Souris wins Bantam BB Provincial baseball 1962

   CPR Storekeeper Gordon Crowe (no relation to Morgan & his brother Gordon) came to work in CPR stores at Souris in mid 1950’s. He was from Winnipeg and introduced “Little League” baseball to Souris. There were 4 teams established, namely, CPR, Legion, Kiwanis & Elks. Shortly after the Legion, Kiwanis & Elks agreed to donate $500.00 each for a Recreational Director for July & August. The first one hired was Al Robertson from Hamiota.
I remember asking CPR Engineer Bill Roney, what he thought of our new Rec.Director, and Bill replied “Anyone who can work my son (Allan) for 2 hours on a ball diamond and then when Allan comes home at noon and sleeps for an hour, is an OK person as far as I’m concerned”.
    Gordie Lyall was the Rec. Director in Souris from July 1 to Aug. 15, 1962. I was CPR Station Agent at Nesbitt (22 miles East of Souris) and as a Past President of Souris Little League I kept in communication with them.                                                                           

   Jim Down (brother to Souris Butcher Harry Down) used to bring his Brandon Little League team to play our Nesbitt team once a year for an exhibition game. After the game he told me that  we should enter our team into the Provincial Playdowns because he thought we had one of the best pitchers in Manitoba. I called President Al Richardson at Morden to see if we could get entered, but he said that the draw was already made and mailed out. I said that I felt that I was responsible for these players losing the chance to compete in the playoffs. He suggested that I take players to closest team entered. I asked about taking them to Souris. And he said that was okay.

  I met Gordie Lyall and Bob Sanderson later and asked them if they had the full complement of 18 players on their team. They said they had room for 4 more and I asked them if they wanted to win the Provincial Championship, because I had some players that could help their team out. They said bring them to their next game. The four players I had in mind were Mark Fisher (a good Nesbitt Pitcher & good batter), Grant Everard (another good pitcher), Don Brown ( a relief pitcher) and Greg Leachman (a third baseman who was also good at bat).The last 3 boys were from Wawanesa.

    We won the Manitoba Provincial Bantam BB Championship in Morden,MB September Labour Day weekend of 1962. The Souris Elks Lodge hosted a dinner and donated individual trophies to each player. Two players on this team were sons of CPR employees, namely George Davis (son of Engineer Norm Davis) and Paul     Eliuk (son of Sectionman Conrad Eliuk) also Gary Davidson was son of CPR Watch Inspector Allan Davidson. Another boy who would have been on this team was Andy Murray (who later became NHL hockey coach) but he was on vacation during this playoff session.Later in life, Garry Davidson would become owner of Junior Hockey team, (The Portland Winterhawks), Greg Cameron, Grant Everard, Mark Fisher and Gordie Lyall would become inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame. Please see photo below. Click your cursor on it to enlarge. Click a 2nd time and it will enlarge more. I have added 2 notes at top right hand corner and bottom right hand corner of the photo about Little Leaguers Keith Edwards and Bob Neufeld.

    There was another player named Keith Edwards who would have been on this team. I left this part of the story for the last of this article. Keith was playing ball in June 1962 when he developed a strong headache, and his coach Murray Zuk took him out of the game. He went home complaining of a bad headache. He died in an ambulance enroute to Winnipeg. The attending Dr. declared that Keith had suffered from a ruptured aneurysm.The team and management along with the Souris B.P.O. Elks Lodge #21 decided that a posthumous trophy be delivered to Keith’s family at an appropriate time. It was the saddest Christmas Eve of my life. I went around to the Edwards home just before midnight Dec. 24th 1962, after Keith’s Sister Joan & younger Brother Clare were in bed. His Mother Florence was busy putting together a bike for Clare for Christmas and I helped her. Finally, I said to Florence that I had a sad duty and presented her with the trophy. Surprisingly she was very happy to receive it. We cried and we hugged. It was placed on their mantle. Trainman/Conductor Al Edwards (father to Keith) was out on a CPR run at the time. They were very proud and happy to receive it. (This story was written by Ferg Devins)

About the Pocket Watch, a very interesting story

f you were in the market for a watch in 1880, would you know where to get one? You would go to a store, right? Well, of course you could do that, but if you wanted one that was cheaper and a bit better than most of the store watches, you went to the train station!
Sound a bit funny? Well, for about 500 towns across the northern United States , that’s where the best watches were found.

