You can see how closely the Mattawa to Temiscaming run followed the Ottawa River on the Quebec side . In spring melt , portions of track would be under water for short periods of time . When the Otto Holden Generating Station was built , the track from the La Cave Rapids to Snake Creek was raised 10 feet higher to
accommodate Lac LaCave which formed behind the dam . The line diverted north away from the river just east of Snake Creek since the flats became submerged and the creek filled in back to the falls .
The Signal Man rode inside the caboose at the rear of the train . Once he gave the all clear signal to the engineer in the locomotive , he climbed into the cupola at the top of the caboose to maintain visual contact with the locomotive . There were no radios to pass messages so hand , flag and lantern signals were used .
Small mishaps often occured in which no one was injured . In this case , a freight train had pulled into a siding track off the main line beside a rail gang that was parked on the outside siding . It would wait until the opposing through-train passed before resuming its trip . Unfortunately , 2 or 3 box cars on the freight left the rails and fell against the service cars . Fortunately , the flat car loaded with scrap metal and rail was heavy enough to hold the service cars in place , thus holding up the mislocated box cars . Since the tipped box cars were in the middle of the freight train , the locomotive was able to pull the cars back up onto the rail with no damage to either train . The rail gang was able to replace the shredded ties and twisted rail in short order . This could not have happened at a better location and time .