Friday, October 26, 2012

Hixon's Wooden Peg

I recently received an email from one of my readers which read:

When I was in British Columbia, the Canadian National track had a wooden peg driven through the tie plate and into the tie approximately every 5'. I have never seen this before. What is the purpose of these many pegs? 

he photo was taken in October 2011 just south of Hixon, B.C., just west (roughly 2,000') of the Cariboo Highway 97. Hixon* is approx. 30-40 miles south of Prince George, B.C

The distance covered at least 1/8 mile, possibly much further. 

–  George Formanek

In researching this oddity, I did locate an article in the June 1953 issue of Popular Mechanics, alluding to the use of wood pegs during track alignment processes. Could George's photo prove to be part of this?

Please let us hear from you, either thought the comment feature below, or by emailing me via the "E Mail" button in the right column, concerning the purpose of the wood peg.

Hixon is on the east bank of the Fraser River, midway between Prince George and Quesnel. Named for Hixon Creek, the name of Joseph Foster Hixon, who found gold on the banks of the Fraser River around 1866.

Hixon was established by the Pacific Great Eastern Railway. Here we see it listed in the Prince George Subdivision, in Time Table 82, published in June 1961.

The Pacific Great Eastern became British Columbia Railway in 1972. And renamed BC Rail in 1986. Notice the siding capacity was dramatically increased from 42 cars to 2,350 cars. This must have been due to the longer, heavier coal movements from Tumbler Ridge to Robert's Bank Terminal near Vancouver British Columbia.

Finally in 2004, Canadian National (CN) took over the management of BC Rail. Car capacity - at least in this 2005 Time Table - remained at 2,350 cars.

1 Comments - Click here:

Chris BIGDoer said...

Awesome, I've seen these too and always wondered what they were for.

Chris “BIGDoer”

Chris and Connie: Off the beaten path.
Hiking - Adventure - History - Exploration

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