The local papers have provided some interesting glimpses into the first runs over many of the lines in this area. These are set out in date order as we come across them. For a detailed time line of these events please see my pages:
Significant Dates in Ottawa Railway History
|8 October 1851||Bytown and Prescott Railway - turning the first sod|
|21 June 1854||Bytown and Prescott Railway - Prescott to Chesterville|
|9 August 1854||Bytown and Prescott Railway - Prescott to Kemptville|
|16 August 1854||Bytown and Prescott Railway - Kemptville to Prescott|
|10 January 1855||Bytown and Prescott Railway - Prescott to Ottawa|
|10 January 1859
||Brockville and Ottawa Railway -
Brockville to Perth
|19 April 1864||Grand Trunk/Ottawa and Prescott Railways - Montreal to Ottawa|
|14 September 1865||Brockville and Ottawa Railway - Brockville to Arnprior|
|14 September 1865||Union Forwarding and Railway - Arnprior to Ottawa|
|15 September 1870||Canada Central Railway - Inaugural train between Ottawa to Sand Point|
|4 December 1872||Canada Central Railway - Inaugural train between Sand Point and Renfrew|
|30 August 1875||Canada Central Railway - first sod ceremony at Pembroke|
|9 December1877||Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway - First excursion from Hull|
|10 June 1879||Inauguration of Palace cars on the Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway|
|6 August 1879||Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway - Inaugural train between Hull and Aylmer|
|30 September 1882||Canada Atlantic Railway - first excursion Ottawa to Coteau and Valleyfield|
|9 December 1884
||First passenger train
between Aylmer and Quyon on the Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway
|29 June 1886||First transcontinental passenger train, the Pacific Express, passes through Ottawa|
|5 November 1887||First train in Canada to be equipped with electric light|
|4 March 1888||Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway - first train|
|8 November 1890||Canada Atlantic Railway - trial trip of locomotive No. 15 between Ottawa and Carlsbad Springs|
|16 December 1890
||Gatineau Valley Railway -
first inspection trip over the line
|3 March 1893||First trip over the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway, Ottawa to Arnprior|
|21 December 1895||Inspection train alongside the Rideau canal and opening of the temporary station at Maria street|
|19 June 1896||Hull Electric Railway - First trip Deschenes-Aylmer-Hull|
|29 June 1896||Hull Electric Railway - First day of operation between Hull and Aylmer|
|30 June 1896||Cornwall Street Railway Light and Power - first day of operation|
|19 May 1898||Montreal and Ottawa short line - first passenger (inspection) train)|
|29 July 1898
||First train on the Ottawa
and New York Railway between Cornwall and Ottawa
|5 September 1898||Ottawa and New York Railway - first excursion and the blessing of the railway by Archbishop Duhamel|
|13 January 1900||Ottawa Electric Railway - first trip on the Britannia line|
|27 January 1900||Ottawa Electric Railway - first through trip to Britannia|
|22 April 1901||Ottawa, Northern and Western Railway - opening of the Interprovincial Bridge, Hull to Ottawa|
|25 July 1901||Hull Electric Railway - First trip of a street car over the Interprovincial Bridge|
|2 December 1901||Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway - first train from Waltham to Ottawa|
||A Trip to Queens Park on
the Open Streetcar.
|20 March 1915||Glengarry and Stormont Railway - first inspection trip from Montreal to Cornwall|
|24 May 1915
||Opening of the Glengarry
and Stormont Railway
Precisely at 7 o'clock a large party of gentlemen of the town sat
down to dinner given by the President and Directors at Doran's.
To say that the dinner was at Doran's is a sufficient description of
the of the manner in which it was got up, and of the excellent quality
of the viands - to state that it was got up in Doran's best style is to
say all we can in praise of the eatables and wines. The President
of the Company, Mr. MacKinnon, presided - supported on the right by Mr.
Justice Burns, and on the left by Captain Ford, Royal Engineers.
The Mayor of the town acted as Vice. On the removal of the cloth, after
ample justice had been done
to all the good things, toasts were given from the chair.
(There then follows a description of the toasts.)
A number of jovial songs were sung in the course of the evening by different members of the company, and that heartiness and good humour which the best of champagne and wines of every description, together with the auspicious events which the Company met to celebrate, were calculated to inspire, prevailed throughout.
First passage per Bytown and Prescott Railway.
We are requested to state that the Prescott Division of the "Sons"
have engaged passages by the cars to attend the Temprance Celebration
at Spencerville on Wedneday next the 21st inst., and other individuals
can also be accommodated at the same price, say Three York Shillings
each for going and returning.
Tickets to be had at the railway office over Mr. Perk's store, or on the cars. The cars to leave the station below the fort at 9 1/2 o'clock a.m. - Prescott Telegraph.
Sir, - Yesterday morning dawned upon as large a merry a party of gentlemen on board the steamer Beaver as ever left this sylvan city "on pleasure bent" to be present at the opening of the railroad between Kemptville and Prescott. Everything was as pleasant as pleasant weather and pleasant fellows could make them, no small matter when we consider that the party consisted exclusively of "man's imperial race," but aggreably to the old adage "start determined to be pleased and you will be pleased," and heterogeneous, albeit the crowd, made up as it was, of Batchelors, Benedicts, Doctors and Justices, Lawyers and Councillors and Chapmen, withal starting with this wholesome determination, pleased they were to a man, such rollicking and such fun, so much loud and hearty laughter and so many tricks upon travellers as would have convinced the most prudish of Eve's fair daughters that one blade of a pair of scissors is not the worse for having the rust rubbed off it by occasionally separating it from the other blade; but tis two o'clock and Hurrah! here we are at Kemptville where we found a splendid spread, and which received every due justice at the hands of the hungry and happy Bytonians. All things considered, too much credit cannot be done to the Managing Committee; and if the knives did not cut it was they were new and had never cut before; but certes they were clean and we all know that cleanliness is next to godliness. But the ding dong of the engine bell signifies that it is time to "take your places ladies and gentlemen", which no sooner done than the shrill whistle warns us to hold on while the engine starts with its precious cargo of 450 or 500 sons and daughters of Adam. Off we go to the tune of Rule Britannia struck up by the Kemptville Band. Pish, pish and in a few seconds the unmusical gallop of the Iron Horse convinced us, however profound our knowledge was or Arithmetic, that we could make up a small sum of twenty in simple addition by counting the cedar posts which flanked the road on either side. The engine and the road were individually new - new they were to each other, while collectively they were new to the people and the people new to them; and the occasional screams of the steam whistle showed, as some errant horse or cow obtruded on the track, that Railroad Cars were likewise new to quadraped as well as biped, who with heads down and tails erect,scampered in terrorem out of harms way, and looked to all the world as if they meant to ask, where the devil do you come from? One hour exactly found us in Prescott, reader remember it was a trial trip, and many of us for the first time slackened out thirsty souls with the waters of the St. Lawrence, improved mightily, as some declared, with Gllman's Brandy - seven o'clock sees us safely stowed in again, and "homeward bound". The same description of mirth as at starting only ten time more pungent, attended the Prince Albert steamer, which disgorged its load at 3½ a.m. on the Basin wharf, where each took himself to his own domicile, highly pleased at the day's doings, with only one object to mar his happiness, to wit, that on the morrow he had to go back to business again.
|The second excursion was reported two weeks
later in the Ottawa Citizen (weekly) of 26 August 1854 being the
account of the Railroad Temperance Excursion which was abridged from
the Ogdensburgh Sentinel:
"On Wednesday 16th inst. the Temperance People of Canada in the vicinity of the completed portion of the Bytown and Prescott Railway, got up an excursion from Prescott to Kemptville, for the purpose of celebrating the entry of the "Iron Horse" within the precincts of the latter place, and of having a general public congratulation of the masses, upon the success of the enterprise which links them with the Atlantic cities.
"Having a partial regard to public prosperity and the cause of temperance, we appropriated the day and made one of the multitude. At the depot at Prescott, we found the locomotive St. Lawrence most gaudily dressed in holiday clothes, trimmed with flowers, evergreens and flags. The stars and stripes, on equal footing with the cross of St. George, floating on either side of engine and tender. Three passenger and three platform cars, capable of carrying over one hundred passengers each constituted the train. We left Prescott 9.36 a.m. with all the (cars?) comfortably filled, having on board delegations from Ogdensburgh, Brockville, Maitland, Augusta and a general turnout from Prescott. At most of the cross-roads, we passed passed large crowds anxious to arrest the train that they might procure passage, but it was impossible to accommodate them. At Spencer's we were joined by a delegation of about two hundred who were "piled on". Seating or stowing them away, was a question not to be entertained, not less debated. The cars, we presume, if they could have told their feelings, would have made the same reply that the notorious Charles Lamb did, when the inquisitive cab man thrust his head into the box and asked "Are you full in there?" The reply was "I don't know how it is with the other passengers, but that last piece of pie did the thing up for me!" So it was with the cars, that last station, had most emphatically done the thing up for them. Just imagine an old fashioned four seat stage coach, with four passengers on each seat, two standing between seats and a fat old lady and gent entering thro' the door, on either side, and you have a tolerable fair idea of our compactness after absorbing that last two hundred. Being somewhere in the vicinity of the middle of one of the platform cars, and near the bottom of the pile, we knew or saw little else during the remainder of the passage. We know however that there was enjoyment and sport among the top tier for often we felt the pile shake as though the outside ones were laughing, and a spent voice reached us with the exclamation "there goes another hat!" which was all explained when we reached Kemptville, by seeing a number of individuals with their heads dressed in handkerchiefs.
"About 12 o'clock the seats of the stand were all occupied and a meeting of at least two thousand was called to order by Mr. Ellwood, the District deputy G.W.P. of the Sons, who nominated W.H. Ellerbech, opened the meeting with beautiful and appropriate remarks, after which, Mr. David Fields of Ogdensburgh, read a sound, and able, well written temperance address - a copy we understand, was requested by the committee, for publication - Mr. Fields was followed by the Rev. Mr. Brewster, at some length, who in turn was followed by N.H. Lytle of Ogdensburgh and Rev. Mr. Smart of Brockville, in short addresses. The speaking was interspersed by music from the Kemptville Band.
"At two o'clock the multitude adjourned to the dinner grove and partook of the repast which had been most bountifully prepared by the good people of Kemptville, after which the time was spent in general congratulations and social conversation. It is estimated by good judges that not less than 4000 strangers visited Kemptville, on this occasion and many more would have been present could they have secured passage on the cars.
"The return train from Prescott arrived out at 3½ p.m. when we made preparations for our return home, having seen but one God's images, during the entire day, who bore the mark of the beast on his countenance. On our return trip we were not loaded so compact as on the outward passage aand were aforded an opportunity of viewing the country and the construction of the railway.
