Feature Friday February 24, 2023

24 Feb

Then and now photos featuring Iron Range Hill west of Thunder Bay, ON. In the first photo, a 2-6-0 Mogul of the Canadian Northern Railway (either 107 or 108), is stuck in the snow on the hill sometime in late 1915 or early 1916. The railway was built as the Port Arthur, Duluth and Western in 1893, but at the time was known as the Canadian Northern Railway North Lake Subdivision.

Iron Range Hill, located between Mileposts 59 and 60.5, was the steepest grade on the line at nearly 2 percent. It can be found southwest of Thunder Bay between Sandstone Lake (known as Sand Lake at the time) and Iron Range Lake. Brakeman Jack Lalonde leans against the stack, while passenger J.T. Greer is the middle of the three men standing beside the boiler. Greer is headed to the station at North Lake (MP 71), from where he will proceed to his logging operation further west on the lake.

Today the hill is much quieter (photo taken March 2020). The North Lake Subdivision eventually became part of the Canadian National Railways network and in 1923 this section of line (Mackies to North Lake) was take out of service. The rest of the subdivision was abandoned by CNR in October 1938 and the rails pulled up in 1939.

Picture courtesy of Mary Wilson.

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Posted by on February 24, 2023 in History, Railway


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