First Trips, Early Excursions and Other Firsts in the Ottawa Area

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
1-3 September 1860The Bytown-Prescott Excursion Train in 1860, Broke in Half
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
7 October 1870A Disastrous Brockville and Ottawa Railway Excursion from Arnprior to Ottawa
4 December 1872 Canada Central Railway - Inaugural train between Sand Point and Renfrew
30 August 1875 Canada Central Railway - first sod ceremony at Pembroke
24 May 1876Account of a Journey over the North Shore line to Montreal (Caution date may be wrong)
30 November 1876Excursion over the Kingston and Pembroke Railway betwen Kingston and Sharbot Lake
9 December 1877 Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway - First excursion from Hull
25 September 1878Excursion over the Kingston and Pembroke Railway to Sharbot Lake
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
September 1884
A Trip over then New Ontario and Quebec Railway
12 September 1884
A Trip for the Press over the CPR extension above Mattawa to the end of steel
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
23 July 1887
First Annual Canada Atlantic Railway Employee's Excursion to Clarke's Island
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
September 1891
Canadian Pacific Makes a High Speed Run Carrying First Mail Shipment from Yokohama to New York
15 February 1892First Trip over the Gatineau Valley Railway
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
23 June 1900 Canada Atlantic Railway Employee's Picnic at Renfrew
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
5 December 1909First  Canadian Northern Train to Arrive into Ottawa, Hurdman
circa 1910
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
5 May 1929A Telegram is Sent from a Moving Train
27 April 1930Telephone Call Made to Britain from a CNR Train
18 November 1953First Train over the Walkley Line
1 July 1973First Run of Canadian Pacific 4-6-0  No. 1057 to Carleton Place
16 October 1977The Queen and Prince Phillip ride behind CPR 4-6-2 1201 from Ottawa to Wakefield


9 October 1851 - Bytown and Prescott Railway - Turning the First Sod

The building of the first railway created a great deal of interest in Bytown and the Bytown Packet of 11 October 1851 carries this account of the ceremony to turn to first sod.
On Thursday last, the 9th instant,was witnessed the very novel, and to the people of this section of Canada, most interesting ceremony of breaking ground on the line of the Bytown and Prescott Railroad.  The day was as beautiful as could be desired, and an immense concourse of people were congregated to witness the proceedings.  Between three and four o'clock in the afternoon the Procession, in the following order, formed in front of the Railroad office in Rideau Street, and from thence proceeded down Sussex Street to the place selected for the important operation:-
His Worship the mayor and Members of the Town Corporation.
Directors and Officers of the Railroad Company.
The Hon. Mr. Justice Burns and the President of the Railroad Company.
The Sheriff of the County and other Officials.
The Grand Jury.
Cadets of Temperance, in Regalia.
Sons of Temperance, in Regalia.
The President of the Company delivered an address, and then taking the spade proceeded to break ground, and tossed the first sod in first-rate style, amid the shouts and cheers af assembled thousands.
Justice Burns addressed the audience, congratulating them upon the prospect presented of so great and desirable an undertaking being carried forward.  Judge Armstrong being called upon, congratulated all present on the occasion of breaking ground, in commencing a work of so great importance; and in a short but very happy and humorous speech, referred to some of the advantages that would result from it.  G.B. Lyon, Esq. M.P., next spoke, complimenting the taxpayers, who had assented to their Municipality subscribing largely on behalf of the enterprise.  They were all shareholders indirectly, and were interested in its success.  Speaking in the open air, or on the subject of Railroads was not his field, and Railroads were not his politics.  He wished the undertaking success.
The President returned thanks to the Sons of Temperance, complimenting them in the highest terms; which was replied to on the part of the Sons and cadets by Mr. Hewitt.
The Sons presented a highly creditable appearance both as regards numbers and respectability - and we were particularly pleased with the interesting and fine dsplay made by the cadets.
Mr. Bell, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Friel being called upon, addressed the audience, and the proceedings closed.

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.

Bytown and Prescott Railway - 1854-5

This was the first railway in the Ottawa area.  A number of excursions were run before the line was opened throughout to Bytown.  The first was recorded in the Ottawa Citizen of 17 June 1854.

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.

9 August 1854 Excursion on the Bytown and Prescott Railway

This was reported in the Ottawa Citizen (weekly edition) on Saturday 12 August 1854.  It was in the form of a letter dated Bytown, August 10 and signed BULLFROG.

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.


16 August 1854 - Bytown and Prescott Railway Excursion between Kemptville and Prescott

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, and of the unequalled telegraph line now building, and which is nearly completed between Prescott and Ottawa, extending along the line of railway, by the Montreal, Prescott and Ottawa Company, we design hereafter to speak, as also of their purpose of putting down an English sub-marine cable between Prescott and Ogdensburgh,  It is, we understand, the intention 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

The Ottawa Citizen of  28 February 1931 tells about an excursion from Prescott to Ottawa in 1860
in which the train broke in two

The excursion was for the visit of the Prince of Wales on 1-3 September 1860
The Bytown-Prescott Excursion Train in 1860, Broke in Half

Front Half of Train from Ottawa Ran Six Miles Before the Loss of the Rear Half Was Discovered. Conductor Was in Front of Train and Did Not Know of Mishap. Passengers Came to See Prince of Wales.
When it was goven [sic] out that Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, was to visit Ottawa in the year 1860, the Bytown and Prescott Railway planned a big excursion for one cf the days. Cheap return rates were announced from all stations berween Prescott and Ottawa.
The day came and a very long train started from Prescott soon after daylight. It gathered passengers at every station. By the time the train reached Ottawa, people were standing in the aisles.
The excursionists were given a long day here, the return start being made somewhere about 10 p.m.

Train Split.

All went well till the train had reached a point about half way between Ottawa and Kemptville, when a coupling pin about the middle of the train worked Ioose and came out The rear part of the train soon came to a stop. The passengers in the front car looked out, but the front half of the train was not in sight. The word soon spread through the rear half of the train, and of course there was excitement. The excursionists began to get out of the cars.

Conductor In Front.

When the train broke in half the conductor had been in the front of the train, working on his tickets and consequently did not know that the train had broken.
As soon as he had finished with his tickets the conductor walked back through the train. When he opened the last door he was naturally surprised and at once rang for the train to stop.

In Search of Rear.

Then the train began to back up In search of the rear half. The front half had to go back six mile before it round the rear half.
This story is narrated by Mr. Lanty Johnston, whose uncle, Lancelot Johnston of Kemptville was a passenger on the train.

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") 

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 picnic 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.


14 September 1865 - Brockville and Ottawa Railway Excursion from Brockville to Arnprior

The Brockville and Ottawa Railway was opened from Brockville to Almonte on 17 February 1859.  The Press Association held its annual meeting in Brockville in September 1865 and travelled from Brockville to Ottawa via Arnprior and Chats Falls.
The Globe, Toronto Thursday September 14, 1865 provides the following account.  Further reports can be found in a number of local papers, including the Hamilton Spectator.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 until 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 holes as in the Victoria Bridge at Montreal to admit little streams of light, but black darkness renders it impossible for the passenger to see anything.  For the sake of variety, a few minutes of this sort of railway riding was very well, but I think few of the excursionists would have cared for 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 villages, the chief of which are Smiths Falls, Carleton Place and Almonte.  The latter place owes some of its prosperity to manufactures.  Flax mills are driven by water afforded by the Mississippi River (not the father of waters but a little river) -- Arnprior is distant from Brockville 69 miles, has for some little time been the terminus of the B&O Railway, but is about to lose that distinction, as the Company will, on Monday next open the road to Sandpoint, five miles or so much further up the Ottawa. When completed the road will terminate at Pembroke, a point some 50 miles further up the river.  Arnprior is finely situated on the south bank of the Ottawa, or more accurately perhaps, of Chat's Lake.  Mr. McLachlin, ex-MPP, an extensive lumber dealer, has a very nice residence there.

14 September 1865 - Union Forwarding and Railway

At Arnprior the party transferred to the vessels and horse railway of the Union Forwarding Company.  The Globe account continues.

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.

15 September 1870 - Canada Central Railway opening from Ottawa to Sand Point

The Canada Central Railway built between Ottawa (Chaudiere) and Carleton Place in 1870.  The opening run was reported in The Times, Ottawa on 16 September 1870.  This was a trip via Carleton Place through to Sand Point which section had already been opened by the Brockville and Ottawa Railway.

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 whose untiring energy and enterprise we owe the speedy completion of the road, Mr. H.A. Abbott.  This engine, as before stated was the one destined to propel the excursion train on the opening day.  She was profusely decorated with Union Jacks and Red, White and Blue flags interspersed with evergreens.
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

A few grunts and puffs and the good engine settles down to her work, and soon at a fast accelerating speed we are rattling down the grade out of Ottawa.  Past farm houses, the occupants of which, male and female, hurry to the door so soon as the sound of the approaching engine is heard, and with loud hurrahs and waving of handkerchiefs wish God speed to the Canada Central as our train rushes past.  Past little log cabins, whose inhabitants have done what they could to show their appreciation of the great event by hoisting miniature red and white flags, and who give us a hearty greeting as we pass; through green woods upon whose leaves the first tint of autumn is seen, and among the branches of which we now and then catch hasty glimpses of the Ottawa flowing calmly on.  Presently we reach the "burnt district" where black charred trunks and here and there smouldering ashes, afford evidence of the fiery ruin that has past over this part of the country.  The track, as many amongst us remark, instead of being rougher than that of other railways as might have been expected onsidering how recently it had been made, seems smoother than usual.  There is little perceptible oscillation, none of that 'bumping" up and down which sometimes renders railroad travelling so fatiguing, but we travel smoothly and steadily along and soon run past Bells Corners where traces of the late terrible fire are still more perceptible on both sides of the track.  In fact our course from this point to our first stopping place.
In almost entirely through burnt woods, although a little way back from the track, as our readers are aware, there lies a beautiful stretch of rich agricultural country.  Stittsville was reached at 10.25.  Thus we had accomplished our first fourteen miles in thirty four minutes, not by any means bad travelling over a new road, with eight heavily laden cars behind us.

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

And as our train halted we received a cordial welcome in the form of three rousing cheers from the crowd assembled on the platform.  Here the pasengers alighted; some strolled up to the terminus, a short distance off, which is close to the steamboat wharf; others went into the freight shed and spent some time in admiring
which were very profuse and at the same time in excellent taste.  At each end of the room was a cross table, while down the sides extended two long tables, and all of them were almost covered with a bountiful supply of eatables.  The walls of the building were decorated with evergreens and with streamers bearing various mottoes.  "God save the Queen" at each end of the room.  "Success to the railway enterprise," "Success and prosperity to the Canada Central Railway," "Brunel and Watt," "Rendal, Stephenson, Ross, Cubitt," "Dominion of Canada," "Brockville and Otatwa Railway," Northern Colonization Railway," "Ottawa Valley Railway," and many others. At each end of the room were the arms of England, Scotland and Ireland emblazoned on shields in proper colours and round the different parts were festoons of laurels etc.
was provided by Mr. Kavanagh, the well known caterer of Ottawa.  It is usual on such occasions, to say that "the entertainment was served in Mr. So and So's usual excellent style," but we feel that on this occasion we ought to say more than mere stereotyped words of compliment, for we certainly never saw a lunch of the kind gotten up under similar circumstances in such creditable style. Not only was there enough of everything, but what there was was of the very best kind and was well served up.
Releves - boned turkeys with apple jelly; game pate; hams; ornamented rounds of beef; smoked beef tongue.
Entrees - Chicken salad; partridges with jelly; oyster pates.
Roast joints - Roast beef, roast turkey, roast mutton, roast chicken, roast geese, roast veal.
Game - Partridges, wild duck, prairie chickens, plover.
Relishes - Olives, pickled oysters, pickled cucumbers.
Pastry - Jelly tarts, fancy cakes, wine jelly, blanc mange, charlotte russe, charlotte of apples.
Fruit - Isabella grapes, oranges, fameuse apples, almonds, raisins, figs etc. crackers mixed, celery.
While lunch was proceeding the Brockville Garrison Artillery previously referred to played the following

1. March "Distant Greeting" - Doran.
2. Lancers "Merrie Tunes"- Godfrey.
3. Comic fantasia "Echos of the night" - Riviere.
4. Valse "Milgrove" - Stanley.
5. Galop "Post Horn" - Leomig.
6 "God Save the Queen".
Chair was occupied by Abbott who proposed a toast to the Queen.
Many speeches - omitted
The train was by this time in waiting and soon the passengers were all on board and well satisfied with their day.  Everything had passed off most satisfactorily without a single contretemps.  At 3.42 the train started and arrived safely in Ottawa about six o'clock.  Thus ented the celebration of the opening of the Canada Central Railway.

The Almonte Gazette also reported this excursion on 17 September 1870

Inauguration of the opening of the Canada Central Railway.
Grand Excursion and Dejeuner.

On Thursday last an excursion for the purpose of celebrating the opening of the railway from Ottawa to Carleton Place, was taken over the entire length of the B. & O. R. and the C. C. R. Invitations to be present were given to a large number of the leading citizens of Ottawa and Brockville and others along the line of the road. A train left Brockville at 7:45 and Ottawa at 9:30, and making a connection at Carleton Place both trains were merged into one. The train arrived at Almonte at 11:45, and presented quite a gay and handsome appearance, the engine being tastefully decorated with a large number of brightly coloured flags, no less than six passenger cars being attached thereto and all filled with a most respectable looking company. Having been presented with a complimentary ticket, we gladly availed ourselves of the opportunity of joining the excursionist. On getting on board we found the cars so full that we had some difficulty in procuring a seat. The train remained at the station but a few minutes, and then started for Sand Point at a rattling pace; Pakenham and Arnprior were quickly passed and ere long the train reached the present terminus of the road - Sand Point. The village was dressed in its best for the occasion, any quantity of bunting being visible from almost every point.
was served in a large and commodious freight shed lately erected. Two rows of tables extended from one end of the building to the other; every seat seemed to be occupied and justice was done to a most substantial display of eatables, including fruit of almost every kind. A large number of flags and banners, interspersed with evergreens, were tastefully arranged throughout the building and numerous devices adorned the walls, conspicuous amongst which were the following: at the upper end appeared the well-known words, "God Save the Queen" surmounted with an immense Union Jack and underneath several lions couchant and rampant. The lower end of the room was likewise adorned with a large flag encircling the woods "Prince Arthur." On one side of the room, and arranged at short intervals, were the words "Success to Railway Enterprise," "Stephenson," "Ross," "Locke" "Prosperity to English Capitalists" "Bolebow and Vaughan," "Science," "Engineering," "Telegraphy," "Lumber," "Minerals," "Commerce," "Agriculture" "Trade," "Brunel, "Errington" "Watt," "Tilford." [sic] On the other side of the room, and arranged in excellent order, were the following words and devices: "Ottawa City," "Brockville," "Montreal," "Dominion of Canada," "Ontario," "Quebec," "Manitoba," "Success and Prosperity to the Canada Central Railway," "Brockville and Ottawa Railway," "Northern Colonization Railway," "Ottawa Valley Railway," &c.
 J. J. C. Abbott, Esq., M. P., occupied the chair, and on his right hand was Sir Francis Hincks and S. R. Graves, Esq., Member of the House of Commons for the city of Liverpool, England; on the left of the chairman were Hon. Alex. Morris, Mr. Powell, M. P., England, and Allen Gilmore, Esq.. At the further end of the room, the seats at the tables running across the room were occupied by Judge Armstrong, Mr. Rowan, R. W. Scott, Esq, M. P. P., and D. Galbraith, Esq., M. P. P.
After a continuous cannonade of small arms, in the shape of champagne corks, had been kept up for some time, the chairman rose and gave the first toast of the day "The Queen." The toast was most enthusiastically received after which the band of the B. & O. R., which was in attendance, played "God Save the Queen," The next toast was "The Prince of Wales" immediately followed by the "Gov General," both of which were heartily responded to. The chairman then said that it would only be rendering honor where honor was due when he proposed the toast of "Her Majesty's ministers."
Sir F. Hincks responded, saying that he took it for granted that the toast was meant for Her Majesty's Ministers of the Dominion of Canada. On behalf of his colleagues and himself, he felt gratified for the honour done them. He apologized for the absence of the Hon. Messrs. Cartier and Langevin. He was sure that they would rejoice with him when he said that the first Minister was recovering rapidly, and that he would soon be able to resume his duties in perfect health. During the illness of the premier the different members of the government felt deeply grateful to the members of the opposition party in the house for the deepest sympathy felt and expressed on that occasion, but, indeed, he felt that this feeling of sympathy extended to the whole Dominion of Canada, but now they would rejoice with him at the prospect of early return of the Premier to his accustomed labour. He cordially congratulated the chairman and the directors of the Canada Central Railway upon the auspicious opening, this day, also the great line which he hoped to live to see completed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. As a member of the government he had rendered the company every support which it was in his power to give, and he might say the same of his colleagues, and he trusted their efforts would be crowned with success. There were three roads of unity together, the Canada Central, the Northern Colonisation and the Brockville and Ottawa. As their time was limited he would not to detain them any longer on the present occation. He concluded by giving a toast "The Chairman and Directors of the Company." The hon gentleman resumed his seat amid loud applause.
The chairman responded to the toast. He regretted the absence of the President of the road, on account of illness; had he been present today he would have rejoiced to witness the success to this extent of his labour. He made a stirring appeal to those present to help by every means in their power the completion of this great undertaking, he showed the great advantages and fruits to be reaped by pushing on the work. They commanded a splendid geographical position, would they rest satisfied with what they had done or should they go on. The hon. gentleman made quite a lengthy speech on the conclusion of which he was heartily cheered by the large audience. The chairman then said that he was happy to announce that they had with them today two members of the British House of Commons. He would now call upon S. R. Graves Esq., member for Liverpool to address the meeting.
Mr. Graves on coming forward was heartily cheered. He said that it had been his privilege 25 years ago to visit this country. He contrasted the difference between then and now; at that time there was no railway in existence in the country, now they had over two thousand miles of railway; then they had no swift steamers to cross the ocean, to day they had a line unrivalled on the Atlantic; twenty five years ago Ottawa was but a village with a few thousand inhabitants, today he came to visit it a city with all the appearances of wealth and comfort. Twenty fiive years was but a small part in the life of a nation, but on looking back it was marvellous to see what had been done in that short period. Suppose we were to bring minds to look forward for twenty five years and then ask yourself the question what is this country destined to be? They had met this day to celebrate the opening of  part of a road which was to connect the great oceans of the west with the oceans of the east. It was their duty to go on with the work and not to be desponding, if they had a road in the United States, we possessed the same advantages. The presence there today of two Ministers of the crown was sufficient proof to him that the government were in favour of the line, and would be ready to do their duty when the time came. The hon. gentleman then referred to the rumour that England was about to sever the connection between the Dominion of Canada and herself. He denied this most energetically, and made some cutting remarks in reference to it which had the effect of raising the patriotism of the audience to a high-pitch of enthusiasm. He concluded by asking the pertinent question, what would England be without her colonies? He looked upon the Dominion of Canada as being one of the brightest gems in the crown of England.
Mr. Barup, President of the Morristown and Black River Railway, was then called forward to speak. He made a short address, complementing the Managers and Directors of the C. C. R. For the expeditious way in which they had furnished the road.
Col. Gray (P. E. I.) was the next speaker. He made a vigorous speech overflowing with true patriotism. He desired the member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves,) when he went back to England to tell the people there that the people of the Dominion of Canada were not dependant on England for their support; they were able and willing to pay their own way.
Several other speakers followed including Hon. Alex. Morris, Sheriff Powell, R. W. Scott, Esq., M.P., H. D. Smith, Esq., M. P., and a few others - and after a few more toasts the grand dejeuner was brought to a close. The word was given, all aboard for Ottawa, and the freight shed so handsomely filled up was left all alone in its glory.
Everything connected with the excursion and dejeuner went off in splendid style, and everyone present seem to be highly delighted with the arrangements. The dinner was all that could be desired and reflected credit on the caterer for the occasion, Mr. Cavanaugh, Queen's Restaurant, Ottawa.

