Linemen Stories

Photos And Story submitted by:

Gordon Smithson, retired D.E.T. CNT/CNCP Kingston, Ont.


The Track MotorCar

The C.N.Railways retired their last operating steam locomotives on the Toronto – Montreal main line in 1962. Their replacement was the new diesel electric locomotive.

In an age of modernizing equipment, the C.N. Telegraphs retired their small fleet of track motorcars about five years later. Initially this happened in the territory along the C.N.R mainline on the busy double track Toronto – Montreal corridor (and elsewhere) that had come under C.T.C. signal controls.

The C.N.T linemen, who had formally relied on track motorcars for transportation to trouble-call problem areas, suddenly found that the Railway really didn’t want these little track motorcars on their tracks anymore. As a result, the track motorcars were retired and were replaced with trucks that got the linemen in close proximity, but sometimes a lot of extra work was involved with long walk-ins from the nearest road to the tracks.


More Facts About The Track MotorCar

The operator had to sit in close proximity to these extremely noisy engines. You could almost say the muffler system they had was non-existant. The engine, usually a FAIRMONT or a SYLVESTER, was situated forward of the operator, with its radiator projecting at the front. Usually there was a small plexi-glass windscreen but not much else. Oh yes – you had to manually lift and swing one end of the motorcar around off the tracks to remove it so as to permit the passage of trains. It was not the lightest thing to move by yourself. You also had to have a dispatcher’s Clearance Order for track usage!


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Front End Of A Track Motor Car


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Operator’s View of Engine and Control Levers




Webmaster A. R. (Sandy) Purdie   

Date this page was last Updated

04/09/08 03:27:31 PM