Pacific Scandal, 1876 Railway Rulebook, Sandford Fleming The Intercolonial and Standard Time

Make smooth the path on which others are to tread

Liberals clean up Conservative corruption and $360,000 in funny money.
An 1876 railway rulebook, The Intercolonial Railway, and Sandford Fleming.
Torpedoes; link & pin couplers.
Solar, local, railway, and national time; & a time system for the whole British Empire.

Somewhere, I bought a dirty old law book for $10.

Inside was an unique glimpse into early railroading in Canada - an early "rulebook" from 1876.

I hope website visitors will find this to be an interesting resource ...
adding another dimension to the excellent biographies, and political and corporate railway histories already available.

1877 Orders in Council title page

Using optical character recognition (OCR) software, I copied the text from the original to save limited website server space. I have ensured that the text, punctuation, special characters, and typefaces are reproduced as accurately as possible. The OCR software preserved the indentation and spacing of the paragraphs as they appeared in the book.

Setting the Scene in 1876

Ottawa, first Parliament Buildings

The Pacific Scandal - Sir John A. Macdonald's Defeat
  1. In order to win re-election in August 1872, Conservative Sir John A. Macdonald, and particularly his colleagues Cartier and Langevin, solicited and/or received $360,000 in campaign funds from shipping magnate and Merchants' Bank president Sir Hugh Allan. (Allan was a dynamic capitalist, who painted on an almost blank Canadian canvas)
  2. After winning with a reduced majority, the Macdonald government awarded to ... Sir Hugh Allan ... head of the Canada Pacific Railway Company [sic] ... the contract to build it.
  3. The government stipulated that American control on the board of directors of Allan's company should be eliminated.
  4. However ... it turned out that it was American-sourced money which had been used to grease Macdonald back into government and Sir Hugh Allan into the railway contract.
  5. Macdonald got blackmailed from the American side, then the story broke, then the Knighted Father of Canadian Confederation and his government resigned in disgrace.
In contemporary Canadian political and commercial circles, these were typical relationships. Some sources suggest it was Allan's rivals who amplified this typical affair into a scandal in the hope that they would profit as a result. The cozy relationship between the Conservatives and Allan continued and was mutually beneficial for years thereafter.

If you want to know about an ethical exception for those times in those spheres, here he is ...

Enter the New Leader of the Federal Liberal Party ...
an unusual fellow in early Canadian politics

Alexander Mackenzie, second Prime Minister of Canada

P.S. If it matters at all, I'm a much bigger fan of Macdonald.

The Government Railways of Canada ... The Canadian Government Railways ... details, details ...

There are subtle historical distinctions between these two ... when the historians agree.
However, if we use no capital "G" or "R" ... there's nothing to explain !

There are also fine points about which railways were actually "owned" or "partially guaranteed" by the Canadian government,
or simply operated under the Department of Public Works in 1876.

... And after Macdonald returned to power in 1878, the Ministry of Railways and Canals was created to deal with transportation ...
freeing Public Works to do what it did best.

One way or the other, these operating rules would soon apply to the government railways of Canada :
I'm only going to address the Intercolonial to save time - as it was the most important government operation.

The Intercolonial Railway

Intercolonial Railway map 1887

Besides promoting industrial development and comfortable passenger travel, the Intercolonial was a strategic railway as well.
Its builders considered the following historical dates ...

1775-1783 ...
Americans colonists boot out the British during the American War of Independence.
Refugee "Loyalists" re-settle in Canada, increasing the weight of public opinion against America.

1812-1814 ...
For various geopolitical reasons, the Americans attack Britain's colonies : "the Canadas" ... 
They write "The Star Spangled Banner". "We" burn down the White House.

1861-1865 ...
Britain sort of supports the Confederacy (South) during the American Civil War.
If the Union (North) wins ... will it scoop some Canadian territory to get even?

Can't we all just get along?

So, in 1865, Sandford Fleming recommended that the Canadian Government build this strategic railway - the Intercolonial - as you see it ... far from the U.S. border.

Q: But shouldn't the line be built close to the US to facilitate future friendly international trade?
A: Well ... the trees to cut down for timber are better on Fleming's route ... and coastal fishermen will make more money after speeding fresh (not dried) fish by train to the cities ...

It seems Intercolonial operations were an inconsistent mess because so many of the employees had been hired because of their political connections - not necessarily their competence or industriousness.

These 1876 rules HAD to be imposed by Alexander Mackenzie's government,
to provide a proper consistent service,
on a publicly owned and operated transportation utility,
which ran an annual deficit as a public service,

... and to SAVE LIVES.




[NB: "employee" in the original is the borrowed French word spelled with an accent on the single "e" at the end ...
"Computer ALT characters : one of life's little disappointments"]

   By Order in Council of the 16th day of August, 1876, His Honour the
Deputy of the Governor General in Council was pleased to order, and it was 
thereby ordered, that the following Rules and Regulations respecting the
Government Railways of Canada, be and the same are hereby adopted and
established, that is to say :-


                 Rules to be observed by the Staff Generally.
     1. A copy of these Rules and Regulations shall be given to each
Employe engaged on the line ; and a copy, printed on a sheet and framed,
will be hung up in every Station, Conductor's Room, Engine house, Repair
shop, &c., where it will be open for inspection by every employe of the
 Railway, and no plea or excuse, for ignorance of the Rules and Regulations,
 will be admitted, should any Employe not have received a copy.
     2. When a special, written, or telegraphic order is given by the
 General Superintendent, or Superintendent, to suspend or alter any of the
 following Rules and Regulations, such special order shall be instantly obeyed.
     3. Every Employe shall make himself thoroughly acquainted with the
 Rules and Regulations of the Railway, including those contained in the
 Working Time-Table of the District in which he is employed; and he shall
 keep a copy of the same in his possession, under a penalty of one dollar for
 not doing so.
     4. When an alteration takes place in the running of trains in the
 District in which he is employed, he shall take care to provide himself with
 a copy of the altered Time-Table.
     5. The Regulations regarding the running of trains, which are printed
 on the Time-Tables, are to be read and considered as part of the Rules and
 Regulations of the Railway.
      6. Each person is to devote himself exclusively to the service of the
 Railway, residing where he may be required.
      7. He shall obey promptly all instructions he may receive from persons
 placed in authority over him, and conform to all the Regulations of the
      8. All Employes of the Railway must appear on duty clean and neat.
      9. No Employe shall receive fee or reward from any person on any
      10. Employes must not smoke when on duty, on or about the Railway
      11. Any Employe intoxicated when on duty will be at once dismissed.
      12. No Employe is allowed, under any circumstances, to absent himself
  from duty, without the permission of his superior officer, except in case of
  illness; and then notice must be immediately sent to his superior officer, so
  that a substitute may be found in season.
      13. No Employe, unless appointed to do so, shall receive money on any
  occasion, or under any pretence, from any person on account of the Railway.
      14. Employes authorized to receive money on account of the Railway,
  must, when required, enter into bonds for the faithful performance of their
 duty in this respect.
     15. All persons in places of trust in the Railway service must
immediately report any misconduct or negligence, affecting the interests or
safety of the road, or failure to comply with these Rules and Regulations,
which may come under their notice. Their withholding such information
will be considered a proof of neglect and indifference on their part.
     16. All officers concerned will be held responsible for regulating their-
time-pieces, in accordance with the times observed on the various Divisions
of the Railway, as stated in the Time-Table.
     17. The Employes of the Railway are to exercise great care and watch-
fulness in order to prevent injury to persons, or damage to property, and
where a doubt may exist as to the proper course to pursue, they must take
the safe side, and not run unnecessary risk.
     18. Employes subject themselves to criminal prosecution for dis-
obedience or neglect of orders, and to fine, suspension or dismissal, for
misconduct, incompetency, wrangling, or using improper language while
on duty.
     19. The Railway authorities shall have the right to deduct from the pay
of any Employe such sums as may be awarded against him by the General
Superintendent for damage to property entrusted to his care, or, as fines, for
misconduct or neglect of duty.
     20. The pay of every man absent, or suspended from duty, will be
     21. No person is to quit the Railway service without giving fourteen
days' previous notice ; and in case he leave without such notice, all pay then
due will be forfeited.
    22. Any person leaving the Railway service must deliver up to his
superior all property belonging to the Railway, under his charge.