This is the account from the Perth Courier of 23 September 1870


(By Our Own Reporter.)
Friday last was quite an important period in the history of the progress of the Ottawa Valley, for on that day was opened that part of the Canada Central Railway between Ottawa and Carleton Place, and soon, judging for from all appearances, to be continued from either end to Montreal and Pembroke. It was an occasion worthy to be observed handsomely, and the manager, H. H.Abbottt, Esq., proved himself fully equal to this somewhat onerous task. Everything went off like clockwork, and everyone enjoyed himself thoroughly, whether by the excursion, at the spread, or and listening to the speeches made by the array of talent congregated there. As we intimated before, the dejeuner was held at Sand Point, the present terminus of the B. & O. Railway, and though by this arrangement the guests from Brockville, Perth, and other stations on this end of the Canada Central, were deprived of the luxury and novelty all of riding over the virgin road, those from the Ottawa side, numbering at least three fourths of the entire number of executionists, enjoyed the trip the balance were deprived off. Those from the south joined the Ottawaites at the junction at Carleton Place, where they changed cars for the Canada Central train awaiting them there, and the act of union being accomplished, the whole were rushed off to Sand Point at the rate of about 45 miles per hour. The Canada Central cars are for looks, finish, and comfort, almost perfect, and approach to a par in these respects with the carriages on the New York Central and Great Western of Canada. It may be presumed, therefore that this excursion train of six of these handsome cars, drawn by a powerful and splendid locomotive decked in gay bunting, and loaded with its host of cabinet-ministers, M. P.'s and M. P. P.'s, government and county officials, city and town councillors, the leading businessmen of the Ottawa Valley, newspaper men &c, &c, cut considerable of a dash on it's swift way to the scene of inauguration. Sand Point was reached about one o'clock, and appeared in all the glories of waving flags and the new freight shed dressed up with evergreens. On arrival the company was almost immediately summoned into the freight-shed to partake of the refreshments provided, and in a very short space of time nearly 500 people were seated at the tables, which consisted of four in number, one each along the sides and across the ends of the building. The extent of the "spread" maybe arrived at when we mention that this freight shed is nearly 200 feet in length and of a proportionate width. The interior of the building was richly and handsomely decked off with flags and evergreens, interspersed with numerous appropriate mottoes and inscriptions brilliantly painted. Amongst the latter we noticed "God Save the Queen," "Success to Railway Enterprise," "Randall," "Stevenson," "Ross," "Locke," "Corbett," "Prosperity to English Capitalists," " Bolckow &  Vaughan," "Success and Prosperity to Canada Central, Brockville and Ottawa, and Northern Colonization Railroads," "The Dominion and each of her Province's," "Ottawa," "Montreal,"  &c., &c. The Excellent Brass belonging to the Brockville and Ottawa Railway Co. artillery was present and added its livening strains to the enjoyment of the day. The dejeuner was was furnished by Mr. Kavanagh, of the Victoria Restaurant, Ottawa, and was very creditably got up. At the table was seated among others, Sir Francis Hincks, Hon. J. C. Abbott, Hon. Alex. Morris, Mr. Graves, M. P., for Liverpool, England, Mr. Powell, M. P. for Malmesbury, England, Hon. Malcolm Cameron, D. Galbraith, M. P. P., A. Code, M. P. P., J. Poupore, M. P. P., Col. Gray, M. P., H. W. Scott, M. P., Messrs. Ault and Ross, M. P.'s, R. Lyons, M. P. P., H. H. Abbott, Esq,. W. R. Worsley, Esq, &c, &c,.
The Hon. J. J. C. Abbott occupied the chair, with Sir Francis Hincks and Mr. Graves, M. P. on his right; and Hon. A. Morris and Mr. Powell, M. P., on his left.
At the conclusion of the dinner, champagne was plentifully substituted for everything else eatable and drinkable, and the toasting, &c., commenced.
The chairman proposed "Her Majesty's Ministers."
Sir Francis Hincks responded, regretting that there was not more of his colleagues present on this auspicious occasion - particularly mentioning Sir G.E. Cartier and Hon. Mr. Langevin. As for the Premier, Sir John A. Mcdonald, it was his pleasure to inform the assemblage that he had left Prince Edward the day previous, and was expected to resume his duties in a short time. He referred to the satisfaction this event would cause throughout the Dominion; and paid a handsome tribute to Her Majesty's Opposition in their earnest and hearty sympathy for the Premier during his late dangerous illness. In referring to this successful and auspicious opening of the new road, he hoped it would soon in connection with the Northern Colonization Road and the Brockville and Ottawa be ere long extended to the Pacific ocean. As a cabinet minister, he had always given his utmost aid to promote public works, and this road was no exception. He begged to propose the health of the "Chairman and Board of Directors, and success to the Company."
The Chairman, Hon. J. J. C. Abbott, in absence of the manager, who was indisposed, replied. He thanked the assemblage and the last speaker for the kind sentiments, and the latter particularly for his efforts in Parliament to advantage the road. He looks forward to the day when the Canada Central and the Northern Colonization would be extended to the Pacific, and pointed to the fact that this was the shortest route to the Pacific. Here, fifty miles from Ottawa, at Sand Point, lay the key of the trade of the world. The teas of China and Japan and the products of the western world would find their depot here. Were they going to stop here? No; let them strike the foot of Lake Superior, and no legislation could prevent the road securing the trade of the far east and west. Then would the country between be opened up, and millions of acres of fertile land thrown open to the homeless emegrant [sic], while the railroad would offer employment to thousands. This same railroad was important in a military as well as a commercial sense, so while the Grand Trunk was so vulnerable that a half-dozen men might cross the St. Lawrence and destroy it so as to break the communication, this road was secure from such attacks. He advocated grants of land to the company, so they might offer emigrants a home along the line or [sic] road, and the country might be the more readily and wholly opened up and developed. They wished no timber, but could do a power of good with land. He  proposed the toast, "Our guests."
Mr. Graves, of Liverpool, England, rose to reply. It was his privilege to visit this country 25 years ago when the exports would not exceed $25.000,000; now they would fairly reach $100,000,000. Then the interior communication was very bad, having nothing better than common roads; now there were over 2000 miles of road in the country. Then we had to cross the ocean by means of American steamers and vessels; today no more magnificent line of steamers exist than the Canadian lines now crossing the Atlantic. Ottawa was then the Bytown of 4 or 5,000 inhabitants; today she is a fine city of 25,000 people. Forty-six years ago the first settler had camped on its site; today it was the capital of the Dominion, and was the centre of a well settled and fertile country, having fine farms and pleasant homesteads. And this road that had been opened today was but a link in the great chain that was to connect the two oceans. He advised no jealousy towards the American Pacific railway: we, too, had wealth, energy, and enterprise, and had lands fit for settlement to induce companies to make link after link of a great British Pacific Railway. Though he might not be here to witness this, his sons likely would. He ridiculed the idea of a separation between this and the mother country, saying that as long as we wished the British were willing to keep up the connection. He warmly acknowledged the patriotism of the Canadians, and the heartiness with which the health of the Queen had been drunk. The Hon. gentleman concluded his flowery and eloquent speech by quoting a fine couplet from Moore, and sat down amid thunderous applause.
At the request of the chairman, Mr. Barup, President of the Utica and Black River Railway Co., in the state of New York, came forward and made a few remarks. He expressed himself surprised at the progress of this part of the country. On 15th May last the first work on the Canada Central was done, and today an express train ran over the road at the rate of 40 miles an hour! He knew no instance of celerity and energy in the United States to equal this - even in the case of the Great Pacific Railway altho' it had the government at its back throughout. On his side, they were commencing a railroad from Morristown, opposite to Brockville, to the village of Philadelphia, N. Y., which, when completed, would give them the shortest route to New York city that could be built. He hoped the Canadians would not stop here, but with the good start they had made, extend the Canada Central clear through to Lake Superior. We had public lands and resources, but they would never be fully known or developed until railroads ran through them. He attributed the rapid growth and prosperity of the United States to the progress of her railroads, insisting that it was no sacrifice of the public lands to give them to railroad companies.
Several speakers, consisting of Colonel Grey, Sherriff Powell, R. W. Scott, M. P. P. Hon. Alex. Morris, H. H. Abbott, H. E. Smith, M. P. P., and Judge Armstrong followed - some proposing and others responding to toasts - after which the assemblage broke up and took the train homewards, having spent a most pleasant day.


30 September 1870 - A Disastrous Excursion on the Brockville and Ottawa Railway from Arnprior to Ottawa

From the Almonte Gazette 8 October 1870

Excursion to Ottawa.- on Friday last, an excursion to Ottawa, took place under the auspices of the M. A. Church of Arnprior, the object being to raise funds for the erection of a new church in that village. The train passed through Almonte at 10 a.m. and a large number of Almonte people turned out and joined the excursion. It had been understood that a sufficient number of covered cars would be provided for the occasion, but the excursionists were woefully disappointed in that respect, the majority of the cars being open lumber trucks. On the way down the passengers occupying these were well nigh blinded with smoke and dust, and complaints were loud and frequent at being treated in such a shameful manner. On arriving in Ottawa, the order of the day was "every man for himself" &c., the members of the committee (if there was such a thing) were invisible. A drizzling rain came on in the afternoon, and when the passengers returned to the station there was no remedy but to "rough it" home in the open lumber trucks. On the way back some managed to stow themselves into freight cars, while a large majority were exposed on the open trucks to a heavy rain which continued all the way home. The excursion was, to say the least, a most wretched affair, and certainly reflects discredit on the parties who got it up. It was rumoured on the train that the church committee had netted a snug little sum by the transaction. If such be the case they must be conscious that they did so in a most discreditable manner, as it was a clear case of raising money under false pretenses. The next time the M. A. Church of Arnprior, get up an excursion we venture to say that the proceeds occurring there from will be exceedingly small.

The Ottawa Times had a different viewpoint - this also in the Almonte Gazette of 8 October 1870
Believed to be the same excursion

Excursion. An entirely unexpected influx of visitors to Ottawa occurred yesterday. They came from Sand Point, Almonte, Carleton Place, and all stations between Ottawa and the first named place; the object of the excursion being to raise funds towards the building of a Methodist Church at Sand Point. Ottawa was scarcely aware that she was to be invaded by the very welcome people from that section of the country, until they marched into town from the Canada Central Station, and even then there were many queries exchanged as to who they were, and what their object was. The train on which they came arrived at about 1 o'clock. There were eight cars, four passenger cars and four wood cars, crowded full of lady and gentleman excursionist, the fair sex, we think being the majority. Every carriage and 'bus at the station was immediately besieged, but they could accommodate only a comparatively small number. The streetcars lost a rare opportunity of filling their money boxes. Had they had a half dozen of cars waiting at Pooley's Bridge they would all have got more passengers than they could carry. But the company was ignorant of the excursion. The ladies from Almonte and surrounding country are evidently, as they are everywhere, fair, fresh and beautiful, and the masculine companions hardly looking as the trees of the forest.-- Ottawa Times.

4 December 1872 - Inaugural train, Canada Central Railway between Sand Point and Renfrew

The Times, Ottawa for 5 December 1872 reported the inaugural train between Sand Point and Renfrew:
At half-past eight yesterday morning, a party of gentlemen, among whom were the Hon. Sir Francis Hincks, the Hon. Dr. Tupper, Hon. Mr. Mitchell, Sir Hugh Allan, the Hon. James Skead, Mr. Foster, His Worship the Mayor of Ottawa, Mr. Martineau, Mr. Alderman Bangs, Mr. Wm. Mckay, Mr. Edward McGillivray, Mr. H.V. Noel, Mr. John Ashworth, Mr. Daniel Galbraith M.P.P., Mr. B. Rosamond, Mr. Aumond, Mr. McMullen (Brockville), Mr. George Hewson and Mr. Mr. Thos Stagg of the same place, and Mr. Haggart M.P., and Mr. Code M.P.P. (Perth); the Warden of Renfrew, and others, left town by the Canada Central Railroad to be present at the inauguration, or rather opening of the road from Sand Point to the thriving and rapidly rising village of Renfrew, situated on the River Bonnechere, nine miles fom its confluence with the Ottawa.  At Renfrew, the Bonnechere falls rapidly about 100 feet, over a bed of white limestone, and the scene is most picturesque.  Renfrew is 58 miles distant from Ottawa, and, by rail, about 12  miles from Sand Point. The opening up of the Canada Central, while it will greatly benefit Ottawa, will be of still greater importance to Renfrew, and it is to be further hoped that the line will be still further extended to Pembroke before many months elapse.  The trains from Brockville and Ottawa amalgamated at Carleton Place, arriving at Renfrew about haf-past one, where luncheon was partaken in the Town Hall.  The President of the C.C.R., Hon. Mr. Abbott, was in the chair, Sir Francis Hincks and Hon. Mr. Mitchell being on his right, and Sir Hugh Allan, Hon. Dr. Tupper, Hon. Mr. Skead and Mr. Galbraith on his left.  Through some misapprehension and to the great regret of the chairman the leading men of Renfrew were not present.  The champagne flowed freely, and the speeches were most eloquent, as they invariably are on such occasions.
The lack of, or misplacing o,f an invitation to the Reeve and officers of Renfrew caused a stir at the time and The Times, Ottawa commented on 6 December 1872:
Yesterday it was stated in the Journal that umbrage had been taken by the Reeve of Renfrew on account of an invitation not having, as it appeared to him, been extended to the representatives and officers of the municipality.  Invitations were sent. Mr. Henry Abbott, Suerintendent of the Canada Central Railroad did send invitations, and, although these invitations did not reach the Reeve, the Secretary or any other officer of the Renfrew Corporation - if we may so style the members of the municipality - the intention was good.  It is true, and "pity 'tis 'tis true", the invitation failed to reach Renfrew in sufficient time to prevent the Reeve from being affronted; but immediately upon it becoming known to Mr. Abbott that the written invitations had not reached their destination he telegraphed from Carleton Place sending the invitation to be present at the luncheon. Upon arrival of the train too, Mr. Abbott went and especially apologized for the lapsus, but His Worship the Reeve was inexorable, and like Calypso, would not be comforted.  He would receive no apology, but would satisfy his indignation by withholding the light of his countenance from the entertainment.  This churlishness, for we can call it nothing else, is to be regretted.  However, if Mr.Reeve finds it impossible to accept an apology, it is impossible for us to supplement the impossible


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 Esq., Reeve of the town, Miss. Moffatt performing the ceremony of the christening of the road.
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 assurances 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 before the performing of the ceremony and during the remainder of the evening.

The Renfrew Mercury of  3 September reported

From the Pembroke Standard.
Our town council met last Saturday, at which telegrams were read from Hon. A.B. Foster, and our Reeve, Wm. Moffatt, Esq., who were in Renfrew stating that the first sod of the extension would be turned on Monday the 30th inst., and a Committee was appointed to make arrangements for that event.  In the Town Hall on Monday, the Committee met, when provision was made for celebrating the event, as also for providing liquids wherewith to entertain "the public who will gather there to celebrate the occasion."  At this meeting it was moved by Mr. William Murray, seconded by Mr. J.G. McCormack, that the Reeve, Mr. Wm. Moffatt Esq., be appointed to break the ground on the C.C. extension, and committees were appointed to see the necessary arrangements carried out.  Bills were also issued on Monday morning, proclaiming the day as a holiday, and several of the stores which had been opened at once got their shutters on again, and moved round town discussing the latest news on event of the day.
At five o'clock in the evening the point of attraction was the east side of the bridge, where the station of the railroad is expected to be located, and at Supple's Point a large covering had been erected to adjourn to after the ceremony.  The Brass Band reached the ground about five o'clock, and shortly afterwards was followed by the Reeve and other gentlemen, who proceeded to the spot marked out.  They were quickly followed by a crowd who made a ring around the chief actors.  Mr. Moffatt introduced Mr. R.C. Harris, engineer on the road who stated that he had been suddenly called upon by the Hon. Mr. A.B. foster to officiate in his absence, but at the present time it was not necessary to make a speech.  He thanked the people of Pembroke, and as representative of the C.C. Railroad, requested the Reeve to continue with the work to be done.
Mr. Moffatt then read a letter of apology from Hon. A.B. Foster for not being present on the occasion, stating that urgent business matters called him away.  Mr. Moffatt said it gave him extreme pleasure to work at the present moment, but before doing so he selected Mrs. E, Supple and Peter White, son, to assist, and then taking hold of the pick, proceeded as if he intended to finish the job.  Mrs. E. Supple then lifted some of the earth with a spade, followed by Mr. White, and the wheelbarrow was "huried" away by the Reeve and emptied.  On returning, Mr. Moffatt called over his oldest daughter, Miss Margaret Moffatt, to christen the road which she did, "according to ancient usage" by saturating the ground with the contents of a champagne bottle, which she broke over it.
The crowd then adjourned to the building which had been temporarily erected, the tables of which were very thickly dotted with champagne bottles ? a hogshead of beer also being  ? the round.  Here several toasts were drunk ? tempting beverage -  illegible.

