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Ontario encounters in 1954 and 1955

January 28, 2021

Lately, I’ve been looking through colour pictures taken by Jim Guerin in southern Ontario over the years 1954 and 1955

You’ll recall that name as that of our photographer in Steam Encounters at Montreal. We began that adventure about a year ago.

These images from Guerin’s lens are encounters in their own right... chance meetings with a pair of C-Liner freight units from under the John Street road overpass, just west of the CNR Paris station. It’s a warm afternoon in July 1954 along the Dundas Subdivision mainline:

Three months later, we happen upon new S-3 diesel switcher 8497 working the yard at Stratford, where the internal combustion unit displaced three steam shifts:

Guerin lived in Kitchener, so it’s no surprise he spent a lot of time along the Canadian Pacific Galt Subdivision mainline, especially new Barries Cut where Pacific 2220 assists a Mikado with westbound tonnage on May 7, 1955:

Or, later that same spring day of May 7, 1955... gazing upstream along the Grand as a CNR 6400-class streamlined Northern works eastbound passenger train 82 across the girder span at Paris:

Brawny CPR Mikado 5417 threading her train between semaphore signals at Orr’s Lake:

And CNR Mikado 3405, fresh out of Mimico yard on an eastbound freight near the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto in August 1955:

All of these face-to-face meetings with steam and diesel in southern Ontario our photographer Guerin recorded before embarking on his adventures in Montreal. These half dozen views I plucked at random from his 1954-55 Ontario travels. Scenes from yesteryear to warm you on a cold winter day!

Possibly some of these vignettes may form the basis for another chronicle of Jim Guerin photography... another Encounters volume. What do you think?


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