Tracks and Powerline

InsulatorHunter

Registered User
May 8, 2007
21
2
0
Burlington
#1
Having just moved back to the area this year, I find my self doing a good amount of biking on the beachfront trail traveling to the lift bridge to photograph and view the great lakes freighters. Also, being an insulator collector, (Insulators are the objects on the tops of telephone poles that hold and, well insulate the linewire) and knowing that the trail was a rail line built pre 1900, I was wondering if anybody knew the date when the line was abandoned and/or removed and if at any point there were telegraph poles that followed it.
I have examined a couple sections of the line that have not been developed and are but overgrown sections of rusting disused rail, one inbetween Van Wagner's beach and the QEW, the other in Burlington, but have had no luck.

Also, having looked at some excellent old photos in the galleries of this site, notice that the large hydro towers/pylons that line the beach seem to have been upgraded or replaced somewhat recently when compared to those pictured in photographs pre-1960. Could anybody tell me when this was done and what could have happened to the old line equipment? (I'm guessing the dump, but you never know...)

This is a wonderful site, very informative and educational. I especially enjoyed the galleries.

Thanks for any help

Ted
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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The Beach Strip
#2
Hi Ted;
Welcome to the Site and thanks for joining up, the rail line was used somewhat in my younger days, but slowly less and less over the years. Use completely stop when the Lift Bridge was upgraded to four lanes (around mid-eighties) from the two and rail crossing. The rail did stay in tact for many years after and there a few pictures in the Gallery showing the line with grass growing over it. I don't remember ever seeing a telegraph line passing through back there, most likely before my time.
http://www.hamiltonbeachcommunity.com/gallery/album01
Our history Mod (Fred Briggs) would have better recollections to the older days when we steam engines using the tracks and possibly before that and he would know a close date to when the hydro towers were replaced. Lets see what he comes up with.

Also check out the house beside the motel (Around the 400 set), she has many large insulators in her garden, I don't know if they are from the old towers, I never asked her where she got them from.
 

JodithPWorld

Registered User
Jun 1, 2006
26
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1
52
Thornhill, Ontario
#3
Although I'm only 37, I believe that the current beach towers (with the V-shaped conductors) were placed there in 1969-1970. The famous skyway postcard that was in bookstores for years, from 1968, shows the old towers in place. A good estimate would be that the new towers and the Inland Waters Centre went in at the same time.

Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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The Beach Strip
#4
Thanks for the history update Jody, is that post card that you are referring to in our gallery? Thought I had them all, I have attached one pic from near the canal that shows all the towers and one that was directly over the road.
 

InsulatorHunter

Registered User
May 8, 2007
21
2
0
Burlington
#5
Thanks for replying, those years are what I had initially thought; the design of the towers, type of insulators and date codes on the bases seem to co-incide. Sure would like to know what happened to the old hardward though. I believe I have in my collection one large insulator that came from the original towers, but would love to be sure and acquire more
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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The Beach Strip
#7
D. O'Reilly has sent in this addition to the power line thread.
_____________________________________________

Hi Scott;
the Dominion Power and Transmision Company began transmitting electricity from Decew Falls to Hamilton in 1898. the company was headed by John Patterson who wanted to power his Hamilton Radial Electric Railway (HRER) with hydro power. because the HRER's tracks ran along the beach, I can only assume that the wires would have be located on the beach and, the wires must have been carried by towers.
http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/205/301/ic/cdc/industrial/dominion.htm

http://reference.insulators.info/publications/view/?id=3390

http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Milestones:Decew_Falls_Hydro-Electric_Plant,_1898

this page has a picture of the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club house, with a Cataract power tower (dated 1900).
http://alouette.ourontario.ca/resul...=yacht+&bl=&st=&fz=0&site=&lc=&sp=&it=&mt=&fc

__________________________________________________

Here is a URL to Decew Falls, I never heard of it until Mr. O'Reilly
http://www.gowaterfalling.com/waterfalls/decew.shtml

Decew Falls from member Sharla1

 

InsulatorHunter

Registered User
May 8, 2007
21
2
0
Burlington
#9
IMGP7096.jpg Just to dig this old one up again, here is a complete insulator recovered from a different section of line. These were used on the old, original towers along the beach strip.

If anybody has seen one of the insulators in the second image, I'd certainly appreciate hearing from you!
 
