The local papers have provided some interesting glimpses into the first runs over many of the lines in this area. These are set out in date order as we come across them. For a detailed time line of these events please see my pages:
Significant Dates in Ottawa Railway History
|8 October 1851||Bytown and Prescott Railway - turning the first sod|
|21 June 1854||Bytown and Prescott Railway - Prescott to Chesterville|
|9 August 1854||Bytown and Prescott Railway - Prescott to Kemptville|
|16 August 1854||Bytown and Prescott Railway - Kemptville to Prescott|
|10 January 1855||Bytown and Prescott Railway - Prescott to Ottawa|
|10 January 1859
||Brockville and Ottawa Railway -
Brockville to Perth
|1-3 September 1860||The Bytown-Prescott Excursion Train in 1860, Broke in Half|
|19 April 1864||Grand Trunk/Ottawa and Prescott Railways - Montreal to Ottawa|
|14 September 1865||Brockville and Ottawa Railway - Brockville to Arnprior|
|14 September 1865||Union Forwarding and Railway - Arnprior to Ottawa|
|15 September 1870||Canada Central Railway - Inaugural train between Ottawa to Sand Point|
|7 October 1870||A Disastrous Brockville and Ottawa Railway Excursion from Arnprior to Ottawa|
|4 December 1872||Canada Central Railway - Inaugural train between Sand Point and Renfrew|
|30 August 1875||Canada Central Railway - first sod ceremony at Pembroke|
|24 May 1876||Account of a Journey over the North Shore line to Montreal (Caution date may be wrong)|
|30 November 1876||Excursion over the Kingston and Pembroke Railway betwen Kingston and Sharbot Lake|
|9 December 1877||Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway - First excursion from Hull|
|25 September 1878||Excursion over the Kingston and Pembroke Railway to Sharbot Lake|
|10 June 1879||Inauguration of Palace cars on the Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway|
|6 August 1879||Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway - Inaugural train between Hull and Aylmer|
|30 September 1882||Canada Atlantic Railway - first excursion Ottawa to Coteau and Valleyfield|
||A Trip over then New Ontario and Quebec Railway
|12 September 1884
||A Trip for the Press over the CPR extension above Mattawa to the end of steel
|9 December 1884
||First passenger train
between Aylmer and Quyon on the Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway
|29 June 1886||First transcontinental passenger train, the Pacific Express, passes through Ottawa|
|5 November 1887||First train in Canada to be equipped with electric light|
|4 March 1888||Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway - first train|
|8 November 1890||Canada Atlantic Railway - trial trip of locomotive No. 15 between Ottawa and Carlsbad Springs|
|16 December 1890
||Gatineau Valley Railway -
first inspection trip over the line
|15 February 1892||First Trip over the Gatineau Valley Railway|
|3 March 1893||First trip over the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway, Ottawa to Arnprior|
|21 December 1895||Inspection train alongside the Rideau canal and opening of the temporary station at Maria street|
|19 June 1896||Hull Electric Railway - First trip Deschenes-Aylmer-Hull|
|29 June 1896||Hull Electric Railway - First day of operation between Hull and Aylmer|
|30 June 1896||Cornwall Street Railway Light and Power - first day of operation|
|19 May 1898||Montreal and Ottawa short line - first passenger (inspection) train)|
|29 July 1898
||First train on the Ottawa
and New York Railway between Cornwall and Ottawa
|5 September 1898||Ottawa and New York Railway - first excursion and the blessing of the railway by Archbishop Duhamel|
|13 January 1900||Ottawa Electric Railway - first trip on the Britannia line|
|27 January 1900||Ottawa Electric Railway - first through trip to Britannia|
|22 April 1901||Ottawa, Northern and Western Railway - opening of the Interprovincial Bridge, Hull to Ottawa|
|25 July 1901||Hull Electric Railway - First trip of a street car over the Interprovincial Bridge|
|2 December 1901||Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway - first train from Waltham to Ottawa|
|5 December 1909||First Canadian Northern Train to Arrive into Ottawa, Hurdman|
||A Trip to Queens Park on
the Open Streetcar.
|20 March 1915||Glengarry and Stormont Railway - first inspection trip from Montreal to Cornwall|
|24 May 1915
||Opening of the Glengarry
and Stormont Railway
|5 May 1929||A Telegram is Sent from a Moving Train|
|27 April 1930||Telephone Call Made to Britain from a CNR Train|
|18 November 1953||First Train over the Walkley Line|
|1 July 1973||First Run of Canadian Pacific 4-6-0 No. 1057 to Carleton Place|
|16 October 1977||The Queen and Prince Phillip ride behind CPR 4-6-2 1201 from Ottawa to Wakefield|
9 October 1851 - Bytown and Prescott Railway - Turning the First Sod
The building of the first railway created a great deal of interest in Bytown and the Bytown Packet of 11 October 1851 carries this account of the ceremony to turn to first sod.
On Thursday last, the 9th instant,was witnessed the very novel, and to the people of this section of Canada, most interesting ceremony of breaking ground on the line of the Bytown and Prescott Railroad. The day was as beautiful as could be desired, and an immense concourse of people were congregated to witness the proceedings. Between three and four o'clock in the afternoon the Procession, in the following order, formed in front of the Railroad office in Rideau Street, and from thence proceeded down Sussex Street to the place selected for the important operation:-
Directors and Officers of the Railroad Company.
The Hon. Mr. Justice Burns and the President of the Railroad Company.
The Sheriff of the County and other Officials.
The Grand Jury.
Cadets of Temperance, in Regalia.
Sons of Temperance, in Regalia.
The President of the Company delivered an address, and then taking the spade proceeded to break ground, and tossed the first sod in first-rate style, amid the shouts and cheers af assembled thousands.
Justice Burns addressed the audience, congratulating them upon the prospect presented of so great and desirable an undertaking being carried forward. Judge Armstrong being called upon, congratulated all present on the occasion of breaking ground, in commencing a work of so great importance; and in a short but very happy and humorous speech, referred to some of the advantages that would result from it. G.B. Lyon, Esq. M.P., next spoke, complimenting the taxpayers, who had assented to their Municipality subscribing largely on behalf of the enterprise. They were all shareholders indirectly, and were interested in its success. Speaking in the open air, or on the subject of Railroads was not his field, and Railroads were not his politics. He wished the undertaking success.
The President returned thanks to the Sons of Temperance, complimenting them in the highest terms; which was replied to on the part of the Sons and cadets by Mr. Hewitt.
The Sons presented a highly creditable appearance both as regards numbers and respectability - and we were particularly pleased with the interesting and fine dsplay made by the cadets.
Mr. Bell, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Friel being called upon, addressed the audience, and the proceedings closed.
Precisely at 7 o'clock a large party of gentlemen of the town sat
down to dinner given by the President and Directors at Doran's.
To say that the dinner was at Doran's is a sufficient description of
the of the manner in which it was got up, and of the excellent quality
of the viands - to state that it was got up in Doran's best style is to
say all we can in praise of the eatables and wines. The President
of the Company, Mr. MacKinnon, presided - supported on the right by Mr.
Justice Burns, and on the left by Captain Ford, Royal Engineers.
The Mayor of the town acted as Vice. On the removal of the cloth, after
ample justice had been done
to all the good things, toasts were given from the chair.
First passage per Bytown and Prescott Railway.
We are requested to state that the Prescott Division of the "Sons"
have engaged passages by the cars to attend the Temprance Celebration
at Spencerville on Wedneday next the 21st inst., and other individuals
can also be accommodated at the same price, say Three York Shillings
each for going and returning.
Sir, - Yesterday morning dawned upon as large a merry a party of gentlemen on board the steamer Beaver as ever left this sylvan city "on pleasure bent" to be present at the opening of the railroad between Kemptville and Prescott. Everything was as pleasant as pleasant weather and pleasant fellows could make them, no small matter when we consider that the party consisted exclusively of "man's imperial race," but aggreably to the old adage "start determined to be pleased and you will be pleased," and heterogeneous, albeit the crowd, made up as it was, of Batchelors, Benedicts, Doctors and Justices, Lawyers and Councillors and Chapmen, withal starting with this wholesome determination, pleased they were to a man, such rollicking and such fun, so much loud and hearty laughter and so many tricks upon travellers as would have convinced the most prudish of Eve's fair daughters that one blade of a pair of scissors is not the worse for having the rust rubbed off it by occasionally separating it from the other blade; but tis two o'clock and Hurrah! here we are at Kemptville where we found a splendid spread, and which received every due justice at the hands of the hungry and happy Bytonians. All things considered, too much credit cannot be done to the Managing Committee; and if the knives did not cut it was they were new and had never cut before; but certes they were clean and we all know that cleanliness is next to godliness. But the ding dong of the engine bell signifies that it is time to "take your places ladies and gentlemen", which no sooner done than the shrill whistle warns us to hold on while the engine starts with its precious cargo of 450 or 500 sons and daughters of Adam. Off we go to the tune of Rule Britannia struck up by the Kemptville Band. Pish, pish and in a few seconds the unmusical gallop of the Iron Horse convinced us, however profound our knowledge was or Arithmetic, that we could make up a small sum of twenty in simple addition by counting the cedar posts which flanked the road on either side. The engine and the road were individually new - new they were to each other, while collectively they were new to the people and the people new to them; and the occasional screams of the steam whistle showed, as some errant horse or cow obtruded on the track, that Railroad Cars were likewise new to quadraped as well as biped, who with heads down and tails erect,scampered in terrorem out of harms way, and looked to all the world as if they meant to ask, where the devil do you come from? One hour exactly found us in Prescott, reader remember it was a trial trip, and many of us for the first time slackened out thirsty souls with the waters of the St. Lawrence, improved mightily, as some declared, with Gllman's Brandy - seven o'clock sees us safely stowed in again, and "homeward bound". The same description of mirth as at starting only ten time more pungent, attended the Prince Albert steamer, which disgorged its load at 3½ a.m. on the Basin wharf, where each took himself to his own domicile, highly pleased at the day's doings, with only one object to mar his happiness, to wit, that on the morrow he had to go back to business again.
|The second excursion was reported two weeks
later in the Ottawa Citizen (weekly) of 26 August 1854 being the
account of the Railroad Temperance Excursion which was abridged from
the Ogdensburgh Sentinel:
"On Wednesday 16th inst. the Temperance People of Canada in the vicinity of the completed portion of the Bytown and Prescott Railway, got up an excursion from Prescott to Kemptville, for the purpose of celebrating the entry of the "Iron Horse" within the precincts of the latter place, and of having a general public congratulation of the masses, upon the success of the enterprise which links them with the Atlantic cities.
"Having a partial regard to public prosperity and the cause of temperance, we appropriated the day and made one of the multitude. At the depot at Prescott, we found the locomotive St. Lawrence most gaudily dressed in holiday clothes, trimmed with flowers, evergreens and flags. The stars and stripes, on equal footing with the cross of St. George, floating on either side of engine and tender. Three passenger and three platform cars, capable of carrying over one hundred passengers each constituted the train. We left Prescott 9.36 a.m. with all the (cars?) comfortably filled, having on board delegations from Ogdensburgh, Brockville, Maitland, Augusta and a general turnout from Prescott. At most of the cross-roads, we passed passed large crowds anxious to arrest the train that they might procure passage, but it was impossible to accommodate them. At Spencer's we were joined by a delegation of about two hundred who were "piled on". Seating or stowing them away, was a question not to be entertained, not less debated. The cars, we presume, if they could have told their feelings, would have made the same reply that the notorious Charles Lamb did, when the inquisitive cab man thrust his head into the box and asked "Are you full in there?" The reply was "I don't know how it is with the other passengers, but that last piece of pie did the thing up for me!" So it was with the cars, that last station, had most emphatically done the thing up for them. Just imagine an old fashioned four seat stage coach, with four passengers on each seat, two standing between seats and a fat old lady and gent entering thro' the door, on either side, and you have a tolerable fair idea of our compactness after absorbing that last two hundred. Being somewhere in the vicinity of the middle of one of the platform cars, and near the bottom of the pile, we knew or saw little else during the remainder of the passage. We know however that there was enjoyment and sport among the top tier for often we felt the pile shake as though the outside ones were laughing, and a spent voice reached us with the exclamation "there goes another hat!" which was all explained when we reached Kemptville, by seeing a number of individuals with their heads dressed in handkerchiefs.
"About 12 o'clock the seats of the stand were all occupied and a meeting of at least two thousand was called to order by Mr. Ellwood, the District deputy G.W.P. of the Sons, who nominated W.H. Ellerbech, opened the meeting with beautiful and appropriate remarks, after which, Mr. David Fields of Ogdensburgh, read a sound, and able, well written temperance address - a copy we understand, was requested by the committee, for publication - Mr. Fields was followed by the Rev. Mr. Brewster, at some length, who in turn was followed by N.H. Lytle of Ogdensburgh and Rev. Mr. Smart of Brockville, in short addresses. The speaking was interspersed by music from the Kemptville Band.
"At two o'clock the multitude adjourned to the dinner grove and partook of the repast which had been most bountifully prepared by the good people of Kemptville, after which the time was spent in general congratulations and social conversation. It is estimated by good judges that not less than 4000 strangers visited Kemptville, on this occasion and many more would have been present could they have secured passage on the cars.
"The return train from Prescott arrived out at 3½ p.m. when we made preparations for our return home, having seen but one God's images, during the entire day, who bore the mark of the beast on his countenance. On our return trip we were not loaded so compact as on the outward passage aand were aforded an opportunity of viewing the country and the construction of the railway.
"The country along the finished portion of the road, is much of it low and swampy or uncultivated land. The road is well built, remarkably straight and even and much of the distance lies on solid rock. Its construction is nearly perfect, a fact every passenger will be willing to concede after a ride over it. The management is under the superintendence of Mr. Hough, who we noticed upon the train during the whole of the excursion, with a watchful eye to the safety of the passengers. Mr. E. Whitney, formerly postmaster of Ogdensburgh, is the regular passenger Conductor on the finished portion of the railway, and had charge of the excursion train on this occasion. Mr. Whitney is a modest unassuming gentlemanly conductor whom the Company will doubtless retain as long as it is in their power to do so. Nearly three, miles from Prescott the road is crossed by the Grand Trunk Railway. The crossing is made by bridging, obviating the possibility of collision. The Grand Trunk Road is built by English capital, and in English style, wide guage (sic) and will cost too much money ever to be a paying concern. It does not touch the river at Prescott, the builders being fearful that some of its trade might be diverted by the Ogdensburg Roads. The same policy would successfully "run into the ground" all the paying roads ever built."
