My pages First Trips and Early Excursions in the Ottawa Area describes some of the events listed here.  A hot link has been provided to these events.
Maps of the railways of the Ottawa area
Items marked  indicate changes to the corporate structure of Ottawa area railways.
Sources: These are too numerous to set out.  In the vast majority of cases I have used primary documents such as Orders in Council or orders of the Board of Railway Commissioners and its successors.  Local papers have also been extensively scrutinized.
The entries in this listing are shown in chronological order. You may either scroll through or click on the dates below.


1827 - The Rideau Canal Tramway is built from a stone quarry near Hog's Back to the canal, a distance of just under a mile.  The tramway transported stone for the locks and weirs on the Rideau Canal and was abandoned with the opening of the Rideau Canal in 1832.

1847 - The Union Rail Road opens. This was a 3½ mile horse powered portage railway on the Québec side of the Ottawa River some 32 miles west of Bytown (Ottawa). It ran from Lac Deschenes to Lac des Chats to avoid Chats Falls and was build by an unincorporated partnership known as the Union Forwarding Company. This horse railway was put out of business by the coming of the steam railways and it was closed at the end of the navigation season in 1879.

1851, April 7 - Walter Shanly, a railway engineer, completes his report on the location of the Bytown and Prescott Railway.  It was published in the Ottawa Citizen on Saturday 26 April, 1851.  Click here to see these reports.

1851, October 9 - official ground breaking ceremony for the Bytown and Prescott Railway takes place at the McTaggert Street station site.  A formal parade made its way from the Company offices to the station site.  The ceremony was followed by a formal dinner at Doran's.

1852, January 13 - The 5'6" gauge, broad gauge, is adopted as the standard gauge for the Province of Canada (Ontario and Quebec). The broad gauge was used until about 1870 after which time there was a gradual change to the now standard 4' 8 1/2" gauge.

  1854, September 16 – Laying of the cornerstone of the Brockville and Ottawa Railway’s Brockville tunnel.

1854, December 25 - The first scheduled through service of the Bytown and Prescott Railway, which was chartered on May 10, 1850 (Statutes of Canada 1850, cap. 132).  Advertisements showed a train leaving Bytown 6:00 a.m. calling at Gloucester, Osgoode, Kemptville, Oxford, Spencers, arriving Prescott 9:00 am, connecting by ferry to the Ogdensburgh Railroad going east for Montreal (arriving same evening), Boston and New York (arriving next day).  A return train left from Prescott at 5:30 (waiting for the ferry from Ogdensburgh Railroad trains), arriving Bytown 8:30 p.m.  Fares during the first week of service were $2 for the round trip.  
- An eye witness, writing over 40 years later in December 1895, stated that the bridge over the Rideau River was not completed until January 1855.

The line had been completed and opened in sections as follows:

21 June 1854 between Prescott and Spencerville,
9 August 1854 between Spencerville and Kemptville, connecting by carriages to Becket's landing with Steamboat to/from Ottawa;
4 November 1854 between Kemptville and Gloucester;
14 December 1854 trains started from the Montreal Road near the Rideau Bridge at the east end of Bytown.
- There have been references to a temporary terminus at New Edinburgh. This may be the reference to trains starting from Montreal Road on 14 December 1854.
- There is a story that the railway ran out of rails and, in order to finish the line, was forced to use wooden blocks with iron straps.  In fact the company ordered sufficient rails to complete the railway and there is no reference to this in contemporary accounts.  Until further evidence becomes available this should be regarded as an unfounded story.

1855, January 1 - Bytown and Prescott Railway commences carrying mail as well as passengers.

1855, May 10 - Official opening of the Bytown and Prescott Railway. The railway changed its name to Ottawa and Prescott later that year.

1855, November 17 - the Grand Trunk Railway is opened between Montreal and Brockville.

1856, October 27 - The Grand Trunk Railway opens its broad gauge line throughout between Montreal and Toronto. It was opened in sections as follows:

Montreal to Brockville - November 17, 1855.
Oshawa to Toronto - August 11, 1856.
Brockville to Oshawa - October 27, 1856.

1859, February 17 - Brockville and Ottawa Railway is opened, on the provincial gauge (5' 6"), between Brockville (from a temporary station at the junction with the Grand Trunk Railway) via Smiths Falls to Perth.

1859, August 29 - Brockville and Ottawa Railway is opened from Smiths Falls to Almonte (this may have been as early as August 22).

1860, May 16 - Brockville and Ottawa Railway opens a tunnel of one third of a mile from the temporary station in Brockville to the Harbour. This was the first railway tunnel in Canada.

1860, September, 3 - the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, rides between Almonte and Brockville on the Brockville and Ottawa Railway.  The prince had travelled to Arnprior by water from Ottawa and used the Chats Falls horse railway of the Union Forwarding Company.

1861,  January 1 – First passenger service to the Brockville & Ottawa’s Brockville harbour terminus. (this may have been as early as Dec. 31, 1860, or as late as January 9, 1861)

1861, October - a tramway is in use by this date at the Currier saw mill lumber yard at the Rideau Falls.

1862, November - a third rail is laid alongside the Ottawa and Prescott line between Prescott Junction and Prescott wharf so that broad gauge Grand Trunk Railway trains can run directly to the Prescott wharf.

1864, December 6 - Brockville and Ottawa Railway opens its line between Almonte and Arnprior.  To mark this event, "The Great Railway Celebration" was held in Arnprior on Thursday, December 8, 1864.  It was held in a "large and commodious two-storey brick school", likely the Arnprior Public School situated on Ottawa Street.  The dinner-dance was the most elaborate social event in the village since the visit of the Prince of Wales four years earlier.

1865, September 19 - Brockville and Ottawa Railway opens between Arnprior and Sand Point.

1867 - The Ottawa and Prescott Railway is reorganized as the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway.

1868, August 14 - formal ground breaking ceremony for the Canada Central Railway section between Ottawa and Carleton Place takes place at the Hyde property on Richmond Road, three miles west of Ottawa.  This ceremony is repeated on 26August at Carleton Place.

1869, October 11 - His Royal Highness Prince Arthur arrives in Ottawa at the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway station at Sussex Street which was heavily decorated for the occasion.

1869, October 13 - His Royal Highness Prince Arthur rides the Chats Falls horse railway of the Union Forwarding Company on his way from Aylmer to Pembroke.

1870, September 15 - Canada Central Railway opens on the provincial gauge (5' 6") from Chaudière (Broad Street) to Carleton Place Junction, a half a mile south of Carleton Place station.  The inspection was carried out on this day by Mr. J.H. Rowan of the Department of Public Works who found that “the work done on the line is of a good and permanent character, the stations, rolling stock and other appurtenances being sufficient for the proper working of the road". Carleton Place continued to have two stations through to 1875 when the original CP station was closed.

1871, July 22 - formal ground breaking ceremony for the Canada Central Railway section between Sand Point and Renfrew takes place at Renfrew.

1871, December 13 - St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway opens from Chaudière Junction (later Ellwood), over the Rideau River and Canal, west of Dows Lake to the Chaudière.  The first locomotive arrived on 9 December while flat cars were being loaded at the Booth mill as early as 2 December.  These had been brought to the Chaudiere over the Ottawa City Passenger Railway, the horse railway.

1872 July - the Dufferin Bridge tramway is opened.  It was extended to Parliament Square in September 1873 and the rails were removed in October 1875.

1872, December 4 - the Canada Central Railway inaugural train between Sand Point and Renfrew.  The works had been inspected by Mr. F.A. Thise who found that the line, although in an incomplete state for want of fencing and cattleguards was not unsafe for public travel.  Freight trains had started operating from November 11.  Regular passenger service commenced Monday December 9.

1873, October 3-4 - The Grand Trunk Railway converts the gauge of its line main line through Prescott Junction to standard gauge.

1875, May 14 - ceremony of the first sod of the L'Orignal and Caledonia Railway at Treadwell Hill, just outside L'Orignal.  Some work was done but the line was never opened to traffic.

1875, August 30 - ceremonial turning of the first sod at Pembroke for the Canada Central Railway section between Renfrew and Pembroke. A civic holiday was declared so that Pembroke citizens could attend the ceremony.

1876, October 3 - Regular trains of the Canada Central Railway commence running between Renfrew and Pembroke, construction trains having been used until this date.

1877, December 27 - Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway opens between Montréal and Hull via Lachute.

1878, July3 - The Brockville and Ottawa Railway is amalgamated with the Canada Central Railway under the name of the latter.

1879, August 6 - Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway extends from Hull to Aylmer.

1880, November 29 – The Canada Central renames Carleton Place Junction to Carleton Junction in its public timetable.

1880, April 15 - passengers and freight are carried on the Canada Central Railway standard gauge extension west of Pembroke to Mackey's station by the contractor James Worthington.  This section was handed over to the Canada Central on 29 November 1880. From that date Worthington offered service on the broad gauge extension from Mackey's to Bissetts Creek

1880, April 24 and 25 - the gauge of the Canada Central Railway, including the former Brockville and Ottawa Railway, is changed from 5' 6" to standard gauge.  The work, carried out by 300 men, was accomplished without interruption to train services.  Since the shops were unable to to convert all motive power and rolling stock immediately to standard gauge, a number of broad gauge locomotives and cars were sent to the extension, and construction of the extension between Mackey's Station and Mattawa was carried out on the broad gauge.  The track between Mackey's Station and Mattawa was narrowed to standard gauge on Saturday 17 September 1881.  At this time, the broad gauge engines and cars were moved back to Carleton Place shops, aboard flat cars, for gauge conversion.

1880, December 13 - Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway extends its line from Hull to Chaudière over the Prince of Wales Bridge.  The bridge was tested on this day and the first official train used it on December 16.  However, work continued on the structure until Monday, 17 January 1881, when trains started using it regularly.  At first, the QMO&O used the Canada Central station until the opening of Union Station.

1881, May 23 - the first Union Station is opened at the Chaudière (Broad Street) between the Canada Central Railway and the Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway. 

1881, by June 6 - Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway trains from Aylmer commence using the new Union station at the Chaudière.

1881, June 9 - Canada Central Railway is amalgamated into the Canadian Pacific Railway.

1881, August 30 – Broad gauge tracklaying on the Canada Central Western Extension reaches Mattawa station. It was re-gauged to standard by the end of September.

1881, October 12 – An excursion to Mattawa including the Prime Minister and several members of Cabinet and of the CPR board marks the handing over to the CPR of the line from Mackey’s to Mattawa by contractor James Worthington.

1882, May 1 - the Québec legislature approves the sale of the Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway line from Montreal to Ottawa and the Aylmer branch to the Canadian Pacific Railway.  The actual transfer took place on June 3.

1882, June 15 - ceremony of the turning of the first sod for the Ottawa and Gatineau Valley Railway is held at Hull.  Mr. Alonzo Wright M.P. performed the ceremony in the absence of the Hon. J.A. Chapleau, Premier of Quebec.

1882, June - the Canadian Pacific Railway constructs a car shop at Perth.

1882,  September - the CPR removes the former Brockville & Ottawa Ry. Brockville Harbour station from its timetable. The Brockville Recorder had reported closure of the station in January, but it had remained, without service, inthe timetable.

1882, September 13 - Canada Atlantic Railway opens from Coteau, Que. to Ottawa, Elgin Street. A gaily decorated special train had been run for the directors on 11 September.  The company was originally incorporated as the Montréal and City of Ottawa Railway on April 14, 1871. It amalgamated with the Coteau and Province Line Railway and Bridge Company to form the Canada Atlantic Railway on May 15, 1879. The station was located at Catherine Street near Elgin Street ,where the Queensway now is. The line was opened in sections as follows:

    Coteau Junction to Casselman on February 1, 1882 (trains had started running on 1 January).
    Casselman and South Indian (Limoges) by May 1882.
    South Indian (Limoges) to Eastman Springs (Carlsbad Springs) by 15 July 1882.
    Eastman Springs (Carlsbad Springs) to Ottawa on September 13, 1882.
1882, November 1 - Canada Atlantic Railway commences regular through passenger service between Ottawa and Montreal runnning over the Grand Trunk Railway between Coteau and Montreal.

1882 - Canadian Pacific opens the Brockville Loop line.  This was a heavily graded line, much of it on trestle work, running under the Grand Trunk main line to the industries at the western end of the Brockville waterfront.

1883, late August/early September - The Ontario and Quebec Railway (C.P.R) is opened between Perth and Sharbot Lake.

1883, October 26 - the Canadian Pacific Chaudiere roundhouse (built by the Canada Central Railway) is destroyed by fire.  A new roundhouse, which was already under construction, is opened on 13 December.

1883, December - Canada Atlantic opens an extension to the Chaudiere from Elgin Street as far as Broad Street.  The station is known as Richmond Road or Chaudiere Falls.  A new passenger station is opened by 12 December.

1884, May 11- a directors’ excursion from Perth to Toronto marks the formal completion of the Ontario and Quebec Railway (Canadian Pacific), followed the next day by the first through freight.  Regular through trains between Montreal and Toronto commenced over this route on 28 July 1884.

1884, September 26 - St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway is leased to the Canadian Pacific Railway for 999 years.  CPR had obtained control and commenced integration in 1881.

1884, December 29 - Kingston and Pembroke Railway opens between Kingston and Renfrew.  The actual connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway at Renfrew was made on December 26. The line had been opened in sections as follows:

  Kingston to Sharbot Lake (46½ miles) on June 17 1875.
  Sharbot Lake to Mississippi (12½ miles) in 1877
  Mississippi to Levant (10 miles) in 1881
  Levant to Clyde Lake (10 miles) in 1882
  Clyde Lake to south side of Grassy Bay (8 miles) in 1883
  South side of Grassy Bay to Renfrew (16 miles) in 1884.
1885, April 11 - Canadian Pacific Railway carries out a trial of an automatic type of coupler at Union Station (Broad Street).  This greatly reduced the danger to the lives and limbs of trainmen who then did not need to go between cars when coupling and uncoupling.  This saw the eventual elimination of the link and pin coupling.  A trial of a different model was carried out at the Canada Atlantic Railway station on 18 July 1885.

1885, May 1 - Canadian Pacific Railway opens the branch from Buckingham Junction (Masson) to Buckingham.

1885, August 24 - passenger trains of the former St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway (to and from Prescott) commence using the Canadian Pacific Railway Union Station at the Chaudiere.  Until this time the Sussex Street station had been used.

1886, January 11 - the first sod is turned at Newboro on the Brockville and Westport Railway.

1886, June 28 - First Pacific Express passes through Ottawa to inaugurate transcontinental passenger service. It reached Ottawa via Lachute, Hull and the Prince of Wales Bridge.

1887, May - with the issue of new time bills all trains on the Canadian Pacific Railway will run to the twenty four hour clock.

1887, July 28 - The first sod of the Ottawa, Waddington and New York Railway and Bridge Company is turned near Morrisburg.

1887, August 15 - Ontario and Quebec Railway (Canadian Pacific) opens the Smiths Falls section between Vaudreuil and Smiths Falls.  Freight and passenger trains (possibly mixed trains) commenced operation between Perth and Merrickville on 25 October 1886.

