Eastern Canadian Coal

Donald B. Valentine
 

Speaking of U.S. products going into Canada in discussing the IC twin hopper decals raises a question for me. As I expect most of us are aware, Bristish Columbia produces a lot of coal. At present most of this seems to be exported to markets in the Orient. The other great producer of coal in Canada is Nova Scotia, particularly around Springhill and at the outer end of Cape Breton Island. I can well remember first arriving in Springhill as a youngster with my parents on the way to the Kentville area to visit cousins. It was a late afternoon in 1954 and the town seemed deserted. The Springhill Disaster, a major cave-in within the mines there, had occurred only hours before and everyone was at the minehead awaiting the fate of family members, relatives or neighbors who worked in them. But on that trip and many subsequent visits over the years I can never recall seeing the number of hoppers one would expect to move all the coal produced in Nova Scotia. I have seen an occasional photo of a CNR or CPR twin hopper but cannot recall seeing a triple hopper from either road. And what about the little Sydney & Louisberg? I don't recall ever seeing a photo of a hopper from that road other than on Cape Breton Island. So how was all of this Nova Scotia mined coal moved, particularly from Springhill, which had no deepwater port nearby. Wasn't any of this coal transported to Quebec or Ontario for use or were those provinces nearly wholly dependent on U.S coal???

Thanks for any imput, Don Valentine

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