Picturing the Past

A Train Journey through the Ottawa Valley Using the Mattingly Image Collection

Ottawa to Pembroke over the Canadian Pacific Railway


An interesting aspect of railway operations in downtown Ottawa is the delivery of household coal. The New York Central Railway has a coal trestle at Mann Avenue just to the east of the coach yard. This area will eventually be taken over by the University of Ottawa. Hopper cars of coal are brought in and moved up the trestle where they are unloaded by gravity. At the time these photographs are taken, in 1945, Ottawa is heavily dependent upon coal as the prime source of heating during long cold winters. 4-6-0 steam locomotive No. 875 seems to be having some trouble pushing the loaded cars on the steep incline (top), its slow progress evident in the straight column of smoke rising from the locomotive’s stack, but is finding it easier coming down (above), its increased speed evident in the smoke now trailing behind the stack.