Why were the best watches found at the train station? The railroad company wasn’t selling the watches, not at all. The telegraph operator was. Most of the time the telegraph operator was located in the railroad station because the telegraph lines followed the railroad tracks from town to town. It was usually the shortest distance and the right-of-way had already been secured for the rail line.

Most of the station agents were also skilled telegraph operators and it was the primary way they communicated with the railroad. They would know when trains left the previous station and when they were due at their next station. And it was the telegraph operator who had the watches. As a matter of fact, they sold more of them than almost all the stores combined for a period of about 9 years.
This was all arranged by “Richard”, who was a telegraph operator himself. He was on duty in the North Redwood, Minnesota train station one day when a load of watches arrived from the East. It was a huge crate of pocket watches. No one ever came to claim them. So Richard sent a telegram to the manufacturer and asked them what they wanted to do with the watches. The manufacturer didn’t want to pay the freight back, so they wired Richard to see if he could sell them. So Richard did. He sent a wire to every agent in the system asking them if they wanted a cheap, but good, pocket watch. He sold the entire case in less than two days and at a handsome profit. That started it all.
He ordered more watches from the watch company and encouraged the telegraph operators to set up a display case in the station offering high quality watches for a cheap price to all the travelers. It worked! It didn’t take long for the word to spread and, before long, people other than travelers came to the train station to buy watches. Richard became so busy that he had to hire a professional watchmaker to help him with the orders. That was “Alvah”.  And the rest is history as they say. The business took off and soon expanded to many other lines of dry goods. Richard and Alvah left the train station and moved their company to Chicago — and it’s still there..

YES, IT’S A LITTLE KNOWN FACT that for a while in the 1880’s, the biggest watch retailer in the country was at the train station. It all started with a telegraph operator:
Richard Sears and partner Alvah Roebuck!
Bet You Didn’t Know That!
OK, maybe you did;  I didn’t!
Now that’s History.

The Royal Train, Elkhorn, MB. Oct 17, 1951

Above left is picture of Princess Elizabeth & Duke of Edinburgh on rear of Royal Train at London Ont. on Oct. 14th, 1951. At centre is Page 1 and at right is page 2 of a letter that I sent to my parents the morning after the Royal Train went through Elkhorn, Man. on Oct. 17, 1951. I was the CP Operator on duty for Royal Train. Below please find a revised version of these 2 pages, which explains the experience more specifically.Click your cursor on all small pictures to enlarge them. At the bottom you can find copies of clearances and train orders issued to trains involved. Click on them too…This is history shared with you….Ferg Devins.

Kirkella, MB,Oct. 17/51

Dear Folks,…Well I got back to Elkhorn on Monday…and into the old routine again. Worked at Elkhorn until 8 a.m. today, and into bed by 9:00 a.m….Then was called at 11:50 a.m. to go to Kirkella to clear the branch way freight from the Neudorf/McCauley subs, onto the Broadview sub (Main Line). So am sitting here waiting for it & decided to drop you a line.

Well the Royal Trains went through Elkhorn this morning with officials on each train. Ahead of the passenger Extra trains was regular passenger train #1 at 2.37. Maurice Roach (Assistant Superintendent from Minnedosa) was on it. Then Passenger Extra 2861 West (the Press Train) with Assistant Superintendent Barney O. Fryer from Souris, arrived at 2:59 and departed at 3:10. The Royal Train ,Passenger Extra 2863 West with Superintendent Wood from Brandon attending it arrived at 4:58 and left at 5:05.  RCMP and officials were all over it. There were about half dozen people down to see it and 5 cops (3 from Virden and 2 from Elkkhiorn). I was standing on the platform after it arrived and this guy came up and asked if I was the Operator on duty. I told him I was. He asked me my name and I told him. He said “Well, my name is Thompson” and we shook hands and stood around, shooting the breeze for 5 or 10 minutes. After he left I discovered that he was the CPR Vice-President. He seemed like a very nice person.

