Low Down Articles

Local History

Article 21 of 84     

This article first appeared in the April 4, 2018 issue of the The Low Down to Hull and Back News.External Link Reprinted with permission. Search complete list of Low Down Articles.

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Timeline of the train

1892: The Hull-Wakefield railway begins running a passenger train service.

1893: The line is extended from Wakefield to Kazabazua.

1904: The line is extended to Maniwaki.

1926: Parts of the train line are rerouted in Chelsea for the building of the Chelsea hydro dams.

CP 1057
The CP 1057 takes its inaugural spin on the newly installed turntable in Wakefield in 1974. Photo courtesy Baytown Railway Society, Bruce du Fresne.

1960: The last steam-powered passenger train runs on the line.

1963: Passenger rail services ends.

1968: Scheduled freight services end, although freight trains continue to use the tracks on an ad hoc basis till 1986.

1973: A serious washout occurs north of Chelsea, leaving the line unusable.

1974: The National Capital Commission, together with the Museum of Science and Technology, run twice-weekly services for tourists between Hull and Wakefield using Canadian Pacific Railways steam locomotive 1057. The turntable in Wakefield is installed.

1976: The Hull to Wakefield railway starts using locomotive CPR 1201.

1977: The Queen comes to Wakefield on the train.

1985: The NCC and the Museum of Science and Technology stop running the train.

1986: The train tracks are removed from north of Wakefield to Maniwaki. Ownership of the railway corridor and tracks is transferred at no cost to the municipalities of La Pêche, Chelsea, and Gatineau.

1992: The Hull-Chelsea- Wakefield train starts running again, using the Swedish-built locomotive 909.

2008: A landslide in Chelsea stops the train from running. The La Compagnie de Chemin de fer de l'Outaouais (CCFO) is formed.

2009: The Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield train is back on the tracks.

2011: More washouts in Chelsea put an end to the Hull- Chelsea-Wakefield train. The train's owner sells the train to the CCFO for $500,000.

2011 onwards: Several options exist for getting the train back on the tracks but none materialize. Proposals include running the train from Gatineau to Montebello, or from the Casino Lac Leamy to the future LeBreton Flats development. A proposal in 2016 from American businessman Matt Armitage looks promising but comes to nothing.

2017: Chelsea removes the train tracks from the railway corridor. A last-ditch attempt to move the steam train to Wakefield to be displayed as a museum piece falls through with a crowdfunding campaign only raising $4,000 of the $50,000 needed.

2018: The Bytown Railway Society offers a free locomotive and passenger car; a group pitches the idea of running a train from Morrison's Quarry to Wakefield.