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David O'Reilly

Registered User
Dec 15, 2012
482
4
18
#10
hi InsulatorHunter, regarding the tracks on the beach, there were at least two different lines, and maybe even three. the Hamilton and Northwestern (H&NW) began running on the beach south from the canal in 1877. it along with a line running north from the canal were purchased by the Grand Trunk Railroad in 1888.
http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/205/301/ic/cdc/industrial/hamiltonnw.htm

and it seems that there was a second GTR line, that ran from Burlington to Stoney Creek, because a caption to a picture on Tom Luton's Hamilton Radial Electric Railroad (HRER) page, reads "In the foreground is the HRER line under construction on the right, putting this photo in the summer of 1896. The railway line on the left is the Grand Trunk Railway's (later CN's) Beach Subdivision, connecting Burlington with Stoney Creek."

and then the third (which began runnning in 1896) was the HRER itself.
http://hamiltontransithistory.alotspace.com/HRER.html



Added Comments

The Cataract Power Company of Hamilton Limited (the predecessor to the Dominion Power and Transmission Company) was organized in 1896. The idea for the company came from John Patterson (one of the "Five Johns" to found the Cataract Power Company) who was developing the Hamilton Radial Electric Railway at the time. He wanted to supply his railway with water-generated electric power and selected De Cew falls as the place to do this.



http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Milestones:Decew_Falls_Hydro-Electric_Plant,_1898
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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The Beach Strip
#11
John Patterson

This thread seems to be going all over place, but I was asked to mention a book that brought of the life history of one of our early pioneers in hydro power. The same power that ran the radial line on the Beach in the early 1900's.

The book is titled "The Hamilton Centennial 1846-1946" and since the book is well over fifty years old I don't believe I have get permission to post part of it.
__________________________________________________

John Patterson

John Patterson was one of the most adventurous and far-seeing in Hamilton's long list of business organizers. He was a big man, with an optimistic outlook on life. Of Celtic origin, he was born in Tyrone, Ireland, on March 13, 1857. He entered the industrial life of Hamilton in partnership with his younger brother Thomas, in a lumber and planing mill business on Barton Street.
Retiring from this business in 1893, Mr. Patterson became the promoter of several new enterprises. Not being possessed of unlimited means although he had unlimited imagination he linked himself with others who were forward looking. In 1896 five business men, known as the "five Johns," namely, Sir John M. Gibson, John Moodie, John W. Sutherland, John Dickenson and John Patterson, organized the Dominion Power and Transmission Company. In this enterprise John P
 

David O'Reilly

Registered User
Dec 15, 2012
482
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#12
In follow up to one of my earlier posts regarding the Hamilton and North Western Railroad, here is a picture of the swing bridge. "The rail line across the Beach Strip opened in 1877, however the trains did not have the right-of-way when crossing the shipping canal. This meant that the railway bridge was left in the open position, unless needed. This unfortunately resulted in several crashes."
http://canadianheritagebooks.blogspot.ca/2012/01/railway-swing-bridge.html
 

Sharla1

Registered User
Oct 15, 2009
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#13
Good place to put my pic Scotto. :)

How much we can tend to forget in our regions. I had forgotten about that about Decew Falls. Very nice area though. Always a nice place to visit. :)
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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The Beach Strip
#14
Good place to put my pic Scotto. :)

How much we can tend to forget in our regions. I had forgotten about that about Decew Falls. Very nice area though. Always a nice place to visit. :)
I have never been there (Decew Falls), hopefully someday, but it does look like nice place for some pictures.
 

Sharla1

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Oct 15, 2009
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#15
A couple of views of the mill and house at Decew Falls.






Here is another angle of the sawmill. I wonder what that wooden part with the pole standing up was used for?

 
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Sharla1

Registered User
Oct 15, 2009
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#17
That house was the house that was used as a headquarters during the war of 1812 and it was the house that Laura Secord walked to, to warn of the USA attack.

I am trying to find the pics I took inside the old mill building. No luck yet, but I will keep looking.
 
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David O'Reilly

Registered User
Dec 15, 2012
482
4
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#19
“InsulatorHunter
“Having just moved back to the area this year, I find my self doing a good amount of biking on the beachfront trail traveling to the lift bridge to photograph and view the great lakes freighters. Also, being an insulator collector, (Insulators are the objects on the tops of telephone poles that hold and, well insulate the linewire) and knowing that the trail was a rail line built pre 1900, I was wondering if anybody knew the date when the line was abandoned and/or removed and if at any point there were telegraph poles that followed it.
I have examined a couple sections of the line that have not been developed and are but overgrown sections of rusting disused rail, one inbetween Van Wagner's beach and the QEW, the other in Burlington, but have had no luck.”

“InsulatorHunter
Yes there was a telegraph wire along the railroad on the beach. this thread has several references.
http://hamiltonbeachcommunity.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-2164.html

I’m surprised that there are any rails still on the beach. I thought that when a section of track was abandoned, the railroad company was legally oblegated to remove all of their rails.

Regarding ‘insulators,’ were they also used at one time on hydro poles? And what exactly did they provide insulation, to, and, from?
 

Sharla1

Registered User
Oct 15, 2009
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#20
There is also a hiking trail as well on the property. No idea where it goes though since I have never taken it.
 
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