Austin Cross was born in July 1898 and moved in his early childhood to Ottawa. He attended Queen's University and began a career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen.  In his day he worked for the Hamilton Herald, the Montreal Star and the Toronto Globe and but his columns entitled "Geography Lesson" continued to appear in the Citizen.  He returned to the Citizen and began a daily series called "'Cross Town" on 2 January 1946.  Mr. Cross had a strong interest in railways and wrote many commentaries. He also wrote under the titles "Cross Country" and "Under the Reading Lamp" and he also had a radio series.
The Ottawa Citizen announced his early retirement, through ill health, on 30 September 1961. His death was announced on 26 December 1961.

Austin Cross appears in an interview in this NFB movie. In here (10.40) he explains his love of the steam locomotive

Frequently amusing, always entertaining, forthright and often controversial, set out below are a number of articles which help to set the Canadian and international railway scene of Austin Cross' day.

  On the way to Montreal10 December 1929
 Vancouver to Montreal A Geography Lesson3 June 1931
 In, Out and in the Rockies A Geography Lesson (Kettle Valley) 31 August 1932
 Idaho, Spokane, Kootenay - A Geography Lesson6 September 1932
  Doukhobors and Ogopogo  A Geography Lesson12 September 1932
 Maine in January  A Geography Lesson, Published 13 February 1933
 Bound For Father Point - Geography Lesson5 July 1934
  Levis from the Train - Geography Lesson10 July 1934
 Crawling Up From Levis - A Geography Lesson13 July 1934
 Empress Special From Wolfe Cove QC - Extract from Geography Lesson23 July 1934
 Metis and Matane A Geography Lesson (Canada and Gulf Terminal Railway)20 August 1934
 Down the Gulf By Rail - A Geography Lesson (Canada and Gulf Terminal Railway)22 August 1934
 Geography Lesson Extract - Murray Bay17 September 1934
 The Grand Canyon11 April 1935
 Mummies at the Grand Canyon18 April 1935
  Riding Rock Island10 February 1937
 100 Miles an Hour15 February 1937
 The Railway That Goes the Wrong Way22 February 1937
 Colorado's Like Mary Queen of Scots2 March 1937
 Pikes Peak to Royal Gorge3 March 1937
 Two Miles in the Air on a Train8 March 1937
 Mining in the Sky10 March 1937
 Over Marshall Pass15 March 1937
 Cloud Land to Peach Land30 March 1937
 Biggest Junction in United States6 April 1937
 The Mormon Capital (Extract)26 April 1937
 Nevada The Wide Open State (Extract)7 May 1937
  Across Salt Water By Rail18 June 1937
 Virginia and Truckee Railway23 June 1937
 To St. Louis du Ha ! Ha ! (Temiscouata Railway)11 October 1938
 Beaver Cabins, Eight Cows and Grey Owl (Temiscouata Railway) 20 October 1938
 Streamliner to the Corn Belt (extract)1 May 1939
  My Discovery of Carleton County22 June 1940
 1,810-Mile Week-end Trip to Virginia18 July 1940
 Don Station29 March 1941
 From Hell Gate (to Grouse Mountain) Extract1 December 1941
 Over The  Yellowhead Pass 31 December 1941
 Continental  Limited East20 January 1942
 On the Train to Chicago8 June 1942
 Trip to Capital of Wisconsin9 June 1942
 Streamlining at 100 Miles an Hour17 June 1942
 The Nickel Plate - My 70th Railway9 July 1942
 Fredericton to Saint John (then Dominion Atlantic Railway)15 September 1942
  Under the Ocean in a Coal Mine19 September 1942
 Along the Old Intercolonial24 September 1942
 Pilgrimage to Winnipeg5 January 1943
 De Luxe Distance Defying (Train of Tomorrow)21 January 1943
 Tale Of Two Diners26 January 1943
 My 75th Railway : The Lackawanna19 April 1943
 Off To Arvida14 October 1943
 Platform Observation Cars Have Passed Into History16 October 1943
 My 76th Railway (Roberval and Saguenay)19 October 1943
 Through Corn Belt In Wartime2 February 1944
 From the Soo to Sioux City3 February 1944
 The Streamliner Hiawatha11 February 1944
 90 Miles An Hour Through Iowa 21 February 1944
 Chicago Trains In Wartime25 February 1944
 Quebec Central My 78th Railway4 April 1944
 Whirlwind Trip To Chicago24 April 1944
 The Street Car Clocks20 June 1944
 Here's No. 79 - Detroit and Mackinac9 August 1944
 My 80th Railway: The Rebel Route 15 August 1944.
