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Extra Credit XVII “The Kinghorn, Part II (Pass Lake, Ontario)”

Extra Credit is video series that examines topics related to history in the Thunder Bay District and exploring that history.

This episode is a follow up to our first video on the Kinghorn Subdivision. We venture outdoors to visit remains of the railway at Pass Lake, ON. This area was my first experience with the Kinghorn line and one of the first places I began making videos of it. We start at an area I call “The Cliff” (Milepost 118.7/168.4) and bike 2 miles west to the former site of Pass Lake Station. Along the way I highlight key areas of interest, including rock cuts, culverts and milepost markers.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2022 in Hiking, History, Video

 

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The Tunnel Tragedies

Some are familiar with the Macdiarmid or Jumbo’s Cove Tunnel, which lies north of Nipigon, ON near the communities of Macdiarmid/Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek. At 1058 feet long, the former railway tunnel is one of the largest in eastern Canada and was in use from 1915 to 2005. The tunnel unfortunately has a very tragic history, the details of which have only recently been pieced together.

It is unknown when construction of the tunnel began, but the latter part of 1911 seems logical as work was underway in January 1912. At least two separate subcontractors were involved; Nimmo & Flatt and Chambers, McColman & Harrison. During the second half of January, accidents claimed the lives of three labourers sadly.

The first incident occurred on January 16th. A group of men led by John Ranta (Juho Kiviranta) were setting additional blasting charges after several previous ones did not ignite properly. Unfortunately, one of the earlier explosives detonated; Ranta and Oscar Hendrickson (Oskari Suosalo) took the full brunt of the blast. Their injuries can be described as nothing less than horrific. With no nearby relatives claim the bodies, the men were interred nearby in a common grave with a single headstone.

Two weeks tragedy befell the construction again. In an era before proper protective equipment, a loose piece of rock fell and struck 35-year-old Peter Rice in the head, killing him instantly. His body had to be held at the camp hospital while next of kin were notified, so it took until the end of February before his remains could be moved to Duluth, Minnesota for burial.

Many thanks to all those who helped with this important piece of local history.

Gordon Laird

Karen Johnson-Sheppard

Jerry Adams

Harold Alanen

Nipigon Museum

Michael deJong & Thunder Bay Museum

For more information on the tunnel and the incidents, please the follow page: Macdiarmid Tunnel

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway

 

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CNoR/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision MP 123.4-125.4 II

Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 173.1-175.1) at Pass Lake, ON. Features the grade west of the Blende River Viaduct/Pass Lake Trestle with a very large rock cut, stone culvert and beautiful views.

Active, 1914-2005.

Part 2 of 2.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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CNoR/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision MP 123.4-125.4 I

Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 173.1-175.1) at Pass Lake, ON. Features western side of the Blende River Viaduct/Pass Lake Trestle where several rails are still in place. The grade then proceeds west into a large rock cut.

Active, 1914-2005.

Part 1 of 2.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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CNoR/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision MP 123.4 (Blende River Viaduct-Pass Lake Trestle)

Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 173.1) at Pass Lake, ON. Features the 2258-foot long, 130-foot tall Blende River Viaduct, which is more commonly referred to as the Pass Lake Trestle. Constructed between May and December 1912, it remains the largest railway trestle in central Canada.

Active, 1914-2005.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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CNoR/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision MP 123.4 (Blende River Viaduct-Pass Lake Trestle)

Premieres at 8pm eastern time.

Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 173.1) at Pass Lake, ON. Features the 2258-foot long, 130-foot tall Blende River Viaduct, which is more commonly referred to as the Pass Lake Trestle. Constructed between May and December 1912, it remains the largest railway trestle in central Canada.

Active, 1914-2005.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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CNoR/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision MP 116-120.6 VIII

Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 165.7-170.3) at Pass Lake, ON. Features the grade near the section house at Pass Lake Station with possibly remains of the water tank.

Part 8 of 8.

Active, 1914-2005

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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CNoR/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision MP 116-120.6 VII

Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 165.7-170.3) at Pass Lake, ON. Features the grade at Pass Lake Station with the remains of the siding, rock cuts, signs and the section house.

Part 7 of 8.

Active, 1914-2005

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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Feature Friday April 22, 2022

A few drone views of the Blende River Viaduct, more commonly referred to as the Pass Lake Trestle, which is a former railway structure located northwest of the community of Pass Lake, ON. These photos were taken while capturing footage for a video on the viaduct.

Built by Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) in 1912, its construction only took an amazing 8 months to complete. It was situated at Milepost 123.4 of the CNoR-Nipigon Subdivision/Canadian National Railways-Dorion Subdivision and Milepost 173.1 of the later Canadian National Railway Kinghorn Subdivision. At 2258 feet long and 130 feet high, it is the largest railway trestle in central Canada. It saw it last regular train in May 2005.

Viaduct, August 2021.
Viaduct, October 2021.
Viaduct, October 2021.
Viaduct, March 2022.
 
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Posted by on April 22, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway

 

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CNoR/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision MP 116-120.6 VI

Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 165.7-170.3) at Pass Lake, ON. Features the grade with a stone culvert, remains of telegraph poles, mileage marker, rock cuts (and rockfall) and the beginning of the siding at Pass Lake Station.

Part 6 of 8.

Active, 1914-2005

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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