This is to pay for the land we have been obliged to take, and land damages. The chief engineer reports that this amount, he believes, will be sufficient to cover both. Last year or the year before we had an estimate, speaking from memory,
This is a small item, but it is an extraordinary statement the minister makes. There was apparently a level crossing, and for the purpose of protecting the public he builds a subway. How could damages to the extent of $1,000, or any damages, occur ?
We are not going to pay any more than we are obliged to pay. The names of the claimants are Charles Patterson and the heirs of Moffat. In making this subway, I understand that we have cut into and injured the land of these two people. This roadway goes down a valley, and then rises up and crosses the railway on a level crossing, and we are building a subway under the tracks, and in doing so we are cutting into the valley on the one side or the other beyond our own boundaries.
I would like to ask the minister in regard to the accommodation at Sydney. I am requested to ask if he has come to any settled conclusion as to whether he will make any change in regard to the running of trains to North Sydney and Sydney. As I understand, North Sydney is on the main line, while Sydney is on a branch.
The hon. gentleman was not here when I made my reply on that subject, but he will find it in ' Hansard,' to the effect that we will be issuing the timetable for the coming season in a short time, and we contemplate making arrangements to remove the dissatisfaction which exists, which has existed for many years, but which is undoubtedly becoming more acute by reason of the increased business at Sydney. WTe hope to provide such accommodation for both places as will satisfy the rea-
sonable demands of the people resident in those places.
There would be different means of accomplishing it. One would be by having a train run out from North Sydney, and connect with the express when it arrives at Sydney junction-the main express going into Sydney, which would, perhaps, carry the major part of the travel. Another arrangement that might be made would be to increase the number of our express trains from Mulgrave, and arrange to have one train a day leaving North Sydney, and one train a day leaving Sydney, and on the return one train going to North Sydney and the other to Sydney. I do not know that it would be expedient for me at this moment to state to which of these plans my own preference would incline. But, the hon. gentleman can say to those who are inquiring of him, that the subject is not being overlooked, but that it will be dealt with in a manner which I am sure will be reasonably satisfactory to the people.
My information is, that the first plan would not be satisfactory, for this reason, that it would be making practically a branch of what was originally a main line. It would necessitate a transfer at Sydney Junction, instead of the train going on to North Sydney, which, I am told, is practically on the main line, and connects with the regular boat, which carries a large number of passengers. If the other plan were carried out, of running through trains-one from North Sydney and another from Sydney
I do not suppose that the same objection would prevail. But, the first suggestion will not, so far as I am informed, meet with the approval of the people of North Sydney at all. They have protested against that before, and will likely do so again.
I do not expect to be able to satisfy the people of both points, and I have some doubts as to whether I shall be able to satisfy them at either of the points. If the last suggestion I made were to be adopted, I am quite sure that the people, at least from one of these localities, would complain that both trains were not serving their particular point. There are objections to the running of through trains unless the .needs of business justify it, and it is not a serious consideration for people to get on board a day car-a comfortable commodious car-and run up five or six miles and then change into another car. That is not at all a serious grievance, and if they can get first-class service, as they will by submitting to a little inconvenience of that kind, I do not think they can make much of a
case on which to appeal to the public against the decision of the department. We have been giving the people of Cape Breton a great deal better service than they have been heretofore receiving. We have put additional trains on, and I think we will be justified in still more improving the service by giving, probably all the year round, a day and night service each way. But for some little time to come, it would not be reasonable to ask us to duplicate that improved service for both towns.
It may not be much trouble for passengers to get on and off a train, but when it is contemplated to make what was heretofore the main line a branch line, and make the other the main line, it seems to me it would be wise first to determine which line carries the largest number of passengers and the greater amount of freight. I understand that North Sydney is the line which connects with the boat line, whereas the other does not connect with any regular boat line.
The proportion of passenger and freight traffic is very much larger to Sydney than North Sydney. I would think two or three times as large. The other has steamboat connection with the Bruce and Newfoundland line, but with all that there is no real analogy between the two cases, so far as the volume of passenger and freight traffic is concerned. When you get to North Sydney you get practically to the terminus of railway connection, except so far as steamers are concerned, but when you get to Sydney you have connection with the Louisburg railway, along which line there are several important mines and large centres of population. The mines of the Dominion Coal Company are located chiefly along that railway, and the connection with Sydney brings you into contact with the population at these mines and at other points on the Louisburg railway.