10 January 1855 - First Excursion on the Bytown and Prescott Railway
The Bytown and Prescott Railway was opened throughout between Ottawa and Prescott on 25 December 1854. What would seem to be the first excursion trip over the entire railway took place on 10 January 1855. This account originally appeared in the Ogdensburgh Republican and was reprinted in the Ottawa Citizen (weekly edition) on Saturday 20 January 1855.
R. Hough Esq. the Superintendent of the Bytown and Prescott Railway, having given notice that on the 10th instant, an excursion train would run from Prescott to Ottawa leaving Prescott at 10 a.m. on that day, a number of our citizens, a number of whom had never visited Bytown, determined to avail themselves of this opportunity of taking a ride over this new and important road and paying their Bytown neighbors a flying visit, and witnessing for themselves the beautiful and majestic scenery with which this new "City of Ottawa" is surrounded. The day was cold but pleasant, the crossing over the St. Lawrence bad, inasmuch that but two or three small boat loads succeeded in getting over in time for the train. We happened to be among the lucky number, and found on our arrival at the depot a goodly number of our Prescott friends ready to accompany us.
The train started at the appointed hour and after a pleasant ride of about two hours and a half we were safely landed in the City of Ottawa. Bytown was nowhere to be found. On arriving at the British Hotel kept by MacArthur, we found good fires attentive servants and last, though not least, an excellent dinner embracing all the delicacies of the season, to which our party did ample justice. After the removal of the cloth, several impromptu toasts were drank and appropriately responded to.
On leaving the table we were agreeably surprised to find a sufficient number of teams in waiting at the door from the livery stable of Luke Dubois which had been ordered by that prince of good fellows John S. Gillman Esq. of Prescott to carry our party over the city. We passed the balance of the afternoon and evening in viewing the Suspension Bridge, the Chaudier Falls and other objects for which this city is noted. During our drive we made brief calls at the residences of several of the prominent citizens and partook of their whole-souled, old fashioned hospitality, among whom we must not forget our friend Lyon, proprietor of "Lyon's Hotel" near the Suspension Bridge where, in addition to a hearty welcome, we were entertained with an impromptu dance, which in its ease and naturalness, carried us back to the days when social enjoyment had not given way to stiff formalities and buckram etiquette.
Where much joy meets one on every side, time goes by on no lagging wing - and before we were aware of the fact, night had settled down upon the city.
At six o'clock in the morning, as many of the party as could shake off the agreeable appliances of Morpheus, arose and departed for their homes, where they arrived in safety, after another pleasant ride over this new railway, which connects the city of Ottawa with Prescott and Ogdensburgh "and the rest of mankind".
If the impressions we received while on this excursion were real, the city of Ottawa with the facilities now owned up by the Bytown and Prescott Railway, with its unequalled and sublime scenery, is destined, ere long, to become one of the greatest resorts of pleasure seeking travel on this continent.
Of this Bytown and Prescott Railway per se,
of the unequalled telegraph line now building, and which is nearly
completed between Prescott and Ottawa, extending along the line of
the Montreal, Prescott and Ottawa Company, we design hereafter to
as also of their purpose of putting down an English sub-marine cable
between Prescott and Ogdensburgh, It is, we understand, the
of this Company to put up two wires between Ottawa and Prescott, the
posts for which are already set, are of uniform size and straight, and
are put three feet in the ground, as all telegraphic posts should
be. Messrs. Dodge, Dickinson & Co. are the contractors.
10 January 1859 - First Excursion over the Brockville and Ottawa Railway between Brockville and Perth.
The Brockville Recorder was invited to travel with a group of invited guests over teh line between Brockville and Perth. It appears to have been a long, drawn out affair although the papers felt it was a success because the train actually made it there and back.
We have had a ride on the rail to Perth. Don't ask how long the journey occupied, whether three hours or ten hours, as the time taken cannot ignore the fact that the rails are connected and passenger cars from Brockville have entered Perth. This is a great fact, and there is no use denying it.
On Monday morning we went on board of a car for Perth, at the special invitation of Mr. Watson, the managing director of the Brockville and 0ttawa Railroad. The cars were to start at 8.30, but it was nine before they took their departure. The invitation to ride not being general, the crowd in the cars, specially invited, was not great. The distance between Brockville and Smiths Falls was made at an easy rate, over what appears to be a first-rate road, if we except a few miles not yet ballasted on this side of the Falls, and of which it would be unfair to judge at present. We left Smiths Falls about eleven, and here commenced a "chapter of accidents" which continued until the end. Monday's proceedings were a complete epitome of the history of the road from its first inception, stopping, backing, changing, with no one apparently capable of solving the difficulties. Why, we should like to know, were the engines and cars not under the direct control of Mr. Madrigan? Had this been the case, the "chapter of accidents" we have been speaking of would have been fewer, at least we think so.
Monday, however, was a bitter cold day. The thermometer at five in the morning stood at 40 below zero, cold enough, surely. The line between the Falls and Perth had not been run over from the Friday previous. The consequence was, that the snow had caked on the rail, and become, as it were, after the slight rain of Friday, part and parcel of the iron. The wheels of the locomotives had thus to contend with glare ice: they would revolve but could make no progress in dragging the cars after them. Several attempts were made to advance, but all was to no avail. At length it was decided to "back up" to the Station, in order that the crowd might dine at the Falls while a locomotive was sent over the line to do battle with the ice and snow itself, and prepare the way for the cars.. After dinner another start was made, but also with no effect - the fates were still against us. The forward engine's cowcatcher caught up the snow from the centre of the track and turned it over quite scientifically on the rail, and thus rendered progress impossible. Another "back up" to the station, in order to give the lead to another engine. Here several who had joined "the excursion" at the Falls, concluded to "go home", and two Brockville gentlemen did the same, trusting to the Perth stage for conveyance to Brockville, at which place they arrived about three hours before the railroad excursionists.
At length another attempt to reach Perth was made, but before long a halt was called in order to search the ditches along the road for water to supply the locomotive. The interesting experiment having to be made a second time. Slowly and steadily the train at length moved on, and hopes were high that no other difficulty would intervene, but fate again decided against these hopes. About a mile and a half from Perth, the last car on the train came to a dead stand: the coupling of the car had given way, and the engine, with the forward car, went off by themselves, leaving a car full of the most consummate grumblers all alone in their glory, till the engine returned from Perth, with a rope to hitch to the car. At length the grumblers reached Perth about a quarer to seven at night, having made the passage, forty miles, in nine hours and three quarters.
After tea the crowd was again in motion towards the station, the hour for starting home being eight o'clock. Here again our prospects for reaching Brockville were all but smashed into a cocked hat. In shunting one of the cars it got off the track and about three hours were spent before it was got on. About eleven o'clock "all aboard" was the word and the weary excursionists returned home about half past three in the morning, never to forget their first trip to Perth over the Brockville and Ottawa Railroad.
The severe coldness of the day prevented anything like an inspection of the works along the line, but on what we did see, we have no doubt, the road, when thoroughly ballasted will be second to none in Canada.
There was another, more satisfactory, trip recorded before the railway opened. This took place on 26 January 1859 and was reported in the Perth Courier and the Brockville Recorder ran the story on 3 February.
On Wednesday last, the members of the County Council of Lanark and Renfrew, having received an invitation from the President of the Railroad Co., took a trip to Brockville on the cars. The invitation was extended to members of the Town Council and several other of our citizens. Having been invited by Mr. Watson, the Managing Director, to accompany the party, we took our seat along with the rest, and at a quarter past 9 o'clock the train started from the Depot. There being only one passenger car, it was pretty well crowded; but the party being in good spirits, and determined to enjoy themselves, accommodated each other in a neighbourly way as well as circumstances would admit. The train arrived at Brockville at twenty minutes to 12, having made the trip in 2.25 - which is pretty good running considering the unfinished state of a considerable portion of the road. The party proceeded to the Willson House, where after visiting the tunnel, they sat down to a sumptuous repast got up in 'Brennan's' best style. After doing justice to the good things set before them, short speeches were made by several gentlemen present. 'All aboard' was then the cry and the train on the return trip left Brockville at half past three, and arrived at Perth at six - all highly delighted with what was, to the greater portion of them, the first trip on the Brockville and Ottawa Railway.The road is well made so far - is remarkably smooth - and when properly ballasted will be second to none in Canada
in which the train broke in two
The excursion was for the visit of the Prince of Wales on 1-3 September 1860
The Bytown-Prescott Excursion Train in 1860, Broke in Half
Half of Train from Ottawa Ran Six Miles Before the Loss of the Rear
Half Was Discovered. Conductor Was in Front of Train and Did Not Know
of Mishap. Passengers Came to See Prince of Wales.
went well till the train had reached a point about half way between
Ottawa and Kemptville, when a coupling pin about the middle of the
train worked Ioose and came out The rear part of the train soon came to
a stop. The passengers in the front car looked out, but the front half
of the train was not in sight. The word soon spread through the rear
half of the train, and of course there was excitement. The
excursionists began to get out of the cars.
Conductor In Front.
the train broke in half the conductor had been in the front of the
train, working on his tickets and consequently did not know that the
train had broken.
In Search of Rear.
the train began to back up In search of the rear half. The front half
had to go back six mile before it round the rear half.
19 April 1864 - Montreal to Ottawa over the Grand Trunk and Ottawa and Prescott Railways
This is an extract from an account which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen for 31 May 1864. The original appeared in the Montreal True Witness of May 9 and was written under the pseudnym "Bruin". Our travellers stopped at Cornwall for a meal and spent the night at Prescott. At that time the Grand Trunk was built to the provincial gauge (5' 6") whereas the Ottawa and Prescott was standard gauge (4' 8½")
We left the Bonaventure Street Depot at 6.30 p.m. on the 19th ultimo, and were whirred along at railroad speed towards our destination. The night was clear, the air fresh and bracing, and the moon rose in an unclouded sky. Onward we sped and soon the shrill whistle of the locomotive gave warning that we were approaching the first stopping place, and anon the granite cliffs of Pointe Clair appear on the left glittering in the moonlight. Halt! cries the engineer and the snorting horse comes to a stand. We discharge and take on and off we go again, and soon the waters of the Ottawa are heard rumbling at St. Anns and, the lines of Moore, written more than half a century ago, recur to our memory, when struck by the beauty of the surrounding scenery, and fired by the genius of the poetic fancy, he burst forth in the following stanzas:-
Faintly as tells the evening chime
St. Ann's rendered famous by the poetry of Moore, may thy picturesque solitude be undisturbed by the innovations of man, save in the pursuit of all that is lovely in nature.
Isle Perrot was traversed and another branch of the Ottawa, and the elm trees of the picnic grove at Vaudreuil are seen in their leafy majesty, throwing their dark shadows on the crystal water and courting in their very nakedness the half stifled denizens of the crowded city to seek beneath their lofty branches free respiration and repose. Well we do remember, not one year ago, having attended a pic-nic on these favoured grounds, given under the auspices of the St. Patrick's Society of this city, and conducted with all the success and decorum characteristic of the efforts of the Association. We sincerely hope the St. Patrick's Society will, during the coming summer, give the citizens of Montreal the opportunity of again spending a few happy hours beneath the shady elms of Vaudreuil, on the banks of the Ottawa and we are confident that the gentlemanly proprietor (Mr. Harwood M.P.) will be all too happy to place the grounds at the disposal of the Society.
But, reader, we are digressing, you will pardon us, we hope, and bearing in mind that memory brings back many a happy feeling, accompany us a little further.
Coteau Landing, west of Coteau, famous for the rapids and dilapidated forts and other places of minor importance, were passed in rapid succession and at last we reached "Cornwall, fifteen minutes for refreshments" cried the conductor; amen we said and into the railway restaurant we popped, fully determined to make the most of the time allotted. There, sure enough, was a sight sufficient to gladden the hearts of hungry travellers, two tables the length of the room covered with a profusion of beef steaks, chops, sausages and other kindred strengtheners of the human system, made us for a time, forget the ethereal ecstacies of spiritual meditation, and fortify the inner man.
All aboard and off we go, following the escorting steed that leaves a trail of fire behind him until we reach Prescott Junction. There, we had to wait a full hour for the passengers by the boat from Ogdensburgh who were going west. It being past midnight, we grumbled at the delay, but it was of no use, we must either wait or walk one mile to Prescott, where we were to remain over night for the morning train to Ottawa.
St. Lawrence Hall and Campbell's Hotel &c. &c. greeted out ears on our arrival at Prescott, and ere we had time to reflect, the liveried messengers of the first named house seized our luggage and bore us all off in triumph but had we known our old acquaintance Campbell of Ottawa, had removed to Prescott, we certainly would have chosen his hospitality.
The trip from Prescott to Ottawa (54 miles) is through a country of unpreposessing appearance. Although there are several stopping places, with the exception of Kemptville, there is no place (visible) of any note; there are, I believe, several thriving villages back from the stations. On nearing Ottawa, the country assumes a more fertile appearance, and from the back platform of the cars we can see, on Barrick Hill, the massive proportions of the Parliament Buildings with their gothic towers, not completed, and surmounted with many flags fluttering in the breeze. For a moment, friend W. and myself are puzzled to know the cause of this unusual display of the colours of the rainbow, but only for a moment; for we remember that the veteran Colonel, the Premier of Canada, has preceeded us on a visit to the future capital to inspect the buildings and push on the works as rapidly as possible, in order that the collective wisdom of the Province may at an early day have a permnent habitation and a home, and these signs of joy are hoisted by loyal citizens on his arrival to manifest their confidence in the purpose.Top
14 September 1865 - Brockville and Ottawa Railway Excursion from Brockville to Arnprior
The Globe, Toronto Thursday September 14, 1865 provides the following account. Further reports can be found in a number of local papers, including the Hamilton Spectator.The arrangement was that Thursday the party should proceed to Ottawa city by way of Arnprior. A few minutes after six o'clock in the morning, more than one hundred ladies and gentlemen of the press excursion started northward by the Brockville and Ottawa Railway. The train passed through the tunnel under the town by means of which the railway is brought to the river's edge. This tunnel is, I should think, one half mile in length, and passes under the Market Building, and thence underground until daylight is reached to the north of the town. After the train is fairly in the tunnel the darkness is total. There are no little holes as in the Victoria Bridge at Montreal to admit little streams of light, but black darkness renders it impossible for the passenger to see anything. For the sake of variety, a few minutes of this sort of railway riding was very well, but I think few of the excursionists would have cared for a much longer experience of the kind. The Brockville and Ottawa road is smooth and well ballasted and we had a very comfortable ride to its terminus at Arnprior, passing on the way a number of villages, the chief of which are Smiths Falls, Carleton Place and Almonte. The latter place owes some of its prosperity to manufactures. Flax mills are driven by water afforded by the Mississippi River (not the father of waters but a little river) -- Arnprior is distant from Brockville 69 miles, has for some little time been the terminus of the B&O Railway, but is about to lose that distinction, as the Company will, on Monday next open the road to Sandpoint, five miles or so much further up the Ottawa. When completed the road will terminate at Pembroke, a point some 50 miles further up the river. Arnprior is finely situated on the south bank of the Ottawa, or more accurately perhaps, of Chat's Lake. Mr. McLachlin, ex-MPP, an extensive lumber dealer, has a very nice residence there.