1887, November 2 - the Canada Atlantic Railway commences using the first passenger cars in Canada to be fitted with electric light.

1887, November 10 - Canada Atlantic Railway commences heating passenger cars by steam thus eliminating the danger of fire from stoves.  This is the first such use in Canada.  The entire Canada Atlantic passenger car fleet had been equipped with steam heating by October 1891 at which time the company became the first railway in Canada to use steam heating exclusively.

1888, February 2 - Pontiac Pacific Junction Railway completes construction of its line from Waltham to Aylmer where there was a connection with the Canadian Pacific line between Hull and Aylmer.  The line was opened in stages as follows:

Aylmer to Quyon, mile 21 - December 9, 1884  (operated by the contractor until mid-February 1885).
mile 21 to 31 - December 24, 1885.
mile 31 to 41 - January 27, 1886.
mile 41 to 51 - October 10, 1886.
mile 51 to 61 - December 15 1886.
mile 61 to Waltham - 2 February, 1888.

The opening in ten mile segments were the dates subsidies were approved.  The intermediate openings to service were:
March 1886 - Aylmer to Shawville
November 1886 - Shawville to Fort Coulonge
August 27, 1894 - Fort Coulonge to Waltham.  Although this section was completed and rails laid by February 1888, service did not commence until this date.
Through running of Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway passenger trains from Aylmer to Ottawa over the Canadian Pacific Aylmer branch commenced on 5 September 1887.

1888, March 4 - Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway opens between Lyn Junction and Westport.  Access to Brockville was obtained by running rights over the Grand Trunk Railway until 3 June 1889 when the BW&SSM opened its line between Brockville, Church Street and Lyn using a trestle to cross over the Grand Trunk.

1888, June 28 - the first train, a ballast train, is run over the Canada Atlantic Railway Chaudiere Extension from Broad Street to Chaudiere Falls.  The first revenue train, nearly a hundred cars of lumber, departed on September 18.

1889, June 4 - Canadian Pacific commences operation of a through train from Montreal to Minneapolis and St. Paul.  The first train originated at Sault Ste. Marie but the second and sunsequent trains ran right through.  These were known as the "Soo Express".

1889, August - J.R. Booth constructs a piling ground in the vicinity of Dows Lake, access to this is obtained by a siding from the Canada Atlantic line southwards from Rochester Street.  At the same time, Messrs. Sheppard and Morse construct a piling ground east of the Rideau River at Hurdman with rail access from the Canada Atlantic main line.

1889, late - the Pontiac and Renfrew Railway opens from Wyman (Billerica) to Bristol, 4 miles.  The company  had powers to cross the Ottawa River.  Although the line was out of use by 1891, occasional shipments of iron ore were made at least until 1896.  The trackbed was later used for the Hilton Mines Spur. Although 2 July 1889 is the date usually given for the opening of this line, the company was trying to arrange for the supply of rolling stock in November 1889 and a locomotive was not put on the line until early November 1889. 

1890, February 3 - the Canadian Pacific car sheds, close to Broad Street station, burn down. Cars destroyed were the official car "Jamaica", three first class day coaches nos. 49 (11/1882). 51 (11/1882) and 63 (ex QMO&O no. 3) and second class day coach no. 73 (ex QMO&O no. 5). The government car "Ottawa" was heavily damaged.

1891, August 12 - Canada Atlantic locomotive No. 33, tender and part of one car fall into the Rideau Canal through an open drawbridge.  The accident was caused by the fireman who made the movement without his engineer.

1891, October 29 - The Grand Trunk Railway completes the double tracking of its main line between Kingston and Montreal.

1891, October 10- Ottawa and Gatineau Valley Railway completes the first part of its line as far as Wakefield although public service was not commenced until 15 February 1892.  From the start trains originated and terminated at the Canadian Pacific Railway Ottawa Union station on Broad Street.  The line was completed in stages as follows:

10 October 1891 - An inspection train between Ottawa and Wakefield is run and this section is approved for operation.
December 1891 - construction completed to Farrelton - service commenced 16 April 1892.
14 February 1893 - first train arrives in Kazabazua, regular service commences 22 February 1893.
6 December 1893 - train service is extended from Kazabazua to Wright (the Pickanock).
25 October 1895 - opened from Wright to Gracefield.
8 February 1904 - Line is opened throughout to Maniwaki by Canadian Pacific.
the name of the Ottawa and Gatineau Valley Railway was changed to Ottawa and Gatineau Railway in 1894.

1892, January 4 - Central Counties Railway, incorporated on June 23, 1887 as the Prescott County Railway, opens from Glen Robertson to Hawkesbury. The line was leased to the Canada Atlantic Railway on 17 April 1891.  A formal inspection had been made by Inspector Marcus Smith on 3 December 1891 who found the line ready to be opened to the public provided two culverts were strengthened and proper provision made for turning the engine at Hawkesbury.  The first sod had been turned at Glen Robertson on 31 March 1891. Click here for a picture

1892, August 4 - J.R. Booth acquires the mill property of Messrs. Perley and Pattee at the Chaudiere thus paving the way for the final extension of the Canada Atlantic Railway across Bridge street and into the J.R. Booth mill itself.

1892, December 30 - Canadian Pacific Railway opens from Payne to Eganville with an excursion train from Renfrew.  A 25c. ticket carried each passenger and gave admission as well to a Presbyterian tea-meeting.

1893, April 17 - The world's largest cheese is shipped from Perth as Canada's entry for the dairy exhibit at the World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, IL.  This 22,000 lb. monster, measuring 6 feet in height and 8 ¾ feet in diameter, was made in a section of the Canadian Pacific freight shed in Perth.  The cheese, along with a special horse drawn wagon designed to haul the cheese, was loaded in the Perth station yard on Saturday 15 and placed on show before being shipped. At every station at which the train stopped, the people crowded on the flat car the cheese was on and wrote their names on the box.  By the time it reached Chicago there were about 20,000 autographs and not a square inch of space left. For further details see

1893, summer - work starts at Kingston on the construction of the Kingston, Smiths Falls and Ottawa Railway.  Progress was slow and no trains were ever run.

1893, September 18 - Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway is opened between Ottawa and Arnprior. The company was formed on May 18, 1891 through the amalgamation of the Ottawa and Parry Sound Railway with the Ottawa, Arnprior and Renfrew Railway. The various sections were opened as follows:

    Ottawa, junction with the Chaudiere line, to Arnprior - September 18, 1893.  Some freight trains had been run as far as Galetta from 3 March 1893.  The first train ran across the Madawaska river bridge at Arnprior on September 4.
    Arnprior to Eganville - December 18, 1893.
    Eganville to Barry's Bay - October 1, 1894.
1893, September 25 - Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway is authorized to operate over the diamond crossing with the Canadian Pacific Railway at Arnprior.  Interlocking signals and derailing apparatus had been installed by Mr. Kenneth Blackwell of Montreal.

1894, August 26 - a serious fire destroys the Booth piling grounds, west of Preston street and east of the CPR including the CAR curve to the Chaudiere. It destroyed a thousand piles of lumber, a many railway cars and all railway tracks and platforms in the yard.

1894, September 24 - a Canadian Pacific cattle train is derailed at Britannia.  Click here for details.

1895, August - a rail served grain elevator is opened at  Prescott. It was extended by May 1897 and a second track added.

1895, November 14 - fire destroys the Canadian Pacific passenger depot at the Chaudiere.  A rebuilt station is opened on 28 January 1895.

1895, December 9 - Central Counties Railway opens from South Indian (Limoges) to Rockland (an excursion from Rockland to South Indian had been run on 25 July). The line was leased to the Canada Atlantic Railway on 29 August 1895.  A formal inspection was made by Mr. J. St.V. Caddy of the Department of Railways and Canals on 6-8 December 1895 and authority was given for the Canada Atlantic Railway to open the line for public traffic, subject to a 15 mph speed restriction on the last two miles into Rockland until this section could be properly ballasted.

1895, December 23 - the Canada Atlantic and Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railways open a temporary passenger station alongside the Rideau Canal just to the north of Maria street (later Laurier Avenue).  From this date, the Canada Atlantic station at Elgin street is closed for passenger traffic and quickly converted to a store house. A special inspection train had been run on Saturday 21 December when the new station was formally opened.

1896, March 21 - the Hull Electric Railway concludes an agreement with the Canadian Pacific to lease the Hull-Aylmer branch.

1896, September 17 - Central Depot is opened by the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound and Canada Atlantic Railways. The building was originally Dufresne and McTaggart's wholesale grocery warehouse that had previously been converted to a militia store.

1896, November 2 - Madawaska becomes the divisional point on the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway.  Before this time, Barry's Bay had been the divisional point.  On this date trains started running through from Ottawa and a new five stall roundhouse was opened.

1896, December 21 - the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway opens throughout between Ottawa and Parry Sound.  

1897, October - first revenue freight train over the Ottawa and New York Railway between Crysler and Finch

1898, April 12 - ground breaking for the Lanark County Electric Railway was accomplished by Mr. James Doyle, of Perth, and the ground was broken on his farm at Armstrong's Corners, near Perth.  He used his road grader for the purpose, and turned up the sod for about two acres along the proposed route.  The object was to save the company's charter although little else was achieved and the line was never opened to traffic. 

1898, May 24 - first passenger train over the Ottawa and New York Railway between Russell and Cornwall Junction then over the Grand Trunk Railway to Cornwall and return.

1898, July 29 - Ottawa and New York Railway opens between Cornwall and Ottawa.  Incorporated as the Ontario Pacific Railway in 1882, it became the Ottawa and New York Railway in 1897.  The first sod was turned at Cornwall on 23 August 1897 and the first revenue freight was two carloads of hay from Crysler to Montreal which were routed through Finch and the Canadian Pacific in late October 1897.  Agreement could not initially be negotiated with the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway on the use of Central Depot and Ottawa and New York trains ran to and from the Canadian Pacific station at Sussex or McTaggert Street.

1898, September 5 - Canadian Pacific Railway opens from Montréal to Ottawa via RigaudAn inspection trip was run on May 19.  This line had been chartered by the Vaudreuil and Prescott Railway in 1884. The Vaudreuil and Prescott Railway changed its name to Montréal and Ottawa Railway on 26 March 1890 and was leased in perpetuity to Canadian Pacific on 15 November 1892. It was opened in stages as follows:

    Vaudreuil to Rigaud - October 4, 1890.
    Rigaud to Alfred - December 21, 1896.
    Alfred to Plantagenet - December 16, 1897.
    Plantagenet to Ottawa - September 5, 1898.
A branch between Rigaud and Point Fortune was opened on September 27, 1892.

1898, September 5 - Archbishop Duhamel, at a ceremony in Embrun, blesses the Ottawa and New York Railway, its President, the road itself, its employees and rolling stock.  Several thousand peple were present and a picnic was held in the afternoon.

1898, September 6 - Two spans of the New York and Ottawa Railroad bridge over the south channel of the St. Lawrence River collapse with the loss of fifteen lives.

1899, January 2 - Pembroke Southern Railway, incorporated May 27, 1893, opens from Golden Lake to Pembroke.  The first train into Pembroke had arrived on November 14, 1898. The company was leased to the Canada Atlantic Railway on August 31, 1899 which took over operation on 1 September 1899.

1899, January 9 - Hull Electric purchases, for $100,000, the Canadian Pacific line between Aylmer and the main line at Hull.  Before this the Hull Electric had used the line under lease.

1899, March 6 - Ottawa and New York Railway is forced to use a freight building at the St. Patrick Street bridge as a temporary terminus because the bridge over the Rideau River giving access to the Sussex Street depot has become unsafe.

1899, March 20 - Ottawa and New York Railway trains begin using Central Depot (Canada Atlantic/Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railways) for passenger trains.  Mixed trains continued to use the Canadian Pacific Sussex Street station until October 1901.

1899, June 6 - Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway becomes part of the Canada Atlantic Railway.

1900, April 26-27 - the disastrous great fire of Hull-Ottawa destroys a great deal of railway infrastructure including 13 cars of the Ottawa and Gatineau and Pontiac Pacific Junction Railways and 175 Canadian Pacific freight cars valued at $130,000.  The Canadian Pacific Union Station and freight sheds on Lebreton Flats were destroyed (valued at $40,000) while the value of Canadian Pacific freight lost was estimated at $30,000.  The fire created a shortage of lumber in the area and, as a result, the Canada Atlantic Railway car shops in Ottawa East were forced to temporarily cease building new freight cars.

1900, September - Canada Atlantic completes the installation of automatic couplers and air brakes on its freight rolling stock.

1900, December 11 - the bridge over the St. Lawrence River at Cornwall, which was wrecked during construction on 6 September 1898, is opened thus allowing the Ottawa and New York Railway to commence through train service from Ottawa and Cornwall to Tupper Lake, NY. (the company had been advertising through service since October 5).  A formal inspection had taken place on 11 October 1900.

1900, December 12 - the first locomotive crosses the Interprovincial Bridge from the Hull side.

1901, February 22 - The Interprovincial Bridge is opened. However trains could not be run immediately because railway connection in Hull was not completed.

1901, March 10 - Canadian Pacific opens a new station at Ottawa Broad Street, known as Union Station, to replace the one destroyed in the Hull-Ottawa fire.

1901, April 16 - the Ottawa and Gatineau Railway is authorized to open 1.87 miles of line extending from a point on its constructed line, then opened as far as Gracefield, in the township of Hull to a point of junction with the approach to the Interprovincial Bridge in Hull.

1901 - Ottawa and Gatineau Railway changes its name to Ottawa, Northern and Western Railway.

1901, April 22 - The first scheduled train across the Interprovincial bridge was Ottawa, Northern and Western train #2 from Gracefield arriving in Ottawa at 09:35. The first train out of Ottawa over the bridge would have been O&NW train #1 which left at17:00 later that day. The Pontiac Pacific Junction Railway was authorized to build a bridge from Hull to Ottawa in 1882. The Interprovincial Bridge Company was incorporated in 1890 and the rights of the Pontiac Pacific Junction were transferred to the Ottawa Interprovincial Bridge Company in 1898.

1901, September 21 - The Interprovincial or Alexandra Bridge is dedicated by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.

1901, September 24 - Pontiac Pacific Junction Ry. is authorized to open from a point on the Canadian Pacific near Hull station to a junction with the Ottawa Northern and Western Railway in Hull.

1901, October 1 - Ottawa and New York Ry. starts to use its freight station at Ann (Mann) and Nicholas Streets for its mixed trains which had used previously the Canadian Pacific Sussex Street station.

1901, December 2 - Pontiac Pacific Junction Ry. is authorized to open from a junction with the Hull Electric Railway to Aylmer, about seven miles.  From this date passenger trains from Aylmer are routed through Hull and into Central Depot over the Interprovincial Bridge.  The first train was the 6 o'clock from Waltham which arrived at Ottawa Central Depot at 9.15 a.m.

1902, May 1 - Canadian Pacific assumes control of the Ottawa, Northern and Western Railway, the actual agreements and authorities were completed by the following November.  The line was effectively merged into the CPR effective midnight 31 October 1903.