    23. RED is a signal of DANGER : STOP.
    24. These signals will be made by FLAGS in the day time, and by LAMPS
at night.
    25. In addition to this, any signal waved violently, or a man standing
with both arms raised above his head, denotes Danger, and the necessity of
stopping immediately.
    26. The absence of a signal at a point where one is usually displayed is
to be taken as denoting danger.

                          WHISTLING SIGNALS.

    27. To PUT ON BRAKES-One short, sharp whistle.
    To START OR TAKE OFF BRAKES-Two short, sharp whistles.
    To BACK-Three short, sharp whistles.
    To TURN SWITCH-Four short, sharp whistles.
    DANGER-A repetition of short, sharp whistles.
    On approaching Level Crossings of public roads and curves-One long
     On approaching Stations-One long continuous whistle.
     28. Every train or empty engine, moving on the line after sunset, must
display one Red tail light, as well as one White light, in front of the engine.
     29. A Red flag carried upon the head of an engine and tail of the train,
by day, or a Red light by night, (in addition to the usual White light upon
the head of the engine and Red light upon the tail of the train), denotes that
an extra engine or train is following, having right of track over all other trains.
     30. A Red signal, with a Green one carried in the manner above des-
cribed, denotes that an extra engine or train, having right over all others,
will come in an opposite direction.                                   . .
     31. White signals, carried in like manner, denote that an extra train is
 following, but will keep clear of all regular trains.
     32. Green signals carried in the same way denote that an extra train or
 engine will come in an opposite direction, but will keep clear of all regular
 trains.            .                                    
     33. Signal Cords must be used on all trains, to extend from the rear car
 to the Whistle or Alarm Bell on the engine.
     34. A Danger or Caution signal must be observed without cavil, the
 person giving it being responsible for its necessity.
     35. Where Distance and Semaphore signals exist, the following Regula-
 tions respecting them must be observed :-
      The All right signal is shewn during daylight by the arm being within
 the post, and by a Green light on the top of the post at night, which also
 means Caution-"To come on Slowly." 
      The Caution signal to slacken speed is shewn during daylight by the
 semaphore arm being raised to an angle, or by a Green light at night.
      The Danger signal----always to stop-is shewn during the daylight by
 the arm being raised to the horizontal position, or by a Red light at night.
      At Draw-bridges, Crossings of other Railways, and Junctions, the sema-
  phore arm for day, and the lamps for night signals are always to be set at
  Danger ; and every engine and train must come to a stand before reaching
  the signal, and not proceed until the signal to " come on " is shewn, and the
  man in charge must not alter the signal until trains or engines have been
  brought to a stand.
      All Signal Lamps must be lighted at least half an hour before dark.
  They must be kept burning brightly all night, and extinguished half an
  hour after daylight.


       36. During foggy weather, snow storms, or at any time when the
  ordinary signals cannot be seen, torpedoes are to be placed on the rails (label
  upwards) and bending the lead clip round the upper flange of the rail, to
  prevent their falling off. When the engine passes over the signal, it ex-
  plodes with a loud report and the Driver is instantly to stop.
       37. Torpedoes are to be used in addition to the regular day and night
  signals, which must first be exhibited.
     38. Each and every Conductor, Switchman, Engine Driver, and Foreman
of Trackmen, must provide himself with 12 torpedoes, which he must
always have ready for use whilst on duty ; and every Station Master must
provide himself with the same number, which are to be kept in an unlocked
drawer or shelf, in order that they may at all times be easy of access, and
every person connected with the Station shall be made acquainted with the
place where they are deposited.
     39. All the above mentioned persons are responsible for having on hand
the proper number of torpedoes, and when the stock is diminished, by one
or more, it is their duty immediately to apply for others.
     40. Whenever an accident occurs to a train, or a train is stopped on
the line at any place other than a station, in consequence of which the
line is obstructed, the Brakesmen must be sent each way at least 800 yards
(or sixteen telegraph poles), or more if at or near a steep grade or curve, to
stop an approaching engine or train ; and as the men proceed they must
place on the rails, at a distance of every 200 yards, one of these torpedo
signals; and on arriving at the end of the above mentioned distance, they
are to place two such signals on the line of rail.
     41. In case of an Engine passing over one of these Signals, the train
must be immediately stopped, and measures must at once be taken by the
Conductor for protecting his train from any following train, by sending men
back with torpedoes, which must be placed on the line every 200 yards to
a distance of a quarter of a mile, the train afterwards proceeding slowly and
cautiously to the place of obstruction.
     42. Every Driver of an engine, not accompanied by a Conductor, must
also use these signals in case of accident or obstruction, in the manner before
     48. When the line is again clear, the Conductor or Engine driver, as the
case may be, must, before proceeding, remove all the signals from the rails.
     44. In any of the above circumstances, and in the absence of either of
the officers above mentioned, any Foreman of Works, or other servant of the
Railway, is to observe the same rules to guard against danger.

Danger Ahead !

Locomotive running over torpedoes
In this dramatic old engraving from the rulebook's era, a locomotive is running over a torpedo and three more are shown clipped to the rails ahead.
On this foggy, dark night the track ahead is poorly illuminated by the locomotive's oil burning headlight.
The geometry of rails receding into the distance is a skewed to hi-lite the torpedoes.

The narrow, deep firebox and tall smokestack suggest this was formerly a wood burner
... now shown to be burning coal with its relative ease of handling and greater heat content.

On the left, the fireman is straining to see the danger down the tracks - heralded by the torpedoes.
In the cab, a small oil lamp illuminates the all-important steam pressure gauge at the top of the boiler backhead.
On the right, the engineer has closed the throttle to cut off steam, and his right hand grasps the reverser.
The flagman who placed the torpedoes, now vigourously waving an oil lantern,
has probably just passed by on the engineer's side.

Sensitive to the torpedoes' explosions, the slack run-in, and the engineer's whistle command,
the train's several brakemen and the conductor are scrambling to wind on the hand brakes on each car ...
somewhere back in the darkness and fog ...

back to the rules ...


