The Toad Swamp and Punk Hollow Railroad
The golden spike ceremony was held July 17, 1938. Fred Jerome, President of TSME, wields the hammer. A.W. Leggett stands to his left. My dad, Billy Leggett, Jr. is behind the engineer running Fred's Timken "Four Aces" 4-8-4.
This track was the third of five layouts at four different locations for the T.S. & P.H. RR beginning with an indoor track for A.W. Leggett's electric box cab, down the hallway of a second floor flat in Montreal in the mid-1920's. Who knows what the downstairs neighbours thought about that? There was one switch to go into the kitchen on a spur. See A 3/4 Inch Scale Electric Locomotive.
The track in the photo is the first elevated track built. It was originally on the ground, straight up and down the side of the rented house on Curzon Avenue in St-Lambert and began service in 1932 or a bit earlier.
- Here's some old news discovered by my chum Steve Bratina about my grandfather's track. I see we're up to most of the same tricks 71 years later:
- The Montreal Society of Model Engineers
- Fine weather, an enthusiastic gathering, and some fast locomotive running marked the opening of the track of The Toad Swamp and Punk Hollow Railroad on Sunday, July 17th, 1938. Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Leggett, the operators of the line, were hosts to a party of sixty or more members and friends of the Montreal Society of Model Engineers on the occasion, Mr. F. G. Jerome, President of The Toronto Society of Model Engineers, came to St. Lambert specially to drive the golden spike that symbolized the final completion of the new track, and Mr. C. A. Purinton, of Marblehead, Mass., Secretary of the New England Society of Live Steamers, who also came for the opening, nodded his approval at the manner in which the various functions were carried out, Mr. Jerome's Grasshopper, a 3-1/2" gauge 4-8-4 Timken, and Mr. Massie's 3-1/2" gauge 4-8-4, arrived in due course, and after steam having been raised did a big business hauling passengers. Eventually the Grasshopper spread the rails on the 35-foot radius curve and the section gang had to be called out. Later in the day the T. S. & P. H., 3-1/2" gauge Pacific Calamity was steamed and joined the Company of bigger and more modern motive power. After 10:00 P. M. the Grasshopper and Calamity doubleheaded until, for the peace of the neighborhood, and with an eye to maintaining good public relations. fires were drawn and the locomotives put away in the roundhouse for the night. The only time during the afternoon and evening when there was a lull in operating was when the hosts served tea. Of more than usual interest were the photo books brought by Mr. Purinton, and containing a wonderful collection of snapshots of model locomotives, tracks, meets and related subjects. Another diversion provided for the visitors was a visit to the T. S. & P. H. Shops.
- Cecil F. Harding
- 6591 Molson Street,
- Rosemont, Montreal
Bill (A.W.) Leggett Sr. stands behind his second 3/4" Pacific "Addie" built in 1938. To right is Leo Lapalme and Fred Jerome (on flat car). The photo was taken on April 17, 1947 by Bill Leggett Jr at the home track of the Leggett's Toad Swamp & Punk Hollow R.R. on Hickson Ave., St. Lambert, Que.