Wednesday, July 02, 2014

110 Years of the Ocean

VIA Rail's Ocean
VIA Rail's Ocean crosses the Miramichi River - buy this print
VIA Rail has announced that they will be commemorating the 110th anniversary of the Ocean on July 3. The VIA president and CEO, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, and his executive team will ride the train to Halifax where there will be a commemorative event at the station. They will also be available at Moncton for media interviews. (EDIT: the event at 6 PM is cancelled because the Ocean was delayed leaving Montreal. There will be a reception at the station upon arrival, around 9 PM)

I wonder if they will fly back to Montreal, or take Friday's Ocean back? ;)

The Intercolonial's Ocean Limited began on July 3, 1904 as a limited train to supplement the existing Maritime Express train. Over time the "Limited" was dropped, and with the abolishment of the other Montreal-Halifax trains (the Maritime Express, the Scotian, and the Atlantic) it became the sole rail connection between the two largest* eastern Canadian cities.

I'm sad that Jay Underwood is not around to see this. Jay was a tireless advocate for trains in the Maritimes and he repeatedly asked VIA to note anniversaries of the Ocean. He would have been very happy to see that VIA is finally taking note.

For more information on the Ocean, may I recommend the excellent The Ocean Limited: A Centennial Tribute by Douglas N.W. Smith. It's out of print but used copies may be available the author tells me he has a few copies. Email me if you would like the contact information.

* OK, Quebec is larger than Halifax, but it's on the Ocean route as well

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