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 1860||The 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|
|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 1876||Account of a Journey over the North Shore line to Montreal (Caution date may be wrong)|
|9 December 1877||Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway - First excursion from Hull|
|10 June 1879||Inauguration of Palace cars on the Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway|
|6 August 1879||Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway - Inaugural train between Hull and Aylmer|
|30 September 1882||Canada Atlantic Railway - first excursion Ottawa to Coteau and Valleyfield|
|9 December 1884
||First passenger train
between Aylmer and Quyon on the Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway
|29 June 1886||First transcontinental passenger train, the Pacific Express, passes through Ottawa|
|5 November 1887||First train in Canada to be equipped with electric light|
|4 March 1888||Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway - first train|
|8 November 1890||Canada Atlantic Railway - trial trip of locomotive No. 15 between Ottawa and Carlsbad Springs|
|16 December 1890
||Gatineau Valley Railway -
first inspection trip over the line
|15 February 1892||First 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|
|22 April 1901||Ottawa, Northern and Western Railway - opening of the Interprovincial Bridge, Hull to Ottawa|
|25 July 1901||Hull Electric Railway - First trip of a street car over the Interprovincial Bridge|
|2 December 1901||Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway - first train from Waltham to Ottawa|
||A Trip to Queens Park on
the Open Streetcar.
|20 March 1915||Glengarry and Stormont Railway - first inspection trip from Montreal to Cornwall|
|24 May 1915
||Opening of the Glengarry
and Stormont Railway
|5 May 1929||A Telegram is Sent from a Moving Train|
|27 April 1930||Telephone Call Made to Britain from a CNR Train|
|18 November 1953||First Train over the Walkley Line|
|16 October 1977||The 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:-
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.
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.
Sir, - Yesterday morning dawned upon as large a merry a party of gentlemen on board the steamer Beaver as ever left this sylvan city "on pleasure bent" to be present at the opening of the railroad between Kemptville and Prescott. Everything was as pleasant as pleasant weather and pleasant fellows could make them, no small matter when we consider that the party consisted exclusively of "man's imperial race," but aggreably to the old adage "start determined to be pleased and you will be pleased," and heterogeneous, albeit the crowd, made up as it was, of Batchelors, Benedicts, Doctors and Justices, Lawyers and Councillors and Chapmen, withal starting with this wholesome determination, pleased they were to a man, such rollicking and such fun, so much loud and hearty laughter and so many tricks upon travellers as would have convinced the most prudish of Eve's fair daughters that one blade of a pair of scissors is not the worse for having the rust rubbed off it by occasionally separating it from the other blade; but tis two o'clock and Hurrah! here we are at Kemptville where we found a splendid spread, and which received every due justice at the hands of the hungry and happy Bytonians. All things considered, too much credit cannot be done to the Managing Committee; and if the knives did not cut it was they were new and had never cut before; but certes they were clean and we all know that cleanliness is next to godliness. But the ding dong of the engine bell signifies that it is time to "take your places ladies and gentlemen", which no sooner done than the shrill whistle warns us to hold on while the engine starts with its precious cargo of 450 or 500 sons and daughters of Adam. Off we go to the tune of Rule Britannia struck up by the Kemptville Band. Pish, pish and in a few seconds the unmusical gallop of the Iron Horse convinced us, however profound our knowledge was or Arithmetic, that we could make up a small sum of twenty in simple addition by counting the cedar posts which flanked the road on either side. The engine and the road were individually new - new they were to each other, while collectively they were new to the people and the people new to them; and the occasional screams of the steam whistle showed, as some errant horse or cow obtruded on the track, that Railroad Cars were likewise new to quadraped as well as biped, who with heads down and tails erect,scampered in terrorem out of harms way, and looked to all the world as if they meant to ask, where the devil do you come from? One hour exactly found us in Prescott, reader remember it was a trial trip, and many of us for the first time slackened out thirsty souls with the waters of the St. Lawrence, improved mightily, as some declared, with Gllman's Brandy - seven o'clock sees us safely stowed in again, and "homeward bound". The same description of mirth as at starting only ten time more pungent, attended the Prince Albert steamer, which disgorged its load at 3½ a.m. on the Basin wharf, where each took himself to his own domicile, highly pleased at the day's doings, with only one object to mar his happiness, to wit, that on the morrow he had to go back to business again.
|The second excursion was reported two weeks
later in the Ottawa Citizen (weekly) of 26 August 1854 being the
account of the Railroad Temperance Excursion which was abridged from
the Ogdensburgh Sentinel:
"On Wednesday 16th inst. the Temperance People of Canada in the vicinity of the completed portion of the Bytown and Prescott Railway, got up an excursion from Prescott to Kemptville, for the purpose of celebrating the entry of the "Iron Horse" within the precincts of the latter place, and of having a general public congratulation of the masses, upon the success of the enterprise which links them with the Atlantic cities.
