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  #1521  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2023, 5:55 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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  #1522  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2023, 12:38 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post

The worse one I remember was a large roller stalling out during a paving job on a hill. The operator attempted to move it out of the way by jumping it in and out of gear, and letting the weight of the machine slowly move it downhill. It seemed to be going fine until I saw him jump off and start running as it rolled away on its own. Two events involving incredible luck (or divine intervention, if you are so inclined) followed: (1) there were no vehicles moving on the street below, and (2) the runaway roller eventually collided with the bucket of a front end loader that happened to be parked downhill - the mass of the loader was enough to stop the roller without any tragic consequences.
When I was a little kid in the '60s we lived near the intersection of Barrington and Russell Sts not far from the Dockyard entrance. One day there was a sudden boom that attracted us kids to find the source, which wasn't difficult. You may recall that along that stretch of Barrington on the east side was a poured concrete wall the length of the railway trench separating the street/sidewalk from the industry on the harborside. Even back then, the wall with its inset-panel design was quite aged-looking.

When we observed the site of the apparent boom, we could see that a section of the wall at the foot of Russell St was missing except for some rubble. We soon learned that a dump truck proceeding down Russell had lost its brakes and went out of control across Barrington and smashed through the wall, falling into the rail trench below. I do not recall if we ever heard about the fate of the truck driver. For decades after you could see the section of wall they had eventually repaired quite easily, still in the same inset panel design but with new, lighter concrete. Street View still has 2009 images just before the wall being replaced where you can see the differences.
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  #1523  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2023, 2:06 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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That's quite a story, Keith. It makes me wonder how many more of these incidents happened that were never reported in the media, or were reported but have since been lost to the passage of time.

On a side note, the topic of things rolling uncontrollably on Halifax hills reminded me of a photo that ns_kid posted a number of years ago:

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Originally Posted by ns_kid View Post
As others have shared, Cogswell did indeed dead end at Brunswick. There is an interesting photo -- will see if I can find it -- of a mishap in the 40's, where a runaway tram lost its brakes on Cogswell Street. The tram careered down the street, crashing into a café at the foot of the hill on Brunswick. I remember being confused when I saw the photo, wondering why there was a café in the middle of the intersection.

That the intersection was a T not a + makes all the difference, of course.

Fortunately the motorman and passengers bailed out of the tram and were unhurt but, as I recall, a couple of people in the building were injured, including an infant sleeping in the second floor apartment, which the trolley pole penetrated.
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Here's the photo, from Don Cunningham and Don Artz' wonderful book, The Halifax Street Railway: 1866-1949 (Nimbus, 2009). NSLP tram 136 (route 5, Armdale-Railway Station) lost power on Cogswell at North Park and rolled the six blocks to Brunswick, where it jumped the track and crashed into the Boston Cafe. The date was July 22, 1945. The location is the east side of the Cogswell/Brunswick intersection, where Cogswell now continues down to the interchange.

The original post by ns_kid
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  #1524  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2023, 6:17 PM
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Aha! Now we are getting somewhere! I'll continue to look for more photo evidence... you never know what you'll find.
Talk about going back in time....

In 2019, OldDartmouthMark opened a conversation about the former Scotian Railroad Museum, located off Mumford Road from about 1972 to 1982. There was some discussion about what was there and, more specifically, where it was located.

This week I stumbled upon a photo that answers both questions definitively. It's one of scores of excellent rail photos, shot primarily around Halifax, in a Flickr album titled "Halifax Trains (and some other Maritime locations)" by Steve Young. Here's a link to the full album.

I've taken the liberty of capturing detail from Mr. Young's original photo. The image shows the location of the Scotian Railroad Society's collection, just off the CN mainline. The photo was taken from the bridge that carries Mumford Road over the tracks. The rolling stock was moved to the location from a siding which led to the Simpsons-Sears catalogue warehouse, at the rear of the Simpson's department store.

Visible in the SRS collection, on the back track, are a 1907 wood-sheathed CN van (caboose), and an historic wooden baggage car, built in 1875 for the Intercolonial Railway. Just visible at the end of that track are the cab roof and smokestack of the 2-6-2 steam locomotive #4, built in 1911, the last steam locomotive to run in regular service in Nova Scotia in the early 60s (for the Intercolonial Coal Company of Westville).

On the track closest to the camera are the Pullman-built business car "Ethan Allan" (1891) and a steel CN baggage car. The picture suggests the business car, which volunteers had spent many hours restoring, was in sad condition by the time photo was shot in 1981. By then the work and cost involved in protecting these historic artifacts from vandalism and the elements had all but crippled the society. Unable to find new homes for any of the equipment, the SRS was forced to scrap it all by 1983.


Source credit: Steve Young

Last edited by ns_kid; Apr 10, 2023 at 10:18 AM.
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  #1525  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2023, 2:50 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Wow! The elusive Scotian Railroad Museum photo! Great sleuthing! Just as I remember seeing it, but had never known anything about it before I read your posts.