"The country along the finished portion of the road, is much of it low and swampy or uncultivated land. The road is well built, remarkably straight and even and much of the distance lies on solid rock. Its construction is nearly perfect, a fact every passenger will be willing to concede after a ride over it. The management is under the superintendence of Mr. Hough, who we noticed upon the train during the whole of the excursion, with a watchful eye to the safety of the passengers. Mr. E. Whitney, formerly postmaster of Ogdensburgh, is the regular passenger Conductor on the finished portion of the railway, and had charge of the excursion train on this occasion. Mr. Whitney is a modest unassuming gentlemanly conductor whom the Company will doubtless retain as long as it is in their power to do so. Nearly three, miles from Prescott the road is crossed by the Grand Trunk Railway. The crossing is made by bridging, obviating the possibility of collision. The Grand Trunk Road is built by English capital, and in English style, wide guage (sic) and will cost too much money ever to be a paying concern. It does not touch the river at Prescott, the builders being fearful that some of its trade might be diverted by the Ogdensburg Roads. The same policy would successfully "run into the ground" all the paying roads ever built."
10 January 1855 - First Excursion on the Bytown and Prescott Railway
The Bytown and Prescott Railway was opened throughout between Ottawa and Prescott on 25 December 1854. What would seem to be the first excursion trip over the entire railway took place on 10 January 1855. This account originally appeared in the Ogdensburgh Republican and was reprinted in the Ottawa Citizen (weekly edition) on Saturday 20 January 1855.
R. Hough Esq. the Superintendent of the Bytown and Prescott Railway, having given notice that on the 10th instant, an excursion train would run from Prescott to Ottawa leaving Prescott at 10 a.m. on that day, a number of our citizens, a number of whom had never visited Bytown, determined to avail themselves of this opportunity of taking a ride over this new and important road and paying their Bytown neighbors a flying visit, and witnessing for themselves the beautiful and majestic scenery with which this new "City of Ottawa" is surrounded. The day was cold but pleasant, the crossing over the St. Lawrence bad, inasmuch that but two or three small boat loads succeeded in getting over in time for the train. We happened to be among the lucky number, and found on our arrival at the depot a goodly number of our Prescott friends ready to accompany us.
The train started at the appointed hour and after a pleasant ride of about two hours and a half we were safely landed in the City of Ottawa. Bytown was nowhere to be found. On arriving at the British Hotel kept by MacArthur, we found good fires attentive servants and last, though not least, an excellent dinner embracing all the delicacies of the season, to which our party did ample justice. After the removal of the cloth, several impromptu toasts were drank and appropriately responded to.
On leaving the table we were agreeably surprised to find a sufficient number of teams in waiting at the door from the livery stable of Luke Dubois which had been ordered by that prince of good fellows John S. Gillman Esq. of Prescott to carry our party over the city. We passed the balance of the afternoon and evening in viewing the Suspension Bridge, the Chaudier Falls and other objects for which this city is noted. During our drive we made brief calls at the residences of several of the prominent citizens and partook of their whole-souled, old fashioned hospitality, among whom we must not forget our friend Lyon, proprietor of "Lyon's Hotel" near the Suspension Bridge where, in addition to a hearty welcome, we were entertained with an impromptu dance, which in its ease and naturalness, carried us back to the days when social enjoyment had not given way to stiff formalities and buckram etiquette.
Where much joy meets one on every side, time goes by on no lagging wing - and before we were aware of the fact, night had settled down upon the city.
At six o'clock in the morning, as many of the party as could shake off the agreeable appliances of Morpheus, arose and departed for their homes, where they arrived in safety, after another pleasant ride over this new railway, which connects the city of Ottawa with Prescott and Ogdensburgh "and the rest of mankind".
If the impressions we received while on this excursion were real, the city of Ottawa with the facilities now owned up by the Bytown and Prescott Railway, with its unequalled and sublime scenery, is destined, ere long, to become one of the greatest resorts of pleasure seeking travel on this continent.
Of this Bytown and Prescott Railway per se,
of the unequalled telegraph line now building, and which is nearly
completed between Prescott and Ottawa, extending along the line of
the Montreal, Prescott and Ottawa Company, we design hereafter to
as also of their purpose of putting down an English sub-marine cable
between Prescott and Ogdensburgh, It is, we understand, the
of this Company to put up two wires between Ottawa and Prescott, the
posts for which are already set, are of uniform size and straight, and
are put three feet in the ground, as all telegraphic posts should
be. Messrs. Dodge, Dickinson & Co. are the contractors.
10 January 1859 - First Excursion over the Brockville and Ottawa Railway between Brockville and Perth.
The Brockville Recorder was invited to travel with a group of invited guests over teh line between Brockville and Perth. It appears to have been a long, drawn out affair although the papers felt it was a success because the train actually made it there and back.
We have had a ride on the rail to Perth. Don't ask how long the journey occupied, whether three hours or ten hours, as the time taken cannot ignore the fact that the rails are connected and passenger cars from Brockville have entered Perth. This is a great fact, and there is no use denying it.
On Monday morning we went on board of a car for Perth, at the special invitation of Mr. Watson, the managing director of the Brockville and 0ttawa Railroad. The cars were to start at 8.30, but it was nine before they took their departure. The invitation to ride not being general, the crowd in the cars, specially invited, was not great. The distance between Brockville and Smiths Falls was made at an easy rate, over what appears to be a first-rate road, if we except a few miles not yet ballasted on this side of the Falls, and of which it would be unfair to judge at present. We left Smiths Falls about eleven, and here commenced a "chapter of accidents" which continued until the end. Monday's proceedings were a complete epitome of the history of the road from its first inception, stopping, backing, changing, with no one apparently capable of solving the difficulties. Why, we should like to know, were the engines and cars not under the direct control of Mr. Madrigan? Had this been the case, the "chapter of accidents" we have been speaking of would have been fewer, at least we think so.
Monday, however, was a bitter cold day. The thermometer at five in the morning stood at 40 below zero, cold enough, surely. The line between the Falls and Perth had not been run over from the Friday previous. The consequence was, that the snow had caked on the rail, and become, as it were, after the slight rain of Friday, part and parcel of the iron. The wheels of the locomotives had thus to contend with glare ice: they would revolve but could make no progress in dragging the cars after them. Several attempts were made to advance, but all was to no avail. At length it was decided to "back up" to the Station, in order that the crowd might dine at the Falls while a locomotive was sent over the line to do battle with the ice and snow itself, and prepare the way for the cars.. After dinner another start was made, but also with no effect - the fates were still against us. The forward engine's cowcatcher caught up the snow from the centre of the track and turned it over quite scientifically on the rail, and thus rendered progress impossible. Another "back up" to the station, in order to give the lead to another engine. Here several who had joined "the excursion" at the Falls, concluded to "go home", and two Brockville gentlemen did the same, trusting to the Perth stage for conveyance to Brockville, at which place they arrived about three hours before the railroad excursionists.
At length another attempt to reach Perth was made, but before long a halt was called in order to search the ditches along the road for water to supply the locomotive. The interesting experiment having to be made a second time. Slowly and steadily the train at length moved on, and hopes were high that no other difficulty would intervene, but fate again decided against these hopes. About a mile and a half from Perth, the last car on the train came to a dead stand: the coupling of the car had given way, and the engine, with the forward car, went off by themselves, leaving a car full of the most consummate grumblers all alone in their glory, till the engine returned from Perth, with a rope to hitch to the car. At length the grumblers reached Perth about a quarer to seven at night, having made the passage, forty miles, in nine hours and three quarters.
After tea the crowd was again in motion towards the station, the hour for starting home being eight o'clock. Here again our prospects for reaching Brockville were all but smashed into a cocked hat. In shunting one of the cars it got off the track and about three hours were spent before it was got on. About eleven o'clock "all aboard" was the word and the weary excursionists returned home about half past three in the morning, never to forget their first trip to Perth over the Brockville and Ottawa Railroad.
The severe coldness of the day prevented anything like an inspection of the works along the line, but on what we did see, we have no doubt, the road, when thoroughly ballasted will be second to none in Canada.
There was another, more satisfactory, trip recorded before the railway opened. This took place on 26 January 1859 and was reported in the Perth Courier and the Brockville Recorder ran the story on 3 February.
On Wednesday last, the members of the County Council of Lanark and Renfrew, having received an invitation from the President of the Railroad Co., took a trip to Brockville on the cars. The invitation was extended to members of the Town Council and several other of our citizens. Having been invited by Mr. Watson, the Managing Director, to accompany the party, we took our seat along with the rest, and at a quarter past 9 o'clock the train started from the Depot. There being only one passenger car, it was pretty well crowded; but the party being in good spirits, and determined to enjoy themselves, accommodated each other in a neighbourly way as well as circumstances would admit. The train arrived at Brockville at twenty minutes to 12, having made the trip in 2.25 - which is pretty good running considering the unfinished state of a considerable portion of the road. The party proceeded to the Willson House, where after visiting the tunnel, they sat down to a sumptuous repast got up in 'Brennan's' best style. After doing justice to the good things set before them, short speeches were made by several gentlemen present. 'All aboard' was then the cry and the train on the return trip left Brockville at half past three, and arrived at Perth at six - all highly delighted with what was, to the greater portion of them, the first trip on the Brockville and Ottawa Railway.The road is well made so far - is remarkably smooth - and when properly ballasted will be second to none in Canada
19 April 1864 - Montreal to Ottawa over the Grand Trunk and Ottawa and Prescott Railways
This is an extract from an account which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen for 31 May 1864. The original appeared in the Montreal True Witness of May 9 and was written under the pseudnym "Bruin". Our travellers stopped at Cornwall for a meal and spent the night at Prescott. At that time the Grand Trunk was built to the provincial gauge (5' 6") whereas the Ottawa and Prescott was standard gauge (4' 8½") although there was presumably dual gauge track between Prescott and Prescott Junction.
We left the Bonaventure Street Depot at 6.30 p.m. on the 19th ultimo, and were whirred along at railroad speed towards our destination. The night was clear, the air fresh and bracing, and the moon rose in an unclouded sky. Onward we sped and soon the shrill whistle of the locomotive gave warning that we were approaching the first stopping place, and anon the granite cliffs of Pointe Clair appear on the left glittering in the moonlight. Halt! cries the engineer and the snorting horse comes to a stand. We discharge and take on and off we go again, and soon the waters of the Ottawa are heard rumbling at St. Anns and, the lines of Moore, written more than half a century ago, recur to our memory, when struck by the beauty of the surrounding scenery, and fired by the genius of the poetic fancy, he burst forth in the following stanzas:-
Faintly as tells the evening chime
Our voices keep tune, and our ears keep time
Soon as the woods on shore look dim
We'll sing at St. Anns our parting hymn;
Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast,
The rapids are near and the daylight's past.
