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CPR and shortline adventures to the east in August 1959!

May 11, 2021

For the past little while, since printing and distributing Steam Encounters in Ontario vol. 1, I’ve been off on another adventure with our Speed Graphics friend Herb Harwood.

In book form, we last saw the railway world through Harwood’s lens in Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vols. 1 and 2. Those titles covered his one-and-only trip with fellow photographers John Rehor and Don Wood.

As for Rehor and Wood, we picked up their trails through Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 3, with their final forays in Ontario and Quebec. That took them into the spring of 1960.

But what about Harwood during that time?

Way back in January 2019—eons ago, it seems—I journeyed to Baltimore with son Duncan for a week. Our objective was to visit Herb Harwood and scan his photographic negatives for the above Speed Graphics titles covering Ontario.

Duncan and I finished that work over the course of two or three days. In the process, Herb allowed me access to all his negative files. That’s when I started noticing something.

Dozens of negatives at first, then hundreds of them, bore Herb’s scrawl on their protective sleeves—“HHH 8-59”. And all referring to the provinces of “N.B.” or “N.S.” Like this one, for instance:

It turns out that shortly after John Rehor chased down the end of CPR and Quebec Central steam operations in eastern Ontario and Quebec during June 1959, Herb Harwood cast his eyes to the Maritime Provinces for his own final look at Canadian Pacific steam operations.

Down in Baltimore in January 2019, I made a decision on the spot. “Dunc, we’re staying another couple of days. We need to get Herb’s August 1959 trip to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia while we’re here.”

So, we went to work logging Herb’s 290 black & white views of his August 1959 trip to the Maritime Provinces of Canada—the end of his regular service steam coverage in the Dominion.

What did Harwood see, at the eleventh hour, in our “Picture Province” and “Canada’s Ocean Playground”?

Vestiges of steam manifest freight action with Mikados on the Saint John – McAdam mainline:

A Jubilee (!) working way freights to St. Andrews:

One of John Rehor’s beloved D4 Ten Wheelers with St. George way freights on the Shore Line Subdivision:

A D10 Ten Wheeler working way freights between Fredericton and Woodstock:

Probably the biggest reason for Harwood’s trip east, the 4-4-0s working the Chipman – Norton branchline during their last months of service:

And a quaint close-out to Canadian steam with the dying operations on the Maritime Coal, Railway & Power Company, which utilized an ex-CNR Mogul between Joggins and Maccan, Nova Scotia:

What think ye, dear reader? Should we climb into Herb Harwood’s two-door 1956 Ford hardtop for an August 1959 look at Eastern Canada through his Speed Graphics lens, for the final time?

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