Who Wants An Engine For His Front Lawn? Published 17 July 1948
To every newspaperman, the number "30" has special significance. It means of course, the end cf the story, and it is written countless times at the bottom of one's copy. Often you will hear a city editor yell to the scribe at the typewriter: "Make it '30'," meaning to shut off the story there. Well, two years ago I went up and wrote a feature story about CPR engine No. 30, which was built in 1886. and is therefore over 60 years of age by now, and which at the time was running between Renfrew and Eganville.
I had an idea at the time that since No. 30 had run out of Ottawa for so many years, Ottawa should ask the Canadian Pacific to give Ottawa the engine. From what I could glean around Windsor Station, the then president, D. C. Coleman, favored the idea.
No. 30 had operated out of Ottawa for many years, and as recently as 1940 took the Pontiac run. But even that got too much for the brave old engine, and she was relegated to the Eganville-Renfrew run.
Now I have just had word from Montreal that she is rusting away in the Angus Shops.
When it was suggested that we could get that engine for one of our parks, what do you think our city fathers were saying? They were wondering if there was any liability to all this. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth
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Actually, Winnipeg has had old CPR No. 1 in a park for 32 years that I know of, and it hasn't killed anybody yet. Nor have more than the usual quota of small boys fallen off it. Probably no more kids will bounce on their faces off No. 30 than off any public statue.
It seems to me that we ought to get No. 30, and if our city fathers still wish to deny children the pleasure of seeing this historic engine, then perhaps the government might do something. I hereby draw the attention of Fred Bronson of the Federal District Commission that it would be no trick at all to get the CPR to give the FDC this engine.
This historic locomotive is a link with the past, and it has been associated ever since Sir John A. Macdonald's day with the Ottawa Valley.
I am sure it would become a much photographed landmark, a tourist "must" and it would bring happiness to many Ottawans.
Lastly, why could not this be the mascot of the Ottawa Press Club. In this business of deadlines, we have only one number, and that is "30". Why could not the Press Club put on a little pressure to get - and adopt - this mascot?