     45. Passengers at Ticket Stations are required to purchase their tickets
before entering the cars, otherwise they have to pay to the Conductor an
additional charge of twelve cents.
     46. They should provide themselves with tickets at least five minutes
before the advertised time for departure of the train.
     47. Express Proprietors, Dealers, Agents and Messengers holding season
tickets, shall not carry with them baggage or parcels for the purpose of their
business, unless the freight for the same be prepaid at double 1st class
freight rates. In case of violation of this rule, the ticket shall be forfeited.
     48. No person must be allowed to get into or upon or quit any car after
 the train has been put into motion, or until it stops. Any person doing so,
or attempting to do so, has no recourse upon the Railway Department for
any accident which may take place in consequence of such conduct.
     49 Persons drunk, and unable to take care of themselves, shall not be
furnished with tickets, or be allowed to enter the cars or Station premises ;
and if found in the cars or Station premises, may be removed.
     50. Passengers are required to produce and deliver up their Railway
tickets to the Conductor, or other person in charge of the train, whenever
requested so to do by such officer. Should they refuse to do this, and to pay
the proper fare, they may be removed from the train at or near a station.
     51. Passengers are not entitled to occupy more than one sitting in a
passenger car for each ticket.
     52. Passengers before they can have their baggage checked, must show
their tickets to the Station Baggage Master. To avoid mistakes, they must
attend personally to the checking and marking of their baggage.
     53. Passengers can only have their baggage checked to the stations to
which they hold tickets.
     54. Passengers, on arrival at their destination, must produce their
duplicate check before their baggage can be delivered to them.
     55. Coachmen, hackmen, carters, porters, and runners for railroads, boats,
stage lines and hotels, will not be allowed to solicit custom or passengers
upon any of the trains; nor will they be allowed to enter the stations, nor
come upon the platforms on the arrival of the passenger trains, to solicit or
influence passengers, but they shall stand in such places as directed by the
Station Master, Agent, or Policeman. Cattle dealers, butchers and market
men, will not be allowed in the cars, station or freight houses, or upon the
platforms, on the arrival of the trains, for the purpose of trading; nor will
hucksters, or vendors of newspapers, books, fruit, flowers, confectionery, and
other such articles, be allowed in the cars, or upon the train, nor to enter
the stations, or come upon the platform for the purpose of disposing of the
same, except by permission of the Station Master or Conductor, under the
authority of the Superintendent.
     56. Coachmen, hackmen, and porters, holding checks, will be admitted
 into the Stations for the purpose of obtaining .baggage,-they will also be
 admitted when taking baggage to the trains.
     57. Private carriages, hacks and baggage wagons, while waiting at
 stations the arrival of trains, are required to stand at, in, or near the Station
 premises, as directed by the Station Master or Policeman. Unnecessary
 noise, and obscene and abusive language, are strictly prohibited.
     58. All persons are strictly forbidden to walk upon the track of
 the Railway, or trespass upon the Railway premises.

                             STATION MASTERS.

     59. Every Station Master must be able to write a good hand, to spell
correctly, and to write grammatically ; he must also be conversant with tho
elementary rules of arithmetic, and be able to keep books neatly; at Stations
where there are no Clerks kept, he must properly understand telegraphing,
and in all cases the Station Master, or one of his Clerks, must be an operator.
     60. He is responsible for the efficient discharge of the duties devolving-
upon all the employes at the Station.
     61. He is to see that all general and other orders are duly executed, and
 entered in a book to be kept for the purpose.
     62. He must at all times enforce the observance of cleanliness and
neatness by the employes at his station. He must immediately report every
instance of neglect of duty on their part, and see that their conduct is
respectful and civil to the public. Should any man be complained of, he
must investigate the matter and communicate the particulars as soon as
possible to the Superintendent.
     63. He is responsible for the efficient protection and safety of the
station, office, buildings, and other property connected therewith, and must
daily inspect the same as well as the station grounds, and see that they are
 kept clean and in good order.
     61. He shall see that all station and signal lamps belonging to his
station are trimmed, and that signals of every kind are in good order and
ready for instant use.
     65. He must see that the time of arrival and departure of every stop-
ping train, and the time of passing of all other trains or engines, with the
number of cars in each case, are actually entered in the train book.
     66. He must report immediately whenever any train leaves or passes
his station before the time prescribed in the time-table.
     67. He is to direct the conductor of a train when to start, and he must
use every exertion to ensure punctuality.
     68. He must not permit any engine or train to leave or pass his station
within fifteen minutes of another going in the same direction.
     69. He .must keep a sharp look-out for train signals, and be careful to
notify conductors of the same, and of any orders or arrangements that may
exist in any way affecting the trains.
     70. He must see that no engines or cars are left upon the main line,
and no cars are, under any circumstances, to be loaded on main line, with-
out direct authority from the Superintendent, after which they must be
placed as quickly as possible in a siding clear of the main line, with the
wheels securely scotched.
     71. He must not allow an engine or car to cross or shunt on the main
line within ten minutes of a train being due at his station.
     72. He must see that all switches at his station are in good order,.
proper position, and carefully attended to at all times, and especially before
and after the arrival and departure of trains, and keep the main line clear
of special trains duly signalled. Where there is no switchman he must
himself perform the switchman's duty.
     73. He shall forthwith communicate to the Superintendent all unusual
occurrences which way happen in connection with the railway.
    74. In case of any obstructions on the line, or slips, or other casualties,
the station master at the nearest station to the scene of the accident must
immediately give notice of the same, by telegraph or otherwise to the
Superintendent and the nearest foreman of the permanent way.
    75. Tickets must not be sold for any station at .which the train does.
not stop. Ticket Agents must consult the working time-table so as to
avoid mistakes.
     76. He shall see that all books and returns are regularly written up
and neatly kept.
     77. He will be responsible for all money received at his station for
account of the railway, and will be required to make good any deficiency
of cash, whether arising from bad money or errors. He must make up and
balance his accounts daily in the form prescribed, and remit his cash as
called for by special instructions.
     78. Any Station Master who shall reader a statement of account which
contains errors plainly traceable to his cash not having been properly
counted and balanced, or to any want of care in taking an inventory of the
freight in store, or shall enter remittances not actually made at the time
indicated, is open to the serious charge of knowingly falsifying his accounts.
     79. All goods or articles, without exception, received for transportation,
 must be properly entered on way bills to accompany the same.
     80. He is held personally responsible for the safe keeping and proper
delivery of all goods received by him, and for all charges due thereon ; and
all articles entered on the way-bills will be considered as having reached
his station in good order, unless it is otherwise stated on the face of the way-
     81. He shall see that all full-loaded box cars of freight, not required to
be opened until their destination is reached, are sealed.
      82. Station masters shall not permit freight cars to be over or impro-
perly laden.  If a doubt exists they shall take the safe course by consulting
the freight tariff as to estimated weights and measurements.
      83. Station masters must not offer for transportation an improperly
laden car.
      84. To avoid misunderstanding and delay, a requisition for freight cars
must be made upon the form provided for the purpose, and handed to the
conductor. If previously telegraphed for, the fact must be stated on the
      85. Freight and cattle cars must be thoroughly cleansed on being dis-
charged   He shall immediately report every instance in which a car,
bearing evidence of not having been cleansed by the sending station, arrives
at his station.
      86. He must be careful that all stores supplied for the station are
economically used, and that there is no waste of any kind.
      87. He must not supply or lend, under any circumstances, stores or
other articles belonging to the railway.

                         STATION BAGGAGE MASTERS.

      88. Station baggage masters shall wear a badge denoting their office
and be in attendance at least forty-five minutes before the advertised
departure of the train.
      89. They must compare baggage checks with the duplicates, and see
that they correspond.
      90. They must not keep more checks on hand than are necessary.
      91. Checks, when not used, must be kept under lock and key.
      92. A passenger is allowed 100 lbs. of personal baggage. Any quantity
exceeding that weight must be charged double first-class freight rates, and
must be prepaid.
     98. They must not check baggage until a short time previous to the
departure of the train.
     94. They are to request passengers to exhibit their tickets before
checking their baggage, and to check the baggage accordingly.
     95. All previous station numbers on baggage must be effaced.
     96. Checks must only be given to passengers, and not to cabmen, or
others, on their behalf.
     97. Baggage, while in charge of the Railway officers, must be well
guarded, or left in a secure place.
     98. A record must be kept at stations of all baggage received from pas-
sengers and forwarded by train, giving the date, number of check, train,
and destination, in every case.
     99. A record must also be kept of all baggage received by trains and
delivered to passengers, showing date, train and number of check in the
same way.
     100. Baggage for Flag stations must be numbered, but not checked.
     101. On no account are passengers to be allowed to take checked bag-
  gage out of the possession of baggage masters, unless properly claimed.
     102. Special care must be taken not to deliver baggage without first
 removing the checks, and obtaining the duplicates from the passengers.
     103. A report must be sent to the General Baggage Agent, Moncton,
 of all baggage received, the checks and duplicates of which do not tally.
 The report must show the time of arrival, number of train, and the name
 of the station whence received.
     104. When a passenger has lost his duplicate check, the baggage must
 not be given up unless he can describe the contents of such baggage, and
 pays 25 cents for the lost check.
     105. A receipt must be taken from the owner for all baggage so deli-
 vered without the duplicate check being presented, as also for all baggage
     106. Station Baggage Masters, or Station Masters, will report imme-
 diately to the General Baggage Agent, Moncton, any baggage missing at
 their station, and will also report any baggage that may have remained
 unclaimed one week.
     107. All lost or unclaimed baggage must be sent, properly labelled, to
 Moncton, monthly.
     108. No baggage shall be opened, except in the presence of the owner.
     109. Reports must be made periodically to the General Baggage Agent
 of all inward and outward baggage.


