Final Prescott Run Slower Than Original, Published 29 October 1957.After 102 years, the Prescott local made its final run on the CPR last Saturday night Ironically enough, the trip in 1957 was 20 minutes slower than it was way back in 1857!
Latterly, the Prescott local had fallen on sad days. Alter running half empty for a few years, it was demoted to a mixed train a couple years back. One had a miserable experience waiting around the yards at Bedell while a crew took its own sweet time picking up its long string of cars. But even this handwriting on the wall told the public nothing. They preferred the bus to the electric lighted railway coach.
And so passes the first railway train to reach Ottawa. Back about 1855, a high wheeled, wood-burning engine arrived with a picturesque train, and thus the outside world was connected with the new city of Ottawa by raiL
In my notes of the trip I wrote this item: "One at Osgoode". This was Mrs. James Workman, 78, of Kemptville, who apparently had a fainting spell, wandered onto the tracks at Kemptville, and was run over by the dieseL The train practically emptied at Kemptville, and I have no recollection of seeing the lady leave the train there.
Behind diesel 8470, driven by Engineer C. J. Robertson, Prescott, and with J. R. McNally, 261 Bayswater, handling the ticket punch, we soon were climbing the slopes of Alta Vista. Playing it safe at the level crossings, we did not reach Ellwood till 7.27, almost a half hour from downtown.
Inside the half-heated coach 1453, were some interesting passengers. Mrs. Clarence (Doris) Mawson was commuting from Ogilvy's to her farm home at Kemptville after reaching Ottawa in the morning by bus. (Railway round fare is $2.20 per day). Making the whole trip to Prescott were Mrs. David Mackie and her daughter, Miss Betty Mackie, who used to work in the East Block.
There was a big crowd down at Osgoode to see the Prescott local go through, and then we sat in darkness at Bedell for almost half an hour while the crew went to line up 39 loads. Past Oxford and Spencerville, no stops, and we arrived at Prescott, 52.9 miles away, five minutes early! The trip, which began at 7 p.m., was scheduled to end at 10.05 daylight, or in three hours and 15 minutes. This, as I said, was 20 minutes slower than they did the same trip with wood burners 102 years ago.