Eastbouind passenger train #2 arrived at 3:46 and couldn’t make Hargrave in time to clear these 3 trains by 30 minutes and so it had to pull into the number two passing track at Elkhorn because the siding switches at Reaper were spiked closed. After #2 pulled into passing track the section men spiked the east switch closed and then pulled spikes after the Royal Train was by. No. 2 sat at Elkhorn from 3:46 until 5:00. I had to make 3 copies of train orders for train #1, 4 copies for the press train and 5 sets for the Royal Train. But they were only slow orders, which were already on the hook when I came on duty at 24 O’clock All freight trains had to be in the clear 5 hours ahead of the Royal Train, but there were none on the Broadview Subdivision. There was no sign of the Princess and Duke, just Mounties, Officials and Train Crews. Speed limit was 35 mph. Royal Train was sure shined up and coaches from CNR & CPR. I could see into some of them and they were really fixed up nice.

I was wrong about the Royal Couple going to Rivers.They will be passing through there on return trip via CNR on Sunday Oct. 28th.

That’s all the news for now. So will sign off and see you on Sunday. Bye for now…Fergie.

(Please note…The reason that all trains stopped at Elkhorn was so they could take on more coal and water for the engines. The engines 2861 and 2863 on the “Press train” and the “Royal train” were oil burners and only required to take on more water, which meant they took less time at Elkhorn than the usual trains. Also Princess Elizabeth’s father King George sixth died a few months after this tour and she became Queen of England, and the Commonwealth, and is still the Queen in 2018)

You might be wondering why the spaces on these clearances shown below are filled in with a short dash, instead of the “Train ahead, etc”. The Broadview subdivision consisted of double track from Brandon to Virden, then single track, Virden to Whitewood, and double track again Whitewood to Broadview. The single track portion was Automatic Block System and trains were controlled by Automatic block signals, so it was not necessary to fill in that portion of the “Clearance form” as shown below…..FD

American Morse Code Used on North American Railroads

The Telegraph machines were invented before the Telephone.

(Please Click your cursor on “The American Morse Code” in line 3 below for an explanation from Wikipedia about Codes)

There were two Morse Codes. The first was  the International Morse Code which was used by “Ham Radio Operators”, ships at sea, and the military Army, Navy and Air Force. The second Morse Code was the The American Morse Code used by North American Railroads. There were 10 letters different between the 2 codes. The Railroad Telegrapher was a very important employee. He was the middleman between the Train Dispatcher and the employees on the Trains. The Railroads required communication from the railhead construction site to their headquarters with daily reports on how many miles had been laid that day. Some Railroad Telegraphers learned the code by going to Telegraph Schools. Others became Assistant Agents, and learned from the Agent and practised on the Telegraph key and memorized the Rule Book while off-duty. They wrote an examination on rules, and if they passed that, they were sent out as relief Telegraphers until obtaining enough seniority to hold down a permanent position. Another position was the Commercial Telegrapher, who handled Commercial Telegrams and Newspaper traffic, and also communicated with Commercial Telegrams to the Railroad Telegrapher Agents. The experienced Railroad Telegrapher could advance his employment to becoming a Station Agent, or a Train Dispatcher when his seniority allowed.. They were held in great esteem by the Public and the Officials.

Some interesting You-tube items

The Most Amazing Railroad Video, This is a Must See. F-unit Crosses the Union Pacific Main Line

CP Coal Train Breaks Apart !! Goes into Emergency

Canadian Pacific’s Portal Sub

Railfanning Canadian Pacific’s Mountain Subdivision

The Canadian

Brandon’s Steamy Past

A retrospective of Winnipeg’s Union Station, and train travel


The Canadian Pacific Railway – Swift Current

TS2015 – Canadian Mountain Passes (ES44AC Canadian Pacific)

Buffalo N.Y. News Article About Canadians

(This is an article that was posted in the Buffalo News by Gerry Boley. Please read more about Gerry Boley at the end of this article. I received it by e-mail from a friend on November 15, 2015 and although it has nothing to do with Souris, MB., I feel it is a most worthy item, which requires reading by Canadian Citizens.       Ferg Devins of Souris Railway Museum.)

Misconceptions in the United States about Canada are quite common. They include: there is always snow in Canada: Canadians are boring, socialists and pacifists: their border is porous and allowed the Sept. 11 terrorists through: or, as the U.S. Ottawa embassy staff suggested to Washington, the country suffers from an inferiority complex. With Canada Day and America’s Independence Day just past, this is a great time to clarify some of these misconceptions and better appreciate a neighbour that the United States at times takes for granted.

With the exception of the occasional glacier, skiing in Canada in the summer just isn’t happening. Frigid northern winters, however, have shaped the tough, fun-loving Canadian character. When it is 30-below, the Canucks get their sticks, shovel off the local pond and have a game of shinny hockey.

