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Canadian hall of fame honors two former railroaders, a city and a technology

The Canadian Railway Hall of Fame recently announced this year’s inductees in the leader, heroes, community and technology categories.

In the “leader” category, the hall inducted Major J.L. Charles, a former Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and CN executive who played a role in shaping the Canadian railway network. He directed engineering projects and operations for CN, and was involved in the construction of both the Hudson Bay Railway line from The Pas to Churchill, Manitoba, and the Great Slave Lake Railway from Roma Junction to Hay River, Northwest Territories.

In the “heroes” category, the hall inducted Paul Roy, who served Canadian Pacific, CN, the Northern Alberta Railway, Pacific Great Eastern and BC Rail Ltd. during his 35-year career. He contributed to various railway preservation projects in British Columbia, arranged for the donation of a former BC Rail electric locomotive to the Prince George Railway Museum, and created a mini-rail system to introduce railroading and rail history to youngsters.

In the “community” category, the hall inducted Winnipeg, Manitoba, which in the late 1800s worked to become a terminus for a CP branch line. The city provided the railroad land for yards and a perpetual tax exemption in return for making Winnipeg a divisional point and location for mechanical shops.

Finally, the hall inducted light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the “technology” category. Approved by Transport Canada in 2003 for use at grade crossings, LEDs help enhance safety because they are visible from a long distance, according to the hall.

The virtual Canadian Railway Hall of Fame was created in 2002 by the Railway Association of Canada in conjunction with its members, the Canadian Northern Society of Alberta and Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/21/2009