Our own reporter furnishes us with the following summary of the conclusion of the proceedings:-
As the "crowd" at the temporary shed erected was "boss" of the situation, the Committee prudently thought prudent to delay furthering the proceedings until evening, than to meet at Murray's hall when, about eight o'clock quite an assemblage gathered and the programme, intended to have been gone through on the ground was fully carried out, with the addition of several volunteer toasts.  The Pembroke Brass band was also in attendance, and discoursed several pieces during the evening.  The programme, with the additions having been fully completed by about half past twelve, the assemblage dispersed, and all felt satisfied that if, in their way, they had contributed to the extension of the road to Pembroke, it surely must be completed before January next.
Pembroke is now satisfied, Our Own adds, she will be brought down on a level with other places by the first of January, and we have no reason to doubt that such will be the case, as they are a people hard to be got over.
P.S. - "Our Own" did not see the "stores moving around town," &c., as stated by the Pembroke Standard.

The Winchester Press of  17 September 1925 reported:

Figured in Historic Sod Turning
This antique looking wheelbarrow and spade do not appear capable of very hefty service now, but nearly half a century ago they carried the weight of a very important event - the ceremony marking the commencement of the Canada Central Railway through Pembroke, Onrtario. Following the ceremony, the spade with which the first sod was turned and the wheel-barrow into which it was shovelled in the presence of a very enthusiastic crowd, was presented to Miss M. P. Moffatt, the daughter of the Reeve of the village, the lady who performed the ceremony of the naming of the road and christening it with a bottle of champagne. They recently passed into the hands of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which company took over the Canada Central lines in 1881, and will be added to a museum of relics connected with the early days of the railroad which is being formed in Montreal.
So much for the actual ceremony. The Pembroke "Observer" for September 3rd 1875 says: "The assemby then adjourned to a spacious booth that had been specially erected for the occasion, where champagne and beer had been provided for the purpose of drinking several toasts which had been previously agreed upon, by the committee; but a number of individuals apparently more intent on drinking champagne than doing honor to any toasts, took possession of the tables, and the regular order of the program had to be abandoned. The Pembroke Brass band was present and performed some popular airs."



24 May 1876 - Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway

Excursion train from Hull to Montreal.

Note - the Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and 0ccidental Railway opened on 27 December 1877 so the date in this account is likely wrong
From the Ottawa Citizen 25 August 1934

Field Battery Had Evenful Journey To Montreal In 76
Stirring Scenes at Hull Station When They Chased Fireman and Engineer Off Locomotive. Major's Horse Took "French" Leave During Journey. On Return Trip Heavy Gun Rolled Off Flat Car Into Ditch. Farrier-Major Got Raking Over Coals For Forgetting Swordbelt

PERHAPS a few of the old timers who were attached to the Ottawa Field Battery in the seventies will recall an eventful trip to Montreal on the 24th of May, 1876. The following description of the trip is related by Mr. W. J. Powers, of 118 Pretoria avenue, who at that time was farrier-major in the unit:
"We were detailed to attend a military review in Montreal and when we arrived at the Hull station to board the North Shore train, we found there was no accommodation for us the train was filled with civilians. This aroused our anger and we chased the fireman and the engineer off the locomotive. Finally we were Informed that the railway  officials would  send a special car to meet us at Calumet

Major's Horse Detrained

"When we arrived at Calumet we discovered that Major Stewart's horse was missing from one of the box cars - had taken French leave and was somewhere back on the line. An orderly was sent back after the horse and arrived with him about the time the special car reached Calumet.
The remainder of the journey and the time spent in Montreal was uneventful, with the exception that I got a raking over the coals from the major and other officers for leaving my sword-belt in the train appearing on review without it.
"On the return trip we hadn't gone some fifteen miles when the train came to a sudden halt. We discovered that one of our guns had rolled off a flat car and found a resting place at the bottom of a gully. There followed a busy scene of pulling and tugging, but little headway was made.

Broken Wheel

"Finally Major Stewart instructed me to take charge of the operations. I got hold of a stout rope and by slow degrees we got that old gun up on the track. We discovered one of the wheels was brioken. The next problem was to get it back on the flat car. This difficulty was overcome by the use of a number of heavy timbers, procured from a nearby farm. It was a warm day and I am telling you that the men were pretty nearly all in by the time they had completed their task. For my share of the job I was not only thanked, but forgiven for forgetting my sword-belt.


29 November 1876 - First Excursion over the Kingston and Pemnroke Railway
between Kingston and Sharbot Lake

From the Kingston Daily British Whig 30 November 1876

Railway Celebration.
To Sharbot Lake - Dejeuner and Hospitality of the K. & P. R R. - But one opinion of the road.

Yesterday, at the invitation of the Board of Directors of the Kingston and Pembroke Railway, the representative gentlemen of the city and county, made a journey over the line to Sharbot Lake. At 9 a.m. they gathered at the city depot as happy a crowd as ever left the city, all bent zealously on the enjoyment which the prospects of a pleasant trip, a bright day and an interesting tour of investigation could afford. The first sod - by which the way was turned in a spot that to the road does not touch, through one of those changes, which railroads are heir to was honoured with a flourish of trumpets, banquetings and all the enthusiasm which new hopes and energies can inspire. Since then the enterprise has had such dark days, and its directors such harassing troubles and wearying labor, that a celebration was as foreign to the mood as family prayer to a Hottentot. But now for a season the road has been successfully run for 45 miles, and the construction gangs have pierced the rocky hills and wilderness twelve miles further on; besides which the last great difficulty has been buried with the surrender of the County Council to that stern logic of law and fact. Therefore it was quite fitting that the road should ask its best friends to accept its hospitality, and take a share in celebrating the first and greatest triumph of the project, and the fusion of all interested in a desire for its welfare. Besides the acknowledgement of municipal indebtedness thus made, the directors had a still more commendable object in view - a practical demonstration of the thoroughness of the construction, the scientific mastery over deep cuts, almost unfathomable swamps, towering hills and high grades, such as perhaps only two or three short lines in America can show. What they did so successfully let the speakers themselves say.
The party was official purely, because with only one small hotel existing yet at Sharbot Lake, to step beyond that limit would have brought discomfort and failure upon the entertainment from very lack of accommodation. So if offence has been taken by neglected ones, let them, as usual, abuse fate and let the Directors go free. As the train of two comfortable coaches moved off the official count by the Returning Board took place with the sub joined result. The City Solicitor would have been added to the list, but muscle and weight prevailed against the crowd which endeavoured to convey him aboard when business at home demanded his self denial of the pleasure. The little incident drew forth remarks upon the forethought of the party and practicing what do they undoubtedly would have to undergo upon their return. The city solicitor counted out, and several parishioners not heard from, the vote stood:
Mayor Britton, the County Warden, Mr. McRory, G. A. Kirkpatrick, M. P.
Ex-Mayors Ford, Livingstone, Creighton, Brennan, Robinson (M. P. P.,) Sullivan.
Ex-Wardens Godfrey, Mudie, Col. Cameron, Calvin, Graham (M. P. P.,) Shipley,(M. P.)
Aldermen Allen, Price, McKelvey, Noble, White, McCammon, McRonnie, Power, Gildersleeve, (Prest.of Road,) Carnofsky, Carson, Dupuis, Tandy, Thibido, Pence.
County Councillors Sexton, Ruttan, Genge, Flynn, Strachan, Anglin, Dawson, Craig, Tapping, Smith, Joyner, Vanluven, Dennison, Cox, Burke, Watkins; the County Clerk, Treasurer and Solicitor.
Mr. John Carruthers, Sheriff Ferguson, Inspector Barker, Messrs. Johnson and McFarland, of the Daily News, Messrs. Folger, Swift, E. Chown, Rev. Mr. Garratt, of Harrowsmith, and Mr. Upper, Superintendent.
As the train sped out of the city some benevolent gentleman distributed packages which looked like good little books, and which turned out to be so profusely Illustrated that groups of four sat and looked at them intently, only losing interest during the minutes occupied in examining striking landscapes outside of the car windows or stopping at stations. The members who occupied the platforms of the cars, in the interests to see "what kind  of a road it was, anyway," were struck at once on leaving the Grand Trunk branch with the change from jog-a-dy-jog and the jolting to smooth running rails and decided ease of travelling. This steadiness is due to a solid track, made so by perfect grading and the close laying of ties. The road for ten miles was pronounced all that could be wished for, and when the hill at Jackson's Mills had been scaled, and Hardwood Creek passed, the Alderman and County Councilors had began to see where their $450,000 of bonuses had gone to. Indeed the innocence of these gentlemen upon the condition and merits of the road was one of the striking incidents of the day. The senior Alderman of the council, who is habitually skeptical and generally suspicious when the senior Alderman is not immediately concerned, went out in the full expectation of seeing a track laid down in as rough a way as a waggon road through swamp, and the sight of fine bridges, heavy culverts, and substantial track was an "eye opener" more powerful than the "opticals" in the corner of the first car. A colleague of the disappointed Alderman refused last fall to take an excursion on the line for fear of bodily consequences, and entered the car this morning with fear and trembling, but now he has sufficient faith and courage to ride on a cow catcher all the way out if it was demanded.
The first stop was made at Harrowsmith, where the villagers had assembled to greet the excursionists, and where a deal of handshaking occurred. The village is pushing ahead in building enterprise, which railways drive ahead of them, but is not yet provided with a station. The $1,000 which the villagers were to have given for that purpose is not forthcoming -a clear case of duping, the railway man aver. Beyond this is a range of beautiful country for farming purposes, in the very centre of which stands the new Sigsworth station, built by Mr. Sigsworth and presented to the road. It is a very neat and substantial building, and stands as an exhibition of pioneer enterprise north ward.Mr. Sigsworth confidently hopes to draw a large trade to his station from Camden, to the richer portions of which he has an access that Harrowmith is deprived off, and which, especially in the absence of a station at that willage, will build up Sigsworth rapidly. The next stopage was made at Verona Bridge, where ex-Mayor Livingston made it quite interesting to the party by showing where he spent thousands in getting a solid bottom for the track across this part of his section of contract, and which he did not reach till he had ample experience of disastrous slides. Here the locomotive took refreshments, the first water so far reported on the trip! The Mines Junction, Cold Lake, (which was frozen over, true to its characteristic), and Fish Creek were passed with their rugged hills, which Ald. Allen declared were not created for nothing, and which might really have millions in them if you could only draw a longbow of imagination. At Parham came a very welcome passenger, Reeve Tapping, the jovial backwoodsman, who tells a yarn with the freedom of a sailor, and cracks a joke with all of the vim of an ex-London policeman, which he is. Elbow Lake, Draffins, and then came Sharbot Lake, the party being landed at Shibley's Hotel, which with Doran's Mill, a mile above, and the lake itself with its beauties has received an extended notice a week since in the WHIG.
Mr. Shipley and Col. Flower at once made the party very much at home but as it was a tour of inspection, they proceeded up the track to the mill, where they saw the new settlement, and hazarded the prediction that it, and not the site of the hotel below, would be the main village on the lake, being more accessible from all that and more favorable to locating. It also was seeing the determined assaults of the first section of Col. Flower's men upon the hard limestone hills, which yield only before the force of dualin. Beyond this in the density of the forest, six miles of track are now ready for the rails, and the force of 650 men is hard at work upon the solid granite intervening and skirting the lake, The rock work being reserved for the winter, so that the men shall not be idle nor the progress of the road impeded. A salute of dualin explosions was fired in honour of the visit, and it made a wreck of the lately majestic rocks. The tourists fully expected to meet a hungry scalping knife or grinning tomahawk at every step so far north, but only one Indian was seen during the day, a very silent specimen, trading at Doran's store, who resolutely refused to tell how the soft leather for the mits which he had sold was tanned and dried, as if his secret had to diplomatic importance.
Upon returning to the hotel, the dinner began with a spread which was for all the world like a Mayor's banquet at the British, so well did it look and so varied the bill of fare, which lacked in no particular the delicacies of a city table. It was even of 'champagne to the masthead.' Keen appetites made doubly appreciative guests. Mr Gildersleeve presided, with Messrs.. G. A. Kirkpatrick and John Carruthers, director of the road, and Mr. Price, it's solicitor as Vice-chairmen. On rising to propose the toast of "The Queen," Mr. Gildersleeve regretted the absence of Sir John MacDonald and Messrs.. Grange and Deroche, members, who were unable to attend.
The national anthem, sang lustily, was followed by the toasts of "The Prince of Wales and Royal Family" and "The Governor General," the latter drawing forth fresh praises such as no Governor before Lord Dufferin ever earned.
"The Parliament of Canada" was proposed with a tribute to the members of the district for their devotion to our interests generally. Mr. Kirkpatrick, member for Frontenac, replied cheerfully to a toast so well received. He would respond for the Commons, since there was only one place vacant in the Senate, and he did not aspire to it, resigning in favour of Mr. Shipley. [Laughter]. The toast was a fit one as the work of the members should be remembered be it good or bad. As the scraps of the smithy are welded together in one solid mass, so from the heat of the election contest came a Parliament guided by a constitution, which could lose nothing in comparison with one now struggling to elect a President, one who once inaugurated will rule as he pleases for four years, as unapproachable as Jupiter on Mount Olympus. Here when the people are dissatisfied they change their representatives and Government. A parliament representing the people so directly was worthy of its homage. He was pleased to take part in this fifty miles celebration of the road. He hoped next to be able to drink its prosperity in Pembroke.
Mr. Shipley had no aspirations for a senatorship. If it were left to his vote the whole body would be abolished as a useless thing. He was jubilant to-day to think that a dream so ephemeral years since as that of a railroad back through Frontenac was now accomplished, that we were actually approaching the magnificent Mississippi. He was a warm friend of the road, and had regretted the stumbling blocks placed in its way in regard to bonuses from the first. He was glad to see all of the contributing bodies together, and believed it to be a happy augury. He complimented the directorate on their success, he had experienced the trouble of opening down a macadamized road like the Kingston and Portland.
Mr. Gildersleeve now gave 'The Legislature of Ontario,' and said that the flact of their celebrating a 50 miles run on the K. & P. R R, was with evidence of the good of local houses. Without Ontario house, we would never have had this road. No general government could have undertaken such a system, nor give the impetus which Ontario is now receiving from her new roads. For the liberality experienced we were indebted to none so much as our local members, now about to respond.
Mr. Robinson accepted the toast on behalf of the Legislature as deserving of it. The proudest day he ever experienced was when the bill was introduced giving the $40,000 to this road - much more than we expected, but not inadequate to its merits. It was no fault of the Government that it was not all used ere this, but the fact was it had been a hard road to travel. That might be a possible reaction in Dominion policies some day, but none he hoped ever in those of Ontario. Its government had proved their public spirit and enterprise and particularly did we find so when upon a second application we again got above our expectations, $7,000 per mile for fifteen miles, without which the road might have stopped where they were sitting that today, and without which there would have been no spirit for this banquet, which filled a void created by pious and charitable mayors. Had we received the Government and municipal aid 20 years ago Kingston would now be able to count 40,000 of a population. For thirty years before its inception it had gone down steadily. Since it was begun to population has risen from 12,400 to 15,000, and the citizens were being paid back for their taxes they are levied upon for it, by saving $1 per cord in the cost of wood. His advice was: push on to Pembroke, and keep him in power (laughter), and he would try his luck in getting a third grant.
Mr. Graham, as a friend and worker for the road, felt earnestly that it was entitled to all it got from government. Not only to Pembroke should be the cry, but to Moose Factory, at the least.
Mr. Calvin, ex-County member, congratulated the directors upon the difficulties they had surmounted, and iterated his belief from the first in the road and its advantages, the latter of which he anticipated from experience. He had seen wheat selling in Niagara County at 25 cents, which rose to $1.25 upon the opening of the canal so that if an acre grew 20 bushels it was $20 made on it. We cannot picture or calculate the advantages of internal improvements. Kingston had been very liberal, if not uncommonly generous; but before the first car ran it was all paid back in buildings which will last. The best hope we now had, further, was that the directors were pledged and determined to go through with the line.
Mr. Gildersleeve toasted the city Corporation, as above others, zealously and heartily sustaining the road. They will, truly, too, bound up in its success, for no enterprise ever promised as much to it.
The Mayor, who made a rattling good speech in reply, represented the unity of the city council upon this matter, and its desire to see its fullest success.
Ald. Allen had thought the city's $300,000 sunk in mud, but he was that they surprised into an acquaintance with a road excelling the Grand Trunk. He hoped someday to see people of the upper Ottawa breakfasting at home, dining at Sharbot, shopping in Kingston and breakfasting in New York, and no other route could enable them to do that. (Cheers.) We are not losers, anyway if the road got no further, but it was their desire and interests to push on. He made an excellent play for such banquets as these, where the pure juice of the grape, God's chosen wine, might be taken with freedom, and one of the boons of this life enjoyed.
Ald. McKelvey felt the pleasure joining the city alderman in meeting their County brethren and the railroad men. He was convinced of the great good that could be done to Kingston and the acknowledged worth that had accomplished it. None knew the troubles of the road save President Gildersleeve, and though the citizens were once sorry they now felt the benefits of it and felt a pride and strength in it. He hoped the City and County Councils would ever trust to the arbitrament of good feeling.
Mr. Carruthers, in proposing the health of the Council of Frontenac, joined in the felicitations upon the meeting of the Directors with the City and County Councils. It was good evidence of a warm and friendly public spirit, and must be of service to the great municipalities. The city would undoubtedly reap great good and not less so the county. The road itself must in time full work to do, since timber would not always be so low, and there would be great demand for it. The success of the road was encouraging. The B. & O. R. R. was 20 years in operation before it reached Pembroke. Here we have got thus far within four years of the turning of the sod, were already counting the months when we shall be able to send a locomotive to Pembroke. Already the benefits were substantially felt - the supply of cordwood bringing the price from $6 -as it assuredly would have been - to $3 or $3.50. New homes would now be opened up for farmers' sons who now went west to settle, and he trusted that we should soon be in a position to call upon the champion money getter for $10,000 a mile from Mississippi to the Madawaska, and then to Douglas, which they had hope of reach within three years, giving running powers to Pembroke, and completing a link with the Ottawa (Cheers).
The Warden was pleased that the prospect and affairs of the railroad was so settled. He had voted and sustained the bonus because he knew it would bring an advantage to the county. He was glad to hear that it was helping the city, because that meant good to Frontenac.
Mr. Strachan felt that if anything would improve the county it was this road. There was great need of it, and if he had not put forth his energies for it it was because the front townships had been taxed more than their share to support it.
Mr. Watkins also replied for the county. He has opposed the bonus laterly, not because he was not heart and soul with the road but because he favoured the western route so long as it was not deemed too extravagant or impracticable. He only hoped they would suit their tariff alike to the poor man's ten bushels and the rich man's thousand bushels.
Mr. J. A. Kirkpatrick gave 'The ex-Mayors' the connection between the past and the present'. The turning of the first sod from years ago by Mayor Drennan, and the holding of the first enthusiastic railroad meeting by Mayor Livingstone, would be historical facts -flanked by memoirs of the best services of Mayors Ford, Creighton, Sullivan and Robinson. Since the cars had begun to roll assessments had increased and produce cheapened
Mr Drennan replied, and felt proud to think of the K. & P. R R. as the best road in Ontario, and hoped it would be pressed on. The municipalities had got more than the value of their bonuses. He could not forget the friendship of the late Mr. J. S. McDonald to the road, and he fondly hoped that the policy of liberality to railways which he had inaugurated would you get enable us to reach the Rocky Mountains.
Mr. Livingstone recalled the enthusiasm of the outstart of the railway fever, the energy and speed with which the bonuses had been passed in Renfrew, Frontenac and Kingston, amounted to half a million, and claimed for Mr. Gildersleeve much credit for results already accomplished.
Mr. Ford added his heartiest congratulations, and felt a pride in the result of their early labours on behalf of the project. The progress was very satisfactory, and he hoped that nothing would disappoint the Board's ardent hopes. He rejoiced to see the city and county felicitating together, for the city don't realize all the good. The county profits largely, if not most.
Mr. Creighton felt sure they did not expect a speech from one who for six years had been immured in an institution where speech was repressed by Act of Parliament, but he went on to say how his 50 years of interest in Kingston had found a fresh charm in the K. & P. Railway.
Dr. Sullivan responded in a vivacious spirit and took occasion to say that if he did not entertain the council and citizens promiscuously it was because his contests had been attended with political and religious feeling, and a limiting of invitations or a selection of adherents would have excited fresh distinctions that ought to be put down.
Mr. Price gave"The ex-Wardens," and accorded the highest praise to Mr. Godfrey for his assistance in getting the county bonus for the road. If he had time he would prove that within five years from the start the city and county would get their money back.
Mr. Godfrey in reply spoke of his labours for a large part of the year in aid of the bonus, and the endeavors he had put forth to bring the county to terms with the company.
Mr Mudy also replied, and expressed his friendship to the road.
Mr. Gildersleeve gave "The County of Lanark," associating with it Mr. Doran, an able representative.
Mr. Doran expressed deep thanks and cheered the company on. From his knowledge through work on deputations he could say that the trouble here was little compared with that of the B. &. O. Road. It was completed after the immense cost and 20 year's labour, but none now regretted the expenditure. He was glad to find that in Frontenac intelligence and enterprise prevailed, and the hatchet was buried and the money paid. The city and county interests are identical and inseparable, and both might consider the advantages of a branch to Perth, which would open trade and bring the inner country to a better market and port than Brookville. Perth was anxious to come in, and would liberally deal with the company. Kingston could hold its own and need not to be jealous of Perth.
Mayor Britton added to the compliments paid to the road by toasting its prosperity, acknowledging its intimate connection with the progress of Kingston and the debt due to its vigorous directorate.
Mr. Gildersleeve replied with thanks. The road had its trials, but the worst was over. Before August next we would have a complete line to the Mississippi. If he were to speak for hours he could not say anything better. That's the push in which they hope to reach Pembroke.
Dr. Sullivan remarked that they had on the Board Scotchmen and Americans who could doubt its success, especially as we had this dinner for a dividend. He hoped that the city and county had met in a good spirit that was not to be broken easily. No road could be built without contractors, and Col. Flower of this road deserve great credit, not only for his work but for the distinguished place he has held as Mayor three times of the flourishing city of Watertown, N. Y., and as Colonel at many bloody fields in the late war. He was proud to record that Col. Flower had lately been one of the first to sustain British law when required near that spot. Already in a few months his energy has carried the road six miles further, and the hundred guns that today reverberated in the echoes of Sharbot Lake with a sound which no Sovereign could expect to hear was a token of his success in his work.
Col. Flower responded with feeling, and quoted very appropriately and well from the Laila Bhook. As the cable links the two continents, so the same blood and race need never be separated. He was proud of his reception, though he came here for business; yet he does not expect to make a pot of money, but only a good salary, and he felt a great interest in the road. People did not know that there was as much promise of freight in the 15 miles to the Mississippi, as in the 45 miles to the city. It would pay far  better. Where the iron horse is there is business; it creates civilization, christianity and business.
Mr. Tandy, after an impressive speech on his practical testing and approval of the road, with 30 years of close experience to guide him, proposed the "The Press," to which Messrs. Pence and Johnson responded.
Mr. Drennen gave "The Ladies" gallantly and Mr. Charles Smith and Alderman Noble happily responded. The dinner came to a close with the National Anthem and cheers for the road.
The start home was made in the moonlight at half past 5 o'clock, and cheers were exchanged till Sharbot Lake hotel lay in the distance.
The 'run in' was made in two hours and a half, the trip out having taken less time. After a splendid moonlight ride, the good engine "Providence" in which the party trusted so strongly, landed the party safe and sound in the city and every man walked straight forth to find what the fire bell rang for, the stretchers which had been brought down to the station for general use being scorned.