"Having a partial regard to public prosperity and the cause of temperance, we appropriated the day and made one of the multitude. At the depot at Prescott, we found the locomotive St. Lawrence most gaudily dressed in holiday clothes, trimmed with flowers, evergreens and flags. The stars and stripes, on equal footing with the cross of St. George, floating on either side of engine and tender. Three passenger and three platform cars, capable of carrying over one hundred passengers each constituted the train. We left Prescott 9.36 a.m. with all the (cars?) comfortably filled, having on board delegations from Ogdensburgh, Brockville, Maitland, Augusta and a general turnout from Prescott. At most of the cross-roads, we passed passed large crowds anxious to arrest the train that they might procure passage, but it was impossible to accommodate them. At Spencer's we were joined by a delegation of about two hundred who were "piled on". Seating or stowing them away, was a question not to be entertained, not less debated. The cars, we presume, if they could have told their feelings, would have made the same reply that the notorious Charles Lamb did, when the inquisitive cab man thrust his head into the box and asked "Are you full in there?" The reply was "I don't know how it is with the other passengers, but that last piece of pie did the thing up for me!" So it was with the cars, that last station, had most emphatically done the thing up for them. Just imagine an old fashioned four seat stage coach, with four passengers on each seat, two standing between seats and a fat old lady and gent entering thro' the door, on either side, and you have a tolerable fair idea of our compactness after absorbing that last two hundred. Being somewhere in the vicinity of the middle of one of the platform cars, and near the bottom of the pile, we knew or saw little else during the remainder of the passage. We know however that there was enjoyment and sport among the top tier for often we felt the pile shake as though the outside ones were laughing, and a spent voice reached us with the exclamation "there goes another hat!" which was all explained when we reached Kemptville, by seeing a number of individuals with their heads dressed in handkerchiefs.
"About 12 o'clock the seats of the stand were all occupied and a meeting of at least two thousand was called to order by Mr. Ellwood, the District deputy G.W.P. of the Sons, who nominated W.H. Ellerbech, opened the meeting with beautiful and appropriate remarks, after which, Mr. David Fields of Ogdensburgh, read a sound, and able, well written temperance address - a copy we understand, was requested by the committee, for publication - Mr. Fields was followed by the Rev. Mr. Brewster, at some length, who in turn was followed by N.H. Lytle of Ogdensburgh and Rev. Mr. Smart of Brockville, in short addresses. The speaking was interspersed by music from the Kemptville Band.
"At two o'clock the multitude adjourned to the dinner grove and partook of the repast which had been most bountifully prepared by the good people of Kemptville, after which the time was spent in general congratulations and social conversation. It is estimated by good judges that not less than 4000 strangers visited Kemptville, on this occasion and many more would have been present could they have secured passage on the cars.
"The return train from Prescott arrived out at 3½ p.m. when we made preparations for our return home, having seen but one God's images, during the entire day, who bore the mark of the beast on his countenance. On our return trip we were not loaded so compact as on the outward passage aand were aforded an opportunity of viewing the country and the construction of the railway.
"The country along the finished portion of the road, is much of it low and swampy or uncultivated land. The road is well built, remarkably straight and even and much of the distance lies on solid rock. Its construction is nearly perfect, a fact every passenger will be willing to concede after a ride over it. The management is under the superintendence of Mr. Hough, who we noticed upon the train during the whole of the excursion, with a watchful eye to the safety of the passengers. Mr. E. Whitney, formerly postmaster of Ogdensburgh, is the regular passenger Conductor on the finished portion of the railway, and had charge of the excursion train on this occasion. Mr. Whitney is a modest unassuming gentlemanly conductor whom the Company will doubtless retain as long as it is in their power to do so. Nearly three, miles from Prescott the road is crossed by the Grand Trunk Railway. The crossing is made by bridging, obviating the possibility of collision. The Grand Trunk Road is built by English capital, and in English style, wide guage (sic) and will cost too much money ever to be a paying concern. It does not touch the river at Prescott, the builders being fearful that some of its trade might be diverted by the Ogdensburg Roads. The same policy would successfully "run into the ground" all the paying roads ever built."
10 January 1855 - First Excursion on the Bytown and Prescott Railway
The Bytown and Prescott Railway was opened throughout between Ottawa and Prescott on 25 December 1854. What would seem to be the first excursion trip over the entire railway took place on 10 January 1855. This account originally appeared in the Ogdensburgh Republican and was reprinted in the Ottawa Citizen (weekly edition) on Saturday 20 January 1855.
