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Canadian Railway Hall of Fame hands out awards, welcomes inductees


On Oct. 15, the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame announced 2003 award winners and inductees, which include past and present rail-industry leaders, historical communities — and a singer/songwriter.

The hall bestowed its annual "Industry Achievement Award" to Serge Belzile, recently retired president and chief executive officer of Quebec Railway Corp., who transformed the short line into a major regional railway. The hall also presented its "Special Award" to Gordon Lightfoot, recognizing the singer/songwriter's ballad about building the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Entering the hall are 12 inductees, selected in four categories.
Leaders: Ross Walker, who retired from Canadian National Railway Co. after serving 47 years, most recently as senior vice president, Western Canada; John Booth, a lumber baron who created the Canada Atlantic Railway; and Donald Smith, who in 1885 drove the ceremonial last spike creating the transcontinental CPR.
Heroes: Harold Flemmer, who served CPR nearly 50 years, mostly in track maintenance; Fred Sloman, who taught CN workers' children from 1926 to 1965 on board a "School on Wheels" car; and Seth Partridge, a CPR engine-service employee who saved co-workers lives during a 1925 landslide.
Communities: Revelstoke, British Columbia, the site of the last driven spike that inaugurated the transcontinental CPR; Hornepayne, Ontario, a town created because of its location on CN's mainline; and Transcona, Manitoba, home to CN's rail-car and locomotive repair shops, and a major wheel shop.
Technology: The Ocean Limited, soon to become Canada's longest running, regularly scheduled passenger train; Quebec Railway Bridge, which includes the world's longest cantilever span; and Mount MacDonald Tunnel, which CPR built in the late 1980s to provide cost-effective service through western Canadian mountain grades.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/16/2003