Posted on 08-06-2008
Filed Under (Calgary 1960s, CPR, Many Jobs and Trades) by Broken Rail

View of East End of locomotive shop with lagging shed on the right-hand side.

Before I talk about the Powerhouse and Planning Mill there are two other structures. I wanted to mention first, on the north side of the Locomotive Shop there was a structure called the Lagging Shed. It was partially used for storage in its enclosed part, and the open timber beam part of a structure was used for storing the asbestos lagging they used for the boilers and the steam era. The other building is a three bay building and office that housed the shops Volunteer Fire Department, it was manned by workers who lived in the Ogden area, and if a fire broke out they would respond to whistle signals that came from the Powerhouse. The Powerhouse was located about a city block and one half north of Locomotive Shop. The Powerhouse has 9,865 square feet in area; it had a 200-foot concrete reinforced smokestack, and a 125,000-gallon water tank that was erected on a 75 foot steel tower. It began its life with five 350 hp boilers. In my time it had two boilers made by Babcock, and Wilcox, they supplied all the steam for the Locomotive Shop, Wheel Shop, No. 1 Car Shop, No.2 Coach Shop’s fan rooms. Steam radiators heated the rest of the buildings. It also had steam driven compressors to supply air for all the tools used in the shops. And of course, it had the Ogden Whistle, which was sounded at 8 a.m. when the day shift started, at lunchtime at 12 o’clock, and at the end of the day shift at 4 p.m. The Planning Mill was located about 200 feet north of the Powerhouse. It had all modern machinery installed for milling lumber, but was still in use in 1967. There was narrow gauge railway I’m guessing 1 1/2 feet across that brought all the rough lumber on carts that were brought to a the different machines located throughout the Mill where they would be planned, routed,shaped, tongue and grooved, drilled, and other milling that was required a pipe, about 18 inches in diameter that ran into one of the boilers in the powerhouse, so all the wood shavings were used to help supply heat to the boilers, which now ran on natural gas. I imagine the first boilers would have coal fired. More on the Powerhouse tomorrow.

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