Monday, January 14, 2008

Former INR line Campbellton to St Quentin NB. PT 1

As I had mentioned in a previous post I had several projects planed for this summer and one of them is traceing the orgional 7.6 Km's of trackage from Campbellton NB to Christopher Brook near Tide Head NB. Last weeks Tribune had given me some much needed answers and also doing some research on line I have found what could be a discrepency in my findings and the published article in the January 9th edition of the Campbellton Tribune. I'm not sure but I will get this puzzle solved soon. Part one of the article is written by Yvon Roy as is said in the paper.

I have been able to obtain an arial photograph of Campbellton from the late 1950's circa 1958 the photograph had shown the outline of the former 7.6Km line running from it's origonal mile 00.00 at the Campbellton yard and make the half loop to the INR station on what it present day Arron Street and make it's way down Val D'mour road then through some what is now a thicket of trees crossing walker brook and makeing it's way to the base of Sugarloaf mountain and through present day Sugarloaf Provincial park. I have been able to trace that part of the line pretty good. However in the Tribune article the claim is different. The author say's the line ran from the former INR station on what is now Malcom street and went down a steep grade crossing present day Val D'mour road and eventually makeing it's way to the base of Sugarloaf mountain however the arial photograph I seen show's differently unless I'm not reading the picture properly. Eitherway it's worth some looking into I'll write more at a later date regarding the newspaper article as I am still researching this section of track and for the most part it'll have to wait till spring comes so that I may follow the former line to Christopher Brook and take some pictures, who knows maybe a railroad tie or rail might have been forgotten you never know!


Tim said...

I wrote the comment on the end. I can't remember where I learned about Malcolm St, but seem to recall it was from an old Campbellton Graphic when the city put the street in. I'll see if I can find it. Also the map from the 1940s (when the tracks were gone) which is at the library, shows the direction of the line in the Arran/Sugarloaf area curving away from Arran slightly northwest. (Malcolm as you know was the name of one of the promoters of the Restigouche and Western, later the INR.) The station was set further back off what is now Arran, with the entrance on what is now Victoria St. George St. was actually built as access to the station, some years after it was in place. The hills between Campbellton and Glencoe (Christopher) were the reason why CN abandoned that section of track and built a new one up Christopher Brook in Tide Head. If you wanted railway ties from the INR, you could have had your fill when they built Sobeys. They dug up a pile of them on the old right-of-way and as far as I am aware they all went to the dump. I took a photo of them. I have other photos from a WWI army encampment that show the INR tracks back by Sugarloaf, but the photos face the mountain so you can't get an idea of the route to the north. The route should not be impossible to get, because a survey and map will exist in CN's records somewhere or at the Museum of Industry (I think it is called) which has the old CN archives. In fact I suspect they have old photographs of it that have never been seen in this area. They were routinely taken for business purposes and filed away somewhere.

cheers, TJ

clam502 said...

Thanks Tim! I'll check the library again see what else I can get, when I went I didn't find much info but it won't hurt to check again.

Tim said...

Well, the map in the library doesn't show much, but it shows some. I know I've seen more, but can't remember where! Anyway, the map in the library is an old insurance book with cloth pages. It is usually sitting on top of the cabinet in the room where the microfilm machine is. ACtually I think it is 1932, not the 1940s. I too used to believe that the line went down the hill where Val d'Amour Road is now, by Desroches canteen, but apparently it went up where Malcolm is. I was surprised at that, but perhaps the hill down Val d'Amour Road was much steeper then, or it could have been a question of who owned the land. (Malcolm, one of the R&W promoters, owned land in the Sugarloaf Street area.) If it went down by Val d'Amour Road, though, it would have had to have run really close to the race track, which predated the INR. The track was immediately east of what is now Pine St., where Harvey Meadows subdivision is now. I've never seen a photo of a line or remnants of a line in that area. The northern edge of the race track came right up to Walker Brook which at that point is almost at the Val d'Amour Road, so it would have been a tight squeeze. I figure -- but don't know -- that if it went up Malcolm it must have come down by the China Coast restaurant somewhere. As I say, if you have the time I'm sure in some file archive somewhere there is bound to be a proper map and survey, and likely photographs too. Likely in one of the Ottawa museums now. Good luck.

Cheers, TJ