St. Ann's rendered famous by the poetry of Moore, may thy picturesque solitude be undisturbed by the innovations of man, save in the pursuit of all that is lovely in nature.
Isle Perrot was traversed and another branch of the Ottawa, and the elm trees of the pic-nic grove at Vaudreuil are seen in their leafy majesty, throwing their dark shadows on the crystal water and courting in their very nakedness the half stifled denizens of the crowded city to seek beneath their lofty branches free respiration and repose. Well we do remember, not one year ago, having attended a pic-nic on these favoured grounds, given under the auspices of the St. Patrick's Society of this city, and conducted with all the success and decorum characteristic of the efforts of the Association. We sincerely hope the St. Patrick's Society will, during the coming summer, give the citizens of Montreal the opportunity of again spending a few happy hours beneath the shady elms of Vaudreuil, on the banks of the Ottawa and we are confident that the gentlemanly proprietor (Mr. Harwood M.P.) will be all too happy to place the grounds at the disposal of the Society.
But, reader, we are digressing, you will pardon us, we hope, and bearing in mind that memory brings back many a happy feeling, accompany us a little further.
Coteau Landing, west of Coteau, famous for the rapids and dilapidated forts and other places of minor importance, were passed in rapid succession and at last we reached "Cornwall, fifteen minutes for refreshments" cried the conductor; amen we said and into the railway restaurant we popped, fully determined to make the most of the time allotted. There, sure enough, was a sight sufficient to gladden the hearts of hungry travellers, two tables the length of the room covered with a profusion of beef steaks, chops, sausages and other kindred strengtheners of the human system, made us for a time, forget the ethereal ecstacies of spiritual meditation, and fortify the inner man.
All aboard and off we go, following the escorting steed that leaves a trail of fire behind him until we reach Prescott Junction. There, we had to wait a full hour for the passengers by the boat from Ogdensburgh who were going west. It being past midnight, we grumbled at the delay, but it was of no use, we must either wait or walk one mile to Prescott, where we were to remain over night for the morning train to Ottawa.
St. Lawrence Hall and Campbell's Hotel &c. &c. greeted out ears on our arrival at Prescott, and ere we had time to reflect, the liveried messengers of the first named house seized our luggage and bore us all off in triumph but had we known our old acquaintance Campbell of Ottawa, had removed to Prescott, we certainly would have chosen his hospitality.
The trip from Prescott to Ottawa (54 miles) is through a country of unpreposessing appearance. Although there are several stopping places, with the exception of Kemptville, there is no place (visible) of any note; there are, I believe, several thriving villages back from the stations. On nearing Ottawa, the country assumes a more fertile appearance, and from the back platform of the cars we can see, on Barrick Hill, the massive proportions of the Parliament Buildings with their gothic towers, not completed, and surmounted with many flags fluttering in the breeze. For a moment, friend W. and myself are puzzled to know the cause of this unusual display of the colours of the rainbow, but only for a moment; for we remember that the veteran Colonel, the Premier of Canada, has preceeded us on a visit to the future capital to inspect the buildings and push on the works as rapidly as possible, in order that the collective wisdom of the Province may at an early day have a permnent habitation and a home, and these signs of joy are hoisted by loyal citizens on his arrival to manifest their confidence in the purpose.
The arrangement was that Thursday the party should proceed to Ottawa
city by way of Arnprior. A few minutes after six o'clock in the
morning, more than one hundred ladies and gentlemen of the press
excursion started northward by the Brockville and Ottawa Railway. The
train passed through the tunnel under the town by means of which the
railway is brought to the river's edge. This tunnel is, I should
think, one half mile in
length, and passes under the Market Building, and thence underground
daylight is reached to the north of the town. After the train is
fairly in the tunnel the darkness is total. There are no little
as in the Victoria Bridge at Montreal to admit little streams of light,
black darkness renders it impossible for the passenger to see
anything. For the sake of variety, a few minutes of this sort of
was very well, but I think few of the excursionists would have cared
a much longer experience of the kind. The Brockville and
Ottawa road is smooth and well ballasted and we had a very comfortable
ride to its terminus at Arnprior, passing on the way a number of
chief of which are Smiths Falls, Carleton Place and Almonte. The
latter place owes some of its prosperity to manufactures. Flax
are driven by water afforded by the Mississippi River (not the father
waters but a little river) -- Arnprior is distant from Brockville 69
has for some little time been the terminus of the B&O Railway, but
about to lose that distinction, as the Company will, on Monday next
the road to Sandpoint, five miles or so much further up the Ottawa.
completed the road will terminate at Pembroke, a point some 50 miles
up the river. Arnprior is finely situated on the south bank of
Ottawa, or more accurately perhaps, of Chat's Lake. Mr.
ex-MPP, an extensive lumber dealer, has a very nice residence there.
At Arnprior there were not enough carriages for the excursion party. Those which were to be had carried the baggage from station to the wharf, which distance - about a mile - the excursionists had to make on foot. A steamer, the Oregon, carried us across Chat's Lake, a distance of about three miles or so. Then we travelled across a peninsular, three or four miles by "tram" railway. This railway has been in operation a good while, and differs considerably from an ordinary railway. The rails are strips of bar iron, such as is used apparently for the tiers of lumber waggons. The "ties" on the tram railway run lengthwise instead of crosswise. The country it traverses is not at all level, but there was little digging done to make the roadway level. This was done by filling up the "gulleys" with structures of timber on which the "ties" were laid. The cars are drawn by horses, and one of the "conductors" claimed as a merit of this road that there never was an accident upon it. Arrived at the end of the tram railway; the party embarked on the steamer Ann Sisson for Aylmer C.E. The distance is twenty or thirty miles and the trip lasted some hours. On board the steamer, the adjourned meeting of the Association was held.
At Aylmer there were flags up in honour of our arrival - at least we took it for granted that this was the meaning of the display. Carriages were in waiting for us and a pleasant drive down the north bank of the Ottawa, and the bridge across the Chaudiere brought us into Ottawa city between four and five o'clock.
Yesterday was all that could be desired for the trip to Sand Point,
and soon after nine o'clock a large crowd had collected at the terminus
of the Canada Central Railway at the Chaudiere Flats, where a train of
eight cars was in readiness drawn by the powerful engine, H.A.
ABBOTT. This engine was built in Taunton, Mass and is one of
great speed and power. She forms one of three which have been
constructed for the Canada Central Railway Company. No. 1 is
named after to well-known English capitalist Mr. H.W.F. Bolckow who is,
we believe, the largest shareholder in the
company; No. 2 is named after the president (this would be John G.
Richardson - CJC), and No. 3 after the contractor for the line to
untiring energy and enterprise we owe the speedy completion of the
Mr. H.A. Abbott. This engine, as before stated was the one
to propel the excursion train on the opening day. She was
decorated with Union Jacks and Red, White and Blue flags interspersed
The band of the Brockville Garrison Artillery arrived about 9.30 o'clock and had a car assigned for their accommodation.
List of the invited guests - omitted.
And now the signal is given and at fifty nine minutes past nine o'clock
After a very brief stoppage at Stittsville we proceeded on our way until Ashton, twenty-two miles from Ottawa was reached at 10:45. At eleven o'clock we arrived at the Carleton station of the Canada Central, and scarcely had we halted when the Brockville train arrived, filled with a number of persons who joined the excursion train on its way to Sand Point. Carleton Place is the end of the new road, and our way from thence lay along the track which has, for some time, been used by the Brockville and Sand Point trains. There is nothing of the scenery along this part of the trip worthy of especial note. The country appears, for the most part, to be exceedingly well adaptged for agricultural purposes and the clearings already made are numerous and extensive. Every stream we crossed was almost filled with a quantity of lumber showing how large a lumbering business is done in this section of country and promising well for the future prospects of the railway in this respect. At half past eleven we reached the thriving town of Almonte, with its extensive woollen and other manufactories, and here we found a large number of persons waiting on the platform to greet our arrival. We were now 36½ miles from Ottawa. After giving our iron horse a little refreshment in the shape of wood and water, we once more started on our way. Pakenham was reached at 11:52; a few minutes after 12 o'clock we crossed the long bridge which spans the Madawaska river and at ten minutes after twelve reached Arnprior, about fifty-three miles from Ottawa. The remainder of the distance, about four miles, was performed very rapidly, and at twenty three minutes after twelve (Ottawa time) our train drew up in front of the commodious freight shed belonging to the company at Sand Point. Across the road a sort of triumphal arch had been erected, from which was suspended a number of flags and in the centre a banner upon which was inscribed the word
30 August 1875 - Canada Central Railway
Turning the first sod at Pembroke
The Canada Central Railway was opened between Renfrew and Pembroke on 3 October 1876. A formal ceremony to mark the beginning of construction was held at Pembroke on 30 August 1875. An enthusiastic Pembroke town council had declared a civic holiday so that citizens could attend the ceremony. It turned out to be a jolly affair with much champagne. The Times, Ottawa and the Ottawa Citizen both reported on 31 August:
Pembroke Aug. 30. The first sod of the Pembroke branch of the
Canada Central Railway was turned here at four o'clock by Mrs. Esther
Supple assisted by Col. Peter Valite sen., and Wm. Moffatt Eaq., Reeve
of the town, Miss. Moffatt performing the ceremony of the christening
After the turning of the sod the assemblage adjourned to a large marquee erected for the purpose, and partook of a champagne lunch provided by the citizens.
A letter from Hon. A.B. Foster, manager of the company regretted his inability to be present at this occasion, was read. The company was represented by Mr. Harris chief engineer, and Mr. T.A. Knowlton, Mr. Foster's private secretary.
Over a thousand people were present and testified their satisfaction at the formal commencement of the road, and the assiurances given in Mr. Foster's letter of its speedy completion were received with repeated and enthusiastic cheering.
The town council entertained the engineers and a number of leading citizens at a champagne spread in the Music Hall in the evening.
The Reeve occupied the chair and amongst the guests were R.L. Harris C.E.; C.S. Mason C.E.; Mr. Knowlton and Mr. Blackie of Toronto. A most enjoyable evening was spent, the festivities lasting far into the night. The proceedings were much enlivened by the presence of the St. Patrick's brass band, which discoursed some very fine music music before the performing of the ceremony and during the remainder of the evening.
The arrival of the railway in Hull from Montréal caused a great deal of interest and there were a number of groups using the railway before construction was completed. A number of people left for Montréal on the construction train on 21 November 1877 although the rails did not reach Hull station until two days later. However, the first excursion was recorded in the Ottawa Citizen of 10 December 1877:
"A party of young folks went on a pleasure excursion on the invitation of the conductor of the construction train to Calumet yesterday, expecting to return last evening. The pleasure party started about 12 o'clock, arrived at Calumet all right, and are still there, waiting for a chance to return home as the train did not return."
