It was 100 years ago tomorrow, December 6, 1917 during the First World War that the “Halifax Explosion” occurred. The passenger car pictures in today’s Tuesday Train was built in 1896 for the Dominion Atlantic Railway, and by 1917 was used as the personal coach of the General Manager George E. Graham. He and his family were eating breakfast in the car when SS Mont Blanc, a french ship loaded with high explosives detonated in Halifax harbour following a collision with the SS Imo. Following the explosion, Graham ran up the line to the next surviving telegraph station at Rockingham to signal for help and relief for the thousands injured or killed in the blast.
Nova Scotia in Orillia as part of the closed Ossawippi Express restaurant before moving to the Toronto Railway Museum, upon delivery at the Toronto Railway Museum, and the Nova Scotia/Halifax Explosion display at the Toronto Railway Museum.
Following its retirement from the Canadian Pacific Railway (who owned the Dominion Atlantic Railway), the car was sold to the Upper Canada Railway Society, who used it as their private car on excursions in southern Ontario in the 1960’s. When the car, with a wood frame was deemed unsafe for continued use in excursions, it was sold on, first to the London Public Library, then to the Ossawippi Express restaurant in Orillia. When the Ossawippi restaurant closed, and the cars were dispersed, the purchaser donated the Nova Scotia to the Toronto Railway Museum. The car is now stored indoors, where it provides office and lounge space to the volunteers, and will eventually be restored, with unsympathetic changes made at the restaurant will be undone.