The Chapleau Public Library Presents
Chapleau in the 1950s

1950 or 52. House construction in the early fifties on King Street. These were built in anticipation of new employees for CP diesel maintenance shops. They were built by one of Art Grout's enterprises Chapleau Realties. They were built on the properties adjacent to Jack Cormier's house.

The Schrieber division was given high priority by the CPR for dieselization. The single line stretching between Cartier and Fort William (Thunder Bay) had reached maximum capacity in the late 1940's . Diesalization was therefore an attractive alternative to double heading or making the Division two-track territory. During the transition period between diesel and steam power, Chapleau was well positioned as a major maintenance centre resulting in substantial expansion and upgrading of the CPR shops in the early fifties. Total completion of system dieselization in 1960 unfortunately eliminated the need for the Chapleau maintenance facilities. Efficient high utilization of diesel power meant running the locomotives as far as possible without intermediate maintenance inspection. Prior to this these units were turned around at the end of dieselization territories.

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