Preserving and Promoting local history for the former Rideau Township
Log Fence

An early 4-4-0 Engine used on the Bytown Prescott Line

photo courtesy Colin Churcher

Other tricks were perhaps a little more controversial. A rival of J. R. Booth planned to build his own passenger station on the east side of Union Station to save the heavy charges at Booth's Union Station. When he was ready to build he found a new J. R. Booth warehouse building blocking the way to his intended station.

There was a number of other stories in this vein. The presentation was both interesting and informative, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Colin Churcher's Railroad Map of Ottawa

map courtesy Colin Churcher

Colin Churcher is a member of the Bytown Railway Society and the Ottawa Valley Association of Railroads. Like our own Brian Earl, Colin is an avid railway historian.

It turns out the City of Ottawa has a long and interesting railroad history in both the freight and passenger services. This history is laced with practical solutions to complex problems, with industrious construction projects for the time, and with business practices perhaps a little outside the pale.

Railway Station at Sussex Street, circa 1860

photo courtesy Colin Churcher

Colin addressed all these aspects in his presentation. In the presentation the railroads as they came into being were added to a map of the city. By the end, one had to wonder how they found room for the houses and building. The city was covered by a web of tracks.

Lebreton Flats was a major rail yard and shipping point for lumber, coal and what have you. The Queensway was a railroad. The east side of the canal south of the Union Station was all tracks. Several other tracks meandered through the remainder of the city.

Additional tracks were laid as needed to serve local transportation. Their was serious competition for the transportation dollar. When Union Station charged too much for a competing road to unload passengers the competing road built it's own passenger station along the canal near Ottawa U.

The Railways of Ottawa

Presented by Colin Churcher

Knox Presbyterian Church, Manotick
March 21, 2007