R. Hough Esq. the Superintendent of the Bytown and Prescott Railway, having given notice that on the 10th instant, an excursion train would run from Prescott to Ottawa leaving Prescott at 10 a.m. on that day, a number of our citizens, a number of whom had never visited Bytown, determined to avail themselves of this opportunity of taking a ride over this new and important road and paying their Bytown neighbors a flying visit, and witnessing for themselves the beautiful and majestic scenery with which this new "City of Ottawa" is surrounded. The day was cold but pleasant, the crossing over the St. Lawrence bad, inasmuch that but two or three small boat loads succeeded in getting over in time for the train. We happened to be among the lucky number, and found on our arrival at the depot a goodly number of our Prescott friends ready to accompany us.
The train started at the appointed hour and after a pleasant ride of about two hours and a half we were safely landed in the City of Ottawa. Bytown was nowhere to be found. On arriving at the British Hotel kept by MacArthur, we found good fires attentive servants and last, though not least, an excellent dinner embracing all the delicacies of the season, to which our party did ample justice. After the removal of the cloth, several impromptu toasts were drank and appropriately responded to.
On leaving the table we were agreeably surprised to find a sufficient number of teams in waiting at the door from the livery stable of Luke Dubois which had been ordered by that prince of good fellows John S. Gillman Esq. of Prescott to carry our party over the city. We passed the balance of the afternoon and evening in viewing the Suspension Bridge, the Chaudier Falls and other objects for which this city is noted. During our drive we made brief calls at the residences of several of the prominent citizens and partook of their whole-souled, old fashioned hospitality, among whom we must not forget our friend Lyon, proprietor of "Lyon's Hotel" near the Suspension Bridge where, in addition to a hearty welcome, we were entertained with an impromptu dance, which in its ease and naturalness, carried us back to the days when social enjoyment had not given way to stiff formalities and buckram etiquette.
Where much joy meets one on every side, time goes by on no lagging wing - and before we were aware of the fact, night had settled down upon the city.
At six o'clock in the morning, as many of the party as could shake off the agreeable appliances of Morpheus, arose and departed for their homes, where they arrived in safety, after another pleasant ride over this new railway, which connects the city of Ottawa with Prescott and Ogdensburgh "and the rest of mankind".
If the impressions we received while on this excursion were real, the city of Ottawa with the facilities now owned up by the Bytown and Prescott Railway, with its unequalled and sublime scenery, is destined, ere long, to become one of the greatest resorts of pleasure seeking travel on this continent.
Of this Bytown and Prescott Railway per se,
of the unequalled telegraph line now building, and which is nearly
completed between Prescott and Ottawa, extending along the line of
the Montreal, Prescott and Ottawa Company, we design hereafter to
as also of their purpose of putting down an English sub-marine cable
between Prescott and Ogdensburgh, It is, we understand, the
of this Company to put up two wires between Ottawa and Prescott, the
posts for which are already set, are of uniform size and straight, and
are put three feet in the ground, as all telegraphic posts should
be. Messrs. Dodge, Dickinson & Co. are the contractors.
10 January 1859 - First Excursion over the Brockville and Ottawa Railway between Brockville and Perth.
The Brockville Recorder was invited to travel with a group of invited guests over teh line between Brockville and Perth. It appears to have been a long, drawn out affair although the papers felt it was a success because the train actually made it there and back.
We have had a ride on the rail to Perth. Don't ask how long the journey occupied, whether three hours or ten hours, as the time taken cannot ignore the fact that the rails are connected and passenger cars from Brockville have entered Perth. This is a great fact, and there is no use denying it.
On Monday morning we went on board of a car for Perth, at the special invitation of Mr. Watson, the managing director of the Brockville and 0ttawa Railroad. The cars were to start at 8.30, but it was nine before they took their departure. The invitation to ride not being general, the crowd in the cars, specially invited, was not great. The distance between Brockville and Smiths Falls was made at an easy rate, over what appears to be a first-rate road, if we except a few miles not yet ballasted on this side of the Falls, and of which it would be unfair to judge at present. We left Smiths Falls about eleven, and here commenced a "chapter of accidents" which continued until the end. Monday's proceedings were a complete epitome of the history of the road from its first inception, stopping, backing, changing, with no one apparently capable of solving the difficulties. Why, we should like to know, were the engines and cars not under the direct control of Mr. Madrigan? Had this been the case, the "chapter of accidents" we have been speaking of would have been fewer, at least we think so.
