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Locating the Brockville & Westport

Before we get into events for 1887, lets locate the B&W, particularly from Brockville to Lyn.  Many railfans assume that the B&W connected with the Grand Trunk at Lyn Junction and had running rights over the GTR into Brockville.  They also assume that construction started at Lyn Junction on the GTR and moved north up the Lyn Valley to Lyn.  Given the difficulty of getting out of Brockville and over the rocky St Lawrence escarpment, this would be the easy way to get out of Brockville.  But the B&W was not a railway line to take the easy way out. 
If the GTR had been smart, they would have negotiated an exclusive interchange of traffic in return for running rights into Brockville for the B&W.  Unlike the CPR, the GTR wasn't very friendly with small railways.  They didn't want to have anything to do with the B&W.  The B&W had no choice but to interchange traffic with the CPR.  But how could the B&W connect with the CPR?
On 06 June 1881, the Canada Central Railway (formerly the Brockville & Ottawa) became the first part of the Canadian Pacific Railway.  Access to the St Lawrence River waterfront was through a tunnel constructed in 1860 under the business centre of downtown Brockville.  By the 1880's, passenger cars had increased in size so that they could no longer pass through the tunnel.  In 1883, the CPR constructed a loop line for easier access to the Brockville waterfront.  The line started north of the GTR main line, parallelled and then crossed under the GTR at Buell's Creek to the west.  It followed the creek in a southerly arc to the Brockville waterfront. 
The B&W started on the outskirts (at that time) of Brockville on Church Street at this arc.  With an interchange agreement with the CPR, the B&W had gained access to the Brockville waterfront and a major railroad.  One problem solved!  (The operation of the wye and the interchange agreement wasn't formalized until February 19, 1889 and was only for a two year term.)


Map of the Railway Lines in Brockville circa 1890 (Not to scale).  From left to right (west to east) is the Grand Trunk mainline from Toronto to Montreal.  Brockville was a major division point on the GTR.  On the right from botton to top, is the Canadian Pacific main line from Brockville to Smiths Falls.  To the west is the CPR loop line which followed Buell's Creek to the Brockville waterfront.  The B&W started at the western-most point of the CPR loop line. 

The BW&SSM started with the north and south legs of a wye.  The east side of the wye was formed by the CPR loop line going to the CPR docks on the Brockville waterfront.  Within one short block, the BW&SSM managed to crowd in quite a bit of trackage.  

The Church St station was built in 1889 and was three storeys high.  It measured 38'wide and 64' long.  On the ground floor were located the main waiting room 26'x 38' washrooms, the agent's room 12'x 18' with a brick vault of 5'x 7'.  The baggage room was 15'x 25' and the freight room 22'x 29'.  
The second floor was divided into six offices for the staff, a ticket storeroom, another vault, and a washroom, the offices being separated by a six foot hall running east and west the whole length of the building.  The third storey was divided into three apartments, each about 12 feet square.  There will be no plaster whatever used in the building walls, ceilings, the whole interior being constructed of native woods and finished in oil.
The station was used until 1921 when the Canadian National Railways took over the operations of the Grand Trunk Railway.  Station operations were moved to the Grand Trunk Station and this part of the line from Centre Street to Lyn Junction were abandoned.  


Brockville, Westport & Northwestern 4-4-0 #66 with a wooden truss-rod baggage - mail car at the B&W Church St. station in Brockville circa 1904.  Locomotive #66 was the first of two locomotives that were purchased new - all other locomotives were purchased used.  The locomotive was delivered new by the Locomotive & Machine Company (later renamed Montreal Locomotive Works) to the BW&NW in July of 1904. 
The Canadian Northern Railway took over the BW&NW in 1910 but the railway still retained its identity until 1913.  At that time, BW&NW #66 was renumbered as CNoR #53, Class A-24-a.  CNoR #53 was to become CNR #123 when Canadian National Railways began numbering locomotives in 1922.  However, it is unlikely this number was ever applied to the locomotive as it was scrapped in March 1922.  BW&NW #66 was the most photographed of all of the B&W locomotives.  Photo Courtesy Brockville Museum, Brockville, Ont.
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