With a view fitting its name, Lake Superior has drawn the likes of the Group of Seven and CPR photographer Nicholas Morant to its North Shore with its jagged cliffs, boreal forests and unpredictable weather. Places like Pic Island, Jack Fish Bay, Mink Harbor and others have become synonymous with the North Shore. Built on billion year old rock, Canadian Pacific’s Heron Bay subdivision twists and turns it way around the great lake through numerous rock cuts, tunnels, earth fills and towering trestles.
On this August day in 1966, the sun breaks through the clouds just long enough to cast its warm light on train #952. With their howling exhaust and heat rising in to the air, SD40 #5503 (built a month earlier), another SD40, a GP35 and a C424, all in CP’s maroon and grey scheme, begin to climb the 1.4 grade up Neys Hill. Originating in Calgary and bound for Montreal, train #952 would commonly have stock cars and piggyback cars on the head end. Today, these services are now no longer operated.
Colorful rocks and forests might be an attraction for Artists and photographers but for the men of the CPR it’s just another day of railroading on the North Shore.