Royal Trains and Royal Occasions

The following table lists Royal Trains that have been run in the Ottawa area together with some railway details.
1860, August 25 - The Victoria Railway Bridge, Montreal is formally opened by the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII.

1860, August 30 - The Prince of Wales visits the Eastern Townships, leaving Montreal, Point St. Charles station for St. Hyacinthe and on to Sherbrooke before returning directly to Montreal.

1860, August 31 - The Prince of Wales travels from Montreal to St. Anne's where the bridge over the Ottawa river was gaily decorated with flags.  From here he travelled to Ottawa by water.

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

"In front of the Brockville station platform covered with a tapestry carpet had been built and roofed in with cambric in alternate stripes of pink and blue. The sides of the pavillion thus formed were ornamented with rosettes and with crimson and white lace curtains. There were six triumphal arches, chiefly green spruce trees, in various parts of the town.  The first being just below the platform, the last being above the stemboat wharf.

"It was fortunate that preparations had also been made for illumination, for it was dark when the train which bore the Prince came into the station. Lanterns and locomotive lights were placed all around the tent."

1860, September 10 - the Prince of Wales, travels between Toronto and Collingwood, Ont and return.  The special train of two coaches and an open observation car, was hauled by Northern Railway 4-4-0 locomotive "Cumberland" and was in charge of Superintendent of Motive Power James Tillinghast with Engineer L.S. Williams.

1869, October 11 -  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 -  Prince Arthur rides the Chats Falls horse railway of the Union Forwarding Company on his way from Aylmer to Pembroke.

1884, November 1 - The Harbour Grace Railway, the first railway on Newfoundland, is opened for traffic between St. Johns and Harbour Grace. The last spike was driven by Prince George, later to become King George V, who was at the time visiting Newfoundland as a midshipman aboard H.M.S. Cumberland.

 1901, September - October - Royal Tour of Canada by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York.  Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Laggan, Vancouver.  This included a ride on the front of locomotive 683 through the Fraser canyon.  The return was via Toronto and Niagara Falls to Halifax.  There is a detailed account written by John Beswarick Thompson in Canadian Rail , December 1967.  Set out below are the parts of the tour in the Ottawa area.

   1901, September 21 - Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York arrive in Ottawa (Elgin Street station) from Montreal over the Canada Atlantic Railway behind locomotives 618 and 620.

   1901, September 21 - Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York ride in OER streetcar (Dave Knowles to supply details please).

   1901, September 25 - Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York depart Ottawa Central station (C.A.R.) across the Interprovincial Bridge into Hull and back into Ottawa via the Prince of Wales Bridge. William McFall was the Ottawa, Northern and Western pilot engineer between Ottawa and Hull West.  The Canadian Pacific train, which ran through to Winnipeg, was in charge of Engineer Harry Glendenning and Fireman George Moles as far as Chalk River.
Click below to see a description of the Royal Train in Engineering News;view=1up;seq=418;size=125

1906 April - September - October Prince Arthur travelled across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax.
Vancouver - Calgary - Edmonton over Canadian Pacific
Edmonton - Prince Albert - Winnipeg over Canadian Northern
Winnipeg -Fort William - Ottawa over Canadian Pacific
Ottawa - Coteau - Kingston Jct - Belleville - Niagara falls - Toronto - Montreal - Halifax over Grand Trunk
Details of the visit in the Ottawa area are:

 1906, Saturday 14 April - About 2500 people assembled at the CPR station at Pembroke to see the Prince and his party.  The train arrived on time at 1.30 and the visit lasted about an hour.

1906, Monday 17 April - The Prince visited the Royal Ottawa Golf club on the Aylmer Road.  He went to the golf links in a special electric car and the party returned to Ottawa in automobiles.  The Ottawa Citizen reported:

"His Royal Highness and party left Ottawa at 11.20 for the links.  Car no. 10 was newly decorated and fitted up specially for the trip and was quite attractive with royal blue upholstering and scarlet carpets.   A large urn was in the centre of the car while all around were potted plants, cut flowers and foliage.  Mr. W.B. Taylor was personally in charge, the conductor and motorman being Mr. John Lochlan and Mr. N. Séguin.  The car had right of way to the links and the trip was made in less than twenty minutes."