14 September 1865 - Union Forwarding and Railway
At Arnprior there were not enough carriages for the excursion party. Those which were to be had carried the baggage from station to the wharf, which distance - about a mile - the excursionists had to make on foot. A steamer, the Oregon, carried us across Chat's Lake, a distance of about three miles or so. Then we travelled across a peninsular, three or four miles by "tram" railway. This railway has been in operation a good while, and differs considerably from an ordinary railway. The rails are strips of bar iron, such as is used apparently for the tiers of lumber waggons. The "ties" on the tram railway run lengthwise instead of crosswise. The country it traverses is not at all level, but there was little digging done to make the roadway level. This was done by filling up the "gulleys" with structures of timber on which the "ties" were laid. The cars are drawn by horses, and one of the "conductors" claimed as a merit of this road that there never was an accident upon it. Arrived at the end of the tram railway; the party embarked on the steamer Ann Sisson for Aylmer C.E. The distance is twenty or thirty miles and the trip lasted some hours. On board the steamer, the adjourned meeting of the Association was held.
At Aylmer there were flags up in honour of our arrival - at least we
took it for granted that this was the meaning of the display.
Carriages were in waiting for us and a pleasant drive down the north
bank of the Ottawa, and the bridge across the Chaudiere brought us into
Ottawa city between four and five o'clock.
15 September 1870 - Canada Central Railway opening from Ottawa to Sand Point
Yesterday was all that could be desired for the trip to Sand Point,
and soon after nine o'clock a large crowd had collected at the terminus
of the Canada Central Railway at the Chaudiere Flats, where a train of
eight cars was in readiness drawn by the powerful engine, H.A.
ABBOTT. This engine was built in Taunton, Mass and is one of
great speed and power. She forms one of three which have been
constructed for the Canada Central Railway Company. No. 1 is
named after to well-known English capitalist Mr. H.W.F. Bolckow who is,
we believe, the largest shareholder in the
company; No. 2 is named after the president (this would be John G.
Richardson - CJC), and No. 3 after the contractor for the line to
untiring energy and enterprise we owe the speedy completion of the
Mr. H.A. Abbott. This engine, as before stated was the one
to propel the excursion train on the opening day. She was
decorated with Union Jacks and Red, White and Blue flags interspersed
After a very brief stoppage at Stittsville we proceeded on our way until Ashton, twenty-two miles from Ottawa was reached at 10:45. At eleven o'clock we arrived at the Carleton station of the Canada Central, and scarcely had we halted when the Brockville train arrived, filled with a number of persons who joined the excursion train on its way to Sand Point. Carleton Place is the end of the new road, and our way from thence lay along the track which has, for some time, been used by the Brockville and Sand Point trains. There is nothing of the scenery along this part of the trip worthy of especial note. The country appears, for the most part, to be exceedingly well adaptged for agricultural purposes and the clearings already made are numerous and extensive. Every stream we crossed was almost filled with a quantity of lumber showing how large a lumbering business is done in this section of country and promising well for the future prospects of the railway in this respect. At half past eleven we reached the thriving town of Almonte, with its extensive woollen and other manufactories, and here we found a large number of persons waiting on the platform to greet our arrival. We were now 36½ miles from Ottawa. After giving our iron horse a little refreshment in the shape of wood and water, we once more started on our way. Pakenham was reached at 11:52; a few minutes after 12 o'clock we crossed the long bridge which spans the Madawaska river and at ten minutes after twelve reached Arnprior, about fifty-three miles from Ottawa. The remainder of the distance, about four miles, was performed very rapidly, and at twenty three minutes after twelve (Ottawa time) our train drew up in front of the commodious freight shed belonging to the company at Sand Point. Across the road a sort of triumphal arch had been erected, from which was suspended a number of flags and in the centre a banner upon which was inscribed the word
Releves - boned turkeys with apple jelly; game pate; hams; ornamented rounds of beef; smoked beef tongue.1. March "Distant Greeting" - Doran.
Entrees - Chicken salad; partridges with jelly; oyster pates.
Roast joints - Roast beef, roast turkey, roast mutton, roast chicken, roast geese, roast veal.
Game - Partridges, wild duck, prairie chickens, plover.
Relishes - Olives, pickled oysters, pickled cucumbers.
Pastry - Jelly tarts, fancy cakes, wine jelly, blanc mange, charlotte russe, charlotte of apples.
Fruit - Isabella grapes, oranges, fameuse apples, almonds, raisins, figs etc. crackers mixed, celery.
While lunch was proceeding the Brockville Garrison Artillery previously referred to played the following
2. Lancers "Merrie Tunes"- Godfrey.
3. Comic fantasia "Echos of the night" - Riviere.
4. Valse "Milgrove" - Stanley.
5. Galop "Post Horn" - Leomig.
6 "God Save the Queen".
Chair was occupied by Abbott who proposed a toast to the Queen.
Many speeches - omitted
The train was by this time in waiting and soon the passengers were all on board and well satisfied with their day. Everything had passed off most satisfactorily without a single contretemps. At 3.42 the train started and arrived safely in Ottawa about six o'clock. Thus ented the celebration of the opening of the Canada Central Railway.
The Almonte Gazette also reported this excursion on 17 September 1870
Inauguration of the opening of the Canada Central Railway.
Grand Excursion and Dejeuner.
On Thursday last an excursion for the purpose of celebrating the opening of the railway from Ottawa to Carleton Place, was taken over the entire length of the B. & O. R. and the C. C. R. Invitations to be present were given to a large number of the leading citizens of Ottawa and Brockville and others along the line of the road. A train left Brockville at 7:45 and Ottawa at 9:30, and making a connection at Carleton Place both trains were merged into one. The train arrived at Almonte at 11:45, and presented quite a gay and handsome appearance, the engine being tastefully decorated with a large number of brightly coloured flags, no less than six passenger cars being attached thereto and all filled with a most respectable looking company. Having been presented with a complimentary ticket, we gladly availed ourselves of the opportunity of joining the excursionist. On getting on board we found the cars so full that we had some difficulty in procuring a seat. The train remained at the station but a few minutes, and then started for Sand Point at a rattling pace; Pakenham and Arnprior were quickly passed and ere long the train reached the present terminus of the road - Sand Point. The village was dressed in its best for the occasion, any quantity of bunting being visible from almost every point.
was served in a large and commodious freight shed lately erected. Two rows of tables extended from one end of the building to the other; every seat seemed to be occupied and justice was done to a most substantial display of eatables, including fruit of almost every kind. A large number of flags and banners, interspersed with evergreens, were tastefully arranged throughout the building and numerous devices adorned the walls, conspicuous amongst which were the following: at the upper end appeared the well-known words, "God Save the Queen" surmounted with an immense Union Jack and underneath several lions couchant and rampant. The lower end of the room was likewise adorned with a large flag encircling the woods "Prince Arthur." On one side of the room, and arranged at short intervals, were the words "Success to Railway Enterprise," "Stephenson," "Ross," "Locke" "Prosperity to English Capitalists" "Bolebow and Vaughan," "Science," "Engineering," "Telegraphy," "Lumber," "Minerals," "Commerce," "Agriculture" "Trade," "Brunel, "Errington" "Watt," "Tilford." [sic] On the other side of the room, and arranged in excellent order, were the following words and devices: "Ottawa City," "Brockville," "Montreal," "Dominion of Canada," "Ontario," "Quebec," "Manitoba," "Success and Prosperity to the Canada Central Railway," "Brockville and Ottawa Railway," "Northern Colonization Railway," "Ottawa Valley Railway," &c.
J. J. C. Abbott, Esq., M. P., occupied the chair, and on his right hand was Sir Francis Hincks and S. R. Graves, Esq., Member of the House of Commons for the city of Liverpool, England; on the left of the chairman were Hon. Alex. Morris, Mr. Powell, M. P., England, and Allen Gilmore, Esq.. At the further end of the room, the seats at the tables running across the room were occupied by Judge Armstrong, Mr. Rowan, R. W. Scott, Esq, M. P. P., and D. Galbraith, Esq., M. P. P.
After a continuous cannonade of small arms, in the shape of champagne corks, had been kept up for some time, the chairman rose and gave the first toast of the day "The Queen." The toast was most enthusiastically received after which the band of the B. & O. R., which was in attendance, played "God Save the Queen," The next toast was "The Prince of Wales" immediately followed by the "Gov General," both of which were heartily responded to. The chairman then said that it would only be rendering honor where honor was due when he proposed the toast of "Her Majesty's ministers."
Sir F. Hincks responded, saying that he took it for granted that the toast was meant for Her Majesty's Ministers of the Dominion of Canada. On behalf of his colleagues and himself, he felt gratified for the honour done them. He apologized for the absence of the Hon. Messrs. Cartier and Langevin. He was sure that they would rejoice with him when he said that the first Minister was recovering rapidly, and that he would soon be able to resume his duties in perfect health. During the illness of the premier the different members of the government felt deeply grateful to the members of the opposition party in the house for the deepest sympathy felt and expressed on that occasion, but, indeed, he felt that this feeling of sympathy extended to the whole Dominion of Canada, but now they would rejoice with him at the prospect of early return of the Premier to his accustomed labour. He cordially congratulated the chairman and the directors of the Canada Central Railway upon the auspicious opening, this day, also the great line which he hoped to live to see completed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. As a member of the government he had rendered the company every support which it was in his power to give, and he might say the same of his colleagues, and he trusted their efforts would be crowned with success. There were three roads of unity together, the Canada Central, the Northern Colonisation and the Brockville and Ottawa. As their time was limited he would not to detain them any longer on the present occation. He concluded by giving a toast "The Chairman and Directors of the Company." The hon gentleman resumed his seat amid loud applause.
The chairman responded to the toast. He regretted the absence of the President of the road, on account of illness; had he been present today he would have rejoiced to witness the success to this extent of his labour. He made a stirring appeal to those present to help by every means in their power the completion of this great undertaking, he showed the great advantages and fruits to be reaped by pushing on the work. They commanded a splendid geographical position, would they rest satisfied with what they had done or should they go on. The hon. gentleman made quite a lengthy speech on the conclusion of which he was heartily cheered by the large audience. The chairman then said that he was happy to announce that they had with them today two members of the British House of Commons. He would now call upon S. R. Graves Esq., member for Liverpool to address the meeting.
Mr. Graves on coming forward was heartily cheered. He said that it had been his privilege 25 years ago to visit this country. He contrasted the difference between then and now; at that time there was no railway in existence in the country, now they had over two thousand miles of railway; then they had no swift steamers to cross the ocean, to day they had a line unrivalled on the Atlantic; twenty five years ago Ottawa was but a village with a few thousand inhabitants, today he came to visit it a city with all the appearances of wealth and comfort. Twenty fiive years was but a small part in the life of a nation, but on looking back it was marvellous to see what had been done in that short period. Suppose we were to bring minds to look forward for twenty five years and then ask yourself the question what is this country destined to be? They had met this day to celebrate the opening of part of a road which was to connect the great oceans of the west with the oceans of the east. It was their duty to go on with the work and not to be desponding, if they had a road in the United States, we possessed the same advantages. The presence there today of two Ministers of the crown was sufficient proof to him that the government were in favour of the line, and would be ready to do their duty when the time came. The hon. gentleman then referred to the rumour that England was about to sever the connection between the Dominion of Canada and herself. He denied this most energetically, and made some cutting remarks in reference to it which had the effect of raising the patriotism of the audience to a high-pitch of enthusiasm. He concluded by asking the pertinent question, what would England be without her colonies? He looked upon the Dominion of Canada as being one of the brightest gems in the crown of England.
Mr. Barup, President of the Morristown and Black River Railway, was then called forward to speak. He made a short address, complementing the Managers and Directors of the C. C. R. For the expeditious way in which they had furnished the road.
Col. Gray (P. E. I.) was the next speaker. He made a vigorous speech overflowing with true patriotism. He desired the member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves,) when he went back to England to tell the people there that the people of the Dominion of Canada were not dependant on England for their support; they were able and willing to pay their own way.
Several other speakers followed including Hon. Alex. Morris, Sheriff Powell, R. W. Scott, Esq., M.P., H. D. Smith, Esq., M. P., and a few others - and after a few more toasts the grand dejeuner was brought to a close. The word was given, all aboard for Ottawa, and the freight shed so handsomely filled up was left all alone in its glory.
Everything connected with the excursion and dejeuner went off in splendid style, and everyone present seem to be highly delighted with the arrangements. The dinner was all that could be desired and reflected credit on the caterer for the occasion, Mr. Cavanaugh, Queen's Restaurant, Ottawa.
This is the account from the Perth Courier of 23 September 1870
OPENING OF THE CANADA CENTRAL RAILWAY.
EXCURSION AND DEJEUNER.
TOASTS, SPEECHES &c.
A GREAT SUCCESS.
(By Our Own Reporter.)