The harsh winters have also shaped Canadians’ sense of humour. Canada has some of the world’s greatest comedians, from early Wayne and Shuster, Mike Myers, Leslie Nielson, John Candy, Martin Short, Eugene Levy and “Saturday Night Live” creator and movie producer Lorne Michaels.

The suggestion that Canadians are soft on terrorism is a myth. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau backed down the Front de Liberation du Quebec terrorists during the1970’s. And the 9/11 Commission reported that terrorists arrived in the United States from outside North America with documents issued to them by the U.S. government. Likewise, the Canadians in Gander, Newfoundland countered despicable terrorist acts with love and caring to their U.S. neighbours when planes were diverted there.

Americans glorify war with movies, but it is the Canadians who are often the real “Rambo.” The Canadians are anything but pacifists and their history is certainly not dull. Be it on the ice or battlefield, this warrior nation has never lost a war that it fought in – War of 1812 (versus the United States), World War I, World War II, Korea and now Afghanistan. During the ’72 Summit Series, Soviet goalie Vladislav Tretiak said, “The Canadians have great skills and fight to the very end.”

In hunting the Taliban in Afghanistan, U.S. Commander and Navy SEAL Capt. Robert Howard stated that the Canadian Joint Task Force 2 team was “his first choice for any direct-action mission.”

Contrary to Thomas Jefferson’s 1812 comment that, “The acquisition of Canada will be a mere matter of marching,” the wily Native American leader Tecumseh and Maj. Gen. Isaac Brock captured Brig. Gen. William Hull’s Fort Detroit without firing a shot. The Americans never took Quebec and when they burned the Canadian Parliament Buildings at York, the White House was torched in retaliation. Canada considered its status as a warrior nation during World War I battles at Vimy Ridge, Passchendale, Somme and the Second Battle of Ypres, where soldiers were gassed twice by the German but refused to break the line. By the end of the war, the Canadians were the Allies’ shock troops.

In the air, four of the top seven World War I aces were Canadians. Crack shots, the names William “Billy” Bishop, Raymond Collishaw, Donald McLaren and William Barker, with 72, 60, 54 and 53 victories, respectively, were legendary. These were the original Crazy Canucks, who regularly dropped leaflets over enemy airfields advising German pilots that they were coming over at such and such a time, and to come on up. Bishop and Barker won the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry.

The pilot who is credited with shooting down the Red Baron, Manfred von Richtofen, with a little help from the Australian down under, was not Snoopy but Roy Brown from Carleton Place, Ontario.

During World War II, Winnipeg native and air ace Sir William Stehenson, the “Quiet Canadian,” ran the undercover British Security Coordination under the code name intrepid from Rockefeller Centre in New York, as a liaison between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Stephenson invented the machine that transferred photos over the wire for the Daily Mail newspaper in 1922. Americans were not aware that the BSC was there or that it was stocked with Canadians secretly working to preserve North American freedom from the Nazis.

Also little known is that intrepid trained Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series, at camp X, the secret spy school near Whitby, Ontario. Five future directors of the CIA also received special training there. It is suggested that Fleming’s reference to Bond’s 007 license to kill status, his gadgetry and the “shaken not stirred” martinis, rumoured to be the strongest in North America, came from Stephenson.

When Wild Bill Donaldson, head of the U.S. OSS, forerunner of the CIA, presented intrepid with the Presidential Medal of Merit in 1946, he said, “William Stephenson taught us everything we knew about espionage.”

American military writer Max Boot wrote recently in Commentary magazine that Canada is a country that most Americans consider a “dull but slavishly friendly neighbour, sort of like a great “St. Bernard.” Boot needs to come to Canada, have a Molson Canadian beer and chat about Canadian history. He owes his freedom to Canucks such as Stephenson and the courageous soldiers and fliers of the world wars who held off the Germans while America struggled with isolationism.

