- Member since
- From: Calgary AB. Canada
Posted by AgentKid
on Friday, March 10, 2017 10:33 PM
I really enjoyed Balt's post, but I am going to have to ask for three trips back in the time machine, along the CPR transcontinental line.
- Stephen, BC at the the top of the continental divide to watch my Dad work as an Operator any time around '51-'52. Because every train as well as every light pusher engine movement reqired train orders, it was the busiest train order office in Canada.
- That being said, my Dad said the busiest single shifts he ever worked as an Agent or Operator were when we lived at Hatton, SK, from '53-'56, during the fall grain harvest rush. Water is scarce between Maple Creek, SK and Medicine Hat, AB. They would do things he had never heard of before or since, like putting crack passenger trains in the siding to move wayfreights ahead so no engines would run out of water. The laws of physics have no respect for class or superior direction. Thursdays were a nightmare, because that was the day the Golden Prairie Mixed ran up the Hatton Sub. on its' way from Medicine Hat and back. Hatton had a siding and two back tracks, and there were times he had trains standing on all of those, as well as the mixed standing on the Hatton Sub., waiting to get back on the mainline. He said he just never stopped copying train orders
- The 1939 Royal Train Tour of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, riding in the cab, between Brooks, AB and Calgary. Every bridge and culvert on the trip across Canada and back was guarded by Canadian and British millitary veterans of WWI. My Grandfather, British veteran, and another man, a Canadian and Vimy Ridge survivor, were assigned to guard a bridge between Lathom and Bassano over the Springhill Irrigation Canal. This was really open country then, as the present alignment of the Trans-Canada Highway wouldn't be built for another 20 years. They went out the night before, camped out under the stars, and the next morning stood at attention as the Royal Train went past. I would have loved to have seen that, with his rifle slung over his shoulder and saluting. All trains have a scheduled stop at Bassano for water, so there was an event there. My Mom was one of the schoolchildren bused in the see the King and Queen. She never did stop talking about the beautiful pink coat with white fur collar and cuffs the Queen wore. Due to various setbacks, the train was going to be 45 minutes late out of Bassano, and the Superintendant left no doubts in the Engineers mind that that train was going to arrive in Calgary, the third largest city in western Canada, on time. But, he only had 78.2 miles to to do it in, and the last 4.1 miles past the Ogden Shops and through the Alyth yard were restricted to 25 MPH. The train arrived on time, and one publication I read suggested that King George VI may have set a Land Speed Record for the British Monarchy that day.
So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.
"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere" CP Rail Public Timetable
"O. S. Irricana"
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