By Colin J. Churcher and Raymond Farand
The Beachburg subdivision, used by the Ottawa Central Railway between
In the late 1980s there were a number of steam excursions over this line hauled by ex-Canadian Pacific Railway 4-6-2. Ray Farand writes about one of these trips.
”I was standing near the CN bridge over the Ottawa River just west of Fitzroy (Ontario), waiting for the 1201 to return on the final leg of the Ottawa-Pembroke excursion on October 7, 1990. With 1201's whistle barely audible in the distance, two teenagers ran towards the bridge. Without breaking stride one teenager asked “Did you hear a train coming?” “Yes” was my reply, “it will be here in about ten minutes.” I expected them to stop short of the bridge, but they kept right on going out onto the first span of the 3/10 mile long bridge.
”Arriving at the nearest offshore concrete pier, the two dropped down and crawled underneath the decking to wait for the train. “Hey, you probably don't realize that a steam train is coming and you might get scalded by hot water or steam dumping on you.” With 1201 approaching the far end of the bridge I yelled “If you are too stupid to get out of there, at least go to the other side and out of my picture.”
”Slowly 1201 and her consist rumbled across the bridge. As the last coach gained the
”I wish I could have been close enough to see the F-L-U-S-H-E-D expression on his face! They'll likely think twice about climbing under there again.”