Chef Massicotte looks on while Citizen columnist Austin F. Cross stokes the stove aboard a Canadian Pacific Railway converted diner at Broad Street yards.
Sumptuous fare Is here provided communications maintenance men of the railway.
Photo by Newton

Tasty T-Bones Pride Communications Crew.Published 26 January 1957.

At the old Broad Street Station, where once the crack Imperial Limited used to change engines before speeding to Vancouver, there sits today an ancient converted Canadian Pacific sleeper. There, in this sixty-year-old restaurant car, are fed daily any where from eight to 20 talented members of the Canadian Pacific Communications. These men cover 790 miles in the Ottawa area, running as far as Fassett on the North Shore, and Maniwakl up the Gatineau, Brockville and Chalk River are other mileage limits.
One Crack Sleeper
The crew eats in an old converted car. Once it was a crack sleeper that ran on the high iron all over Canada; today it is a well insulated, old fashioned dining car.
This particular day, Chef W. Massicotte was serving "T bones" as freely as if they were potatoes. Three kinds of pies were offered, a prodigality of pickles were purveyed, and the guess is that many a man at the Chateau Laurier was not doing as well right then as Foreman J. B. Boisvert and his commurlcations experts.
These men are on call all the time, but their home base is Broad Street station. Since the station is gone, only those who are forty-plus can remember the busy depot on the west side of Broad Street, from whence one took the train to Prescott and Chalk River, to Jelly and Vancouver, and if you went east, to Vankleek Hill and Ste. Therese.
Only Freight Now
Now the rails are used only for freight, but the communications cars are parked there. There is the sleeping car ahead, then the diner, and behind it, two box cars filled with supplies.
This diner converted from a sleeper is a strange combination of old and new. For instance the chef uses a wood fire to cook his steaks or pies, and yet a fine, new, modern fluorescent lighting system lines the ceiling. This latter was "scrounged" from some place along the system, and the chef, a careful French-Canadian, also has a stand-by system of coal oil lamps. Best not to take any chances on these new fangled systems.
Car 411,016 is believed to be a first cousin to the first sleeper that ever left Ottawa for Vancouver, in 1886. It has been decorated by the chef. He being a devout Catholic has a lot of holy pictures about.
Mention was made that the chef dishes out "T-bones" as if they were as cheap as spuds. Vegetables are in quantity; fruit options are many, three kinds of pie are available, vegetables are three or more in number.
What's more, a fellow can have meat and potatoes three times a day if he wishes. Steak fanciers will appreciate that Chef Massicotte's steaks are all broiled over a wood fire in this antique, but spotlessly clean diner.
Two Kinds Of Cheese
Cheese comes in two varieties. One is from Maskinonge county, another from Grand Mere. The lighter color differentiates one county's fromage from another.
Interesting is the fact that the 100 percent Catholic crew takes no chances on the fish. They bring their own tommy cod which they catch themselves through the ice back home.
This fish deal recalls another idiosyncrasy. These crews may be in Ottawa bodily, but their hearts are back in old Quebec Every last communlcatons worker plans to go home every single weekend. They begin to think about it Monday.
For example, one fellow was here in Ottawa for 15 years. But every weekend he would dead-head his way home to Ste. Anne de la Perade and mamman! He lived five days in Ottawa for those two precious days each week back at the foyer.
The dining car is equipped with television.

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Updated 27 May 2019