Nearly five years ago Messrs. S.P. Brown, chief engineer, and J.C.K. Stuart, chief assistant, of the Mount Royal Terminal & Tunnel Company, began driving the tunnel through Mount Royal, and although unavoidable delays have been encountered, the passage from Lagauchetiere street to the western portal, three miles in length, was yesterday officially announced as practically completed with a large gang of men at work laying a double and permanent track from one end of the tunnel to the other.
Sir Donald Mann is now engaged looking over tenders which have been received for the construction of a reinforced concrete and steel structure at the northwest corner of Lagauchetiere and St. Monique streets, which, when completed at a probable cost of $150,000 a few months hence, will be used as the starting point for trains for Quebec, Ottawa, and, in fact, for the Canadian Northern trains across the continent.
A contract will also be given almost immediately for the removal of 200,000 cubic yards of excavation work for the site of the company's station, and of this amount 140,000 cubic yards will be taken through the tunnel in order to ballast the company's yards at Cartierville, the balance to be disposed of as the engineers of the company may see fit.
The statement was made at headquarters yesterday that the CNR regular trains will be running out and coming into Montreal during the month of June.
It is estimated that the entire site for the Canadian Northern Station can be excavated in the space of four months, and the new temporary station on Lagauchetiere street will either be built now or its construction will take place on the opening of spring. There will not, however, be any delay in using the tunnel for the passage of both the local and transcontinental service.
As the trains to and from Cartierville will be moved by electricity rather than steam, there will be no ventilation difficulties, and the lighting of the tunnel will be an after consideration.
Two of the six electrical eighty-ton locomotives are now to be seen at the western portal and they are to be used for moving the excavation trains from the station site to the Cartierville yards and later on for the regular service.
The laying of the ties and steel, which is already under way, gives promise of a very permanent piece of work in keeping with the enterprise as a whole.