9 December 1877 - Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway

First excursion train from Hull.

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."



25 September 1878 - Excursion over the Kingston and Pembroke Railway 
from Kingston to Sharbot Lake

From the Kingston Daily British Whig 26 September 1878

Excursion to Sharbot Lake

Yesterday about 40 gentlemen left the city for a complementary excursion to our beautiful northern lake on the early train, each determined to make the best of a glorious day, fine company, and twelve hours of relaxation from business. Among the crowd are noticed W. Ford, H. Cunningham, A.  Livingston, ex- Mayors; ex-Aldermen Smith, Law, Gibson, Carnovsky; Aldermen McRossie and Woods; William Robinson, M.P.P, J. Carruthers, Judge Price, H. Bawden, Captain King, W. Irving, J. Irving, C.F. Gildersleeve, J. Halligan, and others. The excursion was a slight mark of respect to J.L. Morrison Esquire the popular manager of the Street Railway who is about to remove to Toronto.

When the train got underway, the various tastes of the excursionists were exhibited in the little means they brought to pass away the time. Some had trolling lines, nearly all pipes or cigars, a few had pistols, pocket and otherwise, but it was popularly voted that each man on the average had a "euchre pack" and then availing themselves of the "Pullman tables" so handsomely contributed by the popular manager of the line, Mr. Folger, the majority of the party were deep in the mysteries of "pass" and "order up", etc., etc. A few held aloof and reclining of soft beds of merchandise discussed heavy problems of financial, municipal affairs and champagne cider.

It was foolish to lose time in the scenery by the way, your reporter was too deeply engaged to observe much of it but yet a word on the "atones" may not be amiss. If it to be true, as the poets says that there are "sermons in stones" what a fearfully religious people they ought to be along the line of our famous road.

Arrived at the Lake, host Ferrin was on the veranda, his face raised in a multitudinous smile, worthy of the occasion, and soon after visits were paid to the bar, the Lake, Doran’s mill and other objects of interest in the vicinity, while a goodly number patrolled the streets of the village and admired the beauty of the surrounding "rocks".  At 12:30 p.m. sharp, the dinner bell sounded, and soon after neat country waiter girls must have deamed the stories of the sickly stomachs of the city bred folk a delusion and a snare, for with all of their deftness and speed, they could hard to keep the supply up to the demand, and like many others in Canada lately were soon sighing for "Protection" against the rapacity of the visitors. In the end justice was done to all the good things provided, and the "flow of soul" began by W. Robinson, Esquire, proposing the "Queen, the Royal Family and the Governor General" all at once. Right nobly was the toast received and honoured by three times three and an "Irish tiger", a new thing out there. Then the vice- chair ably filled by Judge Price, gave in flowing terms the toast of the Guest of the day, J.L. Morrison, Esquire, eulogizing his urbanity, his zeal, ability and general bonhommie, and wound up by a peroration to which a phonetic reporter alone could do full justice. Mr. Morrison replied, thanked the Judge for his very flattering speech, thanked everybody, did not feel worthy, etc., and ended up by giving the audience that beautiful Irish song "Killarney" having in the course of his remarks instituted a comparison between Sharbott and the famous Irish Lake.

"Prosperity to Kingston" was then ably proposed by C.F. Gildersleeve and responded to by the ex- Mayors, ex- Alderman and Alderman enumerated above. In fact there was an ex-traordinary number of replies, and one would need the genius of a Globe reporter and supply of adjectives equal to that of a prominent Kingston man, before any attempt could be made to summarize the speeches given with all zest, honesty and goodwill. The "flow of soul" then stopped, and two hours more were pleasantly spent fishing, hunting and jumping. We did not hear of any large fish being hooked and lost. The fish seem to avoid the "luring bait," and the solitary sportsman shot two noble duck, large as geese, but, you know, they fell outside the ring and were "lost to thought, to memory dear."

At 4 p.m. the cheery cry, "all aboard", was heard and soon the "lightning express" was bearing southward, the wild echoes of the train mixed with the sad refrain of a backwoods fiddler, who had secured a seat, and who would persist in grinding out Flowers of Edinburgh, the Village Hornpipe and other heartrending tunes, notwithstanding the liberal largess of a King Street man, who periodically donated ten cents to have the music stopped, but which the  obtuse musician took as evidence of his skill, and faster flew his arm. The reason of all this was soon observed.  The old man passed round a battered hat and cunningly made it known that he needed a dollar. It was all secured but five cents, when he came to one gent, who merely looked at him. Somebody told the fiddler, "he is deaf, shout in his ear", but the device was too transparent and the lone harpist, by dumb show of pointing to the needful and then to the gent’s pocket, finally secured the covered five cents and departed happy.

On arriving home ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and ‘God Save the Queen’ were given; also cheers for Morrison, and an all round song, declaring ‘he was a jolly good fellow’, or something to that effect was sung very melodiously. One short gentleman who met the train at Parham, rising to the dignity of the occasion by standing upon his seat, and asking contradiction to the assertion of the ‘jolliness’ of J. L. Morrison. He got no takers, and so at 7:15 the day ended. Short and happy - but moralizing must be left for some other time.

The Montreal Gazette 26 September 1878 also reported this

A complimentary excursion was given today  over the Kingston and Pembroke Railway to Mr. J.L. Morrison, President of the Street railway Company who is about to remove to Toronto.

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.

The Scenery

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.

The Arrival

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.


6 August 1879 - Québec, Montreal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway

First train from Hull to Aylmer.

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.

The Arrival

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 Trip

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.

Torchlight Procession

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.

The Ball

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.


30 September 1882 - Canada Atlantic Railway

First excursion from Ottawa to Coteau and Valleyfield
The Ottawa Citizen, on 2 October, recorded this excursion.  The directors of the line made a special trip on 11 September and trains started running just after that time.

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


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.
Lists them


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 morning 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 on 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 National Anthem.
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, an impromptu meeting was organized and the hurricane deck was converted into a rostrum from which Dr. Hill, Mr. Clemow and several others delivered pithy speeches 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.


September 1884 - A Trip over the then new Ontario and Quebec Railway

Smiths Falls, Perth, Tweed, Toronto

From the Almonte Gazette 19 September 1884


A Trip Over The New Road, With Notes By The Way

The opening of a new line of railway forms an epoch in the history of a neighborhood. The supply of greater facilities for moving about to individuals, and the transport of every kind of commodity, must exercise and influence for good upon the locality through which the increased facilities operate. That a line which connects this district with Toronto upon the one hand and Montreal on the other - the two great cities of Quebec and Ontario - will benefit this part of Ontario goes without saying. The opening of the Ontario & Quebec Railway, the long delayed, is now au fait accompli. The directors of the line made no great splurge about the opening; they just went and did it. The building of the line has long been talked about, and, from the active opposition made to it, talk was the only result until the CPR got hold of it; then talk changed to action, and in a marvellously short space of time the line was pushed through, and continuous communication between Toronto and Montreal via Ottawa was established. The opening of the line for traffic was delayed a little while owing to a weak spot developing itself where before all had appeared solid and great trees had been growing; but the road is now firm, and trains run without danger. We prepare to take our readers

A Trip Over The New Road

Without troubling them to pack the valises or trunks, or even the purchase of a ticket. It is unnecessary to describe the road between Almonte and Carleton Place. Most of our readers have been over it, and, to use an ordinary expression, They know every inch of the ground. When, however, we reach Carleton Place we at once recognizd that great and important changes have taken place. The old station has been removed, and not a vestige remains. The line from Ottawa reaches Carleton Place just where it strikes the road leading to Beckwith, and just at this spot the line forks, one fork going in the direction of Brockville, the other away towards Pembroke, and just in the space between the fork a very commodious station, with all the necessary offices and an exceedingly well-appointed restaurant and large dining room, has been erected. In connection with the waiting rooms, which are comfortably fitted up, are two very convenient washrooms - a great boon to travelers who don't desire to carry about with them any unnecessary quantity of Mother Earth. Over the offices and waiting rooms are very comfortable sleeping apartments, for the use of the managers of the line at anytime when duty calls them to Carleton Place and makes it necessary for them to stay overnight. Scattered about the yard are the usual outbuildings of a station, including baggage rooms and store houses. We find our train on the South side of the station, heading towards the West; it is shorter now than when it arrived, as it has been divided into trains for the west and north, but still presents a very respectable appearance, having, besides the engine and tender, a baggage and postal car, two immigrant sleeping cars, three first class cars, and a Pullman. The

Very Comfortable Cars

on this line are the subject of general comment, and their finish in upholstery and painting as he makes his entry into them, and they certainly form a very refreshing contrast to the dingy cars we have been used to on the Grand Trunk; they are lofty, roomie and well lighted. But we must get on our journey. "All aboard!" says the conductor, and in a minute or two we have an irruption of portly gentlemen, who bear in every lineament of their countenances the announcement that they are members of the British Science Association, and as they enter the car you can tell they are true Britons, as they loudly proclaimed the excellence of the dinner they have risen from in the dining room. A premonitory whistle from the engine and we draw out of the station and away through the rich farms of Beckwith passing numerous farmhouses, in which solid comfort is to be found, even though the outward adornment is in some places conspicuous by its absence. We pass Franktown without stopping, this place being ministered by the local trains; and after a run of sixteen miles the new Smiths Falls station is reached. This is directed some distance out of the town, and is located at the point where the line which has hitherto been running south diverges and commences its eastward course. Here again the train is divided, a part of it being dispatched to Brockville, and the remainder, after a few moments detention, is a way toward Perth. About halfway between we stop at what the time bill tells us is Pike Falls, but the solitary boy to be seen there, in answer to an inquiry from one of the Englishman, says it is Port Elmsley, and appears rather nonplused when the rejoinder comes, "Why don't they call it so on the time bulletin then?" a conundrum we left him apparently trying to solve. Another six miles and Perth is reached, and the bustle is all around, coupled with the rows of car shops, seem to indicate that Perth has awakened at last. Another run of seven miles, through farms the appearance of which show that they have been sources of wealth to their owners, and we reached Bathurst. Along this section of the country may be seen the evidences of success in the comfortable looking farm houses and substantial outbuildings. But we must on to Maberly, which is eight miles distant, and to reach which we pass through a section similar to that already described, but as we reach Maberly it appears as though the land was better suited for grazing then tillage. A delightful run of ten miles through a tract of country as

Colourful and Kaleidoscopic

and in which farms, wild land, water and charming landscapes present themselves in succession, and then the very romantic Sharbot Lake Junction is reached, and here one of our English friends got out to take his fill of the beautiful scenery, and came very near getting more opportunity for studying it than he wished, as he was so lost in admiration that he did not hear the "All aboard!" and came very near being the Irishman's "man overboard left behind." A smart run, however, and a little grumbling put matters to rights. After bidding goodbye to Sharbot Lake the country becomes rocky and wild, with farms, "like angels’ visits, few and far between." Traversing nine miles of it brings us to Mountain Grove, where there is already the nucleus of a village. Between Mountain Grove and Arden, a stretch of five miles, with more or less of cultivation, we pass a very beautiful sheet of water, like a large basin in the midst of a green slope, called Clear Lake, and it appears to deserve its name. Arden Station is the outlet for quite a village situated to the north of the line, which has its town hall and numerous other substantial buildings, the site of which appeared to create in our English friends an unmistakable desire to know how the people got a living there. Between Arden and Kaladar, eleven miles, the road runs through a wild, rocky and swampy region, and the spot to which references has been made, which gave the contractors so much trouble, lies about a mile and a quarter to the east of the station. We failed to perceive why or for whose benefit a station had been located there, but we were told that about five or six miles from the line a rather large and prosperous settlement called Flintond existed. Nine miles more travel brings us to Sheffield, and the conclusion is rresistible that the name is

A Cruel Piece Of Irony,

for, with the exception of one log hut, not a sign of habitation or civilization is to be seen, and the traveler is left to solve the conundrum, why, in that region of cedar swamps, rocks, a station should have been set down, but so it is, and it is one of those things "no fella can understand, you know." In the next seven miles what a wonderful change fields without stumps, all the evidence of careful cultivation and comfortable farmhouses. Looking down through the luxuriant valleys, you get some splendid panoramic scenery, until the delightfully situated village of Tweed is reached, and on the occasion of our visit the whole juvenile portion of the population appeared to be on the platform. One of our English friends puts his head out of the window, and very soon elicits the information that the lake is named Stoco, and the river rejoices in the name of Moira; that the building in course of erection is a grain elevator (foreshadowing good things to come); that the youngsters all go to school, and that we passed the school house a little way up. Our inquiring friend’s investigations were cut short by the train moving away. The name of the next station reached, reached after another nine miles run, suggest that the man responsible for naming it must have been a reader of Sir Walter Scott's works, and "Ivanhoe" lovingly lingered in his memory. Nine miles more and the junction of the Central Ontario line is reached, and yet another nine miles brings us to Blairton. The twenty-seven miles between Tweed and Blairton takes us through a stretch of country then which none can appear more forsaken, and many are the expressions of thankfulness from the Britishers that they don't live in such a country. Yet there are changes that somewhat relieve the monotony. Rocks give way to cedar swamps; two or three lines of railway are crossed; White Lake just reveals itself, and the crow river makes a break in the dull scenery. From Blairton to Havelock, a run of four miles, the wonder is how in such stony land any vegetation finds a foothold. At Havelock a large yard is being laid out, and is already covered with tracks for the manipulation of through freight. Away again over another run of six miles, and Norwood, with another grain elevator, is reached. These elevators are substantial evidences of things not seen, but are powerful testimonies to the hopes cherished of the future of the neighborhood. Still onward, through some apparently good farming land, until we reach a branch of the Ouse River, when another section of stony land appears, but gradually improves until Indian River is reached after a spin of nine miles. Crossing the river the land again becomes stony for a short distance, but merges into a tract of fine farming country, over which a bountiful harvest waves, and which extends the nine miles before Peterboro is reached. The traveler cannot get much of a glimpse of the town, but, to judge by the surroundings of the station, there must be some beautiful scenery around it. Leaving the town behind us, we reached the Otonabee River, and here we get evidence of the

