Railway Stories from the Ottawa Citizen.

Passenger carried right to his farm.

Ottawa Citizen 28 June 1929.
Incident illustrating "Service" on C.N.R. train.
There was much humor in an incident which occurred on a C.N.R. train bound from Montreal to Ottawa last evening, in charge of Conductor P.T. McGovern, 211 Bolton street, together with an illustration of what might be termed real service on the part of the official.
A man who had attended the Bennett rally at Alexandria boarded the train at that station just before it pulled out, and it was evident from his appearance that he had enjoyed the meeting to such an extent that he had celebrated "not wisely but too well".
He was bound for Maxville, two stations up the line, and the conductor, who knew him, had considerable difficulty in preventing him from leaving at the first station, Greenfield, as the passenger's sense of his whereabouts was very much at sea.
Prevented from getting off, he again subsided into slumber, and was not noticed until the train was pulling out of Maxville station, when a newspaper man suddenly remembered hearing the slumberer saying he was going to Maxville.  The train was rapidly gathering speed when the conductor happened along, and his attention was drawn to the passenger.
"Well, if he isn't here still", said that official, who without any hesitation, pulled the emergency cord, and the train glided to a standstill and the man was awakened from his slumbers.
As the conductor was leading him to the exit he happened to look out of the window, and the passengers went into roars of laughter when they heard him say; "Well, that's what I call service. We have actually saved him a long walk, for his farmhouse is just across the fields there."

Gang of Rivermen Beat Up the Conductor

Ottawa Citizen 2 March 1929
But Arnprior Constables of '70 Brought them to Task.
The conductors on trains that ran to upper Ottawa river points in the 'Seventies and carried shantymen, used to have a pretty hard time.  The river men used, as a general thing, to get drunk, refuse to pay their fares or insist on turning the train inside out.  Shantymen and train crews had frequent rows. Here is a story of a row which took place on a Canada Central train in the year 1873.  It is told by the Arnprior Review of that year:
A row occurred on the Canada Central railway train, on its route from Ottawa to Renfrew on Monday last.  It appears that a riverman being the worst of liquor, came to Mr. Munroe, of Torbolton, who was on his route up the river, and caught hold of him: neither being able to understand the other, led to a tussel between the two, in which the other rivermen took part.  Monroe (sic) left them, when the conductor went in, and soon came back and asked Monroe to assist him in (illegible) the rivermen.  A (illegible) in which about nine of the rivermen attacked and beat the conductor.  The conductor telegraphed to Almonte and Pakenham to have them arrested, but no constables were on hand, but when they came to Arnprior our vigilant constables were on hand, and took three men.  Two of the crowd were tried by our magistrate and sent to jail for thirty days for assaulting the conductor on the train.  They went to Pembroke to break stones, on Tuesday morning.  So much for whiskey.

Reporter learned some Railway Ethics.

Ottawa Citizen, 1 October 1926
Reminiscence of 1897 C.P.R. wreck near Gatineau Point.
In the year 1897, in the fall, two C.P.R. freight trains collided a couple of miles east of Gatineau Point.  The smash occurred just after daylight and as what was going to happen became evident in plenty of time, the engine crews were able to jump and save their lives.  The engines were pretty badly telescoped and a number of freight cars smashed.
Like other bad news, news of the collision spread quickly through the city.  A reporter on one of the city papers was one of the first from Ottawa to get on the scene.
He at once tackled one of the engineers.  To  every question he asked as to how and why there came the answer, "I don't know".
They knew nothing.
The reporter then tried the other engineer with the same set of results. He knew nothing.  Next the reporter tackled the firemen.  They also knew nothing.
Then the reporter went back to the first engineer.  "Look here", he said, "I am representing the -- newspaper.  When you refuse to talk to me, you refuse information to the --. So you had better cut out the fooling and tell me how the thing happened or I will have to report to the --."
"H.B." was there.
The engineer turned his back on the reporter. Then over his shoulder he shot out, "You blanked blank, don't you see H.B. Spencer over there.  Do you want to get me fired."
"Oh", said the reporter, "I'm sorry I hadn't seen him." Then he bustled over to "H.B." and got his story - or at least such facts as the general superintendent wanted to give.

Bytown Railway Society, Branchline, June 2010.

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