Details of Railway Incidents in the Ottawa Area

1902, October 13 - Wireless Communication from a Moving Train is Established for the First Time

Mointreal Gazette 14 October 1902
Delegates to the A.A. G.P.  T.A. Receive Glad Welcome on Arrival.
Scientists of MoGill University Make Demonstration With Wireless Telegraphy From Swift Running Train.

Travelling in regal style as guests of the Grand Trunk Railway, the American Association of General Passenger and Ticket Agents, arrived in Montreal 4.30 o'clock yesterday afternoon, for a stay of a few hours before proceeding to Portland, Me., to hold their forty-seventh annual convention. The party, including the wives of a number of the members, numbered more than 200, and nearly every prominent railroad. in the United States was represented by its general passenger agent.
On arrival in Montreal, the agents and their wives were taken for a drive to Mount Royal and other principal points, which included a visit to the general offices of the Grand Trunk in McGill street, which bore an illuminated welcome to the visitors.

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From Chicago to the place of meeting, the general passenger agents are guests of the Grand Trunk, which furnished a special train de luxe for the occasion. The train, which is declared to be one of the finest ever made up on any railway system, is composed of new Pullmans, cafe-parlor, club and dining cars.
To add interest to the trip, a number of novel exhibitions and experiments were carried out on the train. There was a display of electrical novelties, simply for the purpose of entertainment, an exhibition of views by a multi-lens bioscope and an interesting experiment in wireless telegraphy by Dr. E. Rutherford, F.R.S.C., and Dr. Howard T. Barnes, F.R.S.C., of the Macdonald physicial. laboratory of McGill University, assisted by Prof. C. H. McLeod and Dr. Henry T. Bovey, also of the university.
The demonstration was made yesterday afternoon, when communication was established between the train, running at sixty miles an hour, and St. Dominique Station. It was the first time that wireless telegraphy had been attempted from a fast moving train and the experiment proved to be the interesting feature of the trip.
Communication was received eight miles before reaching St. Dominique Station and was continued for the same distance beyond.
Dr. Rutherford, who had charge of the experiment, has been devoting study to wireless telegraphy for years. In 1897 he wrote a treatise on the theory which was accepted by the Royal Society of Great Britain and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
To make the trip a memoraible one for the railway officials pains and expense were not spared by the Grand Trunk passenger department, which managed and guided the tour.
The special train, consisting of seven cars, left Chicago at 8 o'clock Sunday afternoon and made a fast run .to Port Huron, where two Pullmans with the Detroit delegation were taken on.
Toronto was reached at 6.20 Monduy morning, and here a purty, including railway men anil honorury guests from Montreal, and a number of members from Eastern States, boarded the special and came to Montreal. The train remained an hour and a half in Toronto. At breakfast, which was served on the train, a novel menu card of wood, neatly printed and framed, was provided. One side showed Canada's relative standing in the world as a producer of wood. This was but one of twenty varieties of elaborate and unique souvenirs preisented to each guest on the train. After breakfast, in addition to the moving picture exhibition by the bioscope, There was a display of electrical novelties, numbering over one hundred ingenious devices for practical as well as amusement purposes. For luncheon the menu was printed on birch bark. After the wireless telegraph demonstration a stop was made at Victoria bridge, where the party took opportunity to inspect the nine million dollar structure of the Grand Trunk. Here Manager McGuigan of the Grand Trunk system met the guests and accompanied them to Montreal.
Some fine runs were made by the special between Chicago and Montreal. Brockvllle to St. Henri, a distance of 125 miles, was covered in 3 hours and 20 minutes. A stop of four minutes was made at Coteau Junction for water, and two minutes were lost slowing down to allow a Canada Atlantic train to pass, so for actual running 125 miles were covered In 134 mlmites.

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