      110. Men in charge of switches are required to exercise great care and
 vigilance as the slightest neglect on their part may cause an accident.
      111. They must be very careful to keep their switches in good work-
 ing order, and in proper position, and must immediately report all defects
 to the Station Master, who will advise the Superintendent and the nearest
 Station Foreman.
     112. Before leaving his work, he must satisfy himself, by personal ins-
 pection, that the switches are properly set and locked for the main line, and
 that the signals are right. He must also carefully examine the switches
 and stationary signals every time he returns to work after being off duty.
     113. He must be furnished, when on duty, with the following articles :
              1 Hand Lamp, having three colours.
              4 Flags,-two red, one white, and one green.
             12 Fog Signals (torpedoes).
     114. Switchmen shall not within fifteen minutes of a train being due,
allow any engines or cars to pass on to or cross the main line, without the
express order of the Station Master ; and then he shall not open the switch
until the proper danger signal is shown. He must not allow an engine to
pass from one line to another, without first ascertaining that it is safe to
do so.
     115. Conductors, Engine-drivers, Track-masters and others who may
have occasion to use switches, shall be held responsible for leaving them
locked in their proper position, but nothing in this rule shall relieve the
Station Master of his responsibility in regard to switches.


     116. Conductors must be able to write a good, legible hand, to spell
correctly, and be conversant with the elementary rules of arithmetic.
     117. They shall wear a badge denoting their office.
     118. They must be at the station from which they are about to start,
at least half an hour before the appointed time for departure, and must see
that the Baggage Master and Brakesmen are also on duty at the proper
     119. The Conductor shall see that he has on his train the following
articles :-
    1 Axe,                                          2 Red, 2 Green and 2 White Flags,
    1 Saw,                                         3 Red Lamps,
    1 Hammer,                                   2 White Lamps,
    1 Oil Filler,                                   1 Green Lamp,
    1 Pair Scissors,                             1 Signal Lamp,
    1 Case containing 12 Torpedoes,  1 Conductor's Lamp,
    2 Brooms,                                     2 Tail Lamps,
    Alarm cords and couplings,           4 Brass Brushes,
    1 Tail Rope,                                  4 Axle Box Wedges,
    2 Water Pails,                               1 Pair Trimmers,
    1 Chain, 12 feet long, with hooks  1 Oil Pail and Packing Iron,
        attached,                                  1 Water Crock,
    1 lb. Sulphur,                               1 Water Can,
    6 Links and 6 Pins,                       3 Oil Cans,
    2 Dippers,                                    1 Scrub Brush,
    1 Pinch Bar,                                 3 Ice Picks,
    2 Shovels,                                    1 Mop,
    1 Chamois Skin,                           1 Monkey Wrench,
    1 Whisk,                                      1 Duster.

"6 Links and 6 Pins"

Below is an American illustration showing a brakeman making a coupling using link and pin couplers.
On the left is a locomotive tender showing three distinct insertion points for a link ... at different levels.
The brakeman has inserted the link into the tender's coupling pocket ...
and the pin has been inserted there to hold the link in place.

As the locomotive reverses to make the joint, the brakeman will:
  1. Guide the link into freight car's pocket with his right hand.
  2. Remove his right hand from the link before the two couplers bang together.
  3. Insert the pin with his left hand to secure the link.
  4. Walk in the direction of the locomotive's momentum to avoid being knocked down and under the wheels.
Note the excellent conditions here: daylight ; no snow or rain ; footing is flat and stable ;
brakeman is at the locomotive so momentum effects are slight with no slack problems.
Also note : There are no air brake hoses to be seen. To stop the train, hand brakes must be applied on each car by brakemen.

Link and pin coupling

Here is an 1874 account, from an American magazine on coupling procedures:

The freight brakeman has duties more arduous and dangerous. There are reputed to be five hundred distinct car couplings for which patents have been obtained, or at least sought. But as yet the coupling of freight cars is done by hand, and this duty devolves upon the brakeman. Balancing the pin over the end of the bar through which it is to be dropped to perfect the coupling, he awaits with composure the coming together of the cars. Leaning over the track, he supports the link or bar in one hand, and holds the pin in the other. When the cars come together with force, and continue on their way for some yards, the brakeman who is performing the coupling is for a moment lost to sight. It may be that he will directly step out, vigorously crying, "All right - go ahead" It may be that he will have fallen beneath the wheels, one more victim to the present rude and cruel method of freight car coupling.

back to the rules ...

