Ottawa, Algonquin & Georgian Bay
Stay tuned for a roster announcement from the management of Algonquin Highlands Transportation Co.

In the late 1930s, CNR was again looking to “experiment” with diesel power, building on its earlier work with 9000 & 9001 – the road’s first boxcab diesels – over a decade before. To this end, they acquired an experimental/demonstrator ALCO RS-1* from the New York Central and leased it at a favourable rate to their affiliate, the Ottawa, Algonquin & Georgian Bay Railway. This was done partly to keep CNR’s relationship with the coal industry smooth, and partly so if it was a failure OA&GB could be blamed.

In order to keep the project low-profile, CNR commissioned the EG&E shops at Lowbanks to prepare the RS-1 for service. The EG&E was chosen due to its rural location (CNR’s main shops were all in urban areas – Stratford, London, Toronto), and its familiarity with CNR practices. Staff at the EG&E shops are widely known for their meticulous work, excellent attention to detail, and generally going “above and beyond”.

Here are some shots of OA&GB RS-1 910 stretching her legs on EG&E trackage near Lowbanks prior to delivery to the OA&GB in Ottawa. The CNR family connection is evident in the paint scheme, but the OA&GB name is prominent on the long hood. As per CNR practice, 910 runs long hood forward.

Exiting the shops

Crossing the turntable

With a consist

Flying the white flags of an "extra", double-heading with Erie Northshore steam power


*The inservice date for the RS-1 is generally agreed to be 1941, but what is less well known Wink is that this test unit was shopped around to some northeastern roads in the US and the CNR in order to gauge interest. In the end CNR did not buy any, actually scrapping their diesel boxcabs 9000/9001 and reverting to steam until the late 50s/early 60s. CNR affiliate line Grand Trunk Western acquired two RS-1s. The ultimate fate of the OA&GB unit is not clear.

I have (as noted some six years ago Eek ), a partly completed model of the Highland Inn. This will form the basis for a module containing the Algonquin Park (Cache Lake) station, Park HQ buildings, and of course the Inn itself and associated buildings. These include the boathouse/pavilion, change house, pump house and water tower.

I have also planned Marlpost as a fictional town that will reside on the line somewhere. This is to be a single mainline stop that includes a run-around and a couple of sidings. A station will be accompanied by: a milk depot, water tower, grain elevator, fuel depot, as well as a section house and other maintenance buildings.

I really like the (real) towns of Brighton and Mildmay, Ontario. These two towns appeal to me as I think they would have been very important in the 1930s, and provide a good cross section of typical small industries that no longer exist. One other village is the Cataract (Forks of the Credit), that while on a CPR route, is important to me as a childhood memory. It's also quite interesting as it is among other things, the site of one of the first Hydro power stations in Ontario, and the original site of the Canada Dry ginger ale bottling plant.

Other scenes that are not yet fully developed include two houses that figure in my life - a childhood home in Orangeville (near CPR tracks, but nevermind), and the first house I bought in Kemptville. I'd also like to include a canoe factory as another example of a cottage industry that was once served by rail, but are now mostly gone.

It sounds like an interesting road Andrew. Do you have a track plan drawn up for the railway?
Hi Stephen,

I originally conceived the railway several houses ago! I was also a member of a modular club, and designed the RR as several modules. I have the modules built for a junction (double main as per club standards) to single main, and also the village of Marlpost. I have the beginnings of a plan and building for the Algonquin Park modules (Highland Inn is partly built, plan is semi-finished). I don't know if it will ever be a stand-alone road complete in itself, or whether it will remain as modules.

It's very slow going...! But I enjoy the research part of it as much as the building. In fact, I found a new book and a couple of websites just last week.

Thanks for your interest!


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