1902, May 23 - Ottawa, Northern and Western trains begin to use the Canadian Pacific Union Station at Broad Street.

1902, May 31 - A special train carrying Sir Thos. G. Shaughnessy, President CPR on his annual tour of inspection of the line to the Pacific coast is stopped at the Central station by blocks placed on the line by the Canada Atlantic Ry. for the purpose of preventing the Canadian Pacific using the station for through traffic.  This matter was referred to the Railway Committee of the Privy Council.

1902, June 15 - Canadian Pacific transcontinental trains begin running between Montreal and Ottawa via Vaudreuil and the short line instead of on the north side of the Ottawa river.  From the Central Station Ottawa the trains then crossed over the Interprovincial bridge to Hull, thence over the north shore line to the Union Station at Lebreton Flats.

1902, September 22 - the Pontiac and Pacific Junction  becomes part of the Ottawa, Northern and Western Railway.  It had been worked in conjunction with the Gatineau Valley line for some time previously.

1903, May - construction commences on the International Portland Cement Company's plant in Hull near Leamy Lake.  A connection is made to the Canadian Pacific main line as well as the Maniwaki line in Hull. The plant was opened in early1905.

1903, Summer - J.R. Booth constructs a siding to new piling grounds on the McTiernan farm south of the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound line, near Merivale Road.  These were over two miles outside city limits and were constructed to avoid the possibility of fire in the city.

1903, October 24 - Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway changes its name to Brockville, Westport and North-Western.

1904, February 8 - the Canadian Pacific Maniwaki line is opened throughout between Hull and Maniwaki.  Open for carriage authority had been obtained on 8 January 1904 but service was delayed by a defect in the water system.

1904, February 9 - Canadian Pacific train 7 collides head on with Canadian Pacific train 8 about two miles west of Sand Point.  Thirteen people died and nineteen were hurt in this accident.

 1904, April 22 - the Supreme Court upholds a city of Ottawa injunction prohibiting the movement of freight cars over the Ottawa Electric Railway

1904, May - the Elgin Street subway is opened.  The fomer crossing at grade had proved very inconvenient as train movements built up in this area.

  1905, January 31 (midnight) - the Ottawa and New York Railway comes under the control of the New York Central and Hudson River Railway.  The line had been sold at auction in Utica, NY on 22 December 1904 but there was a delay obtaining court approval for the sale.

1905, October 1 - Grand Trunk Railway assumes control of the Canada Atlantic Railway by agreement dated August 15, 1904.

1906, July 22 - The Grand Trunk Railway changes from left to right hand running on double track sections. The change involved considerable alteration in crossovers, switches and semaphore signals.

1906, September 10 - The Bank Street subway, Ottawa, is opened under the Grand Trunk Railway.  A temporary bridge is used until the permanent bridge is installed on the weekend of 13-14 July 1907.

1906, September 21 - a Grand Trunk express hits a standing freight at a crossover just west of Napanee.  While other trainmen leaped to safety, engineer Frank W. Blaine, known as "Sailor Blaine", stuck to his post to slow his train and save the passengers.  He was killed.  A monument in his memory was erected in a Brockville cemetery by his passengers.

1907, March/April - Canadian Pacific tears down the Car Shops at Perth.

1907, July 2 - one hundred men start grading the Kingston, Smiths Falls and Ottawa Railway.  Little progress was made on this Grand Trunk Railway controlled line, which would have run practically in a direct line between Kingston and Ottawa.

1907, July 10 - Mr. J.G.G. Kerry is appointed to recommend on the most favourable route for the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway line between a crossing of the Bay of Quinte Railway and Ottawa.  Mr. Kerry, who reported on 18 May 1908, found in favour of a route through Smiths Falls with a branch to Lanark.  Final route approval for this line, which made a junction with the line from French River at Federal, just outside Ottawa, was granted on 30 October 1909.

1907, October 26 - Mayor D'Arcy Scott turns the first sod on the Grand Trunk Railway hotel and station construction in Ottawa.  The ceremony took place at the corner of Little Sussex and Besserer Streets.  Mayor Scott used a nickel plated duplicate of the tool that was used by the sappers in excavating the Rideau canal.

1908, May 1 - Carleton Place ceases to be a division point.  After this date train crews on the Canadian Pacific Chalk River subdivision operated out of Smiths Falls.  This move affected some 250 train crews formerly living in and working from Carleton Place.

1908, June 23 - the Ottawa and New York Railway swingbridge over the Cornwall canal collapses.  It was caused by undermining of the centre pier of the bridge by the rush of water and masonry from a large break in the canal bank.  Through train service to New York state was halted until Monday 4 August when temporary repairs could be completed.  A permanent bridge was completed in February 1909.

1908, July 11 - the Little Castor River bridge on the New York Central line, about two miles south of Embrun is destroyed by fire late on Saturday night.  A gang of men was sent down from Ottawa on Sunday and it was possible to run trains over it first thing on Monday morning.  With no trains running on Sundays the bridge was repaired without interrupting traffic.

1908, November 14 - the first freight is loaded on the Canadian Northern line between Ottawa and Hawkesbury at L'Orignal. It consists of two cars of hay shipped by Mr. E.A. Hall to Lachute and Brownburg.  The line between Hawkesbury and Rockland was opened officially for freight traffic on 20 August 1909.

1909, September 1 - Grand Trunk workmen begin to tear down the Central Depot to make way for the new Union Station.  The newly completed Baggage Annex is used as a temporary station until the completion of the new building.

1909, December 3 - The Canadian Northern Ontario Railway line from Hawkesbury to Ottawa passes inspection and through service between Montreal and Ottawa commences December 5.  The official first train, hauled by locomotives Nos. 180 and 242, ran on 12 Dec 1909.  A temporary station at Henderson Avenue, adjacent to the Ottawa and New York Railway depot, had to be built because the company was unable to obtain agreement to cross Hurdman Road and run into Central Depot.  This line was originally incorporated as the James Bay Railway in 1895. It became the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway in 1906.  Hawkesbury was reached from Montréal via the Carillon and Grenville Railway and a bridge over the Ottawa River at Hawkesbury. The line was opened in sections as follows:

    Hawkesbury to South Nation River - June 8, 1909, (following an inspection by special train on 31 May).
    South Nation River to Rockland - July 10, 1909.
    Rockland to Ottawa, Hurdman's Bridge - December 3, 1909, (following an inspection 30 November).
There was a delay in bridging the South Nation River because the contractor used inferior concrete.  The original piers had to be removed and new piers constructed on a slightly different location.

1909, December 23 - the Wellington Street viaduct over the Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk Chaudiere lines is formally opened.

1910, March 16 - Canadian Pacific completes the construction of a second track on the Winchester subdivision between Ste. Anne de Bellevue and Smiths Falls.  This work had been completed in stages from July 1908.

1910, April 12 - the east wing of the Canadian Pacific roundhouse at the Chaudiere is destroyed by fire.

1910, April 14 - a Canadian Pacific train runs into a washout two miles from North Wakefield.  The engineer, William Alexander McFall, stuck to his post and only the engine toppled into the hole.  Forty passengers were saved as the remainder of the train remained upright.  Engineer McFall, who was badly scalded by steam and died on April 16, was awarded the King Edward medal for his heroic actions.  Engineer McFall drove the first passenger train over the Interprovincial Bridge on 22 April 1901.  He also lost a foot in an accident at Aylwin in 1908.  See an article on the life of Mr. McFall.

1910, June - the Maloney Mono-rail system is demonstrated with a locomotive and five cars on 400 feet of track at the Lansdowne Park exhibition grounds.

1910, August 2 - First sod on the Morrisburg and Ottawa Electric Railway was turned at Morrisburg by Ontario Premier Whitney. A second ceremony occurred on 21 August 1913.

1911, June 12 - work starts at Dwyer Hill on the grading of the last section of the Canadian Northern Ontario line between Ottawa and Toronto.  This was the last line constructed into Ottawa.

1911, November 11 - Canadian Pacific opens a second track between Smiths Falls and Glen Tay.

1911, December 14 - Brockville and North-Western Railway is purchased by the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway.

1911 - Canadian Pacific opens a new 21-stall roundhouse at the Chaudiere.  Six additional stalls were added in 1926.

1912, April 24 - Canadian Pacific installs an electric train staff system between Hull and Ottawa, Chaudiere, following a serious accident on 8 March in which five were killed and many injured in a collision between the Pontiac passenger train and an extra movement.

1912, April 25-26 - Canadian Northern Railway demonstrates a gasoline-electric passenger car in Ottawa.  This was the first sign of a trend which was to end the use of steam locomotives.

1912, June 1 - Central Station is opened for traffic at 07:00 by the Grand Trunk Railway. Powers were obtained on April 27, 1907 by the Ottawa Terminals Railway which was acquired by the Grand Trunk Railway in 1910.

1912, August 6 - the first Canadian Northern train reaches Smiths Falls when a locomotive and five flat cars crossed the CPR tracks.

1912, summer- Canadian Pacific constructs a wye at Chaudiere (later Ellwood) Junction so that trains could proceed directly from Ottawa West northwards on the Sussex Street subdivision towards the new Central station thus avoiding movements over the prince of Wales and Interprovincial bridges and through Hull.

1913, January 1 - the Kingston and Pembroke Railway is leased to the Canadian Pacific Railway.  The CPR had exercised control over the K&P since November 1901

1913, June 25 - A Winnipeg bound Canadian Pacific passenger train is derailed at McKellar (Westboro), near Britannia, on the Carleton Place subdivision.  Eleven people were killed and 40 were injured in this accident which was caused when a track crew had not completed repairs.  Three colonist, one first class, one tourist and one dining car were derailed, several lying close to the Ottawa River.  Click here for further details.

1913, June late - one of the first electric switches is installed by the Hull Electric Railway at the crossing with the Canadian Pacific Railway at the Chateau Laurier station.  When a train approached on the Canadian Pacific line the signals were set against the electric cars and overhead power was turned off.

1913, August 21 - the first sod (second ceremony) is turned on the Morrisburg and Ottawa Electric Railway at the Potvig farm about three miles south of Billings Bridge.  This line was never completed.

1913, December 3 - Canadian Northern Ontario Railway opens from Napanee to Hurdman, the first through trip having been completed on 3 October 1913. Freight and mixed trains started running on 5 January1914.  The first through passenger train from Quebec to Toronto via this route ran on May 1, 1914 and regular through passenger train service between Toronto and Ottawa commenced June 29, 1914 (other reports show August 21).

1913, late - Canadian Northern Ontario Railway opens a spur for hauling ballast leaving the main line at what is now known as Wass.  This was in use for about five years but was later used by Canadian National Railways for its spur to Uplands Airport.

1914, January 8 - a through fast freight service is inaugurated by the Canadia Northern Railway between Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec using the recently opened section between Ottawa and Toronto.

1914, January - Canadian Pacific completes the installation of an Electric Staff Block Signal System between Ottawa Central Station, Hull West and Ottawa Broad Street, via the Interprovincial Bridge.

1914, May 17 - Canadian Northern Ontario Railway becomes part of the Canadian Northern Railway.

 1914, June 29 - Campbellford, Lake Ontario and Western Railway, which was leased to Canadian Pacific for 999 years on 16 April 1913, is authorized to open from Glen Tay to Agincourt, via Tichborne.  Regular train service commenced the same day, the first train leaving Ottawa, Broad Street at 10.00.

1914, August 19 - Canadian Northern Ontario passenger trains commence using the Grand Trunk Railway Central Station with the opening of services to and from Toronto.  Trains from Hawkesbury continued to use the Henderson Avenue station until the inauguration of through service between Ottawa and Quebec on August 24.

1914, September 29 - construction starts at Russell on the first section of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Electric Railway which was planned to run from Ottawa to Morrisburg and Beaudette with a branch from Metcalfe to Russell.  There was a public ceremony of the turning of the first sod and the day was observed as a general holiday in Russell.  However, little work was done and no trains ever operated over this line.

1915, May 24 - Glengarry and Stormont Railway opens between St. Polycarpe Junction (Soulanges) and Cornwall.  Tracklaying was completed on 30 November 1914 and the event was celebrated by a dinner in Williamstown on 2 December.  This left ballast work and stations etc. to be completed.  A Canadian Pacific inspection train was run over the unfinished line on 20 March and the company was leased to Canadian Pacific on 1 June, 1915.

1915, June 6 - the Ottawa and New York Railway makes a record run between Ottawa and Russell bringing Ottawa firefighters and equipment to Russell to fight a major fire which had broken out there.  The trip for the 22 miles was made in 22 minutes.  Engineer Alex Jamieson and Conductor George Broker were in charge.

1915, July 27 - First sod (third ceremony) turned on the Morrisburg and Ottawa Electric Railway at Herman Hummell''s farm in Chesterville. The line was never completed.

1915, September 27 - Ottawa and New York Railway is leased to the New York Central Railroad for 21 years. The lease was subsequently renewed for 99 years in 1936.  Before this time the line had been leased to the NYC on an annual basis.

1915, October 15 - Canadian Northern Ontario Railway opens from Pembroke to Capreol.

1915, November 23 - Canadian Northern Ontario Railway opens from Rideau Junction (Federal) to Pembroke.

1915 - the Federal Plan Commission (known as the Holt Commission) publishes a report which recommends rationalization of the Ottawa railway network to minimize interference with road crossings as well as the building of a tunnel. The report was shelved because of the war.

1916 - rails on the Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway (Pontiac and Renfrew Railway) between Wyman and Bristol Mines are lifted and shipped off to Europe to be used in the war effort.

1917, May - Effective with the change of time, Canadian Pacific diverts its Gatineau Valley passenger trains away from its Broad Street Union Station into the Grand Trunk Railway Central Station.  The trackage and other arrangements required to properly service passenger cars at this location were not completed until January 1920.

1918, August 16 - The freight sheds at the Grand Trunk central station, Ottawa, were destroyed by fire started by an explosion of a tank of gasoline, Aug. 16.  The loss was placed at:
    - freight shed, $15,000
    - twenty eight freight cars, $20,000
    - contents of freight shed and cars, $50,000.

1918, October 21 - Canadian Northern Railway commences a through service between Montreal and Toronto via Hawkesbury and Ottawa, using the GTR Central station at Ottawa.  The first eastbound train left Ottawa at 08:00 and the first westbound train at 12:45.

1918, November 20 - Canadian Northern Railway is named a constituent company of Canadian National Railways.

1919, January 6 - Canadian Pacific Waltham branch trains begin using the Grand Trunk Central Station, instead of Broad Street.

1919, June 12 - an interlocker is installed at Bedell, then known as Kempton, to control train movements over the diamond crossing between the CP Winchester and Prescott subdivisions.

1919, August 25 - a Canadian Pacific special train conveying the Prince of Wales from Montreal to Toronto stops at Smiths Falls from 23:45 to 01:45.  It was brought in from Montreal by locomotive 2225 carrying two special flags with the royal coat of arms.   The prince walked among the crowd of several thousand people on the platform and addressed them from the platform of the business car "Killarney".  The Prince of Wales returned to Montreal over the same route on 2 November 1919.

