Francis Carlson was driving around Vermilion and noticed what looked like a freshly painted train with the 100th Anniversary logo at the Vermilion Train Station on June 17.
The Canadian National Railway Company was created on June 6, 1919. To commemorate their 100th Anniversary, they will celebrate with a mobile commemorative train stopping in various cities throughout the year. The CN celebration in Edmonton will run from July 18 - 23.
“I found it amazing and being a coin collector, I already had the commemorative coin. Part of my wanting the coin and the photo was that CN is a part of our heritage,” said Carlson.
According to www.cn.ca, they are the only railway in North America that touches three coasts - allowing us to reach 75 percent of North America’s population. They transport over $250 billion worth of goods every year and suggest that chances are most people’s necessities (car parts, mobile devices, food, soap etc.) have been handled by CN. In addition, in 2019 CN plans to invest approximately $370 million to expand and strengthen Alberta’s rail infrastructure.
Carlson remembers many years ago riding on steam trains which he says is becoming a part of folk lore now, but he finds it so captivating; he likes the history of Canada. Growing up in Islay, he remembers taking cream down to the train every morning, a diesel dayliner that carried both freight and passengers. His wife, Barbara, noted that the train had brought her ancestors west from Halifax, Nova Scotia to settle.
“The railway system is what united Canada; it was nation building coast to coast. It’s such a fascinating history with so much nostalgia; I love trains,” said Carlson.