The mystery of the missing excursionists was solved by the Ottawa Citizen on Tuesday 11 December:
"The excursionists who started from here on Sunday returned between 11 and 12 yesterday having gone through with the train to Montréal."
10 June 1879 - Inauguration of Palace cars on the
Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway
The Ottawa Citizen of 11 June 1879 reported on an excursion from Montreal to Hull. People from Ottawa had travelled to Montreal the previous evening to participate:
In railways, as in nearly everything else, time has worked wonderful changes. A few years ago the travelling public were satisfied with an ordinary first class car. Now they have become more fastidious in their tastes and look for canoe couches, revolving chairs elegantly upholstered &c. To satisfy the public taste, and as well to keep up its first class reputation, the Q.M.O.& O. Railway decided to introduce on their line the Palace car system. Yesterday saw the inauguration of the system and the event was celebrated by an excursion from Montreal to Ottawa, two of the new cars being attached to the regular train. Among
The Gentlemen Who Were Present
By invitation were the following press representatives: - J. Stewart, Montreal Herald; G,B, Burland, Canadian Illustrated News; J. Harper, Montreal Star; J.H. McLean, Montreal Gazette; J.C. Martin, Montreal Post; R.C. Smith, Montreal Witness; George H. Fox, Ottawa Free Press; W.J. Cuzner, Ottawa Citizen; S. Foley, Journal of Commerce; A. Beaugrand, La Patrie; E. Lamothe, Le Nouveau Monde; R. Tremblay, Le Courier de Montreal; L. Lorrain, Franco Canadien; and O, Balland, le Minerve; M. Hosmer, General Manager of Dominion Telegraph Co.; Mr. A. Le Moine de Martigny were also present and the following officers of the company: Mr. G.A. Scott, General Superintendent; Mr. F.J. Pruyn, General Paymaster; Mr. M. O'Meara, jr., Agent at Ottawa; and Mr. J, Gordon, Inspector of Stations.
The train left the mile end station at 9.30 o'clock and reached the city at 2 o'clock p.m. a delay of 15 minutes having occurred at Calumet station owing to the heating of the journals of the new cars. Conductor Williams was in charge, who, with Conductor Diamond, bears the reputation of being perfection in his business; courteous under any circumstances, and anxious at all times to administer to the wants of travellers. Engineer Whitehead, well known as one of the most experienced of Canadian engine drivers, piloted the iron horse and made fast time. At this season of the year, when all nature appears to be clothed in her garb of green, the trip is particularly enjoyable.
is varied and enjoyable. The route abounds in hills, valleys and small streams. The Lievre at Buckingham, with its turbulent waters tossed angrily over the rocks before entering the basin.and skirted with a rich green fringe presents a scene of grandeur that must be seen to be thoroughly appreciated. In fact, all along the line one finds something to attract his attention. A very noticeable improvement is observable in the farms between Ottawa and Montreal since the road opened, furnishing further evidence of the capitalizing influence of the railways. New houses are springing up, new barns are taking the place of the old rickety fabrics and the people are becoming more refined; neat and uniform station houses grace the different stopping places and a strong force of men are now engaged in improving the grounds around them.
The Rolling Palace
The two palace cars which were added to the rolling stock of the eastern division yesterday are not as expensive as some used on American railways, are elegant in every respect. Each contains two lounges, 11 revolving chairs, and a stateroom and a spacious smoking compartment. The chairs and sofas are upholstered in crimson and green plush, and the floor carpeted in keeping with the richness of the whole interior. The walls are of black walnut and bird's eye maple, the ceiling richly ornamened with flowers and Egyptian figureheads. In the smoking compartment tables are placed between seats, where one can indulge in a game of euchre or what, if he feels disposed to wile (sic) away the hours, and break the monotony of the jouney - for all railway trips, no matter where they are taken become monotonous in the end. The external appearance of those palaces is very attractive also, the painter displaying a vast amount of skill in blending of the colours. They are named "Marquis of Lorne" and "Hon. H.G. Joly", and were manufactured by the Gilbert and Brush Company, Troy, New York. They cost $7,000 each.
The Refreshment Depot
The principal stopping place between Ottawa and Montreal is Calumet. There the regular passenger trains meet and pass each other, and there too is found something which will appease the appetite. A splendid lunch room was opened yesterday and the party were entertained there at the expense of the line, the train having remained over "20 minutes for refreshments". A horse car at this point connects the railway with the L'Orignal ferry which takes passengers for the Grand Hotel, Caledonia Springs. This will soon be done away with and a new passenger car and engine combined will be substituted . It is now being manufactured at a cost of about $14,000 and will be in running order by September next. In this the people of L'Orignal and district hav much to be thankful.
On arriving at Hull the excursion party were provided with busses and driven to the Russell House, where after partaking of a warm meal, they visited some of the principal points of interest in the city, leaving for home by the evening train at 4.45 o'clock. They expressed themselves delighted with the trip and speak highly of the many courtesies extended by Mr. O'Meara jr., the efficient agent of this city. Mr. Scott, the General manager, Mr. Pruyn, Mr. Stark and other officials of the company, all of whome left no stone unturned to ensure the comfort of their guests. The all join in the wish that the palace car system inaugurated under such pleasing circumstances may prove the success the company may desire it to be.
The Ottawa Citizen of Friday 8 August 1879 reported quite a
celebration which nearly included burning down the depot:
Wednesday was a red letter day at Aylmer, and it is only natural that it should be for the inhabitants saw the realization of a fond hope that they have nursed in their bosoms for a tenth of century. For a number of years Aylmer has been retrograding. With the construction of the Canada Central on the south shore of the river. She lost control of the great traffic of the upper Ottawa; and in a dozen other ways her trade has diminished down to very narrow dimensions. A new era has, however, dawned, and the silver lining of the dark cloud which has been hanging over her interests is gradually growing more distinct. The "snort of the iron horse" is now heard there and promises in the near future to revive business, and wake the people up from the lethargy which has characterized them of late. The town has now been placed on a line of railway which will doubtless some day form a branch of the great Canadian Pacific, for having extended their road so far, the Provincial Government, in order to secure a fair proportion of the trade of the Northwest, will in all probability continue it to Deep River. The importance of such a connection is quite obvious, and is well understood in the counties of Ottawa and Pontiac. But there is a special reason why the people of Aylmer felt that they should jubilate, a reason which towered above all others, and hat was the fact that the North Shore Railway scheme had its origin among her people and was the outcome of a general meeting of the counties of Pontiac and Ottawa, held there nearly 10 years ago. Its consummation, in so far as that had at that time planned could not but create a spirit of enthusiasm and make them feel commercially speaking that they had been born again. Wednesday, therefore, having been named as the day on which the first passenger train would reach the town, the citizens immediately set to work to arange a demonstration. They had very little time to work on, and everything had to be gotten up in a hurried manner, but notwithstanding, the affair was a grand success and did not appear at all as if it were impromptu. A committee composed of councillors and citizens was oganized and invitations were issued to prominent men of the county who have always manifested a deep interest in the promotion of the scheme. Mr. Scott, General Superintendent of the Western Division of the QMO&O was telegraphed to and shortly before 3 o'clock arrived by special train, accompanied by several gentlemen from the city.
It is safe to say that the whole town and a sprinkling from the rural area were waiting at the depot, where for half an hour previous the Hull brass band entertained them with some lively airs. The ladies turned out in full force and seemed to enthuse as heartily as the "sterner" sex. By the way, speaking parenthetically, the town boasts of a plethora of female beauty. The train, at all events, arrived and as it did a cheer was sent up which showed that the hearts of the people were warm and their lungs strong. It was what they call
A Zulu Cheer
nine times nine and repeat. When order had been restored and
the band had got through playing the opening selection, Mayor Gordon
and members of the corporation welcomed Mr. Scott on behalf of the
citizens. Miss Emma Murphy then advanced and presented that
gentleman with an elegant bouquet of flowers. the graceful act being
loudly applauded. Mr. Alonzo Wright M.P. then made a few
remarks. After which a procession was formed, headed by the
firemen and their engine and the band and escorted Mr. Scott and guests
to Mrs. Richey's hotel where a meeting was organized.
The meeting then retired to the dining room where Mr. Richey, who is a first class caterer, arranged a sumptuous feast. The table was beautifully decorated with flowers and the bill of fare was an extensive one. Mayor Gordon occupied the chair and conducted the ceremonies with the utmost success. After the cloth had been removed, the usual loyal toasts were proposed. The health of Mr. Scott and the Mayor and corporation of Aylmer were given three times three, after which Mr. Scott offered to run his special to Hull and back with as many citizens as it could accommodate.
The offer was received favourably and about 100 ladies and gentlemen soon found their way to the depot. On their arrival, considerable excitement was ocasioned by an alarm of fire, smoke having been observed issuing from the south west corner of the station platform. The planks were quickly pulled up and Mr. N.J. Conroy and the conductor, with two pails of water, quickly quenched the flames. The train whistled at 6.45 p.m. and made the run to Hull in about 20 minutes, returning at about 7.20 p.m.
The next item on the programme was a torchlight procession under the direction of the fire brigade. At dark the torches were ignited and the town paraded. It was a grand success and passed off without accident.
This was followed by a ball in Mr. Richey's hall. There were nearly 100 couples present and they certainly did dance until "the wee small hours", it being 3 o'clock before the musicians were allowed to take their departure. It was a very general remark, that although the ball like the othe part of the programme had been gotten up in a hurry, there never was a more successful affair of the kind witnessed in the town. At midnight a cold collation was served up by Mr. Richey and discussed with a good deal of energy.
Preliminary opening of the road from Ottawa to Coteau
A pleasant excursion
On Saturday last, through the courtesy of the management of the Canada Atlantic Railway a large number of leading residents of Ottawa were afforded an opportunity of inspecting the road as far as it is completed, and also viewing the site at which it is proposed to bridge the St. Lawrence at Coteau. The following was the invitation card;
The newspaper account had a description of the invitation card. Reproduced above is a copy of the invitation kindly provided by Mr. William B. Esmonde, grandson of Edward Mcgillivray, the President.
