Rail from 1885 found. Need help identifying.

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xmartel
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:41 pm

Rail from 1885 found. Need help identifying.

Post by xmartel » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:38 pm

Hi all,

Years ago I was riding my bike around Biggar, SK not far from both the CN and CP lines. I came across a length of rail that was stuck in the ground that looked like it had been pushed away from the tracks along with a bunch of dirt by a bulldozer.

Here's everything the rail says: Cammell Sheffield Toughened Steel . W . 1885 . N & N . W . R . C . SEC154

I was wondering if anyone can shed some light onto this? Where did this rail come from?
I know there was a company called the Manitoba and North Western Railway Company. However the first letter before the "&" is very clearly a N. Not an M. Maybe it was a mis-stamp and this rail is from that line?

From everything I can find, there certainly wasn't a rail line through the Biggar area until the early 1900's.

Also, about how long would this piece of rail be, and how many lbs per yard would it be? It's partially buried and I can't measure it.

Thanks for any help.

xmartel
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Rail from 1885 found. Need help identifying.

Post by xmartel » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:15 pm

Here's some more information I just got from someone that could help.

"The only other railway I am aware of in that time frame that used a reporting mark that was even close to N & NWRC would have been the Northern & North Western Railway, which operated from 1879-1888. Based in Southern Ontario, they were an early regional railway that was purchased by the Grand Trunk Railway and eventually became part of Canadian National. I honestly have no idea if N&NW ever rolled their own rail, but if they did then there is a possibility that CN may have relocated it to Saskatchewan for re-use at some point."

JayBee
Posts: 374
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:28 pm

Re: Rail from 1885 found. Need help identifying.

Post by JayBee » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:56 pm

Cammell Laird & Co. was a British steel maker based in Sheffield, England. They were also a shipbuilding company with a shipyard in Birkenhead, England near Liverpool. They built many well known Royal Navy warships as well as merchant ships.

Here is a link to a book on the history of the company;

https://books.google.com/books?id=8tah1 ... ews_anchor" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Engineer Spike
Posts: 1920
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:24 pm

Re: Rail from 1885 found. Need help identifying.

Post by Engineer Spike » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:48 pm

I think that this early rail may have very well have been rolled in England. With Canada's position in the British Empire, the imported steel seems logical. Maybe Canada hadn't developed its steel industry by then. US steel may have had high duty on it, so it was cheaper to ship it across the Atlantic. Often rail gets picked up and moved to other lines. Some warn rail. or even lighter sizes are reused in less demanding locations, such as yards, sidings, and branches. CN might have sold off the used rail, and this line's owner bought it.

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