  Alma and Jonquieres Railway24 August 1944
 Taylor Spink and Ann Rutledge (Alton Railroad)22 September 1944
 7,000 Mile Trip West9 October 1944
 Railway Brings Drinking Water (Greater Winnipeg Water District) 12 October 1944
  By Rail To Peace River (Extract)8 December 1944
 Austin F. Cross Talks On Trains7 February 1945
 By Rail to Owen Sound13 February 1945
 N.Y. , Ontario and Western Caboose26 March 1945
 Austin Cross Rides 3 New Railways Between Trains on Journey to Frisco (no railway content)18 April 1945
  Riding Along The Gulf Of Mexico18 May 1945
 Deep In The Heart Of Texas11 June 1945
 New Railway To Rural California28 June 1945
 By Daylight to San Francisco30 June 1945
 The Long Way To San Diego4 July 1945
 San Francisco to Sacramento10 July 1945
 The Gatineau Train19 July 1945
 The Colorado Eagle26 July 1945
 Riding the Gatineau Train Provides Amusement for Writer and Cartoonist25 August 1945
  Old Number 30 Has Run a Million Miles24 September 1945
 Parking Place for Engine27 September 1945
  Riding My 100th Railway2 October 1945
  No. 102: Jersey Central Lines17 October 1945
  Amherst Then On To Joggins (Maritime Coal Railway)17 December 1945
 Riding A Special On The Cumberland24 December 1945
 Tram 650 16 January 1946
 Redcaps17 January 1946
 Thurso and Nation Valley Railway6 February 1946
  The Canadian Pacific has put the Beaver back on its Crest22 February 1946
  Alma and Jonquiere Railway11 March 1946
 Reveal Plans To Re-Route Hull Traffic30 March 1946
 112th Railway (Extract) 24 April 1946
 Comment on Accident on the Burlington Road27 April 1946
  Norwood and St. Lawrence and Essex Terminal Railways28 May 1946
  Talking to Strange Ladies on Trains28 June 1946
 Citizen Geographer Puts in a Plug for Old Oshkosh (Extract)6 July 1946
 Hull Streetcars Trapped Under The Plaza1 August 1946
 Visit to Ottawa West Roundhouse6 August 1946
  Streetcars and Streetcar Signs 24 August 1946
 Early Morning Streetcar28 August 1946
 Thurso and Nation Valley Railway25 October 1946
 Mountain Railroading Tough In Old Oregon
23 November 1946
Neons and Sparks on the Cripple Sreek Line (Midland Terminal Railway)7 February 1947
 Riding A Rocket But Not To The Moon14 February 1947
 New Trip Coming Up Even At Journey's End17 February 1947
 Railway's Job To Pull Not Push Folks Around17 February 1947
 On the North Shore31 March 1947
 Moist Handkerchiefs For Late Hull Electric1 April 1947
 Old Hull Electric Man Leaving Job Sad Sight1 April 1947
 A Little More Steam In Railroads Please16 April 1947
 Train Hostesses Learn To Heat Baby Formula31 May 1947
 Cherry Pie, Ice Cream On President's Train11 June 1947
 Track Removal Giant Project Estimated Cost $200 Million16 June 1947
 Riding A, Locomotive As Big As A House28 June 1947
 Winnipeg and Back7  July 1947
 In The Days When Dobbin Beat The CPR21 July 1947
 Electric Streetcars In Operation 56 Years2 August 1947
  No. 122 -- The Intellectual Line Its Prosperity Founded on Salt30 August 1947
 Engineer On Last Run But He Didn't Know It1 October 1947
 Observe The Passing Of The Observation Car15 December 1947
 You Can Go Places On A Train For A Nickel18 December 1947
150 Pounds Of Baggage And All For A Nickel24 December 1947
 Maybe The City Will Put This Car To Work 18 February 1948
 The Gestapo At Work On A Canadian Train24 February 1948
 Riding The Rails Now A Deluxe Experience25 February 1948
