Tag Archives: Bon Accord

Tramways Limited

Another Interurban Railway

You have probably heard of the Edmonton Interurban Railway, which operated from Edmonton to St. Albert for only a single year (granted, it began with much greater ambitions than that!).

This is not that railway. Tramways Limited was organized in 1913, and had a charter to go from Edmonton to such suburban locations as Namao, Bon Accord, and Fort Saskatchewan. There is no physical evidence remaining of this railway on our landscape, and I would have to guess that, although Tramways limited had shovels in the ground in October of 1914, this interurban railway was never completed.

Newspaper articles below were taken from the Peel Prairie Provinces website.

January 1913: The Beginning

19130129 - The Edmonton Bulletin, January 29, 1913 (Morning Edition), Page 6, Item Ad00602_22

Tramways Limited publishes notice of its intent to incorporate as a street railway company. – The Edmonton Bulletin, January 29, 1913 (Morning Edition), Page 6, Item Ad00602_22. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

February-March 1913: A Company is Created

Act to Incorporate Tramways, Limited (assented to in March 1913) provides many of the details we know about this interurban railway. As seen below, the railway could not use steam and was permitted to generate electric power. It is likely that this railway would have followed the same plan as the Edmonton Interurban Railway, using Gasoline powered interurban cars (with a mix of space for passengers and freight) initially and then eventually erecting overhead lines to utilize electric power. It was also possible that Tramways, Limited would have used gasoline power outside of Edmonton and then electric once their interurban streetcars entered the City and came under the control and operation of the City of Edmonton (as per the agreement later made with the City of Edmonton).

“7. The company may lay out, construct and operate a line of railway to be operated by any motive power other than steam with a gauge of four feet eight and one-half inches from a point as follows:

(a) From a point at or near the boundary of the City of Edmonton northerly to or near Bon Accord;

(b) From a point upon the last mentioned line easterly to a point in the Fort Saskatchewan Settlement;

(c) From a point at or at the boundary of the City of Edmonton or from a point on the firstly mentioned line northerly to a point in the Fort Saskatchewan Settlement;

(d) From a point on the boundary of the City of Edmonton easterly and northerly on the south bank of the Saskatchewan River to a point in the Fort Saskatchewan settlement;

together with such branches as may be convenient not extending more than six miles in length.”

“12. The company may generate or acquire electric or other power or energy and may transmit, sell and dispose of the same.”

One particularly curious part of the Act, for an interurban tramway at least, is the requirement that they accept and transport farmers’ grains, as outlined below:

“15. The company shall at all stations upon their railway always permit the loading of grain into cars from farmers’ vehicles or flat warehouses, subject to reasonable regulations to be made by the said company, and shall at all reasonable times afford roper facilities therefor.”

This makes me wonder if the interurban railway would have ended up being more like an electric railway, with electric locomotives pulling passenger and freight cars. The limited size (6 miles) and the name of this railway (Tramways, Limited) seem to indicate this is not the case though. Furthermore, the agreement later made between Tramways Limited and the City of Edmonton stipulated that the interurban streetcars operated by Tramways Limited be of the same general design as the City’s streetcars.

19130326 - The Edmonton Bulletin, March 26, 1913 (Morning Edition), Page 7, Item Ar00702

Tramways Limited is officially incorporated by Bill 51. – The Edmonton Bulletin, March 26, 1913 (Morning Edition), Page 7, Item Ar00702. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

 

March 1914

19140313 - The Edmonton Capital, March 13, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 4, Item Ar00406

Tramways Limited (of 14 Howard Street) proposes to build a tramway line from Edmonton to Bon Accord. – The Edmonton Capital, March 13, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 4, Item Ar00406. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

June 1914: Survey Map

On June 29, 1914, Tramways Limited submitted a survey map to the Government of Alberta This fascinating map — available via SPIN2 (Survey Map 6222AZ) — shows the interurban tramway traveling a different route than the one laid out in the legislation above. It runs north from Edmonton to (just east of ) Namao, then through Duagh, northeast (almost) to New Lunnen, and east to almost reach the North Saskatchewan River.

July 1914

Tramways Limited is looking for a way to enter Edmonton.

19140701 - The Edmonton Bulletin, July 1, 1914 (Morning Edition), Page 1, Item Ar00113

Tramways Limited proposes to operate an electric tramway from Edmonton to Namao and Fort Saskatchewan. – The Edmonton Bulletin, July 1, 1914 (Morning Edition), Page 1, Item Ar00113. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

19140716 - The Edmonton Capital, July 16, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 7, Item Ar00720

Tramways Limited is attempting to have trackage all the way to the Edmonton City Market at 10707-101 Street. Interestingly, this article mentions Tramways Limited having a “present terminal point”. This could either be land the company had secured or an actual functioning terminal (though the former is more likely). – The Edmonton Capital, July 16, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 7, Item Ar00720. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

19140717 - The Edmonton Bulletin, July 17, 1914 (Morning Edition), Page 2, Item Ar00205

Agreements for the Edmonton Interurban Railway and Tramways Limited to go before ratepayers. – The Edmonton Bulletin, July 17, 1914 (Morning Edition), Page 2, Item Ar00205. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

19140724 - The Edmonton Capital, July 21, 1914, Page 1, Item Ar00108

Another article that seems to speak of Tramways Limited’s service in the present tense. This blurb suggests the idea that their streetcars could travel over Edmonton Radial Railway trackage to get to 101 street and 107 avenue. – The Edmonton Capital, July 21, 1914, Page 1, Item Ar00108. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection). Tramways Limited proposes having service all the way south to the City Market at 101st Street.