Monday, however, was a bitter cold day. The thermometer at five in the morning stood at 40 below zero, cold enough, surely. The line between the Falls and Perth had not been run over from the Friday previous. The consequence was, that the snow had caked on the rail, and become, as it were, after the slight rain of Friday, part and parcel of the iron. The wheels of the locomotives had thus to contend with glare ice: they would revolve but could make no progress in dragging the cars after them. Several attempts were made to advance, but all was to no avail. At length it was decided to "back up" to the Station, in order that the crowd might dine at the Falls while a locomotive was sent over the line to do battle with the ice and snow itself, and prepare the way for the cars.. After dinner another start was made, but also with no effect - the fates were still against us. The forward engine's cowcatcher caught up the snow from the centre of the track and turned it over quite scientifically on the rail, and thus rendered progress impossible. Another "back up" to the station, in order to give the lead to another engine. Here several who had joined "the excursion" at the Falls, concluded to "go home", and two Brockville gentlemen did the same, trusting to the Perth stage for conveyance to Brockville, at which place they arrived about three hours before the railroad excursionists.
At length another attempt to reach Perth was made, but before long a halt was called in order to search the ditches along the road for water to supply the locomotive. The interesting experiment having to be made a second time. Slowly and steadily the train at length moved on, and hopes were high that no other difficulty would intervene, but fate again decided against these hopes. About a mile and a half from Perth, the last car on the train came to a dead stand: the coupling of the car had given way, and the engine, with the forward car, went off by themselves, leaving a car full of the most consummate grumblers all alone in their glory, till the engine returned from Perth, with a rope to hitch to the car. At length the grumblers reached Perth about a quarer to seven at night, having made the passage, forty miles, in nine hours and three quarters.
After tea the crowd was again in motion towards the station, the hour for starting home being eight o'clock. Here again our prospects for reaching Brockville were all but smashed into a cocked hat. In shunting one of the cars it got off the track and about three hours were spent before it was got on. About eleven o'clock "all aboard" was the word and the weary excursionists returned home about half past three in the morning, never to forget their first trip to Perth over the Brockville and Ottawa Railroad.
The severe coldness of the day prevented anything like an inspection of the works along the line, but on what we did see, we have no doubt, the road, when thoroughly ballasted will be second to none in Canada.
There was another, more satisfactory, trip recorded before the railway opened. This took place on 26 January 1859 and was reported in the Perth Courier and the Brockville Recorder ran the story on 3 February.
On Wednesday last, the members of the County Council of Lanark and Renfrew, having received an invitation from the President of the Railroad Co., took a trip to Brockville on the cars. The invitation was extended to members of the Town Council and several other of our citizens. Having been invited by Mr. Watson, the Managing Director, to accompany the party, we took our seat along with the rest, and at a quarter past 9 o'clock the train started from the Depot. There being only one passenger car, it was pretty well crowded; but the party being in good spirits, and determined to enjoy themselves, accommodated each other in a neighbourly way as well as circumstances would admit. The train arrived at Brockville at twenty minutes to 12, having made the trip in 2.25 - which is pretty good running considering the unfinished state of a considerable portion of the road. The party proceeded to the Willson House, where after visiting the tunnel, they sat down to a sumptuous repast got up in 'Brennan's' best style. After doing justice to the good things set before them, short speeches were made by several gentlemen present. 'All aboard' was then the cry and the train on the return trip left Brockville at half past three, and arrived at Perth at six - all highly delighted with what was, to the greater portion of them, the first trip on the Brockville and Ottawa Railway.The road is well made so far - is remarkably smooth - and when properly ballasted will be second to none in Canada
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
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.
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.
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.
In Search of Rear.
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.
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
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.Top
14 September 1865 - Brockville and Ottawa Railway Excursion from Brockville to Arnprior
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 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
Yesterday was all that could be desired for the trip to Sand Point,
and soon after nine o'clock a large crowd had collected at the terminus
of the Canada Central Railway at the Chaudiere Flats, where a train of
eight cars was in readiness drawn by the powerful engine, H.A.
ABBOTT. This engine was built in Taunton, Mass and is one of
great speed and power. She forms one of three which have been
constructed for the Canada Central Railway Company. No. 1 is
named after to well-known English capitalist Mr. H.W.F. Bolckow who is,
we believe, the largest shareholder in the
company; No. 2 is named after the president (this would be John G.
Richardson - CJC), and No. 3 after the contractor for the line to
untiring energy and enterprise we owe the speedy completion of the
Mr. H.A. Abbott. This engine, as before stated was the one
to propel the excursion train on the opening day. She was
decorated with Union Jacks and Red, White and Blue flags interspersed
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
Releves - boned turkeys with apple jelly; game pate; hams; ornamented rounds of beef; smoked beef tongue.1. March "Distant Greeting" - Doran.
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
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.
4 December 1872 - Inaugural train, Canada Central Railway 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
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.
The Renfrew Mercury of 3 September reported
From the Pembroke Standard.
The Winchester Press of 17 September 1925 reported:
Figured in Historic Sod Turning
24 May 1876 - Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway
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.
"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.