Friday last was quite an important period in the history of the progress of the Ottawa Valley, for on that day was opened that part of the Canada Central Railway between Ottawa and Carleton Place, and soon, judging for from all appearances, to be continued from either end to Montreal and Pembroke. It was an occasion worthy to be observed handsomely, and the manager, H. H.Abbottt, Esq., proved himself fully equal to this somewhat onerous task. Everything went off like clockwork, and everyone enjoyed himself thoroughly, whether by the excursion, at the spread, or and listening to the speeches made by the array of talent congregated there. As we intimated before, the dejeuner was held at Sand Point, the present terminus of the B. & O. Railway, and though by this arrangement the guests from Brockville, Perth, and other stations on this end of the Canada Central, were deprived of the luxury and novelty all of riding over the virgin road, those from the Ottawa side, numbering at least three fourths of the entire number of executionists, enjoyed the trip the balance were deprived off. Those from the south joined the Ottawaites at the junction at Carleton Place, where they changed cars for the Canada Central train awaiting them there, and the act of union being accomplished, the whole were rushed off to Sand Point at the rate of about 45 miles per hour. The Canada Central cars are for looks, finish, and comfort, almost perfect, and approach to a par in these respects with the carriages on the New York Central and Great Western of Canada. It may be presumed, therefore that this excursion train of six of these handsome cars, drawn by a powerful and splendid locomotive decked in gay bunting, and loaded with its host of cabinet-ministers, M. P.'s and M. P. P.'s, government and county officials, city and town councillors, the leading businessmen of the Ottawa Valley, newspaper men &c, &c, cut considerable of a dash on it's swift way to the scene of inauguration. Sand Point was reached about one o'clock, and appeared in all the glories of waving flags and the new freight shed dressed up with evergreens. On arrival the company was almost immediately summoned into the freight-shed to partake of the refreshments provided, and in a very short space of time nearly 500 people were seated at the tables, which consisted of four in number, one each along the sides and across the ends of the building. The extent of the "spread" maybe arrived at when we mention that this freight shed is nearly 200 feet in length and of a proportionate width. The interior of the building was richly and handsomely decked off with flags and evergreens, interspersed with numerous appropriate mottoes and inscriptions brilliantly painted. Amongst the latter we noticed "God Save the Queen," "Success to Railway Enterprise," "Randall," "Stevenson," "Ross," "Locke," "Corbett," "Prosperity to English Capitalists," " Bolckow & Vaughan," "Success and Prosperity to Canada Central, Brockville and Ottawa, and Northern Colonization Railroads," "The Dominion and each of her Province's," "Ottawa," "Montreal," &c., &c. The Excellent Brass belonging to the Brockville and Ottawa Railway Co. artillery was present and added its livening strains to the enjoyment of the day. The dejeuner was was furnished by Mr. Kavanagh, of the Victoria Restaurant, Ottawa, and was very creditably got up. At the table was seated among others, Sir Francis Hincks, Hon. J. C. Abbott, Hon. Alex. Morris, Mr. Graves, M. P., for Liverpool, England, Mr. Powell, M. P. for Malmesbury, England, Hon. Malcolm Cameron, D. Galbraith, M. P. P., A. Code, M. P. P., J. Poupore, M. P. P., Col. Gray, M. P., H. W. Scott, M. P., Messrs. Ault and Ross, M. P.'s, R. Lyons, M. P. P., H. H. Abbott, Esq,. W. R. Worsley, Esq, &c, &c,.
The Hon. J. J. C. Abbott occupied the chair, with Sir Francis Hincks and Mr. Graves, M. P. on his right; and Hon. A. Morris and Mr. Powell, M. P., on his left.
At the conclusion of the dinner, champagne was plentifully substituted for everything else eatable and drinkable, and the toasting, &c., commenced.
The chairman proposed "Her Majesty's Ministers."
Sir Francis Hincks responded, regretting that there was not more of his colleagues present on this auspicious occasion - particularly mentioning Sir G.E. Cartier and Hon. Mr. Langevin. As for the Premier, Sir John A. Mcdonald, it was his pleasure to inform the assemblage that he had left Prince Edward the day previous, and was expected to resume his duties in a short time. He referred to the satisfaction this event would cause throughout the Dominion; and paid a handsome tribute to Her Majesty's Opposition in their earnest and hearty sympathy for the Premier during his late dangerous illness. In referring to this successful and auspicious opening of the new road, he hoped it would soon in connection with the Northern Colonization Road and the Brockville and Ottawa be ere long extended to the Pacific ocean. As a cabinet minister, he had always given his utmost aid to promote public works, and this road was no exception. He begged to propose the health of the "Chairman and Board of Directors, and success to the Company."
The Chairman, Hon. J. J. C. Abbott, in absence of the manager, who was indisposed, replied. He thanked the assemblage and the last speaker for the kind sentiments, and the latter particularly for his efforts in Parliament to advantage the road. He looks forward to the day when the Canada Central and the Northern Colonization would be extended to the Pacific, and pointed to the fact that this was the shortest route to the Pacific. Here, fifty miles from Ottawa, at Sand Point, lay the key of the trade of the world. The teas of China and Japan and the products of the western world would find their depot here. Were they going to stop here? No; let them strike the foot of Lake Superior, and no legislation could prevent the road securing the trade of the far east and west. Then would the country between be opened up, and millions of acres of fertile land thrown open to the homeless emegrant [sic], while the railroad would offer employment to thousands. This same railroad was important in a military as well as a commercial sense, so while the Grand Trunk was so vulnerable that a half-dozen men might cross the St. Lawrence and destroy it so as to break the communication, this road was secure from such attacks. He advocated grants of land to the company, so they might offer emigrants a home along the line or [sic] road, and the country might be the more readily and wholly opened up and developed. They wished no timber, but could do a power of good with land. He proposed the toast, "Our guests."
Mr. Graves, of Liverpool, England, rose to reply. It was his privilege to visit this country 25 years ago when the exports would not exceed $25.000,000; now they would fairly reach $100,000,000. Then the interior communication was very bad, having nothing better than common roads; now there were over 2000 miles of road in the country. Then we had to cross the ocean by means of American steamers and vessels; today no more magnificent line of steamers exist than the Canadian lines now crossing the Atlantic. Ottawa was then the Bytown of 4 or 5,000 inhabitants; today she is a fine city of 25,000 people. Forty-six years ago the first settler had camped on its site; today it was the capital of the Dominion, and was the centre of a well settled and fertile country, having fine farms and pleasant homesteads. And this road that had been opened today was but a link in the great chain that was to connect the two oceans. He advised no jealousy towards the American Pacific railway: we, too, had wealth, energy, and enterprise, and had lands fit for settlement to induce companies to make link after link of a great British Pacific Railway. Though he might not be here to witness this, his sons likely would. He ridiculed the idea of a separation between this and the mother country, saying that as long as we wished the British were willing to keep up the connection. He warmly acknowledged the patriotism of the Canadians, and the heartiness with which the health of the Queen had been drunk. The Hon. gentleman concluded his flowery and eloquent speech by quoting a fine couplet from Moore, and sat down amid thunderous applause.
At the request of the chairman, Mr. Barup, President of the Utica and Black River Railway Co., in the state of New York, came forward and made a few remarks. He expressed himself surprised at the progress of this part of the country. On 15th May last the first work on the Canada Central was done, and today an express train ran over the road at the rate of 40 miles an hour! He knew no instance of celerity and energy in the United States to equal this - even in the case of the Great Pacific Railway altho' it had the government at its back throughout. On his side, they were commencing a railroad from Morristown, opposite to Brockville, to the village of Philadelphia, N. Y., which, when completed, would give them the shortest route to New York city that could be built. He hoped the Canadians would not stop here, but with the good start they had made, extend the Canada Central clear through to Lake Superior. We had public lands and resources, but they would never be fully known or developed until railroads ran through them. He attributed the rapid growth and prosperity of the United States to the progress of her railroads, insisting that it was no sacrifice of the public lands to give them to railroad companies.
Several speakers, consisting of Colonel Grey, Sherriff Powell, R. W. Scott, M. P. P. Hon. Alex. Morris, H. H. Abbott, H. E. Smith, M. P. P., and Judge Armstrong followed - some proposing and others responding to toasts - after which the assemblage broke up and took the train homewards, having spent a most pleasant day.
30 September 1870 - A Disastrous Excursion on the Brockville and Ottawa Railway from Arnprior to Ottawa
From the Almonte Gazette 8 October 1870
Excursion to Ottawa.- on Friday last, an excursion to Ottawa, took place under the auspices of the M. A. Church of Arnprior, the object being to raise funds for the erection of a new church in that village. The train passed through Almonte at 10 a.m. and a large number of Almonte people turned out and joined the excursion. It had been understood that a sufficient number of covered cars would be provided for the occasion, but the excursionists were woefully disappointed in that respect, the majority of the cars being open lumber trucks. On the way down the passengers occupying these were well nigh blinded with smoke and dust, and complaints were loud and frequent at being treated in such a shameful manner. On arriving in Ottawa, the order of the day was "every man for himself" &c., the members of the committee (if there was such a thing) were invisible. A drizzling rain came on in the afternoon, and when the passengers returned to the station there was no remedy but to "rough it" home in the open lumber trucks. On the way back some managed to stow themselves into freight cars, while a large majority were exposed on the open trucks to a heavy rain which continued all the way home. The excursion was, to say the least, a most wretched affair, and certainly reflects discredit on the parties who got it up. It was rumoured on the train that the church committee had netted a snug little sum by the transaction. If such be the case they must be conscious that they did so in a most discreditable manner, as it was a clear case of raising money under false pretenses. The next time the M. A. Church of Arnprior, get up an excursion we venture to say that the proceeds occurring there from will be exceedingly small.
The Ottawa Times had a different viewpoint - this also in the Almonte Gazette of 8 October 1870
Believed to be the same excursion
Excursion. An entirely unexpected influx of visitors to Ottawa occurred yesterday. They came from Sand Point, Almonte, Carleton Place, and all stations between Ottawa and the first named place; the object of the excursion being to raise funds towards the building of a Methodist Church at Sand Point. Ottawa was scarcely aware that she was to be invaded by the very welcome people from that section of the country, until they marched into town from the Canada Central Station, and even then there were many queries exchanged as to who they were, and what their object was. The train on which they came arrived at about 1 o'clock. There were eight cars, four passenger cars and four wood cars, crowded full of lady and gentleman excursionist, the fair sex, we think being the majority. Every carriage and 'bus at the station was immediately besieged, but they could accommodate only a comparatively small number. The streetcars lost a rare opportunity of filling their money boxes. Had they had a half dozen of cars waiting at Pooley's Bridge they would all have got more passengers than they could carry. But the company was ignorant of the excursion. The ladies from Almonte and surrounding country are evidently, as they are everywhere, fair, fresh and beautiful, and the masculine companions hardly looking as the trees of the forest.-- Ottawa Times.
4 December 1872 - Inaugural train, Canada Central Railway between Sand Point and Renfrew
At half-past eight yesterday morning, a party of gentlemen, among whom were the Hon. Sir Francis Hincks, the Hon. Dr. Tupper, Hon. Mr. Mitchell, Sir Hugh Allan, the Hon. James Skead, Mr. Foster, His Worship the Mayor of Ottawa, Mr. Martineau, Mr. Alderman Bangs, Mr. Wm. Mckay, Mr. Edward McGillivray, Mr. H.V. Noel, Mr. John Ashworth, Mr. Daniel Galbraith M.P.P., Mr. B. Rosamond, Mr. Aumond, Mr. McMullen (Brockville), Mr. George Hewson and Mr. Mr. Thos Stagg of the same place, and Mr. Haggart M.P., and Mr. Code M.P.P. (Perth); the Warden of Renfrew, and others, left town by the Canada Central Railroad to be present at the inauguration, or rather opening of the road from Sand Point to the thriving and rapidly rising village of Renfrew, situated on the River Bonnechere, nine miles fom its confluence with the Ottawa. At Renfrew, the Bonnechere falls rapidly about 100 feet, over a bed of white limestone, and the scene is most picturesque. Renfrew is 58 miles distant from Ottawa, and, by rail, about 12 miles from Sand Point. The opening up of the Canada Central, while it will greatly benefit Ottawa, will be of still greater importance to Renfrew, and it is to be further hoped that the line will be still further extended to Pembroke before many months elapse. The trains from Brockville and Ottawa amalgamated at Carleton Place, arriving at Renfrew about haf-past one, where luncheon was partaken in the Town Hall. The President of the C.C.R., Hon. Mr. Abbott, was in the chair, Sir Francis Hincks and Hon. Mr. Mitchell being on his right, and Sir Hugh Allan, Hon. Dr. Tupper, Hon. Mr. Skead and Mr. Galbraith on his left. Through some misapprehension and to the great regret of the chairman the leading men of Renfrew were not present. The champagne flowed freely, and the speeches were most eloquent, as they invariably are on such occasions.
The lack of, or misplacing o,f an invitation to the Reeve and officers of Renfrew caused a stir at the time and The Times, Ottawa commented on 6 December 1872:
Yesterday it was stated in the Journal that umbrage had been taken by the Reeve of Renfrew on account of an invitation not having, as it appeared to him, been extended to the representatives and officers of the municipality. Invitations were sent. Mr. Henry Abbott, Suerintendent of the Canada Central Railroad did send invitations, and, although these invitations did not reach the Reeve, the Secretary or any other officer of the Renfrew Corporation - if we may so style the members of the municipality - the intention was good. It is true, and "pity 'tis 'tis true", the invitation failed to reach Renfrew in sufficient time to prevent the Reeve from being affronted; but immediately upon it becoming known to Mr. Abbott that the written invitations had not reached their destination he telegraphed from Carleton Place sending the invitation to be present at the luncheon. Upon arrival of the train too, Mr. Abbott went and especially apologized for the lapsus, but His Worship the Reeve was inexorable, and like Calypso, would not be comforted. He would receive no apology, but would satisfy his indignation by withholding the light of his countenance from the entertainment. This churlishness, for we can call it nothing else, is to be regretted. However, if Mr.Reeve finds it impossible to accept an apology, it is impossible for us to supplement the impossible .
30 August 1875 - Canada Central Railway
The Canada Central Railway was opened between Renfrew and Pembroke on 3 October 1876. A formal ceremony to mark the beginning of construction was held at Pembroke on 30 August 1875. An enthusiastic Pembroke town council had declared a civic holiday so that citizens could attend the ceremony. It turned out to be a jolly affair with much champagne. The Times, Ottawa and the Ottawa Citizen both reported on 31 August:
Pembroke Aug. 30. The first sod of the Pembroke branch of
the Canada Central Railway was turned here at four o'clock by Mrs.
Esther Supple assisted by Col. Peter Valite sen., and Wm. Moffatt Esq.,
Reeve of the town, Miss. Moffatt performing the ceremony of the
christening of the road.
The Renfrew Mercury of 3 September reported
From the Pembroke Standard.
The Winchester Press of 17 September 1925 reported:
Figured in Historic Sod Turning
24 May 1876 - Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway
Note - the Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and 0ccidental Railway opened on 27 December 1877 so the date in this account is likely wrong
From the Ottawa Citizen 25 August 1934
Field Battery Had Evenful Journey To Montreal In 76
Stirring Scenes at Hull Station When They Chased Fireman and Engineer Off Locomotive. Major's Horse Took "French" Leave During Journey. On Return Trip Heavy Gun Rolled Off Flat Car Into Ditch. Farrier-Major Got Raking Over Coals For Forgetting Swordbelt
PERHAPS a few of the old timers who were attached to the Ottawa Field Battery in the seventies will recall an eventful trip to Montreal on the 24th of May, 1876. The following description of the trip is related by Mr. W. J. Powers, of 118 Pretoria avenue, who at that time was farrier-major in the unit:
"We were detailed to attend a military review in Montreal and when we arrived at the Hull station to board the North Shore train, we found there was no accommodation for us the train was filled with civilians. This aroused our anger and we chased the fireman and the engineer off the locomotive. Finally we were Informed that the railway officials would send a special car to meet us at Calumet
Major's Horse Detrained
"When we arrived at Calumet we discovered that Major Stewart's horse was missing from one of the box cars - had taken French leave and was somewhere back on the line. An orderly was sent back after the horse and arrived with him about the time the special car reached Calumet.