 Lots Of Inconvenience On The "Ma And Pa"17 March 1948
 He Rides into the Dawn on the Fireman's Seat27 March 1948
 Creeking Along On The Buffalo Creek19 April 1948
 No More Railway Worlds In Canada To Conquer (Thousand Islands Railway)5 July 1948
  Who Wants An  Engine For His Front Lawn?17 July 1948
 Any Old Shunter Seems Good Enough For Ottawa23 July 1948
 Wheels A'Rolling - Theme Of Big Railroad Fair28 August 1948
 Engine Number 999, Running On Chicago Line4 September 1948
Last Narrow Gauge Line In America (East Broad Top Railroad) 25 September 1948
 Theres A Water Bar In The Union Station14 October 1948
 Railway Bell at Anglican Church12 November 1948
 Scottish Lord Likes To Run Locomotives8 January 1949
 A Fish Tale28 February 1949
 Most Glamorous Board In The Railway World (Lancaster and Chester Railroad) 1 March 1949
  Mining Four Pounds of Hard Coal 3 March  1949
  Slow Train To Yesterday Gives Gratifying Trip,
      Louisville, Albany and Coryville Railroad, Kentucky and Indiana Railroad,  
      Akron, Canton and Youngstown
11 June 1949
  Overage Street Cars Making Way for Buses 17 September 1949
  The Train of Tomorrow Like A Dream On Wheels26 September 1949
 "Org Arg; Snzz, Bloar All Change For Wawa" (OTC streetcar announceents)30 November 1949
 Mighty Diesel Engine Ends Triumphant Tour (Demonstration of diesel locomotive on The Continental17 December 1949
 Makes Opinion Clear Of Railroaders22 December 1949
 What About It Marc? Has The CPR No Piety? (Church Bells)12 January 1950
 Railroading The Snow Sometimes Is Not Slow28 March 1950
 Streamliner Would Make Suburb Out Of Montreal31 March 1950
 Lancaster and Chester Weird Little Railway17 May 1950
 This Little-Known Line Is Most Profitable
    (Detroit, Toledo and South Shore and Toledo, Angola and Western Railroads)
3 June 1950
 Travels Twelve Inches On His 146th Railway (Lowville and Beaver River Railroad)10 June 1950
 The Train Staff System 7 November 1950
 Sir You Have Spoken Of The Woman I Love! (Grade Crossings)25 January 1951
 Tweetsie - A Railway Doing "Strip Tease"11 April 1951
 The Clinchfield Railroad11 April 1951
  Dedication Of Diesel Swanky Kingston Affair1 August 1951
  Ferroquinologist Title Bestowed On Mr. Cross10 April 1952
  Old Sights, Sounds Welcome to Traveller3 June 1952
 Abandoning Old Rail Line (Brockville to Westport line)5 July 1952
 Old Bank Street Bridge Was New In Those Days14 July 1952
  Brockville to Westport Railway Winds Up, Had Everything But Cash1 September 1952
 Is OTC More Glamorous Than Filmland Special?16 February 1953
 Town Turned Village By Railroad's Action (Vankleek Hill)4 June 1953
 VIP's Ride Gas-Lighted Coaches On The T&NVR12 June 1953
Here's A Pair Of Items For The Railway Fans22 June 1953
 Poets, Authors Honored By Railway Mile Posts17 July 1953
 Grasse River Railroad12 August 1953
 Tractive Power Went Into This Loco Effort8 September 1953
 From Alta Vista To Ottawa Cheap And Fast Train Ride16 November 1953
 Mad Bull Snort Of Steam Whistle Preferred Top Modern Fish Horns7 January 1954
 Designs Left By Conductors' Punches Almost As Varied As Snowflake30 January 1954
 Just Like Old Times On Afternoon Train12 February 1954
 I Remember Sir Wilfred Laurier and the street car19 February 1954
 Faithful Old No. 88 "Commits Suicide" On Britannia Line4 March 1954
 Hurray For Toronto And Their New Subway23 May 1954