9 December 1877 - Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway
The arrival of the railway in Hull from Montréal caused a great deal of interest and there were a number of groups using the railway before construction was completed. A number of people left for Montréal on the construction train on 21 November 1877 although the rails did not reach Hull station until two days later. However, the first excursion was recorded in the Ottawa Citizen of 10 December 1877:
"A party of young folks went on a pleasure excursion on the invitation of the conductor of the construction train to Calumet yesterday, expecting to return last evening. The pleasure party started about 12 o'clock, arrived at Calumet all right, and are still there, waiting for a chance to return home as the train did not return."
The mystery of the missing excursionists was solved by the Ottawa Citizen on Tuesday 11 December:
"The excursionists who started from here on Sunday returned between 11 and 12 yesterday having gone through with the train to Montréal."
10 June 1879 - Inauguration of Palace cars on the
The Ottawa Citizen of 11 June 1879 reported on an excursion from Montreal to Hull. People from Ottawa had travelled to Montreal the previous evening to participate:
In railways, as in nearly everything else, time has worked wonderful changes. A few years ago the travelling public were satisfied with an ordinary first class car. Now they have become more fastidious in their tastes and look for canoe couches, revolving chairs elegantly upholstered &c. To satisfy the public taste, and as well to keep up its first class reputation, the Q.M.O.& O. Railway decided to introduce on their line the Palace car system. Yesterday saw the inauguration of the system and the event was celebrated by an excursion from Montreal to Ottawa, two of the new cars being attached to the regular train. Among
The Gentlemen Who Were Present
By invitation were the following press representatives: - J. Stewart, Montreal Herald; G,B, Burland, Canadian Illustrated News; J. Harper, Montreal Star; J.H. McLean, Montreal Gazette; J.C. Martin, Montreal Post; R.C. Smith, Montreal Witness; George H. Fox, Ottawa Free Press; W.J. Cuzner, Ottawa Citizen; S. Foley, Journal of Commerce; A. Beaugrand, La Patrie; E. Lamothe, Le Nouveau Monde; R. Tremblay, Le Courier de Montreal; L. Lorrain, Franco Canadien; and O, Balland, le Minerve; M. Hosmer, General Manager of Dominion Telegraph Co.; Mr. A. Le Moine de Martigny were also present and the following officers of the company: Mr. G.A. Scott, General Superintendent; Mr. F.J. Pruyn, General Paymaster; Mr. M. O'Meara, jr., Agent at Ottawa; and Mr. J, Gordon, Inspector of Stations.
The train left the mile end station at 9.30 o'clock and reached the city at 2 o'clock p.m. a delay of 15 minutes having occurred at Calumet station owing to the heating of the journals of the new cars. Conductor Williams was in charge, who, with Conductor Diamond, bears the reputation of being perfection in his business; courteous under any circumstances, and anxious at all times to administer to the wants of travellers. Engineer Whitehead, well known as one of the most experienced of Canadian engine drivers, piloted the iron horse and made fast time. At this season of the year, when all nature appears to be clothed in her garb of green, the trip is particularly enjoyable.
is varied and enjoyable. The route abounds in hills, valleys and small streams. The Lievre at Buckingham, with its turbulent waters tossed angrily over the rocks before entering the basin.and skirted with a rich green fringe presents a scene of grandeur that must be seen to be thoroughly appreciated. In fact, all along the line one finds something to attract his attention. A very noticeable improvement is observable in the farms between Ottawa and Montreal since the road opened, furnishing further evidence of the capitalizing influence of the railways. New houses are springing up, new barns are taking the place of the old rickety fabrics and the people are becoming more refined; neat and uniform station houses grace the different stopping places and a strong force of men are now engaged in improving the grounds around them.
The Rolling Palace
The two palace cars which were added to the rolling stock of the eastern division yesterday are not as expensive as some used on American railways, are elegant in every respect. Each contains two lounges, 11 revolving chairs, and a stateroom and a spacious smoking compartment. The chairs and sofas are upholstered in crimson and green plush, and the floor carpeted in keeping with the richness of the whole interior. The walls are of black walnut and bird's eye maple, the ceiling richly ornamened with flowers and Egyptian figureheads. In the smoking compartment tables are placed between seats, where one can indulge in a game of euchre or what, if he feels disposed to wile (sic) away the hours, and break the monotony of the jouney - for all railway trips, no matter where they are taken become monotonous in the end. The external appearance of those palaces is very attractive also, the painter displaying a vast amount of skill in blending of the colours. They are named "Marquis of Lorne" and "Hon. H.G. Joly", and were manufactured by the Gilbert and Brush Company, Troy, New York. They cost $7,000 each.
