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Friday, October 28, 2005

Press Release

2005 Inductees To Railway Hall of Fame  

Canadian railway employees have been recognized as heroes and were inducted, among others, into the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame today. The wartime railroaders were praised for their incredible feats of bravery and round the clock contribution to the war effort in this, the Year of the Veteran as enlisted men and women, and for moving troops and materiel across Canada, to ports and overseas.

“The inductions are part of a series of annual events and activities that showcase the role that freight and passenger rail plays in Canada’s economy,” said Bruce R. Burrows, Acting President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada.

The virtual Hall of Fame was created in 2002 with the support of the RAC’s 60 freight and passenger railways, communities, museums, corporate sponsors and the public at large.

Key railways’ shops were converted to turn out tanks, guns, munitions and ships, in addition to keeping locomotives, freight and passenger cars rolling. The railways also set up pilot training schools, and pioneered transatlantic ferrying of bombers to Britain. They helped Canada and its allies win the war, said Mr. Burrows.

During World War Two, almost 43 000 CN and CPR employees enlisted and 1500 of them were killed in service to their country. Thousands of women entered the Canadian work force during the war to do the jobs of men fighting overseas. One was singled out for recognition — Violet Cumming had 50 years of service to CN. She joined the railway at 15 years of age and retired 50 years later as regional pass clerk for the Mountain region. She also worked in Winnipeg for several years during the war and later as yardmaster in Edmonton.

Other 2005 Hall of Fame categories and inductees are:

Industry leader — Ed Dodge, former Executive Vice-president and Chief Operating Officer of Canadian Pacific Railway, led CPR to fundamentally improve its performance in reducing train accidents and personal injury rates by 70 per cent. As a result, the railway introduced management processes still in use today;

Technology — CN re-named its St. Clair River Tunnel the Tellier Tunnel after past president Paul Tellier on Nov. 30, 2004. Opened in 1995 between Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Mich., the new tunnel was capable of hauling double-stack container trains and tri-level auto carriers under the St. Clair River. It replaced a 100-year-old smaller rail tunnel, made obsolete a railcar barge on the river and reduced cross-border transit time by two full days.

The tunnel, bored with technology perfected during construction of the English Chunnel between Britain and France, is 1868 metres long and 8.4 metres in diameter. Tellier was president of CN from 1992 to 2002 when the railway was turned into a successful, privately-owned North American railroad.

Site — Craigellachie Station, west of the Eagle Pass summit between Salmon Arm and Revelstoke, is where the last spike was driven to mark completion of construction of the CPR and was named after the village on the River Spey in Scotland, the ancestral home of Sir George Stephen and first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The "Last Spike" was driven by Sir Donald Smith, a director of the CPR, on November 7, 1885.

The virtual, web-based industry Hall of Fame was launched in 2002 with the support of the RAC’s freight and passenger railways, communities, museums, noted railway historians, corporate sponsors and the public at large. Nominations for the awards come from the public through the Railway Hall of Fame website. Additional information on the industry is available on the RAC’s site at www.railcan.ca

Contact Information:

Les Kozma
Canadian Railway Hall of Fame

Roger Cameron
Railway Association of Canada

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