Canadian inventions such as the oxygen mask and anti-gravity suit, the forerunner of the astronaut suit, allowed U.S. and other Allied fighter pilots to fly higher, turn tighter and not black out with the resulting G-force. The 32 Canadians from the Avro Arrow team helped build the American space program and were, according to NASA, brilliant to a man. The most brilliant, Jim Chamberlin, chief designer of the Jetliner and Arrow, was responsible for the design and implementation of the Gemini and Appolo space programs.        ( Readers please note… Don “Kayo” Davidson of Souris.MB. worked on the Avro Arrow in Canada, before it was scrapped…he later moved to California and worked for Avro….FD)

Although Canadians have had a free, workable medical system for 50 years, they are not socialists and there are not long lineups, as some politicians opposed to Obamacare suggest. This writer (Gerry Boley) has had a ruptured appendix, hip replacement, pinned shoulder, blood clot, twist fracture of the fibula and broken foot, and in every case, there was zero cost to me. Canadians have and value a medical system for all Canadians that is free with minimal waits. That is not socialism; that is caring about Fellow Canadians.

Americans may be surprised by the Canadian content in their life. Superman – “truth, justice and the American way” – was co-created by Canadian Joe Shuster, the daily Planet is based on a Toronto newspaper, and the 1978 films’s Lois Lane, Margot Kidder, and Superman’s father, Glenn Ford were both Canadians. The Captain of the starship Enterprise was Montreal-born William Shatner. Torontonian Raymond Massey played Abraham Lincoln in 1956. And as American as apple pie? Ah, no. The McIntosh apple was developed in Dundela, Ontario, in 1811 by John McIntosh.

Many of the sports that Americans excel at are Canadian in origin. James Naismith  from Almonte, Ontario, invented basketball. The tackling and ball carrying in football were introduced by the Canucks in games between Harvard and McGill in the 1870’s. Five-pin bowling is also a Canadian game. Lacrosse is officially Canada’s national sport, and hockey – well, Canadians are hockey. And Jackie Robinson called Montreal “the city that enabled me to go to the major leagues”

To make everyone’s life easier, Canadians invented Pablum, the electric oven, the telephone, Marquis wheat, standard time, the rotary snowplow, the snowblower, the snowmobile, Plexiglass, Oven cleaner, the jolly jumper, the pacemaker, the alkaline battery, the caulking gun, the gas mask, the goalie mask, and many more.

Canadian inferiority complex? That is another myth. Never pick a fight with a quiet kid in the schoolyard. Never mistake quiet confidence for weakness. Many a bully has learned the hard way. Canadians are self-effacing and do not brag. That does not mean we do not know who we are. We are caring but tough, fun-loving but polite and creative, and we share with each other and the world. Our history is exciting but we don’t toot our horn. The world does that for us. This is the third year in a row that Canada has been voted the most respected country in the world by the Reputation institute global survey.

Perhaps once a year around our collective birthdays, Americans can raise a toast to their friendly, confident neighbour in the Great White North.

(Gerry Boley is a University lecturer and writer living in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada)

Conductor Angus “Mac” McDonald

27 years on the Reston-Wolseley Mixed Train.

Please click on this news item shown here, and it will give you a great news clipping from the Reston Recorder dated Jan, 4, 1934, about Train Conductor Angus McDonald, an amazing and beloved man, and some of his history. He had 25 years service with CPR prior to taking over the Reston-Wolseley mixed, for a total of 52 years service.

Souris Railway Museum attained his collection of memorabilia from the committee of “The Caboose” CP 437180, which they had in storage, and with no place to exhibit them. We have the originals of this memorabilia safely locked in our strong box. Among these artifacts are 26 train orders from 1891 and 1892, an engine haulage capacity book from 1926, which illustrates all the sub-divisions  and stations of the former Souris Division, a time bill (today it is known as a schedule) dated 1895 showing schedules from Fort William,Ontario to Donald, B.C. and all branch lines connected. One train order and one page of time bill #31 are displayed on this page. All Train orders can be seen in our library, photocopied in a binder. (Click your cursor on each illustration inserted in this article for enlarged viewing).


The next summer after Angus McDonald retired, a picnic was held at what is now called Kenosee Lake in honour of Conductor McDonald and at which there were over 2,000 well-wishers in attendance. People from all over who had travelled on his train in those 27 years. Another news item is displayed here, illustrating why the crew of the “Peanut” were well liked by the travellers on the Reston-Wolseley mixed.

An illustration of the cover of a book, titled “The Peanut”, by Editor Gilbert McKay of the Moosomin, SK.,World-Spectator is also illustrated in this write-up. One story as to how this train became named the “Peanut” is about a settler stating every time he heard this train’s whistle it reminded him of a peanut vendors whistle as he peddled his peanut machine, back home in England.

