The Lasalle Loop, Conclusions…

At the southeast end of Lasalle station there is a set of stairs that leads to a little park just to the side of the bridge on Lasalle Boulevard.

In the park is the remains of a church – reminds me of Saint Ann’s in Griffintown.

On the bike path on the south side of Lasalle boulevard there is a plaque on the first pillar. I have zapped this image a bit but it is still hard to read – it’s not easy to read when you are right there.

Basically your big name blogroll for CPR, but what is interesting is that the construction of the bridge began in March 1886 and was completed in July, 1887! That’s like 16 months. Granted, they didn’t have to worry about clearing the Seaway in the 1880’s, but still that is 16 months to build a bridge that is standing and functional 123 years later! It seems pretty clear to me that steel and stone are much superior products over concrete.

The river comes through tough enough, this is west of the Lachine Rapids.

To get back we waited on Lasalle boulevard and took the 110 bus back to Angrignon. It is a long zig zagging route that goes on forever. It wasn’t that bad being early Saturday evening, but I really can’t imagine doing that everyday during rush hour.
One of the things a visitor learns about Lasalle is that it easy to lose your sense of direction. Not only does the Aqueduc run straight through it, but the city’s road patterns were designed with traffic calming in mind making it a terrible city for pedestrians and public transportation. And Lasalle with it’s combination of residential and industrial zones has main streets that get very jammed during peak hours.
The Lasalle Loop sits there with about 80% or more of it’s rail pulled, but there is plenty of space. It runs just about through the middle of the most densely populated areas of Lasalle. It has a train station at one end and a Metro station at the other end. It seems like a very obvious place for a light rail/tram system that could get people to Angrignon quickly and allow for a greater efficiency of local buses.
If you have been watching the situation on the island in recent years you will know that there simply is not a coherent plan for the future with so many transportation projects close to approval that seem to be at direct odds with each other, it gets a little scary. But the Lasalle Loop is just sitting there waiting to be restored and the only right of way issue would be to rework it into Angrignon without destroying half the park. It would serve Lasalle immensely well, save a fortune in building costs, encourage sustainable transit, and actually save a significant portion of Montreal’s railroad heritage, something the city has been shamefully unconcerned with in recent decades.
The Lasalle Loop would work.

Before we got on the bus to go home we walked a few blocks west of the bridge to take a look at the Lasalle windmill of city logo fame.

Another nice restoration job. And an old story to finish off. I grew up in Verdun and the story we knew about the windmill was that it had been a fort in the battles with the Iroquois. That was easy to believe because in those days our history books still were slanting history in such a way that the need for such forts to protect us all from the vicious Iroquois who had committed a massacre in Lachine was deemed essential.
The windmill stood there as just a stone conical tower for as long as most people could remember which probably in part allowed the fort legend to grow (we used to picture soldiers shooting out those little windows). I still find it a bit weird, and in some ways disappointing, to think of it as a windmill. Thus spake the Don Quixote of Turcot Yards (wink!).

5 responses to “The Lasalle Loop, Conclusions…

  1. Thanks Ken for a great walk, though only time will if trains will ever roll by to the Metro station again.

  2. Years ago, as kids, we foolishly decided to walk from West Broadway in NDG down the CPR under Westminster to the LaSalle Loop Line from LaSalle and Seagrams to Power Junction by LaSalle Coke on the Lachine Canal.

    We crossed the Lachine Canal on the CPR double-track swing bridge by Northern Electric Cable Plant and Dominion Engineering.

    Well, it took all day and we were late for supper! too.

    Yard engines were switching, we had to dodge moving cars and we had to walk thru the bowels of still-in-use LaSalle Coke just to the East of the smoking and flaming coke ovens and moveable gas holders.

    LaSalle Coke had their own Diesel locomotive, a 660 HP S3 from Montreal Locomitive Works once on Dickson in the East end.

    Fascintating, and scary.

    We were tired and knew we had taken on too much while walking down the steep grade on the CPR down to St Patrick and the Canal, Charles Duranceau Ltee’s cement plant to the right/East, their Sicard snow blowers resting in the summer, when we realized we still had to walk West from Hydro Quebec Poste LaSalle, next to the Canal, an adjunct to the LaSalle Coke plant, back to the Bascule Bridge at 6th in Ville St Pierre.

    Man were we beat.

    LaSalle Coke, Nee Montreal Light, Heat and Power.

    Canaller being unloaded by crane. Poste LaSalle power generating station in foreground in white with smoke stack.

    ( The power output from the steam plant was carried above the Canal and Turcot Yard on a high tower to another tower once behind Rose Bowl Lanes on Upper Lachine Road/St Jacques at Cavendish. )

    We should have taken a MTC Autobus at Allard, but, I did not really know how the bus routes worked in that part of the world, then.

    There was a small community on the LaSalle Loop Line whose telephone service was supplied on a lead-sheathed cable South over the Aqueduct from a terminal in the Avenues to the South of Boulevard Champlain.

    The rail angle bars are painted Blue to show the section forces that the rail WEIGHTS ( Heights ) change there.

    The rails are HEAVIER/higher to the right of the joint as they pass thru the level crossing. The weights per yard are usually cast into the angle bars. I.E 85/100 = 85 to 100 pounds-per-yard rail weight.

    The old telephone in the box MIGHT be a Magneto Telephone instrument from Northern Electric on Shearer St. near Wellington.

    CPR had a head on collision on the LaSalle Loop Line in the Seventies where two Yard Engines collided at speed. Photos are alledged to exist of the incident.

    At one time the still-extant CPR Station at LaSalle was named ‘Highlands’

    The CPR Bridge at LaSalle/Lachine was single track when constructed.

    In the colour view, a steamer is see ‘Shooting the Rapids’ having travelled upstream from Montreal Harbour via the Lachine Canal.

    The CPR Lachine bridge was renewed AND double-tracked c. 1912????? the work being done here.

    The piers were widened to accomidate the second track, the upstream edge of the piers are Vee-shaped and sloped to break flowing ice.

    The chiselled inscription on the pier has sure faded away!

    At one time there was a sign to the right of the tracks at the LaSalle end of the the CPR bridge with a warning in the First Nations tongue to not walk on the bridge to the South Shore.

    As an aside.

    Where the CPR crosses St Joseph at Lachine/Ville St Pierre, the Eastward bridge is constructed in stone on the old single-track.,-73.655648&spn=0,0.046778&z=15&layer=c&cbll=45.439248,-73.655421&panoid=L44yNG9X-gmR37oLoRUTlg&cbp=12,235.94,,0,-3

    When the second track was added, the companion overpass to the West over St Joseph was constructed in steel.,-73.656464&spn=0,0.046778&z=15&layer=c&cbll=45.438689,-73.656357&panoid=zphTTqZhJDdI-lPMTut5Ww&cbp=12,47.59,,0,-4.66

    Just to the North, the new portion of Notre Dame was once Montreal Tramways double-track on Route 91 to Lachine, Stoney Point and Dixie.,-73.654833&spn=0,0.046778&z=15&layer=c&cbll=45.440305,-73.655178&panoid=Twm2K-N4sFxNyDu32cT63A&cbp=12,249.07,,0,5.59

    To the North of the Tramways was once the parallel CNR double-track main line from Turcot West to Dorval.

    The Tramways Route 91 here was abandoned on August 10, 1958.

    The CNR routed their main line thru Ville St Pierrepast the Consumers Glass Works on Des Erables in 1960.

    Thank You.

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