Triumph Of Art Over Nature

in a bridge which has four spans, two of one hundred feet in length and two of one hundred and twenty. And now commences a run of seventy four miles before Toronto is reached, during which the traveler is treated to a rich and varied succession of landscapes that cannot be beaten in this beautiful landscapes. The first village of any size is Cavanville, nine miles from Peterboro, and which is apparently an enterprising village, recognizing its opportunity, and determined to make the most of it; hence quite a number of new houses are going up, and there is all the appearance of a town in embryo. Manvers is as yet only a flag station, but, being provided with a tank, our driver found it convenient to give his iron steed a drink here, at the end of another nine miles from Cavanville. The next station, eight miles away, was evidently named by someone who has been in Wales and had a kindness for Pontypool; but we notice the painter has made it Poutepool. Before we reach it we pass through some good farming land, with here and there a few pine trees or hardwood bush. The erection of a large elevator at this spot proves the capabilities of the country, and at the same time the existence of someone anxious to seize time by the forelock. On again for four miles through extensive clearings, woodland, and then into another region of plenty, and we reach Burketon, and learned that we have just crossed the highest point of land on the line, some eight hundred feet over Lake Ontario. Before we reached the station with the floral name of Myrtle we passed through a section of country that for

Rich And Variegated Scenery

is only beaten by Auld Scotia itself. For some distance we run through a tract of country which seems to invite attention to natures vagaries; the land is unimproved, and appears incapable of improvement, and yet on each side of it, as far as the eye can reach, are to be seen farms, upon the surface of which are waving crops that cannot but fill the husbandman's heart with joy and his barns with plenty. The land is in some places rolling, and in others beautiful glens (that would make a Scotchman think himself in Scotland) are seen. At some point about here we pass under the Oshawa and Port Perry road, and, after a delightful run of nine miles, we draw up at Myrtle, having had occasional glimpses of Lake Ontario by the way. Just the moment for breathing and away we go again, through the same rich farming country, dotted with here and there a bush for home consumption. Passing over the Whitby and Port Perry railroad, and sweeping along another nine miles, we reach the station at the thriving village of Claremont, which is in the heart of a garden, and in which may be found some of the best farms and the most intelligent farmers of that section of the province. The commodius cattle sheds now in course of erection show the nature of the shipments expected at that point, and the returns already prove that it is no building upon sand, but upon a solid foundation. Still another eight miles brings us to Green River, where the past and present appear to mingle, some of the land but roughly cleared, while adjoining pictures show the highest state of cultivation. All along the evidences of successful toil are seen in the pulling down of the original log huts and the erection in their stead of comfortable looking farm houses with many of which there are creditable attempts at declaration, proving the existence of taste in the owners. From Green River to Agincourt, a run of eight miles, it is a succession of farms that cannot fail to delight the eyes of the agricultural list, and when the village with the historic name of Agincourt has been passed there commences a series of scenes that must be seen to be appreciated. The grandeur of the view this moment is eclipsed by the next one, and that's over fillings, through cuttings, crossing viaducts, over deep glens (of which there are four between Agincourt and Toronto) on steel trestles, and you reach Toronto North, where a large station is being erected to meet the incoming traffic. Here you can leave the trip, and after a short walk, take the streetcars down Yonge Street; or you can remain in the train, run out, as far as West Toronto on the Credit Valley line, and then into the Union Station, passing in your route the extensive works of the Gutta Percha Manufacturing Co, the Toronto Stove Manufacturing Co, and the large agricultural works at Parkdale, getting fine views of the lake, with its shipping an elevators, and passing close to the Mercer Reformatory, Magdalen Asylum, Lunatic Asylum, and Central Prison, and bringing to a termination a trip which cannot fail, from its varied scenery, comfortable care, and obliging officials, to afford pleasure to its patrons. We must not forget a novelty on these trains-that of being supplied in your seats with tea, coffee, milk, ginger ale, and various kinds of eatables - which is certainly a very great convenience to many who would prefer going hungry to walking the whole length of a long train to a dining car. Having taken our readers through the trip, we recommend them to try it for themselves, and we feel satisfied they will join us in saying it is a very pleasant journey.

12 September 1884 - A Trip for the Press over the Canadian Pacific extension above Mattawa to the End of Steel

From the Almonte Gazette 3 October 1884


From Almonte To The "End Of The Iron" on the CPR - An Exceedingly Pleasant Trip.

A special car having been placed at their disposal, and Friday, the 12th September, set apart as the day on which the members of the O.V.P.A. should start on their trip to the end of the CPR, the party from the south arrived by the 1:40 pm train, representatives from Perth and Smiths Falls being on board, and were joined by the Almonte contingent. At Arnprior, Renfrew, Cobden and Pembroke additions were made, and a glance around the car after leaving Pembroke showed the party to be composed as follows: J.M. Walker, Courier, and A.J. Matheson, Expositor, Perth, J. Sheargreen, S. Falls Independent, J.A. Macdonald, Chronicle, President of the association, and Mr Geo. E. Neilson, one of the pioneers of the press of Lanark County, Arnprior, Mr. A. Smallfeld, Mercury, Renfrew, Dr. Channonhouse, Enterprise, Eganville, J. Cowan, Equity, Bryson, J. Miller and P. Naismith, Observer, and J. Millar, Standard, Pembroke, W.W. Pittard, Times, and Jas. McLeod, Gazette, Almonte, and ladies from Arnprior, Renfrew and Pembroke.

On boarding the train at Almonte we had the pleasure of forming the acquaintance of Mr. B W. Coyne, superintendent of the division extending from Carleton Place to North Bay, who, with Mrs. Coyne, accompanied the excursionist as far as Mattawa, and by their general and pleasant intercourse added very much to the pleasure of the trip. According to the original program it was the intention of the party to camp out for a day or two in the vicinity of Sudbury, and a plentiful supply of provisions and other camping necessaries provided by the President of the association, were taken on board at Arnprior, but as more suitable arrangements were suggested as the excursion advanced the camping part of the program was omitted.

As the space at our command is limited, we can but briefly glance at the places passed on the first part of our journey. Pakenham and Arnprior are sufficiently well known not to  require anything more than a passing mention. Shortly after leaving the latter place the beautiful Chats Lake is seen, along the shore of which the road skirts until Braeside and Sand Point have been left behind, and we have entered upon a fifteen mile run through a rough and rocky country to Renfrew. Here Mr and Mrs Smallfield joined the party, and we were away again, over a stretch of the finest farming country scene during our entire trip, being principally reclaimed brulé and extending for miles away to the west. Judging from the appearance of the country around Cobden and for some miles before arriving there a grain elevator with a capacity of 30,000 bushels at that point seems out of place, but on inquiry it is learned that a very extensive grain trade is done by Cameron & Co of Beachburg, the supply being drawn from Bromley, Westmeath, Ross and Stafford township's, which are composed principally of first class farming land. So complete are the working arrangements of the elevator that a car can be loaded with grain in six minutes. Muskrat and Mud Lakes, small sheets of water, are passed, on the latter of which are situated the sawmills of McLaren & Shaw, and almost before we are aware of it the flourishing town of Pembroke is reached. The last additions to our party are here made, and, with everything comfortably arranged, we enter upon what was to the majority of the party an unknown land. For miles after leaving Pembroke the road runs through what are known as Pettawawa Plains, a vast expanse of level, sandy ground, worthless for farming purposes, but covered with immense tracts of blueberry bushes, the produce from which may yet prove a bonanza to some enterprising genius. At Pettawawa a new station and double section house a very neat designs were in the course of erection, the former to replace one burnt down a short time ago.On arriving at Chalk River, after a half hour’s run from Pettawawa, the wants of the inner man were attended to at a restaurant nearby where everything seems to be done on the fly, even to flavoring the lactal fluid with it, which last was too much for the punster of the party, and caused him to remark "he was out on a fly." Chalk River, twenty-one miles from Pembroke, is the end of a running division of the road, and here a change of engines and train hands is made, and, as nearly an hour was so spent ample time was allowed to inspect the place. A section of a roundhouse with accommodation for twelve engines has been erected here, and extensive coal sheds capable of holding immense quantities of fuel. A large and comfortable boarding house, and a number of cottages for workman have also been built, and are occupied by employees of the road. A large amount of railway business is done here, and the network of sidings laid at times scarcely furnish sufficient track room for the proper handling of the freight trains which arrive, as many as from 125 to 150 cars frequently being in the yard at once. At 6:30 o'clock we again were underway, and Western, Bass Lake and Moor Lake were passed in quick succession, and Mackay’s reached. Night having spread its pall over the earth, nothing more could be seen of the country and the return trip, which was made in daylight, only disclosed a continuation of the same rough and rocky land, as had been passed over, dotted here and there with small lakes, which found an outlet into the Ottawa River, along the south shore of which the road runs until Mattawa is reached. About forty miles above Chalk River we crossed over Bissett’s Creek on trestle work over one hundred feet high. A great deal of trouble was experienced at this point in constructing the road, and now filling it in to make a solid embankment is proving a difficult task. Shortly after eleven o';clock Mattawa was announced, where the first night was to be spent, and, with Mr B.W. Coyne as cicerone, the party adjourned to Mr Bellefeuille's hotel, a short distance from the station. Here supper had been prepared, and the way the eatables disappeared would certainly have filled with dismay any less generous-hearted or courteous hostess than ours on this occasion proved to be. After a night of refreshing rest, the members of the party where early astir bent on seeing all that was to be seen. Mattawa is situated on the Mattawa River at its junction with the Ottawa, and nestles at the foot of the high in rocky Laurentian range of mountains, which to the north of the village reach an altitude of several hundred feet. A most striking peculiarity of the locality is the countless number of boulders of all sizes, from a pebble to enormous masses of stone many tons in weight, and so thickly is the ground strewn with them that a patch four feet square without a stone is scarcely to be found and a garden is a rarity. The village proper, which has a population of about 1,000, is situated half a mile from the station, a sidewalk being laid between and contains a number of stores, hotels and other business places, all of which seemed to do a thriving trade. The churches, cemeteries, and other points of interest were visited in the forenoon, and a tour made through the railway buildings. Here are located the offices of Mr. B.W. Coyne, and also train dispatchers and doctors offices, the latter being occupied by Dr. McMurchie, the company's physician, besides numerous other necessary apartments, all of which go to make up a first class railway station. In the afternoon boats were procured by Mr Maurice Farrell, to whom the party are indebted for numerous courtesies, and a trip made to Bronson’s Creek about three miles up the Ottawa River. In the evening after supper and adjournment was made to the station and arrangements completed for the continuation of the journey, and at eleven o'clock we bade adieu to Mattawa, bearing away with us kindly recollections of our visit there.

(To be continued)

From the Almonte Gazette 10 October 1884

Press excursion

Arrival At Pagamasing, The End of the Journey - Home Again.
Shortly after passing High Falls Windy Lake is seen, a beautiful sheet of water of considerable extent, being about fourteen miles long and in some places attaining quite a width. A peculiarity of this lake, and from which it takes its name, is that though the air may be so calm that not a leaf is stirring on the trees the surface of the water is always ruffled as if by a wind. A few miles further on we pass Crab Lake, and thirty-six miles above Sudbury at


where dinner is prepared, and during which time an inspection of our surroundings is made. Here is the dividing line between the eastern and western divisions of the CPR, and the company intend erecting a roundhouse, workshops, etc, and laying twelve tracks, and otherwise fitting this for one of the principal stations on the line. The location is an excellent one for the purpose, the ground being very level and of considerable extent, and though now composed of only a few tents and a telegraph office, the latter located in a boxcar, the probabilities are that before very long Archer will become a busy thriving little town. From Sudbury the grades are all ascending, the heaviest being about 65 feet to the mile, but here the height of land is reached, and we find ourselves 1325 feet above the level of the sea and 800 feet above Lake Huron. A quarter of a mile to the north of Archer is the first of a chain of small lakes extending for some distance into the Nipegon region, and finding an outlet into Lake Nipegon. These lakes are said to abound with fish, and a good supply of small game may also be found in the vicinity. No tank houses are yet erected west of Sudbury, and the locomotives are supplied with water drawn from lakes, rivers, springs, drains, or other accessible places by means of siphons. At Archer we saw one of these at work, and the engineer kindly explained the "innardness" of it to us. The siphon is an iron pipe of this shape J and when in use the longest end is placed in the water from which the supply is to be drawn, the other end being immediately over the hole in the tender for receiving the water. A rubber hose is then attached to the siphon a few feet from the lower end, and also to the boiler of the engine, and a jet of steam is allowed to push through it into and up the siphon. A vacuum is created in the pipe between the point at which the steam is admitted and where the pipe enters the water and the latter is drawn up by the suction, and then forced by the steam through the pipe. In this manner a continuous stream of 2½ or 3 inches can be kept up, filling the tender in from fifteen to twenty minutes. After an hour's delay we again proceeded on our way, and were soon gazing with delight on the beauties of Geneva Lake, a magnificent sheet of water thickly studded with islands and said to afford capital sport to lovers of the piscatorial art. The track crosses several little bays running inland from the lake, the last one of which has proved a troublesome sinkhole. It has been filled with immense logs and timbers to a depth of 30 or 35 feet, and is still sinking a little. The trouble is said to be caused by the vast amount of loose earthy matter which has for years been washing down the side of a high mountain which rises abruptly from the shore and depositing in the bottom of the lake. After crossing a number of trestles, one of which is about 100 feet high and 600 long, Bannerman Lake is passed, and we come to Straight Lake, which is vested with more than a passing interest. This lake lies in a valley entirely shut in by immense walls of stone, and the only apparent way to secure passage was by tunneling through these mountains. This would have proved a gigantic and expensive undertaking owing to the hard and flinty nature of the rock, and the engineers cast about for other means of accomplishing the task, and finally decided on the novel experiment of lowering the water in the lake. To do this a canal 12 feet deep, 400 yards long, and of sufficient width to carry off the largest quantity of surface water ever likely to accumnidate, was dug from the lake to Ridout Valley, a deep ravine running in a northerly direction. Ten feet of water was drained off, and a capital roadbed has thus been secured. A short distance further on the gorge of the Spanish River is entered, and here the eye is greeted by one of the grandest sites it is possible to imagine, as with each revolution of the wheels of the ponderous engine behind which we glide along new scenes of beauty and grandeur are opened to view, until the gazer is lost in wonder and admiration as he feasts his eyes on the grand, magnificent enchanting panoramic views which follow each other in such rapid succession and he feels amply repaid for the long journey made to reach this spot. The scenery is of a wild and mountainous character, and on every hand can be seen the vast masses of rock rearing their timber-clad summits heavenward hundreds of feet, or their rugged sides sloping down into beautiful valleys. As we pass along our attention is directed to Elephant
Rock, an abrupt projection of rock representing an elephant’s head, and a short distance further on is Coloured Rock, a perpendicular wall of solid rock in various colours, and by some of the party to equal the famous palisades on the Hudson River. In a few minutes we sweep past Ridout Mountain and catch sight of Walker’s Peak, and on the south side a view is had of Matheson’s Perch, the two latter rising to a height of about 300 feet. Nearing Pagamasing are two mountains attaining an altitude of about 800 feet, and these the pressmen named Mount Hibbard and Abbott’s Crest in honor of Mr. G.W. Hubbard, Passenger Agent on the CPR, and Mr. H. Abbott, Superintendent of Construction. A half mile more and we arrive at Pagamasing, "the end of the journey," and which is proved to be our case. Pagamasing is situated on the west fork of the Spanish River, and is within
30 miles of the "end of the iron." Just west of the village the road crosses the Spanish River, and over which an iron bridge is in course of erection, the buttress is being built of stone very closely resembling Scotch granite, and capable of receiving a very high polish The stone is taken from a quarry a few hundred yards distant, where there seems to be an unlimited supply. In the evening Mr. Stevenson of Carleton Place, very kindly invited the party to the residents of his partner, Mr. Dan. Dunn, and a couple of hours were very pleasantly passed. In the morning a number of places of interest in the vicinity were visited, the principle one being Pagamasing Lake, a very pretty sheet of water about a mile back of Mount Coyne. About ten o'clock on Monday morning we boarded our car to start on the home trip, all in the best of spirits, notwithstanding that the pedestrian of the party barely escaped being scalped while taking a "cut across lots.". Over 6000 men are now employed on the line above Sudbury, and it is expected that the rails will be laid as far as Wakamagamsing, 230 miles West of Callander, this fall. The rails are now laid as far as Eureka, and the road is grated up to Bishkootasing -12 miles further on. There are 50 or 60 miles of muskeg west of Bishkootasing but the engineers do not expect much difficulty in overcoming it. As many of our readers are not conversant with the names of the stations along the road we subjoin a list of them, also give their distances from Callander:

Wahnapitae 86½
Sudbury 96½
Vermillion River 116
Onaping River 123
Pagamasing 157
Spanish River 165
Eureka 178
Bishkootasing 190
Woman's River 220
Wakamagamsing 230
Nema River 255
Lake Ant 270
Lake Keb 275
Lake Kaw 284
Lake 297
Nip River 310
Lake Ogaw 320
Michipicoten 331

Beyond the latter point the distances are as follows:-from Michipicoten to Pic River, 135 miles; Pic River to Nipegon, 130 miles; Nipegon to Port Arthur, 68 miles; Port Arthur to Winnipeg, 429 miles. The construction gang working east have laid the rails as far as Nipegon, and a good deal of work has been done in the grading and clearing up the wilderness between that point and Michipicoten. It is expected that the lying clear through to Winnipeg will be completed by next May, when a regular train service will be inaugurated. The whole line is being laid with steel rails, and as the roadbed is solidly constructed, and well ballasted with the best of gravel, riding is remarkably smooth. We arrived back at Sudbury at 5 o'clock on the afternoon of the 15th, and were entertained at tea by Mr. and Mrs J. Thompson. After tea an impromptu concert was held in Mr. Thompson's parlor which was highly enjoyed. Votes of thanks were then passed to Mr G.W. Hibbard, Harry Abbott, B.W. Coyne, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, and others who had made our trip so pleasant, and the party adjourned to their car to begin their journey home. The trip throughout was a splendid one, and the opportunity afforded us of witnessing the construction of the grand national highway of our Dominion, and the richness of the country it will develop, is one which will never be forgotten.