The remainder of the journey and the time spent in Montreal was uneventful, with the exception that I got a raking over the coals from the major and other officers for leaving my sword-belt in the train appearing on review without it.
"On the return trip we hadn't gone some fifteen miles when the train came to a sudden halt. We discovered that one of our guns had rolled off a flat car and found a resting place at the bottom of a gully. There followed a busy scene of pulling and tugging, but little headway was made.
"Finally Major Stewart instructed me to take charge of the operations. I got hold of a stout rope and by slow degrees we got that old gun up on the track. We discovered one of the wheels was brioken. The next problem was to get it back on the flat car. This difficulty was overcome by the use of a number of heavy timbers, procured from a nearby farm. It was a warm day and I am telling you that the men were pretty nearly all in by the time they had completed their task. For my share of the job I was not only thanked, but forgiven for forgetting my sword-belt.
29 November 1876 - First Excursion over the Kingston and Pemnroke Railway
between Kingston and Sharbot Lake
From the Kingston Daily British Whig 30 November 1876
To Sharbot Lake - Dejeuner and Hospitality of the K. & P. R R. - But one opinion of the road.
Yesterday, at the invitation of the Board of Directors of the Kingston and Pembroke Railway, the representative gentlemen of the city and county, made a journey over the line to Sharbot Lake. At 9 a.m. they gathered at the city depot as happy a crowd as ever left the city, all bent zealously on the enjoyment which the prospects of a pleasant trip, a bright day and an interesting tour of investigation could afford. The first sod - by which the way was turned in a spot that to the road does not touch, through one of those changes, which railroads are heir to was honoured with a flourish of trumpets, banquetings and all the enthusiasm which new hopes and energies can inspire. Since then the enterprise has had such dark days, and its directors such harassing troubles and wearying labor, that a celebration was as foreign to the mood as family prayer to a Hottentot. But now for a season the road has been successfully run for 45 miles, and the construction gangs have pierced the rocky hills and wilderness twelve miles further on; besides which the last great difficulty has been buried with the surrender of the County Council to that stern logic of law and fact. Therefore it was quite fitting that the road should ask its best friends to accept its hospitality, and take a share in celebrating the first and greatest triumph of the project, and the fusion of all interested in a desire for its welfare. Besides the acknowledgement of municipal indebtedness thus made, the directors had a still more commendable object in view - a practical demonstration of the thoroughness of the construction, the scientific mastery over deep cuts, almost unfathomable swamps, towering hills and high grades, such as perhaps only two or three short lines in America can show. What they did so successfully let the speakers themselves say.
The party was official purely, because with only one small hotel existing yet at Sharbot Lake, to step beyond that limit would have brought discomfort and failure upon the entertainment from very lack of accommodation. So if offence has been taken by neglected ones, let them, as usual, abuse fate and let the Directors go free. As the train of two comfortable coaches moved off the official count by the Returning Board took place with the sub joined result. The City Solicitor would have been added to the list, but muscle and weight prevailed against the crowd which endeavoured to convey him aboard when business at home demanded his self denial of the pleasure. The little incident drew forth remarks upon the forethought of the party and practicing what do they undoubtedly would have to undergo upon their return. The city solicitor counted out, and several parishioners not heard from, the vote stood:
Mayor Britton, the County Warden, Mr. McRory, G. A. Kirkpatrick, M. P.
Ex-Mayors Ford, Livingstone, Creighton, Brennan, Robinson (M. P. P.,) Sullivan.
Ex-Wardens Godfrey, Mudie, Col. Cameron, Calvin, Graham (M. P. P.,) Shipley,(M. P.)
Aldermen Allen, Price, McKelvey, Noble, White, McCammon, McRonnie, Power, Gildersleeve, (Prest.of Road,) Carnofsky, Carson, Dupuis, Tandy, Thibido, Pence.
County Councillors Sexton, Ruttan, Genge, Flynn, Strachan, Anglin, Dawson, Craig, Tapping, Smith, Joyner, Vanluven, Dennison, Cox, Burke, Watkins; the County Clerk, Treasurer and Solicitor.
Mr. John Carruthers, Sheriff Ferguson, Inspector Barker, Messrs. Johnson and McFarland, of the Daily News, Messrs. Folger, Swift, E. Chown, Rev. Mr. Garratt, of Harrowsmith, and Mr. Upper, Superintendent.
As the train sped out of the city some benevolent gentleman distributed packages which looked like good little books, and which turned out to be so profusely Illustrated that groups of four sat and looked at them intently, only losing interest during the minutes occupied in examining striking landscapes outside of the car windows or stopping at stations. The members who occupied the platforms of the cars, in the interests to see "what kind of a road it was, anyway," were struck at once on leaving the Grand Trunk branch with the change from jog-a-dy-jog and the jolting to smooth running rails and decided ease of travelling. This steadiness is due to a solid track, made so by perfect grading and the close laying of ties. The road for ten miles was pronounced all that could be wished for, and when the hill at Jackson's Mills had been scaled, and Hardwood Creek passed, the Alderman and County Councilors had began to see where their $450,000 of bonuses had gone to. Indeed the innocence of these gentlemen upon the condition and merits of the road was one of the striking incidents of the day. The senior Alderman of the council, who is habitually skeptical and generally suspicious when the senior Alderman is not immediately concerned, went out in the full expectation of seeing a track laid down in as rough a way as a waggon road through swamp, and the sight of fine bridges, heavy culverts, and substantial track was an "eye opener" more powerful than the "opticals" in the corner of the first car. A colleague of the disappointed Alderman refused last fall to take an excursion on the line for fear of bodily consequences, and entered the car this morning with fear and trembling, but now he has sufficient faith and courage to ride on a cow catcher all the way out if it was demanded.
The first stop was made at Harrowsmith, where the villagers had assembled to greet the excursionists, and where a deal of handshaking occurred. The village is pushing ahead in building enterprise, which railways drive ahead of them, but is not yet provided with a station. The $1,000 which the villagers were to have given for that purpose is not forthcoming -a clear case of duping, the railway man aver. Beyond this is a range of beautiful country for farming purposes, in the very centre of which stands the new Sigsworth station, built by Mr. Sigsworth and presented to the road. It is a very neat and substantial building, and stands as an exhibition of pioneer enterprise north ward.Mr. Sigsworth confidently hopes to draw a large trade to his station from Camden, to the richer portions of which he has an access that Harrowmith is deprived off, and which, especially in the absence of a station at that willage, will build up Sigsworth rapidly. The next stopage was made at Verona Bridge, where ex-Mayor Livingston made it quite interesting to the party by showing where he spent thousands in getting a solid bottom for the track across this part of his section of contract, and which he did not reach till he had ample experience of disastrous slides. Here the locomotive took refreshments, the first water so far reported on the trip! The Mines Junction, Cold Lake, (which was frozen over, true to its characteristic), and Fish Creek were passed with their rugged hills, which Ald. Allen declared were not created for nothing, and which might really have millions in them if you could only draw a longbow of imagination. At Parham came a very welcome passenger, Reeve Tapping, the jovial backwoodsman, who tells a yarn with the freedom of a sailor, and cracks a joke with all of the vim of an ex-London policeman, which he is. Elbow Lake, Draffins, and then came Sharbot Lake, the party being landed at Shibley's Hotel, which with Doran's Mill, a mile above, and the lake itself with its beauties has received an extended notice a week since in the WHIG.
Mr. Shipley and Col. Flower at once made the party very much at home but as it was a tour of inspection, they proceeded up the track to the mill, where they saw the new settlement, and hazarded the prediction that it, and not the site of the hotel below, would be the main village on the lake, being more accessible from all that and more favorable to locating. It also was seeing the determined assaults of the first section of Col. Flower's men upon the hard limestone hills, which yield only before the force of dualin. Beyond this in the density of the forest, six miles of track are now ready for the rails, and the force of 650 men is hard at work upon the solid granite intervening and skirting the lake, The rock work being reserved for the winter, so that the men shall not be idle nor the progress of the road impeded. A salute of dualin explosions was fired in honour of the visit, and it made a wreck of the lately majestic rocks. The tourists fully expected to meet a hungry scalping knife or grinning tomahawk at every step so far north, but only one Indian was seen during the day, a very silent specimen, trading at Doran's store, who resolutely refused to tell how the soft leather for the mits which he had sold was tanned and dried, as if his secret had to diplomatic importance.
Upon returning to the hotel, the dinner began with a spread which was for all the world like a Mayor's banquet at the British, so well did it look and so varied the bill of fare, which lacked in no particular the delicacies of a city table. It was even of 'champagne to the masthead.' Keen appetites made doubly appreciative guests. Mr Gildersleeve presided, with Messrs.. G. A. Kirkpatrick and John Carruthers, director of the road, and Mr. Price, it's solicitor as Vice-chairmen. On rising to propose the toast of "The Queen," Mr. Gildersleeve regretted the absence of Sir John MacDonald and Messrs.. Grange and Deroche, members, who were unable to attend.
The national anthem, sang lustily, was followed by the toasts of "The Prince of Wales and Royal Family" and "The Governor General," the latter drawing forth fresh praises such as no Governor before Lord Dufferin ever earned.
"The Parliament of Canada" was proposed with a tribute to the members of the district for their devotion to our interests generally. Mr. Kirkpatrick, member for Frontenac, replied cheerfully to a toast so well received. He would respond for the Commons, since there was only one place vacant in the Senate, and he did not aspire to it, resigning in favour of Mr. Shipley. [Laughter]. The toast was a fit one as the work of the members should be remembered be it good or bad. As the scraps of the smithy are welded together in one solid mass, so from the heat of the election contest came a Parliament guided by a constitution, which could lose nothing in comparison with one now struggling to elect a President, one who once inaugurated will rule as he pleases for four years, as unapproachable as Jupiter on Mount Olympus. Here when the people are dissatisfied they change their representatives and Government. A parliament representing the people so directly was worthy of its homage. He was pleased to take part in this fifty miles celebration of the road. He hoped next to be able to drink its prosperity in Pembroke.
Mr. Shipley had no aspirations for a senatorship. If it were left to his vote the whole body would be abolished as a useless thing. He was jubilant to-day to think that a dream so ephemeral years since as that of a railroad back through Frontenac was now accomplished, that we were actually approaching the magnificent Mississippi. He was a warm friend of the road, and had regretted the stumbling blocks placed in its way in regard to bonuses from the first. He was glad to see all of the contributing bodies together, and believed it to be a happy augury. He complimented the directorate on their success, he had experienced the trouble of opening down a macadamized road like the Kingston and Portland.
Mr. Gildersleeve now gave 'The Legislature of Ontario,' and said that the flact of their celebrating a 50 miles run on the K. & P. R R, was with evidence of the good of local houses. Without Ontario house, we would never have had this road. No general government could have undertaken such a system, nor give the impetus which Ontario is now receiving from her new roads. For the liberality experienced we were indebted to none so much as our local members, now about to respond.
Mr. Robinson accepted the toast on behalf of the Legislature as deserving of it. The proudest day he ever experienced was when the bill was introduced giving the $40,000 to this road - much more than we expected, but not inadequate to its merits. It was no fault of the Government that it was not all used ere this, but the fact was it had been a hard road to travel. That might be a possible reaction in Dominion policies some day, but none he hoped ever in those of Ontario. Its government had proved their public spirit and enterprise and particularly did we find so when upon a second application we again got above our expectations, $7,000 per mile for fifteen miles, without which the road might have stopped where they were sitting that today, and without which there would have been no spirit for this banquet, which filled a void created by pious and charitable mayors. Had we received the Government and municipal aid 20 years ago Kingston would now be able to count 40,000 of a population. For thirty years before its inception it had gone down steadily. Since it was begun to population has risen from 12,400 to 15,000, and the citizens were being paid back for their taxes they are levied upon for it, by saving $1 per cord in the cost of wood. His advice was: push on to Pembroke, and keep him in power (laughter), and he would try his luck in getting a third grant.
Mr. Graham, as a friend and worker for the road, felt earnestly that it was entitled to all it got from government. Not only to Pembroke should be the cry, but to Moose Factory, at the least.
Mr. Calvin, ex-County member, congratulated the directors upon the difficulties they had surmounted, and iterated his belief from the first in the road and its advantages, the latter of which he anticipated from experience. He had seen wheat selling in Niagara County at 25 cents, which rose to $1.25 upon the opening of the canal so that if an acre grew 20 bushels it was $20 made on it. We cannot picture or calculate the advantages of internal improvements. Kingston had been very liberal, if not uncommonly generous; but before the first car ran it was all paid back in buildings which will last. The best hope we now had, further, was that the directors were pledged and determined to go through with the line.
Mr. Gildersleeve toasted the city Corporation, as above others, zealously and heartily sustaining the road. They will, truly, too, bound up in its success, for no enterprise ever promised as much to it.
The Mayor, who made a rattling good speech in reply, represented the unity of the city council upon this matter, and its desire to see its fullest success.
Ald. Allen had thought the city's $300,000 sunk in mud, but he was that they surprised into an acquaintance with a road excelling the Grand Trunk. He hoped someday to see people of the upper Ottawa breakfasting at home, dining at Sharbot, shopping in Kingston and breakfasting in New York, and no other route could enable them to do that. (Cheers.) We are not losers, anyway if the road got no further, but it was their desire and interests to push on. He made an excellent play for such banquets as these, where the pure juice of the grape, God's chosen wine, might be taken with freedom, and one of the boons of this life enjoyed.
Ald. McKelvey felt the pleasure joining the city alderman in meeting their County brethren and the railroad men. He was convinced of the great good that could be done to Kingston and the acknowledged worth that had accomplished it. None knew the troubles of the road save President Gildersleeve, and though the citizens were once sorry they now felt the benefits of it and felt a pride and strength in it. He hoped the City and County Councils would ever trust to the arbitrament of good feeling.