The Refreshment Depot
The principal stopping place between Ottawa and Montreal is Calumet. There the regular passenger trains meet and pass each other, and there too is found something which will appease the appetite. A splendid lunch room was opened yesterday and the party were entertained there at the expense of the line, the train having remained over "20 minutes for refreshments". A horse car at this point connects the railway with the L'Orignal ferry which takes passengers for the Grand Hotel, Caledonia Springs. This will soon be done away with and a new passenger car and engine combined will be substituted . It is now being manufactured at a cost of about $14,000 and will be in running order by September next. In this the people of L'Orignal and district hav much to be thankful.
On arriving at Hull the excursion party were provided with busses and driven to the Russell House, where after partaking of a warm meal, they visited some of the principal points of interest in the city, leaving for home by the evening train at 4.45 o'clock. They expressed themselves delighted with the trip and speak highly of the many courtesies extended by Mr. O'Meara jr., the efficient agent of this city. Mr. Scott, the General manager, Mr. Pruyn, Mr. Stark and other officials of the company, all of whome left no stone unturned to ensure the comfort of their guests. The all join in the wish that the palace car system inaugurated under such pleasing circumstances may prove the success the company may desire it to be.
6 August 1879 - Québec, Montreal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway
The Ottawa Citizen of Friday 8 August 1879 reported quite a
celebration which nearly included burning down the depot:
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 offer was received favourably and about 100 ladies and gentlemen soon found their way to the depot. On their arrival, considerable excitement was ocasioned by an alarm of fire, smoke having been observed issuing from the south west corner of the station platform. The planks were quickly pulled up and Mr. N.J. Conroy and the conductor, with two pails of water, quickly quenched the flames. The train whistled at 6.45 p.m. and made the run to Hull in about 20 minutes, returning at about 7.20 p.m.
The next item on the programme was a torchlight procession under the direction of the fire brigade. At dark the torches were ignited and the town paraded. It was a grand success and passed off without accident.
This was followed by a ball in Mr. Richey's hall. There were nearly 100 couples present and they certainly did dance until "the wee small hours", it being 3 o'clock before the musicians were allowed to take their departure. It was a very general remark, that although the ball like the othe part of the programme had been gotten up in a hurry, there never was a more successful affair of the kind witnessed in the town. At midnight a cold collation was served up by Mr. Richey and discussed with a good deal of energy.
30 September 1882 - Canada Atlantic Railway
Preliminary opening of the road from Ottawa to Coteau
On Saturday last, through the courtesy of the management of the Canada Atlantic Railway a large number of leading residents of Ottawa were afforded an opportunity of inspecting the road as far as it is completed, and also viewing the site at which it is proposed to bridge the St. Lawrence at Coteau. The following was the invitation card;
The newspaper account had a description of the invitation card. Reproduced above is a copy of the invitation kindly provided by Mr. William B. Esmonde, grandson of Edward Mcgillivray, the President.
THE START FROM OTTAWA was made sharp on time,and for a good half hour before, the station of the line at Stewarton was a scene of lively bustle. Invitations had been extended to some 500 gentlemen and ample accommodation made for the transit of the whole party over the route. Business and other engagements prevented a goodly number of those to whom the courtesy of the company had been extended from participating in the trip but still a large party of the representative gentlemen of the city were present. Among List of attendance
THE DOWNWARD TRIP
was rapidly and pleasantly made. To almost all of the party the greater portion of the district to be travelled was new and there was general surprise at the excellence of the country, not only as regards its agricultural capacity, but as to the excellent condition of the farms and the general opinion was that the line would still further and greatly improve the district. Eastman's Springs, South Indian, Casselman and intervening stations were rapidly passed and
A number of other residents of that place were added to the party.
of the road is of the very best. Although not yet completely ballasted, rapid time was made and on some sections of the trip over forty miles an hour was averaged. This was notably the case between Coteau Landing and Alexandria where a distance of twenty-three miles was made in thirty-six minutes. For easy travelling the road has no superior. As it is not yet fully equipped with rolling stockof its own, the cars in use on Saturday were not of the latest style but there was no perceptible jolting a fact all the more remarkable as a great portion of the line is not yet fully ballasted. The bridges, culverts and other works along the line are all of the very best and most substantial nature and the promoters have had an easy line to run as regards cutting and grading and hey have spared no expense in putting in substantial work where it was wanted. At one section of line there is one stretch of over twently miles over a country that looks like one big field and in which there is not a curve of any kind. The track for the whole of this distance is a line straight as a crow's flight. The party reached
early in the day and got off at the station which is situated close to the village. This is the present terminus of the line. The trip down was made leisurely to enable the party to fairly see the nature of the construction and the description of the countrywhich the road passes through. At the landing all embarked upon the steamer "St. Francis", which was in waiting and proceeded to
prettily situated in the St. Lawrence. The island is destined
to be one of the points over which the proposed new bridge will pass.