5 November 1887 - Canada Atlantic Railway

First Train in Canada to be Equipped with Electric Light
The Ottawa Citizen ran the following description of the first train in Canada to be equipped with electric light. This report appeared on 4 November, the train having come to Ottawa two days before.  It was first used on a public excursion to Montreal and return on Saturday 5 November 1887.  The reporter likely became confused at the description of the number of trucks - presumably this should have read two trucks with twelve wheels.

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.


4 March 1888 - First Train on the Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway.

On Wednesday 7 March 1888 the Farmersville (Athens) Reporter wrote the following account of the first run between Brockville and Westport which occurred the previous Saturday. Now, how's that? They give you a free ride on their new railway, then make you walk all the way back home!

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 food provided. They spoke of the comfort of the coach, and their enjoyment of the trip.
(Provided by Bob Moore)


8 November 1890 Canada Atlantic Railway

Trial run of rebuilt locomotive No. 15 between Ottawa and Eastmans (Carlsbad Springs)

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.

Locomotive No. "15"
A splendid new engine rebuilt at the C.A.R. Shops.
No more danger of fire from coal stoves when Miss Fifteen is on duty.
The C.A.R. express this morning from Ottawa to Montreal was taken down by a magnificent new engine, which makes its first complete journey today.
The trial trip of the engine was made on Saturday afternoon, the Journal being among those on the locomotive.  The reporter, on arrival at the Elgin Street depot was met by Mr. White, by whom he was introduced to Mr. Ogilvie, locomotive superintendent, Mr. Chase, the driver and Mr. Kane the fireman of the new engine.  The vast mass of powerful machinery was found with steam up standing in the yard, near the mechanical office, whilst around her swarmed a number of mechanical engineers with monkey wrenches, oil cans, etc. putting finishing touches to the new favorite.
In appearance she is the very model of a modern express engine, combining elegance and power, and dispensing with much of the clumsy cumbersomeness of the old fashioned engines.


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".


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.


There seems to be reason in some case for these anxieties.  As Mr. Ogilvie put it, on a trial trip an engine may go out but something may happen and you don't know when she will come back.  This one of the workmen illustrated by saying "An engine may run all right one way, but 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.


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.



10 December 1891 Gatineau Valley Railway

The first run over the Gatineau Valley Railway was an inspection of the first ten miles.  The company was anxious to complete this so that they could earn a subsidy.  A CITIZEN reporter also went along and penned the following account which appeared in the following day's paper:

Yesterday the first passenger car passed over the Gatineau Valley Railroad, being a special to conduct the Government engineers on their tour of inspection.  At 9.30 the car containing the party left the C.P.R. depot to take the G.V.R. at the junction of the two roads in Hull.  The party consisted of Mr. H.J. Beemer, president of the G.V.R.; Thomas Ridout, Dominion Government Engineer; Louis A. Vallee, Quebec Government Engineer; W. Dale Harris, Chief Engineer of the road; Guy C. Dunn and H.O. Lowes, section engineers; John Ryan, Superintendent of construction; Ed. Smith, Conductor; Wm. McFall, engine driver, and a CITIZEN reporter.
The new line on leaving the C.P.R. takes a couple of easy curves.  On each side of the line the company have put up barb wire fencing with a board top as extra protection for cattle.  The culverts were visited and critically examined on the 2 mile straight run shortly after leaving the junction and then Ironsides was reached.  Here the company have their first station.  It is three miles from the junction and about 300 yards from the village.  Close to this station are the Gilmour lumber yards and a siding will be made into these.  The next stop was a mile further on where a close inspection was made of a pipe culvert, and 300 yards distant from this was the big steel culvert, a substantial construction 9 feet 2 inches high and 9 feet six inches wide, made of steel rails and banked in with concrete.  Immediately after passing this the long cut, a heavy piece of work which caused no end of anxiety to construction owing to frequent slides.  This cutting is three quarters of a mile long, of an average depth of 15 to 20 feet, through heavy clay.  The work occupied just over one year in completion.  A short diistance on and there is another cutting of about 130 yards in length, of a depth of 150 feet, and then a pipe culvert deep down, which also caused an immensity of labour, the work having to be done twice over owing to slides.  The amount of material and wreck to the track has to be seen to form an idea of the extra amount of labour and trouble they have caused.  To repair this slide gravel had to be brought from a considerable distance, the portions which gave way being sticky clay with a little quicksand running through.  A mile and a half back of this spot are the old Ironsides Iron Mines.  Chelsea station is soon after reached and is six miles from the junction and immediately outside the celebrated


so well known to picnicers.  The Chelsea station house is very neat and commodious and has a large freight shed in connection and comfortable headquarters for the station master.  About a quarter of a mile from this spot the beautiful and picturesque scenery of the Gatineau region begins, on one side a high cutting and below the winding river with a background of wood and majestic mountains, the scenery being such as to touch the heart of an artist.  Following on by the river a splendid view is obtained of the Eaton Chutes and just here is a heavy rock cut of about 7,000 yards (sic).  A couple of miles or so further on and the ten miles to be inspected was completed.  About two and a half miles further on, near Atkinson's tollgate and a stop was made, the line being laid just to that point.  Here a stop was made for lunch and ample justice was done to the lunch baskets provided by Mr. Sam Cassidy, the tour of inspection having proved a good tonic.  After lunch, teams were in waiting and the party took the road to the Peche.  The line is graded along close to the macadamized road, which it crosses a couple of times and runs by the side of the river, at one place considerable filling having been done.  The station


is at the far end of the village and is a neat little structure.  The freight sheds are not yet erected as it is not yet decided what accommodation will be required.  The road is graded to within a mile and a half of the village and surveyed to the Desert.  The bridge at Peche will be alongside the present road bridge and will be of iron on stone buttresses and piles.  The company have neat offices in the village from which point Engineer Dunn is pushing on the work.  The second ten miles of the road has less cutting than the first and is less costly, and from the Peche on little difficulty will be met with to Desert, except at Pickanock, where a bridge of about 125 feet will have to be constructed.  It is expected that the second ten miles of track will be laid early in the New Year.


was accomplished in much faster time, no stops being made, and the party arrived home shortly before 7 o'clock.  The engineers will very shortly hand in their reports to the departments, and although refusing to say anything to the reporters it is believed they could not have been but satisfied with the substantial construction of the new line.

Mr. Alonzo Wright M.P., wrote regretting not being able to be present and the absence of Mr. C.H. Mackintoch was also regretted.

15 February 1892  First Trip Over the Gatineau Valley Railway

From the Ottawa Citizen 17 June 1933

Initial Trip of the First Gatineau Train
Was Made on a Stormy Morning in February 1892
The trip of the first passenger train on the Gatineau Valley Railway in 1892 is remembered by Mr. J.R. Brennan who was road-master and trainmaster of the G.V.R. at the time.
The first trip was from Farrelton to Ottawa. The train left Farrelton at 7.30 a.m. on Feb. 15. 1892. The train was made up of engine, tender, combination baggage and smoker car, second class car and first class car. All nicelv painted.  About 50 passengers made the trip - the fifty getting on at various stations.
The trip was made on a Monday and the weather was rather stormy, but a plow was not required. The trip was without special incident. Those who made the trip were loud  in expresisons of opinion that with the railway the Gatineau would become a new place. The train ended it's trip at the old CPR depot at the Chaudiere.
The train crew as Mr. Brennan recalls it, was composed of A.H. Van Camp, conductor; Wm. McFall. engineer; Dave Rice, fireman; Sam Douglas, brakesman, and Billy Bond, baggageman. Messrs. Van Camp and McFall are dead.
Mr Brennan recalls that general Supt. Prince had warned him not to let the train be late. Mr. Brennan passed the word along and the train went into the old Union Station on the second.


3 March 1893 Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway

First Run Between Ottawa and Arnprior

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 Railway
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.


19 June 1896 Hull Electric Railway Trial Run

The Ottawa Evening Journal of 20 June 1896 records a trial run over the Hull Electric Railway.

Trial trip over the new electric road last evening.

A run from Deschenes to Aylmer and Aylmer to Hull with an inspection of the power house at Deschene - Quick time through verdant fields and along the river bank.
A trial trip over the Hull-Aylmer electric railway was made 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

The power house is a large building built on a solid stone foundation from the solid rock bottom, twenty-two feet in height.  It is fully equipped with powerful dynamos, but they are not yet all in position.  The capacity of the power house machinery is at present 600 horse power, and when completed it will have a capacity of 1,000 horse power.  The power regulator is one of Barber's patent regulators and is unique inasmuch as it regulates the power required on the line automatically.

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

Soon the party were on board, the electric car for Aylmer, three miles distant, the party having been joined by Mr. Storr, manager of the line; Mr. Brown, the electrician; Mr. Hibbard, Superintendent of Construction; Mr. R.W. Kenny and others.  Leaving Deschene the party passed the car sheds of the company which are now nearing completion.  The car shed is a solid stone building 167x67 feet and will be capable of storing sixteen cars.  Aylmer was reached eight minutes after leaving Deschene, and a number of villagers were at the station to welcome the first and long expected car.  Alighting from the car, everybody joined in three hearty cheers and a "tiger" for the Hull-Aylmer electric line.  The company's park fronting on the lake shore above the village was then visited,  The park contains 30 acres and is nicely wooded.  A pavilion of beautiful design, 40x40 in size is being erected there and a merry-go-round was on the ground ready to be put together.  The park is undoubtedly one of the finest in this part of the country.The beach is admirably suited for bathing and is not dangerous as children can wade out three hundred feet in the water.

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.

Will be open soon.
The line is expected to be in full operation by the end of next week.  There will be an official opening in a few days to which many prominent people will be invited.


3 March 1893 Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway

First Run Between Ottawa and Arnprior

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 Railway
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.


19 June 1896 Hull Electric Railway Trial Run

The Ottawa Evening Journal of 20 June 1896 records a trial run over the Hull Electric Railway.

Trial trip over the new electric road last evening.

A run from Deschenes to Aylmer and Aylmer to Hull with an inspection of the power house at Deschene - Quick time through verdant fields and along the river bank.
A trial trip over the Hull-Aylmer electric railway was made 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

The power house is a large building built on a solid stone foundation from the solid rock bottom, twenty-two feet in height.  It is fully equipped with powerful dynamos, but they are not yet all in position.  The capacity of the power house machinery is at present 600 horse power, and when completed it will have a capacity of 1,000 horse power.  The power regulator is one of Barber's patent regulators and is unique inasmuch as it regulates the power required on the line automatically.

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

Soon the party were on board, the electric car for Aylmer, three miles distant, the party having been joined by Mr. Storr, manager of the line; Mr. Brown, the electrician; Mr. Hibbard, Superintendent of Construction; Mr. R.W. Kenny and others.  Leaving Deschene the party passed the car sheds of the company which are now nearing completion.  The car shed is a solid stone building 167x67 feet and will be capable of storing sixteen cars.  Aylmer was reached eight minutes after leaving Deschene, and a number of villagers were at the station to welcome the first and long expected car.  Alighting from the car, everybody joined in three hearty cheers and a "tiger" for the Hull-Aylmer electric line.  The company's park fronting on the lake shore above the village was then visited,  The park contains 30 acres and is nicely wooded.  A pavilion of beautiful design, 40x40 in size is being erected there and a merry-go-round was on the ground ready to be put together.  The park is undoubtedly one of the finest in this part of the country.The beach is admirably suited for bathing and is not dangerous as children can wade out three hundred feet in the water.

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.

Will be open soon.
The line is expected to be in full operation by the end of next week.  There will be an official opening in a few days to which many prominent people will be invited.


29 June 1896 First Day of Operation of the Hull Electric Railway

After the trial trip mentioned above, a number of people were carried to Aylmer on 23rd June and the same evening the railway took delivery of the first electric locomotive in Canada.  The locomotive was tested on 26 June and the first day of operation was described in the Ottawa Evening Journal of June 29, 1896.

Cars are running
Electric Railway between Hull and Aylmer opened.

The line is in full operation today and patronized by many passengers - formal transfer by the CPR-the official opening will take place this week.

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

Mr. C.W. Spencer, General Superintendent of the CPR arrived on the noon local from Montreal and made the formal transfer of the CPR line from Hull to Aylmer, over which the cars run, to the Hull Electric Railway.  The CPR are reducing all commutation tickets for Aylmer but on and after July 1st the electric company will issue their own tickets.

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.


30 June 1896 - Opening of the Cornwall Street Railway Light and Power

The Ottawa Evening Journal of 2 July 1896 reports the opening of the Cornwall Street Railway on 30 June:
Cornwall July 1.  The Cornwall Electric Street Railway is now an accomplished fact and the members of the town council and a large party of prominent citizens were carried over five miles of track yesterday in handsome trolley cars run by electricity.  Work was commenced on the building of the railway in April.  A large force of men were employed and the track laid on a good solid bed of macadam from the GTR station down Pitt Street to Water Street and thence east to the St. Lawrence Park on Gillespie Point, with a Belt Line which takes in Marlboro' and Second Streets.  The western line to the Toronto Paper Company's Mills and the branches to the textile mills have not yet been completed.  The rails used are of the regulation railroad weight as it is intended to haul GTR and other freight cars by electric locomotives direct to the mills and other places instead of transhipping their contents at the Depot as has been done in the past.

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

The purpose of the trip was to give Mr. Tait an opportunity of examining the new work,  The new line is regarded as Mr. Tait's line owing to the attention and care he has given it and because, under his personal direction, the work has been thoroughly done that it will be one of the finest roads in Canada.  Mr. Leonard acted under the direction of Mr. Tait entirely.
The general features of the road are the excellent heavy steel rails used, the excellent switching system, the thorough method of ballasting and the finished manner in which everything has been done.  The road has been designed for speed and although the roadbed was not finished yesterday in places, the train ran at 35 and 40 miles an hour. Beyond Plantagnet, from which place to Montreal the line is completed, the train whizzed along at a mile a minute yet the shaking of the train was slight.  Other notable features about the line are the long sloping curves - in the few places they are necessary, the straightness of the line and the few grades.  The sharpest curve is but one degree, the highest grade is forty feet to the mile.
The rails used are 73 and 80 pound rails, the heavier rails being used in the eastern section of the road.  A most important feature and one that will make it easier for trains to run swiftly is that the main line, when completed, will be unbroken between Montreal and Ottawa.  The old system of switches has been supplanted by the MacPherson system invented by Mr. D. MacPherson of Montreal, who accompanied Mr. Tait yesterday.

Set automatically

The railway switch and frog are combined in such a way that setting one automatically sets the others, and if, through mistake or malice, left set wrongly, a train passing through in either direction would not be derailed.  The device is based on the common sense principle, that switches and frogs being the most expensive and least durable points in track should not have any of their parts subject to the destructive and useless wear of trains passing on the main tracks; but that their parts should only be touched by trains going into or coming out of sidings,  When the switch is set for the main line clear, all parts of the switch and frog are well clear of the main track rails, which latter are fully spiked, and absolutely as continuous and firm as if no frog were there.  The device has been in use three winters on the C.P.R. main track and has worked successfully.  Mr. MacPherson's switch has been adopted by Dr. Seward Webb on the St. Lawrence and Adirondack division of the New York Central railway.

The start

When the start was made yesterday dark clouds covered the sky and rain seemed imminent.  During the afternoon the clouds passed away and when the train reached Montreal the air was fine.
The piers of the new bridge over the Rideau River were first inspected.  The bridge is high and finely constructed, and will be completed within four weeks.  At 2.05 p.m. Mr. Tait gave the word to start and the order was "The best speed consistent with safety".  At Green's Creek - five miles out - the new stone bridge was inspected.  It is a three arch structure and nicely finished.  The first station reached was Blackburn, a flag station, but no stop was made.  The country is a lovely one, and the recent rains had brought the foliage and grass in all their fresh and verdant beauty.
The farm crossings along the line are splendidly finished: and the fences were all Page woven wire.  The stations are all neatly constructed and are painted a pretty brown shade.


Past Blackburn the speed was only about 25 miles an hour owing to the inspection.  The run through Mer Bleu to Navan is most picturesque and the azure haze about the shrubbery of the low land was quite noticeable.
The trip was not without incident.  At Navan a bay horse standing near the track became frightened and after falling then rising dashed along the side of the track after the train.  The buggy collided with a switch and was smashed to pieces and the frightened animal swerved towards the field where a fence soon stopped it.
Leaving Navan a slight grade was ascended and at a speed of 35 miles an hour the train ran through a charming country to Leonard - a station called after Engineer Leonard.  The station is half way between Sarsfield and Bearbrook and in the centre of Cumberland township.The township hall will be erected there and a townsite laid out.  The C.P.R. Company owns 300 acres of good land, which will be divided into town lots.  Water is secured from the Bear brook, 6,000 feet away, and a 40,000 gallon tank has been erected at Leonard.  Three ballasting trains and large gangs of men were busy at this point.  At all stations a crossing siding amd a local siding have been constructed.
Just out of Leonard the C.P.R. owns 260 acres of gravel land.  A large steam shovel was at work yesterday getting out gravel.

Crosses the C.A.R. branch.

The country past Leonard is rolling and 40 miles an hour was obtained.  The road is flanked with bush.  Through Mr. W.C. Edwards' beautiful farm the company was given free right of way.  At Hammond - the village wiped out by fire last fall, but springing up again - the road crossed the C.A.R. Rockland branch - eight miles from Rockland.  The run through Clarence township - a great hay country - was fine.  The south side is well settled, and an air of prosperity is noticeable about the homes of the farmers.
At The Brook, four miles from Hammond flag station, large quantities of hardwood are ready for shipment, and the company has plenty of land for the accommdation of shippers.
The station at The Brook is a specimen of the neat buildings that the company has erected.  The station is combined with a freight shed and dwelling.  The exterior is painted a pretty brown shade, while the interior is finished in light colours.  Hardwood floors and red pine wainscotting have been put in.  The waiting and sleeping rooms are airy and comfortable looking, and every convenience has been put in for the agent.  A new hotel is being erected at The Brook and the saline and mineral springs in the district will doubtless attract many visitors.
Plantagenet and Caledonia Springs have been made very accessible from the west and Montreal by the new road.
Cobb's Lake - a natural basin - is just past The Brook.  Piles sixty feet long had to be driven in before a suitable basis could be reached.  During the spring freshets the water rises in the basin about ten feet.  It connects with the Nation River.