Mr. Carruthers, in proposing the health of the Council of Frontenac, joined in the felicitations upon the meeting of the Directors with the City and County Councils. It was good evidence of a warm and friendly public spirit, and must be of service to the great municipalities. The city would undoubtedly reap great good and not less so the county. The road itself must in time full work to do, since timber would not always be so low, and there would be great demand for it. The success of the road was encouraging. The B. & O. R. R. was 20 years in operation before it reached Pembroke. Here we have got thus far within four years of the turning of the sod, were already counting the months when we shall be able to send a locomotive to Pembroke. Already the benefits were substantially felt - the supply of cordwood bringing the price from $6 -as it assuredly would have been - to $3 or $3.50. New homes would now be opened up for farmers' sons who now went west to settle, and he trusted that we should soon be in a position to call upon the champion money getter for $10,000 a mile from Mississippi to the Madawaska, and then to Douglas, which they had hope of reach within three years, giving running powers to Pembroke, and completing a link with the Ottawa (Cheers).
The Warden was pleased that the prospect and affairs of the railroad was so settled. He had voted and sustained the bonus because he knew it would bring an advantage to the county. He was glad to hear that it was helping the city, because that meant good to Frontenac.
Mr. Strachan felt that if anything would improve the county it was this road. There was great need of it, and if he had not put forth his energies for it it was because the front townships had been taxed more than their share to support it.
Mr. Watkins also replied for the county. He has opposed the bonus laterly, not because he was not heart and soul with the road but because he favoured the western route so long as it was not deemed too extravagant or impracticable. He only hoped they would suit their tariff alike to the poor man's ten bushels and the rich man's thousand bushels.
Mr. J. A. Kirkpatrick gave 'The ex-Mayors' the connection between the past and the present'. The turning of the first sod from years ago by Mayor Drennan, and the holding of the first enthusiastic railroad meeting by Mayor Livingstone, would be historical facts -flanked by memoirs of the best services of Mayors Ford, Creighton, Sullivan and Robinson. Since the cars had begun to roll assessments had increased and produce cheapened
Mr Drennan replied, and felt proud to think of the K. & P. R R. as the best road in Ontario, and hoped it would be pressed on. The municipalities had got more than the value of their bonuses. He could not forget the friendship of the late Mr. J. S. McDonald to the road, and he fondly hoped that the policy of liberality to railways which he had inaugurated would you get enable us to reach the Rocky Mountains.
Mr. Livingstone recalled the enthusiasm of the outstart of the railway fever, the energy and speed with which the bonuses had been passed in Renfrew, Frontenac and Kingston, amounted to half a million, and claimed for Mr. Gildersleeve much credit for results already accomplished.
Mr. Ford added his heartiest congratulations, and felt a pride in the result of their early labours on behalf of the project. The progress was very satisfactory, and he hoped that nothing would disappoint the Board's ardent hopes. He rejoiced to see the city and county felicitating together, for the city don't realize all the good. The county profits largely, if not most.
Mr. Creighton felt sure they did not expect a speech from one who for six years had been immured in an institution where speech was repressed by Act of Parliament, but he went on to say how his 50 years of interest in Kingston had found a fresh charm in the K. & P. Railway.
Dr. Sullivan responded in a vivacious spirit and took occasion to say that if he did not entertain the council and citizens promiscuously it was because his contests had been attended with political and religious feeling, and a limiting of invitations or a selection of adherents would have excited fresh distinctions that ought to be put down.
Mr. Price gave"The ex-Wardens," and accorded the highest praise to Mr. Godfrey for his assistance in getting the county bonus for the road. If he had time he would prove that within five years from the start the city and county would get their money back.
Mr. Godfrey in reply spoke of his labours for a large part of the year in aid of the bonus, and the endeavors he had put forth to bring the county to terms with the company.
Mr Mudy also replied, and expressed his friendship to the road.
Mr. Gildersleeve gave "The County of Lanark," associating with it Mr. Doran, an able representative.
Mr. Doran expressed deep thanks and cheered the company on. From his knowledge through work on deputations he could say that the trouble here was little compared with that of the B. &. O. Road. It was completed after the immense cost and 20 year's labour, but none now regretted the expenditure. He was glad to find that in Frontenac intelligence and enterprise prevailed, and the hatchet was buried and the money paid. The city and county interests are identical and inseparable, and both might consider the advantages of a branch to Perth, which would open trade and bring the inner country to a better market and port than Brookville. Perth was anxious to come in, and would liberally deal with the company. Kingston could hold its own and need not to be jealous of Perth.
Mayor Britton added to the compliments paid to the road by toasting its prosperity, acknowledging its intimate connection with the progress of Kingston and the debt due to its vigorous directorate.
Mr. Gildersleeve replied with thanks. The road had its trials, but the worst was over. Before August next we would have a complete line to the Mississippi. If he were to speak for hours he could not say anything better. That's the push in which they hope to reach Pembroke.
Dr. Sullivan remarked that they had on the Board Scotchmen and Americans who could doubt its success, especially as we had this dinner for a dividend. He hoped that the city and county had met in a good spirit that was not to be broken easily. No road could be built without contractors, and Col. Flower of this road deserve great credit, not only for his work but for the distinguished place he has held as Mayor three times of the flourishing city of Watertown, N. Y., and as Colonel at many bloody fields in the late war. He was proud to record that Col. Flower had lately been one of the first to sustain British law when required near that spot. Already in a few months his energy has carried the road six miles further, and the hundred guns that today reverberated in the echoes of Sharbot Lake with a sound which no Sovereign could expect to hear was a token of his success in his work.
Col. Flower responded with feeling, and quoted very appropriately and well from the Laila Bhook. As the cable links the two continents, so the same blood and race need never be separated. He was proud of his reception, though he came here for business; yet he does not expect to make a pot of money, but only a good salary, and he felt a great interest in the road. People did not know that there was as much promise of freight in the 15 miles to the Mississippi, as in the 45 miles to the city. It would pay far better. Where the iron horse is there is business; it creates civilization, christianity and business.
Mr. Tandy, after an impressive speech on his practical testing and approval of the road, with 30 years of close experience to guide him, proposed the "The Press," to which Messrs. Pence and Johnson responded.
Mr. Drennen gave "The Ladies" gallantly and Mr. Charles Smith and Alderman Noble happily responded. The dinner came to a close with the National Anthem and cheers for the road.
The start home was made in the moonlight at half past 5 o'clock, and cheers were exchanged till Sharbot Lake hotel lay in the distance.
The 'run in' was made in two hours and a half, the trip out having taken less time. After a splendid moonlight ride, the good engine "Providence" in which the party trusted so strongly, landed the party safe and sound in the city and every man walked straight forth to find what the fire bell rang for, the stretchers which had been brought down to the station for general use being scorned.
9 December 1877 - Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway
The arrival of the railway in Hull from Montréal caused a great deal of interest and there were a number of groups using the railway before construction was completed. A number of people left for Montréal on the construction train on 21 November 1877 although the rails did not reach Hull station until two days later. However, the first excursion was recorded in the Ottawa Citizen of 10 December 1877:
"A party of young folks went on a pleasure excursion on the invitation of the conductor of the construction train to Calumet yesterday, expecting to return last evening. The pleasure party started about 12 o'clock, arrived at Calumet all right, and are still there, waiting for a chance to return home as the train did not return."
The mystery of the missing excursionists was solved by the Ottawa Citizen on Tuesday 11 December:
"The excursionists who started from here on Sunday returned between 11 and 12 yesterday having gone through with the train to Montréal."
25 September 1878 - Excursion over the Kingston and Pembroke Railway
From the Kingston Daily British Whig 26 September 1878
Excursion to Sharbot Lake
Yesterday about 40 gentlemen left the city for a complementary excursion to our beautiful northern lake on the early train, each determined to make the best of a glorious day, fine company, and twelve hours of relaxation from business. Among the crowd are noticed W. Ford, H. Cunningham, A. Livingston, ex- Mayors; ex-Aldermen Smith, Law, Gibson, Carnovsky; Aldermen McRossie and Woods; William Robinson, M.P.P, J. Carruthers, Judge Price, H. Bawden, Captain King, W. Irving, J. Irving, C.F. Gildersleeve, J. Halligan, and others. The excursion was a slight mark of respect to J.L. Morrison Esquire the popular manager of the Street Railway who is about to remove to Toronto.
When the train got underway, the various tastes of the excursionists were exhibited in the little means they brought to pass away the time. Some had trolling lines, nearly all pipes or cigars, a few had pistols, pocket and otherwise, but it was popularly voted that each man on the average had a "euchre pack" and then availing themselves of the "Pullman tables" so handsomely contributed by the popular manager of the line, Mr. Folger, the majority of the party were deep in the mysteries of "pass" and "order up", etc., etc. A few held aloof and reclining of soft beds of merchandise discussed heavy problems of financial, municipal affairs and champagne cider.
It was foolish to lose time in the scenery by the way, your reporter was too deeply engaged to observe much of it but yet a word on the "atones" may not be amiss. If it to be true, as the poets says that there are "sermons in stones" what a fearfully religious people they ought to be along the line of our famous road.
Arrived at the Lake, host Ferrin was on the veranda, his face raised in a multitudinous smile, worthy of the occasion, and soon after visits were paid to the bar, the Lake, Doran’s mill and other objects of interest in the vicinity, while a goodly number patrolled the streets of the village and admired the beauty of the surrounding "rocks". At 12:30 p.m. sharp, the dinner bell sounded, and soon after neat country waiter girls must have deamed the stories of the sickly stomachs of the city bred folk a delusion and a snare, for with all of their deftness and speed, they could hard to keep the supply up to the demand, and like many others in Canada lately were soon sighing for "Protection" against the rapacity of the visitors. In the end justice was done to all the good things provided, and the "flow of soul" began by W. Robinson, Esquire, proposing the "Queen, the Royal Family and the Governor General" all at once. Right nobly was the toast received and honoured by three times three and an "Irish tiger", a new thing out there. Then the vice- chair ably filled by Judge Price, gave in flowing terms the toast of the Guest of the day, J.L. Morrison, Esquire, eulogizing his urbanity, his zeal, ability and general bonhommie, and wound up by a peroration to which a phonetic reporter alone could do full justice. Mr. Morrison replied, thanked the Judge for his very flattering speech, thanked everybody, did not feel worthy, etc., and ended up by giving the audience that beautiful Irish song "Killarney" having in the course of his remarks instituted a comparison between Sharbott and the famous Irish Lake.
"Prosperity to Kingston" was then ably proposed by C.F. Gildersleeve and responded to by the ex- Mayors, ex- Alderman and Alderman enumerated above. In fact there was an ex-traordinary number of replies, and one would need the genius of a Globe reporter and supply of adjectives equal to that of a prominent Kingston man, before any attempt could be made to summarize the speeches given with all zest, honesty and goodwill. The "flow of soul" then stopped, and two hours more were pleasantly spent fishing, hunting and jumping. We did not hear of any large fish being hooked and lost. The fish seem to avoid the "luring bait," and the solitary sportsman shot two noble duck, large as geese, but, you know, they fell outside the ring and were "lost to thought, to memory dear."
At 4 p.m. the cheery cry, "all aboard", was heard and soon the "lightning express" was bearing southward, the wild echoes of the train mixed with the sad refrain of a backwoods fiddler, who had secured a seat, and who would persist in grinding out Flowers of Edinburgh, the Village Hornpipe and other heartrending tunes, notwithstanding the liberal largess of a King Street man, who periodically donated ten cents to have the music stopped, but which the obtuse musician took as evidence of his skill, and faster flew his arm. The reason of all this was soon observed. The old man passed round a battered hat and cunningly made it known that he needed a dollar. It was all secured but five cents, when he came to one gent, who merely looked at him. Somebody told the fiddler, "he is deaf, shout in his ear", but the device was too transparent and the lone harpist, by dumb show of pointing to the needful and then to the gent’s pocket, finally secured the covered five cents and departed happy.
On arriving home ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and ‘God Save the Queen’ were given; also cheers for Morrison, and an all round song, declaring ‘he was a jolly good fellow’, or something to that effect was sung very melodiously. One short gentleman who met the train at Parham, rising to the dignity of the occasion by standing upon his seat, and asking contradiction to the assertion of the ‘jolliness’ of J. L. Morrison. He got no takers, and so at 7:15 the day ended. Short and happy - but moralizing must be left for some other time.
The Montreal Gazette 26 September 1878 also reported this
A complimentary excursion was given today over the Kingston and Pembroke Railway to Mr. J.L. Morrison, President of the Street railway Company who is about to remove to Toronto.
10 June 1879 - Inauguration of Palace cars on the
The Ottawa Citizen of 11 June 1879 reported on an excursion from Montreal to Hull. People from Ottawa had travelled to Montreal the previous evening to participate:
In railways, as in nearly everything else, time has worked wonderful changes. A few years ago the travelling public were satisfied with an ordinary first class car. Now they have become more fastidious in their tastes and look for canoe couches, revolving chairs elegantly upholstered &c. To satisfy the public taste, and as well to keep up its first class reputation, the Q.M.O.& O. Railway decided to introduce on their line the Palace car system. Yesterday saw the inauguration of the system and the event was celebrated by an excursion from Montreal to Ottawa, two of the new cars being attached to the regular train. Among
The Gentlemen Who Were Present
By invitation were the following press representatives: - J. Stewart, Montreal Herald; G,B, Burland, Canadian Illustrated News; J. Harper, Montreal Star; J.H. McLean, Montreal Gazette; J.C. Martin, Montreal Post; R.C. Smith, Montreal Witness; George H. Fox, Ottawa Free Press; W.J. Cuzner, Ottawa Citizen; S. Foley, Journal of Commerce; A. Beaugrand, La Patrie; E. Lamothe, Le Nouveau Monde; R. Tremblay, Le Courier de Montreal; L. Lorrain, Franco Canadien; and O, Balland, le Minerve; M. Hosmer, General Manager of Dominion Telegraph Co.; Mr. A. Le Moine de Martigny were also present and the following officers of the company: Mr. G.A. Scott, General Superintendent; Mr. F.J. Pruyn, General Paymaster; Mr. M. O'Meara, jr., Agent at Ottawa; and Mr. J, Gordon, Inspector of Stations.
The train left the mile end station at 9.30 o'clock and reached the city at 2 o'clock p.m. a delay of 15 minutes having occurred at Calumet station owing to the heating of the journals of the new cars. Conductor Williams was in charge, who, with Conductor Diamond, bears the reputation of being perfection in his business; courteous under any circumstances, and anxious at all times to administer to the wants of travellers. Engineer Whitehead, well known as one of the most experienced of Canadian engine drivers, piloted the iron horse and made fast time. At this season of the year, when all nature appears to be clothed in her garb of green, the trip is particularly enjoyable.
is varied and enjoyable. The route abounds in hills, valleys and small streams. The Lievre at Buckingham, with its turbulent waters tossed angrily over the rocks before entering the basin.and skirted with a rich green fringe presents a scene of grandeur that must be seen to be thoroughly appreciated. In fact, all along the line one finds something to attract his attention. A very noticeable improvement is observable in the farms between Ottawa and Montreal since the road opened, furnishing further evidence of the capitalizing influence of the railways. New houses are springing up, new barns are taking the place of the old rickety fabrics and the people are becoming more refined; neat and uniform station houses grace the different stopping places and a strong force of men are now engaged in improving the grounds around them.
