REPORT ON BRANCH RAILWAYS 1906
Salisbury & Harvey Railway
This railway is located in Westmorland and Albert Counties. It taps the I.C.R. at Salisbury, about 15 miles from Moncton and runs generally in a south-easterly direction to the town of Albert, its eastern terminus. The entire length of main line from Salisbury to Albert is 45 miles. From Albert a railway was projected and constructed as far as Alma, about 16 miles. This Railway was called the Albert Southern. Operation of this railway was discontinued about five years ago and there has been no business done over it since. The Harvey Branch, 3 miles in length, from Albert to Harvey Bank was also constructed, but is not now operated.
The Salisbury and Harvey is the oldest of these branch lines, having been incorporated by Act of the Provincial Legislature, A.D. 1864 under the name of The Albert Railway Company. The act was amended and revived a number of times and the railway was not entirely completed until about A.D. 1878. It is now under the management of Mr. W. A. Sherwood. It received a subsidy of $10,000 per mile from the Provincial Government and a grant of old iron rails from the Dominion Government. It received in addition to this $70,000 of bonus from the Municipality.
The alignment is fairly good, but we should estimate the curvature to be at least 50 percent of the length.
The gradients are as good as on the average branch line, the maximum gradient being about 1 1/2 per cent. The country through which the railway runs is quite flat, and there are no very long grades.
The rail, between Albert and Hillsboro is iron, rolled some 40 years ago. This rail is in fairly good shape, but somewhat worn. On the remaining portion the rail is Barrow steel, weighing 56 pounds to the yard, and in very good condition; fastened with a fish-plate joint, four bolts per joint.
The ties are of soft wood, common to the country. They are laid closer together than is usual on branch lines, which is a very good feature on account of the scarcity of ballast. Some new ties are put in the track every year, but a lot more are required.
There is very little ballast on the track and there are no ballast pits on the line of railway. Notwithstanding this fact the track is in very good shape, and is kept in very good surface and alignment. The road bed has been well ditched and is comparitively dry. If there were about 8 inches of ballast it would make an excellent track.
Most of the rivers are tidal and there are a number of wooden aboideaux; these are all in very good condition. Some of the box culverts are stone and some of the open culverts crib work; they are all in fairly good condition.
PALMER’S CREEK BRIDGE.
Structure about 300 feet in length, consisting of a pile trestle on the western end, and hemlock block work on the eastern end, and a Howe truss span of 50 feet over the channel. The Howe truss rests on pile abutments. The crib portion of this bridge is weighted heavily with stone. The pile structure is in good condition as is also the crib structure. The Howe truss span is decayed in places. There has been a new top chord put in this truss within the last two years, but it will be necessary to replace this bridge within a year or two.
SAW MILL CREEK BRIDGE.
About 300 feet long, a pile trestle on each end and a 50 feet Howe truss over the channel. Howe truss is resting on pile abutments. Piling is in good condition and apparently strong and safe. Trestle is decayed in certain places and it will be necessary to renew it very soon. Management informs us that the bridge will be renewed during the next season. While the bridge at present is safe, it is nearly worn out, and it will be absolutely necessary to renew it shortly.
CHAPMAN CREEK BRIDGE.
A framed trestle, about 460 feet long, bents are spaced about 12 feet apart from centre to centre. Bents are in good condition, sound and safe and on good foundations. The floor system probably needs renewing, particularly should there be some new floor stringers and some new ties. Structure, as it is now is safe, but the floor system must be renewed in a short time. As for the bents themselves, they are strong and in good condition.
SODOM CREEK BRIDGE.
Pile structure, about 150 feet long; bents are spaced 12 feet apart from centre to centre, and piling is in a good condition. Some of the floor stringers need to be renewed, and it is the intention of the management to put in some new stringers this year. Structure will then be safe.
150 feet trestle which formerly was a solid embankment and was washed out by a heavy flow of water some years ago. This is a pile structure with bents twelve feet apart from centre to centre. Piling is in good condition and the entire structure is in very good shape, except that the floor system needs some new ties and some new stringers, and it would also be of great benefit to this trestle, and in fact all the trestles on this line of railway if they had more longitudinal bracing.
About 350 feet long, and in the centre about 30 feet high. Trestle has been rebuilt within the last two years, new hard pine bents having been put in at intervals of 20 feet from centre to centre, plumb posts of the old bents being lifted in to support the centre of the span. Stringers are 12×12 with a corbel support on each cap. Sills are founded on pedestals of stone masonry and, consequently, are kept well above the damp. The trestle would be better with a series of longitudinal bracing running through and bolted to the plumb posts on each trestle bent. Structure is in excellent shape and perfectly safe.
