|James J. Sirois (2004)
Mr. James J. Sirois has a lifetime
affiliation with railroading. He exemplifies many like him whose dedication
has ensured that railways have safely moved freight and passenger traffic
in Canada for more than 150 years.
Mr. Sirois began his career with Canadian National in the late 1940s as a clerk. By 1950 he was working as a brakeman and then qualified as a conductor. His world became the CN mainline linking Québec City, Rivière-du-Loup, and Edmundston, New Brunswick.
In 1955, he left CN and participated in the development of the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway. He spent 36 years of his life on the QNS&L, working as a brakeman, a conductor, and a locomotive engineer.
Mr. Sirois was also active in the railway union movement prior to becoming
a manager. During his tenure with the United Transportation Union, he
was able to positively contribute to many improvements in working conditions
that would be later implemented on the railway.
In 1960, Mr. Sirois was active in
the start-up of the Québec-Cartier Railway between Port-Cartier
and Gagnon, Quebec, and served as the Cartier Railway conductor on opening
day. In the same period, he participated to the construction of the Northernland
Railway, linking QNS&L at mileage 224 in Labrador City to Wabush.
Photos: M. Patrick Sirois