The Rolling Palace
The two palace cars which were added to the rolling stock of the eastern division yesterday are not as expensive as some used on American railways, are elegant in every respect. Each contains two lounges, 11 revolving chairs, and a stateroom and a spacious smoking compartment. The chairs and sofas are upholstered in crimson and green plush, and the floor carpeted in keeping with the richness of the whole interior. The walls are of black walnut and bird's eye maple, the ceiling richly ornamened with flowers and Egyptian figureheads. In the smoking compartment tables are placed between seats, where one can indulge in a game of euchre or what, if he feels disposed to wile (sic) away the hours, and break the monotony of the jouney - for all railway trips, no matter where they are taken become monotonous in the end. The external appearance of those palaces is very attractive also, the painter displaying a vast amount of skill in blending of the colours. They are named "Marquis of Lorne" and "Hon. H.G. Joly", and were manufactured by the Gilbert and Brush Company, Troy, New York. They cost $7,000 each.
The Refreshment Depot
The principal stopping place between Ottawa and Montreal is Calumet. There the regular passenger trains meet and pass each other, and there too is found something which will appease the appetite. A splendid lunch room was opened yesterday and the party were entertained there at the expense of the line, the train having remained over "20 minutes for refreshments". A horse car at this point connects the railway with the L'Orignal ferry which takes passengers for the Grand Hotel, Caledonia Springs. This will soon be done away with and a new passenger car and engine combined will be substituted . It is now being manufactured at a cost of about $14,000 and will be in running order by September next. In this the people of L'Orignal and district hav much to be thankful.
On arriving at Hull the excursion party were provided with busses and driven to the Russell House, where after partaking of a warm meal, they visited some of the principal points of interest in the city, leaving for home by the evening train at 4.45 o'clock. They expressed themselves delighted with the trip and speak highly of the many courtesies extended by Mr. O'Meara jr., the efficient agent of this city. Mr. Scott, the General manager, Mr. Pruyn, Mr. Stark and other officials of the company, all of whome left no stone unturned to ensure the comfort of their guests. The all join in the wish that the palace car system inaugurated under such pleasing circumstances may prove the success the company may desire it to be.
6 August 1879 - Québec, Montreal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway
The Ottawa Citizen of Friday 8 August 1879 reported quite a
celebration which nearly included burning down the depot:
It is safe to say that the whole town and a sprinkling from the rural area were waiting at the depot, where for half an hour previous the Hull brass band entertained them with some lively airs. The ladies turned out in full force and seemed to enthuse as heartily as the "sterner" sex. By the way, speaking parenthetically, the town boasts of a plethora of female beauty. The train, at all events, arrived and as it did a cheer was sent up which showed that the hearts of the people were warm and their lungs strong. It was what they call
A Zulu Cheer
nine times nine and repeat. When order had been restored and
the band had got through playing the opening selection, Mayor Gordon
and members of the corporation welcomed Mr. Scott on behalf of the
citizens. Miss Emma Murphy then advanced and presented that
gentleman with an elegant bouquet of flowers. the graceful act being
loudly applauded. Mr. Alonzo Wright M.P. then made a few
remarks. After which a procession was formed, headed by the
firemen and their engine and the band and escorted Mr. Scott and guests
to Mrs. Richey's hotel where a meeting was organized.
The offer was received favourably and about 100 ladies and gentlemen soon found their way to the depot. On their arrival, considerable excitement was ocasioned by an alarm of fire, smoke having been observed issuing from the south west corner of the station platform. The planks were quickly pulled up and Mr. N.J. Conroy and the conductor, with two pails of water, quickly quenched the flames. The train whistled at 6.45 p.m. and made the run to Hull in about 20 minutes, returning at about 7.20 p.m.
The next item on the programme was a torchlight procession under the direction of the fire brigade. At dark the torches were ignited and the town paraded. It was a grand success and passed off without accident.
This was followed by a ball in Mr. Richey's hall. There were nearly 100 couples present and they certainly did dance until "the wee small hours", it being 3 o'clock before the musicians were allowed to take their departure. It was a very general remark, that although the ball like the othe part of the programme had been gotten up in a hurry, there never was a more successful affair of the kind witnessed in the town. At midnight a cold collation was served up by Mr. Richey and discussed with a good deal of energy.
30 September 1882 - Canada Atlantic Railway
Preliminary opening of the road from Ottawa to Coteau
On Saturday last, through the courtesy of the management of the Canada Atlantic Railway a large number of leading residents of Ottawa were afforded an opportunity of inspecting the road as far as it is completed, and also viewing the site at which it is proposed to bridge the St. Lawrence at Coteau. The following was the invitation card;
The newspaper account had a description of the invitation card. Reproduced above is a copy of the invitation kindly provided by Mr. William B. Esmonde, grandson of Edward Mcgillivray, the President.
THE START FROM OTTAWA was made sharp on time,and for a good half hour before, the station of the line at Stewarton was a scene of lively bustle. Invitations had been extended to some 500 gentlemen and ample accommodation made for the transit of the whole party over the route. Business and other engagements prevented a goodly number of those to whom the courtesy of the company had been extended from participating in the trip but still a large party of the representative gentlemen of the city were present. Among List of attendance
THE DOWNWARD TRIP
was rapidly and pleasantly made. To almost all of the party the greater portion of the district to be travelled was new and there was general surprise at the excellence of the country, not only as regards its agricultural capacity, but as to the excellent condition of the farms and the general opinion was that the line would still further and greatly improve the district. Eastman's Springs, South Indian, Casselman and intervening stations were rapidly passed and
A number of other residents of that place were added to the party.
of the road is of the very best. Although not yet completely ballasted, rapid time was made and on some sections of the trip over forty miles an hour was averaged. This was notably the case between Coteau Landing and Alexandria where a distance of twenty-three miles was made in thirty-six minutes. For easy travelling the road has no superior. As it is not yet fully equipped with rolling stockof its own, the cars in use on Saturday were not of the latest style but there was no perceptible jolting a fact all the more remarkable as a great portion of the line is not yet fully ballasted. The bridges, culverts and other works along the line are all of the very best and most substantial nature and the promoters have had an easy line to run as regards cutting and grading and hey have spared no expense in putting in substantial work where it was wanted. At one section of line there is one stretch of over twently miles over a country that looks like one big field and in which there is not a curve of any kind. The track for the whole of this distance is a line straight as a crow's flight. The party reached
early in the day and got off at the station which is situated close to the village. This is the present terminus of the line. The trip down was made leisurely to enable the party to fairly see the nature of the construction and the description of the countrywhich the road passes through. At the landing all embarked upon the steamer "St. Francis", which was in waiting and proceeded to
prettily situated in the St. Lawrence. The island is destined
to be one of the points over which the proposed new bridge will pass.
It is already connected to the mainland by telegraph, and for the
convenience of the visitors, a temporary office under canvas was put
up. A large awning tent had been put on the island in which
tables for four hundred were laid and by the time all were seated they
were well filled.
Here a bountiful collation was spread. The drive, the country
and the fresh air had sharpened the appetites of the excursionists and
enabled them to do full justice to the repast. The solid part of
the entertainment had come to a close with all well satisfied and with
plenty to spare. Mr. McGillivray, president of the road, called
the company to fill their glasses and proposed the health of the Queen,
which was received with all honours, the entire party joining in the
on board the St. Francis. This portion of the trip did not occupy long and a halt was made at the boat landing. The stay at Valleyfield was made of brief duration but long enough to allow the excursionists to form some idea of the place which has about five thousand of a population and contains the largest paper mill and cotton factory in Canada. Both of these structures are of a most substantial character being built of blue limestone and showing considerable architectural taste in their construction.
September 1884 - A Trip over the then new Ontario and Quebec Railway
Smiths Falls, Perth, Tweed, Toronto
The first through passenger train to reach Cornwall from Montreal over the Glengarry and Stormont Railway arrived about 1.30 p.m. Saturday. On board were the following officials from the CPR.: Messrs. George Hodge, general superintendent; Wm Stitt, general passenger agent; A.C. Mackenzie, engineer, maintenance of way; L.M. Mactavish, traveling freight agent; J.R. Gilliland, Smiths Falls, district superintendent; O. Kirkland, roadmaster; M. Malloy, bridge and building master; T.B. Ballantyne, resident engineer; C.L. Hervey, A.A. Mellor and D.A. O'Meara, of the Glengarry Construction Company, builders of the road.
The party was met at the depot by His Worship mayor Stiles, members of Cornwall Town Council and prominent citizens. The officials expressed themselves as highly pleased with the road and depots from St. Polycarpe to Cornwall and particularly with the Cornwall Depot which they described as one of the best ever erected on a new road. A stop was made at each station on the way west and considering this fact the train made good time having left Montreal at 10 a.m.
Mr. Hodge the general superintendent stated that as soon as the frost was out of the ground the work of ballasting the road would be proceeded with and rushed to completion as well as other necessary works attended to, and he expected a through passenger service between Montreal and Cornwall would be inaugurated during the month of May.The visitors were taken for a drive through Cornwall being accompanied by Mayor Stiles visiting several industrial establishments. They were greatly impressed with the outlook locally.
|Regular service over the Glengarry and
Stormont Railway commenced on 24 May 1915. The Cornwall Standard of
Sunday May 30, 1915 covered the event.
The New CPR Line
New Service Inaugurated on Monday - the Time Table
The regular passenger service over the Glengarry & Stormont Railway, the new CPR branch line connecting Cornwall and Montreal and points East and West, was inaugurated on Monday morning last, when the first regular train left Cornwall for the Metropolis. Engine No. 2118, in charge of Engineer James Babcock, late of Smith's Falls, hauled a train of one baggage and four passenger coaches, in charge of conductor Wm. Hinton,
late of Smith's Falls. Quite a number of passengers took advantage of the new route on the first trip.
The staff of the new depot at Cornwall is as follows: - R. King, of London, Ont., agent; L.B. Smith, of Renfrew, operator and ticket agent;
R.L. Stevens, of Chesterville, freight clerk; W.A. Maxwell, of Smith's Falls, freight checker; Hugh Englehutt, of Smith's Falls, trucker.
For the present one passenger train will go each way daily, leaving Cornwall at 7 a.m., reaching Montreal at 9:30; and leaving Montreal at
5:30 and reaching Cornwall at 8 p.m.
The following is the time table covering all stations from Cornwall to Montreal and return:
Going East, read down; coming west, read up
On Monday afternoon the first way freight reached Cornwall at 1:15 p.m., and, after discharging some freight and re-loading, left about 5
p.m. for Montreal. The train was in charge of conductor Jos. Tobin and Engineer J. Smith.
(Many thanks to Chris Granger)
5 May 1929 - A Telegram is Sent from a Moving Train
From the Ottawa Journal 6 May 1929Top
Telegram Is Sent From Moving Train
First Message of Its Kind Is Received By The Journal
History was made on Sunday when telegram and telephone messages ware sent from a C.N.R train which wss travelling 30 miles an hour. The Journal was the first in Ottawa to receive a telegram of this kind. The message from The Journal man on the train follows:
Toronto, May 5, '29.
The Journal Newspapers,
This message is sent you from Canadian National train travelling north trom Toronto. Demonstration a great success.
V. M. K.
27 April 1930 - A Telephone Call is made to Britain from a CNR Train
From the Ottawa Journal of 28 April 1930
Telephone call made to Britain from C. N. Train
Clarity features talks from express too many points.
Montreal, April 27th, - a brass-buttoned, gold-braided page boy walked the corridors of a fast train between Toronto and Montreal this afternoon and nonchalantly summoned passengers to the telephone. He was participating in an interesting and unique occasion - the opening on a commercial basis of the first two-way telephone service from a moving train.
From the Canadian National's "International Limited," 70 persons spoke by telephone during the afternoon to points as widely-scattered as Ottawa, London, England, Washington and Fort Worth, Texas. It was a six-hour journey under the train's new schedule, and thus a call was made every 5 minutes. All of them were completed, and in no case was there any difficulty in carrying on conversation. The parties to the London calls by wire and wireless in particular were amazed at the clarity with which they heard one another.
Engineer gives credit.
The train was run as a special section of the Limited.
18 November 1953 First Train Over the Walkley Line
Ottawa Journal 17 November 1953
Inaugurate Walkley Road Railway Yards
Inauguration of the CNR belt line and railway yards on the Walkley road will take place at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Members of the Federal District Commission and CNR officials will board a special car at the Bank street yards and precede a freight train to the new yards which are south of Billings Bridge. The new yard office and equipment will be inspected.
Major General Howard Kennedy, chairman of the federal district commission, will lead the FDC group as the new belt line and yards is the work of the commission under the direction of S.B. Wass, railway engineer.
The new yards are expected to be in complete operation next year and will mean the dismantling of the Bank Street yards except for two tracks.
Tomorrow night the Federal District Commission will honor Jacques Greber, it's consultant and author of the National Capital Plan. A dinner will be held at the Chateau at which Mr. St. Laurent will speak.
Ottawa Journal 18 November 1953
Caption to picture
ORDERS IN HIS HAND Conductor George Stewart of the CNR Montreal-Winnipeg fast freight, hands over instructions to Engineer Charles Veniot this morning when, for the first time, Ottawa new railway yards on the Walkley road were in operation. Other members of the train crew, fireman Charles Cummtng and brakeman Ray Brown watch with interest and below are members of the official party which Inspected the yard.
Ottawa Citizen 19 November 1953
First Train Runs Over New Cutoff
Railway history was made today [sic] when the first Canadian National freight train passed over the new so-called Belt Line from Hawthorne to the Hunt Club. In the presence of important Federal District Commission, railway and government officials, high speed manifest No. 401, Winnipeg-bound from Montreal, moaned her way across the new switch, and headed off west toward Bank Street.
An Historic Moment
"This is an historic moment," exclaimed Jacques Greber, Town planner who originally projected this new line. Greber, as he focussed his own camera on the train snaking slowly across the brand new rails.
The twin green-and-gold CNR diesel 9038 and 9039, headlight still burning in the warm, hazy morning, quickly picked up her 61 loads and 18 empties and began fish horning her way across the flat Carleton acres, bound for the main line tracks out the Bowesville Road near the Hunt Club.
