Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Features & History of CNR 4-4-0 #40

A bit of history of Canadian National's 4-4-0 #40.

Grand Trunk Locomotive Order With Portland Locomotive Works
CN #40 was part of an order of 20 locomotives placed with Portland Locomotive Works of Portland, Maine by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) and delivered between November of 1872 and July of 1873.  The locomotive was delivered as #362 in a numbered range of #360 - 379 with builder's #233 in a numbered range of #231 to #253. 

While builder's #246 - #248 were assigned by Portland to non-GTR locomotives, #249 and #250 were assigned to GTR #325 and #326 - two 4-4-0 locomotives with 60" drivers and 16"x 24" cylinders - which were delivered in May of 1873. 

The main features of these locomotives were their 66" drivers and 16"x 24" cylinders.  A scan of GTR locomotives built before, concurrent and after this time period indicate that these features appear to be standard with driving wheels being 60" or 66" in diameter and cylinders being 16"x 24" or 16"x 26".

GTR locomotives went through renumberings in 1898 and 1904.  In the 1898 renumbering, GTR #362 received GTR #40.  The only locomotives in the original order that survived into the 1904 renumbering were #364 (#170), #366 (#168) and #376 (#171).  All others had been scrapped or sold.  (Andrew Merrilees Collection, Library & Archives Canada, MG31 Series A10, Volume 19, Handwritten Notes "GTR Locomotives", Pages 43 & 44)

While there are no photos of #362 during this time period, a photo of #271, built in 1874, might give us an idea of what our locomotive looked like at that time. (The date of the photograph is unknown.) 
The main features of #271 are its 16"x 26" cylinders and the 60" driving wheels.  The locomotive is equipped with a wood-burning smokestack as evidenced by the logs protruding from the tender.

Another photograph from the Maine Memory Network shows a Grand Trunk 4-4-0 photographed circa 1875.  There appears to be a load of coal in the tender

Except for the smokestacks, the placement of the steam and sand domes, and the curved side-cab windows, the locomotives are cosmetically very similar in many respects to #362 (#40) in its current form. 
Sale to Breakey Lumber/ Chaudiere Valley Railway
In 1903, #362 (#40) was sold to Breakey Lumber of Chaudiere Mills (formerly Breakeyville) in Quebec's Beauce Region, about 90 km southwest of Quebec City.

In 1846, Hans Denaston Breakey, an Irish immigrant, established the first of several saw mills in partnership with his brother-in-law, Charles King.  In the spring of 1847 they initiated yearly timber drives on the Chaudière between the southern Beauce and Chaudière Mills which would continue uninterrupted until 1947. At the height of the timber drives during the 20th century the firm would employ up to 2,000 men each spring.

With the retirement of his father, John Breakey assumed control of the business in 1870.  Initially, oxen and horses hauled the timber from Breakey’s mill to New Liverpool (Saint-Romuald) on the St Lawrence River, where his firm had docking facilities. There it was loaded on schooners for shipment to Quebec City and then overseas. In 1883 Breakey built a six-mile stretch of railway from his mill to Chaudière-Bassin, close to New Liverpool. In 1898 he and other members of his family incorporated the Chaudière Valley Railway Company. The proposed line was to run along the Chaudière from Scott-Jonction (Scott) to Chaudière-Bassin so as to incorporate the section already in operation and then to continue past Lévis to a terminus at deep water.  This part was never built.

By 1895 Breakey employed 600 men and 300 horses in the lumber camps during the winter; 200 men and 20 horses worked at the mill and elsewhere during the summer. The mill processed 33,000,000 board feet of lumber per year into beams, planks, laths, railway ties, and telephone and telegraph poles. About ten years later an historian of the lumber industry, James Elliott Defebaugh, described Breakey’s mill as “one of the largest if not the largest spruce deal mill in the province of Quebec.” 

With the death of John Breakey in 1911, the family began production of pulpwood and in 1922 they completely abandoned the manufacture of sawn lumber.  In 1947 they added a groundwood mill to their facilities. (Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online - John Breakey)

It was usually the case that industrial operations such as Breakey Lumber would purchase used locomotives from the railways or from the scrap dealers for their railway operations.  Very rarely were locomotives purchased new from the builders.  Such was the case with Breakey Lumber when they purchased GTR #362 (#40) in 1903.  At that time, GTR #362 (#40) had been in service for 31 years.  Aside from minor maintenance, these industrial locomotives very rarely had major overhauls, except for those that would keep the locomotive operating.  Bailey & Glithero indicate that its truck and tender wheels were replaced in 1925, along with its tender tank and a Westinghouse air brake pump.

Other than "quick changes" such as wheel sets, break rigging, and other easy change-outs, it is unlikely that #362 (#40) would have received major overhauls as there was usually an inexpensive supply of used locomotives from the railways or the scrap dealers.

Acquisition by Canadian National Railways
Canadian National Railways acquired the Chaudiere Valley Railway in 1947.  This included GTR #362 (#40).  Bailey & Glithero show the locomotive at CN's Charney yard (south shore of the St Lawrence River opposite Quebec City) in 1949.  The locomotive has a "switcher" pilot that allows brakemen to stand on the footboard and a "balloon-type" smokestack.  With the advent of Canadian National's Museum Train in 1950, the smokestack was raised and the switcher pilot replaced with a wooden pilot similar to those shown in the photos above.  In 1951 a "knuckle" coupler was added so that the locomotive could be transported around the country as part of CN's Museum Train.  In 1966, the locomotive was donated to the Canada Science & Technology Museum. 

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