It is already connected to the mainland by telegraph, and for the
convenience of the visitors, a temporary office under canvas was put
up. A large awning tent had been put on the island in which
tables for four hundred were laid and by the time all were seated they
were well filled.
Here a bountiful collation was spread. The drive, the country
and the fresh air had sharpened the appetites of the excursionists and
enabled them to do full justice to the repast. The solid part of
the entertainment had come to a close with all well satisfied and with
plenty to spare. Mr. McGillivray, president of the road, called
the company to fill their glasses and proposed the health of the Queen,
which was received with all honours, the entire party joining in the
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.
5 November 1887 - Canada Atlantic Railway
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.
After years of patient waiting and hoping against hope, the long sought but much delayed train from Brockville to Westport is now an accomplished fact. If the spirit of Allan Turner Esq had been permitted to visit this mundane sphere and could have stood on the station platform as the train steamed into Farmersville station, he no doubt would have remembered the prophetic words we heard him utter 15 years ago "I may not, and probably shall not live to see a train running between Brockville and Westport but I firmly believe that only a few years will pass before you take your first ride over the road" The railway was completed several days ago, except for the finishing of the iron bridge across the canal at Newboro which was finally completed last week so the railway officials sent out invitation to all reeves, deputy reeves, and several others to take a ride over the line last Saturday, March 3.
Accordingly, an engine drawing a baggage car and a passenger car was sent out from Brockville to Westport last Friday afternoon. On its arrival at the Westport Station, a good percentage of the population was at the station to see it pull in, and cheer upon cheer rang over the winter air. The residences of some of the leading men of the village were decorated with chinese lanterns, those of Reeve Adams, and Rev. D.Y. Ross being the most beautifully illuminated. Unfortunately the wind came up during the night with drifting snow, but it was decided to make the run just the same, and at 7 am, on Saturday morning the whistle blew a warning note that all was ready for the first passenger run.
Boarding the train at Westport were: W.J. Fredenburgh, E.J. Adams, W.J.Webster, H. Lockwood, George Fredenburgh. After a short run of thirty minutes, Newboro was reached where almost the whole village was out to see L.S. Lewis, JU. N. Knowlton, W. Bass, James T. Gallagher, R. Blake, JH. H. Cole, T.W. Preston, J. Webster, and C. English, board the train. Only a short distance had been traversed when the train came to a haltin a snowbank, and all train hands, and some of the passengers had to go to work with shovels, and at frequent intervals for nearly two hours there was a tussle with the snow.
At 10:20 Philipsville was passed and Delta reached at 11:10 where the passenger list was increased by T.K. Scovil, Portland; W. Richardson, Seeley's Bay; J.R. Gargavel, Elgin; and J.E. Brown, W.H. Denaut, S.J. Seaman, D. Brown, And W. Robinson.
A Telegram was sent to Farmersville that the train was coming and would be carrying passengers, and at 12:15, it pulled into the station. Here, the Armstrong House bus and a team and a sleigh carried the passengers down to the hotel, followed by all the small boys of the community and watched by the rest of the population. After a hearty dinner was enjoyed as guests of the railway officials, the party returned to the train, accompanied by J.B. Saunders, W.G. Parish, Tom Berney, S.B. Williams, James Ross, J.C. Hannah, and Bethuel Loverin. From Farmersville to Lyn no drifts were encountered and the train arrived in Lyn at 2:20 where coal and water were taken on, and a quick trip over the GTR soon brought the train to Brockville.
Here a large crowd welcomed the passengers and carriages were waiting to take everyone to the Railway Company offices in the Comstock Block, where they were welcomed by Mr. Hervey who spoke on the building of the railway. He then invited all to be guests of the company at a sumptuous feast at the Revere Hotel. During the banquet, one of the party arose and said that they could not consider putting Mr. Hervey to the expense of returning them to Westport, and as many of the party desired to stay over Sunday in Brockville, they could do so, and the rest could arrange other transportation home. Several in the party were greatly upset, as they thought the train would be taking them home, but although Mr. Hervey offered to do so, his offer was refused by this party who said he had already been too kind. In fairness to Mr. Hervey, we will say that he provided carriages as far as Farmersville for all who cared to travel that far, and from this village, a livery bus was hired to return to their homes. But the rumor went abroad that Mr. Hervey had left the party to get home as best they could.
In speaking to the party from Farmersville, upon their return, they
praised the officials most highly for their entertainment and excellent
provided. They spoke of the comfort of the coach, and their enjoyment
of the trip.
8 November 1890 Canada Atlantic Railway
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.
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 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.
