Saturday, November 22, 2008

Boston Bar

Boston Bar Engine Facility, Canadian National Railways, Western Region, British Columbia District, Kamloops Division, Yale Subdivision, Mile Post 0.0, July 1959. Located at the beginning of the Yale Subdivision, Boston Bar was 131.5 miles and the first division point east and north of Vancouver, deep in the Fraser River Canyon.

We were on a vacation trip from Prince Rupert to Seattle, and enjoying some terrific railroad sights and sounds in the Canyon. I swear you could hear the roaring of a freight train a good 15 minutes before it past, with those beautiful General Motors Division locomotives filling the canyon below.

And it was a double treat what with the Canadian Pacific Railway running along the opposite canyon wall.

Boston Bar gains its colorful name from a group of easterners - Bostonians - who worked a sand and gravel bar located here in the Fraser River during British Columbia’s gold rush days. Other colorful names along the river included China Bar, Sailor Bar.

This facility, being the first major division point just over 100 miles north and east of Vancouver, had a four bay engine house complete with turntable. With the introduction of diesel-electrics, a massive oil tank became a prominent feature on the landscape.


A fellow by the name of Endre Cleven snapped this shot of a southbound Canadian Pacific freighter passing North Bend c.1956

Immediately across the Fraser River, the Canadian Pacific Railway had their division point on the Thompson Subdivision named North Bend. Here we see a freshly provisioned locomotive ready for assignment.

Until 1986, a cable car, capable of transporting one motor vehicle or up to 40 passengers joined the two communities. In 1986, a highway bridge was placed across the river joining the two communities.

So that was then, and this is now. The CN and CP have signed a document which provides for eastbound power of both railroads to use the North Bend side of the river, and westbound power of both railroads use the Boston Bar side of the river, between Mission and Ashcroft.

Here’s an interesting view from the
modern day tram crossing the Fraser River, wherein you can clearly see “both” railroads. In this view, the trans is heading west toward North Bend.

By the way, I am curious to know if a reader can identify the type of maintenance of way car with the cupola sticking up at the south end. It has a coal-burning stove at the north end.

1 Comments - Click here:

Robert in Port Townsend said...

This is a blow up of the car in the lower right corner of the Boston Bar scene. From a 35mm slide no less! Ross M. believes this to be a flanger. Could well be! Thanks Ross!

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