Also of note is the rail spur into Simpson/Sears, which I can't recall seeing such a clear photo of before.

It is sad to see the artifacts in such poor condition, knowing how much work went into acquiring and restoring them. If only they could somehow have made it another four decades, I'm sure they could have found a good home in the Middleton Railway Museum. A tall order perhaps, but once they are gone they're gone forever.

Thanks for the album link. It was nice to see the old dayliners in service, providing almost commuter rail to lesser served areas of the province, only reachable by highway now. It was also nice to see the old downtown Dartmouth rail yard, where my interests in rail started (my aunts and uncles used to take me down to see the trains when I was very small, an activity that always brought delight, I can assure you).
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  #1526  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2023, 7:20 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Back in November, there was a tangential discussion in the Cogswell thread that involved the old County Of Halifax Municipal Building on Joseph Howe Drive.

I happened to find a photo of the building, apparently sometime in the 1990s, illustrating its appearance before the 'glassy' makeover that exists today.


https://7046.sydneyplus.com/archive/...3-022bedd618d2
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  #1527  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2023, 8:14 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Near the SW corner of Blowers and Barrington from 1987.



Source
I don't recall this occurring at the time, but it looks like this building burnt down in 1993:


Source
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  #1528  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2023, 11:45 AM
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The Blowers & Barrington building was known just prior to its demise as Hell's Hotel. It had been sitting abandoned for some time and had been taken over by squatters, mostly youths, who did all sorts of unspeakable and supposedly drug-induced things there at night.

I don't recall whether the fire that destroyed it was set after it was made known that the building was going to be demolished, or if it was an unsurprising consequence of it being occupied by such a group. Fortunately nobody was lost as a result.

https://twitter.com/HFXFireHistory/s...991448577?s=20
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  #1529  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2023, 12:30 PM
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The Blowers & Barrington building was known just prior to its demise as Hell's Hotel. It had been sitting abandoned for some time and had been taken over by squatters, mostly youths, who did all sorts of unspeakable and supposedly drug-induced things there at night.

I don't recall whether the fire that destroyed it was set after it was made known that the building was going to be demolished, or if it was an unsurprising consequence of it being occupied by such a group. Fortunately nobody was lost as a result.

https://twitter.com/HFXFireHistory/s...991448577?s=20
According to the Barrington Street Heritage Conservation District Revitalization Plan, the building was originally St. Mary's Infirmary, or St. Mary's College Hospital. It's mentioned frequently in reports of the Halifax Explosion as one of the hospitals caring for survivors. There are photos apparently taken inside the building but I searched in vain for exterior photos from its days as a hospital.


Source: "St. Mary's Hospital after Halifax explosion" (William James photo) City of Toronto Archives

When the building began life as a hospital, and when it ended, and what it was used for afterwards, I can't say. A 1947 directory of Canadian hospitals does not mention it. According to Nova Scotia Health, the original Halifax Infirmary was established by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul in 1886, moving to Queen Street in 1933. I can speculate that the original Infirmary was the building on Barrington and Blowers but that's only an assumption.
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  #1530  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2023, 3:06 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Thanks for the info, guys. Even though I had walked and driven by the building many times back then, I don't suppose I ever paid that much attention to it. Even when it burnt down, it didn't really register, though I can say that I had a lot going on in my life at the time...

To Keith's point, you can see the lower entry points boarded over in the 1987 photo... presumably an unsuccessful attempt at keeping the homeless out of an unsafe building.
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  #1531  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2023, 5:22 PM
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It is sad to see the artifacts in such poor condition, knowing how much work went into acquiring and restoring them. If only they could somehow have made it another four decades, I'm sure they could have found a good home in the Middleton Railway Museum. A tall order perhaps, but once they are gone they're gone forever.
Here are some (rather poor) photos of the SRS collection that I found in an old photo album. Judging by the condition of the rolling stock my guess is I shot these around the same time as the Steve Young photo, in the early 80s.

The steam locomotive, Intercolonial Coal #4, was nicknamed the "Georgia Peach", since it spent most of its life in the southern states.



The former Intercolonial Railway baggage car was painted bright yellow when part of the Canadian National museum train in the 1950s. The rot is pretty obvious here.



The "Ethan Allen" was beautifully appointed in mahogany inside. It was rescued by the late journalist H.B. Jefferson from Nova Scotia Pulp and Paper, who were using it as a construction trailer.



The CNR 1907-built van was not particularly rare when acquired in the 1970s, but they were rapidly disappearing by the end of the 80s.

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  #1532  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2023, 6:23 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Thanks for sharing those photos. It's obvious from the level of deterioration that it's virutally impossible to preserve artifacts like this in our damp/wet/cold/humid climate. Wood and steel don't really stand a chance without some sort of heightened maintenance plan, especially since the pieces were already over half a century old when acquired.