1920, January 4 - the Grand Trunk Railway Central station is renamed Union Station.  On the same date the Canadian Pacific Broad Street or Union Station in the Chaudiere is closed to passengers and trains begin using the Grand Trunk Union Station.

1920, June 27 - this is the effective date of the amalgamation of the Grand Trunk Railway into Canadian National Railways.  On July 6, it is announced that the Canadian Northern Ontario yard at Rideau Junction will be abandoned.

1920, July 3 - Canadian National opens a 2879 foot connection from Pembroke Junction to the Grand Trunk (Locksley sub.) in Pembroke.  At this time the former Canadian Northern station is renamed Pembroke Junction.  Local trains from Ottawa to Pembroke used the former Grand Trunk station in Pembroke, while transcontinental trains continued to use Pembroke Junction.

1920, October 5 - Canadian Pacific Chaudiere Junction, the junction where the line from Prescott diverged to run to the Chaudiere and Sussex Street, is renamed Ellwood.

1921, April 8 - the Henderson Avenue, Ottawa,  station, built by the Canadian Northern Railway, is closed to passenger trains which are diverted to the Ottawa Union station.  The last passenger train to use the station was Canadian National train 47 to Pembroke.

1921, July 14 - a 0.35 mile connection is opened at Lyn between the Grand Trunk and the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway Westport line (formerly Brockville, Westport & North Western) so that Westport trains may run into Brockville on the Grand Trunk main line.  This allowed the abandonment, in August 1921, of 3.42 miles of trackage between Centre Street, Brockville and Lyn (this crossed over the Grand Trunk main line on an overhead bridge) and eliminated the need for the B&W station and shops in Brockville. The 3.42 miles were dismantled in 1925.  The 0.64 miles remaining east of Centre Street, which connected with the Canadian Pacific Waterfront Spur, were converted into a siding.

1921, September 22 - The former Grand Trunk station at Hawkesbury is closed and all trains diverted into the former Canadian Northern station.

1922 - The 0.76 mile Canadian National spur to the former Grand Trunk(originally Canada Atlantic) station at Rockland, (from the Hammond subdivision), including the wye connection, is abandoned.  It was picked up in 1925.

1922 - A plan prepared by Noulan Cauchon is published. This proposes:

    the creation of a rail belt line bypassing Ottawa
    marshalling yards to be concentrated along this line south of Walkley Road
    lifting of the cross-town tracks and the creation of a rapid transit highway across the city on the same alignment
1923, January 19 - Grand Trunk Railway is amalgamated into Canadian National Railways.

1923, September 30 - service is discontinued on the Canadian National Hammond sub.  The first 0.23 miles from Limoges were left as a siding while the wye connection at Limoges was taken up in 1927 along with the section between Limoges (South Indian) and Clarence Creek (0.48 miles south of Clarence Creek).  Just after closure, between 3 and 4 miles of steel were taken up from Rockland southerly.  Following representations by Hon Charles Murphy (MP for the area and Postmaster General) the steel was relaid between Rockland and Clarence Creek and service was reinstated. The remaining part of the Hammond subdivision (5.10 miles) then became known as the Clarence Creek Branch.

1924, April 6 - a landslide on the C.P.R. Gatineau Valley line between Kirk's Ferry and Tenaga delays trains that day

1924, September 22 - a special train conveying the Prince of Wales from Long Island to Alberta leaves St. Henri and runs to Ottawa East where a 15 minute stop was made in the yard.  From there it went on via Pembroke and Brent to North Bay.

1924, October 23 - Head on collision at Deschenes, Hull Electric Railway.

1925, September 19 - an articulated two car diesel electric set makes a demonstration run between Montreal and Ottawa and return via Coteau and Alexandria.

1925, September 25 - with the timetable of this date CPR changed the name of St. Polycarpe to De Beaujeu.

1925, September 28 - an articulated two car diesel electric set, 15817, commences regular service between Montreal and Ottawa via Hawkesbury, making one trip in each direction daily except Sundays.  15817 was replaced by single car 15818 by the end of October.

1925, November 1-4 - Canadian National diesel electric car No. 15820 makes a run from Montreal to Vancouver in a total elapsed time of 72 hours and an actual running time of 67 hours 7 minutes.  On Sunday November 1, it hit a cow at Casselman, Alexandria sub., breaking an air line and putting the car 45 minutes behind schedule.

1926, January 3 - Canadian National discontinues service (trains 73 and 74) between Kingston and Harrowsmith thus ending the exercise of running powers commenced in 1889 by the Napanee, Tamworth and Quebec Railway over the Kingston and Pembroke tracks.

1926, July 14 - The new lumber mill, railway (Thurso and Nation Valley Railway ) and timber limits of the Singer Manufacturing Company at Thurso, Que., are inspected and formally opened by Sir Douglas Alexander, president of the Singer Manufacturing Company. Railway operations had commenced the previous year and Canadian Pacific was authorized to construct a connection with the Thurso and Nation Valley in Thurso on 21 November 1925.

1926, November 25 - Canadian Pacific relocates part of the Maniwaki subdivision between mile 13.26 and mile 14.6 for a hydro-electric scheme on the Gatineau River.  The section between mile 8.12 and mile 12.67 was opened the following day while mile 14.96 to mile 15.28 was opened on 3 December.

1927, February 28 - Canadian Pacific completes the reconstruction of the Prince of Wales Bridge between Hull and Ottawa.  This structure, originally completed in 1879 was replaced to allow heavier loads.  The work was carried out without mishap or delay to trains.

1927, July 2 - a special train is run from Ottawa Union station to Fenton, Michigan, to convey the body of US aviator Lieutenant J. Thad Johnson who was killed on "Lindbergh Field" (Uplands) while attempting to make a landing during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  Both the station and train were specially draped and there were floral decorations in the mortuary car.  The arrangements amounted to what was practically a State Military funeral.

1927, July 15 - Canadian National closes the Ottawa East heavy locomotive repair shops.  61 jobs were lost with workmen exercising their seniority and going to Stratford, Montreal and Brockville.  The roundhouse was retained for servicing and running repairs.

1928, July - Canadian Pacific demolishes the former Ottawa and Prescott Railway station at Sussex Street/McTaggart Street.

1928, late - J.R. Booth Company vacates the Piling Grounds and railway sidings on the east side of Dows Lake in order to allow the Federal District Commission to construct a Driveway.  The order to vacate was intended to be effective 1 September 1927 but the company was unable to move the 14 million feet of lumber stored there until 1928.  Piling grounds were still maintained by the company further to the east and accessed from the Rochester Street spur.

1929, May 5 - Canadian National Railways demonstrates a "perfect telephone service" from a moving train.

1929, August 21 - Canadian National steam locomotve No. 6153, at that time the bigest steam locomotive ever to come to Ottawa, hauls an excursion from Montreal to Ottawa and back.

1929, August 26 - Canadian National Railways place in service, hauling the second section of the "International Limited" between Montreal and Toronto, the first road diesel electric passenger locomotive. This locomotive, no. 9000, consisted of two units, weighing a total of 335 tons.

1930, early January - Canadian National ceases operating a passenger service between Kingston Jct. and the City of Kingston. Previously, 5 passenger trains had operated in each direction daily and 4 others daily except Sunday.  The main line station, formerly known as Kingston Junction, was renamed Kingston.

1930, April 27 - two way telephonic communucation on a moving train is inaugurated on the "International Limited" between Montreal and Toronto.

1930, September 10 - the tug MV Prescotont is put into service by the Canadian Pacific Railway.   The first diesel electric vessel built in Canada, it ferried barges loaded with railway cars between Prescott, ON and Ogdensburg, NY from 1930 until 1970.

1931, September 16 - Canadian National is authorized to operate over a diversion of the Beachburg subdivision between mile 35 and mile 37.5.  This was required to keep the line clear of the lake formed by the Chats falls power dam.

1931, November - Canadian Pacific completes the installation of Automatic Block Signals on the Winchester subdivision between Vaudreuil and Smiths Falls.

1932, June - passenger service is discontinued on the Canadian National L'Orignal subdivision between Hawkesbury and Ottawa. A daily (except Sunday) motor car passenger train was discontinued in November 1931 and passenger traffic was handled on a semi-weekly mixed train until June 1932 when the mixed train was replaced with a weekly wayfreight service.

1932 - a new terminal grain elevator is opened at Prescott.

1933, April 2 - Pooling of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific passenger trains begins between Ottawa and Toronto. Passenger service is discontinued on the Canadian National line (trains 7, 8, 35 and 36) from Ottawa to Napanee (for the next 33 years) and the traffic is handled by Canadian Pacific to Brockville with connection to and from Canadian National trains 6 and 15.

1933, May 2 - London, Midland and Scottish Railway 4-6-0 Royal Scot and eight car train is exhibited at Ottawa on its way from Montreal to the Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago.  22,000 viewed the train which received 16,979 visitors.

1933, November 11 - The Royal Scot locomotive is exhibited at Kingston and Brockville on its return to Montreal.

1934, February  21- under the Pool Train arrangement Canadian Pacific is authorized to discontinue trains 553 and 552 between Ottawa and Bedell and trains 549 and 548 between Ottawa and Prescott.

1934, May 29- the Cornwall-Northern New York International bridge Corporation is authorized to use the Ottawa and New York (NYC) railway bridge across the St. Lawrence River between Cornwall and Nyando, NY, for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.  Motor vehicles had started using the bridge on May 17.

1934, June 30 - The bridge across the St. Lawrence River at Cornwall is formally opened at a ceremony that is presided over by the Earl of Bessborough, Governor-General of Canada and George H. Dern, Secretary of War, representing Franklin D. Rooseveldt.

The Governor-General, with Lady Bessnorough, a guard of honour of the entire batallion of the Stormont-Glengarry-Dundas Highlanders, accompanied by more than 100 representative Canadians and Hon. W.D. Robbins, United States Minister to Canada, marched in an impressive parade from the Canadian shore.  At the same instant the United States secretary for War and the American delegation stepped out from United States soil.  Only a flimsy ribbon separated the two as they met in the centre of the bridge.  This was swept away with a single gesture of the Governor-General, and the boundary between Canada and the United States was once again freed from barriers.  The Governor-General and Mr. Dern shook hands after the ribbon was snapped.

1935, August 24 - The CPR President authorizes the trekkers returning to Toronto to ride the Prescott way freight between Bedell and Prescott. (See )  

1936, June 4 - Governor General Lord Tweedsmuir visits the Thurso and Nation Valley Railway  Click here for further details

1936, June 30 - Canadian National abandons between Clarence Creek and Rockland. This was authorized on 12 June 1936 under BRC order 53224.  The 5.10 miles were dismantled in May 1937.

1936, August 17 - The Rexall Train visits Kingston for details see:

1936, September 4 and 5 - Canadian Pacific Railway's new semi-streamlined, air-conditioned train, headed by Jubilee 4-4-4 No. 3003, is on exhibition at Broad Street, Ottawa West. The full schedule was:
- Thursday. Sept 3 - On exhibition, between 10 a.m.. and 1 p.m. at Smiths Falls, and at Carleton Place between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., the same day with arrival at  at Ottawa West at 4 p.m.,
- Friday and Saturday. September 4 and 5 - on exhibition in the Broad street yard from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- September 6, on exhibition, but not open for inspection, at Buckingham Jct, 8.57 am. to 9.02 a.m., Paplneauville 9.40 am. to 9 45 a.m, Montebello 9.55 a m. to 10.04 a m, Lachute 11.00 a.m. to 11.15 a.m., St Therese 11.55 a.m. to 12.01 p.m, returning to Place Viger station at 12.40 pm. 

1936, September 18 - On test, a new lightweight streamlined passenger train attains an officially recorded speed of 112½ mph on the Canadian Pacific Winchester Subdivision near St. Telesphore, Quebec, with 4-4-4 locomotive no. 3003.

1939, May 17 - The Royal Train, carrying King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, ties up for the night at Caledonia Springs on the Canadian Pacific M&O subdivision.  To give the royal couple a restfull night, between 12:01 a.m. and 8:05 a.m. other trains were not allowed to exceed ten miles per hour through the area and did not whistle for public crossings which were manually protected.  Similar provisions were made at Gananoque Junction on the night of May 20-21. For full details see:

1939, July 7 - Canadian National abandonment of the L'Orignal subdivision, between Hawkesbury and Hurdman is authorized by the Board of Transport Commissioners. The last train ran on Saturday 28 July. This was part of the former Canadian Northern route between Montreal and Ottawa via Hawkesbury.  Canadian National access to the Mann Avenue yards (known as the Hurdman subdivision) was maintained from Hurdman and across the bridge over the Rideau River.

1940, December 11 - Canadian Pacific opens a new station and greatly enlarged passenger facilities at Rigaud.  The new station was blessed by Msgr. P. Sabourin, the cure of Rigaud.

1941, January 1 - New York Central commences to use its own Mann Avenue Station instead of the more expensive Union Station for its passenger trains.

1941, March 31 - serious accident on the Canadian Pacific Railway at Inkerman, mile 91.1, Winchester subdivision.  For an account see Branchline December 2001, page 12.

1941, April - Canadian National installs an interlocking at the drawbridge over the Rideau Canal at the east end of the Elgin Street yard.  Prior to this time all trains were required to stop before proceeding over the drawbridge during the navigation season.

1941, October 1 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Point Fortune subdivision between Mando Junction, 0.3 miles west of Rigaud, and Point Fortune.

1942, February 3 - The Canadian Army Train leaves Ottawa at the start of an extensive tour of the country. The purpose was to provide the Canadian public with a chance to see the soldiers and weapons of their army first-hand. The train also served as a mobile recruitment centre. The train made a visit to Ottawa, at the Isabella Street sidings, on 30 March and ended its tour on 10 May in Ottawa. It was then moved to Montreal to be dismantled.

1942, December 27 - a 13 coach troop train, with Hudson 2802, runs into the rear of Canadian Pacific train 550, with Pacific 2518, at Almonte.  This accident, in which 155 persons were injured and 36 killed, is the most serious to have occurred in the Ottawa area.  Following an investigation, the Board of Transport Commissioners approved, on April 3, 1943, the installation of automatic signals to be installed at Almonte.  Click here for a description of the wreck.

1942, February - a short spur line is constructed from the Canadian National line at Arnprior to serve the No. 37 Elementary Flying Training School, Arnprior.  The spur was removed in 1955.

1942, February - a spur is constructed from the Canadian National line near Wass to serve the No. 8 Service Flying Training School at Uplands.  This used the right of way of an earlier Canadian Northern Ontario line to a gravel pit in the same area.

1944, October - train service is discontinued between Whitney and Two Rivers on the Canadian National Renfrew subdivision.

1945, November - a new station is opened at Pendleton, on the Canadian Pacific M&O subdivision.  This is one of four constructed (the others were at Leaside, Marathon and Whitefish Falls) to test new techniques for the carrying out of station construction delayed by the war.

