Canadian Electric Railway Map Collection

Canadian Electric Railway Map Collection

Update Announcements

File alpha 20 released

Posted by Paul Delamere on October 22, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Greetings e-rail fans.

This update is rather large and I have many people and institutions to thank this time around.

We begin with St. John's Newfoundland and the St. John's Street Railway. The Reid Newfoundland Company were busy building the trans-provincial railway when they won a $140,000 contract to build St. John's first public transit system. Conditions in the contract required the Reid Company to provide St. John's with its first paved street. A layer of granite paving stones was laid over Water street where they remained until the tracks were lifted in 1950.

The basic map was drawn from a map on page 33 of "The street cars of old St. Johns" by the late William Connors ISBN 0-920021-65-4. Photos and fire insurance plans held by the St. John's city archives With thanks to archivist Helen Miller B.A., ISA and archives technician Neachel Keeping B.A., M.A. Photo links provided by the Newfoundland Provincial Archives

Moving south the next systems to be improved are those of the Cape Breton Electric Company. Owned and operated by Stone and Webster Incorporated of Boston Massachusetts from 1901 to 1931 this group of two street railway lines, two interurban lines and a connecting ferry service served the towns of North Sydney, Sydney Mines, Sydney and Glace Bay. After abandonment in 1931, the Sydney and Glace Bay interurban was purchased by the employees of the company and operated successfully until 1947.

Maps used to draw these systems came from an unpublished book by Weldon Cameron held by the Old Sydney Society with thanks to Jennifer LeBlanc. Further photos and maps held by the Beaton Institute at Cape Breton University Additional photos, maps, newspaper articles and data on the ferry service graciously provided by author and historian Ross Aitkins of Sydney. I look forward to reading his book on the ferrys of Sydney when published next year.

The next system to get attention is the Egerton Tramway Company/Pictou County Electric Company/Pictou County Power Board. Details have been hard to come by and I have yet to see a map of any kind that features the tram routes but I have been able to find some new details. The location of the car house and power house in Stellarton are now marked. Additional track has been marked out between Westville and New Glasgow including the trestle at New Glasgow. I am still in need of maps or data for the route between New Glasgow and Trenton. Thanks to Curator of Collections Mary Guildford at the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry in Stellarton for photos detailing street scenes and the Nova Scotia Provincial Archives for their Goads Fire Insurance Plans microfilms. Many photo links have been attached. Special thanks to Donnie Graham of Highland Ford for his help in locating the photo of the Eastern Automobile Company at 238 Archimedes Street New Glasgow. The photo can be found here:

The Halifax street railway track plan was drawn from a map by the late historian Omer Lavallee. Details have been added regarding the second electric seven track car house built in 1895. The third carhouse built before 1906 and the fourth car house opened by 1907 have also been marked out. The fifth and last car house has been corrected for position and tracks plotted. The power house has been marked as well. Many thanks to of the Halifax Regional Municipality Archives  with special attention paid by municipal archivist Susan McClure, B.A.Sc., M.A.S.

Yarmouth has been completed as far as history will currently allow. The carhouse and back-up power house have been added and it is interesting to note the car house was expanded between 1907 and 1914 as displayed on the Goad fire insurance plans I found on microfilm at the Nova Scotia Provincial Archives I was also able to find and mark the system's only passing siding near the former Grand Hotel. Further information is needed to confirm intersection details at King Street and Main street. With thanks to the Yarmouth County Museum and Archive and its archivist Jamie Serran, MLIS, B.A.H.

Our next system is the Moncton street railway in Moncton New Brunswick. This map is actually two separate systems. The first ran only two ywars and shut down. Several years later a second and longer lasting system was opened. Thanks to J. Arthur Clowes, curator of the New Brunswick Railway Museum for his personal assistance and photographs. I am still in need of a track plan for the Mechanic street carhouse.

The St. John street railway has been improved with data and photographs supplied by historian and author Harold Wright who drew the maps I used from the book the "Loyalist City Streetcars" by the late Fred Angus. You may notice the map is not well plotted due to the poor image quality over St. John. When Google improves the image the system will be drawn out with greater accuracy.

My trip to St. Stephen New Brunswick has yeilded a complete map of the system including all turnouts and spurs as well as the car house and power house. This system has the distinction of being one of only two international tram lines shared by the United States and Canada. My heart felt thanks to author and historian Douglas Dougherty for photos and text. Mr.Dougherty is also currently the curator of the Charlotte County Museum and provided the book "Around Town by Rail - The Calais / St. Stephen Streetcars" by Richard P. Auletta where my map was drawn from his map on page 13. This book was published by the Greater Calais Area Chamber of Commerce in 1994 and does not have an ISBN number. Special thanks to Michael O'Neill of the National Air Photo Library, 615 Booth Street Ottawa for his assistance and the library's awesome colletion of aerial photos that helped locate the car house and power house.

The next system that has been updated is the Sudbury and Copper Cliff Suburban Electric Railway. The corrections include the correct paths of the Copper Cliff end of the street system including the locations of the 3 different stations in Copper Cliff as well as the copper smelter passenger spur. The base map was drawn from a map provided by and photos found in the book "Sudbury Electrics and Diesels" by author and historian Dale Wilson and published by Nickle Belt Rails, ISBN 0-920356-12-5 Additional aerial photos provided by the NAPL with thanks to Michael O'Neill.

The Inco industrial lines have been added to with the Levack line added and additional lines added in Copper Cliff. Also included now is the Mond Mining Company line in Conniston. The roasting yards in Conniston have not been confirmed as electric as yet but have been added due to them being connected to the rest of the system. Thanks again to Dale Wilson for his work in this area.

Finally for this update is the Brandon Municipal Railway in Manitoba. Information has been especially difficult to find for this system but thanks to photos supplied by Shaun Cameron of Brandon I was able to add one new intersection at Princess avenue and 10th street. Shaun is currently working on a documentory about the Brandon Municipal Railway and you can follow his work here:

On a personal note, this work has become more important than it was in the beginning. People have begun to ask where I have found the information I have used to create these maps. I am now adding citations and links to my sources of data as well as photos linked to the lines I have drawn and from also the photographers point of view to bolster the accuracy of my work. All photos used are taken of existing relics by myself, or avaliable online and in the public domain. I am thrilled to be able to do this and am open to your thoughts and criticisms.

As always, I remind all users to delete any previous copies of the map file from "My Places" in your Google Earth or ARC Globe programmes before opening this latest file to avoid unnecessary duplications and overlaps.

Thank you for your interest and support.


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