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GTP Moose’s Nose

Neebing River Culvert Moose’s Nose Alba Station

The Moose’s Nose was a section of the Grand Trunk Pacific line west of Fort William, ON (Thunder Bay) between Mileposts 7.8 and 10.9.

The “Moose’s Nose” or alternately “The Devil’s Elbow” was so named for the unusual appearance of the line as it made its way west from Fort William (see the map below). The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (and also the National Transcontinental Railway for that matter) had very strict stipulations regarding the incline of the grade. Unfortunately, the terrain west of Fort William rises steeply from Lake Superior, so in order to mitigate this issue, the railway engineers designed an elaborate loop in the line that gave rise to its appearance. Even with these measures, the grade increases by over 120 feet, resulting in a westbound grade of .75 percent.

The grade crosses over a branch of the Neebing River (Neebing is the Objiwe word for summer) at several points, and in 1917 three concrete culverts were built at these points. Sadly, one has been removed, but the other two (one on each side of the “nose”) still remain more than 100 years later. Alba Station was located on the southern side of the curve, but any traces of it have been obliterated by gravel pit operations over the years.

The north side of the “nose” is City of Thunder Bay property, and therefore accessible to the public.

 

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