1946, March 29 - fire destroys the north end of the Interprovincial Bridge.  As of this date the Hull Electric Railway  ceased to operate into the Chateau Laurier, Ottawa and turned its cars at the intersection of Laurier Avenue and Youville Street near the north end of the Interprovncial Bridge in Hull.  For some time Canadian Pacific was forced to reroute all train movements between Ottawa Union and Hull first, via the Canadian National cross town tracks to Ottawa West, and subsequently via the Sussex Street sub. to the Prescott sub. at Ellwood thence to Ottawa West.The bridge was partially re-opened to Canadian Pacific trains on 8 May 1946 and fully opened on 10 May 1946.

1946, May 10 - Canadian Pacific train #7 hits a vandalised switch at Renfrew

1947, March 22 - Canadian Pacific completes the installation of an automatic block signal system on the Chalk River subdivision between Smiths Falls and Chalk River as well as an automated interlocking at Carleton Place. 

1947, April 1 - with the abandonment of the Hull Electric Railway Canadian Pacific maintains access to E.B. Eddy by retaining part of the line adjacent to the former Hull Electric Railway trackage.

 1947, June 17-22 - The Marian Congress, held in Ottawa, produces possibly the highest ever rail passenger movement into and out of Ottawa.

1947, June 27 - Canadian Pacific opens a new station at Smiths Falls

1949, July 27 - trolley buses replace street cars on the Cornwall Street Railway Light and Power system.

1949, September 25 - the Train of Tomorrow, built by General Motors, visits Ottawa. For Timeline click here

1950 - A plan prepared by Jacques Greber is published. This contains much of the Cauchon proposal although it did suggest that all rail crossings over the Ottawa River should be concentrated over a new bridge to be built in the area of Duck Island.

1950, June 21 - The Interprovincial Bridge is closed to rail traffic for a few days to carry out repairs. 

1950, June 26 - The Funeral Train of  W.L. Mackenzie King runs from Ottawa to Toronto

1950, March 18 - Canadian Pacific wreck at Ashton.

1951, January 20 - Canadian Pacific wreck at Churchill Avenue, Ottawa.

1951, July 17 - New York Central Railroad is authorized to reduce passenger service between Ottawa and Helena, NY to the months of November to April, inclusive, in each year. The summer service stopped August 15.

1952, March 22 - Canadian National abandons the Renfrew subdivision between Whitney and Cache Lake and the Algonquin subdivision between Cache Lake and Algonquin Park.

1952, April 27 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to discontinue the operation of mixed trains nos. 592 and 593 between Soulanges and Cornwall.  This took effect as of 23 September 1953.

1952, August 30 - Canadian National abandons the Westport subdivision between Lyn Junction and Westport, the last train was hauled by 2-6-0 86. Authority had been granted by BTC order 79236 of 18 June 1952 but abandonment was postponed until the end of August to give local residents a chance to adjust.  All moveable station equipment and surplus track material was picked up by a special train which was run on 4 September 1952.  Dismantlement of the track was commenced on October 6 at Westport and was completed by 8 July 1953.

1952, September 28 - A connection, known as Nepean Junction, is installed between the Canadian National Beachburg and Renfrew subdivisions. From this date Canadian National diverts all Renfrew subdivision trains on to the Beachburg subdivision. Formal authority to abandon the Renfrew subdivision from Island Park Drive to Nepean Junction was obtained on October 29, 1952.

1952, October 1 - Eighteen empty freight cars run away in the E.B. Eddy Chaudiere Falls Yard, crashed into a locomotive and two cars and completely blocked the road across the Chaudiere bridge. One man injured.

1953, October 11 - Derailment on the Castor Grade, near mile 59, Canadian Pacific, Maniwaki sub.  The 4-6-2  locomotive 2221 and tender of Sunday evening Maniwaki to Ottawa passenger train No. 538 (one baggage car and two coaches, all of wooden construction) rolled over and several coaches derailed resulting in the deaths of engineer Richard (Dick) McNally and fireman Ken Learmont.  There were no passenger injuries.  (See article in 1997 Branchline).

1953, November 18 - The Walkley Line is opened between Wass and Hawthorne by Canadian National and through freight trains begin to by-pass the City. The first train to use the line was CNR manifest freight no. 401 from Montreal to Winnipeg hauled by diesels 9038 and 9039.

1954, July 15 - New York Central is authorized to discontinue passenger services between Ottawa and Helena, NY.  The last passenger train actually ran on 24 April 1954 because, since 1951, the New York Central was providing service during the winter period only.

1954, August 23 - the Canadian National Museum Train visits Ottawa.  It was on public display at Ottawa Union station until Labor Day, September 6.

1955, June 9 - Canadian National places in operation a Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) system which controls 28 miles of trackage in the Ottawa area.

1955, August 9 - The Canadian National part of Walkley Yard is opened and Canadian National transfers its freight marshalling and car repair to Walkley Yard.

1956, June 26 - a fire destroys the Hall Fuels Ltd. warehouse on Preston street.  1,000 tons of coal and coke were destroyed as well as 22 railway cars, the railway trestle and stockpiles in the yard.

1956, October 27 - last run of the Canadian National passenger train between Pembroke and Golden Lake.

1956, December 17 - Canadian Pacific opens the 4.67 mile Hilton Mines Spur from Wyman, mile 33.62, Waltham subdivision. This used the trackbed of the Pontiac and Renfrew Railway which was abandoned in 1891. A connection is also constructed at Wamo to allow trains from the Waltham line to run directly on to the Prince of Wales Bridge.

1957, February 15 - The New York Central Railroad is abandoned between Ottawa and the international border at Cornwall.  The last train ran on 14 February hauled by diesel 8304.  

1957, April 28 - CPR introduces RDC-2 dayliners between Ottawa and Chalk River, thus ending the Chalk River locals, trains 555 and 556. The Ottawa - Montreal North Shore trains were also changed to RDC operation on this date.

1957, May 17 - Canadian National opens a 40 mile diversion of its Montréal to Toronto main line required in the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

1957, May 20 - Canadian Pacific gas electric car 9005 makes its first run to Mainwaki. Engineer Bill Austen, Conductor J.H. Marois

1957, June 16 - last scheduled passenger trains, 612 and 613, run over the Canadian Pacific Kingston subdivision, formerly Kingston and Pembroke Railway.  The last train southbound was hauled by D4 417, the last northbound was hauled by 492.  A mixed train operated until June 21, 1960, after which wayfreights operated.

1957, July 20 - the GM Aerotrain is displayed in Ottawa.  A demonstration run is made from Montreal in the morning, returning to Montreal lster that day.

 1957, October 26 - Last scheduled run of a passenger train on the Canadian Pacific Prescott subdivision with mixed trains 592 and 593 between Ottawa and Prescott.  A woman was killed by this train, this day at Kemptville.

1957, October 31 - Canadian National Railways is authorised to acquire and operate the New York Central line in Ottawa, abandoned on February 15, for access to industries as well as the Ramsayville Spur which ran east from Hawthorne.

1958, April 21 - Canadian National opens a new freight terminal at Riverside and Alta Vista drives.  This $300,000 building was funded by the Federal District Commission as part of the Ottawa railway relocation. The  building was actually completed during 1957 and commenced operation in March 1958.

1958, August 9 - Last run of The Moccasin, Canadian National local trains 25 and 26 between Montreal and Brockville. CN Pacific 5280 pulled the last train.

1958, September 8 - Canadian Pacific RDC car 9108 makes the first RDC run to Maniwaki

1958, September 11 - Keith Post, a fireman on the CPR Prescott wayfreight #94 with locomotive 8766, saves the life of a young child by scooping him up from in front of the locomotive wheels. The locomotive engineer was C (Curly) Butler.

1959, January 6 - Canadian National is authorized to discontinue passenger service between Hawkesbury and Glen Robertson.

1959, March 1 - Canadian National commences Dayliner (i.e. Budd RDC) service between Ottawa and Barrys Bay.

1959, July 8 - Canadian Pacific authorized to discontinue passenger service between Ottawa and Waltham.  The last trains ran on September 29-30, being mixed trains hauled by 6552.

1959, September 27-28 - Last regularly scheduled Canadian Pacific steam powered train out of Ottawa Union Station. This is the Waltham mixed with D4 class 4-6-0 No. 425. Unscheduled steam power was used by Canadian Pacific from time to time after this date, the last steam powered train being freight No. 76 over the M&O subdivision to Montréal on February 22, 1960 with 4-6-2 No. 1262.

1960, January 15 - Canadian National installs Centralized Traffic Control (remotely controlled electric signalling) on the Alexandria subdivision.

1960, June  21 -  Last mixed train on the Canadian Pacific Kingston subdivision between Renfrew and Sharbot Lake.  After this date freight trains only operated on this section.

1960, July 29 - Canadian National abandons the former Renfrew subdivision between m. 2.5, Bayswater Avenue, and m. 2.1, Preston Street.

1960, August 23 - The William Street overpass in Brockville is opened.

1960, August 28 - Canadian National is authorized to operate over a siding to serve the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario commencing at m. 0.28, Walkley Line, in the vicinity of Ridge Road.

1961, January 30 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to close the passenger shelter at Billings Street by BTC order 103638.

1961, February 14 - Merland Bennett, a yardman at CPR Ottawa West snatches a two-year old child from out of the path of the The Canadian.    See

1961, April 1 - Canadian National is authorized to abandon the Locksley subdivision, between m. 0.3, Golden Lake, and m. 19.5, Pembroke.

1961, June 26 - Canadian National is authorized to abandon:

    the former Renfrew subdivision between m. 1.99, Bronson Avenue, and m. 2.1 between Queen and Preston Streets.
    the Chaudiere Spur from east of Rochester Street to north of Gladstone Avenue.
In order to continue to have access to the Chaudiere Yard, Canadian National uses an alternative route through Walkley Yard and on the Canadian Pacific Prescott subdivision from Walkley Diamond to Ottawa West thence over the Chaudiere Branch to Chaudiere Yard.

1961, June 30 - Canadian National is authorized to discontinue passenger service between Ottawa and Barry's Bay.  The last train left Ottawa at 8.10 p.m. Friday 7? July 1961.

1962, January 1 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Kingston subdivision between Calabogie and Snow Road.  The last through freight ran over the Kingston and Pembroke line on December 29, 1961.

1962, January 15 - last run of the CNR Thousand Islands Railway between Gananoque and Gananoque Junction,

1962, March 15 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to discontinue local passenger service between Ottawa and Chalk River.  The last train was RDC 9114 eastbound on March 18.

1962, April 10 - Canadian National is authorized to abandon the former Renfrew subdivision between m. 0.0, Mann Avenue, or Deep Cut, to m. 1.66 Bronson Avenue. This allows for the construction of the Queensway on the site of the former crosstown tracks.

1962, November 30 – a tank car was found to be leaking liquid chlorine at the Canadian Pacific/Cornwall Street Ry exchange yard. The entire northeastern portion of Cornwall was evacuated, no lies were lost.

1963, January 27 - Canadian Pacific discontinues passenger trains 292, 293 and 294 between Ottawa and Maniwaki. The last train was RDC's 9105-9023 running out on January 26 and returning the following day.

1963, January 27 - A connection is installed between Canadian National and Canadian Pacific at Smyth Road.  From this date Canadian National train movements used the Canadian Pacific Sussex Street subdivision between Smyth Road and Hurdman.

1963, February 3 - Canadian National discontinues operation over the drawbridge over the Rideau Canal near Isabella Street.  This was made possible by the construction of a connection which allowed Canadian National passenger trains entering or leaving Union Station to turn at Hurdman rather than use the wye to the Renfrew subdivision and the Rideau canal drawbridge.

1963, February 3 - Bytown Railway Society trip to Maniwaki with RDC 9114 and 9057

1963, June 15 - the Hershey Chocolate factory is officially opened at Smiths Falls.  It was served by a siding at mile 1.04 of the Brockville subdivision. CP 4-8-4 No. 2850 and C-424 No. 8300 (later 4200) were on display to help celebrate the opening festivities.

1963, June 23 -  Bytown Railway Society trip to Glen Tay, westbound via Carleton Place, eastbound via Bedell, pulled by FP9 1414. 

1963, August 31 - UCRS excursion to Brent with steam locomotive 6167.

1964, January 1 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to abandon the Kingston subdivision between Sharbot Lake and Tichborne.

1964, May 24 - Fan trip to Barrys Bay with CN 6779

1964, June 15 - Canadian National introduces a new dining car service on its trains between Montreal and Ottawa, microwave ovens are used to prepare meals quickly.

1964, June 15 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Sussex Street subdivision from Beechwood Avenue (m. 5.6) to the Sussex Street yard (m. 6.7).   The last train ran through to Sussex Street on June 12 with 8469.

1964, August 21 - Canadian Pacific accident at Leonard.

1964 - The Canadian National roundhouse at Mann Avenue is demolished.

1965, August 31 - The Canadian National (originally Canadian Northern) station in Pembroke is demolished and was replaced.

1965, September 29 - The interchange tracks and Canadian National storage tracks between Gladstone Avenue and Somerset Street (C.P.R. Prescott sub. and C.N.R. Chaudiere branch) are taken out of service. A new interchange was located on two tracks north of O'Keefe's loading facilities, known as C.P.R. "Top End", to the north of the C.N.R. Chaudiere branch.

1965, October 30 - Canadian National and Canadian Pacific discontinue the pool passenger train service between Ottawa and Toronto.

1965, November 15 - Canadian National abandons the former Canada Atlantic line from Chaudière (m 0.31) to Ottawa West (m. 1.71). Rail service to E.B. Eddy Ottawa Mills had ceased the previous month.

1965 - the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific shops at Walkley Yard are built by the National Capital Commission.

1966, January - Dominion Lime Products plant at Eganville closes. This was the last narrow gauge railway in the area.

1966, January 24 - Canadian National commences passenger service from Ottawa to Toronto via Smiths Falls and the use of running rights over the Canadian Pacific Brockville subdivision to Brockville. Canadian Pacific discontinues passenger service from Ottawa to Toronto via :

    Smiths Falls and Trenton.
    Smiths Falls and Havelock.
1966, February 14 - Canadian National establishes overnight passenger service between Ottawa and Toronto.

1966, May 2 - A new line (known as the Hawthorne Connection) is opened from the new M. & O. Junction to Hawthorne. This gives Canadian Pacific access to Walkley Yard and Canadian National access to the new Union Station.  At the same time the Canadian Pacific M. & O. subdivision is abandoned betweem mileage 86.08 and Deep Cut mileage 86.80.

1966, May 20 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to abandon the Kingston (CP) subdivision between Sharbot Lake and Snow Road.

1966, June 4 - Thousand Islands Railway locomotive no. 500 is placed on display at Gananoque.

1966, June 15 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Sussex Street subdivision from Beechwood Avenue (m. 5.6) to Hurdman (m. 3.5).  The last train ran on June 14 with 8446. Click here to see pictures of Bruce Chapman's pictures of this trip.

 1966, June 17 - Canadian National is authorized to abandon its Hurdman Line (formerly part of the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway) from Ottawa Junction, m. 0.0, to the end of track at Mann Avenue.  This allowed the removal of the former Canadian Northern bridge over the Rideau River.