THE START FROM OTTAWA was made sharp on time,and for a good half hour before, the station of the line at Stewarton was a scene of lively bustle. Invitations had been extended to some 500 gentlemen and ample accommodation made for the transit of the whole party over the route. Business and other engagements prevented a goodly number of those to whom the courtesy of the company had been extended from participating in the trip but still a large party of the representative gentlemen of the city were present. Among List of attendance
THE DOWNWARD TRIP
was rapidly and pleasantly made. To almost all of the party the greater portion of the district to be travelled was new and there was general surprise at the excellence of the country, not only as regards its agricultural capacity, but as to the excellent condition of the farms and the general opinion was that the line would still further and greatly improve the district. Eastman's Springs, South Indian, Casselman and intervening stations were rapidly passed and
A number of other residents of that place were added to the party.
of the road is of the very best. Although not yet completely ballasted, rapid time was made and on some sections of the trip over forty miles an hour was averaged. This was notably the case between Coteau Landing and Alexandria where a distance of twenty-three miles was made in thirty-six minutes. For easy travelling the road has no superior. As it is not yet fully equipped with rolling stockof its own, the cars in use on Saturday were not of the latest style but there was no perceptible jolting a fact all the more remarkable as a great portion of the line is not yet fully ballasted. The bridges, culverts and other works along the line are all of the very best and most substantial nature and the promoters have had an easy line to run as regards cutting and grading and hey have spared no expense in putting in substantial work where it was wanted. At one section of line there is one stretch of over twently miles over a country that looks like one big field and in which there is not a curve of any kind. The track for the whole of this distance is a line straight as a crow's flight. The party reached
early in the day and got off at the station which is situated close to the village. This is the present terminus of the line. The trip down was made leisurely to enable the party to fairly see the nature of the construction and the description of the countrywhich the road passes through. At the landing all embarked upon the steamer "St. Francis", which was in waiting and proceeded to
prettily situated in the St. Lawrence. The island is destined
to be one of the points over which the proposed new bridge will pass.
It is already connected to the mainland by telegraph, and for the
convenience of the visitors, a temporary office under canvas was put
up. A large awning tent had been put on the island in which
tables for four hundred were laid and by the time all were seated they
were well filled.
Here a bountiful collation was spread. The drive, the country
and the fresh air had sharpened the appetites of the excursionists and
enabled them to do full justice to the repast. The solid part of
the entertainment had come to a close with all well satisfied and with
plenty to spare. Mr. McGillivray, president of the road, called
the company to fill their glasses and proposed the health of the Queen,
which was received with all honours, the entire party joining in the
The next toast, also proposed by the president of the road, was that of "the President of the United States", in doing which he alluded briefly to the the friendly relations existing between the people on each side of the border, and expressed his conviction that the construction of such work as the Coteau must always help, by promoting facilities for commercial interchange to do much to cement a friendly feeling. He coupled the toast with the name of Colonel Robbins, Comerical Consul at Ottawa.
Reply by Colonel Robbins
Toast to the Governor General
Toast to the Army, Navy and Volunteers
Toast to Doimion and Local Legislatures
Toast to Corportion of the City of Ottawa
Toast to the prosperity of the Canada Atlantic Railway
Several volunteer toasts followed.
An adjournment was at once made and the party embarked
on board the St. Francis. This portion of the trip did not occupy long and a halt was made at the boat landing. The stay at Valleyfield was made of brief duration but long enough to allow the excursionists to form some idea of the place which has about five thousand of a population and contains the largest paper mill and cotton factory in Canada. Both of these structures are of a most substantial character being built of blue limestone and showing considerable architectural taste in their construction.
the party started. On the return trip, while on the steamer,
meeting was organized and the hurricane deck was converted into a
from which Dr. Hill, Mr. Clemow and several others delivered pithy
to the passengers below. At Coteau the train was again
taken. The only stop made on the return trip was at Alexandria to
let off the contingent which had embarked there. The distance to
Ottawa, wanting only an insignificant fraction of being eighty miles
was made in slightly less than eight hours and a half. The train
got to Stewarton at
twenty minutes past eight.
29 June 1886 - Canadian Pacific Railway
First Transcontinental Passenger Train, the Pacific Express, passes through Ottawa.
Although the last spike had been driven in the Canadian Pacific Railway main line the previous year, transcontinental service between Montreal and the west coast did not commence until June 1886. The Ottawa Citizen of 29 June 1886 recorded the occasion.
At Calumet the depot was elaborately decorated and illuminated. A band played popular airs and the large assemblage cheered the arrival and departure of the train. At Point Duchene and other places on the road to Ottawa, bonfires were lighted and houses were illuminated, and everywhere as the train passed it was greeted with local and enthusiastic cheers.
THE SCENE AT OTTAWA
No demonstration was organized in Ottawa to greet the passage of the
train which was destines to become historic, but a large number of
citizens gathered at the Union Depot last night some time before the
time fixed for the arrival and enthusiastic contemplation of the
prospect was the rule. The exuberance of the reception afforded
the train from the moment of its leaving Montreal delayed it, and it
was not until half an hour after the schedule time that its near
approach to Ottawa became apparent. Then the pyrotechnic salute
was given at the depot. the moving spirits
being Messrs. William Porter and Pearce. The train backed into
depot in two sections, one being the through section and the other the
Toronto train with extra baggage and mail cars attached. The
section consisted of the superb dining car "Holyrood", the sleeping car
"Hoholulu" two first class coaches and an emigrant sleeper. The
gathered at the depot sent no noisy cheers but made up in curiosity or
what it lacked in exuberance. The cars had no sooner come to a
still than they were invaded by a host of Ottawaites who eagerly
the fittings and general arrangements. Many expressions of
were heard as the crowd filed through the cars, for the "Holyrood" and
are simply palaces on wheels. A Citizen reporter who went through the
succeeded in finding the first passenger who bought a through sleeping
ticket and in order that posterity may cherish his memory, his name is
given. He was Mr. C.I. De Sola of the firm of De Sola and Ascher,
The train being late on arrival at Ottawa was speedily sent forward on its journey, taking with it through passengers from this city.
As the cars began to move out of the depot, friendly hands were finally shaken, good wishes were exchanged and with buoyant feelings of patriotic pride the crowd left the depot and dispersed to the four quarters of the city.
Engine No. 300 which brought the train from Montreal was driven by Engineer Barrand, Fireman Maynes. Another engine was coupled on to No. 300 before she left Ottawa. No. 300 gave no outward sign of possession of the Montreal flag, the advent of which had been promised by telegraph.
The reference to "paper wheels' deserves some explanation. The Allen Paper Wheel was introduced in 1869. It had a centre core built up from strawboard with steel or iron plates bolted on the front and rear. It was widely used in North America between 1880 and 1915. The original invention was as a substitute for the wood core of wheels with steel tires. Compressed paper was substituted for wood at the core. When compressed it was said to be as hard as ivory yet soft enough to cushion the ride and reduce wheel noise and vibration. Pullman tested the wheels and eventually adopted them as standard. A "Paper Wheel" would have a ring of bolts all around the wheel center. (Thanks to Paul Bown and Steve Hunter for this explanation).
The Canada Atlantic Railway Company has once again shown their regard for the comfort of their passengers and for some days the electric light train has been the subject of much comment and a great deal of curiosity. It is the first train lighted by this means that has run in Canada, and made its first journey yesterday, arriving at the Elgin Street depot last night. The two new cars are called "Cassandra" and "Fivrenza" and are parlour cars, the equal of which it is only fair to say are not to be found in Canada, and the superior of which cannot be seen on any part of the vast American continent. To travel in these cars is the very essence of comfort, on entering them there is a feeling of perfect ease and homeliness in spite of the gorgeous fittings, rich colours and altogether magnificent appearance of the cars. While the colouring is particularly rich, at the same time there is nothing gaudy and nothing to offend even an artist's critical eye.
First of all the chairs must be mentioned. They are in themselves perfect marvels of comfort and ease. Here is found a fine blending of colours, the chairs being draped in a light blue velvet, with carpets and foot stools of black and ochre. At each end of the car another excellent arrangement is found, as two seats are made on a sliding principle, emabling them to be formed into comfortable lounges, suitable for the easy travelling of an invalid. Raw silk curtains are also festooned at the sides, and by drawing these the chair or the lounge, as the case may be, is turned into a complete private apartment. These curtains are of a peculiar but beautiful orange tawny colour. The window hangings are of velvet and the same colour and shade as the curtains. In conspicuous parts of the car are to be found mirrors and neat and convenient hat racks of nickel plate. The lighting of the car is done by incandescent electric light, and these are hung along the car at frequent intervals. Should these from any cause fail to act, provision is made to supply a fine light from handsome pendant bronze lamps which are also supplied.
Wandering thorugh to the end of the gentlemen's car, the buffet is found, and here the hungry traveller, at a few minute's notice can obtain tea, coffee, eggs, toast, oysters and all the delicacies of the season. To obtain these it is not necessary for the traveller to leave his seat in the car, as by raising the hand an electric bell knot can be touched which communicates with the buffet and summons one of the attendants. Passing beyond the buffet, a cosy and handsomely furnished gentlemen's smoking room is found with a rich blend of colours, the prevailing tint being a rich orange.
The heating of the car is entrusted to a Black's heater, which is one of the best on the market, and which is so arranged that a certain temperature can always be obtained. The heater is enclosed in a casing with an asbestos lining. The two cars are the manufacture of the Pullman Company and are supplied with double windows throughout. The motion is particularly smooth, the cars are mounted on twelve trucks the wheels of which are made of Allan paper.
On passing from the parlour car the traveller encounters a first class car manufactured in Coburg by Mr. J. Crossen. Here another fine blending of colours is found, the crimson velvet upholstery, bronze hat racks and mahogany fittings. The third car on the train is a second class, made by the same manufacturer as the first class and very comfortable. These two cars and the baggage car are run on Krupp steel wheels, which have been imported direct from Germany for these cars. The name of the manufacturer of these wheels, which will be recognized as the famous Krupp cannon makers, is sufficient to convince the nervous traveller that on these cars at least there is no fear of a broken wheel.
Among the travellers who took the first journey from Montreal on the new train were Messrs. D.B. Stewart, Montreal Gazette; P.T. Cronan, Montreal Herald and D.A. Poe, Montreal Witness who are loud in their praise of the luxurious travelling afforded by the canada Atlantic Railway's new move.
After years of patient waiting and hoping against hope, the long sought but much delayed train from Brockville to Westport is now an accomplished fact. If the spirit of Allan Turner Esq had been permitted to visit this mundane sphere and could have stood on the station platform as the train steamed into Farmersville station, he no doubt would have remembered the prophetic words we heard him utter 15 years ago "I may not, and probably shall not live to see a train running between Brockville and Westport but I firmly believe that only a few years will pass before you take your first ride over the road" The railway was completed several days ago, except for the finishing of the iron bridge across the canal at Newboro which was finally completed last week so the railway officials sent out invitation to all reeves, deputy reeves, and several others to take a ride over the line last Saturday, March 3.
Accordingly, an engine drawing a baggage car and a passenger car was sent out from Brockville to Westport last Friday afternoon. On its arrival at the Westport Station, a good percentage of the population was at the station to see it pull in, and cheer upon cheer rang over the winter air. The residences of some of the leading men of the village were decorated with chinese lanterns, those of Reeve Adams, and Rev. D.Y. Ross being the most beautifully illuminated. Unfortunately the wind came up during the night with drifting snow, but it was decided to make the run just the same, and at 7 am, on Saturday morning the whistle blew a warning note that all was ready for the first passenger run.
