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Monday, October 15, 2007

Press Release

Railway Hall of Fame Inducts 2007 Nominees  

OTTAWA, Oct. 15, 2007 – The Confederation Train, a rolling exhibit with its distinctive O Canada horn that crossed Canada during Centennial year in 1967, is among this year’s inductees into the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame. The selection helps honour the heroes, technologies, leaders and communities of the Canadian railway industry.

Others include Calgary author Donald Bain and CPR photographer Nicholas Morant. Railway civil engineers, represented by the late J.E. Schwitzer of CP and CN retiree Ron Bailey of Edmonton, are being recognized for their engineering feats in harsh weather and terrain. The Town of Mount Royal, QC, was created as a model community by the Canadian Northern Railway, a predecessor of CN, to finance construction of the tunnel that still carries commuters into downtown Montreal through Central Station.

“This year’s inductions illustrate the important role that people and their initiatives have played in helping the Canadian railway industry grow and Canada to prosper,” said Les Kozma, Director and Chairman of the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame. “Without people like these, our industry would never have made it to where we are today.”

The Railway Hall of Fame categories, and background on the 2007 inductees, are:

Technology: The Confederation Train - 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.

The 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.

Leaders: The Railway Civil Engineer – The category is represented by the late J.E. Schwitzer, Canadian Pacific and CN retiree Ron M. Bailey of Edmonton: Critical to the past, present, and future of the railway industry, individuals performing the role of civil engineer on Canada's railway network have made an incredible contribution to not only the industry but also to the nation as a whole. Historical engineering works such as Canadian Pacific's famed spiral tunnels and the Grand Trunk Pacific - now CN - transcontinental mainline remain a legacy to the contribution of such individuals. Modern engineering programs, such as those led by Mr. Bailey on behalf of CN during the 1980’s, ensured continued capacity and efficiency fir railway companies dealing with today’s burgeoning growth.

Heroes - Nicholas Morant: His name is synonymous with Canadian Pacific. He is known across Canada and in many other parts of the world for his photographs of the railway and its related business activities. He was the CPR photographer! His 50-year career spanned the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, the end of steam, and the end of company-operated passenger service.

For 44 years, the late Mr. Morant crisscrossed the country on passenger trains, enroute to and from assignments to all the subsidiaries of Canadian Pacific. He photographed hotels, steamships, trucks, airplanes, oil wells, mines, logging and myriad other facets of the CPR. He photographed people, places, and events. He chronicled the times, writing for the company magazine as well as photographing developments on the railway. After retiring to Banff, he continued to photograph trains before his passing. As a result of his talents, dedication and work ethic, his legacy remains through a photographic collection that chronicles the rich heritage of the Canadian Pacific.

Community – Town of Mount Royal, Quebec - A historically rich town that was created by the Canadian Northern Railway in order to finance the Mount Royal Tunnel Project. This Model City is one of the few completed projects in the wave of model cities that were planned at the turn of the 20th century. Today, TMR remains an integral part of the Montreal region and the CN system where commuter trains continue to operate on the original Canadian Northern route. In fact, commuter trains carry more than 60 million riders a year in Canada, reducing road congestion, fuel consumption and emissions.

Special Award Donald Bain – Similar to previous Special Award honourees of the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame, such as Gordon Lightfoot, Donald Bain of Calgary is an accomplished railway author. He has helped tell the story of the railway industry in Canada. In the late 1970's, Mr. Bain spearheaded the production of a single volume known as "Canadian Pacific in the Rockies." This photographic history lesson morphed into companion publications covering Canadian Pacific, CN, regional railways, and U.S. railway operations across the country.

The result is an excellent series of publications that not only detail the history of railway operations in Canada, but also provide a valuable insight into the important role of the Canadian railway industry in the ongoing development of the nation.

The Canadian Railway Hall of Fame is a virtual hall of fame created in 2002 by the Railway Association of Canada with the support of its 57 member railways and the Canadian Northern Society of Alberta..

Since that time, some 60 nominees have been inducted into the hall of fame. They are featured on the website as well as in an interpretive park in the Village of Big Valley, Alberta.

The community is also the site of significant railway and local heritage preservation, and the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame Pavilion helps to complement those efforts. The historic interpretive park has already attracted more than 20,000 visitors.

For more information, please go to www.railfame.ca.

Contact Information:

Roger Cameron
Railway Association of Canada

Les Kozma
Canadian Northern Society

    © 2006 The Canadian Railway Hall of Fame. All registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.