 Railway Keeps Her Around Because Of Her Size (CP 2-6-0 3011)14 July 1954
Thousand Railway Charters Issued But Only Chosen Few Ever Started 14 July 1954
 City's Oldest Tram Goes Up In Smoke15 July 1954
 Sentimental, Sooty Landmark Disappears From The Capital (Coal Chute)23 July 1954
 Laughs Across The Years (Canada Atlantic Old Boys)20 August 1954
 Old cabbage stacker pulls museum train to city for week's showing23 August 1954
 Hush-Hush Private Railway Cars Are Built For Work, Not Pleasure25 August 1954
  Old Engine No. 628 Had Eventful Career30 August 1954
 Heave A Soft Sigh For Old Locomotives29 October 1954
 Engines (Sankoff and Merrilees)4 December 1954
  Timetable Of 1875 Makes Fanciers Drool27 December 1954
 Vancouver Only Three Sleeps Away In Push-Button World Of The Super25 April 1955
 Austin Near "Heaven" as "Canadian" Sweeps Across The Continent25 April 1955
  He Finds Continental a Super Train In, Out27 April 1955
 Old Mogul 92 Useful On The Short Sidings2 May 1955
 Crowns Visit To West With 159th Railway (Midland of Manitoba)6 May 1955
  CP's Best Front Man Wenker Missed7 May 1955
  A Soft Sigh for Triple-Two17 May 1955
 Taking Old 419 Off Ottawa-Waltham Run  16 June 1955
 Goes Down To The Sea In The Ocean Limited30 June 1955
 Death Of Casey Jones Went Almost Unnoticed15 August 1955
 It's Montreal To Ottawa Non-Stop In Two Hours27 September 1955
  "The Smallest Railway" Not There He Argues
1 October 1955
 Free Demi-Tasse Coffee When Travelling Via CPR 6 October 1955
  Dome Cars For The CNR Now For Some Diners14 November 1955
 Reverts To First Love When Plane Grounded24 December 1955
  Picture Of Old Railway Brings Back Memories (Carillon and Grenville Railway) 12 January 1956
 Should Trains Whistle During Sacred Silence? 19 January 1956.
 Here's Picture Gallery After His Own Heart (Addison Schwalm)7 February 1956
 "Marc McNeil Special" Like Greased Lightning (CPR Train 502)12 March 1956
 Where Are Those Clocks The Old OER Displayed?16 March 1956
 Riding Romantic Train Through Four Countries (Arlberg Express)13 April 1956
 Over Electric Railways In Rejuvenated Germany30 April 1956
 French Seem To Be Most Progressive Railroaders7 May 1956
  Saw English Primroses Over His Currant Buns (Aboard the Golden Arrow) 8 May 1956
  Pirate Town Of Penzance Reached In Due Course12 May 1956
 Avid Railway Fan Rides Fastest English Train (The Bristolian) 18 May 1956
 Lloyd George's Daughter As Travelling Companion25 May 1956
 Slow Train To Yesterday Away From Killarney28 May 1956
 He Wants Less Pooling And Better Service!3 July 1956
 Date With Don Brown (New York Central)11 August 1956
 Golden Gate To Portland Glorious Rail Journey30 August 1956
  Up And Over The Peak Aboard Shasta Daylight31 August 1956
 You Can Enjoy Michigan Aboard Twilight Limited5 September 1956
 Ottawa Illinois, Proud Of Its "Association"6 September 1956
 The Rock Island Line Has Smooth, Swift Train 7 September 1956
 The Wilds Of Wyoming Mile Above Sea Level8 September 1956
 Travel Deluxe Canadian And Get Real Enjoyment13 September 1956
 Five-Hour Toronto Train Is What Ottawa Needs21 September 1956
 After 57 Years. Last Run To Golden Lake Too Fast To Suit Fans29 October 1956.
 Dinky Little Locomotive For Price Of Used Car (E.B. Eddy #2)24 October 1956
 The Canadian Hit "Dot" On Trip To Vancouver5 January 1957
 Tasty T-Bones Pride Communications Crew26 January 1957.