 1966, July 4 - Canadian Pacific D10 steam locomotive No. 1095 "The Spirit of Sir John A" is placed on display at Kingston.

1966, July 5 - The Canadian Pacific M. & O. subdivision is abandoned between the west leg of the wye at Hurdman, mileage 85.9 and Dustbane siding, mileage 85.2.  Canadian Pacific passenger trains gained access to the old Union station via the Canadian National Alexandria sub. and the Hawthorne connection.  

1966, July 17 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Sussex Street subdivision from Bank Street (m. 1.2) to Hurdman Tower (m. 3.5). Hurdman Tower is subsequently demolished. 

1966, July 29 - Canadian National is authorized to open a spur track 1.88 miles long from Portage du Fort commencing at m. 59.32 Beachburg subdivision and ending at the plant of Consolidated Pontiac Incorporated.

1966, July 29 - A connection is installed between Canadian National and Canadian Pacific at Bells Junction.

1966, July 31 - The new Ottawa Station is opened. The old Union Station, along with the line across the Alexandra Bridge is closed. The last train to use this station is Canadian National no. 5 "The Panorama".  The electric train staff system between Hull West, Hull Beemer and Ottawa Union was abandoned on this date. CPR Train 132  (with RDC-2 9112 and RDC1 9070) with engineer Sam Thompson was the first revenue train from the new station. 

1966, August 1 - The Canadian Railway Historical Association, Ottawa Branch, leases the Canadian National Ramsayville Spur, formerly New York Central main line, as a site for a possible museum/restoration site.  The lease was given up on 31 July 1972.

1966, August 4 - The Ottawa subdivision is opened between Wass Junction and Ottawa Station.  Since the opening of the new Union station, five days previously trains, to and from the Smiths Falls and Beachburg subdivisions had been routed through Walkley Yard and Wass Junction..

1966, August 8 - Canadian National is authorized to abandon from Alta Vista Drive to Rideau Street.

1966, September 1 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to abandon the Kingston subdivision between Sharbot Lake and Snow Road.

1966, November 8 - Hurdman Tower is torn down and burnt.

1966, December 14 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to abandon the Montreal and Ottawa subdivision from Ottawa Union Station (m. 87.7) across the Interprovincial Bridge to Hull Beemer (m. 89.3).

1966 - Terminal Avenue freight terminals are opened.

1967, January - the road-rail swing bridge over the Galop Canal at Cardinal is replaced. With the filling in of the Galop Canal following the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway a causeway was built for the road and the railway which gave access to Cardinal Starch,

1967, May 3 - The first train to pass through the Dows Lake tunnel is a ballast train headed by Canadian Pacific RS-3 no. 8458. The tunnel is officially opened on August 5, 1967.  The last train to use the old route via the Dows lake swing bridge was train 132 for Montreal via the North Shore with RDC-3 9024 leading RDC-1 9054 on Tuesday August 1, 1967.  The first service trains to use the new tunnel were the Prescott wayfreight, train 94, with 8795 (first southbound) and  8575 on the a freight from Montreal (first northbound), on the same day.

1967, June 2 - A connection is installed at Laman which allows Canadian Pacific to abandon its Maniwaki subdivision between Hull and Laman.  The last run using the old trackage was #80, the southbound Maniwaki way freight. on  June 1st, 1967 with 8797.  On June 2nd, 1967, the first train to use the new trackage was #79 with 8766.

1967, August 28 -  Canadian Pacfic to abandons the Carleton Place subdivision between McRae Avenue (mile 1.4) and Bells Junction (mile 8.1) leaving the section back to Ottawa West to be known as the Carleton Spur.  The last train out was work extra 8599 on August 28, 1967 from the Franceschini Pit on the Waltham sub. to Plant 10 at Bells Corners - it arrived at Bells Corners at 11:50 and the line was due to be abandoned at 12:00 so it returned via the Beachburg sub. being the first Canadian Pacific train over the Canadian National line.  Click here to see Bruce Chapman's pictures of the last through train on this line. 

1967, August 28 - The connection on the Canadian Pacific Maniwaki sub. between the old Hull yard at St. Redempteur Street, Hull and the Canada Cement Company yard, is abandoned.  It was later replaced by a new connection from the Lachute sub.

1967, October 2 - the diamond is removed at Bedell where the Canadian Pacific Winchester and Prescott subdivisions cross.  The associated signal changes are completed on 12 October 1967.  Plain track is laid for the Winchester subdivision while traffic on the Prescott subdivision is handled through Smiths Falls.

1967, October 28-29 - Canadian Pacific moves from Ottawa West to Walkley Yard.  At 2250, locomotive 8753 took 5 units to Walkley Yard, 8569-8796-8465-8787-8574. The crew returned to Ottawa West with the yardmaster in his car. Just after midnight, October 29th, 1967,  Bruce Chapman, the operator, took the train register and other documents from Ottawa West to Walkley Yard, and at 0255, the same yard crew, Ed Charron, conductor and Doug McElroy, engineer, arrived at Walkley Yard with 8580-6528-6620-7025-8027-8752-8739 and 70 empties, which cleaned out Ottawa West. The electric train staff system between Hull West, Wamo and Ottawa West system was abandoned when Ottawa West closed. 

On the same weekend Canadian Pacific opened the Hurdman piggyback terminal located close to the, then new, Ottawa station.

1968, April 1 - Canadian Pacific yard office, roundhouse and water tank at Ottawa West are demolished.

1968, September 26 - Canadian Pacific opens a Continuous Welded Rail plant in the yard at Smiths Falls using the shells of Fairbanks Morse Erie-built units.

1968, October 6 - Raiolfan trip from Ottawa to Eganville and Calabogie and return with RDC No. 9051

1969, January - a new $200,000 station for Canadian Pacific in Hull at Montcalm Street is opened.  It was built by the National Capital Commission.

 1969, February 13 – The Turbo train passes through Ottawa on its way to Hornpayne for cold weather testing.

1970, January - Canadian Pacific double deck cars for Montreal commuter service are tested between Montreal and Ottawa on the South Shore line.

1970, August 1 - Canadian Pacific ceases operation of passenger trains 232-6 between Montreal and Ottawa via South Shore.  Daily service was maintained by continuing operation of trains 1 and 2, "The Canadian".

1970, September 2 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to abandon the Carleton Place subdivision between m. 0.84 (Ross Avenue) and m. 1.4 (McRae Avenue).

1970, September 9-17 - British Gresley Pacific 4472, "Flying Scotsman" and train is exhibited at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa.  Its itinerary was:

- August 20 - Sarnia
- August 21 - Hamilton, Burlington, Toronto
- September 8 - Toronto, Belleville, Ottawa
- September 9-17 in Ottawa
- September 18 - Ottawa to Montreal
- September 18 - 27 on display near Vertu station.
- September 28 - Montreal, Brockville, Kingston.
- September 30 - Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton.
- October 1 - on display Hamilton, James Street
- October 2 - Hamilton to Niagara Falls.
- October 31 - brought back to Toronto, Spadina roundhouse, for winter storage.

1970, September 26 - Canadian National railfan excursion from Montreal to Ottawa with steam locomotive 6218.

1970, December 16 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Eganville subdivision between Douglas and Eganville.

1971, April 24 - the last Railway Post Office arrives in Ottawa from Toronto on train 48, "Cavalier". See this link:

1971, July 23 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Havelock subdivision between Glen Tay and Tweed.

1972, October 15 - Fan trip to Barrys Bay with CN 6761

1973, January 30 - Canadian National opens the 4.4 mile L'Orignal Spur with headblock at m. 19.84 Vankleek sub. This is on a new alignment and the abandoned Canadian Northern right of way was not used.

1973, late spring/early summer - Canadian National lifts the rails on the Ramsayville Spur, formerly New York Central Railroad main line, to make way for the construction of Highway 417.

1973, May 8 - persistent heavy railfall washed out a fill at mile 7.1 of the CPR Maniwaki subdivision, which was closed for a significant period of time.

1973, May 26 - A  Matrimonial Special was run from Ottawa Union to Hull and back using CPR Budd car 9049 to celebrate the wedding of Bill Linley and Judith Smith. The original intention had been to run to Wakefield but this could not be done because of the washout on May 8. Voyageur Colonial provided the transport between Hull and Wakefield and return. A full account of this can be found in Branchline May/June 2023.

 1973, June 11 - the CNR (GTR) station at Prescott is recognized as a historic site.

1973, June 22 - the Canadian Pacific Brockville Wharf line, through the original Brockville and Ottawa Railway tunnel, is abandoned.

1973, July 1 - Ex-Canadian Pacific steam 4-6-0 locomotive no. 1057 makes an inaugural run in excursion service from Ottawa to Carleton Place. 1057 was also used the next two years to Wakefield while ex-Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 no. 1201 was used the following years.

1973, October - CP 411205, a former Colonist car was burnt by a CNR work crew and removed from the Ramsayville spur (former NYC trackage). The car had been acquired by the Bytown Railway Society but had to be removed to make way for the construction of highway 417.

1974, July 11 - A turntable, originally from the CPR at Kingston, ON, is installed at Wakefield, QC, to allow steam locomotives to be turned there.

1974, August 6 - Turbo train service commences between Montreal and Ottawa. This was withdrawn on September 24, 1975.

 1974, October 25 a new CN(VIA) station is opened on Counter Street with the construction of a new bypass line through a rock cut north of Outer Station between Montreal St and Division St.  The station, which was to the west of the new trackage, was opened before the by-pass was completed.

1975, July 23 - Canadian National opens a diversion of the Kingston sub. between m. 172.32 and m. 173.37 which removes the CN tracks from downtown Kingston.

1975, September 23 – Turbo train catches fire at Riviere Beaudette, Kingston sibdivision. About 170 passengers and crew are evacuated to safety.

1975, November 12 - Canadian Pacific opens a diversion of its Chalk River sub. between m. 36.7 and m. 39.9 in connection with a hydro electric scheme. This is known as Waba and the work was funded by the Ontario Government.

1975 - rails are lifted from the Brockville tunnel.

1975, July 29 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to abandon the Hull Spur from m. 0.00 to m. 0.46 off the Ellwood sub. at m. 6.55.  This was the section of the M&O sub. from Hull Beemer to the junction with the Lachute sub.

1976, April 1 - The Vars station (Alexandria sub) is moved to Cumberland where is will be refurbished to become the Cumberland Township Museum.

1976, April 22 - the Turbo train achieves a speed of  140.6 mph/226.2 kph near Morrisburg, Ontario on the Canadian National Kingston subdivision, a Canadian rail speed record which holds to this day.

1976, October 31 - the first CN-CP combined timetable introduced two daily bus round trips (one on weekends) between Ottawa and Kingston,  The service was increased to three round trips from 24 April 1977 but dropped back to two on 18 October 1987 and to one on 30 October 1983.  The Kingston service ended with the new timetable of 27 October 1985.  From 31 October 1976 to 23 April or 24 May 1983 there was also a free connecting local bus service between Hull, QC., downtown Ottawa and Ottawa station for most Toronto and Montreal trains.

1977, January 17 - Canadian Pacific Renfrew Spur is abandoned between Renfrew Junction and Calabogie (part of the Kingston and Pembroke Railway).

1977, May 26 - Canadian National is authorized to remove the interlocking signals at the crossing of the Rideau Canal in Smiths Falls and install stop signals on each approach to the crossing.

1977, October 16 - The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh ride behind steam locomotive 1201 between Ottawa West and Wakefield, Que. The engine crew are A. Sabourin and R. Lamothe with conductor D. Gaw and brakemen P. Robinson and S. Palmer. Bytown Railway service crew were Duncan H. duFresne, Colin J. Churcher and Robbie Millikin.

1977, October 15 - railfan excursion Montreal to Ottawa over Canadian National with steam locomotive 6060.

1978, April 4-5 - ex- CPR Royal Hudson 2860 and a 5 car exhibition train visits Ottawa to help publicize the BC bi-centennary.

1978, November 20 - Order R-27957 allows the re-routing of VIA overnight sleeping car trains 48 and 49 between Ottawa and Toronto via Smiths Falls and Brockville instead of via Smiths Falls and direct to Napanee over the Smiths Falls sub.

1978, October 29 - Passenger service is discontinued on Canadian National Beachburg subdivision west of Federal. From this date VIA took over running the Canadian from Canadian Pacific, and combined the operation of the Canadian and the Super Continental.  On the same date the overnight Ottawa-Toronto trains were rerouted to run via Brockville, instead of Napanee. This marked the end of passenger service on the Canadian National line between Smiths Falls and Napanee.

1979, April 25 - Consumers Gas is authorized to construct a self supporting pipe bridge over the Canadian National at m. 0.76, Walkley Line.

1979, May 29 –the Turbo train catches fire near Morrisburg, Kingston subdivision. 210 passengers are evacuated safely.

1978, July 22-26 - The Discovery Train, organized by the National Museum of Science and Technology commences its tour of Canada at Kingston. This was continued in 1979 and 1980. For details see:

1979, October, week of 11th - the CPR Perth station is demolished to be replaced by a more suitable smaller building.

1979, October 30 - the Discovery Train opens a six days session at the National Museum of Science and Technology.  For details see:

1980, February 20 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Eganville subdivision between Payne and Douglas.

1980, Summer - The former rail car ferry apron and counterweights are removed from the abandoned Canadian Pacific waterfront terminal at Prescott. Ferry service had ceased with the burning of the Penn Central ferry dock in Ogdensburg in 1970.

1981, late June - Bombardier and VIA run successful high speed tests with an LRC locomotive and five cars between Cornwall and Brockville, CN Kingston sub. Eight trips were made over two days at speeds of almost 200 kmph.

1981, July 2 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to abandon the Brockville Loop Line from m. 1.02 to m. 1.2.

1981, July 11 - The  17-mile Canadian Refractories Railway between Marelan and Kilmar is abandoned.

1981, August 22-23 - The VIA Rail LRC train is open for public preview at Ottawa station. Locomotive 6903 is used.

1981, September 15 - After fruitless attempts to save it, the original stone Pembroke CPR station is demolished to be replaced by a more suitable building.

1981, September 22 - Operation Lifesaver gets off to a start with a simulated crossing collision on the Walkley Line near Albion Road.

1981, November 15 - Passenger service is discontinued on the Canadian Pacific Lachute subdivision (RDC 6102), and on the Canadian Pacific M&O subdivision between Rigaud and Ottawa.  Temporary end of transcontinental passenger service through Ottawa (with VIA 6537-6614 in both directions).  Local service with RDC's was commenced between Ottawa and Sudbury.

1982, March 1 - Gateway inspections commence for trains conveying dangerous commodities through the Ottawa/Hull Census Metropolitan Area.

1982, April 28 - Canadian National is authorized to remove the siding serving Texaco Canada (formerly McColl Frontenac Oil) at Johnstown, just east of Prescott.  The siding ran off the National Harbours Board Elevator Spur which was jointly used by CN and CP.

1982, April -  Canadian Pacific completes the removal of the double track between Glen Tay and Smiths Falls.

