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INCLINE STARTED TO-DAY: The First Steet Hoist in Western Canada

This morning the new First street hoist, the first of its kind in Western Canada, was started in regular operation.

he First street steam hoist, erected at a cost of over $30,000, is the result of the extensive investigations of Jos. Hostyn, who visited Hamilton and New York last year to get the newest ideas along the lines of lifts similar to the one contemplated for this city. The result of his trip was the evolution of a scheme and the building of the present structure by a company, prominent members of whom are Donald Ross, Joseph Hostyn, H.J. Dawson, Richard Secord, F.B. Hobson, P. Anderson, G.P. Blythe and others.

The hoist itself is 290 feet long and 44 feet wide. The sides are enclosed by brick walls, ranging from ten to fifteen feet high. The rails for the cars run up the hill at an angle of forty-five degrees.

The cars balance each other on the two tracks and are hoisted or lowered by heavy cables. They are safeguarded in every possible way as outlined later in this article.

The cars are each 30 feet by 20 feet, with a passenger section 4 feet by 20 feet on the side of each. The gates on either end work automatically that is, the exit on the lower end will only open when the car reaches the bottom and the exit on the upper end when the car reaches the top. This prevents any possibility of the car end being opened while in transit.

The pit at the top of the hoist is 32 feet deep and 32 feet square. In this is the massive machinery used in the operation of the hoist. The engine and boiler were manufactured by the Jenykes Machine Co., of Hamilton, Ontario.

The Safety Appliances

Both cars are operated by giant and massive machinery. The cables holding the cars are 1 1/4 inches thick and are attached to drums, each of which weighs eight tons. The main gear wheel in the centre weighs four tons and the three are on a pulley thirty-two feet long and ten inches in diameter. The operating engine is 80 horsepower and the boiler one hundred horse power.

In addition to the two operating cables there are two safety cables, one attached to each car and each 1 ½ inches thick. Under ordinary circumstances those run loose, but should the other slip for any reason the safety at once stops the car by means of an automatic mechanism. There are also two emergency brakes and a working brake on the engine which afford additional safety.

The hoist is operated by Frank Morris, an old CNR engineer, who has been working on the steam shovel for some time. The hours of running are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with extra runs for baseball matches, etc. The fare for teams will be 15 cents per trip and 5 cents for foot passengers.

Source: Edmonton Bulletin, 20 May, 1908. Note: When the High Level bridge was opened in 1913 the railway was closed and dismantled.