Engineer On Last Run But He Didn't Know It, Published 1 October 1947
By Austin F. CrossEcvening Citizen Staff Writer
Not often an engineer makes his last run without knowing it, but that's what happened to Howard David Moffatt, 151A Bayswater avenue, who brought his CPR engine in from Brockville Sunday night.
Scheduled to make his last run in from Chalk River Tuesday, with all the fanfare going with such a run, and destined to sing a swan song of railroading in front of cameras, and with cheers and yells ringing in his ears - death intervened. The demise of his brother, Lloyd Russell Moffatt. in Toronto, cancelled the lart run.
So the Tuesday "Last Run'' never took place, and what was to be "just another trip" now turns out to have been the "last mile" for Engineer. Moffatt. Thus ends 50 years of railroading.
Started In Carleton
Howard David Moffatt started his railroading in the boiler shop at Carleton Place, back on August 18. 1897. He was out for a while.but re-employed in October 1899 as a wiper.
After caressing the engines for a while, he got a fireman's run to Chalk River in 1900, and spread the black diamonds for six years, till finally he got on the right side of an engine, and started throttle pulling.
The next step took a bit longer. It was in 1927 when he first took over a passenger run, his job being to nurse one of the old timers up the Pontiac run.
As far as he can remember it. the engine they gave him was old 383, a no-good kettle on any railway. Very little of this run was too much for Moffatt, and he soon found himself handling the big power on "the M & O" which is Montreal and Ottawa to you and me. He didn't have enough seniority when the King and Queen were here, to handle any of their trains, but since 1943, he has been able to "bump" most of the boys, and take what runs he likes.
For that reason, he has been shuttling back and forth, between the Chalk River and the Brockville runs. That is, he will take the Chalk River train up one morning, turn around there, and come back through Pembroke, Renfrew, Arnprior and Carleton Place, the same evening. The next day, he'll push the new 1227 down the line to Brockville, and then bring back the train late in the evening. When he had made his mileage in this manner, he would lay off.
Has No Kicks
Asked to sum up his career, Moffatt said: "I have had darned good luck; I have had good officials. Better change that. You can truthfully say, I always had the best officials. You cannot beat those Canadian Pacific officials. I have no kicks."
Asked what his plans for the future were, he smiled and said:
"I have no plans; I imagine I may find the time good and long. But I may do something later."
"Ever ridden a streamliner?"
"No, I can't say that I have."
"Oh yes. I'd like to all right."
Mr. Moffatt said that perhaps next spring, he'd go across the line and have a look at what's doing over there.
He has three sons, Kenneth, a commercial traveller; Gordon, in the steamship business in Montreal; and Earl, at Hammond. Ontario.
His wife is the former Annie Little, of Almonte.