Canadian Northern

by John Hinson

Train passing Loop Junction box
Photograph 5/58, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

Loop Junction is a simple triangular junction at Saskatoon, controlled from the small ground-level cabin seen here. A traditional-looking steam-hauled passenger train from the west is passing the box; the line to the right serves North Battleford and Prince Albert.

The apparatus fixed at the far end of the hut at locomotive cab level allows Train Orders to be delivered to drivers with ease. However, the fact that the operator is seen standing here with a pole in his hand suggest he has just completed the operation of hooping-up the Train Orders by the traditional method.

Interior of Loop Junction
Photograph 5/58, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

The layout of the triangular junction was so simple that it could be operated by a three-handle GRS table interlocking machine. The handles worked the appropriate points and signals by means of the various intermediate positions when the handles are turned left or right. The positions are marked L X B C D Y and R.

Above the handles are indicators showing the position of the points and the state of the track circuits, which are not otherwise indicated. Handle No1 shows Reversed in the right-hand upper window, and Unoccupied and Unlocked in the lower two windows. No2 shows Normal upper left, and the same as handle 1 below. No3 shows nothing other than Unoccupied in the lower left window.

The canadian Northern Railway would have become the Canadian national at the time of these photographs.

Additional notes by Chris Galka

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson