Operating History: The Montreal and Southern Counties was an interurban electric line built by the Grand Trunk Railway and operating 47 miles between Montreal and Granby, Quebec. In Montreal, the M&SC shared tracks with streetcars of the Montreal Tramways Co. M&SC also had a short, suburban branch to Longueuil. The M&SC began operation in 1909. The interurban came under the control of the Canadian National Railway when the Grand Trunk became part of CNR in 1923. Single end cars were the rule, coupled back to back in trains using a minimum of 2 cars. The M&SC usually headed a train with a freight motor car to carry milk, farm produce and other freight. Ottawa Car Co. built freight motor No. 504 in 1924. As a freight motor (also sometimes called a “box motor”), No. 504 was electrically powered with controls for an operator and with an interior to handle small freight shipments. The M&SC shut down in 1956 after its tracks on the St. Lawrence River bridge at Montreal were converted to highway traffic. See also: “Memories of the Montreal & Southern Counties,” The Dispatch, Mar. 1996.
Museum Ownership: When the M&SC ended service in 1956, the CNR donated No. 504, along with M&SC interurban coach No. 610, to Seashore. The year before, Seashore had also acquired M&SC steel interurban No. 621. The museum frequently operated Nos. 610 and 504 as a multiple unit mixed train. For many years No. 504 and its running mate No. 610 were the site of Seashore’s New Year’s Eve celebration, with the two loud horns sounded at midnight in the cold Maine woods. Both cars are equipped with coal stoves, adding some piquancy to the atmosphere. In 1967, Seashore repaired damage to No. 504 caused by the collapse of the museum’s Quonset Hut building. No 504 was the tallest car in the building. So, it held up the damaged structure, saving several other cars in the building. In the 1970s, Seashore mounted a photo exhibit in the car depicting the museum’s early history. In recent years, Nos. 504 and 610 have experienced various problems with only one motor per car actually functioning, keeping the train out of service.
Current Condition: No. 504 is located in Fairview Carhouse, coupled together with M&SC No. 610.