REBUILT IN OTTAWA
Mr. Ogilvie informed the Journal that the
locomotive was manufactured by the Baldwin Foundry company
Philadelphia, but that she had been entirely rebuilt in the C.A.R.
workshops here, and had only just been completed. She is a 17 x
24 cylinder, four wheels coupled and with Eames bracken (sic) driving
brake. She is fitted with full equipment for heating the cars,
thereby dispensing with the necessity and danger of stoves. The driver
wheels are 5 feet 8½ inches in diameter. The whole of the
work has been done under the direct supervision of Mr. Donaldson.
Her speed is intended to be about fifty miles an hour. She is painted
in dark olive green and gold, bearing the description "C.A.R. 15".
IN THE CAB
The scribe having climbed into the cab found
himself in a small glass house, opening at the rear on to the
tender. On either side a seat with windows on three sides, whilst
of the front is filled with taps, handles guages (sic) etc. By
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
YOU DON'T KNOW WHEN YOU MIGHT GET BACK
There seems to be reason in some case for
As Mr. Ogilvie put it, on a trial trip an engine may go out but
may happen and you don't know when she will come back. This one
the workmen illustrated by saying "An engine may run all right one way,
when it comes to the other - ah."
LET HER RIP
The run from Eastman's tests her speed, the
pressure has been carefully brought down to 140, and let her rip.
So she does, easily and gently, running smoothly and answering
perfectly. About three miles from Ottawa she slacks down and
lands up in the depot in 8 minutes for 12 miles.
16 December 1890 Gatineau Valley Railway
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
GILMOUR'S GROVEso 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
AT THE PECHEis 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.
THE RETURN TRIP
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
The first through passenger train to reach Cornwall from Montreal over the Glengarry and Stormont Railway arrived about 1.30 p.m. Saturday. On board were the following officials from the CPR.: Messrs. George Hodge, general superintendent; Wm Stitt, general passenger agent; A.C. Mackenzie, engineer, maintenance of way; L.M. Mactavish, traveling freight agent; J.R. Gilliland, Smiths Falls, district superintendent; O. Kirkland, roadmaster; M. Malloy, bridge and building master; T.B. Ballantyne, resident engineer; C.L. Hervey, A.A. Mellor and D.A. O'Meara, of the Glengarry Construction Company, builders of the road.
The party was met at the depot by His Worship mayor Stiles, members of Cornwall Town Council and prominent citizens. The officials expressed themselves as highly pleased with the road and depots from St. Polycarpe to Cornwall and particularly with the Cornwall Depot which they described as one of the best ever erected on a new road. A stop was made at each station on the way west and considering this fact the train made good time having left Montreal at 10 a.m.
Mr. Hodge the general superintendent stated that as soon as the frost was out of the ground the work of ballasting the road would be proceeded with and rushed to completion as well as other necessary works attended to, and he expected a through passenger service between Montreal and Cornwall would be inaugurated during the month of May.The visitors were taken for a drive through Cornwall being accompanied by Mayor Stiles visiting several industrial establishments. They were greatly impressed with the outlook locally.
|Regular service over the Glengarry and
Stormont Railway commenced on 24 May 1915. The Cornwall Standard of
Sunday May 30, 1915 covered the event.
The New CPR Line
New Service Inaugurated on Monday - the Time Table
The regular passenger service over the Glengarry & Stormont Railway, the new CPR branch line connecting Cornwall and Montreal and points East and West, was inaugurated on Monday morning last, when the first regular train left Cornwall for the Metropolis. Engine No. 2118, in charge of Engineer James Babcock, late of Smith's Falls, hauled a train of one baggage and four passenger coaches, in charge of conductor Wm. Hinton,
late of Smith's Falls. Quite a number of passengers took advantage of the new route on the first trip.
The staff of the new depot at Cornwall is as follows: - R. King, of London, Ont., agent; L.B. Smith, of Renfrew, operator and ticket agent;
R.L. Stevens, of Chesterville, freight clerk; W.A. Maxwell, of Smith's Falls, freight checker; Hugh Englehutt, of Smith's Falls, trucker.
For the present one passenger train will go each way daily, leaving Cornwall at 7 a.m., reaching Montreal at 9:30; and leaving Montreal at
5:30 and reaching Cornwall at 8 p.m.
The following is the time table covering all stations from Cornwall to Montreal and return:
Going East, read down; coming west, read up
On Monday afternoon the first way freight reached Cornwall at 1:15 p.m., and, after discharging some freight and re-loading, left about 5
p.m. for Montreal. The train was in charge of conductor Jos. Tobin and Engineer J. Smith.
(Many thanks to Chris Granger)
5 May 1929 - A Telegram is Sent from a Moving Train
From the Ottawa Journal 6 May 1929Top
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 Journal Newspapers,
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
TopOttawa Citizen 17 October 1977
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.
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 22 March 2021