     120. Until the train has started, the Conductor shall be under the direc-
tion of the Station Master. Before leaving the station, he shall see that the
cars are properly coupled; that there are proper brakes, and a sufficient
number of Brakesmen on the train; that the signal lamps are properly
trimmed and attached to the car, and, if required, lighted ; that he has a
proper supply of stores on board : that the alarm cord is properly secured
and extended from the engine to the rear of the train; that the cars are in a
proper state of cleanliness ; and, if it be winter, that the stoves have been
properly attended to, and the cars ventilated and properly warmed. If the
cars are found to be in a dirty condition, he must report the fact to the
     121. In forming a train, baggage, freight, or lumber cars shall not be
placed in rear of the passenger cars.
     122. The rear car of every train must be a brake-car, and a man must,
when the train is in motion, always be stationed on that car.
     123. Conductors shall strictly obey all signals and special orders which
they may receive from the officers in charge of stations.
     124. They must not give the signal to start while passengers are get-
ting on board, and should, when making it, stand near the front end of the
first passenger car. They should afterwards pass to the platform of the
last car, and look out for any signal that may be given them.
     125. After the train has started it shall be under the conductor's entire
charge and control. He is responsible for the safety of the train and all on
board of it. He must see that the rules and regulations of the railway, as
well as any special regulations that may be issued are strictly observed by
both passengers and employes, and shall report any violations of them, and
must himself take care to observe all such rules and regulations.
     126. Always, when backing a train, there must be a man specially
stationed upon the rear part of it to give due warning and prevent acci-
     127. It shall be the conductor's duty to check the engine driver should
the train be running at an unsafe speed, and to direct that the regular rate
or speed prescribed in the time-table, or a slower rate if the track be in
bad order, be observed as the case may require. Negligence or recklessness
on the part of the engine-driver will be taken as proof of the inefficiency of
the conductor, unless such conduct has been duly and distinctly reported
on every occasion of its taking place. He shall at the same time treat the
engine-driver with that consideration which is due to his very responsible
duties, and will always advise with him in cases of difficulty.
     128. In very extreme cases only can a train which has once left a station
be allowed to return ; and this proceeding must be accompanied with the
greatest possible degree of caution. Before anything else is done, two men
with red flags or lights must be sent fully half a mile in advance of the
rear end of the train, to give warning to any train or trains that may be
approaching from that direction, in order to guard against the possibility
of collision. The train must not move until these two men have proceeded
at least half a mile. Every other available measure must also be taken to
notify trackmen and to stop any approaching engine.  The officers of a
train so situated are to assume in every case that a train is approaching and
act accordingly. Conductors or other officers in charge of any trains that
may receive such warning are responsible for protecting their own trains
in the same manner.
     129. When a train breaks down or is stopped or seriously delayed on
the road similar precautions must be taken, should the case require it; to
guard against being run into by any other train, proper use must be made
of red flags, or lanterns and torpedoes.  When assistance is required, or
when the circumstances require it, messengers must be sent to the station
master on either side, and the conductor must communicate direct, or
through those officers, with the Superintendent.
     130. He shall see that the brakesmen and other train employes are
kept at their posts so as to be ready for any emergency, that they are
cleanly and attentive to their duties, and that their signals are ready for
instant use.
     131. The conductor shall, from time to time, during the journey,
examine the wheels, brakes, springs, trucks and journals of the cars, and
must see that they are kept in proper order.
     132. The tail signal must also be examined at every station, and in the
event of a train being brought to a stand on the main track, the conductor
must take care that no person obstructs the rear view of it.
     133. Whenever telegraphic despatches are sent, directing the movements
of trains they must be repeated back by the receiving office to the sending
office, and acknowledged by the persons to whom they may be addressed.
Such acknowledgment shall always show how the message is understood
by the parties receiving it, and such persons shall not start the train until
they have found their construction of the message to be the true one.   If
doubt should arise they must take the safe course.
     134. Verbal messages which in any way affect the movement of
engines or trains must not under any circumstances be received through a
third party, whatever confidence may be placed in the veracity of such
person. All instructions not communicated personally or by telegraph to
the individual for whom they are intended must be in writing.  The
responsibility of accident resulting from a misunderstanding of this sort,
will rest upon the person acting without the proper authority.
     135. The conductor must not allow persons to ride on the platform or
outside of the cars, or in the baggage car, and must use all possible means
to prevent passengers exposing themselves to danger.
      136. In the event of any passenger being drunk or disorderly, to the
annoyance of others, he must use all gentle means to stop the nuisance;
failing which, he must exercise his authority, and restrain, or keep him in
a separate place until his arrival at the next station, or at a station near to
a police office or lock-up, where the passenger must be left, and may be, if
considered expedient, delivered to the police and charged with the offence
in the usual way.
      137. Whenever a fare is collected in the cars the conductor must at
once issue a ticket to the passenger, and enter the amount in his book. No
excuse will be admitted for any departure from this rule.
      138. Conductors must promptly deliver all letters, way-bills and
despatches entrusted to their care.
      139. They must not allow the sale of books, papers, refreshments, &c
in the cars, without permission from the Superintendent.
      140. Freight trains must always keep out of the way of passenger
trains. If from unavoidable circumstances the conductors of such trains
find themselves running within ten minutes of the running time of a pas-
senger train following them they must use all proper means to inform such
passenger train of their position and prevent its running into them. If
practicable, conductors of such freight trains must direct trackmen to put
out signals and notify the passenger train conductor that a freight train is
immediately ahead.
     141. Conductors of freight trains must not take loaded cars without
way-bills, nor way-bills without the proper cars.
     142. Cars must not be taken beyond stations to which their contents
may be destined, unless needed, as they may have to be brought back
     143. At stations where freight for several way stations is loaded into
one car, particular attention should be given to have that loaded for the
farthest station put in the car first, and so on in succession, until the
freight for the nearest station to the point where it is being loaded is next
the door of the car.
     144. Conductors will be held personally responsible for the proper care
of all goods or property entrusted to them, and will be careful to see that
the same are delivered to the station masters according to the way-bills.
     145. A conductor shall not permit live stock to be carried in closed
cars. When there are horses on a train, unless the owner has sent a person
in charge of them, he will see that they are carefully watered and mode-
rately fed on the road ; and the expense thus incurred shall be paid him at
the end of his journey by the station master, who shall be reimbursed by
the consignor or consignee, or owner, as the case may require.
     146. It is his duty to make himself acquainted, as far as practicable,
with the condition of the goods conveyed on his train; and when they are
stowed so as to be liable to damage, to stow them differently, or, if that be
not possible, to leave them, if necessary, at a station, to be sent on more
securely stowed by another opportunity, reporting the same to the Super-
intendent. He shall see that no pilfering of the contents of the car takes
place, and that the doors of loaded cars are sealed, and empty ones closed.
     147. If from any cause it becomes necessary to leave freight where it
does not belong, the Conductor shall note the fact on the way-bill, and give
notice in writing to the Superintendent. He shall take all proper means to
have the same forwarded to its destination without delay.
     148. Irregular trains must been a siding at least fifteen minutes before
the regular trains are due, and wait till they have passed, unless otherwise
     149. Conductors will duly call the attention of the Repairer of cars -
or, in his absence, that of the Station Master - to any repairs required or
damage that may have been sustained by the cars, and in the latter case
report the particulars to the Superintendent.
     150. They must be careful, also, to report to the nearest Station Master
and to the Division Superintendent any defect they may observe on the line.
     151. Conductors must keep a diary of their proceedings, which must
be ready for inspection at all times; and they shall make daily returns.
upon the proper form to be supplied them.
     153. Where a Conductor may have had charge of a train for only part
of a trip, he must insert in his return, upon the proper form, and over his
own signature, the particulars of the same, which, with any money he may
have collected, he will hand over to the officer relieving him, who will
complete and forward the return, also signing it.
     153. The Conductor shall enter in his diary all delays, casualties, or
unusual occurrences, and report the facts to the Superintendent. He will
 also make a note of them in his return.

                         TRAIN BAGGAGE MASTERS.

     154. Train Baggage Masters shall wear their proper badge of office,
and must report any baggage they receive not properly marked and
checked ; they must be particular to see that the number of the station for
which the baggage is intended is distinctly marked.
     155. All checks and duplicates in charge of Train Baggage Masters
must be compared by them before being used.
     156. Checks must not be carried loose in the baggage car, but shall be
kept in a box supplied for that purpose.
     157. Baggage for Flag Stations shall be numbered, but not checked.
     158. Train Baggage Masters shall keep a proper account, in books pro-
vided for the purpose, of all baggage checked or unchecked, showing sta-
tions at which the baggage is received and delivered.
      159. They shall not allow persons, except those working the train, to
ride in the baggage car, unless by direction of the Conductor.
      160. They shall not leave the station, at the end of the journey, until
the baggage has been claimed or properly disposed of.
      161. They shall obey such other instructions in regard to baggage, and
perform such other duty, as may be required of them.


      162. Brakesmen must wear their proper badge of office, and while the
 train is in motion, must be near their brakes, which, when necessary, they
 will skilfully apply.
      163. Passenger car brakes must always be eased off, and not permitted
suddenly to escape, so that no disagreeable jarring may be felt by the pas-
      164. The alarm cord must not on any account be removed at the end
of a journey until the train has been brought to a stand.
      l65. Brakesmen shall perform such other duties as may be required of
    166. Freight Conductors and Train Baggage Masters shall act as
Brakesmen when not engaged with their other duties.

Hail the noble Brakeman !

passenger train applying brake

A passenger brakeman, clean and neat in appearance for dealing with passengers and lifting babies aboard, stands at his post to wind on the brakes.
On freight cars, the brakemen stepped from one car roof to the next along the boxcars' roof-top plank "running boards"
to apply the brakes manually on each car.

back to the rules ...

                            ENGINE DRIVERS.

