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Feature Friday December 9, 2022

The “Moose’s Nose” or alternately “The Devil’s Elbow” was a unique section of railway grade located west of the then City of Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay). It formed part of the Grand Trunk Pacific’s Lake Superior Branch, which ran from Fort William to Superior Junction (later Sioux Lookout) where it joined with the National Transcontinental Railway (NTR). The GTP and NTR was a partnership between the Grand Trunk Railway and the Canadian Government to build a second transcontinental railway in Canada.

The unusual appearance of the Moose’s Nose, with its tight curve, was due to very strict construction stipulations regarding the incline of the grade, which could not exceed one percent. Because the terrain west of city rose steeply from Lake Superior, railway engineers designed the elaborate loop to mitigate the grade issue. The line crossed over a branch of the Neebing River at several points, and in 1917 three concrete culverts were built at these points (two of which still remain). Alba Station was located on the southern end of the nose.

In 1926, 26 miles of grade, including the Moose’s Nose, was abandoned following a reorganization of the Canadian National lines in the area.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway

 

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