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Angus L McCoy: Making tracks on the New Westminster Southern Railway

February 12, 2014

On  August 23, 1890 it was announced the contract for laying the rails on the New Westminster Southern Railway had been awarded to Angus L McCoy of Fairhaven.

McCoy worked in partnership with Cornelius O’Brien styled as "McCoy & O’Brien, Railroad Contractors."

The first shipment of rails had arrived at Liverpool BC in June but the arrival of two locomotives was delayed and it was not until the beginning of September that they were available for use.

Engine 199 was sent Stateside to work on the Fairhaven Southern while Engine 202
"was put to work immediately, drawing steel to the end of the track, and when that is completed it will be used on the ballasting train."

Many of the railway constructors in this region were dual citizens, born in one country and working mainly in another, or both.  Such was the case with Angus L McCoy who was Canadian-born but had lived in the States most of his life. 

The laying down of the rails came right down to the wire prior to the projected opening day.  At Liverpool construction of the Y and siding completed the work at the terminus.

McCoy & O’Brien’s contract with the NWSR lasted just less than six months and ended with the meeting of the two railways – the New Westminster Southern and the Fairhaven Southern — at Blaine on February 14, 1891.

McCoy later laid the rails on the Bellingham Bay & Eastern Railroad.

A career railwayman, AL MCoy was listed as a railroad contractor living in Fairhaven in 1890,  at Tacoma in 1892 and latterly at Sumas WA in 1900. In 1910 he was Superintendent of a railroad and living at Spokane. His wife Matilda was also born in Canada.  Angus L McCoy died at Olympia in 1937 at the age of 83.

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