The Toronto Railway Museum is open! Please click here for more information.     
Click Here to
join the TRHA
discussion group.

Powered by Blogger


Part 4 of 4: Valuable Donation to Toronto Railway Museum

Image #15 below is GTR 4-6-0 No. 990, built by GTR in 1899 and scrapped in 1932. There is no information as to location. Notice the engineman performing some maintenance while kneeling on the driving rod. Michael Guy advises that he is most likely oiling the inside valve gear, typically Stevenson's link motion on such engines.

Image #16 was a mystery and in a different format than the other cabinet cards. Although there is rich geographical context in the photo, the locomotive is a 2-6-2 Prairie, a rare wheel arrangement in Canada. After blowing the image up in Photoshop, I was able to make out the lettering AT&SF on the tender, indicating that it was an Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe engine and presumably photographed on that southwestern U.S. system. Numbered in the low 1000’s, this was a Vauclain compound locomotive manufactured by Baldwin in 1901. The Santa Fe is now part of the BNSF Railway, the second largest freight system in the U.S.

Image #17 is another mystery in a different oval-shaped format from the other photographs. As near as I can tell, the locomotive is numbered 87 and is double-headed with another engine. If on the CPR or GTR roster, a two-digit number would certainly indicate a very early 4-4-0 locomotive. The Great Western Railway also had a No. 87.

Image #18 According to Michael Guy, this is a UK North Eastern Railway (NER) 4-4-0.

The TRHA is certainly grateful to Doug Montgomery for donating this valuable collection to the Toronto Railway Museum. It’s through the generosity of people like Doug, who make the effort to pass these collections on to responsible organizations rather than just auction them off on eBay, that we are able to preserve, interpret and curate these photographs and enrich our knowledge of Toronto’s railway history.

These cabinet cards also reveal that there was a thriving commercial market for photographs of railway subjects at the turn of the 20th century. Most of the identifiable local images appear to have been made around 1901 and depict new or nearly new locomotives. The quality of the images and the usually cumbersome photographic equipment of that era indicate that they were made by a professional photographer with the full cooperation of railway officials.

From my own point of view as the TRHA Historian, there are few activities more pleasurable than an opportunity to analyze and interpret a collection like this. Information about the engines was provided by Michael Guy, Omer Lavallee’s Canadian Pacific Steam Locomotives book and the Grand Trunk roster that was published in the Autumn 1982 issue of Railroad History 147. Any corrections or additions are welcome. Contact us by clicking here if you have any.

Click on each image below for a closer look!

Click here to return to the first posting in this series of 4.

Posting by Derek Boles, TRHA Historian

News and Events About Us Museum Collections History Links Contact Us Resources Home