Boarding the train at Westport were: W.J. Fredenburgh, E.J. Adams, W.J.Webster, H. Lockwood, George Fredenburgh. After a short run of thirty minutes, Newboro was reached where almost the whole village was out to see L.S. Lewis, JU. N. Knowlton, W. Bass, James T. Gallagher, R. Blake, JH. H. Cole, T.W. Preston, J. Webster, and C. English, board the train. Only a short distance had been traversed when the train came to a haltin a snowbank, and all train hands, and some of the passengers had to go to work with shovels, and at frequent intervals for nearly two hours there was a tussle with the snow.
At 10:20 Philipsville was passed and Delta reached at 11:10 where the passenger list was increased by T.K. Scovil, Portland; W. Richardson, Seeley's Bay; J.R. Gargavel, Elgin; and J.E. Brown, W.H. Denaut, S.J. Seaman, D. Brown, And W. Robinson.
A Telegram was sent to Farmersville that the train was coming and would be carrying passengers, and at 12:15, it pulled into the station. Here, the Armstrong House bus and a team and a sleigh carried the passengers down to the hotel, followed by all the small boys of the community and watched by the rest of the population. After a hearty dinner was enjoyed as guests of the railway officials, the party returned to the train, accompanied by J.B. Saunders, W.G. Parish, Tom Berney, S.B. Williams, James Ross, J.C. Hannah, and Bethuel Loverin. From Farmersville to Lyn no drifts were encountered and the train arrived in Lyn at 2:20 where coal and water were taken on, and a quick trip over the GTR soon brought the train to Brockville.
Here a large crowd welcomed the passengers and carriages were waiting to take everyone to the Railway Company offices in the Comstock Block, where they were welcomed by Mr. Hervey who spoke on the building of the railway. He then invited all to be guests of the company at a sumptuous feast at the Revere Hotel. During the banquet, one of the party arose and said that they could not consider putting Mr. Hervey to the expense of returning them to Westport, and as many of the party desired to stay over Sunday in Brockville, they could do so, and the rest could arrange other transportation home. Several in the party were greatly upset, as they thought the train would be taking them home, but although Mr. Hervey offered to do so, his offer was refused by this party who said he had already been too kind. In fairness to Mr. Hervey, we will say that he provided carriages as far as Farmersville for all who cared to travel that far, and from this village, a livery bus was hired to return to their homes. But the rumor went abroad that Mr. Hervey had left the party to get home as best they could.
In speaking to the party from Farmersville, upon their return, they
praised the officials most highly for their entertainment and excellent
provided. They spoke of the comfort of the coach, and their enjoyment
of the trip.
(Provided by Bob Moore)
The Ottawa Journal of Monday 10 November 1890 eported an interesting account of a trial run of a newly rebuilt locomotive the previous Saturday. Taking out a rebuilt locomotive for a trial was used until the end of steam and the reporter gives a good account. The return from Eastman's, now Carlsbad Springs was run at an extremely high average speed of 90 miles per hour if we are to believe the reporter.
REBUILT IN OTTAWA
Mr. Ogilvie informed the Journal that the
locomotive was manufactured by the Baldwin Foundry company
Philadelphia, but that she had been entirely rebuilt in the C.A.R.
workshops here, and had only just been completed. She is a 17 x
24 cylinder, four wheels coupled and with Eames bracken (sic) driving
brake. She is fitted with full equipment for heating the cars,
thereby dispensing with the necessity and danger of stoves. The driver
wheels are 5 feet 8½ inches in diameter. The whole of the
work has been done under the direct supervision of Mr. Donaldson.
Her speed is intended to be about fifty miles an hour. She is painted
in dark olive green and gold, bearing the description "C.A.R. 15".
IN THE CAB
The scribe having climbed into the cab found himself in a small glass house, opening at the rear on to the tender. On either side a seat with windows on three sides, whilst the centre of the front is filled with taps, handles guages (sic) etc. By the side of the right hand seat are the levers working the propelling and reversing slide valves and the whistle gear. This is the driver's side.
Steam is up and the heavy mass vibrates. The order is given to clear out, and having backed gently to the points, the great engine runs slowly, but smoothly into the depot. Here there are a number of machinists who have been putting the last touches to her. The signal that the line is clear is given, these men all scramble on board, and a start is made, the engine running backwards. Heavy vibration stops, the connecting rods and valve links are working smoothly as do the pistons in their cylinder covers. Slowly at first, but increasing in speed, she passes away from the city, over the Rideau and past Sheppard and Morse's piling ground into the country. The machinists, apparently, while taking great pride in their latest pet, have still lingering anxieties as to her behaving herself properly, and whilst one seems to be on a sort of a patrol on the side boards wandering out of one window of the cab round by the cow catcher and in at the other window; another keeps vigilant watch on the tell tales of grease or tallow placed on the eccentrics to show whether or not they are heating.
YOU DON'T KNOW WHEN YOU MIGHT GET BACK
There seems to be reason in some case for
As Mr. Ogilvie put it, on a trial trip an engine may go out but
may happen and you don't know when she will come back. This one
the workmen illustrated by saying "An engine may run all right one way,
when it comes to the other - ah."
However, Miss 15 is gracious. She runs without a jar, and having done 12 miles stops at Eastman's. Immediately she is surrounded by the men and the eccentrics and axle boxes anxiously felt. All serene, no heating as the tallow shows. A little oil is given here, a touch of grease there, until perfection having been perfected, and a general congratulatory verdict given, she is off again, this time for Ottawa.
The homeward journey is much like the outward except that now the engine heads the other way, and the party see before them as they sit. Sitting there looking down on to the track, with their two apparently converging shiny lines like broad knitting needles running away into the distance, one can realize how the majority of drivers of passenger engines mostly become silent, grave men and more than ever of the marvel of travelling by rail.
LET HER RIP
The run from Eastman's tests her speed, the
pressure has been carefully brought down to 140, and let her rip.
So she does, easily and gently, running smoothly and answering
perfectly. About three miles from Ottawa she slacks down and
lands up in the depot in 8 minutes for 12 miles.
The trial trip party wish each other "good by" and the Journal representative wends his way home, feeling more than ever that Ottawa is to be congratulated on the enterprise and energy shown by the C.A.R.
Inspecting the OA&PS
First passenger coach over the new road.
The Ottawa Evening Journal of 4 March 1893 carried the following account of the first passenger run between Ottawa and Arnprior over J.R. Booth's Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway. In spite of the optimism of the reporter passenger service did not commence until 18 September becuse fo the wet weather as well as the time it took to complete the bridge over the Madawaska river. It should be noted that the trip desctibed did not really go as far as Arnprior, it must hav stopped at the site of the yet to be built bridge just to the east of the town.
The first passenger coach over the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway was run between the capital and Arnprior yesterday.
It was "a special" for inspection purposes and on board were Mr. John R. Booth, Mr. Geo. A. Mountain, chief engineer and other officials of the new line.
Considering that the road is not yet ballasted the "run" was made in
splendid style, an average of twenty-five miles an hour being
made. Through the courtesy of chief engineer Mountain the Journal
had the courtesy
of an enjoyable trip.
The special left the Elgin street station at 8.30 on its flight to the west. After crossing the trestlework at Preston street a magnificent view is presented to the sightseer. Away to the north the snow clad Laurentian range looms out in stately grandeur, and the bright sun of yesterday morning made the view doubly charming.
A RETROSPECT OF THE CITY
When Bayswater is reached the city can be seen stretching out on all sides with the tall spires and shining roofs reflecting back the sunlight. At no approach to the city can it be seen at better advantage than from the commanding eminences of Bayswater through which the line runs.
SCENE OF BUSTLE
The first point of importance reached is Carp village 10 miles west
of Ottawa and by the number of freight cars standing on the siding a
stranger would be sure to think the road had been in running order for
ever so long. Here everything is bustle. The farmers with
grain laden sleighs, loading up the cars for passage to the east,
The station grounds at this place, as well as at other points, have
been located, and the work of putting up suitable buildings will go on
at once. The road
is wire fenced all the way.
Kinburn, eight miles further west, is next reached, and it may be stated that these eight miles are the straightest piece of railroad line in America. Kinburn is a pretty little village surrounded by a very rich agricultural country, and the evidence of its producing qualities can be seen in the grain shed close to the siding, into which farmers are constantly pouring their grain for shipment. At this point the bustle witnessed at Carp is repeated only in a greater volume. As the train sped through there yesterday 19 teams were unloading their cereal binders.
A SUBSTANTIAL BRIDGE
Galetta is the next point of importance reached. Here the Mississippi is bridged by a magnificent steel truss bridge of the most modern pattern and of great strength. The iron superstructure rests on two massive stone abutments and an equally massive pair in midstream. The cutwater of the pier as well as all the masonry is built to resist not only the river currents and freshets but it looks strong enough to successfully resist even the hand of time itself.
AT THE TERMINUS
Arnprior, an ambitious town of 3,000 inhabitants, was rached a few minutes after ten o'clock. This bustling little hive is overjoyed at the building of the Parry Sound railway, for they expect, and not without good and sufficient reasons, that the new road will give a boom to everything. The Journal had a talk with many of the leading citizens and one and all expressed the great satisfaction they all felt at the enterprise of Mr. Booth in giving them an outlet, both convenient and - as compared to rates they have been compelled to pay - cheap. The chief industry of the town is the great saw mills of the McLaughlin Brothers who employ about 700 men and have an annual output of 83,000,000 feet of lumber. Arnprior is built on the banks of the Madawaska, has pretty wide streets, substantial buildings and some city-like business houses. Some two miles from the town are several mineral springs. Next week work on the new railway bridge spanning the Madawaska will be commenced. It will be an iron superstructure resting on stonework.
ALL OF THE BEST
As soon as weather permits ballasting trains will be put on the road, and the ballasting completed at the very earliest moment. The rails on the road are of Sheffield manufacture, weighing 72 pounds to the yard. They are the best rail in the market. When all the ties are laid there will be 3,000 to the mile, some 350 more to the mile than any railway in the Dominion. The idea of placing additional ties is to solidify the roadbed.
A MILE A MINUTE
As the road is today, coaches glide smoothly, but when additional
ties are placed, and the ballasting completed there will not be a jolt
and the road will be capable of bearing a speed of a mile a minute.
When the road is completed to the Sound, and Mr. Booth promises to push it forward with all despatch, it is destined to become a great excursion route, not only for citizens of Canada, but for the people of the eastern States who desire an outing in the wilderness convenient to their homes. The run between Boston and Parry Sound can be made in twenty-four hours and the Parry Sound country is a Paradise for hunting and fishing and this is not speaking of the country that lies between the Madawaska river and the Sound itself.
