| The Confederation Train (2007)
On New Year’s Day morning 1967, hours after Prime Minister Lester B.
Pearson had lit the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill at midnight to
launch the nationwide observance of the 100th anniversary of Canada's
nationhood, a ceremony was held at the new Ottawa Station. Madame Pauline
Vanier, on behalf of her husband Governor General Georges Vanier, dedicated
the train to reacquaint Canadians with their history during that momentous
year of celebrations.
train included a diesel locomotive and eight coaches coaches loaned by
Canadian National Railway. The exterior facades of the coaches were walled
over and given a colourful "super graphics" treatment. The diesel had
the Centennial symbol emblazoned on its nose under the headlight and the
locomotive horn sounded the first four notes of O Canada. The train made
its public debut in Victoria on January 9. It crossed the nation, arriving
at the Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia by October and ended its itinerary
in Montreal on the evening of December 5.
Over the intervening months, some 60 cities and towns, and hundreds of
thousands of Canadians, visited the train. The Confederation Train was
funded by the Government of Canada through the Centennial Commission.
It operated under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State. The project
was designed and coordinated by the Canadian Government Exhibition Commission,
an agency of the then Department of Trade and Commerce.
here for the O Canada Horn sound (MP3 110 KB) from the Centennial
Train (Courtesy of Airchime of Langley, B.C. and with the cooperation
of CBC Archives)