Speed table from order-in-council

    168. The Engine Driver, when at a station, shall be subject to the
orders of the Station Master.
    169. He shall be guided by instructions from the Conductor as to when
to start and stop the train.
    170. He must not proceed after sunset, unless the proper lights are
exhibited on his engine.
    171. No special train or engine shall leave any station without the
authority of the Superintendent.
     172. Every Engine Driver and Fireman must provide himself with a
good watch, and compare the time with Conductors and Drivers of other
trains they meet as well as with Station clocks, reporting all differences to
the Superintendent
     173. They must pay immediate attention to all signals, whether the
cause for giving them be known or not.
     174. The Driver must be in attendance at the station at least half an
hour, and the Fireman at least forty-five minutes, before the appointed time
for starting the train. He must see that the engine is coupled, at least ten
minutes before the time for starting - that it is in proper working order,
sufficiently supplied with fuel, and water, and properly oiled - that the
alarm cord is attached to the gong or whistle, and that the lamps, and signals,
are in a fit state for use. Before taking charge of the engine, he and the
Fireman must sign their names in the appearance book, kept by the Lo-
comotive Foreman.                                       .
     175. Conductors and Drivers of Trains supplied with Air Brakes, are
 responsible for seeing that such are in perfect working order before starting
 from terminal stations : this also applies to the ordinary Brakes and running
 gear on all cars.
     176. Every Engine Driver shall have with him, at all times, the
 following tools:
          2 Jack Screws.
          1 Set Hand Wrenches.
          3 Oil Cans (a full set).
          1 Large Monkey Wrench.
          1 Small Monkey Wrench.
          3 Cold Chisels.
          1 Hand Hammer.
          1 Copper Hammer.
          1 Pinch Bar.
          2 Fire Buckets.
          2 Sets Signals (Flags.)
          1 Engineers' Lamp.
          1 Red Tail Lamp.
          1 Signal Lamp.
          1 Green Lamp.
          1 Head Light.
          1 Hand Saw.
          1 Tallow Kettle.
          6 Iron Plugs, for Tubes.
          2 Large Boxes, or Chests.
          2 Small Chests.
          5 Chains, with Rings and Hooks attached
          1 Narrow Axe
          1 Switch Rope (30 feet.)
          1 Plug Iron.
          1 Scraper, for ash pan.
          1 Picker, for fire.
          1 Case, containing 12 Torpedoes.
          A quantity of Flax and Twine.
for which he shall be held responsible, and any party found guilty of des-
troying them shall be fined or dismissed.
     177. The Engine Driver shall not allow any persons, except the Super-
intendents and Trackmasters, to ride on his engine or tender, without due
     178. He must not start his train until the bell be rung, and he receive
the signal from the Conductor ; he must, invariably, start carefully, without
jerking, and see that he has the whole of his train ; he must run the train
as nearly to time as possible, arriving at the Stations neither too late, nor too
soon. He must not shut off steam suddenly, so as to cause concussion of
the cars, unless in case of danger.
     179. If a train becomes separated when in motion care must be taken
not to stop the portion in front before the after-part has stopped, and the
men on such detached part must apply their brakes in time to prevent colli-
sion with the cars in front.
     180. No engine shall run tender or train foremost, unless from unavoid-
able necessity, or by order of the Superintendent.
     181. The Driver shall stand by the hand-gear, and keep a good look-out.
The Fireman also must be on the look-out when not engaged in other duties.
     182. Before passing switches, he must be careful to see that the targets
are correctly set.
     183. An Engine Driver on duty must not leave his engine except in
cases of great necessity, on which occasions he must place it in charge of
the Fireman, and notify the nearest Locomotive Foreman of the fact in order
that a competent person may be sent to take his place. On no account shall
both leave it until it is given in charge to the party authorized to receive it.
     184. Engine Drivers are required to run slowly and carefully over rough
or bad track, and round curves, or through cuttings. The Track-masters
are authorized, when it is found necessary, to prescribe rates of speed, faster
than which an engine must not be driven over the parts of the roads indi-
cated, and they are instructed to report violations of their instructions in
this respect.
     185. In running behind another train, the Driver must so run as to
allow the leading train to be not less than two miles in advance, and, on
approaching a station, and entering, or running round curves, he must
exercise great caution so as to avoid the possibility of a collision. No excuse
as to being deceived about the distance will be received for neglect of this
rule. The responsibility of a collision will rest upon the Conductor and
Engine Driver of the rear train.
     186. When approaching stations, crossings, bridges and viaducts, and
when passing wood piles, all trains are required to run at reduced speed
and with extreme caution, the dampers of the engines being closed.
     187. When trains have to pass each other, the train having the right to
the road shall occupy the main track.
     188. Engine Drivers are to take care that the whistle be sounded 800
yards before reaching every level crossing of a public road, and that the bell
be rung 600 yards before reaching such crossing, and until the crossing be
passed. The bell, and whistle, are also to be sounded, when approaching a
cutting, station or junction. During foggy weather also, the bell must be
sounded at proper intervals.
      189. They must never allow themselves to be governed by any informa-
- tion they may receive as to where the train ahead will stop for fuel or other
cause, but must always be prepared to stop short of the Station. They
should invariably run on the supposition that a train, may be found out of
place at a station.
      190. In bringing up his train, the driver must pay particular attention
to the state of the weather, and the condition of the rails, as well as to the
length of the train, and these circumstances must have due weight in deter-
mining him when to shut off the steam. Stations must not be entered so
rapidly as to require a violent application of the brakes, or to render neces-
sary the sounding of the signal whistle. He must report every instance, of
overshooting a station, to the Superintendent.
      191. Unless he himself is in the cab of the engine at the time, and
directing its movements, he must not allow the Fireman to shunt cars, or
move the engine ; cars must not be shunted, at so great a speed, as to endan-
ger the lives of men employed in coupling, or in any way injure the pro-
perty of the Railway.
      192. An engine or train shall not pass from a Branch on to the Main
line until the proper signals are given.
      193. No Engine Driver, when acting without a Conductor, shall,
without the express permission of the Station Master, move his engine, on any
pretence, from any siding on to the main line
      194. When there is an unavoidable necessity, from an accident, or
other special cause, for an engine to stop on the main line, the Engine Driver
must send a man each way with signals, to the distance of 800 yards (or
sixteen telegraph poles), or more, if at or near a steep grade, or curve, in
order to protect the train or engine.
      195. Engine Drivers shall not, except in case of accident or sudden
 illness, change engines on the journey, without permission.
      196. They must not allow fuel or waste to be thrown from the engine
 or tender, while in motion
      197. Engine Drivers must guard against killing stock. Should any
 animal be injured by the engine, the Engine Driver must report the same
 in writing, to the Superintendent, stating the facts of the case. Any Engine
 Driver who neglects to make such report immediately, will be held
 responsible for all damages.
      198. Should a fire occur on a train, it must be stopped, and the proper
measures at once be taken for protecting the train. The burning car, or
cars must be detached with as little delay as possible. No attempt must
be made to ran to a tank, if it be more than three hundred yards distant,
as such a proceeding is likely to cause the fire to spread.
      199. In case of doubt or difficulty, Engine Drivers and Conductors
must consult and advise with each other, as they will be held equally
responsible for any violation of the rules, through forgetfulness, negligence
misapprehension, or any other cause. In all cases of doubt, the safe side
must be taken, safety being the first consideration.
      200. Should a Conductor be disabled, the Engine Driver will have full
charge of, and be held responsible for the safety of the train until another
officer takes charge. In such case, he shall observe the rules laid down for
the guidance of Conductors.
      201. Engine Drivers, when on the line, will obey the direct orders of
the Superintendent, whether the same shall be communicated verbally, by
telegraph, or in writing ; and in all cases where a message directing the
train or engine to proceed cautiously, or at a given rate of speed, over any
part of the Railway, or any bridge or viaduct is given to the Conductor of
any train, he shall at once hand the same to the Engine Driver, and call his
attention to the contents thereof ; and the Engine Driver shall retain it in
his possession.  If any Engine Driver shall, after the receipt of such
message, incautiously or at a greater rate of speed than that named, drive
his engine over the portion of the Railway, bridge, or viaduct named, he
shall at once be dismissed from the service ; and any Conductor failing to
obey the requirements of this order will receive like punishment.
     202. Every Engine Driver must carefully examine his engine after each
journey, and he must immediately report to the Locomotive Foreman, and
enter in the book that is kept for that purpose, any defect or deficiency in
his engine. He must also report to the Superintendent and to the Station
Master at the nearest station, any accident, neglect or irregularity that may
have occurred on the journey.
     203. Engine Drivers must keep diaries, and make returns to the
Locomotive Department, as may be required.