THE FIRST THROUGH FREIGHT
Freighting on the new road is very active. This morning the engine "Nellie Bly" with J. King at the lever, and J. Blythe as assistant took up ten cars of merchandise and four empty boxcars. The train was in charge of conductor A.O. Boyle with Messrs. Nicholson and Arris as brakesmen. This as the first through freight to Arnprior although for days past freight has been taken up to points nearer to Ottawa. Yesteday ten carloads of grain were taken down from Kinburn. Freight trains will run regularly but no passenger service will be established until the road is ballasted and inspected.
21 December 1895 - Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound
Inspection train along the Rideau Canal and formal opening of the temporary station at Maria Street
Under the headline "City looks it over" the Ottawa Journal described the first passenger train to run alongside the Rideau Canal on Saturday 21 December, 1895. Full service commenced the following Monday with Mr. J.R. Booth ringing the strting bell for the departure of the 8 o'clock Canada Atlantic train to Montreal.
The railway lines forming an entrance to the Central depot passed under civic imspection today. The temporary depot at the canal basin was also formally opened.
At the invitation of Mr. J.R. Booth the members of the civic finance committee, the mayor and other members of council went over the lines this morning. The party drove to the Canada Atlantic Railway in hacks, then boarded a special train which was waiting to convey them over the lines. The train consisted of a locomotive and two coaches, one of which was Mr. J.R. Booth's official car. The official car was well filled, the party consisting of Mayor Borthwick. Ald. Greene, chairman of the finance committee, Ald. Stewart, McGuire, Enright, Champagne, Grant, Cooke, Ford and Jamieson, city solicitor McTavish, Mr. J.R. Booth president of the O.A. & P.S. Ry., E.J. Chamberlain, general manager, A.W. Fleck, secretary-treasurer, M. Donaldson, A.J. Jeffrey, proprietor Arnprior Chronicle and a Journal representative. The train moved slowly over the line to give an opportunity to observe the work closely. The run into the temporary depot took a quarter of an hour. Arriving at the temporary depot a large number of citizens were waiting about the platforms. Among them were noted Mr. Claude McLachlan of Arnprior, vice-president of the O.A. & P.S. Ry., Fred Booth, president of the C.A. Ry., J.A. Seybold, ex-Ald. O'Leary, Oscar McDanell, Wm. J. Hurdman and Joe E. Duval, C.A.R. train despatcher.
On alighting from the train Mr. J.R. Booth handed Mayor Borthwick the key of the building and the temporary depot was formally opened by the mayor. The building was gone through and its completeness and convenience for the comforts of the public favorably commented upon.
Mayor Borthwich, in a brief speech, complimented Mr. Booth on his
enterprise. Mr. Booth, in his reply, stated he was pleased
to know that his humble efforts had been appreciated. The
citizens had given him valuable help in carrying out this enterprise
but Providence had also helped him for the favorable weather this fall
he would not have succeeded as well as he did.
Ald. Cook proposed three hearty cheers and a tiger for Mr. Booth and those present cheered so as to make the walls of the station ring.
Trial trip over the new electric road last evening.
Eight miles by electric railway skirting the west shore of the Ottawa and passing through verdant fields sweet with the smell of clover is a trip that Ottawans will have the pleasure of taking advantage of in a few days when the Hull Electric Railway company open their line from Hull to Aylmer.
Through the kindness of the officials of the road a number of prominent citizens and a representative of The Journal were invited to take the trial trip over the line yesterday evening.
The party consisted of W.J. Conroy, President; Chas. Magee, Vice President; Jas. Gibson, Secretary-treasurer; E. Seybold; T. Viau; A. Fraser; W.A. Clark and Fred Magee, Managing Directors of the line; Rev. J.M. Snowdon; Rev. Mr. Southam, curate of St. George's church; H.B. Spencer, Assistant Superintendent of the CPR; W.B. Scarth, Deputy Minister of Agriculture; H. Balson, Collector of Customs; Mr. Miall, Commissioner of Inland Revenue, and representatives of the city papers.
Leaving the Union depot on the CPR train at 5.05 the party reached Deschene Mills twenty minutes later and there left the train, for it was at this point that the trial run was to begin. Two of the new handsome electric cars which will be used on the line were in waiting to convey the party to the power house situated on the brink of the tossing rapids of Deschene.
The Power House
When the power is not required the regulator discharges itself. It is one of the most interesting devices known to electricity. After Mr. J.E. Brown, the electrician of the line, had conducted visitors through the building an adjournment was made to the cars to begin the trip from Deschene to Aylmer. Here a word may be said about the electric cars. They are both pretty and comfortable, strong and substantial, nearly double the length of the ordinary streetcar and capable of seating sixty persons, although as many as two hundred fares have been taken on cars of the same pattern.
On the road
Half an hour later the party were flying over the line homeward. Deschenes was reached in seven minutes and the CPR crossing at Hull in seventeen minutes from Aylmer. Here through the kindness of Mr. H.B. Spencer a train had been kept in waiting and the party was conveyed back to the city.
Cars are running
Electric Railway between Hull and Aylmer opened.
The electric railway between Hull and Aylmer was opened today and the seven mile stretch of rural lands between the two places echoes with the clanging bell of the swiftly rushing electric car.
The first regular passenger car over the line left Aylmer shortly after half past seven o'clock this morning. It had a trailer attached to it and about one hundred passengers on board, among them Mr. Conroy, President of the line; J.W. McRae, President Ottawa Electric Railway; H.D. Spencer, Assistant Superintendent, CPR; J.D. Fraser, secretary-treasurer of the Ottawa Electric Railway; B. Batson, Collector of Customs; Ed. Miall, commissioner of Inland Revenue; W.B. Scarth, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and R.H. Haycock.
The run was made in less than 25 minutes and the CPR station at Hull reached in time to make connections with the 8.30 train for Montreal. The cars for the present will run to Eddy's Corner.
The formal transfer
The company will in a few days issue a full timetable for distribution announcing the connection with all CPR passenger trains at Hull. The official opening of the line will take place in a few days and will be celebrated in grand style.
The St. Lawrence Park, which the Street Railway Company have purchased and laid out on Gillespie's Point, east of the town is a very pretty pleasure resort fitted up gaily with a large dancing pavilion, merry-go-round, boat houses, swings, etc. The electric cars will run to the water's edge in the park and a wharf for the accommodation of large river steamers is being constructed. The park was formally opened yesterday.
The Company have a large and well equipped power house on Water Street. Their plant is all of the latest design. the machinery being made in Peterborough and the cars In Deseronto, Ont. They will doubtless do good business in Cornwall.
19 May 1898 - Montreal and Ottawa Short Line Inspection Train
The Canadian Pacific Railway short line between Montreal and Ottawa was opened to the public on 5 September 1898. On May 19 there was an inspection trip over the line which included an Ottawa Journal reporter. The line was not opened until late summer because of the need to complete the Rideau River bridge, to finish the ballasting on the new line and to make arrangements with the Canada Atlantic Railway to use Central Depot. This is the description of the first trip over the line. It is a somewhat lengthy account but it gives some idea of the way in which people thought about the railways in those times.
First train over the Montreal Ottawa short line.
New Road inspected by the company’s officials yesterday.
Traffic to begin in July.
The line described.
The first train over the new CPR short line between Ottawa and
Montreal left the Union Depot yesterday at 1.10 p.m., with General
manager Thos. Tait and seven passengers on board. Mr. Tait was on
a tour of inspection.
The road will be opened for traffic in July, and then passenger trains running at a speed of between fifty and sixty miles an hour will be put on to cover the 111 miles between Ottawa and Montreal.
When the bridge at Hurdman's is completed trains will be able to run. The bridge will be finished within four weeks.
Mr. Tait was accompanied by Mr. C.W. Spencer, general superintendent of the eastern lines; Mr. H.B. Spencer, superintendent of the eastern division who will have the new line under his superintendency; Mr. R.W. Leonard, construction engineer; Mr. D. Mc Pherson, eastern division engineer; Mr. John Morrow, right of way agent for the M and O railway; Mr. T. Oullen, Mr. Tait's private secretary and a Journal representative.
The train was manned by conductor J.A. Hibbard, engineer J. Ryan, Fireman Jos. Gilchrist, brakesmen Robt. Dawson and J. Dupont and superintendent of construction, Mr. J,B. O'Brien all of Ottawa. Chef Wm. Dewfall, of the private car Earnscliffe attended to the refreshments.
Engine 385, an excellent speeder, first class coach 157 and Mr. Tait's private car "Earnscliffe" composed the train and it will be remembered as the first passenger train over the line that will be of great importance to Ottawa.
Leaving the Union Depot the Prescott line was followed to its junction with the old St. Lawrence and Ottawa railway. Passing over a short curve, hardly completed, the train was soon on the new line.
To examine the work
Crosses the C.A.R. branch.
Promise of Plantagenet
At Vankleek Hill
A lovely sight
Fast time to be made
29 July 1898 - First day of operation of the
Ottawa and New York Railway
About half of the excursionists stopped off at Embrun and attended the blessing of the railway by His Grace Archbishop Duhamel.
The Journal, in another report, gives an account of a possibly unique event for a railway in Ontario when it was blessed by an Archbishop at Embrun:
The unique ceremony of blessing a railway took place yesterday at Embrun for the first time in Ontario. The railway blessed was the Ottawa and New York line. The affair was carried out with great eclat by the people of Embrun.
About 200 people went to Embrun from Ottawa in the morning. Archibshop Duhamel, the members of the clergy and the invited guests occupied a special car. On the arrival of the train at Embrun at 10.00 a.m. the Ottawa people were met by a large crowd. Not only were the majority of the residents of Embrun present, but many people from neighbouring parishes. As soon as the stop was made, Archbishop Duhamel, arrayed in cope and mitre, spoke a few words in English and in French to explain the blessing he was to perform. He then blessed the railway by singing special prayers and sprinkling holy water. During the course of the ceremony many of the clergy were on hand, and Mr. C.B. Hibbard, president of the railway, attended in his official capacity. At the close of the official function the Archbishop called for three cheers for Mr. Hibbard, and they were given by all with a right good will. Cheers were also given for the archbishop and the Rev. Father Forget, parish priest of Embrun.
Ottawa to Britannia in an electric car in 25 minutes.
The track is laid all the way to the village but the trolley wire has only been strung to a point about half a mile this side - just where the tracks cross Richmond Road. It was to that point that the run was made, From the corner of Bank and Sparks Street to the stopping place the trip occupied 21 minutes. Mr. Hurcheson estimated it would take about four minutes to cover the other mile. Therefore the trip from the city to Britannia village could be put down at 25 minutes.
When the line is in operation it probably will not take as much as 25 minutes, because in the first place the big cars now being built for the service will be more speedy than the one used last Saturday, and in the second place the track will be ballasted which at present it is not.