While I know this idea would be scoffed at by some, I think it's a shame that there wasn't some level of government support to help in preservation of these pieces of railway history. A small non-profit depending on volunteer labour and funding from benevolent donations doesn't really have a hope of success on any large level, without some sort of assistance. Sometimes you might get lucky and score a corporate sponsor who wants to be viewed as caring about the history and culture of a place, but my sense is that deals like that are few and far between.

Regardless, at least we still have photos, but a photo is really not the same as standing next to something, taking in the size, the textures, or just the sense of history that the physical article exudes. Too bad the timing wouldn't have allowed them to make it to Tatamagouche or something similar.

Thanks for reviving the info for something that would have been lost to history otherwise. I often wonder whether future generations will care about rail history, as railroads are much less a part of our culture now than they've ever been... I don't really have an answer TBH.
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  #1533  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2023, 7:36 PM
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I agree with you, of course. If nothing else, the steam locomotive deserved to be preserved, as the last to operate in regular service in the province. She could have had pride of place at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton but, alas, she was scrapped three years before the museum was built.

As a sidebar, there is at least one extant steam locomotive that has a history of operating in Nova Scotia. Canadian Pacific, formerly Dominion Atlantic, D10h locomotive (4-6-0) #999 is in the collection of the Canadian Railway Museum (Exporail) in St. Constant, QC. I would love to see her returned to Nova Scotia for display. #999 was in service on the DAR from 1937-1953. (The loco at the Middleton Railway Museum, ex-CNR 1521, never actually operated in Nova Scotia.)


Source: Old Time Trains

Last edited by ns_kid; Apr 12, 2023 at 8:05 PM.
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  #1534  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2023, 1:30 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I agree with you, of course. If nothing else, the steam locomotive deserved to be preserved, as the last to operate in regular service in the province. She could have had pride of place at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton but, alas, she was scrapped three years before the museum was built.

As a sidebar, there is at least one extant steam locomotive that has a history of operating in Nova Scotia. Canadian Pacific, formerly Dominion Atlantic, D10h locomotive (4-6-0) #999 is in the collection of the Canadian Railway Museum (Exporail) in St. Constant, QC. I would love to see her returned to Nova Scotia for display. #999 was in service on the DAR from 1937-1953. (The loco at the Middleton Railway Museum, ex-CNR 1521, never actually operated in Nova Scotia.)


Source: Old Time Trains
Very interesting. I'm not sure how CNR 1521 originally made it to Upper Clements Park, but it was a no-brainer to send it to Middleton once the park closed. I agree, though, that it would be nice to have a locomotive that actually operated in NS to be displayed there.

I wasn't aware of #999 being in Quebec. I'm also not familiar with that museum, though I've heard about it and would like to visit someday. I'm curious whether their equipment is stored in buildings, as with equipment like this, leaving it outside in the wet is not always the best way to preserve, yet indoor storage (especially if climate controlled) can be quite expensive.
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  #1535  
Old Posted May 19, 2023, 3:07 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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1345 Barrington Street:


Source

How it looks today (same building with "modern" facade):
https://goo.gl/maps/5rjw1rtG32bPHTEv5
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  #1536  
Old Posted May 19, 2023, 7:12 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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1327 Barrington:


Source

What is there now:
https://goo.gl/maps/imJCAHxH1b32nJkx5
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  #1537  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2023, 1:01 PM
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  #1538  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2023, 1:14 AM
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That is a very interesting and fairly old (latter half of the 1950s I would guess) aerial photo of Halifax and the then-Town of Dartmouth.
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  #1539  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2023, 1:19 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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That is a very interesting and fairly old (latter half of the 1950s I would guess) aerial photo of Halifax and the then-Town of Dartmouth.
I'm thinking it's earlier than that, as the Bi Hi (section of hwy 102 between Dutch Village Road and Fall River), which opened in 1958, appears to be nonexistent in the photo. The Macdonald Bridge span is complete, however, so maybe mid-1950s?
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  #1540  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2023, 3:38 PM
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I'm thinking it's earlier than that, as the Bi Hi (section of hwy 102 between Dutch Village Road and Fall River), which opened in 1958, appears to be nonexistent in the photo. The Macdonald Bridge span is complete, however, so maybe mid-1950s?
It is a time of great change in that, as you say, there is no Bi-Hi, so it is before '58. But the MacDonald is there (hard to tell if it is open yet) and there appears to be no Dartmouth Shopping Centre either. Nor do there seem to be any tall buildings in DT Halifax. The tallest structure I can see is the Victoria Bldg at the VGH site. I am fascinated by the low, sprawling buildings in Fairview just south of where the Fairview Overpass would be. No idea what they were. The amount of undeveloped land is remarkable in today's context. There also does not appear to be any sort of roadway through the eastern woods of Dartmouth and nothing crossing the lakes, so if you wanted to go to Hwy 7 and the Eastern Shore, you had to go along Prince Albert Road. Just imagine how easy it would have been to connect the Macdonald to the #7 if someone had been thinking ahead instead of having to meander through Dartmouth and use Woodland Ave as still remains the case today, incredibly.
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