1982, June - VIA Rail Canada commences using Rail Diesel Cars on trains 30, 31, 34, 35, 38 and 39 between Ottawa and Montreal.  These were replaced by LRC and conventional trains on May 27, 1985.

1982, October 20 - The last part of the Canadian Pacific Carleton Spur (formerly Carleton Place sub.) is abandoned between the switch at m. 5.0 Ellwood sub and m. 0.0 (945 feet) and from Bayview Road (mile 0.00) and Ross Avenue (mile 0.84).

1983, January 31 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to abandon the Kingston subdivision in Kingston between m. 101.60 and m. 101.85 and between m. 102.09 and m. 102.50 after the relocation of the trackage and switches connecting private sidings serving MacCosham Van Lines and C.E. McPherson to the Canadian National Haney Spur had been completed.

1983, December 18 - Canadian National abandons the Renfrew subdivision between Renfrew Junction and Whitney.

1984, May 29 - Last run over the Canadian Pacific Waltham subdivision between Wyman and Waltham is handled by no. 6538, the last locomotive to wear the traditional maroon and grey paint scheme.

1984, July 30 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to abandon the Ellwood Spur from m. 0.95 to m. 1.20, part of the former Sussex Street subdivision.

1985, March 26 - Canadian National abandons the Smiths Falls subdivision between Smiths Falls and Strathcona.

1985, June 1 - Transcontinental passenger service through Ottawa is restored (first westbound with VIA 6769-6626, first eastbound with VIA 6784).  This replaced the local service between Ottawa and Sudbury which commenced in November 1981.

1985, September 1 - former Canadian Pacific steam locomotive 1201 makes its last run to Wakefield.

1985, September 9 - Canadian Pacific opens a bridge over the Lievre River at Buckingham to give direct access to Erco.  The official opening ceremont took place on October 2-3 with the attendance of three Canadian Pacific business cars, Lacombe, Ontario and #91.

1986, January 1 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Maniwaki subdivision between Wakefield and Maniwaki.  

1986, June 21 - The Thurso and Nation Valley Railway main line between Thurso and Lac Fascinant is abandoned.

1986, July 3 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Maniwaki subdivision bewteen Laman and Wakefield.

1986, August 9 - Canadian Pacific M & O subdivision is abandoned between M & O Junction and Rigaud. VIA Rail Canada takes possession of the right of way for possible use in a highspeed rail link.  The last train ran on July 8.  This was a "clean-up" round trip between Ottawa and St. Eugene hauled by RS-18 8778.

1986, November 12 - Canadian National abandons the Smiths Falls subdivision between m. 34.05 and m. 35.30 in Smiths Falls.

1986, December 12 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Kingston subdivision between Tichborne and Kingston (m. 100.87 to m. 101.10 and m. 101.85 to m. 102.09 were transferred to Canadian National on the same day to allow continued service to customers in Kingston). This is the last part of the Kingston and Pembroke Railway to be abandoned.

1986, December - Canadian Pacific yard office at Walkley is demolished. This was first opened by Canadian National in 1953 as a part of the first stage of construction of Walkley Yard. It was later transferred to Canadian Pacific.

1988, March 21 - Canadian Pacific is authorized to remove its diesel fuel oil bulk storage and handling facilities at Walkley Yard.  In future all fuelling is done by tanker truck.

1989, January 18 - The overnight passenger train between Ottawa and Toronto is discontinued.  The last train was hauled in both directions by VIA 6780. The last westbound sleeper was "Elgin" and the last eastbound sleeper to arrive Ottawa was "Edmundston".

1989, April 29 - the last day for regularly scheduled sleeping car service through Ottawa. After this day, the "Canadian" reverted to a coach train between Montreal and Sudbury.

1989, June - all trackage on the E.B. Eddy property east of the Portage Bridge is removed.

1989, September 12 - Red caps are replaced by station attendants at Ottawa station

1989, October 27 - the CPR Smiths Falls Rail Welding Plant closes.   It was well known as being housed in four Pennsylvania Railroad Fairbanks Morse B units dating from 1948.

1989, December 31 - Canadian National abandons the Renfrew subdivision between Arnprior and Renfrew.

1990, January 15 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Carleton Place subdivision between Nepean (m. 9.0) and Carleton Place (m. 28.1) with the passage of the last "Canadian" transcontinental passenger train which was hauled by VIA 6409 westbound and VIA 6443 eastbound.

1990, July 14 - the Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) panel in Ottawa is taken out of service and the functions transferred to Montreal.

1990, August 26 - Steam locomotive 1201 makes its last excursion run in the Ottawa area.

1990, October - Canadian Pacific abandons the balance of the Brockville Loop Line.

1991,  February 6 - A VIA Rail Canada Ottawa to Toronto train comes close to a head on collision with a CP Rail switching movement just outside Smiths Falls. 1991SmithsFallsNear.mp4

1991,  February 7 - VIA Rail Canada reaches an agreement for the purchase of the Canadian National Smiths Falls subdivision between Richmond and Smiths Falls.

1991, March 29 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Waltham subdivision between Wamo (m. 1.0) and Wyman including the Hilton Mines Spur.  The last train was a snow plow with 1852-1829-1822-1844 pushing 400784.  After the line was plowed they took empty hoppers to the Hilton Mine to be loaded with slag and returned with them.

1992, June - the Arnprior-Nepean Railway bill is approved in the Ontario legislature.

1992, June 27 - Hull, Chelsea and Wakefield Railway commences operation over the former Canadian Pacific Maniwaki subdivision between Hull and Wakefield using a Swedish steam locomotive and equipment.

1992, October 12 - the bridge of the Beachburg subdivision over the former Carleton Place subdivision is removed and replaced with fill.

1993, January 22 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Waltham subdivision between mile 0 and mile 1.0 (known as the Wamo Spur).

1993, July 29 - Canadian Pacific completes the sale of the Carleton Place subdivision right-of-way between Carleton Place and Nepean to the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton.

1993, July 29 - Canadian Pacific demonstrates the Amtrak X2000. Two round trips were made between Ottawa and Buckingham Junction. The train came to Ottawa behind Amtrak diesel 380. At the end of the day CP 5590 pushed the entire consist from Ellwood to Bedell.

1993, July 31 - Canadian National abandons the Renfrew subdivision from Nepean to Arnprior, this section being acquired by the regional government and operated on its behalf by Canadian National.

1993, September - Canadian Pacific dismantles the Brockville Loop Line.

1993, September 18 - work commences on the reconstruction of the Ellwood subdivision bridge over the transitway. This required the diversion of CPR freight trains betwen the Prince of Wales bridge and Walkley Yard via the connection to the Beachburg sub. at Ellwood junction, a change of direction to Wass and a further change of direction to Walkley Yard.

1994, May 26 - with reconstruction completed on the Ellwood subdivision bridge over the transitway, CPR freight trains recommence using the Ellwood subdivison to directly access Walkley Yard.

1995, May 12 - Canadian Pacific abandons the South Prescott Spur, originally part of the Bytown and Prescott Railway, between Prescott and Oxford Station.

1995, October 3 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Lachute subdivision east of Thurso, Que. to St. Augustin, Que.

1995, December 25 - Canadian Pacific abandons the Cornwall subdivision.

1996, May 15 - Canadian Pacific runs the last train (headed by #3111) out of the terminal at Walkley Yard.  Beginning the next day until the yard's ultimate demise on 11 November 1997, all trains to Ottawa originated at Smiths Falls with Walkley yard used simply to facilitate a transfer to the Gatineau road switcher.

1996, May 17 - Canadian National abandons the Beachburg subdivision from Pembroke (mile 89.20) to Nipissing (mile 215.36) through Algonquin Provincial Park. The last train ran over this line through Algonquin Park on November 24, 1995, (train 101 with CN 9551westbound and train 114 with CN 9542 eastbound) after which time trains only operated east from Pembroke to Ottawa.  Track removal was completed by Cando Contracting by September 1997.

1996, October 1 - The St. Lawrence and Hudson Railway is formed by merging the CP Rail routes in southern Ontario and Quebec with its Delaware and Hudson subsidiary in northern USA. The STLH name was first used about June 1 although the legal entity was not established until October 1.

1996, October 30 - Ottawa Valley RaiLink takes over operation of the former Canadian Pacific line between Smiths Falls and Cartier, Ont as well as the Mattawa to Temiskaming branch in Quebec.

1996, November 2 - Ontario L'Orignal Railway (RailTex) commences operation over the former Canadian National line between Glen Robertson, Hawkesbury and L'Orignal, Ont.

1996  November - St. Lawrence and  Hudson Railway (Canadian Pacific)  lifts several shop tracks, the west runaround track and the wye in Walkley Yard, all industry sidings in Ottawa West and the wye track at Wamo in Hull.  As well, the concrete station in Hull, built circa 1966 is demolished.

1996-1997 The ADTranz IC3 Flexliner was tested in Canada. In VIA operation the Flexliner operated out of Toronto for 4-6-monthe. The Amtrak lettering was removed and VIA logos added. In the fall of 1996 club 7001-7401-7201 and club 7003-7403-7203 were in VIA service The IC3 left Canada on 5 May 1997.

1997, July - Canadian National lifts tracks 7-10 in Ottawa station as well as the connection from track 10 to the former New York Central line along with several tracks in the adjacent Terminal Avenue yard.

1997, September 9 - rail service is restored to the E.B. Eddy paper mill in Hull. Some four years earlier, changes in the mill eliminated the need for rail service and all plant trackage and the connection to the Canadian Pacific Waltham subdivision, which had used the former Hull Electric Railway right-of-way, trackage and bridge over the Lachute subdivision at Hull, were removed.  As the Waltham subdivision had also been lifted, access to the plant was regained by means of a spur connecting with the Lachute subdivision at the north end of the Prince of Wales Bridge.  One storage siding was built on the site of the former six track yard and two delivery sidings were built, one interior and one exterior, on the mill site west of the intersection of Tache Boulevard and Montcalm Street. On September 9 business car "Lacombe" became the first railborne visitor to the new trackage.

1997, November 11 - Quebec Gatineau Railway takes over the operation of the former Canadian Pacific Lachute subdivision between Outremont Yard and Hull and reopens the section between St-Augustin and Thurso abandoned in October 1995.  On November 10, Canadian Pacific locomotives 4231 and 4240 (C-424) hauled the last loads off the Thurso to Hull section and the next morning moved the traffic to Smiths Falls for the last time.

1997, November 11 - With no customers remaining in Ottawa, Canadian Pacific presence in Ottawa comes to an end with the last train on the SL&H (CP) Prescott subdivision between a point north of Kemptville and Leitrim Road (20.13 miles) on the southern edge of the Macdonald Cartier Airport (Ottawa).  This was the first line to enter Ottawa, then Bytown, in 1854.  The last CP train into Walkley Yard was hauled by two CP C-424 locomotives 4231 and 4240.

1998, January 6-8 - a serious Ice Storm blankets eastern Ontario and Quebec and the railway system in the triangle Ottawa - Kingston - Drummmondville is virtually shut down.  A long term casualty of the storm is the Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) signal system on the Alexandria subdivision which would have cost some $6 million to restore.  This system, installed in January 1960, is converted to the computer assisted Occupancy Control System (OCS).  The existing CTC system is retained for the Ottawa Terminal and between Coteau and De Beaujeu.

1998, May 20 - Canadian Pacific (St.Lawrence and Hudson) announces discontinuance of service on the Prescott subdivision (originally Bytown and Prescott Railway) between Kemptville and Leitrim Road.  The section between Manotick and Kemptville was officially discontinued on 16 June.  The rails were removed in May 1999.

1998, June 10 - Canadian National concludes an agreement to convey the Alexandria subdivision, between Coteau and Hawthorne, to VIA Rail Canada.  Canadian National retained exclusive rights to operate local and overhead freight upon running rights payments to VIA.

1998, December 13 - Ottawa Central Railway, a subsidiary of RailLink's Quebec Railway Corporation, commences operation over the Canadian National Beachburg subdivision between Ottawa and Pembroke as well as the Walkley line in Ottawa.  The Ottawa Central also received running rights over the Alexandria subdivision between Ottawa and Coteau.  Canadian National's presence in Ottawa comes to an end with the running of train 440 on December 11 hauled by locomotives 7033 and 7015.

1999, March 1 - an arm of Genessee Rail-One called Railterm takes over the train dispatching of the Huron Central, Quebec Gatineau, and VIA owned or leased trackage from De Beaujeu, mile 7.5 Alexandria Subdivision to Hawthorne, mile 72.7 and between Federal, mile 0.0 Smiths Falls Subdivision to Smiths Falls East, mile 34.5. The RTC centre is in Outremont,  QC.

1999, October 17 - the Hull, Chelsea, Wakefield Railway opens a new connection with the Canadian Pacific Lachute subdivision at Laman.  This uses the north leg of the wye which was built in 1967 but on which no rails had been laid.  The eastward facing connection was used on this day by a once only test steam train to Montebello.  The original connection at Laman had been removed to make way for drainage work.

2000, October 2 - VIA Rail Canada operates the funeral train of the Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau from Ottawa to Montreal.  It ran as a passenger extra with VIA units 6433 and 6436 and VIA club cars 4007, 4008 and 4009 with dome observation car 8718 "Yoho Park" bringing up the rear.  The train left Ottawa at 08:50 and was observed by many people along the route.  A CBC helicopter followed overhead.  At the request of Mr. Trudeau's family the train slowed down at many towns, villages and settlements along the route to greet wellwishers.

2000, December 23 - The Ottawa Central Railway purchases the Ontario L'Orignal Railway.  The effective date of the transfer is the first week of January 2001.

2001, January 1 -  the St. Lawrence and Hudson assets are transferred back to Canadian Pacific ownership and the StL&H is dissolved.

2001, May - Ottawa Central Railway opens a new distribution centre on Albion Road.

2001, July 26 - Ottawa Central Railway works the last train to cross the Prince of Wales Bridge, a work train of ballast cars for trackwork in connection with the O Train service.  The Quebec Gatineau continued to use the first span on the north side to switch into the Eddy plant in Gatineau (Hull) until that plant closed in October 2007.  Click here for pictures of this train.

2001, October 15 - O Train service commences between Bayview and Greenboro stations using Talent diesel mechanical railcars over the former Bytown and Prescott/St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway line opened in 1854 and 1871.

2002, July - rails are removed from the South Freight Shed Lead between the Alta Vista Freight Terminal and the switch leading to the Canada Science and Technology Museum.  It was part of the Canada Atlantic Railway main line opened in 1882.  By this time, the North freight Shed Lead has been removed from the Alcan siding, between Walkley Road and Leeds Avenue, to the Alta Vista Freight Terminal.  This was part of the former Ottawa and New York Railway (later New York Central) main line which was opened in 1898.

2002, October 27 - VIA opens a new, $1.2 million, station at Fallowfield to serve passengers living in the west end of the city travelling to and from Brockville and points west.  The first train was No. 43 headed for Toronto hauled by VIA Genesis locomotive No. 920.  At the same time, VIA introduces a faster schedule between Montreal and Ottawa and reinstalls Centralized Traffic Control over the Alexandria subdivision which had been out of use since January 1998.

