Time flies, but it in this case I guess you could say it goes down the track.
It’s been a quarter century since the last train passed through Stittsville, and the Goulbourn Township Historical society has set up a new display at the Stittsville Public Library to celebrate the event.
Barbara Bottriell describes the day of the last train in her book “Stittsville: A Sense of Place”.
“On January 14, 1990, the last westbound train to use the railway line through Stittsville, appeared out of the snowy mist with a long lonely wail, and then was gone in a whoosh of snow. It was a passenger train, Via Rail, and it was on its way to the west coast. The very next day the C.P.R. began tearing up the tracks, leaving nothing but a dusty gravel bed and the echo of a train whistle that would never sound again.”
That trip marked the end of over 100 years of train service that shaped the character of Stittsville. Freight trains and passenger Trains rumbled through the community from about 1870 onwards.
That dusty gravel trail that Bottriell describes is now the Trans Canada Trail, a popular recreation path. The train tracks and crossing signals at Stittsville Main Street are long gone. The only reminders left are the play structure at the children’s park that pays tribute to the train tradition; and the collection of heritage buildings that grew up around the corner of Abbott and Main.
You can check it out the library display until the end of February.