Remembering the joy of rail travel

From our February 2013 issue

By Leo Grudinski – Lethbridge, Alta.

Transportation has always been a main factor in Canadian life and it has undertaken many and varied forms over the years.

Railway transportation was a principal form for many years both for passengers and movement of goods.

Seniors will fondly remember travelling across Canada by train with sleeping cars, dining cars, and passenger cars—watching the changing landscape from the prairies through the Rocky Mountains and lake areas of the East.

Crossing the prairies was particularly interesting since you always knew where you were from the grain elevators with the large name of the community emblazoned on its side.

During WWII student pilots at the training depots across the prairies used the grain elevators for navigation purposes.

Common at that time were troop trains for movement of military personnel and when there was a mixture of military elements—navy, army and air force personnel—the voyage was interesting and boisterous.

This pubic transportation is still available by VIA Rail, but like so many things it has changed with the times.

Today rail transportation is associated principally with the movement of goods and material in large volumes, however, we remember the great joy of rail travel across the prairies many years ago.