We are very thankful to the descendants of Angus McDonald from Reston, Manitoba for their gracious donation of his memorabilia to the history of Souris Railway Museum. Written by Ferg Devins.



THE RUNAWAY FLATCAR by Gordon F. “Red” McIntosh

The runaway train came down the track and hit the station a a helluva whack!   

Remember that old song? Well, let me tell you about the runaway flat car that missed the station and went for an uneventful downhill ride. These are the circumstances.

I was the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Station Agent at Forrest, Man., during the period 1961-65. Trains passed Forrest, located on the Rapid City Sub., on regular timetable schedules and branched off to 3 other subdivisions, viz; Lenore, Varcoe and Miniota.The Rapid City sub., passed over the Canadian National Railway, at Forrest Transfer over which traffic was interchanged. The paperwork for such movements was handled by the CNR staff at Rivers, MB., and the CPR Agent at Forrest.

Trans Canada Pipelines maintained a pressure station North of Forrest, and with plans made to enlarge this facility, several flat cars loaded with gigantic compressors and duct work arrived at Forrest from Eastern Canada.

Arrangements were made with CPR, TCPL and contractor Ernie McLean of Estevan, Sask., to have loads hauled up at rear of the Miniota train and left on the main track at a spot where they could be driven to, and unloaded by McLean’s dragline crane. This was done. Roadmaster Downes instructed Section Foreman Savich to follow along and assist where required, and to ensure hand brakes were applied to the empty cars as they were unloaded. This he did. However, it became evident after several cars were unloaded and pushed down, the coupling between first and second flat was not completely made and the first car out began to roll away, even though the hand brake had been applied, and smoke was evident from the brake shoe friction. Sectionman Deleau ran after the flat, until he dropped, but could not catch it.  ….(Editor’s note for your info, this section man Tony Deleau, would be a brother to Fireman/Engineer W.H. “Pete” Deleau of Souris MB,)…..

From the point of release Southward, lay some 14 miles of downhill grade. The flat picked up speed, passing over Provincial Hwy #25, over CNR mainline at Forrest Transfer, over numerous Municipal crossings, past Forrest station, over Provincial Hwy. #10 and Southward at an estimated speed of 30 MPH, ultimate destination CPR main line at Chater.

After the flat whizzed by my office window, I attempted to advise the Train Dispatcher in Brandon of what was happening, but Art Grant, Road Foreman of Engines, was speaking to someone on the Dispatcher’s phone about a problem, so I rather rudely interrupted him and told him the drill, that should the flat car run over the knoll at Barager, it could run out onto the mainline at Chater. I was told Mr. Grant and Gordon Dingwall & Division Master Mechanic vacated Company premises in Brandon and broke all speed limits driving out to the Mental Hospital Spur at Barager, arriving in time to see the flat come slowly to a halt. It was their intention to derail the flat by any means they could, likely open Barager switch to put the flat  on the ground.

After advising Mr. Grant, I telephoned the Plains Western Gas Plant at #1 Hiwy., and asked a person to watch for the runaway and flag #1 Hwy., crossing, even though the crossing was protected with signal lights. A lone flat car travelling at any speed would not be seen and #1 was a busy highway. The crossing was flagged and the flatcar passed over.

So, a catastrophe had been diverted through good fortune. All crossings at grade were passed over and wonder of all wonders a CNR train was not passing Forrest Transfer. The Miniota train on return, nosed onto the empty cars on the main track, pushed them down to Forrest, ran around them, picked up the runaway at Barager, proceeded to Brandon yard and tied up.

It appeared the section crew was in for a citation, however cooler heads must have prevailed, inasmuch as Section crew was not “Running Trades” personnel and no injury nor loss of equipment resulted. The case was closed. In conversation with Superintendent Lowe next day, I asked him if he would write Plains Western Staff a letter of thanks. which he agreed to do.

Plains Western staff were pleased with the letter and to have received some recognition. The plant Manager advised me that they had been on the CPR “bad list” as shortly before this incident they had flared-off some excess product and had melted the telegraph wires on a CPR pole nearby, and had received an angry blast from the CPR linesman.

As Robert Burns so aptly put in his poem; ‘the best laid schemes o’mice and men….gang aft a-gley’

  The North Branches are abandoned now !….Written December 2004.



****Editor’s note….In the 1950’s a carload of grain escaped from Franklin, Manitoba and ran all the way to Gladstone before it came to a stop. No other details are available****