1906  Thursday 19 April.  From the Ottawa Journal:  

Party left Government House at 10 o'clock.  They travelled by special street car 99 in personal charge of Mr. Thos. Ahearn and Supt. Hutchinson and run by motorman D. Duras and H. Hyndman.
The car ran out to Britannia where the visitors were delighted with the splendid improvements that the company have made in that popular resort.
Returning to Westboro they embarked at the old Skead's mill in two 35 ft. lumbermen's boats.  Shoots the chutes.
On reaching the foot of the locks the party walked to the Post Office where the special car was waiting to take them back to Rideau Hall.
The prince was much impressed with the car arrangements and when he saw the car waiting at the Post Office he exclaimes "Wonderful, really you have made splendid arrangements for us".
The special car provided for His Royal Highness and suite was decorated with flags and in front and rear with the Royal Coat of Arms, carved and gilded giving the car a regal appearance which was greatly admired.
When Prince Arthur leaves Ottawa next Friday morning at 11 o'clock for Coteau where he will take the main line of the G.T.R. for Niagara, he will be drawn over the Ottawa division by one of the most powerful engines of the company.  The iron monster, which now lies breathing in the roundhouse, is being thoroughly overhauled and dressed up for the state occasion, and when it is trotted out by Engineer Ferguson and Fireman Prindiville of Ottawa and hitched to the Royal train it will look as bright as a dollar.  The engine is No. 1,332 weighs 260,000 lbs and is capable of developing a speed of 80 miles an hour.

 1919 tour of Canada by the Prince of Wales.  Throughout the tour a CPR train was used and it was routed primarily over CPR.
August 24-25 overnight from Quebec City to a temporary station at Rosedale, Toronto.
August 27-28 overnight from Toronto, Rosedale to Ottawa arriving 11:00.
September 2-3 overnight from Ottawa to Montreal.
September 4? North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie.
September 6 Sault Ste. Marie, Oba, Franz via the Algoma Central Railway.
September 9 Nipigon to Winnipeg
September 13 Edmonton
September 19 Banff
September 28 Victoria
October 6 Swift Current
October 10 Winnipeg
October 16 Cobalt
October 17 North Bay, Gravenhurst, Hamilton
October 20 Brantford Niagara Falls St. Catharines Grimsby.
October 21 Kitchener
October 22 London
October 25 Woodstock, Creditville
October 28 Montreal
November 4 Toronto
November 5 Toronto to Ottawa
November 10 Ottawa to the USA via Rouses Point using the US President's train.

August 25, 1919 - the train stopped 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".
November 5, 1919  - the Prince of Wales travelled from Toronto to Ottawa behind locomotive 2231.  The Prince ran the locomotive from Flavelle to Trenton (20.9 miles).  See the account by John Beswarick Thompson in Canadian Rail March 1976.

The British Rail Modellers of North America book entitled "Canadian Pacific in Southern Ontario, Volume 2" by Newton Rossiter
on page 24, has a picture of Canadian Pacific 2301, a heavy 4-6-2.  In the story following, the 2 middle paragraphs read as follows:

"Just after emerging from its Angus building in August 1919, 2301 was one of the locomotives selected to haul the Royal Train of the visiting Prince of Wales, later the Duke of Windsor, who was making his first visit to Canada.  There is an official C.P.R. photograph showing 2301 in gleaming black and gold trim with a pair of Royal Standards flying from the corners of the pilot beam, heading the train in the Montreal area.  Exactly where it ran on the Royal Train is lost to time, since C.P.R. records do not provide this information, and most newscopy of the time did not even mention the locomotive.

"The Royal Train itself had a most interesting consist of nine cars which comprised two new steel baggage cars; tourist car "Chinook", sleepers "Chester" and "Carnarvon", dining car "Canada", compartment car "Empire", the private car "Cromarty", owned by C.P.R. director J. K .L. Ross; and C.P.R. President Lord Shaughnessy's car "Killarney", which was used by the Prince and had his crest and motto in gold on its sides.  It was a truly beautiful train in the old standard tradition and it ran across the country in the summer and fall of 1919."
When traveling from Toronto to Ottawa in November the Prince of Wales rode the cab from Colborne
See Canadian Rail No. 290, 1976.

See also:
Old Time Trains
Queens University Archives

 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.

1927, August 5 - Edward, Prince of Wales and Prince George travel by royal train from Ottawa to Brockville
August 6 - The third Toronto Union Station is opened officially by Edward, Prince of Wales. It was opened to the public on August 11, but passengers had to walk across to the old station tracks. The first day on which trains used the new, elevated, tracks through the new station platform was January 31, 1930.
August 9 - Royal party in Winnipeg

 1939, May 17 - Royal Tour of Canada commences with the arrival of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Wolfe's Cove, Quebec on the Empress of Canada.  The 12 car train, (five from CP, five from CN and the two vice-regal cars), in royal blue and aluminum, left Quebec City on May 18.  A pilot train, carrying officials and the press, preceeded the royal train by one hour and no other trains were permitted to travel within this period.  The travel arrangements were shared by the two railways with CP being responsible for the westward journey to Victoria.  CP used 4-6-4 locomotives 2850 and 2851 for the royal and pilot trains respectively, except for the Ottawa to Brighton, Ont, section, which was over CN track.  2850 hauled the royal train without change right through to Vancouver, a total distance of 3224 miles.  Royal crowns were painted on the running boards of both locomotives and these were eventually fitted to the entire class (2820-2864) which, following approval from their majesties, came to be known as Royal Hudsons.
May 18 - The Royal Train tied 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.

