"Marc McNeil Special" Like Greased Lightning (CPR Train 502), Published 12 March 1956What a thrill to be back on the train again after being confined for two months to my automobile. I took the fast train to Montreal last Saturday morning. I have ridden to Montreal so often that you could count the times on a centipede's toes, but it is always an unalloyed delight.
This "Marc McNeil Special" is known as five oh two, and its special virtue is that it makes no stops till it gets to Montreal. Even the shimmery silver snake known as The Canadian goes no faster. No. 502. leaves there at 8 a.m. and does the whole run from the Union Depot to Windsor Station in two hours and 5 minutes.
The three parlor cars were well filled with politicians and cash customers as we eased out of the Union, before we got on our own tracks beyond, the Deep Cut. But it was not until we crossed the Rideau and said goodbye to Pickering's plant that the 2825 started to do some high wheeling. Blackburn, Navan they were just a blur in the snow, and then here we were out of Russell and into Prescott County. Next the Cross farm at Caledonia Springs where my father was born, and near which my cousins Wesley and George Cross still hold the Cross name in honor.
An unscheduled slow-down at Vankleek Hill before the big Hudson started her mile a minute motion again. Our engineer gave us a good run down to St. Eugene and on past Rigaud, and we took the blind curve at Hudson Heights as if it were not there Then on the right side to the south, the main line of the Canadian Pacific and its double track to Smiths Falls. Next we found ourselves alongside the Canadian National, and I wished we could have had a race with some of those Canadian National engines. Is a CPR Hudson (4-8-4) as fast as a CNR Northern (4-8-4)? This is the question Don Brown is asking Norman Campbell around the office and both are asking me. Anyway, we did not have the luxury of a race, and before we knew it, here were Sortin Yards. Then Windsor itself.
My return was on No. 9, ex-Montreal at 7.35 p.m., and now slowed down to two hours and 20 minutes because of a needlessly sloppy meet at St. Eugene with the eastbound Canadian.
Go by train and enjoy yourself.