At Pendleton

Pendleton, some six miles from The Brook, is in the centre of some excellent farming country. The scenery is picturesque, and the land finely wooded.  The line passes through a fine bush just outside of Pendleton.  At Pendleton the C.P.R. transcontinental copper wire was noticed.  This wire is being stretched in an unbroken line from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and the work of stretching it is going on at many points.  Six hundred miles have been stretched east of Port Arthur.  Four operators at each end will be able to send messages over it at the same time.
A fine view of Curran village is obtained at Pendleton.

Promise of Plantagenet

Plantagenet is expected to be the most progressive town of the district.  It is the end of the operating line between Montreal and Ottawa.  At Plantagenet the Journal man was introduced to Mr. William Rodden, "father of the Montreal short line" so called for his advocacy of the line.  Mr. Rodden treated the party to some delicious saline water from his spring.  A roller, grist and flour mill and a saw mill have been built at this point.  Several steam boats ply between Plantagenet and Casselman, 24 miles up the beautiful Nation River.  A town site has been laid out, a wharf erected, and with excellent saline and suplphur waters, the place should be a thriving town before long.  A splendid steel bridge with four piers, each 100 feet long, has been erected over the Nation River.  The masonry is all blue limestone.  The pleasant drives, splendid hotel sites and suitable grounds for golf links will no doubt add to the attractiveness of the village.
From Pendleton to Alfred the road passes through a famous agricultural country.  Alfred village could be seen in the distance.  A stop was not made at Caledonia Springs and the train sped on at a rate of over fifty miles an hour.

At Vankleek Hill

At Vankleek Hill the C.A.R. is crossed and at this point the interlocking plant is used, which permits the trains to cross without stopping.  The signals are so arranged that accidents are practically impossible. East of St. Eugene, 40 miles from Montreal, the train's speed was 59 miles an hour.  All along an air of prosperity was noticeable and new buildings are being erected at many points.
From a tourists standpoint the beauty of the line is all that could be desired.  A splendid farming country, finely wooded, with beautiful rivers along the way and picturesque hills, give great delight to the traveller.

A lovely sight

At Rigaud Mountain, with its shrine, the scenery was all that could be desired, but on past Fortune Beach, to Hudson Heights, with Oka mountain in the distance and the beautiful Ottawa lying in between, the scene grew more attractive until St. Anne's was reached at sunset, and all were captivated with the glory of the setting sun. The beautiful sky baffled description, but the creamy tints of the opal tinged with pink, all softly toned, convey a faint idea of the beauty.  As the sun sank lower towards the horizon it seemed to grow larger and the rays lighting up the sky tipped the fleecy clouds with light, creating the effect like the white capped waves of the ocean. One could understand Thomas Moore's inspiration of the beauty of the river at St. Annes.  Como, Lake of two Mountains and Lake St. Louis are all beautiful sights.  From Plantagenet to Montreal the scenery is perfect.
Owing to several unavoidable delays the train did not reach Montreal until about 7.40 o'clock.  At points the speed was 60 miles an hour.  Approaching Montreal the automatic normal danger electric block system was observed, and impressed one with the thoroughness of the equipment of the C.P.R.

Fast time to be made

The regular train service on the new line will commence in July.  The speed to be obtained can be guaged (sic) from that of yesterday's train.
The distance is 111 miles, and will probably be covered at a speed of between 50 and 60 miles an hour. The road has been built for speed, and Mr. Tait assured the Journal that the trains will be fast ones.  It is expected the run will be made in a little over two hours.
The trip yesterday was thoroughly enjoyable, and the kindness of the officials made it doubly delightful.  Refreshments were served on the "Earnescliffe".  The return trip to Ottawa was made over the north shore line by the "Soo" train due here at 1 a.m.


29 July 1898 - First day of operation of the Ottawa and New York Railway

The following is an account of the first day of operation of the railway between Cornwall and Ottawa which appeared in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.  The original has been difficult to track down but thanks to Chris Granger we have found the following account which also appeared in "Down the Lane" for the same paper on 31 July 1939.  It has been abridged somewhat to reduce the length.

The first train to Ottawa left Cornwall at 7.45 o’clock this morning, July 29, with conductor Silas Brown in charge and engineer Ed. Leboeuf at the throttle. A train also left Ottawa at 6.30 o’clock, with Joseph Bombard as conductor and Albert Murray as engineer.

The trip over the O.& N.Y. proved a pleasant experience. The street cars take people to the station and, after crossing the G.T.R. at Cornwall Junction, the train hits a lively clip. The view of the country was somewhat confusing, cutting through farms and seeing mostly the backs of farm houses, where the entire family gathered to see the unusual and unfamiliar sight of trains passing. The Cornwall Centre cheese factory was passed a few minutes after leaving the G.T.R., after which the train passes through the big cut at the Post Road and stops at Black River and then on to Newington and Finch. The long promised connection with the [ ? ] country is at last an accomplishment, and there are to be no more nightmares of drives of long hours’ duration through snowdrifts and muddy roads to Newington and Finch. We instinctively uncover our heads to the gentlemen whose enterprise has made the quick trip possible and to the memory of the late Dr. Bergin, whose dreams were realized only after he himself had passed away.

At Finch, the O.& N.Y. crosses the Canadian Pacific Railway, a joint agent, Mr. Cease, looking after the interests of both companies. Here is installed a fine interlocking switch plant; a large tank holding 50,000 gallons and drawing its supply from the Payne River by means of an automatic gasoline engine of three horsepower. This tank and a similar one at Russell are under the charge of J.R. Simpson.

In a few minutes the train reached Berwick and a little later it arrived at Crysler, where the Nation river is spanned by a handsome iron bridge. At Embrun, the spire of a beautiful church is seen through the trees. A little to the west is the village of St. Onge. The Castor river, a black looking, sluggish stream, is crossed by a deck bridge. On the Mackie place, a little west of the track near Embrun, is seen a veritable curiosity in the shape of a huge boulder, weighing many tons, resting on another boulder, and so nicely balanced that a child can rock it.

Russell, three miles north, is a prettily-situated village with good buildings and an excellent fair ground and race track alongside the railway.

At Edwards, seven miles nearer Ottawa, there will be a flag station only. The people of Piperville, so it is said, opposed the railway and were anxious that no station should be located near them; now they would give a great deal for the accommodation.

At Hawthorne Junction, five miles from Ottawa, the O. & N.Y. crosses the Canada Atlantic Railway and runs for some distance alongside the newly-built track of the C.P.R. and a couple of miles out switches on to the old track of the Prescott road and into the Sussex street station. This is only a temporary arrangement. As soon as the O. & N.Y. and the C.P.R. can bring J.R. Booth, of the Canada Atlantic, to terms, they will run into the Central Station, just east of the Russell, where a handsome union terminus is to be built.

As one journeys over the 56 miles between Cornwall and Ottawa, the view from the car window is that of as fine farming country as there is in Canada. From Finch north, west and south, stretches the great prairie, no hill lifting itself above the dead level as far as the eye can reach. We knew Finch farmers and farms, but were unprepared for the appearance of the country further to the north, which is well cleared and cultivated and furnished with livestock galore. Compared with the section traversed by the Canada Atlantic, only a few miles to the eastward, the difference is surprising.

The road is well fenced and at every crossing whether the highway is opened or not, is a sign in the shape of St. Andrew’s cross, with the words "Railway Crossing" in large black letters.

The trains are running strictly on time and are carrying a good number of passengers for a newly-opened road, as well as considerable freight.

The general offices of the company are pleasantly situated at the Carleton Chambers, Ottawa, on Sparks Street, a short distance above the Russell.

All in all, the new railway trip from Cornwall to Ottawa and return was a delight and the road is sure to fill a longfelt want and be popular with the people of the district.

5 September 1898 - Ottawa and New York Railway

First Excursion and Blessing of the Railway at Embrun
The Ottawa Evening Journal of 6 September 1898 reported the first excursion over this line between Ottawa and Cornwall as follows:
The I.O.G.T. excursion to Cornwall and the public blessing of the O.&N.Y. line at Embrun yesterday attracted five hundred Ottawans.  About half went right through to Cornwall and spent six hours on the river front.  They visited the N.Y. & O. bridge across the St. Lawrence and were able to gain an idea of the size and importance of the structure.  They spent a pleasant day and returned to the city about 8 o'clock last evening.

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 railway was blessed.
Archbishop Duhamel assisted by a large number of clergy conducted it.  Embrun en fete.

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.

At the church
Next the clergy and Mr. Hibbard took carriages and followed by the people in procession went to the Embrun church.  There solemn high mass was sung by Rev. Father Lambert, O.M.I. of Ottawa University, assisted by Rev. Father Larose, parish priest of "The Brooks", and Rev. Father Bourget, parish priest of St. Regis.  His Grace, who was at the throne with cope and mitre and the other sacred vestments, was attended by Rev. Vicar General Routhier.  Seats in the sanctuary were occupied by Rev. Father Dezaulnac of Cornwall, Rev. Fathers Alexis and Mois, Capuchins of Ottawa.  In the lower part of the sanctuary were seated Mr. Hibbard, Mr. Hebert of Montreal, representative of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Mr. O. Guibord M.P.P., Ald. O. Durocher, Mr. N. Tetreau of Hull, ex-M.P.P. and Dr. Duhamel of Hull, registrar of Ottawa county.  The body of the church and both galleries were crowded with the congregation.  A musical mass was given by the members of the choir under the direction of Rev. Father Forget who presided at the organ.

The sermon

A sermon was delivered in French by Rev. Father Alexis.  The preacher answered the charge oftentimes made against the Roman Catholic church that she is opposed to material progress.  He cited proofs from the history of the church, enumerated what she had done towards the abolition of slavery and for liberty, equality, fraternity, and civilization in general.  He spoke in particular of the Catholic Church in Ontario.  He closed his sermon by exorting his hearers to strive not only for material progress, which may be of great use even in the spiritual order, but above all to work for their own individual, spiritual, moral progress, and for that of humanity, because our last end in this world in perfect happiness with God in heaven.
The sermon in English which was to have been given by Rev. Dr. Fallon was not delivered owing to Dr. Fallon's unavoidable absence.
After mass all directed their steps towards Lussier's Grove, a short distance from the village, where tables were spread for 500 people. No less than 1,800 meals were given on the grounds.

The sports

Among the sports was a lacrosse match between teams from Duncanville and Cornwall.  There was a contest for the most popular of three married ladies, and for the most popular of three young ladies and on this $800 were realized.  The money will go towards paying off the debt on the church.  The Union Band of Ottawa rendered music during the day.  Mr. C.B. Hibbard, president of the Ottawa and New York Railway Co., showed the greatest kindness to the archbishop, the members of the clergy and all the excursionists, and was thanked sincerely for this generosity. The archbishop and his party returned home by special train yesterday afternoon.


13 January 1900 - Ottawa Electric Railway - first trip on the Britannia line

Public service on the Britannia line commenced on 21st May 1900.  On Monday 15th January the Ottawa Journal reported as follows:

Ottawa to Britannia in an electric car in 25 minutes.

On Saturday, Mr. T. Ahearn, superintendent Hutcheson, Mr. A.A. Dion and a Journal reporter made a trial run over the new subsurban line.

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.

The new line has been laid in pleasant places.  Almost all the way the Ottawa River is in sight.  The line leaves the city tracks about 200 yards up the spur that runs into Victoria Park.  The line runs close to the south side of Richmond Road all the way except for the mile from where it crosses the road till Britannia is reached.

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

Of danger, however, there is not likely to be the one part in 1,000.  The rails are extra heavy, 72 pounds to the yard, and the cars will be big 50 foot fellows,  On Saturday though the road was not graded, and the car used was only a 38 footer, and one used for late night service from the CPR station, the motion was delightfuly even.  When the road is put in proper shape and the regular cars are on, the travelling should be a pleasure.  The cars being built for the line, will be provided with what is known as swing motion trucks - trucks which prevent the car from feeling the sideward jars and thus make progress so much more steady.  The cars will be built much like regular railroad cars.  They will be handsomely upholstered and finished in oak.
A feature of the road is the straightness of the trolley poles. There are 350 of them set 80 feet apart.  They will be painted white.

A chance for capital.

In connection with the opening of the new road a suggestion may be offered for idle capital.  Now that electric cars are about to connect Britannia with Ottawa with a frequent service, low rates and stops at way points, there will likely be a demand for summer residences all along the route as has been the case around Montreal.

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

It is the intention of the company to run two sorts of cars "through" and "local".  The first as the name implies will run to Britannia without stops,  The other will be for the use of the suburbanites.


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.

A  Run Out to Britannia On An Electric Car Last Saturday

When Britannia is a part of Ottawa, - one of the greatest cities on the route of the Georgian Bay Ship Canal- It will be pleasant for those who went by the electric route to Britannia on Saturday to remember that they were the first persons to make the through trip over the new electric line.

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.


22 April 1901 - Interprovincial Bridge between Ottawa and Hull

See the Interprovincial Bridge.



25 July 1901 - First Street Car over the Interprovincial Bridge between Ottawa and Hull

From the Ottawa Citizen 25 July 1901.
At 0820 last evening Mayor Morris gave the word and the first electric car on the through line between Ottawa and Aylmer via the Interprovincial Bridge started on its way.  The first turn of the wheels, the first note in the song of the trolley marked an epoch in the history of Ottawa as a railway centre …George McConnell was the motorman in charge of the car
(Provided by David Jeanes)
However the Ottawa Journal had a more comprehensive account of the occasion. The reference to the Mayor and D'Arcy Scott is interesting.  Mr. Scott was Canadian Pacific, Legal Council at the time and the mayor had recently put two of his railway clients in jail over a contentious crossing issue.  D'Arcy Scott went on to become mayor of Ottawa and a Commissioner of the Bpard of Railway Commissioners.

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.

This Flashback by Claire Mitchell appeared in the Ottawa Journal for August 3, 1968

"Taking the street car" in Ottawa in the year 1910 was not a daily habit with us. It was only on special occasions that we could enjoy this luxury and the trip to Queen's Park was such an occasion.

Queen's Park, or Victoria Park as it was sometimes called, was situated on the Ottawa River a few miles west of Aylmer, Que., and was, for many years, an exciting place to go for a day's outing with the family.

Besides the zoo — which consisted of a huge black bear, a deer and fawn, a fox, raccoons and ducks and geese —there was a picnic area in a picturesque grove, a “shoot-the-chute" ride at the pier, where in a wooden boat one was catapulted down the slide out onto the Ottawa River and by means of pulleys was drawn back to the starting point; a laughing house of distorting mirrors; a merry-go-round and a roller skating rink. Music for the merry-go-round and rink was supplied by a steam driven calliope.

There was a bathing house with about 20 cubicles for those who wanted to go swimming. Though the shoreline was stoney, many hardy ones took advantage of the cool water. Bathing costumes in those days, especially for women, were not conducive to vigorous swimming, nor to sunbathing, since the body was covered from neck to toes, with stockings meeting the voluminous bloomers just below the knee.

In the late twenties, Queen's Park was forced to close due to the popularity of the automobile which gave people greater mobility for-travelling to more distant places.
But as a child in the early 1900's, the street car was the only means of transportation for most people, and the only way to get to Queen's Park.

* *.*

It was on a beautiful midsummer morning in 1910 with the sun a burnished orange in the sky giving promise of a hot day, that we waited impatiently for the streetcar. Finally it thundered toward us and stopped with a clamor of screeching and hissing brakes.

We were hurried out into the road and clambered up to the wooden seats running across the width of the car facing the front, and we had begun our two great adventures — a trip on the open electric street car and a visit to the zoo.

The conductor, who walked along a narrow running-board platform the length of the car, waited until everyone was seated, then pulled a cord above him which made a tinkling sound at the front where the motorman stood doing strange things with a large handle in front of him and with a "clang, clanging" noise we were on our way. He turned the handle round and round, back and forth, to regulate the speed of the car.

* * *

We watched fascinated as the conductor walked along his narrow platform, swaying to the movement of the car, holding on to poles at the end of each row of seats. He held out a metal box to each passenger and a nickle was pushed into a slot at the top, falling with a little clink to the bottom.

Arriving at Major's Hill Park, where the Chateau Laurier was under construction, opening two years later in April, 1912, we descended a long flight of wooden stairs, which led down to the Hull Electric Railway terminus on the same level of the railway tracks.

We then proceeded via the Royal Alexandra (Inter-provincial) Bridge, through Hull and westward beside the CPR tracks to Queen's Park. Though the day was hot, there was a lovely breeze through the open car as we clipped and swayed along at the fantastic rate of 15 to 20 miles an hour.

* * *

 At last we arrived at the Park, with its gay sounds of music and shouts of children. Our first stop was in front of the cages where strange animals' paced back and forth. The great black bear, as he paced up and down behind the bars of has special cage, held most of our attention. But even the smaller animals, to a city bred child, were exciting and fascinating.

The older Children were allowed on the thrilling shoot-the-chute ride but we smaller siblings were content with the merry-go-round.

Then we were rounded up for our lunch of sandwiches, cookies and oranges in the picnic grove. We washed at the old pump that spewed out ice cold water, which we drank with relish- from a metal cup chained to the pump. Later in the afternoon we had ice cream from a concession at the Park.

Then all too soon, the thrilling day was ended and we headed for the terminal. As the streetcar approached we could see the motorman as he turned the handle back and forth until this great monster once again stopped beside us.

* * *

As we jogged along the metal tracks, rumblings of thunder could be heard in the distance and clumps of black clouds tore across the sky. Then the thunder became louder and the breeze had turned into a strong wind. The lightning was great gashes of white flame in the sky followed by crackling thunder.

The conductor was trying to pull down the side-curtains, but .gusts of wind ripped them out of his hands.

Then with the help of some of the passengers, curtains on both sides were securely fastened which gave the feeling of being trapped in a dim floating, windowless room, which soon became hot and close.

Slashing sheets of rain beat against the curtains and a hubbub of voices and cries of frightened children was heard over the crashing of thunder and howling of the wind as it tried to tear loose the flapping side curtains.

Then suddenly, there was silence. The curtains stopped flapping, the thunder stopped roaring and even the gloom in the car seemed to be lessened. The conductor rolled up the curtains and once again we could look out. The sky was miraculously clear with the sun shining brightly.

When we reached home, our tears and fears of the storm were forgotten, as we recounted the experiences of our day at Queen's Park.