     204. Firemen are subject to the orders of the Engine Drivers, while on
their engines.
     205. They will keep the engine cleaned and properly oiled, and assist
the Engine Driver, as may be required.


     206. The Trackmaster, under the direction of the Engineer, who shall
be responsible to the General Superintendent - shall have the charge and
supervision of all Repairmen in his Division, and be held responsible for
the faithful performance by them of their duty.
     207. When materials are wanted for repairs, the Trackmaster on
receiving a requisition from the Foreman properly filled in, will countersign
it if the materials are known to be required, and forward it to the Engineer.
     208. Before any Foreman or Labourer is engaged by the Trackmaster,
he must be made to understand that the wilful transgression of any of these
rules - insubordination, drunkenness, being found off his work during
working hours, or the commission or omission of any act whereby the
passage of trains or engines is endangered will be punished by dismissal.
     209. In every gang of track-labourers there must be a Foreman ; and.
the Trackmaster will be held responsible that every Foreman is provided
with a copy of the Regulations, a copy of the current Time-table, and the-
proper signal flags and lamps, and twelve torpedoes or fog signals ; also that
each Foreman is furnished with an accurate gauge for gauging the line of
track, and with all other necessary materials and implements.
    210. Each Foreman shall constantly carry with him a copy of these
Rules and Regulations while on duty, and must read and explain them to
every man engaged under him, and must produce them, when required to
do so by any of the principal officers of the Railway. He shall be responsible
for the men under his charge, and for the proper execution of the work
assigned to them, and shall have a list of the names and places of abode of
all men employed under him, so that in case of accident or other
emergency he may be enabled to summon them immediately.
     211. Each Foreman or other employe, selected by the Trackmaster,
must walk over his section every morning, and oftener, should it be-
necessary for him to do so, as in the case of violent storms. Foremen must
see that all joints are properly spiked and bolted, and the joint ties well
packed up, and all other things appertaining to the road secured before the
passage of the first train.
     212. During heavy storms of rain, snow or hail, whereby the works
may be liable to sudden injury, Foremen must be on duty, and immediately
after the abatement of the storm, or if necessary during its continuance, they
are required to go over their sections with danger signals to ascertain if the
Track is safe for the passage of trains.
     213. Track repairers must be particular in watching each train, as it
passes, to see whether any notices are dropped off the train, or flags or
lamps are exhibited upon the engine, and rear of the train, giving notice
of an extra train.
     214. The Green signal indicates caution, and is to be used when it is
necessary to slacken the speed of an approaching train ; the Red signal
indicates danger, and is to be used when necessary to stop the Train, and
such signals must be sent back for a distance of twenty (20) telegraph
poles from the place they are meant to protect, and must be waved across
the track.
     215. Whenever it is necessary to displace any part of the track, or in
case of any slip, or failure, of any portion of the works, or in the event of
any car being required for temporary use on the line, or if, from any other
cause, the track is not safe, the Red signal must be conspicuously exhibited
at a distance of not less than twenty (20) telegraph poles each way, even if
no train or engine is expected, and a torpedo must be placed outside the
Red signal a further distance of two (2) telegraph poles. No hand car or
lorry must be used on the track, or work done, to impede the transit of
trains during a fog or snow-storm, or within fifteen minutes of the time of
a train being due.
     216. When any part of the track is out of repair, so as to make it
necessary for a train to proceed cautiously, a signal must be sent twenty
(20) telegraph poles in the direction whence a train is expected, and kept
there until it passes, or until the track is made safe.
     217. The track must not, in any case, be displaced for the purpose of
putting in cattle guards, cross drains or culverts, unless by express order
of the Trackmaster. The track must not be rendered unsafe, by any
operation, during the day, or night, or upon Sunday, until notice shall
have been given by the Trackmaster to the Superintendent, and permission
obtained to use the track.
     218. No rails must be taken up, nor must the track be otherwise dis-
turbed, in such a manner as to render it unsafe, within twenty minutes of
the time of a train being due, nor until it has passed. All such work must
be done between the regular running hours.
     219. In raising the track and packing the ballast, no lift must be
greater than two inches in twenty-four feet, and both rails must be raised
equally and at the same time; and in all cases, when practicable, the lift
must be made in the direction in which the first train due approaches.
     220. The Trackmaster must see that safety blocks are put down on all
sidings diverging from the main track, at a proper distance therefrom.
     221. The Foreman of each Section, under the direction of the Track-
master, is held responsible for the safe keeping of all sleepers, rails, chairs,
plates, bolts, tools and implements of every kind pertaining to the track
not in special charge of the keeper, and the Trackmaster must immediately
report to the Engineer any losses or destruction of such property.
     222. The Foreman must report, in writing, to the Trackmaster, every
case in which any of the signals are disregarded by an Engine driver.
     223. All persons walking along the line, who are not in the Railway
service, must be warned off; and, in case of non-compliance, their names
ascertained and reported to the Trackmaster, or they must be placed under
arrest, as the exigencies of the case seem to require.
    224 Animals found straying within the railway fence must be imme-
diately driven off. Section men will close all gates found open. Owners
and occupiers of property adjacent to the Railway must keep properly shut
all gates at private crossings: in case of accident through negligence on
their part, or on the part of their servants, in leaving them open, they
will be held liable for the consequences.
     225. When the lorries or hand cars are not in use, they must be lifted
off the track, and the wheels secured by a chain and lock. Track lorries
must only be used to convey materials for the line; they must never be
attached to a train.
     226. All surface crossings must be closely looked after, and foremen
must see that the planking is securely spiked down.  Any temporary
injury to any of the telegraph poles or wires shall be repaired as far as
practicable, and intelligence of the damage immediately conveyed to the
nearest Station Master. If not a telegraph station, the Agent shall write
to the telegraph station, giving particulars.
     227. Track foremen must be particular in cutting down trees which
are too near the telegraph wires, and when the WIRES ARE TOUCHING EACH
OTHER SEPARATE THEM, fix them up and keep them from wet.
     228. In case of the water supply at any Station being short, or the frog
of a siding being out for repair, or any other matter affecting the move-
ment of Traffic, Foremen must report by telegraph, at once, to the Bulletin.
Boards on their divisions, and to the Trackmaster as well
     229. All articles found on the track must be properly sent to the
Stationmaster of the nearest Station.

     Vide Canada Gazette, Vol. 10, p. 182.

Sir Sandford Fleming (Knighted in 1897)

Sir Sandford Fleming

Sandford Fleming was one of the many Scottish-born engineers who contributed to the British Empire's technological dominance and success.

He surveyed the Canadian west for the future Canadian Pacific Railway and liked outdoor survey work. He was in charge of the building of the Intercolonial Railway. He appears briefly on this website's Newfoundland pages as he attempts to create One Big Imperial Transportation System from St. John's through to Victoria. In other words, his actions suggest he saw the Canadian landscape as the potential host for a great and marvelous transportation SYSTEM which would bring civilization, unity and prosperity ... and a lot of professional satisfaction.

On the other hand, running for public office and party politics often (certainly not always) attract people who are very skilled with short term tactics, using their skills with individuals and herds of people to gain influence and power. Elected politicians are often shrewd players of other people to achieve their short term accomplishments.

My idea is that building a strategic railway (The Intercolonial) which will unite separated British colonies and last over one hundred years ... is different from getting and keeping political power.

