2-10-2 Santa Fe types numbered 5800 through 5814 which were built in 1919.  They were all originally equipped with 8 wheel tenders but the tender of number 5812 was later replaced with a twelve wheel tender obtained from the one-of-a-kind, multipressure, 2-10-4 (class T4a) number 8000 which was scrapped in 1940.

(7/23/2010) The Canadian Pacific Railway owned 21 Trainmaster locomotives.  The first one, number 8900, was built in Beloit, Wisconsin by Fairbanks Morse.  The remaining 20 (numbered 8901 through 8920) were built in Canada by Canadian Locomotive Company (CLC) under license from Fairbanks Morse.

(7/22/2010) The Connaught Tunnel was converted from double track to single track in 1959.

(7/21/2010) The Connaught Tunnel is twenty-nine feet wide.