A Short History of the Grand Trunk
The Grand Trunk Pacific
Rail Beds and Trestle Bridge Construction
The Impact of the GTP on Rivers and the
R.M. of Daly
The Roundhouse and Shops
Train Wrecks and Other Mishaps
Labour Unrest on the GTP
The Alsford Murder Trial
Railway Facilities in Rivers – A
The Railway Dam & Pumphouse
People in the Grand Trunk Story
Railway Job Descriptions and Terms
Excepts from Railway Manuals
the Grand Trunk Pacific Story
A component of…
Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in Rivers, Manitoba
of The Rivers Train Station Restoration Committee
Became roundhouse foreman in 1918
The first GTP Agent in Rivers, 1908
A former general manager of the Canadian Atlantic, succeeds F.W. Morse
as general manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific in 1909.
Duke of Connaught
The youngest son of Queen Victoria was on the initial initial Royal
train to pass over Grand Trunk Pacific lines.
The Edmonton Eskimos
The Grey Cup Special stopped in Rivers both going to and coming from
their victory in 1954. Locals gained souvenirs including a piece of a
goal post presented to the mayor, Mr. Stratford. Locals stil remember
the chocolate bars with Edmonton Eskimo wrappers being handed out.
The engineer who died when his freight train ran into a gap which –
prior to a cyclone had been the 115 foot high Minewaska bridge near Uno.
The first local G.T.P. carpenter foreman, left for Edmonton to
supervise work there in 1910.
In charge of trestle bridge construction, including the Rivers Trestle
Hays, Charles Melville
Vice President of the Grand Trunk Pacific.
Charles Melville Hays was a native of Rock Island, Illinois but lived
in Canada for many years. He became general manager of the Grand Trunk
Pacific Railway in 1896 and convinced the Canadian Prime Minister of
the need for a second transcontinental railroad.
Charles M. Hays died while returning from a visit to England to Canada
where he was scheduled to attend the 26 April 1912, grand opening of
the Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa, Ontario. Hays had chosen to return
from England on the maiden voyage of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, which
struck an iceberg south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland the night of
April 14th and sank.
Arrived in 1923 as Canadian National Railways agent,
The crew and star of The Railrodder, a short film starring Buster
Keaton, spent several days filming at the trestle bridge. Mr. and
Mrs. Keaton hosted the Mayor and Chamber of Commerce at a special
dinner and Mr. Keaton made an appearance at the Rex Theatre where on of
his early films, “When Comedy Was King” was showing.
Kelley, Howard G.
Succeeded Edson G. Chamberlain as President of the Grand Trunk
Pacific in 1917.
King George VI
For the first time in history a reigning monarch was to visit
Canada. In Rivers, a royal visit committee was set up to request that
the train bearing Their Majesties would stop here. The petition was
granted, but the visit was somewhat of a disappointment to the fifteen
thousand people who gathered as the King made only the briefest of
early-morning appearances to wave from the receding coach platform.
George VI and Queen Elizabeth greet Canadians from the
back of the
Royal Train, in Hope, British Columbia, 1939.
Railway postal clerk who brought the first Grand Trunk
Pacific-conveyed bag of mail into Rivers, passed away.
Began his career with the G.T.P.
at Rivers were he stayed until
1913 before moving on and eventually becoming Superintendent of Motive
Power with C.N. based in Trancona. (Winnipeg Evening
Tribune, Jan. 31, 1942)
A shopworker who was killed when caught up in the pumphouse engine, in
Prince of Wales
In 1923, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, the future King of England,
disembarked from the train and walked the ties for the last mile as it
The Rivers man slipped beneath wheels of moving train and lost both
GTP Vice-President during the early years.
Page, Mrs. Robert
The first operator of the station restaurant in 1909.
Took over as railway locomotive foreman in 1937.
In December, representatives of the G.T.P. strikers, including William
Renton from Rivers, met with the Minister of Labour in Ottawa about the
strike, which had now lasted 14 months.
Rivers-Wilson, Sir Charles
President of the Grand Trunk Pacific who oversaw the creation of
the Trans-Continental line. The Town of Rivers is named after him.
Sifton, Sir Clifford
Manitoba MP in the Laurier Liberal gov't at the time of the GTP
Replaced Percy Neville, 14 – year veteran, as railway locomotive
The Twenty-two year old had one leg severed by a locomotive and later
died. The first noted casualty in the region.
The throttle had been defective according to a coroner's inquest. The
railway company was found guilty of gross negligence.