Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1939, May - Test runs of Royal Train

Ottawa Citizen  5 May 1939

12-Car Hotel On Wheels Ready for Royal Guests
MONTREAL. May 4 A symphony of blue and silver. Canada's royal train needed only a few finishing touches tonight before moving to Quebec for the start of its 8.000 - mile transcontinental tour with the King and Queen.
Never before has a Canadian train carried such distinguished passengers never before has such painstaking attention to detail produced such a composite picture of luxurious beauty. From headlight to observation platform, the 12-car hotel on wheels represents the work of the most skilled workmen on Canada's two major railways.
Exterior decoration of the train is carried out in royal blue with aluminum panels between windows, rounded silver-tinted roofs and thin car-length lines of gold above and below the windows, The aluminum has been applied in diamond-shaped designs to flash more brilliantly in the sun.
The two cars at the back of the train - those in which the King and Queen will travel - carry the royal coat of arms in the center under the windows, while all other units bear the royal cipher and crown in the center and the royal crown at each end below the roof line.
Like Modern Hotel
Inside, the train contains all the appointments of a modern hotel, with living rooms, business offices, bedrooms, baths and showers, and an inter-car telephone system which can be connected to land telephone wires. Everv car carries a radio, each of a different type.
Car No. 1 at the rear of the train contains two bedroom suites for the King and Queen, a sitting room overlooking the rear platform, and two bedrooms for members of the royal staff. The sitting room is panelled in curly birch with ivory ceiling and light brown carpet over a cork floor. One set of furniture has coverings of green self-toned damask with green taffeta drapes, while an alternative set is done in blue and beige printed homespun with gold drapes.
The royal suites each consist of a bedroom, dressing room and bathroom. The Queen's bedroom and dressing room are done in blue-grey colors, with dusk pink taffeta drapes and a white eiderdown. The King's suite is painted cream with drapes and coverings in blue and white glazed chintz and a blue taffeta eiderdown. Both bathrooms are finished in mauve tile, complete with a full-sized bath and shower.
The car also contains a maid's bedroom and a lady-in-waiting's room, both in cream, and a white-tiled bathroom.
Maps to Trace Progress,
The other car to be used by Their Majesties contains a large sitting room in nile green with old rose luminere and rose taffeta curtains. Ahead of the sitting room is the royal dining room seating 12 persons, and equipped with a set of roller maps so the royal couple can trace their progress across the Dominion. The car also contains a pantry, kitchen, steward's room, a bedroom for His Majesty's secretary and an office panelled in oak.
The remaining four cars of the six reconstructed at the Canadian National Railway's Shops here provide accommodation for other members of the royal party. Tomorrow they will be taken over to the Canadian Pacific Railway shops where the other six cars of the train are waiting.
The Canadian National cars viewed by newspapermen today include the dining car for members of the royal party. It is a standard diner seating 40 persons, done in natural wood panels of varying tones, the main woods being Prima Vera, Araca and cherry.
Pictures of Canadian wild life, executed in wood inlay, feature the decorations. Blinds are of silk face pantosote with a design of horizontal colored stripes. Canadian National business car No. 99 - private car of the CNR president - and two standard club cars with remodelled interiors, complete the C.N.R section of the train.

Ottawa Citizen 5 May 1939

Royal Train Seen Making Test Run
BROCKVILLE. April 30 The train on which Their Majesties will make their Canadian tour was in Brockvlle this morning for an hour. The train made up of 13 coaches, six in royal blue and the other seven in green, made a trial run here and return to Montreal. The train arrived at 8.30 and left on the return trip at 9.25. The six royal blue coaches included the two which will be used personally by Their Majesties, these being distinguishable by the Royal Coat of Arms on the side, the other four to be used by the suite carrying the Crown and G. R. VI on the side.
The green coaches were part of the pilot train which will precede the royal train and will carry newspapermen and other officials. The train was not opened for inspection. The train was hauled by locomotive No. 6028 of the C.N.R. and was painted in blue and gold. Engineer James Spence of Montreal was at the throttle for the run both east and west. Conductor C. A. Moore and Brakemen A. Mainville and L. Aldrig of Montreal were in charge for the run to Brockville while J. E. Ryan, conductor. Brockville; C. Capper; of the same place, and O. Lurette. Montreal, were the brakemen on the return trip. R. C. Johnston, general superintendent of the Montreal division of the C.N.R., was in charge of the railway officials making the trip.

Ottawa Citizen 5 May 1939

Roval Train Engine Making Trial Runs Before the Big Day
She has an important date with Their Majesties and members of the royal party but she still has to do her regular work.
"She" is the C.N.R. engine for the royal train. No. 6400, one of the six thousand type and most powerful in the passenger service, was used in the regular Montreal-Ottawa service betore she was selected to be the engine for the royal train.
The engine still takes her turn on the Montreal-Ottawa run. With a sparkling coat of blue paint, the engine was in Ottawa today and will return next Tuesday for a trial run preparatory to going on her royal duties.

Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Journal 9 May 1939 (identical wording)

Test Run Made To Smiths Falls By Royal Train
SMITHS FALLS, Ont.. May 9 The royal train on which, the King and Queen will travel across the Dominion completed the first part of a test run from Montreal to Smiths Falls early this morning, covering 120-odd miles in 3 hours. Seventy-five technicians and specialists aboard pronounced the train as in first-rate shape and "fit for a king."
Only two stops were made. Between Montreal and St. Clet, Que., the 12 cars of the blue and silver train, powered by the specially decorated engine 2850. travelled at 35 miles an hour. It stopped for ten minutes at this point to permit a test of bearings and brakes.
Second Stop at Finch,
From St. Clet to the second stop. Finch. Ont.. where similar tests were made, the speed was 45 miles per hour. At Smiths Falls the train remained for more than an hour during which complete tests were made of the entire equipment, including the long distance telephone which will enable the King and Queen to telephone to any part of the world when the train is at a given station.
On the return run to Montreal the train will travel at from 55 to 65 miles an hour to Moncklands, [sic] Ont.. and from that point to Montreal at 75 miles an hour. Officials pointed out that while the train will not travel at such speed when the sovereigns are aboard, the different speeds were tried out to make the test as complete as possible.
The train slid smoothly from the Angus shops of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Montreal at 9.05 o'clock last night and sped into the thickening dusk. Almost immediately the experts set to work to study the train's operation.
Foretaste of Reception.
Rumors got around fast, and word that the royal train was to leave the Angus shops spread quickly. As it pulled away those on board had a foretaste cf the cheers and enthusiasm that will greet this train when it travels from Quebec to Vancouver and back during the next month. Children, perched on nearby fences whistled and cheered. Crowds gathered as the train passed the north end of Montreal on its rehearsal run and applauded as its trim blue and silver cars moved by into the night.
The run was almost a full-dress rehearsal. Chef James Patrick Morgan was puttering around In the royal kitchen. In the dining room waiters were at their posts. Everywhere the trained eye. the expert hand and ready ear of the technicians sized up this opulent hotel on wheels, critically appraising its finely-wrought excellence.
They turned on taps in the royal bathrooms to see that the water flowed properly. They tested showers. They inventoried furnishings. They surveyed cupboards and pantries. Every switchboard was examined. Not a  nook nor cranny was left untouched.
Preliminary indications were that the train was having a smooth run. Officials expressed themselves as highly satisfied with the technical side of their weeks of labor.
The train telephone functioned perfectly when a call was made to The Canadian Press Montreal Bureau. Voices at the other end of the line came over clearly - just like an ordinary call from somewhere in the city.

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Updated 3 July 2021