The cut off means that all through freight trains will detour round Ottawa from Hawthorne to the Hunt Club, and the trains will be serviced, while the crews change, at the new yards near the Spratt Farm off Walkley Road.
Caption to picture
Historic Orders When the first Canadian National freight travelled over the new cut off from Hawthorne to the Hunt Club, a distinguished group was on hand to witness the first train over the new tracks. Here Conductor George Stewart hands up his orders to Engineer Charles Veniot. Looking on down below are, left to right: Gen. Howard Kennedy, chairman of the Federal District Commission; Aid. Alex Roger, representing the city of Ottawa; Conductor Stewart; N. A. Walford, general manager, Central Region, CNR; Mrs. Cora Casselman. Edmonton, member of the FDC; Jacques Grebcr, special town planner for Ottawa; and Charles Cowan, chairman of the National Capital Planning Committoe.
Photo by Newton
1 July 1973 - First Run of Canadian Pacific Railway 4-6-0 No. 1057 to Carleton Place
Ottawa Citizen 17 October 1977
The National Capital Commission and the National Museum of Science and Technology sponsored a series of steam locomotive hauled excursions starting in 1973. it was originally intended to run these to Wakefield but this was originally precluded by a washout on the Maniwaki like. Instead the first excursions went to Carleton Place. Colin Churcher was heavily involved having been seconded to the National Capital Commission to make the arrangements.
Ottawa Citizen 3 July 1973
Another NCC success
His face withheld those blatant grins of triumphant self-satisfaction, but Dave Mcintosh must have felt well, extremely comfortable when old 1057 slowed to a halt at journey's end Sunday.
The run had been flawless, on time no less, and the National Capital Commission celebrated another success in its cause to maximize leisure.
Mr. Mcintosh, officiously tilled adviser to communications policy for the NCC had supervised the year-long effort in pulling it off. A little self-aggrandizement seemed not at all out of context.
About a week ago, St. Jean Baptisle Day to be exact, he was still out looking for wood to light the restored 61-year-old engine.
Then, too, there was the problem of finding the anthracite coal. It was finally imported from West Virginia.
A train. Most of all the NCC needed a train. Thanks to the Ontario Rail Association, it was able to rent old 1057 and five cars, which would do the trick nicely.
If the initial success of the summer excursions continues, the NCC next year will use locomotive 1201 now being restored for the National Museum of Science and Technology. In addition, the NCC will have to purchase its own cars.
The experimental operation will run a deficit of around $30,000, estimated Mr. Mcintosh, despite the income from tickets at $5 each. Some $50,000 from the operating budget set up the project.
Whoo Whoo. Toot returns to railroad
By Paul Workman Citizen staff writer
Morning sunlight danced a bit of a jig on the stubby black smoke stack of old 1057. With gusto, the engine belched great clouds of steam as onlookers admired her vintage sleekness.
The 1912 locomotive, christened Port Credit 1057, was about to make its first of many summer excursions to Carleton Place. The round-trip train rides, leaving Ottawa station every Sunday morning and returning by mid-afternoon, are sponsored by the National Capital Commission.
If an engine could grunt happiness, old 1057 surely would have done so as its load of about 300 passengers boarded the seven cars in two. Instead, long, reminiscent blasts of the steam whistle sounded her worth.
Up front, the volunteer watchdog crew from the Bytown Railway Society jumped into the baggage car for. the hour-and-a-quarter ride. At the end of the line, the dignitaries, among them, Urban Affairs Minister Basford, his wife and son, took their places in the posh, crapeted [sic] VIP coach.
Right on time, bellowing a thick cloud of black sooty smoke, the refurbished relic eased its way out of the yard.
As it passed through the countryside at a steady 25 miles per hour, the curious lined back yards and railway crossings to watch the procession chug by. Herds of cattle ran frightened as the whistle screeched.
The locomotive and cars used on the trip belong to the Ontario Rail Association and have been rented by the NCC for the summer.
No. 1057 was built in December, 1912, by the Montreal Locomotive Works and spent most of her days in Northern Ontario hauling for the CPR out of North Bay, Sudbury, Schreiber and Mactier. In 1956, she was transferred to southern Ontario and finally retired - pushed out by the Diesel age in 1960, after grubbing around the yards at Havelock, Ont.
She was sold to the Regal Stationery Co. in Toronto and remained there for 10 years until bought by H.W. Hansen of Chicago. The Ontario Rail Association purchased her from Mr. Hansen this year for part of a typical 1930's branchline railroad they're setting up at Georgetown, Ont.
The cars in the train, painted in the old maroon of the CPR, glory in such names as Chinguacousy, Esquesing, Glen Williams, Terra Cotla and Credit. Forks. They were built between 1919 and 1930.
The 31.8-mile route to Carleton Place is in itself a casual history lesson. It passes the home of Captain Bradish Billings, built in 1826, now within city limits but originally a half-day's ride away by horse; Bells Corners, an important stop to the military settlement at Richmond; and Stittsville where some of the stone for the Parliament Buildings was quarried.
The coach riders enjoyed it immensely. Wearing his gray-striped engineer's hat, Mr. Basford suggested Canada's two leading railways should go back to steam.
He and the other special guests Carleton Place Mayor Eldon Henderson, MPs and NCC officials stood on the rear platform waving gaily to hundreds of people as 1057 ambled by. It was a sentimental journey for Mr. Henderson. He was fireman on the very same 1057 vears ago out of Galt.
At Carleton Place a good 750 of the townsfolk were waiting to greet the train. They entertained during the two-hour layover with a show of antique cars, a country and western trio and an old steamer of their own.
After replenishing her water supply and turning around on the wye, 1057 started back for Ottawa station right on time.
Up front in the baggage car, without soft chairs and iced drinks to pass the time, the half-dozen Bytown Railway Society members were titillated by the trip. Their job as train marshals had been relatively easy, since a regular crew of CPR engineers, firemen and brakemen had commandeered the locomotive.
No it was just a dandy day to enjoy a hobby.
"It's like a dress rehearsal," said 46-year-old Al Craig. "If it's a shambles, the play will be all right."
Work of art
He'd been up since 6.30 that morning lending a hand to fire the engine. He insists he's one of the "nutty" ones.
The closest he ever came to working on a train was loading 60-pound containers of fish onto cars in Winnipeg years ago. But to him, a train, especially a train like the 1057, is art.
The whistle blows. "Music," said Mr. Craig showing lots of grin.
"We real nutty ones have records of those things. Sit in the living room and listen to them. Drives the wife up the wall.
"I've got a terrific record called Steam Under Thundering Skies. It was taken down in Tennessee in February, 1960."
A measure of scepticism must have been showing. "You just can't imagine anybody sitting and listening to that, eh?" said Mr. Craig. "When you're a railroad nut, you're a real nut."
Ottawa Journal 3 July 1973
Engine 1057 on the Carleton Place run
By CATHY McKERCHER Engine Number 1057 205,000 tons of coal-burning, puffing and chugging steel brought the age of steam back to the Ottawa Valley during the weekend.
Dubbed the Mississippi Express, old 1057 and seven cars made the inaugural run of the National Capital Commission's weekly summer excursion.
More than 275 persons crowded the platform of the Ottawa Station at 10.30 a.m. Sunday in spite of the gloomy weather to climb on board for the hour-long ride to Carleton Place.
The ride was repeated Monday.
The vintage 1912 locomotive pulled five public and two private cars along the tracks at a sedate 25 m.p.h., chugging impressively and blowing its whistle at every crossing.
Passengers leaned out the windows to wave and smile at the crowds that lined the tracks at every settlement, even enjoying the thick black smoke from the engine which sent soot into every part of the train.
And as the engine picked up speed, so did the sun.
Residents of Carleton Place came out in full force, to greet the train as it pulled into the station, many recalling the days when the town was one of the major stops on the CP Rail route.
"We're all very excited about this," said Mayor Eldon Henderson in a welcoming speech to the passengers.
Urban Affairs Minister Ron Basford, the guest of honor of the trip, replied that he had had "a wonderful time."
"This will be the first of many successful runs," he said.
To the last time Mr. Basford rode on a steam train was when he was a child in Manitoba about the same age as his four-year-old son Daniel who came along the ride.
Passengers and residents alike celebrated the train's arrival by listening to an old-time fiddler, watching antique car and farm machinery displays, buying balloons for the children, and taking bus tours from the station to swim at Riverside Park.
Mr. Basford, NCC and CP Rail officials and special guests ate lunch on the train, in a 1927 "director's day car" named the Mount Stephen.
CP Rail official Dave Peters said the car which was panelled in Russian Walnut and fitted with a bar and balcony at the rear cost $74,000 when it was built and is worth more than $500,000 today.
It was taken out of storage for Sunday's trip, along with an antique "business car" complete with brass beds to rest on during the return trip to Ottawa.
The five public cars and engine 1057 are owned by the Ontario Rail Association. They were brought to Ottawa by the NCC for the Mississippi Express which will run every Sunday during the summer.
The engine, built in 1912, was used in the Algoma District until until 1959, then transferred to Ontario District, based in Owen Sound. It was manned by a crew of five. The cars are the type used by Ontario railways during the 1930s not very different on the inside from ones used. today. The NCC had hoped to use the historic locomotive owned by the National Museum of Science and Technology for the weekly excursions, but on inspection. It was found, to be not up to the trip.
It has been sent to rail association headquarters in Toronto to be repaired, and may not be on the tracks again until after Sept. 1.
Next summer, the NCC is planning to operate two routes for the steam trains the Mississippi Express and one to Wakefield, Que., provided public response is good. Mr. Basford says he was surprised to see the number of persons who came just to take pictures and record the sound of Sunday's train. "This just shows how popular steam engines are," he said.
The passengers certainly enjoyed the ride. Many bought souvenir postcards and engineer's hats available in one of the cars.
NCC spokesmen said, sales of tickets which cost $5 for adults, $3 for children, or $15 for families, will help cover the costs of the trip
But the train will run at a loss this summer. Officials would only say this is an "undisclosed sum."
Bruce Chapman writes November 2021
For the first trip to Carleton Place, I was dispatching in Smiths Falls and am including my first train order to a steam locomotive.
Colin Churcher writes I too was on that trip having spent a harrowing couple of months making arrangements.
16 October 1977 The Queen and Prince Phillip ride behind CPR 4-6-2 1201 from Ottawa to Wakefield
From the Ottawa Journal 17 October 1977
A trip to remember by Christopher Cobb
Hundreds brave rain for glimpse of Royal Train.
For slightly more than an hour Sunday afternoon, the Royal train steamed steadily from the old 0tawa West railway station on Scott Street until it reached the rustic elegance of Wakefield - a small picturesque village along the banks of the Gatineau River.
There was a short delay enroute to allow the Queen time to receive a small bouquet of ﬂowers from Jan Yantha, a 10-year-old boy from Hull. Jan said he had grown the flowers in his garden and the Queen looked both delighted and surprised at the gift.
Locomotive number 1201, proudly bearing the Royal crest, puffed slowly across the Prince of Wales bridge and picked up speed as it steamed into Quebec. The old engine was "officially retired" in 1959 after logging a million track miles. She can still reach speeds of 90 miles an hour on a good day and a good track, but Sunday neither were available.
Despite the drizzle, hundreds of people turned» out to watch the Royal couple pass by. Spectators thronged along the tracks, waving flags and hands as they watched intently for a glimpse of the Queen and Prince Philip.
One group had poured champagne and werecholding up their glasses to toast the Royal presence. Another gathering had decorated their raft with a huge Union Jack and were giving an enthusiastic welcome as they ﬂoated on the Gatineau River.
Three members of the Bytown Railway Association - Bob Millican, Duncan du Fresne and Colin Churcher - were on board. The trio had worked all weekend to get the train into tip-top condition for the journey.
The Queen, Prince Philip and other dignitaries occupied the last two carriages. The Queen’s parents rode in them nearly 40 years ago" when they visited Canada, and the Queen herself may have remembered the green upholstery in the train's royal salon from
1951 when she came here as a Princess.
Everyone on a Royal train gets a wave from spectators, and few could resist the temptation to wave back at the crowds along the track.
The journey was relatively smooth but the engine had to puff extra hard as it pulled its five
carriages up the notorious Mile Hill at Chelsea. Nobody really noticed but, according to the resident railway association experts, the wheels slipped several times on thgreasy tracks. .
"See that tree up there?" asked one. "Well, when we get past that we can relax. That’s where the hill ends and from there it’s dead easy."
Rain-sodden Quebec Provincial Policemen - 200 of them - were stationed intermittently along the route as a security precaution, but they had little to do except watch, like everyone else.
The crowds got larger as the train reached Wakefield and at the roundabout just beyond the station about 2,000 cheering people watched it pull in.
Scouts, guides, cubs, brownies and local Legion members waited as the Queen walked the length of the train to thank 57-year-old engineer Ab Sabourin, CP’s senior Ottawa area engineer, and his fireman Rudi Lamothe.
"It was a trip to remember," said the veteran engineer. "She asked me about the engine and a few other things. But apart from that, it was just like any other trip."
After a short walk-about when they waved to the crowd and spoke briefly to a couple of Legion members, the Queen and Prince Philip drove through the village and on to Harrington Lake for lunch with the provincial premiers.
The Royal train meanwhile was taken back to Ottawa to be housed in the Museum of Science and Technology until next summer when it goes back into service for Ottawa-Wakefield novelty rides. The Royal cars, however, will be out of circulation until they are called upon again.
And that, as many of Sunday’s passengers sadly noted, ‘could be a lone way down the track.
Royal Handshake. Following arrival of the Royal Train at Wakefield, Que., during the recent Jubilee visit, the Queen is shown bidding farewell to fireman Rudi Lamothe while engineman Albert Sabourin looks on with Prince Philliip and La Peche mayor Cleo Fournier and Mrs. Fournier. These two CP Rail employees, along with conductor Donald E. Gaw; trainmen S.F. Palmer and P.A. Robinson operated the train from Ottawa to Wakefield on behalf of the National Museum of Science and Technology. Engine 1201, an oil-fired steam locomotive, built by Canadian Pacific in 1944 at Angus Shops was decorated with the royal crest for this historic journey.
BRS Crew - Duncan duFresne, Robbie Milliken (in cab), Colin Churcher on ground. Photo taken the Saturday before the trip while preparing the locomotive.
The Royal Coat of Arms is in the possession of the Canada Science and Technology Museum and was first used on the first Royal Train to be run in Canada in 1860.
Last updated on 17 October 2022