19140725 - The Edmonton Capital, July 25, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 1, Item Ar00114

The City of Edmonton’s agreement with Tramways Limited continues to take shape. – The Edmonton Capital, July 25, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 1, Item Ar00114. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

19140729 - The Edmonton Bulletin, July 29, 1914 (Morning Edition), Page 2, Item Ar00209

More on the Tramways Limited agreement. – The Edmonton Bulletin, July 29, 1914 (Morning Edition), Page 2, Item Ar00209. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

19140729 - The Edmonton Capital, July 29, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 12, Item Ar01205

Yet more on the Tramways Limited agreement. – The Edmonton Capital, July 29, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 12, Item Ar01205. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

August 1914

19140806 - The Edmonton Capital, August 6, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 4, Item Ar00406

Another article on the Tramways Limited agreement. Interestingly, this one indicates that its suburban lines are still just proposed. – The Edmonton Capital, August 6, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 4, Item Ar00406. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

19140807 - The Edmonton Capital, August 7, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 1, Item Ar00109

Tramways Limited is eager to begin construction of its line to Namao (which could be operational by November 1st) and then further northeast. They also are considering a line northwest to the Pembina River (which may have been the Edmonton Northwestern Radial Railway Company). This article notes that the engineer connected to Tramways Limited (A.E. Farncombe) is also connected to the (nearly complete) Gull Lake line (Possibly the Lacombe and Blindman Valley Electric Railway). – The Edmonton Capital, August 7, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 1, Item Ar00109. . (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

19140822 - The Edmonton Capital, August 22, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 2, Item Ar00208

Work held up on Tramways Limited. – The Edmonton Capital, August 22, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 2, Item Ar00208. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

September 1914

19140909 - The Edmonton Bulletin, September 9, 1914 (MORNING EDITION), Page 6, Item Ar00605

The agreement further evolves. Now, the City of Edmonton will permit Tramways Limited to build lines within the City to connect to Edmonton Radial Railway trackage, but the City will take over operation of Tramways, Limited streetcar upon their entry to the City. – The Edmonton Bulletin, September 9, 1914 (MORNING EDITION), Page 6, Item Ar00605. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

19140917 - The Edmonton Bulletin, September 17, 1914 (MORNING EDITION), Page 8, Item Ar00805

City Council officially approves the agreement with Tramways Limited. – The Edmonton Bulletin, September 17, 1914 (MORNING EDITION), Page 8, Item Ar00805. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

19140918 - The Edmonton Capital, September 18, 1914, Page 8, Item Ar00808

City Council officially approves the agreement with Tramways Limited. – The Edmonton Capital, September 18, 1914, Page 8, Item Ar00808. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

October 1914

19141017 - [Evidence of Construction] The Edmonton Capital, October 17, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 5, Item Ar00503

Tramways Limited has three gangs of men at work building its line from 101 street and 107 avenue to Namao. The Edmonton Northwestern Radial Railway Company may be using this trackage for their own service to enter the City in the future. – The Edmonton Capital, October 17, 1914 (Last Edition), Page 5, Item Ar00503. This is the only evidence found (so far) that any of this railway was ever constructed.. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

December 1914

19141211 - The Edmonton Bulletin, December 11, 1914 (MORNING EDITION), Page 4, Item Ar00411

Tramways Limited cars will use “gasoline and electric power, but they may be fitted to use electricity from the city when within the city.” – The Edmonton Bulletin, December 11, 1914 (MORNING EDITION), Page 4, Item Ar00411. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

Below, you will find the most thorough overview of this railway that I have found. Begin at “Public Notice”

19141212 - The Edmonton Bulletin, December 12, 1914 (MORNING EDITION), Page 15, Item Ad01502

The best known overview of Tramways Limited and their agreement with the City of Edmonton. – The Edmonton Bulletin, December 12, 1914 (MORNING EDITION), Page 15, Item Ad01502. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

January 1915

19150127 - The Edmonton Bulletin, January 27, 1915, Page 1, Item Ar00110 02

Tramways Limited fails to convince the necessary two-thirds of Edmonton’s electorate at the polls. – The Edmonton Bulletin, January 27, 1915, Page 1, Item Ar00110. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

19150127 - The Edmonton Bulletin, January 27, 1915, Page 1, Item Ar00111

Tramways Limited to try a new strategy for funding which does not require ratepayer approval. – The Edmonton Bulletin, January 27, 1915, Page 1, Item Ar00111. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

February 1915

19150203 - The Edmonton Bulletin, February 3, 1915, Page 5, Item Ar00516

Tramways Limited bylaw on hold. – The Edmonton Bulletin, February 3, 1915, Page 5, Item Ar00516. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

1917 - Peel 10969_ Edmonton (Alta.). City Council. By-laws of the City of Edmonton as revised and consolidated down to 30th November, 1917 [page 40]

As seen above, the bylaw authorizing the Tramways Limited agreement was passed on February 9, 1915, and remained in force until at least 1917. – Peel 10969: Edmonton (Alta.). City Council. (1917). By-laws of the City of Edmonton as revised and consolidated down to 30th November, 1917.

19150217 - The Edmonton Bulletin, February 17, 1915, Page 7, Item Ar00711

Tramways Limited passes a resolution, likely to align with the agreement passed by City Council – The Edmonton Bulletin, February 17, 1915, Page 7, Item Ar00711. (Courtesy of the Peel’s Prairie Provinces Collection).

And this is the last I have found in the news on Tramways Limited. It just seems to have faded away…

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