60 Meadowvale Ave. E., Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Although I am not as old as most of the men who write to you nor have I had personal experience with steam engines, still I am quite interested in steam and I used to get a great thrill out of watching the threshing at my grandfather's farm when the mill was powered by steam. The past few years I have had the privilege of attending steam reunions with some old steam men.
Recently, in Belleville, Ontario we had an event of interest to steam men. For almost a century trains have run down one of the main streets of the Canadian National Railroad to the docks. The City persuaded the C.N.R. to find an alternate route for the spur line, around the outside of the City, and they have now abandoned the Pinnacle street line.
Naturally the City and the motoring public in particular were very happy to see the end of the competition between the trains and motor vehicles on Pinnacle street. To celebrate the event the City and the C.N.R. cooperated to hold 'Railroad Week' in Belleville June 22-28, 1964. The C.N.R. put on a display at the station including a demonstration car showing the new hump yards in Toronto, a variety of rolling stock, the newest in diesel engines, but most interesting was a number of steam engines, an old wood burner built in 1872, a saddle back built in 1894, and three modern type heavy duty steam engines built in 1930, 1936 and 1940.
The only steam engine operating was No. 6167 a Northern 4-8-4 type locomotive using superheated steam, pressure 275 lbs. This engine pulled a passenger train twice daily Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and three times Wednesday and Friday to Anson Junction and return, a round trip of about 40 miles. On Saturday the train went to Peterborough and on Sunday to Cobourg beach. On every run the train was packed. Many children had never been on a train, let alone one pulled by steam, and don't think the adults didn't enjoy the ride. Do you know, train smoke still smells the same. It is quite amazing the crowds of people who came to see this display-some from great distances.