 They Haven't Buried Railroader Bury Yet 11 March 1957
 It's Still Stittsville -With Or Without "S"25 April 1957
 A Romantic Excursion To Delightful Galway29 May 1957
 Cogs In Railway Wheel Had 142 Years Service1 August 1957
 Record for Most Railways Ridden 12 September 1957
  Cumberland Railway and Coal Company9 October 1957
  He's A Mixed-Up Kid On New Train Numbers
25 October 1957
  Sir Brian Robertson. Tea and Railway Talk With British Visitor29 October 1957
 Final Prescott Run Slower Than Original29 October 1957
  Enjoyed Supreme Honor On Private Rail Ride2 November 1957
 A Veritable Treasure For The Railroad Man9 November 1957
 Once Elegant CPR Sleeper Yokohama Ends Days On Bleak Northern Siding18 November 1957
 Asks Steam Locomotive For A Park In Ottawa19 December 1957
 Gets A Sound Scolding For Railroading 'Muff" 13 January 1958
  May Criticize Weather, But Not English Trains 30 January 1958
 Wistful Memories As 'Crack Locomotive' Prepares for last run 2 April 1958
 Bank Street Revisited With One Tram Ticket2 April 1958
 Montreal Trip On Flyer Combines Speed, Luxury8 April 1958
 Horrors Of A Journey By Polish Night Train24 April 1958
 A Daring "Old Man" On Flying Monorail7 May 1958
 Explaining The Mystery Of Train's Early Run17 May 1958
Home From Yarmouth In Fast Train Travel28 July 1958
 Interesting Pictures Of Long Gone Railroad 29 July 1958.
 Piggyback The Answer To Transport Problems2 Aug 1958
 Another Historic Train Highballs Into Oblivion (The Moccasin)13 August 1958
 He Took To Wheels To Save His Hide (Circus Trainmaster)30 August 1958
 Life's Going To Be Dull Without CPR's Old "33"3 September 1958
 CNR Service Cut Spur Ire Of Patrons17 September 1958
 Please Include Locomotive Number In Pictures23 September 1958
 Even Railway Travel Not Simple For Him30 September 1958
 Ancient Steam Engine Holds Own With Diesels8 December 1958
 A Tour By Streetcar One Sunday Pastime15 December 1958
 Old CPR Timetable Brings Back Memories27 December 1958
 Really Enjoys Ride On Super-Continental5 January 1959
 Collecting Old Trams Makes Unusual Hobby5 February 1959
 "Swan Song" for Famous Line. (Barrys Bay)  2 March 1959
 Shedding A Few Tears For Old Locomotives20 March 1959
 Alphabetical Stations For The CNR On The Prairies23 March 1959
  No Train Runs After The Autos15 May 1959
  Cross Town - CPR Number 3023 June 1959
 Cross Town - Afternoon Pool Train25 June 1959
  Cross Town On Crossings29 June 1959
  He's Moved Mountains Of Baggage In 47 Years Serving Union Station14 July 1959.
 “Push - Pull -  Jerk” Trains Finally End Pontiac Run 11 August 1959
 Car Can Turn Into Train (Trip by Hy-Rail over the Beachburg subdivision)29 August 1959
 Pontiac Passenger Run At End  29 September 1959
 'Cross Town - OTC Cars Tucked Away In Cobourg Barn 28 October 1959
 Just Rusting Away10 November 1959
  'Cross Town CNR Ottawa - Hawkesbury Line 17 November 1959
 'Moving Mountains' - Of Mail23 December 1959
 Railway Schedules out of Ottawa20 January 1960
 'Cross Town - Ottawa Toronto Service26 February 1960
  'Cross Town - SAVING THE TRAINS, (NCC Donation of Locomotive)21 March 1960
 Ottawa to Toronto and 1907 Accident Montreal Station29 March 1960
 Travelling Trav's Tidings, (Canada Central Railway)18 April 1960
  Canada Atlantic Railroaders At End Of Long Run25 August 1960
 Slow Train To Yesterday (Triple header excursion to Orangeville)2 May 1960
 105 Years Of Steam Engines Ending For Ottawa3 September 1960
  A Gushing Farewell to Steam6 September 1960
 Nostalgia On Rails4 February 1961
 Many Words But Little Sparkle, Review of  Stevens' book on the Canadian National Railways11 March 1961
  Last Steam Railroading Link Gone8 April 1961
 Station Master Bertrand Retires After Career Of Almost 50 Years 3 May 1961

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Updated 12 April 2023