To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Loyalist settlement in Ontario, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh travelled by train to several communities on CN's Kingston Sub. September 28 found the royal couple coming ashore at Morrisburg, Ontario from HMY Britannia, then boarding the royal train, whistle-stopping through Cardinal, Prescott, Brockville, Mallorytown and Gananoque, seen by more than 30,000 Ontario residents:
I was stationed at the [blowing bunting-bedecked] Kingston station. The Queen and Prince Philip would detrain here, travelling by car a few miles west to Amherstview to open the eastern end on the Loyalist Parkway. I was standing where VIA buses from Ottawa usually connected, now the end of the red carpet. The pilot train - 6790-3242 arrived a few minutes ahead of the royal train. This pilot train ensures the Queen's safe passage over spiked switches and past cleared adjacent tracks:The royal train soon arrived, pulled by an all-MLW consist: 6761-6871-6770. 6761 is flying the Royal Standard, which was then transferred to the waiting limousine.
Accompanied by MPP Keith Norton and MP Flora MacDonald, the royal couple walks to their limousine directly in front of me, waving to the large assembled crowd:More waving, as the limousine and a squadron of late-model sedans forms up to head west:
With the excitement ebbing, here's why I was really here - to photograph the train's consist: 15205 - 91 - 9480 - 1347 - 5738 - Endeavour - 5 - Vice Regal car 2 - Vice Regal car 1. Space on the train was allocated to Royal Household staff, an RCMP security detail, media and railway personnel. Looking west towards the Princess Street overpass, the white-overalled CN mechanical crew gathers in front of the battery-charging car near the head-end:
Looking east towards Queens West interlocking. Check out the multiple Sinclair radio antennae and cabling on the roof of E-series sleeper Endeavour.Each car bore a small black-and-white numeral in a side window to denote its order in the consist of the royal train. Note this part of the platform was cordoned-off:
A plethora of Ontario Provincial Police cruisers fills the parking lot. OPP constables board the waiting Trentway-Wagar bus for the next stop on the tour. Check out the postscript for more coverage, including Ron Barrett photos. And a Postscript II with Scott Haskill's photos.
The platform of Vice-Regal car 1, occupied by the white-gloved attendant (top photo) was occupied by the royal couple on an earlier royal train. This time it's 1973 and the train is travelling east from Toronto towards Kingston, seen here passing through Napanee. The occasion was the Queen's participation in Kingston's tercentenary. The Vice-Regal cars would be transferred to VIA ownership in 1987, and made available for tour groups of 12 or more in the Rockies.
A 1973 commemorative envelope and press photo taken at Waterloo (both, above). One more from 1984. Coming to Kingston. Likely at Cornwall, (Toronto Public Library photo) the Royal Couple waving to the assembled crowd from the rear platform:
The Bytown Railway Society's November, 1984 issue of Branchline included photos of both the pilot train and the Royal Train in the Cornwall-Prescott area. The article notes that all signal pasts and associated lineside equipment had been painted by section forces, stations spruced up, and overpasses and level crossing patrolled by the OPP:
Paul Charland kindly shared this photo of the pilot train, taken at Brockville:
The most famous royal visit to Canada was that of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939. CPR Hudson 2850 was one of the locomotives CNR and CPR provided to pull the royal train; the class was later given the title "Royal Hudson".
After leaving the station, I didn't brave the crowds at Amherst View, but I was able to see HMY Britannia moored near the Brother Islands, just offshore. I passed through the Loyalist Parkway gates this morning, just before our Easter sunrise service held at Fairfield Park.
Welcome new blog partner Adam Walker from Durham region. Adam's Walker Express blog covers railfanning, local train shows and other news from the Oshawa, Ajax, Whitby area. Welcome aboard, Adam - always nice to welcome a fellow blogger with interesting Canadian content to Trackside Treasure's blogroll.