More importantly for the Intercolonial's story, when my two caricatures meet - Sandford Fleming and "The Politician or Political Party Functionary" - there will be conflicting objectives and goals.

I think it will be the Sandford Fleming character, with a long term view, who will be more likely to be driven a little nuts by the whole process. On the Intercolonial, Fleming was often unsuccessful when it came to whose town or industry the railway would favour over operating efficiency ... however, he stuck to his guns on issues like the quality of bridges and won.

It's the thought that counts ...

Sandford Fleming seems to have been a good politician and promoter when he believed his ideas - in many different fields - were correct and represented true progress.

He would use his lever of knowledge ... his ability to present his ideas effectively and persistently ... and professional and scientific organizations ... to push "his" issues over the tipping point with politicians. He was generally concerned with "the cause", and could make alliances with colleagues who had similar ideas.

The North American, British Empire and eventual World Wide adoption of standard time and standard time zones ... was in good part due to Fleming's presence and influence in Washington and London through engineering and scientific bodies.

Canadians are often told he is "The Inventor of Standard Time" ... I have read American articles on standard time and time zones which don't mention him at all ...

Neither version is accurate.

How does one define "standard time"?
Finding the answer to that question was half the fun of researching this page.
There were many standard times and time standards - and Fleming didn't invent them all.

Today, Fleming who travelled everywhere - but is buried at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa ...
might simply be content that we're examining this little illustration from his own railway, the Intercolonial.
... although I don't claim to be channelling him as I write this.

Here are two pages from a precursor of The Official Guide (the telephone book sized directory of railways) showing the Intercolonial as it was in June 1874. My original document is fragile and in very poor shape and starts at page 25. It was intended to be useful for 1 year, but has survived over 130 years. I am not its original owner.

When you look at the document below, and compare it to the previous 1887 map, you will notice that the Intercolonial it depicts isn't complete.

In 1874, it runs from Halifax to Saint John, with branches connecting to ports at Pictou and Point du Chene - mainly for the ferries to PEI (on the second page). Although construction will be complete in four years - nothing is shown between Moncton and Riviere du Loup, that is, connecting the Maritimes to the rest of Canada.

1874 The Intercolonial Railway timetable

The second page provides a number of interesting details, including:

1874 The Intercolonial Railway timetable

My spouse, an amateur astronomer with an interest in history, asked for a copy of the diagram below as soon as I showed it to her ...

With Montreal as the metropolis of Canada ... when it is noon in Montreal ...
the local (solar) times in nearby major cities are shown around the periphery.

The distance in miles between the cities is shown on the inner ring.

For example, Toronto is 333 miles away.
If you travel from Montreal to Toronto on the Grand Trunk in 1874,
be prepared to set your watch back 23 minutes to local time when you arrive.

Diagram to calculate solar time

Britain, where steam railways were born,
already used a "railway standard time" (beginning around 1848) to avoid all this conversion business.
Safety depended on employees co-ordinating train movements exactly in compliance with a written schedule.

Most high seas shipping used Greenwich-based charts.
Many nations had their own astronomical observatories ... each calculating national "standard times".
Astronomers, other scientists, military officers, politicians, diplomats, engineers
would all eventually have their say on the question.

So Fleming didn't "invent standard time" because standard time concepts already existed.

  But why didn't the little Intercolonial use ONE TIME ZONE like England's national zone?
Probably, it was Canada's usual nemesis ... provincialism.

Here are a few reasons why there was resistance to Standard Time in North America.

  1. Why should Saint John use Halifax time ... is their time better than ours ?
  2. God set the planets in motion. Natural Time is God's Time and man creates his "own time" at his eternal peril. God's noon is my noon !
  3. For a farmer who will be born, work, and die ... all within 10 miles of home ... it's not a major priority to know the time in Toronto. Many of us still don't care.


In the 1800s, before the common use of railways for intercity travel : having a 'standard' time ... and then dividing the country or world into time zones ... wasn't a big priority for most people who lived in or near a town or city.

Before time zones, precise local noon was observed by civic authorities and marked for local citizens ... i.e. those citizens to whom this actually mattered ... through the variety of methods listed below, which varied from place to place ...

US Railroads "brand" their time standards

In 1879, Fleming and Cleveland Abbe ... the latter an American pioneer of  weather forecasting and involved in metrology [sic - studying standardized measuring units] ... produced separate reports and then worked together with others to lobby for a better time system. Fleming worked through the American Society of Civil Engineers, then stacked with railroad-based civil engineers, and became the chair of their committee on time in 1881. He surveyed North American railroaders ... and prepared to lobby  the US Congress for the change ... with the data he gathered from them. (Congress finally passed the legislation in 1918 at the end of the "Great War" ... or the "European War" as the Americans called it)

In 1883,  North American railways adopted the same one-hour time zones coast to coast, and this system gradually filtered through North American society.
(Equivalent to today's Atlantic Time Zone, Canada's Maritime Provinces' time zone was named "Intercolonial")

Britain had gone through a similar process of gradual acceptance throughout society of its single standard time zone. Britain's legislation specifying Greenwich time in 1854 came only six years after the British railways had standardized their time.

(With apologies to Elvis Gratton)

With the planet-encircling structure of the British Empire of the late 1800s ...
it was naturally Fleming who promoted the Imperial idea of ...
standardized world wide time zones ...
and the use of a 24 hour clock to eliminate ambiguity ... because the difference between 5:35
pm and 5:35 am ... is half a day !

(both Fleming and your correspondent - during train trips - have fallen victim to railway timetables expressed in the 12 hour clock system)

From the Victorian Imperial perspective "The sun never sets on the British Empire".
Once other projects promoted by Fleming - such as a submarine telegraph cable spanning the globe - were complete,
the advantage of synchronizing "the top of the hour" around the world via telegraph would be obvious to all.

But until that day ...

In my 1904 J.G. Bartholomew atlas, you can see :

FIRST: Non-standard time is still hanging on in 1904.

SECOND: We are still considered to be one of  "the Colonies" - 37 years after Canadian Confederation.

1904 solar time in the colonies

he'd derive satisfaction from this picture

About 30 miles north-west of Truro, Nova Scotia, a passenger train rolls along the completed Intercolonial Railway. The artist has taken a circa 1900 black and white photograph and turned day into night with a paintbrush.

As they didn't have "fast film" in 1900 for night time photography, I am interested to see open clerestory vents illuminated for the first time in my life. The cars are lit inside with Pintsch gas or kerosene. The clerestories - those roof structures built above the main rooflines on each car - house the lighting appliances, and safely vent the toxic combustion products. This is the first time I have "seen" this type of old equipment "used at night".

A cheery glow also comes from the locomotive cab's open firebox door, lighting up the leading end of the mail car. The fireman is "putting in a fire" with the raw coal rousing a satisfying plume of black smoke.

Intercolonial Railway, The Maritime Express

The Intercolonial Railway is now using standardized rules,
no more link and pin couplers,
and air brakes controlled by the engineer.

Fleming has helped create :
standardized time across the Empire,

and railways uniting former British colonies into a new nation,
from one coast to the other.

Sir Sandford Fleming would really enjoy seeing this postcard on the internet,
because in it he would be reminded of so many of his projects and successes.

Engineers, as you all know, are not as a rule gifted with many words. Men so gifted aim at achieving renown in some other sphere.

Silent men, such as we are, can have no such ambition; they cannot hope for profit or place in law, they cannot look for fame in the press or the pulpit, and above all things, they must keep clear of politics. Engineers must plod on in a distinct sphere of their own, dealing less with words and more with deeds, less with men than with matter; nature in her wild state presents difficulties for them to overcome.

It is the business of their life to do battle against these difficulties and make smooth the path on which others are to tread.

Sandford Fleming, 1876

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