TRANSCRIPTIONS BY BRUCE CHAPMAN AND COLIN CHURCHER
OF ARTICLES
BY AUSTIN CROSS IN THE OTTAWA CITIZEN




It's Montreal To Ottawa Non-Stop In Two Hours,  Published 27 September 1955

  ‘History was made last Sunday afternoon, when, for the first time in history, a  train was scheduled to run from Montreal to Ottawa, non-stop, in two hours.  I was at the ringside, when I stood in the cab of the twin diesel and saw Super Continental No. 1 go from downtown Montreal to downtown Ottawa, a distance of 117.7 miles in 120 minutes.
     ‘I crawled up into the giant cab of 6503 which was coupled to rear unit 6605. Engineer was Hermengilde Blais, Montreal, while the fireman was Eddie Robertson, 714 4th Avenue, Verdun.  Behind us was Conductor J. P. Ouelette.
     ‘Sharp on four, the fireman cried “Green Light” and he was echoed back by the engineer: “Green Light”.  So we began the slow but spectacular journey through a maze of tracks.  Not only is it bad enough for the big train to be hypothetically held back by two crossings of the Lachine Canal, it seemed to me also that there were too may yellow over red and yellow-yellow signs.  Big American terminals give their crack trains better operating than that.  We did not fool around at Turcot for any engine change and once in the clear, there we were allowed to go 60, then 80.  It seemed incredible that we then had only 103 minutes to get to Ottawa because the operation department required 17 full minutes to clear the yard terminals.
     ‘Then we moaned along the Island of Montreal, while the dial went 62-64-70-75-80 and held an even 80 going past Beaconsfield station,.  We roared by our opposite number when we passed Super-Continental east of Ste. Annes.
     ‘Then around the curve which is Ile Perrot and onto the mainland.  They gave us a “red” at Coteau and a fellow came out with some orders on a long stick,.  I grabbed them. There was nothing in them we did not know.  They gave us rights, though we travelled west and in the inferior direction, over No. 50 to pass at Limoges.
     ‘Then over the CPR double-tracks at De Beaujeu Junction, into Ontario at Glen Robertson, and we took Alexandria on the fly.
     ‘Up to now, we had lost eight minutes.  Come to find out, the front diesel apparently had not read the new time table and thus for more than 60 miles, the big streamliner was being carried by the second locomotive only.  Finally, Engineer Blais got the front end working, the big fellow cut in, and we started to race as if chased by the Canadian Pacific.        
     ‘:I’m going to try and make it.” grinned Engineer Blais.
     ‘There were times we were below 80 MPH, but after we crossed the Nation River at Casselman, we held it a steady 85 MPH,  Indeed, when we got on that race track across the “Mere (sp) Bleu”, he had to feed her air once in a while to keep her down to 85.  The head end diesel was really feeling her oats now.  Too bad  No, 6503 hadn’t read the time card earlier.
     ‘We passed No, 50, the Montreal-bound, “in the hole”  at Limoges, and we raced past Vars and Carlsbad as if they were not there.  Ottawa terminals gave us the green light all the way in, and we hit the deep cut in an even two hours.  That made history.
     ‘’Jules Leger, External Affairs pontifico, and a parlor car patron, remarked to me as he strode toward the exit: “That was fast”.

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Updated 11 May 2019