The City Of Winnipeg Hydro Railway
At first glance, a person could see this lantern and think it was made for use by a City Of Winnipeg works department, etc. However, if you dig a little deeper, this lantern has an incredible railway History. This lantern was made for the City Of Winnipeg Hydro Railway. This railway was owned by the city and completed in 1908 to support the construction and operation of the Pointe Du Bois dam. The line was built from the Canadian Pacific line at Lac Du Bonnet, to Pointe Du Bois 25 miles away. In the 1920s, an 8 mile extension was added to Slave Falls, because of a new dam site being built there.
The City of Winnipeg Hydro Railway is an obscure, little known operation, often getting confused with the Greater Winnipeg Water District (GWWD) built in 1914. As with the City Of Winnipeg Hydro Railway, the GWWD is a Winnipeg owned railway used for construction and operations of a hydro dam. The GWWD is still operating today.
The Hydro Railway became famous in the 1950s because they were still operating a 4-4-0 steam locomotive, the oldest operating in Canada. That locomotive lives on as Prairie Dog Central No.3. The railway was abandoned in the 1960s when a road was built to Pointe Du Bois, making the railway irrelevant. The 25 mile portion was abandoned leaving an isolated 8 miles between Pointe Du Bois and Slave Falls. I’m not sure when the rest of the line was abandoned. There are some excellent photos of the City of Winnipeg hydro Railway on Old Time Trains.
If you want to read more about the fascinating history of Winnipeg Hydro and the hydro electric dams this railway served, you can read more here: A History of Electric Power in Manitoba.
This lantern was made by the Adams & Westlake Co. (Adlake). It has an 1895 patent date on it. However, it also has a small stamp saying “Patent Applied For”. The patent that is referencing was issued in 1909, and it was applied for beginning of 1908. The Hydro Railway was completed and opened 1908, so this lantern lines up directly with the start of the railway. It has an absolutely beautiful deep orange ‘root beer’ globe in it.
The lantern is in really nice condition. There is some rust on the lid. I’m in a new area and don’t really have the ability to restore it at the moment. Once I’m able too, I will update the photos.
I acquired this lantern from a friend. He bought this lantern many years ago from a retired conductor who had worked for the GWWD.