Item 2020.08.03 - Pacific Great Eastern Railway train at Squamish dock

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Pacific Great Eastern Railway train at Squamish dock

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  • [between 1915 and 1918] (Creation)

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1 photograph : b&w

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Scope and content

Photograph depicts a Pacific Great Eastern Railway train on the original dock at Squamish (Newport); the vessel in the distance behind the warehouse is quite likely the "MV Ballena", the subject of photograph 2020.08.01.

The equipment shown in this photograph is: Locomotive 51 or 52, built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1913; caboose C-1, built by National Steel Car, Hamilton, Ontario in 1914; baggage-mail car 51 or 52; passenger coach 2, 3 or 4; and an unknown flat car outfitted as a sightseeing car with canopy. The time-frame for the photograph is between June 8, 1915 (when baggage-mail cars 51 & 52 arrived at Newport Dock) and some time in 1918 (when caboose C-1 was re-numbered to 1801).

Additional information on baggage-mail cars 51 & 52 and coaches 2, 3 & 4:
Baggage and mail cars 51 and 52 were purchased from E.H. Wilson & Co. of Philadelphia at a total cost of $2806.74 each. They were received on line June 4, 1915 and were barged to Newport on June 8. These cars had a length of 64 ft. over buffers, an inside length of 60 ft. and an inside width of 9 ft. 2½ in. and rode on 6-wheel trucks. Although not confirmed, these cars are believed to be of Pennsylvania Railroad heritage with PRR Class MM baggage and mail cars being the most likely candidates. Certainly, all the other cars purchased from E.H. Wilson & Co. were ex-Pennsylvania and the gasoline lighting system with which these cars were delivered was used extensively by the PRR.

Coaches 2, 3, & 4 are former Pennsylvania Railroad Class “PK” closed vestibule coaches #s 3077, 3080, & 3092 which were received on June 10, 1914 after being purchased from E.H. Wilson & Co. for $3859.11, $3858.87 & $3858.87 respectively. They were built by the PRR in 1905, 3070 and 3088 at Altoona Car Shops and 3092 at the Wilmington, Delaware shops of subsidiary Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. All had been assigned to P.B. & W. service. The Official Railway Equipment Register lists these cars as 62 ft. long with a capacity of 60 passengers.

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The original negative for this photograph is believed to exist in the collection of Edward (Ted) Luke, a former PGE employee and the author of "A Railway a Small Town and Me". Additional prints of this photograph exist in other collections.

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Item is digitized and available in high-resolution TIFF and JPEG formats. The digital access JPEG available here has been retouched for increased visibility.

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No restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Personal or academic use of materials is welcomed under the standard fair use and educational use clauses of Canadian Copyright Law. Commercial use is, however, forbidden without the express permission of the copyright holder. For information on obtaining written permission from the copyright holder, please contact the Northern B.C. Archives and Special Collections.

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Part of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway Region Photograph Collection

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Information about this photograph and the equipment provided by Greg Kennelly, amateur PGE historian, based the following sources:

  • Notes regarding the PGE railway passenger cars compiled by Eric Prince Stathers, who served as Wrecking Foreman, General Car Foreman, and Superintendent of Car Equipment for the PGE from 1929 to 1965
  • "Pacific Great Eastern Railway Equipment Register" held at BC Archives (includes information about date of purchase, price paid, and vendor name for many of the cars)
  • "Scows and Barges Arriving at Newport Dock" held at the Archives of the West Coast Railway Museum in Squamish
  • Ernie Plant’s photographs of Coach #2 and one other at Squamish in 1937 and Coaches #2 and 4 lettered “B & B No. 1" near Quesnel in 1946 show cars consistent with both Stathers’ description and Pennsylvania Class “PK” records.
  • The late Bill Hewlett’s notes indicate that “Stathers’ List” shows Coaches 2 and 4 with “B & B No. 1" and Coach #3 with the Ditcher in 1949.
  • A photograph from an unknown source in an album assembled by John Cooshek carries the notation “Newly purchased Coach #2 in 1915" on the back.

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