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Toronto Grey & Bruce - Early NA Narrow Gauge Locos

June 11, 2020 05:53PM avatar
I’d posted a while ago about an old 1870 piece of rail in my collection, from the Toronto Grey & Bruce Rly. This was one of the very earliest narrow gauges built as a common carrier and running scheduled trains in North America. It was 3’6” gauge and ran 121 miles from Toronto, Ontario to the port of Owen Sound on Georgian Bay. There was also a 68 mile branch to Teeswater.

The railway was standard-gauged in 1881 and was soon taken over by Canadian Pacific, who ran it until most sections were abandoned in 1995. Therefore it existed as a narrow gauge for only about a decade, making photos from the narrow gauge era VERY rare.

Only about a dozen photos have been discovered, but fortunately there is a least one photograph of each of the railway’s six different classes of engine. It had 20 locomotives in all. The first half of these were manufactured in England, beginning with #1, named “Gordon” after the railway’s president. Built by Avonside in 1869, it was the first tenwheeler built in Great Britain, and was one of four “small” TG&B tenwheelers. Note the woefully small tender for a line of this length - a bigger one would be fitted later. This builders photo is courtesy Rod Clarke from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, London.

1 TG&B Gordon.jpg


Next, I’ll jump ahead to #8, the “Mono” – not the disease, but pronounced MOE-NOE. It was one of two “large” Avonside 4-6-0s, built in 1871 and 1872, that were favorites on fast passenger trains.

2 TG&B # 8  MONO.jpg


Before these came a brace of five, dare I say “cute”, 4-4-0s built in 1870/71. Here is #3 named “Kincardine”. Some may think her ungainly, but I love the trim lines, brass name plate and polished brass steam dome. There is a dust shield over her crosshead, which obscures the second pony wheel. These were soon discarded because they were a maintenance headache and actually attracted more crap than they kept out.

Noteworthy is the “North Americanization” of the Avonside engines, with appliances foreign to British practice. So she has a wood cowcatcher, box headlight, bonnet stack, tiny bell and sand dome. Even the enclosed cab was unknown on a British engine at that time, and the woodwork is gorgeous. Note the rear cab wall had a porthole like on a ship, versus a square window.

Also of note is that they still used the British practice of a “dart” to secure the smokebox door. This meant that the Avonside engines never carried smokebox number plates, but seemed to sport stars and coats of arms like this one. Due to the coat of arms, and the fact she still wears her dust shield, it is thought that “Kincardine” may have been photographed on her way to an April 1871 directors’ inspection of the line, not too long after her delivery. If it shows up, note the stag’s head mounted below the headlight. Oh, those crude colonials.....

3 TG&B #3 Kincardine.jpg

3 tzIMG_E3095.JPG

Continued...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2020 04:42PM by tgbcvr.
Subject Author Posted

Toronto Grey & Bruce - Early NA Narrow Gauge Locos Attachments

tgbcvr June 11, 2020 05:53PM

Re: Toronto Grey & Bruce - Early NA Narrow Gauge Locos Con't... Attachments

tgbcvr June 11, 2020 06:02PM

Re: Toronto Grey & Bruce - Early NA Narrow Gauge Locos Con't...

evankamp June 11, 2020 06:13PM

Re: Toronto Grey & Bruce - Early NA Narrow Gauge Locos Con't... Attachments

bcp June 12, 2020 01:38PM

Re: Toronto Grey & Bruce - Early NA Narrow Gauge Locos Con't...

tgbcvr June 12, 2020 02:05PM

Re: Toronto Grey & Bruce - 2-6-0 specs Attachments

bcp June 12, 2020 02:23PM

Re: TG&B 2-6-0 specs plus another photo of "Toronto" Attachments

tgbcvr June 13, 2020 07:03AM

Re: Locomotives named Mono

Brian Norden June 11, 2020 10:12PM

Re: Locomotives named Mono

tgbcvr June 12, 2020 11:00AM

Re: Locomotives named Mono

Brian Norden June 12, 2020 03:31PM

Locomotive names

hank June 12, 2020 04:48PM

Re: Locomotive names

Joe Weigman June 12, 2020 05:22PM

Re: Locomotive names

tgbcvr June 12, 2020 06:27PM

Re: Locomotive names (D&RG Ry)

hank June 13, 2020 07:32AM

Re: Locomotive names

Joe Weigman June 12, 2020 09:56PM

Re: Toronto Grey & Bruce - Early NA Narrow Gauge Locos

philip.marshall June 11, 2020 11:16PM

Re: Toronto Grey & Bruce - Early NA Narrow Gauge Locos

James June 12, 2020 09:47AM

Re: Toronto Grey & Bruce - Early NA Narrow Gauge Locos

tgbcvr June 12, 2020 02:12PM

Re: Toronto Grey & Bruce - Early NA Narrow Gauge Locos

DWBrown June 26, 2020 10:09PM



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