See also Branchline, June 1999 also Canadian Rail July-August 1985, September-October 1989 and January-February 1990

1951, October - November.  Royal tour across Canada of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.
Oct 9 - Montreal to Quebec City by train arr 09:47  having spent the night in the train in a secluded siding 20 miles from Quebec.
Oct 10 - Quebec to Ottawa by CNR, detraining at 10:00 at a special station constructed at Island Park Drive on the Renfrew subdivision.
Oct 12 - dep Union Station, Ottawa just after midnight, visit Cornwall (08:45 - 09:00), Brockville (10:05 - 10:25), Kingston, Belleville, Trenton Toronto (the train also slowed at Iroquois, Cardinal and Prescott).
Oct 14 - Toronto, St Catharines, Niagara Falls, Chatham to Windsor arriving about midnight into a siding opposite the Detroit river for overnight.
By air Windsor - Kapuskasing - Winnipeg.
Winnipeg - Regina - Calgary by train.
Oct 19 - Calgary to Kamloops by train with a stop at Banff.
Oct 20 - arrive Vancouver.
Oct 27-28 Vancouver to Edmonton by train.  The couple rode in the cab of CN 6057 from Yates (65 miles east of Jasper) to Peers (14.4 miles). Stops at Boston Bar and Edson.
Nov 4 (Sun) - boarded train in the evening at Ste. Agathe des Monts Que., and early Monday left for Maritimes with stops at St. Hyacinthe, Drummondville, Levis, Montmagny, Riviere du Loup, Rimouski and Mont Joli.
Nov 6 Fredericton, Saint John ( train arrived at sunset)
Nov 7 (Wed) arr Halifax afternoon.

 1958, July 27 - Royal train for Princess Margaret from Montreal to Ottawa using CP locomotives 1428-1904-1424.  The consist was CN15202, CN9283, CN9203, CN91, Acadia, Thunder Bay, Bedford, Burrard, Government Cars 1 and 2.  There was a return movement Ottawa to Montreal on August 5 behind CP 1428-1906-1426.

 1959 - Royal Visit.  Details needed, but the Queen visited Stratford, Ont., at least.
Ottawa Citizen 2 July 1959:
"In a driving rainstorm that sent water cascading through the leaky canopy of Union Station, the Queen and Prince Philip left by train for Hamilton last night, after a 26 hour visit in Ottawa
"The rain which had held off all day for the public functions finally came down just after eight o'clock.
During  her Ottawa visit ---omitted---
"Governor-General Massey, Prime Minister and Mrs. Diefenbaker, all in formal dress, met the couple, who appeared tired but relaxed at the Besserer Street entrance to the station.
In the station some 500 spectators pressed tightly behind naval personnel from HMCS Gloucester.
"After quiet goodbues the Queen and Prince Philip stepped inside their car and returned a few minutes later to wave their farewells.
CNR engineer Floyd Goodfellow took the 16-car royal train away with a whisper.
"Queen Elizabeth left Hamilton aboard the royal train for Brantford, Ont., at 12.36 p.m. after a 2 1/2 hour tour of the steel center."

 1974, May 13  CPR operated a special train from the Winnipeg to Brandon for the Centennial of Winnipeg.  The train was on nthe occasion of the visit of Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon.

 1977, October - 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.
Click below to see invitation for special guests (three pages)
Royal Train page 1
Royal Train page 2
Royal Train page 3

 1982, July 15 - A Royal train was operated between Winnipeg and Brandon, Man, when Princess Margaret visited Brandon during the city's centennial celebrations.  The train consosted of Canadian Pacific locomotives 8528 and 8517 with cars Strathcona, Killarney, VIA diner 103 and the two Government of Canada official cars.  A picture appears in Canadian Rail December 1982.

1984, September 27 - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II toured the St.Lawrence Valley participating in local celebrations honouring the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists.  The train left Cornwall and travelled to Kingston with a stop at Prescott.  (See "Majesty Rides the Rails by Doug Smith, Branchline September 1984)

Updated 21 November 2017