Probably just at the present time, when shovelling coal into the furnace is the popular recreation, mention of the cool breezes the new line will make possible to sweltering humainty, may not appear quite timely. But the winter is bound to pass, and the hot spells will come again, and then - then the new road will cime in for practical discussion.
The new line.
Up to the point where the line crosses the Richmond Road, the run, for a distance of about three miles is through a very picturesque section. There are a number of long grades (and several sharp ones) that give the route a rolling appearance and add zest to the downward runs, for pleasure seeking humanity always likes a spice of danger with its bit of fun. A flying car on a down grade on a hot day is a thing of joy to most people - so long as they feel the cjance of accident are only 1 in 1,000.
As to Rails and Cars
A chance for capital.
Between Hintonburg and Britannia there are many lovely spots overlooking the Ottawa River. The land is high and dry and at many points there are clumps of woods. Beyind Westboro (Skeads Mills) there are many desirable spots.
Some time ago, a director of the electric railway, at a board meeting suggested that the company should invest in land and erect a number of cottages for renting. The idea was considered an excellent one, but it was decided to leave such matters to private capital and enterprise. Capital and enterprise therefore have the floor. It is lot likely the hint will go astray.
Special and local
27 January 1900 - Ottawa Electric Railway - first through trip to Britannia
This article appears in the Ottawa Car Company Scrapbook #3 on microfilm at the Ottawa City Archives. It is a clipping pasted in the scrapbook with "Journal 29th Jan. 1900" written in longhand above it. However, it may have appeared in another Ottawa newspaper as a search of the Journal and the Citizen for this date came up blank.
FIRST THROUGH TRIP
A Run Out to Britannia On An Electric Car Last Saturday
The first through car left the post office at 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon and made the trip to Britannia on the Bay, remained there long enough to be photographed and was back at the starting point by 4.20 o'clock.
Supt. J.E. Hutcheson was at the motor, while on board were Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Lynch, Messers Warren Y.Soper, H.B. Spencer, C.A. Douglas, Dr Klotz, N.C.Sparks, D.R. Street, D.D.Y.Hossack, Geo. French, Wm. Rowatt, J.D. Fraser, John Murphy, Dr. M.G. McElhinney, R.A. Bradley, J.P.Fisher, A.A. Dion, M.O'Donnell, Mills and Inspector Ingram.
The line will not be open for regular traffic until the spring, but it will be in thorough condition before the day of opening. Considerable increase in the population of Britannia is expected to follow the opening of the electric line to the village on Britannia Bay.
This item provided by Dave Knowles.
First Run to Aylmer.
The New Service Inaugurated Yesterday
A Merry party Taken from New Ottawa Terminus over Interprovincial Bridge
A jolly party went out to Aylmer yesterday evening as the guests of Mr. H.J. Beemer and his officials on the first car of the Hull Electric Company to carry a load of passengers over the Interprovincial Bridge. The car left Dufferin Bridge at 8.15 arriving at Queen's Park Aylmer about 9.06, the trip being made in 40 minutes; this time , however, will probably be reduced as there was no attempt at making a record. Those on board the car were: Mayor Morris, Messrs. H.J. Beemerm P.W. Resseman, general superintendent, Ottawa Northern and Western and Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railways; Guy C. Dunn, chief engineer; Thos. Heeney, paymaster; J. Hoolihan, superintendent of construction; Ald. Desjardins; Ald. Hopewell; Ald. Champagne; Ald. Hill; Ald. Hayley; Ald. Storey; Ald. Stroud; Ald. Ellis; Ald. Askwith; Ald. Jas. Davidson; Ald. Enright; W.R. Taylor, secretary-treasurer, Hull Electric Co.; J.M. Lvoie; D.K. Baille; E.A. Olver; Geo. Lizotte; G.F. McDonald; Ald. Grant; ex-Ald. Butler; A.E. Bradbury; E. Miles; Rev. J.F. Gorman; Geo. Funcan; ex-Ald. D'Arcy Scott; Francis Loyer; P. Drapeau; O.A. Boucher, St. John, Que. and representatives of the city press. The car was in charge of Motorman Geo. McConnell and Conductor Wm. Latimer.
After reaching the park a visit was made to the new club-house of the Victoria Yacht Club. This handsome structure was greatly admired. Boarding the car again, the party returned as far as Hotel Victoria where they all registered, headed by His Worship Mayor Morris.
The return trip was a merry one. Some one called on the mayor for a song, but His Worship could not be induced to sing. Someone in the back of the car shouted, "We'll have a duet by the Mayor and D'Arcy Scott," this seemed to catch the crowd and the uproar was deafening. An attempt was made to produce a song from several of the Aldermen but the efforts were in vain. The Rev. Mr. Gorman was finally induced to sing. He received a vigorous applause. Various choruses were heartily joined in by all, in which the sonorous voice of Ald. Champagne predominated. When the middle of the Inteprovincial bridge was reached the car was stopped, and Ald. Davidson announced that it would be a fitting occasion for a speech from Mr. Beemer, whose name had become famous in the erection of this great structure. It took some persuasion to get Mr. Beemer to his feet, but he finally got up and said, "Gentlemen, what do you want me to do; jump off the bridge? (laughter) Well, I'll make a speech. Give us more light on this bridge." The speech as brief, but as the city was so well represented, it seemed to be directly to the point.
Mayor Morris then spoke briefly. He said he was delighted to have had the honour to be a guest on this occasion. and extended his thanks to Mr. Beemer and his officials, and also to the Hull Electric Co. He commended them for their enterprise and said that they had done much towards the advancement of the city's interest. Ald. Champagne followed in a similar strain, and said he would heartily support any efforts mde by the city council towards having the bridge properly lighted, as it was undoubtedly a great boon to Ottawa and a credit to those who had erected it.
After three cheers for Mr. Beemer had been given, the National Anthem was sung, and the car proceeded on its way, arriving in the city about 11.15.
2 December 1901 - First trip between Waltham and Ottawa over the Interprovincial Bridge
The Ottawa Citizen of 3
December 1901 recorded the first run of the Pontiac and Pacific
Junction Railway into Ottawa. The company was run in close
collaboration with the Ottawa, Northern and Western Raylway which had
commenced running over the
Interprovincial Bridge into Ottawa on April 22 the same year. The
PPJ had built westwards from Aylmer but the Hull Electric acquired its
access to Hull and so the PPJ was forced to build its own line
alongside the electric lines. The Citizen account is the most
complete although the Journal mentions that "Souvenir badges were
issued to all on board the train this morning."
Through passenger and freight service was instituted on the Pontiac and Pacific Junction branch of the Ottawa, Northern and Western Railway yesterday. The first passenger train, which left Waltham at 6 o'clock, arrived at Central Station at 9.15. The distance, 82 miles, was covered in three hours and fifteen minutes, considered good running on a roadbed just completed in places. The train, which consisted of engine, baggage car and four coaches, was in charge of Joseph Murray, engineer, and S.R. Kenny, conductor. The train was well patronized. Amongst those on board were Hon. Geo. Bryson, Coulonge; S.A. Smith, David Gillies, J.T. Patterson, Campbell's Bay; H.S. Dowd, Quyon and Mr. Leggo, Shawville. A number of the railway officials boarded the train at Aylmer, having made the trip from Ottawa on the first through freight which left the city at 7 o'clock. In the party were Mr. Resseman, general superintendent; Guy C. Dunn, chief engineer, F.W, Martin, train despatcher; J.B. Brennan, roadmaster and Mr. Jordan, agent of the Hull Electric Company. In the bagage car were 26 deer shot in the Coulonge district by Montreal hunters. They were transshipped in Hull for that city. A passenger service is to be maintained daily except Sunday, the train leaving the Central depot at 5.30 p.m. No freight will be carried on this train. A freight train will leave Ottawa every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 7 o'clock, thus making three round trips a week.
A Trip to Queens Park on the Open Streetcar.
The first through passenger train to reach Cornwall from Montreal over the Glengarry and Stormont Railway arrived about 1.30 p.m. Saturday. On board were the following officials from the CPR.: Messrs. George Hodge, general superintendent; Wm Stitt, general passenger agent; A.C. Mackenzie, engineer, maintenance of way; L.M. Mactavish, traveling freight agent; J.R. Gilliland, Smiths Falls, district superintendent; O. Kirkland, roadmaster; M. Malloy, bridge and building master; T.B. Ballantyne, resident engineer; C.L. Hervey, A.A. Mellor and D.A. O'Meara, of the Glengarry Construction Company, builders of the road.
The party was met at the depot by His Worship mayor Stiles, members of Cornwall Town Council and prominent citizens. The officials expressed themselves as highly pleased with the road and depots from St. Polycarpe to Cornwall and particularly with the Cornwall Depot which they described as one of the best ever erected on a new road. A stop was made at each station on the way west and considering this fact the train made good time having left Montreal at 10 a.m.
Mr. Hodge the general superintendent stated that as soon as the frost was out of the ground the work of ballasting the road would be proceeded with and rushed to completion as well as other necessary works attended to, and he expected a through passenger service between Montreal and Cornwall would be inaugurated during the month of May.The visitors were taken for a drive through Cornwall being accompanied by Mayor Stiles visiting several industrial establishments. They were greatly impressed with the outlook locally.
|Regular service over the Glengarry and
Stormont Railway commenced on 24 May 1915. The Cornwall Standard of
Sunday May 30, 1915 covered the event.
The New CPR Line
New Service Inaugurated on Monday - the Time Table
The regular passenger service over the Glengarry & Stormont Railway, the new CPR branch line connecting Cornwall and Montreal and points East and West, was inaugurated on Monday morning last, when the first regular train left Cornwall for the Metropolis. Engine No. 2118, in charge of Engineer James Babcock, late of Smith's Falls, hauled a train of one baggage and four passenger coaches, in charge of conductor Wm. Hinton,
late of Smith's Falls. Quite a number of passengers took advantage of the new route on the first trip.
The staff of the new depot at Cornwall is as follows: - R. King, of London, Ont., agent; L.B. Smith, of Renfrew, operator and ticket agent;
R.L. Stevens, of Chesterville, freight clerk; W.A. Maxwell, of Smith's Falls, freight checker; Hugh Englehutt, of Smith's Falls, trucker.
For the present one passenger train will go each way daily, leaving Cornwall at 7 a.m., reaching Montreal at 9:30; and leaving Montreal at
5:30 and reaching Cornwall at 8 p.m.
The following is the time table covering all stations from Cornwall to Montreal and return:
Going East, read down; coming west, read up
On Monday afternoon the first way freight reached Cornwall at 1:15 p.m., and, after discharging some freight and re-loading, left about 5
p.m. for Montreal. The train was in charge of conductor Jos. Tobin and Engineer J. Smith.
(Many thanks to Chris Granger)
Last updated on September 2005.