DEMOISELLE CREEK BRIDGE.
Open culvert, about 20 feet span; stone abutments about 25 feet high. The floor system consists of strings with an A truss running up from the abutments to support the stringers at the centre. This structure is in first class condition. The masonry, apparently as good as the day it was put in. There is a similar culvert to this over the same stream about one half mile ahead.
In good condition and will last a number of years. The floor system is first rate. The foundations are in excellent condition, and altogether, the bridge may be considered perfectly safe.
Fifty feet span on timber abutments. The truss is in fairly good shape. The abutments are well preserved and strong. It will be necessary to rebuild the truss in a few years.
MILL CREEK BRIDGE.
Trestle about 300 feet long, and in the centre 35 feet high. Built entirely of hard pine three years ago. This structure is in excellent condition, sound and safe.
TURTLE CREEK BRIDGE.
The most important structure on the line. About 535 feet long, consisting of a framed trestle approach on each end and a deck Howe truss span of 108 feet in the centre. The eastern approach has been rebuilt within the last year, and it is the intention of the management to rebuild the western approach next year. The Howe truss span was rebuilt entirely new two years ago. This structure is built entirely of hard pine, and is in excellent shape, particularly the new part. The eastern end, which the management asserts they will rebuilt next year, is in fairly good shape now, with the exception of some of the sills which are rotted. The foundation of the trestle bents are stone masonry; the trestle is exceptionally well braced and structure is safe.
There are booking stations at Salisbury, Hillsboro and Albert; flag stations at Price’s, Weldon, Albert Mines, Woodworth’s, Wilson’s, McHenry’s, Curryville, Cape, Daniel’s Hill and Riverside.
There is a through siding at Albert terminus and one at Salisbury. At each of the flag stations there is a spur track. The station building at Albert is neat and substantial, with ticket office, two waiting rooms, and with apartments upstairs, it being a two story building. There is also a commodious freight shed at Hillsboro, in good repair. At Albert an engine shed with capacity for two locomotives. There is a turn-table at Albert and one at Salisbury.
There are four locomotives, one first class passenger car, two combination cars and one conductor’s van, 28 flat cars, one snowplough and one flanger. The locomotives are light but in good order and all the rolling stock is in very fair condition.
There is one train each way daily. Train leaves Albert in the morning, arriving at Salisbury at 9 a.m. It leaves Salisbury noon and arrives at Albert at 3 p.m. The operation of the railway in the winter is very irregular, and some winter seasons, it is entirely closed down.
The railway has a telegraph line operated by the Western Union, the wires and poles being owned by the Railway Company.
The country through which this railway runs is very thickly settled and in a very prosperous condition. It is an agricultural district, and large crops of hay are raised. Albert, the southern terminus, is a prosperous village of about 1,000 inhabitants, and is the distributing point for a large and thickly inhabited territory. Hillsboro is also a prosperous town of about 1,200 population, and quite a large business is done here. At Hillsboro is located the celebrated Plaster Works of the Albert Manufacturing Company. It is a very large concern, employing in all 300 men. Large quantities of plaster rock are shipped by water. The manufactured plaster is shipped largely by rail, about 400 barrels being produced daily. This extensive business is managed by the Hon. C. J. Osman, and its successful operation is of very great benefit to Albert County. Large quantities of lumber are shipped over the line of this railway, being brought to Hillsboro by rail and shipped by water from that point. About 5,000,000 feet were handled last season.
Length of Railway ............................. 45 miles Total capital paid up ......................... $704,391 Bonds authorized .............................. $250,000 Bonds issued .................................. $250,000 Bonds sold .................................... ...... Cost including rolling stock .................. $1,802,440 Cost per mile ................................. $40,054 Number passengers carried in 1901 ............. 10,895 Number passengers carried in 1906 ............. 13,324 Increase in five years ........................ 22% Tons freight carried in 1901 .................. 35,170 Tons freight carried in 1906 .................. 54,828 Increase in five years ........................ 58% Gross earnings in 1901 ........................ $25,325 Gross earnings in 1906 ........................ $30,707 Increase in five years ........................ 21% Operating expenses in 1901 .................... $24,634 Operating expenses in 1906 .................... $29,745 Increase in five years ........................ 21% Net earnings in 1901 .......................... $691 Net earnings in 1906 .......................... $962 Increase in five years ........................ 39%
T. M. BURNS
((1906 Report On Branch Railways))