A Tour By Streetcar One Sunday Pastime, Published 15 December 1958Had you been down to the Champagne Car Barn on Sunday, you would have seen a group of men, weighcd down with one or more cameras, running around in the sub-zero weather, and looking for all the world like school boys. But these were not school kids, they were pilgrims. Incredible though it may seem. these scamperers had come from as far as Montreal and even Toronto to ride a street car!
These were members and friends of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association, and they had come all the way to ride an ancient 600 class street car. But the OTC goofed, and the fans had to settle for the newest tram, and with some reluctance, they boarded No. 1002.
Never quite giving up hope. the fans made a stop over at Coburg street barns, hoping to find a 600 class there. But again, the system fumbled, no one was empowered to act. However, the sympathetic car barn crew offered to wheel out 810, which goes back to 1924. But General Superintendent Lavallee, who came up from Montreal, called for a show of hands, and on a split decision, the pilgrims elected to stick with the model 1002.
The visitors made a comprehensive tour of the whole Ottawa Transportation System, which took four and one half hours. The OTC did not stir themselves very much.
Perhaps the sentimental highlight of the tour was when the Champagne crew got old red sand car No. 423 going, while the shutter bug rail-fans snapped this ancient four-wheeler.
OER 423 started its career as a mail car 50 years ago, shuttling between the old post office (where the War Memorial now stands) down to the station on Little Sussex Street. Once dream jobs in fawn and gold, 423, 424 and 425 spent their days happily handling His Majesty. Edward the Seventh's mail. Those mail trams also served Broad Street Station. The new-fangled gasoline trucks put them out of business.
So the past lived again, as the ancient mail trolley cha-cha-ed down the rickety track while camera fans had a field day. Old 423 alas, is now only the OTC's sand car.
Rescued from Gillies lumber yards at Braeside, was an old Toronto Street Railway job. With a little help from Col Gillies and Cross Town, the Canadian Railroad Historical Association is very happy with their acquisition.
So for four and a half hours the pilgrims rode 1002 all over the city. Well, that's one way of spending Sunday