20 March 1915 - Inspection trip over the Glengarry and Stormont Railway

Montreal to Cornwall
The Glengarry and Stormont Railway was opened on 24 May 1915 between St. Polycarpe Junction and Cornwall.  The Chesterville Record of Thursday 23 March 1915 reported a trial run that was made prior to the opening:

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.

24 May 1915 - First regular train over the Glengarry and Stormont Railway

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:

Glen Gordon 
North Lancaster
Bridge End 
Montreal Ouest
    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)


5 May 1929 - A Telegram is Sent from a Moving Train

From the Ottawa Journal 6 May 1929
Telegram Is Sent From Moving Train
First Message of Its Kind Is Received By The Journal
History was made on Sunday when telegram and telephone messages ware sent from a C.N.R train which wss travelling 30 miles an hour. The Journal was the first in Ottawa to receive a telegram of this kind. The message from The Journal man on the train follows:
Toronto, May 5, '29.
The Editor.
The Journal Newspapers,
Ottawa. '
This message is sent you from Canadian National train travelling north trom Toronto.  Demonstration a great success.
V. M. K.

27 April 1930 - A Telephone Call is made to Britain from a CNR Train

From the Ottawa Journal of 28 April 1930
Telephone call made to Britain from C. N. Train
Clarity features talks from express too many points.
Montreal, April 27th, - a brass-buttoned, gold-braided page boy walked the corridors of a fast train between Toronto and Montreal this afternoon and nonchalantly summoned passengers to the telephone. He was participating in an interesting and unique occasion - the opening on a commercial basis of the first two-way telephone service from a moving train.
From the Canadian National's "International Limited," 70 persons spoke by telephone during the afternoon to points as widely-scattered as Ottawa, London, England, Washington and Fort Worth, Texas. It was a six-hour journey under the train's new schedule, and thus a call was made every 5 minutes. All of them were completed, and in no case was there any difficulty in carrying on conversation. The parties to the London calls by wire and wireless in particular were amazed at the clarity with which they heard one another.
Engineer gives credit.
The train was run as a special section of the Limited.


18 November 1953  First Train Over the Walkley Line

Ottawa Journal 17 November 1953

Inaugurate Walkley Road Railway Yards

Inauguration of the CNR belt line and railway yards on the Walkley road will take place at 9 a.m. tomorrow.  Members of the Federal District Commission and CNR officials will board a special car at the Bank street yards and precede a freight train to the new yards which are south of Billings Bridge. The new yard office and equipment will be inspected.
Major General Howard Kennedy, chairman of the federal district commission, will lead the FDC group as the new belt line and yards is the work of the commission under the direction of S.B. Wass, railway engineer.
The new yards are expected to be in complete operation next year and will mean the dismantling of the Bank Street yards except for two tracks.
Tomorrow night the Federal District Commission will honor Jacques Greber, it's consultant and author of the National Capital Plan. A dinner will be held at the Chateau at which Mr. St. Laurent will speak.

Ottawa Journal 18 November 1953

Caption to picture
ORDERS IN HIS HAND Conductor George Stewart of the CNR Montreal-Winnipeg fast freight, hands over instructions to Engineer Charles Veniot this morning when, for the first time, Ottawa new railway yards on the Walkley road were in operation. Other members of the train crew, fireman Charles Cummtng and brakeman Ray Brown watch with interest and below are members of the official party which Inspected the yard.

Ottawa Citizen 19 November 1953

First Train Runs Over New Cutoff
Railway history was made today [sic] when the first Canadian National freight train passed over the new so-called Belt Line from Hawthorne to the Hunt Club. In the presence of important Federal District Commission, railway and government officials, high speed manifest No. 401, Winnipeg-bound from Montreal, moaned her way across the new switch, and headed off west toward Bank Street.
An Historic Moment
"This is an historic moment," exclaimed Jacques Greber, Town planner who originally projected this new line. Greber, as he focussed his own camera on the train snaking slowly across the brand new rails.
The twin green-and-gold CNR diesel 9038 and 9039, headlight still burning in the warm, hazy morning, quickly picked up her 61 loads and 18 empties and began fish horning her way across the flat Carleton acres, bound for the main line tracks out the Bowesville Road near the Hunt Club.
The cut off means that all through freight trains will detour round Ottawa from Hawthorne to the Hunt Club, and the trains will be serviced, while the crews change, at the new yards near the Spratt Farm off Walkley Road.

Caption to picture
Historic Orders When the first Canadian National freight travelled over the new cut off from Hawthorne to the Hunt Club, a distinguished group was on hand to witness the first train over the new tracks. Here Conductor George Stewart hands up his orders to Engineer Charles Veniot. Looking on down below are, left to right: Gen. Howard Kennedy, chairman of the Federal District Commission; Aid. Alex Roger, representing the city of Ottawa; Conductor Stewart; N. A. Walford, general manager, Central Region, CNR; Mrs. Cora Casselman. Edmonton, member of the FDC; Jacques Grebcr, special town planner for Ottawa; and Charles Cowan, chairman of the National Capital Planning Committoe.
Photo by Newton

1 July 1973 - First Run of Canadian Pacific Railway 4-6-0 No. 1057 to Carleton Place

The National Capital Commission and the National Museum of Science and Technology sponsored a series of steam locomotive hauled excursions starting in 1973. it was originally intended to run these to Wakefield but this was originally precluded by a washout on the Maniwaki like. Instead the first excursions went to Carleton Place. Colin Churcher was heavily involved having been seconded to the National Capital Commission to make the arrangements.

Ottawa Citizen 3 July 1973

Another NCC success
His face withheld those blatant grins of triumphant self-satisfaction, but Dave Mcintosh must have felt well, extremely comfortable when old 1057 slowed to a halt at journey's end Sunday.
The run had been flawless, on time no less, and the National Capital Commission celebrated another success in its cause to maximize leisure.
Mr. Mcintosh, officiously tilled adviser to communications policy for the NCC had supervised the year-long effort in pulling it off. A little self-aggrandizement seemed not at all out of context.
About a week ago, St. Jean Baptisle Day to be exact, he was still out looking for wood to light the restored 61-year-old engine.
Then, too, there was the problem of finding the anthracite coal. It was finally imported from West Virginia.
A train. Most of all the NCC needed a train. Thanks to the Ontario Rail Association, it was able to rent old 1057 and five cars, which would do the trick nicely.
$30,000 deficit
If the initial success of the summer excursions continues, the NCC next year will use locomotive 1201 now being restored for the National Museum of Science and Technology. In addition, the NCC will have to purchase its own cars.
The experimental operation will run a deficit of around $30,000, estimated Mr. Mcintosh, despite the income from tickets at $5 each. Some $50,000 from the operating budget set up the project.

Whoo Whoo. Toot returns to railroad
By Paul Workman Citizen staff writer
Morning sunlight danced a bit of a jig on the stubby black smoke stack of old 1057. With gusto, the engine belched great clouds of steam as onlookers admired her vintage sleekness.
The 1912 locomotive, christened Port Credit 1057, was about to make its first of many summer excursions to Carleton Place. The round-trip train rides, leaving Ottawa station every Sunday morning and returning by mid-afternoon, are sponsored by the National Capital Commission.
If an engine could grunt happiness, old 1057 surely would have done so as its load of about 300 passengers boarded the seven cars in two. Instead, long, reminiscent blasts of the steam whistle sounded her worth.
 Watchdog crew
Up front, the volunteer watchdog crew from the Bytown Railway Society jumped into the baggage car for. the hour-and-a-quarter ride. At the end of the line, the dignitaries, among them, Urban Affairs Minister Basford, his wife and son, took their places in the posh, crapeted [sic] VIP coach.
Right on time, bellowing a thick cloud of black sooty smoke, the refurbished relic eased its way out of the yard.
As it passed through the countryside at a steady 25 miles per hour, the curious lined back yards and railway crossings to watch the procession chug by. Herds of cattle ran frightened as the whistle screeched.
The locomotive and cars used on the trip belong to the Ontario Rail Association and have been rented by the NCC for the summer.
No. 1057 was built in December, 1912, by the Montreal Locomotive Works and spent most of her days in Northern Ontario hauling for the CPR out of North Bay, Sudbury, Schreiber and Mactier. In 1956, she was transferred to southern Ontario and finally retired - pushed out by the Diesel age in 1960, after grubbing around the yards at Havelock, Ont.
She was sold to the Regal Stationery Co. in Toronto and remained there for 10 years until bought by H.W. Hansen of Chicago. The Ontario Rail Association purchased her from Mr. Hansen this year for part of a typical 1930's branchline railroad they're setting up at Georgetown, Ont.
The cars in the train, painted in the old maroon of the CPR, glory in such names as Chinguacousy, Esquesing, Glen Williams, Terra Cotla and Credit. Forks. They were built between 1919 and 1930.
The 31.8-mile route to Carleton Place is in itself a casual history lesson. It passes the home of Captain Bradish Billings, built in 1826, now within city limits but originally a half-day's ride away by horse; Bells Corners, an important stop to the military settlement at Richmond; and Stittsville where some of the stone for the Parliament Buildings was quarried.
The coach riders enjoyed it immensely. Wearing his gray-striped engineer's hat, Mr. Basford suggested Canada's two leading railways should go back to steam.
He and the other special guests Carleton Place Mayor Eldon Henderson, MPs and NCC officials stood on the rear platform waving gaily to hundreds of people as 1057 ambled by. It was a sentimental journey for Mr. Henderson. He was fireman on the very same 1057 vears ago out of Galt.
 At Carleton Place a good 750 of the townsfolk were waiting to greet the train. They entertained during the two-hour layover with a show of antique cars, a country and western trio and an old steamer of their own.
After replenishing her water supply and turning around on the wye, 1057 started back for Ottawa station right on time.
Up front in the baggage car, without soft chairs and iced drinks to pass the time, the half-dozen Bytown Railway Society members were titillated by the trip. Their job as train marshals had been relatively easy, since a regular crew of CPR engineers, firemen and brakemen had commandeered the locomotive.
No it was just a dandy day to enjoy a hobby.
"It's like a dress rehearsal," said 46-year-old Al Craig. "If it's a shambles, the play will be all right."
 Work of art
He'd been up since 6.30 that morning lending a hand to fire the engine. He insists he's one of the "nutty" ones.
The closest he ever came to working on a train was loading 60-pound containers of fish onto cars in Winnipeg years ago. But to him, a train, especially a train like the 1057, is art.
The whistle blows. "Music," said Mr. Craig showing lots of grin.
"We real nutty ones have records of those things. Sit in the living room and listen to them. Drives the wife up the wall.
"I've got a terrific record called Steam Under Thundering Skies. It was taken down in Tennessee in February, 1960."
A measure of scepticism must have been showing. "You just can't imagine anybody sitting and listening to that, eh?" said Mr. Craig. "When you're a railroad nut, you're a real nut."

Ottawa Journal 3 July 1973

Railwayman's Heaven
Engine 1057 on the Carleton Place run
By CATHY McKERCHER Engine Number 1057 205,000 tons of coal-burning, puffing and chugging steel brought the age of steam back to the Ottawa Valley during the weekend.
Dubbed the Mississippi Express, old 1057 and seven cars made the inaugural run of the National Capital Commission's weekly summer excursion.
More than 275 persons crowded the platform of the Ottawa Station at 10.30 a.m. Sunday in spite of the gloomy weather to climb on board for the hour-long ride to Carleton Place.
The ride was repeated Monday.
The vintage 1912 locomotive pulled five public and two private cars along the tracks at a sedate 25 m.p.h., chugging impressively and blowing its whistle at every crossing.
Passengers leaned out the windows to wave and smile at the crowds that lined the tracks at every settlement, even enjoying the thick black smoke from the engine which sent soot into every part of the train.
And as the engine picked up speed, so did the sun.
Residents of Carleton Place came out in full force, to greet the train as it pulled into the station, many recalling the days when the town was one of the major stops on the CP Rail route.
"We're all very excited about this," said Mayor Eldon Henderson in a welcoming speech to the passengers.
Urban Affairs Minister Ron Basford, the guest of honor of the trip, replied that he had had "a wonderful time."
"This will be the first of many successful runs," he said.
To the last time Mr. Basford rode on a steam train was when he was a child in Manitoba about the same age as his four-year-old son Daniel who came along the ride.
Passengers and residents alike celebrated the train's arrival by listening to an old-time fiddler, watching antique car and farm machinery displays, buying balloons for the children, and taking bus tours from the station to swim at Riverside Park.
Mr. Basford, NCC and CP Rail officials and special guests ate lunch on the train, in a 1927 "director's day  car" named the Mount Stephen.
CP Rail official Dave Peters said the car which was panelled in Russian Walnut and fitted with a bar and balcony at the rear cost $74,000 when it was built and is worth more than $500,000 today.
It was taken out of storage for Sunday's trip, along with an antique "business car" complete with brass beds to rest on during the return trip to Ottawa.
The five public cars and engine 1057 are owned by the Ontario Rail Association. They were brought to Ottawa by the NCC for the Mississippi Express which will run every Sunday during the summer.
The engine, built in 1912, was used in the Algoma District until until 1959, then transferred to Ontario District, based in Owen Sound. It was manned by a crew of five. The cars are the type used by Ontario railways during the 1930s not very different on the inside from ones used. today.  The NCC had hoped to use the historic locomotive owned by the National Museum of Science and Technology for the weekly excursions, but on inspection. It was found, to be not up to the trip.
It has been sent to rail association headquarters in Toronto to be repaired, and may not be on the tracks again until after Sept. 1.
Next summer, the NCC is planning to operate two routes for the steam trains the Mississippi Express and one to Wakefield, Que., provided public response is good.  Mr. Basford says he was surprised to see the number of persons who came just to take pictures and record the sound of Sunday's train.  "This just shows how popular steam engines are," he said.
The passengers certainly enjoyed the ride. Many bought souvenir postcards and engineer's hats available in one of the cars.
NCC spokesmen said, sales of tickets which cost $5 for adults, $3 for children, or $15 for families, will help cover the costs of the trip
But the train will run at a loss this summer. Officials would only say this is an "undisclosed sum."

Bruce Chapman writes November 2021

For the first trip to Carleton Place, I was dispatching in Smiths Falls and am including my first train order to a steam locomotive.

Colin Churcher writes  I too was on that trip having spent a harrowing couple of months making arrangements.


16 October 1977 The Queen and Prince Phillip ride behind CPR 4-6-2 1201 from Ottawa to Wakefield

From the Ottawa Journal 17 October 1977

A trip to remember by Christopher Cobb
Hundreds brave rain for glimpse of Royal Train.
For slightly more than an hour Sunday afternoon, the Royal train steamed steadily from the old 0tawa West railway station on Scott Street until it reached the rustic elegance of Wakefield - a small picturesque village along the banks of the Gatineau River.
There was a short delay enroute to allow the Queen time to receive a small bouquet of flowers from Jan Yantha, a 10-year-old boy from Hull. Jan said he had grown the flowers in his garden and the Queen looked both delighted and surprised at the gift.
Locomotive number 1201, proudly bearing the Royal crest, puffed slowly across the Prince of Wales bridge and picked up speed as it steamed into Quebec. The old engine was "officially retired" in 1959 after logging a million track miles. She can still reach speeds of 90 miles an hour on a good day and a good track, but Sunday neither were available.
Despite the drizzle, hundreds of people turned» out to watch the Royal couple pass by. Spectators thronged along the tracks, waving flags and hands as they watched intently for a glimpse of the Queen and Prince Philip.
One group had poured champagne and werecholding up their glasses to toast the Royal presence. Another gathering had decorated their raft with a huge Union Jack and were giving an enthusiastic welcome as they floated on the Gatineau River.
Three members of the Bytown Railway Association - Bob Millican, Duncan du Fresne and Colin Churcher - were on board. The trio had worked all weekend to get the train into tip-top condition for the journey.
The Queen, Prince Philip and other dignitaries occupied the last two carriages. The Queen’s parents rode in them nearly 40 years ago" when they visited Canada, and the Queen herself may have remembered the green upholstery in the train's royal salon from
1951 when she came here as a Princess.
Everyone on a Royal train gets a wave from spectators, and few could resist the temptation to wave back at the crowds along the track.
The journey was relatively smooth but the engine had to puff extra hard as it pulled its five
carriages up the notorious Mile Hill at Chelsea. Nobody really noticed but, according to the resident railway association experts, the wheels slipped several times on thgreasy tracks. .
"See that tree up there?" asked one. "Well, when we get past that we can relax. That’s where the hill ends and from there it’s dead easy."
Rain-sodden Quebec Provincial Policemen - 200 of them - were stationed intermittently along the route as a security precaution, but they had little to do except watch, like everyone else. 
The crowds got larger as the train reached Wakefield and at the roundabout just beyond the station about 2,000 cheering people watched it pull in.
Scouts, guides, cubs, brownies and local Legion members waited as the Queen walked the length of the train to thank 57-year-old engineer Ab Sabourin, CP’s senior Ottawa area engineer, and his fireman Rudi Lamothe.
"It was a trip to remember," said the veteran engineer. "She asked me about the engine and a few other things. But apart from that, it was just like any other trip."  
After a short walk-about when they waved to the crowd and spoke briefly to a couple of Legion members, the Queen and Prince Philip drove through the village and on to Harrington Lake for lunch with the provincial premiers.   
The Royal train meanwhile was taken back to Ottawa to be housed in the Museum of Science and Technology until next summer when it goes back into service for Ottawa-Wakefield novelty rides. The Royal cars, however, will be out of circulation until they are called upon again.   
And that, as many of Sunday’s passengers sadly noted, ‘could be a lone way down the track.

Ottawa Citizen 17 October 1977

Royal Handshake.  Following arrival of the Royal Train at Wakefield, Que., during the recent Jubilee visit, the Queen is shown bidding farewell to fireman Rudi Lamothe while engineman Albert Sabourin looks on with Prince Philliip and La Peche mayor Cleo Fournier and Mrs. Fournier.  These two CP Rail employees, along with conductor Donald E. Gaw; trainmen S.F. Palmer and P.A. Robinson operated the train from Ottawa to Wakefield on behalf of the National Museum of Science and Technology.  Engine 1201, an oil-fired steam locomotive, built by Canadian Pacific  in 1944 at Angus Shops was decorated with the royal crest for this historic journey.

BRS Crew - Duncan duFresne, Robbie Milliken (in cab), Colin Churcher on ground. Photo taken the Saturday before the trip while preparing the locomotive.

The Royal Coat of  Arms is in the possession of the Canada Science and Technology Museum and was first used on the first Royal Train to be run in Canada in 1860.


Last updated on 14 March 2023