Quebec Central Railway: From The St. Francis To The Chaudiere
Derek Booth

Railfare/DC Books

A train museum between Delson and St. Constant, about an hour from Montreal, is a must-see for anyone with an interest in trains. Also indispensable is a series of books from DC Books and Railfare, all profusely illustrated and designed for both train lovers and historians.

Quebec Central Railway is the third in the series written by Booth, a retired Professor of Geography at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, who brings his scholarly acumen to the history of the QCR. Towards the end of the 19th century, railway fever was at its height. Railways brought prosperity and settlement, linked outlying communities, and provided jobs. Charters for railways were taken up and subscribers courted. The government gave subsidies (for railways with wooden rails). On the other hand, start-up costs could be as much as $20,000 per mile. Not all the farmers were keen on selling right of way, particularly if they were to be paid with railway stock. So railways failed and merged, and eventually the QCR, itself the result of mergers, became part of the CPR.

There is much here of general interest, particularly the economic and historical settings of the QCR, but train buffs will certainly be captivated by the amount of detail provided. The appendices include locomotive rosters and notes on the QCR infrastructure.

Some more books in the DC/Railfare series:

NIAGARA, ST. CATHARINES & TORONTO RAILWAY: A Canadian National Electric Railways Subsidiary
By John M. Mills
$44.95, paper
ISBN 978-1-897190-27-2

Accidents that occurred on Canadian National Railways’ Montreal to Portland line
By Jeff Holt
$29.95, paper
ISBN 978-1-897190-13-5 mRb