After 57 Years. Last Run To Golden Lake Too Fast To Suit Fans, Published 29 October 1956.PEMBROKE After 57 years, the little train which shuttled four times a day between Pembroke and Golden Lake every week day has stopped. This writer went along for the last ride.
The last run was made on 27 October 1956
By some queer prank of fate, the engine no 2611 on the train was stencilled "Grand Trunk." It was under the old, historic G.T.R. that the Pembroke and Golden Lake line had its finest hours. Now, seeking to save $32,000 a year, President Donald Gordon the old ogre has cut off passenger service, in doing this he also loses $4 express money from local stops every year.
The train consisted of a combination coach and baggage car, No 7192, and was filled with pay and pass passengers, William J. Hammell, of Ottawa had the throttle, and Steve Hook, also of Ottawa, wielded the shovel, for this 45-year-old refugee from a museum. Handling the punch was Conductor Tom Drummey. Gilles Lacasse, of Ottawa was brakeman.
Alphonse W. Redmond, ticket clerk, CNR and formerly president of the Pembroke Liberal Association, enjoyed a last-minute run at the ticket wicket, and then sharp at 1210, Grand Trunk engine 2611 (formerly GTR 759) began her last run.
Mrs. Jean Brunton of the Pembroke Observer had said "the train barely moves," but this excellent and usually accurate reporter is wrong. Train No. 155 seems to fly. For after a pause at the city limits, we really rolled. Far from Jean Brunton's 10 m.p.h, we made a thrilling 30, seemed to be doing 60.
Past Locksley, at mile 6.5, we sped, and then before we knew it, we were already beyond Woito, at 11.1 miles, which I had never seen and now never would. All set to see Dore Bay, I was somehow already past this bucolic retreat at 15.6 miles before I was ready for it. Suddenly and all too soon we made wild twists and sudden swerves, swung across water; old 2611 blew its lungs out, and here was journey's end at Golden Lake, a full 21.1 miles from Pembroke. Never did I want a train to go slower; never did a train seem to go faster.
"Golden Lake", cried the conductor, and the idyll with yesterday was over. My love affair with Locksley subdivision lasted only 44 minutes and was finished at 12.54 p.m.
Aboard the train giving out cigarets and apples was Jim Pierre, 190 Pembroke Avenue, Pembroke, and also known as Chief White Eagle, which name he had tattooed on his wrist The chief is a, veteran of two wars.
Gerard Lavelle, age 12, 225 Mackay Street, Pembroke, bought a roundtrip ticket, his first and last to Golden Lake. Miss Carol Thurston, a blond of five or so from Pembroke, said she did not care to have her name in the paper, for which her mother rebuked her. The person who seemed to get the most kick out of the trip was Mrs. Albert Radke, 481 Maple Avenue, Pembroke, who recalled: "Seems just when we'd come down to the train, hoist my trunK aboard, and we'd be off to Ot tawa."
Other customers making the last run were: Mrs. James Stewart, Glasgow Station; Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Thurston, Gus Romhild, Miss Sharon McCune, Hugh Thrasher, D. E. Thrasher, Martin Goldberg. Alf Hoffman, John Steen, 192 Alfred Street, Wallace Stewart. 227 Mackay Street, all of Pembroke.