2003. March 7 - the Acela "JetTrain" BBDX2200 is demonstrated at Ottawa station

2004, May 14 - the O Train makes a demonstration run to Fallowfield station to participate in a municipal/provincial/federal announcement on transit funding.

2004, September 24 - the O Train makes a demonstration run from Ottawa to Carp and return.  Carp is on the line built by the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway.

2004, December 2 - the City of Ottawa agrees to purchase the Canadian Pacific corridor from, and including, the Prince of Wales bridge, through the Dows Lake Tunnel and along the Ellwood subdivision to Leitrim Road for O Train expansion.  The cost for this 13 km. stretch of line is $12.6.

2005, May 1 - the VIA passenger train schedule between Ottawa and Montreal is augmented. The first morning departure from Ottawa to Montreal originates from Fallowfield, at 6:23 a.m.  Likewise, the train departing Montreal at 4:45 p.m. terminates at Fallowfield at 6:55 p.m.

2005, May 6 - City of Ottawa (Capital Railway) takes ownership of the following lines:

  Ellwood subdivision between mile 0.00 and mile 4.99 (Ottawa West)
  Prescott subdivision between mile 4.90 and mile 4.99 (Greenboro)
  Prescott subdivision between mile 4.99 and 8.17 (Leitrim Road).  This is excepted track for possible future expansion.
  Ellwood subdivision between mile 4.99 and the Lachute sub. mile  119.12 (including the Prince of Wales bridge) NB. this is not shown in the three year plan.
  Walkley Line between the junction with the Ellwood subdivision and Albion Road
  On this date the City leased the line east of Albion Road to the Walkley Repair Facility.

2005, July 4 - CN freight #786 derailed near Prescott derailing 51 empty tank cars.  There were no injuries but both main lines were blocked.

2006, January 24 - City of Ottawa (Capital Rail) takes ownership of the Prescott subdivision between mile 8.17 and mile 25.42 (Highway 416).  This is excepted track for possible future expansion.

2007, October 17 - Rail service to Hull (Gatineau) ceases with the closure of the Domtar (formerly E.B. Eddy) plant.  The Quebec - Gatineau Railway made a special move  to pick up two white tank cars which had been held inside the building.

2008, May 10 - a landslide near the track causes the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Railway to susend excursion service until such time as a long term agreement can be reached between the owner of the train and the municipalities which own the railway track and right of way.

2008, summer - VIA commences a program of infrastructure improvements in the Ottawa area which include:
new sidings at Carlsbad Springs (Alexandria subdivision); Fallowfield, Richmond, Dwyer Hill, Smiths Falls (Smiths Falls subdivision); Jasper, Bellamy (Brockville subdivision).
extension of continuously welded rail on the Alexandria subdivision.
installation of Centralized Traffic Control on the Smiths Falls and Brockville subdivisions.
station improvements at Ottawa and Brockville and possible new stations at Coteau and Smiths Falls.

 2008, October 5 - the Ottawa Central Railway and the Counties of Pontiac and Renfrew sponsor a train for elected representatives to foster the idea of a commuter train running from Ottawa Valley towns into Ottawa.  The train ran between Ottawa, Walkley Yard via the Beachburg subdivision to Beachburg with stops at Norway Bay Golf Club in both directions. 

 2008, October 31 - Smurfit-Stone closes the pulpmill at Portage-du-Fort.  It was served by a private siding off the Ottawa Central Beachburg subdivision which was opened in July 1966.

 2008, November 1 - Canadian National re-acquires the Ottawa Central Railway.  The OCR Alco locomotives are quickly replaced by CN locomotives.

2009, April 24 - operations over the Ottawa Valley Railway Chalk River subdivision are curtailed and the line is embargoed after the running of the last eastbound transcontinental train (108-19 with CP8537-9546) which arrived in Smiths Falls at 1330 April 24th. The last westbound local train was train 225-22 which left Smiths Falls at 1612 on 23rd, with CP4652 (in B&M colours) - CP8215 - CP5790. The last westbound transcontinental train was 107 with 8866 and robot 9797 which left Smiths Falls at 1650 on 22nd.  A clear out train was run on April 25th with RA2002 and LLPX 2241 which ran light to Almonte from the Tembec turn at Mattawa, it cleaned out the stored cars, but as it is an eastward facing switch only, it ran to Carleton Place to run around. Then they lifted the stored cars at Pakenham, and Renfrew and returned to Mattawa.  After this, service in the upper Ottawa River Valley is restricted to Cartier/Sudbury to Mattawa/Temiscaming.

2009, April 23 - Walkley Yard Canadian National (formerly Ottawa Central, originally Canadian National) shop is closed.

2009, May 9 - the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Railway resumes regular service on its line between Gatineau (Hull) and Wakefield, Que.

 2009, July - VIA Rail Canada engineers and yardmasters go on strike.  Trains were cancelled partially from 21 July with a full shutdown from midday 24 July. Trains began to run on 26 July and full service was resumed 27 July
The last move out of Ottawa was train 32 (locomotive 903) to Montreal on July 24 and the first move back was train 639 (locomotive 911) from Montreal on 26 July.

 2009 Summer - VIA Rail Canada installs sidings at Dwyer Hill and Smiths Falls East on the Smiths Falls subdivision and completes the subgrade on sidings at Jasper and Bellamy on the CP Brockville subdivision.

2009 October - Societé de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) purchases the Quebec Gatineau Railway from Montée Paiement to the Prince of Wales Bridge in Gatineau (Hull).

2009 December 18 - Ottawa Valley RaiLink terminates its lease on the Ottawa Valley Railway between Smiths Falls and Camspur, near Petawawa.  Effective 23:59 December 21, 2009, the OVR Chalk River Subdivision between mileage 0.5 (Scott) and mileage 104.0 is removed from service.

  2010 early - VIA Rail Canada acquires the section of line between Federal and Richmond (Smiths Falls subdivision) from CN.

  2010 February 20-22 - VIA Rail Canada locomotives 6428 and 6404 are used in sessions shooting the movie "Vois comme iles dance" on the QGR Lachute subdivision.  On Saturday and Sunday 20-21 the location was east of Fassett while on Monday 22 the location was Calumet station.

  2010, May - closure of the Abitibi Bowaters mill at Gatineau signals the end of rail service on the Quebec Gatineau Railway Lachute subdivision west of Masson.

  2010, June - rails are removed from the Quebec Gatineau Railway Lachute subdivision from Hull east to the Gatineau yard, including the bridge over the Gatineau River, in preparation for the Gatineau Busway Project.  Click here to see Chris Hall's pictures.

  2010 June 30 - service between Rigaud and Hudson on the M and O subdivision comes to an end with the arrival of AMT train 111 at Rigaud.

  2010, July 12 to August 26 - the O Train is closed for major rehabilitation work on the line, including track realignment south of the Rideau River near Carleton University.  Maintenance was also carried out on the trains.  During this time, the frog of the switch to the line to the Prince of Wales Bridge, which was last used on 26 July 2001, was removed thus cutting the rail link between Ontario and Quebec in the Ottawa area.

2010 Summer - VIA Rail Canada installs sidings at Fallowfield and Richmond on the Smiths Falls subdivision and Jasper and Bellamy on the CP Brockville subdivision and commences instalation of CTC on the entire line from Ottawa to Brockville.

 2011, May 30 - the Canadian Pacific Chalk River subdivision is abandoned between Scott and Petawawa.

2011, June 21 - at 1200 a new CTC signal system comes into operation on the Canadian Pacific Brockville subdivision.

2011, June 24-26 - heavy rains wash out the line used by the Wakefield steam train in seven places.  

2011, August 1 - contractors start to remove the rails from the CPR Chalk River subdivision starting at mile 87 and moving east.

2011, August 2 - VIA Rail Canada opens a new station at Smiths Falls on the Smiths Falls subdivision.  The CPR station, formerly used by VIA trains, was closed with the passing of the last train, VIA 48, on August 1.  The station was officially opened at a ceremony on 21 October 2011,

2011, September 15 - a new CTC signal system comes into operation on the VIA Rail Canada Smiths Falls subdivision between Ottawa (Federal) and Smiths Falls.  The first train to operate under the new signals was VIA 41 (Ottawa to Toronto).

2011, September 27 - a new third main track is put into service between Mallorytown and Leeds (approximately 12 miles) on the CN Kingston subdivision.

2012, January 24 - VIA Rail Canada commences running an enhanced service of trains through Ottawa.  Weekdays now see seven passenger train arrivals from Montreal, and seven arrivals from Toronto with five of the westbounds and three of the eastbounds being Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto run-throughs.  One train in each direction between Ottawa and Toronto runs non stop with a journey time of 3 hours 57 minutes.

2012, May 11 - last day of railway operation in Gatineau.  Quebec Gatineau Railway 2500 took 25 centrebeam cars that were in storage in the Gatineau yard and moved them to Masson, QC.  On Monday 14 May Rail Bonaventure took out the first trackage on the bridge over Main Street beside the station.

2012, May 24  - a strike by Canadian Pacific engineers, conductors and rail traffic controllers halts all traffic on the CPR in the area.  In addition, VIA Rail Canada Ottawa to Toronto passengers are bussed between Ottawa and Brockville while some Montreal - Ottawa - Toronto passenger trains are diverted via Cornwall. Operations resumed on 1 June after back to work legislation was passed.

2012, July 3 - Canadian Pacific abandons the North Prescott Spur between Kemptville and Bedell.  This was part of the original Bytown and Prescott Railway.

2012, October 26-28 - the Grey Cup special exhibition train visits Ottawa.

2013, January 2 - the Hull Cheslea Wakefield Railway changes its name to Chemin de fer de la Gatineau.

2013, January 7 - CN files notice of discontinuance of the Beachburg subdivision between Pembroke and Portage du Fort effective this date.

2013, April 17 - CN starts to dismantle the Beachburg subdivision between Pembroke and Portage du Fort.  The first train used CN 4107 and 4713.

2013, June 18 - with the reopening of the Bowater (Resolu) paper mill in Gatineau the Quebec Gatineau Railway brings in some 6 cars, the first QGR train into Gatineau since May 2012.

2013, August 12 - CN plans to start to dismantle the Beachburg subdivision between Portage du Fort and Nepean Junction. However, the community blockaded the line and a court challenge delayed this.

2013, September 18 - an OC Transpo double deck bus hits a VIA train at Woodroffe Avenue on the Transitway. Five bus passengers and the bus driver were killed. The locomotive and part of the train were derailed.

2014, July - CPR commence to dismantle the line between Kemptville and Bedell, originally the Bytown and Prescott Railway, opened in 1854.

2014, August 11 - a northbound OTrain derails at a switch at Carleton station.  There was one minor imjury.  Service was suspended until 0845 the next day.

2014, October 15 - Having defeated the court challenge, CN commences to lift the rail from the Beachburg subdivision from Portage du Fort eastwards.

2015, September 10 - VIA open a new passing siding at Wass at MP 5, Beachburg subdivision, near the junction of the Walkley Line east of Federal.

2015, October 11 - 12 - To celebrate a new Icons of Canadian Steam product launch, Rapido Trains chartered a VIA train, including a dome car, and resurrected the “Rapido” between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

2015, October 12 - 25 - VIA brings three RDCs to Ottawa (6105 (RDC-1), 6208 (RDC-2) and 6251 (RDC-4) and commences testing to verify compatibility with crossing and signal track circuits.

2015, November 23 - CP conveys the Brockville subdivision between Smiths Falls and Brockville to VIA Rail Canada.

2016, November 28 - An Alstom LRV tram makes its first trial journey on the main line from Belfast Road shops to  Cyrville station where it tied up overnight.  Youtube video of one of the first test runs

2017, August 12 - the Brockville Railway Tunnel, opened by the Brockville and Ottawa Railway on 16 May 1860, is opened to the public as part of the Canada 150 celebrations.

2017, August 20 - the Canadian Pacific Railway Canada 150 Tour Train visits Ottawa.

2017, August 27 - VIA commences using a new bridge over the Alta Vista connector road link between Riverside Drive and the Hospital Complex, Beachburg subdivision, mile 1.3.

2018, April 4 - VIA commences using a new high level platform at Ottawa station.  The first train to use it was train 43 departing at 0720 while the first train to arrive was train 51 at 0808.

2018, April 14 - One of the new Citadis Spirit vehicles for the Confederation line runs through the tunnel under downtown and reaches the western terminus at Tunneys Pasture.

2018, May 4 - A ceremony is held to celebrate the driving of the last "clip" on the Confederation line.

2018, 1 June -  Last run of Canadian Pacific's Expressway train for trailers on flatcars between Montreal and Toronto.

2019, September 23 - Tunnelling is completed on the cross town Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel which used a narrow gauge tramway.

2019, October - the rails connecting the Canada Science and Technology Museum to Walkley Yard are lifted.

2020 February to June - significant service reductions as a result first of blockades, then Covid 19 restrictions.

2020 (summer) - Canadian Pacific reduces the double track ABS signaled Winchester subdivision between Soulanges and Smiths Falls to single track CTC. The former south track is the main line with sections of the north track retained as passing lines as follows:
St Telesphore to
Glen Roy
Green Valley to Apple Hill 
Avonmore to Finch
Winchester to Inkerman
Bedell to Burrits
Rosedale to Smiths Falls
This work was completed by early September

2021, July 7 - the City of Ottawa renames the Prince of Wales bridge the Chief William Commanda Bridge.

2021, August 8 - The Ellwood Diamond on the VIA (formerly CN) Beachburg subdivision is removed during the work to replace it with an O-Train flyover the VIA line. The diamond had not been used since cessation of O-Train service in Spring 2020, for line enhancements.  For details and history see

2021, August 14 -  the Ellwood Sub (OCTranspo) bridges dating back to the early 1990s across the Transitway near the former Ellwood diamond were cut up and hauled away.  Work must have started during the early morning hours as they were intact and in situ the previous day. In the previous weeks the adjacent CP bridge over Sawmill Creek dating back to the 1920s (upgraded in 2001 for the new O-Train) had also been removed.

2021,  September 2 - Two CNR freight trains collide at Prescott, Kingston sub., derailing four locomotives and 16 cars, one minor injury.
For details see

2021,  September 3 - VIA passenger trains between Montreal and Ottawa are routed through Ottawa today because of the derailment at Prescott.

2021,  November 30 - VIA give a viewing of the new Siemens Charger train which will become the backbone of the fleet. Testing will begin at night over the Alexandria subdivision between Ottawa and Coteau.

2022,  November 8 - First revenue run of VIA new Siemens train. This was from Montreal to Ottawa and return on trains 33 and 26. Locomotive No. 2202 with train set No. 2301.

2022, December 23-26 a severe winter storm creates significant delays and cancellations in the Quebec - Ontario corridor. A freight train derailment at Grafton complicated the situation. VIA cancels all trains on 25 and 26 December.

2024, May 26 - VIA  retires its British-built Renaissance equipment from Quebec City-Windsor corridor service. This  is the official  VIA date but a final train was run on May 27 and this equipment was in sporadic operation after this date.

Last updated on 29 May2024