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Old Time Trains


Canadian Pacific Railway

Ottawa West

Last years of steam Winter 1958 Summer 1959

All photographs: Al Barr/L B Chapman Collection
unless otherwise credited.

The last regularly assigned steam run took place September 27 and 28, 1959 when D4 425 was dispatched on the Waltham Mixed trains Number 543 and 542. Several steam engines continued to be dispatched as required over the next few months including G5 class 1226, 1227, 1262, 1270 and P1 class 2-8-2's 5102, 5152 and 5168 plus G3 2398 a "foreign" engine that made one trip to Ottawa and returned to Smiths Falls. H1 Hudson 2816 on passenger No. 234 via M&O Sub. to Montreal. The very last steam engine out of Ottawa West G5 class 1262 left on through freight No. 76 via the M&O Sub. to St. Luc on February 22, 1960. It was all over with!

Aerial view of Ottawa West roundhouse 27 stalls.
Station at far left. Bayview Road crossing in foreground.
Old Time Trains archives

A fully working roundhouse was still in operation.

Inspection pit. Note steam heat pipes supplied from boiler room.
Note too the very rusty wheels on the G5, likely 1255.

1231 being filled with sand after being coaled up.

G5c 1267 on the table. Note low coal supply about to be dealt with. CLC 2363 4/1947

1267 coaling up at new style chute next to sandhouse. This cylindrical coal tower was installed sometime prior to Summer 1954. This style tower designed by E.P.Snow was also at various other locations in the early 1950's including Orangeville.

Another view of matched set of GMD A-B-B-A units lead by 1411. Brick smoke chimney of shop. Ash hoist at right.

1267 coaled up and back on the table. Matched set of GMD covered wagons from above photo are now moving off the shop track with 1411 leading for light engine move Ottawa Union where ends will be changed. 1410-1901-1910-1411 was the power for No. 234 departing at 4:55 p.m. to Montreal due to arrive there at 7:30 p.m. Train included two parlor cars, one with dining service. Ordered Ottawa West 4:00 p.m. Monday, March 9, 1959. Normal power was one or two diesel units or a 2800 steam engine. Reason for four units is unknown but may have been power on two trains arriving with one set replaced by other power, possibly steam before being able to dispatch diesels again back to Montreal. March 1959 power No.234

Transition is underway from steam to diesel. Overall view from Wellington Street bridge.

Stores Department building at far left. Cinder track. Road switchers almost hidden on outbound shop track. MLW covered wagon on outbound shop track. Sectionmen working on inbound track. Sandhouse is smoking away drying sand. Hopper cars of OCS coal. Runaround outbound shop track. Two new GMD GP35's with three ballast cars on "emergency" track. Track to the right is west leg of wye Prescott Subdivision which begins just beyond roundhouse at Ottawa West station where connection is made with Carleton Place Sub. and M&O Sub. See below.

Ottawa West station is just out of view to the left. Note water column.

6552 is sitting on the junction switch to the Prescott Subdivision. The switch in the foreground behind the photographer was the end of the M&O Sub. from Vaudreuil at mp 91.6, and the start of the Carleton Place Sub, mp 0. at Bayview Road.
S-3 6552 is switching the ‘coach yard’, which had 4 tracks, 2 were stub-ended and 2 were connected to the east leg of the Prescott Subdivision wye on the yard lead and led to the ‘little yard’ which was the old Broad Street Ottawa Union Station until the new one opened downtown in 1912.The old hands used to call this the ‘west main line’. Opposite the yard office, and just ahead of the coach yard was a lead to the ‘river yard'.

Steam auxiliary 75-ton hook lifts front of snow plow on RIP track. Auxiliary train cars to the right.

Stock pens are little used anymore. Foreign hoppers of coal. Yard Office in left background.
8788 MLW RS-18 just months old built 6-06-1958.

D4g 417 Ten-wheeler on the 100 foot table. Used on branchline to Waltham, Quebec. CPR 2/1915

Another small 4-6-0 424 being sanded. This was the last D4 class built CPR 5/1915
Note: Although the D4 class was numbered from 417-492 it was a very mixed up numbering out of sequence with some engines also built by MLW as well as Angus Shops.

D10g 899 Ten-Wheeler coaling up. Still with old style headlight. CLC 971 4/1911 Passenger MLW RS-10 8470.

899 now taking water. 8564 other RS-10 pair. O'Keefe brewery in left background.

1227 off a Plow Extra.

Another G5 class 4-6-2 Pacific type on the table.

G2p class 2500 older 4-6-2 Pacific ex G2a rebuilt 1928 new boiler 225 lbs. Cyl. 21 1/4" x 28" CPR 1/1906

Here is the 2500 again, this time in a dead line waiting for the end.
Other engines below. Note appearance of all engines.

Behind 2500 are 1262 1226 1267 and 424 all out of service with stacks covered with canvas to keep out rain.
Note: At least 1262 and 1226 would return to service and 1262 would become the last steam engine out of Ottawa West on through freight No. 76 via the M&O Sub. to St. Luc on February 22, 1960. It was all over with!

3426 Schnectady 30276 10/1904


More Changes and The End.

Changes came to Ottawa beginning in the early 1950's when the National Capital Commission started on a project to remove tracks from the downtown area. The CNR Renfrew Subdivision went through Ottawa and this was ended by having trains bypass downtown Ottawa on the Beachburg Subdivision. In 1952, CNR abandoned part of the Renfrew Subdivision from Island Park Drive to Nepean Junction, and the Queensway was started, and only completed when old Union closed 7/31/66.

Walkely Yard was built for the CNR resulting in the closure of their Bank Street Yard in 1953. New express terminals were built for CN and CP at Alta Vista where a new Union station would also be built allowing the old Union station in downtown Ottawa to be closed. When the new station opened July 31, 1966, CPR passenger trains no longer used the Carleton Place Subdivision, instead using the CNR Beachburg Subdivision, but the NCC mandated that no wheelage was to be paid thereafter. Then the NCC built a new yard with a yardmaster’s tower to the south of their original yard at Walkley, so CP got the hand-me-down and CN got another new yard. The old CN shop, the north side held 2 units, and the south side was for car repairs. CN got a similar one on the south side, but only room for 2 units or cars therein. Eventually, both CN and CP ended operations there with a new shortline Ottawa Central using it for a while.

CP had not been using the roundhouse except for the 2 tracks nearest the foreman’s office at the east end of the shop for some time; the last 8 stalls in fact had been leased out to a brick firm called ‘Toohall’ and the pits were filled in and bricks stored there. The kids were forever smashing windows and it was pretty rundown; then it was taken down in the spring of`1968. Ottawa West closed October 27, 1967.

The roundhouse area is now an arena called the Tom Brown Arena after a local guy who was into sports in years gone by.

Demolition of Ottawa West roundhouse April 1968

Not much left!


These two shop boilers are said to be from 4-4-0's!

O'Keefe brewery in the distance remained in use for some time afterwards.

The End!

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