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Cochrane history: The last train to Kap

As we await the return of Ontario Northland passenger train service between Cochrane and Toronto… this week’s local history feature deals with the loss of VIA service between Cochrane and Kapuskasing.

The final train ran on Sunday, January 14th, 1990.  A report in The Northland Post called it “the end of an era of rail service in the north.”

Public library archivist Ardis Proulx-Chedore reads about one of the crew members onboard that day.

“Hilliard Carter began his career as a brakeman, and is retiring as a conductor on the Cochrane-Kapuskasing VIA train. ‘It’s been a good life,’ Carter said.”

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Also in the article was the engineer.

“Frank Aquino operated the controls that guided the last VIA train from Cochrane to Kapuskasing,” Proulx-Chedore reads. “Aquino is one of the last engineers qualified on steam locomotives.”

The engine on that final trip was not steam powered.  It was a modern diesel locomotive.

Our usual thanks to the Cochrane Public Library, an invaluable source for our history feature.

Hilliard Carter
Frank Aquino
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