The heart of the transportation system for this section of Nova Scotia is located at Stellarton one of the divisional headquarters of the Government Railway System. While the dispatchers and superintendent's offices, and staff are at New Glasgow, the round house, machine shops and railway yards are situated in the former town. The yards cover some fifteen acres. The round house with 26 stalls has a green grass plot, with flower beds, facing the railway tracks, and is maintained by the employees. The machine shops are modernly equipped. The yards have an up-to-date system of fire protection independent of the town, while the electric light plant also supplies light for the offices and yards, both at New Glasgow and Westville. The yards employ 125 men, who with some 30 resident engineers and firemen, receive in wages over $120,000 yearly, not counting at the staff at New Glasgow and agents at Westville and Trenton who draw an additional $40,000.
Trains for New Glasgow, Westville, Trenton, Sunnybrae and other points east are made up in the Stellarton yards, the service utilizing about 48,000 tons of coal per year and 200,000 gallons of water per day. Connected with the yard is an auxiliary wrecking equipment to points as far west as Oxford and Mulgrave, and to the Sydneys on the east end of the line.
Some thirteen passenger trains leave Stellarton every 24 hours,
exclusive of through passenger trains and through freight trains,
and about 800 engines are dispatched from the yards monthly. Passengers
from Halifax and other points, change cars at Stellarton to and from
Pictou and Prince Edward Island. About 17 to 20 trains besides freight trains,
run through New Glasgow daily, the branch to Pictou Landing passing
through Trenton while the main line goes to the Sidneys, thus linking
the four towns with their numerous branches, with the whole Government
Railway system, and so connecting it with all the big cities of the continent,
and the Dominion's ocean ports east, and west.
The East river connects the district with Pictou Harbor, located
on Northumberland Strait, about six miles distant, one of the finest
deep water harbors on the Eastern Canadian Coast, and capable of holding
the largest ocean vessels. The East river as far as Trenton has already
been dredged to a depth of 21 feet, with a turning basin 450 feet wide
near where the plant of the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company is located.
A lock 638 feet long, 55 feet wide and 32 feet deep with four sets of
gates to allow for the entrance of both large and small vessels are in
course of construction. The work is being executed by McDougall Brothers
a well known contracting firm of Ottawa, and when completed will
give the district of which these towns are the life and centre, ocean
water connections with all parts of the world.
The four towns are also connected by a street car line owned and operated by the Pictou County Electric Company Limited, whose head offices and power plant are located in Stellarton, from which point both the street car and electric light service is controlled. The Company which employs about 65 people who receive in wages some $55,000 yearly, has about nine and a half miles of tracks extending from Westville to Trenton, including Stellarton, New Glasgow and Parkdale, a suburb of the latter town.
The cars between New Glasgow and Trenton run every twenty minutes while those between Trenton and Stellarton run on a thirty minute and the cars to Westville on a sixty and thirty minute schedule.
The company furnishes the electric light for public and private purposes for New Glasgow, Trenton and Westville, and private lighting for Stellarton.
The prices to the towns for lighting the streets and public buildings are $55.00
per arc light, and $11.00 per year for incandescent lights, while to private subscribers the price is 15 cents per
killowatt, with a discount of 16 2-3 to 33 per cent. off, based on the
amount used and the payment of the electric light bills before the
10th of each month.