Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Flying Scotsman Visits Kingston, 1970

While on a North American tour, The London North Eastern Railway's Flying Scotsman arrived in Kingston on September 28, 1970, open to visits on the 29th before departing on the 30th. The 1923-built Gresley-designed speedster's display train was spotted for public display along Kingston's waterfront, in Centennial/Confederation Park between Kingston City Hall and Shoal Tower. My Dad, being a fan of things English and things steam, made a point to visit the display train with us! This was the swansong of CP's line along the harbour.

Millionaire Alan Pegler wrote a cheque for the equivalent of $8,000 to purchase, then with another $200,000+ worth of restoration the A3 4-6-2 was an antelope on American rails. Brought by sea from Liverpool to Boston, a train of exhibition cars with crew compartments and a pub car made its way to Kingston. We visited at least twice, though it was either raining, about to rain or just rained in the damp September twilight. See one sunlit photo at end of this post!
Insouciant Scotsman fan (above) with City Hall to left and the Holiday Inn background right. Whistle and bell were front-and-centre on the smokebox. At the time, my Dad was shooting black-and-white prints and colour slides, both with Kodak 126 Instamatics! Front-end appurtenances such as bell and headlight were added due to North American regulations:
My siblings and I pose for a flash photo in front of that famous nameplate. My brother with Instamatic in hand!
Siblings on the City Hall side. The Flying Scotsman would back quietly out of Centennial Park on the 30th, again rain-drenched, reaching CN's Kingston Subdivision mainline to head to Toronto and points beyond.
Hey! Is that a boat?
Dad poses with two of us, camera bag-bedecked, also with Instamatic in hand:
More flash photography!

December 2019 update: after posting the above photo, actually a photocopy of the original Whig coverage, I was fortunate to find photographer George Lilley's original negative image in the Queen's University Archives:
The Kingston Whig-Standard gushed, on the train's arrival:
"With her green painted boiler gleaming gaily in a rain shower, the Flying Scotsman glided in to Ontario Street, paid her respects with a toot of her whistle, and came to a gentle stop at Confederation Park. Moving almost noiselessly except for the chuff-chuff of her steam cylinders and the high-pitched toot of her whistle, the crack British train made the trip from Brockville in a little over an hour."
A toast to the Mayor, with Mr. Pegler's two children in the bar (above). And on her departure, more gushing - actually name-dropping, 
"Guests boarding the Scotsman at Kingston, for points west, included Mrs. C.A. DaCosta of Westport, daughter of Sen. James Murdock, Prime Minister Mackenzie King's first minister of labor; Commodore J. Plomer; K.W. Jeshel [sic], engineer for the Public Utilities Commission; and D.A. Redmond, chief librarian at Queen's University. One of the last to leave the rain-soaked park was Edward Phipps-Walker, long-time friend of Mr. Pegler, who had helped to smooth many of the local arrangements."
Sunny with the Spirit of Sir John A. (above). Also taken in sunshine, these two photos taken by Bill Reid, as purchased from Liz Reid:
Not sure what that gas can is for! The cow-catcher is near the foot of Clarence Street (above) The  1925-built Pullman car Lydia and boat-tailed Edwardian observation car at the foot of Brock Street (below). Its interior replicates a typical English pub. The car was latterly operated on the scenic Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh run. CN's water-edge trackage is gone:

At Montreal in the company of a CN Century, Turbo and fantrip engine 6218 (above). At Spadina (below) in the company on CNR 6218 and some other steam - steam generators that is! 
Thanks to my brother Dave for scanning the well-preserved colour slides.

Lots o' links:
Running extra...

Vested interest. Thanks to Dustin for this gift of a hi-vis CP safety vest and lantern. Something to wear while snowshovelling. The only bank I get to these days - the snowbank!

Thanks to Edd Fuller of The Trackside Photographer for publishing my musings today on his engaging website! In the list of contributor bios, mine is alphabetically between Edd and Jeff Garrison - a Presbyterian minister. Good company!

My Hanley Spur home layout does not 'run' quite as far as Confederation Park. There is a nebulous CN spur that reaches Canadian Locomotive Co. (CLC) after serving the Wellington and Place d'Armes freight shed. The CP terminates at the Sowards coal trestle. I find the prospect of building City Hall and/or the CLC to be way too daunting, as is water-modelling! From Kingston Rail:


Simon Dunkley said...

Alan Pegler commented that a repaint in 1969 cost him as much as the original purchase!

Pete Waterman has gone on record saying that everyone who has owned it has lost money.

Eric said...

Well, it looked nice, anyway! It seems there were lots of logistical and financial challenges for this tour!

Thanks for your comment, Simon!