Cross Town - CPR Number 30, Published 23 June 1959Up from New Brunswick comes word that ancient No. 29 of the Canadian Pacific Railway is going to Caribou, Maine, for the town's centennial.
That's the engine I want President Buck Crump of the CPR to give to the Press Club of Ottawa. Only I would change her number to "30".
According to public relations man Marc McNeil, the obliging CPR is decking out this dowager with a diamond stack, which dates a locomotive like button boots and hoop skirt do a dame. The 70-year-old engine is to epitomize the slow train to yesterday at the Caribou Centenary.
Historically, No. 29 used to run out of Ottawa on the Waltham and the Prescott, a third of a century ago. But No. 30, her sister, persisted hereabouts for years, last running on the Renfrew-Eganville subdivision. I wrote a feature in The Citizen about her after a trackside pilgrimage from Ottawa to Renfrew about 15 years ago. At that time, I remember, she was built in 1882 and was the same age as John Bracken.
Since the 29 was originally numbered 390, with a 4-4-0 wheel arrangement; thus oo-OO. It would therefore not be cheating to change this ancient tea kettle to No. 30.
It was my idea to have this ancient CPR 30 placed in a city park. I assume that most readers know that "30" is the reporter's sign-off number. We write "30" at the end of each piece of copy.
Strangely enough, the usually amiable Stan Lewis did not favor No. 30, when President Neal would have willingly given her to Ottawa. I am hoping that His Worship George Nelms will be more agreeable.
We had no press club, as such, in those days, so now we would have the impart of the Ottawa Press Club behind the No. 30. I would hope the more detached Press Gallery would get their noses out of remote issues and rally with the local journalists to make No. 30 a national and civic press shrine.
We could have a service one a year at the engine side, presided over by the president of the Press Club. Then we could all make a pilgrimage to tha club and toast our own engine, the dedicated CPR 30.
I need hardly remind parents that Ottawa's kids would love to go and visit No. 30 every Sunday and holiday. We have as yet, no sample of the vanishing steam locomotive in our Capital City.
For centrality, I prefer tha relatively dull Dundonald Park, on Somerset between Lyon and Bay. The old locomotive might perk up the park.
The present No. 20 has been running between Norton and Chipman in New Brunswick. Her return to Ottawa as No. 30, after so many years, would mean an old friend coming "home for good."